Second quarter + one month report

book shelf

I saw a quote recently that said nothing ever goes as planned – you wind up where you are by accident no matter what your big plans are. It’s a variation of the proverbial John Lennon quote, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”

And so, as I review my announced plans for 2017 for this month-late update, I don’t feel terribly bad about saying, well, Life happened. Continue reading Second quarter + one month report


5 more first lines

Rolf Pepperkorn blinked three times and stared so long that everything seemed awkward before he finally blurted, “You’re a leprechaun!” and immediately felt embarrassed.

The old man pulled a book he’d never read off the shelf, settled into his reading chair, opened the old tome and cried, “All right, you, where are we going together tonight?”

It was a race to the lighthouse, but neither the plane nor the sailboat had a way to land.

Was it days or weeks or months or years since he’d been on land and raised his face to a warm sun?

I really can’t remember the first time the rabbits in the yard began to talk.

scene 9

scene 9(scene 1, part 1)  (scene 1, part 2) (scene 2)(scene 3)(scene 4)(scene 5)(scene 6)(scene 7)(scene 8)

Pete Bratcher walked out of his barn as I clattered up in my pickup truck. Stella, or Kathleen or Whoever Her Name Was, stepped out behind him. It didn’t feel reassuring that both were cradling rifles. They seemed to relax when it became clear no one was in the truck with me and no one was following me. What, did they think I’d bring the law with me, or that the law would insist on coming along?

Maybe it was me putting airs on Pete now that I had some idea he was more than he seemed, but I felt like there was a sharpness and an edge to the way he carried himself this morning, as opposed to good old rumpled and relaxed Peter who was everybody’s pal.

The girl – why after the last 30-40 years is it still OK to call a young woman a girl? – wore her ever-present baseball cap with the ponytail through the back and the thin line of a mouth. The T-shirt and jeans showed how trim she was, as always, which I admit would be distracting if not for her firm “can’t touch this” attitude and the fact that I was too upset to notice that sort of thing just then. Continue reading scene 9

An interview with C.C. Beck

Captain Marvel 7 web

The Hogan’s Alley website (“the magazine of the cartoon arts”) published this interview with C.C. Beck, the artist who created so many Captain Marvel stories over the years – the real/original Captain Marvel, the Big Red Cheese, who has been changed over the years to the point where the character is fairly unrecognizable.

Captain Marvel had a huge influence on Myke Phoenix, from the concept of a normal person changing bodies with a mighty warrior to the whimsical tone I tried to inject into the tales, especially as time went by. Mostly, though, I am charmed by those old stories for many, many reasons, not the least of which was how much fun they were, but …

Well, read what went on in the background for yourself.

W.B. at the movies: Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla

A giant sea creature is burrowing up a crowded urban river, tossing boats aside like confetti and generally killing and maiming everyone in its path.

The government calls a meeting. And there, everyone considers forming a committee, which will build a coalition, which will discuss creating a task force that will develop a report. All along, interchangeable faces earnestly debate the options regarding what should be done. And when the time comes to act or die, no one can make a decision.

Meanwhile, the big monster just keeps on a-coming. Continue reading W.B. at the movies: Shin Godzilla

scene 8

scene 8

(scene 1, part 1)  (scene 1, part 2) (scene 2)(scene 3)(scene 4)(scene 5)(scene 6)(scene 7)

It’s bad enough that Buzz always made comments about the aliens wanting to fatten us up for meals. It was worse that the morgue reminded me of a commercial kitchen with the stainless steel door on the cooler and all the stainless shelving and equipment.

“Won’t take long,” the sheriff said as he walked me down the corridor and through the swinging door to the place where they housed the recently departed for processing. “This is the tough part.”

“Yeah,” I said. “Poor Buzz. He didn’t deserve to die early.”

I didn’t mean for that to come out as an accusation, and I hoped it didn’t sound that way because it might signal that I knew more about what happened a few hours earlier than I was letting on. No such luck, as usual. Continue reading scene 8

O, give me a beer

Leinenkugel's Anniversary Lager

A couple of months ago or so, Leinenkugel Brewing Co. introduced something called Anniversary Lager. Just the concept is interesting: This is the 150th anniversary of Leinenkugel’s. It’s also the 400th anniversary of Hofbräu München.

“This special beer combines the best of both breweries,” the box says. “Brewed in the spirit of Reinheitsgebot (purity law), this German-style amber lager is brewed with some imported German malts and all-American hops to create a beer that is flavorful, balanced and refreshing.”

Rarely does a product live up to the copy hype, but Leinenkugel’s Anniversary Lager is indeed flavorful, balanced and refreshing. It’s been my go-to adult beverage all summer. Of course, all bets come off every Aug. 1.

Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest is an annual tradition for me. Two or three years ago I realized that it appears on the shelves on Aug. 1 every year. I posted this photo on Facebook with the caption, “Yep, it’s really August again! Here’s the proof.”

Leinenkugel's Oktoberfest

I got a handful of comments about “Oh, no, October, noooo!!!!” from people who didn’t get the point. I wasn’t making fun of the release date two months before October; I was celebrating Aug. 1 the way I always do now – by seeking out the new release at the beer store.

This Märzen style beer is a smooth, malty treat that goes down easy and comfortable. From now until somewhere around mid-November, this will be the taste that soothes me after a day’s work (or at least once I finish my stash of Anniversary Lager). I love my Yuengling when I have the opportunity to quaff it, but Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest is my best old late summer/early fall friend. Yum!

Between these two, it’s been a Leinenkugel’s year for me. They get a lot of mileage out of their Honey Weiss and summer shandies, but you can have those. I’ll take these great German-style beers every time.