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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Lizards - Big and Small (plus book news)

Hello!  Hello! 

I know many of you probably think I've fallen off the face of the Earth.  After many months of regularly bringing you posts about music, movies, horror, etc., the second quarter of 2019 has been pretty quiet here on the blog.  Some of that is due to weird circumstances that you can piece together from previous posts.  Some of it is due to focusing efforts in other places.  In the end, what you need to know is that things are good overall and progress has been made.

As I write this, I'm sitting on a screened porch looking out at Lake Dora in Tavares, Florida.  Other than my father (who is taking a nap), I'm currently accompanied by an old dog named Toby, a cat named Patches (probably sleeping directly beneath me under the porch in an effort to stay cool) and no less than 30 small lizards feasting on lake flies and trying to stay out of the direct sunlight of a summer day.  

There are larger lizards about also.  A five foot alligator is somewhere off the dock in front of me.  He's not visible but he hangs out in this area.  We tend to see him at dusk.  His larger neighbor runs 10 - 12 feet and while he doesn't generally patrol this part of the lake, he made an appearance yesterday afternoon as he calmly swam about 20 yards off the end of the dock with the confidence of something that is the apex predator of these parts.

I should also point out that it's in the mid-90's here with humidity in the high 80's.  I'm drenched in sweat.  I tried to write inside but the AC and soft chairs were putting me to sleep.  This might be the only time in my life that I've actually worked up a sweat while writing.  Let's be honest though, in these conditions, you work up a sweat just breathing.

While The Wash was set in Utah, my upcoming book and many of the other books I'm currently working on are set in Florida and Georgia.  You may wonder why this is if all you've ever read is this blog.  After all, I have entire series of posts devoted to weird places in Southern California but nary a mention of Georgia or Florida.  The fact is, I love California.  I love it for its geography, its diversity, its politics and because of the incredible friends and family I've managed to acquire there.  

I once read an interview with the musician Flea from the band Red Hot Chili Peppers.  He said California is like an incurable virus.  It gets under your skin and the rest of your life, no matter where you are, when you're away from it, you just want to get back to it.

That's true but for me the same can be said for this place.  I feel its pull when I'm in SoCal.  No matter how long I stay away, once I come back and feel the heat and humidity, it just feels like home.  I'll be back in California within a week and once I'm there, I'll miss all of this again.  It'll start creeping into all of my writing because that's the best way for me to hold onto it.  

Conversely, I'm sure if I lived in Florida year round, all of my books would be set in California.  That's just the way it works.

Speaking of books, my new one is complete and a publisher is currently considering it.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  As I've mentioned previously, it's set in the South and it's definitely a different beast than The Wash was.  This one is a lot more fun and involves swamp witches, moonshiners and a kaiju-sized catfish.  No news yet on when it will be available but I'll post more here once I know.  

I've got two more I'm in process on.  One is the fabled "Redneck DaVinci Code" book and the other a ghost story about America.  The latter will be the first I've ever set in California.  Both are about a third complete but moving along nicely.

I'm still determining what the next series should be for this blog.  I feel the movie reviews were getting a bit banal and I don't want this to get stale.  If you have suggestions on what you'd like to see here, let me know.

In the meantime, keep an eye on this space.  I'll have more news to come soon.  

Until then, the lizards, the cat and I wish all of you well.  

The dog is so old it's hard to tell what he's wishing at the moment, but it probably involves either a treat, a nap or a walk.  


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