June 27th, 2005


Returned from Contata

gnomi and I returned from the Contata filk convention late last night. It's going to take me a while to catch up with everything here.

We primarily hung out in the Con Suite helping out sdelmonte and batyatoon, who were running the place. We did make it to three events: a panel by osewalrus on the Grokster case, the banquet, and osewalrus's concert. I found out on Friday that since he was Toastmaster and couldn't introduce his own concert, I was being drafted to do so. So in some minor way, I ended up on program after all...

More later.

Strong Backs Wanted - NYC area

Short version: I'm looking to hire some high school kids in New York City in late July for manual labor at a rate of $10/hour, at about 4-5 hours per day.

Long version:

The third floor of my mother's house (where I grew up) is filled with a lot of books, magazines, comics, games, and other random junk. My brothers and I have decided that now is the time to clear out everything that we care about, and leave the rest to be hauled away as trash. This means I need to go through everything, select out my possessions, seal them away in boxes, and move them down to the basement.

Given the magnitude of this task, and my own back issues, hiring some high school kids would seem to be the way to go. The current plan is to do all this the week of July 24-30. If anyone knows of a high school kid who might be interested in helping out, please let me know. My Mom's house is in Forest Hills and is half a block or so from a subway station.

Author Recommendation: Robert Masello

This month, Robert Masello published his latest book, a fast-paced horror novel called Vigil. For a long time, I've been meaning to recommend his work to people, especially to other writers, and this seems like a good time to do so.

I first encountered Masello completely by accident, when I was browsing the writing section in a bookstore and I came across his book A Friend in the Business: Honest Advice for Anyone Trying to Break into Television Writing (Perigee, 2000). Although I had little interest in writing for TV from a practical perspective, I still decided to buy the book. (Writing for TV as a career would require moving to Los Angeles, something I have little to no interest in doing.)

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What makes Masello's books on writing so valuable is his willingness to put himself out there, to point out his own follies and mistakes, and to invite the reader to laugh along with him. I cannot recommend his books highly enough, especially to my fellow writers.

Planning for Fourth of July

Again this year, gnomi and I will be heading down to the Old State House on the morning of July 4th at 10:00 AM to hear the reading of the Declaration of Independence. This reading has occurred at the same location on 4 July every year since 1777 (in 1776, it was read in September, when it arrived in Boston), and it has become our tradition to attend.

We will be meeting folks who wish to join us at 9:30 AM upstairs outside the Outbound entrance to the T at Park Street station.

Our 4th of July traditions also include the watching of the movie "1776," which we will do again this year. If people wish to join us for this, however, we will have to find a venue other than our living room, as we do not have significant capacity for visitors at the moment.

If you are interested in joining us (or in providing a location for the viewing of "1776"), please comment here or send gnomi e-mail.