Friday, November 16, 2007


Since this blog was originally started to chart the progress of my novels, I'll get back to that for a bit.

Book three is called THE COMMANDING STONE, and I'm presently a little more than halfway through the first draft. I'm hoping to have it completed early next year, with an anticipated publication date in very early 2009. I will be posting the prologue and perhaps chapter one before the end of this year, assuming I can find time to polish them enough to show them to the world. Right now they're in pretty rough form and I'd rather keep the momentum going with the narrative than go back and revise, but we'll see what my schedule permits.

As a reminder for anyone near Bloomsburg, tomorrow I'm holding a book signing at the Cloak and Dragon bookstore downtown from 1 -3 pm. If you're around, please stop by!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Steelers eek one out over the Browns

It was something of a nail-biter, but the Steelers pulled out a great come-from-behind victory (down 21-6 at halftime) in the second half of their home game against the hated Cleveland Browns. (It wouldn't have been nearly so close if the Steelers kicking unit knew how to, oh, I don't know, tackle the freakin' kick returner! I mean, come on, two touchdowns on kickoff returns!?)

Ben really came through in this game. With a career-long 30-yard touchdown run, and another scramble to gain a first down on third and long, he really showed his mettle as one of the premier quarterbacks in the league.

What matters in the end is the final score. But Tomlin's got some work to do with special teams. You just can't have gaffes like that in the NFL and keep winning.

"Please don't respond"

Those were her last words to me in an email I received a few days ago. "Please don't respond." I had sent an email asking if I had ever made her truly happy -- there were reasons for that question that I don't feel like getting into here. She finally broke down and replied. She told me that yes, I had made her happy, very happy, and that she would regret breaking up with me and miss me for a long time, but that this was something she had to do. The other guy is the one for her, and she has to try to make that work and move on.

"Please don't respond."

So it ends. The woman who had been my best friend, my girlfriend, my confidante. Someone I talked to several times a day, who couldn't wait to see me when we were apart. It all comes down to this.

"Please don't respond."

I think this will be my last post on this sad, sorry subject (and I'm sure a lot of you must be cheering about that!). I've never really felt compelled to write about anything the way I am about this topic. This outlet has certainly helped me in some ways. I just wish I could see where I'm going to go from here, because right now, the road is very dark indeed.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Steelers - Ravens

My team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, routed the hated Ravens in a 38-7 stomping in Pittsburgh last night. Big Ben threw five touchdown passes in the first half alone! Unfortunately, Ben was injured on a seemingly innocuous hit late in the third quarter by Terrell Suggs. Ben looked pretty shaken up at the time, but came back into the game in the fourth quarter, so it appears all is well.

All in all, a very satisfying Monday night game!

Bee Movie

I took my son to see "Bee Movie" last night. It started off rather slow and unfunny, but built nicely toward a fun and rewarding ending. It wasn't the laugh-out-loud movie I expected, but definitely worth a look.

I'm sure the handful of readers I have here are sick to death of me whining about my recent personal issues. I think I would be sick of it too if I were you. But you need to understand that I'm finding it tremendously helpful to write about what's happening. If you'd rather not read anymore about it, you should probably stop here.

On our way to the movie, my son asked me out of the blue, "Is Miss ---- still our friend?"

His question caught me completely off guard. I took a moment to compose myself, then said, "Well, not really anymore."

He asked why not? Why couldn't she just marry this other guy and be friends with us too? I tried to explain that she still liked us, but that it was hard for her to try to be friends with me and be with someone else. I also made it clear that she liked him -- my son -- very much and had told me to tell him she was sorry about what happened.

He said he missed her, then asked me if I missed her too. I told him yes, very much. He said he felt like crying, and wanted to know if I was sad. Again, I told him yes. We were at the movies by now and when I got out of the car I gave him a huge hug.

At lunch time today I'm going to buy some Unisom and see if that helps with my sleep. Last night I was up again at 4:00; the night before it was 1:30. I was hoping I could just "work through" this sleep problem (whatever the hell that really means) without resorting to medication, but apparently not.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

First date

I had my first new date tonight in more than a year, and it was a complete disaster. Not in some burn-down-the-house, run-screaming-for-the-hills kind of way, but it was still pretty awful. No chemistry, no interest from either of us, awkward silences, and a desire from both of us to just end it and move on. It barely lasted an hour before we were out the door. (At least the sushi was good.)

I am a complete wreck once again. I don't know how I can handle this. The idea of having to date, of trying to find somewhere out there what I so recently lost, is so disheartening that I just want to give up.

For this first time since the breakup, I hated her. Not for very long -- it was a momentary flash, like a solar flare, that burst into life when I walked back into my dark and empty house -- but for that brief moment I despised her for making me have to go through this. For having to start over; for trying to find her, and what we had, in someone else.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Book signing schedule updates

The book signing at the Cloak and Dragon in Bloomsburg is scheduled for Saturday, November 17, from 1 to 3. Hope to see you there!

The Cloak and Dragon is located at 12 East Main Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815.

DATE CHANGE FOR THE WYOMISSING BOOK SIGNING! The Wyomissing book signing has been moved to Saturday, December 8, from 1 to 3.

Guest blogging at the HarperCollins site

My editor asked me if I was interested in writing several guest blogs for my publisher's site, timed to the release of my second novel. My answer: Of course!

You can read them by following the links below.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Friday, November 02, 2007


Two nights ago (Halloween), I went to a costume dinner party with some friends and had a very nice time. I need to get out more. I'm a fairly solitary person (writing has that unfortunate side effect), and for the last year most of my social life revolved around my ex, so when that imploded there was very little left for me to do except rattle around the house by myself, which was not helping my mental state. The food was excellent, the company even better, and I appreciated the opportunity to get out and do something with others.

Yesterday was my birthday. I will admit, it sucked. Not because of my birthday itself -- I'm 42, and quite honestly not bothered by my age in the least -- but because I did not hear from her at all. Part of me did not expect to. She is not terribly sentimental in some ways, and very hard in others, and I realize that it's better for her to just have a clean break and not look back.

But another part of me really wanted her to find a way to wish me a happy birthday in spite of everything. It's not as if I was ever a jerk to her, or I did something awful to cause this breakup. So I pathetically spent the day waiting for a message of some kind that never came. I will admit to a moment of severe weakness in which I emailed her some of my thoughts. I wasn't nasty or snide or accusatory, but I was hurt.

I never heard back from her.

My team at work got me a cake and card and balloon, which was great, and a good friend of mine took me to lunch and did a pretty good job of cheering me up for a while. But when I got home later that night, the weight of this came crashing down on me again. Part of why this is so hard right now is that she was planning on taking today off so we could be together. She had a wonderful birthday present planned for me (no, I'm not going to say what it was), and the idea that she might still be planning to go through with it and give it to her new/old boyfriend instead is just killing me. I had another awful, sleepless night, and I think today I need to pick up some Unisom or some other over-the-counter meds to help out.

I'm going to a Caribbean dinner party on Saturday (same group that went to the Halloween dinner), and I'm looking forward to again getting out for a while.