1. I went camping last week. We hiked a little bit, and I read, ate snacks, sunbathed on rocks. The first night I cooked some stew over a campfire in my dutch oven, the second night we toasted tofu pups. I saw what I think was a long-tailed weasel (that’s not my photo, but I’m pretty sure that’s the kind of creature I saw), a mouse (who was trying to creep on our snacks), a bunny, and a bunch of birds. It was pretty awesome, except lots of the free campsites around Nederland have been trashed by careless assholes who leave toilet paper and broken glass everywhere. Pack it in, pack it out, folks!

2. The Book of Cthulhu is shipping! I received my contributor copies and it’s really beautiful, heavy, and filled with so much excellent Lovecraftian fiction! And my story.

3. I finally read Ender’s Game and came away with mixed feelings. I really liked the ending, which I should have predicted but didn’t, but getting to that ending wasn’t all I’d hoped. After reading a bunch of Card’s short stories I had high hopes for my first novel-length trip with him, but it just wasn’t my thing. Also some of the discussion of Jewry, which I think was also maybe supposed to be a comment on affirmative action, made me deeply uncomfortable. In terms of “awful stuff done to children” and “military SF” books I was more into Shade’s Children and Starship Troopers, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The ending of Ender’s Game got to me big time. Even if the pacing, the plotting, and all the female characters (all meaning, um, two) left me a bit cold.

3. I watched Drive Angry and The Expendables. I enjoyed Drive Angry, even though I thought it could have been a better film with just a few mild tweaks; The Expendables was a big pile of turds that disappointed me in every way. I just don’t know what to make of action movies these days. ::shakes cane:: Seriously, though, if your lady characters make me long for the liberated, progressive days of, say, The Running Man, you’re doing it wrong. The Expendables, as was pointed out to me, was less a movie and more “a patent attempt to capture the audience of middle aged men who wanted to reprise the films of their youth,” and “meant to be set on the mental mantlepiece and admired by those who are prone to gulled by it.” Fair enough, maybe, but I dunno. I’ve seen a lot of those aforementioned films, and many of them had scripts where the lady characters had better roles than that of “holy saint who drives a pickup truck” or “cheating slut.” On a different note, I’ve heard a lot of shitty action movie dialogue but never anything as bad as “I’ll have to have you over for dinner sometime … IN ABOUT A THOUSAND YEARS” or whatever it is that Arnold says to the bizarrely swollen-faced and blush-enhanced Stallone. Ugh.

4. I’m finishing up a short story and within sight of the finish line with my novel.

5. To console myself over being unable to attend WFC this year, I’m making an epic Halloween costume. So epic I already started on it so it will be done in time.

6. I will be attending MileHiCon, with more details to come as I receive them. Not sure if I’ll be involved with programming or not yet, but hopefully I will!

7. I’ve switched up my exercise routine lately, and now have started working on endurance, body strength, and addressing a few long-term issues with my body, such as my weak spine/lower back. The new routine includes a lot of different kinds of pull ups, push ups, squats, lunges, core work, and cardio. I’ve also started running a mile a few times a week, for the first time in my life. Running is still not my favorite, and I’m not sure if I’m actually getting better at it, but whatever! Maybe I am getting better, since today I ran a mile in 12 minutes 13 seconds, which isn’t the worst. Still. Ugh.

That’s … about it.