Saturday, July 30, 2011

Good Time To Join The Resistance

If you own a PS3 and have always wondered why Boneman and I rave about Resistance: Fall of Man and Resistance 2, now is the perfect time to find out. Not only is Resistance 3 only 38 days away, but a very affordable Dual Pack, containing both R:FoM and R2, has just been released for $39.99! Highly recommended, as I've played through each of those games twice already, and probably will again at some point in the future.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Crazy Week

So far, this week has featured a walk during which Julie and I encountered a very strange bit of 'landscaping' that was put in place so quickly that my walking partner only half-jokingly theorized it must have involved time travel or alien technology; two deaths in my family (one of which happened last month but no one thought to tell us about at the time); a request for two Agile workshops to be delivered over the next two weeks; and a whole slew of feedback for Game Over that will have me making edits to it for days and days and days. In other words, I've been busier, and more distracted, than at any point since I stopped working full-time 3 years ago!

Monday, July 25, 2011

At The Fringe

We couldn't take any photos within the shows of Hamilton Fringe itself, but we did remember to snap a couple as we moved between venues. Here's Vicki posing by a poster for Dirk Darrow:

And here I am, outside the Aquarius Theatre, one of the two venues the Fringe Festival took place in:

You can't really get a sense of how hot it was there, but trust me: it was brutal! Still, we had a fantastic time there and were so glad we went!

Walking Goal: Week 7 Report

I was expecting a poor total for this week, what with the heat and Hamilton Fringe to contend with. However, I fortunately remembered to take my pedometer to Steel City so that I could record all of our jaunts back and forth between the two venues. That, along with a little Cooper time at the start of the week and a Julie walk at the end, allowed me to post some reasonably good progress in Week 7:

287.4 kms (57.5% of the way to the total)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm ready for a break from this ridiculously high humidity any time now!

Calling All Frenchies!

I have a favour to ask if you happen to speak French fluently: there are a few pieces of dialogue in Game Over that are in French. Julie (who went to a French school until Grade 8) has been kind enough to translate them from English. However she isn't 100% confident about the results as she hasn't had to speak French in a very long time. So if you happen to be fluent in French and would be willing to double check them, please contact me. Any assistance here would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Captain America: My First Avenger

As regular followers of this blog already know, my first ever comic book featured Captain America. As such, we can draw a straight line from that moment in 1970 right through to me sitting in a theatre in Hamilton yesterday afternoon. I was watching so many scenes from that 40-year-old comic that it was absolutely eerie to think about: my first comic, my first Avenger, my first hobby, all symbolized by Chris Evans on the gigantic screen in front of us.

I'm sure most people won't have quite the visceral reaction to Captain America: The First Avenger that I did, but I imagine most will still enjoy it. This is a solid, satisfying silver screen introduction of yet another Marvel/Disney Comics character. Not only do you get Cap's origin, but significantly you get considerable time with the pre-Cap Steve Rogers. This is important because you get to see just what kind of man he is, despite standing about 5-foot-2 and weighing maybe 90 pounds (done with great effects, I must say!). They captured the essence of Rogers perfectly, and perhaps summed it up best with his one statement: "I hate bullies."

Most of the film takes place during World War II, which of course is where the character originated. Anyone bothered by the anachronistic technology on display during those scenes should remember that this is the Marvel Universe, not the real world. The Fantastic Four, after all, got to the moon in 1961! So it's not surprising that their Second World War featured weaponry somewhat more advanced than what actually existed in our version. I loved the war plotline, and was really glad to see that they dedicated almost the entire movie to it. Steve Rogers was the classic fish out of water when he was brought back in the 60s, and the ending of this movie strongly hinted that we'll see more of that in both The Avengers (next summer) and the inevitable Cap sequel.

I have to admit I loved this movie, perhaps more than I should have. But since Vicki said she thoroughly enjoyed it as well, maybe it's simply a good film, period. I know I'll be picking it up on DVD as soon as it comes out, because I'm already eager to watch it a second time!

Hamilton Fringe Roundup

As promised, here's a bunch of mini-reviews of the dozen shows Vicki and I attended at this week's Hamilton Fringe (still going on through tomorrow). I'm listing them in the order we saw them, but also including two sets of rankings: [Vicki's] and (mine). For rankings, 1 means "most-liked" and 12 means "least-liked" with everything else falling in between those two extremes.

An Inconvenient Truthiness [8] (8) - This was a one-woman monologue by Sharylyn Johnson on the topic of her love for comedy. She grew up obsessed with Jon Stewart even prior to his arrival on The Daily Show, and eventually added his Comedy Central peer Stephen Colbert to the mix. I found her presentation a bit uneven and its conclusion somewhat jarring, given the buildup toward it. Having said that, though, I liked it quite a bit and it obviously would've finished with a higher ranking but for the strong field it was playing among. This show actually represents the end of the "worth recommending" portion of my list and probably should've been included in my previous post on Ham Fringe.

When Harry Met Harry [5] (7) - A very entertaining one-man act starring Allan Girod from Perth, Australia. Girod's pliable face and willingness to behave ridiculously really make this worthwhile, although I found the material a little less compelling. Basically it's a day in the life of a very tightly-wound "Senior Print Specialist" in a company's print department who gets sent to an Interpersonal Development Session with some of his co-workers. Girod plays both the obsessive Harry and the session's gushing and emotive leader (Rodney?), as well as drawing in a few audience members for some good fun.

Writer's Block [7] (6) - I give this one high marks for effort and for the physicality of its actors, moreso than for acutally pulling off its central concept of four characters (A, B, C and D) in a plot-less limbo who have to derive their own purpose for being there. There are definitely some intriguing ideas presented as well as several impressive stunts, but the writer in me was left a little unsatisfied that it didn't go deeper.

Closing the Door [3] (4) - We both really enjoyed this ensemble piece (by Fringe standards!) about a man still devestated, two years later, by a breakup with a woman who really gave him very little reason to love her to begin with. The acting is good and the writing cleverly moves back and forward through time, providing little clues into the nature of the relationship as the play moves along.

Hear Nuclear Lies [12] (12) - The writeup had intrigued me: Albert Einstein returns from the dead in 2011 to warn us of the dangers of nuclear energy. Unfortunately, that description was by far the best part of this train wreck of a Fringe play. The actor in the lead role neither looked like, sounded like, acted like nor seemed to even know much of anything about Albert Einstein. The material he presented was full of errors, including such easily-avoided flaws as spelling J. Robert Oppenheimer's name wrong! "Einstein" screwed up countless lines, which is all the more impressive as he was reading most of them off a PowerPoint presentation! His foil - a woman representing a nuclear power organization - inexplicably changed sides late in the game, I guess because that's what the script called for then. As I mentioned to someone after this painful exercise in frustration was over, this wasn't just the worst play I've ever seen... it was one of the worst presentations I've ever attended, and that's saying something! We should have known something was amiss when we were the only two paying customers at the Thursday show! Sometimes word of mouth really does work, it seems.

Nicholas Wallace: Mind Reader [9] (9) - I'm not the world's biggest fan of magic / mind reading acts, but I had enjoyed the one I attended last month. This time around, I wasn't quite as engaged by Nick, who seemed to be having a bit of trouble himself, at times. Now, this was on the hottest July 21st in Hamilton's history with the air conditioning not working in the theatre, so he can probably be forgiven somewhat. However, I still wasn't impressed, and - based on her ranking - neither was Vicki.

Book Worm [2] (1) - As you can tell by our rankings, this was a highlight of the week. Singer / songwriter Corin Raymond held us spellbound for an hour as he recounted stories of growing up with his father and learning to love books with a passion few of us ever feel toward anything in our lives! Raymond's a fantastic weaver of tales, and the structure of his material was absolutely flawless. He received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end that went on for a couple minutes, and I think we only stopped because all of us wanted to hear what he had to say (the performers typically break character at the end to thank us and recommend other Fringe shows to us).

ShLong Form Improv [10] (11) - This was another poorly-attended performance and it may've suffered for it, as audience participation is obviously a major part of improv. Still, both of us noticed missed opportunities and cheats aplenty by the four performers, and in the end it really didn't live up to what we've come to expect from that particular artform by now.

Interface [6] (5) - I enjoyed this play as much for what thoughts it prompted in my own brain as for what was actually presented on the stage. The story involves a male member of a future dystopian society somehow coming in contact with a nearly-current-day female scientist who's working to perfect the world's first artificial intelligence. The two form a bond even though each is a bodiless voice to the other, although the woman believes the man is actually her suddenly self-aware AI! I was bothered a little by the conclusion's implications - which I don't think the screenwriter had thoroughly thought through - but mostly was just impressed and entertained by Interface.

Roller Derby Saved My Soul [4] (3) - We very nearly didn't go to see this one. It was former co-worker Peter Janes' recommendation - he'd actually been involved in it in some capacity - that made us scramble on the final day to fit it in. And boy, were we glad we did! Nancy Kenny both wrote and performs solo in a whirlwind portrayal of two sisters, one of them a Buffy / comic book fan and the other her younger, more assertive Roller Derbying sister. Kenny is amazing in both roles and was a joy to watch for 50 minutes. I'd make a point to see anything she appears in after this. Thanks to Mr Janes for making sure we didn't skip Roller Derby!

Dirk Darrow: NCISS [11] (10) - I almost feel bad for not liking this more, as it's at least a bold attempt: a combination magic, mind-reading, film noir detective story with audience participation thrown in! There were definitely some good laughs as Darrow stumbled his way toward solving a 1947 murder that he'd been hired to look into, but it just never quite clicked for either of us.

A Different Woman [1] (2) - You've got to love it when you go out to see a dozen performances over three nights and the last one in the bunch ends up being one of the very best! Talk about finishing on a high note! I was a little worried about this show, going in: 90 minutes long (most Fringe performances are 60 mins or less), covering a true life story from Texas in the 1920s. It had huge potential to be boring as hell, and yet it was riveting from almost the opening minute. Veronica Russell adapted the play from Gertrude Beasley's book, My First Thirty Years, in which the early 20th century former teacher lays bare the hair-raising home life she'd had to endure up to that point. Incest, bestiality and parents who hated each other highlighted the woman's upbringing, and Russell channels her in hypnotic fashion. When the lights dimmed for the final time, I was sitting on the edge of my seat, just hoping Ms. Russell would speak to us for a few moments out of character. And sure enough, she did: revealing that she was up here from New Orleans, telling us how impressed she'd been by Hamilton's festival so far, and absolutely gracious in her appraisal of what Miss Beasley had risked in writing her book (for which she would eventually be institutionalized for the remainder of her life). Definitely one of the shows not to miss!

As you can see, we had a great time at Hamilton Fringe. About our only regret was that her schedule didn't allow our buddy Susan to attend along with us, as that would've no doubt elevated it to even greater heights. Maybe next time!

Five Weeks After Opening, Green Lantern Is Gone From Most Theatres

If Vicki and I wanted to go see Green Lantern tonight, a blockbuster production which opened a mere five weekends ago, we'd have to go out of town to do so. I'm not particularly heartbroken by this news, although I had been entertaining the thought of us completing the Big Event Movies of 2011 ticket by doing so. After all, we've already seen Thor, X-Men: First Class, Super 8 and Captain America: The First Avenger (review to follow) over the past couple of months. I don't expect much from Ryan Reynolds and the rest of the GL crew, but I nevertheless toyed with the idea of at least seeing it on the big screen.

Not gonna happen, though. I guess even popcorn-vendors have standards, after all.

Hamilton Fringe Roundup To Come

We're just back from 3 days and nights in Hamilton, attending a dozen Hamilton Fringe shows in record-breaking high temperatures. Yes, we loved this year's Fringe here in town so much that we decided to go on the road and check out another one! And we may even do more of that in the weeks and months to come.

Later in the weekend I'll be posting mini-reviews for each of the performances we attended, but in case anyone reading this is considering going and wants to know which ones we particularly liked:

A Different Woman
Book Worm
Closing the Door
Roller Derby Saved My Soul
When Harry Met Harry
Writer's Block

That represents more than half of what we saw, and several of the other ones were quite good, as well. In other words: another great Fringe Festival!!

Praise For Game Over Draft

One of my second round reviewers sent me the following in an e-mail that was posted at 1:32 a.m. this morning (suggesting, possibly, that he stayed up that late in order to finish reading and critiquing the book):

"I just finished reading Game Over. Wow! Brilliant! Excellent! I absolutely loved it! Great writing and storytelling. Congrats!"

And this was from someone who was wonderfully critical of the book's contents as he went through them, providing me with lots of feedback that I'm continuing to incorporate. So that, as they say, is quite gratifying and encouraging!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

At The Intersection Of Music And Economics

Paul Krugman's blog, this morning. Great song, great video, terrible message to be relevant again in 2011! Just how crazy are American politicians right now that they can't understand what a terrible response austerity is to the current situation? It really is just like the 1930s, all over again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brace Yourself For San Diego Comic Con 2011

The biggest genre media event of the year kicks off tomorrow night, as the 5 days of madness known as San Diego Comic Con gets underway. Two years ago this week, at SDCC 2009, Marvel (now Disney) Comics broke the Internet in half by announcing that they'd attained the rights to Miracleman, and were returning him to his original Marvelman name. Two years later, we've yet to see them do anything with the character besides reprint some lame 1950s/60s material that nobody seemed the least bit interested in.

I wonder what non-starters will get dropped on us this year? Obviously "the New 52" relaunch from DC Comics will be a main topic at SDCC, as will the Captain America: The First Avenger film that debuts in the middle of the con. I have more to say on both of those topics but just haven't been able to work up the energy to blog about them just yet. Soon, hopefully.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Walking Goal: Week 6 Report

I had hoped to reach the midway mark of my 500 km goal this past week, but things weren't looking good going into the weekend. Hot hot hot days had kept my walks short, and I think I needed almost 24 km over the final 3 days, meaning an average of nearly 8 km/day! Gulp!

Fortunately, Vicki volunteered for a couple walks with me, and then Julie squeezed me in for a woods-walk on Sunday morning before handing Cooper off to us while she headed out of town. All of that added up, and somehow I did it:

251.4 km (50.3% of the way to my end-of-Sep goal!)

As Vicki says, that means I'm 2 weeks ahead of schedule, and should be able to take it a little easier in the heat. Well, we'll see how well that works out...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Super 8 Is Super Meh

It's not all that often that I can't enjoy a popular science fiction/action flick, so when I saw that Super 8 was sitting at "80% fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes, I expected to like it. And, when Tammy said she'd seen it and thought it was good - she, who's not particularly into Sci Fi - I figured it had to be something special.

Imagine my surprise, then, when Vicki and I went out to see it last Tuesday and neither of us thought much of it. I think she endured it better than I did, but even she said she wouldn't be comfortable recommending it to anyone. I thought the story was horribly contrived, most of the characters were unbelievable and unlikable (a bad combination!), and it evoked all of the worst excesses of the 70s movie extravaganzas without delivering any of their charm. There was no real payoff at the end, and the whole thing was just one dreary trainwreck... including a literal one of those, early in the proceedings! A few scenes made me smile or even chuckle, but mostly I was just bored and/or baffled. How did so many people love this thing?

Oh well, at least both Thor and X-Men: First Class were excellent this summer, and I've got high hopes for Captain America: The First Avenger out later this month. I can't quite bring myself to go see Green Lantern considering how awful its reviews have been, but after sitting through Super 8, maybe I should... GL couldn't be that much worse, could it?

The Right Look For Movie Cap

I've been saying to Vicki, over the past week or so, that the cowl they've come up with for Chris Evans to wear in Captain America: The First Avenger just doesn't work for me. It's admittedly always been a little strange looking, even in the comics, but it really comes across as goofy in live action mode. In the various trailers for the film, there have been three different looks for the character once he's got the rest of his costume on:
  1. With cowl on
  2. With military helmet on
  3. With nothing on his head
I actually think # 2 looks best, but also like # 3.

Today, a new poster arrived, and check out the image:

Good choice! I hope they minimize how much of the movie he spends under that stupid cowl!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hell, Yes!

I've loved Ed Brubaker's work on Captain America right from his first issue, back in 2005. He's consistently hit exactly the right note, even when he killed the guy off and replaced him with his former sidekick for a couple of years! As far as I've been concerned, Bru could do no wrong where Cap's concerned.

Well, this month sees the launch of a new Captain America series (the old one continues under the new name of Captain America and Bucky, I believe, and is going to be set in World War II). I just finished reading the first issue, with artwork by Steve McNiven (a taste of which you'll see to the left), and somehow Mr Brubaker and his co-creator have raised the bar even higher! This is a high-octane, beautifully-drawn upgrade of an already impressive product! I loved what I just read so much that I'm going to re-read it again in a few days, which I almost never do anymore. It's a great series for anyone to pick up after seeing the Captain America: The First Avenger movie later this month, which is clearly a wise move by Disney Comics.

This has just shot up to the top of my favourites list!

Speaking Of Trailers

OK, so it's probably going to suck, but I still can't help myself: I'm excited about the prospect of finally seeing the prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing (one of my Top 20 favourite films)! It's due out in October and the first trailer for it can be watched here. There are a suspicious number of "same scenes" between this and its 'sequel', which could either be a sign of an endearing devotion to the original or of a disturbing lack of creativity. Probably the latter, unfortunately.

7 Films From 2011 You May Not Have Heard Of

I found this collection of trailers quite interesting, considering that it features 7 films from this year that I'd not even heard of before now. Not all of them appeal to me - I'd say, about half do - but a couple really seemed quite good. I can't help but think Certified Copy is going to be wonderful, since I'm a sucker for Before Sunset/Before Sunrise types of character pieces, of which this seems to be one. The new Woody Allen flick, thankfully not featuring him in the lead role by the looks of it, also piqued my interest.

Which one(s) turned your crank?

Game Over Inches Ever Closer To Completion

I've been doing lots of tweaks to Game Over lately, thanks to great feedback from Julie (who's now 2/3 of the way through it in Editor Mode) and another generous reviewer. It's extremely gratifying to see it continually improve, whether it be unwieldy sentences getting smoothed out, plot holes being filled in or even just the odd word choice being improved upon. I'm feeling very lucky right now to be receiving so much help in refining this first novel of mine into something I think I'm going to be really proud of.

Vicki managed to pre-sell a copy of the (still not-quite-finished) book yesterday when she showed the current version to someone at the dentist's office! She has it on her Kindle and that made showing it off pretty easy, I guess. Reading the first couple of pages was enough to close the deal, apparently, which is definitely a good sign. I'll be soliciting pre-orders on a wider scale shortly, but it's never too early to let me know you'd like to get your very own copy of Game Over as soon as it comes off the printing press (probably in September or October). I expect the price to be $20, by the way. My plan is to also make it available in Kindle format (via Amazon) at the same time, so you'll have that option open to you, as well, in case it's more appealing.

And I'm still working on the cover blurb for the book, so if you haven't left your comments on that post yet, please consider doing so.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Walking Goal: Week 5 Report

Thanks to a couple of visits by Cooper last week, and in spite of some brutally high temperatures and humidity, I was able to put a good number of kilometres behind me as I started my 2nd month of goal-oriented walking. I'm now up to:

206.3 km (or 41.3% of the way to my goal)

I'd love to make it all the way to 50% by the end of this current week, but we'll see. That would definitely require a pretty impressive 6th week which may just be impractical in the kind of weather we're getting right now.

Pool Doggy

So I've wanted to get Cooper into our pool for a swim since we opened it this May. My one concern about that plan revolved around his claws, which are more than long and sharp enough to do some serious damage to our lovely 1-year-old liner. Several weeks ago, when I was out for a walk, I stopped by the local pet store and asked whether they sold any sort of "doggie boots for swimming", since I assumed the current popularity of both canines and pools meant that someone else had probably already solved this problem. I was shown a package of something called Pawz, which are rubber booties for dogs intended to protect their feet from extreme cold, allergic materials or just general damage while they're healing from a foot injury. The packaging didn't specifically mention swimming as a possible use for them, but I figured what the heck!

Julie was skeptical - to say the least! - when I first mentioned the idea to her last month, but when she was over on Friday I finally showed them to her and she transitioned from dubious to intrigued. Today she and I finally had our chance to put them to the test, and...

Isn't his purple footwear simply stunning?! It's what all the cool puppies are swimming in this year, I hear! Much to my surprise, Cooper didn't seem to mind having to put them on all that much but he was very reluctant to jump in, even when both Julie and I were in there, calling him. He eventually needed a little... convincing... but then:

Once he got over his fear of jumping in, he took to it like a trooper! We had to teach him how to go to the ladder so he could rest, as he just wouldn't put his hind legs down in the shallow end. We had him in there with us for the better part of an hour, and all three of us had a great time! It was the perfect way to spend a hot July afternoon, and thanks to Vicki's quick thinking we even have photographic evidence of it!

I like to think of it as just one more reason Cooper loves coming over for a visit...

"Glory Days" Revealed

If you're any kind of a Springsteen fan, then you know the nostalgia-laden song, "Glory Days," and how (as the title suggests) it recalls an earlier, better time in a former baseball player's life. Turns out that song was, in fact, based on someone the Boss had known as a kid, and you can read all about him here.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Fun With Kindle And Facebook

I've got the 2nd draft of Game Over out in a couple of friends' hands, one of whom preferred to review it on Kindle rather than in Word format on his laptop/home computer. No problem, said I, because Vicki is actually on her second pass of it, both of which she's done via Kindle.

However, this friend's plan for providing me feedback from Kindle through Facebook, after setting up a private FB account so that I would be his only friend on it, has run into many problems. When he tries to upload his comments, he apparently gets error messages indicating that the text is too long; also, even if he copy/pastes them to me in an e-mail, it's hard for me to figure out what context they belong in (I get a page and LOC reference but they're not easily translatable by me to any specific location in the book). It sounded like such a great process when he first described it - I'd be seeing his edits virtually as he typed them! - but it's turned out to be somewhat substandard to the traditional 'Track Changes On' in Word approach that I've used in the past. Oh well. Some weeks are just like that!

[Update the next day: I found a Kindle previewing app that shows the line count and now I can line up the comments much more easily. Yay!]

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Walking Goal: Week 4 Report

Julie finally ended our walking drought (which very nearly reached 4 weeks!) by inviting me to join her and Cooper on Sunday night, allowing me to add a few extra kilometres to the end of another good week. My total is now up to:

166.2 km (or 33.2%, or 1/3 of the way to the goal!)

With the temperatures on the rise now, it's getting harder to motivate myself to do the long walks by myself. Therefore I'm very glad I got ahead of the curve early on, as that gives me a little bit of slack to play with. Onward!

"Art Is Never Finished, Only Abandoned"

Leonardo Da Vinci said that, of course... talking about Art!

But I've found that, even with my own dubious, lower-case-a 'art' (4 books, and counting), I can never seem to quite finish the writing process. I continue to see things in The Real-Life Adventures of AgileMan (Lesssons Learned in Going Agile), for example, that I'd change if I were still in there, editing it. And it's awfully tempting to do just that when you're self-published, believe you me!

And now Game Over is following the same path. Everytime I open the current draft, I start tinkering with it. I think my changes are always for the better, but I also worry: will I ever feel like it's finished? Right now I'm waiting on edits from Julie for the final 8 chapters, so know it's still going to change in some significant ways (she's quite ruthless, that woman!). And I need to get it out into some other hands for additional proofreading and feedback, as well. But once that's all happened, I think it's going to be even harder than its non-fiction siblings were, when it comes to finally calling it 'done.' Like Leonardo said, I don't think I'll ever be able to completely finish it, but will have to eventually simply abandon it.

And then the rest of you will get to read it, if you're so inclined.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Interesting Psychological Exercise

I enjoyed a recent Psychology Today article (link below) about a contest that was run, open to anyone who wanted to participate. All you had to do to take part was provide a number between 0 and 100 indicating what you thought 2/3 of the average of the rest of the numbers provided would be. In case that's not clear: contestants were challenged to try to figure out what they thought the average of everyone else's numbers would be, take 2/3 of that average and submit that number as their entry. So if you thought the average of what everyone else would submit was going to be 30, for example, you'd submit 20 (2/3 of 30).

Before you read the article, take a moment and decide what strategy you'd use and which number you'd supply, and then follow the link and see how you might've done. Fascinating stuff! Here's the link.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Second Draft Of Game Over Now Complete!

I've been working on it for several weeks now, but this afternoon I finished the second draft of Game Over. This version incorporates Vicki's feedback on Draft # 1, as well as Julie's edits on the first 5 chapters and my own changes as I've been re-reading and re-thinking it.

Sometime soon I'll be sending this draft out to a few second round reviewers, so if that sounds like fun to you, let me know! As always, though, don't volunteer unless you're sure you'll have time for it over the next month or so. As I well know: it's a lot of work, and people have busy lives these days.

My best guess right now is that Game Over will be published sometime in September or October this year. I can hardly wait for it to get out into more hands so I can start hearing what people really think of it. It's definitely turned out much better than I'd ever expected, but we'll see whether that really counts for anything in the Fall.