Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Monday Musing

Last week was one of those weeks that nearly ate my brain. We had a big grant application due on Friday that kept me in the office for 22 combined hours on Wednesday and Thursday, and took up almost all of my other time in the office. Despite that, I actually managed to draft a post that I wanted to run today…but couldn’t quite bring it home this morning. So it goes, as some famous author once said. Instead, here are some random bits and pieces.

The great winter that wasn’t continues. My radiator was cold to the touch this morning, but mainly because the heat wasn’t going on often enough to make it warm. It was about 45 F when I got up this morning. Given the mild winter, I expect a spike in the price of maple syrup this year, because I can’t imagine we’re going to see a whole lot produced this year. Back in December, the grass was green and there were a few dandelions popping up. When we took the Catbird back to school after Thanksgiving, there was a red maple in flower on the campus quad (they’re not supposed to flower until late winter/early spring), and I’ve heard reports of Forsythia blooming downstate. El Niño has brought us wonderful, mild weather, but I can’t help but wonder what the spring is going to look like.

Tomorrow is groundhog day, and I fully expect that the mayor of Punxsatawney is going to tell us it’s going to be an early spring this year. I also expect that, some time in February, we’re going to get a murderous cold snap that will make us forget how mild everything has been. It’s still winter, after all.

Two notable events occurred in sports over the weekend: the NHL held its All-Star weekend, and the NFL held the Pro Bowl. Does anyone even watch this stuff anymore?

Writing is progressing. Actually, I’ve been reading and taking notes on my current manuscript. I expect to finish very soon and start yet another rewrite. Aside from a couple of thin spots, I’m actually pretty happy.

Speaking of writing–when Carrie and I had our conversation, she asked me if I had any ideas for The Next Project. I did. I do. One is partially written, another was just an idea. This weekend, a story started writing itself in my head. I’m not sure where it came from. It feels like it has potential….

Speaking of writing, II: Elephant’s Bookshelf Press is opening up to submissions for their next anthology. Matt is a good guy and a great editor, and I’m not just saying that because he published two of my short stories. Details can be found here.

Last week, quite by accident, I discovered that Hulu is running a special mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s 11/22/63. In case you’re not aware, this was a mighty, mighty book by King about a man who traveled back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination. It’s an excellent book, and I will watch this. I just hope it’s better than the treatment given to Under the Dome.

Finally, here’s an oldie for you, one that is appropriate in these troubled times: Elvis Costello and The Attractions covering Nick Lowe. Have a great week, everyone.

8 Responses

  1. I did not watch the NHL All Star game, but my daughter did. I didn't bother with the Pro Bowl, either. The only All Star game I actually watch is baseball's (and the homerun derby. I like that, too).

    As for spring, I think that groundhog will see his shadow. It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow.

    I want to watch 11/22/63, but don't have Hulu. I'll just wait until it comes out on DVDs.

  2. Stephen King is a master writer and story teller. I trust that his work will always be something special. Adaptations are a whole other bag but I'm excited. Thanks for dropping that info Jeff. Jamaica is having a bit of a cold spell (no snow of course) but I'm kind of glad because we have been having some bad heat waves over the past few years. Sunny is great, scorching to the point that I feel faint (especially as a lifelong local) is just plain bad. Glad writing is going well for you and best of luck with weather both in present and the future.

  3. -Stacy–did she enjoy the game? The reports are that it was actually entertaining.
    -Sheena-kay–Adaptations are definitely tricky, but I've got my fingers crossed!

  4. Ah, she always likes it, but I believe she liked the new 3 on 3 format better. Said it made the game a little more interesting, especially when it got into the 3rd period. I might have to give it a try next year. 🙂

  5. And we've had lots of snow this year. lol I think it was 11 degrees outside when I left for work this morning. 45 degrees. That would be nice.

  6. It's funny that we're on opposite sides of the world and yet have the same 45F temperature! Our winter has been pretty mild except for now, but my husband found my old space heater that I haven't used in 10 years and I'm now toasty and warm! Good luck on the last revision and the new idea. I go through about 50 ideas for every 1 I decide to write. I'm supposed to be writing a novella now, but decided I don't like the hero. If I change him, I have to change the whole plot. *sigh* So lots of pondering and no writing atm. Have a great week and weekend!

  7. I wonder if setting it up as a mini-tournament instead of the old "East vs. West" format got the players a little more pumped, too. Thanks!

  8. -Donna–you got our winter! (and that's okay by me) We had to shut our furnace down for 3+ hours yesterday to do some work and barely even noticed. I really don't mind!
    -Lexa–what is normal for winter in Egypt? I'm sure you'll come up with a new hero and a new plot that's even better than the last–good luck!

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