Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Done for another week

This week's paper has been put to bed, ready to be printed tomorrow.

This has been a busy ten days. Last week we had our largest issue of the year, with 16 pages. It included many articles about scholarship awards and 144 photos of graduating seniors from the four Red River County school districts.

As I mentioned previously, I was very sick last Monday and Tuesday, so it was a real slog. But we got through it.

This week we are back to a more normal dozen pages, but that includes coverage of the Clarksville High School graduation, which was last Saturday. There are a dozen photos from the graduation as well as a write-up of the program.

As usual, the rest of the paper is packed with local news. I'm proud of it, but I'm looking forward to things slowing down a bit as summer kicks in.

I'm also looking forward to the rain stopping. We've had an astounding wet winter and spring. Just about everyone I know I Red River County is sick with allergies because of all the lush growth.

The rain causes other problems. We had a viciuous thunderstorm yesterday, and our internet cut in and out all afternoon as a result.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Fast copy

My first panel at SoonerCon will be Friday at 1 p.m. I am the moderator for "Creating a Short Story: Harder Than You Think".

You know, I've set the world record for the shortest lapsed time between starting to write a short story and getting an acceptance from an editor.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, I sat down after breakfast to write a short story for Dawn Witzke and the forthcoming Earth anthology - part of the Superversive Press Planet series.

I had promised Dawn I would submit something. I had been very distracted recently because of my buying the local newspaper on Jan. 1, 2018.

I started at 8:30 a.m. and wrote up the story, "This Planet is a Hole", in an hour - 1,395 words. I emailed it to Dawn, who was on-line and who read it immediately.

She accepted it at 9:58 a.m. An hour and a half from start to acceptance.! I guess I learned to write good copy fast working as a journalist for 40 years.

The anthology was published last June.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Sick and tired, really

I haven't posted much this week, for a good reason. I've been sick, or behind in my work because I was sick.

This winter and spring has been ridiculously wet here in East Texas. We’ve had dozens of thunderstorms that have dropped four or five inches of rain at a time. As a result, the proliferation of allergens from all the extra growth has been tremendous.

Now, in the past I’ve had a few episodes of what I call an “allergy attack”. I’ll suddenly start sneezing violently may ten or twenty times, then get all congested with a powerful post-nasal drip which makes my throat so raw I have trouble speaking. These attacks are so severe it usually takes me at least a day or two to recover.

At work, this week was one of the busiest ever. With our local high school graduation set for Saturday, the paper was the largest of the year so far – 16 pages.

I came to the office Monday and just after 9 a.m., as I was speaking to a friend, I had one of these allergy attacks strike. She actually backed away because she thought I was going to drop dead. I almost passed out.

For the rest of the day I could hardly talk and I was woozy and light-headed from the blood pressure spike caused by the violent coughing and sneezing. I was still sick as a dog Tuesday. I couldn’t use the telephone because whenever I started to talk I’d start to cough.

I got the paper to bed at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Thankfully, by Wednesday I felt better and I’ve been pretty much normal the rest of the week.

I can’t believe I had this happen on one of my busiest deadlines, but I have a good staff and we pulled through.

Monday, May 27, 2019

My SoonerCon schedule

I hope you are planning to attend SoonerCon June 7 – 9 at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center in Norman. They have a great line-up of guests, including yours truly. Here is my program for the convention:

Creating a Short Story: Harder than You Think
There are many paths to the peak of the mountain, says an old proverb. Authors discuss what works for them, and share common stumbling blocks to avoid when crafting short stories.
1:00 p.m. Friday, June 7, Sooner A
Lou Antonelli (Moderator) , J.H. Fleming, Vickey Malone Kennedy, Michelle Muenzler, Sue Sinor

New Ancestral Myths Writers, artists, and editors discuss recent works which combine characters from ancient myths with modern themes, situations, and aesthetic trends in order to create stories about today's concerns with mythical resonance. What do they actually say about ourselves in the current moment?
3:00 p.m. Friday, June 7, Sooner A
Mel. White, Lou Antonelli, Carolyn Kay, Michael R. Martin, Caleb Masters

Autographs Noon Saturday, June 8, Oklahoma E - Lou Antonelli, Deborah Chester, Dr. Lonnie Johnson, Craig Wolf

A Shift in Urban Fantasy - Werewolves and shifters have become ever more popular in UF. Authors describe their own werewolf or shifter characters, how they connect with their human side, and how that shapes the story.
2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Boomer A
Steven E. Wedel, Lou Antonelli, Bekah June, Lee Killough, Michael R. Martin

Readings: Alternate History 1:00 p.m. Sunday, June 9, Noble
Lou Antonelli, David Carrico, Jeff Provine, Adam J. Whitlatch

What's in a Nom de Plume? Why do many authors use a pen name? To hide identity, or to change genres while escaping reader expectations based on the name alone? When is it a good business decision, and how do you go about choosing that new identity?
2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 9, Boomer A
Melinda LaFevers, Kevin J. Anderson, Lou Antonelli, Rachel Caine, Cary Osborne, Steven E. Wedel

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Anniversary dining

I didn't mention it earlier, but Wednesday was our 20th wedding anniversary. Patricia and I were married May 15, 1999.

Wednesday being deadline day - and right in the middle of the week - we didn't do anything then, but instead we thought we'd drive to Texarkana today and have lunch at The Red Lobster.

There was already a storm underway, but we've had so much rain in recent months I've decided to stop letting the crappy weather dictate my life. So we left anyway.

As we crossed over from Red River to Bowie County, the rain got so intense that I said to Patricia, "I don't think we are going to make it. It's just too much."

Instead, we stopped in DeKalb and had lunch at The Front Street Junction. I had a 16 oz. ribeye, and she had an 8 oz. sirloin.

I wasn't what we planned, but it turned our OK. Afterwards the rain was less intense and we made our way back to Clarksville.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hot and sour soup therapy

I haven't posted as much in the last week or so as I usually do. Starting May 9 I finally came down with a serious cold and it slowed me down considerably.

We've had a very rainy and chilly winter and spring here in Northeast Texas. I'm lucky I didn't get sick earlier, but I graduated from the normal seasonal allergy congestion to a full-blown cold last week. Listless, sore throat, severe congestion - you know the drill.

I spent most of last weekend in bed. Rest and Theraflu seemed to help a lot, but it didn't seem quite licked. So Monday night I tried another remedy I've used in the past. Patricia and I drove 30 miles to Paris and - in addition to the regular dinner meal - I gulped down two bowls of hot and sour soup at the Golden China restaurant.

It seems to have worked. By Tuesday I was feeling much better, and now I think I've recovered - which means I still have the just the seasonal allergies.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

I don't necessarily believe in palmistry, but there's been two times in my life I was at some function and I let someone read my palm.

They both said the same thing, based on the fact my life line goes all the way around my wrist - twice.

That I would live to be very, very old.

One looked and blurted out, "Oh my God, you'll live to the oldest man in the world!."

The other said that despite my longevity, I'll be sick all my life because there are a number of breaks in my life lines. And back in 2000 I was diagnosed with diabetes and I've been fighting that since then.

Just thought I'd pass that along, for curiosity's sake.

Done for another week

This week's paper has been put to bed, ready to be printed tomorrow. This has been a busy ten days. Last week we had our largest issue...