Clara

iPhone Review (and a Christmas Song)

I’ve had the iPhone 4, hereafter known as Shinynewphone, for a few months now.  I figured it was time to describe the pros and cons of the new toy.  Overall, I’m quite happy.  Details beneath the cut, along with a sample photo and a video of my son singing Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.

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Friend Promo

I’m very fortunate. I’ve got a lot of very nifty friends and acquaintances, both the real-world and the online variety, and sometimes I’ve just got to show them off.

To that end, I’m declaring this an open “Promote Your Friends” thread.  Please feel free to post whatever cool projects or accomplishments your own friends have been up to lately.  (If you’re on my jimchines.com blog and your comment doesn’t show up, let me know and I’ll rescue it from moderation.)

Let the promo begin!

  • My daughter Clara was promoted from purple belt to third brown in Sanchin-Ryu on Monday.
  • Seanan McGuireis currently in Australia at Worldcon, where she’s a finalist for the Campbell Award for best new writer.  Between her Toby Daye books and the success of her zombie thriller Feed, I think she’s got a good shot at bringing home the tiara.
  • Lynne Thomas, editor of Chicks Dig Time Lords (and my archivist!), has a new project: Whedonistas: A celebration of the worlds of Joss Whedon by the women who love them.
  • My friend Steven Saus has a story online called The Burning Servant, part of a chain story project founded by Mike Stackpole.  (Stackpole sounds like he’s doing a lot of interesting stuff … I need to check that out!)
  • Elizabeth Moon is a well-known SF writer, but she’s also a very good blogger.  She wrote a great post about gender bias in publishing last week.
  • John Kovalic provides a very nice, pointed comment on race and gaming in this Dork Tower strip.  (Check out the follow-up strip, too.)[1. I’ve never met Kovalic or talked to him much online, but we swapped a few e-mails and he provided a great blurb for Goblin Quest, and I figure that’s good enough to include him here!]

Finally, my author friends have some new books out.

Your turn.  What nifty things have your friends been doing?

Clara’s Hamster

Note: this story doesn’t have a happy ending…

Last December, my sister-in-law talked to us about buying a hamster and cage for our nine-year-old daughter Clara.  I was a little hesitant, but we said yes.  It was the right choice.  Come Christmas, we went to my in-laws’ place and swapped gifts.  When it was Clara’s turn, we brought her back to the bedroom so she could see the little teddy bear hamster in his new cage.

Her reaction was pure, wide-eyed, hands-over-the-mouth joy.  She’s always loved animals.  She has a fish, and she’s raised frogs and butterflies, but this was different.  This was rainbows and unicorns and true love at first sight.  She named him Sammy.

She took better care of that little guy than I ever did with my pets as a kid.  He nipped her a few times in the beginning, but she was very patient, making sure he got to play every day, that he got his treats, and eventually taming him so she could pet him and carry him around.

And then he figured out how to open his cage. More

Clara’s Butterfly

Last month, my daughter Clara came back from a trip up north with several monarch butterfly caterpillars, which she took care of.  Each one went into a chrysalis, and all but one turned into butterflies.  Today the last butterfly emerged, and I thought I’d share a picture.

Why?  Because it’s a neat picture from my daughter doing something cool, that’s why 🙂

This one emerged after the others, which have already been released.  We’ll probably give her a day or so to get used to the wings, then turn her loose.

My Job Rocks, Part XVIII

For anyone in mid-Michigan, I’ve got a booksigning at pizza party tonight from 6:00 – 8:00 at Schuler Books in Okemos.  (Former Lansing signings have been at the Eastwood location.  If you go to the Eastwood store tonight, I won’t be there, and neither will all of that hot, yummy pizza.)

Any suggestions or requests for what you’d like me to read?

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I also wanted thank everyone who’s posted reviews or comments about Red Hood’s Revenge on Amazon, Twitter, blogs, or wherever.  It’s very much appreciated, and I’m glad most of you have been enjoying it.

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Not writing-related: my daughter Clara returned last night after a week up north with a friend.  She brought a monarch butterfly chrysalis and a caterpillar who’s about to form another chrysalis.  (She’s always been interested in the bugs.)

I’d never seen a monarch chrysalis before, and I couldn’t photograph the thing, but they’re beautiful.  Light green with metallic gold highlights.  It looks exactly like someone painted gold leaf over the raised ridge and bumps near the top.  Very cool.

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Anyway, back to the rocking job.  In the past week, I’ve received books by Stacia Kane (autographed!), Sherwood Smith, and Beth Bernobich, and I should be receiving a copy of Erin Hoffman‘s forthcoming novel Sword of Fire and Sea soon as well.  Three of these four books won’t be out for a little while yet, but I get to read them all.  Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!  I love my job!

  

Books and Squirrel

Two new books out today from friends of mine.

 

Feed [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon], by Mira Grant, also known as Seanan McGuire (of Rosemary & Rue fame)[1. She’s been talking about the book on her LiveJournal, so I’m assuming the pseudonym is an open secret].  From the Publishers Weekly Starred Review:

Twin bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason and their colleague Buffy are thrilled when Sen. Peter Ryman, the first presidential candidate to come of age since social media saved the world from a virus that reanimates the dead, invites them to cover his campaign. Then an event is attacked by zombies…

Bewitched & Betrayed [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon], by Lisa Shearin.  This is Shearin’s fourth book about seeker/sorceress Raine Benares.  Lisa has posted sample chapters from all four books on her web site.  Check ’em out!

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Thanks for everyone’s input last week about discussing/sharing family stories and such online.  I talked to my wife and both kids about it, and I have a better sense how I’m going to try to go about this.  The current plan is to use the cut tag for these, since not everyone is interested.  I also let the kids choose pseudonyms for themselves.  (Clara and Jackson, if you’re wondering).  I’ll probably reevaluate as I go.

So anyway, this weekend I brought the kids to Michigan State to feed the ducks…

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Jim C. Hines