Stone of Remembrance

November 26, 2009

Muppet Terror Alert Level

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 11:12

Because it’s important to personalize terror, I’ve added the Muppet Terror Alert Level to my website.

As of this writing, we’re somewhere between Bert and Ernie. Thanks to ChrisW for passing this on.

Terror Alert Level

November 24, 2009

He Can Play. And Isn’t A Kid Anymore.

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 08:23

My nephew – my only nephew – Julian Leyhe is at Berklee College in Boston. He’s doing what he’s wanted to do since early adolescence: play the guitar and study music. Last night at the Jazz and Blues Guitar Showcase, he showed what he can do.


I’ve posted about it here and here; I saw him perform at the “guitar camp” he attended a year before he started at Berklee. Last night, though, he was on stage at the Berklee Performance Center with another guitarist and a drummer, and his parents and sister and a bunch of friends in the audience – and his uncle and aunt too.

He’s talented. Knew that. He’s a showman – a 19 year old showman, admittedly, though that’s not a bad thing. There was another guitarist playing Eric Clapton who was a little more laid back, an affectation of world-weariness tinging his performance by design. Jules by comparison was grinning and energetic, showing how happy he was to be there in his third semester at Berklee. They chose a very small number of students to present work – but only one got a standing ovation.

None of this surprises me – I knew he was talented, and I knew he was confident and I knew he understood how to play before an audience. But at a school that trains people for professional music careers, the key to getting up on that stage is more than talent or poise: it’s technique and skill. He’s got that too.

And even if he was a kid compared to some of the other folks who performed last night, he’s not a kid anymore.

When I have pictures or video I’ll update this post. Meanwhile – I’m proud of him. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

November 5, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Not Me, Either

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 07:11

My friend and colleague Maggie Bonham has decided that November sucks because, in part, she feels guilty that she’s not jumping on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon. This conveyance is the National Novel Writing Month, which is a fine idea, I suppose, in the sense that it allows novels to emerge from writers like stuff bursts from people’s chests in the Alien movies.

Don’t get me wrong: I think the idea of a particular motivation to get people writing is a great thing. I assume that some good work comes of it: if not in terms of finished novels, at least in the outflow of creativity. But Maggie, and I, and a bunch of other writers shouldn’t feel remorse if we don’t jump on. I can’t write a novel in a month. I just wrote one in four months, one I’m quite excited about; it was motivated by the usual impulses: creativity and fear. But it took four months, not one. There was research, and there was real life, and there was no artificial November 30 deadline. There is also as yet no contract, because I have to sell it – and ultimately, that’s why I don’t write a novel in a month because if I did it would be crap.

So I’m not participating in this event. I do not feel a shred of remorse. And Maggie, you shouldn’t either.

September 24, 2009

Talk at 5th LOI

Filed under: Freemasonry, Walter\'s Schedule — admin @ 06:16
November 24, 2009

I will be speaking at the Fifth and Second Masonic Districts Lodge of Instruction on November 24, 2009.

September 6, 2009

Philcon 2009

Filed under: Walter\'s Schedule — admin @ 14:16
November 20, 2009 15:00toNovember 22, 2009 15:00

I will be attending Philcon in Cherry Hill, NJ. Catherine Asaro is the principal speaker.

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