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johnjosmiller
(Note:  There may be mild spoilers in the next to last paragraph, which I tried to hide, but failed. )

Well, my schedule is seriously screwed up for the next couple of days.

To explain a little about my regular schedule, I'm one of the approximately 15% of humans whose daily clock is skewed to the night.  When I was a kid living with a family whose idea of sleeping in was getting up at 6 AM, it was hideous.  Still, as a kid I was able to get by on 4 to 6 hours of sleep a night (not continuously, of course).  Now there's a lot of things I can't do that I did as a kid, but at least I can set my schedule, which normally means going to bed at between 2 and 3 AM and getting up between 10 and 11.  Also, my wife's work is from Tuesday to Saturday, so my normal weekend is Sunday/Monday.

So, naturally this Friday we were at Barnes and Noble with all the other grungy little muggles waiting to get our hands on THE DEATHLY HALLOWS at midnight.  There were maybe five hundred in the store, but, fortunately, I had gone to grad school with the manager (and she'd been married in our living room), so we got the first copy out of the box, paid for it, and headed home.  Gail had dibs.  I sat up with her reading THE DARK IS RISING, but only made it to 2:30.  Gail soldiered on until 4:30, realized she wasn't going to finish it before having to go to work in the morning, and opted for a couple hours rest.  (Like me, Gail is also night-oriented.  And also like me, a fast reader.  Actually, she's much faster than me and probably the only person I know who reads more books a year than I do.)  She took it with her to work, read it during lunch and all her breaks, was interviewed by Action News 7 about her opinon on the whole Potter phenomenom, came home and polished it off.  We went out for a quick dinner, she took the dogs to the park, and I started reading around 8 PM.  Normally, I would have queued Harry up with all the other worthy books in line, but the last book was somewhat ruined for me by a loud-mouthed niece and I figured that this time around there were going to be LOTS of loud mouthed nieces and nephews running around the real and cyber world shouting spoilers willy-nilly.

Ten a half hours later, I was done.  

Was it worth it? Largely, yes.  First of all, it felt pretty good to pull a marathon session (of anything), sleep a couple of hours, and wake up feeling great.  (But, of course, I paid for it Saturday night, and may not be done paying yet.  As I've discovered in pushing myself in the gym, or wherever, now it's not the next day that kills you.  It's the day after that.)

The book itself had some problems. (Possible mild spoilers edited to comments.) The middle part meandered.  The body count was high, but mostly, with exceptions, not as dramatic as it could have been.  Since Rowling went through the trouble of writing an epilog, I would like to have known what everyone's been doing the last couple of decades besides making babies.  It would have been cool to know what ultimately became of his cousin Dursely."  But I've only read about one perfect book in my life.  Largely, I think the Potter heptalogy (as Keith Olbermann says) will go down as an enduring classic.  Not as highly ranked as, say, LORD OF THE RINGS.  Much better than, say, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA.

One thing, though.  Can anyone tell me how Nigel ended up with the Gryffindor sword at the end of the battle?  I've been wondering about that.

John Jos. Miller
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Now Reading: After taking out a few minutes to read HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, I"m now back to Susan Cooper's THE DARK IS RISING sequence (Currently on: THE DARK IS RISING)

Now Writing: It's a secret until the official announcement at the end of August.

In the Publisher's Pipeline: A graphic adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "In the House of the Worm" for Avatar Comics. But "Mortality's Strong Hand" is also knocking at the door.
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H & KH & K




John Jos. Miller
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Now Reading:  READING JUDAS: THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS AND THE SHAPING OF CHRISTIANITY.  By Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King

Now Writing:  It's a secret until the official announcement at the end of August.

In the Publisher's Pipeline:  A graphic adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "In the House of the Worm" for Avatar Comics.  But "Mortality's Strong Hand" is also knocking at the door.


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Those who know me know that I'm a big baseball fan, and my team is, and has always been, the New York Mets.  The Mets have been in existence since 1962, and have played almost 7300 games as a franchise.  I figure that I've seen on television, or listened on radio, to a couple of thousand of them (I've also played in maybe 1000 games myself on the amateur level, but that's another story.)

Tonight, Jose Reyes led off the game for the Mets with a homerun.  The second batter, Julio Gotay, also hit a home run.  This was the first time in the team's history that Mets batters led off a game with consecutive homeruns.

Which is part of the reason why I'll never tire of watching baseball.  As Joaquin Andujar, St. Louis Cardinal pitcher in the 1990's, once said:  "Baseball can be summed up in one word.  You never know."

The Mets won the game 3 to 2.

John Jos. Miller
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Now Reading:  READING JUDAS: THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS AND THE SHAPING OF CHRISTIANITY.  By Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King

Now Writing:  It's a secret until the official announcement at the end of August.

In the Publisher's Pipeline:  A graphic adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "In the House of the Worm" for Avatar Comics.  But "Mortality's Strong Hand" is also knocking at the door.

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...after reaching the high two-post level, mainly to get actual work done.

I've been concentrating on finishing my story for the second of the new Wild Cards books, BUSTED FLUSH.  The good news is that the story, called "Mortality's Strong Hand," is finished.  The bad news is that it isn't.

When doing a Wild Card story I usually allow for twice the time it takes to do a story of comparable length -- and that usually underestimates the amount of time it'll take to finish.  Actually writing the first draft isn't even the first step.  The first step is coming up with a narrative that will fit in the over-arching story-line for that particular book.  The second step is continual discussion with the authors of the stories that will be most closely linked with yours and authors whose characters you're using in your story, to make sure we're all on the same page as to chronology, character usage, details like that then.  Then you write the first draft.  Then you turn it into George, who points out all the mistakes you've made.  Then you read your story in context with the other stories it intersects, conference with the other writers, and change the collaborative errors that have usually crept in despite your best efforts.

Then you can write the second draft.

I'm at the "have turned in the first stage draft."  It'll be a while before the corrections start pouring in, so that gives time to do all the little things around the house (like painting and landscaping) that I let go while having the excuse of this story to write.  Great.

John Jos. Miller
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Now Reading:  READING JUDAS: THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS AND THE SHAPING OF CHRISTIANITY.  By Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King

Now Writing:  It's a secret until the official announcement at the end of August.

In the Publisher's Pipeline:  A graphic adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "In the House of the Worm" for Avatar Comics.  But "Mortality's Strong Hand" is also knocking at the door.
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The above is a slightly dated photo of myself and two friends.  As you can see, I had an affinity for animals from an early age.  I grew up not exactly on a farm, but in a very rural area paradoxically about sixty miles north of New York City, and eight miles away from a village of 5,000 where I attended the centralized school district from kindergarten through high school.  The high school, which was actually grade seven through twelve, had about five hundred students.  Imagine the shock when I walked into my first college class (BIO 101), which had almost seven hundred.  (This was at SUNY Stony Brook.  I assume that I'll have a few stories to tell about those years as this blog rolls on.)

Anyway, to bring this back to the present, I still have an affinity for animals.  Gail and I have two pure bred tri-color collies who are three-quarter siblings (same mother, who is a merle showdog; their fathers are brothers).  The male is named Hamish.  The female is Khyber.  We have eight cats, all of whom were strays.  They range from 16 (Edmond Blackcatter, or Eddie) to ten (Mrs. Miggins and Pie Shoppe) to nine (Alexander the great [familiarily known as Sandro] and his sister Kleopatra), and the Three Amigos, male strays of uncertain age whom we adopted two winters ago.  There's Phantom Stranger Deux (There's a long story behind his name, but basically he looks like a cat we lost ten years or so ago who was named Phantom Stranger -- but his name was also Phantom [yes, we learned his name from the family who abandoned him] and he came to us Christmas Eve, just like the original Phantom Stranger nearly 30 years ago.  Kind of spooky, actually.), Archie, and Nero (AKA Big Black Kitty, a pure blood Persian who put me in the hospital when we first adopted him.  Another long story.).  Oh yes, and three goldfish who don't have names.

I used to have a lot of fish and amphibians (including a mata mata turtle, Surinam or Pipa pipa toads, several species of poison arrow frogs, mantella frogs, and Red-Eyed Tree Frogs which we used to keep in the bedroom and serenaded us at night, especially in the spring).  Alas, the books haven taken over the house, and we no longer have space for all the tanks.

On to some Wild Card news.  Bud Simons, of Austin, Texas, was in Santa Fe for the weekend, and we had dinner and a Wild card meeting (so we could deduct the dinner).  Present was George, Melinda, Bud, of course, myself, my wife Gail, Vic Milan, Ian Tregallis, and Chip Wideman who is not a writer but a player in the original role-playing game from which Wild Cards sprung and creator of the ever-popular Crypt-Keeper and the soon to be popular Toad Man.  There was a lot of discussion over the Chinese food and later at Melinda's fabulous house on the outskirts of Santa Fe.  Mainly, we nailed down some stuff for the new book.  Melinda is doing the interstitial material, which is always tricky business, and we had to work out some choreography as virtually all our stories intersect in complicated ways.

I don't want to give away too much, or even much at all of other people's contributions, but, even though this is Wild Cards -- Next Generation, my story is a Billy Ray story, just as you like him, in trouble, kind of lost and over his head, but still swinging wildly.  It ties up a loose end or two from my novel, DEATH DRAWS FIVE, as well as advances the plot of this middle book of the new trilogy.

Stories are due in mid-July.  I virtually never hand mine in early.  I always tinker endlessly until I HAVE TO hand them in.  That said, everything seems to be going well.  The stories I have read are terrific.  There's lots of new characters, but some of the familiar ones as well, and, as always, we try to keep the readers guessing.  

Next time, if there's interest, I'll talk a little about my project for Avatar Comics, a graphic adaptation of George R.R. Martin's novella, "In the House of the Worm."

 

John Jos. Miller
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Now Reading: THE CHINATOWN DEATH CLOUD PERIL by Paul Malmont

Now Writing: "Mortality's Strong Hand" a Billy Ray story for Wild Cards Book 2: BUSTED FLUSH.

In the Publisher's Pipeline: A graphic adaptation of George R. R. Martin's "In the House of the Worm" for Avatar Comics




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Welcome to my Live Journal page.  As you can see, there's not much to it at this point, but we'll see what we can do about that.

My Name is John Miller, and I am a writer.  I write mostly fiction, and mostly science fiction, but I have also written articles on baseball history for several publications, and articles on collecting science fiction books for FIRSTS MAGAZINE (well, one anyway, with another upcoming if I can ever find the time to finish it).  I've had about ten novels published and about twice that in the way of short fiction.

I used to write under the name of John J. Miller.  Actually -- to go all the way back to the antediluvian 1970's, I used to write fiction under the name of J.J. Miller and technical archeology under the name John Miller.  I changed my by line to John J. Miller about 1986, with the start of the Wild Card series, because I was no longer doing archeology.  This past year, I have modified my by line to John Jos. Miller because of a plethora of John J. Miller's in the writing field and the sad fact that I am becoming confused with one of them who I'd rather not be confused with. 

I'd like to use this journal to promote the various projects I'm associated with, but also to provide a place to discuss various topics of interest (as enumerated in my "I like..." post, which actually I'm not sure where it can be found).

Well -- let's see how this works.

Waiting for the comments to come rolling in, My Best,

John
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