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Friday, November 13, 2009

On the Plains of Marathon: Epic Fail

Week Ten
Goal: 14 miles

Actual Miles Run: 0

Endnotes: Yes, you read that right. I didn't run a single mile this week for reasons too myriad to list here, but let's just say that my prediction that I would run a 12-miler this weekend is most definitely not going to happen. So, for the next week I just need to get the train back on the tracks so that the following weekend I can try for the half-marathon.

Week Eleven
Goal: 24 miles with a 10 mile run

Duotrope: The Greatest Writing Resource Ever!

The other day a writing friend of mine sent me the link to Duotrope.com, which is an online database of just about every online and print magazine, publisher, agent, etc. After only a few days of messing with it, let me tell you, this is the most incredible thing I've come across as long as I've been professionally writing. Signing up is free and once you have your profile set up you can save searches, upload your writing, create ignore/best lists, and track where you've sent your stories and whether they were accepted or not. I have spent hours upon hours updating Xcel spreadsheets with all the information that Duotrope has now put at my fingertips.

So, for all you aspiring writers out there, go to Duotrope.com for the only submission database you will ever need. Seriously.

To visit Duotrope.com click here.

Word of the Day!

ululate [ul-yuh-layt; yool-]
-intransitive verb
To howl, as a dog or a wolf; to wail; as, ululating jackals.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Picks of the Week

Week Eleven

Sheesh! After two good weeks of picks, I got blasted this week. I went 3 for 8, to drop my total to 43 for 73, or 60%. Sad face, sad face, but how was I supposed to know that nearly every good team was going to get upset this weekend?

This coming week only has a couple of games that matter since the SEC, Big 12, and ACC are at least partially decided, and there is little that’s happening in those conferences this weekend. In the SEC it will be a Florida/Alabama rematch for the title; in the Big 12 Texas will be facing either Kansas St. or Nebraska in the championship; and in the ACC, incredibly, it looks like Clemson has gone a good length toward solidifying an Atlantic Division slot against Georgia Tech.


No. 25 West Virginia at No. 5 Cincinnati
While it still looks like Cinci and Pitt are destined for a showdown for the Big East title, Cincinnati can’t get caught looking passed the Mountaineers this weekend or else this could be a three-way tie between West Virginia, Pitt, and Cinci.I don’t know if Pike will be starting for the Bearcats but I think they will still be able to handle a sputtering WVU at home.
Cincinnati 28 West Virginia 17

Michigan at No. 20 Wisconsin
This game only matters to Michigan. Wisconsin has already gotten into a bowl game and there is no way they can win the Big Ten, but for Michigan this is the last seemingly “winnable”* game before they head into the gut punch that will be the Ohio State game. If Michigan is going to salvage this season in anyway it has to happen this weekend. While I really don’t think that the Michigan team that’s been playing the last few weeks has any chance of beating the Badgers in Madison I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the team that showed up against Iowa and Notre Dame is going to be on the field on Saturday.
Michigan 35 Wisconsin 33

No. 10 Iowa at No. 11 Ohio State
Well, this game is basically the Big Ten Championship game since both of these teams have wins over the only other two contenders, Wisconsin and Penn State. Iowa lost last week to Northwestern and lost their starting QB, while Ohio State is definitely on the upswing. As much as I hate to say it, I think the Buckeyes will be cruising into their 6th Big Ten Championship…unless of course a certain underdog Wolverine team can somehow bite them next weekend.
Ohio State 24 Iowa 10

Auburn at Georgia
This game matters to no one outside of Alabama and Georgia but it is a rivalry game and almost every season it is a hard fought game. I think the Bulldogs are better and will use the home field advantage to good effect.
Georgia 28 Auburn 17

No. 16 Utah at No. 4 TCU
This is really the biggest game of the weekend since it has both conference and BCS ramifications. A win for Utah means they win the Mountain West and will probably get a boost into the Top Ten, but a win for TCU means that they are assured a BCS slot and possibly a shot at the National Championship if something terrible happens to Texas, Florida, or Alabama. I think that TCU is playing really good right now and the way they dismantled BYU a few weeks ago suggests they might be the real deal.
TCU 21 Utah 17


*And honestly even this game isn't winnable the way Michigan's been playing the last five weeks. But the talent is there to beat the Badgers and I am hoping against hope that the talent will show and the defense will hold.

Sketch #4

By Tres Crow

Supervisors
Mine said I could go to the bathroom
Pissing on the children
Down the hall and to the right
Why oh why oh why do you cry?
But I’m happy…happy…happy…

Word of the Day!

avoirdupois [av-uhr-duh-poiz; av-uhr-duh-poiz]
-noun
1. Avoirdupois weight, a system of weights based on a pound containing 16 ounces or 7,000 grains (453.59 grams).
2. Weight; heaviness; as, a person of much avoirdupois.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hammy the Porcupine Saves the Day!

This is a children's book I wrote about a year ago. I can't explain exactly where it came from, but I just woke up one morning and the entire story had just sort of fallen into my head. So I wrote it down and that's where it sat for a few months until my friend, Patrick's*, wife Erin** offered to do some illustrations for it. What she came up with was so inspiring and gorgeous that I decided I had to send this to some publishers to get their feedback.

As of right now none of them have bitten on the story, but I will resume sending it out again shortly, so I will let you all know how it turns out.

Hammy the Porcupine Saves the Day! tells the story of lonely Hammy the Porcupine living in the Wide Wood. He has no friends so one day he decides to venture out and find some, but what he discovers in the end is far more important than even friendship.

For a PDF file of the story with illustrations click here.


*Patrick Rickelton of Greenland, Noble Three, and Prattle On, Rick. fame.
**She is an incredible artist. She did the illustrations for Hammy the Porcupine in water color. I love especially her characterization of Fergie the Frog, Moppy the Muskrat, and Hammy himself.

Word of the Day!

perdurable [pur-dur-uh-bul; pur-dyur-]
-adjective
Very durable; lasting; continuing long.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Word of the Day!

termagant [tur-muh-guhnt]
-noun
A scolding, nagging, bad-tempered woman; a shrew.
-adjective
Overbearing; shrewish; scolding.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Word of the Day!

toothsome [tooth-suhm]
-adjective
1. Pleasing to the taste; delicious; as, "a toothsome pie."
2. Agreeable; attractive; as, "a toothsome offer."
3. Sexually attractive.