The New 2021/2022 Novel Update #15

Yesterday, April the 25th, I finished putting all my notes/revisions into the Word file of my new novel. It’s been almost a month since I finished putting in those inked revisions and now putting them into the actual pages and I have to say…

…I like where I’m at.

One of the most satisfying things about being a writer is when you see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, the point where you feel your book is really, really close to being done.

Yesterday, when I finished up putting those revisions into the Word file, and as I was going through those last pages, I was hit with a wave of pride at the work. I felt like I accomplished what I was hoping for and am really close to delivering the story I’ve tried so very hard to deliver.

So Draft #5 is done now and, unfortunately, I’ll have to wait a few days -busy with other stuff!- and let it sit during that time before getting back to it. I strongly suspect the book will need not much more than two more drafts and that Draft #6 will feature mostly edits toward the later pages and where a little more polishing needs to be made.

It’s impossible to give an estimation as to how much longer it will take to get all this done, but I suspect we’re looking at a Summer release of the novel at this point. Perhaps sometime in later June or July if -and that’s a BIG if- I can really get things going in the next few weeks.

We’ll see.

The Batman (2022) a (almost right on Bat-time) review!

It’s something that was unthinkable only a few years ago: I’ve found myself getting tired of seeing all these superhero films being released.

Back when Guardians of the Galaxy and the first Dr. Strange movie were released in close proximity, I saw them and… I didn’t like either.

Something in me broke, to be honest, and while I have caught a Marvel movie here and there, I haven’t been seeking them out as I did before. Further, while I have the final two Avengers films, I haven’t found the time or inclination to see them. The last Marvel film I saw was Spider-Man: Far From Home and… I really didn’t like it much at all.

I’ve seen many of the DC hero films but have a few I have that I haven’t watched either (Shazam! and Wonder Woman 84).

So maybe I’m getting a little burnt out, as I said above, with the genre yet when The Batman was in production and once it was released, I was curious to catch it. Then I heard it was 3… hours… long... and I just couldn’t see myself going into a theater and sitting there for that long, regardless of how much I loved the character (he’s easily my favorite super hero).

Anyway, the film was released to theaters, did very well, then was released to HBO Max and, in the comfort of my house, I finally gave it a go. For those living in a cave, here’s the movie’s trailer:

The Batman features Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Andy Serkis as his reliable butler Alfred, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, Zoe Kravitz as Selena Kane/Catwoman, and, in a fascinating turn, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin.

Given the film’s length, I figured I’d see it over the course of two days, one day for one half, the other for the finale. But as it turned out, the film moves quite well and, despite my fears, never felt drawn out or too damn long.

The story features a mysterious new villain, The Riddler (Paul Dano), who has taken upon himself to kill very high level governmental officials in Gotham while drawing Batman into his mysterious and grim “game”.

Before the movie’s release, director Matt Reeves noted he wanted to show us a Batman who was a “detective” and in this case, I’m pleased to say he gives this to us. In the villain, we have a man who lays out a string of clues as to his future actions and victims and Batman is there, with his “right hand man” Commissioner Gordon trying to figure them out.

It is a very good film, certainly a higher tier comic book film, and the characters and setting are well done. If there is a criticism to level against The Batman it is what I wrote above: We’ve seen much of this before, whether it be in other superhero films -or specifically other recent Batman films- and video games. By virtue of this fact alone, it’s impossible to view The Batman as anything but another interpretation of the familiar character and his world.

Still, it’s a worthy trip to take because the film is so well made and, dare I say it, even if you feel more than a little tired of superhero films in general.


It sounds like the stuff of science fiction…

…yet it is something scientists have pondered: Whether it is wise to send signals into outer space so that alien races might find them and therefore find us.

Again: Is that a wise thing to do?

As presented in this article by Ellie Abraham on, some scientists feel this is not a wise thing to do…

Broadcasting Earth’s location into space could cause an alien invasion, experts warn

If you’ve followed my writings, you know about my Corrosive Knights series and, well, what its ultimately about (not SPOILERS!).

The idea of an alien race finding out about us, one optimistically hopes, would be a good thing, that we would engage with a more advanced race and together make our way into the stars.

Of course, any race that can make it to Earth would have to be a more advanced race than ours, at least at this point. The furthest we’ve made it to taking humans ”out there” is the Moon, though we have sent automated/robot vessels to other planets within our solar system, including Pluto.

So this theoretical alien race which might get our signal and therefore might come visit us, we hope, is a peaceful one…


What if it isn’t?

I know, I know… it sounds like science fiction and all, but assuming there is a race out there that hears our signal and has the means to visit us, what’s to say it isn’t a warrior race?

What’s to say it isn’t a race with bad intentions toward any other alien races?

The bottom line is… I feel this is a legitimate concern. We want to find other alien races out there. We like the idea that we’re not alone out there. But we simply have no idea what may happen if/when we do get in touch with them.

It might be a beautiful thing.

But it might be something tragic.

Coronavirus Diaries 25

So today a Federal Judge struck down mask mandates for travelers…

CDC Mask Mandate For Travelers Struck Down By Federal Judge

Not a terribly big shock the Florida Federal judge who issued this ruling was appointed by Donald Trump in 2020.

Here’s the thing, though: The CDC extended the mask mandate to May 3rd, a grand total of two weeks and one day from today.

Did this judge really need to wade into something that, for all we know, may be a moot point in a very short period of time?

From the article:

A Biden administration official familiar with the White House’s decision previously told CNN the goal of the extension was to gather more information and understanding of the BA.2 variant of the coronavirus. Covid-19 cases in the US are on the rise, leading universities and the City of Philadelphia to reimplement indoor mask mandates.

COVID is most dangerous, data would suggest, to those who aren’t vaccinated. Many of those who aren’t vaccinated appear to have bought into the -let me try to be diplomatic here- hot air about lost freedoms and governmental overreach and no doubt will cheer this decision, even though they might become the ones most vulnerable to the ill effects of it.

When I used to live in a very cold climate and in winter, I -and many people around me- wore scarves over their mouths to protect them from the cold.

To my mind, wearing a mask in this time of the pandemic is the same. Only instead of protecting yourself/others from the cold, you’re doing this to protect them/yourself from transmission.

Is that really such a bad thing?

The question, alas, is rhetorical at this point.

Will the Biden administration appeal the decision? I suspect they will.

What if another even worse pandemic should rear its head? Will the CDC be completely powerless to advise travelers to wear some kind of protective masks?

Stay tuned kids…

Coronavirus Diary 24

You know, for a while there I was feeling like maybe we were done with this.

The number of COVID cases and hospitalizations had gone down quite a bit, almost to a near negligible level. Treatments have been developed so even those knuckleheads who still refuse to get vaccinated have a better chance of surviving, provided they get to a Doctor or hospital, than those who contracted it before.


As good as most recent news is, Dr. Fauci is warning we aren’t completely done with COVID quite yet and he worries there might be a surge in cases in the next few weeks and possibly another surge come fall…

U.S. Likely To See A Surge In COVID-19 In The Fall, Dr. Fauci Says

It really sucks to read something like this because, as I said above, things seemed to be settling/slowing down regarding the virus and I was hopeful that maybe, just maybe, we were finally entering the end stages of this dreadful pandemic.

Of course, Dr. Fauci’s worries are, at the moment, just that and perhaps things won’t play out quite like he worries it might.

On the other hand, he is an incredibly experienced virologist and, despite how hard the right tries to put his opinions down, has proven time and again to have a great grasp of how this pandemic has progressed. Has he always been on target? No. But when he states an opinion he’s very clear it is just that and in this case… well… I feel like one should take his words and prognostications seriously.

Hopefully things don’t pass as he worries it might.

Yet there’s no harm, in my opinion, in being careful a little longer.