My Day’s Been Oddly Surreal, So Here’s a Nice Picture of My Kid and the Dog

I could tell you why it’s been surreal, but I promise you that you simply wouldn’t believe me. So enjoy the pretty picture instead, okay?

59 Comments on “My Day’s Been Oddly Surreal, So Here’s a Nice Picture of My Kid and the Dog”

  1. “I was imagining the most bizarre things befalling you.”
    “Did they include a six-hundred-pound ice bear and a pirate poet?”
    “No…”
    “Then they weren’t the most bizarre after all.”

    …why, yes, I’ve been reading a lot of Bujold recently, why do you ask?

  2. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, who isn't going out like that!

    Try us…

  3. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, who isn't going out like that!

    Amish duck porn?

  4. The most important thing to remember in those kinds of circumstances, John, is this: When the bear comes up to take a pea, you shoot him in the ice hole…

  5. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, who isn't going out like that!

    Jesus freqs?

  6. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    “… we have normality, I repeat we have normality.” She turned her microphone off-then turned it back on, with a slight smile and continued: “Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem.”

  7. Quintin Tarentino called you again about directing ‘Old Man’s War?” I told him to stop bugging you.

    On the other hand, its pictures like that that make me smile and be genuinely glad for another human being that their life is going well.

    and to round up the surreal possibilities, while watching the Colbert Report the other night with James Franco and Stephen arguing about who was the greatest Tolkien fan, I thought “Man, I think the perfect dinner party would involve talking books with STephen Colbert and John Scalzi.” Let me know if you want me to make a reservation.

  8. I might not believe you, but I’m sure the story would be related in a very entertaining fashion.

    Of course, I often have black helicopters hovering outside my office window as well. Yes, I really do.

  9. Say hi to Athena for me, and tell her how grateful I am that she is such a good sport about gettin’ her pitcher took. I love seeing what she and Daisy are up to.

    But maybe the clue is in the photo. Are Athena and Daisy messing with you? Athena is barking, maybe, while Daisy is asking you for the keys to the car?

  10. Daisy has totally mastered the “smile for the camera” thing, hasn’t she?

    And wow! when did Athena start to look like a young lady???

  11. I think aliens contacted him to do some corporate consulting for them. So now he’s thinking of making Agent to the Stars the first of a trilogy.

  12. No, you weren’t making it that up. They said you would say that.

    Just make sure, when you mail the cheese to them, that you put the stamps on upside down. Because there could be consequences and nobody would believe it if you told them that happened.

  13. He’s having a surreal day because of his movie option. It doesn’t have anything to do with the writing/publishing of books, because Scalzi simply isn’t writing 100,000 word books anymore. The only way a new book deal would be surreal is if he’d just signed a new trilogy deal with TOR. But that would mean that he have to write the three books, which means years of writing, rewriting, tweaking the governing laws of his new universe, and time away from Whatever. Time away from us . . . his loyal whateverers.
    No, it’s about the movie option. He’s been a film critic since his early 20s. He still works freelance critiquing films. The movie option is straightforward: here’s some money. Now sit back with you popcorn and watch YOUR movie. A surreal experience for a movie columnist.

  14. Y’know what they say:

    “Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath.

    At night, the ice weasels come.”

  15. Ali Trotta – Somewhere near the coffee pot. – I'm a writer who lives on coffee and sarcasm. I'll be the first to crack a joke, even if I'm mocking myself. I find inspiration everywhere, and I'm forever scribbling on napkins.
    Ali

    Did Tim Burton show up at your house with a Llama? ;-) Lovely picture!

  16. “M Night Shyamalan called about directing Old Man’s War?”

    Fun game to play – how would the ending change if Shyamalan wrote OMW?

    “I see green people…”

  17. What kind of camera do you use? And, have you had any training or formal study in photography? Some of your shots are excellent.

  18. Am I the only one who looked at the picture, read the caption, then looked back at the picture to make sure John hadn’t photoshopped it somehow? Like changing Athena’s and the dog’s eyes or something?

  19. Jason Cordova – Virginia – Born in Orange, California, author Jason Cordova has written books ranging from the fantastical realms of fantasy to the militaristic side of science fiction. His latest should be out soon. Really. You should probably buy it. Check Amazon. Demand it at your local store. Pay for his kitten kibble.
    warpcordova

    We had a dead lamb show up on the doorstep this morning. The dog swears he doesn’t know what happened, though he brought it up to the front porch to show.

  20. Jason Cordova – Virginia – Born in Orange, California, author Jason Cordova has written books ranging from the fantastical realms of fantasy to the militaristic side of science fiction. His latest should be out soon. Really. You should probably buy it. Check Amazon. Demand it at your local store. Pay for his kitten kibble.
    warpcordova

    So yeah, surreal (whoops, pressed post too quickly).

  21. Does it have anything to do with TSWOTNDBOTDC?

  22. You don’t understand, folks. John woke up two hours late, because his alarm clock was melted. And when his lovely wife descended the staircase, she was visible from all angles at once, which left him quite dizzy.

    Once he got outside, there was a sailboat in his yard, which would have been odd even if he lived on, like, a lake. Then he walked under a tree and nearly got clobbered by a falling potato.

    Leave the poor guy alone.

  23. Yes, that really is a nice picture. In fact, I think it might be my favourite picture of any you’ve ever posted on the blog.

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