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>Antimatter News and Fat Duck News That Matters…

June 6, 2011

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Fat Duck gets curious, Tim plants a lawn and builds garden boxes, Antimatter is captured for 17 minutes, all about the Santa Conspiracy, filming begins soon, Maria Staal’s review, and more…
I didn’t Know Ducks Could Be Curious: Fat Duck continues to amuse tons of people. Some days I think he receives more emails than I do. That’s okay, though, because he hasn’t let the fame go to his head yet–even though some mornings his head feather do rise to make him look a bit like ElvisJ. 
It turns out, Fat Duck pays more attention than we all thought. To describe my yard, it would be easiest to envision a pond, then a house, then a huge barn behind the house, all in more or less a big line. What that means is that Fat Duck usually sits on his hay bale toward the front of our house, near the pond. This weekend, I had been working for several hours in the yard beside the barn, a spot where Fat Duck could see me from his perch a hundred or so feet away. But when I began working behind the barn, he couldn’t see me but could probably hear me. I had been doing some landscaping back there for about thirty minutes when I suddenly saw my hefty white friend land about twenty feet away. To my knowledge he’d never been in that section of the yard before, not even close.  I didn’t know what he wanted, but it almost looked as though he just wanted to see what I was doing. It was all quite cute, until Patsy, my dog (see new video of her and Fat Duck) started romping a little too energetically and sent Fat Duck winging back toward our porch.
So, the question is: Do I have a curious Fat Duck or just a Fat Duck who was reminding me of his cage and snack time? Leave a comment. I’d love to know what you thinkJ.
My weekend: Last weekend was spent filling the atypically flooded area around my well. This weekend I managed to finish up spreading the loam and grass seed over that entire area. Of course, the robins and other small birds are eating that new seed at an alarming rate, so I fear I may have to plant weed seeds next timeJ. I also spent part of yesterday and today helping my sister-in-law and her husband remove debris from the back corner of their yard and build two four-foot square planter boxes about 18 inches high each. She is an amazing gardener and her yard should appear in a magazine one day. In the meantime, it was nice to help people who are always available whenever we need them. I’ve often thought that our lives should not be measured by money or passing friends, but by the number of deserving people that we’re able to help. Wouldn’t it be something if rather than bragging how much we’ve earned or what we’ve purchased, if instead we were able to say I helped a dozen people I cared about this past week, year….
Another good portion of my weekend was spent reviewing first edits for “Ripped From My Cold Young Fingers.” I’m within a few days of wrapping up and hope to report that very achievement in Wednesday’s blog. We’ll see J.
News – CERN Researchers trap antimatter atoms for nearly 17 minutes! How did they do it? By trapping the hard-to-pin-down atoms in a magnetic field. I believe it was less than a year ago when Hadron Collider researchers near Geneva were excited about merely capturing antimatter for a few seconds. Now seventeen minutes! Not being a scientist, I can’t say exactly what the ramifications are, but I can tell you THEY’RE HUGE. We are on the verge of breakthroughs that will make technology of today look like Colonial-era gadgetry in a few decades. Time travel, maybe not. But new energy, yes. New transportation almost certainly. And space exploration and colonization might well be next.
Let’s hope so, because our kids are going to need the spacecraft construction jobsJ.
Keep HADRON COLLIDER a favorite on your news search scroll. Mark my words, Star Trek-like science is just around that corner.
How did Skip Ralstat and The Santa Shop come about? Thanks to Carrie and the rest of the crew at Focus House Publishing, I’ve had a few weeks filled with interviews, story requests, and lots of questions about my novel The Santa Shop. Those questions lead me to remember one pleasant post office clerk who had seen my book release announced in the local paper. He picked up a copy and for several weeks would ask me about it each time I stopped in. His first assumption was that it was a true story (it’s not). I asked him why, and he said, “It’s the strangest thing. Maybe it’s because I know you personally, but every time Skip is described I see you, and every time he speaks I hear your voice.”
I like to think that all of my stories hold a little “Tim,” that every character I write is in some way a reflection of myself. When I wrote about the pain that Skip endured, I found myself drawing upon memories of my brother’s death (he died in a car accident when I was a teenager). I also found myself remembering an elderly man that I used to deliver newspapers to when I was even younger than a teen. I remember that kindly old man telling me that one day that he was worried about how his wife would get by when he died because he was very ill. Just a few weeks later, she was watering their roses and died from a bee sting. To this day, I remember the staggering emotional agony that man suffered after her death. Then and now it makes me wish he had been the first to go.
So those two personal experiences fed a lot into Skip’s journey. Beyond his grief though, The Santa Shop was born of my desire to know why conspiracies are relegated to and always perpetrated by the bad guys. When I envisioned Skip’s world, I knew I wanted to provide him with help, even in the depths of his grief. I also knew that he shouldn’t directly see or even suspect that help existed. And those two concepts, grief and my wishes for a conspiracy for good were the ingredients that became the first book in my Santa Conspiracy series.
Of course, The Hollywood Ending is an extending ending for that book. More books in the series are planned, but my slate is so full I can’t promise when. Keep sending emails, though. A little pressure never hurt anyoneJ.  
Tim’s upcoming appearances: Some of you may remember that late last year I was writing a script for a book trailer. Well, that trailer and other videos are moving into production in the next couple of months. I understand that I’ll be with them while they shoot on location at sites ranging from a Santa Shop-like bridge to several mountain settings. I assume shoots dates and locations will be announced in the local New England papers, but as soon as I have times and other information, I’ll share as much as I canJ.
Thanks so much, Maria Staal, for your kind review of “The Santa Shop.”
Highlights of her review:
««««« (5 out of 5 stars) May 27, 2011 
Interesting story with a large feel good factor
The Santa Shop…leaves you feeling good….

In this first person narrative, we get acquainted with Skip, a man who after the tragic loss of his wife and baby son ends up living on the streets of Albany. Filled with remorse and guilt about the death of his family, he decides that he can’t go on living…. As we follow Skip on his journey, we…sympathize. The people he meets…are believable and real…(like) Father Johnston, a priest who lets Skip sleep in the chapel…Barwood Stone…and Jenny, owner of a corner store.

The Santa Shop is…well written…and keeps you wanting to read on. Ultimately you feel…the world really can be a better place…. I recommend The Santa Shop to anyone who is in need of a feel good story….  

In the next blog (Wednesday June 8th): More about Tim’s crazy menagerie of pets. My review of something or other, a story from my past, an update on “Ripped From My Cold Young Fingers,” and more…
Thanks for hanging with me J!
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One Comment
  1. >I sure do love the Fat Duck stories…my thought is that he is both curious and oddly attached to you.

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