Huh? We’ve been picked up? Where’d you read this? Are you sure?

Just kidding. I got the call yesterday as I was leaving the doctor’s office (actually, I got the call while I was IN the office and had to step outside to chat). I hurried home and wrote it up as part of my blog entry, then waited for the official press release to come out before posting. Alas, I was informed that the news would only break this morning, so I had to go back and excise the references to the pick-up from my entry, reading, re-reading, and re-reading again to make certain I hadn’t missed an oblique reference that would scoop Variety.

Yep. Great news. But the initial excitement has waned as the reality of coming up with 20 more story ideas has settled in. It really hit home this afternoon when I glanced up at the whiteboard and saw the big, empty space beneath the Season 5 heading and beside the numbers 1 through 20. Marty G. helpfully filled in areas with the following titles: Premiere, Mid-Season Two Parter, and Finale. Awesome! 4 down and 16 to go! I then phoned up Carl and told him his vacation was over. We’d start breaking this Monday and we expected him back in Vancouver and in the office, armed with 5 amazing story ideas (no more than six pages each including all act breaks and major story beats). I, of course, have mine somewhere…

For my part, I celebrated the fifth season pick-up by swinging by the lab for my blood test. I am not a big fan of needles (needles, snakes, heights, kiwis, clowns, paper cuts, curling, long car rides, even longer visual effects meetings, komodo dragons, mullets, musicals, shvests, cruises, flip flops, crunchy pretzels, Turkish candy, overcooked pasta, splinters, toothaches, nightmares where I‘m running and then I wake up but I‘m not really awake and have to keep running, saffron, hospitals, really hot soup, those skinny furry little centipedes I occasionally find in my basement) so I feigned interest in the dated Herman clippings that adorned the far wall as she helped herself. Right around the time she’d filled the fourth tube, I couldn’t help but remark: “Hey, leave some for me.” And that was that. No orange juice. Nary a doughnut. Just an “Apply pressure for two minutes” and I was sent on my way. Now I get to spend (hopefully only) two nerve-wracking days awaiting the results.

I returned home to discover a package awaiting me: a gift basket from Monde Chocolat compliments of my friend Rosemary. Thanks, Rosemary! I’ve got 48 hours before the doctor gives me the results of my blood test, so I’d better start scoffing now!

I’m pleased to see more of you have weighed in on this month’s BOTM selections and I’m hoping more of you continue to do so. And, since some of you have been asking, I’d like to offer up the nominations for next month’s BOTM:

In the fantasy category, it’s –

Stephen King’s Dark Tower Book One (The Gunslinger)
(From Barnes& “This heroic fantasy is set in a world of ominous landscape and macabre menace that is a dark mirror of our own. A spellbinding tale of good versus evil, it features one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations – The Gunslinger, a haunting figure who embodies the qualities of a lone hero through the ages, from ancient myth to frontier western legend.”


Roger Silverberg’s Lord Valentine’s Castle
(From Barnes& “Prince Valentine travels the planet Majipoor with a group of eccentric performers. In a quest to discover who Valentine is, his companions help him lay claim to the rewards of birth that await him. But that is only part of his challenge, for he must triumph in the most difficult trial–one that will test his belief, resolve and strength of character.”

In the science fiction category, it’s

Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book
(From “Connie Willis labored five years on this story of a history student in 2048 who is transported to an English village in the 14th century. The student arrives mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of “contemps” in 1348 and with her historian cohorts lead to complications as the book unfolds into a surprisingly dark, deep conclusion.”


Frank Herbert’s The White Plague
(From “What if women were an endangered species? It begins in Ireland, but soon spreads throughout the entire world: a virulent new disease expressly designed to target only women. As fully half of the human race dies off at a frightening pace and life on Earth faces extinction, panicked people and governments struggle to cope with the global crisis. Infected areas are quarantined or burned to the ground. The few surviving women are locked away in hidden reserves, while frantic doctors and scientists race to find a cure. Anarchy and violence consume the planet.”)

Start voting. Polls will remain open until midnight Sunday and the winners announced Monday morning.

And finally, before closing this blog entry, I’d like to make mention of longtime blog-reader Maggie who wrote:

“Hi Joe. First of all, I hope all goes well with your blood tests. I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about, doctors love being cryptic. Anyways, I don’t normally do this (normally I’ve managed to keep this matter somewhat personal), but at this point I don’t know what else to do and I know that hundreds (thousands?) of people read this blog.

My mom’s been battling with ovarian cancer for close to four years now, and her latest bout of chemo has been pretty terrible and seemingly never ending, only made worse by her negative catscan results. She’s made the decision to discontinue her chemo if her catscan results don’t show any sign of improving next month. Obviously I’m terrified, but mostly I’m seeking out as many people as I can to just send positive thoughts our way. I figured something with as many readers as your blog would be a good outlet. I’m a firm believer of positive energy, and at this point I’m worried my family’s (while strong) is so anxious that our normal positive vibes just aren’t enough. If you could give a (small) shout out on our behalf it would mean the world to me.

Thank you so much. -Maggie”

Maggie, sending positive thoughts your way and hoping your mother’s condition improves. I’m sure a lot of your fellow fans are doing the same.

Today’s pics: The white board, my Monde Chocolat gift basket, the long-overdue pic of my post-birthday decorated office door (Alex suspects the HB stands for Hack Bastard. When I find out who’s responsible, they’re in BIG TROUBLE!).

Today’s video: None today.

Today’s mailbag: Taking the day off today. Back tomorrow. Probably.

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