Not a Blog

The Pain, the Pain

November 22, 2023 at 3:52 pm
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Ah, the New York Giants.    They made the playoffs last year, and even won a playoff game.   This year they were supposed to take the next step forward.  Hopes ran high.

And the New York Jets.   They just missed the playoffs last season, but they have a great defense, and they signed Aaron Rodgers in the off season.   Hopes ran high.

Then they started playing the games.


Life is meaningless and full of pain.

Current Mood: gloomy gloomy


NFL Football

October 27, 2023 at 9:32 am
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I don’t want to talk about it.



Random Musings

October 11, 2022 at 10:43 am
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I see that my mighty minions have posted about my upcoming events in New York City later in the month.   Yay, minions!

Those of you who enjoy my football posts (yes, I know that is not all of you)… I have been watching the games…  and enjoying them, since both the Giants and the Jets have been winning.   The Jets had another miracle last minute victory last week, and on Sunday they just crushed the Fins.   And the G-Men won a couple of nail biters, including a victory over the Packers in London that was as shocking to me as it must have been to Aaron Rodgers.   I had almost forgotten how good it feels to win.   So life is magical and full of joy… right now, at any rate.

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON has helped brighten my Sundays as well.   I mean, I cannot really review the show, that would be crazy, I am hardly objective… but I do want to commend Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik and the cast and crew for the work they’ve done.   Sunday’s episode, “Lord of the Tides,” was everything I hoped it should be.  Kudos to Eileen Shim, the scriptwriter, to Geeta Patel, the director, to our incredible cast… and particularly to Paddy Considine, for his portrayal of King Viserys, the First of His Name.   The character he created (with Ryan and Sara and Ti and the rest of our writers) for the show is so much more powerful and tragic and fully-fleshed than my own version in FIRE & BLOOD that I am half tempted to go back and rip up those chapters and rewrite the whole history of his reign.   Paddy deserves an Emmy for this episode alone.   If he doesn’t get one, hey, there’s no justice.   Meanwhile,  I  am going to give Archmaester Gyldayn a smack for leaving out so much good stuff.

(No, I am not really going to rewrite FIRE & BLOOD, that was a jape).  ((And no, I am not going to assault Archmaester Glydayn, who does not actually exist.  I made him up)).

There’s a lot more I would love to blog about, but I do not have the time…

There’s a website called THE WRAP that has a couple cool interviews with Ryan Condal, including one where he spoke about our supposed rivalry with RINGS OF POWER… which mostly exists in the media.

Ryan says pretty much the same thing I said in that interview with THE INDEPENDENT a few months back.   Nothing would please him more than to see both shows succeed.    Me too.   I am a fantasy fan, and I want more fantasy on television, and nothing would accomplish that more than a couple of big hits.   THE WITCHER, SHADOW & BONE, WHEEL OF TIME… and THE SANDMAN, a glorious adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s groundbreaking comic series… those are a good start, but I want more.   I want Tad Williams, I want Joe Abercrombie, I want Patrick Rothfuss, I want a good adaptation of Le Guin’s Earthsea books, I want Alan Garner, I want Robin Hobb… oh, the list is long, I could go on and on… and would if I did not have a zillion other things to do.   Most of all, I want Roger Zelazny’s NINE PRINCES IN AMBER.   I will never understand why Corwin and his siblings are not starring in their own show.   And hey, if epic fantasy continues to do well, maybe we will finally get that.   A boy can dream.

I wanted to address the “time jumps” in the HOUSE OF THE DRAGON too.   Not with any kind of official “statement,” but with some musings on the subject.   There’s a lot to be said.   I do not have the time to say it now, though.   Maybe in my next blog, or the one after that… or maybe never, since work keeps piling up.

Very briefly, however, I think Ryan has handled  the “jumps” very well, and I love love love both the younger Alicent and Rhaenyra and the adult versions, and the actresses who play them.  (Truth be told, we have an incredible cast, and I love all of them).   Do I wish we’d had more time to explore the relationship between Rhaenyra and Ser Harwin, the marriage of Daemon and Laena and their time in Pentos, the birth of various and sundry children (and YES, Alicent gave Viserys four children, three sons and a daughter, their youngest son Daeron is down in Oldtown, we just did not have the time to work him in this season), and everything else we had to skip?   Sure.

But there are only so many minutes in an episode (more on HBO than on the network shows I once wrote for), and only so many episodes in a season.    Fewer and fewer as time goes by, it seems.   When I was a boy, shows had 39 episodes a season.   By the time I was writing for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, it was down to 22.   Cable shrunk that even further.  THE SOPRANOS had 13 episodes per season, but just a few years later, GAME OF THRONES had only 10  (and not even that, those last two seasons).   If HOUSE OF THE DRAGON had 13 episodes per season, maybe we could have shown all the things we had to “time jump” over… though that would have risked having some viewers complain that the show was too “slow,” that “nothing happened.”   As it is, I am thrilled that we still have 10 hours every season to tell our tale.  (RINGS OF POWER has only 8, as you may have noticed, and my AMC show DARK WINDS is doing 6 episode seasons).   I hope that will continue to be true.   It is going to take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do justice to the Dance of the Dragons, from start to finish.

But right now, Ryan Condal’s focus is on HOT D season two, and mine is on THE WINDS OF WINTER.



Current Mood: busy busy

Bad Blogger

September 29, 2022 at 10:54 am
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I am a bad blogger, I know.   (Or should that be a bad Not-a-Blogger??).   I keep meaning to post stuff, but there’s so much going on that I keep falling behind…

Last week was a great football week.   So life was magical and full of joy.   That Jets win especially was a miracle.   Two touchdowns in the last two minutes?   Seven hells.   The Giants had a good solid victory too, if less exciting.

This weekend, however… bah, humbug, life is meaningless and full of pain.   The Jets turned back into the Jets, no more miracles.   They really should bench Flacco and give Mike White another chance.   He was so impressive last year, when they put him in.   But I guess we get Zach back next week.   Maybe that will help.   Then the Giants lost too.   Saquon looked great, but the O-line did not.  We have been drafting O linemen for a decade, yet the line never gets better.   Sigh.   I hate losing to the Cowboys too.

Never mind.   Let’s talk about something more exciting: HOUSE OF THE DRAGON!   The show opened strong and has only been getting stronger.   Thanks to all of you who are watching, and helping to spread the word.   And thanks to our amazing cast and crew as well.   We are more than halfway through the season now (I meant to blog after our debut, I really did, but time got away from me).   Milly Alcock and Emily Carey were incredible as young Rhaenyra and young Alicent, were they not?  With Sunday’s episode, Emma d’Arcy and Olivia Cooke took over as the adult versions of the characters.   I think you will love them too.   Or hate them, maybe.  Love/ hate.  Westeros, like the real world, is full of complex characters, capable of both good and evil.   Meanwhile, Matt Smith and Paddy Considine and Rhys Ifans and Fabien Frankel and Steve Toussaint and the rest of our cast continue to excel.   I would be hard pressed to say which of them I love best.   And I should say a few words for our writers too, who never get the attention that the stars do.   Sara Hess, Charmaine De Grate, Ira Parker, Ti Mikkel, and rest of our scriveners have done my story right, I think.   And last but not least, our showrunners, Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik… HOT D would not exist without them.  (Oh, and let me give a tip of the hat to Jocelyn Diaz, another one of our EPs, who helped immeasurably).

I hope you guys are enjoying HOT D as much as I am.   And hey, four more episodes to go… the best is yet to come.   And then on to season two!

And speaking of second seasons… DARK WINDS, our adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s classic Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee mystery novels, has already assembled its writers’ room, and is well into hammering out s2 scripts.   This year the show will be adapting Tony’s novel PEOPLE OF DARKNESS (parts of which were melded into season one).

Oh, oh… before I forget… NIGHT OF THE COOTERS, the first of our short films adapting the classic short stories of Howard Waldrop, is making the film festival circuit.   Directing by and starring Vincent d’Onofrio, COOTERS won the award for Best Science Fiction Short at the LA Shorts Film Festival in August, and has also been accepted into the Santa Fe International Film Festival, and FilmQuest in Provo, Utah.   We do not have the screening schedule for FilmQuest yet, but I will share it when it comes in.   Here in Santa Fe, COOTERS will open the festival at the Jean Cocteau on October 19, at the Jean Cocteau.   Vincent will attend, for a talk and Q&A after the screening.   See you there, I hope.

There’s more, there’s more, there’s always more, but I don’t have time right now.   I will blog again.  Eventually.


Football Is Back!

September 12, 2022 at 9:30 pm
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The NFL is back,  and I don’t know whether I should cheer or weep.

Hope springs eternal, especially for fans of the Giants and Jets.   Especially this year.   Both teams had terrific drafts, picked up a lot of great young stars… or players who are supposed to be stars, at least.    Will this be the year we finally turn the corner?

Then the regular season begins.   As it did yesterday.

The Jets opened up the season with the Ravens.   What can I say?   Sigh.    Same Old Jets.

Then came the Giants down in Nashville, with the Titans.   They fell behind early, and deep into the second half I was figuring I’d be opening this post with “Life is meaningless and full of… ”

But then, hey, is that Saquon?   He’s running like he used to!   And the Giants are coming back… oops, behind again… no, wait, hey, driving… TD!!   They can tie it up… overtime… but, hey, the new coach is going for two!   And Saquon takes it in!   We’re up, we’re up!   We could actually win!  Only.. damn… the Titans are driving… they are in field goal range, hell, life is meaningless and full of…. NO!  YES!  Wide left!   We win!   We WIN!

The first opening day victory in years and years for Big Blue.   And the coach showed real guts.

Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.   A bright blue light.

Now let’s do it again, guys.

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful


Random Bits of This and That

April 29, 2022 at 11:13 am
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Lots of things going on.  Good things, bad things, big things, small things.   No time for a long blog post just now, but here are a few random comments about all and sundry, some of which may interest some of you.

Looks like the Jets and Giants both did very well in the first round of the NFL Draft.   But you never know.   Both teams desperately need help, so I hope they picked the right people.  My Sundays in the fall have been a weekly kick in the gut the past few years.

DARK WINDS debuts on June 12 on AMC and AMC+.  The trailer is everywhere, so check it out if you have not seen it yet.   I was one of the executive producers on this show, a six episode adaptation of the Navajo detective novels by the late great Tony Hillerman.   Graham Roland wrote the pilot, and Chris Eyre directed.   Zahn McClarnon stars as Joe Leaphorn and Kiowa Gordon as Jim Chee.   They all did great work.   Chris, together with Robert Redford, were the ones who brought me into this project a few years back, and I am glad that I was able to help get this made… but if you love the show, and I hope you will, credit belongs to Bob and Chris and Tina Elmore and their team, to our amazing actors, and of course to Tony.

Parris and I really enjoyed the new HBO Max series MINX, a sexy sitcom about a feminist porn magazine in the 70s.   The clothes, though… I swear, I owned some of those clothes.   Might be I still do, I never throw anything away.   Watching MINX did give me flashbacks to the 70s, though.   Which is good and bad.   The 1970s were my own Dickens Decade: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Or is that now?   Yeah, maybe now.   A lot of good things have happened for me, undeniably, but so many of my friends have died over the past two/three years… we have a war in the Ukraine which could turn into a nuclear holocaust… public discourse has turned poisonous and toxic, along with much of social media, free speech is under attack, our democracy is under attack… the news is profoundly depressing.

There was an article in THE ATLANTIC recently about how social media is making us all stupid.   An impressive piece, though it was also profoundly depressing, since the author does not see a lot of hope.   You can check it out at There’s a lot to think about there.

My people tell me that the renovations have been going well on the Jean Cocteau Cinema, Santa Fe’s original art house.   We hope to reopen soon, with a renovated auditorium and brand new seats.   Big comfortable seats.   Fewer of them, mind you — our capacity will shrink from 130 down to 78 — but hey, we only filled the place up a few times a year, usually when Neil Gaiman or Janis Ian was in town.   We will let you know when we reopen.

We are getting some great reviews for Sky Railway, and selling out a lot of trains.   We still have some more coaches to restore, so we can run more trains and longer consists, but that will come.

THE WINDS OF WINTER is going to be a big book.   The way it is going, it could be bigger than A STORM OF SWORDS or A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, the longest books in the series to date.   I do usually cut and trim once I finish, but I need to finish first.

I saw rough cuts of a couple more episodes of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and was just as pleased as I was with the earlier episodes.   Ryan and Miguel and their cast and crew are doing great work.    Those of you who like complex, conflicted, grey characters (as I do) will like this series, I think.   There will be plenty of dragons and battles, to be sure, but the spine of the story is the human conflicts, the love and the hate, character drama rather than action/ adventure.

And I did I mention?   NIGHT OF THE COOTERS is done!   Trioscope delivered the final cut last week.   It’s a short film, about thirty minutes long, based on one of Howard Waldrop’s wonderful short stories.   Joe R. Lansdale wrote the screenplay.   Vincent d’Onofrio directed and starred, with a terrific cast of supporting players.   We shot it in Santa Fe, entirely on greenscreen.   The wizards at Trioscope did the rest, providing the sets, the aliens, the special effects, pretty much everything except the actors and the horses.   We will be rolling it out at a series of film festivals through the rest of the year.   My staff is working out that schedule now.   Once we have some confirmed dates and places, we will share the details here.

Meanwhile, we hope to start shooting a second Howard Waldrop film in about two weeks.   Completely unrelated.   H’ard (as Gargy used to call him) never wrote the same story twice.    This may be the Year of Waldrop.

There’s more, there’s more, there’s always more.   But that will need to do for now.



Current Mood: busy busy

A Win for Big Blue

November 9, 2021 at 12:07 pm
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It is always good to see the Giants win one… though the season’s record is 3-6 even after Sunday’s upset victory.

Still, still, most commentators gave Big Blue no chance against the Los Angeles… er, Oakland… er, Las Vegas Raiders, the high-flying silver-and-black leaders of the AFC West.   It was nice to prove the talking heads wrong.

Credit for the win really belongs to the defense.   The Raiders outgained the Giants by a considerable margin, but time and time again the Gmen stiffened inside the red zone and forced Carr and company to settle for field goals in place of touchdowns.   In the end, that made all the difference.   A couple of key interceptions and a forced fumble and recovery at game’s end helped a lot as well.

Daniel Jones played an okay game, but most of the Giants offense came from the run.   That was especially encouraging since Saquon Barclay was still out, a positive test for covid coming in on top of his ankle woes.

Whether this represents any kind of positive omen for the rest of the season is hard to say, but it really doesn’t matter much.   This season is pretty well gone already.   But a hard-fought victory that comes down to the final seconds… that does put me in a considerably better mood.

Let us just say… life is full of ups and downs.


Victory in Black, with White

October 31, 2021 at 5:20 pm
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Who WERE those men in black?

They couldn’t have been the New York Jets, could they?   The same team that got spanked by the Falcons and humiliated by the Patriots?   No way.   I mean, they did things the Jets have not done all season.   Scored in the first quarter.   Took the lead.   Got first downs.   Throttled one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL.   They ran, they passed, they scored.   And that quarterback who came off the bench, four years in the NFL and never started a game before… or even played, till last week.   Mike White?   Is that his name?  I doubt that even Fireman Ed knew it till last week.

But every Jets fan knows it now.   He passed for 400 yards!  Against a tough Bengals D.   No Jets quarterback has passed for 400 yards since Vinnie Testaverde, back in the dawn of time.   Chad Pennington never did it.  Mark Sanchez never did it.  Fitzmagic never did it, Geno never did it, Sam Darnold never did it.   Mike White did it.   He bounced back from a hellacious hit too.   And he caught the two point conversion on a trick play.

I love this guy.   He was everything Zach Wilson and Sam Darnold were supposed to be, but weren’t.

I know, I know.   It’s Halloween.   This must be some kind of trick.   I will wake up tomorrow and it will be Halloween all over again, and the game will have been a dream… a nightmare for Cincy.   Then I will have to watch the real game, and it will be a horror.

But meanwhile… what a treat!

The Jets should wear those black uniforms every week.

And Zach can take his time recovering.   Please.   I want to see if White is real (please please please please please).

Meanwhile, life is marvelous and full of joy.

Current Mood: giggly giggly


Win One, Lose One

October 26, 2021 at 8:33 pm
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Well, this Sunday was somewhat better.

The Giants won one, at least, defeating the Panthers and Sam Darnold… who got benched before the game was over.  Maybe the Jets did the right thing letting him walk after all.   The final score was pretty lop-sided, but only because Big Blue came on hard in the fourth quarter.   For most of the game it was 5-3.   Yes, really.   Daniel Jones looked good… as a receiver as well as a quarterback… but the win really belongs to the defense.   Let’s hope they can do it again.  (Though next week could be MUCH harder).

As for the Jets game, the less said, the letter.   Not a defeat, a humiliation.   Our kid QB looked awful, and then he got hurt.   Now he’s out two to four weeks.   Mike White, the guy who came off the bench, had never played in a regular season game before, but he threw a touchdown with his first pass.   All in all, he actually looked better than Zack Wilson.   Which did not help much, since the Pats were scoring every time they touched the ball.   I see that the Jets just traded for Joe Flacco today.   Whether to back up White or to replace him, I am not sure.   Was Flacco the best option, though?   They could have signed Cam Newton off the street, no draft choices required.

Guess we will find out.

Right now, looks like the Jets will be picking second in the 2022 draft.   Maybe first, if the Lions ever win a game.

Life is… well, mostly wretched, but once every few Sundays they let you win one.

Current Mood: discontent discontent


Sunday Sorrows

October 17, 2021 at 7:47 pm
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Well, at least the Jets did not lose this weekend.

They had a bye.

The less said about the last two Giants games, the better.   It does not help that half the team seems to be injured, including half the offensive line and most of the top wideouts.   We had a rookie who was flashing some great moves at receiver, to be fair, but now he is hurt too.

The past few years — maybe longer than than, the months and years have been flashing by in a blur and I have lost track — I have pretty much forgotten what a “day off” looks like.   I have so much to do, so many projects, books and films and television shows, even a railroad, that I have been working seven days a week for longer than I care to remember.   EXCEPT during the NFL season, when I take Sundays off to watch the Jets and Giants games.   Sundays used to be a nice restorative for me.   The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat… usually, with two teams, there was a good chance that at least one of them would be competitive.

No longer.   The Jets and Giants are both awful, and the rare signs of progress (like two weeks ago) always prove illusory.

I do not have the energy to dissect games like today’s Giants loss to the Rams.

Life is miserable and full of pain.

Might as well work.

Current Mood: depressed depressed