After nine days without a computer, my laptop showed up unexpectedly from its vacation on the west coast with a new hard drive and an overhaul. Now that the machine is up and running, things can start to get back to normal. However, getting everything loaded back on to the computer, syncing it with my various clouds, external storage devices, etc. and then updating everything took most of my day yesterday, so I had no time for writing. If I can get caught up, I hope to be able to resume my normal schedule tomorrow.
As I continue to have only limited computer time due to the failure of my laptop hard drive, I have to devote the time I have with a borrowed laptop to paying writing projects. Today, however, I would like to present the cover for my new book, The Mound Builder Myth, which will be released in the spring. Yes, it is really happening. I think the cover looks beautiful, and the publisher did a remarkable job creating something evocative, beautiful, and also in line with the conventions of its genre. I cannot wait to see it in print!
The cover images include, at top, a historic photograph of men posing atop the ruins during the destruction of a Native American mound and, at bottom, the infamous Grave Creek Stone, a fraudulent artifact created in the early 1800s to provide proof of Old World contact with the Americas before Columbus.
I am sad to report that my computer is dead. The hard drive on the six-month-old machine gave out Sunday night, taking with it most of my multimedia files. Fortunately, my book files were backed up to the cloud, and older data are on my external hard drive, but I lost a lot anyway. Beyond this, the computer has to be returned to the manufacturer for repair under the terms of the warranty, so I am without a computer for the next week or more. This is going to make it very difficult to work, let alone to write, since I don’t do well trying to type on my tablet, and I can only borrow a computer for so long per day. As a result, my blog will likely be spotty and short until I have a working machine again.
Meanwhile, there was some good news for Ancient Aliens and its fans. After a month of near-record-low ratings, the series bounced back across the million-viewer line, though just barely, for its final summer broadcast. The show brought in 1.027 million viewers and even edged out The UnXplained, which had only 976,000 viewers, though the latter show outdrew the former in the all-important 18-54 demographic.
I need to get serious about finishing my book on pyramid legends, so I am going to be taking some time off this week to try to get some writing done. It seems like a good time to do it. Code of the Wild will devote its remaining episodes to hunting modern treasures, so it is of no concern to me. Andrew Collins has a new book out, but the publisher didn’t share it with me or other reviewers, so it might as well not exist. (The publisher offered some crap called The Wonder of Unicorns for review instead.) I’m sure I’ll eventually acquire a copy, but I’m not going to waste money on it. Tom DeLonge tried teasing more claims about testing “metamaterials,” but the photos showed what looks like the same types of material previously tested and determined to be industrial waste. So, until Ancient Aliens airs on Friday, it seems that I am safe to take a couple of days off.
Well, I tried. I almost managed to get the time write a blog post for today, but then Spectrum Cable happened. I had to return to the old equipment from my previous house to close out my account, so I went to the local Spectrum Cable store (which is 40 minutes from me, but, sure, "local") right when it opened to return it. The line was already out the door, and I had to wait 45 minutes until a bored customer service rep finally called me up to his podium to have my equipment scanned. It was my first time in a Spectrum store, and it was like a hellish cross between the Apple Store and a backed-up doctor's office 30 minutes before it closes. When I finally got home, I had a backlog of paperwork and problems and spent most of the afternoon on the phone with customer service robots trying to get through to a person. I had ordered living room curtains, and the description claimed that there were two panels per package. When I opened the package, I discovered that there was one curtain per package cut three quarters of the way through to look like two panels when tied back on a window. The "included" valence was just the top of the single split panel folded over the top of the panel. Even the customer service rep at the store I bought it from agreed that it was a deceptive bit of false advertising on the part of the manufacturer. I also had to speak with a claim representative for the moving company about the steps they broke at my old house in the hope of getting compensated for the repair costs. By the time I got through all this, I had a bunch of work dumped on me and ran out of time for writing. I'll be back later today with an Ancient Aliens review, so there is that.
After finishing the renovations at my new home, it is now moving day! Today the movers are coming to box up and load everything, and tomorrow it all arrives at the new house. I will be largely offline and away from blogging during the move. If everything goes well, I hope to be able to resume my normal schedule after the move is complete. I am not sure if the new cable package includes the Travel Channel, so we will see how it goes in reviewing the upcoming America Unearthed episode when (or if) it debuts online this week.
Seeing as it is Memorial Day weekend and we are facing down the gauntlet of several months stacked with multiple fringe history and UFO TV shows airing each week, I am going to give myself a break today and spend the day correcting copyedited chapter pages instead. I need to get something done before trying to review America Unearthed, Ancient Aliens, and possibly that To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science show all in the same week. My publisher has suggested three possible titles for my Mound Builder book but remains open to suggestions. In the poll below, let me know which you prefer, and feel free to share your suggestions for a better title in comments below.
I should begin today with a note in passing about the passing of Stanton Friedman, the UFO researcher who devoted more than four decades of his life to researching—and failing to find—evidence of an alien presence on Earth. A familiar face on the UFO circuit, the 84-year-old Friedman supported the authenticity of the hoax Majestic-12 documents and thus helped to promote a culture of conspiracy in the UFO community by dressing it up in scientific garb.
Merry Christmas to all those celebrating today! In order to spend more time with my family this holiday season, I will be blogging on a reduced schedule between now and New Year's. Depending on when my son falls asleep, I will review Legends of the Lost either this evening or tomorrow, and I will take most of the week off. This weekend I will post my annual year in review feature, and I intend to resume regular posting in the New Year.
My son came down with a cold this week after contracting it from one of his toddler playmates. He is doing fine and is all better. However, he passed the cold on to me, and I am too sick and achy to write. I am going to take the day today to rest and to hope that I feel better before Christmas.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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