Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Comes But Once A Year...Or Does it?

If you had a few spare minutes during the hubbub of the holiday season and if you’re a fan of the excellent escapist fiction provided by Pulpwork Press then you doubtless got yourself a free download copy of the Pulpwork Christmas Special 2011 ebook.  No?  Well it’s a good thing I provided a link so that you can get yourself a copy.  Contained within are two terrific stories written by Joel Jenkins and Josh Reynolds.  I heartily recommend both of ‘em.

And I can hear some wag in the back asking why I didn’t have a story in the Christmas Special.  It wasn’t for lack of trying, I assure you.  I was indeed supposed to have a story in there.  In fact it was going to be a Dillon story.  Now, you know how this works so I’m not going to insult your intelligence by pretending I was going for something meaningful in my choice of using the premise of “It’s A Wonderful Life” as the plot of my Dillon Christmas story.  You’ve all seen enough TV shows or read enough comics to know that around Christmas time,  there will be ‘Special Christmas Episodes’ or Special Christmas  Issues’ of your favorite shows or comic books that will do a riff on either “It’s A Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Carol”.  I even solicited advice from my friends and family as to which story I should use and the unanimous verdict came back” for me to do “It’s A Wonderful Life” which didn’t make me happy at all.

You see, I don’t really like “It’s A Wonderful Life” at all.  It’s an okay movie but that’s about it for me.  I’ve never understood why it’s become revered as such a holiday classic.  The actual meat and potatoes of the movie is where George Bailey is transported to the nightmarish alternate universe where he was never born and once we get to that, the movie resembles an episode of “The Twilight Zone” more than anything else.  Everything else in the movie leading up to that is a yawn to me. 

But like the soldier that I am I buckled down to the task and actually surprised myself at how much I enjoyed what I was writing.  I saw the real possibilities in using the template of “It’s A Wonderful Life” to illuminate and examine aspects of Dillon’s personality that I couldn’t do in a regular Dillon adventure which is usually all about the punchy-punchy-run-run-shoot-‘em-up-kiss-kiss-bang-bang than examination of his inner emotional/psychological life.

And then as the song says, up jumped the devil.  For some reason my Microsoft Security Essentials turned itself off without me being aware of it and I got zapped with a virus that knocked my computer outta whack for about three hours.  Thanks to System Restore I was able to get it back up and running again.  I was also able to save about 3000 words of what I was now calling “Dillon and The Night Before Christmas”.  Just to be on the safe side, I immediately hooked up my external hard drive and backed up everything I was currently working on.

Good thing, too.  Two or three days later the exact same thing happened.  My Microsoft Security Essentials turned itself off and while checking out Live Journal I was hit again with a virus.  And this one really did a number on my poor baby.  It was a good thing I had sent out the finished draft of The Adventures of Fortune McCall just an hour before because if I hadn’t, it wouldn’t be available for you guys to read.  After getting hit with the virus my computer was unable to do anything except re-start itself over and over or display the BSD and nothing I did was able to repair the situation.  Even System Restore didn’t help.  And according to a few people who know what they’re talking about, they said they had never heard of System Restore not working at all.  Even my good buddy Doug Bookey was stumped.  And if Doug was stumped then I knew I was well and truly screwed.

So I had two choices; go get the machine repaired or get a new one.  I actually was leaning just getting the computer fixed as I have a tendency to get attached to my computers.  I probably shouldn’t name them after my aunts.  My first computer was named Pearl, the one we’re talking about now was Hattie and the new computer I’m working on now is Mildred.  It was Patricia who talked me into buying a new one, insisting that it was time for me to upgrade anyway.

Okay, so I call up Dell and go through the process of customizing my computer and it’s after being on the phone with them for an hour doing all this it’s then that they tell me that I won’t get my new computer until the first week of the New Year.  Why?  Get this, folks: Dell gets their hard drives from The Philippines and due to hurricanes in that region, deliveries of hard drives to the United States have been delayed.


Via Patricia’s laptop I contact my partners and inform them of the situation and tell ‘em to go ahead with The Pulpwork Christmas Special without me.  And that, boys and girls is why I did not have a story in the Christmas Special.


If you recall, last year on my birthday I made available as a one-day free giveaway “Dillon and The Judas Chalice” and that was received so well that I’ve decided to do it again this year.  So this February 8th you can expect “Dillon and The Night Before Christmas” to be available as a one-day free giveaway ebook.

Who says Christmas only comes once a year?


  1. I totally get where you're coming from about It's a Wonderful Life. Personally, I tend to avoid doing a lot of Christmas specials myself because when you've got an established character, it's really difficult to do them well. A Very Supernatural Christmas remains one of my favorite Christmas specials because it managed to do a Christmas-themed story while remaining true to the characters and not feeling like the emotion was forced, and that's a lot harder to do than it seems.

    I wasn't aware that you'd written this story, but count me as one of the people who will be around to pick up Dillon and the Night Before Christmas on February 8th.

  2. And it's going along very well. Up to 6300 words now and still cookin'