Bucs Blog! 2017 Season, Week 11.

Well, if delaying a game ten weeks means you stand a better chance of winning it, then I say do that for all of Tampa’s games.

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Bucs 30 – Dolphins 20

This intrastate matchup was supposed to happen way back during Week 1 of the season, but Hurricane Irma saw to it that Florida residents had far greater concerns than a silly football game that weekend. As both teams originally were scheduled for a bye during Week 11, it provided an opening to reschedule the game.

And so it went yesterday.

Like last week, the Bucs were able to win in somewhat haphazard fashion. Unlike last week, the at times seemed incapable of getting out of their own way while allowing the Dolphins to linger despite Miami’s own error and penalty-riddled performance. They came within spitting distance of letting the game get away from them, leading just 23-20 with 4 seconds remaining in regulation after a Tampa field goal.

Weird things have been known to happen to the Bucs during the waning moments of many a game, so you’ll forgive me for not quite believing they had this one locked up until that last whistle blows. The kickoff to the Dolphins turned into one of those crazy, desperate lateral-fests until Miami’s Jakeem Grant fumbled the ball at the 3-yard line. Tampa’s Adarius Glanton recovered it in the Dolphin’s end zone, earning him a touchdown and sealing the deal for the Bucs.

And that’s when I decided the game was over.

Speaking of heads-up defense, the Bucs D was on it, yesterday. They picked off Miami quarterback Jay Cutler three times, to the point that Cutler was pulled in favor of backup Matt Moore. However, they did allow the Dolphins to hang around way, way too long, given the pressure they were able to bring. Meanwhile, the Bucs offense, once more guided by #2 QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, sputtered and stalled several times while still managing to put 23 points on the board. Hey, it was enough to win. I’ll take it.

The win improves Tampa’s record to 4-6 on the year. Unfortunately, both New Orleans and Atlanta also won, so the Bucs don’t move up anywhere in the NFC South Division standings. Carolina was on its own bye week, but they’re still three games ahead of Tampa, with six games to go this season.

Next up? The Bucs travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. A win against a division rival is….what do they call it at this juncture? Yeah, “critical.” Even then, unless the Saints, Panthers, and Falcons all get lost heading to their next few games, I don’t see the Bucs going to the playoffs unless they get on the phone to StubHub.

Bucs life, yo.

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Have a look at the cover for Drastic Measures!

The fine folks at StarTrek.com have posted the cover for Drastic Measures, my upcoming Star Trek: Discovery novel!

Behold the Disco goodness, y’all:

DrasticMeasures-Cover(Click to Biggie Size)

So, what’s it about? Glad you asked. Here’s the description from the back cover:

It is 2246, ten years prior to the “Battle at the Binary Stars,” and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.

While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It’s hoped this advance party can help stabilize the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they‘re too late—Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony’s besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.

In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand “Kodos the Executioner.”

Check out StarTrek.com‘s write up here:

FIRST LOOK: Discovery: Drastic Measures Novel Out in February

Drastic Measures is currently slated for publication in trade paperback, e-Book, and audiobook formats on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018.

Simon & Schuster
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million

Posted in books, trek, writing | 2 Comments

Let’s do another “Ask Dayton Anything” thing.

Why? Because it’s been a while, and I’m in the midst of pushing words around a screen in a somewhat haphazard fashion at the moment, and I actually (:: gasp! ::) have a bit of free time as I move between major writing projects.

So, here’s the deal: Ask me anything, if you’re so inclined, and I’ll do my best to provide a brief yet thoughtful answer. If I can’t conjure such a reply, you’ll instead receive a wise-assed comment, created and tailored especially for you! It’s sort of like an “AMA” over on Reddit, but without the requirement of me needing to drown myself afterward in a vat of Purell.

ward-fingerAlso, this little exercise shouldn’t be confused with the “Ask Dayton” bits that I’ve done every so often over at the G&T Show. The guy who answers those queries is a rather surly dick who likes to growl and snap his way through whatever oddball questions the show’s listeners throw his way. While that guy looks like me, sounds like me, and has the same name as me, we’re two totally different people. Really. I mean, look at this face. Does this look like lovable, cuddly me?

Didn’t think so.

Asker’s choice, so far as the topic goes. We can talk about writing, pop culture bullshit, deep thoughtful musings on the duality of man and the blurred line between good and evil, the tragedy of a classic 80s show like Dynasty getting a truly godawful reboot while Dark Matter fans are left holding a bag with a hole in the bottom, whatever.

I reserve the right not to answer anything I deem too personal or inappropriate for this particular venue, but this is a rule I’ve never actually had to invoke. Still, it never hurts to make such things clear up front.

Okey-dokey, then. Who’s got a question?

horshack

Posted in ask dayton, friends, q&a | 13 Comments

Bucs Blog! 2017 Season, Week 10.

If you thought the Bucs strategy for securing a win looked familiar – you know, like something out of the Tony Dungy era – go with that feeling.

But, a win’s a win, and I’ll take it.

Bucs-logo-distress

Bucs 15 – Jets 10

It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. Seemingly taking their cue from the Days of Old, the Bucs relied on their defense to keep things under control and the game within reach and affording their offense the opportunities needed to score in workmanlike fashion just enough points to win. It’s a formula that produced solid if not spectacular results for years, most notably during Tony Dungy’s storied tenure as the Bucs head coach, and you know what? I’ll roll with it forever if it means Tampa can keep adding notches to their Win Column.

The Bucs’ offensive production was anchored by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, subbing for the injured Jameis Winston. He presided over a pair of time-eating, soul-crushing scoring drives of the sort that make defenses cry like when you watch the ending to Bambi. The drives may only have netted nine points (a field goal and touchdown, with the latter score’s 2-point conversion coming up short), but they generated ripples that affected the rest of the game.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bucs were in pretty good form. They hassled Jets quarterback Josh McCown all day, to the tune of six sacks and an interception, though they still allowed him to rack up 265+ yards while completing 23 of 39 passes. They also recovered a fumble to halt another New York drive, and held the Jets to only 3 points in the first half. They did allow a late touchdown with time running out in regulation, but by then the damage was done, and the Bucs walked away with the win after recovering the Jets’ onside kick with less than 30 seconds left in the game.

Scrappy wins count, too, by golly.

The win snaps a five-game skid by the Bucs and improves their record to 3-6. However, their standing in the NFC South remains unchanged, as division rivals Atlanta and New Orleans both won, as well, with Carolina gearing up for a game tonight. It’s a dire picture for Tampa, right now, but this is a tiny sparkle of light in an otherwise dark and dreary season. I’m not saying we should be making Super Bowl plans, or anything, but I’ll take any bit of positive news I can get. What’s sad is that the Bucs have too much raw talent to justify such a paltry performance, this year. Something is definitely amiss in Tampa. Here’s hoping the coaches figure it out, and damned quick.

Next up? The Bucs travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins, who are struggling this year with a 4-4 record. This was the game that was supposed to be played back on Week 1, but was postponed due to Hurricane Irma. Enjoy your bye week, guys.

#BucsLife

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Veterans Day.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

– Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, 1915

Erin-PoppyField
(Artwork: Erin Ward)

Posted in tributes | 1 Comment

Happy 242nd Birthday, Marines!

On November 1st, 1921, John A. Lejeune, 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, directed that a reminder of the honorable service of the Corps be published by every command, to all Marines throughout the globe, on the birthday of the Corps. Since that day, Marines have continued to distinguish themselves on many battlefields and foreign shores, in war and peace. On this birthday of the Corps, therefore, in compliance with the will of the 13th Commandant, Article 38, United States Marine Corps Manual, Edition of 1921, is republished as follows:

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

The record of our Corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world’s history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation’s foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long era of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres, and in every corner of the seven seas that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term “Marine” has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the Corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish, Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as ‘Soldiers of the Sea’ since the founding of the Corps.

— from The Marine Officer’s Guide

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Happy Birthday, Marines! 242 years old today. Semper Fi!

Posted in blog, tributes, usmc | 3 Comments

Star Trek: Waypoint

STWaypoint-TradeCoverShort stories that run the gamut of Star Trek‘s history, set during the Original Series, The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, and more, featuring all your favorite characters. Capturing a galaxy of emotions, these weird and wonderful stories may expand on rarely explored corners of the universe, or provide closure for long forgotten plot threads, but they all remind us why we love Trek.

————————-

Collecting the six-issue miniseries from IDW Publishing as part of celebrating Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary, Star Trek: Waypoint marks mine and Kevin’s first foray into the realm of comics writing. Editors Sarah Gaydos and Chris Cerasi let us run (almost) completely off leash once we pitched them our basic concept, which was pretty much “A love letter to the old, wacky Star Trek Gold Key comics from the 1960s and 70s.”

Star-Trek-Gold-Key-1

Then…then…they partnered us with veteran comics artist Gordon Purcell and colorist Jason Lewis, and holy crap! Did these two gents do an amazing job recreating the look and feel of those comics gone by.

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waypoint2-landingparty

I know, right?

Our story, “The Menace of the Mechanitrons!” appeared in Waypoint #2. Now it, along with the eleven other stories from the mini-series, have been collected into a single swank-looking trade paperback which now graces my “brag shelf” along with copies of my novels and other writerly shenanigans. Kevin and I join a stellar lineup of writers and artists including Gordon and Jason: Donny Cates, Sandra Lanz, Mark Chater, Sam Maggs, Rachael Stott, Mairghread Scott, Cecil Castellucci, Corin Howell, Megan Levens, Vivek J. Tiwary, Scott Bryan Wilson, Hugo Petrus, Capar Wijngaard, Simon Roy, Cavan Scott, Josh Hood, Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, and Christopher Herndon.

Where can you get your own copy? I’m so happy you asked:

IDW Publishing’s website
Trade Paperback and Kindle e-Book/Comixology format from Amazon.com
Trade Paperback from Barnes & Noble
Trade Paperback from Books-A-Million

The book might be a little big for a stocking stuffer, but I suspect you can manage well enough. Y’all are a pretty savvy bunch.

Posted in comics, idw, kevin dilmore, trek, writing | Leave a comment

Bucs Blog! 2017 Season, Week 9.

Can you invoke the Mercy Rule at the halfway point of a season? Asking for 53 friends, along with their coaches, trainers, equipment people, and the guys who take care of the Gatorade.

bucs-sinkingship

Saints 30 – Bucs 10

Ugh.

Long story short? The New Orleans Saints are on fire. A six-game winning streak, quarterback Drew Brees having a career year, and the team duking it out with division rival Carolina for supremacy of the NFC South.

As for the Bucs? They are a fire. A trash fire. A dumpster fire. A slow-motion dumpster fire with bionic sound effects and Wilhelm Screams echoing far and wide across the land. The nicest term I can come up with to describe their overall performance against the Saints? “Ineffective.” Does Hallmark have a card for something like that?

QB Jameis Winston and the Tampa offense were never able to find anything resembling a gear, and that was before Winston had to leave the game just before halftime with an apparent shoulder injury. Backup Ryan Fitzpatrick was left to fend off the lions…uh, I mean Saints as combat continued, and he even managed to guide the Bucs to a late game TD, but by then the writing was on the wall.

As for the defense? They may as well have brought Brees room service during those few occasions anyone was able to get anywhere near him. I don’t even want to talk about the absolutely spectacular failure to stop New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara during a 33-yard scamper to pay dirt, with seemingly every member of the Bucs defense along with a handful of random fans from the stands able to put a hand on him without bringing him down.

And if that wasn’t enough? The Saints were able to block a Tampa punt and return that for a touchdown, and Winston – prior to his departure – started a fight on the sidelines. Because I guess “Why the hell not?” at this point, amirite?

Ugh.

The loss is Tampa’s fifth in a row, dropping them to 2-6 at their season’s halfway mark. This includes two consecutive losses to division rivals, so I suppose they’re clear to start shopping for Super Bowl tickets at StubHub, or making sure they’ve got some decent wings and chips lined up for the watch party they’ll having at One Buc Place.

Next up? Back home next Sunday to host the New York Jets, and possibly with Fitzpatrick starting for the (as of this writing) questionable Winston. Should be a wonderful nap inducer.

Bucs life. Ugh.

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Happy Time Travel Day!

Celebrating the 62nd anniversary of the invention of time travel….

Dr. Emmett L. Brown

Rockin’ it Outatime Since November 5th, 1955

Posted in fandom, nerdity, tributes | Leave a comment

Wait…I’ve been doing this writing thing for how long?

It hit me today while reading a Facebook thread featuring comments from one of the responsible parties: I’ve been doing this writing thing….well, the “paid for my writing” thing…for twenty years, now.

Twenty. Years.

Holy. Shit.

snw1Okay, okay. In truth, I’d been writing for a few years at that point, but it wasn’t until the fall of 1997 that somebody actually decided for the first time – after reading a story I’d submitted to their writing contest, of their own free will and without the assistance of mood altering substances – to pay me for my writing. That someone was editor John Ordover at Pocket Books, and the story was “Reflections,” which I’d sent to be considered for inclusion in the very first Star Trek: Strange New Worlds anthology.

Most of you know what happened after that. Secret origin story. Never-ending battles. Truth, justice, and the American Way and so on and so forth. Blah blah bah.

Twenty. Years.

Holy Shit.

Of course, the anthology which was the result of that first contest wouldn’t be published until the following summer, but I mark the letter I received from John as the starting point for what has become my “writing career.” He, along with editor Dean Wesley Smith and Paula Block (who at the time was working for Star Trek‘s licensing department), put me on the path I continue to walk to this day.

(Oddly, the letter is undated, and I find myself unable to recall the date the first contest’s winners were announced. All I remember for sure is “fall 1997,” so I guess a ballpark guess will just have to do. Sucks getting old(er), amirite?)

honor-coverThis is something of a retcon on my part, as back then I had no real aspirations of being “a writer.” It wasn’t a path I’d remotely considered, as at the time I was neck deep in my career as a software developer, having made the transition from military service to the private sector just a year previously. That feeling didn’t change during the next two years, as I submitted stories to the next two SNW contests (and earned a place in the table of contents for the resulting anthologies). Only when John called me and asked if I wanted to write a full-blown Star Trek novel for him did start to wonder – just a bit – if there was something to this whole writing thing.

To be honest, I still wonder that, pretty much all the time, all these years later. And yet, here we are, twenty years later, and I think there’s a chance I might stick with it.

So, yeah: Twenty years. I’m not a “big name” or anything. I’m not one of those writers who will ever be recognized or remembered in passing. There won’t be any big movie or TV deals waiting in the wings for anything I write, but none of that really matters. I’m having fun, and I have a readership who makes up for their modest numbers with their unrelenting enthusiasm and support. I’m totally good with that.

The biggest thing to come out of that first contest was my meeting Kevin Dilmore. What began with him interviewing me as one of the contest’s eighteen winners has become an enduring friendship that I treasure. Indeed, he’s ‘ohana; a member of my family. There a many, many other people I’ve met and befriended since then; people I’d never know if not for this rather odd adventure, which began with that first short story.

I’ve benefitted from several opportunities which I’d otherwise never have received, including a handful of genuine, “Are you kidding me? That that just happen?” moments. There have been a bunch of novels and other short stories during these past twenty years, and there are countless people to thank for this journey I’ve undertaken, so many of whom have expended time, energy, and money in some manner on my behalf. Most important among that group: the readers who’ve accepted the invitation to travel with me every time there’s a new story with my name on the by-line. To anyone who at some point took a chance on me, you have my heartfelt thanks.

Then there’s my wife, Michi, of course. She’s been with me every step of the way, my biggest supporter and loudest, most enthusiastic cheerleader. I literally couldn’t have done any of this without her in my corner.

What will the next twenty years bring? Damifino. Guess we’ll just have to see what we see.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish reviewing this latest novel manuscript.

#AmWriting
#NoReally

Posted in books, feelin' nostalgic, snw, trek, writing, writing life | 5 Comments