In which I over-explain my Star Trek/American Chopper meme.

Lunch time is a dangerous time for Dayton. It’s during this period on many a day, as I eat my salad or sandwich, that I tend to contemplate mischief.

Yesterday was one such day.

Those of you into the whole meme thing know that they tend to come and go. Somewhere, somebody does something clever and/or funny and shares it to their circle of online friends, some of those friends share it with their friends and/or total strangers, and if the conditions are just right, said clever and/or funny thing suddenly finds itself going “viral.” Its ability to grab someone’s attention continues for a few days (or longer if it’s really nifty) before something else starts the vicious cycle all over again.

This past week, it was the “American Chopper” meme, which was actually created several years ago but is now enjoying renewed attention thanks to the recent announcement that the television show is returning to Discovery later this year.

Rather than explain the whole thing, here’s a handy link, which comes with several notable examples from this past week: The 20 Best ‘American Chopper’ Memes.

So, that brings us to me, sitting there at lunch, eating my sandwich, and plotting mischief. Fresh off our April Fool’s gag, I was looking for something new to goof around with, and because I like to cross my streams and mix my drinks when I ponder this kind of silly stuff, I immediately began contemplating how to apply the AC meme formula to a Star Trek joke.

It didn’t take long:

Continue reading “In which I over-explain my Star Trek/American Chopper meme.”

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, the foggy edition.

I has been tagged!

There’s a big ol’ Blog Hop thing going on these days, and as fate would have it, I have been pulled kicking and screaming into the middle of the whole sordid affair. Friend and fellow word-pusher extraordinaire Ilsa J. Bick saw fit to tap me on the shoulder as one of five writers to whom she’s directing readers of her own Blog Hop entry.

As you’ve no doubt surmised, the Blog Hop is intended as a self-promotion tool for us word-slingers and other creative types, affording us an opportunity to talk about a work in progress or something that might be on the verge of publication.

I did one of these a while back for my then work in progress, From History’s Shadow, back in November, and being tagged for this means writing up something new for my current project. Congrats, regular blog readers and first-time visitors! By coming here on this day, you’re the first to read anything with respect to hints or clues about the novel I’m currently writing.

1) What’s the title of your forthcoming book?

Peaceable Kingdoms, a Star Trek novel set in the era of The Next Generation, several years after the last film featuring those characters, Star Trek: Nemesis.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

I developed the plot of my particular book, but it’s also the fifth novel in a five-book series with the umbrella title Star Trek: The Fall. Therefore, some of the plot points evolve from events which take place in the preceeding four books.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction. More specifically, the “Star Trek” flavor of science fiction.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version?

Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard, Jonathan Frakes as Riker, etc.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Three sentences (yeah, I’m doing it): Picard and his crew are dispatched to uncover the truth behind a “prominent figure within the Federation” who’s emerged onto the interstellar stage. It’s discovered that said individual may well be perpetrating a hoax as to their true identity, and has been doing so for years. This kind of sucks, since this person is now in a position to wield enormous power within the Federation.

Enormous. Power. Yo.

Yes, I’m being very, very vague here, because to provide more specific information would be risking spoilers for the earlier Star Trek: The Fall books. In addition to resolving a few rather important plot points from those novels, I’ll also be addressing some things from books published over the past few years,

6) Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

It will be published by Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Publication date currently is set for on or about Janurary 28th, 2014.

7) How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Well, I started writing it last Friday (February 1st). The manuscript is not due to my editor until June 4th, so that’s how long it’s going to take to write it 🙂

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I guess other Star Trek books which have taken on various interstellar political issues during the past couple of years are the closest comparisons: the Typhon Pact books, Losing the Peace, etc. 

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My editor called me and asked me to write a NextGen novel that would tie off this five-book series and wrap up a few plot threads which had been running through several books for the past couple of years. Seemed like it might be a fun thing to do.

And, my editor wanted to pay me to do all of that, so I guess that was cool, too.

10) What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?

I suppose one might say that–if all goes to plan–Peaceable Kingdoms will set the stage for what I suppose you could call the “next chapter” for Picard and his crew.

Next stops for you on the Blog Hop?

Elizabeth Donald

Brandon Easton

H.E. Ellis

Carol Hightshoe

William Leisner

Each of these fine folks represents a different corner of the writing biz, from comics and TV to horror to science fiction and fantasy; from traditional publishing to “do it yourself.” Elizabeth and H.E., I’ve befriended thanks to the modern wonder that is social media. I met Brandon thanks to my travels to various conventions, and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. Carol, who often looks so busy that she makes me feel like I’m standing still, saw fit to include me in one of her own anthologies (Zombiefied). Then there’s Bill Leisner, whom I’ve known for something close to two decades now thanks first to our shared prison sentence on AOL in the early 1990s, and later as we shared space in various Star Trek books as well as last summer’s ReDeus: Divine Tales.

Look for them to post about their own Next Big Things on Wednesday, February 13th.

For those of you who traveled here via Ilsa’s blog, thanks very much for “coming out of your way” to stop by!


It started innocently enough.

Last night, I was goofing off while taking a break from the writing, and I checked out my Twitter feed to see what was going on, who was saying what, and so on and so forth, when I spied this Tweet, “retweeted” by one of my Twitter friends:

@cmdrsue RT @SteveHuff Fuck Twitter woulda been awesome in the 70s. Can you imagine all the coked-out tweeting from the discos?

Being me, I immediately responded to both fellow Tweeters:

@daytonward @SteveHuff @cmdrsue Awesome hashtag idea. “Fuckin’ line to get into 54 is ridiculous. I’ll be out of coke before I get in!” #70sTwitter

And that, so far as I can tell, is how the chaos began.

I started out slowly, with a couple of tentative stabs at getting something going:

@daytonward “I can’t fucking believe Star Wars won the fucking Oscar. Did those idiots not even SEE Smokey and the Bandit?” #70sTwitter

@daytonward “Check out these wild new jeans! You can’t even *SEE* my feet!” #70sTwitter

And then, it began spiraling out of my control.

Tweets began popping up all through my feed with the #70sTwitter tag. For example:

@luisishere Just played my 6th hour of Pong. #70sTwitter

@plasticanimal Crap, just dropped my pet rock on my mood ring. #70sTwitter

@Psiqueue Just became Mayor of Studio 54 #Foursquare #70sTwitter

@SoriedemSTO The King of Rock ‘n Roll died on his throne #70sTwitter

@FerdBurfel You know what’s good about the gas crisis? We’ll all now drive small, efficient cars. Gas guzzlers are done. #70sTwitter

Some had me laughing so hard I thought I might soil myself, but I’m already doing the topic an injustice. See for yourself. As I write this nearly twelve hours after sending that first fateful Tweet, the trend is still going:

Twitter: #70sTwitter

Not to leave here without being shameless and self-serving, here are some of my favorite contributions to the fray:

@daytonward “They replaced Henry Blake with the old dude from Dragnet? EPIC FAIL.” #70sTwitter

@daytonward “If we cut taxes on the rich, that’ll stimulate economic growth.” #70sTwitter

@daytonward “If Carter wins the election, I’m moving to Canada.” #70sTwitter

@daytonward “Hey East Coast, thanks for spoiling the whole ‘Bigfoot is a robot’ thing. Fuckers.” #SMDM #70sTwitter

@daytonward “My mom took my Farrah Fawcett poster.” #70sTwitter

@daytonward “Who got his official KISS ARMY membership card in the mail today? This guy.” #70sTwitter

@daytonward “They’re making a Star Wars christmas show? SUCK IT, GRINCH.” #70sTwitter

So, I guess I can cross “Start a Twitter Hashtag Game” off my Bucket List. Sweet. Next up? WORLDWIDE TRENDING.

Despite the distraction, which based on my own Twitter timeline consumed the better part of three hours, I still was able to meet my writing goal for the evening….though I did keep checking the feed every so often to see what was what.

Twitter, you kill me.

Thanks to @SteveHuff and @cmdrsue for providing the initial spark. When the arraignments come down, I’m throwing you two under the bus.

My Next Big Thing.

My friend and fellow word slinger James Swallow has been taking part in this “talk about your Next Big Thing” meme (read his entry here), and he tagged me to keep the ball rolling.

The idea, as the title suggests, is to talk about your Next Big Thing. I’ve already babbled briefly about my current Big Project, but I’ll see how much more I can divulge without giving away too much. After all, I need a few secrets to keep between now and when the book’s published, right? So, with that in mind, here’s what my NBT entry looks like:

What is the title of your new project?
From History’s Shadow, a Star Trek novel set in the time frame of the original series.

Where did the idea come from for the project?
From me. I pitched the idea to my editor at Pocket Books, and after a few helpful tweak suggestions to my proposal, the project was approved, contracts signed, part of an advance paid, and we were off.

What genre does your project fall under?
Science fiction. More specifically, the “Star Trek” flavor of science fiction.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, etc. all circa 1968. Along with Teri Garr from the same period, James G. MacDonald circa 1995, and Danny DeVito circa 1997.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your project?
“Set in the Original Series universe, this standalone story utilizes 1950s UFO paranoia, the Cold War, and the escalating “space race” of the 1960s as a backdrop for a Star Trek tale in a vein similar to that of The New York Times bestselling Eugenics Wars duology.”

(Thank you, Pocket Books sales and marketing office.)

Will your project be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Publication date currently is set for on or about July 30th, 2013.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Five months: August 1st-December 31st, 2012.

What other projects would you compare this story to within your genre?
The aforementioned Eugenics Wars duology. There’s perhaps a bit of inspiration from the mini-series Taken and the television series Dark Skies.

Who or what inspired you to write this project?
Several years ago, I wrote a short story called “The Aliens Are Coming!” which touches on similar themes. I’ve always wanted to take a longer look at some of the ideas I put forth in that story. Consider this novel to be something of a prequel as well as an updating/reinterpretation of the events from that original short tale.

What else about your project might pique the reader’s interest?
An alien will eat bacon, and he will like it.

According to the meme “rules,” I have to tag five more writers so that they might blog about their Next Big Thing. There are too many people from whom to choose, so I’m just going to leave this hanging and let anyone who’s feeling froggy step up to the plate. Anybody who wants to play is invited to play. Traditional, small-press, self-published, writing for fun/love of it, whatever: Do your thing, then post a link to it here in the comments.

A meme because I’m bored.

Not sleepy, taking a break from revisions to a short story, and I’ve decided a meme is in order. So, calling all Trekkies!

Let’s see a pic of your favorite Star Trek collectible. Doesn’t matter how big it is, or how much you paid for it, whether you snatched it and ran while dividing up assets during the divorce proceedings, or kept it out of spite when your boyfriend/girlfriend dumped you. Take a pic and throw it into the comments section.

What’s my favorite Trek chotchke? Here you go:

“Dad, you really suck at this, you know?”


The World Book Day meme.

Seen on pretty much every blog in the known universe:

The book I am reading: Day By Day Armageddon, by J.L. Bourne. Yes, I like reading the occasional zombie tale. Also, whatever book the kids pick out for me to read to them before bedtime.

The book I am writing: We’re finishing up our latest Star Trek: Vanguard novel.

The book I love most: I don’t have a single favorite, but some of my top picks for favorites for one reason or another include I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, A Night to Remember by Walter Lord, Vertical Run by Joseph R. Garber, A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin, and The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy.

The last book I received as a gift: I honestly don’t recall.

The last book I gave as a gift: A couple of books about sharks that I bought for Addy to give to a classmate for his birthday.

The nearest book on my desk: Access Database Design & Programming by Steven Roman.

The “Yes/No” Meme.

Stolen from reannon.

I filled out one of these before, but it’s back with some new/different questions, so what the hey.


1. You can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages/comments you and asks. And believe me, the temptation to explain some of these will be overwhelming. Even then, you are allowed to refrain from answering if necessary.

3. It’s harder than it looks, but NO explanations! Just don’t!

4. A change to the rules – add one of your own at the bottom of the list.

Memeage behind the cut….

The “When I was 12” movie meme thing.

Snurched from several folks across the f-list.

Here’s how it works: go to Wikipedia (as the most convenient resource), and copy the list of movies that were released in the year when you were 12 years old. Mark in italics the movies that you’ve seen. (Not necessarily that year.) Mark in bold the movies that you own on video, DVD, Blu-Ray or whatever. I was born in 1967, so I was twelve in 1979.

If you’re not sure if you’ve seen a movie, you haven’t.

Films released in 1979:

A Little Romance
A Perfect Couple
The Adventure of Sudsakorn
Alexandria… Why?
The Alien Encounters
All That Jazz
The Amityville Horror
…And Justice for All
Apocalypse Now
The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again
Arabian Adventure
Banjo the Woodpile Cat
Being There
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure
Birth of The Beatles
The Black Hole
The Black Stallion
Breaking Away
The Brood
Butch and Sundance: The Early Days
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie
Bye Bye Brazil
Carry On Emmannuelle
The Cat and the Canary
The Champ
The China Syndrome
Christ Stopped at Eboli (Cristo si è fermato a Eboliby)
The Concorde … Airport ’79
Don Giovanni
The Electric Horseman
Escape from Alcatraz
The Fifth Musketeer
A Force of One
Gal Young ‘Un
The Great Santini
Hanover Street
Hot Stuff
I as in Icarus
The In-Laws
The Jerk
Just You and Me, Kid
Kramer vs. Kramer
Love at First Bite
Lovers and Liars
Mad Max
The Main Event
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Meetings with Remarkable Men
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
More American Graffiti
Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears
Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video
The Muppet Movie
Murder by Decree
Norma Rae
The North Avenue Irregulars
Nosferatu (“Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht”)
The Odd Angry Shot
Over the Edge
The Onion Field
The Prisoner of Zenda
The Prize Fighter
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School
Rocky II
Roller Boogie
The Rose
She’s 19 and Ready
Sisters, or the Balance of Happiness
Soldier of Orange
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Starting Over
Stay As You Are
Take Down
The Third Generation
Time After Time
The Tin Drum
Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle
Vengeance Is Mine
The Warriors
Zulu Dawn

Final Tally:

Seen = 42
Own = 6

I write like….

Snurched from…well…everybody:

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I entered the first chapters of my last three novels, and got the same result.

If only I could cash checks like Dan Brown….

Curious, I plugged in some of my juicier blog entries (rants about stupid people always bring out the best in me), and came away with comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Palahniuk, and H.P. Lovecraft.

Go figure.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Sierra Tango Oscar Lima Echo November Foxtrot Romeo Oscar Mike popfiend, Victor India Alpha nekosensei:

India Foxtrot Yankee Oscar Uniform Charlie Alpha November Uniform November Delta Echo Romeo Sierra Tango Alpha November Delta Tango Hotel India Sierra, Charlie Oscar Papa Yankee Alpha November Delta Papa Alpha Sierra Tango Echo India Tango Tango Oscar Yankee Oscar Uniform Romeo Lima India Victor Echo Juliet Oscar Uniform Romeo November Alpha Lima.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Mike Echo Mike Echo.

Hotel Alpha Hotel Alpha