Sunday, June 23, 2013

Shadow Spinner, the Serpent, and Keeping Your Serial Crisp

What kind of cereal do you like? For me, right now, I like Grape-Nuts. Mostly, I like Grape-Nuts because I don't like Cheerios. When you only keep non-sugared cereals in your house, it kind of limits your options. Actually, though, I do like Grape-Nuts. My grandfather, I suppose, taught me to like them as a young lad.

My grandfather didn't have any teeth. As long as I knew him, he didn't have any teeth. No, I don't know the story behind that, and, now that I'm thinking about it, I want to know. As a kid, though, it was just one of those things: my grandfather didn't have teeth. He also didn't have most of his right index finger (I do know the story behind that). Let me be clear, here: my grandfather didn't have teeth, and he didn't use dentures. My great-grandmother and one of my aunts also didn't have teeth, but they wore dentures, so we, as kids, didn't think of them as not having teeth. They did; they could just take theirs out. My grandfather didn't have teeth. At all. But he loved Grape-Nuts.

If you've ever had Grape-Nuts, you'll know that they're rather like they sound, except for the "grape" part; no one knows where that came from. Seriously, there are competing theories as to the origin of the name, none of which I'm buying. But, anyway, Grape-Nuts are hard, and I can't actually imagine trying to eat them without teeth. It would be like walking across scattered Lego with your bare feet. [Interesting fact: did you know "Lego" is the plural of "Lego"?] To get around this problem, my grandfather would let them soak in the milk long enough to get soft, which is the first way that I liked eating Grape-Nuts (I like them crunchy these days, though).

All of this to say that, even after 20 minutes in milk, Grape-Nuts still retain their structure; most cereal has turned to mush by that point.

I kind of went on with that longer than I mean to.

The real question, here, was me wondering what it's like for my readers being on part 24 of Shadow Spinner, but, then, I looked up some of Dickens' stuff, and people waited on the piers for the ships to come in with the newspapers that had his stuff serialized, and his stuff had, like, 60 chapters, so I'm not going to worry about it.

Well, I'm not going to worry about it beyond this:
If you're ready, RIGHT NOW! DANG IT!, to find out how it all ends--because there are another 10 chapters to go--well, you can, because Shadow Spinner is now available as a physical book! Yep, it's out there! And, remember, not only do you get Shadow Spinner, but you also get Bryan Pedas' story "Like An Axe Through Bone," available exclusively in the physical copy of Shadow Spinner. Also, what a great cover by Rusty!

If you want to keep on with the serialization, today is the FREE! release of "Part Twenty-four: The Serpent"! Let me just say, things are getting bad for Tib. Seriously bad.

Here is the list of the FREE! offerings for today, Monday, June 24:
"Part Twenty-four: The Serpent" (also available tomorrow, Tuesday, June 25)
"Part Twenty-three: The Harlot"
"Part Twenty-two: The Undying"
"Part Twenty-one: The Chase"
"Part Seventeen: The Tree of Light"
"Part Sixteen: The Dark Tree"
"Part Fifteen: Food of the Garden"
"Part Fourteen: Anger and Laughter"
"Part Thirteen: The Clearing"
"Part Eleven: The Kiss"
"Part Ten: The Broken Window"
"Part Nine: The Shadow of the Tree"
"Part Eight: The Cold and The Dark"
"Part Seven: The Moth and the Shadow"
"Part Five: The Police Car"
"Part Four: The Cop"
"Part Three: The Bedroom"
"Part Two: The Kitchen Table"
"Part One: The Tunnel"
So that's 19 of the 24 parts for FREE! this week. And you should grab parts 1-5 for sure, because, if all goes according to plan--and I'm not saying it will, because I have three kids at home on summer vacation--those will not be available in this format two weeks from now.


  1. I actually like your rambling and running on about cereal and teeth. Dropping in the bit about Lego was a nice touch. My brain feels right at home as this is a pattern it recognizes.

    I wish I had been following fact knowing of your existence for further, no farther back in time. As it is I recently purchased A Beer For The Shower's book and haven't read it yet. As I have stated somewhere on my blog, I read very slowly.

    Anyway, at some point I will get your book(s). Since my sons never buy me anything at Christmas I ask for (they hate doing that), they will always buy books if I ask for those. They don't like to do it but they feel guilty. It will piss 'em off when they find out I could have gotten them for free and will be like an extra Christmas present for me! Don't ya love win, wins?

  2. I don't do print books anymore, so I'm committed to the individual chapters. I do want to read Bryan's story though. Don't suppose you'll slip it into the last chapter online?
    Never a fan of Grape-Nuts. Or granola. Give me the sugar - Peanut Butter Captain Crunch!

  3. Fiber One. That too retains its shape when soaked in milk. Its good for you but I must confess, I get bored periodically.

    So the book is now available, electronically or paper? Will have to check it out.

  4. Well, I am new to your blog, but I really enjoy your writing. Even the long rant about cereal was fun :D

    As for me, I have become a health nut recently, and have been munching on muesli. I can tell you, it's no fun at all :(

    I downloaded the first 5 parts of your book, and will check them out. Will the whole book be available in a Kindle edition as well? Because international delivery is a bitch.

  5. How in the world did your grandfather eat Grape Nuts without teeth? Those suckers are hard and crunchy!

  6. I don't do physical books either. Are you going to do an omnibus at some point? I don't want to go buy 35 different ebooks.

    The only way I can eat Grape Nuts is by adding grapes--raisins to be exact. I suppose you could use strawberries or bananas or something but raisins keep better.

  7. I'm still playing catch up, so I'm curious to see what happens to poor Tib. Also, I saw you post on FB that the physical book was being processed, but now it's actually out! Huzzah! So I demand 50% royalties and retain all movie rights. The rights to your story, not mine. But also mine.

    I'm just kidding. But really though, that is a badass cover. I'm glad everything turned out so well.

  8. I downloaded Part Twenty Four this morning. Was I not supposed to be able to? Oh wait. That said 'also.' Never mind. I can read. Really.

    Anyway, congrats on your new release. As always, I love Rusty's work.

    And my favorite cereal is Frosted Flakes. Or Life. But I seldom add milk.

  9. I like the whole grape nuts angle. It was clever.

  10. Maybe your Grandfather didn't have any teeth -because- he liked Grape Nuts so much?

    I tried them once and though I was going to break -my- teeth eating them...I kid you not.

  11. Ha! What Mark said. Grape-Nuts will break your teeth. :P

    I'm hoping your serial is easier to chew.

  12. David: Win/wins are great; I have to agree. I'm behind on my reading, too. The stuff piles up faster than I can keep up with it.

    Alex: I loved Peanut Butter Captain Crunch when I was a kid. It was my favorite cereal for forever. Technically, it probably is still my favorite cereal even if I haven't had it in 15 years.

    I don't have any plans on releasing Bryan's story in any other format at the moment. Sorry :(

    Jo: I don't like Fiber One. I did try at some point several years ago, but I just couldn't get into it.

    Shadow Spinner is available completely as a physical book only, at the moment.

    Flippy Doodle: Well, welcome to the blog! Happy to have you aboard.
    I think I've tried muesli and didn't much like it. If it's what I'm thinking of.
    I'm not sure exactly how the Kindle edition will end up. There are still months to go on the serial, so it will be at least that long. However, I'm probably not going to follow up the serialization with an immediate Kindle version. I'm still working out those details.

    JKIR,F!: He just soaked them in milk till he could chew them. My grandfather had callouses on his callouses, and I'm pretty sure that extended to his gums.

    PT: I like almonds and blueberries on my Grape-Nuts. I eat them plain, too, but I prefer them the other way.

    To start with, I will be collecting the chapters into collections so that the older chapters will be more easily obtainable.

    ABftS: I'm glad it turned out so well, too. You should get caught up. Of course, you'll have a copy fairly soon. Well, as soon as they get to me and I can send one on.

    M.J.: You don't add milk to your life. Interesting.

    Michael: Clever is one of my favorite things.

    Mark: Well, that could be. I should see if any of my relatives know.

    L.G.: Well, I'm pretty sure it is; just don't put it in milk.

  13. Physical books! The idea just tires me out. Mr F and Mr Bunches got me "Dad Is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan for Father's Day, the actual book with paper and stuff. I was exhausted! Holding it open, turning pages... it's a wonder I could get to work. (I took two days off last week.)

    Anyway, congratulations on the physical book. I'm still playing catchup too but I swear I am going to sit down tonight and read until I'm done and then post some reviews as quickly as I can. WHY DO EBOOK READERS GET TREATED LIKE SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS? Why don't we get the ending now? Why don't we get the free stuff? This is a violation of my constitutional rights! I will take this all the way to the Supreme Court!

    *3 years later*

    Huh. Turns out the Supreme Court doesn't care. But they did declare that "real books are citizens," and now all the real books have SuperPACs and are supporting Paul Ryan for President. Shoulda thought that one through.

    This featurette has been brought to you by the Andrew Leon Comments Players. And yes, I made REAL books support Paul Ryan ON PURPOSE. I am nothing if not a hamhanded symbolist.

  14. Dang, I was hoping you'd tell me why Grape-Nuts has no grapes, or even raisins. I'm a Corn Chex fan cuz I'm lactose intolerant and I can eat them dry at work. I like the crunchy too.

    Rusty makes beautiful covers!


  15. Sounds like your grandfather knew how to eat Grape-Nuts. It's like eating pebbles.

    I'm glad we don't have to wait on the piers anymore.

  16. Briane: Oh, man, that made me laugh!
    So, yeah, the physical format is getting a special story, but the e-format, when there is a complete one, will also get a special story, just not the same special story. See, everything will get its own special story.

    Donna: I like Corn Chex; we just don't eat that kind of cereal anymore. Of all the chex, though, corn is my favorite.

    Jeanne: Yeah, me, too. The parking in San Francisco is a real pain.

  17. I'm a cereal killer, but sadly, by diet doesn't allow for refined carbs any more.

    Best of luck with your series. ;-)

  18. Misha: That is actually the reason for the Grape-Nuts.

  19. It's funny that I never thought to soak the cereal. I hate Grape Nuts because they're so crunchy I feel like my teeth are going to crack. I'll have to try that trick. A good deal too Andrew

  20. Maurice: They have a good flavor, though. I suppose it's kind of like working your way through a difficult book.

  21. Hahaha... I found this post very entertaining! I TOTALLY love Grape Nuts. I love the crunch and feel healthy when I eat them. They also make me think of my dad ;-)

  22. Morgan: Yeah, me, too. Lots of fiber and protein, especially for a cereal. And they're just extra good with blueberries and almonds.