You'll hear time and again that it's important for writers to maintain a routine. I write before and after work on my commute and generally around breakfast time on the weekends. For the other hours of the day, I don't spend all my time writing. There are some interests that can pull my attention away from the written word. Below are examples of my favorites in said media.

Joe is represented by...well, no one just yet. He hopes that changes pretty soon. Look, you'd be right at the top of the page!

Lois McMaster Bujold, author of the Miles Vorkosigan series and the Chalion fantasies. Of all the books I've been introduced to as an adult, none has sunk its claws into me as deeply as Cordelia's Honor and the various Miles omnibi. I typically want to be better than every other author I read. With Bujold, I hope I can be as good as she.

Tad Williams, author of "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn;" The War of the Flowers; and the Shadowmarch tetralogy among others. It was Tad's influence that ensorcelled me. I might have moved on to more respectable genres where I could have made millions of dollars and gotten movie deals and merchandising. He ensured that Fantasy would be my first and forever love.

Diana Gaboldon, author of Outlander and its series. I got this book by accident and fell in love with it.

Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian, et al. 'Nuff said.

George R.R. Martin, author of "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. Magic done right...and everyone dies!

Geek & Sundry, Okay, technically this is a Flog and not a Blog, but Geek & Sundry is a pretty awesome endeavor by a lot of cool people. Felicia Day's "The Flog" is one of the most fun and interesting things happening on the internet right now.

Kristin Nelson, an agent for YA, Romance, and SF/F. I have learned a lot from reading her blog. She and Sara also offer webinars to help aspiring authors hone their craft.

Query Shark, If you've written a query for your work and haven't studied this blog, do so before submitting. It will save you a lot of heartache.

Lord of the Rings, Better than the books, I say.

Man on Fire, Best. Revenge flick. Ever.

Out of Sight, Bertolt Brecht would be proud.

The Thin Man, This movie is timeless, absolutely timeless.

Today's Sample Music Video

     J.S. Bach
     P.I. Tchaikovsky

     DJ 486 (Methadrene)
     Dave Crowe

Heavy Metal
     Dry Kill Logic

     Louis Armstrong
     Miles Davis
     Norah Jones
     Thelonious Monk

     Gipsy Kings

     Jesse Cook
     Mediaeval Baebes
     The Monkees

Fences, by August Wilson. I saw this at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, and it just blew my mind. It instantly became my favorite play ever. If I had known this play in college, I would have used Troy's "Why do I have to love you" monologue in my acting class. So powerful. This play is part of a ten-play cycle, each examining the African-American experience in a different decade of the 20th century. I have to see the other nine. This is one of Life's imperatives.

All My Sons, by Arthur Miller. Until I saw Fences, this used to be my favorite play. The last line doesn't work for me, but otherwise, it's a hell of a play. Jack Lemon did a great job as Joe in one of the film versions.

Les Misérables, by Claude-Michele Schönberg. I can sing along with the entire soundtrack. This is my favorite musical.

The PodgeCast is a discussion of geek culture: movies, music, books, RPGs, tabletop games, and whatever else is on their minds. The hosts include Dr. Luke Meyer, Adam Pinilla, and Matt Cushman. Joe was part of this show through episode 56.

NPR's Political Junkie is a weekly discussion on politics, hosted by Ken Rudin. Ken and I are friends on Twitter and that fills me with nerdish glee.

The Way of the Game is a discussion podcast on video games. Joe sometimes contributes on "games," including board games, art, and politcs.

Emily Dickinson, My all-time favorite poet. Walt Whitman was a hack.

John Donne, Not the best man, but his poetry was a life raft for a high school student bored to tears with the poetry section of his English class.

Robert Frost, New Hampshire represent!

Avatar: the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, Some of the best storytelling ever. EVER!

Firefly, Perhaps the greatest TV show ever made. I own everything Firefly.

Psych, Perfectly blends humor with family and friendship. I own the first five seasons.

The Wire, The second best TV show ever. So much story for so few episodes. I own all five seasons.

Penny Arcade, by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik. Don't worry, I don't get all the jokes either.

Scenes from a Multiverse, by Jonathan Rosenberg. This reminds me of how I come up with story ideas.

Something Positive, by R.K. Milholland. It's a little binger to brighten up your day.

XKCD, by Randall Munroe. Don't worry, I don't get all these jokes either.

Ask the Oxford English Dictionary, Still have trouble with Who vs. Whom? This site will help you out.

Behind the Name, Where I get most of my ethnic names. Shhh don't tell.