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May 29, 2003

anyone can play guitar


I spent all day yesterday and most of today packing and preparing books for shipment. It's so much fun, sitting at my dining room table with Anne and the kids, listening to the New Wave station on satellite, getting things ready to go.

And check this out: today, we passed 800 orders.

Holy. Mother.

800 orders in less than three weeks. How cool is that?! I think I may pass 1000 by the end of next month.

1000!!!

Now. Here's the bad news about all this success: I've totally run out of postage, and was only able to ship the first 200 orders. The rest will ship as soon as I get back from Cruise Trek on June 9th.

Back to the good news! Barnes and Noble contacted us today about "special ordering" some books for Barnes and Noble dot Com! There's a chance we're going to get a review in a MAJOR US newspaper! I may reach a deal with a distributor to place Dancing Barefoot in stores in just about every major US city by the end of the year!

I'm making really good headway on planning a tour, too. I think I'll be hitting Alberquerque and Amarillo on my way to Tulsa at the end of next month, and probably a trip up the California coast on my way to Portland in August. If you live in one of those cities, and you've got a favorite bookstore there (preferably an independent one), take my media kit to them, and let me know about it. I'll follow up with them, and see if we can work something out!

Last thing before I go pack my bags:

I have to fly tomorrow morning.

I'm not so crazy about the flying. Especially over more than 1000 miles of ocean.

If you can spare some "don't be a sissy and afraid" mojo, I'd sure appreciate it.

I'll be updating my site (and gallery!) from the cruise ship's internet cafe, so WWdN readers can vicariously enjoy the cruise with all of us.

Be well, everyone. The next time you hear from me, I'll be on the high seas!

May 28, 2003

Smalltown Trap


Today is Fark-tacular: I got a link posted, and just read this one about my friend Max. Max is the lead singer of the band Eve6, and I live my Rock-n-Roll lifestyle vicariously through him.

I think I'll sit this one out, though.

Set Phasers to "Stunned" :)


J.D. "Illiad" Frazer, who does the insanely brilliant User Friendly has this to say about Dancing Barefoot:

For quite some time, the name and person of Wil Wheaton were equated with the Star Trek:TNG character of Wesley Crusher. Wesley was, by all accounts, deeply reviled by a significant portion of Star Trek fandom. This vilification carried over to Wil Wheaton the actor, and as I witnessed, was done with some glee.



This kind of behaviour is hardly uncommon in the world of entertainment. Art of any sort is often considered a pure reflection of the artist's character instead of a demonstration of that artist's depth and willingness to take risks. Of course, it's far easier to follow the drooling mob in their demonization of someone than it is to carefully cull the rhetoric from the truth, and thus the less perceptive (or lazier) members of geekdom will by default refuse to even consider the idea that the actor behind Wesley Crusher is more than one-dimensional.



And I did say "geekdom;" this book proves that Wil is a geek through-and-through. He demonstrates through his prose his curiosity and that he is possessed of a quirky and often self-deprecating sense of humour. The five short stories in Wil's book are strung together in an artful manner, giving the reader random glimpses here and there of a jigsaw puzzle that, when completed, deliver a clear picture of a complex artist with very common human feelings. The Wil Wheaton of Dancing Barefoot is a man who has learned hard lessons in humility, insecurity, sadness and joy, often at the hands of an unforgiving public. And yet, he clearly emerges from his experiences with greater strength and a greater understanding of himself.



It is an unfortunate irony that those who would most benefit from reading this book are unlikely to do so, as they are the same ones carrying the most prejudices towards Wil. On the other hand, those who understand the simple difference between an artist and his art will discover Wil's stories are a delightful read, laced with a sentimental yet amused tone, written with both humour and dignity. Beneath all of it in quiet repose is an artist who genuinely wants to do what he was meant to do.



Dancing Barefoot isn't just a book about a famous geek seeking answers to his own questions, it's a lens with which we can all see the world of celebrity in a real light. Recommended!

Again, I am left speechless. I mean, it's amazing enough that all these people like my book. But the fact that they are people I positively worship . . . it's . . . well, sorry, mom, but I have to say it:

It Fucking ROCKS!!

May 27, 2003

WOO!!! MY BOOKS ARE HERE!!!!!11!1


Yes!!

Around 10 this morning, UPS arrived with a shipment of 366 copies of Dancing Barefoot from my printer! I nearly cried when I opened the first box, and saw "By Wil Wheaton" right on the cover.

My wife took pictures while I signed the UPS thingy, which I'm debating putting up, because I had major bed head. :-)

I am just totally overjoyed. I feel like . . . well, like a *real* writer. When Anne and I opened the first box, and I held those books in my hands, I felt light-headed and tingly all over.

"I am so proud of you," she said, "you've worked so hard on this, and here it is!"

We started packing orders right away -- but not until I gave her the promised first copy.

Packing was really fun. Here we are, with this really cool, professional website, and this big old business plan, and filing cabinets and accounting books, and pre-inked stamps and all that crap . . . sitting on the floor of our living room, in our PJs, filling orders. It was awesome.

We completed 100 before I had to leave to meet with some producers who are putting together a pilot that seems REALLY cool. The meeting went very well, and I'm excited as hell to work with them. I hope it all works out.

Here's the crazy thing: the producers, who are very professional and CLEARLY know what they're doing, contacted me because of my website! How awesome is that? They actually liked it that I am so honest and opinionated on this little chunk of 1's and 0's, and that fits right into the show they're doing. I guess we'll talk more about the pilot when I get back from Hawaii.

One last thing. I gave a copy to Ryan before I sat down to write this entry and he said, "Really? I get to have one?! COOL! I'm going to read it right now!"

He's sitting on the couch behind me, reading some of it aloud (he's in the story "Ready or not, here I come!")and he keeps telling me how much he likes it. I totally feel like I'm going to cry because I'm so happy.

And now I am off to the post office to officially send out my first 100 orders, to the first 100 people who bought my very first book.

Yay!!

Calling on in transit


I'm doing some radio interviews tomorrow morning to promote Dancing Barefoot and Monolith Press. Here's the lineup. All times are Pacific:



  1. 6:10 WZZR/West Palm Beach with Josh & Lexxus

  2. 6:20 WDCG/Raleigh with Bob & Madison

  3. 6:30 WNCI/Columbus with Dave, Shawn & Jimmy Jam

  4. 6:40 WGRF/Buffalo with Larry, Rob & Chris

  5. 6:50 WQSX/Boston with Ralphie, Karen & Freddy

If you listen, I promise to do my best not to suck.

May 22, 2003

3d6 + 2


I totally hit three successive critical successes today, on my quest for The Golden Passport.

Critical Success the first: My mom found a copy of my birth certificate at their house, so I didn't need to brave the Isle of Norwalk.

Critical Success the second: Though I was hit by someone's evil Level 8 Create Traffic on the 10 Freeway, I successfully cast Change Appointment to 12:00!

Critical Success the last: I don't know if I had cast a Charm Person on everyone there, or if I had truly walked into a lair of wonderful, kind, benevolent Government Employees . . . but every single person there was SO NICE!!! (nod to Teen Girl Squad).

I was stunned at how helpful, polite, patient, and reassuring everyone was.

The woman who processed my application was so great, I asked her if I could drop a note to someone, letting them know how kind she was, and she said -- get this -- "You don't need to do that, I'm just doing my job. I'm glad I could help you."

Can you believe it?!

And my iBook came back from Apple three days early, so I was able to pick her up today on my way home. My iBook is named "feynman," but I call it a her. Is that weird? Sort of, huh?

I picked up a blogging book at the book store to use as a reference when I put the final touches on my class for the cruise, and . . . I'm in it!! I had completely forgotten that I'd done the interview, but it's right there, and very funny, too. The book is called "Blogging: Instant Strategies for blah blah blah (if you wanna see the whole title click here.) The book is by Biz Stone, and it's not only funny . . . it's USEFUL too!

Oh, and one other really nifty thing that happened today: When I drove to my mom and dad's house to get my birth certificate, I saw a sticker on one of those diamond-shaped, reflective yellow signs that means "Don't drive here or you'll regret it."

It's our Thought For Today:

"You are a beautiful person."

When I read that, it put a huge smile on my face, filled me with joy, and I said, out loud, "Thank you, sign!"

Awesome :)

May 20, 2003

Make Yourself


On the 29th, Anne and I are leaving for ten days to take a Geek / Trek Cruise in Hawaii.

I'm going to give a workshop on keeping a weblog, talk about how to set it up and all that stuff. It should be fun.

I'm also going to do all the Star Trek cruise stuff that I've done in the past: some Trek Q&A, pose for some pictures, sign some books (!) and all that.

I've been getting excited about it for the past few weeks, because I like cruises, I like Hawaii, and this will be the first time I'm appearing at an event as "Author Wil Wheaton," instead of "That Guy Who Used To Be On TV: Wil Wheaton!"

So add up that excitement with the excitement I feel about my book, and I'm on another planet right now.

Yeah, another planet where I forgot that my passport (which I lost) has expired. This is a HUGE problem, because I need to have a passport for the cruise.

May 19, 2003

skipping stones


I just processed my 400th pre-order for Dancing Barefoot!

Coupled with the bulk orders I've taken from some indie stores, that brings the pre-sales of my first book to over 600 in less than two weeks.

And here's exciting news to all of you international reders: Monolith Press is now shipping to the entire world. Take a look at the order page for details.

And guess what?

Steve Jackson liked my book!!

May 18, 2003: Dancing Barefoot


I just finished reading a book. I hadn't intended to read the whole thing tonight . . . actually, I just wanted to make sure the PDF was good, and see how long it was, so I could decide where "Read Wil's Book" would go on The List. But when I opened the PDF . . . well, why not read a bit?

So I read a few pages, and it was a good story. Sad, but good. It was real. And I knew how he felt, not because I've had that experience . . . no doubt I will someday, but I haven't yet . . . but because this guy is a good storyteller.

So I read the next one. And the next one (which is about when he was 15, and has the Car Wars Deluxe Edition in it). And the next. And then I was in the last story, which is the long one about a SF convention. And there was no way I was going to quit reading at that point.

And then I was done. And you know something? When I started reading, I was pretty used up. It had been a long day, and not a good one. But when I finished, I felt better. (OK, I'm a geek, I'll say it: I got some hit points back.) Because this is a real guy, with a real life, and he tells good stories.

If you read wilwheaton.net, you know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you: Wil Wheaton . . . who long ago, as a kid, played a kid named Wesley on TV . . . is still acting, but he's also writing. A lot of people read his blog at wilwheaton.net. He's also written two books: the autobiographical Just A Geek, which will be out soon, and Dancing Barefoot, which is the one that made my day. It's out now. You can get it from his publishing site, Monolith Press. This is me saying you should read it. There are a lot of bad books out there. This is a good one.

-- Steve Jackson

Holy shit. Steve freakin' Jackson, man. A childhood hero, who has SIGNIFICANTLY contributed to my life, and my geekdom. This is just beyond awesome. I have to stop tearing up when I read my reviews to my wife. It's hurting my image as a bad-ass.

In an e-mail to me, he also said:

Thanks for sending me the book. I think a lot of people will like this. You done good, man.

Does it get any better than this? If it does, I can't wait to find out how. :-)

11:48 p.m.


Last night, I was sitting in bed, reading Eric Schlosser's new book Reefer Madness, (which he signed to me yesterday at the bookstore.) Anne had already turned off her light, and wrapped herself in her "sleep cocoon" -- ear plugs and an eye mask.

She turned over and rolled out of her cocoon.

"Puss?"

"What?"

"When your books get here, can I have the first one?"

"I love it that you asked me," I told her, "of course you can have it."

"Will you write something in it? Something special?"

"Something like, 'show me your tits?'" I asked.

"Dork. No. Something special."

"I would love to, honey."

"Okay."

She rolled back over, and re-cocooned.

A minute or so later, without rolling over, she said, "if there's someone else you'd like to give the first copy to, I understand. You don't have to give it to me."

"Anne, nobody has given up more for my writing than you have. I may have taken these stories out of my brain, but you helped me put them there. There have been several times in the last nine or so months when you haven't had a husband; you've had a writer. There is nobody else in the world who I'd give the first copy to."

"Okay," she said. "I was just making sure. I love you."

"I love you too. 'Nite."

I really am the luckiest guy alive.

Reefer Madness


Saturday, I took Anne and the boys to JPL for open house, where I picked up a bronze coin that commemorates the Voyager mission.

"Are you going to make it say 'V'ger'?" Anne asked, very proud of herself for throwing out a nerd reference.

"Yes. Yes I am," I said. Normally, I'd lob back some even more obscure reference, but I wasn't going to take a chance. I'm trying to encourage her inner geek, and I didn't think that going Comic Book Guy at JPL was a good way to keep on on The Path.

Speaking of going Comic Book Guy, I saw Matrix on Friday.

Now, I know that I've said several controversial things on this website in the last couple of years, and I've made many friends and enemies with those opinions . . . but I think this may end up being the most deeply devisive thing I've said in quite awhile:

I hated it.

I won't say more than that. The reviews at pvponline, K5, and comments at /. say it better than I could.

It wasn't Episode 1 bad, but still. More cool CRC32 'sploits. Less dancing that doesn't move the plot forward at all, please.

Still with me? Or are you busy firing off your e-mails? ;-)

Yesterday, I planned to go back to JPL to see the stuff I missed on Saturday (there was some sort of ruckus at the security screening area where you drive in -- lots of cops cars, and people laying on the ground. If anyone reading this knows what happened, I'd love to hear from you) before we had to leave.

On the way, I stopped at a local bookstore, so I could pick up some books that I plan to use in the blogging workshop I'm teaching on the Geek Cruise at the end of the month.

When I walked into the store, I saw a big board with the names and dates of authors who are doing signings and readings. For a brief second, I imagined that my name was there . . . and then I saw:

April 14 - 7PM - Jim McManus, author of Positively Fifth Street.

DAMMIT!

I loved that book, and I can't believe I missed a chance to meet the author. So I looked at the rest of the board, to see if anyone else was going to be there soon.

Well.

Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, and Reefer Madness was. In fact, he was going to be lecturing in about 25 minutes.

I totally kept my cool, bought my books, and went upstairs to take a seat and wait. I called my friend Mykal, who came and met me.

Eric Schlosser talked for about an hour, discussing the themes in his new book, and reflecting back on Fast Food Nation. I could have easily listened to him for another hour . . . but here's some of the stuff that really stayed in my head:

In his book he talks about how the government won't get involved in protecting migrant farm workers, many of whom work 10-12 hours a day, are homeless, and have terrible working conditions, because the government wants to let "The Free Market" dictate those conditions, even though an argument could be made that morality dictates they be protected. He pointed out that the government, since Ronald Regan (hiss), has taken a very "hands off" approach to the UFW.

He then compared this to how agressively, (and fanatically) the government has gotten involved in the War on Weed.

*I have to stop here and interject something: I don't use pot. I'm not interested in using pot. I'm not suggesting that you should, either. But I do support decriminalization.*

He pointed out how odd it is that the government fights this War on Marijuana, based almost entirely on moral grounds, and makes criminals out of people who smoke pot in the privacy of their own homes, but won't use a similar moral imperative to protect poor working families.

There was much discussion about Canada's move to decriminalize, and the overwhelming evidence in the rest of the world that shows pot to be less dangerous than alcohol or nicotine.

I asked him why he thought there was this great disconnect between the official policy of the US Government, and the scientific and medical communities -- not to mention most of the rest of the world. I asked him why he thought the government was so willfully ignorant of the scientific and medical facts, and why they were spending so much money and manpower on fighting this war, when it seems (to me, anyway) to be so counterintuitive.

He said that the people who started this War on Pot, (again, this is different from Heroin, Cocaine, or any of the Meth variants, which are truly dangerous and will probably kill you) are "True Believers."

He suggested a book to me, called "The True Believer," that was written in 1951. It's all about extreme political fanaticism . . . and boy is it relevant today -- for more reasons than you'd think.

Eric Schlosser is an amazing guy: he's smart, informed, and, most of all, genuine. Unlike Michael Moore, (who treated all of us like we just represented sales when I met him) Eric Schlosser took time to talk to each person who was there, and engaged in a very thoughtful, enlightening discussion with many of the people there. He seemed to care about our feelings, listened to what we said, and appeared to genuinely appreciate us being there.

If he's coming to a book store near you, do everything you can to hear him speak. It's well worth your time. Until then, go read his books.

May 16, 2003

st. louise is listening


Something very important just occurred to me:

If I left my house right now, I could be in Vegas by 2:30.

That's with a stop for A&W rootbeer in Baker.

Just sayin', is all.

May 15, 2003

(nice dream)


Once again it comes scrollin' back -- scroll buttons get ill like a heart attack! (with apologies to Strongbad)

A WWdN reader wrote:

: So your advice to get "The Dark at the End of the Tunnel" worked out ok, so

: try this one...

:

: Can you rank the Radiohead albums from "best" to

: "don't bother"?

:

And I wrote back:



Yes. I'll also rank my favorite song from the album:

KID A - The National Anthem & Idioteque (tie)

The Bends - Black Star

OK Computer - Paranoid Android & Airbag (tied)

Amnesiac - Knives Out

Pablo Honey - Thinking About You

This is more ranked from "Listen to it all the time" to "Listen to it not as often," because there isn't a Radiohead album I could refer to as "don't bother." I ranked OK Computer third, even though it's my favorite, because it's not very accessible the first few times you listen to it. It's one of those albums that really "grows" on you, because it's so, well, 'full' is the best word I can come up with. Kid A is first, because that's the one I use to convert^H^H^H^H^H^H introduce people to Radiohead.

I ranked Pablo Honey last, because it's thematically different from the rest of them. It's cool to listen to it, followed by The Bends, and then OK Computer (the order they were released) and watch their evolution.

Let me know what you think when you give them a listen.

Here's a page of Radiohead listings from the WWdN Library, if you're one of the 6 WWdN readers who doesn't already own all their stuff, plus the Imports. ;)

If anybody needs me today, I'll be out burninating the peasants in my brand new TROGDOR T-shirt that just arrived!

May 14, 2003

red blue yellow


Guess who got mentioned in USAToday's hip clicks?!

Holy crap!!



lit clicks

Wil Wheaton, everybody's favorite blogger/actor, has written a book. I'm all over the essay about "a few beautiful moments spent dancing in the rain."

This is so awesome. :)

i spin so ceaselessly


I kicked ass on the audition, according to the CD.



She told my manager that I was "amazing," that I had "just incredible energy when he walked into the room" and that I "'got' the character -- something we're really having trouble with."



I guess nobody who reads this character groks him, and I did. That's cool.



But I'm too young. I play late 20s and this guy is early 30s.



So no job for me . . . but a great audition, and a good impression made on a big time casting director.

A year ago, I would have been all torn up about this, but I got the news, and was like, "Oh, okay. I'm going back to work on Just A Geeknow."

I have even more exciting Dancing Barefoot news:



  • We've added all sorts of cool stuff to the Media Kit: an excerpt from the book, including a scaled-down illustration, a collection of some of the reviews, and updated banners and stuff. The Media Kit page is designed for other bloggers who want to help support my book, by linking and stuff. You can also use the downloads to convince your significant other that it's worth buying the book, or to show your local indie bookshop owner why they should stock it. :)

  • We're very close to finalizing international shipping. This has been a real pain in the ass, but I think we've worked out the best balance of cost vs. shipping time. We should have something set in digital stone by the end of the week.

  • I have gotten two more awesome reviews, and I share them now:





It goes without saying that Wil Wheaton is one of the great geek

stories of our time. But who'd have thought he could DELIVER some

more great geek stories? Well, in the pages of Dancing Barefoot, the

man behind Wesley Crusher does just that. Full of humor and humanity,

Dancing Barefoot's writing style is packed with the kind of easy,

natural, honest quality that is so in evidence on Wil's award-winning

Blog site. Touching, genuine and funny, these are true-life stories

you don't have to be a dork to enjoy. Deeply impressive, I can't wait

for his next book!

-John Kovalic

Creator, Dork Tower

Holy.

Crap.

It's like Bob Gibson telling me, "That's a hell of a fastball you've got there, kid," or Patrick Stewart saying, "That was some nice acting there, Wil."

*beam*

I also have a review from the great Kibo himself:



Wil is a great writer, and the proof is in the way he makes you smile so

easily.  Like the magic Stephen King wove in "Stand By Me", Wil has

mastered the art of being funny while being serious, and being serious

while being funny.  His memories will show you the good along with the bad,

and you'll lose track of the time as he takes you to very special places

and times, from a 15-year-old's kiss to the bridge of the Enterprise to

playing tag with his kids.  And most importantly, this book answers the

question, "Did Wesley Crusher really wear padded underwear?"

[This is a true story:]

I read this whole book on the train without even remembering that

reading on the train makes me carsick.  And you know what?  I didn't

get sick while reading Wil's book.  That's just how engrossing it was.

I got to destination and realized my butt was asleep, and said to myself,

"Wow, that was the most enjoyable train ride ever."  Wil's book put

a non-stop smile on my face all the way to the last station, and beyond.

[This one's not worth using, but I thought you'd like it:]

Who is Wil Wheaton, and why is he in this book?  I came here expecting

to read some book about space dork Wesley Crusher, and instead I got

this funny, touching book by this charming cool guy named Wil Wheaton.

I demand my money back because Wil's not the loser he's supposed to be!

"Star Trek" was a lie!

[and just a personal note:]

I was having a very tiring day today but once I started reading this book

it became a great day.  I finished reading it two hours ago and I'm

still smiling.

I honestly didn't expect this reaction. I thought a few people would pick it up, a few of them may even like it enough to suggest it to a friend.

I had no idea that I'd be increasing my first printing to keep up with the demand!

I *really* want to put together a mini-tour, where I can read and sign books. If anyone readng this knows how to pull that together, or knows someone who does, would you e-mail me about it?

Our Thought Of The Day comes from John Kovalic's e-mail .sig:

   "Soylens Viridis Homines Est"

May 13, 2003

some strange music drags me in


Ferris and Riley seem to think that the best place to play (and by play I mean wrestle, with the snarling and the barking and the jumping and the flaven) is immediately underneath my desk.

Unless I walk to the kitchen to refill my coffee. In that case, the best place to play is running tight circles around my legs. I guess there are bonus points if they knock me down.

So the big news in my life is the stunning success of Dancing Barefoot. Since Thursday, when we took the Monolith Press website live, we've had over 10,000 unique visitors, and I've taken orders for over 200 books! 200 books in four days, man! Without any real advertising beyond the Internet! How cool is that?

May 12, 2003

Top Ten


Happy Fun Pundit weighs in with the Top Ten Things I Hate About Star Trek.

I haven't laughed this hard in days. It's like a Friar's roast of Trek.

(Thanks to john for the link)

If this list makes you laugh, I know for a fact that you'll enjoy my friend Karl's band Warp 11.

May 9, 2003

Such a nice book.


It is my first effort.

I wish you would like it.

Monkey, my monkey.


If you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, they say, those monkeys will churn out something great, like Shakespeare.

If you give 50,000 monkeys at 50,000 typewriters enough time, they won't get anything done, because they'll be too busy reading WWdN!

But!

I have read at Fark, (and gotten about 600 e-mails about) what happens when you put 6 monkeys at one computer. (Hint: they put about as much effort into creating something great as the people behind "The Bachelor.")

So I watched the ABC show last night. At first, when they announced, "Coming up next . . . your favorite stars from Reality TV and CHARO!" I thought that I was totally screwed.

I mean, I'm not exactly "A" list . . . or "B" list . . . or, really, on the list at all right now.

But I can claw my way back, if I want to, you know? When I saw that . . . well, let's just say my stomach tightened and my palms began to sweat. The "has-been" voice screamed in my head, as it so often does.

When the segment came on, though, I was really pleased. I thought I photographed well (you totally have to stare to see my awesome double chin) and I thought I came off very well.

Though I wondered if "I've written a book," has become the 2000 equivlent of the 1970s "I'm in a band."

Heh.

Guess who got confirmation of his Trogdor shirt shipping today?

Oh yeah!

Have a great weekend, everybody.

May 8, 2003

'flight risk' /'flIt risk/ noun


This could be a hoax, but it's great reading regardless.

Check it out if you have several hours to kill.

And don't forget to catch me if you can, tonight on ABC's "Our Favorite Stars, Then and Now." I guess it's on at 8 p.m., but you should check your local listings to be sure.

May 7, 2003

Kiteless


I just walked in from a ping-pong match with Ryan, where he kicked my ass. If we were in prison together, he could have traded me for smokes. We play best of three, and he took the first game 21-8 and the second game 21-3. Ouch. Kid can take advantage of my really lousy backhand, I tell ya what.

Dancing Barefoot should be shipping in about two weeks.

Holy shit, man. Two weeks.

I've been going back and forth between very excited and absolutely terrified. I've discovered this interesting thing: when I work as an actor -- well, worked, I guess -- there is always a point where I just have to let the performance go, and move on. Once it's been printed, and we've moved on to a new scene, it's totally out of my hands.

It's very different as a writer. Because I can rewrite things all the time, and because I'm such a perfectionist about everything, it's very hard for me to look at something I've written, especially one of my books, and just walk away from it. I wonder if, in time, I'll develop the same detachment from my written creations as I have from my dramatic ones?

I made an e-mail announcement list for Monolith Press, so I can let readers know exactly when Dancing Barefoot is ready, what the progress of Just A Geek is, and stuff like that. If you'd like to join, go here. (Topica will try to get you to opt-in for a bunch of spam. You don't have to do that in order to get my newsletter.)

In other news, there's a Story about me and G4 in Salon today.

I'm going to plug Salon for a second:

Salon is a great online magazine, and I've been a subscriber for over a year (got 6 months of Mother Jones as part of my subscription, too!) and it's totally worth it.

If you go to read that article, you can hook up a free day pass, to check out the site, or you can subscribe.

End of plug. /mastercontrolprogram

So.

I bet there will be lots of new readers coming to the site today, because of Salon, and I thought it'd be cool to point you at some stuff I've written that I'm pretty proud of. Not that it matters, but they're all true:

And finally, a Thought For Today:

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

-Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.



EhSteve!


I just found out that I'll be on ABC tomorrow night!

They interviewed me for a program called "Our Favorite Stars, Then and Now." I guess they are doing a bit on Stand By Me, and they picked me as the guy they'd interview. We did the interview at the ACME a few weeks ago, and I talked about how none of us expected Stand By Me to be so popular, though I always felt like we were working on something special. I also talked about what it's like to be famous for previously being famous, and why I'm writing now. I think I mentioned the WWdN in there, too.

It should be interesting . . . it seems like just about every mainstream media interview I do gets edited or spun into "Wil Wheaton is a has-been," so we'll see what happens with this one. Seems like I get burned more often than not.

Speaking of getting burned, I read a wire story (warning: pop-up and cookie hell) that talked about the explosion of "celebrity weblogs." In it, he mentioned me, failed to mention that I was doing this LONG before it became a marketing tool for Big Celebrities, and portrayed me in what I think itsn't a very positve light.

Take a look:

Most celebrities combine the writing and promotional element. For example, while Star Trek: The Next Generation alum Wil Wheaton uses his blog to discuss his life and air his opinions, he also urges fans to write Star Trek convention organizers "a brief, polite, friendly letter, to tell them that you'd be willing to fork over 5 bucks to meet your old pal, TV's Wil Wheaton."

That quote, of course, is taken out of context from the Convention page.

Here's the entire quote from that page:

"Many of the convention promoters won't book a guest unless they feel that the guest will bring people into the show. It's simple economics, really. I mean, why bring out The Guy Who Was The Red Shirt in Episode 22 when the people really want to see The Guy Who Was The Red Shirt in Episode 61?

If you'd like to see me at a con, you should let the promoters know, by writing a brief, polite, friendly letter, to tell them that you'd be willing to fork over 5 bucks to meet your old pal, TVs Wil Wheaton.

It's hardly "urging," you jackass.

I wonder if this "journalist" even bothered to read this site? I wonder if he took the time to find out about my focus here: my real life, my struggles as an actor and hopes as a writer? I think it's far more likely that this person came here with an agenda, just like the idiot who slammed WWDN in Entertainment Weekly, and looked for a quote to support his pre-determined conclusion.

Of all the "celebrity" weblogs out there, I've been told that I'm the most accessible. How hard would it have been to e-mail me a question or two about this site? Would it have added to this guy's story if he'd taken fifteen minutes and asked me why I do this?

I shouldn't care, but I do. Maybe I'm over reacting.

Maybe I need to walk away from the computer for ten minutes.

Maybe I should switch to decaf.

May 6, 2003

It's just a jump to the left . . .


I was reading through some archives last night, and I came across a link to Where's My Burrito? [Mirror here](thanks Neph!)which was the very first effort I ever made at having a website.

Oh, it's horrible, in that great "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" way, and I thought I'd share it with any readers who haven't seen it before.

It's at Geoshitties, so watch for popups.

When I looked through it last night, I had this warm feeling of nostalgia. It was fun building it, and even though it's just awful, I'm still proud of my efforts. I can see glimmers of what would become WWDN (and then WWdN) sitting in there. Funtimes. Funtimes.

May 5, 2003

Jane White is On DVD!


Jane White is Sick and Twisted, a film that I am insanely proud of, is FINALLY coming out on DVD!!! It's going to be available tomorrow.

Jane White is the best thing I've done since "The Good Things," which was the only good thing (heh) I'd done in years . . . maybe decades. I'm not sure about the math, because math is hard.

And Tragic.

Oh, the tragedy of math gone wrong. I can't even talk about it.

Check out this review, to fill up the awkward silence:

Jane White is Sick & Twisted is a treat to anyone who considers themselves a "real" film buff (ie, probably NOT for everyone)! It's the kind of comedy that lets you in on the joke and winks at you from time to time. Wil Wheaton (Stand By Me) is funnier here than Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler's last few performances put together! It's great fun to spot ALL the cameos : Squiggy, Screech, Marsha Brady, the chicks from The Wonder Years, etc. Get twisted and see this movie!

Alllllll-righty then!!


May 3, 2003

Sax0phone and Chalk Piano


The tea kettle's whistle pierced the air. The dogs, who were slumbering beneath my feet, jumped up to seek the source of the sharp, shrill sound.

I pushed my chair back, and walked out of my office into my kitchen. A tiny house finch, who is building a nest in our breezeway, warbled at me through the open window.

Ryan was standing at the refrigerator, wearing his WWdN T-shirt. I love it when he wears that shirt, because he asked for it himself a couple of weeks ago.

"Wil, do you have any extra shirts?" he asked when I brought them home from todiefor.

"No, I don't," I told him, "I'm selling them as fast as I can print invoices."

"Oh," he said, and looked away. "That sucks."

He started out of the room, and stopped when he reached the doorway.

"When you get some more, can I have one?"

"You want one for yourself?" I said. Though my heart swelled, I kept my best poker face -- the one I wear when I look at pocket rockets on the button.

"Yeah. I think they're really cool. I want to wear it to school."

My 13 year-old step son, who has struggled through father-inspired loyalty conflicts as long as I've known him, wanted to wear one of my shirts. A shirt with my face on it.

"I had no idea you wanted one for yourself." I walked to the box of shirts, and pulled out a small. "Here, I'd love for you to have it."

"Really?!" His face lit up.

"Yeah. Take it." I tossed it to him.

"Thanks, Wil!"

This memory flashed through my mind, and I felt the same surge of pride and joy that I felt when he first asked; the same happiness I felt when I walked out to the breakfast table to take him to school two weeks ago and saw him wearing it.

"Can I have a cup of tea with you?" he said.

"You bet! I'd like that." I said. I turned the fire down, and went to the pantry for a tea bag.

"Cool! What are you having?"

"Tea. Earl Grey. Hot." I said, and put a tea bag into my Tux mug from thinkgeek.

I am such a nerd.

"I'll have the same," he said, wonderfully oblivious to the reference.

We sat at the table, sipped tea, and talked about girls, school, and poker.

May 2, 2003

Advertising online?


I'm planning on buying some non-obtrusive ads (like the text ads on K5) to promote my new book, Dancing Barefoot.*

I was reading the "Tip Jar As Revenue Model" story at K5 when I got the idea. I was specifically inspired by this post.

I am terrible at marketing and promotion. I hate advertising, but I know that it's the best way to let non-WWdN readers know about my book.

Has anyone used advertising online? Does it work? What are some of the pitfalls you've encountered that I can avoid?

I'll leave comments open on this thread for responses directed specifically to these questions, only. I really appreciate any help or direction you guys can give me.

*(thanks to Yoav Rogovin for pointing out my obvious gaffe in leaving out the details of the book!)