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xpmorgan
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7th-Jul-2014 11:58 pm - my new novel
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always a good idea to be crossposting:

this is a shameless act of self-promotion, as I have a new novel available as an ebook which I just released:

final cover

Juste un peu d'amour
a novel by Chris Patrick Morgan
Everyone calls him Z. Z is a mess. His girlfriend breaks up with him, but then she won't leave him alone. He works for a failing San Francisco startup, he hates his job, but finds it physically impossible to quit. Unable to resist the charms of his beautiful co-worker Mallory, Z takes up her task of writing a proposal for a joint venture with a French conglomerate which could save the company from bankruptcy – assuming he sobers up long enough to write it, navigates the sea of office politics and remembers how to speak French. All that he really wants, however, is a getaway: maybe a couple of weeks of vacation near Santa Barbara, or maybe a longer, more distant journey deep into the South Pacific. 'Juste un peu d'amour' tells the story of the son of first-generation immigrants who comes to discover that hard work and perseverance get you nowhere in America, but with good timing, a little luck, good looks and a bit of talent, you just might find you have it all – but when it happens, be sure you know what to do with it.

this is currently available from the publisher here:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/453949

only $6.99! what a deal! it comes in all sorts of ebook formats (epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt). you can also read a good-sized sample (something like 20% of the book) for free and see if you like it.

it is currently available on iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/juste-un-peu-damour/id895981347?mt=11

it will also be available via Amazon, B&N, Kobo and other online book retailers here soon.

i also have some versions of this for sale myself, as a 8.5" x 11" PDF, or also a 5.5" x 8.5" PDF (which fits 2 to a page if people want to print it out – save paper and all). those also $6.99 and you can buy it from me directly through paypal. i will make that available in the near future. and, at some point later this year, my plan is to print up some hardback versions of this through print on demand. there will also soon be a soundtrack for the book available – yes, that's right, it comes with a soundtrack, a whole bunch of African music I've been collecting. anyway, if you're interested in any of this stuff, email me either at this address, xpmorgan@gmail.com, or at my other address, inplaylose@gmail.com.

thanks for reading all of this, and thanks in advance if you decide to buy the novel. honestly, writing this novel is about the most rewarding thing i have ever done. i hope you find it as fun to read as i did to write.
24th-Feb-2014 01:19 pm - covering the bases
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just a reminder to any wayward cyberreaders of mine that i write all about failure, and in overlong detail, at my other blog, IN PLAY LOSE.
i got some good stuff over there right now. when it comes to writing about failure in the context of the Olympics, you definitely draw some good tiles.

also, i am hoping the new novel, which is entitled Juste un peu d'amour, will be done here at the end of March. i was hoping for sooner but real life got in the way. i am going to ebook it, and it will be available from the publisher of my 2003 novel, A Beautiful Cup, which is available here.

peace and lose,
xp
13th-Apr-2013 02:46 pm - so much lose, so little time
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i know that captaino and a couple others have asked that i cross-post here from time to time, to remind folks that you should check out my other blog, IN PLAY LOSE, which is an exploration of all things related to failure. i seem to have far more ideas on the subject then i have available time to write those ideas down. so much lose, so little time. (i also attempt using actual English on that blog, and not my pidgin lowercase scribble i use for everything else online.)

i should also mention that i am amenable to guest submissions to IN PLAY LOSE, so feel free to float me a topic/potential post if you feel like writing something up. you do can discover the joy and relief of the personal exorcism that comes from blogging about losing.
8th-Jan-2013 12:57 am - in play lose
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http://inplaylose.blogspot.com/

my new blog and other blog, which i am choosing to focus on here in the new year. it is a blog dedicated to the exploration and explication of losing – in games, in sports, but also in a whole lot of other areas of life.

come on over and read, feel free to comment. i'm open to suggestions on topics, and not averse to publishing other people's essays, articles, etc. on the subject if they have something unique to add.

it will also be a blog in which i use proper english. i dont always write like this, even tho there are times that i think i should.
15th-Aug-2012 07:55 pm - 2 things about nationals from afar
tiles
1. the website kept going down. for the second year in a row. unacceptable. either fix it for next year, or find someone else who will. i am sick of excuses as to why this happens.

2. John Williams needs to stop talking.

(note: i am not commenting on the Suhas Rao incident, since i am on the AB and will probably have to deal with it soon enough. i will not make any comments until i hear all the facts.)
8th-Jul-2012 11:19 pm - CAL 64.5, PAC-NW 63.5
tiles
this match was SO CLOSE that every game truly mattered, including the 16th round matchup between two guys who were a combined 10-19-1. Mike Baker and i are good friends and we both had varying degrees of terrible this weekend over the board, and we knew it was close but had no idea how close when we started, but we both knew it was important and, even when being our usual amicable and jovial selves, you could just feel the intensity ratcheting up as the game got going.

i was just trying to play for the team today, as my Saturday was a wreck. my games just deteriorated as the day went on, and i was 3-7 after Chris Williams' miracle (HA)LiTOSES outbingo against me. that was one of the most discouraging losses i've ever had. i made a point of playing cards for about 3 hours with Dave, Rafi and Noah to bring back my good humour. but i was so angry after that game that i gave myself a migraine.

and the migraine didnt go away. i woke up with it at 6:30am today, and i felt SO BAD that i thought i was going to have to call Conrad and drop out and call Leesa to have her sub for me. i took about an hourlong shower and heavily caffeinated myself, and decided i was going to tough it out, play for the team and win some games here and there and try to do the best i can.

and the tile gods gaveth back after the taketh away of the (HA)lITOSES game. i was down to Nigel but then pulled AGNIZES for 122 to win, which seemed fortunate enough, but then the real miracle occurred in our second game, as he was pummelling me 352:214 and i had an unplayable RESIDUA, so i played DUI for 12 lame pts. and placed three more tiles facedown on the table, Conrad said to me "you can do it xp," as he walked by and i said "i am getting killed here," and Nigel plays ZOEAE H12 for 52 and now i'm down 404:226, and i turn over my 3 tiles ... E ... L ... I ... and my thoughts go like this: "O, hey i have REALISE and it plays. O, wait, he just gave me REALI(Z)ES for 101 ... O ... wait ... holy shit ..."

but even after SLEA(Z)IER 3x3 for 203 i still had to play a good endgame and have Nigel pick the Q last tile out of the bag in order to win 496:489. it was unbelievable and, while i was delighted to win, i did feel bad for Nigel, because it was so stupid damn lucky of me and i really didnt feel like i deserved that win. deserved either of those wins, to be honest. but then i bumbled a potentially winnable game vs. Dave away after that, and then had the worst 2 game stretch i've ever had in tournament scrabble – putting up a 262 and a 251, yeech – and so it was Round 16 and i'm 5-10 and i really shouldnt give a damn and ordinarily would just play out the string. in fact, i texted KC at that point and said i felt like Quitting scrabble more than ever before after those awful 3 consecutive losses. but then i thought i should play this final game like its my last one and make it memorable, because instead of just playing out the string, there was still something to play for.

and so i did make it memorable, and dug myself out of an early hole (continuing an annoying trend of late of falling way behind early in games), getting the lead with a TONEMes bingo late and playing another good endgame (an encouraging trend of late), and winning 427:400. we were up 60.5-59.5 going into the last round and we split 4-4, thus winning the match by 1.

scrabble is hard. this was probably the toughest, most intense tournament i've ever played in. i wound up 6-10 but it was a good 6-10 in that i played some much better games against people who are really fucking good and felt like i was improving for the first time in months. because i am always going to be a streaky player, thats just sort of the way that i am as a person and it carries over to the game, but i've felt the past 3-4 months like it isnt a cold spell but that my game has deteriorated. i havent been able to play much, havent been able to study due to some computer issues, havent felt sharp at all. i've felt like the only way i can win games is thru being lucky. and whatever progress was made at the beginning of the year just got completely lost amid this regression. so feeling like i am improving again was satisfying, in the end, even if i lost 20 rating pts. and wound up 6-10. whatever.

a great event. i hope we can do it again next year. it was exhausting but also great fun, very collegial and good-spirited. and now i'm completely gassed.
6th-Jul-2012 08:03 am - CALPAC
tiles
for this tourney, i am relying on several time tested strategies of mine, in lieu of any actual good play:

1) draw all the good tiles
2) pretend this is matchplay
3) help throw a great party

if #3 is accomplished, then its a successful weekend. in the end, i would rather be regarded as one of scrabble's greatest hosts more than anything else. that has more meaning to me than wins and losses.

(someone please remind of this if/when i suck at the game.)
15th-Jun-2012 07:10 pm - my own personal Belgium, vol. 282
clown college
i am riding home on the Caltrain, switching to BART in Millbrae. there are a couple of exuberant guys dressed all in Giants garb on the train. and when i say exuberant, i mean drunk off their asses. and they are taking full advantage of rules permitting you to BYOB it on the Caltrain.

and they stumble along behind me as i make the transfer to the BART, but they have no fucking idea how the system works, and they ask me repeatedly how to get to the Oakland Mausoleum Coliseum. and so i tell them over and over and over again, and eventually they get the drift about where to change trains.

they ask if i am going to the Giants game tonight, since i have my trademark black SF cap on, and my Giants jacket as well. i shake my head somewhat confusedly. they try to implore me to come along with them to the game, and a woman in the seat next to me, also confused, asks who the Giants are playing and one of the drunks says "the A's!"

they give a well-slurred "Go Giants!!!!!!!!" call my direction as they detrain and the woman turns to me and says, "arent the Giants playing in Seattle tonight?"

"yeah, the A's series is next weekend," i say. "but i was too amused by them to tell them that."
4th-Jun-2012 09:47 pm - my own Personal Belgium, vol. 264
clown college
i periodically nominate persons i see on the st. as King/Queen for a day of my own personal Belgium (which is a far more efficient method of governance than they have in the real Belgium, as the worlds most successful failed state just went 1½ years without a government.) and yesterday, there were two women vying for the position of Queen – as i was approaching the 16th & Mission BART station, i came upon two crazy women screaming at each other, being separated by police. they were having the sort of nonsensical, hysterical, babbling argument over minutiae that junkies seem to have, but what made them worthy of Queendom for a day was the fact that they were both wearing tiaras.

i couldnt decide at the time which one got the honour. i was in a hurry, i had a tourney to goto and play terrible in ...

so come today, i am standing on the corner of Castro & 18th st., waiting for the 24 Divis bus. there are a trio of nudists standing kitty korner across the st., and i am waiting at the stop with a church school group. it speaks to how long i have lived in S.F. that the school group looks more out of place. there are like 13-15 of them, altogether, all H.S. age + 2 chaperones, and they give off the telltale signs of visiting church school groups, in that they all have matching green shirts with uplifting slogans on them, they all have perfect teeth and “oh golly shucks” sensibilities, and the kids all stare across the st. at the nudists, wildly amused, while the aghast adults try to distract them somehow.

anyway, they get on the 24 Divis and one of them sits next to me, a 17ish girl with brown hair. the others all stand and the chaperones are right there near me, standing in the aisle with a folded out map in their hands, which they turn about in an attempt to make sense of where theyre going.

“OK kids,” Mr. Chaperone says. “we stay on this bus until we get to Ellsworth & Cortland.”

“um,” i pipe up as we cross Market St. “thats the other way.”

“excuse me?” he says to me and then looks at his map, shakes his head. “no, this is right.”

O, so the tourist is going to tell the local which way is correct? excuse me?

“its back the other way,” i say to him, “you want the 24 heading southbound.”

the girl beside me rolls her eyes as the chaperones consult.

“OK kids, off at the next stop!”

grumble grumble grumple adults are useless grumble grumble ...

so we stop at 14th St. and they all get off the bus – all except for the girl who is sitting beside me, who just watches them all depart. as the bus doors close, they realize they dont have everyone, of course, and start waving frenzily towards the driver who zones out and ignores them.

“they are SO BORING,” she says to me, rolling her eyes again and shaking her head. her iPhone then rings and she silences the call.

“so," she says, her afternoon suddenly free and clear, "is there anything cool up this direction?”

i point her to a record store on Divis and she hops out to go check it out. yes, she ditched her school group! she is my hero for the day. i hereby declare her Queen for a Day.
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