Spawn of Mars
Don't worry. If you like your religion, you can keep your religion.
Yet Another Blog Hiatus Ends
Too Much Time Spent Being a Space Ninja
Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:18 pm
Well, well. I haven't posted in eight months. Story of my blog-life.

The latest fiction writing I've done was leading up to April 15th, the deadline for submitting to the Luna Anthology from Superversive Press. I had previously submitted to the Pluto Anthology — and wonderful news! My Pluto story was accepted. However, there has been no final word on my Luna story. It's great, so of course it will be accepted; but still. There has also been no follow-up on my Pluto story (for editing and such). It seems Superversive Press is a little behind. The months are passing away. I hope both anthologies — both with my stories — still come out this year.

Otherwise I've been dithering. Mostly I've been obsessing over Warframe, a video game about being a space ninja. I've never been quite so much the fanboi. I've even started watching Twitch streams for Warframe, something I've done for no other game. Warframe is great.

Whatever my obsession, I could still have done some writing. In some ways I just can't decide what to do. A new Hamlin Becker tale for StoryHack? A submission for the Sol Anthology? Some chapters for my poor neglected novel? But in most ways I've just been disinclined to write. I do grant that a writer should never wait around for inspiration, but of late "uninspired" doesn't half cover my unproductivity.

I'm hoping a few blog posts will grease my gears.
Not Quite Decking the Halls
But a Very Pleasant Array
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 12:12 pm
In years past, my curmudgeonly sadness was such that I refused to decorate my home for Christmas. In recent years, however, this year included, I have been quite in the spirit. And much as this is not really a personal blog, I'd still like to share my usual Christmas decor. 

My home is rather spartan; my decor likewise. Here is my mantle. You can see some figurines, a stocking, and some Christmas postcards. The postcards are real and actually mailed, but are not from my own family history. I bought them in an antique shop. They are evocative. The newest is dated 1925; the oldest 1913.

This figurine I also bought in an antique shop. It is pretty and offers a lovely flavor of the early 1960s.*

These figurines are antique, too, and also from the 1960s, but are from my family.

This manger was built by my dad for me, I think before 2005. Isn't it great? And my mother bought me the figurines, one or two a year, slowly fleshing out the crowd around Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. (You can't quite see it, but the place for Jesus is empty. I don't put him out until Christmas Eve.)

Here is my tree. A proper bachelor's tree; a gift from my mother. I've had to restring the lights once. The original lights died.

The angel at the top I inherited after my dad died and my mother faded. My mother bought it for their first Christmas as man and wife, in 1962. It cost $1.25. That was apparently a lot in 1962, especially since my parents, middle class or not, were poor at the time. This angel was at the top of every one of my family's Christmas trees. Here it is in 2017. It is truly an article of family history.



* Later it seemed to me that the figurine might be a tad older than the 1960s. The polka-dot outfit, the feet that aren't feet, and just the general look more evoked the 1950s.


Well, I inspected it, and saw that its bottom was marked JAPAN. So it was made in Japan. Now, from my slight forays into the antique world, I knew that during the occupation of Japan by America after WWII, exports had to be marked OCCUPIED JAPAN. I knew that the Occupation ended in the early 1950s — 1952, as I recently confirmed. So this figurine, which lacks the mandated OCCUPIED, is at least post-1952, and the 1950s saw a lot of figurines exported from Japan.

So, "late 1950s" might be the better guess for this pretty little elf. You know: back before everything got ugly.

Sample the Revolution
And Give My Story a Read
Monday, October 30, 2017 8:40 am
Back in August, the folks at PulpRev put out a call for stories. They wanted stories no longer than fifteen hundred words, and we aspirants were given one week to submit. Obviously, had I a suitable story lying around, I could have simply polished it a bit and leisurely submitted it; but I entered the spirit of the call and wrote a fresh tale.

I took a very old, tiny idea that had never become the novel I imagined — "A king on the run refuses to abdicate" — and combined that with a little pulpy weirdness, and created The King's Portion.

You can get the sampler by buying it directly for all of 99 cents at Amazon or by signing up for the PulpRev mailing list (details here).

Go, now! Become enjoyified!

P.S. As with StoryHack, it was nice working with the PulpRev folks. If nothing else, the Pulp Revolution does not treat little-known authors with disdain!
StoryHack #1 Is Out
Read My Story in It!
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 9:45 am
StoryHack is the magazine that accepted my story this past summer. Bryce Beattie, the editor, was a refreshingly responsive and professional contact. He did a fine job editing me, too, making things better without undoing my voice. (Cirsova rejected the same story, but its editor P. Alexander was another wonderfully responsive contact.)

Anyhow, StoryHack #1 is out. Buy it on Amazon (to give the publisher money). Review it on Amazon (to increase its rank). Read my story Some Things Missing From Her Profile and be amazed by my superlativiosity. Go, now!

P.S. It's awesome to be in the inaugural issue. Yes, there was a proof-of-concept issue #0, but being in #1 feels nice.
Wait.  I Have a Blog?
The Days Do Pass
Thursday, July 6, 2017 10:37 am
So I spent May and a little of early June writing two stories for two magazines, each of which would be reading submissions in June. This blog, which has always been neglected, was thus especially neglected. My daily portion of words went into the fiction.

So I submitted the stories. Both were rejected.

One came close to acceptance and for that I'm grateful. Both magazines were outstanding in their responsiveness. They acknowledged receipt of my stories, kept me posted, and rejected me in a timely fashion. Now, that's not snark. I have spent my life waiting and waiting and waiting for magazines and publishers to get back with me. You put a work on hold while you wait. And it's months and months and months and finally you have to nag... But not this time. It was damn nice to be treated with courtesy.

While I was waiting I did some reading and vidya and a fair amount of real life. I hope to create a better balance and keep this blog alive, somehow. I actually have a couple of ideas for posts, one about the Wizard of Oz and one about Warhammer 40K.

See you in a bit.
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