Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
So, this time of year people post what stories and fictions they wrote that are eligible for awards this year. I believe there are only two from me, this year, currently eligible.
My short story "Paul and his Son" was in Asimov's April/May 2015 edition.
My short story "Everything is Haunted" was in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet June 2015.
It's been a crowded year in short fiction, with lots of great stories, so I doubt this is more than just a tallying for my own, personal records, but...
There it is, for those who are interested.
I expect to have a more exciting year ahead, beginning with a short story called "Farmers" in the January/February issue of Analog Magazine!
Friday, October 16, 2015
So, there's this infamous organization out of Maryland, that for years caused a lot of pain and suffering in the world of books. I'll refrain from mentioning them directly, because I know they're suing people. Anyway, whether you love them or hate them, I know that lots of people are critical of the organization's business practices, and I certainly don't feel any love for their business models in the past. I don't know what they're doing these days, but the random e-mail I got left a pretty bad taste in my eyeballs.
I discovered that a very well known operation out of Maryland have actually changed their name into something new, and seem to be sending out lots of e-mails into the world offering to do free promotion at library bookseller events. Personally, free promotion sounds too good to be true. What is in it for the promoter? I suspect that this now renamed organization is trying to build a list of potential clients to milk for promotions that actually cost something. And, since it is coming from a fairly notorious organization, I can't imagine their promotional activities will be any more effective than the soulless and clueless form letter that seems to be populating itself across the many comment sections and e-mail inboxes of the world of independent publishing. This operation does not have a reputation for effective promotion. Free promotion, done poorly, is worse than no promotion at all. It would attach one's name and reputation to that organization.
So, let's review: 1) Is it too good to be true? 2) Why is it free? 3) Does the address or name of anyone or anyplace involved smell fishy, for instance, like the same area that a notorious operation has their roots and lawsuits?
Maryland is an interesting place in the recent history of potentially exploitive, generally widely unliked publishing operations. I am immediately suspicious of anything out of Maryland, period.
I'm certain there are some people who are happy with this organization, and I'm happy for you if you are. But, wow, I don't see how what I saw meets anyone's professional needs, and you will not be able to convince me to change my mind on that.
Check everything that you aren't 100% certain about over at the forums of AbsoluteWrite.com, with Victoria Strauss of WriterBeware, and any number of watchdog groups. People who sue watchdog groups seem to misunderstand how to have a good reputation with watchdog groups: Be fair and just and non-exploitive in such a manner that people can find no fault in what you do.
It's much easier to do that than lawsuits.
Consider yourself warned.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Fancy Tea and Fantasy Authors
Join award-winning and critically-acclaimed fantasy authors Martha Wells, Stina Leicht, Amanda Downum, Patrice Sarath, and J. M. McDermott at the Twig Book Shop on November 7th, for a lovely, little gathering with tea for drinking, and books for signing. Fancy dress encouraged, but not required.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
O axacan Green crossed with all sorts of things in the garden was harvested and allowed to dry out. Shucked, plucked, milled by hand, and turned into a rustic cornbread, i have frozen all that is left for future stews and bean chilis. Doing things the hard way is actually quite rewarding and fun.
Friday, August 7, 2015
Monday, June 29, 2015
On July 1st, and for two weeks, STRAGGLETAGGLE, my latest novel, will only be $0.99 with the lovely people at WeightlessBooks.
At just $0.99, this will be a huge steal, less than a lottery ticket for something that will entertain you far longer than a lottery ticket will, without the horrible letdown when you don't win at the end, because you'll have read a book, and reading books is never a let down.
On July 1st, then, there will be a price drop at Weightless Books. Go there, and purchase a book.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
K iowa blackberries are delicious. In year 3, we got 4 pints, easily, off a single bush. Huge, delicious berries. With the rain and overcast weather, not as good as last year, but still very good, and HUGE!
Planted with a Natchez thornless, the birds went after the smaller fruiting, thornless one, which was fine by us because the fruit quality on the Natchez was inferior.
We also managed to propagate both into new bushes by bending down a good cane and burying it in the raised bed beside the first bush. So, expect more blackberries next year!
Kiowa blackberries are amazing and you should totally plant one in the fall!