I caught him with his hands in the still…

(the reason the moonshiner gave for firing his assistant) I was reading HEART COUNTRY, Kerry McGinnis’s second autobiographical book about droving and building a station (a ranch) in Northern Queensland. Now, it’s hard country, hard people… and oddly a high level of tolerance for differences and incompetence. Because you had to. That’s it. There is... Continue Reading →

Bestsellers, and writing to market

Kris Rusch put out another excellent article on the business of writing Thursday. Cedar had some lovely commentary on it's explanation of the market vs. the marketplace yesterday, which I encourage you to read along with the original article. But when you, oh, indie authors read it, I want you to keep in mind the... Continue Reading →

Writer, Market, Reader

What makes a writer? it seems obvious that a writer is someone who writes. Which would then follow that a professional writer is someone who is paid to write? But, oh, what is a real writer? Now there we get into the area some people want to draw lines. Or in other words, the battle... Continue Reading →

A Leftover Post

This post was originally published at the Otherwhere Gazette earlier this year. In the spirit of Thanksgiving leftovers, I think you all might enjoy a bit of history. if you're looking for reading material in between naps to aid your digestion of yesterday's feast, you might check out this space opera series, or this sweet... Continue Reading →

Of the Making of Traditions

Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, Food and Sleep Day... Most Americans will spend most of today in some variant of a ritual that's not quite 400 years old and still evolving: the turkey and the idea of the feast of thanks are probably the only constants. That the day echoes English harvest festivals from the 16th century... Continue Reading →

Threading The Needle

Theme, plot and meaning in your work. Yes, I know, I know.  You're out there going "but aren't we all about the story and not the message." Yeah, of course we are.  If by message you mean the clumsy, stupid, predictable message you find in message fiction. Full disclosure: I was an awful kid who... Continue Reading →


One early morning during my undergraduate days, I walked into a Russian History class to find TANSTAAFL written on the board. Our professor stood in one corner of the class, watching as we staggered and lurched to our chairs and prepared for the lecture. As the other students looked at what he'd written on the board,... Continue Reading →

Brussel sprouts

  I really don’t like Brussel sprouts. I don’t like the taste. I don’t like the effect on my gastro-intestinal tract. And nobody – including me -- likes the devastating farts I produce after eating them. There are worse things, of course. As a child I had the most wonderful black Labrador, who -- besides... Continue Reading →

Five thoughts, loosely connected

First thought: the candle flame of the Enlightenment continues to flicker, as the West is being squeezed between the radicalized forces of the Honor Culture (Islamist jihadists) on one side, and the radicalized forces of the Victim Culture (Mizzou's and Yale's crybullies) on the other side. Guess who is stuck in the middle? Us. The... Continue Reading →

Bow Wow Meow?

Just a few moments ago I rolled over, looked out the bedroom window, and thought "the sky is aflame... wait, I couldn't write that because it could be taken in other ways than the sky was lit up by the sunrise in brilliant pinks and oranges holy crap I have to do Mad Genius." I... Continue Reading →

Up ↑