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Why you shouldn’t read reviews

“I feel my very existence threatened,” the Sila said.

Mr. M. cast a sardonic eye on the space she claimed to occupy. “How is that new? You’re only a shadow of smokeless flame anyway.”

“I can manifest myself to mortals,” she snapped, rapidly flashing into view as a beautiful almost-human woman, a serpent with flames flickering along its scales, and a cloud of blue smoke. “And at least I’m not limited to one form. Don’t you ever get tired of slithering around as a metal snake attached to an ugly turtle head?”

“They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground, They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound,” Mr. M. quoted, loftily ignoring the insult.

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Blast From the Past: The Inadequacy of Silence

The latest round of de-personing and disinviting (yes, the same one I posted about a couple of weeks back) suggests that it would be a good idea to hammer the topic a bit more.

With that in mind, a blast from the past that covered something of the same ilk – although in that case, the injured party had the resources to turn the whole mess to his favor. Whether that will be the case for the most recent injured party is yet to be seen.

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Fiction Marches On

I read a lot of historical fiction. I’m sure that’s no surprise to most of the people on this blog. I also read older fiction, because a lot of the stuff published in the last few decades doesn’t grab me, especially stories in modern settings.

A trip through my library leads to a lot of weird trains of thought that jump back and forth in time. You see, the meaning of ‘contemporary novel’ changes over time, and what was a modern setting fifty years ago looks incredibly dated to us. How many mysteries have you read where the mystery could have been immediately solved by a quick Bing search or cell phone call?
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Circles of Writing

So today I’m going to talk to you about the circles of writing, which is not the same, mind you, as writing in circles.  And you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little strange, but I’ve been fighting the crud older son brought home and am probably a little feverish.

This is btw, not about other writers in your circle.  You should have those.  You should have as many as possible (got to catch them all!) because you know, you never know when you’ll need help with a promotion.  One of the big advantages of indie is that you’re not competing with other authors (really, just because they bought a book from Bob, doesn’t mean they won’t buy one from Mary.  Read more

Noob Notes

It’s Tuesday afternoon, again (it’s not: I’m writing this to you from far in the distant past. Like, last Wednesday, or something. Maybe Thursday. Maybe both: hard to say) which means I ramble, and you all look askance at me.
It’s the little rituals that bring stability to life, y’know?
Today, our shared journey looks an awful lot like a blank page.

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Get real

I woke up this morning not having clue one about today’s post. I’ve been neck deep in rewrites as well as doing an editorial job for a new author who is totally AWESOME. Add in my own work hijacking me yesterday and the day before into a different project and, well, MGC fell down the proverbial rabbit hole. As I searched for a topic, I came across a thread where an author was talking about their new strategy for success and, well, al I could do was shake my head.

For anyone out there thinking about writing, the first rule you have to understand is that writing is a business. As with any business, you have to do your homework. You need to know what your various distribution paths are and the requirements for them. You need to know your audience. You need to be able to supply a product that is not just good enough but that is unique in its own way. You also have to be aware of the rules for your distribution outlets because, if you fail to follow those rules, you can find yourself tossed out of that distribution arm and figuratively, if not literally, standing out in the cold. Read more

Fragility and how people react to breaking…

Fragility…

No I was not talking about my head the morning after. (I used to have a T-shirt as a young climber that said ‘Does the noise in my head bother you?’ just for Saturday mornings.) or about the delicate tissue-fragile feelings of snowflakes, sent hurtling for their ‘safe space’ and their blanky and the play-do by the possibility of a pico*-aggression.

I was talking of our society and our civilization.

Now, as Somalia, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and North Korea illustrate, societies continue to exist and function – in a fashion – WAY below what most westerners would consider ‘survivable’. The gap between a pretty comfortable society to live in, to one where people die of starvation but the state still exists some form of society continues is HUGE. Humans (at least as a species, rather than individuals) are amazingly tough and adaptable. Even the cockroaches are impressed. Read more

What Do You Need to Write?

No, not “What works will bring you instant fortune, more money than your CPA knows what to do with, and undying fame?” but “What conditions and tools do you need in order to produce words?

I was hunting around in growing concern (OK, quasi panic) because I couldn’t find the box with my extra note pads in it! I absolutely have to have the nice notepads with the special margins and headers on them, in white, lined, 8.5 X 11 inches, two-sided. Where was the box? Did I have any more half-used pads with a few pages left? What about my nice pens?!? Read more

Trial by mob, the SJZ preference

I won’t devote too much time to rehashing this past week’s slanderous sabotaging of Larry Correia (at Origins) which bore an eerie similarity to the slanderous sabotaging of John Ringo (at ConCarolinas.) In each instance, it was a political hit job. And in each instance, there was no proof offered to substantiate the lies which preceded both Larry’s and John’s disinviting.

I find this timing rather remarkable, only because I am presently on TDY to Washington State for the purpose of serving on a separation board. Now, for those not familiar with the term, a separation board is a military legal proceeding in which officers will review cases to determine if the cited servicemember has in fact done something egregious enough to warrant discharge — and if so, what the nature of that discharge will be. Not every discharge is honorable, and there is more than one kind of general discharge, above dishonorable. So, it’s the board’s job to determine if the preponderance of evidence supports the recommendation of the offending soldier’s chain of command.

Preponderance of evidence . . .

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Guest Post: Origins Disgrace

This is a guest post by George Phillies, an author, gamer, and, well, you’ll see… You can find more about George’s work here, and he is the president of N3F, where you can subscribe for free fanzines that are delightfully focused only on the fantasy, fun, and frolics of fandom, leaving out the politics. You can also sign up there for a paid membership, which will support “The N3F began in April 1941, when all types of imaginative literature – including science fiction – were called fantasy. We’re one of the oldest science fiction and fantasy fan clubs still operating. In all the time since then, the N3F has undergone almost every combination of success and failure imaginable. At different times our membership has been in the hundreds, and other times under 10. It has produced some of Fandom’s most memorable fanzines and some of the worst crudzines. Its ranks hold professional writers as well as neofans (if you have to ask what a neofan is, you are one).” George didn’t ask me to include this bit, but I am, because given what we’re seeing with Origins and other cons recently, having somewhere you can hang out without first having to show how ‘woke’ you are is refreshing, and I for one am happy knowing that not every fan group out there is like the one that is in charge of Origins.  Read more