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Live! From LibertyCon

As I write this, I’m sitting out front of the hotel, listening to conversations on either side of me. At LibertyCon, this is hardly unusual. Now, that I’m doing this at half-past seven on Saturday morning… this con doesn’t sleep. Seems like when we came back to the room at midnight, there were still a lot of people actually on panels and chatting and playing games, and… Read more

Fifth Friday!


And for your Reading Pleasure . . .





From Peter Grant:…/dp/B07D1S38RJ/ 





And new from Dorothy Grant:








And a FREE BOOK!!! from Cedar Sanderson:…/dp/B01JD1PGB4








And also Free, a Space Opera from Pam Uphoff:


Tripping over the tropes

After doing the usual minuet to get An Annoyance of Grackles live on Kindle and almost-there on Createspace, I’ve taken a couple of days off to be shamelessly frivolous. I indulged in Dorothy Grant’s new book, Shattered after Midnight – there’s a review here – and watched a DVD I’ve been hoarding of the operetta Countess Maritza all the way through, sung in German with English subtitles. I was sort of familiar with the operetta — a CD of highlights is among the music I like to listen to while writing the Applied Topology series, light and frothy —  but I’ve never been able to follow the plot summaries in English.

Now I know why. The thing is as close as you can get to being entirely plot-free. It was like being served something covered with whipped cream for dessert, plunging your fork into the whipped cream and diving down to reach… more whipped cream. I got the feeling that the librettists couldn’t bear to let their characters suffer; no sooner would a problem be revealed than a new deus ex machina would come onstage to fix it.

And the most annoying non-plot bit concerned Baron Kálmán Zsupán.  Read more

Of Flies and Honey

When someone is dying, they will often have a last burst of rather feverish energy before the end: a short time when they feel a bit better and do a bit more than perhaps they should before succumbing to the inevitable. I’ve wondered sometimes if this not-quite-death-throes is the last attempt to fight for life before accepting that the fight has already been lost.

Funnily enough, dying ideologies and nations have been known to do the same thing, albeit causing immensely more damage along the way. To misappropriate a cliché, the whole “darkest before dawn” thing seems to be involved somewhere – although the matter of for whom things are darkest and who gets to experience the dawn could be argued. A lot.

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Momentum, or, A Thinly Disguised Promo Post

So, I finished a short story last week and put it up on Amazon yesterday. Should be a cause for celebration, right? Well, yes, but not the way you might think. You see, this short is one of four completed-but-not-edited manuscripts that I’ve been sitting on for an unconscionably long time.
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The Physical

Tomorrow morning we leave for Liberty Con at dark O’six, and I’m going through my usual oscillation: happy to go and see my friends, looking forward to meeting my fans again, dreading the travel and terrified of having to be with that many people for days — DAYS I tell you! — and away from my familiar office and books and routine. Read more

By My Fingernails

I have a confession to make: I don’t know what’s going on in the world. Not just the world of publishing (not many actually do, to be honest), but the wider world. Mrs. Dave returned to us this past weekend, so life has been jumbled. She’ll be home for a (measly) couple weeks, and then depart again. Uncle Sam says go, and she does.

What that means, however, is routines are borked. Habits are skittering around. Sleep is … elusive. Not because I’m sharing a bed, again – pervs – but because Mrs. Dave has to be awake well before I’ve been getting up while she was on the other side of the globe. And she’s still adjusting to the many-time-zones of difference between There and Here. So I’m a little foggy. And it’s been affecting my lifting, which also makes me grouchy.
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On going indie and an announcement

When I sat down in the much too early hours of the morning to write this post, I found myself at a loss. My brain is fried and the ability to come up with something new seemed beyond me. So, as I will often do when I’m unsure what to blog about, I started checking out a few writing-related sites to see what they had to say. Nothing really jumped out at me until I started scrolling through The Passive Voice. One article in particular caught my eye. I’m not going to actually discuss the article, so I’m not linking to it. However, the idea behind the article did set me to thinking — something that might be dangerous since I’m pre-coffee. Read more

What is it worth?

The answer ‘whatever someone will pay for it’ is as true for liberty or access to a toilet or price of books.

The former many people have paid everything they had for. It was that priceless to them. It’s the latter I’m writing about however, and the answer is ‘not much’ a lot of the time.

That’s a depressing answer, when you’ve put months or years into writing a book.

Look –it’s one of those variable answers depending who the answer comes from, and just who wrote the book – and how keen they are to get their hands on it. But the answer – compared to the rate pay per hour for your labor – must be well under South East Asian Sweat shop rates. And the skills required are possibly higher. (I’ll go with possibly). Read more

Thoughts from the Road and a Sales Follow-up

So, I dragged my tired and relaxed self home recently from an extended road and air trip. This is a bit of a ramble, so please bear with me. I’m still brain tired from functioning in multiple languages and time periods for three weeks or so.

How did having four books launch within four weeks work out? Better than anticipated, in fact, April and May were the two best months I’ve had since before the Great Splat of 2015, and June sales are still doing well. Three of the books (In Sheltering Talons, Strangely Familiar, Staré) had the usual sales pattern of a slow first day or so, then a rapid spike and a rapid tail, although the tails have not dropped as low as I usually expect. Read more