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I don’t know if life is dropping on anybody else like the proverbial measure of squarish building things, but it is me. Mom and Pop Dave had a great visit. Caer Dave is sparkling (ish), Dave wrote (a bunch: short story and several space opera chapters), much goodness was accomplished, and Wee and Wee-er Dave had ALL. THE. FUN.

Which is part of the problem. They are now having less fun, and taking this out on each other, which really means they’re taking it out on me. But I also received a call (half an hour after Mom and Pop Dave drove orft) asking if I was actually planning on bringing the car in to get the collision damage fixed. YES! Yes, I am. Called the insurance to clear up a final question, call the rental place to confirm pick-up, get the littles set, and loaded, and start the car. Start. The. Car.

The car isn’t starting.
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I am stuck in auto ownership Hell. In other words, I’m stuck in the waiting room as my car is repaired and the internet is spotty at best. There will be a post when I’m released from durance vile. In the meantime, help me by giving me suggestions about what you’d like me to blog about.

Until later!

Edited to add: Sorry, everyone. I got stuck at the mechanic’s until a few minutes ago and now I have other things I need to take care of. Continue talking cars and pickups and whatever.

Oh, and Mustangs Rule!

In Vino Veritas

Ok so this is going to be less coherent than usual (I know. But hold my beer) as my back is sore enough to make thinking even more of a challenge for the small simian head. No I haven’t actually done anything stupid, or lifted anything bigger than myself. It’s my pelvis that’s a bit out of alignment, a problem women often have after having babies. How I fit this category… is nearly as well as I fit most categories. Read more

Honest, Mr NSA Guy, I’m a writer…

Or, what’s in your search history lately?

Mine’s pretty tame right now – through-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, mostly. Well, except for that long search into finding out if different types of explosives leave different smells at the blast site, and if so, what they are. Um. Hey, if you think that’s a deep rabbit hole, you should see the time I lost three days into researching various impact craters in the solar system (There are some much bigger ones than we’ve found on earth!)

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Adventure Tales

I woke up this morning dreaming of Tin-Tin. In full technicolor, for some reason. No, not live-action, just as he was drawn, only moving. As I sat up, I realized something. Well, two things. No… you ever have one of those mornings where your brain comes online and you have a flood of thoughts like they were just waiting impatiently for you to be awake again so you could think them? I’d like to think it’s not just me.

The first coherent thought was that I keep saying I never read comic books as a kid, and I was wrong. Tin-tin, Asterix and Obelix, those were comic books, they just weren’t superheroes and presented like American comics were, and they weren’t always in English. Secondly, the book I recently bought which made my First Reader lift a brow and wonder why I wanted it was likely me being very nostalgic. Thirdly, I needed to sit and write this post. Fourthly, I wonder if you can buy Tin-tin books and will they hold up to my memories of them? Read more

Learning from others

I’ve had a lot of feedback concerning my article, two weeks ago, about lessons learned from launching my most recent trilogy.  I’m glad so many of you found it helpful and/or thought-provoking.  It was the first pass at the topic;  in two weeks from now, I’ll have another look at it, this time including a graphical analysis of sales and the “trilogy effect” or “series effect”.  It should be even more interesting.

Meanwhile, I’ve run across a few articles that add depth to some of the points I raised in that first article.  I thought you might find them useful too.

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Get Out Before It’s Too Late

Actually it’s never too late to cut out these associations, but the sooner you recognize them and do so, the less risk you run of getting hurt. Some of them can be damaging to your health, most of them to your career, and all of the ones I list will waste your time.

What? Oh, I’m talking about writers’ groups, of course. Those voluntary associations so many people encourage you to join. Your fellow writers, they say, will cheer you on when you’re experiencing an enthusiasm sag, will warn you if your story seems to be taking a wrong turn, will brainstorm with you over a sticky plot point, and – if necessary, which of course it wouldn’t be for any readers of this blog – gently explain the difference between imply and infer.

Oh, wait. I can take care of that last one right now.

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

So even I with my tendency towards extreme hermiting have noticed the rampaging schadenfreude permeating some circles as this year’s WorldCon organizers demonstrate that their primary qualifications lean more to parroting the approved point of view than to actually, you know, organizing anything. Honestly, it’s not surprising.

The best that can be said for the people who are currently scrambling to cover their anatomy is that it is possible they are merely the deluded and ineffectual well-meaning sorts that fall for revolutionary manifestos only to fall to those same manifestos once they cease to be useful to the Glorious Revolution. Or whatever it’s calling itself this time around.

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A Writer’s Guide to Horses Part I

I’ve held off for the last couple months, but the time has come for: A Writer’s Guide to Horses. It’s obligatory, you see; I’ll lose my reputation as a horse person in good standing if I don’t periodically pontificate about them.

And since many writers mention horses in their work, usually in passing, I foresee an audience for horse-related information, and common pitfalls of writing about them.

(This will be a multi-part post, because I kept going off on tangents about genetics, weird caveats, and personal experiences. It also contains pictures/diagrams, so let me know in the comments if you’re having trouble viewing it on your phone.) Read more

Serving Three Masters

A Galilean Rabi notoriously said that a man can’t serve two masters, for he’ll neglect one for the other.  Thank heavens I’m not a man, because I’m about to try to serve three.

Yes, I do know “man” is used there in the sense of human.  I’m just justifying my insanity.  The truth is like most writers, I have a time management problem.  No, really, I have several time management problems… I just can sort of roll them all into a gigantic one. Read more