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Fifth Friday Promo Post

As we head into the holiday season, the Mad Geniuses thought we’d do a little self-promotion. Yes, yes, I know. We usually “forget” to promote our work. This time, someone–and I’m not naming any names (Pam)–reminded us we needed to do something. So here goes. Read more

The Unreliable Narrator

 

 

 

I’m quite fond of this device, though I admit that in its simplest form (“and then I woke up and it was all a dream”) it has been done to death. No, I didn’t think Agatha Christie was cheating in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and I enjoyed the double-impostor twist of Mary Stewart’s The Ivy Tree with its narrator who misleads us delightfully by telling the truth… just, not all the truth. So I was pleased to see a new twist on this in one of the fantasy novels I’ve been reading via Kindle Unlimited, and I’ve made a note of the author for further reading.

In W.B. McKay’s Bound by Faerie the narrator is hired to retrieve a magical artifact. She’s warned in advance:

Today, however, we’d gotten word that Lou was in possession of a heavily enchanted necklace. I hadn’t been given any particulars about its power, just a strict warning not to put it on and a description.

 Of course she puts it on – what do you think? It’s part of the rules of the game, isn’t it? Psyche brings in a lamp to gaze on Cupid, Beauty picks up the only remaining spindle in the kingdom, and McKay’s Sophie Morrigan puts on the necklace, part of whose enchantment is the power to lure her into doing exactly that. Read more

Some good news

The Bugger-cat had an oncology appointment on Tuesday, and he’s gained a whole pound since the last one. This is very good news: he’s gone from six pounds to seven – he’s still very underweight since his height and length are about the same as Her Royal Highness Princess Buttercup who weighs in at 16 lb (and is rather more substantial than she should be but there’s no way we’re up for putting one cat on a diet while trying to get the other one to eat more).

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Writer’s Guide to Horses Part X

Traveling with and by horse

Most modern horses don’t have to go from Point A to Point B on their own legs; that’s what horse trailers are for. But until the development of cars starting in the late 1800s, nearly everyone traveled on horseback or by carriage if they were going any great distance. Quite a turnabout- horses used to haul us around; now we haul them around. Read more

Words and the Lonely Writer III – Setting the Mood

Would you prepare for a romantic dinner at home by turning off the lights and lighting candles, maybe putting a vase of flowers in the center of the table and putting on your skimpiest dress? (Unless you’re a guy.  Though if you want to put on a skimpy dress, who am I to judge?)

Or would you prepare for that romantic dinner by scrubbing every piece of furniture with pinesol, spraying it with disinfectant, turning on every light, turning a spotlight on the table, and wearing a coveralls?  (Yes, I know there are times that– Keep it to yourself, okay?  This is generic you.) Read more

Greasing Mental Gears

I hope everybody has survived the Annual Feast of Gratitude followed by the Annual Frenzy of Materialism. I managed to find several virtual opportunities to replace or upgrade items, which was nice. I also ate too much. There was pie. Most of it happened for breakfast the following morning. I also stumbled into one of the classic blunders. Not the Asia thing, or even the Sicilian one, no: I peopled for a week as an introvert and expected to get things done after returning home. Oops. Suffice to say, I’ve gotten nearly sufficient sleep, barely-adequate nutrition, and the Vitamin M hasn’t really touched my headache. So I’m just going to ramble for a while and hope it coalesces from inherent gravity. Foolish? Then I shall become that fool!
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The PC Police Strike Again in the Form of Andy Duncan

I should be used to it by now. After all, it seems a week doesn’t go by without someone claiming a “classic” book or movie is racist. We’ve watched publishers sanitize books like Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, as well as others, by changing the “N”-word into something more socially acceptable. Forget about the fact the word was in common usage at the time when the book was written and set. Oh no, we must protect our poor little darlings from exposure to a word instead of using it as a teaching moment. Read more