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Misapprehensions

Back when I was a kid – and dear $DEITY that feels so wrong because while the calendar says I’m over 50 and the body says I’m over 50 what’s inside doesn’t seem anything like that far gone – I thought it had to be good to be an adult. You didn’t have all those restrictions on what you were allowed to do.

Yeah, I can hear the laughing. I guess I was pretty typical kid on that front, not noticing the responsibilities that went along with those extra freedoms. Read more

It’s a Cover Up I

Most indie authors have rolled, with relative ease, into hiring content editors and even copyeditors, (just don’t put either under “editor” on amazon. That editor tag on Amazon is for anthologies. You also shouldn’t put your cover artist under “illustrator.” Before I figured out that clueless authors were doing that, I passed up a bunch of books because I thought “An illustrated hard boiled mystery? Too weird for words.” That tag is there for actual illustrated books.)  or figuring our how to swap with other indies for these services (which amounts to hiring) or other more creative arrangements.

One stumbling block remains in most writers’ publication schedule: covers. Read more

More on plagiarism

Good morning, all. I’m going to take the easy way out this morning and go back to my first role at MGC, that of pointing out interesting stories and linking to them. The reason is simple. First, I believe this is an issue we should all be aware of, whether we are writers, readers or both. Second, this book is eating my lunch and demanding my full attention. So, without further ado, here we go. Read more

A day short and a dollar late

Image by 7854 on Pixabay

The short story, once the absolute heart of the sf writer’s career has long since dwindled off to become so irrelevant that many a successful author never writes one, and certainly many (me included) never sold one prior to selling a novel.

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The story behind the story – Sakura: Intellectual Property

As readers, and as writers, we’re all in this for a good story. And sometimes your fans want the story behind the creation of the story, or “the making of.” Sometimes this is fun and cute, like the romance novelist who blocked when writing at home, and found her inspiration while waiting for an oil change at Tires, Tires, Tires. (After the sixth oil change from a friend’s car, the guys knew something was up… and they made her their author-in-residence!)

Sometimes, the story is tragic, defiant, and heart-tugging, like  the story behind Sakura: Intellectual Property by Zach Hill ( and Patrick M Tracy & Paul Genesse )

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Hitting the Restart Button

Just a couple of days before leaving for LTUE I finished the accidental novel. I’d set a mental goal of ‘done before the con’ and I was elated to get it finished, and off to beta readers, before I left on the trip. During the trip, beta comments trickled in. I love my readers, and am so appreciative of the time they take to make thoughtful insights that help my work improve. But while I was at the con, I’d get a notification, see it was from the beta reader, and think ‘do I need to see this now?’ Read more

Plagiarism rears its ugly head again

This is why we need our readers to let us know when they see our books on pirate sites and when they suspect someone has plagiarized our work. We need to take a page from the playbooks of Courtney Milan and Nora Roberts who have had enough. Good for them.

Check out Ms. Roberts thoughts on one of the latest incidents.

Artificial intelligence and the craft of writing

In his superb “Up the Organization” (probably the best book on business and management I’ve ever read, and one I like to re-read every year), Robert Townsend spoke of the “Man From Mars” approach.

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The Stories We Aren’t Telling

During a recent attempt at mindless escapism I recently downloaded some collections of popular novels from roughly 1900-1920. As a supply of reading material it’s worked out excellently (as long as I give myself permission to skip nine out of ten books). The escapism, though, failed with the very first book I read, by Mary Cholmondeley (Nope, never heard of her, and thought it had to be a pen name until I looked her up. Sic transit gloria mundi.) It featured people being very earnest about social issues in a very recognizably contemporary way.

Early in the book our heroine and designated Good Person muses on the injustice of life: “‘If anyone had told me,’ she said to herself, ‘when I was rich, that I lived on the flesh and blood of my fellow-creatures, that my virtue and ease and pleasure were bought by their degradation and toil and pain, I should not have believed it, and I should have been angry. Read more

Of Practical Matters

I’m quite sure everyone here has managed to stumble across an anachronism so horrific it leaves you wondering what kind of idiot would write such tosh. It’s like the Regency lady being divested of her bra and panties (yes, I have seen this. I promptly tried to eliminate the memory via a large quantity of brain bleach).

Frankly, it’s more than a little bit important that any kind of SF or fantasy that’s not using present day as its time period gets the clothes at least partly right. After all, who would want to see Space Pirate Dashing Hero saving the universe while wearing a farthingale? Unless he’s into period crossdressing or some kind of bizarre bet went wrong, of course.

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