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R.U.R., Cybermen, Mr. Roboto

I’m not certain if it was a case of great minds thinking alike, or just something in the air, but Thursday I woke up with fragments “Mr. Roboto” and “Ironman” playing in my mind’s ear. Which got me to thinking about robots, and my aversion to them as an author.

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Tools for Survival

Before I was a SF geek, I was a survivalist geek. And yes, I mean that just as it sounds. I grew up in the woods, reading books about everything, but for a long time I gravitated towards books like Julie of the Wolves, Call of the Wild, Tom Brown’s semi-fictional survival guides, Wildwoods Wisdom, and many more. I learned how to survive in different climates – from the Boreal Forest of Alaska to the cool infinitely green Pacific Rainforest – and did a lot of camping with family all over. Read more

Saying goodbye is hard to do

No, I’m not leaving MGC. But I am saying goodbye, at least for awhile, to a set of characters that have been with me for a decade. When I sat down to write the book, I knew it would be difficult. I love these characters but the story has run its course. The series is already a couple of books longer than I figured it would be. Still, I hadn’t expected it to be this hard or that it would impact me the way it has.

But it goes beyond saying goodbye to the characters and typing “The End” at the bottom of the manuscript. I realized yesterday that my subconscious has dug its heels in and is doing everything it can to keep me from letting go. Not only did it take the book to places I hadn’t planned on, but it has kept me from following my own rules when it comes to promotion. Read more

Creeping Tyranny

It’s actually not all that common to have the Evil Tyrant take over the land and impose crushing new rules that the Hero and friends spend the book trying to overthrow. No, more commonly the Evil Tyrant replaces the previous Evil Tyrant (meet the new boss, just like the old boss) and changes who’s on the enemies list and the beleaguered subjects do the same as they’ve been doing forever and get on with life in general.

And bruised souls from the compromises that are necessary to get by when living in an abusive regime.

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Seeing Your Writing

Sorry, today I’m not doing my installment of how to do covers.  We’re traveling out of town come Thursday, not back till Monday, and it’s one of those events where there will be pictures, so I need to be decently dressed.  We start with this part of how writers see — or don’t see — themselves. I normally work alone in my tiny office, overlooking 400 acres of trees and nothing, so the only things that go by are wild turkeys and eagles, neither of which gives a hang about what I wear. I tend to dress by the engineer method: are all relevant portions covered?

Now, face with being in public with a bunch of strangers, in the aftermath of losing 40 some pounds, I’m having to hem, pull in, etc. a bunch of clothes. Which is part of the work for today.  Writing is kind of the same way. Read more

Swords For The Modern Writer

The thing to know when you go to choose a sword is which miscreants you’ll be using it on. No. No, wait. The first thing to consider when looking for an appropriate sidearm is what you’re going to wear- Stop. No, the very first thing to consider is whether your locality will even allow you to wear a sword in the firs- Strike that. Read more

On Reviews (Redux)

Last week, I wrote about the need to read, write and review and not  necessarily in that order.  I promised to be back with more on the topic. I’ll be honest, that’s not going to happen today. I’m up to my eyes finishing several projects and deadlines are looming. That means my mind is busy running around screaming in panic. That’s not the mindset I need to tackle the promised topic. So I’m reposting a piece I wrote last year about reviews. It is as pertinent now as it was then.

On reviews

Once again, there are rumblings among indie authors about how big, bad Amazon is being mean. I’m the first to admit Amazon isn’t without fault. It takes actions, mainly due to automation, without warning. Innocents can and sometimes do get caught in the massive bans wrought by Amazon bots. For those wrongly caught up in the bans, the process of getting their accounts reinstated can be long and frustrating. They are why Amazon needs to look at their process and change it.
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