Skip to content

Archive for

Fifth Friday Promo

Good morning, everyone! As we head into the weekend, I thought I’d leave you with a few suggestions for new reading material. I’ve either read the books listed below (or, in once case, wrote the book) or I know the author’s other works and can recommend the book based on their past performance. So here goes.

Risen from Ashes

Sam Schall

As a Marine, Ashlyn Shaw knew the day would come when she might not return from a mission. As an officer in the Fuerconese Marine Corps, all too often she faced the difficult duty of sending the men and women under her command to their deaths. Both were nightmares she, and so many like her, lived with. War was a cruel and costly endeavor, but one well worth the cost if it meant keeping their homeworld free. Read more

It’s Late (Blast from the Past)

I’m tired, and I’m going to bed, so have a blast from the past which remains relevant – not least because I carefully failed to mention the culprits by name.

There Are No Words

I would have loved to be able to rant about the stupidity of certain ideological literary types, the kind who think that disinviting someone from a guest of honor position because someone might get offended is perfectly acceptable, but sadly, my ability to produce a decent rant is horribly impaired by one simple problem.

These folks have plumbed depths of stupid so deep that to call them morons risks offending perfectly decent morons. If I called them flaming turds of stupid, that would be an insult to all the flaming turds out there – and let’s face it, flaming turds are capable of being useful.

I’d be willing to go with shrieking harpies, but I’d offend the actual harpies – the spirits that carried the souls of evildoers to their ultimate destination, not the questionable beings of purportedly female-ish gender who try to imitate them – and frankly, nobody with any sense wants to do that. Read more

If You Give A Reader A Cookie – A Blast From The Past From December 13, 2017

If You Give A Reader A Cookie – A Blast From The Past From December 13, 2017

Something I haven’t discussed, in this whole “where should you put your book” is that beyond structure there are reader expectations and… well, reader cookies.

“Reader cookies?” you ask. “You mean some publicity thing?  I have to find all my readers and bake them cookies?”

Er…. no.

Look, the thing to take in account on genre is that usually people have one favorite genre.  They might read others, but they had one they absolutely follow and “eat” like peanuts.  (Years ago Kris Rusch told me that science fiction readers are the narrower readers.  I don’t think she’s right.  I think she said that because most science fiction readers are prejudiced against romance.  but she also said that romance readers read every genre, and all I can say is she must come from a universe where Spock has a beard.  There’s no reason for her to lie, and I don’t think she was, but my experience is exactly the opposite of hers.)

But most readers, when reading genre, learn and come to crave certain points. Read more

Rules to Live By?

I’m tired. Seriously tired. Like, what are those things on the ends of my, whaddaya call ‘em? Limbs? Legs? No, those are arms. Fingers. That’s what I was thinking. That kinda tired. There are reasons for it, of course (I mean, I *always* have reasons; that’s how a good villain operates, after all). Foremost, I’m taking up two more time sinks. I’m getting my physical training regimen back and running, and have moved to the next phase of the Great Garage Sort-N-Purge. There’s a whole pile of stuff for donation, and a buddy turned me on to the Home Despot’s line of storage tubs, so I have a stack of those into which things will be put. I’ve already cleared more floorspace than I’ve seen in months. It’s encouraging, it’s just eating at my energy, y’know?
Read more

Publishing Problems 2020

As I sit here, trying to decide what to blog about, I turn to the internet. I know, I know. That’s like saying I’m going swimming with the sharks with a bucket of chum being thrown into the water first. Still, someone has to do it. And, it didn’t take long to find more than enough to leave me shaking my head and feeling glad I made the decision to go indie long ago. Between looking at the “most anticipated books of 2020” per Publishers Weekly to identity politics run amok, traditional publishing is as much of a mess as always. Read more

An Alternate Australia?

It was Australia day, yesterday.  Now, that happens to be celebrated on the same day of the year as the First Fleet landed the first British convict settlers at Sydney Cove, marking the start of the nation that is modern Australia. The continent was there before that, and will be long after the even memory of humans have vanished. Read more

Attention Deficit… Ooh, Shiny!

My darling husband sent me an article (can’t find it again! Drat, where did it go?) on the link between ADHD symptoms and asthma medication. Which I kind of knew – I mean, watch small children right after their “bedtime” breathing treatment leaves them rocketing around the house.

But I hadn’t applied that to my own condition. It’s been a little over a year since I started treating the steadily worsening asthma… and while I knew the writing had gone away as the asthma got worse, I hadn’t thought about why it was so very fitful when it came back. Read more


It’s been a rollercoaster of a week. I’ve been trying to write-by-speaking, and accordingly have been testing various set-ups in my car to take dictation. The phone with voice recorder app failed. Too much road noise. Mom, who I have offered to hire to transcribe, reported back that the recording was very difficult to understand. I’ll type that up myself, since I know more or less what I was thinking, and the dictation should prompt me enough to write it out. I haven’t had time during the week because… well, I’m not getting into details. Suffice it to say there was family stuff, which had priority, and work spilled past the usual boundaries and it got messy here at the Nut House. Read more

Things to ponder

Several articles caught my eye recently.  Some are only tangentially related to writing and publishing, but all have a bearing on it to a greater or lesser extent.  Here goes with a roundup.  The title of each article is a link to the original.

Read more

Have we reached peak virtue signalling yet?


A couple of days ago Sarah mentioned in passing that she thought she was seeing a welcome shift in popular fiction: “I think the mood is changing.  Only six months ago, I swear every cozy mystery released genuflected towards the homeless, who were always laid off computer programmers, or something.  Now… not so much.”

That observation cheered me for two whole days… until I decided to take a break from my current preoccupations (reviewing German and soaking up Appalachian folklore) with the latest Dana Stabenow. Read more