Long time passing

By the time this post is up, by the merits of ye tyme-travail (or the international date-line which allows me to live in your future), I’ll have been on this island for a decade. Time passes, and so, sadly, do people.  I’ve lost a good friend and long ago dive partner, and science fiction is poorer for the passing of Mike Resnick. Mike was a close friend and mentor to a couple of good friends of mine, so although we personally only shared a couple of e-mails, I know a lot about him, and all of it is positive. I know: no one speaks ill of the dead, out of respect for the bereaved.  It’s the decent, considerate thing to do, because no other time is as fraught and miserable than it is for those bereaved folk.  In Mike’s case, he didn’t have to wait to be dead before anyone realized he was a good guy and one sf-fantasy’s greater champions: one of the people whose shoulders the field stands on.

Of course one exception to the ‘don’t speak ill of the dead in public, no matter how you disliked them, out of kindness and respect for those who are bereaved’ is the wokescolds, whose shrill tantrums about trivia are far more important than consideration or kindness to those going through what we humans find hardest. Jaym Gates is pleased he’s dead because Jaym managed to find something to be offended by and have one of Jaym’s near perpetual hissy fits about.  Now – according to Jaym – was the perfect time to dig it up. Life’s little lessons: Don’t try to prove that everything your detractors say about whatever your crusade-du-jour is true, with your obnoxious behavior, unless you’re trying to prove your detractors right.  You certainly showed your class and made us think ‘better’ of all wokies, Jaym.

Anyway, farewell to Mike and my friend Brian. The world is poorer for losing you, and you will be remembered. Raise a glass to the living, and glass to the dead.

Talking of people opening their mouths to change feet, and trying to knock down the giants of yesterday so they don’t look like such pygmies, I see Chuck Wendig decided to join the fashion of dissing the people that made sf-fantasy exist at all.  I suppose he felt if NK Jemisin was on the act, and the other wokies were having such a good time attacking everyone from Lovecraft to Heinlein (either of whom added more to the field and raised its profile more than ALL the wokies put together) he should have a go too. He decided JRR Tolkien was a suitable beloved monument to tear down.  I can see that ending well.  I know I’m no Tolkien, or Heinlein or Lovecraft, but at least I’m able to acknowledge that, and that I’ve learned and benefited from the great figures of yesteryear. I really struggle to understand the kind of pitiful inadequacy that has to tear down any monument that is not to themselves. Why not just tattoo ‘loser’ on your forehead?

I’m wrestling with a huge ‘real life intrudes’ with house-building, so writing is at a near standstill – by the time I get home I’m tired and dispirited from finding out the hard way that I’m 1)not a master-craftsman, 2)everything is heavy. Most of it needs moving repeatedly, a lot of it over head 4)I am too damn short for ceilings. 5)Building on your own is like pulling two sides of a seine net on your own. 6) everything takes much longer than you thought it could, never mind should. Still: writing is fighting back. I keep having weird dreams. About writing…  I think it’s my conscience pricking me, or stories needing to get out. But… I have a home to build. Still, we have got power from my solar panel farm, lights and plugs, and ceilings all in and painted. Guttering and getting the water hooked up is next… getting closer.  It’s just such a long haul.

Suggestions on how to inspire and how to keep the writing going while tired and dispirited welcome. I think I should re-read Tolkien to remember where it all came from.
Image by Simi Luft from Pixabay


  1. The wokies, being the narcissists they are, have figured out the only way to get attention for themselves is to take jabs at the excellence that came before them. They haven’t got the skills or the talent to be excellent themselves and get attention positively. But they must have attention and be the center, so they savage the name of a man before he’s cold in the grave, the better to draw the eyes of the world onto them.

      1. But it is entertaining to see one of them pick a fight with someone who has been dead for over 45 years.
        And lose.

    1. Ahh… But remember the “austere scholar” public descriptions of al-Baghdadi*

      They are capable of decent consideration, and it’s instructive to note for whom. So there’s also a line between those about whom decent people can add “and good riddence”. The most correct draw it at places such as “Polish people and Ceaucescu” or “Israelis and Arafat”.

      So it’s nul-kulturney AND. Interesting “and” they’ve got there.

      (*My parents knew a now-Christian gentleman whose father was a terrorist leader in Hamas. He said his father was a kind and respectful husband of one wife, and a loving father. So organizing shooting rockets into kindergartners and the like doesn’t mean no-one will mourn you)

  2. Too true, all too true. This is kind of like the POS that leave graffiti just to show that they exist, the people that disparage the dead the moment they are safely dead and cannot defend themselves are a real piece of work.

  3. Normally I’d recommend reading books like “Changeling’s Island” or “Dog and Dragon” when I’m down, but in this case perhaps not…. 🙂

    Anyway congratulations on 10 years in the new place, may you have many more.

  4. > Suggestions on how to inspire and how to keep the writing going while tired and dispirited welcome.

    Well, you can always be heartened by the fact that you don’t call yourself “Jaym”. Urrrrrgh. What is it with these people and their SUPARRR KREEAYTUV names? Most people grow out of such crap by junior high, at the latest.

    You can also be pleased that, unlike “Jaym”, Amazon actually recognizes your name as being that of an author (“Did you mean ‘jam gates’?”).

    I’m sure that’s because you are an Evil White Male, not because you have numerous books with sales ranks higher than 2 million.

    This person is basically a toddler throwing a tantrum in a shopping mall. She is stupid, humorless, untalented, and unsuccessful.

  5. Being the bastard I am, it pleases me that giants like JRRT will still be read when we have an intergalactic spanning civilisation. Meanwhile the wokescolds will be forgotten if unproductive and left in some dusty archive if they manage to write anything.

    1. Their mark on history will be behind an asterisk, and even that footnoted will be brief and inaccurate.

  6. Ah, the joys of living rural. The one and only (so far) time I’ve had to mess with a ceiling, I ran up to the local Home Depot and rented one of the hydraulic lifts. (Promptly smashed toes getting around it in a narrow hallway, but that’s me.)

    The wokescolds… Are simply beneath my notice.

  7. RE: doing ceilings–the best investment we ever made was getting a sheetrock lift. And I am from a family where almost everyone but Mom is near (I’m just shy of it) or well over six feet in height.

    If you have lots of ceilings left to do, maybe you can find a used one for sale, or rent one? It is SO worth it. (That, and a tile saw if one is doing a lot of tiling.)

    1. Sheetrock lift is the required thing for ceilings and tall walls. It is -possible- to do without, but it takes ten times as long. I’d lend Dave mine, but I live in Canada. 😦 On the bright side, they’re super cheap.

      Something else, when it comes time to hang the kitchen cabinets and you don’t have two buddies, you rent the cabinet lift. It will save your life. Turns a two day nightmare into a reasonable job you can do in a morning. French cleats pre-hung on the wall, cabinet lift to hoist the heavy-ass particleboard boxes up and drop them on.

      1. I have a lifter – it just doesn’t fit in quite a few places. It’s still constant work overhead. I’m building with ply 13mm for ceilings and 17mm for inside walls. It has plusses on sheet-rock. Weight isn’t one.

    2. Yet another way to get sheetrock or other plywood up on the ceiling. Make a deadman. Mine was tee of 2 x 4s, the crosspiece was 2-3 feet long while the upright was just long enough to get an edge up to the ceiling. A second deadman holding the other edge helps. I’ve also used cleats tacked onto the wall framing for the first pieces; fairly handy if you have small rooms.

      Amazon sells a Taunton Press book on working alone. I have it, but it’s more aimed at the person who’s trying to do such for a living. I’ll skip the link, though a search for “Working Alone Book” will find it.

      No comment on the Resnick trasher, beyond “who’s that?”. Wendig can stick his opinion where the sun doesn’t shine

  8. I did an early comic about “people are attacking me, it proves me so noble and brave” but it was lighthearted and (I thought) funny, so it doesn’t apply here.

    On second thought, I looked it up (I’ll add my link to my name) and darned if there aren’t two comics I put up that day in order to have them somewhere I could get to them, and they *both* apply to our valiant and self-sacrificing (but underpaid) warrior for truth and justice. (That was sarcasm.)

  9. Jaym Gates? Never heard of her (until I heard about her attack on Mike Resnick) and see no reason to learn more. 👿

    As for that idiot Chuck Wendig, I heard about him before but his “attack” on Tolkien appears to be rehashing garbage that has been said before. IE He isn’t even original in his nonsense. 😈

  10. “Talking of people opening their mouths to change feet,”

    Ah. The Wendig. 30 seconds of my life wasted there.

    I note that I have read almost everything by JRR Tolkien except his scholarly works. I have also read many books by this Dave Freer fellow. I have read many by Mike Resnick, and mourn his passing.

    I have read pretty much nothing by the Wendig.

    I plan to keep it that way.

    I don’t know if the likes of the Wendig creature and Nora Jemisin really understand the monster they are hitching their little red wagon to. It may pull them along a little way, but when it gets hungry they will be the first thing it eats.

    1. He’s on record as wanting to change the conventions of the written language to deliberately make past stories inaccessible.
      He’s all-in on Year Zero, and has delusions of being the monster.

  11. Just read the Jaym Gates tweets. For those Gen Z children whose classical education is lacking, this is what we old people call “sowing the wind.”

    A feminist harpy who was too -cowardly- to speak her mind, who got men to do her dirty work for her (or males, anyway), now coming forward to count coup on a dead man. Over a fanzine article.

    If I were to try to come up with the most damning thing a character in a story could do to ruin her own reputation and that of her organization, I doubt I could top this.

    All you lurking eyes who read this blog for juicy scandal tidbits: just consider that you and your “cause” are perfectly exemplified by Jaym Gates and these tweets of hers. We see you, and know you for what you are.

    Just remember what sowing the wind gets you.

    1. While on the subject, Dave asked: “Suggestions on how to inspire and how to keep the writing going while tired and dispirited welcome.”

      Write battle scenes. Kill them all, let God sort them out. Invent a truly diabolical weapon and use it on them. Then publish it and Get Paid.

      Getting Paid is the best revenge.

    2. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Arthur_Travers_Harris

      See also:

      On thinking on the RWA issue last night, I find myself in a more conciliatory mood. Unwilling to press forward to decisive victory, or even root for injuries.

      Do I lack the courage of my convictions? Have I lost my mind? Gained sanity for the first time?

      Men and women who can prosecute this to decision are out there. If this escalates, it can create in them the officers of the next conflict.

      I don’t have to come up with answers. No law of physics says that I must participate in the search for solutions. I can simply pray.

  12. I’d heard about Mike Resnick’s passing a few days ago, and was saddened by the news. He was a regular at the local convention for decades, and I had a few conversations with him in the con suite and such over the years. He was a heck of a guy. He will be missed.

      1. The only fans I know who looked younger when they died than when I first met them, were Jordin Kare and Mike Resnick.

        I mean, yes, shaving the beards and facial hair did something, but also I think they got happier. Maybe it was mastery of their arts, or maybe it was something spiritual. You usually see it in monks and nuns, rather than skiffy fans.

  13. I give myself a few minutes (by timer) to indulge in plot making, the go back to work. Ideas are going to leak, and it’s safer to have them leak during an allotted time than, oh, when I’m driving on the Interstate or drying to use a router (carpentry type, not electronic type.)

    1. I’ve never had an accident with a table saw nor a router, largely because my sense of paranoia/survival gets turned up to 11 before the switch goes on. I have a few impressive but faded scars to remind me that it wasn’t always that way.

      Don Bowman’s “The Power Tool Song” is pretty close…

      1. I assume that the table saw is out to get me, and that its goal is to take out/injure/humiliate as many wood workers as it can. Similar to the semi-joke flight instructors used to tell about student pilots.

  14. People are still reading Tolkien almost fifty years after his death. I doubt anyone will be reading Wendig at that point.

  15. “Wibbly Wobbly Herikly Jerkily” is talking smack about Tolkien? He must be desperate to remind people he still exists.

  16. Dave,
    As you know I was more or less in the same place for about a year, with the addition of illnesses. Look, I’ll take illnesses over house building. Done that too. Also not trained. And there is NOTHING like spending three days finishing say a ceiling repair and when you finish, that last bit you do, you go “Oh, shit. This is wrong. I know how I should do it now.” And then you tear it out and do it again. And I COMPLETELY get you come home barely awake enough to BREATHE.
    Of course, I’m an overachiever, and last time I did it, it was after surgery and that…. yeah.
    So…. How to get the mojo back?
    I don’t know, I tried everything. Including some lessons that just irritated me.
    And then I went back to the books I read growing up, and found a few more like them.
    I realized what makes my soul sing, only the Lord knows why, is space opera. It’s not what I wanted. I hear mil sf (couldn’t write it) and fantasy sell better. Heck, cozy mystery sells better.
    But space opera makes me happy, even when exhausted.
    And I went back, now with experience, to the first worlds I built (it’s actually a cat’s cradle of interlaced worlds. Yes, I’m weird. I’m calling it Schrodinger worlds, and it will have sub-series.) which FORTUNATELY I never sold (Darkship Thieves was an exercise and supposed to be a one off, and when it sold… well.) In those worlds that I haven’t touched in 20 years, I found joy again.
    Try that, if you have an unsold early world. And go back to your early reads. Yes, even Heyer. Read for joy.
    It will come back. I promise.
    And though I’m across the world, you know in spirit I’m right besides you. Carry on my brother. You are not alone.

  17. It’s funny- the original Star Wars was a reaction to the New Hollywood movement. A movement that started out fresh and original, but soon became conformist and cliche with unlikable antiheroes, nihilism, downer endings, and style over substance.
    Lucas (and Spielberg) were able to become successful by keeping a lot of the positives of the new style, but rejecting the bad in favor of traditional storytelling.

    Wingding, and others in the current establishment, are trying to return to that hip & cool nihilistic ethos… but it’s not fresh and new and exciting anymore. It’s been done, deconstructed, reconstructed, remade, done again, re-imagined, redone, and is about as appealing as that box of supermarket sushi you forgot in the back of the fridge last month.

    They’ll be forgotten.

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