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Guilty Reads are Good Reads

Last week I wrote about two childhood favorite authors. This week, another of my longtime guilty-pleasure reads passed away. Clive Cussler wrote unabashedly men’s action-adventure books, although the last few years I’d stopped looking for his stuff – it just wasn’t ‘feeling’ right to me, and I couldn’t put my finger on why. When I was a kid, though… I used to read everything I could get my hands on. Although my parents prioritized reading… actually, I’m going to stop there and go down a rabbit hole for a minute. Read more

Writing in an intolerant society

We all remember what’s happened in the overall publishing market, and in science fiction and fantasy in particular, over the past couple of decades.  Political correctness, “woke” thinking, and intolerance have come to dominate traditional markets for authors.  Fortunately, independent publishing has become a viable alternative, offering a platform that isn’t dependent on one’s views on anything in particular.

However, there’s a wider issue, and that is the society within which and for which we are writing.  We need to take into account that our society is changing, and probably not for the better.  How are we going to adjust to this in the way we write, and perhaps in our content?  Is it even necessary to do so?  For some of us, it probably isn’t;  for others, it certainly will be.

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Random Musings

First up, sorry for spacing last week. The scatterbrain effect continues to be… strong.

Really, there’s not much to tell on my end of the screen. The boy-cats are growing into their personalities – Westley is very much a Dread Kitty, and Midnight is unquestionably a proper Basement Cat and pure Ebil. He’s a very affectionate pure Ebil, though, and those gorgeous gold eyes are something else.

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The Apocalypse and the lonely writer

Jerry Pournelle always said bad times were good for writers. We’re cheap entertainment. Note this wasn’t true for trad publishing post 9/11 when everything tanked. At a guess because books were then too expensive, and most of them weren’t a ton of fun.

HOWEVER I’ve noticed that we sell fewer books as indies in the GOOD economic times, so I think the reverse holds. (In fact things seem to sell well in economic dips.)

Whatever else happens, I THINK we’re in for an economic hit, just because of China. Oh, and because our press is doing its best to crash the economy.
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Get Bored!

I can tell you I sure haven’t. Last weekend was LTUE, which was wonderful. I highly recommend it for those in the general hemisphere. This past week has been the attempt a return to routine. HAH. We, this Woden’s Day last, enrolled the Wee Horde in dance lessons. Not cheap (though I suspect it’s actually gotten cheaper considering inflation and suchlike), but it’s another hour a week I can adult. I also wrestled with the black dog this weekend gone, and that’s not getting any easier. In between, there have been massive bouts of laundry, menu planning, grocery shopping, and attempting new recipes. I’ve been swamped, and I may not even have my health. Read more

Who are the real gatekeepers?

(This post originally appeared October 2013. While some of the players have changed, the basic premise still remains. There are still those out there who believe indie authors are hacks–at best–who haven’t struggled hard enough to earn the title of “author”.)

Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen a number of posts by authors from both sides of the traditional vs. indie publishing discussion (yes, I’m being nice here. In most cases, discussion doesn’t exactly describe the content. Argument or even screaming hissy fit usually comes closer). This comes on top of a long thread in a discussion group I belong to where a couple of folks flat said they would never read anything not from a traditional publisher because anything else never rises above the level of dreck. Pile on top of that a blog post I read this morning from an agent discussing the role of agents in the current world of publishing and, well, my head has exploded again. Read more

Some thoughts on pandemics and their impact on writers

Watching this Covid19 epidemic unfold – as a Science Fiction writer, and someone who therefore deals with imagining TEOWAKI is hard, especially as I have family members I love very much who will, inevitably, be in the front line. Me, I’ve lived life to full and while I’m anything but ready to give up on doing more crazy things, I’ve had a fair go.  I am of course hoping it turns out much better than my best scenarios, a minor blip, and that both effective treatment and a possible vaccine are developed fast and death tolls are as low as possible.

Not thinking about it, ‘Keep calm and carry on’ is rather like not thinking of pink elephants, now that I have said you shouldn’t think of them. Read more