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Posts from the ‘BY THE MAD GENII’ Category

Fire

The flickering light of the flames, the pulsing red of the coals, the sheer sensuous pleasure of the radiant heat.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the first major change to their environment early Hominids made was the taming of fire. And then they evolved to better take advantage of that warmth in the cold, the delicious food that happened when things were exposed to fire. The safety from predators in the night, a relatively safe way to drive animals over a cliff. Read more

Questions, questions

  • If rising carbon dioxide levels doom the planet to destruction, and fighting “climate change” is the moral equivalent of war, why isn’t anybody talking about nuking China?
  • When did Marseilles become Marseille, and what did they do with the s?
  • Can anybody tell me how to fiddle a browser so that a blog that normally appears as white-on-black reverses its orientation and shows me black letters on a white backgrouns? I like to read Francis Porretto’s blog but it’s not easy to follow his reasoning while trying to ignore the incipient headache.
  • Is there really a good reason to continue publishing paperback editions of my ebooks?

Okay; the first question is rhetorical, the second is trivia, I’d welcome an answer to the third, but the last one, of course, is where I’d be truly grateful for insights from the community of indie authors. Read more

Wise Counsel

I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m digging into light boxes for SAD, which is a thing this far north, let alone on the coast. (Lots of clouds, lots of the time.) I’ve spent my evenings after the children are abed applying pigment to tiny orcs. I’m minded of the Indian in the Cupboard, and thankful Omri never put Dread Cthulhu in the cupboard (nobody puts Cthulhu in the cupboard, ftagn). This, or rather the non-writing, somewhat-creative, alpha state-ish time it affords me, seems to be helping to even out the emotional rollercoaster of single-hand parenting of two small and precocious near-human creatures.
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No One Right Way

In the open floor last week, a thread developed on how to tell if that idea you have is a story or a kumquat. There was discussion about how to develop the idea, writing, etc. I want to thank everyone who commented and talked about their process. One thing became clear reading the thread, everyone writes differently and that’s the important thing to remember. Too often, writers (especially new writers) feel like they’re doing something wrong because their process isn’t the same as others they talk with or study. So here is probably the most important rule you can ever learn in writing: quit worrying about how someone else creates and do what works for you. Read more

Censored

We flourish, as writers, as a society, hell, as a species, with our ground fertilized by hard-won freedoms. Often freedoms paid for in blood and treasure.

But always, these are fragile. And – despite the provable fact that we all do better long term for these things being conserved and nurtured… there is always some dim-witted idiot who thinks their personal immediate short-term advantage is best served by abusing these. They think that because it serves their interest NOW, that it’ll never come around to them, and bite them the ass.

And of course, there is collateral damage. Read more

Author on the Road

I’m on the road without internet, so I apologize for today’s post. If you find yourself in moderation, please be patient and I or a moderator will spring you as soon as we can.

I’ve also been battling edits. Yea verily, I am proof that one should write in haste and edit/revise/tweak at leisure. Because land-o-Goshen am I having to slow myself as I work through the edits on the next release.

And to prove that the Great Author has a slightly warped sense of humor, this hit my in-box this week:

How to Know What to Cut from Your Novel.

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Training and Habit Building

The seven habits of highly successful scientists chemists authors, oh, who am I kidding? I don’t think there’s seven. There’s probably only one cardinal rule: observe everything. Watch, listen, read if you can, and once you’ve stashed all that information internally, you’ll be able to use it when there’s a call for it. The problem with this is that it leaves one modality of learning out, and that might just be the most important one. Kinetic learning, or hands-on, or whatever you want to call it. There’s a training mantra I’ve seen attributed to the military: See one, Do one, Teach one that is actually very very useful when it comes to learning how to do a task, and in teaching someone else how to do it, you come (usually) to a fuller understanding of it than simple rote learning. Read more