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Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Working the Stereotypes


Diversity’s the big issue in fiction these days.

Well, not really. The howling mobs of the perpetually offended only care about race and sex. Of the author, and of the characters.

True diversity of thoughts and emotions, behavior, opinions, and politics? The mob doesn’t seem to care. But most readers do. They don’t want every character to be the same, except for details of hair, eye, and skin color. A good story is the story of human interactions, even in a book full of running gunfights and explosions. Read more

A Writer’s Guide to Horses V

In which I pontificate about brushing and tacking up horses, and you learn something (hopefully): Read more


I recently had minor surgery (at least assuming that the stuff sent to the pathologist comes back clear, it will stay minor) and am experiencing one of the very rare side effects of the anesthesia used.

This is fairly normal.  I mean that I experience the rare side effects, not the effect itself, which apparently strikes one in several million: I’m suffering from hypogeusia. Read more

Writers and death

That I should rise and you should not.

I’m somewhat under-slept, as I had an ambulance call-out, and then spent much of the rest of the night with my littlest cat, who was in some distress.  This did not end well, which leaves me less coherent than my usual incoherence. I’m tired and somewhat emotionally drained.

It’s been a rough period of partings for me. I had to deal with death first hand as a young conscript medic back before the dinosaurs went extinct, and the older you get the more often it seems to happen. I’m as soft as goose-grease, but it had to be dealt with, and as well as you possibly could – not only because the death of any man diminishes me, but because the living need you. That’s doubly true if you’re the one either deciding they have to die or doing your best to prevent that. They don’t need you less-than-competent because of emotion. Read more

Genres, author focus, and reader expectations

Today’s article is as much a bleg for information and comment from our readers as it is my own perspective.  I hope we can get a discussion going that will benefit all of us, and possibly those outside our immediate circle as well.

If one writes in a particular genre, one is often “typecast” as “a science fiction author”, or “a fantasy author”, or “a romance author”, or whatever.  This can lead to complications when a writer wants to broaden his/her horizons and publish in other genres.  If one’s readership has been painstakingly built up in a particular genre, will they follow you to another, and buy your books in that one too?  In my experience, if they like your writing because of your style/quirks/weirdness/whatever, they will;  but if they’re genre-based readers who happen to like your work as representative of what they expect in that genre, not so much.  Other writers have reported a wide range of experiences when confronting that reality.  What have you found, both as a writer and as a reader?

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So I Have A New Collection Out

Before you ask, as someone did “Sarah, why are you writing all these short stories when you could be writing novels?”  I am not writing all these short stories. I have written all these short stories, some of them a decade or more ago. Read more

Diary of a Mad Reader

I won’t say I always read.  I was a sickly kid, and I remember the long days of childhood before I could read. In those days, where antibiotics were available but the traditions for treating sickness hadn’t changed yet, I was kept confined and usually in bed at the slightest fever.  I was the only small kid in the family and the cats weren’t allowed around me when I was ill.  My much older brother was busy with school and friends, and only occasionally had any substantial time to read to me.  Our parents both worked.

I must have spent a cumulative few years building improbable lego things and telling myself stories.  And then I learned to read. Read more