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Bland

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

I Bet You Weren’t Expecting…

Welcome back, all. I’m sorry to have to do this, but I’m going to require three sample chapters and an outline from each of you by this time next week. The theme is kitchen sink space fantasy: anything that can happen, will happen somewhere.

I’m kidding. Really. That was an attempt (ED: a ham-handed attempt) at subverting your expectations as readers. I’m required to apologize for that (ED: extremely ham-handed), but I would have anyway. For similarly unwieldy subversions turned into tropes, take a glance at daytime television sometime. Or anime. Or fanfic. Shoot, even a goodly mess of scifi abounds with examples of writers attempting to put one over on the reader.
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Adapting

First off, let me apologize for being late with the post. The last 24 hours have been interesting and not necessarily in a good way. No, nothing dire. Just serious enough to be of concern and to cause some major readjustments to how things are done on the personal side of life. It wasn’t unexpected but, no matter how much you prepare yourself, it can still be a punch in the gut. 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

“…Little Is That I’ve Not Been.”

Fredrick Barbarossa awakens! Photo by author, mural in the Kaisarpfalz in Goslar, Germany.

 

I was listening to a very modern setting of part of the “Battle of the Trees,” the Cad Goddeu. The poem, or at least the parts we have of it, is long and strange, and includes a declaration by Taliesin of all the various shapes he has worn over the aeons.  The list includes:

I have been a sword, narrow, variegated,
I will believe when it is apparent.
I have been a tear in the air,
I have been the dullest of stars.
I have been a word among letters,
I have been a book in the origin.
I have been the light of lanterns,
A year and a half.
I have been a continuing bridge,
Over three score Abers.2
I have been a course, I have been an eagle.
I have been a coracle in the seas:
I have been compliant in the banquet.

From: Mary Jones Celtic Literature Collection “The Battle of the Trees.

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In Which the Writer is Netless

I’m sitting on the porch to write this. It’s a lovely morning, just a touch of cool, not enough to make me want a sweater, just a beautiful late-summer morning promising a warm day later. So why am I on the porch, not at my desk? Welll…. and why didn’t I write this last night, which I had every intention of doing on my way home from work? Well…

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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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