Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye, decade of the tens

Thus ends the year, and the first ten years of the twenty-first century. At this rate, there may not be a twenty-second. Gah.

We started the decade as a treasonous Supreme Court coup d'etat took over the presidency of the country-- yeah, when they actually bothered to count the votes cast, the other guy won. Now no matter who is in charge, we have a government that believes in neverending war, spreading terror, murder, torture, and crushing any dissent. We've become the old Soviet Union, the bad guys we used to fight against. We have a government that actively works against its own people. Why do we tolerate this? I guess we're afraid of any other alternative.

We will go bankrupt before we stop sending troops to die and bombs to kill overseas. The desire of the taxpayers to support this wasting of billions may be infinite, but we will eventually have no more billions to pour into overseas deserts. What happens then, when we've gone bust, after making enemies of the rest of the world? Payback's gonna be a bitch.

So many people are trying to do good, but as long as those at the top are destroying us, we are losing the battle. Let's spend the next ten years restoring the rule of law, rather than the whim of tyrants. Let's prosecute for illegal actions, in a country where no person is above the law-- the way the Founding Fathers set it up.

If we don't, it's going to be a damn grim world for our children.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pretty Good Company

My story "Locust Time" is in the upcoming anthology "Fungi (#20)," due out in January.
Take a look at the author list:

Uh, yeah, that's me, pointed out as a "talented newcomer" by editor Pierre Comtois, in a print collection alongside Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft, Ramsey Campbell, and popular mystery author Dave Daniel.

Can you say "WOW!" I'm so happy, and quite stunned. My earliest recollection of fiction is an excerpt from Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine," and soon you'll be able to go to Borders or Barnes and Noble and buy a collection of my words next to his. The man has been one of my influences and idols for over 40 years, and it is an honor to share a venue with him.

Now that, folks, is the kind of thing we writers dream about and work for.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Happy Boxing Day. No, it doesn't man you can punch someone-- it's an interesting "celebration"- if you haven't heard of it, look it up.

Hope you all had a great holiday. Around here the wrapping is off the gifts, and with other detritus, is still scattered about, with boxes, bangles, and bows. The Christmas was good, as was the Christmas dinner, with a tasty turkey and all the trimmings. We lazed about, watched "A Christmas Story" on TV, read a little, and got to relax. All good.

Now time to get back to work, get the writing back on track. Am eager to tackle the problem novel, now that the problem is solved. That's just one of the many projects to do, but it'll be a good start. After the novel is fixed and polished, the goal is to have it in print next year, along with another one or two.

One thing slowing me down is bad back pain, with limited movement as a result. And now we've got a blizzard coming, which means shoveling and pushing out cars. This will take some doing. Ugh.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Frantic Holidays

Haven't posted much, haven't written much, because of so much going on with the holidays. It's been a crazy time. Just trying to keep head above water. Am looking forward to some vacation down time, to get back on track.

But not writing doesn't mean not planning. Recently I figured out how to fix a problem novel (different from a novel problem). This is a biggie, as I couldn't find the clear way to improve the thing, after years of having it sit around. My long works are organic and carefully plotted, and you can't just toss stuff in to pad it out. So it sat, a bit flat and a bit short. Good ideas, a lot well-executed, but not complete.

And then, pow! the answer came in about five minutes, and the solution clicked on all cylinders. I'm just blown away that it's so simple, and absolutely avoided my conciousness for so long. Duh.

This is good, very good, because writers can get stale rather quickly. If you don't exercise that mental muscle, that careful crafting, it gets harder to get back to it. I just read a writer blog (with much sadness) and she says she's taking such a break from writing, she doesn't feel the fire anymore, and may not write in the future. I certainly hope this is not the case, as she is a terrific writer with things to say. I would be sad and terrified if I lost the fire and didn't feel like writing anymore.

So- on to the Christmas cards, and the family stuff, and getting things done at work. Then, into the breach!

Happy holidays, all. Stay safe, and appreciate all the good things you have.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tis the Season

With the holiday season of gift-giving coming up, I'd like to recommend the gift of books. This helps everyone- the recipient, the giver, the independent bookstore you bought the book at (you did go to an independent and not a big chain, right?) and the writer who wrote the book.

Hey, that's a lot of giving in one gift! If you don't know what book to give, get a gift certificate to the store. The recipient will have a nice time browsing and picking out something they like. Can't go wrong.

So forget the sweaters, the fuzzy slippers, the tie or coffee mug. A book is eternal, and more than one person can enjoy it. Give some books this Christmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Telling the Truth is Now Illegal

By now you've probably heard that the governments of the world are moving to crush one man, the guy in charge of the Wikileaks site. They're doing so because he is the most dangerous man in the world in their eyes- he's the guy whose site tells the awful truth about the criminal acts they perpetrate on a daily basis.

Those in power hate public scrutiny, because they know decent people would object to their insanity, and they operate in cover of darkness. Wikileaks has pulled back the cloak of night to show us their dirty doings, and like the cockroaches they are, they're scurrying back under cover. And they're moving Heaven and Earth to destroy the man and the website that embarrassed them.

They commit the crimes, but they're going to put HIM in prison. That, dear readers, means you are living not in a democracy, not even in a republic, but a dictatorship, pure and simple. They can imprison a man for exposing their crimes. We do not live in a country governed by the law. We are governed by a few shadowy criminal powers that do whatever they want, with no oversight, no accountability, no checks or balances. They are power-mad oligarchs and fascists, who work against freedom.

The administration of our curent leader is more interested in pursuing whistleblowers (not just the Wikileaks guy, but many others) than it is in pursuing criminals. How backward is that?

Brings to mind the old saw, "nothing done in secret can ever be good." When it comes to government, it is most definitely true. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we've seen how averse they are to public view.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Another story out!

Wow- yet another story published, as of today. This one at:

It's a flash story (under 1000 words), and a humorous take on the zombie apocalypse.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Latest Story Out

My latest story "Kamikaze Hipsters" is out today, as the first story in the new Dark Valentine anthology!

Check it out- and click on the Welcome Winter icon and be patient while all 3.3 MG loads. Then scroll through and enjoy the read, along with the wicked cool illustration by Mark Satchwill. This is quite an issue. Thanks to Editor Katherine Tomlinson for recognizing the merits of the story and showcasing it so well.

I'm quite fond of this one. The title came to me as I was sitting in a doctor's office, thinking very morbid thoughts. The title was so great I started writing it soon after, not knowing where it would go.

The writer Harlan Ellison is one of my favorites, and I feel this story is close to something like he'd do. Of course if he heard that, he'd get my address, come to my house, and beat me senseless. He is, after all, a writing god.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Terrific animated video

Wow- this funny animated video "So You Want to Write a Novel" is the answer to all those who say they want to write, but have no training, don't read, and think that anyone can do it and be outrageously successful just by picking up a pen or a keyboard:

What makes this so funny is that it's so totally true.