Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year in Review

On a personal level, this year, like every other year, had its ups and downs, but the ups far outweighed the downs. Rebecca and I got engaged, which was a huge up...we moved in together, and I suddenly found myself the father of two great girls...all ups.

The biggest downs for the year would be that my friend Joe lost his battle with cancer early in the year, and my three year old niece was diagnosed with leukemia just before Christmas.

The "real" job news was also both up and down. I finally got away from the job that I've been hating for years, but then it took me months to find a new gig, and then that place went into liquidation one month after I started. So, even though I'm still working, I might not have a job much longer.

In writing news, I've mostly been focusing on longer works, so I haven't written much short fiction. I did finish the drafts on two novellas, and did quite a bit of writing for the Ephemeris RPG, but no major victories on any of these. I've already sold (or permanently retired) much of the short fiction I've written, so I only had two publications in 2008. One with Tales of the Talisman and one with Allegory. Overall, I didn't write as much as I'd like, but I imagine that is because of adjusting to the new family and spending so much time trying to find "real" work.

In 2009, the biggest thing I'm working on will be the wedding. Planning for that is going to take up a lot of time, and obviously I have to find a new job. I'm hoping to write more, with the emphasis still on longer fiction, and I'm really hoping we will finally finish Ephemeris and get it out on the market...

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Help Ed Bryant

I got this from Jason Sizemore's LiveJournal, but I don't think he'll mind that I'm stealing it.

His message:

It has come to my attention that noted writer and critic Ed Bryant needs our help. Due to financial complications surrounding recent heart bypass surgery, a limited income, and some assholes who took advantage of his kindness, he has been struggling to buy the insulin needed to keep him alive (Ed is a Type I diabetic) and nearly lost his home to foreclosure.

To that end, a third party trust fund has been set up for Ed at the Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities. The PayPal donation button below goes to an account administered by the Colorado Fund. Please consider helping Ed by donating funds to the third party trust using this button.

More information can be found at

My message:

I've known Ed for years. He's a major force in the speculative fiction culture here in Colorado, and a major force worldwide. Ed and I went to the Henry Rollins show many years ago, and he's always been a very nice guy. He's always offered advice to up and coming writers and does a lot of workshopping here in it would be nice if we could all help him out...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Martian Wave

Some of you may know that for years I've edited an on-line zine called The Martian Wave. In 2009 we're turning The Martian Wave into a biannual print zine and I've just posted the guidelines over at the Sam's Dot website. The zine is a science fiction zine, with an emphasis on stories about the exploration and colonization of space.

If you think you might be interested in submitting, please go to

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Solar Sea

I don't often plug other books on this blog, but I wanted to let my readers know about a book that will be coming out soon. The book is The Solar Sea, and the author is David Lee Summers. I had the opportunity to be one of the early readers of this book, and I even wrote a blurb for it, which reads as follows:

"In The Solar Sea, David Lee Summers creates a page-turning yarn with some of the most dramatic characters I've read in years. You won't want to put it down, and when you're done, you'll only want more." J Alan Erwine, author of The Opium of the People.

So, if you're looking for a great book to read, I'd recommend pre-ordering the book now. You can find it at Plus, I'll also add that I really like the site they've set up for the book...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year, I hope it has been...or will be a very happy one.

Tonight we drove the girls around to look at lights, and they loved it. On the last street we were going down, there were three houses packed together that looked like they were having some kind of contest to see who could be the most dramatic. One of the houses was a clear winner. They had all kinds of lights, and decorations. It was a lot of stuff, but it wasn't really tacky. We drove to the end of the street and then turned around because Rebecca wanted to get a picture from her side of the car. As she was readying to take the picture, she noticed someone walking in front of the house...and who was it? None other than Santa Clause himself. Both of the girls were very excited, and the guy actually walked down to the sidewalk, laughing a "Ho Ho Ho," and calling over "Merry Christmas." I think this made the girls night. We let them believe it was the real thing (still not sure how I feel about the whole lying to kids).

Now it's time to wrap the last of the presents, and since I started a new tradition last year of posting a tasteless video, I leave you with this...

A review of Harvest of Debts

Like a lot of authors, I use Google Alerts to keep me informed about what people might be saying about my work. Today I got a review of Harvest of Debts, a short story I wrote a long time ago. The review was posted at Anthology Builder. For those of you who are new to this blog, Anthology Builder is a site that allows readers to put together their own anthology with a variety of stories from the site.

This was actually a five star review, and I don't even know who the reviewer is. If you'd like to read the review, you can find it at

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An open question entry

Since adding the NetworkedBlogs application on Facebook, I've added quite a few new readers, so I thought I would open up this blog to some questions and answers.

So, this is your chance to get to know me better as a writer and editor...

...ask whatever you'd like...

Monday, December 22, 2008

It was one year ago today...

...that Seedlings on the Solar Winds was released. Overall, sales haven't been quite what I'd hoped for, but I think most writers would say that about their books...unless, of course, they're Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. Still, this little book has made its way into a lot of hands, and overall, the response has been quite good from the people who have read it.

Interestingly enough, and maybe this is true for a lot of small press titles, sales through the publisher have been significantly stronger than sales through Amazon and other on-line sources.

I'm still very pleased with this book, although a lower cover price probably would have been a good idea, but small publishers just don't have the same resources that larger publishers have...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A blog about writing...believe it or not

Other than the people who personally know me, I think most of the visitors to my blogs are interested in my posts about writing...either because they've read my work, or because they're considering reading my work. For those people, the last several entries probably weren't that now I'm going to talk about writing.

The idea for the next novel (it better be at least 80,000 words) is formulating itself in my mind. It's going to be a space opera, with hyperspace, traders, and maybe even a war thrown in. Not exactly pure science fiction, but the ideas coming to me sound like they'll be fun to write...and hopefully fun to read. In some ways, the book seems like it would fit well with Ephemeris, the RPG I'm currently working on. I don't know if I'll write it as an Ephemeris novel, or as a more general novel. Once I start doing some outlining, I'll probably have a better idea.

I have a small press publisher who might be interested in my long novella, Red Moon Rising. I say might because they want some changes made to it. The changes, however, are stylistic in nature, and I'm not sure if I'm willing to make them, since it might change my "voice" in the story. Something for me to think about...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A sale at NDP

Nomadic Delirium Press is having a holiday sale. This is a chance to get several of my books at a pretty good discount, so check it out soon...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The weather outside is frightful

Current temp is zero and we have light snow. The snow I can deal with, but I've never really liked the BITTER cold...

Thought I'd post a few more pics...especially since someone mentioned that the cats weren't in the last batch.

The girls with the tree:

Rebecca decided to get a shot of the falling snow and the lights on our balcony. The lights didn't show up very well, but she got a cool flash effect off of the snow:

KJ wonders why there's a tree in his house:

Mosi says get the &%@* out of her face:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Some Xmas stuff

Wednesday night Rebecca's dad came over, and he and the girls decorated the tree while Rebecca and I went shopping for Xmas presents. This was the first time the girls had ever had a real tree, so they were pretty excited about it. We didn't want to do anything extravagant, so we went with a small tree...although I think we could have used a few more ornaments.

Here are some pics...

The tree before:

The family with the tree:

The tree after:

The next night there was a gorgeous sunset, so I had to go on to our balcony and get a shot of it:

Why is the universe trying to crap on my Xmas?

I thought it was a bad thing when I found out that I might be losing my job after the holidays. Very Scroogish of my employers...but I just got off the phone with my mom, and she told me that my three and a half year old niece has been diagnosed with leukemia. Kind of put things in perspective for me...

For a young child to have to suffer like that seems pretty cruel of the universe, but for it to happen to a family less than two weeks before Christmas seems completely unfair...but then I've never thought the universe was a fair place.

Rebecca's brother battled leukemia when they were both teenagers...unfortunately, he lost his battle. We're all thinking positive thoughts for my niece, and we're hoping she gets a diagnosis of one of the forms that is easier to treat.

I'd appreciate it if you could all think positive thoughts for her as well.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Damn jobs

Anyone who reads here frequently knows that I had one hell of a hard time finding a job when we moved here. Most likely it was because of my availability, but I spent close to three months looking before I got my current job. I've now been there for close to a month, and today we were all told that the store was closing and that we are going into liquidation.

That means that in the next 6-12 weeks, I will once again be out of a job. I might be able to get a transfer, but there are no guarantees. It does give me time to look, but it's not easy to find something at holiday to say that the timing of this sucked would be quite the understatement. This is one of the main reasons why I don't like "real" jobs, but unfortunately, writing and editing is still very hit and miss on money for me.

Since I like to report on nature sightings I have, I'll mention that while I was standing out in the cold waiting for our oldest to get out of school, a large bird flew over me. I was expecting it to be a goose, since there are so many of them near her school, but I didn't hear any noise. When I looked up, I realized that it was a bald eagle. That's about the only good news I have from the day...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The TSO show

To say that the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show was amazing would be an understatement. Great music, a phenomenal light show, and a great crowd made for a great night...not to mention the great company.

The first part of the show was put together as a story, which was pretty much the same as their Christmas Eve and Other Stories album. After that, they jammed, and that was the best part of the show. Moving lights, stage sections that rose, electric was definitely amazing. If you've never seen them live, you owe it to yourself to go.

Before the show, Rebecca wasn't sure if she would enjoy it, but she had a blast.

Possibly the best part of the show was the fact that the members of the band are real class acts. Before the show, they donated more than $17,000 to local charities, and after the show, they set up tables in the hallways so they could sit and talk with their fans. You definitely don't see that with most bands. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to stay...maybe next year.

Again, if Trans-Siberian Orchestra is coming to your town, you need to go see them. If you really appreciate good music, you will not be sorry.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Going to the TSO show

Rebecca and I will soon be leaving for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. This is something that I've been waiting for for years now...and, it's hard to believe, but this will be Rebecca's first ever concert.

No matter what, this will be a great show...enjoy some vids...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Noises in the Night

Sunday night after Rebecca came home from work, we both heard strange noises coming from outside. At first, I thought it was kids laughing on the stairs, but why would kids be out at almost 11 at night? Yeah, some parents are ok with that...

As we listened more closely, we realized that the noises were coming from the field behind our place. We went out on the balcony, but couldn't see anything, but it was obvious that the sounds were being made by coyotes. Shortly after that, someone went over to the field with a flashlight and they took off...we did see one of them running through the trees. Our guess is that they'd chased something into a thicket that's over there because we went over to investigate the next morning and didn't find any signs of a kill in the snow.

We've known that we had coyotes in the area. I've seen them on two different occasions, but this was the first time that we'd heard them...and they were only about 50 meters from our place.

In other news, we're having the typical crazy Colorado weather. I walked to work this morning at 6 in howling winds, but because the winds were out of the west, it was 50 degrees...and it warmed up close to 70 today. However, tonight the winds are supposed to shift to coming out of the north, which means that the temps will drop, and we have a chance for snow. You have to love Colorado's weather...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Damn word counts

I don't know why, but my works tend to fall around the 60,000 word mark. That's too long for the few novella publishers out there, and it's too short for the novel markets. Granted, if I was writing mainstream fiction it would be fine, but for SF, most markets want at least 80k.

I finished the latest revisions of the novelization of A Problem in Translation, and it came in at 61,574 words. I guess that means it's back to the drawing board with it. I suppose I need to find several new scenes to add...but I'm just not sure where.

For now, I'll probably set it aside for a few weeks, and let it stew in my brain.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday is over

My original plan had been to title this entry "I Survived Black Friday," but then I read about a Wal-Mart employee in New York being trampled to death by crazy shoppers and I decided that would be a tasteless title.

Come on people. We're talking about saving a few it really worth killing an employee over? I'm sorry but when hundreds of people run the poor guy over...and then step around his broken body, you can't call it an accident, and all of those shoppers should be deeply ashamed of what they did today.

As for my Black Friday, we were busy, but nothing like that. The first two hours, we were crazy busy, but then after that, it was just more of a steady busy. No matter what, we definitely earned our paychecks today.

Thanksgiving went well here. Rebecca made a fabulous dinner. She'd never done a turkey before, and she was absolutely convinced that she was going to ruin it, but in all honesty, it was one of the best turkeys I've ever we have tons of leftovers.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Black Friday

For my 30+ years on this planet, I've managed to avoid Black Friday like the plague. I don't generally like crowds, and I really hate them in stores or malls, so I've never seen a reason to partake in the festivities.

However, now that I have a retail job, I find that I will be working on Black Friday, and not only that, but I have to be in at 5 a.m. I'm really not sure what to expect, as our location is pretty slow, so there might not be very many people coming in. Still, I think we will be busier than normal, so I would guess the day will pass quick. After that, it's one short day on Saturday and then two days off. I'm hoping to use that time to finish up the revisions on the novella/short novel that I've been working on...but it isn't turning out like I'd hoped, so it probably won't be the final revisions like I'd wanted them to be...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving here in the U.S. For me, this holiday has always brought up mixed feelings. Since becoming an adult (at least in age, not necessarily in maturity) I haven't really been a part of a family. Yes, I have been in relationships during the holidays, but they've always been highly say the least.

This year, I suddenly find myself with a family. Rebecca and I have been together for a little over a year, and our little family will be celebrating Thanksgiving together, and as the cliche requires...that makes me very thankful.

Some other things I'm thankful for would be the rest of my family...who are scattered all over the States, my friends (including the childhood friends who I've just started to re-connect with), my readers (you're the ones that make writing worthwhile), and of course the end of the Bush administration.

One thing that has always bothered me about this holiday is that in a lot of ways it seems to celebrate the exploitation of the Native American population. Let's face it, most of those early colonies would not have survived without the help of the local Indians...and it's a disgrace how they were repaid for their help. Knowing that some of my ancestors walked the Trail of Tears always makes me a bit morose on Thanksgiving.

So, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and I ask that you please try to take a few minutes to remember the atrocities committed against the Indian people after that first Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The aStore

For those of you not reading this in an RSS feed, you've probably noticed that there's a new widget at the top of my main's also on most of the pages on my homepage.

This is an Amazon aStore widget. The aStore I've created features a number of the books I've written or edited. Unfortunately, it doesn't have most of the Sam's Dot titles I've worked on because they're not available on Amazon...which is the one thing keeping Sam's Dot from being one of the major small press markets.

Yes, it's just one more attempt by me to try to make more money off of the hard work I've put into my writing and editing...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Still undecided

I've been debating back and forth whether or not I'll see this when it comes out.

Now that I've seen this preview, I can honestly say that I'm still undecided. Parts of it look good, and other parts look ridiculous...

Friday, November 14, 2008


I woke up this morning to get ready for work, and found that it had snowed overnight. It wasn't a lot of snow...just enough to almost cover the grass, but it was the first measurable snow we've had in Denver so far this Fall. According to my memory, which isn't what it used to be, this is the latest first snow we've had since I've lived here.

Of course, the sun came out and melted it all away, but at least I finally got my snow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The job search is over

For better, or for worse, I once again have a "real" job. Tomorrow at 6 a.m. I report for duty at Office Depot, where I'll be doing stocking and sales.

It's certainly not my dream job, but it is a job. Given the limited hours I'm actually available, I'm reasonably happy to have this. At least it's not food. I don't know if I could have handled another food job.

Looking on the bright side, I will hopefully get a discount on things like paper and mailing supplies...that's always a good thing for a freelance writer.

Also, today is Veterans' Day here in America, so I would like to take the time to wish every veteran a Happy Veterans' Day, and thank them for their service. Be sure you're all doing the same.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The real losers in this election

The ballots have been cast, and the votes have been counted. The media has told us who the winners are and who the losers are, but I'd like to take a moment to tell you who the real losers in this election are. It's actually a very simple answer...go look in a mirrror. That's right America, you and me, the American people are the real losers in this election.

Of the two main candidates for president, I do believe that the lesser of two evils won. I think we will be better off with Obama than we would have been with McCain, but I still don't think we're in good shape.

The simple reason for this is that both the Democrats and the Republicans are owned by big business, and it's big business that makes the decisions for these politicians. Whether it's the Republicans and the oil companies, or the Democrats and the pharmaceutical companies, these people are more interested in doing what is best for major corporations and for their own political careers than they are in doing what is right for the American people...the people who put them in power.

The system is stacked to favor the two party system. If you don't believe me, just look into what a third party candidate has to do to get on the ballot in most states. And forget about media coverage (which is what generally governs the American view of the world.) The media is too closely tied to the major parties to ever let a third party candidate get the kind of coverage needed to mount a serious charge. Have you ever wondered why you didn't see a Green or Libertarian candidate in the debates? Simple. The debates are owned and operated by the two major parties...thus locking out any chance for a third party candidate.

As long as we continue to have a corporate democracy as opposed to a representative democracy, it will be the American people who continue to suffer. So, in future elections, please consider the possibility of voting for a third party candidate.

Having said all of this, I offer my hearty congratulations to President-elect Obama. Of the two, I'm glad it's him. I hope he can restore some of the America that has been destroyed by the current administration, and I certainly hope that he will bring about some racial healing in this country...something that is still badly needed.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

An entry about writing

And finally, an entry without pictures...

While at MileHiCon last week, I moderated a panel about getting inside the minds of non-human characters. It was a great of the best I've ever done...and it gave me a lot of ideas for the novelization of my short story A Problem in Translation.

So, earlier this week, I started on the revisions. Right now I'm just making notes on the manuscript itself, but soon I'll be back at the keyboard, and hopefully it will be good enough to a major market...


Last night was my first Halloween as a dad. I think what struck me more than anything is the surprising number of people that don't give out candy. I can remember being a kid and going around one or two blocks and coming home with the mother lode of candy. But last night we had to drive around a lot just to find streets where people were actually giving out candy.

The kids still did well, because let's face it, they really don't need too much candy. I was also struck by the amount of candy that we threw out. Rebecca and I were both very cautious and we threw out anything that looked even slightly suspicious.

This year, the girls went as a bride and a unicorn...even though the unicorn had wings, which struck me as odd. We finally decided it was a pegicorn.

MileHiCon pics

Obviously I'm trying to get caught up on blogging tonight...

Here are some pics from last weekend's MileHiCon.

The Getting into the Minds of Non-Humans Panel
(picture courtesy of Ian Brazee-Cannon)

The girls made masks...

Then they got to go to make costumes out of scrap...

Then all of the kids got to pose with a working R2 unit...

The neighborhood

From previous posts, you've probably gathered that we live in an area that's rich in wildlife, even though we're still in the city. The other night as we were coming home, we came across three very large raccoons, who didn't seem to be the least bit afraid of people...and the other day while I was on my way to a job interview, I heard a rustling sound coming from the dry canal that runs close to us. I walked over to investigate, and there was a very large coyote strolling through the canal. He looked up at me and started walking a little faster, but he didn't run from me.

Here are some pics I've taken over the last couple of months...

Why can't we be friends?

As many of you know when Rebecca and I moved in together, we each brought a cat. I brought Mosi, and she brought K.J. To say that the blending of this part of our family has not been very successful would be an understatement. K.J. has tried to make friends, but Mosi usually chases him or attacks him for no reason...although I'm sure she thinks there's a reason.

Still, sometimes they get along better than they want us to know. One day when Rebecca was taking a nap while I was working at my computer, I turned around and saw these...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm back from MileHiCon

I've survived another MileHiCon, and it was yet another great experience. This year's Con was a bit different for me because I brought the family with me. None of them had ever done anything like fact, they didn't even know this kind of thing existed.

Rather than attending as many panels as I usually would, I did a lot of the kids track this year, and that was very fun and different for me.

As far as my programming, I started out Friday doing a panel on Dystopias/Utopias, which went pretty well. We batted around a lot of ideas, and had a lot of fun in the process.

On Saturday, I did a panel called Meet the Small Press. There was a lot of talk about e-books, which I really don't know much about, but I contributed on the topics that I could, and I plugged Nomadic Delirium Press and Sam's Dot Publishing as much as I could.

Sunday was a very full day for me. I started off with a signing, which actually went pretty well. I did a lot better than I thought I would. After that, I had a reading with Gary Jonas, but other than my family, there were only two other people in the audience, so it was a bit of a bust. My panels ended with a panel called Getting Inside the Head of Non-Human Characters. We had Tim Powers on the panel, and I imagine that, plus the interesting topic, left us with a standing room only audience. This was the first time I ever moderated a panel, and it went really well. We had some great discussions on the panel, plus some great questions from the audience towards the end of the panel.

And as always, I got to talk to a lot of people I've known for years, talk a lot about writing, and generally have a really good time.

The best thing about the Con was that the family really enjoyed it, and they want to go back for more...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Off to MileHiCon

I'm about to leave for the Con. If I have time, I'll post updates over the weekend, but it could be Monday before you hear anything more from me.

Hope you all have a great weekend?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've done my part for democracy

I mailed in my ballot today, so I guess that means that I have every right to gripe about whatever the idiots in power do for the next several years.

In other news, the weather is definitely changing here. We're getting rain, thunder, lightning, wind, and steadily dropping temps. If this keeps up, we'll see a little snow by morning. Yay!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I have the best fiancee in the world

Normally I really hate my birthdays, but she made this one very special. She made a nice breakfast, a great dinner, and then an amazing cake with ice cream. On top of all of that, she got me tickets for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show here in Denver this December.

TSO is my favorite band, and I've been wanting to see them for years, but something has always I'm going to get to see them!!!!!!!!

Busy, busy, busy

Things have been pretty hectic around here lately. On Saturday, we took the girls to the Pumpkin Festival that's just across the field from us. It was the coldest day we've had so far this season, and none of the women of the house seem to enjoy the cold. They had pumpkin chunking, master carvers, a hay ride, and lots of other stuff. It was a lot of fun, although the walk home seemed a lot longer when I was carrying both of the girls' pumpkins.

On Sunday, we went to The Wildlife Experience to talk to them about possibly hosting our wedding. We're both really excited about it, but we're still trying to figure out how we're going to come up with the deposit. Money won't be an issue after the first of the year, but it's a major issue right now, and we're both afraid that we might have to postpone the wedding. After talking with the representative, they let us take the girls around the museum for free...and they loved it.

Other than that, I'm still trying to find a job that will work around my limited schedule, still trying to write and edit when I can, and trying to adjust to family life.

I should also note that today I am officially 365 days away from 40, and I'm not thrilled about it. Rebecca is walking around the apartment with a big grin on her face, and I've seen her with bags that I'm not allowed to access, so obviously she's planning something. I guess that means I can't sit around and mope like I usually do...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

When Living is a Crime

My story, When Living is a Crime has sold to Tales of the Talisman. It's set to appear in the September 2009 issue.

I'll be sure to remind you when the issue comes out...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My MileHiCon 40 schedule

It looks like I'm going to be nice and busy at MileHiCon 40. I have three panels, a reading, and a signing.

For those of you planning on attending, here's where you can find me:

Friday 3:00-4:00 Dystopias/Utopias Grand Mesa B-C

Saturday 3:45-5:00 Meet the Small Press Mesa Verde B

Sunday 11:00-Noon Signing Dealers' Room

Sunday Noon-1:00 Reading Mesa Verde C

Sunday 1:00-2:00 Getting Inside the Head of Non-Human Characters Wind River B

Hope to see a lot of you there. I will have some books with me, but it's always a good idea to get copies before the Con...just in case. For ordering info, go to

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Internet Issues

Earlier this week I had some major problems with my a result, they've been dropped, and I'm currently on dial-up.

I should be back up with high-speed by the middle of the week, but until then, you can probably expect to hear very little from me because dial-up is enough to drive anyone batty...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

700 billion dollars of BS

Our economy needs a bail-out of some kind...there's no doubt about that, but the plan being pushed by the Bush administration is a joke. There's no help for the common joe like you and me, so who does benefit?

The CEOs of these companies are going to get massive pay-offs...for basically doing a crappy job. I always thought quality work was supposed to be rewarded.

Let's face it, the current parties and their asinine policies are what has brought us to this point. Do we really think it's a good idea to continue to let them try to fix it?

If you're interested in reading part of the proposal, click here. Please pay special attention to the statement...

"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

If you feel like me, that there has to be something better than this, please contact your Congresspeople...not that I feel it will really do any good...

Contact your Representative

Contact your Senator

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Trying to get back on track

I've been out of the loop for a few days now. For the last two weeks, I've had a bad bronchial infection and the worst sinus infection I could ever imagine. For the last four or five days, I haven't done much more than watch (or more precisely, listen) to TV. Normally I don't use covers when I sleep until it cools way done, but I've been curled up under three blankets, with a fiancee on one side and a cat on the other.

TV is quite disappointing. I've never been a big fan of the idiot box, but being forced to endure it because I couldn't keep my eyes open because of my swollen sinuses made me realize just how bad TV is, and just why our society is the way it is.

Hopefully I will be healthy enough tomorrow to start something close to a regular schedule, because I am way behind on a lot of things.

I need to get back to work on the WIP, get a ton of editing done, send out some manuscripts...and I probably should find one of those job things...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Snow on the high peaks

I woke up this morning to look out at our wonderful view and was quite pleased to see that there was snow on the high peaks of the Rockies. This can only mean that it won't be much longer until there's snow here in Denver. I love snow, so I'm very excited about the prospect of it coming our way.

We're all still battling a bad case of the creeping cruds, so hopefully we'll all be feeling better soon...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another WIP

Now that my novella that should have been a novel is making the rounds, I've decided to get back to work on another book that seems to have the same problem...not enough words.

This is an expansion of my short story "A Problem in Translation," that I've mentioned several times in the past. This book is most definitely a space opera with lots of aliens, but it has a lot of underlying moral questions. So, here is my wordage so far...

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
57,961 / 80,000

If you've read the short story in the past, I'd love to hear if you have any ideas of what you'd like to learn about the Lemec, since they're the primary antagonists in the book...and if you haven't read the story, you can always order a copy of the illustrated version by clicking on the cover below...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Featured Author at Anthology Builder

This month I'm one of the featured authors at Anthology Builder. What this means is that if you build an anthology that contains one of my stories, you get a $1.00 off the normal price. Simply go to and you can start building your anthology today.

At the moment, I have ten stories on the site, so you should be able to find something that appeals to you...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Regular readers of this blog probably know that I have several stories listed with Anthology Builder. It seems that I'm actually starting to make some sales through the site...which is quite a pleasant surprise. So, if you're interested in reading some of my stories, and you might want to include them in an anthology with some other authors that you may, or may not know, please go to and check out what Anthology Builder has to offer.

If you're interested in picking up some of my previously published work as an e-file (PDF), you can visit

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An Ephemeris Update

As many of you may know, we'd hoped to have Ephemeris out by WorldCon, but we obviously missed that goal.

I've been busy with getting engaged, moving, and suddenly becoming a dad, so I haven't had the time I've needed to really work on the game like I should. My co-conspirator has also been busy...and maybe a little lazy...

I've made tremendous progress on the initial rules over the last couple of weeks, and we're now hoping for a release date sometime around MileHiCon. Granted, life often gets in the way, so it could still be early next year...but we're really shooting for late October.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Disappointed in the revisions

Having just completed the most recent round of revisions on what I'd hoped would be my next novel, I have to admit that disappointed isn't even the right word. Even though I did add a lot, I also cut out some stuff that didn't seem to be working.

As a result, I fell well short of the 80,000 words I was shooting for. I'm sure that even if I have people read it before I actually start to submit it, they aren't going to find enough places to add the kind of wordage that I would it looks like I'm stuck with a novella.

Now I just have to figure out where I can actually submit a novella...yeah, more than a little disappointed.

The actual final count:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
55,392 / 80,000

Monday, August 18, 2008

WorldCon video

Someone has put together a short video showing some of their highlights from WorldCon. Personally, I think it's a bit heavy on the masquerade, but it's still a good video and worth watching...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Denvention Pics

Here are some pics from my panel with Larry Niven at Denvention...the World Science Fiction Convention. These are from the collection of pics that have been put together by the Con. To see all of the pictures, please go to...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Denvention Day 5

Today was the last day of WorldCon. I made it down early enough to catch a panel called Making a Living Telling Lies. The panelists were Bill Mayhew, Connie Willis, Jay Lake, and Jo Walton. I figured it would be a good panel because putting Connie and Jay together is bound to spark something interesting, and I wasn't disappointed. I don't know if I necessarily learned anything, but I was definitely entertained.

After that, I just wondered around talking to people about whatever we felt like talking about. I handed out a lot of my cards, which will hopefully lead to some sales for me, Sam's Dot Publishing, and The Genre Mall.

There were a few people I'd met in the past that I was hoping to get a chance to talk to, but it didn't work out. I never did see Maggie Bonham, and I passed Mike Brotherton and Frank Wu a couple of times...but they were always quite busy.

I was also hoping to meet Lawrence Schoen who I've edited in the past, but I've never met in person. I saw him once in the hall, and he was on a cellphone, so I never had a chance to introduce myself. I was also hoping to meet Bryan Thao Worra, but I don't think he even made it.

After the morning panel, I was hoping to introduce myself to Jay Lake, but he had to leave before the panel was I never had the chance. I also wanted to meet John Scalzi, but other than when he won the Hugo, I only saw him when I was in line for registration...and he was with a big crowd, so I didn't want to push my way in. I find it so rude when people interrupt my conversations, and I'm sure it happens a lot more to him.

I also went to the closing ceremonies, which had some good moments. At the end of it all, it was kind of sad. This was my first ever WorldCon, and I didn't get to see as much as I wanted. Had it been for any reason other than family, I would have been very frustrated...but I can't complain about missing a Con because I have kids to take care of. They're good kids, and I certainly want to be there for them.

I'd love to think that I'll make it next year to Montreal, but I kind of doubt it. Australia also seems pretty unlikely...but maybe I'd better get back to writing so that I have even more reason to go to WorldCons in the future.

I'll try to find some pictures to post tomorrow!

Denvention Days 3 & 4

Day 3 was pretty much a bust for me. Because of daycare issues, I was only able to make it to the masquerade...which really wasn't as impressive as I thought it would be. There were definitely some great costumes, but I expected a lot more from a WorldCon. Still, it was worth it just to see Frank Wu's costume. You can find it here.

Day 4 was good. I got there at a fairly decent time and spent a lot of time reacquainting myself with a lot of people.

The first panel I went to was about the evolution of SF, which had quite an impressive list of panelists: Ben Bova, John Stith, LE Modesitt, Robert J. Sawyer, and Shoshana Glick. It was interesting to hear what people from across the generations of SF had to say.

After that, I went to a panel on self-promotion, which really didn't teach me anything I didn't already know. Then it was off to dinner with Hobbit and talking to more people along the way.

The night ended with the Hugos. I don't usually like award shows on TV, but the Hugos were fun...and I still think it would be great to stand on that stage holding one of those statues. I guess I'd better work on getting much better at what I do as a writer and an editor.

Now, it's time to get ready for the final day. I mostly want to go down and meet some people I haven't met...except on-line. That's my main goal for the day.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Denvention Days 1 & 2

This is my first ever WorldCon, and to be totally honest...I haven't been there much. Now that I've suddenly become a dad, I've had familial obligations.

I got there Wednesday around 11 with the intent of hitting a couple of early panels...instead I stood in line at registration for about an hour. There were definitely some glitches.

After that, I hit the Dealers' Room...lucky I don't have any money. Along the way, I ran into Ian Brazee-Cannon, Laura Givens, Cynthia Felice, Rebecca Bates...and waved at a lot of other people I knew...all of whom seemed to be on their cellphones...I'm beginning to wonder if there was some kind of conspiracy. I also saw a lot of the big hitters, but they were talking with other people, and I don't think there's anything more obnoxious than people interrupting a conversation.

I made it to two panels yesterday. The first was an art panel, which I didn't think went very well because the moderator did most of the talking. After that, I went to a panel on the small press...which didn't really hold any surprises for me, since I've been in the small press for so long. I then went to the Opening Ceremonies, which I also thought were a major downer. That was it for the first day, and even though it might sound like it wasn't a great experience, I had a lot of fun talking to people...and that's what Cons are really about for me.

Thursday was going to be a nightmare. I had a panel and a signing...the only programming I'm doing at this year's Con, but we couldn't find any all! Luckily, I have the most amazing fiancee in the world, and she was able to rearrange her schedule at work. She went in and opened...came home so I could make my panel and signing...and then went back to work to close. Did I tell you she's amazing???

The panel was What Makes SF Work? Characters, Society, or Technology? My co-panelists were the one and only Larry Niven, Ken Scholes, and Shanna Swendson. The panel was a really good time. I'd guess that we probably had 50-70 people in the audience...and yeah, I really believe they came to see me (that's sarcasm, by the way.) Even though we all agreed that the answer to the question was "yes," we managed to stretch it out to the full 75 minutes, with each of us getting plenty of time to talk. It was also nice that the four of us were different types of writers, so I think the audience got a good variety in the answers. And we had a good audience too...with no one trying to talk too much.

After that, I had my signing, which was a complete bust. Most conventions put the signing close to the entrance of the dealers' room, but Denvention had us set off to the side. So the only way someone would have noticed me is if they actually came looking for me. But I did run into Rose Beetem and Ron and Nina Else...all very nice people. The one nice thing about the signing was that I was sitting right next to Stanley Schmidt of Analog. It was fun to kind of pick his brain a little.

Tomorrow I will probably only make it to the masquerade because of more day care issues, but I'll blog about it as I can...

Friday, August 01, 2008

My WorldCon bio

I know I won't shut up about WorldCon, but I'm excited. This will be the first WorldCon I've ever attended, and the fact that I get to do a panel and a signing makes it that much more exciting...assuming we can find daycare for the little ones.

So, if you're interested in reading my bio, you can find it at

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Writing again...

...or at least revising again.

Most of my time lately has been focused on the move (and everything that went along with that), working on Ephemeris, and assorted editing my writing has suffered a bit.

But last night I pulled out the hard copy of Red Moon Rising and started working on it. There's going to be a lot of work to do on it, as I need to lengthen it dramatically, but at least I am working on it again. Right now I'm just making notes on the hard copy, but eventually I'll be back at the computer and actually working on the word count.

If you're actually interested in the process and the progress, I'll be posting more about it on my LiveJournal than I will here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My WorldCon schedule

It's going to be a busy few hours on Thursday, and then that will be it...

1:00 What makes SF work? Characters, Society, or Technology
CCC - Room 505
Panelists talk about the primary elements of a SF story, and try to decide which are most important to our genre. What makes SF different from other stories? Does it have to include social or technical speculation to be SF?
J. Alan Erwine, Ken Scholes, Larry Niven, (m) Shanna Swendson

2:30 Signing (45 minutes)
CCC - Hall D
Adrian Bedford, J. Alan Erwine, Lee Martindale, Pamela Freeman

Monday, July 28, 2008

Not too intimidating

The pocket program for WorldCon has just been published, and I found out that the panel I'm doing will be with Larry Niven.

Yeah, that's not too intimidating...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our first walk

Now that we've rested up some from the move, we took our first walk tonight. There's a bike path right behind our place, and it winds through a bit of nature cut off from of course I took my camera along and snapped some pics...

A cascade that's in the center of our apartment complex

A creek that's just off the path, and almost right behind our place...

A lake and an unexpected neighbor.
There's a bird right by the edge of the lake, and in all my years living in Colorado, I've never seen one like him...

One of our neighbors

Some more of our neighbors

We do have cacti in Colorado

A warning about some of our other neighbors

The new place

We're now moved into the new apartment. We still have a lot of unpacking to do, but we're getting there. We really like this place even though it is a bit "cozy." We're having a lot of trouble finding where to put stuff...but we'll get it figured out.

Before we moved in, I took a few pictures, and here they are...






It was really hazy, so you can't tell, but those grayish lumps that you might be able to see are the mountains...
Yes, we have a mountain view.