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...