Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012!

Another year has come and gone, and like many other years, this one certainly had its up and downs.  The biggest downs would have to have been Rebecca being held up at the end of January, and then some bastard stealing our tax check.
Although those were some low lows, I think the highs made up for it.  Our oldest started middle school, and even though she already has some of the teen angst going on (a couple of years early), she's still doing great.  Our middle daughter has moved on to second grade, and she's more or less excelling...if we could just get her to do her homework.  And of course the youngest has grown up so much.  At the beginning of the year, she was barely walking and could say a few words.  Now she's strolling around everywhere, counting to 11, learning her ABC's, using four and five word sentences, and of course loving Star Wars and Babylon 5.  Another positive on a personal level was my accepting a promotion at work.  Although it's leaving me exhausted, we're bringing in some extra money, and that's always a good thing.
On a professional level, it was also up and down.  March saw the release of my third novel, A Problem in Translation and I also finished the initial drafts of a new RPG.  The biggest down would be that I didn't do anywhere near enough writing this year.  I do have a new story coming out in an anthology early next year, and I'm certainly hoping to do more writing in 2013.
All in all, I'm glad to be saying goodbye to 2012.  The stress from the robbery has kind of haunted everything, and once we get past the one year anniversary, I think everything will start looking up.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

Another Christmas has come and gone.  I've always loved Christmas.  I love the lights, and I love the music...well, most of the music.  And now that I have kids, I love to watch them open gifts on Christmas morning.  I, of course, don't celebrate Christmas as the birth of Christ, but rather as a time to reflect on the year's events, and to spend time with friends and family.
Although I have a great family with my wife and kids, I have to admit that I miss my mom, dad, brothers, and they're all spread across the country, so we rarely see each other, and I can't even remember the last time I saw any of them on Christmas.  This year was especially bittersweet, as I know that any day now my maternal grandmother, and the last of my grandparents, will probably pass away.
Still, with all of the mixed emotions, I have to admit that it was a great Christmas, especially when Rebecca realized that the BIG gift I'd been teasing her about was Bon Jovi tickets...she's a HUGE fan.
I hope all of you had a great whatever holiday you celebrate.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Another Apocalypse has come and gone

Eventually people will learn that the end of the world can't really be predicted, except possibly with science.  In all honesty, this Apocalypse seemed even sillier than most of the ones in the past.  I'm sure some people are feeling foolish today, although they're probably trying to justify why they were wrong...that's what always seems to happen.
On another note, the events in my novel The Opium of the People were supposed to have been set up by a near miss with a comet on Dec. 21, 2012.  I'm very happy to say that I was not prophetic.  The idea of living in a world like the one I created in the novel would make me wish for the end of the world.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Come on people

We just got through all of the election nonsense, which I thought had brought out the worst in people, but the holidays seem to make people behave in some crazy ways.  I'm not talking about the belligerent customers you have to deal with while shopping.  I'm talking about the whole Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas nonsense.
Christians feel that there's an attack on Christmas because non-Christians and Atheists want to use Happy Holidays because, well, they don't believe in Christ.  And non-Christians and Atheists don't want to be told Merry Christmas because, well, they don't believe in Christ.
To me, it's all insanity.  Why do we have to spend so much time looking into the underlying meaning of what someone is trying to say, rather than accepting the intent behind the message, which is usually, hey, hope you have a great day and life.  We're so caught up in distrusting people that we don't realize that people are just trying to be nice.  Why not let them be nice?
I, myself, am a staunch Atheist.  I don't feel like maybe there's a God, no, I don't believe at all.  But if you believe in God, and you want to wish me a Merry Christmas, then by all means, go ahead, and I'll wish you one too.  If I do something nice for someone, and they say God Bless You.  I don't look at it as them trying to push their religion on me.  No, I look at it as them thanking me in their own way.  Even if I don't agree with their belief system, it doesn't mean that I can't accept the sentiment of gratitude.
Everyone needs to loosen up and stop worrying about what someone might mean by what they're saying.  Yes, there are some people that are trying to push their beliefs on you, but the majority of people saying Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays are just trying to be nice.  There's so little niceness left in the world, let's let them be nice and get over ourselves.

So, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Happy Whatever You Want to Believe and Celebrate.  I hope whatever you believe in and celebrate at this time of year will bring you a great deal of happiness.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm still around

Since taking this promotion, you've probably noticed a significant reduction in my blog posting.  Well, I'm still around.  I'm just trying to adjust to the extra hours and all that.
It was already tough juggling being a father of three kids, a husband, a writer, an editor, a game designer, and a part-time employee, but adding in those extra hours of going to full time is taking some getting used to.  I've been overwhelmed before, so I'm sure I'll get used to this.  Plus, I usually do better at things when it seems like I have too much to do.
So, that means you can probably expect more posting in the weeks to come as I get back up to speed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jim Baker

My article about the founder of ProMart, (which became Sam's Dot) Jim Baker, has been posted on the White Cat website.
 There are quite a few writers in the speculative fiction community that got their start with ProMart, so it was nice to get a chance to write the article, as I don't think we should ever forget him or his vision of the future.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I must be out of my mind

Anyone who knows me knows that I always have half a dozen projects going at once, and I always have ten million family things going on.  It never seems like there's enough time to get anything done in my life, so I guess it's only logical that I would take a promotion at my "real" job.  I'm now a full time supervisor.
Obviously I've lost whatever sanity I had left...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

An Eternity in Limbo

No, it's not another political post, although it sounds like it could be.
Recently I mentioned that I'd finished a new story...well, that story is titled "An Eternity in Limbo" and it has been picked up for the A Kepler's Dozen anthology from Hadrosaur Productions.  You can read about the anthology by going to  The information about this anthology is towards the bottom of the post, but the whole thing is worth reading.  Hadrosaur Productions puts out some great stuff!
I was invited to contribute to this anthology a while back, and I'm glad they decided that my story was worthy of the anthology.
Look for release information in the months to come.

Four more years

I had originally planned to post about my election views the day after the elections, but I was felled by a horrible virus that has had me fevered and weak and not able to do much, so I haven't been able to post.  Maybe it was the universe's way of saying that no one really cares what my opinion is.  Too bad.
So, after all the posturing and lies we now had a democratic president, a democratic senate, and a republican house.  In other words, we're still in the same screwed-up position we were in before the election.
Don't get me wrong, gun to my head, forcing me to vote for one of the "two" candidates, I would have voted for Obama, but I don't necessarily think he was the best candidate.  The plain and simple truth is that as long as we continue to allow ourselves to be governed by a two party system, we will forever be on our knees before the politicians and big business.  Both of the "two" parties are in bed with big business, which leaves "We the People" at the mercy of big business.
In order to get from under the heels of corporations, we have to add a third, fourth, or even a fifth party to the process.  In my opinion, there are two parties that right now could take on the dems and the repubs if people would get behind them.  Those would be the Greens and the Libertarians.  Neither party is going to get the backing of big business, because they don't agree with big business, so you won't see lots of TV ads.  The networks are owned by corporations, so they're going to tell you that there are only two parties you can vote for, but it's not the case.
Politicians seem to have forgotten that it's OUR government, so let's take it back.  In future elections, whether it's national or local, look at those third party candidates, you might actually find that they really do have YOUR best interests at heart.  Vote for them.  They may not win in the next few years, but we can build momentum, and we can take back the government from people who think they own it.
This is your choice!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

A new story

I finished the final draft on a new story today.  It's been a long time since I've actually finished a new story, so this is a really good feeling.  To make sure I didn't start second guessing myself, I immediately sent it off to try to find a new home.'s time to start on the next new story...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Con withdrawal

It's been five days since MileHiCon ended, and spending almost a week back in the "real" world makes me realize that I'm going through Con withdrawal.  I wish it was within our means to do more cons.
Maybe I just need to start writing or editing more so I can move up to that Guest of Honor title...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some writerly advice

As some of you may know, I'm the featured writer at Word Weavers this week, and I promised them a blog for Tuesday, so I thought I'd dedicate the entry to some of the things I've learned as a writer and an editor over the years.  Some of it is common sense, and I'm sure most writers already know this stuff, but you never know, you might learn something new.
A writer should always try to write every day.  It's not always easy, and I'm certainly guilty of not doing this anymore.  I used to write almost every day, but now that I'm married and have kids, it's not as easy.  As the little one gets older, I imagine it will get easier.
Always follow guidelines.  This one may seem pretty obvious, but you'd be surprised by how many people do not follow guidelines.  None of the magazines that I edit publish horror, and yet I get at least one horror submission every month.
Network, network, network.  In the computer age, every writer needs to network with other writers, and most certainly with readers.  Be sure to have a Facebook page, since that's where the majority of people are hanging out these days.  When that changes in a couple of years (remember MySpace), move along with the change, and keep meeting new people.
If you're a genre writer, go to Cons.  Some people are intimidated by cons, because let's face it, some of the fans can be a bit intense, but they are fans, and if you can get them reading your work, and liking it, they'll be fans forever.  Cons are also a great way to meet other writers, and to talk face to face with editors.  I'm approached by at least a dozen people at every con wanting to talk about Sam's Dot.  You can really learn a lot at a Con.
Be open to criticism.  Even people who don't like your work might be able to give you some good pointers on how to improve.  Now, I'm obviously not talking about the haters out there, but people that have genuine reasons for not liking your work can improve your writing skills.  Yes, you most certainly have to have thick skin, but no matter how good of a writer you are (or you think you are), someone is not going to like your work.
Most important advice of all...persevere.  I have seen a lot of truly talented writers that couldn't take the rejection of writing, and gave up because of it.  And I've seen a lot writers who didn't have much talent to start with, but continued to write and submit no matter what.  After years, these writers developed into true talents because they kept practicing and they learned from their mistakes.
Not sure if any of this helps, but I thought I'd put it out there for anyone that is interested.

Monday, October 22, 2012

MileHiCon recap

Another MileHiCon has come and gone, and it was another great one.  The staff at the Con is always fantastic, and they do such a great job.
Friday started out with a panel about Copyright Law.  I know a little about this, but nowhere near as much as the other panelists, so I just chimed in when it seemed appropriate, but I think we gave the audience a lot of good information, and the panel was very well attended.  A couple of hours later, I had my reading.  This year I was by myself, so it was only sparsely attended, but those that were there seemed to enjoy the reading.
Saturday morning I did a panel about the future of gaming.  A lot of the panel talked about console and computer gaming, which I don't have a lot of time for (you know, family, job, editing, writing, game creation, and all of that kind of stuff), but I was able to talk quite a bit about RPGs and such.  It was another well attended panel, and the audience was great, and I hope we entertained them, which I think we did.  We had some serious clowns on that panel.  I then did a signing, which was more of a "here, take my card" kind of thing, but that's how it usually is for small press authors.  Later in the day I did a panel on the small press, which was a lot of fun, and again was very well attended.  We had a lot of fun with that one as well.
We then went to the masquerade, which is always a good time, but I think some of the costumes are getting a little out of control.  There are a lot kids in the audience, and I think some of the costumes are getting a bit too risque for kids, but I guess some people just want attention however they can get it.
Sunday I only had gaming with the participants, but we couldn't come up with enough people to get the game going, so that was a wash.
The kids had a good time, although I'd like to see the older two take more interest in doing things.  They just want to sit on the sidelines and watch other people do.  There's a family that has two boys that are a each a year or two older than our oldest girls, and we always spend a lot of time with them.  Alexis has really taken a shine to their oldest boy, and she always was looking for him, and enjoyed beating him up with a bat'leth.
Overall, a great Con.  Can't wait for next year!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Getting ready for the Con, and other stuff

We're just a few days away from MileHiCon, and I'm starting to gear up for it by deciding just what books to take and such.  I always bring way too many, always in the hope that I'll somehow sell out during my signing...hasn't happened yet...but it might.
I've been finishing up a new supplement for the Ephemeris RPG.  This one's The Cyber Wizard's Sourcebook, and it's helped to refresh my memory a bit on the game...just in case anyone shows up to play on Sunday.
We should start packing for the Con in a couple of days, but I always like to hold off on that for as long as I can, because let's face it, this is Colorado, and you can never be sure what the weather will do in October...or any other month, for that matter.
For those of you following my adventures with the health and insurance industries...we finally have approval from the insurance company for the CT scan.  That will be taking place on the 25th.  Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hopefully closing a chapter

Today was sentencing for the guy who held Rebecca up.  He will be going away for 20 years, and the DA says that he probably won't even be eligible for parole for 15 years.  By that time, two of our kids will be adults, and the youngest will be driving...that's a long time, and it's an amount of time that's difficult to comprehend when put into those terms.
I was very proud of Rebecca.  Even though this guy has changed her life so dramatically, she still found the courage to actually stand up in front of everyone in the courtroom, and tell him exactly what was on her mind.
This is what she had to say:
January 31st changed my life.  I was just doing my job to pay my bills and to take care of my three kids, when he walked in and pulled out a gun and robbed me.
Now I find it very hard to trust anyone, and all of my relationships with family, friends, and my husband have suffered as a result of this crime.  I can't cope with my life the way I used to, and I am trying to get back on track and deal with things the best that I can.  He took so much from me, and now I'm struggling to trust people again.  It's been almost nine months, and I'm still having anxiety attacks and I panic when I see people that look similar to him, or people who are in hats or hoodies.  It's going to take a while before I am myself again, and before I can see the world the way I used to.
I hope he sees how wrong he was, and I hope he wants to change.  He still has many years of his life in front of him, and it's my hope that he ends up being a better person.  I haven't forgiven him for hurting me, but one day I hope to.  I need to be able to move on.

After she'd expressed herself, he talked quietly to his attorney, and through the exchange, I could hear him saying that he wanted to say something.  Finally, he did actually say that he was sorry, and he was working to change his life.  Apparently he took to a life of crime because he'd gotten heavily into drugs.  It's not a valid excuse, but at least we now know why he did it.
As they were leading him away, he was crying.  Maybe he will change, but only time will tell...

Monday, October 08, 2012

Word Weavers

A long time ago in a galaxy far far, wait, scratch that.  A long time ago at a place called Myspace (you remember that place, right) there was a group called Word Weavers.  It was a group designed for writers to network and readers to find new writers.  Well, the group is back on Facebook at, and starting the week of Oct. 22nd, I will be the featured writer, so head over and like the page now.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

My revised MileHiCon schedule

These things are always very fluid up until the Con starts, so here's my revised schedule for the Con...

Friday 4:00 pm
Understanding the Impossibly Tortuous Galactic Copyright Laws

Friday 6:00 pm

Saturday 10:00 am
What's New in Gaming

Saturday 11:00 am

Saturday 1:00 pm
Small Press Onward

Sunday noon
Playing with Participants
A game of Ephemeris...

Friday, October 05, 2012

Insurance companies are doctors???

It would seem that our insurance company has decided that I don't really need a CT scan.  They're requiring that the surgeon that I had a consultation with call them and convince them that I need a CT scan.
It seems outrageous to me that we live in a country where insurance companies have more say in our health care than our doctors...but I guess this is what happens when political parties give in to big business.
So, as a result of this, I'm now in a holding pattern about what will happen to me in the I guess I just have to continue being in pain...

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

My MileHiCon schedule

Things are still subject to change, but here's what my schedule looks like at the moment...

Friday October 19th 4:00 p.m.
Wind River A
Understanding the Impossibly Tortuous Galactic Copyright Laws
I may have to wing some of this one...

Friday October 19th 10:00 p.m.
Mesa Verde A
Blood, Vampires, & Murder: Late Night Readings
That's a lot later than I usually stay up, so that may be entertaining in and of itself...

Saturday October 20th 1:00 p.m.
Mesa Verde A
Small Press Onward
This one will be with those trouble makers Maggie Bonham and Carol Hightshoe, so this will be fun, to say the least.

Sunday October 21st Noon
Playing with Participants
I doubt that I'll have anything ready for The Battle for Turtle Island, so I'll probably be running a game of Ephemeris.

The signings haven't all been assigned yet, so there's a good chance I'll have a signing as well.  I'll let you know more as I know more.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A crazy October is coming

Wow!  I just put together the family schedule and my writing/editing schedule for October, and it's looking nuts.  The highlights will be MileHiCon and Halloween.  The low lights will be a CT scan for me and physical therapy for Rebecca who hurt her knee at work.
Also on the list are a choir concert, days off for the kids, a week off for the kids, a birthday for some old fart, sentencing for the guy who held up Rebecca back in January, and the normal insanity that comes from being a family of five.
On the writing/editing side, I need to finish up a couple of supplements for Ephemeris, work on some revisions for The Battle for Turtle Island, finish putting a catalog together for Sam's Dot, and I really need to get a story written that I've been asked to submit to an anthology.  And of course there's the reading for three magazines, and all the other normal writing and editing stuff that comes about every month.
I guess I better get some sleep this weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The surgical consult

I met with the surgeon today, and he seems to think that most of the pain is actually in the cartilage, even though I can tell you that there is definite rib pain...especially after the way he pushed and pulled on my chest.  We're going to do a CT scan in a couple of weeks to see if he can identify any definitive damage to the cartilage.  If he can't find any, then that means that the cartilage is being strained, and there is probably nothing that can be done surgically.
If that's the case, then I'm going to be stuck with taking pain medications for the rest of my life.  This is not the outcome I was hoping for...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I wonder why...

I was just looking at the stats for my blog, and I noticed that in the last week, almost 60% of my hits have come from Russia.  None of my work has ever been translated, so I'm not sure why I would be seeing so much Russian traffic.  I suppose it is possible that it's automated traffic, and not real people.

But I suppose if you are visiting from Russia, thanks for stopping by.  And please let me know what made you visit my blog...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

No Kickstarter

The Kickstarter for The Battle for Turtle Island was a dismal failure.  I think a big reason was because I didn't have the time to really promote it like I would have wanted, but things are the way they are.

What does this mean for the game?  It will still be released, but it may not come out on Dec. 1st as we'd originally hoped.  Stay tuned to this blog for more details about the release as they become available.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A surgical consult on the horizon

It looks like I'll be meeting with a surgeon on Sep. 26th so we can start getting this thing going.  I don't imagine he'll be able to tell me much until there are more x-rays, and other sorts of I don't expect to set a date for the surgery, but we are heading in the right direction.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Cosmic Crime Stories

Cosmic Crime Stories is a science fiction magazine published by Sam's Dot Publishing that features stories about...well, crime, obviously.  It's sort of a blended genre magazine with a little mystery thrown into the SF.  The magazine has seen a couple of editorial changes, and it now has its third editor in its short little!  That's right, as if I didn't already have enough going on, I will now be the editor of Cosmic Crime Stories.

I'm looking forward to seeing some submissions in the near future from the usual suspects that have gotten to know my editorial style from The Martian Wave and The Fifth Di...

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Some bestseller news

As September gets rolling, I have some bestseller news to share.  Over at Smashwords, my novel A Problem in Translation is the 3rd or 4th bestseller.  It seems to alternate back and forth, which I assume means it's actually tied with the other book.  Considering that the two or three books ahead of it are all part of a trilogy, that's almost like being the 2nd best seller.  The complete list can be found at

Also, for the second month in a row, The Martian Wave, Vol. 3, which I edited has made the bestsellers list at the Sam's Dot Bookstore.  That list can be found at

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Looks like surgery

I met with a pain management specialist today, and he basically said that he didn't think there was anything he could do for me, because he had never seen anything like my condition, and since the pain is almost certainly related to my earlier surgery, he felt things have to be handled surgically.
So, now I'm waiting for a referral to a surgeon, and then we start this whole game all over again.
The one nice thing about today was that since he felt my appointment was a waste of time, he isn't going to charge us for it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Battle for Turtle Island needs your help

We're hoping for a December release of the new game, but if the Kickstarter is not successful, we might not be able to make that date, so we're asking for any help you can give to push the Kickstarter over the top.
No matter what, the game will be released, but it probably won't be as early as we'd hoped, and it's also doubtful that we'll be including any interior art without a successful Kickstarter, so what are you waiting for, please help:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

One giant leap for mankind...and then a stumble

Neil Armstrong passed away yesterday, a little more than 43 years after he was the first person to walk on the moon.  That was a great moment in space exploration, but what have we done since then?
In the years since the Apollo missions ended, no human has left the orbit of the Earth.  We've built a bloated and over budgeted space station, which although important, has taken up too much of the focus of the space programs.  By now, we should have visited Mars, and yes, I think it's great that our rovers are out there doing the exploring for us, but human beings could do a better job.  Yes, it's more expensive, but the benefits from the space program have been huge.  And if you don't think so, think about the microchips that have been developed as a result of the space program...think about the pharmaceuticals that have been developed as a result of the space program...think about velcro!
The human race needs to go to the stars, and now the United States doesn't even have plans for manned missions in the near future.  Our species can not survive as long as we stay confined to this tiny blue dot, and we need to move out to the stars, but the vision seems to have left us.
The loss of Neil Armstrong is certainly a sad event, but so is the loss of our goals to explore and colonize space.  Without those, we will be in a lot of trouble...

Saturday, August 25, 2012


So, Lance Armstrong has dropped his bid to clear his name against doping charges.  Does this mean that he's admitting his guilt?  No.  Does it mean that he is really just sick of fighting a losing battle? Who knows.

The sad truth is that we'll probably never know if he really doped or not.  There never was a positive test, and apparently some of the "witnesses" are being given lighter sentences for their own doping...which makes one question their credibility.

Do I necessarily believe that Lance did nothing wrong? No, I'm certainly willing to believe that he did dope.  A lot the riders that he was beating were doing it, so maybe he was...but I wasn't there, so I can't say one way or another.  And everyone else who is spouting an opinion for or against him has to remember that those are simply your opinions...that doesn't make you right.

My biggest question is, if they do decide to strip him of his seven Tour titles, who are they going to give them to?  Most of the riders he defeated have been disgraced for doping, and who knows how many dopers there were in the field at the time.  Apparently it was a lot!  So, just how far down the standings do you have to go before you find a rider that was clean at that time?

I think the most important thing that cycling fans need to do is to focus on the here and now.  I've noticed that riders are having a lot more bad days than they did during the Armstrong, Ullrich, Pantani days.  Hopefully this is a sign of clean riding...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Discounted e-book

Until the end of August, you can order the e-book version of my new novel A Problem in Translation for half price...that's just $2.50.
Simply go to, and when you're checking out, use the coupon code HG25Z. 
You can order the book in whatever e-book format you want, and you can even order it so that you can read it on your e-reader required.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ask away

Things have been busy here with back to school and such, so I figured I'd open the blog up to questions.  If you have something you'd like to ask me, now's your chance.  Do you want to know something about the game I'm working on?  Do you want to know something about a piece I've written in the past?  Or anything else, now's your chance...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Battle for Turtle Island

What would have happened if the Medicine (magic) Native Americans had tried to use against the white settlers had been real?  What if the Ghost Dance really could have protected Indian warriors from the settlers' bullets?  And what if the priests that came to the Americas had really had the power of God (magic) behind them in their attempts to "convert" the savages?

This is the basic premise for the game The Battle for Turtle Island that I'm currently creating.  The setting is the Americas when white settlers first came to America, and although historical in nature, the game asks the question, what if magic had been real?

If you'd like to help get this game going, you can contribute to the Kickstarter at

If you'd like to read a very rough version of the beginning of the rulebook, you can go to

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Back to school

It's hard to believe, but it's that time again.  Our oldest started back today.  Since she's in sixth grade, she's now a middle schooler, which is very hard to believe.  To make sure she'd know the buses for this year, we let her take the bus this morning, and then we drove over to her school so we could see her off on her first day.  She was very excited, but at the same time, very nervous.  I don't really remember feeling that way when I was going back to school, but we moved a lot when I was younger, especially while in middle school, so every year seemed like a new adventure.

The school system has instituted literacy tests for 1st through 5th grade, so our 2nd grader takes a test tomorrow morning, and then actually starts classes on Thursday.  Given that she reads books like the Wimpy Kid Diaries, I'm not too concerned about her level of literacy...

Back to school is always a bittersweet time.  It's great having the kids around during the summer, but at the same time, it's great having them back in school.  Although that may sound strange, I imagine that almost every parent reading this will agree with me.  We still have the little one at home, as it will still be several years before she's old enough to go to school, but with the way she's learning things, she'll certainly be ready.

Monday, August 06, 2012

First revisions are done

I've just finished the first revisions for The Battle for Turtle Island: Buffalo Wars, also known as the game I've been working on.  The next step will be to send it off to game testers to see what they think.


Friday, August 03, 2012

A possible end to the pain

I don't talk about it much, but those who actually know me know that I've been dealing with chronic pain for more than a decade.  Before I started high school, I had reconstructive chest surgery, and over the last decade, I've begun to have problems and I've begun to suffer from a lot of pain.

Now that I finally have insurance, we decided I needed to see a doctor.  After a series of x-rays, they found that one of my lower ribs has actually bent, and this is causing the pain.  We're going to start out by having me go to a pain management specialist, but I would imagine that eventually I will have to have another reconstructive surgery, but if it means an end to the pain, then I'm all for it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tour de France recap

I'm going to take a break from the postings about the tragic events, and my usual badgering about buying my books to talk about sports.

Recent followers of this blog are probably unsure of what I'm talking about, but long time followers probably know I'm a huge cycling fan, and there's nothing bigger in cycling than the Tour de France, which ended on Sunday.

This year was a good race, but not for the normal reasons.  This year the every day stages were very exciting, and the competition for some of the "lesser" jerseys was also quite exciting, but the competition for the overall yellow jersey was actually pretty boring.  I've been following cycling for almost 30 years, and I'd have to say that Bradley Wiggins was quite possibly the most boring winner I've ever seen.  Don't get me wrong, he deserved to win, and he and his team rode a great race, but there were none of the attacks of Hinault, LeMond, or Armstrong.  He just let his team do everything for him, and no one seemed to be able to do anything about it, which made the race for the yellow jersey kind of boring.  Even with his teammate challenging him from second place, we didn't get any of the drama that we saw from the LeMond, Hinault battles.  So, yeah, a boring, but well deserved victory for Wiggins.

It was nice to see Peter Sagan take the race by storm, and as Coloradoan, it was great to see Tejay Vangarderan win the white jersey as best young rider.  At 23, the guy showed a lot of class when he was asked what he'd be thinking about when they reached Paris, and instead of any of the pat answers most athletes would give, he responded by saying that he'd be thinking about the victims of the Colorado shooting.

So, another year is gone, and hopefully we know who really won the race.  I'm hoping that it was a clean race, but we might have to wait a year, or two, or ten...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The vigil

Rebecca and I have just returned from the vigil for the victims of the theater massacre.  It was the first time I'd ever attended something like this, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it did seem to have a healing effect, even if I'm not one for prayer.  One thing I did while I was there, was I took a lot of time to look at other people that were there.  It was a diverse group, cutting across all racial groups, all ages, and all religions.  I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only atheist there, but for me it wasn't about the prayer, it was about being with people that might be feeling some of the things I'm feeling.

I think the most touching moment happened even before the event began.  There were several naval members standing behind us, obviously friends of one of the victims.  A member of Aurora SWAT was walking down the sidewalk, and he cut across the grass, walking at least 40 feet to shake their hands and tell them he was sorry for their loss.  This was a guy who was probably on the scene at the theater, and he still felt like he had to say something.

When the families came out there was of course a huge round of applause to support them.  Several of them waved at the crowd to acknowledge the support, even as they cried.

Next to the military and the families, Gov. Hickenlooper got the biggest round of applause when he said he wouldn't refer to the shooter by name, but would call him Suspect A.  This is how it should be.  This guy doesn't need to be known.  His name needs to be erased from history, and we need to only remember the victims.

I have to admit that I'm not necessarily a big supporter of President Obama, but he was in town just before the vigil, and rather than going for the cheap political opportunity of showing up at the vigil, he instead chose not to.  He met with the families beforehand, and then left.  I think he deserves big props for that.  For those of you not in the area, you might not know that both candidates have pulled all of their political ads for a few days, seeing that it's not the right time for these things.

And so the healing begins...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Trying to make sense of it all

By now, just about everyone has added their comments to the web about what happened here in Aurora early Friday morning, but I feel I need to comment on it as well.
Colorado has seen it's share of tragedies, with school shootings and fires, but this one is so much more intense for us.  Part of it, I'm sure, is because Rebecca and I are both a lot more emotional about crimes committed with guns after she had one pulled on her earlier this year, but it's more than that.  This horrible tragedy happened at our theater.  Rebecca and I had our first date at this theater, and we've seen a lot of movies there...possibly even in the theater where this happened.  When I stand on our balcony and look up the hillside, I can see the sign for this theater.  This was almost literally in our backyard.
I majored in psychology in college, but I can't even begin to fathom what was going on in this guy's mind to think this was the "right" thing to do.  Understanding criminal insanity is often hard, but as a writer, I've learned to put myself into a criminal's mind and try to come up with reasons for why they do the things they do, but I'm stumped on this one.  I really just don't understand.
Worst of all, before bed last night, our seven year old started crying, saying that she was worried that someone was going to come in and kill us during the night.
This guy has hurt so many people, and I'm certainly hoping there will be justice.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Battle for Turtle Island - The Kickstarter has begun

We've officially kicked off the fund raising for the new game The Battle for Turtle Island: Buffalo Wars through Kickstarter.  Simply go to, and you can donate whatever amount you'd like.
There are certain donation levels that will get you PDF copies of the game, or print copies once it's released, and for the really big spenders, there are some really great rewards.
So, please help launch this new game.  I think, in my oh so humble opinion, that it will be a lot of fun for players, and I'd really like to make it as big of a debut as I can.
Plus, donations will help to pay artists and game testers...

Monday, July 16, 2012


Since I've been on vacation, I haven't really had much to blog about, but I thought while I had a moment during my final hours of freedom, I'd re-post a blog entry that got a lot of feedback a couple of years ago.  So, here it is:

This entry is geared more towards readers than writers and editors, but I think most writers and editors would agree with what I have to say.

When a reader finishes a book, the most important thing they can do (especially if they liked it) is go to Amazon, or any other site, and review the book. Reader reviews do more to help a new book than any promotion, especially with small press titles. With large presses, a new book might have a couple of months to gain a following, but in the small press, the time is much shorter, and all small press writers are dependent upon people reviewing our work. Sometimes even a bad review can help, but obviously we prefer the good reviews. If a potential reader can read a well thought out review from an objective reader, they're much more likely to take a chance on a small press book. Most readers assume that if it's small press, the author must not be very good, but this isn't always the case, and a well thought out review can convince them to buy the book.

I think it's also important to actually review the book...not just rate it. Giving a book a star rating without saying anything about it doesn't really help...especially one and five star ratings because that just makes other readers think that someone was either being a prick (one star rating) or is a friend of the author (five star rating).

Those are just my thoughts on book reviews, so if you've read something that you liked recently, please go and review it. One review can do a lot for a small press author and several reviews can make a help the small press writer out, even if it's not me...

Friday, July 13, 2012

The robbery, an update

Some of you have been following the story of Rebecca getting robbed at work, and all of the court visits we've been through since that horrible night.  Well, much of that came to an end yesterday.
The thug who did this agreed to a plea bargain yesterday.  He's going to be facing 20 years in jail, but at least we don't have to go to trial now.  While the judge was explaining everything to him yesterday, he broke down and started to times, even bawling his eyes out.  This was a radical change from the guy who used to stroll into the courtroom like he owned it, and it may sound horrible, but I was glad to see him cry.
The DA had said that one of the victims was in the courtroom, and the only people in the courtroom other than the legal people who had to be there were me and Rebecca, and he kept looking at me, and I just kept starting back at him.  Rebecca had herself hidden around a corner, so I'm not sure if he knew she was there or not.
When he was being led back to jail, still crying, he turned, not really looking at me, but rather in looking in my direction, and yelled, "I'm sorry."  He wasn't supposed to do that, but he did it anyway.
Formal sentencing will be in October, and it will be at that time that Rebecca will have the opportunity to actually say something to him...if she wants.  I think, no matter what, that she is going to write something, and even if she can't say it, she'll have the DA read it for her.

The deputy DA who has worked on this case and the victim advocate have been wonderful.  They've done everything they could to help Rebecca get through this, and I'm glad we've had them on our side.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kickstarter approved

I received word yesterday that Kickstarter has approved The Battle for Turtle Island: Buffalo Wars.  This means that we will now be able to try to raise funds to produce the game.  I've been debating when I wanted to kick off the fund raising...I'd thought about doing it immediately, but Rebecca and I are both taking some time off from work this week to take a little mini-vacation.  I'm not sure what we're going to be doing, but I probably won't be on-line as much as I usually am, so I wouldn't be able to send out annoying posts asking people to I will probably have it go active on Tuesday, which is when I have to go back to the "real"job.....................

Monday, July 09, 2012

The Martian Wave 2012 - The e-book

The e-book version of the 2012 issue of The Martian Wave is now available.  You can find it in a wide variety of formats at

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Martian Wave 2012 - a tease

I thought I'd give you a little tease of what you're missing if you haven't ordered your copy of the 2012 issue of The Martian Wave.  To order your copy, go to

Here are the first paragraphs from each of the stories in this issue:

Absence of Evidence

By Robert J. Mendenhall

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." -  Dr. Carl Sagan

The storm chased them across the rock-strewn Martian surface. Relentlessly, as if to avenge some unprosecuted crime. This was the most powerful weather system Mars had experienced in nearly two centuries. It tore the rusty sand from the ground, marshaled it into an angry mass of iron oxide particles, then accelerated that mass to an insane velocity. And it was about to engulf them.

Newton's Window
By Scott Virtes

            "Welcome to the Newton Parts Exchange.  What's your pleasure?"

By GC Rosenquist

Captain Gerald Hatcher stood alone in the darkness of the clear plasteel dome, high above the rest of Moonbase Alpha, staring into the dark sky above the crater lip…waiting.

The Blue Marble Signal

by Phil M. Berger

            Adrift amidst interstellar dust.  Seeking harbor across time incomprehensible.  Hope slowly withering.  Until...

The Geysers of Enceladus
By Glen R. Stripling

            Frank Cooper touched his finger to the heater on the cold steel wall of his office.  Frigid methane deep from the heart of the moon instantly ignited as it rushed in front of him, bathing his pale wrinkled face with warmth and light.  Enceladus was eternally subject to the combined gravities of Saturn, Mimas and Dione, which squeezed the moon like a sponge, crushing and heating the frozen gasses deep underground.  The pressurized slurry belched out of the moon at 1200 miles per hour, up to 500 kilometers and reflecting the powerful lamps of the mining camp.  Their beauty reminded him of the tall white columns of renovated southern mansions back home.  He looked over his shoulder at Nathan Ward who just walked in the room.  “Have you heard anything from Mars about the injunction?”

Last Word from Kismet
By Ross Gresham

Thom lifted his head from the pillow and regarded his new body with distaste. The chest and stomach were a washboard of carefully-shaped little muscles, which, in the grip of transfer nausea, resembled nothing so much as a field of tumors.

A Hole

By Robert N. Stephenson

I’m back… I’m back and there’s nothing I can do…

The first words of Captain Abrams Hanzer
on leaving the Long-Jump IV

The return of the fourth ship to head out to the edge of the galaxy was meant to be a celebration of two decades of achievement, but like the three previous ships to make the journey the return was not the joyous success the international space program had expected. The General had read all the brief during the construction of the ship, he didn’t understand the science but accepted the expert’s positions on the hyper drive and the gravity engine, he had signed off on the final test after all systems were passed, he had even congratulated each crew member personally before they departed. Now before him was the mess of failure. He’d written his resignation that morning and was ready to deliver it by hand to the President should he not find an answer to what had happened. All members of the crew were unconscious and the data on the ship’s computer systems was fast degrading.


By H. David Blalock

The Seastorm was still over 400 million miles out of Titan when the life support unit began to sputter.

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Battle for Turtle Island: Buffalo Wars cover

As promised, here is the cover art for the new game, The Battle for Turtle Island: Buffalo Wars...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cover art

It looks like there is now a cover for The Battle for Turtle Island, and it is AWESOME!  Hopefully you'll all get to see it some time next month...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The rough draft is done

I just completed the writing of the rough draft of the new game, which will be titled The Battle for Turtle Island: Buffalo Wars.  The first part of the title is the actual name of the game, while this edition will feature rules for the Buffalo Wars supplement.  Sounds's not.

The initial draft has come in at just over 40,000 words, and I know it will grow dramatically when I revise it, as there needs to be more detail added in several sections, and I left the pricing of the goods section basically blank, since I haven't figured out such things as how much a tent cost in the mid to late 19th century.

I actually started writing the game on April 10th, and it's now June 24th.  So, in about two and a half months, I managed to crank out over 40,000 words...and it is over that because I erased a big chunk and then re-did it.  That's not a bad bit of productivity considering that I couldn't work on the game every day.

Just imagine what I might accomplish if I didn't have to have a "real" job.

Now I'm going to let it sit for about a week, and then it will be into the revisions.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I love three day weekends

For each of the last two weekends, I've had Monday off as well as Saturday and Sunday.  Last week it was because of Rebecca's birthday, and this week it was because of how I was scheduled.

And I'd have to say that I absolutely love having three day weekends.  It's amazing how much work I can get done with some extra rest, and some extra time away from the "real" job.  Each of the last two weekends, I've put almost 10,000 words into the game.  With productivity like that, I wonder what I could accomplish if I didn't have to have the day job.

Oh, to dream to dream....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Some people really suck

We've been trying to track down our tax refund for a while now, and we just got word yesterday that someone had cashed our refund check.  The IRS sent us a bunch of documents to fill out, and with those documents was a copy of the check with the "signatures."  The thing is, however, that whoever stole the check actually printed our names on the back of the check, and it was painfully obvious that the same person wrote both names.

First of all, to steal someone's tax refund is beyond a crappy thing to do to someone.  That's money that we actually need, and we earned from our hard work.  As Rebecca said, this is the second time she's been robbed this year, and it's really pissing her off!

Second of all, since when is it considered legal to not sign a check?  Who the hell cashed this check?  Our guess is that they went through a check cashing agency, or something similar, but why would they cash a check that wasn't signed?  And for that matter, aren't people supposed to supply identification of some kind?

It almost sounds like whoever stole the check knew someone that would cash it for them, but I've got news for them, we've filed everything we need the government, and they will be coming after your ass!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's a secret

When I got home from work today, I found an invitation in my e-mail to write a story for what sounds like a really cool anthology.  But, it's not something I can really talk forget I said anything...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A June update on the game

The game is coming along quite nicely now.  I'm just a few hundred words short of 30,000 now.  I'm expecting the initial draft to be around 50,000 words, so this is good progress.  The final game will certainly be much longer, as there is still a lot of historical stuff that I have to go back and put in, but I'm hoping to have the initial draft done in the next couple of months.

After it's done, it will be time to rework it some, and then send it off to play-testers, who will hopefully help fine tune it.  Hoping for a December 1st release, but we'll see.  And as many of you might expect, Laura Givens will be doing the cover art.

Once it's closer to being ready, we'll be setting up a kickstarter for it, so there will be a chance that you can get some stuff at a good price...once it's done.

Stay tuned to this blog for more info as it becomes available.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book signing

It was a pretty successful book signing. Although I'm absolutely sure that the majority of the people were there to see Warren Hammond, close to half of the attendees walked out with a copy of my book, so I certainly can't complain about that! My thanks to everyone who showed up, and I hope you all enjoy the book! And of course thanks to Ron and Nina of The Broadway Book Mall for always supporting local authors.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Charlie Chases Crows

My publisher recently sent me a new review of Red Moon Rising (I'll post a link when I have it.) In the review, the reader really liked the book, but what he liked most was the character Charlie Chases Crows. Pretty much every review or comment I've seen on this book has included some mention of how much the reader liked Charlie, and how they'd like to read more about him. This doesn't really surprise me, because Charlie is, in my humble opinion, the best character I've ever maybe I should think about doing more with him. At least that's what the readers seem to want. And on a completely hypothetical note, if a movie is ever made out of the book, I want Graham Greene to play Charlie. I think he'd do a great job in the roll. I'm just saying...

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

We've lost another one

I went to lunch today at the dreaded "real" job, and was quite surprised to read the news that Ray Bradbury had passed away. Just about every speculative fiction author out there is writing about this in their blog today, so I don't know what I can really add...but I'll try any way. The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 are two of my favorite books ever. Fahrenheit is of course a classic dystopic novel, and I'm sure it had a big influence on my writing of The Opium of the People. I've read The Martian Chronicles a few different times, and I remember last year I was watching the cheesy 80's mini-series based on the book, and it gave me an idea for a series of short stories that I'd love to write. I, of course, haven't had time to write them yet...but I of these years. Ray Bradbury will definitely be missed. He was one of the giants of speculative fiction, and his voice will be heard forever.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

An important message for writers

When you're submitting your precious manuscript to an editor, be sure to read the guidelines first. If you've written a horror story or a detective story, and you're submitting it to a science fiction magazine, and the story has zero sf in it, then it's a good bet that the story will be rejected. Considering that response times for a lot of magazines can run into the months, why not take a couple of minutes and save yourself and the editor a lot of time. Rant over...

Sunday, June 03, 2012

To politic, or not to politic...

...that is the question. Years ago, I used to talk about politics a lot on this blog, and I've noticed that at that time, I got a lot more comments and a lot more hits. It's also important to note that I did a lot more posting to, so that might have something to do with it. The main reason I stopped posting so much about politics was because I was worried about what it might do to my writing "career." My views are often outside of what is considered acceptable among certain parts of American society, and I certainly don't want to alienate any potential readers by having them judge me based off of my blog writing as opposed to my fiction writing. More established writers have lost readers because of their political views, and that seems like a bad thing to me. Granted, anyone who has read The Opium of the People or Red Moon Rising can pretty much guess what my political views are. Hell, they might even be able to figure them out based off of the titles and covers of those books. Still, I wonder if I've seen a decline in readership because of a lack of posting, or because of a lack of posting anything controversial. Obviously I'm trying to post more lately, so maybe we'll figure out which it is in the coming months.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Martian Wave Vol. 3

The 2012 issue of The Martian Wave is now available for purchase. It will probably ship in about two weeks. This is the third print edition of the zine, which used to be a quarterly on-line zine. This year's issue features some great work, so make sure you pick up a copy at Here's what you'll find in it... What lies beneath the sands of Mars? What will happen to humanity when a possible extraterrestrial signal is received? What can explorers do to save themselves when they discover a completely alien lifeform? These are just some of the questions asked and answered in the 2012 issue of The Martian Wave. With fiction from Robert J. Mendenhall, Scott Virtes, GC Rosenquist, Phil M. Berger, Glen R. Stripling, Ross Gresham, Robert N. Stephenson, and H. David Blalock, you will explore worlds you never expected, and encounter characters you could never imagine. This issue is seasoned with relevant poetry from G. O. Clark, Kurt MacPhearson, Marge Simon, Shelly Bryant, Terrie Leigh Relf, WC Roberts, and Janette Sullivan. Stories Robert J. Mendenhall: Absence Or Evidence Scott Virtes: Newton's Window GC Rosenquist: Moontide Phil M. Berger: The Blue Marble Signal Glen R. Stripling: The Geysers Of Enceladus Ross Gresham: Last Word From Kismet Robert N. Stephenson: A Hole H. David Blalock: Sparks Poems G. O. Clark: Last Chance Kurt MacPhearson & Marge Simon: Entry Center Shelly Bryant: The Distant Planet Terrie Leigh Relf: A Child's Prayer To Raise NASA Funding WC Roberts: New World Matisse @ Spaceport America Janette Sullivan: constantly

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

If you're coming to my book signing...

...and you'd like to pick up a copy of A Problem in Translation before the signing, here are a few places you can get it... The Sam's Dot Publishing Bookstore Barnes & Noble Amazon And if you'd just like to read the e-book, you can pick it up at, among other places, Smashwords.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The second chapter

For a very brief period of time, you can read the second chapter of my new novel A Problem in Translation on my website at The first chapter is also available for those of you who haven't had a chance to read it. You can find that at

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May madness has almost come to an end

What has been a crazy busy month is almost over, and I will be happy about that! The older two are now out of school, which makes some things not having to worry about after school programs and such. Of course now they get bored around the house and try to raise hell...but that's what kids do. I still have the Sam's Dot updates to get through before this month ends, and the arraignment, and a doctor's appointment for the dreaded hours at the "real" job. June is shaping up to be a better month as far as time management goes. The only major events we seem to be looking at are my book signing, Rebecca's birthday, Father's Day, and check-ups for the older girls...of course, something else is bound to jump up and take away from our time. One day I will be able to quit my "real" job, and then time management won't be so important. Is it really too much to dream that one day I will be making at least a part-time living from writing, editing, and game design? I don't think so.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A May update on the game

Progress has slowed quite a bit on the new game in the last few weeks. Mostly for two reasons, one: I'm to a point now where I'm having to do a lot of research on 19th century weapons and such, and that's taking a lot of time... two: the little one's sleep habits have changed a bit, and she's not napping as much as she was, which leaves me less time to work. I'm still trying to figure out a way to put in more hours at home, and fewer hours at the "real" job, but I haven't quite figured that one out yet. Still, I'm liking the way the game is setting up, and I'm looking forward to releasing it upon the world...eventually...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Martian Wave has been delayed

The 2012 issue of The Martian Wave was supposed to be released on May 1st, but with the changes at Sam's Dot and the push to get things done right, we've decided to delay this one until June 1st. I think this will be a great issue, and it should be well worth the wait!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

May Madness

What a crazy month this has been, and will continue to be. The two oldest kids get out of school on the 23rd, so we have all of the end of school festivities: concerts, talent shows, field days, etc. Plus there's a doctor's appt. for the little one (she'll be 18 months in a few days, hard to believe), a couple of court dates because of the robbery, and then all of the usual madness that seems to surround life. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the end of the month...maybe I can get some rest in June...........

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Surprise, surprise

Whatever time of day it is when I first get on the computer, the first page I always go to is the Sam's Dot Publishing page...even before I check my e-mail. Imagine my surprise when I opened up the Sam's Dot message board and found out that Sam's Dot had been acquired by White Cat Publications, LLC. I have to admit that my first thought was one of sheer panic, but after reading an e-mail from Tyree, I realized what was going on and decided to embrace the change...since there really won't be much change. Overall, I think this will be a great merger, and as I've looked more deeply into White Cat, I've realized what a great organization it seems to be, and I'm looking forward to the future.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another interesting note about Amazon

I've had a few people complain to me because my publisher has not discounted my book through Amazon. The truth is, Amazon controls the pricing, and they haven't discounted my new book because my publisher only offers a 50% discount to bookstores, instead of the 55% that Amazon wants. So what this means, I will also leave up to you...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An interesting note about Amazon

If you go to the listing for my new book at Amazon, you'll see that it says that the book ships in two to three weeks, which actually isn't the case. What's actually going on here is that my publisher offers bookstores a 50% discount off the cover price, but Amazon wants a 55% discount...therefore, they will not actually stock a physical copy of my book. Now, when you place an order with them, they will immediately order it through Ingrams (the main distributor), and the book will ship within a couple of days. Why does Amazon do this? I'll let you come up with your own answer for that...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day sale

On Earth Day, Sunday April 22nd, you can order the e-book version of my environmental SF novel, Red Moon Rising for 25% off. Simply go to and when you're checking out use the coupon code JR98J. Celebrate Earth Day with some environmental SF.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Problem in Translation e-books

Just a reminder that my new novel, A Problem in Translation is available from a number of locations as an e-book.

You can pick it up at Smashwords by going to

Or you can pick it up for the Kindle at

Keep in mind that you don't need an e-reader in order to read e-books. Smashwords has formats that can be read directly on your computer, and Amazon has a Kindle reader that you can download on to your computer for what are you waiting for? Go read my book!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Breaking ground on the new game

It's been a long time in development, but tonight I started on the actual writing of the new RPG I'm working on. I've managed to crank out almost 1,000 words, so that's a pretty good night for me.

Creating an RPG is quite a bit different than writing a novel, and the word counts will certainly vary from day to day, but it's nice to actually be putting some words on a page. It will probably take a very long time to write the rulebook, but I will keep all of you apprised.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

An early April update

My health is slowly improving. I'd say I'm at about 70% right now. I'm still having the pressure in my chest, and the back pain that they didn't have an explanation for.

I've been editing furiously as I try to get caught up on everything I've fallen behind on. The 2012 issue of The Martian Wave has been delivered, and we're looking at a May release. I've started gathering up e-mail addresses and putting together files that will eventually be Wondrous Web Worlds Vol. 10. This will be the best of Sam's Dot's on-line zines for the years 2009-2011. We don't have a release date yet, but I know some of the readers of this blog are contributors, so you can expect an e-mail from me some time in the next couple of weeks.

Since I've actually had free time, and I haven't been feeling up to working, I've actually had time to read a book...imagine that. I read Warren Hammond's Kop, and even though noir isn't always my thing, I think this was a great book, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. Now I just have to find the time to read the rest of the series...

And for the record, Warren will be signing with me (or vice-versa) at the Broadway Book Mall on June 10th.

Assuming that the baby stays asleep for a little while longer, I'm going to start working on the new game again. I haven't touched it in a while, so I'm going to have to get back up to speed on where I am in the design process.

That's about it for now. I hope to actually start doing some fiction writing soon, but time always seems to get in the way of that one...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Book signing

I've arranged a reading and signing for A Problem in Translation at the Broadway Book Mall on Sunday June 10th at 3:00 PM. I'll be reading with Warren Hammond and Betsy Dornbusch.

My mom has been planning a trip out here (she hasn't met Alexis yet), and this would be perfect, since she's never had the opportunity to see me do anything like this. And the date makes it even more perfect, since June 10th is her birthday and June 11th is Rebecca' we will really be celebrating this one!

Monday, March 19, 2012

So, your local bookstore doesn't have my new book?

If your local bookstore isn't carrying my new novel A Problem in Translation, you can have them order it by using the ISBN: 978-0981636535. And any bookstores reading this blog should also feel free to use that ISBN to order copies as well...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Signed copies

I now have signed copies of my new novel available directly from me. Simply go to The ordering links are at the bottom of the page.

I only have a limited number of copies, however, so don't hesitate...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Very ill

The last two weeks have been very rough on me. I've developed some horrible respiratory and sinus infection, which has pretty much knocked me on my ass. I haven't been to work, and I've barely been able to do anything around the house, which makes it hard to take care of the kids. Rebecca has done a lot to help, but she hasn't been feeling 100% either, and she does work full time, so that makes it hard.

Why didn't I go to the doctor, you might ask. Simple, I don't have insurance. Therefore, in order to get treatment, I would have to shell out a lot more money than someone who does have insurance. Some people might find that fair, but I never have. Even when I had a job that gave me insurance, I always felt that everyone was entitled to insurance...this is, after all, supposed to be the greatest country in the world. In order to add me to Rebecca's insurance, we would have to shell out an extra $100 a month, and we aren't exactly living in the lap of luxury, so that money would have to be taken from things like food and clothing. Yeah, the US insurance system is seriously broken...

Monday, March 05, 2012

Read an e-book week

March 4th-10th is Read an E-book Week at Smashwords. Both Sam's Dot Publishing and Nomadic Delirium Press are participating in these specials. This gives you a chance to pick up a lot of my titles at 25% off. This includes all three of my new novels, including the new one, A Problem in Translation. You can also pick up one of my short story collections and any of the Ephemeris products I've created. Simply go to...

The Sam's Dot page


The Nomadic Delirium page

Once there, they'll give you a coupon code for the 25% off deal.

It's a great chance to get caught up on my works...

Friday, March 02, 2012

GM's Day at DriveThruRPG

March 1st - March 7th is a celebration of GM's Day at DriveThruRPG. You can get 25% off of a wide variety of titles, including all of the Ephemeris titles. Simply go to, and search for Ephemeris.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Problem in Translation is now available

The long awaited release of my new novel, A Problem in Translation, is finally here.

If you'd like to read a sample chapter, you can find one at

You can order the book from any of the following:
The Sam's Dot Bookstore

The e-book from Smashwords

Barnes & Noble


February recap

Here's what I was blogging about in February. Looks like it was all about the new book...

Release date

The worst part about writing a book

A Problem in Translation blurb

The first chapter

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The first chapter

Thursday, March 1st is the release date for my new novel, A Problem in Translation. If you'd like to read the first chapter, please feel free to go to...

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A Problem in Translation blurb

It's not finalized yet, but here's the blurb for the new book...

What is humanity to do when faced by aliens whose language is vague at best? What is humanity to do when faced by aliens that are worshipped or feared by almost every other species in the universe? What is humanity to do when faced by aliens that make decisions that seem completely illogical?

These are the questions that must be answered by Captain Shiro Takahashi and the crew of the Astrid, and failing to come up with the right answers could lead to the annihilation of humanity at the prehensile limbs of the Lemec.

Governing, but not governing, most of the nearby galaxy, the Lemec are a powerful species that no one really understands, and this is just how the Lemec want it. Captain Takahashi is trying to understand, but the Lemec try to block his actions at every turn. How can he ever hope to save humanity, and do the Lemec even care if humanity is saved?

Friday, February 03, 2012

The worst part about writing a book... when the publisher asks you to help out with the back cover blurb.

I've never been good at sales, and trying to promote my own work is even harder. So, instead of writing the blurb, I'm procrastinating by writing about writing it...

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Release date

We have a release date for my new novel, A Problem in Translation. It will be released on March 1st, 2012. That's not all that far off, so make sure you're saving those pennies. It will be available both as a trade paperback and an e-book.

This one isn't as dark as my first two novels, and would be more of what I would consider Space Opera, but with a twist. Hopefully you will all enjoy it once it's released.

And be sure to pay attention to my Facebook page, as I'll be doing some special giveaways in a little over a week.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

January recap

Very light month of blogging. Hopefully I'll have more to say in the month to come.

Shouldn't be a surprise...

Progress Report

We have a cover

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We have a cover

We're getting very close to the release of my third novel A Problem in Translation, and I'm very happy to say that we now have a cover for the new book.

Here it is...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Progress report

Work on the new game is really coming along. I'm very excited about this one, and I'm hoping it will be well received by the gaming world.

I recently sent a copy of the short story that was the inspiration for my new novel to the cover artist, Miss Laura Givens, so she and I can start bouncing some ideas around for the book cover. As the release date approaches, I'll be doing some giveaways through my Facebook account, so keep an eye open for those.

The "real" job has kept me quite busy, so I'm not making as much creative progress as I'd like...but we're getting there.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Shouldn't be a surprise...

...I've started work on the new role playing game. Any time an idea really grabs hold of me, I don't have much choice but to go with it. So, I am now in the process of creating a brand new RPG, and I'm making a ton of progress on it already. I'd say I'm half way through making my notes (other than historical notes), and I might actually start on the writing in the next couple of weeks.

Once I have everything put together, I'll be looking for play testers, so keep your eyes open if you're interested in trying the game out.