Monday, November 27, 2006


You know, I figured out that this is the first time in at least 20 years that I have not traveled anywhere one a 4 day vacation. I stay home.

Now, isn't that a concept. I had a very nice relaxing weekend. What did I do, you may ask...

Laundry. Tore up carpet. Baked cookies. Yard work (we have a mole infestation). Stuffed X-mas card envelopes. Watched Lord of the Rings extended version. Played City of Heroes. Read five books (The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs [book II of a series], The Song of Homana by Jennifer Robeson [book II of a series], The Shadow Within by Jeanne Cavelos [book 7 of the Babylon 5 series]. Cthon by Piers Anthony [not part of a series!], and To Dream in the City of Sorrows [book 9 of the Babylon 5 series]) (I realized that I missed book 8 in the Babylon 5 series). Watched football (da Bears - missed the Vikings and Packer games). And a Winnie the Pooh musical rehearsal.

It was a good vacation. I feel rested enough to last 'til X-mas now...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I have been reading a huge variety of books. I came across a library that was going to simply recycle well over five hundred sci-fi/fantasy books instead of putting them in a used book store or something like that. I 'rescued' them and am now slowly going through them. Some of them are really...well...out there.

Take 'Motherlands,' a book written by Suzy McKee Charnas with a 1978 copywrite. It's the story of a post-apocalyptic world. The culture had changed significantly. In the towns - the 'Holdfasts', women were slaves, men were masters, and it was considered natural for the sexes to love the same kind. It was a completely homosexual society.

The main character starts out as a pregnant woman (a victim of rape) fleeing the Holdfast. Outside of the Holdfast area are the Motherline Tribes. Through the old time science, the women have found ways to reproduce without men. One group uses horses; another uses the DNA of other women.

So, let's see...homosexuality combined with beastility...oh, yeah, the Right Wingers must have gone pretty crazy about this book.

The book was an interesting read for the cultural commentary and how the lead character thinks about 'the norms.'

Friday, November 17, 2006

My Novel

Well, I sent out my novel in October, and I have gotten word back.

They are willing to publish my book.

Does anyone have a spare $20,000 to help me publish?

I didn't think so.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Basalt Mace and the Writing Process

I have finally started truly editing the second book of my Castle Zierath trilogy. As I read through it, I realized that all the action was there, but it was really little more than a quick outline of what was going on. One criticism I received and am taking to heart is that I don't spend enough time talking about setting. My characters are fairly vivid, but they were frequently talking in a big, empty room or generic plane. I edited the first three chapters, expanded descriptions, reworked and reworded pieces.

My writing process is a long and tedious one. First, I think. I write the first draft by hand in either a notebook or on a tablet. Then, eventually, I type it into the computer, making changes as I type. I print it out and let it sit. Then I go through it again. Then I turn it over to a couple friends who go through it, and I make their changes. Then it sits again for a while. Then I go through it again, and then maybe it will be ready for me to send out to my various Zierath Alliance members who will comment on it. Then I edit it again. Then, maybe, just maybe, it will be done.

But don't count on it.

Friday, November 10, 2006


On Halloween night, I watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." It brought back a lot of wonderful memories. I remembered the excitement of hearing the sound of the CBS spinning logo for a Special. Almost everytime that sound and spinning symbol came on, it meant a CARTOON was coming on! And usually Charlie Brown with the Dolly Madison commercials. Ah, what excitement! Cartoons were hardly ever shown. It was a rare treat.

It's quite different in todays culture. There is Cartoon Network, Toon Disney, Boomarang. Cartoons 24-7. I feel a little sorry for the kids today. They don't have that magical feeling of the spinning symbol of rarity. It's always there.

Maybe I'm sounding old and curmudgeony, but, you know, I still connect good feelings towards the Christmas and Halloween specials. The Rankin-Bass Rudolph, Little Drummer Boy, Frosty, Santa Clause is coming to Town, and of course the Charlie Brown Christmas.