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Monday, July 31, 2006

One Fine Dog

Another one of the Tales of a Texas Boy has been accepted by the Writers Post Journal. I'm becoming a regular over there. Please visit and maybe buy the PDF versions (they're cheap). I've got stories in the June and July issues.

This one will appear in the September issue.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Deepening


The August issue of the Deepening will be out soon. I've got a story in it and the presentation is very good. It even comes with a nice illustration (see right). Yes, it's kind of abstract, but the word at the top is "Restaurant."

The downside is that you'll only be able to read the story on-line by subscribing to The Deepening. Hey, do it if you can. They carry a wide variety of fiction. Get a taste on the Free Stories page. Maybe my story, "Extraordinary Rendition," will show up there.

The Deepening

Friday, July 28, 2006

100 Best Science Fiction Books

This is a pretty comprehensive list of the all-time best SciFi books. Use it as a shopping list if you enjoy science fiction, but maybe haven't thought too much about what good ones you've missed.

http://www.phobosweb.com/features/100books/top100index.html

Thursday, July 27, 2006

So You Think You Can Dance

We love this show! Our number one guilty pleasure along with American Idol, the SYTYCD is such a joy to watch. The kids on the show dance there itty-bitty hearts out. Does it mean anything in the Cosmic scheme of things? Of course not. Is it great to watch the dancing? It's so much fun, my husband stays up way past his bedtime to watch as much as he can. Unlike slovenly wife-person who is free to stay up, sleep in, and generally act as if I were a writer, DH (dear husband) still works for a living, and gets up at 5:00am to trudge off to work.

Still, we both like this show. I think it's neat that opportunities are provided for young up-and-comers to show their stuff and--just maybe--make it to the big time. Good for them. This type of reality show is much preferable to the average Joe Survivor or Big Bother gig. This kids actually have talent, and I don't mind a bit joining in watching them kick it up for their careers. Good for them!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's Alive!

Bush and his idiot friends continue to mistake what human life is important and what is not.

Stem cell research. Let's cure something. Wait! No can do, we can't destroy a zygote for research. So, you're saying that it will be destroyed anyway? We don't care, we are stuck in a time warp of stupidity. Who cares if 40,000 Iraqis and over 2500 American soldiers have been killed? But, using a disposable piece of biological material for the good of all human kind? Couldn't do that!

These people, by that I mean the Bush Administration and the Republican nitwits who subscribe to their disastrous policies, cannot distinguish right from wrong. They have slipped away into evil while thinking they are on the side of the angels. They are deluded, or they are so cunningly sly and nasty that you couldn't even imagine how they have sold out to the devil. I'm pretty much an atheist, but their behavior makes me fervently hope for an afterlife in which Bush will burn in hell.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

War! What is it good for?

I found a couple of pieces by some famous folk that are apropos to our current world.

Mark Twain:

"...O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen...."

From a note on WW I, by WLS Churchill:

Cities and monuments were smashed by artillery. Bombs from the air were cast down indiscriminately. Poison gas in many forms stifled or seared the soldiers. Liquid fire was projected upon their bodies. Men fell from the air in flames, or were smothered often slowly in the dark recesses of the sea. The fighting strenght of armies was limited only by the manhood of their countries. Europe and large parts of Asia and Aftica became one vast battlefield on which after years of struggle not armies but nations broke and ran. When all was over, Torture and Cannibalism were the only two expedients that the civilized, scientific, Christian States had been able to deny themselves: and they were of doubtful utility.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Website Blues

I went merrily into the website editor to add some information and the pages had disappeared. The published site was still up, but my saved site was gone with the wind.

I wrote tech support and their answer? You guessed it! "Your site must be corrupted. Delete it and start over."

Thanks, guys. That was so helpful.

So, my website is again under construction. I almost got it back to where it was, but some good stuff is still MIA.

One nice change that I discovered was the ability to insert a form for my many readers (giggle) to enter comments and the site management sends me the email. So, I don't have to put my actual email address on the site. That will help with stalkers, I suppose. Please, won't somebody stalk me?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Politics (as usual)

The November elections are drawing nigh (beware! beware!). Find out where you really stand in the political spectrum.

Take the quickie quiz and find out if your to the left of Attila the Hun or to the right of Michael Moore.

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz-score/quiz.php

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Novels

I've got novels on my mind lately. Some really lousy writers who can't even spell or put together a coherent sentence are merrily churning out 100K novels in short order.

I'm a fairly good writer and an excellent speller. I've written a bunch of short stories that total up to quite a few words. As a technical writer, I churned out thousands of pages. But the thought of a novel is daunting.

The vague notion came into my mind when I started the third story using the same setting and character as two published stories. I thought that I should follow up successful stories. When I started writing, I realized that I would have to info-dump to catch the reader up on the world (galaxy, actually, since this is SciFi), what it's like, the politics, and so on. I built a lot of that into the second story and I sure didn't want to repeat myself.

So, I thought to use the old Galactic Encyclopedia ploy. Start the story with a supposed quote from the Encylopedia, which would serve to describe the world view sufficiently to continue on.

I ran this idea by the group at Hatrack, which specializes in SciFi/Fantasy. I figured they ought to know. Total confusion. They assumed I was writing a novel, so why was I wanting to put in this info-dump at the beginning? Trying to explain that it wasn't a novel, but simply a follow-on story didn't seem to cut it.

That got me thinking. Why not take the first two stories and re-work them as the first chapters in a novel?

This post is long enough, so I'll continue my thoughts on this process in a future post or I will dump the idea entirely. Time will tell.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Inadequacy

I regularly hit a few blogs that I find fun and entertaining. M.E. Ellis (aka Bloom, Michelle, etc.) usually provides me a chuckle for the day. See her blog link to the left.

I feel inadquate, however, since my blog entries are far from witty or entertaining. I'm going to have to start working at being a clever person just a little harder (okay, so I haven't tried yet, but I will).

Mostly, I just get worked up over political crapola. GW Bush makes me want to vomit. The Israelis are taking vengence to delightful heights of ridculousness. Damn, but the stock market is sinking my hopeful retirement savings into the dumpster.

I fear that I'll have to find a job to make ends meet. Dear hubby really, really wants to retire. Since, he's already signed up for Medicare, it's mean of me to tell him to keep working until he drops dead. Still, I have that urge. I'm doing my writing thing as fast as I can. I work at it every single day. Good for me, but what have I earned? Not enough to buy a subscription to a good magazine.

Let's write this post off to a temporary fit of depression. Go back to work? Ha! Fat chance. Nobody needs an old lady that's been out of work for 10 months. Boo hoo hoo hoo. I'm so sad. Buck up, dummy. That novel is in your blood. Really it is!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Arrr! Pirate Week

Here we are three on four (depending on whether you're a 7th Day Adventist) into the week, and I almost missed the fact that it's Pirate Week. How could I have been so remiss?

So, just to stay trendy, here's a nice picture of Cap'n Jack Sparrow, the current Pirate Du Jour. I've loved Johnny Depp since he got past 22 Jump Street. After that, it was all good. I'd say the most innovative and creative actor in this decade and we're only half-way through. Since I've been working on a Disney-based kid's book, I've got to think about Cap'n Jack a bit while I was waiting for the opening of the new, improved Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Fifth Di...

Yes, it's just Di... I think it stands for Dimension.

They have accepted by SciFi tale "Fish Story" for the September issue. It's a quarterly, so I just have to wait.

The Fifth Di...

Democrat Family Reunions

The Republicans have to be ousted. While you may not agree with every single thing the Democrats are for, I maintain that they will be so much better than the Republicans, that they should be supported. The Dems are running a 50-State Campaign, which involves a whole lot of grassroots efforts to get Democrat replacements for the Republican criminals now holding office.

If you don't like either party and think you should just sit this one out, think again. Read the Bill of Rights and compare that to what the Republicans are doing TO you and at least get rid of them. We can sort out the rest later.

Democratic Party

Get involved, or get out of the way.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Push Down

Okay, I'm going to push down my exciting acceptance of "Extraordinary Rendition" for a bit of political talk.

This story set the reader up to think that the good ol' US of A was being the bad guy. For a spoiler, I'll give away that the basic plot involves an Iranian who has expatriated to another country, being picked up and interrogated (tortured). The punchline is that he wasn't in the US, but in Egypt. This is hinted at the top of the story where a CIA agent was quoted.

Okay, it ends up with the guy being tortured in Egypt. Big twist, eh? Well, the fact of the matter is that the top of the story quote and the ending still point a finger at the US as condoning and participating in torture.

I am NOT sorry to make the implication. I AM puzzled that it would be considered "anti-American" to suggest that. This is a known fact. The US government does condone torture as stated by the President and the Vice President.

I think that conservatives should wake up and smell the coffee. It is NOT anti-American to point out when our government is participating in acts of torture, even if by using other countries to do the dirty deeds for them. Guess what? It is wrong, wrong, wrong! I cannot stress enough that the condoning of torture (as the US adminstration blithely thinks is okay) by sending people by "extraordinary rendition" to other countries to be tortured is WRONG WRONG WRONG. It is not anti-American to point out that this administration is perverting and destroying our Constitution for ideological ends.

It is sick, disgusting, and totally untenable morally, to call any protest against this behavior "anti-American." On the contrary, it is the height of patriotism to point out when our country is going so terribly wrong.

I am not anti-American. I am so pro-American, that I am compelled to speak out against the trampling of our most sacred document, the Constitution of the United States of American.

The Deepening Accepts Extraordinary Rendition

I just got an acceptance of my story, Extraordinary Rendition, by the Deepening. It's to appear in their August issue.

It's a subscription ezine and I encourage everybody to sign up. Since I'll get royalties from subscriptions, I REALLY encourage you to sign up!

They also carry free stories, so you can browse the contents. It carries a full range of genres--something for everyone. Check it out:

The Deepening

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Dewey Decimal Guerillas?

If you ever thought that there must be a blog for everything, you're probably right. The Dewey Decimal Blog is way more fun than the topic should be.

Here's a dab of the post, but follow the link for the full story.

**********
Y'know, actually, it's 823.912
Bookstores don't use Dewey. Don't worry: we're over it. And anyway, if they did, there wouldn't be so many opportunities for guerrilla classification.* First there was that guy in San Francisco who went with his friends to Adobe Bookshop one night, and reclassified its entire stock by color.


025.431: The Dewey Blog

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Flash on Anotherealm

My flash SciFi, The Great Writing Competition, is up on Anotherealm.

Anotherealm: The Great Writing Competition

Scam Warning

I've seen this on a few writers' sites and thought I should pass it along.

A company named SMS.AC is sending emails to writers to get them to sign up for their "service" of providing a communications area for posting stories and if your story is voted the best then you get paid for it.

What's not said is that this is a SCAM to bilk people in two ways. First, they ask for your cell phone number because they supposedly send stories out over cell phones. All you get on your cell phone is charges whenever they deliver "content" to your phone. This they charge to your cell phone at three bucks a pop.

Second, they ask you to upload your address books from yahoo, hotmail, etc. Then, they use your email list to SPAM and SCAM all your friends, too.

Here are some informative links that explain their deviltry in more detail:

Unleaded Online
Wikipedia Article