Category Archives: ramble

The Man Who Flew From Earth

I was going to post my thoughts on Kylo Ren today, but they can wait a day or two. I woke up to the news that David Bowie passed on from this world.

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I have a confession. I used to not be into David Bowie. At all. In fact, I kind of loathed him and his music. My mom was always super into him and I grew up exposed to him in all his magnificent incarnations. Call it the folly of youth. Call it misguided rebellion. Fortunately I grew out of it. I’m not sure whether it was Labyrinth or Cat People or the video to Little China Girl, or Major Tom, or when I finally saw the Man Who Fell To Earth but at some point it clicked with me what an amazing courageous creative force this man was.

He refused to be one thing, instead wildly living and pursuing. I still don’t like all of his music, nor all of his movies, nor all of his fashion statements, nor all of his lifestyle choices. Nor should I. That is awesome, and as it should be. He is an inspiration for creative courage in an age when the zeitgeist is as strong to conform as it has ever been. So take strength from the weird and the unlikably brave and create things that make people talk, because that is a kind of immortality.

Thanks mom, for being weird and wonderful and under appreciated, and exposing me to strange people like this all my life.

This is clearly an autobiographical obituary, so I can think of nothing better to leave you with, other than a final admonishment to be weird, be brave, and be creative.

Friday Fantasy Escape – Welcome to Arkham!

One of my favorite things about being a reader (and a writer, of course) is seeing how imagination is contagious. How the best books are really just starting points and they end up inspiring people in different ways. A new irregular feature I am going to around here is my Friday Fantasy Escape where I showcase something cool that is someone taking an idea and running with it in their own specific way.

This first one I am going to lead off this series with is this fantastic tour of a model railroad HP Lovecraft’s Arkham! Lovecraft has been such an inspiration to me personally as well as to pretty much every genre writer of the last 60 years. A really cool thing to do is looking around for all of the little touches that make it Arkham-and all of the little Easter eggs that are hidden for other Lovecraft stories. It’s easy to get lost on this page (and the entire site!) so make sure to poke around at the other Lovecraft inspired model rail road pages off the main one. They are all amazing and make me wish I had time and space for a hobby like this. As opposed to the creatures from out of time and space that would pursue me if I did.

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A Crown of Adamant, Solid and Enduring

Hello, it’s a been a while. Sorry I haven’t posted as much as I intended and this won’t be much of a post either. It’s been a bit of a rough going the last couple of months, there have been a couple of hard personal losses followed up with a knee surgery and some complications there. I won’t bore you with the tragedy, I am just going to say it has been a hard couple of months and very, very draining physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Pretty much any other -ly you can think of as well.

I have fallen behind on a couple of projects but barring any other unexpected trips to the hospital, or graveyard, or other house of misery (please, whatever minor diety I have offended, accept my most humble apologies) things should be back to a more normal schedule over the coming couple of weeks.

As to this post, I am going thank my friend Kenton, because it was his own blog post I read today that encouraged and inspired me greatly. I am going to add the quote that spoke best to me, bringing tears to my eyes (though I readily admit that my emotions are razor-burn raw these days) – even though the quote comes from John C. Wright’s blog. It’s a circuitous journey, but one I hope you find worth taking.

I write for that one reader I will never see, the one who needs just such a tale as I can pen, in just such a time and place, some rainy afternoon or dark hour, when providence will bring my book into his hands. And he will open it, and it will not be a book, but a casement, from which he will glimpse the needed vision his soul requires of a world larger than our own, or a star in a heaven wider and higher than ours, a star aflame with magic more majestic than any star mortal astronomers can name.

I humbly but strongly suggest you write for that unknown reader also, and not for worldly praise, or influence, or pelf, or applause. The world flatters popular authors, and the clamor of the multitude of brazen tongues is vanity. It is dust on the wind. The unknown reader will greet your work with love. It is a crown of adamant, solid and enduring.

DNA and Origin of Stories

I’ve been listening to a pretty cool podcast lately. It’s the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast and they do interviews with authors and editors and then a serialized version of one of the Audible versions of their audio books. I am listening to an older one since I wanted to start at the beginning, which is the Larry Correia book Hard Magic, which is book 1 of the Grimnoir Chronicles. It’s narrated by Bronson Pinchot and it is pretty good.

Anyway, the interview I just heard was part one of an interview with David Weber and Eric Flint (it’s from 4/18/2014 in case you are interested and it is pretty cool). One of the things that they were talking about was how things tend to change. Weber was talking about some developments in the Honorverse (as his world is called in case you aren’t familiar with it, based on his early works, Honor Harrington, I read it in high school, it’s pretty good). He was talking about how he starts a lot of what he writes on history, since that is his training. But he doesn’t keep it there. One of the things I really liked is that that (and I am paraphrasing here) is that it starts with that DNA but then it kind of mutates.

For instance, he was talking in particular about how some of his Honorverse is based on Revolutionary France, but then he doesn’t take it where people are expecting and quite intentionally, which sometimes drives fans nuts. Another example was a certain planet and culture is based on the Royal Navy, and people get bent out of shape when things diverge from that, but then he points out that there have to be obvious difference, such as illiterate yeoman can’t exist on a starship, you can’t keelhaul, etc.

Anyway, I had a point at the beginning which I have pretty much forgotten, but I liked the idea of the DNA of an inspiration mutating once you start to write. It is how, as a writer, I can take something or someone from the real world, and put them in a story, but once it comes down to it, they are completely unrecognizable as their real world doppelganger – and it’s not due to me necessarily doing anything on purpose, it’s just kind of how it evolves. It is that beautiful alchemy of creation that I love in writing so much.

Also, I love podcasts about writing since I don’t really have time for an actual writer’s group right now, it is like being a quiet member of a writer’s group with some pretty amazing writers.

A little something for the New Year

So, here I am working away at my latest project, having a bit of fun with it and wishing I could tell someone about it and then thinking wouldn’t it be cool to tell someone a bit about it? Then I remembered, hey, I switched my webpage to a blog so that it could, in theory, be a bit more interactive and less static and formal. So, first off, be warned, there’s probably going to be a lot more posts here that are first draft sort of just thrown up on the web sorts of things once I get in the habit of remember that this is here.  Unless of course I hear from you all that you hate it, then I will probably just go back to the solitary writer’s path where I just curse and mutter to myself.

Anyway, I’m working on a fantasy project right now, something a bit different for my, but something that I have always wanted to do and something that I have a lot of short stories and things that I have written (though never in this new world – a world I am REALLY excited about and can’t wait to share with you guys). I’m thinking I’ll probably start trickling out the occasional short story or flash fiction here for you sometime in March to give you a taste of the world.

Mostly I just wanted to get something down and start getting used to the idea of the change in format for my site. Be well, keep reading!