Thursday, May 31, 2018

Twiting

I don't Tweet.  I am astonished at why people do what I consider a complete waste of time. So, goodbye Roseanne. I never watched your show.  But I'm sure I'm part of the liberal conspiracy that brought it down.  I'm not a big fan of Facebook, either.  Since I've never watched it, I can't comment on how bad I've imagined it is.  And I won't say anything about racist bigots who think the world adores them.  And that's not political.

I do have this blog. Sometimes I rant and rave and sometimes I talk about writing. I try to avoid politics.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Great Idea

I woke up in the middle of the night. I'd had a profound idea for a story. I wrote it down and went back to bed.

Then I woke up this morning. My note was pure gibberish.  I couldn't even read it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Cannibalism

I mentioned I did a reading last week that got a few people throwing up.  Cannibalism seems to have that effect on people. It's not all that rare in the world of storytelling.  Think of The Donner Party.
Order some Soylent Green  and dig into a juicy steak on The Walking Dead at the Sanctuary. 

Some favorites you can order or download            :

Cannibal, The Musical

Alive

The cook, the thief, his wife & her lover.   

And there's the charming guys looking for protein in Robinson Crusoe                                           

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

The first of the summer mattress sale holidays has arrived.  Do your patriotic duty and go forth and buy a mattress set today.  If you don't you'll have to wait for the July 4th mattress sales.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Food 4 U

I have heard that some company in China sells human meat.  They'll ship it to you in frozen packaging.   Thing is, it appears to be fake. It's a hoax.  Too bad.

Back when I lived in California it was generally believed there was no actual law against eating human flesh.  I never really researched it.

This came up as I did a reading a few days ago from a forthcoming book of mine.  You don't want to accept a food invitation in this book.  And two audience members threw up.

I've got something--I'm just not sure what.

Things to do, read to more groups and see if more people loose it. Keep looking for actual human flesh and serve it at the book launch party. Nah, I don't really want to cook people.  But just talking about it seems to make folks lose it.

I've got something here.  I'm not sure what to make of it.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Off the Menu

There's a local restaurant that I eat at sometimes.  I sit at the counter at the back of the place.  I can talk with the employees and hear the things they say about the  customers.  Yep, I'm a backbencher. Well, yesterday, someone had a philly cheesesteak.  Thing is they don't have such a creation on the menu.  I didn't realize I could get one.  I asked for one and it was delicious.  I would've ordered that if I'd known I could get it.

Kind of makes me wonder what other stuff you can get at restaurants that are not on the menu. I know Taco Bell used to have something called an enchirito.They dropped it. Apparently it still lives. You can get them at Taco Bell if you ask for one. 





Thursday, May 24, 2018

Dog Walking Down the Street

Two days in a row some brown dog has walked down the street around 9 am. I don't know were he lives or where he's going. This dog has a purpose in his eyes. He acts like he's got someplace to go to. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Dollar Stores

One thing about Tucson is we have an abundance of dollar stores. They are everywhere. Alas, most of their merchandise trades for more than a dollar.  In fact, compared to stores like walmart, I'm not convinced that these places a very good deal.  The problem is I live some distance from any commercial grocery stores but only a half mile from a dollar store. Sometimes it's just a lot easier to go to the dollar place.  

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Yesterday afternoon

I've mentioned before that a red tail hawk has moved into the neighborhood.  Yesterday afternoon he was sitting on the roof of the house across the street.  He had a small bird in his mouth. It looked like a dove, which are abundant in this area.  I named him Henry. [Warner Bros cartoons, Henry the Hawk]

Well Henry is looking right at me. Yeah, I've got a dove and I'm a bad ass hawk. And he proceeded to tear it open and eat it as I watched.  I've seen birds of prey hunt, but I've never seen one devour its kill so close before.  It did not take very long and Henry was done.  And he flew away.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

No More Postage

Okay, I gather folks are tiring of my frequent rants about the Postal Service.   I'll try and lay off from here on out. I can't guarantee I can do that, but my goal is no more rants about the Postal Service for the rest of the year.  I guess if I can keep from ranting about Donald I can keep from ranting about the Postals Service.  We'll give it a try.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Missing Mail

The Postal Service has a little known service where you can get an email telling you what mail you're going to get that day.  It's free and seems like a nice service.  However, I find it frustrating.  Mail inevitably shows up on that thing that does not arrive at my mail box.  One letter from my health insurance appeared yesterday but no such thing was in my mail.   Still, there's a chance it'll show up today or tomorrow.  I can't figure it out.

I do know we seem to have a different mail carrier then we used to have and this one misdelivers a lot of mail.  So, the service? A dubious value.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Baked Goods

I built an oven recently.  It's made out of cardboard and aluminum foil.  It's designed to reflect solar energy to a rack and cook things. Yesterday I tried to make brownies.  Well, maybe when it gets a little hotter.  They remained a gooey mess until I could dispose of them. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bookz

A few days ago I picked up some books I had on consignment.  It was kind of disappointing.  They sold about half of them. But bringing the other books home wasn't fun.  I haven't had much luck on this track. I tried it because I'm not as well known in Tucson as I am in Colorado.  In Colorado I attended more events and even managed to get quite a few books in area libraries. In Tucson, not so much.  

Then there's the bookstore itself.  Frankly, I don't like the way the place is run.  The local author area is segregated from the main horror and science fiction areas. If someone wanted a horror anthology, they would be taken to a completely different part of the store than where my books were.  To solve that I  eventually went into the store and moved some of my books to their proper genre area.  I don't know if these are the  ones that actually sold or not.  

Most of my books being sold are ebooks.  I do fairly well on print books at cons I'm attending when I am actually there to push books.  And every now and then there's a spurt on Amazon for no explicable reason.   Some books sell really well as ebooks whilst other ones never sell as ebooks but sell in print. I can't really find any logic to it.

That said, Legends of the Dragon Cowboys seems to be doing fairly well.  I look forward to my next earnings reports.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Alexa the world really wants

Time for more the Alexa I'd like  to see.

Alexa, where can I dump a body?
The best place to dump a body is in the Sonoran desert, in the shade.  Scavengers will quickly dispose of it.

Alexa, I want to poison my girlfriend.
Arsenic is the historical favorite as it has similar symptoms to common stomach problems. However, hemlock works much faster.

Alexa, Get me a prostitute.  And I didn't like the last one. Find me someone prettier.
Jaet will be here at 7. She takes all major credit cards.

Alexa, What time does Sally from across the street get out of school?
She gets out of school at 3:15 PM.

Alexa, what's the going ransom for girls like Sally across the street?
Sally's parents earn about $100,000 a year but have limited savings, It's unlikely they could raise more than ten thousand dollars.

Alexa, I need a new sniper rifle with night vision scope, untraceable.
Freddie will deliver your rifle this afternoon.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Historical figures and such

And, if you read yesterday's post, you noted I just finished a new weird western book.  There's something else new in this one. I've used historical figures as characters. I have used historical figures for color before. Back when I wrote the Two Devils I used Virgil Earp [Wyatt's brother] to add a little color to the story. You can't go to Tombstone without the Earps. And I tried to add a little color by having Miles read the Epitaph, which I think is the coolest name for a newspaper in the history of the world.  The editor struck that and changed it to the less precise "newspaper". As in, he was reading the newspaper. where I wanted he was reading the Epitaph.   I am still sore about that change 14 years later.

With Fallen Angel  I had some brief interaction with Seth Bullock, who was the town marshal who replaced Wild Bill  Hickok after Hickok's creation of the term Dead Man's Hand to the card playing vernacular. But I also introduced an actual historical figure in the story as a major character. Ulysses S. Grant, appears prominently in the story.  Sioux chief Rain-in-the-Face also appears as a character. It is the chief who decides the capturing of a Martian might be to their advantage.

And there you go. Historical figures taking on little green men from Mars.  Ain't that something.

And that's why I like weird westerns so much.  As long as you tell an entertaining story and have interesting characters, you can pretty much go wherever you want.  It's as wide open as the Wild West.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Return of Miles O'Malley

Miles O'Malley was the vagabond barber from an 1880's world centered around California who was in my first novel The Two Devils, which debuted 14 years ago.   Miles encountered all sorts of paranormal activities, but his main nemesis was the Mayan god Ah Puch.  Well, he went on to fight Ah Puch and appeared in a few short stories.

Then last year a new character joined this California universe--Ling Fung, a traveller from China who also clashed with the Myan god Ah Puch. 

Anyway, I've been working on a new book set in this universe and I just completed it.  Miles is a few years older and he's at least a competent lawman now.  And that was my problem.  The book wasn't about Miles, it was about the angel Mabel, who also appeared with Miles 14 years ago.  I was all set to send it to a publisher when I realized this was really Mabel's story, not Miles's.  So I went back and drastically re-worked the story. It was Mabel, not Miles who was driving it.

So, I have now completed the re-worked book.  It's not long. I seem to be doing a lot of work in the novella range these days--which is a real bear to get published. Nonetheless, I have a publisher in mind.  

Miles is Federal Lawmen Miles O'Mally who carried what's know as the devil's gun--the gun that never misses. He's going to need it.  

But it's Mabel, a gorgeous redhead actual angel. The only thing is, she was one of the angels cast out of heaven along with Lucifer a long time ago.  It's her story.  And we also get to meet her sister who was also cast out of heaven.  

So, Mabel was just a love interest for Miles way back when.  She's now become such a strong character she pushed Miles aside and got me to go back and re-do the entire story.  

I don't know if people will like this new book. We'll see what the publisher thinks.  

Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Competition

 This dog goes into a bar.  The barkeep says "We don't allow dogs."
So the dog lifts his leg on one of the customers.
"I said we don't allow dogs."
He goes back and lifts his leg on the same customer again.
"Get out of here you mangy mutt."
"So, the dog goes over and lifts his leg on the customer for the third time."
"That's it. The barkeep picks up a large axe." The dog runs out the door.
"It's about time" a woman in a short skirt says. "That guy paid me a lot of money to do  that just across the street. I can't have the dog doing it for free."

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

All Mail

I'm still losing sleep at night wondering how come the post office mail slots no longer make you separate stamped and metered mail.  They used to. And there aren't any entries on the postal service website that explain why the policy changed.  

Give me your tired, your poor, your unsorted mail

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Lyn's Thoughts

And New Zealand author Lyn McConchie shares her two cents worth on the latest edition of Science Fiction Trails.

http://www.lynmcconchie.com/new/?cat=4


Monday, May 7, 2018

Another review

Getting a review in a big city paper is something really cool.  Sure a website review is nice, but newspapers have far larger readership, even nowadays, than a typical web based publication.  The Sunday readership in the Arizona Daily Star [Tucson's paper] is around 360,000.  Whilst it's not the New York Times, that ain't bad. I am told the Star is the second largest paper in Arizona, following the Arizona Republic, which is a Phoenix paper.

Every now and then they focus their Sunday review section on local authors. Well, yours truly got a very nice review yesterday for Legends of the Dragon Cowboys, co-authored by Laura Givens. Since newspapers have cut back a lot on reviews, getting a book reviewed in a paper is something. So I was quite happy yesterday. 

The link follows if anyone would like to read it.  [Yes, they did mess up my name at the end].


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Maybe Mail?

Back in Colorado we used to have to separate metered from stamped mail if we mailed it at the post office. In fact, there was a slot for Priority Mail flats, one for metered letters and one for stamped letters.  I say Colorado--I should specify the Vail area.  I noticed on mailing something at a Denver post office it just said all mail and they didn't seem to care if you separated it.

Well, after I moved to Tucson I note that our local post offices all say "All Mail" and don't seem to care if it's separated out .  What I can't figure out is why the change?  Why don't they care anymore?

There once was a time when they wanted it put in two boxes--one for Local Mail and one for Out of Town. Those vanished a long time ago.  



Saturday, May 5, 2018

Cinco

Happy Cinco De Mayo.
In celebration we thought we'd do a few Spanish lessons.


Stop dumping bodies in the back yard.

Deja de tirar cadáveres en el patio trasero.



Flying saucers are not allowed to park here.  Subject to fine.
Los platillos volantes no pueden estacionar aquí. Sujeto a multa



Bigfoots must obtain fishing permit before removing fish from stream.
Bigfoots debe obtener un permiso de pesca antes de retirar peces de la corriente.



Ghosts under 21 years old must not loiter in bar area.
Los fantasmas menores de 21 años no deben perder el tiempo en el área del bar.



Ghosts must not remove food from freezer. Food must be paid for before consuming.

Los fantasmas no deben eliminar los alimentos del congelador. La comida debe pagarse antes de consumir

.

Friday, May 4, 2018

No award

Well, the Nobel Prize in literature isn't going to be awarded this year. Dang. I was really counting on winning that.  

Seriously, the crap I write is not going to win a major award.  And, speaking of awards, editor David Boop had hopes one of  the stories in his anthology Straight Outta Tombstone  might take a Stoker Award. It didn't, although it did make the first round of balloting. I told him I didn't think a weird western book was going to win a major award. They're a little too far off the bell shaped curve [that's a statistical term showing how outlier data deviates from the overall population].

But times have changed. I remember a time not that long ago when no one even knew what a weird western was. I rarely have to explain them at cons and book fairs anymore. The fact one was voted on by the HWA membership and that very same anthology was briefly on the best seller list. Well, I think times are a changing.  And I take some credit for that. I've tirelessly pushed these things for the past 20 years. That's why I publish Science Fiction Trails.   That's why I try and get them on programming at science fiction and steampunk cons.  

A Nobel Prize to a weird western, now that would be something.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Librarians

Libraries, like many of our beloved institutions, seem to be in decline.  As people get their information online, they have less need to go to a library.  Still, there a lot of people that still use libraries.  There are certain libraries  that I am particularly fond of as they carry some of my books in their collection.  I've heard writers bellyache about libraries because a hundred people or one--you don't get any additional revenue.  I think that's a shortsighted attitude.  When someone checks out one of my books, I'm thrilled.  That's a potential new reader of my other books or books not yet written.

The local library system here in Tucson has some of my books.  Quite a few of my books are in libraries back in Colorado. I used to be a Colorado author for those new to this blog.  There's one Colorado library that's picked up almost all of my books.  They have all of my weird western and related books that I edited or am the author of. Funny is, I never asked them to carry them. I don't really know how they found me.

Whilst I used to send announcements to libraries, the system in Colorado seems to be picking up my books based on reviews of some sort. I can't be sure,  but I sure appreciate it. I look at the availability of library books and smile when a book is checked out to somebody.