Wednesday, June 26, 2019


You'd think taking the trash out is something folks could do without messing it up. Well, not in my neighborhood.  Actually, it's more the recycling cans.  They move. On their own.  The ones our trash company provides have wheels.  On a windy day, they tend to take off and go for a ride around the neighborhood.  This is caused because people will put out their recycling even if they only have two beer cans.  There's little weight in these cans, so off they go.  Last week I came home and a can was out in front of my driveway. Thing is, it wasn't my can. I don't put out recycling until the can is relatively full. But there was this can from some neighbor.  Not knowing which house it belonged to, I did what anyone would do in such a situation--I rolled it so that it was in front of the house next door.  It sat there on the curb for two days. I guess, at some point, somebody realized they were short a can and went in search of it because it finally went away, hopefully back home where it will be loved and nurtured like all good recycling cans are.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Took my father to the dermatologist yesterday.  He has problems finding places in this town, which is really spread out.  Alas, he had a spot he was worried about. It wasn't skin cancer. The problem is, AZ is a high skin cancer area and they warn people to have suspicious spots and moles checked, then they go in and "Ah, that's nothing."  Better safe than sorry. He was worrying about it, so I told him to go and get it checked and drove him to his appointment.  

Monday, June 24, 2019

Moving in; moving out

Well, had some neighbors move out yesterday. They were only there for a month. I hardly knew 'em. This is a rental home and people really come and go there.  I don't know if the place is haunted or why, but no one stays there for more than a month or two. I think moving is a lot of work and I don't see moving into a house for such a short term as making any sense. Yet I'm sure some new tenant will move in in a few days and they'll be gone lickety-split.  

Sunday, June 23, 2019

shower curtain

Okay, you're probably confused and bewildered.  The Shower Curtain Cover  was not my name for it, I showed the cover I rejected for Dry Gulch to a few folks.  Some of them though it looked like two lawmen looking at a shower cover.  I tend to agree.  I can't really show it to the general population,  I don't attack artists except in the case of fraud or criminal dealings and a bad cover does not meet that threshold. But, that cover will be forever known as the Shower Curtain Cover.  

So, I re assigned the cover for Dry Gulch to another artist.  I'll mention that artist after I accept the cover.  We'll see how this ends, but I hope it ends good.  Stay tuned. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

suddenly, summer

Usually, in Tucson you know it's summer long before the season arrives.  This has been an extremely mild Spring.  We've only had a couple of days over 100 degrees. In these parts, that is quite unusual. So the official start of Summer hath come and gone, scarcely noticed.  

Friday, June 21, 2019

Art art

Had a chat with another writer yesterday on the subject of weird western cover art.  I was lamenting my problems that I got a total mess and was wondering if the artist was spending too much time at the marijuana dispensary.  Well, he thinks the situation is that weird westerns are getting such crummy art because most of them are self published and the people won't spend any money to hire an artist. There may be something to that--as two books I was asked to review both had black and white clip art covers.  

Alas, that does not make folks want to but a book.  It reminds me of an art panel I was on at a con last year and the guy next to me was so proud they only spent a few dollars on cover art by using some stock photo agency.  I wanted to say, "And they look like it," but didn't.  

A good cover can really help sales, a  bad cover can doom what's probably already a project that's unlikely to succeed.  Self published books tend to be poorly edited.  Ad crummy art and you've got a real turkey on your hands.

That said, my dilemma was this was a pro artist who sent me something that was simply baffling. There was supposed to be a ghost; it looked more like someone hung a shower curtain on a porch. Sigh. No ghosts tonight.   

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Art Who?

Life goes on.  Even though Science Fiction Trails is finito, a few book projects continue. It's in my role as publisher and de facto art director that I find my greatest sources of frustration.  Working with flaky writers is nothing even close to dealing with artists.  Half the time you give out an assignment, they agree to terms and you never hear from them again.  The other half of the time you get something back that looks like it came from a sixth grade art class.  Frustrating doesn't even begin to cover the nightmare of working with artists.  One of these days I'm going to write a story about some art director who goes around some art academy killing all the students.  It's just a fantasy I have. Well, I've decided the cover I just got wouldn't hold muster for a sixth grade art class--if they actually still had art in the sixth grade.  And we'll try again with another artist.