I'll be attending Leprecon in Arizona next week. It's being held at the Marriott in Mesa. Stop by and say hello if you're in the area. I haven't posted my schedule yet as they seem a little disorganized this year and I'm not sure exactly what all I'm doing or when. Hopefully they'll get it all ironed out before the con opens.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
Well then, I haven't talked about coupons in a while. I just went to the grocery store. I got about 40% off my bill by using coupons. That's a big savings. What really struck me as interesting was that I seemed to recall that the thinking about five years ago was coupons were on the way out as a marketing tool. They are, after all, rather inefficient. They're costly to process and companies pay advertisers like newspapers to get them to people, yet a lot of that audience doesn't bother with them--so it's inefficient. There are some online sources, but they often require an excessive amount of personal information, so people won't get them that way. Newspapers and a few magazines, long thought obsolete, are where a lot of coupons come from--still. And I use them.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Saturday, April 26, 2014
I used to write poetry. That was some time ago. My one rule was I always wrote the poems in five minutes or less. Well, one poem I rather liked was "Saucerama." It's in a little collection of stories and poems called Flying Saucer Stories. Alas, nobody ever buys it. So, I was going to reprint it here and then I realized I don't seem to have any copies of it any longer. Then I remembered it's also on Kindle. So, here it is. And if you like it, all of the stories and poems are available tomorrow, Sunday, April 27th for free on Kindle. Just go to Amazon and download it.
They see him here.
They see him there.
Seems he’s just about everywhere.
Zooming through the sky
Landing on the moon.
Playing chicken with pilots.
The little green man
and his silver flying saucer
sailing through the sky.
Is he from Mars?
Or just a Russian spy?
There he goes.
I’ve got the picture.
Oh, it’s just a paper plate
Friday, April 25, 2014
I just did a mailing of a whole bunch of things. I do them online, which saves time and money. They have this product called a SCAN Form--the postal clerk just scans it with their scanner instead of having to scan each individual package, saving time and effort. Thing is, at least at the Edwards CO Post Office, they turn around and scan each item individually anyway. It's already in their computer. It's a complete waste of time and negates the advantage of the SCAN form. I think about half the people who work for the Postal Service have no idea what they're doing.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I've always maintained that the world would be much better off if everyone would just blindly do what I tell them. Of course, the reality is no one does anything I tell them. That's why it's so screwed up.
Case in point. I don't watch Dr. Who because that would cost extra for my cable package. So I have no idea about the new Doctor. Don't know anything about him. Back when it was announced Matt Smith was leaving, I wrote to the BBC and told them I'd like to try out for the job. I never heard back from them on it. It was like when the last pope resigned. I wrote to the Vatican and told them I was available. I never heard back from them, either. Maybe it's my letter writing skills. I guess I didn't sell myself well enough. Of course, it could be a racist thing. In the case of the BBC, I'm not British. In the case of the Vatican, I'm not Catholic.
Others would argue that I'm not qualified for either job as I've never done any acting and I've never been a priest. Well, to that I'd say lots of people who aren't remotely qualified get hired every day and they do just fine. So, since they don't want me, next time they hire a new Doctor, they should get some big black guy. And the next time they hire a new pope, they should get some big black guy.
And, while I'm on the idea express, the Doctor should get a dog, preferably a nice golden retriever. And, that advice goes for the pope as well.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Those in the solid waste industry view plastic bags as a menace. Our recycling bin has multiple signs begging people not to leave stuff in plastic bags there, to no avail. The thing is full of plastic bags. People are either dumb as hell or do not care. One teenager keeps dumping regular garbage in the recycling bin. Why? It's about 30 feet farther to the regular bin. Either that, or he's just an assh*le. I kind of suspect the latter. So, I'm sure glad I don't work at the sorting place. They must get tons of unrecycleable garbage.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Well, the ebook versions of Science Fiction Trails 11 are now available on Kindle and Nook. In the past few years ebook sales have significantly overtaken print for our projects. So, it's good to get everything up for sale. I think this was a very good issue. We tried some really short gunfight stories along with our regular feature stories. It's got Martians and alternate universes and weird inventions. What's not to like?
In my role as art director for our sister publication, Steampunk Trails, I just sent out the art assignments. You never know how those will turn out until they come back in. And, I've also been reading story submissions for a new western horror anthology. So, I've been kind of busy.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Well, I've gotten word two of my steampunk stories have found homes. More details when they're ready to come out. I don't talk about projects much until it looks like they're really going to happen, as I've been burned too many times.
I've had an interesting development with the new issue of Science Fiction Trails. After the print issue released, another artist hated the cover and offered a redone one. This was completely unsolicited. I've been reluctant to go back and re-do what's already on the market. I'm thinking about having different covers for the print and ebook versions. The ebook version has not come out just yet. More on this in a few days as I grapple with this.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Well, I am very pleased to announce the new issue of Science Fiction Trails is now available. The print edition is available from our distributor right now or from Amazon. The ebook should be out late next week.
In our action packed eleventh issue those pesky Martians are in two very different takes on Martian invasion. Folks always seem to think they know how to handle alien technology–but they never do and the device the government wants proves to be quite deadly. And a Native American warrior gets a really fast lesson about parallel universes. We go to Name Pending, Wyoming for a story that reminds us perhaps nature can handle evolution better than man Featuring stories by Sam Knight, C. J. Killmer, J. A. Campbell, Lyn McConchie, Henrik Ramsager, R. A. Conine and Jackson Kuhl with an article by David Lee Summers...
List Price: $7.50
8.5" x 11" (21.59 x 27.94 cm)
Black & White Bleed on White paper
Black & White Bleed on White paper
BISAC: Fiction / Science Fiction / Short Stories
BISAC: Fiction / Science Fiction / Short Stories
CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/4753350
Friday, April 11, 2014
I enjoy mustard on some sandwiches. Yesterday I had a 7 Eleven hot dog and I put mustard on it. So, as I was sitting in my car eating my hot dog, I gazed off at the sky, where there are hundreds of planets that have been discovered, and found myself wondering if they have mustard on any of them. I think it would be depressing to have to eat hot dogs and not have any mustard for them.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Well, I got a form letter from some agent yesterday. That's nothing new. What really impressed me was it took a full year to get it. Yep, it took this guy a full year to throw away my query letter and put a form letter in a self addressed envelope. A full year, this took. Agents are little more than parasites. I've given up on trying to get one. Apparently, they haven't given up on getting rid of me, though.
On a somewhat related note, I'm owed over a thousand dollars from places that won't pay me. This includes publishers and book stores where I consigned stuff. Lesson learned here--don't consign stuff. Also, don't publish anything. Just sit in your basement with a shotgun on your lap waiting for the zombie apocalypse. You'll be much better off.
Monday, April 7, 2014
I've worked in the hotel biz for quite some time. I've figured out there are only two things that matter. You have to provide lots of free coffee--both in the lobby and coffee makers in the rooms. They can't get enough of it. And have rooms with a view. You can have a roach infested dump, but if you provide these two items that's all guests care about and you'll do fine.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
I was completing the new issue of Science Fiction Trails and then I looked back through the prior issues--all 10 of them. There's a lot of stuff in there. A lot of stories that I really like. I thought for a bit that it might be fun to do a "Best of" collection, but I'm not sure if I want to go there. It would be a lot of work.Still, there's certainly enough material. I guess it'll need further thought. Any past contributors or readers, you're welcome to weigh in on this in the comment section. Does any particular story stand out?
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Friday, April 4, 2014
When I try to use Gmail it regularly changes the spelling of words in my text from what I wanted to something else. In my writers guidelines that I send out now and then it inserts an email address I don't want right in the middle of it--all without asking. All from a company that promises not to be evil. I beg to differ. Now I could move my blog and email to some other outfit. Alas, that would just trade one evil corporate entity for another.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Senior Training Officer William “Buzz” Montgomery bit down on the raspberry-filled doughnut. “Ah. Now that is a little piece of heaven.”Rookie police officer Yvette Murphy was lamenting her choice of a sugar doughnut, as little white spots were now all over her navy blue uniform. She hadn’t wanted one at all, but Buzz had insisted.
“Now, the most important thing I can teach you is to avoid those chain places and get your doughnuts here at Homey’s.” He glanced over at Homey’s bakery. “Best doughnuts in town, and I’ve eaten doughnuts at every place there is.” He took another bite, then washed it down with a sip of milk. “Milk goes with doughnuts. Your coffee there, while nice on a cold night, just doesn’t wash down something this good the way ice cold milk does.Yvette sipped her coffee. “Maybe you’re right.” The coffee actually was pretty good.
“Rookie, you’ve got a lot to learn about doughnuts. They’re a staple for the law enforcement community. Captain Mason likes those dreadful cake things. Sergeant Mendoza, on the other hand, likes a plain glazed. It’s important to remember that if you’re working desk duty.”
At that moment a black youth in his early teens ran down the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. He was being chased by a Chinese man in a cook’s uniform who was wielding a large cleaver and shouting something in Mandarin. “Uh, Buzz...”“Now, around Halloween, Homey will offer an orange glazed doughnut that is simply out of this world. That’s why everyone wants this beat in October,” he said between bites.
The Chinese cook and the teenager disappeared around the corner.
“Now, in the spring they put out a St. Patrick’s Day doughnut that’s mint flavored. I never cared much for it.” Buzz swallowed his last bite and slammed down the remains of his 8 ounce carton of milk. "Sometimes, I get the 16 ounce cartons of milk. Damn, that was good.”Yvette noticed the teenager was now running back up the street in their direction. The Chinese cook was right on his heels.
Buzz suddenly threw open the door to his patrol car. Both the teenager and his pursuer bounced off the door and fell to the ground. Buzz got out of the car and kicked away the cleaver. “Now, what’s all this, then?”
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
I'm in the process of reading for a horror anthology. I am simply astonished at the number of writers who refuse to put contact information on the manuscript. No address. No email. No phone number. Nothing. What is wrong with these people? I don't know about other places, but when I get crap like this it's automatic rejection. If they can't even take the time to put together a professional submission, then I'm not going to waste my time reading it. "Just reply to the email." Well, sometimes story files and emails get separated, so there ain't no email no more.
And, you'd think this was a problem with novice writers. Guess again. I've even had so-called pro writers pulling this crap. There is something called a standard manuscript format. There are a few variations of it, but all convergences stress the need to include contact info, rights offered, word count and such on the manuscript. But, I'm seeing more and more crap that contains none of it. I don't know what's behind this other than the general decline of society and such. But if anyone thinks that's going to impress some editor, they've been hanging out a little too much at the local marijuana dispensary. One theory I have is the heavy use of critiquing. "Well, that's how I send it to my critique circle." Guess what, I ain't in your critique club.