Friday, April 29, 2016


A long time ago, way before I lived in the frozen wasteland known as Colorado, I tried gardening. I was around 1st grade or so and knew nothing about gardening.  So I planted some onions and soon had scallions. They were nice, except I didn't know what to do with them. I was just a little kid. I asked my mother and she didn't know either. Well, I wasn't going to get much help there.  And grandmother was only interested in flowers---and she had eyes on my garden area.  

So, I next planted carrots and some tomatoes. The tomatoes were killed by some kind of worm. And the carrots were good, but small as I knew nothing about fertilizer and the poor soil I was using.

I surrendered the space to my grandmother.

A few years went by and I was back at it, planting corn and tomatoes and strawberries and pumpkins. Well the corn ears were quite small, and the snails ate most of the tomatoes and the pumpkins were really nice. After I'd grown them, only then did my mother tell me she wouldn't use them to make a pie--she only used canned pie filling as doing it from scratch was too much work.  Five jack o'lanterns that year.  Not bad.

We had so many snails in the yard and I couldn't put out snail poison because of our beagle--dogs would sometimes eat the stuff. So I kind of gave up.

And while the rest of the world plants their spring gardens, I stare out the window and watch it snow.
Oh how I hate this time of year.

Oh, and I have plenty of uses for scallions now. They're wonderful in soups and as garnishes and even directly in various dishes like meatloaf.  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dog Drivers

I was about to get in my car yesterday when something big and brown went sailing by and took up the passenger seat. It was a dog, a chocolate lab.  I had seen this dog around the condo complex, but I didn't really know him.  

Come on, let's go.

Truth is, I didn't really mind if he rode along to the post office.  It would've been fine with me, but you can't just drive off with people's dogs.  

Well his person soon showed up.  

"Is that your dog in my car?"

"You mean he just got in your car?"

"I guess he wants to go for a ride."

"He's never done that before."

So, Harley found himself getting ordered out of my car--but not by me.  Dogs just can't have any fun.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I see we're getting new money and they're ditching Andrew Jackson.  He hated paper money and I'm sure he'll be glad to be removed from the twenty dollar bill.  They didn't ask me who to pick for a replacement.  I'd have voted for Dolly Madison.  She makes really good cupcakes and baked goods--not bad at all for a dead lady.  So I think Dolly should be on the twenty.

But I also think we're going about this all wrong.  We should let people bid to have their name and likeness placed on currency.  So, some millionaire could bid five million to have his mug on the fiver, for say, five years or so.  This could significantly reduce our debt.  

If they don't want to sell out, then I think they should get rid of people on money altogether.  Rainbow trout on one, bald eagle on 5, wild turkey on 10, put a grizzly bear on 20 and maybe a nice elk on the hundred.  Why don't people blindly do what I tell them? The world would be a much better place.

Monday, April 25, 2016

if it sucks?

"What if your book sucks?" A neighbor asked me recently.

"What's your point?" I replied.

"Don't you worry that your book may not be any good?" she asked.

"Nope."  There is no such thing as an empirically good or bad book, I tried to explain.  It's only a matter if the reader likes it or not.  For example, some people hate my guts and will detest everything they ever see with my name on it. To them my book most certainly would suck--even though they would never actually read it. Why anguish over them?

Then, there are the folks that actually read it, but don't really like it.  Well, sorry, that's the way it goes.

Then there are the readers who like the book.  While I wish I could find a few more of them, they are out there and they're why most authors write stuff.

So, the notion that there is some universally good or bad book, I believe, comes from the mindset of school--where teacher handed down a good or bad grade from God almighty.  Truth is, there is no such literary deity.  

Did my neighbor understand my concept?  Probably not.  But I doubt she'll read any of my books anyway.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

"The Governor"

It is my great pleasure to announce the impending release of Lightships & Sabers.  I am a contributing author in this anthology which will be released May 1st.

Lightships & Sabers 
Edited by J.A. Campbell & Rebecca McFarland-Kyle

Women are born to handle crisis: from the routine tasks of running a household to commanding a starship. Lightships and Sabers features the stories of sixteen unique women facing extraordinary odds.

An inconvenient princess is appointed  governor of an unruly planet after everyone holding the office before her are killed.     [This is my story. Yay!]

One of the few fertile human women left not allowed to pilot a war machine, but she takes matters into her own hands when her brother is kidnapped.

A notorious female spaceship captain is charged to rescue a Baroness from an abusive marriage, but not all is as it appears.

Read these as well as the tales of thirteen other lucky (or not) women in Lightships and Sabers.

Featuring stories by: Jim Reader, Sarah Greenberg, Isidore Nettleship, Jim Kyle, Carol Hightshoe, R. Joseph Maas, CR Asay, Jordan Legg, Holly Schofield, Rie Sheridan Rose, Ted Pennella, Sylvia Kelso, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Doug Sanburn, David B. Riley and James Van Pelt

Saturday, April 23, 2016


One of the neatest inventions I've ever seen in my entire life is caulk.  It's just wonderful.  I caulked my bathroom.  Then I found a few places along the kitchen floor that needed caulk.  Then I decided I needed to put some caulk around one of the windows.  Total cost $3.94. Best deal in home improvement.

Friday, April 22, 2016


Gorzon is an alien bounty hunter I'm working on.  Not totally sure what features he's going to have. Not entirely sure what an alien bounty hunter should be like. The only one I have to go on is the one from Star Wars. If I ever get it figured out I'll post him here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Where does gas come from?

When I was little, a certain gas company used to advertise with some dinosaur that turned into oil. and then they sold the oil to my parents in the form of gasoline.  How nice to be turned into gasoline after millions of years. I'm sure the dinosaurs like being useful.  That's not true, of course.  Pete moss and similar plants, compressed over time, are what really created oil.  

What brought this on? Don't know, really. except I saw one of those old oil signs and got to reminiscing.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

breaking things

Stuff in my house has been breaking at an astonishing rate.  I'm starting to start my day wondering what will break next. In just the past week part of my floor came up, had a serious toilet leak, and the heater in my bedroom quit working.  The floor was re-glued, the toilet leak repaired, and the heater is proving somewhat difficult to fix.  And this hit me right before a home inspection.  I've sold my house, but we're in that awkward phase that Realtors call "under contract." And I've got another month to go.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

If only I had a dog

A few days ago I picked up some takeout Chinese food at a restaurant I had never been to--it's not really new, just not convenient for me.  Well, I wish I hadn't.  I didn't care for it.  It was the sort of meal where I wished I had a dog.

If somebody has never had a dog they won't understand that remark.  Dogs will eat nearly anything.  And I figured the dog would eat whatever it was I was eating.  I sure didn't want it.  Dogs are great at disposing of excess food. Not all dogs like everything, but most do. Once had a golden retriever who loved beans.  Growing up, we had a beagle who loved to eat corn on the cob. He'd hold it in his paws and mow it down, leaving the cob.  That dog was an eating machine. Pre beagle, we had a fox terrier that supposedly ate watermelon, though I never saw it. 

Since  I don't have a dog, I'm not going back to that Chinese restaurant. There are others around where I don't need a dog to take care of uneaten food.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Totally Free Publicity

Over at Story Emporium, where I am publisher, we ran an offer on our blog giving authors a completely free way to promote their book.  They didn't have to buy anything, just write a few paragraphs explaining why folks should buy their book.  Only one person bothered to submit anything, even though several hundred people viewed the offer.  Yet people are constantly complaining about how hard it is to promote their books.  

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spring Fling?

It's snowing here.  We're probably going to get two feet of it before the weekend is over.  Why won't winter end?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Well, my copies of Bonded Agent arrived. It's all well and good when something written by me appears on a web page or email, but I never feel something is real until I have it in my hot little hands. Now, if only a few thousand people would buy a copy.  Ha! Like that's going to happen.  Still, I wouldn't mind a few sales and a kind review or two.  I guess time will tell on that count.  But I've got actual print copies now. Yay!

Monday, April 11, 2016


Well, my house that I've been trying to sell is under contract.  Yay.  I don't know why real estate is so complicated in this country.  You can't hardly sell or buy a house without hiring a Realtor.  And then, if you want a mortgage, you have to get a mortgage broker and that involves other people like appraisers and title companies.  Housing transactions are a source of employment for a lot of people. Heck, I suppose somebody has to make those signs they put out in front of your house.  All in all, I don't really enjoy any of this. At least I won't have people traipsing through my house every day. That I will not miss. And the nightmare is far from over.  I've got five weeks to go before we close. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Return to Science Fiction

You just thought I was through talking about my new book. Guess again.  I've had anthologies, short stories and the occasional review or article, but it's been a long time since I've had a novel published. I published The Brotherhood, which is about vampire monks.  Then I published three weird western novels: The Two Devils, The Devil's Due and the Dust Devil.   [Those three books are now reprinted in one big book called The Devil Draws Two].  And, in the meantime I've been editing horror books, and written some science fiction stories. I have a story in a new anthology Lightships & Sabers, for example. Last year year I edited a science fiction anthology simply called The Martian Anthology.

So, my point is, although I seem to be viewed more as a horror guy, I've always worked in both science fiction and horror, not to mention a little steampunk now and then.  It is my delight that I finally have a science fiction novel. It is not horror. It is not weird western. It is not steampunk.  It's good old science fiction.  It's got aliens and space ships and laser weapons.  

Friday, April 8, 2016

One more thing

The Bonded Agent listing kind of got a few days ahead of itself.  When it came out only the ebook was actually available.  Rest assured the print edition is now available on Amazon and Createspace. So, order a few hundred copies for your friends.  Posting a kind comment on Amazon and Goodreads helps a lot, too.

Now through the end of April you can get 25% off. Just use the link below then enter discount code at checkout.     discount code 9HW5GHYR


I did absolutely nothing yesterday. It was the first time there was no house showing since the place was put on the market.  I didn't do any writing.  I didn't even do my laundry.  I just completely goofed off.  that's not to mean I didn't have anything to do--I just didn't do them. I was a total bum. It was simply wonderful.  People should goof off now and them.  Taking a break from the grindstone may not get thins done, but it sure is nice.  

So many people are frantically racing to get everything done, working two jobs, going to school and working, etc.  They should just stop for a day.  It makes everything more gooder. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bonded Agent Now Available

My new science fiction novel Bonded Agent is finally available. Although this is her first book, Sarah Meadows has appeared in five short stories. In spite of that, this was a tough book to get published. When I told editors it was about a Martian insurance agent they kind of glazed over. Sarah Meadows is actually more of an insurance adjustor, although she does have an insurance license.  In Sarah's world Mars is an independent republic with an uneasy relationship with Earth. 

Readers will quickly notice that her employer, The Gompers Insurance Company, isn't your ordinary insurer.  High risk coverage is an understatement as they insure cargos travelling by pirate infested asteroids and, rumor has it, they will even insure military spacecraft in the middle of a war.  Sarah gets hired at Gompers after graduating from the Martian School of Economics. With that, the blurb on the back cover follows:

They say graduates of the Martian School of Economics really go places. That’s certainly true for Sarah Meadows. After taking a job with the Gompers Insurance Company they send her to weapons training on her second day on the job. She’s soon parachuting out of space ships, hunting down cargo pirates and even trying to salvage a derelict vessel that may be haunted. Not to mention getting involved in a war between Earth and a reptilian race.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Bonded Agent

Well, there's some movement on my science fiction novel Bonded Agent.  The publisher's site has more.   And, since they are now posting the cover, I feel I can display it here as well.


As I've mentioned before, my house if for sale.  Boy is selling a house tough.  This is the first house I ever bought. Before, I always rented. Boy do I ever miss renting.  Having people come though every waking moment gets very disruptive very fast.  Of course, what bothers me the most is I can't sell the blasted thing.  People look at it daily--sometimes seven or eight times.  But no one actually buys it. It's been on the market three weeks, had at least 35 showings, yet no offers.  

The Realtor has no answers. She thinks it's a nice place and, compared to obscenely high priced Colorado real estate, priced fairly.  This is simply not fun.  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ah, teargas

I kind of wish I was going to Cleveland this summer for the Republican convention.  Visions of riots and teargas fill my head.  I've never been in a good old fashioned riot.  It's kind of on my bucket list. I doubt I'll make, But I'd sure like to go.  I'd probably be better of to go to Worldcon in Kansas City. It would be cheaper, but I doubt I'll be tossed in jail with pepper spray running out of my eyes like I almost sure would get at the Republican convention in Cleveland.  But science fiction conventions are fun, too. 

Now a riot at Worldcon, that would be something.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Society of Writers Named Dave

The waitress approaches the five gentlemen who just arrived at the casual dining restaurant. “Can I start you guys off with something to drink?”

“Hi, says the guy on the end. “I’m Dave, this here’s Dave, and that’s Dave, and that’s Dave and my name’s Dave.”

Well, I’m kind of ripping off an old Monty Python sketch.  It’s just that I’ve noticed something out of my fellow members of Writers Named Dave.  That’s a secret society of writers named Dave or David.  We get together once and a while, although not very often as we live far apart.  We haven’t had any meetings, but I noticed something interesting.  Most of my fellow Daves have recently put up comments lamenting no one will review their books.  Now, we’re not really talking about professional book reviews–more like the casual comments on places like Goodreads or Amazon. People buy our books and sometimes we give away copies.  But they never bother to post their thoughts about the books anywhere.  Good favorable comments help us sell more books. But all we seem to be getting is a great abyss of silence.

If you like a book, tell folks. It really matters.  We need that little trickle of revenue to write more books.