Monday, July 31, 2017


Well, the good news is i found a publisher for my novella.  The bad news is I found a publisher for my novella.  Now comes the agonizing process of editing and revision.  Part of the problem is you don't know what style book your editor is going to use, since you don't know who's publishing or editing your book--at least I didn't.  Ergo, where one style book may go to numerals after twenty, so you'd do 21 next. That's not universal.  This leaves me feeling like an idiot even though it's not really a big deal in the overall scheme of things.   Actually, I got off fairly easily.  So far, I haven't seen anything I can't live with in the way of edits.  I should point out this is a novella, about half the size of a typical novel.   I'll talk more on this once it's all done.  

Got a preview of the cover.  It looks good.  More to follow. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Now that it's  a little cooler and we've gotten some rain, the bugs are out. In particular, crickets. That chirping they do is so incredibly annoying.  This year I unleashed outdoor bug spray right after the rain let up. And it seems to have worked. I can hear them on other lots nearby, buy not around my house.  It's so darned annoying. I don't know how long this will last.  Living in a hot climate, you've got to stay on top of bug problems.  We've got termites, flies, crickets, scorpions and roaches. Just take you pick.  

Friday, July 28, 2017

More on Surgery

Had surgery yesterday to remove some tumors from my nose.  Surgery hurts.  To avoid opioid  addiction, doctors are getting pretty stingy with pain killers.  I want morphine. I'm paying lots of money. Give me morphine.  The good news was my surgery was laser surgery and it only hurt for about half a day.  then the pain subsided and it was over.  

There's something about surgery, trusting one's life to somebody you just met.  But surgery can do a lot to improve life.  Back in Roman days there was a surgeon named Galen who was way ahead of his time. He was so skilled he even did things like remove cataracts.  He tended to cater to the nobility as they could pay cash and poor folks couldn't.  [And that looks like where we're heading with health care, but I digress[.  Anyway, Galen was it if you were sick back then.  A lot of doctors were actually Greek. But they were far more advanced than what came later.  A lot was lost to the plague, which I've written about before.  A Roman citizen could get surgery, with anaesthesia,  and John Adams daughter was given blood letting for her breast cancer in the 1700s.  Yes, it's my theory much of what brought on the dark ages was a direct result of the plague.  It was not lead water pipes and it was not the plague.  History books for schools are written by morons because they have to be approved by politicians in order to get purchased. 

Burned flesh has an odd smell.  I inhaled some of that fragrance while they were working on me.  

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Having surgery today.  I'll provide more info later on.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Happy Birthday

Well, I got a nice birthday present in the form of a contract to publish a novella.  More about it as we get toward release date, which is a while off still.  Novellas, which run around 30,000 words, are a size I really enjoy writing, but they are a real bear to get published.  I have  done a few that I had to re-edit into short stories to get them published.  So, being able to get one published as envisioned by the author (hey, that's me) is really neat.  The story brings together my past character, Ah Puch, the Mayan god of death, with a newcomer to my stable, Ling Fung.  Like the Miles O'Malley books, it is mostly set in 1880's California.  Ah Puch is still trying to raise and equip an army to take over California. This time it's a mysterious Chinaman who decides to block his efforts.  Updates will be posted as they develop.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

There But For

My neighborhood was hit hard by storms this week. Lots of trees came down.  Lots of folks without power. Lots of people with roof damage.  And me--nothing.  I didn't even lose power.  It kind of made me fee guilty.  But I actually just felt lucky. it could've easily been my house that took damage. And no one was hurt, as far as I know.  The tree guys have been sawing up the fallen trees and things almost look like nothing happened. The smashed up roofs--well that will take a little longer.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Now they've done it

Well, I met the news that Jodie Whittaker will be the next Doctor on Doctor Who with a so-what attitude.  I went from just loving the show during the Matt Smith era to no longer watching it during the outgoing Peter Capaldi. I didn't stop watching it because of Capaldi. I actually liked his performance. It was more a total dislike for the preposterous and moronic storylines the show had descended to.

So, a woman doctor eh? I predict set in their ways fans will not take to her.  It had already been established that Time Lords can regenerate into different genders. The long-term villain The Master had already regenerated to a woman and changed the name from The Master to Missy.  

Is she going to have dudes travelling with her? I hope they keep the concept of hot babes in short skirts for travelling companions.  I still miss Amy Pond.  I also think the doctor should get a dog. [Not a robot dog like Tom Baker had--a real one.]

Anyone  have any thoughts?

Monday, July 17, 2017

A few thoughts on Cable TV Series

A few days ago I expressed dismay that Westworld got so many Emmy nominations.  I really did not think much of the show. HBO had a free view of one of their other shows, so I took a look at Game of Thrones.   I am probably the only person in the USA who has never watched it–not a single episode.  

Can’t beat free.  I watched about half an hour’s worth then turned it off.  I couldn’t take any more. It was absolutely awful.  I can’t sit through shows where I know what characters are going to do and say before they do it. I knew every word the actors were going to spew out of their mouths with no idea of the story background. I knew the wine was poisoned too, I’ve never seen an HBO produced program that I like.

Storm Central

A few days ago I was complaining about the heat and lack of any rain.  Well, we've been getting rain.  quite a bit of rain.  Sunday afternoon I was sitting in front of my computer when a violent blast of wind came along.   Only when I ventured outside did I see the scope of the damage. There were down trees everywhere.  Some of my neighbors car ports had been destroyed.  Thus far the weather service has not branded the storm a tornado.  Me thinks it was as the damage is too spread out for a micro burst. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Had my annual termite inspection recently.  They're a real problem in this area.  The one last year, which was when I was buying the place, turned up the little bastards. A treatment ensued and I'm still here. It occurred to me one could get termites out in the wild and implant them underneath the homes of people one didn't like.  If they, like most folks, didn't get regular pest control, uh oh.  How do I think up stuff like this?

Friday, July 14, 2017

22 Emmy Nominations?

22 Emmy nominations?
It baffles me.  I think Westworld is a mediocre television series that doesn’t really accomplish anything.  Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys?  They’ve muddled that.  But they’re so obsessed with what it’s like to be an android one has but the barest glimpse of what it’s like to be a guest there.  I had a rough time watching some of the episodes as I dearly wanted to turn my TV off.  I guess they got so many nominations because so much of what’s on TV is such mindless crap. Just like this show.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

listen chumps

I wish Congress would stop playing games with health insurance.  The American people are way ahead of Congress.  They know what they want.  Stop behaving like robber barons for once and actually help people to get insurance. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

water everywhere

After months of no rain we got a really substantial rain last night.  It cooled things down and gave our plant friends a drink.

Monday, July 10, 2017

mountain lion?

This morning I found a track in my back yard that startled me.  I think it was a mountain lion.  There are tons of them in southern Arizona, but they usually stay up in the mountains.  It was a big cat.  You can tell a cat print from a bear or dog because cat's claws retract. This animal had a paw print the size of my hand.  It wasn't the kitty that lives with the elderly lady down the street.  Well, we've had no rain this year at all, six months with no measurable rain where I live. The airport had some in March but we didn't get any. With record heat and no water anywhere I guess it's on the move trying to find better digs. Our neighborhood borders a large park called Tucson Mountain Preserve.  The mountain part is a ways off, but there's plenty of desert. Maybe it wanted a dip in the pool.  Well, other than it surprised me, I'm not going to worry about it.  I've lived in national parks so I've lived around wild animals before. My view is if you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone. Sure wish I'd seen it.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

penny for your thoughts

There was a penny on the sidewalk yesterday, down by the mailboxes. It looked so pathetic lying there.  Well I picked it up. I put it in my coin jar. Soon, it'll be reunited with t=its coin buddies at Coinstar.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hot Foot

Dogs have it rough in our current  heatwave. The pavement is so hot they can't walk. The pavement burns their feet.                                                                      


Friday, July 7, 2017

Hell on Earth?

Generally, I don't mind the heat. Heck, after freezing my ass off in the mountains of Colorado for 14 years, a little warm air seemed nice. But damn! Every day is over 110 degrees.  My trees I planted to get some shade are in trouble. Their leaves look  burnt.  There's talk of rain and cooler weather in the next few days. I certainly hope so. I  do not want to lose my trees.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Weird Westerns on the Rise?

Weird Westerns have always been on the fringe of genre fiction.  But they’re not the ticket to obscurity they once were. It’s actually a hundred year old genre that’s very rich and diverse in its subject matter.  These stories are riding a new wave of popularity, not only with readers but authors as well.  Case in point, a new anthology:Straight Outta Tombstone.  Edited by David Boop, the book is packed with stories by major writers .  Alas, I’m not one of them. Although I know most of the contributors in the book, my story didn’t make it into the book.  I have nothing to gain or loose from the success of this book. I just note it’s out. And it’s a rarity in that so many Weird Western books are put out in the small press world. Boop has collected major authors and the book is put out by Baen, a major publisher.  I hope it does well as this sort of book, with it’s wide distribution, can reach a lot more readers.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Dr. What?

Over the years I've been an on-again off-again fan of Dr. Who.  Most recently, it's been mostly off.. I've found most of the episodes silly and preposterous.  That's why I was surprised at the season finale.  It was quite good.  They're on a massive ship stuck in the gravity well of a black hole. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Yesterday there was a fireworks display nearby.  It had to have come from somebody's house.  Thing is, it was the big fireworks that come in displays.  It can't possible by legal.  It was a nice show.  I personally quit setting off fireworks since all we have are the boring kind that don't explode==the  safe and sane, 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Don't Call Us, We'll Call You.

I was planning on being in Phoenix this weekend for Westercon 70.  That didn't pan out.  "You have an awesome background, we'll get back to you," in English means we want nothing to do with you. Being snubbed is not unusual, about 90% of the cons I've approached to participate with in some way have snubbed me.  They rarely communicate than they think I'm a worthless toad--they just ignore me.  That's what Westercon did.  That's the way it goes.  But I will not buy a ticket to places that treat me like that.  

Saves me transportation costs, I suppose.

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Well, the neighborhood didn't hear from the prowlers last night. They say when it's 110 degrees crime drops off quite a bit. In fact, there's some study that shows a sharp drop off in crime after 92 degrees. I think you have to adjust it up a bit for the desert southwest.  We have a dry heat, as they say.  Does this mean global warming is bringing good things?  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Disconcerted prowlers

My neighborhood was a little bit rattled in the wee hours of the morning yesterday as a number of houses reported someone prying on and knocking on windows around 1 am. I live one block from all the activity.  Our neighborhood is quiet, mostly older people and I really don't know why someone would find it that exciting to prowl around in the middle of the night.  I guess the local hooligans have little else to do.