Tuesday, May 21, 2019

solar stuff

My yard light quit working. Our HOA requires we have one. My dilemma was I couldn't figure out why it wasn't working and I didn't want to pay some guy to come out and fix it. Solution, for five bucks I got a solar light and put it in the casing where the light bulb had been. It works great. Problem solved. I noted there are simply gobs of amazing solar lighting options for just about any lighting need.  

Sunday, May 19, 2019

another one

Another review came out in something called Nameless Zine.


Overall, positive although a few comments had me scratch my head.  This was written and sold as a novella, the reviewer seems to think it's supposed to be a novel.  And the date of 1963 should be 1863.  Like I said, a little strange but overall a nice review. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Brand loyalty

Companies spend a lot of effort, time & money to keep customers to them   In my case it is all for naught.  In the past two weeks I have dumped a credit card in favor of a different one, dumped my cell phone carrier, and replaced both my car and homeowners insurance with other companies. I don't know if the old companies are sorry to see me go, but in each case i got a better deal and I took it. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

insurance yum!

Ah, it just so happens that my car and my homeowners insurance come up for renewal in early June. So I've been talking to insurance companies.  It clearly pays to shop around.  I saved $200 on my car insurance and $190 on my house by switching companies.  Yay!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Goodbye computer

My old Dell computer died yesterday.  It was 10 years old--ancient by computer years. It was a good computer.  Fortunately, I was fairly well backed up.  I'll miss it. I certainly got my moneys worth.

Monday, May 13, 2019

I don't know.

Why are my book sales dropping? I don't know.

More importantly, does anyone actually read anything?  Take this blog for example.  It usually has around 200 people visiting the site each day with site visits up to 500 folks now and then.  But what do they want?  I don't know.

I mentioned last Sunday, not yesterday but May 4th, I had a nice review of my latest book, Fallen Angel, in the Arizona Daily Star.   Is my "Quirky little novel" going to see an increase in sales?  I don't know.  The Star supposedly has circulation on Sunday around 350,000.  Well, that's a lot of folks who could have read the review.  But how many actually did?  I don't know.

Last year my book Legends of the Dragon Cowboys  was reviewed in the same paper.  I saw no appreciable increase in sales.  It had some other favorable reviews, but that did not generate much in the way of sales.  So, while people won't buy a book if they don't know about it, that does not mean they'll buy one if they do.  The sad reality is my overall book sales have been dropping.  That is especially true of Science Fiction Trails, where I am editor.  Sales of each of the last three issues have been 50% lower than the previous issue.  The issue just released has gotten positive feedback from readers, quite a bit of positive feedback, yet the sales are still way below the previous year and super way below what they were five years ago.  Has the reader changed that much or is something else going on?  I don't know.

See a pattern here.  I don't know what's going on, but something ain't right. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

rain yay!

Got some rain last night. It was a decent amount. Living in the Arizona desert, rain is a big deal. We can go quite a while between rain showers.  It's really good for  out plant friends.  And I won't have to water my yard for a few days. 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Badges, we don't got no stinkin badges

I'm working on an anthology that's a little different than my past projects which were mostly western horror. Dry Gulch is western, but I didn't tell the authors what it had to be. I just said where it takes place, which was Dry Gulch, Colorado and gave them a few stock characters. Authors were free to add whatever characters they wanted.  I'm still reading for it, but I've been really pleased. They are using my stock characters and there's a pleasant overall lack of walking badges. That's been a longtime peeve of mine, the two dimensional lawman in charge of every story.  About the only lawmen, ironically, are in a story I wrote.  The most popular characters are the alien piano player and the town drunk.

Well, I'm really enjoying putting this book together.  Can't wait for the final product.

Friday, May 10, 2019


I'm up to my ass in weeds. This has been the worst spring for weeds in many a year, the locals who've lived here a long time tell me.  I can barely keep up with it.  I burn them off with my propane weed burner and turn around and there are more of them growing.  So today will be yet another yard work day. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Is it racist?

I'm working on an anthology that's sort of a shared world concept.  Contributors had to use at least one character from a list of stock characters. They were free to add their own characters as well.  Well, my guidelines were taken down off one site because somebody complained they were racist. No one ever complained to me directly, so I don't know what their beef was.  I suspect it involved a Chinese character who ran a laundry and also was involved in various criminal enterprises.  Thing is, a lot of Chinese people in the 1800s ran laundries. They found a niche in the labor market and filled it.  And, there was a crime problem amongst some Chinese folks in the form of violent tongs in west coast cities.   So, are we now relegated to only having white people commit crimes? Is it racist to have a person of color who is a bad guy?  I don't know.  I'm not used to this sort of attack.

Well, I guess I'll write a Mexican bandit story to make up for it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Big City Papers

It was nice getting reviewed by the Arizona Daily Star Sunday.  It's gotten really hard to get reviewed by newspapers.  Papers keep cutting back on stuff and books just aren't as interesting to folks as are, say, movies. My first published novel, The Two Devils, managed to get reviewed in the Denver Post when it came out. If it came out today, that would not likely happen. The Post once had a regular reviewer of science fiction--now they don't.  

Getting a review is nice.  People aren't going to buy a book they don't know about.  Yet, they may not buy it even if they do.  Bookstores don't special order like they once did.  I know my book is available through distributors, yet I've gone into four bookstores and been told "We can't get it." That means we don't want to bother.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Fallen Angel

My new book, Fallen Angel, was reviewed in the Arizona Daily Star last Sunday.

This quirky new novel by Tucsonan David B. Riley is a cross-genre romp, religious fantasy meets historical fiction, science fiction, zombie “Animal House.”...

Here is a link to the full review


Monday, May 6, 2019

For the birds

I don't know why old ladies love to feed birds so much.  They all seem to love to toss out food for them.  My grandmother was that way when she was alive--just loved feeding birds and did it constantly.  Well, the old lady behind my house is of the same camp. She has a bird feeder and knows how to use it.  In fact, she's putting out so much food--filling the damned thing twice a day, that she is attracting a massive amount of birds into the neighborhood. These are mostly doves and they shit on everything, including my house and my car. Because of the huge amount of food there are far more of these blasted birds than would normally be around in the Sonoaran desert.  and there seems to be nothing I can do about it. If I kill the damned birds I can be arrested by Fish and Game, yet nothing will happen to the old bat who is tossing out the food.  My only hope is she'll attract rattlesnakes and one of them will bite her and she'll die. Alas, that isn't very likely. 

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Yard work

My yard has been taken over by weeds. It started in the middle of winter and continues.  No matter what chemicals I try, the crabgrass just laughs at me and says "What else you got?"  Even using propane to burn the little bastards can't keep up with it.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

moo vee

Can't we have a respite from comic book movies? Apparently not.  I'm so sick of them. Maybe that colored my attitude toward the new Avengers movie.  It was basically a bunch of cameo appearances and little more.  I could've done without it.

Friday, May 3, 2019

teachin younguns

At the recent Wild Wild West Con I had a few occasions to talk with school teachers and librarians.  They all said about the same thing, they thought their students would be interested in stuff like weird westerns, but they had qualms about recommending it for fear that it might carry too much in the way of excessive sex and violence for young people.  Have they seen what's on TV lately?  Anyway, I assured her that little of my products fall in that camp and also suggested a few other things they could feel good about recommending to young people.  

I was glad to talk to them about this. It's been obvious that librarians shy away from weird western type of material, at least I know some of their concerns.  And it got me to re-focus my radar a bit as well.  Two of the submissions for a weird western project I'm editing came in with references to visiting the whores at the saloon.  Well, I suggested visiting the saloon girls as an alternative.  Am I censoring?  I don't think so. It was a minor issue in both stories.  Still, some of these writers are so darned touchy. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019


I got a Hersey bar with almonds.  I'd just about stopped eating them since they went to pieces of almonds.  This one had full almonds. It was good. I hope they've gone back to whole almonds.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

It's Spirits

I got asked recently why I'm not going to ghost towns or haunted places anymore.  And I don't talk about ghost related TV shows.  Have I given up on them? No. It's just that nothing new ever comes up. As far as ghost shows, it's just the same old thing over and over. And one paranormal show is clearly fabricating their encounters.  

People seem to forget that most of my ghost experience were in haunted hotels. I worked in two of them.  Since I retired from the hotel business I haven't been around haunted lodgings, ergo I just haven't been as involved.  They  say you never really believe in ghosts until you've encountered one. Well, none of that has changed.  It's just I don't really have anything new.