The Good, The Bad, and the Catastrophic

First the Good, I’ve officially been in full writing mode again. An 18,000 word in 7 day stretch that officially flushed the Doubt Monster and saw me finish up Book 4 of my planned 5 book Epic Fantasy series. I was even motivated enough with it again to charge straight into book 5…

Except Bad: When I looked at the ending of Book 4 that I wrote, even though I think it’s awesome, I saw that I had just written something that needed another book to get to the planned finale. No time line issues or anything like that. It’s just there would be a lot of things ‘explained’ going into the last book that would’ve been better played out. One of the things that annoyed me about the otherwise excellent David Gemmell Trojan War reimagination was how the war started, and then magically we jump over 10 years of fighting (which wasn’t all siege) to get to the end. I didn’t want readers to feel the same way with this. Not after four books. That it took me less than an hour to write the 40 chapter outline only convinced me that my 5 book series needs to be 6. lol

The Catastrophic: I was writing with my fountain pen today, when pop. I unscrew the pen and inspect it, and it looks ok. Until I put the cap back on. Next time I pick it up, and the body is cock-eye. I think it might be a trick of the light, and an hour later, I take another look. Nope. Clearly bent. So I unscrew it to look for the crack, and snap. Breaks right below the retaining ring. So much for the fountain pen. Sadness.

Let’s just hope that doesn’t put the brakes on my good writing spell. I was actually rethinking not doing NaNo this year.

Oooh, more advice


Advice from literature snobs invariably involves how *not* to make money through writing. If it wasn’t for the fact CHORFS grow in University ‘Humanities’ Departments, where disdain for profit is assumed, one might think they garner their admiration of Collectivism through their complete inability to make a living by writing.

Originally posted on madgeniusclub:

First off, sorry for the delay posting. The last few weeks have been interesting in the proverbial sense and it all culminated with me being up all night writing, something I haven’t done in a very long time. There simply isn’t enough coffee anymore to help this battered body of mine continue going after no sleep for more than 36 hours. So, a nap and shower was needed before I could make any sense this morning. The good news is that I finished Nocturnal Challenge. It now gets to sit on the back burner for a few weeks. Then I will go back and do the final edits before releasing it into the wild. The better news is that it means I can finally get back to work on Honor from Ashes.

And that leads us into the basis for this post.

Yesterday, on one of my few forays onto…

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My Writing Has Been a Struggle For A While Now

Such that I’m at the point of thinking I just need to shelve the Epic Fantasy until I’ve gotten the creative juices flowing again and don’t feel like I’m writing just to finish a project. It doesn’t help that I find myself wondering ‘why am I doing this’? waaaay too often these days.

So when I saw this article on my Facebook feed today, I found myself geeked:

Now, I don’t know how different from Steampunk it *actually* is. Penny Dreadful Steampunk is not uncommon to the genre. And most authors playing in Steampunk (Including myself) have indulged in the dark side of the greasy, soot-rain streets more than once. Let alone when I allowed zombies into my Steampunk (Before the Walking Dead made them cool, I might add.) But when I read this, it definitely sparked the idea mill for the first time in a while. I could do this in an 1800ish Auroriverse setting very easily, actually.

But Gothic Horror in Victoriana? Yeah. I can write this. ;)

Though I Am Not Generally a Fan of Reboots

This one *might* be an exception:

I could even see a way this could function with a nod to the original. Our noble hero remembers his history (or alternate history) and the story of the Californian who fought the oppressive governors in his day and decides to take up the mantle to right wrongs in the present. Now, how rapier and bull-whip would work in a post-apocalyptic setting is another question. But I love me some classic duels–which looked nothing like the watered down sport version people see once every four years in the Olympics. So I’d roll with it, given some decent handwavium.

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Why The Puppies Did It


I’ll disagree about the less sci-fi, more fantasy part. Fantasy fed dreamers in the gutters for ages as well. And many of us liked to alternate between dreams of Middle Earth and looking on the stars. The nobility of Tolkien’s heroes appealed to virtue in an era where society seemed quite willing to purge independence and perseverance from us.

Fantasy and Sci-fi traditionally were two parts of the same coin really. Fantasy asked: What price virtue? How far would one go to save what one loved? Would they sacrifice the noble for the personal? Would they put their people above themselves? And that traditional question has been put to the sword by traditional publishers just as much as sci-fi has. The Game of Thrones and its GrimDark minions hacked at all such questions with the cheerless smirk of the nihilist. And the publishing snobs exulted saying, “Here at last is fantasy in a REAL medieval world!”

Sci-fi properly asked, “What price humanity?” Would that be lost in sea of technological progress and increasingly impersonal governance? Well, you’ve hit on what the Ivy League snobs did to it quite well. They don’t believe in technological progress, so they excise it from their stories. They don’t think the impersonal nature of government is a BAD thing, so they relish in faux-diversity enforced by the dictates of our so-called betters. That they produce a vision of the future as joyless as the present the kickers live in is hardly surprising.

Originally posted on The Arts Mechanical:

I’m not a professional writer. I haven’t pursued the muse in the makings of the craft.  I’m an engineer and designer.  Because most of my work has been in rather eclectic things, the average person will not encounter what I create, but their lives will be enriched from them through better manufacturing methods and being able to detect toxins in foods.  I’m not sure what experiments have been run on the Free Electron Laser, but I imagine that something significant was learned.

In any case I’ve been asking myself why I’ve been devoting so much time to the Hugo Awards, science fiction and the future of  science fiction and fandom.  Then I saw this.

I think that each and every one of the puppies is to some extent the kid under the stairs.  We are the odds that instead of looking inward at our rage, try to look forward for…

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On stereotypes


Not that the self-presumed literati *will* keep such in mind. They’re content to go carping loudly over the lemming cliff into obscurity, wondering why Puppies continue to exist when they’re condemned to the ash heap of history.

Originally posted on madgeniusclub:

On stereotypes

It’s a word you’ll hear a lot of in the writing trade.
I believe it has something to do with Bang and Olufsen, or Bose, or dogs and birds (tweeters and woofers as they are colloquially known among the hoi polloi, like moi).

It must, like, be the opposite of monotype, because, like, a stereo’s got, like, two speakers and mono means one. And a monotype isn’t just hitting one key… it is the only one of its kind, absolutely unique, just like all of us.

Which of course is why modern litteratchewer sneers at it. It’s important to sneer in unison with modern Litteratchewer, or you will never be a unique voice in modern litteratchewer, you know. If you’re going to be ‘daring and innovative’ there are very strict rules! Do not dream of stepping outside of these boundaries or you will instantly be transformed into an…

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Was The US Army Really Stupid During WW2?


A solid counter to the typical EuroSnob Academias ‘analysis’ of the World War II American Army. The one thing I would add is that the US always considered 1 other element of the combined arms attack integral to anti-tank operations: The air strike. Ground Support attacks were perfected by the USAAF. The Sherman was never meant for toe-to-toe slugfests with their counterparts. It was meant for exactly the kind of tactics the former cavalry officer Gen. George S. Patton employed them during his race across France and against at the Ardennes.

Laugh at the equipment all you want. It won. And no, it didn’t win by sheer weight of metal. It won by superior logistics, superior reliability, and superior use of combined arms tactics. The only thing a weapon of war needs to do is kill enemies. Try to find a more efficient machine at it than the US Army in 1944.

I’d honestly suggest you might have to go back to the Grande Armee at its height.

Originally posted on The Arts Mechanical:

If you see any discussion about the US Army during WW2 you will quickly hear that the US Army couldn’t pour sand out of a boot with instructions on the heel.  The choices of just about every piece of equipment will be bitterly criticized aggressively.  You would honestly come to the conclusion that the US Army was just able to win the war because of accident or sheer overwhelming production. The Chieftan debunks much of that here.

Still, there are some issues I would like to perhaps clear up.  The funny thing is how long some of the myths about the US Army and the Sherman tank have been around.  It seems that the American tanks were being disparaged at home even before the US entered the war or the tanks even saw combat. It wasn’t just tanks either.  Just about every piece of equipment on the TO&E got hit…

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