Category Archives: Blog

Could You People Please Stop Dying and Getting Married. Thanks.

Scan_Pic0012So I am going to a wedding this weekend. I hate weddings. It’s not just because I can’t dance and therefore hate dancing, which is ultimately what the whole goddamn thing ends up being about. If it was just dancing, fine. Whatever. Have an open bar and watch how much I don’t care about dancing. However the one thing that never ends and can’t be ignored about all these damn weddings is the unending requirement of stupid formal attire. An F-ing suit. Continue reading Could You People Please Stop Dying and Getting Married. Thanks.

Why Political Posts on Social Media Destroy Relationships

Everyone knows that you should never bring up “religion or politics” in polite company. None of us actually ever do … at least not in “real life”. I mean, when was the last time you were hanging out at a bar or at the hair salon and just whipped out your most emotive ideas about abortion or global warming or the war in Iraq?

“Hey, Sally, I love what you do for my doo. You’re the best stylist in the world. So, what do you think about those Bible-thumping Inquisitors siding with rapists and actually trying to expand male-subjugation of women in our modern rape culture?”

Or maybe …

“Hey, Joe, thanks. You mix the best whiskey sour ever. Aren’t you super offended by murderous sinners carving unborn babies out of women’s bodies and mutilating them to death?”

Continue reading Why Political Posts on Social Media Destroy Relationships

A Thank You Note to the Sutter Folks Who Helped My Wife

This blog entry (well, the part I copied below) is actually copied from an email I sent to Sutter Hospital after a grueling experience getting my wife through a gallbladder surgery. I’ll set this email up by pointing out that we actually went to another hospital in town TWICE before in the last three months with the EXACT same issues, and got all the same tests (and paid for them every time) and yet, nothing. Then, due to the suddenness of the attack, and exasperation of the previous experiences, my wife went to Sutter General (downtown Sacramento) instead of the other hospital closest to our house.

Problem solved.

In fact, not only was it solved, it turned out to be the thing we kept trying to tell the other hospital we were pretty sure it was, given family history, symptoms, etc. (and yes, I get that hospitals and doctors can’t let dumbass patients make their own diagnoses; I’m just saying, we WERE right, and the other hospital people wouldn’t even bother to check that too, along with all the other crap they are obligated to test for, and that they charged us for both times, again etc., which is fine, doing their job, blah blah).  Plus everyone at that other, nearby hospital was cranky. My wife heard them complaining about being tired and about how many people kept calling in sick and not coming in, so everyone was beat down and miserable to even be there. (Probably a cycle that perpetuates itself.) Continue reading A Thank You Note to the Sutter Folks Who Helped My Wife

The Galactic Mage Series – Book 6 Progress Update

For the short and most recent updates on the final book in the Galactic Mage Series (at least the last one in the main line), keep an eye on THIS PAGE. If you want an email when it comes out, sign up here: My Email List.

However, people are asking about progress and story and that sort of thing in more detail, so I realize it’s time to post at least something to explain process and plan. So here’s where I am and where I’m headed as far as I can tell. Continue reading The Galactic Mage Series – Book 6 Progress Update

The Evil Lurking in Your Mailbox

Evilope - Worst junkmail of all timeYou know what fills me with hatred? Like, pure, boiling, completely irrational and borderline psychosis kind of hatred?

Me either. Or at least, not exactly.

I mean, I totally know what it is, or what they are, but they are so evil, they don’t even have a name that anyone knows. Like, there is literally no word for them I can give you. But I hate them. I am filled with hatred for something I can’t even name. Which of course fills me with even more hatred.  But I do know what they are, even if I don’t know their name: they are evil. They are evil vessels of evilness devoted to spreading evil, and they show up in my mailbox all the time. They show up in yours too. And they are evil.

Did I mention they are evil? Continue reading The Evil Lurking in Your Mailbox

Why Victoria’s Secret, Carl’s Junior and the NFL Suck and Force Me to Play Golf

Angry MeYou know what’s really pissing me off these days?

Aging.

Aging is pissing me off. Aging and Victoria’s Secret. And Carl’s Junior. A little bit the NFL, too. But mostly aging. And I have to tell you, I have been very cool about aging to this point. I’ve accepted it gracefully all along, without the least complaint. Or at least mostly without the least complaint. Continue reading Why Victoria’s Secret, Carl’s Junior and the NFL Suck and Force Me to Play Golf

Mammoth Tusks and the Great Nose Hair Trimmer Terror

At sink So I was brushing my teeth the other day and happened to glance up into the mirror. I don’t usually look at myself very closely because A) I already know what I look like, and B) I don’t really care. Thinking that way, especially that last part, is a kind of attitude that is widely considered one of the great powers writers have. That and a penchant for drinking. Continue reading Mammoth Tusks and the Great Nose Hair Trimmer Terror

Dance of Destinies – Book 5 of the Galactic Mage Series is Now Available

DD_cover_only_webWell, it seems like “at long last” to me, but I suppose I’ve made pretty good progress getting the fifth installment of the Galactic Mage Series out. There are a lot of plot elements coming together in this book, and I really feel like I’m getting almost halfway decent at telling stories in novel form now, after six books.

If past experience is any indication, I’ll probably look back on the fact I said that right now and, in, say, ten years, I’ll think, “No, dude, you sucked back then, but I hear what you are saying.” I’m never good enough. But, such is the nature of the learning curve. And any artist that has worked at their art for very long can tell you there is this weird back and forth between hating everything you do and thinking you are freaking amazing. So for now,  however long it lasts, I am feeling very full of myself and I just love this one. I have to say that it seems like the easiest reading of them all to me, but maybe it’s because I love all these characters so much . I’ve lived with them all in my head for a very, very, very long time. Continue reading Dance of Destinies – Book 5 of the Galactic Mage Series is Now Available

Dance of Destinies – Galactic Mage Book 5: Progress Update #1

Cover sample 1 - Dance of DestiniesAfter a bit of delay for some personal issues and family stuff that crept in, I can finally take some time to write up a quick progress report for the fifth book in the Galactic Mage Series.

For starters, the first draft of Dance of Destinies is written and has been through beta reading already. The real delay has been in getting back to it to work on revisions. I’ll be cutting down some chapters that I think ran a little long and cleaning up the text with this round of revision. I hope to be done with this pass by September sometime, and then, depending on how it comes out, I’ll either go through it again or call it ready to be sent off to my editor. The draft right now is very clean, so I am optimistic that it will go smoothly. Plus, this book is a little shorter than the last, which obviously speeds things along. Continue reading Dance of Destinies – Galactic Mage Book 5: Progress Update #1

Alien Arrivals is Almost Here!

It’s true, Alien Arrivals is almost here!

Well, it’s been pretty hectic month, but in a super good way lately, and Alien Arrivals (book 4 of the Galactic Mage Series) is a couple weeks ahead of schedule. Which for anyone who’s been following along with me each book as I work on it knows, that never happens. But it’s true.

I finished up about right on time based on the timeline I laid out in my May 1st post, but then my editor, Joyce, really turned it around quickly. She had a clear schedule, so Alien Arrivals got the executive treatment. So, since that got turned around so quick, I was able to jump right on it and get those edits worked in. And then, in another stroke of luck, my new and amazing proofreader, Carolyn, was ready for it right on schedule as well, and she hammered it out exactly as she said, right on time too. BAM, two for two.

So I got it back and was able to roll right through those marks quickly, and next thing I know, I’m looking for formatting two weeks early. And then Fernando, my formatter, well, he turns the thing around in three days, just quick as that. So, today I went through the print file, made sure it was all clean, sent back a few little corrections, which he jumped right on again, and, well, now he’s got that done and is working on the ebook versions for Amazon and Nook and Kobo, etc.

So, that’s where we are right now. He thinks it is possible he could finish them by tomorrow (Friday 6/13) but if not, he said for sure by Monday, end of day. So basically somewhere in the next four days, I should have those files back.

I’m also waiting for Cris Ortega to send me the final paperback book cover files. I had to hold off on getting those finalized until I knew exactly how many pages are in the book, because if you try to guess, the spine doesn’t line up right if you are off. So, now that it is formatted, and I have the print file, I know (542 pages), so that message went off to Cris, she’s received it, and let me know she’s on that part of it now too.

Given that there’s nothing more I can do until I have those pieces back, I am working on book 6, which I’m pretty sure I’m going to call Alien Interests. I finished that too (yes, I told you I had a really awesome month)—or at least I finished it as a first and second draft. It is currently with my Beta readers as we speak. That bodes well for a fairly quick release of it on the heels of Alien Arrivals as well—at least, quick for me—but I’m not going to try to say what date. Every time I get too ambitious with quoting times, I curse myself. So, I’ll just say, it’s at the Beta-reader stage. I will probably not work on it until I finished drafting book 6 (which might be titled Alien Outcomes, but we’ll see if I stick with that). But my plan is to finish that draft (essentially finishing the series), and then go back and do the final revisions of Alien Interests (book 5). That said, I’m hoping for a fall release of book 5. If I can go sooner, I totally will. And in a perfect world, I’d have book 6 out for January 2015, but it might be a big fatty of a book like Rift in the Races is, so, it will take as long to make as it takes to make. A lot of this is in my control, but the muses will have their way, so, all I do is put in the hours and see what comes out when it’s done.

Stay tuned, as they say. And keep an eye out next week for a release announcement. If you haven’t signed up for my email newsletter, and want to get an email when it’s out, go for it (form on the sidebar and at the bottom).  And when it does come out, and you do read it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon when you are done. That really matters for my writing career, so I need your help to make those happen. I wish it didn’t matter as much for how Amazon sells books, and how other stuff in “the machine” of selling books works, but it does. So, if you do, I’ll be grateful. I read them all, even the bad ones, although I don’t comment back on any, so please don’t be insulted if I don’t respond to something nice or critical that you say … I just feel the reviews portion of Amazon is a ‘for readers’ place. But I will see it, I promise.