my Sunday feeling

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Crazy busy. Writing stuff. Karate stuff. More writing stuff. Plus a birthday present from a friend yesterday that was a much needed oasis of silliness to preserve my sanity. Now back to more writing stuff.

I will say this, in response to the shootings in Santa Fe: anybody whose response to this rash of school shootings is anything other than much more fucking gun control, you can go fuck yourself in the face. One person put explosives in his shoe, and suddenly everyone has to take off their shoes off at airports. Second-hand smoke is proven to be as dangerous as first-hand smoke and suddenly nobody can smoke indoors. More people die when they don’t fasten their seat belts, and now everyone fastens their seat belts when they get in cars, which was not always the case.

Yet more and more mass shootings committed by people who have easy access to guns because apparently we fetishize guns in this country more than I realized — I honestly thought we fetishized our children more, but apparently not, because people’s desire to own a weapon of destruction is apparently more important than dead children.

One of the arguments, of course, is that you can’t legislate behavior. I just gave three examples that disprove that very handily, and all four notions — taking off shoes, fastening seat belts, smoking out of doors, and gun control — are all designed to save people’s lives.

Anyhow, back to writing…………..

 

4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Witchblade

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In 2000, TNT produced a TV movie as a pilot for a Witchblade TV series. They got rid of the ridiculous costume from the comics, but sadly, they also got rid of anything else interesting, resulting in a bog-standard genre movie filmed on the cheap in Canada. The great superhero movie rewatch slogs through Witchblade.

An excerpt:

[Director] Ralph Hemecker evinces no sense of pacing, which we get at the very start where we get a simply endless sequence of Pezzini riding her motorcycle through the streets of Toronto, interspersed with second-unit shots of New York City to attempt and fail to make us think we’re there, as well as simply endless shots of statuary. Seriously, I’ve never seen a movie more obsessed with statues, mostly ones of vaguely religious imagery.

now available once again: Tales from Dragon Precinct

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Having already re-released Dragon Precinct, Unicorn Precinct, and Goblin Precinct, the fine folks at eSpec Books have now put out a new edition (which a much better cover) of 2013’s Tales from Dragon Precinct, which collects the first ten short stories I wrote about the Cliff’s End Castle Guard, including six stories previously published and four ones written new for the collection.

  • “Getting the Chair,” first published in Murder by Magic in 2004
  • “Crime of Passion,” first published in Hear Them Roar in 2006
  • “Catch and Release,” an Iaian-focused story written for this collection
  • “Fire in the Hole,” first published in Dragon’s Lure in 2010
  • “House Arrest,” a Torin solo story first published in Bad-Ass Faeries in 2007
  • “Brotherly Love,” a Danthres solo story written for this collection
  • “Blood on the Water,” a Dru and Hawk story written for this collection
  • “A Clean Getaway,” first published in Pandora’s Closet in 2007
  • “Heroes Welcome,” a story about the heroic quest from Dragon Precinct written for this collection
  • “When the Magick Goes Away,” Danthres and Torin’s first case together, first published to Kickstarter supporters in 2012

You can get the book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.

Coming soon: Gryphon Precinct, which will include an all-new original bonus story!

 

midweek music: “The River”

Another Bruce Springsteen song that has heavy piano work by the amazing Roy Bittan, this is “The River,” the title track of his 1980 album, from the live version that was on the seminal Live 1975/85 album set. There’s a lengthy, heartfelt introduction, very personal introduction — but if you want to skip it, the song itself starts at 5.25.

video link updated on 10/25/2020

happy 20th freelanceaversary!

It was twenty years ago today. Or, rather, twenty years ago fourteen days ago. Sorry, been real busy….

But it was on 1 May 1998 that I stopped being an office worker and became a freelancer. While I have taken on a couple of bits of part-time regular employment — working two days a week for Byron Preiss Multimedia Company from 1998-1999, doing various jobs for the U.S. Census Bureau from 2009-2010 and working two days a week for the Cardinal Spellman High School Library from 2010-2012 — I haven’t been a full-time salaried employee of anyone or anything since the 30th of April in 1998.

There are times when the insecurity of freelance living can be devastating. I’ve been lucky to have very understanding landlords, and I’ve also had support from friends and family and fans when things have gotten bad. But I’ve always managed, with the help of my various helpmeets (my first wife, Marina Frants, whose six-figure salary made the decision to go freelance in 1998 much easier to manage, and without whose support I never would have taken that plunge; my live-in girlfriend Terri Osborne, whose steady job helped keep things going when we lived together from 2001-2009; and my second wife, Wrenn Simms, who is also freelance, but who is unfailingly supportive and helpful and wonderful).

But I love the flexibility of my schedule, I love the sheer number of things I do — writer! editor! karate teacher! — and I just generally love my life. It’s a goddamn impossible way of life, it’s an existence that is as chaotic as fuck, and I wouldn’t trade it in for nothin’.

So happy freelanceaversary to me!

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(Also I can work anywhere. Like a Starbucks. Pretty keen! Photo by Laura Anne Gilman.)

 

my Balticon 52 schedule

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I will, as is my wont, be at Balticon 52 over Memorial Day weekend. It would take a lot for me to miss Balticon, as that was the con at which I was introduced to Wrenn by Hugh Casey in 2009. That introduction started us on the path to where we are today as a happily married couple, and it all started at Balticon nine years ago.

So yeah, we’re going back. I’m doing programming, Wrenn’s doing tech, and both of us will be selling our wares (her stuffies, my books) at the eSpec Books table in the dealer room.

Here’s my programming schedule:

Friday

Nothing programmed, but I will be around, probably mostly at eSpec’s table.

Saturday

12-1pm: Kaffeeklatsch (room 8029) — must sign up for this at the information desk

3-4pm: “Ask Me Anything: Authors,” w/Val Griswold-Ford, Bud Sparhawk, David Walton, & Lawrence Watt-Evans (Mt. Washington) — basically, you’ll have five captive authors and you can ask them anything you want (EDITED TO ADD: Bud Sparhawk announced on Facebook that he won’t be able to attend Balticon this year)

Sunday

3-4pm: “Frankenstein at 200,” w/Bugsy Bryant, Mildred Cady, and Tee Morris (Guilford)

5-6pm: reading, w/Jack Campbell and Robyn Wyrick (St. George)

7-8pm: “What Good is an Agent?” w/Leah Cypress, C.S. Friedman, Christie Meierz, and Tee Morris (room 7029)

8-9pm: “Detectives in Urban Fantasy,” w/Paul Ellis, Gail Z. Martin, and Michelle Sonnier (room 8029)

Monday

12-1pm: autographs, w/Doc Coleman (5th floor lobby)

Hope to see folks there in two weeks!

4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, and Jeffrey Tambor are back! Rupert Evans and David Hyde-Pierce aren’t! And we get Seth MacFarlane, Luke Goss, and Anna Walton! The great superhero movie rewatch takes a gander at Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

An excerpt:

Ultimately, though, the movie spends way too much time on its fancy-shmancy special effects and nifty looking battles and impressive creatures, and not nearly enough time on the actual story and character stuff.