Spring is here

Spent this weekend building raised beds in the back for a vegetable garden.  Spent most of Saturday building these, three boxes 8x4x2 and three 4x4x2.

And Truffles is much more mobile now, and she can hang out outside now.

I has CDs!

I just got author copies of the audio version of Wolfbreed. While I can’t live without mp3s now, and the first thing I did with this was rip it into iTunes, I must say there is something way cool about having a physical object to point to and say, “That’s my book.”

You can get it here, and on the page is a little flash widget where you can listen to a sample of the mayhem.

Newsweek needs to get out more. . .

I love conspiracy theories, but the latest article on such by Newsweek has left me a little cold.  Not a single black helicopter to be had.  And how does questioning the maternity of Sarah Palin’s kid rate high enough to be on a list with Goldman Sachs looting the world? Nary a COINTELPRO, ECHELON or Skull & Bones to be found. I mean they’re trying to be topical, but really. . .

Getting a line on real mind-altering conspiracy theories from Newsweek is like watching a sitcom to discover what the kids are listening to these days. Won’t happen.

That is why (speaking of what the kids are listening to) you need to go here, to see what is really going on. And read about the Denver airport if you want to get the willies.

I’m still alive. . .

The blog’s been falling by the wayside a little while I work on the climax of the Apotheosis Trilogy.  It’s a little hard to shift gears for me after spending thousands of words destroying the universe I’ve been building for the past fifteen years.  To say all hell’s breaking loose is a bit of an understatement. . .   All this, and I have to do a credible wrap-up to a universe spanning ten books.  Not easy.

Oh, and I do have planned another callback to the first trilogy, beyond Nickolai’s name.  And, no, you aren’t going to be able to guess what it is.

Another Truffle Update

If you’ve followed my blog, you’ve seen me talk about our dog Truffles. Back during the summer, she was stricken with something, no one has yet diagnosed what, that weakened her until she was unable to walk. At first we thought it was neurological, but she was never completely paralyzed. In fact, even when I had to carry her outside three times a day she still has had fewer accidents in the house than Lilly the boxer. So we got her a cart, and started swimming her three times a week. And just recently, we discovered that I could get her to move around with some physical support and the promise of a cookie.

Now, I am happy to report, Truffles has gotten strong enough that she can walk again:

truffle walk 1

truffle walk 2

She’s still rather unsteady, and can’t keep it up for more than a dozen feet or so, but this is more than we’d ever expected.

How to fake out your readers.

Another quick tip while I’m buried in the middle of this novel:

Tropes and clichés are a great tool with which to surprise your reader.  Wait, you might say, how can you possibly surprise the reader with a cliché? Well what exactly is a cliché? It is a situation that’s so familiar that the moment the audience picks up on the typical signposts, they already know how it will turn out. (i.e. any cop buddy film or spy thriller will almost always have the protagonist’s friend, ally, or boss turn out to be in league with the bad guys, and there will be a big reveal near the climax after everybody’s figured it out.)

Thing is, while clichéd plots are generally frowned upon, the fact that a certain set of circumstances leads the reader to a particular expectation can be used as misdirection to lead the reader to make the wrong conclusions without cheating or feeding them any misinformation. Take the deathtrap trope with the villain spilling all his plots to the soon to be dead hero. Typical stupid genre villain. But, what if he isn’t stupid, and put the hero in a stupidly escapeable deathtrap specifically to unload a whole mess of BS on the dude so he’d escape and lead all the good guys to Trinidad so the not so stupid villain can go to Madagascar and fire up his mega-death ray in peace.

You want to see this idea in practice, I have a rather pure form of the concept here.