Continuing on my trek into the 21st Century

Updated my blog as I mentioned in the last post. Now I’m looking at my career while I wait for a couple of editors to respond to my latest projects. Short term I’m looking at possibly another Choice of Games title. Long term I’m investigating joining the ranks of indie authors. So far what’s held me back is the shear volume of work involved. Marketing has never been my thing, and I’m scattershot at best when it comes to social media (witness my sporadic blogging). But it does seem to be the future of things, so I’m looking seriously at what it would take. Of course I would need a new novel or three, so best case we’re 12-18 months away from even considering pre-launch stuff, without taking other paying gigs into account. Then again, a lot of the groundwork I need for this (e-mail lists, press kit, &c.) can be worked on well in advance and would presumably help out my traditionally published stuff. So, we’ll see…

Weekend of the Pooka

pookawebbanner2015This coming weekend I will be participating along with other local authors Saturday & Sunday 1:00pm to 5:00pm at the annual Bedford, Ohio “Weekend of the Pooka.” at the Bedford Commons. (730 Broadway Avenue, Bedford, Ohio.)

In addition to myself, attending authors will include Vince McKee, Michael Heaton, Jonathan Knight, James Renner, Gail Bellamy, Kelley Grealis, Laura Peskin, DM Pulley, Les Roberts, Shelley Bloomfield Costa, Irv Korman, Charles Cassidy & Wendy Koile.

In addition to the authors, there will be art and wine 🙂

Hope to see you there.

Half Century

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Yep, I hit the big 50 today and pretty much the most exciting thing I did today so far was renew my plates and driver’s license. Now I need to dig up that AARP card they sent me.

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Welcome to Moreytown

You may have heard me mention on Facebook that I’m writing a game for the fine folks at Choice of Games based on my Moreau Novels.  As I said when I broke the news:

If you’re unfamiliar with CoG’s work, think of it as a (much more) sophisticated digital version of the “choose your own adventure” titles from the 1980s.

Nohar
Nohar

My current progress on the project: I just crossed the halfway mark on the draft of the game.  If we count by chapters, I’ve finished six of twelve so far.  If we go by “word” count, it’s probably short of halfway because I suspect the code part of the writing will become more complex as I close in on the climax.

That “word” count  is a good way to give you some idea of the difference between this kind of project and straight prose.  In a typical novel, my chapters typically run an average of 2,500 words or so.  The chapters in the game probably cover the same range of plot development as my prose, and display to the reader/player a similar amount of narrative.

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Sexy Nohar

However, when we include the code along with the narrative the reader/player doesn’t see (for instance, because they went out the door rather than the window) each game chapter runs from 5,000 to 10,000 “words,” that’s 2x to 4x the amount of writing for a comparable prose chapter.

Some non-spoilery details about the game so far: You will be playing a non-human— fox, tiger, rat, capybara, etc. The setting is a non-human ghetto, the eponymous Moreytown, in a unspecified US metropolitan area.  It will have street gangs, drugs, and explosions.  It will have fights, cults, and, potentially, interspecies romance.

I will keep everyone posted as this works its way through the development pipeline.

About 16 years ago we wanted a new cat…

So we went to the Geauga Humane Society to get a new friend for our cat Mu. Michelle wanted a fluffy white Persian, but she made the mistake of handing me a little black kitten before filling out paperwork. By the time she came back, I told her we found a cat. She was all, “no, that was not what I was looking for!” But what did she expect, handing me a kitten like that?

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Not a white-haired Persian

She got her name, Panzer, because she was built like a tank and had a habit of running and plowing over poor Mu, even when Mu was twice her size. Though, that didn’t last as Panzer eventually grew bigger than Mu.

Mu didn't have any hard feelings though
Mu didn’t have any hard feelings though

Panzer grew to be a pretty large cat.

No more room in here, go away.
No more room, go away.

And she was probably the most playful.

What you hiding in here?
What you hiding in here?

While she was always closest to Mu, she did get along with all our subsequent animals.

This is what mommy was looking for?
This is what mommy was looking for?

Unfortunately, after a bout of illness, we had to say goodbye to her this week. All I can say is what we gained from having her this past decade-and-a-half outweighs what we lost on Monday.

File under "cat picture."
File under “cat picture.”

Libertycon 29

Me and head programming guy, Rich Groller, at the tail end of LibertyCon
Me and head programming guy, Rich Groller, at the tail end of LibertyCon

If you were following me on Facebook you know I attended Libertycon 29 this past weekend. I had a blast. Even though it was a bit outside my normal stomping grounds, I found no shortage of folks to talk with— no small thing for an introverted cave-dweller such as myself. Highlights:

  • The con staff was fantastic, everything I saw ran smoothly, from the con-suite to the banquet to the panels. (And buy a banquet ticket if you go, it’s well worth it.)
  • The venue is the most impressively strange setting for a con I’ve ever been to, it’s like having a con in an alternate steampunk universe.
  • My time in Author Alley was well spent, even though I only sold a handful of books, because of all the folks I met and talked to who said they were fans of my stuff. (Apparently there’s a big Venn Diagram overlap between fans of my work and Libertycon attendees.)
  • And I got a kick when Jonathan Maberry, the literary GoH came by my table, said he liked Hostile Takeover and bought a copy of Prophets. Had a nice chat with him then, and later in the con suite, and even later had him sign a copy of Patient Zero for me.
  • And even more of a kick attending the Baen dinner party, where I got to hear Larry Correia wax poetic on video game tanks, and spent most of the evening talking with David Weber.

All in all, a great time, will do it again.

…And I’m Back

I’ve returned from RadCon after a slightly longer than intended return trip.  First me and John Dalmas were stuck in Minneapolis for 7 hours while our original flight crew went awol in the snow somewhere in Detroit, and the replacements showed up just in time to be just over their regulation flight time, bumping us onto another flight.  We got John home to Columbus on Monday, but I was stuck at that point (about 11pm) because of the massive ice storms wrecking highway traffic between there and Cleveland.

Anyway, home now.

Things that appeared while I was gone: DAW’s LiveJournal has a discussion about Messiah.  And I’m appearing in the March issue of The Horror Zine, with a reprint of my short story “Fealty.”

Arbitrary Government

One thing that eludes Statists of all stripes is the fact that the more discretion the State has to act, the more prone it is to manifest the baser aspects of human nature.  When the State is free to act as it will, it becomes as petty, vindictive, stupid and arbitrary as its constituent bureaucrats.  It becomes a question not of following laws and regulations, but who you happen to annoy.  And just because you’ve only heard this once or twice doesn’t mean it’s an isolated incident.  Since the State’s agents wield a great deal of power because of intimidation it stands tor reason that there are many more abuses than people actually report simply because few people are willing to piss these people off.