Monthly Archives: April 2014

Jungle Adventure

fire in the jungleContinued radio silence, as usual, means that I’m deep in draft mode. I go to bed thinking about the characters and scenes I’m wrestling with, I get up, feed children and animals, and then wrestle with the characters and scenes. I’m not really even reading anything right now apart from some research on Savannah, Georgia for an entirely different project.

From time to time I still think about running a sword-and-sorcery campaign for the kids, and I think I’ve decided I’ll do it this summer. Between great new supplements like Fire in the Jungle, Monster Island, Many Gates of the Gann, Curse of the Emerald Cobra,  the jungle hex crawls from Land of Nod (issues 16-18) and old school stuff like The Isle of Dread and Dwellers of the Forbidden City I think I can cobble something together that would be pretty cool with minimal effort.

Link Man Returns

Copyright Darian Jones

Copyright Darian Jones

I’m still working madly behind the scenes here, so I’ll keep things simple today. Link Man returns with some creepy suggestions today.

First, 10 Famous “Unsolved Mysteries” that are completely explainable. The one about ghosts and the area of the brain was completely new to me — check it out.

Second, and NOT for the faint of heart because this is pretty grisly, 6 Creepy Places.

And this led me to an even creepier rabbit hole.

On Resistance and Writing

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Resistance on this site, at least as Steven Pressfield defines it in The War of Art.

Here’s another look at something important Pressfield had to say on the passion artists bring to their work; a little peek into the kind of stuff we may have to deal with.

In other news, I’m deep in draft mode with many irons in fires, so there may not be any lengthy posts for a while. That recent review took a couple of hours to write, hours that need to be spent drafting. Eventually I hope to get some info up the great hard boiled writing of Wade Miller, but that’s going to have to wait until I have a LITTLE bit of time.

Fists of Iron: Round 2

firsts of iron round 2As frequent visitors to my site know, I’m a pretty big fan of Robert E. Howard’s writing. I’m not any kind of a boxing aficionado, but some years back I decided to pick up a copy of The Incredible Adventures of Dennis Dorgan, a Zebra paperback with a bevy of Howard’s tales about an American sailor named, wait for it, Dennis Dorgan. We see very little of Dorgan at sea, however, unless he’s just getting off his boat, because all of the tales involve him battling in one kind of boxing ring or another. I never finished the book, so I can’t tell you exactly why I went ahead and invested in the first two books of the complete boxing stories of Robert E. Howard.

Come to think of it, maybe I can.

Recent Reads

Click to enlarge. Half of my paperbacks, just east of my desk.

Half of my paperbacks, just east of my desk.

While on the way back and forth to the Virgin Islands I spent several hours on airplanes and even more hours in layover airports. What better time to whittle down my to-be-read stack? Not owning a Nook or a Kindle, I usually don’t take big modern fantasy books, but slim paperbacks, which slide in and out of the carry-on case a lot more simply. And I have to confess that I feel like I’m making more progress if I knock through a series of shorter books. I DO have a large TBR list, after all.

On the way down I read Dan Marlowe’s The Name of the Game is Death,  a riveting noir novel about a guy who’s not quite as much of a sociopath as he seems, set in some semi-tropical places. A haunting and powerful crime drama and character study. Then I tried another Wade Miller, Dead Fall. So far the team of Wade & Miller (two guys under one pseudonym) haven’t let me down. Even their standalones, like this one, are pretty riveting. The mystery was excellent and kept me guessing. Unfortunately, this one had the most “slap you in the face with its ’50s sexism” ending I’ve yet found in their work. Wade & Miller frequently featured strong women, so this was actually a departure for them. I’ll write up a longer article about their work some time soon, because they wrote some overlooked gems.

Site Rules

one more thingI woke this morning to discover that someone had posted a long screed railing against something I rather liked right here on one of my recent updates.

I deleted the screed immediately. Not because I disagreed with it, but because of its venomous tone.

Its author is clearly a newcomer to the site and is unlikely to revisit. In case he returns, or that other axe-grinders start showing up, the rules about interacting here are pretty simple.

Dabir and Asim are Audible!

IMG_3615I’m pleased — nay, super excited — to announce that the first two Dabir and Asim  novels, The Desert of Souls and The Bones of the Old Ones, are now available as audio books!

I hope you’ll help spread the word. Both are narrated by the talented Peter Ganim, and you can find them here and here at Audible, or through the other familiar places that distribute Audible books. I’ve only listened to brief excerpts, and I really like how he’s handled Captain Asim. Some day I’ll probably listen to more… but, as an actor often hates to watch his or her performance, I’m not sure how well I can listen to my own words being read aloud. Perhaps if I had a bigger head.

Tropical Adventure


Trunk Bay, on St. John.

Two weeks ago I set a couple of essays to automatically go live on the web site while I was on a tropical adventure with the family. My wife, son, daughter, and I flew down to the American Virgin Islands and met up with my wife’s side of the family, who’d been several times before. They showed us around St. John and St. Thomas and I tried snorkeling for the first time.

Seeing as how I’m writing two Paizo novels set in tropical lands (and waters) the trip couldn’t have come at a better time. I was taking notes every day (relying on my wife to snap the pictures). I’d actually SHARE some of those pictures except that most of them have the family in them, and as regular visitors know, I keep that stuff private.

Crossing the Streams Winners

Normally, it being April first, I’d be pulling some sort of April Fool’s nonsense, but I’m overdue with some announcements so I’m just going to keep this post short and true.

I’d like to announce the winners of my Crossing the Streams contest. The grand prize winner will  be announced soon,  and some lucky individual will be receiving a free copy of a book from EVERY author in the contest.

Here’s how I described what I wanted to see from my contest entries: “In the body of the e-mail, all you have to do is name your favorite sword-and-sorcery/heroic fiction novel/story that has NOT been made into a movie, and explain why it should happen. You don’t have to go into great detail if you want.”

As promised, I chose one winner at random, and another winner who wrote the most interesting explanation. There were a number of entertaining stories, several interesting sounding books suggested to me that I’d never heard of before, and a number of entries to which I gave a mental fist pump in agreement.