Monthly Archives: May 2015

Link Monday

taste-of-armageddon-07Sooner or later Hardboiled Monday’s going to slide back around the corner and tip up its fedora, but for now, here are some links I found interesting.

First, here’s a nifty kickstarter for an anthology of fantasy stories assembled by the talented Marc Tassin, and crammed with gifted writers. Check it out.

Second, for role-playing fans, here’s a kickstarter for some great looking sword-and-sorcery adventures from the creator of Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea (incidentally, it’s marked down at RGPNow through the month of May). If you’re not familiar with AS&SH then you must not have been reading my blog for long. It does a great job of bringing the sword-and-sorcery vibe to Dungeons & Dragons.

Finally, Star Trek fans, I’ve found an excellent essay on why Captain Kirk is an inspiring leader. Well, I think it’s excellent, because it echoes everything I said here and expands upon it. It specifically references the same problems I had with Kirk in the Trek reboot movies. Enjoy.

Swords Against Death Re-Read: “Bazaar of the Bizarre”

lankhmar 3Bill Ward and I  are re-reading a book from Fritz Leiber’s famous Lankhmar series, Swords Against Death. We hope you’ll pick up a copy and join us. This week we tackled the tenth and final tale in the volume, “Bazaar of the Bizarre.”

Bill: Let me just say right at the outset that this is one of the all time great fantasy titles — long before I’d ever read Leiber, I knew the title “Bazaar of the Bizarre” (from, I think, Dragon magazine) and it turned out to be the first story of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser I’d ever read, in some since-forgotten anthology, and I still remember the anticipation leading up to it. I wasn’t disappointed.

Letter from a Melancholy Land

Sometimes a small, everyday moment takes on special significance.

For me that usually happens after the moment has passed. For instance, a phone call with my father ended up being the last time I ever spoke with him.

Not all of those everyday moments have to be sad; sometimes they’re happy ones, like when something wonderful or funny happens when you’re engaged in day-to-day tasks.

The Perfect Pocket Writing Notebook: Review 1

Leuchtturm1917 pairI’ve previously written about the reasons I find pocket notebooks useful, and my criteria for judging what makes one ideal.

With all that in mind, from time-to-time I’m going to feature some pocket notebooks that meet my criteria. I’m not going to bore you with notebooks that don’t work, just get right to the ones that do.

First up, the Leuchtturm1917 hardback and softback models.

The Perfect Pocket Writing Notebook, Part 2: Criteria

Poppin-Sot-Small-NotebooksAs I mentioned in part 1, I think a pocket writing notebook is a vital tool for a writer, or at least for THIS writer, and I’m detailing my ideas about about what makes for a great one.

It may seem like I’m over thinking this, but If I’m plunking down fifteen dollars to get an important tool for my job, I want that tool to be designed in a useful way – lines that aren’t too close together, pages that don’t fall out, a binding that’s going to hold up until I fill all the pages, etc. And there are other considerations as well. For instance, I’ve never been big on style, but I don’t want my writing notebook covered with kittens, or pictures of a woman’s boot.

Here are the qualities I consider when picking out a writing notebook:

The Perfect Pocket Writing Notebook, Part 1: Purpose

Poppin-Sot-Small-NotebooksWriters write; they don’t just compose when it’s convenient for them, when the stars are in alignment, or when they happen to be sitting in front of their computers.  Snatches of dialogue, scenes, or entire outlines can be lost because the muses don’t wait to inspire you until you’re in just the right place with just the right tools.

I don’t mean to suggest that we’re powerless before the goddesses of inspiration, nor do I mean to belittle the ability to simply sit down and focus and make writing happen even when you’re having a slow day. Writers have to be able to make writing happen, not to wait for it to happen.