Sep
9

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To Sleep…

insomniaI know I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes suffer from sleep issues, but boy, have they been kicking my butt for almost half the year. Currently it’s easy for me to GET to sleep at least, so I’ve solved ONE problem, but staying that way is an entirely different issue. Right now I’m waking up three or four times every night for no discernible reason. Thankfully I don’t have much trouble getting back to sleep, but it still means I’m not exactly feeling refreshed every morning. Every time I think I’m on the mend I have another series of lousy nights.

Probably what I need to do is take some over the counter meds that will knock me out and see if that gets me back into the habit of a full night’s sleep. The newest trick, going to bed earlier, has helped, but hasn’t solved the issue.

The result of prolonged sleep deprivation means more struggle with finding the right word when writing, less inspiration, a shorter fuse, and less energy. I fade quickly come evening time, and mornings are dreadful. I’ve had to let down some friends. I’d promised to help them with projects and either delivered late or simply had to bail out because I’ve had no extra energy to give. Regular site visitors might note the lack of blog entries, which is another symptom. When I have so little energy, even a couple of quick notes can feel like a challenge.

The darnedest thing is that I’m otherwise in pretty good health for a man my age. I mean, in two weeks I’m testing for my second degree black belt

Anyway, if you happen to see Morpheus, tell him to go easier on me, will you?

 

Sep
2

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Surprise!

Desert ZeusFile this one under “things you never expect.” I received an alert the other day that my first novel, The Desert of Souls, had been mentioned somewhere out there on the interwebs, and lo and behold my name was invoked in a positive way with Salman Rushdie. My friend Saladin Ahmed was mentioned in the very same sentence — the three of us and a few others were singled out as the “best such works published since 2011” in reference to adult fantasy with Middle-Eastern roots.

So, that was cool, and I’m grateful for the mention by writer Samuel Montgomery-Blinn. I’m delighted to hear that somewhere out there folks are still enjoying The Desert of Souls. I hope some day to write more books about my Arabian heroes (beyond The Bones of the Old Ones, I mean). First, though, I have to finish the books I’m currently writing and revising…

Sep
1

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Books and Games

hulk thinkMornings around here have changed. I’ve continued to suffer from sleep issues, which means I drag, and so I’ve been adopting new patterns to try and help. For instance, rather than sitting down and slowly notwriting while I eat breakfast and surf for way more news than even interests me, as soon as my wife leaves I go clean the horse stalls in the morning, then eat breakfast. It gets the blood moving and wakes me up, but it means I’m not plunked in front of the laptop until 10:15 or 10:30, by which time I don’t feel like I’ve got enough time for any kind of lengthy blog post.

I’m allegedly reading War and Peace in the evenings, but I’ve only managed 40 pages. What with the sleep issues, I’m pretty zonked by 8:00 in the evening or so, and a story from The Savage Sword of Conan omnibus collection I own feels much more like my speed. Read More

Aug
26

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Later Savage Sword of Conan Volumes

savage sword 13I’m a late comer to The Savage Sword of Conan. You’d probably have figured that, much as I like sword-and-sorcery, I’d have a huge stack of old sword-and-sorcery comics, but I don’t. I missed out on Savage Sword when it was a mag, and I almost missed out on the Dark Horse reprints. There are 22 of the things, which is a heck of an investment. If, like me, you came upon them with little clue but were curious, you’d probably wonder where to start.

I think anyone who’s heard of these has likewise heard that only the first few compilations are good, because those were the ones with Roy Thomas and John Buscema, and only in the first three or four are they adapting actual Robert E. Howard stories. Their work actually continues on into Volume 6, although by that point they’re mostly adapting pastiche tales, and lesser writers are contributing to some comics in the collection. I have to say that sometimes there’s nothing Thomas could do to make the pastiche better, but sometimes he and Buscema really make it more Howardian than the pastichers ever managed, and occasionally they do even better than that.

Read More

Aug
23

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Jacobson Wins Chesley!

Pathfinder-Tales-Beyond-the-Pool-of-StarsIn July I mentioned that the talented Tyler Jacobs0n was nominated for a Chesley award for the cover he drew for Beyond the Pool of Stars.

Well, I’m pleased to announce that he WON that Chesley award! Congratulations, Tyler!

You can find more of his fantastic art right here.

 

 

Writing

Writing Flurries

Friday, May 27, 2016

I finished the rough draft of a new novel, the second in the sequence of three I’m developing. I used the same process I used to write the…

Writing Away

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Once again, you’d be right in thinking that lack of posts means that I’m nose to the grind stone. I’m hoping to get a rough draft of the…

Skelos Magazine

Thursday, May 12, 2016

So here’s a cool thing: a kickstarter for a brand new sword-and-sorcery e-zine from some real sword-and-sorcery experts. The mag’s going to be called Skelos, and it’s masterminded…

More Drafting Thoughts

Friday, April 22, 2016

In writing about rough drafts the other day I realized that I breezed over an important step — outlining. I’ve discussed outlining on the site before (just search through my Writing…

Rough Drafts

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I’ve continued to experiment with rough draft methods. The goal is, naturally, to get the rough draft close so that you make as few passes as possible between rough and…