Jul
24

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Adventure!

Adventure coversI wanted to share a treasure unique to my work space. To the left is a frame of three Adventure magazine covers. A few of you may know that I purchased much of my Harold Lamb pulp collection from the widow of Dr. John Drury Clark, some time writer, perhaps best known by some as one of the co-writers of a letter to Robert E. Howard that inspired him to write an overview of Conan’s career.

Like Robert E. Howard, Dr. Clark was a big Harold Lamb fan, and he had carefully preserved a large stack of Harold Lamb stories in a hinged wooden box, each carefully separated from different issues of Adventure magazine. He’d also hand bound a few other tales into small hardback books, and my guess is that he’d planned to bind the rest into additional home built hardcovers but never got around to it. That box was a treasure trove that included perhaps 70 – 80% of all the uncollected Lamb Adventure stories, and without him having preserved those texts, I wouldn’t have been able to scan them and prep them for the Bison Book collections. (Yes, more work was required by myself and other scholars and fans to track down other tales, but THIS was the mother load.)

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Jul
21

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Site Updates & Assorted Musing

gate in the seaI was thinking it would take just a few minutes to update my site this morning. Boy, was I wrong. Merely getting my GenCon schedule appropriately on the Appearances page took more than an hour! Much cross-indexing was involved, or it would have been faster. Anyway, if you’re planning to go to GenCon you now know where to find me. Mostly. I will probably be at the Paizo booth a little as well, and that’s not on the schedule yet. Of course you’ll also probably find me wandering around the hall of treasures trying not to buy things…

I still need to add Through the Gate in the Sea to the official book slider list at the top of the page. But at least my appearances are up to date. I’ll probably add more later in the year and early next year.

In other news, I’m a little closer to 50 years old now, which is pretty weird. I spent a lot of the last week driving all over Indiana on various errands, but I ate some great food, found some wonderful used books, and generally had a great time with the family (except my daughter, who I didn’t get to spend much time with — she couldn’t travel with us owing to her work schedule). I got less writing accomplished than I usually do over the course of a week, but I managed some anyway in some odd places. Remember, I’m the guy who outlined his last two Pathfinder novels while sitting in The Three Broomsticks restaurant in Harry Potter World or waiting for my daughter to get out of The Tower of Terror.

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Jul
17

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Peaches

HJ Sagan TreeWhen we moved here fourteen years ago, we planted some fruit trees on a small back strip just between our horse fence and an abandoned access road to the neighbor’s property. The first few trees didn’t make it, because we didn’t realize how susceptible they were to cedar apple rust. Actually, we’d never heard of it. Bugs killed the first peach tree, and deer gnawed on some other apple trees, and one of our cherry trees. Eventually I had to build tree cages around the trees to protect them for several years, otherwise the deer would eat them, or rub antlers on them, or just wander buy and break them off.

Years and years those trees have been out there, slowly growing. And then, finally, this year we got edible cherries off of one of the two cherry trees. That was nice. I hope we have even more next year. But here’s the grand thing. Our surviving peach tree has been gnawed upon by deers. It was damaged by a guy we hired to mow our lawn. It has an unhealthy looking lean to it. For the last few years it’s been producing tiny little peaches that were hard as rocks.

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Jul
14

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Used Westerns

Used WesternsUsed to, I had no idea what authors to look for in the western sections at a used book store. These days, I have a much better idea, but the sections are SUBSTANTIALLY smaller than what they used to be. There are fewer people reading westerns, and those used books that are left tend to be pretty beat up.

But I found some treasure. First, two more Marvin Albert novels, which you can see in the lower left of this picture. Second, a slew of Fawcett Gold Medal books by authors I don’t know. Any older Gold Medals, though were probably edited well and will at least be good. Maybe they’ll be great. If you enlarge the picture, you’ll see that some &*&%^! wrote X-P over the front and sides of a number of the books. Nice going, dipwad. Way to ruin a book forever.

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Jul
12

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Novel Writing and Pulp

ki-gor 3Hocking sent me a link to a site the other day that might be of interest to a lot of my regular visitors — although as I live in a cave, it may be that you’ve already found it yourself. Anyway, PulpRev had an interesting article on writing a novel, quickly, and it had a lot of salient points, most of which I practice myself.

I’ve poked around the rest of the site some and found it of interest. Certainly I’m in sympathy with a lot of their philosophy, as anyone who’s been reading my posts about my lack of pleasure with padded modern books, or my increasing interest in hardboiled detective and western novels. It’s always nice to find like minded scribes gathering ’round the camp fire, as Adventure fans know. Read More

Writing

Writer’s Desk

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Here at Jones central I spent a long weekend putting my study into complete order. It had been converted into my mother’s convalescent room while she was staying…

Kaiju Rising

Monday, September 9, 2013

Shh. So I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I’m one of the authors who will be unlocked if funding is met and exceeded in a new…

Alas

Friday, August 30, 2013

…I am not at WorldCon 2014 (AKA LoneStarCon 3). In the grand scheme of things it is a tiny disappointment and certainly no tragedy, but I find myself…

Dreaming of the Writing Life

Thursday, August 29, 2013

When I was a kid, the writing life had a magical luster. I felt as though were I to become a published author, I would have “made it.”…

Outlining

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I learned a while ago that no one method always seems to work for me when it comes to story drafting. I do have some tried and true…