Aug
8

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Absence

1304701148-half-mast-flagSometimes it’s difficult to believe my father’s been gone 17 years, and then I remember that the terrible hammer blow of his death is no longer the ache that it was, and hasn’t been for a long time. That’s fortunate, because I couldn’t have endured for long with that much daily pain. It faded, as it must, and now sometimes days and even weeks might pass without me thinking about him.

He was a good man. He wasn’t without his flaws, but few of us are. At one point, after I realized he wasn’t perfect, I felt a weird sense of betrayal and tended to downgrade him a little, for which I still feel ashamed. Then, much later than I should have, I realized his part in the world was much more than just “dad” to me and my sisters. And as I’ve aged and had teenagers of my own I’ve come to understand him a little better. Many’s been the time that I’ve wish I could have asked him for advice, although I’ve become so used to not having it now that I don’t think about it much any more.

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Aug
7

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Alchemical Storytelling

fmabAs my wife and son began re-watching this series today, I thought I’d repost this review here from its original appearance in 2012 over at Black Gate. I should add that since I wrote this article I’ve tried a number of well-recommended anime series and I’ve yet to find one that so fully fulfilled and exceeded its promise. After five years I still think of it quite highly and I think it may well be a masterpiece. Anyway, here’s what I wrote in 2012:

I haven’t watched much anime in my time. Frankly I haven’t gotten a lot out of the shows I’ve seen, many of which seem to consist of posing in the midst of fights and shouting at opponents. But I chanced upon something a few weeks back that began with potential and then delivered on it episode after episode. I found fabulous world building and strong character arcs.  I watched half hour after half hour the way I devour chapter after chapter in a great fantasy novel, poised on the edge of my seat wondering how things would resolve.  Read More

Aug
4

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Reruns

lambvol1I found myself scrolling around through some of my previous posts on heroic fiction, pulps, and sword-and-sorcery this last week and decided that rather than draft something new I’d just point readers towards some of my favorite oldies.

First, an overview of some great pulp historicals.

Here was my look under the hood at Robert E. Howard’s writing techniques.

Here I wrote about one of my favorite writers, Leigh Brackett.

Harold Lamb is the unsung and often unrecognized grandfather of sword-and-sorcery. Also, he was a great adventure writer. Here’s proof.

Lastly, how can I discuss pulps without mentioning the one-and-only Ki-Gor?

But wait, there’s more! Here I discuss a unique pulp collection on my shelves. Feast your eyes upon these with envy!

 

 

Aug
2

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Previews

hulk computerYesterday I got to see some thumbnail sketches of covers for my upcoming novel, and I have to tell you, that was pretty cool. This book is starting to feel real. Also, I’m having fun with the the final editor prompted revisions, which is a really great sign. I can hardly wait to get started working today on them.

I’ve been talking with some of the people over at the PulpRev site about what they’re looking for in good fiction and it reminds me an awful lot of what those of us involved with Flashing Swords were discussing back, jeez, ten years ago or so. I pulled up the old New Edge manifesto from 2008 and took a look at that. I used to sound a lot more angry.

But then maybe it’s harder to be angry and pushing for a place in line when I finally got the book deal I’d been dreaming of for most of my life. I’ve talked less and less about short fiction venues because I haven’t been LOOKING for them — almost all of my fiction time has been taken up writing books, and if I write a new sword-and-sorcery tale these days I can usually find a market for it. Not so long ago that wasn’t the case, at all.

Seems like I had more to say, but the clock is ticking and I have work to do.

 

Jul
31

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Book on the Way

hulk thinkMy posts may be a little spare in the coming weeks as I put pedal to the metal and start revision of the first novel of my new trilogy from my editor’s notes. We had the second of several scheduled discussions on the book this morning and I’m going to be pretty busy addressing those probably up to the time I head off for GenCon in mid August. The good thing is that these are great comments and will make the book much stronger. The bad thing is that I’ll have to step away from finishing book 2, which will mean a delay in getting it done.

But I love the sound of having the first one complete to my satisfaction and started on the long treadmill that will see it on bookstore shelves.

I think I’ve decided that I DO want to hold a Corum re-read on the site. I just have to decide how soon, because I’m not sure I’ll have time to pen lengthy analysis of the books while my brain is so tightly focused on one kind of writing.

Writing

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…

Words Good. Hulk Not Smash.

Friday, August 2, 2013

I’ve been deep in the trenches writing up a storm. The Hearthstones project is really picking up steam, and if people have as much fun reading it as…

Sword-and-Sorcery Gaming

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Even though I have a vast assortment of old role-playing modules staring down at me from my bookshelves, and even though it’s been a few years since I…

Writing Star Trek Pastiche

Monday, July 29, 2013

It’s not as though I have a whole lot of free time. And it’s not as though I don’t already have enough projects. For instance, I’m working on…