Various and Sundry

the-callThere’s a lot going on here, so I’ll keep from any attempt at a long, profound post.

Here’s the highlights reel from the last few days:

1. Finally saw “Stranger Things,” and found it almost as good as I’d been promised it would be. Those actors were fantastic, and the pacing and script were excellent. Highly recommended — unless you work with traumatized kids, in which case maybe not. I deliberately had kept from learning anything about the plot, so wasn’t able to forewarn my wife, who was having some tough times by the end of episode three. Read More



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Getting Better

HortaI’m happy to announce that with some medicinal aid I’ve managed to get three decent nights of sleep in a row. Not great, but decent, and even that feels amazing. I don’t want to become dependent on sleep-aids, so after a week I’m going to taper off and see if I have “reset” into some kind of normalcy.

I knew the sleep dep was having an effect on my writing, but I didn’t quite realize how severe it was. I made some changes to a chapter last week, and when my wife was looking it over Sunday night she was flabbergasted. Almost ever change had made things worse. Sometimes I had actually added two or three instances of word echo to a paragraph rather than, you know, eliminating them. It was sort of like allowing Jethro Bodine to perform brain surgery.

Anyway, on to cheerier things. I hope to announce soon that I’ve signed a contract for a new series. It’s taken a long time for the contract to move through the system. Even though I’m 98% certain everything will go through, I don’t want to prematurely announce what I expect to happen.




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?




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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…




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


Dabir and Asim Contest Winner

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I want to  thank Periklis Begzos for his winning contest entry. Some weeks ago I asked for titles to name the Dabir and Asim book series, and many…

The Whys and Wherefores of Convention Going

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

As I was contemplating my departure for Worldcon/Chicon in just a few days, I realized that I was eagerly anticipating the convention. And I wondered how I came…

Back From GenCon

Monday, August 20, 2012

I returned from my whirlwind trip to GenCon late Saturday night. The four days of GenCon  aren’t long enough to see and do everything, which means that the…

Bones of the Old Ones ARCs Are In!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The advanced reader copies of The Bones of the Old Ones are here! And there was much rejoicing. My great feeling of satisfaction and contentment upon holding the…

Writing Business AND GenCon Schedule

Thursday, August 9, 2012

This morning I sent off my list of possible titles for my next Pathfinder novel to James Sutter at Paizo. I have a favorite from the bunch, but…