The other week I had a chat with Robert Zoltan and Edgar the Raven, and we discussed Robert E. Howard, sword-and-sorcery, my own writing, and all sorts of other stuff as well. You can journey to the Dream Tower yourself and listen in through this link.
If you haven’t dropped by the Dream Tower yet, I encourage you to do so. The interviews so far have covered Edgar Rice Burroughs and J.R.R. Tolkien and have been with a couple of my favorite people.
I’ve been in the midst of a whole lot of spring cleaning over the last weeks and it’s time to get back to writing, although part of each day will still be devoted to some not-quite-finished projects.
At the end of each busy day I’ve been reading the Breckinridge Elkins stories of Robert E. Howard, something long overdue for me. The Robert E. Howard Foundation recently printed the second and final volume that collected all of the Breckinridge Elkins tales, along with adventures starring other similar characters.
On a podcast interview the other day I mentioned my favorite of my own books. Rather, I MEANT to mention the title of my favorite of the books I’ve written. I think I instead said “my favorite book,” as though I am even more egotistical than you might suspect. I assure you that while I have a healthy dose of self-respect, I don’t think my favorite book is one that I wrote.
But that got me thinking — among all of those I’ve read over many years, do I still have a favorite book? It was much easier to choose when I was a kid. Certainly I can point to ones that used to be favorites, like Swords Against Death or (perhaps unfairly because it’s actually a series, albeit one about the size of single modern doorstop fantasy novel) the first Chronicles of Amber, narrated by Corwin. But do I re-read those anymore? Not for a long while. So then perhaps the favorite is Hour of the Dragon, or some Robert E. Howard collection, or maybe a Leigh Brackett collection of short stories, or maybe a collection of Harold Lamb tales, or James Stoddard’s The High House, or something by Wade Miller or Ben Haas or Raymond Chandler or one of the Parker novels by Donald Westlake/Richard Stark.
The truth is, I don’t know anymore. I have various favorite writers, and favorite books, but I’m not sure I have ONE favorite to rule them all. There’s no single text that I refer to again and again above all others that’s my end-all and be-all perfect example of the way writing ought to be. I suppose it would be cool if there was.
What about you folks? Is there a favorite, or are you more in my camp where there’s a range of favorites?
Week 2 of my Spring Cleaning tour continues. I’ve repaired all the horse fence. I’ve still got to get all the weeds and weed trees and vines from off of the back horse fence, clean out the barn, organize the basement, clean a bunch of tile grout, and other mundane things that Asim would never bother telling you about.
I have just a handful of links to share. First, Dark City Games keeps developing their nifty little solo adventure games, and there’s a newish one in their science fiction one available now. It’s been years since I reviewed one (back when Black Gate was a print magazine) but I find them a lot of fun.
Second, over on James Reasoner’s site there was a lengthy discussion of Ki-Gor and Harold Lamb and all sorts of pulp goodness you might find of interest. As a matter of fact, Reasoner’s site is almost always of interest and I myself need to visit more often.
Speaking of interesting sites, my third link is to Frontier Partisans, run by Jim Cornelius, where he celebrated Ben Haas, aka John Benteen, and much discussion of the excellence of Fargo and Sundance commenced. Regular visitors to my own site should know just how much I like the work of Ben Haas.
Right, time to finish breakfast and do daring deeds!
I promised myself that I’d do a better job keeping up the blog, but there’s really not much to report. I turned over the “new” novel — new to everyone else, but not me, since I’ve been working on the thing for years — and have taken most of this week to play catch-up on all kinds of house and farm stuff. There’s a bunch of vegetation that’s grown up through the horse fence that I have to cut back or chop down, not to mention the fence itself. And don’t even get me started on all the work I have to do inside, or (sigh) the taxes.
Horses really DO think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, and one of ours routinely leans with his not inconsiderable weight against the upper board. Eventually the board breaks, and then I have to cut a new one to size and replace it, a process that takes 45 minutes ONLY if everything works perfectly. Usually it’s more like an hour and 15 minutes. I spent most of Monday repairing everything currently busted and cast a sad eye on the other boards that are ready to go if he decides to lean on them a few more times…
You always hear about people who win contests, but they don’t seem like real people. Sometimes it feels like they were invented just for the camera, because you rarely meet them in person.
But the other day I picked up some Special K for the wife with a “you can win an XB0x One” ad on the cover. And lo and behold, there was a magic sticker on the inside. We read it and re-read it, making sure it didn’t ACTUALLY say that we were eligible to win, or that we’d won second place or something… but no, we actually had won a new XBox One, which was unexpected and kind of cool. Kellogg’s mailed it to us just yesterday.
So, thanks Kellogg’s! That’s a pretty cool thing. I’ll open it soon and see if it came with any games.
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