Apr
24

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Field Commander Alexander

fc alexanderI spent a good chunk of the weekend cleaning and organizing various things around the house. If you’re a home owner sometimes it feels like the weekend is so busy that the week itself is more relaxing.

I did manage to get in, finally, some playing of Field Commander: Alexander, and tried to launch an expedition into Persia. I won the first time but didn’t quite get the rules right, so I tried again and got trounced, alas. But it turns out I still missed out on some rules intricacies. I’m looking forward to a re-match against those wily Achaemenidians next Sunday morning.

I’m a big fan of Field Commander: Napoleon from the same company, DVG, and I’ve been curious about this earlier game for years. Read More

Apr
21

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Private Eye

victory's knifeHere at Jones central things have been on the quiet side lately, which is nice. I’m working away on the revision of the second novel of my new series, although revision is a stretch for some portions when a lot of the middle is going to be drafted from scratch.

When not drafting, or still hacking away at the honey-do list, I’ve been reading a lot more, and returned to some of the noir volumes on my shelf. I just polished off Fredric Brown’s The Fabulous Clipjoint and ended up wishing I’d read it a lot sooner, and have been slowly working my way through some great stories in The Mammoth Book of Private Eye Stories, which I’m told by those in the know is a landmark collection. Certainly I’ve enjoyed everything in it, and a lot of it I’ve loved. Finding a lot of new (to me) writers in it I mean to explore.

I’ve also been reading my old friend Joe McCullough’s collection of swashbuckling fantasy fiction, Victory’s Knife,  in preparation for writing a proper review. I hope to have something up about that in a few weeks, and Chris Hocking and I are talking about reviving our Hardboiled Monday series. I want to at least talk about the aforementioned anthology and Wade Miller and some other hardboiled detective writers who need more love.

But for now I need to get back to writing.

Apr
18

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Nostalgia

trek continues crewI don’t know how it is for people growing up today, but as a child of the ’70s I ended up growing up with the ’60s all around me. Sure, there were ’70s TV shows, but there were an awful lot of ’60s reruns on the television, and the music from the ’60s was still in the air. When I think of my childhood I remember the jangly guitar of the mid ’60s rather than the disco of the ’70s, and I remember the thrill of watching original Star Trek.

It should come as no surprise then that I’m excited when the lovingly crafted Star Trek Continues releases a new episode (one of a final few, alas). You can find it here.

And I was just as thrilled to discover that one of my favorite modern song writers — someone well acquainted with jangly guitar power-pop (Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne) — oversaw production on a new Monkees album. I couldn’t believe how well Micky Dolenz’ voice has aged. Released last year, I only learned about it yesterday morning. Here’s a track.

This was almost like discovering these things I love again for the first time, and both brought a smile to my face.

Apr
14

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Resolution

mound builders 2A few weeks ago I sat down and resolved to examine my life a little. This may sound a bit grimmer than I’ve been feeling, but here it is: I’ve realized that my life is almost certainly more than halfway over. It’s time to prioritize a bit. What do I wish to do with what I have left, assuming I have an ordinary healthy span and don’t lose my mind?

Putting aside the obvious goals of always striving to be a better father, husband, and human being, I looked at the way I spend my time and tried to come up with some ways to get to the things I like or have wished to do and haven’t found time for.  Read More

Apr
12

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Dedication

gate in the seaRemember how my new book, Through the Gates in the Sea is now available? Well, inside is the saddest dedication I’ve had yet to write: “To the memory of Kris Ghosh, M.D. (1969-2015), father, chef, surgeon, traveler, and brother in all but blood.”

Wish I could have dedicated it to him while he was still with us. Still can’t believe he’s gone.

I haven’t yet had the heart to delete his contact info. I suppose some part of me still expects to receive a phone call from him, greeting me in his terrible fake Liverpool accent…

Kris Dedication

Writing

Wandering the Web

Monday, July 9, 2012

With my writing schedule back under control I’ve been wandering around spreading good cheer and talking about great fantasy writers. On the off chance there are some people…

The Fierce Impatient Side of Things

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lately I’ve been reading through the Del Rey Robert E. Howard collection El Borak And Other Desert Adventures. I’ve read a lot of these stories in various beat-up…

Writing Tools: Notebooks, the Kind with Paper

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

From the time I was in grade school all the way up until after I graduated from college I wrote in notebooks. It seemed such a natural process…

Desert of Souls Available February 15th

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Desert of Souls is now available for Kindle! My first book is now on its way to bookstores, and I recently got to hold the finished product…

After the Book Deal

Monday, January 10, 2011

In May of 2010 I posted two short essays on the Black Gate web site about something that had been a kind of holy grail for me: obtaining…