Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wow. Time flies, lets see, since Mother's day? Another trip to Georgia, a Piano concerto and a boys choir, a trip to Dmanisi (the archeological dig in Georgia where the oldest Europeans can be found), and crazy lots of work. In fact I would classify work as 'Bat-shit' crazy. Should go through mid August, and then I have my 2 weeks of Army duty for the Reserves.
I did manage to break way and spend much of the day with the fam, and my sister and niece at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. So not all work and no play, honest.
Outside the Wire seems to be doing well on Amazon (usually top 100 in free short story ebooks). If you read it post a review, this bumps up the buzz, and increases 'sales' (okay it's free, so maybe I should say 'downloads').
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Anyway, happy VE day, the end of tyranny and facism in Europe! Seems funny while looking at the International news. Putin 'elected' as president (with Medyedev back as PM), Hollande is President -elect in France with a decidely nationalist agenda (with Merkel of Germany warning the new President not to try to renogotiate the austerity deals), oh and a facist group springing up in Greece gets a seat in their parliment... good times.
Oh, and all this during a economic slwodown... anything sound familiar about this?
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
So this year I was with family and friends on the 8th of April and I had my fill of chocolate bunnies and fellowship. I also made the trek to Georgia on Easter Sunday evening where I will get a second helping of Easter! This year Eastern Easter is on the 15th. I know, people always say, really? Why is theirs late?
Well, that's history. Seriously.
The gentlemen at the Council of Nicaea (c.325) agreed that Easter would be on the first Sunday after the full moon that came after the vernal equinox. On the Gregorian calendar the equinox falls on 21 March. Well, the Eastern Christian Churches use the Julian calendar, so their 21 March is our 3 April. Last year both east and west celebrated Easter on the same Sunday, but often they are off a bit (22 March to 25 April in the west and 4 April to 8 May in the east). Why a week? I have no idea. But it means I will be bloated with hard boiled eggs!
I really enjoy the traditions and opportunity for reflection Easter provides. In Georgia (an Orthodox Christian nation) they have a whole set of comparable Christian traditions- the palms on Sunday, the eggs, feasts with family and friends, the works. The same but different, and I have not seen a single chocolate bunny (except for the ones I brought).
Oh, and music festivals. More on those later.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Sunday, April 1, 2012
I also finished the draft, edited and mailed off my long Short Story (8K words)- Fistful of Dead. I submitted it to 'Dark Trails' anthology being put together by Michael Knost. I liked the story and had originally seen it as a novella, not a full-on novel, but the arc was pretty complete at 8K words, as was, so I submitted for the anthology. My other 2 novels started as short stories, I let them ferment in the back part of my brain as they were, for a year or so, and then had the juice to expand them into novels. We'll see...
But the best part of getting the weird western out of my system is that I can now turn back to my real WIP, well after I finish the garden, and then I have another trip to Georgia (the country- come on,we talked about this...), and the sheep need to be sheared, and...
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Only 2 months after I put it up at the Kindle store with a list price of free (they charge a minimum of .99, and are reticent to drop it much lower). So go, what are you waiting for!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
The picture is taken in front of the kitchen window, and you can see my barn in the background. (Shout out to Chemi kargi megobari, Dato Garciashvilli, zalian didi madloba, batono).
On the writing front; I have finished the first draft of the weird western that I was working on. Came out under 10K words, so more of a novellette than a Novella. I will devote a future post to describing what I think are the differences- promise.
In the town of Restitution, Wyoming, 1869, legendary gun-hand and Town Marshal, Ephraim Stone, keeps the chaos of an out-of-control range war from breaching the borders of this desolate, windswept cluster of shacks. Until he's back-shot and the violence floods past his cold-dead corpse, lying there in the rutted main street. The town's people have no talent for gun-play, but they do have the corpse of a man that did. Now if only they can wrest his soul from the darkness and raise the dead, they just might get even odds at life for them and theirs.
A Fistful of Dead, coming summer 2012.
Friday, March 16, 2012
(One of my coworkers was kind enough to point out that he can't ever miss me if I don't actually leave...)
While there, I worked (obviously), attended a supra, slammed drinks till after midnight with some former US senators, attended a Tbilisi State Conservatory graduation piano recital, and worked on that Weird Western Novella (mostly on the long ride back across continents). It's coming along nicely and rejuvenating my dejuvenated juices; after a year and half and only 69K words to show for my Military Scifi book I was starting to sag.
My wife was able to join me for a week of the two in Tbilisi (best part). She had a Turkish Air flight, while I was on Lufthansa/United. I left 20 minutes before and made it to Dulles about hour and half ahead. It was all in the layover, honest.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
primary fermentation. Right now it's a bit too bitter..yeah, even for me, but hoping it mellows a bit.
Fun with yeast!
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
"This author has a natural talent to weave words into descriptive stories ... the style of writing with details keeps the reader's interest ... savor each word knowing the tale will end too soon."
And Sue Mahoney was kind enough to post this to Amazon and Smashwords as well! Thanks Sue.
Friday, February 17, 2012
I also need to confess an infidelity. Yes, I cheated on my military scifi work in progress (WIP). I not only outlined, but actually started a weird western novella. I know, terrible.
*In Barcelona an Argentinian guest worker said she didn't like it that citizens of the USA referred to themselves as Americans (after asking my nationality). So my questions to her were; 1) what other country includes the word 'America' in their name (It sounds stupid to say united-statesian) and 2)what country did you, Argentine guest worker lady, and everyone else think that I meant when I said American? I didn't think I was being continent insensitive...
Monday, February 13, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
With all that said, it's been a rewarding but also very tough thirteen months. Particularly on the family that I alternatively drug across nine time zones and abandoned to their own fate over the past year. I could not have done it this were my wife and children not possessed of a positive, adventurous and expeditionary disposition. Or set of dispositions, I suppose. So thanks to you, my family.
Monday, February 6, 2012
But I did partake of the Georgian tradition of the 'Supra', the excesses of great food, and the succession of toasts, and great camaraderie. (Georgians really are the best hosts I've ever met).
But the mountains are very impressive. We went to 'Gudauri'. Decades ago it was a bend in the road on the old Russian Military Highway. But over the past 20 years of independence, it's been developed as a ski resort . Panoramic vistas, lots of locals and a few dozen intrepid multi-national skiers (Americans, Brit's, Ukrainians, and some people I knew weren't Georgian, but couldn't figure out). The lift tickets were 30 Gel (about $20) for the day. Now that's super cheap by US standards, for such impressive slopes, but you have to get here, which is no easy task. And of course there is the Georgian tradition of queuing, which takes some getting used to, but overall, a worthy destination.
Oh, and it wouldn't do justice to the country to leave out a Georgian church. The one in this picture is perched on the lip of the gorge, maybe 2500 foot drop, just on the other side.
And no, I got a lot of work for work done, but nothing on the NIP.
The electronic anthology seems to be doing okay. So far.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Now remember this collection was meant to be my own little anthological experiment in electronic publishing. It's been a little bit of a pain to work through, but not impossible, and if you follow the guides that are out there, straight forward. The hardest part of this experiment was of course writing well. (Which I hope that you think I have done, if you have read my 'stuff'). Then there was putting it together into a format that won't end up 'jacked up' on an e-reader ( 'jacked up' you see is the technical term for the default condition of documents typed out in word without disabling all of those helpful auto-functions, like tabbing and spill-czecking). The cover art was a picture I took at the Tbilisi zoo and had a fellow who knew what he was doing edit it into a cover image in order to make the whole affair look professional. Oh, and a little patience too, that was important.
I loaded the anthology to smashwords (where you can download it for free) and from there it is supposed to be made available on all e-reader formats except Amazon , and lets face it Amazon is the 800 pound gorilla of ebook publishing, so you have to do that one. The only challenge with Amazon online publishing was that I couldn't make the book free initially. So I loaded OTW for the lowest price I could- .99c.
Remember, I have alreay been paid for all these stories once, and it is only a 30K word collection, so I didn't feel like I needed to make any money on this. OTW is an experiment in online publishing, but it is also meant to collect all of the stories that are already out there in one spot and advertise my work to people who haven't seen it.
Before I could get the price dropped to zero on Amazon, I even sold a few copies. It also appears to have knocked my two novels, STG and GOB off the peg, selling a few copies of both the paperback and kindle versions on Amazon.
So there you go. Experiment was a success. One more step forward in my plans for world domination and becoming a legitimate pulp-fiction genre writer...
Sunday, January 29, 2012
I mentioned in previous posts about the changes in the publishing industry, self-publishing, electronic publishing, etc, so I wanted I to see how it worked. Outside the Wire is my contribution to the movement.
Smashwords (my profile) seems to be a great venue for those that want to publish, but as I have said, there are many many works of varying quality.
Another online community that I have found which is a good outlet for authors is Goodreads (my profile). It's also a great place for people that are interested in books, especially genre fiction, and connect with others with similar interests.
So my next step is to figure out how to get it on Amazon...
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Okay it's also my wife's anniversary too.
This past 24th marked 25 years of blissful matrimony. I say 'mostly' tongue in cheekily as we've been through a lot together and there have been with us, as with everyone else that marks this silver milestone, many ups and a few downs; we have walked side by side raising four wonderful children, having twelve or so changes of residences over five states (and 2 countries), six churches, college, graduate school, postdoc, Houston (need I say more), attack helicopter flying. deployment to the war in Iraq, nursing school, family (hers and mine), farm chores, all of this with the day-to-day effort of growing together and not apart.
Friends and aquantances often ask how me have managed to 'Make It' to having a good marriage. I try not to laugh when they ask. You see, I don't think we've 'made it' because it isn't over, right? It's like asking a fit person how they 'made it' . They haven't made it to 'being fit' they 'are fit', and the minute they stop working on it is the minute they will begin to atrophy and soon will no longer be fit. Fitness is a state of being, not a goal with a beginning middle and end. Our marriage is like that. We didn't make it to having a good marriage, we are having a good marriage. It is something we continually work on, together, and the minute we stop working on it, it will begin to atrophy and soon will no longer be good.
So how do I commemorate twenty-five years of working together? Well, this year it was Barcelona! (being in Tbilisi and my wife in the US, it was the nicest midway point I could find). It is a lovely place. I highly recommend it. When we got there the weather was lovely, the scenery is lovely, the food great, great museums, arts. I would go back in a heartbeat, and long before Paris..just sayin'.
We started the actual day watching the sunrise over the Mediterranean. Then a starbucks (I really miss starbucks in Georgia) and then went to the Sagrada Familia. A lovely cathedral dedicated to the Holy Family, designed by the architect Goudi. Really awe-inspiring, and I thought an appropriate place for an anniversary. We found a bar with a real American IPA (also very missed in Tbilisi) and ended the day with a fabulous paella.
So, to my wife Kelly, thank you for twenty-five Wonderful years!
(That's her in the scale model of the cathedral arches- isn't she cute?)
Friday, January 6, 2012
Coming in 2012.
This is an anthology of six previously published short stories, including:
Succumbing to Gravity
The Gift of the Bouda
The Long Road to Sanctum
The Sacrifices of Automated Tabulation
and one previously unpublished short story;
The Virtual Huntress
The tales feature fallen angels, demons, lycanthropes and those with perception challenges set in the steampunked past, the postapocolyptic future, and the hardboiled present. Genre-wise; horror, urban fantasy, steampunk and near future science fiction. You'll love it. And you'll love the price.