Strange Wordings

Thoughts on fantasy, science fiction and genre writing in general . . . stuff that's strange.

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Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia

These Blogs are largely about the process of coercing words out of my head (at times I convince myself that I am a novelist). Thoughts about current reading and/or fantasy literature and writing in general may disgorge at random.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Random image

Friday, October 27, 2006

A (fake) overheard conversation . . .

She: Has everyone seen the pumpkin?
He: I hear the Pampas is quite rainy this time of year.
She: Quite, and Mickey got a little irritated by it. So what are we going to call him?
He: Let’s call him Horatio and force him to carry the lunch basket . . . and the blanket.
She: I was thinking Wilson, maybe say he got a little sick of being on that island and went "FedEx-al"
He: Better to go with Spaulding. Want to avoid any copyright infringement, yes?
She: Good point. By the way, I found a recipe for shrunken heads on the internet.
He: Well, that would create a highly specific “mood” at the picnic. Might spoil some appetites, though. Suggest a different activity; perhaps, potato sack race?
She: They also have a recipe that uses apples instead of heads.
He: In that case, I suppose it might be incorporated into the bobbing for apples.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


No news lately as to the pimpitude of Rose|Thorn. It's still out with the one agent and still a few queries as yet unanswered. I think that I'll have to crack a copy of Writer's Market and send out some more packets.

As to the works in progress, over 10k words on The Witch and the Warlock duology, and that's just in the outline. Serious work should start on that sometime this week. Once the outline is done I'll start posting to the blog for that work. As for Ootrang, over 12k words, and working on chapter three.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stolen from Paul Jessup

Disappointing news from Ursula Le Guin.

Is there anything to say here? will anyone ever film/animate Earthsea properly?

(Oh yeah, and old news here, Peter Jackson optioned Naomi Novik's Temeraire series. I'm sure she's elated, and Jackson will do a good job with the imagery, but boy Jackson-Walsh-Boyens will rip Novik's world to shreds, just like they did with Tolkien.)

Stolen from Jay Lake

Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum should know a great deal about the Eye of Sauron, having toiled in it's service all of his political career. But check it out, (LOL) Suddenly, as a fantasy fan and a Tolkien fanatic . . . I feel dirty.

But the most interesting thing? Santorum's remark that you cannot negotiate with Ahmadinejad and the mullahs of Iran because they are messianic visionaries! Umm, pot, kettle, black, what?!?

Monday, October 16, 2006

My God, it's full of stars!

What the hell is the matter with me? Eh? This weekend I had another storyline jump into my brain, dance around a bit, put it's feet up on all of the furniture, drink from the milk carton, and then set up for an extended stay in the spare bedroom. The Life and Death of Michael S.: A Posthumous Autobiography, by Kathryn S. Yep, that's the title. It's about this woman who finds her estranged brother's unpublished papers after his suicide. The papers include diaries, letters, emails, a few short stories published in various obscure journals and 'zines, and a first draft of a manuscript. She edits the papers, includes her own comments, and publishes the collection as a biographical examination of Michael's life. He was a drug addict and secretly bisexual. The black sheep, he had not communicated with his family for years. His stories, largely SFF, carry double and hidden meanings with relevance to his own life and family. There's also a lot of his frustration with the publishing industry and the lack of concern for art, the difficulty of writing and getting published.

Hmm, this sounds like an artsy-fartsy book. Anyway, it's now on back burner. (Part of the reason why I blog about these ideas is to preserve them for when I can work on it).

Friday, October 13, 2006

Writerly responsibilities

How much responsibility does a writer bear for the interpretations of her/his words by random and unpredictable readers? Here is an incredible dicussion on this topic at the Lotus Lyceum.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Just for fun, here's a flash ghost story that I banged out for an impromptu contest:


“Evil deed reaps its own,” my grandmother used to say, but then that bitch was always blathering. God, how I hated her. I still do, more than ever.

Hey, I know what you’re thinking but it wasn’t my fault, really. I had a hard life. My old man crapped out on us when I was five, and dear mother disappeared not long after into the life of a crackwhore. I’m sure she’s been dead a long time too. Grandpa Bill and grandma Trudi took me in for good the third time my mom got arrested. It was that or the institute. But they didn’t really want to, I could just tell. They acted like I was lucky to have a couch to sleep on and slop to eat.

The other grandparents? Never even met them.

Used to be that grandma Trudi would spew at grandpa Bill all day, every day. She just talked and talked. It didn’t matter. Anytime anything happened she had some country saying or some wise, old lady bullshit to say. ‘Never rains but it pours’ or ‘up by five, stay alive.’ But grandpa was deaf as a rock; he didn’t give a damn what she said. The old bastard just watched t.v. all damn day, ignoring the hell out of her, with the volume up so high it hurt your ears.

When grandpa died she turned it on me.

Yap, yap, yap. Every fucking minute she had something to say. I couldn’t fart or scratch myself without her having some dopey shit to say. The worst was when I tried to bring a chick home, or drink some beer or smoke something. Then she’d screech and rant and quote shit from the Bible. Man, it never ended, with that voice like a whistle in my head all damn day, even when I started to work at that shithole of a warehouse.

So I killed her ass.

After I did it I just sat in the house, I don’t even know how long, just . . . what’s the word? Yeah, reveling. Just reveling in the peace and quiet. I mean I fucking relaxed for the first time in my whole life. Then the cops came. There was a trial and all, and the stupid lawyer the government gave me keep going about protecting my fucking rights; half the time I wanted to choke him. But I knew it was all up. You see, in this state, when a crapass like me shanks an old bitch, you can bet it’s the chair for him.

And so it was.

Still, I think it wasn’t my fault. Not really. I mean, sure I killed the bitch but I had a hard life, and she would never shut up. So I shut her up. When the preacher came to save my soul I laughed at his ass and told him to shove it. That’s when they took me to the chair. I chose it. Yeah, I did. I never saw myself lying down and just going to sleep, so when they said it was my choice, I took the chair. Now that’s a ride! Hell yeah!

Then they flipped the switch and I fried.

Except, I got up. When it was over, and I was dead, I stood up all glowing and see-through and shit. And there was my body slumped over in the chair. The doc listened to my heart and declared me dead and the guards brought in the gurney to wheel me,
the old, dead me, away. I was all 'freakin hell, I’m a ghost!' For a minute I thought how cool it would be to haunt the shit out of all the fuckers that screwed me over in life: those dicks from high school, my old boss, the fucking cops. I’d scare them shitless. That made me laugh.

Until she came.

“Evil deed reaps its own, I told you so, I did.” I heard her voice behind me. It made me jump outta my skin, or would’ve if I’d had any. “Henry, Henry, what have you been doing? Wasting your life, as usual. I always say 'a penny spent is a dollar lost,' and I always knew you’d come to no good end . . .”

“Oh god, no!” I screamed, or tried to, but I had no voice. I couldn’t even talk back to her, tell her to shut the fuck up. Still she went on and on, blah, blah, blah. You know, there is no night for a ghost. There is no sleeping. There’s no time off or time out. I can’t run from her. She always finds me. I can’t stop her. I can’t hurt her. I can’t touch her. She always finds me, and there’s no shutting her up.

“Evil deed reaps its own . . .”

God, how I hate that bitch.