Brown River Queen cover art

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Weary Bones

Tonight, I'm just tired.

I shouldn't be, really.  I'm 87,000 words into a new novel.  Yes, you read that right.  Eighty-seven thousand words done, which leaves another thirteen thousand to go if I'm aiming for an even hundred thousand.

This isn't a Markhat novel, either.  It's something new and completely different.  And it's nearly done.

I should be turning cartwheels.  Shouting. Frolicking in sun-dappled meadows in slow motion while a string ensemble provides soothing background music.

Okay, maybe not frolicking.  I'm too old to effectively frolic without risking a hasty, expensive trip to the ER afterward.  Too, the visual was disturbing.  So, new policy:  No frolicking.

But why am I so lethargic, all the sudden?

Maybe it's just physical.  It's been a rough couple of weeks.

Whatever the cause, I need it fixed, right now.  I need to stick THE END on this new one, and get moving on the edits.  But right now I'm having trouble focusing.  A few minutes ago I wrote the same sentence twice, and while some might hail such repetition as a brilliant example of the new avant-garde it will just get me rejected.

I think what I need is coffee.  And a new day.  This one is shot.

I'll leave you with the title of the new work-in-progress.  It's called All the Paths of Shadow.  I love the title. I can almost see the cover art, too.  And the movie posters.  Especially those.

Now that's the kind of thinking that might just restore me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I'm Reading Now: Moon Dance

I snagged a great Kindle e-book a couple of days ago.

One of the great things about owning a Kindle is the opportunity to browse thousands and thousands of indie and self-published titles.  Now, I'll say up front that most of these books are, to be blunt, crap.  In many cases, there's a reason the authors chose to self-publish, that reason being no publisher on Earth would read past the first paragraph, let alone pony up a small fortune to see the awful thing lurch to life in print.

But they're not all bad.  I can always tell before I'm done reading the second line of the book description, because the same writer who writes that wrote the book.  If it's a confusing, wandering quagmire of cliches and purple prose, I move on.

But there are gems hidden amid the refuse.  One such gem is Moon Dance (Vampire for Hire #1) by J. R. Rain..

It's only 99 cents.  Yeah, I'm a tightwad.  But J. R. Rain should really be asking more than a buck for Moon Dance.

I have a weakness for film-noir private eyes.  I firmly believe the world should be black and white, stuck circa 1940.  Fedoras.  Rainswept streets at midnight.  Dames.

So you're probably thinking Moon Dance is set in a world just like that, right?

Wrong.  The protagonist is a working mom, with two small kids and a lot of laundry.

She's also spent the last six years as a vampire.

So no fedoras.  Rainswept streets, maybe.  But what the book has is the most important thing of all -- it's got the heart and soul of a gritty, unflinching PI novel.

I doff my hat -- a damp fedora, with two bullet holes -- to J. R. Rain, whoever they are, because not only do they know how to write, but they know how to write the stuff I like.

I'll post a full review when I'm done.  Again, that's Moon Dance, by J.R. Rain.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Near Midnight for Lennox

I've received word that tomorrow is the date for the final appeal for Lennox.  If the new judge rules to uphold Ken Nixon's tragically erroneous ruling of last week, then poor Lennox will be put down on the grounds that he is a dangerous pit bull dog even though he is not a pit bull and has never demonstrated any aggression or received a single complaint.

Look.  This entire situation is ridiculous.  The Belfast City Council Dog Wardens had a warrant, and the address was wrong on the warrant, and they wound up at Lennox's house.  Being the stunning paragons of intellect that they are, the Dog Wardens looked about, spied a black dog, and hauled him away on suspicion of being a pit bull.

Fast forward ten months.  Yes.  Ten freaking months.  I've seen photos that leaked out of poor Lennox, a beloved housepet, crammed into a tiny cage surrounded by his own feces.  That's what passes for animal care in the merry old town of Belfast.  Hay and crap.

You go, Belfast.  Keep that sort of mindset up, and you'll hit the thirteenth century any decade now.

The Belfast City Council also kept Lennox's status and whereabouts a secret during this time.  Lennox's owner, a twelve-year-old girl in ill health, had no idea whether her furry friend was alive or dead.

Another score for Belfast.  First we've got animal cruelty, now we get just a hint of child abuse.

Belfast, is there any reprehensible low to which you will not stoop?

But the story gets worse.  When poor Lennox's case is finally heard by a judge (remember the ten months part?), District Judge Ken Nixon ignores DNA evidence which proves Lennox is not a prohibited breed pit bull dog.  This judge ignores Lennox's lifetime of good behavior.

No, District Judge Ken Nixon sentences Lennox to death, because apparently all pit bulls are black and thus all black dogs are pit bulls and ipso facto, hocus pocus, abracadabra!

Guilty.  The sentence is death.  Next case please.

Nice work there, Judge Nixon.  I suppose jurisprudence is a lot simpler when you hide an old Magic 8 Ball toy under those robes.  Guilty, Innocent, Reply Hazy Try Again Later -- have I told you how much I admire your keen legal mind?

No?  Good.

But now Lennox has one final chance, before one last judge.

I hope that justice will win the day.  I hope that finally, someone in authority will look at this whole sordid convergence of incompetence and outright stupidity  and dismiss the wretched case once and for all.

That won't make up for the year Lennox has suffered at the barbaric hands of the Belfast City Council Dog Wardens, or the little girl's suffering as she mourned for her missing friend.

But it's at least a step in the right direction.

And that will be a first for Belfast in this sad matter.

UPDATE:  The news I got about Lennox's appeal was incorrect.  Today is the day the date for the appeal will be set, not the day of the actual appeal.  My apologies.