Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I Ate What?

Today's post will be a smorgasbord, which is a polite way of saying 'a dog's breakfast.' Because I'm not feeling well. If my brain were a car engine, it would almost impossible to start, it would only run for a few minutes at a time, and it would quickly expire with a puff of exhaust and the shriek of wrenching metal.

My gastroenterologist rarely ever smiles.

But I haven't missed posting a Sunday blog since the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and I'm not about to let a minor flare-up of rigor mortis stop me now. So, if the gentleman in the hooded robe will lower his scythe for a moment and take a seat, we will proceed.

We'll wait. 

Fantastic Reads blog hop 

First of all, my writer pal Elsye Salpeter is part of a week-long blog hop, along with a number of other talented fantasy authors. Elyse's book The Hunt for Xanadu is featured, and it's a book I've read and recommend. 

Please click here to check out all the books. Which, by the way, are each priced at $3.99 or less this week!

Markhat update

This has not been the best writing weekend ever. I didn't reach my goal to finish the new Markhat book. On the bright side, I'm two or three solid writing sessions away from a finish, which means this week, barring disaster, will see the end to the first draft of The Darker Carnival.

One of the joys (there are only four, so it's a big deal) of being a writer is finding a box full of sleek print books on your porch. Such was the case Thursday, when the complementary print copies of Brown River Queen arrived from Samhain Publishing.

The print edition of Brown River Queen goes on sale everywhere on March 4. You could pre-order a copy now, if you wanted, wink wink nudge nudge.

Each hardcopy book comes complete with consonants, vowels, punctuation, pages, and sturdy covers. Batteries not required. Occupies three-dimensional space. Can be read in a vacuum, or during hyperspatial transport. Enjoy!

Things That Blow Up Real Good

Kids, don't try this at home. 

My new camera will record video at 480 frames per second. That's creeping into high-speed slow-motion territory, so naturally I had to try it out.

And what better phenomena to record than a small explosion?

The setup is simple. I took my butane torch, which is handy for removing fingerprints from corpses -- er, crafts, I mean crafts -- and lit it using the standard scratch-lighter. The process takes a fraction of a second, and is unremarkable to the naked eye.

Here's what it looks like in amateur slo-mo. Yes, the image is a little dark, because I wanted the sparks and flames to show up.


For all you Apple device folks, here's a link just for you!

Apple video link

Holding Hands documentary

I don't make movies, and if you watched the clip above you know why.

But my wife Karen does, and her latest project Holding Hands is marvelous. 

You've probably heard the admonition "“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." The quote is usually attributed to Plato, although it appears a Scottish author named Ian Maclaren is probably the true author.

Who first wrote the words isn't important. The author captured a universal truth, in that all the strangers we pass by every day bear a burden of one sort or another. No one is immune to tragedy or heartache, at least not for very long. 

Most of us muddle along as best we can. Karen's film is about a woman who faced adversity with rare courage and unyielding resolve. The film is less than 9 minutes long; please give it a look, and maybe remember the old adage. A kind word or even a smile to a stranger could be more important than you'll ever realize.

My Super Bowl Prediction

Sorry this is posting so late. I'm sure quite a few people have placed wagers on the outcome of the Super Bowl, and I'm about to announce the winner and the final score. To anyone who loses money because they weren't able to follow my advice, I'm really sorry.

And the winner is: The Atlanta Braves, by a final score of 24-love. The game was close, early on, but toward the bottom of the 4th inning, the Braves shot 4 under par on the tenth and 11th holes, and the Celtics couldn't catch up. Great game, though! Lots of, er, ball-running, dribbling, skating, and so forth.

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