Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Honey Moon

Above, the Moon! That's an image of the so-called 'honey moon' taken this past Friday the 13th. Full zoom, 50X, no tripod. Love this little Finepix camera.

Full disclosure, though -- that image is the best of the 43 images I shot that night. Many are indistinct blurs. But that's the beauty of a digital camera -- you can shoot hundreds of times, if you want, in search of that elusive perfect image.

Speaking of new book releases (I still haven't gotten to 'Elegant Segues' in the Big Book of Writing Secrets), you have noticed I have a new one out. It's called The Five Faces, and you can get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Books, Itunes, Samhain, or other fine booksellers.

I loved the cover of this one so much I mounted a print of it in an oversized picture frame I made from leftover cabinet trim. The frame has waited years for a worthy picture, and now it hangs on the wall!

My new desk mascot, Mr. Dragon, approves.

Those weird blue patches on the ceiling aren't the result of a demented paint job. They are in fact lights, emitted from the case lighting of my PC, which periodically emits Cherenkov radiation. Small price to pay for having a really fast video card, though, and the extra fingers do come in handy when using chopsticks.

Other dragons lurk nearby. And no, I don't really have purple walls, because I'm not Prince. I messed with the colors in this image; the big dragon is actually purple, but I needed him to be green, and the wall was collateral damage.

You're using a lot of pictures tonight, aren't you, Frank?

Yes I am. Had a bout of vertigo last night and my brain is still running at half-capacity. Earlier I tried to plug the vacuum cleaner into an AV wall jack. Twice since starting this blog entry I've wandered downstairs to retrieve the coffee cup that sat inches from my right hand.

I should probably let dog Lou Ann finish the piece, even if all she did was chew on the keyboard.

The Five Faces has done pretty well since its release. The Amazon rankings are good, and holding steady. I'd like to extend a special thanks to everyone who left a review on Amazon -- reader reviews drive sales like nothing else. If you've had a chance to finish the book, please consider dropping a few stars on Amazon. With 30,000 other new titles clamoring for attention, Markhat and I need all the help we can get!

If you're new to the series, you're in luck -- Barnes and Noble dropped the price on The Mister Trophy to 99 cents this weekend, to give readers a chance to start the series on the cheap, just to see if they'll like it enough to continue. Amazon spotted the price drop and matched it, so you can get The Mister Trophy from either bookseller for less than a buck!

I leave you with an excerpt from a previous blog, one written when the room was not engaged in gyroscopic precession. It involves an email from my reluctant Muse Visavarevagsitaga, and it applies today just as much as it did a few years ago. Enjoy!

Date:  Sun, 3 Feb 2013 11:52:43 -0600 [12:52:43 PM EST]
From:  Visavarevagsitaga <>
Subject:  HEY MORON

I see you're working on a new book. If one defines 'working' as pecking at the keyboard between screwing around on Facebook. But I'm feeling generous so we'll call it working. Idiot.

As your Muse, I've got a few things to say. Most of them involve being removed as your Muse, but that request was denied. Twice. So.

The book is a train wreck. A flaming, toxic spill, nuclear-waste-hauling five-alarm evacuate the surrounding counties smoke plume seen from space train wreck, and that's just the dedication, and it's all downhill from there. What were you thinking? What were you *drinking?* Can I interest you in another hobby? Origami? Animal husbandry? Spelunking? Anything that doesn't involve words?

The sad bit, the part that truly makes me want to lay waste to all of Mesopotamia and then weep abut it for a dozen centuries thereafter, is this may be the best thing you've ever written. Let that sink in, and then Google the many joys of spelunking.

Great. My third request for a transfer was just denied. Sigh. I miss the Bronze Age. So much less paperwork.

If you insist on pursuing this book to completion, the first thing you need to do is STOP BEING SO NICE TO YOUR CHARACTERS. Honest to Zeus, are you writing a murder mystery or hosting some demented fictional tea party? Here's a quick tip from an ancient Muse to you, bub -- for it to be a murder mystery SOMEONE NEEDS TO DIE.

So kill one of them off. Kill two of them off. Take my advice and kill them all off and try your hand at origami -- it's soothing and there's never a risk of dangling a

Lackwit. Fine. Ignore my advice, what do I know, I'm only older than recorded human history and I once held the fate of millions at my whim. But hey, you read an article about Stephen King's writing habits, so obviously you're the expert.

Even if you refuse to kill off whatshisname, Muckrat the finder, or his wife Duller, consider smiting one of the minor characters. Zeus knows nobody will miss any of them. And if you can't bring yourself to kill them, at least maim them a little bit this time. You've got to thin the herd, pal, or by book ten you'll be drowning in supporting cast and forget I said that, we both know there will never be a book ten because you cant' stay off Twitter long enough, can you, monkey boy?   

I give up. Or rather I would give up if Central Assignments would let me. This email constitutes my official dispensation of my Muse duties for this Julian calendar month. To summarize:

1) Give up.
2) Seriously, give up. Woodworking! That's a good hobby for someone with your literary skills.
3) Give your characters nothing but grief. Grief, trouble, and constant turmoil, followed by epic disaster, and all before you type the words CHAPTER TWO.
4) Stop referring to me mentally as Visa-veggie. I can hear your thoughts, you ungrateful chimpanzee. 
5) Moron.


Visavarevagsitaga (See #4 above)

PS Don't reply to this email. Or any of my emails. I'll delete your replies unread and if you think a rain of toads isn't impressive wait until it happens in your bedroom with high-velocity toads.

Have a good week, everyone! Leave a review -- prove my Muse wrong!

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