Home sweet home…

For a couple of days…

Fyrecon is in the bag. Interesting little con, still working through some teething pains, but good potential. The master classes were good to excellent, according to every one I talked to, and I know the World Building one with Larry Correia was excellent. Held in Layton, UT, the con organizers did a nice job of coordination with the local community, and the spaces were excellent (but the chairs sucked, nothing new there). There is plenty to do in the local area, if you decide to take a spouse that isn’t into writing.

One of the sidebar conversations I got into was about diversity and representation of characters in literature, and the evolution of the SJW/woke/whatever requirements, and what would happen if historical leading lights in fiction were to try to write their books today (Mark Twain, ER Burroughs, Howard, EE Smith, Heinlein, etc.) The consensus was that most of them could not get published anywhere in today’s environment, based on the ‘views’ today.

Which really made me wonder if people understand that ‘history’ cannot be adequately ‘viewed’ through the lens of today’s mores/morals, as those mores/morals have evolved considerably over the last 100 years. Whether the mores/morals of a ‘day’ were right or wrong, by today’s standards/views, those WERE the mores/morals that the authors dealt with or had AT THE TIME.

I actually wonder if Shakespeare could be printed today… sigh


Bad… bad… Lexophiles

You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic.  It’s syncing now.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool .

Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore.

I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.

I got some batteries that were given out free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married.  They fought tooth and nail.

A will is a dead giveaway.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.  That’s the point of it.

I didn’t like my beard at first.  Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

When chemists die, they barium.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity.  I just can’t put it down.

Another interesting day…

More panels today! Science for writing, and extrapolating for future scientific work, along with differentiation between hard and soft sciences.

At lunch I met up with another shipmate, Michael Hooten, who also lives in the SLC area, and we had a good chat. A few ‘sea stories’ might have been exchanged, and he told me his second book is going to be released in the next couple of weeks.

His first, We are all Enlisted is an excellent read, and a good reflection of the ‘Navy’ in space from the junior enlisted’s perspective. Highly recommend it! Click on the cover for the link!

The blurb-

Peter Wright joined the Navy thinking that he could do his time in a nice, quiet billet somewhere on Earth. The Navy had other ideas. When the asteroid miners claimed their independence, Peter finds himself getting sent to space on a warship headed straight into the combat zone. He has to get used to everything: zero gravity, standing watch, and being the only Earth-born in his crew. And he has to be ready for the biggest battle the solar system has ever seen.

After lunch, Mackenzie Kincaid gave a panel on writing horses. This may seem a little odd, but it is amazing how much authors get wrong about horses, and horse lovers are as bad as gunnies about details being ‘right’ in books. She also has a degree in Equine studies, and actual practical experience. She’s also written a book, and I’m promoting it, even though I haven’t had time to read it, simply because of the quality of her presentation. She KNOWS what she’s talking about!!!

The blurb-

Saddle up… it’s time to write!

They appear in all sorts of genres, from epic fantasy to the zombie post-apocalypse, but horses can be one of the most difficult topics for authors to get right.

This illustrated guide gives writers a leg up on their fictional equines. You’ll find practical tips for crafting authentic equines in your works, avoiding the most common mistakes, and making your four-legged characters gallop right off the page. Included are essential illustrations, real-world inspiration, historical insights, helpful quick reference guides, example passages, and more.

Last day tomorrow, and I’m going to be glad, I truly HATE the chairs in the rooms. No back support… Grrr…




Road trip…

In Layton, UT for FyreCon writer’s conference for a couple of days…

This con is a little smaller, just getting started, but they do have some ‘masters’ classes being taught by some of the leading lights. Today I sat in Larry Correia’s class on world building, and it was ‘interesting’ to put it mildly. He went through various genres of world building, including SciFi, Fantasy, and Urban then he did a couple of class exercises.

The bottom line takeaway, it’s YOUR idea, run with it, have fun writing it, and treat writing like a business.

And since there was a late start this morning due to registration, I took some time to run up to Ogden and see the JM Browning museum.  What Stretch had ‘neglected’ to tell me was there was also a railroad museum, a car museum, and a display of various rail stock/engines.

The prototype 1911 built by John Browning (top), and a recoil operated concealed hammer alternate (bottom), that was never produced.

And there were railroad things, including engines, from left to right, Union Pacific 100 MPH STEAM locomotive, up through the 8700HP jet turbine engined locomotive. Ogden was/is a major rail center, with a huge marshaling yard and work center.

There is also a small car museum, and ALL of the cars are drivable and licensed!!! This particular one is a 29 Packard, capable of 80 mph,  with a rumble seat and a ‘real’ trunk strapped to the back bumper… 😀

Last but not least, I got to have lunch with friend and former Marine Art S. Good burgers and a great chat made it very worthwhile!!!


An interesting article on shooting sixguns in competition(s)

The increasingly popular shooting matches of the National Congress of Old West Shooters and the Single Action Shooting Society are perhaps more than a healthy sport. Old West-style shooting could be considered the quintessential “American Martial Art.”

Full article from American Greatness, HERE.

A friend of mine is a multi-time world champion SASS shooter, and he can run a sixgun faster than I can a 1911 (kicked my ass he did)… sigh

Here is a three gun (sixguns, rifle, shotgun) stage from T-Bone Dooley (his handle), filmed through camera glasses to give you an idea of his speed and accuracy.

And PawPaw, on the sidebar shoots a different version of sixguns called Fast Draw. He has a number of videos on his blog, HERE.

The biggest differences are that ‘fast draw’ is not allowed in SASS, and they are shooting real bullets at steel targets, where in fast draw they are shooting sixguns loaded with single wax bullets at steel targets using ‘safety holsters’ with deflectors to prevent accidental discharge as the draw the pistol.

Posted in TBT

Writer’s group…

We have a rather ‘eclectic’ writers’ group in town, to put it mildly.

It’s run out of the local library, thanks to a proactive librarian, and really nice lady! One of her assistants is also a writer, so we have a place to meet, and water/munchies. Yay!!! Feed a starving writer.

The group is… A 70ish retired schoolteacher who writes children’s books (a number published), and is very soft spoken with a high pitched voice; the 30something assistant librarian (indie published), who writes young adult and romance; a nice 50ish empty nester who writes children’s books and inspirational books (published and indie); an artist that does picture books and storyboards, and a couple of folks who are writing their first books.

And then there’s us… LawDog, Wing, me, Tole, Alma and Peter on occasion, and our newest member, Jonathan (who doesn’t blog, but is on facebook). So… It’s kinda us against them, if you want to look at it that way… 🙂

But it’s really interesting! We share parts of our stories, inviting comments from the group, and it’s interesting when ‘we’ share what we’re writing with some of the other folks. They ARE kind enough to read it, even if it’s not their style, and the comments are lighthearted.

We share information, and Wing is our go to for a lot of the marketing side of the equation, but we all share what we’ve learned at the various cons and seminars we’ve attended. We are trying to support the other local writers, and look forward to seeing their work come to fruition, as more of them start taking a hard look at Indie, and using KDP for their work. One of the ladies did that with her kids book, and, though she griped about the extra work, was blown away with the difference in quality of the printing and colors.

It’s things like that, that make us feel good!

When we started there were only six of us, and now we’re up over a dozen, with new folks coming every month. I hope this continues, and we can continue to help others on their journey!

And it’s also nice to broaden our horizons a little, and realize we’re not the ONLY writers in the area! Yay… 🙂


Apparently ‘puppy dog’ eyes really are a thing…

It turns out our pet pooches have evolved human-like eyebrow muscles, which let them make the sad faces that melt our hearts, according to a new study published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Full article, HERE from France24.

Interesting note is that apparently wolves don’t have those eyebrow muscles, but then I don’t see a wolf begging for anything… Just sayin’

And in the D’oh category…

China may lose nearly 400 million people by the end of the century, according to a Pew Research Center report based on United Nations population projections.

From Pew Research, HERE.

I find it odd that no one mentions the fact that the Chinese have had effectively 2 generations of ‘male only’ children, which has made Chinese women scarce on the ground and the average Chinese male left out in the cold unless he has significant resources or can go abroad. The ‘requirement’ to maintain replacement level fertility is something like 2.1 children per couple as the population ages for a particular demographic, depending on the death rates and survival rates in small children, HERE.

While the overall population of the USA is still growing, albeit more slowly, that is due to immigration, not birth rate. Part of the ‘blame’ for that probably rests with Erlich and his book ‘The Population Bomb’ published in the 60’s, HERE, and the advent of birth control. That took American birthrates from over 3 children per couple to where we are today, which is less than 2 children per couple. Meanwhile, other countries and religions are still at 5 or more children per couple…

Something to think about for our grandchildren. They will be the minority, if they survive at all…

Back to the writing…

New computer is loaded, updated, files moved, more updates, more files moved…

Backed up…

So now I can get back to writing. Sorry for the lack of a post, I can’t brain today after yesterday’s screwing around with the computers. Go read the folks on the sidebar, I’ll try to get a coherent post up tomorrow!

I’m done…

With Windoze…

Old computer was dying, and MS said they weren’t continuing support for Win 7 Pro after this year. I hate Win 10 with a passion so…

Or I will be as soon as I get all the @##%(*@( updates done… Got a good price from the Exchange, so new iMac.


In other news, Happy Father’s Day to all us fathers out there!

And we went back to Bill’s for catfish last night, got there at 1745, to face an HOUR wait! So we waited… And it was worth it! As we were leaving, some guy was coming in for a table for one. The waitress was apologizing for the wait, and he shrugged saying, “No problem I drove 230 miles to get here.” Don’t know where he came from, but he must REALLY like the catfish!

Net humor…

1 – I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2 – Borrow money from pessimists — they don’t expect it back.
3 – Half the people you know are below average.
4 – 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5 – 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
6 – A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
7 – A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
8 – If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.
9 – All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.
10 – The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
11 – I almost had a psychic girlfriend, ….. But she left me before we met.
12 – OK, so what’s the speed of dark?
13 – How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?
14 – If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
15 – Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
16 – When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
17 – Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
18 – Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
19 – I intend to live forever … So far, so good.
20 – If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
21 – Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
22 – What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
23 – My mechanic told me, “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”
24 – Why do psychics have to ask you for your name
25 – If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
26 – A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
27 – Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
28 – The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
29 – To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
30 – The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
31 – The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.
32 – The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
33 – Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don’t have film.
34 – If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
35 – If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?