Checking In From . . .

. . . well, not the best place in the world.

Numbers of infections & deaths continue to rise here as so much of the world gets things under control. The one ray of light is that the current regime seems to be getting hit hard by their absolute failure to respond adequately to the pandemic. 45* has falling approval numbers, increasing disapproval, dismal turn out at events, and is getting beaten in campaign fund raising. So, we have hopeful signs he’ll be out in November, in a fair election (assuming little to no voter suppression, etc.).

In the meantime, my college is continuing online only or 90% online for the foreseeable future. But, of course, aikido is shut down indefinitely beyond what little home practice can be done (weapons kata and basic movements).

Writing continues. Putting the finishing touches on the magic book. That’s currently sitting at over 56,000 words and 191 pages. Probably start looking at publishers soon.

Also working on a multiverse world build for fun. About 14-15k into that so far. Mostly working on iPhone Notes app then transferring to Word, converting notes to paragraphs, then editing & expanding a hard copy.

Watching ST: Discovery season 2. We’re down to the last couple episodes. I think the plan is to subscribe to Disney+ at that point. Continuing Mythbusters with the kid and introduced him to ST:ToS.

Also added some Discworld art from the Discworld Emporium in the UK.

Halloween Sale

McFarland Pub, the publishers of my book, have sent the following:


We realize that the stores have had their trees and Christmas decorations out for sale for weeks now. At McFarland though, no one wants to leapfrog past our favorite holiday, Halloween! McFarland has scheduled a sale for our books about horror – whether on film, television, literature, games, comics, culture or anything else. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code HORROR25, print editions of all horror books are 25% off Friday, October 26 through Halloween, October 31. Be prepared to be up late with the lights on…

This includes my book:

Of Blogs and Books

I had a thought last night and started some preliminary exploration this morning.

I’ve found that over the last four years of maintaining this blog, I have written over 24,300 words about world building and the F/UF/SF genres.  Combined with the roughly 20 posts I broadly conceived of in the last week or two . . . I’m seriously considering revising the 43 relevant posts and the upcoming 20-ish into something resembling a book.

I’m also considering setting up a Patreon account, to fund more writing time (that isn’t one of my 2.5 jobs – tutoring, resume writing, and freelance editing).

The Door Between Worlds

So, the book went live for pre-orders via Inkshares.  It has 78 more days to generate at least 250 pre-orders in order to be published.  If you like the sample below, please consider checking out the rest here.


              “Well, crap,” he thought.

              Then everything went black.


              It was supposed to be a simple retrieval job, the kind the team had done scores of times. One of their bread-and-butter jobs. They knew the target item—a deceptively plain gold ring. They knew the current owner—a wizard of some modest reputation. They knew the layout and protections in place. The client bought the ring from the owner and it was not delivered, or the owner had stolen it from the client, either way did not really matter.

              Most of the information had been given to them by the client’s representative. The rest they had discovered from some easy investigation. The plan was elegantly simple and straightforward, the kind of thing they had done often, almost monthly.

The location was a mid-sized mansion compound, not too unusual for their jobs. A fair sized lawn with little cover, two stories, wrought iron fence around the grounds. Nothing out of the ordinary. Someone had placed common wards and protections on the perimeter—counter-scrying, counter-teleport, a few blocking entry by specific species or magic strength, some simple alarms. All the wards they had spotted or the client noted inside were based on cryptomancy or glamour, sometimes combined. Again, nothing they were not used to.

The current owner was easy to research. Brandon Riley was a mage, a wizard, of modest talent, but with a gift for mass communications. He had built a reputation and small fortune on marketing the enchanted items of others to the paranormal community. And he had created, it was said, a significant, if modest, collection of unique artifacts in the process.


He woke with a start.

The analytical part of his mind said shock spell, counteracting the stun. Simple enough that most mages could do it in their sleep. The rest of his consciousness took in the room, particularly the fact that Brandon Riley was standing inches from his face.

“Alex Walsh,” Riley said, “witch in the employ of Vingard Solutions. Why were you seeking to assault Norrggrr Hess, my guest, in my home?”

              Alex looked around quickly, only his eyes moving. Norrggrr? He stopped on a dwarf across the room, surrounded by obvious security. Oh. Right. Crap.