Friday, June 30, 2017

The Bad Things (short story)

This short story was inspired by cats' tendency to pounce at things that weren't there, and by ancient beliefs that cats are able to protect people from evil spirits.  I imagined my kitten Venus chasing demons away when she pounced at shadows, and this story was the result.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Help Me Get To The UK For Research!

I want to go to the UK to visit several sites including Hereford, Shrewsbury, Wells, Salisbury and Bath as part of a research effort for several projects.

Back in 2003-2005, I lived in the UK for a short period of time, so I also intend to catch up with a few of my friends I haven't seen in years.  But the main point of this trip is research.

I am a published writer with several books out from a small print publisher.  One of my planned projects, "Wake of the White Ship," takes place in the West Country during the 12th century anarchy.  It's a spinoff of my novel "The Vimana Incident."  Another project, a biography of William Longsword, Third Earl of Salisbury, will require visiting archives and speaking with historians.

My biographical work on William Longsword has already been featured in Encyclopedia Britannica.  I rewrote their article with a great deal more material gleaned from my research, but I feel I can gather more information still. 

I would like to spend at least 3 weeks in the UK if at all possible.  I will need some money for ground transport and lodging as well.  If possible I would like to bring my husband with me since he has never been to the UK.

My novel "The Vimana Incident" can be purchased here:

My article about William Longsword can be read here:

Donate to my GoFundMe page here:

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"The Linen Butterfly" Update

The stylistic rewrite of "The Linen Butterfly" is up to chapter 3 now. The book is now down to 114,001 words. It may end up longer or shorter depending on what I decide to do with some passages toward the end that still need extensive revisions.

After this stylistic rewrite I'm going to set it aside for a week, then read through it again and see if it needs anything.

The current editing pass is ironing out awkward prose and dialogue, and fixing some issues I identified in the continuity check. The next pass will be reading it with fresh eyes to see if I need to make some tweaks to the pacing and plot, or if I missed any mistakes.

I should have my manuscript ready to review fairly quick, actually. I'll need Beta readers soon, depending on how the next few phases of work go. I remember from my continuity check that in the passages written back in 2013, some of the prose was pretty clumsy.

Still, this manuscript is less of a sow's ear than I'd thought. I'll make something of it.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

A Revolution of Values

The basic idea of a meritocracy- that people of merit should lead- is not inherently bad. The problem is what we count as merit.

Our republic has transitioned over time from being a meritocracy of values to a meritocracy of achievement.  It's become perfectly acceptable to be a bigoted hypocrite in American politics, as long as you can create the illusion of a self-made man.  No morals? No standards? No convictions beyond your warped sense of self interest? Sure, we'll hand you the keys to our nuclear weapons!

Moreover, we've normalized the idea that politicians are crooked, rather than perpetually holding them to a higher standard than they hold themselves.  By doing so we've taken the reins off a rampaging elephant.  The threat of public censure was all that was holding them back all these years. Then they managed to gaslight us out of censuring them.  They fed us what will go down in history as the greatest lie ever sold: the argumentum ad crumenam- "I am rich therefore I am right."

A competent resistance must include a revolution of values and integrity.  Otherwise it has no legs to stand on.  Censure misconduct in your own ranks harshly.  Demand accountability for all corruption. Don't suffer bigots.  Raise up the most blameless among yourselves as leaders. If you do this, you'll stand a much greater chance of convincing the uncertain that your cause is the right one.