Wednesday, January 31, 2024

writing update, January 2024

Last year, I tried to keep a daily writing journal. That was not a favorable experiment. Fact is, I just don't get to write each day. Things happen. I know time needs to be carved but we don't need to get into that here.

I decided this year maybe a monthly public pulse-taking would serve me better. We'll see.

I hoped to write a novel this year. But I'm ramping up with some short stories first.

Current state of the brag shelf

This month I wrote and submitted one story. I wrote half of another, but missed the open call deadline. I might finish it for another call. Or, it might go in the file for later. There are other calls (two, at least) in March I want to aim for.

Not a lot of writing, but I have been doing the business of writing. I've assembled the content of my first collection. This will be my action/adventure/fantasy tales. I'm gathering previously published stories, with a couple of brand new stories to fill out the volume. (Horror tales will come later this year, in another collection, timed for release around Halloween.)

I wrote the introduction, and the story notes. I've proofed through six of the eleven tales. I reached out to a cover artist.

And that's where I am at.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Brian Lumley has journeyed to the Dreamlands

It was announced on January 28th that horror writer Brian Lumley passed away in early January 2024.

Ironically, I have not read any of his most famous series, NECROSCOPE. I have read many of his Cthulhu Mythos tales. I especially enjoy the Titus Crow series.

In recent years, I discovered his tales of David Hero & Eldin, which are set in Lovecraft's Dreamlands but are far more fantasy/sword-&-sorcery than horror.


International Best Selling Author Brian Lumley sadly passed away at his home this January. He was the winner of many prestigious awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writer’s Association in 2010. Famous for his groundbreaking Necroscope® series, he went on to become one of the top writers in the Horror field. Although Brian had crossed genres between Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy, Brian had many other series under his belt such as: The Primal Lands, Hero of Dreams, Psychomech, Titus Crow, etc. And of course, all the Mythos stories with his own twist.

After a 22-year stint as a Royal Military Policeman, he had a long and prosperous lifetime of doing what he loved to do, bringing continued enjoyment to all his readers and listeners. Brian has written approximately 60 books along with many, many short stories, and novellas.

He left behind a very large catalog. I still have much to explore.


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Women in Rock Day, 2024

 Some bands/singers worth checking out.

Women in Rock Day, 2024

Saint Jude (featuring Lynne Jackaman)

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Blues Pills (featuring Elin Larsson)

These women are current in rock, but these links are dated. If I'm sharing from YouTube, I prefer live performances.

Saint Jude's guitarist passed away--too young--from cancer. Lynne Jackaman is a solo artist now, leaning a bit more R & B.

Grace Potter is also a solo act, having disbanded the Nocturnals a while ago.

Blues Pills are still going. They've only had minor lineup changes. Larsson is still the singer.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Reading wrap-up, 2023

Seeing as how I've just started reading a 400+ page science fiction space opera, I'm pretty sure I won't be done by New Year's Day. I think it's safe to whip up a reading summary post for 2023 now.

According to goodreads, I surpassed my goal of 50 books. I managed 51. That has a few caveats. I had a couple of DidNotFinish books. I'm finally allowing myself that. I used to always push through. And I still might if a book is short. But I no longer have the luxury of pushing through hundreds of pages if I'm not enjoying myself. Too many books, never enough time.

Also, I'm not counting various single issue comics throughout the year. (My regular pull list includes the current World's Finest, Sheena, various DarkHorse comics [mostly if Christopher Golden and/or Thomas Sniegoski are writing,] Conan, The Rocketeer .. other limited series, etc)

Also not counting when the mood hits for short stories. I hop around various anthologies and collections. I don't necessarily read those from cover to cover. (This is especially true every October for Halloween with horror reads.)

My top 10 favorite reads of the year;

  • CHAMPLAIN'S DREAM by David Hackett Fischer

  • THE THICKET by Joe R. Lansdale

  • EMPIRE OF BLOOD AND SAND by Alister Hodge

  • THE PESHAWAR LANCERS by S. M. Stirling

  • ON BASILISK STATION by David Weber

  • THE MOTHMAN MENACE by Craig McDonald

  • ALL HALLOWS by Christopher Golden

  • PIMP MY AIRSHIP by Maurice Broaddus

  • NO NIGHT WITHOUT STARS by Andre Norton

  • BLACK HONEY by Steve Van Samson

Reading plans for 2024? Nothing specific. I want to allow myself more longer reads (more space opera.) I will probably lower my Reading Challenge goal with that in mind.

Monday, December 11, 2023

We've lost David Drake

Not much else to say. David Drake has passed.

I once co-interviewed him for the old Sword-& website. That was definitely one of the major highlights of this writing gig.


Thursday, August 31, 2023

CONTACT 2: BLOOD & STEEL available now

 The Kindle edition of CONTACT 2: BLOOD & STEEL went live today. Hoping print soon follows.

My story, "Misery Hill," is historical, set during the end days of the Spanish-American war.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

recent read; BLACK HONEY by Steve Van Samson


BLACK HONEY (And Other Unsavory Things) is a powerhouse eclectic collection of chilling tales. Touches of Hammer films, modern horror, wry humor, and twisted slices of everyday life can be experienced in this honeycomb of eleven tales of terror.

Come for the fantastic stories by Steve Van Samson, and stay for the incredible interior art by Derek Rook. It's a winning combination you won't soon forget!