They misspelled my name, but Beanstalk and Beyond is now an actual book that you can buy. You’ll need the link(s) below, because it’s nearly impossible to find via search engine at the moment.
Barnes and Noble:
These links might not be good after they correct my name.
Meanwhile, for those who have asked…
Environmental regulation has literally created my job. Though new building codes vary widely by jurisdiction, it is becoming increasingly common to require a higher level of conservation control in architectural lighting. Specifically, lights that turn themselves off when the room is empty and/or lights that dim themselves in bright sunlight.
These require specific programming, which is a large part of what I now do for a day job.
Even so, by the end of today, I was staring at a troublesome dimmer rack, and did NOT say, “Oh, there’s your problem right there. See on the front where it says Colortran?”
Also, I finished a 14k word short story about how Atlantean wizards saved the world from collision with a comet, but at a terrible price. . I have no particular market in mind for it. I finished it though, and I’m happy about that.
Someday, it may be published, with my by-line spelled correctly.
Now you know.
It may or may not be up on Amazon before then. When that happens, I will not be shy about that.
I have been warned that if I want plenty of books on hand, I want to schedule any sort of release party for late May. I am open to suggestions about this thing. Once I have time/space coordinates, I will not be shy about this either.
On May 1st, I start a new job as a field service technician for RC Lurie, which sells architectural lighting systems and related products. My end of it will be making sure they work.
It’s full time. I am not looking for side gigs until I start feeling comfortable with this job.
I will be a new employee for the first time in 15 years (and hopefully the last time as an actual employee). This will be my first job of consequence outside of live entertainment since the 1990’s. It remains to be discovered how much that takes out of me.
So I may not show up at social events I would otherwise attend, and my bliggety blogs may update less frequently for a while (particularly the ones nobody reads). I am confident, however, that I will find my way on top of all of this.
Also, I’m mowing my own lawn tomorrow. Draw your own conclusions.
Now you know.
I’m excited to announce the upcoming releases of my newest books!
Beanstalk and Beyond is volume one of the autobiography of Jack the Giant Killer and chronicles how a young chicken thief in Arthurian Britain grows into a young hero. This is due out from New Link Publishing.
One of 64 tells the secret history of that legendary force, The 64, who would fight interstellar crime and mayhem when our nearest interstellar neighbors were still the wild frontier. This is due out from Radion Media.
Towards those ends, we are reshaping this blog to be a bit more a functional author site, although my personal blog will continue here until I have some compelling reason to stop.
Hence the new look.
News and events are announced here, on my assorted social media holes (Facebook, Twitter, etc. ) and there is an e-mail list. If you want to be included on the latter, contact me at the e-mail listed at the bottom of the About the Author page.
Which, so you know, is a struggle.
We went to Palm Springs (actually Cathedral City, but they are separated by a sidewalk) for Thanksgiving, because family. We now know the chair lift that takes you near the top of 8000 foot San Jacinto mountain costs $27/head. I’d tell you more, but that stopped us right there.
If you want to visit Joshua Tree National Park, the best way in is the south entrance. On what a ranger told us was the busiest day of the year, we entered without wait or charge. The visitor center was jacked, but the entrance was unencumbered.
We saw a tarantula. Joshua Tree is actually kinda sparse on huge wonders you can see from the car. It’s a hiking/climbing destination, and I had the wrong crew for that.
Stopping in Quartzsite for sustenance, we visited the Hi Jolly Memorial – so you don’t have to.
My Rheem gas water heater went 14 years before the bottom rusted out, so I bought another one. If you have an old house, like mine, it is worth it to hire a plumber to replace the corroded, seized valve. But replacing the tank itself can be done by anyone of average handyman competence, and a buddy.
My dog has been laying in the same spot for a third straight day with “Old dog vertibulosis” which is basically vertigo. We have medicine for it. It’s yet to really work. We shall see. The folks at Madison Animal Hospital took us in minutes before closing on a Sunday night as we clamored in with this 70 pound senile dog that we supposed to be near death. They were very helpful.
At Curious Continuity, ghost universes aren’t the same as time travel.
At Fantastical History, I whine about how deep POV ruined my literary vision for a fairty tale.
And at The64, I announce the novel that will actually happen.
Rejoice in a manner befitting your people.
Now you know.
Arizona House Bill 2112, the Technical Production Services exemption, has passed the AZ Senate, and sits on Governor Ducey’s desk. Here’s what I wrote about it for the March 2015 Collaborations – the newsletter of the Desert State USITT
Arizona House Bill 2112, currently awaiting a vote in the Senate, intends to remove the ability of live event technical professionals to collect unemployment. So if it passes, which seems likely, just about anyone reading this newsletter would be unable to collect unemployment compensation from the state of Arizona, even if they otherwise qualify.
The official summary says:
HB 2112 exempts technical event production services personnel from the definition of employee for purposes of the unemployment insurance (UI) program administered by the Department of Economic Security (DES).
That’s one of a long list of stoopid things the Tea & Gun party legislature is doing to our state. But I’m not going to turn this into a rant. This is a list of shorter items.
What I learned at my next-to-last board meeting (I’m currently the Secretary, but will be termed out by September) is that our DS-USITT is a unincorporated non-profit association, which means you can deduct fees or donations given tot hem from your taxes, but they can’t provide you with formal documentation.
Also, we learned that Arizona considers our traditional 50/50 raffle to support a student membership to be gambling – even if you are a lowly unincorporated non-profit association. Because freedom.
No – not going to rant.
When driving to Tucson, don’t stop at Eloy. When I stopped there, I choked down a Carl’s Jr sandwich while surrounded by overweight white people with guns. I am an undersized, unarmed theater nerd. Ate quickly, Got out. Stop at Pichacho Peak instead. That Dairy Queen/Shell station/gift emporium was stocked by non-threatening, if unhurried old hippies.
Now – Links:
Research to replace my old tent:
What adhesive should you use? http://thistothat.com/
Someone thinks about pterosaurs. A lot.
Background for my work in progress:
Curious Continuity looks at the barely forseeable future:
And finally, SciShow Space starts out talking about tin whisklers and ends with talking about one of this blogs regular obsessions – strange toilets.
Which leads us to the ESA telling you more than you might have wanted to know about that.
Now you know.
For book research and an ongoing quest for wakeful drunkenness, I researched some Irish things over the past few months, and collect my learning for you here.
History Ireland has a good summary of how beloved old St Patrick was quite likely a crank who is preserved in history because he wrote stuff down.
Patrick—to his fellow bishops, probably in Ireland, who would have seen his activity at close quarters—had gone completely ‘off message’ with his unique vision of himself as the apocalyptic preacher. Yet by answering these anonymous level-headed pastors, the real founders of Irish Christianity, Patrick became the only one who left a name and any account of evangelising in Ireland!
Which, according to The Guardian leads naturally to Irish Coffee:
Wide awake, I kept looking into this.
Christopher Null in Drinkhacker answers What’s the best whiskey for Irish Coffee?
Good question. I sampled all the Irish I had on hand in coffee and it was a tossup between the standard bottlings of Bushmills and Jameson. The only Irish that didn’t work well was Black Bush, which just didn’t play right with the bitterness of the coffee.
Finally, Jim Slaughter of ineedcoffee claims to make the Best Irish Coffee in the World.
For myself, I replaced sugar with honey – as I often do, and was melting in the microwave when I had an realization: coffee, especially fresh coffee, is hot enough to do the job. This worked well enough for me. I use heavy whipping cream when I have it – if not whole milk.
Oh – and honey is bee puke.
In Beanstalk and Beyond, there is, of course, a magic Harp. I fancied I might find something in folklore from which to draw inspiration – or at least some accurate technical detail.
There was something called the Harp of Dahgda, but that wasn’t quite right.
The harp of our story may be inspired by this artifact though.
For some actual facts, I relied upon Harp.com and The Harp Foundation, whose site plays such soothing music that you might pass out no matter how much coffee, Irish or otherwise, you might have had.
Now you know.