Posts have been few and far between lately. I’m teaching a class during the first summer session that will end next Saturday. Things should pick up somewhat after that. We’ve got a family vacation planned later in the summer, but I think I can work around that. The class I’m teaching isn’t divided into traditional lecture and lab sections. Rather, it’s an inquiry-based format, meaning its hands-on and interactive. Or to put it another way, I have to teach it all rather than letting a TA cover the traditional labs. Rewarding, because I get to know the students better than I do with a large lecture hall; frustrating and tiring because it’s so time consuming.
What little time I’ve had to write has been devoted to trying to get back on a regular schedule for fiction writing. I’m hoping to have some things ready to publish by the end of the summer.
I’ve got a few titles in the queue for review that I”m doing because I’ve been asked to. After that, I’ll probably not do too many for a while, although there will be a few exceptions, mainly for friends. For the most part, any reviews I post going forward will be because I would have read it anyway.
Which begs a question. I’ve been reading a lot more short fiction these days, when I have time to read, that is. I’ve got half a dozen active anthologies going, but I’m not reading any of them straight through. By the time I’m done with one, months could have passed. Details of the first stories have faded. So the question is:
Should I post about individual stories or not? This is a serious question; any thoughts you have would be appreciated.
Most of my reading this past semester that’s been for fun (as opposed to by request) has been older stuff. There’s very little new fantasy or science fiction that appeals to me, especially at novel length, that’s coming out of the big publishing houses. Small publishers and indie press titles being excepted, of course. So look for a lot more pulp related posts and reviews of older titles that have been out for a while, “a while” being defined as a few years to decades. I’ve been REH deficient lately. It’s like a vitamin deficiency, only worse.
That’s what I’ve been up to. What about ya’ll?
I know I should have posted this almost two weeks ago, but I’ve been pretty swamped. I’m teaching a class at the moment that’s taking up most of my time. But since I don’t feel like grading exams on a Friday evening, I’ll blog instead.
This year’s theme was “Howard Detectives: The Ongoing Search for Undiscovered Information”. Since there weren’t any anniversaries this year, things were a little low key compared to recent years. That was fine with me. The attendance was down a little, which was disappointing.
I got in on Thursday afternoon. Like I did two years ago, I stayed at the isolated farmhouse down the hill from the cemetery. There weren’t any creepy things this time, but then I had a better idea of what to expect. There also wasn’t a working air conditioner. I slept with the windows open. At first I thought about going to a hotel, but if Two-Gun Bob could sleep without AC all his life, I could do it for a few nights. Continue reading
The Halloween Children
Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss
I’d like to thank Cemetery Dance Publications for providing me with the review copy. Told by multiple narrators, none of whom are entirely reliable, this novel chronicles the events in an apartment complex when the complex’s Halloween party is canceled.
Harris is the on-site handyman for the Stillbrook Apartments. He and his wife Lynn have two children, Matt and Amber. Lynn’s job as tech support allows her to stay home. They are a dysfunctional family, with both parents playing favorites with the children (Harris and Matt, Lynn and Amber) while their marriage is slowly unraveling. Most (but not all) of the chapters are from one of their viewpoints. Neither have a good grasp of things going on in their home. Continue reading
I’ve been kinda busy lately, but I thought I would give a short update.
Last week my son competed in the state solo and ensemble competition. He didn’t play a solo, but his quartet scored a one. (For those who don’t know, band scores are like golf scores; lower is better.) I went along as a sponsor, and since I rode the bus rather than drove myself, I got some reading done.
I’ll try to post reviews soon, but I’ve been devoting what free time I’ve had to fiction writing. I’ve got three stories in slush piles. With one exception, which got a very nice rejection of the send-me-something-else variety, all the other stories I sent out earlier this year have placed. I need to get some more stuff finished and out the door. I’m hoping things will settle down next week.
Why not this week, you ask. Summer classes started today, so normally I would be into a routine by the end of the week. However, this weekend is my annual pilgrimage to the holy land, also know as Robert E. Howard Days. I’m going down on Thursday afternoon (and in my car since my wife needs hers this weekend. It will be an adventure.)
So look for a writeup on Howard Days next week. If I can squeeze in a review before then, I’ll do it. Otherwise, they’ll hit after I get back.