Category Archives: updates

Tis the Season…

…for final exams.  They start at 7:30 AM on Friday morning.  The students are moaning and groaning (as are the enrollees), and the administrators who decided that was a good time to start will probably just be sitting down to their first cup of coffee then.  Me, I’ll have been up for over two hours at that point in the morning.

So why should any of you care?  Leigh Brackett’s birthday is tomorrow.  I’ve got a review I hope to get written of Alpha Centauri or Die.  I think I can get it written tonight, but I’ve said that for the last three nights.  I’ve still got exams that need to be written.


I’ll post something about her birthday tomorrow.  If it’s not the review, that will follow as soon as I get all the end of semester stuff cleared away.  Other than tomorrow, things will probably be pretty quiet around here for the next five to seven days.  I’m planning to post more once classes are over.  We’ll see.

Is the Second Summer Term Over Yet?

Well, no, actually it’s not.  I ruin some people’s day give the final on Thursday.  I’ve got a few posts lined up, I just need to finish an anthology (one story left), and two novels (both nearly done).  Because of some things I’ll go into when I write the con report, I went to Armadillcon last weekend.  It was a late minute decision.  Since I got back, I haven’t gotten anything done in terms of blogging or writing until this evening.  My son’s summer ended last Monday when band practice started, and the week has been hectic for all of us.  Things should settle down a bit by the end of the month, and hopefully I’ll post a little more regularly.  Anyway, I haven’t died or dropped off the face of the planet (at least not entirely).

Checking In

No, I haven’t forgotten I said I was going to do more posts on Leigh Brackett, starting with “The Vanishing Venusians”.  Things have been total chaos.  My son has had multiple band concerts, I’ve had the crud, there was a funeral to attend, a student disciplinary hearing on a Title IX case, a night at a hotel due to a plumbing issue (that required more than one visit from the plumber), and various other things to deal with.  I’ve been a bit distracted.

I’ll be back to posting in the next day or so.  I’ve got several titles to discuss across more than one blog.

Just so you know.

Quick Update

It’s been a bit longer than usual since I posted.  If you keep up with me on Twitter, you know I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth.  It’s been busy, to say the least.

My son’s robotics team advanced to the state competition, which was the second weekend of the month, and I went with them.  (It’s really a regional competition because teams from other states were also there, but since it’s mostly Texas teams, we just referred to it as state.)  They came in 34th out of 59, which is approximately 20 spots higher than they’ve ranked in the past.  That’s a lot better than it sounds because my son’s team was four middle school kids working after school and competing against mostly high school teams, many of whom met as a class.  (My son’s robotics class is working on other projects.)  We’re all extremely proud of them.

Because of some weird thing with the university calendar, we only have three days left before classes are completely over and finals start.  So many of the time consuming things I normally deal with after Thanksgiving, such as wrapping up labs, have already been done.

Between travel for the robotics meet, ending the semester things, and really nasty allergies, I’ve not had time or mental ability to post or work on fiction.  I’m hoping to post quite a few things over the Thanksgiving weekend, so keep an eye on this space.

State of the Blogs, 2013

I’ll post a recap of the year’s best reads tomorrow, followed by a look ahead on New Year’s Day.  But because there have been some big changes in my small corner of the blogosphere, I thought I’d give a short recap.Warrior

You’ll notice that I’ve used the plural form of the word “blog” in the title of this post.  That’s because I’ve got four of them.  (Yes, I’m nuts.) 

The year started out good.  Blog traffic continued to climb.  By July traffic was setting records.  Nearly every post had comments, and the number of followers was slowly growing.  I found all of this very satisfying, especially the comments, since a community of regulars had formed.  There were some great discussions.  Blurbs from Adventures Fantastic were starting to show up on the covers of books by major publishers.  I was having a lot of fun, which was a large part of why I do this.

Then Google decreed that Adventures Fantastic was a spam site.  I’m not quite sure how they figured that since I went over their guidelines with a fine toothed comb.  And while I did include a number of links to other sites, Google was very clear that sites which include  links in reviews weren’t spam.  The automatic response to the appeal I lodged with Google said it would be several weeks before they even looked at it. Continue reading

Stopping Spam

I’ve had so much spam in the last few weeks that I’ve had to implement a spam blocker.  Moderating them myself is taking too much time.  (I  had 75 spam comments today at Dispatches alone.)  It’s called Akismet, and it’s supposed to work quite well.  The only drawback is that it occasionally stops a legitimate comment.  If you comment on something, and you don’t see your comment within 24 hours, please let me know.  I’ll approve it.  Hopefully, it won’t happen often, but it’s gotten old moderating the amount of spam I’ve had to put up with, especially lately.  Of course, the way to avoid having comments classified as spam is to follow.  The followers didn’t transfer over from Blogger when the posts did, and I don’t know of a way to transfer them.  If anyone does, please drop me a line.  There were some good conversations on the old blog, and I hope to have more here.


Gad, what a week.  We’re still trying to figure out if a student sent a stand-in to lab, or if he drove halfway across the state after a death in the family, returned for lab, and then drove back for the funeral.  Whoever showed up for lab was cheating big time.  And the student this person was claiming to be is in hot water.

Anyway, it’s turning into one of those years.  I’m managing to keep up with my deadlines at Amazing Stories, but it’s getting a little tight.  I think I can pull ahead over the next week.  Deadlines at work, on the other hand, not so much.

I’ve not been posting much because I’m trying to finish a story by tomorrow.  That’s the deadline for submissions.  Things should pick up here by early next week. 

Due to financial constraints and family politics, I won’t be attending ConDFW this weekend.  (I don’t wanna talk about it.)  The North Texas Irish Festival and Scarborough Renaissance Fair aren’t looking too promising, either.  (Ditto.)

For some reason, my thoughts keep drifting back to cons I attended in the 90s.  There seemed to be more commonality among folks.  We tended to enjoy many of the same books and shows.  There was a greater sense of community.  Now it’s like I don’t have a clue what people are talking about anymore.  I suspect my time constraints have tightened more than fandom has changed so that I’m not able to keep up with as many movies and shows.  Living in an area where things were only an hour or two away at most, rather than a minimum of five hours, made a difference, too.

Maybe I’m getting old and tired, but some of the fun and sense of wonder seem to be missing.  Probably nothing a good week’s sleep won’t cure.  Anyway, this is a glimpse of what’s been going on inside my head lately.  Hasn’t been a lot of fun.  Since misery loves company, I thought I’d share my life as a crotchety old geezer.

Now you kids get off my lawn.

UPDATE:  I finished the story and just sent it off.  It’s part of a S&S series I’m calling the Chronicles of Rodrik and Prince Balthar.  It’s the fourth one I’ve finished.  There are three more in various stages of completion.