Smokey my friend, you are entering a world of pain

•May 16, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As I am not the world’s greatest fan of our nation’s pathetic gun laws, and as I am a great fan of unintentional comedy/performance art, I love Charles Pierce’s occasional series “Today in Responsible Gun Ownership.” Even by the standard of industrial strength stoopid that typically presents itself on a sadly regular basis, this one was particularly awesome.

Take it away Walter:

Too also, take it away Boots:

I prefer to think of this numbnuts shooting himself in the leg in black-and-white, fast-forwarded for comedic effect.

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Gettin’ By With A Little Help From my Friends

•May 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Siege of Antioch, 1098. (Image Credit)

So this is a paper I wrote for school about the Crusader State of Antioch (I tried to find an excuse to mention a holy hand grenade, but to no avail). It isn’t due for a few weeks yet, and I haven’t written anything of this sort in a few years, so my hope in posting it here is that one or more of you fine folks will look it over and give me some useful feedback. Really, any feedback is useful feedback. I have such a poor barometer for the quality (or lack thereof) of my own work, and obviously my fellow classmates are consumed with writing their own papers so I’m hesitant to ask any of them. I’m not expecting much, I realize the interest in this sort of thing is somewhat limited beyond the really intense history dork, but if anyone wants to read it and leave a critique (no matter how short or long, I’d take even general impressions) in the comments, I’d certainly appreciate it.

Koinonia Politike on the Levant – Crisis Management and Interdependence in the Principality of Antioch, 1098-1119

Scholarship concerning the crusader state of Antioch has tended to bypass the question of its relatively lengthy lifespan as an undermanned foreign colony amid an almost-uniformly hostile geopolitical environment.[1] Writers addressing the concept at all have focused on Muslim disunity and other external factors beyond the control of the crusaders,[2] or alternatively, have provided incomplete, unsatisfying explanations regarding the Principality’s stability. Asbridge, for one example, argues that Antioch’s early independence was a chief contributor to its long-term political cohesion, citing Bohemond I’s use of the title Princeps as evidence that Antioch’s first Frankish ruler was determined to remain independent from Jerusalem.[3]

Continue reading ‘Gettin’ By With A Little Help From my Friends’

It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few

•April 4, 2013 • 2 Comments

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You can get my first book in paperback now if you want. It isn’t perfectly formatted, per se – what can I say, I’m a writer, not a publisher – so if you do get it in this format, I hope you will forgive a few margin/formatting mistakes. As self-published books go, I was quite happy with the cover, but the interior will come across as a bit amateurish. Which it is. Which I don’t really care about too much at this stage. Right now it’s about getting the story and the words into as many different and diverse formats as possible. The publisher I currently work with only does ebooks, but not everyone reads ebooks, so I figure not doing this at some point was shooting myself in the foot.

Continue reading ‘It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few’

Nature Sucks

•April 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Like Ken Cuccinelli, that zebra was a big fan of things that comport with natural law. (Image Credit)

That Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is a world-class dick will come as no surprise to anyone possessed of even a passing familiarity with his political career. His Wikipedia page reads like a resume for somebody applying for the job of village asshole. He’s more or less your garden variety Talibangelical, a poor man’s Rick Santorum (and THERE’S a badge of honor), getting national attention by dropping birther dog-whistles, spending more time thinking about gay blow jobs than gay guys do, covering up the exposed naughty bits on 200-year-old state seals, that kind of thing. He has a pretty good chance of becoming Virginia’s governor, and that speaks poorly for us a nation. It speaks poorly for us as a species.

So I hesitate to take much he says very seriously, or give any of it much time and attention, but I came across a comment of his recently that got me thinking.

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Fat, dumb and stupid is no way to blog

•April 4, 2013 • 3 Comments

A move/new job/new university later, and I suddenly remembered I have a blog that nobody reads. I am a lazy, lazy blogger and likely always will be, but I suppose since I keep coming back to it even after the multiple failed attempts I might as well post a semi-annual (or so) update just to keep the thing alive and kicking. 

I’ve meant to link everything writing I do here on this blog, and I missed one thing. Better late than never. The Sideways Tower is a fun little podcast about fun dorky things. I can’t say enough good about those guys. Plus the great fantasy author Dennis L. McKiernan is fairly active in the forums. Well worth a listen (to all the episodes except my interview, of course – avoid that one at all costs). 

Verbose guy is verbose

•February 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I did a written interview recently for a website called “The Indie View,” a blog that focuses on drawing attention to small-press and independent writers. The interview questions are the standard form they use for all their authors, which was a little weird, but I felt like I made a couple of halfway-decent points amid the meandering responses I gave, so I figured I might as well post it here. Won’t actually be published on the site until April 18, but it’s a cool blog, an interesting part of the little guy-author process. Definitely worth checking out for anyone interested in under-the-radar fiction authors.

Q: What is the book about?

A: The short, literal answer is that this book is about a heist. In space. Elmore Leonard meets Robert A. Heinlein. A master thief named Christmas “Crazy-eyes” Parker steals something she shouldn’t have. That object – which it was Parker’s dumb luck to come across – makes her the target of the police, her former criminal allies, the government, and potentially someone far more powerful and dangerous. Unwittingly, Parker may become the catalyst of a wholesale change in the human condition. Whether mankind will rally to confront its first truly foreign danger remains an open question throughout the novel.

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Used to spit the King’s English

•February 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

So what do you get when you cross the voice of Dr. Hibbert from the Simpsons with the speech cadences of Sarah Palin? 

Me doing an interview. Hey-o! 

I’m kidding, mostly. A few people who listened to it said I didn’t sound half as bad as I thought, so that’s good. I’d never been interviewed before for anything ever, and on the other side of this one, I have to guess that being an interviewee must be a skill that improves with practice. I didn’t expect it to be difficult going in but it’s harder than it looks. I have a new appreciation for interview subjects who can sound thoughtful and eloquent at a moment’s notice. Bill Thompson is a consummate pro at what he does (so much so he could pull a few halfway coherent thoughts out of my inarticulate mind), and the work he does for indie/small-press authors is nothing short of awesome. Thompson spent a long career as a journalist talking to the big fish in the literary world, and then one day up and decided to use his experience and talents to shine a light on the little guys. I’d highly recommend checking out his full site for the rest of his work.