Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day. It’s a day set aside to remember those who served and died wearing an American military uniform. It is a Federal holiday commemorated on the last Monday in May. I’m a vet, and I know a lot of vets. I don’t know a lot who died in service, but I have met a few who later met their fate while still much too young.

To all those who served honorably, and paid the ultimate cost, I salute you.
May you soul rest in a better place.

The idea of “what is worth fighting for, dieing for?” is a theme much looked into in literature and fiction, and different people are looking for different answers. I hope that I may have given some people insight through my humble writing. If not, there are greater pens than mine in the world, and I ask you to keep looking, and never give up hope.


Well, sort of.  Welcome to the edgy dark side of the web, where you know you are doing something right when they start taking shots at you.

It looks like some SJWs at Twatter and FB noticed Michael Neal’s new The Stars Came Back pages and activity. Likes and follows were ramping up steadily. Suddenly the new likes and follows almost completely dried up for a while, before starting to trickle back in. Suddenly “Facebook the stars came back” doesn’t return any Facebook pages on Google search. Suddenly a whole slew of people Michael started following as a test didn’t reply or return a follow. Did a great majority of a thousand people suddenly not see a new follower? Curious. But the pages are still there. The tweets still exist.

If a conservative tweets in a throttle did it really happen? Continue reading Shadow-Banned


interesting development. Because one of the main characters in the story, First Sergeant Harbin Reel, is a Sikh, Michael Neal thought he’d run a low-cost advert in FB in India as part of the marketing campaign to raise awareness of the movie project. It’s totally blown out expectations (see the post below this one), even though the book at Amazon India has no reviews. I know it’s not sold a lot of copies overseas, but would not have guessed it would generate nearly two thousand followers on the FB page.

So a question: why the interest? What are visitors to the FB page and this page looking for, or hoping to find, in The Stars Came Back? Has anyone visiting here from India bought and read it?

FB page

While I’m not a huge fan of FB because of its SJW convergence, data-mining, and political activism, it’s got some use. Michael Neal put together a FB page for The Stars Came Back (the movie) that now has more than 1300 followers*. According to Michael, “a great deal of them [the likes] are from India.” Not quite sure what that means, but there is a huge potential market there, so i can’t really see a downside. Maybe it’s because I have two strong non-token Indian (dot, not feather) characters who genuinely contribute to the story as people, not just, well, tokens.

Update: Interesting. The FB page is now over 1500 followers. (1515 likes and followers each, to be exact). Something is happening, here. An ad campaign is one thing, but this? Fascinating.

Update 2: Up over 1715, now. 200 additional followers in about 12 hours.

Update 3: Just went over 1900. Plus nearly 200 in another 13 hours.

Update4: Now nearly 2700. Plus ~800 in slightly less than another day.

Update5: now barely over 2900. After coming to a virtual halt for a while, it’s up only two hundred in a bit more than a day.

Update6: After an unexplained crash in new likes and followers, it’s ticking back up again. Now at 3242 followers after a day and a half in the doldrums.


* If I ever create a social media website (snerk!), I’d not call them “followers,” but rather “supporters.” It shows more respect for their individuality and agency.

Option signed

Just had the movie rights to my book optioned. So now we start working with Michael Neal to get the casting and promotions done so a good funding page (likely on GoFundMe) can be put together and production monies raised. If we hit the minimum goal, then he buys the movie rights and moves forward with starting to produce it. Because he’s a relatively small operation, and the book is long, the basic goal is to make just a portion of it, and make it well enough that it can act as a “prof of concept’ to raise enough money for more of it. That’s just a small part of the big picture (no pun intended), of course. When the promo trailer (a simple but scene to shoot) is ready I’ll let people know.

Real Marines study “Starship Trooper”

Well, of course they do. No; I mean, they really do.

To be more specific, they have decided it’s a good idea to read Mil-S/F in general to look for ideas on tech, trends, and doctrine, to see what they might possibly need to prepare for, look for, procure, and teach. It makes sense. You read history to find out where we’ve been, what’s been tried, what’s worked, what’s failed, etc. Reading Mil-S/F to find scenarios that some other smart people have already thought about, maybe even thought through somewhat rigorously to see how it might play out, how it might be used or countered. Obviously some things like FTL or space-aliens might not fit directly into anything going on now – but some hard-science things with sensors, ways of thinking, computers, etc., might be quite relevant.

That’s part of the reason I like Mil-S/F: it makes me think about history, what is, and how people act and react when the SHTF.

H/T to Instapundit.

Ilk Acting Call, and wait! There’s more!

While Michael Neal (of swords of insurgency) and I work out the details on the contract, it’s looking likely that we can work together to bring some or all of TSCB to the screen. After talking on the phone with him for an hour or so, I think we are pretty much on the same page with a lot of things. So now we need actors and locations and visual things.

Michael is in Virginia, so the actors / actresses should preferably live in VA or nearby. Extras are usually easy to find, as they don’t normally need any particular specifics, but we might need some of those, too (more on that later, perhaps; drop me a line if you’d like to play an expendable low-brow prison/mine guard and could look the part if dressed appropriately). If you have read the book, you have met the characters, but at this time we are trying to get actors for these main characters who actually fit the parts if possible.  Some comments, and then the people needed in no particular order: Continue reading Ilk Acting Call, and wait! There’s more!

Kickstarter movie prospects

I was looking at some of the Kickstarter stats for movies, as of 28 Dec 2016. Just looking at the “film & video” stats, I observe the following:

Of the 59,966 projects attempted, 21,995 hit their funding goal (37%).

Of those 22k projects funded, 14,987 (call it 15k, about 68%) were under $10,000 raised. 3,200 had between $20,000 and $99,999 raised, and $20,000 is about the bare minimum for a decent quality short segment, say one of the easier chapters with not a lot of f/x. On the higher end of that range, much greater quality, or a much longer segment or one with more interesting parts and f/x, could be produced. The whole book has ~16 hours worth of material or more, as is, and if done as a proper half-season of  TV it could easily be fleshed out to more than that to show the developing relationships and such-not. A reasonable quality segment that would be a two-hour movie (say, the first quarter or so, up to where the ship start flying and you get the idea there is more to the ship than a hull) would cost more than a $100,000, and only 325 (~1.5%) have been funded to that level. Some scenes need a set created, but once that set is made the marginal cost of shooting on it is relatively trivial. To do anything like the whole thing at basic TV quality would likely be in the million-plus range, for which only 6 have made it. Can we dream to make it seven?

But even a decent 20-minute short might have potential to generate enough interest to raise funding and investors to create the whole series and turn a profit based on syndication, Amazon (they allow self-publishing for videos now, much like kindle books!) or Hulu sales, etc. So it will be interesting to see what a real producer can put together WRT budget estimates, timelines, costs, profitability, investor versus donor options, etc.