Category Archives: writing

Writing ideas

I like writing ideas, and reading them too. They don’t have to be big, or new, just well said or not entirely obvious. But books that have no ideas, just action, or just human interaction, leave me quite unfulfilled. They need SOME meat to think about. But I also like reading action-adventure. I can write it OK, too, I guess. Mostly I like the ideas. But sometimes the ideas I come across are unsettling. Seeing some of the dark side of men is fine, to know there is evil there, but too much of it is a major turn-off. Watching people discuss the destruction of my nation and culture before out very eyes is sobering / enraging / saddening / depressing / disquieting, because it is all too real. If I were to mention this to ANYONE I work with… well, maybe save one… they’d just laugh it off or think I need to adjust the antenna on my tinfoil hat. So how does one think about, mull over, or discuss such things?

Books like Howard’s Conan adventures are “just” adventures, yes, not exactly a philosophical tour-de-force. But deeper analysis reveals much more. I’d like to think that there are ideas present in my own works that are worth reading, and maybe learning for some people new to them for the first time.

Time-wormholes stories thought

A wormhole through time opens up between the near-end of a famous battle, and the losing nations current-day home. A hundred thousand or so soldier walk away from the certain death and into a great mystery of history, into the modern times to see what became of their homeland. What do they do? How do they react?

Example: Stalingrad , Jan 1943. The German forces are surrounded and know they are totally screwed, freezing, exhausted, and nearly out of food and ammo. A wondrous portal open up, and someone walks through and offers them a portal back to Germany, but 78 years into the future. Most of them take it, and walk out, guns in hand and what ammo they have remaining, and disappear like a wraith in the night. They appear in a modern Germany, full of socialists (which they are OK with, generally), a lot of people who hate Nazi (somewhat more of a problem), and millions of dark-skinned immigrants and sacrosanct Jews (Ummmmm, Huston, we have a problem…). Pretty sure that hilarity does not ensue, but what, exactly would?

Not a book I could write and do justice, but sure would like to read. Kratman or Ringo would be a better choice.

Earliest 3D printer

Va an email from Paul, from a forwarded email (I’m not certain of the whole email chain or original source, but it’s interesting. UPDATE: The note was written by Stan Sieler, and posted on a mailing list called “classic computers”, a list for hobbyists interested in old computer technology and/or the restoration and operation of old computers.  Old, as in anywhere from 20 to 50 or more years old.):

Start quote:

Back in 2017, I posted something about seeing a possible first-ever
reference to the idea of 3-D printing in a 1951 issue of Galaxy Science
Fiction magazine.

I stumbled over an even earlier one tonight…

The September, 1941, issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine has a
story called “Elsewhere” by Caleb Saunders (a pseudonym of Robert A.
Heinlein).  On page 118 we see:

[They used] a single general type of machine to manufacture almost
anything.  They fed into it a plan which Igor called, for want of a better
term, the blueprints.  It was, in fact, a careful scale model of the device
to be manufactured;  the machine retooled itself and produced the artifact.
A three-dimensional pantograph, Igor called the machine, vaguely and
inaccurately.  One of them was, at that moment, molding the bodies of
fighting planes out. of plastic, all in one piece and in one operation.

End Quote

Which next?

My original story, The Stars Came Back, was in modified screenplay format, and it’s available on the kindle that way. I also rewrote it in prose format,but because of the size of it it was broken into two halves and the first half was released in both print and Kindle as “back from the dead.” For reasons I won’t go into, the rewritten prose second half was not released in either print or kindle. I have the sequel to the whole TSCB story written, titled Insanity’s Children, just working on cover art. (Planning on eventually getting some interior illustrations for Komenagen for the print version. Not full on graphic novel by a long shot, but enough to give it a bit more visual flavor))

So, would folks prefer the prose second half of TSCB next, or Insanity’s Children, be released next?

Related note: for those who have read the whole screenplay TSCB story, what would you title the second half? (my thought was “One Day War”)

A post at Vox’s about some changes

Long story short (no pun intended), CH is a rapidly growing but still smallish company with limited resources in a very rapidly changing set of overlapping markets, and they can’t do everything – they don’t have the resources. So they have to prioritize. As one of the more minor people they are involved with in terms of sales, it’s hard to justify allocating the resources to edit and publish my work when the same resources could go toward something with 10x (or in the case of vid, maybe 100x) the sales and revenue.  Bummed, but I understand. I’d have liked to see my story turned into a graphic novel. (Rights for that now negotiable, to anyone interested in doing so!) Continue reading A post at Vox’s about some changes

A little water-navy story

I was inspired by Pournelle’s “littoral navy” story to whip up a short story of mil-fic for a somewhat nearer water-navy story. A new type of ship. It’s been long enough since I read modern navy fiction I’m forgetting the terminology, and there are likely some minor problems with protocol. Any former squids / bubble-heads out there want to take a gander and offer feedback?

Eating Authors

I got interviewed, sort of, by a former Campbell Award nominee Lawrence M. Schoen. He’s got a blog, Eating Authors. A character of his is very into food, a gourmand. He’s trying to bring attention to new authors, including specifically Campbell Award nominees. His vehicle for doing this is to ask them to write about a memorable meal, or something food-related in their life. My first thought was “that’s not a path I’d ever think to go down,” but some people have that sort of focus. It sounded like something that I wasn’t really  interested in writing.

After thinking about it for a while, and exchanging several emails trying to figure out where what he found useful and what I was interested in writing crossed, I had an idea, cranked it out, and now it’s live on his blog.


Not completed, but done enough to have an editor give it a first pass read-through to look at inconsistencies, plot holes, places that need fleshing out or alterations, etc. Roughly 122k words. There are a few places I’m not really happy with, but not sure exactly what to do about them. Paul thinks it’s fine, but then he doesn’t know what all has been rolling around in my brain (likely a good thing).  So, for the moment, it’s >95% done, and I’m letting someone that hasn’t a clue where it’s going or what I’ve cut or how I’ve switched it around thinks about it. No idea how soon I’ll hear back, but some people are very fast readers. Might be a day or two, might be a month. Then I can talk it over, see what I need to tweak, then we can do the serious nitty-gritty editing.

In unrelated but significant news, I got a long-term subbing job at a local middle school, teaching math and science. That is GREAT for income (I made about as much from TSCB, in total net, as I make from two months teaching), but it also means less time to write. So I’ll be rather busy, and not making huge leaps of progress. But I also plan to keep picking away at “Komenagen: Slog” for a while, and it might be finished by the end of summer.