Author Stuff

Finished the 2nd pass for The Moreva of Astoreth. Waiting a bit longer to hit the 3rd and final, to let it simmer and then go over it with “fresh eyes,” as it were. After that, it’s on the to copy editor. After that, it’s done, and ready for publication. I’d scheduled to let it loose on the world in December, but had to push it back to January. Didn’t plan that part of the production process well enough. I know how to cure that, but it means I have to give myself self-imposed deadlines. Gaah. Then again, it gives me more time to generate “buzz,” the jargon for hype. Ads, blog posts, and all that. That’s kicking off August 1. Three venues lined up, ads created (I luurve BookBrush!) and more to come. That month, I’ll also start advertising on Amazon, maybe Goodreads (but they’re expensive), B&N, and more.

I’ve started work on The Underground III (no title yet), and I’m pleased to say that one character’s dilemma is scientifically feasible. I love it when that happens. I’ve been researching acoustics, and wanted to know if the sound of tones, as in notes on a piano, would change if the atmospheric composition was different than what’s on Earth. Yes, it does. An experiment with songbirds showed their songs sounded different when the atmospheric content was changed (but still breathable, of course). In this experiment, the notes were an octave higher. I’ll be playing around with it, but the basic… Continue reading

Happy Birthday! Fuckin’ Not!

My phone’s been pinging like a pinball machine. Friends on Facebook or text messaging to wish me a happy birthday.

I’m not responding.

Fuck that noise.

I do not want to be 60 years old (I want to be dead, but that’s another story). I want to be younger. Much younger. Like 45 years younger. It’s not about eternal youth, shit like that. It’s about life choices. Every year, every day, I’m reminded I should have taken the left fork, the road less traveled. I took the right instead, the superhighway that rushed me to exactly the place where I didn’t want to be.

When I was a teen, I remember telling myself and others that I didn’t want to work however many years at a job I hate until retirement. And that’s exactly what I’ve done. It’s funny–not long ago, someone told me I’ve had a good career. Brought me up short. I thought, “career? What career? I’ve had different jobs. I don’t have a career.” Then I realized. I’ve been doing this shit for longer than some people have been alive. And I’ve hated almost every minute of it. Almost, because there were fun times, times I enjoyed, but those were few. Mostly, I wished I was anywhere but here.

So here I am, nearing the end of my “career.” Every day, I wake up with the feeling I’ve wasted my life. Wasted it doing shit I don’t want to do, and not what I wanted to do.… Continue reading

Gag Order

This blog is about to get boring.

Got a company-wide email last week about the death of George Floyd and the protests. We were cautioned that regardless of our personal feelings, we should not express them on social media, not even on our personal accounts. That goes for blogs, too. To maintain credibility, to maintain the magazine’s reputation of non-partisanship, we have to be impartial in our writings. Everywhere.

I’m a journalist. I write a weekly column for the magazine. About taxes. Yep, you read right. Taxes. State taxes, to be precise. What that has to do with my personal political opinions (aside from that I don’t like to pay taxes), I’ve no idea. But the boss man said it, and until I can figure a way to make a living off this author gig, I need my day job.

Muzzled.

So…what do I talk about? My books, yes. Books I’ve read, yes. Cosmology? Have to brush up on it, but sure. Maybe stuff I’ve seen on YouTube. Like, how to build a working car out of Legos.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of a nice kitty.

Ciao.

It’s All About The Benjamins

Saw an interview with a Dr. Mikowitz today. She’s an immunologist (and something else) and has written a book, “Plague of Corruption,” about how the scientific establishment has been twisted into a money machine, and how those in the machine will do anything to keep it running, and if people die in the process, too bad. Fucking up and covering up. Denying the success of drugs developed in the lab so to find ways to make money off it when it goes public. Mikowitz is an ex-employee of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the man everyone’s looking to as the beacon of light during the crisis. According to Mikowitz, he’s anything but. He’s part of the machine. She related the story of how Fauci tried to force her to hand over material related to a project she was working on (or something like that) and after some back and forth, she was arrested for theft of government property and hauled off to jail. Never charged. No trial. Nothing. Just kept her in prison. And she didn’t steal anything, either.

She also gave some insight about how viruses work. It didn’t come from a bat in some wet market. It was something that escaped from the Wuhan lab, a project that had the full participation of the CDC and the Army. She said she wouldn’t call it “created,” but it’s not “natural.” A combining of several different viruses. If it had been natural, it wouldn’t have spread the way it has so quickly.… Continue reading

Can America Survive COVID-19? Not The Way It’s Going

I read in the news today that Maryland’s Governor Hogan (the state where I live) ordered 500,000 COVID-19 testing kits from South Korea, and had them flown here in secret so FEMA couldn’t intercept them.

It was quite an operation. First, the plane landed at the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington Airport instead of Dulles Airport in Virginia. Landing at Dulles would have attracted too much attention, and though it’s a big, busy airport, no one inside the Beltway pays much attention to it. That’s because DC dignitaries–Congress and whatnot–always fly out of Dulles.

The plane was unloaded under the watchful eyes of the Maryland National Guard and state troopers. After that, the testing kits were whisked off to a secret location, which will remain secret.

Now, I’m no fan of Governor Hogan, but I have to give him mad props for his handling of this crisis. Like Rudy Giuliani. He’s a seriously nasty, racist sonofabitch, but his handling of New York City when 9/11 happened was jaw-droppingly stellar. He was calm, reassuring, and made no outlandish claims about who was behind it. A real rock. He kept that city together when it was about to lose its damned mind.

But here’s my question. What if FEMA had gotten wind of what was happening and showed up at BWI to claim the shipment? With the National Guard and the state police having been given orders to protect it? What if FEMA had called in the Army to force Maryland to give it… Continue reading

Newsletter Subscriber Update

On March 30, I posted that I had 309 subscribers to my newsletter. As of today, April 22, I have 383.

Might be slowing down a bit…

Ciao.

What Dreams May Come

I had the craziest dream this morning (I’ve been up all night).

The dream was narrated by a man “off camera.” I and about 14 or 15 other people were trying to escape from wherever we were in Africa because we wanted to leave before our stay was up. We ran across a dirt yard dressed in what looked like blue paper hospital gowns over white pajamas to a taxi, a van with windows that was probably meant to hold 8, and crammed inside. A woman had her elderly mother or grandmother with her, who was the last to get inside. She sat on my stretched out legs, on my calves, specifically, which were supported by somebody else underneath. The man driving the taxi starts off.

Scene change. We’re on the plane. Six of us sitting in two 4-seat rows facing each other, like you sometimes see on commuter trains. A Japanese man wearing a darkish purple-brown jacket, like a lighter shade of burgundy, sat hunched in the window seat across from me, staring through the glass. The window seat next to me was empty. We take off. Everyone else in my section prepares to go to sleep by covering their heads with huge bath sheets, except me and the Japanese man, who still sits hunched over and staring out the window. The lights dim until there is just enough to see by. I don’t have a towel, but I close my eyes. When I open them a couple of… Continue reading

This Is The Life

So how are you all out there in Quarantine Land?

I’m not doing too bad, actually. As a friend recently told me, I live my life on lockdown, so for me nothing’s really changed. I work from home and I hardly ever go out, except to the grocery store, the gym (now closed and I’m getting fat) and occasionally for entertainment, like a play. Or a movie, if I get dragged along. I do miss my hair stylist and the lady who does my mani/pedis, though. Hair, nails and feet looking pretty rough these days, you know? Starting tomorrow, (the 18th) I can’t go out of my house without a mask. Governor’s order. If I do and get caught, it’ll be a hefty fine. I have visions of the county police cruising the streets in force, looking out for wrongdoers. Being black, I sure don’t want to give them a reason to stop me. Might get shot, and I have no interest in giving them some target practice.

So the masks are on order. I bought two kinds. One is just a cloth mask, and the other is one of those carbon filter things that makes you look like something out of a sci-fi horror movie. I bought the carbon filter after the cloth. Was just fartin’ around, and found a company that had them on sale–a twofer. So, yeah. They’re washable, so while one is drying, I can wear the other. I did find one mask I was so… Continue reading

I’m Ba-a-a-ck!

I thought my computer had died but it turned out it was just in a coma. Didn’t cost me my firstborn, either. Even if it did, I have no children, so the neighbor’s kid would have had to do.

Gawd…a week without my computer. Couldn’t access my bills (those that aren’t on auto-pay) couldn’t work on my manuscripts, couldn’t access my e-books. It’s kind of funny how much I’ve come to depend on technology for just about everything. I remember thinking I’d never get a desktop, those newfangled things…what’s wrong with paper and pen? Now my handwriting’s deteriorated so bad I can hardly read it. I don’t even use paper and pen anymore, except for writing the rare check, or when a document needs a wet-signature. And you know what? I said the same thing about microwaves. My housemate does all the cooking but before he came along, if I couldn’t nuke it, I didn’t eat it. In the 15 years I’ve lived in this house, I think I’ve turned the oven on maybe 3 times.

Have you noticed how life has come to a standstill because of this COVID-19? The silence is all but deafening. Haven’t heard from my attorney. The robocalls have stopped (thankyuhjesus!). Still, there are some things that are chugging along. I’m working as usual and my bills are coming is as usual. But it’s weird–for the day job, I’m supposed to find a victim to interview for a column the magazine launched a few months… Continue reading

The Upside Of COVID-19

Bet you thought there couldn’t be an upside, right?

There is–for creatives.

For us authors, now that people are basically housebound, they’re doing more reading. I don’t have evidence, but I imagine sales on the book sales platforms are going through the roof. Mainly e-books, I suppose. There might be a problem with delivery for print books. What I DO have is evidence from my newsletter signups. The last time I posted on March 26, I mentioned I had 287 subscribers. As of today, the 29th, that number is 308. Twenty-one subscribers in 3 days. Between editing and writing these welcome emails, my fingers are tired. Hey, no prob! It’s great exercise!

I’ve been doing some reading, myself. Now that schools are closed for the foreseeable future, there are lots of articles popping up about parents trying to cope with homeschooling their kids. Being the grump that I am, my first thought was “you had the brats, now you know what their teachers go through 5 days a week and why they’re always demanding more pay!” One article really caught my attention. A woman “unschools” her kids (she has 4). They don’t go to school; the world is their classroom. She doesn’t impose a schedule–they go to bed when they want, and get up when they want. Whenever her kids express an interest in something, like astronomy, she goes out and gets the books from the library. Her eldest son, who’s now 20, is a master blacksmith. No money in… Continue reading