A Multifarious, Splendiferous Post

Yes, the title means I’m in a silly mood.  Years ago, a friend of mine ran a small press magazine and got a submission in that advertised itself as a “multifarious, splendiferous” story.  If you are the author who actually thought it was a good idea to put that on your cover letter, I’m sorry because that has since become a joke for my writing friends.  If we have something we’re really not sure about, as we pass it to our friends for an opinion, we make sure to tell them “This is a Multifarious, Splendiferous Story.”

At any rate, that title sounds better than “Various Odds and Ends” which is what this post actually is.

First of all – I meant to do this last week and spaced (oy, let me tell you what this week has been) – any of you who want to promote a work, leave me details and an Amazon link (unless it’s not on Amazon, of course!) in the comments.  Sometime, probably Sunday, I’ll assemble a post, then put the link at instapundit.  My bit for indie publishing and maybe, just maybe it will help you guys a little.

Now, onto the next important bit – Yes, I see the few of you who are regular commenters are tapping your feet – I’m delaying Witchfinder again, and I’m sorry, but I haven’t finished Noah’s Boy – this comes under what this week has been – and at this stage of Noah’s Boy I have to keep the whole plot in my head, as I pull the closure shut, and I don’t have space for anything else.  So.  The only thing I can promise you is that once Noah’s Boy is sent in (G-d willing by Monday, please) I will then – after sleeping two days or so – sit down and finish WF because it’s about 50 pages from close, and those I’d prefer to do at a run anyway (because of keeping the whole plot in my head, at the end.)

The week that was – my older son (he admitted to it, so I can leak who it was) had well, I guess they consider it major, surgery to correct a minor but eventually life-threatening congenital issue.  We’ve been putting it off, and hoped it would be small enough that nothing needed to be done about it, but it finally became obvious the surgery would be needed and, his being a Senior in college (though he might do another year and get a chem major too) it was time.  So he had it done on Wednesday and stayed at the hospital through Thursday.  I stayed with him.  I was supposed to be writing on the laptop, but it never happened.

Because it is considered major surgery and it’s SUPPOSED to limit his movements (well, he is male and young, so he keeps thinking it doesn’t, which requires my being around to stop the more foolhardy stuff.  Not bad foolhardy, but he hates to be a trouble, so…) the post op has involved considerable vigilance and help from me.  I’m not complaining.  Robert is a good patient, relatively.  Unfortunately, it also entails a certain amount of depression on his part, which means if he wants to discuss things for an hour or two and catches me on my way to the kitchen for coffee, as a break in writing, well…  We discuss it.  Mostly he’s been studying history of the revolutionary period, so it’s fascinating anyway.  (No, not for school.  On his own.  We decided when the kids chose degrees that they should take STEM because the humanities they can study on their own and the languages I can teach them.  Not because they weren’t interested in humanities, but because STEM is better for jobs and doing “real” stuff.  So the kids usually have a “learning” project going on.)

On top of that, I’ve been going through this weird thing where I sleep a lot.  I thought it was either hormonal (rolls eyes.  Yeah.  That’s usually a problem.  The fertility never worked very well, but also won’t shut off fully, and it’s working about as “well” as it ever did) or just emotional exhaustion.  Turned out it was a sinus infection left behind as a souvenir by the latest quasi-flu.  (Son of Death Flu, Enter The Virus.)

I’m on antibiotics now, and yesterday was the first time I felt entirely myself and didn’t spend three hours in this sleep so profound that I woke but couldn’t move when Robert called for help.  (Turned out it was Havey attacking his cane, so it wasn’t help-help like “I’ve fallen” type of thing, thank heavens.  I wanted to get up, I couldn’t get my body to.)

Anyway if all that sounds like a lot of excuses… It’s not.  It is explanations, though.  I was working very hard at Noah’s boy every minute I could, but life interfered.  It must get done in the next couple of days, though – must – because I can’t do this to my publisher.  So, let me do that, and then I do the end of Witchfinder, I promise.  BTW, because it’s going to end up goatgagger size (I already know sections I HAVE to put in) it will probably be released at 9.99, which means those who donate in advance are getting a bargain… even though most people donate way more, so…

Oh, yeah, as a side note, if any of you could recommend something like a diary of biography of someone in special forces, I kind of need it for the next serialized novel.  No rush, but it is sort of kinda needed.  (Though it’s only really needed for the beginning and “feel”.)

Okay.  Now I go work on Noah’s Boy.  Post your stuff you want to advertise!

114 responses to “A Multifarious, Splendiferous Post

  1. Not exactly a diary, but ‘memoirs’ – *Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper* by Howard Wasdin.

    • Hope Robert recovers quickly.

      I opened the comment thread expecting to be able to contribute several suggestions, but ended up just nodding my head to those already mentioned before me.

      One thing I’ll add that most of the books focused on the Special Forces miss, but may be critical to your character’s background, is the incredible toll the Special Operator experience has on families. Most end up divorced and with all the other issues (affairs, gambling, etc…) that come from a lifestyle of being secretively gone for extended periods of time. Perhaps you can use that.

      For the Indie promotion thread, please plug my latest 50 page story, “Hitchhiking Killer For Hire”, the main character of which (Sam Harper) happens to be an ex-U.S. Special Operator trying to retire from a secretive government program….

      It’s a Human Wave anti-tyranny modern sci-fi western set along the Arizona/Mexico border.

      • Hmmm… meant to reply to the main thread, not S. Murphy’s comment. Seeing the reply link just below the main post fooled me. Sorry, Murphy’s law and all that…

  2. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    Follow @Bob_Mayer on Twitter. He has a bunch of books out, none of which I’ve read yet, but which friends have recommended to me.

    Wayne

    • No. If Bob Mayer commented here regularly and wanted his books promoted, sure. But otherwise? no.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        I suspect he may have meant for the Special Forces stories. I just checked his twitter profile, and it says Mayer was a Green Beret.

      • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

        Was suggesting him as a source. He was in Special Forces in some capacity, don’t remember what right now. He writes military thrillers using his SF background.

        The above was meant as a contact point, not an advertisement.

        Wayne

  3. Unfortunately SF types are exactly the kind who don’t do diaries or memoirs ;-) I have been fortunate enough to meet a few to feed my need of background. Failing that, I recommend “Horse Soldiers” by Doug Stanton which might get you what you want, reading between the lines. (The book itself is about the group that got sent in to Afghanistan after 9/11.) There’s a fun bit where they meet up with the rebel leader, who expects them to follow on horseback (he *did* provide horses) but only one of the Team knew how to ride. After he gives the rest a 1 minute briefing on “the horse’s head goes that direction” they all take off ;-)

    Feel free to ask me questions via email.

    • Pat Richardson just pushed Horse Soldiers and it’s been purchased. Since most of the book takes place in hell, I only really need it for the character’s background ;)

    • First Seal, Roy Boehm
      Point Man, Chief James Watson
      Rogue Warrior, Richard Marcinko

      All are memiors written by Navy Seals, Roy Boehm being the commanding officer of the the first Seal Team, and both Chief Watson and Richard Marcinko served under him in Vietnam.

      Dead Center by Ed Kugler is a memoir of a marine sniper, and the book Marine Sniper by Charles Henderson is a biography of Carlos Hathcock. While not technically SF, they are very good reads and give you a look at the unique perspective of a sniper.

      The Green Berets, by Robin Moore is a very good book written by a journalist who actually went through SF training and served with the Green Berets in Vietnam as a correspondent. (technically a noncombatant, but he carried and occasionally used a weapon while on missions). He went into this with the purpose of gathering info to write a book, so it is a little less haphazard than the memoirs of those who decided to write them twenty years after events happened.

      Elite by Samuel M. Katz is an interesting book on the Israeli special forces (while I can pronounce their name, I’m not even going to try and spell it).

      While I think I have a couple more around here, those are the ones handy that I found interesting and informative.

  4. This is a first effort so I would appreciate any and all feedback. I’m in sales so i am inured to criticism, rejection and even petty meanness. I will make the price free or as close to free as possible for a short while just to get the feedback.

    • Raymond Jelli

      Ok….. its 99 cents (the least Amazon allows) will trade alpha reader duties with anyone willing to swap at the same price.

  5. Wayne Blackburn

    Hope Robert is not out of commission long.

    Well, Sarah, it only took 8 months to produce 12,500 words (prolific, huh? ;-)), after coming here caused me to decide to give it a try. It’s not for sale, but I could use some feedback from anyone who wants to take a look:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/tnhisfn4aiq6bjb/Holographic.docx

    It’s closer to hard SciFi than Space Opera (can an Earth-bound story be Space Opera, anyway?), to give anyone a little bit of an expectation.

    • Dorothy Grant

      Take the free opinion for the nothing it’s not even worth: good solid bones of a story, great idea, but I think you’ve got the genre wrong: that wasn’t hard SciFi at its heart. That was some good Lovecraftian horror, [cue muppets] in spaaaaace (or at least in near-future modern day.)

      If I recall correctly (and still have enough sanity points to make sense), Lovecraft wrote very like most of your story: long, extended exposition alone, like a journal or letter to someone else. Since that’s no longer in fashion, I know the heirs to his eldritch dreams tend to write much more in the style you occasionally changed to: more dialogue, a more limited third-person omniscient instead of the internal rambling (gibbering?) mind of first person.

      You might consider writing it to stick to one point of view or the other, or only change POV when you swap between frame story and internal story. Or you might not: the opinion’s worth exactly two cents less than what you paid for it. :-)

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Strange. I thought the only two perspective switches were between the first person of the journalist and the narrative of the MC. I’ll have to look for that.

    • you want the critique here ?

      • sorry…duh me….of course you do.

        I liked it. I can see where some people might use the term “data dump’ or ‘excessive buzz words” but I thought it made the story believable. I’m not sure I’d react the same way if *I* got news like that though.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Thanks. I really waffled on the Data Dump thing, but I couldn’t see any way to get it across without it.

  6. When the Bright Idea Fairy strikes a group of junior officers sitting in a bar and unwinding from a mission, nothing good is going to happen. It’s up to Captain Rada Ni Drako to contain the damage. “Hairballs” is a short story that RES’s idea helped me finish. *bows towards RES*

    Amazon version: http://www.amazon.com/Hairballs-Among-Dragons-Story-ebook/dp/B00B1DR544/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1358526795&sr=1-1&keywords=Hairballs

    KOBO version: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Hairballs/book-2AAElfAXE0GqvVYtFPvjnA/page1.html?s=e17nrhpydEGnyQuf58FM7A&r=3

  7. My latest is Smoke & Mirrors: a collection of short stories (mostly supernatural nasties– and very short shorts) The bonus story at the end of the collection is “Case of the Golden Seed.”
    Amazon.com link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AZ63NSU
    Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/273044

    Plus if anyone would like to review some of my books, I can give a great discount on Smashwords. My author page on Smashwords is https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CynBagley .

    As for stories about soldiers (I don’t have letters or other), there is one called “The 13th Valley” http://www.amazon.com/13th-Valley-John-Del-Vecchio/dp/0312200811/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358530067&sr=1-3&keywords=John+Del+Vecchio

    It is the closest to a real account of Vietnam according to my hubby. (fiction– Del Vecchio was a journalist who was with the troops there.

  8. I’m glad that the antibioticis helping you, Sarah. Also sending healing thoughts to Robert.

  9. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-and-the-fist-eric-greitens/1029217965?ean=9780594451624

    Picked this up for my brother for Christmas and he passed it on to my other brother. I haven’t read it, but we were talking about it and there’s some chapters on what it takes to successfully complete special forces training.

  10. Hmmm, Special Forces books …

    First SEAL by Roy Boehm and Charles Sasser

    Inside DELTA Force by Eric Haney (the basis for the Mamet tv show The Unit where Haney was tech advisor )

    DELTA Force by Charlie Beckwith

    An important thing to do when reading up on Special Forces is to get straight the very different roles that are occupied by “Green Beret” (who train to train and lead insurgents against our enemies), SEAL teams (who are organized and trained to be small independant strike teams) and DELTA Force. They really have different roles and missions and are trained and organized differently. They are transported to battle differently and they fight differently.

    Some of those differences were blurred when organized into a central command in the US services but they still exist.

    • Now, with respect to Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko, you should probably read it. He founded SEAL Team Six which was the SEAL’s counter terrorist team (borrowing a lot of Beckwith’s ideas) but read it with about a two pound bag of salt in your lap. He’s a BS artist and not to be relied upon. Don’t mistake me, I met him once years ago and I get a kick out of him.

      But I wouldn’t lend him money.

      • yea– his stories (I think he had a co-writer) were very amusing and interesting. Plus my hubby can tell you stories of SEAL counter terrorism when in Japan. He was not always Navy so he had some real training (many of the sailors don’t have the training for war). Hard to explain– as in many sailors are really in support positions (repair, intel, etc)

      • Raymond Jelli

        Fun book……but if he is really writing about how he really is Marcinko is insane. Then again so was Pappy Boyington and Marcinko seems a lot like Boyington (in terms of sheer recklessness and high stimulation living). I would also hope that American military assets are better secured than he portrays. He was assigned the task of infiltrating Army and Navy bases and pretending to destroy military assets the way a terrorist organization might. He ran roughshod over security and seriously embarrassed the military brass. And yeah he does seem to have a knack for embeliishment that former criminals seem to have when telling their stories. There is enough con man in him that he knows that he could sell the book better as an adventure story rather than military history.

        The funniest part is how he keeps referring to his higher ups derogatorily as a bunch of ship drivers and not soldiers. He was in the Navy after all. Not entirely sure why he was surprised by that.

          • Well– Navy has always been support– Even when bombing– they are support.. and ship drivers.. and transportation gurus. ;-)

          • Just a note– The AF would put their new recruits (just out of bootcamp) on security detail. One in four of these guys would shoot his foot. It was so common on the AF base in Japan that we didn’t even notice it anymore.

          • Raymond Jelli

            They aren’t secure you mean? Uh-oh….

            • Well– after 9-11 German soldiers guarded all of the US bases for several weeks (months). Then you had to go through the base security. When I was in Japan it was in the early 90s. The Japanese had a self-defense force on our base so they would do extra duty at the gates with the AF. ;-) So you decide–

              • Plus– I am not talking about the bases in the Mid-East or Army bases.

              • A few reassuring notes:
                * base security is getting better all the time

                * nobody writes about “that time that I got through one layer of security OK but the next one totally snagged me like clockwork” (or tells the story to a generic audience– my husband was part of ships’ security force, they’d do practice drills all the time and crowing about the system working well is very shop-talk)

                * it probably had to go through the official channels to strip away any details that could compromise security

                * if they brought in special forces, it was an official inspection, and that means stuff was already turned upside down and the guy already had the body language to blend in.

                * the usual route for actual security problems is the guy everybody knows is a problem, but someone higher up insists isn’t for this or that reason. (that psychologist that shot up the base who had a pile as tall as I am of complaints from those he’d “worked with” because he’d do things like tell them they deserved to die for opposing Islam, that Army guy who gave the publicity sluts classified data after he was violating so many basic requirements that my head spins, etc.)

                  • Oh! I totally forgot– no idea why your image reminded me, but it did….Maybe it’s the plane….

                    The #1 way that technically perfect security breaches are foiled is by Normal People going “that just ain’t right.” The #1 way that such a thing happens anyway is their supervisor going “shut up, I don’t want to bother with it.” (Thankfully, that usually just means that Bright Eyes the Curious ‘happens to’ head over in a way that will screw up someone trying to sneak in. I know a couple of different big to-do base exams they either didn’t “count” the folks who actually did this because the point is to test normal security, not general security sense, or the guys in charge of the base informed folks before the exam that doing such a thing would get you in Big Trouble. Again, the point is to check the procedures, rather than general alertness.)

                    • I helped close the 1st Tac Recon Squadron in 1987. That caused a problem, because the 1st Tac was the primary exercise activity on the base. The base commander needed something that would test security, yet not involve any of the actual flying operations, which were winding down. I wrote a scenario that took two days to play through, and which required a GREAT deal of cooperation between the various base units. As far as I know, it’s still sitting in a safe somewhere. It involved an al-Qaeda type attack on the base, and if security wasn’t on its toes, would have resulted in about 300 base casualties. Sometimes our “higher ups” don’t want to know.

    • Well, this is supposed to be a SUPERNATURAL special forces corps and veddy veddy secret, so I have some leeway.

      • Then you need to read Rogue Warrior– at the very least, he has the attitude you’ll need ;-)

      • Raymond Jelli

        I would read Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice [Paperback] — The author is now the head of US special forces and this book is the reason why. Not a technical manual. It is a case history and I’m surprised he meant it as a sort of manual given how it reads.

      • I know Larry the Combat Accountant has contacts in that area, and could probably put you in contact with someone directly. If not, he could probably give you a fair bit of second hand information. Supernatural special forces is, after all, right up his alley. :)

      • You might think it’s a joke, but….do you watch NCIS? (The Gibbs one.)

        That’s really good for the “feel” for Navy, and the plot wielded Stupidity Bats are pretty easy to spot.

      • I sent a copy of Eric Haney’s Inside Delta Force book to you.

        • Er,,, Paper? Because if electronic, my email eats those and I’ll have to go free it.

          And thank you.

          • Paper. Which gives the USPS the opportunity to eat it …

            • Well, poor starving post people need SOMETHING. (And yeah, you’d be amazed what books disappear…)

            • The USPS ate a box of candles that I had ordered a few years ago. All I got was the label that had fallen off the package. Because the label was delivered, the company that I ordered from never refunded my money, either.

              The worst part of the whole episode is that the Crystal Candle company no longer makes their deodorizing candles. They were also sold as Lord Byron’s Smoking Candles (at twice the price of the Kitchen candles). I haven’t yet found a suitable substitute. My husband’s sensitivity to most perfumes makes most of the candles on the market these days unusable at my house.

              USPS has been good when it comes to delivering books, and DVDs, though. So you shouldn’t have any problems with the book getting to Sarah.

  11. *Looks around, wonders where earlier post went, wanders back to work*

  12. Newly published (1/1/2013) — The Ways of Winter, the 2nd adventure in my series: The Hounds of Annwn. Available in ebook and trade paperback.

    Link: http://perkunaspress.com/wp/books/the-hounds-of-annwn/the-ways-of-winter/

    Question: I’m well-publicized in my secondary market (foxhunting, local Virginia) by now but having a hell of a time getting anyone in my primary market (the fantasy community) to agree to do a review of indie books. I’ve hooked up with Barb Caffrey (Shiny Book Review) at Sarah’s recommendation a while back. Can anyone recommend anyone else I can approach (and who to name drop)? I’ve sent cold emails to all the fantasy review sites I can find who don’t rule out indie authors altogether, but only one even bothered to reply (with a “nope”).

  13. Let me second Cyn Bagley’s approach…

    If you will do a reader review (brief is fine) on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or Smashwords for either or both of my books, I would be delighted to provide them to you. Just contact me via my website email (www.perkunaspress.com) and I’ll either send an ebook directly or (in the case of Smashwords) figure out how to use the coupon feature for the first time.

    Offer good for a week. And thanks!

    Book 1: To Carry the Horn – http://perkunaspress.com/wp/books/the-hounds-of-annwn/to-carry-the-horn/
    Book 2: The Ways of Winter – http://perkunaspress.com/wp/books/the-hounds-of-annwn/the-ways-of-winter/

  14. I’ve put 14 novels up as ebooks on Amazon over the last four weeks or so; Inheritance has seen the most sales thus far (it had originally been published by a small press; thank you for the encouragement to get the rights back from them and to try indie publishing all the stuff that’s just been sitting around). Here’s the description of Inheritance:

    Fifty thousand years is a long time to wait.

    An old geneticist, Paul Wilcox, becomes involved with a fifty-thousand year old archeological site that will radically change the world’s understanding of its past, with implications that will change its future. The ancient site is filled with advanced, human-built technology, and an artificial intelligence that has been waiting a very long time for someone to talk to.

    And here’s the Amazon link:

  15. The others came for Heinrich Aguirre when he was a child. Born in one of the Germanies with a light inside his mind, Aguirre is raised to take his place as one of the Magian, the rare few who can part the veil between the many versions of Earth. Vowing to protect these endless worlds and all who live in them, Magian do not hesitate. But during his first battle, while still less than a man, Aguirre does, only to see the magus who raised him die instead.

    For his sin, the others banish Aguirre to the solitary path.

    Seventeen years later, Magian are being slaughtered, and with a kind of power no magus has ever seen before. Suspicion quickly falls on Aguirre, who realizes that his only hope is to find the truth himself. So Aguirre turns his back on those who have already turned their backs on him, and with the Magian in pursuit, he races to save his own kind before they kill him first.

    “Let No False Angels,” available for Amazon Kindle at $3.99.

  16. Tell Robert I send get well soon wishes.
    “Black Hawk Down” is wonderful on one aspect you might or might not need: How SF Delta and Seals get along with regular soldiers. Or don’t.

  17. Susan Shepherd

    I’ve got a couple of short stories up on Amazon. (Yes, more are going to get put up there eventually, but the “Needs to Get Done” list is long and it’s easy to let other things get in the way.)

    “Picture in Sand” is a lighthearted fantasy short-short, about 800 words long; you can find it on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Picture-in-Sand-ebook/dp/B005FMMQTG/ or on Barnes & Noble at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/picture-in-sand-susan-shepherd/1104606684.

    “Misspent Fortune” is a crime / suspense short story, about 5000 words long, and can be found on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Misspent-Fortune-ebook/dp/B004X6U8GI/ or on Barnes & Noble at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/misspent-fortune-susan-shepherd/1031016270.

  18. Rogue Warrior: Marcinko seems to be controversial among Special Forces vets, his accounts of some incidents have been challenged.

  19. I’m the commenter rather than my wife, S. T. Gaffney, but I’m her manager/agent. Her first novel is China Harbor: Out of Time http://www.amazon.com/China-Harbor-Out-Time-ebook/dp/B003UBTOYO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1358541765&sr=1-1. It’s set in contemporary China. Well “contemporary” is a loaded term since it involves time travel. If you like immersing yourself in another culture for entertainment, this should be your thing. Personally I think she does for time travel what Asimov did for robots, but you be the judge.

    Also she has a short story collection called Facets http://www.amazon.com/Facets-ebook/dp/B00ADCYJ8Y/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1358541765&sr=1-2. That one is less human wave and more Twilight Zone. Although the collection is indeed “multifarious” or more appropriately multi-faceted. Many stories are chilling, some are humorous, and some touching. If you can read the first one (take you all of 2 minutes in the preview) and not freak out, this collection is for you, else walk away quickly. You’ve been warned :-).

  20. Shadow Forces, by Tom Clancy and Carl Steiner was also a good read for SF. I have to echo First Seal, Inside Delta Force, and Rogue Warrior as well.

    Also, 10th Special Forces Group is local to you, Ms. Hoyt. Maybe if you contact their Public Affairs Officer, you might be able to get some research material that way.

  21. Bravo Two-Zero, which a lot of people look down on.
    Fighting Mad, which is the memoirs of Michael Calvert who operated with the Chindits in Burma
    and my favorite all-time laugh-a-minute book: Resistance! Occupied Europe and its Defiance of Hitler by DA Lande (which is not Special Ops, just incredibly depressing)

    Oh, and for positive stuff, try anything by W E Fairbairn. for a choice, Shoot to Live which I’ve read, But he wrote others;

    and of course, most of the Tommy Hambledon stuff by Manning Coles for the “we are all witty, civilized and hidden, and if they catch us they will torture us until they run out of electricity” tension.

  22. Dorothy Grant

    If you want to pick someone’s brains about working with special forces, their training and their mindset (and a few very wry recollections about their sense of humor, and approach to demolitions), please feel free to poke at my husband, and make him emerge from the fog of editing long enough to acknowledge reality. He’s a free resource! Just don’t use to destruction…

    In fact, I’ll go poke at him as soon as he’s had enough tea to be rational, and ask him what books he’s recommend. Chances are high it’ll be recce, selous, or foreign legion, but from what I’ve seen of the male members of my family interacting with my husband, it’s abundantly clear that no matter where in the world you go, soldiers are soldiers, and they all gripe about the food, the supply sergeants, and the mud – no matter what service they’re in.

  23. Entirely unrelated:

    When I first read The Three Musketeers, I spent half the book trying to understand how anyone could be loyal to that queen of theirs. By the end of the book, after her infidelity had lead to great international complications, and great risks were taken to help her save face, I was rooting for *someone* to smack her around for being such an idiot (for having such reckless disregard for her marriage and her position, and what it meant for her country).

    In your musketeers book, it seems you’ve killed her off in the first act. I’ll have to see where this goes.

    • Hmm, in other news, it seems my avatar has gone from mutant potato to a cross between a pine-tree and a stegosaurus.

    • Um…

      Not quite.

      You’re missing the code of nobility in those days. They WOULD be loyal to the Queen because she WAS the queen. And infidelity was NORMAL in the arranged marriages. Also, Dumas didn’t write it but I’m sure he knew, her husband was gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.

      • Well, I suppose. Making allowances for the time and all that.

        Getting your country into a war (or almost there – I forget if it actually went hot or not), because you’re having an affair with an enemy nobleman is pretty crazy. Or seemed like it at the time. I may have to re-read.

  24. Sarah, when I wander I call it Eclectic Meanderings. It seems more – well, not so sloppy and more focused.

    As to uplinking a novel, I have one I’m sortakinda working on that will eventually be loaded onto Amazon, but even though working on it and completing it is in by bucket list for this year, a hospital stint (bad pun, I know, and besides, I got 5 of them) has diverted my schedule quite a bit. Now my main focus is getting my strength back. Then I’ll work on The Continuing Adventures. (not a working title)

    Glad your son is getting better. My wife commiserates with your toil over a recalcitrant and obstinate patient.

    • And Sarah; Pretty please can I change my avatar? Or is it swappable for something else? I’d prefer a steaming cup of coffee by choice.

      • I don’t control it. It assigns you one, unless you upload one…

      • Wayne Blackburn

        If you have an account with WordPress, you should be able to edit your profile and upload a photo or other image. If you’re only entering name and email in the boxes under the comment box, then you could either go GET an account in WP, or else upload an image at gravatar.com associated with the email address you use for commenting.

  25. Lars Walker doesn’t post here much, probably because he is shy. Would you be willing to advertise his book (http://www.amazon.com/Troll-Valley-ebook/dp/B006WNC4J4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1358571258&sr=8-3&keywords=lars+walker) because his publisher(1) posts here? It is historical fantasy, with Christianity thrown into the mix.

    (1) To use a fancy term for “the guy who handles file format conversion and uploads to Amazon”

  26. I can’t write this time of the year, but I will should be able to put a couple of acrylics paintings on show on the blog in four or five days. One is something I may use as a cover for the novel I hope to get ready this spring, so I’d appreciate opinions about it. By Wednesday, latest.

    (By the way, Sarah, I still haven’t gotten in touch with Amanda).

    And more BTW, pretty cold here, right now. I just came from work and it was -28 C or a bit over that whole night (that’s about -19 in F, I think). I drive most of the night (paper route mostly on the countryside, I don’t even have to get out of the car much, just open the window) and the inside heaters of the company car I use work just fine. When it’s running. The engine block and inside heater which work from mains current don’t, the cable was connected and the timer works but the car just barely started and I nearly froze my fingers and my behind before the thing got warm enough to be tolerable after I started driving. Interesting feeling, it’s always bit of a surprise when you remember that cold can really feel like it’s burning.

    Oh well, should get a bit warmer during today.

    But there are times when I really think I want to move somewhere south.

  27. My mulifarious and splendiferous book is:
    Leah And Her Twelve Brothers
    “The stories are not constrained by a particular genre or style; each is interesting in its own way. Not a word is wasted..” as one kind reviewer put it.
    OK as the only reviewer put it.

  28. I’ve been so busy writing, I just noticed this post. My word count for 2013 is already one-third of my count for 2012, and growing!

    Since your last promo piece, I’ve put four more stories up on Kindle:

    “The Night We Flushed the Old Town” http://www.amazon.com/Night-Flushed-Town-Tales-ebook/dp/B00ASDS02E When you’re an Ecological Engineer on the Moon, you get used to the mess, and especially to “that smell”. But one night, Scott Wayne discovers “that smell” is a threat to the city of Tycho Under – and worse, to his favorite bar! Can a bunch of neighborhood barflies save the city? Or will bureaucracy win out?

    “Father-Daughter Outing” http://www.amazon.com/Father-Daughter-Outing-Town-Tales-ebook/dp/B00ASDYP50 Eliza Wall was the most space-happy young lady on the Moon. She spent all her time studying to become a great explorer. Then on one fateful expedition, she must put all of her skills to the test. Can she save herself… and her father?

    “Not Another Vacuum Story” http://www.amazon.com/Another-Vacuum-Story-Tales-ebook/dp/B00ASEDTP6 Kenneth Morgan is a young man who took Lunar Survival School on a lark. He knows he’s smarter than the grunts in his class, smarter than his instructors even… smart enough to handle anything Luna can throw at him. Luna is about to teach him a lesson in humility…

    “Mama’s Little Angel” http://www.amazon.com/Mamas-Little-Angel-ebook/dp/B00ASF6AKQ Marianna Willis is frightened — very frightened. Her son Tommy is experiencing strange, unexplained headaches. The doctors assure her that the MRI machine will identify the problem. But what The Machine reveals about Tommy will frighten Marianna far more and make her wonder who she can trust as she tries to save her boy. She doesn’t know where to turn, but she’s not going to stop fighting for her little angel!

  29. Martin L. Shoemaker

    I tried to post news of my latest stories here, but it’s not showing up. It contained 4 Amazon links, so WordPress probably flagged it for spam checking.