Introducing David Pascoe — Raiding Party member

*You know him as Kilted Dave and what the fancy title means is that he’s one of the poor souls I’ve convinced to give me at least one post a month.  Yes, I’m still taking guest posts from the rest of you, but you’re under no obligation to do one a month, while the poor saps souls in the raiding party are on the hook for that.  So, without further ado, I’ll let him introduce himself.  (And Raiding Party is, of course, in keeping with the Hun theme.)*

I’ve been instructed to introduce myself. And to make it amusing. Very well.

I am called the Kilted One, the Blurred Barista, the Red-Bearded Pirate, “Hey, You,” the Scourge of God, and (my favorite) the Magnificent Bastard.

I come from a long, long line of scoundrels, ruffians, and assorted barbarians (sometime within a generation of the Battle of Hastings, I have an ancestor called Thom the Saxon). Those arbiters of all things cultural – the Hellenes – gave the concept to their conquerors/conquered the Romans (it was a very confusing assimilation for all involved), and they applied it to – so far as I can tell – all of my ancestors, as far back as anyone can find. Gaul, Pict, Gael, Celt, Scot, Angle, Saxon, Dane, Norse. Without expensive tests whose legitimacy has recently been called into question, it seems clear I am the penultimate product of as shady a gang of ne’er-do-wells as you’ll find this side of Tortuga (not the one in the Caribbean Sea; the raucous freehold occupying the hollowed out moon of a nameless planetoid hurtling ’round the white dwarf companion of Ultima Baengari, binary system famed in story and legend. I would say more, but we haven’t the time).

I am the proud holder of a degree in that most useful and least marketable of (in)disciplines: philosophy. My BA in BS has served me well in the decade since I made off with it. I learned early on that nobody likes philosophers (much like prophets in that regard, but more on that later) so I figured a term of enlistment would provide adequate recompense for my profligate education. After six years nowhere near a mast (boy and man), I discovered the Navy had no more interest in my high-minded mannerisms than did that bane of all thinking people, Academia. No really, listening to static and not seeing the sun for weeks was pushing me rapidly toward doing something precipitous. Well, those, and bureaucratic nonsense I have since learned is standard.

But now I’m free: free of obligation, free of trousers and free of that gods-be-damned hole in the ground. Free to starve to death on my own merits. Fortunately, behind every man stands a woman, prodding him in the back with drawn bayonet. And Mrs. Dave, aka Sarah the Younger, aka Sarah the Blonder, aka Mischief, aka A Trial To Me, aka the mother of my as-yet-unborn spawn, does her share of prodding. I just wish she’d take the batteries out of the prod. But seriously, Mrs. Dave is a gracious lady who allows me to pursue my writing with only the simple understanding that I’ll clean her house, cook her meals, father her children (in various stages of potentia) and generally prove to one and all that I’m more or less civilized. Also, it brings closer the day when I’ll keep her in the manner in which she’d like to become accustomed.

When it comes to the lies I tell for a living, I seem to have fallen into a peculiar niche. My prose isn’t so much purple as it is a shadowed lavender, and my protagonists seem to barely know what they’re about. I’d blame this on a relative lack of experience, but I’ve got several hundred thousands of words (some of them even in sentences, no less) in multiple works spread across several (sub)genres. The published works are, on the one hand, rural fantasy (that peculiar subgenre of contemporary fantasy that doesn’t happen in a city) and on the other hand, something I think of as a cross between fairy tales and Lovecraftian quasi-horror.

I have other projects in various states of disrepair and decay, to include steampunk, second world fantasy, space opera, a couple of post-apocalyptic adventures, pulp adventure, and military SF. I come by it honestly, as – at age seven or so – I picked up a nifty book on my father’s shelf. The book had a dragon on it, and I thought, “cool.” Eventually, I hit a point where, halfway though half of the books I picked up, I thought, “I bet I can do better than this.” After the Navy and I called it quits (always nagging, calling at odd hours to check up on me, issuing orders she knew wouldn’t be obeyed) and I had my aforementioned sugar-mama (Hi, Dear! What’s that knife for?), I’ve shuffled off to the bucolic countryside for a life of lit-RAR-y leisure. It is the most pleasant thing, staring deeply into candle-flames until early in the morning, sleeping until nearly noon and then slaving over nearly two hundred words, polishing them until they fling back the rays of the setting sun. Romantic, non?

[Editors' note: Help STOP This grinning idiot won't write the bloody stories STOP All we get are weak daydreams STOP Send red meat and whiskey-soaked gunpowder STOP Use the FTL matt-trans for Krim's sake STOP Don't know how much longer we can hold off the entropic drain STOP]

Sorry, where was I?

Oh, yes. Our hostess has asked me to go on a bit about my ambitions and what I want to get out of writing. It’s pretty simple, really: I want to write good stories, and mostly, get paid for them. Simple, and as easy as any other trained skill. Which is to say: not at all. At least, not when you need to know what you’re doing. So I’m working on that part. For a given value of work. Yes: working on that, as well.

Along those lines, I do have a few writers whose work I study, and of whom I’d be delighted to be called derivative. Larry Correia, besides being a Wise Latino and a friend, has a way with words that draws the reader on. I think I managed to avoid staying up until the sunrise with Warbound, but then only because I firmly left it in the other room. Had I taken it to bed, “to finish the chapter,” I’d have been doomed to finishing it in one sitting. As I’ve done with all the rest of his books. I’m firmly of the opinion that the best compliment a writer can get is, “you bastard, you kept me up until the wee hours on a school/work night!” That is what I want out of writing.

I keep Sarah the Wiser’s (you heard it here first, ladies and germs!) work in mind, and that of her spiritual forefather, RAH (pbuh). Our hostess has a manner of pacing that I wish to emulate, though it’s double tough to cut out the boring bits (but I love that sentence! I neeeeeeed iiiitttt!) Mad Mike’s gift of gab, as what translates into his writing. Oh, John Ringo, No’s seemingly magical ability to take anything and turn it into gold. The Mad Wizard’s way with plausible-seeming high technology. Col. Kratman’s insouciance toward the opinions of his fellow humans, as well as his and Mr. Drake’s ease with military history and the filing off of serial numbers of the same. Dozens of others, whose names and qualities escape me at the moment. There are even those whose work I do not wish to emulate, but from whom I learn something every time I read them. There are even those who simply serve as a negative example. Too many to enumerate, and I’ve not the energy to give them press. Maybe later. If you behave.

When it comes to the more rollicking discourse we tend to enjoy here, I have opinions – as should have become apparent by now – even strongly held ones. I am, however, a naturally retiring individual. I don’t particularly enjoy interpersonal conflict, especially over things on which I lack certainty. Trained in the Socratic Method as I am, and indoctrinated in the professional paranoia of the intelligence community, I’m sure of my lack of knowledge and wisdom in most arena and disinclined to advertise the fact.
Moreover, I often lack the patience for the cut and thrust of online debate, and as physical violence is somewhat frowned upon (re-institute a Code Duello!) and I mislike shaking in impotent rage, I’d liefer play the diplomat to the rest of the Huns’ savagery. ‘Tis more fun that way.

Oh, as regards prophets and philosophers.

There are generally two kinds: fore-tellers and forth-tellers. Often, these are two responsibilities of the same person. What we do here is – hopefully – both. We speak truth. Not to power, thank Bob, we’re not nearly that far gone. We tell it like it is. The world is thus, and we’ll say it to your face. Doesn’t matter if you want to believe some figment of a brain-sick, maundering freeloader of a demagogue. And people don’t like that. They don’t like being told their deeply cherished foolishness is so much dross.

Which is why we’re clever about it, ’round here. We dress it up all fancy-like; hang it round with rocket-ships and battle scenes, romances and betrayals and any other scores and scores of literary devices that strike our fancy. That’s what Human Wave is, after all: truth cloaked in pretty lies, falsehoods, fictions. The kind we like to read, and reread and read yet again. The kind that inspire us to look at the messes around with hope, rather than despair.

Or at least with an eye on which parts of it to plunder and which to burn. Until the next raiding party, you hoodlums, keep your blades sharp and your pens sharper.

34 responses to “Introducing David Pascoe — Raiding Party member

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    On “till the end of the Chapter”. It was/is a family joke that “reading until the End of the Chapter” really meant “until we finished the book” (not just me, all of us had that “vice”).

    It really got funny when I read _We Few_ by Weber & Ringo. They hadn’t divided it into chapters. [Very Big Grin]

    • Dan sighs when I have the light on and says “Till the end of the chapter?”

    • I’ve had to learn to find a spot within the chapter to stop, some scene setting point in the scene-sequel march such as “She gazed out over the city” or “He studied his toenails in thought.” Fine placeholder, I’ll stop here.

      If I go to the end of the chapter — I just need to see what happens next…

      Some authors (John Ringo has confessed) end chapters hanging over the next leaving you no choice (really, none) but to go on. Facing such evul I’ve had to learn my coping mechanisms.

      • ” some scene setting point in the scene-sequel march”

        I’m re-reading Dwight Swain to make sure I attack the next draft properly. He’s big on the scene-sequel dynamic.

    • My mother was annoyed with me last year. I gave my father a book series for Christmas last year and he stayed up TOO LATE reading.

      I gave him another series by the same author this year.

  2. Some bright Libertycon day, I would sincerely love to get Mrs. Dave, The Lovely Mrs. Correia, Sandra Tayler, and myself together, for a “living with your writing spouse” support group meeting. we could learn so much from comparing notes, if only we could breathe for laughing…

    I only fear that the con organizers would happen upon us trying to sneak out together, and make us a panel.

    • I shall poke the organizers to put you in a panel! Whether you want Dan added is your choice.

      • Sarah the Younger and I are (at this point, pre-natal excitement and whatnot) planning on being at LibertyCon in June. I imagine something could be arranged. I have no idea if Larry and Bridget are planning on it this year, and unless Howard gets a GOH invite, he and Sandra are unlikely to attend (say, rather, most definitely not going to). May have to be planned for 2015, but I can see this as something to get a jump on sooner, rather than later. I’m pretty sure Sandra has a couple of presentations on this topic already in the can, so to speak.

    • Would I qualify to hang out with that group of lovely ladies? Maybe Dan hoyt too?

      • Absolutely! I would definitely include Dan, as he may be published, but he is Sarah’s support system, too.

        Alas, I may have to start by telling the Lovely Mrs Correia that she was right and I was wrong about her advice on the writing spouse vs. Unpacking The Garage…

    • Sounds like the start of a wonderful support group. “The first rule of the Writers’ Spouses’ Support Group: No one talks about the WSSG.”

  3. very interesting.

  4. You made me think of Arthur C. Clarke — maybe because the press was babbling about him yesterday. But they were proclaiming him as a scientific prophet. It is interesting what can be attributed to a writer — Anyway, good luck and good writing.

  5. You just said you’d tell me something “If I behave…”

    *SNIFF*

    Now I’ll never find out…

  6. The 1MC clicks to life. “Now hear this, Now hear this. Kilt, Arriving,” immediately followed by “Master at Arms detail, lay to the red three airlock.”

    Welcome, welcome, and Happy New Year. I look forward to your future guestage.

  7. Remember the value of sequencing. Pillage, then burn. Unless you find curséd artifacts, of course.

    • But I have heard that it is burn before rape. something about it being more romantic by firelight

  8. Good to see you here — sans trousers and all!!!

  9. The Socratic Method — is that the one whereby Ah asserts: “Y’all say that again an’ ah’ll sock ya rat in thuh face!”?

  10. Let’s hear it for the Code Duello – make it a bit harder for the PC assholes if they risked being called out for their slander and falsehoods. RES’ version of the Socratic Method is a step in the right direction as well.
    BTW, Ms. Grant’s spouse’s blog is on my daily toolbar, along with Ms Hoyt’s.
    Definitely worth your time. http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/

    • I think the Code Duello would garner quite a bit more support if people realized that it required multiple (IIRC three) opportunities for the offender to apologize and that a duel could be completely avoided by retracting the offending statement and apologizing.

      • The one great obstacle to the success of a code duello in modern society is the lack of moral and social underpinnings. For such a system to work, you must have a widely accepted culture that values personal integrity, honor, and courage. We have no such thing – what consequence would cowards face for failure to accept a challenge? Frankly, such a culture would render a renewed code duello largely superfluous, anyway.

        That said, there’s a certain satisfaction in imagining the Kilted One or Mad Mike, saber in hand, calling out some miserable $%^@ who had slandered lovers of liberty everywhere. (Yes, I know that’s not how the process works. It’s a fantasy, get over it.)

        • Maybe a modification of the rules where the challenger gets to shoot at you on the agreed-upon day (and if you refuse to agree on a date it’s automatically set at challenge+3). You can either report to the field of honor and try your luck, publicly recant and apologize, or wait for the challenger to pop you on the commode.

          After a while the survivors would establish a much more favorable culture.

      • My problem with the Code Duello is the degree to which it accords greater value to elements unrelated to the validity of an argument or statement. For example, I cannot help but suspect that if the Code Duello were in effect today the Anthroprogenic Global Warmists would have succeeded in silencing the “deniers.”

        I also wonder whether Stephen W. Hawking’s theories might have withstood multiple challengers.

        It does suggest a Steampunk world in which inventors are swaggering duelists (imagine Tesla & Edison resolving their argument with foils, on the fencing strip), the villain being the blackguard who steals the inventions of brighter but less forceful competitors.

        Certainly it would be a better world if poets and playwrites could face their critics on the field of honor. I wonder what rules would govern the “ladies’ tees”?

        OTOH, there is the story of the short fellow who made the mistake of challenging Abe Lincoln to a duel, only to discover that as challenged party Abe opted for blacksmith hammers in six feet of water. Perhaps the clever would find ways to game the rules to their satisfaction. Perhaps what we need is a Code Duello which requires matters be settled in cyberspace, according to the rules governing the games played therein. Surely the resolutions would differ between WOW and Farmville? Might Paul Krugman and Thomas Sowell fight out their differences in Sim-City, perhaps?

      • In a forthcoming story, Cdr. Ni Drako thinks longingly of skewering (or at least humiliating) someone after an honor challenge, but she can’t. To have an honor challenge requires that the other party be considered possessing of honor.

        • You and your “forthcoming” stories…

          • “forthcoming stories” That sounds like a challenge. TXRed, will you let that stand?

            • Hey, getting the maps in the latest book took longer than we anticipated (but it’s worth it, IMHO). The new year plan is to release more of the Ni Drako stories on their own, with an Azdhagi novel in March and the next Colplatschki novels in June and October. Barring life rolls that cause a redirect.

  11. You were a philosophy major? Me, too, but I don’t know why you don’t think it was chock full of utility. The philosophy department had t-shirts that read: “Philosophy, I’m in it for the money.” I would have bought two if I could have afforded them both.