I have a post up at the Novelists, Inc. Blog on Non-Attendance is Also Useful.
I have a post up at the Novelists, Inc. Blog on Non-Attendance is Also Useful.
This weekend, I’ll be at the 75th annual Philcon.
Here’s my schedule:
Fri 7:00 – 8:00 PM in Plaza III
Victoria Janssen (mod), Marilyn Brahen, Tim W. Burke, Ty Drago, Michael F. Flynn
If you cannot seize and hold the reader’s (or the editor’s) attention by the end of the first page, the rest of the manuscript might as well be blank. So how do you do that?
Sat 5:00 – 6:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three
“It’s Time To Play The Music, It’s Time To Light The Lights… Meet The Muppets!”
Shira Lipkin (mod), Rebecca Marcus, Victoria Janssen, Peter Prellwitz, Bill Spangler, Kat Grossberg
Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the crew are back! Why do we still love The Muppets after all these years? What were you favorite episode or movie moments?
Sat 7:00 – 8:00 PM in Plaza III
“Images Of Heroism In Literature And Art”
Anna Kashina (mod), Ellen Asher, Carole Buggé, Victoria Janssen, Rebecca Robare
Does a real hero need to look heroic? Why are fantasy heroes (and heroines) always portrayed as musclebound and showing lots of skin?
Sat 9:00 -10:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three
“Tarzan And John Carter: The Appeal Of Edgar Rice Burroughs”
Victoria Janssen (mod), Stephanie Burke, Richard Stout, Lee Gilliland, Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo
John Carter of Mars has another film adaption from Disney coming out next year. Tarzan has become one of the genuinely iconic characters in 20th century fiction. What did Edgar Rice Burroughs do that made them so enduring?
Sun 2:00 – 3:00 PM in Plaza II
“An SF Primer”
D. Douglas Fratz (mod), Michael J. Walsh, Muriel Hykes, Victoria Janssen
Many people new to the genre ask “What do I need to read?” Moving beyond Heinlein, Scalzi and Mieville, who do our panel of writers suggest?
I haven’t been written any fiction since the end of August – this was on purpose, to give myself a break and to read for research and to, well, just read. (I have been writing a lot of nonfiction blog posts.) But the business of writing doesn’t really stop. (Unless, of course, you ignore your email!)
1. Soon I should be getting an editorial letter on my Spice Brief, which from initial comments, I think will lead to writing some additional scenes. I’ve been thinking about that a little bit. The story is currently scheduled to be out in May.
2. I signed up to submit a short story to a themed anthology, for an editor I’ve worked with before. It’s not a guaranteed sale, of course; that will depend on the mix of stories received. That’s due February 1, but I plan to write it before that, to give the editor extra time, just in case it’s not suitable.
3. A proposal in which I’d participated just wasn’t selling, so my c-writers and I had to withdraw it.
4. I received a contract addendum – I had to review it and make a decision.
5. I received a request from a publisher to submit a short story, so I requested more information about the project. The publisher had read the free story I have available for download, Water Music, and thought something in that style might suit. I am not sure I’ll have anything for them by their deadline, but things could change. I responded, telling them it was unlikely but possible, and I’d be glad to be kept in mind for future projects.
The horror-haunted Belgian plains riven by shot and shell
Are strewn with her undaunted sons who stayed the jaws of hell.
In every sunny vale of France death is the countersign.
The purest blood in Britain’s veins is being poured like wine.
Far, far across the crimsoned map the impassioned armies sweep.
Destruction flashes down the sky and penetrates the deep.
The Dreadnought knows the silent dread, and seas incarnadine
Attest the carnival of strife, the madman’s battle scene.
Relentless, savage, hot, and grim the infuriate columns press
Where terror simulates disdain and danger is largess,
Where greedy youth claims death for bride and agony seems bliss.
It is the cause, the cause, my soul! which sanctifies all this.
Ride, Cossacks, ride! Charge, Turcos, charge! The fateful hour has come.
Let all the guns of Britain roar or be forever dumb.
The Superman has burst his bonds. With Kultur-flag unfurled And prayer on lip he runs amuck, imperilling the world.
The impious creed that might is right in him personified
Bids all creation bend before the insatiate Teuton pride,
Which, nourished on Valhalla dreams of empire unconfined,
Would make the cannon and the sword the despots of mankind.
Efficient, thorough, strong, and brave—his vision is to kill.
Force is the hearthstone of his might, the pole-star of his will.
His forges glow malevolent: their minions never tire
To deck the goddess of his lust whose twins are blood and fire.
O world grown sick with butchery and manifold distress!
O broken Belgium robbed of all save grief and ghastliness!
Should Prussian power enslave the world and arrogance prevail,
Let chaos come, let Moloch rule, and Christ give place to Baal.
In lonely watches night by night
Great visions burst upon my sight,
For down the stretches of the sky
The hosts of dead go marching by.
Strange ghostly banners o’er them float,
Strange bugles sound an awful note,
And all their faces and their eyes
Are lit with starlight from the skies.
The anguish and the pain have passed
And peace hath come to them at last,
But in the stern looks linger still
The iron purpose and the will.
Dear Christ, who reign’st above the flood
Of human tears and human blood,
A weary road these men have trod,
O house them in the home of God!
In a Field near Ypres
–Frederick George Scott
I’ve never posted recipes in this blog before, though I did in my LiveJournal, a while back. This sudden urge to chat about food came from a Twitter discussion.
So in honor of fall, and pumpkins, here is my quick and easy recipe for Pinto Beans and Pumpkin. I like this one because it involves things I keep on hand. I’m not a total wimp; I have cooked beans from scratch; but oh, how I love the convenience of canned, cooked beans.
Pintos and Pumpkin
You might want something to go with the beans and pumpkin. If you use rice, cook a batch separately – start it before you start the beans. Cornbread is also good with this; you can decide if you want it to be spicy or not.
–1 can cooked pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
–1-2 cans pinto beans, preferably two, but depends on the depth of your pan
–onion powder or onions
–salt, cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, mombasa pepper, black pepper
Cover bottom of pan with oil (last time, I used a garlic-infused oil, eked out with olive oil). At medium heat, add a good pinch of cayenne (optional unless you’re me), onion powder or chopped onions, and minced garlic. Simmer until garlic and/or onions appear lightly browned. The cayenne will toast a little, too.
Add canned cooked pinto beans, undrained, and stir into the spicy oil. Add canned cooked pumpkin; a spatula helps to get it out of the can. Add a dash of salt. The beans and pumpkin will likely be a solid mass. Add water until you can easily stir the mixture. Stir. Lower heat and simmer.
While simmering, add in more spices: a mix I’ve liked includes about a teaspoon of cinnamon, maybe a half-teaspoon each of coriander and cumin and mombasa pepper (it’s a variety of cayenne–you can use regular cayenne if you like). Black pepper gets added when it’s all done.
Simmer for a minimum of fifteen minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally if it bubbles too much. This is a forgiving dish, so it can be simmered longer if you like, or if you get distracted; unless all the liquid boils out, it will be fine.
Serve over rice or with cornbread. Or eat alone.
Try for leftovers. The flavor improves overnight.
I had a new post up at The Criminal Element this weekend, on Sarah Tolerance: Fallen Woman & Regency Private Eye. It’s an introduction to the series by Madeleine E. Robins, which has started up again after a hiatus. It’s Regency/Science Fiction/Noir Detective. Really!
“Visit the week of Nov 7-11 to meet the Harlequin editors via blogs, live chats, podcasts, webinars, tweets and more. Discover what makes a great romance story and how to sell your winning submission!
…We’ll offer both basic level and master classes-something for everyone. You’ll pick up tips on writing craft, the latest trends in romance, and how to get from opening page to a published book.
Here’s the theme for the week:
Day 1: Writing Romance
Day 2: Starting Your Book
Day 3: Revising Your Book
Day 4: Selling Your Book
Day 5: Submitting Your Book”
Cima Quattro il 23 dicembre 1915
a un compagno
con la sua bocca
volta al plenilunio
con la congestione
delle sue mani
nel mio silenzio
lettere piene d’amore
Non sono mai stato
attaccato alla vita