And then I sank Atlantis.

View of the Strait of Gibraltar opening into t...

View of the Strait of Gibraltar opening into the Mediterranean Sea, looking southeast from Gibraltar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve solved the mystery of Atlantis.

That’s the awesome thing about story research — you never know what it’s going to lead you to.

I was writing a short story about Atlantis, and speculating a semi-plausible way for it to go quickly as Plato related, and I started playing around with fissure rifts and earthquakes. Some Googling brought me to an account of how a rift in the African desert opened far more rapidly than previous theory had allowed and will eventually become a new ocean: Continue reading

The New London Texas School Explosion

The top of the London School cenotaph by sculp...

The top of the London School cenotaph by sculptor Matchett Herring Coe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a nearly-inconceivable tragedy.

The New London School explosion has gotten relatively little coverage over the decades, in part because the traumatized community did not want to be put on display — and this was before exploitative news camps hounding victims to supply 24-7 coverage, so they were better able to refuse. Rather, it’s reported that rescue organizers told journalists helpers were needed more than news reports and recruited their aid. But it’s one of the most significant disasters you’ve never heard of. Continue reading

So, About Daylight Saving Time

Time change at the end of Daylight Saving Time...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think it’s time we were all honest with ourselves and just admitted that Daylight Saving Time is a failed idea.

It’s not a bad idea, in its original form. When early proponents (such as Benjamin Franklin) realized that we could take advantage of longer daylight hours by getting up earlier, that was a legitimate and factual observation. Ben satirically suggested cannons to rouse the populace earlier rather than changing the clocks, because changing the clocks was kind of a dumb idea, but the cannons didn’t exactly take off either.

Since then, Daylight Saving Time (it’s singular, despite popular mispronunciation) discussion has been full of good intentions with poor follow-through. Continue reading

ACPL Author Fair this weekend!

Allen County Public Library Author FairDon’t forget, I (and others!) will be at the Allen County Public Library Author Fair this Saturday.

I’ll be speaking on self-publishing, with others. I’ll have a table with books and shirts and stuff, and I’ll be happy to sign or help you pick Christmas gifts (shop early!) from my table or another author’s table, and just talk about your favorite fiction.

Details below. Please stop by! Continue reading

Halloween Candy & Risk

English: A PayDay candy bar, broken in half. C...

But where is the razor blade?!  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So in Orphan Heirs & Shades of Night, Robin reflects upon the real and imagined dangers of Halloween, including the popular fear of tainted candy. However, Robin says, the risks are actually quite low, as there has never been a confirmed case of Halloween candy poisoning.

Every year, parents are lashed into a panic by hyberbolic warnings of trick or treating dangers. Alternative candy-grab events are promoted, at shopping malls or store parking lots. (I’m really not sure how accepting candy from a stranger at a shopping mall is significantly safer than accepting candy from a neighbor on your street, but whatever makes you happy.) But the risks are somewhat overstated. Let’s look back on this last Halloween and see how we did. Continue reading

Autumn & Halloween books!

English: A traditional Irish turnip Jack-o'-la...

I think I’m glad we moved to pumpkins — this is creepy. The teeth! A traditional Irish turnip Jack-o’-lantern from the early 20th century. Photographed at the Museum of Country Life, Ireland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, scarecrows aren’t limited to autumn, but somehow they’ve become associated with fall decor, so there you go. And Robin Archer works year-round in Indianapolis, but this cover has a cool jack-o-lantern, so there.

The point is, you’ve got book deals. Continue reading