A Star Wars Roundup

English: Opening logo to the Star Wars films

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, okay, I know this is the third time I’ve mentioned Star Wars in the last two months. But it’s been kinda everywhere, y’know? And I just wanted to do a round-up of some of my favorite cultural references, from music to electric cars to party food. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo and My Secret Weapon

NaNoWriMo Winner 2015So, I won NaNoWriMo this year. But I cheated.

Okay, “cheating” may be something of an overstatement. I did not write my 50,000 words in a single project, but I did complete or make significant progress on several different projects, and that qualifies me as a “NaNo Rebel” in the NaNoWriMo community, but still a winner.

Projects included:

1) A fun little disaster tale which will be appearing in the upcoming C is for Chimera anthology (look for release details in January).

I’m pretty proud of this one, because while it isn’t the fastest story I’ve ever written, it is definitely the fastest I’ve ever produced on demand, from editor email to finished product in about a week.

2) A short story I’m intending to submit for another anthology this month. I won’t say too much on this one, because it’s not done yet and the deadline’s coming up scarily fast, and it’s a genre that’s a bit of a stretch for me. But I did get about 12,000 words written so far, so I’m certainly giving it the old college try.

3) A novel — again playing with folklore and mythology, but not Japanese or the Fae this time. Continue reading

Route 66: The Mother Road, The Road of Dreams

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series GDB & Route 66

painted Route 66 icon on cracked pavement into horizonRoute 66 was the first transcontinental highway, opened in 1926. Depending on the year and route you chose to travel, it was somewhere between 2,200 and 2,500 miles to run from Chicago to Los Angeles. It became (in)famous during the migrations from the Dustbowl, when over 200,000 left their failing farms and headed west looking for other work. (Most returned within a few months; some found farm or highway or other work, but generally California wasn’t hospitable to the refugees.)

The coming of the interstate did unkind things to the road towns, many of which depended on serving travelers (shippers, migrants, tourists) for their livelihoods. Route 66 was finally de-certified in 1985, and the road was thought dead.

It wasn’t. Continue reading

Songs of the Little Drummer Boy

Detail of the Three Kings from The Adoration of the Magi, tapestry, by Edward Burne JonesLast time I talked about the weird appearances of Little Drummer Boy figurines in Nativity scenes and the fascinating historical research I got to do for So To Honor Him. Today I’m going to talk about the obligatory soundtrack for the book: “The Carol of the Drum” or “The Little Drummer Boy,” depending on when it was recorded and by whom.

I’m not even going to try to list here all the myriad covers of this song, or even just the better ones. I’ll simply point out some really stand-out recordings and explain why I think they deserve a mention. I know I’m leaving out a lot of favorites; feel free to comment below with a plug for your choice!

Continue reading

Of Music and Scrooge McDuck

The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Collected...

The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Collected Edition cover. Art by Don Rosa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m listening to a comic book soundtrack, and I’m nowhere close to ashamed.

Tuomas Holopainen

Tuomas Holopainen

Tuomas Holopainen — you might know him, if you have exquisite taste, as the founder of symphonic metal wizards Nightwish — has released an album “inspired by the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.” And it’s pretty darn good. Continue reading

So, What DOES the Fox Say?

キタキツネ (北狐 kita kitsune), a Vulpes vulpes schre...

キタキツネ (北狐 kita kitsune), a Vulpes vulpes schrencki native to Hokkaido (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At times, life is strangely kind. This time, it was both kind and strange. Foxes became a hot internet meme, and in an… unexpected way.

Continue reading

What’s It Like, Being a Writer?

What’s it like being a writer, you ask? Well, there’s several different aspects to it all, of course. Here’s a quick glimpse into a writer’s head. Watch your step….

That guy's brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him.

Continue reading

The Ninth Day of Kitsune — A Period Playlist

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

As we come to the Ninth Day of Kitsune, let’s treat one of the senses which has been left so far untouched despite our forays into images, taste, and touch; let’s listen to music, both period and related, from Heian era to today. Continue reading

Learn to dance THRILLER with us!

learn to dance Thriller at Indianapolis libraries

“Because it’s Thriller! Thriller night….”

My day job is in behavior. My hobby is in geekdom. Sometimes these worlds collide and I get peanut butter in my chocolate, and it’s awesome. Continue reading

Music & the Writer

photo of classical music advertisement for epic music and great battle scenes

I snapped this pic in Chicago, Dec 2011, because music matters.

Lots of writers use music to set mood and evoke emotion while writing, and I’m no exception — I love using music to create a tone for a scene or even just to get creative juices flowing. Continue reading