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

Blog Chain: Mini-Interviews

Today I’m connecting to some nifty people in a blog chain. You, dear reader, get a mini-interview with me and links to other mini-interviews with authors you might also enjoy, so it’s a fun way to maybe find some new reading matter.

First, I should tell you that it was Rhonda Parrish who sweet-talked me into this. (Okay, it wasn’t that hard.) Continue reading

The Ghost Bride: Chinese Folklore and Ramen

Yangsze Choo

Yangsze Choo (Photo credit: eekim)

So I recently finished The Ghost Bride, by Yangsze Choo (who also narrated the audio book), recommended to me by Stephanie Cain who predicted I’d enjoy the Asian folklore and supernatural elements. I did. Continue reading

The Angels of West Baden

Inside the atrium at the West Baden Springs Hotel.

Inside the atrium at the West Baden Springs Hotel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may not have heard of the West Baden hotel, which is a shame. It was built in the town of West Baden Springs, near the better-known today French Lick, and was a luxury hotel to offer the wealthy leisure and access to the natural phenomena of the area — mineral springs considered medicinal.

Today’s travelogue is a bit different, since while I’ve visited West Baden, this isn’t that trip. It’s just the necessary backdrop. Continue reading

Zombies on the Playground

555844_411689862287068_1659424406_nI don’t do Wordless Wednesday much, but sometimes you’ve just got something to share.

My friend the talented Amanda Irwin of Elemental Photography wanted to recreate this fun image of children fighting off zombies on playground equipment. She issued an open call for predators and prey, and this happened. Continue reading

Four ‘Til Late – an Eric Garrison contest!

Check it out: today’s post has a contest. Free books! And we’re hosting Eric Garrison and his book Four ‘Til Late (which you might remember me mentioning before).

But first, this is Eric’s first blog tour stop. Please give him a hearty welcome! As I’ve mentioned, I first met Eric at a local short story gathering, where his short (set in the Four ‘Til Late universe) made me laugh aloud. That’s a good start to nearly anything. Read down for details on his latest and the contest itself….

EricGarrisonTourBadge Continue reading

Where Do Plot Ideas Come From?

There’s a joke among fiction writers about people who offer, “Hey, I’ve got a great idea for a book. You write it and then we’ll split the profits.”

There are a few problems with this, but one of the most obvious is that the idea is the easiest bit. It’s the writing that actually takes time. Ideas are everywhere.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a walk and look for plot ideas. How about last week’s Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio? Continue reading

Books By People I Actually Know

I know. I’ve heard your sighs in the dark before the dawn, when you thought no one was listening. I’ve seen your eyes slip over the bookstore windows, your fingers brush the keys as you open a browser to Amazon. It’s okay. You can tell me.

You nod. “I don’t mean to complain, Laura, but…. It’s just that, well, I keep reading all of these amazing household-name authors — people like Patrick Rothfuss and Neil Gaiman and Stephen King and George R. R. Martin and other superstars. And don’t get me wrong, I love superstars, but….” You sigh wistfully. “What I really want is some recommendations for mid-list or less known authors. Ones I can brag on having read early on, you know, before. And — I know it’s too much to dream, but if they could be writers who you actually know, Laura, that would just be perfect.”

Well, grab your hipster glasses, because here are some recommendations for 2013 titles by authors I know, and you’ve probably never heard of them. Yet. Continue reading

Gen Con, the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and Ninja

Geekery, fiction, and ninja — that’s a pretty typical day in my life, actually…. Continue reading

Speedy Chocolate!

Endangered Species - Coexist All-Natural Dark Chocolate Covered Hazelnut Toffee 72% Cocoa

Endangered Species – Coexist All-Natural Dark Chocolate Covered Hazelnut Toffee 72% Cocoa

This post will have to go live a few days later, since I ordered some gifts I don’t want to telegraph, but here’s the deal: I ordered from Endangered Species Chocolate and found my order at my driveway about 24 hours later.

Let us count the ways this went right: Continue reading