What You Did Last Week

So To Honor Him book cover, three riders on camels against a dramatic sky, with a brilliant star, and a super-imposed drum

So To Honor Him was released a day early to newsletter subscribers. Not only did they have the first look, but they had a different price: pay what you want, and all the profit would go to International Justice Mission.

(All direct sales profits last week went to IJM, but on official launch day, the price was a fixed $1.99.)

English: Amanda Palmer Live 2008

Amanda Palmer and I are very infrequently mistaken for one another. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wasn’t sure about setting up a pay-what-you-want day. I mean, that kind of thing works for people like Amanda Palmer, but, well, I’m not Amanda Palmer. What if everyone just grabbed the story for free and nothing at all went to International Justice Mission? Continue reading

The Proposed USFS Photo Ban?!

Ansel Adams landscapeIt’s about to become enforced policy: it’s illegal to take photos in national parks and on federal lands without a $1500 permit. The fine for taking unauthorized pics will be $1000/photo. Even in the /cough/ Ansel Adams Wilderness area.

USFS says it’s to protect the forests. Sure, our parks have been under a lot of stress — illegal logging, water pollution, drifting air pollution, human-started fires have all taken a high toll. You know what’s not damaging parks? Digital and film recordings. Photography doesn’t ACTUALLY steal the soul, you know. Continue reading

Feminism & Writing

So the “f-word” is getting a lot of chatter this week, as Emma Watson spoke to the UN on Monday about feminism. Of course some people immediately threatened a nude photo leak (or manufacture, since apparently no one has legit nude photos of Watson) to bully her into being quiet. [see update below]

Way to prove Watson’s point exactly, people.

There are two fundamental problems here, and I can personally contribute to fixing only one of them. But I’ll explain them both. (And yes, this is still about stories!) Continue reading

Ask the Author and S’Mores

The water was a lot of dead algae and also a thick pancake batter-like sludgy foam. Yech.

The water was a lot of dead algae and also (not pictured) a thick pancake batter-like sludgy foam. Yech.

So, I missed the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold conference last weekend, and I feel pretty bad about that. I’ve been to the Colorado Gold only once, last year, but I really enjoyed the people I met there and the conference sessions themselves.

We should maybe rethink some of our environmental stewardship choices.

Dead fish everywhere. We should maybe rethink some of our environmental stewardship choices.

But I did get to spend a weekend at another (non-writing) event with friends, being eaten by mosquitos beside the highly questionable waters of Maumee Bay and Lake Erie, so that was some consolation. The tap water was officially safe again, but the lake water, not so much. I’ll let you know if the pollution-affected mutant mosquito bites turn out to have imbued me with superpowers. We can always hope. Continue reading

Charities and Giving – Want to Join Me?

So I’ve been meaning to work on my charity donations for a while now, and I’m only just getting around to it, because sometimes I’m easily-distracted.

But really, this stuff is important. And normally, this isn’t the kind of thing I’d publicize. We don’t do good for the praise of others, and that’s even Biblical (“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them,” Matthew 6:1). So I wasn’t sure I should share this at all. But it occurred to me that if I did, others might be inspired to donate too, or even just become aware of some issues and needs that they weren’t previously aware of. So please read this post in that light. Continue reading

How Do I Love Chocolate? Let Me Count the Ways….

(I wanted to be blogging this week about the Midwest Writers Workshop and the coolness thereof, but I’ve been considerably distracted. So please accept this pre-written post about chocolate in the meanwhile.)

What does dark chocolate do for me?

writer: a peculiar organism capable of transforming caffeine into booksWell, it provides the caffeine which I don’t get from coffee. (Yeah, I’m one of the maybe four writers in the hemisphere who don’t drink coffee. Makes me the odd one out at conferences and workshops, where I have to find my own soft drink or something.) 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

Earth Day, and I’m off to the Northern Colorado Writers Conference

Grass

(Photo credit: DBduo Photography)

So for Earth Day today, I didn’t mow my grass.

Okay, so I probably wasn’t going to mow today, anyway. I have real grass, the grass that was here when the bison were still eating it, and it don’t need no stinking fertilizer and it don’t need no stinking water — during last year’s record-setting drought, it stayed green long past the time when most grass and many trees in central Indiana were dead or dying — and it’s tougher than most mowers. So it takes a bit of mental gearing up to challenge this grass. Continue reading

I Ran for Freedom. And I Didn’t Collapse.

So this morning was the 5K run to benefit International Justice Mission, combating modern slavery. (Yes, real slavery still exists today. In higher numbers than ever, in fact, but thankfully also as a smaller percentage than ever.)

International Justice Mission charity run

Yes, that’s a six-year-old. Ahead of me. Shuddup.

What you have to know is that I don’t run. Really. So this was a really good cause for me to even sign up. I had planned to do at least a bit of training beforehand, but a rotated pelvis nixed that. And that’s my best excuse for why I was able to take a photo of a six-year-old in front of me in the pack. Continue reading