The Music of the Spheres

Han Solo, image courtesy Wikipedia

Han Solo, image courtesy Wikipedia

Working on a science-fiction short and surprising myself with how much I’m enjoying it. One of my writers’ group last night commented that a character was “a mix of a symphony conductor and Han Solo” — and I’m pretty happy with that description.

I went searching today for some title ideas, and I happened across this nifty toy — tool — program — quest — thing, a computer code meant to blend mathematics and light and sound into a literal music of the spheres.
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On Today’s Slavery.

The Slave Market, by Gustave Boulanger
The Slave Market, by Gustave Boulanger

Serious post today, folks.

While writing Shard & Shield, I spent a lot of time researching Greco-Roman slavery, as slavery is integral to one of the cultures in the story. Research always leads one down unexpected roads, and I learned a lot about slavery in other areas of the world and in world history, too.

Persian slave, from the 1893 book Central Asia: Travels in Cashmere, Little Thibet and Central Asia.
Persian slave, from the 1893 book Central Asia: Travels in Cashmere, Little Thibet and Central Asia.

Most Americans, hearing the word “slavery,” think of the African trade to the American south, and they think it ended with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. That’s foremost in our cultural awareness — but it’s not quite the truth. In fact, slavery is far, far from ended.

There are more slaves today than at any previous period in world history. Continue reading

Ben-Hur: Drama, Conflict, and Parody

Cover of "Ben-Hur (Four-Disc Collector's ...
Cover of Ben-Hur (Four-Disc Collector’s Edition)

I love Ben-Hur.

Yes, it’s become somewhat fashionable in recent years for critics to wave their hands disdainfully at the film which was previously held in such esteem. Fine, they can have their pretense of superior taste. And okay, sure, trends in acting have changed in the last half-century. But I still love the film.

No, seriously, I once calculated that I’ve spent maybe half a week or so of my life watching Ben-Hur. Step aside, amateurs.

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Achievement Unlocked! Goals Met (And Some I Didn’t Know I Had)

Freak Out
This is how I feel, but in a GOOD way, because I’m so excited. (Photo credit: Frau Shizzle)

A while back I wrote a humorous post about goals which would let me know I’d “made it” (whatever that means) in my writing career. Since then I’ve passed some pretty impressive personal milestones, and while I wrote that post primarily for my fiction writing, it would be wholly ungrateful of me not to acknowledge the great things which have come my way thus far in my non-fiction work as well.

Sometimes we achieve goals we didn’t even mean to set, and it’s good to find the joys of these surprise achievements. So here are some awesome things which have really happened, some of which I hadn’t even thought of as goals until I was delighted by them.

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