The End


If one were to listen to the news lately, one could be forgiven for thinking that the end is nigh.  Between political strife, natural disasters, the fact that a man with the name Carrot Top has his own Las Vegas show….  And that’s just what’s going on in my native country.  It’s repeated all over the world.  It is enough to think that we are facing the end.

Are we?  Probably.

Most religions and ancient mythologies have stories about the destruction of everything and everyone.  Often, there is a rebirth or ascension of those who are saved…but sometimes, we are just left with the cold sterile void.

I am not sure why humanity is so absorbed with “The End.”  I think it is simply in our blood.  One of the counters to the Fermi Paradox is that it is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself.  That idea manifests in literature and in our culture in general; it is pretty much the staple behind apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction.

I’ve talked about this before but it does make me stop and think–and recent events have me thinking about it more often.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  I guess some answers are not meant to be known.

In the meantime, it sometimes seems silly to deny myself that extra bite of ice cream or have more than a passing annoyance with the granddaughter’s non-stop mouth.  Life indeed is too short.  And probably shorter than we dared hope.

(Muse:  That is some serious dark matter today, man.)

Yeah, sue me.  I’ll have something more relevant and fun next time.


Yes, I’m Still Here

I know, it has been a while since I last posted.  I have a couple of post drafts sitting here, on various subjects – most of which will get me in hot water with some group or the other – which I have just not managed to finish yet.

I have been on Twitter more lately (feed in the right column if you want to follow).  My Facebook page has been acting up a little, but all my tweets and stuff still end up there too.

I still can’t quite get my publications tab to look right.  Meh, it works, I will get back to it.

And no, Pilgrimage to Skara is still not up on Amazon yet.  Yes, I know….  But work goes on, along with some short story work.

One of these days, I will get around to posting some more.


I Touch Myself


I was minding my  own business today when I heard this song.  It’s 25 years old so it just kind of came out of the blue but it reminded me of an incident in my youth.  And just so we’re clear, I did go dredge up the video on YouTube (here) so I could refresh myself on the lyrics.

(Muse:  Uh, I am sure your “refreshing” nothing to do with the fact that lead singer was a hot, big-breasted redhead that wore her bangs over her eyes just the way you like, right?)

Don’t be stupid.  That …. had everything to do with it.  Sadly, Chrissy Amphlett was claimed by cancer a few years ago and the world was robbed of her presence.  But back to the point.

Skip back to 1991.  I was visiting some relatives.  This song came on.  One of my relatives (who shall remain nameless) expressed disgust over the song.  I said, “What’s the problem?”

“Did you listen to the lyrics?”  My relative’s face expressed horror that I did not see the immediate issue.  “She’s a lesbian!”

I sat back on the couch, unsure exactly what to say.  The thoughts in my head were 1) the lyrics don’t indicate anything of the sort, and 2) who gives a crap if she is?  I started to say something but was interrupted by my parents entering the room.  In the name of family peace (or cowardice, if you prefer), I let it go.  I also plead the temerity of youth, since at that time, I always hesitated to stir shit up.

(Muse:  You certainly have no trouble now, do ya?)

I spent years honing my curmudgeon skills.  So anyway, why this random anecdote?

Hell if I know.  I just sat here thinking about it.  I wonder if my relative ever came to grips with the prison of their own ignorance and prejudice – and then I told myself that was impossible, since they lack the awareness to know they were in said prison.

Besides, calling someone a lesbian, as a way of insult … Meh.  I think that ship has sailed.  Accuse of them of being a Republican.  It’s probably more damning in these times.

World Go Boom

So, in the course of my daily ramblings, I stumbled on this video on YouTube, titled, “World Battleground:  1000 Years of War in Five Minutes.”  It is a time-condensed animation of battles laid over a world map, all set to Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries.  Since the explosions are proportional to the number of casualties, you can guess that Europe just plain disappears under booms from 1939-1945.

It’s not perfect and seems very Euro-centric (for example, the Mongol invasion of Khwarezm circa 1220 which produced some horrific death tolls, doesn’t show), though the creator admits to taking the list of battles from an English-language Wikipedia article and says that may the source of the bias.

What was my take-away?  Humans are very good at killing each other and that is not likely to change any time soon.  Actually, that’s depressing.  I think I need to lay down for a while.

The Pen is Mightier than the Bandage

So ….

(Muse:  Where the HELL have you been?)

Out.  Hey, life is busy, you know?

(Muse:  Harumph.)

Anyway, as I was saying.  So….

A fellow writer and acquaintance, Beth Turnage, shared a link to this article and I thought it was kind of neat.  Briefly, the article goes into some of the non-obvious benefits of writing.  Forget exorcising demons from your head; this is all about the dopamine hit, baby!

Even if not a lick of it is true, I am going to pretend it all is.  All by itself, that makes me feel good!

Killer Artwork

A long time ago (and I am too lazy to go back and link my previous post), I asked about finding some good fantasy artwork – basically, I was looking for something suitably fantasy-ish for hanging on my wall, right over my desk.  Well, that project got sidelined and with the mess at my house, I never got back to it.

But I did stumble across this site:  Hero Complex Gallery.  They have a lot of prints of cool artwork, which are rife with pop-culture references.  I put it in my favorites, just in case I decide to resurrect the fantasy art project.  It’s not all fantasy per se, but still, some neat stuff.

Check it out.

Update on a Burnt House


As I posted a while back, we had a house fire back at the end of January.  Reconstruction has been unbelievably slow, thanks to some less-than-helpful contractors.  But having said all that, things are looking up.  The electric wiring and the sheetrock texture both finished today, which were big steps.  Much of the remaining work is going to be done by yours truly, and his son.  In fact, we’ve been knocking some of those things out, piece by piece, and the house is almost livable.

This has been an exhausting experience – physically and mentally – but I have come out of it with a new appreciation for just how complex a modern home is.  It is not just a matter of tying hammering nails into the right spots (though that certainly helps) but of planning things out and making sure all of the systems are working in together harmony.  A single mistake can undo days of work as you have to tear things out to make up for it.

What does any of this have to do with writing?  Nothing, other than give me a semi-valid excuse for why I haven’t gotten much new writing done this month.

I did get a whole slew of short story submissions out this month and besides 2013, this makes my best short story submission year (by number submitted) since 2009.  So that’s something.