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31 July 2015

When I was younger I was often told that people should age gracefully… I didn’t see why then, and I still don’t. Growing old disgracefully is much more fun.
One possible consolation about dying will be that after all the many and dire predictions about the death of civilization through holocaust, pandemic, meteor strike, or whatever, while they may still happen, I won’t be around to suffer the consequences.
And – before I go to sleep at night I think wicked thoughts, at least if I die in my sleep I’ll die smiling – and leave everyone else wondering what in heck made me grin like that…

Yes, our newspaper, The Dannevirke News, continues to find my articles useful – and, judging from comments by local people, so do they, so I happily continue to write. latest have been – DON’T DITCH THE OLD OR BROKEN MUG appeared Dvke News Saturday June 27th 2015. FORKING (or Spooning) OUT FOR GIFTS appeared Dvke News saturday July 4th 2015, and NATURAL PAIN RELIEF FOR PETS appeared DVKE NEWS Saturday July 11th 2015

Three weeks ago I was coping with cold weather and clearing a host of items that stacked up while I was writing my latest novella. In a neat repeat, this past two weeks has seen me writing the other planned novella, and now I have a month ‘off” – depending on the definition of ‘off.’ I checked this morning.
Friends are away, so I’m feeding their cat and keeping an eye on their sheep.
Articles for the newspaper are getting down a bit so I should write another 2-3.
I have plots for two short stories demanding that I do something about them.
I’m due to do my blog this week.
Ah, not quite so “off” as I’d thought. Not to mention all the usual farm stuff, shopping, emails, letters, three parcels that should go out to friends or family, and a cat that expects me to be be at his beck and call. Oh, well, never bored, and I prefer that to any alternative.

19 July 2015

MX Press in London updated me. Their massive, hardcover, two-volume anthology, New Stories of Sherlock Holmes – in which I have a story (A MISTRESS MISSING) is now scheduled for September publication. On which the publisher writes – We managed to secure an exclusive from the Radio Times (one of the UK’s leading entertainment magazines). Info here.
It is believed that this anthology with over 60 stories (many by well-known pastich authors) may receive a Guiness listing.

Further update on this anthology 9/8/15.
This anthology has now gone into three hardcover volumes to cover all stories. Wow. And it’s getting attention fronm the UK site run by Derrick Belanger who has the I hear Of Sherlock Everywhere. He is currently doing short interbiews with most authors in the anthology. Those for the first volume can be found here.
Those for V2 here.

13 July 2015

This morning it was minus 3 degrees. The geese don’t mind it being wet a lot lately, but they aren’t that pleased about frozen feet. I don’t mind the wet OR cold that much, I’m simply hoping we don’t get gales for a good while now. It’s always something. But I have stacks of firewood, and Thunder – currently parked firmly by the fire – approves of that, as do I. the weather being cold isn’t so bad if the house is warm and the cupboard and freezer are full. Since they are, all is well.

Out now is Polly and Johnny, a steampunk story, and no, I don’t write many, but now and again if invited I do, and The Story Emporium asked, and as I esteem them highly, I was delighted to do so, and still happier that Julie liked it. The Story Emporium is currently available up on Amazon in ebook (print soon) and Createspace.

Meanwhile URBAN LEGENDS sold to the CRANIAL LEAKAGE anthology, and I look forward to the appearance of that.

If you never read these when they were published by DAW in 1979 and 1982, try to lay hands on copies now. They were seminal women’s anthologies then, now they are still unbeatable. Sadly, a number of the authors within have passed on, but here were some of the best stories they ever did. Janrae Frank (late and lamented) had Wolves of Nakesht in the anthology. I wrote to her at the time and we remained writing, then emailing casually from then on. I wrote the foreword to her own story collection, feeling then and even now, that her work never received the credit it should have. There were Andre’s Falcon’s Blood, C.J. Cherryh’s The Dreamstone, Janet Fox had Morrien’s Bitch, and there was the clever, savage “The Rape Patrol,’ by Michele Belling. (Who seems never to have written another story that I can find – although if that was it, that single story is a heck of a legacy.) Elizabeth Lynn, Megan Lindholm, Charles Saunders, Joanna Russ and T.J. Morgan, (an elderly academic who wrote in Welsh, and who died some 7 years after this story’s publication.) all writers who produced great stories.
Three years later the editor, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, did the second, Amazons II, and it was at least as good. Again she enticed superb authors to write her a story, and again the stories too were superb. F.M. Busby’s For A Daughter, (the gone and lamented writer) Jo Clayton’s Nightwork, George R.R. Martin’s In The Lost Lands, Gael Baudino’s Lady of the Forest End, and stories by Gilliam Fitzgerald, Phyllis Ann Karr, Elanear Arneson, Tanith Lee and Ardath Mayhar. My deep regret was that DAW never asked Jessica Amanda Salmonson to do more of these anthologies, they had the highest incidence of terrific stories I ever encountered in anthologies, selected by an editor who knew what she was doing, and knew too that you don’t just toss a bunch of stories together and hope they blend. (JAS did other excellent work beside editing, if you like solid s & s, look at her Tomoe Gozen books.) Those of us who still have our Amazon’s copies regularly re-read them, in fact it was doing just that (for about the twentieth time) this month that produced this review. And note that after almost forty years I can STILL re-read them and enjoy that each time… So if you’ve never run into these anthologies, see if you can lay hands on copies, because believe me, they were – and always will be I believe – worth more than the time and money you’ll spend. (I understand that Amazons – the company – have PDF’s for download. Run, do not walk…)

1 July 2015

I watched this because I dearly love an end-of-the-world oe disaster movie. Then too it had Emma Watson whom I also like. Sadly I was disappointed. The work reminded me of the elderly Edwardian lady’s advice to the young man.
“Funny is good, funny and vulgar is permissable. But be one or the other and never merely vulgar.”
It isn’t that I don’t like crass humour, I enjoyed the Porky’s moves and others of their ilk, but they managed to be vulgar AND funny. This one failed. It was confusing, humourlessly crass and a self-indulgent mess. A pity, as I’d hoped it would be otherwise. But, sic biscuit disintergraf.