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Back in January, we received a small monetary bonus, so I decided, Hey, what the hell, I’m gonna try one of these new-fangled VR gaming headsets.

Being a wearer of spectacles, though, I had concerns. There was a chance they simply wouldn’t work for me, so I tried one at the mall, watched YouTube videos, read many reviews, browsed the forums, and carefully parsed return policies. Weighing pros and cons, I made a decision and bought one. It was on backorder, but I wasn’t in a hurry.

That was in January.

Then the world fell down, and I forgot all about it. Continue Reading »

As a youth, I was not “into” comic books. The reason for this was two-fold.

First, the nearest store that had a rack of comic books was a two-mile walk from my house. Now, a two-mile walk wasn’t unusual for me—I spent all summer and many school-day afternoons with friends up in the hills, trekking miles from our suburban homes—and a gaggle of us would frequently walk or ride our bikes down to that store, but once there, the primary reason came into play: as a kid, I was never given an allowance. Continue Reading »

The Princess Gang rolled into the cul-de-sac on the day Mr. B’s plum tree decided to bloom.

That is the opening line to a story I’ve been playing with for a while, and like most of my mainstream fiction these days, it is based squarely in my real life. The Princess Gang was a cadre of small girls who used to rule the cul-de-sac, roaming their demesne like a pastel cloud of tulle-swathed glitterati. The plum tree was the Italian plum tree I planted in my front garden long before any of the Princess Gang were even born.

It was nearly twenty years ago that my wife and I drove back from the nursery with two plum trees sticking out of the back of our tiny hatchback, dormant branches rattling. I wanted some fruit trees in the front garden. Knowing the soil there was poor and that the area gets a lot of afternoon warmth, I thought a French or an Italian plum tree—no strangers to challenging conditions—would at least have a hope of survival. Continue Reading »

More free books? More free books!

Once more, with feeling.

I’m rounding out these Quarantine eBook Giveaways with three titles.

This time, it’s Volumes 3–5 from The Fallen Cloud Saga, my alternate history set in 19th century America. This will complete your five-book set, and this Thursday thru Monday (May 07–11), they are free.

As always, you don’t need the e-reader; you just need the app. It’s available for free, for PC, Mac, and all smart phones.

Feel free to share with friends, family, enemies.

The Fallen Cloud Saga (Vols 3–5)

Click the links below to visit each book’s page and get your free copy!

The Shadow of the Storm

The Cry of the Wind

Beneath a Wounded Sky

I hope these giveaways have helped you make it through quarantine.

Stay home
Stay healthy
Save lives

k

When I Do Die

 
When I do die, I hope it is in spring,
though not for me, no, not on my account.

For my part I would rather die whilst deep
in Autumn’s arms, to meet my final slumber
as the Earth trades out her riotous robes
for melancholy hues, and hones the evening’s
cool-lipped kiss into a thing that bites.

To die at such a time, in synchronized
conclusion with the fading world, it seems
most apt and natural, but still, I would
not have it so.

Those friends who rue my end,
I would not have them grieve in chill and growing
dark, nor hang with crepe the holidays
of friendship, love, and hearthfired warmth, nor mute
their joys with mournful tones, like minor chords
that linger in cathedral vaults.

Instead,
for them, my dearest few, I hope to die
in springtime, just as Nature’s hand arrives
to balance any sadness with the fresh
and unrelenting joy of life’s renewal.

I would ask the sun of warming days
to light each face, have blooms and birdsong lift
their hearts, and let the season’s boisterous breezes
dry their briny tears, all while surrounded
by the freshness of a world reborn.

k

First, a bit of business.
My third Quarantine eBook Giveaway is live, today through Monday.
Free books! Tell a friend.

Now, onward to a writing quandary that has been rattling around in my pea-brain this week.

When I was writing speculative fiction (alternate history, high fantasy, science fiction), my process was unaffected by changes in modern life. I was writing about times past, alternatives to the present, or imagined futures, so I didn’t have to worry about current trends or innovations. At most, if a piece was set in the near-future, I might have to extrapolate forward from the day’s news, but in general, I had free rein and could build the world as I wished. Continue Reading »

Free books, y’all.

Yip, I’m doing it again. To help you get through your quarantine/stay-at-home time, I’m giving away two more titles.

This time, they’re from The Fallen Cloud Saga, my alternate history set in 19th century America. It’s a five-book set, and tomorrow thru Monday (April 23–27), the first two ebooks in the series are free.

As always, you don’t need the e-reader; you just need the app. It’s available for free, for PC, Mac, and all smart phones.

Feel free to share with friends, family, enemies.

The Fallen Cloud Saga (Vols 1–2)

Click the links below to visit each book’s page and get your free copy!

The Year the Cloud Fell

The Spirit of Thunder

 

Keep checking in for updates and future titles.

Stay home
Stay healthy
Save lives

k

 

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