My Own Little Slice of Pi

My monthly post is up at Mad Genius Club, in which I was eloquent about my new toys. Seriously, I’m jazzed about my new writing computer. It’s, it’s … just go read.

So I got a new toy tool a few days ago. Actually, a couple of them, and the first precipitated the second. You see, I acquired a new keyboard. The keyboard I had was … less than awesome. Keys were pressed, strokes registered, but it all felt … well, lackluster is putting it tactfully. The keystrokes were short, the action blunted, the sound muffled. It felt as though I was trying to type through sand. I was always pulled out of what I was doing to make sure I was still doing it. Yes, those are my fingers pounding plodding away. Gosh, I sure hope those electrons know where to go.

Anyway, it was … uncomfortable. Not a state in which to try to write. Enter Das Keyboard. It’s a little spendy- okay, it’s more than a little spendy. At $160, it’s more expensive than the second acquisition, but the keys are a dream. It utilizes mechanical keys. They have substance. They have haptic response! They strike like the very hammer of Thor! (Also, it’s Germish. (Is it German? Not really, but it’s kinda like German: it’s Germ-ish.) Actually, it’s made in China and sold by a company in Texas.)

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Plus Ca Change

Got a new Raiding Party post up over at According to Hoyt, wherein I discuss just how short the public attention span is, and why this isn’t necessarily a Bad Thing(TM).

When I was a wee, young lad, my farthest horizons Down The Block To The Corner, and more distantly, The Annual 25-Hour Drive to Southern KCalifornia, I was confronted with the reality of, not only my personal mortality, but of the possibility – nay, the certainty of the extinction of humanity. No, not something as pedestrian as nuclear warfare. That, that actor who had the sheer, unmitigated gall to occupy the White House had seemed to put paid to the Gorby and the big, bad (but misunderstood, really, Officer Krupke) USSR.

No, we were all going to freeze to death as the planet chilled to a really, really, really cold temperature. Or starve. Or both, I expect. Now, I was four or five, but I’ve come to find out since that the drum of Teh Coming Ice-Age(TM) was being beaten for much longer than I knew about then. This was hard to understand – the whole freezing thing – as I started my life in sunny Pasadena. It became at least accessible once we’d moved to Spokane, and had this strange period called Winter, where the rain became this solid, oppressive, colorless thing that drifted on tiny wings of extinction. Or something.

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Them’s Fightin’ Words…

So. There’s a company out there that’s infamous among writers. Victoria Strauss, over at Writer Beware, has been a valiant crusader in bringing to light and public knowledge the activities of any number of unsavory groups masquerading as legitimate publishers. Typically, these groups offer author services, wherein they’ll sell a writer advertising packages. Or book “packages,” in which a hapless writers pays through the nose for editing, cover art and such. In fact, the Man of the Hour, David Gaughran, has an entire series of posts that walk the discerning reader through how egregious this crew are.

Well, they’re at it again, only this time they’ve recruited accomplices. And what accomplices they are. No less than Barnes & Noble (or, as I like to think of them, Toys & Nooks) has signed a contract to funnel business to one of the most deceptive scammers of naive writers-cum-author around. In exchange for a cut of filthy lucre, B&N – through Nook Press – will be pushing Author Solutions publishing packages. All at an even higher-than-“normal” price, and all without the willing consent of the spammed. It’s, it’s … just go read. It’s infuriating, and a decade ago, I might have bought it, and that’s further angering. I’m going to have to go stab badguys just to relax now…

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Raiding Party at ATH

That’s right: the Huns are sweeping down out of the CIS-Alps. Or, or something. Anyway, I’ve got a little thing up at According To Hoyt wherein I talk about how bad things aren’t. Not really. Could be lots worse. Lucifer’s Hammer, anyone? How about the Walking Dead? Life Free or Die, even…

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You don’t have to be mad to work here . . .

I have a new post up over at the Organization of Slightly-Vexed Boffins discussing the current nonsense floating about the InterWebz as regards intersectionality and it’s (poor) application to publishing and reading and writing. Here’s a taste:

Badthink; Wrongfun

I don’t know what’s going on in the world anymore. I went away for most of a month. Mrs. Dave and I went to find winter in Colorado, and I ended up wearing short sleeves for most of our visit. There were Superstars (though I wonder whether that refers to those of us in the audience, or the well-selling folks up front) and then there was several hundred miles of road through gorgeous country, and a few dozen awesome people in a few too-short weeks.

Then I come home to find I’m now the wrong kind of fan, having the wrong kind of fun, writing the wrong kind of stories in the wrong way, and reading the wrong kinds and shapes and colors of authors.

In other news, the sequel(s) to Shadow Hands will be going up for sale in the near future. I apologize for the (unpleasantly sizable) delay between releases. I can only say that fatherhood came as more of a surprise than I expected. Also, that I’m less good at covers than I’d like. Keep an eye on this space, and I’ll let you all know the details.

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