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19 July 2015 @ 10:56 am
New Stories About Old Friends: for those who don't know, I continue to write short stories and novelettes about the characters of my old Del Rey fantasy serieses. These are available on Smashwords (smashwords.com) and on Amazon Kindle Direct. Most are $4.99. Smashwords supports all the major platforms (epub, kobo, mobi, pdf, etc), and I believe markets to sites for Nook, ePub, etc. Kindle Direct is - well, for Kindle.

So far, there are 5 Antryg and Joanna novelettes, 3 tales about Sun Wolf and Starhawk, 4 stories about Benjamin January (actually, two of these are about what Rose does while Ben is out of town), 2 each concerning John and Jenny in the Winterlands, and the gang at the Keep of Dare. Also available are the 4 stories that I wrote, over the years, for Sherlock Holmes anthologies, two of which are fantasy and two of which are "straight" Holmes stories: two are narrated by Watson, two by Mrs. Watson. Lastly, there is the vampire-on-the-Titanic novelette, "Sunrise on Running Water," in which Don Simon Ysidro from my vampire series has a very brief cameo (he has FAR too much sense to be on the Titanic himself).

I used to sell these stories on my personal website - I no longer do.

But, I will continue to write new stories about old friends, and post them on Smashwords and Kindle Direct (and announce them on LJ and FB... Twitter just makes me crazy).

I hope you all enjoy them!
18 October 2016 @ 10:11 pm
Wow, thanks for the prompt and excellent replies to my pistol question.
The main thing I needed to know was, Was this thing really a thing? I read about it on-line, and it sounded so weird that I needed a little corroborative evidence. (My niece tells me she actually held one).
Thank you, Ross TenEyck for the link to the site! Badgermirlacca, thank you, but it looks like I won't need to be questing further.
I still think it sounds really weird, but at least nobody's going to be e-mailing me with "That's just an urban legend" or "I'm a major gun expert and I've NEVER heard of such a thing."
Bless you, one and all!
18 October 2016 @ 03:28 pm
A question to the Group Mind.
I need information - for purposes of the plot - about rare old guns. Specifically, about a kind of small "ladies' pistol" of the 18th century whose barrel - at least according to the article I read on-line - was screwed onto the frame of the gun, AFTER the load was placed. (Of course, like all 18th-century firearms, you could only shoot the thing once before you had to re-load).

Does anybody know about these things? (We're into REAL antiquarian territory here).
06 September 2016 @ 10:17 am
Settling into the "new normal" after a difficult and tiring summer which has left me - among other things - grossly behind in my work. I am teaching two classes this semester, working on the next Ben January novel (the first of a two-book contract which was one of the positive things about the summer), and trying to find time to do the next Further Adventures tales. I'm still also trying to finish a fantasy novel, and am shuffling around with two Further Adventures serialized novels, which, as I recall, Further Adventures fans said they'd be open to, even though they WOULD be serialized. (And there's always those seven or eight historical romance mysteries floating in the background, that I've been trying to get to for YEARS).

I will be Guest of Honor at Con-Dor in San Diego, March 3-5, and will also be a minor, local-talent guest at Gallifrey One 17-19 Feb (and am trying to get into the Art Show again).

I had my birthday and used part of my birthday money to get a new crop of weird t-shirts to wear to teach in. I have finally been able to steal a couple of hours here and there to get back to painting. I did sleep a lot.
09 August 2016 @ 10:45 am
MANY thanks, by the way, to all who assisted with information on the whole "What was the rank of the Quartermaster-Sergeant's store assistant?" issue. It was most helpful! Bless you all!
09 August 2016 @ 10:43 am
Well, the bad news was that the alternator, battery, and belt were all bad and need replacing.
The good news is that the car didn't quit on me until I pulled into my driveway last night.
So, I'm as happy as I can be under the circumstances. It should be done by the time I need to leave to meet friends for a twilight picnic at the Hollywood Bowl to listen to an all-Mozart concert under the stars. If one is scheduled by Fate for Car Trouble, this is a fairly painless way to get it checked off.
Still working on the revisions of Pale Guardian - and the online certification class that the community college district (or possibly the State - I'm not sure where these orders come from) is requiring me to take - and prepping for classes which start in less than three weeks (and so far the adjuncts - of whom I am one - don't have either offices or telephones on campus) - and trying to work my way back to the next Benjamin January AND the next couple of Further Adventures.
It has been a massively difficult summer.
04 August 2016 @ 11:54 am
First, my apologies for not posting in awhile. My father passed away on the 22nd of July - it's been a difficult time.

Second, I am finally able to start the editorial-notes revision of Pale Guardian (Asher/Ysidro # 7), though it's still a bit hard to concentrate. (I am also taking a certification course for my teaching, NOT what I'd rather be doing at this point, but necessary to earning a living).

Third - Does anybody know what the rank of a Quartermaster's Clerk in the British Army would be, in 1915? I'd guessed a Corporal (since the guy who did the actual Quartermaster job in a regiment was a Sergeant), but the editor is asking, "Could you confirm that?" Anybody know where I could look for the answer?

MANY thanks!
13 July 2016 @ 04:16 pm
A day of first draft. Any historical is research-heavy, which means first draft is very slow: 4th of July Parade in New Orleans, 1839 (did they have 4th of July parades? Look up). From where to where? (Jackson Square to Lee Circle, which was Tivoli Circle in 1839, and what did it look like? Where there trees there?) Picnic later... Where would the free colored burial society have their picnic? (Congo Square, probably...) What did Congo Square look like in 1839? (More look up. Dig out maps) When did they tear down the city walls? (More maps. More look up). How has Ben January's neighborhood changed in the 7 years he's been back from France? (More look up). How has the massive economic depression affected black neighborhoods?

And we're only a paragraph in.

AND half the story takes place in France nine years previously, so the whole process has to be repeated with Paris (how far had the Rue de Rivoli extended into the old medieval neighborhood along the river by 1830? What was the Pont au Change called back then? The French have a nasty habit of a) cutting new streets through Paris and b) changing the names of existing streets). And where was the guillotine set up at that time? (I now know a LOT about the care and operation of guillotines).

And I need to get as far into the first draft as I can by August 29th, which is when the semester starts and I will be doing this in between teaching and some truly exhausting driving, not to speak of my father's illness which is absorbing a great deal of time and energy from everyone in the family. No wonder I want to sleep all the time.
05 July 2016 @ 06:47 pm
Many thanks all!
Finally, in disgust and frustration (after looking a LOT on Google when I should have been writing) I e-mailed my Computer Guy, and his wife eventually had to write a macro to turn the damn Autofill or Autocomplete or whatever they are calling it now - because Word changes what they call that annoying little feature, so I don't know what toggle to turn off. And in fact, she couldn't find the turn-on/turn-off feature for it, either.
But, problem taken care of. Thank you all!
05 July 2016 @ 11:19 am
A question for the group mind:

I have just gotten a new computer, and of course I need to tweak Word so it is less irritating to use.
When I start to type a name which is also a month (as in, January, or March) Word helpfully pops up an annoying box asking, do I want to click the box for the whole word to appear? How do I make it stop doing this? Any help would be much appreciated. I don't know what these things are called (are these Smart Tags?) so cannot un-check them in the "Options" box. Hunting on the Internet for "What is a Smart Tag?" doesn't yield conclusive information.

Many thanks,