Who Comes Up With This Stuff?

Several months ago, I came across PBS’s “Great American Read” quiz, encouraging visitors to see how many of these “Great American Reads” they themselves had read. I have to admit I was puzzled by this list: it contained an awful lot of the dusty old classics of yore — things our English Lit. instructors insisted…

Juggling Rules

As most of my readers know, I’m a freelance writer. Most of my work has been done in the tabletop gaming field, where I’ve written for companies from Games Workshop to Third Eye Games, and many in between. When writing for such a diverse selection of games, it’s important to be familiar with a lot…

A Home for Big Kitties

While we prepare and ponder adopting some new furry friends of our own, we visited one of our favorite sanctuaries over the weekend. Valley of the Kings is a non-profit big-cat rescue located in southeastern Wisconsin, near the towns of Darien and Sharon, close to the Illinois border and only a short drive from Delavan…

Declaring War on Disney

IN a shocking development, there’s a debate raging on the Internet — I know, right? Anyway, a group of self-entitled fanboys are trying to raise money to REMAKE The Last Jedi. The Star Wars movie that JUST CAME OUT a couple of months ago. Disney apparently did it wrong, according to these folks. The first…

What a Monday!

Yeesh; I went to add a new post today, and couldn’t log in. I called my hosting service, and they discovered activity that suggests a brute force attack was underway to try to take control of my website. The IT guy I spoke with suggested it was common practice to break in and use a…

A Special Kind of Evil

Writing villains is easy. Writing GOOD villains is substantially more difficult. As with any character, they need to have a reason to exist, and often a reason for their evil. They have to have motivations that are grounded in reality, motivations that make sense. Even if that sense is twisted, we still have to be…

Asshole Culture

As if the title weren’t obvious enough, this post contains harsh language and depressing themes. Be warned. ***** It occurs to me that, more and more, Americans (and possibly the world) revel in being complete jerks to other people. Cries of “He speaks his mind.” or “She tells it like it is!” seem to be…

Novel vs. Short Story

I was having a discussion recently with an acquaintance. She had asked about my published fiction, and I was explaining that, so far, I’ve had two short stories published, and was working on a couple more, plus a novel. She replied that she never reads short stories — didn’t like them, in fact. I was…