News6/6/17: May was not a good month for writing. The weather finally improved, and so I found the need to get outside to work. I finished the other half of the retaining wall, planted bushes and flowers, spread some gravel and mulch, built a new kindling box (from scrap wood, of course), and got started on the wood pile for next winter. So it's not like I was idle, just busy on non-literary things.
I'm cross-posting my book reviews from Goodreads to my blog, but I'm not going to make announcements about that here. If you like my book reviews—or just want to know what I'm reading—just look in either location.
5/1/17: If you're seeing this message, then my webhost transfer was successful. Yay!
My new webhost is Stablehost; my old one was FatCow. Why the switch? Well, besides the SiteLock issues, cost did it. I was facing another rate increase this summer. It would've brought the cost increases up to 80% from what they were seven years ago. I couldn't justify that. If all goes well at Stablehost, I should be able to knock my costs down to a third of that.
April was a good month for writing. I increased my word count by over 10%. As I filled in these added details, it revealed more of the path forward. I'm very much a pantser, someone who literally writes by the seat of their pants. Outlines don't really cut it for me. I typically know where I'm starting and where I want to end up. While I know a few parts along the way, it's very much the view one gets at 10,000 feet.
I find the path as I write. The more I write, the more is revealed.
4/3/17: Launched The Sanitarium on Saturn, my new PR blog feed, on Friday and linked it to Goodreads, Amazon, and Smashwords over the weekend. I'm still playing with the look of it, and I have to add a lot more side column stuff, but I'm pleased that setting it up went without a hitch.
I forgot to mention that I finished editing Rob's latest book, and I've been finding time to write.
3/31/17: Had to delete Launchpad, my WordPress blog. I've been getting regular complaints from SiteLock, a security partner for my webhost (FatCow), that my site contains malware. The very first time, tech support at FatCow (SiteLock won't take any corrective action unless I sign up for their service) found a few WordPress files. I deleted them. Since then, no files have ever been found to be a problem. Coincidental WordPress updates tend to silence the alerts.
WordPress is also partnered with FatCow, so I'm caught in the middle between two partners butting heads. When I went to login to the WordPress control panel today to correct the latest complaint, I couldn't establish a secure connection, and Firefox freaked out. I'm tired of this bullshit, so I just FTP'd in and deleted all of the WordPress files. My feeds to GoodReads, Amazon, and Smashwords will crash, but I don't care anymore. I'll find a new blog and re-establish the feeds later.
3/6/17: Oh crap! It's March already. Where did the time go? Damn. Catching up on my TBR pile at least.
Very little writing done, and now I'm editing Rob Steiner's latest Natta Magus novel.
Taking a lecture on DVD course entitled "Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft" by Brooks Landon. Enjoying it. Very informative.
1/9/17: Made the official "Goodbye Podler Blog" announcement today.
12/30/16: I reviewed Christian Ellingsen's The Silver Mask, book one of The Vasini Chronicles over on the New Podler blog. It starts out as a murder mystery full of political intrigue, but it's set on some mirror Earth in a time of flintlocks and alchemy. Recommended.
Another year draws to a close. I made progress on Gateway, obviously not enough to finish. That has to be a goal for 2017. To help achieve it, I'm winding down the Podler blog. I've spent way too much time promoting the writing careers of others at the expense of my own. There's only so many hours in the day. Since none of my other blogmates has the time to take over the management of the blog, I've no other recourse but to shut it down. Formal announcement to come in January on the Podler blog.
Bottled the "Black Moon IPA" (black IPA) and my annual batch of "DED of Winter Ale" (porter). Hope to sample them on New Year's Eve.
Played D&D for the first time with my kids yesterday. It was fun. My son was reluctant, but my daughter has been asking for a while now. We were going to play 1st edition (yeah, I'm that old school), but I'd picked up the 3rd edition Player's Handbook several years ago and the kids seem to be more into that. Which adventure did we start with? Why, Keep on the Borderlands of course.
11/22/16: I reviewed L. Marshall James's Speck over on the New Podler blog. It's a horror thriller that could've been a novel but was abandoned at novella length.
Worked some more on Gateway last week. I can feel the gears start to move. Have to stick with it.
Started brewing an experimental batch: Black IPA or Cascadian Dark Ale or black ale. I don't know if the brewing community has come to a consensus on the genre name yet. O.G. 1.064. Might be a bit high. It's a 1-gallon batch so it's easy to overdo it on ingredients.
11/16/16: I reviewed Damian Bruce's The Interview over on the New Podler blog. It's a good dystopian thriller with a lousy cover.
Finally had a chance to wade back into Gateway last night. While I have notes, I really have to soak in it for a while to drive the story forward. I think it's 1/3 of the way there, so I've got a lot of gaps to fill.
Started brewing my annual winter porter on Monday. O.G. 1.070!
10/21/16: I reviewed Charles Blanchard's Kingdom's End over on the New Podler blog. Think of it as Watership Down for rats.
There was a hiccup on the Blogger servers at the end of September, resulting in the deletion of our blogrolls and book review link lists. Fortunately I found an archived version of the blog, so I was able to copy all of those links to a safe place. Took me three weeks to squeeze in the time to re-enter them though.
Finished the new front walkway project. Rented a log splitter to finish splitting the wood. Lots of gnarley, twisted pieces. Small tasks remain, and then...oh my goodness, I think I might have time to write. Something bad must be about to happen.
10/3/16: I reviewed R.A. Burg's The Human and the Hunted over on the New Podler blog. It's a first contact story with not one but two aliens.
Still working on the new front walkway project. Soooo close to being done. After that, I have to finish splitting wood. Somewhere along the way, I lost September so I really have to get a move on.
One tidbit of good news regarding my editing. Rob Steiner's Citizen Magus got five stars over at Marian L. Thorpe's blog (Yay Rob!). Towards the bottom of the review, there was this tidbit, which made me smile.
"At this point in a review, I usually discuss my 'niggles': things that weren’t quite right. With the exception of one error missed in the copy-editing (an 'it's' used when 'its' should have been) I found no errors of grammar, spelling or production in the e-pub version I read, for which the author and his editor should be commended."
8/30/16: I reviewed M.L. Kennedy's 100 by 100 over on the New Podler blog. Kennedy uses only 100 words to tell each of the 100 stories in this collection. It might seem like just a gimmick, but Kennedy is clever enough to pull it off.
Kids go back to school tomorrow so I should be able to find time to return to writing. Have to finish the new front walkway project first.
8/10/16: I reviewed Brady Koch's Guns, Gods & Robots over on the New Podler blog. It's a nice collection of short stories with a bit of a Bradbury-ish sci-fi flavor.
7/14/16: I reviewed Scott Rhine's Union of Souls over on the New Podler blog. It's the third book in Rhine's space opera series, Gigaparsec, and the best to date.
6/20/16: Happy Summer Solstice!
I reviewed Richard Abbott's Far from the Spaceports over on the New Podler blog. It was a refreshing little sci-fi story that didn't have any killer AIs hellbent on eradicating humanity, nor was it a dystopian tale of oppression or rebellion. Just a good story.
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