Since the world is conspiring against me writing this week (Singing “I’m busy, busy, terribly busy”), I’ll post this interesting post of Sarah’s rather than my own. Hopefully I’ll get back to my stuff soon.

According To Hoyt

I am still reading Paul Johnson – well, I’m not reading much, as any form of mental effort seems to result in lengthy naps.  I do think I’m over whatever the heck this was, but two and a half weeks of being ill, culminating in a stomach disturbance does leave you somewhat weakened.  So I’m reading this book in installments, mostly when I am eating or doing something else that won’t take a long time.  (I like books of essays or very short stories for this, because it allows me to read, then go back to what I was doing without being captured by a novel.)  I hate eating alone, so I read through it.

Anyway, one thing I’ve got as I read about all these founders of the currently predominating intellectual fashion, is that most of them hated people.  They “loved” broad categories of humans: the workers, the downtrodden…

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Author beware!

David Gaughran

Simon & Schuster has launched a self-publishing operation, Archway Publishing, contracting one of the most disreputable players in the business to run the show: Author Solutions.

We’ll get to that distasteful link-up in a second, but first let’s have a look at what Simon & Schuster are offering prospective customers (i.e. writers).

Fiction packages start at $1,999 and go up to $14,999. If you have written a business book, prices are saucier again: $2,999 to $24,999.

While the upper end of the pricing spectrum is obviously shocking, some of you might think that $1,999 isn’t too bad if you are getting a proper edit and a decent cover.

Not so fast.

That price tag doesn’t include any real editing, just an assessment which – according to their own website – is “not a replacement” for editorial services but “a preliminary diagnostic tool.”

But what if you need proper editing?…

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Be Thankful



A new song for Thanksgiving Day.

Be thankful for family,
Be thankful for friends.
Be thankful for beginnings,
Be thankful for ends.
Be thankful for light,
Be thankful for the dawn.
Be thankful for hope
That continues on.

Be thankful for springtime,
Be thankful for fall,
Be thankful for summer,
And winter, and all.
Be thankful for all you have,
And all you may become.
Be thankful for dreams
Of the world that is to come.

Be thankful for warmth,
Be thankful for home.
Be thankful for comfort,
And shelter from the storm.
Be thankful for little things
That matter in the end.
Be thankful for family,
Be thankful for friends.


I’m too busy cleaning today to write anything, and this is very interesting.

Mad Genius Club

Someone asked me about filing the serial numbers from fan fiction.

The subject is not exhaustive, but it does bear, perhaps, walking through.

“Filing the Serial Numbers” is something you do when you just wrote something set in someone else’s (or even one of your own’s – I’ll explain later) universe, and can’t legally (or don’t want to) publish it as part of that universe.

I first heard the expression when our entire group was trying to get into the Strange New World’s contest.  When we actually met Dean Wesley Smith at a workshop, we told him the only bad thing was that the non-placing stories couldn’t be sold.  He looked at us, puzzled, and said “Well, why don’t you file the serial numbers and send it out?”

So, let’s start with a Star Trek story.  Let’s say you just wrote some star trek fanfic, for decompression or whatever, and…

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Story Calculations


Assuming my calculations are correct, assuming one wrote at an average pace per day of 700 words, it would take 71 days to write a novel of an arbitrary length of 50,000 words.

Assuming a twenty day month, that would be three and a half months from start to finish.

Run Away Dog, and Injured Boy


Rocky ran off again yesterday. He manages to escape every few months, and runs off to enjoy himself running through the woods. We had had him out on his line, and I could see him sunning himself on the steps. I asked my daughter, Gidget, to go check on him, to see if he wanted to come in or not. Apparently he didn’t want to come in, since he ran off as soon as he saw her, and continued to run as he hit the end of his line, and the woods. I doubt that he realized that he could run off until that point.

The kids went out on a fruitless attempt to find him, tromping through the woods and down by the creek, but he didn’t choose to show himself to them. But Dash came back with an injured foot, where a branch came up and attacked him. I’m not sure how he got the injury on the top of his foot, but that’s where it was.

I looked at the injury, and realized that there was a big something still in the wound. If it were just a little splinter, I’d have tried to tweezer it out, but it was more than that, and looked like it might do more damage if I tried to pull it out.

Jonathan was off with our only car, and was only periodically checking his texts and voice mail, so I couldn’t get ahold of him for quite a while. I didn’t think it was worth having Dash walking a mile to the emergency room, so we waited for Jonathan to get home, and then took Dash off to an Urgent Care room.

It didn’t take too much time for the doctor to come and see him, and after deadening the area, she used tweezers to pull out an inch long splinter out of his foot. It was probably at least two millimeters in diameter. It’s amazing it didn’t hurt Dash more.

So, after we dropped Dash off at home, and went to get the anti-biotic prescription filled, we came home, put the car in the garage, and heard jingling off in the distance. We looked out, and there was Rocky at the end of the driveway, watching us. As soon as we called him, he was off again, of course. But it was nice to know that he was in the area, keeping tabs on us, and not injured himself.

The temperatures only got down into the 50s last night, so I wasn’t worried about him getting cold. This morning, he must have figured that he had had enough fun for a while, for when Gidget headed out to the bus stop, he came right up to her, and let himself be caught. I think maybe he wanted his breakfast. I think he’ll be stiff and sore for the next couple of days, but that won’t stop him from running off again the next time he gets an opportunity.

Story Notes


I seem to have gotten past the point where my characters were not talking to each other, and instead exchanging meaningful looks. I wanted to reach in and strangle them.

“Hey, guys, this is a verbal medium, not a visual one, say something!”

On a side note, “dorst” is an agricultural term referencing “dorse” which is a prickly nuisance plant that can only be gotten rid of by burning. Nowadays, it’s even worse, since it’s considered an endangered species, and burning it is illegal. 😉

I am Alpha and Omega



(Another one of the old poems from my notebook. I also remember the tune I wrote this one to, it’s light and bouncy. And, of course, we’ll ignore the hubris of speaking about God in first person. 😉 )

I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.
I am He who keeps my Promise, I am He who comes again.
I am He who reigns Eternal, I am He who sets you free.
I am He. I am He, I am He.

I am He who died for you. I am He who lives again.
I am He who bears your burdens. I am He who is your Friend.
I am He alone who’s worthy to say, “Come, and follow me.”
For I am He, I am He, I am He.

I am He who is thrice Holy. I am He who is your King.
I am He for whom the mountains shall all clap their hands and sing.
I am He who rules the sky, and I am He who tames the sea.
I am He, I am He, I am He.

I am He who’s King of Glory, and of earth and sky and sea.
I am He who made what is, what was, and ever more shall be.
I am He who in My hands holds to Eternity the Key.
I am He, I am He, I am He.
I am He, I am He, I am He.




Today is Thursday the 15th. One full week before Thanksgiving. Our family is hosting this year, which means we get to provide the turkey and gravy, among other things, when we prepare.

It also means we get to keep the carcass to make soup out off when we’re done. I do like making turkey soup. I usually make it thick enough to be considered stew. Actually, I’m not entirely certain where the break between soup and stew occurs.

A few years back, I was reading someone’s idea about how to make a perfect turkey dinner. The first thing they told you was to throw away the turkey’s giblets, heart, liver, etc. Then, a few paragraphs later, they griped that turkey doesn’t really produce enough drippings to make a lot of gravy. I laughed when I saw that. Of course, you’re not going to get a lot of gravy off of that turkey! You just threw away the stuff that most of us make turkey gravy from!

We also don’t stuff our turkey, instead cooking the stuffing on the side. I think it cooks better, and keeps better that way. I understand that some folks think that it tastes better, and keeps the turkey moister when the bird is stuffed.

But of course, the turkey (and all the trimmings, yum!) isn’t nearly as important a part of Thanksgiving as getting together with family, and spending time together. It’s a time to reflect on all that has been given to us, and thank God for it all. And, in spite of everything, our family has a lot to be thankful for.

Now, I just need to remember to start thawing the turkey on Monday . . .