The Adorable Oddball

“Daddy…Daddy…Daddy!” repeats my daughter getting progressively louder with each utterance.

I finally break my concentration from intensely staring at the microwave, willing the impossibly long two minutes to be done so I can scald my tongue on a lava hot piece of leftover pot roast.

“Yes, Pumpkin” I reply without taking my eyes from the slowly rotating piece of dead cow.

“I’m not a Pumpkin Daddy!”

“OK, peaches, what do you want?”

“I’m not peaches either, I’m not a vegetable or a fruit! I’m Emma Jo!“.

“Gotcha Princess!” My finger races to the microwave button in another attempt to beat the beeper as the last second winds down. “What do you want honey bun?”

“Can you set a timer for my silly string?”

“Can I set a timer for your what?! You can’t microwave your silly string honey!”

“No Daddy, set the TIMER for my silly string.”

“Uh…cause why?”

“So I know when I can take it out of the fridgerator.”

“Um, ok sounds legit. How long does it need to be in there?”

She scrunches up her nose and wrinkles her brow with intense thought.

“How about, 60, 30, Hundred, Thousan’ minutes!”

“OK Dokie, Pumpkin. 30 Minutes it is.”

I set the timer on the microwave as she reverently places two small cans of silly string on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Reach into the microwave and burn my fingers on the 400 degree plate, slap the meat between two pieces of bread and take a tentative bite, my mouth salivates in anticipation of devouring the thick slice of scrumdillyiscious piece of beef.

I burn my lip!

Still cold in the middle!

“Curse you infernal contraption!”

Just another lunch break at my house.

Writing Milestones

I am pretty excited for myself.  I feel like that kid who finally figured out how to whistle or snap his fingers.  You know that sort of wonderment we all had as kids when we learn a new skill or stuck with it long enough to get it right? Well I’ve long been an aspiring writer.  But sadly, I’ve also always been a habitual procrastinator.  Which as you’d probably expect means that there’s always been a heavy emphasis on “aspiring” and very little “writer” when describing me!  In the past I’ve made minor attempts to write something fictional and finish it.  I have these great ideas, I get excited, I put a paragraph on paper, then for a variety of reasons I end up walking away from it.  I decide its either crap, or I lose my focus, or I am just plain lazy.

But now I’ve had another bright idea, and yesterday, I hauled out the old keyboard, sharpened my keys, and put pixels to imaginary paper.  I had put a 1,000 words on the page before I knew it!  It’s not much, but it is a start.  I don’t think it is crap, I haven’t lost my focus, in fact I am looking forward to adding to it.  Yes, I’m still lazy but I think I may have finally convinced myself that I can circumvent that laziness by just doing a little bit each day, maybe a little more the next, and so on until I finally finish something.  What makes this time different?  I don’t know, maybe nothing.  Or maybe I don’t care if it is good or not, I just want to write a story and finish it.  Once I’ve done that, maybe I can begin to hone my skills and create something worth sharing.

It may come across as silly to brag or boast about this as if its a real achievement and I understand it is not, its just exciting to finally start a journey you’ve always wanted to take but never had the courage to begin.  I owe a little bit of a thank you to some writers whose blog posts have given me some encouragement and if you are a science fiction or fantasy fan I highly recommend you try their published works.  Thank you Cedar Sanderson, Larry Correia, and Sarah Hoyt.

I also want to thank my wife who recently decided to go back to school and get her degree.  That’s pretty challenging when you consider we have 4 kids and she’s ten years out of high school.  Her courage in stepping up to the plate after being out of the game for so long makes me realize my own fears have kept me from trying to achieve my own goals and for that I’m very grateful.  It sounds sappy, I know, but I don’t have to worry!  She never reads my blog…


Discovering Sarah Hoyt was a Happy Suprise!

If you know me, you know I’m a huge Science Fiction and Fantasy fan.  I literally devour the stuff.  But I have a problem, almost a phobia really.  I am often afraid to try out a book by an author I don’t already like.  How the heck do I read anything, right?!  Well, honestly I re-read a lot of books, but even I can get bored with re-reading John Ringo’s “Legacy of the Aldenata” series, or GRRM’s “A Game of Thrones”, or Heinlein’s many assorted works for the umpteenth time.  After a while you want something new…

Which brings me to Sarah Hoyt.  She hasbooks with several publishers but I found her through Baen (my current most favored publisher) and I have to put in a good word for her today.  I just read “Draw One in the Dark” which is available for FREE (Woohoo!) at Amazon, here, and it was excellent.

I’m not going to give you any info on the book, amazon did that just fine.  If you like fantasy then you’ll probably like this one.  There’s a few editing mistakes, repeated words, etc. but it’s free version so what can you expect?

Download it, Read it, Thank Me Later.  Then buy another, you’ll be happy you did.


Bitter Clingers

Originally posted on According To Hoyt:

For those of you living in a hole, who haven’t read about how Damien Walter, who for inexplicable reasons is taken seriously enough by The Grauniad to be given column space, has so far pursued his fascination with Larry Correia as to indulge himself with a fishing expedition on Twitter, trying to find “proof” of whatever crazy prejudices he attributes to Larry.

He also indulged himself – poor man – with yet another column Whining the Future, and explaining to the world how everyone who disagrees with him (the problem is it’s so hard to agree with someone who says crazy stuff like “the future is queer” – which leads one to add “and short”) is a dinosaur clinging to his guns and religion – oops, sorry, that was another person running his mouth about people who didn’t agree with him and whom he didn’t understand homophobic/racial/cultural/purple dinosaur privilege/prejudices, and…

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My Last Post On SFWA — Pinky Swear

Originally posted on According To Hoyt:

I’ve belonged to blogs in the past which got in fights and arguments with other blogs/organizations, and even when I agreed 100% it got boring really quick.  So, I’d fully intended to have that blog on Sunday be the very last one I did on the SFWA mess.

But then I got selected for worst person in the world (though I have to share the trophy with Kate) and I thought, what the heck, I’ll do a final post on my dealings with SFWA from beginning to end, and because I’m tired of being misunderstood, I’ll do it in a way they’ll understand: with video clips.

So, in the mid eighties, I started writing sf/f, and I was so green that I sent submissions to the subscriptions address.  I still managed to get a personal rejection asking for more, but I thought “I need help.”  And then I heard about…

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Forced Acceptance of Entitlements Programs…

Somebody tried to imply that it’s hypocritical to ever accept an entitlement program if you are opposed to them.  By entitlement programs I’m talking about government funded hand outs like food stamps, section 8 housing, WIC, Medicare/Medicaid, etc.

OK, so on principal, I disagree with these programs because they (the Government)  take money involuntarily (excepting those citizens who are for the programs) from someone who earned it via taxation.  And re-distribute that to people who did not earn that money via these various programs mentioned above.   I call this forced charity.  Some folks however, believe it’s their civic duty to provide these services, many have even come to believe they are entitled to them by the pervasive philosophy of Altruism that has taken over our society.  I, on the other hand, believe that if we had a true free market economy and we were to get rid of the welfare state, reduce government to the bare necessity (because why would we want anything more of it?), then most Americans who work, would be able to provide for themselves.

Charity is a good thing, I believe in charity.   But it’s not charity if I don’t have a choice in the matter.  I’m forced through various taxes to pay for these programs.  Yes at my income level I get a certain amount of money back from the IRS at tax time each year.  It is not however more than I paid in.  I get some back because I paid more than I should have.  I am an American tax payer.  If you get more than you paid in each year, you are not a tax payer.  You are a tax on those of us who do pay taxes.

Enough of that, you know my philosophy on the matter.  That being said I can get to the heart of the matter.  Does opposing the existence on principal of these programs make a tax payer, who is forced through circumstance to partake in these programs to survive, a hypocrite?  Or are they a victim of the very system they oppose?  I say the latter.  If you paid for it, and by paying for it are put in a position that you need to use it to survive, then you are victim of it.

Does it make the slave, who doesn’t want to be a slave, who opposes all slavery, a hypocrite for accepting the masters gruel?

Please feel free to comment, give feedback, etc.

Conservative VS Liberal and the Hierarchy of Foreigness

Since 2008 at least, I have awakened to the fact that there are some very distinct differences between Americans who identify as politically conservative and those who see themselves as politically liberal.  I don’t think there has been a time in the past where we have been so evenly and vocally divided as we are right now, except for perhaps just prior to the civil war.  There are clear dividing lines between the two sides that don’t seem to have any room for compromise.  The only reason to read anything, or listen to anyone, on the opposition’s side is to provide fuel for ridicule or to condemn them to our own true believers.  People are no longer trying to sway the other side to their own thinking, to convince them they are right on a particular issue.  It’s one way or the other and no middle ground.

So I’m thinking about this off and on this last few weeks and a recent blog post (a great read but totally unrelated to my post) by Brad Torgersen, a science fiction writer that I follow, called to mind Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” and it’s concept of The Hierarchy of Foreignness.

In the universe of Ender’s Game humanity has survived a war with an alien species and basically have exterminated that species.  Put simply the reason was that humans could not communicate with the aliens, called Buggers, who started the war.  Therefore there could be nothing else but to fight them in order to survive.  The protagonists sister, Valentine, posits that there is a hierarchy of foreignness that you can see here.

I’m starting to believe that we are beginning to treat each other as aliens, a lot of talk with no communication.  Are we becoming “Varelse” to each other?

Anyway, my mind works in mysterious ways sometimes.  I’m not sure how I have begun to see it this way but the other side is starting to look alot like “buggers” who want to destroy us.  We can’t even figure out why, much less stop them without combat.  Maybe I drank too much coffee this morning…

For those of you who now know that I’m seeing you as a giant bug from outer space should be glad that I didn’t correlate you with John Ringo’s Posleen!

As always your feedback is welcomed.  Tell me I’m wrong, I would love for you to be right!

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