Thursday, September 29, 2016

My new book is available!

Just wanted to share the good news: my newest book is now available!

It's called The Adventures of Ordinary Sam: Book One: The Sand Stone, and it's the first book in a new series about an ordinary seventh-grade boy who has had some rather extraordinary experiences. This is the description on the back cover:

Sam Oldfield is an ordinary kid with an ordinary life. Or is he? When he wakes up in a hospital he is told he's been missing for three days—so why does he remember nearly a year's worth of adventures in a magical kingdom in another world?

Was all of it a dream? Did Sam really imagine a wise old magician, a cranky but loyal bird, a beautiful bossy princess, and the Sand Stone itself, whose power Sam alone could wield? That can't be true. But if the magical world of Ebdyrza and all of Sam's memories are real, then there really is an Enchanter's War, too. And the Enchanters may end up in Sam's world seeking to destroy the Sand Stone, and Sam with it.

If you'd like to learn more or purchase a copy, please visit the links below:

My Amazon Author page, with a list of all my available books and links to purchase

My new fiction-writing website, with more information about my books

As always, a tremendous thanks to all of you who have been so supportive and encouraging of my writing!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Not up for debate

I haven't blogged in over a month, and while I know life in general and fiction writing/editing in particular make perfectly good excuses, the main reason I haven't been blogging is because I am in the process of moving this blog to a new platform in order to change and update and so forth.

One of the changes is that the new blog won't allow comments. Blog comments have really gone by the wayside in most places, and the few exceptions are for big, popular blogs with lots of regular commenters and a blog host or hosts who are willing to moderate the heck out of everything people write and share.  There's a good reason for that: unmoderated comments on busy sites tend to look like this:

First commenter: First!

Second commenter: I thought this blog post about canning peaches was interesting, but I don't think you fully explored the way that global warming, the industrialization of food, and Obama's foreign policies regarding country-of-origin labeling impact this important issue.

Third commenter: Here we go. Another right-wing idiot who thinks everything is Obama's fault.

Fourth commenter: Everything IS Obama's fault, because he's a secret Muslim from Kenya and the illuminati picked him at the Bildabear meeting to ruin the world economy.

Fifth commenter: Don't you mean "Bilderberg?" And didn't you mean "run" the economy, not ruin it?

Sixth commenter: Grammar nazi.

Fifth commenter: Did you just call me a Nazi, you expletive expletive offspring of a vulgar expletive scatological expletive?

Sixth commenter: Expletives squared and plotted on a graph that goes on for paragraphs.

Second commenter: Um, was somebody responding to me? I've been running errands.

Seventh commenter: Make $$$ caning (sic) peaches!! wwwdotreallyiffylinkdotdon'tgoheredotcom

Eighth commenter: My friend Peaches learned this one weird trick to make thousands of dollars a month from home while perfecting her skills as a psychic lingerie model! wwwdotyetanotherlinkthatwillprobablyputRussianspamonyourcomputerdotcom

Comments nine through twelve hundred: repeat the above endlessly.

Now, small blogs like mine don't have to worry about this; I rarely even get comments anymore. What I do get is spam in my comments folder, which you never see, but which is annoying to have to delete all the time. I figure on the rare occasion when somebody really wants to weigh in he or she will email me or else discuss the post on Facebook.

I have to be honest, though: while my main reason for not blogging has been this whole blog move/no comments thing, my secondary reason is that this political season is just too depressing to say much about. Granted, I've been a DQ3/pox-double-houser since McCain (soon after which I pretty much vowed not to vote for Republicans anymore, and since Democrats are already impossible for me to vote for because of their utter contempt for the lives of unborn children there's nowhere to go but those Doomed Quixotic 3rd parties while uttering plagues on both the Republican and Democrat houses and wishing that I could still pretend that party politics actually matters in spite of all the mounting evidence that the same corporations are buying and paying for our presidents and congresscritters and everybody else we elect, and that those corporations don't care about the letter R or the letter D so long as the person on the other side has his or her hands out for corporate $ and will do whatever their masters tell them to keep getting piles of it).

So, tonight's debate which will start in a few minutes is only this: something I find rather interesting and curious from a historical perspective because my hypothetical future grandchildren may ask me some day, "Grandma, were you there when the end of America got started?" and I will be able to tell them that the two people running for president in the year of Our Lord 2016 were a lying opportunistic self-promoting cash-grabbing glitterati-chasing untrustworthy scoundrel--and Donald Trump, who is, of course, equally bad.

Yes, you heard me. I said "equally bad." I did not say, "A catastrophic nightmare from which America may well never recover" because that happened on January 22, 1973.  I did not say, "America's savior destined to end abortion and preserve religious liberty" because I wasn't born yesterday and I'm not a rube. I did not say, "A bad choice, but obviously better than Hillary who is evil personified" because that's not true. I did not say, "So much worse than Hillary that no matter how much she increases abortion spending and uses the cudgel of LGBTEIEIO rights to grind religious liberty into the dust she's still better than he is by so much that it should be obvious" because that also is not true.

They are, it seems to me, equally bad. They are both liars. Neither one is trustworthy. One is a serial cheater and adulterer; the other has spent a lifetime covering up for her husband who is a serial cheater and adulterer. One is claiming at the eleventh hour to be pro-life; the other has never met an abortion she didn't like or couldn't justify paying for with taxpayer dollars. Either one is poised to be a foreign policy disaster; both claim to be able to fix our economy, but both are good at filling their own coffers and ignoring the poor. Donald Trump seems to be xenophobic and to attract racists; Hillary Clinton seems to fear the religions and to attract people who want to crush the Church.

Even if you disagree with me--and I know a lot of you do--aren't your arguments in favor of your candidate really coming down to "Yes, my candidate is awful, but yours is worse!" How did we get to this moment? Are there really no more admirable men or women seeking to serve in public office? Is it really okay for us to have turned politics into the equivalent of that old light beer ad that despite the chanting groups shouting "Tastes great!" or "Less filling!" there wasn't anyone willing to say that in point of fact the stuff was probably less pleasant to drink than rodent urine?

It remains to be seen who will prevail in tonight's debate, and (naturally) in the election, but I can't help but echo those others who have said that no matter who wins the presidency in 2016, America is the biggest loser. We used to be a nation that expected and even demanded more from our candidates, and who dreamed of more than building walls, dismembering and eviscerating human fetuses, and championing the right of 12-year-old boys to wear dresses and get naked in the girls' locker room. We have these candidates tonight because like it or not they are a reflection of what America has become, and if she is a nightmarish zombie corpse caricature of herself it is because we have made her that way. And that much isn't up for debate.