New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2008

Back home after two days of long drives. We have a party to go to tonight. We’ll be welcoming back into town some friends who have been living in New Mexico for the past year and a half. It’ll be great to see them and to ring in the New Year (and ring out this old one) with good friends.

Wishing all of you a wonderful 2009.



Today’s post, “A Wrtier’s New Year’s Thoughts,” can be found at  Please visit the site and enjoy the post.

And if I don’t post again before New Year’s, please have a happy, fun, and safe holiday.  Thanks to all who have visited this blog and shared comments with me.  I wish all of you a wonderful 2009.  May it bring peace, healing, and prosperity to all.

One Last BOW Award in 2008

December 28, 2008

Well, I have to admit that I thought I was done with BOW (Buffoon Of the Week) Awards for 2008.  But thanks to the idiocy of one particular Tennessee Republican, it seems that I have one last BOW post to do.  You might have read about this one already, but in case holiday festivities have gotten in the way of the news….

A bit of background first.  As some of you may recall, the Tennessee Republican Party was second to none in its use of offensive imagery and rhetoric during the recent political campaign.  My home state’s GOP operatives were at the forefront of those attacking Obama as a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer.  Even state Democratics got in on the fun at one point.  It makes me very proud….

This week though, one prominent GOP operative from Tennessee, Chip Saltsman, who helped to run Mike Huckabee’s Presidential campaign, and who hopes to become the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, reached a new low.  Saltsman sent out a holiday CD to GOP supporters that contained a bunch of satirical songs attacking liberals.  The CD is called “We Hate the USA,” which is offensive enough to those of us on the left who happen to love this country despite our contempt for right-wing hate-mongers like Rush Limbaugh.  (I bring up Limbaugh because the CD was put together by Paul Shanklin, who is part of Limbaugh’s show.)  More to the point, though, the CD included a song, set to the tune of the old classic “Puff the Magic Dragon,” which is titled . . . wait for it . . .  “Barack the Magic Negro.”

Saltsman claims that the song is nothing more than “political satire.”  Mike Duncan, the current RNC chair, who Saltsman hopes to replace, said he was “shocked and appalled” by the song.  Good for him.  All Republicans — all Americans — should be.  This is racism.  It may be cloaked in humor, in “satire”, but the fact remains that it is humor based on race.  It’s offensive and Saltsman should be ashamed of himself.

So this week’s BOW Award, the last of 2008, goes to Chip Saltsman for his insensitivity and sheer idiocy.  Take a BOW there, Chip.  You’ve earned it.  And good luck with that campaign for the chairmanship of the RNC.  I hear a new song coming on.  We can call it “Chip the Stupid Wing-Nut.”

Today’s post, “Holiday Writing,” can be found at  Visit the site, enjoy the post, and have a wonderful holiday season.

As many of you may know, I am part of a group blog called, along with fantasy authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, and C.E. Murphy.  We started the site early this year and have each been posting about the craft and business of writing fantasy on a weekly basis (so, generally four posts a week, one from each of us, with occasional guest appearances by other writers, editors, and agents).  As of this morning, our site is now in the top 3% of urls in terms of popularity.  Many thanks to all of you who have come to visit the site.  We’re grateful for the support.

And for those of you who haven’t yet visited, today is a great day to check us out.  Faith has a post up today about revising manuscripts.  So come on by and check it out.

Today’s post, “There is No Right Way,” can be found at  Check out the site and enjoy the post.

So, been a few days.  Had to focus on the rest of life for a little while there,  Every year Nancy and I throw a big party — an Australian Christmas Party.  What makes it Australian? you ask.  Well, in Australia, Christmas is a summer holiday.  It’s hot and sunny, and the year we were there we spent Christmas at the beach eating shrimp and fresh strawberries, boogie-boarding in the waves, and playing cricket.  So we get a ton of shrimp, we get Tim-Tams and Mint Slices (our two favorite Aussie cookies), as well as a ton of other food (cheeses, satay chicken, chips, etc.) we have our friends bring plonk, and we light a fire in the fireplace and crank up the heat so that people will come in shorts and t-shirts and be comfortable, despite the 30 degree (Fahrenheit) weather outside.  Great fun.  But also a lot of work.  So I spent the last half of the week shopping for food, as well as for holiday gifts for family.  Then yesterday we were getting the house ready for dozens of guests.  And, well, blogging and work kind of fell by the wayside.

The party was last night, and it was a great success.  And now I can get back to work for a week before traveling for the holidays.

Today’s post, “Making Worlds That Make Sense,” can be found at  SFNovelists is a terrific site maintained by fantasy and science fiction authors from around the world.  Please come by for a visit.  And, as always, enjoy.

This is a post I was going to post yesterday, but storms in the ara kept me from getting on line.

Well, I skipped the BOW (Buffoon Of the Week) Award over the weekend, because little that happened last week (aside from that ridiculous lawsuit challenging Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship being presented to the U.S. Supreme Court) caught my attention.

But today’s arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (a Democrat, I’m deeply ashamed to say) marks the culmination of a scandal of such stunning hubris, of such ridiculous and tragic proportions, that it just couldn’t wait until next weekend.  In case you missed it somehow, Blagojevich basically did everything he could to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama to the highest bidder.  No, he didn’t put it on Ebay, but what he did attempt to do was only marginally less stupid…and infinitely more disgusting.  Blago, as he’s called in the press (and the name fits — it sounds like a comic book villain rather than a respected public servant) saw filling this Senate seat not as a constitutional duty (state constitution, you purists) or a public service, but rather as his own private lottery.  He made clear in several taped converstations that he was looking to make as much money as he could, that it was all about improving his financial situation.  And when he had trouble getting others to play along, he threatened to take the Senate seat himself, telling his chief aide that he could make himself rich in the Senate more easily than he could as governor.

This man was so brazen, so arrogant, so thoroughly corrupt, that he’s almost unbelievable.  If I were to write this guy into a book, my editor would tell me to tone it down a bit to make the story more realistic.  He makes Richard Nixon and Richard Daley (the elder, the Chicago Mayor of the sixties and seventies) look like boy scouts.  He’s a disgrace to his office, his state, his party.  So though it isn’t Saturday yet, I’m going out on a limb and giving this week’s BOW Award to Rod Blagojevich, for being rotten to the very core.  Take a BOW there, Blago.  You’ve certainly earned it.  I hope you spend the rest of your miserable life in prison.

Today’s post, “A Holiday Buying Guide for Writers,” can be found at  So figure out which writers on your shopping list have been naughty and nice, and visit the site.  And, of course, enjoy!