My drug of choice is writing--writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Friday, August 18, 2017


I'm still down wifi (and probably will be in any meaningful way until Tuesday).  I'm working to bring you what I can write in word and then copy paste into the Blogger text field at an internet cafe or McDonalds in the limited time I can be away from doggo, but it'll be Tuesday before we're back on track.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Best Modern Fantasy (Round 3)

What is the best fantasy written in the last 25 years?  

Remember, we're just narrowing down the field here. These titles are not the whole poll, and in fact if you have voted on every round so far, you've probably seen less than half the titles. This isn't even the quarterfinal round yet. We just need to cull a few titles off the lists. So if you don't see someone you're sure should be on here, they're probably in another part of the poll. Keep checking back and they'll turn up.

There have SO many nominations for Best Modern Fantasy that we are going to have to do a round before quarter finals.  So in order for this not to drag on for months, I'll be running these early rounds for only THREE DAYS EACH.

I want to clear up a mistake I made on the last poll. I wrote 25 years on the nomination post and then thought I had said 15 when I wrote the latest culling round. So Harry Potter and Song of Ice and Fire are back on for the quarterfinals, and I'll try not to make that mistake again. My brain is not the best place for numbers on a good day.

I also want to remind everyone that I'm currently on a job with a dog I can't really leave alone for very long and a spotty internet where I don't even get cell phone signal, so I'm doing the best I can to get some content offerings sacrificed to The God of Pageviews™ but it'll be Tuesday before I can reliably post. I start doubling up at another job WITH internet on Friday, but there's going to be a lot of back and forthing. I should have some posts ready to cut and paste though. 

Back to the poll:  There is no way to "rank" votes, so use as few as you can bare.

The poll itself is at the bottom left, under the "About The Author." 

Note: If you see a title that is "breaking the rules" (older than 25 years) please let me know. I did not have time to cross check all of them. 

Don't choose poorly.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Reminder: Unwillingly Offline (Meta)


I am currently on a job that has limited internet access. Most of what I am doing online comes from when I walk the dog far enough down the hill to get some cell phone signal, but my phone doesn't work well for writing whole blog articles. I'm getting some writing done on my novel, outlining a bunch of articles for next week, and trying to prep the polls with things I can just cut and paste quickly when I am in town long enough to stop and whip out my laptop. (I might get a listicle in there too if I can get the whole thing written in a word document!) However, for the most part, I'm stuck doing what I can and when I can and our regularly scheduled content has been interrupted.

I'm doing the best I can, and the best thing I can say for all of this is that the writing continues apace, I just can't get it uploaded. So next week, starting Tuesday when this job is over, should be a cornucopia.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Best Modern Fantasy (Round 2 Results)

The latest results in our ongoing effort to pull enough titles out of the running to get a proper poll has its next set of results. The top four titles will be going on to the quarterfinal round. HOWEVER....it seems that someone slipped in a disqualified title (much like Harry Potter in the last round). The Song of Ice and Fire is awesome, and Martin is still writing, but the first book (Game of Thrones) is older than 15 years. So it is the NK Jemison Trilogy that will be going on.

Edit: My original nominations call said 25 years (not 15), so a couple of titles are back on the menu.  :)

Text version below.

The next group of titles I'll be trying to weed out will be up tomorrow. Stay tuned!

American Gods- N. Gaiman 64 35.36%
A Song of Ice and Fire- GRR Martin 36 19.89%
Small Gods- T. Pratchett 33 18.23%
Stormlight Chronicles- B. Sanderson 23 12.71%
The Inheritance Trilogy- N.K. Jemison 10 5.52%
The Riyria Revelations- M. J. Sullivan. 6 3.31%
Garden of the Moon- S. Erikson 5 2.76%
The Iron Druid Chronicles- Kevin Hearne 4 2.21%

Meta Update

So here's the current situation:

I'm about to head over to Ikea and purchase a number of their sturdy, but inexpensive tables. (They're called Lack if you're curious and they're only about $8. Which is good when, like me, you're on a budget.)  So what I was going to do is purchase a number of Lack's–right now I'm thinking maybe as many as ten or fifteen. I may have to make a number of trips because I'm currently only driving a little Prius C, and it will be limited to four or five per trip.

It'll probably take me a couple of hours to get them all built. They're not as tough as some of the stuff (the chest of drawers I built looked like I was assembling an orbital laser), but they'll still take me a bit per table.

I'm going to set them up next to each other. I haven't decided if I'd rather do a row or more like a circle around myself. I'm still sort of gnawing at the details there.

And then I'm going to flip them. Every goddamned one. Because right now is so table-flippingly annoying, oh my fucking god! There aren't enough tables here. I'm not sure there will be enough at Ikea.

Flip all the mother fucking tables.

I'm typing furiously in the parking lot of a McDonald's and pretending that I don't see the manager giving me the hairy eyeball every time he comes through the parking lot because he knows EXACTLY what I'm doing and I haven't ordered so much as a cup of coffee.

Internet at the place I'm pet sitting has gone out as of last night around 8pm.  Normally I would just take it as a sign from the universe that it's time to focus a lot more on my writing and use my phone as a hotspot when I have something to post. However, this particular job is one of those swanky houses with a pool and a view that is way up on a hill, so my phone doesn't really get signal there.

Can you hear me now?  No. No I can't.

So normally in THAT situation, I would just make sure all the animals are okay for a few hours and head out to the library for a solid writing shift. After all, I'm pretty clear that pet sitting is not 24 hour supervision (unless that is actually the service paid for) and I have other jobs/plans that I'll be doing during a typical gig. However, the dog I'm watching this week is pretty high maintenance. I don't want to leave her (or put her in a crate) for that long.

So I'm kind of off the grid for a bit–except maybe if/when I can steal away for an hour or so.

What that will mean for blogging depends on how this week unfolds. I may be able to just pop down the hill to the library once a day for a short visit, post something I've already written in a word document, and you'll hardly even know how annoying of a time I'm having up here. But it also might mean that I miss a post or three this week and then have some EXTREMELY awesome posts when I get back to wifiland. The content will be the same either way (and is still ramping up from the summer school schedule). The schedule just might be a little messed up.

I feel like fucking Doctor Claw. Next week will be awesome, Gadget! NEXT TIME!

I haven't seen Mr. Manager for a hot minute, so I'm going to attach a cheap and easy didactic lesson to this moment. A lot of writers hit a speed bump and say "WELP. Can't write today!"

The thing I hear most from writers who I admire and love and read and want to be like is that when something goes wrong, it's annoying, and maybe even makes for a good story, and might slow them down or fuck up the blog post for that day or something, but they keep writing. Even if they have to use pen and paper by candlelight, there's just something about that process of amalgamating images and emotions into words that they look for any way to Macgyver a solution instead of reasons they can't.