Music Review: James Dooley

Untold, Veiled Nation, Wonderstruck: Position Music by James Dooley  (all MP3 downloads, purchased by reviewer)

Position music, sometimes called epic music, is short orchestral compositions, with or without vocals, from movie trailers or written for movies that have yet to be filmed. Two Steps From Hell is probably the best-known group in the genre, although Epic Music, Trailerhead, Future World Music, and others have produced a number of albums. James Dooley’s three recordings are nice additions to the epic music library. Continue reading

Curses! Hooked Again!

So, somehow I’d managed to avoid the Liaden series by Miller and Lee. I suspect it is because by the time I found the first books, the store had number ten or eleven on the shelf. And I wasn’t into space opera at the time, although the covers looked cool. And I had books to write, an empire to conquer, bloggers to harass, and you know how it goes.

Two weeks ago I noticed one of the short story collections at Ye Local Bookery. But it was number three. Since I’m getting some nice overtime this month, I decided what the heck, I’ll download Liaden Universe Constellations: Book One and give it a try. Continue reading

Food Blogging: Sausage-n-Cabbage

And Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers!


So, fall is the season of increasingly hearty food, at least in those places where it gets cold, dreary, wet, or all of the above. The Red Family has a few stand-bys for those days, and this is one of them. The original source was a 365 Italian recipe cookbook, but we just sort of improvise now. Continue reading

Heard in the Classroom

Student 1: “Miss Red, may I sleep?”¬† (This is a high school junior speaking in early afternoon.)

Miss Red: “No. Mrs. Green specifically said no talking, games, or sleeping.”

S1: “What if I’ve already checked out for the day?”

Miss Red [not looking up from papers I am grading]: “Then you’d be faculty.”

Much laughter, followed by a thump as a different student fell out of his chair, laughing. Continue reading

State of the Books

Soooo, to give people an update.

A Cat at Bay is getting closer to final cover work and release. No, I don’t have a hard date yet.

Against a Rising Tide is 59,000 words done and I can see now how the final chapters are going to play out. The things I do to my poor characters . . . I hope to have a massive chunk of that wrapped up tomorrow, unless life happens.

“The Red Horse and the Water of Life” has gotten started and will be written after I finish Rising Tide. Expect to see it on digital shelves around Thanksgiving, Lord willing.

Renaissance is ready to go to the editor et al as soon as Cat comes out. Still hoping for a Christmas release date.


“Trust me.” Yeah. Right.

So, alas, political season is well underway. There is a referendum in Amarillo about the ballpark-that-is-not-a-ballpark-really, too much politician on TV, political TV series (“The Good Wife” “Madame Secretary,” and whatever else is on), fund-raising phone calls, politicians on the ‘Net, pre-pre-pre election coverage on the radio, and, well, I’m reminded of the following classic: Continue reading

Keeping the Houses in Order

Those of you who are familiar with the Cat books, or who have read part of the WWI novel, are familiar with the Houses. For newcomers, they are a system of organization based on descent (usually), rather like the Scottish Clan system (most of the time) but initiated by the True-dragons and HalfDragons a long, long time ago. Azdhag Lineages are considered Houses by the True-dragons living on Drakon IV, and Rada Ni Drako is comfortable with the Houses on Earth, even those without any non-human members. Not all True-dragons and HalfDragons belong to Houses, but every House can trace its founding to a True-dragon or HalfDragon if they go back far enough. No matter where they are or how they function, all the Houses share a few commonalities when leadership is concerned. Continue reading

Still, Life with Editors

I can’t edit my own work well. I know this. And I relearn it every time I release a short story that has not had a third-party’s eyes on it. (Which is why corrected versions of the first two Alexi stories will go up along with the third story.) For book length works, I hire copy and style edits. Copy edits are a no brainer, and I find that I am out of the loop on what terms are now giggle-point-wink-nudge innuendo and what are still OK to use. That’s part of what my style editor does. Continue reading

What about the Dragons? I thought we were promised dragons!

I’ve seen two total lunar eclipses. The first while in Grad school, the second on September 27. I tend to agree with the LawDog’s take on them. I’ve seen two total solar eclipses, one in the 1980s and one in the 1990s. I’ve also observed several comets, a plethora of meteors, and survived the Great Alignment of 1988 (and didn’t even get a tee-shirt). The two lunar eclipses certainly win the creepy, spooky, this-is-serious award. Continue reading