Friday Tid-bit: Oddly Familiar

Meanwhile, back at the police department…

Officer Jamie Macbeth tried not to yawn. Only Corporal O’Brian could make attempted arson boring. “…But as you can see, the second attempt also failed to burn more than a six by six circle in the floor. Apparently someone found it before it could grow farther, and extinguished it.” The photo of the burned patch swooped off the screen, replaced by something that spun like the Tasmanian Devil in that cartoon before resolving into a ring of white powder. I wonder who was standing on top of the flame to make—sheepdip! That wasn’t a chemical extinguisher’s residue. That was a magical circle. “Now, about that string of car burglaries on the north side of town…” O’Brian droned on while Jamie’s mind went chasing off in a different direction.

Still distracted, he followed everyone else out once the briefing dragged to its usual conclusion. “Hey, Earth to Macbeth,” Officer Gustav Jenkins said from above Jamie’s head. Continue reading

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Bad Character, Stop That!

I finally realized why the WIP feels like I’m pulling my own teeth, besides the recurrence of a medical thing that is annoying me. Ewoud is not a teenager. But he’s not an adult yet, at least not in his own mind. And a lot of me is saying “write him as an 18-year-old guy,” meaning modern. That would be relatively easy, given Day Job.

But that’s not Ewoud. He’s an 18-year-old medieval man with both parents still living. Very different world, and a very different character. Continue reading

Canada Day, 2018

Happy Canada Day to my northern readers!

We in the south sometimes forget how often Canadians have answered the call to defend freedom – WWI, WWII, Korea, and other occasions. For all her problems, Canada is still a beautiful country with a proud history.

*Raises a glass*

Memorial Day 2018

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget – lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget – lest we forget!

From Rudyard Kipling’s “Recessional”

2018 marks the centenary of American military cemeteries outside of the United States. Madingly, Cambridge, England is the most haunting of those I’ve visited. Perhaps because in the far distance you can see Ely Cathedral half-floating over the Fens, the great marshes of eastern England.

The Copier Got Even

I should have known things were going too well…

So there I was, trying to be a good teacher and get all my copies done before Monday at 0745, or before “I have to have 60 copies on custom paper stapled on the right corner in three minutes!” I fanned the pages so they would not stick together, I selected the proper parameters, staple, collate, number of copies, and hit “Start.” Then I stepped back, checked my in-box, refilled the water in the little coffee maker, and sipped my soda pop.

The copier chirped, and I retrieved the pages. They were not stapled together. The middle page was missing.

Huh. I looked at the command screen on the copier, looked at the copies, and heard the machine giggling.

I’d forgotten that I needed to select two-side to two-side, not one-side to two-side, as I usually do. And I have no idea why it refused to staple.

Just to rub the folly in, the copier wrinkled half the middle pages that it copied, and I had to hand staple everything. And re-load the stapler.

So That’s what that Sound Was!

 

 

Signal Boost: The Grey Man: Twilight

J. L. Curtis, man-of-the-world, former Navy, firearms instructor, master chef, and author-gone-wild, has released the fifth book in his Grey Man series. This is the series that Dorothy Grant and I nick-named Cowboys vs. Drug-Smugglers.

And the rest of the series is on sale!

Never count an old man out, even when he’s hanging up his hat!

Deputy Sheriff John Cronin is looking forward to a quiet retirement, working on the ranch, and handing it off to his granddaughter Jesse. And he’s got to pass on a generation worth of investigations, but it’s not as easy as handing over the case files and the keys.

I beta-read part of the book, and it was a real challenge, because I kept getting pulled into the story!