"In my head are a bunch of squirrels. They're hyper-caffeinated, and at a rave. As long as they're all dancing to the same song, it's ok, but sooner or later one of the little buggers loses his glow stick, and it devolves into complete chaos."
The opening quote was from a panel I chaired at Tulkon last week; I was trying to explain how my mind works, and prepare the audience for the inevitable moment where I would completely lose my train of thought.
I did, as a matter of fact, lose my train of thought. Several times. The audience -- most of whom are familiar with me trying to be extemporaneous from the twice-weekly LiveStream -- laughed and rolled with it.
The quote apparently struck a chord with Cedar Sanderson enough that she decided to illustrate it, above. Yes, that is a fox at a rave, crowd-surfing on a bunch of squirrels.
Tulkon was a rampaging success for us. Very much fun, and lively. We'll definitely be going back. Apparently the Big-Arsed Book Launch Room Party for the North Texas Troublemakers at Tulkon is well on it's way to becoming a legend. If someone claims to have been there, ask them to produce their duck.
Herself was awarded her Master's degree in English this weekend. Yay!
Astrolizards was launched the last week of April, and -- unfortunately -- seems to be performing the worst of the three colouring books. Cedar would like to do a fourth around the story of Squeaks, and I'm tentatively for it, but I don't want her to lose money, so I'm mulling the idea.
Ghosts of Malta, on the other paw, took off. Holy gods, did it take off. I hope we have a couple left after Tulkon, because the National Library of Malta was gracious enough to accept my offer of a copy; and I have to present another to the Maltese Consul-General down in Dallas sometime along in here.
Speaking of presenting copies, I was talked into presenting a copy of it to David Weber during his Guest of Honor Q&A at Tulkon -- I would have been content with a drive-by book-flinging, but he very kindly insisted that the copy be signed. Very nice man, and his wife is a fire-cracker.
We have enough stories for the second anthology -- Knights of Malta will be launched at FenCon -- and we're still accepting short story submissions (anthology[dot]malta[at]gmail[dot]com). If we have enough, we'll launch a third anthology ... sometime early 2023.
Due to the intersection of evil friends and good bourbon, there will be an as-yet un-named anthology revolving around "space cowboys", which we'll be accepting short story submissions for after FenCon, to be launched ... sometime early in 2023. Probably after the 3rd Malta anthology (if we have enough stories for a third anthology).
Speaking of, I need a t-shirt that says: "Any Agreement To Head An Anthology Is Only Binding If I Was Sober When I Agreed To It", because some of y'all are Bad People.
I have a short story I'm banging off to Kelly Grayson sometime today or tomorrow for his up-coming anthology, and another later this week to Jim Curtis for the upcoming Haunted Library anthology benefiting our local library (lot of anthologies going on right now).
My next public appearance (gods willing, and the creek don't rise) will be LibertyCon -- the North Texas Troublemakers will be having another party there, and it promises to be at least as epic as the one at Tulkon. Y'all might want to bear that in mind.
That should be everything caught up. I'm off to write.
Wow, people are suddenly interested in Maltese history -- I've received several requests for reading material on the history of Malta.
I'd like to take this time to point out that we're still accepting submissions of short stories about Malta. If you have a story that is about 5,000 words to about 8,000 words, is entertaining, and involves Malta in some way, send it to:
anthology.malta (at) (g)(mail).com
You'll need to remove the brackets first, though. Death to spambots!
Alchemists, Saints and Heroes have all made their way to this place, defended its walls, and added to its ranks of ghosts and lore.
Besieged, battered, and bombed, this archipelago has seen every tide of war, turmoil, and more than a few bits of piracy. It's also been the land of courage, resilience, and grace under fire.
Ten authors have set out to bring you tales of the ghosts of Malta past, present, and future. Open the pages and meet the ancient guardians, ghost cats and inter dimensional spies that will be your guide...
Ghosts of Malta goes live in a couple of weeks, and I've received some questions which seem to indicate that folks think that submissions are closed.
We've still got to fill Knights of Malta, so:
Yes, I am still accepting stories for the Malta Anthologies.
I will be accepting submissions probably until early August, with an eye to launching the second anthology at FenCon.
5,000 to 8,000 words, but length is negotiable.
It must be entertaining, all else is subordinate to this.
It has to involve Malta in some way.
It DOES NOT need to be about ghosts or knights -- those are just the titles.
Submissions need to have your name on there somewhere. Please.
Submit stories to: anthology.malta (at) (g)mail-dot-com
Of course, you should remove the parenthesis, the spaces, and the dashes in that address. (Spambots Must Die!)
We will be doing to the Official Book Launch for Ghosts of Malta at Tulkon -- and the Launch Party is going to be fairly spectacular from what I've seen so far. If you can go, it looks to be a pretty good time.
For those of y'all who remember the old Phlegmfests, this is what took over for Herself's weekend-long parties in 2020, under the steady hand of OldNFO.
It is a weekend for tribe (and authors) to gather and just ... converse. Jonna Hayden refers to it as a "Relaxacon", and there is absolutely no structure to it. Folks bring drink, and food, and lively conversation is had, with much laughter.
And while there are absolutely no panels, I found myself outside on the porch in an informal "No [Deleted], There I Was" not-panel that went over three hours, with much giggling and the occasional Dr Pepper Sinusoidal Lavage.
Saturday evening, I had buried the needle on my People-Meter, was sitting on the unoccupied side of the venue, trying to breathe, and my friend Tom Rogneby stepped out, put a cup of something in my hand, and we sat, sipped cocktails, and watched the Texas sunset.
So, we've got rampant inflation; everyone's losing their minds over getting into a nuclear war with Russia; and the mullet is having a resurgence amongst the kids.
Does this mean we'll start getting decent music again?
Asking for a friend.
Speaking of war with Russia, a lot of folks whom I'm pretty sure were around for the 1980s are currently losing their minds -- I'm starting to wonder if there's a run on M1979 Bomb Shelters, a/k/a the school desks we were told to hide under in the event of missiles heading this way.
The title of this post is a quote from Ronaldus Magnus* when a reporter asked a question at the 1988 USSR/USA Summit in Moscow about his view of the Cold War:
"Here's my strategy for the Cold War: We win; they lose."
Holy gods, when that hit the evening news. The gloom! The doom! The knickers in knots! Inevitable radioactive death!
And yet ... we're still here, unirradiated.
Five years earlier, the USSR shot down Korea Air Flight 007 -- Panic! Distress! Overstressed Hanes/half-hitch interface! Inevitable radioactive death!
And yet -- no glowing in the dark.
Pershing II missiles deployed to Europe? Hyperventilation! Pearl-clutching! Undergarments all bunched up in the wrong places! Inevitable ... radioactive ...
And yet ... no nuclear winter to offset all that climate change.
I got burnt out on the nuclear war panic way back in the 1980s, and I thought a lot of other folks had, too, but apparently panic over war with Russia is the new hotness along with the mullet.
Don't get me wrong -- if we get into a war with Russia, it's going to suck in all new ways. Also, don't get me wrong -- unless you're in a Cabinet-level position in the Government there's not a single damned thing you can do about it**.
If you were born in the 21st Century: welcome to my youth. You get used to it.
If you came of age during the height of the Cold War: Really? Suck it up.
Welcome to my TED talk.
*President Ronald Reagan. If you don't get the reference, ask your parents. Also, get off my lawn.
**If you have concerns about the Administration's ability to handle this, and you voted for said Administration -- I don't know what to tell you. Congratulations? If you didn't vote for the current administration, and you have concerns -- might I suggest you remember said concerns in the next few elections?
If you've ever wanted to see what your Humble Scribe looks, and sounds, like -- here is your chance.
Jim Curtis and I do a twice-weekly Livestream over at his Youtube channel, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon Central Time on Tuesdays, and at 3:00PM Central Time on Thursdays.
It's called "Live From The Blanket Fort".
This Livestream is NOT for children. Or maiden aunts. Or grandmothers. Hell, nobody should probably watch it.
I swear. A lot.
Not only do we not stay on topic, we don't usually have a topic.
When I say that I swear, I'm not kidding: I cuss like a Newhaven fishwife.
The peanut gallery is considerably funnier than we are.
I'm not kidding about the cursing.
The commenters claim that there are traditions involved with watching "Live From The Blanket Fort", including (but not limited to): "How fast can we break LawDog", "How quickly can we get him on a rant", and "There's the accent!". They're fooling with you, these are not traditions, they're snipe hunts. You've been warned.