Saturday, March 26, 2022

Saturday, March 19, 2022

"We win; they lose."

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.

Strategic Defense Initiative? FleetEx '83? Oh, my tap-dancing gods! Inevitable ...

And yet ...

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?

Monday, March 14, 2022

I can not believe ...

... that I'm doing this, but here goes.

*Deep breath*

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.

Lord, I can't believe I did this.


2022 Convention Schedule

At the urging of the ladies, the North Texas Troublemakers are going to start having BABLs* at conventions.

Since these will involve having the authors, you know, be there - and given that several of the afore-mentioned books will be mine - I suppose I should make an appearance.

So far, these are the conventions I will be attending:

29 APR 22 to 1 MAY 22
Tulsa, Oklahoma

17 JUN 22 to 19 JUN 22
Chattanooga, Tennessee

16 SEP 22 to 18 SEP 22
DFW, Texas

Others may pop up, but these are the ones scheduled so far.


*Big Arsed Book Launch. Apparently it's going to be a party. I just go where I'm told.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

That's bloody annoying


For some reason Blogger went back and changed all of my links to redirect to the Blogger homepage.

That's really bloody annoying, particularly since I double-check these posts to make sure that everything in my post is doing what it's supposed to be doing.



Contextual Insurgent Project

On-line friend of mine, name of Erin Smith has a fantastic analytical mind, and has been studying various notable events, breaking them down into bite-sized pieces.

Because Erin is, well, Erin, she's currently in Ukraine, studying and analyzing the current "notable event" currently on-going there.

Her substack is: Contextual Insurgent Project, and I'd appreciate it if y'all would pop by, read, ponder, and let her know she's doing good.

Thank you,


Fox Meme Sunday

In lieu of content, have some foxes.


Saturday, March 12, 2022

Can't Go Home Again

Cedar Sanderson, inspired (I think) by a comment made by Dorothy Grant gently asked me if I would give her a story for an anthology about PTSD. She further added that the anthology was to be about Hope, and would be about explaining PTSD to those who don't have it, but live with folks who do.

This is a fairly high-stress time for me, and some PTSD issues I didn't realize that I had may be popping up every now and then, but I said I would try.

And I did. I really did, but every time I tried, I'd get about a paragraph in and the story would be crap. Complete trite garbage. And I would do something that I never do -- and that is to delete the entire thing.

I honestly thought I'd have to bail on this one, but a couple of days past the deadline, I sat down at The Blanket Fort, jammed earplugs in, and just ... wrote.

When I write, I do what I call "storyboarding". I divide my story into acts, and for each act I have a mental picture, a brief description, and -- most importantly -- a sentence from the act.

I didn't do this. I imagined a terrible scene, and then just pounded the keyboard until it was done; and when it was done, I attached it to an email, and sent it to Cedar along with a note that, "If it needs editing, you'll have to do it."

I haven't read it since, and I probably won't.

The result was "Memories, Like Dust", and it is the story of a man clinging to his sanity by the skin of his teeth.

It is the very last story in the anthology "Can't Go Home Again", and is the least of a set of stories designed around the concept that there is hope; that there is way back to Normal.

If you know someone with PTSD, please buy this book. It was written with a two-fold purpose. One, to show people who don't have PTSD what it is like; and two, to show those people who do have it that there is Hope. That they're not alone. That there is a way back to something approaching normalcy.

This isn't about money, this is about a labour of love, and a sincere attempt to help those folks who don't get nearly enough help as it is.

Most of the authors are donating their royalties to PTSD support groups, that how much we believe in this book.

Again: please consider buying this book, and if you can't, would you consider spreading the word about it?

Thank you,


EDIT: I've had some people contact me, and tell me they couldn't read "Can't Go Home". That is perfectly understandable, and I don't blame y'all a bit. I haven't read it, and probably won't.

However, might I ask a favour? If you have a dead-tree copy, and find that you can't read it, would you consider donating it to a PTSD support group?

Thank you.


Malta Anthology (ies???)

During my recent melancholy state, a Facebook friend asked a fairly innocuous question, to wit:

"If Germany had done the Intelligent Thing, and sent the force which invaded Crete to Malta instead, where would the best landing sites be?"

This kind of kicked me in the slats, and I took off on a (probably excruciating) long-winded exposition regarding how bad of an idea that would have been, with a throw-away line in the middle that went like this:

So, perched on a wall over looking the Old City in Valletta are several translucent figures. Around a corner comes an ethereal shape of a Barbary pirate carrying a huge bowl of popcorn. "Did I miss it?" He gasps, sliding to a stop.

"Naw," grunts a Phoenician mercenary, scratching irritably at his beard, "They're still doing the boiling oil and red hot sand."

The assembled figures watch as the grey-clad invaders fight their way into a narrow alley, away from the Medieval murder holes conveniently built 500 years prior in the apartments overlooking the narrow street.

There is a silence, as dozens of bags, none weighing more than a pound, arc off the flat roofs distant above the stone floor of the alley.

"Oooo," choruses the group, as clouds of fine white dust billow up, and carried by the breeze channeled by the alley, drift over the German paratroopers.

Then the screaming starts.

In front of the ghosts, another figure, this one clad in the latest 1940s military kit, fades into view. A figure in a turban bounces off the parapet, produces a scroll and a bone pen, "When the powdered quicklime hit, did your eyes burn first, or was it your lungs?"

The German paratrooper stares wildly at the Ottoman, "What the [deleted]? What the [deleted]?"

"Don't know what to tell you," grunts the shade of a Roman centurion, "He's an alchemist. Popcorn?"

The offer is refused, and the Roman shrugs, and tosses some into his mouth, "I really, really," he chews firmly, "Hate this [deleted]ing island."

Well, this apparently took firm hold of several people's imaginations, and folks started writing stuff about Malta. Other folks started demanding an anthology, and ended up with Jonna Hayden (who has moved to Bugscuffle) taking me to lunch, and daring me to put one together.

Mostly to humour her and Herself, I asked on Facebook and MeWe if there were any interest in writing stories for a anthology about Malta; actually expecting to get between four and six stories; which would allow me to smile gently, opine that I had tried, and bin this idea.

Holy. Gods.

When I checked the submission email address, what was in there, plus the stories being finished up ...

... came to about twenty of them. And they were all good.

So, after I got done hyperventilating, I had a talk with the folks helping me put this together, and we're going to launch the first Malta Anthology in April.

And the second Malta anthology will be launched in the fall. Maybe.

Speaking of, if you're a writer, and you have a short story (between 5,000 and 8,000 words) involving Malta, send it to:


So far, I've got twelve different covers that I need to choose from.


Work, work, work.



Well, the issues preventing me from blogging looks like they're going to persist until August of 2022 -- quite a bit longer than I had thought they would.


I have been advised -- yes these issues require advice, and rather expensive advice I might add -- that I can blog as long as I keep to "non-controversial topics", with "non-controversial" being somewhat undefined at this time.

So, time to flog some work.

As some of you may have noticed, The LawDog Files ebooks and dead-tree editions are off Amazon. This is because my rights have reverted to me, and I'm in the middle of redoing those books. Sarah Hoyt's Inkstained Press will be carrying the ebook version when I get it re-done; and I will be self-publishing the physical books via my own Raconteur Press.

Sarah assures me that she will get three books out of me -- we'll see.

In the meantime, I have been a little bit busy.

Cedar Sanderson
, who is a fantastic and talented artist, as well as author in her own right, took some Facebook posts I made during a particularly melancholy period here recently and turned them into a colouring book:

Taskforce CHIWEENIE and the Poultry Liberation Front. It is the story of mine and Herself's little dogs and their running conflict with the neighbor's chickens. Warning: while it is a colouring book, I'd be a little careful before giving it to kids.

Well, that one was kind of a hit, so Cedar and I decided to try another one, and we launched The Ratel Saga, which is a colouring book of my five (?) part story regarding the ratel trap in our backyard in Nigeria.

Again, it has been a bit successful, and Cedar is currently working on a third colouring book, which will have the stories of the Nigerian Space Lizards, the Sapper Lizards, and the story of the Major.

Three Ravens Publishing did a Hallowe'en Anthology titled It Came From The Trailer Park, and I've got a little short story in there, which was really fun to write.

I've got a couple of more projects which will be blog posts of their own, so give me a second.