Twenty years

Posted on March 9, 2017 at 12:26 AM
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Mar 092017
 
I’ve only just realized that if you count up all the years that George and I were not romantically involved–both before I ever met her and for the year-and-change we were friends but not a couple…
Well, as of this anniversary, we’ve been married (not just together, but actually married) for for an equal amount of time.
I mean, maybe not exactly–it could be off by a couple of months–but for all practical purposes.
In that time, there have been a lot of ups and downs, some extreme (and I was at fault for more of the downs than I’d like to acknowledge). But we got through them all, in part because George has been inhumanly patient and supportive, and in part because I’ve fought harder for it than I have anything else in my life.
We wouldn’t have made it without a lot of work (and I don’t think I would have made it if we hadn’t), but it was worth every bit of effort. Because things are good, and I only see them getting better. I can barely remember life before her, and can’t even imagine life without her.
I love you, George. Happy anniversary.
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Star What Now?

Posted on December 18, 2016 at 6:40 PM
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Dec 182016
 
Wait, are there seriously rumors of a Luke Skywalker-based prequel?  8-O
The entire point of Luke’s story was that he was a nobody farmer to whom nothing of any real importance had ever happened. It’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche he was designed specifically to embody.
I’m not even enthused about the idea of the Han Solo prequel, and at least we know he had some stuff happen to him prior to the first movie.
Disney, you’ve been fairly on-point so far, but you’re at serious risk of dropping the ball. These standalone movies should be used to explore characters and facets of the universe we haven’t seen, not to retread characters whose biggest stories have already been told.  :-|
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Conceptual fandom

Posted on August 1, 2016 at 1:09 AM
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Aug 012016
 

Do any of you ever find yourself realizing that you’re a fan of something conceptually, but not practically?

What I mean is, for instance, a conversation about horror movies at ArmadilloCon eventually turned to Pinhead and the Hellraiser movies. And I found myself putting into words something I’d thought about but hadn’t seriously considered, which is this:

I’m a big fan of the CONCEPT of Pinhead and the Cenobites (particularly in their original conception, before they just became run-of-the-mill demons in a Judeo-Christian hell). I think there’s an enormous amount of cool story and mood potential behind them, and I’d love to see it explored.

Yet I’m not actually a fan of any of their appearances. I didn’t much care for THE HELLBOUND HEART novella, and while I’ve enjoyed many aspects of the Hellraiser movies (especially scenes and segments and ideas from the first two), I’ve never actually enjoyed a single Hellraiser movie AS a complete movie.

The same is true of Lovecraft. I love Lovecraftian horror. I’ve used it in some of my work, and I sometimes go out looking for it. But I’m not really fond of Lovecraft’s own work. I find him a mediocre writer, and although I’ve read almost his entire library, I can only remember a handful of stories well enough to talk about them.

Or, for a different sort of example, exploration-based sandbox D&D campaigns. I find the potential stories and ideas enticing in the abstract, but I’ve never played in such a campaign that didn’t bore me, and I’ve had to quit every time I’ve tried to run one because I was very much not enjoying it.

Is this just me? Or do any of you guys–I’m especially, but not exclusively, curious about other creatives–find yourselves in the same sort of boat?

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Apr 232016
 

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of people online champion the idea of Marvel somehow regaining the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties from Fox, so they can incorporate them into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I’m fine with that, where the FF are concerned, but as for the X-Men… Well…

I don’t want Marvel to get them back.

No, that’s not accurate. I’d be fine with Marvel getting them back if they kept them separate. What I do not want is mutants in the MCU.

Yes, it’d be cool to see Logan and Cap meet in WWII, Beast banter with Spider-man, all of that. But the concept of the mutants, as a hated minority, as a metaphor for PoC or gays or other marginalized groups? That just works better if they’re the only super-beings out there; and on the flip side, in the MCU, where everyone’s power has thus far has a source, the alien-blooded Inhumans are a more thematic fit.

(Yes, I’ve heard the arguments to the contrary. Some are even solid. I nevertheless feel that mixing mutants with other superhumans dilutes the “mutant as other” narrative.)

Plus, frankly, the MCU is already getting crowded. It can’t handle as many characters as the comics can.

I now step back so that you may yell and scream and throw tomatoes in polite disagreement. ;-)

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A bit of advice

Posted on January 15, 2016 at 12:58 AM
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Jan 152016
 

Okay, folks. The Dungeon Master’s Guild market/license for D&D stuff is a great opportunity and a lot of fun. I get why so many of you are eager to get material up there ASAP. But I hope you’ll accept a bit of free advice from someone who’s both a fan and a professional.

EDITING MATTERS.

You need to know how to put a sentence together, and you need to have your work read over by other people who know how to put a sentence together. I promise you–promise–that if you have obvious typos or overtly poor grammar in your product description, a lot of people are never going to even look at the product itself, let alone spend any money on it. There are many people who have already lost me as a potential customer based on a single sentence of their product entry, because it was so poorly written that I don’t trust them to be able to deliver a usable product.

Take your time and do it right.

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Happy Halloween!

Posted on November 1, 2015 at 1:28 AM
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Nov 012015
 

For the first time in a couple of years, we decided to put some effort into Halloween. So, I present Rasputin, from Hellboy.

Okay, so I’m no Karel Roden, but I think it’s not too shabby, all things considered.  :-D

R1

R2

R3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spare a moment?

Posted on May 31, 2015 at 11:34 PM
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May 312015
 

It occurs to me, I’m sitting here wondering about various marketing issues–but I don’t NEED to. I have people right here I can talk to. So, take half a minute and help me out, please?

If you have NOT purchased* one of my books (in whatever format) in the past couple of years, would you be so kind as to tell me why not?

*(Or otherwise legally acquired, such as having gotten one as a gift.)

I need real data here, so if your answer is something fairly final, such as “I don’t read fantasy” or “I don’t care for your writing style,” okay. I can accept that. (*sob* ;-) )

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Zero stars

Posted on April 2, 2015 at 11:30 PM
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Apr 022015
 

I was just followed, on Twitter, by one of those “Buy Amazon reviews!” services.

I blocked them and reported them as spam. And the only reason I didn’t do more than that is that the “Crotch-punch poster over the Internet” attachment I ordered is out of stock.

Let me be clear. Authors rely on reviews. Word of mouth sells more than anything, and reviews are–and generate–word of mouth.

But that only works as long as readers believe that at least the majority of reviews are honest/accurate, at least where the reviewer is concerned. “Services” like this? They’re not helping you. It becomes real obvious, real quick, if a book is paying for good reviews. All you’re doing is damaging the readers’ trust–and not just of you, but of all reviews, and by extension, of all authors.

So, to the folks at the “service” who followed me–briefly–and to the folks at all other, similar services, and to the authors who use them…

Kindly piss the hell off, and stay there.

No love–and sadly, no ability to crotch-punch you via the internet,

 

Ari

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An Open Letter to Paramount Studios

Posted on January 15, 2015 at 4:04 AM
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Jan 152015
 

(Because we all know they read my blog with bated breath on a regular basis.)

I’m not a big-name author. I’m not a scriptwriter. But I have written and published enough that I think I can say I have a pretty good grasp of story. So I’m going to point something out that you’ve probably already thought about.

No matter how good the writers, no matter how good the scripts, you cannot do justice to a five-year mission with movies that come out every three-to-five years.

The third Star Trek movie of the new continuity is coming up. We know that the cast signed a three-picture deal, and we know that at least some of them have already said they’re ready to move on.

So… You’ve had blockbuster movies, films that did better than any prior Star Trek films. And you’re going to have to recast anyway.

Cast actors willing to sign on for a series and bring Star Trek back to television.

You have an audience; the success of the movies proves that. You have a clean slate, to create brand new stories and revisit old ones, as you choose. You can write episodes to satisfy the action-lovers, and episodes to satisfy the more cerebral fans.

A five-year mission. A five-year series. Or heck, do a couple years, then a movie, a couple more years, then a movie… Have your cake and eat it, too.

The fans are ready, the franchise is ready. And it’s the only way to truly do Star Trek–five years of exploring the galaxy–any justice.

Let’s start hearing “These are the voyages…” on a weekly basis again.

Time for the Enterprise to come home. We’re waiting for her.

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Texas Ranger

Posted on January 11, 2015 at 5:03 PM
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Jan 112015
 

*cough*

Walker1

And with thanks to Naomi for putting together the graphic for me.

 

 

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