Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Always willing to help my friends - and do that "Good Turn".

Most you probably don't know I was a Boy Scout. That's how I got my start in journalism. I was a Patrol Scribe and I earned the journalism merit badge.

The Scouts's slogan is "Do a Good Turn Daily". And this weekend I did my daily good deeds, for two very different people - Jon Del Arroz and Howard Waldrop.

In Jon's case, I posted his novella "Knight's Training" on the SFWA reading list for the Nebula awards. Jon is not a member of the SFWA, but you don't have to be to to have a work listed on the reading list. Since I am a member, and since "Knight's Training" is worthy selection, I posted it myself. I'm sure some people will enjoy it. In fact, the last time I checked it had more views than my own story I posted in the short story category, "This Planet is a Hole".

As for Howard, I picked up the phone and gave him a call Sunday just to chat and get caught up. I didn't go to Armadillocon this year, where I usually see him.

In the course of the conversation we talked about the late, great Gardner Dozois. Howard contributed one of the many tributes to Gardner that were featured in the September issue of the New York Review of Science Fiction, which was a special memorial edition for Gardner.

Howard bemoaned the fact that he wanted to read what everyone else had written, but he couldn't get his hands on a hard copy. I told him that I had downloaded the PDF of that issue, and I would print it out and mail it to him.

Which I did. It went out in the mail Monday.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Nebula nominations are open

To any of my friends in the SFWA, I have posted my short story "This Planet is a Hole" in the SFWA Forum for Nebula nominations.

This story was written between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 on the morning of Saturday, January 13, 2018. Editor Dawn Witzke was online at the time and I emailed her the story immediately. She accepted it at 9:58 a.m., which makes for less than an hour and half from start to acceptance of a story.

I think that's a record. If you are an active or associate member of the SFWA, you are eligible to nominate it for the Nebula, if you like.

I woke up screaming...

You know when you have a day when everything seems to go wrong? Yesterday, Friday the 16th, was one of those for me.

It started badly. Like I said, I woke up screaming. As a diabetic, I've had muscle cramps in my legs before. Apparently early in the morning my foot became caught in a fold of a blanket and as I tossed and turned in bed my foot cramped, and then my leg.

If you've ever had these type of cramps, you know they are very, very painful. I woke up screaming and in my panic to extricate from my blankets I nearly fell out of bed. I had to sit on the edge of the bed and massage my legs for ten minutes before I could even stand up.

After a while I limped to the office, where we later earned Windtream has just spontaneously decided to disconnect our phone lines. If you call the main number you get a message it's no longer in service; if you call the fax machine you get the same message but you still hear the fax machine trying to pick up in the background.

Windstream said they have a work ticket on it and it should be fixed by 6 p.m. MONDAY.

Monday is the busiest day of the week at the newspaper office. Thanks, guys.

At the end of the day, I told Patricia I wanted to pamper myself and we went to a local restaurant where I ordered a rib eye steak for dinner.

I never got it. We waited an hour and ten minutes and then gave up and walked out. We went to McDonalds for quarter pounders.

Yep, we all have days like that.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

The way it should be

As with so many small town newspapers, I wanted to do something in this week's issue to for Veterans Day (which is Sunday). A friend who's in his 70s loaned me a copy of a commemorative book published over 60 years ago by the local American Legion post which included the photos and service records of most of the local men and women who served in World War II.

A complete of all who served is impossible, but this book has over 1000 entries and is the single best local source for that kind of record. Since I had it in my hands temporarily I resolved to type a list of names and it as a roll of honor in the paper (it took up three pages).

When I first laid my hands on the book, I noticed there was a small separate section in the back. I was taken aback when I flipped to it and saw what it was. We sometimes forget how much social progress has been made in this country over the years

The "negro" veterans were segregated in the back pages of the book and not included with the whites.

It took me essentially a full eight-hour day to type the alphabetical list of names. I started at the front, and when I finished with the "white" veterans, I typed the other names - but as I typed them I put all the black veterans' names in the correct alphabetical order in the list.

I completed one list of ALL the veterans, and that's the way it went in the paper. Everyone together, from A to Z, like it should have been done 60 years ago.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Latest news updates

I'm proud to announce my short story "Cain's Knife" will be published in Liberty Island magazine. It is scheduled for November 20.

This will be my 12th story published in 2018 and my 126th since 2003.

I'm also pleased and proud to announce I have accepted an invitation to be a guest panelist for SoonerCon 2019, which will be held June 7-9, 2019, in Norman, Oklahoma. See you there!

Update on Sirius S-F

After a great launch and publishing five excellent original short stories, Sirius S-F went on hiatus for a couple of months because of il...