Monthly Archives: September 2007

young wine, it is a shame that you will never learn the true glory of life, for I am drinking you far too soon.

You will never experience the undertones of blackberry and the ripe aroma of currants. You will never feel the smooth release of the perfect symphony. No, your notes will remain messy and sour. Your chorus will always stutter. And they will all be young tarts singing soprano with too much make-up, and too much attitude.

I will be left with a bad taste in my mouth because I am putting up with you.

Still, I have the fine wines for when I will not be drinking alone. For I am too ashamed to admit to others that I would drink this young wine before her time.

I open the bottle. I drink it all down, greedily. I grimace at what I am doing. I can’t help myself, because the best way to clear the aftertaste is another glass.

Young wine, I’m sorry I’ve spoiled your expectations. I’m sure, in time, we could have crafted a social symphony together. Women would have been dazzled. Men would have nodded their heads in approval. And children would have been born from the memory of your perfect song in the moonlight, in that way that cherished memories have of holding people together.

Young wine, I’m lying. I’m not sorry. You may be too tart, and too rough on my pallate. But you’re all mine, and sometimes I like to be a spoiler of wines.

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found something cool

look on page 7 of this

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J M McD has got a crazy scheme

So, lots of folks are interested in Wizards of the Coast’s open call. One question I hear a lot is what kind of books they’re buying. Nobody seems to have a real clue because the books aren’t out yet. People ask me about it everytime I mention it among writers (and lots of you readers are writers, I know…)

Well, I have a book they bought. I want to increase readership of said book.

Here’s my plan – see if you want to participate – I’ve got one chapter that should give you all a really good idea what kind of book this company just bought. I’ll only show you one. Not two. Not three. Not five. Just one.

You must #1 Promise me you will respect Copyright. You will open the file. You will read the file. You may talk freely about the content of the file, but you mustn’t cut and paste the file, or alter the file, or post the file to Scribd.

I ask that you #2 mention in your blog, or website, or favorite message board (preferably not one I attend to regularly, folks…) that you got to take a peek at the first chapter of LAST DRAGON by J M MCDERMOTT available in FEBRUARY 2008 from WIZARDS OF THE COAST DISCOVERIES. If you’d like, you can scribe a little mini-review of just that chapter saying you liked it or not, and why.

Easy, right?

If a friend or a family member want to take a peek, too, go ahead and send them the file, unaltered, with the rules (which are also written out in the file, so even if you forget they should see it first).

I’m hoping they do #2, like the book enough to buy it, and tell their friends about it and pass on the first chapter to others.

I’m also hoping that all of you writers out there will get a better idea of what Wizards of the Coast is buying by getting at least a small sample of something they bought.

You can get my e-mail from my profile.

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ick… I really shouldn’t try to write steampunk

Ick. I had best avoid steampunk and faux-British narration techniques if this is any indication:

I was quite bored most of the time in the country. The village schoolteacher was a very old, near-sighted fellow by the name of Mr Derrykeep. He had long ago forgotten everything he was supposed to be teaching, and forgotten also where he placed his glasses, his chalk, his jacket, his lunch, and his very mind. I had learned quite nearly everything my city school had to teach, and did not like to babysit the village children while they tried not to learn their letters at all.
Since Mr Derrykeep couldn’t recognize his students one day to the next, or tell when they were in class or not, I had a tendency to abandon my studies entirely. There were no other boys my age in the village – or girls, for that matter. The boys my age in this rugged country had mostly lied about their age to join the service early, or had hid in caves among the hills to avoid conscription upon their seventeenth birthday. The girls were mostly volunteering in the hospitals and hospices and factories and farms. I was a lone figure in a quiet village full of old men, overworked women, and young children.
I felt like the last boy in the world. I felt like this whole war had been constructed by invisible machinations between the Liverspudlians and the Gerrymandrians to ruin my life for good.
I was a worldly city boy from Liverspudlian City, and a restless sixteen. My father had been conscripted early in the war, and he currently served as an officer aboard a war zeppelin in the southern shores. As bored as I was, I had tried to convince my mother to allow me to conscript early, but this would have required lying about my name and age. My mother adamantly refused, and wrote furious letters, including my deguereotype, to all the recruitment stations for three counties. She explained it to me thusly. As my family were rather important folks, we would never lie about anything in the public record. Even a patriotic lie could be used against us by conniving courtiers.
Naturally, I did not believe her for a moment, but I allowed her to tell me that reason.
I probably could have hitchhiked back to the besieged city and signed up at the first recruiting station that didn’t pay any attention to mother’s letters on the subject – which would be nearly all of them. However, as miserable as I was, I was not gumptious and presumptious enough to seek a change in my own life. I was the kind of lad to whom things happened. I was not that other sort quite yet. Thus, some boys are men quite young for they take a handle of their lives. Other men are boys a long time because they are the person to whom everything happens.
I skipped school, and that was as much gumption as I had. I walked around the country, throwing stones and watching the clouds and hunting hares with a slingshot.
I was a terrible shot, and never caught a thing.
Mr Marbury had crafted the slingshot for me. He was an older man – they were all older men in every village – with only one leg. The other leg was an elegant constructs of gears and pneumatic pumps to give him all the balance of a normal foot, with five toes and an Achilles tendon and everything. (Normally, he wore boots, but I had asked him once why one of his boots made strange noises like a large clock. He pulled off his boot and showed me his replaced limb sodered into his kneecap in a manner that looked most painful, but he assured me it didn’t hurt a bit.)
The village still had a large flock of sheep. Mr Marbury had to watch very closely lest the young men hiding in the hills snuck off with the village’s mutton. He kept a long rifle with him. If I was walking with him, he let me carry it. Country boys are accustomed to long strolls with rifles. I was not. Mr Marbury talked casually about the weather and the status of the sheep and the state of teatime with all this dreadful rationing, but he knew I wasn’t paying attention.
I was holding a gun.

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a shout out to charles tan, my main man in manila

i vanity google. it’s an obsession. i also watch the amazon ranking go up and down. but mainly i vanity google. i found this:

Bibliophile Stalker: Wizards of the Coast Discoveries Open Call

charles tan, on his blog, is the very first person that i do not personally know who is excited about my book. i know lots of people in the interweb that mostly complain that their favorite shared world is being ignored in early 2008. they can suck it. my main main in manila, charles tan has posted excitement about my book.

he is the first person to do so.

if i had a free copy of my book to mail to him, i would do it. because charles tan is my main man in manila, and i am very happy to see such a crazed lover of all things fantasy to demonstrate honest excitement about my book.

i lift this cup of tea to you, charles tan, my main man in manila!

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cut and pasted from a website

B&N Customers Who Bought This Book Also Bought

* The Children of Húrin
Alan Lee, Christopher Tolkien, J. R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, Alan Lee

* Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
Gregory Maguire, Douglas Smith, Douglas Smith

* The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set
Pauline Baynes, C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes

* Knife of Dreams
Robert Jordan

* Micah
Laurell K. Hamilton

Huh. Pretty diverse bunch of people buying my book, then.

edit: here’s from Amazon –
Heart of Stone (The Negotiator Trilogy, Book 1)

Heart of Stone (The Negotiator Trilogy, Book 1) by C.E. Murphy
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels Series, Book 1)

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels Series, Book 1) by Ilona Andrews
(54) $6.99
A Lick of Frost (Meredith Gentry, Book 6)

A Lick of Frost (Meredith Gentry, Book 6) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville Series, Book 3)

Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville Series, Book 3) by Carrie Vaughn
(39) $6.99
The Devil’s Right Hand (Dante Valentine, Book 3)

The Devil’s Right Hand (Dante Valentine, Book 3) by Lilith Saintcrow
(17) $6.99
› Explore similar items: Books

Interesting to know…

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more pics from fencon iv

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the sad story of mr moth

i encountered a moth on the landing outside my apartment. the concrete was an excellent disguise for the mottled black and gray creature. i was lucky i had noticed the creature in time not to step on it. i bent over and investigated. the black and gray bump with the feathery texture was like a rock carved from cotton. i asked the creature if i could take a picture.

the moth said, “no.”

i recognized the voice. “mr toad, is that you?”

“i was a toad, once. now, i am a moth. please, call me mr. moth.”

“how on earth did you become a moth?! i thought you were trying to become an accountant or an angel!”

“ah, of course. well i remember my youth, seeking out the love of a woman or the love of a dog. alas, i was a fool. i discovered, instead, the love of a cat. a wicked siamese as large as a bobcat wanders these halls, too. it found me lurking for love. it gently rubbed my back, and purred rapturous nothings into my ear. i followed the cat into the treeline where the wicked creature carved me open. the wicked feline extracted everything from me except for my bones. this, alone, should have killed me. however, cats do not like to kill their victims. even after all my bones had been stripped, i was still alive. the cat – playfully – re-fashioned me into a moth. these feathery strips you see are actually cartilage that was sliced to ribbons. these eyes are empty. all the black spaces in my mottled wings are, in truth, an absence. the perfect camouflage of concrete is mostly due to the holes all through me.”

“this is terrible! poor creature, is there anything i can do for you?”

“no,” he said, “i will just wait here. i have learned many new things as a moth. for instance, moths don’t come from caterpillars. moths are the product of housecats that carve moths from the living bones of prey. we are, all of us, works of extreme craftsmanship. every winter – when moths seem to die – we are collected up into a grand exhibition and a team of elder cats choose the finest, most beautiful moths and reward the winner with a piece of very stinky cheese. the wicked siamese has me under close surveillance lest some bird find me before the masquerade ball. i am, frankly, terrified of him. if you see him, can you please run over him with your car?”

“oh, no, i could never do such a horrible thing.”

“regardless, thank you for your company, good sir. i do not know what moths become when beautiful women kiss them. i wait here, patiently, hoping to discover that i have become an actor, a musician, an artist, or some other kind of beautiful, broken soul. dogs don’t seem to notice me, though. i suspect this is due to some interspecies politics that i do not quite grasp, or else some magic feline spell.”

“cats are, assuredly, magical creatures, mr. moth. they are more magical than politickal. mr moth, i am very sorry for you. yet, i am also hopeful that some lovely woman will come along and kiss you into your new, healed life. may i take your photo, and maybe a woman will find your picture and fall in love?”

“no, good sir. not this time. i do not want the wicked cat’s craftsmanship on display for all the world to see. besides, i can see you do not have your camera with you right now, and you’d have to go inside and inconvenience yourself. this would, i suspect, make you late for whatever thing you are in such a rush to attend in that jacket and tie. might i suggest changing out of jeans into good, old-fashioned slacks?”

“i appreciate the advice, mr moth, but this is appropriate attire for my current function. i feel sorry for you, sir, and i wish you all the best. i will respect your desire not to be photographed.”

i bowed to the moth. he bowed to me. he spread his wings and flew away, away, away.

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irony hidden in business speak

(a man in the lobby answers his bluetooth phone. he stares out the window at the road while he talks. he watches north dallas hummers and sportscars and luxury automobiles zipping along like bullet trains.)

I’m actually on a time-management seminar, I’m on a break…
We’re going to be doing this in October…
No, no worries, the only complaint was things were moving kind of fast, but other then that, we’re okay.
No problem.
All right.

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Fencon IV recapped

Fencon IV was most fun. If you ever meet author Steve Perry, ask him to do his superman television show recreations. Also, Connie Willis is just as nice as you always heard she was.

And, of course, the panels were interesting. Today I attended one about Fast Draft by author of Charmed and Dangerous, and lots of other stuff, Candace Havens.

(I know, Candace, I should have been taking notes like everyone else, but I have my system and I will NOT mess with it. And, I am only looking for little tips to improve the system I got. And, I learned what I needed, and took the tips you had that applied to me.)

Since NanoWriMo is right around the corner, let me point you here:

First-time novelists, or anyone looking for some good first draft advice, can find good info there.

Other then that, little bits and anecdotes will probably pop up later. In the mean time, let’s see some pictures.

Connie Willis and some weird guy, who always had to take a moment to remind himself that he does – in fact – speak English every time he was in the vicinity of this fantastic author:

Many Girls in costumes, one of them dressed like J M McDermott:

Hey, isn’t that a YardDogPress author, and one of the four redheads of the apocalypse, Rhonda Eudaly?

Yes, and don’t tell her husband I have a picture of her in the special “art show dress”…

edit: After reviewing all the pictures, my favorite was the quidditch player. She had a fen-tastic costume, with lots of groovy details. She also offered to let me hold her Nimbus, and any girl who lets a Muggle hold their Nimbus is definitely awesome.

But, this was a difficult decision, that took careful surveying and re-surveying of all the photos taken of me with the many girls in costumes.

Um, I’m sleepy. And, I’m going to go watch some football.

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