Thursday, March 29, 2018


It's no secret that we are trying to sell our home of the last twenty years and so we've begun cleaning out, packing, and choosing what goes where, to who, and whether it is worth the trouble to hang onto something that signifies only a memorable occasion - such as autographed books, con badges, and old newspapers and magazines.

Serial issues of DUNE WORLD
I pulled one box from the back of the closet that I'd brought from our former dwelling (and probably three or four before that) that hadn't been opened for at least forty years.  Inside were newspapers announcing the end of WWII,  another reporting man's first steps on the moon, and a few covering the impact of hurricane Camille on Biloxi MS.  There was also a much beloved and frequently read copy of I GO POGO, and a National Geographic issue, whose pages are as pristine as they were when first printed, covering the first moon explorations.  Towards the bottom of the box were five copies of the large format ANALOG magazines containing the original serial of DUNE WORLD and three of THE PROPHET OF DUNE, which later formed the backbone of Herbert's DUNE. The final two issues of PROPHET were in digest format and not saved.

Browsing through the pages I saw stories by many once well-known writers; Anderson, Anvil, Brunner, Campbell, Garrett, Reynolds, Spinrad,  Schmitz, and Temple. There were also stories by                                                                writers I've since forgotten or who never had another appearance. I wonder if these minor lights had only a short burst of creativity before they retired from writing or had moved on to more lucrative work than writing?

Most of the stories in these five issues are readable but dated in style and viewpoint. Rereading them sent my mind back to my more fannish pre-writing mind.  The exercise also humbled me in that some day, somewhere, someone is also going to uncover a stash of forgotten ANALOGs and thumb through the ToC to find gems written by authors who later went on to fame and glory.

And, among them, I hope they might also find my name.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Life, It's One Damn thing After Another

Excuse me for the brevity of this post, but I am massively distracted by the imminent sale and move from our home of twenty-some years to a purchased apartment half its size.  You'd think that decisions on furniture and rugs would dominate, but you would be wrong; its the little things that consume time as you emotionally debate whether to discard, give away, or save  every damn knick-knack, picture, book, or momento you managed to acquire, cherish and forget about. Then there's the packing, arranging, moving, settling, and dealing with a seemingly endless parade of friends, agents, lawyers, vendors, etc who stumble over each other trying to make things "easier."

Then there's the attempts at writing.  Hardly a spare hour goes by without a phone call, neighbor dropping by, the spouse screaming for "a few minutes of your time," as the ideas dissolve into a meaningless morass of random thoughts and ill-structured sentences.  The hell of it is that after you again grasp a few moments you can't immediately jump back to where your mind was before the interruption and by the time you almost recover that blessed state there's another interruption!

But then, how is this any different from my day to day life?


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Busy,busy, busy

No time to pontificate this week because of personal and professional issues: signed another contract (third this year), waiting for the next round of copyedits from my novel's publisher, working on a novella that has not yet resolved into a coherent story while trying to finish two draft novels (both at 97% of completion), preparing to make a scary move from my current house to a smaller apartment, and waiting for three galleys to arrive for proofreading.

Needless to say my nerves are shot and March has arrived sooner than expected! Thank the lord that I am not running for office this year!