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{ Category Archives } Writing

comments on writing, the act of blogging, book info

Retirement Plan

Yesterday I wrote that Vetinari is one of the two characters from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series I consider my favorites. It’s also the only fictional character who fits into a recurrent daydream of mine. I like to imagine an hour with some historical notable, a chance to gauge his reaction to news of the future. […]


Farewell, Terry Pratchett. Pushing Steam is his final book, discounting the somewhat ghoulish practice of co-authoring from his notes, as others have done with Tolkien and Asimov. I found it very sad. Not so much because of its explicit content, but as an expression of the approaching end of Pratchett’s life and literary career. Things […]

Dear Pen Pal

Charlie Brown, from the Peanuts comic, had a pen pal. It became a running joke that hadn’t really been funny the first time. Every so often, he would sit at a table, tongue industriously poking from one corner of his mouth, and explain to his pen pal that he would doggedly continue to use a […]

Turn the Page

PC Gamer magazine is trying something new. A few weeks ago, I got email announcing that my “online copy” of this month’s issue was available online. I was somewhat concerned: did this mean our copy was available in addition to, or instead of, the print copy our subscription had paid for? Were we still getting […]

The Cracked Came Back

When did Cracked get funny? When I was a kid, maybe ages 8-12, I read Mad magazine. Its glory days were long past; Kurtzman’s successors just weren’t as good, but it was still funny, on-and-off—Al Jaffee was just crude, and Dave Berg was stiffly formulaic, but Mort Drucker did silly little things in the margins […]

Welcome to My Slashfic

Hoh-leeeeee crap! We just got the log from last night’s RPG. Wait. Let me back up. Ella, running our ongoing M&M “Tethered” campaign is taking a lengthy vacation. So Jude’s taking a sabbatical from gaming as well to ease his busy schedule, and Jen is running a three-session D&D game to keep the rest of […]

The Failure of Monte Cristo

Dave wants to run a campaign titled “Bastards,” for the PCs will be bastards in more than one sense: cut off from (what they consider) their rightful respective inheritances, and willing to sink to extreme and contemptible methods to secure them again. If we can really stick to our resolve, it should stretch our boundaries, […]

John Scalzi: Writer

We attended a panel of sorts this week, which proved to be more of a book reading. Three authors read selections from the novels they’re pushing. The fourth, John Scalzi, read instead a joke project, about a page of deliberately bad fantasy writing, the story behind it, and anecdotes from the aftermath. In short, someone […]

One of the Guys

I’m reading my second Lois Mcmaster Bujold book, both late entries in the “Vorkosigan saga,” which I take to be a series of stories about the rise and rise of Miles Vorkosigan, born to the ruling family of an interstellar empire but tainted by physical defects in a culture that places a heavy stigma on […]

Summer Wars

I checked out “Summer Wars” from the local library this week. Anime has lost a lot of its sparkle for me, as it does for a lot of fans: what is at first a radical new animative form with amazing explosions and camera swoops, wacky humor, and plenty of cute eventually becomes familiar, and from […]