Stone of Remembrance

March 26, 2012

March 26 Weekly Update

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 09:03

This is my weekly post to bring you up to date on my world. I hope you find it interesting, informative, and/or entertaining.

Writing Projects

1632 Novel

I am particularly occupied with a novel set in the 1632 Universe, for Baen Books. This is under contract and will likely be a 2013 release. It is set in 1636, and takes place mostly in the New World; this is a venue hitherto scarcely touched in the milieu, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with Eric Flint on this novel.

Elements of Mind

Two plus years ago I wrote a novel at lightning speed, set in the middle 19th century and dealing with the great pseudoscience, mesmerism. This novel has been well received by those reading it (or hearing excerpts at conventions). It is in an editor’s hands, and I hope to have good news on the subject in the next few months.


My Dark Wing series will be appearing in e-book form in the Baen library later this year. Contracts for this effort have been signed; I will provide links when the e-books are available.

A Song In Stone will be available in e-book form next month from Adams Media. I will provide a link when the e-book is available.

King and Country

The alternate-history novel (some of you may know it as the “Ben Franklin” novel) is on hold until the 1632 book is out the door. I want to get back to it later this year.

Other Writing

I contributed a short piece to Ring of Fire III, a collection of stories set in the 1632 universe. It’s only my second published short story. Torg say, short fiction HARD.

My most recent article in TROWEL Magazine is about Past Grand Master George M. Randall, and is entitled Apostle in the Wilderness.

Other Projects

Rails of New England was published last spring by Rio Grande Games and is getting good reviews from strategy gamers. Be sure to get the revised rules.

Current Reading

I have just finished reading the third volume of Edmund Morris’ magnificent biography of Theodore Roosevelt, Colonel Roosevelt. TR, with all his flaws, is still one of my favorite Presidents of all time. Morris is a wonderful writer; he is clearly sympathetic to his subject, but as he points out, he is neither a hero-worshipper nor a “revisionist” repelled by Roosevelt’s attitudes, which are a century out of date but were extremely forward-looking for his time.

Facebook Updates

March 17: An article about home schooling by a particularly insidious sect of Christian Fundamentalists, the so-called Quiverfull movement. This is not, as I pointed out, me being critical of homeschooling as such, but this particular approach bothers the crap out of me.

March 20: A must-read guest post on Scalzi’s blog. No, really. Read it. This transvaginal ultrasound crap has got to be stopped.

March 20: Man bored of leading thing that doesn’t matter. A humorous bit about the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is stepping down. Make sure to look at this post in the replies, which is a hilarious Canterbury Tales parody from Iowahawk, a conservative blog.

March 21: 106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great. A fine article that goes beyond the usual cheerleading platitudes about motivation and success.

Parting Words

I continue to appreciate the support and encouragement I receive from family and friends. The loss of a long time and close friend last fall reminds me as always how slender a reed life is, and how much I feel compelled (as the Masonic lecture says) to “contribute to the common stock of knowledge and understanding.” I try to say what I mean, to convey my affection rather than withhold it, and to be truthful and honest to those I meet as well as to myself.

Thank you for reading.

Xenophon visits Nineveh, and is surprised

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 07:58

Blogs, like any creative enterprise, have a certain inertia associated with them. Inertia tends to cause objects in motion to stay in motion, and objects at rest to remain at rest; I’m sure there is a more scientific definition, but this is from a strictly literary source, so it’s my metaphor and I’m sticking to it.

What I’ve not stuck to – particularly over the last year or so – is posting to this forum. I should like to think that this is due merely to the lack of time to devote to so worthy an enterprise as keeping posted the seven or so of you who might be inclined to read what I write here; alas, that is not the only reason. Inertia has played a significant role. As with anything else that, if not maintained, falls into disrepair, Stone of Remembrance has suffered from neglect. (I also think it may have been invaded by spammers, but I’ll be attending to that, hopefully, this week. It does mean that I’m probably going to shut off the ability to register for a user name.) It has also suffered from the advent of Facebook, where I post regularly; this medium requires far less of the user than to compose blog entries. It is ephemeral, and redundant, and as much (if not more) a real-life, real time demonstration of Sturgeon’s Law as anything else you might encounter on the web. Sometimes I encounter something interesting, or funny, and post a link to it; more often I add my own largely irrelevant comment to the other irrelevant comments on something from Taste of Awesome, or someone’s cat picture, or some other damn thing that it takes me five seconds to be faux witty about.

Meanwhile the blog remains neglected as other matters press for my attention. I only have three hands, as my mother was fond of saying.

When something gets neglected in this way, and to this extent, there are only two real choices. One is to abandon it entirely. Blogs often suffer this sort of mid-life crisis; they’re not updated for a period of time and then they become no longer current. They become relics, like Assyria, when Xenophon passed through two hundred years after its fall. Don’t worry, though: storage is cheap, so these things will be around forever – or at least until people stop paying their ISP.

The other is to return to the stage with determination, and with a plan.

I’ve decided on choice 2. Starting this week, I will be posting something here every week. I’ll bring you up to date on my writing projects; on what I’ve just read (or am reading now); on my most recent contributions/links on Facebook; and my upcoming conventions. It’s not going to be Boing Boing, or Scalzi; but it will hopefully be something worth reading.

And thus will civilization be maintained. Xenophon will reach Nineveh, six months after the last post, and discover that the blog is still active.

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