Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm Alive!

And to prove it, here is a picture of a dinosaur I drew at work the other day.

I don't know why it has those frilly looking fins... probably because they're awesome.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blood Fugue Cover Reveal

The great Vic Caswell and her Sketcher Girl studios have produced another great book cover. Check it out below:

Blood Fugue, Moonsongs Book 1 by E.J. Wesley Cover Reveal Party
Author E.J. Wesley is throwing a blog party to celebrate the release of his new book cover and wants you to join in the fun. Jump over to his blog to learn about how you can win some awesome prizes, including $50 toward a cover of your own and advance reader copies of Blood Fugue.

Cover work by Sketcher Girl, LLC -

What's the Story About? 

Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted.”

Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried. She wears loneliness like a comfy sweatshirt. By the age of twenty-one, she was the last living member of her immediate family. Or so she thought…

“We found my ‘grandfather’ sitting at his dining room table. An entire scorched pot of coffee dangled from his shaky hand. His skin was the ashen gray shade of thunderclouds, not the rich mocha from the photo I’d seen. There were dark blue circles under each swollen red eye. A halo of white hair skirted his bald head, a crown of tangles and mats. Corpses had more life in them.”

Suddenly, instead of burying her history with the dead, Jenny is forced to confront the past. Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, she must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it.

BLOOD FUGUE by E.J. Wesley, is the first of the MOONSONGS books, a series of paranormal-action novelettes. At fewer than 13k words, BLOOD FUGUE is the perfect snack for adventurous readers who aren’t afraid of stories with bite. Available wherever fine eBooks are sold September 2012. 

Join the Party!

The Open Vein, E.J.'s blog -

E.J. Wesley on the Twitter -

Friday, August 24, 2012

How Many Aliens Are There?

I've been waiting for this for years.... I can finally plug numbers into the Drake Equation and get some meaningful answers about whether or not Aliens are visiting earth.

My best guess, there are 34 technological Alien species currently active in the Milky Way galaxy. How many do you come up with?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Does Magic Work?

The fine folks over at io9 have posted a little article advising all of us would-be fantasy authors to ask ourselves these 12 questions when it comes to how the magic systems work in our worlds.

I've been struggling with this in my fantasy book for a while. My magic kinda sucks. I've been trying to work on it and I just happened to see this today.

I wish they'd elaborated on it a bit more though.

Happy Day

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's FAKE!

I read a fair amount of science related items and think of myself as pretty darn savvy when it comes to being exposed to internet memes that promote made up things as true. But, when I was first shown the newly famous pic of Earth, Venus and Jupiter as seen from Mars, I didn't think I was seeing anything phony. I don't recall swearing it was real, either. But I've been seeing this thing tweeted and retweeted so much lately I thought I'd share this article by the great Phil Plait where he calls it as a hoax.

FAKE! Probably.
Click to read.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sigh Time

LOTS OF STUFF on the plate for this week so I may be scarce around the interwebs.

I DID FIND this amazing youtube channel with all these concept painting tutorials... it's one of the greatest things I've ever stumbled across. I watched a ton of them.

THERE WAS A NEW review for A Dead God's Wrath over the weekend. It's funny, as I've done no promotion whatsoever and despite all that almost no one has read it. Wait, that's not very funny, is it?

Still, the review was somewhat mixed, they commented that the plot was predictable and my prose was tedious  - while still being riddled with errors. But I really, really appreciate the review as it was. It was someone that wasn't worried about hurting my feelings and wasn't being mean spirited - they just found the story less than exceptional. They pointed out why they didn't think the story worked and I really appreciate them taking the time to read and be honest. I hope the next story I release will be better.

And I do plan on putting something else out within the month. I hope that this story is more compelling than the last. I'll post more about that soon though.

Also, someone on Goodreads rated A Dead God's Wrath over the weekend as well, except they didn't give it a review.

It was one of those dreaded one-star ratings everyone dreads. Sigh. I suppose I'd rather not read what they had to say about it. At least so far they haven't put that rating up anywhere else besides Goodreads, so I appreciate them not flaunting their dislike publicly.

ANDREW LEON has made the second installment of his serialized novel available today. You can get it for free if you hurry up. It's an Amazon exclusive. Hurry up and get it by clicking.... HERE

FINALLY, MY FANTASY FOOTBALL draft was this weekend. It's pretty sad when halfway through the second round of the draft I realized I'd made a horrible mistake and my season is ruined. But I'll enjoy being the underdog in almost every game.

I'll get 'em next year.

Happy Monday people.

Friday, August 10, 2012

When the World is Broken

I've started tinkering with a new short story. I don't know why, but I got a quite a kick out my concept. I thought I'd share a first draft excerpt.

It's a story of a cosmic entity that is cast down and forced to live as a human child.

"The indignities Billy suffered were beneath him. How could he hope to rule the cosmos again when he had runny bowels thanks to the undercooked meat in his burrito? The universe was determined to undermine him.

And so the universe would pay.

And the playground was the worst. The older kids didn’t respect his authority. They made him eat worms, or pulled his pants down, or worse. But they couldn’t break him. He wouldn’t cry, or complain, or tell, he would take their worst, and smile through it all – dreaming of the day that he would shove mud down their pants. Well, his minions would shove mud down their pants. The effect would be the same though.

And such was his life. A god trapped in the body of a child."

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I'm Not Above Being a Fanboy!

I absolutely love Peter V Brett's books, The Warded Man (In the U.S. - The Painted Man abroad) and The Dessert Spear are amazing. I think The Dessert Spear may be my favorite book I've read so far this year, and that's saying a lot, since I've read a lot, and I mean A LOT of books that I've loved in 2012.

I was so wowed when I finished the the second one that I whipped up a piece of fan art. Peter Brett himself stopped by my deviantART page and told me that he'd made it his new desktop background... I won't call him to task on that, I'll just believe and not ask any questions.

Anyway, he posted a copy of it to his blog. I'm just thrilled to death.


Happy day people.

Friday, August 3, 2012

What if I Kept a Diary?

I’ve been inspired, of sorts, to live healthy. Now, it was a spur of the moment decision, so I have had some stumbling blocks.  But I figured I would spell out a bit of what it was like to be me for a day.

Sunday night, my wife and I drew a line in the sand and decided Monday was going to be day 1 of our new life. No more poor diet and no exercise. The plan? Monday morning, up early to make a healthy breakfast and to take extra time to pack a healthy lunch and a gym bag so I can go workout on my lunch hour.

6:15 a.m. – Alarm goes off. Wife points out that she has to leave for work in 30 minutes. There isn’t enough time to cook. We go back to bed.

7:00 a.m. – Wife has already left for work. I get up and find my stomach is upset. I spend the next hour in the bathroom. Cursing the ethnic food I ate the night before that did this to me.

8:00 a.m. – I text my boss to inform him that I’m, er, indisposed at the moment, and am not at work. I tell him to expect me soon.

8:30 a.m. – after a shower and change of clothes, I rush off to work. I did not take my gym bag. I did not eat breakfast. I’m very hungry. I do grab a lean cuisine from the freezer on my way out the door.

8:55 a.m. – I arrive at work. Too hungry to think properly. I go to vending area and get a relatively healthy almond nut bar. 160 calories, more sugar than necessary.

9:02 a.m. – First meeting of the day hasn’t quite started. I notice a few dozen cupcakes by my desk.

9:17 a.m. – meeting over. I avoid temptation and eat my almond nut bar. Those cupcakes stay on my desk.

10:30 a.m. – the lady who brought the cupcakes and set them on my desk (because of it’s awesome, centralized location) encourages me to have one. I resist. However, the almond nut bar I had earlier was really small and I’m hungry enough that I’m getting a headache.

11:29 a.m. – I can’t take it anymore. I get up to go to a restaurant for lunch. I remember I have my lean cuisine. I curse. Then go warm it up in the microwave.

11:38 a.m. – I’ve eaten my lunch. I’m still very hungry.

11:45 a.m. – I have a cupcake. It’s peanut butter. It’s homemade and very good.

12:36 p.m. – I have another.

2:24 p.m. -  and another.

3:55 p.m. – and another.

5:00 p.m. – cupcake lady comes by, sees few remaining cupcakes and decides to take them home. Her departure kept me from eating another one.

5:15 p.m. – Still very hungry. Also have the shakes from too much sugar. I return to vending area for food. I intend to get a snickers bar.

5:18 p.m. – I hate our snack vendor. There are no snickers bars. There are no milky way caramel. I decide I’ve had way to much sugar already. I decide to skip the three musketeers and eat a handful of almonds instead.

5:26 p.m. – I lick the salt from the almonds and dream of eating meat. I wonder if a filet mignon burger is a real thing. I wonder what bread you could put on it. I decide I want one. 

5:28 p.m. – I decide putting ketchup or mustard on filet mignon would be a travesty. I consider other possible condiments. I’m thinking hollandaise sauce might work. Or a garlic butter. Or both.

6:09 p.m. – I think that if I’m served salad tonight, it will be made up of 80% dressing. And topped with breaded meats. In fact, I might get Chinese food, something like sesame chicken (minus the sesame sauce) and just drop the chicken over the salad.

6:10 p.m. – I realize I’d be an idiot to not use the sesame sauce. Maybe I can invent a new kind of salad too. To be served before my filet-o-burger. I also remember that I was going to work out today.  

7:05 p.m. – I get home to find that my wife is making some Asian dish that is very similar in form to a lettuce wrap. Actually, it is a lettuce wrap. She has veggies cut, sauces all over the counter, and cooked meat (ground chicken) already browned. I decide immediately that I need to help.

7:40 p.m. – I’ve ruined supper. Apparently, throwing in half a shaker of five spice is a bit much. After putting the food in the strainer and rinsing it thoroughly with water, it’s still not eatable. We have to throw it out.

8:49 p.m. – I have drank most of a 2 liter of soda in an attempt to get that feeling of fullness that I need. I’m still hungry, but gassy to boot. I call the day a failure and hope to do better tomorrow.*

* Since I wrote this later in the week, I can tell you that I most definitely do better the next day.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IWSG - May Edition... Part 4

The great Alex J Cavanaugh once had a dream. To give all the writers of the world who suffered from one neurosis or another an opportunity to vent to the world all their frustrations or fears into the world without the worry of judgement.

My big take for this month: I’m not so bad.

I’m turning 40 this month. The big Four-Oh. And as such, I think it’s given me an excuse to examine my life. Not just writing, but everything. My wife, trying to be supportive, had a conversation with me the other day on the topic. It went something like this:

Her: “I think you should be a scientist.”

Me: “Me too, but I’m not qualified.”

Her: “You’re as smart as any of them, you should be one anyway.”

Me: “You think I’m smart?”

Her: “Well, don’t get carried away. They don’t know what they’re doing anyway. Did you know they say the Brontosaurus isn’t real anymore? And don’t get me started about dark matter?”

Me: “This part sounds familiar. Where have I heard this before?”

Her: Shrugs. “I’m just saying. You can make up crazy stuff just as easily as they can.”

Me: “Are you encouraging me, or not?

Her: “Look, there are all sorts of labs around here. Go… be a scientist.”

And with that, she was done. That may not have been a true transcription, as it took place last weekend and I’m retelling it now - the details may have gotten fuzzy. I thought we should’ve spent more time talking about the qualifications necessary before applying for a position. As I’m pretty sure people showing up off the street and demanding to be named ‘scientist’ and given a job don’t have a high success rate. But then again, maybe that’ll work.

But her larger point, which I’ll summarize instead of giving it away through dialogue, is that I may have missed my calling in life. And she’s telling me I can still pursue my dreams.

I told her I like to write, but she meant dreams that make me money. Not dreams that eat up my nights and weekends and don’t bring in any income.

Sigh. Did I have a point? This had something to do with the IWSG for August. I meant to be encouraging. Especially after last month when I said I was going to stop complaining all the time.

Regardless, thanks Alex. It't been a good year.