Cheesecake – for Steven

Wonderduck had the idea to honor Steven’s passing to post some cheesecake.  I’d not given it any thought.

I’d sent a dear friend the link that someone very close to me was on his way Home.  She politely let me grieve without interference.  Just now, she sent me some art she made.  Guessing her intent, but unsure, I asked confirmation.  Indeed, she made this for Steven, on my behalf.  Dammit, Steven, even in death, you’re still touching lives.

Why is it so tanjed dusty in here?

Continue reading “Cheesecake – for Steven”

Countdown to November

This weekend shall be the calm before the storm… mostly spent doing laundry and vacuuming about the house.

November 1:  there’s a NNWM write-in at my local library.  I’m hoping to stop by after work, from 1745 to 1900.  They say “Bring your writing materials, inspiration, and an open mind.”  So I’m bring Nichole (the laptop I’m using now) and coffee & bourbon.  And I’ve always an open mind; just don’t talk your PoMoTranzi crap around me.

November 2:  Parent-Teacher Conference for Daughter #2.  I wonder if her homework about the election where she wrote “Hillary is pro-death,” and “Her closest advisor is Huma Abedin, who is also her lesbian lover” will come up in conversation?

November 3rd:  Some meeting from 1800-1900 about the church’s Xmas Bazaar.  I’ll sit in the back and try to write.

November 4th:  MILO in Columbus! W00t!  If there’s a meet-and-greet I’ll present him with copies of my books!

Let’s have a nice, death-and-tumor-free month.  For all of us.

RIP, Steven Den Beste

One of the greats has passed.

I’d read all of his posts on his political-military blog, USS Clueless, for years.  When he started posting review of Japanese animations, I thought he was losing his mind.  Turned out, he was showing me a world I’d not imagined.

As a family, we started watching dubbed anime.  Then subbed.  We went to anime conventions (usually the whole family cosplaying).  We started reading manga.  I started playing visual novels; then I made one; then two more.  I began to write traditional novels – much of who’s source material came from the years of anime stories in  my head.  I wrote more novels.

Would I have wandered into anime were it not for Steven?  Possibly.  But not with his intellectual rigor.  To this day, his analysis of Haibane Renmei -still my favorite anime – is breathtaking in its complexity.  The few times I posted comments to his website, or communicated with him directly, he was courteous and polite.  A gentleman.

The impact of his life upon mine is incalculable.  I was not close enough to call him a friend, but certainly a mentor.  My world, and the whole world, shall  be a darker place at his passing.

Aside:  Steven was an atheist, but not militantly so; not like a vegan.  I do have to smile, just a little, thinking about how his Exit Interview – with Someone he didn’t believe in – is going right now.  I shall have a Mass said for him.

How to raise a Death Flag

“Barring any unforeseen RealLife consequences – as such happened last November– I’m feeling very good about this project.”  He said in hubris, in the post just below this one.

Our oldest dog had a nasty nosebleed last Tuesday.  Our local vet said to give him some diphenhydramine.  That worked for a week.  It was back on Monday; bad enough I’d to take him into Columbus to MedVet.  They did a CT and rhinoscopy; he has a tumor in his right nasal cavity.  We’ll find out by Monday if it’s malignant or not.*

Note to all writers out there:  never, EVER, say nor write what I did in that sentence on top of this post.  Don’t.

*It would almost be better if malignant, as it would be easier to treat with radiation than with surgery.


Only fourteen days left until NaNoWriMo begins.  About a week ago I finally dug out the script I’d written for what would have  been the webcomic, Poisoned Hearts, thinking I recalled it well enough to serve as a first chapter.


While I did recall most of it, the characters were already reforming in my mind for the new story; so, personalities are different, huge timing changes . . . at least the locations….    Nope:  I’d reimagined what the lab at Neuroi looks like, based upon my horror short.

So as it is, what was a first chapter of material is now a stack of notes for Cursed Hearts.  That still puts me miles ahead of where I started two years ago with The Fourth Law:  one mental image and a 20-second sound bite.  Barring any unforeseen RealLife consequences – as such happened last November – I’m feeling very good about this project.  Of course it’s tempting to actively make notes now, but I think that violates the spirit of the month-long challenge.  Dreaming, okay; notes, not so much.

My other October project:  converting my father-in-law’s oral history into written history, has also not gone as well as I’d hoped.  Once I sat down to write all that I recalled as a framework for him to add onto, I realized just how much I’ve forgotten over the past ten years.  Sure, I can ‘see’ the images:  him and his cavalry detachment caught in the second floor of a Polish cheese factory when a Red Army platoon motors up.  Him in a AVO prison, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs to his right and a 2-star general to his left.  I think I shall reallocate this to January, when it’s dark and cold and we’re all inside (December will be given over to editing then publishing Cursed Hearts by Christmas).

Not much meat in this post, but that’s what happens when a writer is between project.  Expect things to get very interesting quite soon.  Cheers!


As Social as Medea

Which is to say, I’m not, really.  Even so, with the chance to get in “on the ground floor” of something new, I thought to give it a shot.

What with Twitter – which I never used – gone full SJW (never go full SJW; in fact, don’t do it at all…) and banning people across the political spectrum from Milo, to Instapundit, to Scott Adams, there is a free speech alternative, Gab.  I’m there as @machciv and my own name.  We shall see what develops….