The Fury Clock free

…because it needs to be read. The Fury Clock was the most enjoyable writing experience I’ve ever had with a book. Probably because I could, for the most part, write whatever I wanted without the constraints of propriety, common sense, or logic. While I wouldn’t want to live that way, such lack makes the writing process much more interesting than it usually is.

Anyway, this link will take you to various free forms of The Fury Clock. Pass it around.


Lie of the Land album

The Lie of the Land is an album I recorded back around 2007 in response to the general plan update battle in Monterey County (that’s my county). Things got heated. I figured music might be a good way to get people thinking. It didn’t work, as far as I could tell. Anyway, feel free to download the music files and pass them around.

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Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 


Poor Louie’s Bull

Some friends and I recently played a couple of my songs at the Cowboy Poetry fundraiser last Sunday. The Salinas Rodeo big week always kicks off with this poetry event. Great blues band after us, followed by Chris Pine, an old cowboy poet from Arizona. The spoken word is powerful stuff.

Anyway, here are the two songs we played. I recorded these about ten or eleven years ago.

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Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 


Strawberries

 

We grow a lot of things on our farm. Celery, lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower. Those are the bigger crops, but we also grow strawberries. The sad thing about strawberries is that most people don’t really know what a real strawberry should taste like. The berries you get in the store are never picked at the proper sugar level (that’s due to transportation issues), so they’re never the real sweet-sunlight taste you get from a berry picked at peak ripeness. We don’t pick our berries for transport, so the ones in this photo are the real thing. They have to be eaten right away, or turned into jam, pie, crisp, or frozen for smoothies. No shelf-life, due to all the sugar in them. I’m not trying to make any profound literary point here. All I’m saying is that, if you can, you should grow your own strawberries. If the deer and the rabbits and the birds will let you.Strawberries


Dark Matter Holds Everything Together

Interesting news story out today about how astrophysicists have discovered a galaxy relatively close to our own that is comprised almost entirely of dark matter. Our Milky Way has about 100 times more stars than the galaxy in question, yet they’re both about the same size. Fascinating.

They (the proverbial they–though, in this case it refers to more of those astrophysicists) calculate that the universe is about 85% dark matter, with the balance being made up of visible matter: us, stars, planets, etc. Dark matter earns its name by not absorbing or reflecting light. Its invisible. You can only detect it by observing its gravitational effects on other things.

Which means if you see someone staggering oddly down the street, they’re either inebriated or under the influence of dark matter.

And dark matter, even more interestingly enough, holds the universe together. Some might say the word holds the universe together. The first spoken word. Rather, the word that came before the first spoken word. Dark matter or first words. They’re bother difficult to see, yet we see their effects everywhere.

I wanted to be an astrophysicist when I was a kid. I never wanted to be a fireman or a policeman or a mutual fund manager. It was always an astrophysicist for the longest time. Funny how we end up in other places. I’ll chalk it down to the unseen influences of dark matter. The gravitational pull of that which cannot be seen.


Friends in Masks

city of masksA friend of mine from the land of Oz, and fellow-fantasy writer, Ashley Capes, has an epic fantasy series called The Bone Mask Trilogy out on Amazon and the various other ebook sites. His books feature a young thief as one of the main characters, just like Jute in my Tormay trilogy. Anyway, the first book in the series, City of Masks, is going to be free on April 4, so check it out if you get a chance.

In other news, I’ve decided to lay claim to Mars as my ancestral home. Just need to find a good lawyer who specializes in that sort of thing. Mars sounds pretty peaceful these days in comparison to all the nonsense going on in these parts!


Aeronaut’s Windlass

By Jim Butcher. Aeronaut’s Windlass. Great book. This is the first new fantasy book I’ve read in a long time that I genuinely enjoyed from page one to the finish. He created an imaginative, accessible world for this story. Solid, interesting characters that don’t feel like a fantasy geek’s typical stereotypes. Thoughtful, fascinating plot. Polished dialogue. I was further intrigued by the overall worldview he used as a foundation for the story: clear right and wrong, but still allowing for internal moral conflicts generated by decent characters operating in bad situations. No whiff of nihilism; refreshing, that, as so much epic fantasy these days is drowning in nihilism.

While I’ve read Butcher’s other books, such as the Dresden Files, I can’t recommend them for various reasons (despite how well they’re written). Aeronaut’s Windlass, however, I recommend.


Under the Cushions

When was the last time you cleaned underneath your couch cushions? I did that today with our living room couch and what I found was pretty surprising. One of the items looked radioactive. I think I also found the missing link (that should make Richard Dawkins happy), as well as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from last year.

Let me know what you find inside your couch. Don’t be shocked if you find things like pirate treasure, a long-lost relative, mice, etc.


The Beginner’s Guide to Escaping Dangerous Dates

BeginnersGuideCoverFinalAmznI have not worked much on stories for quite some time now. Various reasons. Anyway, I recently wrote a humorous non-fiction book called The Beginner’s Guide to Escaping Dangerous Dates. Mostly to check if I could still write. Jury remains out on that question.

You can find self-help books on pretty much any topic under the sun. Escaping dangerous dates, however, has been neglected. Until now.

If you do use the methods described in this book, you do so at your own risk. Please consult a lawyer first. By reading the book, you agree to not sue me if one of the methods has adverse results.