Ag Advisory

I sit on our county’s ag advisory committee. We make recommendations to our county Board of Supervisors on matters concerning ag. Today, we had to discuss whether or not horse stabling is a compatible use with agriculture. Horse stabling on a cattle ranch. Aargh. This, folks, is a good example of how crazy California has become.

Humor and Hortiventury

I started writing a new book last week. It’s a humorous take on the science and pursuit of hortiventury. Hortiventury is a little-known part of the scientific community that involved hunting down fascinating flora in dangerous or remote settings. Most people don’t know, but Julius Caesar was a dedicated hortiventurist, viewing that more as his life-calling. Ruling the Roman Empire was a bit of a headache for him, but he recognized his responsibilities there, even though he would’ve gladly chucked it all for a lifetime of hortiventury. Atilla the Hun was another famous hortiventurist. Oddly enough, one of his personal chefs was the inventor of what we moderns call fudge.

A Winter’s Day

Well, Mark Helprin wrote A Winter’s Tale (excellent book), but all I can manage is this post. A winter’s day in California? What does that entail, you might ask, while the rest of the nation is turning into an ice cube? Let me recount the ways…70 degree weather, sunny skies, pleasant breeze, an amble along the beach path with the family (Kiddo #1 wobbling all over the place as he strives to master the art of the scooter, Kiddo #2 ensconced in his stroller as he benignly surveys all that is). Even though California is almost completely populated by crazy people, it still does have a few positives.

I wish I was a jack-of-all-trades

I wish I had studied illustration in college (in addition to everything else I studied). I can do everything in the indie publishing process except for designing my covers (and, of course, I hire a real-deal copy editor when I hit the grammar-and-bits part of the process; I would never trust myself with that sort of thing). I’m currently waiting on 3 different covers from 3 different designers and, I must confess, I’m getting rather impatient. One of the covers is for The Hawk, as the current cover does not communicate what the book is. The second cover is for The Model Universe, as I think those stories deserve something much better. The third cover is for a new collection of humorous urban fantasy shorts I have coming out: The Mike Murphy Files. I’m pretty excited about that one. I love writing humor and I’m curious to see how the stories will be received.

Review from the Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

I just got a new and very positive review of The Hawk And His Boy from a Finnish review site. You can read it here. Contrary to some experiences I’ve had with foreign reviewers, the two ladies who review on that site have excellent English. I recently had another review from a different country in Europe and the reviewer basically hated the book (as I am the dictator of this site, I decided not to link to it). I’m not sure how much this played into it, but their grasp of English was a bit on the shaky side.

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