Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What? We're Defined?

I'm not certain whether I should laugh or be distraught. Check out this definition I found on Wikipedia:

The definition of a fantasy author is somewhat diffuse, and a matter of opinion
- Jules
considered H. G. Wells to be a fantasy
author - and there is considerable overlap with science
fiction authors
and horror
fiction authors
. However some notable part of the output of the following
writers leans more to the fantasy end of the spectrum:


So Verne considered Wells to be a fantasy author, did he? I wonder, just out of curiosity--what did Wells think of Verne?

Whoa. I could ponder the ramifications of that for hours.

At any rate, did anyone notice that the definition of fantasy author is not actually defined? Apparently, we overlap with scif-fi and horror---and that's it. Wonder what they say about fantasy.

Fantasy is a genre
of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a
primary element of plot, theme, or setting. The genre
is generally distinguished from science fiction and horror by overall
look, feel, and theme of the
individual work, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three
(collectively known as speculative
). In its broadest sense, fantasy comprises works by many writers,
artists, filmmakers, and musicians, from ancient myths and legends to many recent works
embraced by a wide audience today.
The genre of fantasy is generally
distinguished from other works that may use things believed to be impossible by
its internal consistency (the marvels do not alter their behavior without reason
in a work) and its presentation as true in its context.[1]

Oh that speculative fiction I see thrown in there?

So if fantasy differs from the rest of the speculative realm due to its overall look, feel, and theme then how do fantasy authors differ from their speculative brothers and sisters?

(Pauses while the inevitable comments about my overall look and feel get thrown into the ring...)

I think it may have something to do with "...use things believed to be impossible by its internal consistency...and its presentation as true in its context..." In a nutshell, a fantasy author finds a way to make the impossible credible. Sure, the willing suspension of disbelief must be applied to all speculative fiction if it is going to work, but what about fantasy requires MORE, not only from the author but from the reader as well? I thought about this for a while and this is what I came up with---*snicker*

Okay, the thing that makes true horror work (for me at least) is the sneaking suspicion that it COULD be possible. The psychological horror of a movie like Halloween works for me in that context; I can picture some six-year-old loon like Michael Myers. I can also imagine that somewhere in the world, that psychic link exists between siblings....ergo, the entire premise becomes credible to me.

Science fiction, on the other hand, operates (0nce again, let me toss out the *this is me* disclaimer) on what MAY be possible in the future. Think about it: do any of us really doubt that someday we'll perfect lightspeed technology? I don't. Once they managed to clone a sheep, my disbelief was willingly--and permanently--suspended.

But fantasy---ah, fantasy!---operates from the premise of what we each WISH for. What kid doesn't wish desperately for some magic way to get back at his/her parents or tormentors? I know I did! This hidden vein lies dormant in all of us. Look at the success of Harry Potter. Doesn't it speak eloquently of that wish? By the same token, don't we all wish to influence events around us through the use of mere thought?

Sooooooooooooo---reaching through the broadest spectrum of speculation, perhaps then a fantasy author is one who takes the secret wishes of humanity and makes them into reality.


Yeah that works.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Something Needs to be Done--Virginia Tech Shootings

I am normally not one to jump the gun on a news story, but the horrific death toll from the Virginia Tech shootings today will not allow me my normal amount of caution. How is it possible that after Columbine, after 9/11 this type of massacre could take place?

The answer is simple. Guns.

The normal run of the mill person does not need guns. I do not have a gun in my home. My male relatives, who all hunt, have guns in their homes but those are normal shotguns--not semi-automatic handguns. Ask yourself this: WHAT POSSIBLE PURPOSE DO AUTOMATIC OR SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS SERVE IN OUR SOCIETY?

They kill. Pure and simple. They kill PEOPLE. You don't use a semi-automatic to kill a bird. You use it to commit a off your walk into a crowded classroom and execute the innocent. Despite the repeated attempts of NRA types to cite the constitutional right to bear arms, I'm reasonably certain that these types of weapons were not initially included in that right.

Nor should they be now.

Allow me to state for the record that I don't give a happy rat's ass right now about ANYONE'S right to bear arms. As more details come out about this, I may ameliorate my position on this--but I doubt it. Guns are too easily procurable in the US, too unregulated, and impossible to track. What weight does the right to bear arms have against the right to live that those victims had today?

Exactly. Not a damn bit.

Perhaps, as Blacksburg, Virginia grieves and people like me call their kids just for the reassurance of hearing their voices thanking God that it wasn't OUR lives affected, we can all take a minute and think. This does affect our lives. It changes the feeling of security we have for our children. The kids in college are supposed to be the *good* kids, the *safe* kids, the *smart* kids---this isn't supposed to happen, right?


Perhaps the NRA can take a moment too. Perhaps Charlton Heston can sit in his Hollywood mansion this afternoon, sipping a martini and pondering the influence he's had on this country. Perhaps, somewhere, someone will start making phone calls and say, "Hey, guys, you know: I think that we were probably wrong about this."

Yeah, I know. Dreams. The difference is that I still have mine. There are quite a few people not so far from here today that no longer HAVE their dreams.

Perhaps the freedom of the few should be compromised for the freedom of the many.

Forgive me while I go do something I haven't done for a long time. I'm going to go pray.

Back and Powered Up

Well, I finally gave up on the canine-destroyed laptop. This weekend, I broke down and bought a new one. Now I'm back online (without the constant whines of "Mom! I NEED to get on Myspace!") and working furiously to make up for lost time. I lost a week initially to my stepfather's funeral, then another ten days roughly to the failed attempt at laptop resurrection.

So, I am once again .... behind.



Whew. Feel better now that I have that primal typing out of my system.

At any rate, things seems to be seriously gearing up around here. I have a lot of projects on the table and am preparing (as soon as I get all of my stuff transferred to the new hard drive) a slew of submissions. I've kind of slacked on that over the last few months. And, as soon as I reach the light at the end of the tunnel, I'll be able to start writing NEW stuff.

Dang. I can't wait.

I've been researching heavily over the past few weeks. My question: how to promote an ebook. It's not like I can schedule an author tour in neighborhood bookstores. I can, however, schedule a cyber author tour. Yeah, me too--I was totally unaware such a thing existed. So, I'll keep you guys posted on whatever tiny shreds of enlightenment I gain on such a topic and for now----back to the edits.

Gee, it's nice to be back on a laptop. My couch has missed me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

*gasp!* what I have! The cover for Asphodel is done! It's amazing how real everything seems when you get a cover. I thought that the image of the cherry tree in bloom during the blizzard in the prologue would make a good cover and apparently the artist agreed with me.

Wow. I feel smart for a change.

We're still pushing to get the edits done and I should have a release date soon. Right now it looks like mid-May...

I may never recover. *snicker*

At any rate, just thought I'd share!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Here we go again

Some people never learn.

Let's try this ONE more time, shall we? In case you missed a very steamed post of mine last summer, you might want to follow this link: to catch up on what I'm about to rant about.

pla·gia·rism /ˈpleɪdʒəˌrɪzəm, -dʒiəˌrɪz-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[pley-juh-riz-uhm, -jee-uh-riz-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.
2. something used and represented in this manner.
[Origin: 1615–25; plagiar(y) + -ism]

—Related forms
pla·gia·rist, noun
pla·gia·ris·tic, adjective Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

(thank you Cut and paste is SO much fun)

At any rate, let's take this step by step. If you post something by a writer on your site/blog/journal/WHATEVER without first obtaining the permission of said writer and/or the publication that owns the rights to said story, then you are guilty of plagiarism. If you obtain a download of an e-book and sell it online to other people then you are committing a CRIME.

Does the word crime confuse you? Here, let me help you out:

crime /kraɪm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[krahym] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited.
2. criminal activity and those engaged in it: to fight crime.
3. the habitual or frequent commission of crimes: a life of crime.
4. any offense, serious wrongdoing, or sin.
5. a foolish, senseless, or shameful act: It's a crime to let that beautiful garden go to ruin.

Once again, thank you!

I can't believe that after the scathing commentary and initial response not only by this author but others as well that allowed the idiot at to post again and up to the same old tricks! When I found out that this moron had ONCE AGAIN posted writers' work (and one a very good friend) on his blog I left a fairly scathing comment.

He deleted it. *shrug* shock.

Left the spam up though. I was almost insulted that my words of wisdom were considered less injurious than spam, but what the heck! Obviously, I ticked him off. After other writer complaints, apparently, the blog has been pulled.


As for the e-book pirates, you know who you are. Cut it out! I know that my publishers at least are aggressively pursuing (and prosecuting) those who think it's a quick and easy buck to pilfer copyrighted works and offer them on e-bay or other sales sites. It's not. Trust me. It will cost you a hell of a lot more in the end than it will cost me, and I'm very assertive about protecting the rights to my work. I don't have time for criminals and I will not tolerate it.

Granted, the e-publishing industry has a lot to answer for in its inability to protect the work of writers. It's easy to throw a site up and publish in the cyber-world and not so easy to make certain that a product of bytes and pdf. files remains under your control. For the first time, I feel a little empathy for the musicians who went after Napster. Just a little though. They make millions of dollars. I don't. My work ends up being far more valuable to me in the long run for that reason alone. Every pirated copy COSTS me money, and you guys know I am WAY too cheap to suffer that lightly.

So you idiotic piss midget (All rights reserved@2006 by bibsy, the coiner of said phrase) -- and you KNOW who you are-- get a clue. Did you REALLY think that those people who lambasted you last year weren't going to keep an eye on you? I mean, honestly, hasn't it been brought home to you that we are smarter than you? Get a new hobby! Post reviews about new kites, or complain about trash pickup or SOMETHING that won't get you into trouble. Quite frankly, I'm shocked you haven't been prosecuted yet.

And you will be if you post anything written by me. Period. Just a fair warning.

Now I'm grumpy. I think I'll go kill off some Elves.