A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A lizard riding a horse

Faithful Reader may recollect from an Earlier Post how TOF mused upon the collective result of a cycle riding on the back of a trend.

Consistency is a Jewel

Why?  Because it is rare.

SCOTUS recently ruled that a person possessing a right in one state has that right in all states. Yay.

In Arizona citizens can carry guns without permission from the bureaucracy. Yo, New York, California, you got that?

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Journeyman

"In the Great North Woods," having been trimmed from 42,000 words to a mean and paltry 24,300th, has been resubmitted to Analog. It's fate lies in the balance.

Meanwhile, the Dialogue on the Inner World System, a spare 2900 word fact article has been reviewed and is nearly ready to be sent off to do or die.

And TOF in an uncontrollably whimsical moment, has converted some opening paragraphs in "Nexux" into a sestina. Or part of a sestina. These might not be quite the right six words on which to build. The first sestet, so far runs thusly:
Alien life, we are told, would be unlike our own;
True enough for trivia: for species, body, form,
Or appetites and senses nameless to ourselves.
(What lusts do bats endure when squeaks they place,
What pleasures from the echoes they receive?)
Our human mind can't see what bats survey.
But TOF has not reviewed syllable counts and such fine tweakings; nor is he happy with "ourselves," which is a difficult word to place in the following sestets. He has not thought to replace it with "...nameless to our soul." because he thinks he can work soul into the others sestets more easily. "Survey" may also prove a problem.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Quote of the Day

Imagine a conversation with three or four unknown persons. Or the entire audience, that a politician must address, without offending anyone. The intellectual dilution is staggering.
-- David Warren

On the other hand, people are harder and harder to shock by acting in a depraved manner, which was one of the traditional ways of shocking people. Hence a new sub-class is emerging, of people who are openly depraved, but also, total bores.
-- David Warren, same essay

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

John H. Hammontree

Memorial Day was a day set apart to honor the dead of the Civil War; and so TOF thought it fitting to mention a veteran of that war, one who is most assuredly at this point dead, and began writing this piece on Memorial Day. But the bare bones was not enough. It was not enough to cite his unit or to mention his wound, but the narrative demanded to know how the heck he got there and where was he running around before and after?

That led inter alia to the fortuitous discovery of the orderings and postings of the 5th Tenn, USV, the reports of the Adjutant General of Tennessee, various orders of battle, and TOF pulling out his West Point Atlas of American Wars that had once graced Military History 101 back in Old College Days. All told, it delayed matters in the usual TOFian way and the narrative has grown with the chewing like goat barbecue.

His task then became cutting it down. After all, this post was never intended to be a blow-by-blow account of the Central Theater of the War.

But let us commence...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day: A Celebration

Just as everyone has a mother, so too does everyone have a father, despite modern tendencies to dismiss this as socially constructed or whatever. Biology doesn't care about social construction. But there is more to being a father than a biological contribution. That's more, not less. So let's climb the tree paternal and see what fruits dangle therefrom.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ad quinquagesimum annum -- Updated!

And very nearly to the day, TOF and the Incomparable Marge attended a party celebrating the 50th anniversary reunion of TOF's graduating class from the hallowed halls of high school.

Said school was (and is) Notre Dame of Green Pond, which stands between Easton and Bethlehem just off the William Penn Highway. TOF used to access the school by taking the South Side bus to downtown, then walking up a block to catch the intercity bus, which would drop him off on the highway so he could walk down to the school. Later, TOF obtained an automobile, a 1953 Packard Clipper which his parents acquired from the retiring pastor. Named "The Beast" -- its engine was larger than some cars! -- it provided comfy transport for a motley crew: TOF, Danny Hommer, Red Scannell, Sterling Carter, and Jim Welsh.