I’ve got more MHI patches

 I had a batch made up so that the Baen sales reps could give them out ot bookstore buyers. I’ve got about 100 left.

If you want any, they are $3 each, and that covers shipping.  You can paypal me at slg2qcorreia AT yahoo.com (that is a L in there, not an I in the slg part). If you don’t have paypal, post here and I’ll e-mail you a mailing address.

A new addition to the blog

By special request, I’ve added something. If you look at the tabs at the top, I have added a new one that is basically links to all of my fiction that is available online. I’ll be updating that as I go with new shorts or excerpts from current projects.

A little sample from the Grimnoir Chronicles

My current project is an alternative history/fantasy, set in a world that diverged from our own in the mid 1800s with the seemingly random appearance of magic. The story takes place in 1932. Imagine hard-boiled gangster pulp meets magical powers and the addition of golden-age super science, only with more zeppelins and ninjas, and you’re on the right track. 

Keep in mind that this is still in the very rough draft form. I’m the kind of writer that cranks out mass quantities fast, and then has to spend an epic amount of time cleaning it up.

As usual for when I post excerpts online, profanity has been filtered. Hey, my Mom reads this blog!

So enjoy this bit from the prologue of the Grimnoir Chronicles.

***

One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die. The appearance of esoteric and etheral abiliites, magikal fires and feats of strength, in recent decades are the purest demonstration of natural selection. Surely, in time, that general law will require the extinction of traditional man.

Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Man and Selection of Human Magikal Abilities, 1879

El Nido, California

 

“Okies.” the Portuguese farmer spat on the ground, giving the evil eye to the passing automobiles that were weighed down with baskets, bushels, and crates. The autos just kept coming up the dusty San Joaquin Valley road, like some kind of Okie wagon train. He left to make sure all his valuables were locked up and his Sears & Roebuck single-shot 12 gauge was loaded.  

 

The tool shed was locked and the shotgun was in his hands when the short little man returned to watch.

 

One of the Ford Model Ts rattled to a stop in front of the farmhouse fence. The old farmer leaned on his shotgun and waited. His son would talk to the visitors. The boy spoke English. So did he, but not as well, good enough to take the Dodge truck into Merced to buy supplies, and it wasn’t like the mangled inbred garbage dialect the Okies spoke was English anyway.

 

The farmer watched the transients carefully as his son approached the automobile. They were asking for work. They were always asking for work. Ever since the dusts had blown up and cursed their stupid land, they’d all driven west in some Okie exodus until they ran out of farmland so stopped to harass the Portuguese, who had gotten here first.

 

Of course they’d been here first. Like he gave a s*** if these people were homeless or hungry. He’d been born in a f***ing hut on the tiny island of Terceira and had f***ing milked f***ing cows every single day of his life until his hands were leather bags so strong he could bend pipe. The San Joaquin valley had been a f***ing s*** hole until his people had shown up, covered the place in Holsteins, and put the Mexicans to work. Now these Okies show up, build tent cities, bitch about how the government should save them, and sneak out at night to rob the Catholics. It really pissed him off.

 

It always amazed him how much s*** the Okies could fit onto an old Model T. He’d come from Terceira on a steamship, spending weeks in a steel hole between hot steam pipes. He’d owned a blanket, one pair of pants, a hat, and a pair of shoes with holes in them. He’d worked his ass off in Portuguese town in Rhode Island, neck deep in fish guts, married a nice Portuguese girl, even if she was from the screwed up island of St. George, which everybody from Terceira knew was the ass crack of the Azores, and saved up enough money doing odd jobs to come out here to another Portuguese town and buy some scrawny Holsteins. Five cows, a bull, and twenty years of back breaking labor had turned into a hundred and twenty cows, fifty acres, a Ford tractor, a Dodge pickup, a good milk barn, and a house with six whole rooms. By Portuguese standards, he was living like a f***ing king. 

 

So he wasn’t going to give these Okies s***. They weren’t even Catholic. They should have to work like he did. He watched the Okie father talking to his son as his son patiently explained for the hundredth time that there wasn’t any work, and that they needed to head toward Los Banos or maybe Chowchilla, not that they were going to work anyway when they could just break into his milk barn and steal his tools to sell for rotgut moonshine again. His grandkids were poking their heads around the house, checking out the Model T, but he’d warned them enough times about the dangers of outsiders, and they stayed safely away. He wasn’t about to have his family corrupted from their good Catholic work ethic by being exposed to bums.

 

Then he noticed the girl.

 

She was just another scrawny Okie kid. Barely even a woman yet, which was surprising that she hadn’t already had three kids from her brothers. But there was something strange about this one… Something he’d seen before.

 

The girl glanced his way, and he knew then what had set him off. She had grey eyes.

 

“Mary mother of God,” the old farmer muttered, fingering the crucifix at his neck. “Not this s*** again…” His first reaction was to walk away, leave it alone. It wasn’t any of his business, and the girl would probably be dead soon enough. Impaled through her guts by some random tree branch or a flying bug stuck in an artery. And he didn’t even know if the grey eyes meant the same thing to an Okie as it did to the Portuguese. For all he knew she was a normal girl who just looked funny, and she’d go have a long and stupid life in an Okie tent city popping out fifteen kids who’d also break into his milk barn and steal his tools.

 

The girl was studying him, dirty hair whipping in the wind, and he could just tell…

 

“F***ing s*** damn,” he said in English, which was the first English any immigrant who worked with cows learned. He’d seen what happened to the grey eyes when they weren’t taught correctly, and as much as he despised Okies, he didn’t want to see one of their kids with their brains spread all over the road because they’d magically appeared in front of a speeding truck.

 

Leaning the shotgun against the tractor tire, he approached the Model T. The Okie parents looked at him with mild belligerence as he approached their daughter. The old farmer stopped next to the girl’s window. There were half a dozen other kids crammed in there, but they were just regular desperate and starving Okies. This one was special.

 

He lifted his hat so she could see that his eyes were the same color as hers. He tried his best English. “You… girl. Grey eyes.” She pointed at herself, curious, but didn’t speak. He nodded.  “You… Jump? Travel?”  She didn’t understand, and now her idiot parents were staring at him in slack jawed ignorance. The old farmer took one hand and held it out in a fist. He suddenly opened it. “Poof!” Then he raised his other hand as far away as possible, “Poof!” and made a fist.

 

She smiled and nodded her head vigorously. He grinned. She was a Traveler all right.

 

“You know about what she does?” the Okie father asked.

 

The old farmer nodded, finding his own magic inside and poking it to wake it up. Then he was gone, and instantly he was on the other side of the Model T. He tapped the Okie mother on the arm through the open window and she shrieked. All his grandkids cheered. They loved when he did that. His son just rolled his eyes.

 

The Okie father looked at the Portuguese farmer, back at his daughter, and then back to the farmer. The grey eyed girl was happy as could be that she’d found somebody just like her. The father scowled for a long time, glancing again at his strange child that had caused them so much grief, and then at all the other starving mouths he had to find a way to feed. Finally he spoke. “I’ll sell you her for twenty dollars.”

 

The old farmer thought about it. He didn’t need any more people eating his up food, but his brother and sisters had all ended up dead before they had mastered Traveling, and this was the first other person like him he’d seen in twenty years, but he also hadn’t gotten where he was by getting robbed by Okies. “Make it ten.”

 

The girl giggled and clapped.

 

Billings, Montana

 

Everyday was the same. Every prisoner in the Special Prisoner’s Wing of the Rockville State Penitentiary had the exact same schedule. You slept. You worked. You got put back in your cage. You slept. You worked. You got put back in your cage. Repeat until time served.

 

Working meant breaking rocks. Normal prisoners got put on work crews to be used by mayors trying to keep budgets low. They got to go outside. The convicts in Special Wing got to break rocks in a giant stone pit. Some of them were even issued tools. The name of the facility was just a coincidence.

 

One particular convict excelled at breaking rocks. He did a good job at it because he did a good job at everything he set his mind to. First he’d been good at war and now he was good at breaking rocks. It was just his nature. The convict had single minded determination, and once he got to pushing something, he just couldn’t find it in himself to stop. He was as constant as gravity. After a year, he was the finest rock breaker and mover in the history of Rockville State Penitentiary.

 

Occasionally some other convict would try to start trouble because he thought the convict was making the rest of them look bad, but even in a place dedicated to holding felons who could tap into all manner of magical affinities, as this was, after all, the Special Prisoner’s Wing, most were smart enough not to cross this particular convict. After the first few left in bags, the rest understood that he just wanted to be left alone to do his time. Occasionally some new man, eager to show off his Power, would step up and challenge the convict, and they too would leave in a bag.

 

The warden did not blame the convict for the violence. He understood the type of men he had under his care, and knew that the convict was just defending himself. Between helping meet the quota for the gravel quarry that padded the warden’s salary under the table, and for ridding the Special Wing of its most dangerous and troublesome men, the warden took a liking to the convict. He read the convict’s records, and came to respect the convict as a man for the deeds he’d done before committing his crime. He was the first Special Prisoner ever granted access to the extremely well-stocked, but very dusty prison library.

 

So the convict’s schedule changed. Sleep. Work. Read. Sleep. Work. Read. So now the time passed faster. The convict read books by the greatest minds of the day. He read the classics. He began to question his Power. Why did his Power work the way it did? What separated him from normal men? Why could he do the things he could do? Because of its relation to his own specific gifts, he started with Newton, then Einstein, finally Bohrs and Heisenberg, and then every other mind that had pontificated on the science related to his magic. And when he had exhausted the books on science, he turned to the philosopher’s musings on the nature of magic and the mystery of where it had suddenly come from and all of its short history. He read Darwin. He read Schuman, and Kelser, Reed, and Spengler. When that was done, he read everything that was left.

 

The convict began to experiment with his Power. He would sneak bits of rock back into his cell to toy with. Reaching deep inside himself, twisting, testing, always pushing with that same dogged determination that had made him the best rock breaker, and when he got tired experimenting with rocks, he started to experiment on his own body. Eventually all those hours of testing and introspection enabled him to discover things about magic that very few other people would ever understand.

 

But he kept that to himself.

 

Then one day the warden offered the convict a deal…

76 Days

Posting the Amazon link to the Amazing 3 Wolf Shirt (you don’t wear it on your body, you wear it on your soul) reminded me of something else on Amazon.

My novel will be shipping in 76 days.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1439132852/ref=s9_sims_gw_s0_p14_t1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0FTES3TG8DM210JH4N37&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

We’re getting closer. I’m kind of giddy.  When I first signed with Baen and discontinued the self published version of MHI, it seemed like it would be forever until books were available again. But we’re almost there!

A product that could possibly be more awesome than even the Belt Sword…

You absolutely have to read the reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/Three-T-Shirt-Available-Various-Sizes/dp/B000NZW3IY/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Yes, it is that cool.

Found by way of Better & Better. http://maypeacebewithyou.blogspot.com/

More on Montana

From Glenn Beck, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqpwDwMtddg&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwethearmed%2Ecom%2Findex%2Ephp%2Ftopic%2C3951%2E0%2Ehtml&feature=player_embedded

See, I told you so.

I know Carl Wimmer. He’s one of my two favorite state legislators (the other is Kurt Oda).  Carl is an honorable man and a true believer in the 2nd Amendment.

Utahns, start letting your reps know just how strongly you support this legislation in Utah. The hard fight won’t be the legislature, it will be the governor. It will take significant pressure from us to push Huntsman into signing this.  This bill needs overwhelming support. Montana should not have to stand up for us alone.

Plowshare, the final chapter

For those of you that have been following the drama, I’ve been having it out with this other blogger. MadOgre and I come up every now and then as a source of hate for him. I’ve kicked him over a few times, but I’m done. He posted these yesterday.

http://plowshareforge.blogspot.com/

Open letter to Larry

Larry, right now I find myself in a place I’ve been far too many times in my life.
The short version, and the thesis that all that follows is this:
I’m very sorry.
That extends to both you and George.
I have no excuse.
Still, I’m throwing out a partial explanation, expecting nothing.
Fair enough?
I’m crazy (Cue Patsy Cline – or Willie Nelson. It’s Willie’s song but Patsy nailed it).
So, I’m crazy; that’s the throwaway term I use for whatever it is I have. “Mental illness” being a bit fussy and vague.
Given health insurance and/or money, I could get a diagnosis which would probably bring bennies of some kind but, for me, the biggie would be someone in officialdom saying:
“Acute Anxiety Disorder with Attendant Chronic Depression” or something like that.
That’s my best guess but, in general, crazy covers it – for me at least – and it isn’t like it comes up in conversation a lot.
When it does come up, it tends to resemble this exchange we’re having now.
I’m sorry. I’m a dick-head. etc. (That’s me talking, obviously).
In closing – and before I decide to sleep on (sober up) – re this little revealing missive;
Fisk away, but be aware; I’ll be providing more grist for the mill tomorrow.
I’ll go into (minor) depth about how my insanity works
I’ll write about the new pickup I bought today, a 1962 Ford.
$495.
It’s going to be a fertile field, boys.
Knock yourselves out. I won’t read it in any case – and, believe me, everyone’s happier that way – mostly me.
I’m a wreck, and I do apologize.

 

Happy Mother’s Day

 

As promised, grist for Larry’s humor mill.
My new ’62 F100, 260 cid V8 (kicking out a blistering 130+ HP) with the classic Ford pick-up four-speed, three speeds and one gear you use every month or so, whenever you want to pull a stump.
Years ago, I had the unforgettable experience of pulling the identical transmission from my old ’59 and it was a milk-strainin’ ball-jammer. Probably on the order of 200#. Just the thing to bench press while you lay in the gravel with dirt falling in your eyes, especially in view of the 1/2″ of congealed grease/mud all over it.
Good times…
By way of contrast, my ’65 Chevy panel truck had a tranny that was so easy to handle, that the last of the three clutches (Yes, three. More about that later) I replaced was accomplished in an hour and forty-five minutes. The last thirty minutes was spent pricking around adjusting it.
As I recall, it only took three wrenches and a throwaway line-up tool.
The reason for three clutches is this:
When I bought it ($300), the seller told me that the engine, a 250 straight-six had originally come out of a Camaro – like that’s a feature (“You mean this twenty-year-old Navy surplus, shore patrol truck that’s held together largely by haze-gray paint has a Camaro engine! Bitchin’!”).
The problem, I found out much later, was that the car version of the 250 used a smaller fly-wheel and so, less clutch.

I put 30,000 miles on it and it only stranded me once – and that was a broken belt.
Back to my new jewel, check out the Pakistani, taxicab eyebrows.
Okay, Larry’s reader are starting to nod off.
Here’s the short version: About seven years ago, I had a break-down (we’re not talking vehicles now). No biggie, unmanageable anger, a trip to the emergency room, some tranquilizers and all was wonderful.
Found out, as a result of this, about the wonderful world of psychiatric meds. I went through a few different ones until I (and my Caring Professional) settled on what I eat now, Zoloft, Welbutrin and Trazadone.
The pills don’t fix the entire thing, just gives me some space between feelings, impulses and such. I still act stupidly from time to time but nothing like the pre-med me.

One incident to illustrate the old love able me.: Driving out to a job one morning in my ’72 F250 (I’ve got a thing for old shit-boxes) with a hippie-box on the back to store my tools, a zippy little rice-burner, so certain that my lumbering old ass was going to slow him down, passed me, in an intersection, crossing two sets of double yellow lines.
So I stayed six feet off his bumper at 80mph for fifteen miles or so. I showed him slow.
This is why, even though I love guns and am obviously obsessed with weapons, I won’t carry a gun (minus a specific threat – have yet to have one, a threat that is. One of the bennies of an anxiety disorder is good risk assesment skills).
Anyway, what I’ve figured out is that I have a constant edge of anxiety that’s like an electrical current – kind of like a never-ending fight-or-flight mechanism.
The stress that builds up from this has to ground out somehow. Way back when I was a little kid I unconsciously hit on anger as a method. It’s a nice strong emotion – very cathartic.

Of course, I never realized until very recently what was happening. All I knew was that I became a raving, screaming asshole every now and then.
Larry, George, you’ve been the undeserving recipients of a very watered-down version of my aforementioned road rage.
The good news is, that once I get a solid handle on what’s going on, I stop so you can both count on much more gentlemanly behavior from yours truly.
This is a tedious topic.
Knife pic above: I reworked my Kuk.
I made the original, based on a WW1 knife, issued to a regiment raised by the Maharajah of Jodhpur.
I didn’t know at the time that a Kukri can be had for very little money, a real one, made by Gurkhas.
So, no one took the bait, it’s mine by default but the circa 1916, Asian sub-continent sized handle had to go.
The other is my latest faux “Theater V44″. This one is drifting dangerously close to being an art knife.
The handle scales were a sudden brain-wave. I cut a piece of bird’s eye maple into slices. I glued two of them at a time to a piece of leather with the waney edges inboard and a space between them.
That space was then filled with black epoxy.
Voila.
An earlier V44 comes next.
It’s sold and I’m sad to see it leave.
My first attempt using the WW2 vintage, “high-tech” Plexiglas spacers.

I’ve babbled long enough. I’ve cards to scan to send to the Grandma.

*

I’m not going to kick a man when he’s down. I’m done, walking away. Best of luck, Plow.

Plowshare Returns!

Oliver “Plowshare” Forge, my favorite lefty FDR-fanclub blogger, has yet again posted about me!

I eagerly await these. If you will recall, Plow hates me because I’m Mormon. He hates me because of my political opinions. He hates me because I’m friends with MadOgre. He hates me because I’ve had more success in life than he has. He hates me for a bunch of things that only exist in his head. He once hated me for being pro-military though I hadn’t been in the military right after he said that he meant no offense to people who tried to join but were medically unsuitable (whoops), He hates me because apparently the most powerful voices in the Neo-Conservative world are Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, Ted Nugent, and Me. (which I’m still trying to figure out, because Plow’s definition of Neo-Con apparently changes everytime he forgets to take his meds).

However, he does always link to me in his tirades, so WordPress usually gives me a heads up. I’m very thankful for this software feature, because utterly dismantling Plow’s posts has provided me minutes of enjoyment. Plus my regular readers seem to like it when I club him like a baby seal.

Now normally Plow just posts some massive, spittle flecked, vein popping out of his forehead tirade about something that is hard to follow for a couple hundred words, then with some historical thing from the 1940s that he cut and pasted from Wikipedia about the Bonus Army or something, but usually there is some nugget of a point in there.

Not this time. Which makes me a little sad, because it is hard to Fisk somebody when they don’t actually have anything to say.

http://plowshareforge.blogspot.com/2009/05/incorrigible.html

Apparently today’s adventure began with Plow checking MadOgre. His doctors have warned him not to check MadOgre, because it elevates Plow’s blood pressure, and that causes the voices in his head to become louder, but Plow just can’t help himself. So he quotes something from George that makes perfect sense, but then Plow can’t seem to come out of his drug addled haze (thanks medical MJ!) long enough to say why he disagrees with George, so Plow lists off the fact that George went to some good schools and obtained a decent education… Okay… You showed him, Plow.

Then out of the blue, Plow had this to say about me.
Hi Larry (He’s gay, you know) Larry is.
By that I mean, of course, “festive”.

You know that you’ve absolutely demolished somebody when you’ve picked their posts apart line by line, and exposed them as an utter and complete fool on demand for years, and all they can come back with is “Well… You’re GAY!”

I’m surprised he didn’t call my Mom fat while he was at it, or that I throw like a girl.

Plow, I’m astounded by your keen debating skills.  Sadly, I’m not homosexual. (remember, you already hate me for being a right-wing fundamentalist Christian/Mormon, I hate to remind you of this, but to be fair to you, chronic paint-huffing will damage your long-term memory).  I like girls. If you don’t, that’s totally cool. Whatever floats your boat.

And even if I was gay, I probably wouldn’t be the flamboyant festive type. I even have a hard time wearing colorful shirts.
And, To you neo-con twinks;
Thanks and thanks again.
You are the cheapest entertainment in town.

No… Thank you, Plow. You stand as an icon of all that makes the left so very proud.  You are fervent in your beliefs that the .gov needs to rob and destroy the productive to give to the stupid, yet you are unable to provide a logical argument as to why the bailouts are good or will work.

Tonight, while you are smoking your hooka, I want you to try and string together a few coherant thoughts about where my political philosophy is wrong (other than: U R teh Gay! ), arrange these thoughts into semi-complete sentences, and then mash them haphazardly onto your keyboard.  I eagerly await your response.  See, us right wingers have no problem explaining why we disagree with something.

Oh, and in the spirit of Plowshare, I too will close with a historial 1930′s themed quote concerning my issues with Plow’s New Deal lovefest:

During the worst of the depression many of the farmers had to deny their families butter, eggs, meat, etc. and sell it to pay their taxes and then had to stand by and see the dead-beats carry it home to their familes by the arm load, and they knew their tax money was helping pay it… The crookedness, shelfishness [sic], greed and graft of the crooked politicians is making one gigantic racket out of the new deal and it is making this a nation of dead-beats and beggars and if it continues the people who will work will soon be nothing but slaves for the pampered poverty rats.

-Anonymous woman in Columbus, Indiana, letter of December 14, 1937 to Eleanor Roosevelt. The Great Depression, An Eyewitness History by David F. Burg.

Montana takes a stand for state’s rights, now Utah and Texas may follow

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=6367553

Yesterday, the Montana governor signed a very important piece of legislation. Montana just gave the feds the finger.

Basically, the premise is this. All federal gun control laws are dubiously constitutional. They are only justified through the Interstate Commerce Clause. Since guns are made in one place, and then sold in another state, that means that the government can regulate them with all sorts of pointless idiocy, like background checks (which don’t work), registration (which don’t work), and bans (which don’t work).  

Montana’s new law says that if the gun doesn’t ever leave the state after creation isn’t their business. By doing this, Montana has said any gun that is built in Montana, sold in Montana, and stays in Montana, never enters Interstate Commerce, and is therefore not under the fed’s perview. 

This is huge. There might not be a lot of guns that fall into this category, but there will be more now.  The important thing isn’t the quantity, it is the act of standing up.

And even better, Utah and Texas are trying to do the same thing. This is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

It is just one small thing, but it is about a few independantly minded states asserting that they are not slaves to the whims of bureacrats in Washington. People in most of the free states do not want gun control. They despise gun control. Gun control laws are shoved down our throats by the political denizens of innercity cesspools. 

If you live in Utah or Texas, contact your state legislators and tell them to support this.

Personally, I’m really excited about this one. I remember when I first moved to Utah, back when Bill Clinton was president. At the time, Utah was absolutely contrary at every opportunity. (we were rewarded with having our billions of dollars of coal reserves declared a “national monument” ) Then George Bush got in, and over eight years it seemed like Utah lost that independant streak, and our legislature (mostly) was willing to go along with whatever. Now with BHO in office, it seems like we might be getting back to the contrarian roots I love so much.

Thanks, Montana. You rock.

ConDuit 2009

http://conduit.sfcon.org/

I will be a guest at the Conduit convention this year in SLC.

I’m on panels on Saturday (4:00 and 6:00) and Sunday (4:00). 

I’m not really sure what the first one is about. Some sort of Q & A with writers. The next one is on worldbuilding, but I think that it is for YA writers (which I’m not) but Dan Willis is on that panel, and the last time we were on a panel together it was really fun. I used some casual swearing at BYU, but Dan had my back.  The one on Sunday is a Q & A for aspiring writers.

Eric Flint was supposed to have been the guest of honor, but he had to cancel because of heart surgery. I was looking forward to meeting Mr. Flint, since I also work for Baen. (though he’s written like 20 best sellers, and my first one hasn’t actually come out yet, but hey, I can still say it).

There will be a ton of really good authors there. I look forward to hooking up with them again. The sci-fi/fantasy writers in Utah are a friendly bunch.

So if you are near Salt Lake on the weekend of the 22nd-24th, come by and see us.

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