Thursday, January 19, 2017

Time Management

I'm not sure I have time for this but it's time for another 53-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is "Time Management." That's it. No clue what they mean.

Time management has never been my strong suit. I tend to run on deadlines. As in "oh, the deadline is approaching, guess I better work on that."

I've gotten better since I've started doing freelance. I rarely procrastinate freelance assignments unless I have one that takes greater priority. But I still just do what needs to be done and play it by ear. I use the calendar in Outlook to keep track of appointments and such, but not for any kind of time management.

When I worked in the corporate world, I still wasn't good at time management. I still just did things based on deadlines. The problem with the corporate world is plans tend to be interrupted by fires. So I just stopped making plans.

How are you at time management? Comment below.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Anthony Caplan and Matt Posner

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are happy to welcome writers Anthony Caplan and Matt Posner.

Anthony Caplan
Anthony Caplan

Anthony Caplan is an independent writer, teacher and homesteader in northern New England. He has worked at various times as a shrimp fisherman, environmental activist, journalist, taxi-driver, builder, window-washer, and telemarketer, (the last for only a month, but one week he did win a four tape set of the greatest hits of George Jones for selling the most copies of Time-Life’s The Loggers.)

Currently, Caplan is working on restoring a 150-year-old farmstead where he and his family tend sheep and chickens, grow most of their own vegetables, and have a small apple orchard.

His road novels, Birdman and French Pond Road, trace the meanderings of Billy Kagan, a footloose soul striving after sanity and love in the last years of the last century. Latitudes – A Story of Coming Home, released in the summer of 2012, is a young boy’s transformative journey overcoming dysfunction, dislocation and distance. Savior, a dystopian thriller, published by Harvard Square Editions in April 2014, reached the top spot on the Amazon list of psychological suspense books. And his latest, The Victor's Heritage, features a teenaged heroine in a dystopian thriller one reviewer called “a definite must-read, no matter your age!”

Anthony's Books:

The Victor’s Heritage


Latitudes - A Story of Coming Home

Anthony's Links:

Matt Posner
Matt Posner

Matt Posner is an independent author and teacher from Queens, New York. He writes in multiple fiction and nonfiction genres.

Matt's Books:

Matt's Links:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My Favorite Book

Once again it's time for the "52-week blogging challenge" and today's prompt is "My favorite book." I assume that means my favorite book that I haven't written. Naming your favorite book you have written (Treasure of the Black Hole) is like naming your favorite child (he knows who he is).

So what is my favorite book I haven't written? I was thinking The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. But to be honest, I haven't read it in years. And while I like Starship Troopers (also by Heinlein) it's a pedantic juvenile (what we call YA today) and not really "favorite book" material. (Forget the horrible movie. And I guess they're making another movie based on Starship Troopers. It will probably also be horrible.)

The book I have probably read the most is The Princes Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman. Why, because it's a fun read and I like its message ("life isn't fair"). And you have to read the non-story parts to get the full effect.

Yes, there's a movie version, and while I enjoy the movie, it's not nearly as good as the book.

So, I guess my favorite book is The Princes Bride.

What's yours?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Huskies are #4 in Final Poll

The AP Top 25 College Football Poll released its final poll for the 2016 season this morning. I was worried that the University of Washington Huskies might drop out of the #4 position because of their loss to Alabama. Especially after Clemson beat Alabama last night in the CFP Championship game.

But the Huskies stayed at #4. So they are considered the fourth best team out of 128 FBS teams (teams that are bowl eligible if they win 6 games in a season).

Interestingly, USC who won the Rose Bowl against Pitt, rose to #3 from #9 making them the highest ranked Pac-12 team. Utah showed up in the top 25 again at #23 after winning their bowl game. Colorado and Stanford were also in the top 25, meaning nearly half the Pac-12 was ranked. And no other conference has two teams in the top 5.

Looking forward to next year. One issue is that four top UW players have decided to skip their senior years and go to the NFL draft. One was John Ross who is an amazing player. Husky head coach Chris Petersen has a job ahead of him keeping the Huskies nationally predominant losing four of his best players. But that's why he makes $3.75 million a year.

Can't wait for September when college football starts again. It is, after all, my favorite month.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Marina Fontaine and Daniella Bova

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Marina Fontaine and Daniella Bova.

Marina Fontaine
Marina Fontaine

Marina Fontaine is a Russian by birth, an American by choice, and an unrepentant book addict.

Because of her background, Marina always appreciates an opportunity to discover, share and support pro-freedom literature. She runs Small Government Book Fan Club on Goodreads, Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance group on Facebook, and a cultural commentary/review blog, Marina’s Musings. She is a part of the Creators’ Team at Liberty Island website, where she contributes book reviews and some creative work.

Marina is the author of Chasing Freedom (a 2016 Dragon Award finalist for Best Apocalyptic Novel) and The Product, a dystopian novella published by the Superversive Press.

Marina lives in New Jersey with her very supportive husband, three children and four guinea pigs, working as an accountant by day and a writer by night. Her other interests include hard rock music, action movies and travel.

Marina's Books:

The Product

Chasing Freedom

Marina's Links:


Daniella Bova
Daniella Bova

Daniella Bova and her husband live in beautiful Chester County, Pennsylvania. In addition to writing, Daniella loves reading, running in the beauty of the nature preserve near her home, the Catholic Faith, Classic Rock, Delaware Bay and the Delaware Beaches, and any and all forms of textile and fiber artistry.

Daniella is the author of "The Storms Of Transformation" Series, a near future dystopia. Book One, Tears Of Paradox, and Book Two, The Notice, were CLFA Book of the Year Nominees. Book Three, Cadáin's Watch, will be published in February of 2017.

Daniella's Books:

Tears of Paradox

The Notice

Cadáin's Watch (Storms Of Transformation Book 3) for preorder

Daniella's Links:


From Today's Show: Satellite Galaxy May be Clue to Dark Matter.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

My Favorite Month

Time once again for the "52-week blogging challenge" and today's prompt is "My favorite month."

This is January. This isn't it. January is probably one of my least favorite months. Cold and snow and the long hangover of the post-holiday period. January sucks.

My favorite month is probably September. It starts to cool off, the leaves start to change, but (at least where I live) it doesn't rain too much and never snows. And Pumpkin Spice Everything doesn't come out until October.

September accords us a chance before winter hits to spend time driving our cars on dry roads, enjoy blue skies and sunshine, and turn off the air conditioner and, until it gets too cool, leave the heat off.

And the holiday madness hasn't hit yet, either.

When I was a kid, September meant back to school. So that wasn't fun. But as an adult, that's no longer an issue.

So, why not May or June? Allergies, mostly. Although after seven years of allergy shots, that's much better.

What's your favorite month?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Gratuitous Swearing

Over the weekend I watched the movie Sully. Good movie; I highly recommend it.

It was rated PG-13 for "for some peril and brief strong language."

The "strong language" has to be very brief. I have read that in PG-13 films you are allowed to say the F-word once and only as an interjection. It can't refer to sex.

Now bad language doesn't bother me, in real life or in the movies. Hell, I've seen The Big Lebowski which has the F-word spoken 292 times according to the Internet Movie Database.

But in Sully, there was one and only one use of the F-word. And it was totally unnecessary. One character says "It's F-ing cold." They could have said "Damn, it's cold" or "It's damn cold."

I think the only other swear word was a "bullshit" at some point. But I'm not attuned to counting swear words as some people seem to be. Probably, again, because I'm not offended by them.

I have a theory. Without that gratuitous F-word, Sully would have been rated PG, probably. Since children's movies are usually rated PG (you pretty much have to watch a nature documentary to see a "G" rating these days), the producers didn't want people to think Sully was too mild. So they threw in a gratuitous F-word to get a PG-13 rating for marketing reason.

Which is rather silly. But goes to show how the movie rating system affects movies.