Saturday, January 30, 2016

01 04 18 20 17 04 19 14 03 17 08 13 10

Why are you still here?  Go home.

Check out this episode!

Friday, January 29, 2016

[Writer Stuff] Surviving Negative Reviews

My mother sent me this rather excellent article that I think everyone should read.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

[Script] Revolution Number Eight - Page 3

Scene Returns to the interrogation.

So....wait? Aliens? Really?

Queen's honor.



You're not just pulling my leg because I'm the new guy?

Come on, let me take you to meet the band.

The Beattles?

(Agent Chwech laughs)

Scene: The two of them go through a door into the recording studio.

I think you're getting the Fedopala a bit short.

Close but it needs some Schlip.

(whispering to AGENT CHWECH)

Hello.  Who's the new guy?

This is agent Adams.  He's here to help you sus out what you're working on.

Everyone says hello.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

[Heliotrope] Time and Fairy Tales

So of course Fairy Tales are much older than expected.   It goes without saying that magical beings that are outside of time are going to have a lifestyle that doesn't match common understanding.  The fact is, Fairies are dangerous creatures that life outside of time, but there are many that are far more human like than not.  The key is understanding which.  The more powerful the fairy, the less comprehensible it is.  A Fairy Queen or royalty with human blood are practically human.  Order and Chaos, who interact with humans on a regular basis (albiet as pawns) are alien but somewhat comprehensible.....sometimes.  Oberon, Titania and Mab....are older than planets and stars.  A human would do well to be cautious around them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

[Script] Revolution Number Eight - Page 2

Scene: A wide show of a small conference room with a single table and a swinging lightbulb, but a faint glow comes from one side of the room, though the camera carefully does not show that side yet.  Agent Chwech sits with a young man of 17-19 years at the other end of a table.

A small date appears on the side of the screen indicating, "November 27th, 1969."

Do you know why you are here, Intern Adams?

Because of my article in the Eagle?

That's right, but do you know what you are here, FOR?

I...don't.  And wasn't MI-8?

Retired.  After the war.  Merged.  Yes, it was.  We brought it back.


Do you know why?

Um.  No.

Good.  If you did we'd likely have to kill you.  Do you believe in aliens?


Oh much farther than that.   Alpha Centauri.

What, like the star?

Exactly.  Small, furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.  And they have left us with an enigma, wrapped in a riddle something something something.  We want your help working it out.

Scene: Wide pan 90 degrees to a one way mirror with JOHN, PAUL, RINGO and GEORGE in a recording studio, looking frustrated.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Whither Blimps?

On Earth, every time you see a hint of something involving an alternate world, you see airships.  Now think about this.  It might be a striking visual.  And, I mean if some insane person from 1800 went into a coma saw the next 200 years and tried to rewrite history in his image then, sure, blimps would make sense.  But some things are pretty likely to happen; when you take hydrogen and put it in a thing that floats up in the air without some pretty advanced technology, you're going to get a fire.  The USS Taft Disaster, was just bound to happen.  That's why Terra doesn't have airships either.  In fact, we didn't even have the good year blimp.  Just bad luck.   Though, curious side note, we don't have the weird triskedescaphobia you have.  We have a 13th floor.  I mean, sure, there are SOME people with the fear of 13, just like there are some people that are afraid of bats, or dogs or horses.  You have them.  We have them.  We just don't let it affect our architecture.

Another example, remember the Republic of Texas? ( of last week, it's the State of Texas again, for at least a year or two until they decide to secede again)  Well, as crazy as they might sound to you, they also did something smart.  Smarter even than your North Dakota.  In your world, your Norway has something called the Sovereign Wealth fund.  It's huge and as a result Norway is rich.  Well, that doesn't hold a candle to the Texas Holdem Fund.  Sam Houston died four years later in our reality, and thus all the oil discovered on state land went to an independent commission that even a hundred and fifty years of mostly crazy governors hasn't been able to screw up.  How do you think they can afford to keep going to war with the most powerful nation on Terra?

Still, lots of things I like about your world.  We got Netscape two years later, and while it is the dominant browser here, two years of internet is huge...we're more like five years behind you in IT.  Except for our liquid transparent displays. All those high tech government facilities you see in the movies? We really have them because those neat gleaming lights are really the cheapest alternative.  Even cheaper than the 20 year old monitors your government uses (when you factor in electricity.)

Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

No Really

Check out this episode!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

[Script] Revolution Number Eight - Page 1


Intern Adams: A young Douglas Adams having recently written a nationally award winning essay has been inducted into an MI8 to examine the Alien Signal.

Agent Chwech: Mi8 agent in charge of liasoning with VIPs

Director Esme Euphrasia: Mi8 Director in charge of finding...alternative uses for the signal.

John: Writer, Singer, popular musician in a well known band.

Ringo: Drummer in a well known band.

Paul: Writer, Singer, popular musician in a well known band.

George: Guitarist, writer, popular musician in a well known band.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

[Heliotrope] What they got right

In the classic stars wars movie "A False Hope" Alec Guiness talks about seeing things from "a certain point of view", but I think that the bemusement the book talks about when speaking here about how humans are ignorant in their view of the geography of fairy, assuming everyone knows everyone else is a bit false.  Reading the book it does seem like everyone knows everyone else.  Coindicence is magnified far more in Terra than it is on Earth but that seems magnified even more in Fairy.

Consider if you will the whimsical mention of Balbus the Badger and the Little Tin Teapot.  In their original stories, Balbus the Badger is visited by the Three Mice that See, and he proceeds to tell them the wisdom of accepting their lot in life.  Mr Kind thanked him and nodded, walking on.  Mr. Right told him that was balderdash and that there were clearly moments in life where you had to change things and then just ended the conversation entirely.  No one knows what Mr Necessary said but Mr Necessary and Balbus the badger are not speaking of it.  Though a meticulous tracking of the descriptions of Balbus before and after the incident hint that the scar he had under his left eye only existed after.  Was this a case of Mr Necessary not liking what he had heard? Was it him? Likely yes, but such a reaction seems even extreme for him.  We'll never know.  The Little Tin Teapot is best known for the famous tempest that sometimes lived inside of his walls.  From time to time, the teapot would have a vast and powerful storm known as Cumulo Desparo come and dwell inside him, often during the winter months when he found it quite cold.  The problem with this is was at least nine incidents of someone picking up the teapot at some fair or the other, paying good money for it, and then getting the shock of their life as gale force winds, thunder and lightning soaked their living room.  This happened over and over again so many times it was bordering on the ridiculous.  Which is why they clearly kept telling the tale.  One might accept that a magical storm swelling teapot might distribute weather accidentally two or three times, but word gets around...even back then.

So when this badger and teapot meet at the wedding of a minor queen despite only very very tenuous connections, one has to wonder.  By my estimate, Outer Fairy had at least ten or twenty million inhabitants at the time, and yet here these two are, meeting. It's like obscure 18th century fan fiction.  But the book is too well cared for an meticulous for it to be something so simple. Is there a fate? Is there a destiny?

I don't know but an unseen hand is definitely at work.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

[Script] Legacy of Hope - Page 13

Roll Credits.

During Credits show images.

Image: Andrasta and Anastasia studying a spell book.

Image: Andrasta and Anastasia enjoying ice cream with each other.

Image: Andrasta sending Anastasia off on a school bus.

Image: Andrasta and Anastasia practicing sword play.

Image: Andrasta and Anastasia practicing more sword play.

Image: Andrasta and Anastasia getting a puppy.

Image: Andrasta and Anastasia looking at an invasion of UFO's, backs to the camera.  Defiant poses.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Not What I expected

So, the good news is that I'm here, just like TC.  What I hadn't expected was such a harsh reaction from EP Blingermeyer, who managed to shut down the Tossing Grenades at Windmills podcast entirely.  I guess being rich enough gives you plenty of resources...but I wouldn't have thought it enough to reach to another world  I'm still not sure how he physically does it, but he offered to teach me if I stayed with him.

I don't understand this at all.  The man had always been quite benevolent before and I hadn't really 'worked' for him in the conventional sense, just living by the bridge and occasionally showing him things four or five times a year.  Its not like I had a salary.

So strange.

Miami is an interesting city, full of vibrant people and lovely weather.  I miss my swamp though.  Well, I miss the way it smells and looks.  The cold can go futz itself.  Still, it made imagining other places easier.  And such places.  You can hear the city sing if you listen to it well enough.  I'm curious if Emmit has always been able to do this.

I keep meaning to check out Terminus again and will soon.  So many interesting stories there, though Miami has them too, even if they are not as cultivated and nutured.  Miami is a city of multiple possibilities, of stories to be written.  I know that the owners of the shop called it 'magica' but that's just weird to me.  Terminus is what everyone calls Atlanta in Terra.  Everyone calls Miami Miami.

The book is even more interesting.  I'll be sharing more with you as time goes on.  I'm still reading it.  The thing about it is that there is no explanation whatever as to where it comes from.  Who made it.  And why?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

GMVZ Chapter 21

Check out this episode!

GMVZ Chapter 20

As read by Matt Franklin

Check out this episode!

GMVZ Chapter 19

As read by Matt Franklin

Check out this episode!

GMVZ Chapter 18

As read by Matt Franklin

Check out this episode!

GMVZ Chapter 17

As read by Matt Franklin

Check out this episode!

GMVZ Chapt 16

Read by Matt Smith

Check out this episode!

GMVZ Chapter 15

Might as well upload this.  Can't turn off my subscription or all previous episodes are lost.


Read by Matt Smith

Check out this episode!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Going Away

No more podcast.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

[Script] Legacy of Hope - Page 12

Scene (Continues) He tries to cast a spell but she stabs him again and blood comes out of his mouth.   He falls to the floor.

Andrasda stops coughing the spiders and slowly sits up.  Anastasia looks at her, and touches her cheek, crying.

They hug.

Roll credits.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

[Heliotrope] Tiny Skeleton

The Ogre of the Northtrope bridge was so feirce that by and large everyone paid his toll.  The few that didn't ran away.  Northtrope was so remote, that serious knights or military forces never really felt it worth the trouble to dislodge him.  Aside from his unusual size or peculiar taste for porceline, there is little interesting to be said about him, except for the small skeleton he had glued to his club.

This skeleton was never dislodged until fifty years after the Ogre was finally found to have died from natural causes.  At first, folks thought it might be a small Goblin or Elf, but a closer examination found it to be a tiny human.  Magical dating placed the figure squarely in the time of legends, and more magic still revealed it to be none other than the near mythical Thumbalina herself.

None is sure how this queen had her still unknown grave exumed, perhaps the brute found it or simply came upon it after the fact.  What is known is that the skeleton is hers and is resting in an unmarked grave in Vine City to protect her identity.  Many wizards have already tried to find it; fortunately to no avail.   It is for the best since by all accounts she is one of the few mythic figures who does not have a dark mirror that hints that all the great tales might not be true.  She lived her life with nobility and grace given the circumstances that she had.

As for the ogre, his bones still lay where they rested next to the bridge he loved.

[Script] Legacy of Hope - Page 11

Scene:  Andrasda coughs.  Then she coughs again and spiders begin to drop from her mouth.  At first there is one and then another in her hand.  Then she begins to cough more.

Hobbes: (Shouting) What are you waiting for?!

Scene: Anastasia looks pensive.  She hesitates.  Hobbes runs over and shouts.

Hobbes: She's never going to be vulnerable.  You have your connection to the sword!


What is wrong with you?

Scene: Close up of Anastasia's face.

Scene: Andrasda coughs up more spiders.

Scene: Anastasia frowns and looks at the sword

Scene: Hobbes's face, looking fearful.

Hobbes: WHAT? The spell won't last forever?!

Scene: Close up of Anastasia's face.

Anastasia: It connects me to more than the sword Hobbes.

Scene: Anastasia turns around and stabs Hobbes in the guts.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Vampires in Terra

I have read several books on the Occult, of course, so the subject of Vampirism has come up.  There are a lot of different kinds, but it isn't of the Twilight variety or the Interview with a Vampire either.  Its essentially a curse, inflicted due to prayer or some supernatural entity.  Dracula was made a vampire due to the opposing prayers of all the Turks he killed.  That is the primary reason Terra is not inflicted with hoards of vampires....for someone to become one, they have to metaphorically deserve it.  It isn't some supernatural disease one can catch just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Though I suppose if one counts 'death' as a supernatural disease, then you can easily catch it.

Fiction from Earth often finds Vampires of a torn morality, who grow to resent their curse and work to redeem themselves.  I've seen such creatures in other worlds, but not in Terra.  To be clear, there is not, so far as I know, some supernatural or demonic force that prevents them from doing good; they're just assholes.  While our politicians are not perfect, they are practically saints compared to the Earth variety.

On Terra, we are stories wheras on Earth you tell them.  That means our highs are very high and our lows are very low.  Those who choose to be assholes or villains tend to be very much of that cloth and those who are complicated are still much clearer in tone when doing dire deeds.  But....

Some of the people you have there...I must say on the AGGREGATE make our vampires look tame by comparison.  A vampire in Terra might tear through an entire orphanage in a rural town to sate their blood lust before going to sleep for another century.  Some of your population will sooner let millions suffer simply because it isn't their problem.  Maybe our heroes are just better at moving people toward compassion but I do admit, I'm glad I live here.

The stories there are amazing.  I live to see them which is why I find myself spending more and more time every day floating amongst your population, listening for anything I can, real or otherwise.  But I have to wonder if the reason we write so few is because the quality of our lives is better and the reason you write so much is because...nearly anywhere else is better than where you are.  But I'm biased I suppose.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

[Script] Legacy of Hope - Page 10

Scene: Anastasia looks unsure.

Scene: Anastaia looks sad, happy and in love at the same time.  She throws open her hands to hug Anastasia.

Scene: Hobbes looks through the book and finds a spell.

Scene: Shot of the page of the book, the title of the spell is "Nasty Surprise"

           Hobbes: What are you doing?! Stab her! She's trying to kill you!  (Begins chanting)

Scene: Anastasia looks unsure but she speaks into her hand, whispering and the sword lights on fire.

Scene: Andrasta opens up her arms, not even fighting.

Scene: Anastasia hesistates.

Scene: Hobbes looks like he wants to yell but doesn't dare stop his chanting.

Scene: Anastasia lunges but stops at the last minute and cuts Andrasta's arm.  Andrasta offers her other arm.  Anastasia is clearly doubting.

Scene: Hobbes finishes reading and smiles with triumph.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

[Heliotrope] The Geography of Fairy (in relation to Terra)

Trying to describe all of Fairy is insanely stupid, since it flickers and expands in infinite impossible directions betwixt and among worlds in fits and starts; here one day and gone the next.  Whole swaths of magic kingdoms appear and disappear in the blink of an eye long before those in a world next door even realize their proximity.  But some sections of Fairy, like the red spot on that storm giant Jupiter, become fixed, as a recognizable feature in an otherwise churning churl of chaos.

Such is the nature of Terra.  Terra is not like Earth with its ripples upon the pond of reality affecting all of creation, but it is a place between many other places; a veritable high way from one way to another and as such certain regions of fairy have begun to congregate around it with some semblance of stability.  Terra's relationship with Fairy has become almost recognizable as a realm compared to other stranger demenses such as limbo, heaven, hell and Eddie's Interdimensinal All Night Pizzaria.

Outer Fairy was once a primal forest or swamp or desert, ruled by spirits who slowly because various fairy creatures influenced by both human belief and the primal creatures inside of Inner Fairy.  But time has slowly reduced their number.  Their habit of kidnapping changlings and bringing them to Fairy greatly enhanced their quality of life for many centuries, but eventually the humans vastly outnumbered the fairies until there were only humans left.  But a human inhabitant of fairy only looks nominally human; all have the blood of fairies in their veins, some even of Fairy Queens or Fairy Godmothers.  Not all of them acknowledge their magic, but it influences their lives in ways that would be obvious to someone from Terra.  It is a realm that interacts with Terra but is terrified of it; their modern technology and vast numbers infinitely larger than the smaller more magical realms connected to it.  And some governments are just beginning to learn of their existence.

One can think of Fairy around Terra as a hypersphere.  Inner Fairy perfectly matches the moon but also overlaps Terra.  It is exactly the size of the moon, but sunrises and sunsets tend to match those of Terra.  Time is not that radically different; at an equinox it is one day for one day; where at the summer solstice it tends to be five terran days for one in outer fairy.  By the winter solstice there are five fairy days for every day on Terra.  It tends to even out since the New Year on Terra matches the year (more or less) in Outer Fairy.

Middle Fairy is a chaotic realm the size of Mars, also superimposed over Earth but based on Mars's orbit.  At apogee, time is 15 days to 1 relative to Terra.  The reverse is also true.  A year in Middle Terra is equal to three years in Middle Fairy.  The magic here is still strong and does not rely on the complex series of magical dykes, dams, aquaducts and windmills to keep it pumping.  The land is teeming with magical creatures and while there are human kingdoms there are just as many of flowers, elves, dwarves, sprites, and any spirit imaginable.  Godmothers protect the realm from total destruction from Inner Fairy, while Fairy Royalty pays omage to the Godmothers and powerful colored fairies of days of old.  There are very few raids into outer fairy though simply because no one (except perhaps the humans) wants humanity to overrun Middle Fairy like they did Inner Fairy.

Inner Fairy is a hypersphere the size of Jupiter, and time there indeed runs long, with 100 days to 1 at apogee relative to terra and inverted at its long flight around the sun.  There are roughly 200 years in Inner Fairy relative to Terra.  Inner Fairy is ruled by the court of Oberon, with giants of magical power such as Order, Chaos, Light, Darkness and other mythic individuals.  Mab and her court hold tremendous sway there and sometimes there are abductions but Inner Fairy can do what it wants, when it wants and easily bypasses Middle Fairy to another realm to fetch entertainment or skill as it requires; though the games between Oberon's children affect many realms far and wide.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

[Script] Legacy of Hope - Page 9

Scene:  Inside of the house, Anastasia looks at the sword.  She picks it up.

Scene: Hobbes is reading from the book, desperately moving pages back and forth trying to find the right spell.

Scene: There is a mighty spell, and a ghastly hand reaches out from the house.

Scene: Andrasta looks worried.

Scene: The hand comes closer.

Scene: Andrastda enters a fighting stance.

Scene: The hand opens and reaches for her.

Scene: Andrasta moves to strike and misses.

Scene: The hand slaps her on the wrist.

Scene: Distant shot from the house, where HObbes makes non dialog specific sounds of frustration and annoyance.

Scene: Andrasta smiles and seems more confident and walks up to the porch.

Scene:  The door opens up and Anastasia is there, holding the sword.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A change of cities

The letters from EP Blingermeyer had become rather frightening.  I was getting pretty good at this Astral Projection thing, and now he was asking for something he never had before.  He wanted me to physically travel with him to another world.  He was prepared to tell me whatever horrific thing he did to accomplish this, and while I knew there were ways to accomplish this, I knew at this point that most of them were not good.  I wasn't sure I wanted to know.

I made one of my frequent trips to the French Quarter and stopped by the Tattered Library, the used bookstore I kept reading a bit at a time when the proprietor looked at me differently, their one good eye open and scrutinizing me.  "You've changed," she asked, her dark lips pursing thoughtfully, "Something different about you."  Her husband had been the one who had been letting me see a page at a time, and I was under the impression she was the reason he had been so reluctant.

"How'd you like to keep that book?" She asked.

My interest immediately piqued.  I had to admit I was obsessed with it.  I wasn't sure why.  Ever since TC had channeled the stories of the Heliotrope book, I was anxious to know more about the world that literally lay right next to my own. I knew more about the strange and frankly monsterous world you call home than I did about the legendary creatures right next door.  "I...might be."  My words were coy but my tone was desperate.

She laughed at my attempt at subterfuge and said,"Then you have to choose."


"Who you going to work for. Blingermeyer...or me."

I blinked.  This was not the way I had expected this conversation to go.  " you have dental?"

Now she positively cackled though it was a warm throaty thing, filled with high pitched benevolence.  "Yes, we work with teeth.  And we pay well Mr Ticks.  Very well." She put a put a bag of gold coins on the table.  At current exchange rates that was easily two years pay.  Well, anywhere but Texas, Oklahoma or Fresno.

"You have my attention.  What would I do for you? Tour guide suits me but something-"

For the first time, her laugh became derisive.  "That bridge to everywhere and nowhere? We have better ways of getting around Mr. Ticks.  No, we'd want you to read the books we give you and keep up your...unusual arrangement with TC.  Yes, we know about him, we know a lot of things."

"I..." I would have done that anyway.  "What's the catch?"

"You need to move. Blingermeyer is bad news.  Very bad news.  You'd have to set up residence somewhere else."

Now I was upset.  I loved my home. TC might be a tumbleweed driving on the wind, but I'd lived in the Bouyou my whole live.  "Where?"  I asked.


That was another name for Miami, just like some anti romantics still called Terminus Atlanta.  It was too hot for my taste.  I started to say no when she put a second bag of gold on the table.

"That's not all Mr Ticks," she said, not laughing at all anymore,"You already sense something wrong about how Blingermeyer moves between worlds.  You're right.  And you won't be able to tell him no if you stay.  You want to keep your soul? Work for us?"

I told her I had to think about it.  I went home.  Dark formless shapes haunted my dreams, and I felt something terrible enter it...something nightmarish...and IT was warning me as well.  There were horrific consequences for staying, consequences I couldn't even imagine.  I woke in a sheen of sweat to the point that my mouth was dry and my gut was heaving.

I had to get out of there.  So gold coins, books and a small family model T full of my remaining possessions, I headed south.

I have a new employer it seems.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Grenademan Vs the Zombies

This podcast is cursed....but we are still going for now.  The echo in this and chapter 16 is untenebal but we will still go every other week for now.

Check out this episode!

Friday, January 1, 2016

[Writer Stuff] Fiona Skye

While I reserve Monday to post my status as well, Fridays I am going to try and post useful writer tips, resources or inspirational material.  Because I wrote the review fairly recently, I'm including it again here for the audiobook of Fiona's here.  Fiona has been the editor of a few of my short stories, Grenademan vs The Zombies and also Forever West.

Her website is here.

Her good reads site is here.

And her twitter is here.

Why you should care: As a reader, her books are quite interesting.

As a writer, you should care for two reasons; three actually.  First, because she is an excellent example of "Donna Do" as compared to "Donna Don't" and shows the best steps a rising author who can actually sell things should follow.  Second, she is an excellent editor for beginning writers because she is one, she is very cheap for the skill level she brings to the table, and because she is willing to call your bullshit for what it is while also offering very real positive praise for the work just when you need it.  And third, because smart writers network very well and she can teach you a lot about how to do it (also see point one).