Hel-lo! I've been remiss in keeping contact, and I'm soon off again. My mission report follows, both writing and "normal" life:
FEBRUARY SIBLING VAIL TRIP -- Following the Superstars Writing Seminar in Colorado Springs, I met my two sibs at Vail. This was the first time we've vacationed together sans our families since we were kinderlach. The occasion? To honor our father Donald, of blessed memory, who passed away in 2017; to delight in shared memories. We spent our inheritance doing what he loved best: talking, skiing and dining out. His favorite ski resort had been Vail. Fifteen inches of fresh powder, sunny days (and a couple foggy ones), good food. It was perfect.
FEBRUARY SWITZERLAND -- Ruth and I joined her brother and his wife --
and forty New York dentists and teachers -- touring historical Bern and Thun (where we had fun "storming the castle") and skiing the Swiss alps along the foot of the awe-inspiring Matterhorn and the craggy knees of The Eiger.
FEBRUARY BIRTHDAY -- My 60th. ( oy! ) Enough said.
MARCH HELIOSPHERE CON -- The erudite and gracious Dr. Charles E. Gannon (creator of Caine Riordan and Commander Cantrell), and the always engaging author and editor Alex Shvartsman, enticed me to Tarrytown, NY for this delightful little convention. This year, Heliosphere also hosted the 1632 Universe mini-con which provided me an absorbing look into the 1632 universe of Eric Flint. I was pleased to again meet Mr. Flint. A remarkable and extremely knowledgeable gentleman.
Chuck introduced me to Robert Waters, his co-author of the next 1632 Universe Caribbean adventure. He specifically wished me to meet Robert because I'd become enamored with a little known offshoot of Hebrew History: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean ("Ah!-Oy, mate. Is that a chicken on your shoulder?"). One such pirate, Moses Cohen Enriques Earnes is mentioned in Commander Cantrell of the West Indies, but he plays a more prominent role in the forthcoming new novel by Chuck and Robert. I was pleased to get an early peek and honored to share what I knew regarding Moses, his fellow landslayt, and the relevant and formative events for Moses and the Jews of the time. I hope they found this useful. Chuck is very kind, and Robert also.
I also met Grantville Gazette editor Bjorn Hasseler and Ring of Fire press author/editor William Hunt who were both a pleasure to speak with and very encouraging to potential new authors. All the 1632 writers and their fans were absolutely fascinating with the breadth and depth of their knowledge of history and how they've extrapolated upon it.
The central event in the 1632 Universe is the temporal displacement to 1632 Thuringia (i.e. mid-Germany) of the entire modern town of Grantville, West Virgina, inclusive of its inhabitants and their respective modern skillsets as well as the town library (one replete with the history of the world since 1632 as well as books on the intervening advances in science and technology). The resultant twists, alterations, in history that result in ever-increasing magnitude rippling out from the literally dropped "pebble" of this central event as discussed by these learned ffolke can make one's head spin. Good people.
APRIL "3RD AND STARLIGHT" REVIEW -- "Blends can be a wonderful thing. A Meritage of red wine varietals. A kaleidoscope of colors. A fusion of culinary delights. How about a collage of fantasy and science fiction? 3rd & Starlight is just that—a familiar yet sumptuous melting pot of unique speculative fiction flavors to entice all the literary senses . . ."
See the full review here.
<Blush> It's always nice to receive a compliment for work you're proud of, especially by prior Writers of the Future contest winner Steve Pantazis. Glad you enjoyed the book, Steve. :)
APRIL "A STORIED AFFAIR" -- At the urging of my beloved wife, days just before the deadline, I submitted my old 2011 literary flash "Dying in the Light" to A Storied Affair, a gala dinner fundraiser for Congregation Bet Ha'am in southern Maine. And, what-the-hey, I won. So last Saturday, we dressed up for a five-course soiree where, as a GOH, I read the tale -- singing for our supper, as it were. :) If I can't be bad ass, I can be bard-ish! The audience was generous and kind.
STORY FRONT -- Two rejections, four stories being held, one Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future, and one acceptance.
Also, after ignoring its screaming for eight years, I've unearthed my first novel to see if it has any potential. To this end, I've engaged an editor I admire for independent assessment.
Currently, stop and starts on a few shorter works-in-progress as well as on the revision of the first third of my second novel. And yet, I'm also drawn to write about those pesky Sephardic pirates . . . once we're back from Italy. Yes, yes, I know. Off again. But now that the missus and I are "60's" children, we feel the need to go outside and play while we can. :)