[As usual, two weeks lag here, if you aren’t reading this on my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/blazeward). If you’d like your news fresher, and the monthly Anti-Stodgy/Redneck Chef newsletter, all I ask is a buck to help keep the lights on around here.]

By the time most of you see this, the Kickstarter Campaign for Corsac Fox #2 Mistaken Identity) will be done, as it only runs to August 22. Then you gotta wait.

However, more music up everywhere. Time To Say Goodbye.

Monday. Chewy air everywhere. I haven’t checked, but someone said East of the Mountains was on fire, as usual. Air has a brownness to it this morning, but it finally cooled off. Hit 98F on Wednesday, after 94F Mon and Tues. 47F when we got up Saturday morning and went for a long walk because Sifu had a personal emergency and canceled class.

72F, a little after noon. Gonna be warm, but not stupid.

I planted three trees yesterday.

Down at the bottom of the hill there used to be a lake. One of the neighbors on the north side apparently backed a machine up in the mid-1990s according to the story, and tried to mine peat moss. They pierced the lining of the lake and it drained some eight feet as a result. I have a bowl with several distinct lips, and the bottom was classified marsh in a 1988 survey the former owner had done when he bought the place.

Fifteen years ago, I started clearing out all the blackberry, but then got sidetracked and let it go feral for a while. This summer, I have been clearing it again. At the top, I wanted to put up a hedge to create a visual barrier for folks out on the cul-de-sac, so we got three cypress trees. Two gold and one green. Got them in and will water them until the rainy season starts up again.

Eventually, I want a hedge all the way across, but there are easements, so I have to move precisely. But clearing that bottom and turning it back into a meadow adds significantly to my property value when I get around to selling the place. Plus, it keeps me in good shape, because this is all machete work for now. Later, I can go in with the brush cutter and the mower and keep it down, but neither work with a 6’ tall wall of thorns.

I’m in better shape than I’ve been in at least 25 years as a result. That is its own benefit.

Writing: I finished the first Chace Haig novel over the weekend, mostly because I wanted it done and out of my way. We also published the first/origin short story: Assumed Identity.

At present, there are three more short stories done and in the can, for submission to Issues 6-8 of The Thrill Ride Magazine. Specifically, Gadgets, Adventure, and Lone Wolves themes.

Personally, I enjoy action-adventure stories, but have been talking with Matt and most of the genre right now is filled with Ex-Special Forces trooper burned by the government and gone rogue. Then the President calls them up and secretly reactivates them to save the day because they can’t trust their own government to do the right thing.

Wish fulfillment, for a genre of men (4F, older, white, conservative, overweight, and riding around in a mobility scooter I presume) who want to be that asshole anti-hero who shrugs off bullet wounds and keeps going. Think Batman, without the cowl and more guns. Ultra high-profile, for being secretive assassins being hunted by everybody.


Personally, I enjoyed Bond growing up, both books and movies, but I can’t find any major series about professional spies/troubleshooters like that. Only burnout killers who somehow will throw everything away to help an old woman across the street, even in the middle of being hunted by every government on the planet.

Question for you folks: Anybody recommend me some books where the main character is a spy, rather than an ex-special forces assassin rogue bully killing machine? You know the character. And the formula. I’d like to wander outside that as a reader and a writer. Someone with style and elegance, who isn’t a punk or a bully in the real world. And a professional, rather than a wish-fulfillment amateur who somehow overcomes the entire world twelve books in a row. And counting.

Lemme know what you have in the way of ideas.


Started on the third Beckett Fernsby story this morning. Had been planning to write four in a row for Boundary Shock Quarterly, but might see about hitting eight as a challenge.

  • 25 Gulliver’s Other Travels (done)
  • 26 Future Crime (done)
  • 27 Cold Steel and Hot Blasters (begun)
  • 28 Space Horror
  • 29 First Contact
  • 30 Fading Empires
  • 31 Swords and Sorcery and Starships
  • 32 Zeroes and Ones

I mean, seriously, I can fit him into all of those situations without a lot of work. Got my notes for Space Horror roughed out, with a lot of world-building that I might spin off. The other four all lend themselves to a slightly cranky Apothecary on an exploration ship. And it lets me roam a bit with the novels, knowing that I have the short fiction largely covered. Plus, I want to spin back and write the rest of the first Holden and Riley novel. And a bunch of others.

So it’s Monday. What are you folks up to?

shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


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