[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.]

Monday. Just got back last night from Bouchercon 2023 in San Diego, which is why you don’t have your story for September yet. Planning on doing all that in a few hours, but I’m still digging out and will be for a few days.

In the meantime, I gots news. Of a sort, at least.

Bouchercon is a Mystery convention for both readers and writers. And there were lots of both. Met some fantastic and fascinating people. Made some good connections I need to follow up on. Might have created at least one new magazine, but I gotta do some work on refining ideas and then recruiting players. WAY TBD.

Also got interviewed a couple of different times by Authors on the Air podcast while I was there. (https://www.youtube.com/c/Authorsontheair) All audio, and they will have to be sorted and loaded, but look for me and Bouchercon 2023 and it will get up there eventually.

And we’re still trying to break publishing, so it was more or less a four day mastermind with Matt and others as we had ideas and wrote them down.

Plus, it was a mystery convention, and they had a lot of panels. Didn’t do that many because I was so busy in hallway conversations, but I did come home with at least two new Action-Adventure series ideas I want to write. Maybe thriller, or Light Thriller, as someone called it.

Because it’s so hard coming up with new ideas to write, you know.

I’m not even going to pretend that I wrote last week, because I didn’t. Going to a con always means turning into an extrovert I call The Carnival Barker, and I have to focus everything there. It worked, but it is also exhausting. Plus, I got food poisoned twice, because they don’t mention anywhere that everything they cook is flavored with mushrooms. (Trust me, I can tell. The hard way.)

Saturday was a toxic mess as a result. Glad to be home where I don’t have to real with “Chefs” who have “Ideas” on “Cuisine” and I can eat healthy. Might even get to sleep on a regular pattern again, as I woke up at 1:30AM Sunday morning and sat quietly in a chair in the hotel room, meditating until Matt (he’s on East Coast time) woke up at 530 and went downstairs. Then I was awake with a 10-minute nap in the airport until 10pm last night when I finally crashed home and safe.

I did edit Corsac Fox #3 and #4, so those are ready for First Readers and such. I’ll be sending out surveys to kickstarter backers later this week, and expect money in a bit as well, so I can start fulfillment. Paper and Hardcover are both special editions with extra materials included that won’t be in the general release.

In fact, I intend to write a special essay for each of the Corsac Novels, but since I’m not going to do KS campaigns for them (until the last one), I’ll bundle those up and put them for sale when the last book in Block One comes out. Something to expand and explain.

There is, after all, a reason behind every novel I write. A Character that sounds fun. A Setting I want to explore. A Problem that will challenge folks. Something. I have to entertain myself, as well as entertain you.

But, back to Monday. Since I have been helping the folks behind Bookslup define and build their new service, I had breakfast with two of the bosses this morning. One of them also happens to be my middle Step-daughter, and she’s made a point of keeping me involved in her life.

She has two sisters. I’ve seen one a few times in the last couple of years, and the other not at all. She brought the one sister along, and apparently all three of the girls are going on a hike tomorrow as a group, so they’ll have fun. And also brought along a nephew (that sister’s youngest) who I haven’t seen or talked to in 15 years. Not since he was maybe 13, give or take.

I haven’t pressed anyone. Those that want to interact, I’m there. The others have presented me with casual indifference, and I’ve honored that as well.

As I noted several times this last week with a number of people, the ONLY thing you control in this life is your attitude. So I try to look on the bright side of things with a cynical, jaundiced eye willing to find joy in the little things and celebrate any success from anyone I meet.

Because if you can’t do that, what the hell are you doing in life?

That means I find joy with the folks who want to be around me, and ignore those that don’t. I inherited a whole passel of fun folks from Fabulous Publisher Babe™ and her nieces and nephews, all of whom are lovely, friendly people.

You deserve happiness in your life. Simple as that.

Go find it.

shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


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