Happy Halloween!

I suppose I have some affinity for this holiday over others. I enjoyed it when I was a kid, and I enjoy it now when I see kids in their costumes going to parties. There isn’t a lot of door to door trick or treating in my neighborhood. It seems they do something at school then hit an apartment or two. Still, they are dressed up and always seem to be very happy. How could they not? You can be Indiana Jones and get free candy. What’s not to love?

Today got me thinking about the holidays I grew up with. I thought it would be fun, or at least interesting, to rank them by general enjoyment. Here are my top 3 best and worst: (I don’t count Armistice/Remembrance and Memorial Day as holidays.)


  1. Thanksgiving – As a child I would have said Christmas hands down, but as I’ve grown this holiday has come to mean more to me.
  2. Christmas – I’m not religious, so this one is about being with family.
  3. New Year’s Day – Resolutions, resolutions, resolutions


  1. St. Patrick’s Day – Drunk fools vomiting in the streets.
  2. Valentine’s Day – I’m single so….
  3. Easter – I’m cool with the bunny, not the bloody religious connotations used as weapons



Summer, go away already!

I’ve been getting into my autumn groove  – sweaters, hot chocolate, etc – but summer isn’t cooperating. After a couple of weeks of cool weather we are back in the 80s! Happily, that ends tomorrow and we return to autumn appropriate temperatures.

I don’t know if I have a prime writing season. Ideally, all seasons and everyday is a good day to write, but if I had to choose, I want it to be fall. Sitting on a bench in Central Park with my journal, fountain pen, and a hot chocolate and apple turnover by my side is near perfect.

Jolted out of complacency

I’ve lived in my apartment going on ten years. In that time there have been a couple of small water leaks from radiators, the odd power and/or cable outage, a set of oven mitts set ablaze, and the very rare shouting match at 3 in the morning to wake me from my slumber. Not that eventful, until last week. There was a fire in my building.

First, and most importantly, no one was physically hurt. I say physically because I can only imagine the trauma suffered by the people in the apartment where the fire started. The Red Cross were here to help resettle those who had to evacuate their apartments. I was incredibly fortunate in that I only have water damage to my ceiling in one corner. It clearly could have been so much worse.

My life was puttering along. Nothing too exciting, no big problems. While the fire didn’t impact me that much, it nonetheless shook me. I’m aware, again, of how quickly things can change. Today is my life. Not in a year when my next book goes on sale, not in six weeks when I’ve lost that ten pounds, not next week when I have that date, but right now.

I haven’t swung all the way on the pendulum to live every day as if it’s your last because I’ve always thought that absurd. Rather, I’m refocused on living each day as if they matter, especially to me. It’s as profound as it’s cliched, but it’s also as real as it gets.






At some point I need to look up the science, assuming there is some, about the effect of the full moon on people. I’m not talking astrology, but actual physical effects. I didn’t realize there had just been one until this morning when a friend told me. I have been out a whack for a few days. Is there a correlation? It would be easy to write it off as a coincidence. It probably is. Still, I do wonder.

I won’t be breaking out my tinfoil hat just yet, but considering the moon’s gravity gives us waves, it must impact us to some degree, even on tiny scale, right? Or is that just specious logic? I’m open to all possibilities here. As I said, I’ve been off kilter lately.

Yimt Arkhorn

You know I’m team dwarf. Yimt Arkhorn is far and away my favorite character from all of my books. Writing a scene with Yimt immediately put me in a better mood. His genesis is very much based on my early introduction to fantasy via LOTR and D&D and then significantly broadened by the works of George MacDonald Fraser. Yimt is unapologetically an old school dwarf –  short, stocky, bearded, gruff, big drinker, full of humor, and lives life in a big way. I was cool with that then, and I still am.

I get asked from time to time if the Iron Elves (and especially Yimt) will ever appear again. My answer is the unsatisfying possibly. I’ve considered everything from short stories to graphic novels to complete novels. One idea I’ve carried around is Yimt and Rallie hooking up some how (not necessarily dating as Yimt is married). I’m less inclined to do an origin story as they never seem to live up to the imagination. The worst example that comes to mind are the petulant Darth Vader movies. Anni the brat becomes angsty Anakin who eventually becomes Darth. And there’s Jar Jar.  Ugh.