Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Silence or Violence: Logan, Suicide, and the Culture of Masculine Silence

March 31, 2016

Phil says it all.

Satyros Phil Brucato

Our friend Logan killed himself today. I wish we had known how badly he was hurting. We just spent most of this past weekend with him, and had no idea things were nearly this bad. If we had known, maybe we could have helped. But maybe not. These things don’t come from nowhere.

Logan MastersonLogan Masterson, author, friend, R.I.P.

It’s kind of a no-shit thing to say in hindsight that Logan had struggled with depression. Thing is, many people do, and never take their pain as far as this. It’s also kind of a no-shit statement to say that I wish I had known he was hurting so badly. And the problem is, he did what so many people – men especially – do: He played the Strong Silent Type until it killed him.

And when he finally did reach out, hours before the end, he got smacked in the face…

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I Still Believe in Small Press

September 23, 2013

Today over on Fantasy Book Cafe, Kristen graciously invited me to share some thoughts. I’ve gotten to know her a little, over the course of the past few months, through her participation in the lovely and heartfelt Mercury Retrograde Press Bloggy Love Project hosted by Darkcargo; and when she extended this invitation, I knew just what I wanted to share with her and her readers, even though it took me a while to condense sane words out of the cloud of thoughts and emotions that has been my professional life of late. Finally, I was able to express what I have wanted to say:

I still love small press. I’m head-over-heels for its possibilities, for its diversity, for the sheer insanity that could happen nowhere else. I may not be running such an operation much longer, but right now I can’t imagine living anywhere else as a writer. You can see why here.

Mischief 2.0

March 28, 2013

That’s right, this blog has a new name. It is only one aspect of a wild wave of changes rolling through around here. Stay tuned.

March 25, 2013

You’re welcome.

Michael J Holley - Writer

How to Compile a kindle ebook in scrivenerI’ve been sat like a lemon waiting for Scrivener to come out with an iPad app. This was going to change my world, so I waited. However, it turns out that I was waiting in vain because I can already add/edit my document on the iPad and then just sync it across. Ooh… fancy.

It’s dead easy and if you don’t believe me then just take a look at this from the nice people at Scrivener. (There’s a video at the bottom called Folder Sync) I’m going to run through a very quick step-by-step guide but watch the video if you run in to trouble.

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Sending us mail? Better hold off.

March 20, 2013

In a maneuver no one saw coming, the mailing center to which our USPS mail and packages are delivered quite suddenly shut its doors last week. This being the electronic age, we don’t stop by to pick up the mail daily; our first indication something was wrong came when UPS deliveries we were expecting started bouncing. At this point we have no knowledge of what might be locked away behind that closed door.

So, if you sent us something via USPS, UPS or Fedex recently, be advised that we have not received it. We’re working on getting our hands on those things, but it turns out there are layers of legal nonsense involved at this point. In the meantime, we’re shopping for a new mailing center, but we don’t have an address yet.

Email continues to work, thank goodness. All the email addresses you might need are on the site, here.

How my desk in the study really looks

November 18, 2012

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Because last time I shared pictures, it was one of those days when the place was ready for company.

Come see me at MidSouthCon

March 23, 2012

I’ll be at MidSouthCon this weekend with Mercury Retrograde’s own Anna Branscome. This is always a fun con. We’ll be hanging out and taking in panels, and I’ll be sitting on a few panels myself. Here’s where you can find me:

Friday 8 PM Friday Night Book Club: Fantasy
Settle in w guests for a cozy chat about your favorite fantasy stories.

Friday 10 PM Diversity in Spec Fic

Saturday 10 PMThe Modes of Publication (Moderator)
Big house? Small press? Self-publish? How do you decide which option is best for you?

And from 4PM to 5PM Saturday I’ll be doing a book signing in the Pro Row. Stop by and chat!

Thank goodness for saner voices and cooler heads

November 15, 2011

Writing gods willing and the creek don’t rise, I will pass 120K words on the current ms. tomorrow. This is the novel that saner people persuaded me to split a few weeks ago: the one that I had originally titled War-Lord of the Gods, which will now become two novels, because this story turned out to be so much longer than expected. The titles of these newly-separate novels keep shifting in my mind, because War-Lord of the Gods is probably not quite right for either of them. One of them will probably wind up going to press as The Heart of the Darkness. It’s possible the other will become The Lord of the Abyss. But more on that dilemma anon.

Meanwhile, I’m coming up to the halfway point, what will henceforth be known as the book break, of two of the three threads I’m writing in these two novels.  At this point I’m a little more than two chapters from the end of the first two threads in this (second) novel–with nothing written on the other thread. And yes, you read that right, above. I’m staring down 120K words. Good thing saner people persuaded me to split this novel.

For better or worse, I’m now writing two novels simultaneously: when I finish these two threads I’m working on in Novel #2, I will jump right into developing these same two threads in Novel #3. Because, absent the limitations of print publishing, Novels 2 and 3 would be one book, and that’s still how they work in my head. And I must write sequentially.

Of course, absent the limitations of print publishing, all three of these novels (The Shadow of the Sun being the first) would be one book. It would be 800K words long. How big a surprise can that be? My sentences go on like normal people’s paragraphs.

But I digress, as usual.

I am pleased by the way this novel is unfolding. It’s deeper and darker than Shadow, and because it’s the second of a series it doesn’t have the longish set-up period of the first. Things go absolutely to hell within the first twenty pages. And I hope that most people will be surprised by most of it.

Most of it surprised me. 🙂

The young bull and the old bull

September 12, 2011

Have I told you this story already? It’s one of my favorites. I told it to James this morning, because it sums up the difference between our attitudes when it comes to business.

One fine morning, the old bull and the young bull stood together on a hill overlooking the pasture, which was full of cows. The young bull got very excited.

“Look at all those cows!” he said. “Let’s run down there and f*ck one of ’em!”

“No, son,” the old bull replied. “We’re gonna walk down there and f*ck ’em all.”

Time to walk back down to the pasture. I’ve got a lot to do.

When it isn’t about education anymore

December 10, 2010

There’s a movie making the rounds of parents: “Race to Nowhere,” a look at the downside of childhoods spent on résumé-building. I hope that as a culture we’re able to take the ideas presented in that film and think about what they mean for our society and where it’s going, because right now our educational system reminds me of nothing so much as the educational scene in Imperial China. (For those of you whose schools failed you, that’s not a good thing.)

We have two brilliant, talented children. (For the purposes of this discussion I treat that not as bragging but as baseline.) One of them was able to thrive in the environment addressed by that film, not because he was smarter or more talented than the other but because he happened to have been blessed with the correct set of temperaments and innate talents to do so. (He’s a sciences guy with high language skills who learned early how to work the system.) Our other child almost drowned. Though we have always been careful to tailor our expectations to personal bests rather than scores and competition, she possesses talents and temperament that make her a brilliant artist in several fields but leave her ill-suited for today’s school environment; and she breathed the air of a society that said the miracle of who she is was insufficient. By the time she was in 7th grade, she was on the verge of physical collapse from stress. Through careful therapies including homeopathy and intense, loving support, we were able to pull her back from the brink. But by 10th grade she was suffering stress-induced insomnia.

She’s doing much better now, after having bottomed out in ways with which I will not bore you. But in order to do so she’s had to completely abandon the notion of herself as a person capable of academic success, and focus her schooling entirely on art. I’m grateful she has the capacity and inclination to continue educating herself on her own terms, because no school we’ve met (and we’ve tried a few) is prepared to do justice to kids who are learners rather than regurgitators.

It’s tragic not only for these kids but for our society, which is unwittingly stamping out nearly all the kids whose brains operate in ways different from what this racecourse we laughingly call education is prepared to address. This incisive and original thinker, like so many others, will be lost to the places that might have benefited from her contributions.

If we’re prepared to take the necessary risks, as parents we can rescue the kids this system is designed to destroy. But the intellectual life of our culture is another matter. That will require a wide-scale rebellion: not by children, but by parents.