Baen is doing an anthology of Christmas stories. My story Detroit Christmas is going to be in it. And Detroit Christmas is awesome. You know you want it.
Here is the cover.
So I’m 37 today. Feeling pretty awesome.
If you want to do something nice for my birthday, and you need to do any online shopping at Amazon or B&N, just go through the links on the side bar to the right and it is like a tip jar/birthday present. I get an advertising refferal. I got $6 the other day when somebody bought some sweet new boots.
My friends are taking me out to lunch. Saturday I got to play some Warmachine. (I should have lost, but my opponent’s dice loved me, then my last standed Titan Gladiator killed 2 man 0′wars and Beast 09 during feat turn, then Zaal shot the Butcher to death, which makes absolutely no sense to most of you, but the war game geeks are all like “In your face!”). Friday night is Writer Nerd Game Night, which I am very excited for. And I’m going to try and take my kids shooting this week too.
I’ve managed to avoid the news for a couple of days, so my blood pressure is doing fine. Last night I ate ice cream with home made peanut butter sauce and pistachios on top.
I wrote 3,000 words of Warbound on Friday and another 3,000 words on Saturday, which is okay, but not great word count for me, but it is coming along. Swords of Exodus is coming along nicely, and Mike is close to done with his half, and then we are just editing things together. So it looks like SoE will be the next one in the bag.
For Correia Family Sunday Afternoon Craft Time Fun, I painted this guy:
The iPhone doesn’t do him justice. He came out really well. The camera isn’t picking up most of the color variation or shading, so I’ll need to bust out the light box and my wife’s good camera.
The base is a piece of gravel from vacation. Yes. We go to beautiful Mesa Verde, and I’m all like, oooooh, these flat rocks will totally fit on a base…
So my birthday week is going well.
EDIT: Yes. I also share a birthday with Ron Paul and HP Lovecraft. Draw your own conclusions.
During last week’s episode we got a glimpse of how this campaign ends, and this week we head into the final act. The Paper Lanterns, now famous across the Empire, are on their way to the capitol city of Toshi Ranbo. Soon a new emperor will be picked so there are a lot of politics going on. Hida Makoto is on his way to meet the woman he loves, though she has never actually met him.
Most of my readers aren’t Legend of the Five Rings players obviously, so to explain one of the references, Zuko joined the Spider clan. The Spider clan are secretly evil and worship the god of hell. They are pretending to be normal to infiltrate the empire. However, even they don’t know that Zuko has been chosen to be the avatar of the Lord Moon, and it is slowly driving him crazy.
Twenty Sixth Entry
From the journal of Hida Makoto, Crab Clan
The days immediately after the battle for Pale Oak Castle are a blur. I remember entering the nearby village and seeing paper lanterns lit everywhere in our honor. The Phoenix, long having been so adversarial to us, have now dispatched samurai to join us, including our guide, Shiba Sougai. The reputation of the Paper Lanterns has grown as a result of this victory, and I have done almost nothing but interview new volunteers all day.
Ide Todo has been showered with praise and adoration from the powerful courtiers gathered at Pale Oak. However, he seems distant. He has been spending much time writing letters to the families of our dead samurai. I do not envy him this task.
I myself was able to speak with the noble Akodo Goro, general of the Fourth Imperial Legion. We traded ideas about how best to fight the Yobanjin. He is a wise and skilled tactician, and it was an enlightening conversation. Due to the events of the battle, I was offered the position as his second in command, the office formerly held by Hiruma Tadori. It was a great honor, but my path is to follow Ide Todo, as the voice of the Fortune Kisada commanded. Soon we are to leave for the capitol city of Toshi Ranbo, where we will be guests in the court of Otomo Hoketuhime.
And I will be able to see Otomo Yuni. Just the thought fills me with nervousness. I have fought man and demon, and nothing makes me quake like the idea of telling Yuni that I am in love with her. Though I have had some measure of success in my quest to become a great warrior, I am still a Crab of low status. What if she laughs at me? If that is the case, then it is probably a good thing that her mother will have me executed for my impertinence in asking for her daughter’s hand in marriage.
But anyway, the Lanterns leave for Toshi Ranbo tomorrow, and there is pressing business yet to attend to. My armor was badly damaged during the battle, warped and charred by the heat, and my helmet was irreparably broken by a falling stone. As much as I cherish Death’s Hat, Ide Todo has already informed me that I am not to wear it in polite company. So, with my armor burned, I am certainly in no shape to present myself before the Imperial family looking like this. Yasuki Boketsu has informed me that one of his father’s Jolly Crab Trading Company caravans is passing through town, and that there is an actual suit of Crab armor that they have been unable to sell. Boketsu even thinks it may fit a man of my size. I do believe it may be time to call in that favor Yasuki Murato promised us after our Lanterns saved his life at Red Falls Village.
Twenty Seventh Entry
From the journal of Hida Makoto, Crab Clan
A brief note along the trail south.
The new recruits are adapting well, though I do not trust the other Spider that have joined with Zuko. The monk, Michio, leaves me with a certain unease. I was happy for the ronin Zuko when he found a home among the Spider, and I had nothing but respect for Iko, but there is something odd about this minor clan. I do not trust them, and I know that Magatsu shares this feeling.
Zuko has not been himself since his return. His behavior is odd… It is difficult to explain, but sometimes it is as if there is more than one person inside his body, and he does not know which character he wishes to play.
The Paper Lanterns numbers have swelled. The stories about us destroying the shame sword and defeating the Son of Fire have spread, no doubt helped by Ikoma Katsu, so many young samurai have asked their lords to go on their Musha Shugyo, their warrior pilgrimage, to join our ranks. We are now a small army in our own right. Feeding this many men has become quite a chore, but luckily some of our new recruits are excellent scouts and foragers. My duties as gunso have kept me busy, but not too busy for Todo-sama to keep trying to teach me courtly ways. I am afraid that he is worried I will embarrass him in front of the Imperials. He is a wise man, but I will be on my best behavior.
I almost forgot, my new armor fits perfectly, as if it was made for me specifically. To an untrained eye, it may seem plain, but I can attest that it is the work of a master armorer. It is sturdy, solid as earth, but as light as the breeze. It feels as if the kami are awakened within this armor. I know that sounds silly, since this armor has obviously never been worn, and even Magatsu says it takes time and experience for the kami within an item to wake up, but I could almost swear that this armor is some form of nemurani.
No one else may think so, but I believe the tetsubo of my grandfather, Moshibaru Junaro, has had the fire kami within awoken. How else could it have survived the lick of flames so many times? And it surely strikes with the fury of fire… And Shinjo Braga gave me this hat, that he said he’d taken from the Lords of Death… Sure, Ide Todo just thinks it is a big straw hat, and an ugly one at that, but I’m fairly certain that it too is blessed by the Fortunes. It would seem that I have become a collector of powerful nemurani.
Wishful thinking, I know, but nonetheless, I feel the Fortunes have smiled upon me once again. I am excited to reach Toshi Ranbo and to meet my true love.
Twenty Eighth Entry
From the journal of Hida Makoto, Crab Clan
I must write this quickly. Otomo Yuni’s life is in danger.
We arrived at the Imperial City inside Toshi Ranbo and at first I’d thought that today was the greatest day of my life, for Kisada himself, the returned Fortune, was present! He addressed Magatsu and I and recognized our achievements on behalf of the Crab Clan.
Most of the great and powerful leaders of Rokugan had gathered here, playing courtly games against each other and gathering their alliances, all of them striving to become the new emperor. Daimyo of most of the Clans, as well as the Emerald Champion were all there. The politics were far over my head.
But then we received word that Yuni was gravely ill. Fear clenched my guts. She had been sick, unconscious for nearly a month.
Because of Magatsu’s reputation for being a healer of strange illnesses, we were given permission to try and help her.
The stress is too much, my hands shake as I write this. There she was, the Winter Chrysanthemum, so thin and pale and wasting away to nothing. Healers were fretting about, trying their best, but all to no avail.
Magatsu and Tsuze tried everything they could think of. All they could ascertain was that Yuni was afflicted with some manner of illness which originated from one of the spirit realms. Lanterns were dispatched to seek out the Toritaka and the Kitsu, masters of the spirit realms. Magatsu was able to use the kami to get her to speak, oh so briefly.
She looked right at me and said “I see you… destroying everything.”
To be continued next week while the Lanterns try to figure out how to save the life of Otomo Yuni.
http://zercool.blogspot.com/2012/08/pale-horse-engraving.html That is the logo of the Pale Horse from Grimnoir.
After futiley pitting my computer illiteracy against WordPress for the last few years, I finally gave up and asked my brother in law the computer programmer to help me out. So now we’ve got cool looking pictures of my book covers as links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Think of those links as a tip jar. Whenever you use one of my links to B&N or Amazon, and you buy anything, not just the item it is linked to, I get a percentage of the purchase price for the refferal. Anything that goes through that portal,I get credit for. So if you need a new pair of books, a Nook, or are doing your Christmas shopping online, if you enter those pages through one of my links then I get more money to blow on ammunition and miniatures.
Just a heads up, Mike Williamson’s new novel is out.
Alex Marlow and Ripple Creek Security’s best personal security detail return to action. This time, they really don’t like their principal, World Bureau of State Minister Joy Herman Highland–a highly-placed bureaucrat with aspirations to elected office. Even worse, Highland’s assistant wants to publicize every movement and action for her boss’s pending campaign, which is anathema to good security.
With a person of this status, it’s not a case of someone wanting her dead. The only question is how many people want her dead, and what are they bringing to the fight?
The enemies are from without, within and all over. They have resources, funding and political cover. Ripple Creek needs to be cautious.
But the enemy also needs to worry. They’re going to be getting in each others’ way in the process of carrying out their plans. And Ripple Creek has no qualms about explosions on galactic news. In fact, they enjoy it.
About Michael Z. Williamson:
“A fast-paced, compulsive read…will appeal to fans of John Ringo, David Drake, Lois McMaster Bujold, and David Weber.” – Kliatt
“Williamson’s military expertise is impressive.” – SFReviews
From Barnes & Noble
Awesome. And they have 4 more Nobel prizes than Obama does.
Sidenote, as I was reading this in the office this morning, I excitedly remarked to my assistant manager “Wow! This has some of my favorite economists on it!” Then I had to stop and realize how sad it is that I actually have favorite economists. I am such a political dork
I haven’t posted about Ryan yet. Overall, not who I was expecting, but as an accountant/finance guy/small business owner, I like him. Is he perfect? No. He’s got two big votes in the past that I disagree with on philosophical grounds, but on both of them I can understand his reasoning. He makes up for those by knowing how to do MATH. Shocking, I know, right? Romney picking Ryan sends a message. We’re going to talk about the real issues, like how Obama is running America off of a cliff.
As soon as they announced Ryan, the media had a come apart. I heard the words “extreme” and “radical” so many times that I thought I was watching a Mountain Dew commercial. I kept waiting for Ryan to come flying onto the screen doing flips on a skateboard while being chased by a shark. No, sorry media. Tony Hawk is “extreme”. Habeneros are “extreme”. Paul Ryan is a moderate republican who stayed awake through accounting 201.
You want an example of extreme, how about Harry Reid and the democrat senate not passing a budget for THREE YEARS… Think about that. We were able to pass budgets during the Civil War. What’s their excuse now? Paul Ryan is so extreme that his budget got a couple hundred votes, while Barack Obama’s budget got zero.
Ryan’s budget is only extreme if you operate under the belief that having 51% of Americans pay no tax at all and over 100,000,000 Americans on some form of welfare is a good thing. Ryan’s budget is only extreme if you think that every single government program is sacred and can’t be cut at all, ever. The second you start to cut any program you get the screams of anguish and suffering and killing grandma and blah blah blah, so nothing ever gets cut, so the government just keeps on getting bigger and stupider, until it will inevitably mathmatically collapse. Then we get to leave our kid’s generation to figure out how to pay the tab. Bravo, democrats. How very extreme of you.
And Romney and Ryan get that. Is Romney perfect? Far from it. I talked about why I didn’t like Romney clear back in the ’08 primaries. However, the primaries are where you vote for who you want, and in the general election you vote for who you got. Romney is who we’ve got, and he’s better than Barack Obama in pretty much every way you can think of.
And save me the Libertarian purist, Lesser of Two Evils speech. No. This isn’t even close to lesser of two evils. This is a mushy moderate who sometimes thinks government is the answer when it really isn’t, but overall is a pretty decent person, who understands capitalism, free markets, and the Constitution vs. a wealth redistributing, race baiting, scandal ridden, class warfare loving, marxist.
One of these two men will be president. One of them just picked the #1 enemy of nationalized healthcare to be his running mate. The other one has a circus clown with hair plugs.
Since we’re on the topic of economics, here is a webpage I rather like that is just the facts about the national debt.
It is fascinating reading.
I’ve been trying not to write on Sundays. So instead Sunday afternoon has become “craft time” with the kids. They are all painting up their own Warmachine armies too. This is my latest, and he’s looking pretty good. iPhone picture doesn’t really do him justice either. Much nicer in person.
This is still under development, and I’m trying to put together some fan dinners in a few places when the schedule allows. More details to come.
September 4th – Layton Utah, B&N signing
September 5th – Flights of Fantasy signing, Albany NY
September 6th – lots of drive bys, Holyoke B&N, Annie’s Book Stop, Worcester
Burlington MA, B&N signing
September 7th – drive bys, The Toadstool, Milford NH
Pandemonium, Cambridge, MA
September 8th – Hicksville NY Public Library, 2PM
September 9th – Carle Place NY, B&N signing 2 PM
September 10th – business meetings in NYC
September 11th – Willow Grove, PA, B&N signing 7 PM
September 12th – Book Trader of Hamilton, Mercerville NJ 7 PM
September 13th – Ellicott City, MD, B&N signing 7 PM
September 14th – Bethesda, MD, B&N Signing 7 PM
September 15th – Ft. Belvoir BX, signing 12-2 PM
Going to try and do some sort of get together that night for people who can’t get on base
September 16th – Ft. Meade BX, Signing 1-3 PM
Same thing, will try to do something in the area that night.
September 17th – Traveling
September 18th – Uncle Hugo’s, Minneapolis, MN. Signing 5 PM
September 21st-23rd, Denver Area for Booksellers convention. There will probably be some signings too.
I’ll post more details as I figure them out.