Just for kicks, I’m re-reading Carl Sagan’s wonderful book, The Demon-Haunted World. I’m loving it, as I always have every time I’ve read it, which has been every couple of years or so.
One thing that struck me this time around is how much time and space he spends debunking alien abduction stories by putting them into a larger cultural/mythological context. I side with him on the issue: while hundreds of thousands people have reported being abducted by aliens, there is no physical, undeniable proof that it has actually happened. No mysterious “implants” have been analyzed by MIT or other reputable university and found to be made of alien metal, memory is fallible, and so on. But the alien abduction/UFO culture were tied up with conspiracy theories in the 90s involving the government; such conspiracy theories have fallen to the wayside in favor of modern antisemitism, racism, and the bonkers “Q” conspiracy theory, which encompasses them all. If Carl Sagan were around today, he’d be sickened, I’m sure, by what passes for the modern conservative movement.
So this year, for Earth Day, I committed myself to spending a year learning everything I can about this amazing, beautiful, endangered planet that we live on. I haven’t really started that yet because I’m still taking my MLIS degree seriously and thus taking classes for that, and it’s eating my time. But I am reading Sagan’s book, so I’m counting that as a step in the right direction. I’ll keep you all updated on what I learn, and I plan on updating my blog, The Penguin Scientific, with various facts and things.
In other news, my depression and anxiety have been kicking my butt recently, and have convinced me that I’m never going to get anywhere with my writing. I’ve talked back to it but it refuses to listen. Stupid brain. My brain and I are supposed to be on the same side, I don’t know why it won’t cooperate.
But I continue to persist with the writing and submitting anyway. I’m on track to submit 100 manuscripts for the second year in a row. Stats so far:
Waiting on: 8
I haven’t quite worked out how those numbers work out, but I’m not worrying about that.
Boy, ain’t the world something these days? Between the pandemic and the war in Europe, the world’s pretty messed up right now. The Russia/Ukraine conflict has the potential to spread further, and despite wishful thinking among politicians (especially on the Republican side of the aisle), the pandemic really isn’t over. In both arenas, there’s a long way to go to achieve a peaceful and appropriate outcome.
In my own little world, I’m stressing about school and work and writing. While I’m learning about Information Literacy Instruction in school and producing videos and critiques of other students’ videos, in addition to reading and writing discussion posts, I’m also trying to complete 508-compliance training for work. 508-compliance, in case you don’t know, is making sure that all documents prepared for public consumption are fully accessible to people with visual, hearing, and learning disabilities, as well as to people with limited fine mobility. There is actually some overlap here, because the videos we make for school need to have captions and need to be accessible to people with visual impairments.
Writing-wise, I haven’t been able to get much done. I set a goal of 500 words per day on The Devil will Drag You Under, but over the past week, I’ve written less than 500 words total. This doesn’t bode well for completing that revision by May 12 as I’d hoped.
I have, however, been able to keep up on my target of submitting two manuscripts to various markets per week, which is a relief. Here are the stats for the year so far:
Rejections, form: 15
Rejections, personal: 2
Pending submissions: 8
Some of those rejections were for stories that I’d submitted last year. One of those rejections was for a story that I thought was a sure thing, but alas, was not meant to be. I have hopes that this will be the year I make my first professional sale, but I’m not optimistic about ever achieving that goal.
I’m also far behind on my reading. While for fun I’m reading The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan (as well as a couple of others), I also am reading two novels for my writers’ group, which is meeting this coming Thursday. I’m looking forward to the meeting — I always do, because my fellow writers are a jolly bunch — but going in without having read the works under consideration is not a good look.
On the other hand, though, my blood pressure is averaging lower than it has in years, and my resting heart rate is lowering as well. This is probably, in part, due to the fact that Jennifer and I are both participating in the Outbreak challenge, a silly virtual game where you walk a given number of steps per week to outrun a zombie horde. The game syncs with our FitBits, so we don’t even have to track our steps manually. This week, we’re aiming for 10,500 steps per day. That’s a lot, and trying to squeeze those steps in while working on everything else is a big challenge.
All in all, I’m doing pretty well, given everything. I hope you’re doing well too.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore. I think I’ve said that already in this blog, but I’ll say it again. It’s just that January 1 is such an arbitrary date to decide that you’re going to improve yourself. I used to make March 25 resolutions for reasons that are no longer relevant, but I don’t do that anymore either. But this year, I do have some goals, and I have decided to focus on various areas of my life — loci, because I like to use fancy words — that need attention and improvement. I’m listing them here to keep myself accountable, but you’re welcome to read them as well and comment just in case you want to.
Writing: I want to focus even more on my writing and make it a larger priority. I want to end the year with at least fifty submissions; one hundred was manageable, but I think I’ve run out of market/manuscript combinations. I want to write some more stories so I can send different stuff out there. And finish one novel and at least start another.
Goal: To end the year with 182,500 words written. That’s a minimum of 500 words per day, which is easily done as long as I make it a priority. Those don’t count words on my blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
Daikaijuzine:My main goal for Daikaijuzine for the year is to switch platforms, from Drupal to WordPress. Drupal has issues that WordPress does not, and I know I can make it look better with WordPress. Also, I know WordPress a lot better than I know Drupal. Fortunately, there is a good Drupal → WordPress migration tool that I can use to help with this.
Health: Physical and mental. I’ve been doing pretty well with this already; Jennifer and I both signed up for Noom, and it’s helped quite a bit. We also signed up for The Outbreak Challenge, and that’s gotten us moving around a lot, and that also helps. My blood pressure is down, my resting heart rate is down, and I’ve lost ten pounds so far. Yay me. Just gotta keep on keepin’ on.
Church and Community: I plan on attending church more regularly, at least online. I haven’t for over two years now, primarily because of the pandemic (ugh, so much because of the pandemic), and I always feel better on a Sunday morning after going. I also want to get more involved in the community by doing some volunteering. I lump these two together since giving of oneself to the community is part of the Episcopal Church’s primary teachings. Love God, love your neighbor, change the world, and all that.
Learning: I already go to library school, and I enjoy that, and I aim to continue. Jennifer offered me a Master Class annual membership for my birthday, but after a lot of consideration I turned it down. I would like one, but I know that between work, school, and writing, I simply wouldn’t have time to devote to it. And that would make me sad. I should also read more nonfiction. Maybe write some nonfiction, too, but let’s not get too crazy.
Friends/Family: Reach out more often. I have many good friends (some I’ve known for thirty years or more), and that makes me happy. I’ve always known this, and I cherish them, celebrate their accomplishments (and try to minimize my own sense of envy or jealousy if it comes up), and so on. I want to reach out to my friends more, especially my long-distance friends who make an effort to contact me from time to time. And family, too. I’ve been lax in calling my parents and sisters over the past couple of years. Let’s fix that, shall we?
Then there are some other areas of my life that need constant attention: the household (note: clean more), the cats (note: pet more), and so on. No specific goals come to mind for these, but I don’t want to ignore them.
And that, I think, is it. That’s a lot. I’ll keep on keeping on, and that’s a great thing to do. May the new year bring you peace, prosperity, and love.
I have a terrible memory. I barely remember anything that happened this past year, save that I submitted one hundred manuscripts to various markets and received exactly one acceptance. I think that the whole sea shanty thing was this year as well? I don’t know. What else happened this year? I should write these things down, I suppose. I have a journal, but mostly it’s just things I have to do on a daily basis, priorities, and meetings, and not things that I’ve done. And this blog is an unreliable source of memories, as well; mostly I just blogged about writing and minor things.
Oh, and there was school. I won’t talk about school here, even though I have been enjoying it. Perhaps in my next blog post.
I am the unreliable narrator of my own life. When I finally do write my memoirs (tentatively titled An Unauthorized Autobiography Inspired by True Events), people will complain about that. Too bad for them, because unreliable narrators are all the rage in literary fiction.
So anyway. Today is my birthday, and I’m turning 54. I don’t mind that at all. It’s not as momentous a year as 50, of course, but I’m not mad about it. My fifties have been good to me — though, of course, there has been that inconvenient pandemic thing. I’ve gotten some great presents, including the above-pictured yard decoration. Jennifer and I won’t be putting it in our front yard, since things in our front yard tend to disappear (we used to have two really cool dragon statues that vanished from our front yard the very day we put them out). I got a desktop cell phone holder so I can have my phone next to me when I’m working. It’s pretty cool. And, of course, I got a BUNCH of books, including Buckaroo Banzai vs. the World Crime League, which I’ve been wanting to read ever since I heard it was coming out. I loved The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension and, like millions of fans across the world, was so disappointed when the promised sequel film never happened.
I also got several science books, a couple of horror books, and a science fiction novel. Oh, and my mother-in-law gave me the LEGO Space Station kit, and I’m planning on assembling that tomorrow. Oh, and a DVD collection of the British comedy series Mrs. Brown’s Boys, which I’m very much looking forward to watching.
As for 2022. I’m still processing the fact that we live in the 2000s; when I was a kid, the future seemed so far away. I was so anxious as a kid, and I was constantly scared of what the future might bring; and now that it’s here, it’s not so bad.
Anyway. Best wishes for a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.
A couple of days ago I mentioned that pain in my right arm. Today I went to the doctor to have it looked at. My regular physician is on maternity leave, so I saw one of her colleagues, a new member of the practice. He was about an hour and a quarter late to the appointment, because everyone else in the practice was late and traffic in Sacramento was weird because water was falling from the sky and when that happens everyone freaks out. Nurses came in at twenty minute intervals to reassure me that I hadn’t been forgotten and when the doctor finally showed up he apologized profusely and frequently for his tardiness.
He looked over my chart, saw that I’m losing weight, that I’m exercising more, that my blood pressure is down and that my resting heart rate is down, made the appropriate “good job” noises, and then got to talking about my arm. The first thing he asked was whether I’d noticed any shortness of breath or chest pains or heart palpitations in addition to the arm pain. I told him I hadn’t noticed any, and that since this was my right arm and not my left I wasn’t particularly worried (until he mentioned it). He listened my heart, more to reassure me I think than himself.
After several tests which involved squeezing my arm with his gloved hand, rotating my wrists, and even a little arm-wrestling (I won) he was baffled. Until he saw the way I was sitting on the end of the bed.
“You’re double-jointed, aren’t you?” he said.
“Why yes,” I said. It hadn’t occurred to me to mention that detail. I keep forgetting about it because it’s not something that comes up in conversation that often.
Eventually after some more investigation he concluded that I have “golfer’s elbow”. It’s like tennis elbow, but on the inside instead of the outside, and you don’t have to golf to get it any more than you need to play tennis to get tennis elbow. I used to play golf when I was a teen, though, so it made sense to me.
Anyway. No new drugs, except to take some ibuprofen when it gets really bad, and some exercises including stretches and some resistance exercises. So my arm and I should be just fine.
Side note: Of course I avoided checking up on Google and WebMD for my symptoms. I’m under standing orders from my wife, my physician and my mother to never look up symptoms on those sites. That never ends well for anyone.
That’s all I have for today. Tonight we shall be putting up our Christmas tree with decorations planned to amuse the cats and ourselves. That’ll be fun. Pictures will follow.
Christmas is coming! Huzzah! Hooray! Etc.! I don’t know. I don’t really get as excited about the holidays as I used to when I was a kid. The spiritual meaning of Christmas is not lost on me, of course, but the rampant consumerism and cultural baggage tend to leave me cold, and the right-wing talking points about a so-called “war on Christmas” make me cynical about the whole thing. The latest craze is to blame President Joe Biden for the supply chain problems the world has been having instead of the pandemic and the fiasco with the Ever Given in the Suez Canal earlier this year (yes, that was this year). Christmas is threatened because toys and other material goods might not make it into the stores? I suspect the true meaning of Christmas really is getting lost, but the right-wing folks are the ones who are losing it.
Of course, if you DO want to buy me a present, you can find my wishlist here on Giftster. It’s a wish list sharing site that my family uses instead of the ancient home-brewed one that I wrote in 2001 and never updated since.
Last night I wrote 500 words on And the Devil Will Drag You Under, and also jotted down some ideas for two short stories. This is the most productive I’ve been in weeks. Well, aside from stuff around the house and at work, of course. And even though I feel like the novel is basically stagnating right now, I’m excited to be moving forward on it again. And those two stories — one is straight science fiction while the other is a mystery with a science fiction twist — are going to be BLAMMO when I finish them
BLAMMO. It’s a word now.
I don’t really have much to say that’s blog-worthy these days. In years past, I see, I used to complain a lot on this blog. Not so much these days, or at least I don’t think so. I mean, I have some complaints — like, new cat Guffaw gets excitable and jumps up on the kitchen counter too often —but it’s no longer a permanent state of mind. See, I’m growing as a person. Jennifer says I should post a picture a day as my blogging process, and maybe I’ll do that. Starting tomorrow, assuming I get my rear in gear and start taking pictures.
Looking over the first couple of paragraphs of this entry again, though, I do see some complaining going on. Ah, well. I’m not complaining constantly about my job these days, and that’s nice.
No more story acceptances since the last time I wrote about my story submission process, but I got a fresh rejection. I still have eight stories on submission right now, some with markets that can take nearly a full year to respond, so we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks and months. I think that I will try again in 2022 for one hundred submissions, but I do need to get some new stories written first.
I haven’t been reading as much as I should be; you can see what I’m currently reading in the handy-dandy widget from Library Thing to the right of this entry. It shows that currently I’m reading a couple of novels that my friends Andrea Stewart and Megan O’Keefe have written, as well as a couple of books about the craft of writing and a book about pirates. But I’m also reading a couple of books for my novel-writing critique group, so I need to concentrate on those as well.
The Bone Shard Daughter was an excellent book by an excellent writer. I’m only one chapter in to the sequel, The Bone Shard Emperor, and it’s just as well-written. Andrea Stewart did not win the Hugo Award for these novels (wasn’t even nominated, from what I can tell). She was robbed. And Megan’s Protectorate Trilogy didn’t make it either. She was robbed too.
I leave you with my favorite Christmas song, which I post every year to my blog and to Facebook and Twitter, but what the heck, it’s a great song: “The Season’s Upon Us” by Dropkick Murphys, my favorite Boston-based Irish punk band.
Merry Christmas to you all, and in case I don’t blog again, Happy New Year as well! May 2022 be a better one for us all.
Suffered a major crisis at work. Yes, our server went down. Totally down. As in, nothing there. No backups after July 2017, and thank God that was there. The other programmer and I managed to recover just about everything we lost, and I’ve taken Measures to make sure it never happens again, but you know that feeling when you look at your server status and see “Terminated”? Yeah, that sucks.
Lost weight. I’m down thirty pounds from my heaviest ever. In another pound or two I’ll reward myself with another classic Universal monster movie. Not Frankenstein. I’m saving that one. No, it’s probably going to be Wolfman. Creature from the Black Lagoon was a neat movie. The sequels, not so much.
Written. Okay, not so much. I’m stuck in one particular scene in The Solitude of the Tentacled Space Monster and have decided to move on and write a different scene, but I’ll have to come back to the problematic one at some point. And while I haven’t done much of anything on “Sauromancy” for some time, at least I’ve created a playlist for it that has been inspiring me. I blame Michael Crichton, though. That bastard had my idea before me, and now I’m stuck.
Fostered. Jennifer and I are fostering two cats right now: a mama cat and her kitten. For awhile, Mama was in heat, and that was… annoying. More to Jennifer than to me, since Mama yowled mostly at night and while I can sleep pretty much through anything Jennifer can’t. She (the cat) has been spayed now, and the nighttime yowl has stopped. The kitten, Fern, is awfully cute, with her big ears and paws, and has already been spoken for.
In other news,I’m thinking about starting up a Patreon account. I still have asthma, but that’s doing well these days. I also still have Bipolar II, but that’s leaving me alone right now. I’m pondering signing up for an MFA program.
This past weekend, in spite of my bronchitis, we went down to Monterey for a few days. Well, technically, Castroville (which was where the vacation house was). We left after Jennifer got off work (I had called in sick because of the aforementioned bronchitis), and drove down that night. We arrived at about 9:30 at the house where our friends were already waiting for us.
That first night, we really didn’t do much. We sat around and chatted, then I used my nebulizer (again: bronchitis), and then we went to be.
The next day, we went into Monterey itself. We had breakfast at a place called Caffe Trieste downtown, and I highly recommend this place. I only had a couple of eggs and some coffee while the others had large breakfasts.
Then, because we’re all a bunch of nerds, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is one of my favorite places in the world. This time there was a special exhibit that really attracted me: Tentacles. I love octopuses, cuttlefish, nautiluses, and other critters like that, so I really wanted to see this. It did not disappoint, though I wished for more — or any, rather — nods to H. P. Lovecraft.
Also, I love penguins. So here’s a picture of some penguins that I took at the Aquarium (click to embiggen):
It’s nesting season for the penguins, so here’s a too-brief and not-too-high-quality video of penguins moving around. What I wanted to show was a penguin grabbing a pebble in its beak and carrying it up to one of the nesting boxes. We saw several penguins doing that, and, of course, I found it fascinating and adorable.
I took a few other videos at the aquarium, particularly in the jellyfish exhibit (jellyfish are also awesome), but none of them turned out very well, so I won’t share them here. Suffice to say, moon jellies are my favorite jellyfish, and I just love the way a swarm of them move through the water (though I understand blooms of moon jellies can indicate a bloom of algae in the water due to warmth, or even pollution). Sea nettles are also cool.
The sea otter exhibit was fun, of course. Sea otters are the cats of the seas, though they can be vicious little brutes. I also enjoyed the kelp forest exhibit, and was fascinated by the shining swirls of anchovies (or maybe they were sardines — I never figured that one out for sure).
After the aquarium, we went back to the rental house, I nebulized once more while the others went to the beach and wandered around, then we watched Terminator 3. I hate this movie, and none of the others really liked it either, so we had great fun mocking it (she’s got a plasma jet weapon in her hand and she uses a GUN to shoot her targets?!!?). That night, we played two games of Pandemic, a cooperative game where the players attempt to cure diseases before they destroy humanity; I’ve played this game before, but I’ve never played won; this time, we cured all the epidemic diseases, and winning the game was just astounding. Then we played something called Love Letter, and finished the night off with a wonderful — or horrific, depending on your estimation of the game — round of Cards Against Humanity. I nebulized again, the went to bed.
Sunday, we had to be out of the rental house by ten, so we woke up early, showered, packed, and rolled out. We had breakfast at Caffe Trieste again, then wandered a bit around downtown Monterey. We went to Fisherman’s Wharf, ignoring the tourist traps and little shops, and found a place where sea lions were hanging out.
Here’s a picture I took of some sea lions hanging out off Fisherman’s Wharf on Monterey (click to ensealionate):
After Monterey, we went to Pacific Grove, explored among the rocks, then headed toward home.
That was all this past weekend. Today it’s Monday, and I’m full of thoughts. My bronchitis has improved dramatically (thanks to antibiotics and huge doses of Prednisone), and I had the day off work because of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. So I spent much of the day working on a short story for an upcoming “Swords V. Cthulhu” anthology, then deleting much of what I wrote because I didn’t like it.
I also spent much of the day pondering past interests. I’ve done this before, when I blogged about The Neverending Symphony, only this time I thought about how when I was in high school, I desperately wanted to go into marine biology, and then later in college, into oceanography. College chemistry classes killed these dreams, of course, but a man can ponder them anyway. So now I’m left thinking about the way the Monterey Bay Aquarium and time near the ocean gets me sad about the horrific things we have done and continue to do to the life-sustaining ecology that keeps us alive. Sometime soon I will blog about this as well.
Long story short: I had a blast with my friends in Monterey, and highly recommend taking time away to do this sort of thing. And the Aquarium, of course, is always worth visiting.
…where I decide it’s time to refocus, recenter, and generally resolve to be a better person for the new year. Except this time, I’ve decided to do it a little bit earlier. For reasons. I don’t know. If you enjoy reading other people’s New Years resolutions, even if they’re actually December 22 resolutions, read on. If not… then click here to read my story “Night of the Frozen Elf” on Book Country, where it’s a featured manuscript for December, and has a rating of 4 out of 5.
So. I’ve decided that the three keywords for the coming year are (in no particular order) Engagement, Learning, and Creativity. All of which, I’m pretty sure, are intertwined with each other.
Engagement. By which I mean that I will connect and interact more actively with others, as well as with the world around me. I tend to be a bit of a homebound solitary hermit. I want to make a change.
Learning. I enjoy learning new things, but I rarely take the time to actually do so, because I am so busy consuming stuff and vegging out in front of my computer or the television. So I’m going to start looking for new opportunities to learn new things and try to follow up on them.
Creativity. I like to think that this one speaks for itself. But in case it doesn’t, I’m going to look for new ways to be creative this year, solving problems and in my writing.
And, as always, I don’t really make resolutions, I just decide to refocus on new and existing areas of my life. And this time around, I want to apply the three principles above to each area of focus.
Writing. Write more, finish more, submit more, publish more. Engage with other writers and writing communities such as Book Country. Actively work to learn more about the craft. And participate in some classes or workshops.
Friends/Family. Actively engage more with them. I have a lot of friends, both online and off, that I love and would like to engage with more.
Geekery. There are activities and what-not that I love and that I like to take part in. So I’m going to take a more active part in these activities, and engage with other people. Among other things, this means simply learning more about the world around me, and engaging with others who are doing the same.
Church/Community. This one’s easy: simply get more involved with both. There’s a part of me that thinks I should aim toward becoming a Deacon in my local church, but I’m not sure that’s feasible. But participating in Safe Ground (where my church feeds and shelters poor and homeless people in our community) is definitely doable.
Health/Wellness. My asthma has been pretty much out of control over the past few months. I don’t like this. In the past year, I’ve had to take Prednisone three or four times, which is, in my opinion, pretty much unacceptable. I’ve got some new drugs, I’m on allergy shots again, and I’m participating in a clinical trial that tests the effects of dietary L-Arginine, an anti-inflammatory agent, on asthma. So pretty much the only way to improve my asthma is to focus on my overall health, which, at least in part, means losing weight and exercising more. So in addition to all of the above, I’ll be working on this as well.
All in all, I am of the opinion that I’ve done a pretty good job of being Richard over the past year, with some ups and downs. One thing I’m learning is to take those “downs” in stride, and simply ride them out, as it were, rather than let them drag me down completely. I’m getting better at that as well.
In conclusion, allow me to share with you my favorite Christmas song, which I discovered last year. It’s “The Season’s Upon Us” by Dropkick Murphys, my favorite Irish punk band (even though they’re based in Boston). Enjoy!
It’s December again, approximately the two thousand thirteenth since someone started keeping track of these things. Maybe. I dunno. I’m not sure about the history of the calendar, actually. I did once read Daniel Boorstin’s The Discoverers which covered this topic, but that was so long ago I’ve completely forgotten it.
This entry is just full of miscellaneous things. So bear with me.
MISCELLANY NO. 1
Last month was National Novel Writing Month. I participated for the twelfth time, and for the twelfth time I won. This year, I even wrote “The End” in my novel, and added an epilogue. It’s so rare that I actually finish my novel that I was kind of shocked that I did this year.
Here are the novels I’ve written and the years I wrote them.
2001 – Unfallen
2003 – The Road to Gilead
2004 – The Outer Darkness
2005 – Fred, Again
2006 – The Return of Deacon Dread
2007 – The Lord of Nightmares
2008 – Iron Horse Apocalypse
2009 – Code Monkey!
2010 – Brought to Life
2011 – Toymaker, Part One
2012 – Toymaker, Part Two
2013 – Love in the Time of Cthulhu
Note that I skipped 2002. I was traveling for work at the time, and didn’t really have time to concentrate on a novel. Thank God that job’s over and done with.
The last one, Love in the Time of Cthulhu, is actually online at the moment, and you can read it here if you are so inclined. It will go away at the end of January, though. Maybe. Depends on whether I actually feel like revising this one.
MISCELLANY NO. 2
Last night was the first day of December, and also the first day of Advent, and also the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, which is when my family observes Thanksgiving. And even though Jennifer did not accompany me this year (she’s sick, poor thing), I had a blast visiting with my parents, my sisters, and various friends. After the meal, we decorated the Christmas tree, always a long process since my parents have accumulated quite a number of ornaments over the year.
On Thanksgiving Day itself, we had dinner with a friend, her parents, her husband, and another friend. That, too, was a blast, and I’m glad we did it.
MISCELLANY NO. 3
For awhile there, I was writing a short story every week and sending them out to people on a mailing list. Unfortunately, I sort of fell out of the habit in October, and didn’t get back into it in November like I was hoping to. So this month I’m restarting the project. The first story will go out on Monday, December 8. If you’re interested in reading these stories (bearing in mind that they’ll be rough drafts at best), you can sign up here. Unfortunately, you do need a Yahoo account to sign up.
MISCELLANY NO. 4
That’s it. There is no Miscellany No. 4. Three is all you get this time around.