Two Unreliable Narrator Podcasts! And a new Jim Hines Book!

Got a little behind this week, so I have two unreliable Narrators podcasts to tell you about.

Author Spotlight: J. Kathleen Cheney. This book comes out Tuesday. Get it.

Also, Jim Hines’ Revisionary comes out Tuesday. Get it too.

Episode 11: Research and Writing. Hear about Saaa-tan?, amateur wrestling and Mata Hari’s head.


I’m writing this weekend while my gaming buddies are gaming in the background. It took me a while to get started because the cpap didn’t like my current location last night, but I’m at it now. Hope you’re having a good weekend.

Once Upon a Time

I’ve watched three seasons of Once Upon a Time.

It started over Christmas break. The last half of the last season of Mad Men wasn’t available, and Once Upon a Time was in my Netflix queue.

Hey, it’s no Salem. I mean, for uber cheesy shows that I’ve watched this past year, Salem wins, hands down. What is both interesting and frustrating about Once Upon a Time is the roller coaster quality of the writing, and to a lesser extent, the acting. Some of it is just dreadful. Unlike Salem, which was B-movie fare from the get go, Once plunges fairly regularly into B-movie territory, with stilted dialogue and predictable plot devices, one-dimensional performances and just sheer groaning moments.

And yet…

Who would have thought that Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin would have the best plot lines? The character is addicted to the dark, but constantly trying to redeem himself for the others around him…except when he’s not. He is like a bad alcoholic, except he’s afraid to give up power in spite of the pieces of him that tell him he should. So, there’s that.

I have this theory that the characters are in fact limited by their archetypes, and they can only interact with the real world in certain ways. By the time we get to season 3, Regina (the Wicked Queen), Snow White, and Prince Charming transcend that, but always go back to it.

Do I like the show? Well, I’m still watching it, and I’m still groaning at it. But yes, I do. Don’t expect high brow entertainment, but do expect moments of it. And expect a great deal of fun. As an added bonus, you get to yell at the characters in frustration.

Season 5 is being broadcast now. I’m just about to begin Season 4.


Been having a lot of fun with the podcast. Worked on three projects for Unreliable Narrators last night, which will reveal themselves in time.


Last week, work was a horrific nightmare of doom. We were busy, so I kept sneaking to a special curriculum bunker to work on projects that desperately needed completing before the beginning of the semester. You know, things like syllabi, student learning outcomes written in the style the college has decided is now in vogue, the writing course sequence (two years in the making!) and some new tough love grading standards. All my creative writing energy was being funneled into academic writing, and I had some serious aches and pains going on in the back, wrists and so forth.

The worst of it, though, was that I stressed, big time. I lost weight, but I drank coffee and soda and wine and just pretended that not relaxing was okay. Did I think I’d gotten away with it? Until Sunday, yes, when I had the mother of all reflux-lanches. It’s been a long time since I was down with the heartburn like that. I went off the diet to have chicken noodle soup in a bread bowl and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and you know, bread especially can usually stop heartburn ded. So. Behold! The stupid one!!!! Behold her stupidity!

That said, yesterday wasn’t too bad. That said, today has been challenging. Anywhoo, back to taking my lunch break, relaxing, paying attention to my body, all that jazz. I’d like to say I won’t make these mistakes again, but I am stupid, as I noted above.

Ironically, I have my six-month reflux check in tomorrow, and I will have to admit my stupidity to a real, live doctor.


Writing-wise, I have an ending on a piece to rewrite and resubmit, which is something I am hoping to do tomorrow. Tonight is change the oil, air filter, and tires on the new(er) car night, so it’ll be pretty much mall walking and doing a little shopping this evening.

I suppose I should talk a little bit about binge watching Once Upon a Time. Yes, not super quality television, but not Salem either. 🙂 The spouse and I are really enjoying the Mr. Gold plot lines. Good on you, Robert Carlyle! You’re keeping me watching the show, is all I got to say about that.

So, more on that. I really don’t know if the writers are planning it this way, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the limitations of the characters, and that’s probably worth an essay. Later. Next time. I might like to say something about David Bowie, although that might be rendered pointless and redundant by the rest of the world.


So, for the rest of the week: work, gastroenterologist, facial cancelled by last week’s snowstorm, assessment day and a Madrigal dinner. Also a podcast recording and a little writing.

Yup. The glamorous life.

The End of the Innocence

What? I can’t sleep in until 7:30 this morning???

Yes, vacation is over, and I’m back at the day job. So far today, I’ve prepped for my elements of writing class, and I’ve gotten sixty percent of the student learning outcomes done for the English Language Acquisition Course sequence. I’ll be at a secret curriculum bunker tomorrow morning as well, finishing up the SLOs for grammar and reading. I suspect my afternoon will be stuffing envelopes for orientation, although I would really like to get my grammar course prepped.

So…day job. Man, looking back at all the writing I did this break (Thanksgiving eaten by Florida job attempt. Christmas was about novella revision), I’m feeling pretty good about the whole break. Tonight I’m back in the saddle with The Pawn of Isis.

In a current delusion of grandeur, I’ve decided I would like to write two novels this year. I would like to finish Pawn and I would like to revise the Iowa troll novel, with a new YA friendly title like Stone Hearts. Of course, I expect some of my short stories to expire soon in terms of markets (yes, I know I keep saying that), so I will replenish those as needed. Hey, one of them could actually sell, you know.

So. Here we are. 2016. Liking it so far.


I should note just a few things here. For me.

Novels to write: The Pawn of Isis, Stone Hearts

Podcast Picks of the Week: Moebius Model Company, Dave Petersen’s Art of Mouseguard, Couture de Force Disney Princess Collection, Once Upon a Time (multiple seasons) Pop! Lilo and Stitch figures

Okay. Gotta fold it up for now and get back to professorial stuff.