My apologies

Long ago and far away I received a letter (shows how long ago this was) from AJ Budrys congratulating me on getting my short story, Cymodoce, nominated for the Nebula (1995).

Flattered, honored, and I mention it when it seems appropriate.

Someone wrote me they couldn’t find any record of my nomination.

First, Wow! It’s important enough to you you looked it up? I’m flattered and honored all over again.

But it did make me curious. I emailed SFWA

Is there a list of Nebula first round nominees available? I remember receiving a letter (an indication of how long ago this was) from AJ Budrys re a story of mine, Cymodoce (Tomorrow Magazine, 1995), congratulating me on being a first round nominee.
Does SFWA/Nebula keep first-round nominee records? And if so, do they go that far back?

and just now (3 Jun 20, 12:38pmET) received

Yes, we do keep records. Your story did receive a recommendation listed in the Nebula Awards Report, but this was not considered being a “first round nominee.” It required ten recommendation to make the preliminary ballot.

Hence I apologize for the confusion.

And you know what?


Yeah. I’m good with that.

I’ll take it until something better comes along.

(and i will be updating my marketing materials as time allows (wondering if i can get away with calling it a typo…))

Why It Works for Me – Brian Fagan’s “The Little Ice Age”

This is the ninth in a series I’m doing wherein I discuss why a particular piece of writing works for me, aka, this piece of writing taught me something about writing, encouraged me to be a better writer, engaged me, captivated me, educated me, et cetera.

As I’ve written elsewhere, it’s one thing to know something is good, it’s a better thing (in my opinion) to know why it’s good and then be able to copy what’s good about it, to learn from it so you can be as good and (hopefully) better.

This time out, Brian Fagan’s “The Little Ice Age”. I also shared Brian Fagan’s “The First North Americans” in episode seven.



Shaman Story Chapter X – The Wild, The Shadows

[I mentioned in Shaman Story Chapter 5 – Lessons that chapter numbering would get wonky as Shaman Story is a work in progress. This week’s entry bears that out, as it comes before chapter 6 and after chapter 5. So far. I think.]

Read Shaman Story Chapter 5 – Lessons.

Shaman Story Chapter X – The Wild, The Shadows

Grandpa teaches me about Shadows. We walk through a forest and greet everyone we meet. “Hello, Tree! Hello, Ash! Hello, Ant! Hello, Spider!”

“Do you know who these are, Gio?”

“These are my friends.”

Grandpa smiles. “Yes, they are your friends. They are also Shadows.”


“Yes. Everything here is a shadow of what really is.”

“The tree is not a tree?”

“The tree,” he points, “Is not Tree.”

“It’s a maple.”

He laughs. “That maple tree is not Maple.”

I hear the emphasis in his words.

“In all things, there is one which is the first of that thing. Everything else is a shadow of that first.”

I watch a snail inching up a birch. “Where is Snail, then?”

“A place of such brilliance it casts it shadow so every other snail exists.”

“But where, Grandpa?”


A simple word. I hear the emphasis. Not where Grandma sits spinning threads, weaving, making me clothes. Some place other.

I put my hand by the snail. Its antennae tickle me. It waves them at me to see who I am. “Hello, Gio.”

“It knows who I am, Grandpa!”

“This is The Wild, Gio. Everything is known here. When you want to know something, go to The Wild. If there is an answer, you’ll find it.”

A raven comes. It flaps by the snail, snatching it in its beak, flying away.”

I cry.

“That is the way of The Wild, Gio.”

“That snail was my friend.”

“Is raven your friend?”

I sniffle. “Yes.”

“And the birch tree?”


“But sometimes we cut down a tree for firewood. We load up the truck and take it home.”

I am confused and answer slowly. “Yes.”

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Early March Raccooning

Last week I shared Turkeys on the mating prowl in Two and a Half Toms. We continue the theme of Spring awakenings with today’s early March raccooning.

In early Spring all the Sleepers waken. Most are familiar with Bear. We have two, Horace and Lucien, who parade and not recently. Raccoons are not true sleepers, they do not hibernate, but they will go into prolonged sleep states to conserve energy. The pack it on before the snows hit and when they do rouse, they are hungry.

Case in point, these lovelies.

They come out in groups while remaining individuals. Kind of like everybody going to the club then going their separate ways in the hopes of nocturnal success.

I can write things like that because, in my younger days, I was among them.

No, not raccoons, clubbers.

Sometimes my early life’s behaviors disgust me.

But they do make good story fodder.



Sabine Rossbach’s Happy Hour – 14 May 2020 Interview (wherein she waxes wonderfully about “Empty Sky”)

Sabine Rossbach is the wonderfully talented Luxembourg based actress and voiceover artist who’s blessing me with readings from my books. You can see the first one, a reading from my short story Cymodoce, here and on YouTube

You can hear the full interview on the ARA Happy Hour podcast which included several notables: Sandra Schmit, who started,

a journal entry by writer Jess Bauldry, a book promo and discussion with actress and voice talent Sabine Rossbach and a chat with author Jenna Liberatore, who shares a chapter in her new book.

And now, here’s Sabine!