January 14, 2021

2021 has gotten off to a rocky start this year, but life moves forward and wheels keep on turning.

The big news in my corner of the world is that all of my short story collections are now up on Google Play. If you click on that big picture above, it'll take you to a website where you can read up to 20% of each book.

This is how much 20% is: you can read the first two stories in Bedlam & Belfry, Intergalactic Attorneys at Law: The 1st Dozen in their entirety, plus some of the third. As far as The 2nd Dozen goes, it allows you to read the first three stories, plus some of the fourth (the second story is shorter in this one). Top of the World: Tales of Mystery Suspense and Adventure lets you read all of "Top of the World." That's like getting the title track off an album for free.

This isn't a limited time offer -- this is how it is every day. Thanks to Google Play, you can read five of the existing twenty-four Bedlam & Belfry stories for nothing. That's like getting almost half a book for free since a whole book has twelve. You don't have to download anything, either; just click a button once you get there and you can read them on the same screen you're reading this.

Evidently, Google Play thinks that people are more likely to buy a book if they get that far into it. I have my doubts, so I guess this is why they race horses. I'll find out one way or the other, so make like it's a library and head over there, won't you?

January 10, 2021

Steve Lightle, R.I.P.

Steve Lightle wearing one of his creations.

Steve Lightle passed away suddenly on January 8th and I wrote a post on Facebook about him the same day. In it, I reveal the time he did me a huge favour. I've archived that post on this website here.

Like everyone, I was shocked to hear about his death. I was used to seeing him active on Facebook daily, and the idea that his presence will now be an absence is still too hard to comprehend.

If you don't know who Steve was, click the picture above to find out. In short, he was one of the good guys and a great artist.

January 1, 2021

2020, how shall I remember thee?

Like Dickens said, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. As a pandemic spread across the globe I was safe on my island in the North Atlantic where life, after the first (and only) lockdown, resumed to as close to normal as it was going to get. Whereas other places had second and third waves, it would be a stretch to say that we had one.

From a professional standpoint, I actually had my best year in years. Multiple articles appeared in multiple places, plus a short story and a short story collection were all published.

The first of these was my article about the twentieth anniversaries of the death of Charles Schultz and the end of "Peanuts." It was called "An Ode to Peanuts," and it appeared over at Forces of Geek.

Next up was my essay, "Five Years of Yesterday," in The World of TwoMorrows. It covered the five years I spent as an editor/author of comic book history.

It was followed by my short story, "Saturday Morning," in the Winter issue of Riddle Fence. It was a long wait for this one to see the light of day, and wouldn't you know it, it came out in the middle of a lockdown. The Lord giveth in one hand, and he taketh away in the other.

After that, I wrote for the 2020 Comic-Con Souvenir Book about the time I met Ray Harryhausen. That one was a digital release because the Con was cancelled due to the pandemic. Oddly enough, that means that more people may have seen it!

Then the fall saw the publication of "The 40 Greatest Moments of The New Teen Titans," in Back Issue! # 122. I had a lot of fun writing that one, and the pandemic only delayed it by two months.

November brought with it the latest installment of Bedlam & Belfry, Intergalactic Attorneys at Law. The 2nd Dozen is still brand new, so we have yet to see what 2021 has in store for it.

Locally, I contributed an essay to Word, the official publication of Writers' Alliance NL. It was called "Half the Battle," and it was about what happens after something is published. Specifically, what happens if it comes out during a pandemic, as three of my projects did? Who sees it, and what do you do then?

Ironically, I had more published in a lockdown year than I usually do. As the world was shutting down, I was gearing up. Hopefully that'll continue on into 2021!

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