January 16th, 2012


One Last Snow Picture

Under The Heading Category Of Things I Can Do Because I Can

This morning the clouds suddenly blew away and as we were downstairs with the Sunday paper, the sky outside became blue and brilliant sunshine blazed in. Alas, before I'd finished today's Sudoku, I realized that to the north that a gray haze and cloud layer had blown in. Soon the sunlight faded and we were in gray clouds to the south as well, with only patchy sunlight.

Too bad, because I was going to shoot some pictures of the white-white snow frosting on the green pine trees with the brilliant blue sky. Not to be. But when we did get upstairs, the sun came out enough that I opened the sliding door and screen door -- SCREE-EEECH! "What is going on out there?" -- and shot some pictures of our back yard and beyond, with this dark gray cloud background.

And when I was uploading the pictures off the Compact Flash card, I realized I could play.

The Amazing Monochromatic Winter Color Scene -- Supersized For Your Enjoyment (Click on photo for larger.)

It's three pictures taken with a normal lens (Nikon D1 and 35-70mm lens at 35mm). Not even a proper panoramic shot -- I'd have done five if I'd planned it -- and not stitched together with any panoramic program, especially because there's a gap between the 2nd and 3rd shots. Told you it was unplanned. Just edited together to give you a sense.

Not nearly as dramatic as the stuff Jim Wright puts on Stonekettle Station from Alaska, but then I'm workin' with what I've got -- which in this stretch of West Michigan is what you see. (grin)

I crack myself up sometimes.

Dr. Phil

WorldCon Hotel Reservations Now Open

The Hyatt Regency Chicago on the Riverwalk

Today ChiCon 7, aka WorldCon 70, set up the link to the Hyatt Regency reservations system. They've got a $145/night rate for single and double rooms, plus the usual additions for taxes.

The convention runs Thursday 30 August 30 to Monday 3 September 2012 -- that Monday is Labor Day, in case you're keeping score.

I've got my membership and my hotel reservation. You?

Further Plotting

For years my sister Wendy tried to get us down to Atlanta over Labor Day for DragonCon. But she was going to come up to Chicago for WorldCon in 2012. Sigh.

Just serving notice that we will have some sort of Wake For Wendy At WorldCon (WFWAWC). I haven't taken a picture yet, but I HAVE received a Viking Boat via Amazon.com. There might be some sort of ceremony involving some of Wendy's ashes, the Viking boat and a fuel load of Jack Daniels.... possibly on Thursday night 30 August 2012... I am planning on setting up a dinner at Ron of Japan, which is just a few blocks north of the hotel and the river.

You don't have to attend WorldCon to be a part of WFWAWC -- several members of the UCF in fact already are likely to wake but not con.

Dr. Phil

First Sale of 2012

A Pleasant Surprise

With so many submissions during my sabbatical and by natural process, so many rejections, it is always something of a shock to see the words "I'd like to buy this". (grin)

My story "End Run" is slated to appear in GigaNotoSaurus in April. This is a particularly nice sale for me for two reasons. One, it's long -- 17,000 words -- and two, while it takes place in my usual military SF universe, it starts almost three centuries before the bulk of my stories.
Thursday 1 January 2601 (Earth Relative Time)

She took a deep breath to quell her nerves. This is my last chance to make a good impression. Because a third strike would not be a good career move. As Ensign Darlene Charles picked her way through the dimly lit mess littering the docking bay, the quantity of unwashed bottles and glasses heaped in bins testified to the magnitude of the party. A sour stench from trash containers suggested many partied too well, an unfortunate reminder of some early college mornings. Ahead, the starship’s giant hangar doors were closed, unusual in port. But a smaller man-sized hatch remained open allowing her to step through into bright lights and a fresh, cleaner smell.

"Hullo?" The tentative voice might’ve echoed in the vast chamber, but in truth the sound was more swallowed up by the emptiness. Darlene had never seen a single cargo compartment stretch off in the distance for more than one hundred meters and had to be fully sixty meters wide. Thick armored doors separating the cargo bay from the hangar bay were opened all the way, as were smaller compartments aft of the hangar adding to the space. Short, blond and still a very new ensign, she felt tiny. Intimidated by a military cargo ship was not how she’d expected to start this day. She’d looked up the Evensong in the Fleet registry and as one of just eight officers in a crew of twenty-two, this ship was a lot bigger than she’d thought it’d be.

"Wow," was all she could say.

"End Run" went to seven markets, including earning a Quarter-Finalist (10,000 word version) in the Q4 2006 and an Honorable Mention in the Q2 2007 Writers of the Future. And now it's found a home. After it gets edited. (devious grin)

Dr. Phil