Auction for Soldiers’ Angels

Anyone who has been reading here for a while has no doubt seen comments from Kristen Tsetsi, a fellow small-press/self-published author.  You may also remember my short review of her terrific Operation Iraqi Freedom novel Homefront last year.  Now Kristen is preparing an eBay auction to benefit Soldiers’ Angels.  From the Soldier’s Angels website:

Soldiers’ Angels is a volunteer-led 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families.

I’ve given one copy each of all four of my published books (just the novels, not the anthologies) to the auction, which also includes a number of other books (including vintage books such as a 1953 copy of The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway), photographs and other artwork, jewelry, and more. Rather than reiterate everything that Kristen will be listing, I would encourage you to visit her blog and view the variety of items that people have donated to the auction.  It’s for a good cause, and Kristen always has something there worth reading.

Short Story: The Patter of Little Feet

No random rejections, reviews, or scans of early childhood scribblings this week — it’s the last day of my vacation! But rather than let Sunday go home empty-handed from Scribblings, here’s a randomly selected short story from the unpublished archives. Any resemblance to Night at the Museum is purely coincidental, as this story predates it by many years; any resemblance to the “Zuni Fetish Doll” episode of the old Trilogy of Terror television movie, on the other hand, is less coincidental, although I play the scenario more for comedy than for horror.

One interesting thing about this story is its reliance on the Internet for a few plot points, making it probably one of the first stories I wrote that did so.  Another issue that befell this story is that, as I used to do with all my books and stories, it was originally stored in Microsoft Binder format — a format that has since been abandoned.  Although there is an extractor that is supposed to be able to pull the contents of a Binder file out into their component files, it didn’t work all that well on this file, and I was forced to reconstruct it by looking at the binary (gibberish-filled) Binder file itself, and piece the story together that way.  I think I got all of it, but I’m not completely sure (although I do know that the ending that’s there is original and complete). The moral of this story is to be wary of weird minor proprietary file formats, or else to make sure you always keep (and can run) a copy of the original software that created the files.

And now for our feature presentation, “The Patter of Little Feet”!

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The Early Years: What Is That Thing?

Today we have another example of “Why Jim didn’t draw his own comic book panels”, in the form of what appears to be a home-made folder cover from the early or mid 1970s:

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Scene-Of-The-Month Poll: May 2009

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The results are in and the readers’ choice for the April scene of the month, A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder, has now been published. If you would like to vote for your selection for the May scene of the month, you can start doing so now!

Scene-Of-The-Month: April 2009

The votes are in and the readers’ choice for a “scene of the month” is A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder, which squeaked in ahead of Dragon Stones by one vote.  Pulling down a copy of Crows off the shelf and flipping through it to a random page, I now present not one scene, but two, back-to-back; because that’s how we roll around here.

Together, these two scenes form the pivotal section of Crows that could be described as “the part where everything starts going straight to hell”.

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