Originally posted on Whatever:

So, in the wake of Robin Williams’ suicide, Henry Rollins wrote a piece in LA Weekly called “Fuck Suicide,” in which he basically engages in a bit of “tough love” victim-blaming. This caused the world to drop on Henry Rollins’ head (here’s a fairly representative sample). Henry Rollins, to his credit, has offered up a reasonably decent apology, and plans to follow up in the same forum where the original piece ran. So that’s good, so far. Apologies are hard and hard to do well, and I think he hits the basics (and for those who don’t know, here are what I think are the basics).

A number of years ago a girl who I knew in high school committed suicide in college, in a way that at the time I thought was astoundingly dramatic. For years, when I thought of her at all, I was kind of…

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The best reason ever for diversity in fiction, because…that’s what reality looks like.

Originally posted on Whatever:

Authors go into their books with what they intend to put on the page. But there are also the things that they put in there that take them by surprise — and sometimes those things add a new level to the work. Mary Weber talks about one of these things in Storm Siren — and how it got into the book in the first place.


My big idea didn’t start out as big. In fact, I didn’t realize it was even an “idea” until a friend gave me feedback that went something like: “I love your focus on diversity. It’s cool you incorporated other races and special-needs characters into the book. What made you decide to do that?”

“Huh?” I frowned. She clearly didn’t understand. The big idea was supposed to be female empowerment. You know – slave girl with superpowers discovers her worth isn’t in her status…

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Originally posted on Education and Class:

There are so many problems with this essay in today’s Inside Higher Ed about the parents of First-Generation college students.

I first cringed when reading this quote from a college administrator early on:

They give him a $100 and send them off to school. ‘Here’s 100 bucks. That should last you four years. Now, go save the family.’”

As if there is no difference between being able to provide particular emotional support for the distinctive stresses of being a college student and abandoning one’s child altogether — while putting considerable pressure on them — and as if low-income parents have no idea about budgeting and the costs of living.

And the disturbing language continues:

If so-called helicopter parents typically hover above students from more elite and educated families, many first-generation college students have the opposite problem: parents who may as well be watching their children from a space station

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Like many, many people, I am saddened today by the untimely death of Robin Williams, in an apparent suicide.

For anyone, anywhere out there….if your demons are telling you to give up, remember his demons told him the same thing.

His were wrong.  And so are yours.







Originally posted on The Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet:

joe'spubcoverThe Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet is hitting the streets of NYC! We’ll be playing a 20 minute opening set for Threeds’ second album release show. Come hear us play our YouTube favorites and new arrangements. The event is part of the International Double Reed Society 2014 Conference.

Tickets – $20 (plus 2 drink minimum or $12 worth of food)

Tickets can be purchased at: http://joespub.publictheater.org/en/Tickets/Calendar/PlayDetailsCollection/Joes-Pub/THREEDS-Record-Release-Show-w-special-guest-Breaking-Winds/

Doors open at 6 for awesome food and drinks.
Show starts at 7PM.

Where: Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003

When: Friday, August 8, 7PM

All ticket holders are invited to join Threeds and The Breaking Winds for an after-party in the Library Bar (located on the mezzanine level of the Public Theater building, upstairs from Joe’s Pub). All attendees are asked to purchase beverages and/or food. Please RSVP to threedsoboetrio@gmail.com before August 1st.

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This happened in my backyard :)




Originally posted on Poor as Folk:

Media preview

He ASKED for a pay cut so others would get raises.

He still makes $259,744 a year and those employees who got raises still probably only make about $20,000/year, so this isn’t like the man reduced his pay to poverty wages to equalize things. Still… that $90,000 salary cut isn’t something most CEOs would ever consider.

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Originally posted on Education and Class:

There’s a growing literature on how intensely middle class parents invest in their children’s success, from Annette Lareau’s now classic study  showing the “concerted cultivation” parenting of extensive  involvement in extra curricular activities, driving, advising, and being audience for children’s many performances; to extensive involvement in children’s daily challenges; to ongoing advice  and engagement in students’ college success and then negotiating connections for first jobs.

I mention this research when I’m talking with faculty and staff who so often lament that First Generation college students “won’t ask for help”.  We talk about how students who may have had to be incredibly independent and self-motivated and resourceful to get themselves to college may believe that they now have to prove that they can do it on their own, or may be doubting that they deserve help, or may simply not know that help is available.  Or they may balk at the term “help”…

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If you are about my age, a Peter Gabriel song may now be playing in your head too!

Summer is a busy place around here, with little time to write here or anywhere else. I hope to be through the second draft of my early reader book by summer’s end, and that is eating a lot of my time. For now, while I am in the bat-cave, if you haven’t checked out my novella, maybe you’d like to do that.
Here it is: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005F5D4NA#

I had it up on Nook for awhile too, and am thinking about re-publishing it there, since they work with public libraries.
Do you have thoughts or ideas on self-publishing? Do you have favorite places for self-publishing or reading self-published fiction?

And in case you are curious, I bought Montepuliciano with the $7.50 I made on this book so far. As far as cheap wines goes, it was quite good. Cheers!


Painterly science fiction art. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Whatever:

AO John Harris - Hi-res CoverIf you’ve read science fiction in the last quarter century, then you know the work John Harris: His artwork has graced the covers of writers such as Ben Bova, Allen Steele, Orson Scott Card among others, including, of course, me, specifically on my Old Man’s War series of books.

For those folks who want to get a closer look at his work, there’s The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon, a very handsome collection of covers and other SF-related work, for which I was honored to write the introduction.

As a special treat, Harris has offered up some commentary on a selected covers that he’s created for my work; I’ve put them into a gallery and added some comments on my own.

Click on any picture to begin the slideshow.

The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon:Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s


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