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Milestones

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

About twenty years ago, I spent a month in Argentina, visiting a high-school friend, practicing my Spanish, and getting a socially inept gringo’s view of Buenos Aires. If I want to remember exactly which year I was there, I look up a biography of Rudolf Hess, the Nazi who had been second in line ...

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New beta story: “Husbandry”

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The missionaries’ suntans contrasted with the rain falling outside Angela’s porch. They wore raincoats with the same lemon color as the house’s trim, and their facial expressions reminded her of puppies begging for attention. As the woman held up a plastic-bagged copy of The Watchtower, Angela rubbed sleep out of her eyes. Maybe ...

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Getting closer to nature

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

A flowering onion stem: a single umbel atop a tall, leafless scape.

At some point while researching a story, I came across information on companion planting. One of the suggestions from that page was that plants in the Allium family, including onions, are good to plant with fruit trees, because they deter pests. So when we had a couple of onion bulbs destined for the compost bin ...

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How I convinced my child to go the f—k to sleep

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Since insomniac children is a hot topic these days, I ought to share a story of our own adventures in this department.

When our youngest son was two years old, recently transferred from crib to toddler bed, he discovered the joys of getting out of that bed, opening his own door, and visiting his parents ...

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Short, hopefully sweet, fiction

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Seized with an idea for a short-short, I put aside the story I am working on in my Copious Free Time for long enough to write “Dying in the Zone”.

“My friends,” the crime lord says, “if we could all put our weapons down, I’m sure we could make some kind of arrangement.” You ...

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Another tale presented for your perusal

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

“The Blessed Ones”, for which I sought beta-readers here, has been rejected by F&SF and Asimov’s, and I’m trying to work up the courage to submit it to Tor.com (one of the few other SF publications that will consider work above 10,000 words in length). I’ve gotten some good feedback ...

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A fun fact that I learned today from my podiatrist

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Fingernails and toenails are vestigial organs, like the appendix. You can live perfectly well without them.

(You probably don’t want to know how the rest of our conversation went.)

“...and I wouldn’t give tuppence for all of the rest.”

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Dear Corporate Training Consultant Person:

The next time you give one of these seminars teaching employees of multinational companies how to work better in teams, where handling cross-cultural differences is one item on the curriculum, perhaps you could lay off the ethnic humor, eh? Crude remarks about the Scots, directed at the one Scottish employee ...

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Infosec: the early years

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

As part of my wife’s heroic renovation of our basement, she provided each one of our children with a little cabinet to keep their Lego creations and similar valuables. She screwed a hasp onto each cabinet and gave each child a padlock with a four-letter combination, so that each could secure his valuables against ...

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In honor of National Novelette Writing Month

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

One reason I haven’t been blogging much recently is that I’ve been trying to spend more time working on my fiction writing. I got so many helpful comments on my last submission that not only am I prepared to revise it and look for a publisher, but I wrote something else, and I am ...

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