Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Cruxshadows - Citadel

Yup. More Music to Write to. Why? Because It's only Wednesday, and this is the sixth blog for the week.  Yes. Really. Between the new puppy post, the CWG conference, and the radio show, this has been a busy few days. So I'm taking a little bit of a break.

Also? Because come on, it's Troy in rock music. What's not to like?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#SadPuppies Bite Back XIII: A WorldCon Carol

Yeah. I know. If there was ever a post to be called "Lucky dog," it's number 13. But, not to be.  You can only imagine how many chapter 11s I've hard to rename from "bankrupt."

If you have no idea what an SPBB post is, go to the Sad Puppies tab above, and start reading. Otherwise, you are going to be so very, very lost.

The short version? This is a parody. A strange joke that started with a strange fever dream, and spiraled into a comedy of epic proportions.

You may have noticed over time that this has gone back and forth, sliding along a temporal spectrum like a slide rule. That's because this is in no particular order.  And, last time I checked, Brad is busy in the sandbox playing with ISIS, Larry has better things to do than WorldCon (like DragonCon), and most everyone else has a life, so my Puppies of WorldCon posts weren't even pretending to predict the future. You might have caught that around the time I unleashed Cthulu on them...and if you didn't read prior entries, spoilers. Aren't you sad you didn't read them before. Now go ahead, this post will still be here when you get back.

Thanks to Matt Bowman, Jason Garrick and Marina Fontaine for their input on this one.

And now, we're almost done, it is once again time to ....

Oh, you know.

A WorldCon Carol

First Spirit

[To begin with, Heinlein was dead. As dead as a doornail, but not quite as dead as the neurons in John Scalzi's brain. The two Neilsen-Haydens, Teresa and Patrick, are fast asleep in their beds -- single beds, on opposite sides of the room. The room is filled with a sudden, bright light. In the center of the room is a glowing, translucent figure in a midshipman's uniform.]

Photos of the Catholic Writer's Guild Conference, Live!

Yeah, I had some fun.

Especially when you got to Karina Fabian and her laser cows.  Yes. That happened. Take a look, you'll see how my brain works. Or doesn't.

The following are random things I've found at this conference over the course of three days. Some are shiny. Some are people. Some are shiny people.


Cutesy stuff

Sunday, July 26, 2015


We Built That Network on BlogTalkRadio

If you don't know who AML is ... you must be new here.

Ann is the author of Murder in the Vatican: The Church Mysters of Sherlock Holmes, as well as The Watson Chronicles. She's worked for DC comics, written books on Star Wars, a registered soprano, and generally awesome. She is also one of the founding members of the Catholic Writer's Guild.

On Sunday's show, we will discuss the various flavors of Sherlock on television, DC Comics (their TV shows, and their upcoming films), and the Catholic Writer's Guild Conference Live!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Cruxshadows - Cruelty

It's Cruxshadows. I  just roll with it....

Though I wouldn't bother with the video on this one, especially if you suffer from vertigo.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#TBT Flashback Blog: Interview with Ann Margaret Lewis on Murder in the Vatican

Yes, I know it's not Thursday yet, but, well, shut up. It fit the schedule.

In April of 2011, I interviewed the awesome Ann Lewis for the release of her book Murder in the Vatican.

Since then, I am proud, and blessed, to call Ann my friend.

Anyway, I will probably be meeting her as this blog goes live, as I will be in the Catholic Writer's Guild Conference this week. No, I'm not staying away from home. It's only New Jersey.

Also, this Sunday, at 7PM, EST, the awesome, amazing, and wonderful Ann Margaret Lewis will be my guest on The Catholic Geek. And then we're going to have a party.

* * * *

After yesterday's guest blog by the very generous author of Murder in the Vatican, Ann Margaret Lewis, you didn't think things could get better, did you?

Well, they did.

Today, Ann Margaret Lewis has willingly submitted to questions from the A Pius Man blog.

You will notice that some of the questions are numbered differently.  These are questions that came with the press packet that I believed readers of this blog might be interested in.

The questions I came up with are plainly numbered, with no additional lettering ... you'll see what I mean.

So, if you just want to skip to those quesitons I asked, you can ....

Here we go.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Amaranthe - Invincible

More Music to Write to.

Turn up the volume and brace for impact.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The joy of street corners, and politics all the way down

So, I was sort of quiet this weekend, wasn't I? I didn't even have a blog post discussing the next radio show.

Well ... did I ever mention I live on a corner?  A corner that does NOT have a two-way stop sign?

What happens when a body (of a sports car) meets a body (of a Jeep Liberty) driving through New York?  You get a nice game of pool.  The little white sports car is the cut ball. The blue Jeep is the 8 ball.

My house is the corner pocket.

For the record, DO NOT WORRY. Everyone here is fine.  The firemen came in and checked our foundations, etc.  We're good.  Unlike the last time, we didn't even lose any bushes.

Yes, this is the second time this has happened in the last few years. Yay.


Fun fun fun for the whole family.

But I managed to get online for the radio show anyway.

I'll be on and off for the next few days.  As I noted, I'll be driving to NJ for the Catholic Writer's Guild conference.

But, before I leave you with the radio show from yesterday, I must note that ANN MARGARET LEWIS WILL BE ON THE SHOW THIS SUNDAY!!!

If you're wondering "Who?" You must be new here. Come back on Wednesday. 3:-)

Check Out Military Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with We Built That Network on BlogTalkRadio

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Amaranthe - True

Music to write to.

This is a beautiful song.  And no death metal. Which is odd for them.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Politics of the Damned

I think we should talk.

Yeah, that's never a good sign.

I generally don't do politics on my blog. Okay, I haven't until recently with the Sad Puppies (click tab above for more details), but this week, I need to cover something. And it shouldn't offend you, because if it would, I'm reasonably certain you wouldn't even be reading this blog. You'll see in a minute.

But I have to ask. When did life become an evil? Don't leave just yet, because this has actually become a thing, and I'm seeing it more and more as time goes on. Life is not worth living and people are not worth allowing to live.  I'm not talking about a John Ringo novel where the stupid are eaten / blown up / killed in various horrific ways. No, that's a straight up Darwin Award.  I'm talking about a general contempt for life and living human beings.

Don't believe me? In 1998, there was a book called Rainbow Six. I'm going to spoil the book and the video game based off of it because it's 17 years old now, if you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for? The bad guys in that novel were eco-terrorists who figured that the world would be just fine without human beings, and if the terrorists were the only human beings left alive to inherit the Earth, then the Earth would be just perfectly fine.

Our heroes couldn't arrest these sickos, so they invaded, took them outside of their modern compound in the midst of the rainforest, stripped them all naked, blew up the compound and said "Fine. You wanted nature. You got nature. The nearest town is a week thataway. Good luck."

Fast forward to 2013, and He That Shall Not Be Named wrote a book called Inferno that Dante would be offended by. The good ending for the novel was that 1/3 of the planet had been sterilized, and, "Oh well, the bad guys have a point. There really are too many people on the planet."

Uh huh. Yeah. You read that right. The bad guy was right. It would be too much trouble to fix it, and there are too many people anyway, so screw all of them.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Superman! Suicide Squad! Who cares?

A while ago, Kevin Feige, currently running the phases of Marvels' movies, has mentioned that Marvel will never go "GrimDark," like the first Batman vs. Superman trailer.

As he said it, I discovered I had the perfect word for what's happening with my tv shows. Seriously, multiple shows in my TV watching season, some of the better ones, have started going into ... bleak, dark, utterly hopeless crap. I'm really kinda tired of it.

But then came the new trailers over at Comic Con.

I guess the first question to ask is: Why is Kyra Segwick is in this film? Why, God? Why? Superman testifying before a Senate hearing? Batfleck shoehorned into the previous Superman film?
You know, the film Man of Steel felt like someone rewrote the awesome Superman: Earth One comic book by the amazing J. Michael Straczynski.

This feels like someone read the other two volumes and said "Hey, wouldn't it be just great if we crammed Batman into this?"


Monday, July 13, 2015

From History to Vampires: Why Honor at Stake?

A question I haven't gotten, and that I had expected, would have been, well, how the bloody blue Hell does one go from The Pius Trilogy to vampires?  Like with Honor At Stake, coming out on Sept 1?

Step one: Once upon a time, I did some fan fiction.  Actually, no, I didn't. My sister did a fan fiction once. I took it, made it far more interesting, and rewrote it as an independent book.  I then decided that the book was a little too ... compact. The first sixty pages of the book? I expanded all of it into Honor At Stake.

As I started expanding it ... well, everyone say it with me: It just spiraled.

The novels were basically "Catholic vampires," where I kicked the mythos into compliance with standard theology, and then did a little rewrite of history since 1789, and....Anyway...

Step two:  one of my Facebook groups wanted something "Dark." A fellow member, Erin Lale was an acquisitions editor at Eternal Press / Damnation books, and she had nothing in her email.  So, I sent in my book, and well...Nothing happened. At all.  No word, no nothing. I got a reply at 1pm the next day saying that it was received.

That evening, I was cleaning out my spam folder.  There was a 6pm response, that very day. Five hours after the confirmation email.

That was when Erin told me they wanted Honor At Stake.

Short version ... I wrote it when I felt like it, I wasn't entirely certain that anyone else would be interested, and now, surprise, they do.

Music to write to: Cruxshadows - Quicksilver

The music is fun. The video is strange, but watchable.

And yes, I DO listen to these as I write. As with every music blog.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

TONIGHT on The Catholic Geek: John C. Wright and L. Jagi Lamplighter

This week, The Catholic Geek is proud to host two prolific authors: Hugo-nominated author and Rabid Puppy John C. Wright (Count to a Trillion) and his wife L. Jagi Lamplighter (Prospero's Daughter). They will be discussing an after action report on LibertyCon, and the Superversive Literary Movement. Also, they might be prompted to discuss their fiction, including Wright's latest, Somewither,

John C. Wright is a retired attorney, newspaperman and newspaper editor, who was only once on the lam and forced to hide from the police who did not admire his newspaper.

L. Jagi Lamplighter is the author of The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, as well as theProspero's Daughter Trilogy.She has also written a number of short stories, articles on anime, and is an author/assistant editor in the BaddAss Faeries series.

Or, show up here at 7:00 PM EST and click the player.

Check Out Culture Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with We Built That Network on BlogTalkRadio

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sad Puppies Bite Back XII: Passion of the Puppy Kicker

I was going to post this tomorrow, but damn the torpedoes, and fire everything.

If you're new here, you are going to be so, so lost. Click the Sad Puppy tab above, it'll catch you up.

So those of you who have kept up, if you don't remember who His Tankness, Tom Knighton is, he first appeared in SPBB II, and has become a recurring theme throughout. He was last seen giving a ride to a crazed stalker, only the destination is the local police station.  You've also heard him on the radio show as we talked Sad Puppies.

Seriously, you're going to want to read the last one before reading this. Mr. Marston is a creature that seems to be allergic to anything good or of quality. He hates me, these posts and this blog. He hates Shadowdancer's art. Hates everything puppy related. He and his are the only superior artists anywhere, everyone else belittles him just by their very existence... So I think this punishment is perfect appropriate.

We're not really going to unleash the puppies this time.  However, we will commence ... THE SADDENING.

[In a Darkened cave in the middle of the backwoods, Logan County, West Virginia, degenerate hillbillies, drug-maddened Saponi and Shawnee shaman, blood-drinking devil dogs, together with an inhuman living fungi from Pluto, all make hideous sacrifices and perform acts of unspeakable abomination to adore their a ninety-one foot tall Vox Day idol made of radioactive black marble. Another cloaked figured enters in a grand gestures.  It is Vox Day, the Supreme Dark Lord of Darkness, Manager of the Abyss. There is a virgin tied to the altar that looks a lot like NK Jemisin. Vox is handed the dagger made of obsidian, and heads towards the altar.]

[Phone rings]

[Vox] Oh, damnit.  Sorry guys, got a new text.

[Vox reads text.]  Who?  [VD dials, wanders off to the side]  Yeah? Got the text. Who is this guy? [Pauses, blinks, then scoffs.]  That schmuck?  Didn't we turn him over to the cops already? ... What do you mean they let the little twerp go? Oh come on, does he have to murder someone before they bust him? 

[VD listens for a moment.  His face goes pale with terror] Wait, he did what? To who? Shadowdancer? Is he stupid? Nevermind, I know the answer. Geez, if I knew he had a death wish, I would have obliged him years ago. At least I would have just offed him -- quickly. Maybe fed him to Cthulu when I was bored. It'd be quicker than what she does to him. 

[VD listens, then laughs evilly] They may not extradite him? You think that'd stop her? Anyway, thanks for the update ... Wait, he's blaming me? I forgot he was still alive. I've got Tor and NK Jemisin to torment.

[VD looks over to the altar.  The virgin sacrifice is gone.]  Gotta call you back.  [Click]  Okay! Who lost the sacrifice? Come on, people, how am I supposed to be even a minor dark overlord if you people keep losing the sacrifices? Sigh ... I need better help.


I hate to break it to you, but this post has been moved to a different location. Where, you might ask?

Here: To the Collected SAD PUPPIES BITE BACKin Paperback and Kindle.

THIS! IS! Sparta! x2 -- Blog #600: What is this blog about?

When I started this blog five years ago, it was to drum up publicity for A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller.

After a while, it was the only way to sell my books.

Now, the entire Pius trilogy has come out.  Books two and three came out last year.

Seriously, what the hell are we still doing here?  Especially now that the Puppies have taken over the blog?

You'd think that this would be something obvious.  Look above, under the giant blog banner. You'd think I don't get much clearer than that.

But, when I posted one of my Sad Puppies Bite Back posts over in the comments of a blog called File 770, I was met with some ... interesting replies in the comments. Including derision, people who thought that SPBB was about threatening the anti-Puppies, and people who wondered what the site was even about.

And people wonder why I don't read comments on most websites. The term "cesspool of stupid" comes to mind. Who allows these people out in public?

But, it did occur to me that there would be some people confused about what this site's common thread was, considering we've veered so wildly from the original point of glorified marketing.

So, what's it all about?

It's about stories. How do you create them? How do you shape them?  How do you assemble dreams when the world is so busy trying to stomp on them and take them away from you? That's why I dissect political opinions of Superheroes, or examine bad comic book storylines, or try to predict where things are going.  That's why I look at faith in fiction, to see just how much of the writer goes into the story, and how much should go into the story.  This blog will also address the Catholic faith in particular because, well, I'm Catholic -- it's part of me, and who I am, and part of my stories, so it comes with the package.

But, as fiction is not just about how a story is made, but also about the process of selling it. That's why I look at women in fiction, or the politics of publishing, etc.

Also ... it's about marketing. I'm not dead yet and I'm still writing and publishing books. I have a publisher now, and I'm not afraid to use them. I've got a book coming out in September, damn it. I need all the help I can get.

(Honor At Stake, from Eternal Press, due September 1st -- subtle plug, subtle plug).

That's why I've allowed my brain to be taken over by a parody universe that won't leave me alone. I mean, it's not like I can make money on Sad Puppies Bite Back, despite how popular it is.

And yes, for the record, I cannot make money on it at this point. Can. Not.  Why not?  Because I use the real names of real people, like George RR Martin, and Scalzi, and the Haydens, David Gerrod, Moshe Feder, and additional psychos.

Yes, they're parody -- and boy, are these guys parody -- but there are also lawyers, and you don't need to have a leg to stand on to file a lawsuit. And while I would probably win any lawsuit, and any countersuit, the legal fees would probably kill me before we got to the countersuit phase.

If, as has been suggested, I end up with a Sad Puppy nomination for "Best Related Work," I might consider publishing it.

If it gets a Hugo Nomination? It's more than likely I will publish it. Why? Because it would be a Hugo nominated work, and I don't think anyone would want to draw attention to the fact that they are so thin-skinned, they can't take a joke.

But, one disaster at a time, folks. One disaster at a time.

However, even though I can't sell it, Sad Puppies Bite Back has brought hundreds of people to my blog, and has improved my sales a lot. It won't get me into the big money territory, but it's a lot more than I've been getting.

It's also gotten me some interesting friends along the way, which is an improvement for an introvert like me.

So, to the trolls who lurk under the bridge at File 770, that's what the blog is about.

As for all you newcomers who want a laugh, or want a book recommendation, or some music to listen to as you pen your destruction of an alien civilization, or comic book trivia, or just want to look into the brain of a deeply deranged writer, welcome, my friends, to The Pius Trilogy.

The party is just warming up.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Music to Write to: Cruxshadows Immortal

Music to write to ... video is also kinda cool on this one. A little strange, but watchable.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Flashback Blog: Politics of The Pius Trilogy

This came up many, MANY moons ago. Now that I find myself hip-deep in politics all the time, I figure it's time to have this conversation again.

Irony sucks.

In my life, I have written nearly two dozen novels. Science fiction. Hostage novels. Comedy thrillers. Plain old, simple, straightforward shoot-em-up thrillers. One vampire novel. Murder mysteries set at a high school summer camp (title: Summer Death Camp -- now, also coming soon from Damnation Books).

And then there's A Pius Man. It was strange for a number of reasons. It basically took every single character I ever created and threw them together in a sprawling, two-pound, eight hundred page epic. There was theology, philosophy, liberty, love, marriage, death, and a fairly large war somewhere in the middle.

It was also the most political novel I had written.

Seriously, this book was all over the place with political topics. Racism, homosexuality, globalization, secularization, warfare, a just peace, when peace is just another word for surrender, torture, the International Community, terrorism, abortion … you name it, it was in the book.

Here's the irony: I hate politics. Hate 'em to death with a fiery passion. I think it's narrow-minded, more dogmatic than the Vatican, and more hypocritical than Voltaire saying “destroy the Church” on one hand, while taking daily communion in his private chapel.

Look at the list above: racism and homosexuality are political topics? It should be simple: racism bad; who cares who you have sex with, have a nice day. But, no, they must be politicized.

Like I said, I hate politics, and what it does to normal, sane people the moment someone brings it up.

So, of course, when I finally come close to having something published, it's A Pius Man.

Like I said, irony sucks.

Unfortunately, politics are unavoidable when looking at the discussion of Pope Pius XII during the holocaust. [For those of you just tuning in, the “discussion” is summarized here]

No matter what side of the Pius discussion one finds themselves on, politics follows. While not perfectly uniform, the discussion breaks down along political lines.

Leftists take the anti-Pius side, right wingers take the pro-Pius side.

Leftists use it to bash a centralized church with a strong hierarchical structure, with a goal of making the Catholic church like, say, the Unitarians (only a slight exaggeration, depending on which Leftist one is talking about).

On the right, you have a lot of conservative folks who make a case for Pius XII's sainthood.

I know what you're thinking: if this breaks down along political lines, you can tell exactly how the book will end depending on what my personal politics are. What are my politics?

That depends on where the jury is sitting.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Amaranthe - Electroheart

More music to write to.

I like the pace of this one. I like how it moves and how it feel.  You can turn out a few pages by the end of this one.

Assuming you don't get caught up in the visuals.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Right Fans with Stephanie Souders TONIGHT ON THE CATHOLIC GEEK

We'll be covering a Canticle for Leibowitz, Babylon 5, and Catholic science fiction.

Remember, this link doesn't work until 7 PM EST. That's when the show goes live.

Check Out Culture Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with We Built That Network on BlogTalkRadio

Saturday, July 4, 2015

I will be at the Catholic Writer's Guild Conference (Happy Fourth)

I've started my celebration of Independence Day by watching ... Independence Day... and 1776, as well as Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Because I am a huge freaking nerd.

Previous 4th posts include

God Bless the USA.

And one of the first top ten blogs lists.  Huh.



Yes, if you want to come and hunt me down in person, click here.  Sign up! Come at me, bro.

If you don't believe I'll be there: Here I am.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Amaranthe - The Nexus

More Music to write to.

This one? This one is odd. Beware the death metal bits if you're turning up the music...

And is it just me, or are production values going up on music videos? I wouldn't know, I only see them on YouTube now, and only recently.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Guest Post: De-constructing Sleeping Beauty

For the record, I hated the Angelina Jolie movie Maleficent.  It started by ripping off visuals from the Lord of the Rings, and even the lesser Narnia films ... which were also Lord of the Rings rip-offs.

One of the biggest betrayals? They didn't use Tchaikovsky. How do you do something around Sleeping Beauty without Tchaikovsky?

Anyway. It was terrible. I hated it with a burning passion.  How? Why?  I live-posted it to Facebook last year.

Dear Disney: at the 12 minute mark of your film Maleficent, you have stolen the narrator and the CGI (and some lines and music) from Lord of the Rings. And Ents. You should be sued by the Tolkien estate.
And the twit who wrote Wicked. She should sue too.

Maleficent, 24 minute mark ... Minas Morgul is acting up again, is it?
Disney, screw you bastards. Screw you with a hot poker.

Maleficent -- for the good fairies, they cast Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter.....
I have this urge to use a power drill on my brain.

Maleficent, 40 minute mark, congratulations, you've managed to get to the 10 minute mark of THE ORIGINAL CARTOON.

Maleficent -- the good fairies are now the three stooges while Maleficent takes care of the kid.
Disney, never run into me in a dark alley. There's a baseball bat waiting for you.
Yeah, so I wasn't happy.  And by the 50 minute mark, Maleficent turned into Magneto. There was at least 20 minutes of setup before she turned "evil," her character is inconsistent, it's thin on plot, heavy on meaningless "action." I got to the 50 minutes mark, and stopped caring. These stories spit on the original stories by making the good guys stupid, evil, or completely inept.

And then, Marina Fontaine, who was born in the Soviet Union, had never seen either Sleeping Beauty or Maleficent.  You've seen her here before, defending Joss Whedon, and even heard her on my radio show.

Hehhehehehehehe. Then the fun starts.


De-constructing Sleeping Beauty

by Marina Fontaine