Pittsburgh Pic: Gateway Fountain

This is a summer view of Gateway Fountain — a space between the various Gateway Center buildings in downtown Pittsburgh. When I worked near the triangle, as opposed to East Liberty where I am now, I’d sometimes grab a coffee from one of the nearby places and hang here if the weather was nice. It’s an interesting and not too well-known space.

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Dog pic: French Bulldog

I was at Lowe’s today getting a bunch of stuff, which is what you do on a Sunday in the suburbs. You’re allowed to take your dog into the store there, as long as it’s well behaved, so Piper is obviously excluded. However, there were tons of dogs. It was dog-mania. One was a French bulldog. They’re great animals, and from the look of this Frenchie pup, you can tell he’s not buying whatever you’re selling.

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Weapon pic: Randall Arkansas Toothpick

I saw this type of weapon for sale for a lot less, did some research and it turned out it was sourced from inferior steel and from a location that doesn’t have the greatest reputation. The pic of it is beautiful, but I’m not even going to link it here because it would just be a bad deal and I don’t want to tempt anyone.

Here’s the real deal. It’s way out of the price range I’d be comfortable with, but if you’re really into knives, Randall is the way to go.

The blade is 13″ and it weighs at least a pound. They were used by frontiersmen and also by Confederate soldiers. Randall’s quality is unparalleled. If you have $665.00 to spend…

Okay, okay, here’s the original pic of the lesser quality one (a mere $199). I mean, it’s beautiful, but if I want to drop a couple hundred dollars on beautiful, I’ll go commission a painting from a starving artist.

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Follow up link for “Now Go Away”

I should have mentioned that my thoughts on writing (and creating in general) as expressed several posts ago in Now Go Away were inspired by my daughter’s own ruminations on why she writes. You can read her take here:

http://madzapan.tumblr.com/post/160091859616/do-writers-enjoy-writing

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When characters lie

Sure, we’re all familiar with bad guys in fiction (both written and filmed) who lie. In fact, it’s one of the things that makes them bad guys. A great example of this is Hans Gruber in Die Hard. He engages in multiple levels of lying, and a lot of it is crucial to the plot. He lies about being a terrorist to the hostages and the authorities. He lies to his own men, by way of not telling them everything. And, in one of the best scenes in the movie, he lies about who he is and pretends to be a frightened escaped hostage when caught by off duty police officer John McClane. His lies are purposeful and well executed and they really add to his character.

There are plenty of terrible examples when bad guys (or gals) lie or deceive the protagonists, but they aren’t really worth mentioning.

In LFBD, both Dan and Brigit lie pretty much every time they talk to Lincoln or Gwen. So yeah, they’re the bad guys.

But what happens when good characters lie? And what’s the effect when they do it for a really good reason?

I just rewatched the Season 1 finale of The Flash (yes, I’m a fan). The episode is replete with good characters lying for all the right reasons, and it is absolutely heartbreaking to watch. You want to know how to right a complete tearjerker of a scene? Let’s take a look at Joe’s conversation with Barry.

Barry (the Flash) is trying to decide whether or not to go back in time and prevent his mother’s murder. This would mean that he would never have to go live with adoptive father Joe West. Time would be changed and Joe and Barry would not only never have been a family — they wouldn’t even remember that they had been. Joe and Barry have a great relationship and some real love between them. All of that would be gone as though it had never happened.

But Barry has never wanted anything more than to find his mother’s killer, and Joe knows it. Barry says to Joe “I don’t think I can lose you.”

And Joe says “You won’t ever lose me. Ever. You hear? Ever.”

But Joe knows that’s not true. Maybe he hopes that somehow it is, but the rules have been explained. He’s lying to Barry, putting aside his on feeling of impending loss of his son so that Barry can be encouraged to do what he needs to do. Of course, Jesse Martin’s (Joe) acting really sells it, and you can see the pain he’s going through as he lies to Barry. It’s really moving.

Let’s talk Barry deciding not to save his mother. Um, spoilers, but this is three year old now, so get over it.

Once he goes back in time, he decides to not prevent his mother’s death, being warned by a future version of himself. So he stays hidden and listens to her being stabbed through the heart. Only after the action is over does he enter the room. His mother is bleeding out, and he goes to her. After a few moments, he reveals that he is her son Barry, grown up. She says that she doesn’t understand. So what does Barry do? After he has come back in time to prevent this from happening, then stands by and lets it happen?

He lies. He tells her that he was given a chance. Not to save her. But to let her know that he was okay. And that her husband was okay. That everything was okay in the future, even though it wasn’t. He lies to her, and she dies comforted by his words. It is, once again, incredibly moving.

Sometimes in fiction, the good guys and gals can lie as a sacrifice to a greater good, or even in the service of a simple one. They lie, and it’s clear that it costs them to do so. I’m really impressed by how effectively writers Gabrielle Stanton and Andrew Kreisberg pulled it off.

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Transformative Paraphysics: Back Cover writeup

Because the TPOAP plot synopsis is finished, I feel pretty confident putting this out as the teaser copy for the book:

Magic makes murder super easy and nearly undetectable, so how can the world’s most paranoid and powerful magic users ever get together to agree on anything? They convene in Pittsburgh, where the environmental iron left over from the city’s dark days makes using magic next to impossible. It’s up to Lincoln Baker and friends to protect them from the increasingly nasty creatures that keep popping into existence, while trying not to piss off the Praecants who are about this close to turning everyone into little, smoking bits. Like last time, things start weird and just get weirder. Can Lincoln figure out who is behind the appearance of the creatures and why? Will Fox meet a sentient holster and finally settle down? Will Babd ever eat her kibble?!

Get your fix of applied psychology and magical physics, old gods running around in the bodies of dogs, and intelligent firearms in this wild second installment of the “Lincoln, Fox and the Bad Dog” series.

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Now Go Away

This is categorized under Writing/Publishing, because this is how I feel about writing. My daughter (awesome, talented writer, check her stuff here and here) writes because she loves it. I write because if I don’t… well…

Now Go Away

See? I’ve done it.

Now head back up the hill.

Take your tail and your paws

And your lupine eyes

All made of silence and night,

Take them up behind that tree,

The big one with the roots

All sticking out.

 

Don’t think I didn’t see you.

Maybe you think I can’t,

But I can.

Out of the corner of my eye

As I walk

And you there,

Always keeping pace.

Waiting with patient breath

For me to try to pretend

That you’re not real.

 

Today I reached

Into the ether,

Again,

Stirred the entropy and

Drew close a handful,

Poured a speck of my tiny life

Right into the core of it

And transmuted it

From chaos

Into order.

 

So see?

There’s your sacrifice.

Now go away.

Leave me alone.

Anyway,

We both know

You’ll be back tomorrow.

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Wonderful doge pic and story: Flea

This is Flea:

DSC00038

The post about Flea at the Montreal Dog Blog is about a year and a half old, and I only found it because I was digging deep for dog pics. But it was worth reading.

Go read it, or don’t if you hate good things or if you love dogs and don’t feel like bawling. Yeah, it one of those things.

Goodbye For Now: A letter to my dog

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Awesome firearm picture: Wilson Combat 1911

I’m in awe of this custom 1911 by Wilson Combat. It’s gorgeous.

Even their base weapons are far, far out of my price range, let alone these custom jobs.

But just look at it!

In case you have gajillions of dollars and don’t know what to do with them: https://www.wilsoncombat.com/

Buy Lincoln, Fox and the Bad Dog on Amazon.com right now, or get the first half for free right here if you're still on the fence (.epub download to read in iBooks, Google Play Books, etc.)