Monthly Archives: September 2011

Going on the Account: RED JENNY Thirty One

Part Thirty One of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.


Please note that the next posting will be two weeks from today; the Lovely and Talented Susan and I will be celebrating both our anniversary and her birthday, and befitting the very important people everyone has in their life I will be giving her the vast majority of my attention.

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Going on the Account: RED JENNY Part Thirty

Part Thirty of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: Everything You Know Is Wrong…?

Yes, the quote’s from a title of an old Firesign Theater album that I listened to too many times years ago; seems appropriate somewhat as the following items hit the wires:

*  According to National Geographic, pirates didn’t talk like pirates.  OK, admittedly, we don’t have recordings of old pirates speaking about the good old days in the 1710s, and maybe Robert Newton’s pulling from his native West Country where the novel starts for inspiration may have colored what we think they sounded like.  And perhaps pirates spoke more like folks from where they grew up and spoke in a polyglot aboard their ships that sounded less like Treasure Island and more like Call It Sleep.  Which in many ways could be a lot cooler, the more you consider it.

But then again, as was said once in a John Ford film, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”  So sure, not all pirates sounded like Robert Newton, but who are we to want to denude the Brethren of the Coast of some of their more colorful characteristics?  Do we really want to claim pirates didn’t speak in a way that doesn’t make your ears pick up and draw your attention?  And really, what would we replace such colorful phrasing with?  Brooklynese?

Eh yose guys, I’ll shiver yer timbers if you don’ stop mucking aroun’ over there and hand me yer freekin’ booty, capiche?

No, let’s keep the tradition for a while longer every September 19th, OK…?

* A story in Gizmodo about US war plans against the British Empire drawn up in 1930 is worth noting for a few reasons, among them my tendency to be drawn to AltHis pieces.  (I even once upon a time gave a how-to on crafting AltHis pieces; good days, those…)


What’s interesting in this is how the heart of the plan to get back at the British involved going through Canada.  Which seems odd considering how badly the last few invasions went off.  There’s no guarantee that this plan from 1930 would have succeeded any better than the last few tries, or go better for us than some have predicted it might…

Speaking of wrong as in “Just plain wrong,” there’s a lot of griping about Facebook’s new changes.  They say that a lot of folks may move over to Google+ this time, finally, after one change too many.

I’m staying with Facebook for the moment, and I can be found there if you’re so inclined.  Just in case you might like what’s online over here and are looking for a lot more.  No pressure, just saying…

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Going on the Account: Better Late Than… Ah Hell…

Yeah, another year of bad planning on my part, another year of not doing anything special for International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

I swear, I do this day almost as badly as I do New Year’s Eve…


Hell, I barely had time to fire up Syd Meyer’s Pirates in order to watch the game display in pirate-speak.  I suppose I could reset the clock on my computer to get it to do that,but that’s like trying to set up your Christmas tree around Memorial Day.  And as likely to engage in acts crazed as I am, a character from HOLIDAY WARS I ain’t…


About the best I can do for what’s left of today is share a piece from about pirate phrases in Somali.  Yeah, as far as trying to keep the spirit of the day alive, waxaa na haysto mashaakil, big time…

My belated wishes for booty and smooth sailing to everyone, and hoping you at least had fun.

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Going on the Account: RED JENNY Twenty Nine

Part Twenty Nine of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: Say What…?

I had brought to my attention this piece in the PW Genreville Blog by Brown and Smith.  Their post, about a literary agent that asked that a gay character for a potential YA book either be ‘realigned’ or forced back into the closet (and might have been allowed to stay out of the closet if he was white), struck a cord with me on a few levels:


  • In this day and age, there should be no invisible characters that a writer can’t consider putting in the work he or she is working on.  Ever.  Years of Western culture and tradition did not lead us to a place where we start having boundaries put up before us.
  • If it is a “market consideration,” as Brown and Smith suggest, and it’s all in the name of Ars Gratia Pecuniam , then the argument of the so-called “Free Market” would suggest that if it is indeed in everyone’s best interest for such a character to remain in the work, and let the audience accept this person themselves as opposed to being walled away from that character.
  • And if market considerations are the real culprit, why does the blog Poking Badgers with Spoons have not one but three lists containing published works with major LGBTQ and non-white characters?


Should I get annoying here and suggest that the main pressure on writers not to go there is coming not from Publisher’s Row, but Hollywood, where everyone writing genre YA wants to end up following in the footsteps of a certain post-apoc spectacle contestant who is trying to fill a void left behind by a Joseph Campbell-esque starred sorcerer…?  The truly evil cynic would suggest that the character descriptions some folk are considering is the one that comes long after the first draft is sent to the editor.  Long, long after the book is written…


Though sometimes, not that long after, after all…


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Going on the Account: Why She Takes the Sweet Trade

Small Warning: Slight language warning for following…

Saw a post on about a new movie going online next month:  GHOSTS WITH S*IT JOBS.  The premise of the piece concerns a documentary done in 2040, about 20 years or so after the Western economy collapses, focusing on those born in the slums of Toronto who take on menial jobs that no one in China is willing to do.


It looks interesting as it comes up with menial degrading jobs of the future, such as human spambot and wild silk foragers, and just about any piece that tries to imagine economic changes in the future draws my attention.

And besides, with jobs like that potentially being available if North America faces a major downgrade, could you blame people wanting to go on the account…?

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