Monthly Archives: January 2013

Going On The Account: RED JENNY Ninety Eight

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

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Going On The Account: Thanks For The Warnings!

Sometimes, a bit of information offered can be enlightening in ways the person providing it hadn’t realized.


Case in point:  Aaron Williams at Do Gooder Press (home of Nodwick, Full Frontal Nerdity, and PS 238) posted a set of links back on the 23rd which he found of interest and wanted to share with everyone.  One of these links he offered was from, prompted largely by a poster on the site making reference to a T-shirt Aaron designed.


This is of course a perfectly good reason to offer a link; I’ve even tooted my horn from time to time, too.  Okay, a few times I’d toot like Dizzy Gillespie at Newport; there, ego mortate sum, already…

But back to the main point, which was the body of the refered-to post:’s annutal question, “What Should We Be Worried About?”  As it so happens, the contributors has a lot to worry about; some of them covered the same ground in their shared worries, though it was hardly monotonous when two contributors would run in panic from express their common concerns about a  phenomenon.

And there were quite a few issues brought up.  All those concerns; all those troubles to be wary of…

All those writing prompts…

Oh, yeah; if we look at inspiration as a commodity, this page was the Comstock Load of  “a-ha!” moments for me.  There’s a lot of good material here to work with and to start on a few pieces, some bits that may be worth a few good executables if I don’t get lazy and I actually run with these like the 49ers ground game.



And if they do actually lead to some paying markets off of these, then I need to reach out to Aaron and offer him a large unit of whatever consumables he’d be interested in; hey, it’s the least I could do…

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Going On The Account: RED JENNY Ninety Seven

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

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Going On The Account: RED JENNY Ninety Six

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

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Going On The Account: The Wooden Post

I’m having problems believing it’s been five years since the first novel went live, and with it, this blog as well.


Five years?  I’ve been online longer that Firefly was on the air? Longer than The Addams Family?  Longer than both the original Star Trek and the animated one combined?  Longer than Gordon Brown was PM?  Longer than John F. Kennedy’s presidency?  Longer than Mikhail Gorbachev was in charge of the USSR?  Longer than it took you to read this stupid paragraph…?

Like a lot of programs and habits, the blog found a purpose outside of what it was expected to do and just filled that gap on its own without much oversight.  When I started Going On The Account, it was meant as support for Raging Gail, to let everyone know that a new piece had been published, and give people updates as to how the book was coming along.  Truth to tell, while I did state that I was going to publish two chapters a week, there was always the fear that I’d slack off on the schedule, and so I thought that the blog could be the means of giving people a good excuse an explanation as to why a piece was going to be late.  And indeed, while I was in Vegas in February of ’08, I did give people word of my connectivity issues and pumped oxygen into the novel very early on, at a time when any delay could have destroyed what audience was forming for it.

And the blog might have stayed very utilitarian, had I not wanted to share my thoughts when I heard Gary Gygax had died, on March 6th of ’08.  That was the first instance of the blog going outside of what was envisaged, and put it on its way to a more autonomous existence,  no longer merely tethered to the novel.



April 15th of ’08, and on a day usually fraught with bad associations, that was the day I started sharing news about the Modern Age of Piracy.  That first post was… not stellar, truth to tell, and I might have missed the story entirely had not Cheryl Mortensen from the Rooftop Sessions days not flagged that for me.  The funny thing is, there was a certain synchronicity between the pirates in this novel and the ones off Somalia; the crew and prizes for both started to grow at about the same time, and their high water marks and waning were in step as well.



The first real delving for Going On The Account away from just being the in-house organ / PR flack for the operation came when I discussed Dr. Horrible on July 16th of 2008.  That was really the start of the blog as its own separate project, over and above and outside just being a supplement for the current novel.  Yes, there’s still a lot of support for the main online fiction done here, but as I look back over the last five years, I have t acknowledge that there’s more going on here than I was willing to consider.

No, I’m not going to dissect every damn post from the last five years; this is a reflection, not an autopsy…



I will do one last pull for the clip reel, though; I think it was the Blogtober challenge that made me really consciously appreciate Going On The Account more fully as its own separate work.  As I mentioned above, this blog has outlasted a few other performances out there, including Raging Gail herself.  And when Red Jenny and the Pirates of Buffalo also comes to its last page this year-



Oh don’t look at me like that.  Yes, this novel is online, but it is still a novel, which means like any novel it must have an end.  Otherwise it’ll spiral out of control and become even more incoherent than Varney the Vampire, and that is something you just do not want to ever see happen…

Anyways, the end of Jenny.  When Jenny comes to the end of that book (don’t read that much into that statement), then Going On The Account will continue on, outliving that in addition to everything else before it.  And when the third shared work comes up, whatever that might be, then Going On The Account will try and drum up support for that; for as independent as the blog has become, it still has a promotional job to do, y’know?


I try not to get overly self-congratulatory, as I become a first class bastard when I get a whiff of hubris.  But, I am going to allow myself a little pride on being here for five years, still having something to say after all this time, not all of it boiling down to “Please read desperate little me.”  And I have to thank you, readers of past and present, for being willing to give this a few moments of your time to read.  I can’t begin to thank you properly for looking in on this, and for being willing to let me linger here for so long.

And who knows, when I’m ready to do my tin post in 2018, I might even have something quotable to say…

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Going On The Account: A Matter of Perspective

I don’t have much I can add beyond what Steve Almond states about narrators in this piece from the TIMES.  The lack of ability to find someone you can trust to tell you a story is probably the main identifier of literature from our modern time; whether this applies to the writers of same as well, I leave that for you to decide…

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Going On The Account: A Shot At An Unknown Legend

So if you can trace with some precision a story getting mucked up and inflated in the telling, can you extrapolate from that the likelihood of a tale diminishing into nothing?  And if you can determine that, what can you discover when you reverse engineer the chance of a story being likely?

It’s interesting what a live cannon can make you consider…

Yes, a live cannon; yesterday, they discovered in Central Park a cannon that still had ball and powder in its barrel.  There was a piece that had been given to the park soon after the Civil War ended that had been capped and put on display through 1996, when it was removed to keep it safe from vandals.  After sitting there for 16 years, the Central Park Conservancy finally got around to refurbing it, and while they were cleaning it, they discovered in the barrel the shot (which just rolled out when they tipped the piece forward) and 28 ounces of black powder that they NYPD removed and set off at the bomb range.

The reporter covering the story and the piece about the incident in the Times claimed the gun was recovered from the HMS Hussar, a British frigate that sank off the Bronx in 1781 during the Revolution.  As she was a sixth rate Mermaid-class frigate that was armed with four three-pounders on her quarterdeck, and the fact that in the footage from WCBS we see that the shot and barrel of the piece clearly belong to a three-pounder, it’s a logical assumption that the piece was from the Hussar.

Small problem, though:  As far as we knew, the HMS Hussar  is still at the bottom of the East River.  Where a few treasure hunters would like to send an expedition…
Supposedly, on her last voyage in 1781, the Hussar was en route from New York with the payroll for British troops trying to hold onto the colonies, when she fell victim to the Hell Gate, the same dangerous nautical feature that would claim among other vessels the General Slocum.  It’s still treacherous today, so you can imagine how much luck was afforded a full-rigged frigate with a foolhardy captain at her helm.
She didn’t make it, and was lost, supposedly with millions of dollars of gold aboard her (as well as 80 American POWs in her hold).  She became the obsession of treasure hunters who wanted to recover her; one effort was discussed in 1936, and another expedition was noted in 1985.  There’s an account of a serious search back in 2002 that relates some of the other failed efforts to raise her, starting back during Jefferson’s presidency.  You might be tempted to say that there’s enough discussions of this lost ship to fill a book, and in fact there was a book published in 2007 about the hunt for the Hussar.

The thing of it is, according to all of these accounts, the Hussar was lost when she went down off the Bronx, which means that three-pounder in Central Park could not have been from her decks.
But the story of the Hussar isn’t telling us anything so much through what it says as it does by coloring everything that comes within hailing distance of it.  The fact that whether there actually is a British vessel carrying enough gold to make any seadog feel blessed to just look at it is not as important as the thought that there might be such a vessel under the silt of the East River.    It’s the same deep drive that draws people to look for William Kidd’s treasure in this area, the idea that there must be something out there because it’s too depressing to imagine that there isn’t anything to look for.

But is it possible to deduce that it might not be the Hussar’s treasure, or even Kidd’s, that’s driving us to keep thinking about it?  Might there have been another haul, one that either had been remembered by less die-hards keeping it as well recalled as the Hussar’s, or else was better known in circles that didn’t discuss their business in the open, a different treasure that’s on everyone’s minds?  Perhaps one accumulated by a crew under a letter of marque?
If we can accept the possibility as stated before that we can never know the full history of a culture that stayed silent, then there may really be a pirate treasure somewhere under water close to where I sit that haunts the subconscious, maybe one with millions in gold seized by a pirate lost to history, the crew under this man (or woman?) sitting on enough loot to purchase a colony from any crowned head outright before their ship was lost to the silt.

And how likely is it that this grand booty is sitting silently out there at the edge of our consciousness, just beyond the reach of hard reality?

Oh, about as likely that a three-pounder could sit in Central Park with a live charge ready to spark for over a hundred years…

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Going On The Account: Hanging It Up

No, not me; yeah I did get a little whiny there for a while, which is normal in a cold climate after the holiday season is over.  There’s a reason a lot of people in New York drive I-95 after New Years to spend the next nine weeks in Florida…

I’m actually referring to Mohammad Abdi Hassan, aka Afwene, who just held a press conference to announce that he’s coming ashore for good.  You may remember Hassan as the mastermind of the seizure of the MV Faina, the Ukrainian ship caught supplying arms to  South Sudan (in all likelihood, as the manifest was very quiet about those 30 T-72s aboard her) that was unable to deliver her hold after being seized by pirates for a three million dollar ransom; it helped put Somalia and her pirates before the world’s eyes and drew a lot of attention from navies sailing in from as far off as Norfolk and Murmansk to put them down.

Invariably, the news sources that are looking for a break from over-covering Justin Bieber’s shenanigans and other such ephemera will probably call Afwene “Somalia’s Blackbeard.”  Let’s get something straight here right now:  Blackbeard was killed at sea, while Afwene walked away.  If you want a good comparison (say, you’re trying to sound like you know a little bit of pirate lore, which could help you at your next party), you could call Afwene “Somalia’s Henry Morgan,” as Morgan managed to retire from the Sweet Trade, and even took a government job.  Which is the part of the legend the Captain Morgan Rum Company tends to downplay, but hey…

With any luck, he might really follow through on the Morgan comparison; Somalia needs something closer to an authority around which to build the rule of law and stability than they have now, and who better to put in office than the man who seized 30 tanks at sea and wrangled three million dollars for them?

Hell, can we get him to be my Congressman?  A better class of crook would certainly do the House of Representatives some good…

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Going On The Account: RED JENNY Ninety Five

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

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Going On The Account: Getting Back Aboard

Well, it’s 2013, and only a few days away from the fifth anniversary of this blog.


But more on that closer to the date; right now I’m just trying to prove that yeah, I’m still here.  I did sort of let the whole Blogtober stunt serve as an excuse to phone it in last month, between all the other stuff going on.  And trying to do a whole host of things we wanted to do, much else occurred.  Who was it who talked about life being what happens while you’re busy making other plans…?

Oh yeah, him:



Anyways, in the midst of a lot of other things, there was Newtown.


Which was a problem for a while, in that I continually craft pieces with nasty characters in threatening situations.  I talked about this a while ago, at a time when we didn’t have the images from that Friday burned in our retinas and a wall of concept kept us far enough away from a reality of pain to allow for writing about characters with guns that casually.

So what happens when you have a moment of doubt about your work?

I’d be lying if I said that what happened at that school didn’t give me pause.  Writing people who carry and use in a setting where they could be in a firefight at any minute was not something I wanted to work on after that.  Even Aurora didn’t give me the same pause that newton did, although I did wait a week before going to see THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.


But there’s the counter-argument, that only by confronting the uncomfortable can we move ahead.  If I’d been so sensitive that I couldn’t write in the face of such a confrontation, I’d have been offline until a few weeks after the last of the people I knew who lost power below 34th Street got service restored.  Hell, if I’d been that taken aback, I’d still be on the sidelines until the South Ferry subway station got reopened, which may take a while at this point…
There’s also the point that part of the focus of the work is portraying a dark future in an unflattering light.  I went back over what’s been posted so far, and I can say with little fear that I don’t exactly celebrate the thug-and-pirate life.  I’d feel damned miserable if up until now I’d been doing this Frank Miller/Mickey Spillane-themed celebration of life looking down the barrel, then had to keep serving drinks to that party.  These are not what I’d call fun times to inhabit, and it keeps me focused knowing that I came to bury this time our children will know better, not praise it…

And yes, focus is an issue; in addition to all this, there’s some fatigue setting in.  I have projects I’d love to start in on, which have to wait until this commitment is finished.  Hey, you’ve been willing to put up with me this long; least I can do is get to the point already, which a few folks I know accuse me of never doing…

In any event, I do owe those of you still here the rest of the novel before I go on to a few other projects.  Some projects are longer, very involved and may just drive people into fits of frustration; others are short bits that might be monetize-able if I can get an editor or two to see what I see in the piece.

Or I could go fully alone on the short side; I just found out today that a favorite piece from the old Tor collection,  Alternate Kennedys, is being made available by the writer directly through Kindle.  David Gerrold’s “The Kennedy Enterprise” is a great story that assumes that Joe Kennedy went to Hollywood to pursue a deeper relationship with Gloria Swanson, and brings the boys with him, putting Jack in command of a very famous spaceship on TV…  Major classic, well worth the read, especially at only $1.39 to download.  And if the other project works out well-

You know, the other project, the one I talked about a few weeks ago…

Yes, if that pans out, who knows, maybe I could rethink how I present short pieces, the same way I rethought novels.  Oh brave new world, he said on a Shakespeare kick…


New, and hotter; the US had a record hot streak, as did Australia last year.  If the guns don’t get ya, the heat will…

And no, I don’t remember who was responsible for that quote I mangled…

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Going On The Account: RED JENNY Ninety Four

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

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