Yep, no kidding—this is post number one hundred since I began “Swords, Specters, & Stuff” in late January of 2012. I hadn’t even thought of reaching that number till about a month ago, when my dashboard indicated that I had just posted number ninety-five. Close enough. So for this memorable post I’m going to engage in some retrospection.
First, why did I name it as I did? SWORDS: easy. I grew up with the sword & planet
novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs and others (though ERB was my muse and inspiration for my own writing career), and later with the sword & sorcery novels of Robert E. Howard. I also knew that I would, over time, be rewriting and reissuing many of my previously published sword & sorcery and sword & planet/adventure fantasy novels. And then
there were the movies in these genres, good and bad… So of course, “Swords” seemed a natural.
SPECTERS: I always loved ghost stories, horror stories, anything weird, both in fiction and film. I’d also reissued two of my old horror novels, Demon Shadows and The Modoc Well, first published by Bantam Books, and shortly after the launch of the blog a new ghost story, The Burning Ground, was published, a year after the release of another ghost story, Fire Dance. And with regard to horror movies, what other genre offers so many bad/good or good/bad choices? Many of these fall under the category of Guilty Pleasures on my blog. I love some of those clunkers!
That leaves us with STUFF, and when you get right down to it, Stuff is Everything—or maybe, Everything is Stuff. You know what I mean. The way I had it figured, “Stuff” gave me carte blanche to write about anything that just happened to be on my mind. So while one week I wrote about mutant killer cockroaches in New York City, the next week I might’ve offered a post on the tragedy of Japanese-American internment camps during WWII. A humorous post titled, “The First Time” (that’s writing, not the other first time!) came before a story about how I grew up surrounded by survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. From the genocide of California’s
indigenous people to an inspiring story about the late-in-life success of “Sugar Man” Sixto Rodriguez, I enjoy the freedom of being able to write about anything that motivates me. (With this disclaimer: no religion, no politics.)
My heartfelt thanks to those of you who have stuck with this blog from its early days, as well as all who have joined in along the way. My posts may not resonate with everyone all the time, given the diversity, but you’ll hopefully find a few that are entertaining. Since my brain never shuts off, and since I love to write, you can expect many more stories in the future on “Swords, Specters, & Stuff.”
ON THE AIR
I will be yakking it up on Garrett Miller’s blogtalkradio show tonight (August 19th) just after 7 p.m. (Pacific time) We’ll talk about writing in general, my new thriller, Freedom’s Hand in particular, and anything else that listeners would like to discuss. Hope you can tune in. Garrett archives his broadcasts, so you can listen to it anytime afterward. Here is the link for the show.
REMEMBERING A FRIEND
Popular Newport Beach, CA mystery writer Jeff Sherratt passed away one year ago today. Not only a talented scribe, Jeff was one of the best people that I ever had the
privilege to call a friend. If you were fortunate enough to have him in your life, you know exactly what I mean.
I think of you every day, bro.