Mission Creep on the Original “Lost in Space”

I didn’t know Guy Williams was supposed to be the hero when I was a girl. I thought it was Billy Mumy’s show, and the rest were his supporting cast.


Having already done a post on Jonathan Harris, we thought it only equitable that we should publish our Lost in Space post on the birthday of Guy Williams (Armando Joseph Catalano, 1924-1989), who was the ostensible star of the show in the first place.

Now that Lost in Space has been rebooted, and not for the first time, the basic framework of the show may require but little explanation even among young people, but I bet some of the background is unknown even to fans of the original show. The concept was adapted from the Gold Key comic book Space Family Robinson, which launched (ha! I said “launched!) in 1962. The comic of course was a play on the concept of Swiss Family Robinson, only now instead of a 19th century family being marooned on an island, the story is set in the future (1997!), with a…

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Advent Word A Day Challenge

Armadale, on the Isle of Skye

My church is doing the Advent Word a Day Challenge. Advent goes from the four Sundays before Christmas to Christmas. It’s a time to (spiritually and mentally) prepare for Christmas.

December 1- Wait 14- Listen 2- Hope 15- Whisper 3- Breathe 16- Joy 4- Wake 17- Laugh 5- Step 18- Dance 6- Blink 19- Savor 7- Smell 20- Drink 8- Chew 21- Lift 9- Peace 22- Sing 10- Sleep 23- Love 11- Sit 24- Embrace 12- Touch 25- Born 13- Eat

  1. Wait. Advent is a time of waitful preparation.
  2. Hope. The first Advent candle is the Candle of Hope.
  3. Breathe. Just breathe, and remember to live life unrushed.
  4. Wake.
  5. Step
  6. Blink
  7. Smell
  8. Chew. Don’t gobble the holiday cookies. Chew and savor them.
  9. Peace
  10. Sleep. Get some rest. Don’t rush so much you can’t enjoy the holiday season.
  11. Sit
  12. Touch
  13. Eat. I am grateful for the charity turkey my church provided for Thanksgiving, which provided dinner for four days.
  14. Listen.
  15. Whisper
  16. Joy
  17. Laugh
  18. Dance. “Dance, dance, wherever you may be. I am the Lord of the dance,” said He. “I live in you and you live in Me.”
  19. Savor
  20. Drink. Hot cocoa and hot apple cider, maybe egg nog, not I Timothy 5:23.
  21. Lift
  22. Sing
  23. Love “The greatest of these is love.”
  24. Embrace
  25. Born “Unto us a child is born.
  26. Boxing Day
  27. 2nd Day of Kwanzaa.
  28. Instructions
  29. 1. Take some time to consider what the day’s word means to you. 2. Take a picture of something that represents the word and share it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #TUMCadvent2019. 3. Be blessed by what others on the same Advent journey share. ***If you are not able to access the internet, or don’t want to take a picture, consider journaling the feelings and thoughts that the day’s word brings to you.

The Redhead of Rajastan

I have been scribbling on Medium lately and ignoring my blog. Shaunta Grimes of Ninja Writers says it’s important for writers to blog. Therefore, I’m back … to blog about my Medium posts.

I haven’t found a niche on Medium yet: I’ve done restaurant reviews, talked about TV shows, and serialized some fiction. My most popular Medium posts thus far have been a new pulp adventure called The Redhead of Rajastan, about a teenaged American on the fictional island of Rajastan. Rajastan is a fictional island in the Arabian Sea, northwest of India, roughly parallel with Gujarat. Mem-sahib Cynthia Jackson inherited Jackson’s Jazz Club from her father. It’s the hottest jazz club this side of Bombay, and home to the only jukebox on Rajastan.

Chapter 1 Introducing Timothy Akbar Patel.

Chapter 2 Case of Count Davidoff

Chapter 3 The Case of Count Davidoff

Chapter 4 The Case of Count Davidoff

Another chapter, perhaps two, should be sufficient for me to finish this story. I already have rough plans for the next story in the series.

Timothy Akbar Patel is based on Sallah in the Indiana Jones movies, only more swarthy. He’s multilingual and quite literate. He is “manager, accountant, and number two tabla drummer ” of Jackson’s Jazz Club. He’s particular about his wardrobe, wearing bespoke white linen suits that are made for him in Bombay. He makes the trek to Bombay to buy alcohol, new suits, and records for the jukebox once a year. He’s known Cynthia since she was in nappies, and his feelings toward her are affectionately avuncular. This doesn’t mean he’s not tempted to backhand her occasionally.

Rajastan is loosely based on the Sabu version of Jungle Book and very loosely on the Bruce Boxleitner TV show Bring ‘Em Back Alive.

Bluff City Law

{image via NBC}

Bluff City Law premiered last night. My husband and I agreed it has potential, and are willing to give it a three week trial.

It stars Jimmy Smits (Bail Organa in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as civil tights attorney Elijah Strait and Caitlin McGee (Liz Brozniak in Grey’s Anatomy) as his estranged daughter Sydney Strait. Father and daughter are now practicing law together … if they don’t strangle each other.

I confess I have ulterior motives for watching. BCL is set in Memphis and filmed on location. My daughter wants to be an actress. If she is cast in an episode, I want to have it make sense when I watch, so I’m starting from the first episode.

It’s been contracted for 16 episodes. It will need to last longer before they can hire my daughter. I doubt they’re going to visit suburban high schools in Shelby County to watch school plays. She’s going to be Nana in her school’s production of The Velveteen Rabbit.

Sydney has just won a case for Strait & Associates and learned that one of the paralegals at the firm is her half-brother. Elijah’s adultery is one of the reasons she and her father were estranged, so a younger half-brother should have been more of a surprise than a shock.

BCL’s executive producers and creators are Dean Georgaris and Michael Aguilar. I am not familiar with their previous work.

September Submission Challenge!

I’m not sure I could manage 30 stories in a month, but I salute him for trying.



Next month (September) I am going to be submitting 1 story every day for the entire month.

If you’d like to join me in this attempt, the markets are listed below. Obviously you’ll need at least 30 pieces of SF (flash & short stories) written & ready to sub. If you are a Science Fiction writer who really wants to start subbing stories or already are, why not take the challenge?

NB:- All markets are listed on Submission Grinder.

01 – F&SF https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/glines.htm
02 – Clarkesworld http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/submissions/
03 – Speculative City (DO NOT BUMP) http://www.speculativecity.com/submissions/
04 – Daily Science Fiction https://dailysciencefiction.com/submit
05 – Trouble Among The Stars https://troubleamongthestars.com/submit/
06 – Asimovs https://www.asimovs.com/contact-us/writers-guidelines/
07 – Analog https://www.analogsf.com/contact-us/writers-guidelines/
08 – Flash Fiction Online http://flashfictiononline.com/main/submission-guidelines-flash-fiction/
09 – Every Day Fiction https://everydayfiction.com/submit-story/
10 – Interzone http://ttapress.com/interzone/guidelines/
11 – Beneath Ceaseless Skies http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/submissions/
12 – Three-Lobed Burning Eye https://www.3lobedmag.com/submissions.html
13 – Liquid Imagination http://liquidimagination.silverpen.org/submissions/

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The Age of Consent to Marry in the Regency Period

I found this very useful, so I’m swiping it as a guest blog.

Every Woman Dreams...

18th and 19th Century: Gretna Green - The Place for Elopements 18thcand19thc.blogspot. com18th and 19th Century: Gretna Green – The Place for Elopements

During the Regency, despite what some authors may include within the story line, the age of consent for females was twenty-one, not twenty-five as some would lead the reader to believe. Although I do not know from where the idea of the female having a guardian until age 25, what I assume is happening is the author (and many times the reader) is confusing the idea of a female’s guardianship with the age of majority. The confusion likely comes from fathers or another person setting up a trust for a female. The trust would provide the woman a “fortune” at age 25 or when she married (if she married with the approval of the man named as guardian of her money.)  

If the woman did not have her guardian’s approval (and was less that age 21) and chose to marry, she just…

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Indie vs TradPub vs Harlequin

I am on chapter two of a Regency romance.  Vera Nazarian of Norilana Press recommends I self-publish as an e-book if/when I finish it.  I would prefer to sell it to a traditional publisher, when the time comes, possibly Signet or Dell.  Harlequin has a poor reputation.  They don’t pay writers well, but they get books into stores.  They are also rumored to hold grudges against writers who complain.

I don’t read e-books.  I don’t understand them.  I’m not eager to publish in a format I can’t read myself.

Traditional publishing companies are not set up for the benefits of the authors.  Writers must go into the game knowing that, and I’ve been warned for years.  Shannon Donnelly warned publishers  “view their writers as cogs and widgets,” not as artists.

Author Donna Fasano said, “While attending an RWA conference, a friend of mine stood up and asked a panel of HQ editors and other ‘suits’ how they expected their authors to live on the paltry wages they paid. Their blunt answer, “We don’t. We warn authors not to quit their day jobs. Don’t ever expect to make a living as a writer. This is a hobby, not a career.” I was stunned and saddened. Consequently, after my friend spoke out, she never sold another manuscript to the company. ”

James Michener said once that “America is a country can make a fortune, but not a living.”

Carola Dunn, one of my favorite Regency romance writers, said the reason she switched from romance to mystery was because romance didn’t pay well.

Agatha Christie famously said, “murder does not pay … enough.”

I’m going to finish my novel before I worry about how/where to publish it.  I may do one book through Harlequin, just to get it out there.

Right now, my romance is on hold while I work on the novelette in a week challenge.



Deerwood Arboretum

Deerwood Arboretum and Nature Center is a lovely park in Brentwood, Tennessee, and the finest example of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” I’ve ever seen outside of an Auntie Litter song.

  • Deerwood is a Level 2 state certified Arboretum through the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.
  • The Arboretum site was once used as a wastewater treatment plant by the city.
  • There are over 60 species that line the paved and unpaved walking trails.
  • It is located on 27 acres that borders the Little Harpeth River.

Deerwood showcases native trees, migratory birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The park features bike paths and jogging trails, ponds, a wildflower meadow and a Nature Center Complex with an outdoor classroom. There are also restrooms, information kiosks and a small amphitheater. An educational curriculum is available for use by schools and service groups.

The bathrooms are clean.  The water fountain works, but is wet rather than cold.

Deerwood Arboretum is also the setting of my current fantasy WIP, “Fair Folk and Foul Folk.”  The park looks like it ought to be home to pixies, dryads, and members of the Seelie Court.  (I did not personally see any such beings, but the park looked like the sort of place they’d enjoy.) When I learned the park was the former site of the Brentwood sewage processing plant, I couldn’t help wondering if any Unseelie creatures lingered.  Did the two groups fight turf wars or politely pretend to ignore each other?  Did they meet at the amphitheater under the full moon and argue by Robert’s Rules of Order?

Little Harpeth


Little Harpeth River, Deerwood Park

Ian going down the stairs to the river


sandbar, LHCreek instead of R

In some areas it looks more like the Little Harpeth Creek than the Little Harpeth River.  I predict the water level will rise after the next good rain.

creek returns to river

Recommended Reading

If you’re concerned about parks becoming sewage centers, you might want to read B Cubed PressAlternative Apocalypses.

If you like feminist poetry, you might like Gwyndyn Alexander’s Digging Up My Bones.

If you want me to get a few pennies of royalty money, please buy a copy of Alternative Truths, which contains my Darrell Award-nominated story “As Prophesied of Old.”  Or go to the Medium.com link above and clap for my story.  As you can see in the pictures below, I have medical bills to pay off.  But I’m out of the wheelchair and I’m not dead yet.

Archers and Heroes

Would there be a market for a children’s book on heroic archers of history and legend?

Chapter 1.  What is archery?  Describe types of bows.

Chapter 2.  Archers in history.

Scythian warriors, Egyptian bowmen, etc.  Biblical and Shakespearean quotes.

Chapter 3.  Native Americans.

Research legend of hunter who invented bow and arrow by tripping on a grape vine and vine threw his spear further than he dreamed possible.  Micmac, I think.

Chapter 4.  Robin Hood

Chapter 5.  William Tell

Chapter 6.  Danish legend that predates Tell.

Chapter 7:  Hawkeye, Green Arrow, Huntress

Chapter 8.  TV

Adventures of Robin Hood (Richard Greene), When Things Were Rotten (Dick Gautier), Robin of Sherwood (Michael Praed, Jason Connery) William Tell(Conrad Phillips)

william tell

Would there be a market for such a children’s book, do you think?