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
02 – Clarkesworld
03 – Speculative City (DO NOT BUMP)
04 – Daily Science Fiction
05 – Trouble Among The Stars
06 – Asimovs
07 – Analog
08 – Flash Fiction Online
09 – Every Day Fiction
10 – Interzone
11 – Beneath Ceaseless Skies
12 – Three-Lobed Burning Eye
13 – Liquid Imagination

View original post 331 more words

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…

View original post 1,948 more words

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 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?


B Cubed Press Offers Alternatives

B Cubed Press

Since the days of the ancient Greek playwrights, writers have used humor to cut would-be tyrants down to size.  “The pen is mightier than the sword,” but the feather of the quill can be used to tickle.

B Cubed Press was developed to create books that hold a mirror up to the oaf in the White House and his neo-fascist henchmen.  Admittedly, sometimes it’s a funhouse mirror.  In an era of “Fake News,” censorship, and clumsy propaganda, B Cubed Press invites readers to think and laugh.

Alternative Truths, the first anthology in the series, has 94 positive reviews on Amazon.  It’s a five-star book that contains my Darrell Award-nominated contemporary fantasy “As Prophesied of Old.”

Alternative Truths anthology was formed, when on February 23, 2017, I, and many of my friends, asked what we could do. We could write, we could join that noble tradition of using the pen, to poke the powerful.  So was born, Alternative Truths. And our pens became word processors and our ideas became stories.  Bob Brown”  As my colleague K. G. Anderson said, “Twenty-four science fiction writers had one hundred days to think about Trump.  The result is Alternative Truths.” The book was published just before Trump’s 100th day in office.

More Alternative Truths was more of the same, but with poetry added.  (It contains a filk song I co-wrote with Nebula winner Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.)

Alternative Theologies: Parables for a Modern Age took a religious bent.  Some thieves took exception to the notion that there might be alternative interpretations to their theology and stole every copy of the book from MisCon in Montana.

Alternative Truths: Endgames is the fourth and final book of the Alternatives quartet.  It offers fictional possibilities of what might be the result of this interruption into the experiment of American democracy.

After the Orange explores long-term possibilities of what the current regime could do to us and our descendants.

Digging Up My Bones  is an anthology of feminist poetry.

It’s nearly time for summer reading.  Check out these B Cubed Press offerings at your local library or bookstore.  Also available on-line through

B Cubed Press

Buy a book, then leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.  Reviews are love.  Even if it’s just a tweet saying “I liked this book.  You might, too.”

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not reflect the official opinions of Krypton Radio, Kelly Educational Services, nor the County of San Diego.

Judith and Jael

Science fiction author Esther Friesner suggested a legion of Handmaidens (from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale) march in the parade at DragonCon in Atlanta.  I think it’s time to remember Judith and Jael.

When discussing women in the Bible, Esther, Ruth, and Mary get all the attention.  Judith and Jael are overlooked.  If you’re Protestant, you may not have heard of either.  The Book of Judith is in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles, but is considered noncanonical by Protestants.  Many biblical scholars regard it as the first historical novel. In the Book of Judges, the story of Jael may be found, but as it’s not a “nice” story it’s seldom taught in Sunday school nor preached from pulpits.

 “Judith beheading Holofernes,” by Artemisia Gentileschi.

Giuditta di donatello 04.JPG Donatello’s sculpture of Judith and Holofernes.

Judith slew Holofernes and cut off his head.  He was an invading general.  She distracted him and killled him.

Jael gave Sisera food and drink, and once his belly was full and his eyes were closed in slumber, she nailed a giant nail (or tent peg, depending on translation) into his head.  According to the Jewish Women’s Archives, some rabbis think Jael engaged in sexual intercourse with Sisera, and others don’t.  If she did, she may have done so deliberately, to wear him out, so he couldn’t escape and she could safely kill him. Or she may have submitted because she was afraid he would hurt her.  As women have done for centuries.

“Extolled above women be Jael,
Extolled above women in the tent.
He asked for water, she gave him milk;
She brought him cream in a lordly dish.
She stretched forth her hand to the nail,
Her right hand to the workman’s hammer,
And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head,
She crashed through and transfixed his temples.” (Judges 5:24-26)


All illustrations shamelessly “borrowed” from Wikipedia.

It seems human life of the feminine persuasion is less valued than it used to be.  Too many judges and legislators seem to regard women only as living incubators.  Rapists are getting lighter and lighter punishments in court.




This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Avengers_Endgame_poster.jpg

{image via Disney}

My husband and I saw Avengers: Endgame Friday. We don’t usually see movies on opening day. We usually wait a week or two to hear some word-of-mouth reviews, but we wanted to see who would be saved and how, and who would be lost and how and why. We also wanted to avoid spoilers with this movie, which can be difficult on Facebook.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Chris-Evans-as-Captain-America-white-uniform.jpg
Chris Evans as Captain America {image via Marvel}

If you wish to avoid spoilers, go see Avengers: Endgame as soon as possible, because everyone will be talking about this.

It’s long, three hours, one minute, but it keeps your attention enough that it doesn’t’ feel long while you’re watching it.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Rocket-Raccoon.jpg
Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper {image via Marvel}

Nearly every favorite character (heroes, villains, sidekicks and supporting character) from the MCU makes an appearance. There were three characters I would’ve loved to have seen whom I didn’t notice. Sorry I can’t tell you who: this is a spoiler-free review.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is https___blogs-images.forbes.com_robsalkowitz_files_2019_03_Titan_Captain-Marvel-Official-Movie-Special-Cover-1-480x351.jpg
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel {image via Marvel}

The movie is PG-13 for violence and profanity. Language: Cap! Nothing worse than what you would see or hear at the average junior high these days.

If you’re old enough to remember Disneyland in the days of tickets, this is a real E ticket ride. This is not a good movie to begin the MCU with. I don’t recommend watching it unless you’ve seen the other 21 movies in the MCU franchise and the Agent Carter TV show. However, if you’re already a fan of the MCU, I predict you’ll enjoy Avengers: Endgame.

Science fiction/fantasy author Rebecca McFarland Kyle said “Endgame was worth full price and I would go see it again.” In this economy, that’s high praise.

The comments section below is waiting for you. No spoilers, please.