Blog Stew

Tonight's blog post will be a bit of a hodge-podge. A veritable stew, if you will -- a bit of this, a bit of that.

And not because I've got so many insightful and creative things to say. Quite the opposite, in fact -- my higher mental functions have simply taken the day off, leaving me with the mental prowess normally associated with stumps, empty paint buckets, and Newt Gingrich.

Some days are just like that. I blame sunspots, which interfere with my Fifth Auric Chakra and, sometimes, HBO.

So here, in no particular order, are pictures to look at and matters to ponder.

Below is a piece of original art created by Denise Vitola, who spent ten hours rendering this scene of Meralda and Mug in the Royal Laboratory.  I think she did a fantastic job, especially with Mug's eyes.  And Meralda looks just as I picture her -- a studious, dignified young lady who will never be anyone's wilting violet.

Seeing this really made my day.  It's one thing to write a book, and it's another to see how readers perceived the people and places described therein.

Mug seems to be the book's favorite character so far.  Which is no surprise, since I think he was mine too.  Who doesn't love the wise-cracking side-kick?  But of course he loves Meralda, and it shows. That's something I hope every reader comes away with -- that friendships don't depend on the number of legs or the number of eyes.

In other news, I have at last listened to all three A. A. Bondy albums on vinyl and I am happy to report that my new turntable sounds absolutely fantastic.  IF you're looking for modern indie rock that is truly haunting, I can't rate A. A. Bondy highly enough.  I have three albums, all listed below with links to Fat Possum records (but iTunes has them too!):

American Hearts
When the Devil's Loose

When the Devil's Loose is my favorite of the three. The songs The Mightiest of Guns and the title track When the Devil's Loose will send you screaming into musical nirvana, or I'm a horned toad.

Oh, and you get a free digital download when you buy Believers or The Devil's Loose on vinyl. Very cool.

And before I forget -- you realize I'm running a contest, right?  If you want this wand, right out of the book,

all you have to do is email me at with the words WAND CONTEST in the subject line.

Seriously, it's that easy.

Now, for random book links, because Daddy needs a new pair of shoes....

All the Paths of Shadow