SciFi Needs an Ashleigh Banfield

Whoa …

I stay out of the Breaking News section of the paper, preferring to focus on sci-fi and my personal work. At the same time, can’t ignore what’s happening within various social movements like #MeToo. It’s leading to some very positive change, and it makes me think about what that could do for the scifi community and genre. More notes below the video:

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Why We Need Sci-Fi – Reality Is Overrated


I know watching the news is its own form of torture but last night was … wow. Hard to contemplate that this is where we are as a civilization in 2018.

When I first created the tagline ‘Because you need a break from reality,’ I never imagined how right I was going to be. I need a break from reality. You probably do, too. It’s terrifying. It’s soul-crushing. It’s just … wow.

That’s when I started writing again. Started typing right here at the keyboard. Turn off the TV. Turn off Reddit. Get back to work.

Reality can be very dark and depressing sometimes. For a person with my personal issues, it actually puts me back as far as recovery and progress. So I have to turn it off. I have to get back to imagination … it’s the only weapon in the war against reality, as the Cheshire Cat said.

Where our world isn’t what it should be, we can fight back. We can imagine what it should be. That’s the first step toward making it so. Science fiction fills that niche for me. It’s not just about pure fantasy, it’s about a place we can get to.

Dare to dream. Dare to imagine. Dare to create. That’s what I’m doing right now. I hope you’re able to do the same.

Author DIY: Build Your Own Free E-Book Delivery Tool

Author DIY: Build Your Own Free E-Book Delivery ToolEnjoy lifehacks? Enjoy making your life easier? Read on, because I just spent a number of hours over the past few weeks putting this all together.

Like any other author, I want to make introducing myself as easy as possible. Free book giveaways are a risk-free way for new readers to get to know you and your work.

How do you do that without killing yourself responding to emails all day? There are systems out there that do this for authors with budget. However, what about writers like us?

With that in mind, I put this free e-book delivery tool together for myself. Because I like to share, I’m giving it to you so that you’ll have more time to write, too.

This is involved, so read it through and understand all the concepts first. Then grab a cup of coffee and settle in. You’re going to spend three or four hours setting this all up. Rest assured, once you’re done, you’ll have a kickbutt automated system for giving away free stuff to your readers and it didn’t cost you a dime.

Ready? Let’s go!

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Attention ‘The Last Jedi’ Haters: This Guy Dropped the Mic on You

Attention 'The Last Jedi' Haters: This Guy Dropped the Mic on You [SPOILER ALERT]


I’ve been struggling with something ever since I saw The Last Jedi a few days ago. What do you say to the haters? How do you overcome the bile and the negativity toward what you thought was an amazing piece of cinematic mythology?

The novel deserves my attention. I don’t have the time to be Roger Ebert about this. I bit my tongue and shut my mouth, all the while screaming inside. This is beautiful, I wanted to yell. This is amazing. This is what we need and you’re missing it!

Happily, another Star Wars geek heard me. I read Nicholas’ takedown of every hater argument and it’s too beautiful not to share. Here follows his post from Facebook, which I reprint with his permission:

It took me ten days and a second viewing, but I’m finally ready to share my thoughts on “The Last Jedi.” It goes without saying, but just in case… spoilers aplenty below!

Attention 'The Last Jedi' Haters: This Guy Dropped the Mic on You [SPOILER ALERT]

This movie is f#%&ing brilliant, in ways I never could have imagined. The “Star Wars” films have always been more than movies; they are a mythology, and the strongest mythologies serve as a reflection on current times as well as provide guidance and lessons on creating a better future for ourselves. They force (pun intended) reflection, introspection, and challenge us to subscribe to concepts which may be a bit more advanced than we are used to. Continue reading

Some Sniper Rifle Motivation for Creators

Do me a favor?

Just Because You Haven't Doesn't Mean You Can't - Sniper Rifle Motivation

Remind me to do something the next time I’m feeling down about myself I start acting insecure about my work, I want you to tell me to go re-read the Wikipedia page on Ronnie Barrett.

You may not recognize his name, but you know his work. In 1982, Barrett began work on what would eventually become the .50 cal M82 sniper rifle. What’s interesting is that Barrett was a photographer with no background in manufacturing or engineering. However, he had an interest in making a semi-automatic .50 rifle and set to work.

The journey was not all sunshine and roses, as you’ll note on Wikipedia: Continue reading

A Word to You About The Way It Is With Me

A Special Message for You

Hi there … I feel like we got off on a bad foot.

Do you have a dream?
Did you try to make it into reality?
Was it easy or hard for you to do?

That’s where I’m at in my journey. Instead of letting my baggage bury me, I’m trying to stand on it and find my way out. Sometimes I get it wrong, but not because I don’t want to get it right. Maybe this can be the moment where I make a friend. Fingers crossed … Continue reading

Awesome Author Ideas: Supporting Yourself

Awesome Author Ideas: Support Yourself While You Write

I don’t know about you, but people have funny ideas about authors and how much they make. From time to time, I’m confronted by the myth that money isn’t something I think about, or that as an author, money just flows into my pocket like rain.

Nonsense. Authors have to pay the rent just like everyone else. Just read ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. Be entertained by his tales, living in a trailer in Maine having to choose between paying for his children’s medicine and fixing the car. Or read Scalzi’s essay “Being Poor.” Yeah, we know about being broke. We know all about that.

The question remains: *how* do you keep the lights on while you pursue The Great American Novel? Writing is a tough go after a ten-hour shift at the Amazon fulfillment center. What kind of job lets you support yourself, while leaving you enough energy to create?

Inspired by this Reddit post, I want to talk about some ways you can make money while you write. Please feel free to suggest your own and I’ll be happy to add them to an edited version of this blog post: Continue reading