I know nothing about Dr. Who

By | Comms | 13 Comments

New York Comic Con has come and gone. With record crowds (and finally a real anti-harassment policy that appears to be working) this was the best NYCC yet, my third as a professional author. I have been a fan of this con since its inception, and to finally be attending as a professional is so affirming that it’s hard to put in words. Every year, I have a ritual: in early September, I get the email from my publicist telling me what my NYCC itinerary is for the year. I don’t open it right away. I stare at the email in my inbox and imagine what awesomeness lies in store for me this year. Will I be sitting alongside one of my literary heroes like Jack Cambell, waxing eloquently on the finer points of military writing? Will I be on a geek trivia game show, laughing and rubbing elbows with the likes of John Scalzi or Pat Rothfuss? Will I…

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All Hallow’s Read Giveaway Contest!

By | Comms | No Comments

The leaves are turning, the pigeons are fluffing up their feathers, and the weather is backpedaling faster than a congressman caught red-handed in an airport bathroom. That can only mean one thing folks: autumn is upon us. The crisp bite to the air, the smell of wood-burning fires, the armorer issuing pumpkin-spiced rounds for our sidearms, autumn is my favorite season. Now, you know me, I work a whole lot, and when you’re as busy as I am, you tend to miss stuff. I haven’t done anything special for the fall, nor for Halloween (my favorite holiday) in years. Well, this year, I’m going to change all that. Yes, sir. This year, I’m going to stop and smell the . . . well, all the roses are dead because it’s too cold, so I guess I’ll stop and smell the . . . Jesus, I live in Brooklyn. Who am I kidding? I put a clothes-pin on my nose every time…

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Wil Wheaton’s Law of . . . Policing

By | Comms | 5 Comments

I have been asked over and over again lately to comment on events evolving in Ferguson. That’s difficult for me to do, as I haven’t been there, and I know these kinds of situations are intensely fluid and wildly distorted by media outlets with competing agendas. I also try to think a bit before opening my mouth (something I fail to do constantly). In the end, my thoughts are academic, which may be a way of ducking the question, but I think speaks to the issue question of what we want our police to look like in the coming years. To explain what I mean, let me talk for a second about Wil Wheaton. Like many, I grew up with him as Ensign Wesley Crusher on Star Trek (a nickname I was given when I was an Ensign myself, after my shipmates learned I was a science-fiction fan), and then lost him for a while until I went pro as…

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Free Story – A Place for Heroes

By | Comms | 15 Comments

Anyone who knows me has heard me say that I neither read nor write short fiction, except when I do. What I mean by that phrase is that I *rarely* read or write short fiction, because long form is really where my heart is. I try to live by the military axiom “you fight like you train.” If I want to be a great novelist, then I need to be writing novels. That’s the advice I give to aspiring writers. It’s fine if you *want* to write short stories, but viewing them as a means to success in long form is like practicing archery because you want to be a better shot with a pistol. But there are times when I have an idea that just doesn’t suit long form, and that’s the case with my SHADOW OPS novelette, WEAPONS IN THE EARTH, which will be published in the forthcoming John Joseph Adams’ OPERATION: ARCANA. Thinking about this, I reviewed one…

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On diet, fitness and giving yourself a break

By | Comms | 47 Comments

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of requests for diet and exercise advice. Staying in shape is a job requirement for me. Every few months, I get a new sailor into the unit, on average 10-15 years younger than I. Part of my job is to make sure that they meet physical fitness standards for our Search-and-Rescue (SAR) and Law Enforcement (LE) missions. It’s a cut above what the rest of the guard has to qualify for, and I cannot accept anything less than the standard requires. Because if you’re not in proper shape when you get out on the water, then you can’t do your job. And if you can’t do your job, then someone could die. And that’s on me. I absolutely flog myself on physical fitness. Because I can’t tell these new sailors to meet a standard, I can’t discipline them for failing to meet a standard, if I don’t meet it myself. I am the head…

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