Archives: Personal

Princess Scientist’s Advent Calendar Day 04

One thing fun about these things is that I’m learning video techniques as we go on. Of course, daily shows mean if you do something wrong, you don’t have a lot of time to fix it, and you can’t reshoot an advent opening, sooo… we had fun with this one.

Princess Scientist’s Advent Calendar Day 03

We’re both feeling meh today, but we gotta get in that Christmas spirit!

Princess Scientist’s Advent Calendar Day 1

It’s time to open the advent calendar again! This year we have both our classic old advent and a new chocolate advent. Considering technical difficulties, we are going short and simple this year. Or at least today.

Inspired as always by Grant Baciocco’s Advent Calendar Podcast!

Post holiday catchup

What’s that word when you have been away for a while and you drive 12 hours – broken up by a 1.5 hour funeral along the way home – and you get home and have a migraine and take a pill and wake up completely brain dead and unable to get to work because brain not work good?

Right. The word is AUGH.

I’m home from Thanksgiving in Buffalo and pretty useless. Still in my robe and need to go get the dogs from the kennel soon. So I’m going to keep this short. The biggest thing is people are letting me know that the service I’m using for direct purchase of Merry Christmas from the Heartbreakers (Look! Sidebar! Buy it! Yay! Cyber Monday! Booyah!) is not delivering immediately in some cases. If this happens to you, PLEASE email me (mightymur at gmail). I’ll already have proof of your receipt in my inbox, so if you mail me directly I’ll shoot the files over to you.

[EDIT- As of 12/2/12 I have removed all links to the offending site that didn’t deliver. Remember if you bought from me and didn’t get your files, EMAIL ME.]

Secondly, I got an awesome thing in the mail when I got home from the trip.

The ARC for The Shambling Guide to New York City is here!

My dress isn’t pretty enough.

This is Victoria. I don’t know her but she has a pretty dress. She deserves to be invited to all the parties. Photo CC licensed by Robert Douglas – BY-SA

Some people like the fact that I show my insecurities on I Should be Writing. It tells them that they are not alone in their insecurities, that they are something to overcome, that you can reach publication while still feeling like someone’s going to knock on your door and demand the advance back because they just found out that YOU ARE A FRAUD.

Others don’t like it because they think I shouldn’t feel that way once I have reached the level in my career that I have. Get over it. I should quit whining; it’s obvious I’m doing OK, I have the writing creds to prove it. And their emails do so much to regulate my emotions. Thanks guys, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

But in reading [REDACTED] online today I discovered a new negative feeling that comes with the low level of pro writing that I have achieved. It actually comes from reaching a small sense of self worth. Where the feeling USED to be, “Wow, I’d love someday to be invited to contribute to a book like that,” now it’s, “Hey, wait, I’m totally qualified to contribute to that. Why didn’t they invite me? Wait. Am I done? Am I over? Did I never arrive? Did they sample my work and decide, ‘hm, no, not again.’ Or worse, did they read something I wrote online or hear me on a podcast and think, ‘yeah, we’re not inviting that asshole to a project.’ WHY WASN’T I INVITED TO THE PARTY? I WORE MY PRETTY DRESS AND EVERYTHING!” *runs off to eat frosting*

I often liken this career thing to a domed party in the desert. You think that you’re in the desert and all the pro writers are inside the party, and you need but ONE break to open the door and be invited in where there are water, showers, and waiters carrying trays of champagne once you dry off. But once you get in, you realize the party is only along the outer perimeter, and there is ANOTHER party right inside. And inside there? More parties. The parties of the multi-book deal, or the six-figure deal, or the movie option, or the actual movie being made, or the award winners. I had accepted this Dante-esque view of a writing career, but I had never expected that some people who I think are at the same party I am will get invited to other parties while we’re mingling. I mean, we’re all with the cocktails and the humorous WorldCon stories, and then a waiter in tails comes by with a little engraved notecard to hand to my companion, and he reads it and then excuses himself and goes on to the next party. Why didn’t I get one? Did I not wear the right pretty dress?

This is, of course, all metaphorical insecure BS. First, you don’t measure your career with someone else’s career as a yardstick. Second, not everyone can be invited to a party, just the law of averages, or some other mathematical rule, says that they can’t invite every talented person to every project. Third, maybe you’re not the right person – or even good enough – for that project, and that’s OK. Really. As long as you persist, your chances will improve, as will your talent.

Besides, you don’t stay hungry and scrappy by having every opportunity handed to you. The occasional disappointment/letdown/failure will make you fight all the harder next time.

And by you I mean me, obviously.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had a migraine most of today, but I did manage to bake 3 pies, cook breakfast, feast with the family, and tell y’all how grateful I am for you who are my friends, listeners, readers, or just someone who stumbled on this site looking for something… else.

Although the site is new enough that I’m not sure weird-ass search strings will lead you here. But whatever. Welcome. Thankfulness.

Did I mention I was coming off a migraine? I’m kinda loopy now. But I’m grateful for all sorts of things. Boy howdy.

The book! In case you failed to look to the right to see the sidebar.

Did I also mention I had a Christmas story collection ebook out? I mean, I know I did, but that’s a subtle way to remind you in case you haven’t purchased it. And it’s SCREAMING up the charts. Well. It’s #92 in SF Anthologies on Amazon, which IS A CHART. You can buy directly from me, epub and mobi, via the image below, or buy from the Kindle store.

(Buy directly from me.)

And hey, if you’ve purchased it, THANK YOU! And if you can’t or don’t want to, but you have enjoyed my Xmas stories in the past, throw a review at Amazon, would ya?

What I hate about blogging

I did

I did not, however, sell my kidneys on the Internet.

Is that you get distracted and blink and suddenly OMG days are gone and you haven’t updated!

The trip took a lot out of me, but was ultimately awesome. Then I came home and had some health issues for about a week, and that’s resolved but now I’m all “WHEW- oh fuck, wait, I’m behind on everything.”

So happy Thanksgiving, safe travels, and good luck with NaNo, if you’re still in it. (Travel, school, and other projects have me saying, again, “next November…”) I’ll be updating some audio soon.

Good morning from NOLA

Everything you want to know about vomit inside a space suit is here.

So instead of fretting at home about the elections, yesterday I sat in the car for around 15 hours yesterday driving from NC to New Orleans with my friend Ursula Vernon. While one of us drove, the other obsessively read Twitter, FiveThirtyEight,, or #RomneyDeathRally. We also listened to the Mary Roach book Packing For Mars.

Cool thing: Did you know that the best thing to do if you’re in a falling elevator is lie down on your back?

Currently I’m in a dark hotel room working while Ursula sleeps, and then we will go wander the city and do research for my next book, the sequel to The Shambling Guide to New York City. (Guess what city it takes place in. Go on. Guess.)

Will post pics and more of our adventures. Stay tuned.

And while my state went more conservative (Kinda expected since our previous liberal governor turned out corrupt – thanks, Easley) I’m absolutely thrilled by the reelection of Obama, the resounding support of gay marriage (whether it was legalization or refusing to pass anti-gay amendments), the shutting down of the rape-apologists, and having the most women in the Senate than ever before! Things aren’t 100% peachy, and I pretty much agree with Dr. Phil Plait here, but damn, I’m so glad my uterus can stop clenching.

Dear AI Writers

Was looking for a good Fallout 3 screenshot, then in my search I found this picture of Liam Neeson, who’s a voice actor for Fallout 3. I pretty much forgot everything else I was doing and decided to post this instead. Mmm. Liam Neeson.

I used to work at a game company. I am married to a game programmer (14 years this week!). I’ve been friends with graphics programmers, AI programmers, UI programmers, networking programmers, and more. I know this job is tough. Really.

But do you think, maybe, you could consider the logic involved in having an NPC ally run in front of your PC as they’re firing a ranged weapon?

I play Mass Effect 2. My team takes their position, battle starts, everyone starts running around, and I start hearing “taking friendly fire!” I know I’m not the best shot, but this happens a LOT.

Last night I was playing Fallout 3. Some Brotherhood of Steel dudes were fighting some raiders. Hey, I thought, I’ll help! So I ran in and got myself a nice sheltered corner. I have a machine gun, so there’s not a lot of stealth involved. It’s not like they could say, “I totally didn’t notice the woman running into the room going RATATATATATATATAT.”

I’m firing a long round of bullets and then suddenly a dude runs in front of me and “Sneak Attack on Brotherhood of Steel” pops up, and the dude I’m there to help out turns around and starts shooting at me. This of course puts his back to the Raider, and between the Raider shooting him and his focus on me, the dude dies immediately. I am not too sorry. Fucker tried to shoot me.

This happened a lot in Skyrim, when I was a magic user or ranger and hired a tank to go in with me. Only, the tank would place him or herself RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME in order to engage the enemy. Without even an “excuse me.” Then I would shoot them and either they would die or turn on me, and we’d have a merry chase throughout the dungeon with me yelling, “I don’t want to kill you, I just leveled you up! Quit it!”

I don’t know how to program. Not even a little bit. But it seems that you could put in some awareness of teammates’ positions, and reluctance to place themselves directly in front of said teammates.

Or shit, just have them realize that if you do run in front of a woman who’s shooting a machine gun to help you out, and you get shot, it’s your goddamn fault and don’t turn around and shoot at her. Because she will then have to loot your broken, bloody body and your combat armor is really fucking heavy, and that’s just rude to expect her to carry it back to Megaton.