Blimprider Times, No. 14

First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads aboard.  We’re all at different points in our journeys, and the experience is unique for all of us, and yet we’re bound by the experience.  Here’s hoping it’s the best that it can possibly be!  And now, on with the show.

Featured Site of the Week


This week I give you Rambles, Writing and Amusing Musings from the wide-ranging pen of Laurie Bell.  In her own words,

I have been writing on and off about all sorts of things for a long time.  Musings, rants, rambles and actual works of fiction are a staple of my blogging life.  I envy those amazingly talented folk who can write poetry or music because I certainly can’t!  This blog is not that.  I just ramble… so I hope you enjoy!

I have many pieces of work here, some in progress, some completed.  I apologize for editing errors which are my own as it is not my strength – my creativity is, however, so enjoy my stories.  Also, any comments I make are entirely my own opinion.  I do not speak for anyone but myself.

Join me on Twitter @Laurienotlori”

Laurie posts interviews, writing prompts, talks about her journey through the Craft, performs reviews of other writers’ work, and offers up razor-sharp flash fiction.  Her latest book, The Butterfly Stone, is available now, and will be discussed in full below.  If you have any interest in writing (and why are you reading this blog if you don’t?), be sure to stop by soon for the full treatment; it’s a very enjoyable experience!

View from the Blimp


I still have room for a couple of alpha-readers for The Darklighters.  The pay is a listing on the acknowledgements page with a link to your blog or page.  And, of course, the chance to read a great book before the rest of the world…  Who am I kidding, I can’t even write that with a straight face!  Just join in, and we’ll have some fun.  If that sounds attractive, read the Darklighters sample at the tab above, and if it’s your cup of tea, message me on the Contact form and I’ll give you all the particulars.  I have finished five scenes (first draft), which is 25% of the story.  Probably won’t get any done today, because Father’s Day, but I’ll be back on it with great diligence tomorrow.

Interesting Reads


The Butterfly Stone by Laurie Bell.


Beware!  Something is after Tracey Masters, a Mage-kind teen in a mostly non-magical world—a world where people like Tracey are often feared and oppressed.  Add to this stress a crazy family life, the schizo pressures of school, friends, and bullies, and working a boring job as an assistant at her uncle’s detective agency for magical types, and life isn’t just hard, it’s chaos!  That is, until a mysterious woman walks through the door with a case about a missing necklace known as the Butterfly Stone.  The case seems to be the big break Tracey is looking for to prove herself and her abilities as Mage-kind.  But she unexpectedly finds herself dangerously connected to it when the evidence takes a turn that reveals secrets from Tracey’s past, and places her friends and family in mortal danger.  She also discovers that she’s being hunted by a shadow that senses her magic is the key to unlocking the power it’s after.  The magic within the Butterfly Stone is too powerful to be contained, but if Tracey doesn’t learn how to control it, and escape the threat of the shadow that surrounds it, she could lose everything and everyone she cares about …  beginning with her younger sister, Sarah.  $2.99 on Kindle.


A couple of issues back, I gave you Night Shift from the pen of B.K. Bass.  As a little refresher, Night Shift is a futuristic detective novel set in New Angeles, and tells the story of Harold Peterson, a homicide detective who finds himself entangled in a decades-old case that points to corruption at the highest levels of government.  Its author terms this an “episodic novel,” and Episode Six was posted yesterday.  Of considerable interest is the fact that this work is being offered for free.  All you need do is click in and read, so mystery lovers, what are you waiting for?  Free on Wattpad.

And that’s 30 for this issue.  I’ll be back Wednesday with some more promotions, and some chest-thumping (I hope!) about my Father’s Day loot.  See you then!

Blimprider Times, No. 13

Featured Site of the Week


“Three nerds, each with real life problems, don’t get to do the ‘nerdin’ out’ they once did.  But there’s always time to get together with the nerd buddies for a little lunch.  Join CT, Jeeg, Pax and a rotating ‘Fourth Chair’ guest as they discuss pop culture, junk food, and more.”

Carlin Trammel

Thus reads the intro to the first blog I formally followed when I joined the blogosphere in 2010, and one of the most enjoyable crews it has ever been my pleasure to encounter, the boys of Nerd Lunch.  C.T. (Carlin Trammel), Pax (Paxton Holley), and Jeeg (who the hell knows?) get together weekly with their Fourth Chair guest to discuss every manner of popular culture phenomena that comes down the track.


I’m not kidding.  Do you like movies?  They cover them, from the Muppets to the Avengers.  Cartoons?  Television?  Comic books and characters?  You’re in luck there; C.T. interned at Marvel.  Fast food?  Snack food?  They cover it all, and in their own inimitable style!  I’ve been reading their blog, then following their podcast for about seven years, and over those years, I’ve commented, chatted, been mentioned in a very cool feature of their blog, and they’ve even helped me with my computer settings.  The point I’m trying to make is that they are incredibly approachable; this is not some closed clique that will make you feel like a perpetual outsider.

Paxton Holley

Founded July 30, 2007, Nerd Lunch was created as a means of allowing three buddies who would get together for “nerd lunch” to stay in touch after two of them moved away.  Launched as a blog, articles would primarily be focused on the topics discussed during the lunchtime get-togethers.  In 2011, under the banner of the now defunct “Atomic Geeks Podcasting Network,” Nerd Lunch launched a weekly podcast.

This is a long-time production that has stood the test of time and technology as the years have passed, undergoing changes in personnel (Pax replaced one of the founding members) and platforms, style and formats, and always coming up a winner on the other side of every challenge.  Their viewpoints are varied and intelligent, and if you have any interest in the popular culture that surrounds you on every side, listening to these guys will help you to discourse intelligently on virtually every aspect of it.

New episodes post every Tuesday via Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.  Nerd Lunch; just follow the link and add it to your favorites, then settle back and enjoy!

View from the Blimp

I have scattered my efforts over many projects, not finishing any one, but moving all of them along.  The all-important first scene of The Darklighters is finished (first draft, of course), and about half of the outline is finalized.  I’m on the late stages of William’s map of Railroad City, and I’m filling in the categories on the Darklighters bible.  I’m playing catch-up with that, as much of the foundation was poured in Beyond the Rails III.  And as if all that weren’t enough, I’m reading a really excellent book which I’ll be reporting on soon, however book reviews happen over at Jack’s Hideout, so drop by over there on occasion,  and soon there’ll be a nice treat waiting!

In Other News…


Nightfear Manhattan by author Steve Moore is a Post Victorian, Steampunk, Erotic Vampire adventure, set in the bustling City of New York circa 1905. The Symposium of the White Rose track the oldest and deadliest Santorinian Vampire from Greece to New York. They send their most formidable hunter, Aris Anistasios, to find and destroy the Vampire Queen. Aris must prevent her breeding and swarming with Soldier Vampires, causing death and mayhem in New York City. President Theodore Roosevelt and Wild West Hero, Bat Masterson feature in the monumental effort to save the City from blood, sex and violence.

See you Friday for more fun and games.  Until then, read well, and write better!

Blimprider Times, No. 12

Featured Site of the Week

This week I’m going to take you to the site of Elle Schroder, a New Zealand blogger whose backstory makes her an exceptional friend.  She is a moderator, and when I broke from them in a snit a few months back, she offered me a friend request on GoodReads, thus becoming the first of my WdC acquaintances to offer me their friendship independently of that site.  I have been far too cavalier about putting her front and center, and with this post I shall rectify that oversight.

Elle’s blog contains poems, short stories, photos, book reviews and her thoughts on a variety of topics, and has won a Versatile Blogger Award; it is very much worth your time.  You can get down with Elle at The Road to Elle.

View from the Blimp

This week my “writing” time has been spent working up a map of Railroad City for William J. Jackson, whose name appears here with alarming frequency.  His Rail City trilogy is a thrilling read, and William has a love of running specials, so keep an eye on his site, The Rail Baron, for nearly constant freebies and reduced prices.  And, reduced prices or not, watch his work for fantastic reads.

But I digress.  This map will be a good one, and I’m happy to do it for a delightful young man who has called me his “brother from another mother,” but it is very time-consuming. and I won’t be saddened when I’ve put it behind me.  I had just finished A Visit of State when I was hit with two requests for maps.  I was happy to provide them, but it’s time for me to get moving on The Darklighters series.  I still have room for a couple of beta-readers for those stories, and anyone who signs on to the project will be looking at a few modest rewards, so drop me an email and join the group.  It might be your only chance to see what my work looks like before it gets polished for public consumption!

In Other News…

You’ve seen quite a bit of press here over the last few posts about Karen J. Carlisle and her upcoming new release, Aunt Enid: Protector Extraordinaire.  The launch date is May 29th, and she will be celebrating it with a launch party on Facebook, during which she will be on the site all day to chat, answer questions, and just generally have and contribute to a great time for everyone.  Take note that she is in Australia, which fairly likely means that the date she has scheduled is very likely to be Monday the 28th for those of us on the east side of the Date Line, so check in Monday, and if she isn’t there partying hearty, then come back Tuesday.  You can find the lovely and talented Ms. Carlisle’s Facebook page here.

And that’s 30 for today.  Join me next Wednesday, the 30th, when I plan to talk about my personal philosophy of being a writer.  Until then, smile like you’ve gotten away with something!