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Dec. 22nd, 2020 | 09:28 pm

Imprisonment. Slavery. War. Love. Historical adventure speculative fiction & suspenseful lgbtq novels: duskpeterson.com

I have lots of fiction at my website.

This blog is intended for people who are permitted to read fiction and nonfiction in the adult section of their public library. Versions of this blog: Dreamwidth | InsaneJournal | LiveJournal.

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Progress meters courtesy of Rikki A. Hyperion.


110738 / 350000 (31.64%)

New stories

14 / 24 (58.33%)

New collections and reissues

22 / 24 (91.67%)

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A word about the American presidential election

Oct. 20th, 2016 | 12:44 am

For various reasons, I don't normally comment on politics at this blog. However, as many commentators have observed, this isn't an ordinary election year in the USA. In light of recent concerns expressed that violence might break out in the nation after Election Day, I feel it would be unethical of me to refrain from giving my view on the election.

So I'm going to make two suggestions. One is to folks who are sick at heart about the election and need a little levity in their lives. If you haven't already done so, have a look at the Saturday Night Live sketches about the election.

The other suggestion is to anyone who is voting in the election. You may be Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green Party, some other party, or independent. Whatever your political affiliation (or lack thereof), I'd like you to read an article - to the end, to get its full effect:

This is what is at stake in this election.

(Comments to this post are left open, but keep in mind that I won't be able to moderate the blog after Thursday, so please take extra care to keep the discussion civil.)

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Taking a short break

Oct. 18th, 2016 | 08:51 pm

I'm scheduled to have bunion surgery on the afternoon of Friday, October 21st. (On Friday, Jo/e will tweet at his Twitter account how the surgery goes.) I should be back in shape to work within a month, possibly well before then. But till I'm over the worst of the pain, I'll be taking a break from posting stories and from responding to e-mail and comments.

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Wildfire (The Three Lands) | #ao3 #fic #webserial

Oct. 16th, 2016 | 02:02 pm

"He had acquired a reputation in this part of Koretia, early on, of being more wild, more daring, more of a trickster than any other boy, save his blood brother, his co-conspirator in all mischief and pranks. When had that wild boy died?"

He was a loyal servant of the god. But even loyal servants have their limits.

When Griffith is cast into the role of leading a deadly blood feud against a rival village, he must decide how strong his faith is in the religion that decrees such feuds must occur. Griffith has always been a prankster . . . but can he trick his way out of this dilemma?

Read online or download as a free e-book: Wildfire (The Three Lands).

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One of my TV favorites (with video clips): Captain Kangaroo

Oct. 16th, 2016 | 01:28 pm

As a change of pace, I thought that I'd introduce you to one of my favorite television shows from early childhood (for those of you who don't already know it): Captain Kangaroo.

Captain Kangaroo was to my generation what Mister Rogers was to my younger brother's generation: an adult on TV who was a gentle, reassuring guide to growing up. I just bought a memoir by Bob Keeshan (aka Captain Kangaroo), and he says in it, "Everyone involved with the show believed that our audience was composed of intelligent human beings worthy of our respect and with potentially good taste." Exactly. Unlike most adults, Captain Kangaroo never talked down to me.

I'm sorry to report that what I remember most about the show is the giant tube of Colgate toothpaste that the captain would wind up during every show so that we could sing its advertising jingle. (This was the 1960s, remember.) However, the most profound effect the show had on me was to introduce me to many of the best children's picture books during that era and earlier. In his memoir, Good Morning, Captain, Bob Keeshan says, "We read more than 5,000 books on the show, many of them multiple times."

My mother later told me that I avidly listened to the captain reading books. My own memory is of listening to picture books through the Weston Woods films, which appeared on Captain Kangaroo. Well before Ken Burns came along to use the Ken Burns effect of panning and zooming across a still image and backing it with narration and music, Weston Woods had already used that technique with children's picture books.

Here's Make Way for Ducklings, my favorite Weston Woods film. You have to sit through a long ad to see it, but it's worth it. And here's an audio version of the same story, which was created to accompany a filmstrip version of the film. (We had Weston Woods filmstrips at my public library when I was a kid.) Note the beeps; they were to tell the listener to page forward the filmstrip to the next frame.

Weston Woods is still going, under the auspices of Scholastic Books. Here's a clip from a more recent book-film: Duck for President.

Captain Kangaroo became a sad victim of CBS's drive for greater audience numbers than they could achieve through a children's program. In 1984 the program ended after nearly thirty years, making it the longest-running nationally broadcast children's TV show of its time. (As Wikipedia observes, "In the early years of the series, Keeshan wore make-up in order to look suitably old for the character, but the show ran for so long that by the end, he was wearing make-up to look younger.") PBS picked up the show between 1986 and 1993, mainly airing reruns. Bob Keeshan remained an advocate of good children's television till his death in 2004. I still miss the captain.

Some episodes:

An episode from 1961, two years before I was born. It starts with the show's memorable theme music. At 15:30, Bob Keeshan's acting at its best, followed by a juggling act, showing all the things that could go wrong in early television. (Note also the faint sound of the camera crew laughing.) At 27:25, see an intimate moment between the captain and the viewer. And at the very end, the captain dusts away the credits as he says, "Everybody, please remember your prayers." It was a different era.

Captain Kangaroo advertising Rice Krispies in 1967. I was four by then and watching the captain. And yes, I remember the Rice Krispies train. (Not the tree, though.)

An episode from 1976 (in four parts). The new opening cleverly incorporated a snatch of the music from the previous opening. By then, I was thirteen, and my younger brother was the one in our family who was watching Captain Kangaroo.

Captain Kangaroo in the 1990s, when he was on PBS. The episode starts with a classic encounter between the captain and Mr. Moose. At 3:25, Bunny Rabbit joins into the fun. At 6:05, the captain tells a story.

Lovely Mr. Green Jeans, the captain's companion. I still have autographed postcards of the two of them that I received from the show in the 1960s.

An interview with Bob Keeshan in 1999.

News report tributes on the day of Bob Keeshan's death.

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In Hot Water (The Eternal Dungeon) | #ao3 #fic #mmromance

Oct. 9th, 2016 | 03:46 am

"He was the flame, and his love-mate was the kindling. To say they were mismatched was an understatement. He knew that it was only a matter of time before their relationship was tested. . . . Layle had simply not expected the test to be a pile of dirty dishes."

They are two of the most talented prison-workers in the world. It's a pity their skills don't extend to dishwashing.

When the kitchen laborers of the queendom's royal prison refuse to clean dishes until their demands are met, the High Seeker and his love-mate must figure out how to accomplish simple housework that elite men such as themselves never condescend to do. It seems an easy enough task. But hidden between the two men lie memories and secrets that will turn a simple task into something much more.

Read online or download as a free e-book: In Hot Water (The Eternal Dungeon).

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Daily life: A day in my life | #writerslife #amreading #amresearching #amwriting

Oct. 9th, 2016 | 03:23 am

"I used to take vacations from writing. You know, it's healthy to take breaks, to breathe different air, to gain a new perspective. I'd finish a novella and not write for three months. Really! I'd do that deliberately and not because of the dreaded Writer's Block. (I feel really uncomfortable even typing that. Nice muse. Good muse. The Muse is My Friend.) Now, the thought of three months without trying to write makes me shudder. I. Wouldn't. Know. What. To. Do. With. Myself."

--Intervention Needed?, a post by Jenna Hilary Sinclair on writing addiction.

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Pinned (Leather in Lawnville) | #ao3 #fic #gayleather

Oct. 2nd, 2016 | 10:16 am

"I was off the bootblack stand in an instant, my shout absorbed by the pounding music. I no longer had any thoughts for the top. My only thoughts were reserved for a frail old woman with a peacock-feathered hat, a polka-dotted robin's-egg-blue dress with matching purse, and an umbrella with a duck's head as its handle."

A rude top and an interfering family member prove to be an explosive combination at the Eagle bar.

Read online or download as a free e-book: Pinned (Leather in Lawnville).

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Americans: Not sure whether you'll be able to make it to your polling place on voting day?

Oct. 2nd, 2016 | 10:09 am

Jo/e and I usually aren't sure whether we'll be able to get to the polling place, what with our health issues. What we learned, to our delight, is that in Maryland, and in many other states, you don't need any particular excuse to use absentee ballots. You just ask for the absentee ballots, fill them out when they come, and drop your votes in the mail. I was never a very reliable voter, I'm sorry to say, but using absentee ballots has made voting super-easy.

Here's a multi-page list (in reverse order, for some odd reason) of state policies on absentee voting, which includes links to each state's form for requesting a ballot. And if you haven't already done so, don't forget to register to vote. You don't want this to happen again.

(Comments left enabled, but please keep any comments nonpartisan. I'd like this blog to remain a comfortable place for people of all political persuasions.)

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Daily life: I'm going on an acquisitions fast | #nospend #spendingfast #simpleliving

Oct. 2nd, 2016 | 09:06 am

"Even Socrates, who lived a very frugal and simple life, loved to go to the market. When his students asked about this, he replied, 'I love to go and see all the things I am happy without.'"

--Jack Kornfield: After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.

About the fastCollapse )
General rulesCollapse )
Books & periodicals (print and digital, including online fiction)Collapse )
InternetCollapse )
Audio & videoCollapse )
GamesCollapse )
FoodCollapse )
Pharmacy & medicalCollapse )
SuppliesCollapse )
Day jobCollapse )
WritingCollapse )
Gifts & charityCollapse )
TransportationCollapse )
Out-of-home entertainmentCollapse )

That's the full list of my rules for the fast. If any of you have placed limits on your own acquiring, I'd love to learn from your experiences.

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