Little Lost Dogs: Moving Into Phase Two

My wife and I spent the weekend up at the Grand Canyon. For me, it was a good way to unwind after a stressful week at work, and posting the last chapter of Little Lost Dogs. For her, it was a two day break from the two week mandatory training she’s attending at the Grand Canyon. Her job is awesome in many ways.

We had a great time, spending more money and eating more than we should have at El Tovar Lodge, visiting some of the on-site museums, and hiking. Did you know that not every trail at the Grand Canyon leads to the bottom? It’s true. The trail we took was sparsely populated, especially compared to the South Kaibab trail. It seemed less steep than the South Kaibab, too. No, I’m not going to post the name of the trail here. I want it to remain uncrowded and idyllic, for when I return.

I’m wondering about many things as this website enters into a new phase. At the moment, I’m wondering whether it was a mistake not to get a table at Copper Con this coming weekend. On the one hand, it’s a book-oriented convention, it profiles local authors, and it’s theme this year seems to be monsters. A book about a werecoyote detective, would seem to fit in perfectly. On the other hand, I don’t have any merchandise right now: no dead tree copies of the book, no prints of Adriel’s art, no t-shirts printed up to look like Reggie’s.

Which leads me to the next thing I’m wondering about: are you all interested? How many of you would want a shirt like the one Reggie wears in the Chapter One image?

Illustration by Adriel Begay
How about Chapter Twelve?
Illustration by Adriel Begay
How many of you would come to a convention if you knew I was going to be there, selling stuff? What kind of stuff would you like to see me selling?

I know you all are out there, so this is your chance to be heard. Either respond in the comments below, or at

Until Next Time

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Chapter Thirteen… and Epilogue

Illustration by Adriel Begay

What are you doing here? Don’t read the blogpost yet! Read Chapter Thirteen, Night of the Werefox, first. Then, read the Epilogue. No, I’m serious, read it. Then, come back, and read the rest of this post.

Welcome back. Welcome to the end. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading Little Lost Dogs as I had writing it. I hope you’ve enjoyed Adriel Begay’s illustrations as much as I have. I’ve spent so much time focused on writing the book, editing the book, setting up the site, and making it run (relatively) smoothly, that I don’t think it ever really clicked with me that this was it. It’s done. It’s out there. Anyone in the world with internet access can read my book now, for free.

Of course, there’s still work left to do. I’d like to make the book available to purchase for eReaders. Somewhere, in the far off future, there’s the possibility of a dead-tree edition that you can take on an airplane and read even when all electronic devices must be turned off. One or two of you reading this have expressed a desire to read more about Reggie and Sam. I must admit, I like that idea.

So please, watch this space. I’ll keep blogging. I’ll keep watching monster movies. I’ll keep you all updated on my next writing project.

Until next time.

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Blogroll Roll Call #7: Pop Culture Academic

Today, I’ll be recommending to you a blog by a friend of mine, Melissa. I should be more specific. You see, among my friends, “Melissa” is one of the two most common names. It’s up there with variations on “Sara/Sarah.” Actually, trying to narrow things down just makes things more confusing. She’s one of two Melissas who live near where my wife works. She’s also one of two Melissas I know through the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fansite/ social networking predecessor H2G2. Maybe I should just let Melissa describe herself:

I am, in no particular order, a historian of medieval and early modern Europe, pre-modern world history, and the history of monotheism, the mother of a teenager, a bar manager, beer snob, cat owner (not by choice), former university admin insider, adjunct community college instructor, and a goofball.

I read sci fi and fantasy for fun, and papal bulls for work. I am the mother of The D, a highly artistic, seriously goofy, teenager with ADHD and trichotillomania. I wouldn’t trade her for the world!

Why I Bookmarked It
As I’ve said above, Melissa is a friend of mine. She’s recently moved to a town only an hour’s drive away from where I live, but I’ve known her for about a decade at this point.

Why I Still Read It
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: being a friend gets you bookmarked, but it doesn’t keep you there. Melissa’s posts are entertaining, insightful, and fairly frequent. They offer glimpses into the world of Academia. They also give the reader a look into Melissa’s unique political outlook, her personal life, and her cooking. Yes, longtime readers will know that the most surefire way to keep me reading a blog is to occasionally post something like this.

Why You Should Read It
If you’re not convinced to read Melissa’s blog based on everything I’ve posted above, I would like to recommend to you her Twitter feed. Normally, I don’t recommend Twitter feeds alone, but for Melissa, I’ll make an exception. She regularly begins Tweets with “Dear Student.” These are the Tweets you want, no, need to read. This is where she says those things a teacher wishes she could say out loud… but can’t.

Dear Student, when I asked for someone you admire from history, I meant a person. ‘God’ is not, as far as I know, a human being.

Dear Student, maybe you should read the syllabus, eh?

I’m hoping she might someday write a book.

Until next time.

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August’s Full Moon Part 2

There’s a new Full Moon Monster Movie post about Nosferatu here. I hope to have a new Blogroll Roll Call up by some time tomorrow.

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Chapter Twelve, and Sorry for the Lack of Blogging

Illustration by Adriel Begay

Well now, isn’t that a friendly looking welcoming committee? It’s Chapter Twelve of Little Lost Dogs, Reggie Learns a Lesson. By werecoyote standards, Reggie’s not yet an old dog. Maybe he’ll learn a new trick?

I’m sorry I haven’t done any blogging this week. I owe you a Full Moon Monster Movie post, and a few Blogroll Roll Calls. I should have a few other news items next week, too. So stay tuned!

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Chapter Eleven

Illustration by Adriel Begay

As you can see from the illustration, in Chapter Eleven: The Accusation, Reggie, Sam, and Detective Banks have a nice chat with a man seated quietly behind a desk.

See you next Friday for Chapter 12.

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Blogroll Roll Call #6: South Africadventures

Today on Blogroll Roll Call I’m featuring South Africadventures, a Peace Corps oriented blog from my friend Matt Kertman. As one might expect from the title, the blog details Matt’s adventures as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa, where he’s been teaching school since last year. Teaching school, running marathons for charity, going hiking, all the usual Peace Corps stuff.

Why I Bookmarked It
Much like Amanda Jennison’s blog, I started reading Matt’s posts because I’ve known him since high school. He was a Freshman and I was a Senior. I seriously wish I could find some embarrassing photos of him that aren’t also embarrassing photos of me, but what can you do?

I’ve got another personal reason for reading South Africadventures. Specifically, my wife (who also went to high school with Matt) is a Returned Peace Corps volunteer. Reading Matt’s posts I see parallels between her descriptions of her time in Madagascar and Matt’s time in South Africa.

Why I Still Read It
During a recent posting on his blog about an experience he had while waiting for a Taxi, Matt posted this:

As most of us have learned, you never know what will happen in a kombie, and having a sympathetic Gogo/Make on your side, who knows you’re a teacher educating their children, is like tagging a star on Super Mario brothers. You’re temporarily invincible.

Matt’s comparison between the powers of older South African women and those of a video game power-up is, to me, enough to keep reading.

Why You Should Read It
Matt expresses an important viewpoint for many of us. He is a person immersed in a culture other than his own. Matt’s learning from South African culture while simultaneously trying to share his knowledge (and culture) with South Africans. It’s a delicate and difficult balance to walk, with respect and open mindedness on the one side, the desire to share and teach on the other. For those of us (myself included) that haven’t had this experience, South Africadventures presents an important perspective.

I recommend Matt’s blog for more than just the general benefit that the reader gets from his unique point of view, though. I recommend it because he’s a hell of a writer, and expresses himself aptly.

Until next time.

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Blogroll Roll Call #5: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Today on Blogroll Roll Call I’m featuring The Pioneer Woman Cooks, by Ree Drummond. It’s not the only blog on her site, but it’s the one I read. I don’t know Ree Drummond personally, she doesn’t blog about writing, or about geekery, or about online entertainment. Her only connection to my werecoyote detective story — and to me — is that she loves food. She takes gorgeous pictures as she cooks, and makes some great down-home dishes.

Why I Bookmarked It
Initially, I bookmarked The Pioneer Woman Cooks because my wife (at the time, my girlfriend) wanted me to. It was primarily the food at first, but when we realized that she often gave away brand new Kitchen Aid stand mixers or Le Creuset cookware, we knew we had to get in on these contests. So I bookmarked this site out of Gluttony and Greed. Mostly gluttony, since the greed for the new mixer and cook wear was born out of my desire for more delicious food.

When I decided to propose, I had a dinner all planned, and the side dish was to be Ree Drummond’s Olive Cheese Bread from this site. It turns out that the heavily spread, down-home, ranch-house bread didn’t really match with the more delicate pasta dish I’d dreamed up for the main course, but that was okay. It was okay because I actually ended up serving the dinner the night after I proposed (a story for a later time), and because the bread was fantastic. Whether it matched the main course wasn’t a huge concern for me, or my (at that point) fiancée.

Why I Still Read It
Unlike Amanda Jennison’s Front Toward Enemy, I don’t fully read every single post on this site. And I certainly don’t need the giveaways anymore. We got lots of cook wear, including some gorgeous Le Creuset, from the guests at our wedding. And my Mother-in-Law gave us her old Viking stand mixer a while ago. So the giveaways aren’t such a big deal anymore, and besides, those are now usually done through The Pioneer Woman’s sister site Tasty Kitchen. So why do I still read this blog? Why is it still bookmarked?

Well, for starters, she’s got a lot of old “how-to” posts that explain some cooking techniques that I find helpful. Of course, there’s also the pretty pictures. Food porn, really. But more than that, Ms. Drummond is sometimes a tad uncanny when it comes to her posts. This week my wife and I were trying to find ways to cut down on our grocery bill, so we were looking at bean dishes (to cut down on meat, which is expensive). Low and behold, the next day, Ms. Drummond posts a Spicy Beans recipe. Of course, it has ham hock in it, which sort of defeats the whole “don’t spend money on animal bits” goal, but hey. It was pretty darned cool.

Why You Should Read It
If you don’t like funny, beautifully photographed, detailed but simple instructions on making delicious food, then perhaps this blog has nothing to offer you. But if, like me, you are at least a little intrigued by any blogger whose motto is “plowing through life in the country… one calf nut at a time,” I recommend you take a look at this blog.

Until next time.

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August’s Full Moon

Each full moon creeps up on us so quickly. This Saturday is August’s full moon, which means it’s time for our monthly Full Moon Monster Movie Night, here at Green Bandit Press. I’ll be looking for suggestions from my readers on what Monster Movie my wife and I will be watching this weekend!

If you need a refresher on how the Full Moon Monster Movie nights work, read the Rules, here. If you want to read my reviews of past Full Moon Monster Movies, you can look here. And if you want to make a suggestion, you can leave a comment below. (If this is your first time commenting, your comment will await moderation. Sorry, but otherwise there’d be spambots posting all over the site)

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Chapter Ten, Blogroll Redux, and Other News

Illustration by Adriel Begay

This week, in Chapter Ten: The House of White, we take a little trip through time and space. Where? When? Why? Read on.

A little round-up of stuff you may have missed over the last week:

See you next Friday for Chapter 11, wherein Reggie and Sam file for Bankruptcy, and I get sued for recycling jokes from Dave Barry Slept Here.

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