In Honor of the Holiday Season

Dr. Doyle's Blog

Xmas Promo

Because storytelling is a good thing to do at the turning of the year, whatever the tradition:

It’s time for my annual holiday gift sale!  From now through Twelfth Night, my usual rate of $1500 for a standard-sized novel drops down to $1000, and my rate of $2000 for a 100,000-word-plus door-stopper drops to $1500.

If you’re a writer, you can buy a gift certificate for yourself and redeem it when you’re ready; if you have a writer in your life you’d like to support and surprise, you can buy one for them.  (It comes with a personalized .pdf certificate, suitable for printing out and putting into an envelope and hanging from the tree/slipping into a stocking/presenting in your favored manner to your favored person.)

More info on formats, payment, and the like can be found on my about page.

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Polar Express Movie Night

Magic show in Littleton, NH

Want to see The Polar Express?  Nah, you say.  Seen it.

Did you see it with a magic show?  A magic show with me?  No?  Then come on down!  If you’re anywhere in the Littleton, NH area on December 15th (that’s a Saturday), then come to the Opera House at 6:00 pm, pay a (purely nominal) admission, and see the show!

See my new-for-this-event candy cane wand!  Hear jokes like, “What did Santa say when he got stuck in the chimney upside down?”  (“Oh Oh Oh!”) and see a movie and meet Santa.  What’s not to like?

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Season’s Lamentations

Songs of the Seasons flyerSo there I was, one day in December of 1983, walking into the wardroom on USS Moinester (FF 1097) when I spotted a banner on the forward bulkhead that read “SEASON’S GREETINGS” in big gold letters.  And I read it as “Season’s Lamentations” because, immersed in the Ballads of Britain and assorted Middle Scots works as I was, to me to greet meant to weep or lament, as in “wha gars ye greet sae sair?”

This by way of explaining the title of this post.  He who laughs last had to have it explained.  You had to have been there.

Which is all by way of introducing the fact that my Glorious Sister (LCDR Supply Corps, USN, Ret) will be singing in the Songs of the Season concert,  09DEC18, 1500 (six bells of the noon watch).  Anyone in the Chicago area is invited to attend.

Music Institute Chorale Presents Songs of the Season

Date:  Sunday December 9 – 3:00 PM
Location:  Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
Contact:  847.905.1500
Cost:  $7 students/$10 seniors/$15 adults
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November Is National Novel Writing Month.

Dr. Doyle's Blog

Which means that it’s once again time for me to point discreetly at the Editorial and Critique Services link in my blog header (and right here in this post, as well) and observe that finishing your first draft is only the start of the novel-writing process, and that if you’re looking for some professional assistance of the line-edit and critique variety, I’m here to help.

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Meanwhile, in Vermont….

Tomorrow night (Saturday the 10th) I’ll be part of the “Live entertainment” at the Vermont Fantasy Masquerade Ball. 

Get dressed to the nines—mask and all—and join us for the Fantasy Masquerade Ball by Vermont Gatherings, held at the Champlain Valley Exposition!

Don’t miss this 21+ event!

*Cash bar
*Live entertainment and DJ

Tickets are available now!

Follow Vermont Steampunk Expo and Vermont Renaissance Faire for details as they are announced.

I’ll be doing magic.  See you there!


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Civic Duty, Accomplished

Dr. Doyle's Blog

Jim Macdonald and my brother and I went out at 9:30 this morning and voted. (Pencil and paper ballots, marked in curtained booths and stuffed into a big wooden box. We’re a small, small town.) The folks at the polling place said there had been a high turnout so far.

The only hard decision on the ballot was for our district’s state senator. The incumbent, a Democrat, has been accused of domestic violence; the challenger, a Republican, is . . . well, is a Republican; and not voting at all might as well be voting for the Republican. So no matter which way a non-Republican of conscience votes, at least one set of personal principles is going to get outraged.

This is why secret ballots are a good thing.

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And So It Begins

Dr. Doyle's Blog

Our front steps and driveway, this morning:

It isn’t going to stick, not this early, but I have got to get in touch with a heating guy before we get the one that does.

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Where We’ll Be This Weekend

Dr. Doyle's Blog

We’re going to be at Scintillation, a science fiction convention in Montreal. Except for being in a different country and all that, Montreal is actually more local to us than Boston, or even Manchester. (Reminder to self: Must go to Montreal more often.)

Scintillation is more or less a successor-state to Farthing Party, the convention that Jo Walton ran for eight years from 2006 to 2013. Jim Macdonald and I made all of them — even the year when we had to do the con as a Saturday day trip because we were moving our younger daughter into Simmons College in Boston on the following Sunday — and we were sad to see it go. When we saw that Jo was running a Kickstarter to bring a convention back to Montreal, we jumped onto the bandwagon right away.

(If you’re going to be at the con, don’t miss Jim’s presentation…

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A Thing to Do With Gift Tomatoes

Dr. Doyle's Blog

One of my brother’s friends cleared out her garden in advance of the frost, and as a result we ended up with a large bag full of fresh tomatoes — more tomatoes than we could possibly put into bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwiches, or add to salads. Letting them deliquesce in the refrigerator until they could be thrown out as inedible would be tacky, but neither did I feel like doing any of the things that would involve peeling and coring and scooping the innards out of that many tomatoes, either.

Then I found a recipe for marinara sauce in the instant pot that called for pureeing whole tomatoes skins, seeds, and all, and said to myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

And myself replied, “Well, the recipe could turn out to be a total failure even if you execute it correctly.”

“Yes,” I said, “but even if it is, these…

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A Meditation on Stuff

Dr. Doyle's Blog

For about the first decade and a half of my post-undergrad life, I moved house on a regular basis, progressing first through a series of progressively less crappy apartments and then through two stateside and one overseas Navy billets.  This did a great job of keeping the accumulation of Stuff down to a tolerable minimum, since every time I — later, we — moved, a certain amount of Stuff would be deemed not the worth the trouble to transport and recategorized as Trash.

There were idiosyncratic categorizations, to be sure (my class notes from two semesters of Gothic at UPenn have been permanently classified as Important Stuff, even though I don’t think I’ve looked at them since I got the degree back in never-you-mind) and some equally idiosyncratic and regrettable losses (there was a nice silver necklace from Arizona that got lost somewhere between Philadelphia and Newport News, back in…

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