Monday, April 26, 2010

Pit Planet Smashworded

I put one of my old novels on Smashwords as an e-book. This one didn’t take long to do. I guess I’m getting faster at this. Formatted the text, designed the cover, zippity zip. It’s here:

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I like saying that. Smashwords. Smashwords!

We just issued Leonore’s novel, Apart from You, in e-book format via Smashwords. (Smashwords!) The link is:

Smashwords! Or did I already say that?

I’m going to start getting all of my old books out as e-books the same way. Namely, via Smashwords. (Smashwords!) I’m thinking of completing my vampire series as e-books. Two were published in mass-market paperback, eons ago, but I had plans for two more, which I’ll probably write, this time around. Similarly, my one real mystery novel was supposed to be first of three novels featuring the same (somewhat anti-)hero, so maybe I’ll do that complete series now.

Via (all together now) Smashwords!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gloob died today

It was an incalculable loss to mankind. He was the last of his people, the Gleb, and the last speaker of their language, Glebbish. Gloob leaves behind a cultural and spiritual void of immeasurable dimensions. At their peak, the Gleb spread across two square miles of virgin rainforest. Their language contained at least 24 distinct nouns describing the shape of the leaves of the Wakawaka tree, and each of those nouns had its own declension. With Gloob, not only did that unique linguistic heritage die, but so too did the the deep, spiritual relationship between the Gleb and the Wakawaka tree. A special way of seeing Wakawaka leaves has vanished. Our planet is impoverished by his passing.

And so on and so forth, blah blah fuckety blah. How many times have you seen this shit? The last speaker of a very minor language dies, the last repository of a very minor and very primitive culture dies, and a certain portion of the human race goes into paroxysms of grief and pontification.

Did you know Gloob? Were you affected by his death? Was anyone you know affected by his death? Has the vast engine of industrial civilization paused for the slightest fraction of a second to acknowledge it?

Did you know anything about the 24 (at least!) distinct Gloob nouns for the shape of the leaves of the Wakawaka tree, and their 24 (at least!) different declensions? Has their loss impoverished your usage of English? Do you give a shit? Other than linguists, does anyone who didn’t know Gloob care?

Gloob may have been a wonderful chap. His death may be a lasting sorrow to those who knew him. But in spite of the leaves of the Wakawaka tree, the effects of his death don’t extend beyond his immediate circle. Or perhaps Gloob was a rotten son of a bitch and everyone who ever came in contact with him is celebrating his death. The pontifications will be the same in either case.

There’s a good chance that while you were reading this a very good man died somewhere, causing lasting grief to those who loved him. Let’s call him John. Unless John was a major world leader, odds are you’ll never know about him or his death or the sorrow it caused. John’s death will have no effect beyond his immediate circle. Most likely, John was a speaker of English or Mandarin or Spanish or Arabic. His death will have no effect on those languages or world culture or our relationship to the Wakawaka tree. The only difference between John and Gloob is that no self-important bloviators will pontificate about how John’s death diminishes us all.

David’s Definitions for June 2010


Hard work, especially painful or extremely unpleasant work. It used to also refer to the painful experience of giving birth. It comes from the old French word travailler, which could mean to work hard or to torture. In turn, that came from the Latin word trepaliare, to torture. In case you care, that Latin word came from the Latin word tripalium, a three-pronged instrument of torture, which in turn came from the Latin tri, three, and palus, stake. We get our world pole from that last Latin word. Think of all of this when the alarm goes off tomorrow morning. By the way, you might suspect that our word travel also comes from the French word travailler, because they look so similar. Indeed it does. Travel showed up in English in the 1300s, a time when traveling was a pretty arduous and dangerous undertaking. At least they didn't have alarm clocks, although some of those old English travelers must have fantasized about torturing the roosters that woke them up.

(Will be published in the June 2010 issue of Denver's Community News.)

I'm collecting all of these at: