Thursday, February 29, 2024

Episode #212: Housecleaning!

My late cat Holly, who was truly one of a kind, and has a place of honor in being my avatar for all things Google (blog, computer, YouTube, and Google Accounts for my Motorola smartie-phone).

And I bet you're wondering good old G.B. is posting twice in one week, and on Leap Day to boot. Well, as the title of this post blithely states, I have performed a bit of housecleaning.

Specifically, my book blog.

Since I have a new book coming out this spring, it would make sense to some much needed updating to the book blog, which hasn't been touched since 2021.

In short, we created new pages for most of the books that I have out, along with one simple blog post to greet all visitors. As things slowly progress with my writing, more pages will be added. 

So please let me know what you think about the new and improved book blog/store. I did keep the same blog theme, so the only changes made were: the nuking of all previous posts (aka reverting to draft) and the addition/subtraction of pages.


{c} 2024 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 26, 2024

Episode #211: How We Got Here From There {6th}

You would think that a town that preaches/teaches all of the properly "progressive" ideas about life would still have something like this hanging around the local elementary school. You would be incorrect in that assumption. It's now just a patch of....something...surrounded by a white picket fence.

Please find part the 1st here, who is desperately trying to fend off the attacks of the 2nd and his loyal peon the 3rd, who is dragging the rebel 4th kicking and screaming, while the 5th is mocking his cowardice.
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And now, I present to you the final post in this limited edition series. Enjoy.
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This particular letter "G", has been a bit trickier to deal with. On one hand, it kind of makes it nice to have one appear from time to time in my stories, but on the other hand, having one appear from time to time begs the question of how to tastefully and realistically write the character. Personally, I've been annoyed about the stereotypes that seem to populate most media these days, so I decided that if/when I would venture into the realm of that particular letter, I would do it realistically.

I have a male character called Silencioso, who one could call in the traditional sense of the word bisexual: likes both men and women. However, I decided to throw a few intriguing twists into the mix, in that I wanted to apply both modern and historical angles into the mix.

For starters, I decided not to make my character a traditional bisexual in the sense of the word, where he would decided which way to flow based on a variety of factors (yes, I am being general here, as I have not done any kind of delicate research into the mind of someone who is bisexual). Instead, I made it so that it would happen organically and it would be something that he would have no control over. His mind would decide that they wanted to go a particular way for a while, and they would drag him along for the ride.

As for both modern and historical aspects, it was, for me, a no-brainer. I wrote our Silencioso as a young man who worked in the palace livery stable, was in his mid-twenties, toned but not buff, like a typical stable hand. However, because the Pod Planet exists in a cultural and historical mish-mosh: modern tech yet has late medieval/early renaissance cultural mores, we've also hinted that he was very discrete with his encounters with the ruling class, which in turn made him a natural choice for this assignment. Because if you know anything about world history, discretion for anything out of the norm, no matter what class of people, was highly valued.

Now for my remaining female MCs, as it applies for this segment. One I haven't done much yet with, beyond having her be hetero, telepathic and the ability to create other beings such as animals. And maybe connect with the spirit world, but I haven't really decided on that yet. But for her daughter (yes, please enjoy this almighty swerve), I have made her to be quite the interesting individual.

For starters, I turned her into a genetically modified denizen of the Pod Planet, although that wasn't the original plan for her. About a dozen years ago, back when I had originally written this story, I gave my character a particular trait that was so far out of the realm of normalcy then (and now if applied in the way that is stated in the book) that I actually had second thoughts about continuing this extremely odd trait. In fact, I actually wrote a blog post about it to solicit my reader's opinion about it. Most had no problem.

Fast forward to now. Like I stated earlier, I made my character Nyx, a genetically modified denizen of the Pod Planet. The reason is pretty simple, in that our Ms Nyx is quite the buxom lady, and long story short, a decision was made to turn her into a feeder for the masses. I am quite confident that you can pretty much figure out what this very non-sexual trait is (I am being 100% legit serious here).

That is pretty much the entire back story I'm willing to put out here in this blog post for this particular character. I would also like to mention that she is the aforementioned host of the sentient siblings mentioned in an earlier blog post and that she also has a lover/slave under her nominal control as well.

I believe we have gone as far as I can comfortably go, exploring the complexities of what I decided to have for female characters, at least in this particular series. My male characters will always be the same mixture of toxic masculinity and Walter Mitty, with the occasional deviation whenever a particular scene/plot/story calls for it.

😎

I sincerely thank you for sticking around to the very end of this series exploring my world viewpoint and how it shapes my writing. So I sincerely wish you a Manic Monday, my Tuesday's Gone With The Wind, have a lovely conversation with Wednesday while pursuing a Throwback Thursday during a viewing of the original Freaky Friday.*

*we have a song from the 90's, a song from the 70's, a beloved cartoon/t.v character, a meme that everyone can enjoy and a Disney classic.

{c} 2024 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 19, 2024

Episode #210: How We Got Here From There {5th}

This photo was actually taken on December 28, 2023. Four aisles down on an endcap was/is a display for St. Patrick's Day. Feel free to either facepalm yourself to your knees or scrape the bottom of your jaw off the floor with a spatula. You're welcome.

Part the 1st is here, waiting for the 2nd, the 3rd and the 4th.
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While for the most part, I have diligently worked on showing the (mostly) tolerant side of homosexuality, I still needed to have a balanced and more nuanced perspective showing how cruel the world can be to the gay community. 

Adeola, who is Jhon's ex-wife, is even more of a complex character than Myla. So let's get that T.L.;D.R. out of the way. Adeola is a lesbian with almost zero (physical) interest in men. Was forced to marry and divorce Jhon and yet still pines for him.

Obviously, there is a cargo ship more to unpack here, and I will do my best to move beyond the preceding 24 word T.L.;D.R.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I do like creating ruthless corporate entities out of historically corrupt entities, e.g. Hell and Purgatory, or in this particular case, the Aztec Empire. For the purpose of this story, I have turned the Aztec Empire into a criminal corporation on the scale of a well oiled drug cartel, in that they have their fingers in all kinds of illegalities. And yes, I have brought along their more unsavory practices into the mix.

Anyways, just like with most criminal organizations, the Aztecs have the strange standards when it comes to certain things, like homosexuality.

Note: I know that this isn't historically accurate. It's called "artistic license".

With the Aztecs, I have made their legal system based on the old nineties policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". In a nutshell, there were certain military rules and regulations on the books regarding homosexual behaviors, but so long as you didn't tell them, they didn't ask about it nor did they prosecute. But if someone does tell, they are legally bound to investigate. For an added bonus, I made it so that the person making the accusation suffered the exact same punishment as the guilty party.

Enter our mercurial heroine Adeola.

I decided from the beginning to make Adeola a truly unique individual, which was directly inspired by the original version of this story. So, I made Adeola a solidly strong lesbian. Now I know you're saying to yourself, "Whaaaaaaaat?", but there is a method to my madness.

To begin at the end, with the end being Adeola summoned out of her ex-husband's collar. Why was she there to begin with?

Well, here is how it unfolds, which is based on info that comes out in dribs and drabs throughout the series. As I'd mentioned a few paragraphs earlier, I created a judicial system that has an official "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. If you know anything about US history from the mid-90's, the military had a policy of not inquiring about a soldier's sexuality, nor did they expect you to tell them (please see the preceding paragraph for a longer explanation, then Google the above phrase for an in-depth explanation).

Unlike the real world policy, this fantasy version would investigate if someone made a complaint. Someone did and Adeola was convicted for being a lesbian. Her two-part sentence was carried out, think Middle East/Inquisition style punishment for the first part, with the second part being an arranged marriage to Jhon.

Another concept I decided to introduce was that the Aztecs don't believe in divorce, only forced annulments performed by the judicial system. This was done to her because Jhon fulfilled his onerous contract with the Aztecs, but she was able to negotiate a parole, in which she would still be able to keep in contact with Jhon, thus taking up residence in his dog collar.

I should also mention that in addition to being on parole, she's still deeply in love with her ex-husband, even though their marriage was more like a friends w/o the benefits of them being husband and wife.

So this is where we stand with Adeola: a woman who acknowledges her sexuality, but because she has chosen to play by the rules she truly abhors and has done so with grace, has been allowed a greater degree of freedom within that society that probably would not be allowed to someone else in a similar situation. A woman who still cares deeply for her ex-husband, but is also willing to tentatively and discreetly accept feelers of all kinds from the women that she is involved with within this rescue mission.

Exit ramp #6: So far we have covered the letter "B" and the letter "L". Now it's time to cover the letter "G".

Doing the bossa nova back to the highway.

Tune in next Monday some time in the early a.m. for the 6th and final post in this nifty little series. Here's to you having a Blue Plate Special Monday, a Taco Tuesday, followed by a Wayback Burger Wednesday, Tortellini Thursday and a Fried Plantain Friday.*  

😎

*note: local radio station in the 80's had a program called "Blue Plate Special", not sure what kind of music was played; we all know Taco Tuesday; Wayback Burger is a regional chain located mostly in New England and the East Coast; I like different kinds of pasta; and my daughter turned me onto plantain chips.


{c} 2024 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 12, 2024

Episode #209{a}: The Mortality Of Familial Love


Slowly the pieces of the puzzle have been properly assimilated. After 8+ years of work, from inception through multiple re-writes (like over a dozen), I now can show you the cover, which was expertly designed by 100 Covers/Book Cover Design, to this long gestated novella. I just sent this cover off to my formatter of choice, so I am looking to do a March 2024 release.

Blurbs

Revenge is a brutal game, but Dmitri is playing for keeps.

Soul collecting is both a dangerous and lucrative business, and no one knows better than the netherworld’s premier soul collector, Dmitri. Creating enemies is part of the job, but when a simple favor for a friend turns out to be a set-up, Dmitri finds himself in the crosshairs of a contract hit. Tangled in a web of sex, lies and violence, the collector must do whatever it takes to survive.

Survival is a brutal game, but Dmitri is playing for his life in this fast paced dark fantasy.

Thank you to one and all for hopping onto the freight train that is my writing, and I sincerely hope that this book will be the fast paced/adventure story that will leave you craving for more.

{c} 2024 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved