A Poem

I had mentioned an affection for poetry in my interview with Mark Carver. Here’s one from a while back, written for the daughter of a family friend.

The Tale of Jessica J

Please take the time for this little rhyme
Of a girl with a curious name,
Of prim apparitions, and crucial decisions
That lead to glory or shame.

Jessica J was four, what’s more,
she could be quite a handful.
She’d scream and shout and point and pout,
And stomp around demand-ful.

Her mother was nice and gave advice
To amend her daughter’s behavior,
She took great pains to try and explain,
And did what she could to save her.

“It’s wrong,” she’d say, “to act that way.”
“Good manners matter most.”
“If you will not heed, I really need
to call Miss Emily Post.”

Jessica J said “Go away!”
While bouncing on her bed.
“You can’t frighten me,” she said with glee.
“Miss Emily Post is dead.”

“I’ll fling all my toys, and make faces at boys.
And build big tents in the hall.
I’ll leave a huge mess, and suck on my dress.
You can’t stop me at all.”

“You’re right,” Mom sighed, with a tear in her eye.
“Whatever shall I do?
At the end of my rope, I’ve given up hope.
What will become of you?”

Then from the first floor came a sound at the door,
A crisp, little voice spoke out.
“Come here, my dears, and do not fear,
Miss Emily Post is about.”

The figure was dressed in clean white and pressed,
carefully fitted apparel.
“You’ve begged and you’ve pleaded. I see that I’m needed.
The young lady is turning quite feral.”

“I’ve seen your plight, I’ll make things right.
I’ve come with a remedy.
Now mother, you must, in me put your trust.
Leave Jessica J to me.”

Emily Post, the elegant ghost, motioned for Jess to come.
But she wouldn’t do it,
grabbed her dolly and threw it,
Turned ‘round and started to run.

Miss Post, she did smile with impeccable style,
And waved a hand full of glitter and light.
She whisked Jess away to the table to stay
until she learned her manners aright.

“Shoulders don’t droop. No hair in your soup.
No burping or feet on the table.
Don’t eat with your knife, or scream for your life.
Pay attention whenever you’re able.

Don’t interrupt, or knock over your cup.
It’s not appropriate in the least.
Or mash food with your toes, suck noodles up your nose.
It makes you look like a beast.

The thing you must know in order to grow
to a lady both joyous and bright,
Is that Fate can be frozen by deeds that are chosen,
So make sure those choices are right.”

Jessica scowled, and furrowed her brow,
A great decision before her.
Should she be bad, and make her Mom sad?
Or should she be good and adore her?

Miss Emily Post, she watched her quite close
to see what path would be taken.
Would she decide to stand firm in her pride,
Or would bad deeds be forsaken?

Jessica J jumped up to say
“I’ve made a decision alright!
While Bad can be easy, I’d rather be pleasing,
and welcome in everyone’s sight.”

Then in great bliss, she gave Momma a kiss
and said, “Never again will I stray.
I’m gonna be good and do what I should
And put Joy back in Jessica J.”


Bad Words!


Remember that old George Carlin sketch ‘Seven dirty words you can’t say on TV’? (Google it if you want. It was funny when I was 13.)
Apparently there are some words I can’t use as a Science Fiction Writer now, one of which is ‘space marine.’

I’m not schooled in the subtleties of IP and Copyright Law, but shouldn’t the Marine Corps of various nation-states be the plaintiff in this? As opposed to a toy-soldier company? Why didn’t the USMC send a Force Recon team to GW HQ the day after they released their first box of heavily armored sci fi human troops?
I’m starting to wish they did.

I get protecting against infringement in a related area (table top wargames) or goods deliberately piggy backing your IP for profit. But even then it gets fuzzy, particularly over generic terms that have been employed as far back as the 1930s. SPACE MARINE WIKI ENTRY

Thing is, M.C.A. Hogarth’s little ebook has nothing to do with the Grim-Gothic-Darkness-of-the-Far-Future-in-which-there-is-only-War.And-Litigation

Unfortunately, this might be a case of which party has deeper pockets to laywer-up. But if the bullies can dictate terms, (pun) and that’s what it is in this case, what’s next? Star Army? Fire Team? Assault Rifle?

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out – I hope GW Legal rolls all ones – but in the meantime, I have the sudden urge to write a space marine story and sell off any remaining GW figs from my collection. Call me petty.

Current Despot and Reigning Figurehead of the SFFW, John Scalzi, weighed in on the dust-up HERE

Fear itself.

Apologies for thin content recently. Am straight out with glass work and Shift Tense. However I wanted to pass on this TED talk and consider its relation to new publishing models and Christian Spec-Fiction.