50 Authors from 50 States: Ohio is Like No Other State by Tamera Lynn Kraft: I was born in Ohio and have lived here all my life. Ohio truly is the heart of the nation in many ways. It has a bit of everything: big...
Jess is a slave, and it's his job to be the first to enter newly pirated spaceships. Slaves go first, trigger the booby traps, and then the slavers claim the prize. I assume other slaves clean up the remains of the first slaves.
But when he and two others survive their entry, the 16 year old suddenly finds himself free and on the run, in a universe of brutal empires, pirates, and slave traders. He can trust only his mysterious and seemingly intelligent new ship, the Wanderer, and maybe—or maybe not—his few friends. What follows is a frantic race to understand and utilize the new ship, while others try to take it from Jess and his small group.
Wanderer’s Escape is the first of a series, and introduces us to a boy and his ship: a ship which, like Doctor Who’s TARDIS, has seemingly unlimited capabilities in the right hands, and a sentient dedication to its owner. Jess makes mistakes--he's a teenager, after all—but like the ship he's a fast learner, and watching him learn is half the fun. Unfortunately, this is a place where learning from your mistakes isn’t as likely as dying from them.
I did feel a little lost at first, not knowing much about the universe Jess inhabits, but getting to know it was a fun ride (although I wouldn't want to live there!) The story reminded me of some of Heinlein’s “juvenile” SF—or rather, my memory of them—which is a compliment. Sometimes the Wanderer seems a bit too good to be true, but there are plenty of other problems along the way to make up for it.
Matthews Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Todd Hartlein has died in the Line of Duty.
In all the work and fuss over getting Hoosier Hysterical published, I haven’t had time to deal with the other works I sent out into the cold, cruel publishing world. Over the last several months they’ve all come back to me via rejections—except in some cases when I hauled them back in after not hearing from publishers/agents for several months.
So I’ve gotten busy again. Over the last few days I’ve sent out eight submissions—three novels and five short stories—to various magazines, publishers, and agents. I have another romantic comedy (Coming Attractions) that I’ve held back for some further editing, so that’s my next chore.Unlike most editors, agents are usually okay with simultaneous submissions, which means I could be telling you about several dozen submissions. But a writer/agent relationship needs to be very solid, so I spend time investigating agents, looking for one that might be just right for me … shotgun submitting isn’t my style. If an enthusiastic publisher offers me a three book deal before I land an agent … well, that’s a “problem” I’ll just have to deal with, isn’t it?
I turned in the list of Albion firefighters from throughout our 225 (or so) year history … or at least, all the names I could find after a fairly exhaustive search. They’re to go on a plaque that will be displayed at the fire station.
I came up with 197 firefighters. I’m sure there are more, but it’s become a game of diminishing returns—at the moment I just don’t have time to pour over microfilms of 100 year old newspapers in the hopes of stumbling across one name (although that does sound kind of fun. I’m strange). A wintertime project maybe, depending on how my writing time goes. I hope there will be some light bulb moments out there, and more people will send names in.
Meanwhile, I also compiled AFD fire chiefs, and even managed to fill in some holes that were in my original list, published in Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights. Here’s what I have:
ALBION, INDIANA FIRE CHIEFS
1887-1888 A.J. Denlar
1888-1894 William E. Worden
1898 J.O. Russell Jr.
1904 Edward A. Kunkle
1913-1916 Charles Callahan (resigned 5/1/16)
1916-1930 John Gatwood (nomination approved 6/5/16)
1935-1952 Harry Campbell
1952-1954 Byron K. Smith
1954-1959 Harry Metz
1959-1963 Robert Beckley
1963-1969 Al Jacob
1970-1971 James Applegate
1971-1973 Edward Moorhouse
1974-1975 Terry Campbell
1975-1981 James Applegate
1982-1993 Larry Huff
1994-1997 Bob Beckley
1998-2001 Kevin Libben
2002-2008 Gregg Gorsuch
2009-2010 Brad Rollins
2011-2012 Tim Lock
2013-2015 Steve Bushong
2015-2016 John Urso
2016-present Brad Rollins