Orren’s news

This is Orren’s news.

Everthing here is categorized and tagged so you can get straight to what you’re looking for.

Shadow (2001-2018)

October 22, 2018

I am a dog person. I would never have chosen a cat. But back in 2001, my roommate and I lived in an apartment that didn’t allow dogs, and when my then-girlfriend, Michelle, moved in, she wanted a pet. She sold me on the Maine Coon (so named for their lion-like maine when adults) as a breed because of their dog-like nature. So reluctantly I agreed, and we ended up with a few-month old kitten who came from show cats but was the runt of the litter we named Shadow (then later “Viking Shadow,” because we thought the Maine Coon resembled the Norwegian Forest Cat).

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Categories: cat 
Tags: shadow  obituary 

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But other than that, how was the churro?

October 9, 2018

So as not to bury the lede: Golden and I are engaged. And yes, in the selfie quickly snapped after I proposed she’s showing off her novelty engagement ring, and I’m showing off…a churro. Like all good things, there’s a story there: For those of you who’ve been listening to my podcast, The Omega Beam you know that Golden and I have been together for some time now—long enough that we knew we wanted to make it official.

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Categories: personal 
Tags: engagement  Disneyland  Golden  churros 

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A New Site Design and a New Cover

September 24, 2018

I’ve got a new cover and a new site design to share with you! First, this beautiful cover, illustrated by Dusan Markovic (whom I’ve been lucky enough to have create my last three covers), announces the future arrival of Scourge of the Nephilim, a boxed set combining the novels in The Sedumen Chronicles that comprise the complete Nephilim storyline: Stinger and Bow (Book 4), Watcher and Firebird (Book 5), and Firebird Champion (Book 6).

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Comic-Con bound!

July 18, 2018

Last year, I only got to attend San Diego Comic-Con (or Comic-Con International, or SDCC, take your pick) briefly, because Luna was sick and getting worse. This year, pets are healthy, we’ve got pet sitters staying for the entire length of the show, so we get to leave today and stay as long as we want! I’ll be posting to my various social media accounts over the con, so if you want to keep up with my adventures in geek mecca (and hopefully see some awesome cosplayers), Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are the places to follow me.

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Categories: Comic Con 
Tags: comic-con  sdcc 

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And Shadow turns 17

May 30, 2018

If you would have told me 18 years ago that I’d have a 17 year old cat at this point in my life, I would have given it a good chuckle. I’ve always been a dog person, and while I find cats to be perfectly fine and sometimes adorable, they never fill my soul the way dogs do. And yet, here I am, with a 17-year old Maine Coon. I read that their lifespan can be “over 15 years” on the breed page, so I’m not sure how much longer I’ve got with him.

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Categories: cats  Shadow 
Tags: cats  Shadow 

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Margo Kidder will always be my Lois Lane

May 14, 2018

The first actress I became aware of playing Lois Lane was Noel Neill, in the black & white Adventures of Superman. But the one who really made an impact on me was Margo Kidder in the 1978 Superman movie. She embodied to me what Lois should be: strong and smart, but also concerned and kind. An independent woman who didn’t need Superman, but her affection for him made him a better, more connected man.

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Categories: Lois Lane  Superman 
Tags: Lois Lane  Margo Kidder  RIP 

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And then Drax turned three…

April 19, 2018

Happy third birthday Drax the Destroyer! I will admit, when Drax first came into the picture, I was dubious. We already had two dogs, one a giant schnauzer as well. And Drax definitely lived up to his “destroyer” moniker, being a crazy hellion. But as manic as he was, he was also extremely affectionate, moreso than our elderly giant schnauzer, Luna. Well, three years in, he’s still a crazy hellion, but he’s also mellowed, and is more accepting of new people and dogs without losing any of his natural protectiveness or affectionate nature.

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Categories: dogs  Drax 
Tags: dogs  Drax 

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Happy Birthday 4th Birthday Reilly!

February 22, 2018

One look at that face and the first thing you notice (well, after the size) is how happy he looks. He’s an incredibly easy keeper, which isn’t to say that he couldn’t be a rambunctious puppy; all dogs can. He’s got kindness and warmth for everyone. He’ll bark, sure, and any dog of his size has a bark that can rumble the earth, but to know him is to love his sweet nature.

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Categories: dogs  Reilly 
Tags: birthday  dogs  Reilly 

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And that’s a wrap on NAMM 2018

January 30, 2018

By the time I left the Anaheim Convention Center Saturday night, my voice sounded like I’d drunk a case of whiskey while gargling nails, my feet were sore from miles of walking from end to end of the convention center for meetings, my ears were nearly bleeding from so much loud cacophony, and I wondered why the hell I put myself through all this. In other words, it was another successful NAMM show.

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Categories: NAMM 
Tags: NAMM 

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The NAMM show cometh (again)

January 24, 2018

Like clockwork, January of a new year brings a new NAMM show, where those who build and develop musical instruments and music software and related materials show their upcoming wares to retailers, buyers, and the music instrument (MI) industry press. I’ve been either in or on the periphery of the MI industry for going on 20 years now, and I’ve attended the NAMM show every year but one. And through it all, I’ve still managed to retain my enthusiasm for it.

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Categories: NAMM 
Tags: NAMM 

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Lionheart’s Moonage Daydream (2002-2017)

December 26, 2017

Giant schnauzers live 10-12 years. I’m on enough GS groups to know how rare it is for a GS to make 13, let alone 14, let alone over 14. And sometimes you see the “happy birthday” picture of those 13+ year old giant schnauzers, and they look ratty and miserable, and you wonder, they’re not dead, but are they truly alive? We agreed we’d never let that happen to Luna.

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Categories: dogs  Luna 
Tags: dogs  Luna  RIP 

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New Novel: Firebird Champion Released Today!

October 31, 2017

I’m proud to announce the availability of the latest novel in The Sedumen Chronicles: The opposite of life isn’t death; it is lifelessness. Firebird Alex died. When she was brought back to life, Alex discovered that she could communicate with all living things—the very life force itself. But with resurrection, comes responsibility—Life compels Alex to fight it’s enemies. And Life’s biggest enemy is the Cult of the Watchers. They destroy everything, leaving only lifelessness.

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Don’t Be A Sucker

August 13, 2017

It’s hard for me to concentrate on anything today besides the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and how happy the neo-Nazis are that President Trump refuses to condemn them. Other essays and articles already address how deeply this affects those of us who aren’t Nazis (I particularly recommend John Scalzi’s essay) and I don’t want to just virtue signal or contribute to the noise with a long post restating what others are saying.

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Categories: Uncategorized 
Tags: Anti-Nazi  RESIST 

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Southbound to Comic-Con (for a while)

July 19, 2017

And here I go again (on my own): it’s time for Comic-Con International, aka SDCC. Regular readers know that I have tried to make it every year since about 2010, and usually I do. This year has been particularly touch-and-go. As I mentioned in a recent podcast, Luna, our 14-year old giant schnauzer, is in quite fragile health, and leaving her alone isn’t an option, and handing her off to someone else to take care of isn’t a very palatable option.

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Categories: Comic Con 
Tags: comic-con  sdcc 

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New short story: Yes/No

June 29, 2017

I’ve written a new short story! I’ve already presented it to my mailing list (and you did sign up for my newsletter, didn’t you? If you haven’t, you can here) but I wanted to give it away to everyone else too. As the cover image above should suggest, it’s called “Yes / No,” it’s science fiction, and it takes place in Earth’s orbit in the near future. Here’s the short description of the story:

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Categories: short stories  Yes / No 
Tags: short story  YesNo 

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Batman Has Left The Building Goodbye Adam West

June 10, 2017

Adam West, TV’s Batman, has died at 88 after a short fight with leukemia. I was surprised by this (I had no idea he was sick, he’s been doing voice work and guesting on TV shows) and it made me quite nostalgic. I’ve written before on my blog how influential watching Star Trek reruns as a child in the 70s was to my creativity and imagination. Well, so was watching reruns of Batman.

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Categories: Adam West  Batman 
Tags: Adam West 

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A Movie Worthy of a Woman of Wonder

June 4, 2017

The pressure to make Wonder Woman a successful superhero movie must have been intense. In fact, it isn’t just a great “superhero” movie—it’s a great movie. I carefully avoided all spoilers before I saw it, and I’d like to share some thoughts here and I’ll give all of you the same courtesy. I won’t tell you anything about the plot you didn’t already know from the trailers. Wonder Woman is one of the very highest scoring critical hits among superhero films (currently 93% Rotten Tomatoes) for good reason.

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And Shadow Turns 16!

May 29, 2017

Shadow is a hard cat to photograph. He’s usually sleeping, getting into trouble, or grooming himself. When he’s not, he’s on my lap—which is sweet, but not conducive to me taking his picture. And that, in a nutshell, is Shadow. At sixteen he probably spends most of the day asleep. Which I guess he always did, but now even more so. When he’s up, he still likes to put himself exactly where he’s not supposed to be, and generally be a nuisance, but then snuggle and be affectionate with me.

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Categories: cats  Shadow 
Tags: cats  Shadow 

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Happy 14th Birthday Luna!

May 24, 2017

Happy Birthday to Lionheart’s Moonage Daydream, whom we call Luna. At 14 years old, she’s two years past the average lifespan of her breed (giant schnauzers live for 10-12 years), so I’m extremely happy she’s still here. Age is definitely taking it’s toll. Her hearing is going. Her vision isn’t what it used to be. Her hips are fragile, and sometimes she can’t rise if she’s laying down. She moves slower.

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Categories: dogs  Luna 
Tags: giant schnauzers  Luna 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 entertains and expands the MCU

May 21, 2017

A little late to the party, I know, but I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 last night. I had read nothing about the plot, no spoilery articles, and was thoroughly entertained. So I intend to offer the same courtesy with my write up. One of the joys of the first Guardians of the Galaxy was how the characters were so clearly drawn, distinct personalities. The sequel does not disappoint in that area.

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New Star Trek Trailer Promises Enticing Discovery

May 19, 2017

All it takes is a quick search of my blog to discover that I’m a bona fide Trekkie (for those wondering, a Trekkie is like a Trekker, but less pretentious about it). So here’s a brief glimpse into the mind of a Trekkie, regarding the first forthcoming new Star Trek series in over 12 years, Star Trek Discovery, which will air on CBS All Access in the USA, and Netflix worldwide:

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Categories: Star Trek  television 
Tags: star trek 

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Fell on Black Days—Goodbye Chris Cornell

May 18, 2017

Like many of us, I was stunned to read that Chris Cornell was found dead in his Detroit hotel room, after a show. It is being investigated as a suicide. Everyone is shocked, everyone says what a sweet guy he was. And he was undeniably talented. I started playing live in the Orange County clubs in the early 90s, when grunge ruled. I remember reading an LA Times interview from that era, where Chris Cornell said he saw Soundgarden as a bridge between classic bands like Zeppelin, Floyd, and Sabbath, and post-punk/goth bands like bauhaus, Joy Division, and The Cure.

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Categories: Chris Cornell 
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Comic book movie marketing

May 5, 2017

Today, a comic book movie that I’m really looking forward to is coming out. I’m not going to get to see it immediately, I don’t think, but it doesn’t matter. Trailers, retail tie-ins, word of mouth, you name it, has kept it in the public eye for probably most of the two years or so it’s been in production. I am of course referring to Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.

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Categories: movies  Wonder Woman 
Tags: Wonder Woman 

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Happy 2nd Birthday Drax!

April 18, 2017

Almost in spite of himself, our youngest dog, Drax the Destroyer, has reached his second birthday. It’s particularly tough to get pictures of Drax, because he acts as if pointing a phone at him is an invitation to leap on you. So enjoy the one above with Reilly, who turned three not long ago. I like the size comparison, because so many people think a dog that’s 26-inches tall at the shoulder and about 75 pounds is a “big” dog.

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Categories: dogs  Drax  happy birthday 
Tags: dogs  Drax  Giant Schnauzer 

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Warner Brother drops first Justice League movie trailer

March 26, 2017

Warner Brothers has just released the first official public trailer for the forthcoming Justice League movie. Previously, only some Comic-Con footage was put together and subsequently released (some of that footage appears here too). As a huge fan of DC’s Justice League who felt fairly ambivalent about the fate of the DC Cinematic Universe after Batman v Superman: Let’s See How Dark We Can Go, As you might imagine I have thoughts.

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Happy St. Paddy’s Day and other stories

March 17, 2017

I’m not Irish. Not even distantly. I don’t drink much. I also can’t say I feel the need to celebrate St. Patrick converting the pagans (“driving the snakes”) out of Ireland. I do, however, think Ireland is absolutely gorgeous. We have an Irish wolfhound. I have Irish friends, and love Irish contributions to art and music: You thought I’d pick a U2 video, didn’t you? Not this gothboy. But the Virgin Prunes came out of a “gang” of friends founded by Bono and Gavin Friday (Gavin is one of the Virgin Prunes singers), and the guitarist is The Edge’s older brother, so it’s not that far removed from U2, socially and geographically at least.

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Happy Third Birthday Reilly!

February 23, 2017

Our Irish wolfhound Reilly turns three today! And we’ve literally been there for almost all of it: we randomly happened to be visiting his breeder the day he was conceived, we picked him up from said breeder as soon as he was weaned, and he’s been with us ever since. Three is a interesting year for a wolfhound. They’re fully grown and no longer a puppy, but while three is still young, for a giant dog, it’s possibly half way through their short life.

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Categories: dogs  happy birthday  Reilly 
Tags: dog  irish wolfhound  Reilly 

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My birthday and my song

February 20, 2017

Today is my birthday—so I thought I’d give you all a present. As it happens, this year my birthday falls on President’s Day in the United States, and what could be more appropriate for President’s day than a protest song against the president? The song is called RESIST, taken from the hashtag #resist that has gained favor. I’ve posted a lyric video for the song on YouTube: And the song is also available on the Ember After Bandcamp page, Soundcloud (observant readers may have seen a crazy number of bot posts to my blog from Soundcloud—sorry about that.

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Categories: Ember After 
Tags: Ember After  RESIST 

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Download a free copy of Firebird Alex

February 15, 2017

Have you started reading my urban fantasy series The Sedumen Chronicles yet? If you haven’t, and you’re not on my mailing list yet, I’ve got good news! Over at Instafreebie I’m giving away a free copy of the first novel in The Sedumen Chronicles, Firebird Alex, to anyone who signs up to my mailing list. You’ve probably noticed I’ve stopped blogging with much frequency; in fact, I think it’s safe to say that these days I “post” more than I “blog.

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Another year, another NAMM show

January 18, 2017

This week I’ll be attending a major event that will cause ripples in almost every corner of the globe; that’s right—the NAMM show! Yeah, I go every year. And yeah, those ripples mostly apply to one particular industry. But still, this is a show that at least musicians around the world have their eyes on. And with all the anxiety in our world right now, its nice to just be able to hang out with other musicians and developers to look at new shiny musical instruments on display for our admiration, enjoyment, and ultimately, for us to purchase.

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Categories: NAMM 
Tags: NAMM 

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