Orren’s news

News and postings relating to my writing life, and sometimes just life.

Happy 5th Birthday Reilly!

February 22, 2019

Ignore the human staring into the middle distance sitting at the messy desk; Reilly is smiling right into the camera because he knows that he’s turning five years old! He’s still the happy, curious, loving and lovable oaf that he’s always been soulful and sappy. He loves sticking close to his humans and his little brother, Drax, and he has a heart (and tongue) full of affection for everyone. Five isn’t old in absolute terms, but large dogs have much shorter lifespans than smaller dogs, and some breed descriptions list 5-8 or 6-8 years as all you can expect from Irish Wolfhounds.

read more about: Happy 5th Birthday Reilly!

Scourge of the Nephilim Out Now!

December 11, 2018

Just in time to stuff your Kindle, iPad, phone, or tablet for the holidays, Scourge of the Nephilim, the “boxed set” compiling books 4-6 of the Sedumen Chronicles is available, with a brand new amazing cover from Dusan Markovic! This collection includes: Stinger and Bow: Thirteen-year-old Rachel, known as the Seduman Stinger, needs a new crossbow. After the shock and trauma she’s suffered, she also needs a vacation from being a heroine, so she can just be a teenager.

read more about: Scourge of the Nephilim Out Now!

Excelsior, Stan (Stan Lee: 1922-2018)

November 12, 2018

You may have already read: Stanley Martin Leiber, known by his professional name Stan Lee, died today at 95. I wrote about how Stan Lee’s writing influenced me as a writer. You can find that article here.

read more about: Excelsior, Stan (Stan Lee: 1922-2018)

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).

read more about: Shadow (2001-2018)

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.

read more about: But other than that, how was the churro?

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).

read more about: A New Site Design and a New Cover

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.

read more about: Comic-Con bound!

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.

read more about: And Shadow turns 17

Margo Kidder will always be my Lois Lane

May 14, 2018

Margo Kidder died today, but her portrayal of Lois Lane will always live on, not just to me, but as arguably the most iconic performance of that iconic character. I wrote about how much her Lois Lane meant to me here.

read more about: Margo Kidder will always be my Lois Lane

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.

read more about: And then Drax turned three…

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.

read more about: Happy Birthday 4th Birthday Reilly!

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.

read more about: And that’s a wrap on NAMM 2018

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.

read more about: The NAMM show cometh (again)

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.

read more about: Lionheart’s Moonage Daydream (2002-2017)

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.

read more about: New Novel: Firebird Champion Released Today!

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.

read more about: Don’t Be A Sucker

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.

read more about: Southbound to Comic-Con (for a while)

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:

read more about: New short story: Yes/No

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 wrote about how influential he had been on my creativity and imagination over here.

read more about: Batman Has Left The Building Goodbye Adam West

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.

read more about: And Shadow Turns 16!

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.

read more about: Happy 14th Birthday Luna!

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.

read more about: Fell on Black Days—Goodbye Chris Cornell

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.

read more about: Happy 2nd Birthday Drax!

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.

read more about: Happy St. Paddy’s Day and other stories

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.

read more about: Happy Third Birthday Reilly!

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.

read more about: My birthday and my song

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.

read more about: Download a free copy of Firebird Alex

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.

read more about: Another year, another NAMM show

O Princess My Princess

December 27, 2016

Just when we hoped 2016 was done taking so much, it proves that it’s not done yet. Carrie Fisher, who suffered a heart attack on a plane home from London on Friday, died today. She was an author, screenwriter, script doctor, and actress—and of course her most famous role was, and will always be, Princess Leia. These days, with more female superheroes and action stars, it might get lost just how groundbreaking Princess Leia was as a character in the mid-70s, the days in which princess was synonymous with Disney princess.

read more about: O Princess My Princess

Merry Happy Chanukah Christmas and other Holidays!

December 24, 2016

It’s very rare that Chanukah and Christmas begin together. Sometimes they overlap, but this is one of those rare occasions that the first candle of the Chanukiah is lit on Christmas Eve. The reason for this is that it happens to be a confluence of different calendars, but I’d like to read it as a cosmic message to us that no matter what our beliefs, we’re all one, deep down.

read more about: Merry Happy Chanukah Christmas and other Holidays!