This is Orren’s news.
February 15, 2016I said I’d be posting links to stops along the Stinger and Bow blog tour; here’s my first. Over on Sarit Yahalomi’s site, Coffee, Books, and Art, she is hosting an excerpt from Chapter 6 of the book. Thanks to Sarit for hosting a tour stop, and be sure and give the excerpt a read!
read more about: Stinger and Bow Tour Stop: Coffee, Books, and Art
February 15, 2016
Book 4 in The Sedumen Chronicles, titled Stinger and Bow, is now available!
While this is the fourth book in the series, it is the first book of a new story arc, and a good starting point if you’re new to the series. You’ll get a richer experience if you’ve read the previous novels, but it’s not necessary. Here’s my description of this novel:
read more about: My new novel Stinger and Bow is out!
February 15, 2016The whole Valentine’s Day/Anti-Valentine’s Day beef I have is that it puts undo pressure on being romantic/in a relationship—or on making a show of not caring about it, which is in fact just another way of showing you care about it. If you’re not with someone, that’s okay. Even people with someone today were alone prior, or may be alone again one day. That’s the ebb and flow of life.
read more about: Valentine’s Day Take Away
February 11, 2016My previous site design is from when I started writing The Sedumen Chronicles. With the first story arc trilogy complete, and the second one about to begin, I thought a redesign was in order. I was aiming for an uncluttered look and feel, and a site that was fast on mobile and desktop devices. I also wanted to simplify navigation and search. I think this design achieves all those things.
read more about: A new look for orrenmerton.com!
January 27, 2016This is not about the new shiny I liked at the 2016 NAMM show. For that, see my post on my Ember After page. This is more my impressions of the show. I had long heard, read, and believed that trade shows, at least for tech companies, were on the way out. They were a fossil of the era when the only ways that companies could demonstrate products were to gather in one place, and the Internet had rendered them all obsolete.
read more about: NAMM 2016—Trade shows aren’t dead
January 21, 2016It’s that time again—the NAMM show, the big shindig in which the music instrument (MI) manufacturers, marketers, and developers show off their wares to both retailers and everyone else who can score an industry-only badge. I go every year, which is no surprise, considering I work in this industry. I’ve rambled about going nearly every year, so let me just say that this year it almost snuck up on me. I think it’s because what with the new house, new puppy, and all that, it’s been quite a busy period here at Casa De Merton.
read more about: Back to the NAMM — 2016 edition
January 11, 2016It is 11:47pm as I write this. I’m in a state of shock. I knew Bowie had stopped touring, but to the outside world, he’d seemed stronger than he’d seemed in years. He released a new album just a couple of days ago on his 69th birthday. But its confirmed: David Bowie died in his sleep today after an 18-month battle with cancer, surrounded by family. It doesn’t seem real, and it seems all too real, at the same time.
read more about: David Bowie has left the building
December 29, 2015Lemmy Kilmister saved my life. Okay, maybe that’s a little melodramatic. But high school is a pretty melodramatic time of life, and that’s how it felt to me. The situation was this: I was a 15 year-old, sheltered little nerd boy, starting huge new high school. Lockers were assigned alphabetically, and none of my friends had lockers anywhere near mine. As fate would have it, one of the punk rockers had a last name that began with “Mey” so his locker was pretty close to mine.
read more about: Lemmy and Me
March 18, 2015It’s been a while since I posted about Firebird Vengeance, book 3 in The Sedumen Chronicles, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight a major real location I use in the book. Alex and her companions find themselves on two occasions at a hospital. I could of course have invented a hospital but I like to think that by using real places, I help ground the fantasy in a more real environment.
read more about: Real Places in Firebird Vengeance: Western Medical Center
February 27, 2015I was five years old when my dad sat me down in front of the tiny TV set on a bookshelf of his home office, and told me that I’d probably like this show called “Star Trek.” I immediately fell in love—I fell hard, and I fell for life. My first real work of art as a six-year-old child was a construction paper, glue, and crayon diorama of the bridge of the USS Enterprise, with Captain Kirk and Mr.
read more about: Leonard Nimoy has left for the Undiscovered Country
February 9, 2015As part of the promotional materials for Firebird Vengeance that I created to promote the book to the YA book blog community, I wrote the text of a briefing given by a police commander to his officers. The idea of this piece is to give people a taste of what sort of events take place in this story, but from outside the perspective of our heroes. I thought you might enjoy it, so I’m reprinting it here.
read more about: Firebird Vengeance: Police Commander Briefing
January 16, 2015
One of the great joys of being a writer is when readers engage you about your work. In a discussion about the Jewish elements of Firebird Alex, an article written in 2010 positing that Jews don’t write fantasy was raised. In fact, on my other blog I had written a counter-essay. I am proud of that essay, and it’s not readily accessible anymore, so I thought I’d repost my nearly five-year-old essay on my current blog. It’s a little longer and more academic than my posts these days, so be warned, but if the subject matter interests you, enjoy!
read more about: From the Archives: Do Jews Choose Not To Write Fantasy?
April 18, 2011Tonight begins the first evening of the Passover holiday, upon which we have our traditional Passover meal, called a Seder. Passover is a celebration of freedom, and it is a mitzvah (righteous act) to invite both Jews and non-Jews to partake in the meal—in other words, to enjoy freedom together. Seders are all different. Some have very religious, traditional Seders that take hours. Others have very modern Seders, putting freedom into a completely different context than the original Exodus tale.
read more about: Happy Passover!