What’s Up Wednesday? Revenge of the Angry Birds

October 23, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! Of course, I try to post on Wednesdays, but apparently I was so busy with other things that I forgot to finish the draft yesterday, or sign up to the linky list. *Headsmack*

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:
I finished Xanth ‘Board Stiff’, and the four stories I hadn’t already read out of Larry Niven’s “Neutron Star” collection. (The four I’d already found were the ones featuring Beowulf Shaeffer.) After floundering for something new to read, I tracked down my paperback copy of Jim Butcher’s “Furies of Calderon”, and I’m loving it so far!

What I’m writing:
I finished my quick revision of “Return to Civilization” and sent it off to critters for some feedback. Still plot bunny ranching for Nanowrimo–the “Sufficiently Advanced Magic” class has gotten into structure now, and somewhat to my surprise both books I’m working on fit pretty well into a three-act outline as far as I can see.

What works for me:
Working on the bus means even when the bridge is up, that’s just more time to work on your outlining homework! 😉

What else I’ve been up to:
Well, struggling to keep Angry Birds games from taking over too much of my free time. First, I got sucked into “Angry Birds Transformers” on my iPhone, which is this crazy side-shooter. Your bird-Autobot (or pig-Decepticon) gets dropped into the level by a shuttle that turns into a train car, and you have to shoot down pigs and automated guns  before they wear your armor away, shoot at high-tech buildings to get Energon cubes (which immediately turns the buildings rustic,) and use your limited time in vehicle mode to avoid toppling statues. There are rockets that turn you into a helpless bouncing washing machine if they hit you for some reason. 😉

And Angry Birds Epic just launched a new crossover invasion tournament with another game, so I’ve been sending my bird paladins, druids, and wizards up against dragons and cartoon blobs. Let’s see, what about non-gaming activities? Got started watching Leverage, on the suggestion of some TNEO friends who thought it could help me with ‘Never Found’, loving it so far. And getting ready for Nano! The Hamilton Kickoff party is this weekend, and so Elizabeth Twist and I spent a few hours on Sunday collating hipster PDAs and stuffing gift bags.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.

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What’s Up Wednesday? October already…

October 8, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:

More Xanth; I finished “Esrever Doom” and started “Board Stiff”, which the library had as an ebook. Also plowed through Larry Niven’s “The Magic Goes Away” in a few days, and read a bunch of stories from Crossed Genres, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Nightmare.

What I’m writing:

I’ve started a new round of revisions on my funny sci-fi story, “Return to Civilization”, based on feedback I got at Young Gunns. I’ve also dived into doing more prep for my 2 Nanowrimo ideas, and I’ve been doing a fair bit of critiquing.

What works for me:

My new living room table workstation! This is actually based on a setup I had a while ago – my black wooden IKEA chair is set against the broad side of the table I got from my parents, opposite the comfy armchair which faces the television. There’s lots of good lighting in that area, and I have the new refurb Dell laptop set up there, and it’s been a great place to get some work done, including critiquing and getting into revisions.

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What else I’ve been up to:

Getting into the new season of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”, loading dual-boot Xubuntu onto my red netbook, and sorting out Thanksgiving dinner plans with the family! (Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming Monday, in case you didn’t know that.)

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


Adjusting to Kansas once again.

June 25, 2012

So, I’ve been in Lawrence, Kansas for something like 18 hours now – arrived yesterday afternoon, in an airport shuttle with a very cool driver who’s a Science Fiction fan – we chatted about Doctor Who, Larry Niven, and Heinlein for the whole hour. 🙂 And I’m starting to get acclimatized.

Our housing for this year is definitely not like Templin, third floor – which looked very much the part of an institutional dorm residence – the soft pastel walls, the cheap prefab furniture, the open lounge space in the elevator lobby. This year we have Krehbiel hall to ourselves – the workshoppers and our writer in retreat. And parts of Krehbiel look like a rambling manor home than a dormitory – not the bedrooms themselves, but the downstairs lounge where Short Fiction will be doing our critique circle, and the hallways and stairs, the billiard table room, and a few other places. It’s weird but fun.

I’ve been up to the Kansas Union, and walked downtown a few times, and there’s really more interesting stuff within easy walking distance than last year. I can hardly wait.


What I’ve read this fall

December 10, 2011

September issue August issue

Okay, it’s been nearly three months since I shared my readings here n the blog, so I’ve got lots to tell you about!

Please note: I will be discussing a plot spoiler for “Childhood’s End”, by Arthur C. Clarke further down in this post. If you don’t want to get spoiled on this fine book, then don’t read past the paragraph on “Castle for Rent.”

“The Gripping Hand,” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I finally finished this in early October. I loved the main thrust of the action within the Mote system, with the Empire expedition running into a new civilization of space-born Moties this time and getting caught in the middle of a war between them. Frankly, the novel could probably have done with less build-up to the point of “OMG a new jump point to Mote system could open up any day now!” and it would have been at least as strong, in my opinion. But I loved reading the build-up anyway.

“Gateway,” by Frederik Pohl. Overall, I really liked this – I liked the concept of humanity discovering strange and temperamental alien ships and heading out to prospect the galaxy in them. I want to read more of the Heechee series by Pohl, and I like a lot of his secondary characters. On the other hand, Robinette Broadhead just pissed me off a lot of the time, and as fun as Sigfrid von Shrink was, I didn’t really feel impressed with the therapy plot thread or Rob’s enormous survivor’s guilt for trying to do the right thing, to sacrifice himself to save his teammates, and getting the timing wrong.

I also had problems with the physics at the end – if you’ve got ships that can somehow circumvent the speed of light, then the event horizon of a black hole isn’t an impassable barrier anymore. I think that the Heechee ships must already cross an event horizon with every trip, so why can’t they get out of the black hole – or if the development of the black hole threw off their targeting, then how could Rob get back home once he passes the event horizon by another means?

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A self-introduction for my campaigner friends.

September 1, 2011

Hey there, I’ve noticed a few people already dropping by from the Platform-building Campaign. I’m afraid I won’t be able to make the rounds myself until I’m back from Dragon*Con, so I’ll be starting around Tuesday, but I thought I’d say a few things about myself so that fellow Campaigners, especially my group-mates, will be able to get a sense out of who this Chris Kelworth guy is.

I’m Canadian. I get a steady paycheque for programming field service technician websites. I write science fiction and fantasy, for middle grade through adult readers. I’m trying to focus on rewriting my collection of short stories and submitting them to publishers.

I’m a huge fan of many things: Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Doctor Horrible, Doctor Who, Star Trek. I love to read Diane Duane young wizard books, just about anything by Larry Niven but especially Known Space, and also Madeleine L’Engle, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea books, and Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni series. I’ve recently discovered the fun of going to fan conventions – which is what brings be to Atlanta this coming long weekend. (Never been to a convention as high-profile as Dragon*Con before, though.)

I have created fan fiction, fan art, and fan videos. I have a fairly impressive collection of portable digital electronic devices, and love to write my own apps for them when I can. I’m love National Novel Writing Month, Script Frenzy, and several other online writing challenges, and belong to a few local writer’s circles and critique workshops. I love playing games of many types, though I’m not a serious gamer in any particular type, such as console or tabletop RPG.

Thank you so much for dropping by. If you’re a campaigner, please use the ‘follow that blog’ widget or the NetworkedBlogs box to subscribe to the Kelworth Files, and leave a reply telling me something about you!


Lookit all I’ve been reading lately!

August 24, 2011

So, I told you last week about how I was joining the Consistent Reader’s club and reading from new-to-me books for at least 15 minutes every day. I thought I’d touch base to let you know how well that’s been working out!

I’ve kept up with the program, and often read a lot more than that per day. I haven’t read any books through from start to finish, but I’ve finished two, started one, and loved a lot of what I’ve been reading:

  • Finished ‘Mixed Magics’ by Diana Wynne Jones, a collection of short stories connected to the Chrestomanci series, which I got for my birthday last year and read a story and a half from around the spring. This was really fun stuff – there’s a great adventure bringing Eric Chant from ‘A Charmed Life/The Pinhoe Egg’ together with Tonino Montana from ‘The Magicians of Caprona’, and also including callbacks to characters and history from “The Lives of Christopher Chant.” I also read a fun dreaming story involving the daughter of one of the minor characters from “Lives of Christopher Chant”, and a little fable about overly organized gods that Chrestomanci has to help untangle.
  • Finished: Flatlander, (the short story collection) by Larry Niven. The last story, the Woman in Del Rey crater, was really good, and there was an afterword in which Larry comments on how he wishes he could write more Gil Hamilton stories, but mixing science fiction with the mystery genre is harder than it might look.
  • Started: King Kelson’s bride, by Katherine Kurtz. Actually, I’ve skimmed through this ebook before, at least, but wanted to start from the beginning because I couldn’t remember much of the plot.
  • Continued: The Gripping Hand, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I’ve been reading this on and off ever since I got it with some other books using Christmas money. I brought it with me to Kansas, and didn’t read much from it until I lost ‘Prisoner of Azkaban.’ It’s fun stuff, a worthy sequel to “The Mote in God’s Eye”, which I really liked. Horace Bury hasn’t managed to scheme his way to get to the Mote Blockade yet, though I know he’s going to go soon.
  • Continued: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Didn’t read much from this, just found my place in the ebook where I stopped reading from the paperback copy before I lost it in the Cleveland airport.

So, have you read anything interesting lately?


What I’ve been reading lately – Flatlander

August 9, 2011

I’ve been trying to read more, ever since getting back from Kansas. Unfortunately, other things to do keep trying to crowd out reading time.

One book that I’ve managed to make headway is a collection of short stories from Larry Niven: “Flatlander” – not to be confused with the single short story of the same title and author, which is one from the Beowulf Shaeffer sequence.

But the short stories in this collection are set several hundred years earlier, at least – and center around a cop with a past as an asteroid belt miner – Gil Hamilton the Arm. That last bit is a play on words – Gil is part of the ARM, or Amalgamation of Regional Militia – an organization which serves as the worldwide police force on Earth in the future of Larry Niven’s books. But Gil also has a phantom psychic arm, partly because he lost his arm in a mining accident. (He later got a transplanted replacement arm too.) His psychic arm isn’t strong enough to lift anything heavy, but it can do things that a physical arm can’t, like reach through walls – or TV screens.

The stories all have some kind of mystery element, set against a future where the mining Belters have achieved independence from Earth and lunar settlers are caught between the two groups. There are a few references to Lucas Garner, Gil’s aging but sharp boss, and this is presumably the same character who appears in the first half of Niven’s novel ‘Protector’, thus linking the Gil stories into the known space universe, long before humanity met Kzinti or puppeteers or any extant alien species.

I’ve actually read one of these stories years ago. “Arm” was one of the Larry Niven stories that I was able to download from fictionwise.com, and I enjoyed reading it on my palmpilot, though I didn’t really follow the references to the psychic hand, as the backstory wasn’t given in detail.

Ever since I was in Kansas, ‘Flatlander’ has been my go-to for reading when I happened to have my iPhone around, as it’s cued up in the iPhone’s kindle app. I’m still in the middle of a novella-length mystery taking place on the moon’s surface, with an old flame of Gil’s taking the fall for a laser shooting that he knows she couldn’t have committed.

I’d recommend it to any lover of science fiction mysteries.


A Wizard of Mars, Chapter Fifteen

May 29, 2011

A Wizard of Mars chapter index.

So, I’m drawing close to the end of my chapter-by-chapter recap of Diane Duane’s novel “A Wizard of Mars”, and I’d like to say that I’ve had a great time sharing this book with you. I’d like to try something else soon, possibly not chapter by chapter, but going through a book in installments as I read it, instead of a single review/book report of the novel as a whole, and I’m setting up a poll to see what possible titles there’s any interest in from my regulars.

So, at the end of the last chapter, Nita teleports into the throne room of one of the Martian royal houses, that of the Shamaska city, and she’s very pissed off and wizardly and competent and magnificent, as Kit said about her a bit earlier. So she tells off Iskard, the king, and Rorsik, his toadying minister, for the way they’ve treated the planet, and wizardry, and their people, and Aurirelde, Isakard’s daughter, and Khretef, her sweetie from the other side of Mars, the Eilitt. Particularly Nita rages on at the blindness of wizards letting themselves slip into an ‘us or them, we have to use wizardry against them because they’d do it to us’ mentality.

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Award acceptance speech.

September 13, 2010

First off, once again I’d like to thank Brittany for giving me these two awards!

The Versatile Blogger Award: Link back to the person who gave you the award (already did), share seven things about yourself, pass the award to up to fifteen bloggers who you think deserve it, and contact the people you’ve picked.

One Lovely Blog Award: Accept the award, post it on your blog with a link to the person who gave it to you with a link to them, pass it to up to fifteen other bloggers who are new to you, contact the people you’ve picked.

However, I have to say that I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about passing them along at first… not that I don’t want other bloggers to feel valued and appreciated, but that the whole deal seemed a bit like a benign version of chain letters or something, and I’ve never been a big fan of spreading chain letters.

Having spent a little while mulling over the question, I’ve decided that it’s not really the same thing. For one thing, these awards seem to be pretty honest as to what they’re about, while chain letters always tend to have the ridiculous claims about what has happened to various people around the world when they got the chain, which presumably can’t have been true when the chain started, and couldn’t have been added in later unless someone took liberties with copying the letter exactly as they received it. But never mind that.

Also, these awards don’t seem to be as bully-ish about chain letters about passing them on. And this is the sort of thing that Blogosphere networking is made of, isn’t it? So – I accept the awards, and I will be passing them along, but not just yet. For one thing, I’m not sure who to award yet, so I’ll take my time and hand them out one by one. 😉

And, for my seven things to share as a condition of Versatile Blogger:

  1. I love listening to country music.
  2. I have many stuffed animal friends.
  3. I collect PDAs and other electronic devices.
  4. I’ve lost over 100 pounds in the past three and a half years.
  5. I recently got a beginner driver’s licence for the second time.
  6. I go to the Toronto Buffy/Angel fan meetups when I can.
  7. I love Larry Niven’s Known Space/Ringworld books.

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