Front page

The Forging of a Soul

The Forging of a Soul

Front page, Personal, pets
On March 29, as I was walking past a vacant lot, I heard a faint meow. In fact I heard three of them. The place was a jumble of weeds and tall grasses, with countless nooks and crannies. Not exactly welcoming, especially not considering that I live in an area that is crawling with venomous snakes... or at least that we have enough of those critters to make it seem like they are crawling all over the place. In other words, I could hear that there were at least three kittens in the bushes, but I couldn’t see them, and I had no way of knowing whether it was that someone had dumped an unwanted litter like yesterday’s garbage, or if it was merely the kittens of a feral cat who were not happy because momma had been out hunting for a little longer than she should have been, but would be back shor
When Words Get in the Way (or how NOT to fail at learning a foreign language)

When Words Get in the Way (or how NOT to fail at learning a foreign language)

Front page, Learning, eLearning, and Unlearning
A huge jumble of bricks does not a house make. That, I believe, is a statement we can all agree on. It is also a good explanation of why is it that most attempts at mastering a foreign language tend to fall short. In a nutshell, we tend to think of words as the building blocks of language, and when trying to master a foreign one our first instinct is to try to gather as many of those blocks as we can. In some instances that is not a bad idea. In others it is a recipe for disaster. The reason is simple enough: different languages are different, but they are not all different in the same way. If the language you are trying to master is close enough to your native one, then that words first approach may work, even if it leaves you with a few unusual linguistic quirks, but the farther afield...
Relaunching witha2ist

Relaunching witha2ist

Front page
No, I’m not dead, though I do realize that, after more than two years of silence, you probably thought I was. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been some rather significant changes in my life --hence the hiatus-- and those changes will almost certainly be reflected here. To begin with I will be reorganizing what little content I had managed to post here. No, my books are not going anywhere, but other than that... well, let’s just say that it’s time for me to do some spring cleaning, not that there’s much to clean, not considering that this site was barely getting started when things went absolutely crazy on me. Going forward my goal is to try to keep a steady stream of posts coming, probably twice a week, though don’t be surprised if today proves to be a bit of an outlier with two --slightl
What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Front page, Personal, pet-peeves, rants
  A few days ago I tried to join Quora. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but instead I came across yet another unpleasant reminder of one of the most ridiculous aspects of my life. In a nutshell, the site insists on real names. I fact they are pretty adamant about it (facebook at least allows you to use the name you go by in your everyday life). That doesn't sound so bad, and considering its nature as a Q&A site it sort of makes sense, as it can help keep things honest. The problem is that I am one of those people for whom the very concept of a 'real name' is somewhat problematic. Why? Well, because I had the misfortune of being born in one of those countries with stupid laws that restrict the names parents can give to their children, and the name my parents had chosen ...
Of Shards and Shadows (science fiction)

Of Shards and Shadows (science fiction)

Front page, My Books, Science fiction
Announcing a new addition to the family! Title: Of Shards and Shadows Author: Clea Saal Born: October 15, 2016 Genre: Science Fiction Format: Paperback Page count: 206 pages ISBN:978-1539499770 Price: $12.95 Note: This volume combines a fully revised version of the book originally released under the title of The Shadow Walker and its sequel, The Shard (and that, in case you were wondering, is the reason The Shadow Walker is missing from the list). (more…)
So how did we get to this point?

So how did we get to this point?

Front page, Personal, projects
Okay, so maybe I should be saying 'Welcome to my new home on the web!' or something along those lines, and I do welcome you, but I also wanted to take this opportunity to explain why, after so many years, I decided to move to a new site, rather than keep updating booksandtales.com as I had been doing since the dawn of the millennium. The reason itself is simple enough: in the fourteen years since that site came online the web has changed too much, and booksandtales itself has accrued too much dead wood. The problem is that it's a kind of dead wood I don't really want to get rid of, not entirely. There is the print on demand comparison, which is now ridiculously outdated, but which was once a useful starting point for people looking to self-publish, and also my early attempts at writing ...