Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 2, 2019

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

Barbara+and+the+Rage+Brigade+Front+Cover

Cover art by Maggie Gauntt

The moment we (or anyway, I) have been waiting for: I can finally reveal the cover to my novel Barbara and the Rage Brigade, sequel to garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St. Rage. The book releases on November 19; the Kindle edition is available for pre-order now, with hardcover and paperback to follow in about a week. Join me for the launch party at The Neverending Bookshop on Saturday, November 23! In addition to reading from the book, I plan to perform the entire St. Rage catalog of eleven songs, because what’s a party without music?

 

That party is a few weeks off but there’s plenty to celebrate in band names that aren’t even fictional:

Cedar Sap

Sibilance and local flavor, sticky and resinous.

These three represent Halloween continuing into November to hold the line against too-early Christmas:

Coffin Break

Dracula’s siesta in the middle of the worknight.

Dead Ghosts

The end of the afterlife.

Ghost Heart

Repackaged Valentine candy for your creepy trick-or-treat sweetie. (The actual science-y definition is also beautiful: a heart’s collagen matrix stripped of living cells, on which to grow a brand-new heart almost from scratch. Like it’s the future or something.)

 

A War in the Sky

Could be a futuristic space battle in low orbit or the WWI Flying Ace vs. The Red Baron. The sky has been a battlefield for a sadly long time.

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies. Click the link to check out the first four issues and subscribe here for future issues.  (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-September 21, 2019

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

Kiss cosplayer with St Rage

RCCC attendee cosplaying as a member of KISS, posing with The Gospel According to St. Rage

Last weekend, I traded band names for cosplayers at Rose City Comic Con in Portland, OR. I was there to help staff the Not A Pipe Publishing booth, so I didn’t see much of the rest of the con, but I enjoyed the parade of great costumes. We persuaded a few cosplayers to pose with our books. It was worth the trip for the photos!

 

Now I’m back on duty in praise of band names. This week’s worthies:

Doom Lagoon

Horror-themed vacation destination. The repeated “oo” sound is enhanced by the venue: The Blue Moon.

Mighty Thor with Wizard Girl

Mighty Thor posing with Wizard Girl

Fine

“Hey, everybody, we’re …” Introduction and reassurance in one neat package.

Grim Earth

This must be the world where Doom Lagoon is located. Or our future if we don’t get a handle on climate change.

The Middle Ages

Where you inevitably end up if you survive the rock & roll lifestyle past your 30s. Can’t stop now!

Super Sparkle

Shiny happy heroes! I’m assuming unicorns are involved, too.

Karen with 3 books

Yours truly, cosplaying as my main character Barbara, AKA St. Rage

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, and other goodies. Click the link to check out the first three issues and subscribe here for future issues.  (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

 

Square Pig in a Round Hole-September 7, 2019

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

Once again the listings came through with five terrific band names I had not featured before. After almost nine years, I’m thinking this will always be so. If they do come up short, I hope it is next week because I’ll be taking a break from blogging to help staff the Not A Pipe Publishing booth at Rose City Comic Con. If you’re there, too, be sure to stop by booth 1007, check out the wide array of science fiction and fantasy titles, meet some of the authors (including me), and play a fun game for discounts!

Without further ado:

The Good Weird

My people! Strange but not creepy or threatening, engaged in quirky activities most folks wouldn’t even consider but might like if they tried.

Kitten Forever

I have old cats, so I find this touching. Although kittens grow into cats in no time, they don’t outgrow their kitteniness. Even ancient cats don’t show their age until they’re ready to lay down that ninth life.

No One Lives

Spoiler alert for many horror films, Shakespeare plays, operas, and life.

Odds

I respect a small word with many meanings: chances (never tell me the …), scraps (… and ends), not divisible by two (1, 3, 5 …), some weird stuff (one hopes good weird).

Snailbones

I’m intrigued by this idea that an exoskeleton–a shell–is by definition the squishy thing’s bones. Also highly appropriate that they’re playing The Kraken. Mollusks gotta stick together.

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, and other goodies. Click the link to check out the first three issues and subscribe here for future issues.  (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 10, 2019

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

Gospel+re-release+eBook+cover+edit+2I woke up to the cover reveal and pre-order announcement for my next book. Since this is a re-release, it was also my first book, which only makes this extra special. The Gospel According to St Rage is a Seattle-set garage-rock fairy tale about an invisible girl who puts on a hat, starts an all-girl band, and develops anger-fueled, gesture-based superpowers. It was in this story that my blogging and fiction writing first converged, so I’m excited to release it into the world once again.

These non-fictional band names are pretty special, too:

Bad Books

That novel you’re embarrassed to be seen reading, but you can’t stop turning the pages. This is where ebooks come in handy.

Crisis Actors Guild

Google search for this very official-sounding name seems to have about equal chances of turning up a conspiracy-theory debunking website or this punk band. Sounds about right.

Mamalarky

Straighten up. Mom doesn’t have time for your baloney or monkeyshines.

Specswizard

Magic glasses instead of a wand. (I am bespectacled and I write about wizards, so this one jumped out at me.)

We Could Be Monsters

Every little cute thing has this inspirational poster.

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, and other goodies. Click the link to check out the first three issues and subscribe here for future issues.  (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 20, 2019

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

I will show my age by saying I remember the first moon landing, 50 years ago today. I was almost 6 and completely captivated by the idea that people were walking on the moon I was looking at. We’re going out tonight for an early celebration of my next birthday (do the math). This break in the weather means we’ll probably see the moon on our way home. We plan to avoid Block Party, so probably won’t see any bands, but you never know. That won’t prevent me from celebrating these five:

Highest of Heels

Could be a pair of ridiculously uncomfortable shoes. I’m going with a superlatively hoity-toity villain.

Sparks+Front+Cover+eBook+finalHorse Jumper of Love

There really is someone for everyone. This also gives me a chance to plug Sparks, a delightful fantasy romance set on an Oregon horse farm, releasing in late July from Not A Pipe Publishing. Read my advance review here and pre-order now!

Long Shorts

I love a good oxymoron. On the one hand, which is it? On the other hand, sometimes you don’t want to show your knees, even in summer.

Rock Paper Sun

This contest seems rigged.

Stay Grounded

Solid advice in stressful times; a terse order that lets you know you’re still in trouble with Mom; or the reason we haven’t gotten back to the moon.

Wizard Girl cover imageShameless Self Promotion: My next fantasy novel, Wizard Girl (sequel to 2018’s Daughter of Magic) releases next Tuesday, July 23! I’m having an online launch party that day from 2-6 pm Pacific time. Join us here for any or all of the festivities. On Saturday, July 27, I’ll be reading and signing at 7 pm at Third Place Books–Ravenna. Details here.

And one last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, and other goodies. Click the link to check out the first three issues and subscribe here for future issues.  (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Review: Sparks

Sparks+Front+Cover+eBook+finalSparks by Maren Anderson (July 2019 Not A Pipe Publishing)

Romance, monsters, and magic … for grownups? Yes, please!

It’s a treat to find a good fantasy novel aimed at adult readers. Sparks is just such a book. Nothing against YA, which I love, but I like the idea of someone with life experience and responsibilities encountering magic in the midst of an otherwise ordinary life. I also enjoyed the setting: contemporary West Coast farm country, not the usual venue for tales of monsters and magic.

Rosie, a widow in her late 30s, owns a ranch where she boards horses and offers riding lessons. She loves her life but she’s deep in debt. She has plans to train five mustangs, which will help pay the bills. But first she needs to build a round pen, and the only good place for it is occupied by a century-old cowshed. A cowshed that does not want to be torn down. Things are complicated further by the arrival of Patrick, a handsome stranger with a beautiful horse and a mysterious past. Skeptical, unsuperstitious Rosie has a big adjustment to make as genuine magic enters her life, and not only from the cowshed.

The book has a nice balance of humor, romance, and suspense as Rosie and Patrick team up to figure out what is in the cowshed and how to get rid of it. Things get worse before they get better—much worse for some characters—until the surprising, satisfying conclusion. Recommended for fans of fantasy romance, mythical creatures, and horses.

Now on pre-order! Releases July 30, 2019

Hardcover HERE

Trade Paperback HERE

Kindle Edition HERE

Square Pig in a Round Hole-June 15, 2019

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times club listings for abundant source material!

Wizard Girl cover imageI’m in a bit of a tizzy because the cover of my next book was revealed this morning. Wizard Girl (Daughter of Magic Book 2) will release from Not A Pipe Publishing on July 23. E-book is on pre-order now with paperback and hardback to follow soon. Learn more here.

I hope these bands rock as much as this cover. As I went through the listings, nothing was speaking to me until the last page, where I encountered five great names on one bill. I think this is the first time that has happened.

Against the Raging Tide

Heroic brooding outsider drama.

Antlerbag

Murse for a moose (because he doesn’t have hands to hold a handbag).

Earth to Ashes

I’m reading this as a statement about climate change, like that Bill Nye video where he set a globe on fire.

Felony Flats

Old West town at the end of the line, entirely populated by criminals who have created a supportive community for themselves.

Stranded by Choice

In another break with tradition, I’m including a band I’ve featured before in order to cover the whole bill. On June 17, 2017, I wrote: “Love the double meaning. Are we stuck because of too many options, or intentionally moving to a deserted island?”

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, and other goodies. Click the link to check it out and subscribe here for future issues–the next one is out in July and will be full of exciting news.  (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)