Square Pig in a Round Hole-December 16, 2018

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!

Christmas came early, in the shape of a new computer to replace my 7-year-old laptop. Hooray! But this meant I spent two afternoons getting the new one set up and am late to the blog. Without further ado, this week’s list (unusually, all from one night, already in the past):

Big Dirt

Out in farm country, the dirt’s as expansive as the sky.

Crashdown Butterfly

I’m guessing it doesn’t flit. Better reinforce those flowers, y’all.

Dust Moth

Completely unplanned, the lepidopterans ended up together in the list, and this is the second soil reference. Is it an insect blending in with dust, or particles organizing to mimic an insect?

Floored Faces

Openmouthed with amazement, or passed out on the rug? Either way, must have been a great night.

Good Bones

Well done, skeleton. What would I do without you?

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: My novel Daughter of Magic was 1 of 8 books released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, which also included a weekly online series of short stories by women. The best of these (18 stories representing a wide range of genres) have been collected into a print anthology, STRONGLY WORDED WOMEN, available now. The collection includes my story “Crane’s Fire” from deep in the backstory of Daughter of Magic. Makes a great gift!

Square Pig in a Round Hole-December 8, 2018

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!

It’s that time of year when I just want to stay indoors and bake Christmas cookies! For the sake of these and other fine bands, some of us need to venture out to shows. Maybe now that it’s not quite so cold…

Lost in the Tracks

Subliminal messages, small items dropped in a subway tunnel, or the state of being totally into an album.

nothing, nowhere.

Reply to a text asking what are you doing and where are you going? Or: scene right before the Big Bang.

Saving Abel

Time-traveler wanting to solve the problem of violence goes back and stays Cain’s hand. Returns to the future and finds nothing has changed, except Genesis now says Abel killed Cain.

The Sometimes Island

At high tide, a shallows. At low tide, a peninsula. At just-right tide …

St. Panther

Feline saint seems like an oxymoron. (As the inventor of a fictional garage band (and superhero) called St. Rage, I like finding other saints in the listings.)

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: My novel Daughter of Magic was 1 of 8 books released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, which also included a weekly online series of short stories by women. The best of these (18 stories representing a wide range of genres) have been collected into a print anthology, STRONGLY WORDED WOMEN, available now. The collection includes my story “Crane’s Fire” from deep in the backstory of Daughter of Magic. Makes a great gift!

Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 18, 2018

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!

Heading into Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for the bounty of band names that appears to have no end. This week the cornucopia gifts us with these:

Diced Candy

Chopping sweets as if they were vegetables for soup. Does it make them good for you? (Personal note: when I was a child, my mother had a recipe for rhubarb marmalade that called for diced orange gumdrops. It was the most delicious spread ever invented.)

Die Nasty

When a ruling family goes down, they go down hard. (Confession: I’ve seen this one in the listing for years and only saw the pun this week.)

Look Vibrant

When looking alive is not lively enough.

Model Snake

Setting the example for all serpents. Or: freaking out the fashionable as it slithers down the runway.

Murphy’s Lawyers

Who you call when everything goes wrong, or the reason everything went wrong in the first place?

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: My novel Daughter of Magic was 1 of 8 books released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, which also included a weekly online series of short stories by women. The best of these (18 stories representing a wide range of genres) have been collected into a print anthology, STRONGLY WORDED WOMEN, which will be released on November 20 and is available for pre-order now. The collection includes my story “Crane’s Fire” from deep in the backstory of Daughter of Magic. Makes a great gift!

Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 10, 2018

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!

My National Novel Writing Month project is going better than expected, so I’m releasing myself from the NaNoWriMo cave to geek out about some band names. And be sure to read to the end for an exciting announcement!

Aurora Motels

Replete with local flavor, this one evokes the Jet City’s grittier, lower-tech past.

Drippy Baby

Human infants happily dribble from almost every orifice. We’re all lucky that human parents find enough other things about them endearing. (This was the first listing this week to make me laugh out loud, perhaps because one of my children was such a reliable and prodigious spitter-upper.)

Mr. Twin Sister

On top of the gender ambiguity, I love how the rhyme is invisible. They’d fit well on a bill with last week’s pick Brother Wife. Or with:

The Mrs. Bill Larsens

The old-fashioned patriarchal formality seems at odds with the freedom and agency of women who rock. That it’s plural adds a disturbing yet humorous note.

SURETHING!

Overwhelming enthusiasm, up for whatever.

 

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: My novel Daughter of Magic was 1 of 8 books released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, which also included a weekly online series of short stories by women. The best of these (18 stories representing a wide range of genres) have been collected into a print anthology, STRONGLY WORDED WOMEN, which will be released on November 20 and is available for pre-order now. The collection includes my story “Crane’s Fire” from deep in the backstory of Daughter of Magic. Makes a great gift!

Square Pig in a Round Hole-September 29, 2018

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!

It looks like I’m heading into a very busy October, filled with book and music events (and a vacation, thank goodness). I’ll try not to let any of that stem the flow of band names. Let’s close out September with these fine examples:

Glass Souls

Strong yet fragile. Transparent yet hidden. Solid yet recyclable.

Moonlight Remedy

Moonlight as part of some mystical healing ritual. Or: the remedy for moonlight is curtains.

Mortemart

For all your discount funeral supply needs.

SeepeopleS

Other people are real! Maybe if they’re extra plural we’ll finally behold them as they are.

Strange Moon

Otherworldly by definition yet right there.

Shameless Self-Promotion: On Saturday, October 6 at 2:00 p.m., I will be reading and signing my new fantasy novel Daughter of Magic at The Neverending Bookshop. Joining me will be Mikko Azul, author of The Staff of Fire and Bone. Come say hi!

Facebook event

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 28, 2018

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!

My birthday is next Monday, so yesterday I walked home from work (5 miles), a tradition now in its 6th year. Because nothing is  open on Mondays and we also have another commitment, we’re going out to celebrate tonight, voyaging by water taxi to Alki. The Torchlight Parade is tonight, so it’s anyone’s guess how or when we’ll get home. Maybe I’ll accidentally see the parade for the first time, which seems like a pretty good birthday party. As always, I’m celebrating band names, too.

awakebutstillinbed

This could be that delicious feeling on a Saturday morning when you don’t have anything you have to do and just lounge around until you’re hungry; or that horrible feeling when you have tons to do but you’re too depressed to move. Let’s hope for more of the former.

Bath Toys

So many rubber ducks and plastic boats that you don’t notice the toddler has escaped until they’re running naked and giggling through the house.

Big Pig Apocalypse

Uh oh, the pigs object to being launched. It’s all over now.

Cicada Rhythm

I love when a similar-sounding word is swapped in and the phrase still makes sense. Cicadas (AKA Screaming Land Shrimp) make music that can’t be ignored.

Kitty Kat Fan Club

Our feline friends couldn’t care less about our human musics but will still permit us to worship them, preferably with offerings of wet food.

Shameless Self-promotion:

Reading & Book Talk, TOMORROW Sunday, July 29 12:15 p.m. at Prospect UCC, 1919 E Prospect St, Seattle. I will read excerpts from my new fantasy novel Daughter of Magic and talk about how the book came to be, followed by Q&A and prize drawing. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Because the book features a teenage girl and is one of nine books by women authors to be released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, donations will be accepted for the Seattle chapter of Days for Girls. This non-profit organization provides durable, reusable feminine hygiene supplies to girls and women in developing countries, allowing them to attend school or work during their periods.

Facebook Event

Wizards Can’t Go Home

My novel Daughter of Magic released on May 22, 2018 from Not a Pipe Publishing, which accepted Kamila Shamsie’s challenge to make 2018 The Year of Publishing Women and will publish nine books by seven women this year. They are also accepting submissions of short stories by women to be published weekly online.

“Wizards Can’t Go Home” comes from even deeper in the backstory of Daughter of Magic than “Crane’s Fire.”

fantasy-watermill“Wizards can’t go home.”

When Master Ordahn spoke those words, his apprentice thought he meant home would feel too tame, or the wizard would be too changed for home to seem like home anymore.

He didn’t know it meant home would cease to exist.

The young wizard glanced at the dripping sky, then pulled his hood forward and sank onto a fallen log with a dejected sigh. “Now what?”

He called himself The Crane, a name he’d given himself as a boy—the last of many. He didn’t remember what his mother called him. Both his parents had died when he was very small. They had died here. He wasn’t sure he could even find their graves.

(Read more here.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 21, 2018

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!

Nice weekend for Capitol Hill Block Party, if you like that sort of thing. As far as I know, none of these bands are playing it:

Dweller on the Hill

I like the literary vibe, and that it would work in several genres. Is this the wise one the protagonist seeks; a shadowy threat; or the noble to be overthrown?

Earth Groans

Are these death throes or the birth of a new world?

Scorn Dog

Derision, deep-fried on a stick at the punk county fair.

Stacked Like Pancakes

Describes a figure far from the popular ideal. Also far more delicious than a brick outhouse.

Suicide Forest

Moody and dark. You can only enter alone.

Shameless Self-promotion:

Reading & Book Talk, Sunday, July 29 12:15 p.m. at Prospect UCC, 1919 E Prospect St, Seattle. I will read excerpts from my new fantasy novel Daughter of Magic and talk about how the book came to be, followed by Q&A and prize drawing. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Because the book features a teenage girl and is one of nine books by women authors to be released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, donations will be accepted for the Seattle chapter of Days for Girls. This non-profit organization provides durable, reusable feminine hygiene supplies to girls and women in developing countries, allowing them to attend school or work during their periods.

Facebook Event

Review: The Supernormal Legacy: Book 2: Root

RootThe Supernormal Legacy: Book 2: Root (Not A Pipe Publishing, 2018) by LeeAnn McLennan

Book 2: Root picks up 6 months after the events of Book 1: Dormant (read my review here), in which Olivia Woodson developed the supernormal abilities she’d been suppressing since childhood, in time to help defeat a rogue supernormal cousin who had joined a terrorist organization. That cousin is in prison, but the rest of the Brighthall cousins are kept busy by an influx of monsters, many of them rarely if ever found in Portland, OR. And Olivia is having visions of her cousin breaking out of prison, but that’s impossible: supernormals don’t have visions.

Olivia is equal parts appealing and exasperating, for the same reason: she thinks like a teenager. She makes bad decisions for good reasons and continually finds herself in trouble with authority figures, usually because she’s trying to stay out of trouble. For example, she keeps her visions to herself because she’s sure she knows how the adults will react and she’d rather not go there. With good reason: more than one of these super-powered adults is dealing poorly with past trauma and tends to blow up at the nearest target. Young readers might miss that aspect of the story, but I found it compelling and moving. Olivia’s normal father has processed his grief over her mother’s death much better that her supernormal aunts and uncles, who aren’t used to needing help. Olivia’s secret strength may be her connection to the normal world, so I was pleased to see her make an effort to maintain relationships with her normal friends.

Although there’s some “sequel syndrome” here, having to re-introduce characters and situations, it is lessened by the introduction of a host of peculiar, goofy, gross, and/or terrifying monsters, such as a vampire-like thing that feeds on human lymphatic fluid. There were almost too many for me to keep track of, but that may have been the point; I think Olivia felt the same way.

Meanwhile, Olivia harbors warm feelings for another young supernormal, but he’s locked up and in a medically-induced coma to suppress his mindreading ability. When he’s released to help track the escaped prisoners, Olivia makes additional ill-advised but well-intentioned choices that lead to a road trip, a ghost town, grave peril, and a cliffhanger ending. There better be a Book 3!

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 16, 2018

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!

This is usually a Saturday blog, but I was out of town this past weekend for a group book signing with several of my fellow Not a Pipe Publishing authors. (Although we didn’t sell a lot of books, it was great fun to bond over punctuation as we plotted where to go next. But if you’re ever at a bookstore where an author is signing, at least go over and say hello. It will make their day and you might discover a new favorite.) Meanwhile, I couldn’t let this list of band names go to waste:

Full Vinyl Jacket

Take a pop-culture reference and replace one word. The reference is still there and it still makes sense but in a whole new way that just happens to be perfect for a ’70s cover band.

The Hot McGandhis

It’s a good thing I read with my ears or I might have missed this one. How is it that things that look and mean nothing alike can sound almost identical?

Maension

Many Rooms

Although not on the same bill or in the same genre, these two seem to belong together because what is a mansion (however spelled) if not many rooms? I also hear a biblical reference about what is being prepared for the faithful.

The Viking Surfers

Who but vikings would be tough enough to surf cold northern waters? But how do they carry the plunder home?

 

Shameless Self-promotion:

Reading & Book Talk, Sunday, July 29 12:15 p.m. at Prospect UCC, 1919 E Prospect St, Seattle. I will read excerpts from my new fantasy novel Daughter of Magic and talk about how the book came to be, followed by Q&A. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Because the book features a teenage girl and is one of nine books by women authors to be released by Not A Pipe Publishing in 2018, The Year of Publishing Women, donations will be accepted for the Seattle chapter of Days for Girls. This non-profit organization provides durable, reusable feminine hygiene supplies to girls and women in developing countries, allowing them to attend school or work during their periods.

Facebook Event