How Long Did It Take You to Write That?

Dr. Doyle's Blog

This is one of those questions, like “Where do you get your ideas?”, that people will keep asking writers – and like the question about ideas, it’s one that doesn’t have an answer, or at least not the kind of answer the questioner is looking for.

Even before I was a novelist, people used to ask me how long it took me to write my dissertation. The only answer that I could give them – “Well, if you look at it one way, it took me three years. If you look at it another way, it took me about three very intense months. But I needed the three years first.” – somehow never really satisfied them, even though it was true.

The short story I finished just this past weekend is much the same. In terms of actual putting-words-on-screen writing time, it took me about a week. But this was…

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Boskone, Day Two

Dr. Doyle's Blog

Jim Macdonald and I have a reading at 1 PM in Griffin, here in the Westin hotel, and we’re going to be reading a brand-new, just-finished short story . . . one that we’ve been mulling over for a long time, that finally came together in this past week.

If you’re here at Boskone, we’d be delighted to see you there.

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I Think It’s a Rule

Dr. Doyle's Blog

If you’re driving into Boston from out of town, you have to get lost at least once on Massachusetts Avenue.

Normally, our GPS navigator saves us from this, but the rules caught up with us this trip, because the navigator went toes-up on us shortly before departure.  Fortunately, we were able to access Google Maps via my phone — not by using the phone’s web feature, because it doesn’t really have one, but by calling our younger son back in Colebrook and having him find the necessary directions and relay them to us.

After that mini-adventure, we made it safely to the Westin hotel, and our first programming item is a signing at 2 PM in the Galleria.  We’re signing alongside Ken MacLeod and Charlie Stross, so if you’ve got a book (or a short story in an anthology, or a bookplate, or whatever), feel free to bring it in…

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Still Snowbound in the North Country

Dr. Doyle's Blog

The current snow depth, as indicated by the height of the snow cap on the top of our bird feeder:


And it’s still snowing.

At least we should have decent driving weather tomorrow for the trip down to Boskone, and the weather down below for the weekend is supposed to be fair and not too cold.

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Why Magicians Don’t Get Second Dates

Pick a chocolate, any chocolate....

Happy Valentine’s Day

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The Unified Doyle & Macdonald Boskone Schedule

Dr. Doyle's Blog

Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald
Saturday 14:00 – 15:00, Galleria

(We’ll be autographing alongside Ken MacLeod and Charles Stross, a couple of overseas guests from the UK, so if you’ve got anything by us you’d like to have signed, feel free to bring it in so we won’t let New Hampshire down.)

Debra Doyle
Design Your Own Mythology:
Saturday 15:00 – 16:00, Harbor III

What goes into mythmaking? Panelists share their experiences in creating mythologies and pantheons — offering up dos and don’ts, tips on resources, and things to think about as you try creating a coherent mythology of your own.

James D. Macdonald
From Rapiers to Ray Guns
Saturday 16:00 – 17:00, Marina 1

From epic fantasy to space war, speculative fiction is rife with useful tools and weapons that can be used in battle. How much does a writer or reader really need to know about…

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Dr. Doyle's Blog

At least until the driveway gets shoveled clear. Which is going to be a task which is not mine.


And we have more snow predicted for mid-week. Fortunately, Friday is projected to be cold and sunny, because that’s the day we’ll be heading down to Boston for the Boskone sf/fantasy convention. Watch this space for the unified Doyle&Macdonald convention schedule, to be appearing Real Soon Now.

Meanwhile, I have an editing gig to work on, which I have grievously neglected the past two days, because the household was afflicted not only with snow, but with a nasty but fast-moving bug that somehow slipped under this season’s flu-shot radar. (Better last week than this coming weekend, is all I can say.)

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Magic Shop Needs Help

To all my terrific customers!

Just got this note from our pal David Oliver. I am asking every one of you as a favor to one who has always been a friend and mentor to all magicians, Denny Haney, to please do  what you can to help one of the few truly great magic stores in this country.


From David Oliver:

I have known Denny Haney, of Denny & Lee’s Magic Studio in Baltimore for over  twenty-five years. Denny is one of the most knowledgable magicians I have ever known, as well as being one of the most giving. He always helps young magicians starting out, and older magicians looking for information or tips. His background in magic is astounding, and he is one of the few who is universally respected in the industry. He’s just a GREAT guy. He’s run into a bit of financial trouble, and can use the help of every magician out there. This would be a travesty for all of magic if his remaining place had to close. He’s not looking for a hand-out. But any and all purchases TODAY would help him to avoid certain closure. Please read below, and do what you can, no matter how small. And please repost to any and all of the magic FB pages you belong to. Let’s help one of our own! Thanks! – DO

This. From my friend, Rick Maue.

MAGICIANS & MENTALISTS: Please take a minute to read the following:

One of the best magic shops on the planet is facing an immediate emergency…and you can help. Denny Haney, of Denny & Lee’s, has spent the past few months reorganizing and downsizing (including shutting down his Las Vegas location). He has been able to basically get even with his creditors. But, in the process of clearing up just about all of his bills, he has gotten behind on his rent. In short, he has handled more than 50% of the rent situation, but he just got word this morning that he has to come up with $10,000 in three days, otherwise he will be evicted.

Please understand, Denny has made great strides in streamlining the business. With almost no remaining bills, and all of his stock paid for, EVERY sale is 100% profit. That said, I am asking every magician and mentalist I know to buy something from Denny TODAY (or tomorrow) in order to give him a real chance at making his recent restructuring efforts pay off.

In short, through the years, Denny has helped too many magicians and mentalists to count. If he was forced to close, it would not only be a tragedy for him, but it would also be tragedy for our art form. So, please, buy something from today.

Finally, PLEASE share this post Facebook and/or send it out through any mailing lists you may have.

Thanks so very much.

Thanks for doing business with us.


Vince DeAngelis
Diamond’s Magic


Updated to add:  the Denny & Lee GoFundMe page.

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Peeve(s) of the Day

Dr. Doyle's Blog

Because this is a season for feeling peevish about so very many things.

Peeve #1: The phrase is not “been through the ringer” – it’s “been (or put) through the wringer”, with a w. Wringer comes from the Old English wringan, meaning “to press, strain, wring, or twist”, and it refers to a now pretty much obsolete laundry appliance used to extract the water from clothes that have been washed. (But if you really want one, Amazon will sell it to you.)

So looking like you’ve been “put through the wringer” means that you look like you’ve been pressed flat between the appliance’s upper and nether rollers and squeezed dry.

Which is how a lot of us feel these days – I can’t imagine why.

Peeve #2: “Diffused” and “defused.” Something is diffused when it is dispersed or spread out over a large area or in a large…

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I Like Reality…

…I live there.  It’s where I keep my stuff.

Inauguration crowd photos.

Obama (on left) v. Trump (on right).


Now comes the news that Trump pressured Park Service to find proof for his claims about inauguration crowd

On the morning after Donald Trump’s inauguration, acting National Park Service director Michael T. Reynolds received an extraordinary summons: The new president wanted to talk to him.

In a Saturday phone call, Trump personally ordered Reynolds to produce additional photographs of the previous day’s crowds on the Mall, according to three individuals who have knowledge of the conversation. The president believed that the photos might prove that the media had lied in reporting that attendance had been no better than average.

“No better than average” is being kind: by all available metrics the crowd at Trump’s inauguration was smaller than that for not only Obama (only about a third of the size) but for George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

As I asked before, “Why lie about something so trivial, and so easily checked?”

The size of Trump’s victory in the Electoral College wasn’t historically large, it was historically small (in the bottom third).  The size of the crowd at his inauguration wasn’t historically large, it was “no better than average.”

We’re seeing dissension in the ranks:  the National Park Service tweeting about climate change and the Department of Defense(!) tweeting stories about the positive contributions of Muslim soldiers and noting that how someone uses social media can be a window into their mental health.






I’m told that copies of 1984 have been flying off the shelves as people are trying to figure out what will happen next. I suggest that rather than 1984 y’all might rather go down to your local library and check out a copy of Seven Days in May.


Epically empty grandstand along Trump's parade route.

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