I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Where to begin? Last weekend, a pipe burst in my apartment. I had been fixing an outside faucet, and when I went back down to turn on the water, there was the sickening roar of water running behind the drywall in the closet. It was only a few months ago that I had a pipe burst in the same general area. The pipes through there are corroded to a crazy degree, and apparently my just touching the outdoor faucet had sent sufficient vibrations through the pipes to burst them. So, I turned off the water and went at the wall with an axe. Then, I went at the ceiling with an axe, since it turned out thats where the breach actually was. The pipe wasn't just leaking--it had actually snapped in two at one of the joints. The copper pipes were so covered in corrosion they looked like something you'd find in a cave. This was Saturday morning--Laura's plumber of choice couldn't get here until Monday. So, it was a hot, sweaty weekend. Very hot and sweaty, in fact, because, oh yeah, this was the weekend the air conditioning broke. It's still broken--her chosen AC repairman hasn't even called back yet (to be fair, she only called yesterday). And maybe he has called--because, also over the weekend, Laura's phone went on the fritz. It would ring, but when she'd pick it up the line would be dead. People calling her would get a busy signal, or dead air. She could call out, however. I tried to diagnose this by going to the phone box outside, to see if the test jack in it worked, but when I opened it: No test jack. Just an empty slot where it was supposed to be. So, about five calls to the phone company later, we do get a repairman out Monday morning. The call to let us know they are on the way. Which, huh, is funny, since the phone worked. We do several test calls. The phone is working more or less perfectly when the repairman pulls into the driveway. We have him install the outside test jack (the phone company owes you one, man, seriously) and he says the problem must have been a short in the house that "needed time to work it's way through the wires." This explanation makes, like, zero sense. A short isn't like an air-bubble working itself through a pipe.

So, it was a trying weekend. Except, it was also an excellent weekend. On Sunday we went to a swimming pool. Laura and her kids Simon and Veronica fit very nicely in my Scion. We drove around with the AC cranked high and They Might Be Giants playing loud, singing along to the "Istanbul" and "Dr. Worm." Tons of fun.

Follow up from last post: Angel Hunted is out to the critique group now. It weighed in at 15K words. YOWZA. I honestly thought my edits were trimming it, not adding 2000 words. We'll see if anyone bothers to read it--the normal word limit on the group is 7k words, but the group has been in doldrums lately, with weeks going by without a new story.

One interesting thing about the story is that it contained one of my favorite lines ever: "Use your teeth." I know that doesn't look impressive out of context. But there was a time in life when it was my motto--if you swallow anything whole you'll choke on it. Use your teeth--tear and grind at anything the world tries to shove down your throat. It's a good motto. I feel like going out and biting something right now.

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