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.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Room for rent scam.

Sorry for the silence here lately. I've been busy with line edits of Bitterwood, plus work on a new novel called 13 Nails, plus actively hunting for a roommate. The roommate hunt had an interesting twist this week when I almost got scammed. A woman who said she was from London responded to my ad on Craig's List and said she was coming to the US for 4 months to teach seminars in Raleigh. I wrote her back aswering her questions about he room, but also explaining that Hillsborough isn't actually that close to Raliegh. She wrote back immediately saying she would take the room and asking for an address so she could have her boss cut me a money order for the deposit. I thought this was odd. Also, she didn't answer some of my questions like who she worked for or whether it was a problem that the room was unfurnished. So I googled "craig's list room for rent scams" and discovered that there's a scam where people will agree to rent your room or buy an item for sale sight unseen. Then, they send you a money order for an ammount with an extra zero in it. So, you get a money order for 2500 instead of 250 say. You of course email them back saying there's been a mistake. They tell you to deposit the money order and wire back the difference. And, of course, a week later the money order turns out to be counterfiet, and you're left holding the bill. I wrote the woman back telling her I was concerned this might be a scam. I didn't hear from her after this, of course. Still, it's funny how close I almost came toward falling for at least the upfront part of this and giving her my address. If she'd answered my question about an employer with a company I could have googled, and said she was teaching in Durham or Chapel Hill instead of Raleigh, I might not have had alarm bells go off.

The photos posted her, by the way, are of my house now that I actually live in it with furniture and everything. Potential thieves, please note: No TV and my computer is about 5 years old at this point and maybe worth $25 on ebay. The most valuable items you could snag would be my washer and dryer and, really, if you are willing to lug around a washer and dryer for crime, you may as well go ahead and get a real job. Moving appliances is a pretty marketable skill.

Soon, I will be posting a lot of information about Bitterwood. Lots of exciting developments. Also, I'll soon start talking about other Solaris Books. The first ones are hitting stores any day now. Amazon is showing The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin is now shipping, though the Solaris website shows it's release in February. I'll post a review here once I get my hands on it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Useful spam

"In the worst incident, masked men burst into a bar in Uruapan and flung five human heads onto a crowded dance floor in an apparent warning to a rival drug gang. I didn't get to start writing until night time!"

Actual quote from a bit of spam that was in my email today. I'm not in the habit of reading spam, but my eye caught the words "human heads" and "dance floor" and my darker instincts drew me in. The spam was trying to sell me stock in some company, which makes me curious about the link between the human heads and the company. Just what, exactly, are they selling? In any case, I'm glad I read it. If I ever blow a writing deadline, I now have a pretty good excuse in waiting.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Body parts

These are pictures from my premature New Year's Party last Friday. It was a fun little affair with about a dozen friends over to help break in my new house as a party site. Around midnight I was a little concerned about the party. I had just spent a half hour expounding the virtues of my new Roomba. We turned it loose in the bedroom and later I emptied the tray and said, "Look how much cat hair it picked up!" At that moment, I thought, "Am I really showing vacuum cleaner waste to my guests and expecting them to find this interesting?" Luckily, my brother Joseph and his girlfriend Becky rescued the party with a beer run. I had vastly underestimated the amount of alcohol that would be consumed at my party and had run out of margaritas by around 10pm.

Later, Lynne Allen broke out a really fancy digital camera and started taking time exposure pictures of my disco ball lights on the ceiling. The body parts you see belong to Lynne, Jesse, and Cheryl. I ended the night feeling deeply satisfied with the party. Any event that produces some art is a success in my book.