Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

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Go Check Out My Latest Guest Blog…

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…now up at the Opinionated Man’s very busy blog site!

Now, why did I write a guest blog? Mostly, it’s because of the Christmas in July event tomorrow at Facebook…and partly, it’s to give people the idea that I’m very happy about my books, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE and A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, because I am.

My books are very different than many out there, as they’re funny YA urban fantasies–you don’t see a whole lot of those, these days. I keep hoping that down the line, people will find my novels and that they’ll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them…anyway, it’s good to think about springtime, and young love, and fights against nearly impossible odds when it’s really hot and kind of nasty-humid outside. Best in such weather to curl up inside with a good book, where you can laugh and cry and cheer…

Anyway, do go read my guest blog, will you? You’ll enjoy it.

And then, make sure you stop by the Christmas in July Party on Facebook between eleven a.m. and noon Central Daylight Time and give me a yell. (C’mon, it’ll be fun!)

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 24, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Reintroducing: Loren Jones’s ALL THAT GLITTERS

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Folks, back in 2010, I wrote a blog about Loren Jones’s novel ALL THAT GLITTERS. In it, I described the adventures of Stavin, soon to be DragonBlessed, as:

All that Glitters is a fantasy novel/coming of age story about Stavin kel’Aniston, once the smallest and least-regarded of all the warrior-candidates in his village.  Because of this, he feels he has nothing to lose in attempting to beard a dragon in its den, and ends up with …dragonscale armor, something no one else in his village has — or has ever had.

But this is just the start of Stavin’s problems; he still must learn how to work within the system in order to show his worth.   If he can do so, fame and fortune will be his, but more importantly, he’ll be able to marry the woman of his dreams (a slightly older, and nearly blind, scholar).

All that Glitters is just under 100K words, and is an excellent read.  I urge everyone who loves fantasy, coming of age tales, or simply something fun to read to check out Loren K. Jones’s fine novel.  And better yet, it is the first in a series . . . more reading pleasure awaits, if you only will accept the challenge of buying — and reading — the first book in Stavin’s journey. (Changes by BC to original post, mostly for emphasis)

When E-Quill Publishing closed, for a time Loren’s work was out of print. However, publisher Lida Quillen enjoyed first Loren’s INADVERTENT ADVENTURES and published it, then put out Loren’s short story collection STORIES OF THE CONFEDERATED STAR SYSTEMS, and now has put out ALL THAT GLITTERS as well. Stavin’s story is up to seven volumes, last I checked, and with luck and book sales, we will be fortunate enough to read them all, in time.

And now, it has a spiffy new cover, too! (Ta-da!)

All that Glitters

I’m very pleased that Loren’s ALL THAT GLITTERS is back out and available. It’s a book that continues to make me smile, because Stavin’s adventures move quickly but somehow seem to foreshadow something…more. He’s young, and he enjoys being a warrior (no matter how short), but his true passions are for books and stories…maybe that’s why I like Stavin so much, even though I’m about the farthest thing from a warrior the world has ever seen.

(Oh, yes…before I forget, Loren did put a very interesting Tuckerization of my late husband in there, which you will have to be quick to spot…I know I enjoyed that, too!)

So, do go get a copy while it’s still ninety-nine cents, will you?

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 23, 2016 at 3:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

“What is Military Science Fiction, Anyway?” – Guest Post…

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Folks, rather than talk too much about why I wrote this, head on over to Chris the Story-Telling Ape’s busy blog, and dive in. I think if you like milSF, or if you like Chris Nuttall’s work — even if for some reason you don’t like mine too much and read my blog ’cause you enjoy me or my fantasy or whatever — you will like this post.

So, here is “What is Military Science Fiction, Anyway?” Enjoy it.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

When you think of the words “military science fiction,” what comes to mind?

Is it spaceships, maybe? Or at least space suits…or perhaps far-future events, on a space station, or on another planet entirely, but with future warriors?

There are so many different things that the words “military science fiction” (henceforth shortened to milSF) bring to mind, aren’t there? So my thought was, what usual conventions do writers use when they’re dealing with milSF?

Perhaps looking at the works of a few current writers will give an idea of what is meant, here.

For example, David Weber has a far-flung interstellar empire in his many-book saga about Honor Harrington (also called the “Honorverse”). In addition to war, the Honorverse includes political drama, various different styles of government and ways of living—but without the backbone of Honor Harrington’s military service (not to mention the war and its aftermath, and the war…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

July 16, 2016 at 8:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Agnes Mae Graham

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For some reason, when Chris the Story-Telling Ape put out the announcement that his mother’s book of poetry was now available, I didn’t see it…thankfully, Susan Toy did and recommended it. Now, I’m going to do the same thing.

Reading Recommendations

Christopher Graham, aka Chris The Story Reading Ape*, has done a wonderful thing! He’s gathered together poetry written by his late mother, Mae Graham, and published it as an eBook, available worldwide! Here’s “Mae” to tell us about “her” new book!

Mum B&WAgnes Mae Graham (Mae)

What is your latest release and what genre is it?My Vibrating Vertabrae: and other poems

Quick description: We all have dreams, loves and hopes; but what if you are a girl growing up in 20th century Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’?

From the poetic thoughts of our Mother, we get a sense of what it was like, ranging from humour, sadness, wistful thinking and sometimes just downright nonsensical, these are the words of one such girl.

Each poem tells a story.

MMVV eBook PNG SMALLBrief biography:
I was born into a poor-in-money, rich-in-spirit-and-determination, proud, hard-working family on 2nd July, 1926.

Both my parents…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

July 15, 2016 at 7:27 pm

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Flights of Fancy short story anthology – Flights of Fancy by Sally Cronin

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This is a very cute short story by my friend Sally Cronin…go enjoy it, and let it take your consciousness away for a short time. Enjoy the weekend, friends, no matter how many awful things happened this week…OK?

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

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FLIGHTS OF FANCY

My head was bent over the crowded library counter as I concentrated on checking in a batch of new books, when a polite voice interrupted my chain of thought.

“Hello, it’s Helen isn’t it?”

I looked up into a face that I thought I would never see again. Robert Brown, the heart throb of the upper fifth at school. I blinked. I could not believe that he had remembered my name, let alone recognised me after all these years. I stared blankly at him.

“You don’t remember me do you?” he said, “Robert Brown, we were at school together.”

As if I would ever forget.

“It’s a long time I know, over ten years,” he paused and looked around him at the crowded library. “I can’t believe that you are working in the library, last time I saw you after our exams, you said you were headed…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

July 8, 2016 at 7:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

My Patreon Update…and Other Stuff

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Folks, I’m glad to have finally written an update…and it’s up at my Patreon page.

What’s Patreon, you ask? It’s a place where you can support writers, artists, musicians, or other creative types…it’s a very old idea done in a very new, 21st Century way.

I know I’ve been very behindhand on explaining what’s going on. There’s a reason for that. If I think too much about the circumstances that surround me — the fact that my living situation is not fully under my control, and that I am unable to affect the outcome very much at all — I can’t create. And that would be lethal, especially as I grow closer to completing CHANGING FACES at long last…I have to get that book done, there’s no two ways about it.

So, I’m going to cut and paste from my own post at Patreon, that I just put up less than fifteen minutes ago:

Unfortunately, since I last posted, very little has changed. My living situation — it’s hard to know what I can say about it, because I’m not the only one affected, but suffice it to say that from day to day I barely know where I’m going to be. This is frustrating and confusing, and it’s not exactly conducive to creativity.

As for how I’m doing/feeling? I fight exhaustion. I fight the feeling of inertia, of nothing changing, of still being in a reasonably unstable situation and being almost completely unable to affect it…and it’s extremely frustrating and disquieting.

I know that I’m doing everything I possibly can to positively affect this outcome. As I said at my long-delayed update over at Patreon, I have edited five books in the last two-plus months, and I’ve written 20,000 words. These are good things, and I’m proud of these accomplishments.

In addition, I played a concert on Sunday night with the Racine Concert Band at the Racine Zoo (though I wasn’t able to play the parade, alas, on Monday as I’d planned). We had an enthusiastic crowd, as we always do — free summer concerts have resumed, and will be held at the Zoo every Sunday night at 7:30 in July, and at 7:00 in August (through August 14, 2016).

I’m not able to play at the same level I could years ago, mind, but I can still play well most of the time. I’d prefer to have some solos now and again, but that rarely happens…still, I’m glad to be able to play, and I think I add something, even when I’m playing the second part and it seems like no one pays attention to me being there besides my stand-partner.

So, I’m trying. I have a temporary situation, and am trying to look on the bright side. (Though sometimes I want to kick whoever started that whole idea squarely in the nether region. Why can’t we admit just for one minute that things are bleak, but we’re going to do our best every day anyway?)

I do know that life can change, sometimes on what seems to be an instant. And it’s very possible that all the hard work I’ve done will lead to something much better…my husband believed that, my best friend Jeff Wilson believed that, too, and my friends now firmly believe that as well.

Who am I to say they’re wrong?

Anyway, if you want to help support me get through this rough patch, you can go to my Patreon page and make a pledge…or, if you wish to support me privately, let me know and I’ll give you my PayPal address. (And thank you very much for even considering this oblique request. It truly is the best I can do right now.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm

“Are we still friends?” #SundayBlogShare

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A very interesting blog post from writer Barb Taub…it’s an updating of a post she originally wrote in 2013, with some Brexit commentary added. If you love language, go read it…then get a copy of one of her books (co-written with her daughter), as it’s absolutely FREE.

Barb Taub

The vote is taken, results are in. On a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment, the UK has decided to leave the EU. As an immigrant, I’m appalled. As a resident of the UK, I’m sad. As an American, I’m worried. As a human, I’m hoping that we can focus on our similarities, and learn to love our differences. 

[image credit? The first I can find is a tweet from Kate Gilson ‏@kategilson][image credit? The earliest I can find is a tweet from @KateGilson, with hat tip to @TerryTyler4 for sending it my way.]And on that note, I’d like to update my very first blog post from November, 2013. 


“Indeed, in many respects, she was quite English, and was an excellent example of the fact that we have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.”—Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost, 1887

I used to say I was going to open a coffee shop on an island when I retired. It…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

June 26, 2016 at 9:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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