Category: personal

New Author Photo and Bio

About a year ago, I dropped by a Barnes & Noble to see if they had any of my books to sign. I was in luck, but I hit a snag. Always before, they’d just let me sign the books, and I went on my merry way. This time, they looked at the author pic at the back of the book, looked at me, looked at the pic again . . . and then asked to see some identification. I’m usually not the best at picking up subtle hints, but I did manage to understand that perhaps my picture, taken about nine years ago now, no longer quite matches up with what I look like today. (Not that I’ve aged that much, but in the intervening years I’ve started wearing glasses again, I’ve lost around 30 pounds, and (fine) I’ve gotten a fair bit of grey in my beard.)

So when we were getting family pictures taken a couple of weeks ago and our photographer (the fantastic Jamie Lynn) asked if there were any other shots we wanted, I asked if she’d be willing to do a new head shot for me, and she was happy to. So here’s the new, updated picture of yours truly that will be in A PERFECT PLACE TO DIE when it comes out next year.

At the same time, my editor emailed last week to see if I had a bio for the book. The one I’ve been using has also been getting a bit long in the tooth, so I decided it was time for an update on that as well. Here’s the new one:

Bryce Moore is the author of The Memory Thief and Vodník. When he’s not authoring, he’s a librarian in Western Maine and a past president of the Maine Library Association. And when he’s not up to his nose in library work, he’s watching movies, playing board games, and paying ridiculous amounts of money feeding his Magic the Gathering addiction. Check out his daily blog for writing tips, movie reviews, and general rantings over at brycemoore.com

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

When Can You Call a Stranger?

Part of my responsibilities in church at the moment is making unsolicited phone calls to set up appointments for church leaders. They’ll need to meet with someone, and so I’ll need to track that person down and set a time and date. Most of the time, I try to do this through email, because it’s the most efficient way in my opinion. (And I have an easy record of what was decided, in case there’s the need to keep track of that.)

But sometimes emails go unnoticed, and I have to reluctantly turn to ye olde telephone to get the job done. I dislike this for a number of reasons. First of all, I just don’t like talking to strangers on the phone. I can chatter away with friends for hours on end, but calling people I don’t know? Not a fan. It stresses me out, and yes I realize that’s a silly thing to stress out about, but there you have it.

Beyond the simple stress of making an actual phone call is the fact that most people have caller ID these days, and I don’t know if you’re aware, but there are a lot of these things called “spam calls” that happen. This means most people just don’t answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize. Which means my number. So calling someone means I have to leave a message, and then they have to call me back, which is from a number my phone won’t recognize. (And also means that these days I just always answer my phone, because it’s easier to just hang up on a spambot than it is to have to track down the actual person who was leaving me a message.)

Anyway. This long lead up is just to set the stage for my question. In the modern era, when do you think it’s fine to make a phone call? Meaning, what hours of the day? I ask because I know for a fact that different people have different opinions on this. (On my mission, I once got yelled at for knocking on someone’s door. “Don’t you know what time it is?” they yelled at me. I checked my watch. “Four thirty in the afternoon?” I answered. “Exactly!” they said. “It’s way too late to just drop by!” Maybe they just didn’t want a missionary knocking on their door. If that was the case, I couldn’t blame them. I wouldn’t want me knocking on my door either.)

My general approach is on a weekday, I’ll wait until 9am to call someone, and I’ll still call someone until 9pm. (On weekends, I wait until 10am.) Still, I have woken people up calling at 9 in the morning or 8:30 at night, so I wonder if my hours are too broad.

That’s where you all come in.

When do you think it’s okay to call someone? Weekend vs. weekday? (And remember, “not calling at all” isn’t an option in this case. Those appointments ain’t gonna make themselves, folks.)

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Stop Eating Poop

Ferris is a great dog. He’s definitely making things more interesting around the household in more ways than one. One way I wish were a little less interesting was the way he keeps making us take trips to the vet. We’ve had three vet visits (of the non-scheduled variety) in the two months he’s been with us, and he’s been on two rounds of drugs to solve various issues he’s had. Issues that really, when you get down to it, stem from one basic habit of his:

He likes to eat poop.

I know this isn’t unique to Ferris. That in fact, most dogs think poop is the bee’s knees and would eat it much more often if they could. That still doesn’t make me less frustrated when we have to shell out another hundred on pills that could have been avoided if he’d just lay off the brown stuff. It seems so clear to me. Why can’t he just follow that one obvious rule?

Of course, then I was eating some of Denisa’s apple cobbler she made last night, and a bit of it fell on the floor. Without thinking twice about it, I picked it up and ate it. After I was already chewing, it occurred to me that my floor is far from a sanitary surface. That Ferris literally walks through poop all the time, and that he walks all over that kitchen. That there’s no telling what germs I’d just popped into my mouth.

As soon as I’d made that connection, many other connections snapped together in my mind. Things I do and say (and eat) that I really shouldn’t, even though I know better.

Why is it so hard for us to stop doing the things that hurt ourselves, even when we know those things are hurtful? Over my staycation, I took a break from my diet. Because of that, I felt sick to my stomach most of the staycation. Yes, I got to eat a whole bunch of delicious food, but I ate too much of that delicious food. Denisa told me not to do it. I did it anyway.

I’m getting better in some areas. I don’t stay up as late. I get regular amounts of sleep. I exercise. But there are still definitely areas where I keep eating poop, no matter how many times everyone reminds me that poop is bad for me and will lead to long term problems.

I know this is just a variation on a theme I’ve written about many many times before, but that’s probably because it’s a lesson I (clearly) need to keep learning to master. What is the poop you’re currently eating? The first step to stopping is acknowledging that it’s poop, and not really anything of value. Once you can recognize that, you’ll be much closer to giving that particular type of poop up . . .

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Learning from Life: Puppy Edition

I tend to think in terms of whatever challenges I’m focused on most at the moment, especially if they’re new. When I’m dieting for the first time in a while, I look for lessons from that experience. As I raise my children, I figure new things out as I come across new situations. For me, it’s all just a part of the process.

So it should come as no great surprise that I find myself learning all sorts of things as we work on raising Ferris. In many ways, it feels like a streamlined version of raising a child: it’s so much easier to see different tendencies and sticking points, probably because a dog goes from a puppy to fully grown so much more quickly.

Ferris has energy. Lots of energy. Many times, he just doesn’t know what to do with all that energy. He’ll spend it up running through fields or chasing after bugs or sniffing the remains of squished frog in the middle of the road. He’ll also spend it trying to bite MC (his version of playing). It can be very frustrating to deal with all that energy, but once you recognize it for what it is, it’s also much easier to be understanding of him. Lots of energy paired with little experience is a recipe for a lot of trouble now and then, but at the same time, it’s also plain to see he wants to do the right thing. He just doesn’t always understand what the right thing is.

Unfortunately, it seems to be much easier to be forgiving of a puppy than it is to be forgiving of a person. (Again, likely because the puppy grows out of it so much more quickly than a human does.) But I think it’s important to remember those same principles are at play, especially when it comes to our kids. There’s a lot of energy and enthusiasm there, and if we direct it and nourish it, then they can really grow up to do incredible things.

These days, Ferris has calmed down around me a great deal. He likes coming to sit on my lap (even though he doesn’t fit nearly as well as he used to). I’ve got a fair bit of practice at enforcing rules consistently, and it’s been rewarding to see that consistency pay off. He knows what to expect: what’s allowed and what will get him into trouble. And by knowing those boundaries, he’s a happier puppy.

I’m not saying raising children is just like raising a dog. I’ve had to speak to Ferris in a tone I would never ever ever use with another human being, but he’s not a human. He’s a dog. A week or two before we were picking him up to bring him home, we had a chance to visit his whole litter. His mother was in the process of weaning the dogs. One of them really didn’t want to be weaned. She growled at him like she was about to rip his throat out. There was no reasoning. No gentle reprimands. There were stark boundaries. Of course, she didn’t actually rip his throat out, but it was an experience that helped me realize dogs handle things differently. That’s okay.

Anyway. Glad the little bounder is feeling better after his escapade with a UTI last weekend. It was seriously upsetting to see the poor puppers in such bad shape. Last night, we took him upstairs to watch television as a family; the first time we’ve watched TV together since we got him. (Up until now, we didn’t trust him in the movie room.) Once he realized the huge people on the 104 inch screen weren’t going to come out and play or threaten him, he calmed down, and a fun time was had by all.

Looking forward to more of that in the future.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Glasses, Fogging, and the Latest Technology

I wrote a few weeks ago about the need I had for some sort of better face mask. My current ones were all making my glasses fog non-stop. Many of you chimed in with suggestions, and I’m happy to say that I think I’ve got that problem covered for the most part at this point. (For the record, I really like the ones I bought at the Gap, and the ones I got at Starks online. (Though the Starks ones are a smidge small for my face.)

However, the thing that’s helped me the most isn’t just having a better face mask. It’s wearing it properly. For my glasses to remain fog-free, it’s usually best if I tuck the top of the mask up underneath my glasses. That lets all that hot air somehow skip my glasses, eliminating the whole fog process.

The problem is that when I do that, my glasses have a tendency to fall off my face at the drop of a hat. If I lean forward. Move my head. Bump them with my hands. My glasses were falling off left and right. It’s all fun and games until you’re trying to go to the bathroom without having your glasses fall in the toilet. Just keeping it real here, folks.

So what have I done? I’ve turned to the power of modern technology! Ear hooks are my new friend. They’re little rubber hooks that slip on the end of your glasses frames, hooking around your ears when you wear them. Yes, they look dorky, but you can’t really see they’re on your glasses when your glasses are on your face. And they hook your glasses securely to your face, so it doesn’t matter what the day may bring. Those glasses are going nowhere.

I know this might seem like a small thing to you. For me, it’s been a real help. (Especially as it gets colder. I have no idea what my glasses are going to do with fogging when it’s 20 below outside. The good news(?) is that thanks to my country’s response to the pandemic, it looks like I’ll get to find out! ‘Merica!!!

Anyway. If you too are finding your glasses unwilling to stay on your masked face, I’m passing this info on in the hopes that it will help you. Good luck!

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

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