It’s My Sister’s Birthday

She’s the one in the pigtails here, to be clear. A happy 44th to her — she’s spending it in Austin, Texas, actually, which is not a bad place to be on one’s birthday.

25 Comments on “It’s My Sister’s Birthday”

  1. Dana King – Laurel MD – Dana King has two Shamus Award nominations, for A Small Sacrifice and The Man in the Window. His Penns River series of police procedurals includes Worst Enemies and Grind Joint, which Woody Haut, writing for the L.A. Review of Books, cited as one of the fifteen best noir reads of 2013. Down and Out Books will release the next book in the Penns River series, Resurrection Mall, in May 2017. A short story, "Green Gables," appeared in the anthology Blood, Guts, and Whiskey, edited by Todd Robinson. Other short fiction has appeared in Spinetingler, New Mystery Reader, A Twist of Noir, Mysterical-E, and Powder Burn Flash. His newest book is A Dangerous Lesson. Dana’s blog, One Bite at a Time, resides at He lives in quiet near seclusion with The Beloved Spouse.
    Dana King

    Tell her to make some time for the bats’ evening departure from under the bridge. A true natural wonder. Seriously.

  2. It’s been hot as hell all summer, but today’s only supposed to be 95 or so. Compared to 4 months of 104+ this is downright balmy. Still a horrible drought, though. Can’t have everything.

  3. Sam Brady – Sam Brady is a prolific thinker and plotter and schemer, if not a prolific writer. He hasn’t written in far too long, and is trying to get his muse to come back from the vacation she has been on the last few years. He begins writing novels but doesn’t finish them, dabbles in short stories, and enjoys obsessing over word count and looking for the proper motivation to write.

    It’s my birthday too! Happy mutual birthday, Scalzi’s sister!

  4. “What’s so great about Austin TX?”


    For those who understand, no explanation is necessary. For those who don’t, no explanation is possible.

  5. “For those who understand, no explanation is necessary. For those who don’t, no explanation is possible.”

    Sounds like religion….

  6. eh, it’s actually the definition of a Mystery (in the religious sense). Not every religion has them, but you can’t explain Mysteries in words; they have to be experienced. One metaphor I use in teaching them is that explaining to a candle how to burn has no effect; it can’t light until another flame touches it.

  7. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    Happy Birthday, Sister of the Scalzicce!!!

  8. Charlie – Texas Creek, CO – An old fart living in the woods of Colorado. I have incurable cancer so this will chronicle the end of my life.

    What Dwight said.

    Austin is to Texas as Boulder is to Colorado. I hope every state has an enclave like that.

  9. If I had a photograph of my sister at that age, I would keep
    it to myself as a useful source of blackmail. OTOH, knowing
    her, she’d just kill me and take it.

    Just warning you to beware of suspicious and heavily-moustached
    strangers …

    However, the birthday is a nice idea – I haven’t had one of those
    for some years now.


  10. Happy Birthday John’sSister! My sister’s birthday was Sept 21st, & she is now 49. (and not enjoying being almost 50)

  11. I think you just found the author’s photo for “Redshirts.”

  12. Two questions:

    1) How often did she beat you up?
    2) Why does your expression look like you want to kill the cameraperson?

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