By Mark A. Ciccone

Two presumed-dead genetically augmented soldiers search for the truth of their origins... and discover far more than they ever imagined.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

This Week's Tune (12/4)

Evening, everybody!

Since it's FINALLY permissible to play Xmas music semi-nonstop (no matter what those who start playing it before Thanksgiving might think), I figured I'd start my December posts with this old gem: O Tannenbaum, arranged by John Rutter and performed by the Cambridge Singers on their 1987 Carols of the Nativity album (Usual copyrights apply; I own nothing!).

Though I'm not Christian (Deist by preference--look it up!--I don't believe one needs religion to have faith), I have long enjoyed and admired much of the music created by and for those who are. Particularly at this time of year; I've come to ignore or abandon almost all of the more consumer-focused aspects of the holidays, and consider them just a time to relax, be with family, and sit reading by a fire with music like this. I can't quite recall when I first heard this CD, or their later album Christmas with the Cambridge Singers, but both magnificent compilations have stayed with me for years, and provide perhaps the perfect, soothing background for any and all writing work during the cold, dark months of winter. Rutter's version of O Tannenbaum gives a particular boost whenever I'm down, or struggling with writing, or both, especially in the final stretch ("You bear a joyful message / That faith and hope shall ever bloom / To bring us light in winter's gloom"). With this song, and the rest of the Xmas mix, the hope of being a (pro) writer remains strong, as does the faith that I will be, one day before too long.

In other happy news, NaNaWriMo came to a successful end on the 30th, with a word count of over 51K! Though I almost immediately hacked away more than two-thirds of the draft once I validated the count (you gotta love and hate those completely new ideas and directions that come up midway through the slog :) ), keeping up my winning streak (8 years so far, since 2010!) more than made up for this, and I'll be working on the new material until New Year's. I've also begun laying out the cover design for Red Delta with my chosen designer; current plan is still to have the book out in time for pre- and post-Xmas shopping, in print and online, so all shoppers keep an eye out! I'll have more updates in my 2017 wrap-up post on Wordpress later this month; with all the final papers and other classwork bearing down at this point, non-academic time online is rare...but will be plentiful soon enough!

The FREE period on Kindle for Obsidian & Steel was also fairly successful; many thanks to those who picked up a copy! If anybody's still looking for a digital stocking stuffer, or just a new reading fix, check out or pass the word along about this and my other novellas--and the pledge option for Discarded, too, if you wish. Apart from this, just keep up the reviews and shares!

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