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15 December 2016

Christmas short story 2016

Merry Christmas! Here is this year's edition. I made a try at a romance this year!

It wasn't read by this Santa Elf, but she would have if she could.

29 September 2016

PH pic

Pocket Holes is still out there. On Amazon to be exact, right here.

You can also check out the book that started it all, Pocket Hole, on Wattpad. I'm releasing it in a series.

23 September 2016

Pocket Holes just came out

Yes, Pocket Holes.

It took me months to come up with that name.

It's on Amazon here.

You can also check out the book that started it all, Pocket Hole, on Wattpad. I am going to release it in a series.

That sounds fun, doesn't it? You know, a serial like the Flash Gordon movies back in the 30s. Buster Crabbe was the bomb, and who can't love a bad guy named Ming the Merciless? All of his evil was just a cry for help, in my opinion.

Actually, here is a page from the graphic novel that really started it all. Artwork by Alex Bell.

17 August 2016

Thurgood Marshall

Purported photo of Thurgood Marshall's dog
Thurgood Marshal did something somewhere sometime. He knew stuff and he lived in a town or a city and had neighbors. If he had a dog it probably lived in the backyard and slept most of the time. People like Thurgood Marshal are famous for a reason. Whatever they did, people wrote about it.

There are a number of things I take from this. Number one, of course, is that I have a terrible memory. Number two is that almost all of us will be forgotten eventually.

Is that a bummer?

We are a world replete with dying men and women grasping for immortality. Everybody wants to be remembered. Not sure what your religious leanings are, but what if we don't have an end?

Not having an end would certainly ease my mind about forgetting who Thurgood Marshall was . . . I mean . . . is. If Thurgood has no end, it doesn't matter that I forgot what he did. Seems to me, if Thurgood has no end, the important thing is who he was when he died.

Who will you be when you die? Obituaries argue accolades are what matters, but if you have no end, just continue on in another sphere, what you did is nice but the end product is what matters.

I would certainly be sad if I died tomorrow without ever gracing a bestseller list, but I am caught in the pull of gravity just like you. This weight we inhabit, the press of pounds, I yearn for things I cannot command. Notice me. Honor me. Celebrate me. Remember me.

We are all too unaware.

The world inside is what counts and we are the builders. Your world and my world with outside lines blurred by incursions, or the lines distinct for those who see.

What we do in this life will crumble. Who we are will remain.

Who are you?

11 August 2016

Beware any effort

Here is a random child, possibly mine, who will serve as today's object lesson. Note the scrapes and scratches.

Look close. See beyond the subject's obviously forced, cheery nature. Pain must throb and wholly own the conscious center some might call his sense of self or current awareness. The poor waif has no ability to reason or remember, only to feel. He is consumed by the horrific injuries you see in the image I have so indelicately uploaded. And how has the boy come to this sad state of writhing agony?

In the picture he sits at his favorite spot, a location in space and time so replete with his presence that when he intermittently leaves, ghostly images of himself flicker in and out if you care to look. Should his family leave on an errand, or even go on a trip in which they forget him and leave him home, upon return they find him there invariably.

Back to the injury. Do you suppose the boy sustained these great gashes as he sat at his desk and clicked?

Nay. This post-pubescent teenager strayed from his comfortable surroundings and entered what some call the outside world. And why would he do this? Let us suppose his stated reason went something like, "I'm going to hang out with or chill with . . ." fill in the blank.As is obvious in the photograph, all who enter the outside world live (if they are lucky) to rue the day.

I am pondering this line of reasoning as I sit on my couch and watch a television program broadcast from Rio de Janeiro.

Oh, the unholy light stream inflicted upon my eyes via diodes!

What lies! Arrayed before me, legions on parade who seem to have lived fully in the outside world, eschewing comfortable chairs and computer screens for exertion, effort, injury. For what?

Behold the true sirens of myth!

Better to view and click, my brothers. Find your happy place. Inhabit your happy place. Never leave your happy place.

Better to view and click.

08 August 2016

Worlds do end

Google Calendar can create a reminder for important dates like birthdays. The pop up for the reminder will only change as Google sends updates that alter color and format. The message stays the same.

Not so for the people on which a birthday falls.

Youth tends to love a birthday. A present, hidden in a box and further secured by wrapping paper, is a magical thing for the young. For others, the expectation of friends tendering words of appreciation is the pull. Many who are not so young, but perhaps young at heart, like a birthday for the same reasons.

On our birthday, all the world (when world is defined as that portion that affects us) reaches out and acknowledges our contribution to other worlds. We are all world builders, each of us the center, but depending on the introvert/extrovert combination within us, we encroach to various degrees on others.

Birthdays have a beginning but no end. My birthday will be the same in a thousand years. The world I am building commenced and is commemorated by that day.

Funny that unlike birthdays, worlds do end.

What continues is the encroachments we made while building. For some, the birthday not only continues. It is remembered.

26 July 2016

Bestselling book cover

I was doing a little reading on the Internet a few days ago and came across an interesting blog post or magazine article. Can't remember which.

The title said something like "How to Create a bestselling book cover."

I have to be honest, this threw me into a murderous rage. I even lost track of time for a while. Just came to myself an hour ago. Have no idea what I've been doing. Painting seems to have been part of it. Which is weird. I hate painting. And red is my least favorite color. Maybe I was helping a farmer winterize his barn. I don't know. I hope all that crimson comes out of my Pokemon Go t-shirt. Also weird, where did this vat of sodium hydroxide come from?

I've had a rant simmering in the back of my mind for a while, and here it goes: I don't think book covers serve a purpose so much as hack a weakness.

Something that "serves a purpose" in my mind is something that fills a need. Humans need good stories. Books can fill that need.

A book cover doesn't fill any need known to mankind. All a book cover does is entice people to spend. Good book, bad book, doesn't matter. A book cover has no say over the excellence or excrement it covers.

I'm as guilty as anyone else. When I was young I would buy pretty much anything with Frank Frazetta art on the front. I know what you 're thinking and no, my appreciation for Frank's take on sword and sorcery had nothing to do with skin and cleavage. Truth is, when I think back on those reads, a ton of those books sucked. But they had cool covers.

One thing I did right was identify a few authors that I loved and basically read everything attached to their pen. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Louis L'Amour, Phillip K. Dick, Orson Scott Card. Shakespeare. (okay, that one's B.S.) If they wrote it, I read it. Covers didn't matter for those authors.

We are all too enamored with the sell. All that glitters. All that gleams.

Not that this matters. Alien spaceships landed in a field behind me a few days ago. That pretty much signals the end of the world anyway. Can't believe I was smiling in the picture.

25 March 2016

BvS opened yesterday

Went and saw Batman beat up Superman last night. Have to admit, the family was split, with me coming down on the plus side.

Coming down on the plus side really isn't hard for me these days. I've gained about 10 pounds since December. That coincides with me giving up desserts, candy, and sugar. Go figure.

I really don't understand the vehement critic hate spilling off Rotten Tomatoes. As I write this, Spoiled Fruit (or vegetable, depending on your view) has BvS at 29%. Now, I didn't think the movie was perfect, but 29% is south of turkey territory. 29% means - this movie sucks like Teen Witch only without good rap.

Can we kind of say that BvS is basically DC's second movie, with Man of Steel being the first? At least in the sense of this new age of movies that Marvel has created, starting with Iron Man. Follow that logic and Marvel's second movie was The Incredible Hulk, with Edward Norton. No home run there.

Or, you could say that DC's first entry into this arena was the amazing suckfest that was Green Lantern, which would then make BvS movie number three, and then you're comparing it to Marvel's Punisher: Ware Zone. Whoa, DC doesn't look so bad now, does it?

I think everybody is forgetting that Marvel has a big lead on DC, with almost 10 years firmly establishing their let's print money template. Iron man was great, but then we got the above-mentioned titles, then Iron Man 2, Thor, the first Captain America, and let's not forget  - Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. None of those were great. For me, BvS is better than any of them. Back in 2012 right before Avengers came out, I remember thinking that I would give Marvel a couple more tries, but they were wearing out their welcome.

I think I'm going to be a critic and say that critics suck. Sometimes, at least. This week, the nation's  critics, like a horde of shuffling zombies, jumped on a band wagon and got it wrong (yeah, I mixed the crap out of that metaphor). I hope people don't avoid the movie theaters as a result. They will miss:

  • Amy Adams in a bathtub where you as a viewer think, wait, can I see . . . no, hold it, is that her . . . no, I guess not.
  • Ben Affleck also throws his hat into the ring of who is the best Batman, and the answer, when all is said and done, might be him.
  • Gal Gadot, for all the pretentious alliteration in her name, has a stunning pair of . . . well, bracelets. You know, to deflect bullets and laser beams.

To be serious for a moment, this movie has made me think about it. And I'm not saying that is all positive. I've thought of plot holes I missed while in the theater, strange missteps that I still can't figure, but I am also liking it more right now than I did last night.

Critics. For shame! A pox on you! Not, you know, a pox that will kill you or anything. Just, maybe, something that will make it socially awkward to be in public this weekend. Yeah, that kind of pox.

11 March 2016

Dream Ender 4

This is reading number 4 of Dream Ender.

Wow, last week Vincent got embarrassed in front of a girl. This week he beats up a little kid. You know, I'd stop listening right now.

08 March 2016

Shadow and Shade 14

This is reading number 14 of:
Without Mother Without Father trilogy
The book Shadow and Shade

The Triple Crown sucks compared to the horse race in this reading.

03 March 2016

Baltimore writing

Not sure what it is about writing in a hotel room, but put me next to a window and I can totally rite lotz ov wurds. Even in Baltimore.

29 February 2016

Dream Ender 3

This is reading number 3 of Dream Ender.

In which Vincent attends an opera and gets embarrassed in front of a cute girl.

25 February 2016

Shadow and Shade 13

This is reading number 13 of:
Without Mother Without Father trilogy
The book Shadow and Shade

Dorian and Velan see a play, though not the one Dorian wants to see. Cats was sold out.

22 February 2016

Dream Ender 2

This is reading number 2 of Dream Ender.

Yeah, that's right, Vincent remembers Pong.

19 February 2016

Work "fajita mix" into the next sentence

Driving home I might pass a restaurant with something painted in the window, something about "fajita mix," and that might get my mind to wondering what fajita mix is, and maybe something about those two words put together strikes my fancy, and I decide I'm going to throw the phrase "fajita mix" into the next sentence I write in my story when I get home.

Just a fun, zany challenge, but it gets me wondering about what kind of writer I am. Maybe writing is just that, the next zany challenge, even though I dislike the word "zany." Writing is certainly an itch I have to scratch, but at the same time is it just a string of passing fancies? Do I search for truth in my words? Do others see truth in my words."

They just saw fajita mix, I'll tell you that.

18 February 2016

Shadow and Shade 12

This is reading number 12 of:
Without Mother Without Father trilogy
The book Shadow and Shade
We never actually get to see the medieval hot tub. Totally sucks.

15 February 2016

Dream Ender 1

Going to get two books going at once. This is Dream Ender, an urban fantasy. It you don't know what urban fantasy is then I'm going to claim I invented the genre and you should be dutifully impressed.

If you have heard of urban fantasy, then pretend what I just said above was a joke, have a good laugh, and click play below. Enjoy.

14 February 2016

Daily Ambivalence - Grover Cleveland

Tomorrow is President's Day but which president should I celebrate?

That's not an easy question, especially when you apply the, granted, atypical standard I use to select the presidents I want to honor.

This year I will turn my thoughts to Grover Cleveland, and it's not just because you can buy his likeness on a mousepad, though I have to admit that was the deciding factor this year.

Some people might choose to honor and celebrate past presidents because of notable things they did or didn't do. Starting wars or ending wars. Freeing races or deciding that it's stupid to not let half the population vote. Those were all notable.

When I vote for a president though, that kind of thing is what I expect from them. They are supposed to do big things like that. So why should I honor them for doing their job?

No, like I said, I use a different standard. I am devoting my President's Day to Grover Cleveland because of threes things:

  1. I already mentioned the mousepad.
  2. I think it's cool that he was named after a Sesame Street character.
  3. Cleveland the city is awesome for tons of reasons, but going with the number 3, I will restrict it to that number:
    • Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster are from Cleveland (if you don't know who those two are, shame on you).
    • The Cuyahoga River, which runs through Cleveland, catches on fire from time to time. Yeah, I know, what the hell?
    • Cleveland has the same name as the 22nd and 24th president of the United States.

Happy Grover Cleveland Day tomorrow.

Tomorrow is President's Day but which president should I celebrate . . . eh.

12 February 2016

Shadow and Shade 11

This is reading number 11 of:
Without Mother Without Father trilogy
The book Shadow and Shade

Some people are afraid of their shadows, some just get annoyed.

11 February 2016

Daily Ambivalence - Fat Tuesday made me feel bad

This is a mint chocolate cake from
Glaus Bakery. My wife gets one

every February for her birthday.
You can't smell this from where you are.
I pity you.
I can smell this from where I am.
I pity myself even more.
I gave up desserts, candy, and soda at the start of the year.

It occurred to me on Fat Tuesday that I'm still fat.

Is Fat Tuesday early in the year because everybody knows you're still going to be fat in February, even though you have lightened up on what you eat for a whole month? And by "lightened up on what you eat," I mean to say you intended to eat less.

When is Skinny Wednesday? I tried Googling that but got nothing.

Probably some time in October.

Fat Tuesday made me feel bad . . . eh.

Foggy day in Boise

Working in Boise, but got some writing done first thing in the morning. I hate the first five minutes of writing where you tell yourself you suck and the story just isn't working, and then you fall into the groove and it's so easy it should be illegal.

04 February 2016

Shadow and Shade 10

This is reading number 10 of:
Without Mother Without Father trilogy
The book Shadow and Shade

Dorian depends on the kindness of strangers.

01 February 2016

Shadow and Shade 9

This is reading number 9 of:
Without Mother Without Father trilogy
The book Shadow and Shade

Honestly, I've always had a thing for girls with hands tattooed red like blood.

29 January 2016

Shadow and Shade 8

This is reading number 8 of:
Without Mother Without Father trilogy
The book Shadow and Shade

That Shalazar dude is starting to bug me. I hope he gets his at some point in the story.

25 January 2016

Shadow and Shade 7

This is reading number 7 of:
Without Mother Without Father trilogy
The book Shadow and Shade

What the heck is a crimson cloud!?!? Listen and you will know soon enough.

Shadow and Shade 6

This is reading number 6 of:

Without Mother Without Father trilogy
The book Shadow and Shade

Dreams are weird. Like, last night I dreamed about a water buffalo that tried out for America's Got Talent, and he did okay on the singing portion, but when David Hasselhoff tried to give him a high five there was an unfortunate accident.

Shadow and Shade 5

This is reading number 5 of:

Without Mother Without Father trilogy 
The book - Shadow and Shade

Getting beat by a girl sucks.

20 January 2016

Shadow and Shade 4

This is reading number 4 of:

Without Mother Without Father trilogy 
The book - Shadow and Shade

Seldin, is that Ursa Major or Minor up there? Or Flat?

13 January 2016

Shadow and Shade 3

This is reading number 3 of:

Without Mother Without Father trilogy 
The book - Shadow and Shade

You know what I think of when I'm walking in the desert? A nice glass of lime and cucumber water. 

08 January 2016

Shadow and Shade 2

This is reading number 2 of:

Without Mother Without Father trilogy 
The book - Shadow and Shade

Gladiator with little kids. You can't make this stuff up.

06 January 2016

Shadow and Shade 1

This is reading number 1 of:

Without Mother Without Father trilogy 
The book - Shadow and Shade

Sure, giving up a baby is sad. But the child was kind of ugly.

02 January 2016

Podcast - Christmas story 2015

This poor blog has been a total red-headed stepchild for a while.

My apologies to anyone reading this who is a red head.

My double apologies to anyone who is both a red head and a stepchild.

If that is the case, then, wow, all I can say is wow. Please accept my offering of this Christmas story as recompense for any perceived unkindness in my words - or for the fact that you are a red-headed stepchild.