You Can’t Judge a Book By its Cover Or Can You?

You’ve heard the saying you can’t judge a book by its cover. Though this is true, it is not very practical. You see, in order to get a book in front of a reader, it usually requires said book to first be sold. If the truth be told, flashy covers and well written back matter sell books.

If you’re walking through a book store entrenched in your favorite section, you’ll have to admit that the showy covers catch your eye first and demand the lion’s share of your attention.

There is great literature to be had that will sell on its title alone; however, my name on a book, even though four have been published, will get you a black cup of coffee, minus the condiments.

By the way, book matter is the short synopsis on the back cover of most books making the interior sound good. For all you would-be authors, pay a little extra attention to your covers!

Have the best week you’ve ever had, and remember God loves you, so love him back!    


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Someone allegedly commented to author, Alex Halley, I want to write. What should I do? Alex Halley replied, Then, write. This, of course, was a paraphrase, but you get the gest. I had the pleasure of using this phrase at a book signing. A woman told me several times that she wanted to be a writer, and I replied, “Then, write.”

The reasons certain individuals become writers is as vast as the leaves on a forest full of trees. For example, I never set out to be an author.

My initial attempt at writing was in my first year in high school. When I attended high school, the grades began in the 9th, ending in the 12th. So, I was about fourteen.

My English teacher gave the class an assignment to write a short story, the subject being our choice. As I was fascinated with tornado’s, I quickly concocted a story in my head of a family trapped in their home with a tornado approaching.

Not only had the teacher graded and returned the paper to me, but she had also added notes. She enjoyed the story and wanted to meet with me to further discuss my writing. I was intrigued by the thought of someone being interested in a story I had penned; however, being bored with school, I never pursued her invitation.

Years later, when my son started elementary school, I purchased him a computer. During my free time at night, I drafted short stories for my own enjoyment. By the time he was in high school, he had caught the writing bug and was taking classes in creative writing. We shared what we wrote at times. He enjoyed my short stories a lot and took several to class to share. The stories were well received by both students and faculty.

Unfortunately,while my son was still in high school, I was informed my department was being eliminated, and I would be laid-off in the spring. Talking about future options during a long weekend surf fishing trip to Hatteras that winter, he suggested I take up writing as my next career. The wheels began to turn, and I started penning short stories as soon as we returned home.

I began my first novel several months later and now, after 17 years, I am working on book 7.

Isn’t it wonderful to sit back and watch God work? Give Him a chance. He’s just chomping at the bit to make a difference in your life.       

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Taking Things at Face Value

I contemplate the writing on any one of many virtual pieces of paper. Whether it contains my latest manuscript, short story or blog post, each one calls for a purposeful amount of thought. With each blog entry that I  post, I try to keep each one interesting, humorous and informative. I’ve heard many things throughout my life that I have taken at face value, but found some things not to be true. No doubt a few of the following may prove to be redundant.

To begin, Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders charged up San Juan Hill, not on horseback, but on foot.

The term, “separation of church and state” is found nowhere in the constitution . . . go figure.

If you throw a frog into boiling water, he will jump out. If you allow a frog to float in room temperature water and slowly raise the temperature, guess what happens when the water gets hot? He jumps out.

During the summer, when you look into a clear nighttime sky, if you stare long enough you will see a flash of lighting. My father told me it was heat lighting. Much to my surprise, I found it was not heat lightening, but a distant thunderstorm. To stay on the subject of lightening, another farce I was told as a child was that a car was the safest place to be because of the rubber tires. It turns out a car is a safe place to be, but has nothing to do with the tires. The safety is due to the metal body directing the electrical charge around the occupants. Who would have thought?

Did you know that the phrase, “God helps those who help themselves,” is not in the bible. And, wonder of wonders, it is never too cold to snow.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these little tidbits of information and have maybe even found some of your childhood myths shattered . . . and by the by rabbits do not like carrots

Have a great week and may God bless you richly.     


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Back in the Saddle . . . ish

To my followers:

Thank you for your patience while I have been ill and unable to write my weekly blog. I am happy to say I ‘m on the mend and hope to be writing again soon. Please be patient a bit longer, and you’ll see my smirky commentary back for your perusal. 

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“Artificial Intelligence,” is It a Boon Or a Bane?

Artificial Intelligence, better known as A.I., has been around longer than most of us know.

If you ask one of the ‘Silicone Valley’ types, they will likely say something such as, “A.I. poses no threat to copyrights, authors, photographs nor does it pose any danger, creating a machine that can take over mankind. That is simply nothing more than science fiction.”

Hmmmm. So, they say. The problem being, however, that even now, A.I. can write a book. Though redundant and uninteresting, it would nonetheless be a book.

Photographs can now be copied, not perfectly; however, the technology is firmly in place and getting better.

While copyright infringement provides protection against most fears listed above, AI  is becoming so good at what it does proving the violation may be a challenge. And what I have listed above is but a fraction of what it can do.

 A.I. is growing at leaps and bounds, not over years, mind you, but months. In less than a half year, A.I. may double what it now can do.

Have you seen the movie, ‘I Robot’ with Will Smith? . . . Maybe not so far fetched.

Have a wonderful week and don’t overly concern yourself with doom’s day thinking. There’s One above who controls all! Thank GOD!

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Procrastination, Procrastination, Procrastination . . .

Over the years, especially the last two and half decades, (this year marks twenty-five years of wedded blessed), I have been unfairly labeled a procrastinator.

I cannot for the life of me understand why such a title could have been bestowed upon me. I mean you’re asked to complete a job and then you complete said job  within a reasonable amount of time and all is right with the world.

But nooo  . . . My reasonable amount of time never seems to jive with the requester’s reasonable amount of time.

Returning to my wife; when she asks me to complete a task she expects it to be done within a week.

I’m more partial to the ‘before I die’ time frame.

I guess in some ways I lean toward putting things off until later, but in my own defense I never procrastinate when it comes to writing, among other things.

I guess if I really take time to think (which I rarely do) I have to say the only thing I’m sure not to put off is procrastination.

And, one thing I never put off is the one true living God. May he bless you and shine his face upon you.

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My Mouse Needs a Battery

I begin a day of writing by reaching for the mouse. In short order, I discover said mouse is unresponsive and in need of a battery. Moving to retrieve a AA dry cell, I pause; then reclaim my seat.

As thoughts bombard my cranium, an all too familiar noise wafts through the air. Shaken, I glanced toward my animated cell phone. Could it be another battery-operated device taunting me for a charge, not to mention the cordless, landline telephone?

My brain continues to fill my overflowing, anxiety level. We just changed the car battery; perhaps we should contemplate an electric car? I think not at this particular juncture in time, for it seems my lawn mower is battery powered, along with our weed eater, hedge trimmer, and power tools. I’m not yet ready to upgrade my electrical power to accommodate a charging system.

I glance to the right and can’t believe my eyes. My Dragon head phones and blue tooth also have a need to be charged.

Will this ever end? Our bed controls are cordless. Our T.V. remotes (we need two) require batteries. On our bedroom wall, hangs a battery that we use to power a lift.

I can’t take much more of this; my temperature is rising!  Please help me–my thermometer is battery-powered. Monitors throughout the house are powered by . . . Dare I say it . . . what choice do I have . . . BATTERIES! Other medical equipment, including a blood pressure cuff is battery powered. Our laptop and iPad . . . well, you know.

Even, my toothbrush requires an occasional charge to keep my teeth sparkling clean.

I give up. I guess our A.C. world is slowly changing to D.C. Why fight it? I best stock up on batteries, cause they’re on the way, if not already here.

Have a wonderful week and may God bless!

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People Insist on Texting Me Instead of Calling

As I look around my writer’s room, I see a familiar friend, I am beginning to despise. I reach for my associate/nemesis and wonder, “How could something so useful become so despicable?”  Then, it hits me, I want to use my cell phone to make calls; however, people insist on sending me text messages. Having to type a message in order to communicate is abhorrent to me. It takes forever to finish a conversation; one that could be completed in short order talking with the person instead of sending portions of the message through typing.

Although I realize texting has its place, it is in no way a means to an end. I, also, do not want to use my phone to access the internet, play video games, or strain my eyes attempting to watch a movie. I guess I’m just the exception to the rule. I often ask my wife, “Why don’t you just call them and get it over with instead of wearing out your thumbs over an extended period?”

Being the sweet person she is, I’ll get an answer such as, “Hush.”

Down-trodden and put in my place, I turn to my computer and begin to type on my present task, be it novel, short story or blog.

Then, I think, hmm, Perhaps I jumped the gun, ragging on the typed word as I did. It seems as though I have written myself into dire straits overthinking the practice of texting . . . Nah, my way of thinking is always correct. If you don’t believe me, just ask me.

For now, have a great week and may God shine his light upon you and yours.

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“Deadly Reign,” the Third Novel in the Rising Tide Series

Deadly Reign is the third novel in the Rising Tide series. It was one of the most comfortable books I’ve had the pleasure to pen, as it wrote itself. I was fortunate just to go along for the ride. I’ll cut to the chase and share an excerpt:

“I see your men are back,” Ben said.

“Bearing gifts, no less,” Orac added.

“What have we here?” Ben asked, moving closer to the provisions.

“Warmth,” Caleb replied.

“Warmth?” Ben asked.

“What’s all the fuss?” Eve asked, emerging from her sleeping quarters.

“That’s what I’m trying to find out,” Ben replied.

“Hides,” Pete exclaimed, holding up a large pelt.

“Nice,” Eve said, as she brushed her hand through the fur.

“I bet you don’t use these very often,” Ben said.

“This is the first time we have needed such things,” Caleb replied.

 “I’m glad you had the foresight to store the essentials,” Ben said.

“We store nothing,” Caleb said. “Thalyn and Korell hunted these creatures, removed the skins and then cured the hides for our use.”

“That’s impossible,” Pete said. “You can’t get fresh animal hides to this point in twenty-four hours.”

“Thalyn,” Ben said, “how did you accomplish the impossible?”

“Such things take time,” Thalyn replied. “We have been away fifty-three risings of the Great Light.”

Ben thought for a moment. “That’s almost two months,” he said, refusing to believe his own words.

“My brother and I have explained to you how time passes for each of us,” Caleb said.

“Well, yeah,” Ben said, “but how can it be different when we’re together doing the same thing?”

“When we are in the presence of any of The Three,” Caleb said, “time passes at the same rate. If we are apart from The Three, time moves at a different rate. So inversely, in fact, that soon after you leave this place we will cease to be.”

I hope you enjoyed this small sample of Deadly Reign. Take good care, have a wonderful week, and enjoy God’s bountiful blessing’s!

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After the First Draft of, “Eden’s Wake,” I Took a Much-Needed Rest.

After the first draft of, “Eden’s Wake,” was complete, I took a much-needed rest before delving into the world of rewrites. Happy with the initial manuscript, I set it aside to work on another project.

Taking a month or so to clear my head with another set of characters and situations, I felt ready to return to “Eden’s Wake,” and begin the first round of edits.

“Eden’s Wake,” being the second novel in the “Rising Tide” series, had me jonesing to get back to work.

I read the entire book, finding holes in my original evaluation of the first draft.

This began the process of rewriting; however, I was pleased to see improvement with each stroke of my virtual pen.  I took periodic breaks to clear my head, before returning to the steadily improving, “Eden’s Wake.”

During this period I completed, “Deadly Reign,” the third book in the “Rising Tide” series. I decided to embark on a set of  final rewrites, knowing this would prepare, “Eden’s Wake” for the publishing process, and more importantly be the perfect follow-up to, “Rising Tide.”

After an extended, but much needed amount of time, “Eden’s Wake” was published, taking its place on the shelf as the second book in the series.  I’m including  a short excerpt featuring Ben Adams.

“FIRE!” Ben hissed.

Three arrows left less than a second apart. The first struck its target and shattered. Projectile two touched the same point, bouncing away, but leaving a second chink in the overseer’s armor. Number three mimicked the trajectory of the first two sinking deep into the neck of the Overseer.

The creature jerked, sank to the ground, and shook violently. It shriveled into a black wrinkled mass that bubbled and exuded wisps of smoke as it spread in a puddle onto the cave floor.

On my next post, I’ll continue with an overview of the, “Rising Tide” series, moving into the third novel, “Deadly Reign.”

Have a wonderful week and may God bless you and yours!

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