Writing About Writing Can Cause A Lot of Writing To Be Written Unless Unwritten Writing is Written . . . or Not

Each week I do a number of things, one of which is writing a post for my blog. I make it a point to keep some portion of the post about writing. The rest of the article can be about most anything. I try to keep it interesting and usually lean toward humor. You would be fascinated at the daily goings on that seem so lackluster and still make for intriguing reading.

Look out of your window and without knowing it, you will see a plethora of topics, natural and otherwise, to spin into an article that will catch the average eye.

For instance, the seasons can bring post after post, ranging from weather, summer vegetables, the colors of fall, or winter travel in the snow and ice.

Human nature, and especially the hardware we use today to engage in social media, none more engaging than the cell phone, can be used as fodder for a blog article.

How simple things in the past such as writing with Quill pens, to typewriters, and today’s computers, progressed through the ages.

In short, most any topic can be carefully woven into an interesting story that will entertain.

Have a great week and may God bless.

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Is The Convenience Worth The Aggravation? I’m Not The One To Answer, Being On It Everyday

When I set out to write, be it a manuscript, blog, or what have ya, it always begins with the same task, and that being, crank up my computer. I sit and watch the little blue circle spin at various periods during the start up. On the occasion the mechanical brain is feeling sluggish, I derive great pleasure from watching the little blue circle spin for an extended session.

There are even days when this upright black box attempts to take a vacation. In these cases, I am treated to the little blue spinning circle for an undetermined amount of time.

Then, comes the moment I demand the computer to obey. I hold the power button until the box of irritation goes dark. Waiting a few moments, I push the button, and the computer springs to life, usually working as it should. It has only taken an hour, an inordinate amount of irritation, and the near death of something that is supposed to make my life much easier when it happens to work correctly.

Allow me to segue from my work a day computer to my nighttime lounging apparatus. Why you ask? I’ll have to beg your patience and ask that you continue reading. My bed incorporates an upward tilting head. The lift is great and the bed very comfortable. The mode by which I operate these innovations is a wireless remote. Normally it works well; however, there are occasions I must wait for the remote bed control signal to reach the operational box underneath. No worries, I am treated to a small spinning circle to keep me company . . . it’s a wonder I don’t fall out of my chair from shear dizziness!

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If You Build It, They Will Come

Have you ever paid attention to architecture during your travels whether rolling through the latest subdivision or a historic part of town? Do any aspects of the buildings reach out and grab you?

With me, I have to say yes. I began my working career in the building business. My father was a carpenter, my grandfather a carpenter and my uncle a carpenter. I guess it was natural for me to follow suit.

I helped my uncle side a house when I was fourteen years old. I worked after school and on weekends. Graduating from high school a year early, I immediately commenced to driving nails at the ripe old age of seventeen in my quest to learn house construction.

After building everything from ranchers to 3,000 square foot mansions, including working on historic houses, I ventured into commercial work. I was already proficient trimming houses but found a whole new animal when it came to intricate trim work in places such as churches, funeral homes, and high-end office buildings.

My next step was totally different when I began building supermarkets and commercial buildings. I continued this type of work until becoming a superintendent in my twenties, now in charge of instructing people to do what I had done while climbing the ladder in my chosen career.

Then one day I was offered a position at a pharmaceutical company in their display department. It was here I worked for sixteen years until my diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

With new physical challenges I needed to find something that could adapt to the changes in my life. With much thought, soul searching and a healthy push from my son I entered the world of writing.

I have not experienced a single moment of regret, and don’t believe I could find another vocation that would give me as much satisfaction while extending the amount of fun I experience each day. And I mustn’t forget the one that made all of this possible, my Lord Jesus!

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Trucks, Trucks, Trucks. . . . Need I Say More? Probably, But I Won’t, Unless The Notion Strikes, Like It Just Did, This Could Go On Forever, So I’m Done

You’ll find me working on a manuscript, writing my weekly blog or busy marketing my previously released novels five to six days each week. My latest offering, Dalon Con (The Annihilation Through Time), is due for release in late fall.

Occasionally, my mind tends to wander and on this day, for some reason, chose to wrap around automobiles. I remember as a child my father was a staunch Chevrolet or GM man.

Through my years on this beautiful earth, I have run into men and even women who are steadfast in their desire to own a particular brand of vehicle–the big three being Chevy, Ford, and Dodge. There are also those who swear by foreign makes, such as Toyota and Nissan. (I should mention as I write this post my focus is mainly on trucks)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but as with many things, people can become rather obstinate if you behave negatively toward their chosen make of vehicle. In fact, there are those who will entertain violence to further enhance their view.

“Ahh,” the love affair we have with our pickups. When I was but a lad in high school and several years after, I recall little ditty’s that were written to antagonize the owners of certain makes. Here’s one you may remember: FORD aka found on road dead. Here’s another: FORD COUNTRY, on a quiet night you can hear a Chevrolet rust. You get the idea.

Personally, after owning all three, my favorite vehicle is PAID FOR.

I guess the best thing for each of us to do is drive whatcha like, like whatcha drive and live and let live.

Until next Monday, I hope each of you has a great week!

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Best I Can Tell, Home Is Where the Home Is . . . I Think . . . But, Don’t Know for Sure

Well, it’s summer again; has been for about two weeks.

Now ask yourself, what are your favorite things about this time of year? If you were to make a list, I bet it would look something like this:

  • Warm weather,

  • Extended period of light,

  • Fresh vegetables,

  • Cookouts on the back deck,

  • Camping trips, and

  • The all-important week long vacation to the beach.

When the kids were small, we made this sojourn to the beach every year starting in the mid-90s, ending several years ago when our kids were beginning to have kids of their own. We invited our parents, which was a pleasant addition to our group. It was a great time with three generations spending a week together. As fun as it was, when you dissected the family vacation, it took on a mind of its own.

What you are essentially doing is packing a van load of your stuff along with your family and  friends so each one of your children can pal around with someone of the same gender.

You drive for about six hours to your ocean accommodations. When your kids are young that six hours translates to twelve to allow for the “Are we there yet” . . . “I need to go to the bathroom”. . . “I’m hungry” . . . “Mama, Sara’s looking at me”.  

The summer vacation basically amounts to driving two-hundred-fifty miles to transform a strange home into a home like your home; so, you can watch television at a home that is not your home, but a reasonable facsimile of your home, until you return home.

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Please, Just Give Me Something My Children Can Watch

We all have things that disappoint. Many are unpreventable; then again, others are not. Something that really disturbs me is the entertainment industry.

Movies today command great story lines along with stellar special effects. One thing that many of them employ that I find unnecessary and in many ways offensive is the dialogue. For whatever reason they seem to believe they cannot exist without obscene language. There are movies that hold the record with well over two hundred “f-bombs” dropped within the two or more hours the film runs. In film and television, producers are constantly pushing the envelope to see how far they can go with sexual innuendo or explicit sexual content.

I am probably considered boring. My favorite television programs came about when I was too young to enjoy them, but once brought into syndication they became my go to’s.  Andy Griffith, Leave it to Beaver, Green Acres, Gomer Pyle, and Hogan’s Heroes’ to name a few. In each one of my novels I stay away from coarse language and sexual situations. I certainly don’t claim to be an angel and apologize if I come across in that fashion. I simply believe the entertainment industry goes out of its way to produce images that are unfit for a good portion of the population to view.

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Don’t Worry, Thunder is Just a Few Clouds Bumping Together

I have always been fascinated by thunderstorms. Living in a Mid-Atlantic state, during the spring and summer months, we are inundated with our share of severe weather, though not an overabundance of tornadoes. I am enthralled with each component – lightning, thunder, wind, updrafts, downdrafts, wall clouds, tornadoes and mesocyclones. I penned my first short story in high school with a tornado being the center of the tale.

To take this a step further, hurricanes tend to captivate my attention during their season, from June 1st until November 31st with the heaviest occurrences in late summer and early fall. I entertained the thought of becoming a storm chaser; however, with no formal training and unwilling to risk my neck in a big whirlwind of not knowing what I’m doing, I changed my thought process.

Now, I prefer to write about dicey weather situations. I can set the stage with tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, or a wayward spring shower if I so choose. Perhaps one of these weather monsters will collide with a creature from Burrus Plax. There’s no way to forecast this outcome.

Have a great day. And if you live in an area prone to severe weather, please be careful and lay low.

To end on a sideways note, the protagonist in my tornado-filled short story ended up in Oz.    

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Home is Home, Unless it’s Home, Then it’s Really Home!

Some enjoy living in the city, others in urban areas and still others (me being one) in a rural setting, or as some say, the country. I’m surrounded by beautiful oak trees. In fact, when I was writing Eden’s Wake, the second book of the Rising Tide series, oak leaves were the inspiration for creatures called the Narify.

It doesn’t matter where you reside as long as it brings you enjoyment. Things are different for a city dweller than one who lives in the country. Municipal water and sewage compared to a well and septic system for one. Items and services are more readily available in a city setting; whereas, they may be few and far between in rural locales.

Another important item is law enforcement. In the country, we rely on sheriffs and deputies; however, in the city you are fortunate enough to enlist the services of Superman, Batman and the like.

If you’re a gourmet, food is another reason to enjoy city life. It has been my privilege to see a large amount of this country and to have spent time in many of its cities. From the west coast to the east coast and many points in between, I have dined on the finest fare available. All in all by a tiny margin, New Orleans sticks out as one of my favorite food destinations. Although, I’ll admit after a week in the crescent city the after burners are on full mode flame-out. That’s what you get when you are a lover of spicy foods.

We now return to the jest of the post, after my food critic corner. It makes no difference where you choose to live, they both have pros and cons. I prefer trees, fields and the quiet they bring, along with the star filled skies at night.

Enjoy the upcoming week and do yourself a favor. Munch on a few hot peppers and get your after-burners to cranking out the flames!

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If I Exaggerate Something That’s Already Been Exaggerated, Does That Make the Exaggerated an Exaggerated Exaggeration?

Being a science fiction writer, I am able to exaggerate things to the nth degree. In fact, you can say some of my writing is exaggeration personified. I find when creating creatures, exaggerations  often come into play. In looking through the vast majority of my writing, I can see where I’ve spread the exaggerations rather thick; however, in my case, I find it necessary, especially, when the points I’ve exaggerated are believable.

Let’s venture from the world of make believe into our everyday lives. How many times have you heard, “It must be a thousand degrees in here?” Or, who could forget, “I’ve seen that a million times.”? Here’s an oldie but goodie, “I literally jumped out of my skin.” Remember this, “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times.“? I could go on and on, but let’s finish big. “I’m gonna hit you so hard, I’ll knock you into next week.”

It’s comical how often we exaggerate in our day to day lives without giving it a second thought, and to that end, I’d like to Thank you for taking time to read this week’s post. Just be sure, “Not to eat anything for dinner that you’ve eaten a thousand times before!”

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A Book is a Book is a Book, Unless it’s Your Book, Then it Becomes a Whole Other Entity

I’ll have to admit I’m enthralled whenever I watch a television show or movie centered around an author. For reasons unknown, this seems to be more prevalent in mysteries.

Being one of my favorite shows, I watch Andy Griffith each morning. This a.m., there was an episode where Andy’s fiancée, Helen Crump, had written a children’s manuscript and sent it to a publisher in Richmond. Surprisingly so, in the mail several weeks later came an acceptance letter and a check for $1,000.

She made the trip to Richmond and reviewed details such as art work. The publisher suggested she begin rewrites. Later on in the show, one of the editors came to Mayberry and began working with Helen in the rewriting process. It was really surprising to see the characters  write with nothing but a pencil.

On one occasion, I saw a typewriter, not in use, but packed up with the lid attached. Even with the double barrel approach of the mighty pencil and the electric typewriter, I cannot imagine having to do edits and rewrites with such archaic writing utensils. Still we complain like babies when our computers act up showing how spoiled we’ve become with the tools of today at our disposal.

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