March 1, 2021 · 11:00 AM
February 22, 2021 · 8:41 AM
I completed my latest novel. After performing rewrites and edits twice, I sent it to my editor. Once she completed doing what editors do, she returned it to me. I perused the manuscript one more time, and then sent it to my publisher, perceiving the possibility of a tangled mess.
My publisher was pleased, but in her great wisdom, she suggested a number of changes that would take the novel a notch above its present level.
I was on board and jumped in with both feet. She said it would be a lot of work, and indeed it was; however, this also included the tedious untangling of stuff.
You could probably relate to this ordeal better if I were to make a comparison.
How about a bird’s nest? Not, the type that an avian constructs and moves into until the kids finally leave and the parents become true empty-nesters . . . (hysterical laughter) . . . but the kind a novice fisherman gets on their first attempt using a bait casting reel. If you’ve been there, nuff said.
What about that fateful day when your spouse announces, “It’s time to decorate the Christmas tree!” And guess what? . . . You’re in charge of the lights! I’ve often wondered how a single and sometimes multiple strands of lights can transform into a knot just sitting in a box for the better part of a year.
Ever tried to untangle a 50 or 100 foot extension cord that’s been wound around someone’s elbow and between their thumb and forefinger multiple times? I believe I’ve said all that needs to be said . . . oh, and one more thing remotely related to the last few paragraphs but instrumental to the post, a good publisher is worth their weight in gold. For they not only care about book sales, but for the author as well. And, may I say, my publisher is quite a few steps above good!
Have a stellar week, God bless, and as you reach for that ball of twine that fell behind your tool box and began to unravel . . . stop! . . . life’s too short for the aggravation. Buy a new ball.
February 16, 2021 · 10:33 AM
Even More Frequently, Words Demand that They be Recognized for Their Unique Contribution to the Written Word
A post or two ago, I wrote about the ins and outs of the letter ‘X’. Certain letters stand out and command special attention. Even more frequently, words demand that they be recognized for their unique contribution to the written word.
Case in point: the multi-purpose word, “take.” At first glance, you see nothing special about this word that would lead you to believe it deserves accolades for anything. Then, you delve deeper into this seemingly ordinary collection of letters and perhaps you’ll begin to see.
“Take,” you say. “Take what?” With those two words you’re on your way. Take a nap, take a break, take a powder, take away, take off, take a bath, take a sample, take a little, take a lot, take a test . . . I believe you get the idea.
How about in the case of travel? Take a vacation, take a hike, take a cab, take a ride, take a train . . . I think I’ve made my point.
Then, once again, if you happen to be of questionable character: Take the money, take the gold, take the silver . . .nuff said.
And, one last time as we highlight the medical field: Take a pill, take your temperature, take an x-ray, take blood, take a cold and so forth and so on.
As you can see, the four letters, “t-a-k-e,” come together, producing an extremely versatile word. So take time, whether you take a minute, or take a second, to take a look at taking a gander at this utilitarian collection of letters that form the word, “take.”
Have a great week, may God bless, and by all means take care!
February 8, 2021 · 11:00 AM
As a younger lad, the original vocation that captured my attention was one of a rock star. I had taken the time to think through every aspect and was confident I would find my place in the limelight. Armed with all the necessities (i.e., instruments, amplifiers, drums, P.A. and the personnel, including myself) to play, vocalize, and operate sound equipment, I set out.
Now, when beginning a musical career in the rock star arena, it is a hard and fast law to start in a garage–hence, the title, ‘Garage Band.’ After months of rehearsals, these practice sessions upset the neighbors and provided numerous appearances by the police for disturbing the peace. At this level you earn the right to play your local low-class establishment (AKA “a dump”) for nothing but exposure.
Eventually, you work your way up to playing higher class dumps, and from there to the club circuit in the nearest city to where you reside.
The first time I stepped into a recording studio, I knew I had it made, although the enjoyment was outweighed by the heavy tug on the pocketbook. This monetary hardship is in turn lightened by the finished product. It’s the circle of music and the price of fame, which still eludes me today.
I finally retired from the music biz after my son was born. I came out pretty much like I went in. Playing the gambit from dump to class and making enough money to afford strings and pay my bar tab each weekend.
A bit of time has passed since I pounded out power cords and lead riffs. Though I derive more pleasure writing sci-fi fantasy novels and listening to my hard rock favorites through the speakers in my writer’s room . . . thinking back on my short lived music career– the stages, comradery, music, and a beer or twelve . . . it had its moments.
Have a great week and may God bless!
January 25, 2021 · 10:27 AM
I Purchased My First Computer in the Mid-90s. It Was a Packard Bell With Enough Disc Space For a Good Laugh by Today’s Standards.
I purchased my first computer in the mid-90s. It was a Packard Bell with enough disc space for a good laugh by today’s standards.
According to Nickolaus Hines of “All Things Interesting,” the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC) was our very first computer. The ENIAC had 17,468 vacuum tubes. It required 1,800 square feet of warehouse space and weighed more than 25 tons. This baby could execute 5,000 instructions per second.
In comparison, the iPhone 6 weighs-in at a hefty 4.55 ounces and performs 25 billion instructions per second.
I bought my first computer for my son, who was barely in grade school, never intending to take the plunge into the world of technology myself.
Well, looking at then and now, if I had to eat all the words spoken in a negative light toward our obsession with technology, I’d have a backlog of food to last me quite a few years.
My son, of course, is a computer junkie. When I became an author, right away I could not imagine penning a novel on an archaic typewriter, word processor, and certainly not, with pen and paper.
I guess it boils down to never saying never, for if you do, the “never” bug would most assuredly turn its nasty head and take a bite.
Have a great week! May God bless! And take a little time out of your Monday as you fire your computer up, to remember the ENIAC. Thank goodness, we’ve come as far as we have.
January 18, 2021 · 10:05 AM
Most esteemed toddlers in our nation’s capital. Today’s lesson is on the need for ethics. Can you spell this most difficult of words? Obviously not, since this is something you possess at the percentage rate of zero.
As we are wanton to do every four to eight years, it is time to move the herd around in the DC political stockyard. I am convinced, save for a handful, the ones that occupy these many seats are pretty much interchangeable, whether Repub or Demo. They are most certainly bred to use the largest amount of verbiage to say absolutely nothing. As one would suspect, the few days each year they do work, they sit on their hind quarters and do absolutely nothing, but draw a paycheck.
I don’t know what it takes to procure a job like this, but then again, I have this uncanny need to sleep at night. Of course, this requires a conscience which, like most everything else that is good, has been driven out of our nation’s capital.
Our Constitutional Republic is by far the greatest government in the world; however, if the last few decades have shown us anything, it is time to lose the dead weight that has been around too long. I don’t mean to harp . . . but I guess that’s what I’ve been doing the past month or so.
I will suggest one solution and that is: remove all seats, benches, and furniture from both Houses. Replace them with sand, and let our representative toddlers cover up turds with their plastic shovels and buckets, while clad in diapers. At least, they would accomplish something.
January 11, 2021 · 10:47 AM
My Web Log Soon Began to Spread From The World of Writing, to the World, of One Might Say, The World
When I started this blog several years ago it was meant to be geared around writing. As fate would have it, my web log soon began to spread from the world of writing, to the world, of one might say, the world.
For instance: I thought I would pull something out of the air about which we all have heard but seldom gave much thought. A classic example is, “What came first the chicken or the egg?” Although this adage is older than dirt, I’m sure at one time it raised a perplexing question.
Just as, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” I guess you could take either side of both adages and make a case for each.
I would much rather toss something new into the pot such as, “If a groundhog died in the woods and no one was around, would it still exude a smell?” Now, I’ll admit this is much like the tree, but with different players.
Or how about, “Is half of forever still forever?”
Maybe this will spark some interest: “If all of the clocks in the world stopped simultaneously, would it affect time as we know it, since we would have no way of telling time?”
And the creme de la crème: “If a bell rang in a mortuary after all but the deceased had gone for the day, would the tiny bones in the ears of the dead (hammer anvil and stirrup) still collect the sound waves?”
Just a little food for thought . . . and by the way, can anyone tell me why the dining areas in the military are called “mess halls?”
Have a great week, may God bless, and thanks for reading what flows from my brain.
January 4, 2021 · 10:50 AM
How often have you been queried, “Do you have the time?” Perhaps you have needed the same information having left your time piece at home. Regardless of the answer, we as human beings have a need to know the time at any given moment.
Back in the day, we used the sun, then, turned to archaic instruments, such as, sundials. Once mechanical clocks came into use, sundials were still used to set the mechanical clocks–kinda reminds me of innovation in reverse.
Let’s say, sundials are no longer used, (in some cases they still are) and we are totally reliant on clocks of today. When the word clock comes to mind, I remember the big round institutional clocks you see in schools, hospitals, etc.
I learned to tell time on a clock with an hour, minute, and second hand. We ,then, evolved to flip number clocks, digital, and now, I have reverted to the round wall clocks with three hands; however, these time pieces are controlled (I assume by satellite) so they automatically reset for daylight savings time and EST. Plus, if its primary function of time keeping happens to lapse, whether slow or fast, it will come to a halt and quickly run through a 24 hour cycle, returning to its normal function once the time difference is corrected.
My latest novel, Dalon Con (The Annihilation of Time) contains temporal travel . . . I wonder if any of my characters were carrying time pieces of any kind? Perhaps, I should go back and search for contraband . . . nah, if they managed to keep it this long undetected, let’em have it.
January 1, 2021 · 1:26 PM
I’ve been writing for a while, and in all those years, I have found the alphabet has served me well. However, I find myself tripping over a letter I seldom use, but still question. It seems the letter ‘X’ is only used in the word ‘X-ray’. Oh, I’m sure there may be another instance or two, but you can bet they are few and far between.
In most instances, the letter ‘X’ is pronounced as ‘Z’.
Why don’t we just cut to the chase, change X-ray to Z-ray, dump the ‘X’ and lighten our load by one letter that we’ve been carrying since the 7th century? Our alphabet was, of course, derived from that dead language, Latin, that no one speaks, but everyone uses. In fact, so many of our words are derived from Latin, I suppose you could say that we actually speak Latin.2, instead of English.
One place ‘X’ = ‘Z’ can be seen by the pound is television. With the influx of new drugs hitting the airways every day, many of the names attached to these pharmaceuticals contain an ‘X.’ In some cases, the name will be spelled with an ‘X’ and a ‘Z’. I’m sure you know how these letters are pronounced.
Just a little tidbit to begin your week, and since I mentioned the upcoming week, be sure to have a great one!
God Bless and keep you safe!
December 28, 2020 · 11:40 AM