Monthly Archives: April 2015

If Somewhere is Where You Are and Elsewhere is Where You’re Going, Then Nowhere Must Be Where You Aren’t Except When You May Be

I have a science fiction novel that takes place on a planet named Aon. It’s a small planet (as far as planets go) about two-thirds the size of Earth. nowhereThe planet is sectioned into different climate zones, almost like pie wedges, that run vertically from pole to pole.  As you move from zone to zone, weather patterns can change drastically. You can travel from a lush green rain forest type environment to a harsh desert ecosystem in just a few steps. It’s this way across the entire planet with no two zones alike.

This brings up a plethora of questions. For instance, how could you step from an ambient temperature of below zero while treading on ice and within a few steps move to a grass filled prairie balmy and comfortable?  Or, how about standing on one of the poles where each climate meets and melds into a climatic concoction impossible to describe?

The nice thing about this (the way I see it) is it’s all under my control. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

The one question I keep asking and have done so for years (this planet gives me the perfect platform to do so) is where in the world is the middle of nowhere?

First, we have to ask ourselves where is nowhere? I’m here and you are there which is where you would call “here.” Now, this says to me that even though I am here, I am in fact somewhere, and even though you’re there (which is here for you) you are in fact somewhere.

Does this mean that there is someone else who is neither here nor there once again meaning here is in fact nowhere? I will give you a moment to mull this over…times up. I’m sure you have a grasp on this concept equal to mine; so let us proceed.

It stands to reason that there is a third realm other than here or there and this realm we will refer to as “nowhere.” You’ve always heard it said, “no matter where you go there you are,” or “everyone has to be somewhere.”

I think we are finding that these notions may be proving to be unreliable; therefore, we must adjust our way of thinking. Now that I have brought this conundrum to light and done most of the work for you, I will expect a full report and a definite location for this place referred to as “nowhere.”  Once this place is defined then I will gladly direct you to the middle of nowhere and put this nonsense finally to rest.

If you have any questions or run into any problems you may reach me at Klondike 555. Until then, good luck, so long, and don’t forget we’re depending on you.

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Eden’s Wake Update

I’m excited to announce that Eden’s Wake is close to it’s release date.  Be on the lookout for both the paperback and e-edition to hit the bookstores sometime in May.  I will let you know the exact release day when it becomes available.

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You Can Paint if You Want to, but Wallpaper is Easier to Clean

I am truly blessed because even as we speak I am smack dab in the middle of publishing my second novel, Eden’s Wake.rewrites

I received the first half from my publisher’s editor and after having a chance to scrutinize the text myself, I sent it back with my comments. Now the first half is complete and I am working on the finale.  The cover will be ready by the end of the week or the beginning of next week. Everything’s looking good for a release date coming soon.

This gives me a chance to look back over this novel from its conception. I originally completed the manuscript in late 2008. I put it aside to begin other projects. When I came back to begin rewrites, it hurt to read the mess that I had written. I rolled up my sleeves all the way to my arm pits and began to rewrite.  Once I finished, I was still not happy but no longer ready to shred the manuscript. I knew the story had promise which made me more determined to end up with a useable product. (Notice I didn’t say a “sellable product.”)

I continued to write, if not on new projects, then I persisted in beating my head up against Eden’s Wake. Then the day came I thought it time to test the waters. I don’t remember what year it was; it’s all kind of a disheveled blur.  Suffice it to say, I received a sufficient amount of rejections to wallpaper the complete interior of my home.

Undaunted (if you want to believe that one), I continued to find more mistakes and correct them just knowing that someday (hopefully before I was dead), that I would find someone who would publish this monster I had created.  Then upon a whim, I began a rewrite to end all rewrites. By the time my rewrites to end all rewrites had been rewritten, I had a novel that I didn’t recognize. Pleased with this new assortment of words, I just knew that the 1349th time would be the charm.

Little did I know that the wallpaper would keep rolling in. I knew there was something wrong, but what was it?

Then one day while throwing my balsa wood airplane (with a little red propeller and rubber band) from the special perch I constructed on top of my giraffe’s head, Archibald, it hit me. I scrambled down, jumped into my Land Rover and drove the grueling 38.7 feet to my back deck.  I ran to my writer’s room, opened my computer and within a month or two had my manuscript finally tweaked.

And the rest is history and so is the wallpaper.

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Sometimes I Scare Myself

I’d like to step away from writing briefly to discuss several things that tend to ruffle my feathers. I would greatly appreciate your indulgence in this endeavor.deer fly

Firstly, but not necessarily in the order of importance, are tissues that come impregnated with aloe. Have you ever tried to clean a pair of glasses with one of these greasy rags? I realize, having just been told by my personal assistant, typist, muse, editorial nuisance and all around nemesis, that these particular tissues are not intended to clean transparent surfaces.  I understand this; however, when you’re driving and the only tissue in the vehicle was purchased by your wife (and all she buys are the grease choked pulp wood sheets) there’s not much choice. Especially, when your glasses are coated in three layers of thumb prints, road grime, a dozen or so insects, and a coat of road salt. And; furthermore, I don’t like wiping my nose with a tissue that feels like it’s already been used. Nuff said.

Number two: I don’t mind spiders. I don’t mind snakes (not that I want either one napping with me at night.) They just don’t bother me in the way they do some people. But, what does rip me a new one are those yellow, green-eyed deer flies. They will attack in groups of two or three with the tenacity of an enraged, rabid wolverine. If you’ve never experienced these little gems before, allow me to enlighten you.

Imagine, several half-inch long F-15’s targeting your neck and face. They land and take off at the speed of light so that each time you feel them touch down and you move to swat one, it’s too late to stop them before they have dug in. Now that you have three organic fighter jets orbiting around your head, driving you to the brink of insanity, you began to swing wildly slapping yourself in the face. Then one makes it through. He lands on an inconspicuous spot that you cannot readily reach. (Did I fail to mention they can bite through thin clothing?) While the other two keep you smacking yourself into a stupor, the third drives a quarter-inch hollow spike several inches into your musculature. This miniature blood bank siphons off a pint and is back in the air before your brain can instruct your hand to react to the carnage that has just taken place. Occasionally, you’ll pin one (more often than not) against your temple, releasing an inordinate amount of goo as the stealthy fighter turns to mush under the pressure of a lucky slap down.

And lastly within my finite little world the thing that gets my goat, burns me up, and yanks my chain are people who constantly whine about things that bother them. I steer clear of these types at all costs. I once tried to get away from myself and almost accomplished it. The problem being, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, so I eventually caught up with myself. So now you know why I’m constantly whining about people like me.

In a way it’s kind of comforting knowing there’s something I can do and do well. It’s just one of those little things that keep me going.

And before I forget, I despise slot headed screws. If old man Phillips had developed his head first, it would have saved a lot of wear and tear on my fingers and an overabundant usage of language that no one should use.

And another thing……

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Fun is Fun; Work is Work; and Anacondas Who Publish Books Tend to Not Know the Difference

It’s hard to imagine everything that goes into publishing a book. Once you’ve completed your manuscript, including rewrites and edits, you’ve conquered your first hurdle.anaconda

Next in the process, is locating a publisher. (Not the easiest task but one that can be attained with a never die attitude.)

Once, said publisher accepts your manuscript, then the fun begins. This is a stressful time but a good time none the less. You could equate it to navigating your way across a river tiptoeing across crocodile backs while being  chased by a horde of cannibalistic pigmies. And in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a pride of snoozing but famished lions lounging on the other side. (If you make it past the six thirty-foot anacondas waiting at the water’s edge.)

Like I said before… A piece of cake… Or maybe I didn’t say it, but I was thinking it. You’re included in the final editing. (It’s hard to say goodbye to certain parts of your manuscript, but often necessary.)

I find the most difficult task is composing the back matter, a two-line hook to catch a prospective buyer’s eye and a paragraph to reel him in and seal the deal. And we mustn’t forget the all-important photograph that’s plastered in and amongst all the verbiage.

Then there’s the crème de la crème, the artwork for the front cover. Having input makes it feel like it’s really your own.

All in all it’s a great experience. Even though there’s stress, it’s the good kind. Reminds me of that secluded Indonesian tributary I stopped to bathe in. Don’t know which I enjoyed more–being gnawed on by a couple hundred ravenous piranha or swatting them away with an abundant source of electric eels. Either way, I don’t remember a thing. Lucky the young native boy witnessed it all and pulled me to safety. And on top of all the fun, I managed to drop a few pounds.

Just goes to show ya. Fun can be had in the most unusual of places. So get out there and claim yours now!

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