Monthly Archives: May 2015

Swinging Sticks at Little White Balls Confuses the Writing Process. There, I Said It!

I’m working on the fourth book in a series I’ve entitled, “Rising Tide.” I discovered that by the time you’ve reached this deep into a particular work and previousgolf books have been published, idiosyncrasies begin to surface.

Now, it’s important to mention that most of these quirky little problems bother no one but me and, in my mind, should be corrected to maintain continuity throughout the series. Of course, it’s almost impossible to do. I mean, how many publishers are going to re-release a book because the author believes changing two sentences will enhance the series by leaps and bounds?

That being a rhetorical question, I’ll continue on to the “stuff” portion of this post, which answers the question, “why?” When an author wants to change stuff in the novels earlier in the series, it could be because of continuity or to a lesser degree, related to his eccentricities. This is just a nice way of saying he has OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder.)

This also could simply be a case where the author wants his readers to stand in awe at his ability to look into the future as he pens his first novel of the series. The reader would say something on the order of “how could he have known the incident in the fourth book would coincide with the incident in the first book and be reinforced by the incident carryover between the second and third books?.… Wow!”

This brings about another possibility. Perhaps your publisher requests that you rewrite portions of your first novel in order to revamp the entire series. If you’ve never played golf, this is referred to as a Mulligan, a term that means, “second chance.” Now, as I mull over the last paragraph I can’t help but remember my days spent on the links…

You’d think there’d be nothing more relaxing than enjoying a warm sunny day in a lush green setting among beautiful scenery with a group of friends. Well, let me tell you, there’s nothing further from the truth. I am firmly convinced that the game of golf was conceived for the sole purpose of the downfall of mankind. It can be the most maddening, frustrating, serial killer developing sport ever devised. You’re competing against no one but yourself. If half of you is really good and the other half really bad, you have the makings of an internal conflict to begin with. This so-called game will cause you to throw metal clubs, beat inanimate objects with metal clubs and bend or break these weapons of mass destruction over your knee.You will utter words (from the same mouth you kiss your mother) that you didn’t realize were in your vocabulary. Then after a relaxing five hours of bad behavior and high blood pressure, you schedule a time to do it all over again.

I don’t know what makes us do the things we do. I’ll let you figure it out. Right now I need a couple Valium and someplace to stretch out. If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be talkin atcha next week.

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Autobiographically Speaking; Multiple Personalities is Not a Huge Problem But the One I’ve Got Could Use an Upside Down Overhaul

I have considered many times over the years penning my autobiography. If I were able to begin this work of nonfiction as ahuck finn destitute underling clawing his way from the sewers of Lichtenstein and one day parking my keister in the cushy monarch’s chair; then I’d say yeah, sure. That would at least be something worth writing about…or, possibly if I was a repugnant little quip, born with a silver spoon in my mouth having lived my early teens  with a lifestyle of entitlement until the powers-that-be kicked me from the lap of luxury into the streets of South Franaganistan. Through my years in the low-rent district, I learn a great deal of humility. With my tail tucked between my legs, I returned home, organized a coup, and slaughtered all those responsible for my banishment.

Being as my life reads more like a Tom Sawyer novel, I guess this is where we’ll begin. It seems that Huck, Jim and I were rafting down the Missi— hold the phones. Correct analogy, wrong story.

Let’s begin again, shall we? I was born a middle-class white boy. By the time I hit my early teens and discovered the Chickahominy River flowed within a mile of my house, it became my second home. Starting the last day of school for summer vacation, I was standing on the bank of the river, casting for chain pickerel, a smaller version of a northern pike.

Hanging with friends, we would participate in all sorts of mischief, nothing mean-spirited, but things that certainly, OSHA would not have approved of had they known. For instance: locate a suitable sapling, make a mad dash toward the tree. Once you make contact incorporate both feet and hands to literally run up the tree, 18 to 20 feet. After reaching said height, throw your weight backward and ride the sapling to the ground. A perfect landing would be your feet softly touching the earth as you release the top of the tree, sending it back to its original position. No harm, no foul.

An unacceptable landing would reveal your inability to choose a suitable piece of lumber to climb. The unacceptable landing would go something like this: run, run, run. climb, climb, climb. Throw weight backward. Hear bone chilling snap just prior to your back contacting the unforgiving ground. Wait several minutes until ability to breathe returns, then on to the next activity.

Let’s wade through foot deep, snake and leech infested stagnant water, to catch snapping turtles. “By the way, how does one catch these snapping turtles?” I smile. You, stomp through the black water until your foot lands on something that moves. Pick it up and hope that it’s a turtle. If fingers began to drop into the water, this will be an indication that not only have you secured a turtle, but have grasped it by the business end. Make mental note: keep fingers on the outside of snapping turtle’s mouth.

Now, it’s on to more fun activities. Swimming with snakes, building rafts from 55 gallon drums, chopping down random trees with an axe to build a log cabin and my favorite: wading in knee deep swamp water in the middle of the night, gigging for frogs. (Believe me when I say, keep the flashlight off as much as possible. You’d rather not know what you’re sharing the water with) As I’m sure you agree, all are perfectly safe activities for young teenagers to participate in.

It’s a good thing my parents didn’t know what I was doing… In fact, I’d better stop there before I start spilling my guts and let something slip that may have been dangerous.

Come to think of it, maybe I’d better check on mine. He’s too much like his old man for my comfort.

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If My Brain Could Speak, I Would Be Astounded for Within My Head there Is Naught but Cobwebs and a Detour Sign

As you well know, I just released my latest novel, “Eden’s Wake.” As I sit in my writer’s room, I ponder, “What next?”sci fi writing

What do I do after spending seven long years perfecting (tongue firmly planted in cheek) my latest novel?

Please allow me to tell you. In between all my rewrites, I was able to complete a third book in the series which came together much easier than the second. Perhaps this was a gift from above due to all the glitches (once again tongue firmly planted in cheek) or moreover disasters (tongue quickly removed from cheek) I experienced in “Eden’s Wake.”

For whatever reason, I was indeed grateful, so I began the fourth. After about a third of the way into the fourth novel, I felt a need to pull away from the series and pen a stand-a-lone book.

This one also was a comparatively easy write considering my past experiences. This was a break of sorts from the fantasy, adventure, mystery type genre to, more or less, science fiction with a bit of a western twist.

I also decided to start a short story group on my Facebook account. I publish a story about once a month. This, I’ve really enjoyed. The stories are, of course, short, fun to write and usually end with an upside down twist that sometimes I don’t expect. (If you think that last sentence was a bit confusing, try to imagine what’s flying through my head right now.)

I shouldn’t have to mention my blog, because that’s what I’m writing now. But you know what I’ve determined? I ain’t right. I mean something must be seriously wrong with my thought processes to do the things I do.

Luckily, I’m not dangerous, just a cuddly little nut job. What makes this process so fulfilling are the readers and followers I am able to connect with. Thank you all. Until next week…

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EW’s Release Finally Here!

Eden'sWake This book started as a work of fiction. As I began to rewrite I found it remained a work of fiction, but one better suited to line the bottom of the birdcage. So I dug in and made changes. This continued off and on for several years. Finally I broke down and rewrote with such intensity, the novel ‘Eden’s Wake’ became a skeleton of its former self. Not being able to leave it there, I navigated through the book (making changes here and there) before I finally said enough is enough and too much is too much. I did try to sneak in one more small rewrite, then catching myself before the end of the first chapter I averted self-inflicted bodily harm. The novel I began in 2008 became a published work in 2015. Not so bad, I guess when you put a mere seven years against the age of your average rock.
I hope I haven’t driven everyone crazy by over publicizing the upcoming release of Eden’s Wake. Guess what, it’s finally here, although some places are out of stock and will take orders and ship promptly when new stock arrives. E-books are available and ready to be loaded. Thanks for your patience and if you decide to purchase I hope you thoroughly enjoy Eden’s Wake.

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The Next Time You Look Into The Nighttime Sky Think of Slugs and How They Would Feel If Exposed to Off-the-Wall Irrelevant Nonsense

The story I’m about to tell on this blog post may seem a trifle difficult to comprehend, but I assure you it may or may not have happened. slug_-_cartoonYou see, this incident befell someone very close to me. In fact, this person was of my loins by marriage.

One day, (I won’t release her name but her initials are Sarah Russell Johnson) this so called Sarah developed a ghastly cold. Being the mother that she is, Sarah did not let this interfere with the daily job of caring for Baby J. (From here on known as Lil’ Ed)

Her husband, Big J, (aka Greggy Boy) began to notice clear blobs of a jelly like substance strewn willy nilly about the house. This posed quite a conundrum, for no one in the house consumed peanut butter and clear jelly sandwiches.

Little known to Greggy Boy and Lil’ Ed these blobs of unknown origin would soon turn to trails of an origin that would best… stop the presses! I have gotten ahead of myself. Please indulge my reverting to a point earlier in the story so as not to confuse.

The one called Sarah was in for more than she had bargained. It seems this cold had been brought on by a bacteriological virus not of this world posing as an invisible chunk of air floating about the house.

The next sign that something was really wrong surfaced as a severe case of conjunctivitis. Her eye would swell to the size of a small basketball oozing with a thick purulent fluid that must be drained every fifteen minutes.

All was fine, considering, until two soft antennae with round knobs on each end began to protrude from the top of her head. The so called conjunctivitis had moved to the other eye and this fine young mother began to slump and display a thick semi-translucent tail that provided the trail we discussed earlier in the story.

The next morning the adoring mother, now turned adoring slug, set about her usual duties feeding Lil’ Ed, smooching her husband so long as he merrily traversed his way to work.

As we know slugs are extremely slow, but once Lil ’Ed discovered the salt shaker and what it would do to even the smallest of snail-like creatures, his adoring mother found the speed of a jet powered cheetah on crack. This kept the pair moving at supersonic speeds for the better part of the day.

As this dreary scene played out, the adoring mother/Sarah Russell Johnson, also known as Slug Mamma, was resigned to sleeping on the back deck covered in a tarp. She would travel along a carefully laid trail of polyethylene strategically placed throughout the house.

All salt and salt laden products were removed from the house. Being the industrious little fellow that he is, Lil’ Ed snuck from his room one night and obtained a rather large salt lick. He dissolved a portion into his Slug Mamma’s water bowl. Fortunately, through a miscalculation in the amount of salt placed in her water, Slug Mamma developed just a few dry patches on the top of her head along with a ten-fold increase in secretions completing her transition to Puss Mama.

Becoming fed up with the entire situation, Greggy Boy threw Puss Mamma and Lil’ Ed in his truck (Puss Mamma in the bed of course) and headed off to the slime doctor. (The only one in Richmond is located in the basement of the Short Pump Wal-Mart).

After a quick consultation, the doctor removed a salt lick from his vast stash of lickable salt, crushed half a block, and mixed it with warm water. After the solution was fully dissolved, he dumped it over Puss Mamma.

It dispersed enough of the slime to expose the zipper on the slug suit that had been placed on Puss Mamma by a group of mischievous alien teenagers.

Now that things are back to normal in the Johnson household all eyes can’t help but glance upward wondering what could come next.

All the while Lil’ Ed sits on the side of his bed swinging his feet and one finger placed vertically across his lips. Occasionally, he’ll reach up and smack at the small protrusion trying to work its way out of his head.

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