Monthly Archives: August 2019

For Something That is Supposed to be Dead, It Looks Alive and Well to Me

I realized that Latin is no longer spoken. In fact, I’ve heard it referred to as a dead language. If this principle is held true throughout the world (and I believe it is), why is the root word in the majority of our vocabulary contrived in a dead language?

I’d like to take this a bit deeper. Let’s begin with Plato, student of Socrates and known as one of the great philosophers. When I think of someone who has devoted their life to philosophy, I think of that someone who is so ingrained in the process of thinking they would rather argue a point than prove it with evidence . . . nuff said.

I realize this is a bit out of order, but now a short blurb for Socrates. He was also a great philosopher but a thinker nonetheless and a pretty smart guy. The big difference between me and Socrates is that the grey matter in my cranium may not be as stimulating; however, the information in my sci-fi/fantasy world is recorded, something that Socrates failed to do . . . nuff said, once again.

I guess what it boils down to is writing while writing or writing by speaking and $3.00 will get you a mediocre cup of coffee . . . and this time I really mean . . . nuff said.         

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Anaphylaxis? Don’t Believe I Care for Any . . .

As a kid, did you ever have an adult tell you not to do something? What was the first thing you’d do? Allow me to give you an example. I grew up in a rural area. We were inundated each summer with every type of stinging insect you could imagine. Whether it be a hornet’s nest, a wasp’s nest, a beehive, a yellow jacket’s nest (normally built under ground), or any number of bugs with a stinger that you could pretty much imagine from anywhere, I could find that nest close if not attached to my house.

I recall being told by an adult not to mess with a yellow jacket’s nest located underground close to our backyard peach tree. I paid attention long enough to reach the tool shed, open the door, and then, grab a can of gas. I began to pour the gas down the hole leading to the nest, but leaving too much leeway between pours, the extremely agitated yellow clad warriors began to swarm, which in turn put me on the run. One of the insects chased me down sixty feet and stung me on the thumb, proving how tenacious they can be when threatened.

In a similar incident, I was warned to stay away from a large hornet’s nest built into one of our neighborhood apple trees. It was twice as big as a football and just begged to be assaulted. One of my childhood friends and I decided we were the ones to do the deed. Standing a good distance off, we hammered the nest with dirt clods until there was only about half of it left. Wouldn’t you know it; one of the black and yellow avengers nailed my friend in his upper arm.

Numerous interactions with stinging insects followed through my childhood and into my life as an adult, have taught me several things. tenacity can be a good thing when aimed at career oriented goals. (In my case writing) Furthermore, live and let live, and don’t mess with something that you believe is too small to cause you any harm.

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Manuscript, Book, Novel. Once Published, the Only Difference is in the Marketing.

Around a year ago, I was busy penning the fourth book in a sequence of sci-fi/fantasy novels known as The Rising Tide Series. A third of the way into the book, I felt I needed a break from the fantasy world I had created. Putting the brakes on the fourth novel, I embarked on a standalone sci-fi novel that would eventually send me down a trail I had never traversed before — time travel.

I will have to admit that making such a drastic change in the middle of a new manuscript was a bit unnerving; nonetheless the right way to proceed. The title of my newest novel came easily. I chose a character from one of my earlier novels (Eden’s Wake) named Dalon Con with a possibility of the subtitle Essence of Time.

The first obstacle I found myself having to overcome was an immediate about face from one novel to the next. I then discovered the challenge of creating a new world and the characters to fill it in short order, save for Dalon Con, who had occupied no more than a few pages and no background on the character in Eden’s Wake. It took a little longer than normal but I eventually found a cruising speed and settled into writing in this new world, Burrus Plax.

I’ll have to admit, for whatever reason, this manuscript wrote at a slower pace; possibly it was the new adventures I had poured into myself and the new experience I had under taken.

Most certainly a good bit of the problem was a fall I took prior to the halfway point of the novel. I fell approximately five feet and landed on my head. I had three brain bleeds which slowed the progress on Dalon Con significantly and for a while sent me into uncharacteristic thought patterns making it impossible to trust my writing especially any rewrites or edits. This fact was more than once brought to my attention by my wife and my caregiver/assistant.

It took a bit to complete, but Dalon Con is at that point and in the hands of my editor. As for the fourth book in The Rising Tide Series, it once again graces the virtual paper on my computer screen and works its way a bit closer each day to completion.

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Stake your Stake in a Steak with a Stake. . .Then Enjoy

When I think of cooking, my mind naturally drifts to fire. To my wife’s delight, I would gladly take on all of the cooking duties that arose from an everyday dinner to the most elegant of holiday fare. Even the characters in the novels I write need a meal now and then to stave off the clutches of virtual page starvation.

You’ve heard the saying, The more things change; the more they stay the same. This indeed rings true, although we miss the notion that the more things change; the more they revert to yesteryear–case in point, cooking fuel.

Through the years, the human race has used everything from animal waste and wood to flammable fluid to cook food. This use of less than wholesome means to heat what we eat was the norm for some time. Eventually, electric coils were employed into the construction of modern day oven and cook tops, bringing the ease and a clean way to accomplish our much needed cooking duties inside safely.

So, after these kitchen innovations, why would we grab a bag of charcoal and step back outside to cook meat the primitive way, especially when it took us so long to make it indoors without burning the dwelling down by fire?

Why? I’ll tell you why. One word – –  flavor. Cook a meal on the stove top of a modern oven. You will find yourself dealing with anything from metal coils to flat European burners, glass cooking surfaces to the exotic ceramic. The next meal you endeavor to prepare, start with walking outside and loading the grill with charcoal or if plain wood is your thing fill the grill with dry hickory. Once, whichever you have chosen is ashed over, slap a slab of cow on the searing hot surface. When done to your liking, attack, and you will see why, sometimes, retro, is the only way to go.

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