Category Archives: On writing

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8 Tracks, CD’s, Vinyl, or Carrier Pigeon. Don’t Much Care How I Get The Music, As Long As It Keeps On Comin’!

My “go to” for music in my younger years was cassettes. However, 8 tracks, CD’s, vinyl, or carrier pigeon-don’t much care how I get the music as long as it keeps on comin’. I do remember 8 track tapes, as my father frequently used that media to play his country favorites. Vinyl albums were still the crème de la crème of audio; however, nothing could beat the portability of the pocket sized cassette. As time progressed, the hardware for playing these miniature marvels excelled in quality until they matched everything the turntable could do without the bulk and the fear of scratches.

It was somewhere during this journey, long before I considered becoming an author, my goal was to be a rock star. This culminated after years of playing bars, hotels, roadhouses and every other dive in between, with having my first child and deciding I’d listen to music in lieu of playing said tunes. As my son grew, I had the great blessing of teaching him to play the bass guitar, and we went on to serve together in our church praise band.

Back to the world of audio media, the cassette became obsolete shortly after the CD was introduced. The compact disc would cure all ills present in the world of ear candy to date. Storage problems, superior distortion free sound, constructed from materials that would last, along with numerous other advantages.

Who knows what they will come up with next. The CD gave birth to the DVD, Blue ray disc, and beyond that I’m in the dark.

Oh well, I’ve ridden about as far as I care to on the technology train. Guess I’ll be getting off at the next stop . . . then again, maybe not.

Have a great week, and God Bless!

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I Spend a Lot of Time Writing. I Spend a Lot of Time Thinking. I Spend a Lot of Time Thinking About Writing.

I spend a lot of time writing. I spend a lot of time thinking. I spend a lot of time thinking about writing. And finally, I spend a lot of time thinking about what I’m going to be writing. This usually equates to the situations my characters find themselves having to endure and what unearthly creatures they must face within these situations.

Concocting these story lines in unique places, with unique characters, and then pitting their intellect and strength against unique creatures, provides a challenge and a lot of enjoyment for me as an author.

When it comes to thought, I’ve reiterated, abundantly, how I utilize this notion. In fact, I would say over abundantly is more than likely an understatement. I guess I would like to convey that I think about other things . . . things like . . . oh, I don’t know . . . how about socks.

That’s it, socks. What type of socks do you wear? As a kid, I remember the elastic left a lot to be desired in my everyday white socks.

As the years passed, tube socks became the “go to.” You could buy a package of a dozen socks that would fit any size from 9 – 13. Of course, for dress wear there were always colored socks that were more like hosiery.

Nowadays, and probably for the last ten years, I have worn toe socks. You may think it odd that a man would cotton to such footwear; however, even though they take a little getting used to, do yourself a favor and give the five-toed wonders a try. It’ll either be the most comfortable fabric you’ve pulled over your feet or horrendously annoying if you can’t stand things between your toes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this odd jaunt and equally unusual segue from writing and thinking to the world of socks.

Have a great week and a safe holiday!

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Creation In And Of Itself Is A Miracle, But Boy It Can Sure Be Ugly

As a science fiction writer, and I’m sure I have said this before, I enjoy devising outlandish beasts and creatures that could only exist in one’s mind. On the other hand, creation in and of itself is a miracle, but, boy, it can sure be ugly.

Occasionally, the critters that I concoct are of the tiny flesh gnawing variety. This makes me stop and think of the wonders in nature. How amazing are the insects that avoid our glance because of their diminutive size. These beings have a brain, nervous system, and circulatory system to digest their food, which frequently comes in the form of human juice.

How about the bumble bee? They’re big, bulbous, possess undersized wings, totally lack any form of aerodynamics, and yet, they perform the impossible, by flying and executing the deed flawlessly.

We, also, see God’s sense of humor in the duck-billed platypus, blob fish (seen above), narwhal, and a plethora of odd creatures.

If we sit in our backyards, especially during the summer months, but to an extent all year long, we will see the miracle of creation. 

And, what a miracle, it is!

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Conservatory Methods May Not Be Necessary Nor Work On All Of Our Natural Resources

I believe conservation is vital (recycling being one of the most important), but is it possible that conservatory methods may not be necessary nor work on all of our natural resources?

Now, I say this tongue-n-cheek, so please take it in the humorous spirit for which it is meant. The resource, of which I speak, is water. If you think about the water cycle, there is really no place for water to go.

Each ounce we use, whether to drink, bathe, or water our lawn, stays on earth. It sinks into the ground, runs into a stream then enters a tributary that leads to larger bodies of water. This water is evaporated by the sun, condensed into clouds, which then falls back to the earth as rain.

Water that seeps into the ground makes its way through the topsoil, subsoil, layers of rock and stone which filter impurities. This ground water eventually makes its way into aquifers placed at different levels. Some can be reached with shallow wells no more than fifty feet deep. Others are at depths two to three hundred feet below the surface and require a deep well. When the aquifer is deep enough that ground pressure pushes water to the surface once the aquifer is tapped, it is referred to as an artesian well.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me, whenever there’s a drought in one location, there are flood waters in another.

Our water supply is constantly cycling throughout the troposphere and underneath the earth’s surface. With our planet’s weather in constant motion, systems have no choice but to also be in constant motion which keeps the water on the move.

Just a thought from a science fiction novelist, taking a break from edits and rewrites. Enjoy your day and have a big bottle of cold water on me.

Post script: Did you know that 40% of all bottled water comes from a tap . . . just sayin.’  

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Toss Me In The Water, Suds My Hide Up Proper, And Beat Me Against A Rock . . . Don’t Care How You Do It, Just Get Me Clean

In this day and age there are so many things with which we take issue. For instance, what is your favorite style BBQ? Beef brisket, North Carolina pulled pork or Memphis with a red sauce.

How do you like your steak? Rare, medium rare, medium or well done.

And, one of the all-time questions posed to man, do you prefer a bath or shower?

Now me, I usually take a shower. Not just any shower, but a hot shower, and I mean a hot shower. There’s nothing better than the water streaming through my hair and coursing down my body. I’ll admit I spend an overabundance of time under the spray; however, it is one of my self-indulgences.

I will have to concede that occasionally I also enjoy sliding into a nice hot bath. I have heard folks protest that taking a bath is nothing more than stewing in your own filth. One could argue that since the filth is my own, no harm no foul, and being  the bath was around long before the shower, I figure if it was good enough for my distant ancestors then it ought to be good enough for me.

The real question comes with shampoo–wash, rinse, repeat …when does it ever end!

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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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