July 6, 2020 · 1:30 PM
June 29, 2020 · 10:40 AM
I have always been fascinated by thunderstorms. Living in a Mid-Atlantic state, during the spring and summer months, we are inundated with our share of severe weather, though not an overabundance of tornadoes. I am enthralled with each component – lightning, thunder, wind, updrafts, downdrafts, wall clouds, tornadoes and mesocyclones. I penned my first short story in high school with a tornado being the center of the tale.
To take this a step further, hurricanes tend to captivate my attention during their season, from June 1st until November 31st with the heaviest occurrences in late summer and early fall. I entertained the thought of becoming a storm chaser; however, with no formal training and unwilling to risk my neck in a big whirlwind of not knowing what I’m doing, I changed my thought process.
Now, I prefer to write about dicey weather situations. I can set the stage with tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, or a wayward spring shower if I so choose. Perhaps one of these weather monsters will collide with a creature from Burrus Plax. There’s no way to forecast this outcome.
Have a great day. And if you live in an area prone to severe weather, please be careful and lay low.
To end on a sideways note, the protagonist in my tornado-filled short story ended up in Oz.
June 22, 2020 · 8:32 AM
Some enjoy living in the city, others in urban areas and still others (me being one) in a rural setting, or as some say, the country. I’m surrounded by beautiful oak trees. In fact, when I was writing Eden’s Wake, the second book of the Rising Tide series, oak leaves were the inspiration for creatures called the Narify.
It doesn’t matter where you reside as long as it brings you enjoyment. Things are different for a city dweller than one who lives in the country. Municipal water and sewage compared to a well and septic system for one. Items and services are more readily available in a city setting; whereas, they may be few and far between in rural locales.
Another important item is law enforcement. In the country, we rely on sheriffs and deputies; however, in the city you are fortunate enough to enlist the services of Superman, Batman and the like.
If you’re a gourmet, food is another reason to enjoy city life. It has been my privilege to see a large amount of this country and to have spent time in many of its cities. From the west coast to the east coast and many points in between, I have dined on the finest fare available. All in all by a tiny margin, New Orleans sticks out as one of my favorite food destinations. Although, I’ll admit after a week in the crescent city the after burners are on full mode flame-out. That’s what you get when you are a lover of spicy foods.
We now return to the jest of the post, after my food critic corner. It makes no difference where you choose to live, they both have pros and cons. I prefer trees, fields and the quiet they bring, along with the star filled skies at night.
Enjoy the upcoming week and do yourself a favor. Munch on a few hot peppers and get your after-burners to cranking out the flames!
June 15, 2020 · 9:20 AM
If I Exaggerate Something That’s Already Been Exaggerated, Does That Make the Exaggerated an Exaggerated Exaggeration?
Being a science fiction writer, I am able to exaggerate things to the nth degree. In fact, you can say some of my writing is exaggeration personified. I find when creating creatures, exaggerations often come into play. In looking through the vast majority of my writing, I can see where I’ve spread the exaggerations rather thick; however, in my case, I find it necessary, especially, when the points I’ve exaggerated are believable.
Let’s venture from the world of make believe into our everyday lives. How many times have you heard, “It must be a thousand degrees in here?” Or, who could forget, “I’ve seen that a million times.”? Here’s an oldie but goodie, “I literally jumped out of my skin.” Remember this, “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times.“? I could go on and on, but let’s finish big. “I’m gonna hit you so hard, I’ll knock you into next week.”
It’s comical how often we exaggerate in our day to day lives without giving it a second thought, and to that end, I’d like to Thank you for taking time to read this week’s post. Just be sure, “Not to eat anything for dinner that you’ve eaten a thousand times before!”
June 8, 2020 · 11:26 AM
I’ll have to admit I’m enthralled whenever I watch a television show or movie centered around an author. For reasons unknown, this seems to be more prevalent in mysteries.
Being one of my favorite shows, I watch Andy Griffith each morning. This a.m., there was an episode where Andy’s fiancée, Helen Crump, had written a children’s manuscript and sent it to a publisher in Richmond. Surprisingly so, in the mail several weeks later came an acceptance letter and a check for $1,000.
She made the trip to Richmond and reviewed details such as art work. The publisher suggested she begin rewrites. Later on in the show, one of the editors came to Mayberry and began working with Helen in the rewriting process. It was really surprising to see the characters write with nothing but a pencil.
On one occasion, I saw a typewriter, not in use, but packed up with the lid attached. Even with the double barrel approach of the mighty pencil and the electric typewriter, I cannot imagine having to do edits and rewrites with such archaic writing utensils. Still we complain like babies when our computers act up showing how spoiled we’ve become with the tools of today at our disposal.
June 1, 2020 · 11:01 AM
When I set out to write my first novel, I admit I was a bit apprehensive. Being used to pinning only short stories, you understand my hesitancy. Once I began and discovered the difference between the two was not as astronomical as I had originally feared, the process smoothed considerably.
After the book was written, it was edited with the help of numerous people more adept in the ways of blah, blah, blah, yackity schmackity grammar type things.
Having a completed manuscript in my hands, I began the search for a publisher (grueling search ensues), located a small press, and they agreed to publish my work.
Fast forward a year, I am holding a finished novel in my hands. It’s got all the great stuff: title, cover art, back matter, teaser, acknowledgements, dedication page, and lots and lots of words that I personally wrote.
I stare at the novel cover. With 800 new titles released each day according to one statistical estimate and 4500 according to another source, how do I get my book in front of the many eyeballs that I need to read it? Looking at it through my eyes that’s a lot of books released every day.
The answer . . . MARKET! MARKET! MARKET! When you think you’ve done enough, that’s when you know you’re just getting started!
May 25, 2020 · 11:22 AM
“The problem with fiction; it has to be plausible. That’s not true with non-fiction.” ~ Tom Wolfe. You’ll find various authors have said the same thing, and that being “truth is stranger than fiction,” ~ Mark Twain, in different ways as I just illustrated. Who am I, in the scheme of things, to take exception with this hard and fast rule, developed when the world of fiction came into play after ink met paper?
One thing we must remember as we tout this rule is “Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.” ~ Stephen King.
I’ve been writing fiction for some time and enjoy the way fiction and non-fiction invariably cross paths. Simply put, “Good fiction is made of what is real, and reality is difficult to come by.” ~ Ralph Ellison.
Speaking once again of simply put: If I read one more quote from an author comparing fiction and non-fiction, I do believe I will scream . . . but will consider this one close enough to an exception to post. “We have our Arts so we won’t die of Truth.” ~ Ray Bradbury
So, there you just about have it, one author to another and vice a versa, then turn it around backwards to everyone else.“Ya gotta admit that was about as long a winded sentence that one could utter and still say absolutely nothing. I should have been a politician instead of an author.” ~ Lynn Steigleder
May 18, 2020 · 11:04 AM
The G.I. began walking his second hour of guard duty, on his way to finishing his eight hour stint.
“Man, I don’t believe this,” the private, named Chet, said, “and for such a small infraction.” The sun was beginning to set and the snow falling harder now. “Of all nights to play soldier,” he said.
Chet propped his rifle against the fence and struck a match to light his cigarette only to have the wind make it an impossibility. After three more attempts, a small orange glow caught a piece of tobacco. Chet drew hard on the paper tube until the end glowed. He held the lung full of smoke, then released the vapor with a long satisfied sigh.
He trudged through the snow long enough to finish his smoke. “You can pretty much bet no one will venture out into this mess to check on me.” He knelt beside an evergreen bush then turned landing on his bottom. His feet were flat on the ground, bringing his knees up. Chet wrapped his arms around the top of his knees making a nest to place his chin. Covered in a warm coat, his breath adding to the heat in his confined area, Chet was soon breathing in a slow rhythmic pattern.
The morning dawned bright and pleasant. The sleeping private began to stir. He opened his eyes and sat up suddenly. “I went to sleep during a blizzard with my arms around my knees. I wake up stretched out on my side and it’s a summer day!” He stood taking in his surroundings. “Everywhere I look there are green soldiers scattered about all appearing as if they are readying for battle, but I see nothing to fight.”
“Boom! Boom!” prefaced half of the soldiers flying helter skelter.
“This makes no sense.” Chet began to run across the soft fur-like surface.
“You been bery bad ‘n’ you go where bad boys go.”
A fat uncoordinated hand covered Chet pressing him into the comforter. The fingers curled then raised him into the air.
“You go fwush, fwush in da potty.”
Chet tried to scream, but his mouth was covered by the three-year-old’s hand. With little warning he began to spin until dizziness overtook any semblance of rational thought. “Who knows? Could be fun.”
May 11, 2020 · 11:11 AM
One of the first short stories I penned concerned the earth being covered in water with small land masses similar to islands remaining. Commerce of a different type kept the planet’s resources strong enough to support a vibrant economy. When I think about this story, I ponder the essence of water itself, and how much we depend upon the substance even down to our very life’s blood.
When I was a child, we filled our glasses from the sink with no thought as to where the water originated. My family was in the unique position of having our home and my grandparent’s home serviced by a single hand-dug well. My grandfather had this well placed in the 40’s. When the men reached the depth of about twelve feet too much water was running in for them to continue digging so they set the concrete curb and capped it off. Believe it or not, this well has never carried more than 18 inches of water and has yet to run dry during all of its years of service, which includes today. From the time my grandfather dug the well, through my parent’s lives and even when I came upon the scene, bottled water was an unknown. If anyone entertained the thought of purchasing water the concept would be so foreign as to question that individual’s sanity.
Today bottled water is a billion dollar business annually, though many don’t realize that 40% of bottled water actually comes from a tap.
I have a deep well and decided to perform an experiment since we consume bottled water regularly. I tested water from a well-known bottled brand, water-filtered through a popular brand into a pitcher and H2O straight from my tap. The water from my kitchen sink was far and above the winner . . . go figure . . . kinda makes you think about laying out the green for a bottle full of wet!
May 4, 2020 · 11:14 AM