What Else Can I Say . . . “That’s All Folks!”

Do you remember the old television shows Roy Rogers, Lone Ranger, Bat Masterson, and the like? Well, neither do I, but what I do recall, to mention a few, are the written classics, War of the Worlds, The Old Man and the Sea, and Journey to the Centre of the Earth (for all you, “Vernians.”)

If I really dig deep, when it comes to classic entertainment, my fondest memories were as a child viewing Warner Brother’s cartoons. Early Saturday morning my sister and I would arise from our slumber being careful not to wake the parents. We would park our butts on the floor in front of that magic screen and watch Bugs Bunny, with his Bronx accent outsmart any number of characters foolish enough to take-him-on.

While Bugs was my favorite we mustn’t forget Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Marvin the Martian, Coyote, Road Runner, Tasmanian Devil, and a cast of characters all brought to life by the late, great Mel Blanc.

I’ll have to admit that anytime I get to watch those great cartoons of yesteryear, I turn into that little boy sitting in front of the boob tube early Saturday morning.

They say you can never go back . . . I don’t know, I tend to disagree.

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I’ll Bet You’d Never Thought That Eating, Writing and Science Fiction Were So Closely Related.

There’s an element common in all genres.  Whether sci-fi, romance, fantasy or horror characters eat. There may be one exception, but excluding the need for nutrition in the genre of steam punk (of which I am much too unfamiliar) I may be woefully wrong.

Leaning toward writing science fiction, as many do, including myself, you may find something simplistic as a meal itself turning into an adventure with numerous unexpected sub-genres and action sequences unusual.

The action-packed meal can be related to our lives (maybe not as exciting or consequential) but in a mundane, comparatively speaking way. It’s similar to the first time you try something exotic, such as wallaby, ostrich, or sea urchin. Of course, most people would not care for a meal that presented itself in the manner which remains prevalent in my writing. I like the action, in an action-adventure novel (which I, also, enjoy writing) to remain throughout the book.

To complete this blog, it would behoove me to say that I immensely enjoy writing, eating, and writing about eating in certain situations.

Until next week, I hope you will remain in good health, spirits and may God bless.

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You’ve Heard It Over and Over, But Just To Reiterate, Wash Your Hands, Don’t Touch Your Face and Stay At Home

As a nation we’re experiencing some of the most difficult times we’ve had in the past century. The Coronavirus is a worldwide pandemic we have not seen the likes of since the Spanish Flu of 1918. This pandemic affected 500 million people.

We need to pray for the many who have been inflicted with the Coronavirus  and sadly the families and friends of those who have lost their lives.

We will get through this together. It is wonderful to see, even in this time of trouble, our country coming together despite the division we have encountered for many years now.

I would like to switch gears and list some of the inconveniences we deal with this time of year as we struggle with the deadly COVID-19 virus.

I live in the Mid-Atlantic. During early spring, one day we’ll have frost on the ground and the next a 90° heatwave. The flu is still rearing its ugly head and will be for another month or so. We have been experiencing tree pollen, but now the yellow dust covers our cars and houses triggering a massive influx of phlegm in our snot lockers. If not our noses, then our eyes runnith over with a sticky fluid that glues each eyelid together.

As we contemplate the events of the past few months, an end seems far away, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, one I believe we will realize sooner than later.

May God bless you and keep you safe!

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Back in the Day, If I Had Only . . . Nah, It’s Best Not to Think Such Things

Before I began writing a string of best sellers . . . all right, one best seller . . . okay, I haven’t broken through to the best seller list yet; however, and I want you to take this to heart, I am only a few thousand books away, I was going to be a rock star.

Back in the 70’s, when but a teenager, I had been playing my father’s guitar (a 58 diamond anniversary Gretsch) when I decided to save my coins and purchased a black 76 Les Paul custom with three gold pickups. Allow me to tell you I was ready to set the world on fire.

Once we went through the process of selecting the band members, we began to hone our craft. To start off, we played cover tunes consisting of the most popular songs of the day.

We were officially ranked as a garage band. In those days, as I am sure is the same today, noise remains a problem. I cannot count the number of times the police were called on our tiny little foursome for releasing an overabundance of racket. I believe they call it, “disturbing the peace.”

One of our largest obstacles was equipment. For the most part, guitars, amplifiers, and drum sets were a cinch . . . well, a cinch compared to the difficult items.

The first on the list . . . and this was a biggie . . . a PA system. I played for years with a substandard singing apparatus. Of course, when I think back, our second-rate PA’s matched our inferior ability to play, so it all came out in the wash.

It’s a lot like writing. You endure much criticism before you finally hash out what you need to succeed.

The later years were much kinder and rewarding. We were booked every weekend, with occasional weekdays, and some out of town work. With full-time jobs, this was about all, and truthfully more, than we could handle. I gave it up several months before my baby boy was born.

Like many things, it was fun while it lasted, but I’m glad that it’s gone.

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Some Folks Write, Some Folks Read, Me . . . I just as Soon Write It Down, Then Read It

I get a great deal of enjoyment from writing. It’s an excellent way to immerse oneself into never before seen worlds, good and bad; meet a plethora of different creatures, also, good and bad; plus, create fantastic situations giving the bipeds, tripeds, and quadrupeds a place to exist. There is no limit to the exotic flora and fauna one can experience between the pages of a novel full of science fiction and fantasy.

I wrote what I would consider my first serious story in the ninth grade. It was a short story about a family in the Midwest and the horrific ordeal they endured at the hands of a tornado. It got rave reviews from my English teacher, but I never took my fledgling talent for writing any further.

It was years later, after I purchased my first computer, that I started penning short stories for enjoyment.

It all began when I received a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Then, two months later, the pharmaceutical company where I was employed abolished my department. During a father and son fishing trip, my son suggested I try writing for a living. It was then I commenced to write in earnest.

It can make you wonder how one thing can lead to another; even what begins as bad may turn to good in the end. There is no need to wonder when you realize God is on his throne.

Have a great week! See you next Monday!

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Let Me See You Roll This Up And Smoke It

It’s time to gas up the lawnmowers, string up the weed eaters, oil the hedge trimmers and sharpen, grease or otherwise, fix any other lawn maintenance tool you may own. Then again, if you have a mind to purchase each of these appliances in a gas-less model you can forgo the petroleum based fuel and slap a fully charged battery into the power slot.    

“Is it that time of year?” you may ask.

“Why, yes, it is,” your neighbor, might say. “The time has come to beautify your lawn, for the next 3 to 4 months.”

For some, grooming the lawn is no small task. At the proper times, they aerate, fertilize, seed, water, cut, weed, trim, water, edge, re-fertilize, re-seed, water, and repeat each week until frost. Then, there are others (me being one) that never plant a grass seed, but cut and weed-eat the greenery that has taken over their lawn. Usually, these lawns contain a wide variety of weeds, but it still looks pretty good to me.

Lawn care has come a long way since its conception. A scythe, which is what was used to gather wheat, could be employed to knock the height off the vegetation around the house. Then, the reel type mower came along in the early 19th century, which could be pushed over the grass making a bad job slightly less so. I remember my father using a sling blade to trim the grass since a weed eater, as far as I know, had not been invented. Many times, we don’t realize how good we have it, especially when we’re tooling around on that hog lawn tractor.

There is one thing I don’t believe I’ve ever included in any of my writings, and that is  the lawn. Hmm . . . don’t exactly know how I’d fit one on another world  . . . maybe I could . . . no that wouldn’t work . . . how about . . .?


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Don’t Worry, You’ll Get That Hour Back in a Few Months

Once a year, we come to this place in time. Personally, I enjoy this stage of the year more

so than its competitor, and I believe my view is shared among the populous. What am I talking about?…Daylight Savings Time, of course.  Two states decline to indulge in this extra hour of light that most hold dear, those two being Hawaii and Arizona. The downside to this changeover is a loss of an hour of sleep; however, this deficit is so short it hardly matters after the first day or so.

Moving time around, even the slightest bit, can cause odd behavior. I can’t help but wonder about those who attempt to arrive at work an hour late, blaming this on the hour change of the clock. If they’re not careful, their plan will go array for this scenario only works during the November change to Eastern Standard Time.

However you prefer your time, you can revel in your extra hour of light courtesy of Daylight Savings Time or enjoy the dark of Standard Time. Either way is fine, for one thing is certain; time stands still for no man.

See you next week!

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What a Blessing to Have Fare so Simple Yet so Good and Good for You

If you’re a lover of fresh vegetables and you enjoy growing your own, then you know it’s time to begin prepping for your summertime garden. I suppose millions of crunching, munching, connoisseurs literally chomping at the bit to get a fresh tomato, breathe a sigh of relief after suffering through winter’s fare.

Now, if you’re a fan of beginning your own starter plants from seeds, that’s a process you would initiate in the month of February, readying the young plants to move outside after the danger of frost has past.

As much as I love meat, I tend to lean toward vegetarianism during the summer months. Sliced tomatoes, spring onions, and hot peppers are a staple at each evening meal. I love hot peppers, within reason. I’m a big fan of the Cayenne which rate at about 30,000 scoville units. With the practice of trying to develop hotter peppers, we’ve exceeded the Habanero, 300,000 units and ended with the Trinidad Scorpion and the Carolina Reaper both topping out over 2,000,000 scoville units.

When my mouth cools down, I’ll continue with sweet corn covered in butter. Fried squash with onions and potatoes, butter beans, green beans, new potatoes, I could almost make out of a meal, and if that’s not enough, there’s always dessert. Watermelon, cantaloupe and trees baring luscious fruit that would rival the most decadent baked goods available.

Occasionally, when writing I have the pleasure of creating an exotic form of plant or fruit upon which the characters dine. Sometimes these fruits are unbelievably pleasurable and then there are times when one bite means death.

Not exactly the best way to end a blog that speaks of an abundance of fresh vegetables . . . but you know what I mean.

See ya next week!

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That There Be One Big Bug!

Do you ever wonder about people and their fears? I’m not talking about the many different phobias that attack the population–some rational; some irrational. I am referring to the creepy crawlies in the world of insects and reptiles, namely spiders and snakes. I find myself contradicting what I wrote at the beginning of this blog by reintroducing the suffix, phobia. The fear of spiders is Arachnophobia; the fear of snakes is Ophidiophobia, the fear of stinging insects (usually wasps) is Spheksophobia, and the fear of mice is Musophobia.

I’ve seen folks nearly wreck the car they were driving to get away from a stinging insect. I received this information first hand from sitting in the passenger seat of said vehicle.

I had a close friend who was deathly afraid of snakes. We went fishing along with his brother in a john boat one Saturday. After tying off to a small tree, we began to cast. Several hours passed and I happened to turn and look up to see a copperhead just a few feet above our heads. My friend was a good sized man. I was more afraid of him trying to get out the boat in a panic than I was of the snake. We managed to untie the boat and push away from the tree with him none the wiser, all intact and no one in the drink.

One thing I have done more than once is carry my sister from one room to the other or even outside, to get away from a mouse.

Just to mention the word spider, I guess, says it all, as I would tend to believe that Arachnophobia is one of the more prevalent fears within our ranks.

Fortunately, the creatures I have named don’t bother me. I have included similar, but more exotic, beasts in my science fiction novels.  They boggle the mind and hopefully entertain the reader.

I used to catch non-poisonous snakes and allow my son to touch them to keep him from being afraid. The same with turtles, frogs, lizards, and salamanders. We lived in the country and I wanted him to experience the safe side of nature.

We may get a chuckle from someone flailing around trying to avoid an insect, but it’s no fun being the one that’s afraid. To bring it into context, everyone’s afraid of something.    Check out the camel spider below found in Afghanistan.


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Many Modes of Transportation, What Will I Choose, What Will I Choose

When I’m penning a novel I never know which type of transportation the characters will use to move from point A to point B. It could be something we see every day, or then again, it may be something that’s not of this world or any other.

The two previous sentences caused me to pause and ponder, the many modes of transportation, natural and man-made, available to us today.

We have horses, donkeys, oxen and in some cases, canines. Some folks ride elephants or camels, and we mustn’t forget our own two legs.

On the mechanical side are automobiles, motorcycles, buses, trains, helicopters, and ships, or we can go blasting through the air in a rocket-powered pressurized steel tube called an airplane. These vehicles run on just about any imaginable fuel, such as gasoline, diesel, alcohol, coal, electricity and air.

What will personal vehicles of the future be like? We’ve heard, read or seen in Science Fiction films that flying cars should fill the air by now. Personally, I think that would be a disaster.

I want to finish this particular post with a situation I ran across during the years I worked for a pharmaceutical company. I traveled quite a bit and saw a good portion of the United States. Take into consideration that I used to be a smoker but managed to kick the habit years ago. Even though it’s a terrible habit and I believe shortens the life of those who chose to participate, I’m not a nicotine Nazi and stick to the mantra of “smok’em if you got ‘em.”

Since it pertains to our method of travel and keeping with the theme of this post, I would like to relay an incident that I found a bit of a paradox.  I won’t mention the name of the city this particular incident took place, but in front of the convention center, there was a huge metal awning placed in case of rain that was large enough to allow multiple buses (30 or more) to sit under while loading and unloading convention attendees. Needless to say these coaches never shut down their engines. As soon as you walked out of the building you were bombarded with “No Smoking” signs. Not only signs forbidding smoking, but a cloud of burnt diesel fuel that would make a cigarette in contrast appear healthy.

Thought I’d throw that bit of irony in just to mix things up a bit.

Have a great week!

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