Tag Archives: books

Water, Water, Everywhere and Only a Few Quintilian Gallons to Drink

Our bodies can do without water for a short time. Deprived of H2O, dehydration takes over, we dry up, then die. Down through the ages, if you put it in a nutshell, the way we gathered water is a bit of a misnomer.

When we were hunter-gatherers, we drank from pristine streams originating in the mountains. As we became more civilized and built cities close to rivers, we drew water from the river in the same place we emptied raw sewage. We have names for periods of time such as Cenozoic, Mesozoic, Jurassic and so on. I like to call this water retrieval period, “Stupid in Reverse.”

Today most of the population drinks bottled water. Not so many years ago, I would have laughed had someone told me  I would be paying for it. The funny thing about this is, when I tested my tap water against the brand of bottled water we were drinking at the time, the tap water tested superior to the bottled water and by a significant difference. I even wrote a novel, Rising Tide, about a world inundated by water. There was land available but it was definitely at a premium. What it boils down to (no pun intended), is there’s water everywhere–in the ground, the air, oceans, rivers, streams, creeks, mud puddles and pretty much anywhere you can think of (except the arctic which is actually the most arid place on earth with deserts running a close second). So the next time you pick up that cool, clear glass of water, be thankful you’re not drinking from a municipal source a hundred years ago.

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I Would Read This With a Cow, I Would Read This With a Sow, I Would Read This on a Plow or I Would Read This Blog Right Now

I remember when I was but a wee lad falling in love with the written word. In the years prior, my parents would read the wonderful Dr. Seuss to keep me entertained. I still remember Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, The Cat in the Hat and many others too numerous to list. I believe the first book I read on my own was The Enormous Egg. This would help set the stage for my love of Science Fiction later in life. In the second grade, I fell in love with Charlotte’s Web and would read it nearly every day.

My first YA novel was The Red Planet by Robert Heinlein, which I read until the covers fell off. As I graduated to a more adult level of reading, Stephen King was the man. In fact, for me he still is. After I had read King for a while, I made a determination. With all the stuff, he has floating around in his head, had he not started writing, King would have become a serial killer or his head would have exploded. My favorite works by Stephen King are The Dark Tower series and Needful Things. Even though I have published four novels, my writing experience has yet to elevate me to the status of any of the authors I have mentioned, but you never know unless you try. So I guess I’ll keep on writing until the herd of turtles come home.   

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The Most Unusual Circumstances Today Can Pull Two Complete Strangers Closer Than Imaginable

Long before I penned my first word, I found myself gravitating toward science fiction, fantasy and adventure. As a kid, I would marvel at the stop-animation used in movies through the eighties, and scarf up the multitude of novels available for the taking. If I was awake, there was a sci-fi book in my hand.

As I began to write, I could easily find subjects for my work in nature. A search through creation could yield a veritable plethora of subject matter. Throw in a vivid imagination, a quirky sense of humor, a dark side so the good guys will have something to fight and you have the perfect recipe. This formula will guarantee an upside down, knee slapping, bad vs. good, destroy the world, (if you’re not careful) nail-biter of a finished type novel. . .Whew!!

Unfortunately, situations come in to play that are as morose as those written everyday without a thought of these tales making their way into our everyday lives.

In memoriam: On a bright September 11th morning 16 years ago, terrorist murdered over 3000 people, at the world trade center towers, the pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.  Harvey and Irma have devastated Texas and Florida, with Irma still pounding away. When healing can begin, both states will likely take years to fully recover. But, you know what I’ve seen in these situations? They bring unity. There are none of the differences; just people helping people. Maybe we should give it a try. I think that’s how God originally intended it.

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Deadly Reign Excerpt

Parallel Dimension I

Fatal Confrontation

 

“State your purpose,” Orac demanded.

“I believe my purpose is known to all present,” Cahotic replied.

Caleb, Ben and Eve joined Pete and Orac.

“Mount up,” Caleb said, “and do not remove your eyes from them.”

Pete complied and climbed onto his horse.

“Prepare your weapons,” Caleb ordered.

“I need no other than these,” Orac stated, holding up his fists.

“Now, Caleb,” Cahotic chastised, “is that a proper welcome for old friends?”

“Orac,” Caleb said, motioning to the giant.

Orac backed up to meet Caleb. “Yes?” he said.

Caleb leaned over and whispered into Orac’s ear.

Orac smiled and then nodded, returning to his previous spot.

“Make ready,” Cahotic said, “and separate the necessary parts. We must renew our supply of gel.”

The riders pulled their swords and moved forward. The line was staggered in a stepped orientation, allowing each rider to shield the one behind. As the first aberration moved onto the snow-covered ice, an inaudible cracking ensued. Caleb sensed the ice give under the great weight, as the second rider followed his predecessor.

“Now, Orac,” Caleb ordered.

Orac bent over, slamming his mammoth fists into the ice. Cracks developed in the crust, spreading from the epicenter in spider-like fashion. Orac continued his barrage, crawling further onto the ice as he decimated the concrete water. He felt two points of pressure along his back. A small figure wrapped in fur vaulted from his flank and onto the rear of the first rider’s beast. He wielded a spear with a fine bronze tip attached to a smooth brown shaft. The newcomer plunged the spear with no ill effects, hitting pieces of armor and plated green scales. The first rider and his steed dipped to the left and then to the right. An ear-splitting crack echoed through the forest, and the rider sank. As the creatures continued their descent, the small figure jumped from the rider. With uncanny agility, the strange fur-covered form bounced along small chunks of ice, floating in the stream until he reached the bank. Astonishment enveloped The Three, uttering not a sound as they watched this acrobat.

The second rider attempted to turn and make it back to solid ground, reaching the bank as the ice collapsed beneath him. The animal sank to its midsection before it could gain a hold with its forelimbs, the aberration it bore slid off its back. Steam drifted upward from the pair as the water permeated their bodies.

“Orac!” Caleb yelled. “Enough.”

Orac ceased his assault and circled around to return to his comrades.

Caleb turned to Ben. “Gather wood for a fire,” he said.

“What about the . . . ?” Ben asked.

“Wood,” Caleb barked, “and quickly.”

Ben, Pete and Eve dropped from their horses as the ice gave way, plunging Orac into the frozen slush.

The first rider was now chest deep in the center of the stream. Huge bubbles from underneath exploded as the beast that bore him disintegrated. The rider himself silently melted into the stream, his head exploding in small puffs as if boiling in a cauldron.

The second rider’s mount, using its front claws, inched itself onto the bank. Its rider plunged his sword deep into the beast, allowing it to pull him along. The pair breached the water’s surface, both formless from the midsection down, their remaining torsos dissolving in a mass of tiny gurgling eruptions.

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If a stubborn obstetrician collided with an obstinate statistician, would you consider this situation awkward or just a mild coalition?

Have you ever been in an awkward situation? If your answer is no, then you’re either telling a fib nine miles long or you really were born this morning. Me, I tend to live in an awkward situation. How so, you ask? Being a writer, I purposely send different characters traveling in so many different directions I can’t keep up with the various scenarios. Adding to this is my subconscious tendency to interject small bits of myself into each character I conceive.

Now I’d like to illustrate a real life example of what might be an awkward situation. The youth minister from the church I attend came by to help me out today. I believe we may have seen each other once, but other than that…there is no ‘other than that’; we didn’t know each other from Adam. There were no introductions, no rapport; just “hello, I’m me”,  followed by “hello me, I’m me.” I showed him a few of the ropes, we sat down, began to work, and the awkward situation I feared turned out not to be awkward at all. I guess if you want to avoid situations of an awkward nature…well then, I’m afraid I can’t help you.

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“Deadly Reign,” 3rd Book in the “Rising Tide Series”

deadly-reign-cover Available Spring  2017   Pre-order:   http://christophermatthewspub.com/soul-fire-press/

Ben, Eve and Pete continue to push through this new Earth as the world sinks deeper into corruption. They gain new allies, including an intellectual animal equipped with the gift of speech. They are forced to battle six aberrations (beasts and riders) deemed nearly indestructible. The environment has manifested into a frigid terrain with the sun lost in the ice filled cloud cover. Swords forged especially for the riders by the riders offer another layer of defense to an already superior force. The humans have deduced that water may possibly be a weapon, but a weapon that even now is freezing at an accelerated rate.

 

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How Many Times Must I Tell You? When You’re Reading, Keep Your Head Down, Keep Your Head Down, Keep Your Head Down and Eyes on the Ball

foreplayI’ve read bad books, fair books, good books, excellent books and exceptionally great books. The literary world is certainly all over the place. Bad books get published and exceptionally great books don’t. In fact, books of every genre no matter their position on the good to bad scale are published every day. The last time I ran across the numbers, there were several thousand books published each day, which meant over a million each year.

I was taught to believe half of what I see and none of what I hear. The numbers I had gathered just a few years ago said 800 books a day and a quarter of a million a year. I don’t know whose putting together these figures, but I’m going out on a limb and confirming there are a lot books published each year.

I have to equate it to playing golf. In the nineties it seemed as though everyone decided they’d pick up a set of clubs and hit the links. Now I realize everyone must start somewhere, but the game went from a four hour pleasurable jaunt around a beautifully groomed course, to a six hour wait-a-thon.

I heard a multitude of balls hit trees with that famous four letter word to follow. I spent more time ducking than most mallards. I played one course in a city that shall remain nameless where they allowed men to play with their shirts off. Fortunately, there was only one, but certainly not following golf etiquette.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to get your ducks in a row…or your books in the hands of those who wish to read them. It’s a monumental task, but one that I think is worth the work.

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