Tag Archives: writing

What If?

I’ve been writing seriously for twelve years. Things tend to cross my mind that will make me stop and say to myself, “Where did that come from?” Case in point: All the letters I use when I’m tap, tap, tapping away at my keyboard, what happens when one or more of them need to be deleted?

Do they fall into a used letter bin, land in letter limbo, disappear, with a poof into nothingness or perhaps become part of a massive recycling program?

While we’re on the subject, what do we do if our computer comes to the point where it runs out of letters? Is there a way to refill or can your CPU become so antiquated that it is no longer supported by the standard refill program? If you find yourself able to install the alphabet into your desktop, must you install a compliment of all twenty-six letters or can you select the letters you use the most.

For instance, R, S, T, L, N would certainly be among the most often used, whereas B, G, Q, X, Z would most likely never need to be refilled.

In short, it gives us something to think about. You’re on a tight deadline and your publisher wants to see the first draft on Monday. It’s Sunday afternoon and you run out of R’s. See where I’m going with this? I could be saving the collective world of writing from total disaster, not to mention that card to your sweetheart you were unable to finish. At least, give it some thought. The page you save may be your own!

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Writing as With Everything Good in my Life Originated from Above

  I think back over my writing career and ponder how it came to be. Sure, there’s the short version I put in all my bios, about losing my job of sixteen years and being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and my son suggesting I give writing a try, but it’s much deeper than that.

I was raised in a Godly home, yet strayed in my late teens. I married in my mid-twenties, which in most ways was a mistake; however, received a wonderful blessing, my son. Even though my diagnosis came in 2006, I can look back and notice symptoms as early as 1993. I continued to move through life, remarrying in 1997. If there was ever such a thing as a soulmate, then I had found mine. Melding two families together was one of the greatest challenges my wife or I had ever faced, but with the help of God, we managed to not only make it through, but also grow our love for one another and our children. Health wise things took a turn for the worse. I ended up in the hospital for a month, part of which I was close to death. Over the next six months, I spent subsequent weeks back in the hospital. Slowly things began to improve. A year ago, a heart valve problem put me back in. I ended up on a ventilator, then they found the problem. They performed surgery to repair the valve, and I began the long path to recovery. I am in a wheelchair, but feeling good and optimistic about the future. I look where I am now, where this journey began and continue to marvel at the process that brought me here.

I could not conceive why so many negative things were happening to me. I learned it was because I was seeing a small part of the process, where-as God could see from beginning to end. Sometimes the only way out is through. Once I made it to the end of the journey, I thanked God for everything I had been through; for without the trials I would have never experienced the many blessings, I have received, the best being a  relationship with Jesus. Not only does it give me a more abundant life here on earth, God has a fantastic retirement plan.

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Hot Monsters, Hot Peppers, Hot Salsa. Will This Hot Mess Ever End?

I decided to take a break from penning my latest novel, Dalon Con. The story is set on a world called Burrus Plax. It’s a sci-fi/dystopian/fantasy/action adventure hybrid with a heavy dose of time travel.

I was taking this short hiatus from work to indulge in a bit of nourishment. My personal assistant, Brenda, disagreed with me on the amount of salsa that should be scooped into the chip of a similar name.

First, let me explain my need for an assistant. It’s not because I think I’m some highfalutin pretty boy what needs some varmint to get their hands dirty for them. (Kinda reminds you of Yosemite Sam, don’t it?) The fact is, I woke up with a touch of Multiple Sclerosis this morning and needed some help typing (among other necessities).

Now, let’s get back to the important thing at hand. I am a lover of hot stuff when it comes to food. I chose to eat a rather hot salsa, so when it comes to plunging my chip into the fiery liquid, I tend to dip conservatively. My assistant, being unable to ingest foods containing capsaicin, is of the opinion that a scoopful should be just that, a scoop that is full.

Coming to the conclusion that we would have to agree to disagree, Brenda and I crept back into a world full of hair curling, nasty mega-monsters, time snatchers and a dystopian landscape . . . but alas, no capsaicin.

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Rub-a-Dub Dub and Then Some

I live in the Mid-Atlantic States, Virginia to be exact. In 2018, we have been inundated with rain. During the month of May alone, we received a record 10.35 inches. I’ve written about flash floods, these torrents typically happening on distant worlds, but I never thought I’d be living this water-soaked saga.

The grass gets cut on a particular day, then with all the moisture falling from the sky, it’s needed again within a few days. Most of my vegetable plants are turning yellow, my driveway has gullies deep enough to lose a Volkswagen bug and I’m starting to develop what I refer to as small sink holes in my backyard.

I’ve whined enough concerning the negative aspects of an overabundance of rain. Please allow me to dwell on the positive side. The moist air does a great job of keeping the pollen down. My house has a bit more humidity to breathe which is an improvement over the normally arid climate. The water table is high; therefore, we stay well-hydrated, clean to the power of ten, and we have H2O to wash cars, power wash decks, houses, fill swimming pools and have water balloon fights. So all in all, I guess the deluge of water, evens itself out. Who knows, maybe we’ll start pressure washing each other.

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Jelly, Jam, Preserves, Marmalade . . . Palatable With Peanut Butter, Not So Much With Traffic

I can’t recall if I have an asphalt road in any of my novels. If they do exist, you can bet they are few and far between. I’m more of a woodsy kind of guy. If it’s not dirt, sand, stone, grass or any number of natural elements, including water; then, it more than likely doesn’t exist in my written world.

When I think about it, it’s probably a good thing. Who wants all the pollution, expense, aggravation and high blood pressure that goes along with a nicely paved road? . . .Well, evidently we do. There are approximately 263 million cars in the United States. I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked fellow motorists were rude and getting worse by the day.

Why do we have such a love affair with a mechanical beast that releases our aggressive nature, makes us late more often than not and ties us into knots with the appearance of a tiny scratch? Been in a traffic jam lately? You have to admit it’s a fun time. I can’t think of too many things I’d rather do, other than get mauled by a bear or set my head on fire. If you want to see a real traffic jam, then check out southern California most anytime of the day or night. That’ll get your blood flowing!

All in all, people like their rides. I’ve said this for years and still maintain this position. My favorite thing about an automobile is, “paid for!”

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Mosquitoes, Vacations, Heat Waves, Meat on the Grill, Tornadoes, Swimming…the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Summer Has it All!

I’m sure you already know summer’s back in town. It goes without saying, this particular season of heat comes around each year. I think what we all take for granted are the creature comforts that not so long ago was unavailable to the average homeowner. Air conditioning makes life bearable, especially for those who live in our southern cities from one end of the country to the other.

I can’t imagine writing on an ancient typewriter instead of the modern computer I’m able to use as I pen this blog.

Simple things like indoor plumbing allow us to take frequent showers so that others can stand to be around us. When I watch television and a show I have chosen is a western or something from an earlier time period, I often wonder about the odor in a room full of unbathed people dressed in wool clothing in the middle of the summer; not to mention the saloon girls engaging in their chosen profession. Kind of makes you shudder, doesn’t it?

The season we will officially embark upon June 21st is the summer solstice. It’s the time of year when kids are out of school, vacations begin, fresh vegetables grace our tables and grills throughout the neighborhood pummel our senses with enticing aromas.  All in all, summer is a wonderful time of year; just don’t forget to indulge in indoor water and a bar of Irish Spring.

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Burn Baby Burn!

I live in Virginia where our growing season runs from April to October. I’ve already enjoyed a bounty of spinach, kale, beets, onions and hot peppers. Soon my favorites will ripen, including tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, green peppers and melons of all types. I am telling you this because my passion as an author is equal to my passion for food.

One vegetable I am particularly partial to is the hot pepper. I’m not into the melt-your-face type such as the ghost or Carolina Reaper which edges out The Trinidad Scorpion as the hottest pepper in the world. I’m more suited for the Cayenne which I can happily munch away on while eating lunch or supper. I will admit that I want my eyes to water, my nose to run and my forehead to sweat whilst I’m masticating these capsaicin packed capsules.

In case you’re wondering why an individual will put themselves through such a painful experience just to ingest a small explosive vegetable, allow me to tell you as I understand it. When we eat the active ingredient in a hot pepper (capsaicin), it releases endorphins. This release gives us a sense of well-being. It’s one of those cases of “hurts so good.” So my suggestion to you would be start with a pepper low in Scoville units (which is the scale used to measure the heat in a pepper) such as a Jalapeno. Take a bite and enjoy the burn!

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