Tag Archives: writing

Whether Here or Weather There Weather’s Whether Everywhere

I’ve lived my entire life in the state of Virginia which in and of itself gives me amble fodder for the novels I write. Thankfully, we are blessed with weather that leans normally toward the tranquil side. Now, that’s not to say we don’t receive a portion of the bad stuff.

We live about ninety miles from the east coast, and from time to time, will have a hurricane pay a visit. These visits (although nice to be considered by the blow hard system) can be harrowing to say the least. What makes these rotating monsters so nice to encounter are the lovely names they are labeled with once they reach Tropical Storm status.

Another unwelcome phenomenon which usually stops by to say, “Hello,” in the spring and summer is our old friend, “the Tornado.” These twisters can wreak havoc in a short amount of time and over a surprisingly large area.

Our other friend visited this past weekend as a sky full of white fluffy stuff that made its way to the ground. Kids love this icy weather for it means no school. I’ll have to admit, it is pretty but I prefer the type of storm where the temperature rises and the roads are clear by the afternoon.

Let us not forget that each form of weather has its good and bad. Seldom, but frequently enough for me, are the winter storms that drop eighteen (and in some isolated areas) up to thirty inches.

I guess you could wrap up the atmospheric conditions in our area by saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait twenty minutes and it’ll change.”

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Be Careful What You Wish For Because You Just Never Know

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’d like to live back in the days of the old west?” In my younger years, I’ll have to admit it seemed like a desirable experience; however, when I give that notion more consideration, it tends to take a different route.

First, I’d have to weigh the romanticized version of the west we see on television, against common sense.

It would be pretty cool to carry a gun strapped to my side, a rifle in my saddle holster and saddle bags full of everything from necessities to gold.

During cold weather, I’d wear a long black oil skin coat. Of course, I would never be caught without my leather chaps, cowboy boots and Stetson hat (or something equivalent).

My horse would be my best friend, and I would ride the range, sleeping under the stars, and cooking what I shot for dinner over an honest to goodness fire I made with my own two hands.

Occasionally, I would venture into town for a few shots of the ore red-eye and maybe some female companionship.

Then, I shift my thoughts to instances as simple as a toothache. What would be a painless procedure in this day and time, one hundred fifty years ago, would require and overabundance of whiskey and several men to hold the patient down while the barber/dentist removed the offending enamel object.

If I were not to mention sanitation, rotten meat, simple wounds becoming infected and the deadly diseases that are easily curable today, I would be remiss not to declare the lack of hygiene that getting close to anyone, (especially intimately) would likely result in bringing about a puke fest.

As an author, I cannot imagine performing edits and rewrites on an archaic typewriter. My latest novel includes time travel, boy am I glad it’s just Science Fiction!

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The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same . . . I Think

As a child, I remember Christmas was my favorite time of year. Weeks before December 25th were filled with the hustle and bustle that Christmas ultimately brings. I loved being in the middle of the crowds when shopping, sitting on Santa’s knee, gazing in wonder at decorations all over the city and setting up the Christmas tree at home.

It truly was, as the song goes, “The most magical time of the year.” Christmas Eve was spent at my paternal grandparents, then it was home for a long night. Getting ready for bed was the most difficult time. Once my sister and I finally fell asleep, there was no guarantee we would stay asleep. Usually we were up around 5:30 then had to wait for my maternal grandparents who lived next door.

After an assault on the pile of gifts, it was next door to my grandparents for a breakfast of eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, a meal fit for a king. This was followed by another round of gifts, then a long wait for Christmas dinner. Once the dinner bell rang, it was Thanksgiving all over again.

Of course, Christmas has changed quite a bit since those days. It’s still centered around family. Some have gone to be with our eternal Father while the family has grown with an influx of children and grandchildren.

I guess the largest changes have come in the form of a brown UPS truck filling in for Santa and the largest shopping store resides somewhere in the jungle; it’s called Amazon.

Merry Christmas and may God Bless!

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Do Chipmunks Scheme About Hassling Hounds?

Anthropomorphism (giving human characteristics to an animal) was probably solidified in this day and age by Walt Disney. That’s just my opinion, but given that and $3.00, you could come away with a decent cup of coffee.

I find myself guilty of this many times over. Not just people talk in my novels, but the majority of creatures with a heartbeat tend to spew out conversational pieces better than most Americans. Of course, American English being what it is, speaking it in some form is not a difficult feat.

The all-time voice of voices was Mel Blanc. Able to stream the dialogue from every character in a single cartoon, including Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird and everyone in between, was absolutely amazing.

Fortunately, as I write I am able to see and hear my characters as I create them. Even the ambient noise comes to life as I pen each novel. I am so appreciative to God for giving me the ability to place my imagination on paper. Now it’s up to me not to blow it!

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So Many Snowballs and So Little Time

I live in a part of the country where we normally get snow each year, but the amount rarely exceeds 6 inches at a time. This week we have experienced one of those unusual occurrences. Some parts of the state (Virginia) received as much as twenty inches.

I’m not much for playing in the snow, but have several grandchildren that it is right up their alley. One in particular, when he sees snow, he runs through the house screaming, “It’s snowballing! It’s snowballing!”

I remember being his age and waking to an overnight snowfall. The first revelation was a day out of school. Then, there were snowball fights, sleigh rides, snow men and anything else you could think of to do in the frozen slush.

Nowadays, I set back in my mahogany covered library, surrounded by books and write novel after novel, occasionally gazing through a picture window at the beautiful snowfall outside. . . . if the truth be known I sit in my bedroom with my computer, monitor and a flat screen mounted on the wall. There are also 4 three-way Kenwood speakers mounted on the wall so I can lose myself in some loud rock n roll – preferably the power trio, RUSH. Believe me when I say, I can rattle the walls on our sizable abode. Keeps me on my toes when I’m not making snow angels.

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It’s That Time of Year . . . Enjoy!

Have you ever seen Christmas decorations? Consider that a rhetorical question, because of course you have.

Have you ever seen the movie, Christmas Vacation? That question is a little more problematic because you may have, and for the sake of this blog, we will assume so.

Imagine taking the premise of the movie, moving it inside, then replacing the lights with other Christmas paraphernalia. So many in fact, you couldn’t swing a dead mouse without hitting one of many Christmas decorations. This I will proudly say is my house.

I owe this holiday hoedown to my lovely wife. She labors from Thanksgiving until done, starting each day as early as possible and working late into the night. To the amazement of all, especially the grandchildren, this labor of love is completed long before Christmas to be enjoyed by all. My wife also manages to do quite a bit with lights, garland, Christmas trees, deer and an elaborate Nativity scene, all elegantly arranged on the outside of the house and throughout the yard. She loves Christmas and best of all, we share a bond of closeness that is centered around God. Let me sign off by saying, “Have a very Merry Christmas and may God bless you in the upcoming New Year!”

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Word Usage . . . Sometimes I Think It Would Just be Better to Grunt

In the world of writing, there are many different phrases used to define grammatical errors, such as, an inappropriate verb tense, a misplaced modifier or forbid there ever be — a dangling participle.

You also have a group of words that make me wonder how was anyone allowed to get by with this travesty. What I am talking about are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. In some cases, they sound the same (homonyms) and in others, they’re spelled the same (homographs). Cases in point, minute or minute; lead or lead; to, too, or two . . . you get the point.

Then, there are three words – analogy, simile, and metaphor – that tend to puzzle me. All are akin to one another, with two (simile and metaphor) being nearly identical.

It had to be the same maniacal being who ran amuck creating homonyms that was allowed to bring these three dastardly words into being.

With these and all else I have been griping about today, it gives me a way to fill up space on my blog while venting about things that really don’t bother me, but gives me fodder for my blog.

I think I’ve already said that.

Ahh, more fodder.

All in a day’s work.

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