Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On location

It's brutal. The coldest winter in these parts in decades. Snow is falling; the temperatures are sub-zero for days with wind chills that rival times in Antarctica.

Well, that's what the news channels are telling us. We hear it every day this time of year. Don't leave your pets out. If you're cold, they are cold. Bring you pets inside. Do you have a neighbor? An older neighbor? Go check on them. Make sure they are warm and have food. Bundle up, you could suffer from frostbite within minutes. Keep your skin covered.

Don't go outside if you absolutely don't have too. If that's the case, why the hell do all the local news programs then send their reporters OUTSIDE to stand in the bone-chilling weather to tell us its too cold to go OUTSIDE in the bone-chilling weather? And, it's not just for weather related news. The other night on the eleven o'clock news, one reporter was doing a live remote in front of the courthouse about a story related to a criminal trial. Why? No one was there. It was 11PM. There wasn't a single light on in the building. Why the hell are you standing out in the cold in the middle of the night in front of a dark courthouse?

I know it's cold outside, I just don't need someone out in -10 temps hammering a nail into the ice with a frozen banana. Yes, they actually showed that. If you think the world is in such a bad shape, and we will never recover from all the turmoil the world throws at us, then they should be able to fill the five, two-hour news programs on every channel, every day with something more than frozen banana hammers.

I think it's time we send the news programmers out in the cold with a toga and a banana. Maybe they'll find something more important to show us the next time.

And that's the way it is...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cause I'm still a kid

I had one of my associates at work the other day ask me why I write fantasy. It was a good question. Most there know of my 'outside activities', and are often suffering for it as I regale them with plots and the occasional, 'hey, I just wrote another book', sort of thing. I had to think about it for a second, but not long.

My reading has generally always involved some sort of fantasy. Peter and the Rocket Ship is the first book I read as a child. I followed that with other books in the series, though I don't remember the names. One was likely Peter and the Balloon, about riding in a hot air balloon. I also had a series of books on the space program, mostly about the Gemini rockets.

After college, because I didn't read much of anything other than what was required in those years, I turned back into the realms of fantasy with Lord of the Rings. Those books were followed by the then, up and comer, okay, this'll date me a bit, Tom Clancy. His books involved action and war, Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising. It was the 'Cold War' back then and the nightly news often involved US vs USSR stories. As the USSR fell, the next works were good, but didn't hold my interests like the first ones. That's when I started looking for something else.

That something else led me back to the worlds of fantasy fiction by such authors as Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind and David Eddings. Those were the works that brought be back into the worlds of fantasy and magic, dragons and wizards. They are the authors that convinced me to pick up a pen, okay, a computer, and begin this writing journey.

And yes, it is a journey. Although I've not sold a tremendous amount of books, I know what I do every day is an investment of time in what will come. Fantasy is a spark, a spark in the imagination of the reader. And I write fantasy, because, even at '55' (for a few more months), I'm still a little boy at heart, following an adventure.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Only what you see?

People are complex. We all run the gammet of emotions from time to time. We find ourselves in situations that often, cause a spike, so to speak. I watched one of those spikes on Sunday, after the NFC title game, and I made a judgement.

I made a snap decision on Richard Sherman, cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. Now, I follow football, college more than the NFL, but I usually know the participants. Seattle is not a team I am all that familiar with. I watched his post-game interview and the first thought that popped into my head was, what a jackass, completely classless. Gosh, I wouldn't be that way if that were me. Unfortunately, that is the way many of us see pro athletes these days. We see a short clip of them coming off the field after they have just expended tremendous energy; they're pumped and primed and still ready for a fight, while we sit back in our soft chairs and couches without massive amounts of adrenaline pumping through our systems. Gee, I wonder why we think they're idiots?

I have come to find out that, although I believe Mr. Sherman is on some level, a self-promoting, I'm a superstar kinda guy, he is also much more than that. He is currently seeking his masters at Standford University. That deserves a great deal of respect. I couldn't even GET into Stanford even if I bribed someone. I also watched him in a brief clip later that same day in the post-game press conference. He wore a huge, gregarious smile and apologized to the reporter, Erin Andrews for his actions.

I respect that. He didn't have to do that at all. I suppose, if he was 'on my team', he would be one of those guys you laugh with and laugh at, all in good fun. We all get emotional after big events. I know I can as well, I just don't have someone sticking a microphone in my face. Perhaps, that's what makes all the difference.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Kiss - an anthology

Years ago when I began working toward becoming an author, I could just imagine the feeling of what it would be like to publish a book. I thought it would be thrilling. And I was right. There is nothing like seeing your own book out there for people to read. You know what else is thrilling? Telling people about it.

After writing for twenty-five years and having my name attached to eight books, I know it is still exciting to see a new book published. Today, a group of 31 very talented authors have again published an anthology, and I count myself lucky to be among them. Look for my own story, A Kiss Through Time.



noun, plural an·thol·o·gi1.

1. a book or other collection of selected writings by various authors, usually in the same literary form, of the same period, or on the same subject: an anthology of Elizabethan drama; an anthology of modern philosophy.



 In this work you will find some of the  best writing you will have read in the past year. But, don't let the title fool you! This isn't just a mish-mash of romantic tales that just the women will read.

A kiss is a simple communication. It can also be an exchange, a betrayal, an assault, a promise, a hope...or it could be a goodbye. The intimacy of a kiss cannot be denied. Whether shared, stolen or simply dreamed of, its recipient will be affected. Thirty-one stories by authors from around the world will tease your imagination as you anticipate ‘The Kiss’ in each weird or wonderful tale.

Special thanks to C.A. Newsome for her diligence in collecting the works, and her patience in putting up with the other thirty of us, and to Elizabeth Mackey for a simply dynamite cover design.

Click the Smashwords link and you'll be there. And one other thing...it's FREE!
Also available at Amazon.com.  http://tinyurl.com/mtkwhkw

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Snow index

It's winter! Guess what that means. It will snow. Really? Uhm, I think so. We are a northern city, after all. Ya know what else? What? It'll get cold. Really? Yea. We do live in a northern city, ya know.

After fifty plus years it still astounds me how incredibly stupid people can be when it comes to weather. How in the world can a northern city come to a complete standstill, the populace panic, every school within earshot close completely down, all over snowfall that isn't deeper than my index finger?

Years ago it wasn't so bad. In eight years of high school and college, I can remember schools closing three times. Three. Did you hear me? Three. Schools now close three times a month during winter. I wish someone would explain that to me. I understand more children are bused to school, but can't the rest of the school carry on? Guess what happens when they call off school? Everyone goes to stores and kids go outside to play. Can't go to school though. Someone might die. One reason schools cost so much is too many kids are bused to school, neighborhood schools; neighborhood schools where kids should be walking to school. Can't have that though, can we? It might make them tired, weak, shunned by others...the list goes on. Bull-hockey!

The news doesn't help much. The other night the weathercaster said 'brutally cold temps'...it would hit 23 degrees. Ooooo, that's nippy, but you know what? It's not brutally cold. Single digits for several days or below zero is brutally cold, not nine degrees below freezing. We get to see weather five times in a 30 minute newscast. Years ago, we saw it once. Weathermen create a panic. It's really all their fault. We don't have natural disasters much in Ohio; need something to rival the death-toll from tornadoes in the plains states to keep our jobs relevant.

Why are people cold? Because they don't dress for winter. They essentially wear the same clothes they wear in summer, put on a coat and wonder why they're cold. Winter means layers, gloves, thermal underwear, hats, boots and all the rest. Don't dress for June and complain to me you're cold. That just tells me you have the IQ of a chicken.

It's winter; three inches of snow is an inconvenience, not a death sentence. Deal with it.