Saturday, December 28, 2013

Just finished 'Prince of the City: The Cats Whiskers' by Mackenzie Brown!

'Prince of the City: The Cat's Whiskers' is a wonderful return to a genre I love; the hard nosed, struggling detective, pitched knee deep into a dangerous, sticky mess of intrigue.

'The Cat's Whiskers' is the first installment of a story that centers around war torn Liverpool in the early 40's. Vic Prince's flat feet and asthma prevented him from enlisting to serve his country but there is plenty of menacing peril along the Mersey and Vic seems to draw it in like flies to honey.

Vic is a wise cracking gumshoe; a black man struggling with the prejudices of the time to make a living for himself and his lovely Chinese girlfriend.

A seemingly innocuous case to find a missing cat for a wealthy client quickly turns into something much more complicated. Soon he's wrapped up in the black market, Russian spies and beautiful but dangerous women. What's not to enjoy!

I love books like this and Mr. Brown has hooked me good. I can't wait for the next installment!

'Prince of the City: The Cat's Wiskers'

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

No matter who you are; friend, family, twittermate, bloggermate, new blog reader, what ever; I wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful start to the new year. I hope you spent the last year enjoying life as much as possible.

My prayer and hope for all is that you make time for friends, family and those around you.

Be happy.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Time to rest and recharge???

It's that time of year.

I can feel the Universe winding slowly down, it's taut spring finally relaxing, all that frenetic energy spent at last. The knots in my shoulder are starting to melt back into muscle.

That's just the way I am. I go full steam ahead all year. I don't pace myself like I should (and like I advise others to do, so sue me ;-). I can't. If it needs to be done, I want to do it and get it done NOW. That goes for writing, fixing the faucet, writing, getting the oil changed, writing, ... well, you get it.

But about this time, every year, I feel the steam pressure dropping at last. I stop obsessing about everything. The fog of war starts to clear and I can see the stars again. I realize I don't have to meet some self imposed deadline for anything.

It can all just wait till next year.

I hope you get a chance to stop and smell the rum balls, taste the fudge and enjoy a cup of eggnog.

Life is precious, my friends, so very precious. Stop for awhile and soak it in. Let the season enrich you. Listen to the sound of children laughing. Watch your favorite Christmas movie with the lights out and mug of hot chocolate. Call your family and tell them how much you love them and miss them.


The world can spin for awhile without us.

Furl the sails and drop anchor, Arlo, we're heading for the nearest tavern for a round of grog and song.

God bless you all.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Brrrrr what the heck???

OK, just a quick 'what the heck' is going on here in North Texas.... or should I say the frozen North! ;-)

Just for the record, Texas does get snow and ice occasionally. It's not all dust storms and tumbleweeds here, no matter what you read. And it does get cold. Not Idaho cold, or New England bitter cold but, you know, chilly.

But this is insane! I haven't been this cold since I moved down from Boulder, Colorado, ten years ago! It's been a frozen landscape since Thursday! Incredible.

On the positive side, I've been writing and reading and really enjoying the fireplace. I'm keeping a cup of hot cider or coffee on the table while I enjoy 'Inferno'. What a wonderful ride through Venice history, full visuals, excitement and great twists.

I hope you are snug, warm and cranking away on your current story.

Be cool, er, warm!

Monday, December 2, 2013

What are YOU planning next???

You've just finished that novel or short story or poem and you're sitting back with a silly smile on your face.

It was a bitc., I mean a bugger, but you did it. Great concept; great plot arc; great dialog; wonderful end game. Wow, what could be better than resting after finally putting the last polish on it and releasing it?

How about this. Pick up your pen, grab a cup of tea or coffee and go to your daydreaming place. Sit your sorry butt down in your thinking chair and outline 3 books.

Don't stop until each one has a strong beginning, a couple of arcs and a solid finale. Throw in as much or as little dialog as you like. If the characters aren't talking to you, don't worry, maybe they'll join the party later.

I don't care if ANY of these stories are worth a pig's ear. Just write them. Let your imagination go, don't hold back anything. Just finish each one. Today. Nobody is going to see them right now.

It's your chance to play, to experiment, to be silly or grim or adventurous or mysterious or poetic.


There's no pressure. No deadlines. No preconceived plot or story concept. No time to second guess yourself. You're free to sling words at will (look out Will!) and have some fun.

I keep these little outlines in a folder for future reference. A couple have become decent ideas for books. Most are just a chance to explore my imagination and HAVE FUN!

Let me know if you do anything like this when you're writing, my readers and would love to know!

Keep writing!