Sunday, January 10, 2021

2021 Starts off Rocky but...

This is a writer's blog so I'll forego talking about 6 Jan. I've tweeted while angry before and regretted my tone and words so I won't fall into that trap here. My prayers go out to the family of Officer Sicknick. And all who lost their lives senselessly.

I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are doing well in the ongoing Covid pandemic. Don't forget to check on every neighbor in your area. Just leave a note if you don't know them. Deb and baked some pumpkin bread and went door to door. Even a little thing like this makes a big difference in people's lives. 

Writing has been slow. I'm waiting for the final edit of 'Arlo and Jake' book 5 before booting it out the door. Hopefully 'soon'. ;-)

I've been looking through my 'next' list for some inspiration. I don't know. Short story(ies) to Magazines? A different kind of novel, ie: not SciFi?

I need to update and clean up this blog too. I've left things pretty stagnant. Like everyone else it's sometimes hard to muster up any enthusiasm. 

On a positive note, I see the light at the end of the tunnel on Covid with the vaccines out. I'm disappointed that the rollout has been so poor, given the months of preparation time they've had. There is blame to go around, but blame won't get it fixed.

Stay safe. Wear your mask, Social distance, Wash your hands often. We WILL get back to normal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veterans, I salute you!

 Thank you, Veterans, thank you!

There is no way to express how much your country loves you and appreciates you.

As a veteran of the Vietnam era, I know how much it matters when someone says 'Thank you for your service.' It's a small gesture, but it means a lot just to hear it.

This is one of the subs I served on in the 70s. I extend to all my shipmates from this boat and the entire Navy my sincere thanks for serving.

A proud and thankful country thanks you!

November is AWESOME!!!

 (Sorry for the blog changes/problems. Not sure what I did, but hopefully this theme will allow you to use the links properly.)

It's hard to believe, but November might actually be the best month of 2020!!!

The Election is finally over. I'm so looking forward to a lowering of the political temperature and a chance to return to 'normality'. Normal for me would be the ability to talk to my Pinochle club buddies about politics without our feelings getting out of hand. My club has Dems, Republicans and a couple of pure Libs. We almost never agree about political things, BUT we also didn't shout at each other and break out our canes to pummel each other. ;-) 

I want that back. I love these guys and we need each other. 

I fully admit that at times I let my emotions get the better of my judgement. I truly regret hurting anyone's feelings.

I pledge to do my part to compromise and see the other side and to keep my mouth shut at the appropriate times... ;-)

The pandemic may finally have some light at the end of the tunnel!!! Several possible vaccines are in final testing as are some therapeutics! This is absolutely amazing! I'm so happy for all us... I'm doing a little happy dance right now... (you don't want to see it ;-))

Until it's proven and available PLEASE continue to protect each other by wearing the mask, social distancing, washing your hands and checking on your neighbors.

The end of this world wide nightmare could be over SOON. 

DON'T let up now!



See what mankind can do when the whole World puts it's energy behind a problem??

Let's NOT let this stop with Covid. 

Let's identify and tackle the next world wide problem. Let's put ALL our minds, our will and our resources towards first steps to fix it!!

And then the next. And then the next. Rinse and repeat.

America's place in the World may soon start to heal. We are NOT an isolationist nation. We need other countries as much as they need us. We're NEIGHBORS. We need to get back into the role of leading and helping not ignoring and antagonizing.


Personally I'm doing well with my writing. I've finished book 5 of the 'Arlo and Jake' SciFi series! Editing is in progress and I'm creating a book cover. Hopefully I'll be able to publish it before Christmas. 

The patio has been a great place to write and think. The mild weather this month allows me to sit in my chair for as long as I want, my cup of coffee and snacks to sustain me. There are days when I'm out there for 4 or 5 hours, writing and creating outlines for new stories.

The roses were amazing this year. We have a long way to go to get the plants spread out and blossoming as much as possible, but we'll get there. They have wilted after the first cold spell here, but I know they'll be back next spring.

As soon as 'Arlo and Jake: Special Intel' is out the door I'm going to concentrate on several short stories I hope to sell to a SciFi/Fantasy magazine like Analog or Asimov's. I have some great ideas percolating on the burner. With any luck I can publish in a magazine and get some more exposure for all my writing.

Stay safe. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.

Be happy, my friends.

Friday, October 9, 2020

October 2020! Wow....

The weather for writing out on the patio has been wonderful lately!

A cool breeze floats in from the E/SE, into my backyard and then into my covered patio. I take a cup of matcha tea, some toast and my laptop out there, spending the morning talking to my characters. 

It's pretty quiet and calming. Sometimes my snoring is the only sound you'll hear. ;-)

During this great weather I've been able to 'finish' Book 5 of my 'Arlo and Jake' SciFi series! Finish is in quotes because I'm now in edit/modify/reedit mode which can take a while. With any luck I'll be able to wrap it up next week.

Then I have to make a book cover picture, upload everything and get it validated for publishing on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. No rest for the writer...

Next I think I'm going to write a few short stories for magazines. I want to get published in Asimov or Analog or one of the other SciFi/Fantasy mags. I have several stories I've put on the back burner while I try to finish book 5. I'll pick 2 of the best stories and finish them.

Here's one of my favorite memes. So funny because it is so true!!

A little humor for my friends who truly do not understand what being a 'submariner' means... ;-)

If you haven't checked out my books, take a look around the blog. You'll find a tab for each current book. There is a blurb about the book and a link to Amazon and Barnes and Noble to pick it up. Thank you for your support!!

Stay safe everyone and keep reading!!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

September has started off much cooler!

 August zipped by like a shot! It was so hot most days I couldn't have lasted outside for long even if Covid wasn't forcing me to stay inside! 

We usually take a 1 mile walk in the mornings so we've missed that chance to get the blood flowing and get some fresh air. But in this heat it's not worth it. Walking around the block in the heat and humidity would have done us in for the whole day! ;-)

The recent rain storms rumbling through our area of North Texas have been so wonderful! I've taken a few pictures and movies to post to show my friends out of state that Texas actually does have that 'water from the sky' stuff occasionally.

I came across this image somewhere and it brought back so many memories from my childhood in Levelland, Texas, a tiny town 30 miles west of Lubbock. Brought memories of run around all summer long in 105 degree weather.

Hot, dusty, hot, eye-burning, hot and did I say 'hot'!? We looked like coffee beans by the time summer was over. Tasting the cold well-water coming straight from the hose seemed sweet as honey. After a deep gulp we would drench each other with spray fights. I can feel the goose-bumps rising even now.

Then it was off to build corn-stalk forts in the field between our house and the house of my only childhood friend, Brett. We lived about a mile outside of town in a line of house on the east side of the highway. The tiny field between our houses was always used by Brett's Dad to grow a little summer corn. After the corn was stripped the stalks were left standing. Brett and I would find a patch where we could cut out walls and a roof and spend weeks playing games.

We had pop-guns with those curled up strips of tiny powder dots that would explode as you pulled the trigger. I had a Roy Rogers two gun and holster set! God, I wish I had kept that toy. You might notice that I did not turn out to be a gun-toting maniac. ;-)

One good thing in this isolation is I have plenty of time for writing. I've almost finished book 5 of my SciFi series 'Arlo and Jake' and have written several short stories. Looking forward to hopping on several magazine stories and more short stories to publish.

Have a great week and stay safe!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Is it August already???

I CANNOT believe it's the middle of Summer! Where the heck did June and July go?

I think the Pandemic has triggered a TWC, a Time Warp Conundrum, causing my sense of time and space to fracture and sizzle like an egg dropped on a hot Texas sidewalk!

I've been doing a lot of writing on the latest book in my 'Arlo and Jake' SciFi series and mulling over other stories that are waiting in the wings. It seems that the closer I get to finishing this story the more 'cool' ideas pop up and try to tear me away. It's like having a room full of puppies yipping around my ankles while I try to walk my dog.

One of the things I've been doing is collecting pix online related to my US Navy experiences. Some people remember their time in college doing crazy stuff and wondering how they survived. I served on nuclear subs in the 70s so I remember doing crazy stuff and wondering how I survived. ;-)

Here's a cool pix that gives me 'fond' memories. Before an extended run we would load as much food and coffee as possible. The Navy runs on coffee, trust me. What you see here is one of the crew's quarters lined with food/coffee cans on the deck. As the stuff was consumed we finally got to see/walk on the actual deck! ;-)

Those curtains hide our 'racks', our beds. Under the thin mattress is a 'bed pan' about 12 inched deep. That's where you store all your clothes, personal items and gedunks you bring with you. Gedunks are things like beef jerky, chocolate and for some guys cigarettes. The racks are stacked 3, 4 and in some places 5 high. Chiefs and Officers have their own areas that are not quite so cramped. 

I've also been collecting pix from the early 60/70s, including my high school years in Boulder, Colorado.

This is a shot of 28th street in Boulder around 1968, looking south. The Volvo is turning in off Walnut Street I think.

The Texaco on the east (left in the pix) side is my father's station, where I worked during High School at the old Fairview HS on Cherryvale Road.

On the west side is a King's restaurant. Great place! You sat down in a booth that had a little music juke box and a telephone on the wall. You 'phoned' in your order. You plopped a quarter into the juke and listen to some music until they called you back to pick up your order at the counter in the back. Grub-Hub before there was Grub-Hub!!

This is what a coke machine looked like in the 50/60s, except that the first one I remember at my Dad's station cost 5 cents not 10 cents. Everyone was appalled when the price of a coke went up to 25 cents! Outrageous! ;-)

You dropped in your coin and pushed down on the handle. That rotated the big vertical drum inside and lined up one of the bottles so you could pull it out. 

Best tasting Cokes on the planet. Really cold and of course the original recipe made your throat burn as it went down. On a hot Texas Panhandle day it was liquid heaven!

Stay safe and wear the mask, friends. 

When the pandemic is over we can a huge party to celebrate!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Writing in isolation

I'm fortunate to have a 'man cave' den in my house, where I can read, write and just think. This desk is over 25 years old, something I bought in Longmont, CO WAY back when I was just starting to play round with writing.

I can close the door to my den, tell Alexa to play some smooth jazz and lose myself in my writing. Or lean back in my chair and get lost in Naval History books (just finished Samuel Eliot Morison's 'The Two Ocean war'), sipping a tumbler of bourbon and snacking on some cookies.

You can't tell from the picture, but I also collect SciFi and Fantasy Art books like the 'Spectrum' series. Some days I just scan through the amazing artwork and let my imagination take a trip. I get ideas from stories sometimes as I lose myself in the images.

I AM a lucky Dude and I know it. But it wasn't always like this. I've 'worked' on software projects, hardware projects, balsa models and writing inside spare closets, on the couch and the kitchen table. It doesn't really matter, as I'm sure my fellow writers know. Once you dive into a story the world seems to reconfigure around you, your characters and environment swirl around you, blocking out the real world.

I've found my writing has blossomed in this imposed isolation. I put my head down in the story line and then hours later look up, amazed at how fast time has flow. With fewer commitments there is more time to play with my heroes and villains.

I hope you've had good luck with your writing as well. I'm looking forward to hearing from my current writing friends and some new authors.

Keep writing!

2021 Starts off Rocky but...

This is a writer's blog so I'll forego talking about 6 Jan. I've tweeted while angry before and regretted my tone and words so I...