Category Archives: Journey of Tara

I’m still alive and kicking


I’m still alive and kicking.

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. At the moment I am retooling “The Set’la” and I will be working on it as much as possible.

Life likes to get in the way but I think I have to set aside at least an hour or two daily for writing. The first chapter of “The Set’la” is ready, now I am working on the rest of them.

Last month, the wife and I decided to finally attack our pool with a vengeance. The dreaded Japanese boxwood shrubs now look like Bonsai trees. This did require the use of a chainsaw and my wife constantly saying, “Be careful!” For some reason she had visions of me cutting off assorted limbs that were not attached to the bushes. I don’t really blame for this since I am one of the few people she knows that can trip walking on flat ground. But I still have all my appendages and have come to the conclusion that at 55 years – my body is not use to hard labor. That’s why I am a Security Guard. The next step on the pool is replacing the lines and pool liner. This is a very expensive project but it must be done. Once it is finished we will spend more time in it, and be able to enjoy it more.

As for the writing – I must admit that the last review I received on the “Set’la” has discouraged me a lot from writing much of anything. However I am throwing myself back into as much as I can, my other short stories are being but on hold at the moment as I discuss the future of the book with a beta reader I have found.

Journey of Tara is still doing well, so far I have sold 97 copies in a little over two years and in the back of my mind there is a sequel trying to come out.

So with that said, I must get back to the editing world as I clip away at my book. Don’t worry – no chain saw will be involved in this process.

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment.

Life in the fast lane?


MOVIE: We had two movies on our list to watch this weekend, Friday was Little Fockers. To be honest, I was playing Civilization V and didn’t even watch the movie. The wife said it was cute. I always loved Robert Di Niro when he plays tough serious guys, and the humor he does in those roles makes me laugh, but I thought the first one was stupid and I knew this one would probably be worse. I find it hard to believe they made three of these movies. I never could get the humor of Ben Stiller and I simply hated Zoolander. I know sometimes a silly stupid comedy is what you need. I suppose this is something I never really got into. I have always gone by the theory that if a movie doesn’t make me laugh in the first ten minutes I won’t like it. Maybe I should change that to thirty. I bought Civilization two nights before just so I would be ready.

LIFE: Saturday morning, as I was trying to conquer the world instead of writing, my mom called and said she wasn’t feeling good so I took her to the ER, alone. To make a long story even shorter than it needs to be, she was admitted and is currently having a large amount of tests done to figure out why. The thing about Medicare is that since she doesn’t have to pay for it the hospital insists that they run every test they can, she doesn’t pay for it but they get their money either way. And they wonder why Medicare is having financial problems. She has improved since she has been in. This isn’t the first time she had heart issues that the hospitals never seem to find anything when she goes in. I was there from 10 AM until 5 PM, and I needed to be. When I got home – the wife couldn’t come because she was playing taxi service – we settled down and watched another flick:

MOVIE: Unstoppable (2010) is the tale of a runaway train speeding through Pennsylvania. (This is based on the true story of engine 8888 from the CXS stables which ran away in May of 2001. It traveled from Walbridge, Ohio to a town about 55 miles north of Columbus reaching speeds of up to 47 MPH.) This had enough nail biting suspense I had to stop playing my game and actually watch it. Chris Pine and Denzel Washington star as the two heroic engineers, actually Washington was the Engineer and Pine was the Conductor. (Is that type casting from Star Trek?) They ended up stopping the train and saving a city from almost total destruction. Type casting again? This is a great movie with enough action and suspense to keep your heart racing and your toes tingling. Writers did take advantage of a few plot twists I am sure, like making it go faster and carrying more than just two cars of dangerous chemicals, not to mention a steep curve they had to negotiate. I’ll have to dig a little deeper to find out more and wonder if my favorite line in the movie was real dialogue:

“How’s Will (Pine)?” Connie asked when he made it back into the cab.

“He’s ahh…He’s different. Over” Frank (Washington) replied perfectly straight.

Guess you will have to watch it. I did find this new clip from the real incident:

And this trailer:

TELEVISON: Sunday was a little different too. This time the wife was gone all day and I was stuck at home. You would think I would get more writing done wouldn’t you? I watched my Star Trek marathon; I’m just now finishing up the second season since the kids have an issue with Sci-fi, as I continued conquering the world on Civilization V. I think I have three more nations to kill before I manage it.

WRITING: As I might have mentioned in a previous post, I signed up for the NaNoWriMo, the grueling month of November when the only thing I will be doing is writing. I have three plot lines in mind:

1)      A sequel to Journey of Tara where Dirk and Tara search for someone behind the killing of thousands of people.

2)      A Sci-Fi story that involves time travel and dimensional shifts.

3)      A Fantasy that sends a Prince on a journey to find the murderer of a King that leads him into a land of dark black magic (maybe – I think this has been done before.)

One thing I have been trying to do is type at least 1667 words per day, that is what you need for 50,000 a month, and I got close Friday on a small piece I was working on, 1250 words. Need to do better.

As a side note, I would like to thank everyone that downloaded my books last week – it was a record breaking week for me and that always makes me feel good, as do positive reviews. (Hint) {If there are any negative reviews please send them to me so I can add comments as needed and I will return them.

Just kidding…

Really…

It was a joke. }

Answer me this;

Are you signed up for NaNoWriMo? I’m looking forward to it myself, just need to do it!

Weekend movie torture


A little history lesson if you don’t mind. The Green Hornet arrived on the airwaves on January 31st, 1936. Britt Reid was a newspaper owner by day and the Green Hornet by night, a vigilante crime fighter. The radio series went on for about 10 to 12 years then the creators decided to make a couple of movie serial’s, One was The Green Hornet in 1940 and The Green Hornet Strikes Again in 1941. The original radio actor, Al Hodge did the voice over whenever the mask was on – dubbing the original voice of actor Gordon Jones in the first movie, the second movie stared Warren Hull, as to the voice of the Green Hornet – I am not sure if they used the same one or not. Keye Luke, the number one son of Charlie Chan in the movies and Master Po from the TV show Kung-fu, played Kato. He also played a part in Star Trek: TOS as Dr. Cory in the episode Whom Gods Destroy. Between 1966 and 1967 I got my first introduction to The Green Hornet through the TV series starring Van Williams as Britt Reid as the Green Hornet and Bruce Lee as Kato. It also starred an awesome car with a tone of gadgets called The Black Beauty. In the show The Green Hornet was labeled as highly intelligent, a master Detective that’s fights more with his brain then his brawn.

You may be wondering where this is going, well here it is. Over the weekend I had the unfortunate experience of watching Seth Rogan (?) as The Green Hornet and all I can say is “Boo!” This is the worst adaptation of a classic superhero movie I have ever seen. I understand the theory behind making it different, changing a few things that always crop up in super hero movies, but it didn’t work for me. Rogan wasn’t just the star (and I use that term loosely) he also wrote and produced it. The real star was the Black Beauty; the surprise was Jay Chou as Kato. Chou is a superstar in China – and from what I saw is very good at what he does over there. Hopefully this will not ruin his career.  My thought is, if you are going to make a super hero remake, get it right. If you are going to do a satire, rename it something like…The Green Bee. Enough said. I also refuse to put the trailer for that piece of junk in here, so we will stay with this:

Another movie we caught over the weekend was The Tourist.  We figured with Johnny Depp (I accidently told my wife his name was Johnny Deep and she thought it was a porn movie) and Angelina Jolie it couldn’t be too bad. The story is of spies, mistaken identities and deception, filmed against the beautiful back drop of Venice. It wasn’t horrible, I gave it three stars – but even with all the twists and turns I easily figured the ending out. A couple of times I thought I was wrong so it kept the suspense up anyway. It was a lot better than the other one.

We also tried to watch Michael Caine in Harry Brown. It was moving so slow we decided to stop it after a long 30 minutes.

As a reminder, you can get my books for free this week on Smashwords.

Journey of Tara is free with coupon code MZ72A until September 10th, 2011

The Set’la is free with coupon code ZR48R until September 10th, 2011 (This may need a little editing but I think it is still a great story.)

Next week it will be Little Fockers (Gee, who picks these any way) and Unstoppable.

Happy Birthday to me!


After a fabulous weekend that started off Friday walking around Kings Island, on the hottest day of the summer and riding roller coasters till my brain was scrambled, the wife and I took off yesterday and did absolutely nothing. (I didn’t even write or edit – I am bad.)

Yet I am trying, as a writer and an old man, 54 today, I tried to figure out the attraction of getting locked in a metal box and having your body strapped down into your seat so tightly you couldn’t breathe and then being shot down this winding course as fast as 80 mph. The first one we hit was the Diamondback. This ride starts off slowly, climbing a 215 foot hill. When you get to the top of the hill it is straight down. Well the web site says 75 degrees, my heart said straight down.  With twists and turns so abrupt I think my soul left my body a few times. One of the interesting things about this one, they actually have a camera somewhere along the track that takes your picture. Everyone of me is holding on for life screaming as loud as I can. We rode this one 3 times. When we first got there at noon I noticed this little guy around 50 wearing a t-shirt that said, “Diamondback rides 5,400 and counting.” We left at 7pm, our last ride on the Diamondback and he was still doing it.

The Firehawk was a fun one also, first you sit down and right before the ride takes off your seat is reclined so you are lying straight on your backs. Then it takes off, gaining speeds of up to 55 mph. At first I didn’t think this was too bad, until we were flipped over and staring at the ground as you flew by at least 10 feet above it. Makes you really think about your live as you see it flashing before your eyes.

The Vortex wasn’t as bad as it looks from the ground, with all the loops and corkscrews all you feel is the speed and if you keep your eyes glued to the back of the seat in front of you, the loops and other things are not even noticeable.

Fight Deck was cool, after a ten minute walk from the entrance to the ride itself which only lasted about one minute and thirty seconds; we were suspended over tree tops traveling at 55 mph. It had to be the smoothest ride I was on.

Flight of Fear was in inside ride, ahh…air conditioning! You feel like you are shot out of a canon and travel 0 to 54 mph in just four seconds. Twists turns and loops and corkscrews are less scary because all you see is darkness and a few flashes of light. Strobe lights and darkness and speed, can we say seizure?

Riding those convinced me that the reason we love rollercoasters so much is because we need the danger, the adrenaline of doing something that is life threatening. It’s all in the mind.

Between the hard core coasters we relaxed a little doing Adventure Express, Backlot Stunt Coaster and Boo Blasters On Boo Hill. They were all inside, little and air conditioned. Delirium and Invertigo were shut down. For a few seconds, we stood and watched as a couple took to the air in Slingshot. On the third bounce we looked at each other and said, “Nope.”

And of course we rode The Racer, it hasn’t changed much in 20 years except the seats got smaller.

Once I got my wife to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which was difficult because she is afraid of heights, and we took a few pictures. We even got our caricatures done by her daughter.

Brian

Tera

And she got me the coolest t-shirt, Airbrushed. I May wear this one out.

Add to this the shameless self-promotion I am doing to today, I hope this is going to be a good month.

From now until September 10, 2011 both of my books are free if you grab them from Smashwords.

Journey of Tara, which is normally 99 cents, is free with the coupon code MZ72A.

The Set’la, which is normally $2.99, is free with the coupon code ZR48R.

A word of warning, the Set’la needs a little editing and other fixes. I am trying to get my editor to read it, but she is stalling. I hope that isn’t a bad sign.

Everyone have a great week and a fantastic Labor day.

Cylon

March Madness and more


The door opens, creaking from rusted hinges and echoing through the empty blog. I stick my head out – waving shyly.

It’s been a few days since I made an appearance in here, but I will try to catch up.  

My books, Journey of Tara and The Set’la are now available on Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. (I did a search on Amazon for them, but couldn’t find them listed.) They are both in desperate need of reviews so please let me know how you like them. I have had very favorable comments on both of them so I am doing a March Madness sale.

Only on Smashwords until the 15th of March, you can get Journey of Tara {use coupon code HH39D} and The Set’la {use coupon code QT34P} for the low, low price of a click. That would be FREE! Yeah, I don’t care about making money, I just love to write. I just don’t do it as much as I should.

All I do ask is that you leave a review once you have a chance to read it.

Trying to desperately fall asleep to Criminal Minds, the repeats on A & E I thought of a sequel to Journey of Tara and I honestly thought of getting up, kicking my stepson off my computer, so I could start it. As I look back, I should have done just that – because I have since forgotten. The wife was sound asleep anyway and I didn’t want to wake her up by moving.

I think I’ll be spending the day in Azeroth trying to remember it.

I recently received a copy of King Solomons Journey by Sammy Sutton I am greatly enjoying it so far. Thanks Sammy.

Recently I finished The Yaakmen of Tyrie by Mark Paul Jacobs. I gave it five stars. Here is my review:

In the northern most continent of a strange alien world live a group of humans. As they battle to survive during a rough winter that only seems to be getting tougher as time goes on, they discover clues to their past, clues pointing southward into a strange new territory. Quintar is a high ranking Yaakrider, Yaaks are huge beasts that seem to form an affinity with their riders, is thrust into politics unwillingly and after a winter of fighting against terrifying snow beasts begins a journey southward through uncharted territory filled with magnificent wonders, treacherous dangers, snobbish warlords and new technology, all to discover a lost secret about their unknown past.

In The Yaakman of Tyrie Mark Paul Jacobs has invented a fresh new world and a culture with very believable characters, intriguing subplots and a mystery that will have you guessing till the end. I would recommend this book to you if you enjoy science fiction adventures on strange new worlds

That’s it for me today – maybe.

Question, do you think that is too many hyperlinks? I like doing those.

The Obsessions of a Compulsively Distracted Procrastinating Writer


I did some checking today, as I tried to think of some subject for today’s blog, and realized that I have a detective that no one has met yet; his name is Nathan Whiseman, an intelligent smart ass, a little hard around the edges, but still tries to remain loveable (still working on the particulars to that.) His first name is my unofficial middle name. My wife handed that to me because I didn’t have a one and she needed something to say when she got pissed off at me. “Brian” just wasn’t enough, now it’s “BRIAN NATHAN!”

Whenever I get a thought for a case, I quickly go with the idea and run with it, not knowing where I will end up and scattering my thoughts all over both computers and the database of my phone.
So now I have seven short stories, including one possible novel length story, all starring my detective. None of them are finished.

(Oh, a bunny!)

I admit, my writing habits are bad, WoW keeps interfering, but since they shut the beta down – I may be working on one or two of those until December 7th.

Sometimes, the writing does come easy to me, flowing from my thoughts to the lined paper, (now a virtual keyboard on my phone that my fat fingers slide across, misspelling everything. My OCD hates that.) Getting the thoughts straight and un-jumbled from everything else is a hard part.

I have one mild problem with misspellings, CDO: Compulsive Disorder of Obsessions. (The way OCD should be classified, in order!) I get into the story so much, but if I see one little mistake or catch that little wavy line Microsoft word thinks is the way it should be spelled, I have to fix it. I have tried to ignore it, but it doesn’t work too well when you still have to look at the keys when you type. I will look up after a five minute run of typing and see them all over the page. (I know – I can turn that off – but I still see them.) Another –

(Look, a bunny!)

Little distraction: the dogs barking at all the squirrels that are making stupid squirrel decisions like, running through the dog yard, an area that smells of at least seven dogs. Facebook, Twitter, my sister texting me to ask me about WoW, the kids watching shows on TV-just a little too loud, That goes for their music too. Oh, another one that gets me, listening to the kids play their video games and yelling at the people they are playing with. This is fine when you have a microphone and they can actually hear you – but it makes no sense to do this if they can’t hear you!
And my wife – (but she is a good distraction.)

Also – I know I am a procrastinator. (After I finish this blog entry I will look that up – maybe)

This procrastination flows not only into my writing, but everything else in life. It is a problem when it does that, but I am not saying that you have to force yourself to sit down and pound a key board until your words make since, but you do have to try. That is all it takes.

I’m also working on another Sci-fi story that I completed and which was previously posted somewhere else about three years ago. A little reworking is all it will take, just have to do it. I also have to wait for my artist to make the cover – she is my Step Daughter and did the cover to Journey of Tara (Found here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/28896 ) I had to wait a while for that to – but I suppose it runs in the family.

Include all this into the fact that I am constantly Twittering and on Facebook as I spend my days at work in a box – I just have to do it.

What is it they say; knowing you have the problem is the first step in fixing it. Now is the time for fixing!

Step 1) Sit down for one or two hours a day, or more – (quiet helps) and work on one story.
Step 2) Turn off Twitter and Facebook notifications on my phone when I get home.

I’m sure I’ll think of some more later, when I get around to it.