Category Archives: The Set’la

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.

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General Update


I’ve been very bad lately; as far as writing goes I haven’t done anything except a little reading.  If you follow me on Goodreads you may notice I am trudging my way through Tarnsman of Gor, only because I was curious about it—but I know I won’t read the whole series.  I took a break from it for a while and started reading one of the books on writing I got for Christmas, Stephen King’s On Writing, which I am finding to be an enjoyable and thought provoking read.

With all this and dealing with my addictive personality—yes, I found another game to torture my senses with, I thought I would get a little editing done on The Set’la—but family stuff has cropped up a little lately, like all things I will sit back and deal with it.

Of course when I think I have a grasp on the situation and realize I need to write more I arrive at another setback. I sat down at my laptop Saturday morning and powered it up, since my desktop has been over heating I have been using it more than normal, and it powered up just fine—the screen didn’t come on which has happened a couple of times  and always came back with a restart. Not his time. Hooking up a spare monitor I had lying around my desk I started I it up again, still searching the internet for clues as to what the frak was wrong with my very expensive gaming laptop.

When I called Dell they told me the one thing I did know; “Your warrantee has expired and we will have to charge you for the technical help. But you can always pay $500.00 dollars to update your warranty for a year.” Another check mark on my theory that all computers are meant to break down soon after the warranty expires, and when you sign up for the extended version they transmit a signal that kills the little virus and the computer goes back to normal. I decided I didn’t want to play this game and hung up after filling their ears with maniacal laughter.

I few more internet searches on why my laptop was suddenly possessed and then I gave up for a while. An hour later, approaching it carefully I turned it on. The drive kicked in, the lights on the keyboard came up, then flashed, and then did it again for about five minutes. Presently the laptop from hell is sitting at Microcenter where they will look at it eventually.  Unfortunately everything I was working on is on that laptop—hopefully they will be able to save it. The one time I don’t back up my stuff and this happens. Fraking wonderful.

So until I get MY laptop back, I will be forced to use the wife’s. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great laptop—but it does not have any games on it. That may be good thing. The one bad thing, I have to suffer through regular TV without any distractions. But, at least I am finishing up my Battlestar Galactica marathon.

Out on a limb


This is the first chapter of The Set’la. After my completed editing phase 1:

The stiffness she felt in her neck woke her up. At first, she thought it was a dream; she seemed to be standing up with her arms stretched out from her body. Her neck was not the only thing that hurt. Every muscle in her body seemed tense, like the day after a marathon. Dani tried to move her arms, but they felt tied down, some type of twine secured her hands against the rough wall. Then, the darkness and noises invaded her thoughts, surrounding her from all sides. The growls and squeals of unfamiliar creatures blended like a bad symphony. As her eyes grew accustomed to the lack of light, she began to make out shapes appearing out of the dark fog. She was in a forest, tied to a tree.

‘My house didn’t have any forests around it.’, she thought. The air, damp, and cold against her skin sent goose bumps across her naked body. The scent of decay and fresh rain mixed to give the forest a sense of rebirth.

A twig snapped in the undergrowth. Something was walking toward her. Whatever it was, it tried to be quiet, but she heard each footfall, each rasping breath. Straining against the material around her wrists, the twine finally broke and she was free. Turning around, she gazed up at the tree, barely making out a few low hanging branches. The closest one was ten feet above her. She hugged the trunk and slowly began the climb. It was easier than she expected. Her bare feet seemed to know just where they should go to get the best footing. Reaching the lowest branch, she curled her body around it and shut her eyes. She then remembered that she hated heights. Her heart pounded in her chest as the creature closed in. She could smell it, a musky wet odor, like a rug left out in the rain all week. The animal sniffed at the spot where she had been, the low snarl that came from its throat sounded like laughter. If she could read its thoughts she would hear, “You really think you can escape that easily?” The moonlight filtering in through the trees reflected off the eyes as it seemed to stare at Dani. The claws dug into the tree as it began the climb, the sound of its body scraping against the bark.

She could barely make out its shape as it closed in on her. Its red eyes shining with an inner light, it snarled. Without thinking, Dani lashed out with her foot, catching the creature in the throat. The force of the blow made it lose its grip on the tree and fall backwards, grasping at the air as it whined like an injured dog. One last cry escaped its throat as she heard it land with a thud. A grateful sigh escaped her parched throat as she closed her eyes, hugging the branch for dear life. Now all she had to do was figure out a way down.

‘I think I’ll stay here for a while.’ she decided, trying to relax.

Try as she might, she couldn’t. She led a simple, easy life on Earth. There never was any money issue; her parents had left her very well off. The week after they passed away, the courts awarded her enough money that she wouldn’t have to work again.

She kept busy, constantly with marathons and other sporting events like archery, rowing, and learning Tae kwon do. She learned the martial art quickly and was soon a black belt. Her Master told her many times, she was the fastest learning pupil he ever taught.

The men were the only thing she had problems with. Most of the ones she met were just searching for an easy one night stand.

‘Why am I here? Wherever here is? Maybe it’s a dream, a nightmare! Maybe if I fall asleep, I will wake – and be home.’ Her eyes closed as her body tensed and she fell asleep.

***

With a start, her eyes flashed open as she began to slide on the course bark. Light was returning to the forest, chasing away the darkness and letting color return to the landscape. All she could see were the tightly packed trees around her. Some were familiar, others strange and different. Most of the green leaves had a slight blue tint, glistening in the morning dew; others had red and yellow rings.

Scanning the forest floor, she discovered the body of the creature that attacked her the night before. It was in a very uncomfortable position about ten feet from the base of the tree. From the nose to the tip of its long thick tail, it was about six feet long. Its head lay in a very unnatural position atop a twisted neck. A rough coat of fur covered the body, thin and ringed with tan circles; it reminded her of a tiger, but the head was different, the snout was shorter, more like a pug nosed dog. Jaws, muscular and thick were open, revealing a swollen tan tongue resting on sharp jagged teeth.

“How the hell, did I escape that?” she said softly, as if she was afraid of being heard. She sure didn’t want to bring more predators to her roost.

Vertigo forced the fear into her heart and she just wanted to get her feet onto solid ground, but she also needed to know where she was—not to mention how she got here. Gingerly, she unwrapped herself from the branch and got up onto her hands and knees. Crawling backwards until she reached the trunk, she stood up, trying to concentrate on keeping her head up and eyes forward. The branch she was standing on was at least five feet thick; the trunk was three times that. It reminded her of the Redwood Forest she had visited with her parents when she was younger. Straight ahead, she saw nothing but gigantic trees. She could make out little creatures in every one, flying from branch to branch. They reminded her of monkeys, except they had small flaps under their arms that they used for gliding from one limb to another.

“Dani,” she said, “you’re not in Ohio anymore.”

The uppermost branches began to thin out above her, and that is where she needed to go, just to get her bearings. Climbing it with surprising ease, she reached a point where she could see above this odd forest. There was a range of mountains directly in front of her that seemed to be within walking distance. First, she had to find out which direction she was facing. Gazing to either side of her, she located not one, but two suns, one of which was just rising above the treetops, while the other smaller sun was about a hands width above it.

“Where am I?” She whispered, as if she expected to hear someone answering her. Sitting down in a precarious position, her thoughts went back to what happened the night before…

***

The last thing she remembered was sitting alone in Sam’s Bar, drinking her usual Long Island Ice Tea.

The place was busier than normal for a Tuesday night. When she opened the door, the smoke and noise assaulted her like a punch. Men lined up against the bar, surveying the crowded tables, searching for that one special person they wanted to meet. They watched closely as the women in the sea of tables expressed what they wanted by body language that the men thought they could read.

To the sound of a loud Toby Keith song she walked back to her favorite table in the shadows, and she could feel every eye on her. Even being dressed down as she was, a loose sweatshirt and  comfortable fitting  jeans, they still watched as her long flowing red hair billowed out behind her.

She only came down to Sam’s between relationships, which lately meant about once a month. She enjoyed watching people; covertly of course, matching up in her mind which woman each man would go after. She made it a rule, never to become one of those women. Occasionally, there was the man that thought he was God’s gift to women, and they never failed to come after her, hoping to prove it. They were the newbies to the bar. The regulars would try to talk them out of approaching her, but some men never learned.

It wasn’t until 10 P.M. that the stranger came in and zeroed in on her the moment the door closed behind him. Sitting down at the thick dark walnut bar, he propped a worn out cowboy boot upon the polished gold foot rail, listening to the regulars warn him about her.

“Don’t bother with the chick in the corner; she’s not in the mood tonight.” He didn’t listen. He didn’t saunter when he walked over, most guys had a specific walk when they tried to hit on her. He just came over and sat down across from her, removing his battered cowboy hat in the process. Dressed only in a faded gray long sleeve cotton shirt and black jeans, flowing over his well-used brown boots, he didn’t say a word as he their eyes met. The silver hair, combed straight back and bunched together to form a ponytail, reached half way down his back. Even in the loose clothing he wore, she could tell he was very muscular.

“I’m sorry. I want to be alone.” She actually thought he was extremely handsome with his strong jaw line and aquiline nose. His most unusual feature, the silver eyes, seemed to bore into hers, and not once since he sat down did his gaze waver from her jade green eyes.

“Hi, the names Kevin, what’s yours?” His voice was smooth and sexy with a touch of an accent that she couldn’t place. His aftershave, or cologne, was sweet and tempting. A fragrance she wasn’t at all familiar with, but it had an intoxicating effect.

“Dani.” She answered, immediately regretting that she opened her mouth – she didn’t want this tonight.

“That’s a pretty name.” He just stared at her with those silver, mesmerizing eyes.

“You’re new in here aren’t you?” ‘Damn,’ she thought. ‘Why did I ask that? I just want to be left alone.’

“Yeah, just flew in.”

“Oh, from where?”

“Oh a little hole in the wall you wouldn’t know it.”

He didn’t blink at all during the conversation. Even the way he lifted his drink to the thin lips seemed to be highly erotic to her.

“What brings you to Chesterville?” she asked.

“You.”

The rest of the night was like a blur. It was as if she was in a trance, but could feel everything. He asked her to leave with him and she got up, seeing all the disbelieving stares from the few men that she had turned down before, and all the jealous ones from the women that were going to be leaving empty handed. The two of them walked out of the bar, hand in hand, across the street and up to his room in the Hillford Arms.

She felt like she was in a deep trance, maybe hypnotism, or a drug poured into her drink, but she couldn’t control it – whatever it was. He walked her to the bed and kissed her passionately. The cologne she smelled before was more overpowering now than when she first noticed it. It seemed to be emanating from his body and it was having a very desirable effect on her.  As he held her tight she could feel his hardness and knew he wanted her. She felt herself begin to give in to the moment, all her resolves vanished as he began to undress her.

She swooned in his arms, never had this happened to her, so quickly. Before she even realized it, their naked bodies merged as one. She felt him inside her – his hardness pressing into her as far as he could go. Her hands held him closer. After the first time she closed her eyes, only to reopen them as he got up and walked to the small bathroom. The light from the outside sign reflected off two perpendicular scars traveling down his back.

When he returned he was hard again, or still hard. It was difficult to tell, but they were soon heating up the room again.

***

She remembered more sensations after that. A sharp point entered her neck, causing a disembodied feeling until she passed out and woke tied to a tree. She checked herself. She had a few scratches here and there, nothing serious. The insects that owned this tree were already biting her in places that she normally left for lovers, when she had one.

She had to get to water. The best choice were the mountains off in the distance. There had to be water near them, she was sure of it. Taking a deep breath, to steady her nerves, she took one last glance at her destination. That’s when she noticed the flock of birds circling, very far off like specs on the horizon. Even from this distance, she thought them to be larger than eagles from her native Earth.

Turning around, she carefully began her descent from the tree. Occasionally, she fought back the fear and had to glance down, to be sure of her footing. Once she reached the branch she had clung to earlier that morning, she lost her grip. Scrabbling to hold on, her hands found nothing to grab but air.

She was ten feet from the ground and falling. Taking a chance, she braced herself for the impact and let her well-muscled legs take most of the jolt. As she landed, her knees bent and she crouched down.

‘That was close. No pain or broken anything,’ she thought. With a final glance at the creature that tried to have her for dinner last night, she started walking in as much of a straight line as she could toward the range of mountains in the distance. Frequently, she had to maneuver around a large tree that blocked her path. Some of them were larger than redwoods from California.

Dani would be the first to admit, she wasn’t much of a botanist, but she didn’t see any tree, flower, or bush that was familiar. Even the bugs that wanted to chew on her bare skin bore no resemblance to those of her world. Occasionally, small reptiles scattered out from her pathway, some with wings, and more legs than she could count.

After twenty minutes of walking at a good clip, she noticed that she was breathing easily and wasn’t even sweating. At first, she thought it might have something to do with whatever Kevin injected into her, besides his tool, unless that was a dream too. She stopped and checked her pulse, clocking it at fifty beats a minute. That was strange for her, unless she was just waking up. Back home, she walked two miles a day in the morning, and ran two in the evening. Her heart rate should have been twenty beats faster than what is was now.

Continuing on, she heard something behind her, crawling through the underbrush. She stopped as she saw it climb on to a fallen trunk. Dani could feel her heart beating faster as the hair on the back of her neck tingled. It was smaller than the creature that attacked her earlier; it stood on four legs and had a long prehensile tale that was poised above its back. Standing about as tall as a medium sized dog, about two feet high, the fur-less dark splotched skin almost blended in with the undergrowth. She didn’t see any reason to be fearful of this small animal.

The creature must have noticed that it was spotted, for it opened its jaws and showed off the double rows of sharp teeth inside as a flap of skin encircling its head inflated. Probably used to scare off its enemies, she assumed.

As it let out a piercing shriek, Dani no longer thought it was cute, ‘It definitely worked for me!’ She thought as she took off running as fast as she could with the creature in pursuit. Her speed was better than any track meet she had ever run. At one point in the race, she noticed a tree that had recently fallen over, possibly from a lightning strike. The trunk was about four feet wide, and presently blocking her path. She leaped over it, startled again as she seemed to fly through the air. Her head almost hit a branch that was fifteen feet from the ground. Once she landed, she stopped and turned. The jump had taken her about thirty feet from the log.

Suddenly, she didn’t have time to think about what had just occurred. Her pursuer was perched on the log. It didn’t stay there long. With a roar, it jumped. Noticing a branch lying next to her, about five inches thick and three feet long, she grabbed hold of it and took a stance. When the dog was five feet from her it leaped. Dani swung, making solid contact with the creature’s head and killing it instantly.

Now her heart was racing, but not from exhaustion. She leaned on what was left of the branch as she tried to figure out what had just happened.

“Let’s see, I can run and walk faster. Jump higher and am obviously stronger. Two Suns.” She could clearly see that one was not as yellow as her sun. “I think I’m Superwoman. Lighter gravity! And I’m hungry.”

She saw the mangled head of the creature she had just killed, but she didn’t like eating raw meat. She didn’t have anything to make a fire with at all, and she knew the smell of blood would bring more scavengers. Keeping what was left of the branch as a weapon, she continued at a fast trot in the direction she was going before.

Five minutes later, the trees of the forest thinned out and she began descending a slop covered with waist high reddish colored grass. The center of the crater was leveled out with gravel and weeds, marred only by the burned out stump of a tree trunk twenty yards wide and about ten feet high.

Quietly, she moved down the steep slope until she came to the flat ground. Small pools of water spread across the ground, holding the last bit of rain that fell around here. She didn’t stop to think if it was safe to drink, she just knelt down and cupped some muddy water into her hand, her eyes still scanning the area, waiting for something to jump out of the high grass.

The liquid was warm and soothed her throat, her parched mouth soaking it up as fast as it entered.

She smelled them before she heard them, reaching for her makeshift club. It sounded like a wild animal, a large one at that. Her eyes caught some movement above the treetops. The flock of large birds she had seen earlier. Presently, they were too far away to be much of a danger.

Softly, and without making a sound, she stood straight up, slowly turning her head to survey the grassy slope. She noticed it behind her, about ten feet away. Something was slowly making its way through the waist high grass, slithering down the slope. There was also more than one. Five creatures were parting their way through the grass.

Dani tried to slow her heart down, it sounded like it was too loud. It would give her away. As she saw one of the creatures stand up on its hind legs she gasped. It heard. Willing herself to freeze, she stared at it.

The cat, if that’s what it was, stood at least ten feet tall, about as thick as a grizzly and completely hairless. It’s tough sinewy skin showed of the muscular outlines in all the right places. The face was catlike, with thick whiskers, that she thought may be like a cat’s, but they had to be about one inch thick. The ears were pointed and standing straight up. It eyed her, its mouth parting for an instant showing off two-inch fangs that appeared to be purposefully sharpened. Definitely eats meat, she thought.

Something ripped its attention from her and the creature seemed to brace for an attack. Dani was so engrossed in the coming battle; she didn’t notice the birds closing in.

Suddenly, the rest of the cat-like creatures, all five of them, raised their heads collectively over the grass. One, she could handle; she had her doubts about five.

I thought I would have a little fun with this and throw it on “I write like,” and it gave me Rudyard Kipling. Cool, that name I recognize.

Let me know what you think, and anything else you would like to comment on.  

 

Christmas remains


Christmas is over, the New Year is right around the corner. We’re still enjoying the many gifts and Christmas love that graced our lives this last week.

The most popular gifts we received this year was my wife’s Kindle, she loves werewolf and vampire stories, but has only downloaded a few sample shorts like The Game of Thrones and A Walk in the Snark, that last was my idea. She didn’t like The Game of Thrones too much but after viewing a trailer for John Carter and asking me why I was so thrilled about it, she downloaded A Princess of Mars—which she is enjoying very much. It’s been so long since I read the Edgar Rice Burroughs series I grabbed it too—if it’s free, it’s for me. I don’t own a Kindle, but I have the app on my phone (I think that counts.) I used a gift card I received to grab A Game of Thrones and Tarnsman or Gor. That last one I never even heard of until someone accused me of using this series for my book The Set’la—but I digress, that’s for another blog. My wife also gave me a receiver for my surround sound, the old one went out about two years ago so now my Man Cave is back.

Earlier in the month my sister in law contacted me and told me she picked up season 2 of True Blood for the wife and her dad got season 3. I immediately passed this information to the step daughter since she does have a job now and I knew she wanted to spend money. (The step son is working too but he feels it is better to receive than to give.)

Christmas morning, L—the step daughter—handed her a package and forced her to open it, it was True Blood season 3. I’m thinking, “Shit—didn’t I tell her NOT to get that?” Thinking I will be scolded one way or another at this time it is better to keep my mouth shut. She gave me Battlestar Galactica season 3 (Don’t worry, already had the first two seasons) I also got a normal DVD remote for the PS3 which I love better than the damn game controller. (That’s four remotes now; can we say “Yeah Baby!”) I also got yet another headphone/microphone set; I only say another because the ghosts keep taking mine.

Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without my mom, whom I picked up Christmas Eve, and we surrounded her with presents she needed and not wanted, like jeans and shirts.

My step son J we soothed with Microsoft points and the dance game for Xbox connect. Now he will get his exercise. It is a reward for taking the time out of his busy day to spend time with family. Of course the first thing he did was buy another game with his points, Rock Band 3. Oh the Joy! His dad gave him Star Wars: The Old Republic which he had to install on his sister’s computer and I threw on my laptop. I managed to hit level 3 before I died but I only play for about an hour a day so it doesn’t control my destiny.

After a few more minutes of unwrapping, always amazes me how quickly the Opening lasts compared to actually preparing for it, the kids disappeared for about an hour as I hooked up the receiver and we began watching True Blood.

Then it was off to her dad’s house where we got more presents. I cringed a little when T’s dad and sister handed her two boxes that looked like a DVD, and breathed a sigh of relieve when she received two copies of True Blood Season 2. At least that’s an easy fix. I got some very good books on writing including Steven King’s On Writing and more gift cards! The cards I used to get BSG season 4.

From his aunt, J got Rock Band 3 for the Xbox (imagine that).

I think this was a great Christmas for all involved; the repeat gifts are always a little amusing.

Since we lucked out and took our vacation this week and I told my boss we were going to the Bahamas, we are doing NOTHING, except watching TV, reading, and a little game play.

Last night, we finished True Blood so now we are going through a BSG marathon, the only thing I am missing is Razor.

It was a good year, like all it had its ups and downs, and here is to making 2012 even better.

Image from Google

So, how was your Christmas?

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

“What are you doing?”


That’s what my wife texted me with yesterday as I sat in front of my computer NOT writing.

Names and businesses have been changed on this blog to protect me from unwelcome lawsuits.

The truth of the matter is, you hear about it, but for some unknown reason you never really expect it to happen to you.

I’m talking about fraud. It’s a dirty little word, and in these times I understand why it is worse.

My first experience involved an internet application where I got a lot of my music from.  (When you’re a security guard you need your music.) A few months ago someone hacked into my account and used all of my store credit. Luckily for me I use prepaid gift cards so technically I didn’t lose anything. After a week worth of emails I was finally refunded the amount. It happened again a month later and again after a week a got a refund.

Along with a letter that stated this would be the last time I would receive compensation for any further breaches of my account. Since I change passwords so much I get confused I need to say this, “Uhh….if you had better security on your site this won’t happen again!”

The bad part, I still can’t find music I want to listen too. Not to mention the fact that my mp3 player was stolen a few weeks ago (since replaced).

My most recent experience with this was last Friday. Of course I didn’t realize it until Saturday, but the exciting part happened Friday.

For reasons that shall remain secret, we were looking for my debt card Saturday night and after about 15 minutes I hopped on line and checked my account. I knew the last time I used it was Friday. Since then, someone else had their way with my card.

After I used it for frozen pizza, Friday is always pizza night but I have to buy it Friday or it will disappear. (My wife claims there is a black hole in the freezer… I think it’s someone….er, something else.)

I was positive I put it back in my wallet, or maybe not. I might have put it in my pocket and it fell out when I pulled out my phone.

The culprit must have been following pretty close because it was grabbed and used 5 miles away within forty-five minutes.

I don’t know what they bought, and I sincerely don’t think I will ever find out, but they spent $1400.00 at a major retail store. I’m thinking a large HDTV. On the way home they stopped and got gas too.

It wasn’t the fact that I was short this money, I am sure I will get it back…eventually. What raised my blood pressure so much was that a few weeks ago my wife and I were in this same store and bought some Five Hour energy shots and the cashier asked for ID, yet a cashier forgets to ID someone for $1400.00

Of course there are a lot of variables, it was probably busy since it was the Friday before Mother’s Day and all the dads that were waiting for the last minute were out.{To the mom that got a brand new HDTV: Be sure you hook it up right.} Not to mention the fact that it was Friday, I can see how someone would forget to ask. But they shouldn’t.

I discovered Monday that they also tried to use it at yet another store, but this time the transaction was denied.

After a few calls the card was canceled, a police report was written, and I waited till Monday to call the store manager.

He wasn’t too happy about it either. I did take the opportunity to tell my unemployed step son about a job opening coming there soon.

I am surprised at how all the financial Companies I work with on a monthly basis, phone, credit card companies, are being so accommodating. It’s all turning out good at this time and I learned a lesson, Keep all plastic at home.

Update on hobbies ~ WoW is coming along good, I have moved my high level characters onto one realm (Shadowsong) so they can become better acquainted and assist each other when needed.

I did break down and make another Horde on Gilneas. I had a few there once but they all caught a bug and died.

And I discovered a new game called Portal. I know it really isn’t new, but it is new to me. If you ever need a game to stretch your brain this one is it. It’s a one person shooter, which I normally don’t play, where you wake up in the Aperture Science Labs testing facility as an android. Here, you are guided along your way by GLaDOS, a friendly computer voice that just wants to bake you into a cake.

You have over 18 levels (I know there are more but this is a far as I am.) of rooms with pits of  bubbling liquid that will kill you, energy balls that may kill you without warning and maniacal machine laser turrets that only sound friendly.

But don’t worry, along the way you find two portal guns that will help you in your journey, the difficult task is figuring out where to put them. WARNING: This game is extremely addictive and should be played with caution.

On the writing front my wife has been kind enough to proofread The Set’la, it’s amazing what you miss when you rush something, and I missed a lot.

I haven’t touched The Benock Chronicles for a while – still needs a lot of research.

Sunset is still in the process also, it is getting close. The first part is here and the second half is over here.

My main project right now is writing a short story for L. M. Stull’s latest contest. It’s a tough one, but I have the first part figured out. I wrote it at work and emailed to myself, just can’t remember which email.

I guess this is long enough. Hope I didn’t break a blog rule by making it over 1000 words.

So, how is everyone else doing on your stuff?

Oh, and if you happen to click on any of my story links up there, let me know what you think.

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 Set’la Chapter 2


Hello all, hope every one is having a great Friday.

My newest book, The Set’la is at Smashwords ready to buy. Please take this operratunity and check it out.

A few months ago I put a little bit of chapter one in here,  Out on a Limb, so this week, chapter two was calling for attention. So here we are.

The Set’la Chapter two.

Dani quickly looked up as large shadows blotted out the suns. She had seen the birds in the distance, yet like everything else in this place they weren’t what she expected. They were flying, they had wings, but they were women. Humanoid women.

She would have taken a closer look, but one of the cats was running right for her. As she braced herself to jump out of its way, a stone tipped spear entered the creatures head, knocking it to the ground and exiting through the jaw. All around her, the cats fell at the spears of the flying women.

She finally took a moment to look at her saviors. The wings of all thirteen bird-women ranged in color from gold to a deep blue, with eyes and hair to match. A dried skin, similar to the dead cats scattered around the field, covered their breasts and hips like a bikini on a Florida beach. From spending years out in the suns, their skin had turned a dark golden tan. Glancing down she noticed the few weapons strapped around their waist. The most overwhelming thing about them was their height. The one in front of her was at least ten feet tall and, by her standards, as thin as a rail. The legs were long and bony with the feet being the only parts that didn’t look human. They were prehensile and flat. She supposed that was so they could hold onto things better while they were in flight.

By now, all thirteen Bird-Women surrounded Dani and began whispering in a strange unknown tongue. Her savoir approached her first, the only one with the gold wings, coming toward her cautiously with her arms outstretched. She touched Dani’s shoulder, as if to move her. It felt like she wanted to turn her around. A little concerned, but not wanting to provoke an attack from these women, Dani turned around in a circle until she faced the gold one again.

Everyone seemed to be staring at her, trying to see her back. ‘Perplexed because of my lack of wings,’ she thought. The gold one said a few words that Dani didn’t understand and the other bird-women broke up and began making ropes out of the tall grasses. That’s when she noticed the tails. Beginning at the base of their spine, the tails were about three feet long, hairless, and smooth; they ended with a rounded tip about an inch thick and were constantly moving, yet never touched the ground.

Dani was watching what they were doing, until she noticed her savoir was still staring at her and talking.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” She said as she shook her head.

The gold winged one looked at her quizzically and pointed to herself, “Cathelayna…. Cathelayna. Mog Cathelayna.”

Dani was familiar with those old movies where people came upon someone that didn’t speak their language and introduce themselves. She had always thought they were stupid the way they did that. But hey! If it worked. She pointed to herself and said “Dani.”

The Bird-Woman repeated after her, “Dani.”

“Well shit! It does work. Oh, Dani.” she pointed to herself and then said, “Cathelayna.” pointing to her new friend. She could tell by the large grin on her face that she did it right.

Once the other women finished with the ropes, they began tying up their kill. She spotted a few of them spreading their wings as they leaped into the air. They were beautiful in flight and soared around in a circle at first. A flap of skin on the tail expanded and helped control their course, acting like the rudder of an airplane. Two of them would swoop down, each grabbing one end of their kill, to carry the heavy load between them. After they all got off the ground, Cathelayna motioned for her to follow and leaped into the air.

“God, I’m surrounded by blondes. Hey. I can’t fly!” Dani said as she pointed to her wingless back. At about that time Cathelayna circled around and dived towards her, legs and prehensile feet outstretched.-

This is only part of the chapter, since the entire chapter is over 5000 words. Look for more in the weeks to come, or buy it. At the moment, until Sunday night, there is a coupon code: UK77U, that you can use for a free copy.

I hope you enjoy the read and if you like it, please leave a review, I love reviews!

Oh yeah, the link for the book: The Set’la