So I get it. Tennessee has passed a law that as of July 1st, 2019 no one is allowed to have any cellular device in their hand while drivi...
Friday, November 6, 2020
|What I saw as I came home... And yes... I forgot to take the trash out this morning...|
Last night I had the privilege of joining Dom Brightmon on his Going North Podcast. It should go live in February which is exciting. At the end of the podcast, Dom asked me a great question. "What question should a young writer ask?"
I have done several interviews and podcasts. Numerous times I had been asked if I had any questions or final comments. I always took that to be the time to tell people to buy my books and visit my website. By the way... this blog will be here when you get back in case you haven't bought them yet! Just saying....
Dom's question caused me to step outside my own experiences. What would I tell to help a young liker (like myself). What question should they be asking?
I think my answer was solid, even if it wasn't the right answer. I suggested that a young writer should be asking where to find help, mentors, instruction, and other means to learn the craft of writing.
Dom asked me casually what makes a new writer an old writer. It was a longer discussion and you should listen to the podcast when it releases. He is so very insightful. The short was that a new writer is not bound by a genre.
The short was that a new writer
is not bound by a genre.
He or she is really free to write whatever they want. There is no fan base demanding they write science fiction or urban fantasy or southern crime novels. A seasoned, successful author sometimes can be locked in to a genre. I have read JK Rowlings adult novel. It is great. I still flip pages waiting on a wizard. I love some of Stephen King's early stuff such as The Eye of the Dragon. Even if it isn't horror.
So, I think my response was a valid one. A new writer should be asking where he or she can learn and grow. It may even mean experimenting with other genres or styles.
However, as I woke this morning I realized that my response is really the second question a new writer should be asking. The first is, "Who do I have that supports me in my writing?"
"Who do I have that
supports me in my writing?"
I would not have books in print if it were not for my writer's group and their encouragement. They have been such a blessing... and sometimes the necessary kick in the pants.
I also would not be nearly as excited about writing (and I think this is a necessary element!) without my dear wife. That became even more clear today.
This weekend I was set to go to Atlanta for the Atlanta Writer's Convention. A few weeks ago, like much of the world, it decided to go virtual. This was my first conference and my first time to really pitch things I have been working on. I was bummed. In addition, I have not had the time a writer always hopes for this fall to write. I have spent the bulk of my time doing edits when I have not been working my "day jobs" or running around town with other activities.
I took the day off today, presumably to go to Atlanta and check in to my hotel before the conference began this afternoon. Instead, I took my mom some of her favorite apple cider and visited. When I got home I was overwhelmed with not only how much my wife loves me but how much she supports me in my hobby of writing.
She made signs all over the house welcoming me to the Atlanta Writer's Conference! I even had a name tag (I am wearing it now!), a refreshment bowl, and a bathroom appropriately marked "Men." for me to use. It was a small gesture but really made me excited about phone calls instead of meet & greets. It reminded me that I am not attending to impress an agent. I am attending to learn, be coachable, and grow as a writer.
It reminded me that I am not attending
to impress an agent.
I am attending
to learn, be coachable, and grow as a writer.
Someday that may mean I get picked up by an agent or it may mean I continue my relationship with smaller indie presses. Either way, I know my biggest fan is upstairs in her own telecommuting chair cheering me on! Thanks Emily! I love you too!!
Oh... And whoever is in charge of the refreshments, we are almost out of reeses cups. :-)
Friday, October 23, 2020
If you are the type of person who likes to say, "There is more chance of that happening than seeing a unicorn at sea," be ready to pony up whatever you wagered.
I can see the discussion now:
Wife: Are you ever going to clean up your stuff in the basement?
Wife: SO we can build it out into a little apartment for family.
Husband: You mean like the kids who are over 18 and should be supporting themselves?
WIfe: And their kids. In case we need to raise our grandkids.
Husband: Yeah, I'll get to that when I see a unicorn saving lost children at sea.
Wife: Perfect, I'll call Junk King and have it cleaned out tomorrow.
Newsweek only allows you four stories before a paid subscription, so you have to choose them carefully. I always look for cutting edge journalism filled with important issues that impact our daily lives. That is why it was a no brainer to read "Little Girl Lost at Sea Found Floating on a Unicorn."
A ferry (or was it a fairy...?) discovered the four year old drifting out in the middle of the gulf of Corinth. The boat first saw the dot on the horizon. The article is unclear what made them want to approach. I will assume the ferry captain has long desired to discover mythical sea creatures. Perhaps it is the very reason he sought out a career of water navigation.
Either way, the child was saved. Nothing has been said about the inflatable unicorn. Which does raise the question if it was an actual unicorn instead of an inflated raft. We may never know, but I think we have to be open to the possibility there is a covert group of colorful unicorns that scour the ocean to save the helpless and lost. It may be on the level of other famous conspiracies such as Watergate, Russiagate, Doritogate, Gamergate, Pizzagate, Tomatogate, Bingogate, Picklegate, or Lawngate (not as well known but just as important - we must discover what neighbor's dog is depositing its fecal matter on my lawn!).
Which brings us to the real issue of the day, the need for a new environmental plan. Now that we have fairly reliable evidence of mythical rescue animals we should take Joe Biden's initiative to be fossil fuel free by 2025, Well, technically we will just stop fracking... which I am pretty sure is the SyFy chanel's substitute for a curse word... or a type of drilling using lots of water. Either way, my '99 Ford Ranger is scared. In fact, this morning he had a fresh puddle of oil under him where he had a bit of an accident.
Of course, major businesses will need to spend billions to adjust and many small businesses will simply be unable to complete. That is okay because it will prevent them from having to raise all their employees wages to $15/hour or more. Good news - they will be able to turn in their entrepreneurial dreams for a raised minimum wage with socialized medical care. So that is a nice bonus. According to Biden, they can celebrate this at the dinner table while mourning the loss of a loved one (well... a loved one lost to Covid... not to a drug related crime).
For some this may be a confusing time and you are looking for someone to blame. I understand.
I would offer Trump who has helped absolutely no one... except maybe my monthly mortgage payment. It is well known that Trump has a bit of diarrhea of the mouth. Normally he isn't saying much important, but last night in the final debate he let an important fact slip. It was clear it was an overshare. And more so, a clue that I am sure may be burning up the dark web today:
"What clue?" you say? Trump may be a reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln. He became quite flummoxed when Biden called him to task about being a King Arthur esque hero of old returned to save or damn us.
Like most conspiracies, we will likely never know for sure. But if you are on the high seas and sea Trump in a tall hat brandishing Excalibur on a colorful unicorn float be sure to document it with a picture. And please, for the love of all things conspiratorial do a better job snapping the picture than the guy who took that picture of Nessy.
Monday, October 5, 2020
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Yes. It should have been the number one headline. It makes Russiacolusion look like kindergartners fighting over a jump rope. What I am about to tell you should be front of the news cycle. It wasn't, but that is how world domination by robots, terrorist organizations, and solvent green all come to pass. Slowly, the future creeps in one 3D printed chicken nugget at a time.
Yes, you read that correctly. KFC has announced that they will be 3D printing chicken nuggets.
When I heard, I of course suspected what any sensible American would suspect: A mass conspiracy.
In the article I was sent by an insider in the news industry, which by that I mean he surfs the internet regularly, it clearly states that KFC has partnered with the Bio company 3D BioPrinting Solutions.
In the article there was a link to the agreement between these two countries. Of course, the link was dead.
Already being monitored by KFC secret agents, I pressed on. That is how important it is for me to bring you the important news of the day shuffled under the carpet by such things as BLM, elections, hurricanes, and Covid. These are all cover-ups. So I googled this supposed 3D Bioprinting. I learned three things:
1. The head doctor is also able to crush your skull if you cross him.
2. There may be rat parts in their 3D printing. Reminds me of Jurassic Park where they "3D printed" dinosaurs with spare parts from other animals.
3. While it is in Russian, it appears they plan to plant large red butterflies in everyone's esophagus to track and control our brains.
Oh, and just maybe they have mastered genetic bioprinting of vitally needed human organs that could result in surgical breakthroughs. And obviously, once you are done inventing replacement hearts and gallbladders your next quest is... Making 3D printable chicken nuggets.
To quote my source, "The research laboratory in Moscow will use both plant material and chicken cells to advance its additive bioprinting technology and produce a nugget that will closely replicate the taste, texture, and look of KFC’s original nuggets. While live animals will scarcely be used in the process, KFC will supply the lab with its seasoning and breading ingredients to attain the taste loved by so many."
So a non-chicken, chicken nugget. Memphis meats seek to also duplicate other animals. Which leads us to the essential question, "Will I still need my guns if I am hunting 3D printers instead of deer?"
And the answer is, Yes." If movies like Terminator have proven anything, it is we must fight back. Not a fighter? Then I suggest you begin preparing your palette for the rising black market meats such as chicken gizzards, cow tongue, and of course, the ever popular haggis.
What is haggis? Meat scraped off the floor and shoved in a sheep intestine of course. Why will it be the real meat of the future for those of us refusing the Colenal's recipe? Because it is so horrible not even Russian scientists can possible imitate it.
Good luck America. May you resist the addictive chemical in the chicken that makes you crave it nightly.
As the world opens back up there are lots of exciting opportunities ahead! I would love any of my readers in particular to join my guest appearance on Spilling Ink and make yourself known in the comment section! I am grateful that they have invited me back for a second podcast!
SPILLING INK: Saturday, October 3rd 6:30 EST!
I will also be on Going North Podcast on November 2nd, talking about my new release, Twelve Hours on the Block. Look for a link coming soon!
Later in November, I will also be on WordPlay Podcast and sharing a recipe!
In addition, I am making plans to be at Con Nooga this year! I had opportunity to be at NextChapter Con recently and absolutely loved meeting readers!
I also am excited to have the following reviews posted for Jam Sessions!
Thursday, September 24, 2020
With the presidential election just around the corner and the first debate to air next week, the country is in a stir. However, I have heard nothing about the key issues. Here I am defining key issues as "stuff I think about rather than politics." For one, I was completely dumbfounded yesterday when I opened the fridge to make my daughter some chocolate milk. I had one of those "I was this old when I realized" moments. Chocolate milk is really more milk than it is chocolate. I know this, because if I put too much chocolate in the milk my beautiful amazing wife tells me to stop. You would think that since chocolate is the first word, it would be the greater item in the mixture? And make matters worse, milk chocolate is more chocolate than milk?
I told this to my bride. She seemed more concerned about unimportant things like setting the table, closing the fridge, or starting dinner. Trivial matters in the light of my new revelation: The English language is weird.
For instance, I just typed "wierd" and autocorrect reminded me that it is "i" before "e" except after "c" unless it "aye" as in neighbor and weigh. Then there is the word "bow." Is it something you put in your hair, shoot a deer with, or a gesture to the king of England?
This led me to google search "English is hard." Here is what I discovered.
So, why is this not a major concern? I've asked persons, mans, womans, childs, and even looked in several dictionarys. While it appears that you make words plural by the simple addition of "s," it also seems there are many other possibilities.
Which brings me to my point. This next week shall see two intellectual giants take the stage in the first presidential debate. Masters of english parlance, scholars of the spoken word. We should expect diatribes, circumlocutions, palavers, and perhaps even some shakespearean wit. Or perhaps we will be entertained. I for one will try not to snort my milk chocolate. Oh, and I'll also remember to close the fridge.
PICK YOUR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE!
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
My novella is being released by Three Ravens Publishing! Super excited to be picked up by their publishing house!
This short novella merges the Aztec creation myth with a prison escape. It was a lot of fun to write as it fed both the nerd (who doesn't love the Aztecs! I mean... human sacrifice, shapeshifters, and cruelty) and the part of me that loves a good adventure (Prison Break was one of my favorite TV shows).
It is available for pre-order now through the launch date of October 1st. Support a local artist for $1 by buying it before it releases!! Then check out the other offerings at Three Ravens.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Come to my table next week and see my birthday present! Very thankful for my father-in-law who has encouraged me as a writer. For my birthday this week he blessed me with a working Underwood (his last name) typewriter!
I will have a table next week at our local conference promoting local authors. I am super excited to be meeting readers. I will have Jam Sessions for sale as well as a few copies of my short stories in various volumes.
I started this writing journey almost two years ago. In that time I have met some great people locally. A local web designer who built the web page for Camp Vesper Point (I was a previous director) has given me some advice and encouraged me. He will be there selling his series and is a very accomplished author.
I also was blessed to meet a group of writers in the local area. I was with my son at Chattacon. He was looking at cosplay weapons for a future mandalorian costume. I started to chat with the "Crazy Buffet" group. They began meeting at Ryans before it shut down. Then they met at the japanese "Crazy Buffet." It also closed, but not before they published a short story anthology. When I joined they were meeting at Rib N Loin and I participated in "Crazy Buffet II: The BBQ Edition."
I will have some copies at NextCon. It will include my first published story. It is historical fiction, drawn from my time in Rwanda in the 1990's. I think it is a good piece with a hopeful ending even in the midst of a very difficult historical background.
My friend, Kelle, will be there too and you definitely want to check out her table! She may even have her mannequin!
So, if you have read this far, please come visit Next Chapter Con. It is $7 at the door of the Colonade in Ringgold, GA. There will be a lot of local authors of all genres. It is a great time to encourage your family members to read and support local artists. There will be social distancing and all the appropriate Covid safety measure. If I am not at my table, then I am at one of the two panels they have asked me to participate in. Come see me at the panel or swing back a few minutes later and say hello. Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
ON SALE STARTING SEPTEMBER 15th!
A quirky collection of flash fiction based in the real of Post Apocalyptic fiction with forward by Daniel Humphreys. From the Pollenocalypse to Zombies, you're sure to feel right at home with the end of the world.
And yes, I have a story inside! Support our local writers and have fun reading flash fiction (1000 words or less).
Want longer stories? Three Ravens Publishing is also releasing an anthology this week: Napkin Notes.
I am particularly proud of my story in Napkin Notes. Think it may be the best thing I've published so far, so please buy a copy and check it out! Every story has to start with the scribble on a napkin!
Monday, September 7, 2020
I was recently interviewed by noted Book Blogger, Lisa Haselton! Read the interview here:
I'm also excited to release my latest review by the well respected LITERARY TITAN.
The review can be found here:
And here is the text version of the review: