Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Happenings and Stuff

It has been some time since I last updated the blog about stuff in general.  I can do that.  With the chicks - they are now chickens.  We have four hens on our urban chicken farm.  We had to find homes for the ones that turned out to be roosters.  It was easy to find homes, but difficult to let them go.  After raising them and watching them grow, I didn't want to give them up.  The family they went to is sweet.  They give me "chicken updates" from time to time.  I'm always happy to hear about them.

The Nighthawk is gone.  We took her to a wildlife rehab sanctuary in Blanco, Texas.  We tried placing her with several 'licensed' personnel in the Central Texas area, but they were less than helpful.  They had all kinds of excuses and comments, but would not in the end take in a fledgling Nighthawk.  So we drove to Blanco.  They took her right in.  It's an awesome facility.  It is the same one we took a hawk to some time ago.  The staff is helpful and didn't look for any reason not to take the bird in.  Now I know who to contact if a situation ever comes up again.  Skip the 'locals'.  Go to Blanco.  What a drive ...

There are several magazines/books with openings for short stories.  I'm trying to polish up a few and see if the writings are anything they are looking for.  I've been watching the companies for a while.  I just have to talk myself into hitting the send button.  You know me.  I can't let go.

The weather is perfect.  That is a rarity.  Enjoying it as much as I can.

It's quiet at the moment.  I should take advantage of it and do some work.  Let's see if I can keep myself on track.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Burbs Updated

Bertie Wells - WIP - Science Fiction/Drama
updated 9/21/16

When Loraine brought the drinks, I asked her about the table of white robes.  She smiled a habitual smile and glanced their way.  After letting out a small sigh, she looked back at me.  Her green eyes sharpened with worry.
“Those would be the Naked,” she started quietly.  “They have conferences here from time to time.  This is the second time this week, though.  There must be something going on with the politics of the land somewhere nearby.”  She slowed for a moment, her gaze scanning the crowd around us.  “Don’t pay them any mind.  They don’t notice anyone other than themselves.  I bet if you went and danced on their table, they’d never give you a hint of their attention.”  She giggled and wagged her head.  “The guards, on the other hand, would pull you outside quicker than you could blink.  Then I guess I would down a customer.”  She smirked and stood up.  “Now enjoy your drinks, young man.  I hope your guest arrives soon.”
I had heard of such persons before, but I had never seen one with my own eyes.  How strange.  The group was known for their power.  It wasn’t a spiritual power, nor political, nor economical.  It was a power they developed on their own.  The masses looked to them for reasons and explanations.  Whatever the Naked said was deemed truth.  Their opinions were taken as facts.  The Naked were never wrong.  The Naked were never questioned.  Yes, the regions and nations and tribes were all run by an individual person of authority or by type of government, and these heads would come and go as the drying leaves in autumn.  But the Naked were always there.  Their presence was always accepted.  It seemed wanted, even needed.  An up and coming politician would do well to have the backing of a Naked or two.  Even to associate with them would give a person the reputation of a demigod.
Why were they so unnerving?
My attention shifted from the table of the Naked to a movement in the crowd across the room.  Two Governors stopped at a table of dining guests.  There were a few words exchanged, I would guess your usual pleasantries and greetings.  They were not with the group.  The Governors were there on their own.  They were there on business.  The people around the table began presenting their papers and documentations one by one.  The Governors were checking citizenships, vouchers, even party cards. 
That was what I needed; a couple of Governors nosing around in my business.  I took a deep breath and reminded myself to be passive of the situation.  My papers would arrive in time.  I did what was asked of me.  The remaining balance was in my pocket.  As soon as servant of the rotund man would come and close the deal, I would be clear of the Governors’ radar.  Present some sort of legal documentation that gave you a right to be in their city and they’d move along.  If said papers failed to be produced, an individual had a good chance of meeting up with a troop of slavers.  They paid Governors well for each illegal handed over.  It was common knowledge.  Have papers or get shipped off.  That was the deal.  That’s how it worked.
I had time.  They were still a ways away.  Dozens of tables separated us.  I could wait for the servant a bit longer.  There was nothing to worry about.
Someone’s stare shattered my concentration.  I followed the feeling and meet a set of piercing silver eyes.  The ominous woman stood about midway between myself and the table of Nakeds.  I blinked, trying to see her more clearly.  She wasn’t as tall as I thought at first.  She seemed to be towering over the crowd, but she was maybe a little taller than Nina.  She was slender, but not a malnourished slender.  Her body and posture told of her lean build.  Her sharp eyes were made brighter by her silver hair that darkened to black as it reached down the length of her back.  The tone of her skin was nearly porcelain, except for the peach coloring in her cheeks and lips.  She wore a long coat that was dirty and tattered as if she had just emerged from a monstrous forest.  She didn’t belong.  She was unlike anyone I’d ever seen, much less like any person in the bustling room.
The young woman released me from her stare.  She turned her head toward the group of Naked.  It wasn’t long before a woman on the far side of the table looked up.  She raised her eyes slowly as if it took too much energy to spy the young woman.  The two held the others’ gaze for some time.  Neither moved.  The room and business around them went on as if they were never even there to begin with.  Finally, the silver eyed woman turned her eyes away.  I couldn’t tell what might have caught her attention.  The Naked that was watching her leaned against the tall back of her chair.  A hooded figure in blue came to her side.  The Naked shifted ever so slightly toward them, her mouth forming quick words with tight lips.  The person in blue gave their attention to the crowd.  Their gaze found the silver eyed woman and they gave a nod to the Naked speaking.  With a tiny wave of her fingers, she dismissed the person in blue.  They stepped back with their head lowered until they came to the guardians standing nearby.  One of the guardians, a tall, burly man with two jagged swords strapped across his back, looked up and scanned the crowded restaurant.  His search appeared to be in vain.  With his eyes narrowed, he peered closer.  The hooded figure moved nearer and raised their hand to point at the silver eyed woman.  The guardian shook his head.  The hooded person pointed again, their out stretched arm shaking with frustration.  The silver eyed woman turned her back to them and walked away, moving though the crowd with no effort until stepping outside and disappearing into the bazaar.
“My apologies for keeping you waiting,” said a wiry man as he took the seat across from me.  He grabbed the salted mug of bitter wood with two hands, both thumbs missing, and hefted it up for a long drink.  Once he set the mug back on the table, it was nearly empty.  He shuffled closer and tapped his eight fingers on the table.  “I am supposed to bring you some papers and stubs, but I don’t work well with Governors around.  That means you’re gonna hafta wait another day.”  He was on his feet before he finished talking.
I shook my head, “Wait?  Another day?”  He moved as if he was leaving and I grabbed his arm.  “You can’t make me wait.  You’re here now.  Just finish the deal!”  I was trying to keep my voice down, but panic seemed to be winning out.
The man glared back at me and flexed his fingers.  The stub where a thumb was once attached tightened against his palm.  His tone came softly, but with a hint of anger.  “I said I don’t work well with Governors around.  And I’m not going to repeat myself again, boy.”
I loosed my hold and he pulled his arm away.  He calmed and reclaimed the mug, finishing the drink with one swallow.  “I appreciate your kindness, but I should be going.  I’ll let you make it up to me tomorrow.  Same place.  Same time.”  The wiry man placed the mug on the table top, his eyes daring me to counter him.  I could only blink in confusion.
The man took a step back and tilted his head, sunlight glistened on his sweaty, unshaven face.  A scar reached from the outer corner of his left eye to his ear where it hid in his hairline.  He gave a small bow, then went on his way.

Pilot - WIP - Science Fiction
updated 9/21/16

*All ships are merely ships.  If you can pilot one, you can pilot them all.  Interstellar ships are no different.  Tell me the coordinates, she and I will sail you there.*

With his fist still locked in armor, he rammed it high into my gut, forcing the air from my lungs.  Pinned between the wall and his punch, I gasped in vain for breath.  As if to prove his victory, he hiked me up to eye level and stared, awaiting my answer. I could only hold tight to his arm and ride out the air-starved tremors wracking my body.
“A question, huh?”  He tilted his head, his voice soft and his eyes kind.  “There might have been a place and time I would permit someone like you to speak with me, but, as you can see, I’m a busy person.”
Personnel continued to make their way down the hall behind him.  This must have been a normal occurrence around here.  Not one spared a glance in our direction.
“Perhaps if I didn’t have to single-handedly recover a lost ship and hunt down its scab of a pilot.  Yes.  There probably would have been a chance to hear out your useless questioning.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Days, weeks, months, and so on have passed since I last gave attention to the blog.  I'm not at all proud of the progress of my writings and stories.  I can pop out a new idea and short story in no time at all, but to finish an actual novel that's been rolling along since 2008, not happening.  Now my cover art is "out dated" because of the nice screens on the newer devices.  I'm not complaining there.  I want better standards for covers.  It's the investing that has me stumped.  Or I'll find an artist I want to work with, then get to know them and review their offerings.  Nope.  Relationship was misjudged.  Dare I say, "I'll keep trying"? 

News?  I don't remember the last post(s).  I just know it's been awhile.  So, here goes ...

Decided to start a backyard flock of hens.  One of six eggs hatched.  Bought four chicks from the people we bought the eggs from.  They're crazy and fun to watch.  We lost one last week.  She was always smaller than the others, but she kept up without any trouble.  She slowed down one day and died the next.  So we now have the four, one still looks for her little sister.  I've contemplated getting another like her, but the age would have to be the same and I'm not sure if the others would let a newbie in.  The pecking order is pretty well set.  Bringing in another isn't fair especially if the new girl is smaller than the others. 

We have at the moment a Nightjar chick that we are hand raising.  It was found on the library roof.  It was there for a short time and no parents showed to care for it.  It eventually fell down a drain pipe and got tangled up, so it was pulled free and forwarded to me.  It has good days and bad days.  It can eat like a porker one day, then take small offerings the next and be grumpy.  I'm guessing it's around 2 weeks of age.  Here's hoping it grows up big and strong and flies away and eats all the bugs that comes its way.

I've joined a local writers' club.  Haven't made any meetings yet.  Thinking I might as well check out of the group.  Maybe I'll peek into Twitter and see if the old group is still kicking.  They were always a helpful bunch. 

Quick!  Assign a release date to Always & Forever.  If I can just get that one out there, I think I'll get back on track with the rest.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I'm in Southwest Florida at the moment.  Florida is an odd state to me.  It's a love/hate thing.  One moment, I'm enchanted and awed by its beauty, the next I'm growling at the biting bugs and driving habits.  Even still, I find myself with my head in the clouds.  Or.... more so.... my writing projects.  They all seem to come flooding to me and I can only surrender and let the scenes play out.  It's wonderful after practices and prompts to try to get the writing to come.  Here's hoping I am amble to progress a story in some way.  Now it they'd talk to me one at a time.

Visiting family is what brought me here.  Well, my parents' anniversary (they always go on a trip) and a want to get out of sight for a time.  But I'm here, and any plans I tried to make melted away, and expectations have been puzzling.

Two days have now been spent out in the bay.  I shouldn't complain.  I cannot describe the peace of puttering around in a boat and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the gulf.  The ocean has always held my attention.  I can sit on a beach all day.  I don't have to necessarily be doing anything.  Just being still and watching the waves and tides turn and I'm in my own world.

The boat is a new experience for me.  The family has a gone in together and got a pontoon boat.  She's lovely.  She can be a bit of a handful if you slack off and quit paying attention.  Still, I can see the attraction.  Today was the greatest so far.  While I was showing my mom a few tricks to the fish finder, several larger objects appeared on the screen.  We were drifting at the time, pretty much feeding shrimp to fish one at a time.  We studied the objects.  They were unlike anything I'd seen before.  I called my aunt over, but she had just caught a fish and was busy with that.  So Mom and I watched the screen and wondered at the blobs below.  Within a few moments, four manatee surfaced in front of the boat.  They were gorgeous.  I love manatees and have never seen them in the wild.  I've always looked for them, but they seem to be rather shy.  These four acted as if we didn't exist.  My eyes were glued to them while they rolled and bobbed.  They moved on, of course, and I was still watching in their direction for some time.  We moved to another spot to try for some different fish and kept handing out shrimp.  We did see eagles, bald eagles, and watched as they plucked fish from the waves.  Dolphins jumped and played with their eternal merriment.  Sea turtles inspected us.  Gulls and pelicans and osprey and all sorts of birds kept us company.  Beautiful weather.  Beautiful creations.

After stepping back on dry land, my mind again went off on its own.  The tide was changing.  The rhythm of the elements changed with it.  Oyster beds poked out of the soft waves.  Long legged birds moved to deeper waters.  Barnacle caked rocks and pikes glistened in the sunlight.

The push and pull of the tide wins me over every time.  It's a simple thing, yet grand.  There is nothing one can do to keep the tide in close.  The salty water and sand slips through your fingers without effort and rejoin the mighty body that shifts away, seemingly to take a break from the busy shore. It'll return, and right when it means to.  There again, what can one do to alter it?  Why would one try?

It makes me realize where I employ my efforts and set my hopes.  I can only bring so much of it into what I want it to be.  The majority, the big picture, is the tide.  One has to learn its times and work with the rhythm to aim to accomplish their plans.  Some will get away no matter how hard you hold to them.  Others seem to come to rest at your feet and wait for you to notice.  There is always movement.  Where do you let your attention settle on?  What do you find?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Death of a Novel

I know everyone has their own breaking points.  Maybe this is the bump just before the break.  Whatever it is, I quit.  On one, anyway.  Certain things that are not progressing in my life tell me to let this one go.  More will probably follow, but I can't say for sure.  It's been a pain to keep this manuscript alive.  Now, with a lopsided headache and shaking hands, I expel the pieces to the bottom of the drawer.

It will be out of sight for a time.  As days go by, perhaps I can make myself delete the fragmented tale.  The thing about stories ... you can pull the plug and let it die in your mind, but you don't have to arrange a memorial for it.  No one else knew it existed.  No one else knew the characters.  No one else knew the role.  Someone may have seen little shadows of it in passing, but not enough to miss in its absence. 

A part of me believes that to be sad.  Even still, I have to question ... is sadness an opinion or a fact?  It can be venomous and debilitating.  It feels everlasting.  But once you step away from one adventure, there is another waiting to erupt around you.  There always will be.  I have found this to be true as a quitter of many things.

No, it's not encouraging or anything I am proud of.  Yet, it has happened before and will undoubtedly happen again.  A hope evolves into a farce.  Recognize the waste of time and energy, acknowledge your losses, then go your way.  If you stand beside the wreckage too long, you will also begin to succumb into ruin. 

I do not see myself in any of my writings, but I feel something die within me when one fails to breathe. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bring on the Madness

Not really.  I'd like to avoid as much crazy as possible.  This week, and probably the one to follow, will be full of it.  There is a wedding this weekend.  I'm not the planner for this one, just did part of the planning and am now with the group that will decorate the reception hall.  So a load of flowers is supposed to arrive later this week.  I'm going to have to find a way to store them and protect them from my flower-loving cats.  There will we house guests, but that's no biggie.  And the bachelor party will be here.  I'll probably be hiding with the flowers.  Saturday is the wedding, and unless I can pull off some magic tomorrow, I will have exactly one hour to set up the reception hall with one other person ... whom is on crutches.  But no worries.  It's gonna work out.  No choice.

And we have another cat.  I went to the shelter to pick one up that I've been watching online.  She was adopted out before I got there, so I wasn't needed.  Besides, we really didn't need another cat, I was just worried because she had been in the shelter for a long time and I was afraid she was running out of time and might get put to sleep.  Awesome sauce to the people who adopted her.  Then, Saturday morning, someone dumped a kitten in front of our house.  Little baby calico.  Unique coloring.  So we brought her in and fed her, took her to the vet for a check-up and shots, and brought her back to the house and let her run with Diesel and Oliver.  Oliver growled for a while, but I expected that much.  He is comfy with life just the way it is.  Diesel pays close attention to the kitten, following her around and playing.  She is learning all his traits.  Not sure if that is a good thing or not.  We'll see if we can find her a home soon.

Nausicaa (the sugar glider) has seemed to forgiven me for taking a weekend away.  She is now sitting on the armrest of my chair while I'm typing.  She's yelled at me today, but I deserved it. 

And I guess that's it for now.  Way past my bedtime and I think Nausicaa has done enough exploring tonight.  I haven't made any new toys for her today, but snacks have happened.  Who doesn't love snacks?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Flavor of Panic

It starts with a spot of pressure, a presence in my chest.  It's more of an irritant at first.  I'll ignore this.  It's nothing.  The spot grows.  It somehow has grown to engulf my lungs.  They're tight.  They won't pull in air.  The pressure is now a hungry fire.  I cough to clear my throat.  It accomplishes nothing.  Icy daggers now prod from within my stomach.  Nauseous, shaky, dizzy, and wobbly ...  it's not going to let me ignore it.  Every muscle that forms this confounded body tries to fight back.  It takes all I have not to crumple into a ball.  Frustration, fear, anger, and confusion battle for precedence in my exhausted mind.  Heat and cold wrap around me in waves.  Being soaked in sweat makes me feel even more sickly.  It isn't going to stop.  Don't try to stand ... my knees will not hold.  Speech will not happen.  It only results in idiotic noises and nonsense.  Black shadows steal away my vision.  That's ok, I don't think I'm seeing all that well anyway.  It's best not to fight it.  It will pass more quickly.  The post-spaz aches will be the same either way.  I can only hope someone is near and that they know what is going on.  No paramedics or doctors.  They can only ask the same questions over and over again as if my answers will change.  Just open the pill bottle.  Thank goodness it's a tiny tablet.  There would be no way of swallowing anything the size of a jellybean.  But my fingers cannot find the little pill.  My hands are as flimsy as a bunch of two week old bananas trying to pick up a melting ice cube.  By this point, sound is nearly nonexistent.  All I can hear is muffled voices and the pounding of my heart in my ears.  I have to catch my breath to try down a mouthful of water.  Don't drown.  If I can get my throat to cooperate, bring on the pill and more water.  Please, not a glass.  I cannot control my trembling and spastic movements.  Let's not crack a tooth on the cup or bite a chunk out of the glass.  That will only lengthen the life of this party.  Now all I can do is wait.  Wait for the meds to kick in.  Wait for the panic to calm.  Wait for air to fill my lungs.  Wait for my stomach to stop tearing itself apart.  The flames and ice crawling through my body eventually fade into a warm tingling sensation.  This is where the nick name I've given these pills comes from.  Warm fuzzy.  Like an over-sized blanket fresh from the drier.  Soak it up.  Rest.  Perhaps sleep will erase the discomfort that has wracked this body.  Stillness is perfect.  My ears hum.  That's better than the ringing.  I can handle the hum.  It lulls me to sleep.