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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Urban Fantasies, Female Main Characters, Dragon Soul Press & other musings

11 JUL 19

Working away over here. Editing and expanding several stories, most notable today is an urban fantasy short story I wrote called (for now) The Symbol and the Ring, set in my home town of Los Angeles. Got some great feedback on it. It's my take on urban fantasy, considering I haven't read many stories set in that genre. It's got a little fantasy in it and it's set in an urban setting, so voila! Urban Fantasy!

While I was working on the one hiccup the reader found, I spotted something else that needed fixing as well. As I dove into the story, I remembered how much I liked Carol, the heroine of the story. She, like many Angelenos, is a transplant. She came to LA to follow her dream of acting and somewhere along the way she found a passion for police work, specifically crime scene investigation. Looking forward to writing more stories about her! 

Picture for today: A little love for Dragon Soul Press, an independent publisher. Their covers draw you in, and the stories inside fill your heart with wonder. I haven't published anything through them yet, bad timing really. I am focusing more on self-publishing now instead of selling my stories to others. Anyways, take a gander at three of their covers for upcoming anthologies and enjoy. 
Link to their pages: 
Web: https://dragonsoulpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dragonsoulpress/

Monday, July 1, 2019


11 JUN 2019

My latest writing project is complete, the summer is in full swing, I now have time for art. Since my cover photo for The Killing Parts came from Belgium, and we have a friend from that wonderful country coming to visit us in the States, it seems only fitting to turn to those photos and share some of them. 

These are from Bruges, Belgium for the most part. 



Also in this post I want to mention a Do it Yourself artificial pancreas expert. Do it Yourself Pancreas. I know many people with diabetes and I think it is amazing that someone is out there giving away the knowledge for free on how to build their own replacement artificial pancreas. Amazing times we live in. Amazing times.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Killing Parts

16 JUN 2019

Just some fun for today. A picture from a recent trip to San Antonio to help me get the word our about my latest short story release.

Calavera Catrina says, "Go buy The Killing Parts! It's fantastico y muy delicioso! Does this dress make me look fat?"

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Killing Parts is available for purchase!

09 JUN 2019

I did it again! I have a new short story for sale. This makes the fourth short story I've written and released on my own. I even made the cover too. My wife usually helps me out with those. Go and get it! It's less than a dollar! The story is a mix of small town feel, fantasy and horror. Think not quite Pet Sematary but close, with a more fantasy feel to it. 

Here is the link and the description:

A funeral in the small town of Pine Bend leads to a disturbing chain of events as a grieving father becomes obsessed with finding a cure, for Death! How far would you go to protect the ones you love from the Grim Reaper? Read what happens when Man mucks around with the primal forces of Life and Death.

An excerpt from The Killing Parts:
One door swung open and a wild mane of black hair popped out. “Hello, Cousin! Hello! No need for all that. Come in, come in! I’ve done it!” A frenzied look filled the pair of brown sunken eyes. “I’ve perfected every parent’s dream. Frigg’s Pledge!”

Early reviews are in:
“..,dramatic and petrifying!”
“There's nothing more I can say than ‘Wow’”
“A brilliant page-turner!”
"In The Killing Parts, one wonders where reality ends and fantasy takes over."
"I still have enough good sense to recognize talent when I see it. Welcome to an emule (imitator) of Stephen King."

For the picture from today, since I shared the cover yesterday, here is another picture from the same set of pictures that the cover came from: 

I believe this is the arch above the same church entrance pictured on the cover of The Killing Parts. I love abstract stuff and this picture hits that for me.

Go and buy my new short story!

Cover of The Killing Parts

09 JUN 2019

Now that some time has passed, I can share the sad news. Well not deeply sad, just an opportunity that did not pan out. We (Cheryl and I) had a few of our writings looked at for possible use by Scott Free Productions. Fantastic, uh? A major studio! It was a great opportunity brought into being by my awesome mother, who happens to talk to the brilliant and wonderfully creative Ridley Scott every once in a while. Yeah, crazy, uh? Truly a who-you-know sort of thing. Anyways, we talked with some of his people over at Scott Free productions, (all were super nice people by the way and impressive credentials in their own right) submitted some materials for their consideration, and then heard several months later that they were not interested. A defeat to be sure, but as part of the submission process I reworked two of my previously published pieces. I ran The Killing Parts through several editors (thanks in particular to my wife, Dave Owens, and Tomeka LaShay Manson) and it is being re-released in an expanded form for sale. I don't remember what the other story I submitted was, probably The Legacy, but I am happy with how The Killing Parts turned out. 

As part of my low-key, low-budget advertising campaign, here is the cover for my soon to be released story, The Killing Parts! Look for it on Amazon within the next few days.

Picture is detail from a church in Ghent, Belgium. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Battle of Midway

04 JUNE 2018

Battle of Midway (3-7 June 1942)

This is the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. Many sites out there give a great breakdown and analysis. I'll keep mine short and sweet after the link to an awesome video released by the US Navy:

US Navy video: Battle of Midway

The battle was a huge victory for the US. We had cracked Japanese communication codes and knew the attack was coming. Marines on Midway Island still had to hold out during the initial Japanese attack and they were up to the task. The island defenses held. The Japanese decided to attack again. 

We were ready for them though and took the fight to their carriers. Surprise! Mad props to the US torpedo bombers who flew in slow and low and drew Japanese fire on themselves while the real attack came from high above.

Losses on US side were 150 aircraft and 307 lives. 

Japan lost four aircraft carriers, one heavy cruiser, 275 aircraft and 4,800 fighters. All brave men, true leaders on both sides. 

We won the battle and turned the tide of the war in the Pacific.

If you are looking for more history from the military, particularly the US Navy, follow this link to the Naval History and Heritage Command website NHHC. They even have a specific section for veterans looking for information about their time in service. Memory a little hazy, can't remember exactly which ports you pulled in on a particular cruise? There's a link for that information along with a bunch of other cool stuff.


In writing news, I received some good feedback and helpful advice from some other writers. Some of the comments were: 

  • Both stories were very well written
  • Your tales are a bit on the wild side
  • Your story was dramatic and petrifying!
  • With a little polish on the character development and more brush of imagery to make it more vivid will make your story more intensifying! 
  • There's nothing more I could say than "Wow" 
  • A brilliant and page-turner story! 
  • These short stories would do great in a collection written by the same author.

The final comment I really enjoyed because I am looking at gathering my short stories into a collection. 

I am still editing but feeling confident that the story will be well received once released. Beginning and middle are stronger, working on strengthening the ending now. Then cover, then finalizing the blurb and release on Amazon!

Picture for today:
Ramadan Mubarak: Ramzan Images, Cards, Greetings, Quotes, Pictures, GIFs and Wallpapers
Ramadan Mubarak for those who took part in Eid al-Fitr celebrations. I am not a muslim, but I have friends and students who are. 

Love to all. May your days on Earth be long and happy.

Saturday, May 25, 2019


24 MAY 2019

Yesterday was the last day of work! School is out! Time to get back to writing! And picture taking too! 

For writing, I'm working on several stories at once, as the mood strikes. Me and my wife were watching The Amazing Race and one of the challenges inspired me to write a section for my long frontier story about a family moving across the sea to the New Lands. I think it came out pretty well, just have to figure out where to place it in the bigger story and tie it together with what is going on. As far as releasing new stories, I'm continuing on a rewrite of The Killing Parts, still working through some edits from another writer. Thought I was over 10K words but I forgot to remove her comments at the end of the piece. Not that I'm shooting for a nice round number like 10K, just looking at the overall size of the piece. Still have to work on a cover, and I'm also looking at including a few small illustrations with the story, as long as I can figure out the formatting.

The following photos were taken on a recent trip to the local museum, the RW Norton. I had posted some already. Enjoy them and enjoy the summer!


This last picture is a Honeysuckle. Not the kind that grew in my backyard as a kid, but a close variety. You can pull out the long yellow parts of the flower and at the other end is a delicate drop of sweet-tasting nectar.