Check out the prologue to "Alone In The Light" by clicking here

An excerpt from: Alone In The Light

Monday, December 24, 2018

'Twas the day before Christmas and I'm not super happy

'Twas the day before Christmas and I'm not supper happy
I'd like to write a poem, but it's coming out crappy.
The kids are with grandma and Angie's at work
For the sole reason that her boss is a jerk.

It's just not the same, this Christmas Eve day
But we're all adults with lots of bills to pay
And Angie's at her desk, and I am at mine
I try to convince myself "This is all fine."

All out in the world everything is just noise
I miss being young and just playing with toys.
The kids have it right, they now what is best
Give me something fun! And fuck all the rest.

We strive and we worry to find the right gift
Something that will give our spirits a lift
There's anxiety and worry and self doubt to spare
When all we want is our loved ones to be there.

With little children so silly and fun
Life is hard when all you do is run
I try to be happy and so do we all
But sometimes we stumble and sometimes we fall

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hunting: Life in Rural America

Recently I got the chance to write a piece about hunting for another blog. I thought I would go ahead and share that entry here on my own blog... 

Hunting: Life in Rural America

I'm fairly certain that hunting is looked at in vastly different ways by the rural communities vs urban communities. Out here in rural Nowhere - it's a way of life.

In the urban community it's probably seen as an unnecessary thing by many, possibly barbaric by some, and just not an option for most. But I am not talking about trophy hunting or going on safari (fuck you Eric Trump!). I'm talking about walking out into the woods before the sun comes up and freezing my ass off for several hours in the hopes I will come home late that day with a large deer that will fill my family's freezer for months to come.

People here hunt, and for good reason. If the deer in our area were left to their own devices - they would breed themselves to death. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. They'll strip an entire area of its food (for the deer) in a season or two if their numbers get too big. Then they'll start getting hungry and move into the towns and roads and become a hazard. The hunting community keeps these numbers in a manageable level. And the people here are passionate about it.

Monday, November 12, 2018

"Deep Dish" Chocolate Chip, Bourbon, Bacon Pecan Pie (Bacon optional)

So - this is my "Deep Dish" Chocolate Chip, Bourbon, Bacon Pecan Pie (Bacon optional).

I use a 2" deep Fluted Tart Pan with removable bottom... which gives you this:

You can use a standard pie pan and make this with the exact same results... I was just going to for something new for presentation's sake (photo at bottom of page)

Some History:

My wife and I have started a new Tradition of "Friendsgiving" the weekend or so before Thanksgiving. We have our friends over and we eat, drink, and be merry without having that awkward family stuff to deal with and it's a great time.

We try to make new dishes based on traditional Thanksgiving meals... last year we had:

Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf with twice baked mashed potatoes - Seen here (IT WAS AMAZING!!!)

Lobster Mac and Cheese
Pumpkin Pasties (not traditional for any of us here)

Cranberry Vodka Coctails
Chocolate Chip, Bacon, and Bourbon Pecan Pie

But let's face it - you're here for PIE!!! So here you go -

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The happiest time of my life.


As a joke-ish type thing 10 years ago - A.J. and I changed our Facebook status to "engaged" one night while chatting online while I was in Biloxi on a work trip. It was mostly a joke... but not really a joke really since both of us just knew that A: we want to get married and B: it was going to happen sooner or later.

Well... it was sooner.
See, I had in my mind for some time how it would all go down... when we did the facebook thing, A.J.'s sister was all like "OH! If he asked you on Halloween that would be awesome!" -- all I could think of was "GET OUT OF MY HEAD WOMAN!!!" ;-)
So, we picked out a ring a week earlier... And I lied and told her it would be almost 8 weeks before I could get the ring, financially. And, you've got to love the salespeople at the Jewelry store who played along with me on this. I thought about inviting them to the wedding as a result of their excellent acting skills.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Book Recommendation - Junkers by Benjamin Wallace

A new feature I'm adding to this blog - any time I finish a book, I will promptly do a short write-up on it and either recommend it for reading - or for ignoring.

A few weeks back I finished Junkers by Benjamin Wallace - and it goes on the "Recommend List"
My rating system is as follows - and anything between 3 and 5 stars should be considered worthy of buying....
1 star – I didn’t like it - won't talk about it.
2 stars – It was OK - I probably won't re-read this book without a compelling argument.
3 stars – I liked it - The book was enjoyable and I might revisit in the future.
4 stars – I really liked it - Have probably read it twice already or will soon.
5 stars – It was amazing - Will probably re-read this title every year or so.

The Robot Uprising is Here - And It's Hilarious

For such a short book, Junkers is a lot of fun. 

I read the "Robopocalypse" by Daniel H. Wilson and was so disappointed that I almost gave up on the genre as a whole. But along comes Benjamin Wallace with his team of Junkers - Jake, Kat, Mason, Savant and Glitch - and I'm back in the game!

Life is supposed to be easier when robots do all the work, right? Then why are they murdering people? The story starts out with a murder, is followed up by a murder, and ends with another murder or two... and, yet, I found myself laughing and eagerly consuming page after page of this story. 

It's fun, lighthearted, and full of characters that I couldn't help but like - and want more of in the future. Junkers is the Robot Uprising we should all be reading... and we should also be calling our movie representatives and asking for this to be optioned. Seriously, folks, Benjamin Wallace's wit and sense of humor make him a national treasure.

Disclaimer - I am in no way paid for my reviews - which you can probably guess by how poorly they are written... and all opinions are my own.

Book Recommendation - Trackers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

A new feature I'm adding to this blog - any time I finish a book, I will promptly do a short write-up on it and either recommend it for reading - or for ignoring.

Earlier this week I finished "Trackers" by Nicholas Sansbury Smith - and it goes on the "Recommend List"

My rating system is as follows - and anything between 3 and 5 stars should be considered worthy of buying....
1 star – I didn’t like it - won't talk about it. 
2 stars – It was OK - I probably won't re-read this book without a compelling argument. 
3 stars – I liked it - The book was enjoyable and I might revisit in the future.
4 stars – I really liked it - Have probably read it twice already or will soon.5 stars – It was amazing - Will probably re-read this title every year or so.

The Nightmare Scenario Done Right 
I am an apocalypse junkie. I've read almost everything I can get my hands on about stories involving life at the end of things... And the scariest of all scenarios, to me, is an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse). Other books have touched on them and done a fair enough job making that scenario into a work of fiction - but they usually seem like a really over the top "how to" guide for Preppers - not saying it's a bad thing, just that it does make for good fiction. Nicholas Sansbury Smith, however, has made this into good fiction while still addressing the "how-to" aspect of being prepared. 

WWIII begins in the skies over the U.S. with the detonation of three nuclear devices resulting in an EMPs. If that wasn't bad enough, the attack is followed up by a secondary device that take out Washington DC. Dealing with the EMP is least of the problems for former Marine Sam "Raven" Spears and the man he's usually at odds with - Police Chief Marcus Colton... they are in the midsts of a manhunt for a potential serial killer who has come to the quiet, tourist town of Estes Park, CO.
It's good story showing the immediate fallout of life after an EMP mixed with a gripping murder-mystery. I look forward to the rest of the series to see where Smith takes us in the new, dark world. This one story is clearly the doorway into something larger and more encompassing just like Smith has done with The Extinction Cycle and Hell Divers. 

Disclaimer - I am in no way paid for my reviews - which you can probably guess by how poorly they are written... and all opinions are my own.

Friday, September 21, 2018

It's not a toomah... well, it MIGHT be a toomah, but we don't know yet.

Hi, everyone! How’s it?


Not MY brain... 
So, today I went to the hospital and had a nifty little CT Scan done on my brain. Why? Good question, faithful reader, I’m glad you asked. See... I just turned 40 not too long ago (being 40 has actually nothing to do with this... I just like to remind people that I'm getting old). And around the middle of August I started getting headaches. Well, no, that’s not true... I got a headache and it basically has lasted for 3-4 weeks. Sometimes it’s worse, sometimes it’s better, sometimes it feels like someone is stabbing my eye with an icepick... And sometimes it feels like someone WAY bigger than me has punched me in the head repeatedly. But... the headache is pretty much ever-present. It’s a super awesome way to spend your day. Let me tell ya. It pretty much sucks... and apparently has a big effect on my mood. 

So - after being stubborn and pretending it WASN’T actually a thing - I decided to call my family doctor and make an appointment. I had the appointment on Wednesday. At the appointment he ran me through a series of questions and tests and seemed mildly concerned. He then decided to get me scheduled for some blood work and a CT Scan. The blood work happened on Thursday and the CT Scan was this morning. I must say - I’m pretty pleased with just how fast they moved me through the ole system there. Hooray for socialized medicine!... wait... Hooray for greedy insurance companies!!! - but the speed in which they worked also made me nervous.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Buy a book! And recommend a book! Then repeat the process!!

Thursday!  You know what you should do on Thursdays?

Buy a book!  And recommend a book! Then repeat the process!!

Today's recommendations are five excellent Science Fiction works with strong women as their protagonist. And I think you should take a look at when you get a moment:

The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Story by Mary Robinette Kowal
An alternate history of the Space Program full of good science, a diverse cast of characters, and a strong look at women in the face of adversity. Kowal's book takes place in an alternate version of the 1950's when a meteorite strike on the nation's capital changes everything. The impact will bring about a possible extinction of the human race and it's a race to get to the moon. Elma York, the MC, is a brilliant pilot and mathematician and she and her fellow pilots struggle to join the astronaut-corp even though they're "only women." - Side note: The author is also the reader of the Audible version and she is FABULOUS.

Paige's Story by A.J. Bass
It's the story of 13 year old Paige Bryan - a very smart, funny girl trying to live on a military base with sentient robots - Synthetics. Her mom and dad have been called in to help study the growing sentience in these machines and Paige gets caught up in the move. Paige has to face all the problems of trying to be a teenager while also dealing with the fact she is alienated from others simply because she lives on base... with the machines. Not to mention the religious protestors... It's a fun story with sarcasm, mystery, and a whole load of great characters. While the book is 400 pages long - it is an easy read that I had trouble putting down.

Friday, July 13, 2018

There and Back again - my trip to SDCC (2012)

In 2012 - I was working as an audio engineer/backline tech for a pretty notable musical group. And one of their runs took me out to the West Coast for about a 3-week run up and down the coast. With the last show of the run being in beautiful San Diego... DURING COMIC CON!!!!

My selfie on the Con Floor
With Han Solo!
A.J. and I had been planning a trip to that year's SDCC back in January of 2012... as a matter of fact we were going to buy our plane tickets and hotel room on January 8th... On the night of January 7th, we discovered that the Glump was upon us and quickly decided that being 7 months pregnant at Comic-Con would not be an enjoyable experience for anyone. So, when I found out I'd be in San Diego with work on that weekend, I was a little more than just pleased.

So... I arrived in San Diego on Thursday night for a load-in at the venue... before load-in, however, the production manager and I were given two seats to the San Diego Symphony's "Symphony of the Goddesses - A tribute to The Legend of Zelda". (for more info go here: ) And that was just an amazingly good time. Surrounded by SDCC attendees in full Zelda and Link cosplay while the Symphony played music from all of the Zelda games in time with videos and screen-caps of the games... it was, in a word, AWESOME.

Monday, July 2, 2018

My Independence Day Movie Marathon!!

This year - it seems fitting that we remember the thoughts and actions of our forefathers as the Sunkist Supreme Leader seems hell bent on absolutely destroying everything that makes this country great... I think the President from Independence Day says it best:

"We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!  We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

SO -  Set off fireworks in residential neighborhoods, drink beers, put out the flags, and remember that we stood up to tyranny and said "hey... fuck you."


Monday, June 25, 2018

Let's all go to the movies!!!

Let's talk about MOVIES!!!

For some reason - our culture seems to be obsessed with the idea that Cinema is the BEST format for all entertainment.  And while I disagree with that statement wholeheartedly - I do find that there are some really great films out there across a wide range of genres that are just awesome. And let's face it - there are few things more awesome than loading up on popcorn and soda to go sit in the dark with a screen bigger than most houses to watch stories unfold before your eyes...

I've seen thousands of movies in my life. It's the one thing I love as much as reading. In seeing so many films I have LOADS of "favorites" I have my favorite comedy, my favorite drama, my favorite guilty pleasure movie... I have favorite and sub-category favorites for just about every genre. But above all that, I have a small core of movies that I hold near and dear. Movies I can quote without thinking. I don't have to say "uh... what was that one line?" - I just know them. If I were James Halliday - they'd be canon. I do not mean that these are the best movies ever made. I am simply saying that, in my opinion, I can watch any of these movies at almost any time.. They are my personal favorites that do not seem to get old for me... this list is in alphabetical order to avoid the headache caused by trying actually rank them from 1-10.

So, without further adieu, here is my list of:


Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Recommendation: The Extinction Cycle (Boxed Set)

I have stated before that I LOVE post-apocalyptic literature. As such - I have just finished the first three books in Nicholas Sansbury Smith's "The Extinction Cycle".

The box set includes the books Extinction Horizon, Extinction Edge, and Extinction Age and they are one roller coaster ride of action and the apocalypse! 

The audible version is read by Bronson Pinchot - and he does a fantastic job. I've loved hearing the books he has read - my personal favorite being Ray Bradbury's "The Halloween Tree"

I have not finished the entire series yet - I have 4 more to go still. But it has been an enjoyable series so far with all of the despair and daunting helplessness you'd expect in an end-of-the-world experience. 

So - what's it all about?

Friday, June 8, 2018

“Scotch on the rocks - they can’t f*** that up" - Anthony Bourdain

"I should’ve died in my 20s. I became successful in my 40s. I became a dad in my 50s.I feel like I’ve stolen a car –a really nice car– and I keep looking in the rearview mirror for flashing lights. But there’s been nothing yet." - Anthony Bourdain

This morning I woke to the news that Anthony Bourdain died at the age of 61... from suicide. 

I've never met the man. But I've read his books, watched "No Reservations" on a daily basis and tried to watch all of the other shows he did.

My wife and I always joked that Anthony Bourdain was my spirit animal with his smoking, drinking, and "no fucks to give" attitude... some things I do in my own life.

His persona is what I imagined my Patronus Charm would look like if I had to fight of Dementors... he would appear as a ghostly, white apparition with a scotch in one hand, cigarette in the other - and just stare down or berate the dementors until they left in shame...

And while I'll never be a chef of his caliber - I do give him a lot of credit for me trying new things and loving my time spent in my own kitchen.

Then, to wake up and find out he committed suicide - Well, I am at a loss.

Monday, June 4, 2018

40 years of respect and admiration...

I woke up this morning feeling remarkably refreshed - especially given the amount of... shall we say "birthday indulgence(?)" I had this weekend

I know what some of you are thinking - especially those of you older than I am - "You're only 40. Get over it. It's not that big of a deal." And you're right.  But - and here's the kicker - I honestly didn't think I'd ever see 40.

Yep. True story. 

I spent a good chunk of the last 2 decades thinking that 37 was probably going to be my limit. Get me drunk enough and I might even talk to you about it...

I know a lot of people have spent a large chuck of their lives doing things far worse than I have. Far scarier, far more exciting... etc and so on. But I've put my body and myself through some pretty hard times. And, in doing so, I felt that I'd missed death one too many times to get this far in life... I'm very happy to see this point in my life and see that I was wrong.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Memorial Day... A small rant.

Memorial Day is a great day, right?! It's often heralded as the "unofficial start of summer." And I can go to any department store, clothing store, furniture, electronic, etc.... And get 50% off of damn near anything! 

Wow! Who knew that a good sale only required the deaths of so many US men and women?

Today, while driving, a sign caught my eye. Large, blue and red letters proclaimed "HONOR OUR VETERANS" ... the next line was "SALE LASTS UNTIL TUESDAY!"
-- I mean, really?

Fuck you.  

Not only is it NOT Veteran's Day and you're pandering to people - but you're also being a complete dickhole by cashing in on the deaths of so many good men and women. I will not shop at your store.

Today or ever.

Monday, May 21, 2018

PTSD. It's what's for dinner...

I'm going to venture into the land of 'WAY too much personal information" segment of our blog...

I suffer from PTSD due to some of the times and adventures I had back in my younger, Army days... and I, more or less, live with it these days and things are "okay" - but there are certain, special times of the year that it comes in swinging... like a wrecking ball to quote a shitty, shitty song.

The problems associated with PTSD are many... but, to me at least, the big ones are the lack of sleep, lack of motivation, and withdrawing from other people and social settings. Because, let's face it - if you add those things up - the last place you want to go is... anywhere.

On top of that - there is the occasional misuse of certain substances... namely alcohol. It is used as a method to combat some of the effects brought about by PTSD - mainly anxiety and, in some cases, the lack of sleep. Or, you know... so I've heard.

So - not sleeping, being all pissy, and not wanting to interact with people can do a number on you. I've put on 4 lbs in the last week because I've been stress-eating, drinking too much alcohol, not sleeping, and skipping the gym. It's not cool.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Apocalypse WOW!!! A Post-Apocalyptic Literature Post.

I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories. I have read dozens of books with the same premise - The world has ended, people are trying to still be people.

And I love them. All Most of them.

I don't mean Dystopian novels like The Hunger Games or The Handmaid's Tale - Which I also love - I mean straight-up world-ending, 50% or more of the people in the world are gone and we're watching the last of humanity try to survive just ONE. MORE. DAY...  And it's fucking glorious. I don't often feel the same about PA movies. They're usually good, but trying to depict truly Post-Apocalyptic life on screen is a far more challenging task than in print. There are a few exceptions though.

I just finished HELL DIVERS by Nicholas Sansbury Smith from Audible (Read by the AMAZING R.C. Bray). It's about a group of WWIII survivors living aboard an airship 250 years following the near-complete destruction of the human race. The 2 ships - Aries and The Hive - float above radioactive superstorms trying to stay alive. When they need supplies or parts to fix the ship they send their Hell Divers to the ground to find what they need. It's a very bleak and depressing world... and I picked up Hell Divers II as SOON as I finished the first one. Pick it up - you'll like it. Hell Divers III is available for pre-order too now!!  I think this book could make a fantastic TV series or Movie... I don't like saying "I'd love to see this as a movie" because I feel books are 99% of the time WAY better as a book. But this one has a lot of cinematic themes that could be done well on the screen...

Reading this book has me thinking about some of my favorite reads in the Post Apocalypse genre... there are a TON of them. But I thought I'd share my thoughts on a few of them...

Thursday, May 10, 2018

These Books are MADE OF PEOPLE!!

Much like Soylent Green - Books are made of people.

Well, no. They're actually made of paper and ink... but they're FULL of people and characters. And that, in my opinion, can really make or break a book.

Most of these people are complete works of fiction. They come from the brain of the person writing the book and they give them their own lives, personalities, and purpose. And that's pretty cool.

So - what about when we write a story and BASE the people in our story - fictional people - on people we know in real life?  It makes the writing easier and does half of the work for us. We now have somewhat of a background for the character, and some basic traits and habits already in place for us to work with. But is that a good idea? I haven't really decided yet.

I once wrote a short story - okay, it was 72 pages when I abandoned it - where I used the actual names, physical descriptions, and overall ACTUAL real person as the character in the story. Bruce was Bruce. Angie was Angie. And so on... These characters and their struggles were all fictional - but they matched up to their real world counterparts quite well. And - I don't think any of the friends I actually used in the story were ever in a life or death situation following a global pandemic and the rise of feral mutants.... Hmm... I should check on that.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Music Makes The World More Alive...

Well, here we are again with a stab at randomness...

Before I get too far gone - can I just say that "YAY!!!! Black Panther is out and I can watch it again!!"

So... music. Wait... is that where I'm going with this? Sure. Why not?

I personally think it has to be difficult to write a story with music in it. I mean - as soon as you use a current song, your dated. If you come up with your own song... nobody knows it. If you rely on "That one classic rock song by Jimmy Hendrix" there is a 90% chance everyone will know it. Now, if you're writing about time travel, you're golden. You can put in whatever you want and make that song an integral part of your book without the risk of being dated... I think. This is new territory for me.

Some of the books I've read have really used music well - The Time Traveler's Wife (YES... I am
aware that I talk about this book often. It's really good. You should read it. Then we can discuss it together! Which would be AWESOME) has a GREAT use of music in it. Live music when they see The Violent Femmes in concert in Chicago. His mother is Annette Lyn Robinson/Annette DeTamble who is a famous musician and the use of her past performances within the book are 100% spot-on.

But so many bands are mentioned....
The Femmes, Patti Smith, New York Dolls, Joni Mitchell, Sex Pistols... Und so weiter.... there is an extensive list of musical performers in that book. A full list can be found here...  And the narrators of the book did a great job of reading the lyrics when the songs were in the books. It was great!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Family Moments...

This post is, for lack of a better word, one of those "slice of life" moments.

Our son gambled on a fart last night... and lost.

He was laughing and playing and then he suddenly stopped and looked up and said "SOMETHING CAME OUT OF MY BUTT!"  He was rushed to the toilet and all was taken care of.  But then we let him have his privacy. I went to the kitchen and AJ went upstairs to get him some fresh underwear.

While we were both out of earshot he apparently announced that he was finished and would like to get up... and neither of us heard him.

As I hear AJ's footsteps on the stairs, I hear quiet, uncontrolled sobbing from the bathroom....

We rushed in to find him with his head in his hands and tears falling to the floor in a steady stream.  Turns out that when we didn't show up immediately - he thought we'd abandoned him to live forever on the toilet...

A cookie and some book-time with AJ and he was right as rain.

It's the little moments.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Fact vs Fiction In A Fictional World...

When I first started my current job - I traveled. Like... a lot. I hit 39 of the lower states, 3 Canadian provinces, and Haiti... On top of that, I spent some time moving around with my short, decade-long, stint in the United States Army.

My point is - I got around.

As I read current fictions and stories, I wonder - do the writers go out and visit these places when they write about them? Do they rely on Google? Is it all from memory with a dash of made up bullshit to keep it fresh? OR... is it a combination of them all?  And on top of that - who the hell pays for it all??

Right now, I could write some pretty good descriptions of many of the places to which I've traveled in my life. Some with crystal-clear details... others with a general sense of familiarity. But - which is the better choice?

One of the things I love when I travel is seeing the places mentioned in books. Even if it's just the city name or railway stop. When I was reading "The Android's Dream" for the first time, I was traveling through the DC, Virginia area... where a lot of that story takes place. It was good timing on my part. When I first went through Ender's Game I happened to end up going through North Carolina... again, good timing. It made the books more... real? I don't know if real is the right word. But it gave the stories more presence in my actual life.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Dreaming About Things... and Stuff.

Dreams are weird. You have good dreams, bad dreams, dreams where you're naked that are fun and dreams where you're naked and they suck. Your brain basically says "Hey, here's a random assortment of images and sounds from your life... how fucked up would you like to be tonight?"

And just like that - your day either starts out good... or shitty.

I, for one, have some pretty messed up dreams from time to time. Not bragging - just more of an FYI. My wife, on the other hand, has what she calls "weird dream theater" - and trust me - it's weird.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN!!!! and again and again and again and again...

May is national Time Travel Awareness Month!

... that is not true at all, but I'm running with it. Especially as I just spent a night with a pacifier-less child who spent 3 achingly long hours of the night telling me in no uncertain terms that she, in fact, wanted her binky. So we're hitting the coffee again today like it's meth and I'm some sort of crazed addict.

She's lucky she's an adorable child. 

But - her binky-less, cry fest got me thinking about time travel. Because, OH HOLY SHIT how great would it be to travel back in time to when she lost the binky - and make sure it didn't go missing!?!?

It also helps that I'm currently reading Paradox Bound for the 2nd time... It's a pretty excellent time travel story by Peter Clines... so time travel is on my mind ALREADY... and her pleas just added to that. And I don't just mean traveling forward in time - I mean jumping around, doing stuff... time is, after all, a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey thing...

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

I've come here to drink coffee and be REALLY random...

Some days - life just isn't fun. Migraines, work, stress, kids kicking you in the kidneys while you sleep... stuff like that.

It's on those days I like to rely on caffeine.

Shitloads of caffeine.

Like... oh, holy shit, that's a lot of caffeine.

Today... is one of those days. I'm on cup #2 of coffee, plus a Mt. Dew kickstarter**... which, by the way, has become my new favorite thing. I imagine there will be more of these in my near future.

But I'm not here to talk about coffee... Well, not SOLELY to talk about coffee anyway. I'm here to talk about... uh... something?  I'm not sure. Let's see where this goes.

I took a poll on Facebook to see what exactly I should write about... the answers varied wildly. Music, Politics, artificial lifeforms, listening to people talk about their swolness, travel, driving without a top on my jeep, candy corn... and so on.

And yet... none of these topics moved me. That is because I am a heartless, over-caffeinated monster... I'd make a great villain in a book. Sitting behind my keyboard, laughing maniacally at my computer monitor as I laugh at the people of the internet and ignore their pleas for entertaining material. I would just sit and drink my caffeinated beverages, browse reddit... Wait... that's not very villainous. Sounds like a dude in his 30s.


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Hollywood needs to re-think itself

Books and movies! Movies and books!!  WAIT!!!  Let's take some anime and make it into a movie as well!!

Why do we as a culture have such a hard-on for movies?

I can say that, in my 40 years of movie-watching and book reading, I have seen MAYBE 3 dozen movies that I consider "amazing feats of story-telling"... but I've read literally HUNDREDS of books that are absolutely AMAZING feats of story-telling.

But my question is - again - WHY do we feel that EVERYTHING would be better as a movie?  Because, lets face it, statistically speaking - most movies suck.

We need to think bigger. We need to think more episodic. We need to get away from the idea that everything needs to be boiled down into a 90-120 minute long, trite representation of an amazing work of someone else.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The problem with social media...

Peter Clines posted in his blog the other day about people asking him to read their stuff for free or offer advice on their manuscripts... and not just writer friends, but complete strangers off of the internet... and doing that is a dick move if you ask me.

To paraphrase -
"Hey, Mr. So-and-so, I've read your book and I'm a huge fan. You've inspired me to write... as such, I feel you owe it to me to check out my things and tell me what to do... oh, and I want it all for free. I mean, you are seemingly pretty cool and take time to answer your fans on social media from time to time... so, how about it?"

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Storytellers and "writers"...

I'm not a writer. Clearly.  I am a terrible speller. I suck at grammar. And my use of punctuation is... erratic at best.

But... And here's the thing - I can come up with all sorts of stories. And, in my humble opinion, they're not half-bad. The jury is still out on whether or not they're half good... I've run several "short story" groups on Facebook. I have at least 3 failed writing blogs dating back to the days of AOL and Geocities... Generally speaking - people like my stories. Or at least the overall idea of the story I was writing. 

Telling a good story, however, doesn't necessarily stand on its own. It has to be written well. Or else people will just ignore it... or write bad reviews about it online in their blogs. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Audiobooks... they're like crack only more addicting.

Can I just say - I LOVE audiobooks. I mean - truly.

It's the one thing that has kept me sane and centered on my time driving trucks across the country and my, now 3-year old, commute of 100 miles each day. (Technically it's 96 miles - but I like to round up)

I've listened to some books a dozen times over the last ten years. I've gotten to the point where Ray Porter and Wil Wheaton's voices are almost as known to me as my wife's... In a strictly familiar sense.

I've read listened to Ready Player One about 9 times now... Wil Wheaton nailed that one.

I've read listened to some of John Scalzi's books so many times I feel like I'm BFFs with John Perry and Jane Sagan...

Friday, March 23, 2018

A review of "Handmaid's Tale"

A short review of "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood.

When I first started the book, I had to fight off the crippling anxiety brought upon by the sheer plausibility of this happening. Even though it was published in 1985 - the world that Atwood created rings true today. Especially so given the current, often tumultuous, climate of the country/world. I mean - shit - Mike Pence probably gets off to the idea of Gilead... that is if he weren't a sexually repressed homophobic man who thinks gays should be shot... oh wait... that's exactly what they do in Gilead. Huh... strange. Where was I?

Oh, right - the book.

So... the book was absolutely worth reading. And having finished it - I've moved onto the Hulu series of the same name. And, for what it's worth, I think the series is a fantastic representation of the book. And I think I've only said that about...2? maybe 3 adaptations in the history of my book reading life (coincidentally - Altered Carbon also fits this category).

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My wife, the writer, is FanGirl of the day!

This may only be big news to me... but I'm pleased with it.

I give you AJ Bass - The Her Universe FanGirl of the Day!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Action Figures At Work Day 2018!!

Apparently I missed last week's "Action Figures At Work Day"

So... here's a little photo from the desk of Ben...