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

An excerpt from: Alone In The Light

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Ben’s Nachos... a Definitive Recipe

Due to a typo on a Tweet yesterday about cooking children I've had a sudden increase in questions about my Nachos... So, here it is. My nacho recipe. 

You will need: 1-3 lbs Chicken Breast (I do about 1 per person eating) 
3 or 4 strips of bacon (I prefer Wright's hardwood smoked bacon)
5 or 6 small, sweet peppers 
1 jalapeno pepper 
1/4 of a small, red onion 
1 bunch of fresh cilantro 
1 bag “Santito’s” White Corn Tortilla chips 
1 bag (2 Cups) of Sargento Colby Jack Cheese 
Olive Oil 
Salt and Pepper 
Onion Powder 
Garlic Powder 

1: Light your Charcoal/Grill to preheat - rub vegetable oil on grates 

2: lightly rub olive oil on both chicken breasts (front and back)

3: Cover Chicken lightly with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder - don't do anything to the bacon. 

4: Cover Chicken not-so-lightly with Cumin and then Paprika 

5: Move chicken and bacon to the pre-heated grill - I hit the grill when it reaches about 375 degrees. 

- Side note - Only use direct heat for the first 3-4 minutes. After that - move the chicken to the edges of the grill, close the lid, flip every 10 minutes or so. Cook on indirect heat for about 30 minutes or more. Don’t start the following steps until about 20 minutes into the grilling... 

6: Slice all of the peppers, Dice 1/4 of a small red onion, finely chop cilantro - set aside 

7: Preheat oven to 475 degrees 

8: Cover cookie sheet with foil 

9: Spread one layer of chips across the sheet and sprinkle all chips with Cumin

10: Remove chicken and bacon from grill - let it sit for at least 5 minutes on a plate 

11: Evenly distribute all of the peppers, most of your diced onion, and a little over half of the cilantro (save the rest)

12: Chop the chicken and bacon into tiny-ass little pieces 

13: Cover the chips with the chicken and bacon
14: Cover the chicken and bacon with the 2 cups of cheese 

15: Cover the cheese with the remaining cilantro and last bit of onion 

16: Sprinkle liberally with Paprika 

17: Bake at 475 degrees for 10-12 minutes 

**18: Serve with salsa, sour cream, and whiskey.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Darkness - A Short Story (2010)

The Darkness

    Two men stood on the roof of a decrepit building, their bodies buried under several layers of clothes to keep them warm against the biting cold. The taller of the two looked through an aging set of field glasses exhaled through his balaclava as he focused in on the glowing light on the frozen horizon.
     “There it is again.”
     “Well, that’s nine of them. One every twelve hours.”
     “Well, that would lead me to believe that there is someone out there with resources to spare.”
     “Shit, Tom. That means there is someone out there. Period.”
     “How long has it been? Six months?”
     “Nine months without a single contact.”
     “And before that?”

Monday, June 17, 2019

An excerpt from Alone In The Light - Mary Fischer

Ladies and gentlemen!

Hello and a (belated) happy Father's Day to all you dads out there.

I felt that today, as a treat to myself on Father's Day, I'd share another excerpt from my upcoming story, Alone In The Light.

This is an introduction to Mary Fischer, the 2nd POV for my story.
I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Prophecy - A Short Story (2008)

The Prophecy - A Short Story from 2008

     The prophecy had existed for generations: A hero would arise and sacrifice himself in order that the rest of the rest should live.

     That time had come.

     The Queen had approached him on a day like so many others. She told him that he was the chosen one and he must make the perilous journey across the vast kingdom, stand atop the highest hill and face the darkness. From the darkness a great light would come and that he would have to sacrifice himself. In doing this, the Queen and the rest of his friends and family would live on.

     He set out on his journey. A loyal troop of soldiers accompanied him for the first half of the journey, but turned back at the edge of the great desert. From there, he traveled on his own. He must face this part on his own.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The journey to here...


It's done.

Or I think it is at any rate.

Holy shit, it's done... It's been edited, re-edited, looked over, picked at, and, on one occasion, given the middle finger.

I don't know what I'm supposed to do now. Do I keep looking it over? Do I keep trying to go through and make it better? Do I just say, "Fuck it!" and let it be done?

This has been a long time coming and now I almost feel like I can't NOT do something with it. I'm mildly terrified. Releasing my prologue last week about gave me an anxiety attack... but now... shit. Now we're looking at a full-on book release.

And I have no idea how to react to this.

This has been almost fifteen years in the making. My first short story about coming home from Iraq was called Alone In The Light and I wrote it in 2004. It was published in an arts magazine at Indiana University. The first version of this was... very personal. It drew far too much from my own life and was less a fictional piece and more of an autobiography.

Over the last fifteen years that story has grown and evolved.

The first major change came when I wrote another short story called Realities. It was a "what if" story... as in "what if I'd met my wife while deployed." The story took my actual deployment and dropped in the woman who is now my wife, A.J. Bass. It was a fun story to write. What would she be like had she joined the army? What kind of person would I meet in this alternate reality? Well... Mary Fischer more or less.

Then the two stories got combined in a random Livejournal entry a few years back... and, well... Here we are. With the finished version of Alone In The Light.

It's no longer the 5,000 word short story about a guy sitting through his first day of class after experiencing war. This is now 120,000 words about two people coming home and trying to rediscover themselves in a world that is somewhat the same as before... but also wildly different. It's been a way to explore and look at my own PTSD as a result of things, and has been very cathartic.

With that all said - today I submitted my proposal for cover art and formatting. I also finished my final edits. Or so I hope.

I am very excited about this story and the chance to share it with the world - for better or worse.

Thank you for being a part of this journey. Thank you for taking the time to follow me on social media and interact with me.  I hope you like this story when it finally launches in a few weeks.

All my best,