Blue Nights and the Gloaming Time of the Election

Why I’ll wake up to the bright light of hope on November 9th. The Scotch-Irish had a word they adopted and made their own called “the gloaming.” The word is derived from the Old English glomung, translated as dusk or twilight. But true to their nature, my ancestors got good economy from the word and […]

Note to myself – Shut Up and Write!

OKAY, I CONFESS. There are times I allow myself to think about myself until myself convinces me there’s a valid reason for not getting more words out. You see, I’m a writer by nature and an author who hitched a ride a little late on the whole indie/self-published bandwagon. The front wheel of my magic […]

Blaise Pascal Didn’t Write My Life

BLAISE PASCAL ONCE OBSERVED, “the last thing one settles in writing a book is what one should put in first.” In other words, writing a novel is the opposite of life. Or better put, good fiction is written like life in reverse. On a more modern note, George Lucas realized what the beginning of Star […]

Think Huck Finn is Racist? So did Twain, and he meant it to be.

ONE OF MY MOST CHERISHED books as a young boy was The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Still is. Less than a month after its first publication educators deemed it to be “trash and suitable only for the slums.” More recently it has been labeled as “racially insensitive” and a story that “perpetuates […]

Certain Bestsellers and the Black Magic of Alogoritims

  CAN YOU REALLY DETERMINE if a novel will be a bestseller with algorithms? You know, those mysterious formulas that Google uses to decide which adds pop up and Facebook employs to force feed you add links that you can’t resist clicking. If you want to get your hands on whoever came up with such […]

Microaggressions of the 24/7 News Cycle

DON’T LET THE TITLE send you into a panic – I am not getting ready to talk politics lest you add me to your “I don’t want to see this guy’s name ever again” list. The aforementioned word which will not be named again did, however, lead me to pull out a book that made […]

The End of the World as We Knew It – A Review

Nick Cole has proven himself time and again to be able to take what appears to be the usual bit of pop culture fare and turn it into a story with depth that leaves a lasting impression. Yes, Virginia, there are zombies in this story and no, such does not make up my usual reading […]

Gp Set a Watcman

Sharing a Story

I think we are a region of natural storytellers, just from tribal instinct. We did not have the pleasure of the theater, the dance, of motion pictures when they came along. We simply entertained each other by talking. ~ Harper Lee Yes, Virginia, there is another novel out by Harper Lee, at least, Harper-Collins put […]

The Certainty of the Unkown

Satisfaction in the Certainty of the Unknown

I suspect the condition of “not knowing” is a real gift to the writer – it heads one in the direction of the extraordinary rather than the certainty of what is known.  Judith Kitchen Though I’ve had unintended and albeit modest success with a little piece of fan fiction called Echoes of the Before Time […]

Before Time, There Was …

SINCE THE TIME I first discovered one of Robert A. Heinlein’s novels on a bookmobile, I have been fascinated with time. I’m not giving anything away to say that’s been, well, quite a long time. Perhaps, mention of a bookmobile or the fact the novel had just made its way to bookstores is a clue. Time […]

So what do you do with criticism?

WHETHER we actually read Shakespeare or not, we’ve all either heard or quoted Mark Antony’s words, “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him,” more than once. Even if the sum total of your education involves Looney Tunes! Yes, Elmer Fudd once performed a great soliloquy. When we receive invited criticism, it is a […]

Odd Thomas – Thanks for Inviting Us Along!

“. . . if there’s anything autobiographical about Odd Thomas, it would be his intuitive understanding that life is amusing at even its darkest moments. With tragedy, there lie kernels of humor. No matter what’s happening to you, there is light around the corner. I’m not a Pollyanna, but I do have that kind of […]

What I Learned from Stephen King’s Trash

WHETHER YOU LIKE THE KIND OF FICTION Stephen King writes or not, his story of professional perseverance is legendary. It’s an all-American success story: starving teacher and his family finally able to buy a car, get a phone, and move out of their 40-foot trailer. His years of writing in a laundry closet at night […]

Uncertain Times and the Rise of Dystopian Fiction

  I came across an infographic on Goodreads the other day that sparked my rather eclectic interest in human nature, history, and dystopian fiction. I’ll give you a moment to look at the graph below to see if your can tell me what stories like George Orwell’s 1984 and Susanne Collin’s Hunger Games have in […]

If a Tree Fell in the City by Dean Koontz (Review)

It’s no secret that Dean Koontz is my go-to author when I want a great story that is also almost certain to make me think. His latest, The City, is no exception. Because of the breadth and depth of this piece of fiction, a quick review would do a disservice. Instead, I offer some random […]

The Book of El

The Book of Eli Reopened

In The Book of Eli, Denzel Washington, is a man who can best be described as a violent pacifist. He’s on a mission, following a voice he doesn’t fully understand but is completely devoted to. Like the prophets of old he has taken what seems to be the last Bible on earth and carried it […]

Pennsylvania – A Review

Jedediah Troyer wants out – out of a complicated world that fears his simple ways. The only hope for the life he loves is to accept his despotic government’s offer to migrate to a new land of opportunity. It is a place that offers inexpensive, good farming land – on a distant planet called New […]

Characters Open the Mystery Box

Writers and readers are often asked, “What draws you into a story more, the action or the characters?” If you say it’s the characters, many will guess that you like chick flicks, Amish romance, and historical fiction. Ask which matters more to me – action or characters – and my answer is, “Yes.” Hollywood wonderguy, […]

A Look at Dowton Abbey through the Eyes of the Walking Dead

Daring to Look at Dowton Abbey through the Eyes of the Walking Dead I have often asked how Dowton Abbey and The Walking Dead can garner many of the same viewers. A friend of mine cleared up The Walking Dead part up for me a bit when she said she like TWD because it isn’t […]

Conflicted Characters Make for Great – Conflict.

I tend to gravitate toward conflicted characters, and a character who is exploring chaos theory and population control and the difficulties of love and family is pretty rich. Ed Stoppard If there ever was a town that could be cast as the classic conflicted character in a movie or novel my adopted home town of […]