Writing Stuff

It’s been a busy week:

The Eastern Factor is off to the editors, and I just finished with the re-edit of The Order of the Wolf and it is now live on Amazon.  You can also get a free copy if you sign up for my brandy new Author Newsletter.  I will be sending it out monthly to begin with, at least until my next book is released in January.  After that, we’ll see, but it’ll be quarterly at a minimum.

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Click on my smiling friend to get your free ebook.

 

I also just found out that I won the Charlotte Geeks flash fiction contest with my story “Geekzilla Saves the Gala”.  It was featured on their Guardians of the Geekery podcast.  I also received some cool prizes.  You can find the podcast here (the story starts at 07:30).

 

 

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Filed under Books, Free, Short Story, Writing

Short & Twisted

Short and Twisted

 

You can find my short story “Santa Doesn’t Work Here Anymore” in the Short & Twisted Christmas Tales anthology that just became available on Amazon.

Give it a read.

 

 

 

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Guess What I’m Having for Dinner?

I talk about all my favorite things on this blog except food.  Why you ask? (you know I’m going to tell you anyway.)

My brain works in peculiar ways, and I often feel it is just as important to explain why I don’t do things than it is to explain why I do.  This habit has been reinforced over the years by having to explain to my wife why I didn’t wash the dishes, or any number of other tasks that I should have done in her estimation. (sound familiar?)

So why don’t I blog about food and cooking?

Cooking is actually one of my favorite things.  I love to cook and share food with friends, but there is a difference between sharing food with a friend and the food videos I see all over the internet.  Here’s the difference:

I like to play a game with my mom when we talk on the phone.  If I made something for dinner that I know she loves, I’ll say “guess what we’re having for dinner?”  Then I’ll describe the dish in detail and, of course, invite her over to share the meal.  My mother lives six hours away.  So, in essence, I’m rubbing her face in it.  I’m saying “Nah, nah!  See what I got and you don’t.”  If I really want to get her goat, I’ll take a picture and text it to her.  Of course, she does the same to me.

Those food videos and pictures all over the internet are basically the same thing — “Look what I got!”  Oh yeah, you can have some too.  Just rummage through the pantry and try to find all these ingredients (Who keeps capers in their pantry anyway?).  And good luck getting it right!

Don’t show me food that I can’t eat.    It’s like going to a topless bar (or watching Magic Mike for you ladies I suppose).  What’s the point?

So I’ve decided that I will start a food blog just as soon as someone develops a food replicator like in Star Trek.  I’ll happily share my food with you online.  I’ll just shove a slice of lasagna in the chute, and you can pull it out of your replicator without having to rummage through the pantry.

Until that happens, I guess you’ll just have to come to Charlotte if you want to check out my cooking.  Tonight we’re having BLT’s.  See you at seven.

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Filed under Culture, musings, Society

Holiday Rain

When your eyes well up

they remind me of a day at the beach

with small children shivering

underneath the dark clouds

of suppressed emotion.

 

Then you give me that look,

and it’s like an afternoon shower

on the fourth of July.

Guests scurry inside,

leaving muddy tracks

across the carpet of my regard.

 

With trembling lips

you unleash the storm.

Faces press against the window

bemoaning the loss of sunshine,

and our lighthearted romp

through life’s mysteries.

 

Your tears are like holiday rain.

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Citrus Galore

I’m up to 4 citrus trees now.  Below you can see the Meyers Lemon is having a bumper year, but the lime tree in the background didn’t do much.  Of course, the lime tree lost its leaves over the winter, so I’m happy that it recovered. Also, it’s growing season seems a bit off.  It is starting to produce flowers now.

Meyers Lemon

The Meyers Lemon tree is drooping with fruit this year.

My orange tree produced more than last year.  I’m not sure if this is its normal or if it will continue to increase yield each year.  Also, I picked up the mystery citrus tree on the left for $2 from a nursery this past spring.  It had been sitting on their yard since the previous year, and they didn’t know what it was.  Neither do I.  Maybe it’ll produce something next year.

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Oranges coming soon!

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Goodreads Giveaway Finished

My Goodreads giveaway completed on September 30th.  I gave away 5 signed copies of The Order of the Wolf to promote the coming release of book 3 The Eastern Factor.

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 I had 604 people sign up for the giveaway.  I’m considering this a success, because 604 more people have heard of me and my books than before.  Whether those that didn’t win go out and buy a copy is another matter.  You can buy Order of the Wolf and Stenson Blues on Amazon or Kobo.  They are available as an ebook or paperback.

If you didn’t win, there will be more chances.  More giveaways and sales coming up until The Eastern Factor is released in January.  Stay tuned.

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Politeness is a Virtue

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I just finished reading The Way of the Samurai by Inazo Nitobe.  Nitobe was of the samurai class in Japan but was western educated.  He wrote The Way of the Samurai in English in 1900 around the time Japan was westernizing.  Nitobe does a good job of explaining the philosophy of the samurai as it relates to western civilization.  Specifically, he compares the ways of the samurai warrior to that of medieval knights in Europe, and compares Japanese culture and philosophy to the christian west.

Not surprising, he describes the Japanese as being more culturally focused, whereas westerners are more individually focused.  He does this without judgement.

The bulk of the book is taken up with explanations of the virtues to which the samurai adhered.  These virtues are: Rectitude, Courage, Benevolence, Politeness, Veracity, Sincerity, Honor, and the Duty of Loyalty.  As I read this book, the virtue that resonated with me the most was Politeness.

If you watch Japanese anime, news from Japan, Japanese shows, or know someone Japanese, politeness is probably one of the first things you notice.  The Japanese are polite, and it is a sharp contrast to American culture.  It could be argued that politeness is disappearing from American culture.

According to Nitobe, “Politeness is a poor virtue, if it is actuated only by a fear of offending good taste, whereas it should be the outward manifestation of a sympathetic regard for the feeling of others. . . In its highest form, politeness almost approaches love.”

So it seems that the samurai virtue of politeness is not much different than the Golden Rule that we were all taught as children.  You know, the ole mind your manners and love your neighbor shtick that seems to be going out of style.

For a true samurai, using his sword was the last resort, not the first instinct.  Virtues, such as politeness, came first.  Hmm, maybe we could try that for a change.

 

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