This goes beyond words to describe how I feel right now following what happened Monday in Highland Park, Illinois. Once again, a deranged individual comes out of the woodwork and using an assault style rifle shoots parade goers on our most sacred holiday.

I truly hope this person is proud of himself for ruining the lives of over thirty families, seven of which must bury their loved ones because Robert E. Crimo III, a gutless coward, kills and maims for some sick fantasy inside his twisted head.

Once more America has to bear witness to a lawless and despicable act brought on by a person so deranged and pathological that even his own parents wouldn’t have anything to do with him and his ideology. It’s a credo of hate brought to him on his cellphone through social media sites that preach this nonsense to gullible young men such as him and the Uvalde massacre killer, Salvador Ramos.

Like I said before, we don’t need more gun laws, we need something more pragmatic and more hopeful. It’s a tide of violence that comes from those who feel disenfranchised, lost and forgotten. As long as we as a society neglect and abuse and incite these young men toward a path of hate and violence through video games and social media, as well as a bloodlust to have their names forever remembered long after they are a footnote in history, we will continue to have this insanity at our feet.

Like John Lennon and Jesus Christ said, love is the answer. Love is the antithesis of hate and intolerance. We all must coexist, enjoy each other’s company, and not speak ill of others. It does sound easier than it appears now, but it must happen or we as a society are doomed to chaos and anarchy.


Jose was six years old riding in the back of a long trailer with over fifty others fleeing, what Padre called a dire situation in Honduras where they lived but were suddenly thrown out. He saw his uncle give this man all of the pesos they possessed to get out of here and into a land of promise.

He saw the man who took their money and he felt frightened and uncertain. He couldn’t trust this man, an obese and single-minded person who smelled of too much cerveza and tequila. He wore sunglasses and had gold crowns that he flashed whenever he smiled.

“Your family will be just fine,” he told his tio. Jose didn’t believe him though. “Go ahead, get inside. You will be in Texas very soon. There you will have freedom and more money than you could imagine!”

“I don’t want to go!” He told his uncle and father, but they picked him up anyway and put him inside the trailer. It was already hot and airless inside. Madre held him close and his two brothers joined him. The gate closed and they felt the trailer rock and then move. They heard the tractor accelerate and the gears change while they all waited for deliverance from the terrorists and the poverty that they had know for far too long.

Darkness inside felt stifling, profound, and deadly. Jose believed he was imprisoned in a giant coffin. Air was no whereabouts. He removed himself from his mother’s arms and hugged the trailer’s wood floor to get even a faintest of much needed oxygen in his small longs.

They stopped briefly and they heard many voices outside. Then the rig resumed traveling. Jose could only assume they were headed north, though he wasn’t certain on that note either. Voices that started off hopeful and confident became more and more muted. The voices became increasingly replaced by sobbing.

“Abuelo!” Someone shouted in the darkness.

“Abuela?” Someone else cried out. Jose didn’t know but the old ones were going first. They would not live to see the promised land of riches and safety.

“Oh, my baby!” a young mother screamed out in agony. Many more cried out too. This bargain for a better future turned into nightmare and this trailer was their doom to hell on earth.

The rig turned sharply and stopped suddenly. The truck’s engine shut off and another car or truck, Jose wasn’t certain which, came and stopped briefly. He heard a brief exchange in Spanish. “No worries, they will all be dead and we will be rich beyond our wildest dreams.” Jose heard the vehicle drive off.

Night Fear: Part 2

“I guess, what kind of game, Xanadu?”

“I ask you a question about yourself, and you answer truthfully. Then you do the same, ask me a question and I answer truthfully.” The thought of this both intrigued and frightened me.

“But I already know as much as you confessed to me earlier that I would want to know.”

“That’s just the surface, what you can clearly see, and yes I confessed how I got this deformity, which you wouldn’t have guessed in a million years. Are you ready? I’ll start out simple.”

“What happens at the end?”

“If you answer the last question truthfully, you live. But if you lie, even a little white lie, I must kill you.” She smiled at me as if she were kidding.

“Are you serious?” My back went back into defensive posture.

“No, silly, I was kidding, but you will have to do something for lying to absolve your sin. We’ll decide on your punishment later.”

“Okay, I guess there’s no harm in this.” Another thunder boom erupted above us after a lightning strike lit the night sky.

“What is your favorite color?”

“Blue,” I replied. “Your?”

“Violet,” Xanadu said.

“I would have figured brown or pink.”

She ignored my comment. “What’s your favorite season?”

“Summer, and yours?”

“Spring and autumn because it symbolizes life.”

“I like summer because I like to go out and do fun things like camping,” I told her.

“What’s your favorite hobby?”

“I like to cook. Then I create recipes of what I created and put them into my cookbooks.” She appeared intrigued by my answer.

“I thought you were just making up stuff to get my confidence.”

“Do you want to see the book I have so far? Oh duh, we can’t, it’s all on my computer and the power is shut off. When the power returns, perhaps?”

“Maybe, now it’s your turn.”

“Okay, what is your hobby?”

“Playing these kinds of games. I really get to know a person this way. Next question what was your first car?”

“Oh, that was ages ago, when I was in high school. I think it was a 72 Firebird my dad got me. It was old and used and beat up. I learned to fix it up and sold it four years later to go to technical college. You?”

“My first car I got after I graduated from high school seven years ago. It was a minivan. A Dodge I think it was.”

“Do you still have it?”

She shook her head no. “Next question, what’s your favorite food?”

“Pizza with everything on it. It’s in my cookbook. I call it ‘The Garbage Pit.’ And yours?”

“Saulsbury steak with mash potatoes and gravy with mixed peas and carrots. When we had that it meant my parents weren’t fighting like brothers and sisters. We had it rarely, as you can imagine.”

I was intrigued by her answer. I also felt sorry for her because that kind of meal seemed so basic, as if made in a buffet line kitchen and served to the masses. “I got a question for you. Did you have any pets?”

“Once, I found this turtle on the middle of the road. I took it home but I didn’t know what to feed it and released it back to where I found it. The little time I had it, I knew he wasn’t happy. He probably had to feed his family, but later read that turtles are like snakes, once they hatch from their eggs they’re on their own. I never had any desire to own a pet like a dog or cat. I didn’t want to see them grow old and then die.”

“I had dogs and cats throughout my life. I don’t have anything now because, as you said the last one passed a short time ago. I haven’t had the time lately to go and find one.”

“Next question, who was your favorite president?”

“John Kennedy, though he didn’t accomplish as much as he should have in his short time. And yours?”

“Bill Clinton most recently, but also Franklin Pearce because he was so handsome. The only problem I had with these men, until Obama was they were white, and they preferred to pass the buck on the slavery issue before the Civil War, and then didn’t want to deal with the prejudice issue after.”

“Interesting point,” I said to her. “Lincoln was the only one who had the courage to stop slavery.”

“If John Adams had the backbone, he should have signed that emancipation proclamation, and damn the consequences later,” she appeared on a roll now as her eyes danced with the candlelight. I laughed at her sponk. “Why did you laugh?”

“I find it refreshing that you and I share the same thoughts on history. Yes, I agree. If he had done that there would have been no civil war. Granted the southern states might have gone back to England out of pure malice and spite, but it definitely would prevented the calamities later on.”

She looked thoughtful at me, apparently trying to read my thoughts. “What is your favorite love song?”

“ ‘Time in a Bottle,’ by Jim Croce, and yours?”

“I don’t think I have one, though I like ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston.”

“Interesting,” I replied. “Okay, next question.”

“Okay, but I must warn you these next questions are going to be harder and your punishment, more severe if you lie. You must be absolutely honest with me.”

I looked at her with uncertain eyes. “How…I mean how would you know if I was lying?” “Oh, I know. You have been truthful far, correct?”

“Yes, of course.”

“You looked me straight in the eyes, your voice was relaxed and conversational. You were being honest. If your body language deviates at all from how you respond to these next questions, I will know you’re lying.”

“Okay, I have  no skeletons in my closet, excuse the cliché.”  

“I don’t care about that. Okay here is your first question, In The Wizard of Oz, by Lyman Frank Baum, he portrayed our most base fears on the characters, Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion: Fear of not knowing, fear of not caring for others, and not having the courage to step and do right. Which fear best represents you?”

“I don’t know. I never read the book, I’m afraid.”

“Then the first?”

“No, maybe, I don’t know.”

“Next question, if you were awakened in the middle of the night by a loud crash, would you go and investigate?”

“Yes I would.”

“Without fear?”

“I’m sure I would feel anxiety and apprehension. It’s human nature, but I would still investigate just for the peace of mind it might bring.”

“What if it did not bring you peace of mind? What if you were confronted by someone or something that could harm you or even kill you?”

I looked at her trying to figure out where this was leading. “I don’t know. I would have to rely on instinct and hope I could defend myself if it came to that.”

“Very good, you are definitely the scare crow here. Next question, going back to high school did you ask a certain girl out to the prom?”

“Why yes, her name was Suzy Best. Gosh that was a long time ago.”

Did you rape her?”

“No! I did not. I was a perfect gentleman to her that night at the prom. We kissed goodnight at her parents’ front porch. Then sometime later that night someone snuck into her bedroom, raped and then strangled her to death. That was in the news.

He was caught by the way and confessed. I think he’s still in prison.” My mind began racing and my eyes darted back and forth to her and to the darkness on either side of her.

“You are lying, aren’t you? You raped her and placed the rope you used on someone else, a nobody with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. You framed him.”

“NO! Where did you get that? It was not me.” I felt my heart pounding loud in my chest. Beads of sweat formed on my brow and under my arms. I began breathing through my mouth.

“Very well, next question, where did you meet your wife?”

“I met her at a job I used to work for back in 2005.” I began to relax.

“Was it a happy marriage?”

“Yes, it was a pleasant time in our lives.”

“Why did she leave?”

“She didn’t give me a reason, but I suspect it was because I lost my mother so suddenly. I guess she couldn’t handle my mourning any longer. I still mourn for her.”

“How did your mother die?”

“It was a heart attack.”

“Did you kill her?”

“No! Why are you insinuating this stuff?” My heart began pounding louder and louder. My mind felt numb and I couldn’t think of anything to say.

“You killed your mother and you killed your wife, didn’t you?”

“For the last time NO!!! I killed no one. EVER!!!” My chest ached and I felt a sharp cramp in my shoulder Oh my God I think I’m having a heart attack!

“What is your worst fear George?”


“What are you afraid of?”

She already knew the answer to that question as she slowly arose from her chair and went to the front door. Just before she opened it, she blew out the candle. The very moment she opened the door the candle blew out on me…


Night Fear: Part 1

An angry storm spit rain and wind whipped the trees about. I looked from the comfort of my warm house and hoped the power would return soon. In an instant I saw the lightning crack and the thunder clap so loud I jumped a foot from the wood floor.

I then saw in that instant of electric lightning light her standing just outside my door, my window, my house. Then the image was gone. A person, woman? Or was it a spirit, an aberration or poltergeist? I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand out.

Against my base instincts, I ventured outside into the stormy night of whipping wind and drenching rain that soaked my shirt and caused the material to appear translucent against my skin. I shivered but whether from the storm or something more terrifying, I  couldn’t hazard a guess. I used my cellphone’s flashlight and shined in the area where I thought I saw this woman.

“Hello? Don’t be afraid. Come inside the house. I’ll keep you warm and safe. I’m George Rockefeller. Not the famous Rockefellers of New York, but a poor and distant cousin several times removed. Please come out. I promise I’ll be a gentleman in every sense of the word.”

I heard nothing save the wind crashing into the trees. I waited for a reply but none came. Perhaps it was my imagination playing games with me. How did that song go? Just my imagination, running away with me.

I hummed the song as I turned and went back inside.

“You promise?”

The sound, the voice froze me in place. The hairs on my neck arose again and I stifled the urge to scream like a little girl. “Yes, yes I promise. Come to the light here so I can see you.”

She slowly appeared and I saw a pale woman with raven colored hair, a long nose and dark eyes stared back at me. “Hello George,” She said with a coy grin that caused her skin flush red. Her eyes casted downward as if I embarrassed her.

She wore a thin jacket, perhaps a windbreaker that soaked through. She had it zipped up, but she shivered anyway. “Neither one of us are dressed for this nasty storm. Let’s go inside. I think I have a flannel shirt or sweat pants you can borrow from me.” I looked down past her jacket and saw a saturated pair of jeans, holy, as was the style teenagers wore these days. I doubted that she was younger than 30 years though.

I pressed my right palm onto the back of her jacket and guided her inside. “I have a lantern and some candles I can light. I didn’t earlier because I like storms like this if I don’t have to be outside, that is,” I chuckled at my attempt at humor in this time. For whatever reason I felt anxious.

“Your wife doesn’t mind?” She asked.

“My wife left me ten years ago.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she quickly apologized.

“It’s water under a bridge now,” I told her with a nervous laugh. “You are the first woman in ten years that has crossed this threshold.”

She looked about the darkened living room. I’m sure she must’ve imagined how I kept this house now that she knew I lived alone. Like some men I know, I’m one who prefers an uncluttered house. I admit I dust rarely, mop the floors infrequently but I keep my kitchen and bathroom clean.

“Penny for your thoughts?” I asked her as she looked seemingly beyond the darkness.

“I guess I’m trying to categorize you; see where you fit in this world.”

“Like I said I’m a very distant relative of those famous New York Rockefellers. Beyond that, there is nothing else. I work as an auto mechanic, I write as a hobby, mostly cookbooks, and I like viewing storms in the darkened house I live in.”

I left her standing in the dark living room as I searched the closet for that lantern I promised her I had. At least she was pleasant to the eyes, I thought as I pulled the lantern from the top shelf and pressed a button that would, should turn it on.

Nothing. “Damn, the battery must be dead,” I muttered more to myself than to this stranger. I looked at her in an apologetic air. She appeared tall but slightly shorter than me. I’m five foot eleven, though I’ve gotten away with telling people I was six foot. Like me, she had a slender body, maybe slightly anemic by her pale face and hands.

“Oh, you said you have candles. I’m more favorable to that, George.”

“Yes, of course. I’ll go and get them.” I went to the kitchen after closing the closet door. There was something about the situation that had me both excited at the prospect of entertaining a woman for the first time in ten years and a nagging anxiety that she might be dangerous.

I went to the utility drawer and began rifling through the various tools I kept inside when I found three candles I used the last time the power went out from the last storm we had. Next to the candles sat a disposable lighter, which I used to ignite the wicks, casting a yellowish glow. My eyes immediately lost night vision capability and all I saw outside the outer boundary of this limited light was darkness.

She was right there and I jumped. “Shit you scared me.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I followed you. I assumed you heard me.”

“No, I didn’t hear you,” I replied, as I slowly recovered and handed her the other candle. I took mine to a twin holder and pressed the candles firmly onto the spike. “I don’t think I have an extra one for you though,” I told her. “I never got you name.”

“Xanadu,” she replied.

“What an unusual name!”

“It’s an idealized place,” she replied. “Kinda like Eden.”

She held the candle slightly away from her face. I saw the beauty of her and a blemish under her nose, like scarred over defect that will undoubtedly be with her for life. In life there are always imperfections, I reminded myself as I forced myself to look beyond her upper lip and focused instead on her eyes, a deep, deep brown color. They mesmerized me. “Wasn’t there a movie by that name?”

“Yes, and a song by Olivia Newton John.” A loud clap of thunder erupted and she and I both jumped. We laughed at each other. “You mentioned dry clothes?”

“Yes I did. Please, stay here. If you’d like, there are some snacks in the cupboard over there and I think maybe some fruit in the fridge.” I quickly left her and followed the candle light into my bedroom and opened a drawer from an antique bureau I inherited from my mother after her passing ten years ago. It was a rough year and I believed I shut my wife out to the point of leaving me. She couldn’t handle my mood anymore.

I searched and found the sweatpants, and then I took a bathrobe hanging from my bedroom door. I changed out of my shirt as well, opting for a sweatshirt with the technical college’s logo on its front I once attended several years ago, and took them to the kitchen. I saw her sitting at the table. She had poured the melted wax on the table and stuck the candle fast upon the tabletop. She ate crackers, a variety of fresh fruit mostly melons and pineapple chunks, and slices of cheddar cheese from a platter I had bought a while back.

“Here you go,” I told her with lightheartedness as I stared at the disfigured tabletop that I imagined was ruined now. “I hope that cleans up.”

She looked confused by my comment. “Oh, the candle! Yes, it will clean up very nicely.”

“It’s just it’s an antique I got from my mother’s inheritance.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she apologized with sincerity. She got up and snatched the clothes from my hand and went into the living room. I afforded her privacy and sat at the table on a chair opposite from the one she sat on. “Do you have a washer I can put these in?”

“I do but the power is off. It will do you little good now.”

“It would be a place to stow them until the power does come on,” she replied tersely. She walked back into the kitchen, her wet clothes in a bundle cradled in one arm, her candle in the other,

“In the bathroom down the hall on the left is where I keep a laundry basket. You can use that for the time being.” I placed a cheese slice in my mouth. “The washer and dryer are in the basement. It would be too dangerous for you to go there now.”

Her mouth worked on something to come back on, but then smiled and left the kitchen, walking toward the bathroom down the hallway where she disposed of her wet clothes. A moment later I heard the toilet flush and then water running from the faucet. I had moved into the living room and sat on my recliner, though I sat with my back straight up and my bottom inclined toward the front of the chair. She made me nervous.

She came out wearing the sweat pants and robe, its sash knotted securely. The front of the robe showed a hint of her young chest. I was uncertain how developed she was but assumed had little to brag about. “Sit down,” I told her pointing at the chair next to me. An end table sat between us. She hesitated, then acquiesced. She too sat on the seat but never fully relaxed. It was as if we were on a blind date and meeting each other for the first time. “Xanadu,” I blurted out without thinking as if trying the name on for taste and feel.


“It’s such an unusual name, quite unique.”

“I would like to think of myself that way.”

“Your mother must have been a very creative woman.”

“She wasn’t. I made up that name after I turned of age and left my family five years ago.”

“What was your birth name then?”

“Blanch,” she replied in bitterness as if she just bit into a lemon.

“But that’s a method of cooking. Why on earth would she resort to naming you that?”

“Ask her yourself. She hated me anyway.”

“But why?”

“Her brother, my dad, raped her when she was a teenager. Her parents, my grandparents, were strictly religious types and refused to have an abortion performed, insisting they raise me proper.”

I was shocked at her answer to say the least. “It must have been hard growing up knowing that bitter truth.”

“All I have to do is look in the mirror every day and am reminded the effect of my mother’s rape and their sin.” She put the candle closer to her face showing me the harelip.

“I’m so sorry for your horrible, horrible life.” I couldn’t think of a suitable line to use. I looked at her, but at the same time I wanted to cast my eyes away from the deformity. “Why haven’t a plastic surgeon taken pity on you and get that fixed?”

“Pity?” She flashed angry eyes at me. If she were Medusa of Greek myth, I’m sure I would have turned to stone. “I don’t want anyone’s pity, George!”

“I guess I said that wrong. I apologize,” I replied quickly. “Your speech is impeccable though.”

It took her a moment to calm herself down before she replied, “I practiced every day, learning how to enunciate the words I would need to use.” She seemed to relax her defenses and leaned back in her chair. I did the same. It was obvious by the storm outside; we weren’t going anywhere tonight. “You want to play a game?”

Justice Due

It’s a funny thing about living here in Spokane, as I’m sure anywhere else for that matter. There is always this element in society who want to make it big by using any means possible including illegal means to justify their endgame.

Apparently this was the case and recently, the media revealed a group, gang, syndicate in this area who made their living in stolen property.

They were quite slick about it too, stealing coin machines, catalytic converters, tools, and credit cards. But like in the movies one of those arrested ratted out on the rest of the gang and now they’re all in jail awaiting their day in court.

I often wondered about the abandoned cars I spotted from time to time along the route I normally take to work. It’s a familiar road because it eventually goes pass the casino I work at. It always started out innocently as I spotted a car that was left along side the road, thinking the person had a mechanical problem, or the vehicle ran out of gas.

But then something funny started happening as eventually tires and wheels were removed, a side window was smashed in, the hood was raised and eventually, it looked as if it belonged in a wrecking yard for final dismemberment. That was when someone finally called the Spokane County sheriff and it was impounded and removed from the road.

All last autumn and winter this occurred to at least five vehicles along the same patch of road. It seemed clear to me what was actually going on. I don’t know if law enforcement caught on. Here’s what I think most likely happened. Our guests go to our casino and enjoy the evening. Some time during their time there, the car they drove in either gets stolen, or maybe someone punched a hole in the gas tank and it ends up at the bottom of the hill.

In any case, they have to leave their car, or the thieves leave the car and then someone else, over the course of several evenings have their fun, stealing what they can and destroying the car so the owner is left with nothing.

Since that time, in May to be precise when this theft ring was discovered, there has been an increased amount of county deputies patrolling that road and no abandoned cars alongside that route. I’m thinking justice might have finally prevailed

Red Flags Everywhere

Once again, in little over a week, we are witness to mass murder on a scale that defies explanation. I’m probably one of a few Democrats out there who not only endorses our right to bear arms but cherishes it as a founding principle for all to admire and respect.

But we as a people of this country who believes in this right, need to see, and report red flags that pop up before these tragedies occur. The store clerk at these gun stores should have realized what was going on when the purchaser bought assault styled rifles, boxes of ammunition and no silhouette targets that this was a red flag and the authorities needed to be notified.

Just like our rights to free speech and the press, our right to bear arms carries a very profound responsibility, one not considered lightly. We don’t need more gun laws, just enforce the existing laws on the books now. By the same token, we don’t need semi-automatic assault style rifles to be bought by 18-year-old kids either. When I was twenty-one, I bought my first long rifle, a Winchester 30-30, lever action with six rounds of bullets used for hunting deer.

It was also loaded at home in case an intruder broke in, I would have the ability to defend myself and my family. I believed then that an assault styled rifle was a waste of money. The rounds, the 5.56-millimeter ball round were useless for hunting game because it had no real knock-down power.

 So, if a person who just turned eighteen and goes into a gun store to purchase  two assault rifles and three hundred rounds of bullets, then why didn’t that get reported?

It flies in the face of common sense or veracity. I don’t care if the store owner is a bona-fide MAGA, NRA, freedom loving patriot. The right thing to have done was report this to the authorities that this kid just bought guns and bullets and no targets. No, we don’t need more gun laws, but we do need people with backbone to say not in my town are you going to turn us into looking like fools for the world to see and mock.

Don’t tell me I want to take away your guns. That’s the last thing I want. What I want is for people to stop throwing the second amendment in my face every time something like this happens, telling me that it was unfortunate but we have to have our guns to protect ourselves from tyranny. What tyranny are you talking about? What I want is for gun store owners to stop putting sales and profits before lives lost because some nutcase decides he wants to get his ten minutes of infamy.

Here’s Another One

My loyal readers I just came across something horrible to say the least. One of my coworkers informed me that our President, Joe Biden is stockpiling baby formula and sending all of it to the Mexican border.

He told me this because the left-wing mainstream news media wouldn’t divulge this obvious cover-up. He told me this is why he doesn’t trust the mainstream news because they want a one world government run by China and he won’t stand for it. Instead, he gets his news off some “news outlet,” that reports what’s really going on in this country via his cell phone.

I have dealt with all kinds of people who tell me the “truth” as they view it through whatever filtered eyewear they possess. I listened to him prattle this latest conspiracy theory with a modicum of patience. After all I didn’t want to create a scene in our employee lunchroom. Politics should never be discussed while eating anyway. I’m not sure exactly when the topic first came up. Oh yes, now I remember. It was the gas prices we are all dealing with right now and possibly in the future, which brings up another point, but I’ll cover that next.

He told me the only reason for the way the prices are because President Biden nixed the Keystone Pipeline Project. Actually, he didn’t nix the project, but instead refused to sign a permit, which the actual Canadian oil company in charge, stopped its construction on June 2021. I tried explaining that the reasons for the high prices is the supply chain issues, war in Ukraine, and lower production than before the pandemic. He wouldn’t buy it though.

Another thing I didn’t mention was a deal between Former President Trump and Saudi Arabia in 2020 that cut oil production. No one at the time knew what the consequences to this would be in the future—today. Now we know.

In a twisted fate of reality which I’m sure even Donald Trump didn’t anticipate; we are on the cusp of going even further toward a carbon neutral economy. Apparently, according to President Biden, all cars made in the US by 2030 must be electric. So higher fuel prices will undoubtedly lead to most automakers developing and instigating e.v. cars, which in turn will become the demise of the internal combustion engine.

It’s one of those accidents of history that certainly wasn’t planned but may become a reality and Trump will undoubtedly benefit from that.

Writing So Far

I’m reading news articles on the latest shootings in Buffalo by a racist who wanted his fifteen minutes of fame plastered over the airwave and social media platforms. Suffice to say as I described in A Man’s Passion, when a man’s passion is hate toward his fellow human beings, there is no changing him.

I finished my book which I renamed Building A Mystery. It is in the first-person point of view of both the protagonist and the antagonist. I asked my beta reader to tell me if the format I originally set up is workable or should I move the story around? I haven’t heard back yet.

I started a new story with new characters and different plot I am calling Boomer Ang. It’s written in the point of view of the dog, Boomer. His owner, Master Bob is shot by an unknown person and he is adopted by the police detective working that case. Obviously, other movies come to mind such as Hooch. Obviously, I will work the whole plot line in a different mode. It’s a challenge to not repeat what is going on in this story—also haven’t decided on a short story or novel concept—to both keep it interesting and original.

Boomer is a mutt as he describes himself, a big dog whose long tail wags back and forth hence why he thinks he is called Boomer Ang. He has a lot of adjustments to make including being the low dog in an already overcrowded pack of four other large dogs. I’m sure the adventures will keep the reader’s interest piqued.

Boomer is also opinionated in how he views us humans. In one scene he wonders why Master Bob’s girlfriend wants to go walkies after discovering his dead body. I will use many such incidents as a way of exposing our human foibles. I’m sure most of you my loyal readers will get a chuckle or two from that.

Well, it’s about time to watch the news and see if another racist or dysfunctional human has decided to kill a bunch of people because of who he is and who they are.

Beware of Your Best Friend

I watched the 60 minutes episode last Sunday and I was stunned to learn that birds aren’t real. I got to thinking that Man’s best friend, our family lap dog that we have trusted for thousands of years could also be a CIA inspired robotic automaton.

Think about it, we take our pets to our veterinarian, who is actually a CIA operative, who while you look on gives them “shots” to prevent Parvo or distemper but in actuality are injecting them with transmitters to eavesdrop on our personal conversations.

Oh yes they wag their tails and fetch stuff for our amusement, but in actuality they are zeroing in on everything we say and the CIA records our conversations. If we speak ill of the government then we are taken in the middle of the night from our homes and put into reeducation camps while our dogs are euthanized and replaced by a cleverly recreation of Rover or Princess. Then when you are released, your best friend is there to greet you.

Scary, isn’t it? And don’t get me started with your cat or goldfish. I wouldn’t trust that hamster or guineapig either. The CIA probably have them bugged as well. It’s all a conspiracy.

Don’t trust anybody or anything!

Marketing, Scams AND Progress So Far

My loyal readers to start with the vacation I had planned for last week turned into a staycation instead. The weather was frightful in the Pacific Northwest to say the least. Rather than go down to Gooding to visit with my wife and her mother and Tom I had to work on my writing project I informed you of a couple of months back. That is now done and in the first phase of editing. I also went and got traction on this marketing I told you of two weeks ago and that seems to be going well. I have a radio interview that went great and upcoming trailer for A Man’s Passion, plus my book will be presented to the Toronto Book Fair in June.

This past Wednesday our virtual Inland Northwest Writers’ Guild had an interesting topic that almost had me concerned called writer’s scams. In other words, writers who become unwitting victims of various scams that are out there. The most popular is the vanity press, whose sole purpose is to print your book for you, but you pay for everything. That happened with me because I had Author House print This Life: My Life After My Stroke. They were more than Happy to print my book. They were even willing to edit it and market it, so long as I paid for everything. A vanity press business model is based solely on getting as much money from the writer, not on how many books actually sell.

And of course, years later they called me wanting to know if I had any other books they could print up. I realized what they really were and told them , no I don’t have any other books to print. It was a lie of course. I was rooked out of a couple thousand dollars and got little in return.

When I told my group about what I had achieved, Linda the coordinator asked me if was legit. I replied as far as I could tell it was because they had paper trail of contracts that I had to sign so it was all legal and above board.

Linda listed many other scams especially those that offer marketing deals that are too good to be true and you have to fork out a bunch of money that is outrageous, which turns out was all a con after all. I was starting to become concerned until she showed us a list of those companies and vanity presses to avoid at all costs. The company I am working with was not on that list.

So now I am off to edit more of this latest project. I also rename the title from Grave Robbers to Building a Mystery. I liked the way it sounded much better and seemed to fit with the over all plot, which deals with three different sets of conflict, hence building a mystery. I haven’t decided on a new project yet though I do like to fit in a new character, Boomer Rang.