Category: Keeping you informed of what I am doing

I don’t even want to look at the date of my last post. It has been a while, I know. Chances are, it had something to do with the release of Shield of Health, the next book in my Remnants of the past series. I probably said something to how the book was going to come out at the end November or the beginning of December. Or maybe I set deadlines for myself during each of those months. Okay, I actually set quite a few deadlines that I blew through. What can I say? Well, I can say that never again will I set a deadline for anything I write. Shield of Health was not ready for any of the deadlines I set for it. I’m not sure how good the story will be when it is released , you’ll have to be the judge of that. But I do know that when I release it, I’ll feel right about it. As right as I can feel.

I learned a lot while writing Shield of Health. The first would be to concentrate on writing one story at a time. The second would be not to push it. Writing your story is done best on your own terms. The third? Don’t become a slave to it. Don’t put aside the rest of your life, and those things that made you the person who was capable of writing such fantastic things in the first place. The biggest reason for this major gap between posts was that I’ve been spending time with my family and getting back to playing an occasional video game lately. That’s not to say that I haven’t been working on Shield of Health, cause I have. Thanks to a lot of help from Trisha Kristufek, the rewrite is coming along nicely. Can’t say for sure when it’ll be done but it will get there. And because I’ve decided to take my time with it, it’ll be a much better story for it.

You are all Great! Stay true to yourself.


Since giving the Shield of Health to Tricia Kristufek for editing I have kept myself busy with other things besides writing. I have worked with my Son-in-law, Brad, who by the way plays Birdseye in Shield of Health. I’ll explain in a minute. But anyways, Birdseye was instrumental in coming up with the shield you see being used as my profile pic on FB. I have jumped into a few video games. I do not seem to do enough of that lately. I have also spent time with my family. I always look forward to seeing my granddaughter. Her smile has captured my heart. There was the day I spent with my wife tasting wine.

The series, Remnants of the Past is a story set in a universe dominated by a warrior race of people from the planet Avexia, or the Home World as it is also referred to in the story. Most people on the Home World strive to become soldiers in the Combined Armies. Others forge their own paths and become Mercenaries. Mercenaries use aliases to protect their identities and their families. The crazy thing about the aliases I use in the story is that they are aliases used by friends while playing games online. Birdseye is my son-in-law and someone I have fought alongside with in many games.

During the time spent after handing Shield of Health over to my Editor, I have had ideas for the next book in the series. Right now I call it, Alone I Break. I have even scribbled out notes and played with the first few paragraphs of the story. I have scenes playing out in my head. Sometime after the launch of Shield of Health, I will begin writing and immerse myself in the third book in the series. I will stand on the bridge of a battle cruiser and watch the view screen as we move into orbit around some distant world. I will be there on Valdorion when Andrea meets her grandfather, Casey Evans, for the first time. I will see the good and evil my characters are capable of. I will know their triumphs and their defeats. I will share in their laughter and I will write sorrow that will make my heart ache and bring tears to my eyes. I will experience their loss and feel their pain. I will live and die on the pages of what I write.




I told myself when I was finished with Shield of Health that I would take a break before writing the final volume in my Remnants of the Past series. One thing I have learned about writing is that you do not necessarily have to be sitting in front of your word processor to be participating in the writing process. There is a lot of thinking about it that takes place anywhere and everywhere. That break I thought I was going to take, never really happened. I posted on Facebook this morning the title to the final piece in the Remnants of the Past series. Alone I break.  I also announced that I would be using LibreOffice Writer in Linux Ubuntu 12.04 to write Alone I break. A bold move? you bet, but hey, I am writing this from my Firefox browser on my Ubuntu desktop right now!

So hey, all I have to do now is write the first sentence and figure out that first word.


What does it take to get a Novel out there to the reading public? Quite a bit, actually. I have recently turned my manuscript for my latest novel, Shield of Health, over to my editor, Tricia Kristufek. I guess I never really gave much thought to what she does. I mean she checks grammar, spelling, sentence structure and all of that, right? Of course she does, but I had the opportunity to catch her while she was working on the story and what caught me by surprise was that she was going back to the first novel in the series, The Mission and checking for consistency in the story; making sure things jived. I have to say that I was impressed and glad to know that my editor is just as concerned about the details of my story as I am.

I am glad to know that Tricia Kristufek is a part of my team, making sure that my story will be everything that it can be.  If this sounds like a testimonial, it is only because I am a firm believer in pointing out when someone is doing a phenomenal job.

I would highly recommend Tricia’s service as an editor to anyone who is looking to have their manuscript look its best. Tricia

Last week I gave my manuscript for Shield of Health to my editor, Tricia Kristufek. Shield of Health is the second book in my Remnants of the Past series. The first book, The Mission is really a book that stands on its own and in a way, Shield of Health stands on its own as well. Even so, the story will continue and come to an end in the third book. I still have to decide on a title for it. The Mission and Shield of Health feel totally different from each other and it’ll be interesting to see how the first two books in the Remnants series will influence the third. All characters in the first and second books carry a lot baggage with them, Remnants of the Past, so to speak. I have even considered that David, or Darkblood, due to everything he has been through, will deal with issues through his life. There will be a new characters and one who will be there for him and watch out for him. What she will learn before the end of the third book was that he was always there for her and that he will give up so much of himself to make sure things fall into place for her.

What I am hoping is that my writing skills have at least improved a little and that Tricia will not have to spend an ungodly amount of time fixing Shield of Health. While she works on my manuscript I am going to be working on a book cover, Hopefully, I will be able to get this book out by Thanksgiving. Who knows? maybe sooner. Regardless before the end of the year and with the help of Tricia Kristufek and the support of my family, I will have a finished product that I hope will stand up to my first book.

There is always that time in between writing books where ideas float around in your head for the next. I have a lot of ideas. I like to let them  coalesce a bit. I have to say though, it is kind of weird, this period where I am not actually writing a story. I find myself asking, What to Do?

Look for Shield of Health to come out in the fall of 2012 and all of the Remnants of the Past series at Amazon, Smashwords, Creatspace and B&N

I know, it’s been a while. I look at the date and see that is has been a little over a month since my last post. Don’t fret, I’m still here. I’ve been busy, polishing up the Manuscript I call Shield of Health, because even Tricia, my editor has to know what the hell I’m talking about before she makes those final corrections.

Since my last post, things have been weird. Our outdoor cat was hit by a truck and we thought the worst. She ran off and after three days of heat close to a hundred degrees, she came limping down our driveway. We took her to the vet and brought her inside for a few weeks before letting her back out. Letting her out after what happened to her was difficult, but she loves it outside, and we couldn’t let her feel like she was trapped inside. She comes back everyday and last evening, she even came in for the night. My wife was so happy to have her sleeping at her feet on the recliner.

This past week ended with our refrigerator going out on us. Last night after we and the cats settled in for movies and a couple of Vodka and Tonics, my son announced that everything in the fridge was warm. Wonderful! Taking care of such things is part of what I do at my day job, so I was able to fix it this morning but not until after we lost some of our food. I think the worst part of it was that I had planned on doing some of that work on Shield of Health this morning. That’s alright, there is tomorrow morning.

Something good did happen yesterday. I logged into Facebook for the first time in a few days and seen that earlier in the week my friend and Author Amanda S Stabley commented that her hubby had read my first novel, The Mission and loved it. I’m not going to lie, The Mission could be selling better than it is but that is my fault. I’m not much of a marketer. I wish I was. But anyways, the few reviews I have received for the book are good and there have even been those like Amanda and her husband who come forward and say good things about The Mission. So, I just want to say thank you, Amanda. People like yourself are why I continue to write

Before I tried my hand at writing I imagined what it would be like. Those mornings at the mahogany desk in the sunroom overlooking the sunrise, and that pond in the backyard. I would take a moment to reflect on the page I have been working on, and take a sip of that steaming cup of coffee. Ideas would flourish and then I would continue with my work.

Yeah, if that were only the case. Right now, I am sitting in an office which is basically the IT room for the network that keeps my home hooked up to the world around it. And thank God, cause there is not a single window in this office. It is in the basement and I couldn’t tell you what is going on outside. Hell, the rest of the world could be on fire for all I know. I have to go to my Google home page to make sure Armageddon hasn’t taken place outside. Of course, after seeing the news, I’m not sure that it hasn’t. The desk I am sitting at? It is covered with wires, cables, hard disk drives, motherboard manuals from past computer builds, and a pair of glasses that barely do the job anymore. Oh yeah, there is that magnifying glass I use when the glasses just aren’t enough.

Okay, this concludes my break from the work I need to be doing; work on the second book in my Remnants of the Past series, Shield of Health. The end is in sight. It feels good. Maybe after I release my second or third book I can set myself up with that dream office. I picture an office like the one Michael Douglas uses at the end of that movie, Wonder Boys. And perhaps we won’t call it an office. Office sounds too much like being at work. I enjoy writing way too much to call it that.

I’ve just finished school and in this economy I’m having a difficult time finding a job and affording health care insurance. Hooray! I can still live at home with Mummy and Daddy and thanks to Obama’s health care plan, I can still be covered under their plan. Good deal.

The years have gone by and I still can’t find a job with good health care benefits. Hmm, that degree in scuba diving hasn’t paid off yet. and to make things worse, The guy I idolized for making it possible to stay on Mom’s health care plan for an extended amount of time, wants to penalize me for not being able to afford it after that extended amount of time ran out. I knew there was a catch. He even went as far as to call the fine a tax so it would be constitutionally viable to stick it to me. I feel like I’m being punished for being a second class citizen.

Fortunately, I am not in the situation above. I am a father who still has his youngest son at home. His mother and I fear for him because it seems that our government has begun to take the position that they will beat us into submission with fines disguised as taxes. 1984 was Orwell’s vision of how the future would be for the Soviet Union. Of course we have all seen how that turned out. Are we now on the same path? Would it not be prudent for our government to figure out how to help the people of this country, rather than to punish those who do not earn the kind of money  that President Obama makes? Has he forgotten who is paying for his benefits?

Mr. Obama, I voted for you and believe that there are good points to your health care reforms. But do not force me or anyone to buy something we cannot afford. You are tackling the wrong aspect of this problem. Let’s get people back to work. Let’s do something about fuel prices, Damn it! That alone might help create a better atmosphere for an economy to grow. And most importantly, Do something about the cost of health care and insurance!!! This is where you should be focusing, not on the poor souls who cannot afford it! You should be ashamed!

Back in 1987 I had the privilege of going to my first and only Pink Floyd concert. Floyd had come out with Momentary Lapse of Reason earlier that year and I had managed to acquire tickets that included a bus ride to see them at County Stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was one of the best concerts I have ever seen. My only regret was that I did not get to see Roger Waters perform with the group. It is said that he officially left the group in 19 85.

June 8th, 2012, Chicago, Illinois. Roger Waters performs the wall! This is not meant to be a review of the show, for how could I say it was anything but great. It turned out to be the best show I’ll ever see. My sons, Nick and William took me to see this show. They are fans of Floyd and Roger Waters as much as I have ever been. This means a lot to me; that my children and I share in such things. With them last night, I felt that, not only was I a part of their lives, but they were a part of mine as well.

Roger Waters message with the Wall has always been a strong one. It is supposedly based on the loss of his own father during the second World War. I can’t say that I know this to be fact and I could probably find the truth somewhere online, but that could possibly only break something I have come to believe over the years. Because of this belief, I have learned from Roger that war not only takes the lives of those who fight in them, but also the lives of those left behind.

Roger has always struggled to get people to see the human condition. He is an activist and during his performance of the Wall, he utilizes the main prop to get the human condition out there in front of you. Plastered upon the wall he spends the first half of the show building, are images and faces of those who have suffered. Not just through atrocities of the distant past but also through wars taking part in our world today. One message that remains vivid in my mind is that Every dollar spent on weapons, designed to kill another human being, is a dollar not being spent feeding, clothing, and taking care of a child’s basic needs somewhere in this world.

A little girl breaking into tears when her father returned home from some foreign deployment was perhaps one of the most striking images that flashed across Roger’s Wall. Bring the Boys Back Home.

This isn’t all to say that Roger Waters, The Wall, was all about getting us to see the world for what it is, it was also about seeing one of the greatest artists of our time. The Wall was the second of two historical albums for Roger Waters and Pink Floyd. When Pink Floyd went on tour after the release of The Wall in 1979, I didn’t stand a chance of being able to see them perform it. So, 23 years later, I want to thank Mr. Waters for giving me the opportunity to see him perform The Wall with my sons. It was truly a great event in my life.



So, You like being independent, huh? That’s fine. I have a lot of respect for you. You are a real go getter. Words like Maverick and Ambitious are used to describe people like yourself. You have that get the hell out of my way attitude, you blaze trails, go down your own path, and you are a writer?

Now, you are what we call an Indie. An elite group of many. I am in this group. It is made up of men and women, young and old. We have stories to tell and things to share. Some of us find it easier to connect through our writing and others crave the attention a well written manuscript can bring. Some want fame and others want fortune. The truth is, most of us want it all. Oh come on, admit, you want to write something so fantastic that people will bow down at your feet and beg you for your blessings. Okay, maybe that is a bit much.  Or maybe not. Perhaps some of you have reached stardom and stand among those who are great. I bet some of you even have cleaning services come in and clean your homes for you.

And I’ll tell you what I think about all of you great ones, You independent Mavericks selling books left and right, making money hand over fist and driving cars with names like Bugatti and Ferrari. Oh my God, you all must think the world revolves around you. The sun rises and sets at your beck and call. I bet you stay out all night and sleep til noon. You should all be ashamed, Damn it! You all know damn well that I want to Drive a Bugatti and be filthy rich too. Shame on you for leaving me behind. Now go get me a movie deal for my book, please? No, really I’m not kidding. The Mission would be a great Movie! I would really love to own a Bugatti. I have no objections to someone giving me one. And a Movie Deal too. Your Dear Old Uncle Bill doesn’t ask for too much. Just what he needs. And who doesn’t need a Bugatti, huh? I love Being Independent.

The Mission

It’s a Movie waiting to happen.


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