Archive for January, 2014

THE TEARS OF NEWARK

At times, I don’t know if my thoughts are just of an old man out of rhythm with the times or valid observations.  You, my friends, must be the judge.

 

Over the years I’ve noticed a trend, the intent of which is either for the betterment of mankind or yet another means of making money.  I’m talking about the discovery of new diseases, not life threatening ailments, to be sure.  But ailments for which products have been developed, afflictions such as dry eye and restless leg syndrome.  The syndrome from which I draw a great deal of humor is ‘dry eye’.

For this malady, a host of artificial tear products are on the market, and if these products do not work there are heavy duty products such as Restasis, a heavily advertized remedy.  Every time I see their ads I think of my late dad.  I’ll tell you why.

When I was a kid my dad had a cure for dry eye.  If he were alive I could see him opening up a ‘dry eye clinic’.  His remedy was really cheap.  All he would do was say, “You want something to cry about?  I’ll give you something to cry about.”

It worked every time.

While I was a kid living in Newark during the 50’s and 60’s there was little need for artificial tears.  There was always plenty of the real thing to go around.  In fact, we had a surplus of tears.  We could have exported tears.  Compared to today’s problems, we were pretty well off.

Then there is ‘dry mouth’ cured by hydration, something we used to call drinking.

January 30, 2014 at 8:32 pm 1 comment

UPDATE: SECOND CHANCE PUBLISHED BY SEPARATE WORLDS

My short story, Second Chance, is now available in the November/December 2013 anthology published by Separate Worlds as an online publication.

Along with my story you get over 400 pages of horror, science fiction and fantasy along with nonfiction and poetry all for only five dollars.  I hope you decide to buy a copy.

Here’s the link.

http://www.speculativefictionstories.com/product/SPEC0001

January 26, 2014 at 8:56 pm Leave a comment

ELMO’S SOJOURN

My eBook, Elmo’s Sojourn will be published by Melange Books on February 10th.

Here’s the cover.

January 26, 2014 at 8:39 pm 1 comment

FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY: BOWL GAMES

In a previous piece I wrote about how everything in a writer’s world affects his or her writing to some extent.  I feel what we produce is a product of our environment.

This piece results primarily from my past experience, but more importantly from my values.

As you can see from the title I will focus on college bowl games but not from the sports aspect.  I prefer to look a little deeper, focusing on the direction so many aspects of our lives take nowadays.  Traditions diluted for the sake of how much money can be made.  At first this trend was more insidious.  Now it is becoming more and more blatant.

I can remember when there were only four bowl games.  I could be wrong about the number.  If I am, someone let me know.  I’m talking about maybe fifty or more years ago.  They were the Rose, Cotton, Orange and Sugar Bowls and they were all played on January 1st, a full day of football.

In a recent edition of our local paper I counted 35 bowl games now being played over the course of weeks providing a minimum of overlap for the greatest viewing audience.  There are probably more.

Now we have such titles as the Little Caesar Pizza Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl just to name a few.  With at least 35 bowls that means at least 70 teams played in a bowl game.  To me, the honor of participating in a bowl game is greatly diluted these days.  I think the four above mentioned games still garnish the most honor.  But really, do we need all these games?  The avid sports fan I’m sure will say yes, but it seems to me that pride of saying your team participated in a bowl game has greatly diminished.

My cynical self tends to look at this trend as just a blatant way to make more money.  Another example of one of our institutions diluted in the quest for the almighty dollar.

 

January 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

THE WONDERING MIND OF THE WRITER

Initially I was going to entitle this piece ‘The Wandering Mind of the Writer’.  The reason being that very often story ideas come to me when I least expect them, when my thoughts have no specific purpose, when they are ‘free range’.  However, I decided to change wandering to wondering.  I’ll tell you why.

I can’t speak for my colleagues, but this writer’s mind uses two types of wonder to process the world around me. The first form of wonder is the amazement I see and record in my brain.  The second type is when I wonder ‘what if’ when I contemplate a science fiction or horror story.  Both types are filed away in my cerebral cortex until, sometimes quite unexpectedly; these thoughts come together in a story.  Those are the fun moments.  Then the real work begins, putting those thoughts into words.

The reason I want to share this is that my blog is a writer’s blog, yet sometimes the subject matter may seem ‘off topic’.  But for a writer taking in the world of wonder surrounding him, is there really an ‘off topic’?

All that I see and experience is stored away in the depths of my mind.  Then, when the time is right, make their way in odd combinations to the surface and from there to the tip of my pen.

I suppose when I cease wondering the writing will also cease.

January 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

UPDATE: SECOND CHANCE

Separate Worlds is publishing my science fiction short story, Second Chance, in their November/December 2013 anthology.  Publishing with this Canadian publisher will be my first international publication.

I should say that this will be my first legal international publication.  Sections of my novella, Elmo’s Sojourn, were published in China without my knowledge.  I discovered this by Googling my name.  China is unencumbered by our copyright laws so I guess they go ahead and publish what they want.  Oh well, even though I didn’t make a penny I don’t mind the prospect of billions of people being able to read my work.

I’ll provide a link when available.

 

January 20, 2014 at 7:07 pm 2 comments

UPDATE: ELMO’S SOJOURN

Next month my novella, Elmo’s Sojourn, is due to come out as an eBook published by Melange Books.

I’ve been working with Melange on the cover and after some back and forth I think we have the final version.  If possible, I’ll post it when I am sure the version is a firm choice.

In the meantime, here’s the blurb to peak your interest.

 

 

Elmo, a retired Los Alamos scientist, travels through a wormhole in this science fiction story to the planet Roth where he meets Valmid and his wife Cal.  All appears tranquil on the planet but there is disaster visiting the planet which Valmid hopes Elmo would have the answer of how to end.  Roth’s females are being abducted and taken to the planet Gylex.  Unknown to the inhabitants of Earth, the creatures have also abducted human females in the past, but suddenly stopped their raids.  Valmid hopes Elmo can discover why the raids stopped on Earth and help Roth.

 

January 12, 2014 at 7:49 pm Leave a comment

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