Saturday, December 22, 2012

Making Time for Christmas

The Christmas season has been upon us for some time now, and if you are like me than prioritizing obligations, family time and other activities becomes a challenge. There are Christmas tasks left undone, flour in the pantry that never finds the oven, Christmas cards in blank sealed envelops, decorations still in the crates.  A present forgotten at the store...  And oh, isn't it time to put up that tree? Let's not forget that it takes a day to find the right tree, and another two before it's fully decorated, and during this time you are reminded of responsibilities unrelated to Christmas that must be tackled.

Life Interruptus.

Sometimes I wonder why fight the traffic. Sometimes I think that the meaning of Christmas has dissipated into the seams of my purse. Sometimes I resent the interruption of my daily routine and question the validity of Jesus' birthday being in December in the first place. But these are fleeting thoughts, and actually, I cherish the interruption to my life.

Miraculously, Christmas chores get done, and that morning, sitting by the tree, everything seems right with the world and troubles are forgotten. There is nothing better than watching the eyes of my children come alive while I manage my third cup of coffee. It is one of the few times when traffic sounds disappear, savory smells linger in the kitchen and families everywhere are reunited. When I sit down to that splendid dinner in the company of family my angst vanishes.

Regardless of your religious denomination, Christmas is a season to celebrate God and family. That's what it's all about. This Christmas open your hearts to those who need your love, open your minds to new ideas, and cherish the memories.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Red Chair



What will remain when civilization is gone,
  When the trees shed their leaves on quiet ground,
     And whispers no longer travel in the breeze?
    What will remain when the shadows disappear,
       From our sights, from our hearts, from our minds?

So careless are we to make fortresses of stone,
Which linger long after caregivers die.
So careless of us to assume the remains
Will rot like dead flesh, and blend with the Earth,
in carbon like ribbons that shred over time.

What will remain when civilization is gone?
Where will our souls rest when our spirits get tired,
When our feet no longer wander too far?
Clothed in red vinyl unfit for the end,
The chair waits,
Alone by the window,
For us.

                                                - T. M. Crone
_____________

The Red Chair was brought to you in conjunction with Magpie Tales.  Read more vignettes and poems from writers prompted by the red chair.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Norma and the Fiddler of Gurg

Here is a snippet for Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday from my short story "Norma and the Fiddler of Gurg."


"Norma and the Fiddler of Gurg" explores what would happen if LA burned, which is known to happen, occasionally. Norma is plucked from the highway and transported to a sanctuary light years from Earth where she meets Harvey Daniels, the long-haired fiddler of Gurg. "Norma and the Fiddler of Gurg" was first published by Labyrinth Inhabitant Magazine, May 2009, and can now be found in SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS. 

***

On the last day of spring, Norma's house burned down. Horrific thought it seemed, Norma considered it a blessing, almost liberating, the ultimate sign that she should leave Los Angeles. Truth be told, it wasn't the fire that convinced her to go away, but the fact LA had been abandoned, along with the malls, the convenience stores and the grocery markets. The heat had driven anyone who thought they were someone off to find a more habitable home.

Driving north on the San Diego Freeway after most people had already fled LA, Norma adjusted the car radio, looking for a station that still broadcasted the news. Static.

She slapped the steering wheel with both hands. "Damn." Now there was no telling what lay ahead.

_______

You can read more snippets from the #sffs group here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Lacanto Project


Here's another snippet from THE LACANTO PROJECT, my dystopian science fantasy novel for which I am seeking a home. THE LACANTO PROJECT is not all grim. There are some humorous characters trickled in, like Hag, the soothsayer who keeps an eye on events to make sure the prophecies come to fruition smoothly. In this scene, Hag comes to remind Devon that he has a job to do.

***

Devon jerked his head back inside, banging it on the window’s edge. Hag stood behind him dripping wet, the thick pig’s ear necklace she wore covering most of her face. Her crooked nose jutted from its center like the tail of a boar’s ass. She looked like a life-sized troll doll dressed up for a slumlord’s barbecue. “What are you doing here?"

Hag glanced down at his days-worn clothing and shook her head. “I was wondering the same about you.”

He just about laughed out loud at the sight of her. “I’m fixing a window. Did you come here to give me news or to torment me?”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Lacanto Project


Here is another snippet for #ssfsat from my dystopian science fantasy novel THE LACANTO PROJECT for which I am actively seeking an agent/publisher. THE LACANTO PROJECT  is about an assassin who discovers that she is the genetic link necessary for the rise of a prophet in a dystopian world.

In this scene, Devon takes Nashi to the morgue to identify the body of her slain mentor.

***

Devon led Nashi to Vault-18 and pulled open the square door, bringing a body with it. Holding up the lantern so that its light reflected down on the corpse, he snapped back the sheath that covered the cadaver and stepped aside.

She shut her eyes for a moment and then gazed at the gray body, haunting in the dim light, and she suddenly went numb.

“Well?” Devon said in a razor sharp tone.

Nashi took a deep breath. She had seen hundreds of dead people, most having been her victims, either killed during practice or on her missions, but she had never seen one she knew as intimately as Tamron. Viewing his naked still body lying on the metal slab left a hollowness in the pit of her gut. It were as if a piece of her lay on the table.

Devon hung the lantern on a hook above the vault and moved the corpse’s head from side-to-side. She saw the small puncture wounds behind Tamron’s earlobes, an indication to the tortuous nature of his death.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Sentinels

"The Sentinels" was first published in Alternative Coordinates, March 2009. It can now be found in SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS.   

"The Sentinels" is about a body part salvager caught up in the middle of an intergalactic bug war.

This snippet is the opening scene of "The Sentinels." Its writing grew out of my fear for spiders.

***

Jacs and his partners found the Sacarvian village, Eelon, at sunrise. Never, in all his years as a freelance salvager, had he encountered something this strange. Fungi-like plants circled Eelon, and a spidery mist entwined the huts. He tugged at the green jumpsuit he wore that stuck to his body at uncomfortable places and dropped his backpack, harvesting tools and PD (preservation/decontamination) sacks spilling out by his feet.

Soop stood beside him, his red dreadlocks swaying as he scanned the village. "Maybe we're at the wrong place."

Not possible, Jacs thought. The attack had been here. He had been given the coordinates by the Hutans themselves.

But where were the bodies?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Yellow Stone

Here's something less gruesome for Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday, a snippet from my short story, "The Yellow Stone." "The Yellow Stone" was first published in 2009 by Eternal Press. It can now be found in SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS, available at amazon.com. The premise for this story arose out of the events of 9/11 with the following thought: "It is not what people look like that defines a nation, it is how they live." This excerpt is the opening scene of the story.


***

Lozan Kiowa entered her village just before dawn. She could hear the thrum quieting as whispers rose above the RAT-tat-tat-tat-tat and echoed off the canyon walls. Wars songs, in another time, but for her the inaudible chants signified another failed journey and reinforced the other villagers' suspicion that maybe there wasn't anyone out there.

With a strong desire not to become a disbeliever, Lozan trudged into her family's adobe and found Moma Kiowa laying on her bedroll. Her grandmother struggled to her feet and hobbled over to her with wide arms.

"Lozan, the early winter winds have brought you home." The old woman spoke with a guttural voice, like someone had tossed pebbles down her throat and they rattled every time she opened her mouth. She squeezed what remained of Lozan's strength right out of her.

"Low-spirits brought us back," Lozan said. "That and a longing for home."

The poignant smile on Moma's face gave Lozan little reassurance that there really was a place called home. Certainly, this village was not it. Her people had lived in the canyons for centuries, but it never felt quite right to her.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Lacanto Project

Here is a snippet for Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday. This is another excerpt taken from my dystopian science fantasy novel, THE LACANTO PROJECT, for which I am actively seeking an agent/publisher. THE LACANTO PROJECT is about an assassin who discovers that she is the genetic link needed for the rise of a prophet in a dystopian world. This scene is near the middle of the story when the secondary character, Devon Han, finds his lover dead.

***

Devon hovered in Sadie Jane’s bedroom doorway, gazing at her naked body laying on the bloodied carpet. An icy pain rammed down his throat, and he forced his legs to move toward her in small, quivering steps. She wore a red wig, the one with the long soft ringlets, his favorite, which was now tainted with blood. Her middle breast had been sliced off, and a knife had been put in its place between the two remaining breasts. Her arms were folded over her abdomen, a knife thrust into her hands, locking them together. Another blade was jammed in her overlapping feet, and eight additional blades purged the sides of her body.

He trembled looking at the grotesque sight before him, its symbolism clear as the ominous shroud that cloaked his soul. Eleven blades thrust into the body of an intimately acquainted redhead at places that were eternally and painfully engraved in his mind.

His breaths came in spastic waves, and he fell to his knees. He stroked Sadie Jane’s swan-like neck, cold and gray, and inspected the base of her head and around her ears with probing fingers. And there it was.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Lacanto Project


Here is the snippet for Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday. This is the opening scene of my novel, The Lacanto Project.  The Lacanto Project is a dystopian science fantasy for which I am actively seeking an agent/publisher. It is about an assassin who discovers that she is the genetic link necessary for the rise of a prophet in a dystopian world.

***

The evening began like any other work night. Dinner, wine and a pill. The food and drink were grand, but the tablet resting in Nashi’s palm gouged her heart and lessened her chances that this time she wasn’t expected to kill.

A dark shadow loomed over Nashi. Dressed in a sheer black tunic, she crouched on the canopy-draped bed and squeezed the pill, wanting to crush it to powder. It wouldn’t matter. He would only make her lick it up.

“What did she say?” Nashi asked Tamron, her mentor. She glanced at him through the thin veil that separated them, trying to avoid eye contact. She couldn't let him see her tears. Being Geo-1, her faction's best assassin, meant she should show no such sentiments, nor displeasure in receiving the current assignment.

Tamron buttoned up his shirt and readjusted the cape on his back, his black curls shading his cold eyes. He pushed the canopy aside and tossed a knife on the bed. “You might need that.”

Nashi's heart hit bottom. “I suppose this means we proceed according to her plan.”

He dropped her lubriskin on top of the knife. Yes, that’s exactly what it meant.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Finding Farber


Here is a snippet from my short story, "Finding Farber." 
"Finding Farber" was first published in EXCAPE VELOCITY: The Anthology, in 2011, and can now be read in SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS. This is the opening scene.
                             

***

The early morning tram coming from East Park entered Station 12 ten minutes behind schedule. A lucky break for Banger Dunn. Debris flew into the air as the tram stopped, spattering Banger’s gray overcoat as he hurried to catch the rail-runner before it took off. He grabbed onto what was left of Farber’s arm and shoved him through the tram’s door. Covered with blood that might not be just Farber’s, Farber’s coat sleeve hung like a limp fire hose from his upper arm.


Banger thrust a token into the pockmarked metal depository at the front of the automatic tram and pulled Farber up from the floor. Farber's blood trailed behind them as they walked down the aisle. The tram moved onward, toward 39th street.


Banger shoved newspaper off the back seat and guided Farber into it, next to him. Farber's thin body trembled beneath the big overcoat her wore. Banger moved him closer. Then he noticed the kid, the only passenger on the tram, sitting six rows ahead, staring at them.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Europa

Below is my snippet for Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday from my short story, "Europa."  "Europa" can be read in its entirety in SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS, and at Smashwords.

 "Lieutenant Cordelli, return to the Explorer with Lieutenant Clay in one hour.  That's an order.  We'll remain in orbit and prepare the shuttle for another surface landing.  We will not abandon Lieutenant Duval."

 One hour.

 Jouno perched himself on the edge of despair, the thought of leaving Europa, with Rylie alone beneath the ground, numbing him. The late afternoon shadows cast gloom across the landscape that not so long ago had mesmerized him by its uniqueness. Soon it would be dark. Above, he saw two sister-moons and wondered how much light they would reflect down upon him. 

He leaned toward the view-screen, his heart sinking into his gut. Rylie had opened the weird looking triangle and walked through it--and then she disappeared.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

911: A Day Worth Remembering

I remember that day. I was gathering items of clothing, placing them in a bag to take to goodwill. My daughter was with me, so little then, her fairy tale eyes saw no evil in the world. It was all about princesses and dress-up and barbie dolls. Dragon Tales was the episode of the morning.  Then I called my mother.
        "Are you watching the news?"
        I never watched the news that time of the day, but I switched channels and there it was: A burning tower. Shocked and unable to grasp what was happening, I became glued to the set, and to my friend and neighbor up the street whose husband was at that very time a pilot for USAir, on his way somewhere. I never witnessed such silence, stillness in the air.
        "Mommy, when are we leaving? Can we go to the park?"
        You know the rest of the story. My friend's plane landed, and he returned safely home a few days later. And we all went back to work, a little more fearfully.
         I knew in my heart that day that my children's world would never be the same. They continued to play as they always did not noticing the changes around them, or understanding the evilness behind the event.  And something sparked inside of me. An idea, a thought.
         It's not what people look like that defines a nation, it is how they live.
         It wasn't until a trip to Yellowstone National Park that I put that thought to words, and "The Yellow Stone" is the result. First published in 2006, "The Yellow Stone" is one of my many previously published short stories included in my anthology, SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS.
         To honor 911, I am having a FREE Kindle giveaway today and tomorrow. You may read "The Yellow Stone," as well as eleven other short stories there.
     
         This is a great nation we live in, and will continue to be.
   
         Get your FREE Kindle version of SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS by clicking on the title.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Excerpt from "Flight of the Hawk"

Gretchen met Phoeman at the immigration office five months before Sovereign Peterol came into power. He had been twelfth in line to see her among sixty-four passengers who arrived on Terrall from a foreign outpost. He wore baggy pants and a cropped shirt. His well-toned abdomen displayed a tattoo, which trailed down from his neck. Dark locks of hair dangled past his ears, and his digital eyes sparkled like black diamonds. His had been the fifth group of immigrants she had processed that morning. It was a tedious chore, and she did it with impatient indifference.
      She placed a new processing form on her desk as Phoeman approached. "Name."
     "Phoeman." His voice was deep and rich in dialect.
     "Last name, please."
     "Just Phoeman."
     She slid the form to him and offered him her ink pen. "Okay, funny man. Fill it out yourself. Have a seat. NEXT."

   
     

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Professional Suicide, or, Opening More Doors

More than a decade ago when I decided to leave research and devote my time to raising my children, I thought it had been a good idea, that it would be a temporary hiatus, that I could matriculate back into the scientific community with little or no hindrance. What I realize now, after nearly five years of job hopping, is that when I made that painful decision to leave, I had committed professional suicide. Nobody told me it would happen, nobody warned me that society would punish me for not wanting the daycare system to under-nurture my children. I hear many stories about women who leave science for the same reason and return back to the lab with success, so naturally my reentry into that world will be swift.  I wish someone would have warned me that this is not always the case.  Not that it would have influenced my decision, because I don't regret one moment I spent with my children during those years. But my ease back into it would have been sooner, and more rigorously fought.
           
I remember when I first entered the workforce decades ago before my life in the science world. The questions asked by my male interviewers are grounds for a lawsuit today. "What would you do if a male student..." "Do you intend to get Married?" "Do you intend to have children soon?"
         
Realllyyy????
         
My answer at the time was, "Would you be asking me these questions if I were a man?"
         
Needless to say, that killed the interview, and any possibility for the position.
         
Women are not asked questions like that in interviews anymore, nor is it legal to discriminate against them. Leaving the workforce for the betterment of our children is not frowned upon today. I have known men who have done it. However, there is a factor I never imagined being in the equation upon my return: AGE.
       
The jobs in science are few and far between, and when I got shoved aside for a position for which I am highly qualified, (more so than any of the other applicants) I couldn't help to wonder why, especially when the hired has just recently received her PhD, has little teaching experience and 1/10 of my qualifications. Two things struck me. The first, that the she is an alumnus of said new employer, and the second, that she is decades younger than me.
         
I had faced nepotism before, sex discrimination, and even the "she looks too young" discrimination. But never age discrimination. It is impossible to prove, and even more so to overcome, because there is no turning back the clock. I don't need health insurance, I work harder than my younger contemporaries and I am more devoted to my work at this stage in my life than anyone her age. And still ...
         
I wish I lived in a world where people don't have stereotypes or preconceived notions about a person, where individuals are not favored because of sex, race or age. But Earth is not that place.
         
The way I look at it, there is one of three things I can do: buy up all the Ben and Jerry's ice cream on the planet and have my own private party, accept the fact that the world is unjust, or write about it. I choose to write, because that's what I do.
         
It's no coincidence that many of my stories contain an underlying theme of injustice, be it social, political or personal.  I'm not the only one to experience it throughout life, and being a woman I'm sure I've experienced it more than a man. And it's no coincidence that the perpetrators of the act appear, in some fashion, in my scifi/fantasy tales.
         
Writers write from the heart, and if our hearts didn't suffer, there would be nothing to write about.
         
My professional suicide is not all that bad, because with every slammed door more open, and I always step through them to explore the other side.
       
And lets face it. Writing is my main priority these days, now that my children don't want me around, and since I've been scooped of a real job, I have more time to polish those novels.



       

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"Flight of the Hawk"


Gretchen Hawk lives in a world where artistic expression is banned, a world where dancer's legs are severed if they move to the wrong music, fingers amputated for playing the wrong note, hands chopped off if the brush stroke of the painter is not what the Sovereign commissions.  Consequences for the display of any type of artistic expression not conducive with the Sovereign's idea of a totalitarian society are severe, and Gretchen has the scars to prove it.

Unwilling to comply, Gretchen upholds her Guardians of Artisan Liberties ideals, and seeks out Shen Fouch, the last artisan who is still "whole." But when she finds him, she uncovers a deception that she and Fouch must fight together.

My short story, "Flight of the Hawk," will be published in SCHRODINGER'S MOUSE as a two part series. The first installment will be coming in October 2012, followed by "Flight of the Hawk's" dramatic conclusion in January 2013. It is a story about oppression and the miss use of political power, and one that is sure to live on in your mind long after you reach the end.

SCHRODINGER'S MOUSE is edited by Tim Rowe and Ann Stolinsky. Back issues can be found at amazon.com in Kindle format.

Friday, June 15, 2012

SHEPHERD'S FALL, By George R. Appelt Jr. -- A Book Review

The Gothic Victorian mansion located along the river bank is not your typical haunted house, and when Will Shepherd moves into it his life turns into a deadly, disturbing nightmare. But I would expect nothing less in this supernatural thriller, SHEPHERD'S FALL, written by George R. Appelt Jr. Scary stuff unnerves me, and rarely do I pick up such a book to read.  I have nightmares for days. Many times the story plot gets lost in the  gore.  But not so with SHEPHERD'S FALL, because Will Sheperd's life is entwined in the mysterious horrors entrenched in his new home.  I found myself unable to put it down.  From the first troubling scene early in the book to the last, the pages kept turning, enthralling me into the early morning hours. Sure, I did have a nightmare or two, and I slept with the lights on.  And I will never look at a Victorian house the same. Old houses have a history, but this one has a troubling, vengeful past that speaks to its occupants with death.

The protagonist, Will Shepherd, is a complex character with a rich back story whose new life is not what he thought it would be. Troubles at home, troubles at work, troubles with strangers, and make no mistake, his new Victorian house is the route of it all.  Reality fades as Will faces the horrors forced upon him, and when he sets out to uncover the secrets of his new home, the evil apparitions taunting him take deadly action.  The twisted spin at the end brings SHEPHERD'S FALL to a satisfying, rewarding conclusion.

SHEPHERD'S FALL, by George R. Appelt Jr. is published by Kismet and Company,  and is available in trade paperback and e-formats.

I highly recommend SHEPHERD'S FALL. But please, check to make sure your lights work before you turn the pages.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Putting the Blues into Words

Music, like all art forms, transcends us to places where our minds can wander and our hearts can cry.  It compels us to listen to voices that would otherwise go unheard.  It is there when we shop, drive, work, and in our minds when we think.  We've all had a tune we couldn't get out of our head, or lyrics we couldn't forget.  I like all kinds of music: jazz, classical, classic rock, international and the blues, and I've often speculated on the reason why I always go back to the blues.  What is it with that genre of music that stirs me?  Perhaps it's the ailing voices of the singers who sound as though they are ready to break down and cry, or maybe it's the relentless wail of the guitar that quakes in agony.  What ever it is, one thing is for certain.  The blues is a genuine crying of the soul that makes you shudder with empathy.  Its raw emotion punches you in the gut with a pain that's hard to forget.  

As a writer, it is my job to evoke a feeling, stir something within the reader that makes them sit back and contemplate their own fears, hopes and dreams.  Unlike the blues musician who accomplishes this task through auditory senses, a writer does this subtly, quietly, through invitation only.  Words in a book are only perceived by those willing to turn the pages.

Writing is a journey, and sometimes a painful one.  The ups and downs of the publishing world has ensured a tough battle for most of us.  But for many writers the majority of the pain comes in the form of the words we write, and every writer will tell you that a little bit of them seeps into each story, intentional or not.  The experiences we gather through the years feeds us, makes us stronger and more resilient.  For good or bad, our pasts shaped who we are, and our stories are reflections of the lives we've led.  Like a blues musician, the emotions a writer evokes should stab you in the heart and make you bleed.

As a writer, I embrace any hardships I've lived through, for it planted empathy in by soul and inspired my words.  Without those experiences, I wouldn't be me.

Music is the language of our soul, and the written word is the voice of our outpourings, the passions, hopes and tears of our souls.

Enjoy the youtube videos of B. B. King, Amy Winehouse, Tracy Chapman and Joe Bonamassa below.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2kEx5BLoC4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJAfLE39ZZ8&ob=av2e

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDAQm2qWnYw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgXSomPE_FY&feature=related

Monday, March 12, 2012

Space and Time

When I look up at the sky on a clear night, a zillion stars twinkle in the black sky.  I can't help but to imagine all the stars with all the planets that may have life similar to our own here on Earth.  We as humans can not be that arrogant to think we are alone, or unique.  Unique?  Blaaa!  There's nothing unique about us.  We are but a speck, nothing more than a tiny dot in the center of the milky way galaxy which is itself a mere mention among millions.

The nearest star to our solar system is Proxima Centauri 4.2 light years away.  Thanks to the old TV show, Lost in Space, the Centauri system, Alpha Centauri in particular, became a household name.  Times have changed since then, but the reality of reaching that system is still no where near our future.

But this is my world, and I like to pretend.  If a ship travels to Proxima Centauri at a speed of 10% light speed, it should take about 40 years to get there.  Probably more, giving the fact that the ship must slow down considerably if it were going to make a safe landing.  Forty years is a long time.  The average person will probably not make the trip.  Because of the education and training, most astronauts do not fly until they are well into their 40s.  Perhaps we could put the occupants of the ship in some kind of stasis.
And then the problem of fuel arrises.   Hmm.

When writing science fiction, two things are clear.  Number one, the story is not true.  Number two, the science must be real, or extrapolated from current hypothesis or data that makes it plausible in the future.

I would like to hear your thoughts and ideas on space travel.  How would you like to tour the universe in the future?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Feel'n Like a Number, or What Defines a Writer

I remember the day I walked through my college campus for the first time.  I was one of thousands, a speck among the masses, just a number.  The huge campus swallowed me up, but somehow I rose from its depths a survivor packed with knowledge and a drive that hasn't faltered yet.  The memories I took with me, and the lessons I learned have taught me never to give in.

Or, give up.

Being a writer has its glory.  It's great when someone actually reads what you write and LIKES it.  It's even better when the story gets published and you see your work in print, wondering how many sets of eyes will read it.  I am one of thousands of writers out there waiting to be read, understood, or seen as something more than a number.  Yes, there are thousands of us.

Sounds familiar, just like the old days.

When friend and fellow writer, George Appelt Jr., came to critique announcing the upcoming publication of his first novel, we were all very happy for him having read his humorous work through the years.  It was about time.   Kismet and Company, a new small press publishing company, will do the honors.  Seems to be the way to go these days since the big publishing companies slam the door in your face far too often.  They just won't let you play the game.  I wonder who let them make the rules in the first place.

Hum now.  Think about that.  There's something unique among artists.   Regardless if you are a writer, musician, painter or dancer, we as artists are steered by our own visions.  Since when did we ever follow somebody else's rules?  If there was a rule to be broken, I always found a way to break it, or bend it according to how it better suited my brain.

We writers might just be a number, a speck among the thousands, another name on your bookshelf, but we are all unique, because we are artists who never fall flat on ideas, imagination or rules to break.

So, what defines a writer, or any artist for that matter?  The desire to create our own rules to the game with the talent, imagination and drive that's embedded so deeply within us that our numbers are irrelevant.

I've come to know many local writers through the years, and their talents are a testimony of just how diverse the artist can be.  Find out for yourself by supporting the local writer.  Books by Cate Masters,  Susan Gourley, Mike Silvestri, Jon Sprunk, Dennis Royer, Don Helin fill my bookshelves.  What authors fill yours?  If you haven't read their work, check them out.  And don't forget about George's upcoming novel, Shepherd's Fall, coming out soon!

And don't forget to get a copy of SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS, an anthology of my previously published short stories.
 --Support your local writer.