Sunday, March 29, 2020

Corona Poetry?

So, apparently, when trying to nail down the ending for my latest book (a new series that is geared more toward adults), I like to amuse myself by writing poetry.  Who knew?  Good or really bad, at least it gives me something to share.  It's also better than my forcing the ending.  It is going to be a large series and I'm adamant that I will give each book a proper ending and not just a set up to the next novel.

The Viral Siege

The pregnant pause, gravely unspoken
as we now live in the perilous space between.
Our foe swarms wearing Hades Helm
and we wait to bear arms until foe is seen.

Yet bear we must under siege.
We struggle by lonely survival suffered,
wanting in ways comical
to those whose compared need it seems absurd.

Middle aged, we hoard in our collective panic,
lashing out at beloved players,
whose wealth we gladly gave for our amusement,
but now deride, the new scape goat Ayers. 

Heedless, leaderless, guided by a barking clown,
our young, once heroes of our future,
act as petri dish revelers.
Dancing throngs waltzing the aged to butcher.

The learned ones, with exponential models,
with their experiments, and evidence, and epidemics,
with their distancing, and isolating,
with graphs of curved pandemics.

Why hear their call for sanity?
When all is a hoax and we shop for our brand
of fact, of figure, of talking personality,
to tell us truth we shout from our own social newsstand.

Somewhere, between logic and love,
between Gautama and Theodore,
are all the provisions to endure the siege, 
and claim victory of this viral war. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

A Dabble with Poetry

Hello out there.  I have been noticing a bit more traffic to my page, no doubt hoping for new books, but finding nothing new and that is a definite failing on my part.  The books I can't do anything about; publishing is a bit complicated, but I promise books four and five of the Scarlet series are coming.  That being said, I thought I should at least share something.  So here is some poetry.  I'm not really a poet, except in the sense that we all are somewhere in our deepest souls, but I like to dabble.  Forgive the COVID bunker ambiance of the video.  I didn't really think about the visuals until after I recorded it.  Be safe.  Take care of one another, from 6 feet away if possible.  Eat your veggies.  And be kind.

Words that express.
Words that cherish.
That bring us close,
And give life to laughter.

What words would I have for you,
if in their expression
I could explain my heart?
If in their expression
I could gain passage into yours.

Words of rage.
Words of contempt.
That render,
Making fluid our morality.

What words would I have for you,
If in their speaking
They could give you my pain?
If in their speaking
I could take back my stolen time.
Words of kindness.
Words that elevate.
That give us hope
And make promises that might just be kept.

What words would I have for you,
If in their uttering
I could heal with compassion?
If in their uttering
I could forgive and be forgiven.

So inadequate for love,
Much too powerful in hate.
Give our inadequate love words power with deeds.
Rob those hate words with our furious grace.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Quick Thought: United States of Rome

As a boy, I believed that the United States of America was eternal. In fact, it seemed such a permanent thing that I didn’t really give it much thought, only grew into adulthood in the secure feeling of stability a world superpower provides. As a middle-aged man, faced with current events, my mind wanders to ancient Rome, and boys and young men who grew into their adulthood in one of the greatest, most powerful civilizations to ever grace the planet, and how permanent it must have felt. How their home managed to survive as their republic was taken away, to be replaced by the Tiberiuses, Caligulas, Neroes, and Commoduses. And yet, still the great empire endured—until it didn’t. 
Unfortunately, our civilization, that began as an experiment in democratic republican government, is not eternal. There is no inevitability to our success and future. Like all worthwhile endeavors, it must be earned, renewed, and sacrificed for. We cannot allow people to exploit the freedoms our government and constitution provide for greed, power, hate, and misguided individualism. 
"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."
-John Adams

Friday, July 5, 2019

London's Calling

Checking in—this time with a bit more than the usual books and tv.  I made it over the Atlantic to London in addition to what I've been reading and playing, so I have some pictures for this post.

I thoroughly enjoyed the city that I can best describe, no offense meant by the disparity in historical ages, as an amalgamation of New York and Washington D.C.  Due to rebuilding after the bombing in World War II, London has a very modern city vibe, skyscrapers and all, with that financial, busy people doing business things energy.   At the same time, there are scores of tourists crowding the streets and around every corner is a monument, statue, or building that speaks to the city's place as a capital and the United Kingdom's storied and lengthy history as an Empire, Kingdom, and nation.

I had the Rick Steeve's book for London and he mentioned that for Americans traveling to London, and England in general, there is a sense of the familiar, almost a coming home.  I can definitely relate.  Despite some obvious differences, plenty for those like myself who relish the cultural nuances experienced when traveling, there is a great deal of comfort and ease about traveling in London.  There is of course a shared language, but it goes beyond that.  For many Americans, England provides our roots, not only in heritage, but in the formation of our country, its laws, and certainly in our culture.  In addition, I have seen London so many times on big and small screens, read about it through 56 Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and heard about it in history books, the whole trip had a visiting relatives feel about it.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

And Summer is Knocking

June is upon us: the end of school, outdoor pools have opened, heat has arrived, and I, like many, am reminded that I'm on the wrong end of getting in shape.

Anyway, been a couple weeks and I thought I check in.


I'm going to start here because in addition to finishing Mythos, I also read Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Landsing, and the later turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read—certainly one of the best non-fiction.  Not to take anything away from Mythos.  If you enjoy the Greek myths, it really was a terrific way to hear the stories of the God and Titans and Stephen Fry is as witty and funny as always.  Despite showing a remarkable knowledge of the subject, his book is very accessible.

As for Endurance, if you don't already know about Shackleton's Voyage to Antartica, don't look it up.  Just buy Endurance and start reading.  You will be riveted by what is not only fantastic writing—the whole book reads like the best of adventure fiction—but by the thoroughly researched true story.  Tears welled up in my eyes at the end and I am not, by nature, a crier.

Currently, I'm onto fiction and at the suggestion of my best of friends (the same friend that introduced me to Joe Abercrombie) I am reading Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Check In

In order to make it easier for me to stay in touch, I thought I would borrow a bit from some other other authors and just try and write a bullet style check in once a week.  That way, if you are at all interested, we can stay a bit more connected even if I don't necessarily have something particularly insightful to say or perhaps, I'm busy doing other things and don't feel like I have the time to write a blog post.  This takes away many, if not any, excuses.  Feel free to contact me and gripe up a storm if I don't follow through.  Please.  There is nothing like fan driven pressure.

Without further ado, let the bullets begin:

Currently I have three ideas in various stages of conception—I say conception because none of them have risen to draft status as yet.  One is a new young adult trilogy and the other two are not.  Of the adult books, one is contemporary, the other fantasy more along the Abercrombie/Martin line.

As to Scarlet, I am at the mercy of the publishing world at the moment.  Both book four, The Barrier's Fall and book five The Shattered Throne are written, however both are still in editing and post production.

Like most of the world I currently have Westeros taking up a great deal of headspace in my monkey brain.  While I very much wished I could have waited for the books to finish, the HBO series is just too compelling and I am weak.  Like you, I await the conclusion this coming Sunday with great anticipation and bit of sadness.  Hopefully, someday soon, the Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring will fill the void.

My wife and I are currently binge watching—for us that is the same show, one episode a night—West World.  At this stage, I'm fascinated, but impatient.  Verdict is still out.