Posts Tagged ‘Art’

Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

Posted: August 1, 2019 in Blog
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Ticket Booth

I’m not sure why this continues to need to be said. It doesn’t even matter if I am desperate for food or phenomenally wealthy, I deserve to be paid for my work. Books are not too expensive, especially eBooks. Some people just seem to feel they deserve some kind of handout, or they seek to take advantage of authors by expecting free books. It saddens me that there is sufficient use of free book (piracy) websites that they are still functioning. You’re hurting authors by using them. It is very disappointing. It saddens me that people are so willing to hurt others for success, though I realize that is nothing new in human behavior. It also saddens me that people patronize these sites. If they didn’t, there’d be no power to them.

It also baffles me that there is a prevailing attitude that people somehow freely deserve the fruits of artistic labor, yet they’ll somehow manage to afford that $3.00 coffee five times a week. They also manage to afford a smartphone. Has anyone thought of expecting an iPhone for free because Apple has “enough” money already?

Here’s the thing. Books are cheap! I sometimes wonder if it is even about the price, or if something is just wired into a lot of people where they try to unfairly worm whatever benefit to themselves they can. That sort of approach is sadly selfish, immature, and unsustainable. Hopefully humanity will largely mature beyond such an attitude at some point in the near future.

Buy the book, take the ride.

Find more discussion here on my blog about art being affordable.


I am not much into ebooks (as I have blogged on here before). I know they are the wave of the future, and it is very cool to think of being able to carry around a virtual library with you wherever you go. I will not deny how neat that is nor resist this continuing change.

I also see a better future for writers with greater ease in publishing and greater ease for readers to access that output. It is not as costly to electronically publish, but it does still cost. Life still continues to cost, too. Authors gotta eat, yo!

This trend from the general public for artistic endeavors (writing, painting, photography, music, etc.) to be free or almost free needs to stop. This whole thing with ‘do it for the exposure’ is a load of crap.

Ebooks are not expensive. The vast majority of them are less than $10, many of those less than $5, some of those less than one dollar! Yet, there still seems some uproar about why they should be distributed freely. Please consider my earlier sentence about the costs of living and artists needing to eat. As lovely and rewarding as creating may be, it still doesn’t fill the belly.

I have ebooks in my collection I will likely never read. I just bought them to show support, because they are so affordable. Let’s all show support. That’s much more satisfying than complaining.

Thank you.

My Amazon Author Page

The City is plagued by sex-trafficking, victims kidnapped and used against their will.  The ages of these women vary, but it is clear the criminals are not concerned with using those who are very young.  They use drugs and violence to gain compliance, even offering some of them back to their families for exorbitant ransoms.

A masked vigilante decides to do something about this, but is one person enough?

Unaware of the deeper, darker energies manifesting, this crusader unwittingly engages far worse than ever imagined. Will they be able to help, or will this consume them?

Find out in Dance of the Butterfly, the first book in my urban fantasy series. For 18+ readers –

Dance of the Butterfly – print version
Dance of the Butterfly – electronic editions


Continuing Author Life Month (#authorlifemonth), it is time for another post.

Awesome Moment
Well, I suppose there are many awesome moments, but the one that stands out to me was when I first held the print version of my debut novel in my hands.  That was amazing.

Killed Darlings
Now come on, I can’t say that.  Read my series to find out who this happens to … I mean if it even happens at all.  I’d never kill off a beloved character.  Nope.  I have never experienced a decisive moment when I almost talked myself out of a bold move, because I didn’t want to kill off a character.  Never.

Reviewer Love
I will throw love at all those who have taken the time to review my book.  I love hearing feedback, and I thank all of those of you who have provided it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Here is some swag.  A nice draw-string bag with the name of my publisher, along with some post cards, magnets, and a neat journal.  I use the journal for writing music.

Character Inspiration
Well, the characters in Dance of the Butterfly are somewhat obviously based on people I know, including myself.  As I discuss in the post Seeds, it all began innocently enough as my son and I had a fun discussions of how easy it would be to dress up for a con if there were characters based on us.  Though this began as something silly and off the cuff, the seeds were planted.

Dedication Page
No one gave me more inspiration, desire, and discipline than Jane.  Had I not met her, I don’t think the books would have ever been written.  Thank you.

My “To-Write” List
I have many of these.  I am working on the third (and likely final) book in my urban fantasy series.  I have another novel that is about 95% finished and yet another that is about 5% done.  And yes, still another that is fairly well along.  These are all fantasy-related, some dealing with vampires, some with other dimensions, some with wizards, maybe some dragons.  My hope is they will all pull from standard tropes but come forth in a non-standard way.

And there we go.  I do hope you have enjoyed this further glimpse into my life.  As always, please feel free to like, share, or comment.  Thank you all.


So, there is this Author Life Month (#authorlifemonth) thing happening on Instagram.  I don’t have an Instagram account, but I won’t let that stop me.  Instead of making a post a day, though, I think I will do them weekly and just lump everything together.

My Books
I have one book published, the second in the series is coming very soon, and a short story in a just released anthology.  My series is in the urban fantasy genre, but it is grounded in quasi-realism.  It is very much a mystery and slow burn to the reveal, though things will be much more open in the second installment.  You can see (and buy) all three from my Amazon Author Page.

Here is a photo of me.

Fan Art
I have had the pleasure of some art being done of characters and events in my book.  You can view these in the Artwork category here.

My current work in progress (well, officially, as I am working on several things) is the third book in my urban fantasy series.  Allow me to share a little teaser –

One is of a woman, wearing a dark gray, nondescript dress that covers from wrists to ankle, but her face hides behind a mid-twentieth century gas mask.  Close examination shows the mask to actually be part of her face, giving forth a meld that is quite out of the ordinary.  Her hair is stringy in some places but others seem of ridged rubber.  The combination is so well done as to somewhat trick the eye.

“Look at her fingernails,” Zoe mentions, giving further personification to the statue.

Lilja notes the cracks and chips, the detail again as she had seen it in the smaller works.

“It’s like she tried to get free.”

Where I Write
I have a little media room, I call it, in my house.  It is not fully enclosed, which makes it wonderful for me.  It is where my desk and computer reside along with another desk on which I have set up my keyboard and amplifier.  I do most all of my creating in this space.  I have used an old typewriter and even done handwritten manuscripts, but I prefer using a word processor.

Writing Music
I do not often have music playing when I write.  I can find it distracting.  If I do listen to music, it is instrumental.  Music with lyrics is far too distracting for me to work to.  Some music I have listened to when writing my series has been the soundtracks to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Hannibal, the television series.

Cover Inspiration
I always had an idea for the cover of Dance of the Butterfly.  I am not sure what inspired me, but the basic aesthetic always seemed to be there, lingering in my mind.  I want to thank Tomi Rautanen for the sketch of my idea which eventually became the visual basis for the cover.

That is the first week.  I do hope you have enjoyed these insights.  Feel free to leave any comments or questions.  Thank you.


Stuff About Me

Posted: January 19, 2017 in Blog
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  1. I began creative writing when I was in elementary school. My teacher gave me an extra credit assignment to write a fictitious newspaper from another planet.  I chose Venus.  I used my parents old typewriter, leaving space for “photos” which became hand drawn pictures by me.  One was of a bank robbery in action.  I remember the Venetians were thin, hairless, and had antennae.
  2. I wrote my first “complete” novel when I was in my mid 20’s. It’s still sitting on my old Macintosh SE.  As far as I know, the old Mac still works.  I took it to a Mac store some years ago and asked what it would take to transfer the info off and into a more modern format.  They quote me a price in the high hundreds, so I didn’t do it.  The story was influenced by the Tarot deck, and each of the major arcana is represented as a character or concept in the story.
  3. I am influenced in my writing style by my philosophical background as well as by such writers as Douglas Adams, H.P. Lovecraft, and Frank Herbert.  I went through a period where I was writing very Lovecraftian short stories.  I sent many of these off to magazines, but none of them were published.
  4. I am a stream-of-consciousness writer. When I write, it feels like I am telling a story I have witnessed.  This has also led to some pages of bizarre stuff that I ended up abandoning.
  5. I don’t often listen to music when I write. I prefer quiet.  But if I do listen to music, it has to be instrumental (the vocals distract me), and something “moody” that fits the vibe of whatever I am working on.
  6. I have written and directed a play about the Marquis de Sade.  It was seen by very few people, but I think it was very entertaining.  It was certainly somewhat shocking.  I still have the script.  It was an idea of the Marquis “pressing” local actors into service and forcing them to act out a play about Don Quixote and his horse.
  7. I have written many poems and songs in addition to my usual creative writing of fiction prose.

Anything you might like to know, feel free to leave a comment.  If you enjoy my writings, please consider buying my book.  The second is in the publisher’s hands and will be out soon.  The third is currently being worked on. – print version – electronic editions

Thank you,

Sword of the Butterfly, the second book in my urban fantasy series, will be published soon.  I received the cover concept recently, and I think it is amazing.  I hope you all enjoyed the first book and are anticipating the second as much (or more!) than I am.  I am very excited for it, and I think you will all enjoyment the development as we delve deeper into the tale.



I think it is an amazing cover that really captures the feel of the story.  Many thanks to the artist, Jeffrey Kosh, for this wonderful work.

If you have not read the first book, please do so.  And as always, thank you.

Click for the print version.
Click for electronic editions.


Posted: November 17, 2016 in Blog
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Elementary school in the district ended at fifth grade.  Middle school, or junior high, was grades six through eight.  I was excited, and not just a little trepidatious, about moving along.  We were also allowed to put on a little celebratory show, the Fifth Grade Follies.  It was to be like a variety or talent show, though there would be no judging.  Just as when I wanted to play Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, I was eager to have a role in this.  I don’t recall whose idea it was – my teacher, my mother, myself?  But I ended up as emcee of the event.

I do recall that my mother suggested I conduct myself in a manner like Chuck Barris of The Gong Show.  I did not know much of Chuck Barris, then, except that I loved The Gong Show.  My mother coached me to come out, doing some odd clapping and changing out outrageous hats, telling crappy jokes.  I even had some assistants who’d walk by with “Boo” cards, encouraging the audience to get in on the fun.

And it was fun.  We had several different acts, many of them were just kids dressing up and dancing and lip syncing to popular songs.  A group of boys were performing to KISS, and they were a bit stoic.  I recall being in the wings during one rehearsal, just jiving and working my little butt off, and the teacher waved me out onto the stage.  I became the example for the fledgling rockers.  This lesson came back in my middle school Drama class – don’t be afraid to exaggerate movements on stage.

I was asked to join the KISS group, and though I really wanted to, I had my emcee duties to fulfill.  I felt a little protective of the goings-on, much as, I suppose, was Barris with his various television “babies”.  It proved a joy all around, and I wish we had it video recorded.

Still, I didn’t end up in a career in theater or television.  I may have been contacted by the CIA when I graduated college, but I really can’t comment on that.

Please be sure to check out my debut urban fantasy novel, Dance of the Butterfly.  It is the first in a planned series.  Thank you!

Click for the print version.
Click for electronic editions.

I am a fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft.  I do not much get into the debate regarding his racism, much as I do not much get into the debates regarding other negative personal qualities of artists whose work I may admire.  Perhaps that is a form of condoning, though I’d not support such bigotry.  Maybe a sprinkle of naïveté?  It’s a difficult situation, so I digress …

The point of this post is that I cannot determine when I was exposed to Lovecraft’s works.  I recall seeing an original edition Deities & Demigods book from Dungeons & Dragons, and it had a section on the creatures of Lovecraft.  I was quite young, preteen, and I do not feel like the information was unfamiliar.  I was raised in a conservative, religious household.  I was not exposed to Lovecraft through my family.  I spent most of my formative years in a rural area, so I did not have any sort of regular access to the sorts of stores, libraries, or general groups that may have offered such an introduction.  And to put a finer point on it, the internet had not yet been invented.

So, I am left to wonder – where, when, and how did I learn of Lovecraft?

I also mentioned in another blog post that I wrote a play when in elementary school.  The play was largely influenced by A Boy and His Dog.  To the best of my recollection, I had not read the Ellison book or seen the film.  I wonder where this knowledge comes from.

This also leads me to examining of memory, but not just that, also creativity.  I used to think (and may still do) that our brain is capable of mimicking sensation.  It knows, in an abstract sense, what any stimuli would feel like.  I figured this was how dreams could feel so “real”.  This, of course, easily results in the question ‘how would you know it felt right if you had not felt it before?’ but again, I shall digress rather than delving this post even further into metaphysics.

I have also heard of readers wondering how a writer’s imagination can not only conjure up the things it does, but then how do the words manage to so convincingly convey the situation and accordant feelings?  Imagination is the answer, of course, but there must be something compelling of it, or it may easily be dismissed.

Perhaps it is fitting that I began this thought exercise with mention of Lovecraft.  He wrote of things outside the boundaries of human perception.  Things that could not be properly seen or known by the human mind.  Things that might break said minds and result in insanity.

The generous span and scope of potential human knowledge amazes me, as do its possible limitations.


Playing at Writing

Posted: September 8, 2016 in Blog
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I have not just written fiction prose.  I have written many a poem, and I have written plays.  I have even had the pleasure of directing some of them.  The first one was in elementary school.  I find it interesting to look back on.

It was another extra credit assignment, and I was allowed to write a short play.  I was also able to use two other boys as my actors who were also prone to finding “free time”.  The work was a take on A Boy and His Dog.  Now, I was in elementary school, somewhere between ten and eleven years old.  I do not recall ever reading the Harlan Ellison book, and I highly doubt I had seen the film.  I am, to this day, curious as to where my knowledge of the original work came from.  My interpretation was much sanitized, as you may guess, and the play was performed in the middle of an unused classroom.  We moved all the desks out of the way, and the kids from my class all stood in there quite close as it was undertaken.  Theater in the round, to some extent.

I have since written four other plays, though all of those were when I was an adult.  One was my own interpretation of what the play The King in Yellow might actually be.  For those familiar with it, the play is mentioned but never shown.  I decided to write what I thought it might be.  I don’t think my sanity suffered.

Another was a modern, fetishistic remake of the story of Doctor Faust.  The third was based on an urban legend that Robert Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and Jack Parsons had all gotten together and decided to exploit their popularity to try to “invent” a religion.  All part of some grandiose social experiment whereby they might point out the proverbial egg on society’s face if any of them succeeded.  I decided to write a play that depicted just that, taking it from urban legend to the page.

The last play involved the Marquis de Sade and Don Quixote, and it was actually performed.  I got to direct it.  That was an unparalleled joy, and I hope to do it again someday.

Writing fiction prose is my mainstay, but I do enjoy the occasional dabble in other areas.