Monday, December 20, 2010

New Book

Well sorry about not blogging you to death. Computer problems and there not fixed yet. But we are working on it. So I'll be here but not as quickly as I'd like to be.

Memphis Connection; The cover has been approved and it should be on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other places later today or sometime before Christmas. So for the last minute Christmas present....

The story introduces Marshall Jenkins, a detective in a small southwestern Tennessee town. His wife was recently killed in an attempt on his life and Marshall is working through the loss and guilt of that. Then a double murder forces him back to work. He has a family and a prosecutor ready to hang the ex-husband but Marshall feels he didn't do it. Now he has to prove innocence while finding out who really did it. When the FBI shows up Marshall realizes there is more to this than meets the eye.

And now for something completely different;

A friend of mine had an entry on facebook about a Christmas song she couldn't stand to listen to. Now, I've already gave you some idea about how much I love this time of year, not much, but I am getting better. But her FB Entry reminded me of something that happened to me years ago.

At one time in our life my wife and I had a radio alarm clock that woke us to music every morning. So six days of the week we woke to country music (yeah, it was her favorite so...) but on Sunday we awoke to 'gospel' music. One Sunday before Christmas I woke up to this horrible song called 'Take the X out of Christmas'. It was about how everybody during the holiday season was drunk; running around at office parties trying to have sex with each other, and a myriad of horrible things Christians should have nothing to do with. Well, that’s all true; but I have a couple problems with the song (other than the fact it was filled with instrumental music; but that's another matter as well) it made it sound like if you were not some down in the dumps, can't enjoy life, only thing you can do is go to church, then you couldn't be a good Christian. It was a depressing song.
At the same time Pinkard and Bowden had a song out called, 'Let's Put the X back in Christmas' this was an up tempo song full of life and enjoyable with a very catchy tune (if you can get past or ignore the subject matter). But the contrast and difference was obvious.

Yes, as Christians we are to be above the norm, chase, and a good example. But are we to be so solemn we can only work in a funeral home? If I'd been a non-Christian and heard these two songs; guess what? You'd be hard pressed to get me in a church that had that song playing in it. Christians that think they cannot enjoy life that every moment should be spent in study, teaching, reflection, and in a solemn life and live like it also probably shake their head and wonder why they are not getting anyone to join the church. I'm not saying suspend GOD's word and law so we can grow the church but can't we at least be civil to our fellow man? My point is this, life is hard, no matter how you want to live it, why should we make it extra hard by making believe God doesn't want us to enjoy life here working in His kingdom? Do you really think Jesus and the apostles traveled with their heads down and never cracked a smile?

So much for that; I guess you just got a peak into some of my attitudes about the Church.

But I did see something really remarkable Sunday. The preacher at the congregation we attend preaches, like many do now days, with notes from a Power-point presentation. Well Sunday he realized about a third of the way into the sermon he had the flashdrive with last Sunday's sermon on it. He had that, as he put it, preacher nightmare moment. He couldn't find it anywhere so he just shut his laptop off, picked up his Bible, and walked out and picked up and preached a great sermon on Christians being the support group for each other.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas although I hope I'll be on here later this week with another blog. Go buy a good book (hint-hint there) and enjoy family, friends, and your fellow Christians. Keep watching the blog for a chance to win a copy of the new book.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

million things; and a million to be thankful for

Even before I started this blog I thought I had a million things I wanted to talk about. Ask my wife; I have an opinion on everything; sometimes they even make sense. But I still am finding myself having a hard time getting something down on paper, or on a computer screen in this case, for you to read. Plus then you add in the idea of being funny, not offensive, and keep people reading not only the blog but maybe for them to go buy a book as well.

Thanksgiving. Usually this is a bad time of the year for me. So much has happened during this time of the year. I've lost an uncle, father, found out my wife had breast cancer, and lost a couple jobs during this time of year. Plus then in January I get to turn another year older; and that always sucks because it just reminds you of what you haven't accomplished during the following year.

So I write this sounding like I'm going to complain but I am really going to write about all the things I am truly thankful for; and I have a bunch of things.

I have a wife that has put up with me for over twenty-eight years. None of them have been easy. But she has been there, supported me, and put up with all the craziness. Most women wouldn't and would have kicked me to the curb years ago. But she is always there every morning. Thank you.

I have a best friend and editor that is super. She will always take my calls, explain what and why I need to do something, she edits my books and does it without rewriting them and best of all she is a good friend; even if she does think I'm way too conservative! And thinks I use ! too much!

I am thankful for my two nieces. They have both grown into beautiful, intelligent, funny, sharp, young women. And they do a pretty good job putting up with their uncle on occasion. I hope for them all the blessings and success in their futures. Their parents didn't do too bad a job; sometimes in spite of themselves.

I am thankful I knew my father all those years. He was a man that was mature in his youth but always had an interesting sense of humor and was a good man. He was quiet guy that stay pretty much to himself until he retired then suddenly (although I have a feeling I know what the motivation was) became very involved in volunteer work and became known by a lot of people in the town he lived in. I also appreciate his sense of adventure; we traveled to 45 states and two other countries while I grew up. I was exposed to many parts of the country other kids I knew would never see. There are parts of the country I love and have enjoyed going back to; thanks dad. One of the greatest experiences he gave me was a trip to a Marine reunion in San Diego. I sat and watched my father having a very casual conversation with the commander of Camp Pendleton about WWII. The reverence and respect that the Marine's showed the veterans of WWII and the Korean war was impressive. Another reason I will always respect veterans and our service people; and be very thankful for their service as well.

I am thankful for my mother, all things considered, for everything she gave me. To explain would be a longer story than I would ever write in a blog. Read my books; you'll get an idea.

I am thankful for the friends I have; so of which would drop everything at a moments notice if I needed them. I would do the same for them. Everybody knows the jokes about a real friend knows where to hid the body or will be setting next to you after you've been arrested; I have a few of them, and I am really thankful for them as well. You know who you are.

I am thankful for the people who have bought my book and read this blog (although more of you could comment!) Please stay tuned for more I have one almost finished in editing (thank you Lauralynn) and I have one almost finished for her to start when she gets time. Then I will be starting a rewrite of the first Jim Benjamin story. That should be a major odyssey.

I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to be involved in drag racing. The people I have met, places I have gone, things I have experienced, the late nights working on cars, setting in staging lanes swapping stories and setups, and watching a sport grow, change, and mature. It has been fun and I hope to be back there again some day. There is nothing like the feeling of standing there at the hit when a fuel car leaves. It's one of those "It's a drag racing thing, you wouldn't understand" if you've never been there.

I am thankful for Freed-Hardeman University. I met my wife there, my best friends, and experienced things I wouldn't of if I'd been anywhere else. Sometimes I question my intelligence in going there but in the end I am glad I made the trip. There service to youth and GOD means a lot to me. I appreciate the fact it is there.

I am really thankful to GOD for dogs. I know it sounds funny but I have two of the best right now and my wife and I have had a few in the past that truly make me smile and remember the personalities and fun we have had with them. Not feels better than a warm nose nuzzling you for attention.

Finally I am thankful for Christ; if you don't know why you need to find out!

I know there are things and people I have left out (or think they have been left out) but you really have not been. I appreciate all of my experiences, good or bad, because they have made me what and who I am today. Plus they have given me a bunch of good stuff for books down the line.

Peace, have a great thanksgiving and don't stuff on turkey.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Opportunity of a life time!

You only get so many great chances in life. I'm here to tell you about one of them. Thinking about a tropical vacation next summer? Plan now! Here's why; You can spend 32 days in wonderful, tropical, beautiful Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. You'll spend nine days in and around Buenos Aires, Costa Rica, then four to five days enjoying Nicaragua, then finish your trip with eighteen days in Tegucigalpa and Choluteca, Honduras.

Besides seeing the beautiful countryside you'll meet and interact with the locals, learn local customs, enjoy local food, and learn more than you would ever think you'd know about central America. You travel by bus working with other travelers building new homes, working to distribute food and clothing to locals, painting at a church, door knocking, a four to five day VBS and a similar length gospel meeting.

The trip starts June 9th, 2011 thru July 11th. There are only approximately 20 spaces left. Cost , including air fair and bus travel, is $2,155.00 per person. Where you could get the adventure, sights, spiritual uplift, and overall sense of doing good for your fellow man and GOD's will than this trip.

You leader will be Terry Reeves, well worth the cost of admission in its self, who has been going to Honduras and central America for twenty years. It will be a life changing experience for you and whoever you take with you. Contact Terry at

Spots are going fast and if you have ever thought about it; this is the time to go!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

When you listen to fools

I just hate when I can think of something I want to write about and then when I get down to it, my mind goes blank. (My wife thinks it’s that way most of the time anyway.) I felt like I needed to get another entry in the blog but, and I had some ideas, now it all seems kind of, well, I really don’t know.

I watched a special on Ronnie James Dio last night. I remember seeing him with Rainbow all those years ago. Then I remembered watching a concert with him singing with the players from Black Sabbath. It was great remembering and I will miss hearing him. I remember two favorite lines out of songs he sang: “when you listen to fools, the mob rules” and “beware of kings and queens that blind your eyes and steal your dreams”
They both kind of remind me of the situation we are in right now. I think we’ve listened to fools and had a blind eye toward “kings” that would steal our dreams for several years. So make sure you vote November second, or don’t whine about what you get!

On another note, I am working on my second murder mystery right now. I am having a little trouble keeping going. It just feels like I have written half the book and I’m only about a quarter to a fifth in length. Plus the lead character is female and that adds another layer to the mix. I think it will be a good story once it’s done, and will lay the ground work for future stories. (I hope it becomes a series.) But right now I’m just struggling a little.

Monday I start something new (unfortunately not a new job!) but a new schedule of my life. My, kind of, partner in writing crime did a blog the other day about prioritizing your life and making time to write no matter what. Then I received some advice about my writing and how to get people interested in what I write and ways to get the ball rolling. So I am going to try both and see what happens. I am trying to enlist another editor so my present one doesn’t feel so overloaded. But we’ll see how that works out.

My next project after finishing the current one is a major rewrite on the first Jim Benjamin novel. Not that I think it’s bad or really needs it. It’s just set around long enough. I’ve written other things. Now I want to add some stuff out of a short story set I have written to the main story. It will make it longer and fill in more gaps in the book rather than try to with the short story book. There will still be a short story book there somewhere, sometime; I’ll just need to add more stories after this. I am hoping it will be out sometime this spring along with a couple of novellas I am working on.

So there is a little hint of what’s coming up. Hope you have your computers ready to download or your Kindle fired up. Look forward to another blog soon as I am sure something else will happen and I will not be able to keep my mouth shut.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Just Cookies

My father used to get real upset with me when I would say something in front of my mother that would get him or myself in big trouble; ‘Why can’t you learn to keep your big mouth shut?’ This might turn into another one of those moments.

If I walked into a Ford dealership, sat down with a salesman after walking around the showroom for a while, and told him I wanted to order a 2011 Camaro, then after he told me I was in a Ford dealership and they didn’t sell Camaros, they sold Mustangs. What if I yelled discrimination, because, of course, being a fat middle-aged white guy it must be, and getting some of my friends along with myself to hold a protest in front of the dealership with media, who had made a big deal about it for a few days while I organized the impending protest. Would you say I was nuts?

But if I was in a GLBT group at IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis) wanting cupcakes for a Coming Out Day party and went to a place called JUST COOKIES and ordered cupcakes, then all of the above would be okay. It happened in Indianapolis last week.

Now I really have no problem if a GLBT group wants to have a Coming Out Day party, I really don’t have a problem if they want rainbow iced cupcakes, but I do have a problem when they go to a place that doesn’t even make cupcakes, tries to order them, and then has a fit. Well, hold it; I really don’t have as much of a problem with that as I do the media making a major deal out of it! It was on every radio station, TV station, and newspaper in the area, I am sure it made national headlines in some other areas because of the subject matter. But why? In my opinion all they did was look kind of stupid for ordering something from the wrong place (see about concerning the Camaro if this doesn’t make sense to you).

I also wonder if (and yes I know this is going to the extremes, but it’s what I do sometimes to make a point) a Klan group wanted an African-American-owned catering company to serve their gathering. Or what if a Nazi group asked a Jewish owned deli to cater their next club meeting. I’ll bet you’d be hearing a whole different ‘concern’ from the media and people. Again, why?

Wasted Years

Years ago, Iron Maiden recorded a song called ‘Wasted Years’; the original title was Golden Years, but David Bowie had just released a song by the same name, so there goes the title change.

Sometimes I wonder about my life in similar terms. It feels like there have been a lot of wasted years. I guess when you get to middle-age (whatever that means, for some people it was 12 others 50) you have that moment when you look back over your life and you can say; look at everything I have achieved, accumulated, controlled, conquered, whatever, and then you go: was that it?
Or you look back and wonder how you could have done it all.
I’m in the first group; where did all the time go?
Plus I’m sitting on the line with this new venture of trying to be a writer and thinking wow finally getting there this late in life? Kind of stupid, I know.
But then I look back and think of just three major accomplishments in my life;

  1. I became a Christian.
  2. I graduated from College. (This has some questions attached all their own)
  3. I married my wife.

Becoming a Christian kind of explains itself. Well at least to some people in this day and age. Some people have such a stereotype of anyone Christian they can’t get past the title. But then again they would be the ones telling me I’m the one stereotyping.

Graduating from college; as great as the people I met there (including my wife) I had a situation at home where I probably could have gone to work in a factory making good money and had a solid steady future. Just show up each day, do your job, stay out of trouble, and retire in 30 years with a smile on my face. But what did I do? I listened to another person and spent four and a half years in college getting a degree I’ve hardly used. (Also graduating at the end of Jimmy Carter’s presidency didn’t help matters.) Now was it all bad? Hardly. I met some of the best friends I could ever know, had some of the best times in my life, and actually learned some things (no matter what my mother might think), but the years after that are what sucks. I went nowhere and did nothing. My fault, completely! Who am I mad at the most? Myself. What am I going to do about it: write?

Getting married! Sometimes I really feel sorry for my wife. She’s put up with me a lot longer than she should have. But thank goodness she has; where would I be without her? But where is she with me? Supporting me; has for a long time. But she’s happy to do it, she says. But she shouldn’t. But that’s a long story as well.

So what does all of this have to do with a writer and me wanting you to read my stories and buy my books? Probably nothing, or everything, it depends on how you look at it and how deep into a book you get. If you just read it at face value; this means nothing. If you get into why the writer said something one way or the other or put a character in a situation or had something happen to him or her one way or the other, it means a great deal. So my advice is to take this and anything else you read in this blog or my books and remember both. It might be a small window into my mind, and if you find it, please send it home.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Monday; what can happen now?

My wife and I achieved a pretty big milestone on Sunday; twenty-eight years of marriage. Kind of like the line out of that Grateful Dead song, “what a long strange trip it’s been”. We’ve had our share of good times and bad; strange relatives and even stranger advice, but we’ve made it this far. Thanks; honey.

As many of you know; I kind of like Drag Racing. I watched a very good race team self destruct itself this weekend in Reading PA. Now I wasn’t there, wish I had been, but I watched simple parts brake, bigger parts go boom, and tuning decisions go bad in an instant. A simple part puts the points leader out of the points lead; his daughter experience two big booms and watch the body fly off her car one night and two days later break the body in two, and the third car lose in the first round again; they all were out in the first round last weekend. Its weekends like this that give owners grey hair. There is that old expression, ‘its not rocket science’; sorry, this is. If you don’t think so; you try tuning one of them. You’ll probably grow a few grey hairs before the weekend is out. I hope they get it together before Vegas so it will make the show better.

Now down to real business. I’m working on another murder mystery. This one is about a female PI in Indianapolis. I’m running into a little bit of writer’s cramp; I’m at a point and I wonder if I’m doing the character justice. Plus I just can’t get past the point I am in the story. But I‘m going to give it a big effort this afternoon and see were we go. I hope it goes where I think it will and will be a great addition to what has already come. There will be some big surprises and I hope it turns into along running series. Lauralynn Elliott doesn’t like sequels and I can’t keep but writing them. Once I like a character I want to keep them around long enough to get to know them well. I’m one of those people who are always asking ‘what’s going to happen now’ when a story ends. And I don’t want a happily ever after ending either; sometimes that just doesn’t make sense; sometimes it does, but it’s also not reality. Well see how this one goes and if anyone buys it. Speaking of which; how about a few more people buy The Last Cabbandeum? It would make my mortgage company feel better.

So back to your normally scheduled lives; I’ll type at you later. Peace.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Well I'm back; did you miss me?

Well I just about blew it. I almost became one of those people who start a blog and then never write anything on it. Right after I said I hated that. But then there is not much to write about. I’ve had a computer down that I do much of my writing on and my editor is working on her own book right now so I‘m kind of in limbo.
So what can I write about that will be interesting and maybe funny, or inspirational, or educational.

So I thought I might write about a couple other blogs I follow. The first is my writing partner and Editor Lauralynn Elliott. [] She stays very much in writing about her writing occasionally taking a curve into something else. It’s interesting to read about someone else a little a head of me on this adventure. Plus she does write a different book than I do; but it’s all good and I think she has some very good reads out there; books as well as blog.

Then there is Terry Reeves. [] TR, as we call him, was a college roommate at Freed. He is, as I like to describe, one of the luckiest guys I know. He has had some hard times in his life; cancer gave us all a big scare a few years ago; but he and his wonderful wife Margaret got through it, or are getting through it, cancer never really leaves your mind, but he has had some of the most interesting travels and experiences of anyone I have ever known. He takes a yearly trip or two to Honduras doing mission work down there. His stories and the stories of those who go with him can inspire and entertain.

And lastly one of my absolute favorites is Bob Wilber’s blog on [] If you are interested in Rush, Minnesota sports, Drag Racing, or life in general, Bob’s a great read. He can take you into a situation and make you believe you are there. He is funny and can make you think. His stories of his family and friends are full of interesting tales and information. Plus he blogs like a crazy person! He writes on his blog almost every day and it’s good enough that you want to come back and see what he’s going to say next. Plus you always want to see pictures of whatever Bob puts up.

Well as they say ‘another day another donut’ The boys are at daycare and it’s way to quiet around here so I’ll get out of here for now and let you enjoy someone else’s ramblings.  Peace.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Well, here we go!

And I thought writing was the fun part! Then I get to set up a web-site and now a blog; just how much fun can you have?
Seriously, I have to thank a couple of people for inspiration and guidance concerning all of this. My wife, Arlene, who for some unknown reason, to anyone but maybe God, has put up with me for way longer than anyone ever thought she would and Lauralynn Elliott who is a part-time writing partner, muse, and editor.  Thanks, I know I've driven you crazy getting all of this started.
Just to be clear. I have a couple of ground rules I feel like I have to get off my chest before really getting into this.
First, I am a conservative, Christian; what I put on this blog is my opinion, based on fifty some years of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So it's my thoughts, if you don't like them, fine. Just keep the comments clean and non-threatening: my mom might read this sometime.
Second, I rant and rave, I am an old man by-the-way; I don't want to be preached to and I'm not preaching here.
Now a little about what caused all of this. About ten years ago I was sitting at work and an idea started in my mind for a book; I'd never written anything more than a term paper in college, so what made me think I could write? After reading this blog you might think the same thing! But it was an idea, so I started to write it much like I did my term papers from College days; an outline of ideas and then filling in the outline. I got stuck! For several years I was stuck; then I decided I had to try something else, so I sat down and wrote the first book of the Jim Benjamin series. My wife and a couple of friends read it and I stuck it on a shelf and there it was. I wrote two more books that continued the story and a book of short stories filling in the gaps, but nothing was ever published, in fact, it was never even edited, just raw stories.
Then about five years ago my wife had breast cancer. I stayed home and took care of her; plus I wrote The Last Cabbandeum a science fiction story of Jason Corvair who was caught during the war, spent years in an alien prison, and hospital. He had experiments and horrible things happen to him. Then he comes back to earth and the fun doesn't stop there. It is, finally, e-published and avaliable from Amazon and Smashwords.
So go buy the book or check out the sample and see if you might enjoy it. I am working on a mystery now and will begin work on rewriting the first Jim Benjamin story after that. My web-site has more information on all of that so visit it as soon as it's up; which should be any day now.
So for now I'm done; But I will be back soon. I hate blogs were you see a post and a year later you're waiting for the next post. Hopefully that will not happen here. Peace!