Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

All the things people tell you to do...

Geared mainly at promoting and selling your books --

1. Do social networking -- well...I already do facebook, Shelfari, LinkedIn, GoodReads, and have my own author page on Amazon and Kobo. But you also have to do Twitter, Plaxo, Ryze, BranchOut, MeetUp, Digg, YouTube...and the list goes on and on.

2. Have a website...which I have but is pretty basic, as in 1 whole page, right now. I could do a lot more with it.

3. Direct Marketing -- like by post cards or blast e-mails and fliers. You can buy into e-mail and postal lists to inform people of your work.

4. Blogging...which I already do.

5. Attend trade shows and book fairs and events. We're not taking about the book fairs I currently go to; those are for books long out of print or general availability. We're talking things like trade fairs and specialty fairs. Where you buy a booth and hop you sell enough books to pay for it.

6. Enter for awards and hope you get some.

7. Ads. I've done that on facebook for "The Lyons' Den" and "Bobby Carapisi" and gotten a lot of notice for it, but not much in the way of sales. And while it's not massively expensive, it's still cutting into my budget.

8. Ask for referrals from your friends. Been there, done that, can't even get them to give me more than 17 likes on my facebook pages.

9. Get reviews. I've tried that like crazy. I've got plenty on GoodReads and a few on Amazon and Barnes & noble, but other than that I can't even get Rainbow Book Reviews to do one for LD. Seems they like puffy sex stories. And the magazines I contact either ignore me or say it's not what they want to do.

This is a 40 hour a week job where you pay your own way to do it. The guy who hosted a webinar about this as much as said so. It took him years of work to get to where he made decent money in return, and during that time his wife supported him. Well...that ain't happenin' with me, that's fer dang sure. And I'm too old to find a sugar daddy. So I guess I'll keep plugging along.

This old gray mare ain't what she used to be.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The ideas are out there...

I'm trying new things to raise awareness of my writing...starting with facebook pages for my latest works --

The Lyons' Den

The Alice '65

David Martin

And what's even more fun...I've started one up for Adam, the lead in "The Alice '65". What's even better is, he's taken a slightly Jane Austen tone for his voice, mixed with a dash of Dickens.

Which lead me to include a reference to "Little Dorrit" in OT.

I've stolen some ideas on how to do this from downloads off some scriptwriting and Writers' Digest sites. to follow through with all of them would be another full-time job, and right now it's more important to get OT done. I'm getting closer...and closer...

The blow-up between Jake and Tone is harsh, and plays into the whole scenario in some way...I just haven't figured out how, yet. But the background is now laid down for it. I'll try and make it connect, tomorrow; right now I'm beat.

Maybe I'll use my two weeks off in August to work on the sales and PR tips I've gotten. Finally join up with Twitter and update my website and LinkedIn page. We'll see.

At least I now know how Adam will tell his story when I make A65 into a book. 

"Anna Karenina" kicks butt...

Tolstoy's exquisite novel topped the list of best books put out by "Entertainment Weekly", this week. This cover is to the translation I read, and it works beautifully.

1. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1878)

A staggering novel about an unhappily married Russian aristocrat who chases what she thinks is love at the expense of everything and everyone else. Novelists generally embrace tragic lovers, but Tolstoy was too hardcore for that. Anna Karenina is both a cautionary tale and an exhortation to live our best lives. There are novels on this list that are more perfectly engineered (No. 2 and No. 3, for instance). And there are definitely books that devote fewer pages to agrarianism (No. 2-No. 10). But Anna Karenina is an immersive contemplation of the heart and the conscience. Long before Oprah praised the novel, Dostoevsky, Faulkner, and Nabokov knelt before it in awe. We do too.

One of the few times I'm in total agreement with what is really a pretty superficial magazine. I'm not bothering to renew once the subscription's up; it's got little to offer my life, right now. But I am glad it's going out on this note.

I got nothin' else to say. Spent the evening restructuring what I did last night on OT. It's better but still not quite there. And there's been a huge blow-up between Jake and Tone that's got me upset and unsure how to handle it. I may need some space to let it settle.

I'll be in NYC from the 8th to the 11th or so of July, working. Then I'm off to Germany on the 20th. Then I'm not working the last two weeks of August. Maybe three. There goes my savings.

I need a better game plan for what's left of my life. The one I'm following sucks. Maybe having this time off will give me a chance to figure it out.


Friday, June 28, 2013

OT's getting meandery...

It's irritating, but I wrote on OT for three hours before I realized I'd lost the thread and forward motion of the story. Jake's making too many connections and too much is happening too easily, but I'm too zoned to deal with it.

Suddenly I want to watch "The Big Sleep" (1946) again. It's got the most convoluted plot imaginable but still makes sense in the end. I read the book years ago, and that's the only way I learned Geiger's business was pornography. Kicked myself for not realizing it when I first saw the picture, considering what Carmen was doing in Geiger's home, but was on TV and had been chopped up.

It's late. Doesn't help my concentration. I may take tomorrow night off and get back to work on Saturday. See if I can figure out where I went wrong.

Doesn't help that nothing's happening with "The Alice '65". Apparently my attempt at writing a romantic-comedy is falling flat with the people I've sent it to. Four rejections, today. Looks like the only way the story's getting out there is when I make it into a book.

I need a beer.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This will be interesting...

The Supreme Court can't decide if it hates people or likes them. One minute it's kicking out nearly 50 years worth of law because 5 of the idiots on the bench have determined racism is dead, then excuses it by suggesting it left a back door open to reinstate the law. Something that will not happen thanks to the GOP refusing to be anything but obstructionist. The next minute it's saying Gay Marriage is okay...but just in California...and DOMA is unconstitutional, pretty much. Depending on where you live.

Of course, now that Section 4 of the Civil Rights Act is dead meat, the White Right is pushing to make changes that will make it harder for minorities, students and the elderly to vote. Which may be the dumbest thing they could do and should be encouraged. Because this has pissed off Liberals and Democrats.

My feeling is, let the GOP do its damndest. Put up any rules they want. Be as vile and open about their racist, anti-Democracy intentions as they cannot help but be. And use every damned one of those rules against them.

Moving the polling place to a cushy country club where only rich people go? Organize shuttle busses to take everyone legally allowed to vote there and just double-dog-dare them to refuse to let them black and brown folk access to the voting machines...let alone their cushy bathrooms.

Move the polling spot to a place that's hard to get to? Again, shuttle busses. Car pooling. Anything to help people get to where they need to vote. With legal observers making sure the polling captains can't try and close the polls before everyone's had a chance.

Passing voter ID laws? Fine. Help everyone who's registered to vote but has no ID to get one. Build a fund to help pay for it. If, like Texas, you're required to provide 3 forms of ID to get a driver's license, one of which is a Social Security Card, help people get a US passport. That's better than a birth certificate because it also lets you go in and out of the country whenever you damn well want, and it's irrefutable proof you're a US citizen.

Section 5 of the CRA is still valid, so if anyone pulls any kind of crap that's not in the law, tear 'em a new one in Federal Court.

Those bastards want to treat Democracy like it's a hard-assed game of Hockey and they're the meatheads? Fine. Two can play that game. And the Republicans are about to find out all they're gonna be is ground beef.

In short, you assholes want war? You got it.

Maybe this will bring the end of the GOP.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I still dream...

...and they go in my books and fill the lives of my characters, and I watch them grow and deepen and become real in their own much so I can't imagine them being creations of mine. Their experiences are not part of my history. Their words and deeds are stronger than I am capable of. They become my truth...more than my reality ever was.

I think of this because something popped up in OT that made me evaluate the whole story in a different light. The ideal memory of a man. Antony has one because he was involved with an older name named Collier Winston-Royce, AKA: Collie. They were together for months, and Collie stabilized him. His death sent Antony into psychotic revenge mode in RIHC6.

Jake's perfect memory is Dion, even though they were together for only a week ten years earlier. But Dion's adoration gave him a profound sense of self-worth that helped him through his time in prison, and was solidified in a painting by Uncle Owen, which figures into the story more deeply than I thought it could.

This made me wonder if I ever had one. And I don't, not really. Not to their extent. I had friends, still have, some very close, but my one relationship was so disastrous, it literally scarred me...and scared me. Now when someone gets too close, I back away.

So I have to wonder where that idea comes from. It's moments like these where I almost sense something more than just this existence. My mind lets portals open and ideas float in on waves that I knew nothing about, before. It unsettles me...but give me hope that I can do what I need to do to make the story work. Make other stories work.

Just dream...and all else will follow...

Monday, June 24, 2013

So much for Amazon and ebay...

I put some books and things up on Amazon and ebay to sell, and they ain't doin' nothin'. Not even a nibble. And most of the books are out of print. One museum guide I offered is one of a kind, so far as I can tell. I'll leave them up, but it's not looking promising.

One seriously positive thing about dealing with OT is, it keeps me from spending money. Dunno how much of that I can handle, though. I think half the headache I got, yesterday, came from not eating on time. I'm prone to hunger headaches that start as tension in my back and left shoulder and work their way into my skull. Part of that may stem from me being born hydrocephalic and having a shunt in my skull for a while, as a baby.

This beast one didn't really go away until lunch, today, when I nuked some leftover meatloaf, potatoes and carrots. Kind of a heavy meal, but it helped. Not even sleeping and ODing on Advil did much good.

But by the time I left work, my headache was gone and I felt okay enough to ride the stationary bike at the gym for 20 minutes. Burned a whole 116 calories, according to its calculations. That...I'm not so worried about. I'm more concerned with getting my legs back to being strong, again. I've been sitting at a desk so damn much and doing so little walking, they're starting to feel like creaky old man legs.

I worked more on OT, tonight, mainly going over what I did on the weekend and toning down some of the stuff I'd let go over the top. I also streamlined it and made it feel more like real-time. I'm finding half the meaning of this story is in the quiet moments between people as they talk about nothing...that winds up being very important. That whole breakfast scene between Jake and Dion and the kids is now looming large in the story; it's the turning point in Jake's quest for the truth.

According to that seminar I took...well, webinar...I need to be doing Twitter and G-mail and expanding my Facebook friends and all that, all the time. Just the thought makes me cross-eyed. Maybe I'll storyboard a scene from OT or LD and post those on my webpage and on Facebook and the like. See what happens.

Not expecting much, right now...not till I get connected with other mystery writers.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

One last bit of OT

I think this is the last section of "...Owen Taylor" I'm going to post, because the story's now into the revelations phase and it's making me crazy. I spent all weekend on it; didn't leave the building, again. Now I've got a pounding headache but Jake's back in complete control of the story. Antony had hijacked it for a few chapters.

Anyway, the timeframe is now, Jake flies in on Wednesday and solves the mystery by the following Tuesday. This bit comes on Saturday morning, after he's had breakfast at Dion's. Lorinda is Owen's real estate broker/lawyer.


As I was driving away, Lorinda called. She was over in Palm Desert and wanted to meet for lunch at this California Pizza Kitchen in the area. I told her how I was dressed, and since I had her card, we’d have no trouble connecting. Then I stopped at a Home Depot, bought a tarp and lay that over the things in the SUV’s back.

The second I saw Lorinda burst in the front door of the CPK and head for me, I could tell she was in the right business. Her nickname was probably Little Miss Sunbeams, her clothes were so brightly business casual but still impressive, and her hair was just right and she looked fit and ready to take you stalking through a hundred homes that day, if you could keep up. And when she got to talking? Man, Dion way-understated her ability to chatter.

And she just adored my uncle.

“He’s like the grandfather you always wish you’d had. Like cool and calm and sweet. My mom met him and she’s like, ‘You know what a Dutch Uncle is? That’s Owen.’ But I didn’t know what a Dutch uncle is, so I’m all, ‘Mom, what do you mean?’ And she’s like, ‘He’s practical, direct, outspoken, stubborn, blunt, well-organized and thinks he’s always right.’ And I’m like, wow, that’s him. Who knew?”

She paused long enough to take a bite of her salad and sip some tea, so I hopped in with, “Did you handle all of his real estate deals?”

“Oh, no, I haven’t been at this that long. I only took over two years ago, from the guy who was at Baskin and Baskin because he and Owen didn’t get along, and there hasn’t been much for me to do except make sure he like keeps up on his taxes, though I did handle some legal stuff. Like when he wanted to buy that condo across from him. We tried like crazy to work it out but the bank wouldn’t work with us, and once that happens, word gets around and everybody’s like ‘No, I don’t think so’.”

“When was this?”

“Eight or nine months ago, maybe more, maybe less. Time gets away from you so fast. Like I thought today was Friday and I’d have a day to catch up but it’s not, so I’m scrambling to make all my appointments and I’m like wondering why I set so many up, but some of them look good, so I can’t say no. Can I?”

Another breath. Another bite of salad. Whooh.

“I know my uncle owned four of the townhouses and an apartment complex. Was there any other property?”

“I think so, but it wouldn’t be stuff that I handled. It’s like there was property he bought under Baskin and Baskin, only they’re not like the ice cream place, where you get all those flavors. Oh, that’s like Baskin Robbins, isn’t it? No, they’re serious lawyers. But they handled the properties he’d partnered with people on, so you ought to talk to them on Monday. They’re big enough to get weekends off. I’m like scrambling to find time to do my nails.”

“He called you when he was arrested -- .”

“Oh, yeah, but I was at a function for like a hundred prospects and I always turn off my phone because nothing messes up a client’s focus like having your cell phone go off in the middle of making them think they’re the only one in the world you’re going to work for. It’s like embarrassing. Then I couldn’t get back to him and I don’t know what to do about stuff like that, so I called Scott and he said he’d deal with it and I guess he did because -- .”


“Baskin. The old man’s grandson. He does rock climbing and he is so much. Ooh.” She actually fanned herself. “But Owen got out and went his own way. Just like a Dutch Uncle. I need to call him and find out what he’s been up to. And it’s getting to be time to talk about property tax. Like, so quick. Ugh.”

Two minutes later, she was on her own way to her latest appointment, leaving behind a third of her salad and half her tea. I was left to catch my breath...and pay the bill. Typical.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I'm stealing Dave Mason's post

Which I know I shouldn't do because it's a bit lazy, but he crystalized something that was hiding in the back of my brain (as regards why the "heroes" of my books are such bastards, and why Carli wants to do what she does), and it may just help stop Jake from turning into such a mopey bastard. (UPDATE: It kept me from making a HUGE error in the story, and Jake is lots happier)

Here it is, in full, un-retouched, along with the image he used --
Aiming for the middle has ruined being a villain!

I haven't gone to see the Superman movie because I hate Superman. Superman is the idea that the LOSER DUMB KID at the playground had who WAS NOT CREATIVE OR INTELLIGENT and when you played super heroes and asked what powers you had he's said " All powers!"... DUMB. That just means you couldn't think of one and are uncreative, have no sense of self, and therefore just thought ALL OF THEM was a good idea, which is of course the most uninteresting thing ever and now I want to fry you with my purple laser eyeballs even more! I really do hate Superman, which is why Im a "villain", or as I see it "hero". Being the opposite of creativity is a REALLY BAD THING, creativity is a culmination of curiosity, intellect, inventiveness, unconscious thinking, human spirit and hope. So therefore Superman being the opposite of creativity in his "all things all the time design" is the greatest villain of all time! There is NOTHING human about being omnipotent and of course the masses don't see this and therefore m friends and I are the FUTURE HEROES that the masses are yet to discover... stupid masses;) Anyhow I haven't gone to see the movie because I heard that the AMAZING Ursa and Non characters aren't really in the movie. BOOOO! Ursa is the best live action super villainess of all time! From what I heard from everyone about the movie is that the villain is a BORE. The current process of Hollywood film making of doing nothing but aiming for the middle, always and endlessly has ruined movies for me. I RARELY go ever since I saw that James Bond movie where they cast DENISE RICHARDS in it?! I honestly just sat there and thought "Well I never need to go to a movie again." How could they cast some BEER GIRL as a BOND GIRL?! Bond women are WOMEN. Striking, powerful and unique. Denise Richards is your HOT CAMP COUNSELOR who drives a Firebird. That person certainly has a place in the world that I appreciate it immensely but NOT in a Bond movie and her being in it was the worst example of "aiming for the middle". In the process of going for the mass market they completely lost edge and credibility. A bond woman, just like a villain, is ALL EDGE, in fact the edges are so sharp they're often literally LACERATING! This need for edge doesn't stop at villainy either apparently Lois Lane in the current film is TERRIBLE. In the sorta recent one with Kevin Spacey she was terrible also and Luthers moll played by Parker Posey was great, SHE should have played Lois. Margot Kidder was EXCELLENT in the original. She had CHARACTER and BEAUTY. Sure she was "hard" but that made her a PERSON and likable. They did the same type of casting with Karen Allen in Indiana Jones, she was brassy, boozy, and bold! In the last Indy film they SO AIMED FOR THE MIDDLE it made everyone I know SAD and Karens character was turned into this HOUSEWIFE TYPE with zero edge which was NOTHING like her original character and subsequently it RUINED the movie?! I feel like when they cast Denise Richards in the Bond film they just said "Yeah, she has no character but she's received well in Latin markets and foreigners don't get "character".", again aiming for the middle. Villains have NO EDGE anymore?! The ENTIRE POINT of a villain is that they have license to do/be the things YOURE TOO AFRAID TO Be/Do but WANT TO. Thats why they're literally more colorful/striking, more sexual/objectified, not bound by gender roles, opulent, eccentric aka MY KIND OF PEOPLE. The process of aiming for middle strips away anything that makes the masses uncomfortable which completely strips villains of their "power" and its why many MOVIES KINDA SUCK LATELY. The current experience Ive had going to movies is basically sitting in a theatre, not caring about anyone either way, watching effects and leaving saying "It was ok, I guess but I didn't like it." Villains rights! I want to bring back CHARACTER! Will SOMEONE OUT THERE please read this and have the balls to err on character and personality over the masses? The masses DONT KNOW WHAT THEY WANT but the people who DO know what they want actually care! If not the entire film, just do it for the villains?! Market the movie like a fashion line. You make your money on the masses buying perfume, underwear and sunglasses but you STILL MAKE THE COUTURE to inspire the people who matter otherwise the "point" of the medium is gone and slowly but surely everyone backs away and wonders why they even followed you to begin with. Save character, save the villain, save Hollywood, save the world.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Bought my tickets...

I'm headed for Munich on July 20th, out of Toronto. It's $200 cheaper than leaving from Buffalo. I'll be on Air France and changing planes in Paris, so it's almost like I'm taking one of Jake's trips. I can do a little research while at CDG. I'm coming back on the 27th by KLM and using my points to stay overnight in Toronto so I don't have that long drive after a long flight.

I don't know how much I'll actually get to see of Munich, since I'll be working pretty steady to get this job done, but just being out of the country will be good. I'm sick of US politics and the idiots who support the idiots in Congress. It's like we haven't progressed past the frontier mentality of the 1820s; read Fanny Trollope's book, "The Domestic Manners of the Americas" and you'll see. It'll let me see what's going on elsewhere.

This was a rough week on the job front. Everything that could go wrong with the shipments coming back from the London Olympia book fair did. Right now, I've got three book dealers pissed off at me because they don't have their books. I think Caladex's reputation's been hurt by this, and not all of it was due to us.

For example, a shipment was sent out via DHL to Minneapolis; we handed it off on Tuesday and it was to fly on Wednesday, once it cleared British Customs. Our London people were told everything was great, it had been okayed, and DHL's Cincinnati hub even began the pre-clearance for it. Then Customs said, "Wait a minute" and asked for more paperwork. We sent it. that was cool. All great and it would still ship on Wednesday...but it looks like the day crew didn't update the system and no one told the night crew, so they saw the Customs request and thought it hadn't been completed and pulled the shipment. That's what it looks like, to me. What made it bad was, they didn't contact us about it till 3pm the next day...when it was too late to get it delivered by Friday, as we'd promised the client.

My mistake was not riding herd on this. And that's something that played into the whole week. My co-worker (who knows a hundred times more than me about logistics) and I would get things set up...but then the airline would bump our shipment and they wouldn't let us know. Or the customs broker would suddenly say, "Oh by the way, I don't have a current Power of Attorney for these people and can't do anything till I do." After having the paperwork all day. Or the wrong forms would filled out or entered incorrectly into the online customs system or a shipment that was supposed to be sent out Tuesday wouldn't be dropped off at the shipping group till Wednesday and we'd get no tracking number. Even just getting proof of delivery from the drivers was a chore.

I'm practically worthless when it comes to this sort of detailed crap; invariably I screw up so I have to go slow to make sure I've done everything right. But that's what it's taking, now, to make certain everything that needs to be done gets done at the proper time and in the proper way -- riding herd on people and bugging on them and reminding them to do their jobs. For the first time in years...and years...I wound up with a nervous stomach and got sick, this morning.

On top of that, I get home and Jake wants to write. Good thing I'm not married or in a relationship; I'd get kicked out on my ass so fast... Another good thing about this trip is, it'll give me a bit of a relative breather.

I hope.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Here it comes...

The ending of "Unfinished Business"...

Matt slips the phone and the photo in his pocket. Caera backs away.

-- The rags -- .

She gives him the shreds of his shirt. He soaks them with whiskey. Pulls out the ones he already has in the wound and packs it with the fresh ones then stops. Pulls out the photo and presses it to the bullet. It sort-of sticks.

Maybe -- maybe -- .

He pulls the rags from the wound. Pulls it open, wider. Blood pours. Sean groans.


He presses the magnet-photo as deep into the wound as he can. Pulls it out. Blood soaks it.

Caera grabs him.


He shows the photo to her. On the magnet, three tiny steel fragments gleam under the torch beam. She feels the shards, wary, then hands the photo back.

He checks the bullet. Looks like four real fragments are missing.

He presses the photo into the wound, again. Forces it a bit deeper. He pulls the photo out -- and can just see another fragment caught by the magnet. Caera leans in to see.

Is -- is that all of ‘em?

The worst. I think. Betters his chances.

Matt returns the photo to his pocket. Packs and binds the wound.

Caera collapses beside Sean. Caresses his face.

This bandaging’ll only stem the bleeding, not stop it completely. The wound needs to be closed.
(no response)
Hear me -- this is temporary, at best. If you wait too long, he will die. If not from loss of blood, from infection. He needs proper care.

She uses the pistol to motion Matt away.

He finally sits back, numb. Pulls out the photo and looks at it. Blood stains the image. He tries to wipe it clean.

Caera watches him. Holds Sean closer.



Matt dozes. Caera still holds an unconscious Sean. Light streams through the barred window. Finally, Sean wakes. She looks at him. He gazes back at her, lovingly. Tears fill her eyes. She kisses him.


Matt jolts up. Checks on Sean.

Minimal fever. Leg feels good. And the bleeding’s stopped? He -- he should be all right. For now. But this is still naught but a stopgap.

Sean eyes Matt with terrifying gratitude. Caera’s expression is unreadable.

Come. Up.

She nudges Matt with the pistol. They rise.

What -- what’re you doing -- ?

Over there.

She forces Matt over to the body, pistol at his back. He grips the photo, tight.

Please -- just let me go and -- .

Your name’s Matty?

-- Matthew. Matt.

Where you from, Matt?

Uh -- Glenrothes. By Edinburgh.

Stop here.

He does. She opens locker #29. Kicks aside its red, rusted false back. She pulls out a bank bag filled with stacks of five-pounds-sterling notes and hands it to him. He looks at it, confused.

Your fee. Go. GO!

Matt backs away. Bolts up the steps. Caera watches him then returns to Sean.



A POLICE CONSTABLE leads Matt down the steps. Matt still holds the bag of money.

Och, careful -- they might be -- .

As I thought, there’s no one.

But this is the place! Here’s me rucsack. The body’s over here.

He goes to where the man’s body lay -- nothing is there. Not even blood.

They -- they must’ve moved it. But this money was in this locker. She opened a panel in the back -- .

He opens locker #29. Its back is red and rusted, but solid.

Pretty girl? Irish?

You know who I’m talking about. Hear me -- she does have a gun.

Her name’s Caera Tierney. Boy was Sean Grady. Roger Donnelly was with them. You don’t know about this place?

I’ve only just moved here. For my internship.

Thirty-six years ago, on February twenty-ninth, those three robbed the Hibernia Bank in New Charleton and hid down here. Made off with more than thirty-thousand pounds sterling, meant for PIRA. But in the robbery, Donnelly killed a clerk. He and Caera fought over it, she cut his throat and his gun fired. Shot Sean. He died, so she went mad with grief and killed herself. The money was never found.

Och, you’re not telling me they’re ghosts? Come off, what about this?

He shows the Constable the cuts on his neck, from Caera’s nails.

And this?!

He shows the Constable the bag of money. The man shines his torch on the stacks of bills. Matt looks in the bag.

The strap around them is for Hibernia Bank; the date -- 1976.

Matt eyes the Constable, wary.

You’re not the first doctor she’s forced down here, son. That same day, she found one, but it didn’t matter. A bullet fragment cut into Sean’s heart. Now every four years, on the date of her death -- she returns and tries to save him. And every time, he dies, she goes mad and kills the doctor treating him
before killing herself -- again. And again. And again.

But how do you know -- ?

One victim lived a few days. The rest of it, we worked out. Boarded the place up. Posted guards. Made no difference; every leap year we’d find another physician’s body. But I doubt we shall, again.


Doctor, you saved Sean. Now she’s no need to come back.

But, that’s -- this money -- .

The Constable notices Matt’s worn shoes and ratty coat. He sees the magnet-photo in Matt’s hand.

Listen, son -- no one’s looking for that, any more. Keep it -- you earned it for finishing this dreadful business.

He turns and heads back up the steps.

Matt hesitates then turns to find Caera and Sean standing in a corner, watching him.

(finally, softly)
You’ll not be able to leave here, will ye?

She slips her arm around Sean, and he puts his over her shoulders, but they smile. She motions for Matt to leave.

He gathers his things and follows the Constable out.



Matt opens his locker and puts his clothes and rucsack in. He looks at the magnet-photo. It’s clean, no blood. He checks his phone. It shows a call was sent, yesterday, at 00:29.

Matt shakes his head.

Jack comes up, pulling on a white coat.

Doing better?

Matt nods.

Glad to hear it. Come on.

He leaves. Matt fixes the photo to the back of the locker door and pulls on a white coat.


Matt heads away -- and we finally see his locker is also #29.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Second section of "Unfinished Business"

This is more of my short script.
Matt fights to keep his hands from shaking.

Perfect timing, this. Why’d you have to pick now? Why now?

Not my choice.

What -- what happened?

Does it matter?

Fine, I -- I’ll need bandages. My shirt -- in my rucsack. It’s clean enough. Tear it up.

Caera digs into the rucsack and finds the magnet-photo of  Matt’s wife and baby, eyes it, sets it aside, pulls out his shirt and begins shredding it.

Matt tears a larger hole in Sean's pants to inspect the wound. Sean grimaces.

What I’m about to do’ll hurt worse than that.

Sean nods.

Ye could have anesthetic.

Sean shakes his head and readies himself.
Matt dribbles whiskey into the wound.

Give me a strip. Now!

Caera hands one to Matt. He uses it to soak blood and whiskey from the wound.

Sean cannot help but whimper in pain. Matt glances at him then holds up the torch.

Your name’s Caera? I need you to hold this, so I can see.

She takes the torch and shines it on the wound.

Matt holds up the knife and looks at Sean.

Sean nods.

Matt hesitates then digs in for the bullet. Blood flows.

Sean fights to keep from screaming.

Caera watches.

Matt slowly...slowly works the bullet out.

Sean cries out then slumps back.

Caera jolts over.


She is ready to use the pistol!

Matt checks Sean.

No, no, no, it’s okay! It’s okay! He’s only unconscious, that’s all! Check for yourself!

She finally does. Sean is still breathing. She backs away, near tears and returns to shredding the rest of the shirt.
Shaking, Matt takes the torch and dribbles whiskey in the wound, then packs in strips of his shirt to stem the blood. He wipes the bullet clean and checks it.

The bullet is steel jacketed. Small shards of the steel are obviously missing.

There’s some fragmentation. He needs be x-rayed to determine -- .

I told you -- !

The fragments could get into his bloodstream. Wind up in his heart. Kill him! Is that what you want?

No -- no -- get them out.

How?! I haven’t the equipment or the expertise or -- .

Then we -- we have to hope. Pray. See what happens.

He’ll die, that’s what’ll happen!

If he dies, you die.

Are ye bloody mad?!

How long before you know?

Och, this can’t be happening; this can’t be -- !

She bolts over and jams the pistol between his eyes. She is barely under control.


I -- I’ve no idea -- a few hours?

Then -- we wait. And see.

But -- he -- he -- .

Give -- me -- the knife.

Her thumb barely holds the hammer of the pistol back. Matt reluctantly hands her the knife. She backs away.

Can I -- can I at least ring me wife? She’ll worry -- .

Caera eyes him. A hint of confusion.

There’s no phone.

Matt carefully pulls out his mobile. She hesitates -- then nods and presses the pistol against his temple.

You say one word -- .

He hits auto-dial. It RINGS. He grips the magnet-photo. Caera gets close to listen. He fights to keep control. 

(sleepy, Scottish Burr)
-- Yeah?

Penny, it -- it’s me. I -- I’m running a mite late.

What’s wrong?

Some -- just some -- unfinished business. I’ll be home soon as I can.

You all right?

No, I -- .

Caera tenses.

I -- I lost a patient. A girl beat by her father.

Caera casts Matt a sharp glance.

I -- I can't do this...


-- We'll talk about it when you're home. Okay? Matty -- I love you. Oh, did you get milk -- ?

I did. Will. Aye. Love you, too. Good-bye.


He slowly closes the phone.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Short Script request...

I'd like to know if this short script works. I'm posting the first part, here, then will put up the rest of it tomorrow and the next day. It's only 14 pages. Is it suspenseful? Does it make you care? Is it too derivative? I'd like as much feedback as possible. I'm thinking of being stupid and entering it in a short script competition.




AN INTERN works feverishly -- MATT, 20s, surgery mask on his face touched with blood, intense focus.

A 10 YEAR-OLD GIRL UNDER OXYGEN, her skin bruised and bloody.



MATT WORKS, frantic.

THE GIRL STANDS IN A CORNER, in shadows, watching him from behind.

CRASH CART PADDLES ARE PREPPED -- BAM to the girl’s torso! Again! Again.

MATT pulls back, paddles in hand, devastated.

The girl fades into darkness.


THE DOOR TO A LOCKER CRASHES OPEN! Matt, still in bloody scrubs, stands there, war-torn. The Resident Doctor -- JACK, 40s -- comes up behind him.

Your first?

Matt forces himself to nod.

Matt -- you’ll have to accept that can’t always save them. You’re not  God.

Matt just checks his mobile phone as Jack pulls on a coat.

Come have a pint. On me.

Matt holds up the mobile. A text message reads -- Need milk.

(Scottish Burr)
Me wife.

He checks his wallet. It’s empty.

Och, Jack -- I hate to ask -- can I borrow a fiver? Me check -- .

Jack slips Matt a five pound note.


See you, Thursday.

He pats Matt on the back and leaves.

Matt touches a photo-magnet of a lovely woman and a newborn baby attached to the inside of the locker door. He hesitates then snarls, yanks out a beat-up rucsack, shoves his clothes in it, pulls the magnet off the door, grabs his ratty Anorak and storms away.

A digital wall clock reads 00:01 -- 29 Feb.


Quiet. Deserted. Still in his scrubs and old coat, Matt exits a late night market with a litre of milk, his rucsack over one shoulder. He strides down the street. Crosses an alley.

(Irish Brogue)
You -- I need a doctor!

He jolts around. A frantic young woman appears from the alley’s shadows -- CAERA. Blood covers her peasant blouse.

You’re a doctor -- .

Uh, aye, but casualty’s just -- .


Wait, no -- !

Come with me!

I got no money!


She forces him down the alley, pistol still at his neck.


Dark. The barest light filters through a high barred window. Old, beat-up lockers line the walls. Matt stumbles down a set of steps, Caera behind him, pistol ready.

Miss, listen, please -- you don’t want to do this. You don’t -- .


A torch beam hits them! Matt jumps and finally makes out a young man lying in a corner -- SEAN. His skin is pasty. Blood seeps from a wound in his thigh. A makeshift tourniquet is near his hip. He eyes them, weakly.

(Irish Brogue)
Caera -- musha, thought you -- left me.

(to Matt)
You’re a doctor. Help him.

I’m just an intern!


She looks ready to use the pistol.
Matt drops his rucsack. Kneels. Undoes the tourniquet and finds a pressure point to stem the bleeding. He uses the torch to inspect Sean’s wound.

Och, this is bad. We need to get you to casualty and -- .

No. That won’t work.

It’s the best place to -- .

Help him here! Now!

Here?! This place is filthy and I’ve no instruments or -- !

She shoves the pistol to the back of Matt’s head and digs her nails into the nape of his neck. They draw blood.

Help him or I swear -- !

She forces him to look at dark corner. He sees A MAN’S BODY. Motionless. Blood pooled around it.

OKAY! Okay! Okay.

Shaken, he turns back to Sean’s leg. Caera paces.

Bullet’s still in him. Has to come out -- at the least.

Sean nods. He is growing weaker.

Okay, I -- I need -- uh, something to clean with -- uh, do you have any alcohol? Ale? Wine? Anything?

He was drinking -- .

She nods to the body. Matt makes himself go to it. The man’s glassy eyes stare up at him. His throat was cut.

You did this?

She does not respond.

Matt checks the man’s pockets. Finds a half-empty pint of whiskey in one, sticky with blood.

Then ye -- you have a knife. Right?
(off her nod)
I need it. As a probe.

Caera hesitates then pulls a knife from a sheath attached to her belt and gives it to Matt, keeping the pistol square on him.

You make one move wrong and -- .

Matt nods then dribbles whiskey over the knife and swipes it clean with his fingers. Rubs them together. Dribbles more. He fights to keep his hands from shaking.

More from OT

This is what I worked on, this evening -- Tone said the exact wrong thing to Jake, who's got out for an early-morning run to clear his head. Then he checks out a warehouse owned by his uncle and doesn't like what he finds there.


I ran back to my SUV and saw it was nearly nine, so I headed over to Dion’s. He answered the door in a pair of shorts and a wife-beater that had grease stains on it, both dogs at his side. He looked beautifully flustered, and I’m sure I looked like shit. But he didn’t let on.

“Jake? You’re up early.”

“Sorry,” I said, “you in the middle of something?”

“We’re just finishing breakfast. You want a bite?”

The idea of food slammed into me and I nodded. His eyes lingered on me, for a second, then he said, “C’mon in. It’s very informal. We’re having French Toast and bacon. Kent’s still asleep so keep it low. Coffee or juice?”

“Coffee’d be cool,” I said, following him inside. The dogs stayed by me, silently alternating between sniffing my butt and begging for some petting. I absently tickled each one’s ears. “I just...I dropped by to pick up Lenora’s info.”

“Lorinda. That’s at the office – no, wait...I may have her card on the fridge. Lemme see.”

He led me into the kitchen, where Joel, Sarah and Samantha were seated at a small round table, finishing lightly battered bread topped with fruit and drizzled with maple syrup. Half-full glasses of orange juice by each of them. I smiled at them. Joel kept eating, but the twins eyed me with distaste.

“You’re dirty,” said Samantha. I think.

“I was running. Working out.”

“We’re doing brunch,” said Sarah. I think.

“Looks great,” I said. “Mind if I join you?”

“Wash your hands first,” said Sarah.


I went to the sink and sloshed soap and water up my arms and over my face.

“Don’t forget behind your ears!” Followed by giggles.

I have no idea which twin said it, and really don’t care. The warm water felt great. I dried off with a dishrag and the twins set up a space between them for me to sit.

Dion handed me a cup and pointed to a counter next to a fairly new range. “Milk and sugar’s over there.”

I fixed my coffee and sat between the twins.

“Papa’s taking us to the zoo,” said Samantha...I bet.

“They have one in Palm Springs?” I asked.

The girls giggled as Joel said, “In LA.”

“Griffith Park,” Dion chimed in as he looked on the scores of notes and drawings and cards on the door of the fridge.

“I don’t want to keep you,” I said.

“You won’t,” he smiled. “Here we go; I do have one.”

He handed me a neat card for Lorinda Waller-Burke, with a nice bright photo of a pretty professional woman on it. She was both a lawyer and real estate agent.

“You think she’d be working today?” I asked.

“It’s Saturday; she’ll be out in the field, but that’s her cell phone. Call her. Buy her a coffee then just try to get her to shut up.”


Dion looked the table over as he slopped bread into the last of some whipped egg. “Do I see some empty plates that need to go in the dishwasher? And three little travelers who need to get dressed? Do I?”

“Pappa, you’re not wearing that!” asked Samantha. Probably.

“I guess not. But I bet I get changed before you do.”

The kids scrambled to put their dishes away then hurried down the hall to their rooms.

“Quietly,” Dion softly called after them. He turned to me. “We’re giving Kent a down day. Rough night, last night.”

“Oh?” I sipped the coffee, and even with milk and sugar, it damn near took the enamel off my teeth, it was so strong.

He nodded and flipped the French Toast. “Business is down at the restaurant and they’re talking about cutting back to five nights a week instead of seven. If Kent wants to stay on, he’s got to agree to do lunches, as well as dinner. Split shift.”

“That messes with your set-up.”

“A little. Where’s your other half?”

“Tone? Probably still asleep. He’s not a morning person.”

“You two have a fight?”

I frowned at Dion. “Why’d you ask that?”

“Sorry. I’m being Blanche, again.”

“No, it’s not that. It’s just...I felt like goin’ out for a run well did you know my uncle?”

“Jake...I trusted him with my kids. I don’t do that with people I don’t know.”

“So you knew what was going on in that warehouse he owns?”

He looked at me. “What warehouse?”

“Down the Ten, a little ways. Big thing. Curved roof. Middle of nowhere.”

He flipped the toast onto a plate and set it before me then pulled a bowl of fruit from the fridge. “Owen had an apartment complex, the hillside and the townhouses, that’s it. What makes you think he owned a warehouse?”

I watched Dion. He was genuinely confused, so I held up the key.

“This fits the front door to a warehouse that’s pretty much empty. He sent it to me.”

“Pretty much? But not completely?”

“No. Could he own property you don’t know about?”

“Not unless he bought it years ago, because his capital’s all tied up. We found that out when he tried to buy the unit across from him when it went up for sale. Got turned down by three banks and two mortgage companies.”

WTF? “Dion, can you get into the county’s tax records?”

“No, but I think Lorinda can. So what’s in that warehouse?”

“Lies,” I said. “Nothing but lies.” And that’s what it was. The whole thing was bullshit. And I was beginning to understand why, and the reason for it unleashed my appetite. I think I ate that French toast in four bites.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I had a weird one, the other night, that's still with me. I don't remember much of it except I was on a plane and wanted to get off, but then it was a train and I was wearing glasses that focused my eyes on the one door...but the door was too small. And yet, lines shot from the eyepiece to the opening. I thought of Alice and wondered if a caterpillar was around with that there mushroom. Then I was with a friend in a pair of boardies and I had a flat belly, and we were close...and then I woke up.

Only thinking about it, it wan't me in those boardies. That guy had a body I could never have, mainly due to skeletal structure and the fact that there was hair on his chest; I never needed to shave my body to come across as hairless. Must be the Norwegian in me; it sure as hell ain't the French.

I spent $30 on groceries, today, $4 of it for a salad to put my tuna with. I'm set for the week, however, except for milk. One good way to lose weight is to cut down on how much you eat at a time and see how long you can go before you need to eat, again. Guess I'll try that out. 1 DP a day. Eating half what my usual portions are.

I remember when I was unemployed and in college and had no money, I could make a Dr. Pepper and a package of Ritz crackers and cheese my dinner and not feel needy. Of course, there was less of me to keep full, at the time. But I may as well get back to it, because if the GOP has its way, I'll get next to nothing in Social Security benefits when I retire, and Medicare will be dead.

But hey, maybe I'll be able to fit into a pair of 30" waist jeans, again. Been a long time since that's happened.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

On becoming a recluse...

That's me. I left my apartment twice, this weekend -- once to get milk and DP, once to check my mail. I could say I also went to do laundry, but since this floor's machines are right next door to my place, it'd be silly.

Normally, I use Sundays to hit a laundromat then go grocery shopping. And I take my laptop with me to write on, but I'm finding I don't get al that much done. Maybe an hour while washing, then the afternoon is taken up with straightening up and putting away groceries and crap.

Instead, this weekend I spent immersed in "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor" and found my way to a door that opened into the completion of the story. Oh, it's not done, yet, but I know what needs to go where and have the rest of the book ready to back it up.

So I'm on page 236 of maybe 375 pages, and it should still be under 100K in wordage, because the final solution simplifies everything...and yet, I think, still hits like a slap to the face. That's how it hit me. Guess I'll see if I'm right.

Or maybe I won't. I'm writing for a very niche market -- gay mystery novels. I might sell better if Tone was Tanya, but I tried doing that with a couple of scripts and they died in my heart. I do have some stories that work well as heterosexual -- "The Alice '65" being my latest. So do "Blood Angel" and "Brand of Justice". But I can't work on those till I'm done with at least a first draft of "Place of Safety".

Such is life in my world...or worlds.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Jake just popped up with a new that explains everything. Son of a bitch...that little bastard...he's having all kinds of fun messing with me. It doesn't change much in the story; it just begins to bring together everything I've written and why I'm dropping some things.

He's also changed his image in my mind. Sorry Will, but Aidan Turner's become the visualization I need for Jake in this story.

Now Jake can growl as he tries to figure out Tone and his freaky brain while maintaining his love for the bat-shit crazy little fuck. Will Fennell's whole persona just didn't fit, anymore; he was too much like a happy puppy out to make everyone joyous. Aidan's more like an alley cat who can handle himself in a fight.

Same for when Jake sorts out just what the hell happened to his uncle, and why...and how he can never reveal it. His face cannot expose his awareness of this...and yet it must be obvious enough to those who know him for them to see -- he's a man who can keep his secrets, and for all the right reasons...unlike Tone, who keeps his secrets out of fear.

Of course, that's the key I was looking for. The mystery is never solved, not publicly, because of the damage it would do to innocent people. But revenge will be taken. Jesus, will it.

And never mind I've said Aidan's the image of Thomas, the male lead of  my Irish Gothic-horror story, "Darian's Point". You takes your muses where they comes from, and fuck the rest.

Now once more into the breach, dear friends...

Friday, June 14, 2013

I need a vacation...

...or at least some time off. This crap of working all day, all week, at a computer (except for the few days I'm off at a packing job), and then coming home to spend more time at a computer trying to write, then having to stop just as things are getting going because I have to get up in the morning to go back to's beginning to shred me.

Problem is, if I don't work, I can't pay my bills or taxes. Self-employed means time off is on your dime. But it may be a case of putting the fucking bills off for a month and not giving a damn. I need to sweep my brain out and sort through my world of crap.

For example -- I went looking for my file of copyright registrations and couldn't find it. I know it's up here with me; I've had it out, before...but digging through my boxes of stuff, I had no idea where I'd put it. Same for my thumb drives -- I have so many duplications of files on them, I could probably clear 25% of the memory being used. It's ludicrous.

But that's what happens when you have two full-time  jobs -- which for me is writing and working at Caladex; the unimportant stuff just gets shoved out of the way...until it becomes important. Then you spend hours trying to figure out how to hell to handle it and find it and save it right, the next time.

I've never been the most organized of people. Hell, just follow my pattern of writing a book or script and you'll see how chaotic I can get. That anything ever comes together is a minor miracle. I'd ask God to send one down for my finances, but the fact that George W Bush is beginning to be thought of in a positive light is proof to me that he doesn't exist; if he did, that spawn of satan would've been sent back to hell, already.

I've put up everything I can for safe on Amazon and ebay. Maybe that will bring a little breathing room in, cash wise. And Kelly says that once he's settled in his job, he's going to start paying me back, which is more than anyone else I've lent money to has ever done.

Too bad I don't know anybody rich who can lend me $25K to pay everything off and still hop over to Ireland to veg by The Cliffs of Moher for a couple weeks.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cut here...add there...

OT keeps evolving. I think tonight's work just cut out an entire sub-plot about Jake letting the wrong man be accused of his uncle's death because the guy deserves it. But now, since Jake's staying the weekend, the whole thing may be done and over with. Because events are heating up.

Here's some of what he gave me, this evening. He's talking with Antony after finding out more about Uncle Owen's life...and things were going very, very nicely. It's Friday night, late, and Jake's fresh from a shower and wrapped in nothing but a towel.


I put my nose to his. “What’s your take on Lemm?”

“He’s a heartbreaker.”


He took a while to answer. “He’s the first guy I’ve met who’s harder than me.”

“Bullshit, nobody’s as hard as you.”

“You only say that because you love me.”

“Nice of you to notice.”

“I’ve always known.” He handed me a short kiss, then added, “I always will know. That’s one of the few things I can trust in.”

That’s one of the few things he could trust in? Wait...why did that sound like he really didn’t?

He took my hand and led me to the stairs. “C’mon, you need some sleep. We can give Matt that little talk in the morning.”

I let him lead me upstairs and into the bedroom and lay me down, still wrapped in the towel. Then he lay beside me, fully clothed. And held me. And caressed my arms and neck and chin and the bandage around my chest. I let him, because the only thing my mind was able to lock onto was his comment.

He “trusted” that I loved him.

He didn’t know that I did. He fucking trusted me.

What’s even more – he didn’t say he loved me, this time. He had in the past, more than once. But he didn’t this time. All he’d done is acknowledge what I said and put me to bed, like a kid, and made sure nothing would happen between us. Why? Why would he say something like that to me? Sure he was back to being granite, but was this support just out of some stupid sense of gratitude? Obligation? Fondness? Repayment of a past debt? Or just his psychotic stubbornness kicking in?

Shit, for a second there I’d thought it was going to be okay. For a second I’d thought we’d made the connection, again. But now?

He didn’t know I loved; he only trusted that I did. And I knew he meant it that way, because he didn’t say he loved me. He didn’t say it.

He didn’t say it.

He didn’t say it because he didn’t, anymore.

If he ever really did.

I didn’t sleep much, that night. Mira’s voice kept ringing in my ears. “Why do you stay with Tone?” I could hear her asking me. Was this what she’d sensed? Was this why she asked me that? Suddenly I could see what she was aiming at. It wasn’t me being weak or my career or her disliking Tone that made her wonder why I stuck with him. She could tell he didn’t feel about me like I felt about him. She could see this was all a one-way street, going from me to him.

Shit, I could’ve stayed in Copenhagen and let him come to me, if he wanted to. That would’ve been the smart way to handle things. Better all the way around, for Uncle Ari, for Tone, for me. But like some stupid dog whose love for his master never stops, no matter how much he keeps getting hit, I’d gone happily trotting after a guy who barely understood me, or even really cared. After more two years together, he still just trusted me when I told him I loved him; he didn’t know it.

I was a fucking idiot.

I couldn’t stop my brain from whirling around that thought. So I lay there and stared at a blank, cold ceiling. And felt so completely alone and lost in this empty, endless nothingness.

Uncle Owen was gone. Gramma was dead. My parents hated me. And now I didn’t even have Tone. I’d mistaken his stubborn refusal to move when he didn’t want to as support for me. As my backup. As love. But over and over and over he’d pulled the rug right out from under me. Shit, I was worse than a dog; I was like that stupid coyote who’s run off a cliff chasing a road runner and suddenly realized he’s got nothing underneath him, anymore, and is about to fall hundreds of feet into a canyon. It’s a dumb analogy, but that’s exactly how I felt. The “Oh, shit,” that comes before the long, long journey to the crash.

I kept telling myself, he’d saved me. He’d given me my life back. Given me a future, again. And he’d driven out here to back me up the second he heard I needed him. But the more I looked at the reality of what he’d done, the more I could see it was just collateral protection. What happened in Texas – none of that was done for me. Not at first. It was started for Collie, the guy I replaced. Collier Winston-Royce. He was named like a dog. And like your first pet, he was the most loved one. Me? I just was his replacement. I’d mistaken a need for revenge and me being in the wrong place at the right time and Tone’s basic psychoses as meaning he wanted me. Needed me. Loved me.

But love means nothing without trust. I don’t think it even really exists unless you have that. It just becomes control. Or reliance. Or expectation. Or tolerance. Maybe even fondness. But not an ache in your soul when your partner hurts. Not anger when he or she is misused. Not joy when you see them for the first time that day. Not peace when they hold you. Not the certainty that they care for you as much as you care for them.

I’d felt all these things with Tone. But he didn’t with me.

He didn’t.

Because he didn’t believe me when I told him I loved him. He only trusted that I meant it when I told him he’s my mate forever.

He didn’t really believe me. He just plain didn’t. Not deep down. Probably never would.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My brother has a job

My youngest brother, Kelly, called and told me he finally landed a full-time job with an apartment complex. He starts in 2 weeks, because he was doing fill-in work for a carpet layer and they had some places they had to complete...but if they get done sooner, he may start sooner.

I feel so glad for him. He'd stopped working when our mother went in the hospital the first time; she needed someone to be with her once she got out, and he since lived in her apartment, he was the one. I was up in Buffalo trying to rebuild my finances, my sister was juggling her job and kids and a grandbaby and the fact that she and Kelly don't get along very well, and my other brother was just plain AWOL.

But mom died in August 2011 and he'd been out of the workforce too long. Plus he had problems that needed addressing -- like his teeth. So I supported him while my sister paid to get some major dental work done. He wound up having everything pulled and now has dentures. Once that was done, he started pushing to find a steady job...and now he has one.

My other brother wanted to put him in a homeless shelter, let him live on the street if need be. I'd promised mom I wouldn't let that happen, and I didn't. And it hurt me, in a lot ways. But now Kelly's back in the work force. And I feel good about it all.

I still have to pay back taxes and find some way of working down my debt. But I kept my promise. I can sleep at night.

I think working on Jake's personality helped me with this. He keeps his word. He can be trusted. At least I try to be like Jake in that way. But far too much of me is Antony. And right now in the story, Jake is close to giving up on him.

That scares me. I don't want him to. And I'm working like crazy to figure out some way to make the two of them come back together.

Wish I'd been able to do something like this in real life...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

8 1/2

Inspiration comes from all sorts of places, and I got mine, yesterday, by watching "8 1/2" by Federico Fellini. It's about a movie director having a crisis of faith in his ability to make films, and how he tries to work his way through it.  It starts out with an amazing dream sequence and gets wilder and crazier from there, with the story jumping in and out of reality and back and forth in time.

This film is so complex, it's almost like writing a novel on celluloid. And it got me to look closer at what I'm trying to do with "The Vanishing of Owen Taylor".

I've got what is, ostensibly, a mystery about why a man disappeared...and the story molds itself to that, nicely enough. It's a good excuse to explore. But, and this is a biggie, it's also about shifts in society and the battles that come from that as well as the shifts in Jake's and Antony's relationship, and the battle within Jake about that.

I guess the basis of the story is -- change begets conflict begets change, and with that change comes destruction...and creation. Hmm...I need to phrase that better.

I did find I was pushing too hard, in a couple of moments. They hadn't been earned, yet. I'm also missing the first real interaction between Antony and Dion. I have them barely introduced before the story continues. That's got to change, because they both play a strong role in Jake's inner conflict.

A lot has to change...but I'm slowly...slowly zeroing in.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Paul Krugman's blog-speak

This is from his blog, today. I'm too lost in Jake and Tone to do any commentary on my own.
Devaluing Human Capital

Nancy Folbre suggests that the golden age of human capital – roughly speaking, the era in which the economy strongly demanded the kinds of skills we teach in liberal-arts colleges and universities – is already behind us. She may well be right: after a long stretch when both technology and trade seemed to be undermining only manual labor, it does look as if many skilled occupations are now under threat by Big Data, Bangalore, or both.

I’d just like to add a sort of footnote, inspired by a conversation I had the other day with a Congressional aide. Has there ever before, he asked, been a time when technology undermined skilled labor, instead of making it more necessary than ever?

And the answer is of course yes, once you realize that there are many kinds of skill, and book learning hasn’t always been the one that mattered.

As it happens, I’m in my Princeton office right now – and it’s worth thinking about why Princeton was founded. It wasn’t as a prep school for investment bankers, even though that’s largely what the school became, for a while anyway. It was to train ministers. In the 18th century, there really weren’t that many places where anything even vaguely resembling a modern college education was valuable, and surely many if not most of those places involved preaching.

Yet there were skilled laborers, who were paid much more than their peers; it’s just that those skills tended to involve craftsmanship rather than pushing around words and other symbols. And – crucially – the truth is that quite a few of those skills did indeed end up being devalued by technology. Remember, the Luddites weren’t unskilled manual workers; they were skilled weavers and others who found themselves displaced by such technologies as the power loom.

After that, by the way, institutions like Princeton evolved into something more like finishing schools, where the elite acquired manners and connections. (Yes, there’s still more than a bit of that aspect today). The role of higher education as a creator of human capital came along quite late. And maybe, as Nancy Folbre says, this role is already waning.

And you know what? I wrote about this way back in 1996, when the Times Magazine, on its 100th birthday, asked various people to write articles as if looking back from 2096. Some of it looks dated, but not too bad, I’d say.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Jake is wondering...remembering...

This comes after he's been arrested, beaten, gathered together a number of Owen's friends, and begun to see how things have been working in Palm Springs, lately...and it's got him nervous about what's happened to his uncle...and to his relationship with Tone. Be warned, there is some strong sexual content.
Just to be clear, I didn’t DIS-believe the story I was hearing about Lemm; I had Uncle Owen’s comment in an e-mail about a guy like that causing him trouble, too. But he’d passed him off as a Mormon loon, not exactly the most beloved of people after what they pulled with Prop 8. Still neither his nor Lemm’s version matched what little I knew about guys like that.

Of course, what I know about guys like that was from my one encounter with a missionary at Gramma’s, while she was visiting Uncle Narden up in Dallas. Two of those guys appeared on her doorstep in the middle of June and went into their little spiel about how great it was to be robots for Jesus, who’d spent those three days of hell in America teaching the Indians how savage and wrong they were, and who all had the potential of becoming God or something, and yap, yap, yap. They were both blond, blue-eyed, tall, trim, clean-shaved, neat nails, simple white cotton shirts over t-shirts with ties, even though it was nearly a hundred out, black pants ironed to a crease. Their shoes were simple and laced and so polished, they almost looked like fired-china. At first, I thought they were brothers.

I wasn’t going to let them in the house, but they were trying so hard to look like they were not wilting from the heat and Gramma’s window a/c had the room cool enough to matter...and one of them had given me such a quick, obvious glance up and down...I opened the door and drenched them with iced tea.

Herbal, no caffeine allowed.

I was dressed in a ratty wife-beater and nylon gym shorts that were on the clingy side, and Glancing Boy’s signal had sent a shot of HORNY into my balls. So as they sipped their tea and gave me their very earnest line of crap, I played up my looks by lounging in this overstuffed chair with one leg over its arm and the other stretched out, letting the shorts lay across my crotch and legs, clenching my ass every now and then, making everything move ever so slightly. Glancing Boy didn’t fail me; his eyes’d dart down to what mattered and then jerk back to mine. And I sent him every signal I could that I was interested.

Of course, we discussed my ankle cuff. I told them it was because I was a pagan-athiest-devil-worshiping drug dealer, and finally asked them if they wanted a snort of something fun. That got them to leave. Together, dammit. Fast. But they did thank me for the tea and a/c as they scrambled out the door. I gave Glancing Boy’s left shoulder a slight squeeze as he exited but figured I’d probably scared him off.

Instead, just before midnight, when I was about to give up on a sketch I was trying to pull together, there was a knock on the door and there he stood. Dressed the same but with hungry eyes and no tie. His breath deep and scared. His lips constantly licked, like a cat would do.

“Do you really have drugs?” he asked.

I just smiled and yanked him inside...and pushed my lips against his and held his body close to mine and felt every nerve in my body fire up as he grabbed me around the waist and slipped his tongue across to mine and...oh...let’s just say, within seconds I found out what Mormon undies look like...and that they’re harder to get off than you’d think. And that they can hide the nicest, tightest body you can imagine. And that when Mormon boys get hungry, they want to eat now, now, now.

So my shirt became a rag as he dove down to bite my tits and grope my ass and cascade his mouth down my belly and slip my shorts to my knees...and start the most intense blow job of my life, well, until Tone came along. But I didn’t let him finish. Instead, I pushed him back on the floor and showed him I knew a thing or do about worshiping a dick. I also found out I love the feel of blond chest hairs on my lips as I whisper my tongue around taut brown nips, and that when you’re a robot with a year’s worth of abstinence stored up, it takes more than once or twice to be completely satisfied.

I wasn’t into being fucked, back then; it was still too close to what had happened in prison. But he never asked, not even when I got really rough with him. All I can add is, he left with the most Zen of expressions on his face, swearing to god he’d come back if he could. He didn’t. I knew he wouldn’t; we’d both built up enough endorphins to last a while.

Then a couple months later, Gramma died, and I was too busy keeping it on the down low so I could keep living in her place and not have my parole officer make me go to a halfway house or something, for supervision. Helped that neither mom nor Uncle Narden ever called. Then a couple months after that, Tone popped into my life...just as I was hitting starvation mode, again. And a few months after that, I was back to control of my destiny.

It’s funny how different it was between me and Tone, the first time. I’d had the same plans for him as with Glancing Boy and played them the same, but he fought back instead of joining in the game. Like he was saying, “You don’t need to fuck around with me to be with me.” But there was also this...this deeper need he had, a need to be a part of someone, and he was fighting it. Those first couple nights, he did what he felt like he had to. It wasn’t hard to tell. But when he came home from that fuckin’ jail, the first time, and saw me and grabbed me, it’s like he was reaching for a life preserver and I was it, and him needing saving saved me. Now I can’t imagine my life without him. Because as pissed off as I can get with him, he also gave me something else to focus on besides hate and anger. He gave me someone to protect. And hold. And love. And need.

At least, that’s how it’d been till the last few months. But lately, he wasn’t fighting me so much as...shit, I dunno – it’s like he’s tolerating me. Accepting my help because he has to and not because it’s best for both of us. It’s like he’s stopped caring. Like he’s settled into some new vision of his life...and I’m not a necessary part of that, anymore.

So Mira’s question drifted back -- why do I stay with him? I still didn’t have a real answer, except this feeling, deep in my soul, that we were one, together. I even told him, he’s my mate. For life. I got no choice in it. So when I get pissed off at him, now, it’s not from mere anger or hurt; it’s more from knowing he doesn’t have that same attachment to me. I thought he did, for a while, but maybe I was fooling myself. Maybe I never will be as much a part of him as he is me, and it cuts deep to have my face shoved in that possibility.

But I can’t seem to give up on hoping it’ll change. Truth is, there’s a corner of me that won’t ever give up on what it wants. I wondered if I could ever explain that to Mira in a way that meant all I wanted it to mean? Probably not. But next time I saw her, at least I’d try.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


I worked on OT some, another 1100 words worked out and a moment between Jake and Dion that sets everything to falling into place. But I've also been thinking about everything I've done or planned to do since I became a writer.

These are just some of the works I've written (or planned to write); this does not include scripts I've rewritten for others:


BUGZTERS – Eleven-year-old Alex accidentally traps some aliens in his iMac and has to get them back into space before they’re found by some bad aliens, a greedy toymaker, a pack of maniacal mothers who think they’re the latest toy and two intense government agents. (Planning to make this a book)

THE LAVENDER CURSE – A cop’s mind is switched into the body of his not-so-beloved mother-in-law’s – and hers into his – just as he’s planning to make a huge arrest and she’s about to appear in a Senior Lady Pageant in Vegas. And each is forced to go through with the other’s plans!

COWBOY KING OF TEXAS – An old west hero turns out to be much less than that when the “notorious outlaw” he killed turns up alive and angry on the day of the hero’s wedding to the perfect woman. (Based on “The Playboy of the Western World” by John Millington Synge)(Planning to make this a play)

FIVE DATES -- A high school girl must go on five dates with the school freak or her brother will go to jail. (Loosely based on “Beauty and the Beast”)

THE LYONS’ DEN – A young, gay writer goes to an isolated cabin to rush through his latest project only to wind up embroiled in conspiracy, political payoffs, danger, near insanity and romance. (Based on “The 7 Keys to Baldpate” by Earl Derr Biggers, play version by James M. Cohan; also written as a play)(Published as a book)


DAIR’S WINDOW – A gay artist tries to rebuild his life after the death of his lover only to find he has to fight not just the casual cruelty of the world but also non-stop memories of happier times and his own inability to let go of the past.

WIDE NEW WORLD – In modern Dublin, a young father rekindles his dream of becoming a photographer and starts a chain of events that begin to tear his family apart. (Written as a play under the title STILL LIFE)

STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING – The true story of Beryl Markham, the first woman to fly from London to America…completely alone.


DELAY EN ROUTE – An innocent stop in Paris traps an American fighter pilot in a web of eco-terrorism, conflicting loyalties…and romance.

FIND RAY TARKOVSKY – Acting classes can’t help this hot young actor find a killer hiding in witness protection, but they might help him save his son.

IRON CROSS – A man goes to Shanghai to save his kidnapped brother only to learn that he’s not just fighting for his brother’s life, he’s fighting for his own.


BLOOD ANGEL – Would a man destroy his soul to be with an angel? That's the question at the heart of this erotic-horror-romance, where a vampire seduces a young musician in post-Katrina New Orleans in order to make him into a murderous creature like herself.

DARIAN’S POINT – In 1910, an architect returns to Ireland with his American wife and discovers his dark and frightening birthright in this brooding tale of ancient horror.

RETURN TO DARIAN’S POINT – A young man flies to Ireland to settle his family’s estate only to find himself trapped by his family’s ancient curse. Sequel to “Darian’s Point.”

MINE TO KILL – A brilliant woman convinces herself that she can bring her philandering husband back to life so they can kill the young intern who “let him die.”

KILLING MOON – A preacher makes a deal with the devil then goes on a killing spree to fulfill his end of the bargain. A gay college student and his lover are the only ones who can stop him before a demon is raised to rule over the earth.

WE-COME – A group of shredders (skateboarder kids) fights a creature from another planet that wants to use them as its power source so it can get home.

THE LOFT - Seven people are trapped in a loft with a demon that wants them to kill themselves so it can be released.


INHERENT FLAWS – A young cop stumbles onto a conspiracy in the New York City police department that threatens not only him but everyone he knows. Based on a true story. (Published book as “NYPD Blood”)

BANDIT COUNTRY – A freak accident turns a trip to the forest into a hellish nightmare, where hunter becomes hunted and survival is the only rule.

BRAND OF JUSTICE – She’s a good cop caught in the middle of a brutal conspiracy that's already cost the life of her brother-in-law and now has the deadly hand of vengeance threatening to derail her life and tear her world even farther apart. (Planning to write this as a book)

COBY O’ AND THE PINK PALACE OF TEXAS – A young groundskeeper finds a hidden passage into the Texas Capitol Building and begins passing secrets to a reporter he has a crush on.

KAZN – A young Russian soldier slips into America to exact vengeance against the man who killed his family…only to fall in love with the killer’s daughter and wonder if he’s being used to murder the wrong man.


HOW TO RAPE A STRAIGHT GUY – An ex-con thinks he’s found a way to get even with the world but winds up in a situation quickly spinning out of control.

PORNO MANIFESTO – A man who was gay-bashed set out on a course of revenge when he learns the police are protecting his bashers.

RAPE IN HOLDING CELL 6, volumes 1&2 – A young man investigates the murder of his lover in a jail cell and uncovers a conspiracy of rape and murder that threatens not only him but the new man in his life.

BOBBY CARAPISI, volumes 1, 2 &3 – What happens when two men – one gay, one straight – are raped, as told from each man’s viewpoint…and the point of view of their rapist.


THE 6 DAYS OF JEMMYTEE – An artist prepares for his first showing but needs one last painting to round things out and finds his inspiration has vanished. (Screenplay or book?)

THE VANISHING OF OWEN TAYLOR – A man investigates the disappearance of his uncle as he reviews the direction his own life has taken. (Book)

CARLI KILLS – A woman sets out to avenge the rape and suicide of her sister, but slowly comes to realize you can’t choose who you get even with once you’ve started down that path. (Screenplay or book?)

A PLACE OF SAFETY – A boy growing up in Northern Ireland, between 1966 and 1981, just wants to live his life…but hate and anger keep getting in the way. (Book)

THE GOLDEN SEA – A soccer star in decline connects with a woman grieving for the death of her husband and son, with each helping the other to heal as life tears at them. (Book)

UPLANDERS – In the post global-warming future, a select few live in protected cities while the rest of humanity approaches extinction…except for the Uplanders. So two men set out to learn why…and hasten their annihilation. (Screenplay)


CYBER-TRIBES – Hackers fight back against control of the internet by the corporate gods (Based on Aristophanes’ “The Birds”)

As I said, this is only partial. I've written 32 screenplays, 6 novels and lots of one-act plays and short stories. I have an obligation to the scripts and future works. The characters trusted me to tell their stores, which I did, but that's only half the job. The rest is getting them seen in some way...and since I've totally screwed up my attempts at film, I need to do something else with them.

Got a lot of writing to do.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Paperwork day...

I've been putting a pile of paperwork aside for too long, and it needed to be there went the evening. I also put several of my books and other items up for sale on Amazon and ebay. See if I can bring in a little cash, that way. I'm even selling a 1965 edition of the general guide to the "Chicago Natural History Museum". I've had that since we stopped there en route to Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1966. My stepfather was stationed at Grand Forks AFB and we were headed up to spend a year there.

We lived in a double-wide trailer (which, if I remember right, was in the squiggly bunch of housing units at the top of the development on the right edge of the photo). We were 30 miles from town. Our family car was a 1965 Fiat 500...for the six of us. I'd have to take a bus to school. There were no hills. No trees to speak of. Nothing but hundreds of square miles of flat farms.

But I figured, the hell with it -- I was gonna change my life after a year of absolute hell in El Paso. I set out to make friends with the neighborhood kids. I explored the base to get myself used to it. I even joined a little theater group, on base.

But it was not to be. Mom got sick, was hospitalized, I became the mother to the family, and then we all got shipped back to San Antonio to live with my grandmother, where I did 9th grade at a junior high school that I hated (that was back when Texas still had only 3 years in their high schools; I don't know when that changed).

Then came a year in Hawaii, where I nearly went crazy from boredom. I had friends, and I cut school a lot to just go wandering. Got the worst sunburns of my life there; 2nd degree on my back through a t-shirt, no less, and on the tops of my feet, through sneakers. But again, I was changing my life. I got my social security number there and went looking for a part-time job. My goal was to return to stateside on a boat, which I would pay for. Didn't happen. Again, we got shipped back to San Antonio to live with my grandmother, because Hawaii is fucking expensive, and stepdaddy was a non-com so got damn near nothing in the way of per-diem from the Air Force. Mom was working 2 jobs just to keep us in food.

This is when I started building the idea that I had no control over my life. It seemed every time I made plans, something would happen to screw them up. And 9 times out of 10, it was something I had zero control over. Like being uprooted every other year because my stepfather was in communications and an Air Force that didn't care a damn about his family. When you're not legal, you can't make decisions for yourself if they conflict with what your parents want.

I suppose the one good thing about all that moving around was, I got used to it. Maybe too used to it. Since finishing college in San Antonio, I've lived in New York City, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Los Angeles, Houston, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and now Buffalo. I've also visited dozens of cities around the US, Mexico, Canada, Europe, and Asia...and come damn close to moving to Berlin in 2008, to teach English. Fact is, I got my first passport in college because I had to; I'd traveled on my AF dependent's ID prior to that.

Damn, I'm rambling. Funny the memories that come up with things like a nearly 50 year old pamphlet.

Still...I guess this shows I'm still young enough at heart to think that maybe...maybe something good will come my way so long as I'm willing to join with it, even in a different part of the world.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Jake's a sneaky one...

He just got cut by some kids trying to gay-bash him. He beat them to a pulp and thinks the only reason he's got a pain in his side is he was kicked around by a cop a couple days before, and cracked a rib. But Antony noticed it and kept quiet, which startled me. The police are there; he should have said something. But he didn't until Ian, a nurse who lives in the same complex, was home and he could ask that guy to look at Jake's side.

I don't know what that's about. And Tone's explanation as to why he kept quiet about it doesn't ring right, yet. But it's upped the ante on everything...and comes at about page 200, which could be the 60% mark. Jake's already getting to understand what's going on; he just doesn't know who's behind it, yet. But this little stunt has put him back in control of the story.

It happens on a Friday night. The rest of the story, as written, can't happen till Monday. So...what's going to fill the weekend? What're they going to find? How an I going to restructure this, now? I think I know...or knew...but now I'm not so sure. I just know Jake's being warned off, and that just doesn't make sense to me, yet; it's too clumsy and obvious. Maybe it will, tomorrow.

"After all, tomorrow is another day..."

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Back to the hard part

 Fixing it so Jake, who's becoming more and more hurt and angry and irritated by Antony's growing fear and uncertainty, actions that make him push Jake away...I have to figure out how to make sure Jake wants to stay a part of his life... Antony does his best to be supportive but has so many secrets and plans going on that he won't share with Jake, it starts becoming clearer and clearer their relationship if way too one-way.
Add into that a guy as cool, calm and collected as Lemm sending out signals he'd give Jake just about everything he ever wanted in a relationship, and it's beginning to churn.

So that's what the story's boiling down to -- why does Jake stay with Tone? Because Antony does not make it easy on the poor guy. At all. For reasons he won't...or is afraid to...share.

But Lemm...he's 19, completely self-aware, in total control of himself, and uses that strength to increase Jake's interest in him. without ever saying a word. As Spock would say, "Fascinating."

What's even crazier is, when Lemm shows an interest in Matt, Jake even gets jealous.

I didn't see that coming, but Matt doesn't mind.