Stalk me elsewhere

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Long Weekend, A Short Week & Two Graduates

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. How is everyone? I am good. Monday is Memorial Day here in the States, so I will not be at work, but home. For those of you who are also on holiday, I hope you are enjoying it. For those of you in places where the holiday is not celebrated, or in a position where you have to work it, I hope the week is treating you well. It is in that spirit that I have come to you with very little more than just a thank you for stopping by.

You see, I have been doing more writing these days, and at the time of this writing (Sunday night), I am very close to completing the first draft of my new novel. I haven't read much lately as I have really enjoyed writing down the scenes which have been playing rapidly, one after the other inside my head. With any luck, I may finish by the time you are reading this post sometime Monday...

...On the other hand, I have both of my sons graduating this year and we have much to do to be prepared for the party that we are throwing next weekend, and only so many days to get it done. Now, I say "we", but in all actuality it is my saint of a wife who is doing much of the work. I merely assist and do some of the heavy clean-up/prep work. If I don't get this first draft of the novel finished just yet, it will be because I have a high school and junior high school graduates that I need to attend to.

If you have a graduate this year, high five them for me and offer them my congratulations for a job well done.

Let's also take a moment to remember those who have served to protect the peace, especially if they have had to pick up arms to protect it with force.

We'll talk soon.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dance on Fire 2 Teaser

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. How have you been? I'm well. I survived last week, which was our stressful yearly audit for food safety at the day job. I hear we did very well. For those who recall me talking about the left knee, it continues to improve. I have been getting great workouts in, 4-6 days a week. I have lost 14 lbs or so and feel great. I eat more fruit, watch my portions and drink light beer. *grins* If I overdue it over a weekend (Food, not alcohol), I know how long I have to run in order to burn off those calories.

Now, many of you may have noticed that I haven't been promoting much of Dance on Fire, nor has much been said about Flashpoint, it's sequel. There have been some bumps in the road, but those appear to be over. 'Nuff said! I will tell you that it shouldn't be long now. It's in that spirit that I would like to offer you this teaser of the forthcoming novel. This will be edited once more before it's published, but it's pretty close. Many thanks for all who have continued to ask for the next book. Now, allow me to quickly set it up...

It is about five years later since the events of Dance on Fire. Michael Lopez is now the Chief of Police. He has started his workday just as he always does. He gets to work and turns on his computer to find a note from Nathaniel. The vampire has moved away to a place of solitude and introspection, hoping to find out whether there might yet be a place for him in God's plans. Being a creature of the dead, he had assumed there was not.

            As soon as his Hotmail account had downloaded, something three mails down in his inbox on the left side of the screen jumped to his attention. The width was not long enough to see the entire message, but he understood the gist of it.

            Facebook. New message from NathanielL...

            The look on the chief’s face that presented itself there upon reading the line was neither a frown nor a look of glee. It was one of interest to be sure. Without pause, Michael opened another window and logged into his Facebook account. As it downloaded, the chief took a glance toward the open door and into the hallway beyond. He felt a pang of guilt as he waited. All but the cadets and Community Service Officers had access to the internet in the Police Department, and yes, he would be upset to find that his officers and detectives spent department time and resources fooling around on networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or even the new Google Plus, just as he was doing now. He continued anyway.

            When the page came up, a snapshot of he, Barbara, Jerod, Robbie and Rebekah posing merrily before Snow White’s castle at Disneyland taken this past Christmas stared back at him. It was a ten month old picture, and although the twins looked as if they were a full two years older by now and Jerod had begun shaving, he loved it because it was a beautiful time that he did not want to take for granted.

            He moved his mouse to the top left corner of the page and clicked the Messages Icon. He then went to the new message and opened it. The tiny photo at the top left hand corner of the message was not a face but a vista of what appeared to be a tranquil water garden somewhere. He guessed what it was because he had visited it once before, although then it had been in the middle of the night, and it had been a rushed visit.

            Michael, how is everybody? I trust all are well. I am well. I still struggle at times with demons, as you well know, but for the most part things are going well for me here. Tell Barbara to continue praying. Her prayers have been extremely effectual. It takes me forever to use this contraption, but I have the time. That is a joke. Was it amusing? How is the town? Quiet? I hope so. How is Mark doing? I fear his relationship with Vanessa cannot stand, but I would not want him to know about this. What of their child? Thank you for the photographs that Barbara sent to me. They just arrived. I believe that I was the one who asked for a remote location, is that right? Another joke. The photographs are glorious to behold and I do so often. Jerod reminds me of you. Do I detect a shadow of growth on the young man’s face? It is very faint, but please do not tell him that I said this. Tell him I cannot even look upon his face by candlelight because his dark beard blinds me. Joke#3. How do the young ones like school? I am particularly intrigued to hear how they do there. They have such spirit, those two. I do not wish to take up too much of your time. The monks tease me that I take so long at the computer. They say that they could rewrite whole books of the Bible by dipping a feather into an inkwell and writing on parchment before I could but answer one tiny e-mail. They are extremely fortunate that I do not believe in shedding human blood or else they would not be so cruel to me. Joke#5. Very well, my friend. Blessings to both you and your family. Nathaniel L.

            Joke number 6, Michael thought as he reread the message one last time before closing it and logging out of the Facebook page. Nathaniel used an additional “L” at the end of his user name as if his full name had been Nathaniel Lopez and he was their eldest child and away at college. Michael shook his head with a grin as he closed down the internet and reached for some police reports and duty logs that needed his approval and final signatures. He planned to reply to the message before he went home for the day. He had time. After all, it was 8:30 am and the vampire would not be up for another thirteen hours or so.

We'll talk soon.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vlogging again, Can You Believe it?

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. *Said in my best (read worst) old European accent* Velcome to my home...

We'll talk soon.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Doing the Number Seven Meme Again

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. Thank you so much for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure to have you visit.

In the last week or so, I have been tagged with the number 7 meme once again, or a variation of the similar theme which has been making the rounds this year. I don’t have the time to participate in a lot of meme’s or hops, although I hope I will as this year progresses and as I once again re-evaluate what I spend my time doing.

The last time that I was tagged with this, I offered a piece of my second novel, sadly still stuck in pre-production. This time, I am offering a piece of my current work in progress. Since it is barely the first draft, I don’t want to give away too much, lest someone steal the idea and do it much better than I could. Suffice it to say that it deals with ghosts – both the ethereal as well as the ones that haunt our pasts.

In the story, a recent widower is left an old house by his dead aunt. He and his brother visit, with the main character deciding to stay for a week. While he is there, he is haunted by the same aunt who left him the house, as well as a host of others. The woman who showed him the house and took care of the paperwork happens to be a ringer for his dead wife, who he has yet to really let go.

My thanks to the lovely Anne NowlinMichelle Franco and Paul Dail (That's right, Paul. You, too, buddy!). In all seriousness, these three are truly wonderful people who have brightened my days and offered encouragement in their subtle ways. They were kind enough to consider me when they were recently tagged. I hope you like the following unedited snippet from the 77th page of my current WIP, Ghosts:

     The hours ticked by as I wandered about the place, searching for inspiration. I ate something and even snacked a bit, but nothing seemed to satisfy. I stuck my iPod into my pocket and began to dust and clean; anything to get my mind off of the week’s events. I ate an early dinner of frozen burritos and a beer because I just didn’t feel hungry. I took my Kindle outside with me to the porch and sat down on the bench, but ended up falling asleep once again as I awaited the sunset.

     My rest was no rest at all. I cannot recall the subject of my dreams with any specificity, but I recall the nature of them. They were dark and sinister and I was almost always afraid. Sometimes I was being hunted and other times I was made to watch terrible things. When I eventually awoke with a start, darkness had nearly completely descended and Patricia was standing before me.

   “You’re a trusting one,” she uttered without emotion. Her words were not playful or threatening, but I recoiled, taking her very presence before me as threatening. I said nothing. “Good,” she continued. “Your silence suits you. You’ve said and done too much already.”

   “What have I done?” The words were out of my mouth before I could muster the strength to halt them.

   “He speaks,” she crossed her arms and teased. It was no kind of teasing that I ever want to endure again. Beside her on the ground was some of her equipment. She was setting up for the night’s events.

   “I didn’t ask for any of this,” I stood and continued, bolstered by her response. “I was given a house. That’s all I knew. I came here, gratefully, and have done nothing to bring dishonor to the memory of Victor and Flora’s life together. What you two have been up to is none of my business.”

   “It is your business now!” Patricia said, punctuating it by setting her hands upon her hips. “Flora needs you!”

   “Flora’s dead, Patricia!” I screamed at her, saliva like venom spewing from my mouth. “She’s dead, and so is Victor! There is no bringing any of that back! Flora took what apparently was once a beautiful and remarkable love and twisted it into something vile and heartbreaking! She needs to find rest for her soul!”

   “I have no soul!” A new voice suddenly yelled back.
     It was Flora. She was behind me and to my left. I turned just in time to see the bench roar to life as it was dragged without help across the porch. It swept me into the air and onto the ground beyond the steps easily as if I were one solitary bowling pin. The bench rolled and I felt my back scream as I went over the back of it and struck my head. I caught the blur of Patricia as she danced out of the way in the nick of time, unharmed. When I rolled to a stop, Flora was standing above me. She said nothing further, but simply held me in her wide and burning eyes.

Thanks for taking the time to visit. Have a great week.

We'll talk soon.