Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

With less than 5 hours to go in 2010, I figured I needed to sit down and take a look at my life and see what needs to be changed (and we all need to change some things, no matter how small). *Choir breaks out into “AMEN”*

1) Spend more time with family. This has always been something that I have struggled with and have been called out on more than one time in the past year. There have been days that I have gotten up at the crack of dawn to go to the gym and have not gotten home until well after dark because of being at the gym working out after work.

2) Be more responsible with my time in the Bible. This is another part of my life that I have always struggled with. I have always had the intention to read thru the Bible in a year, but somehow that has been derailed after a few weeks each year. The only thing that has stayed consistent is my morning listening to “Morning Light Devotional with Charles Stanley”. Since I have no problem listening to audio on my way to and from work, I will add in the audio Bible to the rotation right after “Morning Light Devotional with Charles Stanley”, using either the Alexander Scourby or the Dramatic Rendition of the New King James Version of the Bible so I can expand my Biblical knowledge.

3) Eat better. This would seem like a no-brainer, right? I mean, I have been keeping track of my food on MyFitnessPal for a year, so my food should be all in line with the proper food stuffs, right? WRONG!!! I still slip, more than I like. Breakfast seems to be my biggest weakness. I find myself more times than not stopping at a gas station and getting a pop-tart or a honey bun, or *gasp* a steak and egg biscuit, just so I can say that I have eaten breakfast. Last night I stopped at Panera and picked up a baker’s dozen of bagels, which will hopefully give both me and my wife a little inspiration to have a healthier breakfast in the morning than what the gas station has to offer, and it will stay with me longer. I also need to make better lunch choices with lower sodium, as my lunches have been eaten out instead of being made at home.

4) Exercise more, but in moderation. This is another one that has been tough. I go to the gym in the morning before work when I go, but have had trouble the last couple of months getting back into a normal rotation of going. I go one morning, then proceed to take the next three off. I need to get back to going every morning or not go until the evening after work with my wife.

5) Be more of an example. I have been working with my church’s youth group for nearly four years, and don’t have that many that would come to me for spiritual questions. I am going to work to change that in 2011. Hopefully they will see the change with the audio Bible and will come to me.

6) Write more. I had intentions of writing three full novels in 2010 (Syckosis, the Nano novel, and one other) and the only one that ended up getting written was the Nano novel. Not so in 2011: Seeing as how I have 3 full novels that need editing and one to complete, I will be working on them for at least 5 hours a week in some form or fashion, so that by this time next year, I may have them ready for an agent to look at and present to a publisher.

I am sure there are more things that I should do in the next year, but I can't think of them right now.

I welcome your feedback on this or any of my other blogs. Please use the comments button below or shoot me an e-mail at

Until we meet again, remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Monday, October 25, 2010

One week to go until NaNo!!!

I attended the unofficial kickoff meeting this past Saturday (dubbed the Pre-Nano Plottery) at the Golden Bough bookstore in Macon, along with my lovely wife, Michelle, and was greeted by around twenty Macon Mooselings (what the Macon chapter of NaNoWriMo calls their members).
During the meeting, we discussed our novels (well, the basic premise of the novels at least, as none of them have been written yet, but all of us have the characters running around in our brains just wanting to be let out!), as well as how long we had been with NaNo. As I listened to the other writers, I became more excited for this year's NaNo. As I mentioned in my last blog about NaNo, this year I am highly excited about my novel, for the plain and simple fact that I have an idea where I am going with my book, and despite the fact that I have NO outline and little to go on other than the main plot point (assassination of the President/Congress), I have never been more excited about writing. Not even when I first started writing my first novel, Valqis: The Search, which now sits in rewrite form unfinished due to plot holes that I have yet to patch up, due to not having enough silly putty and toothpaste to fill them. I want to make Operation Blackheart a novel that will have people talking when they read it. God willing, when I finish Blackheart, I will start revising both it and last year's NaNo novel, and submit them both to an agent for publishing. Now, if I can just find an agent. . .

Has this inspired you to want to write, or to see if you can put 50000 words on a page in a month? Then click on the title of this post and it will take you to the NaNoWriMo website, where you can sign up and begin your quest for greatness!

I welcome your feedback on this or any of my other blogs. Please use the comments button below or shoot me an e-mail at

Until we meet again, remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Countdown to NaNoWrimo!

Today is October 4, which means exactly four weeks from today begins the most hectic month of any NaNoWrimo-ite's life [NanoWrimite? Nanite? Wrimate? I dunno. :)]
This will be the fourth year that I have competed (well, maybe competed isn't quite the right word for it, it is more of an endurance race where EVERYBODY that crosses the finish line gets a prize) in NaNo, and for the first time since 2007, I am actually looking forward to November 1st. In 2007, I was trying to finish up the first draft of my "prequel" of sorts to Valqis, which you are now reading excerpts of as I work on the rewrite of it in Valqis: Reborn. Problem was, when I was finished with the full first draft, there were so many plot holes in it, you could drive a whole fleet of Sherman tanks thru it without touching any piece of plot, but I digress. Then jump ahead to 2009, after taking a year off to rewrite (which never happened) I came in to NaNo 2009 thinking about starting book two of the Valqis saga, only to find out that my protagonist was not realistic.
So, I put Valqis aside to take on a story that had been running around in my head for almost ten years, but I had never really taken the time to sit and hash out. The result: Randolph Prescott and the Case of the Disappearing Conventiongoers [title still in working stages].
Fast forward to New Year's Day, and the birth of Syckosis, the second Randolph Prescott novel, which is still being written and is about 1/4 of the way complete. With Syckosis came a reinvigorated spirit of writing, which became all the more evident when I hit my first roadblock in the novel, and I put this novel aside, and actually restarted Valqis: Reborn while I tried to figure a way out of the predicament that I had gotten Randolph into [and thanks to Nancy Griffin for her advise, he is now out of that issue and into another one]. Valqis: Reborn is moving slowly, with my trying to rework the plot so as to close the plot holes and make the story flow better.
I have been writing in some form or fashion since I was about ten years old, and I can first remember the day that Valqis was "born". I had just come home from Liberty University as a rising junior, having struggled the previous semester to make it thru my classes with passing grades. But as I lay down to go to sleep after a long day working cashier at McDonald's, I had a vision of a grown man on a horse riding up to a gate and demanding to be let in. That vision grew over the next year into Valqis: the Search, the third book in the Valqis saga (hey, I never claimed to think straight), which is still awaiting a rewrite as well.
Before I delve into what I have planned for NaNo, maybe it would be better if I were to explain what NaNo is. NaNoWriMo, or the National Novel Writing Month, is where a writer determines to write a novel of at least 50000 words in just 30 days, and it runs from November 1 to November 30. Why take on such a monumental task? you ask. Well, for anyone that is a writer or wants to be one, you invariably have to write your thoughts down. The 30 days means that you have to write an average of 1667 words a day to complete the 50k by the deadline. In years past, I have struggled to stay up on my word count and have had to use Black Friday as my big catch-up day twice, once writing more than 10000 words in a day to bring me back in line with what I needed for the contest.
This year, however, I am planning on being different. I do not plan on getting behind. Since I have been writing daily (even if it is as little as 50 words a day), I do not plan on getting behind at all, and if it does happen, I will catch up on the weekends. My vision for this NaNoWrimo: Operation Blackheart: A Randolph Prescott Adventure. The premise: "What would you do if you knew someone was going to assassinate the newly-elected President? Would you stand by and watch, or would you get involved to stop it?"
My goal for this year is 60000 words, as well as working on my other two novels. Am I asking for problems due to lack of sleep? Maybe. But it will be fun to try, and that is why God made caffeine and energy drinks.
Has this inspired you to want to write, or to see if you can put 50000 words on a page in a month? Then click on the title of this post and it will take you to the NaNoWriMo website, where you can sign up and begin your quest for greatness!

I welcome your feedback on this or any of my other blogs. Please use the comments button below or shoot me an e-mail at

Until we meet again, remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Randolph squirms in his restraints, hoping that whoever tied him did not tie him as securely as they should have. Much to his chagrin, his hands and feet are quite secure in their zip-ties. He curses under his breath, before remembering a small plastic dagger strapped to the outside of his left ankle. Now, to get to the knife without causing too much disturbance, he thinks. Slowly, he tries to move his left hand from in front of his leg to the side, and after almost dislocating his shoulder, manages to get the hand to where he needs it to be. He slips his grip around the hilt of the blade and withdraws it from its sheath, and reverses the positioning so it is pointed directly at his wrist and ankle. Okay, here goes nothing, he thinks, before forcing his left shoulder out of joint and the blade up to slit the zip-tie neatly in two. Randolph stays as motionless as possible for a few moments to make sure his movements were not detected, despite the immense pain that radiated from his upper arm and shoulder. After nearly a moment, he slowly moves his right arm to brace his body as he slams his left shoulder back into joint against the belly of the chopper. The loud thud emanating from his bone on metal causes the guards assigned to watch him to turn around and see Randolph moving onto his hands and knees, trying to stop the tingling in his left arm. The guards are in shock at this development, and the one closest to Randolph moves to try to subdue him. Before he can do this, Randolph is on his feet and hurls the knife at the guard.
Being only five feet away, the guard is unable to move in time and the knife finds its mark in his throat. In shock, the guard drops his weapon and grabs his throat as the blood pours out around the wound. As the guard collapses to the floor of the chopper, Randolph quickly covers the ground between them and grabs the gun, and quickly sprays several bullets at the other advancing guards. One of the bullets misses its intended target and strikes the pilot instead in the back of the neck, killing him instantly. The pilot slumps forward on the throttle and the chopper lunges forward, throwing all the people in the back towards the cockpit.

Chapter Next: "We all fall down"

Having nothing to grip on to to keep him from being propelled forward, Randolph is thrown towards the front of the chopper along with the rest of his captors. He gasps in horror as three of them crash through the front glass and are sucked upward into the rotor by its updraft, their bodies ripped into a million pieces. After what seems like an eternity, Randolph hits the half door separating the back of the chopper from the pilot with his left hip, and his vision immediately fills with stars. Quickly he shakes his head to clear it of the pain and throws his right hand out wildly. He breathes a quick sigh of relief when it grabs the door handle and his momentum toward the front is arrested for a moment.
Randolph looks out the shattered cockpit window and sees the ground hurtling up to meet the chopper and he gropes at the bottom of the pilot's seat for one of the two spare parachutes. He finds it after several tense moments of fumbling for the chute, all the while his eyes not leaving the ground rushing upwards towards him. He quickly places a foot on the front of the cockpit and pulls the chute over his injured left shoulder, causing a second round of stars to fill his vision. He then uses his grasp on the door handle to propel him towards the side cockpit window, praying that his velocity would be enough to break the glass and carry him outside of the wounded vehicle. His feet slam into the glass and shatters it outward, and the sudden vacuum sucks him out of the chopper, wrenching his right shoulder out of socket as he is unable to release the door handle in time to avoid the injury.
Randolph grabs his shoulder with his left hand, and is shocked by another hand grabbing his. He looks over his right shoulder and sees Deebler McCleary staring back at him. Deebler's left eye is dangling from his head by its orbital nerve, and a rivulet of blood is flowing from the socket. "Randolph Prescott, I demand that you stand down immediately," Deebler calls out, but all that Randolph hears over the rushing wind as he plummets downward is "Rand cott, I de you down."
Randolph nods as he is headed downward rapidly, and pulls the ripcord and grabs Deebler's forearm with his left hand to make sure that Deebler does not continue the descent sans parachute. The upward force of the parachute opening wrenches the right shoulder back into place and Randolph cries out in pain.
Fifteen long minutes later, the pair are on the ground, and Deebler grabs Randolph's right hand with his left and slaps a handcuff on it. "Randolph Prescott, you are under arrest for twenty-eight counts of first degree murder, as well as treason against your country and conspiracy to detonate a weapon of mass destruction."
Randolph looks at Deebler in disbelief. "How can you say that? I just saved your life! If I was a heartless killer, I would have let you die. But instead, I saved your life, because I think you can help me find the man who did do this. But there is no way that I can do that in a jail cell. You can call and check on my credentials with the Bureau if you want. I am willing to wait," he says, putting his left hand on his hip and tapping his foot impatiently.
Deebler ponders the "offer" for a moment before swearing under his breath and uncuffing Randolph. "You had better not make me regret this, Prescott."
"Trust me, Deebler, you won't. I am sorry for the loss of your men, and I am sure that I can convince the Bureau to make sure that their relatives are taken care of, but right now we are both on the same side --- trying to find the person who is ultimately responsible for the destruction of Los Angeles. That was why you were sent here, right? To arrest me, thinking I was the culprit?" Deebler nods, and Randolph continues. "That's what I thought. Our top priority right now is to get your eye looked at, and then we can work together to find my girlfriend and by doing so, more than likely find the person behind the bomb. Sound like a plan?"
Deebler again nods before stating matter-of-factly, "But, know this, I have knocked you out once, and even with one good eye, I am still twice as fast as you are with two, you step out of line, and I will not hesitate to put you back in cuffs." Randolph smiles smugly and extends his hand and Deebler looks at it for a moment with a blank look on his face before asking, "What?"
"I need your phone."
"For what?"
"To figure out where we are and to call for pickup and evac, of course, I mean for real, brother. How long have you been in your line of work?"
"Three years, but I have never been apart from my company and never been more than two minutes from a chopper during that time. What about you?"
"Been out of the Marines for two years, and out of the Academy for six months. This was supposed to be my girlfriend and my first real getaway weekend, and instead I get this." Randolph looks back at his empty hand. "But us talking is not helping us get you to a hospital. Phone." Deebler pulls his phone out of his vest and places it in Randolph's hand. Randolph flips it open and pulls up the GPS app to triangulate their position. Quickly, he dials the number for the Sacramento office of the Bureau and asks to speak to the officer in charge and explains the situation to him. Several minutes later he hangs up the phone and looks at Deebler with a concerned look on his face.

Do you like what you have read? I welcome your feedback on this or any my blogs, leave me a comment below or send me an e-mail at

Until we meet again, remember that two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Valqis excerpt

Well, the creativity juices have been flowing on Valqis, and I figured I would share what I have written with you. This has been written in starts and stops over the last three weeks, so I welcome any and all criticism that you have for me. And fear not, followers of Randolph, he is not gone, I am simply contemplating what to do to get him out of his latest sticky situation.

Now, without further ado, Valqis: Reborn!

Maria nods and bows and quickly hurries out of the room. The queen waits for the door to close before she gingerly walks to her dresser and reaches for a set of prayer beads and begins to slowly chant a prayer to the Most High Diety for strength. She is on the third recitation when a knock is heard and she quickly puts the beads down and turns to the door. "Who wants to enter the queen's chambers?" she asks. "It is the midwife, your Highness. I understand that your child is wanting to enter the world tonight?"
"Yes," the queen responds with a hiss as another contraction wracks her body with pain. "I am afraid he isn't going to wait much longer. Please come in." The midwife enters the room, with Maria trailing a few steps behind her.
"Milady, I am here as well if you need me," Maria advises, staying in the corner of the room in the shadows.
"Thank you, Maria," the queen says, as the midwife takes her hand and leads her to the birthing chamber that had been constructed just off the queen's chambers. The midwife instructs the queen to lay down on the bed and spread her legs so that she can look and see where the queen is in relation to giving birth. The queen gives no objection, but instead quietly lays down on the bed. The midwife pulls the queen's robe up over her knees and nods her head in agreement. "Milady, you are correct in your assessment. It appears I arrived just in time. Your child will be here in a matter of moments. I need for you to push now as hard as you can." The queen complies and strains, letting out a scream as she pushes with all her might until her strength has given out.
The midwife reaches out and pats the queen on her left knee and the queen jerks back in shock. "How dare you touch me? You have no right! Don't you know that I could have you thrown into the deepest, darkest dungeon for the remainder of your days or worse for what you have just done? Why would you even think of doing such a thing?"
Maria hears the queen's tirade and pokes her head into the birthing chamber. "Milady the queen, may I say something on the behalf of the midwife?"
The queen considers this for a moment, and states, "You may, but do so at your own risk, as anything you say will now be putting your own life at risk as well."
Maria steps fully into the doorway and curtsies. "Thank you, your majesty. I am sure that she did not mean anything by touching you other than to assure you that you were doing well in your birthing and that was all. She did not mean to cause any unjust or undue problems. Is that not right?" The midwife nods and Maria continues. "Now, I believe you need to finish what was started as the child will not deliver itself, no matter how regal you are, so you need to listen to what the midwife has to say to you."
The midwife bows her head before the queen and speaks. "I apologize, milady. I was not aware that there was a protocol for touching and will request permission should I want to do so again. Now, I am starting to see the child's head beginning to show and need you to give me one more hard push and we should be through with the delivery process. Push, NOW!" The queen takes a deep breath and pushes again. The pain of the delivery causes her to let out a blood-curdling scream resulting in the windows of the palace rattling on the level that the queen is located on. "Milady, you are doing wonderfully, and you may take one more break, as the head and chest of your son is out and we just need one more push to finish the delivery. But you may rest for a moment, if you should wish." The queen nods weakly, and the midwife gets up and walks to one of the windows of the circular birthing chamber and looks at the crimson orbs hanging in the sky outside. The midwife shakes her head sadly before speaking again. "It is a shame that your son has to be born under the Warrior Moons, milady. I am sorry."
The queen's eyes are filled with rage and she screams for her guards. They are inside the room in an instant, swords drawn, looking for the threat to her majesty. "What is it, your highness?"
"I want this woman taken from my presence and tortured until the rising of Ropos, then beheaded for treason."
"Treason, milady?" the head guard repeats. "I am not sure that I understand."
"Oh, so now you dare to join her in her treasonous activity? She means to state that my son will not be a suitable king simply because he is born under the Warrior Moons. I want her out of my sight immediately and the church physician brought in to finish up the botched-up job that this woman no doubt has performed on my son." The guards, not wanting to cause any more trouble, quickly grab the midwife and drag her from the birthing chamber, the midwife screaming epithets and protests all the way out the door. When the door closes behind the last guard, the queen turns her head toward Maria and motions for her to come closer to her than her position in the corner. Cautiously, Maria moves towards the queen, cowering in fear as she moves. The queen, sensing Maria's fear, motions her over quicker, stating, "I mean you no harm, child, or I would have had you hauled off with that vile thing that you had brought in to deliver my dear sweet child. I need you to bring the cleansing oil from the church and reconsecrate this room before we allow the church physician in to bring my son into the world. Nothing bad can happen to him if the room has been consecrated. Now, GO!" Maria bows and runs from the room, and the queen lays back on the table, breathing as deeply as she can in her delicate state, inwardly cursing herself and wishing she had asked Maria to bring her the meditation beads in her dresser drawer to help calm her nerves and hopefully keep her son where he is until the physician returned. Oh, well, can't call her back now, just need to remember my meditation chants until she and the doctor return.
The queen has just closed her eyes and begun the first meditation chant, when a sound of rushing wind and water fills the entire chamber. She sits bolt upright on the table to see what is causing the disturbance and sees the king's chancellor, Putana Ahriman, standing in front of a sideways whirlpool of bluish-green fire. "Putana, you have no right---" she begins.
"Oh, that is where you are wrong, Elizabeth, you and I both know that I have every right to be here for the birth of my sons."
"YOUR sons?" Elizabeth snaps back, her voice growing more irritated. "You have no proof---"
Putana cuts her off with a wave of her hand and a mumble of a spell. "They have been crying out for me since you had your first birthing pain, but I was not able to get here until now. They know their father, and wish for him to deliver them, not some quack church physician." Putana walks over and pushes Elizabeth down harshly onto the bed, and shoves her robes up to her waist. "Ah, yes, there is one of my boys. Don't squirm, this will only hurt your mother for a moment." Elizabeth tries to scream, as Putana draws a ceremonial sacrificing blade from his belt, but the scream catches in her throat. He slowly slices into her belly and helps to guide the child out the birthing canal, and places him in a fold of his robe before reaching inside Elizabeth and pulling a second child out as well. He holds the secondborn aloft for a moment and turns him to face his mother, a sneer growing on Putana's face as he lowers the child into another fold in his robe. He looks at Elizabeth one final time and raises the blade high above his head and drives it into her chest. Elizabeth looks on in horror as he withdraws the blade and plunges it again, carving into her chest cavity. A moment later, Putana reaches in with his right hand and pulls out her still beating heart and raises it towards the heavens. "Your life for theirs, that's the way it works, my love. I am sorry." Elizabeth's hands go to her chest and she. . .

. . .wakes up screaming on the birthing chamber bed, her eyes searching the room for Putana or his portal, but not seeing either. Instead she sees Maria on her knees in a corner of the room chanting a consecration chant and two wetnurses standing at the ready for the church physician to deliver her son. All four of them stop what they are doing when Elizabeth screams and Maria is on her feet in a moment and at the queen's side, looking at the queen in concern. "Milady, are you okay?" she asks.
"Where is Putana?"
"With his Highness, last we saw him. Why does milady ask?"
"I want the guard doubled around this room and no one enters or exits without my written permission. Is that understood?"
Maria looks on, dumbfounded, but nods before bowing and running out of the room to execute the order.
The church physician gazes at Elizabeth with a semi-concerned look. "Is milady the queen ready to deliver the next King of the Hinterlands?"

Like what I wrote? Hated it? Eh? Drop me a comment or an e-mail at

Til we speak again, remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Writer's Block

Being a struggling writer is tough. Having to find time to juggle everything in life (family, work, church, extracurriculars, and writing), and invariably, it's the writing that finds itself pushed way back into a corner and a pile of dirty clothes thrown on top of it just so I don't see it and feel guilty.
Lately, however, I have found myself staring at the computer screen, trying to come up with the next sentence that will ultimately get my protagonist to the end and catch the "bad guy". Yes, I may have backed him into a corner this time, but in past times, that has never been a problem for me to work around. In times before, I have just lost my desire to write, and I have walked away from the page, for months at a time. Now, I have the desire, but the words just won't come to me.
This is where I am turning to you. I have NEVER asked for outside assistance, unless it was to edit or provide criticism, but I have been staring at this same passage all week and nothing is coming to me. I am asking for you, my readers, to give me some feedback on what the hero should do next. If I decide to use your idea, you WILL receive credit on the acknowledgement page when the book is published.

The passage is below:

Several minutes later, Randolph comes around and groggily opens his eyes and looks around at his surroundings. He tries to lift himself up from the ground, but finds to his surprise that his hands are ziptied to his feet in a rather uncomfortable position. He cranes his neck as far as he can to the left as he hears Deebler talking to someone, but unfortunately a pair of combat boots obstruct his view of the conversation. "Yes, sir, Mr. Thomas, we have detained Mr. Prescott and will be bringing him in for questioning in the next few minutes. Yes, sir, I understand. We are leaving now, sir." Deebler spins and faces the men, and speaks. "All right, men, orders just came down from the top. We are to load the prisoner up and take him back to the base." The men move in unison and five minutes later, all twenty men are loaded onto the chopper and it is cruising back to the Task Force headquarters setup twenty-five miles from where the smoldering remnants of San Fernando are standing.

Randolph's mind is racing the entire trip back to the base, trying to figure a way out of his current predicament.

No idea is too outlandish or crazy, as this is a futuristic thriller. I just need something to get my mind moving again and the plot back on track.

I thank you in advance for your help with this. Namaste.

Have a question, comment, or concern for me? Drop me a comment or an e-mail at

Til we speak again, remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Valqis: Reborn

I have been working on a seven novel epic for several years now off and on, mostly off however. LOL. A few days ago, I had a breakthrough with how to actually start the novel since it seemed to drag. Here is what I came up with:

The first of the Eduskuhtan moons are just beginning to rise over the horizon as the queen walks out onto the terrace of the royal palace. She looks at the moon and whimpers in shock and horror. Her handmaiden hears the noise and approaches her. "Majesty, is everything all right?" she questions.
"No, Maria, I am afraid that all is not right. My son is to be born tonight, and tonight is the Warrior Moons." the queen replies, motioning to the first blood red orb rising in the sky, and the sliver of the second beginning to peek over the mountaintop.
"Majesty, how can you be certain that he is to be born tonight?"
"The contractions have begun to manifest themselves, and I have a feeling that he will be here before the start of the next watch." The queen takes a deep breath, and exhales slowly. "In fact, they have been going on for nearly two watches now, and are becoming increasingly close. I think you need to call the midwife for me now."

Like what I wrote? Hated it? Eh? Drop me a comment or an e-mail at

Til we speak again, remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Slacker Returneth!!

Okay, so here is the deal. . . the reason why there hasn't been a blog from me on here is because, well, I had kinda gotten myself kicked out of my blogspot account, don't know how, don't really care how, about two months. I sent myself the password reset instructions and lost them too! Then I have had headaches and have not been doing much more than working out, work, and sleep, and. . . well. . .ya know the normal excuses. But enough excuses, I am back and ready to roll!

My writing spirit has returned and I am ready to pick back up my pen and pad (figuratively, of course, since most of my handwriting nowadays is completely unreadable). And the writing starts below:

Randolph lay face down amid the waist high California grass, the cold steel of the muzzle of military-issue assault weapon pressing into the base of his skull. The foot of the officer holding the gun is resting none too lightly on Randolph's lower back as another officer roughly searches Randolph for weapons or illegal drugs. Presently, the officer comes across Randolph's waist holster concealing his .44 Magnum with laser sighted crosshairs. "Sir," the officer with the boot in Randolph's back calls out, his gun depressing a little deeper into Randolph's neck, "we have something. I think he may be one of them!" Randolph tries to move, but the man presses both his boot and the gun deeper into his neck and back. "And as for you, scumbag, after what you and your kind did to SoCal today," he says, turning to Randolph, his finger twitching eagerly around the trigger, "I really don't need a reason to paint the ground, but please, give me one anyway. I'm begging." His head darts back between Randolph and where his commanding officer is walking towards him, not really knowing who to pay more attention to. Finally, he snaps to attention, as does the person searching Randolph, giving him an opportunity to scramble quietly to his feet and begin to move as steathily through the grass as possible.
Unfortunately for Randolph, the officer doing the search hears the rustle of the grass and spins just in time to see Randolph move out of sight and utters a shout and takes off in pursuit.
Randolph hears the shout and immediately leaps to his feet and begins to sprint, darting quickly over the guardrail and into the oncoming traffic of the northbound lanes, hoping that the officers would not shoot at him among innocent civilians. That hope was dashed moments later when he hears the whine of an M-17 bullet whiz just over his head and scrape the paint off the top of a 2029 Volvo M970.

Yea, I know it's not much, but it's not about quantity, but quality.

On other fronts, there have been exactly 3 headaches in the last 4 headaches, so it appears that the combination of weight loss, medication, and exercise is paying off for me. I am currently working out five to six days a week a minimum of 80 minutes a day, biking an hour of that on a stationary cycle and preparing for a 5K that is scheduled for Saturday, June 5. There will be a blog about that afterwards. . . God willing.
As of this morning, my weight was 188.7 pounds, so I have officially lost 29.8 pounds after being down to a recent low of 187.6 earlier this week (and which I will be back to by 5/31, if not lower).

I welcome your feedback on this or any of my other blogs. Please use the comments button below or shoot me an e-mail at
Until we meet again, remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quick weight update

Well, I have been counting my calories and working out in earnest for 37 days (I stopped taking the original medication which left me feeling sleepy on February 23) , and I can honestly say that I can see results. As of this morning, I am down 12.8 pounds from my starting weight of 218.5 on February 23. I am back comfortably into 36 pants and am starting to see a little give in them.
I am working out 3 to 4 days a week, depending on my schedule, at least 50-60 minutes at a time, burning at least 1250 calories each time I step into the gym.
As far as eating goes, I am not denying myself anything that I want. In fact, in the last week, I have had pork ribs twice, fried catfish, and Mexican four times. The difference is in portion control. I could have gone crazy and eaten everything on my plate and been sufficiently stuffed with any of the aforementioned meals. But, I didn't allow myself to do it. In fact, I was asking for a box after half of the ribs so I would have the pleasure of eating them again!
So, for those of you reading this, saying, "I don't know if I could do it," trust me, you can. It takes one small step, followed by another, and then another.
If you meant to lose weight this year, or start working out, it's not too late! It's never too late! I again challenge you, join me in this quest to make a better you. My only question now is: Who's coming with me?
I welcome your feedback on this or any of my other blogs. Please use the comments button below or shoot me an e-mail at
Until we meet again, remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dieting, Exercise and Headaches

Like most Americans, I made a resolution to lose weight this year.
I have always counted myself in pretty good health, and have never really had a need to go to the doctor, unless it was for my pinched nerve in my neck or an occasional sinus infection. So, when I started having problems with headaches late last year, I just popped a couple of Excedrin Migraine pills and kept on with my day. For the most part, the headaches would go away for a while.
That is, until January 1, 2010. Since then, I have not had a day that has not been marred by the presence of a headache. As a result, my determination to go to the gym every day kind of got shot. First was the simple fact that I did not want to go on days were I felt like total crud, then I went to my general practitioner and he prescribed something that "should reduce the headaches." Well, not only did the medication not reduce them, they left me in a state of perpetual fog, wanting to do nothing but sleep until the last possible minute.
Then people started offering suggestions: "It's your eyes." So I went to 2 ophthalmologists, both of whom advised that the headaches were not caused by eye strain. "It's got to be something to do with your brain." So I went a got an MRI and consulted a neurologist; only to find out the only thing that is in my head (other than a small amount of brain) was a small cyst in one of my sinuses, and both the neurologist and one of the ophthalmologists who actually specializes in headaches assured me that the cyst would not cause the headaches. "Go to a chiropractor." I have been five times since receiving this suggestion, and the headaches remain.
I took myself off all of my medication about 2 weeks ago, mainly because they were not doing what they were supposed to, and secondly the general practioner that I started the year with prescribed me another medication that I have not gotten filled mainly because of how leary I am of returning to the fog, and since I have stopped taking the medication, I have been to the gym 5 times, each time burning at least 800 calories on stationary cycle.
As of today, I am down 6.4 pounds for the year, and despite having a dull throb in my head, am determined to workout at least two or three times a week (depending on how many times a week I have chiropractor's appointments).
That is where you, my readers, come in. I need a accountability system. I have one on a website that I recommend heartily for anyone trying to get into better shape: One of my friends recommended the site to me last year during my what has become up till now annual attempts to lose weight. But I am tired of losing a few pounds, beginning to feel better, and stopping watching what I am eating or working out or both, only to have what I have lost come back, and usually bring along a few friends! So, the more accountability, the better I say.
The weight is coming off and staying off, this year! It is my determination that 2010 is the year that the weight comes off and with the exception of a pound or two, the weight is going to stay off, or if anything will come back in the form of muscle. So, in this the Various Meanderings of a Madman, on March 8, 2010, I am putting my flag in the sand and taking back my body. It will no longer belong to fat, or bad eating habits.

My only question now is: Who's coming with me?

I welcome your feedback on this or any of my other blogs. Please use the comments button below or shoot me an e-mail at

Until we meet again, remember, two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

review of Extraordinary Measures

A couple of weeks ago, I had the "pleasure" of seeing Extraordinary Measures. You will understand in a little while why I used the quotation marks around the word pleasure.
I had actually been looking forward to seeing this movie because of the trailers that I had seen. I am a HUGE Harrison Ford fan and a pretty big Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell fan, so the thought of all three of them together in one movie made me want to see the film.
However, being that this was not a action film, like Brendan and Harrison are normally cast in, the selection of this movie was soon determined to be a mistake.
The movie was rated PG, so I was expecting a movie with no swearing, a good plot, and a few heart rending moments, seeing as how it is based on a true story, and is the story of a family that has 2 children plagued with a disease that kills kids before they reach teenage status.
Extraordinary Measures can definitely tug at your heartstrings, as it sucks you into its web the moment that you sit down when you see the two kids in wheelchairs and hooked up to breathing tubes.
The movie, however, did not deliver on the no swearing that is normally associated with PG movies. I believe I counted 25 different swear words, and cringed on more than one occasion because of hearing a string of profanity. And it was not the "normal"(if I can use such a term) swear words associated with PG films; the only swear word that I did not hear was the f-word. Yes, you read that right; this PG film used basically the whole gamut of profanity (which included the actual words for bastige, heck, darn, crap, sob, and even God darn). Considering the fact that every time that you saw Harrison Ford on screen, he was swearing, it almost made me want to get up out of my seat and leave the theater and try to go see The Princess and the Frog. Now, if you don't know my stance on profanity in movies, please go read my blog entitled "Why, Hollywood, Why" and you will understand why I am offended by any profanity in movies.
Concerning the plot, it was a fairly straight-forward plot: parents want a cure for their children, one parent finds a doctor who has a theoretical cure, and they spend the rest of the movie trying to perfect it and release it so the parents' children can get better. And of course, the drama is there with problems with funding; one child on her deathbed. But, having said that, I had a hard time accepting Brendan Fraser as a viable dramatic performer. I believe this is his first movie that was not either a comedy or a action film, and it definitely showed. His attempt at being dramatic consisted mainly of him squinting up his eyes and saying his lines. Harrison Ford and Keri Russell, on the other hand, both gave fairly good performances, but they were brought down by being in the scene with Brendan.
All in all, this is a movie that will find its home on Lifetime or the Hallmark channel, and may warrant watching when it comes onto basic cable; but, I cannot in good faith recommend anyone buying this movie unless they have to have every movie that one of the main actors is in.

Plot: 7.5/10
Humor: 8/10
Family Friendly Language: 2/10
"Family Friendly" Violence: 10/10
Nudity/Suggestive Situations: 9.5/10
Overall Movie Rating: 7.4/10

Disagree with what I have to say? Please leave your comments below or send me an e-mail at

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2nd Syckosis excerpt

You have waited patiently for another excerpt from Syckosis, and here it is!

“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.” Randolph closes the phone and puts on the auto-pilot on the Prius and closes his eyes for a few moments to decompress from what had already been a stressful morning. No sooner had he closed his eyes and began to doze off to sleep then a proximity alarm sounds in the vehicle. His eyes bolt wide open as he sits up straight in the car, clutching the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles turn white. Randolph looks ahead and sees a wall of flame spread across his side of the interstate from where a gasoline tanker had lost control and crossed the median before flipping onto the northbound lanes of the road and exploding in flames. Randolph quickly swerves the Prius onto the grass on the right side of the road, and struggles to maintain control as the little hybrid bucks and jumps through the dry St. Augustine grass, all the while the flames spreading closer to the vehicle and beginning to lick at the blades lining the edge of the road.
After an eternity, Randolph manages to pull the car back onto the road and look at the carnage in his rear view mirror, breathing a heavy sigh of relief as he relaxes his grip on the wheel. He picks up his phone and quickly dials 911 for a fire truck and police to arrive and route people around the wreck, before resetting the auto-pilot and settling back in for an hour and a half nap between his current location and mile marker 442. Randolph’s sleep is troubled and light as his brain replayed the events of the morning over and over, and Randolph trying desperately to figure out what he did wrong to allow Morgan to be kidnapped.
He was into his tenth repetition of the events that morning, all with the same result as the original, when the car's auto-pilot's soothing female voice roused him. He rubs his eyes groggily and looks around at his surroundings. He lightly taps his right foot on the brake to disengage the auto-pilot and begin slowing the car as the sign announcing mile marker four hundred forty two appears just over the horizon. Randolph squints briefly, looking for the package that Morgan's kidnappers had told him would be there. He flips a switch and the neon green flashers come out of the top of the car and begin to flash. He slows the car to a stop as he eases off the side of the road right at the marker, and waits for a break in the traffic to get out of the car. He looks at his watch and breathes a sigh of relief. Fifteen minutes to spare, he says to himself, and looks in the sky for the chopper that was to meet him at the mile marker. To his dismay, there is nothig hovering overhead, not even a cloud. "That lying little piece of ----" he says, as he flips open his phone and begins to dial the number to the Sacramento office. "I would watch what I would say, if I were you, Agent Prescott," the muffled voice on the other end of the phone chides him, as he puts the ear piece to his ear. "How did you--- I dialed ---- okay, we need to set some ground rules here, Mr. Voice," Randolph snaps back. "I am at the rendezvous point as agreed upon with fifteen minutes to spare, now what?"
"My, my, aren't we a l-l-l-lttle impatient," the voice on the other end of the phone responds. "All right, m-m-m-my l-l-l-little boy scout, the box that you are to transport is behind the third bush to your right. But be careful, or it might explode, and we don't want to have to clean up boy scout off the road. Would be extremely m-m-m-messy."
"Third bush on the right," Randolph mumbles under his breath as he walks towards a scraggle of barberry bushes that had sprung up earlier that month. He pushes the brush aside and sees the package laying on its side, and a light gray smoke emanating from the far corner of the box. “Um, the box seems to be smoking. Should it really be doing that?”
“N-n-n-n-no. What color is the smoke?”
“It appears to be a light grayish-blue.”
“Then, I would suggest that you run, because I would say that in the next ten seconds, that package is going to explode.”

Chapter 4: “Tick-Tick-Boom!”
Randolph hears the word “run” and takes off in a full sprint away from the box. He had gotten about twenty feet from the package when it erupts into a fireball about the size of a small car, and the concussion of the explosion lifts Randolph off his feet and sends him hurtling through the air and onto the pavement about fifteen yards away.

More to come as it comes to me.

Do you like what you have read? I welcome your feedback on this or any my blogs, leave me a comment below or send me an e-mail at

Until we meet again, remember that two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Excerpt from Syckosis

All right, here it is: the next excerpt from Syckosis!

“Yea, you can connect me to Agent Menov,” Randolph responds after a few moments of silence.
“It would be my pleasure to connect you, please hold,” Rocky responds, and the musak begins again, this time playing a synth rock pop ballad that somehow had gained popularity earlier in the year among the tween and teen crowd. Finally, a man answers the phone.
“Agent Douglas Menov, how can I help you?”
“Doug, Rand Prescott, out of the Bethesda office. I am in Fresno right now, and need to know where the closest field office would be to my location.”
“Rand, I thought you were on vacation with Morgan? What are you doing asking for a field office location?”
“Doug, I don’t have time to go into it right now. Suffice it to say, we are down one agent due to someone that has access to our tracking technology taking advantage of what they could access. Now, can you get me the location or do I need to speak to someone else?”
Doug is silent for a few moments, as he clicks at some keys on his holoterminal. Finally, he speaks. “Well, Rand, if you would have asked me an hour ago, I would have told you Los Angeles, but given what has happened, you got two choices: Sacramento or San Fran. They are both about the same distance and time. You need me to send someone to pick you up?”
Rand replies quickly to that question. “No, but I will need a noteholo and an untraceable cell phone waiting for me when I get to Sacramento. And I also need someone to keep an eye on my locater because I have a feeling that there may be someone trailing me using my locater.”
Doug is silent for a few more moments at the announcement that someone could be trailing one of his co-workers. “All right, Rand, any thing else you need.”
“Actually, yes. Can you have the same person who is watching my locater also watch for Morgan’s? The people that took her appear to have the technology to deactivate her chip.”
“You got it, man. Be careful.”
“I don’t know any other way to be.”

More to come as it comes to me.

Do you like what you have read? I welcome your feedback on this or any my blogs, leave me a comment below or send me an e-mail at

Until we meet again, remember that two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Have you ever had a nonsense word stuck in your head for hours? Early this morning, I had the title of this blog pop into my head and it would not leave. For some reason, I even started spelling it in my sleep. When I woke up an hour ago, I realized the meaning of the word: the title of my next novel I was to work on.
In the following minutes, I quickly powered up my laptop and typed out a portion of the prologue. I thought I would share what was written with you now.

"People were milling around the Farmers' Market on the corner of Fairfax and Third Street that sunny spring morning in downtown Los Angeles. The market itself was brimming with people, waiting on the market to actually open for the first time of the year, as the first fruits and vegetables from the area had just arrived earlier that morning on the farmers' trucks and were still being arranged to their liking.
"No one seemed to notice the nervous young man of African-American descent trying to pus his way through the crowd. He kept looking around, constantly checking over his shoulder, convinced that at any moment a Los Angeles bike cop would tap him on his shoulder and ask him his business there, and thus thwarting the master plan. The youth kept one hand on his backpack strap of the backpack that had been securely fastened to his back, until he reached his destination and removed the hand from his strap and reached into his pocket and pulled out a detonator."

More to come as it comes to me.

Do you like what you have read? I welcome your feedback on this or any my blogs, leave me a comment below or send me an e-mail at

Until we meet again, remember that two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.