Acquire and Defend

Squirrels and rabbits below my treehouse fill a stash and then guard it. Sparrows chase hawks lurking near their nest. Observng my own bio-psychology, I feel different emotions attached to “gathering” and “protecting.”

Gathering gives a rush of pleasure. Senses are heightened, the “looking for and finding” sends a little endorphin pulse. Future behavior wants to replicate that little stroke.

Protecting follows a pulse of fear. Potential loss flairs as a form of anger, behavior aggressive. Successful protecting  may not reenforce this behavior, the fear impulse seems more primal. It takes a while to get over loss of love, wealth, … Read more…

Oligarchs own America

It’s too late. They won.

Revelations about the National Security Agency spying on citizens by collecting phone records and Facebook messages, snooping on us via the Internet, finally brought the issue to light.

But the real story is exposed by connecting the dots. Edward J. Snowden, the man who leaked the NSA spying, didn’t work for the NSA. He worked for a corporation, Booz Allen Hamilton, whose vice-chairman was a former head of the NSA. Like using mercenaries in Iraq, our government has subcontracted security, and gives corporations powers greater than those of any individual citizen.

Corporations doing the work … Read more…

Music and Blues

Scot Vine shared a Facebook Post: “Everytime Bohemian Rhapsody starts playing… I’m not satisfied by only singing the lyrics… I have to sing the opera voices. And also the guitar part.”

Yah, I get that.

Other songs that compel me to turn the volume way, way up and sing or dance alone in my loft: “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, sung by Jeff Buckley or just about anybody else, is still at the top. Janis Joplin. Amos Lee. “One and Only” by Adele. “No Other Way” by Paolo Nutini. There are many, many other on the list that appears to … Read more…

Next step

Chalice is finished. There are still a couple of important comments to come in, but rewriting the conclusion is finished. First responses have been very positive. Proofreader edits will be entered by the end of next week.

Finished… well, the work of the writer is finished. Work of the author continues: Legal considerations remain; the book needs to be formatted for Amazon and uploaded; I need to format for print then get it printed; and I need to hire a publicist. Actually, those are not the work of author, but part of my work as publisher.

I wish my squeamishness about … Read more…

Eagle dance

Raptors regularly fly over my ridge, but I was startled yesterday when a mature Bald Eagle flew about 20 feet over the peak of my tree house. I ran from one room to the next to keep it in sight.

I love the way pelicans skim waves, gulls maneuver in their scavenging, startled owls silently glide away, crows play in a breeze. But the effortlessness of a Bald Eagle is a wonder all its own; the huge bird floats with intention as if gravity has been conquered by an act of sheer will.

Then that eagle was joined by another.

Read more…

New and improved

“Chalice” is getting another conclusion. A reader whose involvement in the story was deep and thorough pointed out a flaw that lessened the book. The ending felt rushed, he said, and he was exactly right. When that part was written, I was anxious to have the writing of it over.

Few things disappoint me more when reading than a book where the author copped out or “gave up” at the end. And some great authors have given me this feeling, as well as a lot of movies that went through a test market process and give “feel good” rather than … Read more…

Need for speed

The decision is made. No racing this year. The money is going into getting Chalice out, printed and on Amazon, on the street. That’s final. No. No way, not going to happen.

But Jake’s my Number One Fan. He was pretty important in my being out there last year when money was tight. When you have a fan like Jake, you take the question of hanging up the helmet pretty seriously. I’m looking right now at the model of Yellow Jacket he and his dad built together.

Yellow Jacket gave me everything she had in that last race, probably down 30 percent … Read more…

The verdict is… mixed.

In so many ways I can’t imagine a better process for vetting a book.

I sent out nine hard copies and about nine electronic copies of Chalice. Some readers could not get past the “letters” style of the book and didn’t make it past page 30. Six readers finished the book, all of those enjoyed the writing, and four of those were were engaged in the story and  helpfully found some flaws that I can correct.

There were many deeply personal reactions, which both surprised and gratified me. A couple of readers did not like the female main character. Another said he … Read more…