Sunday, October 14, 2012

Confusion and control

There has been a lot going on lately. Some of it has been confusing and some has taken control of my time. It seems like the trucking side has been really busy of late. One major event that has recurred, is that I have reached a major milestone in my trucking career. In September I was notified that I had successfully passed the one million mile mark with this company. It isn't the first million miles that I have behind me but it is the first time I have done it with the same company. Any time a driver achieves that milestone it is an accomplishment that they will always be proud of. The majority of drivers do it pulling loads that are pretty much the same width, height, length and within the normal weight range. Some of us take a little more difficult route to that mark. The majority of the loads I hauled to reach the million mile point were wider, taller, longer and heavier than what the normal truck hauls. So if I puff out my chest a little when I say that I have a million miles behind me maybe you will understand..... Just to make a point see the image below.
Not all of my loads are this big, but they are larger than the average truck which is parked next to me here.

While all this trucking was going on I also managed to get my next book out. It opened with a three day weekend free promotion for Amazon Kindle. While it did alright it wasn't the major hit that my western novella The Last Raid was. The book did respectably but not as well as I had hoped. This whole marketing portion of writing is the part that has me confused. It was also in the Science Fiction category which is new for me. However the reviews that I have received for it have been excellent. The new book Shade on the Run is a look at how the future could be. It deals with a Government that controls every aspect of your life through technology and drugs. There are those who also use technology to try and restore freedom and liberty. The main character is called Shade and his job is to help those who wish to escape the Government and find the ones who live free. Give it a look and if you read it and like it please post a review. I can use all the help I can get to get the word out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shade is coming

If you follow me on Twitter you may be wondering what the heck I am doing with the tweets on Government, liberty, and freedom followed by the phrase "Shade is coming." It is part of a marketing strategy for my next book Shade on the Run which should be available by September 21 2012. I have decided to also start putting these blurbs on my Face Book page too. It is in the final editing process at the time of this writing. The cover is done and once the editing process is finished it will be a simple matter of getting it formatted properly for Kindle and Createspace. Here is the cover.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What lies beyond.

Humans are a strange bunch, we come in all shapes and sizes, and with so many different personalities. There are those who love the safety of hearth and home, while others can't sit still. Some of us just have to see what is over that next hill. If it turns out to be an ocean then we will find a way to cross it. Our ancestors left the known world on the European Continent to explore the New World. When we had the East Coast settled we moved ever westward. Then came a time when we ran out of places to explore so we looked to the skies. Men like Verne, Welles, Heinlein and others stoked our imagination as to what the skies held for us. We watched the TV shows and movies that inspired us to reach higher than before. A few of us were lucky enough to actually "Slip the bounds of Earth" we called them astronauts. They were heroes who did what few could. They ventured into the unknown we call space.  Well we just lost one of them. He was the first human to set foot on the moon. How many children have lain on their backs looking up at the stars and thought "I want to go there?" Neil Armstrong not only went there he took many of my generation there with him. We watched entranced by the images on our TVs. These weren't scripted moments from the mind of some screenwriter, these were the REAL thing. Who can forget the thrill of seeing him take that final step off the ladder and onto the surface of the moon. What new frontiers will future generations face? Will they stop at the foot of the mountain, or the ocean shore? Or will they reach down inside themselves and find the urge to see what lies beyond?  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Drudge work.

I have been getting feed back from some of the beta readers who have been working on the new book. While the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, along with some very helpful recommendations. It has shown me that there is still some work to be done before publishing it. A couple of those suggestions have planted the seeds of another Shade book possibly. That will come later first I have to get this one out and moving. I have decided on the title for it. Shade on the Run should be up and available by the beginning of October, possibly sooner. For those who haven't read the short story Shade in the collection Rambling I will put it up on Amazon in Kindle format. As part of the marketing strategy I plan on a couple of free promotions on Amazon.

It is funny how people think the hard part is writing the book to begin with. The really hard part is the polishing story afterward. Learning how to rethink that passage that you are in love with, but just doesn't work. How to take criticism and be honest when they are right. Using beta readers has been an eye opening experience and one that I will repeat. I have had editors that have made some really uninformed comments about the subject matter I am writing about, so far I haven't run into that with my readers. Here is the tag line for the short story at least.
In a time when Liberty and Freedom have been lost, there is one man who can help you. His name is Shade.
Here is a look at the cover for the short story.

Let me know what you think.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Christmas in July.

Since I usually end up selling one or tow copies of the short story Christmas on the Mesa I have scheduled it for free promotion this weekend starting at midnight Friday night July 27 and running till midnight Monday July 31. If you download a free copy and like it please take the time to give it a short review.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rough Draft finished

What a week, I finished the first draft of my book which is now using the working title Shade on the Run, plus took care of the day job. I have a few beta readers pouring over the rough draft now and will take the time to work on it when I get their feedback. Until then it is time to go home to the ranch. Friends are coming up from Wyoming and it should be a great time, dogs, kids, food, and a lot of noise. Just before I release the book I will release the short story Shade as a single. That way everyone can read the story that inspired the book. They are separate stories but the short story sets the tone for the rest and explains how some of the characters met in more detail than the book does.
I am finding this discussion going on in the public square about the individual vs the community especially intriguing since it similar to the theme of my book. There are those who live on the Government grid and those who choose not to. While everyone gets help from others it is what the individual does with that help that matters. Yes it is about how smart you are and how hard you work. There are a lot of smart people and a lot of hard working people, but there are also those who don't work smart. Anyone could have taken the Government technology and created Microsoft or Apple, but it was Bill Gates and Steve Jobs that actually did it. I could try to publish all my books using a typewriter and xerox machine, but that isn't working smart. Using the tools available doesn't make anyone's achievements less or does it make them indebted to those who built the tools. If you paid for the use of the tools then what you did with them is your own creation and something to be proud of.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Crazy days of summer.

Well in the trucking side of my life summer is the busy time. Longer hours of daylight means more hours to run and less sitting time. Right now it is even crazier since we have made special plans for my vacation this year. Friends are coming up to the ranch from Wyoming and it promises to be a time of good food, shooting and who knows what else. Just by a stroke of luck it seems that I am on the way to finishing my next book too. So a lot is happening and that is part of the reason my posts here have been so infrequent.
The book is taking on a life of it's own and there are some ideas floating around for the one after that. While this one is a sci-fi dealing with a dystopian future the next one will be a modern day western. It will bring back characters from the short story Christmas on the Mesa and pair them with a veteran suffering with PTSD. It could get interesting and hopefully it will help in some little way. I am hoping to also include some real life options for dealing with the problems being faced by many vets today. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In Congress July 4 1776

When in the course of human events.... These simple words set things in motion that would take the world from outdoor plumbing, horse drawn wagons, and slow communication by courier to what we have today. They unleashed the entrepreneurial spirit so that people could profit from the fruits of their own labors. While we have stumbled and made some very shameful mistakes, we have also fought and died to try and right those same faults. Freedom was what allowed Edison, Ford, Carnegie, Jobs, Gates, and a million others to flourish and take us in a span of just 236 years farther than we had come in the entire history of mankind. I think of all of this every year on Independence Day, and I thank God that I was lucky enough to be born in the United States of America, where I can either succeed or fail according to my own efforts. Since I have recently ventured into the Independent Publishing phenomenon it is even more poignant this year. No longer is my ability to reach an audience for my writing being controlled by a few publishing houses in New York City, but only by my writing talent and marketing efforts. It is with that in mind I will close this post with the final sentence of the Declaration as a way of offering my own affirmation of the principles that we as a Nation have tried to adhere to.   And for the Support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honour.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The trucking side.

Some people have mentioned that this would be a great place to blog about my life as a truck driver. While it has given me the time to think up the stories that I write and has been good to me financially, trucking is not where I want to spend the rest of my life. After twenty-two years of it, there is a ranch in Washington State I would rather spend more time on, writing and staying in one spot for a while.

For those who are interested in the trucking side here is what has been going on for the last three weeks. First for those who don't already know I don't drive your average truck and trailer. What I do is referred to as Heavy Haul. There are varying degrees from hauling wide, tall, and heavy loads on trailers with as few as five axles (the same as the average truck and trailer) on up to monster rigs that require two trucks just to move the trailer. The trailer I have been pulling for the last seven years has an axle that flips up or down as needed for weight, it also stretches from as short as forty-eight feet (average length for most trailers is up to fifty-three feet) to as long as seventy three feet. Because of this feature I can end up in some crazy places with some crazy loads. My last three loads have been an example, they were identical fiberglass storage tanks, and when loaded onto the trailer my over all dimensions came out to, seventeen feet six inches tall (four feet taller than the average truck) fifteen feet six inches wide (seven feet wider than the average truck) and over all my truck and trailer measured in at ninety-one feet long a full twenty feet longer than the average truck. Here is what one of the loads looked like sitting next to an average truck.

Needless to say these were high stress loads. Most of the route was on small back roads to avoid low overpasses and other overhead obstacles. The entire route there was someone out in front of me with a pole set up to measure everything that I passed under including power lines and tree branches, another car followed behind me and for most of the trip there were three California Highway Patrol cars with us.

The first day of each run was spent loading the trailer and getting from Anaheim up to the high desert and the town of Hesperia. Second day was spent going the four hundred miles from Hesperia to a little town called Santa Nella. Once there it was spend the night and most of the following day till night and taking the load in after dark. Now dodging low wires is bad enough in the daylight when you can see them but it is much worse at night when they blend in with the sky. While the trips were rough in places we got them all done without incident. Each trip took almost a week to make because of the scheduling and other restrictions.  One of the side benefits of it all was that I managed to get a considerable amount of writing done.

There you have it a glimpse into the trucking side of my life.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

When it comes to our service men and women I am a big softy. It doesn't take much to get the water works flowing when talking about the troops. Part of that I think is that I remember those that I served with. Most of them are still around and for the most part we weren't in any really hot spots. Korea would get a little crazy from time to time but the Korean troops were outstanding at handling most situations that arose. I also recall seeing my brother in his uniform and thinking how brave and cool he was. Growing up I was always taught that this is the only country in the world where son of a single mother and of mixed race could make it to the White House as the President. There were Europeans who were saying that we should elect him because it would show that we were no longer racists. My reaction was along the lines of, "When the Prime Minister of England, or the President of France is something other than white let me know." I usually keep my politics off this blog, but seeing as how this is a day to remember the sacrifices of those who fought and died in service to this country I can't help myself. Personally, I hate the policies of this administration, but that doesn't mean that I don't see how the very fact that it exists, is proof that this is the only country in the world where it could happen. If it wasn't for those who have given the last full measure, then it would have been a much different story.

To my fellow Veterans who have given friends in the defense of America I can only say that you should not mourn that they died, for all men die, rather rejoice that they lived, and that they graced your life if only for a little while.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Quebec again.

I spent most of last week in Canada again. I went in through Michigan and drove across Ontario Provence which has its moments, but nothing quite like the stretch of Quebec that I had the pleasure of seeing this trip. In the past I have been pretty far up in the northern part of the Provence, but this trip was along the St. Lawrence Seaway, almost to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It was a long hard drive out there, with a lot of steep grades and of course a lot of downgrades to deal with, but the scenery was spectacular. At one point I thought I had gotten off route. As I came around a bend in the road it came to an end at the banks of a large river.One that didn't show up on my map or the GPS the company had installed in my truck. Fortunately there was a ferry there to take traffic across and it was no charge. Reaching my destination I found a quaint seaside town cloaked in a fine mist. It was a beautiful town and the people were friendly even if I didn't speak French. Along the way I passed numerous signs that were shaped like whales. I later learned that it is not unusual for whales to swim up the river and that there are whale watching tours. All in all it was a fairly good trip. My one big complaint about going to Canada is being out of touch, since my wife hates paying the roaming charges if I use my phone up there. I did use the time to work on the latest Shade tale while I was there.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


There has been a lot going on since leaving home. Mainly trucking but some writing too. Still working on the Shade sequel when I can find the time and inspiration. I have also run into a dilemma with another author, who has written a really good book. In my opinion with a few corrections it could be a really great book. He didn't ask me to read his book so this is all on me. It is just one of my personal quirks. As a writer I can be a bit touchy about my creations and I would never knowingly trash another persons work in public. If I see something that really bothers me enough that I feel the need to comment on it, I will do it via private means. With regard to my work, I try to do as much research as I can before putting it on the page. Before anything I write hits the list at Amazon or anywhere else it is read by a number of people, who are reading it for the express purpose to see if I got it right. If there is something wrong I want to know it so that I can correct it before it is published. I only wish that some other writers would do the same. There is a certain military author, who I am told is very good when writing about the Armor or Artillery, but his one book about a Special Forces Unit was so full of mistakes that I haven't picked up another one of his books. I hope that other authors will take the time to do their research. One of the reasons that I read the authors that I do is that most of them are very good at getting the facts right. Some like Brad Thor make me keep the laptop close so that I can check what he is writing about. He has always had it right so far. Others like Dean Koontz even when he is making things up he keeps it pretty close to reality. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Back to work

Actually it is more like back to my routine. All the things that were broken on the truck are now fixed. While the honey-do list didn't get completely finished a major portion of it is done. There is something very gratifying about working on your own land. Slowly but surely we are getting it cleaned up and the landscape looking better all the time. Part of cleaning it up includes yarding downed trees out of the woods. These trees have been down now for a year or more and will be cut up for firewood later on this summer. Our tractor isn't that big so we ended up leaving some of the downed timber to be pulled out later, when we can get a larger machine in there. While leaving them laying would be easier, it also would provide fuel if we ever get a fire up there. Most people don't understand the need to thin the timber and clean out the deadwood, but it is all part of owning property in timber country. It also keeps me thinking about how it was so much harder for our ancestors who had to do it using horses, mules, and oxen. When I think about how hard it can be to find time to write on the road, I wonder how much harder it would be at home, with all the work that needs to be done there.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rambling promotion.

When I wrote my first book I used a publisher and while it wasn't a disaster, it wasn't exactly what I had envisioned. Then I stumbled across a short story program run by Amazon. Participating in the Amazon Shorts program you might say was my introduction the the indie market. Amazon either rejected or accepted your work, editing and other technical chores were strictly the responsibility of the author. They provided cover art and that was about it. While the program was fun to be a part of, it didn't last long. It did however allow me to move all of those short stories over to Kindle and to finally put them all together into a single volume. I once again went the publisher route, but used a different publisher. This has been a much better experience I must say. For one thing she is receptive to ideas from her authors. Which is why we decided to try this promotion for the book Rambling, thanks to seeing a measure of success with a similar give away I did with my novella The Last Raid. So as of 12:01 tonight April 24, 2012 you will be able to download the Kindle edition for free. it will be free for the next three days and the promo will end at midnight on April 26th.

The book contains thirteen short stories most of which could be considered westerns, a couple of them are more sci-fi, two of them are autobiographical, but all of them are safe for the whole family to read and enjoy. Four of these stories are only available in the book. So please take the time to download it and read it. If you like it be sure to pass the word to everyone you know.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Home again.

It was a long hard trip, and a lot of things went wrong, but it is over now. I unloaded in Oregon yesterday then spent most of the rest of the day getting the truck taken care of in the shop in Spokane. My wife came to get me and waited with me. The problem was that we had work that had to be done at one shop before taking it to another shop to finish the repairs. Thankfully that is all over now.

So now the sun is rising behind the pines, fir, tamarack, and aspen outside the window, Scout the mighty Trucker Pup, is curled up on the floor nearby, my coffee is steaming in the cup next to the computer, so it must mean that it is time to write. Well then off I go to a future version of Seattle, where rain is the least of the problems. Trying to get the second Shade story completed, but it is going to take some time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Inspiration from a song.

I was just listening to a song by the late Rodeo Champion and Western singer Chris LeDoux. It reminded me of where I got the inspiration to write one of the short stories in the book Rambling. The phrases that caught my attention were "Storm clouds are building above the timberline, lightning flashing across the mountain side." As someone who grew up on the Front Range of the Rockies, these phrases just reached out and grabbed me. They also made me wonder what it must have been like for our ancestors when one of these storms came rolling down out of the mountains and on to the open plains. I have seen them now when I have a place to wait them out safe, sound and dry and they are awe inspiring examples of nature's raw power. Can you imagine what it must have been like trying to find shelter back in the time before fences, highways, and even in some cases wooden buildings. My thoughts on it are in the short story "Storm" in my book Rambling. The song that inspired it? Call of the Wild by Chris LeDoux a true cowboy, and a great songwriter. It would be interesting to hear some other writers share similar stories.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring is here and the weather is getting nicer, so it is time to take care of some of the chores that have been put off because of the weather. Time to get into the nooks and crannies to get all that dust that has been building up all winter long. Making sure all of the cobwebs are removed and taken out with the rest of the built up debris. Then maybe after that I can get down to some serious writing, once I get my head cleaned out, or I could clean the truck.

Happy Easter everyone.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Desperation or guidance?

Last weekend I tried a marketing experiment. As I have noted here and elsewhere I have very little time to do the things I need to do when it comes to getting my work out there and moving. In a move that was either sheer desperation, or Divine guidance I took a chance and put my novella The Last Raid up for free. That's right it was free, the cost was nada, zip, zilch or zero. At first I was just amazed as the copies went flying off Amazon and onto computers, Kindles, iPads, and smart phones around the world. Some went to the UK a few went to Germany, and one even went to France. The title spent most of the weekend at either the number 1 or 2 spots on the free list. But what did it all mean in the long run? Since the promotion ended Tuesday morning my story has made a steady climb up the charts and has spent the majority of the time in the top ten titles on the Kindle Westerns list and on the Westerns list for all books. So it has been ranking right up near the top of the list that includes all paperbacks, hardbacks, and Kindle books. I have jokingly said that you can now call me a bestselling author. The surprise of it all is that I really am a bestselling western author. As for the question of desperation or guidance, I'm going with guidance. Along the way I have had a lot of help and the biggest help of all is my wife Polly, without her encouragement none of this would have happened.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


It has been a wild week, fighting with the paperwork to get back into the U.S. from Quebec. Dealing with rude customs officials at the Port of Baltimore. Spending time with a friend and fellow writer Robert Bidinotto and seeing the movie Act of Valor, which was amazing. It also included taking a chance and making use of an Amazon kindle promotion program which allows me to offer free downloads of one of my published pieces. So I chose to make The Last Raid available for free. The offer started at midnight on Friday and will end at midnight on Monday. The response has been wonderful with over 6000 downloads (at the time of this writing) in the U.S. and more in UK, Germany and France. Now if it will turn into paid sales or not is another question. The story has been at the top of the best seller (is it really a best seller if it is free?) list for Westerns since Friday afternoon spending the majority of that time in the number one slot. When counting all of the free downloads available it climbed as high as number 42. The big hope is that this kind of exposure will get the attention of those who buy e-books and they will not only buy this work but others that are available. Only time will tell how it will all come out. I have two days left to promote my work for free and have set it up to make the short story Welcome Home available to coincide with a Face Book event Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. It was written as a tribute to those veterans I served with who had been in Vietnam so it fits with the whole idea behind the event.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Can I get some cheese?

What is the difference between a truck driver and a puppy dog?
The puppy dog quits whining eventually.
The passing of my 59th birthday just happened and I have been doing a lot of whining, at least in my mind. I haven't been vocalizing it but it has been on my mind. Then I see something that takes my breath away and helps change my attitude. Since the first of the year it has been one thing after another to go wrong. Nothing really major but a lot of little stuff. TV going out on the truck and things like that. Since I only use the TV to watch movies I can do that on my computer. Just not as well. Money that has been planned for one thing now ends up going to replace the TV. Along with that I have been busy as all get out on the road. Then today it happened, one of those extraordinary things that is both inspiring and aggravating. Inspiring because of it's beauty, aggravating because I don't have the time or place to stop and photograph it.
It happened as I was driving through the Columbia River Gorge heading east on the Oregon side. It had been snowing lightly, occasionally changing to rain with ice, all of which can be beautiful, until it sticks to the road or messes up your windshield. The storm seemed to be moving slowly eastward with me. Since the storm was much slower moving than I was, it wasn't long till I reached the edge where the storm ended and the sun was shining. Something caught my attention and I looked out at the Columbia River, the waters deep green in color with white capped waves as the wind fought against the natural current of the river. There it was, one of the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen. For miles it hung there just outside my driver's window as if it were following me as I drove.
Trucking has been a hard life in many ways, but it has also been a great life. I have tried to capture some of the magic that I have had the pleasure to see, thanks to trucking over the years in some of my stories. Some are just beyond words. One of the biggest disappointments I have had is that pulling over to photograph these things is almost impossible due to parking area and, or time constraints. Some day I will find the way to do just that pull over and play with my camera for awhile. Until then I will have to just keep doing what I have to until I get to the point I can do what I want.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Passing of a friend.

In high school he and I were almost inseparable, then I ran off to California and ended up joining the Army. The adventures he and I had dreamed of around those summer campfires in the mountains were never to come. Our lives took different roads, but in a time when I really needed friends he and his family came into my life. What I learned from them about family was very important to my later life. His sister was the one to inform me of his passing. While we hadn't seen each other in years the memories that we created during those few years of high school will live on. Death is a part of life, yet it is always a surprise when it happens. To his three children who survive, all I can say is that your father was an important part of my life in a very positive way. He was willing to be friends with the kid from the Group Home, who had no family close by. We camped and dreamed around a thousand fires, all the time making plans for the future. Vic even though life lead us down different paths know that I will always cherish those dreams of our youth. I hope your soul was in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knew you were gone. May the adventures your physical body could not handle here on Earth be yours now for eternity.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Country Folks will survive.

Recently there has been some attention given to those that the media has dubbed Preppers. These are people who are preparing for an uncertain future. They are storing food, medicines, and yes guns and ammunition. Living in the country as I do when I am home, this only makes sense to me. I was in Denver during the Christmas Blizzard of 1982. The town was paralyzed for three days, every grocery and convenience store were picked clean, and all the shelves were picked clean. One person I know was trapped in his apartment with no way to get his insulin refilled. One of the conversations I have seen online had to do with taking the supplies from the Preppers by violence if necessary and that violence spilling out into the countryside. While that scenario may make for a good Post Apocalypse scifi movie the reality has a few flaws. First of all is the fact that people who live in the country tend to be armed and proficient with those arms. They hunt and fish regularly and hit what they aim at rather than holding the pistol sideways because it looked cool on TV. Add to that an intimate knowledge of the terrain and being used to dealing with hardships, the Country Folk have the advantage over those who live in the city. Most of those who would become the roving gang types are not really comfortable outside the city. They may venture out on occasion but will be met with stern determination. A good example of how it would most likely happen can be found in the book Granny Boo by Phil Whitley. People who know the land and understand it will always be able to rise from what ever is thrown at them. It is in their DNA.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Technology and Freedom

When I wrote the short story Shade to be included in the book Rambling I was playing with ideas that have been used before, but I wanted to give it a little different spin. In most stories with dystopian societies it is the Government that has all the best tech. What if the techs didn't like the idea of technology running everyone's life? Freedom has always offered the best chance for everyone to advance, so in my story it is the rebels who have the best tech. It was so much fun to write that I am working on the next episode in the lives of Shade, and Sieda. It will still be taking place in a world that is a cross between Demolition Man and 1984 but with a much more advanced and sophisticated underground, called the Sub-Gridders because they live just under the grid. They have access to the grid and all of the good things that technology brings when used to advance knowledge and freedom instead of being used to control the masses. This post was inspired by the story of a U.S. Senator who was the victim of technology this week at an airport. Some say that the machine was making a random pick to find the next person for extra scrutiny instead of relying on a human to do it. Now that is scary. Will we become slaves to our machines or will we be their masters?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First post of 2012

Wow! I can't believe that January is over half gone and I haven't posted here yet. Two back to back trips to Canada with no connection is part of the cause, but only part. There has been a lot going on just nothing really interesting. I am working on a sequel to my short story "Shade" and it is taking a while to get it really flowing.

Last year was tumultuous to say the least, and this year is off to a bit of a rough start, but usually that portends a good year. So hopefully I will be able to get two of my New Year's resolutions taken care of by finishing not only the sequel to "Shade" but also another piece I am working on off and on which will bring back the characters from "Christmas on the Mesa" which continues to sell even though the Christmas season is over.