Category: Personal

Happy Halloween

Trick or treat, smell my feet… Happy Halloween to all my readers. Ever wonder where the holiday got it’s start? Look no further than the Celtic peoples. I could tell you more but the Library of Congress has a great history in their American Folklife Center. So let your thoughts tumble and turn tonight. Dance with the restless dead as they make one final crossing. And if you see a black cat cross your path pick him up and give him a big squeeze for me.  

A Story in Ink and Skin

While the internet may be abuzz about some other tattoo story (NSFW) I had already drafted this piece; as in all things timing is everything. This past week I spent my tenth anniversary with my wife in Hilo Hawaii. While we had many interesting adventures, climbing a volcano, kayaking along the Kohalla Ditch, speunking the Kaumana Caves and even riding a zipline over ravines and waterfalls, one of the coolest adventures came when we swam up along side a sea turtle while snorkeling. When my wife decided to commemorate the trip with a tattoo, she wanted an image of a turtle. While my wife talked to the artist at South Seas Tattoos I read up about Polynesian symbols in tattoos. Long story short I decided to occupy the seat next to my wife.

As you can see from the picture my design is a tribal design and owes much to the fabulous artist Matt who took my ideas and ran with them. I am a bit particular with tattoos, even though I enjoy looking at some of the odd stuff people immortalize on their bodies over at WTF Tattoos. For me, a tattoo must mean something and contribute to my life story as recorded on my body. The turtle design was a natural. The turtle itself is a symbol of long life and fertility. I chose the gear pattern on the shell to commemorate my most recent novel, a Steampunk adventure. The gear consists of ten teeth to represent the ten years of my married life. The spiral shapes inside the teeth are a Polynesian symbol for water. Water has a long history as a symbol for change and movement as well as close ties to the spirit realm where water is often seen as the gateway between this life and the next. Hence there are more waves and spirals in the center of the shell. In addition is a spiral sea shell, another Polynesian symbol,  in this csse for prosperity. Taken together all of these symbols come together in a totally unique artwork that tells the story of the past week, as well as the last ten years and the promise of years to come. I couldn’t be happier with how it came out.

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My Other Pastime

In addition to my writing I also make time for playing guitar. I am a member of the Desert Blues Project, a Blues band based in Goodyear. We have some shows coming up in March that I wanted to let readers of this site know about and encourage you to stop by.

Friday, March 9 @ Next Coffee Co. in Glendale from 8:00 to 10:00 pm

Saturday, March 17 @ Ground Control Verrado in Verrado from 5:00 to 9:00 pm

Saturday, March 24 @ Augie’s Sports Grill in Goodyear from 4:00 to 7:30 pm

To get the latest information on the band or here some of our music visit our site http://desertbluesproject.com

Meet the Author Event

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Yesterday was the first Meet the Author event for the West Valley Wordsmiths. By rough count we had some 35 people in attendance. Quite the turnout. The majority of people there were fellow writers interested in self publishing. Colin, Eveline, Gale, and I were able to give them 4 unique perspectives on the self publishing process. Oh, and we answered some very good questions. I think everyone came away more informed and a bit inspired. I know I did. We hope to be announcing more events in the near future. Check back here or visit our site http://westsidewordsmiths.wordpress.com/ for information as we have it. A big thank you to the staff of the Avondale Library for such a great time.

Why I Have Given Up on Getting an Agent

“In my day all writers had agents, it’s how it was done and we liked it.”

“Thank you angry old man on the porch, but this is a new day and a new way.” I used to spend my time writing a story and then pouring through the Writer’s Market for journals to send it to. I never did get very far, though I did place a couple stories in some small labor of loves. As I moved up to novels I followed the same pattern. Working to finish one and then spending months working over a query letter and synopsis. Then onto the Guide to Literary Agents book. Eventually, I realized something. All the time I was spending looking up agents and mailing out 30 to 40 letters and receiving back only half, (mostly thanks but no), was time I could have spent working on my next novel.

E-Books to the rescue. Well, not quite. There always has been an option to self publish, it used to cost much more and there weren’t many channels for distribution. Fortunately that has changed. Since appearing on the scene, (web),Create Space, Lulu.com, Kindle Direct Publishing and B&N Pub It have given everything that a self publishing author needs; the means to publish and a place to sell your work.

The thrill for me is writing. No, I am not some frustrated artist spiting himself to make a point. I enjoy creating stories and giving life to interesting characters. It would be nice to make buckets of money doing it but that is not the reason I do it. If I can get my works out where friends and family can see them, be impressed and hopefully buy them I am happy. I know my sales will never rival the Pattersons and Meyers out there but they don’t need to to satisfy my ego. Once I realized that, I realized I no longer needed an agent and you know what? It is a nice burden to have lifted from my shoulders.

 

New Tattoo

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The wife and I spent yesterday afternoon in Scottsdale where I received my second tattoo. It’s a sweet little guitar that I drew up. I had been thinking of something similar for a while. My thing with tattoos is if you’re going to go through with it they have to mean something deeper. This one does.