Monday, December 14, 2009

My Good, Good Friends

Recently, I've had a bout of bad luck that even my therapist could not explain away. I attributed it to karma, bad luck and those little gray guys from UFO's, but nothing could assuage my fears and anxieties until I realized that I was not the only one with troubles. A very good friend of mine has been having terrible troubles at work, similar to my own, but even worse! She has been going in early, staying late and worrying that her job might be in jeopardy. At least, my day (night) job is not going anywhere. If anything, there could be even more job security for me in these trying times when we can expect more crime, more corruption and more people flocking to prison expecting free room and board. My friend's situation made mine look less troublesome. At least, I know I can depend on my job to remain steady until I choose to leave it.

Another friend of mine has also had some very trying problems both at work and at home. Trying to balance the home life, family and friends against a stressful job where co-workers have been making life harder than it should be for such a good-hearted person. Most of my own problems are self-inflicted. Not so, my friends' problems. It brings to mind the old adage about greener grass, wetter water and slimier slime (depending on what you might find desirable). I find myself reminiscing about happier times as the holidays converge on us, but were they truly happier times or simply times less fraught with responsibility and knowledge? Is it not very true that ignorance is bliss? The older we grow, the more we know, and the more we wish for simpler times when we were a bit more gullible, a bit more adventurous and a great deal less respsonsible.

Like the little hamster's wheel, we go round and round in endless cycles ever hopeful that our next cycle will bring happier days, more sunshine and laughter.

Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year. Drink a toast to me and I will remember you in my dreams of tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

A while back when gasoline prices were high (much like they are today), I was tempted to buy a motorcycle to drive to work. But caution and pictures like this one made me change my mind. I mean, if this is what motorcyclists have to expect, then hey! It's not for me. I've been away from my blogs for quite some time and thought I'd best get busy before I forget how to write these wonderful little blurbs. All is well, or at least as well as can be expected. Currently, I'm working on Book XVI: Omar the Prophet in the Red Cross of Gold Series.
I haven't had the time to do much editing lately what with all the exciting news on the TV distracting me. I mean how can I concentrate when Tiger Woods might be breaking up his marriage? Great Scot!! What will I do without Elin or Erin or Elaine or whatever as his wife? I'll have to make major adjustments.... tsk, tsk.
And then there's the money left over from our last greatest finanacial debacle in Washington. What to do... what to do... How should we rush out like idiots and spend all that money we didn't have to start with again?! Hmmmmmm.... let's see....
And then there's Global Warming. Geeshh, it was only a few months ago that the Russians were happy that the Artic ice-pack was melting. It would be good for shipping lanes that would open up between Russia and all that marshy, swampy former tundra up in northern Canada. Don't they realize that the Ice Road Truckers will be out of business and they won't be able to regale us with their witty, philosophical statements like "If that feller don't get the bleeeep, out of the bleeeeping bleep bleeper road, I'm gonna have to get ooot of my truck and kick his bleepity bleep bleep bleep!"
And what of the scandal about Human caused global warming? I mean really, how in the world is that people do not understand that everything is NOT "all about me! or us as the case may be"? Sorry, we just didn't create everything... that was God, I think. And besides, is it really such a secret that global warming causes (triggers) Ice Ages? Have we not been preparing our children for the upcoming big freeze by showing heart-warming cartoon movies about former Ice Ages where mammoths and saber-tooth cats become close buddies and pals? What can I say? What can I do?
All I can say is that I voted for the other guys. So shoot me. Next time I vote, I'm going to vote for the other guys again... I don't care who they are.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Prince of Persia

I heard from a dear friend that the Prince of Persia trailer looked extremely good or in her words "It was hot." or "He was hot." I'm assuming she meant the Prince. Anyhoo, I went to find it and discovered that it is 305 days before it premieres and the trailer was nowhere to be seen. I finally found it listed under New Zealand and went all the way there (cyberspacically) only to be told in a very unfriendly manner that the trailer was exclusively for New Zealanders. I felt totally confused and confounded by this obvious discrimination against the entire rest of the world!? So, I'm not good enough to watch a New Zealand trailer for a movie that's almost a year away from premier? Ha! I bounded back quickly and watched several different trailers that were not nearly as snippety as that one.

You may have noticed that I included one of my favorite fellows in this blog and if all goes according to my normal fate in this life, someone will report me and the picture will be pulled or I will be put in cyberjail or something.

Yes, Penguins of Madagascar contain some of my favorite people (err animals0. If all else fails to cheer me up, I can always turn to a DVR'd episode of the PoM and poof! I'm laughing. I'm happy. And nothing else matters. I'd like to say that "I liked them before I even knew them!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Something Special

I had a very pleasant experience yesterday. I had breakfast with a dear friend of mine at IHOP and she presented me with a Halloween gift.

Its a pumpkin shaped bottle of Peach Mojito Mixer. Very funny and yummy. In keeping with the theme... Halloween... we had the Pumpkin Pancakes. Also yummy. We talked of many things important and non-important, but the main thing is that we talked and we had a good time. Now I have this pumpkin-shaped bottle full of mixer and every time I look at it, I am reminded of my good friend and IHOP pumpkin pancakes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I'm pretty sure that this is Chinese, but it could be something else. The Red Star on the yellow hat is a good clue, but you never know.
I like little things and I like to attribute human characteristics to animals. There is a fancy terminology for that, but I can't remember what it is now. The frog looks like he's smiling and waving. Makes you wonder.
I like little things. I have a lot of little things in my house and I'm always attracted to tiny little objects in shops and such. I fail to understand how we can manufature such little things, some of them so small we can't even see them. Nanotechnology it is called. I remember the first time I heard the word 'nano'. It was on an episode of Star Trek, but I don't remember which series. Some sort of nanites were attacking the ship and the crew. Of course, they were defeated, but I thought they were fascinating (pardon the pun). But now I'm off the subject completely.
The frog in the hat. This put me in a strange frame of mind when I saw it. "I has a hat". It made me realize for the first time that animals own nothing. They not only own nothing, they do not need to own anything. I've tried to imagine what that would be like to own absolutely nothing and I think it must equate to true freedom.
I heard something on the radio yesterday that a man called Lord Mountain or some such from England... one of the lesser nobility. Anyhoo, he was speaking about America and he said that our President is about to sign something that would end American Freedom forever. It has to do with Global Warming and Carbon Emissions. I listened to it with a feeling that things really are about to change forever. That things are always changing... forever changing. I changed the station and there I heard something equally disturbing. Our President has plans for regulating the Internet. Hmmmm. Regulating? Don't we have enough regulating now?
Let's change something back once in a while. Let's take a restriction off, I thought.
Then I looked on the internet news and saw something about Obama decriminalizing marijuana. I didn't even read it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Astonishing Revelations

Grandchildren are the most wonderful creatures. They certainly make you sit up and take notice of what you may have caused inadvertantly to have been unleashed upon the land. My own grandchildren are both less than five years old. Between the two of them they count about seven years total, but they seem to have life down fairly well already. How is it that one of such a venerable age as myself can be so intimidated by just speaking on the phone to such an elvish little creature that I am left speechless. The conversations are very mature in the sense that I find them very one-sided with room only for a few 'Yeahs' and 'Nos' and 'Oh, reallys?' on my part while the words gush out from the other end of the line covering all manner of subjects from Spongebob Squarepants (of whom I know very little) to the weather to medical conditions and the treatment thereof (scraped knees, cut fingers, poked eyes, etc.) These are certainly special conversations and will be treasured in my mind for the rest of my life. And they also know how to put down hecklers (parents) in the background by simply shouting 'No!' or 'Would you please be quiet? I'm on the phone!' It's funny how this works for a three-year-old, but not a fifty-three-year-old. And last, but not least, you learn interesting things about your children (parents of these elvish delights) by simply listening. You don't even have to ask to learn that daddy got a ticket for speeding or mommy rocked on the cat's tail and threw her dinner plate across the room. Interesting. Very interesting. Gotta love 'em.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book XV:. the Skull of Sidon

The Red Cross of Gold XV:. the Skull of Sidon is now available on Kindle. Just in time for the Halloween Season!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Attention Kindle Indie authors!! Godzilla has been making plans to steal all of the really good books on Kindle since Amazon went International. The above picture was taken by my parrot, Polly, after she infiltrated a top secret meeting in Japan only a few hours ago. My good friend, Maureen Miller, had become a victim of this dastardly plot, but Polly assures me that she will soon be grasping Widow's Tale in her claws and winging her way home with it.

The rest of you... beware! Of course, I'd be willing to rent out Polly for a small fee... just sayin'!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Polly's New Word/Missing Puglet Poster

Oh, I forgot to tell you what the word was, didn't I?



Birthday Gratitude

I know that I'm late posting about all the wonderful birthday wishes I received from people who really don't know how old I really am. Thank you to all my fans and readers and even to those persons who are pea-green with jealousy whenever my name is mentioned, but who sucked up with everyone else and wished me Birthday Greetings simply to be coooooooooooooool. I was thrilled by all the attention, truly I was, but I wanted to share something with those who really care about me: A picture of the best birthday gift I've ever received.
The above gift was a special delivery and what a surprise!! I abosolutely adore my new pet. Of course, I can't go in the backyard as often I used to and I'm still looking for Puglet. I think she got jealous and ran away. Yesterday, I actually taught my new parrot to speak a word.
(As you all know, parrots learn to speak many words through hearing it repititiously) Anyway you can imagine how proud I am of teaching my parrot, whom I've named Polly, her first word in such a short time. I've only had her for 3 days now. As soon as the shark cage arrives, I plan to spend much more time with her in the afternoons. The neighbors (the ones who still live nearby) say that they feel a lot safer with Polly around. She's much better than any watchdog I've ever had (I wonder where Puglet's gotten off to?) She doesn't make a lot of noise, but she sure puts the fear into those pesky would-be burglars, meter readers, mail carriers, sales reps, Girl Scouts, bike riders, street sweepers and joggers. I haven't seen any of them around lately and the street I live on is much more peaceful which is good for my new night shift job.

Thanks again, Miss Miller, for the new parrot! I love you! Brendan

1st Week Results Are In

The first week at the new job has passed without incident largely due to the above sign which was posted in the lobby. When I first saw the sign painted at eye-level near the main entrance door, I thought "Well, duh!!". I don't know why this sign is not posted everywhere! Just think of all the injuries that could be avoided by the simple posting of one sign.

I know, I know... paint is expensive, but honestly, I believe that employees everywhere would be willing to put a little in the kitty to buy a can of red spray paint, some magic markers and a stencil kit for Pete's sake.

How many times have I completely bombed out when falling on rough or wet surfaces and how many times could I have been spared fractures, concussions and wrenched or torn ligaments, tendons and muscles due to sheer ignorance? A little ingenuity could have saved me tons of money, years of therapy and a boatload of embarrassment had I but known to fall carefully.

Think about it, people. Be safe. Live long and prosper: Fall Carefully.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Goat Meat Capitol of the World!!

Well, yes, people around here take their goats very seriously and it seems that everyone around either owns goats, used to own goats, is thinking of buying some goats or lives next door to someone who owns goats. I've learned some interesting things about goats simply by association. For instance, goats normally graze in one direction even moreso than cattle. I mean they all point in the same direction when they graze. Goats invented the old adage: The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence. Goats like to walk single-file if possible. Goats are not afraid of heights. Goats will eat trees. Goats DO NOT eat tin cans (that is an urban legend or else only urban goats eat tin cans, not country goats).

You have to hold your mouth just right to talk about goats. You have to pronounce the word just right or else everyone will know that 'you ain't from round these parts, are ye?'

One of the most alarming things I learned about owning goats came from the lady who works at the cleaners. You see, she owns gotes. You got say gotes real fast and make it sound sort of heavy and clipped somehow to get the inflection right. Anyhow, she went out one day and found 15 of her goats dead! Just keeled over dead in the field. Now, why would your goats just keel over dead in the field? Well, she didn't know. Gotes are just like that, you see? You'll just walk out and there they'll be: dead!

Now, I don't know about you, but if fifteen of my goats just up and died, I'd be curious about what kilt 'em. I'd have to say "Hey! Why're my gotes dead?! What th'bleep?!"

But I queried several goat owners and learned that this is not unusual, that goats just up and die, that it's to be expected. I just cannot accept that! If ever I do own a goat, I'm going to make sure that if I do find him dead (or her) and it's not immediately evident that he/she was not the victim of alien mutilation, I shall take the remains to Texas A & M and say "Hey! What th' bleep happened to this here gote?!" I gotta know.

This is what I do best especially when the world becomes too much to handle. It's hard losing all three friends in the space of one week. It is beyond the mind's capability to comprehend or fully absorb, but the rain is good for washing away the mental pollution that comes from too much thinking.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

RCG IV:. The Hesperian Dragon Paperback

Announcing the publication of the Red Cross of Gold IV:. The Hesperian Dragon in paperback on Amazon Createspace.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yeah! Some Days Are Just Like That!!

Some days are just like that. You're minding your own business when... ZAP! Someone takes advantage of you when you least expect it. Of course, I may be jumping the old proverbial gun, but here I was sitting fat, dumb and happy, thinking that my transfer is going to take place on Wednesday and I would no longer be plagued by the rigors and woes of being the so-called 'Boss'. Looking forward to being one of the Indians for a while instead of the Chief of the Dumb Fuck Tribe. Contemplating the benefits of being Cheetah as opposed to being Tarzan. Glorying in the satisfaction of donning Tonto's feathers in favor of mounting up on Silver. But then someone, whom I will not name, put a tiny measure... a teeny-weeny quantum bit of doubt in my mind and my beautiful Sunday afternoon is completely spoiled! What if they don't let me transfer on the first? What if they 'make' me stay on as boss for another month? What if they try to coerce me into taking charge of the upcoming fiasco planned for October (my favorite month of the year!)? What if?! What if?!
They could do it, you know. They could. They are in control. They represent the government! Who can oppose the government?
I should have known I'd lost it when the Big Boss asked a question during his first Department Head meeting after taking over his position. He looked around, smiled and asked "How many of you are in favor of Obama's Stimulus Package?" Everyone smiled like idiots, nodded and then looked confused (what stimulus package? they were asking themselves. Who is Obama?) Did I mention my co-workers are all idiots who watch Simpson re-runs when the news is on? Anyway, I thought he wanted an answer. Little did I know that it was a rhetorical question. Most of my co-workers don't know what rhetorical means either. So I answered him with a counter-question: "What about the 9000 pieces of pork included in the Stimulus Package?" He answered with a frown and then ignored me and began to tell us just how wonderful Obama's package was and what it meant for the State of Texas!!!
If there is a God in Heaven, I will be leaving on the first. I've already figured out the names of all the people I won't ever have to see again. Don't let this happen to me!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Here's a picture of my good friend, Maureen Miller, that I snapped at a Tampa Bay game. She was dressed as a... yes, you guessed it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


It's that time of year again when my mind wanders back to those high school days when getting up early rolled around again and the smell and feel of fall was creeping into the air. Underlying all the trauma of going back to school was always the excitement of the return of football season. Of course, I didn't actually play football seeing as how they actually tried to kill each other on the field in pursuit of honor and glory for the school colors. A concept that was quite beyond me in those days. I wasn't exactly a bad boy, you understand, but I did have some very questionable friends that made my parents cringe. I loved motorcycles, for example, and owned two little bikes while I was in high school. Oddly enough, my mother refused to let me get my license because she didn't want me to drive it on the highway and so, I was relegated to driving around the backwoods and swamps in my immediate neighborhood. This did not stop me from having fun, crashing into things and generally causing a great deal of mayhem for the neighbors (who all happened to be relatives). But the motorcycle thing was not all in vain. I did learn a great deal about small engine repair, clutches, brakes, wheels, etc. and the importance of all those parts as far as harmonious operation which is essential if one intends to ride the bike instead of push it up and down the road.

Back to school mean washing and waxing and shining up the leather inside my 1965 Corvair Corsair... yes, the engine is in the back or was at the time. All the gee-gaws under the hood were chrome and also had to be polished. A nice little midnight blue ride with baby blue interior. I loved that car, but it was always getting stuck on speedbumps which had just been invented in our area to slow down the maniacs driving through parking lots. The car would get stuck and I would have to wait patiently until the engine in the rear finally set the rear tires down on the pavement. If I timed it just right, I could have the wheels going fast enough when they touched down to become airborne when I blasted off again.

But school was never a problem for me. Sure, I hung out with the wrong crowd, but my grades were always good, I never studied, never did homework and still passed with flying colors. The possession of a good brain never stopped me from being stupid. The principal and vice-principal knew me by my first AND middle name. The principal's secretary disdained me openly and the hall monitors followed me around. I was often accused of cheating on tests, but there was never any proof or evidence simply because I didn't. I found High School entertaining fun and the fact that I absorbed the material taught in the classroom like a sponge kept me from agonizing over tests and such like and so I enjoyed High School immensely.

My friends and relatives were convinced that I was a juvenile deliquent headed for prison someday, but their hopes and dreams for me never materialized.

I played in the band, loved marching on the field, blasting my trombone and feeling the animosity of the football boys and cheerleaders as our little band consistently brought home trophies while the football team fell on its face week after week. As far as I was concerned, the football games were just the opening act for the real performers... the Marching Band. Eventually, a serious disagreement with the band leader brought my beautiful career to an end when I failed to become one of his 'victims'. Such a man in this day and age would, indeed, end up in prison for child molestation, etc., etc. Truth be known, the man probably punked out half of the band during his tenure at my high school, but that was, is and ever shall be the lay of the land. Some will, some won't and some just shouldn't.

At any rate, this time of year always brings back those bittersweet memories and I would give anything to go back and change a few things though I have no regrets from those days. I certainly wouldn't mind reliving them. From my house now, I can hear the marching band whenever there is a home game and it always makes me smile.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wonderful Sunday

Wow! So this is what it's like to sleep late, get up to a brilliant morning, a good cup of coffee and a birdbath full of starlings. It has been a long, long time since I was able to sleep so well on a Saturday night. Perhaps things are really changing for the better. I have recently put in for a transfer to another branch where I will be much less responsible for my co-workers' faults! I was hesitant at first to give up my position and go for something a bit more mundane, but now that it's done, I'm sure I've made the right decision. Even the sky looks bluer without the dread thought of hanging around the telephone, waiting to be called in to work becaues someone or another failed to show up. I didn't realize what a drain on the psyche it really was. Now that I'm free of it, I feel that I will ultimately have more time and more energy and more inspiration to pour into my writing while continuing to work toward my retirement goals. I know that this post is out of character for my usual banter, but I just had to say something this morning because I feel... liberated. I feel like the little bug in the picture, at peace with the Universe at last.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Kind of Flu did you say it was?

Came home from work early today with some sort of illness setting in. Hives, billies, drowsiness, general discombobulation. Seems there is some sort of virus going around. Anyhow, so I get home and fix myself a nice margarita and sit back to listen to some Mozart. Such things always make me feel better in all but the most extreme cases of dire illness. So I'm starting to feel better.... just being away from work is enough to make a body cure up right away. I'm thinking I might even do a bit of editing on Book XIV for those of my fans who are anxiously awaiting the publication of said book. Even felt like revealing the name of the next title in the Red Cross of Gold Series: the Skull of Sidon. Sounds ominous, doesn't it? Well, it's supposed to. So I'm sitting back, sipping my margarita when I catch a glimpse of myself in the ornamental mirror hanging over the ornamental bookshelf that holds knickknacks instead of books (you know the kind, promises one thing and then turns out to be something else). Anyhow, I catch a glimpse of myself and almost do a double back flip out of my chair onto the floor. It was suddenly quite apparent what was wrong with me.... see for yourself!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dr. Pepper, Texas

Well, good news after a long and flatulent work week listening to gasbags distribute hot air for four days in a concerted attempt to enrich the atmosphere’s methane content by at least 10%.
I didn’t get called in to work. And if that is not good enough, I was treated to a Saturday outing to one of my favorite local attractions: the Dr. Pepper bottling company in Dublin, Texas. Yes, it’s the oldest bottling company for sodas in the country going back to 1287, just after the Fall of Jerusalem to the Infidels. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it is old and the machinery is from the 1920’s.
I just realized yesterday that I had quit drinking Dr. Pepper exclusively in the early 1970’s. The tour guide said that Dr. Pepper stopped using Imperial Pure Cane sugar in 1973 when the Cuban Missile Crisis caused a sugar shortage. The Dublin plant, having been the original bottler, refused to use corn syrup and continues to this day to use Imperial Pure Can Sugar which is also made right here in Texas, a la the Imperial Sugar company after which Sugarland, Texas is named.
Anyway, the tour is awesome and then I had a Big Red Crème Soda (made with pure cane sugar straight from the soda fountain) float with Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream (another Texas exclusive: Blue Ice Cream). It was heavenly.
We then traveled on (which will come in another blog) before ending the day at Miss Lilley’s restaurant and Saloon in Hico, Texas which Is famous for its connections with the outlaw Billy, the Kid. It has also becoming a haven for bikers and bike clubbers. A beautiful hill country town well worth the trouble of searching for in the wilderness between the goats, the sheep and the longhorns. A great day!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More Puglet Musings

Have you ever noticed that dogs are very much like children? Probably, but have you noticed that they are especially like children when it comes to phone calls. Now you're probably wondering just how many phone calls my pug gets, but I'm not talking about those. No, I'm talking about how she behaves like a child when I get on the phone.

As long as I'm sitting in my chair, watching TV or sitting at my computer typing, she is lying somewhere, totally engrossed in sleeping, snoring and snorting.

As soon as I get on the phone, she's up! Awake! Running around, barking at crickets, barking at the birds in the back yard, barking at nothing. She jumps up on the furniture and starts ripping the stuffing out of pillows. She climbs into the dining room chairs and helps herself to fruit (especially the bananas which she loves to peel, but doesn't eat).

Sometimes I even catch her in the refrigerator trying to get the cap off the tequila. (She has already mastered pulling the cork from the Captain Morgan's). She's even worse when she's had a few drinks.

Sometimes I swear! Sometimes I don't! LOL!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Christmas in September

On the way home from work today, I was feeling a bit down. Things haven't been going well at work... they rarely do, but they've gotten a boost in crappiness since the new Fiscal Year Kicked in on the 1st. Yeah, I know it's only the 2nd, but it seems like weeks have passed since yesterday morning. Anyway, I was on my way home and feeling sort of crabby. There is a particular piece of property that I pass every day that has a menagerie of animals inside a large fenced field. I've made a habit of looking that way every day, twice a day just to see what I can see on any given day. Sometimes there are donkeys (burros), emus, goats, sheep, llamas... semi-exotic fare.

So today, I'm driving home and I look over there and what do I see but a spanking new little burro. He was a real fine looking little fellow and suddenly my mind was sent back to all the Christmas Nativity scenes I've witnessed over the years. Invariably, the larger, more elaborate Nativities always include a baby burro, along with a lamb, maybe a bunny and baby camel. Baby animals and my spirits were lifted immediately, thinking of all those Christmases and all those cookies and pies and presents under the trees and pretty lights and wonderful, but old and worn out music... It seems I never get tired of Christmas and all its trappings.

Of course, by the time I got home, I was depressed thinking of one of the depressing things occurring at work right now. Ramadan. The Muslim holiday... holiday takes on a whole new meaning in the world of Islam. Ramadan would have to be their greatest holiday of the year which puts it in line with Christmas and Hanukka (sp?). Now as far as I know, Christmas and Hanukka are joyous seasons with lots of merry-making and feasting and enjoying friends and family. Ramadan, on the other hand, requires 30 days of fasting all day, lots of prayers on hands and knees. Hmmmm. When you compare the two... well, you decide.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Free Form Friday

Well, another Free Form Friday has come to Texas Hill County. Yesterday evening we had thunder storms and rain and it's truly amazing how fast things turn green around here. The fields were beautiful on the way home today and the cattle, goats and sheep were enjoying the slightly cooler evening, munching down on some green grass that could possibly put Kentucky to shame. Actually, there are some strange weeds that grow along the roadside that appear blue and I wish I knew the name of it so I could compare the genus and specie to the Kentucky bluegrass grass... er, well, you know. Anyway, so I'm working late, working under very stressful conditions and this morning I have to attend a teleconference where I and about 123 of my colleagues are berated, warned and threatened for about forty-five minutes by those chaps at HQ. Narry a word about how great we are doing under the circumstances, about how we are all taking psychotropic drugs now to keep from killing our immediate supervisors, co-workers and subordinates. Not a single word of encouragement, nor even the hint of a nod of approval.

Bottom line was the bottom line.

Someone at the top (State Legislative Body) has PROVEN BEYOND THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT (think Rush Limbaugh's best authoritative voice here) that I and those of my colleagues engaged in my particular line of public service have Bankrupted the entire State of Texas and may have contributed to the Federal Trillion-Dollar Budget Deficit.

Over the years I have learned that these gunsights are on a rotating turret and if I wait long enough, the gears will grind and the world will turn and some other target will come into the line of fire. Been there, done that, been there, etc.

So I would say it's Friday, but it's not. Tomorrow is my Friday which is really Saturday which will make my Sunday my Saturday which will be good because I'm usually stressed on Sunday because tomorrow is Monday, but this time Monday will be Sunday and I won't be stressed out until Monday which will be my Sunday because the next day is Tuesday.

I would like to thank everyone who purchased copies of my new release: Tempo Rubato

I would like to also thank everyone who continues to read, enjoy and purchase the Red Cross of Gold.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Now for Something Completely Different...

By now, most everyone who follows my erratic path through the world as a prolific, but dirt poor and unknown literary genius (:IMHO:), has seen my Red Cross of Gold series obsession Assassin Chronicles. I know it might go against the grain for me to announce that I have other subject matter in my portfolio of novels. At this very moment, I am waiting for one of my earlier forays into the world of publishing to come to life as a Kindle publication. For a short time, I have listed the book as low as Amazon would allow: $1.00 (one measley dollar, one buck, uno dolares, a single greenback, less than a cup of coffee in a cheap vending machine, one dollah-Amellican money). This work was one of my most emotionally packed undertakings of all time. My great love for the Austrian born composer whose life was cut short in the late eighteenth century prompted me to write a tribute to him based on the premise of what he might think of today's world if only he had the opportunity to be here with us. If ever time travel proves economical enough for me to indulge, I would request the privilege to see Wolfgang Mozart conducting one of his own operas or perhaps a symphony or playing his piano for his friends and family. Such would be the dream to end all dreams for this author.

The name of the book is Tempo Rubato which is a Latin musical term for Stolen Time. I hope that you may(pardon the pun) find the time to take a look at it.
Happy Reading!! Best Wishes! Brendan Carroll

Friday, August 21, 2009

Muses, ah Muses...

Of course the Pirate Puffin muse was simply an attempt at levity. I do indeed have a muse and she is, of course, Meredith who is actually based on someone I know (with her permission). Although she is not, nor has she ever been my wife, she is my inspiration and has stuck with me through thick and thin... mostly thick (Head and Body, LOL) probably loving me more than even my own dear mother ever did. She is my friend and my confidante and the ear for my confessions. To her I am wonderful and yet, she is the light of my life and the apple of my eye and all that mushy, gushy stuff. I cannot say who she really is for propriety's sake, but just for the record, I do know who my muse is though I enjoy making light of most serious issues (something that she dislikes... my morbid sense of humor). If I were the Knight of Death, I'd surely take her home with me and use that damnable golden sword to make sure that no one took her from me. I guess Mark is sort of like me in the sense that he misses his opportunities in life and pays dearly for his mistakes and his miscalculations. One thing he never does is stop loving Meredith. So take it for what it's worth, there is a real Meredith somewhere out there.

Meanwhile, I have several other lesser muses who live with me. They are great sources and I wouldn't want to slight them, but Paddy Puffintowne (Puffin) is a muse for hire and they can get a bit tedious at times becoming real stuffed shirts! Ha!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Muses? Got one? Yeah!!

So my good friend, Maureen Miller, posted a picture of her Chinchilla muse whom she says will pummel me with its tiny little fists if I call it like I see it... well, here is my muse. A Pirate Puffin named Paddy Puffingtowne. Oh, sound familiar? Yes, well a few years ago when I was writing my fourth or fifth Red Cross of Gold series novels, I was beset with litigation concerning the naming of certain characters in the stories. My muse, Mr. Paddy, brought a law suit in district court against me, claiming a breech in his muse/author contract that, under Section III, paragraph five, subparagraph n, required that I name a specific character of his choosing after him. I had entirely overlooked the stipulation and somehow missed his memo concerning the name of a certain faery creature from Kilkenny, Ireland. Needless to say, I had to change the faery's name from Tudwaller Elrood Hoodwinkin to Paddy Elrood Puffingtowne. If anyone thinks Miss Miller's chinchilla is tough, well think again. Mr. Paddy settled out of court for $5 cash, a stuff-crust pizza from Pizza Hut (which is 35 miles away), two pairs of mittens and a quart of Guinness Stout. Of course, I still had to name the faery after him. Geeeshhh! Muses, hmmph! But please don't tell him that I posted a picture of him here because he'll probably charge me rent.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Release: RCG XIII:. Children of the Temple

Announcing the publication on Kindle of the Red Cross of Gold XIII:. Children of the Temple... the saga continues.

Cat Feathers

When I arrived home from work yesterday, I found a rather wrinkly piece of yellow legal paper folded up and stuffed under the edge of my computer monitor’s pedestal.
So, I sat down and very carefully removed the paper, reluctant to see what might be written on it. In fact, I think I actually closed my eyes when I opened it.
You can imagine my surprise when I saw all the ink blots and splotches and paw prints… yes, that’s right… paw prints on the page. I looked around quickly and found a blotchy, black spot on the carpet and the remains of a Pilot-G2 C7 ballpoint pen… one of my favorite writing utensils.
I scanned quickly down the page and sure enough, just as I suspected, it was signed simply: the Pug.
It was not the first such letter I have received from the Pug. Oh, sure, you’re thinking that I’m imagining things. Pugs would never use a ballpoint pen to write a letter. I know it sounds incredible since Pugs normally use felt tip markers when they write, but my Pug is different. She writes with G2’s and then she proceeds to destroy them so that no one can ever use them again. Some kind of religious belief, I understand.
Anyway, she was lodging yet another complaint about the terms of our Master/Dog contract wherein she is required to get out of my chair when I come home. Normally, she jumps down and meets me at the door, barking, howling and making all sorts of common Pug noises in order to let me know that her bowl is empty, she wants to go outside and she needs a new treat to chew on. These issues are covered in Chapter Two, paragraph 3, subparagraph b wherein I am obliged to see to these needs before doing absolutely anything else up to and including putting down bags of groceries or other items I might be carrying at the time. (This sometimes gets a bit tricky and I would have negotiated a bit more leeway had I realized the magnitude of problems incident to compliance with subparagraph b.)
Never-the-less, subparagraph b was not her major concern. It was subparagraph a in paragraph 2 that had her in an uproar wherein she is required to vacate my chair when, in her opinion, prompt vacating is unnecessary since I must comply with paragraph 3, subparagraph b and thus ‘cheating’ her out of another three to four minutes chair-time. As I was eschewing her written complaint, I noticed that she was not in the room with me which was highly unusual. I got up and went in search of her, wishing to talk it over with her. I wanted to remind her that she could not comfortably point out her needs from my chair, which is nowhere close to the door I use when I come home, nor can she run outside through the patio doors if she is sitting in my chair.
I looked for her in the bedroom, the bathroom, the spare bedroom and the kitchen. I even went outside and checked the backyard in mounting panic, thinking that perhaps I had left her outside while I was gone.
Strange, I thought. Where could she be? I went back to my bedroom and walked around the bed. There to my horror was my favorite feather pillow, disemboweled and flat on the floor. Feathers were everywhere!
Suspicious of foul play, I turned slowly and looked at my bed. The spread appeared unruffled. Cautiously, I reached out and placed my hand on the lump where my feather pillow should have been and what do you think I found?
Nope, not the Pug! It was the neighbor’s cat! My pug was hiding in the linen closet. Turned out that the Pug had paid the kitty to impersonate the pillow in a bid to trick me. Furthermore, the letter was nothing more than a ruse, a first strike employed in an effort to distract me.
Well, needless to say, the Pug spent the night in the linen closet while the kitty pretended to be my pillow. It was a bit touch and go at first, but once I had the pillow sham over her head, it was all down hill.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Invisible Friends: Have Some?

It's a strange topic, I know, but one that needs something said. Yes, I have some invisible friends. They've been around for, oh, twenty-plus years or longer. When people speak of muses or 'voices' or other sources of inspiration that seem to pop in out of the blue and give us ideas (as writers) or make suggestions that seem to come from no where, we are sometimes hard pressed to give logical or even believable answers to the question: So, where did you get the idea for this story?

My invisible friends have taken on lives of their own. It seems, somewhere back in my dim memory recesses, that they first made an appearance in my life after watching Stephen King's The Shining... remember the one about the Overlook Hotel, starring Jack Nicholson and Olive Oyl? That was one scary movie and the remake did little to duplicate, match or exceed the original movie. Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Jack Torrance was outstandingly horrible. It was one of the scariest movies of all time in my book... not my book, but my opinion actually.

Anyhow, my invisible friends seemed to be along the lines of Tony, the invisible friend who talked to Torrance's son, Danny. They seem to be an amalgamation of Tony and Senor Wences' little face on his hand called Johnny.

My imaginary friends are a very lively crew that like to intervene at very crucial crossroads in my life, generally complicating mundane issues, making mountains out of molehills and bringing undue attention when it's least wanted. At any rate, no matter the trouble they cause or the messes they make, they have been my most steadfast fans and critics through years, never abandoning me through thick and thin and always ready to lend a helping 'hand' whether I need one or not.

They like bawdy songs, dirty jokes and slapstick humor. They off embarrass me and then act as if nothing were amiss at all. They seem to have their fingers in many pies and are never short of cash, though they spend it sparingly and always come up with excuses to disappear when the check arrives. They help themselves to the choices cuts of meat, the best part of the watermelon and like to wear my favorite socks outside without shoes.

All in all, I'd say that they are very much like BFF's everywhere and I don't know what I would do without them. (They also remind me to feed my hamster.)

So, if you have invisible friends, don't be ashamed to admit it. Be proud of being a member of the growing number of lunatics infesting our country at this time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Few Words About Sumo

Recently, I was speaking with a dear friend of mine and mentioned the topic of Sumo when the conversation turned to sports. My friend laughed at first and was then appalled and amazed to learn that I am, indeed, an avid fan of Sumo Wrestling and try to watch the championships every year. I was saddened this year to see 23 time champion title winner, Asashoryu bested by Hakuho, but Hakuho has won the Emperor's Cup 11 times, so that says something for him. I've learned a great deal about the ancient sport and it always surprises Americans just how intensely serious this sport is in Japan. Of course, I've never been there, nor have I ever attended a live match, but I would if opportunity presented itself.

In Japan the wrestlers are superstars with groupies and fan clubs, limosines and lifestyles of the rich and famous like rock stars or NFL quarterbacks in this country. It has also come under fire in the past few years for the same kinds of scandals afflicting other major league sports such as violence, assaults, drug use, fixed bouts, etc.

One interesting piece I read in a Japanese Newspaper told the story of a tokoyama (topknot hairdresser) who was a former wrestler himself, beating up on one of the younger wrestlers in the stable (that's where the wrestler's live and train together). He said that he didn't think that hitting the man was the right thing to do, but felt he had to do it because the younger man was exhibiting violent behavior. Well, d'oh!!

Anyhoo, I was disappointed to learn, once again, that people, no matter where, when or what they are, are just people with the same problems, same hangups, same trials and tribulations as people everywhere else. But I'm not going to let this bother me today! I'm off work and able to devote my entire day to writing and promoting!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just Mojito in the Morning

Well, Miss Miller's post about Allagash prompted this post as well. She thought it was disturbing to be posting a picture of Allagash beer at 8:00 AM. OK, so it's barely noon and I'm not just posting a picture of Mojito, I'm drinking it from my favorite Shrek glass and enjoying the hell out of it. Of course, if you consider that I've been up since 2:00 AM, having been conscripted to run the early, early morning or late, late night shift... take your pick, whilst someone else is off enjoying their vacation... well, then, maybe it's not quite so bad.

The ride in this morning was quite eventful. I saw two deer, a skunk, a raccoon and an unidentified flying object and that was in my driveway! LOL! The moon was beautiful, of course, and the deer were feeding... in the middle of the road! The skunk was just strutting by with her tail up and the cows were all asleep. There were numerous bats and mysterious insects flitting around in the headlights and the bridge was quite lovely in the moonlight. The morning shift went quite well and everyone was happy when someone made us a watermelon basket with little heart-shaped pieces of watermelon in it. Another laugh considering the environment.

All in all, I was happy to get home alive this morning about 11:00 AM and anxious to get back to my real occupation, writing and trying to promote my work. I uploaded book number four to Smashwords this morning and was quite pleased with my success in spite of the Shrek glass to my immediate right.

Most importantly, I received two more great reviews on The Red Cross of Gold I:. the Knight of Death and these two were FIVE STARS!!!! Check them out if you don't believe it. I'm still walking on cloud nine... or is that lying on it? At any rate, you'll be hard pressed to find a happier author right now. I know that I still have some typos and minor editing work in the books, but I've given up on being a perfectionist. If the story is good enough... well, I'm truly flattered and terrifically thrilled to have actual human fans now (instead of imaginary friends from other planets... LOL). Thank you, Linda Fox and Abrianna O'Hare, the eloquent elocutionist, for the kind words and the stars.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Great News!!!!

I have just received an outstanding review from a formidable reviewer. Miss Red Adept who frequents the Kindleboards with many comments, quips and posts has made all of us quake in our boots due to her ability to write reviews like a professional. I have read many of her reviews and was actually dreading the day when she might finally read my novel and pass judgement... but my angst was all for naught!! Wonderful, wonderful news! Four stars... count them!! 1, 2, 3, 4!!!

I want to sincerely express my gratitude to Miss Adept for being an honest and straightforward reader not afraid to express her opinions for all to see... in my case this is wonderful... maybe not so good for others. Of course, she did include a 'Dislike' section, which I found quite refreshing. I have never been deluded into thinking that my book would be perfectly free from typos and formatting glitches here and there. They are the bane of all serious writers, but such praise from her completely took the pain out of hearing about the faults.

One of them, however, I did not find painful at all. She said that she did not care for Miss Meredith, who happens to be the leading lady. This is a good thing. Miss Meredith was never meant to be portrayed as a true heroine in the sense that many might expect of a heroine. She has much evolution ahead of her and therefore offers much room for improvement as the series unfolds. In fact, the entire series is about human evolution. The lead character, the indomitable Knight of Death, who has been around for over eight centuries is not quite so self-sufficient and wise as he, himself, had assumed, nor is he a perfect gentlemen or the greates lover the world has ever known. He is a very troubled individual with a long row to hoe ahead of him. Miss Meredith and the Chevalier du Morte must come to terms with their own shortcomings in order to grow and evolve into better and better examples of what true Knights of Christ might be.

Again, thanks Miss Adept for the input. Her review can be found at:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stolen Idea/Bad Karma

Well, a very good author friend of mine, Miss Maureen Miller posted a tip on her blog and I thought it was a great idea. So what did I do? I tried to recreate the thing in my own home. I kept looking at it and wondering gee what's up with that? Why is mine so very different from hers? And why am I getting more and more depressed? After perusing the post-it for a while, I began to realize that the sticky stuff on the back was on the wrong end of the paper. Furthermore, I failed to notice that all those drugs would be visible in my picture and remind of all the synthetic chemicals I need to survive. I then realized that my ring seemed out of place in that setting. I further examined the contents in the back ground and discovered how badly my desk needed to be dusted. Then I remembered how terrible it was when my pug chewed up the business end of that pink faux alligator flash drive and how much trouble it was creating the new one, also visible. Of course then there was the correcter tape dispenser which reminded me of all my mistakes, which was obscuing a hoard of post-its reminding me to do all sorts of unpleasant things. Ahhhhgggggghhhhhhh!!!!!! Karma is fast and furious!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wonderful, Wonderful Words of Praise

I think that my spirits are never lifted any higher than when a reader praises my work with words like 'addicted', 'wow', 'wonderful', '*sigh*', 'talented', 'can't put it down', 'great imagination'. It is the best feeling in all the world, a cure for the common cold, rhumatism, neuralgia and neuritis. It's hard to describe exactly how gratifying it is to hear these words applied to something I've worked on for years. It makes all the pain and all the blood, sweat and proverbial tears and night terrors worthwhile just to hear one reader say that he or she has become a devoted fan. I'm sure it's indescribable except to say that my feet will probably not touch the ground until sometime tomorrow. Thank you to all of my readers. Without readers, authors are pretty useless.The best single word for it would, without doubt, have to be "Sweeeeeet!!"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Man Sickened

I read this story on the AOL homepage in the headline news section and it set me wondering: Exactly what criteria is used to decide which story makes headline news?

I have left out the name and location due to copyright stuff of which I know very little:

(July 31) - A ++++ man who wanted a pristine toilet ended up in the hospital after mixing a potentially deadly combination of cleaning fluids.
Mxxx Nxxxx, 44, of (Town), was taken to XXXX Medical Center on Thursday morning, the
St. Petersburg Times reported. He was suffering from shortness of breath and irritated lungs and eyes.
(Mr. N) created a chlorine gas cloud when he combined bleach and an ammonia-based product to "make a stronger bathroom cleaner," (Town)Fire and Rescue spokesman (Lt. X) told the paper.
Fire and hazardous materials teams were called to (Mr. N's) home. They ventilated the home and scrubbed the walls.
Chlorine gas has been used as a weapon of mass destruction and exposure to it can cause severe illness or death. Authorities warn consumers never to mix bleach and ammonia when using cleaning products.

OK. So this fellow is 44 years old and he's mixing up cleansers, which as far as I know, have clear warning labels all over them about not mixing, not storing, not using, not breathing, not drinking, not, not, not, not, etc. Now, Mr. N's name is spread all across America for his fifteen minutes of fame. God forbid that my fifteen minutes will consist of such stupidity!! I can only hope that mine will be longer than fifteen minutes and will be about my great talent and writing abilities. LOL. One can only remain positive. The story is bad, the man nearly died, the man was dumb and ultimately, somehow, the public taxpayer will pay for his lunacy and the cleanser companies will bear the brunt of the blame for not having attached a holographic warning much like the message that Princess Leia (msp) sent to Obi Wan Kenobi so that when Mr. N opened the cleanser, Mr. Clean with his mighty muscular arms crossed over his chest, popped out, scowling i in his face and gave the following warning:

"Beware, Mr. N!! Do not mix me with cleansers containing ammonia! Mixing me with ammonia will create Chlorine Gas, which is the active ingredient in the Weapon of Mass Destruction that Saddam Hussein used against the Kurds in Northern Iraq, killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children in the streets, but was later downgraded from a Weapon of Mass Destruction when the Americans invaded and ex-President Bush fell from grace for having believed that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD's in the first place because it was all just a hoax to make the public believe that Saddam Hussein was a bad, bad person simply because ex-President Bush was evil and wanted to steal Saddam's oil and beat up on him because he insulted ex-ex-ex President Daddy Bush back in the nineties... whew! OK, Mr. N, do you now understand why you cannot mix me with that ammonia? If you do, you might cause another unwarranted war wherein innocent men, women and children could be, but not necessarily killed, maimed and/or mutilated and/or protected from chlorine gas which may or may not be classified as a Weapon of Mass Destruction depending on who is talking."

Even though I poke fun at this, isn't this just like the media to remind people that a deadly gas, extremely potent, can be constructed by combining common household cleaners? But I guess the information can be found at the library and on the web if one is inclined to build something dangerous. Its a shame that WMD's can so easily be concocted that some people can do it by accident? I'm just saying....

Friday, July 31, 2009

Free-Form Friday

The latest update on large beast watching. Today, on both sides of the river, the cattle were randomly spaced through the pastures. They were turned in all directions, contentedly munching grass. Many of them were lying down and they were scattered in random configurations. Hearkening back in my store of memories, I recalled that this odd behavior had also been evident last Friday and on more contemplation, I realized that, apparently Fridays are free days when the cows, calves, steers and bulls are not required to conform to any particular grazing patterns. Nor or they required to eat or drink together. So, I am designating Fridays henceforth to be known as 'Free-Form Friday'.

I also noticed that in certain fields, a few randoms cows had collecions of cowbirds grazing with them. In a field of perhaps 50 to 100 head of almost identical Black Angus beeves, only one or two cows would have bird companions. (Cowbird is the common name for white cattle egrets.) The question that immediately came to mind was: Why there were select cows with the birds in evidence, while the vast majority of cows had no accompanying birds? I had to give this some thought before coming to the conclusion that the birds were in it strictly for themselves. They seemed to congregate around the larger, more energetic beasts. After some logical angling, I have come to believe that the larger, more aninmated animals (pardon the pun) stir up more insects for the birds to consume, thus the seemingly odd behavior of cattle egrets. The only other explanation is that the birds are expensive and only the well-to-do cows can afford them or, perhaps, the cows attracting the birds charge less for providing dinner.... hmmmmmm. What do you think?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cows and Goats

I'm an avid animal watcher. No matter what the animal, if it's in sight, I'm watching it. I don't know if this quirk is born of curiosity or fear.

Between my home and my workplace lies twenty-five miles of mostly open pastureland filled with everything from emus to llamas. Everyday I drive along, observing the various herds belonging to the local farmers and ranchers. I envy them in some ways, owning all that beautiful Texas countryside, rolling hills, ponds, branches, creeks and oak groves, but then, when I think of the work that goes into keeping their pastures free of mesquite and prickly pear, I say "God Bless Them, Everyone!"

Anyhoo, I'm driving and watching. In some pastures all the cows are facing north, in other pastures, they are facing west or south. Sometimes, they are all grazing. Other times, they are all lying down. I know that beasts of the field live by different rules from people and that they share something called the herd mentality or mass animal mind, but how, I asked myself, is it that some pastures are south-facing while others are north-facing on the same day?

It suddenly occurred to me today that it must be a contractual thing. I suddenly discovered by direct observation the following fact:

There is a bridge half way between my home and work. That bridge crosses a river and it is also the county line. All the lying down cows were in the county I work in. All the standing up cows were in the county I live in. VOILA!!

Cows in Mills County are working on a different schedule from those in San Saba County.

D'oh!! How dumb can I be?

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Title Added: RCG XII:. Son of the Moon

The twelfth book in the Red Cross of Gold Series entitled the Son of the Moon is now available on Kindle books at The saga continues as the Knight of Death struggles with his new role of Grand Master of the Order and attempts to recapture the Dragon. He must also devise a way to capture the ancient Djinni who has taken up with Yasmin (AKA Oshun, the Santeria orisha). The Djinni is bent on reclaiming his lands and starting a family.

Pet Peeves

I was recently reading in a forum topic entitled 'Grammar Pet Peeves' and suddenly realized that the persons posting in the thread seemed to have forgotten something: Pet Peeves and what they really are... they are called pet peeves because they are Pet-ty Peeves (aggravations) that are meaningful only to themselves. They ask questions or make generalized statements that leave something to be desired while giving an insightful glance into their own minds. If something is a pet peeve then it means that it (whatever it is) is probably over-looked by 99.9% of the population. For instance, if the misuse of words or phrases or the occasional slip of the tongue or pen (as the case may be) makes someone a moron, they forget that the majority of persons listening or reading would also have to fall into the moron category.

One such complaint that grabbed my attention mentioned that the writer was a college professsor. What the poster did not mention was that he/she, while not a college professor, was a self-proclaimed auditor of words. The point being that even though the college professor was a man of great learning and a best-selling author and the poster merely a reader, he was of necessity, a Moron simply because he used grammar and/or spelling that irritated her. Apparently, he did not seem such a Moron to others, now did he?

I find this quite humorous. As a writer, imperfect of spelling and grammar (as all writers are), I am eternally grateful that not all readers are so well qualified to denigrate and dissemble another's works simply based on the mechanics of the work. Surely there were errant brushstrokes in Da Vinci's Last Supper, in Michaelangelo's Sistina Cappella and yet, the overall impact of their work is breathtaking. I wonder if Leonardo had persons milling about with magnifying glasses looking to see if he might have gotten outside the lines on his paint-by-numbers once in a while?

I found myself on the thread defending our former President from persons complaining about his mispronunciation of particular words in his speeches before I realized how silly it all was in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, good grammar and correct spelling are essential selling points for authors who expect their works to succeed, but it is unlikely that we will ever be able to please everyone, unlikely that we will ever turn out a perfect book. I especially like the critic who suggests that an author need only turn on MS spell/grammar check to correct it. Geesh, if it was that simple!

But here's a pet peeve for you: What about the guy in the scooter chair that comes driving into the public restroom and rams the door of the handicapped stall and learns that it is occupied. He invariably begins to complaint about people using the handicapped stall who are not handicapped. Well, I usually ask him "How do you know that the person in question is not handicapped? Not all handicapped persons drive scooter chairs!" Well, duh!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

P'zone vs. Pizza

A question of some great importance has recently come up around dinnertime, which might need some outside opinion for resolution. The question is whether the calzone or the pizza is better from Pizza Hut. The argument seems to be whether or not pizza sauce should be an inherent part of the construction or should it be a dipping sauce? It is my opinion that the P'zone would be better if the pizza sauce were included inside the crust pocket. Others believe that dipping is better, but I make the argument that a P'zone is nothing more than a folded pizza with a few special ingredients sprinkled on top of it. What is the general consensus? Are they two entirely different entities or the same only different? And another thing that bothers me about P'zone comes in only three flavors: meat lovers, classic and pepperoni. Why? I have learned that they do not come pre-made and it should be quite simple to make them 'to order'. So why only three kinds? I would also like to point out that the breadsticks are not breadsticks at all, but I believe are actually pizza crust cut in strips. If I am wrong, please correct me. These are extremely important questions that must be answered. If anyone out there knows anything, let me know.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Lazy Saturday

Just sitting around editing my next addition to my Kindle book list which I hope to release in this week, sooner than I expected. I might be able to do it tomorrow if all goes well and I don't get called in to work. I do hate working on my days off, but that is what happens when co-workers are not willing to pull their own weight. I suppose I must be in a rare somber mood today. Drinking Captain Morgan's rum and coke, looking at the bright sunshine through the windows. I'm hoping for a good thunderstorm later on and maybe a good movie. My editor/fan #1/critic/proofreader, Miss Mayellem Sockingfoot, has promised that we would actually try to finish the book off today and tomorrow and get it on line. My fans have requested that I hurry up and put it up there because they don't like to be left hanging, but really, I ask you... if I didn't leave some intrigue unfinished, why would anyone be prompted to read further? I'm currently reading a very interesting romance novel written by Maureen Miller and also available on Kindle. She has a real way with phrasing and description that makes the reader feel present in the scenes she describes. I haven't read a good romance in ages... well, I do enjoy a good romance from time to time... LOL. It's called "Widow's Tale" and it's set in Maine.

Anyway, the continuing saga of the Knight of Death's adventures will travel on in Book XII when he goes in search of the Djinni in the Mountains of the Moon. In the meantime, Happy Reading.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Great Weekend

I had a wonderful time yesterday even though I was away from my beloved computer... the sorry, domineering, arrogant work of art... mumble, mumble. Saw Ice Age 3-D with the granddaughter and celebrated lunch with my best friend. Also celebrated a fifteen year anniversary and received a Kindle for a gift. Yesterday was a great day!

This morning, however, got off to a bumpy start when my Word program had a glitch (this always hurts my heart). If you only knew how many pages of work, sometimes entire chapters, I have lost in less than the blink of eye... well, anyway, I struggled with that and finally overcame the electronic tyrant on my desk... at least temporarily. Looks like I'm going to have to break down and buy a Word 97 program and let the old one go. I've run through a couple of trial offers on the newer version and well, you know the story about old dogs and tricks and such.

Now I'm off to have homemade spaghetti with portobello mushroom sauce, fried chicken livers and fried mushrooms! I know that sounds wierd, but trust me, it's good. After that I'm going to work some more on editing my next release and try to finish getting my old stuff sorted out in the files and flash drives. They are becoming quite confusing. Have a great weekend!!

PS: That is not my eye. That is the all-seeing eye of Sister Discretion.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Newest Release: Ars Arabia

I just got my latest release up and running on Amazon Kindle book store. Unfortunately, I've been unable to pin the link to my link list on my blog page so I've pinned it on the bottom of this post. The Red Cross of Gold XI:. Ars Arabia is the latest adventure of the Chevalier du Morte, poor Knight of Solomon's Temple as he goes up against a powerful Djinn creature in the desert mountains of Arabia. He risks life and limb to preserve the Order of the Red Cross of Gold while his Brothers plot to assassinate him. Not only do they want to get rid of the Knight of Death, they want to do away with his lady, Miss Meredith and their children. The Brothers are torn between their age old loyalty to the Grand Master and their newfound respect for Mark Andrew. It is a game of wits, magick and mystery mixed with a little humor and a lot of intrigue.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Proofing Time

As most of you bakers know, proofing time is when you let your dough rise in a warm, dark place. Well, for writers, it means the same thing. I just received a proof copy of the Red Cross of Gold II:. the King of Terrors in the mail and it's time to go through it one more time before I push the publish button and make it available in paperback on Amazon.

This book has certainly lived up to its name 'King of Terrors' when it comes to proofing. I practically know the thing by heart by now and yet, every time I go through it, I find errors that drive me up the wall. They aren't big errors as far as some things I've paid money for and read in spite of the typos, but they are to me. First of all, when I first published it on Kindle, I somehow uploaded an older version that had only been proofread a dozen times and not the copy that had been edited six dozen times. Then I had to painfully extract it and make some corrections that might have cause some readers to back off and think that I just threw it together, which is as far from the truth as could be. The second book in the series was by far the most intense writing exercise I've performed to date and maybe that is why it seemed to need more post-operative care. But now, I think I have the thing ready for that shiney new cover. I'm hoping against hope that it will sell as a paperback even though the prices are going through the roof and the economy is going down the drain. It is still a wonderful yarn, a good read and something to take the reader away for at least a little while. Wish me luck on this last reading and happy reading to all. Brendan

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

Don't tell anyone, but I loved that little song 'Manic Monday' simply because she says she was kissing Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream. I have a partiality for all things Tuscan and I think that probably one of the most romantic scenes I can imagine is taking a big picnic basket out to some fabulous pastoral scene in Tuscany. Sharing a good, sweet wine and a few kisses... ahhhh. But strangely enough, in my first book in the Red Cross of Gold series, one of the main female characters that you just love to hate is named Valentino. I wonder if I took her name from that song? Don't get me wrong, she's not the type of girl one would dream of taking on a romantic picnic, nay, nay, not at all! But back on topic. I hate Mondays simply because I hate dragging myself away from my keyboard for almost ten hours (including driving time). The drive, I enjoy... cruising through the Texas hill country for about twenty-five miles each way. There's always some new cow or goat to see and some fresh road kill to admire and wonder "Wow! I wonder how much damage that sucker did?!" I have deer whistles installed on my car and so far, so good. I did, however, kill a raccoon one day before sunup, but he was just suddenly there. I'm not one of those fellas who swerves to hit turtles. In fact, when no one is looking, I might actually stop and help one of them across the road (another secret you should keep about me).

But today was not your average Monday. It started out normally enough, but soon I realized that not only was the day passing at a rapid pace, I was actually getting work done even though I had been gone all last week. By 4:00 PM, I had accomplished all my goals, fiddled around in everyone else's business and was out the door at exactly 4:01 PM without even making one person mad. It's always a good thing to walk along the sidewalk toward the parking lot without a lot of jeering, curse flinging, and insult shouting following me. Ha! Ha! And best of all, I didn't bring any work home with me.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Today has been both enjoyable and frustrating as I continue to work on getting my second and third books in the series into DTB versions on Amazon. I worked all morning on cover designs and when I finally got them perfect, I received all sorts of warnings in big red letters. It was like deja vu all over again! Warning, warning, Will Robinson! But then the robot shuts down and fails to explain what is needed to correct the issues at hand. I suppose I'll have to go off for a while and then come back in a better frame of mind.

On the upside, 4th of July grilling was a huge success, grilled chicken breast and pork steaks with 'tater' salad, beans and sweet buttered bread! Mmmmm, mmmmm, made everything worthwhile. About to go and get an after lunch aperitif. Ha! Ha! Some spiced rum ought to do it. Can't go outside though. Flying that flag in the 102 degree heat. Looks nice out the window.

Thanks to all the readers who've commented favorably on my books, I can't say the day has not been good in spite of the WARNING! ERROR! ERROR! Got to go and take a break. Happy Birthday, USA!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Home for the 4th of July... I hope

I'm afraid that my weekly hobby takes me away into places where there are no computers and makes me extremely antsy. Glad to be home and wanted to say thank you to everyone who has purchased my books on Kindle and DTB at I really, really appreciate the opportunity to come into your life and perhaps bring a little entertainment and maybe a few daydreams or, at least, a few nightmares. One of my readers wrote that she finally finished the book and was hooked on the story. I'm sincerely grateful to hear this bit of news. She said that the story had given her frights and kept her up to all hours of the night. I'd say that is a grand compliment. If a story doesn't move you somehow, someway, then it is a total waste of time. Thank you all again and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY TO ALL!!!