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....