Archive for sailing

My Earth, All Mine

Posted in calamities, Destruction, Disasters, Disasters, End of the world, Loners, Losers, Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, solitary life, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by davidburtonwriting

“Happy Holidays?”  Had enough merriment and good cheer? Tired of  “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year?” Too much generosity and good cheer for you? How about some doom and gloom? This is the time when loners feel their lonesome the most. Give them a little love.

So there’s loners and there’s LONERS. What if you were in the latter group and you didn’t want to be just left alone in your cabin in the woods or your little apartment in the city. You wanted to be the only human on Earth. How would you go about it?earthmine

You’d want to consult with Gaia first. I’m sure she’d be glad to be rid of the human pests, but you wouldn’t want to piss her off by screwing with her plans for us, would you?

I’m not talking about evil super villains who want to have all the money and rule the world.  They need people to lord it over. The same with religious fanatics. They need people to listen to them preach doom and gloom, fire and brimstone, and you’d better have sex with me or God’s going to be mad at you. And political despots. They need somebody to enslave, harangue, and be paranoid about. Without people they’re just crazy dudes ranting at themselves.

The main problem of eliminating humans from the planet is getting rid of them without killing yourself. What good is having a planet of your own if you’re too dead to enjoy it? Inciting a nuclear war probably isn’t so easy now days. And if you could, say, obtain the launch codes for all the missiles in the US or Russia and set them all off and create a full on nuclear winter killing most everything that lives, that doesn’t sound very agreeable. If you’re going to be alone, having warm, secluded beaches or pleasant woodland walks would be a necessity. Whether 8 billion people crowd the planet or none, what difference would it make if you’re shut in your bomb shelter for the next 1000 years?

Mosquitoes are your friends. They inhabit all the earth except Antarctica. They infect hundreds of millionsmosie1 and kill millions every year. All you’d have to do is cook up a big batch of a human specific virus or bacteria, infect  a few million mosquito eggs, and distribute them around some of the busiest airports. Within days of hatching, your personal little pandemic would have spread throughout the world. Then, all you’d have to do is sit back with your beach towel and umbrella in hand and wait for the beach to clear out. Assuming you thought to immunize yourself against your private plague.

Or, you might want to learn how to sail before hand. Once you let the little monsters loose a long cruise into the ocean while the sun, bacteria, insects, and animals dispose of the dead would be nice. If you’re smart, and watched too many horror movies, you made sure that the dead stayed dead.  It wouldn’t do to come back to shore and bezombieblog2 greeted by a few billion hungry Zombies. That could be just as bothersome as a few billion regular folks. Vampires could be a problem. There’re already dead and they’d be really hungry. Better stock up on holy water, silver bullets and learn how to use a svampblogword.

Of course, with humans gone the world will start fixing all the damage we’ve done to it. This includes the return of wildlife. I imagine Bigfoot will sigh with relief not to have all those little humans stalking him with cameras. With small wildlife expansion comes the revival of the big predators; bears, big cats, wolves and the like. So, while you relax on that empty beach best keep an eye out. Those big cats only respect you for your food value, not your desire for solitude.catsblog4 wolfcatsblog2


What If? there really was (there probably is, tucked away in some government vault)  a virus/ bacteria that was capable of wiping humans from the planet? Then some group in a simple steal it/ransom it operation successfully steals it. But, just before they were to get their millions, one of their own, a stealth religious fanatic, steals it from them for his own highly misguided, God, Jesus, Mary Magdalene-told-me-to- do-it  cleanse the earth scheme. Suddenly the bad guys and the good guys have to work together to save all of humanity. Of course the good guy leader is an attractive woman, and the second in command bad guy is an attractive man (or vice versa) and they have to work together, close together.

What If? somebody did wipe humanity from the planet and  was enjoying their solitude when he/she came across a group of aliens intent on taking over the Earth. Well, he went to a lot of trouble to depopulate the world so now he has to fight the aliens for the planet.  He wins and once again enjoys his solitude when a group of astronauts who have been on a long space journey returns. Our single inhabitant sighs, “Can’t a guy get a little peace and quiet on his private beach?” A series for sure.beach2

What If? you were in a group of astronauts returning from a long mission and you found the only survivor of the Great Plague that wiped out humanity. You fight him at first, but he/she kidnaps one of your people and finally decides you can stay. But, the nasty bug is still around and the only way you will survive is if he gives you the vaccine, but it’s across the country and you may or may not have time to get there. Who will survive the journey? Surely not Adam and Eve – that would be too cheesy.

So, whether you’re a loner alone or a loner in a crowd find a bit of Christmas spirit and don’t vanish humanity, at least until after New Years.

Check out and share my first attempt at a book trailer for my story Heartbreak –

My website (such as it is) with information on my books and stories is:

Feel free to comment and Please share.


Solitary Man

Posted in Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, solitary life, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2012 by davidburtonwriting

In my new novel Ancient Mariners, one of two main characters is a solitary man. For five years he has lived and sailed on his sailboat, wandering, compelled by guilt and grief to live a solitary life. There are a lot of Solitary Men and Women out there, some by choice some by chance. Some by both.

By chance, because of some real or imagined childhood trauma, you might be paranoid and be absolutely sure that the sweet old lady in 3B is cooking Meth in her apartment and everyone in the building is her customer and they are all just waiting for you to let your guard down so they can steal all your hoarded newspapers you’ve been carefully collecting in your living room since 1992 when someone who used to be a friend told you there were secret messages from God in the daily jumble puzzle. So you live a solitary life because  you know they are all unworthy of God’s message, even if you can’t quite figure them out yourself.

Or, you’re already a Methhead and are trying to stay straight and the only way you can do that is to keep all those freaking druggies (ie. everyone) the fuck away!

Or, you’re sick to death of all the bullshit from family, job, government, and that snotty neighbor two houses down who knows everything about everything, which is okay but he/she just won’t SHUT THE HELL UP about it. So you find a cabin in the woods, mountains, desert, foreign country, or sailboat and live alone and love it. Because it’s QUIET.

Not all who live alone like living a Solitary life. Suppose you’re shy, conversationally inept and socially challenged (Or are they the same?) But not scared or fearful. You’d rather run into a dark alley to answer a cry for help followed by gunshots than take one step away from the corner of a cocktail party you were inadvertently invited to because somebody thought you were friends with that hottie from work you happened to be standing beside (well, standing behind,) and start a conversation with… anybody. Is there any more solitary life than to be surrounded by people having a good time while they totally ignore you?

Even if you aren’t challenged by the social graces you may prefer a solitary life. You might be too smart for your own good. Any conversation at any party,  event, dinner, family gathering, or meeting is inane, plebian, and of so little consequence you can actually feel the words go in one ear and out the other leaving a trail of dead neurons and blasted synapses while making your eyeballs roll up, pleading to God or whoever to strike you down on the spot if you hear one more reference to crabgrass or “Did you see (insert any reality show here) last night?” You’re much more comfortable alone in your study, “Nadia, no interruptions for the next week, please!” reading books written by dead people because no live people have written any books worthy of your esteemed, and possibly imagined, intellectual attention. The solitary life for you. Who’d have you, anyway?

Then there are the ones like Silas in my book so consumed with guilt, deserved or not, that they are compelled to live alone as punishment for the hurt they inflicted on others, intentionally or not. The ones with secrets – personal, criminal, governmental – who feel the only way to keep those secrets, and save humanity or at least the one they love from afar – is to live apart from anyone they might be tempted to tell them to.  The ones who’ve seen and understand the worst of the basic human condition and just don’t want to interact with them anymore. The ones with a challenge, like walking to the South Pole, alone, or climbing a mountain, alone, or sailing around the world, alone, where it’s their strength, their will, their brains that determine success  or failure. All the glory, all the blame.

No matter why you live a solitary life, voluntary or involuntary, there’s someone out there who despite your resistance, gets you, cares about you and whether intentionally or not will bring you into a socially acceptable congregation of two, alone together.


What If? you were hearing voices, not a voice, not a few voices, all of them. You’d think you were crazy as would most other people you were foolish enough to tell. Then you discover that solitude quiets the voices so you live in a cabin in the woods (don’t forget the pristine lake) as Solitary Men/Women do. Then the voices return, but they’re alien voices and you understand them and out of the jumble in your head you realize they are preparing to conquer Earth. At some point someone comes into your solitary life. A boy or girl, lost or running away. Maybe an older man or woman, lost or running away. They think you’re crazy, but you’ve bonded, connected (insert steamy sex scene here) and now they can hear the voices, too. Your mission, if you decide you give a damn, is go out in the world and using your power and sidekick, save it.

What If? you were sailing single-handed in the middle of the ocean at night, watching the blazing lights of a cruise ship speed over the horizon. You hear a cry for help. You’re not crazy or stupid so you’re quick to figure out what’s happened. Oh shit. For a few seconds you consider continuing on your placid way, but you know you won’t. You follow the voice to a woman, or man, in the water, under imminent shark attack. Eventually she tells you that she was thrown overboard by persons unknown. Murdered. Why? Don’t know. All you want to do is drop her at the nearest port and sail on. But you know you won’t because you want to know, WHY?

What If? you were trapped in Limbo, floating alone in the timeless darkness, trapped by an evil Sorcerer (or, of course, Sorceress) for meddling in his affairs. But for a long time (hours, weeks, years) you’ve been moving toward a spot of light. Suddenly the spot rushes up and dumps you out into a vast desolate, grassy, sparsely treed, rocky, gouged, mountain bordered, rugged plain. You are alone.  You head for some high hills to see what can be seen. A person runs over the crest, yells at you to run. Behind him come semi-human creatures – hunters. You follow the prey to a tight copse of trees at the end of a deep ravine. You fight the hunters, win, at the cost of the prey’s life. Before he dies he tells you to get to the cave, grotto, hut, altar, mansion, palace and you will be safe.  Ever the Solitary Man, you make your way across the deadly landscape fighting or eluding the ever more deadly hunters and other hungry beasts to your ultimate goal, the _____ of ______, and the second book of the series.

Even though you might be imbedded with the social media in-crowd, give a thought and a hand to those solitary boys and girls, men and women, who stare out from the corners of life’s cocktail party.

Please click here to go to the Ancient Mariners’ page for a short excerpt and links to where it can be downloaded.

Don’t Go In The Water!

Posted in Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Writing with tags , on March 30, 2010 by davidburtonwriting

Water, whether you love it or it terrifies you, you got to have it. Dying of thirst isn’t much fun. Your blood gets thicker and thicker and eventually there’s only a red dust tumbling through your veins, like one of those old dolls filled with sawdust. Unless you are possessed by an evil spirit, or, if you’re lucky, a good spirit with a sense of humor, you’ll be blowing’ in the wind,  baby, like a dust devil in the desert.

Of course, too much is just as bad for you. If you’re one of those athletic freaks, oops, sorry, species who go to bed and get up with the mantra hydrate, hydrate, hydrate coursing through your brain like a Noir murder mystery movie  where the old Victrola is playing the same relevant refrain of a scratched record over and over before revealing the dead body slumped over the desk, you don’t want to drink too much water. Drinking too much, whether, flavored, fortified, purified, or, God forbid, plain, will turn your blood into a thin rusty tea, that won’t do you any more good than red dust.

Drowning is no fun either. And even though I’ve heard that it’s not that bad a way to go, sucking in that first cold lungful of water’s  gotta be a bitch. In any case, whether you’re in the ocean a thousand miles from land and your boat sinks and you can’t quite make it to the liferaft the wind is blowing a little too quick for you to catch up, or if you’re dead drunk face down in three inches of gutter water, lungs full of water are not a good thing.  Either way, or any way in between, that whole life passing before your eyes thing might be trippy.

A lot of people like water, sailors, divers, surfers, fisherpeople, beach goers and Real estate sales people among them. I like the water and hope to be sailing on it again one day. Abby Sunderland likes water. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be attempting to be the youngest person, she’s 16, yes, 16, to sail around the world singlehanded, nonstop. If a 16-year-old girl can do it, I can, too.  You can follow her blog at  or at . She should be rounding Cape Horn as you read this. Yea, Abby.  I am so jealous.

Many people don’t like the water. I don’t know why, except it might kill you and that most likely  just beyond the limit of your visibility, whether that’s one foot or two hundred feet, something is waiting to eat you. I’d sail across an ocean in a minute, but I have no desire to jump in the water a 1000 miles from anywhere because I know, I know, that if I do, a long tentacle will shoot out of the depths, wrap around my leg,  and drag me down. And not to introduce me to some long-lost Atlantean civilization where I’ll live forever in undersea bliss. Those monsters down there are HUNGRY, man.

Sure, water soothes the soul and all that. We’re 90 something per cent water and like attracts like. We even respond to the pull of the moon’s gravity, just like water. Must be why a full moon pulls the werewolf out of us. But, soothing your soul while you lay on the sand soaking up all those nasty sun beams doesn’t really make for exciting stories like–


What if you were sailing for the S. Pacific and you were stuck in the Doldrums and to bide your time while waiting for the next rain squall, you looked into the water and saw something swim up out of the depths and it wasn’t a tentacle but a mermaid. Not  a Manatee, those old-time sailors must have been really hard up to mistake one for a mermaid, but a real mermaid, or merman. Maybe she begged you for help, told you evil gangster mermen were after her, and you helped her. Brought her aboard, made a bathtub of the cockpit. The thing is, is she running from the gangster mermen, or was she escaping from mermen police? What is her/his agenda, and are you helping because you really believe there’s a mer-something in your cockpit? Or is he/she pulling a Call-of-the-Siren thing on you and leading you astray?

What if you woke up one morning and heard the dripping of water in your head? It would not go away, drip, drip, drip. You tried to go about your business, but there it was, drip, drip, drip. Sometimes a bit faster, sometimes slower. You try to move away as it drips slower. Blocks, miles, cities, states, countries, the sound slows, but never stops, never…stops. Like the Chinese Water torture, you become so used to the drip, drip, drip, when it stops you go crazy waiting for the next drip of water on your forehead. Finally you have to  move toward the dripping, following the sound in your head, faster, faster it draws you toward the source. This is now your quest, your life. You wander, miles to the North, miles South, East, West. Is it faster this way? This way? Slowly you narrow down the location. Your heart beats faster. You know where the dripping water comes from. You remember. Dread fills you. No. Not there. Please, not there. Yet the drip, drip, drip inexorably draws  you to… your redemption or damnation.  Which do you deserve?

What if you were a boy or girl on the cusp of adulthood in an Island society? It was time for your ritual ceremony. You drank the potion, breathed the special smoke… and woke up in a small boat on a big ocean. You had a little water, a little food, and no idea where you were, what direction was your island? What would you do? Survive, perish? Find your Island, find another island? Sail into legend as the mysterious sailor who brings good or bad luck if sighted? What adventures might you have alone a sea with only your wits and the creatures of the sea to help you?

What if the Apocalypse came and went and you were still here and controlled the only water source in a hundred miles. Would you share it, hoard it? Dole it out as long as  the recipients did what you wanted, vile or virtuous? Virtuous at the beginning, how long until you passed the line to wicked to protect your water, and your power?

What if you had to take a Heart of Darkness trip up a river? Lots of things can happen, real or otherwise, on a journey up a close jungle river, whether accompanied by friends (are they really?) or strangers. Which ones do you think you should trust your life to?

Think about it. I’m sailing off into the sunset for awhile, figuratively, if not literally. Untie that dockline, will you?

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