Recycling is Dangerous

Sorry I haven’t posted in so long, I know you’ve been worried, but I’ve been on the run for a few months. Hiding out in friends’ basements, sleeping in homeless shelters, under bridges, making contact with other recyclers. I tried to cross the border, but they were watching. border1

I had to keep moving. They’re relentless! They stop at nothing. The fate of the people who have helped me is unknown. They’ve vanished! But I’m tired of running without telling my side of the story to the public.

Okay, I’ll admit it, I did the deed. I couldn’t help it. It was just laying there on top of the trash, calling out to me, “Recycle me. Mister, please recycle me. Don’t throw me out with the other trash to slowly and painfully deteriorate for a hundred years or more in some stinking landfill.”  I admit I felt sorry for that No. 1 plastic bottle.water bottle2

It knew the right thing to do. So did I. So I took it, and damn the draconian rules against recycling at my work place in a camouflaged office building tucked into a far corner of Area 51, right next to Area 52,area 51 1 that state, for no logical reason that I’ve heard, “Do not touch recyclable plastic bottles or aluminum cans. They are trash, worth money and environmental points, but you deprive them from their place in the landfill AT YOUR PERIL!”

So, yes, I took it.  I was weak. But I took that one lonesome bottle and stashed it in my roller trash cart. Sure I was scared, but it felt damned good, doing the right thing, helping a plastic bottle, and not even one of those ubiquitous  flimsy little water bottles – it was a full-size Gatorade bottle –gatorade large to it’s rightful environmental place.  I was a proud Green Warrior, defying the nonsensical proclamations of those on high who drive gas guzzlers, take long, hot showers,  never turn off the lights when leaving the room, and deny Global Warming.

That courageous feeling lasted until the next afternoon when Sir called me into his office. Without a word he tapped a key on his computer and played a video of me holding the bottle in my hands, squaring my shoulders and putting the bottle in a bottom pouch of my trash can. “You’re under arrest for recycling,” he said, pronouncing “Recycling” with the same tone he’d accuse one of murdering his mother.

I was busted. What did I have to lose? “You’re a smart guy,” I said. “You know that the Ban Recycling Decree is, as everyone I’ve told has responded, ‘A stupid idea.’ Right?” I followed his glance out the window. Two burly Recycle Agents, or as they’re colloquially called, the Plastic Police, strode toward the office door. I didn’t have much time to decide what to do.

“That’s the law. It’s my job to enforce them, not question them.”

I stood up. Leaned on his desk. “Your laws go against Federal, State and City environmental and waste reduction programs. When this gets out, and it will, it will be you running from the Storm Troopers. stormtroop2I hope they make you all dig up all the tens of thousands of bottles and cans from the landfill, and the thousands of dollars you forced us to throw away are used to repay us for our pain and anguish at having to follow such a crazy law.”

Sir cocked his head and squinted at me. “Running?”

The front door slammed and I heard the hobnail boots click – clack on the tile floor. I grabbed a half-full water bottle off his desk. “Running.” Then I spun around and dashed out the door. I had no idea where I was going. All I knew was I had to stay free and expose this travesty of misuse of power to all the good people of the land. So now you know what’s happening here. I beg you, please, for the sake of all the plastic, numbers 1-7, and aluminum cans big and small that yearn to be recycled, speak up, question, demonstrate. Don’t let one more bottle or can linger for hundreds of years in an anonymous landfill.

BTW – If someone can arrange a clandestine trip out of the country to an anonymous location (preferably tropic) free from pursuit, I might know a thing or two about what really happens in Area 52. Just saying.  

IDEAS

What if there was a logical, from their point of view, reason to put the plastic in the landfill?landfill1 Maybe Area 52 was a special landfill keeping alien worms captive and they only ate #1 plastic. These wormsworm1 were telepathic and the Feds were experimenting on them to learn how to be  telepathic. And maybe if someone was on the run and hid under the tarp he might make a deal with the worms – He helps them escape to their hidden ship and they will make him telepathic – a useful ability for a man on the run.

What If plastic was a rare commodity in the galaxy? And after we almost exterminated ourselves by ignoring Global Warming, Earth was discovered by aliens and they found the rich deposits of plastic in our old landfills. Then, they either enslaved the surviving humans to mine the plastic, or they ignored the pesky survivors who asked them for help. Then, what if another alien race, no friends of the first, discovered the precious deposits. Maybe, in the ensuing Plastic War, the humans took advantage, helping the aliens destroy each other, allowing the humans to appropriate their technology and head for the stars with ships full of plastic wealth.

space ship2

What If in some future world a powerful wizard was being hassled by the Powers That Be (PTB). To get even, get revenge, get free, get power, the wizard makes a golem out of ancient plastic found only in the Abandoned lands. Maybe he needs an apprentice to help him, or a soldier, or a guide. Of course Golemsgolem2 have a reputation of being unpredictable.

So, please speak up against onerous anti-recycling rules. Hiding in strange basements and sleeping in boxcars is only fun the first time. I’d like to go home.

Just got a great review from Vampireforums.com for my book Blood Justice. Check it out – http://vampireforums.com/blood-justice-book-review/

For links to my latest mystery novel, Passion Street, please go to: http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com/passion-street

Or, go to: http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com  to find all my books and stories.

What was that? Oh, man, I got to g….

 

 

My Earth, All Mine

“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

IDEAS

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 – http://youtu.be/NNLTJNUgYHs

My website (such as it is) with information on my books and stories is: http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com

Feel free to comment and Please share.

dcburtonjr@gmail.com

Nowhere

Pulling the idea out of nowhere, I think a blogger is supposed to put all their promotional material at the end of the blog. Probably because by the end you, the reader, are supposed to be so enthralled by the brilliant writing and incredibly useful and timely information that you’ll buy whatever their selling or go wherever they want you to go with a smile on your face and your heart and wallet wide open. But what if you, the mightily intelligent and astute reader that you are, doesn’t (gasp!) read to the end? Not this blog, of course, but those other ones. You’d miss all the clever calls to action they got from a list touted on some other blog. What then? Think of all the opportunities and cleverness missed and/or wasted! To that end (wouldn’t want you to miss anything) – Go to. Click on. Buy! Jump! Buy! Share. Like! You’ll be amazed how much smarter, how psychologically stable and emotionally cleansed you’ll feel after you Buy!, and read these incredible (may be based on real persons) e-stories. And if you (deeply generous person that you are) share these links with others, why in no time, Overnight! you’ll have thousands of likes, friends, followers, money, happiness and success. I promise. You trust me, don’t you? So just to help you out, here are —- The first two stories in the Ancient Mariners Story series:AM Heartbreak final cover 2

Ancient Mariners serieshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/9146

 Heartbreak

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FNWB8LA

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/363624

Beth, 14, and Silas, 42, have lost their families to violence. Now, sailing together, they have found a home and a new family in Mexico. But Death has other plans for them – This is the first step on a journey to revenge that will set them free.AM First Kill cover

First Kill

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FP1Q6PM

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/364885

“I thought we were spared for the events fourteen days after my sixteenth birthday. When I killed my first man.” – Beth, 16. — Beth and Silas enjoy a beautiful tropical night aboard some new friends’ yacht. Until it goes bad and Beth has no choice but to make her – First Kill.

YOUNG BLOOD – An Accidental Vampire Serieshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/6017

 Young Blood cover

Smashwords-http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/362496

Young Blood is the third story (a 29,000 word novella) in the An Accidental Vampire series. 

In 1648 France, Simone Gireaux, a Young Blood vampire, is persuaded to help find the truth behind a Duchess’s murder.

Okay, got that out of way. You wouldn’t have wanted to miss that, right? Right? I’ll take that as a, “No. Of course I didn’t want to miss all that, even though there wasn’t much cleverness to it.” Now, where was I? You’re probably thinking – Nowhere. Ha.

Speaking of Nowhere, where is nowhere? Does it exist? Everything is somewhere relative to something. Even in space. You may be 2.68 parsecs from the planet Gigglbot surrounded by Dark Matter and nothingness, but you’re somewhere, even if you don’t know exactly where.

There is Limbo, which is, depending on the story you’re writing, either a dark void or, like in my sometime forthcoming novel Blood on the Water, a white room with no entrance, no exit, and no time that exists but doesn’t exist. It makes that old saw – “You can’t get there from here,” a true statement.

Maybe the only real Nowhere is in your mind?

“Where are you in your investigation?”

“Nowhere.”

“Where are the car keys you’ve been looking for for half an hour?”

“F&%$*@ing nowhere.”

“Hands on the wall, scumbag. Where do think you’re going?”

“Nowhere.”

Speaking of nowhere, Limbo, and space stations, Nowhere is where the occupants, vampire and mortal, of the space station Haven hope the Sunvamps who have taken over Earth think they are. Orbiting 400 miles over Earth is not nowhere, but, “Out of sight, out of mind,” works for the people of Haven – until it doesn’t.  — Down Home is a An Accidental Vampire Series novella waiting for a second draft.

Lost in limbo, consigned to oblivion, stuck, ennui, neither here nor there = Nowhere… unless… something out of your control happens and gives you hope that in your mind or physical being you can change nowhere, whether self-imposed or circumstance-imposed, to somewhere. (See Down Home)

“Can’t get there from here”  works the other way, too. Once you get to nowhere it can be hard to get back, mentally or physically. Physically, magic helps. Just ask Teresa of Blood Justice and Blood on the Water. Mentally, a goal to focus on can pull you out of your ennui and get you back on the road to SOMEWHERE. (See Down Home)

IDEAS

What If someone or something you wanted was trapped in Limbo, or the like, and the only way to get to them was by magic, but you didn’t happen to have a witch or sorcerer in your social circle?  Where would you go to find one to help you? Maybe that homeless guy who for some reason nobody messes with and never seems to get wet in the rain or cold in the winter and has that I-know-something-you-don’t look. Or that palmist in that little rundown house on the edge of town your friends swear is dead accurate? Or maybe there’s something in that old book your uncle everybody said was wizard (yeah, sure, ha ha) left you. And where would that journey lead you?

What If you were nowhere in your mind? Lost, confused, discombobulated, having done something BAD but now with nowhere to go and no way to get there? You were just walking, when – “Hands on the wall, scumbag. Where do think you’re going?” – “Nowhere.” – So they put you in jail (somewhere!) on suspicion of murdering somebody who needed murdering. But, of course the cops wouldn’t see it that way even though they agreed he/she should have been killed in as long and painful way as possible. Cops got to do their cop thing.  In the next cell is a strange person who calls him/her self a Journey Agent. This agent promises you a wonderful life journey if you do something for him/her.  Not caring, you agree. Maybe you do his task (that didn’t seem too bad) right away or maybe later. In any case you lead a wonderful life – great spouse, kids, house, job. If you haven’t done the task maybe it comes due. Maybe you have to choose between doing something bad or losing your family and happiness. Maybe you end up sacrificing your life and end up dying by lethal injection – it was all a dream. (Lame) Maybe you figure it out and find a workaround, do the task but live. (Better) Maybe you find the Journey Agent and…? (Best)

What If there really is a Middle of Nowhere, and it’s in the ocean a thousand miles from land (been there, missed it) and you sail right into it and find yourself in Nowhere Land an amazing  place of….

What If what happens in Nowheresvile stays in Nowheresville? Maybe you die and go to an alternative Vegas where the winner of the big Poker Game of Life gets to return to life and try again. Of course you’ll be playing for high stakes against people who will do anything to get back to Somewhere.

 So don’t be a nowhere man, be on http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com for links and excerpts of other books and stories.

Overcoming the Monster

Okay, first things first, (which is a majorly obvious statement because whatever is first is first so it’s actually a wasted 16 bytes (17 if you include the comma to satisfy all the grammar snobs out there) and we all know there’s a limited amount of bytes (would I kid you?!) in the universe and the internet is gobbling them up like a doper with the “munchies” inhales peanut M&Ms, so forget I mentioned that saying, aphorism, idiom, expression, motto, slogan, colloquialism, phrase, archaism, etc., or whatever it is and go right into the shameless promotional moment you were hoping for).

Okay, the first thing (or is it now the second thing?) is a shameless promo for my novel Hell Cop which is now available in paperback for the e-reader impaired or those of us who just like to hold a damn book in our hands, sniff that new book aroma, and turn real pages. Plus, isn’t it more comfortable with a real book lying open on your stomach when you fall asleep? Not falling asleep with my books, of course. Just all those other hacks. However, if you’re fully digitized, go to http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com for links to all my bytes, vampire and otherwise.

I wouldn’t bother to tell you about these books, but I’m looking out for your well being. I want you to be prepared when the zombies attack, which it seems could be any day now by the number of books, comics, TV shows and movies about them. You wouldn’t want to be trapped in that ancient, leaky bomb shelter for months or years without a good book or two because that (safe?) genetically modified killer virus escaped and wiped out most of human kind. And no good books for all those years while cowering in that high mountain cave after the whole globe turns into a deadly environmental disaster area because global warming (that’s not happening, according to some____(fill in your own naughty word)) kicked into high gear–Oh please, no. BTW – If you don’t believe in Global Warming feel free to buy that beachfront property that seems so cheap.

Monsters? What monsters? Oh… yeah, them. I’ve been rummaging around the 720 page, 500+ words/page (whew) book,  The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker. The first one is Overcoming the Monster. There’s plenty of monsters out there — Medusa, Cyclops, Grendel, Mr. Hyde, Moriarity, supernatural nasties  by the score, ex-wives/husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends, vamps, and, okay, okay, zombies. According to Booker, since stories began thousands of years ago, Overcoming the Monster stories have 5 stages– Spoiler Alert! — If you’re a reader you might want to scroll down a bit. You don’t need to know how stories are written. It  might take away some of the mystery and excitement that are my books. And… well… maybe a few others.

1.  The Call – Anticipation stage

2. Initial Success – Dream stage

3. Confrontation – Frustration stage

4. Final Ordeal – Nightmare stage

5. Miraculous Escape – Death of the monster.

Most all overcoming the monster stories follow this pattern. It seems to be in our genes. What struck me was that, though it was finished before I read the book, I found my latest novel, Blood on the Water, (at the publisher, sequel to Blood Justice , paperback here) – naturally followed the 5 stages. Do yours?

Ideas

What if your monster was your ex-wife/husband. Your divorce seemed amicable enough, but your spouse was not happy, carried a grudge, and was slightly (majorly) unhinged by it. You’ve moved on, found your princess/prince. The Ex seemed to have moved on, but hasn’t. Then your princess disappears. (Call to action)  You’re down and out but rally, search about and discover that the Ex has taken her and locked her in the attic, basement, pit, cell, cave, high tower. (Initial success) You man up, confront the monster, but the princess is gone and you get the shit beat out of you. (Confrontation)  You despair, want to give up, but your love rallies you, and win or lose, doing whatever you have to, you once again confront the monster (final ordeal) You’re up, you’re down, you fight through and finally rescue the one who makes you whole (miraculous escape) The monster is defeated and you and your princess/prince live happily ever after.

What if you were a kid and instead of monsters under the bed, in your closet was another world. Not a magical one with talking lions and such, but your world, only different. In it you are someone else, a nice person, with a nice boy/girlfriend. You like these people. They’re happy, you’re happy. Then, tragedy. The b/gfriend is murdered. You’re a witness. They’re after you. You run. You see the date; it’s tomorrow. Back in your bedroom you freak out. Parents think you’re high, big sister thinks you’re crazy. What the hell? You have a name, know their school, know somebody who knows somebody there. You go, search, just miss them. You saw where it happened, but don’t know where it is. You look for someone to help you. You find a nice (very) goodlooking person, with a great smile and sympathetic eyes who doesn’t think you’re nuts. Together you search for the coming murder scene. There it is! There they are! “Stop!” Bam. A car hits you. You’re hurt. Doesn’t matter. Running, limping, you chase after. There’s the killer, the monster. Only one thing to do…. Your new friend with the eyes and the smile is very proud of you.

What if there really was a monster that was guarding an artifact that would bring you unlimited riches and power over the world? So you and your evil henchmen go to the desert, mountains, jungle, city, underwater, space after it. It’s a tough slog. One by one your men are lost. You don’t care. You want that power, damn it. Hurt, starving, you come across a poor family. They show you kindness. Local bad guys are harassing them, stealing food, taking their daughter. They don’t ask for help, but for the first time you’re willing to give it and you take care of the bad guys. Finally you confront the monster, and being an evil genius you defeat it and gain the artifact. The family knows of the artifact and advises you not to use it. Of course you don’t listen and head back to civilization to put it to use. –End of the book in the series.

My monster is promoting, marketing my books and stories. Reviews, likes, shares, and word of mouth would all help slay that dragon.

Watch for Programed for Murder a mystery available soon. In return for a review I’d be happy to send you a PDF of the book.

A preview of the novella Young Blood is available here. I’d appreciate any comments and answers to the three questions.

Website – http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com    —  Find info and links on all my work here.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DBurtonWriting

 

Vamps in Space!

First, a shameless plug… hustle… ah, notice of importance. My novel Hell Cop is now available in print from Amazon.

I’ve been thinking lately (always good to try something new) about what happens to vampires in space. Why am I thinking about that, you ask. And you should ask, because who the hell thinks, or cares, about the physiological effects of space on vampires? Except for Vampires and those who want to round them up, send them up and Good-fracking-bye paleface bloodsuckers.

It all began a long time ago, but never mind that. What matters is that I recently sent off the sequel to my novel Blood Justice — tentatively titled Blood on the Water.  So, fool, glutton for punishment, and/or masochist that I am, I’m already thinking about the next book in the series. There has to be a next book because two isn’t a series — it’s a couple of books looking for a third for gin rummy, a night of kinky pleasure, or maybe just a chaperon. I already have an idea for that all important third; but what about the next and next and next? If you keep going far enough you have to go up to space or down to Hell.

fire facecrop2

Hell — been there — the Hell Cop almost series (2 1/4 and counting) — and plan to go again, but vamps have to go up. So what are the rules up there? Think a space station, inside and out, no suit.

space1spacesuit com

No air – No problem. Vampires don’t need to breathe, except to talk. Though if one got shoved out an airlock they could beat on the door all they wanted but would certainly prove the truth of the  phrase – “In space, nobody can hear you scream.” (Thank you, James Cameron)

spacepic2Vacuum – Problem, sort of. Explosive decompression will do to vamps what it did to all those mortals in all those B Sci-Fi movies when their helmets got cracked – Phump, all nasty inside the faceplate. However, slow decompression they can handle, though not without a lot of grimacing and uncomfortableness  in the nether regions. Their quick healing can counteract all that cell and gas (yes they have gas, too) expansion.

Cold –  Even the toughest already dead vampire will be a stone-cold vamp way before getting close to absolute zero (0° K, 273.15°c,459.67° F) By -50°c, they’re getting creaky. By -100° C they’re barely able to move. Below that for any  time and they’re likely to be stone dead and not coming back a third time. Even vampire healing can only go so far. Although that might depend on whether they’re a good guy or bad guy and the state of alien technology . (See below)

Heat — For you, much time over 115° and you’re done. Vampires, 130-140° and their super repair faculty can’t keep up with the damage.  From vamp to mummy real quick.mummies1

Sun — Big Problem. We (unless you’re a hard core Buffy buff) all know that a Vampire has a maximum 30 minutes in the sun until they’re ash and dust. At 15 minutes they are praying for the immolation agony to be over. That’s on Earth where they get some shielding from the atmosphere. In space — 15 minutes max and they’re dust in the solar wind. No repairs. No redos.

spacesuit1With a proper space suit (a mortal one will do) they would be good to go for a long time. That sounds good until you get kicked out an air lock and are flung out into space to drift to the next star. You’d get mighty lonely floating out there for years, ravaged by a Blood Hunger that can never be fulfilled.

IDEAS

What if a vampire was ejected, intentionally or accidentally, into space for decades or years or even a really long time and was picked up by some aliens and rejuvenated, reconstituted, reanimated, revived, or whatever. What would they think? What would he or she think? What if the aliens were at war with some nasty invaders — like humans? Who would the vamp fight for? What would humans be/look like by that time? Would the long lost vampire finally find romance in an alien war?

What if  a vampire was a security chief on a huge Ark ship on the way to ____? He would have to solve murders, find stolen goods, locate missing people (whether they wanted to be missing or not) in a sort of Hardboiled/Spock/Sherlock H. kind of way. But who would be Watson?

What if the Earth was invaded by aliens and they were winning. There was one last escape ship ready to go with lots of important people — scientists, engineers, women, children on board. No vampires allowed – they’re being blamed for the invasion. The last group (the ones who know how to run the ship and where to go once they get away) race toward the ship. A group of vamps want to escape, too, and they know that one of the last group is an agent for the aliens. Would they be able to stop him/her from boarding? Of course not. So, how do they get onboard and find the spy before the Ark ship is blown up or captured, the humans enslaved, tortured or eaten? Whew!

zombie1

Makes me hungry just thinking about it. And thinking about eating, unlike zombies, not all vampires are bad. And you don’t have to be an immortal dead to read about some. Go HERE at vamp speed, not zombie speed, and check it out. In the UK go HERE.

Pleasant dreams.

Hey, Gaia, how hot is it?

Maybe it should be, how hot will it get? Whether you deny the reality or accept the fact – it’s getting hot outside. And I know why. Well, we all know why, hydrocarbons, human inventiveness, cow farts, all that. But why is all that and more making the Earth hotter every year? Because we have an enemy whose sole aim is to destroy humanity.

The enemy is not aliens bent on making Earth uninhabitable for humans so they can move in because they need a new planet and Earth looks pretty good except for the 7 or 8 billion pesky humans running around taking up valuable real estate.  And  they already made their own planet hot and uninhabitable, and know how to do it so what chance do we have? No, not them.

Nor is it some supernatural entity who wants to make the surface of the Earth available for all demon kind who are tired of living down under. (Not you Australia, farther down) Of course, even among the average Joes and Janes of the supernatural entity masses there will be some who resist change (meaning they would have to accept logic and facts) no matter how good it might be for the people as a whole, or their descendants. Though some might think differently if the Greenhouse Gas oven we are building cooks the humans to a delectably putrid state. Yum. No, not them, either.

No, it’s Gaia (that’s the Earth in case you missed that day in your mythological geology class because you had to spend half the night before figuring out how to update your Facebook status from straight and sober to a loosey goosey high, and back)  herself. I have it on no particular authority that long ago Gaia recognized that humans would be bad for her so she put together a short (in geological time) plan. She knew, with the prescience of 5 million years experience,  that in a few thousand years even though the new hairy beasts only used two feet instead of four, they’d leave a BIG messy footprint.

So she created oil (you do not want to know where that really came from – zooplankton,  algae, dinosaurs, leaves and twigs? Oh please.) figuring they’d figure out how to burn the stuff irresponsibly, causing the atmosphere to heat to uninhabitable levels. Then, in a short 5000 years or so, they’d all die off from flooding, famine, heat stroke, wars for the few remaining resources, or high temperature viruses and bacteria;  or figure out how to leave the planet altogether. Either way, what does she care, peace and quiet at last.

IDEAS

What if you were an astronaut and were sent to Mars with the idea of moving all the remaining humans to that cool red land? There, you meet the God of Mars, Gaia’s younger brother who she tormented endlessly when they were young just forming planets. Mars realizes what you are planning and wants nothing to do with an invasion of immigrants. He also knows some of Gaia’s secrets and sees a payback opportunity. So you make a deal; Mars will spill his secrets and help you return Earth to a habitable state, if humans stay away. You, being a shrewd wheeler-dealer, negotiate the rights to develop one crater as a resort. What a deal. Except we all know what happens when you let a few humans in the door.

What if Gaia has a brain? And you find it while lost deep in a cavern. But the brain is under attack by a virus that had mutated due to the excessive heat on the surface, and even Gaia can not control it. If the brain dies, the power of Gaia dies and the Earth will spin apart destroying all. But, you are a doctor and you cure Gaia’s brain fever. You also convince her that some humans respect the Earth and deserve to live. Grateful, Gaia agrees, but a limited number only,  one billion, the rest must go. She gives you the power to choose. You must mark the areas – cities, states, countries, islands, continents  – for destruction, or all will be destroyed. How do you choose?  Who do you choose? Do you choose? Will absolute power corrupt you absolutely? Will humanity, a billion of them, anyway, be saved? Will you be seen as villain or hero?

No matter how crispy it gets outside, keep your cool and think about why it’s so hot. Then do something about it.

I’m hot under the collar, (or would be if I wore shirts with collars)those people put another of my stories up in their little contest. This is my first and final plea – Please vote for An Accidental Vampire at www.voteformyebook.com. It’s hot!

And the loser is…

loser2Me. The loser? Okay, last time I was working on being a winner, but I was a loser. Second place! Can you imagine my embarrassment? I begged and groveled for votes. I browbeat family, friends, and acquaintances new and old. I even had a meeting at a crossroads ready to make a deal with the big D, but I guess my soul wasn’t worth much because  he only sent a minor minion to negotiate. The kid  (he could have at least sent an adult minor minion don’t you think?) said I’d have to bring another soul with me to make the deal worth it. Now that’s embarrassment. Though I did run through a short list of  possibilities. Don’t bother asking if you were considered. I’m not .

www.voteformyebook.com You probably have this link memorized by now,  I put it up only for the newbies. Don’t be offended.

In any case, the brains(?) behind the contest took pity on me. They said I put up a good fight, though I lost by a sneaky last hour 8 votes. (My attorneys are consulting with the FBI about voter fraud infractions. I’ll keep you informed. You may be called as a witness.) So, in their infinite sadism, they put up another of my books, Fear Killer , a psychological thriller,  for the December contest. So, after I got through punching the computer screen while screaming, “No! No! Please, not again. How much humiliation do you expect me to take?” once again I’m searching, gently, with the utmost respect for your political, religious, and moral beliefs, computer expertise, the dark secret (that you actually read this blog)  you hide from your spouses, BFFs, and strangers who talk you up at the bar you hang out in at odd hours, (hmmm, another secret?) and oh, I almost forgot,  your time.  www.voteformyebook.com If I win, then I, and you, won’t have to go through this again and I can go back to shameless hucksterism of my books (did I mention a Hell Cop Bundle?) and you can go back to ignoring said hucksterism. Now that’s a deal!

By the way, I’m not the only loser out there (whew, misery loves company.) There must be a hundred, maybe even (gasp) a thousand of us, anloser and winnersd I think we should be shown a little appreciation by all those gloating winners swimming in their vaults full of cash like Scrooge McDuck. After all, without us losers there wouldn’t be any winners. So I think they should share some of their fraudulently (I mean, really, how could those shlubs have won all those millions, or cars, or a literary consultancy critique, over me without a little fakery going on)  gotten gains. 5% sounds fair, don’t you think?

IDEAS

I have no ideas for loser stories. I mean who wants to read about losers? Even about ones who are having a beer in a bar and meet another gulosers1y having a beer who was just dumped by his girlfriend who happens to work for the Lottery people. Before he was dumped, because she thought he’d never amount to anything, she showed him how it all worked, so he tells loser 1 who happens to know a genius loser girl who knows something about everything, and they have a few more beers and call loser 3, the girl, and pretty soon they have a plan involving magnetics, sex, stolen lottery balls and the like, which they actually attempt. What do have to lose they haven’t already? Hilarity, mayhem, sex and romance ensue. Of course the plan doesn’t quite go so smoothly, but of course they all end up amounting to a great deal. Who’d want to read that?

As necessary as losers are, I’d rather be a winner. It’s that Season. Won’t you help a poor starving writer who hustles his wares on a cold, blustery sidewalk just down from a Salvation Army Santa where he hopes snag a little of his generous HoHo Ho spirit instead of the spirit of indifference endemic of the general public?

Have pity, Sir. Have pity.starvwriter2

Poor me.

Who you calling old?

One of the characters in the novel I’m working on, Blood on the Water, (the sequel to Blood Justice) had herself turned into a vampire to seek revenge. That got me thinking…

If there are such things as vampires, I hope before one changes me into a ravaging blood-thirsty beast I have time to get hair plugs, a face lift, a tummy tuck, a bit-o-liposuction, and a little tightening of the neck. My nose is good. Even though I’ll be lurking in back alleys and dark parks looking for cute, blonde teenage girls (I didn’t add smart because a smart girl wouldn’t be in those places) to slake my maddening thirst for fresh young blood, I want to look good for the rest of my immortal life.

I just celebrated (?) one of those milestone birthdays no one looks forward to. If I’m destined to be changed into an immortal beast monster gentelman this isn’t the one I’d have chosen to be changed at.

What  would be the best age to be upgraded to immortal? “Go Young” you might say. But how young? Certainly not less than 18. It might sound fun to be a teenager for ever, but after 30 or 40 years you might want to go into a bar and have more than a Shirley Temple. They card vampires too, you know. Not to mention that as a teenager you might think you know it all, but you don’t. Unlike Rodney Dangerfield, if you want some respect, you should wait until at least 21 before allowing that charming bad boy/girl vamp to give you the bite that lasts. Even at 21 you’ll still get carded everywhere, and after 20 or 30 years nobody is going to look at your ID and believe you’re 40 or 50 years old. You don’t want people looking into your birth records then bugging you for the secret of how you’ve stayed so young looking, do you?

If you want to flow through the centuries with a certain level of gravitas, you might wait until 50, or even 60. Maybe 62 if you’re big on Senior Discounts. Who knows, if us mortals continue to live longer on our own 60 might be the perfect time to get that sporty convertible to scratch that mid-life crises itch. However, if you’re going to choose that option I suggest you go vegan and to the gym, starting now.

30ish would seem to be the ideal age to receive the gift, or curse, of immortality. Old enough to leave some, not all, of that youthful wildness behind you and still have your body, good looks, and hair.  If male pattern baldness is already creeping up on you, you might consider going younger, or learn how to shave your head. Bald is beautiful, Baby! You’ll also be young enough to be envied by all those old folks over 40. A plus for sure.  At 30, with experience and youthful indiscretions behind you, you’ll be ready to start building the fortune that will sustain you for the coming millennium or two; houses, cars, boats, travel, spouses.

Speaking of hair, make sure you have your hair cut in a classic style for the ages that you like. Because I’m not sure the hair of vampiric immortals will grow out to fix a bad haircut.

IDEAS

What if you were young and down on your luck, maybe living in your car, with few prospects, and a stranger, say 65-70 years old, offers you $100,000 dollars for your youth.  You would still be you, just 65-70 years old. Maybe some grey hair and some sagging here and there, but still you with the same mind as now, just older. You agree. Abra Cadabra you’re old, but not without some intelligence. You look into this age swap thing, find out the stranger’s secret, reverse engineer it, offer some not too bright drunk 25-year-old $5000 for his youth. “Sure. Why not?” he says. You swap, and then you find someone else with $100,000 and make them an offer. And you do this swap again and a again, a nice lucrative business. Except there are some bad guys who want a piece (all of it) of your action. And then there’s the father of a woman whose youth you sort of stole. And a cop who knows more about youth stealing than he should and he’s looking for you.

What if some kids are telling their Grandpa how proud they are of him that he’s such a hero, and he says, “Ain’t nothin’ to be proud of here.” And the kids say, “But everybody says you saved the town, village, city, country, world, galaxy.” “Humph,” he says. “Maybe at the end I did somethin’ good. But that ain’t how it started. They don’t tell ya that, do they?” “What do you mean, Grandpa?” He sips his whiskey and tells them, “Once upon a time….”

What if  you were a retired criminal well into your 60s, but still vital, living nicely with your wife on your ill-gotten gains. Then you had a visit from a some of your old crew. One of the old crew is dying of cancer, because a particular doctor misdiagnosed him, possibly on purpose. He has a family that depends on him. So you agree to look into it and find a criminal enterprise way beyond what you used to do. So you all decide to go against the doctor and all the other white collars who are letting people die for their own gain. The old street-smart tough guys against  the new ruthless, boardroom smart guys.

What if there was a planet where the sentient inhabitants grew old in the usual way, but at a certain time they grew younger, Benjamin Button style. As the unaged they brought all their experience of growing and being old to their government, business and culture. How would that make said government, business and culture different from ours?

What ever your age, be nice to the oldsters. Because sooner than you think you’ll be one of them bitchin that them youngsters don’t give any respect, just like you.

Solitary Man

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.

IDEAS

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.

3 a.m. light in the window

Okay, so you’re driving from here to there and it’s 3 a.m.  You’re cruising at 70 mph past a small town you never heard of and have no idea why it’s where it is. It’s the kind of town the phrase, Roll up the sidewalks at 9 p.m., was made for. It’s all dark but for scattered streetlights. You barely know it’s there until you spot a lighted second story window. With nothing on the radio but way past their prime Oldies, Country music, or some talk show host whose only agenda is to make spurious accusations with the intent of dissing someone in power, (you know who I mean) you wonder, Who the hell is up at 3am? And why?

Could it be as simple as a parent up with a child sick with a common cold, or maybe the kid discovered the Halloween candy his/her parents hid six months ago and decided to make up for months of lost candy time in one day? Maybe it’s not so simple. The child is dying and the parent is sitting up desperately trying to thinking of a way to save the kid. And to keep yourself awake as you blithely motor by, you wonder, “What would I do to save my child?”

Of course you’d take a second job, (if you could find one) or a second mortgage, (if you could find one) or set up a website to solicit donations. Who wouldn’t? But what if money wasn’t the problem? How far would you go off the grid, out of the box? If that old cliché’ A Deal with the Devil was a viable option, would you? There are other possible deal options. A lesser demon trying to gain some sort of street cred by recruiting humans to his/her/its thrall. Aliens who need humans to carry out some ambiguous (to you) plan. A sorcerer or witch with an agenda. (see below)

If the only way to keep your child with you was to have him or her changed into a vampire, would you? Did you see the movie Let the right one in? Think carefully. Maybe it’s a vampire kid who’s sick. He got hold of some tainted blood from a drunk methhead and it was screwing up his natural vamp immunity, and his mother is up practicing her Just say no to drugged up humans speech. Or maybe change the child into a werewolf? At least he/she could go out during the day.

That 3 a.m. lighted window could be as simple as a wife waiting up for her husband whose plane was late. The question of whether or not she has a gun beside her to blow that philandering bastard away when he walks into the bedroom is a question that will have to wait for the early morning news from the police blotter to answer.

And by the way, why are you driving past that window at 3 a.m?

IDEAS

See above.

What if it was a sorcerer or witch that made your kid sick then conveniently made himself (I’ll go with sorcerer, but witches can have the same magical problems) available to cure him/her. Cures like that of course don’t come free. Where’s the story in that?  At some future date he will need your help. Of course you agree. It’s your kid and he’s not the Devil, after all. He calls. You go. He wants you to kill somebody. And he’s scared. You try and cry for another deal. No new deal. You allow him to convince you that the woman he wants dead is an evil, scheming, murdering bitch, so to keep your kid well, you agree.  Besides, you got royally screwed over 15 years ago by your BFF/evil, scheming bitch and the thought of bashing in the head of an evil, scheming, murdering bitch has a certain appeal. So, putting aside any flashes of rational thought and downing a couple of whisky neats, you go see this monster all dressed up as a hot babe and…. This is where you have to decide whether you’re going to take the high road or the low road, the road less taken, the sorcerer’s  way or the highway. And that will determine what exciting, dramatic, humorous, emotional journey comes next.

What if there’s a lonely person in that room who’s tearily writing a suicide note, though she’s convinced nobody will ever read it, or care if they do. The window is beside her. It looks out on a cold lonely landscape just like the one she has inside her. Then she sees a car drive by, the first in hours. And for a moment her despair lifts, there is someone else in the world. She presses her face to the window  and her eyes follow you in that car as you turn off to stop at an all night diner, though you weren’t planning to. Suddenly, filled with a strange purpose, the woman dashes out of the room,  races down the steps, jumps in her car and speeds to the diner where she parks next to your car.  Inside, she sits at the counter next to the only customer, you. It takes a while, but, beginning with a simple smile and a “Hi,” a conversation begins. Where it ends is up to you.

What if two lovers are in the room? They keep the light on so they can always see each other. In a tangle of sheets they lay panting, not a care in the world, just basking in  the afterglow. A car drives up. Someone gets out, enters, climbs the steps to the room. This person has a gun. Neither the lover in the bed nor the lover hiding behind the door have a gun. Yet, the car is found two days later in the all-nite diner’s parking lot. It’s owner is nowhere to be found. At least for a week or a month or a year or….

What if you are in that room? Why, good or bad, would you be up at 3a.m?

Whoever is in that lonely room, thanks to Jazz Tales streaming on KUVO 89.3 in Denver www.kuvo.org –  Sunday nights at 10p.m. Mountain Time – Weird Nightmares episode. Check it out.

Please watch out for my new adult, young adult e-novel, Ancient Mariners. It should be available by end of August.