Senin, 31 Januari 2011

Reader's Oasis Books

Even though every talented author who attended the Oasis Books Author's Fair in Quartzsite, Arizona, last week would qualify for mention in anyone's blog, this blog is dedicated to the store's owner, Paul Winer. This venue is totally free of charge to the authors during the peak tourist season in Quartzsite. I know I plan to be back again selling my books the last week of February.

I would like to personally thank Paul for his wonderful hospitality and great sense of humor during the fair. Everyone there laughed and learned from one another, including Paul who makes more fun of himself than anyone else could. I respectfully called him “naked Paul,” and he just smiled and said, “True, so true.”

Book signings can be a stuffy and boring affair, but at Reader’s Oasis Books there is never a dull moment. From tourists who just cruise the parking lot hoping to see the mostly naked owner, to those who ask Paul for pictures taken with them so they can have bragging rights back home, he always steps up to the plate and never charges for posing.

I would like to add that Paul Winer is a talented musician, composer, poet, writer and storyteller. Paul will be on the Jay Leno Show in the spring. I will post the date as soon as it is announced. I for one will be watching and I don’t care how late it comes on!

Write on,


Minggu, 30 Januari 2011

Monday's Blog

After taking many photos Saturday of "Our Gang" at Reader's Oasis Books in Quartzsite, Arizona, for today's blog, I realized the camera USB cord was still in Camp Verde. Not to worry though, the blog will be posted Monday, January 31, for the 13 or 14 folks who read my blogs.

In the meanwhile, I decided to sing and dance for you. Here goes..."Camp Town Lady sing that song, do da, do da. Camp Town Lady sing that song, all the live long day...."

Sing on,


Sabtu, 29 Januari 2011

I write about murder!

Yes, that's what I do. I am a murder mystery author. My books are about death and violence. Sometimes not pretty, but always exciting.

Yes, there are some cuss words.

Yes, there is sex and sometimes it is nasty.

No, I write fiction.

No, my books are not autobiographical. What part of fiction didn’t you understand?

Why do my books have pictures of blood and knives on the covers? Look, lady, why don’t you move on over to the next booth. Debbie has wonderful books of poetry for sale there.

Jumat, 28 Januari 2011

Thar she blows!

I have received some e-mails indicating my recent blogs have been crude and in bad taste concerning naked Paul Winer, owner of Reader’s Oasis Book Store in Quartzsite, Arizona. Therefore, even though Paul has been the perfect host for this year’s Author Fair and allowed us to sell our books at his store absolutely free of charge, I now denounce my association with naked Paul.

Instead, I plan to have my next book signing at some boring, snobbish, proper and in good taste book store somewhere in northern Arizona. NOT!

If you don’t like my blogs…blow it out your snob pipe!

Kamis, 27 Januari 2011

Naturalist Attire

While participating in the Oasis Book Store Author’s Festival, I noticed Paul Winer had the same kind of covering he wears for sale in his store. They go for $10.00, and the spiders are optional.

No wonder he is so energetic while working the customers. I would too if I had spiders in my crotch!

I'm just saying,


Rabu, 26 Januari 2011

Atomic Wedgie

We were shopping at the (very crowded) Big Tent sale in Quartzsite, Arizona, yesterday, when there was a commotion just up ahead. It seems an old gent was stuck behind a group of elderly ladies who were blocking the narrow aisle looking at leather purses.

In his frustration, he grabbed one of the ladies panties and gave her an Atomic Wedgie right in front of the whole crowd of shoppers, while screaming, “I’ll bet you will move out of the way now, you stupid woman!”

Who says all ages can’t have fun at Quartzsite in the winter?

Write on,


Selasa, 25 Januari 2011

Tuesday Madness

Do yourself a favor and stay away from Quartzsite, Arizona, right now. The Main Event is taking place and there are thousands, upon thousands of old farts running around in motor homes, quads, sand buggies, jeeps, bicycles, shoes and God only knows what else.

I have never smelled so much lilac perfume and Old Spice in all my born days! It really makes selling my two books, Evil in the Mirror and Day Stalker, a challenge. My eyes are watering so bad I can't see to make change.

God help us all....

I'm just saying,


Minggu, 23 Januari 2011

Dear Smokers

Below is a rather long, but well worth reading, excerpt from The Stop Smoking Guardian Angel book. While working for a plumber friend last week, I was subjected to second hand smoke all day long by all but one worker. Trust me; it ruined my day at work. If you are trying to quit and can't, go to the book's Website and I will send you a copy of the book for free, including postage.

I'm just saying,


One day after 20 years of smoking, I realized that spending a fortune to feel like crap had to stop. I was so tired of waking up with a nicotine hangover! I simply put them down, walked away and smoked no more forever. It was the toughest thing I ever did in my life and even though my marriage failed, my life did not! My ex has continued smoking to this day and her health is now failing even though she is not yet 50 years old.

All the literature say's that nicotine is just as addictive as opiates. No wonder it's so hard to quit! The tobacco companies hooked us and then left us alone to figure out how to quit. I had tried all the patches and pills, but to no avail. Please do not be too hard on yourself if you fail. Failure is just the precursor to success!!!! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get on with YOUR life. This is YOUR life, but it is not a dress rehearsal.

You only go around once. What you do today will dictate what your life will be like later. I can't stand the thought of anyone having to lug a heavy air tank around in a wheel chair because they can't breathe, or having to deal with cancer or both!! I have lost loved ones to cancer and it is just horrible.

You are an intelligent and beautiful human being. You do not have to give up even one of these attributes later in life if you will just stand up and be what you are! We do not need nicotine, alcohol or drugs to demonstrate our true nature. You are a Spiritual Being having a human experience. You have all the tools to quit smoking or anything else that is hurting you.

Take a close look at my profile. What do you see? I am the example. I say this with modesty and humility. What you see is what you get when you tune into your true nature and tune out all the crap that makes you hurt inside until you break down and cry!

Life is so wonderful. Am I sitting in a rocker waiting to die? No! I am going out kicking and screaming just like when I arrived. It comes down to choices you make now. Please write if you need support.

You’re Smoking Guardian Angel, ():>)

Sabtu, 22 Januari 2011

Naked Paul

I’m feeling sorry for the women who read my blogs and have been continually bombarded with images of almost naked Paul Winer, the owner of Reader’s Oasis Book Store in Quartzsite, Arizona. It was rude of me, to say the least.

I have attached a photo that might be more pleasing to the eye, albeit not as revealing as the Winer photographs. For this, I apologize, but it seems that Paul has a constitutional right to appear in public revealing more than the rest of the citizenry in America. He fought the federal government for years to obtain the right, as a naturalist, to reveal what most men or women really did not want to see in the first place.

I personally don’t know what all the fuss is about. I see more ugly flesh at WallyWorld than I have ever seen in Quartzsite! I hope this blog will ease concerns that I favor Paul over other men. The truth is that I don’t even like men. I prefer women; after all, I am a lesbian in a male body! OH, by the way, I have a constitutional right to say that….

I’m just saying,


Jumat, 21 Januari 2011

Quartzsite Again?

Yup, folks, it's Quartzsite, Arizona, time again, but this time it will be different. There will traffic up the kazoo, and more people per square inch than in China. You will be able to see more small, white heads looking over steering wheels than in Florida. The scary part is that these small, white heads will also be driving 40' motor homes. It gives new meaning to the sport of demolition derby!

Why would I leave the quiet of Camp Verde for the madness of Quartzsite? It’s simple; to sell books to 1.5 million old farts like myself, that’s why! Oh, and you can throw in the world’s best pizza at Silly Al’s Restaurant…. Actually the pizza is reason enough to fight off the hordes of old-timers in Quartzsite.

We also found another reason to visit Quartzsite. There is a veterinarian there who charges way less that the vets in the Camp Verde area. How about one third the cost? It’s absolutely true! No, I will not give you his name. If everyone and their mother start going there, he will raise his rates. Moreover, someone his age might not be able to take the stress of so many new animals to take care of. Did I mention that everyone here is old?

Reader’s Oasis Bookstore at 690 East Main Street will be the location of my book signing, and yes, naked Paul will be there in all his glory. Bring a camera; it’s the only way that looking at him is legitimate. Otherwise you could be judged through association. Personally, I could care less about his nudity; looking at prunes is not one of my pastimes.

If you want an interesting day trip from Phoenix, get on Interstate 10 and drive west to Quartzsite, Arizona, which is twenty miles east of Blyth, California. If you plan to spend the night, good luck. You might find a place in Blyth, but I doubt it, and no, there is no extra room in our motor home!

I’m just saying,


Kamis, 20 Januari 2011

Passion Is The Key!

Not everyone is going to like what you write. If your goal is to please the whole world, you are writing for the wrong reason. When newbie authors start writing a novel with the dream of becoming a bestselling author, it is only natural that they would want to appeal to the masses. Some new authors started writing in a genera that fit tested and lucrative markets, but their work lacked conviction and they failed. My early research indicated that fiction was not the best choice. It seemed historical and romantic novels were the big sellers.

My research also indicated that writing was about passion, and if that passion was absent you might as well stick to your day job. This news created a dilemma. If non-fiction was where the money was at, but I didn’t have passion about writing in that genera, where would that leave me? Well, it left me exactly where I should be. The hell with the rules; I was going to write fiction and murder mysteries to boot!

I followed my passion and intuition. That combination produced Evil in the Mirror and Day Stalker, with The Phoenix Code waiting in the wings. Let’s face it, we only go around once in this world, but most of us never get to live our passion. How many times have you heard prominent people say, “Live your dreams no matter what,” and we carry on with our mundane lives afraid to boldly go where no one dare tread? Fear of failure and financial pressures keep us tied to the grind with Mondays being dreaded and weekends our only goal. Not much of a goal when you really think about it. Pretty soon we run out of weekends, with nothing really to show for our life. Perhaps your free time should be devoted to writing so that someday you can write full time?

I have had a few people refuse to finish Evil in the Mirror because it gave them nightmares or some scenes were too graphic. From my perspective, these comments only illustrated a job well done by the author. Even though I refuse to put the F word in my books, one reader said the sexual content was smut. OK, that person has the right to their opinion, albeit prudish. I am proud of the fact that when you read my books you will not be inundated with curse words like in some books and movies. If that is what you have to do to sell your work, I would rather dig ditches!

No, you can’t please everyone, but you can start by pleasing yourself. Sit down and write something you are deeply passionate about. Don’t stop until it is finished. Sit back and take a look at what you have written. If it gives you goose bumps, you are on the right track.

Write on,


Rabu, 19 Januari 2011

My Home Town

There is no doubt that enough words have been written and pictures taken of the tragedy that occurred in Tucson, Arizona, a short while ago. My prayers are with all involved and maybe they can take some solace in the fact that, "This too shall pass."

I guess one of the things that bothers me is that it happened in my home town. Even though I live in northern Arizona now, I still have fond memories of my birthplace. Tucson is a dynamic place and the people in general are warm and friendly. Of course, all big cities have crime and it’s just something the general public tries to deal with on a daily basis.

There is something else that is bothering me. Both of my murder mysteries, Evil in the Mirror and Day Stalker, are set in Tucson. In fact, the third unfinished book of the trilogy, The Phoenix Code, is also set in the same location. Even though all three books happen in the late ‘60s and there could not be any connection to the horrible shootings in the Safeway parking lot, I can’t help but contemplate the serious responsibilities a fiction writer might face when inventing murder scenarios.

Evil in the Mirror depicts two identical twins killing off hippies in a most unusual and gory way. How would I feel if someone read the book and decided to do a copycat killing? I know there have been books written and movies made dealing with the same scenario; I have read and seen a few, but this time it’s up close and personal. It never occurred to me while writing the books, that nut jobs might find the modus operandi intriguing enough to actually try it out!

I suppose it is the risk you take if you are passionate about writing murder mysteries, which I am, and I really don’t think there is any way to minimize that risk. Perhaps I could add a disclaimer stating: Read at your own risk; murder mysteries can be addicting!

I’m just saying,


Selasa, 18 Januari 2011


Can you believe it? The Internet parasites that preyed upon any unsuspecting newbie who happened along are now huddled in small groups wondering what happened to their pocket books. They are all screaming, “Where did all the suckers go?” “It must be the economy!” “Let’s kill other spammers so there will be more money to go around!”

Yes, part of it is the economy, but more importantly it is that the old scams and promises of fortunes to be made while sitting on the couch watching television are no longer relevant. When the economy took a dump, everyone got on the e-mail spam wagon hoping to earn money by spending even more money, until the money ran out. Now the spammers are feeding on themselves. Soon there will be none left. At least that is the hope of honest Web surfers.

As an author doing book research on line, the Internet could be a death trap. My computer died many times from weird viruses and sites that were impossible to escape from. The maze was terrifying and for a time it seemed the only solution was a dictionary and thesauruses. The old- fashion way of research was looking good again.

Then, along came the Super Recession and slowly things started to improve online. Internet searches have become less dangerous and the mazes less frequent. Spam is starting to lessen and some of the Internet squawk is an insight to infighting between the hucksters. You have to love it…wait a minute, I hear something. Let me turn the volume up. What the hell, my screen is starting to flicker. Oh, my God, it’s the spammers. Somehow they found me and are attacking my computer! Help, someone help me….

Write on,

Mittster R.I.P.

Minggu, 16 Januari 2011

Super Recession?

How does a newbie author sell books in a super recession? First of all you take your clothes off in the middle of Main Street; no, I’m just kidding. In my case, I would get arrested after I scared everyone away. Even though the idea is absurd, frustration is the mother of invention sometimes.

Every business owner is trying to figure out how to get people into their stores to increase sales. I have found book sales in obvious and not so obvious places. Take your specialty coffee houses like Starbucks or your local cyber café; these are perfect places to set up a small table to sell books. There is nothing better than a hot cup of cappuccino and a good book to start your day. This is especially true in the winter. Most owners welcome the opportunity to have you bring in more customers.

I have done well in bars, especially if you have friends there. This venue is good in the summer when folks go in to have a cold one. There are a few things to remember when you are selling books to folks who are drinking alcohol. First and foremost, don’t get drunk! Secondly, the genre needs to be suited to a bunch of beer drinking, redneck types. If your book has sex and violence in it, head for the pub. Drink and sell responsibly….

How about beauty salons? Leave a few books at the checkout counter. These women all read and most read anything that has a good storyline. This venue is not the place to leave books about how to hunt elk in Colorado or the greatest fishing spots in America. Murder mysteries and love stories will do very well indeed.

How about your local auto repair shop? Leave some books in the display case. The great thing about this venue is that all age groups are represented. I imagine most genres could do well here. It is important that you get your oil changed and repairs done at the auto repair shop you pick.

These are just a few places to think about when selling your work. Make sure to tell store owners, where you leave books, that you will be available to sign the work after the sale. A signed book justifies paying retail. After all, the buyer could just as easily go on line.

I also recommend that you do some research on door-to-door selling. You know, just like the preverbal vacuum cleaner salesmen who used to go door to door selling overpriced products. No, I’m not suggesting selling books door to door. Or am I? I need to go now so I can research encyclopedia sales techniques of the ‘60s. Don’t be surprised if I knock on your door soon!

Write on,


Sabtu, 15 Januari 2011

A Terrorist's Worst Enemy

A friend e-mailed me a very interesting article about a former Israeli secret agent named Juval Aviv. Normally I would not waste your time (or mine for that matter) on Internet gossip, but after Mr. Aviv predicted several terrorist attacks correctly, I believe his credibility is grounds for reading the article. He is now working as a security consultant for the U.S. Congress.

After reading the piece, I came away with the conviction that we are crazy if we think our government can protect us against terrorists. Take charge of you and your loved ones' security. Don't wait for the government to play the reactionary game. Be proactive with the safety of your children, grandchildren and loved ones. Aware Americans are the terrorists' worst enemy, not ineffective government security!

Click on the link below and make your own conclusions….

I’m just saying,


Advice from an Israeli Agent

Kamis, 13 Januari 2011

Front-Page Story

Our Camp Verde newspaper, The Bugle, did a front-page article last Wednesday titled The Storytellers, and low and behold there was a picture of my book and me on the front and second page along with two other self-published authors. I think the three of us now rank as local celebs.

It seems every month that passes my hard work to promote Evil in the Mirror and Day Stalker, plus continuing to write The Phoenix Code (which will complete the trilogy), gets me a little closer to being a best-selling author. Of course that is my goal and dream, but making some money at it would be nice too.

Anyone who reads my blogs knows how I preach to newbie writers about never giving up on their passion to create the perfect novel and become known to the world. Sometimes I have to look in the mirror and pinch myself so that I can believe just how far I have come in less than two years. Have I ever been discouraged? Sure, but I never lost faith in my abilities and the quality of my work. I write a mean murder mystery; and if you don't toot your own horn, who will?

I can tell you this much; living in a small community really helps. When I write early in the morning, Camp Verde is quiet as a mouse. It doesn't get any better than that when a writer needs to concentrate. I wish every community in Arizona were like this town. "The Mittster, his wife, four dogs and a parrot live in the perfect place."

I'm just saying....

Growing Old is Mandatory

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive body with skin like a baby’s butt, but rather to skid in sideways, smiling and laughing the whole way, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, what a ride!"

My road to becoming an author spans decades, with most of those years in the construction industry. Two years ago, I decided to take my writing abilities seriously and create a novel. At first, I thought about writing science fiction, but intuition dictated murder mysteries. Thus, Evil in the Mirror and Day Stalker were born.

How about identical twins killing off hippies in Tucson, Arizona? After all, I am an identical twin and we were born in Tucson. Since I had firsthand knowledge of twins, location and murder had been presented in the news media since before I was born, research would be a snap. I found writing both books invigorating, exciting and intoxicating. While my passion for construction had waned, my new passion for writing far surpassed anything I had experienced in the past.

While my body may have been beat up from construction and living the dirt bag carpenter life with large quantities of booze and nightlife, my mind stayed sharp and inquisitive. Thank God I never got involved with hard drugs or I wouldn’t have a mind to whip into shape for authoring.

You see, when I skid into the grave, I want to have used up my mind along with my body. What good is an unused brain? I plan to keep writing until that last moment of life. In fact, someone is going to have to pry my fingers off my laptop!

Write on,


Rabu, 12 Januari 2011

The Third Day

Just thought I would let you know that I made it through the second day of my part-time construction job, and I am now back writing my third murder mystery, The Phoenix Code.

It seems I will be taking a little more time writing the book for obvious reasons. Not to worry though, this too shall pass and I will be good as new until the next round of being a plumber's helper.

What the hell was I thinking?

Write on,


Selasa, 11 Januari 2011

Day Two

You would think after yesterday I would sink into retirement oblivion never to be seen by the eyes of younger construction workers ever again. Holy crap, the first two hours of pulling toilets and sinks out of a timeshare renovation were excruciating. Every muscle in my body hurt and all the bruises from lying under bathroom cabinets unhooking plumbing lines looked like I was hit by a train. You don’t even want to know about carrying toilets down two flights of stairs with the seats banging against my forearms that now look like freshly ground hamburger.

The amazing part was that, after the first two hours, I started feeling better and decided not to jump off the balcony in frustration. By lunch time, I was chatting with my co-workers and eating baloney sandwiches with relish. Age came up in the conversation, and one worker proudly announced he was sixty-four and undoubtedly the oldest guy on the crew. “No so fast,” I exclaimed. “You are now the second oldest guy on the crew!” I fear my announcement deflated him greatly. Is it my fault I don’t look sixty-eight?

We finished the job early and headed to the shop. I was proud to have made it my first day without having a heart attack or getting hurt. After unloading tools at the shop, I was anxious to get home and take a hot shower. My wife nursed me and told me how proud she was of her hard-working man. Her real concern was why I had not called her during the day. She said she wasn’t worried, but I could tell she was. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that if I had called, I would have begged her to let me come home because I couldn’t handle physical work anymore. Had that happened, neither one of us would have been proud….

I’m just saying,


Senin, 10 Januari 2011

Off To Work I Go

Well, today is the day I go back to work in construction. I was laid off February of 2009 and it has taken me this long to find a job again. Although be it part-time, I am thankful for the opportunity to prove that older than dirt folks can still work.

OK, even though I am not back in supervision, being a plumber's helper isn't that bad. Besides, I learned long ago that the trick to being a plumber was to know that liquid goes downhill and don't lick your fingers! Who knows, maybe this will turn out to be full time and I can be a real plumber.

If the last two years have taught me anything, it's that unemployment does suck, but buys food for the table, and being a successful author is a very tough nut to crack. I'm not giving up, but while I am writing my third murder mystery, part-time work will help pay the bills.

I am one of the lucky ones. Construction is still DOA and many, many people are out of work. I hope the economy recovers soon and everyone who wants to work will have jobs. It’s the American way!

I’m just saying,


Minggu, 09 Januari 2011

Snow on Them Thar Hills

Our last day in Quartzsite, Arizona, dawned with bright, warm sunshine. The doves and quail waited impatiently for their morning seed as I hurried to the shed for their food. Today (Friday) would be hot enough for short sleeve shirts, and I was looking forward to spending some time with friends before heading home Saturday morning.

Sandy and I spent some of the day shopping for upcoming birthdays and then we ate leftover pizza from Silly Al's and scrumptious cream cheese and olive dip I had made the day before. I also managed to dig a fire pit and build some simple benches out of scrap logs. After the benches were complete, we sat and talked with our friends Lynne and Maurie in the glorious warm sun. The plan was to build a fire our last night in Quartzsite, but, as usual, I fell asleep before dark while watching Seinfeld. No problem, Lynne and Maurie will enjoy a fire during their stay.

Saturday's sunrise again was warm and inviting. Wouldn't you just know the weather would be perfect when it's time to head home! Oh, well, we had a great time and even though we hated to leave, we said goodbye to our friends and headed north for Camp Verde.

The trip was uneventful until we reached Copper Canyon on Interstate 17. "What the hell is that white stuff on the side of the mountain?" I asked my wife. "It's snow, you idiot," she responded. As we reached the summit and headed down into the Verde Valley, snow could be seen on all the surrounding mountains and especially on the San Francisco Peaks. Even though the sun was bright, the air was cold, and it was obvious that while we were away the weather must have been very nasty indeed.

While wearing coats and gloves to unload the truck, Sandy and I were shivering while day-dreaming of the warm lower desert. After all the work of unloading was finished, we settled in our king size bed with our dogs and watched football. I looked at my wonderful wife thinking, It doesn't get any better than this. I was reminded once again that there is no place like home.

I'm just saying,


Sabtu, 08 Januari 2011

Here's The Deal

Our friends Lynne and Maurie are visiting Quartzsite, Arizona, from northern California for a month. They park their motor home on our lot with two wonderful dogs that never tire of chasing tennis balls. We met them last year for the first time and discovered that they were a delightful couple and looked forward to seeing them again this year. It’s not often you meet people who are intelligent, funny, and a bit quirky all at the same time in the right proportions.

Last year, Lynne ordered my book, Evil in the Mirror, after they had returned to California. Her report back to us was that she liked it very much. She then gave the book to Maurie, who isn't usually much of a reader, but he proceeded to read it too. Lynne again reported back to us that Maurie also liked the book. Well, when they arrived for their month-long visit this year, Maurie started praising the book beyond my wildest expectations. It was obvious from our conversations that they both had read the book and retained its contents. They remembered things I had forgotten!

Here’s the deal; as an author there is nothing better than praise and accolades concerning your work. It’s the fuel that keeps you writing when insecurity and doubt take the steam out of your sails. Praise coming from people like Lynne and Maurie only confirms to me that my passion for writing is not wasted or misguided. They both can hardly wait for the sequel, Day Stalker. I was hoping to have a copy for them, but I am still waiting for delivery. That’s OK though; I am sure when we come back here the end of the month we will have the book in hand.

Did I mention we have to go back home today? Damn, about the time things get really fun in Quartzsite, we have to go home. Oh, well, no worries; we will be back for a week soon and I will get to sign another book for our friends Lynne and Maurie. Life is good….

Write on,


Jumat, 07 Januari 2011

Old is Gold

Yesterday, as I was walking among other retired folks in Quartzsite, Arizona, looking at the many items for sale at vendors’ tents, I spied a young couple, surely in their forties, maybe even younger, shopping. I instantly raised the alarm and all of the old farts within earshot looked in the direction of the young couple.

At first there were only murmurs. What the hell are they doing here? This cannot be tolerated! Then one voice rang out loud and clear, “Get a rope!” That was it; the young couple bolted and ran toward the parking lot.

They easily reached their motor home ahead of us and locked themselves inside. As we surrounded the motor home, someone yelled, “Let’s tip it over!” The scene had turned really ugly. As the young couple drove slowly out of the lot, trying not to run over anyone, the cries of pain from pulled backs, knees, groins and shoulders could be heard throughout the land, as most of us lay squirming in the dirt after our futile attack.

The ones still standing threw rocks at the departing motor home, but because they were unable to lift large rocks, the small stones just bounced off doing little harm. I could hear laughter coming from the young couple. The bastards were laughing at us! “He who laughs first will surely not laugh last. Let’s get ‘em,” I yelled to the three still standing.

We rushed slowly to our quads, mounted, and then raced off in the direction of the retreating motor home. The young couple turned right on highway 95 and headed for Yuma with the four of us right on their tail. It was then I realized I had to pee. Damn, I said to myself as I pulled off the road. The rest followed me; it seemed we all had to pee.

As we huddled around a mesquite tree peeing and cussing out the young couple’s motor home, which was disappearing beyond the horizon, an Arizona Highway Patrol car skidded to a stop, the officer got out and ordered us to stop peeing. It was obvious he wasn’t an old fart or he would have known we couldn’t stop until completion!

I called my wife from the Justice of the Peace office after I had paid the fine for indecent exposure and told her I would be home soon. She said, “How was the shopping, dear?” I answered, “Fine, darling, same old, same old.”

Write on,


Rabu, 05 Januari 2011

A Sign of the Times

Is it just I, or is our great nation learning to live negative and fearful lifestyles? Even during the darkest hours of WWII, the United States of America was positive, optimistic and proud. What happened to the power of positive thinking and living? What happened to the ability of being grateful for what we have today instead of worrying about what we might lose tomorrow? How many of us are living in fear, waiting for some great catalyst to wipe us off the face of the earth, while, instead, we should be living each minute of every day in joy and celebration that we are alive with a roof over our head and food on the table?

I know it’s easy to blame the negative news reports we are bombarded with daily. It’s even easier to blame all the crap we read and see on the Internet. The world is doomed December 2012. The Mayans predicted it; therefore it is truth. Since when did we start believing in cultures that sacrificed men, women and children to a multitude of gods who were carved from stone? So the Mayans ended their calendar cycle in 2012; I ended mine when I reached the age of fifty, but here I am still alive and grateful.

I remember being taught to think of the future and not live in the present. Well, I have news for you…today is really all we have, so you better live it to the fullest. I plan on celebrating my life and times with joy and happiness, while staying positive no matter what the news. Even in the worst of times, life is precious and unique. I can see, hear, smell and feel the wondrous world around me, but best of all, I can imagine and dream of worlds beyond the senses.

Let us remember that the universe we live in is all about change and that we humans might not be included in that change. That’s where faith comes into play. My faith enables me to know that when I leave this beautiful blue planet, I will go on in the spirit of Devine Love. That fact is the strength behind my positive attitude. But it matters not where your positive attitude comes from, as long as you have one. Without it, you are surely going to be living in a dark, fearful and scary place.

I say it’s time to stand up, dust yourself off, and join me in being a positive and loving person. How can you recognize the positive people? We are the ones with the smiles on our faces!

Write on,


Selasa, 04 Januari 2011

The Agent Trap

What kind of fool does the writing world take me for anyway? What do you mean, after my second murder mystery, I am still an unknown author? I refuse to be called a newbie writer any more. My name is Mr. Murder Mystery Writer to you!

Read this and learn, you snobbish, jack wagon agents who want money out front to promote me and my books--real agents work on commission. You help me to become successful and then, and only then, will you reap the rewards. Good God, Claude, I always had to work hard for my money, but now-a-days everyone on the Web tries to get paid first and then (maybe) work second. Nice work if you can get it. Well, you’re not getting it from me!

The above is just practice for when I start looking for a book agent. My friend Candace Bowser(Origins Vampire Trilogy) has been looking for an agent for some time and has some real horror stories. She finally found a site online that might be legitimate. Candace is running headfirst like a wild banshee into the dark world of agents trying to find someone who will help promote her fantastic books. I not only wish her well, but look forward to following her charge. If all I find is her dead and bloody ego lying along the dark wayside, I will make a fast retreat back into the light. No sense in both of us getting ripped to shreds.

You would think after all our trials and tribulations, newbie writers like Candace and I would just give up on becoming bestselling authors. Well, think again; we have yet begun to fight. I am working hard on the last book of my trilogy, and Candace has started a new book that will take her talent to a whole new level. I have read an excerpt and it has left me wanting more.

My hat is off to you, Candace, and to all the other fellow authors who just need a tiny crack in the wall at the newbie prison for first time authors. Look out when the wall is breached. Candace and I are coming out first at a dead run to bestselling status and we will take no prisoners!

Write on,


Senin, 03 Januari 2011

Digital Smijital

So my wife has a new fangled cell phone and I am stuck with the Stone Age model. Who cares? Originally, the whole freaking idea of cell phones was to call someone while away from the land line model at the house in the case of an emergency. I don’t think my wife watching soap operas while I am driving qualifies as an emergency. According to her, I now stand corrected!

And while we are at it, what the hell is text messaging all about? I can understand letting your fingers do the walking in the Yellow Pages, but letting your fingers do your talking? That’s like letting your butt do the seeing for God’s sake. Although, my wife has accused me of having butt vision on more than one occasion!

And what about those teeny, tiny letter and number buttons? In the first place, I can’t see them and in the second place my fingers cover three of the little critters at one time. What I can’t believe is that young people sound like little machine guns while texting with their thumbs. I tried texting on my wife’s phone with my thumbs and the noise it admitted sounded like a squealing pig in Deliverance.

One reason my wife wanted the new fangled phone was so she could get on line and Google the answers to things we forget on a daily basis. You know, like actors in a movie or the name of a song. I knew this meant trouble for me. I would blurt out answers not really knowing if they were correct and she would have to just take my word for it. Now she knows when I am talking out of my butt vision!

Oh, here is good one; cell phones are also cameras. Not just still photos, but video to boot. And the kicker is that wifey can now instantly text the pictures to family members who really don’t want to see their dad picking his nose! My whole secret life is now right out in the open for the world to see. Talk about Big Brother; 300 million people in America are all armed with camera phones! A guy can’t even scratch his privates secretly in public anymore.

Let’s not forget the ringtones. I have never heard so many disgusting sounds come out of a small digital box in my whole born days! When I get in a large crowd of people and phones start ringing, I don’t know if I should dance, sing, cry or run. I do like the elk mating call ring tone though. Go figure, my wife says….

She’s just saying,


Minggu, 02 Januari 2011

Instant Gratification

The term instant gratification gets caught in my craw big time. Let’s keep this blog in context; I am not referring to the lifestyle of young men on the prowl for women. Although that subject would be fun to write about, I am past the age where I give a crap about young men and women and their sexual problems. I leave this subject to Dr. Phil. I am referring to newbie authors expecting their books to be best sellers without a monumental struggle.

There is no instant anything when it comes to being a new and unknown author. While you are working yourself to death trying to promote your book, understand that you are among millions of other new authors doing the very same thing. Hold on, not all is lost! Og Mandino, author of The Greatest Salesman in the World, wrote that you only need to be one iota above mediocrity to succeed in this world. If life has taught me one thing, it is that the preceding statement has much truth to it.

Let’s start with the premise that you have written a fast paced, interesting and dramatic novel. Not all books are created equal, but if your book is well received by family, friends and strangers you meet at book signings, it is a safe bet you have a winner. Personally, I believe if you took the time to actually research and write a book, you deserve a shot at best selling stardom. The good news is that you can take great pride and consolation in the fact that you wrote it in the first place. The reality of the publishing scene dictates that you will need to promote it for the rest of your natural born life. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and one book does not an author make. Get cracking on the second book right after the first one. You need to build credibility for readers to take notice. After your second book, you will take great pleasure in discovering the first one wasn’t a fluke. I know I did.

About the mediocre thing, how many times in your life have you seen someone get promoted who couldn’t hold a candle to your abilities? The reason that happened was because you had no control over the politics of the promotion. As an author, you are in control of promotions, literally! Take the time to make every word you write be the very best you can produce. In today’s world, if you only use half your brain, you will still be a quarter ahead of everyone else. When you see someone walk into a crowded room and their presence demands notice, you have just witnessed one who is a tad above mediocrity. Emulate that person and you and your books will go far.

Write on,


Sabtu, 01 Januari 2011

Author's New Year's Resolutions

I don’t like New Year’s resolutions much. Mainly because they seem to be made knowing they will be broken. I think it’s a human nature thing…. But, since everyone and their mother will be making them, I thought I would make a few New Year’s resolutions while admitting, out front, that they will be broken before day’s end, therefore pre-emptying your ability to call me a hypocrite.

Number one: I will not cuss today. This one is a no brainer; I already cussed today when my wife asked me to level the motor home at four a.m.

Number two: I will never lie again. I liked the rap band that played after the ball dropped in New York City last night. Well, number two is shot to hell!

Number three: I will not sneak a peak at a lovely young woman walking by our motor home in Quartzsite. Forget this one; there are no lovely young women in Quartzsite, Arizona.

Number four: I will stop talking to our dogs and parrot as if they were people.

Number five: As of today, I am on a diet. See number two!

Number six: I will never watch another repeat segment of Seinfeld.

Number seven: I will never again let my wife watch The Young and the Restless at five p.m. because she missed it at eleven a.m. due to the fact we only have one Direct TV box in the motor home! Seinfeld comes on at five p.m.

Number eight: I will not double dip in the French onion today.

Number nine: I will not pee next to the saguaro cactus while letting the dogs out at midnight.

Number ten: I will stop hiding the Direct TV remote from my wife at four-fifty-five weekday afternoons if she has missed her eleven a.m. soap.

There you have it, folks. What is the sense of more resolutions? You know they will be broken before the ink dries. I say, live life honestly and to the fullest while laughing at your and other's mistakes. Learn to love yourself enough to live life in moderation and stick around on earth a while. Your enemies will hate you for it.

Happy New Year 2011 to everyone!!

I’m just saying,