Monthly Archives: March 2015

Works In Progress tour

Darlene Jones, author of the Em and Yves science fiction series (and more,) invited me to be part of the blog tour for Works In Progress.

The work-in-progress blog tour rules:

Link back to the post of the person who nominated you.

Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your own current work-in-progress. Some writers give more than the first sentences.

Nominate some other writers to do the same.


So here’s Darlene Jones, author of the fascinating novel Embattled, which introduced her series of Em and Yves novels. She’s the author who tagged me for this Works in Progress blog tour.


“A long time ago, I lived in Mali. Every single day, I wished I could wave a magic wand to relieve the heart-wrenching poverty. The story line of my books reflects my desire to wave that wand and make the world a better place. If only wishes could come true. And of course, every novel needs its love story, so along with the sci-fi magic, I’ve added the requisite romance.”


My Work in Progress has the working title of Here Be Monsters, a science fiction novel about time travelers discovering the truth lurking behind legends, and finding themselves swept up into the lives of the people they stepped back in time to observe. There’s no tourist pass without a price.

Chapter One:

“Listen to the branches claw the roof,” the old woman said. “Wolf dogs howl under the black pines tonight. A cold high wind, Grandson. A night that wants to come in.”

Chapter Two:

Iriel stood by the window, checking the edge of her sword in the pale sunlight. She had dressed for the road; she slid her sword back into its scabbard and tightened her belt. Why was everyone so slow? Past third cock’s crow, with the light of day spreading well over the great silvered mud flats. She should have heard the horns by now. She glanced around her small room, more orderly than it had been in days, with embroidery tucked away out of cat’s paw reach, books and rolled parchments returned to the shelves, the harp left standing in its padded cloth case.

Chapter Three:

The room glowed with artificial light, here in this hidden place dug deep beneath the rocks of the sunny meadow. On tables of smooth white stood instruments of metal and amalgam, wires in bright hues, shining coils, and an array of monitors. The man seated before one glowing screen did not turn as he spoke.


My nominations are:


Max Devoe Talley has a deft touch and an outrageous imagination, well expressed in his science fiction thriller Yesterday We Forget Tomorrow, published by Damnation Books. This dystopian novel will keep you guessing, snickering and making startled noises, so it’s best read in private. I admit that the main reason I’m nominating him is that I want a preview of what’s coming next from his keyboard.

Kathleen O'Donnellphoto

Kathleen O’Donnell wrote The Last Day for Rob Rhino, a richly funny, dark-edged novel about an aging porn star and a wealthy bald socialite with revenge in her heart. Here’s my fellow author in her own words:

Unlike shoe sales or brunch buffets, I arrived late to my writing career.  I wrote my first manuscript well after my nest was empty. The Last Day for Rob Rhino was released July 1, 2013 and is a two time Book of the Year finalist. My short stories have appeared in the Connotation Press, Dark Gothic Resurrected and The Pen Central. Sometimes I blog about my crazy life and have been a featured writer at Blogher.



Filed under blog, writing

We went hunting

Envy us my friends — look at this–

over a pound of morels

Over a pound of morels, Morchella esculenta to be precise. We heard from the kid she’d seen some when out walking with a friend and after grilling her about why she hadn’t collected them, since they were on public property, we headed out. Note, it was after seven o’clock in February so the sun had set. But what are flashlights for? What are mycophiles for? How could we wait?

morels caught surprised in the night

This is what morels look like when taken by surprise in the dark.  We left plenty, and carefully cut the stems above the ground. Some folk say that isn’t necessary, but I would rather have no regrets and this way I can at least know I did my best to leave the mycelia reasonably undisturbed. Maybe we were hobbits in a previous incarnation.


(I will add the necessary caution about collecting mushrooms for food. I’ve been studying mushrooms as a hobby for over forty years and feel reasonably confident of my ability to identify specimens. I’d say never consume wild mushrooms casually. There’s good reason for all the lore about their deadliness. There are great reasons for the wonderful books out there to aid you in identification of types and species. (I don’t even know any more how many of these I own.) Additionally, some folk have allergies to certain species of mushroom and that’s not always predictable. If any doubt exists, toss the fungi away. It’s not worth a stomach ache or worse.)

1 Comment

Filed under blog, food, Morchella esculenta, morels, mushrooms, science

a glimpse of the coming night


Along the California highway night comes, the sunlight compressed into an acute warmth against the coming chill. There’s a call box for the traveler in trouble on the right. Maybe I meant something by that when I included it in this painting; all I know for sure is that it belonged here, as I did, as we did, on this evening facing west.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized