Friday, August 31, 2012

Really? Time to Grow up. Disrespect is NOT funny or cool

So, maybe I’m grouchy because it’s four in the morning. I want to work on my novel but the freaking jackhammer and truck ripping the asphalt outside my house makes concentrating impossible. However it is fueling a good blog rage.

Since the pilgrims landed in this fine country, people have disagreed on the way things should go, who should lead, and so forth. You know what, that’s absolutely fine. That’s what makes this country great. We can disagree, speak out, be heard … sometimes not.

However, just because our first amendment affords us the right to publically post and speak our minds, is it right to do so with such disrespect.

Let’s establish something here. You can DISagree. show DISmay, express DISpleasure, and do so effectively without disrespect.

It is immature, pointless, mean, and not funny. To me it is nothing but people bashing and bullying through words.

Those who do so, in my opinion, purely show their ignorance in making an intelligent argument and/or point. It’s just like saying something sucks. For example, saying “I hate that movie it sucked” tells me nothing. Just like hate posts.

The fuel, as many of you can guess is Clint Eastwood’s speech at the RNC.

It’s Clint Eastwood. He is a Hollywood legend, icon and more importantly an 80+ year old man. Some of the mean stuff circulating is unforgiveable. Show some respect.

And sadly, most of it is from the young. No, wait, 90% of what I found on Facebook (Public posts) are from young people. Sure, those who are older expressed their confusion, dismay and dislike over what Clint said and how he said it, but they did so without being mean.

His presentation at times, when he was trying to be funny, was a little confusing. But he expressed his thoughts. He made some good points and if you missed it, or didn’t listen, you can read the entire thing right here: Read Clint’s Speech.

I realize these are young people expressing their outrage over a senior citizen expressing his views. Their outrage is fueled by the fact that he is speaking for the opposition.

But they aren’t bashing his views or what he said, they are bashing his age and how he presented it. How sad it is as a society that so many of our ‘supposedly’ open minded and educated youth, can’t find a better way to express themselves other than just being mean.

Think I’m overreacting? Think I am being ‘stuffy’. Here are the first five negative posts I came across out of 10, that popped up in my public post search. The first five. A couple of them lack substance. READ THEM. (I put X’s in the F words, sorry)

Clint Eastwood was a good choice for the Republican National Committee. He represents the old dying ideals and ass backwards thinking that got the country into the mess in the fXXXng first place. The pure senility and insanity it takes to actually be a republican, and a crotchety old white man afraid of change.

He was just acting like Ronald Ray-gun in the final years of his presidency. Talking to a chair and mumbling something about star wars.

ill still watch his movies he's just a old fart shitting in his depend's

So sick of hearing the Republicans on television I'm not voting Republican I just hate it and I liked Eastwood until now will not pay to see more of his movies I'm going to vote for are black president what about you (And then she 'liked' her own post)

--And the Worst--



This is not what we as Americans represent, and I am curious to see if there are this many negative and mean remarks after the DNC.

Clint Eastwood or not, this is still a senior citizen who, my God, walked on stage, spoke standing up, spoke coherently for his age and made logical points. Go to a nursing home, go on, visit the memory Impaired ward, see men and women his age. Go on.  He is remarkable.

Would these same people who bashed him think it was okay for someone to say the same thing about their grandmother/grandfather/parent. Would they even care? If their grandfather’s or great grandfathers read those words about Clint, they’d probably kick their butts. I know my father would unload on my kids if they posted like that.

If you don’t like what is said, say why. If you don’t like someone, say why. But please, do so without hurt.

You can get your point across without being mean. I feel sorry for all the haters, there is just so much more to life.

Stepping from my soapbox now.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Movie Review - 2016: Obama's America

Those in the far right wishing to throw a tea party for an all out Anti-Obama bashing film will be sorely disappointed. Those on the far left who want to scream ‘outrage’ and throw a tantrum over biased political rhetoric ... will also be sorely disappointed.

But those in the middle, even if they teeter more to an extreme, will find a solid debate film in the new documentary, 2016: Obama’s America.

A highs and lows documentary that is filled with post movie going conversation and activities. Yes, activities. If you are open minded and middle, you will find yourself on the internet, researching and fact checking a lot of what you heard and saw in the documentary.

The documentary is presented by conservative, Dinesh D'Souza, Author of ‘The Roots of Obama’s Rage’. It’s not coincidental that it was released so close to election as a means to inform and influence voters. Just as the release of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 wasn’t coincidental.

That being said. The documentary is fact and theory. It is broken into primarily five sections: The author, Obama’s life, education in anti colonization, Obama’s biological father, and the combining of facts and actions to substantiate the presented theory as possible reality in 2016.

During the 87 minutes, the documentary uses Obama’s own words via his own book, Dreams of my Father, to convey his life. It’s factually stated and even drums up sympathy for the screwed up childhood of our president. By examining the book, the documentary determines that Obama has an idol worship for his estranged father. And by having this ‘worship’ also has his father’s anti colonization ideals. In my opinion, if our president has anti America, anti colonization ideals they stem from his mother. She spoon fed glorification of his father into his mind. She also had some sort of weird obsession with being oppressed. She moved with Obama to the slums of Indonesia with her second husband and when the second husband worked them out of the slums to a better life. she rebelled and sent Obama to the grandparents.

Setting aside the anti colonization connection and theory, the documentary presents an in-depth look at Obama’s father.  It also has some cool interviews. Although some of the interviews seemed ‘led’ and ridiculous (Like the one with Obama’s mother’s friend), most of the interviewees, were sincere.

I was educated about Hawaii and had no idea they still rebel about being a state. There were things that Obama had done during his first term that I was unaware of. Simple fact checking will prove what is surprisingly true and what was a truth being stretched.

In the words of my daughter, “Nothing is scarier than the thought of a second term president and what he will do’. Dinesh aimed to show that, and that’s the only portion of the film that I believed failed.

The movie is billed as: The documentary is a conservative critique of what the country would look like four years from now if President Barack Obama is re-elected.

But so much of the movie was spent informing that the entire point of the movie was crammed into the final 3 minutes. The end just seemed a little rushed and Scooby doo. IE: Here’s the bad guy, this is what he did and why. In fact, very little was said about how the America would be in 2016. Maybe I missed it. 

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I was informed and entertained. For 16.75 (I had to get popcorn) I received an education not only on our president’s younger life and family, but other issues as well. I was given ‘wow’ moments as well as ‘Ah, come on!’ ones. I laughed out loud at intended humor and walked out of the movie pleased. 

If you see it, agree or disagree on what was presented, do yourself a favor and fact check.

So you want to leave a bad review?

Okay let’s face it, most people, and I stress ‘most’ don’t want to be negative, most don’t want to leave a negative review, but there are times when it is a must.

I have spoken to many readers who have repeatedly told me that when they read negative reviews, there are certain things that they gloss over and things that make them dismiss the bad review all together.

As an Indy author, I have received my share of negative reviews.  I also have read, via other Indy authors, a load of negatives. When I read reviews for potential purchase, I pay as much attention to the bad as I do the good. I want to know why people didn’t like it and is there merit in what they are saying.

First, I have stopped reading my own reviews. They aren’t for the author they are for the reader. My email is readily visible to anyone who wants to tell me bad or good. Unless I’m directed to take a peek at a good review, I don’t go there. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to swim in the glory of praise, but I hate the fact that I beat myself up over a bad review. Even if it doesn’t have merit.

There’s that word again, merit. Merit and intention.

I used to write an abundance of reviews years ago under a pseudonym, I admit, most were great reviews, But I wrote one bad review of World War Z. I didn’t like it. My opinion, the first part kicked butt, the second part, in my opinion was drab and slow. So I gave it 3 stars. And for that, I was slammed with 27 comments telling me I was an idiot. I took down the review and stopped reviewing. Why? I should have been able to express my dislike of a book.

Not everyone is going to like every book. Period. That is a good thing. There needs to be balance. Every book once it gets more than ten 5 star reviews, no matter how stinging, has to have a negative review in there because no one will take the positives serious, every reader knows, not everyone like the same book.

One of my novels has just as many 1 and 2 stars as it does 5 stars. Which tells me, as a reader, people love it or hate it.

Hate is a strong word. Many newbie reviewers feel the need to be ultra negative when writing a review, not realizing, a good reader will scoff at the negativity and founded or not, assume the reviewer is another author with a chip on his/her shoulder.

Which, by the way, happens. I won’t mention names, but I received an email from an author apologizing for leaving a nasty review of my book. They admitted they purchased and returned it without reading, just to be a verified review. One star, slamming me for the sheer purpose of knocking down my rank. Karma got them and they felt guilty. Guess what, that one review killed sales and even with its  eventual removal by the reviewer, the book never recovered.

When you’re famous and popular, bad reviews don’t harm sales. When you’re an Indy, one can be a death sentence. Not because of what it says, but because it brings down the overall star rating.

A well written bad review can be as helpful as a well written good review. It halts those nasty things called refunds. It allows the potential reader to see a balance of good and bad. It really does aid in helping the reader make up their mind. If the bad review is well written. A good reviewer leaving a bad review will actually do it so well, it leaves the potential reader open to making their own decision.

So here are my tips for anyone who is faced with the daunting task of having to write a bad review and for anyone who wants tips on how to sift through them.

--Who is the review intended for? If it is for potential buyers, then aim for them. If it is for the author, send them an email or facebook. You can bet that you’ll find contact information for them somewhere.

--Don’t get personal in your review. Amazon will take it right down.

--Be specific on why you didn’t like the book without giving away important plot points. Focus on story structure, story value, plot, character development and pacing. All of these are helpful to the potential reader. Expand on these.

--Don’t be vague.

--Don’t use fake sounding reviewer names and for sure don’t let the one star review be your only review. It’ll look like a torpedo. If you are truly a reader, then surely you can review a couple more and post them all at once.

--Is it worth one star? One star tells people the book is trash. If you liked some of it, and it has some positives, is it all that different to leave 2 stars?

-- Watch how much you ramble about grammar. If it is so riddled with grammar errors, surely they would be present in the sample. No sample is cleaned up that much, because authors don’t know what Amazon samples. People will question why you didn’t see it in the first place. Simply mention the manuscript can use an editor or  red pen and that it has issues that distract.

--Don’t respond to attacks. It’s a sad thing that we cannot express our dismay without risking backlash. Even if you were having a bad day, even if you wrote an evil review, you are expressing an opinion. Leave it be, don’t intimidated if people slam you.

Finally … my list of overused bad review terms.

1. This book sucks – really, in your vast literary adventures you couldn’t find a better adjective?
2. Don’t buy this book – It is understood you are trying to stop readers from making an error.
3. I wanted to like this book – Of course, you did.
4.  I wanted to throw my Kindle – That is really a strong statement that says a lot for anger issues.

Remember only 1% of book buyers leave reviews on Indy Books. Whatever review you write, good or bad, make it strong, make it have a point, let the reader know ‘why’ you felt as you did. And more importantly, if you take time to review a book, on behalf of all authors, thank you for doing that. You’re in the 1%. Bet you wished you had that luck on the lottery.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Just one more then I'll stop ... maybe

It's election year and I take you back to October 1, 2004. I'm thinking about maybe posting a blog or two that talked about the antics (Funny) of the post divorce guy I dated. He was known simply as W.

And here's the short October 2004 blog


The Debates ....
Now, who would have guessed I would blog about the debates? Just about anyone who knows me.

I will give my fair and honest opinion. I was a little upset that George didn't do better. Kerry was well rehearsed, and George seemed a tad annoyed. which is understandable. My inside source told me that Kerry kept text messaging George before the debate, with messages such as

You are gonna lose
My hair is better
Jim Lear is my gay lover
Dick Cheney is having sex with your wife right now
My wife wants to sleep with you

Now come on, those are distressing text messages for anyone to get. The torment that Kerry was trying to pull, the mental torture. How low can one stoop.

While on the other hand, I also heard through my source that GW was trying to be cordial. By:

Sending Kerry Good luck flowers
Complimenting Kerry's hair
Telling Kerry, "I hear you were in Vietnam"
And even saying, Theresa was a sexy mama.

To no avail, Kerry would have bought it all until the Theresa remark. It is even said that when they shook hands, George told Kerry, "Good Luck, John."
To which Kerry replied, "You're going down, ass wipe."
Come on. Is that fair? These are things behind the scenes,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Jackie Time Machine: Election year, 7/4/2004

Another trip through my Jackie style Xanga time machine. In honor of election year, this will give you a glimpse of my state of mind.


I’m so dizzy, my head is spinning … July 4, 2004

For those of us who recall that song, I hope you start singing it right now.

You know, I get a call about seeing the Vice President, and when you get a call you think. I’m a special invite. Well, that was just a way to get everyone there.

We went, it wasn’t a wasted trip. I took my daughter Ali with me. Let me tell you about Ali. She’s nearly 14, tiny, and petite, not even five foot. She has these puppy dog sad eyes, and Italian circles that at times make her look like a throw back from the depression era. And just before she cries, she’s so cute and pathetic. Her eyes water, nose gets red, and her quivering lips swell. Plus, it helps that she has a dainty voice, with a hint of nasal.

What a perfect child to bring. Anyhow, we had a great spot right up front. Ali is little. So we’re there in this open room, crammed pack with people all holding signs. We were standing there for about an hour before the festivities began.

Speaker lady in a horrific pink plaid outfit, and her voice should not be heard over the microphone. Then a lifer boy scout, in all his uniform glory leads the place in the pledge of allegiance—which was cool. Followed by an opera singer who rocked the National Anthem, then our state senator.

The VP was due any second now. Suddenly … Ali turned to me and said,

“Can we get out of here?”

“What! No, why!”

“I feel like I’m gonna throw up.”

I looked at my daughter, sweat glistened on her head, it was without a doubt a repercussion of the heat and crowd. My daughter was exhibiting signs of claustrophobia.

She continued, “Oh, no. Oh no, I think I’m gonna faint. We have to get out. I’m gonna faint.”

“Well, you’re gonna have to just faint right here,” I said, “I’m not leaving. The VP is coming out.”

I lifted my sign, bought her close and start to fan her off.  She is attached arms tight to me, and she doesn’t realize that is making her worse. But I’m fanning, and fanning,.

The VP comes out.

All these people rush forward, we’re more like sardines than ever. I’m trying to fan my daughter when it dawns on me, “Hmm. Wait. If Ali passed out, right here, boy, what an attention grabber. I mean, the news was there, sympathy, the crowd splits after a rush of screams.

I stopped fanning.

Then guilt sets in and I start fanning once more. Until it dawned on me, she is nearly fourteen, in some countries that’s considered an adult, and if she felt faint in those countries, surely no mom would be fanning her.

I stopped.

I justified that she wasn’t really gonna pass out, and if she did, it would be a photo op like none other with the VP. The cute, tiny, little girl, wanting so baldy to see her VP, puts up with Claustrophobia, the heat, and passes out in her dedication to her …

Stop. Shit. If that happened, I could see the headlines.

“BUSH TEAM’S TORTOROUS RALLY NEARLY KILLS YOUNG GIRL.” The news would go on to say that The Bush campaign was so inconsiderate, that they didn’t pay any mind that temperatures soared to a health risk level. How they put constituents in danger, causing a young girl to succumb to heat stroke. I know how the media works. Not everyone is Fox News.

The child welfare services would strike at Bush. Think of the field day Kerry would have.

Oh, no … by not fanning my daughter and gambling on her passing out, I single handedly could destroy the Bush reelection.

Well …

Immediately I started fanning again. I even offered to take her out before the VP was done for water. She refused and said, “No, Mommy, I’ll suffer. I must see the VP and be a good American.”

OK, she really didn’t say that. But that was a good touch.
More later, I have a good W story to tell. W versus the water heater.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Xanga Time Machine: Going back eight years

Thought, I'd take you through a Jackie style time machine to look at my mindset 8 years ago during the presidential elections. This Blog was from July 31st, 2004


Saturday, July 31, 2004
George ...
Pretty much, I am obsessed with the fact that in less than 10 hours, I will be in shouting distance of George Bush. Suffice to say, with the VIP passes I am a nut case. Now, I spoke to the RNC and they said I wasn't allowed to bring my cool George Bush poster, but they didn't say anything about me not being able to wear a cool, special customized T shirt.  So with iron on paper, and my poster stuff scanned I made a cool T.

OK, a few things I plan on doing tomorrow to get the president's attention
1.  Wear my cool T shirt and stand out
2. Peddle my daughter Ali as a poor orphan child
3.  Extend my chest more
4.  Trip my friend Monica and make it look as if she passed out
5. Trip my brother, it won't hurt to double up
6. Wait for a really quiet moment, just when the rush of screams and appluase slows down, then be the lone voice that carries out, and hsout at the top of my lungs, "We Love you George."

And if all else fails, when he reaches to shake my hand, I wont' let go.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Another Sneak Peak of my Next Release

And the Heavens Shall Fall - Tentative Release Date September 2012  (For Sure!)


When an earthquake flattens New York City, the devastation is phenomenal and loss of life beyond comprehension. The world is in shock.

More than that, it is the first sign.

The chosen few can see it.

A firefighter, newspaperman, thief, engineer, bride and a priest are all strangers across the country thrown together. All of them believe it is the beginning of the end. Together they work diligently to try to save humanity and stop the inevitable.

 But is it already too late?

 For thousands of years it has been predicted. The prophesy has begun.
The mountains will crumble … and the Heavens shall fall.


For the previous section CLICK HERE


Harry Albright hadn’t seen the confusion of a newsroom in many years. The pandemonium, the rush, the adrenaline pumping. Of course, that was the reason Harry left his position as Editor in Chief at the Atlanta Times.  He had taken pride in that position because he was the first black man to hold the prestigious ‘top dog’ spot. Harry worked hard to get that job, moving from a mere grunt of a journalist to the down-to-earth, frightening, and sometimes sarcastic man who ran it all. For nearly twenty years, he held that job until his blood pressure grew out of control. Seeking a quiet, peaceful editor’s position, he got what he needed when he applied and got the post at the Allentown Review.
However, it wasn’t until all the phones were ringing off the hook, with no one to answer but him, that he realized how much he missed it. Hanging up a phone on a far away desk, he scurried his lanky body across the office to answer the phone on his own desk. He was quick and agile for a man of sixty years. Though he was far from the fitness king, Harry truly believed his mind kept him young - that and his four children.
Bending as he reached for the phone, he pulled up his black trousers as they nearly slipped off him, and probably would have if he wasn’t still be wearing his pajama bottoms underneath. Harry was a hot mess.
“Yeah, Albright speaking.” Harry rolled his eyes as he plopped into his desk chair. “Yes, Rob.” He reached for a cigarette as he listened. “You did? Handwritten?” Harry broke a slight smile. “Well, did you fax it?” A pause. “Fax, Rob. Yes. I don’t have anyone here, I don’t do that electronic mail stuff. You know that. Email, whatever. Fine. Stay on the line while I pull it up.” Swirling his index finger around the hold button, Harry pressed it then answered the other ringing line. “Albright speaking.” He spoke while opening his computer. “Oh, June,” he said to his wife. “Let me call you back.”
Focused only on his computer, Harry located the message. It was from a young man who had applied for a position with the paper the previous week, the young journalist who lived in Easton, Pennsylvania, the one Harry said didn’t have enough experience then sent on his way. Yet, Easton wasn’t that far from New York City, so Harry changed his mind quickly about the young man. At three-thirty in the morning, Harry called and told him, ‘you want your chance, cover that quake’. Now Harry sat, his reading glasses perched across the bridge of his nose, reading the words of the overzealous newcomer.
“What is this?” Harry spoke aloud, then picked up the phone. “Rob. What is this?” Harry shook his head and lit his cigarette. “Let me read your words and you tell me what is wrong with this? ‘The Statue of Liberty, like a jilted lover’s heart, lay broken in two in the New York Bay. While Ellis Island lay lost beneath the now raging and debris filled waters. Buried and gone like so many hopes and dreams that many once brought there.’”
He paused to listen to the reporter ramble. “Yes, I know it’s descriptive. But this isn’t fiction! I want you to rework this immediately . . . never mind, I will.” Harry reached to hang up but stopped. “Hey Rob, I need an estimated body count as soon as you can get one. I know they aren’t talking numbers but . . .” Harry’s hand dropped. “You’re kidding? One third? Rumored or confirmed? Well, confirm that, damn it. Then chase me a human-interest story. Thanks.” Again, he tried to hang up and halted. “Oh, and Rob. Thanks. Good job.”
As he hung up the phone, Harry adjusted his hands on the keyboard. “Let’s see what I can do to you. You have to be out for the afternoon edition. I can . . .” Another ring of the phone. “Albright speaking.” He nodded his head as if the person calling could see. “Excellent, Melissa, just what I wanted to hear. Get me those pictures as soon as possible. Thanks. And uh, good job.” Harry reached over blindly, hanging up the phone.
“Harry,” the soft, yet annoyed woman’s voice called from the door to his office.
Harry stopped clicking his fingers and looked up. “June.” He slightly smiled. “What on earth are you doing here?”
“You didn’t call me back.” She walked further in and set down two cups of coffee. “I was concerned.”
“Aw June, I’m busy. I have phones ringing off the hook. I have three stories I have to . . .” Harry smiled brightly and stood. “June.” His demeanor changed. “Could you work on this for me? Take out some of the flowery things this boy has written in here?”
“Oh, Harry, it’s been years since I . . .”
“Knock yourself out.” Harry winked and pulled out the chair for her. “I’ll just go and use another computer. Sit down.” He patted the leather chair, grabbed his coffee, and kissed his wife on the cheek as she scooted to his desk. “Thanks, Sweetheart.”
“Harry, I came to check on you, not work. I’m worried about you. You were so ill last night. Did that quake shake it from you or something, or are you still sick?”
“June,” Harry smiled. “I feel great. My blood is pumping, I’m ready to go. Maybe it did rattle that migraine from me. I don’t know. But I’ll tell you.” Harry pointed his finger then grabbed his cigarette from the ashtray. “Whatever the reason, I’m not arguing. This is big, June. Huge.” He spoke with excitement. “An earthquake in Manhattan? What are the chances? Do you remember years ago, when the scientist said it could happen. Do you remember that, June?”
“Yes, Harry.”
“Well, here it is.” Harry nodded. “It’s here. My people say it’s gone. Completely flattened. Nine points on the Richter scale they’re guessing. Nine points, June. Not even L.A. could withstand that and they’re built for earthquakes.”
June watched her husband pace as he spoke enthusiastically. “Harry, this isn’t good news, you know that?”
“No. But it is big news. An earthquake in Manhattan.” Harry moved to the door, snapping his fingers and turning back. “What did I tell you when we felt that vibration this morning? I told you it wasn’t some big truck going down our street. A big truck.” Harry chuckled at that thought. “It was felt as far north as Albany and as far south as Washington D.C. How about that? And . . . not only Manhattan, but the Bronx, Brooklyn and Jersey City . . .” He swung out his arm, “Gone. At least one-third of those areas completely flattened. And forget about ever going back there to see the statue of Liberty. She’s . . . how did Rob put it, broken in two like a heart. Something like that.” Harry shook his head. “And I’m a busy man, June. I have work to do. Can you not keep me talking to you? Thank you.” Harry, cigarette in one hand, coffee in the other, bolted to the door, sliding in a stop before he left. “Oh, and can you pick up the phone for me, please? Thanks.” Quickly, without any further delay, he moved into the next area.

June was left completely baffled, head spinning in confusion and sitting in front of a computer. But June was used to the way her husband rambled and acted. That was just Harry.



Not a spot of Jude’s face wasn’t covered in dirt. Even though it was bitterly cold, he broke a sweat, smearing the soot. He worked relentlessly over a mound of debris that used to be a neighboring apartment building. His one hand held tightly to the little fingers that extended from the destruction, while his other hand removed large blocks of concrete, grunting with every toss of stone. “Almost there,” he spoke. A few more pieces and Jude saw the metal doorway. It had protected the child he fought to free. It trapped yet shielded the child from the falling debris. Releasing the tiny hand, Jude used his strength to carefully move the door. There lay a small boy; Jude estimated him to be about four years old. He was clad in his Batman pajamas, bloodied, crying, scared, and yet alive. “I have you.” Jude reached down into the safety pocket and carefully lifted the child. The moment he lifted the boy the child adjusted his body and wrapped his arms tightly around Jude. “It’s okay,” Jude spoke soothingly, cradling the child and carrying him to the Army tents set up a block away.
“I have another one, Major James,” Jude told the uniformed doctor who worked on a woman. “It’s a child.”
The older doctor, covered with blood, turned to Jude, his expression dropped. “Is he alive?”
“Yes. I think he’s fine. Just scared. His arm is broken.”
Major James gave a slight smile. “Could you take him to Lieutenant Crawford over there?” The doctor pointed. “He’ll take care of him.”
“Yes, Sir.” Jude, still holding tightly to the boy, edged by the doctor as he made his way through the maze of cots.

The Major watched the tall man dressed in his firefighter’s coat and boots walk past him, and then he then noticed his legs, the dirty long john underwear the only thing covering them. “Son,” Major James called out.  “Son.”
Jude laid the boy on the table, lifting his eyes to the call. He walked back over to the Major. “Yes?”
Major James had seen Jude when he arrived two hours earlier. He had watched the fireman bring in four people, but this was the first time he really looked at Jude. Bending down slightly, Major James lifted the bottom of the jacket to make sure that he wasn’t wearing only long john underwear. He then undid the top button of Jude’s jacket and looked enough to see only Jude’s bare chest. “Son, where are your clothes?”
“I, uh . . . I only got out with my boots, coat and underwear.”
“How are you feeling, Son?” Major James asked.
“Fine, sir.”
“Feeling strong enough to continue helping?”
“Yes, Sir, I do. As a matter of fact . . .”
“Wanna stay strong enough to continue to help?” the Major continued in his questioning.
“Sir?” Jude scratched his head.
“If you continue to work in this weather without any clothes, you’ll be down with these people and no good to us. Got that?”
“Yes, Sir.” Jude turned and headed from the tent.
“Son, where are you going?” Major James asked.
“To go back out and help.”
“Not without clothes, you don’t. Take five minutes and go over to the supply truck.” Major James indicated. “Tell them to give you some clothes and head gear.”
“But I have to . . .”
“Now, Fireman. Take five minutes now,” the Major ordered.

A little intimidated by the stern military man, Jude agreed and headed toward the parked truck. Leaving the tent and stepping out into the destruction, the reality hit him. He hadn’t noticed earlier because he was so busy, but he noticed now. He looked for it, the brilliant and breathtaking skyline of New York City, a sight he had seen every waking moment since he moved to Brooklyn. A sight he took for granted. And now . . . a sight that was no longer there.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Freaking Miracle Carpet Stain remover.

Had to share because I am still amazed. Baby Frank went into my room to wake me from my nap. Only this time, instead of his normal routine, he went into my closet, got into a box of Halloween makeup and pulled out a large tube of bright, blood red make up.

While I slept and his mother downstairs, he proceeded to not only get it all over his hands but huge globs of this stuff on my light carpet. I’m talking huge. Not wanting to get in trouble with me he sneaks down stairs. Imagine Veronica, she see’s him, his face, hands all covered with this red stuff. She said, “BF, what did you do?”

She thought it was blood.

She walked up stairs to see red smeared handprints on the wall leading from the third floors. She said to me, “Mom, I was shaking. I thought he pulled a Michael Myers and murdered you or you turned Zombie upstairs.”

She was afraid to look. The entire room looked like a massacre. Not only that, my jeans were hang drying on the railing and he put a tiny red handprint on each one. Globs of blood red make up and he walked through them so I had Baby Frank foot prints all about my room and staircase.


It came off the walls easily and my jeans washed right out, but the carpet. Laundry detergent didn’t work, it merely smeared them into larger circles of very pink.

So I went Walmart got a heavy duty scrub brush, Oxy Clean and borrowed a carpet cleaner.

For two hours, TWO HOURS, I scrubbed. Violet helped me with her own scrub brush (She loves to clean) She kept saying, “Oh, God Gweat One it won’t get cwean.”

I know. Baby I know. Keep scrubbing with Nennie. I felt like Joan Crawford. Any event, it lightened it, but still carpet was a mess. Then I went on line.

I found a solution. This morning, I tried a very small spot to see if it would work and without effort, without fail … gone. Holy shit!

There were five ‘four’ inch spots I didn’t scrub because I was waiting to see if they’d dry and peel off. No. They embedded. So I went to Walmart to get the actually items I needed. Cost me 4 bucks.

Ready? Here’s what you need: Ammonia, spray bottle, water, Clothes Iron and White rags.
Fill a spray bottle with one part Ammonia and one part water.
Spray the stain, wait ten seconds.
Place the white cloth over the stain and iron the white cloth.

It is freaking unbelievable, the stains lifts to the white rag. Don’t inhale too much and make sure the room is ventilated. I took pictures to show you. This was the deep, embedded glob. Before and after.

Two hours of scrubbing and nothing. Thirty seconds per stain to spray, cover and iron and they are all gone.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

First Sneak Peek of my Next Release

And the Heavens Shall Fall - Tentative Release Date August 22, 2012


When an earthquake flattens New York City, the devastation is phenomenal and loss of life beyond comprehension. The world is in shock.

More than that, it is the first sign.

There are those chosen to see it.
A firefighter, newspaperman, thief, engineer and a priest are all strangers across the country thrown together. All of them believe it is the beginning of the end. Together they work diligently to try to save humanity and stop the inevitable.

 But is it already too late?

 For thousands of years it has been predicted. The prophesy has begun.
The mountains will crumble … and the Heavens shall fall.



TUESDAY, JANUARY 25 - 2:35 a.m.

Brooklyn, NY

A car horn blasted continuously just outside of Fire Station Fifteen, breaking the dead silence of the early morning. It overshadowed Jude Dombroski’s painful grunt as he sprang up in his bed. The pain, not the horn, stirred him despite the fact that he was deep in a Codeine induced sleep. It seared from the back of his head like a burning knife, throbbing his temples and pounding in a complete circle across his forehead. It had been that way for one week, growing worse with each passing day. He breathed out heavily, like a woman in labor, but the headache was at its worst.
Looking around the sleeping quarters of the fire station, Jude checked to see if his scream woke anyone. He brought his legs up close to his chest, rocking back and forth as he dug the palms of his hands deep into his eye sockets.
The air was cold but Jude began to sweat. A knot formed in his gut and a wave of nausea grew with each pounding strike of pain.
Clenching his jaws, his stomach churning tighter, he flung the covers off and swung his legs over the bed. Unsteady on his feet, he nearly tripped over his boots as he made a mad dash to the bathroom.
His upheaval was loud as he hovered over the commode. Whatever the reason for it, he didn’t feel better as his stomach emptied the last of its contents. Jude Dombroski felt like he was dying.
After flushing, he turned on the water in the sink, frantically splashing his face. The coldness felt good. In his desperation, he barely noticed it running down his forearms across his chest and soaking the rim of his boxer shorts.
Nothing was working.
“Oh, God,” he grunted as he turned off the water and grabbed a towel. “Please make it stop.” He pressed the towel to his face. Nothing had ever fazed Jude Dombroski. No amount of pain from burns or falls that he had taken as a firefighter slowed him down. Nothing, that was, until the week long battle with a headache.
“Jude,” the whispering deep voice called to him.
Jude lowered the towel. He shifted his eyes over to Ben who leaned in the doorway watching him.
“You look like hell,” the short, husky man commented.
“I feel . . .” Jude squinted. “I feel worse.”
“Maybe you should go back to the hospital, let them check . . .”
“No.” He shook his head, gripping the edge of the sink. “They said there was nothing wrong. I can’t figure it out, Ben. I can’t take this pain.”
“What about the pills they gave you?” Ben questioned. “Are they helping at all?”
“No.” Jude raised his eyes. “I feel like my head is about to explode. I feel like . . .” Suddenly he paused, his hands released the grip on the sink.
“What?” Ben asked. “What is it?”
Jude’s eyes widened and he stood up straight. “It stopped.”
“What stopped?”
“The pain,” Jude spoke almost in shock. “The pain just stopped.”
“Maybe the pills you took just kicked in.”
“I took them hours ago. An awful long time to start working, don’t ya’ think?” Jude looked down at his hands, they no longer shook. “Amazing.” The corner of his mouth raised in a half grin. He opened and shut his hand forming a fist. “My hands don’t even feel weak anymore.” He shook his head once in a shudder. “Whoa.”
“What’s wrong now?”
“I feel good.” Jude gave a slight chuckle as he placed his hands on his hips nodding. “It’s like I never was sick.”
“Your face is still pale. I really think it was those pills, Jude. Maybe you should go lie back down and don’t push it.”
“Maybe you’re right. Hey, Ben?” Jude stopped walking from the bathroom. “Maybe I should just stay up. What if I go back to sleep and that headache comes back?”
“Then you take another one of those pills the doctor gave you.” Ben patted him on the back. “You had me a little worried, Jude. I’ve never seen anything bring you down.”
“That’s true,” Jude whispered as they re-entered the second floor sleeping room. “I don’t think I ever felt so . . .” Jude stopped speaking when the fire station dog barked loudly, running in circles. His animal cry repeated almost in a warning mode. “Hey, Jugs. Hey!” Jude tried to catch the retriever. “Hey, knock it off!” He scolded in a whisper. “Ben?”
Ben scratched his head. “I don’t know.” He lifted his shoulders in a shrug. “I’ve never seen him . . .” Ben turned toward the row of four windows. Almost as if an echo, there was more barking coming from outside. “Did he start every dog barking in the neighborhood?”
Ignoring the loud yell of ‘Someone shut that dog up!’, Jude moved to the window with Ben. “And cat.” Jude commented as he listed to what sounded like a jungle of domestic animals gone mad. “What is going on out there?” He faced the dog. “Jugs, what do you hear?” Jude’s body jolted suddenly. “Ben? Do you hear that?” He lifted the window slightly. “Do you hear that? What is that?”
Ben listened as he leaned closer to the crack of the open window. A deep rumbling, loud, came from the distance and grew stronger. “Sounds like a tractor trailer convention.”
“It sounds like a . . .” Before Jude could finish his words he felt it, a slight vibration from beneath the soles of his bare feet against the cold floor. The rumbling sound grew louder and before any more sentiments could be spoken, the four windows exploded simultaneously spewing shattered glass.
Ben screamed.
Jude turned.
Ben ran frantically. His blood coverdbody had glass protruding from every square inch.
“Ben.” Just as Jude extended his arm, the noise level reached its highest peak. Jude never made it to Ben. The floor shook violently.
Ceiling plaster drizzled upon him moments before huge chunks of ceiling fell to the buckling floor. Jude attempted in vain to help Ben..
Ben collapsed.
Jude desperately fought to keep his balance as the floor buckled.  He knew he had to get out. As he reached for his clothes, a cracking rip moved across the floor, racing to him like a snake. The long crack opened into a canyon and the floor crumbled down, taking Ben along with it.

Lifting what articles of clothing that he could, Jude raced for the pole, grabbed it and slid down. His feet set on the quaking ground just seconds before the pole bent, curving it into a completely different object.
Fleeing from the fire house, Jude’s mind raced with questions. Was there an explosion nearby? Maybe a gas line under the station? The moment he reached the street, Jude knew. It wasn’t just the fire station. Rumbling and screams filled the night air. Lost and feeling total desperation, Jude watched as his fire station, the neighborhood he loved and protected, and everything around him . . . crumbled before his eyes.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Jet Set and Jet Lag

My entire childhood and adult life has been consumed with an unnatural infatuation for the apocalypse. Researching and crafting tales of how the world could end. From my earliest and first story, ‘Disaster in the Liberty Tubes’ to my next release, ‘And the Heavens Shall Fall’. That is mainly what I write. Many have labeled me insane, but I believe my research has gained me a useful insanity.
            Anyhow, the last couple days have been an amazing experience and a reward in my mind.  I was given the opportunity to be interviewed for a program that will appear on the History Channel. As … an apocalypse expert.
            I spent more money than I should have preparing for the short trip. I’m a Jeans and Tee shirt gal and didn’t quite have the wardrobe selections to bring. Plus while en route and while there, I splurged on myself. After all, it was my first trip to LA.
            So instead of writing paragraph after paragraph of my experience, I decided to do the cliff notes, bullet points of my thoughts.
·         How freaking ironic is it, that I’m flying to LA to be interviewed about possible virus outbreaks via terrorists and I was that select person who was pulled aside in Pittsburgh security for the random, ‘We think you’re a terrorist’ check.
·         JFK got it together as an airport, I can vacation there.
·         I sat behind Gary Shandling on the flight to LA.
·         I was grateful for meeting a young man and his mother because they were the first people to talk to me all day.
·         LAX was so not fancy or even remotely confusing.
·         I was in awe when I saw the palm.
·         The PA who drove me around was an amazing young man and he gave me quite the tour.
·         The South Park studios aren’t as big as I thought.
·         I am convinced that some sort of weird twilight zone thing happens when flying from East to West and west to east because time just drags.
·         Avengers was just as good on the plane.
·         I was so tired from not sleeping and several kick butt New York bloody Mary’s I was experiencing a exhaustion induced hallucination about Thor being on the plane. No kidding.
·         I reviewed the interview questions, but didn’t study. Because I figured they invited me for what I knew. I was surprised at how much I actually knew.
·         People in LA sleep less than me.
·         And finally … What is up with Dunkin Donuts? Seriously. In JFK and Pittsburgh, I was looking for a Starbucks, the response was, “We don’t have one here, but we have a Dunkin Donuts.
            If I could think of more, I’ll post later … but for now … I am beat!
            What a great experience!