LEAVE: And Other Stories Short and Shorter

I’m happy to announce the release of my fifth book, a short story collection entitled: LEAVE: And Other Stories Short and Shorter.

Within the collection, there are 30 stories new and old. Some are short in length as are traditional short stories, and some are shorter in length, as are the more contemporary flash fiction stories. Some were written as recently as this past winter; others, as long ago as the early ’90s. Many have been published previously on my website and other places, but there are several new stories that have not yet been released until now.

Continue reading “NEW RELEASE”


An Introduction to Author MB Bissett

In my last post “Hey Reader, What’s Your Angle,” I invited you all to share a link to a book that you’ve reviewed that provides some insight, via your writing, as to how you apply your critical thinking strategy towards the books you read.

I’m so happy that MB BLISSETT was kind/brave enough to take me up on the offer; for, not only did he introduce me to THE FEVER by Meg Abbott with his interesting and insightful review of her work, he introduced me to a new eclectic world of creativity and intellect that can be found all throughout his website.

After reading his review that I introduce here, I strongly urge you to then head straight to his About page as it is most interesting and entertaining – I read it and I feel a strong kinship with his outlook toward writing and his literary taste.

Comments are closed here so that you can share your thoughts directly with MB at his website.

MB Blissett


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs posits that when base needs are met, then your desires become more refined. Which usually means that your fears probably work on the same level. If you’re not risking death every single time that you give birth, then you’re worried that they will live to be healthy adults and when they’re healthy adolescents, you’re worried about any number of factors. Within the haunted house of parenthood and adolescence, Megan Abbott knows where the ghosts live and shows them to you.

The Fever ably captures the beauty and passion, the terror, the contradictory desire for freedom and privacy, the secrets that women keep from themselves and one another. She uses social media and how it intertwines and defines the worlds of young people subtly and effectively. In the iconography of the modern world, the online video is the sermon, the blowing of the whistle or in this…

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Marvel Shmarvel – the real Super Heroes are the Volunteer Readers for #TeamLibriVox

And the Super Hero In Chief at LibriVox is the…

One And Only…
Able To Read the Densest Tomes Without Once Tying The Tongue…

Mr. Bob Neufeld

Seriously folks, if you love classic literature and love to listen to classic voice actors, you need to check out Bob Neufeld’s grand body of work.

Seriously folks, I’ve been a fan of Neufeld’s ever since I found him at the beginning of my First Commitment to Emerson (yes, that’s still a thing – stay tuned).

Seriously folks, I just finished Neufeld’s reading of a Heart of Darkness and I’ve never experienced the book so deeply and movingly. More to follow on this reading.

Seriously folks, go to his page, load up your Kindle with all books Neufeld has narrated, and spend your summer, like intend to, listening to the greatest literature being read by one great voice actor.

And you can do it all for free.

You’re welcome, folks.



Heroes of Dystopia – A Serial Saga

Hercules Gone Mad

It’s been over a year since I released my first novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor and I am excited to be able to finally announce my new project — Heroes of Dystopia – A Serial Saga.

There are many reasons I am excited about this project.

For one, it is an opportunity to for me to explore political, societal, technological, war, mental, and many other issues important to me in a serious and, hopefully, an interesting way.

I am also pleased to be releasing it as a serialized saga, which means that the saga will be realized as a series of books, and each book will be released as a series of parts. Writing a serialized saga enables me to think long term and in strategic ways, while also being able to stay tactical and keep the writing fresh and, again, hopefully, moving quickly along.

The first book in the saga is Hercules Gone Mad. The first part of the book, Rebels for Love, will be available soon. Meanwhile, you can read an excerpt of it here.

If you have any feedback, and I hope you do, let me know about by leaving me a comment here or on my facebook page.

New Writing Project

We’re getting close to going live with my next writing project. In anticipation, I just want to let you know that it’s gonna start getting a little more political and controversial around here.

With that, a word or two should be mentioned about how information on public pages, such as this, are now managed by facebook. Because fb has been having such a hard time with its valuation since it went public, it is struggling to find new ways to make money. One way they’ve implemented is to throttle all public posts, such as this, in an effort to get the owner, such as me, to pay fb to promote them. Consequently, my posts here are hardly reaching any of the 13K plus subscribers to this page. While it has always been a rather subdued crowd here anyway, fb has found a way to doubly subdue the mood. That said, it still is incumbent upon me to offer interesting and engaging content for you all to enjoy. That’s my charter and challenge to myself: to write stuff you want to read. It is my hope that my new writing project will meet that challenge. Stay tuned…we’ll find out soon enough.


who are the heroes
heroes of dystopia
who will rise the dawn

[This post originally appeared on facebook]

Short Verses and Other Curses #3

(a third round-up of my haiku and other diminutive discourses posted here and there throughout the cybersphere)


I have no answers
I know just that grass will grow
and that leaves will fall


destroy to create
say the gods and demagogues
pain’s higher purpose


think and I ignore
say and I start to wonder
do and I believe


when everything hurts
each thought, each breath, each step, each…
then nothing can hurt


it’s not the disease
it’s the dis ease found within
the mind is the cure


low, gray clouds advance
footsteps crack like breaking bones
the wind’s chill churns deep


each quest has an end
each question has an answer
stay still; stay silent


time is everywhere
and moves in all directions
clocks mislead us all


to exist means to suffer
it’s the angst of choice


sometimes, to be heard
it’s best to remain silent
to be seen–vanish


it’s the irony
it’s the humor and folly
life’s absurdities


the shield or the sword
cower safe behind despair
or attack with joy


the wind fuels the flame
the light sustains the shadow
life’s paradoxes


the pine’s evergreen
or the maple’s sudden fall
flare comes with a cost


who’s the next Gibran
who’s the next Kurosawa
can twitter tell me


each morrow’s a chance
what becomes becomes what was
is is all there is


struggle through the din
yield not to the damning knell
onward to the calm


absence is sublime
the void becomes the proxy
memories feint truths


dismiss this missive
for to me alone it speaks
a lone I must heed


Tear me into pieces
and throw me to the wind
release me to the currents
never to be whole again

Each scattered bit of me
soon forgotten as a whole
will never forsake my spirit
and will forever retain my soul

Short Verses and Other Curses #2

(a second round-up of haiku and other diminutive discourses of mine posted in various places throughout the cybersphere)


Primal December
I ache for those pagan days


It’s those voices;
those penetrating and perturbing voices;
ethereal voices spoken from faceless mouths;
Yes, those voices.


how I view the world
requires not my eyes to see
my life’s perspective


long and dark-filled days
the light that once pleased now pains
still, faith guides my way


tho’ beyond my ken
speak unto me with thy tongue
whispered words betray


land between rivers’
nine year death knell rings no more
lies alone prevailed


Now is not so bad.
But, it always seems
to be a little better
as Then.


Surround me with such things
Erudite things
Simple things
Things of pleasure
Things of pain
Any thing
That can both
Take me forward
And can bring me back
To where I long to be
And to where I forever dread


minds provoked, pursued
the beating and burning heart
graves settle but dust


the blood turns not red
until the wound has occurred
truths are bound by scars


the slow burning fuse
the flash of the fireworks
none live less the spark


mete me with wisdom
mete me with the hidden way
blind, I find no bliss


empirical lust
a burning need for knowledge
cant douses the flame


Love’s arrival
demands Epiphany’s flourishing trumpet.

Love’s departure
requires no such song.


forge forever on
tho’ dark death rewards us all
forge forever on


whither journey’s end
is that which eludes me
yonder shall I go


from mind to matter
believe it and it shall be
you determine you


sing out savior songs
dance free amongst the cherubs
listen for the wind


if we chance to win
we must also chance to lose
both promise rewards


who among us all
leave no footsteps in the sand
who can bar the tide


the word is as told
its telling built empires
deconstruct it all

Book Release Strategy

THE SEA TRIALS OF AN UNFORTUNATE SAILOR will be available soon!Seeing that I basically have no name recognition, it is going to be a long, hard slog trying to get folks to read THE SEA TRIALS OF AN UNFORTUNATE SAILOR once I release it. Consequently, I am going to have to come up with some novel and not so novel (pun intended) means of marketing it.

Here’ what I have so far:

I will be releasing THE SEA TRIALS OF AN UNFORTUNATE SAILOR on Saturday, February 19, 2011, via Kindle and as a pdf download from this website.

The book will be available for free until Friday, March 4, 2011.

For anyone who provides a book review on Amazon between February 19 and March 4, regardless if it is a positive or negative review, I will send them an advanced copy of POEMS FROM THE RIVER, a collection of poems that I will be releasing on March 5, 2011.

Beginning Saturday, March 5, 2011, the price to purchase THE SEA TRIALS OF AN UNFORTUNATE SAILOR will be $2.99.

Beginning Saturday, March 5, 2011, the price to purchase POEMS FROM THE RIVER will be $.99.

That’s it for a book release strategy…that’s all I got so far.

Let me know if you have any other ideas that you think may help get the word out about the book.

Now that I set a release deadline for myself, I guess I had better stop hemming and hawing and get busy on the final edits.

Homosexuality and Our National Interest

Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”
Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”

Because of my personal interest in this important civil rights issue, I have been closely following the national debate regarding the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell for some time now. My view on whether homosexuals should be allowed to openly serve in the military has significantly evolved since I first joined the navy in 1983. I believe, and have for some time, that homosexuals should be allowed to serve openly. I came to this conclusion for many reasons but here are the primary ones:

1.      It is in the best interest of our national security. Our country is engaged in two active military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan while still keeping all of the other national security concerns–terrorism, Iran, North Korea, and many others–in check. Our nation simply cannot afford to waste valuable resources in any form, particularly its military resources. Our most valuable national and military resource is our patriotic citizens who volunteer to serve and protect our nation. Denying our military the service of patriotic volunteers because of their sexual orientation is not only shortsighted and stupid, it is potentially damaging to military readiness and our national security.

2.      It is in the best interest of our national psyche. We all know very well that we are a country founded on the truth that all men are created equal under the laws of nature and of God. This is deeply instilled into our national psyche. Yet, we have had a painfully psychological, and at times very physical, struggle trying to turn this national belief into a national reality. We have learned from our long history of attempting to reconcile our fundamental beliefs with our country’s original sin of slavery, that when we as a nation say that we all are to receive equal rights under our laws while at the same time denying these rights to a segment of our society based on the color of their skin, our national psyche suffered deeply from it. We became dysfunctional, self-hating, and even came close to committing national suicide over it. The cognitive dissonance that occurs when saying one thing–that all men are created equal and are guaranteed equal rights under our laws–and then doing another–denying these equal rights based on race, sex, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation–is not only detrimental to our national psyche, it is damning to our national soul.

Much more work still needs to be done to ensure homosexuals receive equal rights under our laws, but as a nation, we can go a long way to securing our national security and improving the health of our national psyche simply by allowing them to serve openly in the military.

So it was with much anticipation and high expectations that I watched today while Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen briefed the findings of the “Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and then answered reporters’s questions. After Gates and Mullen finished their brief, the Co-chairmen of the study, Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson and Army General Carter Ham, provided a more comprehensive overview of the report and answered reporters’s questions.

I am still plowing through the 267-page report, but based on what I learned from today’s briefings on it and my read of its executive summary, I am very impressed with its thoroughness and its results.

Secretary Gates was asked how he would respond to Senator McCain’s claim that the report is the wrong report. McCain, although an initial supporter of the survey, quickly began rejecting the results once they had started leaking out earlier in the month, saying that the survey wrongly focused on how to implement the repeal of DADT instead of focusing on how the repeal would impact military readiness. Gates responded to the question simply by saying that while he respects Senator McCain, the senator is wrong about his assessment of the survey. And from what I learned from what was briefed by the military and from my read of the report’s executive summary, I agree with Secretary Gates.

By shifting away from his original position on the survey, Senator McCain has made it clear that is doing nothing more than engaging in the Republican strategy of blocking any political success for the president and Democrats, regardless of the political costs to himself and his party. Consequently, I have little hope that DADT will be repealed during this lame duck congressional session. Both our national security and our national psyche will suffer for it.