I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Cover this Up

Okay, so it's Saturday.  I work today.  I woke thinking I had the day off, however, as I turned off the alarm and looked at my calendar I realized I was wrong.  They're forecasting rain and showers tonight into to tomorrow afternoon.  Figures, doesn't it.... I don't work.
I understand the Idiot Jerk in the White House has sent a 'want ad' to quite a few sanitariums in the deep south.  He's looking for a white, pathological liar to take over for Sarah (she who speaks with forked tongue) Sanders Fuckleberry.  I wonder if Roy Moore's going to apply, just so he can wave the Ten Commandments as he lies.
I saw where a detective down in Tennessee, who's also a Crazy Christian, is having his cases reviewed.  You see, he preaches about hating the gays.  His name is Grayson Fritts.  He has his own Baptist Church, of course, and claims to be "just preaching the Bible;" make that selectively teaching the bits he's cherry picked, the one's he believes legitimize his hatred.  In case you're wondering, he preached something about "gays being worthy of death."  I suspect he needs to be institutionalized.
When I decided to start self-publishing I put a lot of thought into what I want for cover-art.  Many books today use either a photograph or a collage of photo images for cover-art, except for romance novels which rely on romantic images of long-haired men without shirts.  I didn't want that.  No pictures for me. I work with a woman (I used to be her boss at one time) who's very talented.  She runs her own cake decorating business.  Right now she's painting a mural for a school.  I asked her one day if she'd like to do the cover-art.  She gave me one of those "what the hell are you talking about" looks.  I explained that for The Body on the Lawn I wanted readers to see Carlotta Valdez walking to her death.  Cori suddenly smiled and said "yeah, I can do that."
With The Body in the Tower I said "how about bullet holes?"  We talked about what should be depicted inside them.  I suspect she would have liked to include something from the catacombs, but there's no light.  As Florien says "it is very black where we are going."  At one point she asked "do you want blood around the crashed bicycle?"  I said "no," but she did put in a crushed water bottle. It was her idea to have the background go from yellow to blood red.  I liked that.  Such a nice touch for a murder mystery, action thriller.
With all this being said, I'd like you to meet Cori, the artist behind the covers.

I told her I had already started work on The Body in the Well and she said "give me at least a year."  I think 8 months is more realistic.  And, in case you are wonder, both books are available at Amazon.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Republican smorgasbord

Okay, so it's Friday and I have to go back to work for 2 days.  How's that for a mini bite in the ass?
And the smorgasbord of shit the Republicans are offering the American voters is getting steamier... I'm at a loss of words to describe just how steamy... which is saying something, you know?  The Idiot Jerk admits to ABC News (one of his so-called Fake News Networks) that he would basically collude with a foreign government to get dirt on a political opponent.  Apparently he doesn't understand that's what the Mueller investigation was attempting to prove.  Then McConnell said he would kill anything Democratically sponsored... how's that for partisan brinkmanship?  The NYT has an interesting article on McConnell's phoniness.   Pompeo's using a an extremely blurry video clip to blame the Iranians for the attack on those 2 tankers.  As an Evangelical Christian, he wants a war with what he considers the greatest Muslim enemy in the world.  The Chinese hate Pompeo, they believe he's partially to blame for the tariffs.  And then... of course... there was the Prince of Whales Tweet.  That proved his stupidity, which is nothing new to most of us.

A comment from Sixpence yesterday gave me an idea.  I've been posting pictures of the three individuals I thank in the book for helping with the editing process.  Coming up you'll get to see who does my cover art.  But I was thinking... if one of you buys either of my books, and gives it a decent review, and chooses to send me a picture, I will post it here as a way of thanking you.
On other writing news, I'm doing an update to The Body on the Lawn.  After publishing, I realized a global command I had done had gone awry... I'm fixing that.
Yesterday, during a break in the rain, I let the dogs out.  I looked out about 5 minutes later just to check on them and there was Big Seig, standing under the nectarine tree eating green nectarines.  Oh, my, he had the worst gas last night.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Meet Gloria

Thursday!  Day off!  Rain... again.
My lower back is bothering me, so I'm going to start doing my 'core' routine again.  Arthritis, you know?  The disc jelly has gushed out and my lumbar vertebrae and they are slowly fusing together, which is actually more of a nuisance than anything else.  Core exercises keep things flexible, unfortunately I've been lax.  It's time to pull out the purple yoga mat, and the red, green, and yellow bands.
And the Idiot Jerk has been busy: his Executive Order on documents related to the 2020 census question on citizenship are now off limits to Congress; he said he'd listen to foreign 'dirt' in an election (like the Russkies?); the Budget gap worsened by $739 billion... and he said nothing.
What this does is define him more sharply as the most racist, crooked, and financially stupid president in America's history.  This is why he is a dream come true to Republicans.  They've always been selfish as hell and dumb as bricks.
And now I'd like you to meet Gloria.  Back when I was almost finished with The Body on the Lawn, I decided I needed readers.  Friends are good for giving feedback but they aren't always as objective as  you need them to be, so I started looking for a voice that could say "nope."  I was a supervisor back then, and one day sitting in staff meeting I said something to Pat, a fellow supervisor, about my predicament.  She said "my Mom might want to do that."  A couple days later she told me Gloria had said she'd read and critique the manuscript.  This was gamble, you see Gloria is an Italian, Catholic, great-grandmother.  I had no idea how she was going to react to a book in which the main characters were 2 gay men in a long term relationship.  She loved it.

She told me that in The Body in the Tower her two most favorite characters were... Bobby Tussel and Jules Laurent, one an ex-Baltimore cop, and the other a member of the Paris police.  I wonder what she'll think of Sunny Rigalito, a character in the next book who cold-cocks her husband when he tells her she'd look prettier as a blond.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Rate this

Oh, dear me... the Idiot Jerk's approval rating is dropping... among Independent voters.  Now, isn't that a surprise.  And this was before he waved a piece of paper touting a 'secret' deal with Mexico.  People in Washington are whispering among themselves "what secret deal... what secret deal?"  In case you didn't know, his base believes him.  They're ecstatic.  This is better than the secret sauce used on your Big Mac!  Tasty!  They are on the verge of foaming at the mouth.  And the icing on the cake is the "nice" letter he got from Kim Dumb Shit... on their anniversary.  The only problem is that the Independents are saying "wait a minute, this guy's an asshole."  Believe me, this does not bode well for the Idiot Jerk in the White House.
Anyway, Don, one my other readers, received his copy of The Body in the Tower yesterday.  He has a degree in English and is the closest thing I have to an actual editor.  When I got his copy of the manuscript back there was red ink all over it.  He wrote things like 'vague,' and 'confusing,' and 'what happened to the yellow sock hat?'  Here is Don.

Don did not appreciate the way the narrative switches between  1st person and 3rd person.  Well, I fixed the 'vague,' and the 'confusing,' and answered the questions about 'the yellow sock hat,' and left the narrative switching as I had originally written it.
I'm off tomorrow and they're forecasting rain.   That's fine.  I don't mind as long as I don't have to go to work.  In 2.5 years my car will be paid off.  Then I'm going to go part-time.
And Biggie just gave me a purple, squeaky squirrel.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

One of my readers

Crap, yesterday was Whit Monday and I missed it...  Actually, I saw it on my calendar and had to look it up because no one I know seems to give a whit.  Yep, just another faux holiday the growing majority find unimportant.  Now, if companies started making it a paid holiday... wait, that'll never happen because they don't give a whit either.  That would cost money.
I'm reading my way through the paperback copy of The Body in the Tower, so far I've found 10 typos I missed, which will be corrected.  One of the things I thought I'd do with this book is try and take pictures of the readers and cover artist (if they'll let me) and post them here so you can meet them.  A bit of recognition, you know?
This is Patty.

Patty got to read the first draft.  She went through it with a pink highlighter.  Pink is not my favorite color.  There were so many pink 'question marks, her way of saying "what's up here?"  She's the one who said there was too much cycling and not enough story.  She said the cycling bits were... boring.  Shit.  She's also responsible for Bishop Halsey showing up when he does.  For those interested, Patty graduated from the Anne Marie school of artistic linguistics, so things are never just... boring, and it's never just "what's up here."
Anyway, I guess the Idiot Jerk in the White House tried to put some distance between himself and Nixon, another Republican scumbag who got his ass elected.  I've said this once I'll say it again, when all the dirt comes out on the Idiot Jerk, he's going to make Richard Nixon look like an alter boy, and we know what happens to alter boys.
Of all the games introduced at this year's E3, there were only 2 that tickled my fancy.  Cyberpunk 2077 gets released in 2020, but The Outer Worlds is getting released in October.  I already have my pre-order in, because that's only like... oh, 4 months away.  Enjoy the trailer.  Love that rock and roll.

Favorite line so far:  "The board... their lackies... they're all a bunch of swine!"

Monday, June 10, 2019

Rocketman and other stuff

Okay, so what can I say, it's Monday and I slept in...  and they is half over... okay, it's not half over, it got my ass out of bed around 0715. When you normally get up between 0430 and 0500 that's late.
I saw "Rocketman" last night.  It is very, very good and far more dramatic than I was expecting.  Even though Taron Egerton looks nothing like Elton John, it takes about 4 seconds after he makes his grand entrance at the beginning of the film to convince you otherwise.  One of the things I find amusing is the brouhaha about the sex scene and how it might be cut in order for the movie to get a PG-13 rating.  The language alone guaranteed "Rocketman" was going to be rated R.  Elton likes to swear... a lot.  This is also not a 'linear' biography, the songs are not in sequence, rather, they are used to emphasize an emotional moment.  Oh, and in case you're wondering, Egerton can sing, his vocal chops work quite well with the music.  Isn't it nice to go see a movie about a legendary rock star and the lead actor sings all of the songs.  One final note on this great film, I really did love that devil costume and how it was used.

Did the Idiot Jerk do anything yesterday?  It's rare for him not to fart out some stupid shit, even on a Sunday.
Tomorrow I have to go back to work.  Crap.  For 2 whole days.  I like this 2 days on, 2 days off schedule.  Once the car is paid for, this is what it's going to be like.
Finally, E3 started yesterday in LA.  That's when publishers announce upcoming games.  The biggest splash was made by the studio CD Projekt Red.  They gave us a release date yesterday for their next big game, Cyberpunk 2077... and the announcement was made by Keanu Reeves.  I can not wait.  A word of warning, there is language in this trailer.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

I was wrong! Sort of...

So, evidently the terms in the US / Mexico agreement had been agreed to by both countries weeks before the Idiot Jerk in the White House began shrieking about tariffs.  Fool on me for believing this Moral Degenerate had successfully managed to badger a foreign country into submission.  On the other hand, we all now know for certain this little shit charade was aimed directly at his racist base.  They squeal with delight every time he puts on one of these little dictator masquerades.  They will never understand his administration is nothing more than a two bit funhouse filled with cheap trickery, just like his life.
Anyway, it's Sunday.  I'm off.  I'm going to see "Rocketman" this evening.
Oh, and I have to mow my grass this afternoon - tomorrow it's supposed to be rainy.
Cori, the woman who does the artwork for my books, has lived on farms for most of her life.  She tells me my big, black snakey friend has probably been living here for some time.  My catching a glance of him on my back sidewalk was extremely rare.  That's fine with me.  I'm tired of having to put mousetraps out every fall.  This is how nature works, you know?
And my peaches are maturing:

There are only seven peaches on the tree, but I guess that's just fine for the first crop.  Here's a closeup of one:

The only problem is that they're small... about the size of large plums.  I thought it was a full size tree, but it's a dwarf so I guess this is about as good as it gets.
On the other hand, my nectarine tree has 17 nectarines.  It is not a dwarf, so will grow to between 15 and 20 feet in height.  This means I'll end up with baskets of nectarines.