Category Archives: announcement

The Car Saga is Complete

Yesterday I finally found and bought a used car to replace the dead one in the shop. I am thinking this is the last car I will ever buy. Of course, that’s what I thought about the last car I bought, the one now awaiting the coroner’s report about its death by cracked transmission. The Fiesta is dead. Now, I hope the new 2015 Focus will be the car I end my driving career in.

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Don’t Let the Heat Beat You

Today was a near disaster. The heat, at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit that I can personally verify, was so bad that everybody went indoors and logged on to their devices. I could not get enough bandwidth to even save the writing I was trying to do on WordPress, W alone actually publish anything. The internet Kept cutting outpublishing streak was going to end at the 505 straight days I achieved yesterday. So, the Princess and I gave up on online things and went to the movies. Thor, Love and Thunder at the Music City Mall in Lewisville. Gawd dang! It was a great movie. But this post is not a movie review.

What I am writing about was how I beat the deadline to save my posting streak. I got out of the theater before the day’s posting deadline, checked my phone, and found that I could post something. Two lines of; prose in a post to make 506 straight posts before the rest of today officially becomes tomorrow. If you saw my “desperation post,” then you now know what that was all about.

When we got home again, to a house where the air conditioner is losing its battle with the weather, I shed my clothes (not at the mall, mind you, but in my private bedroom, because naked is cooler than clothed) and started a writing frenzy. I may have gotten one more in before the deadline at 7:00 p.m.

So, now I can take it a bit easier. The problem is overcome. The streak continues… in more ways than one.

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502

This post is on the 502nd consecutive day in a row that I have posted at least one thing. It is a streak worth continuing.

But what’ve I really done since arriving in Iowa for my yearly visit? Well, I was haunted by the spirits of grandparents long gone as well as the more recently departed spirits of my parents. The old farmhouse and town are saturated with memories, dreams, and… worst of all, regrets.

But I did visit Ames, where I attended college for the first four years. I bought a good book there. I watched movie musicals with my sister.

Maybe it is enough. I invested my time and money in pursuing memories. And there are worse ways to invest those things.

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The 400th Straight Day of Consecutive Posts

Mickey has actually done this once before. An entire years’ worth of consecutive days of posting on WordPress, plus 35 more days, now for the second time. A lot of writing. A lot of blathering about this and that. A lot of fishing for ideas… and catching an occasional shark… and an occasional angelfish. And drawing stuff.

What exactly is all this nonsense for?

Well, several important things.

My blog is definitely a place for self-reflection, a space for thinking about who I am, what I am doing, and… most importantly, why. After all, I am now on Medicare, and probably in the last handful of years of my life. I am in poor health. I paid off five years worth of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is good to be out of debt. But that is temporary if I accidentally survive a heart attack or stroke.

I have to come to terms with where I am in life. Every new day is precious, a gift I am not taking lightly.

I have a blog also simply for the practice of being a writer and writing every day. You can’t get better at a skill you don’t practice. And as I am now retired from the vocation I was born to do, I don’t use my writing skill to teach children in middle school or high school English classes anymore. I can, however, write stories about all the things children taught me over the years, and end up with some books that will, hopefully, provide future reading teachers something to use in junior high and high school to teach reading skills.

And because I also have an interest in philosophy, I am fully accepting of the idea that life has no meaning unless we give it meaning ourselves. As a Christian Existentialist, I endeavor to create what I believe is the true meaning of my existence. And I am constantly reevaluating that meaning on a daily basis in this blog, and also in my stupid head.

Of course, now that I am retired and no longer risking getting fired for expressing myself online as someone who likes nudity and doesn’t find naked people morally offensive, I can write about being a nudist. Even when I am not joking about believing nudism is a good thing.

And when I am joking, as a writer fond of writing humor, I don’t have to worry about offending anybody or alienating anybody. Countless conservatives, prudes, Trump-lovers, and evil bank executives have already blocked me, unfollowed me, shunned me in public, and sued me into bankruptcy (evil bankers did that last one.) So, I am free to exercise my right of free speech and my offbeat sense of humor. In this blog, I mean. If you do it on street corners, they throw things at you. And bankers might sue you.

And so, I have achieved 400-straight days of posting in this blog. For the second time. And that is a good thing. And if you don’t agree with that statement, feel free to unfollow me, block me, shun me…. but please don’t sue me. And, bankers, I already paid you off. So, don’t do it again.

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Sudden Inspiration

I have been searching for a way to continue my Tuesday novel-writing posts with a novel different from my main work in progress. It sort-of solved the problem with a sudden realization that since fairies bewitched my novel-writing process in the making of The Necromancer’s Apprentice, I might as well pick up a thread from that novel.

PoppenSparkle is the character rescued from the dungeon in the previous book. She had absolutely no chance to shine in that book. Released from captivity by evil fairies, she is the sister of Derfentwinkle, a butterfly child, and gifted with wizard ability.

Every student wizard has to be assigned to a master wizard to learn the truth about magic. And Poppy was assigned to a real sour potato of a master.

It will be a story about a teacher and a student, and how they work out a way to get everything that each one needs from the other. It will give me a chance to do more world-building on the Fairy Kingdom of Tellosia. And more chances to create some teacher-comedy in a setting where I can create a lot of crazy stuff and draw more cartoons.

I may not get started for another couple of weeks yet, but the idea is growing by the hour.

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365

Today’s post marks 365 daily posts in a row, an entire year’s worth of daily posts. I have now achieved this posting streak milestone three times. The other two were both January 1st to December 31st, both intentional achievements. This time came about from the end of last year’s Big Freeze disruption to the present day in February that respresents me getting back to daily blogging a year ago.

This new year of 2022 also marks the publication of my 21st book. I am offering a free copy of the e-book from now until Tuesday, February 22nd on Amazon. It is a fairy tale occurring in a fairy castle disguised as a willow tree. It is the reason I have fairies as the illustrations in this post. The book has an illustration for every chapter.

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The Literate but Illogical Introvert

Yep, I did it again. Novel number 21, the very first paperback produced in the obligatory selfie.

Of course, this one is different than any of the others. This is a fantasy novel where most of the actual characters are three inches tall or shorter. The only normal human character gets shrunk down by magic to visit the fairy world.

Blueberry Bates is the human girl who met and befriended fairies in a previous book Magical Miss Morgan. She’s got the ability to actually see them, and loves to draw colored-pencil pictures of them.

Derfentwinkle is a main character and co-narrator of the story. She is a Sylph with magical ability that has been forced to be the Necromancer’s Apprentice of the title and sent on a suicide mission against the good fairies. She is captured by the good guys and given a chance to make new choices.

Bob is the Sorcerer’s apprentice to the Sorcerer Eli Tragedy (standing behind him in the red coat and hat.) He is the other co-narrator of the story, and he tries hard to help Derfentwinkle change sides. He is quiet and ccmpetent, unlike his fellow apprentice, Mickey the wererat (seen in the background.)

The whole book is set in an imaginary fairy kingdom called Tellosia that I first imagined in the 1980’s.

It all reveals the character of somebody like me who lives most of the important parts of his life entirely in his own stupid head. I have always been a quiet introvert like Bob in this story. Not loud and proud. Just quiet and capable. I am much more comfortable writing my truth in a story like this one rather than being a newsman, celebrity, or actor. Not that I couldn’t have forced myself to succeed in one of those jobs. But the front of the classroom was the closest to center stage I will ever need to be.

I draw pictures and tell stories. That works for the job of public school teacher. In fact, those abilities are useful in putting lessons across to students. But beyond that, I couldn’t go. I am like Bob, not somebody who can force his face in front of others for self-aggrandizement.

So the proof is not in the pudding like the pudding of the old saying that makes no sense to me. (Who ever found a rolled-up scroll with proof of anything on it at the bottom of their bowl of chocolate pudding? Even Jell-o pudding.) The proof is in my book.

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What I Did With My Snow Day

Ice and snow hits the Dallas area once again. About one year from the disastrous deep-freeze of 2021 that helped make Ted “Cancun” Cruz infamous, we are hit with another deep-winter snowstorm. So far, no one in this household has frozen to death, and the electricity has not yet gone out. But it is a snow day. My daughter, the Princess, has no college classes. My wife does not have to teach any masked middle schoolers. The city streets are are icy and hazardous. But I have been busy.

Prior to today, I had already finished the final draft, proofread, and all other preparations for publishing The Necromancer’s Apprentice.

So, even the dog is not getting our and going very far. Only going a couple dozen feet to poo and pee in the snow. And the computer I do most of my writing on gave me death rattles and glitchy delays for doing it, but I did this;

This is only the e-book. The paperback takes longer to be approved.

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Book Number 20

Between the moment of inspiration and the publication of this novella there was only five weeks of time. It is the fastest I have ever completed a writing project for publication. Catch a Falling Star did the same complete process in a mere 36 years. Some things are just quicker than others.

This book, Cissy Moonskipper’s Travels, is a 55-page novella written for teenagers and inspired by the books, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe and Slake’s Limbo by Felice Holman. It is a survival story about being stranded alone in space with a space ship and resources, but no way to make the space ship go anywhere and a knowledge that there are pirates out there who will looking for her to take her space ship away.

I am quite proud of this project and how it turned out. I invite you to see for yourself..

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I Finished It! #20

Yesterday I finished writing Cissy Moonskipper’s story. It is a 15,000-word novella. It is illustrated. And it will be book #20 written by me. 18 books more than I thought I would ever be able to write and publish.

It is, of course, science fiction. It is set in the 53rd Century AD.

It will be published in e-book and paperback forms very shortly on Amazon.

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