Category Archives: Paffooney

Novel Number Fourteen

Novel #14 is now complete and published. The Norwall Pirates, softball team and liars club, take on an ancient undead Chinese wizard. All of it takes place in small Iowa farm towns during the Bicentennial summer of 1976. But some of the major players in this life-or-death struggle are immortal, and most of them are only high school freshmen, fifteen-years-old and still quite awkward in the face of a dangerous and arcane world full of the difficult problems of growing up.

The novel is called The Boy… Forever. Icarus Jones is a main character like Peter Pan, faced with the possibility of living forever, but never growing older than ten.

For now, I haven’t settled on the next one. But Number 14 is done.

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AeroQuest 3… Canto 76

Canto 76 –Practicing Practical Practices

Ged had begun to feel at ease with the strange ninja powers he had absorbed by eating the Black Spider Leader while in the form of a dinosaur.  He was a master of The Discipline now.  Back on Earth in the time before travel between the stars, this Discipline had been known as K’ung Fu.  The Black Spider Leader had mastered the jump-kicks of WuShu and the graceful, swift hand-to-hand combat known as Wing Chung.  Because the skill had been trained into The Black Spider Leader’s muscle memory, Ged had absorbed it whole, even if he did not have the philosophies that were supposed to go with it.  One thing he liked about it, though, was that it allowed him to defeat and overpower an opponent without doing permanent damage.  Ged had never loved killing the way Trav Dalgoda loved it.  He always preferred the bloodless victory, whether over man or beast.  The prey was always to be honored and respected.  And the prey was not to be stalked if it was not capable of self-defense.

In the heart of the Celestial Dragon was a large, gym-like room that was perfect for giving students lessons in the art of the Discipline.  It had a soft, forgiving floor, plenty of room, and a pair of bathing pools that provided purified water for drinking or bathing.  It was in this room which Ged now called the Practice Center that he was trying to impart his skills to Shu Kwai, Junior, Billy Iowa, and Rocket Rogers.  The Phoenix and Hassan Parker sat at the side, both cross-legged, watching with great interest.

“The simplest form of this move is a shield, making it an effective block to the offensive strikes I have shown you,” said Ged, demonstrating an arc of the right arm in a circle to his right side.

“You know,” said Phoenix, “Master Bres taught Alec and me a very similar stroke, but it led to a killing strike to the neck or groin.”

Ged looked grimly at the red-haired boy.  “I prefer not to attach that sort of thing to this move, if you don’t mind.”

“Oh, I don’t mind.  I think I prefer your way,” said Phoenix with a smug grin.  “It will prolong the battle and make things much closer.  You know, more challenging.”

“It allows you to protect yourself without killing,” reminded Ged.  The other boys all looked at him with questioning faces.

“If Alec were here, he’d say it protects you better to end it quickly.  Bres would say that the kill is the only worthy goal.”

“I would rather not be compared to Bres, if you don’t mind.”

Phoenix smiled a more genuine smile.  “You don’t have to convince me, sensei.  You are much better at this than the new Black Spider Leader.  It is because your motives are so much purer than his, I think.”

“Thank you.”

Ged allowed Billy Iowa to try an offensive strike.  Four times he deflected it easily.  The move worked.

“Practice with your partner,” said Ged. 

Shu Kwai paired himself with Rocket.  Junior squared off with Billy.  All four of them were dressed simply in loin covers and tabai boots.  Rocket also wore his ever-present cowboy hat.  Ged watched bare arms and legs flashing as they worked on the technique.  All four boys were distinctly different from each other.  Shu’s skin was yellow-orange in the Gaijinese manner.  Rocket was a pale peach color like Ged himself.  Billy was Indian bronze, while Junior was blue.  Still, Ged couldn’t help but marvel at how they meshed together whenever they tried to accomplish the same goal.

“You know,” said Ged, “It is our differences that make us strong as a whole.  We are blessed by being different, complementing each other.”

            Phoenix laughed.  “Is that wisdom, sensei?”

“I hope it is,” said Ged, somewhat sheepishly.  It wasn’t easy to tell if he’d really won Phoenix over or not.  The boy was more dangerous than the others, his Galtorrian lizard eyes so much harder to read.

Suddenly there was a loud fwooping noise.  Two more students appeared in the Practice Center.  They were both naked and connected to each other in the most embarrassing way possible.  It was a deeply blushing Alec Songh with a writhing, moaning Jadalaqstbr held in his arms.

Ged was a little shocked, to say the least.

“What is going on here?” asked Shu Kwai, immediately incensed at what he saw.  Rocket and Billy couldn’t help but giggle.  Junior looked on with fascination.

“Ooops!” said Alec.  “I guess it’s pretty obvious what is going on.”  He pulled away from the girl, trying to cover his embarrassment with his hands.  “What I’m wondering is how we ended up here?”

As young Jackie came to her senses again, she couldn’t help but blush deeply also.  “I guess I lost control of my power.  I’m so sorry, Alec.”

“Hmm,” said Ged.  “I believe this is a breakthrough, although I would’ve preferred to find it out a different way.”

“What do you mean, sensei?” asked Shu Kwai.

“Well, we did not know before it was possible for a Psion like Jackie to teleport two people,” said Ged.  “We need to know if it can be done again.”

“I’m sorry, sensei,” said Jadalaqstbr.  “I was so overpowered by a new experience that I didn’t know what I was doing.  My inner eye activated almost by itself.”

“Can you teleport back to the room you were in, get your clothes on, and both come back here again?”

“I don’t know,” said the embarrassed girl.  “Do you think we have to be doing the same thing on the way back?”

“Yes!” said Rocket.  “Try that again!”

Jackie blushed.

“No,” said Ged.  “Hold onto him and try to take him with you.”

The girl gingerly took hold of Alec’s arms again.  The fwooping sounded again and the two students were gone as suddenly as they had come.

“Should you have let them go like that?” asked Shu Kwai.  “Don’t you think they need to be punished for what they were doing?”

Ged shook his head.  Perhaps Shu was right.  Still, who was Ged to judge the guilt of others in this area?  “We cannot punish them for being humanoid.  I will talk with Alec about it, but it is really a thing between their consciences and themselves.”

In a few more moments, the two children reappeared, this time fully clothed from head to toe.  It was obvious they had felt quite mortified by their experience.  Jadalaqstbr had demonstrated before that teleporting with clothes on was not difficult.

“Before the lectures begin,” said Alec with a frown, “I want to tell you, sensei, that I love her.  I am not just defying you.  And, Shu, it’s none of your frakking business what Jackie and I do.”

“I love him too, sensei,” said Jadalaqstbr.  “He didn’t make me do anything I didn’t want to do.”

Ged nodded.  “We need to have a private discussion.  This class is dismissed for now.”

The boys all filed away, Alec and Jackie staying behind to face the music.  Alec had a look of determined defiance on his face.  The music would have to be about birds and bees, and right and wrong.  Ged knew what a parent and teacher would have to say in this situation, his mother had once had this discussion with Ham and Ged.  It wasn’t going to make things any easier for any of them, though, especially Ged.

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Taking to the Air (Saturday Art Post)

“The Wings of Imagination”
Bird-brains speak out
Yes, this is in the air. See? No space suits.
Travel by “airship”
If we cannot fly, at least our spirits do
Travel by bubble-blowing, gum-chewing goldfish.
We all have wings… sometimes.

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Hawking Books

My book advertised here is the best book I have that hasn’t gotten a single reader yet. I am trying to promote it by giving out free Kindle e-book copies for free this weekend. That tactic is supposed to generate readers and reviews. So far, two days in, only one free book has been selected by anybody on Facebook, Twitter, or here on WordPress. I mean, even clicking on a free book and then never reading it helps me as a marketer. But I am not getting any of that.

I did better with Recipes for Gingerbread Children, especially the first two days. But I admit, even though it shares a time, parts of a plot, and characters with The Baby Werewolf, it is a better book.

But tying the two books together has no visible effect.

I will, however, keep trying. I have other good books to promote as well as this one. Perhaps people are too afraid of werewolves to buy it, even for free.

Click on this if you’d like a free e-book. Every single one clicked on helps.

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The Baby Werewolf

My book is free this weekend in e-book format. This book is a werewolf story, a murder mystery, a comedy, and a slice of life in the lives of the kids who make up the softball team and liars’ club that is the Norwall Pirates.

All you have to do is click on the link above.

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Ad Campaigns

I have been running free-book promotions on Twitter and Facebook with limited results. But people are reading my books. Now that I will soon have 14 books published and available on Amazon, I can run one free-book promotion per month, as the author’s right to run that sort of promotion without paying for it renews every three months for each individual book.

This month I am promoting The Baby Werewolf for the first time.

Here’s a run-down of the previous promotions.

So, as a reminder, the next promotion I am trying this next week is for the novel The Baby Werewolf.

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Kid Pictures

Because I was a teacher, I have a thing about kids, and making pictures of kids.
Some kids, of course, tell lies… a lot. Or maybe all kids…
But kids have an inherent beauty.
And kids are naturally innocent and good.
And they are naturally imaginative and individually unique.
No matter what culture they come from…
Or what color they are…
They are worthy of making pictures of…
And they are worthy of love.

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