Friday, June 27, 2014

What You Want To Write vs What Wants To Be Written

Here we go again. This post started as another post on my Facebook author page and became too long. As July's Camp NaNoWriMo approaches, there is a conflict. I haven't decided on which story to write yet, but it boils down to this: There is the story I want to finish writing (Return To Origin) and the story that wants to be written (Timewatch).

After finishing the first draft of The Curse in 2011, I began to write Return To Origin, which was the story that wanted to be written at the time. However, I made the mistake of stopping to start editing The Curse. Since then, I worked on Return To Origin a bit at a time, but the first draft is nowhere near finished.

Then there's the sequel to the short story, The Immortals, and my novel, The Curse, titled Caretaker. The Immortals is in The Acts of 1. I started Caretaker after finishing the first draft of Rickshaw, New Mexico. At the time, this was my best first draft. However, as with Return To Origin, I stopped. Why? Because The Curse needed, yet again, more editing. As with Return To Origin, the first draft of Caretaker is nowhere near finished. My ideal reader wants me to finish both of these stories.

Here's the point. Whenever there is a conflict between what you want to write and what wants to be written, choose the story that wants to be written. That's where your mind and heart are. Once you start, do not stop until the story is finished. That's the mistake I made with Return To Origin and with Caretaker, and that is why their first drafts remain incomplete.

If I had to choose now, instead of Return To Origin, July's Camp NaNoWriMo project will be Timewatch. It's the story that wants to be told. So far. there are only a few disjointed scenes, including Woodrow and Janowski (from A Flash In Time) going through the swamps of 1753 of what will be Chalmette, Louisiana, searching for legendary swamp demons. The scene may go into the story and it may not. Obviously, new characters will be introduced and maybe even surprise appearances by characters from some of my other stories.

Also, if Timewatch turns out to be the story I write next month, then I will publish A Flash In Time (from The Acts of 1) by itself. At this time, I haven't decided whether to charge 99 cents or make the short story permafree. A Flash In Time is my oldest story idea, beginning when I was sixteen years old. It's about a retail manager who, on the night of December 28, 1999, is driving home from work in the middle of a thunderstorm and in a flash, it's a sunny Friday afternoon in September 2011. As with George Foster in Rickshaw, New Mexico, Bryan Mixon has no idea how he got there or how he'll get home. Although George's and Bryan's situations are similar, their stories are different. If published, the cover of A Flash In Time will most likely be done with Amazon's Cover Creator.

If you haven't done so already, please visit my Facebook author page and my Amazon author page, and put a like on each.

Have a great day!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rickshaw, New Mexico Review (and Sequel?)

This started as an entry on my Facebook author page and quickly became too long to post there. Now I can go into more detail.

Yesterday, I was reading through and reviewing the first draft of a novel I'm thinking about finishing next month, titled Return To Origin. If I choose to write it for next month's JuNoWriMo challenge (July Camp National Novel Writing Month), there are a few changes that will be made. One of my bad habits when writing is to fool around on the internet (and yes, on Facebook, too). You know, how are sales? How are my books' rankings? Are there any new reviews? While expecting the usual answer of nothing, somebody posted a 5-star review of my ebook, Rickshaw, New Mexico. The reviewer's name is TXBkLvr and thank you for your review. Here is what TXBkLvr wrote:

Maybe I shouldn't have given this 5 stars. It was, after all, rather tidy the way it wrapped up. But it was so much fun to read! Time Travel is one of my favorite genres but it's gotten old in a lot of books lately. The same old story with a different cover. The way it happened here was fresh and interesting.

The writing was very well done. I didn't see any typos or misspellings. If there were any I was reading too fast to notice them.

If you like time travel, old westerns, and thrillers, this is a book for you. I hope there's a sequel. 

Hmm...this is the second consecutive review of Rickshaw that talks about a sequel. George Foster's story has been told, but there are a couple of other characters whose stories are nowhere near done. Actually, one of the two characters first appeared in my short story, A Flash In Time, which is in my ebook, The Acts of 1 - A Collection of Short Stories. So in a way, Rickshaw is a sequel to A Flash In Time. Maybe it's time to publish A Flash In Time by itself.

To be honest, since AndyB's review of Rickshaw, I've been toying with the idea of writing a sequel. In fact, over the past couple of weeks, I've even written scenes, including one addressing "the George Foster incident." The current scene I'm working on is mentioned in the final scene of Rickshaw. No spoilers here. In the scenes I've written so far, two characters from Rickshaw and two more from A Flash In Time appear.

When I decide to write a story, there is usually have a beginning and end, laced with a few specific outcomes in the story. For this one, which the working title will be Timewatch, all I have is a few scenes. Then again, all I had when I wrote my Camp NaNoWriMo novel in April (titled Justice) was a beginning and an end. There was nothing in between.

So here's the point. Which book do I write next month? Do I finish the one I started in 2011 immediately after finishing the first draft of The Curse (Return To Origin) or do I write the sequel to A Flash In Time and Rickshaw, New Mexico (Timewatch)? That's the burning question right now and the answer at the moment is, I don't know. There is a little more than a week left to decide. I may post a little bit about each book and let you decide. Again, thank you, TXBkLvr, for posting your review of Rickshaw!!

In the meantime, be sure to click the links on this post and please visit and put a like on my Facebook author page and my Amazon author page.

Have a great day!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Last Place Update and Did the '62 Mets Win On This Day?

Before we get started, congrats to Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, for pitching his first ever no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies, an 8-0 win. Kershaw struck out 15 batters and is now 7-2.

On the flip side, the 28-45 Tampa Bay Devil Rays are this week's Kings of the Cellar. After going 4-1 in recent games, the Rays have lost two in a row. The 31-44 Arizona Diamondbacks trail the Devil Rays by two games. Arizona is 3-7 in their last ten games, but are 2-2 in their last four. At this point, none of these teams are a threat to the 1962 New York Mets' record of futility. After 73 games, the Mets were 20-53.

This week's honorable mention goes to the 43-29 San Francisco Giants. They are 2-8 in their last ten games, losing five straight.

Now for some trivia...

Today in 1962, the New York Mets scored three runs in the first inning and never trailed against the Milwaukee Braves, getting one of their few wins in their worst ever season, 6-5. Future Padres and Giants manager, Roger Craig, pitched a complete game for the Mets and struck out five. Eddie Matthews of the Braves, and Joe Christopher and Gene Woodling of the Mets each hit a homerun.

Today in 1988, David Cone pitched a complete game two-hitter helping the New York Mets defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0. Cone struck out seven and batted 1-4. Darryl Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds hit a homerun.

Today in 1992, a top of the first inning leadoff homerun by Greg Briley was all the Seattle Mariners needed to beat the Minnesota Twins 1-0. This was Briley's only hit of the game. WP Dave Fleming struck out six batters. Chili Davis and Kent Hrbek got the only hits for the Twins.

Today in 2004, Julio Franco and Eli Marrero each hit a two run homer and elevated the Atlanta Braves to an easy 4-0 win over the Cleveland Indians. In seven innings, WP Paul Byrd struck out seven and John Smoltz got the save.

As we count down to July's Camp NaNoWriMo, the choice of which story to write is getting easier. It also appears that July's Camp NaNoWriMo is called JuNoWriMo. If I had to choose which story to write now, it would be Return To Origin. I started it just after finishing the first draft of The Curse in 2011.

It seems I may have to use Amazon's Cover Creator once again for Second Chance. I was hoping to enlist someone's help, but that's not going to happen. Hence, the plan is to keep the cover design simple until it can be replaced with a better one.

I wrote a few drafts of the blurb to Second Chance. Although it's not ready, here's the best version so far:

Gus Harrison is a 46 year old city worker who lives in the past. He obsesses over the good old days of his youth, but there is a dark side. In 1987, the love of his life, Penny Neal, was murdered. His best friend, Dub Druber, died in 2000. Not a day goes by that Gus wishes he could go back in time and save their lives.

One fateful day, as his life falls apart, Gus gets his chance. He gets sent back to 1987 and is young once again. Can Gus change history and save the people he loves?

If things go as anticipated, Second Chance will be published as early as July or August.

Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Remembering Chuck Noll and Tony Gwynn

I hadn't planned on posting anything today, but with the passing of two legends, that changed.

Over the weekend, football lost one of its greatest ever Hall of Fame coaches, Chuck Noll, of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Noll coached the Steelers to four Super Bowl Championships in six years. In fact, he was the only head coach to ever win four Super Bowls. From 1969-91, he coached the Steelers to a 193-148 regular season record. Noll was 16-8 in the playoffs and, obviously, 4-0 in the Super Bowl.

As a player, Noll played with the Cleveland Browns from 1953-59. He served as a defensive coach for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers from 1960-65, where the team won the AFL Championship in 1963. In 1966, Noll moved on to a defensive backfield coach for the Baltimore Colts, where he coached until 1968. After the Colts lost Super Bowl III, Noll was hired as the head coach of the Steelers.

Yesterday, baseball lost a rare gem of the game, Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn. He played his entire MLB playing career with the San Diego Padres, which spanned from 1982-2001. He also won a slew of awards, including 15 All-Star appearances, 5 Golden Gloves, 8 NL batting titles, and 2 World Series appearances. He finished his career with a .338 batting average. After retiring in 2001, he became the head coach of his alma mater, San Diego State, in 2002, where he coached until his death. Gwynn set the example as a player and as a man. He was class personified.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the Noll and Gwynn families.

On another note, today is the last day that my ebook, Rickshaw, New Mexico will be free. Thank you all for your support so far and let's finish strong.

Here is a little bit of what Rickshaw is about...

George Foster, a down and out Las Vegas private investigator in 2011, took a routine late night stakeout assignment that changed his life forever. Things went terribly wrong when an affair turned into a double murder, with George as the number one suspect.

Once at home, George drank to drown his sorrows, passed out, and woke up in a jail cell... 1886.

Somehow, George went from present day Las Vegas, Nevada to a one-street town named Rickshaw in the New Mexico Territory, a place with problems of its own. With no idea how he got there, George must adapt, survive, and find his way home.

Click the Rickshaw, New Mexico link to download your FREE copy now.

Have a great day!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

NBA & MLB Trivia, and Rickshaw, New Mexico

Wow! Three posts in a week. It's been a while. Camp NaNoWriMo is less than three weeks away and I'm still undecided about which story to write. A couple of nights ago, I wrote a second scene, this one dealing with the fallout from Rickshaw, New Mexico. More on Rickshaw in a bit. If this continues, Return To Origin may once again, go to the back burner.

Now what's going on with Rickshaw, New Mexico? From today until June 17, Rickshaw will be free for the Kindle. The link will be posted after the trivia. Speaking of...

Here's some NBA trivia...

Today in 1993, the Phoenix Suns beat the Chicago Bulls in triple overtime, 129-121. Michael Jordan led all scorers with 44 points. Dan Majerle led the Suns with 28. The Suns improved to 1-2 in the series, but the Bulls went on to win the NBA Championship 4-2.

Today in 1997, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz 90-86. Michael Jordan led all scorers with 39 and Karl Malone led the Jazz with 21. With this win, Chicago won the NBA Championship 4-2.

Today in 2001, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 100-86. Allen Iverson led all scorers with 35 points. Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers with 34. Los Angeles improves to 3-1 in the series and would win the NBA Championship 4-1.

And for some MLB trivia...

Today in 1975, the Big Red Machine got into a slugfest with the Chicago Cubs. By the seventh inning, the Cubs led the Cincinnati Reds 8-6, but the bottom fell out in the eighth. The Reds went on a 12-3 run and won the game 18-11. Johhny Bench and George Foster each hit a homerun for the Reds and  Jerry Morales hit a homerun for the Cubs.

Today in 1988, the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets took a 1-1 game into 12 innings. In the bottom of the 12th, Lee Mazzilli hit an RBI single to win the game 2-1. Darryl Strawberry hit a solo homer to get the Mets on the board. Bob Horner hit an RBI single to account for the Cardinals' score.

Today in 2006, a solo homerun by Robinson Cano was all the New York Yankees needed to defeat the Cleveland Indians 1-0. In a respectable effort, LP Paul Byrd struck out six batters.

If you want to explore more trivia and see the box scores, go to and

So what's going on with Rickshaw?

Starting today, my ebook, Rickshaw, New Mexico is free until June 17. Click the link, download your FREE copy today, and please spread the word.

Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Possible Story Change, a Sweep, and a Belated Spanking

So much for not making an entry for the next month. This began as an entry on my Facebook author page, but it was going to be too long. So what happened?

All of this started from Andy B's review of my ebook, Rickshaw, New Mexico. Andy wanted to know more about certain characters in the story and if there's going to be a sequel. The answer is yes and no. In a way, Rickshaw is a sequel to a short story I wrote in The Acts of 1 - A Collection of Short Stories, titled, A Flash In Time. It's not a true sequel, but the stories are somewhat related.

As I said yesterday, I wrote out a scene involving a couple of characters from A Flash In Time. They were walking down a trail in what would later be Chalmette, Louisiana. The year is 1753. Again, the scene isn't long, but it's pretty good, at least for a first draft. Yes, I know. All first drafts suck, but the story is pretty good.

Last night, three more scenes popped into my head. I can't go into detail because of spoilers. However, one of the scenes is much like one late in A Flash In Time. Here's the point of this part of my blog entry: If scenes continue to pop up like this, my July Camp NaNoWriMo project may change from Return To Origin to this. Now you see why the post is here instead of my Facebook author page.

Since we are here, it's time for some trivia...

Today in 1989, the bad boy Detroit Pistons defeated the Los Angeles Lakers  114-110 in the NBA Finals. The win put the Pistons up 3-0 in the series. Detroit's Joe Dumars led all scorers with 31 points. James Worthy led the Lakers with 26. The Pistons would go on to sweep the series 4-0 and win the NBA Championship.

Today in 1997, Michael Jordan scored 38 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 90-88 win over the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals. The Bulls now led the series 3-2. Karl Malone led the Jazz with 19 points. Chicago would go on to win the series 4-2 and become NBA Champions.

Today in 1974, an RBI by Bake McBride was all the St. Louis Cardinals needed to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0. WP Lynn McGlothen allowed seven hits and threw six strikeouts. Al Hrabosky got his second save of the season. In a respectable effort, LP Andy Messersmith allowed four hits and struck out four batters. McGlothen improved to 8-3 and Messersmith fell to 6-2.

Today in 1991, Nolan Ryan pitched a complete game shutout as the Texas Rangers beat the Chicago White Sox 2-0. Ryan allowed six hits and struck out 10 batters. He improved to 4-4 with the win.

Forgot one: Yesterday in 1943, the St. Louis Cardinals spanked the Cincinnati Reds 18-0. Stan Musial went 3-4 and hit 3 RBI's. What was surprising about this game was that with all the runs scored, nobody hit a homerun. Also, WP Mort Cooper pitched a complete game shutout, he allowed five hits and struck out only two batters. Fifteen year old Joe Nuxhall made his major league debut and pitched 2/3 of an inning for the Reds.

If you want to explore and learn more trivia from these games, go to and Note: I am not part of or have any financial interest in either of these websites. I'm just a fan who likes trivia and appreciates the efforts of the people on these websites who make the information available to us.

If you are interested in any of the stories covered in today's entry, click the links above or you could go to my Amazon author page to view all of my ebooks.

Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Updates, Trivia, and Musings

Boy, has it been busy. I keep wondering if I can come back to posting something here every day, but the demands of writing and editing my stories are taking too much time. I even thought about starting another blog to cover the writing and keep this one just for sports trivia. The final decision is still pending.

So what's been going on?

My upcoming ebook, Second Chance, is near completion. After the final edits, all that's left are a blurb and cover. Once the book is complete, it will be available for the Kindle and Print On Demand via Createspace. Second Chance is about a man, Gus Harrison, who is 46 years old and obsesses about and lives in the past. He would give anything to go back and save the life of the woman he loved, Penny Neal. On a fateful night in 1987, after breaking up with Gus, Penny's date with her new boyfriend goes horribly wrong and she died in a dormitory stairwell. To make matters worse, Gus's best friend became an alcoholic and later died. Since Penny's death, Gus thought of nothing but his life before Penny's death. One fateful evening, he got his chance to go back in time. What happened next? Once it's published, buy the book and find out.

July's Camp NaNoWriMo is almost upon us. Instead of writing something new, I decided to finish a novel I started after finishing the first draft of The Curse in 2011. The story is titled, Return To Origin. It's a science fiction story inspired by episodes of Ancient Aliens, which I'm a fan. The word count will be a cheat in the beginning and although my goal is 50,000 words, the story may end up being much longer than that. The pre-camp prep work has already begun. Now before you shake your head about the word count, I have an obligation that will take me away from writing during the first week. Besides, I'm tired of this incomplete story being in the pipeline, waiting to be done. It's way past time to finish the first draft.

Last night, a scene went through my head. It involved characters from my short story, A Flash In Time, a story published in The Acts of 1 - A Collection of Short Stories. The scene takes place in 1753. I wrote it out and it's not bad. It's short enough to be a flash fiction story right now, but could grow into more.

Now lets get down to some sports trivia, specifically the Last Place Update. When I last posted, the Houston Astros were on pace to three-peat, but since then they did something unfamiliar to them in recent years: winning. In fact, the Astros are nowhere near the Update's radar. So who are the Kings of the Cellar? It's the 24-41 Tampa Bay Devil Rays! They're 1-9 in their last ten games and 1-13 since May 26. However, they are ahead of the 1962 Mets, who were 18-47 after 65 games and already past the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, who won only 20 games that year. The Mets lead the 25-36 Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies by three games. The 33-27 Detroit Tigers get the honorable mention. The Tigers are 3-7 in their last ten games and 6-15 since May 19.

Speaking of trivia, today in 1962, the New York Mets split a double-header with the Chicago Cubs. They played a five game series that weekend, and believe it or not, the hapless Mets won that weekend series 3-2.

Finally, here's some seriously old school baseball trivia. Today in 1918, in a defensive struggle, Bullet Joe Bush pitched the Boston Red Sox to victory over manager Pants Rowland's Chicago White Sox, 1-0. Both starting pitchers pitched complete games and their performances would have been dominating today. Bush struck out six and only allowed three hits. LP Frank Shellenback struck out four and only allowed two hits. The game also featured players with unique names, such as Bullet Joe, Stuffy McInnis, and a young player by the name of Babe Ruth, for the Red Sox, and Chick Gandil (from the Black Sox scandal the next year), Nemo Liebold, and Happy Felsch, for the White Sox. The Red Sox went on to win the World Series that year and wouldn't win another until 2004. For more about this game visit or the box score here.

Have a great day!!