Frames – Trespasser (Sample Fragment 1)

Originally posted on Ana Linden:
“Help yourself. You still smoke?” Pointless question, stating the obvious, so it would fill the air between them… He tilted his head apologetically and smiled back, that embarrassed half a smile of his, when she’d catch him doing something she didn’t approve of and she’d point it out. He lit up and inhaled deeply, turning to ashes a good portion… Continue reading Frames – Trespasser (Sample Fragment 1)

Self-Marketing a Self-Published Novel

Writing a novel is easy. Marketing a novel is hard, especially when you’re not fond of selling yourself or trying to get a stranger to buy a product. It’s a special type of person who not only enjoys enticing people to buy their products, but who can also smile in the face of rejection. I disliked going door-to-door as a young boy and selling things. … Continue reading Self-Marketing a Self-Published Novel

On Love and Self

There are stages of love as well as grief. I suspect more people know the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Few people understand that love has stages as well: infatuation, passion, routine (or restless), partnership, companionship. If grief comes about through loss of loved one, where does love come in? Love comes with loss of self, meaning love causes self to become … Continue reading On Love and Self

The Roof

On the flight deck, broiling hot sun, bright blue sky, blue sea, whitecaps throwing spindrift with the wind, another day in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I’m standing between eighty thousand pounds of Hornet and sixty thousand pounds of thrust at full throttle, two fighter aircraft held back against their will, straining to break free, to pierce the sky, my head on a … Continue reading The Roof

Pitching Your Novel to Literary Agents

Holy cow, that was fast! I submitted my query letter (and first three pages of my novel) yesterday afternoon about 5:00 pm using Query Manager according to the agent’s submission guidelines. Most agents take weeks, if not months, to respond to a writer’s query. Not this one; by 7:00 pm I had emailed the agent asking for any information about why the agent rejected my … Continue reading Pitching Your Novel to Literary Agents

Status: A Wished-For Love

Thank you so much for reading along and supporting my effort. This novel is thirty years in the making and has been a journey of remembrance, blood, sweat, and tears. Most of the characters are based on real people. Tom’s and Sam’s Susanna was my girlfriend when I was stationed in Spain; yes, she died. Aida was a girlfriend in the Philippines. Lek was an acquaintance in … Continue reading Status: A Wished-For Love

Writing in “The Zone”

God, how I love writing in the zone. That period when your whole mind is so focused on the story that the story absorbs you and you become your protagonist. His emotions are yours, the blood racing through his veins is yours and the poundpoundpound of his heart is the poundpoundpound of your heart. The dialogue pours out, the conversation moves forward, the emotions tear … Continue reading Writing in “The Zone”

Beelzebub – I Lost a Draft!

Somehow I’ve contrived to lose a draft post of a little over 200 words. It’s quite deflating to see a work of two months flushed away into WordlessPress Land and not know how it happened. When I left the draft yesterday evening I felt it was shaping up into something I would be ready to post this weekend. My six verses of lyrics titled “Shake … Continue reading Beelzebub – I Lost a Draft!

On Love: Its Toll and Reward

Love isn’t cheap, although love can be cheapened. Love at any cost exacts an incalculable toll on the human soul. A five-dollar short time will get you love in Olongapo City, but what kind of love is that? Even a ten-dollar long time, an all-nighter, gets you nothing but relief, one more conquest to secure your manhood, and another sea story for the guys at work. Where’s the love? Where’s the … Continue reading On Love: Its Toll and Reward

Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

For Dad John William Pennington 12/29/1926 – 12/10/1994. GM2C US Navy WWII; SSGT USAF Korea, Vietnam There are two kinds of dead in war: those who die and those who live. Those who die stay dead; those who live die again and again and again until, someday, they too stay dead. He died in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa, but lived another … Continue reading Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

The 9 Most Common Mistakes I See on Opening Pages

Originally posted on Annie Bomke Literary Agency:
A while ago when I solicited advice on what topics to cover in my blogs, someone asked me to cover common mistakes I see authors making in their first pages, so here is my rough list. One quick note before I start the list, just to give you an idea of my mindset going into a manuscript. When… Continue reading The 9 Most Common Mistakes I See on Opening Pages

Servicemembers We Lost in 2017

Rest In Peace 12 Dec 2017 Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Staff Sgt. David Thomas Brabander, 24, of Anchorage, Alaska, died Dec. 11 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. 27 Nov 2017 Operation Inherent Resolve. Cpl. … Continue reading Servicemembers We Lost in 2017

Fretting

Ripples in a pond fretting amid damp earth’s fragrance whose deep-anchored tendrils curl around and around and up and up to caress and nurture. Focused on the footpath. Rigid muscles and throbbing temples. Panting. Impeding scales fall away as sunlight breaks through a misty veil of sweat. Pause. Beyond the trees a beckoning forest and a horizon, and mountains soften into hills. Renewal. Gaining the horizon. Footpath … Continue reading Fretting