Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 3, Chapter 14, Part 2: Thailand

A uniformed doorman nodded and smiled to Sasi, but gave me the once-over and a frown as we passed. Revolving doors led to an expansive lobby buzzing with activity and the heady fragrance of incense. Another doorman took the groceries from me and gave them to yet another employee who disappeared who-knew-where with them. Plush, high-end sofas and chairs furnished sitting areas where visitors and … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 3, Chapter 14, Part 2: Thailand

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 3, Chapter 14, Part 1

Pattaya Beach, Thailand. 1983. Photo Credit: Will Pennington Adrenaline pumped my system into a throbbing, vibrating engine burning on twenty-four cylinders. I rubbed my leg to make it stop tapping the foot rail. My mind churned with anxiety and uncertainty. Shooting up caffeine wouldn’t have given me a bigger buzz. I rested my elbow on the bar and chewed my thumbnail as I stared through … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 3, Chapter 14, Part 1

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 3, Chapter 13, Part 2: Thailand

I replayed my encounter with Sasi as I crossed Beach Road and walked along the promenade. The crowds of locals and tourists, the traffic, the whistles of traffic police, and the bicycle bells gave the city a vibrant hum. The sun beat down without mercy, but a breeze blew in from the sea, refreshing the area between the water and business side of the street. … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 3, Chapter 13, Part 2: Thailand

Honey Ko, Book 2, Chapter 12

I wasn’t going back to Vietnam! Neither was Sam. Chip and the Command Master Chief said we had been there long enough. Others who needed the time in-country would replace us. I hadn’t felt such relief in months. The news drained the tension from me like I was shedding a layer of skin. Sam and I walked through the hangar bay like changed men, calling … Continue reading Honey Ko, Book 2, Chapter 12

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 2, Chapter 11, Part 1

Cigarette smoke assaulted my lungs as I made my way to the exit, already missing Marie’s fragrance. I had reached the door when I heard my name called above the screeching racket from the jukebox. I looked above the heads bobbing on the dance floor. Frank! Hey, Frank. Over here. Sam waved from the bar. I changed direction, but the door opened, forcing me to … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 2, Chapter 11, Part 1

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 2, Chapter 10: Marie Taneo

My pulse raced as Frank walked away. I wanted to call him back, tell him I wanted to know him too, but I couldn’t. I was too proud to be the weak one. Too independent to seem dependent. I had been wrong about one thing, though. He wasn’t unlike other Sailors. He was unlike any man I had ever known. He was confident, but not … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 2, Chapter 10: Marie Taneo

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 2, Chapter 9: Frank

The silence pounded in my ears. I wanted to sit and think, but my knees were locked. All I could do was stare at the door that had both opened and closed a moment before. I had learned something about Chip and something about myself.  I had often noticed the purple heart ribbon among his many decorations but never asked for what action he earned … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 2, Chapter 9: Frank

Honey Ko, (Sweetheart), Book 2, Chapter 7: Frank Bailey. 1968

Approach to Cubi Point Naval Air Station, Olongapo, Philippines. The sun set on another blistering day in the Philippines as our C-130 touched down at Cubi Point Naval Air Station. The war in Vietnam was nine-hundred miles in the past. I could finally relax and put the horror of that last, bloody attack behind me. For the next week at least, I wouldn’t have to … Continue reading Honey Ko, (Sweetheart), Book 2, Chapter 7: Frank Bailey. 1968

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 6

Author’s Photo. The view from the apartment bedroom. I edged the gate open with a gentle push, but the squeal of the rusty hinges gave me away. I uttered a silent oath when Aida poked her head out the window. Oh, Tommy, she cried. You forget again the oil. I’ll bring the oil home tomorrow, Aida. I promise. Yoshi had run ahead, barking at the … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 6

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 5, Part 2

Back in the apartment, I put away the picnic supplies while Aida unpacked and put away the clothes, a quantity of clothing since she had taken advantage of the laundromat at the cottage rather than wash them by hand at the cement sink in the courtyard. After we were settled on the sofa, she nestled against me and watched television while I read. Soon, her … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 5, Part 2

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 5, Part 1

Romance and a sexual tension made the air surrounding us buzz with expectation and fulfillment of some deep-seated desire or need. Holding her suddenly seemed so much more than just an embrace between two people. I saw Aida now as a necessary part of me, an essential element in what made me who I was. At the time, I didn’t realize what had happened. Only … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 5, Part 1

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 4, Part 2

The flicker of lights along the arc of the shoreline to Subic City snapped me from my reverie. The rising moon with the mountains in silhouette, the soft lapping of the waves, the warm night, all induced a languidness I didn’t want to disturb. Satisfaction with the moment, the weekend, the treasure hunt with Aida all combined to lift my spirit, and for a moment, … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 4, Part 2

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 4, Part 1

***Author’s Photo. Ferry launch to Grande Island (No, not the big one!) Officer’s Landing, Subic Bay Naval Station, Olongapo, Philippines 1983. Aida, sweet and lovely like the opera, searched for treasure among the debris washed ashore by the latest storm of the monsoon. Her breasts filled her top as she leaned over to examine a bright and colorful smorgasbord of seashells, pebbles, smooth-worn glass, and … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 4, Part 1

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 3

**(Photo provenance unknown) Shit River Bridge between Subic Bay Naval Station and Olongapo. The banca boats hold Shit River “Princesses” who entice coins from passing Sailors and Marines. The young boys dive in after the coins.** The sun rose blood-red through the ash drifting from Mount Pinatubo’s smoking crater. Enough moisture filled the air to quench a dying man’s thirst. The wind pushed the sun’s … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 3

Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 2

Photo by Dominik Simecek The balut man’s quavering voice penetrated my sleep-filled head, and I squinted at the clock. My brain read zero-dark-early, but six a.m. glowed bright and cheery in the dark. He called out again as he wobbled away, pushing his creaking handcart. Baluuut. Baluuut. Aida peeked at me from behind the edge of the bedsheet. She scratched the side of her nose and … Continue reading Honey Ko (Sweetheart), Book 1, Chapter 2

Dancing with Orange Blossoms

A very rough draft of the opening chapter to Dancing with Orange Blossoms, the prequel to Honey Ko. I’m not sure I could write an entire novel this way, or if readers would enjoy it. Maybe I could bookend it this way but write the rest in the traditional manner.Thoughts? Is the italicized portion disconcerting? Is narration by a dead person too much. Finally, is … Continue reading Dancing with Orange Blossoms

William Goodfellow, Farmer

Here’s a very rough draft of the opening chapter of my next novel, William Goodfellow. A tale of hope, self-discovery, disillusion, repentance, acceptance, and peace William Goodfellow dashed the hoe from his hands and stared at the earth packed beneath his torn fingernails. “This is madness. I am a man, not an animal,” he cried, and fled his field of corn and the blazing sun … Continue reading William Goodfellow, Farmer

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

Paris in Pearls, Chapter Two. A Novel by Jackie

Please read and enjoy–and follow–this lovely, romantic story by my dear friend Jackie. Tiny dust particles floated on streams of light as the rising sun shone through the airplane window. My back pressed hard against the seat, and the engines roared upon landing. I’m here. Like a drum in a rock band, my heart beat double-time. I’m actually in Paris! After going through customs and … Continue reading Paris in Pearls, Chapter Two. A Novel by Jackie

Paris in Pearls, a Novel by Jackie, Chapter One

Please read and enjoy–and follow–this first chapter in my dear friend Jackie’s novel, “Paris in Pearls.” via: Paris in Pearls This was crazy — so out of character for me; old reliable Kate was actually following her heart for a change. I reread the ticket: Kathleen M. Davis – Air France flight 3236 to Paris — one way. What it didn’t say, was that I … Continue reading Paris in Pearls, a Novel by Jackie, Chapter One

Book Release Party! Join the author of “Unconfined Delusions,” the latest book from Angela L. Lindseth

Everyone! My friend Angela Lindseth is hosting a Book Release Party! Please visit her blog and Facebook site to help celebrate the release of her book Unconfined Delusions. Just in time for Hallowe’en, Unconfined Delusions will dim your courage and dial up the fear as Angela makes your skin crawl and blows your mind with tales from an alternate universe of the human mind. Take … Continue reading Book Release Party! Join the author of “Unconfined Delusions,” the latest book from Angela L. Lindseth

Dancing With Orange Blossoms, Alternating POV / Reality

I’m feeling my way through this “dabbling” in experimental writing.   The last time he visited Barcelona, he was alone. I was dead. He returned to our beloved city knowing he would find pain but hoped the numbness would lift as he remembered me in the neighborhoods of my youth. Instead, he found the city also in mourning. The warm glow of Gaudi’s lanterns had … Continue reading Dancing With Orange Blossoms, Alternating POV / Reality

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

The Archivist Lenara Lenquil Adventures, Chapter Four, by Anna Dobritt

The adventure continues! The wind picked up as the rain moved closer. Scraps of paper and debris swirled in the street. Lennie kept an eye on the buildings to either side. People living in them could dart out into the street for whatever crazy reason. At the end of the road, she turned left, drove along […] via The Archivist — Lenara Lenquil Adventures — Chapter … Continue reading The Archivist Lenara Lenquil Adventures, Chapter Four, by Anna Dobritt

On Writing: What Makes Literary Fiction Literary? By Nathan Bransford

This article by Nathan Bransford describes the difference between Commercial, or Mainstream, Fiction and Literary Fiction. There are dozens of articles devoted to the differences between the main genres of fiction, but Nathan’s unique definition makes it clear enough to understand. I think a lot of writers believe “literary” means smarter or intellectual. Maybe so. It may be tempting for some writers to use the thesaurus … Continue reading On Writing: What Makes Literary Fiction Literary? By Nathan Bransford

On Writing: A Writer’s Perspective on Reading — by Anna Dobritt — Author

Reblogged from Anna Dobritt – Author   A Writer’s Perspective on Reading Yes, I am a writer. I love to write. I love making up stories about unusual pictures such as abandoned buildings, foggy forests, ravens, and writing prompts. I’m even learning to write short personal essays, which are hard for me. However, I am also a reader. If I could figure […] via A Writer’s Perspective … Continue reading On Writing: A Writer’s Perspective on Reading — by Anna Dobritt — Author

My Little Story

I feel so much satisfaction watching the word count grow in the little story flowing from my pen. This joyful enterprise, this crafting of a universe built from memories of a lifetime. This imaginary world I have peopled with those I’ve grown up with, played, schooled, worshiped, worked, and served with. Decorated with scenes that have thrilled my eyes and my mind and lifted my … Continue reading My Little Story

Practiced, Pitched, Punched

Well, I pitched to five agents during the SavvyAuthors September Pitch Fest. All five shot me down. Between them, they must have received over a thousand pitches. Some writers pitched to all of the agents (there were publishing house editors too, but I didn’t pitch to them). Out of the ninety requests from those agents for full or partial manuscripts, I was not one of … Continue reading Practiced, Pitched, Punched

Critique My Pitch: Part Four, A Wished-For Love

“Two dead women, a death in Vietnam, and an infant hastily given up for adoption stand between Aida and marriage to Tom, the man of her dreams.” This is the pitch I’m using in the pitch event over at SavvyAuthors blog. The Pitch Event runs through midnight 17 September. You may pitch to both agents and publishers. Continue reading Critique My Pitch: Part Four, A Wished-For Love

Critique My Pitch, Part Three: A Wished-For Love

“Decades after their tragic deaths, two women haunt the lives of two men broken by grief and a hasty adoption. One of the men finally comes to terms with his loss and finds love again. One cannot.” I didn’t provide a description of my story in previous posts, so I’ve added one here to help you critique my pitch. You’ll note there are two Susannas. … Continue reading Critique My Pitch, Part Three: A Wished-For Love

A Wished-For Love, Second Beta Review

I can’t count the times I’ve been asked by a writer to provide “an honest” critique or review of his work. Invariably, I think to myself, “What? I’m going to give you a dishonest review? I’m going to lie to you?” I think what they mean is they don’t want me to spare their feelings. I never ask for an honest critique. Last month, I … Continue reading A Wished-For Love, Second Beta Review

Editing — A Wished-For Love

I read constantly that editing is hard. No. Editing is not hard. Writing is hard. Editing is tedious. Excruciatingly boring. Gut-wrenchingly, the-sun-is-shining-for-the-first-time-in-weeks, birds-are-singing, optimism-is-everywhere, but-I’m-stuck-behind-this-desk-in-pursuit-of-my-laudable-goal, boring. Oh, look; Gone With the Wind is on TV! Oh, oh, oh! A Gilligan’s Island rerun marathon! Continue reading Editing — A Wished-For Love

Sasi and Tom, A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-One

I’m pretty happy with this chapter 🙂 Ten minute read Tom grinned when Sasi waved and called to him from her balcony. He returned her wave and walked faster. When he looked again she had gone. He pushed through the revolving door and strode through the lobby to the elevator. The clerk called to him but the words didn’t register. The elevator doors opened and … Continue reading Sasi and Tom, A Wished-For Love, Chapter Twenty-One

Wake of the Wahoo, a non-Book Review Review

I’ve never written a book review; this is not one, sort of. Book critics who use William Faulkner words and philosophical language to sell books, or not, intimidate me so I leave that skill to others. However, Wake of the Wahoo, by Forest J. Sterling, struck a chord with me and I wanted to share a few observations. Wake of the Wahoo is the story of … Continue reading Wake of the Wahoo, a non-Book Review Review

Sasi Part II

“You’ll have to tell me how to make a gimlet.” Tom spoke from behind the bar as he opened the refrigerator. “I may have tasted one, but I’ve never made one.” He removed a pitcher of sangria and poured a glassful. “I think I’ll have sangria instead of beer.” “One part sweetened lime juice, four parts gin,” Sasi said. “Add a slice of lime too. No rocks. … Continue reading Sasi Part II

Writing, and Phantom Stories

Nearly a year ago, I began submitting my novel, Honey Ko, to agents. In all, I queried about 65 agents, 24 of whom were kind enough to respond with a gentle “decline.” One agent’s response was so kind I imagined her typing my rejection while crying and feeling dreadful, just dreadful that she couldn’t represent me. I nearly responded with a “There, there. It’s okay. It’s … Continue reading Writing, and Phantom Stories

William Goodfellow

William Goodfellow was a man, not an animal. William dashed the hoe from his hands and stared at the earth packed beneath his torn fingernails. “This is madness. I am a man, not an animal,” he cried, and fled his field of corn and the blazing sun that burned his head. William’s farm animals howled and barked, and mooed and clucked in amazement, stamped their paws … Continue reading William Goodfellow