Category Archives: Uncategorized

Winter

Winter

Thankfully, the end of winter is coming somewhat soon. There were no dragons or white walkers. That shouldn’t have made me sad to type, but it did. On that note, it does mean that the new, and last, season of Game of Thrones is just around the corner as well, which will be fun… hopefully. It hasn’t been a particularly difficult winter here. I am aware that could change at any moment, and now probably will, since I’ve said this. Bad or good, I don’t do particularly well during the winter, I never have. My whole being seems to want to go into hibernation in like the middle of November until it starts to get warm again (like I’m sure many people do). I won’t go so far as to say I have seasonal affective disorder (I might, but I also might not). I just don’t like winter.

It’s getting better though, the last two winters have been amazing compared to almost all my previous winters. I noticed that the better I feel, in general, the easier it is to handle the lower energy and general crappieness of gray, dismal, cold days, where it gets dark by 4 PM. I am, by no means saying I’m super healthy or energetic these last couple months, just better than I have been for the past 30 years or so. Back then, I used to just stay inside as much as possible and felt horrible whether it was because my back had seized up from the cold damp weather or my knee wouldn’t work and I worried constantly about falling on the ice and breaking something, anything, or just because it was shitty out and mentally I didn’t want to deal with it.

There is a point to all of this rambling, kind of. I was scrolling through Facebook earlier today and I saw that one of my friends was a bit annoyed that they had a list of things they had wanted to get accomplished this week but hadn’t gotten through it because the weather was crappy and they just didn’t have the motivation to finish the list. To their credit, they had accomplished some of it, which is more than I can say that I would have gotten done a few years ago. Anyway. they were disappointed but soldiered on. In the comment section below the post, a bunch of their friends had chimed in about how they too were having trouble staying motivated after a long few months of winter.

I’m sure there are people out there that aren’t adversely affected by the long winter months in some way or another, but I’m betting they’re far fewer than those that are. A lot of the time though it feels like it’s just us. like we’re failing somehow and everyone else is doing just great. They’re not. It was nice to see the comments on my friends post today, that so many had agreed and almost all had positive comments or helpful advice to keep pushing ahead and words of encouragement.

Which brings me to the point. In case you’re reading this and feeling the way I was talking about above. You’re not alone. A ton of people hate the long dark months. We’re almost to the other side. It’s already light out at 5 pm instead of 4. The winter is almost over and we’re all going to be feeling much better once the spring kicks in fully. Just hang in there, you’ve made it this far.

I’ve been trying to find the motivation to finish the third Strand book. I didn’t find it this week. I did manage to do almost everything on my list, which feels really good, but I purposely didn’t add writing new material for the book on the list because, well , I’m a realist. Updating my page here was on the list and it took me until Sunday night to do it, but it is done (or will be soon)! In the end, I made the list, I got done what I could and I’ll keep trying next week as well. It’s all progress and eventually, if you keep working at it, you’ll finish the list, or the project or the goal… just always keep pushing.

Don

A little art history

A little art history

This is The Veiled Virgin by Giovanni Strazza, sculpted sometime in the 1850’s out of Carrara marble. I saw this amazing masterpiece for the first time ever today when I was perusing facebook. I’ve taken many art history courses over the years and am still baffled at how I have never come across this piece before.

I find it fascinating and a bit amazing that someone can create this level of detail and gossamer transparency from such a hard and unforgiving canvas such as stone. Sculpting stone is one of the only art forms I haven’t dabbled in. I would love to give it a try some day and hopefully, I’ll get the chance. The amount of planning, time and care that goes into something like this must be astronomical, I would think.

As much as I find the piece stunning, it makes me also think about the man that created it. I can’t look at this piece and not think that Giovanni Strazza must have been a bit of a perfectionist. The level of patience and mastery of craft to create something like The Veiled Virgin goes beyond what most would consider the norm.

As much as it makes me want to delve deeper into sculpting techniques and equipment, it also inspires me to work on better mastering my chosen craft. Maybe someday, I can write something that gives someone the same feeling I get when I look at a sculpture as beautiful as The Veiled Virgin.

Back to work with me,

Don

Summer 2018

Summer 2018

It’s been a crazy but interesting summer and I haven’t even really gone anywhere vacationy. I suppose I should start with the fact that there’s been some drastic changes in my life in the last year or so, well drastic for me, mostly centering around my health. I’ve dropped a boatload of weight and worked hard to strengthen and rehab my knee, which twelve months ago I (and my doctors) thought was beyond repair. Those two issues alone have made this the most productive, fun and enjoyable summer that I can remember. I’ve never liked the heat and humidity of the typical New England summer but I have this year.

Those changes also bring a big bunch of adjustment though. I understand what people say now when they complain about “Not having enough hours in the day,”  I have a ton more energy than I ever remember and it allows me to do a lot more than I’ve ever imagined doing in the past. I Mow the lawn, pick up around the house, trim the hedges, work on my car, fix things around the house, voluntarily run errands I would normally try and get out of, work out four to five days a week, socialize more than once a week and have started getting guitar lessons from a friend, which also requires daily practice. All of this on top of all the normal hum drum things I had been doing plus trying to squeeze in working on the new book a few hours a week at least.

Now I know that for some people this might not seem like a lot and I’m not actually saying it is. I don’t have kids to cart around and take care of, or elderly parents to care for so I know I could be far more busy. But considering how pared down my life had been for the last decade or two this is a huge amount more than I ever would have tried to take on in the past. The best part is that I’m actually enjoying it. I like challenges and now that I know my knee won’t fall apart on me, anymore than it already has, I keep adding in new things to try and accomplish (I walked on the treadmill the other night for my 35 minutes of cardio instead of riding the stationary bike which is much easier on my knee).

The only downside has been that I feel hurried all the time now and I forget some of the stuff I wanted to get done because I get busy doing something else that I wanted to get done. Both of which I’m hoping will get better as time goes on since this is all still pretty new to me. It seems to make me a bit flustered and unorganized which I’m not a fan of. So I think my next challenge will be to work on getting more organized and maybe make some lists to help me keep track of the things that have started to slip out of my brain only to show up later to haunt and annoy me.

I am also going to start working on a better and, hopefully more effective, marketing plan so that I can increase book sales, as well as finding some more conventions to attend and updating this site more often (I’m shooting for a couple times a week). Oh yeah and I have to throw in finishing the next book in the Strand series, which I’m really enjoying writing so far. There’s a bunch of other stuff too that I’m sure I can add to the list I’m going to go make as soon as I get done with this. Actually I may need a list of different lists to keep all of this straight.

Thanks for reading.

Don

P.S. If anyone has any tips for organizing or marketing please feel free to leave a comment

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

I don’t talk about my mother enough. I think about her every day and miss her even more. I didn’t know her as well as I would have liked. She’s been gone since 1994 so I was just barely twenty one. I was basically still just a kid with the ability to buy booze. I hadn’t gotten to the point that I see a lot of people get to, now that I’m older, where they can hang out and talk like adults with their parents. I think that would have been fun. Read the rest of this entry

Booze

Booze

So I decided tonight that I should indulge in a couple drinks. I’m about 4 shots into a lovely single malt whiskey and so far everything seems to be going swimmingly. The melancholy tones of  Vooddo Chile by Jimi Hendrix is blaring out of my laptop and It’s just about time for another refill. So far my typing seems okay and the one wonderful thing I’m noticing is that my normal level of not giving a fuck and non racing mind is back. Lately, I’ve had this massive problem of overthinking and since I’m not the most optimistic person, it is usually overthinking in a negative way. So to stem the tide of negativity I decided to have a few drinks and by golly it seems to have done the trick (for now). I may have to punish my liver more often. I was never one for the idea of drinking alone but I’ve done it a couple of times so far and I have to say its actually pretty fun. I may have to do this more often. anyway I’m off to refill and listen to some tunes (Journey right this second) I’d say back to work with me but fuck that shit I’m drinking. maybe I’ll draw something later on

Some thoughts about recent events

Some thoughts about recent events

All over social media I see posts about how we all should just love each other, stop hate, stop the killing, racists, bigots and on and on and on. What I don’t see is anyone actually defining what the problems are or solutions on how to fix it. “Well its racism” and “Just stop hating” aren’t defining the problem or solving the issues. They are cop outs and oversimplifications. If things were as simple as that then we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in, which to me feels like one small step away from falling off of a very high cliff.  Read the rest of this entry

Upstate New York and Captain America

Upstate New York and Captain America

It’s not quite summer yet but it was time for our week long vacation along the scenic byways and back roads of upstate New York. My wife and I love to take road trips and wander around to see all the little places that you won’t see on the major highways. You may get there faster on a highway but it is never as interesting. Read the rest of this entry

Strand Book 2 “Delarus”

Strand Book 2 “Delarus”

Figured I’d put up an excerpt from the new book today. Its unedited so don’t give me any crap. Enjoy!

 

Jax had filled Alpha squad with some of the more experienced pilots and even then, there had been a couple who had only been in combat simulations. When he took over on the Delarus, he had called on a fellow retired fighter pilot by the name of Morris to be his second and in command of Beta squadron. Morris was quiet and seemed reserved but Jax knew a different side of his second. He had seen the extreme intelligence and split second decision making that Morris tried to downplay while they were flying together back in the GF. He knew that if anything happened to him the station and the other squads would be in very capable hands.

“Delarus command this is Alpha one,” Jax said.

“Alpha one this is Delarus command, go ahead,” he heard.

“According to your coordinates we are on an intercept course with the incoming ship and should be within visual range soon,” Jax said.

“Copy that Alpha one. Please visually identify the vessel and report back their ID tags so we can put it into the system.” Read the rest of this entry

Batman Vs. Superman

Batman Vs. Superman

To say that I was sorely disappointed would be an understatement. It’s been a long time since I’ve considered walking out of a movie before it was over much less a superhero movie. I had a feeling months ago when the first trailer came out that I wasn’t going to overly enjoy this movie but I never thought it could be as bad as it actually was.

Since it is still only a week old I’ll do my best to not give out any spoilers (and I’ll warn you ahead of time if I do). Most of my major issues aren’t spoiler related anyway. First off, I’m never a fan of movies that mangle up three or four different story lines that ran through comics over the course of a couple decades. This movie has that in spades. Then there is far too much Slo mo, Superman carrying a little girl, Batman walking through tall grass and wonder woman walking out of a party, plus endless amounts of slo mo during Batman’s origin (which you essentially have to watch twice… in slo mo).

I’m not sure why but there is never a real clear reason why these two should be at each others throats and in the end when they come together its because of one of the most stupid and contrived plot lines I’ve ever heard of, that essentially centers around someone uttering a single word. I literally threw my hands up in the air at this point. Also The theme of God vs man is shoved down your throat just about every ten minutes of this two and a half hour travesty. and the dialogue felt forced and fake.

The cast was superb and I believe they tried very hard to make a good movie, unfortunately the writers and directors didn’t seem to care nearly as much. Zack Snyder and whoever wrote this and looked at it and said “Oh yeah, this is gold,” should be ashamed of themselves. Hell I even thought that the score made no sense with this movie and I never notice the scores to movies. All in all there is a metric ton of wasted potential in this movie.

One last point before I finish my rant. I’ve now watched this new superman in two movies, both of which I disliked, I think he’s an excellent choice to play Superman and I keep trying to like him, but it seems that the writers don’t want me to. It makes no sense at all to me to make your main character completely lack anyway to connect or care about him/her. I honestly didn’t give a crap about Superman at the end of this movie, and considering how it ends, I should NOT feel that way. Either way I will not be back for a second viewing.  Way to go DC you’ve managed to screw the pooch once again.