Sunday, December 31, 2006

What are you?

You Are An ENFJ
The Giver
You strive to maintain harmony in relationships, and usually succeed.Articulate and enthusiastic, you are good at making personal connections.Sometimes you idealize relationships too much - and end up being let down.You find the most energy and comfort in social situations ... where you shine.
You would make a good writer, human resources director, or psychologist.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I had a breakthrough in The Way of Deception. Man, has this story taken shape over the last few weeks.

My characters have taken on such a life of their own.

I Wish I could share the details with you, but then you wouldn't buy the book when it someday makes print.

Okay, okay, how about a glimpse of what's to come.

For those of you that are true fans, here's Chapter Two.

Monday, December 25, 2006


Christmas Eve came, and before I took off to my parent's house with my family and a truck full of aluminum wrapped food and colorfully wrapped gifts something interesting happened. An event occurred that filled me with a flood of unexpected memories.

Twenty years ago I served my nation in the United States Navy. My first duty station was the USS Chandler, DDG-996. While researching information regarding the ship, I stumbled across a site that not only gave the history of the ship, but also a list of crew members that have added their names to the ever-growing list of shipmates. I added my name at that time.

Later in the day I decided to add my name to the crew list of my second sea-going command, the USS Peoria, LST-1183.

After adding my name to the Peoria's crew list, I decided to scan the lists of both ships for any of my old shipmates. I only found one. He was listed on the Chandler's list.

Interestingly, the last time I saw this individual was after a little immature partying down in Tijuana. On the trolley during our trip back, suddenly my stomach began to rumble.

The trolley was standing room only because it was so packed.

My stomach lurched.

I then commenced to regurgitate on everybody around me, turning my head as I did so, reaching my maximum target potential.

People screamed, scrambled out of their seats, fighting to get away from the puking sailor in civilian clothes. Faced with the sudden advent of empty seats, I did what came naturally. I took a seat.

Somebody in the rear of the trolley-car screamed, "Hey, buddy, that's one way to get a seat!"

At the next stop, my buddy grabbed me by the shirt and dragged me off the trolley before somebody finally realized what had truly happened and decided to pound me into a different zip code.

As we sat there on the bench in a parking lot waiting for a cab to arrive, a couple of girls sit beside us. My buddy's eyes lit up, and we began to talk to the young women.

Suddenly, my stomach began to lurch, and then I opened my mouth and launched wet, partially digested projectiles on the shoes of our visitors. They fled in disgust. My shipmate dropped his head into his hands, not bringing it up until the cab arrived.

He got into the front and gave the backseat to me. After observing my convulsive maneuvers, the cab driver, in broken English, said, "You do not mess my car. Roll down window. Be sick outside."

I only puked twice on the freeway, both times splattering my gifts upon the vehicles behind us.

So when I noticed on the website yesterday that this friend of mine was listed, and could be contacted, I said in the message, "Remember me? Last time we got together was twenty years ago, and I was vomiting on everyone's shoes on the San Diego Trolley."

An e-mail came back, but from his estranged mate. She wrote, "If this isn't a hoax, he'll be glad to hear from you." And then she gave me his phone number.

I called my friend, and we talked about our Navy days, about the past, about memories forgotten, and about lost shipmates.

And I learned how much I've changed, and how much I've been blessed.

It is amazing how those memories are affecting how I write my books.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

As Christmas Approaches

My fingers are cold, my ideas are blossoming, and my books are growing in length.

The Way of Deception, currently in its ninth draft, has changed so much that I no longer recognize it - but in a good way. As good as it was before, it has become a tour de force in comparison.

Political Pistachio began as a fictional book. Now, a non-fiction Political Pistachio is taking shape.

Looks like I will be contacting an agent I met at a recent writers conference over my non-fiction effort next month. And if that book gets published, it will lend credibility to my fiction efforts; or at least I hope so.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Non-fiction the way to go?

A commenter on my Political Pistachio blog recently asked about my claim of being a writer. She thought I write non-fiction. After discovering that I write fiction, she said that non-fiction is easier to publish. She should know, she further stated, for she has been published as a non-fiction writer. Besides, being published as a non-fiction writer would add credibility to my pursuit of having my fictional novels published.

Then she said, "Even though I disagree with your politics 90% of the time you are a good writer, and you have a lot of political essays on this site."

"Yeah, whatever," was my first thought.

Then I began to think about it.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't plan to abandon The Way of Deception. I will continue to work on the latest draft diligently. Jenn and Dave would never forgive me if I quit on it (ha ha). However, would my fictional novel about urban guerrilla terrorism erupting in the United States have a better shot at publication if I wrote and published a non-fiction book first?

What about a book regarding the posts from Political Pistachio? Not just publishing the posts, but introducing them, explaining what was going on in the world (and inside my brain) that led me to write each post, and indicating how my readers responded to it via their comments.

You know, I might have something here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I've almost finished reading Torpedo and Ghosts of Vietnam, wrote some great posts on my blogs, but when it comes to my book, after kicking butt earlier this week and last weekend, I am dead in the water. Need some motivation, or something.

Perhaps I need a long nap.

Read Chapter One of The Way of Deception on my main site at

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Jim Stewart and Christmas in a small town

Jim Stewart, author of The Ghosts of Vietnam, conducted an author book signing today at "Christmas in a Small Town" in Imperial, California. The proceeds from each sale of his book went to Wounded Warriors, supporting families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations.

I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with him again, and thanked him again for his kind comments on My Point Radio on November 13, 2006. The event was enjoyable, and met with relative success regarding sales of the book.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Meeting Howard V. Hendrix

Tonight I drove down to San Diego to meet Howard V. Hendrix at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore. I purchased, and had autographed, his books Spears of God and Empty Cities of the Full Moon. Honestly, the main reason I went was to pick his brain as a writer.

Howard is an articulate speaker, and pleasant gentleman. He commented that he liked (and agreed with) my saying that I have on my business card (A professional is an amateur who didn't quit) and was interested in checking out my Political Pistachio blog.

In the end, he gave me the same advice as all writers have given me. Remain persistent. Never give up.

He also said, "To be a good writer there are really only two things you need to do. Read a lot, and write a lot."

Thank you, Howard. I am looking forward to reading your books, and I will definitely let you know what I thought, and also let you know when I get published. (gotta get that blurb, you know)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Steve Ramos

Tonight on My Point Radio the special guest was Steve Ramos, a reporter that has just returned from Iraq. I called in near the end of the show and asked a few questions. His story is fascinating, to say the least. To hear it, go to the archived shows for My Point Radio. He will be on the show again to finish his story this Wednesday, December 6, 2006.