Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wood working

I finally got more of the bathroom project completed. I'm down to a new medicine cabinet and vanity right now. Those have to wait for a little bit. My finances are better but they aren't perfect yet. They're getting there though and I'll be able to do what I need to do. 
   I have been getting out a little bit here and there. The weather was warm enough that on Friday I had a great outing to the trolley museum. That was cool. I'd love to donate some time and do some of the work on the trolley cars. That wood work is amazing. Right now that might involve me burying myself again which probably isn't a good thing.
   On the note of woodwork I do think I will build some new furniture from scratch. I don't even need that many tools at this moment for basic arts and craft style furniture. Maybe I can build an entertainment center from scratch. That would be an easy project, a corner unit that would hold the TV, DVD player, and DVD's. 
   Later on I might even refinish that bench on the porch I built and bring it into the living room to replace the sofa. I'd originally designed it to have a four inch thick cushion for the seat. Even without it's quite comfortable to sit on though it does sit a little low.
   I was talking to a friend the other day. One great project would be a trestle table and wrap around bench for the kitchen. I think a basic Shaker-type style would be great for that. It would be easy to turn the seats into additional storage.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hello everyone

So far it has been a little over a week since I quit writing. When Brandy walked out I lost all interest in the craft. After all, she left because I was spending so much time writing. It killed our relationship. Knowing that I just can't bring myself write. She was also the reason I was writing though I don't think she ever understood that. This is a major change for me as it would be for anybody.
   I've been busy getting the house really clean. I've also been getting better acquainted with the DVD collection. Soon I will be painting the house. I've decided on a light blue for the living room and kitchen. That will be really sharp. Maybe the hallway too. I'm going to see if the finances allows but I'm thinking a light colored laminate floor also. That would make for some really pleasant surroundings.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Hiatus

   Over time all couples can grow apart. My wife and I did. Neither of us realized it until recently. As of Monday she and I will be separating and I'll have the house all to myself. For the first time in a long time tonight we had a long discussion which left me a lot to think about it.
   One of the things I realized is that writing has become a job which is what I didn't want but let happen. I can't say I've enjoyed it much for a while now. With my writing all of the time I left her in a state of loneliness. Hence she is a writing widow and will now go to live another life. I suppose I can't really blame her since I haven't been the easiest to live with.

   I'm quite happy we're breaking up as friends. Too often it ends up that the couple grows to hate each other. There's all kinds of invective flying about that comes from the hurt.
   I've come to a decision. For the most part I will no longer be writing except for blog posts and an occasional short story. Honestly, with her gone, I won't be able to write anything very extensive anyway for the foreseeable future. The sense of loss is far too great which would affect anything I write. At least for the time being I'm on a hiatus. We'll see later on but it could well be permanent.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A few words with Erika Szabo

Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm always busy doing something, because I hate the feeling of boredom. I work as a nurse supervisor, and in my free time I write paranormal fantasy, and also, Alternative Healing books that I offer free on my website. I love helping animals, so I founded the Read for Animals anthology project, the royalty from the sales of the books is donated to animal shelters. I provide manuscript critique and book interior design/formatting service to fellow writers, and I do occasional contests on my website to promote authors. 

Coffee or tea?
Coffee, definitely coffee. I always search for the best flavor mixture, thus I always have at least 4-5 different coffee beans in my cabinet.

Do you have a favorite type of music to write to?
I love listening to classical music when I write. My favorites are Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Kodaly, Puccini and Beethoven.

Of your characters which one is your favorite?
I only have one book published so far, Protected By The Falcon, book one of the Ancestor’s Secrets series. Book two, Chosen By The Sword is coming soon.
My favorite character is Ilona. She is sensitive, honest and strong. She has to learn about her heritage, and accept the supernatural powers bestowed upon her. She is forced to fight for her family, friends, as well as the future of her people, whilst dealing with everyday life and her confusing, yet exciting love life. She is conflicted between having confidence in her inherited abilities, while having no confidence as a woman. Her insecurity created barriers, which keep others out, and I also keep her caged in. She has been evacuated from her easy and steady life, and is forced to face the unknown. Ilona is determined to control and guide her own life. Resourceful and daring, she crosses the line and breaks the sacred rules, but also must face the consequences.

Excerpt:
Suddenly, out of the blue, I heard the seductive voice from my dream. Am I losing my marbles? As if confirming that I wasn’t losing it, I heard the voice again, right behind me. The sound started electrical ripples down my spine. I glanced over my shoulder and saw the man from across the gallery the other day standing beside Robert. He was even more attractive up close. He turned toward me, probably sensing my stare. Startled, I tried to look away, but couldn’t. His eyes mesmerized me and held me captive. I wanted to keep his face etched in my mind forever. I slowed time a little, and from the corner of my eye, I saw those around me moving in slow motion.
His face contorted into an evil and sinister grimace, as he stared right at me. His movements didn’t slow with the rest of the people around us; he moved with normal speed, just like me. His eyes became black, and his pupils distended. His body posture displayed a charging mode, as if he were going to attack me. He shook his head, then shuddered and snarled quietly. A great inner turmoil showed on his face, as if he were fighting with something extremely powerful. He clenched his fists and his knuckles turned pasty white. His jaw was shut tight and I heard him grinding his teeth. Sickening warmth spread from the pit of my stomach through my entire body. I could swear my legs turned to jelly, and my palms sweated. I had to swallow hard to get rid of the lump building up in my throat and couldn’t fathom how such a gorgeous creature could become so malevolent.
I was in shock and didn’t understand what was happening when his face smoothed and his body relaxed. I quickly returned time to normal, and he seemed as if he hadn’t been aware of what happened. His inviting blue eyes sparkled as he smiled at me, and then turned to Robert.
I just imagined it. I had to… he can’t be that malicious person I just saw. Oh, crap! What is happening to me and why? I questioned myself, knowing I couldn’t get the answer, not there and not then. I turned back to the computer, my heart thumped in my chest so loudly I was afraid the others might hear it, and tried to compose myself. Deep breaths steadied my raging thoughts and racing heart.
Then I heard Robert’s voice. “Ilona, let me introduce to you Zoltan Kiss, one of our new physicians. He will be training with me today, and he’ll be your partner after he settles in,” Robert explained, tapping my shoulder.
My heart fluttered like a startled bird in its cage ready to take flight. I was afraid to look up. What if I see that evil look in his eyes again? I hesitated, pretending to finish the sentence in my notes, and then raised my hand to make him hold on for a second. I gathered my courage and looked straight into a pair of deepest and warmest blue eyes I have ever seen. He looked perfect, and I didn’t see or feel any trace of evil in him. His eyes locked on mine for a fraction of a second, and I thought I saw a brief shock on his face and a hint of pain in his eyes, but after a fleeting second, it had vanished.
I am totally losing my mind. I'm sure of it. He is gorgeous, and he seems perfectly normal now. Why do I have to see evil where there is none, or is there? Does that mean that because I’m a Hun adult I have the power to see what is deep inside people? If this is the case, I don’t want this, and whoever gave me this ability of insight, can take it back. I wanted to forget his sinister look and tried to force myself to believe it never happened.
“Hello,” he said simply. His deep, purring voice sounded exactly as in my dream. How could my unconscious mind conjure up his voice in my dream? I never heard his voice before. I gathered my courage, turned my chair and looked at him. He extended his right arm slowly, offering our traditional greeting. He looked into my eyes, and something awoke in my core that had been dormant all my life. I felt the electric tingling sensation shoot through me, as if it wanted to reach every cell in my body. It was an exciting and new sensation. This feeling was pure and good, nothing like the powerful evil feeling I had before. I ground my teeth and forced myself to act normal.

Say something damn it, and hold yourself together. “It’s nice to meet you, Zoltan,” I whispered, still feeling his mesmerizing vibes. I looked down at his hand, and noticed the small blood-red ancient symbol, etched into his inner right wrist, just like mine.

Picture

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ebola

   An agency I just donated to is Doctors Without Borders. They're having quite the battle with bringing the Ebola epidemic under control in west Africa. There just isn't the facilities available to take care of the many sick patients. One of those who is ill is sent home again and is then infecting others. It's a terrible situation.
   I've been doing a lot of research on it lately. The disease first appeared in 1976 in Sudan. There were two outbreaks one of which was at a mission clinic run by Nuns. They didn't have a good supply of needles so they were reusing them which spread the disease among all of the patients. Since then it's cropped up now and then in different places but it's usually low numbers which have been fairly easily contained. 
   It's also a disease that mostly affects the poor. Because there's little profit to be made from a drug that would be primarily used by poor people none of the drug companies has bothered to make a vaccine previously though I guess there's now one in the works. They found four survivors of a previous outbreak and now they've isolated the antigens in their blood which they are in turn are testing on Ebola cultures. We could very well soon have a immunization for the virus which I would recommend getting once available.
   For this particular outbreak patient zero was a little boy who contracted an especially virulent strain of the virus in November 2012 in Guinea. They aren't quite sure where he got it though it's suspected he ate a bat which is common in that part of the world. When you're starving and you're extremely poor the wildlife is getting hunted. He died after having spread to the rest of his family who also died. It's a country where there had never been an outbreak of the disease. 14 months later they finally found out what they were dealing with and by then it was too late. They had a full fledged epidemic on their hands. From that country at least two other carriers brought it to Nigeria and Liberia which is what spread the contagion further.

   How they're trying to deal with it is build some more clinics. They are desperately needed and there would be more of an ability to quarantine those who are ill. There's also a need for bleach, lots of bleach which kills the virus. Just maybe they can start bringing it under control.
If you can afford it please give a donation. http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

Friday, October 10, 2014

Some thoughts on a secured border.

   Here are my thoughts on security along the Mexican border. I've been mulling it over and began to look at it as a military objective. The thing I look at on putting up a fence is it's far too easy to circumvent. You will still have the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts to secure which isn't being suggested. If someone wants to get in they'll still be able to. In fact you give the ones trying to get in a bit of time and they'll soon have a tunnel underneath dug.  
   That leaves some sort of patrolling. I recommend taking a bunch of those drones, interface them with INS, and of course hire a bunch of the ones who were piloting them over Afghanistan and Iraq. The drones can run the entire border pretty efficiently including both coasts.
   During WWII the Maginot line was considered the best possible secured border. What did the German military machine do? They simply bypassed it and went on into Belgium and France.
   Going back a further in time to the occupation of Britain I call attention to Hadrian's Wall. The first one wasn't very effective and there were a lot of incursions. A second wall was built as a result about twenty miles south of the first one. It also managed to get a lot of incursions. In the end we all know the Roman Empire left Britain.
   I can pull up many more instances like this but these are two of the most famous ones.
By putting up a fence along the southern border you're asking for the same kind of thing. While I understand the need it needs to be better thought out than seems to be at present.

Busy, busy

Recently on my day job my schedule changed to five days a week so I have a bit less time at home now. It's okay though because the paychecks will be larger which will be useful. Probably the worst part is I don't have quite as much time for writing as I used to.

I've been working on the, "Doctors in Hell," project these days. It's part of the Lawyers in Hell series. So far, it's coming along very nicely and it will soon be ready to turn in. As soon as I get done writing this blog post I'll get back at it. 

Hopefully soon I'll have an announcement to make about another novel that's been in works for a while. There was an editing issue I guess which sometimes happens in fiction. It will be called, "Ill Wind Cometh," when it gets released this time.