Update On Me

NO worries, folks. I am fine. I’ve just been busy. In fact, it doesn’t look as if I am going to be any less busy!

I was recently contacted by Carlos Casanova, legendary noisecore/hardcore frontman of Psycho Sin about teaming up to do his memoirs from his time in the 1980s punk underground. I have even offered to help him with his memoirs from his wrestling years as well.

I just released another book in the Alpha Triad/Deltalink International cycle and have been working on books 4 and 5 in The Morrow Family Saga in hopes that I can finally finish the first series and release all on a wider market. I want to finish series 1-4 before the end of the year, but maybe that is just wishful thinking.

I am also getting ready to release a film that I wrote the script and co-produced. I just finished with the posters to be used to advertise it. As soon as I receive the mp4 file, I will begin the process of making it available for those who want to stream it.

The production team that did this last film is getting ready to do another which I am involved in writing and co-producing as well. and we have at least a dozen more lined up behind that. So, until I can pause and continue the tale I began here….I will leave updates.

Araqis

So we have met Araqis (or Archus, if badly translated), a nineteen-year-old(?) descendant of the “Star Seed” or “Lights”.  His/her diary is more of a journal at the moment, an assignment give to him/her by his/her teachers. We start at a time in earth’s history where the planet has been around for at least 1,000 years (by scientific calculation) and the civilization that flourishes has been around for at least as long. I am, as a writer, taking creative license enough to assume that the Earth is quite a bit older than we believe and that the age we have picked is merely the very beginning of life here.

As far as I know, I have not yet identified whether Araqis is a boy or a girl, and for this project, it really doesn’t matter. You will notice no date other than the year. days and months have yet to be named and hours, minutes, and seconds have yet to become important. All that matters in the world that Araqis represents is that a day is from sunup to sundown, humanity is huge compared to modern man, and viruses and harmful bacteria have yet to introduce themselves.

I am playing with the idea of splitting the narrative among more than just my Earthbound Araqis, after all, our narrator has mentioned the colonization of Mars, Venus and the moons orbiting nearly all planets in this system. I believe that it might be interesting to see how things go for all-whether they evolve with their planets/moons, or whether they die out before the modern age of man. Or whether they come to Earth or leave the system altogether.

Living With Tinnitus

Imagine hearing a low hum constantly. Even in an empty room where there is complete silence.  This is the lower end of the tinnitus spectrum. A constant, almost unnoticeable hum. That never goes away.

Now imagine what I can only describe as having a jet engine’s high pitched whine in one, the other, or both ears. Or, maybe, a tornado. Although this is not an accurate description, it is as close as I can get.

Now imagine going through this on a daily basis at varying degrees. Most days could be at the low end of the spectrum, but the high end could strike at any moment, caused by any sound…or just the wind blowing in your ear. Or nothing at all. Onset can be heralded by a sudden case of vertigo or even a sudden loss of balance for no apparent reason.

Tinnitus, by definition, is the excessive vibration in the inner ear, causing a buzzing or humming sound that can only be heard by the sufferer. Even definitions cannot define or describe the attacks accurately. These minimally descriptive definitions mislead the majority of people into believing that tinnitus and its effects are “imagined” by the sufferer, even though it is very real and very devastating and debilitating to the one who suffers from it.

Side effects include vertigo, migraines, and temporary (sometimes for hours) deafness. Of course, all of this depends on the severity of the attack.  At the very least, someone speaking to a person suffering from an attack will seem muffled. At the very worst, the person will not be heard. Some attacks can make the sufferer physically ill or double over in pain. One famous sufferer, Vincent Van Gogh,  even cut off his ear and eventually went insane.

Upon hearing that one of my heroes, Eric Clapton, has come forward and admitted that he also suffers from it and is going deaf has caused me to reflect back on my own experience with this maddening problem. It also reminds me what can cause the problem. Yet, mine was not caused by fantastically loud guitars and concerts. Mine was caused by something much more mundane and yet, much more abusive.

When I was five, I had to have fluid drained from my middle ear. When it was through, I had extremely acute hearing. The doctor did warn my parents that I would probably have occasional bouts of tinnitus, but he thought it would clear up after my ears got used to not being full of fluid.He also warned them that there should be no loud noises or there could be the possibility that there could be nerve damage or permanent tinnitus.

So acute that I could hear a mousetrap being dropped five rooms away! My father, thinking himself clever, delighted in waiting until I was nearby, then dropping a mousetrap just to watch me jump because of the loud noise. And, as the doc had warned, I began suffering tinnitus. At first, it was the low  hum. But as my dad continued to persecute me with the traps, the tinnitus began to rise in pitch and severity.

It reached a peak when I was in my teens. I did not know when it would hit or at what decibel I would be enjoying my next bout.  People thought it was weird that I would lose my balance for what they thought was absolutely no reason (one of the reasons I never went pro as a boxer) or would have to stop and wait for “the colors” to go away so I could see. Some couldn’t even understand the connection between my migraines and my “inner ear problem”.

Over nearly 40 years (I am only three years short of the 40 year mark), I have staggered, lost balance, nearly fallen down stairs, winced in pain, had to cover my ears, had to stop for no apparent reason, or sit down for a few minutes simply because I was hit by a sudden barrage of sound that no one else can hear. I have gotten sick to my stomach, had to go lay down, had to brace myself, and had to suffer through migraines that caused me to vomit. I have had more times than I care to count where I had to embarrass myself and ask someone to repeat themselves because the tinnitus had started up and I did not hear a thing they had said.

I can attest that, at its worst, tinnitus is enough to make the one who suffers from it want to commit suicide. And yes, the thought had crossed my mind a few times about chopping off my ear just to find a little quiet. Both were never truly options to me, though. A buzz is bearable enough to stagger through life with and I can handle having that 747 take off in my ear from time to time as well. And though I don’t feel comfortable with asking people to repeat themselves, I will patiently do so as long as they are as patient with me as I am with them.

I was lucky enough for three and a half years, to be relatively free of much of the worst of my tinnitus. While Kelly was alive, my tinnitus had died down to a barely noticeable hum. The migraines and vertigo were almost nonexistent. I had stability and someone who understood my problems and was patient with me.

Now, my tinnitus is back with a vengeance. And I have nothing. No way to keep it at a minimum. If you remember, I told you at the beginning that tinnitus does not need a trigger. silent rooms can shriek louder than noisy ones. The irony is, with tinnitus, one learns that the old adage “silence is deafening” is very true because in silence, the plague that is that infernal hum of tinnitus can grow to a deafening roar.

Math Madness

Sorry for the lack of chapters. Business math and Biology have gobbled up my time and brain cells like Pac Man going after the power pellets and the ghosts. I haven’t really felt like writing due to the amount of energy the two combined classes took. I am not the best at math and am finding myself in wonder because I am doing better than I had expected.

Next term, I will be better able to take time to write more. I will be better rested as well. Until then, here’s hoping to give more updates soon. Oh, and one more thing. Be sure to keep up with character development for The Vampire Wars to see if I talk about your fave VW/Angel of Death character. so far, I have profiled Voodoo and Angel. Who will I profile next? Check it out at:

https://www.facebook.com/The-Vampire-Wars-372567059776842/.

Also, feel free to check out the following FB pages for my books:

https://www.facebook.com/The-Morrow-Family-Saga-1717838618532943/

https://www.facebook.com/Seven-By-Jay-Seven-Short-Stories-1226651870761670/

https://www.facebook.com/So-Heres-To-Twilight-and-other-Poems-383591408646229/

https://www.facebook.com/Unofficial-Faces-In-The-Crowd-series-260354184380721/

https://www.facebook.com/Seasons-of-Life-570495813150042/

https://www.facebook.com/Jesus-Saves-crimesuspense-novella-2145107959047725/

https://www.facebook.com/Mexican-Radio-Vols-I-and-II-660452754114426/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Price-You-Pay-and-Other-Short-Stories-1230359687051800/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Devil-913901315411340/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Daniel-Hargis-series-1788525131407459/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Faust-Syndrome-237583800005300/

https://www.facebook.com/Tales-From-The-Renge-339811053041054/

https://www.facebook.com/angelofdeathbooks/

Book Two is done and sent to publishing…

Last night, I took a look at the word count for Tales From the Renge: Birth of the Chosen One (birth of a savior, for those who have been reading here on the blog) and found that it already had 25,000 words, which meant that it had already reached the desired number count. Since it was the right length, I decided to stop and publish.

Like the first book, the cover is simply a picture of the map. But unlike the first book, the frame is purple, not yellow. Each book will have a different cover, thus making each book distinct. Next in line is book three, but I am not going to start it until after the first of the year sometime. This means that I will be returning to writing The Morrow Family Saga, picking up where I left off.

Although I had planned to write about the local rodeo and nearby state park, I do not yet have the information, so I will be writing a story set around Christmastime. Instead of being as dark, it will be more peaceful and not have so much about the French family. While there will be references to them, they will not be as prevalent. I will be focusing more on the members of the Morrow family (both the main family and the extended) and how they plan a Christmas.

One of the books after will deal with a Morrow family Thanksgiving, but I am not sure which. As always, I intend to write a little food into the story just to tease.  I am not sure whether I will serialize this next book, but will let you know soon.

Break Time

I will not be posting a chapter of  Tales tonight because it is a school night. OK, it is seminar night.  But…I am going to let you in on a secret. I am starting another WIP, but it won’t appear on here.

Heroes and Villains actually began back in the early 90’s with my desire to write a few stories for the comic book world. At the time, there were two comic book companies I wanted to write for. One was Marvel, the other was Image/Homage Comics, one of the hottest new indie comic companies to emerge…and the home of Spawn. Marvel didn’t take me seriously and neither did Image. But a dear friend of mine, Howard Westbrook, saw the potential and planned on working as my artist.

At that time, we had begun work on several characters that will appear both in this story as well as their own stories. Still, Rothchild was not complete until I began the very first story that included him. That story was Gauntlet, about a CGI created hard light warrior who can pull his weapons out of his ethereal net based world. As with most of my characters, both Rothchild and Gauntlet were created through experiments, though one was born from CGI hard light and the other was given a new life (sort of like Robocop) through a medical experiment with a new technology known as bio-cybernetics; cybernetics with the ability to bond genetically and chemically with their recipient. Depending on the severity of their injuries, the bio-cybernetics could do anything from give them a missing limb to give them the ability to walk after being paralyzed in an accident. In Rothchild’s instance, it does it all.

Rothchild is first gen, and later joins a group of “second hand” heroes, all of whoim have been given back their lives through successive upgrades in bio-cybernetics. This group was named Surgical Stryke and was headed by Doc. the genius behind the research, development, and perfecting of bio-cybernetics. The Group was connected to a mega company, owned by Doc, that owned the patents and legal rights to bio-cybernetics.

Rothchild’s personality suffered from his becoming the equivalent of a cyborg, having been brought back from the dead by the process after being blown apart…well, at least losing both legs, an arm and quite a bit of his face (though his skull remained intact). while the implant procedure was being done, the computer interface is placed inside his skull, alongside his brain and slowly becomes a part of his brain, melding the cybernetics and his human body into a single organism.

To learn more, you will have to actually buy the book when it comes out. Hell. You will have to wait for every book in this series to come out to know how things go. Each book will be a different hero and will come complete with its own villain.

After I am done with this series, I will begin piecing together each series about the supergroups I created, but right now, I want to introduce the reader to each character. And, as the title of the saga infers, half of the series will be about the villains.

A Side Note…

If you have revisited the previous chapter, you might notice that I have deleted a single sentence out. Why? because it was misinformation. I placed an event after its original date. That made me like wikipedia. Inaccurate. The Summer Of Love was 1967, in San Francisco (Haight/Astbury), not Woodstock…or even Monterey, as Wiki had it. A fellow author and dear friend of mine corrected my mistake.

I admit that I did not live through those tempestuous times. And so, I rely on research, sometimes of faulty sources, to gain my information. Also, anyone who is going to visit wiki to “fact check” me might want to change the insinuation in their Hippie section to clarify that 19170, the Kent State massacre, changed the momentum of the movement. In fact, it just about killed it out. It was the moment when those involved realized that everything, which had started out peaceful enough, had suddenly become deadly, violent and dark.

Anyway, I do not mention Kent State, or the massacre. I will probably mention it in passing, but it has no bearing on my main character’s life. He is neither a hippie or even a protestor. He could really care less.

I am more interested in his personal growth in this story. And this will include him losing his way, for a little while, and doing things he’d sworn never to do. No, he doesn’t break any laws, except for using illegal drugs.

I hope you are enjoying the story. I have one more chapter ready, but do not think I will be posting it tonight.

For Those Following The Current WIP…

For those following my current piece of fiction, you might find a slight inconsistency in the character’s age. I had originally set him to be in his late sixties, but I thought I had made an error in judgment and changed it to seventy. It turns out, if you do your calculations, that he is 69 exactly. I did the math last night.

I don’t know how well people like flashback scenes, But I am sending the reader on a journey. This first journey was to 1967 and the Monterey Pop Festival. It is the first major milestone in the character’s life. He is finding success and also the story explains his background. There is a lot about real history here, so hang on tight.

I hope you’re enjoying the story. I have chapter three ready to go…I think. But will not put it on here tonight. Au Revoir, Mes Amis/Amies.Until tomorrow…good night.

Sadness

Next month will mark the nineteenth year of my son’s birth. I used to mark every “birthday” with delivering flowers to his grave. Now, I simply mark it by taking the day to go and stand at graveside.

For those who have lost a child, you know this pain. You know that there is no “getting over” it. It may lessen, It may become less, but it never really goes away. It is ever present and always comes back every birthday that you don’t get to spend with him or her.

Sean Ian would have been 19. He was the only child born between me and my first wife, and the reason she went crazy. Sort of. Well, not really. She was already in that downward spiral long before.

She and I were married for six years. Of that time, we probably spent less than half together. No, it isn’t what you think. I spent more time staying with my folks throughout that marriage than was right.

It wasn’t my choice, though. She was not mature enough, even being three years older than me, to maintain a relationship independent of her mother. I have nothing against mother-in-laws, don’t get me wrong. But when they hate you from the very beginning, you do not stand a chance. Especially if your wife/other half is an incessant mommy’s child.

And this immaturity was part of the reason she fell into mental collapse. The pressure of her mother to “live” a certain way was too much. And the meddling took its toll on me as well.

Near the end of our fourth year of marriage, maybe our fifth, she got pregnant with Sean. He was going to change everything for both of us. He was going to be a bond between us. Something to give us commonality.

I had wonderful plans of teaching him everything my father had refused to teach me. I wanted to be a hands-on father. There through it all. I wanted to be the father that played catch. Taught the finer points of basketball. Encouraged him to follow his heart, not what he thought I expected.

But it was not meant to be. Seven months in, she ended up leaking fluid. she was instructed to take to bed rest, but she refused. By the end of term, he was already gone. He was born on March 15, 1997 and buried March 19,1997. I wrote the following for him.

Seven White Roses

Seven white roses
Lay on your grave
To remind us all
Just how long you lived
Seven white roses
Symbolizing the hope you gave
As tears fall
And that day is relived
But seven white roses
Are all I can give

(interlude)

Seven white roses
Lay on your grave
As a token of my love
For the son I never knew
Seven white roses
For a boy so brave
That heaven above
Wanted him too
Now seven white roses
Mark each month you lived

(interlude)

Seven White Roses
Lay on your grave
To remind us all
How precious you were
Seven white roses
Show the love we’ll save
When we stand tall
And our stance is brave and sure
Yes, seven white roses
Are a gift from me to you

(solo)

Seven white roses
Lay on your grave
As a memorial to you
though it won’t last
Seven white roses
Remind me of the love I coulda gave
To you as you grew
But that won’t come to pass
So seven white roses
Is only a token of how I feel.

(solo out)

1997, JTB

And people ask why I have the blues.

Yes, I know there is a mis-wording, but it was on purpose. How else was I to make it all rhyme? I will probably post at least one set of lyrics written about my son a day until his birthday. I don’t know yet. But these do need to be shared. Even if it is only as the lyrics themselves.