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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING_for FREE!


Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
 - Samuel McCord


In the French Quarter of the Roaring Twenties, there is a strange night club owner whom society shuns ...

unless their world has become nightmare.

Travel back to the FIRST and listen to Samuel McCord recount a tale of horror, love, sacrifice, and redemption to a young William Faulkner ...

A tale from the mists of America's beginnings in the year 1853.

Meet Meilori Shinseen, her vicious twin Maija, Elu, and the Turquoise Woman for the first time!

FOR FREE!  For a LIMITED TIME.  Want MORE?

Upon getting the FREE kindle book, you can download the AUDIO for a MERE $1.99!

Go back to McCord's beginning ... FOR FREE!



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

GYPSY, ghost cat VS ALIEN!


{Courtesy Dave Melvin}
 
“When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.”
Gypsy, Ghost Cat
 
 
So there I was watching the rolling credits to ALIEN, thinking what a great human Ripley was for going back for her cat.
 
I was curled up in Food Guy's favorite chair.  He wasn't using it.  He was out on one of those blood runs of his.
 
Why do I still call him Food Guy when I can't eat?  He still puts out food for me to knock around the kitchen floor.
 
I coulda won the World Cup for America if they just accepted ghost cats.
 
I went cold as I heard hollow laughter.  Aw, mouse turds.  That DayStar Guy. 
 
Why couldn't he pick on someone his own size -- like the Statue of Liberty?
 
It came from the kitchen.  I padded all ninja-like to peek around the corner.  Aw, jeez.  An honest-to-acid blood Alien.
 
And it was drooling all over my food!
 
I charged it, hissing.  It hissed back.  I hissed louder, bucking my back to boot. 
 
"Lay off my food, Drool Lips!"
 
Its inner teeth shot out at me, and I dodged.
 
"Hey, no French Kissing on the first date!"
 
It lunged for me.  I twisted and ran into the front room.  It followed. 
 
I stopped in front of the mirror, spun around, and wiggled my rear in its face.
 
"Hey, Ugly!  I wear mine on the right end!"
 
Like I figured, the Alien darted for me.
 
I yelled out, "Elu, don't fail me now!!"
 
Elu? 
 
He lives in what he calls the Mirror World.  I saved his life once from the Sphinx of Thebes, and the Apache Shaman owes me.
 
I hoped he wouldn't welch on the debt.
 
Elu didn't. 
 
The alien slid right THROUGH the mirror.  I followed.  Maybe I could convince the Dildo-Headed Alien to be pals. 
 
Hey, it could happen!
 
{Courtesy Dave Melvin}
 
Why isn’t the word “phonetically”
spelled with an “f”?”
 
―     Gypsy, Ghost Cat

Monday, July 21, 2014

FINISHING


I am at the 60,000 word mark on
THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT ...


   And the silence is loud, the inertia of writing weighing down on me. 

After all this work, will anybody really WANT to read this novel?



I hear gruff words above me: 

"Tarnation, Son!  Let me tell you about two hellions who wrote ...

to each other ... and to the world at large."

It is the ghost of Mark Twain:

"Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald

had a lot in common. They were both drunks ... let's not be PC about it, shall we?"

Mark wrinkled his moustache.

"They both had intense and complicated marriages. They were both deeply committed to their craft.

Most importantly, they were literary giants at a time when the Great American Novel was more than just a myth—it was a real possibility."

"I don't want to write the Great American Novel ...." I began.

Mark laughed, "Shoot for the moon, son.  Anyway, the two of them wrote to each other on how things were going for them."

The ghost of Hemingway sat down beside me, grumbling,

“Scott took LITERATURE so solemnly. He never understood that it was just writing as well as you can and finishing what you start.”

He lit up a cigar.  "You quit, kid, and I will kick your butt from here to Putin.  He loves you, don't you know?"

He shook his head. 

"I was a believer in self-discipline while Scott depended on his Muse ... and week long benders, scribbling frantically and pushing his lank blonde hair out of his eyes."

Hemingway snorted,

"Me?  I wrote like clock-work -- standing up at the typewriter, at the same time every day -- pushing through even the 'dry' days when the words came slowly."

He jabbed his cigar at me.  "In life, you are either a doer or a dreamer."

Hemingway gruffed, "You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless—

there is only one thing to do with a novel and that is go straight on through to the end of the damn thing.”

Mark lit up his own cigar.  "Sometimes even Hemingway is right."


Sunday, July 20, 2014

SOFT DIPLOMACY, DEAD INNOCENTS


"Wet on me, and I will have your mother shot."


When President Obama took office, he promised a re-set in Russian Policy and a radical approach in ‘soft diplomacy.’

It is a tragic mistake many make in dealing with other cultures, putting your ethic in the minds of those of another mind-set.

The Westerners who showed compassion to the Indian thought the warriors should respond in kind. 

The warriors merely believed their Medicine was strong, and the White Men were weak.

European politicians tried to placate Hitler and millions died.

Now, we are going down a similar tragic path.

"Oh, but you do not know Putin," I hear many wail.

Do you?
 

Many consider Vladimir Putin to be roughly a cross between Joseph Stalin and Sauron.

I jest but it is only because the man is truly scary:

Putin's parents lived through the siege of Leningrad in World War II, his father was probably a KGB agent,

and none of their neighbors remembers little Vladimir even existing as a child younger than about seven or eight years old,

so there is some speculation that his very existence began with theft, when his "parents" stole him from his real parents.

These are the type of things that can happen in a country ruled by Josef Stalin.

But whether he was kidnapped or sold or honestly born, Putin had a deceitful streak from a very early age, as any good son of the KGB should.

Those who claim to remember what he was like as a child (including himself) will tell you that he was a tough kid,

he ran with a bad crowd and was often the leader of it, and he would stop at nothing to punish anyone who crossed him.

As he matured, he got his act together just enough to become a KGB agent.

Russians in the 1990s were looking at an exciting but confusing new world.


MARCH, 1997:


Vladimir Putin is plucked from obscurity out of the St. Petersburg local government apparatus by President Boris Yeltsin and named Deputy Chief of Staff.

In June, he defends his PhD dissertation in “strategic planning” at St. Petersburg’s Mining Institute.

Later, this document proves to have been plagiarized from a KGB translation of work by U.S. professors published many years earlier

(as if nobody would notice, and in fact for quite a while nobody did).


JULY, 1998:


In a second inexplicable move, Yeltsin names Putin head of the KGB (now called the FSB).


NOVEMBER, 1998:


Less than four months after Putin takes over at the KGB, opposition Duma Deputy Galina Starovoitova,

the most prominent pro-democracy Kremlin critic in the nation, is murdered at her apartment building in St. Petersburg.

Four months after that, Putin will play a key role in silencing the Russian Attorney General, Yury Skuratov,

who was investigating high-level corruption in the Kremlin, by airing an illicit sex video involving Skuratov on national TV.

Four months after the dust settles in the Skuratov affair, Putin will be named Prime Minister.


AUGUST, 1999:


Completing a hat trick of bizarre spontaneous promotions, proud KGB spy Putin is named by Yeltsin Prime Minister of Russia.

Almost immediately, Putin orders a massive bombing campaign against the tiny, defenseless breakaway republic of Chechnya,

 apparently seeing the reassertion of Russian power there as key to overall resurgence of Russia’s military and state security apparatus, his primary political objective.

On August 26th, he’s forced to acknowledge the horrific consequences of the bombing. Hundreds of civilians are killed and tens of thousands are left homeless as civilian targets are attacked.


NEW YEAR'S EVE, 1999:


Boris Yeltsin resigns the presidency of Russia, handing the office to Putin in order to allow him to run as an incumbent three months later.

[Between April 2000 and March 2002, Russia plunges into a nightmarish conflict in Chechnya eerily similar to what America now faces in Iraq.

Opposition journalists, especially those who dare to report on what it going on in Chechnya, suddenly start dying.

In 2000 alone, reporters Igor Domnikov, Sergey Novikov, Iskandar Khatloni, Sergey Ivanov and Adam Tepsurgayev are murdered --

not by hostile fire in Chechnya but in blatant assassinations at home in Russia.]


APRIL, 2003:


Sergei Yushenkov, co-chairman of the Liberal Russia political party, is gunned down at the entrance of his Moscow apartment block.

Yushenkov had been serving as the vice chair of the group known as the Kovalev Commission”

which was formed to informally investigate charges that Putin’s KGB had planted the Pechatniki and Kashirskoye apartment bombs


to whip up support for the Putin’s war in Chechnya after the formal legislative investigation turned out to be impossible.

Another member of the Commission, Yuri Shchekochikhin will perish of poisoning,

a third will be severely beaten by thugs,

and two other members will lose their seats in the Duma.

The Commission’s lawyer, Mikhail Trepashkin will be jailed after a secret trial on espionage charges.

Today, virtually none of the members of the Commission are left whole, and it is silent.


JUNE, 2004:


Nikolai Girenko, a prominent human rights defender, Professor of Ethnology and expert on racism and discrimination in the Russian Federation

is shot dead in his home in St Petersburg.


JULY, 2004:


Paul Klebnikov, editor of the Russian edition Forbes magazine, is shot and killed in Moscow.

Forbes has reported that at the time of his death, Paul was believed to have been investigating a complex web of money laundering involving a Chechen reconstruction fund,

reaching into the centers of power in the Kremlin and involving elements of organized crime and the FSB (the former KGB).


The murders of Putin's opponents keep piling up year after year after year after year ...


JULY, 2009:


On July 14, 2009, leading Russian human rights journalist and activist Natalia Estemirova, a single mother of a teenaged daughter, was abducted in front of her home in Grozny, Chechnya,

spirited across the border into Ingushetia, shot and dumped in a roadside gutter.


THE PRESENT:


The shooting down of a passenger jet over Ukraine – with the loss of nearly 300 lives – is a human tragedy and a moral abomination.
 
Part of the outrage is that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is trying to avoid culpability. His hands are bloody, or should we say bloodier.

Russia started this confrontation with Ukraine and armed pro-Russian separatists with surface-to-air missiles

that almost certainly brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

 Putin and his minions can’t now disavow the horrible consequences if trigger-happy separatists mistook the Boeing 777 for a Ukrainian military plane on Thursday.

This is a conflict of polar opposites. On one side of the terrifying crisis blowing up on the borders of Russia and Ukraine stands

Vladimir Putin, the ruthless former KGB officer, focused with deadly intent on rebuilding the Soviet empire.

On the other are

the frivolous, dithering politicians of the West, high-fiving each other at summits and conveying their condolences, after a monstrous atrocity, on the teenagers’ medium of Twitter.

It is Hitler and the dithering politicians of the West once again ...
but this time the weapons of war are truly monstrous.
 

Read more here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2014/07/18/3754023/editorial-putin-cant-avoid-responsibility.html#storylink=cpy

YOUTUBE HAS KILLED BLOGGING



Text on the Net used to be Power ...


     Ah, like in 2006.  But today?

But we live in an age of multimedia and reading requires effort. Effort that could be spent looking at cute photos. Or watching cute videos. - See more at: http://theantisocialmedia.com/blogging-cool-anymore/#sthash.6Jy8uAgT.dpuf
But we live in an age of multimedia and reading requires effort. Effort that could be spent looking at cute photos. Or watching cute videos. - See more at: http://theantisocialmedia.com/blogging-cool-anymore/#sthash.6Jy8uAgT.dpuf
I mean, reading requires, like you know ...

Effort and stuff. 

I get headaches if I read more than 43 characters in a row and all.

And reading takes away from my time looking at FB pictures of cute kittens

and laughing at stupid pet trick video's on YouTube.


Then, there's FACEBOOK, guys ...

Facebook may be pulling off one of the most lucrative grifts of all time:

 First, they convinced authors they needed to purchase all their Fans and Likes --

 even though everyone knows you can’t buy love.

 Then, Facebook continues to charge those same authors money to speak to the Fans they just bought!


Then, there's INSTAGRAM!  I mean what says LOOK AT ME! better than Instagram?  I mean sometimes even with TWITTER you have to, you know, INTERACT.

What a pain, right?

But with TUMBLR, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM, you just look at the pretty pictures.  Instant kindergarden all over again.

 A post by Karen Jones Gowen says we have become too selfish in what is supposed to be a SOCIAL media.  What do you think?

Then, Denise Covey has written a post asking if we have changed our blogs with the changing times?

http://laussieswritingblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-trouble-with-blogging-has-your-blog.html

Have you?  Me, I am a dinosaur.

And speaking of YouTube, here is a great vid by Jesse Cook:

Saturday, July 19, 2014

YOU ARE NOT ALONE


IN A WORLD ...

     WHERE ORIGINALITY IS A MYTH ...

          CREATIVITY AN ECHO ...


YOU ARE NOT ALONE






Don't forget
GHOST OF A CHANCE:

Friday, July 18, 2014

GHOST OF A CHANCE is THE CAT'S MEOW.


 
 
Despite being a supernatural thriller, there are some light-hearted fanciful moments to it. 
 
And Mark Kamish pulls them off famously (pun intended)


{"Now, that's entertainment!"
- Vlad the Impaler.}

{Samuel Clemens, ghost here.

Roland took refuge in the fictional world his Lakota blood made real, giving his cat, Gypsy, to Marlene Dietrich for safekeeping.

I could have told the boy:


never trust a beautiful blonde.

She dumped the poor critter with the mysterious Elu in his Mirror World.

This is Gypsy's story in the critter's own words.} :


That blonde alley cat hadn't fooled me. She hadn't dumped me here in Mirror World for my safety.


She wanted Food Guy all to herself. I was going to find him ... and her. Then, I'd set that two-legged cat straight.

But first I had a situation to take care of.

Slit eyes the size of windows glared at me. I glared back. After all, I was Gypsy, warrior princess, granddaughter of Bast herself.


So what if the Sphinx of Thebes outweighed me by a ton or two? I had her on agility. And good looks.

If she didn't let go of that human ... what was his name? Oh, yes, Elu.


If that Sphinx didn't let go of Elu, I was going to get all Sith on her ample rump.

He glared at me, too. What was his problem?

"It's all your fault, you furry rat," he snapped at me.

"What? My fault? So I unflipped the carrier latch. Big furry deal. I haven't been to the outskirts of Hell in ages.


So I took my chance. It's not my fault you let Fang-Face sneak up on you?"

I wrinkled my muzzle. "Some fearsome Apache you are. Just how do let two tons of Ugly sneak up on you anyway?"

The Sphinx narrowed her eyes and rumbled, "Did you just call me Ugly?"

"Yeah, Mammary Girl, I did."

I was making fun of her so she didn't catch on to the fact that she scared the ever-loving piss out of me.


I looked up at the towering bulk of her. I smiled wide, freezing it into place from sheer terror.

She was a sphinx. An honest to Egypt sphinx. The simple sentence doesn't do her justice.

The leathery rustle of her wings. The hellsky striking fire from her fangs.


Me sceaming like a little kitten at the sight of her. That would do her justice. Not that I screamed mind you.

I have my reputation to think of.

I tried to think of a worse fix I had been in and couldn't. A living, breathing, fang-bearing, claw-extending sphinx was towering over me.

Her huge body, though the size of an elephant, looked like a lion's. Except for the giant eagle wings.


She held a struggling Elu in one clenched paw. She sneered down at him with the head of a woman the size of a small boulder. But her teeth weren't those of a woman's.

They were like a lion's, long and sharp as the comfort of politicians. I watched gloomily as the muscles rippled under her golden fur like knotted ropes under a living canvas.


Her claws oozed out longer and dug into the black sands as if in anticipation of ripping away my flesh.

"You dare call me Mammary Girl?," the Sphinx husked.

I forced a yawn. "You see any other mammaries dragging the sand?"

"My breasts are not! They are round and firm!"

"What century are we talking about, toots?"
With a roar of rage, she lunged at me. She was as agile as a boulder and about as bright. I raced forward and ducked under her stomach.


There. Right under her belly button.

I wasn't thinking damage. I was thinking tickle. Which I did. She curled up laughing in an uncontrollable fit of giggles.

Ever hear a ten ton Sphinx giggle?


Nightmare time believe me.

Elu was still clutched in her now tightening fist. Well, so much for that plan. His dried apricot face was turning all kinds of neat shades of blue.

"What was your strategy in that?," he gasped.

I faked surprise. "Strategy - smatagedy. I'm just having fun."

"I'll show you fun, rat," roared the Sphinx, spinning around to lunge at me.

Two could play that game. Angelina Jolie was doddering compared to my moves.


I scrambled up the sloping face of the boulder to my right, sparks flying from my claws. I leapt onto the broad back of the screaming Sphinx.

"Ride 'em, CowCat," I yowled.

She bucked me off before I could take another breath. I flipped in the air and landed all Jedi-like on the sands in front of her.

"That was fun! Want to do it again?"

Her slit eyes narrowed. "Who do you think you are to talk to me like that?"

"The granddaughter of Bast actually, Sag-Breasts."
The Sphinx roared to the hellsky of the mirror world, then husked, "I laugh at Ba---"

Lightning sliced the insane sky and rasping thunder actually shook the sands beneath my paws.

"Ah, Sand-Ho, I'd cool it on any badmouthing ancient Egyptian forces of nature, were I you."

The Sphinx looked uneasily at the darkening skies, then turned back to me. "If you would have this human unharmed, you must first answer my riddle."

"Hey, not so fast there, Two Ton. You have to earn the right to ask the granddaughter of Bast a riddle by answering one yourself."

Thunder rolled like an angry chorus of bulls above us, and the Sphinx sighed, "And if I fail to answer your riddle?"

I shrugged lazily. "Then, you hand me the human unharmed and leap off the cliff."

The Sphinx roared so that my ears rang, and I made a face. "Too much, huh?"

"All right, then you just leap off the cliff."

"What?," shouted both Elu and the Sphinx.

"Just joking," I snickered.

The Sphinx growled, "Fool of a cat, there isn't even a cliff."

I nodded to the new fixture of landscape. "There wasn't until you cracked smart about Grandmother. She takes things like that personal."


(Which is what I'd been hoping.)
I nodded to Elu. "You can't answer, you just give me the human unharmed. Deal?"

She looked like she wanted to eat the lips off my beautiful, furry face but instead grumbled, "Agreed. Ask your riddle. And be fast with it. The aroma of your flesh hungers my belly."

And it must have. I heard her stomach rumble.

To stall for time to think of a decent, hell, even an indecent riddle, I clapped my two front paws together, "Oh, goody. A command performance."

"Riddle or die!"

I blew out my cheeks, thought, and thought some more. The Sphinx began to growl and a riddle Grandmother used to ask me at breakfast time came to me, and I purred :

"In marble walls as white as milk,

Lined with a skin of softest silk,

Within a fountain crystal clear,

A golden apple does appear,

No doors are there to this stronghold,

But Man breaks in to steal the gold."



I flashed the Sphinx a smile. "What is it?

"What is what?," she shrilled like a granite wall shearing in two.

"What am I describing in my riddle?"

"You spoke nonsense words!"

"This coming from a riddle-asking fool? Shame on you."

"There is no answer. Your flesh and this human's are mine!"

"An egg, flesh-breath. An egg. Yeah, not so easy on the receiving end of a riddle is it?"

"You cheated! And so you --"

She started to lunge when sand-stinging winds swirled all around her and thunder rumbled loud and long. The Sphinx screamed, her claws cutting ruts in the stone beneath her.


But the winds still bore her along like a scrap of paper. She struggled for all the good it did her. She was forced along by the fury of the winds.

Right over the cliff.

"Elu!"

I heard a chuckle from where the Sphinx had dropped him in her efforts to stop herself being pushed over the cliff's edge.

"So you were worried about me, cat."

"Yeah, well don't let it get out. I have my reputation to uphold."

I padded to the cliff's edge and looked over. Ugggh. I made a face.

"No more lasagna for me."

I looked over to Elu. "Speaking of which ... I wonder how Food Guy is doing?"
********************


Thursday, July 17, 2014

MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE VOICE


 


 
When you listen to an audiobook, a great narrator transforms the experience into a lush theater of the mind.
 
 
Such a talent is Mark Kamish
 
But he is much more than a skilled narrator.  His past makes for a stirring tale of its own:
 
A West Point graduate, former Army officer (82nd Airborne Division), former corporate businessman and current criminal defense attorney,

Mark is enjoying the ride on which life is taking him.  Ghost of a Chance is Mark's first published audiobook, but he is not new to storytelling.

A student of award-winning audiobook narrator Carrington MacDuffie,

Mark has been able to cultivate and fine tune his craft both in the courtroom (trying cases to juries) and

on stage, acting in a variety of greater-Indianapolis community theater productions.

Mark:


"I am so pleased my first author-narrator experience was with Roland.

  Not only was he helpful, patient and my loudest cheerleader, his creativity and wit brought many smiles to my face over the past several months.  

Roland's work was a great pleasure to read (even though I had to do it armed with dictionaries, thesauruses, dialect tapes, history books and literary encyclopedias!)." 


"If stories come to you, care for them.  And learn to give them away where they are needed.  Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive."


~ from Crow and Weasel by Barry Lopez

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

LISTEN TO THIS!


Only $10.46!


Some of you know that I am part-Lakota ...

     What you don't know is ...

          That the more I write, the more real my creations become until ...

                They take on a life of their own!


Join me in my LATEST AUDIOBOOK ...

     where I am accused of killing the ghost of Ernest Hemingway!


Can the ghosts of MARK TWAIN and MARLENE DIETRICH guide me safely through my own fictional worlds

to find the true murderer before MY OWN CHARACTERS KILL ME?

Listen to my audiobook GHOST OF A CHANCE and find out!

Mark Kamish  will entertain and amaze you with his skill.