So you can read my books

Thursday, April 30, 2015





1.) NANOWRIMO is supposed to teach you how to keep deadlines 

by having you slap together words on a page just as fast as you can on a daily basis for a month --

after all, you can always go back and edit, right?

Structure is everything in building AND writing.  

A flawed foundation in either endeavor will destroy what you are trying to build.

2.)  A TO Z insists you not only write daily BUT without going back.  

EACH POST must be whole within itself, polished enough to entertain and amuse.

EACH POST must be fully edited each day -- no sloppy prose allowed.

3.) A TO Z insists you stay consistent to your theme, stretching your imagination to its utmost.  

EACH POST must be lean to encourage visitors to read your posts every day.

4.) NANOWRIMO is popular for the group spirit to it.  

A TO Z encourages bloggers to visit one another's blogs and comment,  

birthing a community feel to the endeavor superior to the "race" mind-set of NANOWRIMO.

5.) In that sense,  NANOWRIMO sets one blogger against another 

in a race of learning sloppy, destructive writing habits of just throwing words together for quantity not quality.

6.) A TO Z urges us to entertain daily with the best, most interesting prose we can write --

while visiting our old friends and making new ones!


Just because I wanted to hear it:

Z is for Aw, C'Mon, You Know What Z Is For!

I could hardly do a post on QUEEN OF SWORDS and not do one on ZORRO!

I didn't learn of Zorro through Disney
but through the black and white movie starring TYRONE POWER I saw on TV.
But that movie led me to VHS tapes of the Disney ZORRO.
When Guy Williams first visited Argentina in 1973,
he was quite taken by the admiration and fascination the Argentine people expressed for him and his character of 'El Zorro'.
 In return, Guy fell in love with the culture and people of Argentina.
In the late 1970's he retired,
except for personal appearances, to Recoleta, an upscale neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
In 1989, while spending solitary months in Argentina, Williams disappeared.
The local police searched his apartment in Recoleta on May 6, finding his body.
He had suffered a brain aneurysm and had been dead for several days.
Due to his great popularity in Argentina,
his ashes lay for two years at the Argentine Actors' Society cemetery at La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires.
In 1991, in accordance with his wishes,
Williams' ashes were spread over the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y Is For My Inspiration To Have Samuel McCord In Key Moments of History

Did you watch any of these episodes? 

Lucas charges too much for me to purchase the DVD collections!

Due to its enormous budget, the series was canceled in 1993.

However, following the series' cancellation,

four made-for-television films were produced from 1994 to 1996 in an attempt to continue the series.

In 1999, the series was re-edited into 22 television films under the title The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X Is For Myth and Mystery

I am drawn to XENA because, to me, it is a mythical tale of revenge, love, and redemption.

Sandra drily replies that Xena's long legs and black leather corset have nothing to do with it, right?

Did you think the 300 Spartans stopped the Persian's first rush? 

No.  It was Xena, daughter of Ares.


And Now Fox is making a new 6 Episode X-FILES!

When David left the show, I left as a viewer.
How about you?

Monday, April 27, 2015


Many in Baltimore would say No.

When rioters cut the water hoses as firemen struggle to keep a fire from consuming an entire neighbor, you scratch your head.

When violent looters take advantage of the valid protest for color-blind justice, it is sad.  

It seems there is a latent underlying sense of powerless in so many.

Our economy and society depend on most people feeling the system is working for them.

But a growing sense of powerlessness in all aspects of our lives

 -- as workers, consumers, and voters -- 

is convincing most people the system is working only for those at the top.

 Powerlessness comes from a lack of meaningful choice.

 Big institutions don't have to be responsive to us 

because we can't penalize them by going to a competitor. 

 Fifty years ago, a third of private-sector workers belonged to labor unions. 

This gave workers bargaining power to get a significant share of the economy's gains along with better working conditions -- and a voice.

 Now, fewer than 7 percent of private sector workers are unionized. 

 The companies we work for, 

the businesses we buy from, 

and the political system we participate in all seem to have grown less accountable. 

I hear it over and over: 

They don't care; our voices don't count. 


W Stands For Family, Craziness, and Laughs

WKRP in Cincinnati is a situation comedy television series

that features the misadventures of the staff of a struggling fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The show was created by Hugh Wilson

and was based upon his experiences working in advertising sales at Top 40 radio station WQXI (AM) in Atlanta.

Many of the characters and even some of the stories

(including season 1 episode 7, "Turkeys Away") are based on people and events at WQXI.

Like many other MTM productions,

the humor came more from running gags based on the known predilections and quirks of each character,

rather than from outlandish plots or racy situations since the show has a realistic setting.

The characters also developed over the course of the series, generating a sense of family.

During the third and fourth seasons,

CBS moved WKRP around repeatedly,

so much so that cast and crew members claimed that even they didn't know when the show aired.

When the show became a hit in syndication,

some cast members joked that the reason for its success was that viewers finally knew where to find it on the schedule.

Don't you get the impression that studio executives
sometimes decide to kill a show?

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Do you believe in the supernatural?

There are two answers to that question, of course.

One that you believe in bright sunlight.

And the one that you fear is true in the shadows on a strange, moonlit street.

I know. I've had too many occasions to walk the dark streets of the French Quarter at night.

I wasn't suicidal. I was broke.

I saw street crime naturally. I also saw glimpses of things my rational mind refused to consider.

To focus my mind off those glimpses,

I tried to make a list of movies with scenes involving lone walkers at night in the growing fog.

Word to the wise. Don't do that. It really doesn't help. At all.

New Orleans has been called a Twilight City, for it rises from civilized slumber to bustling life at night.

Performers often line the streets,
pushers sell their brands of death,

prostitutes promise sex as if it were love,

dancers weave through the partiers on the street,

and music throbs through the veins of the French Quarter.

If the undead do exist, they walk lazily down streets in front of buildings dating back hundreds of years.

In that sense, they would be at home. It is we the living who could be thought of as intruders there.
New Orleans is famous for its "Cities of the Dead."
Since the city is below sea level, it is filled with above the ground tombs instead of graves in the moist earth.

One of the most famous of these "cities" is St. Louis Cemetery #1, established in 1789

and considered by many as being the final resting place of the infamous voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.

But Samuel McCord would tell you differently.

He still visits her occasionally if the situation is dire enough to warrant risking suicide.

Then, there is Samuel's favorite airport: the Denver Airport -

Located 25 miles from Denver on a plot of land encompassing 53 square miles,

sits the second largest- and the most bizarre airport in the world, the Denver Airport.

It has a 34 foot statue of an apocalyptic war-horse called El Mesteno,

and its demonic glowing eyes are the very first thing greeting you when you step out of the airport building.

Oh…did I mention the demonic horse statue killed its creator, Luis Jiménez?

It also has a statue of Anubis:

Somehow the powers that be figured a hellhorse from the underworld wasn’t frightening enough.

That’s why it got a companion in the form of this gigantous Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead.

If you ever visit the airport then it’s probably best not to stare at this statue directly

as it will no doubt whisper secrets that will wither your soul …

Then, there are the Bizarre Murals:

Now, this is where it gets freaky, and I mean like Michael Jackson’s painting collection freaky…

A long, long trail of mothers holding dead babies in their arms, many more lying dead on the ground,

as a gas-mask wearing, evil warlord holds a huge sword and a machine gun, thrusting the sword into the belly of the white dove of peace.

Notice that the evil warlord doing the killing is a military soldier, where the gas-mask refers to the use of some kind of biological weapon.

Not exactly the thing you would want to look at when you’re returning from vacation.g h

Children buried in coffins underneath, while on top above ground a solar fire storm rages.

Do the flames make a reference to the sun burning up the earth as in the Mayan 2012 calendar predictions,

or a reference to the devastation caused by nuclear bombs exploding?

The roof of DIA is made of 15 acres of Teflon-coated, woven fiber glass, which makes it impossible to see inside the place with radar.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V Is How You Scare A Little Kid Spitless

I remember watching V in reruns as a little kid ...

and when that scene came with the good-looking alien woman

stretching her open mouth wide enough to swallow that squirming hamster ...


Sure the special effects seem comical now. 

But it whalloped me as a small boy!!

When the survivor of the death camps explained to the kids spray-painting a V on the Visitors Poster, it impacted me ...

much more than any scene in the reboot of V a few years ago.

Sometimes Story trumps Special Effects, right?

Friday, April 24, 2015

U Stands For The Mascot of All Struggling Indie Writers


Shoeshine Boy's heroic alter ego,

appears whenever love interest Sweet Polly Purebred is being victimized

by such villains as Simon Bar Sinister or Riff Raff.

Underdog nearly always speaks in rhyme, as in "There's no need to fear, Underdog is here!"

His voice was supplied by Wally Cox.

Have you ever watched an episode?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T Stands For A Class Act

Johnny Carson added a dash of class with his humor. His intelligence sparkled through his show.

In 2005, after Carson's death,
it was revealed that he had made a habit of sending jokes to Dave Letterman
which Letterman would then sometimes incorporate into his monologues.
The January 31, 2005, episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, which featured a tribute to Carson,
began with a monologue by Letterman composed entirely of jokes written by Carson himself after his retirement

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S Is For You Can Only Use The Same Tea Bag Just So Many Times

The original will always stir my imagination

Next Generation took until Season 3 to fully entertain me.

I tired of the Palestinian allusions to DS9. I hear it got better toward the end. 

It was too late. I had stopped watching.

And BABYLON 5 handled the lone space station scenario much, much better.

Voyager was a bit too PC for me: a woman captain, a Native American second in command,

a Latino/Klingon female engineer, and the only white male was the black sheep of the bunch!

But like with Next Gen, by the 3rd Season, I started enjoying it.

Though BATTLESTAR GALACTICA handled the consequences of a lone ship

having to deal with battle-damage from one episode to the next.

By the time of ENTERPRISE,

Rick Berman was copying storylines from the other series so much that some episodes were diluted like an over-used tea bag!

Like with DS9, I heard it got better towards the end, but again, it was too late.  I had stopped watching.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Behind the Scenes Isn't So Much Fun

In 2002, The Rockford Files was ranked #39 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

Universal began syndicating the show in 1979 and aggressively marketed it to local stations well into the early and middle 1980s.

This accounts for its ever-presence on afternoon and late-night schedules in those days.

 From those showings, Rockford developed a following with younger viewers,

with the momentum continuing throughout the 1990s and 2000s (decade) on cable.

NBC and Universal claimed the show was generating a deficit of several million dollars,

a staggering amount for a nighttime show then,

although Garner and his production team Cherokee Productions claimed the show turned a profit.

Garner told a story to Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show

that the studio once paid a carpenter $700 to build a shipping crate for a shoot-out on a boat dock, though there were shipping crates on the dock.

The script often called for Garner to damage his car, so the car could be sold, repaired, and repurchased for each episode.

The dispute was settled out of court in Garner's favor,

but the conflict meant that the Rockford character would not re-emerge until 1994.

Rockford had a close relationship with his attorney, the idealistic, tenacious Elizabeth "Beth" Davenport (Gretchen Corbett).

 It is implied that the two become romantically involved for a time.

After Corbett was dropped from the show following the fourth season

(allegedly due to contract disputes between Universal, which owned her contract, and Cherokee Productions, Garner's company),

the show was never quite the same for me.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q stands for a fun song

I never watched the show, but isn't it a fun tune by Jose Feliciano?
Have any of you ever watched an episode

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Precusor to Edward Snowden

is the Best TV show
you are probably NOT watching.

The Machine is actually an Artificial Intelligence who cares deeply for its creator, Howard Finch. 

Howard and his "Hands On" man, John Reese, a former Intelligence operative, gain new allies and new enemies:

crime lords, corrupt policemen, Intelligence Agencies (our own and foreign). 

Dangerous enemies turn out to be only pawns of even more deadly foes. 

Some enemies, like Root (Amy Acker) join their cause ... for their own reasons of course.

In the 4th Season (the present one), those still alive are reeling from a recent loss of a beloved comrade.

Finally they are up against a rival AI, Samaritan

with no ethical parameters, aiding our government for its own purposes.

For four seasons, PERSON OF INTEREST has won increasingly positive critical acclaim.

Samaritan has upped the ante: It wishes to control the American government and ultimately the world.

To humble the President into submission, Samaritan recently tried to crash Wall Street. 

Howard, Reese and the others raced in a suicide mission to stop it.

The Machine raced itself through simulations to find a scenario to save her Creator, the one human she is unwilling to sacrifice for the greater good.

No longer having the time to substitute real dialogue for her allies,

she replaces it with what they represent and why they are spoken:

But the machine learns that humans are not
chess pieces,
 and they can find it within themselves
to sacrifice themselves for those they love:

Do Yourself A Favor:
You can find episodes on YouTube.
Watch them.

Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for WAY OUT!

My only memories of THE OUTER LIMITS

remains with me though I saw the episode THE CHAMELEON as a re-run when but very small.

A very young Robert Duvall is playing guitar in a rural Mexican village. 

He is attacked by enemies from his violent past.

He subdues them but at the cost of his guitar. 

A small boy hands him the broken guitar with a sad, longing expression in a silent request to fix it.

"I can only destroy, son.  Only destroy."


"The race of Man is known for its mutability.

We can change our moods, our faces, our lives to suit whatever situation confronts us. Adapt and survive.

Even among the most changeable of living things,

Man is quicksilver: more chameleon-like than the chameleon, determined to survive,

no matter what the cost to others... or to himself."

Robert Duvall is convinced by the U.S. Military to be altered to look like the aliens who have crash-landed on our planet.

He goes among them, sees that they are peaceful, and want nothing but to leave our primitive, hostile world.

After giving in to his violent nature initially, Duvall decides to leave with them if they will have him.

They are more forgiving than Mankind and accept him as one of their own, leaving.


"A man's survival can take many shapes, and the shape in which a man finds his humanity is not always a human one."

It is an episode that haunts me still and influences much of my writing to this day.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Tomorrow will start my 3 day sojurn through CyPhaCon.  
Wish me luck!

And now, just because it makes me so happy!

N teaches us that Literate doesn't always translate to Long-Lived

Night Stalker ran for only six weeks. It was based on KOLCHAK, THE NIGHT STALKER.

It was literate, the scripts actually making Kolchak sound like a thoughtful newspaper reporter. 

Sadly, literate does not always translate into high ratings.

Here is the trailer for the original series that helped spark THE X-FILES:

Do yourself a favor: if you see the 10 episode DVD collection of NIGHT STALKER in the bargain bin, get it.


And what N TV day would be complete without

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is to remind us that TIMING is everything

Trailer for the pilot that never aired

The trailer for the show that made it on the air: 

MOONLIGHT aired before the TWILIGHT craze went nova, 
so it died a too-early death. 

And what "M" TV day would be complete

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for TV Shows both worse and better than the books which birthed them

 Netflix has saved this excellent program

A thoughtful sheriff haunted by the murder of his wife, 

what he did to avenge it, 

and his growing attraction to his fiery deputy make this a fine program.

Longmire faces foes from without and within.  

Yet his personal code of honor, though bruised, carry him through.

So I went to the first Longmire book:

And I found a more in-depth study of an intelligent, literate man 

struggling against the inertia of his losses 

while trying not to let those close to him down.

The end of the book will stun you. 

 It propels the series into one of a kind tales, each focusing on a different story-telling motif.  

But unlike the show, all the novels contain a splash of supernatural influence dogging the honorable sheriff.

HELL IS EMPTY is Craig Johnson's detective twist on Dante's Inferno.  Quite a feat.  The audiobooks are amazing.


I went to the book and was ... underwhelmed. I couldn't finish it.  

An unusual reversal of the customary fact of the book being better than the show.

I couldn't leave "L" without recommending LIFE:

Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for a Show which taught as well as entertained

Some TV shows seem to have been aired longer than they were from the impact that they made on you.

KUNG FU is one of these.
Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine) is the orphaned son of an American man, Thomas Henry Caine,

and a Chinese woman, Kwai Lin, in mid-19th century China.

After his maternal grandfather's death he is accepted for training at a Shaolin Monastery,

where he grows up to become a Shaolin priest and martial arts expert.

In the pilot episode Caine's beloved mentor and elder, Master Po,

is murdered by the Emperor's nephew.

Outraged, Caine retaliates by killing the nephew.

With a price on his head, Caine flees China to the western United States,

where he seeks to find his family roots and, ultimately, his half-brother, Danny Caine.

Although it is his intention to avoid notice,

Caine's training and sense of social responsibility repeatedly force him out into the open,

to fight for justice or protect the underdog.


* The show's creators picked Caine as a last name to reference the Biblical Cain.

* David Carradine only shaved his head once (when shooting the pilot) --

So you can gauge when an episode was shot by looking at Caine's hair.

* David had no martial arts experience,

but he was a skilled dancer. 

He only studied Kung Fu aggressively during the last season.

* In one scene in the Pilot,

Master Kan asks young Caine to snatch a pebble from his palm. 

That shot was filmed over 15 times because the young actor was always faster than the man!

Finally he was told to snatch it with his left hand, farther from the grown actor. 

This time Master Kan foiled young Caine.     :-)

* Philip Ahn, who played Master Kan, later opened a successful restaurant, Moongate,

and children would shyly approach him, asking if they could try and snatch a pebble from his hand. 

He always obliged.