So you can read my books

Sunday, May 31, 2015


I have entered 

Ah, and I am so cyber-challenged that I mangled putting in the title correctly.  

(Hangs head in cyber-shame.)  

So it is listed as ... UNTITLED!

Dare to vote for a short story called UNTITLED!!  

Wouldn't it be a hoot if it won honorable mention?  How would they announce it? 


Its title was supposed to be BLUE SHIFT INTO ABSENCE

the tale of the last starship on the universe's last day.

Vote for it by clicking on the heart at the end of the very short story.


There are some places cursed by deed or destiny.  

Others' deadliness have no clear explanations, their origins shrouded in mystery:

This abandoned amsumement Park in Japan is one of the scariest places on earth.

Disneyland meets Silent Hill in this twisted place

This abandoned amsumement Park in Japan is one of the scariest places on earth.
People left in a hurry…

1.) Abandoned Takakanonuma Amusement Park - Japan

Surrounded in a thick cloud of mist that swallows the park entirely, it is swallowed in mystery as well.

Built in 1973, the park’s first attempt at bringing fun family entertainment lasted only two years.

While never officially confirmed, it was rumored to be closed due to a number of mysterious deaths inside the park. 

Perhaps the park was repaired, or maybe it was long enough for people to forget the bizarre freak accidents, but the park reopened in 1986. 

This time it only stayed open for a single year, again mysterious deaths were rumored to be the cause.

Today, the sprawling hills and trees of the surrounding forests seem to have taken over the park.

Although adventurous travelers or Horror movie directors may be tempted to seek out this Disneyland from Hell,

the recent nuclear meltdown at Fukushima keeps a prohibitive level of radiation in the area.

2. Trees of the Sea – suicide forest

The Blair Witch Project Forest is like Disneyland compared to this place…

Aokigahara, also known as the Trees of the Sea is a 35-square-kilometre forest that lies at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. 

The density of the trees is so intense that you can wander in pitch black darkness during the day. 

Due to the wind-blocking density of the trees and an absence of wildlife, the forest is also known for being extremely quiet. 

The forest has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology 

and is the second most popular place for suicides in the world (right after the Golden Gate Bridge). 

Almost 100 people a year wander in the forest never to return again.  

The forest is so sprawling and dense, it cannot be patrolled adequately ...

so often suicides go undiscovered until their bodies mummify as they hang from tree branches to be discovered by horrified tourists. 

Pictures of these poor souls are on the Net, but out of respect for their anguish and despair, I have not used them.

3. The Winchester Mystery House

In San Jose you can find this victorian mansion that has 160-rooms and is constructed pretty much like a maze, 

filled with mile-long hallways and secret passages.

The house was build by Sarah Winchester, the widow of William Wirt Winchester, 

who was the son of the manufacturer of the famous Winchester repeating rifle.

 Sarah lived a wealthy but extremely cursed life, losing both her daughter and husband to illness. 

These tragic turn of events made Mrs. Winchester fell into a deep depression from which she never fully recovered.

It is said, she ultimately sought help from a spiritualist 

who gave her the idea of building a house to please and accomodate the spirits, 

and as long as she kept building, her life would not be in danger.

 The result is Sarah building this real-life version of the Addams Family household.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lexa Cain's Summer Blog Hop_SHANGRI LA

Shangri La

First, you must pilgrimage to Zhongdia county in China 

where the poet Tao Yuanming of the Jin Dynasty (265–420) described Shangri-La 
in his work  
The Tale of the Peach Blossom.

But that is only the first stage 
of your perilous journey.  

Many are the obstacles and guardians 
to this fabled realm.

The lazy attempt to reach it through 
the Diqing Shangri la Airport in Yunan China 

but where their plane lands 
is not their desired destination, 

for the lazy and selfish do not attain 
their souls' desire.

No, only those hearts who forget reward 
in their quest to ease the suffering of even the least of all things ...

suddenly take an unexpected bend 
in life's crooked trail, 

look up, 
and finally see the gateway to fabled Shangri la,

the end of their struggles,
the beginning of their journey to enlightenment. 

Here's wishing you find your own  
Shangri la 
this summer.

Friday, May 29, 2015


Join me and a few of my ghost friends at Chrys Fey's blog!

Speaking of which ... 

the ghost of William Faulkner got so inspired from his part in my guest post 

that he wanted to speak a bit more on writing:


Read everything -- 

trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it.

Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master.

Then write. 

If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window and start again wiser."

-William Faulkner.}

William Faulkner, ghost, here:

Don't be 'a writer'.  Be writing:

A bus station is where a bus stops. 

A train station is where a train stops. 

On my desk, I have a work station.

And to work well you must write with the embers of truth stinging your eyes.

You can have 13 people looking at a black bird and none of them will get it right. No one individual can look at truth.

Even simple truth. 

Look deep enough, and the simplicity disappears in the murky depths.


Truth blinds you. 

It is too much for one set of perceptions to take in. 

To a man with rose-tinted glasses, the whole world is rose.

And so it is with the writer looking at Man.

We call ourselves Homo Sapien, the reasoning animal. But Man is not made of reason.

A man is the sum of his misfortunes. 

One day you'd think misfortune would get tired, but then time is its own misfortune as well.

And so all human behavior is unpredictable. 

Considering Man's fragility and the ramshackle universe he functions in, how could it be otherwise?

So how does that affect you as a writer?


1) The writer must not set himself up as judge:

He must focus on action, the character's behavior. Maybe your protagonist, like so many people, has no concept of morality,

only an integrity to hold always to what he believes to be facts and truths of the human condition.


2) The character does what his nature dictates.

He acts not as the writer would, not as a man should do, but what he will do -- maybe what he can't help but do. Which leads me to my greatest fear:


3) I fear that Man is losing his individualism, his sense of self, in doing what the herd does in order to stay safe.

Which is why I do not belong to anything besides the Human Race, and I try to be a first rate member of that.


4) You are first rate as a human being and a writer if:

you do the best you can with what talents you have to make something positive that wasn't there yesterday.

How do you do that you ask:

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. And he makes his home of the stones of his efforts.

How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home until I realized that home to a writer is where his mind, his heart is.


5) Most men are a little better than their circumstances give them a chance to be. 

Strive to thrive where you are. "How?" you ask again. And I will tell you:

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. 

Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything good.

You have to have courage. Courage is not so hard to have in writing if you remember that:

All of us have failed to match our dream of perfection.


6) I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible. 

If I could write all my work again, I'm convinced I could do it better.

This is the healthiest condition for an artist. 

That's why he keeps working, trying again:

 he believes each time that this time he will do it, bring it off.

Of course he won't. Which leads us to the next point.


7) The phenomenon of writing is its hermaphroditism:

the principles of victory and of defeat inhabit the same body

and the necessary opponent, the blank page, is merely the bed he self-exhausts on.


8) You can learn writing, but you cannot teach it. A paradox but true despite that.

And what have I learned from my novels?

I learned how to approach language, words:

not with seriousness so much as an essayist does,

but with a kind of alert respect, as you approach dynamite;

even with joy, as you approach women: perhaps with the same secretly unscrupulous intentions.

Are you a writer? 


Then, what are you doing about it? Go, write. And remember:

Dreams have only one owner at a time. That's why dreamers are lonely.

And that's why a dream is not a very safe thing to be near...

I know; I had one once.

It's like a loaded pistol with a hair trigger: if it stays alive long enough,

somebody is going to be hurt. 

But if it's a good dream, it's worth it.
A little humor icing on this literary cake :

Thursday, May 28, 2015


There is a land not too far from where you sit right now.

Its velvet grasses miss the press of your feet.

The billowing clouds strain to see your body walk slowly up the rising hill.

The fragrant winds blow through the lonely tree branches, whispering your name as they seek some trace of you.

It is where the magic lives.

That realm is lonely, wondering where you have been.

And where have you and I been?

We have been caught up in the drudgery that writing has become. 

Burdened by life's duties and our own doubts, we have lost our way. 

We have lost the magic.

Did we lose it straining for that first perfect sentence in our new novel?

Looking at the blank, impatient computer monitor did we forget the simple wonder of just writing the first simple sentence that occurred to us?

That creative power which bubbles so tingly at the beginning of our book quiets down after a time. 

The journey becomes slower and slower, the inertia of doubt steadily dragging our steps.

Do we continue doggedly on or do we stop to refresh ourselves?

The answer to that question determines whether we find our way back to the magic or not.

How do we refresh ourselves?

How do we refresh ourselves on a long wilderness walk? We stop by a stream and drink.

Drink of those poets and writers who sparked that love of the written word spoken in the lonely heart of the reader.

As a hiker takes shade under the canopy of a huge oak, 

listen to the music of those artists who stirred you to imagine images that you just had to write and make live in your own way.

Then, you shall write as a child writes ... 

not thinking of a result but thinking in terms of discovery as if you were hiking once again where the magic lives.

It is the Zen of writing: 

the creation takes place between your fingers and the keyboard, not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting.

The magic is there waiting for you. It will come if you but get out of its way and let it in.

Speaking of which ...

Chrys Fey has me and my ghostly friends over at her blog, talking about writing:

It'll go live at 7:00 am Easter Standard time on the 29th. :)

See you there.  The ghost of Mark Twain says if you don't visit, he'll send the ghost of H P Lovecraft with a personal invitation!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


"How do they do that?" is a question heard over and over again in a crowded movie audience.

Stuntwork accounts for over half of all film-related injuries, with an average of five deaths for every 2,000 injuries. 

From 1980 to 1990 there were 37 deaths.

 Imgur user Father Uzzi put together a list of notable — and, in some cases, fatal — movie set accidents.

Now You See Me

Via: FatherUzzi 

While filming a water chamber escape scene in Now You See Me, Isla Fisher's shackles became entangled. 

Because the scene involved her banging on the glass and "struggling" no one realized she was actually stuck. 

Fisher was under water for nearly 3 minutes.

The Expendables 2

Via: FatherUzzi

An accident during an explosion scene on the set of Expendables 2 in Bulgaria killed one stuntman and critically injured another. 

The injured stuntman later sued Millennium Films, claiming the stunt was "recklessly staged."

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part I

Via: FatherUzzi

David Holmes worked as Daniel Radcliffe's stunt double on the first six Harry Potter movies. 

While shooting a flying scene in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part I, Holmes was thrown against a wall.. 

He fractured his neck and was paralyzed from the neck down.

The Dark Knight

Via: FatherUzzi

Conway Wickliffe, a cameraman for The Dark Knight, died during a test run for an action scene. 

The vehicle he was in crashed into a tree and he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

A few years later, a British jury cleared the film's special effects expert of health and safety breaches.

It has hardly been a smooth ride for the 24th Bond film, from the theft of cars to hackers stealing an early script to Daniel Craig injuring his knee - 

filming for the new Bond film Spectre has been hit by a string of disasters.

According to the Daily Mail, filming was put on hold when one of the crew members was hit at high speed by a racing car during a stunt.  

So?  Is your night at the movies worth a human life?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Dorothy Parker, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway 

(their ghosts rather

and I were playing poker at my table at Meilori's.

Dorothy Parker took a sip of her whiskey and smiled at me.

"If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style.

The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

"Bah!" snapped Hemingway.  "With the first of June and the start of this senseless BuNoWriMo, the lemmings are throwing together words just as fast as they can to create hovels of novels."

Mark lit a cigar and grinned, "Well, I certainly believe in using the right word not its second cousin.  Hemingway, did you mean to rhyme?  Weren't you a poet, too, Dorothy?"

Dorothy bent down, grabbed a rubber doll whose throat was torn from ear to ear, and tossed it to her poodle -- who faithful even beyond death -- lingered beside her mistress.

"Ha! My verses. I cannot say poems. Like everybody was then, I was following in the exquisite footsteps of Miss Millay, unhappily in my own horrible sneakers.

 My verses are no damn good. Let’s face it, honey, my verse is terribly dated—as anything once fashionable is dreadful now. 

I gave it up; it wasn’t getting any better, but nobody seemed to notice my magnificent gesture."

Fitz, as he liked me to call him, took a sip of his own champagne.  "Never confuse a single failure with a final defeat."

Hemingway gruffed, "We are all defeated in the end.  It is only the struggle that matters and why you struggle in the first place."

He glared at Ratatoskr who scampered from ghost to ghost, looking at their hands and whispering in my ear.  "He's telling you our cards, isn't he?"

I shook my head.  "He's merely teasing you and telling me terrible jokes."

"How terrible?" frowned Twain.

I sighed, "How many lives does a Nazi cat have?"

Mark frowned, "How many?"

"Nein," giggled Ratatoskr.

Dorothy groaned, "Ouch!"

She said to me, "It’s a popular supposition that there was much more communication between writers in the twenties. The Round Table discussions in the Algonquin, for example."

"Gertrude Stein did us the most harm when she said, 'You’re all a lost generation.' That got around to certain people and we all said, 'Whee! We’re lost.'

 Perhaps it suddenly brought to us the sense of change. 

Or irresponsibility. 

But don’t forget that, though the people in the twenties seemed like flops, they weren’t. Fitzgerald, over there and the rest of them, reckless as they were, drinkers as they were, they worked damn hard and all the time."

I asked, "Did the “lost generation” attitude you speak of have a detrimental effect on your own work?"

"Silly of me to blame it on dates, but so it happened to be. 

Dammit, it was the twenties and we had to be smarty. I wanted to be cute. That’s the terrible thing. I should have had more sense."

Fitz sighed, "At eighteen, our convictions are hills from which we look.  At forty-five, they are caves in which we hide."

Mark Twain nodded, "Each day is like a coin.  We can spend it any way we like.  But we can only spend it once."

Hemingway lit his own cigar and puffed out the smoky words.  

"The living think they have more days than they do.  They look out at a thousand lives.  At the end, they'll turn around and find only one --

and if they frittered away precious days investing in work that is inferior, that one life will be inferior."

Fitz looked into the shadows.  "All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath, knowing it will not last."

Ratatoskr looked up at me from the table top.  "What do you think of this Bruno WhyMe nonsense, Roland."

I smiled sadly.  "Some of my friends are for it.  Some of them are against it."

Dorothy asked, "And you?"

"I'm for my friends."

Ratatoskr groaned.

Monday, May 25, 2015


Sarah Foster and her muse Jordan created this fun blogfest for writers to talk about their muse. 
Well, how could I pass that up?

To do it the "Roland" way, I included a small writing lesson and incorporated the questions into a short flash fiction.  :-) 

The most memorable heroes or heroines you have ever met were archetypes.

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that these archetypes are the result of a collective unconscious.

This collective unconscious was not directly knowable and is a product of the shared experiences of our ancestors.

If we can tap into the collective unconscious with our heroine, 

then we will stir the hearts of our readers on the unconscious level, insuring that all important reader identification.

Fallen, my muse and the heroine in many of my fantasies is the archetype, "La Belle Dame sans Merci":

“... darkness yet in light, To live a life half dead, a living death, And buried; but O yet more miserable! My self, my Sepulcher.”

John Milton {“Samson Agonistes.”}


"Let me fall,

Let me climb,

There is a moment when fear

And dream must collide."


I am the last of my race. I am Tuatha de Danann. And, no, human, that does not mean elf, or fae, or damned. I take that last back. 

I am damned.

"Someone I am

Is waiting for courage,

The one I want,

The one I will become,

Will catch me."

I have no memories of my youth. Youth. The word is a mockery to me.

Though I look a young woman, I have lived centuries which I do remember. I remember when the sphinx had a nose,

when the pyramids were caressed by shimmering limestone,

and when courage and honor were not hollow words.

Yes, that long ago do I remember.

"Let me fall,

If I fall,

Though the phoenix

May or may not rise."

Then how do I even know I am Tuatha de Danann? The knowledge sings to me from the depths of my spirit in the night.

Its melody mocks with teasing glimpses of a time long gone, yet unborn.

"I will dance so freely,

Holding on to no one;

You can hold me only

If you, too, will fall

Away from all your

Useless fears and chains."

How do I know I am Sidhe? It is the face which mocks me from the mirror.

High cheekbones which seem intent on bursting up and out of flesh which shimmers as if coated with stardust.

A living waterfall of honey-wheat hair, looking more like a lion's mane than any other earthly term I could use.

Large, slanted fae eyes, chilling even me with their lack of warmth or mercy.

"So let me fall,

If I must fall,

There is no reason

To miss this one chance

This perfect moment;

Just let me fall."

But enough about me. What do you think about me? On second thought, do not tell me.

What care I what humans think of me? But I lie. I do care. At least about what one human thinks of me.

Roland Yeomans. DreamSinger. 

He is Lakota myth come to life. He is the shaman who sings dreams to life. And he will tell me my beginnings or die.

"So let me fall,

If I must fall,

I won't heed your warnings;

I won't hear them."

My mind is churning with images humans could not comprehend as I sway up the steps of the Art Nouveau house,

that is just one of the doorways into Roland’s psyche.

Just its name alone is punishment to think, much less speak: Jugendstilhaus in der Ainmillerstrabe.

Once it had been the home of the infamous Countess Franziska zu Reventlow,

her erotic lifestyle and cosmic nonsense had inspired and broken the hearts of an entire generation in Munich.

Now it has to settle for being the most elite restaurant in the city.

No knocking on the door. 

This restaurant is much too elite for that. Only a rare electronic key will work … a key based on the silicon ingrams of Roland’s own brain.

I have mine in my longer than human fingers. Roland had sung this establishment into being along with most of Munich back when he used the pen name, The Brothers Grimm.

I slide the key through the black slot whose color matches my short-skirted version of a S.S. uniform.

True, I am some seventy years out of date. But what is seventy years to a Tuatha de Danann?

A mere hiccup in time.

I remember Wagner trying to teach me German ... among other things. I go cold inside. 

I remember too much, feel too little.

I enjoy the glares of the pompous patrons as I roll my hips to the back table reserved for DreamSinger alone.

The maitre d' nearly breaks his neck getting to me, but I am already seated, making sure my short skirt is hiked up suitably indecent to induce doomed desire.

He stands trembling over me as I take out my copy of The Spirit as Adversary of the Soul by old Ludwig Klages from my skirt pocket.

I am almost through with his nonsense. Seeing how close he can come to the truth, while stumbling right past it always makes me chuckle.

The maitre d' isn't close to chuckling. "Fraulein, you simply cannot wear that uniform in here!"

"Sure I can. What is the matter? Afraid those power brokers to our right will find out your grandfather wore this uniform for real?"

He spins around so fast he leaves an after-image. Roland clears his throat across the table from me.

“He cannot help his past.”

I study this strange man. His eyes. By the White Lady, his eyes. 

They look as if they have seen all the pain in the world … and have felt most of it.

“I’m tired of this dancing, DreamSinger. Who am I?”

Roland looks truly surprised. “I thought you knew. You are my muse, La Belle Dame sans Merci .”

"Is that my name or my nature?"


I sit back in my chair. I had been right, after all. 

I am damned.


To read more adventures of Fallen, buy THE LAST FAE in Kindle or Audible:


We enjoy lovely videos of Memorial Day with graves draped in colorful American flags

as lovely music plays in the background.

We watch and listen to stirring Memorial Day parades, 

flags snapping in the breeze and bands playing stirringly as they march in unison.

People in our country's neighborhoods will be having the biggest and best barbecues, 

but the forgotten spirits of those slain upon a thousand distant foreign fields would take us to the cemeteries on Memorial Day.

Would they tell us that we could eat all the barbecue we want on the Fourth of July 

and to just murmur a small thanks over their graves today?

No one sets out to be a hero, and certainly no one wants to die a bloody, violent death.

But thousands upon thousands found themselves in terrible situations where they needed a hero, 

so that is what they became.

They died so that we would have a chance to live as best we could.

 We couldn’t enjoy sun-drenched summer days like today without their sacrifice.

Living in the world today is a challenge unlike one that has ever been seen in the past. 

But as thousands rose to the occasion when all seemed dark, we, too, can rise to tackle the obstacles facing us.

Yes, today is a day where we mourn the loss of precious lives and innocence.  

But today is also a day where we celebrate the victory of the human spirit over darkness ...

and this gives us hope.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


"The cost of a thing is the amount of life which is required to be exchanged for it."  
 - Henry David Thoreau

By Thoreau's definition, America is precious beyond words to describe.

But what did the precious lives of fathers, sons, and brothers really buy?


Last week’s settlement between the Justice Department and five giant banks reveals the appalling weakness 

not only of modern antitrust but of our democracy so many died to preserve. 

The banks had engaged in the biggest price-fixing conspiracy in modern history. 

Their self-described “cartel” used an exclusive electronic chat room and coded language 

to manipulate the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency exchange market that went on for years.

 But there will be no trial, no executive will go to jail, and the banks can continue to gamble in the same currency markets.

Giant corporations are taking over the economy – and they’re busily weakening antitrust enforcement. 

The result has been higher prices for the many, and higher profits for the few.

 Wall Street’s five largest banks now account for 44 percent of America’s banking assets – up from about 25 percent before the crash of 2008.

 But politicians don’t dare bust them up because Wall Street pays part of their campaign expenses. 


 Americans pay far more for their medications than any other country's citizens -- 

although Americans take fewer medications.

 A big reason is the power of pharmaceutical companies to keep their patents going way beyond the twenty years they’re supposed to run.

 Drug companies pay the makers of generic drugs to delay cheaper versions. 

Such “pay-for-delay” agreements are illegal in other advanced economies, but antitrust enforcement hasn’t laid a finger on them in America.

This costs you and me $3.5 billion a year!


 Decades ago health insurers wangled from Congress an exemption to the antitrust laws 

that allowed them to fix prices, allocate markets, and collude over the terms of coverage, 

on the assumption they’d be regulated by state insurance commissioners.

 But America’s giant insurers outgrew state regulation ... hence the health insurance nightmare we now face. 


Why does the United States have the highest broadband prices among advanced nations and the slowest speeds? 

Because more than 80% of Americans have no choice but to rely on their local cable company for high capacity wired data connections to the Internet.


 Have you wondered why your airline ticket prices have remained so high even though the cost of jet fuel has plummeted 40 percent

 Because U.S. airlines have consolidated into a handful of giant carriers that divide up routes and collude on fares.


 Why does food cost so much?

 Because the four largest food companies control  

82% of beef packing, 

85% of soybean processing,

63% of pork packing, and 

53% of chicken processing.


 Google’s search engine is so dominant “google” has become a verb. 

Three years ago the staff of the Federal Trade Commission recommended suing Google 

for “conduct that has resulted – and will result – in real harm to consumers and to innovation.” 

 The commissioners decided against the lawsuit, perhaps because Google is also the biggest lobbyist in Washington.

And what of the racial hatreds simmering beneath the surface of local police forces, 

the dumbing down of our culture, 

and a thousand other festering cancers within our society?

It’s getting ever more difficult to differentiate between the bad guys and the good guys in our government these days. 


Yes, of course.  

Corruption has always been with us and will always reign in the halls of power.

The hope is within each of us ... to be the change we wish to see in the world.  

We honor the sacrifice of our fallen soldiers by standing in the breech for those hurting we see.

We cannot save the world, but we can transform our little corner of it with daily acts of kindness and compassion.