So you can read my books

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Melanie Scrofano_ Heart of a Hero

Watch the Behind the Scenes video on YouTube 
to get a feel for Melanie's true heart:

You know her as the hard-living,
hard-drinking cursed heroine,
Wynonna Earp

But Melanie Scrofano is a hero in her own right.  

She was pregnant at the start of the filming of the second season.

 {Courtesy of Michelle Faye & Syfy}

Not to let her co-workers down, Melanie filmed pregnant for all TWELVE episodes, 

holding her own in the shooting --

some of which, being in Canada, 

was done often in exteriors at temperatures of 30 DEGREES BELOW ZERO!

She did many of her own stunts, 

taking ballet lessons (while pregnant!) to increase her stamina and flexibility.

Me, I stub my toe, and I moan so much that folks give me wedges of cheese to go with my whine!

In the climatic scene, 
which was the last scene of the season shot

(Where a friend betrays her 
as she is giving birth on a pool table)

Melanie was fully NINE MONTHS pregnant and feeling terribly unwell.

It is an incredible performance considering her pain, weakness, and nausea, 

but still she pulled tears from all those who watched behind the cameras

as she said good-bye to her new born daughter 

to save her from the Earp curse which killed one sister and tormented another.

It would have been an emotionally draining scene to do for any woman, 
but Melanie pulled it off.

And gave birth FOUR DAYS LATER.

Days ago, Melanie lost her beloved grandmother unexpectedly.

Melanie thought she would be there at her
and her new born's side for much longer.

Take a moment to send healing thoughts her way, and applaud her spirit,
will you?


Melanie just tweeted this:

Tomorrow we say goodbye to my muse. 
Ti voglio tanto bene Nonna. Non sono pronta.

"I love you so much, grandma.
I'm not ready"  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


On this day in 2005, Hurricane Katrina 
made landfall near New Orleans 
as a Category 4 hurricane.

It caused more than 1,300 deaths 
and caused more than $130 billion in damages.


But as Hurricane Harvey proves,
 tragedy is not found in numbers 
but in solitary lives.

The aftermath of tragedy lasts far longer 
than the duration
of the event itself.

Tragedy springs upon us in many forms.

How do we rise when they hit?

The lab results that shook you to the core.  

The harsh retort that cost you a relationship.  

The needed car repair that costs more than you have.

Life has a way of continually knocking you to the ground without warning.  

Sometimes you don't know if you have it within you to get up one more time.

You don't have to continually get up.  

You just have to get up one more time 
than they knock you down.

And that means adapting to the present, thinking outside of our usual responses to stress.

We have been brought low by the myth of HAPPILY EVER AFTER.  

There is no such thing.

Our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home. 

There is beauty, laughter, and friendship along our journey, 

but if we focus on the maybe happiness of a future with goal won, we will lose today ...

 We will have lost priceless treasures existing in our Now by the searching for Tomorrow's  fool's gold. 

The hidden thing about crossroads 

is that we never know we are at one until we have made our decision and are reaping the consequences.

Sometimes the way ahead is not clear.

Yet "Impossible" just gives birth to legends. 

* When I was abandoned at six on Skid Row in Detroit, 

* When my home burned to the ground with no insurance, 

* When the love of my life died in surgery, 

* When my whole city was forcibly evacuated from our homes --

 I hit bottom all those times.

Bottom gives us a place to stand, to rise, to reflect upon what is left ... 

to perhaps see a new path to old goals or hidden roads to new ones.

Wilde wrote that insanity was trying the same things repeatedly and expecting different results. 

We must take different steps to reach new destinations.

Each blow, each wound, each set-back has a lesson for us if we but stand back and reflect. 

Those things have shaped us and surviving them has made us stronger, wiser.

There is beauty, there is humor, there is hope ... 

perhaps those are the only lights in Man's dark world. 

In tragedy and in despair.

when an endless night seems to have fallen, 
hope can be found

in the realization that the companion of night 
is not darkness,

that the companion of night is day, 
that darkness always gives way to light,

and that death only rules half of creation, 
life the other half.

That is the great thing about life:

Though it is often cruel, it is also mysterious, 

filled with wonder and surprise; 

sometimes the surprises are so amazing that they qualify as miracles,  

and by witnessing those miracles, a shattered person can sometimes discover a reason to live.

Often I am scared down to the marrow of my bones, 

but I keep telling myself that as long as I have laughter, I am not without hope.

In my blog, I always try to find something to laugh about.  

May laughter be our companion today, leading us to a new goal or the realization of an old one.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


As you can see Lake Charles,

where I live and work as a rare blood courier is most certainly in harm's way.

Also I live on a street named LAKE for a reason! 


I work mostly solo during the weekend so it is going to be an ...

interesting weekend!

Lightning struck the center's power lines last night. 

Our power went down.  Our one generator gave up the ghost.

It was patched hastily together this morning.

Now, it is ailing. 

The power was restored for the moment.

One refrigerator is down along with one freezer.

Distant hospitals seem to order more STAT's when the weather is horrendous. 

So wish me luck.

For the foreseeable future, I will be radio silent.

Say a few prayers all right?

Monday, August 21, 2017


I worked 24 of the weekend's 48 hours, 
so I slept most of Monday!  

My schedule has been like that lately
and that is why
I am so seldom on the internet.


"In rushing like bulls in china shops,
 we break our own lives."
 - Mark Twain

Of course you balk at my post title,
since you are reading my blog, right?

But reading is on the decline.  

One in four (27%) of us have not read a book in the last year.

Nissa Annakindt has written a wonderful post on "The Mistakes Author-blogs Make"

If we as authors write posts primarily to other authors, 

we are in essence singing to the choir.

It is like kissing your sister, convenient but leads nowhere ... 

unless your sister was Angelina Jolie ...

but that is another disturbing story.  Brrr.

John Locke, snake oil salesman 
and book review buyer that he was

actually had a good idea:

We must write to intrigue and entice potential READERS of what we write.

Google Searchers with an intriguing title

 But you must follow the title with a post 

that amuses, entertains, and persuades the reader that your prose is worth gambling 99 cents on.

 On the internet, you can walk away with a click if someone fails to interest you. 

This happens all the time.


Say your piece and stand by it.  

Wafflers are like warm tap water.  

Be hot.  Be cold.  

But write words of steel not water vapor.

You think most Indie Authors are Brand Whores?  

Say it.  Stand by it. 
Endure the storm and stand tall.  

That is what great spirits do.


In the documentary, "Conan Can't Stop," 

Conan explains how he gets through situations that are hard. 

He says he acts "as if."  

As if he belongs there. 

As if he knows what he's doing.  

As if everything is going to be a success -- 

no matter what he does, no matter what anyone says, no matter how hard it gets.

Write your blog, live the author life that way ...

Write As If people are reading 

and by golly you are going to entertain the socks off them.

Hey, it might even work! 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

FICTION IS NOT REALITY_ Thankfully for those reading IT

Fiction is not reality. It is something slightly different, yet the same.

Like Mark Twain said, "Fiction has to make sense."


I.) Fiction reflects reality through a mirror darkly ...

A.) That mirror reflects society's face with all its ...

1.) Blemishes

2.) Scars

3.) Hopes

4.) Its dreams and the smiles despite the inner pain of most of the people you walk past on the streets.


II.) Fiction distills reality, revealing more truth than reality does in a shorter span of time.

A.) Fiction prunes out anything that doesn't propel the story and themes forward.

B.) Fiction is more intense and dense page by page than our lives are day by day.


III.) Fiction is a crucible ...

1.) holding our characters to the fire to purify and hone their spirits 

so that they are stronger, purer or broken or shattered at the novel's end.

2.) We are the blacksmiths, hammering our characters on the anvil of adversity. 

If our characters are having a good time, our readers grow bored.


IV.) As in reality, adversity introduces our characters to themselves and to the reader.

1.) Unlike reality, all dross events are sifted from the narrative.

2.) The best fiction reveals the characters of our players in what they do and why they do it.

3.) Shallow fiction makes prose puppets, 

forcing the characters to do things, not letting their actions flow from their inner natures.


V.) That is why everything in fiction serves multiple purposes. 

Like packing a solitary suitcase for a long trip, each item, each scene must serve multiple functions.

1.) Life is often haphazard, cluttered.

2.) Fiction must never be those things.

3.) Fiction ultimately relates seemingly unrelated items and scenes.


a.) Parents give a gun to a young boy for his birthday instead of the bike he wanted.

b.) How does that relate to anything?

c.) It was the same gun that his older sister used to commit suicide.

d.) Based on a true incident from M. Scott Peck's PEOPLE OF THE LIE.


VI.) Like a skillful mother, 

an author should be doing 2 things at all times in the same scene or action.

A.) As in the prior example:

1.) The gun wasn't just an inappropriate gift to a young boy.

2.) It was a silent message: 

We want you to kill yourself, too.


B.) Likewise each scene should propel the story forward, upping the tension and suspense at the same time:

1.) As with the above example:

2.) Boy now knows his parents want him dead.

3.) What does he do with that knowledge? 

What can he do? He is just a young boy at the mercy of insane parents.

VII.) Each incident should ...

1.) Set the scene in the context of the character's thoughts.

2.) Reveal the hero's character by what he or she makes of the situation and what she does with it.

3.) Moves the story along with suspense and tension.


VIII.) A spear has no branches.

1.) Streamline your prose to chisel the story in crisp detail and image.

2.) Chunky paragraphs sink your prose into the sea of boredom.

3.) Don't tell the reader your character is this or that.

4.) Show your character in action, revealing his or her thoughts about the situation.

5.) When you have the reader make up his own mind about the character of your hero and villain, 

your story will become more "real" to your reader, making it take on a living existence for him or her.


IX.) As a woman is the echo of the girl she once was, 

by the end of the novel, your main character should 

be the result of his past decisions, realizations (true or false), and his actions.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


"Maybe the wolf is in love with the moon.
And each month, he howls for the love
he will never be able to touch."
-Samuel McCord

In the past two days, I have worked 24 hours ...

It was no fun at all driving exhausted at night through the pouring rain in a strange city looking for a new hospital!

And as you might expect, there has been precious LITTLE time for me to write on my latest dream.


“That's what happens to dreams, life gets in the way.”    ― Jodi Picoult, Handle With Care

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

As a young man, Arnold decided to get up 30 minutes earlier than he wanted and to study for an entire year a subject he wanted to know better.

I decided to do that as well.  It works for me even in this harsh, time-draining job of mine.  I get up 15 minutes early and stay up 15 minutes later to get in a little writing.

Sometimes life insists on her way, and I let her ... for a day or two.  But then, I fall back into the pattern again.

A young man was told by his physician that because of his neuro-muscular disease, he would only be 70% all his days.  

He grew depressed.  He sat channel surfing and came upon Arnold in PREDATOR.

He thought to himself:
"70% of Arnold?  Why not?"
And so began his long, grueling days of physical training. 

 He now looks like a lean tiger and moves more graceful than before the diagnosis.

There is a path if we but look for it.

We bloggers are better writers for we know we are not alone.

 All of this is too general?

How can we write when there is so much pressing in on us?

1. Pinpoint Underlying Issues.


If you've always wanted to write and aren't doing it, invest some thought in figuring out the source of your writer's block. 

Is it a fear of failure, a longstanding tendency to procrastinate, or something as simple as a lack of writing space?
Find the flaw -- then, map out a plan to deal with it.


2. Just Say "No."


Time is limited, and for most people, the demands on their time are unlimited. 
Once you've determined what you want to say yes to, the ability to say no becomes an important muscle to build.

While your writing time should not be the most important thing in your life, 

it should give way only for the more important things in your life.

3. Schedule Time to Write.


It's not glamorous or exciting to adhere to a schedule, but it really does help. 

If you work full-time, it may actually be easier to establish a regular time each day in which to write.

Get up early and write before you leave the house, 

take a notepad with you to lunch, or stop off at a coffee shop on your way home.

 4. Resist the Impulse to Overdo It.

If you're the kind of person who tends to throw yourself into a new project only to burn out after a week or two,

consider giving yourself stop times for writing.


5. Know That It Won't Always Be Easy.

You may be more tired at the end of the day.

Some social obligations might get pushed aside.

Your family might have to pitch in.

Decide what you're willing to sacrifice for a few hours a week dedicated to writing.

Most of us have obligations we can't avoid, but if you're determined, you can manage both.

At the same time, 
be content with whatever you can realistically give to your writing. 
Even an hour a day adds up over time.

What do you do when life presses in on you?
How do you cope with
lack of time's
strangle-hold on your

Thursday, August 10, 2017


 Only $1.99 Kindle or
$7.49 Audio

I am a student of history, and in my historical fantasies, 

I like to hurl my heroes against those in power who abused it.


I have Victor Standish and Sergeant Samuel McCord clash with President Jackson in  1834 New Orleans.

Was Jackson a villain?

Andrew Jackson was a wealthy slave owner and infamous Indian killer, 

gaining the nickname ‘Sharp Knife’ from the Cherokee.

 President Thomas Jefferson appointed him to appropriate Creek and Cherokee lands. 

In his brutal military campaigns against Indians, 

Andrew Jackson recommended that troops systematically kill Indian women and children 

after massacres in order to complete the extermination. 

The Creeks lost 23 million acres of land in southern Georgia and central Alabama, 

paving the way for cotton plantation slavery. 

His frontier warfare and subsequent ‘negotiations’ 

opened up much of the southeast U.S. to settler colonialism.

 As a major general in 1818, Andrew Jackson invaded Spanish Florida chasing fugitive slaves 

who had escaped with the intent of returning them to their “owners,” 

and sparked the First Seminole War. 

 As president, Jackson's war with the banks sparked the financial panic of 1837.

I could go on, but there is a reason he is being taken off the $20 bill. 

 His ghost is probably happy since he hated paper money! 

In keeping with Jackson tradition, 

I have him duel with Victor Standish on horseback with sabers!

Also keeping with tradition, I have Jackson cheat.