So you can read my books

Tuesday, May 30, 2023



I have been struggling with the last novel in my DARK HOLLYWOOD series for nearly a year now.

I decided to try Mark Twain's remedy and start writing an entirely new novel.

It worked.

Set in early WWII New Orleans, my story can tap into already researched material.

Think of it as FRINGE meets BAND OF BROTHERS.

In two days, I have written over 3000 words.

Sister Ameal slapped me aside the head and tugged me into the library with a jerk of iron fingers around my left arm. The slap had been a hard one, too. Sister Ameal was not a soft anything. Of course, Miss Mayfair saw the whole thing. I sighed. I did not have bad luck, mind you, just strange luck. It still sucked lemons.

It did make Miss Mayfair smile though, so it was not a complete loss. Her smiles were something to see. I never saw eyes so green or hair such a color … strawberry blonde I believe they called it.

Yes, I was smitten. She was not that much older than I was. Dreams, fragile things though they are, were all you had to get you through a place like St. Marok’s. There are so many fragile things when you think about it. People break so easily, and so do dreams … and hearts.

We wrap our dreams carefully deep inside us so that when they are crushed no one sees the bleeding but ourselves. And our hearts? They are the lonely graveyards for all the dreams that could have been … but weren’t. Perhaps that is why Sister Ameal seldom smiles. The weight of memory keeps the corners of her lips down.

What of me?

Once I overheard Headmaster Stearns speak of me to the last librarian:

“If you were to try and pick him out of a group of boys, you’d be wrong. He’d be the other one. Over at the side. The one your eye slipped over.”

That was all right. To be noticed at St. Marok’s was to die … not young … you aged quickly at this place ,,, but to die before you could get the hell out of here.

I don’t know why I bother telling you any of this. No one gets the emotional jolt from hearing your life story as you did living it. They hear the details, not all of course, for nothing bores a person so much as hearing the dregs of another’s hurts.

People don’t get how the death of one dream, the stinging betrayal of one hope, can color, not just one day, but a whole life. Unless it is their dream, their hope, their life.

But let me get back to Miss Mayfair’s smile. It is worth getting back to, and its memory warmed many a bleak day for me.

She smiled wider. “So, this is the young man to whom I owe my rescue?”

I shook my head. “I just pointed out that Mr. Stearns lied about you not being here, ma’am. It was your father and a few of his men that did all the heavy lifting.”

Her face flinched as if this might have been one of the first times she’d been called “ma’am.” I felt much the same way some time later when I had been called “sir.” Of course, I had been posing as someone much older. But I am getting ahead of myself. That happens a lot when you travel through time.

Some claim that I was a madman, and some think that I was just a man with very special powers. But they all miss the point. Whatever I was … and am, I changed the world … or Sentient did through me.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dark caverns of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was but fluff. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

I am a dangerous man … and Sentient even more so for not being a man.

Miss Mayfair obviously saw none of that as her smile warmed. “How old are you, Mr. Blaine?”

She quickly held up a long-fingered hand. “No, don’t tell me. It does not matter, for I hear Stearns held you back in school two years running for some imagined slight or other.”

I myself felt the slights were not so imagined. I could have a sharp tongue. I never lost sleep over that fact.

Her fingers became a contemplative nest for her chin. “Stearns, even Sister Ameal, say they can never recall your face once you leave them.”

She shook her head. “I do not see how that is possible. Your hair seems all colors, a grove of trees in autumn, deep brown, and wine-red.”

Miss Mayfair chucked softly, ”An untrimmed tangle across the top of your head. Your cheeks pale without being anemic. Full lips eternally in an amused smile at some jest only you hear. You look like a friend; like someone you have known all your life.”

Sister Ameal looked as uncomfortable as I felt. I was reconsidering applying for this job. Then, I reminded myself that often we don’t see things as they are, but as we are … or what our needs are.

Life is all illusion.

We simply do not have enough facts to understand life. Not really. The word “illusion” comes from the Latin “illude,” which means to mock or to deceive.

There is an optical illusion about every person we meet. There is no ‘us’ and ‘them.’ It’s an illusion. We are all human beings.

Well, except for Sentient.

I had made it this far at St. Marok’s through luck and pluck. I was running about a quart low on pluck. And Luck was merely another illusion, trusted by the ignorant and chased by the foolish. I tried to be neither one.

It was as good a fool’s errand as any other.


What do you think of it so far?

And Yay! I sold another audio book.

Monday, May 29, 2023



Call me the Turquoise Woman

My names have been so many over the eons. 

 Even I have forgotten some of them by which fearful two-leggeds spoke of me.

Poor two-leggeds 

You think you know so much, but so much of what you know is sadly not true at all.

And Reality has no mercy on those who walk unwise paths.

You can only know what you have experienced.
And what you have experienced
 is so little
and so little of that is seen 
for that which it truly is.

You often see only that which you expect to see and are blind to that which is outside your framework of thought.

I look out from my consciousness surrounding this planet that is my body,

and my horizon spans the swimming bodies of my sisters who wheel in their sweeping dance of gravity about Father Sun.

And You?

Your minds are much like unfinished songs.

And nothing makes you so aware of the fragility of life as songs unfinished.


We are all songs unfinished.

We start with names ... 

but what illusions are names.  

You look about you and think you see me, but you do not even see yourselves.

You perceive yourselves as myths you breathe into being 

within your minds to mask the truth you are loathe to stare upon too closely.

The Lakota called me the Turquoise Woman.  

The Greeks called me Gaia.  

The Ancient Egyptians called me Hathor.

I call all of you temporary.  Some I call cherished.  

Many of you are merely a rash that itches all across my surface.

Bemused, I watch you scurry over my skin, bemoaning you are bringing an end to me.  

I would laugh were it not so tragic.

You are merely bringing an end of life to yourselves.


A firefly's flicker in the night,

the breath of a buffalo in winter,

a cloud shadow that races across the green grass to lose itself in the blood-red of the sunset. 

Do not try to understand me.

I look, not only down upon you,

but out across the vast glittering sea of eternal night.

The colors of my thoughts are the Northern Lights

and the reach of them is from horizon to horizon and unto the vastness of the stars.

The electro-magnetic field of my body gave birth to my consciousness

long before there were human hands to chisel stone into mute, blind idols

or to brush your world in blood on cave walls.
Your only true contribution to me was your language.

Before you crafted words into being, my consciousness was unfocused.

I listened with wonder as you spoke to one another,

slowly piecing the concept of language together in my thoughts.

Through the prism of your languages, my awareness crystalized.

I became aware.

Now, I know a haunted melancholy. 

Like a windmill's blades, my thoughts dip into my memories.

In misty after-images, 

I see your fleeting lives walking prayer-soft across my green fields only to fade into the inflamed oblivion of the sunset. 

No, rather try understanding yourselves and the boiling storms within you.

If you come close to self-awareness, you will better understand those about you ...

who are stumbling in the darkness of their own refusal to see life in all its facets.


Your narrative identity is the story of your life; but it is more than just a story. 

How you understand your narrative frames both your current actions and your future.


This enables you to focus on the important things in your life, not just the immediate.


All two-leggeds have traits that others see, but you are unable to see in yourselves. 

I call these "blind spots."

 Do you see yourself as others see you? 

If not, you can address these blind spots by receiving honest feedback from people you trust.


It will help you to forgive others. 


Live well. 
Soon I will miss you.

If you want to see more of the 

listen to THE LAST SHAMAN:
Only $6.08!

OR Listen to 

GHOST IN THE NIGHT_A Memorial Day reflection


It was that moment between waking and dream. I was sitting on my apartment terrace. The night spoke to me in its velvet silence.

Owl happily was not speaking my name. He perched on the cypress branch opposite me, studying me as I was admiring him.

Brother raccoon scurried into the bushes below, carrying some prize in his front right paw.

My ghost cat, Gypsy, twitched her tail on the window sill, the mysteries of ages whispering in her half-closed, green eyes.

My own eyes were heavy. Too many miles driven. Too few hours slept.

I put the period to the last sentence of my blog post about Marlene Dietrich with the troops in the front lines during WWII :


One afternoon after VE Day, she was walking through a little French village. All around her was rubble, and she couldn't understand why -- all the buildings along the street were still standing with curtains blowing frilly and snapping clean-crisp in their windows.

Then, she looked through one of the windows to see that there was nothing behind it. The fronts of the buildings were still standing, but everything behind them had been destroyed. There wasn't a single living person past the false fronts of those caricature buildings.

Only one lone doll lay forlorn in the rubbled middle of nothing.

With her face cupped in trembling hands, she stood in front of that window, weeping silently, refusing to be comforted ...

"... for there is no comfort for the dead," she whispered.

Beside me a husky voice intoned, "Keine Komfort für die Toten."

I went cold and still, sliding my eyes as far to the right as they could go without moving my head. My mouth became salt.

Marlene Dietrich.

In a frilly black night wrap and not much else.

She was perched over the top of a wavering, insubstantial leather chair like a cougar ready to strike.

"You write so beautifully of me. Why?"

"Y-You were brave, selfless -- entertaining the troops on the front lines with a death sentence from Hitler on your head."

I cleared my fear-thick throat. "People have forgotten that."

She reached out and stroked my cheek with chill fingers.

"It is not important for the world to remember me -- only that I did not forget myself when I was needed."

"And words like that are why I write of you."

Marlene fluffed my hair with ghost fingers. It tickled.

"Do you know what they call you in the ShadowLands, liebling?"


"Sänger von Träumen -- DreamSinger."

"I - I don't understand."

Her ice blue eyes hollowed. "One day you will."

In ghost whispers, she murmured, "Death and love."


"I thought I knew them, liebchen. I was so sure. I died. Then, I saw life with new eyes."

She leaned forward, her eyes suddenly sparkling. "See you in your dreams, liebling."

And like a cloud robbing me of sunlight, Marlene was gone. I was alone. Well, not quite.

Gypsy, my ghost cat, was in my lap, yawning. It takes a lot to shake up the granddaughter of Bast.


I meet her ghost again in GHOST OF A CHANCE:

Amazon forces me to increase the price
for this and other of my books
come June 20th.

Sunday, May 28, 2023


Czech airman Robert Bozdech found himself shot down with his wounded pilot in a grim no-man's land, 

between German and French forces at the beginning of World War II. 

It is January 1940 and the German army is shortly to begin its surge across the rest of continental Europe.

 In an abandoned farmhouse where Robert and his French pilot take shelter, 

he finds a starving puppy amid the rubble. 

Not weaned yet, the emaciated dog is able to suckle warmed-up chocolate from Robert's finger.

But a puppy left behind would make noise that would alert their Nazi hunters. 

Robert takes out his knife and lowers it to the puppy's throat. 

He looks into trusting brown eyes.  

He puts the knife away and the puppy inside his bomber jacket.

Along with the pilot, he and the puppy make the terrifying and arduous journey to safety.  

But that is just it: 

there is no safety with the Nazis butchering their way across all of France.

So Robert & the puppy, along with six other Czech airmen, 

eventually escape to Britain to serve in the Royal Air Force, 

along the way facing not only a saga of obstacles and dangers 

but the added challenge of smuggling along a dog Robert names Ant ... 

later changing it to Antis for a reason I leave for you to find out.

 Long before Robert and his mates are welcomed into the RAF, Antis wins Robert's heart. 

His loyaltycourage, and intelligence, even as a puppy, 

create a bond of love, one that survives some of the most challenging circumstances.

 Antis was awarded the Dickin Medal, 
the animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross

Before France capitulates, Robert returns to fly with the French Air Force 

in a last-ditch effort to slow the advance of the Germans, joined by Antis. 

(Later Antis would fly with Robert in the RAF.)

"It seemed almost the most natural thing ... for Ant to leap onto the wing of the aircraft and climb in beside him ... 

The perils of the mission didn't seem to worry him ... His ears pricked up a little as the punching percussions of machine-gun fire filled the gun turret,

his nose twitched at the thick cordite fumes that drifted all around him, 

but other than that he didn't ... stir from his laid-back position prone on the metal floor."

 During the course of the war, Antis saves lives by hearing, and warning his master of, 

the approach of German bombers long before they could be detected by air defense. 

And after one horrific attack

he becomes a rescuer, sniffing out survivors in the rubble of a building.  

Even being buried by a falling wall could not stop the bleeding, crawling Antis 

from digging out his last rescue: 

a young girl who would have died but for Antis.

You will laugh, sigh, cry, and ultimately cheer this warm loving story torn from the bloody history of WWII.

You will be cheered by the ingenuity and never-say-die spirit 
of both man and dog.  

I am currently listening to the audio version of this wonderful book.

To give equal time to kittens:

Saturday, May 27, 2023



We enjoy stirring 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 

might 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 

if we just murmured 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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

QUESTIONS to ask if you wish a better life


“We hear only those questions 
for which we are in 
a position to find answers.” 
— Friedrich Nietszche

If we don’t make time to examine our motives, it may catch up to us. 
Many people are dictated by their unconscious desires instead of making conscious choices. 
 “Question everything. 
Learn something. 
Answer nothing.”
 — Euripedes


The Past is written. The Present is the sum of your earlier choices.  The Future is uncertain.

Who you decide to be should be an informed decision not a consequence of following the path of least resistance.


“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”
 — Joseph Campbell

See the past as a series of events that shaped your life, 

because every experience brings the gift of learning and growth. 

If you disapprove of yourself you cannot possibly like other people 

since every interaction stems from your relationship with yourself.


“In all my affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark 

on the things I have long taken for granted.” 
— Bertrand Russell

This is an important question 

because until you clarify what you value most, you will spend your life wandering aimlessly. 

Sadly, many people may never discover what is important to them 

because they are distracted by the swirl of events around them.

To You, 




We tumble from womb to tomb ...

    from one blackness towards another,

        remembering little of the one and 

            knowing nothing of the other,

              except through faith.

Life distracts us, with happiness or struggle, 

    from seeing the tides that are drawing us towards 

        those clusters of events called 


More tragically 
for our being blind 
to them.

The star, the wheel, the butterfly ...

    all are in an unseen state of turmoil,

        waiting for some signal that 
               the time has come.

Then, the star explodes,

The wheel of Fate turns, 
making a poor man rich,

The butterfly mates and dies.

STORY can say all that is unsayable in the world ...

    How can we resist attempting that?

Life has a way of bruising us 

    until we long for some passage out of ourselves.

That's what STORY does ...

    for a few precious moments

        it takes us out of ourselves

            to become someone other than who we are.

Each of us is a myth within our minds.

    We make it up. 

    It is the STORY of ourselves 
         we steer our actions by.

        It is not the truth of our life.  

           We could not bear to look at that.

It is the illusion which helps us 
keep on going in life.

Man alone

    tells STORIES to understand his world.

I believe that there is one STORY 

in the all world, and only one,

 that has frightened and inspired us.

 Humans are caught,
in their lives, in their thoughts, 
in their hungers and ambitions,
 in their avarice and cruelty, 
in their kindness and generosity
 in a net of good and evil. 

 Do they struggle towards the light 
or embrace the darkness?

There is no other STORY.

 A soul, 
having emerged 
from the cocoon of this life, 
will have left 
only the hard, clean questions: 

Did I make my time good or evil? 

Was my life worth
the pain of my birth?