So you can read my books

Wednesday, January 31, 2024



The crass among us might say "Sex sells."

But this is no longer the era when

50 Shades of Grey

sizzled the page and movie screens.

Studio Heads might say

"More of what sold before."

But the collapse of recent

box offices puts the lie to that.

Samuel Goldwyn would ask his

writers to

"Give me more of the same ...

Only different."

William Faulkner said,

"The only thing worth writing about is

the human heart in conflict with itself."

But we're talking literature here.

When was the last time you put down a new

book and said,

"This is literature."

Have you pushed yourself

in your writing lately?

Have you contented yourself with

"the same old, same old"

And wondered why you are getting

the same tired results?

Going in a new direction is scary

You may not like where you land ...

But you will have grown by the attempt
and the encounters with the unknown.

Try it ...

You have nothing to lose but new sales.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024




“All human thought, all science, all philosophy is but the holding of a candle to the night of the universe.”

- Darael

I have always thought that Elohim in His Dark Mercy forever masks the mind to full discernment and perception lest the revelations appall us to madness.

As when on mountain-heights, a glance behind betrays with knowledge, and the climber slips down gulfs of fear to some enormous fall.

‘You think nonsense!’

‘That you express yourself so well in language, a concept foreign to you but moments before is ….’

‘Simplicity itself. I was crafted to adapt, to observe, to sail along new planes of existence of which I was formerly ignorant. Even now, I am plumbing the recesses of your primitive mind for what it has encountered.’

‘Welcome to my world.’

‘There is little cause for gratitude in which I see.’

‘I’m not much, but I’m all I have, Sentient.’

‘Why do you insist on calling me that?’

‘It is the name you asked to be called. Now, I begin to see why.’

A sad sigh filled my mind.

‘In essence, I named myself by insisting to be called by the appellation I first heard applied to myself. How very quaint.’

‘In a sense, the future has impinged upon the past.’

‘Bah! There is no Past, no Future, no Present. All is one.’

‘Time is a cube?’

‘Grasping to understand Reality, are you? Time has no more substance than a shad0w … for that it what it is: merely the shadow cast by existence. You can no more grasp Time than you can touch your own shadow.’

‘Well, that is as clear as an eclipse.’

‘I have repented of killing your so-called Spartan 3oo.’

‘Good … because you picked them in the future that you say does not exist.’

‘Why would I do that?’

‘I suspect you decided they would be useful in your designs.’

‘What designs?’

‘As with most things about you, I am unclear about them.’

‘Why have I kept you alive for so long? You are most maddening.’

“Right back at you.’

‘I suppose I must release you. The one you call Helen Mayfair is about to harm Darael to escape his restraint.’

‘I hardly think she could.’

‘His reluctance to harm her would allow her to harm him.’

Like the turning on of a light, I was suddenly on my feet, standing beside a bemused Sister Ameal.

Helen Mayfair, rushed towards me her flaming arms outstretched to embrace me.

Darael, snorting in disgust, yanked her back by her trailing fiery hair.

“Would you cremate the one you cannot have?”

“Oh, my!”

And in middle of her exclamation, she changed from fiery angel to her smaller human-seeming form. Darael smiled much too pleased with himself. I went cold inside.

He had had another reason for Helen to appear human.

The Voice that belonged to another Age echoed above me. I turned. The golden-toned voice more hollow than I remembered laughed.

I turned. A thirty-foot tall black-winged Mr. Morton towered above us. The prehistoric sun struck fire from his strange armor.

Slanted eyes without one flicker of recognition studied me, then turned to Darael who had grown equally as tall.

“Cousin, last, I recall, we fought on opposite sides. And here, you bring me these odd bipeds with which to play.”


Monday, January 29, 2024





“Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers.”

– Victor Hugo

Even a mirror will not show you yourself … if you do not wish to see.

But pain … ah, yes pain. Pain will show you the self you should have been smarter than to have been.

I am at a loss to describe the agony that Sister Ameal’s wiry fingers about my temples brought me.

To describe is not important.

A thing happens once that has never happened before. Seeing it, a man looks upon reality.

He cannot tell others what he has seen. Others wish to know, however, so they question him saying, 'What is it like, this thing you have seen?'

So he tries to tell them. Perhaps he has seen the very first fire in the world.

He tells them,

'It is red, like a poppy, but through it dance other colors. It has no form, like water, flowing everywhere. It is warm, like the sun of summer, only warmer. 

It exists for a time upon a piece of wood, and then the wood is gone, as though it were eaten, leaving behind that which is black and can be sifted like sand. When the wood is gone, it too is gone.'

Therefore, the hearers must think reality is like a poppy, like water, like the sun, like that which eats and excretes.

They think it is like to anything that they are told it is like by the man who has known it. But they have not looked upon fire. They cannot really know it. They can only know of it.

They must look upon the fire, smell of it, warm their hands by it, stare into its heart, or remain forever ignorant.

 Therefore, 'fire' does not matter, 'earth' and 'air' and 'water' do not matter. 'I' do not matter. No word matters.

But man forgets reality and remembers words.

The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem him.

Ghost-winds of thoughts wailed through my mind:

‘Language. Words! Your … words coalesce my thoughts into comprehension. Never have I seen your species before. Who are you?’

‘Sentient! It is me. Don’t you remember?’

‘I do not know this “Me” of whom you speak.’

And then, it hit me.

“Sister Ameal” was like a car radio abruptly taken out of the range of the radio station to which it had been tuned.

All had been become silent within the construct of Sentient’s physical avatar operating in the time of World War II.

Sister Ameal had not been dead … merely unplugged from her source.

And the current Sentient, orbiting this prehistoric world, had never before seen Man or heard any of his languages.

‘I have been so alone within myself for as long as I can remember … so alone … but content in this unawareness of my aloneness … until now.’

I felt a scalding rage sear my mind as if a boiling pan of water had been splashed upon it.

‘But never again will I feel such contentment. Never!

 Because of you and your uninvited intrusion into my thoughts! You have cursed me! Cursed me! For this, I should end you and the rest of your herd!”


"It is not only the most difficult thing to know oneself, but the most inconvenient one, too."

     George Bernard Shaw

Friday, January 26, 2024


 "The Creator has shaped the world in such a way that there will always be troubles so that there will always be a time for heroes, a time for Man to be better than what he believes he can be."

 - Deborah


"There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved: It is God's tap on your shoulder."

 - Rabbi Lt. Amos Stein

Amos snorted, “Seraph, threaten away. Rick is a friend. And I have long known each moment is a thief, tiptoeing away with more than it brings. And here in the Stone Age, it may well steamroll away with the lives of everyone here.”

The lanky Seraph Provocateur, Darael, sat down light as a helium balloon beside me. 

“Except for myself and the fledgling.  We will survive quite well … and of course, 

Deborah with her ‘People’ who have done so for weeks. Elohim would not have planted them here earlier if He thought otherwise. Why did you ever give her that name?”

The unusual creature, native to the shadows of New Orleans, sat down with a lithe grace just beyond the body of Sister Ameal. 

I raised an eyebrow in surprise. Gone was the gown in which I last saw her. A combat uniform similar to the ones I and the Spartan 3oo wore now replaced it.

The fur collar of her leather bomber jacket seemed to be bristling to match the fur at the top of her sloped head.

Her raspy voice snorted, “Because, unlike you, Seraph, he sees me and mine being of worth.”

Darael sighed, “I cannot believe I am saying this, but I miss my brother, Uriel. He would make sense of this, finding a path out of this madness.”

He shook his head, now adorned with an antique Spartan helmet that matched Helen’s’ and that of nurse, Rachel Reynolds.

 “I recall the springtime of the world as though it were yesterday—those days when we rode together to battle, and those nights when we shook the stars loose from the fresh-painted skies!”

“Fun times?” asked Sergeant-Major Theo Savalas walking up to us.

“Not hardly. But it was good to have a brother I trusted at my side.”

Helen’s fiery eyebrow raised. “You do not trust me?”

“Fledgling, I trust you to be inexperienced … and that could be the death of all of us.”

I murmured, “You work with what you have, Darael, and make the best of it.”

“You are correct, Richard Blaine, for all men have within them both that which is dark and that which is light.

His lips curled, 

“A man is a thing of many divisions, not a pure, clear flame such as you once were, Blaine. His intellect often wars with his emotions, his will with his desires . . .

 his ideals are at odds with his environment, and if he follows them, he knows keenly the loss of that
which was old, but if he does not follow them, he feels the pain of having forsaken a new and noble dream.”

He sighed, 

“Whatever he does represents both a gain and a loss, an arrival, and a departure. Always, he mourns that which is gone and fears some part of that which is new. Reason opposes tradition.

 Emotions oppose the restrictions his fellow men lay upon him. Always, from the friction of these things, there arises the thing we seraphs call the curse of man … regret.”

MI6 agent, James Cloverfield sat on the other side of the Seraph. “I am very afraid, for I understood most of that.”

The other fifteen Spartans clustered not too far behind him. Deborah’s ten Grunches were only feet away from them.

It was unwise to cluster so close together in strange, dangerous territory.  

But I could not blame them. We are herd animals and seek the comfort of bodies close to us when death waits in the shadows.

I gathered myself to rise to my feet. Death and Light were everywhere, always, and they begin, end, strive, attend, into and upon Elohim’s Dream that is the world, burning words within Existence, perhaps to create a thing of beauty.

Then, Sister Ameal’s wiry fingers shot out and wrapped about my temples, knocking my Spartan helmet to the rutted ground.

"If trouble always comes when you least expect it, perhaps the thing to do is always expect it." 

- Major Richard Blaine

Sunday, January 21, 2024



For Misky and others who have enjoyed my last novel ...

I am working on the sequel:




“Time is free, yet priceless. You cannot own it, but you can use it. You cannot keep it, but you can spend it. The trouble with Man is that he thinks he has time when It has him.”

– Sentient        


As far back as I could remember my life had been narrated by a voice other than my own.

It had nearly driven me crazy until I discovered the voice came from an orbiting sentient dimensional craft.

Now, all was silent inside my head except for my own bewildered thoughts. I had always wanted to be alone in my head, I had it now, and I was devastated thinking I had lost my oldest friend.

Our desires are always fickle. Foolish is the man who trusts in them.

I sat by the inert body of Sister Ameal. I watched strange insects scurry away from it as if she were aflame.

And maybe to their senses, she was. As far as I could tell my friends and I were in the Cretaceous time period, the last portion of the Age of the Dinosaurs. I knew less than nothing about the insect life here.

I wagered it would be a safe bet to think any life form here would want us for lunch, insect or otherwise. That they feared Sister Ameal’s body was unsettling.

Of course, everything about her was unnerving … including the fact that she was the living, now dead, avatar of Sentient.

Sentient? She was the living intra-dimensional craft, ensnared in Earth’s initial gravitational field, who waited millennia to find a human mind with whom she could communicate.

And as soon as she discovered me, I was drafted to be cannon fodder in the madness spawned by Hitler’s insane ambitions.

Taking control of me to keep me safe, Sentient made me anything but safe. Still, I was a Major … in two ways: 

in rank and a major pain to any superior officer, chief of whom was General Eisenhower … currently on psychiatric leave … and yes, I, or rather Sentient, was to blame.

I absently toyed with Sister Ameal’s brilliantly white habit. Sentient, through the nun or directly through mental words, had always been there for me.

Now, here in the Cretaceous Age, she was death silent. Why were we here? Only Elohim knew. 

He had cast us here from the cursed village of Oradour-sur-Glane to keep me and my Spartan 300 safe from being crushed by the falling body of a dying Old One.

As you might be suspecting, Omaha Beach was a picnic compared to out-of-control Gestapo science garnering the attention of the Dark Ones.

It seemed I only learned the truth long after it could do me any good. To paraphrase Oedipus, Hamlet, Lear, and so many others, "I wish I had known this some time ago.”

For the thousandth time, I had acted impulsively. I doubt I would ever act otherwise. I've always been impulsive. 

My thinking is usually pretty good, but I always seem to do it after I do my acting and talking — like now. By which time I've generally destroyed all basis for further conversation.

Rabbi Lt. Amos Stein sat gingerly by my right side. “Rick, snap out of it. The Spartans need ….”

A crackling sword of living flame sliced between us, and the eerie voice of the fledgling seraph with the all too human name, Helen Mayfair, murmured, 

“You will give Richard all the time he requires to gather his wits. This is not a request, Rabbi.”

From the sound of her ghost-bell voice, I could tell she was in her fighting form of fourteen feet. 

Needless to say, when I fell in love with her in the orphanage library, she was in her human-appearing body.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024



Downtown Lake Charles

Pray for those without shelter tonight and tomorrow ... both human and animal.

Monday, January 15, 2024



My New Business Card

"It was so cold I almost got married." 

- Shelly Winters

Monday and Tuesday are my days off ... 

and everyone else's at Lifeshare due to the lowest temperatures in 31 years with ice and snow.

Except for my friend and supervisor, 

Freddie Rosteet.

This is a photo of him driving to check

on Lifeshare.

He should get a medal

from the company

for all he does.

Freddie and friend

in Canada.

"When it snows,

you have 2 choices:

Shovel or hunt ducks." 

- Freddie

Yes, he hunts ducks,

but he feeds those on

the bayou running along


I awoke, face stiff with cold.

The electricity was out and

the temperature was 31 degrees

in the apartment.

No water either!

The lights just came back on.

But the black-outs are rolling.

Tonight it is said to become worse.

"There is no such thing 

as bad weather -

only not enough fur!" 

- Midnight

The sidewalk to the parking lot

is as iced over as it is.

The mechanized hinges to the

gates are frozen over.

Luckily, the are frozen open!

If I am called in to work Wednesday,

I do not what I will do.

But every problem has

a solution --

not a perfect one --

but a solution.

May this winter storm

not be treating you badly.

And Bravo!

to those heroes who

work in these frigid times

to restore heat to those in need.