Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Hannakuh, and Such!!!

The Reason For The Season

Hey folks, I'm going to have to call it quits for 2013. I'm crying out UNCLE. We used to say that as kids when we couldn't take no more. Not sure why.
I'll be taking the next well-deserved three or four weeks off to work the final edits for Escalation. And to spend time with the family. And rest. And relax. But mainly edit and get myself ready for promotional stuff.
I'll be back online Monday January 6, 2014 with a new and improved everything. And I'll be announcing the release date for Escalation. Yep. I have some really cool stuff planned. And I hope you'll join in some capacity. I would really appreciate it.

You're all the best! I really mean that. I wish I could have been out and about far more than I had been in 2013. But life happens.

I will be out and about though. Visiting. Saying hello. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. May 2014 be a year of health and prosperity to you and yours. Stay safe. And enjoy your time with family and friends.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winding Down 2013

Jacket For Each Year's Recipient
Cheersfest 2013 2.0 Warp Up: You have to admit, that was a lot of fun! Honoring and roasting a deserving person such as Lee was worth the effort. I’m still laughing at the Facebook tagline for Lee’s jacket. The ladies were the most creative. Hahahahaha! See what I mean?
Lee’s Facebook Jacket: Speaking of “the jacket” I think Lee should donate it (c’mon, Lee don’t try to jive us and say it’s not in your closet) and give it to each respective recipient of the following year’s Cheersfest.

The Horror! The Horror! Okay, This is one of Lee's favorite movie lines and he will get it and laugh. I hope.
Yes, this is a yearly event. Similar to the Masters Golf Tournament, the proceeding year’s recipient will help th new honoree put on the jacket of honor. Repeat process every year.

The Transferring Of The Jacket
Those in favor, stand and shout our AYE! Lee. please donate your jacket for 2014's Cheersfest 3.0 recipient! You can keep the bow tie.

Winding Down 2013: I'm almost to the point where I say, That's All Folks. I'm tired. I'm burned out. Lots of wild and weird and crazy stuff happening this year. Google shutting down my blog sure didn't help.

I Can Almost Say This!
But 2014 offers new hope and I have so many cool things planned. Until then, I think I'll coast until I take my yearly two or three week break for the holidays around the middle of the month.

And I will have to forsake my Annual Children's and MG Holiday Promotion. I really hate to do this as the last three years have proven most successful. But honestly I just can't do it this year. But I will pick it up again in 2014 for sure!

But I will have the Weekend Follies, at least for one more week.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cheersfest 2013 2.0, Susan Kaye Quinn and Third Daughter

Okay folks, here it is. Cheersfest 2013 2.0 hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, Mark Koopman, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King, and myself. Today’s recipient, sitting in a chair from and center stage for all to praise and heckle, is none other than Arlee Bird. So let’s get started!
Four Questions:
Why did Lee come up with the A-Z Challenge?
To get to the other side.
If someone dreams about being a juggler, what does it mean?
If you dream about juggling it means that you are an optimist, you will manage to face up to smaller or greater problems, because you are a balanced and calculated person, no matter how much of a scatterbrain you might seem to be.
Or you're having flashbacks.
Is a post by Mr. Bird worth two in the bush?
Depends if the bird is a swallow and the air-speed velocity if an unladen swallow is an African swallow or a European swallow (you get a bonus point if you know the what movie this references)
Who could play Lee in a documentary? (Living or dead.)
Mark Twain
100 Word Or Less Flash Fiction: Arlee Bird the juggler failed the swallow question challenge and he and his brown jacket were tossed (close enough) into a wormhole and ended up back in 1972.
Bonus Points: Caption for Lee’s Facebook picture. Ring ring. Who is it? It’s 1972 and it wants its jacket back.
And Now For A Few Juggling Jokes:
Q: What do you call a juggler without a girlfriend?
A: Homeless.
Q: Who is the toughest guy at the circus?
A: The juggler, of course, because he's got the most balls.
A man is driving home, when he's pulled over by a patrolman for a broken blinker. The cop looks into the guys' car and sees a collection of knives in the backseat.
"Sir," the cop says. "Why do you have all those knives?"
"They're for my juggling act," the man says.
"I don't believe you," says the cop. "Prove it."
So the man gets out of his car and begins juggling the knives.
At the same time, a car with two guys in it drives by. "Man," says the first guy. "I'm glad I quit drinking. These new sobriety tests are hard."
Q. How many jugglers does it take to change a light bulb?
* At least 10... Only 1 to change the bulb, and the rest to critique his form.
* 101. One to change the light-bulb, ninety-nine to say, "I can do that," and One to say, "Hey! He stole that from me!"
* Five; one to change the lightbulb, and four to say, 'I could do that if I practiced'.
* Two. One expert, to change the light bulb, and one beginner to say, "Yeah, but can you change two light bulbs."
Did you hear about the sick juggler? He couldn't stop throwing up!
And Finally: Hey Lee, is that a juggling pin in your pocket, or are you just happy to see us? (rim shot please)
Thank you all for participating in this year's Cheersfest. And thanks Lee for being such an awesome and supportive presence in the world of Blogdom!
Win It Before It Releases: Speculative Fiction Author Susan Kaye Quinn is releasing Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #1) a my steampunk fantasy romance Decemebr 13, 2013. She’s giving away 10 e-ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) before the launch - ENTER HERE
This steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood romance takes place in an east-Indian-flavored alternate world filled with skyships, saber duels, and lots of royal intrigue. And, of course, kissing. Hmmmm … but are there wormholes?
It's not too late to sign up for and participate in Cheersfest 2013. C'mon, you know you want to roast Arlee.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

IWSG, Soul Cutter, Cheersfest 2013, Futurescape, And Other Fun Stuff!

Insecure Writers Support Group: Last month for ISWG I mentioned our dog and family member of fifteen years Beau had numerous physical ailments. We finally had to put him to sleep. It was a very difficult decision, but one that needed to be made.
But where one door closes, another opens. We came across someone who had to get find a new home for their six-month old puppy, a Maltese Poodle mix. So here is our newest family member Dakota.
Soul Cutter: The Soul Cutter is hunting again. Seventeen-year-old Élan spends her free time videoing psychic scams and outing them online. Skepticism makes life safe—all the ghosts Élan encounters are fakes. When her estranged mother disappears from a film shoot in Egypt, Élan puts her medium-busting activities on hold and joins the search.
In Egypt, the superstitious film crew sucks at finding her mom. When a hotel guest is killed, whispers start—the locals think their legendary Soul Cutter has come back from the dead. Élan's only ally is Ramsey, a film-crew intern, but he’s arrogant, stubborn—and hiding dangerous secrets.
When Élan discovers the Soul Cutter is no scam, she finds herself locked in a deadly battle against a supernatural killer with more than her mother’s life at stake. Élan is fighting for her very soul. Author
Bio: Lexa Cain lives in Egypt, a stone’s throw from the Red Sea (if you throw the stone really hard). Soul Cutter is her debut novel, but she’s writing other novels and a sequel in the hopes of keeping readers up until the wee hours.
Soul Cutter By Lexa Cain
From MuseItUp Publishing
Dec 6, 2013
Cheersfest 2013 2.0: Remember, On December 9th is Cheersfgest 2013, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King. We will roast and honor Arlee Bird, who is a constant presence, is positive, possesses integrity, involved in the online community (participating and hosting); supportive of others, and is a major force in the blogging community. This event will be held December 13th, 2013.
A To Z Blog: Take a moment to check out Roland Yeoman’s Post Keys To Writing Success on the A to Z blog. You’ll be glad you did!
How To Publish And Promote Your Book Now! I had some spare time (what’s that???) this weekend and re-read though L. Diane Wolfe’s book How To Write And Promote Your Book Now. A must own for any writer, regardless of how experienced they are in the art of writing and promoting. I highly recommend this book.
If you haven’t downloaded a copy, do yourself a favor and click the book’s image at the top right of my side bar.
What to Watch: Futurscape hosted by James Woods on the Science Channel. What will the future look like? It's a question that writers, philosophers and scientists have been pondering for millennia. But the future that once existed solely in the human imagination…has arrived.. What happens tomorrow, starts today. This is worth checking out.
Escalation: It’s clear I will not release Escalation for the holidays as was my original plan. But it’s also evident this is for the better. I think it would get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season as well as all the other books coming out.
I’ve had time to sit down and plan amazing promos for the release that I can’t wait to share. I mean some really, really, really cool stuff.  But I’ll wait until after the holidays are over. I also have some awesome changes for my blog that I think you'll appreciate very much. Something else to look forward to.
Once the dust settles from the holidays, I'll announce the release date for Escalation. And come early 2014 if you feel inspired to help me in any way, I thank you in advance!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Monday

Hi everyone, I hope you all had an amazing and safe holiday week with family and friends.
We went on a short four day cruise from L.A. to Ensenada and back. We definitely have the cruise fever and are planning two more for next year. Make it three.
Here are a few pics:

Thanksgiving cruise to Ensanada. This time on Princess Cruise

A great way to watch Sunday football!

Now that's a big flag!

Had to laugh at the casino ATM. Withdrawals are recommended in increments of $100 with a $50 minimum.

Insert shameless self promotion!

Glad my kids are on a roll! They made up for the money I lost the night before. C'mon snake eyes!

Well, that's it for now. I'm still recuperating from the holiday. See you all on Wednesday for ISWG!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi everyone. I'll be taking this week off, as I do every year, to relax and be with the family and catch up on stuff.
So I wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We truly have much to be thankful for. Stay safe. And stay off the streets after midnight as there are a lot of drunk drivers out during this time.
See you Monday, December 2nd.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weekend Follies and Holiday Food Drive Blogfest

Holiday Food Drive Blogfest: Sponsored by M.J Joachim and Theresa Downey. The idea behind this blogfest is to give back to the community during this season - to help those less fortunate. Whether the holidays fill you with cheer or dread, helping others is always a good idea.
Our church, the Vineyard Community Church of Laguna Niguel, CA operates their Mercy Warehouse.
Their Mission: Every day, the VCC Mercy Warehouse takes in tax-deductible donations of unwanted goods, clothing, and furniture. We then sort and store them in our 25,000 square-foot facility. We have warehouse sales on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. We use the profits from those sales to purchase food for needy families both in our own area and abroad. God has blessed our efforts, and through this process we are able provide food for over 1000 people weekly.
We fund monthly food donations to Mexico and Santa Ana, and we help to supply several other local food banks. We are a volunteer-run organization. Many members of VCC and other like-minded believers give countless hours every week towards seeing the mission of the Mercy Warehouse fulfilled. We give away food to anyone who needs it.
NaNo: I had to call it quits from day one. I really wanted to work on my next book. But it’s important I wrap up Escalation. I’m at just under 90,000 words and 376 complete and edited pages. So close. So very, very close.
Weekend Follies: Culture conflict is always a hit when it comes to trying to make your readers laugh. Culture conflict arises you place one person inside the cultural values of a totally opposite person.
Rob Schneider did this well in the comedy The Hot Chick, where an attractive and popular teenager who is mean spirited toward others, finds herself in the body of an older man, and must find a way to get back to her original body. Take it away Rob ….

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Kibbles And Bits

Cheersfest 2.0 2013: sponsored by Alex Cavanaugh, Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King, and myself will spotlight someone deserving of being roasted, similar to a Comedy Central roasting.
This year’s victim … err …. esteemed recipient is none other than Arlee Bird, who is a constant presence, is positive, possesses integrity, is involved in the online community (participating and hosting); is supportive of others and is a major force in the blogging community. This event will be held December 9th, 2013. More details to follow.
Realms Faire 2013: Thanks everyone for stopping by wen Gardner's Web site last week. The thumbs up fortunately outweighed the thumbs down. I am now set free. Thanks again!
Books From My Youth. I have the pleasure of reading the books my kids are doing for book reports. These are the same books I read as a kid. Gulliver’s Travels. Little House On The Prairie. Johnny Tremain. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Dr. Doolittle. Treasure Island. I had forgotten what fun it is to read these timeless classics!
What I'm Currently Reading
The Word Is … I'm flipping through my first book Breakthrough I wrote five years ago, and I saw a word I used and forgotten what it means. Probably because I don't use it in my day to day conversations.
The word is "solicitous."
Had to look it up. It means "characterized by or showing interest or concern."
I had to laugh.
Coffee: As a writer, I am always looking for that awesome cup of coffee in the morning. My wife brought home Folgers Half Caff. Smooth, yet bold if you add a little more coffee to the mix. I never would have thought grocery store coffee could taste this good. I highly recommend it.

Finally: The McRib is back in all its glory! For better or worse. And only 500 calories of deliciousness. Get them while you can as they are here for an unlimited time only. Or until whatever animal they use to make the (ahem) meat goes extinct.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Realms Faire 2013 and Weekend Follies Dark Ages Style

Realms Faire 2103: Hey everyone, I need your help. I’m on trial at Gwen Garner’s blog Realms Faire 2103 and need your help to secure my freedom. Please, I beg of you, stop by and give me a thumbs up.
These darn stockades are to me what kryptonite is to Superman and I am not able to use a wormhole to escape on my own. I need your help!
Weekend Follies: And here are a few medieval laughs sure to keep you chuckling into the weekend. Enjoy. But not too much. I need you to help free me from false accusations that Wizardry simply because I am a man of science and faith!


Monday, November 11, 2013


Writers4Writers: Thanks again everyone for supporting a really amazing and awesome venture! Hosted by Mary Pax, Christine Raines, C.M. Brown, and myself, the objective is to help other writers to succeed. This month we spotlight Michael Offutt.
Our Mission:
• Help writers bring awareness of their book(s) to tens of thousands of new people
• Help writers reach Amazon Top 100 in at least one category (i.e., suspense, free, etc.)
• Increase sales of their book(s) after the promo is over
• Drive new traffic to their blog and increase following
• Create verbal and viral buzz
What To Do, You Ask? Simply stop by Marta's sites and copy and paste their pre-written Tweets into your Twitter account. Or go to #W4WS on Twitter and Retweet something. You can do this once or all week long as much as you feel inspired. Or click the W4WS Facebook Page and then share their links with your Facebook friends and writers groups. thus enabling Laura and Marian to reach countless new people they could never before reach! If you want more information, CLICK HERE and sign up.
On A More Somber Note: Nick Wilford at Scattergun Scribblings superstar boy Andrew sadly passed away in his sleep a few days ago. Kyra Lennon is coordinating flowers/donation from authors for Nick and his family. Kyra is one of Nick's crit partners. If you want to donate and/or pass on the info, feel free. You can send money through Paypal to Kyra. Her Paypal address is
Although it's early days, and we're not sure what Nick's family need right now (not that there's anything that can REALLY help), if anyone would like to donate some money to send them some flowers to let them know we're thinking of them, and any remaining money can be donated to a charity of their choice.
You can send money through Paypal - because that's the easiest way for it to be collected and sent on. Any donations are welcome - if you can only afford £1/$1, then great! If you can't afford anything, don't feel bad. What we're doing here is trying to let Nick and his family know that - as a group - us writers are there for him.
God Bless Nick And His Family. Nick was to be featured this month on W4WS. But we can do something to honor Nick and his son in other ways if you feel so inspired. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Nick.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Oh How I Miss You Blogfest, Space Junk, and the Weekend Follies

Oh How I Miss You Blogfest: Sponsered by Andrew Leon, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and Matthew McNish. Maybe this should have been my IWSG post. Since Google shut me down earlier this year and I lost contact with most of my followers. There are just too many people to list. I miss like a thousand people. Literally. Not what to say here. But I miss you all. Wherever you are.
Who Would I Miss: I’m thinking L. Diane Wolfe. She has so much to offer. She should charge for what she posts for free on her blog. But wait. That’s not all. Take a few moments to download her material and you will find yourself in a much better place to promote and market your works!
Steve’s Science And Other Fun Stuff: If you haven’t already, please take a moment at the end of this post to click Einstein’s face at the top of my right side bar. I have a great post I think you will be very much interested int. Satellite To Crash To Earth:
What in the world? Que’ en el mundo for my Hispanic friends. A European space satellite that has been mapping the Earth’s gravitational field is set to crash down to Earth in the coming days, and it could provide a “real treat” for space watchers. But does it pose a danger to people? Check in Monday for my post on Asteroids, Space Junk, and other stuff that could unexpectently crash into Earth with little to no warning. Reference

I had this amazing article on Space Junk on my previous blog. But damned if Google, who acquired Blogger, didn't come in and shut me down with no reason and no warning. No worries. I'll have to rewrite everything from scratch. Still ... Bad Google. Evil Google.
Go Lions!!!

Weekend Follies: I was born and raised in the great state of Michigan and live in southern California now. Came out right after high school. But I still wear my Michigan sports teams shirts with great pride.
I came across this clip on YouTube that demonstrates team loyalties run deep at a very young age. I can laugh because the Bears and the Packers play in the same division as the Lions. Damn it man, this is football!!!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

ISWG, Writers4Writers, This Month In Astronomy, and National Nacho Day

Beau Last Christmas
ISWG: My concern this month is our fourteen year old Yorkie named Beau. He’s a regular member of the family. You see, we got Beau at a time when it had been difficult for us to have kids. Beau officially made us a family. But God graciously gave us two awesome daughters after that! But Beau is at that point where we have to seriously consider putting him down.
I’ve tried, only to turn around and bring the little guy back home. With the weather getting colder, he is really struggling to just walk. I don’t want to see him suffer this bad. One day, sooner rather than later, I’ll have to wake up and make that fateful decision. I just hope he can make it for another family Christmas picture.
Writers4Writers: This month we will spotlight Michael Offutt and Nick Wilford. Please join us Wednesday November 20th in support of these two awesome and amazing writers!
Did You Know: India launched its first rocket to Mars on Tuesday, aiming to reach the Red Planet at a much lower cost than successful missions by other nations. The Mars Orbiter Mission, also known as Mangalyaan, mission positions the emerging Asian giant as a budget player in the latest global space race.
Probes to Mars have a high failure rate, and a success would be a boost for Indian national pride, especially after a similar mission mounted by Russia and China failed to leave Earth's orbit in 2011. Reference
Fun Fact (or not): India's space program began 50 years ago and developed rapidly after Western powers imposed sanctions in response to a nuclear weapons test in 1974, spurring its scientists to build advanced rocket technology. Five years ago, its Chandrayaan satellite found evidence of water on the moon. Nothing like the threat of a war of mass destruction to get a space program off and running.

This Month is Astronomy: I’ll have a new TAB each month for upcoming celestial phenomena. November has an amazing lineup of spectacular events avid and novice sky watchers won’t want to miss. Views of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, two meteor showers, the ISON comet and of course the rare hybrid eclipse of November 3 will highlight this month. I should have this TAB finished in a week or so. You’ll want to tune in for this the beginning of every month. It’s amazing what you can see with the naked eye, with binoculars, and a cheap telescope.

Steve's Science And Other Fun Stuff: On Thursday, take a moment to check out my post on the Blogging A to Z Challenge blog. I have a summation of what I'm all about. I think it's very cool and I'm sure you will too. Just tale a moment and click on Einstein's face at the top of my right side bar. You will be glad that you did!
National Nacho Day: How cool is this! November 6th is National Nacho Day. So go ahead and treat yourself to a plate of your favorite nachos! Me, I’m going for carne asada with lot of cheese, refried beans, and guacamole (hold the sour cream, please).
Question: Are you going out for nachos this today?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

This Is The Fun Part, Rare Solar Eclipse, Scott Carpenter Remembered, and The Challenger Disaster

This Is The Fun Part: What do you do with your characters, both good and bad, at the end of the story? The Breakthrough trilogy is not a cozy mystery. There are lots of people I need to decide what to do with. Who lives? Who dies? Who goes to jail? Who walks free? Does anyone get married?
I am the judge, the jury, and the executioner.
I can’t say that I finished ESCALATION by October 31st as was my goal, but close enough. I’m going over the final chapters and will send them off to my editor. Oh yeah. This is the part I like the best!
Rare Solar Eclipse: A rare solar eclipse that began as a "ring of fire" and transformed into a spectacular total eclipse of the sun amazed skywatchers from North America to Africa. The Sunday eclipse was a rare hybrid solar eclipse, which began over the Atlantic Ocean as an annular eclipse and transitioned into a full total solar eclipse for observers along the narrow path of totality in the eastern Atlantic and over parts of Africa. Observers along the U.S. East Coast and parts of Canada, meanwhile, awoke to a partial solar eclipse at sunrise. Reference
Mercury Astronaut Scott Carpenter Remembered: The second American astronaut to orbit the Earth was remembered by family and friends at a funeral service in his Colorado hometown. Carpenter made his first and only spaceflight on May 24, 1962, when he became the sixth man worldwide to leave the planet. During his Mercury-Atlas 7 mission, Carpenter circled the Earth three times and conducted some of the first astronaut science experiments. Reference
What To Watch: The Challenger Disaster Saturday November 16th on the Science and the movie details William Hurt plays the main character’s participation in the Presidential Commission put together to investigate the Challenger explosion. I’m looking forward to seeing this and hope it’s worth the hype. With William Hurt, I like the chances.
Author Of The Week: Check out Susan Gourley’s release First Dragon. Just click the image of the book at the top of my right side bar. Good luck Susan!
Question: Did you see Sunday’s eclipse? How do you decide what to do with your characters at the end of the story?