Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Amazingly... stumped

Mankind as a whole tends to be viewed as advanced - right? I mean, we've populated a planet, erecting houses, skyscrapers and other constructions. We've electrified and lit up a good portion of the dry land so brightly it's seen from space, we've connected households around the world by the world wide web and multiple other miraculous achievements.

Yet, we misunderstand each other daily and fight over differences in opinions, religions, and just about any other thing we can disagree about. And on another level, one computer program to another can't run peacefully together, each car takes a different kind of wiper, oil filter, and the list goes on and on. Things are not made to work together, but to compete. Personally, I think, life is getting harder and harder because of it. Why can't we all just work together?

Oh, this latest run through philosophy my brain has taken, it all started with computer troubles. I pondered how nice life was before these horrible finicky contraptions we spend so much time on these days. I would have a little bit of an issue going back to an old typewriter or pen and tablet to get the stories that grow in my head out, but I could probably adjust and be better for it for having removed the stress of getting the programs all to play nice together - online and off.

So I sit and wonder just how far we have really come as a species. Seems like we still have eons of learning to do.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Release

My twelfth novel has just come out. I have the first copies in my office now and expect the purchase links to show up for Curse of the Gods: Disillusionment Book Five to appear soon. I'm eager for others to read Tarenek's story, but am diving right into the polishing of book six and the writing of book seven to hopefully finish the series next year and start something fresh.

But for now, I'm focused on the Disillusionment Series - futuristic fantasy where mortal humans are fighting the gods to save their world. If you aren't familiar with it yet, take a peek. You might like what you find.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Chipmunks and Recovery

In 2003, we cleared out a small patch of woods and built a foundation for a doublewide trailer. We attempted to keep a couple grown trees in front of the house, but ice had different ideas and took one down the first few months we were in the house. It was the following summer that I realized a chipmunk (at least one) was living in the flower bed I built around the stump and remaining tree. That chipmunk, while adorable to watch proved to terrorize constantly over the years.

He caught my car on fire by bunching up a cluster of dry grass and sticks against the engine. He chewed off wires to throw the car sensors into a mess. He dug up roots to perennials I tried to plant, and bulbs never came up. He terrorized more by jumping out from under the porch each time you went out - squeaking and chattering to startle even when we expected it. I wondered when he would get bored of those pesky instances and move into the house to cause some real damage.

Our dog tried to dig him out. I tried to persuade him to move down back. We even transplanted one to my parent's house - completely by accident since he hitched a ride under the car somewhere. For a bit I had hope that the chipmunk was gone. It didn't take long for another to take its place. They were safe up here in front of the house, away from any predators. My daughter and I had standoffs with the chipmunk, attempting to chase him down, but those things can climb trees far too fast. The thing bordered on the fringe of funny to a little scary. I tried filling up his little tunnels all through my front flower garden. Tried laying big rocks over them, tried everything.

In amongst that time, my twelve year old suffered the loss of three dear pets to multiple skunk attacks - ducks she had gotten after a school project. Her oldest sister moved out. We lost a dear friend who walked out of our lives for no reason other than misunderstandings that left us fully in the dark. We lost security when my dad nearly died and his health remained hampered. We lost great grandparents, and had our faith in humanity shaken to the foundations for the mess that happened over my dad - a mess still not untangled yet. And there were dozens of dark little things too.

My youngest would grip me often in a tight hug and whisper "why does it all have to go bad at once?" I had no answer for her other than "I don't know, all we can do is carry on - try to focus on the small good things" while my heart broke again. She's only twelve and so kind-hearted. How do you make anything all right again, how do you help her feel safe again? I just hug her back and keep my teary eyes well hidden. Too much change or hurt too fast for all of us, especially my youngest.

Things are better now, but we are still balancing on a board that could tip one way or the other at any moment. The bad isn't done for any of us yet - things will continue to change drastically and leave empty spots for a year or so yet. I'm ready. I can only hope my youngest will be too.

This past week a family of four cats stopped by for a visit. One adult, a larger kitten, and two small kittens. I have no idea where they came from. They were not tame, running from us the moment they saw us. But my youngest would rush home from school and sit out on the porch to watch the kittens. Each day she did this until the one would go to her and purr under her hand. The other is close but still a little skittish. Then one day they were gone.

Cats don't stay around here long. We've lost more than I care to count either to wild animals, sickness, or other cats in fights. That's why I wouldn't get her one. I didn't want to see her heart broken again. She wondered about these two kittens she had befriended, but since they weren't technically ours, she wasn't painfully attached. Two days later, as I was making supper, I looked up to see the two little cats prancing across the road, headed for our driveway. I hollered to Shay that I found the cats. She rushed out and spent some time with them. Our visiting cats.

The chipmunk that has terrorized seems to be gone. Whether the cats "got 'im" or just chased him off, I don't know. I'm just thrilled to not have the little critter sitting all pretty on the stump, cleaning himself after he chewed off another plant or car wire. A constant little nag - now gone.

The cats seem to have gone back to wherever they came from again, but I'm fairly certain they'll be back for visits now. Could be they like Shay's company or the chicken bones she gives them. Either or, it works. And she's genuinely smiling again. For at least a little while, her mind is on something good again.

The chipmunk is gone for the moment and my youngest is smiling. All over the family of cats that just happened upon our house one day before the freak October 2011 snow storm.... Life is a mystery...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ravyn of Tiernaine - The Unseen

Ravyn of Tiernaine (first person point of view, but the books are written in 3rd.)

Seriously, you want me to talk about myself? Are you kidding me? I don’t stick around long and am only here for one purpose. Things aren’t right. Something isn’t right, and I need to make sure it’s not what I think it is. Because if it is, if Rhynon has arrived, things won’t end well.

I don’t have time for things like this either. Have to look after my kid brother and sister. Promised I would. Promised who? Our mother, if you must know. No, she’s not around, hasn’t been for a long time. Enough about that.

I need to keep moving, make sure they don’t find me because if he gets close enough, I’ll have to break for it and keep him from finding the other Guardians. Don’t ask me about them, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Few ever do, course, not like we go around announcing who we are. Better if we don’t. Hope you never need to know about us.

I hope the same about D’Arcy, but he’s poking around, poking where he shouldn’t be. I tried to warn him off nicely, but it apparently didn’t work. I’ll have to stop him, somehow. If he can be stopped. I swear, sometimes people just aren’t all that smart.


Read the first short piece I (the author) wrote for this character HERE. The Escape didn't get a spot in the print book, but it was the first building block for Ravyn and her background.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Character Ramblings One

As requested, I've written up some small pieces from each of my characters to introduce them to the world in this blog. Characters are the most important thing in my writing. They drive my plots, keeping them fresh and unpredictable because the characters control it with their choices, choices that change as the story changes them.

I didn't realize how many characters I had until I started trying to do a small piece in first person (even though all my books are in third person) for each of them. Then the question became where to start. I decided to start with my well known Manipulated Evil Trilogy. The three books have several characters you will experience the story through. Kyle D'Arcy is the first and main character...

The Unseen, Scattered Souls, and Scorching Eden - the three titles of the Manipulated Evil Trilogy:

From Kyle D’Arcy of Earth, young college student from Pennsylvania, Altoona, Johnstown area.


Having your life ripped apart isn’t fun. I mean, if someone would’ve told me my old man was going to be murdered, I would’ve laughed at them. That stuff doesn’t happen, you know? Except it did, and then this woman shows up, I’ve never seen anyone like her, but man, did she have me. She flat out disappears, vanishes, but my old man had her picture in his wallet, and he’s not the type to go around with anyone like her. He’s a geneticist, cancer research, mostly, I think. Or he was anyway. Back when life was normal.

Now I need to find out who killed him and why. I have to find those answers. Can’t explain it really, but the second I saw that girl in person, things aren’t right, not as they should be, and that warning she gave me. What the hell was that, right? Appearing out of nowhere right on top of me after she vanished from in front of me with that threat she claimed was a warning – to not trust anyone in authority, to let my dad’s death go, that she’ll deal with the one who murdered him. Yeah right, and I’m not supposed to think she’s involved, or maybe even pulled that trigger.

I have a responsibility to find the answers. I may not have gotten along with Dad all the time, should’ve talked to him instead of avoiding him when he told me he had something he needed to tell me a couple weeks ago, but I’m sure going to make it right. She’s not going to get away with whatever it is she did…


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tarenek Brye Annis has arrived!

The Freedom Wars: Disillusionment Book Four is freshly released, just now popping up at the online stores such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The first printed copies of the highly anticipated book arrived on my doorstep last week for those who ordered autographed copies, and those who will order.

The Freedom Wars is the first title of the seven book series to showcase the grown son, Tarenek, of demigod parents and the harborer of a vicious power never before successfully contained in a "human" body. The question is, will Tarenek be able to defy the odds and his predicted demise, and will he be enough to keep Earth's people free of the slaving race that considers themselves the Pure Ones and the gods of the galaxy.

If you are interested in purchasing this or any of my titles autographed for yourself or as a gift for someone else, please visit my website at or email me at tcmcauthor(a) for details on how (I removed the @ symbol to protect against spammers).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The natural order of things...

If I've learned anything lately, it's to not speak a date or time I plan to have something finished. I'm not sure why - if I'm being taught patience or if I'm subconsciously sabotaging myself, but ever since my return to work after some time away, nothing has gone as I'd like it to go. I'm still finishing things, just not to a schedule anywhere near where I first plan.

Then there are days like today. I awoke to a ringing phone after a night trying to sleep off a migraine. I struggled to pull my sleep-fogged mind to awareness and answer only to have someone ask for my husband. Um, no, he works. What time is he available? After dark most likely. Also most likely a lot later than I care to have the household phone ringing. So I gave the person his cell number. And that set the mood for the day.

The phone rang at least once every hour for my dear husband pertaining to a new business venture he is pursuing. At one point I had my business phone ring the same time the house phone rang at the same time I was trying to get my noon meal. After a while, at around 2 or 3 pm, I finally decided the answering machine could do the message taking job. I actually started to get some work done. I have a format on task, a cover to finish, my own book to finalize, a media release to prepare and pages on a website to update, and those are just the biggest things. I have no lack of work to occupy me. Then, as if by fate, thunderstorms rolled in.

At first, I ignored it, but then it started to hail and the lights flickered. And my internet went blank with the red light of death showing no signal. I'm not one for risking the computer, so I quickly saved the files I was working on and shut it down, grumbling. I was shut down from working by the weather after a day of trying to answer the annoying ringing phone. So, was that a sign I needed to veg-out for a bit? I don't know. I did get the kitchen cleaned, the dog brushed out (for a cockapoo, that's no easy feat), my art lessons organized, and the next lesson started. I suppose that counts for something.

I had a fleeting thought that I should write. I am a writer, and characters have kept me company often in the times of limbo between jobs or in instances like today. But the muse just hasn't been with me and writing without the muse is like pulling teeth. I also have two books of my own I must get out this year before fans start hollering too loudly. Next year I'll worry about finishing the final book of the Disillusionment Series. I did just recently finish a video for the series, so I am thinking about it and working on it. Just not writing it at the moment - or any moment longer than an hour or two in the last three months. Ugh.

Is there a message in the mess life seems? Should I revamp priorities, or slave from dawn to midnight to get things done? I don't know. I'm grateful for the things that are going right, for the good stuff, the cardinal and bluebirds in the yard, the food on the table, the clean water from the facet - and the fact that spring will arrive at some point. And the fact that the storms that came through here did not bring any hail larger than a dime or quarter and no tornado moved through unlike just a little west of us.

Gas prices, freaky storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, and more ... and all of that feels so much like what I researched to build my fictional Rise of the Arcadians. Oh - and mass deaths of migrating animals (fish and birds), and some are still laughing at the mis-named global warming that should have been called global climate change. Would it make a difference, probably not. But it doesn't matter. Life as we know it is absolutely changing. It's just that we don't all realize it at the time...

Now, I'll stop my nighttime rambling and go hug the pillow with hopes I don't dream of ringing phones.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring is in the air!

It warmed up again today here in central Pennsylvania, the sun beaming bright and warm through all the south facing windows - which is all but two at my house. We sure didn't need any heat on and it felt good to see things greening up just a little with the first emergences of daffodils lifting above the soil. Not so good is the piles of driveway shale that got plowed into the yard with the snow or the trees and limbs that came down over the winter. It's all visible now that snow isn't covering it.

I've also finished The Freedom Wars: Disillusionment Book Four and expect it to arrive on my doorstep early next week, about March 22nd. I'm really pleased with the cover and the first full color painting I pulled from my imagination and transferred to cover. Now I get to work on the 392 year old Tarenek for the cover of Curse of the Gods. I best get busy :-)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Unsteady Ground

Life changes. I mean, we all know this - right? Things can never stay the same forever. Children grow up. We grow older. Jobs change. Relationships fluctuate. Friends fade away. Loved ones pass away.

It's when everything happens at once that it gets harder.

In my younger years, just after I was of age to legally enter a bar, my cousin and I went out one night. We both had our first daughters at home but we took an evening every so often to get away for a little while. On this particular night, we weren't carded. In the car later, going home, we pondered this. Did we look old? No, that wasn't it. But we did act differently from others our age who had yet to get married or have children. Through the discussion we came to a conclusion.

It wasn't our appearance that labeled us older. It was that the younger ones still believed they controlled their lives. Us, at that point, we had learned that we didn't control a thing other than our reactions to the runaway train life really was. It was all about our attitude. And by 21, we had both been disillusioned to the fantasy that we controlled anything other than ourselves.

I've never lost that lesson. But I had come to believe in a certain safety - that things had a way of not coming faster than someone could handle. Recently, I've been disillusioned to that belief as well.

At certain times in life, things will lash at you. They will lash and lash until you are a mental bloody heap on the ground of life, begging for mercy, for it all to stop and let you catch your breath. And just when you think you can catch your breath, you'll get sucker punched again.

The key is to keep going, to pick yourself up and trudge on....

As the saying goes - What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Stray strong out there.