The Next 1000 Miles

Junk Punches

Just like the title sounds, reviews focusing on the negative side of your novel tend to feel the same way. I have recently gotten one of my first. Now, if there had been a back and forth on the good and bad or something justifiable in the reasons why “I don’t believe many adults could enjoy this novel.” I can respect a 3-Star rating. My book won’t be for everyone, I get that. Some will hate it, others will love it.

This guy’s Goodreads review … I imagined him sitting in a high-back captain’s chair, leather patches on the elbows of his jacket and starting every sentence with, “Mmm, yes…” in a snobby English accent. Basically, this review/critique held a lot of adult words and childish rhetoric to make someone feel better (not me). As long as he feels special, that’s what matters.

Let this be a lesson though. It will never do any good to comment or defend your work to these people. They have their opinions just like everyone has their chocolate pockets and I’m not going to try and clean those up either.

Haters gonna hate. Big whoop. In publishing my own work, I know my faults, the things I’d like to change and the improvements I need to make. But hey, that’s what sequels are for, right?



 

Advertisements
Journey of 1000 Miles

Medicine v. Cure

Writing is medicine, feedback is a cure.

For me, that sums it all up. Fame isn’t really a practical notion at this point, nor is it one that I desire above all others. Fortune, … right. I’m sure there are plenty of wealthy first-time Indie authors out there.

In a world of chaos, writing calms me. It let’s me share a piece of myself with the world that doesn’t know me. Even more, it allows me to try and bring joy, laughter, thought or skepticism to readers in order to help them, or let them forget about their day.

I think of writing as medicine, because it’s something I need to administer regularly in one form or another. It helps me be myself and feel a connection in this world where I question my true purpose. Feedback from people, whether fellow writers or avid readers is like a cure. The self-doubt and worry behind putting such a large portion of time, creativity and effort is veritably soothed when I hear back from others.

Good reviews or bad reviews, advice or inspiration, all the feedback I receive goes toward curing that buzzing suitcase of bees. Love and hate are easily seen as two different sides to a coin, but I think they both actually rest on the same. Love/hate and the emotions in-between reside on one flip. The other side is the one I don’t want, indifference. Not having enough to get a response or a care is a true nightmare for myself; and I think for any writer.

So, thanks to everyone who has contributed to my own version of a cure. Most of you have kept me going when I could have just as easily stopped. And I hope you’ll be around long after I cure myself of the notion I may not be right for this writer’s world.

A Time to Be Born

Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth


ATTD Ch.2

Now, I handled things very calmly. Maybe a little too calmly. All things considered in my past, a grandson in a state of unconsciousness is rather small on the scale of freak-outs. I calmly made the peppermint mocha for Junk, even upsized him and gave a little whipped cream and chocolate shavings. No cost.

“So, what was that again?” I said as I place the beverage before him.

“He won’t wake up,” Junk calmly stated while staring into the coffee beverage like a man seeing water after coming out of the desert.

“Because of Pirates?” I clarify.

“Yup.”

“And you’re here because…?”

“Isn’t he your teacher or sensei or whatever?” The ‘whatever’ got muffled as the whipped cream engulfed his mouth and he nearly fell into the cup. As he lowered from his first large gulp, a pristine mustache was the only remainder and he had no recollection it was there.

“He means a lot more than that to me,” I admitted. “I should ask, who is watching him if you’re here?”

“Oh, I think Aria is sitting with him.”

Granted, I never really got to know any of the orphans, as Mo and I call them, but I don’t think I’d remember any of them if I saw them again. As I began wondering just how many kids David had taken under his wing, Junk began gulping the rather hot latte as if it was water. He seemed rather high strung to begin with, I’m not sure liquid jitters was the best medicine.

“Junk, you came out here over a thousand miles on your own?”

He swallowed the last remaining drops in his cup before answering. “No, my sister is here too. She drove us from Lincoln.”

And as if he had signaled a cue to walk in the room, the door chimed and in she came. Already, I know I am going to get into trouble with Mo later because this was not someone who goes unnoticed. She was tall, had long red hair and even longer legs. The curls in her hair elongated with each step and then snapped back into place showing her movement and gave another emphasis to watch. As slender as she was, she seemed to command her legs to move and plant themselves with a force I could almost feel across the room.

My main goal right now was to try and find as many flaws about her to remember so when Mo meets her for the first time, she doesn’t immediately question my loyalties. So, far, I am unfortunately finding none.

“Dude, what in the hell?” she asked while surveying the bodies lying in heaps around her. Another minus for me, her voice was strikingly similar to Mo’s except for the slight emphasis on her L’s. Maybe that could become annoying?

“What?” Junk asks while trying to finger the whipped cream out of the bottom of the cup that hadn’t been given the time to melt yet.

“Oh, Jesus-fish. Tell me that is hot cocoa,” this time she is addressing me with the statement / rhetorical question. Then I start to actually feel as if I had done something wrong.

“Is he going to turn into a Gremlin soon?” I said in dry sarcasm.

To my surprise, she actually smiled. “Not unless it’s after midnight.”

Well, crap. This girl is really making me nervous now. She understood a historical movie reference and has a smile that could melt butter in a cold pan.

“Is he allergic to coffee?” I skip the ogling in order to not find this girl any more attractive.

A strange twist on her face rested somewhere between apologetic and frightened. “Not exactly. For whatever reason, large amounts of caffeine tend to make my brother a little…unstable?” As my brain tries to formulate an unstable Junk running around, she decides to clarify. “His ability is enhanced.”

Enhanced? “Enhanced?” Yeah, I repeated it.

“Well, you see what he can do when he shushes people. If he did it again, they’d be asleep probably until the weekend. And they don’t wake up until it’s over.”

I’m failing to see the evil behind it or the danger. As my confusion portrays through my expression, she adds, “Junction’s ability is triggered by the way ties the ‘sh’ sound together. Most of the time he has to concentrate and then it releases the subconscious dam he has blocking the telekinetic part of his brain. With coffee or soda, any word with those sound combinations will trigger it automatically.”

Okay, the cogs were turning now. If Junk gets in a Tourette’s attack and starts yelling shit a bunch, people will start taking naps. My curiosity has to ask a few things, some of which being, “What’s your name?”

Her smile returns as she answers, “I’m Rook. You’ve met Junction. And you’re Carter, right?”

“Yeah,” I’m really wondering how they got their names now.

Junk is busy licking the porcelain off the inside of the cup, but he raises his hand up as another hello.

Rook starts to take notice of the time by swinging out an old fashioned conductors watch from her pocket. The action made me wonder what time it was also. Junk said the patrons and bullies would be out for around 10 minutes and I had a feeling the time was drawing near.

“We should set these guys up at a table or something before they are fully awake,” Rook states while simultaneously looking around for an empty table.

Now, the next thing I did was not really out of necessity, although I could later justify it as one. I teleported or flashed, as we call it, out from behind the counter to where the pile of bullies was heaped. I laid one hand on the top person of the dog pile and flashed him over to a table close by. I proceeded to do so with the remaining three mongoloids and each one landed with a forceful impact as their rears hit the chairs and their faces hit the table. Not my most graceful flash, but I haven’t had a lot of opportunity or freedom to do so in the past months.

“Wow, that was like the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time,” Rook admits as she looks at me like a celebrity. Which, sadly I was going for in some way. Impressing her was not really something I needed to or should have done, but I guess it was my way of breaking the ice.

Then it donned on me, Ally was still in a heap somewhere in the back room. “Crap sandwiches!” I exclaim as my own personal Eureeka! while making my way to her. As I open the swinging doors and witness the destruction of cups sprinkled around in little bits of porcelain confetti outlining Ally’s sleeping body.

Now, putting those ruffians at a table was one thing to shrug off, the expensive devastation and co-worker was totally something different. Before I could say anything, Rook was standing behind me looking over my shoulder. I wasn’t sure what her perfume was, but it was tempting me to inhale it deeply and I fought against the desire to do so by remembering the wonderful woman of mine working at my dream job this very moment.

“You have a spot back here that you can prop her on?”

I looked over at the pile of large economy coffee sacks we have stacked in the corner. I place a hand on her and flash her to the corner, much more gently than the previous persons. The only thing now concerning me was the cups.

“Ally is going to get blamed for this, even if we clean it up,” I said aloud more as a white flag of defeat.

A small smirk from Rook and she pushed up the sleeves on her designer shirt as if she were ready to get some serious work done. She picked up an unbroken cup that made it through the crash unscathed and rotated it around like she was looking for a price tag. She placed the cup in her left hand while seeming to aim her middle finger and thumb together at the debris below.

Snap!

In the blink of my eye, all of the broken pieces reassembled and formed back into perfect little mugs. My mouth stayed open enough to fit a small bite of food in while I admired the creationism.

“Neat huh?” Rook asked.

Took the words right out of my mouth.


See?! No April Fool’s. Check back next Tuesday for more Carter and the gang!

Please Share and Comment


 

 

Into the Dawn

Into the Dawn (teaser)

Into the Dawn

 

A year doesn’t seem like a long amount of time. It sounds as if it were a simple, passing thing. But a year is how long one man waited in order to start his son out on a journey of epic proportions. As most fathers do, they hope that their children will become the improved versions that they had hoped to aspire, to live a life fuller and more rewarding life than they once had. In most circumstances, pain and strife are catalysts that change a boy into a man, wiping clean the innocence of daily life and replacing it with a harsher reality. To combat those faults, a spiritual journey is needed, one that tests the soul and forces a man to find himself. Young Jack Calloway’s journey began with a knock on his door.

ΩΩΩ

Knock-knock

Jack peeked up from reading his newspaper, put down the spoonful of rice flakes and began making his way to the front door. Curiosity, with a trace amount of fear, began pacing through him. Nowadays, nobody knocked on the door unless it was a kid selling magazine subscriptions for their local school, a missionary wanting to convert you, or like last year, a sheriff bringing bad news like the one who arrived telling Jack that his father had died in an accident.

Knock-knock

Jack rarely if ever left his late father’s cabin. After his car wreck, Jack Calloway Sr. left everything to the sole heir of the family, which was Jack Calloway Jr. The cabin and some various personal artifacts were all that he kept. The two other homes belonging to his family were sold at estate auctions along with vehicles and furniture that were no longer personal to him. The cabin held memories though; times growing up as a child, Christmases and get-togethers with family or friends. It was roughly a 30 minute drive from anything civilized. It originally started off as a simple two-room shack with a kitchen. As the family prospered, two rooms became four and shortly from there, four rooms became two floors and two floors moved on to two houses.

A few people had cabins on the other side of the hills or far down the road, but the long generations of Calloways had bedded down there for the past hundred years and owned the habitable part of 250 acres of National Forest. Jack was an aspiring writer. Being independently wealthy from the land investments his family made over the years and having no want of public attention since the funeral, something had to keep his mind from going completely insane. Writing was therapy for him. It was his way of escaping, creating and draining himself of the emotions he desperately wanted to bury. He had been spending the last few months transcribing some of his father’s written journals onto an electronic format.

Knock-knock-knock

Persistence is an admirable quality for lovers, but in Jack’s mind, a rather annoying quality when one simply wanted to be left alone. Jack peered out through the living room shutters and didn’t notice a car visible in the gravel driveway. It was an awfully long way for anyone to walk up the mile-long drive past the gates at the mouth of the road, which were always locked anyhow. A call box led straight up to the cabin from the entry off of the road for any deliveries or emergencies. Curiosity and anxiety began mixing an unfavorable stew in Jack’s stomach as he approached the door. He looked through the eyepiece in the door slowly, but the sun at that time of day cast only a shining prism of sunlight through the hole. He reached for the door to open it. KNOCK-KNOCK pounded from the other side and now Jack was getting pissed that someone would disrupt his sanctum at such an early hour. No sooner than the sound reached his ears that he unlocked and whipped open the door, ready to give some poor sap a verbal lashing. The cool fall morning air rushed over his skin, but the breeze was all that greeted him in his doorway.

Could it have been the iron door knocker being tussled about violently? The wind didn’t sound or feel that strong. It was nothing more than enough to scuttle some leaves along the pavement. He shuffled outside past his threshold and down the cobblestone path toward the gravel driveway. Once down to the edge of the drive, he could see around the bend that went all the way down the hill to the main entrance. Yet, nothing was there. All that accompanied him were the sounds of the woods and the breeze blowing tunes through their dry leaves and pine bristles. No puffs of dust or crunching twigs eluded to the retreat of anyone that was once there. Perhaps the lack of companionship over the last few months had taken its toll on Jack’s sanity. As he thought, it was time once again to travel out and get some more supplies or maybe head down and pick up a couple more books and talk to the lovely Violet. She was a friend during his late teens and tried to be there for the most recent family tragedy when Jack would let her.

Jack re-entered his house and shut the door locking it once again; laughing to himself as he thought of old suspense movies that usually involved a young woman who had strange frights happen shortly before a killer appeared. I’m the damsel, he chuckled inwardly. He stopped after locking the door waiting for that pinnacle moment when a knock would come back now that he felt safe once again. Silence echoed to him with nothing more to offer. He walked from the foyer and toward the kitchen again to resume what was no doubt now a soggy bowl of rice flakes.

Ding-dong

“That sure isn’t the wind…” he said to himself, now feeling a little more uneasy about the solitude in his world.

He walked quickly to the door and waited in hushed breaths for the restrained laughter of high school boys, out to kill time while skipping their history class. Still no noise except for the little breeze creating a dance for the dry leaves on the walkway.

Ding-dong

Now, Jack thought, the games were getting old. He went for the fireplace and grabbed a poker. He made his way to the front door along with an announcement. “If you’ve had your fun now, I’d like to be left alone. Don’t make me involve the police in this matter.”

Ding-dong

“I have a weapon and it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to use the term self-defense when the ambulance comes to take any of you away.”

Ding-dong

Jack crept slowly to the door, talking away from its direction in order to give the illusion that he wasn’t standing right there, ready to scare the shit out of the little bastards turning his morning ritual into a chore.

Ding-dong

“I’m going to dial now so you’ll have about 5, maybe 10, minutes to get out of here.” He placed his hand on the knob, after quietly releasing the lock and waited for the next ring to start so that he could give a proper fright to whoever wasn’t expecting it.

Ding-

Jack swung the door open with a viciousness that any policeman would appreciate. His display showed he could storm into a drug raid with ease. He jumped out with poker in hand ready to snarl and yell at the young punks he imagined standing there. By the time the dong had chimed, he was out the door and in full force giving his best and most masculine roar. But again, no one was there to witness the spectacle. For a brief second or two, Jack was convinced that he was starting to get the traditional cabin fever and should immediately head toward civilized company. That was until he noticed an irregularity on his walkway which made him feel better about his state of mind, but worse about the physics of what just took place.

Lying flat on the base of the steps leading to his doorway was a suitcase. It looked as if it were made out of wood, a deep mahogany with light maple wood trim. Part of him wanted to retreat quickly into the house and try to forget that he had seen anything on his porch. Another side of him was insatiably curious and wanted to snatch the case and drag it back inside like some wild animal living in a cave. Like most creatures of wonder, Jack followed his curiosity and left his common sense back at the breakfast table.

He locked the door behind him and proceeded to the living room, cleared off the coffee table of its over-sized art books and the small statuette of Venus de Milo, and placed the case on top. He sat on the leather-bound sofa and took in the architecture of the case. It was wood indeed, sanded smooth as glass and emitted the smell of cedar. There were no metal clasps on the front, just copper colored hinges in the back. A small wooden dowel was inserted through an eyelet and provided the only latch that kept the case from falling open. If there was any wear to the object, Jack would’ve sworn it was an antique from colonial times. But it appeared to have been crafted recently judging by the state of its condition.

He weighed his next move. He listened closely for any moving parts, ticking or animal sounds. It was safe for him to say after 15 minutes that he was bound to open it one way or another and whatever the consequences, he would try to act rapidly when they occurred.

Jack removed the linchpin and opened the case, expecting to find either something horrifying or something astonishing. Yet to his lack of enthusiasm, all that was before him appeared to be common, but historic-looking objects. The inside of the case was lined with a royal violet satin and each object seemed to have been placed in a silhouette of its own shape to secure it from slipping. There was a pocket watch that was missing the hands, making it the most useless item, a monocle with a polished silver lining, a detailed stamp accompanied by a stick of wax. The stamp bore an impression of a single feather. There was a coin that had the face of a man on one side, like an old statue from the time of Greek mythology and the head of a bull on the other. And lastly, there was the most peculiar looking key. It was in the shape of a lower-cased t, or possibly a crucifix, yet every point had a key’s edging on it. In his mind, it reminded him of four elaborate skeleton keys linked together. The shafts were black as pitch and cylindrical. The heads and teeth to each point were bright silver in color and bled into the blackness. What could this go to? was the constant question running through Jack’s mind.

The whole situation was surreal at best, but at the same time comforting for him. He didn’t recognize anything that appeared to belong to his father, but each object felt as if it might have. It was like catching the scent of his dad on an old coat, like an empty shell that remained filled with the memory of him at the same time.

The question beyond the key, was now deciding where these objects had come from and what purpose they had showing up at his doorstep? The most logical thought he could muster was to take one of the objects into town and stop by Seamus’ antique parlor. It was more like a storage area for all of the things the old adventurer had collected over the years. Seamus was an old family friend and Jack Sr.’s childhood pal. Uncle Seamus was what Jack Jr. always used to call him and still did at times. He might have some answers to where the trinkets could have originated from or how far they might date back. Then, perhaps, he would have to swing by and possibly find an old reference book from Violet’s store. Some excuse to visit her would do, now if there was an amusing or intriguing story to go along with his visit to peak her interest… that would be just aces.

The most intriguing piece would have to be the key. He had never seen anything quite like it, but Seamus might have some insight from his travels to Europe, or down throughout Northern Africa, across the Asian continent or diving in and out of islands in the Pacific. He was quite the well rounded traveler, and loved collecting the most unique objects along the way. They were things that Mrs. Seamus got tired of seeing as well as Mr. Seamus’ company. She left him over six years ago. Sometimes, there are just no explanations when you aren’t living in the situation. One year they were fine and laughing and joking around the family barbeques that Jack’s family used to hold in the summer time. The next year, she barely looked at him and was claiming that his travels had tarnished their marriage and she couldn’t stand to be with him. Afterwards, Seamus rooted down and stopped his travels and opened up his Antique Emporium, right off of Main St. The key would definitely perk up his interests and hopefully help him recall some bits of wisdom he had acquired over the years. So there it was; Jack was set to go off to the Emporium and visit with Seamus.


Please help me out. Give me some feedback.

 

 

A Time to Reap, Journey of 1000 Miles

Pitches Love an Audience

Since I’ve seen it done on other blogger sites, what better than to copy that idea for my own purposes? I submitted a pitch to ABNA in order to move to the next round, but if that doesn’t stick, I would like to perfect the pitching experience and need YOUR help. I concocted a pitch for my book and would like input. Positive or negative, as long as it’s constructive. If you can, take a couple of minutes and let me know your thoughts. You can post a comment, leave a comment, a like or feel free to email me.

Give that pitch an audience. Pitches love an audience.

***

When you think time travel has the answers to questions such as why did my father abandon us, who is the bald-headed girl who can read my thoughts and what is really going on with the school principal, think again. Time travel is not always the answer.

For Carter, time travelers are common. In fact, Chronological Displacement Syndrome was diagnosed as an official hereditary illness over a decade before his birth. Like his mother and grandfather before him, Carter blips in and out of the present to a very naked past. When located in his present timeline, he attends Pemberton Academy for individuals who suffer from the same genetic issue as well as those that have been affected by it.

Soon, Carter will find out that there are more gifts he thought were imaginable as he meets up with Mo, a telepathic girl from school. When they are together, a concoction of abilities and powers emerge and because of that, certain people like the principal have taken notice and want to harness or prevent those gifts from being used anywhere else.

Time travel, teleportation, atomizing bad guys and more await Carter and his new friend as they try to find the answers to who is hunting them down and why.

A Time to Reap, Journey of 1000 Miles

A Little Poke & Pull

Get your mind out of the gutter…sicko.

Today, we explore the wide world of feedback. Unfortunately, I have no clue how to fashion this. Feedback is as foreign to me as a computer to my grandma, God rest her soul. I believe with the right niche and enough people, feedback will be the last of your worries. Getting to that point, well, you and I will stumble in the dark together.

What do I do? Well, you’re reading it. I’m poking at the animals on the ground to check if you’re all alive. Not a whole lot of movement, but I know you’re out there. Additionally, to a select few, I pull for information to have them tell me what they think. They love the harassment.

Beyond that… incentives? IDK

Anywho, I am hoping if you’ve read this far you have been reading my weekly story as well (link below if you haven’t). So, let’s let you decide what will happen in the coming weeks. Take the poll below and let’s create a little together.

The Time Traveler’s Grandchild