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Sun, Oct. 4th, 2015, 02:38 am
A Lazy Weekend

Probably because of the hours I work, the weekends are important to me.  Over the past week I had a number of "extra" activities, a meeting at work, a writers group meeting, and a financial awareness session, that added to the stress and fatigue of the week.  So, I'm being extra lazy this weekend, trying to get rested up and ready to go back to work come Sunday evening.  (Last weekend I got my sleep and awake times half ways turned around and had to adjust back for the work week, which I'm sure did not help.)
Anyway, here a couple more of the paintings that I scanned into the computer a week or so ago.

One of those that I like at one glance and am not so happy with at another... Hope you like it!

My attempt at a Grumman EA-6B Prowler, painted in 1986.  You might be able to make out "VAQ-132 Scorpions" and "EA-6B" in the stars.  I've always enjoyed these night scenes, using only blue and white on a black canvas.  (BTW, this is the aircraft I worked on for most of my Navy career.)

Still reading jpsorrow 's Shattering The Ley.  If you like well written fantasy, check it out!  I'm about a third of the way through it and really like it.  I think you will too!

Fri, Sep. 25th, 2015, 03:15 pm
Eight Years!

Just happened to look at my LiveJournal profile... eight years to the day that I began journaling, blogging, or whatever it is I do here.
Anyway, here's another of the pics I recently scanned in.

P. S. Still reading Shattering the Ley by jpsorrow  Enjoying it!

Fri, Sep. 25th, 2015, 09:37 am

Here are a couple more of the paintings I scanned in a few days ago.  Actually, this is a single painting, but it is large enough that I've scanned it in in two different areas.  Not sure when this was painted, but I believe it must have been in the early 1980s... before I began dating them.

Sun, Sep. 20th, 2015, 04:46 am

For the past several years I haven't done a lot of painting.  Most of what I have done has been for the covers of my books.  However, I have a box in the basement containing many that I've created in the more distant past.  I've gotten busy and selected a few that in hindsight seem to have turned out okay and have scanned them into the computer.  I thought I'd share a couple of them here.  Hope you like them.

Sat, Sep. 19th, 2015, 03:51 am
HMS Pickle and Island Expedition

Recent posts elsewhere on line have mentioned HMS Pickle carrying the news of Nelson's victory and death at Trafalgar.  I've commented about Pierce and Island Expedition briefly encountering said schooner.  Here's an excerpt from Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story detailing that quite possible but totally fictitious event.

(A rough sketch of Island Expedition... except for the double topsail rig, could probably be a stand in for HMS Pickle.)
             The wound was not serious, a mere scratch as he saw it, and the end of the afternoon watch saw Pierce on deck again.  Morgan had insisted that his captain get some rest, and after treating the wound himself, Doctor Matheson being aboard the prize, had stood duty until Pierce awoke.
            “Where’s Sollars?” Pierce asked, half hoping the hands had pitched the bastard into the sea.
            “Read more...Collapse )
            When the evening watch was set, all that could be seen of the small schooner were her lights as she raced towards England with her triumphant yet sobering news.

Fri, Sep. 18th, 2015, 09:19 am
What Day is It?

So this week at work I started reading jpsorrow 's Shattering the Ley during my lunch break. (After just two sessions, I'm really in to it.)  But as I so often do on my Friday, I sat the current read aside and spent my lunch break perusing our local alternative newspaper, the Inlander.  As always, it had a lot of upcoming events listed.  I did notice that while they give the date, they don't specify the day of the week.  Especially because of the hours I work, the day of the week a performance or event is on can be very important.  Sure, if it is within a week or so of "now" I can mentally determine what day.  But if it is something scheduled for two or three months from now, I have no idea.  Anyway, if I see something listed that I might want to attend, my first thought is, "Is it on a day that I can go?  Or will I have to take time off or make other arrangements.?"  Just saying that it would be nice if they'd include the day of the week along with the numerical date.  I don't and I imagine a lot of other folks may not have a calendar handy in order to check.

Complaining further... after arriving home this morning, read our daily paper, the Spokesman-Review.  The Friday edition is also full of upcoming entertainment attractions.  Again, I wish they'd include the day of the week and perhaps the time.  Things that might help a person decide if he (she) is going to see the performance or not.

Anyway, Friday morning, my favorite time of the week, even if I am complaining a bit.  Work week is done and the week end stretches before me.  Now, time for some sleep so I can get up and get on with the weekend.

Tue, Sep. 15th, 2015, 05:37 pm

At work we have a rather basic camera system to monitor the parking lot.  The other day as I passed by the monitor I noticed something.  (The pic here basically shows the right hand side of the monitor and two of the four feeds.)  My truck shows up in the upper portion, but look at the lower one.  I imagine it's something stuck to the lens, dirt or something, but...

It's been there a good week now.
Some folks can see it, others can't.  To me, it's neat that it shows up via a photo.

Sun, Sep. 6th, 2015, 02:02 am
On Book Series

I wrote this not long after my first book, Beyond the Ocean's Edge: A Stone Island Sea Story was published.  It was the result of an invitation to guest blog on Anne Mini's Author! Author! blog.  At this point in time, I'm not sure if it was ever posted there.

Thoughts on Series Books

            Thanks to Anne’s timely posting early in May, everyone in the Author! Author! Community probably knows I recently published Beyond the Ocean’s Edge: A Stone Island Sea Story.  Over the remainder of this year, should I come close to recouping what I’ve put into it, I will publish Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story early next year.  Thus I am in the process of writing and beginning to publish a book series.  At Anne’s invitation I’m here to share a few of my thoughts regarding the creation of a series.
            Before discussing the Stone Island Sea Stories in detail, I’ll offer a few observations about series books.  I believe they can be categorized as independent or dependent, while in truth, most fall somewhere between the two extremes.
            Books in an independent series are almost wholly self-contained.  Each is a complete story with very little to tie it to others in the series.  The only things that continue from one to another are primary characters, setting, and basic premise.  A reader can pick and choose from the stories, read them in any order and not really miss anything.  These might be analogous to the typical television series of a few decades ago.  While certain elements always carried through from episode to episode, each was complete in itself.  One could watch a single show and not feel lost.  Very little, if anything was carried over from week to week.  If more was brought along, one was usually warned with the famous “to be continued” disclaimer.
           Continuing on...Collapse )

Mon, Aug. 24th, 2015, 03:34 am
Smoke, SASQUAN, and Vacation

Normally at this exact instant I would be at work and starting to clean the tennis courts.  I took a bit of vacation over this past weekend and won't be going back to work until this evening/tomorrow morning.  Other than just wanting some time off, I scheduled my vacation to correspond with the the Science Fiction/Fantasy World Con or SASQUAN, held this year, right here in Spokane.  My original thought was to sign up ahead of time and go everyday, but I opted to go just once on a one day membership.  I suppose part of it had to do with needing to switch from my night time hours to normal day time hours and then back again.  I arranged the vacation so that when I got off Wednesday morning, I would not have to be back to work until Monday evening.  I go up a little earlier each day and by Saturday I was up at mid morning.  I spent the afternoon down town at the Convention Center at World Con.

Primarily ended up hanging around the dealer area, looking at various products, and eventually buying a few things.  Nice to be able to say I was there.  As I drove downtown I was a bit worried about finding a parking space, but there was no problem.  The lot next to Auntie's Bookstore was wide open as it usually is.  Then I realized that the vast majority of folks attending SASQUAN were from out of town and would have flown in.  Those that drove would probably have parked at their respective hotels, so regular parking wouldn't have been all that much affected.  Anyway, upon arriving, I decided to take a quick tour in Auntie's before heading over to the convention center.  Being the first time I'd been there since it was released in mass market paperback I decided to look for jpsorrow 's Shattering the Ley.  Discovered one copy on the shelf, which is now in my possession.  Also noticed a copy of one of his earlier Throne of Amenkor books there as well.

I believe everyone is aware that a lot of wild fires are burning in North Central, Northeast Washington.  Friday, we couldn't help but notice, as the smoke hung in the air life a fog.  At times,the sun was just a red dot in the sky,and at other times the smoke was thick enough that the sun disappeared.  All one could smell was smoke, and many could tell that it was having an effect on their breathing.  I know I could.  Saturday the wind shifted, clearing the air to a great extent.
Same pic as I posted a few days ago.  Friday the smoke was a lot denser that this.  Trees at the end of the street would have appeared to be in a haze.

I managed to get a few other things done over the course of my extended time off.  Friday, despite the smoke, I hauled a bunch of used engine oil to the local station for disposal.  Based on how much I took that time and how much I have left, I figure it'll take two more trips to get the garage emptied of the stuff.  It dates back to when I did all my own oil changes.  I'd keep bottling the old oil in the containers the new came in, but wouldn't get around to taking it anywhere.  Back then I was running both of my Corvairs, and I probably changed oil a bit more religiously in them that in newer vehicles.  I also used to do oil changes in Eva's car and as well in my newer vehicle... at that time the Suzuki Sidekick.  Thus, it didn't take long to accumulate a great deal of it.  Since Eva got her newer vehicle a few years ago, she'd started taking it to the dealer for changes, and after I discovered how much of a problem it was to change the oil on Jessica's Suzuki SX4, I just started taking mine and hers to the station for changes.  And without the Corvairs around anymore, I just don't do much if any automotive work.

Sunday afternoon I got the yard mowed and trimmed, even though the smoke was back a bit heavier than it had been on Saturday.  Didn't get all the trimming done as the trimmer ran out of string and I was not in the mood to go get more.  I'll pick up some during the week and finish that up next weekend.

Hope everyone had a great weekend, whether it was of normal length or extended length.

Mon, Aug. 24th, 2015, 02:18 am
Alternate Why I Write

I forgot about this.  Over a year ago, members of Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers talked about why they write.  These are the notes I used for my portion of that presentation.  I suppose that here I look at the question from a different point of view.   Also bear in mind that these were written as a guide for me while making an oral presentation and thus may not be all that smooth.

Why I write…
Age of Sail/ Naval Adventure, touched with a slight Science Fiction/Alternate World aspect.

Quasi-Historical, Nautical Fiction has those things I’m interested in… the technology, the history, the people… things I’ve been fascinated with nearly all my life.
Memory serves up two things that may have sparked that interest, or indeed may have come about as a result of that interest.

(ONE) A pen and ink drawing of USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides.”  It was done by a friend of my Grandparents during the 1930s when the famous ship was in Puget Sound during its tour of both coasts.  Grandpa framed it and gave it to me when I was in third or fourth grade.

(TWO) A story entitled “Capture At Sea” that was published in the children’s magazine, Jack and Jill, and which I read (repeatedly) in early grade school.

In high school I discovered the Horatio Hornblower stories by C. S. Forester.  After reading a number of these, I came up with a story idea that has grown to become the Stone Island Sea Stories.

The Science Fiction/Alternate World bit?  It was a solution to a problem I faced.  Originally the island was to have been very small, something one could walk across in less than a day.  As time went on and the story emerged, and as ideas for future stories made their presence known, I had to keep making the island bigger.  Finally it got so large that its absence from the map could no longer be excused because it was small and had never been discovered or charted.  One day while sitting in a squadron space on the 0-3 level of USS Constellation, right below the flight deck, and as far aft as one could go, the thought struck me:  “What if the island isn’t in this world?”  Once I decided to go that route, I realized that I had a great deal more freedom in writing and telling the story.

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