Just because everyone's looking at you

May 15, 2023 5:32 pm

For those of you considering participating in theater, let me give you a little advice--a tip from an old hand and veteran of the wars upon the boards waged in spirit gum and grease paint: When you're on stage and all the other actors fall silent with faces turned at you with anticipation, that's a pretty good sign that you've missed a cue and are supposed to give a line.

Our community theater opening night was last week. We've completed three performances and have four more to go. That little situation mentioned in the tip above happened to me twice on opening night. I know what my problem was: I was thinking ahead. The play was going on in my head and I was a few lines beyond the present. While I wandered in the pristine future, the ugly elbow of the present jabbed my ribs, snatching me from that ethereal temporal advance to face the expectations of the instant. Naturally, I took but a moment to realize that I held the key to that future and that I alone could turn the lock, which I did by delivering the correct lines with appropriate ardor and poise--at least that's the way I'm telling it.

image Power to Hurt is available May 16 and 17th for only 99 cents. Get it now. That price is limited to those two days. Remember, book one, Threading the Rude Eye is only 99 cents as well.


I did get some writing done on Book 6 amid the hustle and bustle of the play. Interesting things are happening with Akram and the hunters as catastrophe strikes Washington's army. I've sent the first ten chapters to my Skirmish Team for review. So far they've had good things to say about it.

I wasn't reading Tolkien this week, but I was whisked away to the bridge at Khazad-dum by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I was reading his short story "The Gray Champion." The nameless hero in gray confronted the high and mighty representative of a king on a narrow street with the soldiers behind. The hero didn't say "You shall not pass!" but he did say, "Stop," and halted the king's balrog and goblin soldiers. Hawthorne has a way of setting a scene that stacks descriptions and atmosphere to a point, building anticipation. Modern readers have probably moved away from his style, but there are elements in his writing worth emulating.

I also enjoyed Agatha Christie's The Secret Adversary. I found it tremendously entertaining. It's part of an Agatha Christie collection I picked up for free or 99 cents.

Looking forward to research for book 7 in the Tomahawks and Dragon Fire Series, I've also picked up Brandywine by Michael Harris. It had good reviews and I got a discount with my kindle points. I have high expectations for it.


On the streaming front I completed a watch of the first season of Candice Renoir. It's a French detective show. Both the Brits and the French seem to be heavy on the single mother detective trope. It was fairly mediocre but it was free on Amazon, in French, and free of nudity and excessive profanity--that's a rare combination.

As for podcasts, I completed the Frontier Partisan episodes of King Philip's War. I recommend it. You can check out the Frontier Partisan's blog here.


In the category of free/discounted books you might want to check out, here is The Emerald Lady by James L. Hill: The Rummy Gale is sailing in stormy seas off the coast of America in 1698. imageIt is a Carrack laden with pine lumber from Virginia bound for England. Jeremy Simmons is a midshipman on the commercial vessel, he brought a young boy on to save his family from financial ruin. The ship breaks apart in a hurricane and sinks.---There's more of course. You can read more and get the book here.

There's also KA Quin's steampunk novella, Keeper of the Mechanical Insects.

imageMillie Day shut out the world after her husband died, but the world changed without her. Trouble explodes through her cellar wall in the form of a mysterious vortex through which mechanical devices arrive from another world. A ruthless inventor leads her on an adventure through the skies and even an attack on the Tower of London to save both the life of her new best friend and the future of Great Britain itself. --Check it out here.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Blast is still going on. There only a few books. Please check them out. In Death Bedrenched is included.


Honor Roll with special thanks to these subscribers:

Lois for her stunning review and heroic defense of The Shrinking Zone.

JBudd for reviews of Threading the Rude Eye, In Death Bedrenched, Power to Hurt, The Shrinking Zone, Clamorous Harbingers, Promise of Carnage and Flame, and Truth in Flames

Colleen for leaving ratings for several of my books on Amazon

Rob for leaving a review of Threading the Rude Eye

Michael for leaving reviews of Threading the Rude Eye, and The Shrinking Zone

Mayra for a review of Threading the Rude Eye

Gloria for a review of Threading the Rude Eye

ShannonC for a review of In Death Bedrenched

Jan for reviews of Threading the Rude Eye, Power to Hurt, Clamorous Harbingers, Promise of Carnage and Flame, In Death Bedrenched, The Shrinking Zone, Truth in Flames, and Justice in Season.

Bonnie for a review of In Death Bedrenched.

PAR for a review of Threading the Rude Eye

-There are many other reviews of my books, of course, but I don't know whether those reviewers are also subscribers to this newsletter.