‘Echoes from the Past’ – There is more than just a skeleton in the closet!

It seems like everyone has a potential skeleton in their closet. How well we know of our relatives and family members close and far is something we don’t necessarily delve into, unless it’s for the purpose of genealogy.

Even then it can be difficult because there is always that one person no one will talk about, whether they know of them or of their reputation from afar. That potential skeleton.

Of course its a whole different ball game if you have tried to forget them, and finally believing that they and the past have finally been erased.

Or has it?

The story starts out in New York at Christmas. I’ve been there that time of the year and it brought back memories, mostly of the snow and cold, and Central Park under a white blanket.

And the playful sqirrels.

In the setting of impending holidays and family reunions, we focus in on a man with a past, a man who is not who he says he is, a man who wants nothing less than an ‘ordinary’ life ‘like everyone else’. A man who wants to believe his past is but a distant memory.

He feels it is time, 20 years having passed, and surely the trail for his adversary, the man who killed his parents and was gunning for him, had gone cold.

That belief, and everything that went with it, disappears in a flash when he realizes his past has finally caught up with him, and it comes down to making a stand or getting the hell out of town. It’s not a hard decision. Will has the escape route planned, and has one foot out the door.

Except …

This time, after breaking his golden rule, don’t get involved, there’s more at stake.

This is a very interesting collection of characters, all of whom have their own dark secrets, and as each layer is peeled away we gradually become more invested.

Available for $0.99 at Amazon now:

‘Echoes from the Past’ – There is more than just a skeleton in the closet!

It seems like everyone has a potential skeleton in their closet. How well we know of our relatives and family members close and far is something we don’t necessarily delve into, unless it’s for the purpose of genealogy.

Even then it can be difficult because there is always that one person no one will talk about, whether they know of them or of their reputation from afar. That potential skeleton.

Of course its a whole different ball game if you have tried to forget them, and finally believing that they and the past have finally been erased.

Or has it?

The story starts out in New York at Christmas. I’ve been there that time of the year and it brought back memories, mostly of the snow and cold, and Central Park under a white blanket.

And the playful sqirrels.

In the setting of impending holidays and family reunions, we focus in on a man with a past, a man who is not who he says he is, a man who wants nothing less than an ‘ordinary’ life ‘like everyone else’. A man who wants to believe his past is but a distant memory.

He feels it is time, 20 years having passed, and surely the trail for his adversary, the man who killed his parents and was gunning for him, had gone cold.

That belief, and everything that went with it, disappears in a flash when he realizes his past has finally caught up with him, and it comes down to making a stand or getting the hell out of town. It’s not a hard decision. Will has the escape route planned, and has one foot out the door.

Except …

This time, after breaking his golden rule, don’t get involved, there’s more at stake.

This is a very interesting collection of characters, all of whom have their own dark secrets, and as each layer is peeled away we gradually become more invested.

Available for $0.99 at Amazon now:

A photograph from the inspirational bin- 34

This is the moon, unexpectedly observable in the late afternoon.

For me, the moon provided inspiration for an episodic story I have entitled, for now, ‘I always wanted to see the planets’.

It’s about a freighter captain who gets a gig as First Officer on an exploratory starship, who by a series of inexplicable events gets promoted to captain, and has to navigate not only the outer reaches of space, but new species.

But in the back of my mind there is that expression ‘shoot for the moon’, which could mean almost anything.

It could mean going for the unobtainable, whether it be a job, or the partner of your dreams. Failing can be heartbreak. Success might mean you’d be ‘over the moon’.

Them there’s travelling to moon, perhaps the next logical step for regular people, heading off the spend a week on a moon base hotel. I’m not sure what we would see out there in space; Perhaps a UFO?

Fictionalised, a moon base might just be the meeting place for various species, and being the mystery writer I am, what if there was a murder?

As always, the possibilities are endless.

‘Jungle Cruise’ – a review

Having gone on several of the Disney rides in locations other than in the US, I had no first-hand knowledge of what it might be like.

That aside, I have had a wealth of old movie viewing to fuel my imagination for what to expect, and those experiences didn’t let me down. Hollywood’s vision of the jungle has not changed much in the last 50 odd years.

And, with the Humphrey Bogart classic, The African Queen, firmly planted in the back of my mind, and this latest venture set in the same period, I was ready for anything the jungle could throw at me.

In this outing, the premise is a treasure hunt, not for actual treasure, but a life saving flower that grows on a tree somewhere in the jungle. Adventurers have been seeking it for many centuries, including a hapless expedition of Spaniards.

It was, as it should be, the stuff of legends.

We have all the usual suspects, man eating natives, poison darts, killer creatures including lots of snakes (and I hate snakes), rapids and waterfalls. And, yes, there’s the boat being saved at the last second from going over the edge. I had to wonder if that was a ‘feature’ of the ride in reality.

Visually, the jungle never looked better. If indeed, it was the actual jungle.

Like ‘The Mummy’ there is the hapless brother providing the comic light relief, and, I have to say, he did it quite well.

There is the strong willed, self-sufficient woman ready to face any danger, well, just about everything, except for one simple fear, for which it seems all superheroes have that makes them human.

And the fact she wears pants is the running gag.

Then there’s the Skipper, not the captain, of the boat, who needs no introduction. Oddly though, he drives the boat like it’s an instalment of Fast and Furious. And for those who remember a kangaroo called Skippy, will not be surprised by the heroines retort when he calls her ‘pants’.

Of course, it would not be as exciting if there wasn’t the archetypal baddie and being set around the time of the first world war, it had to be a German who is seeking the ‘prize’ in order to win the war for Germany. It was played with just about the right amount of dripping menace.

For light-hearted entertainment, and one of the better two hours I’ve spent in a movie theatre, there are, surprisingly, a few twists and turns you don’t expect.

Then there is an obvious rapport between the two leads, sometimes missing in stories like these, but their relationship didn’t get in the way of reaching the satisfactory conclusion.

All in all, it was one of the more entertaining films I’ve seen in a while, one where at the end, I found myself wanting more. Perhaps it will be like Pirates of the Caribbean, and we’ll get to go on another ‘cruise’.

A photograph from the inspirational bin- 34

This is the moon, unexpectedly observable in the late afternoon.

For me, the moon provided inspiration for an episodic story I have entitled, for now, ‘I always wanted to see the planets’.

It’s about a freighter captain who gets a gig as First Officer on an exploratory starship, who by a series of inexplicable events gets promoted to captain, and has to navigate not only the outer reaches of space, but new species.

But in the back of my mind there is that expression ‘shoot for the moon’, which could mean almost anything.

It could mean going for the unobtainable, whether it be a job, or the partner of your dreams. Failing can be heartbreak. Success might mean you’d be ‘over the moon’.

Them there’s travelling to moon, perhaps the next logical step for regular people, heading off the spend a week on a moon base hotel. I’m not sure what we would see out there in space; Perhaps a UFO?

Fictionalised, a moon base might just be the meeting place for various species, and being the mystery writer I am, what if there was a murder?

As always, the possibilities are endless.

Car parks are like watching dodgem cars

Many years ago I always wanted to drive a dodgem car but for some reason my parents would never let me.

It would have been fun, deliberately crashing into other drivers, or bouncing of the side walls. Not so much, I suppose, if everyone decided you were the target.

Many years later I got the chance. Grown up and having had a license to drive for some years I thought the practical experience would help.

It didn’t.

Nor did I realise just how painful it was when someone else crashed into you, especially if you were not expecting it.

I was reminded of this experience recently when having to try and find a parking space at a hospital car park at the wrong time if the day.

There were no spaces available.

This meant I had to keep moving while my wife went in for her appointment.

Thus begun an hour and a half of ducking and weaving, dodging reversing cars, and witnessing the very worse of mankind, stealing parking spaces from those who had been patiently waiting.

It happened to me three times, being caught on the wrong side of the car reversing out, only to watch another slip in.

They knew I was waiting, but ignored etiquette.

Calling them out got me a stream in foul language that brought my heritage into question, some doubt about whether my parents were married at the time of my conception, and words that I wouldn’t use myself, even under my breath.

And these from people driving very expensive cars and for all intents and purposes, people my father would say were my betters.

They were not.

Having money and displayable wealth, I have learned, does not make you a better person.

But, sadly, in this car park, there seems to be an extraordinary large concentration of them.

By the third occurrence, I did the unthinkable. I drove strait at the offending car and blocked its way, almost getting crashed into, dodgem style.

I was banking on the fact that posh person didn’t want to dent their lovely posh car and I was right.

Parking space secure, but at the cost of having my heritage and birth status impugned yet again, I felt an odd sense of victory.

Car parks are like watching dodgem cars

Many years ago I always wanted to drive a dodgem car but for some reason my parents would never let me.

It would have been fun, deliberately crashing into other drivers, or bouncing of the side walls. Not so much, I suppose, if everyone decided you were the target.

Many years later I got the chance. Grown up and having had a license to drive for some years I thought the practical experience would help.

It didn’t.

Nor did I realise just how painful it was when someone else crashed into you, especially if you were not expecting it.

I was reminded of this experience recently when having to try and find a parking space at a hospital car park at the wrong time if the day.

There were no spaces available.

This meant I had to keep moving while my wife went in for her appointment.

Thus begun an hour and a half of ducking and weaving, dodging reversing cars, and witnessing the very worse of mankind, stealing parking spaces from those who had been patiently waiting.

It happened to me three times, being caught on the wrong side of the car reversing out, only to watch another slip in.

They knew I was waiting, but ignored etiquette.

Calling them out got me a stream in foul language that brought my heritage into question, some doubt about whether my parents were married at the time of my conception, and words that I wouldn’t use myself, even under my breath.

And these from people driving very expensive cars and for all intents and purposes, people my father would say were my betters.

They were not.

Having money and displayable wealth, I have learned, does not make you a better person.

But, sadly, in this car park, there seems to be an extraordinary large concentration of them.

By the third occurrence, I did the unthinkable. I drove strait at the offending car and blocked its way, almost getting crashed into, dodgem style.

I was banking on the fact that posh person didn’t want to dent their lovely posh car and I was right.

Parking space secure, but at the cost of having my heritage and birth status impugned yet again, I felt an odd sense of victory.

I’m not perfect…

I was told a long time ago I wasn’t perfect, and it didn’t bother me. Then.

But it’s true. I don’t always get it right, sometimes I get annoyed and say things in the heat of the moment that perhaps shouldn’t be said, and sometimes I can be ‘difficult’.

I’ll be the first in line to say my blog isn’t perfect, in fact sometimes it bothers me some of the bits and pieces that go up because I doubt if they’re interesting, at the time, to anyone but me.

Perhaps it’s because I chose to be a writer.

It’s a hard slog at the best of times. Getting ideas, carving out time to write, having to live a normal life as distinct from that of living in a garret, on your own, writing that next great Nobel prize for literature, or is it a Pulitzer?

I don’t get that, I don’t have that, and I don’t want that.

For those of us living on that ‘edge’ of finding time to write, maintain a blog, keep up with social media, do the daily chores and watch some television, something has to give.

So, I’m not getting any writing done if I’m working on the blog, or I’m on social media. If I’m doing the blog, something else has to be sacrificed.

Mostly it’s my blog. My blog is about writing stuff, visiting places that have been or will be used in stories, and once, a recalcitrant cat who sadly has passed on. It also has running episodic stories, usually four different at a time.

It also had about 2,000 past posts. When I don’t get the time to do my blog, which has been mostly for the last three months off and on, I sometimes repackage or repeat past posts, just to keep it ticking over, much like a scoreboard.

It is also a tool for advertising my books and stories, and what’s coming (if only I stopped using social media) and these are repeated every four or five days. It’d the equivalent of advertising because I can’t afford other advertising. If this is an annoyance, I’m sorry.

And just so everyone knows, I will always keep writing, not because I want to become the next James Patterson, though it would be nice, I write because I want to, and it pleases me when someone reads something I write, and they like it. It is the greatest compliment of all, and I believe in encouragement. It’s why I spend a lot of that social media time highlighting other writers so they can build a following.

After all, we are all in the same boat, it would just be nice if we were all rowing in the same direction.

I’m not perfect…

I was told a long time ago I wasn’t perfect, and it didn’t bother me. Then.

But it’s true. I don’t always get it right, sometimes I get annoyed and say things in the heat of the moment that perhaps shouldn’t be said, and sometimes I can be ‘difficult’.

I’ll be the first in line to say my blog isn’t perfect, in fact sometimes it bothers me some of the bits and pieces that go up because I doubt if they’re interesting, at the time, to anyone but me.

Perhaps it’s because I chose to be a writer.

It’s a hard slog at the best of times. Getting ideas, carving out time to write, having to live a normal life as distinct from that of living in a garret, on your own, writing that next great Nobel prize for literature, or is it a Pulitzer?

I don’t get that, I don’t have that, and I don’t want that.

For those of us living on that ‘edge’ of finding time to write, maintain a blog, keep up with social media, do the daily chores and watch some television, something has to give.

So, I’m not getting any writing done if I’m working on the blog, or I’m on social media. If I’m doing the blog, something else has to be sacrificed.

Mostly it’s my blog. My blog is about writing stuff, visiting places that have been or will be used in stories, and once, a recalcitrant cat who sadly has passed on. It also has running episodic stories, usually four different at a time.

It also had about 2,000 past posts. When I don’t get the time to do my blog, which has been mostly for the last three months off and on, I sometimes repackage or repeat past posts, just to keep it ticking over, much like a scoreboard.

It is also a tool for advertising my books and stories, and what’s coming (if only I stopped using social media) and these are repeated every four or five days. It’d the equivalent of advertising because I can’t afford other advertising. If this is an annoyance, I’m sorry.

And just so everyone knows, I will always keep writing, not because I want to become the next James Patterson, though it would be nice, I write because I want to, and it pleases me when someone reads something I write, and they like it. It is the greatest compliment of all, and I believe in encouragement. It’s why I spend a lot of that social media time highlighting other writers so they can build a following.

After all, we are all in the same boat, it would just be nice if we were all rowing in the same direction.

Looking for inspiration in all the wrong places

I’m wandering through a shopping mall.  Not exactly what you’d expect from a writer looking for ideas.

Not that I came to the mall with that in mind, we have to do some shopping and a visit to the bank.

It’s one of those odd things we writers do, subconsciously looking for characters, character traits, or plots.

One came to me when I saw someone running.  Had they stolen an item and were they running from the store manager?  Were they escaping from a situation?  Perhaps they were just trying to catch up to the rest of their party.

Then, in another corner, not so private from everyone else, a couple are having an argument.  They are young.  There could be any number of subplots going on, were they breaking up?  Had one found out the other was cheating?  Were they married and discovered they were about to have a child they couldn’t afford?

Shopping malls are not exactly places that can be woven into a story unless it’s about teen angst, and there’s a lot of that in the after school hours and k as the night shopping.  I have never understood the need for teens to gather together and wander the halls of a shopping center.  Perhaps it’s just to hang out, whatever that means.

My teens used to gather and go to the cinema.  Years later we discovered they used to get drunk first then go to the cinema and misbehave.  It seemed like one of the ‘passage of rites’ thing for young people.  Not in my day, but times were different for them.  Nowadays it’s all about drugs and rage parties

Is this the sort of angst that finds it’s way into YA novels even though they might have a paranormal and/or fantasy theme.  People are still people no matter what the setting, so are we trying to sort out the problems of youth living in the current perilous times using a mythical background?

So much for finding subplots, now I’m looking at solving the world’s problems. I guess it’s time to go to the bank and solve my own problems and leave the rest to more competent people than myself.

Still, food for thought.  Perhaps a short chat with my 15-year-old granddaughter might make some sense of it.