Get rid of those negative thoughts…

Alright, let’s move away from all the negative and look at something positive and, yes, quite beautiful…

From and written by Eston Ellis, the story of how domestic dogs are being used as companions for five young cheetahs and two young wolves to help them as they grow, and why such companions are helpful to them…

Meet the domestic dog ambassadors at the Zoo and Safari Park

Lovely stuff!

All the negative news of late…

…I mean, it’s exhausting and depressing and you feel so freaking bad about the way this country is going and then to see the “Commander in Chief” actively try to ignore all the fires he’s stoked, then switch gears and “blame” the media as if somehow they’re the ones culpable for the extremists and their actions.

The darkness exposed and, sadly, reinforced by the statements and non-statements of Mr. Trump are bad enough, but to see people die and find themselves in life threatening situations… it makes you despair.

But all is not lost.

I know its a cliche, but if you don’t like what’s happening, if you want change –real change- and a country and politicians you can be proud of who work for the good of people instead of those with the darkest of dark impulses, then VOTE.

It’s a cliche, I know, but VOTE.

Make yourself heard.

Make yourself count.

You should be doing this EVERY election.

Corrosive Knights, a 10/27/18 update

No, I haven’t lifted the proverbial finger (yet) on Draft #11 of Book #7 in the Corrosive Knights series.  However, there is something I wanted to present which I’m beyond thrilled about:

New covers to Chameleon (Book #3) and Nox (Book #4) in the series!

And here they are (covers were created by the folks at

So, from now on when I present the full Corrosive Knights series covers (at least of the books done until now), the graphic becomes…

I’m planning to redo all the covers… though there may be one I will keep… hopefully in time for the release of Book #7 in the series.

Guide yourselves accordingly! 😉

Corrosive Knights, a 10/25/18 update


I’m… impressed with myself.

So I began reading the latest draft (#10) of Book #7 in the Corrosive Knights series…

…on October 17th and finished the reading and adding pen & ink notations on the 22nd, ie Monday.  That evening, I started transferring the notes I made into the computer, a process that can sometimes take a while.

It took me until today, the 25th of October.  In three days the notations were put into the computer and Draft #10 of Book #7 is complete.

…and I’m SUPER proud and quite a bit exhausted!  Pleasantly exhausted, I should hastily add.

The fact that it took me a grand total of EIGHT (!!!!!) days to finish off the entire 10th Draft of this book fills me with all kinds of happy emotions.

This book is really, really close to being done.  Tomorrow morning I plan to print it out and then…

…then I’m putting the sucker away and taking a looonnnngggg restful weekend to recharge before starting up Draft #11 on Monday.

This is where it gets really interesting: When I do the read through this time around, will I feel the book is good enough to finally release, or will I find there are still a few sections that could use at least one more Draft?

We’ll see next week.

Regardless, this book is super close to being completed and I can’t wait to release it!

Periscope up…

As I said in my last posting, I’ve been immersed in the latest Corrosive Knights novel and that’s why I haven’t been posting as much as I usually do of late.

But the events of the last day or so…

It’s disheartening, to say the least, even as it isn’t unexpected.  When you have someone sowing the seeds of anger as fervently as Donald Trump does, it shouldn’t be a surprise when some unknown -and deranged- person out there takes all that rhetoric to heart acts on it.

Thank the Gods no one has been injured yet it is terrifying to think that a series of what look like pipe bombs were floating around post offices and were delivered to various people who are on the so-called leader’s enemy list.

What’s even more depressing is that many of those right wing pundits who carry Trump’s water are so quick to label these terrorist attacks (and that’s what they are, even if none of the bombs so far went off and killed/injured someone) some kind of “false flag”, ie bogus operation intended to slap mud on them and their daily rants.

Actor James Woods, an actor who frankly I’ve enjoyed in many roles (though the movies I enjoyed him in appeared a very long time ago) has turned into one of those repellent angry right wing types.  Upon hearing the news that the Clintons, one of, if not the first family reported to have received these bombs, tweeted that the bomb sent to them was somehow “an obvious political stunt”.

Those last four words in quotes are actually from Mr. Woods, people.

He has since then deleted that tweet.  I guess once subsequent news reports revealed the Clintons were but one of many people to receive these terrorist bombs over the mail (this morning there’s breaking news that one of Robert DeNiro’s restaurants received such a device as well) there was no longer the possibility -even for someone as hog tied in right wing politics as he is- to still excuse this as a “political stunt”.

Maybe there’s hope for you yet, Mr. Woods, though I doubt it.

(You can read about Mr. Woods’ tweet about these mailed bombs here.  The article is by Aris Folley and found on

Fun times we live in, eh?

Corrosive Knights, a 10/22/18 update

I know, I know… I haven’t been posting as regularly as before.  The reason?  I’m neck deep into Draft #10 of my latest Corrosive Knights book, #7…

I finished Draft #9 on 10/11/18 but was out of town and then wasn’t able to get to Draft #10 until 10/17/18.

I hit that sucker hard and now, in a matter of 6 days, I’ve completed the latest read through/pen & ink revisions of the book.

And let me tell you, it’s looking damn good.

The things that need revision this time around aren’t terribly big.  I believe I only found one little bit I wanted to add to the story and the rest of the things which need fixing amount to grammatical and/or storytelling clarity issues.

So tonight I begin the process of transferring the pen & ink revisions into the computer.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I get that part done by the end of this week, following which its off to Draft #11!

Will we need a Draft #12?

I’ll tell you soon!

A Quiet Place sequel…?

First: Sorry for the dearth of posts.  I have plenty to say -and there’s plenty to comment about!- but I’ve been focused very, very hard on my latest Corrosive Knights novel to the point where its taking up almost all my free time.  I want this book done!


Anyway, and apropos of nothing, the success of the film A Quiet Place clearly has created interest in a sequel.

If you’ve seen the film, you have to wonder where it can go from there.  It seems to me the film ends rather definitely, with the idea that the threat -if not quite over- will soon be over.

John Krasinski, the co-writer/director/co-star of that film, now appears to be onboard with writing the sequel, according to this article found on and written by James Whitbrook:

John Krasinski will write the A Quiet Place sequel

I liked A Quiet Place despite the fact that it had many, many plot holes and logic issues.

Given the presence of Mr. Krasinski in at least writing this sequel, I have to admit I’m intrigued.

What do critics think of Loving the Alien…?

At the risk of beating a dead horse…

From, a survey of the reviews for the latest David Bowie Box set, Loving the Alien

Loving the Alien (1983-1988) metacritic reviews

While most professional reviews (and there aren’t terribly many of them so far) are generally positive, I’m always intrigued by the most negative reviews.

It’s not that I’m a sadist -as I wrote, I liked the boxed set and felt the new version of the much maligned Never Let Me Down album was a tremendous improvement- but I am intrigued by those who don’t like something I may like and the reasons why they feel that way.

In that spirit, here we have Stephen Dalton’s review of the boxed set found on

David Bowie – Loving the Alien (1983-1988) album review

Mr. Dalton clearly doesn’t think very highly of Mr. Bowie’s releases during this period of time and his conclusion regarding the new version of Never Let Me Down is quite negative.  Here are his thoughts, from the link above, regarding the “new” version of that album:

So is it really possible to reverse-engineer a ‘lost’ avant-rock album from a lacklustre soft-rock misfire? Arguably. On the positive side, Bowie’s vocals are now generally clearer and more sympathetically framed, especially on the sweetly romantic title track. But adding discordant drones, minor-key shifts and sci-fi trip-hop rumbles to thin material like Day-In Day-Out or Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) is more cosmetic gimmick than inspired transformation. Trying to salvage Bowie’s most derided album is an admirably ambitious experiment, but low-grade source material was always going to be an obstacle. Some turds just cannot be polished.


Look, I totally understand those who look down on this boxed set and, specifically, this new version of Never Let Me Down.

The fact of the matter is that when compared to the previous boxed sets, where Mr. Bowie first made his career starting with his glam rock era and following it up with some truly adventurous work (including the justifiably lauded Berlin trilogy), one can look at this era in his musical career as a step down.

And I’m not going to argue that point: It is!

Mr. Bowie hit the proverbial ball out of the park with Let’s Dance, a slick, radio friendly, and eminently enjoyable collection of wonderful pop songs.  To my mind, that was a terrific album and it moved Mr. Bowie from being a famous but rather “cult” figure into the mainstream and his success was white hot.

The problem came afterwards.

Mr. Bowie clearly lost his way following the success of the album.  Tonight the album that followed Let’s Dance, was what I consider merely adequate.  There were some terrific songs on it, specifically Loving the Alien (which this boxed set used as its name) and the ultra-cool Blue Jean.  I also enjoyed Tonight and Neighborhood Threat.  But after that?  Well… I can’t get into much of the rest.  Perhaps the album’s worst song is Bowie’s remake of the Beach Boys’ God Only Knows.  It was daring, to say the least, to take on of that band’s most beloved works and try to redo it, but Bowie here seemed so out of his element.

Which brings us to Never Let Me Down, again.  I can’t help but feel that Bowie was burning the proverbial candle at both ends at this time.  He was appearing in films and doing soundtrack songs (included on this boxed set are the absolutely terrific songs This is Not America and Absolute Beginners, along with his songs for the movie Labyrinth, which he co-starred in).  This, along with a grueling concert schedule, must have taken their toll and I’ve read (but take it with a grain of salt) that he was exhausted during the making of NLMD.

Could this be why he later stated that he didn’t feel like he had much control over the album?  Did he entrust too much of its creation to others?

One could think so, though I strongly suspect that if the album had been a hit, Mr. Bowie would welcome the adulation.

But, of course, that wasn’t the case.  NLMD was a critical flop.  As the years passed, most people had a sour view of the album and that era for Bowie’s music.

I can totally see why someone would scoff at this boxed set and feel that “fixing” NLMD is the equivalent of “polishing a turd”.

And yet…

My opinion remains.  I didn’t like NLMD upon its original release.  As I wrote in my review of the boxed set, I felt that album was too scattershot, too all-over-the-place.  Having said that, I felt there were good songs to be found here and there.  It wasn’t a complete train wreck but it seemed something was lost between the various song’s creations and the ultimate cut used.

Which, to my mind, has been fixed tremendously with this “new” version of the album.

Will this new NLMD come to be viewed as another landmark Bowie album, one initially scoffed at a la 1. Outside, which was lambasted by professional critics upon its initial release but which now many people consider among his very best later releases?

I don’t know.

But it’s the way things go, isn’t it?  Sometimes things are viewed very negatively when initially released and, over time, people come to view a certain worth to the product.  Or it may never be rehabilitated.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

David Bowie – Loving the Alien

As I’ve posted before, the main reason I was curious to buy the just released Loving The Alien box set by David Bowie was  to listen to the new mix of Never Let Me Down.

Considered by many, including Bowie himself, as his “worst” album, I was very curious following the release of a remixed version of Time Will Crawl a few years back whether the album could be salvaged. My curiosity increased when this boxed set was announced along with the fact that it would feature a complete remix of that much maligned work. While Mr. Bowie sadly passed before the album was remixed (and therefore he personally could not approve of the overall work), when early releases of Zeroes and Bang Bang were available, I found them intriguing and my curiosity piqued.

Now that I’ve heard the whole thing, I have to say I’m incredibly impressed.

I too didn’t care for Never Let Me Down in its original version. It felt like too much was going on at once. It was too busy, too scattershot. Well, the new mix of the album fixes that. The album feels far more cohesive and some songs I really didn’t like, such as ‘87 and Cry, are truly transformed into something great. Listening to this new mix of Never Let Me Down is like finding a “new” great David Bowie album. It’s that good, IMHO.

The rest of the compilation is quite good as well. You have Let’s Dance, the crown jewel of this set, along with Serious Moonlight (a live concert), Tonight (a so-so album with some great highs and some equally low lows), the original Never Let Me Down (which one can use as a comparison to the remix, if you’re not terribly familiar with it), Glass Spider (another live concert), and a bunch of odds and ends and some great singles (This is Not America is a particular standout, IMHO).

If you’re a Bowie fan, very much worth getting!

Corrosive Knights, a 10/11/18 update

Yeah I know, I did an update yesterday.

But I figured I’d let you know, as of five minutes ago, Draft #9 of Book #7 in the Corrosive Knights series is done.

I’m very pleased with the pace with which I was able to get this done.  As I mentioned before, I figured it would take me maybe two weeks to finish transferring the pen & ink revisions to the computer but, instead, it took me six days.


Anyway, its off to print the sucker out and then another read-through.  This time, I’m confident enough of much of the material that I’ll likely do something of a “mini” read through which focuses on the parts I feel need the most work.  When I get them fixed to my satisfaction, I’ll give the entire book one or two more overall read-throughs and that should be it.

Stay tuned!