Fathers and Sons

Birthed in promises unspoken, on a bed of dreams and ghosts, I grasped the pleading in his heart, but faltered at the post; Desperation’s embattled prayer in a father’s grasp for fate, For all of that I could have done it’s too little and too late. Hiding from the ancient child weeping alone inside my head, Looking down at no one, looking up at those … Continue reading Fathers and Sons

The Roof

On the flight deck, broiling hot sun, bright blue sky, blue sea, whitecaps throwing spindrift with the wind, another day in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I’m standing between eighty thousand pounds of Hornet and sixty thousand pounds of thrust at full throttle, two fighter aircraft held back against their will, straining to break free, to pierce the sky, my head on a … Continue reading The Roof

Pitching Your Novel to Literary Agents

Holy cow, that was fast! I submitted my query letter (and first three pages of my novel) yesterday afternoon about 5:00 pm using Query Manager according to the agent’s submission guidelines. Most agents take weeks, if not months, to respond to a writer’s query. Not this one; by 7:00 pm I had emailed the agent asking for any information about why the agent rejected my … Continue reading Pitching Your Novel to Literary Agents

Status: A Wished-For Love

Thank you so much for reading along and supporting my effort. This novel is thirty years in the making and has been a journey of remembrance, blood, sweat, and tears. Most of the characters are based on real people. Tom’s and Sam’s Susanna was my girlfriend when I was stationed in Spain; yes, she died. Aida was a girlfriend in the Philippines. Lek was an acquaintance in … Continue reading Status: A Wished-For Love

Writing in “The Zone”

God, how I love writing in the zone. That period when your whole mind is so focused on the story that the story absorbs you and you become your protagonist. His emotions are yours, the blood racing through his veins is yours and the poundpoundpound of his heart is the poundpoundpound of your heart. The dialogue pours out, the conversation moves forward, the emotions tear … Continue reading Writing in “The Zone”

Beelzebub – I Lost a Draft!

Somehow I’ve contrived to lose a draft post of a little over 200 words. It’s quite deflating to see a work of two months flushed away into WordlessPress Land and not know how it happened. When I left the draft yesterday evening I felt it was shaping up into something I would be ready to post this weekend. My six verses of lyrics titled “Shake … Continue reading Beelzebub – I Lost a Draft!

On Love: Its Toll and Reward

Love isn’t cheap, although love can be cheapened. Love at any cost exacts an incalculable toll on the human soul. A five-dollar short time will get you love in Olongapo City, but what kind of love is that? Even a ten-dollar long time, an all-nighter, gets you nothing but relief, one more conquest to secure your manhood, and another sea story for the guys at work. Where’s the love? Where’s the … Continue reading On Love: Its Toll and Reward

Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

For Dad John William Pennington 12/29/1926 – 12/10/1994. GM2C US Navy WWII; SSGT USAF Korea, Vietnam There are two kinds of dead in war: those who die and those who live. Those who die stay dead; those who live die again and again and again until, someday, they too stay dead. He died in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa, but lived another … Continue reading Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

The 9 Most Common Mistakes I See on Opening Pages

Originally posted on Annie Bomke Literary Agency:
A while ago when I solicited advice on what topics to cover in my blogs, someone asked me to cover common mistakes I see authors making in their first pages, so here is my rough list. One quick note before I start the list, just to give you an idea of my mindset going into a manuscript. When… Continue reading The 9 Most Common Mistakes I See on Opening Pages

Servicemembers We Lost in 2017

Rest In Peace 12 Dec 2017 Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Staff Sgt. David Thomas Brabander, 24, of Anchorage, Alaska, died Dec. 11 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. 27 Nov 2017 Operation Inherent Resolve. Cpl. … Continue reading Servicemembers We Lost in 2017

Fretting

Ripples in a pond fretting amid damp earth’s fragrance whose deep-anchored tendrils curl around and around and up and up to caress and nurture. Focused on the footpath. Rigid muscles and throbbing temples. Panting. Impeding scales fall away as sunlight breaks through a misty veil of sweat. Pause. Beyond the trees a beckoning forest and a horizon, and mountains soften into hills. Renewal. Gaining the horizon. Footpath … Continue reading Fretting

My Little Story

I feel so much satisfaction watching the word count grow in the little story flowing from my pen. This joyful enterprise, this crafting of a universe built from memories of a lifetime. This imaginary world I have peopled with those I’ve grown up with, played, schooled, worshiped, worked, and served with. Decorated with scenes that have thrilled my eyes and my mind and lifted my … Continue reading My Little Story

Black and White, Not in Vain

We didn’t invent the present, We’re only reliving the past; Nothing we do today is A vote that’s never been cast. Life is all about growing, Not looking back with remorse; We’ll apologize once for our sins, We will not rehash them once more. We didn’t choose the future, and had Nothing to do with the past; why Second guess the sins of our fathers; … Continue reading Black and White, Not in Vain

Practiced, Pitched, Punched

Well, I pitched to five agents during the SavvyAuthors September Pitch Fest. All five shot me down. Between them, they must have received over a thousand pitches. Some writers pitched to all of the agents (there were publishing house editors too, but I didn’t pitch to them). Out of the ninety requests from those agents for full or partial manuscripts, I was not one of … Continue reading Practiced, Pitched, Punched

A WWII Native American Nurse in the ETO – Intermission Story (15)

Originally posted on Pacific Paratrooper:
Lt. Ryan The short, soft-spoken former Army nurse was asked how she coped with the harsh realities of working in an Army hospital in war-torn Europe during World War II. You could hear a pin drop as this 96-year-old veteran nurse stood under the shade of a small tent outside the Fort Meade Museum at Sturgis, South Dakota on 7/17/16.… Continue reading A WWII Native American Nurse in the ETO – Intermission Story (15)