Monday, April 29, 2013

House 2: Electric Boogaloo!

First of all, ladies and gentlemen, I have to apologize for the title of this post. However, whenever I see a sequel to a film or book, I automatically think of that classic 1980s movie, Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo.  So, I couldn't resist using it as the title of this post.
Please forgive my questionable taste in 1980s cinema. ^_^
So, this afternoon I went and examined the house the realtor told me about.  It's not a bad house. It's got good bones. The location isn't bad; it's in an older, more settled neighborhood close to two Interstates and a popular shopping center.
Yes, the chocolate brown rug would have to go. So, too, would the linoleum in the kitchen.  Then the walls would have to be painted. The back door would need to be replaced. The back yard would need to be cleaned (It seems to have acquired a vast collection of deflated soccer balls, etc.) then attacked with a lawn mower.  The bathroom ceiling would have to be patched.
As I moved through the house I made a mental list of things that would need to be done to make the place livable.
And it's certainly doable.
If I had the mechanical skills, it probably wouldn't cost me much to do it myself.
However, gentle readers, there is a reason I let someone else change the oil in my car. There is a reason I don't tinker with hot water heaters or anything connected to propane/gas/etc.
Basically, the handyman genes have totally skipped me.  While my mom can put together a functional greenhouse using castoff plywood, plastic sheeting and holiday lights, suffice to say that I can plug in a heat lamp and that's about as do-it-yourself as I get.
By this point, the tally in my head had hit the red line.  Outside, the neighbor's dogs were barking up a storm as they had been since our arrival. 
And that, gentle readers, was when I knew this property was not for me.
Sure, it was in my price range. Sure, I could find a contractor to do the fiddly, mechanical bits. But I don't want to move into a new neighborhood and be That Guy; the one who complains about the dogs and kids and noise, etc.
So, I'm not making an offer on the house.  I shall let it slip away, into mist and dreams of what could have been.
I shall wait and see what comes along next.
Who knows?
Maybe it'll be something better.


Good morning, gentle readers.
Today, I am looking at a house.  It's a three bedroom, two bath foreclosure near where I currently live.  The photos the realtor has sent me look okay, although I already hate the carpet.  It's a shade of chocolate brown that I don't care for, not with pale walls.  So, if I buy it, the carpet will be the first thing to go.
Not that I'm really planning on buying it.  I'm going into this with no expectations at all. I'm going to go into the house, poke my head into closets and under sinks, examine the back yard, take a gander at the foundations and the roof and then leave.
It's curious how this house has arrived in my life.
I have a friend, who was supposed to move to my city. She asked me if I would check out some neighborhoods where she was considering buying a condominium. I said, 'Okay!' and wound up driving around town, checking out condos, cruising through neighborhoods, assessing them.
It's amazing how judgemental one can become when considering a place to live.
This place looks nice, but the surrounding neighborhood is crap.  That place had a nice neighborhood but the actual residence looked trashy. What are they using the HOA dues for? 
I've met with a couple of realtors, taking a look at condos for Lisa, and randomly mentioned to one that I wouldn't mind setting down roots myself. Although not in a condo. I've done that and don't think I'll do it again.
So, fast forward a couple of weeks. I get a phone call out of the blue from one of the realtors who informs me of a house that's just come on the market. It's on this side of town, the owners just lowered the price and would I like to take a look?
Sure. Why not? I've got nothing to lose.
So, I'm off this afternoon to take a look at the place.
I've already driven through the neighborhood.  It's decent enough. The houses are a mishmash of older and newer properties.  There are no chain link fences with razor wire running along the top and the yards are fairly well maintained.
I think you can tell a lot about a neighborhood by how well the properties are kept up.
There is one house that is either being torn down or reconstructed.  I honestly couldn't tell which, but it's down the street and I'm not too worried about it.
I like where I live at the moment.  It's nice and my landlords are good eggs.  But since this offer came, I have to admit to feeling itchy. 
It would be nice to have my own place again. A proper house this time as opposed to a boxy little condo.  So, I think I'll keep looking, even if the house today is a disappointment.
And if it isn't? If it's in decent shape on the inside, as well as the outside?
Who knows? Maybe I'll buy it.
If I do, I'm definitely changing the carpet.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Strawberry Ice-cream

Good morning, gentle readers.

Today, I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like doing anything but going to a movie and, maybe, getting some ice cream. Strawberry, I think. It feels like a strawberry ice-cream sort of day.

I should be doing promo work for the free book giveaway I’m doing next week. I should be contacting sites like Freebooksy and Books On The Knob, filling out their forms, planning cross-platform promotional strategies, etc.

I should be working on the third book, the sequel to Dawnwind: Last Man Standing.

I should be making notes on a new side project, a sequel to Capetales that doesn’t have a name yet but focuses on the bad guys in the Capetales Universe.

I should be doing a lot of things, but I’m not.

Instead, I’m sitting around thinking about strawberry ice-cream.

Sometimes, gentle readers, you have to surrender to the inevitable. 

So, I'm off to satisfy my urge for strawberry ice-cream, and maybe catch a movie.  Because we all deserve a day off.  Don't we?

Monday, April 15, 2013


Bomb blast,
Smoke pluming
Blood rushing.

On the screen,
Ad nauseam.

Ten years ago,
Planes smashing,
Towers falling.

The madness
Has not begun
It never ended.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Small Gods


They stand in the corners,
almost forgotten,
waiting on someone,
to remember their names.

Their voices,
which boomed like thunder,
once upon a time,
are now whispers.

You have to strain
to hear them,
in the rustle of leaves,
in the fall of rain.

Diminished and dim,
the Small Gods wait,
hoping and praying
for someone,
to remember them,
to invoke them.

And each year,
there are fewer of them.
Their voices failing,
their glory fading,
as they fall
into obscurity.

The Small Gods wait,
almost forgotten,
praying that someone,
will remember their names.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mrs. Black Saves the World

Hello, gentle readers.  This scene has been rattling around in my head for a little while, refusing to grow into anything bigger. So, I thought I would plant it here, on the Internet, just to get it out of my head.  I hope everyone had a fine Easter and that Spring is busy springing wherever you are.

* * * * *


This is the way the world ends.

Not with a bang or a whimper, but the crackle of a turning page.

The Doomsday Book looks properly impressive. It is heavy and black, bound in the leathery hide of the beast that killed the dinosaurs.

The Doomsday Book’s pages are made of vellum, pale as milk. The words printed on them with meticulous care look as if they were just penned; the characters are red. Against the pale parchment they look like bleeding wounds in white flesh.

Mrs. Black found the book in the Goodwill shop, lying on the discount table. She paid a dollar for it and took it home with her. That night, she sat in her favorite chair with a cup of tea and a plate of oatmeal cookies close to hand, and read it.

It was not a very thick book and it only took her an hour to finish. Afterwards, sitting there, sipping her tea, nibbling on a cookie, she considered the end of the world. It all seemed a bit messy and quite unnecessary.

She went into the spare room and rummaged through her late husband’s desk. After a little while, she returned to her chair. Picking up the Doomsday Book, Mrs. Black opened it. She smoothed the parchment with her hand and peered at the red words.

Then, she opened the bottle of White-Out and poured it over the page.