Friday, April 27, 2012


There was once a summer where the skies seemed brighter. The trees seemed lusher and the scents stronger. The grass was greener and the water bluer, which I didn't quite believe possible 'till I saw it for myself. I was punting down a canal-like inlet in the middle of the Reedy Wetland, trying to reach a friend's hole on time. I was late because I'd forgotten where I'd left my hat and my friend was a mouse, currently engaged in drawing a manga.

Everyone knows that you never go punting in the Reedy Wetland without a hat, and I wasn't about to be the exception. Even so, I was still kicking myself over possibly being late and was rushing as fast as I dared through the bluer water. This is not a particularly safe thing to do, considering the Vivacious Algea, but under the circumstances it didn't seem I had a choice. Still, my spirits were high. It was sure to be an enjoyable party, even though we were secretly not partying at all.

I docked my boat along the mouse's quaint little dock and stepped quickly to her door. She was never one to admonish indiscreetly, but just imagining the look she'd give me if I was delayed a second longer added urgency to my knock. The door flew back as if she'd been standing there with her paw on the handle. "Why, Fox!" she cried amiably. "I didn't expect you to be first."

I stepped past her into the hall, noting the disapproving droop in her whiskers and counting myself lucky that that was all that was in the droop. "You mean Daner W isn't here yet?" I asked, only removing my hat once the door was safely closed.
"No, Hatta hasn't arrived yet," she replied quietly, turning to lead the way toward the kitchen.
I raised an eyebrow. "Is the use of his real name discreet?"
She ignored my whisper, loudly changing the subject. "I'm so glad you could get away for tea! And I know how you're fond of sugar so I took special care with the sugar bowl for this occasion."
I laughed. Mouse was feeling daring. "Good. I see by your clock I'm only two minutes late. Daner shouldn't be long behind me. In the meantime can you show me your rough sketches? I've been dying to see them!"
Mouse shook her head vehemently as she fetched the tea from the stove. "Absolutely not! Rough sketches are for the artist's eyes only. Finished ones are for viewing."
She began to pour two cups, hiding what she murmured next in the gurgling of the liquid. "The Algea has been thick of late next to the Painters Window! Will She be safe?"
I knocked the table, shacking with mirth as if she'd said something funny. Inwardly the news was tearing me up. "I think taking care of one's self is a harder skill to measure than most people would imagine," I replied. "After all, the very nature of the skill requires that one be on their own, therefore making observation trying, if not impossible. However, I think our friend manages wonderfully when she has to."

A thump from the next room drew both of our attentions. Mouse, as I recall, gripped the tea pot menacingly, and, as there came another thump from beyond the adjacent door, I began to wish I had left my hat on. One more thump later and the door flew open and in stumbled Hatta. He looked wet and bedraggled, with Algea clinging and squirming vivaciously all over his person and with his hair sticking out in ever direction from underneath his top hat. The hat was dry, though, and he was holding it firmly on his head. There was an arrow sticking out of it.

"Hatta!" Mouse cried, running and embracing him tightly. She couldn't hide the squeaky catch in her voice.
"I've arrived!" he panted, adjusting his dripping glasses. "Have you started without me?"
I plopped four sugar cubes into my cup. "Didn't really get to. Did you, by any chance, come through the Piano Room window?"
"Had to. I couldn't imagine another way in, what with the Water Guard chasing me. That window is well hidden in a cozy nook of grass that they'll never suspect."
The Mouse was all concern as she held him at paw-length. "Hatta! The Water Guard?! Did they hurt you?!"
"No, no, it's okay, Mouse," he replied soothingly. "My hat helped. But I fear our Tea Party will necessarily have to be brief. Have you the Raven?"
"It's in the writing desk," she whispered. "I'll fetch it. Did you manage to get the message through?"
In answer he took his hat off, pulled the arrow out, and withdrew a manila envelope. "Did one better. I fetched back a reply."
Meanwhile I was downing my tea and standing. "If the Water Guard are as close as you say, we're in danger. I should go out to see if I can't thwart them. They don't know my real alliances. Can I read that letter as Mouse gets the Raven?"
Hatta blinked his cool blue eyes at me. "Do me a favor first, old man. Touch your dominate knee with your dominate forefinger."
I smiled at him and answered carefully, "Only, good sir, if you first do me the honor of glancing down my dominate ear with your dominate eye."
He nodded and handed the envelope over. It was a little worse for the wear, smudged with dirt and with an arrow hole through it. I slid it carefully open and read over the contents as best I could. "It's as I feared… If we don't do something the whole of the West Forest, even as lush as it is, will be up in arms!"
"Or up in flames," Hatta said quietly.
Mouse came back holding a statue of a bird. I sighed, moving toward the hall. "I'd like to know that's secrets as well, but I'd better hurry. Just don't forget to tell me next time we meet! I'll honk once if I get them after me, and twice if they're headed for you two. …Oh, and be good, by the way."
"Fox!" Mouse cried admonishingly, but I was already getting my hat and opening the front door.

Evening colors were invading the sky, turning it all pink and purple. The crickets sang among the reeds and the frogs were quietly square dancing up and down a nearby isthmus. I nodded at them politely and then hurried down the dock. I was suddenly hoping that Hatta remembered to remove the Vivacious Algae before the spines got to him, but knew deep down that Mouse wouldn't let him forget.

Suddenly a whistle sounded behind me, in the grass. I un-looped my boats hold rope and punted free, into the current. Looking back nonchalantly I spied the five Water Guard scurrying up to the water. I waved to them, then took off as fast as I could go, careless of the Algae. Who cares about the Algae! I thought. If she can head through dangerous waters for the cause, then by yiminey, so can I! Besides, I've been in need of a new boat for awhile now…

Noting that the Water Guard were all now in the water, speeding after me, I casually gave my boat horn a long squeeze and then waved at them again. The Water Guard had very tough exteriors, but on the inside they were fragile as glass. Wave impudently at them and speed off and they were sure to give chase in a hot rage.

There was a splash off the port side. Glancing that way I saw her, skimming through the bluer water. My knuckles went white as I gripped my pole, and I quietly held my breath. She swam under my boat, surfacing and leaning up over the side.

"Mermy! It's so good to see you! What on earth are you doing here?" I whispered frantically at her.
She brushed her long, golden, wet hair out of her face, looking up at me in confusion. "What? Oh! You're leading those Water Guard off the scent, aren't you?"
I couldn't help but smile down at her as I punted. "Yes, dear. Mouse is giving Hatta the Raven. I'm ever so glad to see you're alright! I was worried after hearing what Mouse had to say."
"Shouldn't you be afraid of being seen with me?" she asked coyly.
"Not in the least! How could I be when I love you? Besides, the Water Guard are always dreadfully short-sighted."
She playfully splashed me with her fins. The twinkle in her pearl-blue eyes enraptured me for a second…
"Fox! I said, how can I help?!"
"Oh, sorry. Um, can you give me some extra speed? I think they're gaining… Also, once we're far enough away from Mouse's you can help me direct these guys through a few of the roughest patches of Algae. That ought to slow them up and let us get away!"
She smiled, heading gracefully around the back of the boat. "I thought you'd have a plan, dearest. You always do, when you're not distracted."
"Hey! You're right, though… Want to grab some pizza after this? I know the best little Italian place! Candles, checkered tablecloths, vodka, the works!"
I could feel her eyes narrowing at my back. "You promised me…"
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding!"
"Why on earth would you suggest we go for pizza on a dire evening like this, anyways?"
"You can't guess?"
"…The owner is an old, dear friend and contact isn't he?"
"Really, the most amiable, loyal Italian you'll ever meet! But come, love, tell me about your adventures. Did you learn anything? Did you succeed? Did you get hurt?"
At this last question I glanced anxiously back at her, but she was all smiles. "Worried?"
"Of course I was!"
This got a laugh. Then she started her tale as we both continued to propel us through the bluer water. There were things she'd overheard that I dare not repeat and near scrapes that I cringed at the telling of. But all in all my dearest mermaid took care of herself quite well, something I was sure of all along, deep down inside.

And in the end we had pizza at the Italian place, laughing and chatting and exchanging invaluable information that would ultimately save the nation. It was not a summer day that I could ever easily forget.

And now if you've read to the very end of this blog, bravo! Here's the link to my recently published (two days ago) and now available book, The Flying Fix-it Shop
 If you enjoyed this sample of writing, then buy it and enjoy a better, more well-rounded story of mine.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Post Publishing Problems

Well, guys, I'm published! That doesn't mean the problems have ended, though! The book is up on, but it says it's "unavailable in the United States." I'm currently republishing it to see if that helps and I've sent a query off to Amazon itself to see what the problem is. Bear with me as I bear with Amazon. I should hopefully have my book available for purchase in the next few days. …I hope.

Wednesday Evening…

Imagine for a minute that you're standing seven thousand and two feet above a horseshoe shaped waterfall with only an inch and a half rope between you and certain death. Your arms are out for balance and your toes are gripping the rope with, somehow, practiced ease. You lift your head, straightening your shoulders, and take a deep breath. Cold and clear, the air is filled with atomized water. The roar of the falls is all around, disappearing and reappearing with the whim of your ears.

Wasn't that fun? We played with perspective! First, the idea of dying, then the thought that you could, somehow, do this and live. Then, of course, the inevitable description of your beautiful surroundings, trying to take you there but only really succeeding in bringing you so far as the art museum of your mind's eye. That can either destroy or strengthen the perspectives established before, depending on how good your imagination is. And how good is your imagination, Sesame Street Gen?

Enough of all that, though. I actually need to run… I shouldn't be blogging at all… But I am, and all I really wanted to say was, I AM PUBLISHING TODAY!!! That's right, Amazon Direct Publishing is grinding away on my book as I type! It's going to be up at 6PM! Isn't that exciting!! That's why I'm using all these exclamation points!! Cause I'm excited!! See?!?!

Anyways, I go. I'll keep you updated, people, but go look for my book on the Kindle store after 6PM! It's called The Flying Fix-it Shop.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hitting Walls

So I officially finished my book, people! Months ago… The problem now is getting it published. With the wonderful invention of the Kindle (and Kindle software that will run on just about anything) and the glorious ease of KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) I thought, "This won't be a problem!" Boy was I wrong!

I keep making progress, slow but sure, but if anything this whole process has shown how badly life can get in the way sometimes. It's like a brick wall that sprouts out of the ground and beats you in the face. Or like a work schedule that does the same thing. Or closing on a house, or college, or relationship issues, or a bathroom remodel project thats been lingering like the devil for the past few years. Actually, it's worse than the devil. Cause you can get the devil to flee and this bathroom just sits there. o_0

There are life lessons here! I know it! Like, how to manage one's time better and when it's better to hire someone to get the work done and when it's not. But I'm almost too frustrated to care! I think the last thing I need to do is put up an excerpt for the website we're prepping… That's if I ignore the correction notes coming in from my test audience and just publish asap. -_-

I'd tentatively like to shoot for Wednesday (This one, the 25th), but if not maybe this weekend… Maybe? Please? I understand that's unprofessional but again I don't care! At this point I'm just begging God to let it happen! Preferably soon. Maybe I'm supposed to be learning patience…

Anyways, I'll keep you all posted as this struggle with my book and life and walls and bathrooms continues. Any prayers for me would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Closer To Love

Meet me once again,
Down off Lake Michigan,
Where we can feel the storm blown down with the wind.

Maybe I'm too self focused. maybe I'm too focused on my fiancée (which isn't possible, by the way). But this song makes me think of her and me. ^__^ <3 And makes me think of how God pulled us together.

It doesn't seem to matter how far away I stray.
God always pulls me closer to love anyway.

Thank you so much, God, for keeping me in Your Hand. And for teaching me the ways of true, self-sacrificial Love.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Where are the dust moats, that hung in the air?
Where are the sailboats that floated by the Sare?
The children are gone, their songs are sung.
The clocks are dead, the chimes all rung.

The wind is blown out, the leaves have turned.
And the hearts of men doubt what they have learned.
Knowledge is passing, prophecies few…
What is there that lasts longer than dew?

We yearn for eternal, but what ever is?
Nothing but Love and this we miss.
We don't want to change, but change we will.
And He that will never we long to change still.

Broken is Folly, yet we cling to her to define.
Having given up on changing to find the Divine.
We excuse ourselves with lymrics, with our clever rhymes.
And think ourselves justified by voicing the sign of the times.

"Two things are forever, and these two will never change!
The unlimitedness of God's perfection and man's limits in that range."
But while this is true, there's something that sets us free.
God can get us through to where we're supposed to be!

Unchanging, we are changed. Insane, we find our minds.
Eternal Love came from eternity to open eyes so blind.
We are raised from our graves, in an instant transformed.
With man this is impossible, but with God nothing is forlorn.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's Free?

I'm in the last steps. This journey is so close to finished. Everything is falling into place, changing and molding into what it has to be. I'm literally a click away from publishing (although I still need those URLs and stuff up first…) but suddenly I pause. My expectations over the last month have been shattered and re-worked and forced to given in here and take more there, but this last give makes me stop. It's about price.

It seems that I can't put my Kindle up for free on Amazon… The lowest I can go is $0.99. After all the angsting I did over motives, and deciding that publishing my book would not be about money I find it very annoying that this is a snag. I had wanted to put my book up for free for the first month, just to let it get out there and clearly say, "look, this isn't about money for me, it's about communicating the hope freely given to me." But now I'm thwarted…

I'm gonna Do more research before I give up, but for now it looks like the beginning price is gonna have to be $0.99.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Into The Fog Flavored Milkshake We Fall

It was more of a float, which is almost a way of describing it all. Almost, but not quite. So we do this fog filled dance, asking questions like: "Why no lemon?" "Who is that six-foot bunny?" "And what's that funny smell in the room?"

In the long term, though, I'd like to address world hunger, brain freeze, and brain burn. World Hunger, I'm so sorry for your loss. Brain Freeze, if you stop paying the rent, I can throw you out. Brain Burn, What about the old stand by, 'Ode to Joy'? No? Oh, well. I don't know what to say…

The fog is lifting… I can almost see enough to land this thing on the Danube. Now, here's hoping the water ain't choppy.

The last preparations are going in, and one of the last things needs doing is buying URLs. Sadly, that's a bit of a wild card.

You see, I need the consultation of my brother. And he's in Cleveland. You also, surely by now, see how much I say, 'you see,' don't you? Or do you? You would if you'd seen the bunny… Was his name Harvey? Or Frank…?

So, basically, I need to work out a time we can both (my brother and I) work this out. But, since everything has been falling together like fog flavored milkshakes through one's brain, my main focus is gonna be keeping my reasons straight. The reason for publishing. The reason for working. The reason for waking up each morning. And the reason for not drinking milkshakes. The reason is my Blessed Redeemer, Jesus Christ. You are my God and my Rock and my Light. You, alone, shine through the thickest of my fogs. Flavored, or no.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Don't Look A Blog Horse In The Mouth. Or In The Eyes, For That Matter

Folks, hopefully within a week, two at most, I will have my book up on Kindle! The Flying Fix-it Shop has been a long time coming, but it's made for a lot of practice in a lot of areas. Writing, first and foremost, but also editing and collaborating and I can't ignore the learning process of venturing into Kindle Direct Publishing for the first time.

Today (right now) I'm looking into a navigable table of contents that will make my e-book an breeze to read. Hopefully… it will be easy. Sadly, it will not. I have found out that I need to painstakingly go through my book document and make my chapters a specific heading number, which requires changing the font back and the font size back and the alignment back and taking it off bold. Soooooo frustrating! Luckily, I only have 23 chapters. …I need a break.

Finally! That only stole about two hours of my life (the table of contents, that is, not the break). And I'm still not sure it worked right… The links are clickable, working fine and everything, but for heaven's sake don't try to change the background color. -_- Anyways, I should go mow the lawn. I'm sure my troubles with the Table of Contents have only just begun, and I need something to take my frustration out on.