The Legacy of Light

Son #2 just finished a new song called Legacy. It’s available at most of the usual places. In terms of light and darkness, his music is full of light and shadows. You can’t avoid the shadows down here on Earth if you really want to see how bright the light is.

Contrasts are necessary for context.

In writing news, I’m about 90% done with a new epic fantasy. It’s currently around 170,000 words. Once the draft is finished, I’ll go back through it to adjust things–(probably) mostly character arcs and sub plots.

I find the revision process more enjoyable than the first draft process. Polishing, nudging, refining, deepening, adding in narrator perspective, all that sort of thing. The danger for me in the revision process is allowing perfection and good to get in a protracted battle. Those can be lengthy battles, kind of similar to the Hundred Years War between England and France in the Middle Ages. Edward III should not be allowed a hand in any writing.

The new fantasy is about halfway in between the Tormay trilogy and the Fury Clock in terms of the mix of seriousness versus humor. Maybe an inch or two closer to the South Pole of humor. It contains all of the necessary characters: a semi-delusional farmboy, a dwarf (see photo–yes, I took a photo of him), a wizard, a bad-tempered (but pretty) elf girl, a unflappable swordsman, a stolen map to an Ancient Place You Should Not Visit Unless You’re Fine With a Horrible Death, an extravagant amount of treasure, the Darkness (definitely with a capital D), several psychotic aristocrats, cold ale, and lots of roast boar (in honor of Asterix and Obelix–if you have not read Asterix and Obelix books, you need to get some immediately, as they are pretty much the pinnacle of comic literature).

Speaking of Darkness, the world seems a darker place these days. All the more reason to curl up on the sofa with a good book and an endless supply of snacks. And hopefully not a psycho cat strolling by at random moments to sink her claws into your leg. We just acquired a new kitten who still has not learned when it is appropriate to use claws and when it is not to appropriate to use those same claws. Her name is Pepper and she’s proving to be in the Ghost Pepper-Carolina Reaper category for now. We assume she will mature and make wiser choices sooner than later.


The World is Full of Beautiful Things

The world is full of beautiful things, such as butterfly wings and fairytale kings, queens, princesses and ogres. At least, so says Dr. Doolittle–the Rex Harrison version from back when most people were mostly sane.

One of those beautiful things is the newest song from Son #2, the 14-year-old. He’s definitely veering in the cinematic direction, with a touch of introspection and melancholy. This one is called Moonlight, available at and in all places where fine music is sold (also, here it is on Youtube).

I’m trying to recall what I was doing creatively at the same age. I was writing stories, but they were pretty mediocre at best. I remember writing one around that time about a talking avocado and a blender and, perhaps, some kind of extra-terrestrial intrigue. At any rate, I think my teacher recommended to my parents that I get counseling. I don’t know if she said that purely on the basis of that story, or if that story was the straw that broke the proverbial academic camel’s back. By the way, I didn’t go in for counseling and have managed quite a few decades without any homicidal outbursts, kleptomania, hypochondria, multiple personalities, or even extreme paranoia. Though, I will admit to mild paranoia.

Anyway, my creative excellence at 14 does not measure up to Son #2’s composition and recording. He amazes me, but children do that? Don’t they? They amaze their poor, befuddled parents in big and small ways all through life. Such as, how did that toddler get out of his crib and onto the kitchen counter at 3 in the morning?

Another beautiful thing is the gymnastic ability of our 4-month-old kitten Pepper. She leaps in random ways, in sudden contortions of muscle and bone that defy gravity and also choice. Unless, of course, the leaps are caused by her spying the appearance of some invisible creature: angel, demon, leprechaun, honest lawyer, etc. Then, her leaps make sense.

Another beautiful thing is a good steak.

Another beautiful thing is the _____ project I was recently hired to work on by ______. Getting paid to write a _______ for ________ has always been a dream of mine that I gave up a long time ago. For an opportunity like _______ to suddenly materialize out of thin air is shocking, gratifying and pretty darn exciting. Once the ______ is ______, I’ll post all the details. Until then, I can only say _______, __________ , and __________.

This is starting to look one of those subpoenaed FBI documents the House spends years chasing after, only to be given pages of redacted information.

Rambling and Rumbling

Rambling is something we all do, in long ways or short ways, and rumbling is either what’s going on in your stomach or your mind or past the horizon as we hear rumors of war, earthquake, famine and the four horsepeople of the apocalypse.

I’ll use my particular rambling and rumbling to catch up on things, though that should be “things” with a capital T.

First off, in no particular order of important, some of the homeless here in California (and there are a LOT of homeless, as, among other things, they tend to move here from other states due to weather, benefits, the degree of law enforcement or lack thereof, etc) are starting to build tiny houses in various spots with greater and greater degree of utilities: power, water and sewer. This tends to happen in the public right of way, such as this story about a homeless community along the 110 Freeway in southern California. Light, water, a fridge, a tiny home on public land.

This sort of thing is starting to make me think of the pioneers homesteading in the American West, back in the 1700s and 1800s. History is repeating itself, but with a tinge of Mad Max.

Speaking of movies… I’ve been hired to —— for an ——– for a ——–. More news coming out on that later. I’m not allowed to say much about it, so I need to confirm (and then reconfirm) the restrictions of the non-disclosure agreement. NDAs make a little paranoid, so I’d rather be ultra-safe than just safe.

Needless to say, this new job is on top of my pre-existing job working in land use, policy and land management here in central coast California, so that means finding hours and half hours early in the morning, in the evening, during lunchtimes and on the weekends. Not a problem, because I enjoy creative writing, particularly when it’s not post-modern nihilist nonsense.

I recently learned that Greenland has only three stoplights. This is sobering news. I think we all take stoplights for granted. Stop and reflect on the sheer plethora of stoplights that exist in your life. You are blessed with stoplights. Don’t take them for granted. Remember the poor people of Greenland who must only make do with three stoplights between all of them and the seals, musk oxen, polar bears etc who also make their home there.


In other news, the homeschool year is about to come to an end in several weeks. The children’s minds are brimming with Latin, logic, literature and many, many other things that start with L but that I can’t recall off the top of my head (really, that phrase should use a different preposition). They can’t wait for non-school days so they can busily jettison all that knowledge to the best of their abilities and industriously use their synapses in other pursuits. Worthy pursuits, I’m sure, that don’t involve video games.

Speaking of throwing words around (and that’s exactly what we’re doing here), I just finished reading Dean Koontz’ newest book, The Bad Weather Friend, and I have to say–he really throws his words around in a delightful manner, even when he’s writing about somewhat disturbing topics. May Dean Koontz live long and prosper, and may he write many more books. One of the interesting things I find about him is that he writes from an absolutist moral order of the universe, that Man does not define meaning, but that Truth (with a capital T) exists outside of Man and it (and the founder of that truth) is what defines Man. This approach creates the perfect philosophical framework for writing proper suspense and horror. After all, of what worth is a horror story if the author (and the reader) don’t believe in the absolute concepts of good and evil? If you don’t believe in that, you can’t have a genuine horror story. All you can have is a dreary piece of nihilist gore with nothing at stake.


Summertime by JB Proof

Summertime is the new song from the artist JB Proof (who happens to be my fourteen-year-old son). Instrumental, contemplative, easy-listening. He had zero help from me, which was a deliberate choice on both of our parts.

I’ve been writing and recording music in various genres for decades now (am I truly that old? yes), but this youngster is something else. The question of talent vs hard work vs inspiration is a difficult one. You can go around and around for days on that problem. JB is a mixture of talent and hard work. He definitely has a unique knack for melody and chord structure, but he will also happily sit at the piano for hours, practicing and writing and practicing some more.

When you join talent and hard work together, you end up with a potent mixture. A God-inspired mixture, in my estimation. I’m VERY interested to see where JB goes with this. He has a great many other songs in the pipeline…

Summertime on Youtube.

Summertime on Amazon.

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