Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pass On

I don't know if any reader has recently lost someone, but at this time I felt moved to post this. This is an amazing spoken poem that I found and had to share. Here's the video, and the lyrics are bellow.

Pass On
When searching for the lost remember 8 things.
We are vessels. We are circuit boards
swallowing the electricity of life upon birth.
It wheels through us creating every moment,
the pulse of a story, the soft hums of labor and love.
In our last moment it will come rushing
from our chests and be given back to the wind.
When we die. We go everywhere.
Newton said energy is neither created nor destroyed.
In the halls of my middle school I can still hear
my friend Stephen singing his favorite song.
In the gymnasium I can still hear
the way he dribbled that basketball like it was a mallet
and the earth was a xylophone.
With an ear to the Atlantic I can hear
the Titanic’s band playing her to sleep,
Music. Wind. Music. Wind.
The day my grandfather passed away there was the strongest wind,
I could feel his gentle hands blowing away from me.
I knew then they were off to find someone
who needed them more than I did.
On average 1.8 people on earth die every second.
There is always a gust of wind somewhere.
The day Stephen was murdered
everything that made us love him rushed from his knife wounds
as though his chest were an auditorium
his life an audience leaving single file.
Every ounce of him has been
wrapping around this world in a windstorm
I have been looking for him for 9 years.
Our bodies are nothing more than hosts to a collection of brilliant things.
When someone dies I do not weep over polaroids or belongings,
I begin to look for the lightning that has left them,
I feel out the strongest breeze and take off running.
After 9 years I found Stephen.
I passed a basketball court in Boston
the point guard dribbled like he had a stadium roaring in his palms
Wilt Chamberlain pumping in his feet,
his hands flashing like x-rays,
a cross-over, a wrap-around
rewinding, turn-tables cracking open,
camera-men turn flash bulbs to fireworks.
Seven games and he never missed a shot,
his hands were luminous.
Pulsing. Pulsing.
I asked him how long he’d been playing,
he said nine 9 years
The theory of six degrees of separation
was never meant to show how many people we can find,
it was a set of directions for how to find the people we have lost.
I found your voice Stephen,
found it in a young boy in Michigan who was always singing,
his lungs flapping like sails
I found your smile in Australia,
a young girls teeth shining like the opera house in your neck,
I saw your one true love come to life on the asphalt of Boston.
We are not created or destroyed,
we are constantly transferred, shifted and renewed.
Everything we are is given to us.
Death does not come when a body is too exhausted to live
Death comes, because the brilliance inside us can only be contained for so long.
We do not die. We pass on, pass on the lightning burning through our throats.
when you leave me I will not cry for you
I will run into the strongest wind I can find
and welcome you home.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Almost done with the final edits for book 2, Strike of Sword! Planning to have it uploaded to Smashwords next month. Just wanted to write this short post for the update and as a thanks again for everyone who supported this project.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Drake Files Chapter Seven

Drake’s immediate response was denial. Kari looked contemplative.
“Spies?” Drake asked in disbelief. “Why are my parents suddenly interesting?”
“Why would our parents be spies?” Kari asked thoughtfully.
“Your parents were in college during the height of the Cold War,” Mrs. Tennyson pointed out. “They started out as young conspiracy theorists getting together, but it soon turned into an information gathering team of close to twenty people. Both of Drake’s parents and Kari’s father were involved.” Mrs. Tennyson then turned to Kari. “Did your mother ever know?”
Kari shrugged. “She left when I was a little girl,” she said simply. “I haven’t heard from her in nine years.”
“I’m sorry,” Mrs. Tennyson consoled.
“It’s her fault she’s gone, not yours,” Kari replied. “What were they gathering information for? Was it to help America win the Cold War?”
“They weren’t trying to help anyone win anything,” Mrs. Tennyson explained. “They gathered secrets from everyone, the US, Soviet Union, the UK, even France and Germany.”
“Why do all of this?” Chris asked. “For the fun of it?”
“I think it was more for the curiosity behind it,” Mrs. Tennyson supposed. “They weren’t out to win a war; they just wanted to know what was truly going on. The stories my husband told me made them appear just fearless in their pursuit of knowledge. They were young, curious and willing to take that kind of risk.”
“So they became spies?” Drake asked, still not fully buying all of this. “It still doesn’t sound like my parents. My parents are the safest people I know; my dad takes vitamins religiously and pays bills and taxes the day they come in the mail. I once watched my mom compare peanut butter brands for almost ten minutes.” Drake leaned forward in his seat. “What exactly about my parents made them spies as good as you claim.
“The collective cleverness of ingenuity of these people would’ve made NASA jealous,” Mrs. Tennyson said. “All of this only lasted for two years. After that, they all settled down, went back to school and made their lives and families.”
“What type of secrets did they gather?” Kari asked.
“Anything they thought was interesting; locations of top secret nuclear facilities, private dealings of high ranking officials, even where the Soviets kept Hitler’s body.”
Kari reached into her pocket and pulled out her father’s silver ring. She passed it over to Mrs. Tennyson. “What were these? My father and Drake’s parents all had one.”
Mrs. Tennyson examined the ring. “These rings were the unofficial symbol for their group. The color silver represents illumination, and to your parents and their friends that meant the thirst for knowledge.” She handed the ring back to Kari and pulled out a thin chain from around her neck and under her shirt. Hanging from it was a silver ring exactly like Kari’s. “This one was Richard’s.”
“So let me back up here,” Drake said. “If our parents were spies, why are they disappearing now? My parents disappeared two days ago, and a few days before that Kari’s dad was gone, too. So what’s happening now?”
“I’m not sure,” Mrs. Tennyson replied. She then turned to her son, who seemed deep in thought. “What are you thinking about, Chris?”
Chris sat there rubbing his chin for a minute. “I think someone talked,” he then said. Turning to Drake and Kari, he said, “My dad worked for a computer software company here in LA. He specialized in security and firewall software. If my dad wanted something hidden, no one would be able to find it. Logically, if he was half as amazing as he was back in college, the only way someone would find them out would be a snitch in the group.”
It was a thought that hadn’t crossed either Drake’s or Kari’s minds. “Why would one of them betray the others like that?” Kari asked.
Chris shrugged thoughtfully. “I don’t know. Maybe one of them got found out and he ratted the others out as part of a deal?”
“Mrs. Tennyson,” Drake said, “is there any evidence left that would connect any of our parents to any of this?”
“No,” she replied. “That’s what’s confusing me in all of this. Richard said everything was destroyed.”
“There’s something still missing,” Chris interjected. He turned to Drake and Kari and asked, “Who disappeared first?”
Drake and Kari looked to each other. Kari then replied, “My dad went missing.” Her face suddenly changed as if she just realized something. “But he sent me a letter warning me. He lives in Chicago, but he sent me a letter to my college in D.C. It usually takes mail a day or two to make that trip. I usually take the train to make the trip, and it’s still a seventeen hour trip. There’s no way my dad was the first to be taken.” She suddenly looked so relieved to know that.
“Can I see that list you said your dad sent you?” Chris asked.
Kari reached into her back pocket and pulled the folded list out and passed it over to Chris. Chris looked it over. “You’re sure this is your father’s handwriting?” he asked without taking his eyes off it.
“I know what my dad’s handwriting looks like,” she replied slightly defensive.
Chris didn’t talk as he continued studying the list. Drake watched his eyes dart all over the page. “A name’s missing,” he said simply. When no one responded to him, he looked up at everyone. All three of them just looked completely confused. Chris turned to his mother and asked, “Didn’t dad say there was a professor involved, too?”
Mrs. Tennyson suddenly understood, but Drake and Kari still didn’t. “What professor?” Drake asked.
“My dad told me that one of their professors was part of the whole spy ring,” Chris explained. “Having a professor involved made them look like a legitimate normal school club, which helped them avoid attention.” All of a sudden he stood up and started walking away, saying to himself “What was his name?” He came back with a MacBook covered in stickers from different video games. He sat down and started typing away. Everyone went over to look over his shoulders to see him looking up the faculty for George Washington University. He came to a link for one of the teachers and clicked it. A picture of an older man, easily in his seventies, appeared on the screen.
“That’s the professor,” Chris said triumphantly. “Arthur Greiser.”
“Professor Greiser?” Kari asked. “He’s one of the most popular teachers there. He was my dad’s favorite professor there; when my dad told him I was planning to go to GWU he even found me some extra scholarship money.”
“Maybe he can find us some answers,” Drake replied. He then pulled out his phone, flipped it open, and asked, “Does this guy have a phone number?”
Drake dialed as Chris read off the number. Kari snatched the phone out of Drake’s hand before he could finish, though. “What?” Drake asked annoyed.
“What were you planning to say?” she asked back. “I don’t think this is something we should talk about over a phone.”
“You want to go to Washington, D.C.? We just got here!”
“Kids, were you followed?” Mrs. Tennyson asked. Everyone turned to see her at the window, looking at six men in suits coming out of three black cars across the street.
Drake and Kari both looked horrified. “How did they follow us?” Kari asked in disbelief.
Drake peered out the window to get a better look. “They don’t look like the guys back in Aurora,” he pointed out.
The six guys started walking toward the house. Drake and Mrs. Tennyson stepped away from the window and everyone ducked into the kitchen and out of sight.
Chris set his computer on the counter and continued to look something up. “Yeah, there’s a search out for you guys.” He twisted the computer around to show Drake and Kari both on an FBI wanted list for questioning of “possible terrorist activity”.
“Great, now we’re terrorists,” Drake said. “What do we do now?”
There was a hard knock from the front door. “FBI, please open up,” said a deep male voice.
“Be right there!” Mrs. Tennyson called back. She then gave Drake, Kari and Chris a stern look and whispered, “Go out the back. Stay hidden and I’ll stall them as long as I can. Go. Now!”

Friday, June 6, 2014

I once had an idea...

For a television show. One of my favorite shows growing up was Scrubs, and sitcoms like Friends and Seinfeld. I was exploring every possibility in writing, including TV. So I came up with an idea for a show, but I never got around to making a pilot.

The story would center on a young dentist. This guy would be a very methodical person, very by-the-book, and into his work. He is a great dentist, very knowledgable and skilled, but ultimately boring. He had his practice and a couple of friends, but not much of a life.

Then, one day, to his horror, a candy store opens across the street from him, and he's upset because dental hygene is his thing. It outrages him to the point where he goes over and plans to give the owner a piece of his mind. However, he finds the store owner is a very pretty young lady. This lady is super excited and loves candy, and it drives the dentist crazy.

Like other sitcoms, these two would work through antics based on their differences, grow to accept one another and maybe become an item. It would have lots of laughs and plenty of emotional moments. It fell through the cracks because I realized writing for TV and teaching would be too difficult, and if I wasn't teaching, I'm not sure I could come up with more than three seasons of material.

That was a dream at one point, but sadly I had to put it on the shelf for good. It'll probably stay there forever as a nice idea, and maybe at one point I could give it to someone else. However, everything else is still going well. Slowly, but I'm getting the bulk of it done now since I don't have any classes until July. Thanks for all the support and I hope you continue following.