Friday, July 15, 2016

News Update

The computer’s going to the “doctor” and I won’t be able to post on Monday.

Feel free to re-read some Short Stories or Death as Metaphor posts or look me up on Twitter.

I’ll return the following Monday with a new Short Stories & Such post.

Thank you to all readers who have been reading this blog and keeping up with my writing.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Quote 18

“What is man without beasts?
If all the beasts were gone,
men would die from great loneliness of spirit,
for whatever happens to the beasts
also happens to man.
All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth
befalls the children of the earth.”
-Chief Seattle, Suqwamish & Duwamish

We hear a lot about how wolves or big cats are killed for getting onto farms or are hunted down for sport.

We hear about elephants whose whole face is cut off so poachers can get the ivory quickly before being spotted and how the declining rhinoceros is being haunted.

We hear about dogs getting cooked or forced into dog fights.

I can go on with a list of animals who are exploited for some reason or other, but the point is that this quote reminds me of how connected nature is to our animals and us. 

We are all in the world for a reason and we all play our roles. It’s when we disrupt this cycle of life that things get ugly. 

We are killing each other and we don’t stop there. We are killing our animals and destroying our trees… 

We think technology will be the panacea for everything and, yet, we can’t teach our children to be empathetic.

We need to care.

We need to take steps to try and make things better by informing ourselves and taking some action, even if it’s as simple as buying cage free eggs or donating to good causes or volunteering.

Everyone can do a little to make this wonderful world last a little longer. Don't you think?

Note: This quote was written on one of the letters from the Reservation Animal Rescue based in Arizona. They welcome donations to help support both animals and Native Americans who care for them on reservations.

If you are interested in donating to this rescue, you can go to their website at

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Be Responsible

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July Weekend!
Attend fireworks displays at shows or parks sanctioned by the city.
It’s better for the environment if we don’t litter our neighborhoods and it’s better to prevent injuries.
The goal is to commemorate the birth of the nation and to be with family and friends, not to see who can scare the neighbor’s dog or how can we go deaf from certain types of fireworks.
Nature already has the best lightshow--- just look out at the night sky.
And if you see any dogs wandering the streets the next day, make sure to provide a safe haven and try to get them back to their guardians.
That’s all for now. Follow me on twitter and if you really want something to read, go back and select from the various posts on this blog. 
Stay tuned for the next post the following Monday.

Thanks to all readers!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Art 10: Color Queen

During some Life Drawing classes I took back in 2011 at a college, I had greater use of the charcoal. I think I was finally ‘getting it’ and the use of different colors to enhance the image helped make this one of my favorites. 

The model was great. She held the pose for 15 minutes in total. I dubbed the drawing the Color Queen because of the yellow hair (model was a brunette) and the confidence on the face. 

Maybe if I went home after the session to add more details, the drawing would have been much better, but I tend to like the unfinished look.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Writer’s Workshop 18: Come out of your Shell for Publishing

Back in April, I attended the 8th annual Writer’s Weekend at MT. SAC. Here are a few things I learned for writing in our genre from presenter Yishun Lai:

First, plot generates from character. What your story is about will progress based on what the characters do and say.

Second, you need a query for agents and publishers. If you go straight to a publisher, you need a query and if you go the traditional route and look for an agent, you need to query them. Make sure you do enough research to find what they are looking for and what they ask for before you submit. The other thing is you don’t have to take the first agent/publisher that approaches you. Compare and do your research. Check out, Also, check, which is filled with valuable tips for writers and supplies sample query letters.

Third, your pitch is an important piece to publishing. The pitch is what will draw the agent, so it is important to “hone it and own it.” Don’t let introversion get in the way, especially when pitching in person. The main thing is to write it and ask: what is this character facing? is this too specific or too general? why should agents, readers, etc. care about this story? what’s so different about this story that hasn’t already been told?

Last, she recommended the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Why I Write 10: News and Additions

After many months tightening my manuscript, I finally started the querying process for my Young Adult debut novel about the tenuous relationship between a father and his son. 

It’s been a long journey for me because I’ve been learning along the way how to become an author. If the first batch of queries don’t do so hot, then, I’ve got another list of literary agents. In the meantime, I have my other novels to focus on and edit, revise, complete, etc. (It never ends… =)

You’d think writers sit around all day and have fun, but as I get involved with this part of my life, writing has become a JOB… no not a job, a CAREER. Actually, a second career. I haven’t quit my day job and I struggle to get as much done as everyone else. So far, it’s paying off. The Eagle Rock Branch (Los Angeles Public Library) has just released the Stone Bird Anthology where my science fiction story, The Thing, is included. Copies can be purchased at the branch location. 

I’ve also recently opened a Twitter account and hope to begin another journey into the social-verse. To follow me, just click the link right below my name. This is all new to me, but like everything, it takes some practice.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Books I’m Reading 24

Animal Planet’s Complete Guide to Dog Care: Everything you need to know to have a happy, healthy, well-trained dog by Diane Morgan. This book provides a lot of information in regards to having a dog.

Great Habits, Great Readers: A Practical Guide for K-4 Reading in the Light of Common Core by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, Aja Settles, and Juliana Worrell. This book details examples of putting together a reading program in your classroom that incorporates the requirements for Common Core to best support our students.

It seems like a mighty long time by Angela Jackson is a collection of poetry. The poems in this book deal with a lot of life issues. Jackson has a flare for portraying reality and metaphor in a poem. A very talented poet that merits every ounce of attention when read.

Stealing Sugar from the Castle: Selected and New Poems by Robert Bly. Interesting collection of poetry.