Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Most Happy Easter!

Ocean Lakes Campground
Some poor old guy keeled over in Mass this morning. Fortunately, my church is predominately Filipino. Thus, from the congregation, about 35 nurses rushed forward to help. The Fire Department arrived quickly and carted the old guy out. No word on his condition, but my second favorite place to die, other than home in my sleep, would be church.

Met with a host of old Team in Training chums at the Rose Bowl yesterday to celebrate Virginia Garner's 20th anniversary on the drug Gleevac. Facing death from cancer in 1999, she took a chance on an experimental drug. A generation later, Virginia lives to help raise money to fight leukemia, lymphoma, and assorted other Grim Reaper blood cancers. Her amazing story, and that of husband Van, is chronicled in their book: Journey to the Finish Line: Surviving Cancer Together.

I mentioned to the group (SGV marathon team) that I felt one more marathon resting within me. This was because I had a great running book idea that needed the happy ending of a marathon. (Finishing time of no consequence.) Ideas sprang forth including the LA Marathon and one I'd never heard of: the Ventura Marathon, said to be a net downhill and a big Boston Marathon qualifier.

Ventura is in October, but I doubt I'd be ready by then. I'll need to decide soon since marathons tend to fill quickly these days. (Except LA, where they were offering discounts in February.)

Exciting to even contemplate. More soon on this momentous decision.

Friday, April 19, 2019


Ugh. Monstrous. Infected. Unclean. An email account and Twitter soiled. Writing on hold as I unclog the mess. Wearying.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Chi Running Once More

Social Control
After ten months of letting my right leg heal, sloth, eating, excuses, and overall fatigue, I'm back on the road. I can shuffle along, running one mile out of three. Truthfully, I walk faster than I run at this stage, but it's good to be mobile thrice a week. (I weigh an embarrassing amount.)

Writing a number of short stories as if it were 2009/2010. Three completed with beta reads, two more outlined, and writing the fourth. I'll send them out to publications as I unscrew my disordered marketing. Amazing. Nobody can find anything I write because I position my work so poorly.

This is changing now.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Screams From My Father Lots of Fun

Screams From My FatherScreams From My Father by Paul Gleeson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Funny noirsh tales make up this collection from back-in-the-day. A most rapid read, running the gamut from ironic to hilarious.

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Thursday, February 07, 2019

Scrivener Hacks for Macs

MyYouTube playlist for Mac users. Very basic novice stuff, for I, too, am a Scrivener neophyte. Hope it helps in ways grand and petite.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Pasadena Half-Marathon and 5k 2019

5k runners awaiting the gun. To the lower right are TNTvets Virginia Garner, David Hall, and the top of Esther's head. 

On good authority, Conquer Endurance Group held a half-marathon along with a 5k this crisp Sunday morning. My place was in the 5k, shivering with everyone else. As many know from my 13 + years of blogging, the Rose Bowl is my home turf, scene of much training, and now hosting an actual 3.1 mile event, finishing on the 50-yard line of the venerable stadium.

Early morning at the venerable stadium.

Back in October, I challenged myself to run this race as a motivation to lose weight. In that, I failed.  Backtracking briefly, last June, at this very same Rose Bowl, I injured my leg climbing over a construction fence. That threw off my training, led to weight gain, and the reduction of exercise to walking along thinking of better days.

Enough self-pity. I woke up and thought of reasons not to participate, but went anyway. Stuck in traffic for 25 minutes, I didn't panic, recalling worse jams at the Surf City Half-Marathon. There, I was stuck in my car for over an hour, needed a bathroom desperately, and missed the starting gun. Rushing across the start line, I failed to adequately warm up and wound up injured.

Sunrise over the arroyo. 

Today, I walked like I trained, only pushed it a little, and didn't really run until the finish line was in sight so as not to be picked off by a short round woman who was really tearing it up.

Ending inside the Rose Bowl was quit cool. There were ample bananas and bagels, Gator-Ade and bottled water. Very sweet bling and a decent technical shirt contributed to the morning's success.

In my age group, there were only twelve men. I finished at #6. Not bad at all, given my erratic training.

I should sign up for a spring 5k, just to keep in the game. Be a little more consistent with my preparation. But no injuries today made it an event worth getting out of bed for on a Sunday morning, other than an earthquake.

Me and my big fat medal.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

I Reject You


Each year I vow to tidy up all the paper surrounding me. Each time, I make some progress then stop because tomorrow remains the superior day to sort paperwork. Anyway, I found a bag filled with story rejections from 1985 to 1988. Those years encompass my undergraduate days and shortly thereafter. Incredible. A pecking order of refusal existed back then.

1. Form rejection.
2. Form rejection signed by the editor.
3. Form rejection signed by the editor with a personal note.

Titles included Grue Magazine, The Horror show, and FACET, A Creative Writing Magazine. My submission sampler displayed progress from 1 rejections to 3, but never a sale. The amount of paperwork involved was daunting with multiple envelopes and postcards. (I should do a video on all that.) One time, a single rejection lead to two. 

Today, sites such as Duotrope list publishers, markets, and all manner of writerly statistics. Below are my short story submissions from 2009 to 2016. So many markets have gone the way of Grue Magazine, but more open all the time. A few keystrokes launches a tale, instead of envelopes within envelopes. But stories shall be told, and writers write, and editors reject—and sometimes accept. So it goes.

Should you cringe at rejection's bitter sting, speaker and author Molly Fletcher notes the upside.

Monday, December 31, 2018

A Fine Blessed New Year

Coming soon to a calendar near you!
Drink for you and bed for me,
Forgoing delights of the spree,
For when I've drunk and 
Shunned my bed,
The new year starts,
With a painful head.

A droll poem, yes, but fresh chances await us all. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Rage Gangs Flourish When Authorities Hide

Broken and Betrayed: The true story of the Rotherham abuse scandal by the woman who fought to expose itBroken and Betrayed: The true story of the Rotherham abuse scandal by the woman who fought to expose it by Jayne Senior
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grooming often works in the following manner: a young man, a lure, befriends an 11 to 16 year old girl. Winning her trust, he then introduces her to an "older friend," usually a guy in his mid-20s. This older friend plies the young girl with gifts, car rides, compliments, attention, drugs, alcohol. He becomes her "older boyfriend." Eventually, he introduces her to sex. Next, the boyfriend manipulates the young girl into having sex with one of his friends. Eventually, the girl finds herself gang-raped, passed around, trafficked, kidnapped, beaten, degraded. She is threatened with physical violence should she refuse to play along. Her family may also be threatened.

Grooming was the fate of 1,400 girls in Rotherham, UK, between 1997 and 2013. Author Jayne Senior worked for a local program designed to identify girls at-risk for sexual exploitation. She witnessed the mass grooming of mostly working-class white girls by British Pakistani Muslim men. Police and social worker indifference and denial contributed to a rape crisis that has been called "industrial scale."

The story of Senior's fight to protect the girls, alert a willfully obtuse police and social worker bureaucracy, bring perpetrators to justice, all while suffering loss in her own family, is a story both hopeful and galling. Senior's battle shows the difference one committed person can make. However, the grooming toll of white English victims (along with Sikh and Hindu girls) continues at the hands of mostly Pakistani perpetrators. Since Rotherham, similar rape gangs have been discovered in Newcastle, Oxford, Telford, Rochdale, Darby. A situation most appalling.

A fast, somber read.

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