Saturday, January 14, 2017

Standing Tall on the Yellow Footprints

USMC League

MCRD San Diego Back in the Day

Everything must begin somewhere. And in the United States Marine Corps, my enlisted tour commenced with yellow footprints. Drawn on the asphalt of the recruit depot with heels close together and toes angled out to 45 degrees, they are where I, along with seven other guys from our suburban Chicago neighborhood, stood to begin military service. Then we marched somewhere, boxed up our clothes and mailed them home, coming to the realization that our new life would be different from drinking beer behind a bowling alley.

The Vietnam War was winding down, at least for the United States, though the North Vietnamese would launch a huge attack against South Vietnam toward the end of March as we conducted infantry training at Camp Pendlelton. (In September, now a Private First Class, I would find myself in an Army hospital called Camp Kue on Okinawa, sharing  a ward with American advisors who'd been wounded helping the South Vietnamese forces stop the communists.)

In 1991, I visited the footprints on a vacation to San Diego with my girlfriend. (Now My Fine Wife or MFW.)

In 2002, I stood on a hill in Vietnam called Con Thien with a Vietnamese guide who told me about the obliteration of his village by B52s, bombing the NVA advance.

In 2008, I was back at MCRD finishing up a marathon with Team in Training.

But on a Friday night, January 14, 1972, I stood on yellow footprints. Oh, right before we boxed up our clothes, this happened:
(The following scene is rather accurate, except there's no C&W music. Just buzzzzzzz.)

h/t: amp1776


Saturday, January 07, 2017

Book Horde: What to Read in 2017

Great lead-off choice, I think.

Book Horde: What to Read in 2017: January Buddy Read Book Horde's To-Read Pile It looks like snow is headed my way but that's perfectly fine with me because I ...

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy Early New Year!

Somewhere it is now 2017.
A few 2016 hours remain here on the West Coast, but I'm going to bed before the ball drops, as is my habit these days. All the best, party pleasantly, and we'll chat again next year. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid! Hallow Mass Christmas

Tumbir hosts a new blog breaking down every P&B episode. This fresh venture calls itself The Same Thing We Do Every Night, Pinky . . . and sets out to explore the tales of two laboratory mice whose genes have been spliced. 

All matters Freakazoid may be discussed over on Reddit, where thoughts, notions and observations about the Guy with Lightning in His Hair may be bandied about with like-minded folk. Stop by today for "a can of hash and some coffee."

Over on Amazon, reader cool breeze refers to my horror novel, Hallow Mass as a "weapons-grade satire of political correctness . . . " Thrills, chills, Lovecraftian horrors, and Boston traffic combine in this dark comedic updating of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror." Now on sale through December.

And a Merry Christmas to many and a Happy Hanukkah to some!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fictional World Building: 5 Do's and a Don't

Veronica Sicoe

Story Real Estate Needs a Solid Grounding

At first I thought Pinterest another time suck. I'm excellent at wasting time. I need no new shiny online trinkets to distract me from writing. But I may have been hasty.

As I'm world building for a sci-fi/fantasy YA book, I've delved into Pinterest much more, going so far as to build my own board.

There are ways to maximize your Pinterest boards, but I'm not there yet. Right now, I'm merely seeking images that serve as springboards for characters, scenes, and settings.

And speaking of settings, here are five sites loaded with world building do's:
  1. Reddit
  2. Writer's Digest
  3. Science Fiction Writer's of America
  4. terribleminds
  5. Victoria Strauss
And a large don't:


Build well and wisely.

Speaking of worlds, enjoy a few pages of my Lovecraftian thriller set in and around devil-haunted Dunwich.

Now I must go move a car from one side of the street to the other.