Sunday, April 28, 2013

...Spillin' the Goods for the Liebster Award ;)

...dear friend and fellow writer, Nicki Elson, recently tagged me with the honorable Liebster Blog Award, (German for sweetheart, beloved person.  Nicki, the world needs more like you ;)

The rules are simple, offer 11 fun facts about yourself, answer 11 questions provided by Nicki, pass the award on to 11 blogger pals, answering 11 new questions from yours truly.  

Alrighty then!

11 Facts...

1) I'm a father of three, married for 19 years...but after surviving the first ten, who's counting ;)

2) My wife and I are licensed foster parents, currently with a little boy who was delivered to us when he was four days old.  (He's now 8 months, and doing quite well.)

3) Once, while eating dinner at Outback Steakhouse with my wife, I recognized an award-winning author sitting at the table next to us, sharing a meal with a loved one, (whom I'm quite sure was not his wife.)  Nope, never said a word to him.

4) Having suffered through the discomfort of either breaking or jamming nearly every finger on both hands from my playing days in high school, writing for long periods of time can get interesting when arthritis sets in.

5) A friend of mine once paid me a handsome sum to write a letter of admittance for him, that he attached to a college application...and was accepted.

6) That friend is now the manager of a successful sports bar in Cincinnati.  He owes me a drink.

7) While my family resides in the Buckeye state, I'm formerly from Sarasota, Florida.

8) I'm an avid bookworm, having devoured such monsters as The Stand, It, and Terry Brook's entire Shannara series by the time I'd hit my teenage years.

9) My twelve year old son won a bet by sinking a half-court jump shot, and causing his sixteen year old brother and three of his friends to walk through town in nothing but their skivvies.  Great shot, kid!

10) I positively love movies by Quentin Tarantino, and novels that are too heavy to carry with one hand.

11) I once saw a ghost, a pair of them actually, just as clearly as watching one's next door neighbor pushing a lawn mower through tall grass, and have sworn to write a story about it...some day.

Questions from Nicki...

1) Les Mis, or Sweeney Todd?
     -Les Mis

2)  If you were a comic book super-hero, what would your name be?
     -The Typist

3) What are the toppings on your dream hamburger?
     -mushrooms, onions, pepper jack cheese, and mayo

4) What city (that you've never visited), do you most want to visit?
     -Melbourne, Australia

5) Favorite city that you have visited?
     -Savannah, Georgia

6) Which Disney character is most like you?

7) Why? (from Q6)
     -He's a wise old coot with all the right answers ;)

8) Would you rather write a book that's a best seller, or one that's highly acclaimed?
     -Highly acclaimed

9) What's your biggest pet peeve when it comes to grammatical mistakes in a published book?
     -Making the same mistake more than once. (Once is forgivable, twice...nope)

10) If you could live permanently in any decade, which would it be?

11) Who's your favorite fictional romantic couple?
     -Mulder & Scully 

...and now, my 11 Blogger pals, tag, you're it!

and your questions are...
1) What is your favorite genre to read?
2) Pizza or pasta?
3) If you were to be stranded on an island and could choose one book to take with you, which would you choose?
4) If you could choose to have dinner with one writer, in order to pick his/her brain, who would you choose?
5) Who is your choice of musician for inspiration while writing?
6) The Walking Dead, or Breaking Bad?
7) If you could choose an actor to play the part of lead role in your book, who would it be?
8) Do you prefer writing in the a.m or p.m?
9) What is your best antidote for writer's block?
10) When going on or fly?
11) Name the city that tops your bucket list to visit.


El ;) 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

3 Year's since the Gulf Spill... remembrance of the oil spill that left our Gulf Coast in ruins, and in honor of its recovery, I've republished, "Poisoning the Gulf," a short that I penned with heavy heart, following the disaster.  

Enjoy, and never forget...


A rogue pelican flutters thirty feet above the coastline bordering Louisiana's southern peninsula. No longer capable of spreading its wings to their full width, its movements appear awkward, its trajectory tilted as if the bird were attempting to fly at a ninety degree angle.

It hitches a ride on an ocean breeze, the winds pushing the incoming tide toward the deserted shoreline.

Lowering its body to a foot or two above the rolling waves, the bird dips its head into the water as it veers into a glide. Submerged no more than a second, then rising, struggling to gain altitude.

Its bucket-shaped bill, designed for scooping unsuspecting fish from the ocean's current, has captured only a mouthful of sludge, which slowly drains from either side of its mouth like a busted sewer pipe. Rotting sewage returning to its basin to ferment under a bayou heatwave.

The pelican hasn't fed in a week. While fish dot the water's surface in vast numbers, their silver scales resembling diamonds sparkling in a field of tar, they're floating with the tide, lost to the poison. The few survivors have gone deep, in search of an ocean free of disease.

A filmy layer of mucus blocks the pelican's vision, allowing it access to a world gone black, through a line of sight the size of a pinhole. And of course there's the added weight to consider. With every plummet to the water in search of food, a fresh veil of oil coats the bird's already failing wings. Unlike salt-water, the poison refuses to filter through the its feathers, but instead clings to anything within reach, forming a mold, slowly enveloping its victim like a spider's web.

Hunger pains grab the bird's spine and clench. It calls out for assistance, but finds none. It is the last surviving member of its flock. And the weight continues to push downward to where the black sea awaits.

We've plundered our world's resources, pierced its core and released the bile within. It rose to the surface, its tentacles reaching for our shores, choking the life of every living soul in its path. A mass of slimy filth, polluting our ecosystem, turning our once green waters to mud. And all for a population bent on moving faster, on keeping our food colder, and our water warmer.

The Gulf lies in ruin. A sea of tar. Waves of poison splashing ashore and tainting our sands to a gelatinous ooze. The underbelly of our planet's core. A multitude of seaborne bodies floating atop an ocean dying, its curse spreading further with the current.

And unnoticed to anyone but the dead or dying, a once majestic bird, now nothing more than hollow bones wrapped in soot, releases a final screech before plummeting from the skies to its floating grave below. Swallowed up by the poisons set free by those held in charge of sustaining our planet.