Monday, April 27, 2009

Updates and a Review

The web site is once again ad-free, but has a new address. You can find it here:

My official website

The major editing of Legacy of the Ghost has been completed. The editors and I are making one final read-through to pick up anything that we may have missed. I've also started working on the formatting of the book. This one will be published at Creat Space.

Having finished reading W.I. Investigations, Vol. 1-4, by Samaya Young, I wrote a review for Amazon and Goodreads. I'm posting it here for those that don't see it there:

I thouroughly enjoyed reading W.I. Investigations. Samaya has a gift for capturing the reader and, once captured, holding them until the conclusion of the case. Vol. 1-4 includes four seperate cases with separate teams that are both interesting and unique. I found this heightened my pleasure of the book as it made it quite easy to avoid boredom as each team handled their case in their own fashion. Samaya did a great job of making each team quite different from the others.

Of the four cases, "Hero" is my favorite, followed by "Shape Shifter," though Willow and Vin were my favorite team. All for cases are original and well told.

The only things I found that distracted me were: a. All the characters inevitably have looks that could only be found in fashion magazines, with the exception of one, Wally; b. I would have liked a couple of them to have been longer with more detail; and c. Knowing that the calvary arrived in time to save Ashley and Elyse from the very beginning of the story took some of the pleasure out of reading it. Choosing a different scene for the introductory 'insert', maybe the flight to hide in the canyon, would have increased the suspence and made the story far more enjoyable.

Overall, I believe the positives of captivating tales and interesting and varied characters far outweighs the negatives. I fully recommend this book.

The next book on my list to read is Bitter Moon II - Triane's Son Reigning, by Amy Lane. I really enjoyed the first in the set and look forward to delving into this edition! More later as things develop.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Web site update

My 'official' website is still out there. It's new (old really) address is: Unfortunately, it is riddled with ads and pop-ups which destroy any semblance of a professionally created website it may have had previously.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another sample of "kaben nine"

The reaction to the first chapter inspired me to post the second. I hope you all enjoy it.

Chapter 2. Wild

While kaben nine waited for the voice, he worked on finding a way to salvage his Sarton uniform. In the end, he kept the shirt which extended down below his knees now. He used the belt to cinch the waist and he had to button the top button to keep it from sliding off his shoulders. The sleeves had to be rolled up almost half their length. He did his best to see how it looked, then decided no one would see him anyway. He had just decided to return to the transport when the voice returned.

"There is no need to go to your transport. Anything you will need will be found within the forest."

"There's a hunting knife there and some mending supplies that would help me with this shirt," he answered, adjusting one of the rolled up sleeves for emphasis.

"Forget the transport. It will not be there when you start your tasks. You will need to learn to use what is available in the wild. Start now. This forest holds your food, water, and shelter. All you have to do is learn where to find them and how to use them. Before you start the thirteen tasks I will assign you, you must train yourself in the ways of nature."

"Will I be returning to adulthood to complete your tasks?" he asked, pulling his knees up to his chest and hugging them. He suddenly felt small and inadequate.

"No. The tasks will not be possible by an adult. As a child, you will be able to get into places adults will not have access to. I have faith in you or I would not have chosen you."

Kaben nine rested his chin on his knee, tilting his head slightly as he asked, "When I finish these tasks, will the way be changed?"

"The way is no longer your concern. Kaben seven, who you brought to safety, will be the instrument to bring the way to an end. The way will be corrected long before you are finished with what you need to do."

Kaben nine stood and walked to the stream and took a drink before asking, "If fixing the way is not my task, what is?"

"The dream I sent you as you rested showed you many of the places you will be going. You will be dealing with entities that would cause serious damage in the future if they are not stopped. Do not worry about that now. Now you must learn to survive on your own."

"I thought you were going to keep me alive while I do these tasks," kaben nine stated as he sat on the stream bank and hugged his knees again.

"Yes. I will keep you alive. That is all I will do for you though. You will need to deal with pain, sickness, hunger and other things that I will have no control over. For those you must be prepared. If you aren't then you will fail your tasks and hundreds of thousands of innocent people will suffer."

"So what do I do now," kaben nine asked, frowning.

"Learn. I will set you on the path by saying that you need to find food and shelter before you do anything else. I will be with you while you learn but you will not hear from me again until you are ready to begin your tasks."

Kaben nine remained by the stream a while longer. He had already begun to doubt whether he would be able to succeed. He did not like the sound of pain, sickness and hunger. None of that had ever intruded on his sterile world prior to this. His mind rebelled against having to deal with them now, especially in this small, weak and fragile body.

The voice did not come to reassure him. He felt alone and deserted. Finally, after nearly an hour, the first pangs of hunger forced him to his feet in search of food. He considered going to the settlement where he left the four kaben the day before but felt that he would not be allowed to find it. His training had begun and he had to go through with it.

Crossing the stream, he walked deeper into the forest, carefully searching his surroundings for something that resembled food. He realized then that he had no idea what food would look like out here in the forest. All his life, his meals came from the wall unit. They were prepared and carefully balanced to provide all that was needed by his body to stay healthy. He doubted that he would find a wall unit anywhere within the forest.

After hours of wandering he began to feel the real pain of hunger. The feeling was new to him and he disliked it. His mind told him how unfair the voice was being, remaining hidden and not helping him did not seem the best way for him to learn things. Finally, he began experimenting with different leaves. He tried to ignore the taste as he chewed them and sent them into his stomach which cried out for more with each leaf he ate. Then he found some berries and to his surprise, these tasted good.

The berries taught him his first lesson. He had been so happy finding something he enjoyed eating that he gorged himself. Before long he was sick, throwing up most of what he had just ingested. He wanted to cry, but did not know how. The way had taken tears from him years ago. Instead, he collapsed beside a hollow tree, buried his head in his knees and waited to die.

Nearby rustling woke him. He did not intend to sleep, but his body shut down on him. Now, someone or something was nearby and its movements in the bushes had awakened him. He searched through the gloom to find the source of the sound, trying to keep as still as he could. A large animal with black fur and clawed paws stood on the opposite side of the berry bush eating the berries. The creature terrified him. He had never seen a wild animal before and knew absolutely nothing about them.

It angered him as well. It was eating the only thing he had found fit to eat. He sat glaring at it, willing it to go away and leave his food alone. The creature ignored him and ate its fill before slowly turning away and walking into the forest gloom. As soon as kaben nine could see it no more, he scurried to the berry bush hoping to find that the creature had left him something to fill his empty stomach.

The creature left quite a few berries behind and kaben nine soon lost his anger. He did not eat as much as he had earlier, just enough to end the feeling of hunger. The next thing he had to contend with was the temperature. Apparently, the forest had no climate control unit to keep things comfortable.

He set off into the forest again looking for shelter. As he walked he wondered about the animal he had seen. He wondered if all the animals in the forest ate berries. He doubted this. Sooner or later he imagined he would come across something that would consider him a good meal. This thought prompted him to search for something to use as a weapon. He settled on a stick about three feet long and used it as a walking staff.

During his travels, he found a river and decided to follow it for a while. He traveled upstream, searching the banks for a suitable place to call home. The forest abounded with all manner of berries and nuts along the bank of the river. The river itself provided water. He thought his life would be relatively easy if shelter could be found nearby.

After a couple hours of following the river, he found an area that traveled through a gorge. The waters of the river were quite violent here and very little ground could be found on the river's bank. He traveled inland a short distance until he located a place where he could climb up to the top of the gorge. Keeping the river in sight, kaben nine continued to walk, eating berries and nuts as he traveled. He only ate a handful at a time, just enough to keep the pangs of hunger away. Finally, he found where the river fell into the gorge. A fifty-foot high waterfall roared into the rocks below, calling him to admire the power and beauty of nature.

Kaben nine could not deny the call. He found a place along the gorge's edge to rest and watched the waterfall for over an hour. It was difficult for him to continue his search for shelter after that. He had never experienced anything like this in the city. Finally, he decided that more great things awaited him and he moved on, again following the river.

Above the waterfall, the river widened. In some parts it became very shallow and would be easy to cross as it snaked its way around huge rocks that nested in the river's bed. Across from kaben nine, the terrain rose into the foothills of a larger mountain range that he could just barely see through the pines. The terrain on his side of the river remained relatively flat, though the woods were thick with underbrush. Before long, the underbrush prevented him from moving along the bank so kaben nine backtracked until he found one of the shallows and crossed the river to continue his trek.

The wilderness was still new to kaben nine. He had no idea how to read the signs left behind by others. He did not even notice the footprints left behind in the mud. His attention was focused on the hills he traveled beside. It did not take long for him to find a cave up the hill from the river. It had a roof and would provide some shelter if the weather turned. He climbed to it and explored as far as he could on the light from the sun. Although most of it was hard rock, unfit for any semblance of comfort, he did find a small area where the floor was sandy. He returned to the mouth of the cave wanting to gather some food before resting.

That's when he heard the voices. Kaben nine hid in the shadows of the cave and searched the riverbank for the source of the voices. Two men dressed in Hunter's outfits moved along the bank of the river.

“The settlement isn't far,” kaben nine heard one say. “It's best to keep quiet from here on. We can probably take out half of them before they realize what's going on.”

Kaben nine remembered the one hunt in which he had participated. At that time, the inconvenience of having to be in the forest overshadowed the purpose of the hunt. A kaben had run. They went after it and hunted it down, playing with it like a cat would a mouse. He knew these two would do the same with any that survived the initial slaughter. He also remembered the crude weapons that had been trained on him when he delivered the four kaben under him to the other settlement. They would have no chance against the Hunter's armor and photon rifles. His first thought was to try and warn the settlement. He knew this would just make the hunt longer. The two Sartons had to be stopped.

Kaben nine frowned as he took stock in his own situation. He thought about what he might have to give him the advantage. Before he could come up with anything useful, he had to leave the cave to keep the two Hunters in sight. He quietly stalked them, hoping he would think of something before it became too late to act.

He still carried his stick, though that gave him no comfort. Then he remembered the voice. She promised to keep him alive. As he moved closer to the two Hunters, he wondered if that part of her promise had started. He hoped it did. Kaben nine was also familiar with the Hunters armor. He had worn it himself. From long range, the crude weapons would be useless. Close up would be different. He knew where the weak straps were. All he needed was a sharp rock to make the Hunters very vulnerable.

Kaben nine slowly climbed down the hill to the river, keeping the two Hunters in sight. If he were quiet, they would not hear him and if he stayed behind them, they would not see him. Kaben nine depended on those two disadvantages of the armor. He stayed just within the brush-line as he followed them, searching the river bank for a sharp stone.

When the Hunters stopped, kaben nine knew that he had to act. He only had a moment or two before they would attack the settlement. Kaben nine picked up a stone and moved until he was almost beside them. He had not found a sharp stone, so he had to make due with his stick. First, he wanted the photon rifles in the river.

Once he was as close as he dared to get, kaben nine tossed the stone into the river. Both Hunters turned towards the splash, photon rifles at ready. Kaben nine rushed from the undergrowth and hit the closest one as hard as he could behind the Hunter's knees, sending him toppling into the second Hunter. Only one of the rifles made it into the river. The other fell on the bank within reach of both Hunters.

Kaben nine dived for the rifle, but one of the Hunters got it first. As he struggled to his feet, he felt the photon shell rip through his left forearm. Kaben nine's mind exploded in a haze of red pain just as the words "kaben scores two," flashed through his mind. Feral. That would save him. He was an animal, cornered and injured. A high-pitched shrieking snarl exploded from him as he charged the Hunter that desperately worked to recharge the rifle.

The Hunter was strong, but surprised by the charge. Kaben nine hoped to knock him off balance, but only succeeded in climbing the hunter enough to wrap his right arm around the helmet. As kaben nine twisted the helmet, the Hunter slipped on a stone, causing them both to fall into the shallows of the river. The helmet was jarred loose and kaben nine sunk his teeth into the Hunter's throat, biting with all the strength and desperation he could muster.

A gurgling sound, like that made by a partially blocked drain foreshadowed the crimson spray as the Hunter's throat finally yielded to kaben nine's teeth. The boy immediately turned on the second Hunter who slowly cowered away from kaben nine's blood-soaked growl.

The scouts from the settlement had arrived, drawn to the battle by kaben nine's feral cries. They surrounded the Hunter, keeping well away from the boy as they did so. Kaben nine waited as they ordered the Hunter to remove his helmet and place his hands on his head. Kaben nine recognized him and his neatly trimmed blond goatee. He was the head of the settlement Hunter's regiment, the greatest threat to those that lived outside the way.

Without warning, kaben nine attacked him. The Hunter tried to fight back, using the dagger all Hunter's carried on their belts, but the over-sized shirt the boy wore took the brunt of the slash and once again, he locked his teeth on the throat of a Hunter. The Hunter managed to score a long slash along the boy's ribs before his throat was liberated from his neck.

The settlement scouts watched in stunned silence. When kaben nine moved to return to his cave, they gave him room, though one was assigned to follow him. Kaben nine did not care. His vision was a blur of blood sprays, and pain clouded his thoughts. He never could remember how he managed to find the cave again and then, collapse on the sandy portion he called home. When he awoke, sweaty and feverish, he found his wounds tended and a plate of food and skin of water waiting him.

He ate the meal and placed the empty plate and skin on the rocks at the mouth of the cave and returned to his new home. It would be days before he regained enough strength to venture out of the cave again. Each time he woke, fresh food and drink awaited him. The settlement elders had decided that he had been sent by the Mother to watch over them. The tents where the women met and sewed became filled with tales and legends about kaben nine. They made him new clothing which was left for him along with his food.

As the seasons passed, kaben nine became more in tune with the wilderness around him. During his stay in the cave, five more Hunters approached the settlement, only to find their fates matching the first two. Kaben nine never actually saw the people of the settlement after that first day. He knew they were there. He knew they guarded his cave when he slept. He knew they provided for him when he could not provide for himself. Finally, he knew they were learning from him as he learned the ways of nature.

Two years later, one of the settlement children sat near him when he awoke. She was dressed in a pink skirt and blouse and had blond hair with a touch of red in the highlights. Kaben nine stared at her, his eyes wide. He had never seen a girl wearing clothing before and the sight mesmerized him. It was as if the clothing added an aura of magic and mystery to her small frame. The child did not speak but kaben nine could see the awe reflected in her sky-blue eyes. She gave every appearance of being as impressed with him as he was with her.

She crept a little closer, slowly, then held out a stuffed bear with thick black fur that matched his hair. The nose and paws were bare and dark brown. Kaben nine grinned at the little red tongue that hung out slightly beneath the bear's nose. He accepted the gift and found it soft and pleasant to hold. He had not spoken since he arrived here and did not remember how, so he smiled and hugged the bear tight. The little girl's face lit up like a spring morning filled with flowers and sunshine. Then she quickly scampered from the cave.

That night, the voice returned. Kaben nine had suffered illness and pain. He knew cold and loneliness. He also learned how to survive on his own.

"You are ready," was all the voice said as kaben nine lay in the darkness holding the bear that was given him.

He barely remembered the voice just as he barely remembered his life in the city. As he drifted off to sleep, he did know that the purpose for everything that had happened over the past two years would begin when he awoke. He hugged the bear a little tighter and smiled. He was ready.

Moments later the girl came back. Kaben nine remained still, wondering what she would do. He knew who she was by her scent and did not feel threatened by her. He heard her move closer, then felt her as she lay down beside him. He let her put her arm under his neck and cradle his head on her shoulder. Kaben nine thought this to be a gift from the voice for completing his training and accepted it as such. The comfort of the girl's shoulder seemed the perfect way to end his old life and begin the tasks that faced him. He drifted into a peaceful sleep hopefully wondering if he would receive more such gifts at the completion of each task.

©2009 Tanner Artesz

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blog Post # 25

25 is a kewl number. I guess I like it because it is a perfect square.


Something like that.

Vengeance and kaben are on hold this week. Legacy is taking up my brain cells with editing and the other stories are hiding, knowing their time will come.

I got an interesting question about Karnak. He is the thantor god in the Lord of Chaos Trilogy. He is also the leader of the Council of Darkness. He comes across as being very honorable, which he is. He is also very evil. The alignment of the characters in my story and, the way they lean as far as light and dark are concerned, is loosely based on the system set up in the early D&D role-playing game. The three basic alignments are good, neutral and evil. These are coupled with whether they are chaotic or lawful. Karnak falls in the 'lawful evil' catagory. He will honor his word, but usually will only give his word when it ultimately suits his own purposes. When the Council of Darkness decided to join The Nine, they, under Karnak's leadership decided it would be easier to follow along with what The Nine were doing, since they had a good start on things and were after the same goal, namely, stop Rachk'sha.

Some of the other characters and their alignments:
  • Ky: true chaotic. He has no good or evil tendancies and cares nothing for balance.
  • Simon: chaotic good.
  • Arienna: lawful evil
  • Archos: chaotic good
  • Fury: chaotic evil
  • Rachk'sha: neutral with evil tendancies
  • The Old Man (Tasenta-Somar) neutral with good tendancies
  • Delmaria: chaotic good
  • Selia: lawful good
  • Symplex: neutral good
  • Ky II: chaotic with some good tendancies
  • Tal: lawful good
  • Eleana: neutral with some evil tendancies
There are varying degrees of the alignments as well. Some will be more 'chaotic' than others of the same alignment. Most strive for some sort of balance as they feel they would be without purpose if their opposites are not around to make their lives interesting.

One band for tonight:

Queen: Sheer Heart Attack: I can find many songs on all the Queen albums that I like, but this one has always been the one I go to when I want a full album of pleasure. As with all Queen albums, there is a great deal of versatility scattered among the tracks. Favorite songs, just about all of them.

More later...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More music and random chaos...

Kansas: Leftoverture: Once again, memories associated with the music decides this one. My favorite tracks are: "Carry on Wayward Son," "The Wall," "What's on My Mind," and "Magnum Opus."

King Crimson: the construKction of light: This is the band that could successfully come up with a theme song for Ky. Their works are truly awesome and usually includes some tastefully inserted dry Brittish humor. My favorite tracks on this one are: "ProzaKc Blues," "The ConstruKction of Light," "Into the Frying Pan," "FraKctured," "The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum," and Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part IV."

Kula Shaker: K: This band brings the raw garage feeling of 60's rock into the present with startling success. It's great stuff to listen to if you need to get your blood circulating and the coffee maker is broken. My favorites on this album are: "Knight on the Town," "Govinda," "Tattva," and "Hollow Man."

Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy: This band, born from another favorite band of mind: The Yardbirds, is probably the closest thing to defining 70's hard rock as you are going to find. Jones and Bonham supply the perfect driving bottom to Page's guitar antics and Plant's emotion-packed vocals. I was going to cheat and pick a box set, but decided against that. My favorites on this album are: "No Quarter," "The Ocean," The Crunge," "Dancing Days," and "The Rain Song."

Lennon, John: Rock 'n' Roll: This was another difficult choice. I chose this one mainly because John had that perfect voice for this type of music. I would like to see this reproduced without the 'wall of sound' thing even though that is what John was looking for when he teamed up with Phil Spector. My favorite tracks are: "Stand by Me," "Ain't That a Shame," "Slippin' and Slidin'," and "Bony Maronie."

McCartney, Paul: Wings at the Speed of Sound: A lot of nice memories come with these songs. It's also one of Paul's best rock and roll albums. My favorite songs are: "Beware My Love," "Time to Hide," and "Wino Junko."

Moore, Gary: Wild Frontier: Gary is probably my second favorite guitarist. I really like the emotion and intensity he gets from his instrument. My favorite tracks are: "Over the Hills and Far Away," "Wild Frontier," "Friday on My Mind," and "Johnny Boy."

Mott the Hoople: Mott: This group was led by Ian Hunter who is great in his own right. They were a great British rock and roll group. My favorites on the album are: "All the Way from Memphis," "Honaloochie Boogie," "Violence," and "Ballad of Mott the Hoople."

Nazareth: Razamanaz: Raunchy rock and roll at its best here. The music is simple and plain fun to listen to. My favorites on this album are: "Razamanaz," "Alcatraz," "Vigilante Man," "Night Woman," "Bad, Bad Boy," and "Sold My Soul."

Osbourne, Ozzy: Ozzmosis: This album was chosen on the strength of the song "Perry Mason." Ozzy and band do a great job of it. As you can imagine, the whole of the album kicks. So far, Ozzy hasn't disappointed me in the slightest with his solo works.

Osmonds: Phase III: This is the Osmonds third album counting from the "One Bad Apple" LP. It's really somewhere along number ten or eleven. This one, and the two following it, show the Osmonds at their creative best. Most of the tracks on this one, as well as all on the next two, were written by the Osmonds. It's a shame they slipped back into becoming more of a cover band after that. My favorites on this album include: "Business," "My Drum," "Down by the Lazy River," and "Yo Yo."

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon: Pink Floyd is a great mellow-out type band. I'll pass on listing my favorite songs here as it would be every track on the album.

Presley, Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special: I wasn't aware or even alive when Elvis started his career. Although I have all that stuff, this was my introduction to Elvis and I've liked him ever since. Again, I'll pass on listing favorites as the entire track list would be here.

Other news: The 'other' story has been renamed to kaben nine. I'm currently working on the tykes first task which is supposed to be easy. I don't believe it will turn out that way though. This task will definitely have more of a thriller feel to it than the earlier portion of the story.

The ending of Vengeance of the Ghost has been formulated. Now all I have to do is get there.

I'm currently reading W.I. Investigations by Samaya Young. So far I'm really enjoying it. They read like those old detective novels with some really interesting twists stuck in to make things interesting.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

In answer to Amy's rainbow...

Your rainbow is strongly shaded violet and green.

What is says about you: You are a creative person. You feel strong ties to nature and your mood changes with its cycles. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it. Those around you admire your fresh outlook and vitality.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More music and other news...

Foghat: Fool for the City: This is just a great, good time, rock 'n' roll album. Favorite songs include: "Fool for the City," "Slow Ride," and "My Babe."

Garland, Judy: Live at Carnegie Hall: Judy did a lot of great music over the years and this album is the best example of her work captured in one CD case that can be obtained. This is not one of those live albums that cut out all the banter to make a sterile environment to showcase greatest hits. All the stories she tells are there. Very entertaining. Favorite songs: most of them.

Genesis: A Trick of the Tail: This was a hard choice. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway could easily fit in here, but I'm working on one per band, so A Trick of the Tail took the spot. Favorite songs: "Dance on a Volcano," "Entangled," Ripples," and "Los Endos."

Grand Funk Railroad: Grand Funk: This is their second album and it includes my favorite song by them, "Inside Looking Out." Other favorites on this one include: "Paranoid," "In Need," and "High Falootin' Woman."

Hawkins, Screaming Jay: Feast of the Mau Mau: Although there is no album that includes everything I like from Screaming Jay, this one comes the closest. Favorite songs here are: "Feast of the Mau Mau," "Constipation Blues," "What That Is," and "Stone Crazy."

Helloween: Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2: Part 1 would be a close second. My favorites on this rocker are: "Rise and Fall," "Dr. Stein," "Eagle Fly Free," and Keeper of the Seven Keys."

Hunter, Ian: All American Alien Boy: This is the most unique of Ian's albums. It has a studio band that includes some great names and the songs themselves are awesome. Favorites include: "All American Alien Boy," "Apathy 83," "Restless Youth," "You Nearly Did Me In," and "Irene Wilde."

Iggy and the Stooges: Raw Power: This album just rocks. Iggy doesn't give you a chance to recover as you swim through the songs. Everything on it kicks you into high gear and keeps you there. Favorite songs: "Raw Power," "Search and Destroy," "Gimme Danger," and "Shake Appeal."

Jefferson Starship: Freedom at Point Zero: Even though Grace isn't on this album, it is still my favorite. The musical selection is varied and where it rocks, it really rocks. Favorite songs: "Jane," "Lightning Rose," "Girl with the Hungry Eyes," and "Rock Music."

John, Elton: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: This is another difficult choice since my favorite songs by Elton are all over the place. This one gets the nod on the strength of memories attached to it as well as it includes my favorite track by Elton. Favorite songs include: "Funeral for a Friend - Love Lies Bleeding," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Grey Seal," "Your Sister Can't Twist," and my favorite, "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting."

The next five or six letters will be in the next post.

I finished another chapter of Vengeance of the Ghost yesterday. This one dealt with the deep-elves reaction to the dwarves declaring war on them and gave me a great chance to introduce their king. He's a great, fun-loving and friendly sort. Just ignore the facts that he has sharpened teeth and drinks blood.

More again soon...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Let there be music...

Music is really important to me. It gets me through rough times, helps me enjoy the good times better, and inspires me when I write. I thought I would share some of my favorite album from some of my favorite performers here. Please not that this is not the only album I listen to by these artists. I have most, if not all, of their releases in my collection. It would be nice to know what you readers listen to as well. I'll list them alphabetically, because, depending on my mood, any one of them could be my favorite at any given time.

Aerosmith: Get Your Wings. This album came out about the time I started really listening to music. It includes some of my favorite songs by Aerosmith: "Same Old Song and Dance," "Lord of the Thighs," "S.O.S. (Too Bad)," "Train Kept a Rollin'," and "Pandora's Box."

Beatles, The: Abbey Road. Although this album started off with some bad 6th grade memories stuck to it, those memories have faded and the music on it has won me over. My favorite song on the album is "I Want You (She's So Heavy)."

Beck, Jeff: Blow by Blow. Jeff has been my favorite guitar player for as long as I can remember. This is his first jazz/fusion album and includes my all-time favorite song by him: "Cause We've Ended as Lovers." The rest of the album is awesome as well. In my opinion it is the best guitar album available.

Black Sabbath: Heaven and Hell. This is the first Sabbath album that features Ronnie James Dio as lead vocalist. I like Ozzy, but I like the power of Ronnie's voice much better. My favorite tracks are: "Heaven and Hell," and "Children of the Sea."

Bowie, David: Diamond Dogs. Most people go for Ziggy, but this album speaks to me in a way Ziggy doesn't. I love its darkness and the mix of somber melodies with good riffing rock 'n' roll. My favorite songs are: "Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing," "Rock 'n' Roll with Me," Diamond Dogs," and "1984."

Cooper, Alice: Welcome to My Nightmare. This album holds a lot of memories for me. It was the "Welcome to My Nightmare" tour that I first saw Alice live. I remember watching the TV show produced for this album that co-starred Vincent Price. That and I really like the music. My favorite songs are "Steven," "Welcome to My Nightmare," "Some Folks," "The Black Widow," and "Department of Youth."

Deep Purple: Machine Head. In my opinion, this is by far the best thing Deep Purple ever did. My favorite songs are: "Lazy," "Smoke on the Water," "Highway Star," and "Space Truckin'," which is most of the album.

Emerson Lake & Palmer: Tarkus. I'm not sure what it is about this album that makes it my favorite by ELP, but it is my favorite. The title track is my favorite song on the album.

I'll continue with the next part of the alphabet on my next post.

Other news: Yesterday was a 'live-editting' day. We managed to get through five more chapters of Legacy of the Ghost with some great results. I really appreciate my friends who help me with the editting. They really see a lot of things that I miss. Besides that, there is always the fun of just getting together with them.

I've taken a short writing break these past couple days. This afternoon, I plan to continue with Vengeance of the Ghost. Hopefully by tomorrow, Chapter 5 will be completed.

More later...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chaos randomly revisited

Tonight's images are two of my favorite items in my autograph collection. The top one is a hall of fame program signed by a bunch of baseball hall of famers. The bottom one is a map of Yankee Stadium which is signed by some rather famous Yankees. If you look at the blue signature right above the water, you'll see that it is Mrs. Babe Ruth. Very kewl if I may say so myself.

Autograph collecting is one of my hobbies and over the last thirty or so years, I've managed to acquire quite a few of them. I may share more later.

Today, I revisited my favorite David Bowie CD: Diamond Dogs. I got it when it first came out back in 1974. It was an album back then, but it has always been my favorite. The concept of the album, the musical arrangements, and the lyrics all speak to me in ways none of his other works do. Give it a listen. I'm sure you'll like it.

I'm still reading Ravenshade by C.S. Marks, though I'm almost finished with it now. I'm far enough along to say that it is well worth reading. C.S. Marks is a great storyteller.

Both yesterday and today I worked on knaben nine. I finally finished Chapter 3 which may be cut from the final version. It focuses on one of those attention-demanding children that would not let me progress with the main story line. If it does remain, it does so on the fact that it explains the origin of the bear at the end of Chapter 2. The bear is very important to knaben nine as he works his way through the tasks. It would be a shame if he loses it somewhere.

The 0.99 cent sale of Shadow of the Ghost kindle edition is now over. When last I checked, 49 copies of the kindle edition sold last month. Hopefully, most of those that bought it will enjoy the story. If anyone is interested in winning a signed copy of the paperback edition, check out the contest here.

More later. I hope everyone has a great, virus free, April Fool's Day!