Reflections: Entertaining Saints & Sinners…

“The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” Oscar Wilde Reflections: Entertaining Saints & Sinners... Saints of the Church, before you know what... Let he who is without sin cast the first stone… When I read the Daily Post prompt; Would you rather laugh with sinners, or cry with saints? I laughed so hard I almost had a coronary… Then I thought, “Wait a minute, this is not ...

Master of the Zombie Apocalypse

Disclaimer: if you have an intense fear of your mortality you might want to pass on this post. The public’s fascination with zombies never ceases to amaze me. TV shows like Zombie Hunters, Dead Set and Zombie Apocalypse receive huge ratings. And I know half a dozen bloggers who critique episodes of The Walking Dead with the seriousness of English majors analyzing Milton’s Paradise Lost. I do not share this attraction for the “living dead.” Would someone please explain to me why zombies are always hungrier than stoned college ...

10.10.10: No Questions, Quotes or Qualms…

Woman – The Quintessence. Quiet. Queen… in all forms The pure and concentrated essence of a substance. I want to sit for a while without judgment, speculation or hearsay. No questions, quotes or qualms about the meeting. We spend too much time speculating about each other, looking for ways to damage each other… Bedouin Woman by JodiCobb Wodaabe Bride by Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher A Geisha in Shadow by Jodi Cobb Afghanistan-Hazara by Steve McCurry Yet, I don’t know you. You are a stranger to me. You were ...

Out Of Hell

Fiction to help celebrate Halloween: A shiver runs through me when I think back to the time when Tammy, my wife of five years, came to the conclusion that the gray tabby who’d lived contentedly with us since we bought her on our honeymoon, was lonely. Tammy convinced me that Sausalito, “Saucy” needed another feline to keep her company. On Halloween of ’79 we decided to purchase a kitten. We soon discovered it wasn’t the right season for kittens. We were about ...

Haiku: Stay Strong…

“Follow your honest convictions, and stay strong.”  William Thackeray Haiku: Stay Strong… When it hurts, stay strong… Tired, weary, sick with pain Tangled love, fear filled When it stinks, stay strong… Vicious words, like dark weeds spread Wounds left in its stead Even if kind thoughts hurt, and our love feels frayed, hold on. Look inside, dig deep for the courage to make a way. We are never alone… Help is on its way. “Heed the still small voice that so seldom leads us wrong, and never into folly.” ...

The Lipstick Tree ( Bixa orellana)

Originating from Tropical America the Lipstick tree, as it’s commonly called, is prized for it’s pretty blooms and interesting seed pods. Bixa is a small, ornamental shrub or tree with a round head. The seeds of the flower have a reddish powder which can be used as a vegetable tint for soaps, rice, and many other products. It is believed to come from Brazil originally but was brought to Central and South America by the Indians, who used the coloring as body ...

Fun Flower Facts: Geranium (Cranesbill)

Geranium, also known as crane’s bill, is a genus of over 400 species of flowering plants. They can be found throughout the world, but are native to the temperate climate of South Africa. Geraniums range in height, growing anywhere from 6 inches tall to 3-4 feet tall. Geraniums are popular garden plants, grown for their attractive, showy flowers that come in red, white, pink, purple or blue. Geraniums come in a wide variety of shapes, and sizes, from tailing to upright ...

‘Tis the Season to Use Branches and Berries in Flower Arrangements!

‘Tis the season to use branches and berries! Take a walk outdoors and let the beauty of nature delight your senses! As you wander and explore your neighbourhood, you will find that inspiration is all around you. Just look at all the fantastic foliage and those branches that have fallen. Branches comes in all kinds of wonderful shapes and forms. Some of them may even have berries! Use these natural elements to create interesting rustic floral arranges while adding height, ...

Reasons for Book Optimism

This picture reminds me that objects farther away are reduced in impact on the eye. If your town has no bookstore, especially if it has recently lost a bookstore, you may be thinking books are going the way of the buggy whip. Bookstores outside your town limits can look far away and powerelss. But I still think we readers have nothing to fear about the state of books. I was struck this morning by two stories in particular (highlighted by the ...

Beating Back Worry

By nature, I'm a bit of a control freak and a Type-A personality. Others with similar traits may agree that a common companion of those personality aspects is "worry." I worry about a host of things, my pending book release, a side online business I have, certain aspects of my full-time job, my wife and girls - even this blog. Ironically, most of the things I worry about I can't control. It's at that point when I remind myself of that ...

Reintroducing My “For Fun” Page

How do you define fun? I took this picture during a motorcyclists’ convention in Sarasota. Hubby Gary owned a motorcycle before I knew him, and he has told me at least one tale about it that I won’t repeat in polite company (let alone in my blog). And the mother of a friend of mine enjoyed being given a ride about town on one for her 80-something birthday. I think it was one lovingly referred to as a geezer mobile. I may ...

Today Marks 5 Years Since My Dad Died....

Today is the fifth anniversary of my dad's death. He was sitting in his garden, with his newish puppy nearby and a pocketful of dog snacks near one of the Finger Lakes in western New York where he lived. At the time, my siblings and I all lived within 30 minutes of him. That day, I was in New York City attending some focus group sessions for work - when I received a frantic cell phone call from my brother. He ...

What Kind of Kids Are You Raising?

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of an online writing a of mine, Joanna Hyatt. Based out of Los Angeles, Joanna speaks and writes on dating, relationships and sex. She blogs at www.joannahyatt.com and tweets @JoannaHyatt. If you’d like to submit a guest post yourself, here are the guidelines. I’m part of the Millenial Generation. We’re half kids, half adults. Allowed to ‘explore’ and ‘find ourselves’ for as long as it takes, we avoid relational commitment, financial responsibility and change jobs at dizzying rates. As I look around at my ...

ReBranding the Church: Develop a Thirst for Knowledge

Evan Forester works in marketing and writes for #LiveFully. He believes the church needs a new brand. Most people identify Christians by what they are against, but he believes they should be known more by what they are for. Today, he discusses Christians and their need to have and demonstrate a thirst for knowledge: A History of Thought Leadership For centuries, Christians led the way in discovery of new truths and the applications of those discoveries. In John 8:32, Jesus said, “you will know ...

Summertime Toss Back

Then...When the days pour forth like a pitcher of cherry Kool-Aid, and playful shouts float into opened windows, alerting mother’s of their litter’s location, and disturbing old man Sullivan from his afternoon nap—then you know that it’s summertime. Mr. Sullivan shuffles out to the back yard, stewing over his lost sleep, and finds his throne: an old metal chair placed beneath an ancient oak, where he will simmer as he waits to exact revenge. Gary, a shy kid with high hopes, is ...

Talking Taxes With Cleverbot

Periodically I engage in conversations with an online, artificial intelligence (AI) software program called Cleverbot. The Cleverbot web site claims that the software learns from humans and becomes more human as it interacts with us. During the dozen or so conversations I’ve had with this computer interface, I’ve found it to be anything but human yet mildly amusing. A recent “talk” with Cleverbot is chronicled here when we discussed the virtues and history surrounding Martin Luther King’s birthday. Given that today marks the due ...

CC Cole - Gastar

CC Cole - Gastar

A relatively new blog featuring my "Gastar" book series along with other fun articles/reviews in the dark fantasy and other genres.

On the Imperfect Daenerys

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As a fan of George R. R. Martin’s books “A Song of Ice and Fire” and the cable series “Game of Thrones” I follow other fans in cyberspace, with spoiler Facebook pages for we readers (don’t worry, not in this blog), and the numerous fun fan pages with hilarious memes. Like it or hate it, Game of Thrones to me, as a series doesn’t take itself so seriously …

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Catelyn’s Cause

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Catelyn Stark meets with the lead character of the Gastar novellas. A tall wingless demon stood outside of Shevata’s hideout in Hell; a comfortable apartment with gilded velvet furniture. A desk stood in the middle for some bookkeeping and the few rejections Zermon had her review before exiling souls from eternal doom. “She’s waiting inside.” Shevata …

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Afterlife of the Viking

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Shevata leaned back on the armrest of the obsidian throne. “Zermon, no more savages!” “I’ll remind you that you released the last one?” Zermon rolled his eyes looking over a short man brought before them in chains. “If you want to drop this one in the pit, then do it.” Shevata attempted to jump down to leave, but Zermon held her back. “No, little devil. Let’s meet this man.” He handed her the scroll. She glanced a scowl as she unrolled it and read …

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On High in Infidelity

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Regardless of the story, is it historical romance, sci-fi, Dark Fantasy, or documentary, somewhere in a marriage if there is infidelity, there will be controversy. Even in the most accepted of cultures of arranged marriages and multiple wives, one wife “trumps” another wife usually over when they married and how many sons were born, depending on the culture. …

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The Prince in the Underworld

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Shevata felt underwhelmed by one of the most unassuming men she had ever seen. The tall, balding man strolled in with quiet confidence, wearing a button down shirt and trousers, with no weapons. Other than taking directions from the demon that led him inside, he seemed completely unafraid. He motioned to the chair in front of her desk. “May I?” She nodded and he sat, crossing his legs. …

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On the Love of Intrigue

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So many aspects of stories reel in the readers of books or viewers of films or shows, be it action, fantasy, drama, horror, but on the short list of it all is the lure of intrigue, when we must know what happens next and a few hours sleep or loads of laundry won’t stop us. Many daytime television dramas I recall watching as a kid not missing them so much when school started, but during summer I hated …

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The Judgment of The Khal

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Shevata’s face froze as she read the length scroll. One of the higher demons sat a stone table beside the obsidian throne where she sat and placed an elaborate goblet of gold and filled it with a green liquid from a silver pitcher. She shook her head at the demon. “Only Zermon can make this happen. Only he can create a higher demon.” The demon completed his task, making certain the …

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