About this blog

First of all, as you can tell I have changed this Blog site. I have now organized it as such:

This website will be a compilation of various bits and pieces I find interesting on the internet and beyond. As for my writing, I will be moving all my stories, both short and long, to a new website, same name but a much different service altogether. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to follow my writings and such.

Posted Stories & Such

Just click on the link above, or to the right, and you will be redirected to this new site.

Thanks...

Panic Attack...

Book Review


This book was brought to my attention by a friend of mine and his wife.  What can I say but WOW!
If you like fantasy... if you are a fan of Tolkien or Brooks or Goodkind, you've got to read this book.  Hard to believe this is Mr. Rothfuss's first attempt at getting published.  It is simply blowing the critics away.  Read it and you'll know why.

“The Name of the Wind marks the debut of a writer we would all do well to watch. Patrick Rothfuss has real talent, and his tale of Kvothe is deep and intricate and wondrous.”
-Terry Brooks, 22-time New York Times bestselling author
Read more reviews

THE POWERFUL DEBUT NOVEL FROM FANTASY'S NEXT SUPERSTAR
Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

The Filling Station (Previously Eye for an Eye)










     It was obvious from the stench that the animal had been dead for at least a week, distended abdomen, matted fur, riotous feeding frenzy of flies playing tickle and tease with the foxtail lining the ditch.


     For fear of death he chose to steer clear.


     Hanging high overhead like a hammer, the sun beat down on the highway, the countryside, life in general.  It had been ninety degrees plus for more than a month now, and it looked like today would be more of the same.  There was no breeze to speak of, only cloudless sky- as expected.
     Over his left shoulder dual strips of asphalt bled off into the distance, motionless except for the expected watery haze.  Before him lay much of the same, which is why he chose the off-ramp in the first place, he needed to find someplace else, someplace different then before.


     With his world tossed on his shoulder and what remained on his back, he continued his shuffle west, one dusty footstep at a time.


     ‘No one ever said it was going to be easy, or this hot.’  But what could he really do about it other than complain.  “I guess I could always break into some sort of rain dance…?”  Then again, one look at the heavens said no, deadpan and steel blue with not a cloud in sight.  It would take a hell of a lot more than a rain dance to break the current drought.  It would take a miracle.


     Having reached the top of the off ramp it was time to make a decision.  He could cross the road before him and return to the highway below, in essence continuing his previous journey into the sun, which, at the moment was the direction his shadow seemed to be leaning- he could hang a right and head towards more of the same low rolling hills he had previously traversed, or he could veer left towards the town of Summersville and its citizens, whose sign said numbered around six hundred souls-
     Despite the promise of his water running low, judging from the hollow slosh hanging from his left shoulder, the last thing he needed was to be around people.  He remembered what happened the last time he was around people, ‘bad days’ as he put it, ‘bad days ending in gunfire.’  And the last thing he needed was more gunfire.


     “Looks like I’ll be hanging a right after all.”


     An hour later found the highway all but swallowed up by the hills he had just entered.  In an effort to escape the heat, his shadow had all but fled, what with the sun now high overhead.  During his journey he’d stopped once, long enough to take a sip of water, brush the hair from his eyes and shift the pack on his back.  His tee-shirt, both weathered and worn, lay thin on the shoulders, and continued its pattern of sticking, un-sticking, and sticking to his back.  ‘It is a little warm to be wearing blue jeans as well,’ he thought, though at the moment he was wearing his Sunday best.  Soon or later he would have to stop and change back into the only pair of shorts he still owned.
     Whether blistering hot or chilly as all get out, this part of the country couldn’t quite seem to make up its mind- and the further west he went, the worse this condition became.


     He had been born in Missouri, on the banks of the Mississippi, to a good solid family.  His father, though strict at times, had taught him everything he would ever need to know on how to survive and become a man.  His mother had taught him all the finer things in life, such as what herbs to pick to flavor a soup just right, or how to care for his wounds, and also how to enjoy some of the simpler things… how shadows grew long in the fall, or how a particular beam of sunlight can break free from the clouds and hi-light a particular patch of ground in the distance, (such as after a gentle spring rain.)  Or how the clouds seemed to roll and roil just before a summer’s storm, building white upon white, higher and higher until swollen with violence they would suddenly let loose what had built them in the first place-


     The silence in the fields around him momentarily drew his attention elsewhere, away from his memories, until he realized that these fields were the same as all the other fields he had passed thru, non-descript and knee high in weeds and rolling green.


     A single speck trolling a sullen sky caused him to absentmindedly reach for his journal.  He had a habit of chronicling his journey, had been since the beginning.  He often found comfort in the art of sketching what he saw, nothing grand or all that inspiring, but like his mom, he found joy in the simplest of things.  Once he discovered a wild flower, white petal, green leaves, struggling against the elements, eking out an existence between the cracks of an old asphalt highway.  Another time it was a weathered and oddly tilted fence post.  The fence itself had long ago vanished, having returned to rust and dust, but in mute testimony the post had remained, another bent and aged squatter wandering the greater plains, much as himself.
     According to his latest figures he had covered almost thirty miles since the morning.  Not bad considering that his feet ached, his back ached, his shoulders ached, in fact, it would be a whole lot easier if he were to list what didn’t ache at the moment, rather then what did.


     The sun was a good three fingers from the horizon when he came across the mile marker, a reflective green and white rectangle approximately twelve inches long and half as wide.  The sign itself was attached to a galvanized metal pole and held approximately five feet off the ground by two galvanized bolts; it read ‘Mile 244’.
     Allowing the pack to slide from his back, he gently lowered it to the ground before opening the two top straps.  Reaching in, he quickly and carefully retrieved three objects.
     The first object he retrieved was the most important, his father’s sextant- this instrument he kept in a worn and threadbare padded black bag.  The second object was equally as important as the first but for an entirely different reason, his journal, chronicler of events.  The third and last object to be retrieved was a well worn and much thumbed copy of The Farmer’s Almanac dated 1982.


     Three quarters of the way through the journal lay a thin red ribbon.  Opening the journal to this point; today’s entry, he hesitantly lifted the ribbon, closed his eyes and inhaled deeply.
     The faint scent of lilacs remained, and continued to amaze him even after all these years.  Lowering the ribbon, he set the opened journal across his knees and removed the sextant from its protective bag.  With nary a shadow behind him, he raised the sextant to his eye, sighted in on the Moon, a silvery smudge barely a fingers width above the horizon, and measured the angle between it and the sun.  Locking and rocking the instrument, he made note of the indicated angle in degrees and seconds in the left hand margin of his journal.  He then opened the Farmer’s Almanac, cross checked the angle he had just measured to the correct table to find the time in Greenwich Mean, scribbled this figure down, and then compared this figure to the intricate watch he wore on his left wrist.


     ‘Still off by more than a minute.’  Considering that his watch was constantly being updated by the atomic clocks located deep beneath the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington DC[1] this seemed an impossibility… one he chose to ignore.
     His next two measurements, which he also jotted down, indicated his longitude and latitude, his current position in the world, 38°25'2.08"N by 96°33'25.35"W.  Finishing up, he carefully repacked each and every item, tightened each strap, and then re-shouldered his backpack before continuing his journey north.  Nightfall would catch him stretched out in a local grotto, eyes heavy, and with his heels kicked up to a velvety dark sky full of unknown stars spinning high overhead.


     That night he also dreamed that-


     When he was yet a child his father would take him out into the great dark night and point his face towards the heavens.


     ‘Do you see that’, his father would ask?


     He would shake his head no, ‘See what Daddy?’


     With, his father’s voice only inches from his ear his father would answer, ‘Those seven stars right about there?’


     Following his father’s lead, he quickly spots them.


     ‘That is the Big Dipper, a very important group of stars, son.  So important, in fact, that they could save your life one day.’


     ‘But how Daddy…?’  How could pinpoints of light possibly save his life?


     ‘Do you see how those first three seem to form a handle, while the last four form the dipper portion itself?  Now let your eyes follow those last two stars son… the last two stars of the dipper.’


     He was confused- but did as his father asked.


     ‘Now imagine a straight line being drawn across the sky with its beginning, its point of origin in those two stars of the Big Dipper.’


     ‘I can see it now Daddy.’


     ‘Good. Following our imaginary line, notice that after only a few degrees, we run into what appears to be a much smaller dipper, one in which the handle seems inverted, as if flipped inside out.’


   ‘Yes-


     ‘That bright star, the one the Big Dipper points too, that’s Polaris, son, what we call the Northern Star.’  His father, now fallen to one knee is facing him.  ‘If you are ever lost, my son, if you ever loose your way, just seek out the Northern Star- it will lead you home.’


     This would be a lesson he would never forget.






     In many places all around him, like old bones; shale, granite and limestone had thrust themselves upward from the earth, while high overhead continued the same desolate sky.  He would be destined to suffer three more days of this same heat, this same desolate terrain, before running across the first real signs of ‘them’ since coming across the diner all those many days and miles back.


     Like a mausoleum it raised from the rocky soil, with its sand blasted walls, dusty brown paint and streaked glass.  An abandoned, long abandoned, filling station, shadow streaked in ochre blush and bone white.  One large garage door was all that remained of three, and it was closed.  The remaining bays, minus doors, were nothing more than blotches of darkness glaring out across the highway.
     Like a dead man dreaming in the noonday sun, the entire structure seemed to be slumbering.
     The large plate glass window in front remained intact, amazingly, and was streaked in ripples of gold and blue… rainbows of refracted and reflected light.  However, there were no signs hanging in those windows- at least none that he could see.  The front door, situated at an odd angle, hung open, its darkness beckoning, while at the same time forbidding- a yawning threshold to a much darker interior.


     The stations pumps were long since gone, only the twisted remains of rusted pipe remained to poke up through an oval shaped concrete island beneath what used to be a canopied awning, now skeletal and torn, its four large posterns pointing at odd angles towards the sky.  Beneath this lay asphalt broken and shattered, with tufts of prairie grass waving in-between.  All around were mounds of debris, yellow and stiffened papers, some folded, some burnt.  As a whole, the thing was pretty much a pop-up picture opened to the American countryside in a book about dirt.


     However, forty years prior-


     Entering the station proper, my senses had been immediately overwhelmed by a variety of smells: the deep damp stench of oil, gasoline and compressed air- the sharp tickle of fresh rubber, and what was that, Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum?  There was something else as well, something I couldn’t quite place- the slight odor of decay perhaps?
     Across a grease smeared and scratched glass counter stood a register, unattended of course, much like the station itself at the moment, beside it a three-tiered rack of the aforementioned Wrigley’s gum, with rows of green, blue, and yellow.  On the other side of the register lay a stack of ratty edged maps, a cup of broken and chewed on pens and pencils and one of those four by four boards with a nail driven through its center.  Impaled on the nail lay a mish-mash of old receipts stacked at least an inch thick.
     The wall across from the counter held a dusty black rack of Ever-Ready car batteries, beside it a dented can overflowing with greasy shop rags.  A tattered year old calendar turned to the month of December seemed to round things out, hanging limp above the battery rack.
     Other than an overturned swivel chair behind the counter, and a coat rack holding an umbrella beside the door, there was not much else to catch my eye or hold my attention-


     Now, as for my current entrance into the station, in the here and now some forty years later, I followed a similar plan-
     With one hand on the door frame, I cautiously enter the station.  This time, instead of oil, gas and compressed air, my senses are assaulted by the stench of dry rot, disuse and dirt.  Yellowed wallpaper, peeling in great curling strips, lay on the worn linoleum floor along with mounds of dried grass clippings, an old bird’s nest of daub and mud and a few tumbles of weed.   A stack of thumb worn and much fingered phone books lay haphazardly stacked against the far wall.
     The glass countertop of yesteryear had been replaced with plywood, and was covered in disturbed dust.  There was no register to be seen.  Also gone were the days of Wrigley’s gum, paper widgets holding business receipts, and the year old calendar opened to December…
     I paused a moment to gather my senses, freeing my left hand while reaching with my right-


     Sudden thunder, thunder, thunder… as the wall next to me hammers twice; sheet rock lifts outward and explodes, disintegrates in a cloud of powder and white dust.  Instantly my hearing is gone.  What was initially sharp pain has become muffled silence.  My ability to see clearly, as I immediately dropped to the floor, with fragments of wall raining down, only seems broken by the three brilliant flashes, strobes of brilliant light which seem to reach out towards me in ever expanding rolls, breaking free from the darkened confines of a backlit back room.
     My world has become one of cordite and gunpowder, smoke, dust and debris.


     My right hand is still reaching… before suddenly finding and pulling free lex talionis.  In one smooth motion I bring its comforting weight and steel to bear.
     The last time I was in this situation had been back at the diner- bad day indeed!  Three souls had lost their lives that day, all by my hand, and all because of ‘them.’
     Always, they seemed to be ahead of me, while I remained what felt to be, three good steps behind.  At least at the diner there had been some warning, some notice given, I simply hadn’t wandered in oblivious… not like here and now.  Back then my entrance into the diner had been preceded by a star, its shape seemingly painted by a child’s hand, chalk white, on the top step below the front entrance.  Next to the crescent moon I’d learned to keep my eyes open.  Not this time though, there had been no star painted outside, no crescent moon above the door, no upside down ‘For Sale’ signs propped up or hanging in the front window… only ambush and gunfire.
     They were definitely getting smarter-


     Strained silence- with after images floating and darting… while outside a golden red coyote pauses in mid-stride, seemingly caught halfway between this side of the highway and the next, its head turns towards the station, ears cocked, tail tucked.  Between one breath and the next she is gone, vanishing into the afternoons silence and glare.  The coyote had been at the diner as well, only afterwards, not before.


     Rolling to my right will bring me beyond the counter and into the space between it and the wall, directly in front of the backroom door.  I feel it to be my only chance at surprise, and probably what the other party feels to be my only recourse as well.  A moment before I act my eyes are drawn to my right hand, to the word ‘Justice’ tattooed in blue across my knuckles, and crosshairs blazoned across the first joint of my index finger, and with this last thought I-
     Roll out and bring ‘Justice’ to bear, while at the same time squeezing off two thunderous rounds, afterimages of light and smoke.  I continue on through with the motion, bringing myself to the other side of the door frame, out of breath but heartbeat steady.  My back pack remains where I dropped it, just outside the front door in the sunlight.


     Silence reigns yet again.


     A quick glance assures me that the coyote is gone… only then do I notice the sign, a star, finger smeared in white and ochre painted on the linoleum floor just inside the threshold where sunlight meets floor, where light trumps shade.


     While behind me… agonized silence, countless minutes, brass shell casings on the floor- 


     ‘Ayin tahat ayin…’ like a mantra I chant, as beads of sweat break free from my brow and run down my nose.  With my left hand I brush errant strands of matted hair from my face, from in front of my eyes.


     In the silence that remains there is movement, fugitive stillness- I lean to the left -in time to catch her under the chin as she steps forth from the room, with a single shot, a thunderous roar that lifts the top of her skull, showers the ceiling and doorway with brain and splinters of bone, a literal wash of red.  Just as quickly I roll to the right, sparing myself most of the mess.
     One red tear rolls a course down my cheek.  I wait, for most of the time they hunt in pairs, lie in groups-


     Not this time though.


     Afterwards… and some time later, pack on back, lex talionis re-holstered, I stand above her, my hands on my hips.
     For all she has become, she remains a child, dirt smeared face, vacant eyes, with dark stringy hair.  Dressed in rags she has lost a shoe in the struggle afterwards- the struggle to hold onto life as it burbled and gurgled its way past her lips.  Still clasped in her left hand lies ancient iron, her right hand is now clawed and crowned with broken and dirty fingernails, the word ‘Croatoan’ carved in the center of her palm.  Her wrists are chaffed and torn, evidence of her countless bids for freedom.  The hand that holds the gun also carries a smudge of white and ochre, long fingered smears are strewn from knee to thigh of her blue jeans.
     ‘Close this time’, so very close’.
     One day, maybe not so close… and on that day it will be my time to lose a shoe- but not today.


     That night, with the stars burning bright, a small fire flickering between and the mid-night shadows closing in, he weeps, not for today, not even for the girl, though he has wept for such before- no, he weeps for the promise of tomorrow and all the tomorrows to follow.
     ‘Ayin tahat ayin’ he promises, ‘ayin tahat ayin.’  Justice, be it blind or impartial, will find a way.








Copyright 2009 by Steve Muse
All Rights Reserved.
First Electronic Printing May 2009



[1]  Margin of error: +/- .000000001 of a second every four hundred million years.

To good not to post...



“The Adventures of Lil’ Cthulhu” by Zachary Murray, a wonderful way to explain H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu to children, maybe even a few adults too.
Want a child-friendly way to introduce your little one to the traditions of the Old Cult? Meet little Cthulhu, who lives in the magic city of R’lyeh with all his friends, as you and your child embark on a fun and educational journey through the world of the Great Old Ones, meeting all kinds of new buddies from the Necronomicon along the way, from Azathoth to Yog-Sothoth! This series has won multiple awards and has been enthusiastically approved by the department of child-developmental psychology at Miskatonic University.

You can also click here to visit the website!

An Unkindness- Part One

smallerbats.gif Pictures, Images and Photos

An unkindness...

If you're like me, sometimes you don't want just a taste, a nibble... you want the whole meal, from start to finish.  In that spirit I have decided that I will bring you the whole thing, the entire novel, "An Unkindness of Ravens" for your viewing and reading pleasure.  Over the next few weeks I'll be releasing each and every chapter, so check back often, if anything to keep yourself up to date with all that is going on.

Hope you enjoy... oh yeah, feel free to comment as you see fit, I'd appreciate the feedback.

Steve


Click on these links to open-

An Unkindness... Chapter 1



Till then...                                     

Tower of London Map- An Unkindness of Ravens


As promised... An Excerpt from An Unkindess of Ravens


An Unkindness of Ravens
Theo     


     As before, directly in front of me lay a series of empty loading docks all facing east.  Three quarters of them black as night.  In the few that were lit, pale yellow bulbs continued to flicker off and on, causing the darkness beside them to jump and reach.  Darkness had a heartbeat.
     Steeling, I managed to push myself forward, all the feelings in my extremities gone, the taste of copper in my mouth.  Aware that with each and every step I was growing ever nearer to the spot where I thought I had seen and heard something earlier.
     I guess one could say that I was in no mean hurry to get there… at least not quickly.
     The dock doors themselves were wooden with strips of long narrow glass inlayed across their tops.  Many of these self-same panels were gone; others jags of shivering glass protruding from blackened flesh, broken teeth outlining an even inkier darkness.
     ‘Which would explain the sound of shattering glass I’d heard earlier?’

     The entire time I remained alert, my eyes constantly moving, constantly searching- the shadows, the docks -for any signs of movement or life.  All I see however, are a handful of tossed wooden crates, many with their sides caved in, tops gone… that and a few hundred abandoned hand carts loaded down with pallets of stacked and swollen cardboard.

     “Kawwww-” Echoes upon echoes.  This time though it is followed by a series of high pitched screams, almost laughter, before fading off into distance.

     What the hell?
     Unsure what to do next, other then get the hell out of here, I go through the motions of fumbling around in my coat and pants pockets, hoping against hope that maybe just maybe I really haven’t forgotten my cell phone, that I’d merely misplaced it, forgotten where I put it… or that it would mysteriously reappear in this, my hour of greatest need-
     All of the sudden there is the sound of running feet all around me.  Halley’s Comet blazes overhead-

     For a moment in time my mind sort of slips gears, my hands go numb, my heartbeat shudders.  For all intents and purposes the sound of running seems to originate from somewhere directly in front of, to somewhere directly behind, me- and I swear I see a handful of leaping, jutting shadows race along the darkened and cluttered docks.  And even as those shadow-shades streak by, my senses are immediately assaulted by the stench of burning leaves- it is all I can do not to choke… then this too is gone.

     ‘A bunch of damn kids… is that what this is all about?’  Any other time and I would not have hesitated or given them a second glance, but this late at night, with the streets empty, here in this place… trouble seemed to loom all about me.
     Guess who just got volunteered to have the worst night possible?

     “I want to warn you all right now,” I tried putting my most ferocious face forward, “I’ve got a cell phone and I’m not afraid to use it.  In fact I’m dialing 9-1-1 right now.”

     My only answer at the time, more “Kawwww…. KAWWWWWWWWW.”  And this time the laughter is louder and a whole lot closer.
     Suddenly, from out of nowhere something hard and sharp whistles past my head, only to clatter and shatter against the far eastern wall.

     ‘So much for trying to bluff my way out-’ I really only had two alternatives, stay and get beat or run like hell and hope for the best.  And since the other side of the street was nothing more than a windowless wall of red brick, and I really didn’t want to retrace my steps back to where I’d just come from, I was left with only one real option, and that lay straight ahead.
     Digging in, my breath coming in sharp pangs, I long-legged it as fast as I could a good twenty feet- before the world was rocked out from beneath me by something hard, something that had slammed into the side of my head, knocked to my knees, sparks began to spiral out into darkness trailing-

     In the lightest of rooms- darkness appears.  Cracks run from floor to ceiling, as for the first time in five hundred years darkness is allowed to gather, to pool within that lightness of day.  Priests turn fearfully to their God, mothers cry, children want.  The ground begins to shake, histories books tremble as their writings beginning to fade, turn watery, run even, as if they are suddenly about to be rewritten.
      As it is written in the Good Book, ‘this and all the world shall surely pass,’
      And somehow it does…

     For a moment I am too stunned to do anything other than kneel and hold my throbbing head.  Through my fingers I can feel something warm and wet running down my temple and onto my cheek, dripping down onto my coat.

     ‘What the hell?’  Amazingly I am bleeding; the little bastards hit me with something and I am bleeding.  As I get to my feet I begin to sway, but I remain standing.  Faintly, as if from down a long spiraling staircase I can just make out a great multitude of feet rushing my direction, it’s a loud sound, like a great wind blowing through familiar tree tops on wild fall day, it surrounds me.
     As I struggle to remain upright, my right hand covering the spot of impact, I manage to turn-
     Which way do I go?
     Was forward in front of me or behind- I’m still not sure, not sure at all.   As far as I’m concerned I’m widdershins to the world.  All along my peripheral vision shadows begin to take shape, begin to move… running, flapping, arms pumping, cawing, screeching like banshees at mid-night.  Street urchins; common trash dressed in tattered jackets trailing long cloaks are headed my direction; they are in front of, behind, and all around me.

     “Okay,” I scream, holding my left hand out.  “Just stay back, I’m warning you.”

     In reality though who am I fooling besides myself?  I can barely keep my own feet under me, let alone defend myself.  Still they come, leaping and laughing and shrieking, waving their arms up and down, side to side.
     ‘A murder of crows,’ I can remember thinking that, ‘they sound like a murder of crows.’

     “That’s exactly what they are father.”

     I spin to the right, to the spot where the voice emanates… and there he is, god-sent or demons-spawn, the boy Phillip.
     Could he be helping them?

     More objects are being thrown my direction, glass bottles, bits of stone, bricks… splinters of wood from busted up crates.  Some hit with little or no force, others miss entirely.  The entire time they were getting closer and closer, these objects they throw, each and every time.  Some whistle as they fly by, hinting at their force, their speed. Others simply vanish.

     “What did you say,” I ask?  I am still rattled from whatever hit me in the head earlier.  “Is this all your doing boy… are you one of them?”  From sounds, my assailants are closing in; which means less debris missing and more hitting its mark.  It is only a matter of time before I am either knocked unconscious, seriously injured, or worse.

     For a moment the boy just stands there, the most wild eyed of looks on his face.  Where he came from remains a mystery.
     Even with all that is going on I can smell the scent of winter on him, a wild wet aroma reminding me of home, nose numb, cheeks cold, feet distant-

     “Take my hand,” He screams reaching towards me, “Take my hand and we can get out of here.”

     “How,” I ask… stumbling back a step?  “How do I know you’re not with them, or worse, one of them?”  For all I know he could have set this whole thing up.

     I could tell by the look in his eyes that my words had hurt him, the same as if I’d stepped up and physically slapped him across the face.  This is the second time I have said something hurtful to him.  “Okay…” I reach out, grab his hand.  “I’ll follow you; just get us out of here.”

     With a smile he grips my hand tightly and begins to pull me towards the far wall, away from my assailants, “Follow me,” He urges, tugging and yanking me forward.

     Still groggy from the head wound, it is all I can do just to keep up.  I find myself stumbling every few feet.  By this time the missiles are falling all around us, some of them actually staring to hurt when they hit.  A couple of these missiles start finding Phillip as well.  ‘So much for him being in on it,’ I realize.

     Overhead streaks of brilliant white light hammer from north to south, screaming long stratospheric trails across the sky.  Halley’s Comet hangs, suspended overhead like Domicile’s sword.  My right hand, now covered in blood, drops to my side.  Blood begins to fall-

     Outside the Vatican, ringed in stone a thousand years old, stones carried on the backs of camels from the very hills of Jerusalem, stands an ancient Bay-Leaf tree, having blossomed on time annually since before the time of Henry the II, it begins to lose its leaves for the first time, in a shower of green turning gold turning brown-

     ‘Just one lucky shot, that’s all it will take to bring me down, to bring us both down.’  But luck, or whatever seems to be dogging us remains, for no other ‘lucky’ shots seem to fall.  In no time at all we are across the street and up against the wall.  My mouth opens in protest, “What now?” I shout.  By this time my vision has begun to blur, my head feels like it is going to explode, and an endless tidal wave of water crashes against the rocks beneath me.

     “Turn around,” Phillip shouts, tugging at my right hand, “Turn around and face them father.”

Boneshaker...


http://theclockworkcentury.com/?cat=14

What can I say... check it out for yourself.  In the authors own words...

In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.
But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.
Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.
His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.

http://www.amazon.com/Boneshaker-Cherie-Priest/dp/0765318415

Watch for it....



An ‘Unkindness’ of Ravens



     Overhead a strange new comet burns the night sky, while in the midst of Vatican City an ancient Bay tree, having blossomed faithfully for the last five hundred years, begins to lose its silvered leaves. In the Big Apple, frightful whispers, a murder of crows… ominous signs as ‘fear’ begins to spread. Of strange men and even stranger forces- and scrawled in blood down the side of the Majestic Theater:

'Tis thought the king is dead and we will not stay.
The bay-trees in our country are all wither'd
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven;
The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the earth
And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change’

     November the 17th, just five weeks shy of Christmas. On this particular night, a night like any other, Theo Valerian will meet his youngest son for the very first time and never even realize it-

And so it begins…

Believe in yourself... you can do anything.

An Unkindness of Ravens




What is it?
It's my new novel.

What's it about? See the blurb below... but that's not all. More is on its way.

What kind of book is it? Mystery, suspense... and a little urban legend all thrown in... unlike anything I have ever written before. From the raw and gritty streets of New York's Theatrical District to the distant fog shrouded shores of Great Britain. An epic story spanning generations and beyond, now in the hands of a thirteen year old child named Phillip.

The idea for this book began a few years back, and covered about 150 pages plus notes. It has grown some since then, and taken on a life of it's own. I hope you join me on the grand journey, of a boy trying to find his dad, and a man in search of his family.

I'll keep you posted.

News from the King

As many of you might guess, I am a huge fan of Stephen King, have been for most of my life... and that's been for quite some time. (At least since the release of 'The Stand'. Needless to say, any time Mr. King releases something new, I'm all over it. Some years ago Mr. King wrote a short 'long' story called The Cannibals. Lucky for us, after losing it twice, and rewriting it several times, this piece has grown to become his November release of 'Under The Dome'. I can hardly wait myself. There are various links scattered throughout the net regarding this later work, various covers, etc. Lilja's Library is an invaluable resource when it comes to anything King, and a site I regularly visit myself. So if you are interested in reading the work which led up to his newest release, click here to download a sneak peak 60 page insight into one of, if not the greatest, mind in horror today. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Just about sums it all up, don't you think???



To realize
The value of a sister
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
who has given birth to
A premature baby.

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when
you can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:

LOSE ONE...


No... we did not lose one... but sometimes I think we all need to be reminded just how fragile life really is...

Big time Slip and Slide...



Now this takes real.... guts, yeah, that's the word I'm looking for. Guts!!!

Stacies Story

A new Novella by SJ Muse

What makes a life… is it how you live, what you do in the middle, or how you leave it behind.
Stacie, sixteen going on forever never got a chance to find out. Her life, much like her childhood, taken by a monster named Crowley.
Oh how her parents wept that day-
This is where I come in- though sixty years too late.
I loved Stacie from the start, from the moment I first laid eyes on her; I just never got a chance to prove it. Much like Stacie, Crowley would get there first.
If I had to do it all over again I would have never let her go. I would have saved the girl and lived happily ever after.
But real life doesn't happen in a fairy tale, real life happens on the road, in the here and now, and most times you don't get a second chance... most times.