Saturday, April 12, 2014

humanizing the tragedy of International Child Abduction - another work in progress

The world is a difficult and scary place when children of a multi-national marriage are taken by one parent to a country where the other parent loses de facto custody, or loses the ability to visit the child, or cannot even enter the country or contact the child. If you think it's bad for the losing parent, think how bad it must be for the children.

My new work in progress, as yet unnamed, is based upon this subject. Although fiction, it is inspired by a true story and told from the child's point of view, it described many years of separation between a father and child, where the child was removed from their home county with no warning.

Now, as strange as this may seem, there are many countries of the world where there is no legal recourse for the losing parent. None at all. (The non-blue countries, below.)

In some cases, the practices of the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction apply. And, even those countries, the return of an abducted child is not at all certain and can take countless years, often with child aging out (at age 16) of the provisions of the Hague Convention.

If I paint a dark picture, where many children never see the losing parent again, this is the reality. My work will try and humanize international child abduction, with a rarely viewed children's perception of this terrible kind of event.

In the meantime, I hope you keep reading my other books.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Another earthquake very close to home

There’s nothing like living near a fault line. If you don’t remember an earthquake, just wait, because they’ll be one soon. Even on the northern California coast, seismic activity seems frequent – or the effects of seismic activity. When Japan had the big quake back in March 2011, the port of Crescent City was really hit with a tsunami, and the damage isn’t fully repaired yet.

The latest quake was Sunday night, March 9th, and it was an event that could not be missed by anyone in the coastal area of northern California or southern Oregon.  After this latest shaking, including a quake and aftershocks, I’m thinking it’s about time I wrote a quake into one of my novels.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Getting Ready for "Read an e-Book Week"

It's about time for one of my favorite weeks of the year. Read an eBook Week is the one of two times each year when I have a look at a huge number of Free eBooks, and discover new authors, or new books by some authors I may have already found.
You see, in addition to being an author, I'm also a reader, and an opportunity like this week to build up my library of eBooks is too good a chance to miss.
Of course, I also like that a whole bunch of readers are discovering my books this week, as I've priced all of mine free for this Smashwords promotion. So, I hope all of you find some good titles, and build up your own libraries.
Happy Reading, 

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Authors of Smashwords have now published more than 10 billion words

The main vehicle for me to publish my (so far) seven books is Smashwords, and this week Smashwords authors reached an exciting milestone:  10 Billion Words Published.  The milestone was reached sometime around noon Pacific time, on Monday.

As Smashwords founder Mark Coker says in his blog, "These words come from 87,000 writers from every corner of the globe who have gathered together to change the world of publishing one eBook at a time as manifested through their 288,000 titles at Smashwords."

As Mark goes on to say, "These writers are revolutionaries and saviors of the written word, even if they don't view themselves as such.  They're leading the indie author movement."

It took about 50 months for Smashwords to reach 5 billion words in July, 2012.  It's taken only about 18 months more to add the second 5 Billion.

To put this into personal perspective, when I published my first eBook with Smashwords in December 2009, they had less than 10% of the words and titles they do now. I can also say, with great happiness, that as Smashwords' overall stats have increased by a factor of 10, so have my stats increased, with tens of thousands of my books in the hands of readers.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Author as a Groundhog

I feel like I've been a bit of a groundhog over the last few months. In fact, it started last summer, with a long distance move to a new job and then all sorts of new family and work-related challenges that have kept me from writing. 

However, I haven't given up - not at all. I've had some story ideas, and have drafted the outlines of two new novels. Plus, I've still got six in various stages of completion - some of which I've included in my blog's section on Future Books. 

So, thanks for checking in here, and look for more work from me later this year. Perhaps, like the groundhog, I'll eventually find that winter is over and spring will find me at the keyboard once again.

All the best,


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Long overdue update at Thanksgiving

This update is long overdue, as I have not posted in some time. The last months have been busy, as I was offered and accepted a new job that entailed a move to a new city. The last few weeks and month have been so busy I have not managed any writing; although I have had two story ideas and have drafted the bare bones of outlines.

As I consider things, I think today is a good time for me to give thanks that I have been able to write what I've done so far. I enjoy creating the stories, and I take great comfort in the feedback from readers that the stories are helping and sometimes inspiring them in their lives. 

Thanks for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father's Day essay and thoughts

I wrote this piece last year, on Father's Day.  It has proven to be, by far, the most popular single post I've ever written.  I'd like to repeat it now, for Father's Day 2013, and add one note.  Too many of us, myself included, have not taken advantage of the opportunity to have good (or even any) relationships with their fathers.  I now wish, a number of years after my father's passing, that I knew him better, and that I worked harder on a relationship.  Alas, I did not.  Do you still have that chance?

And, now, my Father's Day essay reprise (from 2012)...

As a person, I have observed many examples of ‘fathers’ and regrettably more bad than good.  On a positive note, I was particularly struck by two recent pieces related to fatherhood, one by LZGranderson at, and the other by Dominic Utton at the Mail Online.

As an author, I have often created characters in a father role.  In certain of my books, the father is described after his death. In Playing the Baseball Card, the protagonist describes his father as a man who ‘made sure that his children were the most important part of his life.

In Aiden’s Arrival: Honor Before Gold, a now-grown son describes a man who assumed a father’s role by marrying a women with two young children.  “None of us; my mother, my sister, my nephew, my niece; were related to our father and grandfather by blood, but that didn’t matter to him.  He showed us, by his example, that family is about loving people, and caring about people, and living together in a supportive way.  Not always in harmony, but always caring about your family more than anything else.  He lived that kind of life, and today we carry on with that legacy.

In Zac and the Reluctant Prince, Book 1 of the Prince David series, the father is described this way:  “The example of his life teaches us the lessons of responsibility, obligation, commitment, dedication, loyalty, patriotism and also compassion.  In his life, he strove to be the best son he could be, the best husband he could be, the best father he could be, the best officer he could be, and the best man he could be.”

If you know your father, what do you think of him? If you knew your father, how do you remember him?

I believe a real father is one who looks into the eyes of his children, and says to them, “My life improved the day you came into my life, and my life gets better every day that you are still in my life.”  I also believe a real father is the kind of role model I’ve described in the excerpts from my books, above. 

If you have the chance to be a father, or if you are a father, how do you want to be remembered? 

To all fathers, everywhere, Happy Fathers’ Day.


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