Endurance Book Review

Shackleton is one true leader!

What an amazing story and wonderfully told by not only a competent sea captain but a talented writer as well. If you are a sea-faring wannabe like myself, you will certainly love the detailed descriptions of the ship “Endurance” and all the jib and heave-to language that comes along with it. Wonderful scenery of the Antarctic and its inhabitants are wonderfully described within the story and gives oneself the feeling of actually being trapped on the ice-packs and floes with Shackleton and his men. The true feeling of what it would have been actually like to be stuck and to try and survive, I will never understand; I admire these men and their willingness to survive and to help their shipmates survive by the small sacrifices each one makes for each other.

Over the years, a lot has been said about Ernest Shackleton and his strong leadership skills. I am sure a lot more can be said. However, within this story, Shackleton’s leadership and friendship is truly felt by the author, F.A Worsley, and with his honest heartfelt feelings revealed and how he looked up to this man is truly inspiring.

Another tale of adventure and survival that has made its way onto my bookshelf and into my heart.


Actors Trying To Imitate Boston Accents

Writing Challenge Friday over at TerribleMinds.com once again had a challenging topic – “Describe one thing, 10 different ways”

I recently read the epic novel “Mystic River” written by Dennis Lehane. Awesome book by the way. I knew there was a movie made so I had to see if it lived up to the book. Obviously it didn’t but what irked me is the way the actors try to imitate a Boston accent. Being a Boston native, I can tell you that we DO NOT sound like that and why do they try – if you want an authentic movie based in Boston, hire Boston actors!

Anyway, my list of 10 ways to describe one thing revolves around that pet peeve of mine…

“When actors try to imitate a Boston accent in a movie”

In no particular order

1) It’s like a hound dog trying to whistle

2) Its not wicked pissa

3) It’s like pulling teeth without any novacaine

4) It’s like understanding Charlie Brown’s parents

5) It’s like trailer trash speaking fluent french

6) It’s like totally going against your gut feeling

7) It’s like Snooki and the whole cast of “Jersey Shore” having a serious conversation while stoned

8) It’s like a burglar getting caught taking a shower in the same house he just robbed

9) It’s like little old ladies gossiping to each other using bullhorns

10) Fran Drescher’s laugh in the show ” The Nanny”

11) A misconstrued fart?

12) Bob Dylan singing – anything!

Flash Fiction Challenge – I Sat By The Ocean

Chuck Wendig over at TerribleMinds.com has a Friday Flash Fiction Challenge and this weeks was to pick a random song from Pandora or Spotify or iTunes or wherever, write a story using 1000 words. The following is my entry.

“I Sat By The Ocean” by Queens Of The Stoneage

Black plumes of smoke rise into the cerulean sky and a fierce northern wind of charcoal grey ash collides with a southern breeze of  an ocean mist. Mini-tornados swirl around the beach and stir up grains of sand that can be blinding. Gangly palm trees crash into each other and with the wind, the noise is deafening! Three palms lose their foothold and fall to the ground which brings forth a spiritual smelly mix of coconut and rotten eggs. One doesn’t know whether to have a Pina Colada or choke to death. The ocean’s tide is on its way in and the waves are turbulent.

My name is Walker and this horror is my home. To escape this terrifying ordeal, we must form a mass exodus to the sea.

Change looms large before us and it is inevitable that it will consume all of us one day. It has been a slow daunting process but it is also a process that steamrolls it way through without forgiveness. The world around me and my fellow man has been turning into a  molten lava mess and the land is crumbling before our eyes. For us, terra firma is no longer an option and we must adapt to living under water. Our feathered cousins in the air are safe but they too will eventually fall into the maleficent succession of time. Today, civilization cannot wait for us to evolve naturally so we have built a machine that can transform us from human to sea creature.

My name is Walker and I volunteered to assure everyone gets through this machine.

The outside of the machine is laced with silver tubes that emit puffs of steam with every rotation of its crankcase. Large brass knobs and steam gauges that stand at attention give out performance details. Sounds of bleeps and bloops filter through the sighing steam puffs. A bank of LCD monitors line the upper and lower sections of the left side of the machine. They call this the “Command Center”. The brains of the operation.

My name is Walker and I have been trained to keep this machine running at all costs.

A large opening in the front allows someone to enter the machine by simply walking in. When the cycle is complete, they exit horizontally – belly down, and fall straight into the bay. Our machine is so thorough in the transformation process the body is instantly adapted to its new surroundings and habitat. Only the mind needs time to adjust but with the memories of the world around us crumbling, this time is minimal and then we are fully transformed into a being that can live and survive under water. Our scientists have kept the details of how the machine works confidential and I suppose I really don’t care how it works, as long as it does work.

My name is Walker and I have been trained to not ask questions.

As the machine works through the day and night, one by one, defying the inevitable and changing our life course, I sat by the ocean wondering how will I adapt to living under the sea. The joyous thought of weightlessly gliding through wonderlands of colorful sea flora, the tranquil and trusting friendship with the majestic sea turtles, dolphins and whales overwhelmed me. I realize now that I want to welcome this new world with open arms, but…

My name is Walker and I don’t know how to swim.

This little issue of mine is disconcerting yes, but I was assured time and time again by our scientists that the machine is flawless and as part of the transformation process will it not only allow us to breath under water, but will also grant us webbed hands and tail fins. There is no possible way for anyone to drown. “Impossible”!  “You are one with the elements once the machine has completed your cycle”.

My name is Walker and my homeland withers away in front of my eyes.

5 days gone. My training has been paying off and no one has been left behind. I should feel proud but for some reason I don’t. Is it possible that we have been hasty in our decision to leave this land with its plethora of primary and offspring colors behind us? Will I no longer taste the sweetness of an orange, the tartness of a lemon or the decadence of the coconut? The shade of the mighty oak with all its deciduous followers in full? The silky feel of the green grassy plains between my toes? I ponder. I sigh.

My name is Walker…

I hear a voice. A cry actually. Behind one of the swaying palm trees. I can’t leave the machine but I remind myself that “no one gets left behind” so I follow the voice and prepare to persuade this person that all will be alright and to enter the machine.

My name is Walker and I love the feel of the warm sand between my toes.

Behind a palm tree I find a young woman kneeling in the sand, sobbing. Her head buried into her hands. I put a hand on her shoulder for comfort – she shakes away, startled. She raises her head and I recognize her. We had been playmates when we were younger. Afraid of nothing. Everyday an adventure running through our land. I ask her why she was crying. Her response was melancholic. My feelings were parallel with hers.

My name is Walker and I have second thoughts.

I turn to look back at the machine and there was no one. Are we done? Am I ready? Is she ready? Are we all truthfully ready? The plumes of black smoke have morphed into a grayish haze which surrounds everything in sight. I turn back to ask her if she is ready. We stare into each others eyes and I take her hand into mine.

Our name will be Walker and we can start over on this beautiful land.

Tessa Kealey: Flash Friday: Flashes of Inspiration

Words of Wisdom!



Tessa Kealey: Flash Friday: Flashes of Inspiration.

How Do You Do It?

Get your mind out of the gutter now! I am talking about writing here.

I want to know what your process is from idea to at least first draft of either a poem, short story or a novel. I have read of the outline process, getting to know your characters backstory before anything is even written and having notebooks filled with ideas and using those quips and notes as the backbone to your writing.

Is any of this true in the real world

I guess my real question is how do you get organized when you are sitting down to write? I know I have at least 2 writers that follow me so if you can, please help me out! My book is in this notebook, that notebook, my laptop, my desktop, my ipad or my iphone..Arrghh! I need to get organized and need help getting there.

Thanks all!

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing

For the self-publishing authors out there, this post from Joe Konrath is a must read.


A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing.

100 Word Wednesday

100Word Wednesday

A while back I read about people just writing 100 words to convey a message or feeling or whatever. I thought the idea was pretty cool so I thought I would start my own 100 Word Wednesday Posts.


“Aye, she’s given me a fair shake,” the captain whispered. No woman has done that for me. Graceful and bold in her own way. Fast when the wind was with her, steady when against. I am going to miss this old gal; she’s been good to me”.

They sounded like gunshots and cannons. Thunderous booms could be heard for miles. Splintering wood strewn about the air came down looking like lightning bolts against the luminous fire. The billowing smoke sent a chill down his spine, as he knew this was the end. He silently bowed his head. “Mercy”

Open Your Eyes

Serial Killers Uncut

I love to read. I have read many books over the 40+ years of my life and one of my favorite pastimes is to peruse the local book store and look in the best seller lists and the bargain bins. You could say that every time I went to the book store, I was wearing blinders. I was merely interested in the books that were written by the authors I have known about and if they were on the “well known newspapers best selling list”. Lots to choose from but I thought I had my sure bets by buying the books from the well known. Don't get me wrong, I have read a lot of great stories from these people but little did I know how many other books and authors are out there till I got my phone and used the Amazon Kindle app.

I was blown away at the selection and options I had to choose from. Yea sure its just the same in the brick and mortar stores but being able to go from one genre to the next without lifting off my seat was fantastic. Basically what this has done has opened up a whole new world of authors and books that I would have probably not read if I just restricted myself to the best seller list at my local store.

Which brings me to an author who I really enjoy reading his books. J.A. Konrath. I found his collaboration book with Blake Crouch, “Serial Killers Uncut” by Amazon recommending that book to me after I read the Ed Gein story. I have a fascination with serial killers. The book was 3.99 so I thought cheap enough, like buying a big bag of potato chips. No second thought. From the introduction of the characters in the book and the links to where they showed up in previous works was something I have never seen before and I was hooked. The stories can be pretty gruesome but with the humor that is added in, you don't really get sick to your stomach. The stories flow through each other like hot butter through fresh popped popcorn. You can't stop! I really enjoyed reading this book and it was the gateway book to a catalog full of well written and scary fucking stories from Konrath.

I don't pretend to be a great reviewer and don't really care either, but I do love giving people props who I believe deserve it and Konrath is one of them! His books really opened a new world of reading and exposed me to the “self publishing” world of books. Believe me, there are a ton of great books out there written by some well known and not so known authors, as you all know, my other favorite is Cassandra Duffy with her Raven Series, and without these authors, I will admit my mind wouldn't be as open to reading material that wasn't so readily available. I urge you to check out these writers and support them by buying their books and reviewing them when and where you can. Trust me, they will appreciate it!


Gunfighters, Gearheads and Lesbians – Oh My!



The Slark has invaded earth, cities are running rampant with gunfighters, gamblers, prostitutes and criminals. We are carefully thrown back into the Wild West but now we are armed with Automatic Weapons. Tombstone is the home to a variable cast of characters and the battleground for freedom. Peace and love in this post-apocalyptic world is hard to come by but  staying alive is your number one priority.
I don’t remember how I came across The Gunfighter and The Gearhead, but the title intrigued me as I have been looking for something different other than a mystery to read. The cover boasted a sexy woman in a cowboy hat and guns by her side and it was listed as lesbian fiction. I said to myself, this has to be good!  
From the first sentence we meet Ramen, a flying robotic dragonfly, and I was hooked.
The opening scene we find Gieo, (The Gearhead) piloting her steam-powered dirigible through the Arizona Desert. It is here we meet The Slark, an alien race of lizards that had invaded earth and destroyed the United States. The Slark shoot her down but she survives.
Now we meet Fiona, (The Gunfighter)  the ex Victoria Secret model , barreling through the Cochise Badlands at over 100 miles per hour in her modified muscle car. A car made up of two old muscle cars and powered by repurposed Slark fighter engine. A badass car for a badass woman.
Fiona and Gieo meet for the first time and Fiona reluctantly rescues Gieo from the crash site. Gieo is brainy and spunky, Fiona is hard and tough. I personally think it was love at first sight!
Now I am not going to spoil anything from the rest of the story but the setup of the two main characters is classic and +Cassandra Duffy  has a great way of writing her characters and having their personalities and faults come right off the page.
In Tombstone we meet a host of likeable and not so likeable characters. The introduction to The Ravens is brought forth and the pasts of Fiona and Gieo are slowly revealed. The story flows through the pages and you just don’t want to put it down. The fight for freedom from The Slark and the tiring way of trying to stay alive. Its all in here.
I highly recommend this book and the other two in the series.

Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll

I am a big music fan and also a fan of Erotica Lit. So I wrote this many years ago and it still surprises me how many times this piece is requested. It is a mockery of a Penthouse Forum letter but its funny!

I have always been a fan of your magazine and love to read the letters but never have I had an experience to actually write one.

Now I have…

I am a musician and have been working real hard with the band to
finish the next album. We experienced a setback when our guitar
player Mike got violently ill over a bad Hot Tuna sandwich and Peter
and Davy took him to the hospital. This left me alone in the studio.
It was late in the evening so I decided to pack it up and go home
until I heard a knock outside of the recording booth. I opened the
door and to my surprise was the producer’s daughter Alice. She was
quite the Violent Femme. Wearing a short Belly shirt and tight black
leather pants, she looked hot. Her LA Guns were astounding.

She had asked where the band was and I told her they left and we were
all alone. I could feel my Cranberries tighten and my Tool rise. I
asked her if she needed a slow ride home and she said sure but not
until I show her how to do a drum roll.

We headed over to the kit and she sat down on the stool while
grabbing a couple of drum sticks from the bag. I got behind her and
showed her the move by guiding her arms and hands on the snare. Her
hair smelled like Guns and Roses. It was beautiful. After she was
through, she turned around and saw something resembling a microphone
stand in my pants. Rouge lips became wet with Saliva as she rose and
gave me a Kiss. She took off her shirt and exposed the most Smashing
Pumpkins I had ever seen. A Quiet Riot began in my pants and my mind
filled with Social Distortion.

I held her Queens of the Stoneage in my hands and I felt Nirvana. I
had to get her pants off and put my SlipKnot into her Hole before I
was going to explode. Her pants eventually came off and revealed A
Perfect Circle. We got down on the carpet and quickly I entered her
Foo Fighter.

Her Iron Maiden was wet with STP and my Korn on the cob felt like an
Iggy Pop. I was moving a little slow for her taste so she
yelled, “Faster Pussycat”. It didn’t take long before my Slayer
erupted but not before I pulled out. My Twisted Sister exploded Pearl
Jam all over her Candlebox. I was spent from the excitement and
quickly my Black Sabbath became a Led Zeppelin with my Rolling Stones
aching. She rolled over and I gave her a little Godsmack on the
behind. We both got up and put our clothes on.

Before we left the studio, she smiled and gave me a kiss “You should
come over to my place sometime. I have a dungeon we can play in.” She
said with a wink.

I said, “Definitely! There would be nothing better than to see my
Alice in Chains….It’s a date…!”

Lockeland Springsteen

musings on music from east nashville, tn

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