Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sweet Dreams Series, Updates, and Inconvenient Realities

Hello, it's been fact, quite a while. 

I've as usual been meaning to blog for a long time, but finding the time, making the time and all of that has gone by the way. Finally, after a long period of work, writing, editing and madness I have for once decided to make the fucking time.

There is much to anticipate this summer, and so many things have occurred that I have to figure out just how I'm going to do them all. In line with that come the happenings in our world, close to home and otherwise.

I made a joke recently with my old friend Jim on his birthday about not getting old, to which he replied something about his back. It's true, our bodies are turning into old cars: they're gonna break down, make sounds they're not supposed to, and leak things they shouldn't, but they do.

I have had some nagging issues, but they are really nothing to complain about. When I consider how much pain I really felt almost 25 years ago from an accident that should have killed me, this is nothing.

I'm so trying not to complain about things. I find that little things get me nettled, but that's always been the thing. I try to let that pass, and realize you can't change an awful lot of stuff outside you. You can change yourself if you want.

I again find I have to rethink things. The last thing I want to do is chase money, but you need just enough to get things done. Well, whether it rolls in while I'm alive or helps out the later generations, we'll see.

It's an ego thing...but I would like to see how the world reacts to some of what I'm doing.

So what is going on right now? Well, the good news is that a project that I started writing, and have dealt with on and off for 11 years is coming out this summer.

The Sweet Dreams Series is this crazy story of threads that came together and formed a Gordian knot, or perhaps some kind of non-tie able one. 

What you think? Now true, this is not the finished product, just a rough cut. But does that get you interested? I hope so...

When I started writing that story in 2007, I did not know what I'd started, but I can imagine really well. The literary, manga and anime world did not break down the doors, and it won't until this gets out there. There's nothing wrong with considering the possibilities; in fact, I feel you have to, so you don't get blindsided.

So that is gonna be my fourth book, and the third on Brown Posey Press. People have asked how long that is going to run. Well, I wrote five, plus a compendium of sorts. But the arc is going to have to change a lot, and there's going to be an insane amount of work for the next one to make sense due to all the changes in the first.

I think we have a fine trilogy here. And when that's done, I'm going to let Aki and the gang grow up a little more.

Now, that leads me to my resumption of a radio role as...a talk show host.

Fuck me. The last thing I ever wanted to do is be that again. 

The toxic, filth-laden wasteland of talk radio, and I mean political as well as sports talk is, quite plainly, shit. Generations have been programmed to let their heads be filled with everything they don't really need. The shopping mall of the radio dial has become one gigantic gape shot that you don't want any part of.

There's little left that I can stomach. But...I was pleasantly surprised to get an opportunity to actually do something that really does appeal to me.

Sunbury Press Books, which is our parent company created the BookSpeak Network, and I host the Brown Posey Press show, primarily for fiction.

Pretty cool; while generally I interview fellow authors on the imprint, I can go off the reservation. I've only done four shows so far, and I'm reading a lot more and prepping to do a full show without commercials.

Now we use phone hookups, so it's kind of a strange, almost analog sound. A friend listened to one of the shows and said it was like someone discovering a forgotten radio, and turning it back on. She found it a very comforting thing. How neat.

So I've interviewed some fine people and authors, and there will be more. I'm really enjoying this. This is the kind of show I can do. Authors talking about their books, about writing, what they read, how they've experienced's actually really thought provoking.

I also have found a paying job...imagine that!

I'm working as a mentor for a gentleman who is in broadcasting school. He is a little older than me, and originally from Kenya. His goal is to return to his homeland and work as a talk show host. The power of radio over there is still king. 

He's got most of the tools, but he just needs some technical help, and practice. I've never done this before; I feel I can really help him. This is a nice give-back to an industry that needs people, still.

Now, we gotta hit the realities...our bodies are growing old, but our minds need not. These things I do keep my brain stretched, so I can write again and more, and further along.

I got a great opportunity last weekend to see an old friend. Kelly is a person I met 30 years ago in Northern NH. I was just explaining this experience to a friend, so I'll leave it this way: we were friends, lovers, and a lot of things for four years when it all blew up.

Fault is not one-sided, but we've long since forgiven one another for our doings. She did what I did, jobbed about the radio world, worked like hell, and has found a lot more.

We hadn't seen each other in 26 years, and I'm amazed and impressed by her. We both had things to work through, and we each had to do them. I'm still working on mine, but that's a lifelong deal.

That's the good one.

The passing of Anthony Bourdain is something I have to touch on. There was a recent suicide of a lady that shocked a lot of people, a designer that I am sorry to say I know little about.

I didn't know much about Bourdain; I'd only seen his TV show once, and there's a lot of love/hate flying about the man. He was loud, outspoken, and ruffled feathers. My kinda guy. 

He did a lot of good, though; he took us places, and tried food everywhere. Travel, he counseled us, travel; I need to follow that example.

His suicide shocked everyone. What could have happened? No one can say, but there's been a real re-ignition of the talk about suicide.

As someone who planned his own 30+ years ago, I can tell you a few things, but each person's reasons are different.

I wrote about this in Parasite Girls, my first book; and it looms in A Moment in the Sun, my second. Didn't plan that, but these things come about.

In the first, a character notes that a person is in the dark, so far, that they no longer realize what they are completely doing. The damage, the hurt, the agony, and whatever else influences otherwise rational people to do the irrational.

They may even think they're doing you a favor, by offing themselves. They may think life is no longer worth living; or that they cannot contribute, fit in, or do anything useful any longer, if ever.

The skin they live in must be something they cannot tolerate any longer. Everyone has a reason; the cases are different.

There are no true warning signs, but some say when a person no longer takes joy in the things they should, gives away valued possessions, withdraws, etc., those may be signs.

Hard to say. I never told anyone what was going on inside me, and most had no idea. But I'd also isolated myself enough, that the rare occasion anyone saw something strange, they either didn't get it, or passed it off as something other.

I can't really tell you anything specifics, because each of us are so different. Just this...if someone really reaches out to you, shut up, and listen. And listen critically. It's not about you. It's about them. Let it be them for just a little bit.

That said, I have to note the passing of a dear friend. Dick Huntington left us a couple weeks back. Dick was a lot of things, I can't even begin to document them. 

An author, a poet, a storyteller, a bard (he liked to call himsef), a teacher, so many things. He was in my old band Ahltyrra briefly, and he contributed in a lot of ways to my writing.

He edited and helped me greatly with my skills, way back when Sweet Dreams first went out to the world. He fell in love with the characters, and loved what I was doing with the time travel, the music, the people. Dick also tightened up my horrible writing style, and my awful changes of tense.

Dick served in Vietnam, but never talked about it. Rather, he talked about his time in California, the music scene, his years of living in different places, booking for the Baltimore Blues Society, meeting such incredible musicians. Great moments of his life.

As his health declined, Dick didn't quit. He helped right up to the end, and I feel that he should be seen for all the good he did, and yeah, he did a lot. I'm not going to toss off the difficult side of him, and that yes, he did piss some folks off.

But I ain't perfect, either, and don't I know it.

I'm sorry Dick did not live in his body to see the book make its way out, but wherever he is, I'm sure he'll see it, and have a lot to say about it!

RIP, brother, love you as you did me.

Well...time to move on here. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Writing, BlogTalking, Coolwalking, Smoothtalking...Yeah, Right!

Well, let’s try a new font while I sort through a bunch of activities, things, semi-accomplishments and observations, as I come out of realizing that my body is growing old.

Not me, mind. Just the vehicle I’m traveling around in. As the parts start to age, I find I’m dealing with the realization that upgrades and tune-ups may no longer be an option.

My hands are definitely becoming an issue. My touch-typing is not what it once was, and I feel like my brain and body need to be in tune and in sync in order to work. If not, my fingers are all over the place, and the muscle memory is not quite as good.

Finding out also that I have to really focus to keep on point. Certain tasks require it, and I’ve been able to focus my mind on them, and accomplish them pretty well.

Other things, not so much. I have too many things, interests, and I have to figure out how to manage them.

Case in point: I end up doing a lot of small projects, such as writing for, PopImpressKA Journal (more on that in a bit), and now contributing to Plaisted Publishing House.

Okay, have I namedropped enough?

Then we have the radio fun and merriment. Radio PA continues apace, and going well; my stability is pretty much predicated on that. Not a job, again; but also my last stop in the business.

Now I’ve gone on at length about The Music Club, on Radio-Airwaves Station, which is still a hell of a lot of fun, and keeps me up on the new music that interests me.

I have also been tabbed by my publisher, Brown Posey Press to host a talk show.

My first on the site you will find shows from the varied imprints of Sunbury Press Books, and it’s getting easier for me to get back into to swing of hosting such a program.

Now, getting my fellow authors to do the show...well, it’s a help and a boost to the sales, believe me.

I made a trip to Carlisle today in honor of the Indie Bookshop recognition day. Whistlestop Bookshop is right in town, a neat little place with exceptional taste.

The cat's name is Mulan. 

I’ve spent the past several months working the owner to get my books in there...or a signing, or something.

You have to keep working it...Jeff promises to check my work out.

I was there today as my old friend T.M. Becker celebrated the release of her book, Full Moon Rising, on Prospective Press.

Tsiph (her full name is Tshipuneah) is a lady I met eight years ago through a writer’s group. She was working on this story way back then. I know the feeling of working, editing, writing, rewriting, and waiting years for your opportunity. Very happy for her.

Can’t wait to start reading this. And you know, reading other people’s books is a must as an author. Been trying to expand out on that, and I have to with the Blog Talk program. Sharon Marchisello’s work is out of my field, Going Home was not unlike my latest work, Live from the Cafe. Going back to the hometown, to find what’s changed and what has not was Luc and Emily’s MO, but for different reasons, and two people not expecting to see one another again.

I’ll be interviewing Robert Barsky, author of Hatched, also of the Brown Posey imprint next week. I think that will be a fun interview. I try to make them fun, two people talking about books and stuff, and that makes it work.

I am also open to those from outside the imprint. Tsiph wants to do it.
We also talked about finding places to sign and sell, and it gets harder than ever. Even indie bookstores aren’t always so be fair, time, space, resource, I get it.

But like Tsiph, I can do a signing and not be in your face and in the way. Damn thing works, and you can make it work.

It has boosted interest in this, HINT HINT HINT...

I guess for me I am still finding my audience. I know my voice is finding its way to the page, and in a manner that is necessary.

Three books down, and the first of the Sweet Dreams Series will go later in the year. Searching for Roy Buchanan is the subtitle, and I’ve talked a lot and at length about it.

More editing, and I’ll be seeing my cover artist in May, hopefully; more legal stuff to do, more of too many things to do, and the knowledge we cannot quit this thing.

I do not quit.

Notice that yet? Yeah, I’m stubborn as fuck, but if it’s worth doing, you do it.

This is.

Now, back to health briefly...spending a bit more time at home, partly due to feeling like I have to get back to it. Lived here two years; not much has changed in the home, but I will be making a few minor changes as time goes by. It’s most comfy here; and regardless of where I live, I prefer and can handle it.

Also have to decide whether or not a certain Rx is gonna keep being used. I did something to my back over a week ago, and spasms were pretty bad.

I have seen the chiro, seen the doc, changed my sleeping position, etc. Now I do have a lovely muscle relaxant, but I can’t use it before work.

But two days of it, and I know what it’s done. I am alert, but it drops me back a gear, and I do not like it. I think the rest for a couple days outside the job was good, but I’m feeling better, and I just don’t want to go a full month of this shit.

People who really need it? I get you. The opioid epidemic here in PA is pretty bad, but I think we know where we can point the finger. Not at the victims of this, either.

And for those of you who ask:

Kao is adjusting well. She is a little monster. She “garbages,” which my mother used to castigate our old Beagle Rufus for doing. I’ve made it so she can’t really do that, and Kao has managed to get along with the others.

She is a quirky cat; doesn’t like getting picked up, and petting her is when she damn well feels like it.

Now what else?

Well, the feeling I have of not being able to relax, yet knowing I need to. I have a string of books that while not ready, are close to it. I could put one out a year for a very long time, but I think a bunch won’t see the light of day in my lifetime.

But I plan to hang out in this body for a while, so...get used to it.

I think as an excuse, I find other things to finish, or do, to avoid whatever unidentified thing exists that I don’t want to do. I still have no idea what that is.

Oh yes...I have a photo shoot tomorrow, courtesy of my longtime friend Alice. These are for this little publication:

Pretty cool, eh? Well, I have written a short piece on my good friend Gene Dante for the upcoming magazine, which can be picked up physically or online...the art world collides with fashion and so much more.

So much more to do...reading...been working on a number of books, and getting through them. Isabelle Allende’s The Japanese Lover was interesting; not a fan of hers, but this one worked out nicely.

The Gift of Rain...this is fucking brilliant. Tan Twan Eng’s historical novel of pre, during and postwar Malaya from a British mixed-race young man (and old man’s view). Detailed, graphic, violent, and unflinching.

We can only hope to write like this.

Not sure why, but I gave Amy Tan another chance. The Bonesetter’s Daughter was not as great as many made it out to be, just hard to follow. But The Joy Luck Club, despite jokes some have made...not done yet, good, but still a focus thing I have not been able to figure out. But the characters are very well done, and crafted nicely.

Tsiph’s book goes up top with all these others. As for the SDS, I am slowly probing the areas that need to be, to get it a bit better, and to also figure out how to promote again, and to do it right.

I also finished a manuscript, or the second draft, of a YA work, The Feels. It’s got a way to go; but I am now seeing there is a real, dual line of my writing.

The SDS is one line, and that contains, ready for this, two other trilogies written, and a book that could be three!

WTF, right?

And...the string of stories that are of a different vein. Serious ones, but also stories that find a way to celebrating a youth that I never celebrated.

So we’ll see where we go.

As usual, I’m a man in a hurry, but whatever. It’s how I’ve always been.

Peace, Out. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Message to Millennials: Burn Down the Mission

Okay, I’m going to put this out here, and I'm sure some unsuspecting readers will be frothing at the mouth by the time it's over, if they're not already. I've been thinking about this for quite a while now; I've been trying to figure out how to address so many issues in one blog post, but the thing is, nearly all of them share a common threat, and it's best to focus right in on that one.

I was born in '65, and technically, kinda-sorta-maybe, I missed by about one year the so-called "Baby Boomer" generation. Now, I have three siblings who are, and believe me, there are so many folks older than me that are NOT the target of this blog.

But a whole bunch of you ARE. This is gonna "meander," as my old dear friend Diana Emmons was wont to say. 

When did the Boomer thing really start to get talked about? I don't remember, to be honest, but I became aware of it in the 1980s, when suddenly the nickname was being bandied about, to describe what the hippies were like, and what many of them had turned into. 

One of the first time I'd heard it being used was when political satirist Mark Russell did a song about them, around 1984...I'm going to try and remember the lyrics, because I cannot find video of it:

"Those boom babies were young and clean, in college they set fire to the dean, now they're Yuppies, see the Yuppies...they had long hair and they wore no shoes, now they're driving big BMWs..."

The idea Russell was putting forward, was how the kids of the postwar pop-out had gone from being free-love hippies to urban professionals obsessed with wealth and materialism. Music in particular reflected during that decade on how the kids "grew up," if that was ever the case.

One of the biggest hits on the country charts in the mid-80s, and one of the most requested songs I ever got was one by the Bellamy Brothers:

I'd used to like the boys, and then more and more, I felt they were doing what I called "Yuppie Country," but this song reflected the way people changed.

In the late 80s, there was an arrogance and elitism I well recall being directed at me, and by colleagues of mine in the media. Young people, as they have in all generations past, were being castigated as lazy, stupid, glued to pop culture, and not doing what they're supposed to. Whatever that was, or is.

Then in the 90s, we had Generation X, or Gen X; slackers, just another term for loser. Gen Y...what the fuck was that? 

Every few years, another one, and every generation removed looked down upon those beneath them. It's never changed, but in recent years I began to view just how nasty, mean-spirited and hateful the older generations have become.

Because, once more, they are threatened. George Carlin's most brilliant few minutes are these:

For whatever reason, I can't upload the video, so you'll need the link. The materialism, the greed, the money, the power. Having it all given, and fearing having to give it up.

That is, if you ever had anything to give up; not like you can take your toys to the grave with you. Jello Biafra once noted that younger generations are the ones that are going to put us in nursing homes one day.

I really became aware of how some Boomers never grew up when I worked a job where I found myself on the older end of a company. I felt kind of stuck in the middle.

On one side were a crew of young kids, still in college or just about of it, They were looking for a job, a shot in the business, something. Some of them had skill, a desire to learn, and to do something. I never felt they got the guidance they needed.

On the other side, were colleagues my age and older. Some, not all, were incredibly defensive, and resentful. They didn't like the way the company was being run, they didn't like the management, they especially didn't like the younger ones.

When people weren't complaining about why the company didn't do things the "way we used to," or "the way it should be," they were trashing the kids. They were called a lot of names: lawn mowers, pot smokers, and so forth.

Oh, and those who felt they were not being respected by the company...they weren't being valued, turned to for their experience, not supported, etc.

Respect is earned. It is not given. That's a mantra they used, and when they didn't get what they thought they should be accorded, who got butthurt?

They did.

When I heard people bitch about one of the young people who did smoke the stuff, I always wanted to turn around and ask, "How much did you smoke back in the day? How much coke did you snort up? How much PCP did you do? How much crack? How much heroin?"

I'm not one to talk, but to me it smacked of hypocrisy. You had it good, Boomers, and you can't take it with you when you go.

But you can pine for the good 'ol days, can't you? Fear of Change...the C-word!

In recent years, I have become aware of how deep the ancient's claws are dug into the ground, as they're being dragged down into it, kicking and screaming. One of the reasons conservatism remains viable is because it appeals to the past. The long-dead past; and the nostalgia for a time that never really existed.

The days when everything was good, nice, and you were never threatened by anything. When life was so simple, and traditional; when Mom stayed home in the kitchen and made sandwiches, and birthed babies. Dad went to work and brought home the money. Everybody had what they wanted, when they wanted it.

That fantasy is still being played out, in the minds of people who go inward, but not for introspection, not for reflection, for thought of what can be shared with future generations.'s about how great things used to be, how if we pretend hard enough, it's still happening.

I'll give you an example: there is an individual whom I know, and I see around. Don't know his name; but every day he talks incessantly to anyone who will listen, about how he had one job all his working life, then he retired, then worked a few years in a certain school system.

And he can't stop complaining about how badly the system was run. He could not effect change, and so eventually he left. He still harps on it.

He continues to talk about the good old days, comfortable and secure in knowing that his retirement is not threatened (YET).

His ignorance of the struggles young people have show he has forgotten what he had to do to pay his dues. The world has changed, but he refuses to see it.

He is one of many, who he can goad into bitching about the Millennials. Those who call themselves businessmen then spend all the time they can one-upping each other.

"Kids are so lazy! They work for me two weeks, and they want a day off!"

"I got a friend who won't hire anyone under 40, but he can't say that or he'll get sued..."

Oh, you poor employers. Perhaps you need to look in the mirror.

Yes, times have changed. Attitudes change; social media, technology, we have become disconnected, but the techniques have merely been brought up to date.

Radio was supposed to be the disconnector decades ago. The TV; then the Internet, Smartphones, all of it. The principle is the same in each case. It's just a different device.

Yes, we all use it too much. I use it too much. We can all do better.

But my point...after the massacre in Parkland, Florida, we again are reminded of how the old fogies continue to cling to our past. We make excuses for everything; we refuse to change. 

Religion, firearms, abortion, sports, politics...these and other topics, we fight over them, friendships are dissolved and families disrupted, because we can't have a conversation anymore. 

It works both ways, not just the one each side whines about in their cut and paste comments. Original thought is no longer permitted, in fact, everyone has them, then as they get older, many lose them and find it easy to just immerse themselves in platitudes.

I think, because I am not one of the wealthy, the privileged, or the special, that I stand apart from my fellows. I try so hard not to see everything through a prism that is to my specifications. I try damned hard every day to see each person for who they are.

I'm so often fucking disappointed. 

Back to that shooting: those kids that are standing up, refusing to be cowed, unwilling to heel to "authority," because they've seen enough and suffered enough. They now fight back against the Drunk Uncles, the Conspiracy Theorists, the Holocaust Deniers, the Status Quo Keepers, and the rest.

And what do they say? They pound their keyboards, call up talk shows, and generally act like this:

Their childish rants are exemplified by the sound of their screams. The disemboweled rats, their screaming hear them on talk radio, on Youtube, and you read it on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere.

Screaming about the Millennials, shrieking that something that's their will be taken from them...oh, the humanity.

The Millennials and their other numbers want change. And those kids ain't gonna quit till they get it. They're not whiny. They're not coddled. They don't want participation trophies (which are meant to stroke the parent's ego, as are so many things kids are forced to do). 

They want shit fixed. 

Interesting article here:

I got a message for those kids: 


Take it down, take the whole fucking rotten structure down. I will shed no tears. I will not cry for the loss of anything, because what I have is fleeting anyway.

I don't have a big house; I don't want one. I don't have a timeshare in Cozumel; I don't have millions of dollars stashed away. I don't sit around all day telling everyone how I spend my money, and what I spend it on. And I don't bitch about what those kids that you can't stand the sight of are doing.

Because they are fucking doing something.

We can learn so much from the younger generations. Their appreciation for certain parts of life we took for granted is something I notice. I don't fully understand all of it. I don't buy into trends; some people do that, sure, but you can tell a poseur from someone who lives it.

I don't get Hipster culture; I remember the Hippies, 'cause I had two brothers who were. They are two different things; but it doesn't matter.

None of this shit matters. Our nation is on a collision course between a culture that wishes to keep it "the way it was," not realizing it's dead and gone, and a culture that is new, ever-changing, and ever-evolving.

Embrace the Change, people. It's not gonna kill you. You'll still be alive. 

You will adapt.

You might...might...even improve yourself.

Imagine that.

I write stories about a world I want to see, not the one you're told you are supposed to see. The change we want to see in this world is in our hands.

"Yeah, so what do you do?" You ask.

I write those stories. You won't like them, probably, because there's things in there that make you cringe. They remind you of a time you don't want to know about. They show you the way things are now, and you can't handle it. 

Generations of grown-up man children need to get their shit correct.

What else do I do? In my profession, I do my damnedest to be fair. I try very hard to get my job right, to get the facts and information right, and present it to you in a non-biased way. It's not easy. Emotion gets in the way. But you do your best and think hard about what your conscience is going to say to you, if you put it out there, and it's not right.

We're human. But your mistakes are always remembered, not the good things you did 99% of the time.

There's gonna be one hell of a revolution in the next year or two; it might just be a bloodless one, I hope so. But it might not. Either way, change is inevitable. 

Get on board; you can still have your convictions, and be you, just remember you are not the center of the universe. I'm sure not.

So kids, Burn Down the Mission. You have the imagination to rebuild; a lot of us are willing to help.

A lot of Americans need to grow up. Now.

Peace, Out.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Need to Be Reminded

I guess I need to remind myself at this point, of what we're doing all of this for. I have been quite busy, far too busy for my own good as we begin 2018, and I'm not without enterprise.

I had to finish off a manuscript I call "Times Best Remembered," and it's done but will need fixes and work. Quite a bit, really; but when you have a story burning a hole in your head for two years, it's probably best to get that out of your system.

It's actually a good, solid contemporary novel, and it has possibilities. I quite like it. That's saying something.

That leads me to preparing to edit the first book of the long-awaited "Sweet Dreams Series." The story of youth, time travel and the power of music is finally going to happen, but I have a lot to do before I get there.

I'm finding there's an interesting parallel in my work in recent years: the SDS is going to be a long-running commitment, but I have another.

Some of the non-SDS works have a very intriguing theme to them, even though every one stands alone. All of them have themes of young people, dealing with growing up, falling in love (or not), battling adult problems, and trying to figure out their direction. It's also a strange celebration of life, that I think might be lost on some readers. It was lost on me for a while.

So yes, the story is going to come out, and I need to keep pushing the other avenues. The film, the anime and other methods, but trying to find the right person to help with that, not easy.

Need the agent, too...gotta find the one believer that opens that door. But I have to kick their in first.

I am reminded that I have to occasionally look back at where I was, to figure out how many steps I took to get here.

Perhaps I can remind you, or have you go take a look.

Well then, how about this?

Now, whatever did they say about this book?

It draws you in, just as the cafe and its owners seem to draw in those in need of a comforting place to meet over coffee and to talk with friends and neighbors. The book explores varying backgrounds of the main characters, as well as others who drift through for a day or night of music, all of whom seem to find the warmth and friendship they are seeking through the cafe.

These are reviewers by the way. An old friend who doesn't do reviews told me he was quite pleased to see my writing has matured. Yes, he said that. I've improved, and from a fellow writer, that is a very high compliment.

This story really is in my view probably the best one of the three currently published. I did not expect this story to hit people as it did, but I should not have been surprised. As I battle a similar urge to sometimes not leave my home (even for the work I love doing), let alone get out of bed, I can get it.

Gates demonstrates a firm command and knowledge of a topic that most readers will find foreign, but his compelling characters and in-depth description of modern-day Japan helps ground the reader in a strong narrative. The characters are edgy, multifaceted, and devoid of stereotypical memes. Because Gates frames his descriptions of the isolated world of the hikikomori through the eyes of Rei, the mood does not slip into despair, but, rather, remains hopeful and retains the air of a survivors tale.

As a high school English teacher I have seen withdrawn students over the past 26 years who can identify with the "hikikomori." Some of them make it, and sadly, some don't. Tory Gates gives them a voice in A MOMENT IN THE SUN and that may be the most poignant and liberating aspect of this novel beyond being a well written book that pulls the reader into the world of Rei and her friends as they discover the resilience hidden inside themselves.

Well...these were two significant reviewers' looks at what I was trying to get across. A good story, I think, strong characters that were not stereotypical, and also a real look at what some people face. This is not your happy-happy-joy-joy work; it has real moments.

Now, that first one...what did they say?

A fantastic book. Please read! You won't be sorry. Mental Illness is never an easy topic to discuss. Mr. Gates handles it flawlessly.

A great read about a tough subject in an interesting setting. Tory Gates introduced me to a unfamiliar world and yet I felt truly immersed in the culture and was filled with compassion for the complex characters he created and the challenges they faced.

Please read! You won't be sorry. Mental Illness is never an easy topic to discuss. Mr. Gates handles it flawlessly.

For a fast reader, with only four major characters, it turned out nicely. A relative who suffers from the affliction the cover character (Sora) has in "Parasite Girls" told me I'd got it. She deals with what Sora does every day. 

The "Sweet Dreams Series" I hope is a step into a new world, but one that people can get familiar with, as I hope my other works shall do.

I have the writing somewhat to plan the next move forward.

This is daunting, I'll not deny it. It feels overwhelming, that I've gotten this far, but now getting the doors kicked open that need to be done. 

If anything, I do not quit.

Anyway, I decry looking back to the past and especially living in it. I do NOT live in that past, today and tomorrow, if I can do something in the forward direction, then it's good, even if it doesn't seem like I did shit.

So that's that. If you didn't check those out, I hope you do. If you did, leave me a review over there at Amazon or at Brown Posey Press. Every one counts.

Peace, Out.