Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's that time of the year for my annual Christmas observations, so here goes.

Using pine spray on a fake Christmas tree is fine at first, but after a few days, the tree takes on a high school gymnasium smell.

Call me weird but of all the different Christmas Carol movies, I like the Albert Finney musical Scrooge the best.

I believe Elf should fall into the classic Xmas movie category. My wife disagrees.

Decorating the Xmas tree, I go for moderation. My wife, on the other hand, throws everything she can find on the branches.

My grandson is still confused about how Santa manages to get down a gas fireplace. He is certain his gifts will be smaller because of this fact.

The local Xmas music radio station plays the same 50 songs over and over. Gotta listen to Sirius for some variety.

The best Xmas song from my youth, Do You Hear What I Hear - Bing Crosby. Second place - A'Soalin' - Peter, Paul, and Mary.

I watched It's A Wonderful Life again yesterday. Am I the only one who thinks Potterville is a more swinging place than Bedford Falls?

And speaking of It's A Wonderful Life, I've always been curious as to what happens to old man Potter. Seems to me that even if everything didn't go his way, he still got to keep the $8,000. Not a bad payday.

I found leftover Halloween candy on our Xmas tree this morning. I told you my wife puts everything on there.

I always wrap the first couple of presents really good. By the time I get to the end of them, the boxes are a sloppy mess.

Yesterday I spent more time riding around the mall parking lot looking for a parking space than I did in the stores.

We're not expecting any company this year but my wife still has the inside of our house looking like the North Pole.

The older I get the later I sleep in on Christmas morning. When I was a kid, I'd wake my parents before the sun came up. Now I struggle out of bed at the crack of 9 a.m.

Maybe it's a holdover from my youth but I still don't like clothes for Christmas.

My favorite Christmas gift of all time: The Schwinn bike I got when I was twelve.

My least favorite: A ten book Encyclopedia set, the same year.

Putting up all the outside lights seems like a huge effort for the month they're displayed. Yet when I attempt to keep them on a minute after January first, my wife has a fit.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Robert McCammon and More

     Some authors inspire me. Robert McCammon is one of those authors. His novels are uniformly good. Some (Speaks The Nightbird, Swan Song, They Thirst, Usher's Passing) are great. And one in particular, Boys Life, could well be my favorite book of all time.
     I am currently reading his latest in the Matthew Corbett series, The River Of Souls, and, as usual, I am transfixed by the author's storytelling prowess. If you haven't read any of McCammon's books, start with Boy's Life. I guarantee you will move on to his others.
     The following may, or may not be, the prologue to my yet unwritten novella, Before The Night Falls.    

The red bride walked the deck of the St. Constantine, a ship named for her brother, and since her brother's death, she had preferred to walk its surface in silence and alone.
     She gazed up at the night sky, another ritual, and, much like the nights before, she saw the face of her brother outlined by the starlight. But now, on this night, another shape met her eyes, a blur at first until the stars accommodated her, shifting about until they formed an image of a woman's face, her features as sharp as the dagger at her waist.
     A thought, loud as a thunderclap, enveloped her. She is the one you seek. She is the one who will steal everything you ever wanted. Everything you will ever have.
     The red bride stared at the face, her brother forgotten, and a fire rose inside of her.  Everything I ever wanted. No, I don't think so.
     Then seek her out. Find her and destroy her before...
     "Before what?" She spoke the words out of impatience before she realized it wasn't necessary.
     Before she finds him.
    Now, the stars again moved and her brother's face shifted, morphing into another, one she did not recognize.
     Before she finds him, the words swirled like a swarm of insects in her mind.
     For the longest time, the red bride stared at the night sky, and when the first light of dawn broke upon the horizon, she lowered her head. The sea was still dark in front of her when she heard one last thing, the final words fading away into the darkness, into a whisper.
     Her name is Catherine and she seeks David. The man you once loved.
     The night broke apart like glass but by then the red bride had retreated to the safety of her cabin, where she remained awake listening the currents of the sea that would carry her home.