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[News] 20 years ago

20 Years ago it was a Tuesday.

And Tuesday started at 6 AM.
I lived with my parents and since I was going to work at 8 AM I was designated to drop my dad off at the Airport.
My dad was a pilot of United Airlines and has been flying since he was teenager. He’s gone from Peidmont to Ransom Express to Ransom to Pan Am Express to Pan Am to Kuwait Airways and finally to United.
He has said on more than once occasion it’s the best job a kid could have. My brother and I never really got bitten by the flying bug that much, I take purty pictures of them mostly. 🙂
So at 7 AM I drop him off at the Airport and drive onto work.
I worked at the local Cable Company Call Center with lots of Televisions on the walls and whoever gets into work early and has a remote control switches the channels and normally The Today Show would have been on.
At 9 AM CNN.com stopped loading and so did MSNBC. With it being a slow day I gophered up to see if anyone else was having problems. One of the Televisions was showing a tower and smoke coming out of it. One or two people were watching it. I walked over and turned up the volume.
One of the News Anchors was reporting a small plane had hit one of the World Trade Center Towers. O.k., so it was a news story just like when the Russian sub collided with another sub during war games.
I don’t remember if I actually saw the second plane hit the second tower. I rounded the corner at work and FOX News was reporting the Pentagon had just been attacked and was on fire.
A few customers called in about problems with the local news Station out of New York, an email or two had said the antenna’s on the WTC Towers were causing the problem.
Then news began to filter out about a passenger plane.
And, I decided to call my dad’s cell phone.
Digressing for a moment…
Having a pilot in the family means a great many things: First, don’t expect them to be home for Holidays, second expect calls from foreign countries, thirdly finding loose change all over the house that looks like an Arcade Token, taking them to the airport at o’dark thirty in the morning and lastly, listening to the news when the words: AIRLINE DISASTER dominate the screen.
Pan Am 103 was the last major disaster that struck our family indirectly.
First, 103 crippled Pan Am chances of survival only for Delta to buy them out.
Second, Delta went on everyones shit list for promising the world and pulling out once they got the juicy routes which they in turn fucked up on because their name recognition meant diddly that side of the equator.
Back to reality, I called his cell and he answered. Whew. The conversation went like this.
Dad: Hello.
Me: Hi. How’s it going?
Dad: Fine-
Me: Where are you?
Dad: They’re pulling us back to the gate. We know. Flights have been canceled. Rumor is it was one of ours.
The rest of the day is a blur. I watched both towers come down.
My dad and fellow pilots being grounded went to victum’s families to pay their respects.
My brother, who, a few days before had flown down to Texas to train with Southwest to be a bag smasher (baggage handler) was in training when all of this happened.
Later that night, I sent out emails to everyone in the extended family and told them Dad was supposed to fly but was luckily not in the air when it happened.
Days later, Wall Street would re-open and United Stock plummeted. Their woes had begun earlier that year when an unplanned, unknown, announcement about United merging with US Airways sent the stock tumbling and employee’s blood pressure through the roof.
My dad along with several other pilots were flown out to different airports to ferry airplanes home so things could get back to normal.
United went into Chapter 11 along with a few other airlines. Rumors of other airlines getting the word from the higher ups to bury United would later backfire when their work would push themselves into Chapter 11.
20 years later, it’s a Saturday.
I sit at home while a virus that has been politicized to the point of absurdity rages through out the world. I’ve published one book and working a second.
I’m working as a delivery driver for Amazon, a job far removed from my customer service rep jobs of the past.
My dad died six years ago, on his birthday, on a plane headed to Seattle.
My mother has since retired from ICU and works as a hospice volunteer.
My brother has moved onto better things, got married, moved to Seattle, his wife had created the Works Seattle before the pandemic and continues to thrive under her leadership and quick thinking. They have a lovely two lovely twins, a dog named Clover and while they were completely vaccinated they’ve survived a brush with the virus.
And, life continues…

[NEWS] Smarch Updates

Smarch Updates

Smarch? You’ve never heard of Smarch?

Click on the Youtube link. (It’s work safe, honest)

Convention News:

December’s Rhode Island Author Expo is still on and should be in person. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.

Boskone was a well attended virtual con was enjoyable from my living room.

Look like Necronomicon 2021 is not going ahead as originally planned and has been pushed to 2022 along with San Diego Comic Con. I’m happy both of these conventions decided not to attempt 2021.

Book 1 News:

While book 2 is plugging along and the price of the ebook version book 1 is $0.99 on every electronic platform.

Music News:

Last bit of news is I’ve found on Youtube some hour long ambience music from Star Wars and while I have a lot of the soundtracks already, it’s nice to hear some ambience music while I write. The ads popping up are easily ignored.

RKB’s Picks:

 


The Head on Amazon Prime is a murder mystery set in the cold tundra of Antarctica. A multi-national team of scientists face several months in darkness before the summer team arrives but when they do they only find two survivors. Overall, the series if a fun watch even if the flashback style of story telling can get a little grating and deafens the suspense since the first episode shows all the dead while the series unspools with their demise one by one. Overall: 4 out of 5.Beast Wars: Transformers on Tubi and Transformers War for Cybertron on Netflix. Growing up in the 80’s I was raised on afternoon cartoons so Transformers, GI Joe, Robotech, Captain Harlock and such turned me into a nerd. Doctor Who circa Tom Baker on PBS and Star Trek: TNG on Fox just cemented it.So when Transformers The Movie came out in the 80’s, it was the first taste of PTSD since a lot of the Gen 1 Transformers died in order to make way for more toys. I have no idea who thought purple was a good color scheme but wow there’s a lot a purple in Galvatron’s crew to the point of squinting and several minions all look the same.

Beast Wars Transformers is one of the better Transformer shows because while it is a show based on merchandise, the characters and stories weren’t aimed at kids. The characters and their voices are unique enough to make them all stand out (Rattrap, Dinobot, Blackarachnia, Megatron) and yes, while some even die their deaths aren’t just throw away to make way for new toys. The Gen 1 nostalgia doesn’t kick into high gear until the end of Season 2. At nearly 50 episodes, the show is worth watching beginning to end.

It gets a five out of five.

I would disregard it’s direct sequel: Beast Machines. It’s completely different animal and while it tried something different it was too different and not as enjoyable as Beast Wars. It’s bad when a few of the voice actors flip out at the fact their characters have changed so much. Sure, it’s the same characters and voice actors but the writers swung and struck out.

Transformers War for Cybertron could learn a few things from Beast Wars. While the show among a few other Transformer shows have decided to focus on the Cybertron before Gen 1, it’s a good nostalgia attempt that only fails on two points in my opinion: 1. Too short a season doesn’t allow for the characters to stretch. It feels like it’s rushing at points. 2. The male voice actors don’t do any favors due to too many of them trying to sound gruff. The woman voice over actors are dead on perfect and make them rememberable.

I bring up both of these series because War of Cybertron Volume 3 dips into Beast Wars continuity if the last shot of Dinobot has anything to say about it.

It gets a four out of five.

eBook Giveaways!

An awesome collection of sci-fi eBooks are available in the month of Smarch!
An even bigger collection of sci-fi eBooks are available in the month of Smarch!
Free eBook from Patty Jansen.

Novel Spotlight!


[NEWS] February 2021 Updates

February 2021 News

One of my resolutions is to post more here. The advent of Twitter, Facebook and the rest has made posting easier and easier.

Convention News:

Since Boskone 2021 is going to virtual this year, I’ll be in the virtual dealers room selling copies of Weaver along with my eBay auctions.

They’re going to have three days worth of panels and with no airline or hotel fees to worry about I’d recommend checking out the schedule.

I hope things start to look up towards the end of the year.

Rhode Island Comic Con is still scheduled for November and Emerald City Comic Con scheduled for December.

Association of RI Authors will an isle at RICC like we usually do. So long as I can get the time off from work, I’ll be at RICC. Any updates on RICC will be appear here, on my twitter feed, blog and FB page.

I would love to go to ECCC as a vendor but I think I’ll wait off until I have three books.

I’m trying to be optimistic about 2021 and in person events…

Book 2 News

The prologue and chapter 1 for book #2 has been posted to Wattpad.

I should note, these previews I’ve been posting haven’t been edited so there are most assuredly spelling and grammar errors.

I will be having the book edited prior to release.

eBook Giveaways!

Novel Spotlight!

[EVENTS] Virtual Rhode Island Author Expo 2020

The Association of Rhode Island Authors is proud to announce that the Rhode Island Author Expo will be going virtual this year.

The Expo committee has been working hard to learn what needs to be done to put on a free virtual event.

The Rhode Island Author Expo website has been updated with a registration button, panel schedule and participating authors.

The event will be running from 10 AM – 5 PM and will be held on Zoom.

There’re author panels just like in years past along with keynote speakers and this year we’re trying something different with an author kaffeeklatsch, a nice intimate setting to sit down and talk to one of our many local authors.

I hope to see you at the Expo in December where I’ll be on two panels and a kaffeeklatsch.

You can find my schedule here.

[Appearance] Warwick Public Library Meet & Greet – CANCELED

The Warwick Public Library has cancelled the Warwick Public Library’s Author Meet & Greet scheduled for Saturday, March 28th.

The library is adhering to the Rhode Island State of Emergency that states people should stay away from events where large amounts of people may gather for fear of the corona virus.

No makeup date is forthcoming and the library said they will have us back next year at this time.

7th Annual Rhode Island Author Expo

7th Annual Rhode Island Author Expo

The Association of Rhode Island Authors returns to Rhodes on the Pawtuxet on 12-7-19 from 10AM to 4:30 PM.

135+ authors including Jon Land, G. Wayne Miller, R. W. Alley, Zoe B Alley, John Barylick and more!

All genres represented! Writing panels & speakers!

Raffle drawings!

Santa for the kids!

Free parking and admission!

Looking for a personalized book then here’s your chance to get it signed by the author themselves!

Make sure to check out the Expo’s Facebook page for more announcements and RSVP via the Facebook Event page.

[VOTE] The Dorrys and Where Weavers Daire

The Dorrys have posted their nominations for 2019 and Where Weavers Daire has been nominated for fiction book of the year.
My fellow authors that were also nominated were Julien Ayotte, Claremary P. Sweeney, K. Chess, Juliet Grames, Padma Venkatraman and Farah Rose Smith looks like I’m in good company.
The ballot closes on November 1st.
You can click here to see all the nominees.
You can click here to vote.