Part 2 of Donkey Sense and of Life

What could symbolically represent the second leg of one’s life better than a brief, medically induced coma out of which you awake reborn, in some way better put back together? I don’t want to bore you with personal details but for me it was hip surgery and weeks later I am walking without great pain and sans a limp.

I believe in both God AND Science and the two are not mutually exclusive here. This recovery represents my second life… my second chance at a happier life.

Sometimes our brains sell us on the objective of becoming something we are not. I used to want to outshock the leading horror novelists of yesterday and today by taking it up a notch. I was good at it, but my mind was in the wrong place. It’s not about disturbing people, even in horror. It’s about inviting them to care, hold their breaths in suspense, and finally smile and share the story with their children or friends. Now I try to make my readers’ already challenging lives a bit more inspired through tales that lead readers to empathize and find joy.

This spiritual change in me began pre-surgery, when I drafted a tale for my mother who wouldn’t live long enough to read it. She’d always wanted me to write a sweet tale that anyone could read, not horror or bleak science fiction that shocked and disturbed in an, albeit, cautionary way.

Perhaps inspired subliminally by Davey and Goliath and Mister Ed, and definitely by Mark Twain and Bugs Bunny, I researched and wrote Donkey Sense quickly in 2012 and into 2013, receiving months of multi-peer feedback. Fellow novelist and friend Susan Finlay read Donkey Sense online and pointed me toward a small traditional publisher now doing business as Clean Reads Books. My submitted manuscript was sweet enough to be warmly accepted by this publisher whose authors’ material sometimes feeds G-rated Hallmark Channel movies.


Davey and Goliath

This physical and spiritual reawakening was just the break I needed toward channeling a healthier voice long hidden inside of me and toward telling professional tales in a new genre: Middle grade / tween fiction, or if you prefer tales for children of wonder who are near adulthood.

The remaining big challenge in this second life of mine is to continue to write charming books my mom would be proud of, tales that have realistic conflict and villains, but that still leave us with hope. Because hope should be the focus, balanced with healthy respect for any realistic future threats. I for one have shed that dark and hopeless past of horrors in a metaphysical exorcism disposal bag full of surgical detritus and my extracted bogus hip. Let’s forget it. Let it go. It’s gone. I’ve re-found myself as someone who tells stories that inspire.

I humbly invite you and your family to try Donkey Sense in paperback or e-book. Along with another inspirational animal tale I’m working on, Clean Reads Books and I will have a sequel for your enjoyment in early 2018: It’s called Donkey Sense 2: Saving the Farm.

Donkey Sense, the E-book: Try it for just 99 cents.

Donkey Sense, in Paperback. Own the beautiful paperback edition from Astraea Press, now Clean Reads Books.


Even the Writer Needs a Vacation: Reading, Sunning and Shooting Gators With a Camera

Need a vacation? I surely did. Yet even as I write this, it’s nearly over.

But first, let’s flash back. I was researching and writing my tail off seven days a week, nonfiction mostly Monday through Friday, and fiction predominantly Friday night through Sunday.

It’s a lonely, indoor activity. Minus any vital sun on my skin, it was getting to the point where I was subconsciously consuming huge amounts of vitamin D (mostly Jarlsberg cheese) just to stay healthy. My back and hip ached to the extent that I could barely walk or even sit comfortably. I needed to get out of the writing chair or standing desk and onto a beach, into the ocean, or find myself a whirlpool. I needed to do so without any guilt. You see, Americans working for international companies often catch grief for trying to take a week or less while their European counterparts are entitled to weeks and even months at a time, regardless of deadline schedules.

So, in the spirit of not writing during my writing break, I promised myself during my R&R in South Carolina to check work email only once in a while, move work-related projects forward when I could, draft this lousy blog, and read a lot, because all the top writers say that reading is one of the best methods for training for the craft. Already during this mini-vacation I’ve completed Preston and Child’s “Thunderhead,” and now, I’m getting a kick out of my damp, sandy copy of J.A. Konrath’s “Whiskey Sour,” which my son buried in the beach bag under his sand-caked pair of flip flops.

I was expecting to have some exciting details in this blog about the sequel to my third novel, “Donkey Sense,” but the communication lines are staticky and slow, so at this time I can just say that “Donkey Sense 2: Saving the Farm” has been accepted for publishing by Clean Reads Books. I can provide more information about that in future blogs.

Now, here are some pictures from my vacation. Hehehe.


Reading on the job.

Beach Chair Reading

Big alligator sighting/ Sneaky Gator (8 to 10 feet long).

Sneaky Gator

Here he/she comes! I better give her some room.

Here he comes

A close-up! Little fella (5 and ½ feet) crosses the trail to get to the other side.

Gator Crossing

And that concludes our vacation pictorial. If you’re looking for a good beach read yourself, check out my books.

Donkey Sense eBook:

Donkey Sense paperback:

Princess Plume eBook:

Princess Plume paperback:

Vespa eBook:

These books are available on Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.