Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

  Is an apology in order? For all the Facebook post, all the tweets marketing The CleanSweep Conspiracy as a holiday gift? I know it comes under the heading for shameless self-promotion, but — hey — why not fill someone’s need for a 99 cent ebook. The clock is ticking, there may be a second book in the series coming out this next summer. Matt Tremain and his friends once again have their hands full. And, once again they are having a hard time convincing those in charge. So, don’t wait. Order the ebook now for only 99 cents (until December 31). Kindle version  Oh, there’s a great print edition for only $14.99. Amazon print edition So, no apology, But I do want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and winter solstice. Chuck

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TOP THREE MOST ASKED QUESTIONS…if you’re a writer

I stumbled on an article about questions most asked of a writer. Surprised? Sort of. I know that if I had a chance to sit down with John LeCarre, James Lee Burke, Margaret Atwood — insert the name of any famous writer of your choice — I wonder what three questions I would ask. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be the first two questions. THREE (3) QUESTIONS MOST ASKED HOW – LONGHAND/TYPE/COMPUTER WHEN – MORNING/NOON/NIGHT? WHERE DO THE IDEAS COME FROM?   THE FIRST TWO DEAL WITH PROCESS IS CURSIVE A DEAD LANGUAGE? A young writer came up to me after a workshop and asked me if I could read cursive. I said, “I’m quite fluent.” He told me his goal was to keep cursive alive. TYPEWRITER? You may find one in a museum. I have one for display. After all I did write a novel about a typewriter, a Remington. I purchased a 1937 Remington typewriter online. My winning bid was $17. The shipping cost $54. But it does make a dandy display. TIME OF DAY? Anytime an idea needs to be put on paper, morning, noon or night. Each writer has an individual writing rhythm, but who hasn’t thrown…

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Coming Soon. The Thin Black Line, a short story in three parts

I’m excited about a new writer that will be joining me. Her story, The Thin Black Line, will appear in three parts, the first starting tomorrow, April 22. It will continue for the following two Fridays.Brogan knows discipline, from a young Tae Kwan Do student working through the forms, to tours as an MP in Iraq and Afghanistan. She applied the same discipline earning a Master’s degree. She’s gifted with an imagination that allows her to create thought-provoking stories. Brogan now lives and works in the District of Columbia. If you have a short story you would like to submit, send your request using the form below

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What are you afraid of?

Something about a story caught my eye. I don’t usually read Parade. It comes tucked in with my Sunday newspaper. But there it was, a question on the cover asking “What are you afraid of?” With all of the fear mongering coming from the candidates on a particular side of the political divide, I would think I had a lot to be afraid of. I hear from them that we are being overrun by aliens (and not just the ones from outer space). I’m being told the economy is in ruins now, and will only get worse. Crazed suicide bombers are lurking behind every tree. I can recognize hyperbole when I see (or hear) it, but what are we really afraid of? Apparently we all share a fear of walking alone in the dark. Who isn’t afraid of being attacked by zombies? I certainly am, even though I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. But, aren’t there real things to worry about? What about flying? I’m not afraid of flying. That said, as my flight was on approach to Laguardia, I had an uncomfortable feeling as I looked down at the river where the hero, Scully, made history, landing in…

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The CleanSweep Conspiracy

How many civil rights are you willing to give up for safety? In the aftermath of devastating riots, investigative blogger Matt Tremain thinks his city may have surrendered too much.     Chapter 1 UNEXPECTED EVENTS   So far, it had been an ordinary day. It was a Thursday morning, his least favorite day of the week, when he walked into Le Rôti Français, a popular coffeehouse in Yorkville. A caffeinated menu filled an entire wall. He tried to ignore the TV mounted on the wall behind the service counter. Ever since the riots, there had been little news other than continuous coverage of the destruction. Action 21 News was the only station back on the air, and they had been airing commercial-free, nonstop updates about the rioting. Many, like Matt, were beginning to feel anesthetized by the recurrent stories and images. Walking through the door, Matthew Tremain noticed a woman watching him—or, rather, noticing his slight limp. The limp was evident but not prominent. A speed bump in his DNA’s double helix had caused one leg to be a bit shorter than the other. It was that way the day he was born, and it was still that way…

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Writing a novel is easy, right?

A man walked up to my table at a book fair. “Writing a novel is easy, right? “I have this story I want to write. Tell me where to start?” I gave him the advice I heard from someone once.  “The beginning is easy. What comes next is hard,” I said. “Huh,” he said. “First, you need to get a license. Do you have one?” “I had no idea,” he said. “Where do I get one.” “The Department of Creative Writing,” I told him. “Each state capital has one, or province if you live in Canada. You have to pass a test. The written part is the hardest,” I added. “I had no idea,” he said again, starting to sound repetitious. OK, the conversation didn’t go exactly like that. Still, we’ve all had one close to that. We’ve been asked where we get our ideas. Is it hard? How long does it take to write a novel? I did have a woman tell me she would like to write but didn’t have an imagination. I would be lost without my imaginary friends and enemies. I’ve been fortunate to have Alec telling me his story that chronicled his journey to Spain…

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News

In the exciting news department, I’m pleased to be joined by a guest blogger soon. This one comes with jaw-dropping creds. From Taekwondo, University degree, the National Guard as an MP (with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan), a graduate degree, and now working inside the DC beltway. The full bio will be posted shortly. Oh yeah, she’s also a terrific writer. You will hear more about her soon. She has some fascinating stories and I suspect there’s a wild mind writing, waiting to tell her stories. That’s not the only tease. How about a new cover reveal? How many civil rights are your willing to give up for safety? In the aftermath of devastating riots, investigative blogger Matt Tremain thinks his city may have surrendered far too much. Matt published Verité, a simple blog dedicated to writing about the truth and exposing scams. Currently, he is following up on rumors concerning something call CleanSweep, a mysterious project in Toronto, Canada. May you keep your eyes open to see the new, your ears tuned to quiet, and your heart filled with calm. After all, you can dress a goat in a tuxedo, but it’s still a goat. Chuck

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A place of writing, a place for writers, and those people all writers have a special love for … readers.

I love being a writer, something that allows me the opportunity to spend time with imaginary friends, some good, some truly evil. I quit trying to figure out where they come from. Instead, simply have fun with them. In fact, I am meeting some new characters today. I wonder what their story will be. It began with my father. He introduced me to make-believe friends, a family of friendly ghosts. Coming out of the Great Depression, he needed to use his imagination when he didn’t have money for books. They may have been ghosts, but they weren’t scary to me. They were a fictional family of “Who Am I”, including aunts, uncles, cousins and more. Seven decades later I can still hear his voice telling me about the father, Who am I, and his wife What am I. The children had names like Why am I, Where am I, and so on. What a challenge it must have been for hem to juggle names, places, and situations. His talent was using that imagination of his. He made up those stories as he went along, used to improvising like the jazz musician he was. He closed his eyes and spoke with…

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Watch a new season of CSI Grammar

Thrills are in store. Tune in Thursdays at 8 to follow the adventures of fearless investigators. In the pilot for CSI Grammar, the season opens with Episode one: “The case of the dangling participle.” When a comma is found in a coma, they struggle to get to the metaphorical root of the case. Rated “POV,” viewers are warned there are graphic uses of misspelled words. One allegory caused this reviewer to flinch in revulsion. Special agent Mary Allen Semicolon works to solve grammatical crimes. Follow Mary as she leads a team of top grammaralists as they uncover split infinitives and more. The CSI Grammer team soon becomes embroiled in a heated debate on the colon versus the semicolon. Later in the show, however, they are able to reconcile verb and tense disagreements. The show is produced by Alan “Thesaurus” Roget  and directed by Marty “Dictionary” Webster Note to the Grammar Police: do not bother senting any tickets for mspelling, errs and other mistooks 

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