Monday, February 22, 2021

A Staggering Statistic 

   We’re more than a year into this terrible pandemic with half a million American deaths from it.

   That’s a sobering, staggering statistic. It's more than the American combat deaths in World War One, World War Two, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan combined. Difficult to comprehend.

   STILL far too many people are not masking or distancing and are thus putting themselves and others at grave risk.

   But an even more troubling fact is the refusal of so many among us to accept the free vaccines. Sorry, but I just don’t understand this. We’re told by those who certainly ought to know, like respected Dr. Fauci, that the vaccines are safe and highly effective. They represent some of the most successful scientific achievements ever.

   Naomi and I have had both shots and are deeply thankful for them. Side effects were minimal for both of us. We’ll continue to take all precautions for several reasons, including the troubling recent news about virus variants.

   Please consider accepting this life-saving measure when it’s your turn.




Monday, February 15, 2021

A Skirmish in the Covid Battle

   Early on, as the Covid menace loomed ever larger and began killing thousands around the globe and all across America, the North Carolina Piedmont Authors Network saw the dire need for financial relief in many areas of society and decided to do something about it.

    The result became an independently published anthology with all proceeds channeling through the Book Industry Charitable Foundation to people in urgent need. Thirty-seven authors, including award winners and New York Times bestsellers, donated quality essays, letters, and fictional tales in fascinating variety to the effort, which is now available in print or Kindle as Writers Crushing Covid-19.  Some of the pieces have to do with the pandemic and personal loss. Many other pieces serve as excellent distracting reading that will amuse, enlighten, and satisfy any reader. I’m proud to have a modest tale of my own included, which earlier took second place in a UK short story contest against some stiff competition.

    As neighbor helps neighbor in the ongoing battle against this common invisible enemy that has sickened and killed so many of us, you can play a part in the fight if you’ll buy your own anthology copy. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll be contributing in a fine grass roots effort to help our fellow Americans.

    Here's a link to make ordering easy:

    Please spread the word.


Virus numbers are declining, but please keep masking and distancing. The fight is far from over.


Monday, February 8, 2021

A dozen Tips from the Top      

Just write your story, the one you know that you would like to read.  Michael Connelly

“I write exclusively for the reader. I’m not interested in winning prizes or critical acclaim. I just want to give readers a few good days of entertainment.”  Lee Child

 “Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard.”  Daphne Du Maurier

“In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.”   Stephen King

“I don’t get writer’s block because I don’t believe in it. I believe you sit in front of the computer and force your fingers to get something on the screen.  Janet Evanovich

“The most important thing in writing is to have written. I can always fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank one.  Nora Roberts

 “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”   Anne Sexton


 “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”  G. K. Chesterton

 “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”    George Orwell

 “Nothing but deadly determination enables me to ever write—it is rowing against wind and tide.

       —Harriet Beecher Stowe

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”  —Jack London

 “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”Robert Frost

Phil Check out the NC suspense series.

Please mask up and distance until we get out of the dark Pandemic Woods.


Monday, February 1, 2021

Vanishing Species

   In the past decade alone ten species around our planet have gone extinct, including the Caribbean Monk Seal, the Madagascar Hippo, the Yangtze River Dolphin, the Formosan Clouded Leopard, the Japanese River Otter, and the West African Black Rhino, which at the start of the twentieth century numbered a million; now poached to extinction. In 2018, the last male Northern White Rhino, named Sudan, died, probably dooming that species as well, although there are valiant last-ditch efforts to bring them back using invitro fertilization. There are more Siberian tigers in captivity now than exist in the wild. 

   Once, millions of elephants roamed throughout Africa. Now the herds have declined to thousands, and they’re being driven ever closer to the bottomless extinction cliff.

   I wrote the novel Killing Ground to raise awareness of ongoing African elephant poaching across that vast and troubled continent, where more than 600 million people have no electricity, much less electric toothbrushes, where clean drinking water is scarce, basic sanitation is rare, and health care is minimal. With so many dire problems, the fates of wild creatures tend to warrant only relatively low priority.

   Please check out the story on my website:

   And please spread the word. A portion of proceeds goes to help those noble beasts.    


Please mask up and distance; they're the best weapons we have to fight the killer virus until vaccines can push it back into its cave.