A Halloween inspired Music Monday. Enjoy!

Slayer - Angel of Death

Iron Maiden - Transylvania

Mercyful Fate - Return of the Vampire


Thought I’d give another quick writing update for the blog.

Hero of Slaves - The novella which takes place after Books 1 & 2 in the Blood and Tears Trilogy is in the final edits/proofing stage. As mentioned previously, this shorter work fills in the gaps surrounding Cassus since his departure from the Hell Patrol at the beginning of Rise and Fall.

It shouldn’t take me long to wrap these last tweaks up and hand it over to Leah for formatting. I just need to set aside some time in the next few days to do so. After that, the blurb/description needs a final read through, then it will be ready to publish. I was originally planning for a December 1, 2012 date. If that date changes, it will only be earlier which is a good thing

Book 3 of the Blood and Tears Trilogy – The good news is that I have officially finished the rough draft of the book (completed on Friday, October 19th, after a solid 3000 word writing day). I will admit that I do need to add a couple of short scenes here or there, and I have yet to write the epilogue...however, the story is essentially done. Call me silly, but I don’t want to write the epilogue (probably only a couple thousand words) until I’ve finished a couple rounds of revisions.

Though completing the draft felt good, it didn’t feel as satisfying as I thought it would. This is probably because I know it isn’t ready for anyone to read yet. I’ll feel better about the work as it goes through my normal revision process. Still, it’s a noteworthy accomplishment that I’m pretty proud of. I’m hoping to get this to Leah for her first read through in the next few weeks…kind of scary to think about.

Oddly enough, the book is a lot shorter than I thought it would be. The final version of Rise and Fall was about 174K, Steel and Sorrow about 145K. Despite being packed with action, story, and character development, Book 3 is currently sitting in the low 130s (plus a couple thousand words for the epilogue). I hope that means that I’m doing a better job of telling a lean, yet satisfying tale. :)

Now, if I can only decide on a title . . .


No Excuses


Don’t Follow (my favorite on the album)


  1. Kids, for some reason, don’t understand the concept of time zones. If they did, they would not wake up bright-eyed when it’s still dark outside (1-2 hours earlier than normal) when on vacation.
  2. Tom Araya from Slayer has nothing on my 10-month old daughter. Let’s see him scream for five hours straight without going hoarse. Yeah, that was my car trip home after a family vacation to the beach.
  3. I didn’t think I’d be talking in “parent code” so soon with my wife. Our young son, who is not even three yet and whose vocabulary and understanding of context (including sarcasm) has pushed us into that realm.
  4. I always imagined wrestling with my kids, so doing that now is no surprise. However, I never thought I would become the wrestling mat for their shenanigans.
  5. Watching your kids play with each other, laughing and egging each other on to be silly, is something I doubt I’ll ever get tired of.


Sorry for last week’s hiatus. I was on vacation with the family and focused on other things.

Misfits is a great band that combine punk, rockabilly, and horror. They are most famous for the music they created when Glen Danzig fronted the band (before his solo career). However, some of their later music is just as good, if not better. In fact, the first song below was released after Danzig left the band and is probably my favorite from the group.


Saturday Night

Last Caress

Die Die My Darling

Static Age


I’ve always been a big food person. As an adult, one of the channels the TV in our house stays on is Food Network. However, before the network began I remember looking forward to Saturdays as a kid so I could watch Yan Can Cook and later the other shows that came on around it. Not what you would normally expect an eight year old to go bonkers for, huh?

Watching all of these shows had me wanting to create my own “creations.” So, I’d experiment with a lot of weird combinations. Some of these were surprisingly successful (pizza rolls dipped in BBQ sauce) while others not so much (peanut butter and mustard sandwhich).

I still eat some of these experiments today. However, the one I get the most ridicule for is the way I prepare my tuna fish. I know it’s odd, but I really can’t imagine eating it any other way. Below are the ingredients.

1 can of tuna
3 boiled eggs
Garlic powder
A1 Sauce
Tabasco Sauce
Italian flavored bread crumbs
Broken up potato chips
Ritz Crackers (used to scoop the tuna with)

I don’t know anyone who eats their tuna this way. However, I know others who have their own crazy methods of eating seemingly normal foods.

What odd mix of food do you enjoy?

The film, The Princess Bride, celebrated its 25th anniversary last week. This is one of two films that I watch every single time it comes on, and never tire of (The Rocky franchise is the other). The Princess Bride is not only one of my favorite films of all time, it is also my favorite comedy and yes, I’ll even say the best fantasy film ever made. Gasp! Better than LOTR? Yes, you wanna fight about it?

The Princess Bride has everything you want in a good movie: action, romance, intrigue, comedy, great characters, great acting, some of the most quotable lines in history, and most of all, when the movie ends, you’re genuinely upset because you want more.

It’s not hard to imagine why this movie came out so well, given William Goldman’s source material. Even still, it didn’t do very well at the box office, but later made tons on video/dvd, becoming a cult classic.

This is hands down a perfect movie, and a movie that Hollywood would be dumb to remake.

Below are a few of my favorite scenes. What are yours?


When I write, I sometimes like to listen to music. However, I won’t listen to anything with vocals. Otherwise, I’ll become too distracted and start singing the song rather than thinking about the work in progress. Therefore, I used Pandora to create a list of instrumental tracks that I play while writing. There are a lot of good songs within the station, but the ones I like the most (which I based the station around) are from the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack (1982). I’ve always loved this movie, and the soundtrack matches the tone of the movie perfectly.

Here are my two favorite tracks. I encourage you to listen to the first video at least as it includes the awesome voiceover from the beginning of the film.

I’ll probably post more stuff I listen to while I write in the future, but for now, enjoy the Anvil of Crom!

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