12:31PM October 6, 2012


Tell me I’m being paranoid. 

Everyone else left to go to a birthday party and I stayed home by myself. Trying to get some work done to prepare for next week’s craziness. Of course my hands wont stop shaking now. Not so easy to type with M.S. And a batch of the heebie jeebies piled on top.

The kid’s trampoline is in the side yard underneath my studio window. I looked out over the yard and after a couple of seconds I saw them. There were only a couple, which is pretty normal being that we live out here in the boonies. Nothing out of the ordinary really. Until my eyes adjusted to the sunlight glaring through the glass.

At first I thought it was a bunch of twigs and broken leaves blowing around in the breeze until I noticed that none of the trees on the other side of the yard were moving at all. Everything stood peaceful and still other than the twitching brown and yellow insects on the tightly stretched round black canvas. My studio windows are down low so I had to lean close to the floor and squint. The bees were flopping around on the trampoline like my kids do when they’re jumping. The few still up in the air darted back and forth and upward and slantways. Some slammed into each other falling to the grass below.

Not cool.

I thought about calling 911, but what would I say?

“Help. There are parasitic zombie fly larvae eating bees from the inside out in my backyard?”

Yeah. They’d send a squad car right over. I got a bridge to sell ya too.

the Key to everything




summer school, hotness in motion, making friends and other exploding things

Here we are smack dang in the middle of the coldest summer in history where the global warming doubters are being proven so… completely…correct? Anyway! I’m sitting on the couch watching a dvr’d episode of Wipeout with my youngest while my oldest is at summer school. Why am I not upstairs writing you ask? Well, it might be that the only room in the new place without any a/c is, you guessed it, my new office. It’s a cool and comfy gozillion degrees in there. I have a fan blowing, but hot air pushed around by swirling blades of plastic is still…hot air that’s…moving.

In our last episode I complained about our lack of good quality Internet service. What? Me? Complain? I know, I know it’s crazy talk. Well, there has been some progress. Yes. After four visits by four different techs, we seem to have made the astonishing discovery that the problem is not actually on our end. Madness! Anarchy! Explosions, guns, knives, bullets and other violent things. Everything seems to be working okay now (knockonwood) with brief moments of interruption here and there. Better than before most certainly!

After my family goes to bed at night, to stay cool I’ve been “borrowing” my son’s Netbook to do my writing. I’ll sit at the dining room table in front of the window unit and punch the keys until my eyes blur over. I’m making slow but steady progress on one idea I’m pretty excited about. It might actually turn into another book length project. I’ll have to see where it takes me as I go. Cross your fingers!

Yesterday we went to Oakland Beach. No, not the one in California. It’s here in R.I. Beaches on the Atlantic side are so different than where I grew up. In L.A. the water was cold and because of the terrain, the underwater shelf was steep and close to the shore. Here, we went walking out for what seemed like forever and our feet never left the bottom. It felt like we were wading in a heated pool! I highly recommend it. The kids had a blast.

Also, people on the beach out here are friendly. Another concept I need to get used to. Nice people who say hello and talk to you. And yes, even without my shirt on! Without a six pack and resembling nothing remotely close to an underwear model, people entered into conversation with me. An altogether not completely uncomfortable human interaction. I must study this further!

And now I must away back into the world of promoting!

Speaking of which…
the Key to everything

And follow me on twitter!

rocket summer


In the midst of attempting to promote my new book and moving at the same time, I noticed a bit of stress.  You might be thinking, “Duh!” and typically you’d be correct in that profound response.  However, the sleeplessness and nerves are not happening to me.  It’s my son.

He hasn’t been his normal energetic, fun loving self.  He’s been waking up shortly after bedtime and curling up with my wife on the couch wanting to sleep in our bed.  We’ve been trying to keep our nightly routine as regular as we can.  We sing some Tom Waits and then read a chapter or two.  He is usually asleep before the last few pages but I keep going hoping that my voice keeps him calm.

Over the years we’ve read fantasy and adventure books.  We’ve read short stories and fairy tales.  He loved “Ender’s Game” which of course made me very, very proud. He reminds me a lot of Ender.  Smart, a deep strength of character with a wide open, loving heart. Two nights ago I decided to pull out another book that I loved when I was his age.  Unfortunately after the first hundred pages or so, he lifted himself off the pillow and said, “Dad, I don’t really like this book. Can we read something else tomorrow?”  A few minutes later he was back downstairs needing to hide under our covers again.

We got around to bedtime last night and he looked nervous.  I’d been thinking about it all day and figured it was time to give it a try.  I keep it on my desk at all times.  The signature inside after twenty years remains bright red on the title page with a fancy swirl around the cartoonish space scene.  It is one of my all time favorite books by one of the greatest Authors of the last century.  Whenever I hear the term “Prized Possession”, this book always comes to the front of my mind.

We sang a few songs, made some jokes and laughed.  I made sure the covers were pulled up and waited until he got himself comfortable.  Then I read the words.  The words so elegant and simple.  The words that still brought that strange alien world to life.  The words that changed the way I thought about everything.  The words that split my life into two parts: The world BEFORE the words and the world AFTER the words.

My son sat up after the first page and I stopped reading.

“Dad.  This is way better than the other book.  The words are so amazing!  I can really see why you love it so much.”  I smiled hoping the tears wouldn’t blur my vision too much for me to continue.

“I’m glad you like it bud.”

“Yeah.  Can we read some more?”


“The flame birds waited, like a bed of coals, glowing on the cool smooth sands. The white canopy ballooned on the night wind, flapping softly, tied by a thousand green ribbons to the birds.”

From “The Martian Chronicles” by Ray Bradbury

He stayed upstairs all night.


follow me on twitter: @twodoggarage

find “the Key to everything” at: