I’ve been threatening it for a while, but I’ve finally done it! I started my own podcast to discuss all the weird crap that goes on in my head. I’m already a few episodes in and I greatly appreciate all of you that have tuned in and are following it online and on your iPhones.
The Gonzo Chronicles kicked off it’s first “official” episode with a special guest to discuss the #QAnon phenomenon that is taking the web, and politics, by storm. Although I don’t wade too deep into the political, this brushes heavily upon the realm of conspiracy theory and I’m certainly fascinated by it. My next guest and I discussed our top ten favorite dead comedians, her work as an actress and host of her own internet show. I’m just getting warmed up with this. Plenty of guests to come, plenty of odd things to talk about.
Topics will include UFO’s and UFOlogy, cryptid sightings (Mothman, bigfoot, unexplained creatures and phenomenon), hauntings, spirtualism, weird places I want to visit like Las Vegas, conspiracy theories, and plenty more top 10 lists. Have a few laughs and a few drinks with me, stop by and listen online or subscribe on iTunes. https://gonzochronicles.podbean.com/
Who in the hell is Q, you are probably asking. What the hell is QAnon? Great question, I’m still wrapping my head around this latest of great worldwide conspiracy theories myself. So let’s dive into this, shall we? After all, it’s a small world and WHERE WE GO ONE, WE GO ALL.
For those of you familiar with the Q phenomenon
that is captivating the internet these days, you’ll see what I just did there.
#WWG1WGA is a popular hash tag used by those following Q and Q believers
online, especially Twitter and Instagram. A few months ago I was watching cable
news and stopped on a Trump rally to watch a few minutes of it. I saw a couple
of folks in the audience holding up signs that caught my attention. The only
thing on the sign was a giant letter “Q” painted in red, white and blue. Hmmm,
what the hell is that about, I thought? And like any good conspiracy theorist I
jumped online and began to do enough web searching to probably raise a few red
flags for some bored guy or gal in a cold dark room locked away in a basement
reserved for the Illuminati. (That’s sarcasm, sort of.)
When I first saw the Q sign popping up the rally’s
my first thought was, “Pay attention, 007!” Were they talking about the wily
old gadget master from the James Bond movies? Nope, not even close. Q, or
QAnon, is a secret small group of military intelligence that are secretly battling
the deep state, those in government that operate a cabal of evil for their own
wealth and power. To state it more bluntly, true believers in #Q think that the
good guys in our own military intelligence are battling the bad guys that
corrupt our institutions in an epic battle for freedom and decency, and that
President Trump is the one leading the charge. After all, he said he was going
to “drain the swamp.”
Now, it gets a bit deeper and bigger than just
this. Believers in the Q phenomenon think that it is not just happening in
America, but that this is a global “awakening” where citizens are waking up to the
corruption that is all around them, evil that is in plain sight that infects
our governments, our corporations, and yes…even our pop culture, claiming that
they are Satanic and are responsible for a global operation of human trafficking
and child sex rings.
It’s all kind of a big pill to swallow, to say the
least. But, being the connoisseur of conspiracy theories that I am I’ll give it
a listen. (Not that I believe everything I read, but I’m certainly interested in
them and fascinated by them. If you’ve watched the Matrix you know what I
mean.) In the era of the so-called #GreatAwakening we all know about Jeffrey
Epstein and his pedophile island and how powerful people in business, politics
and Hollywood have flown on his airplane, called the Lolita Express, and spent
time at his tropical mansion where countless kids have been raped and molested
over the years. Speaking for myself, this guy was scum and I do not believe
that he killed himself. It was too convenient and I think someone powerful had
him killed in prison. If you aren’t familiar with Epstein go look it up online.
YouTube is a great place to start.
Whoever Q is, this person (or persons) started
posting on the anonymous site 4chan back in 2017. Apparently this person has
left clues about this behind the scenes civil war raging in the government. 4chan
has since been shut down and Q now posts on a board on the dark web called 8chan.
Now, here’s where I start to have questions that I’d love to ask a dedicated Q “expert.”
Q has left cryptic messages that seemed to have foreshadowed events that
actually took place. Events that no one would know except high level officials
in the Trump administration or in national security, i.e. intelligence
Is this Q phenomenon real? I don’t know, but if you
want to jump into the rabbit hole and find out for yourself I suggest you start
with Twitter. Just search for the hash tags #Q, #QAnon, #WWG1WGA and you will
find some incredibly interesting threads on the subject. If you’re on Instagram
you can follow robotinteriors. I think her name is Makayla.
I am starting my own podcast called The Gonzo
Chronicles and the topic of QAnon will be my first episode. I’m hoping to
record that episode soon. I have reached out to “robotinteriors” both on
Instagram and through snail mail to ask her to do the show. I want someone that
can lay this conspiracy out clearly and make her case for why she’s a true
believer. As a regular dude I have some questions that I’d love to ask,
questions I’m sure anyone new to topic would have. I also reached out to
another close Q follower, Jordan Sather. So far I’ve been ghosted by both of
them, although in Makayla’s case I did ask her to let me know if she was
interested being a guest on the show ASAP just out of courtesy. I don’t want to
wait forever to get started. If I don’t hear from either of them I sort of have
an opinion as to why, and I’ll lay that out on the show if they don’t return my
However, no matter what you think about Trump,
QAnon, or the allegations they toss out there about a global evil cabal, don’t
take my word or anyone else’s. I hate group think and blindly following along,
believing what makes you feel better. Research it. Find the truth for yourself,
no matter what the issue or topic…or conspiracy.
I love October. In fact, it’s my favorite month of the year. The
temperature cools, the air is a bit more crisp, and the leaves change colors.
I’m red/green colorblind. For the three weeks or so that the leaves hang around
after changing colors I actually get to see something much different than the
bland green color of the summer months…which I don’t see as green at all. It’s
difficult to explain. For a couple of weeks I see an explosion of colors, or
what I would consider an explosion of colors even though it’s very different
from what most folks see.
The best part of the month is the non-stop horror movies on television.
I’ll bust out my DVD collection (yes, I’m that guy) and stack up a couple dozen
horror classics and swallow about two dozen bags of popcorn and more pizza than
should be allowed. So let’s get this blog/show on the road. You didn’t come
here to read about fall colors and pizza. You came here to see what movies I
was dumb enough to leave out of THE TOP 10 HORRORS MOVIES OF ALL TIME!!! Insert
evil laugh here!
So these may not be the greatest horror films of all time and are in no
particular order, but these are a list of the ones that gave me a case of the
willies! Just to be fair, this list is subject to change from day to day. Don’t
forget to comment with what makes your top 10 list.
10. Salem’s Lot—Made for TV but damn this movie was good. This might have been one of my earliest experiences with a Stephen King story.
9. The Shining—Funny how Stephen
King stories dominate lists like this. Heeeeere’s Johnny!
8. Nightmare on Elm Street Part
3—Why part 3, you ask? Well, let me tell you why! This was about the time in my
youth that I really started getting into horror. But, I’ve always have this
weird sense of humor, too. Freddy started dropping one-liners in this one. Oh,
and they brought Nancy back for this one.
7. The Evil Dead franchise—Yes,
the entire franchise. The first one actually scared the hell out of me. I
watched it when I was a kid and the amount of blood and demon possession really
freaked me out. I was a bit older when I watched the second one, but in that
one I sort began to understand that Sam Rami and the others were trying to do
with these movies. They were just having a good time. Everything was over the
top. The blood, the gore, the demons…just thinking of Good Ash talking to Bad
Ash and all of those laughing and talking objects in the cabin during that one
scene. Oh, and let’s not forget the middle finger from the severed hand. Army
of Darkness was the perfect end to the series.
6. Halloween—A classic. It was a
classic from the instant it was made, always will be. I know some folks love
the Rob Zombie version, but I’ll stick to the original. This movie just comes
to show you that horrible things can happen, even on your street in your small
5. Scream—This is likely the
most unpopular choice for my list if you’re reading this. You’re thinking, “What
is this guy thinking about. Scream was good…but top 10 good?” Well, to each
their own. There was a serious dry spell of good horror in the culture at that
time and when this came out it was an instant hit! Long live the Scream
franchise, long live the 90’s, and Rose McGowan, if you’re out there…call me J
4. Friday the 13th Part III—Why Part III, you ask? Well, if
you recall this is the episode where little Tommy Jarvis puts a machete into
Jason’s head. Also, this is the movie where Jason tries on a well fitted hockey
mask for the first time.
3. Nightmare On Elm Street—As good as Dream Warriors was, it’s hard to top the original. In my opinion, this movie defined and set the tone for horror throughout the rest of the 80’s. Jason and Freddy…BFF’s.
2. The Fog—Bet you didn’t see this one coming! I absolutely love this
movie. History comes back to haunt the town and the heirs to the founders have
to pay the price for the sins of their forefathers. This theme is so basic, but
it is at the heart of many a great suspense and horror movie.
Exorcist—Hands down the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. There is no need
for anyone to try to do a remake of this one. Anyone would be foolish to try.
Even to this day I get a bit nervous when this movie is on and I’ve seen it a
zillion times already. Some scenes and some sounds you can never get out of
Fans of all things alien, UFO, and well…basically
odd, are seeing a very serious rift in the UFO community come to light this
week. Actually, a civil war inside the UFO community has been brewing for quite
some time if you listen to the key players in the field of UFO research. This
week Dave Scott of Spaced Out Radio took aim at a large segment of that
community with an article titled Another
Reason To Distrust The People In Ufology. You’ll find the link to it at the
bottom of this article.
Dave Scott hits hard in this article from the
start, calling into the question the IUFOC for their choices of those they
presented awards to at this years’ International UFO Congress in Phoenix,
Arizona. Scott went on to present a list of those in Ufology that he considers
to be the more serious researchers. For the sake of transparency, I subscribe
to Scott’s podcast and have been a sporadic listener (when time allows) for
about two years. His show covers a broad range of topics in the world of the
strange and he is a serious minded person when it comes to Ufology. Although he
backs up to say that he intended no disrespect to some that received awards by
the International UFO Congress, such as Jeremy Corbell, he still holds no
punches on his intended target which appears to be the UFO community at large
that he deems to be more about commercialization than about serious research. He
seems to take offense to those that won awards at the conference and goes on to
point out who he thinks should have won. Sour grapes? Maybe.
It seems that he reserved the most animosity for
the organizer of the event, Alejandro Rojas. He claims that the UFO community
has received another black eye from one of its own! Pretty harsh words aimed at
the folks at the IUFOC. Does he have a point? Does the entire UFO community
have a black eye after this week? Has it been discredited? Are the players at
these popular conferences doing irreparable damage to Ufology? Only time will
tell, but I seriously doubt it. I do wonder why the axe to grind for this
particular event when Scott is scheduled as a guest speaker for UFO CON 2020
next year in San Francisco.
Back to the question at large; Does he have a
point? He makes some good points in his article even though in the big picture
I think he’s way off course. Reading the article does sound like sour grapes,
his chosen ones didn’t get an award. He’s pissed. Hell, the Reds haven’t made
the playoffs in years. Yeah, I’m pissed at the Cardinals and Cubs for
dominating the division. I can relate, in a weird sort of way. As a so-called
“fan boy” of all things strange, including Ufology, I read this article from a
completely different point of view than from where Scott was coming from. So
let’s hash out the differences and hope it doesn’t piss everyone off in the UFO
community. If it does…so be it.
Before we go any further about Scott’s article, a
couple more things about me for the sake of transparency. I am a UFO nerd and
fascinated by all kinds of odd and strange things. I’ve listened to countless
different radio shows and podcasts that address these issues for more than 20
years. I even address this topic, and other oddities, in my own books. Am I
novice to this? No. Am I an expert? Not at all. I am one of the curious
followers that watch all the TV shows, listen to a lot of the podcasts and
radio shows. Is my opinion important? Depends on who you ask, but I’m like
millions of others who have taken a strong interest in Ufology and follow what
is readily available.
Ancient Aliens is a show on the History Channel
that has been around for a long damn time. I’ve watched it for years and it has
gotten some good ratings or it wouldn’t still be running after all this time. It
is the influence behind the well known AlienCon and countless other conventions
for us “fan boys,” as I’ve seen us called on Facebook threads this week. Fan
boy/girl…not a real nice term, not that I give a damn. I have thick skin, but
some don’t like that term. That has annoyed more than a few of the casual
observers from discussions with people that I personally know and from the
feedback from those at the International UFO Congress in Phoenix. In fact,
after a first reading of this article one person in attendance said that they
were “appalled.” And the folks at that conference should be. Scott put them in
Heidi Gadd, a small business owner in Chandler,
Arizona and host of Aliens And Beyond, took offense to the article. She
attended the International UFO Congress in Phoenix. Gadd is regular at the
International UFO Congress in recent years, previously working as press and
this year actually working in AV and sound for the convention. Gadd was one of
the people that felt insulted by Scott’s article. Although she does not personally
know Dave Scott, she did say that is was unfortunate that he has to take this
“There’s a lot of
great people doing amazing things in the Ufology community,” Gadd said in an
email response to me. “I’d like to emphasize that word community. Maybe I’m
just a girl that was raised by hippies and has idealistic views of what our
world could be, but the best I can tell everyone I’ve ever met in Ufology does
it for the same reasons. Probably the main reason, and this is just my opinion
based off of observation from conversations I’ve had with researchers, enthusiasts
and the curious, is they do it to spread the knowledge. Learning and exploring,
growing this field in the search for truth is vital. Because, don’t we all want
the same thing?”
I reached out to some folks on both sides of this
argument for their thoughts, and it is clear that enough shots have been fired
to cause a serious rift in Ufology. However, it isn’t one that can’t be fixed in
order to help this field actually move forward and make real progress in the
public eye if both sides can agree to just disagree.
Erica Lukes, one of the researchers mentioned by
Scott, agreed to talk with me about this issue. I posed a few questions to her
via email. Although she said she would get back with me the following day to
address my questions and discuss the issue I never heard back. Lukes is the
hostess of UFO Classified on KCOR Radio in Utah, a show that I highly
I think Scott is missing the big picture in this
article. Most of us “fan boys” know that what we see on television is
fabricated. It is made for mass audiences, just like like Ancient Aliens in
which Lukes has appeared several times. In order to appeal to mass audiences
you need a certain kind of showmanship that brings fresh eyes to the show
because the show requires corporations willing to pay advertising dollars to
keep it on the air. I don’t think Scott has considered the power of advertising
dollars and the power of pop culture before he hit the submit button to publish
this article. Odd, since I’d bet a vital organ that he must know the necessity
of advertising dollars for his popular radio show.
There are some of the guest experts on Ancient
Aliens (and other shows) that pose my favorite question on every episode: What
if? As a writer, that question has led to some wild creativity. It’s the same
for that show. It leads the show off onto some pretty wild assumptions that
probably piss off Dave Scott and others to their very core. Is some of the
stuff they propose unrealistic and ridiculous? Hell yes. However, I don’t know
one person who watches that show and believes everything they see. It is
television and we’re not rubes. But it is those wild assumptions that keep
people watching and fascinated with Ufology. And the more people that come to
this field with an open mind then the better off this field will be in the long
Let me clear about the shows on television and
those on podcasts and radio that try to appeal to popular culture. These folks
have to make a living! Does it take away from real research that is going on in
the UFO community? No. It’s a problem of timing. Those that sell Ufology to the
popular culture have to do so in increments, at a pace those in the public
seeking this information can absorb? Is it their fault that some of the
in-depth research might be a bit ahead of the times for public consumption? Maybe
a bit too boring for the masses right now? Not really. I’ve been listening to
Art Bell (RIP) and George Noory since 1999 and I still haven’t heard of some of
the names that Scott mentioned as serious people in the research.
Does that make tens of thousands of folks like me
idiots? Not at all, it just means that we don’t hang onto every word he says or
catch every late night show on the radio. We don’t eat, sleep, and breathe all
things alien and UFO. Reading threads on social media discussing Scott’s
article I noticed the term “fan boy” being tossed around a bit and I got the
impression it wasn’t meant in a complimentary way. I’ve seen Lukes on
television but if it wasn’t for a post on social media I’d not have known about
her radio show that she shares on YouTube. She is a very serious researcher and
has fascinating archives of the history of this field. And she makes great
points, as does Dave Scott. But there’s room in the field for those that want
to cling to the accuracy of their findings and those in the field that add to
the research but also bring the attention to the field.
Should we take Scott’s advice and distrust people
in the UFO community? Absolutely not! Here’s what he’s missing. I think maybe
he’s forgotten what it’s like to be someone new to the fascination of this
industry. That’s right, I said “industry.” If he’s willing to rail on the
International UFO Congress, Rojas, and all those involved, he should step back
and see the bigger picture. If you want Ufology to continue and grow stronger
in the future you need events just like the UFO Congress and all those
AlienCons out there. It is those events that reach a broad audience, just like
Ancient Aliens. Are there some that stretch the limits and boundaries? Hell
yes, there are some out there just for the money. But consider this. Would
someone like me have taken a real interest in this field and even know who Dave
Scott is, or Erica Lukes, without those pop culture events? Nope. And you know
what got me interested in Ufology in the first place…Close Encounters of the
Third Kind. Yep, Hollywood and all of their sensationalism got me hooked long
before I ever knew who Art Bell was. Is sensationalism all that bad? In the
bigger picture it is what drew millions of folks like me to the field of
Ufology to take it seriously in the first place.
So, if Scott is going to hold a grudge against
shows like Ancient Aliens and Rojas and the International UFO Congress, he
should hold an equally strong grudge against Hollywood for sensationalizing the
topic, and in many cases ridiculing it. Men In Black was a great movie and was
big hit at the box office. They ridiculed the topic of aliens and the alien
threat all through the movie. I wonder how many people tuned in to watch shows
about Roswell for the first time after seeing that movie. Or how about Independence
Day? After all, all aliens must be evil and are coming here to destroy mankind.
Let’s get ‘em! Even in my own books I bring up serious topics such as the
existence of life out there somewhere, missing 411, cryptids, and ghosts. I
present these topics to people in a humorous way with the hope that they get curious
enough about the topics to do some of their own research. Maybe Scott would
think I’m part of the problem, too.
Perhaps there can be a happy medium between the two
sides. Why not form another research organization and have a list of
requirements that one must have to be a part of the more serious research?
Perhaps a board that votes on who is in and who isn’t? Perhaps reaching out to
Rojas and others to have a more balanced presentation at these public events
such as AlienCon and Congress would be a great first step. Maybe it would work,
maybe it wouldn’t. Guess it depends on those that Dave Scott and others in that
camp want to do. I do know that it would be better to stop taking shots at one
another and work more constructively for the sake of good quality research, and
yes, packaging of the product to sell it to the masses. Questioning the “trust”
of the folks in Ufology so often will eventually burn the house down and set
this field back so far that we’ll only have Hollywood for our alien fix, and
the truth be damned.
Have you ever experienced something that could not be
logically explained? I asked this question on a random Facebook post and got
some pretty interesting and disturbing responses. I asked this question for a
reason, actually. I’m a healthy skeptic, although I do tend to be fascinated by
the strange and macabre, not to mention every conspiracy theory you could
possibly think of. This kind of thinking leads me to write the things I do, be
it comedy or horror or anything in between. It’s the fear and excitement that
comes with the unknown and unexplainable that touches something in each and
every one of us. And like all the others that responded to that post, I also
have more than a couple of things that I have seen that I can’t easily explain.
The first one that comes to mind happened back in 2005 in
Cincinnati. A friend of mine lived on Sunset Avenue, a few steps away from the
neighborhood hangout the Sunset Pub. Now, let me preface this by saying that I
really liked the 3-story house he and his girlfriend at the time (Jennifer) had
bought. It was one of the first houses built in that neighborhood back in 1917
or 1914. Not sure which year, but it was one those. So, a long damn time ago.
The house always did have a strange feel to it, especially the basement. It
didn’t look like a traditional basement. I lived two blocks away in a house
built back then, too. The basement in mine was more traditional, his basement
looked like it had dungeon rooms in it.
Like I mentioned before, I’m a skeptic. Just because
something has a strange “feel” to it doesn’t really mean much to me. However,
later I came to learn that sometimes doors to other rooms in the house would be
open when they woke up, doors that were closed when they went to bed. They didn’t
want to think much about it, so they brushed it off. One door that would sometimes
be open was a door on the second floor that led upstairs to the third floor.
The only problem with this scenario was that that particular door had to be
opened with some force. They had hardwood floors on the first two floors of the
house. The stairs leading from the second floor to the third had a thick carpet
on them, as did the third floor. The door rubbed the carpet pretty hard, so to
open the door you had to pull it with significant force. A gust of wind blowing
through the house isn’t opening that damn door is what I’m trying to say. And
you can hear it opening, that scraping sound on the carpet and the vibration of
the door once you opened past the carpet. But that door would be open from time
So, on to the weird event! One winter night I was at the
house with my friend, Blaine, and another one of our friends named Jim. We were
standing in the front doorway, putting on our jackets, and getting ready to
walk down to the pub to enjoy a pint or two when there was a power outage in
the neighborhood. The entire neighborhood had a blackout. Suddenly a sound
coming from upstairs in the house scared the wits out of all three of us.
Mostly because we were the only ones in the house. Jennifer was already down at
the pub waiting on us.
This sound was something I’ll never forget. Allow me to
describe it bluntly. It was a loud blood-curdling shriek from a woman the likes
of which you sometimes hear in horror movies. I mean, a real scream queen let
one out in the house that night. The lights were only off for a few seconds but
when they came back on I was already up the first flight of stairs. Blaine and
Jim were still standing right where they were when the lights went out, but
their jaws were nearly on the floor. I knew at that moment they heard the same
damn thing I did. Now, can you guess what door was open when I reached the
second floor? Yep, that “stuck” door leading up to the third floor of the
house, the one no one ever used. When I started up to the top floor I could
hear the heavy footsteps of my friends coming behind me.
When I got to the top floor I looked around everywhere. It
was dark, but the street lamps were back on. I even stopped to look at the
windows, to see my reflection…to see if there was a reflection of someone or
something else in the room with me. When I realized I was looking for that a
cold chill went straight up my spine. I had never seen a ghost before, it never
occurred to me to ask if I was even ready to see one if they existed. I still
haven’t seen one to this day.
I tried to think of any reason to explain away what we
heard. Maybe a short in one of the outlets that caused a loud shrieking sound?
I don’t know. But deep down I know what I heard. We all knew. That scream came
from inside that house. It didn’t stop me from going back, but that was always
in the back of my mind whenever I was there.
I’ve had two other weird things that have happened to me
since, but I’ll write about those another day. Have a story of your own to
share? Well…you can always leave it in the comments.
These folks were kind enough to host me for a book signing on Saturday, June 15th. A lot of people turned out that afternoon. Mostly for the live music (Hollow Ground), but I won’t complain! I met the folks in the band and a lot of great people. The folks at BWML do a lot to support the local artists and culture and I appreciate them for what they do. I’ll be back three more times before autumn sets in. Stop by and see them if you’re in the area and make sure you visit them on Facebook and give them a “like.” https://www.facebook.com/BigWalkerLookout/
Last April (2018) I took a trip to the small town of Elberton, Georgia. Why would I do that? Well, Elberton is no different than a lot of small towns in the south. They all have a unique history, they all have that comfortable small town feeling to them, they all carry with them a sense of local pride. Elberton is certainly a small and cozy town and having Hartwell Lake nearby certainly didn’t hurt.
However, Elberton has a secret. In 1980 a giant monument was erected that boasted of 10 Guides “for a new age of reason.” Many people felt like this was an attempt by a secret organization to plant a new 10 Commandments in the heart of Bible country. (*I noticed more churches around there than I did people!!) I’ll not get into the details of the conspiracy theory here, but the infamaous Georgia Guidestones stands tall on a hill just inside of the town limits in Elbert County, Georgia. The man who supposedly represented a group that wanted the monument built is still a mystery to this day. The only two people that knew the real identity of Robert C. Christian took that secret to their graves.
I used that mystery as a basis for a fictional book coming out in May 2019 titled Revelation Calling. This book was literally a year in the making and although it centers around a conspiracy theory and is a murder mystery, I would very much consider this book to be a Biblical thriller. It will be available in paperback and Kindle in May. Enjoy the thrill ride!
To say this book is a long time coming would be an understatement. From the time I started writing this story to the time that it has been released under the title Grave Legends, eighteen years has passed. Eighteen years!! To be sure, this book has a story behind it and it isn’t a pretty one.
For starters, this book was inspired by one of the most spectacular places. In 2000 I took a job in Cincinnati, far away from where I am now nestled in the mountains of Virginia. I moved there for two reasons. The first was because I wanted to watch a few baseball games. Since I’m a Reds fan there wasn’t much other option. Second, I needed a job and got an offer from a firm in the brokerage industry and off I went. Before I moved to Cincinnati I had this strong desire to write a book. I was already a voracious reader and thought writing a book would be a new challenge. A new job, a new challenge…all kinds of new beginnings for me. A friend of mine named Jennifer (I graduated high school with her) lived in Cincinnati and decided one Saturday afternoon that it was time to give me a proper tour of the city and its surroundings. One of the places we ventured off to that afternoon was a place called Spring Grove Cemetery on the outskirts of the city off of I-75. The wonder and mystery of that place stole my breath that day.
When I got home that night my mind couldn’t get away from the awe I felt in that place. It was beautiful and peaceful, it was dark and macabre. It would take a poet to properly describe the place. I began to come up with the idea for a book I later titled Legends and Landmarks, Volume I: The Night Walker. As I stood in the cemetery in awe that day the Legends series was born. When I first started writing I only intended on writing one book. This story became a four part series. I wrote the first book, did a spell check in Microsoft Word, and uploaded the document to vanity publisher and released the damn thing. Yeah! I was officially a writer.
Well, until one of my readers contacted me and told me I needed an editor. Badly!! For a guy who prides himself on his work, this was terribly embarrassing. I read that book a dozen times and found a few errors. Surely I must have caught all of my mistakes. So, round two. I publish the next version of the book. And still…the feedback was at least cordial. “Great story, horrible editor!” I didn’t have the guts to tell the critic that I was the editor. I accepted a brutal truth after the third time publishing this book. The truth was that I was a very creative writer. I was also possibly the worst editor on the planet.
Another truth came to me years later. Writing a book is hard work. But rewriting and editing, then rewriting and editing again is a miserable and necessary task. I have one of the worst flaws a writer can possibly have. I’m impatient as hell. Once I finish the rough draft of a book I want YOU to read it immediately. It’s true. But that’s not the way things work. I still have the patience of a stubborn mule, but I forced myself to do something about a year ago. I forgot that I had the books still available online. I haven’t promoted them in years (the series). I pulled the books offline and decided that I’d be done with them forever. Damnit, I had no business having those out there.
But the story still stuck out in my head after all these years. A few months ago I dug up the old document on my computer and started to read it again. Holy shit was it bad! After eighteen years of writing I’ve learned a lot. My style has changed and improved over the years. If I was going to put this book back out it needed some changes, and I don’t mean minor ones! I read the first paragraph and realized that there is no way I’d write something this bad today. I couldn’t write it that badly if I was half drunk and trying to write badly. Well, maybe that’s a stretch.
I found myself rewriting almost every other paragraph in this book. I wanted to have it finished by June of 2018 but that was impossible. I forced myself to have patience. I didn’t even like the flat ending (flat in my opinion). I made a lot of changes to this book, trying to keep the original style in which it was written. There is no way I could write something like this today. As a writer (an artist) I’m in a much different place mentally and emotionally. However, the story is really good. I read this book again and realized that it still held up well after eighteen years. The entire series does. So, I’m off to the rewriting of the second book in the series, Grave Legends, Freedom’s Path.
I’m sure the process of rewriting the second book will be just as miserable as the first. I’ll keep you posted as to the ups and downs on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to follow me there. In the meantime, I’m working on some new material between rewrites that I think my readers are going to love! Stay tuned.
Photos from Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH August 24, 2018
So I’m driving on I-75 just north of Lexington, KY on Friday. Traffic is kind of heavy and moving fast. I’m doing about 76 in a 70 zone. That’s when I felt it. IT!
I glanced down just briefly and saw a big ass spider crawling up my left leg. Thankfully it wasn’t the leg I was using to smash down the gas! I immediately wanted to start thrashing about, but I realized that traffic was too heavy to do anything stupid behind the wheel. I didn’t want to be “that guy” that caused a pile up over a spider. So, instead of being completely freaked out I start smacking my left leg against the door to try and shake this vile creature before he crawled into my leg and took possession of it. I still feel it! But wait, a hour later it was gone. Well, more like a couple of seconds but that felt like an eternity.
So I drive along…normal, once again. Until about ten minutes later. Now I’m doing 82 and traffic is very heavy and I’m in the fast lane. This insane creature hellbent on my destruction is now crawling up my shirt at a pretty fast pace. Now I seriously want to freak out because I swear it looked as big as a tarantula, but only much smaller. I quickly reach over to hit the button to lower the window. My plan is to flip this nefarious human killer off of my large gut and out the window. Boy am I a smart one!
But…slight problem. I didn’t notice that the window only went halfway down. I’m in bumper to bumper traffic and trying to keep my eye on the road. I prayed to the good Lord and even tried to summon the power of Grayskull (ya know, He-Man stuff) and I flipped that monster right off of my shirt. I had no idea the power of that creature. It must have somehow got into my head and caused me to angle the “flip” just enough to suit it. It bounced off the window and landed right on my freakin’ forehead. I saw that creature rise in up the mirror, steadying itself for a killing blow, when I went all “Curly from the Three Stooges” on him, flinging him off of my head as I screamed like a little kid, a shriek that would frighten a scream queen.
I have a feeling that it is in hiding…waiting for the right moment.