Saturday, January 31, 2009

What the doctor said

Here it is as concise as I can make it: The CT scan showed several patches of something in both of my lungs. The doctor said that it is either cancer or an inflamatory process. I will be having more extensive blood tests and another CT scan and perhaps an MRI to see, if it is cancer, if it spread from elsewhere in my body. Depending on what the blood test reveal and the next CT scan, I will have a lung biopsy to determine if it's cancer.

I am dismayed and shocked. I didn't expect this. I thought he would say that everything was okay or I just had some sort of infection in my lungs. I'm still reeling.

I'm asking you to please pray that it's not cancer, that it's an inflamatory process caused by my over-active immune system (Remember I do have IBD), and that it's healed. If it's true that the movement of a butterfly's wing can cause a hurricaine across the world, then your prayer and your thoughts can surely move the universe.

Know that I appreciate your support and will give you updates as I get them. I am not done down here yet, and I intend to fight whatever it is as hard as I can as long as I can and then some!

Thank you.

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover, exclusively from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Things about MBTA

Needed another post and decided to share 25 things about Murder by the Acre that you might not know or don't know or would surprise you or would fill space.
1. It needs more reviewers on I have three and would like to have more.
2. The plot for Murder by the Acre changed drastically from the original draft. As first written, it had two murderers who teamed up to off some of the folks in Ryton. But that proved to be too confusing and complicated.
3. Also in that first draft, the first victim had a scene from his viewpoint in which he died. It was cut because it added nothing to the book and slowed down the action.
4. It is available for purchase on and Yes, I know you probably already know that, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.
5. The story frequently went places I didn't expect or revealed things I didn't know. An example: The chief and Maggie's son. I didn't know he even existed until I started writing that scene, and there he was.
6. My subconscious must be smarter than me since what I talked about in number 5 often answered questions that I hadn't thought of asking.
7. I originally planned for Murder by the Mile to be second book. Things change.
8. I acknowledged Holly Lisle in both books (along with others) because her constant inspiration, but no, she didn't proof or edit it. In fact, I don't even know if she read either one. (I suspect not due to her horribly busy schedule.) That wasn't the point of the acknowledgments.
9. The book had to be republished because I accidently got the ISBN number wrong on the copyright page. The cover ISBN is correct.
10. MBTA is being recorded for the Oklahoma Library for the Blind, as was Murder by Dewey Decimal. These recordings are free of charge to people who qualify. MBTA and MBTA may be submitted to the National Libary. I should know in the next couple of months.
11. The murderer was one of the victims in the original story.
12. I had two playlists of selected music when I wrote MBTA.
13. One playlist featured slower music while the other had only faster songs. Depending on what I was writing, I would select either slower or faster.
14. I can't bear to listen to either playlist now because I listened to them so much while writing the book.
15. Murder by the Mile will get its own playlists.
16. If you'd like to enter a drawing to win a Murder by the Acre large coffee mug, tell me so in the comments on this post and you'll be entered. One person will win. I will have the drawing next week. I have only two entries (Trixie and Adam) so far so your odds are good.
17. I have nearly 40 titles written down for The Measurements of Murder(tm) series. It's unlikely I will write all of them, but who knows?
18. I've thought of making MBTA and MBDD into plays, but haven't done more than write a few lines.
19. I have been thinking about another murder mystery series featuring different locations and different people. Here are few titles: Murder at the Witch's Cottage, Murder at the Pirate's Palace, Murder at the Hangman's House, Murder at the Maniac's Museum, etc.
20. I wrote a play named Murder at the Witch's Cottage, and I really like the title. However, the book couldn't feature the same people or plot.
21. Jean pointed out something that I didn't notice myself until after she did: the books have no children in them. No mention of them at all. But yes, Ryton does have children in it. They will be at least mentioned in Murder by the Mile.
22. Since the original Murder by the Acre was written nearly 25 years ago, it had no mention of cell phones or the Internet in it. I changed that when I revised it for publication.
23. I use several baby books and phone books to get the names of my characters. I pick names that none of my friends or acquaintences have, unless, of course, they have agreed to let me use them for minor, non-speaking characters.
24. My brother-in-law Phillip Owens is the only real person whose name is featured in both books.
25. I have huge changes planned for both Lisa and Bernard in the next few books. They have to grow and change to keep my interest, and I think they will.

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover, exclusively from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things

(Frenzied Feline tagged me on Facebook and since I needed a post ...)

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

1. I don't like my middle name.
2. My dad had seven sisters and one brother.
3. I fell and broke my arm in two places backstage before a production of Oklahoma! by the local community theater.
4. I have two laser pointers.
5. I hate washing dishes.
6. I like to cook.
7. I am a fan of The Closer, which I think might be the best show on television.
8. I don't like yellow or pink cars.
9. My first computer was a Tandy 1000. I saved for months to buy it.
10. My character on World of Warcraft is a mage.
11. I used to play Dungeons & Dragons in college. A group of my friends and I still get together and play every year or so.
12. I wrote myself in as a character in both Murder by Dewey Decimal and Murder by the Acre, but no one has ever figured who I am in the book.
13. There is a puzzle hidden in both books that no one has ever found.
14. One of my favorite shows is Last of the Summer Wine on PBS.
15. I also like Keeping Up Appearances and Are You Being Served?.
16. If something gets my attention, it is quite easy for me to become obsessed with it.
17. I think electric cars are the ultimate in cool.
18. I should have got married in college. That relationship was my last real chance.
19. I really think most doctors are only in it for the money. And I detest most of them.
20. I once accidentally dated a married woman. She didn't tell me she was married. I was very upset when I found out.
21. I've always lived in Oklahoma and proud of it.
22. If you'd like to enter a drawing to win a Murder by the Acre large coffee mug, tell me so in the comments on this post and you'll be entered. One person will win. I will have the drawing next week.
23. I have blue eyes.
24. I wear contacts and glasses because my vision is so bad.
25. Barq's root beer should be served in an ice cold mug. I like it that way and have my own mug.

And there is no way I can tag 25 people. If you want to do it, do it and let me know. Otherwise, have a great night and wonderful tomorrow. Night!

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover, exclusively from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

Monday, January 26, 2009


So basically I’ve made just about every wrong financial decision you can make. I make a lot of them when I was younger; I made some of them not that long ago.

I read Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan. It was not necessarily an eye-opener since I had heard some of it before, but it bought into sharp focus this fact: Credit cards are evil. They may be a necessary evil if you want to rent a car or book a hotel room or order something over the Internet, but if you can’t pay off the entire balance as soon as the bill comes, you are living beyond your means.

Let’s repeat that: If you use your credit card and you can’t pay off the whole balance when the bill comes due, you are living beyond your means, and you need to stop.

Do you want to argue with that? If so, argue with Suze. She has completely convinced me of this. If I use my credit card and can’t pay off the whole balance when the bill comes due, I am living beyond my means, and I need to stop.

So, why oh why are I using my credit card? Why is my balance on that credit card increasing?

The answer is this: To pay my medical bills. It’s the only access to credit I have in the amount I need for my medical bills, but I can’t tell you how much I RESENT having to use it for that.

Obama can win my allegiance no matter what scandal eventually hits his administration -- and there will be one -- if he can lead this nation to affordable healthcare. I am willing to pay for health insurance, but I can’t get it. No one will insure diabetics, not unless it’s on a group policy where they have to take me.

And this is a the result of a bad decision that I made years ago. I was healthy and didn’t think I could afford to have a health plan. I thought I’d get one later. What a foolish thing to do. I may have bankrupted my future by that decision. I’d like to be able to go back and hit myself in the mouth every time I attempted to call and cancel my health insurance.

However, I can’t do that. I have to move on from where I am. So I’ve decided to get married. Yes, that’s right. Married. If you’re single and have a health plan that will cover your spouse, I’m your man.

I’m just kidding.

Sort of.

Look, there have been worse reasons to get married. And some of those marriages doubtlessly didn’t end in murder.

I’m not saying I’d actually do it.

But I’m not saying I wouldn’t either.

Have a great day tomorrow. (And check out those health plans.) Night!

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover, exclusively from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Catching up with you and you and you

I didn’t mean to leave anyone hanging the past few days. I just haven’t had much to say. I go to the doctor in Oklahoma City Friday. Then we’ll learn the results of my tests. I hope for answers. I would dread any more tests, but I will do what I have to do. Let’s talk of other things.


Friday I got in The Devil’s Disciples by Susanna Gregory. This is the 14th in The Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew. If you like medieval murder mysteries – and I do as evidenced by the fact I have all 14 books in the series – you’ll love Matthew and the rest of the monks of Cambridge. I’m looking forward to diving into its pages tonight.

I also got in Terry Pratchett’s Nation. I’ve already read Nation, but I wanted to keep my collection up to date. I have all of Pratchett’s works in hardcover; he’s that good. Highly recommended.

A paperback I received is Under the Jolly Roger, Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber by L.A. Meyer. This is the third in the Bloody Jack Aventures. This time, she – yes, she – tangles with pirates. These are fun historical adventures, and I recommend them also.

The last book I received from was Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan. I read the first chapter on Oprah’s website, but unfortunately missed the free download. I thought it worth purchasing. I read the book this week, and it's chock full of good advice. Recommended.


Walking to Jericho continues. I’ve been putting in some mileage as have the others. The best walker, however, is Kirsten who is really putting in some mileage. If you're up that direction and a blur passes you, it's her.

The walking is getting easier for me. Not as easy as I hoped it would be by this time, but I'm getting there. I'm hoping that I will be fit enough to start using the recumbent bike by the end of February. That's my goal.


I've been doing Holly Lisle's How to Think Sideways writing course. I've learned a lot. I can't give a complete review as I haven't finished it yet, but I'm very impressed with it.

I've also been working on the outline for Murder by the Mile. The plot of it changed and caused the outline to change drastically. I should have it in shape by the end of this week, though. Or I hope.

I also finished my family newsletter for January this weekend. I will mail it tomorrow. Less writing in it than usual, but there'll be more next month.

Murder by the Acre continues to sell a few copies on Obviously not best seller territory, but not remainder, either. I would appreciate any good reviews you could post on Amazon. The reviews help a lot, or at least so I've heard.

Speaking of which, here are the links to purchase Murder by the Acre. Yeah, I know you get tired of seeing them, but hey, some day someone might need them, and there they are.

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover, exclusively from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

It's late now, and I've been trying to get into bed earlier. Need all the beauty sleep I can get. Have a great day tomorrow and a great week. Night!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

If only

And I'm back. Had my CT scan today. It went fine other than a very upset stomach caused by the radioactive dye they injected in me. Won't know anything about what it showed if anything until next week. Then maybe I'll get some answers. Or if not, more tests. I'm rather tired of tests.

Rather tired of everything today. A bit discouraging to spend $1,200 and not have anything FUN to show for it. I should at least have a tattoo or something. This whole health care thing is weighing me down. I had hoped to pay off all my credit cards this year and make a substantial dent in my second mortgage. In my plan, I had hoped to pay off my second mortgage next year, and then be out of debt completely. Not going to happen now. If only I had health insurance. If only I could get it. If only I had asked to be tested for diabetes years ago. If only I hadn't given up on my relationship with S.G. back in college. If only I had made other decisions. If only I had another life. If only.

Well, I don't. Tomorrow I will get up and go to work. Tomorrow I will walk at the Family Life Center. Tomorrow I'll try to figure out ways to bring Murder by the Acre to people's attention and sell a few more books. Tomorrow I'll pick everything up again. Tomorrow.

Tonight I'm going to watch Leno and The Last of the Summer Wine and then go to bed. Where, if I'm lucky, I won't dream. Dreams can kill you. They bring hope, and hope is cruel. Tonight I'm too tired for hope. Tomorrow I'll hope again. And dream. And plan and work and generally be the original bump-n-go boy. But that's tomorrow.

Tonight I'm going to sign off now. Talk to you soon.

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover, exclusively from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New shoes, new phone, same old me

A busy day today all thing considered. I got up late after being sick yesterday evening. I got about four hours sleep so I was a groggy boy when I dragged myself out of bed. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done today, so I tried to do some of them:

1) Washed a load of shirts.
2) Made it to the library and returned some overdue books and checked out new ones that will doubtlessly be overdue when I return them. (I think of my overdue fines as little donations to the library.)
3) Went to the AT&T and purchased a new Nokia phone because my old one was behaving erratically. The new phone has a Bluetooth headset, camera, Internet access, GPS capacity, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t see myself using much. Apparently getting a cell phone to just be a phone is so yesterday.
4) Went to The Runner and purchased a new pair of walking shoes. I had been walking in the shoes I wear to work each day, and my feet were complaining. I’ve been saving up and got a new pair today that have good arch supports and feel good to my feet. We’ll see how they do Monday night when I walk again.
5) Worked on the family newsletter for January some.

And that’s it for today. Otherwise I napped and tried to get a handle on feeling better. My roomie’s son is supposed to be in town tonight, and we may meet him for dinner later. What exciting things did you do today? Win the lottery? Meet a movie star? Win the lottery AND meet a movie star? Have a deeply spiritual and moving experience that will change your whole life? Share!

And here once again are the links to purchase Murder by the Acre. You didn’t think I’d forget them, did you?

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover, exclusively from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thoughts with dialogue

Kirsten won the hardcover of Holly Lisle’s wonderful The Ruby Key that I was giving away in the comments on last Friday’s post. Kirsten, email me so I can arrange delivery. The Ruby Key is a wonderful young adult novel. It’s self-contained, but begins a series. The Silver Door, the second books, comes out this spring and is available for pre-order from now.
Dialogue with rude customer
Phone rings.
I answer.
Customer: “You haven’t called me with the information I requested. I’ve been waiting for hours.”
Stephen: “I’ve been waiting for your email. I haven’t received it.”
C: “I sent it hours ago.”
S: “Let me check and see if I missed it.”
C: “That’s probably what you did.”
S: “It’s not here.”
C: “Check again. You overlooked it.”
S: “No, sir. It’s not here. What email address did you use?”
C: “What you gave me. I don’t know.”
S: “It’s”
C: “That’s where I sent it.”
S: “Did you spell Stephen with a ph?”
C: “No, of course not. What a dumb way to spell Stephen. Where did your parents get that?”
S: “From the Bible. Stephen was the first Christian martyr.”
C: “Well, who reads that anymore? You should change your name to make it easier for your customers.”
Longer pause
S: “If you’ll resend that email to me, I’ll get you the information you requested.”
C: “I’ll do that, but I want the information as soon as possible. I’ve wasted all day waiting because you didn’t spell your email address to me. What a stupid name.”
Customer hangs up.
Is it any wonder I hate my job sometimes?
Dialogue with a friend after a Sunday school class discussion in which the teacher said he agreed with the legislator who said the gay lifestyle was more dangerous than terrorists.
Friend: “Why do you always do that?”
Stephen: “Do what?”
F: “Defend homosexuals.”
S: “What?”
F: “Why didn’t you let it go? Everyone knows our teacher is homophobic. You didn’t have to make it obvious.”
S: “I don’t know why you’re so upset. I wasn’t rude, but I wasn’t going to sit there and let him think I agreed. I’ve yet to see any gay people blowing up buildings.”
F: “You’re always doing that. You always take the liberal side of everything.
S: “Why are you so upset? Did you agree with him?”
F: “Of course not, but … oh forget it.”
S: “I don’t understand.”
F: “No, you don’t. You never do. You never think about the consequences of what you say. Forget it.”
S: “What consequences?”
F: “Every time you defend homosexuals, don’t you realize what people think? They think you’re gay, too.”
S: “I don’t care what they think.”
F: “Yeah, that’s good for you, but what about your friends? People think I’m gay because I’m your friend.”
S: “You’re married!”
F: “Like that matters.”
S: “Do you really care what those people think?”
F: “I have a business here. This is Oklahoma. A rumor gets around like that, and people stop coming in.”
S: “I’m sorry.”
F: “It’s okay.”
S: “But I won’t stop.”
F: “I knew you wouldn’t understand.”
S: “I do understand. I understand perfectly. Being friends with me might cost you business because I won’t keep my big mouth shut. I guess you have to decide if being my friend is worth it. Because I won’t shut up. I can’t. I wish I could, but I can’t. I won’t let my silence be seen as approval. Look, I know you don’t understand why I defend gays and electric cars and Democrats, but I do it because I’m compelled to. Because my conscience says I have to. Because people are too quiet, and they let bad things happen because they won’t speak up and they won’t do what’s right because it costs them. If I don’t speak up, who’s going to?”
F: “There are other people. God didn’t call you to protect them. I want you to think about this: Do you do it because it’s right or because you want the attention?”
S: “I can’t believe you said that. You know better than that. You know better than that!”
F: “Forget it. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything. You’re my friend. I’m glad you’re my friend.”
S: “I’m glad you’re my friend, too. And I’m sorry if I … embarrass you.”
F: “You don’t. Forget it.”
S: “Forgotten already.”
But it wasn't. I sat in church wondering how long he and his family will continue to be my friends if I keep opening my big mouth.
I’ve always found it interesting how stories can change. You think they’re leading one place, but then you find you’re on another path. For instance, when I started writing Murder by the Mile, the third book in the Measurements of Murder Mystery ™ series, I thought it was about an armored car robbery. Turns out I was wrong. The armored car robbery isn’t even mentioned now, and that deletion changed the story quite a bit. No ex-convicts, no driven FBI agents, no hidden money. The only thing that didn’t change was the motive for the murders: revenge.

Fear was the motive in Murder by Dewey Decimal. Greed was the motive in Murder by the Acre. Of course, in both books, other motives got mixed in there, but those two emotions dominated the respective books. Or at least that's what I intended. What do you think? Have you read both of them? Here's the links if you need to buy them and catch up.

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover, exclusively from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Walking to Jericho

I've mentioned Walking to Jericho here before. It now has its own website ( and I update every other day or so. You might be unsure what it is. Walking to Jericho is a group effort to walk 6884 miles, which happens to be the distance from my town to Jericho.

Yeah, 6884 miles. Seems a lot, but several people -- and their camels -- are participating. In the comments, they list their mileage, and we add it to our total miles traveling. When we don't have any mileage it's because we were riding our camels, and camel miles don't count.

We are also having adventures and will be visiting various cities, real and unreal, as we travel. We are following a Jigmap, which is a dimension folding map that allows us to travel in a non-linear fashion and still reach our goal.

I'm hoping the other participants will also post adventures for us as they get used to our format. And naturally we are still looking for participants. If you'd like to join a caravan to better health, grab your camel and stop by. We'd love to have you traveling with us.

By the way, a good book to take when you're traveling is my latest mystery novel Murder by the Acre. Here are some links to help you get your copy.

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover, exclusively from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

I hope you are doing well. Talk to you later.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not enough

Not enough hours in the stinking day. I've started to feel guilty whenever I take a nap or watch TV or read a book because I have so many things to do on my list. It's nearly midnight, and I'm just now getting ready for bed. Sigh. I have another full day tomorrow. A full week.

What's on the week list so far?
1) Finish the January family newsletter and get it mailed.
2) Walk/exercise every other day.
3) Write at least seven pages on Murder by the Mile.
4) Finish printing the lessons from Holly Lisle's Thinking Sideways online course.
5) Start the first lesson from the course.
6) Eye doctor appointment Friday afternoon (which I have off, thank the good Lord).
7) Housework, housework, housework.
8) File before the papers fall over and kill someone.
9) Continue publicity for Murder by the Acre.
10) Have a nervous breakdown.
11) Blog here and on Walking to Jericho.
12) Facebook some publicity for MBTA, too.
13) Lots of other items I can't bear to think about now.

I'm going to bed. I hope you are, too. Night!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Watcha been doin'?

Probably you’ve been sick with worry about what I’ve been doing. What is he doing? What is he doing? WHAT IS HE DOING?

Calm down. It’s okay. I’ve been busy. Probably not too busy to post if you come right down to it, but we won’t.

And now you’re wondering what I’ve been up to? What has he been doing? What has he been doing? Why does he keep repeating sentences? Why does he keep repeating sentences? He needs to stop that. He needs to stop that. Stop it! Stop it! I said, stop it! I said, stop it! Sigh. Sigh.

Mostly I’ve been 1) attempting to get healthy 2) attempting to sell a few books and 3) attempting to grow as a human being and embrace the fullness of the universe. The first two are taking quite a bit of time. I got the last one covered, of course, as soon as I started drinking green tea. Without sugar, no less. (Did you hear Kirsten’s mad laughter there?)

It all started with that 30 minutes of exercise that I’m attempting to do every other day. You’d think it only took 30 minutes, but you’d be wrong. First, I have to change into exercise clothes, then I have to drive to the park or the fitness center, then I have to walk 10 minutes, rest for five, walk 10 minutes, rest for five, have a heart attack, just kidding, no, I’m not, my chest is really hurting, a stabbing pain …, no, wait, my “Exercise: A poor person’s plastic surgery” button is sticking me, there, that’s better, walk 10 minutes, stagger to my car, drive home, eat dinner, collapse in front of my computer, no way I can blog considering how I feel, which like a piece of chewing gum that has been chewed until no flavor is left and it’s basically just rubber in your mouth, but you keep chewing like a gum-addicted cow chewing its chewing gum cud.

So my 30 minutes of exercise and recover basically takes a couple of hours. And then I have to write on Murder by the Mile since I foolishly told people it would come out in 2009 when really I meant 2010 and they won't let me back out. Add in laundry, paying bills, dusting, etc., and that’s pretty much takes up every 25 hours in a day.

And that's what I've been doing. What have you been doing? Have you been buying Murder by the Acre? Here, let me help you with some links:

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover, exclusively from
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Some people

Some people can’t be helped. Agree or disagree?

I’ve come to the conclusion that some people won’t allow themselves to be helped. Plenty of help is offered, but they have chosen to be miserable. They keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result even though experience should tell them what they’re doing will never work. Until they choose differently, we can't save them or help them.

Some people are lazy and want someone else to do all the rescue work. Agree or disagree?

I’m out of the rescue business. Used to be that I’d throw myself into another person’s problems and hold their head above water and try to drag them to shore. That’s over. Oh, I still won’t let you drown, but you better be kicking your feet and moving your arms and trying to save yourself. We all need a little help in this world, but I’m not going to let you drag me to the bottom. And if I have to kick you in the face to make you let go, I will.

Some people would rather whine about their problems than take any positive steps to solve them. Agree or disagree?

Listen, I’ve been there. I’ve whined about my weight for years and years. That’s changed. I’m going to whine about exercise now. I’m going to tell how my legs felt after I walked a mile Thursday and Saturday. (Like they were going to fall off.) I’m going to tell you how much I ached the next morning just trying to get out of bed. I’m going to tell you how it takes time, precious time that I could be spending on my writing or other productive projects, but instead I’m at the park or on my street or at the fitness center putting one foot in front of the other and saying silently to myself, ‘Right, left, right, left, don’t forget to breathe, right, left, right, left, you can do this, right, left, right, left, it will get easier, right, left, right, left, oh Lord help me, right, left, right, left …” and repeat for thirty minutes or I reach a mile or have a heart attack. That's what I'm going to whine about now. My point, such as it is, is that I'm going to be whining about the solution instead of the problem. I think that's progress.

Some people have dined so long on negatively that they can’t recognize a feast when it’s set before them. Agree or disagree?

Been there, done that. Don’t want to be there anymore. When did the ability to be negative and snarky become the earmarks of intelligence? We’re good at tearing each other down. Maybe it’s time we learned better. I won’t ever be Pollyanna -- for one thing, I don’t have legs or curls for it -- but I don’t have to be Snidely Whiplash, either. Somewhere between, I expect.

Some people will take this as an attack on their lives. Agree or disagree?

Well, maybe they should. I don't have anyone in particular in mind, but if they can see themselves in it, perhaps it's for them. Mostly it's reminders for me. I have to take positive steps to change my life in a positive way. I need positive, encouraging people around me, people who believe in me and in themselves. We can make our lives better. Don't you want a better life? I know I do. And it's time to have it.

Some people haven't bought Murder by the Acre yet and they should. Agree or agree?

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover from
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Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Saturday update

Still on track for my 365 Alive program, but hey, I should be. It's only the third day. As part of the physical program, I've restarted Walking to Jericho. It has its own site now ( Stop by and join us or just leave a comment of encouragement. Other than walking another mile, something I'll go into more detail about tomorrow, I only did a bit of housework and some reading today.

It's late, and I'm all out. I hope things are going well for you. Are they? Talk to you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

365 Alive

Happy New Year! It's my sincere hope that 2009 will bring you and yours the blessings of health, wealth, and happiness!

Today I started my 365 Alive program. What is it? Every day, for 365 days, I will do one of five things:

1) Walk 30 minutes or do other comparable exercise for that length of time. I have to get healthy and get my diabetes under control before it kills me or does more damage than it already has. I will also continue the Potato Famine and Walking to Jericho and soon add the Soft Drink Famine.
2) Promote my books: Murder by the Acre, Murder by Dewey Decimal, Endless, and the forthcoming Murder by the Mile and/or work on my other writings at least 30 minutes a day. It's time for me to get real about the dream.
3) Deepen my spiritual life by reading the Bible. I'm starting in the New Testament and going to read it all the way through in 2009. It's been years since I've undertaken such a study. Time to do it again.
4) Continue to make positive steps on my debt reduction plan.
      a) It is within my grasp to pay off my last two credit cards this year. (This might not be possible due to the medical bills I'm currently having to incur, but I'm only using one card to pay those so I can pay off the other one.)
     b) I will also work on building a six-month emergency fund.
     c) I will continue to work on getting health insurance. Surely somewhere there's some company who take a diabetic. I know it will help if I get my weight and blood sugar under control. I'll just keep trying.
     d) I will stop being afraid of success. More on this in the months ahead as I wrestle with this issue.
5) To be arranged. I'm sure there will be some other issue that I will need to deal with. I'm leaving room for it to be put in place.

There you have my 365 Alive plan. I bought a daily planner and am in the process of writing a "To Do" item on each day. What do you think of my plan? And what are your resolutions for the new year? Talk to you later!

Oh, before I forget, here's a couple of places where you can buy my latest murder mystery novel Murder by the Acre. Do you have your copy yet?

Click here to order Murder by the Acre in softcover.
Click here to order Murder by the Acre in hardcover.
Click here to order Murder by the Acre merchandise.