April '21


Hello there!

Welcome to the new folks who have joined in the past month. Spring is so close, prepare for an onslaught of gardening pics and antidotes. I’ve got lots of bulbs planted from last year that are breaking through, and a whole bunch of starters (veggies and flowers) started in pots.

A few quick notes upfront:

  • All previous newsletters are archived. Lots of stuff to check out including a link to the original 2011 screenplay of THE BLACK SKY, hints and helps to get started on the real work easter egg hunt teased at the back of the book, and more!

  • If you read and enjoyed THE BLACK SKY, I would be grateful if you left a positive review or a rating at Amazon or GoodReads.

  • There’s a “music inspired by” soundtrack you can listen to at your favorite streaming sites like SpotifyApple MusicTIDAL, etc. If you prefer physical media, you can also grab the album on a compact disc at Bandcamp.

  • For those that have read THE BLACK SKY, you may remember a mention or two of a bar called “The Dank,” the place Tessa worked at in college where she and Bishop met. I created a virtual playlist for this “punk rock bar,” which you can check out on Spotify. (Hint: this isn’t the last time you’ll be hearing about The Dank in a book)


I have new music out, made available on streaming services everywhere (like Bandcamp, Spotify, etc.) called “Luna.” It’s a double-album of dreamy instrumental ambient electronic music, fourteen tracks each titled after a location on the Moon.

Also, I was a guest on the SCROLLS AND SCREENS PODCAST hosted by Melissa Matos. You can listen to me talk about putting THE BLACK SKY together over a number of years, general writing chit-chat, and geeking out on 90s music.


THE RED SKY is chugging along. Eight chapters complete, and feeling good about what’s down on the page. Once I hit the midpoint of approximately 45-50 thousand words, I’ll definitely be reaching out for BETA READERS, so stay tuned!

For THE RED SKY playlist on Spotify, I added Jeff Russo’s For All Mankind score.

OMERTA SOL did not get much attention this month, as I was full steam ahead on THE BLACK SKY. But my reads below gave me some very inspiring ideas for what lies ahead.


Finished Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER. If you have only seen the movies, I would say it is worth checking out the book. There are always little changes that happen when a book is adapted to TV or film. What’s interesting about THE GODFATHER is that it covers the first movie, but only bits and pieces of the sequel.

After reading the book, I rewatched the first two films to see how the book was reworked for the big screen. Lots of subplots and asides were trimmed, and characters either cut out completely or reduced to very small roles. For example, towards the end of the movie, there is a character who dresses up like a police officer to assassinate one of the rival mafia leaders. It’s a few scenes, almost no dialogue. However, in the book, there is an entire chapter dedicated to this character, providing rich detail to his backstory and an understanding of why a New York police officer would leave the force and go to work for the Corleone family.

I also read A SMALL TOWN IN GERMANY by John le Carré. My introduction to le Carré and was quite entertained. Takes a bit to get into it, setting up the characters, the stakes, etc. Once it gets rolling, the tension and suspense slowly build, and the story unfolds with precision. I struggled at times with the density of some of the descriptions, often becoming long asides, but respect the decision to add them for color and depth.


  • DEBRIS (NBC/Hulu) - Enjoying this Fringe/X-Files style show. Hope it can stay interesting.

  • GARDENERS’ WORLD (Britbox) - The return of Monty Don and the most pleasant gardening show on the planet. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, always something new to learn about.

  • WANDAVISION (Disney+) - What a great season, glad the MCS gets to highlight characters that weren’t featured in the films.

  • SNOWPIERCER / Season 2 (Hulu) - Much better second season, Sean Bean is fun and the characters got better developed.

  • SAMPLE THIS (Netflix) - Documentary on the history of The Incredible Bongo Band, responsible for one of the most sampled drum beats in the history of hip-hop/rap music.

  • FOR ALL MANKIND (AppleTV) - Finished the first season, very entertaining, just about to start season two.

  • ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE (HBOMax) - Taking a 2-hour mess and turning it into a 4-hour slog is not an improvement.

  • SPACE SWEEPERS (Netflix) - This was a ton of fun, check out the trailer below.


Highlighting this track from the Tindersticks album. Great late-night vibe.

What are you watching, reading, listening to at the moment?

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