August '21

Hello there!

Welcome to the new folks who have joined in the past month.

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.

  • 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)



July was an absolutely bonkers month for flowers in our yard. We had rainy periods in the spring and then a really warm June that helped everything bloom spectacularly.

In addition, our fruits and veggies have been prospering as well. We’ve already harvested over dozen zucchini, many of which went to our neighbors since we can’t eat it all. Our raspberry plant, which we trimmed back hard at the end of last year, returned with a few dozen berries. In the same patch, we planted three watermelon starters, and now we’ve got three watermelons growing.

Our tomatoes are looking good for harvest soon, as is our corn. Green beans and snow peas have done well, along with our lettuces, which got out of control for a while and needed a hard cut back.


THE RED SKY is halfway done and in the hands of my wife, who is always my first beta-reader. Once she gives me the thumbs up, I’m planning on posting the first chapter in a future newslettter.

For THE RED SKY playlist on Spotify, I added some music, all soundtracks: Raised By Wolves, Season 1 by Marc Streitenfield and Ben Frost, Black Widow by Lorne Balfe, and Loki by Natalie Holt.

Aside from THE RED SKY, I wrote my first short story, which is currently in revisions and beta reads by some friends. It’s entitled THE BUTCHER, it’s a Depression-era horror piece that has elements of The Twilight Zone and Steven King. Once I get a version comfortable enough to share, I’ll do so.


DOOLITTLE (33 1/3) Pixies album by Ben Sisario

Another solid installment in the 33 1/3 book series. Glad the author could talk to most of the band, as sometimes these books are based more second-hand accounts and outside opinions rather than the person or people who made the music. That said, there were a few more personal interjections and judgments by the author than I would have preferred, although I'm happy he went song by song through the album and discuss the lyrical content with depth.

FALLING by TJ Newman

A fast, entertaining read that can be devoured quickly and will definitely make an entertaining flick along the lines of Speed or Unstoppable. The backstory (rejected by 40+ agents, seven-figure movie deal, written by a former airline attendant) is interesting, but ultimately the book has to stand on its own, and it does. The protagonist isn't particularly unique, just necessary, compared to his antagonist counterpart. There were some scenes where I thought, 'are they going to address all the collateral damage that just happened?' And Newman did not, which is very much like a Hollywood action film.


  • THE GENTLEMEN (Amazon) - Very solid first half undone by a second-half that borrows from other films and Guy Ritchie’s past.

  • THE TOMORROW WAR (Amazon) - Borrows from too many good films to make anything new or original.

  • LUPIN, S.2 (Netflix) - Fun and twisty second season delivers when it matters.

  • THIS IS POP (Netflix) - Documentary series covers lots of pop ground, albeit not always with the deserved depth.

  • BARB AND STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR (Hulu) - Crazy, absurdist comedy from Kristin Wiig that some will love and some will hate, I was the former.

  • LOKI, S.1 (Disney+) - Didn’t go where I expected, but that’s okay because it turned out very entertaining.

  • WOODSTOCK ‘99: LOVE, PEACE, AND RAGE (HBOMax) - Brutally honest look at the mayhem and mismanagement of the third Woodstock.


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

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