Doctor say it bleeding

The boys were a  dream over the weekend. Unusually well-behaved and full of imagination, they provided several snippets worth remembering.

It began Thursday night, at the book release party my wife threw for A Housefly in Autumn. There were other events at the venue, with lots of people in fancy clothes attending them. As he helped push our wagonload of books into the elevator, Big Brother looked up and asked. “Daddy, do all these people know you’re famous?”

“No, I’m pretty sure they don’t,” I replied.

“Why not?”

I changed the subject. I didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth. I should have said, “Someday, they’ll know,” but I didn’t think fast enough. Anyway, it makes me proud and humble enough to know I’m famous to him.

On Saturday, Mommy went away on an overnight visit, bravely leaving her house in the hands of us four men. We didn’t break the house, as far as Mommy knows, and we had lots of fun. Big Brother invented two new jokes.

Q. What does corn call its father?

A. Pop Corn.

Q. What does an apple call his grandmother?

A. Granny Smith.

You can see the pattern he was working on for his comedy that day.

After jokes came wrestling.

blanket lump

When Mommy’s away, two boys and a blanket lump will play.


Did that blanket just give birth to a Big Man?


You boys go about your play. Big Man’s on the march.


Why is he climbing up the stereo?


Of course! An extension cord will make the perfect addition to the stash of useful objects he keeps in his hole behind the stereo.


On Sunday, Big Brother said he was worried. “Mommy hasn’t called or texted or anything!”

I reassured him that she had texted me. He looked disgusted. “Why didn’t you tell me?” Now that I know he’s a worrier, I’ll be sure to keep him in the loop. He’s right to worry about Mommy’s safety, considering that I’m the only parent he has in reserve.

We were low on food, so I got to do one of my favorite things in the world: go grocery shopping with three boys. Before we left, Buster insisted I help him tear off a piece of Scotch tape. He attempted to wrap the tape around a “Boo-boo” on his baby brother’s finger.

“That’s not a Band-Aid,” I said.

He nodded to reassure me. “It is. It is Band-Aid,” he insisted.

I finally convinced him to leave Big Man alone. He contented himself with wrapping the tape around his own finger. In the car, he tried to convince Big Brother his finger was bleeding.

“It’s not bleeding,” Big Brother insisted, because he’s a pathological corrector, even of  three-year-olds with big imaginations.

“It is bleeding!” Buster shouted back. “Doctor say it bleeding.”

For the rest of the ride, Big Brother attempted to pin Buster down as to exactly when he had been to the doctor.

Buster gave up the argument, secure in his own knowledge that he possessed both a bleeding finger and a Band-Aid. Sometimes, you just have to ignore the skeptics.

Big Man slept through most of the supermarket, and the other boys were surprisingly good. We hit almost every aisle and I didn’t have to break into a run once.

We went home and had sloppy joes, corn on the cob, and watermelon. Then Mommy came home and they ran to her as if she were all that could save them from the collapse of society.

I’m still not as famous as Mommy, but all the blood was imaginary, so I guess we did all right.

Our usual boyhood shenanigans are interrupted for this important announcement

It seems like it’s taken forever, but it’s finally here. I can now hold in my hand a copy of A Housefly in Autumn that doesn’t have the word PROOF stamped in bold letters across the last page. This is the real deal. The book is live.

Now all I have to do is sell it. There should be a richer reward for writing, editing, formatting, and generally coordinating the production of a novel than the big prize of having to persuade people to buy it. I mean, yeah, there’s the sense of accomplishment, but writers are dreamers. They have big, glorious dreams about their work. Rarely does the dream culminate with nobody buying the book. The reality may end that way, but not the dream.

So let’s not worry about reality for a minute; let’s focus on the dream. The dream is that all kinds of people, from all over, get behind the book and spread the word to other people I could never reach on my own.

If you are inclined to help with this dream, I am grateful for any assistance. Whether it be through social media, word of mouth, or smoke signals, I’ll take it. I need all the help I can get spreading the word.

My baby can read!

Big Man is first in line to get his copy.

Here is some information about the book.

Title: A Housefly in Autumn

Genre: Young Adult and up. I’ve tried to create something that both young adults and adults could enjoy while attempting to do some things that are different from the current trends in YA fiction. Time will tell if different is a good thing in this instance.

Synopsis: At 17, Anders Christiansen was a young man overflowing with potential. All his teachers believed he was destined to blossom into a leading man of letters, enjoying a life of rich rewards.

That was before the accident.

Now, Anders’s great talent lies fallow. He can’t produce the complex ideas he once did. His thoughts are slow and his words simple. The world holds little promise for him anymore.

Struggling to build a meaningful life out of the wreckage of his dreams, Anders learns the value of simple treasures. Loyalty, devotion, and even sacrifice hold rewards of their own to renew hope after tragedy. Love can cause hurt, but he who gives love when he hurts the most will reap a joy outweighing the pain.

Anders gives meaning to his life in the way he spends it. He will face grave danger to spare those he loves, and though his gifts be diminished, he will share them freely with even the humblest of children. Though never sought, Anders’s reward is immense and enduring, showing the millions of reasons to go on sharing even the simplest of gifts.

Purchase Links:


Amazon (U.S.A.)

Barnes & Noble


I haven’t told you how good the book is because you should never trust the author to tell you about the quality of his product. You can trust that I’ve poured years of hard work into this book. Whether that’s enough is for the reading public to decide. Thank you for helping me reach them.

Where have you hidden my manhood this time?

These days I have a devil of a time laying hold of that six-inch long piece of equipment that constitutes my manhood. I suspect I’m not the only husband and father with this trouble. I bet lots of men roam their houses, in desperate frustration, searching for the TV remote.

Just as he needs a comfortable chair, set squarely before the TV, a man need his scepter of entertainment power, preferably programmed to skip anything educational and the various Lifetime channels.

With three boys and a grown-up woman in the house, I don’t get charge of the remote very much. This is a hard knock, but I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve learned to be satisfied with a few minutes of executing my will over the TV after everyone has gone to bed, on the nights when they go to bed before my time is up.

Who needs  the remote?

“The remote? Why would you need that? The TV’s already tuned to cartoons.”

What drives me up the wall is when I finally get the TV to myself and there’s no remote to be found. Since it’s technically the cable remote, I can’t even change the channel manually. I’m stuck watching Ninja Turtles as my reward for outlasting them all.

They all have their different methods of losing the remote. One routinely takes it to a different room, where it no doubt also controls the toaster. One loses it underneath couch cushions. One throws it into a toy box.

I caught on to all these tricks and was renewing my acquaintance with televised sports when Big Man began his own love affair with the device. Big Man doesn’t care what channel the TV is on, but that remote is just full of fat, juicy buttons to push, and some of them do things to the TV that make his family react in the most hilarious ways.

keeping watch

Guarding your stash is a 24/7 job. Handcuffs for trespassers are optional.

My wife is a self-proclaimed, part-time hoarder. On the other hand, she hates clutter. She reconciles these positions by stuffing her hoard into cupboards and baskets. This issue would not be related to my difficulty locating the remote except Big Man seems to have inherited these contradictory conditions from her.

He has a little cache behind the stereo  where he keeps his prized possessions. His prized possessions are objects that caught his attention for a minute, until he decided it would be fun to drop them into a hole. He has a second cache behind the kids’ chair in the living room. In these caches can be found Leap Frog toys, plastic soldiers, the tail section of a Mega Bloks helicopter, a good portion of my once-pristine CD collection (with or without cases), and something I spent most of a Saturday afternoon looking for so I could watch something besides Peppa Pig for a damned minute.

Oh well, TV is overrated anyway. Maybe we should investigate some more intellectually fulfilling pursuits, like reading to each other or going to family hoarders’ therapy. Maybe we could just relax and listen to some nice music. Oh wait, where are my CDs?

An old dog’s new trick: asking for help

I’m not good at asking for help. I’m much more comfortable helping than being helped. I don’t know why; it’s probably some kind of pride thing. Or stubbornness. Who knows?

This self-publishing biz has taught me there are some things you can’t do alone. Writing is a fine thing to do alone, but writing sometimes leads to publishing, and publishing beats the hell out of introverts.

You don’t have to ask for help if you can afford to pay for it, but I can’t do that either. Take that, foolish pride!

I’ve had to learn to ask. I’m still learning. It’s a long lesson.

So this is me, practicing asking for help.

If you’ve been following this or my other blog, you may know I’ve been preparing a new book for publication. It’s taken a long time, but I’m finally on the cusp of having the project pulled together. My wife is planning a small release party for me on June 25. (This happens to be the anniversary date of Custer’s Last Stand, but I was never into omens, and it was a pretty good day for Crazy Horse.)

Over the past couple years, I’ve asked and received valuable help from beta readers, editors, and a talented artist named Jessica O’Brien who provided the amazing cover art.

Jessica's wonderful cover art.

Jessica’s wonderful cover art.

Now, I need more help, lots more. Perhaps even your help, if you are willing.

Besides visitors to my blogs, and a sprinkling of people on Facebook, few others know about this book. Once the book is released, this has to change. I need people to help spread the word. So, to any who are willing, I humbly ask that you use whatever social media you are comfortable with to help. Whether it be a link on a blog, a Facebook post, a Tweet, whatever you’d like to do will help.

I will announce the official release. (You bet I will!) I will then welcome your assistance. You don’t even have to tell me how you’re helping spread the word, although it would allow me to thank you if you did.

Helping does not mean you have to buy or read the book. I’m just looking to let people know the book exists so they can make their own decisions about their interest in it. If you want to read the book and share your impressions of it, that would be fantastic, but just pointing a few people toward the book to see for themselves is also very helpful. Whatever you are willing and able to do is appreciated. And if you’d rather just wish me luck, I’ll take that too.

Some info about the book.

Title: A Housefly in Autumn

Genre: Is Young Adultish a genre? I’ve tried to write a story that would appeal to Young Adults as well as General Fiction readers. In doing so, I have incurred the risk of missing both audiences, but what is life without risk? (Just ask Custer.)

Blurb: A Housefly in Autumn is intended for Young Adults and up. A historical novel, set in 19th century Europe, it follows the life of a young man whose dreams have crumbled down around him. In an act of heroism, he sacrifices his own promising future to save the life of another. Now he must decide whether to cling to the unlikely hope of regaining his old life, or aim his efforts toward making the most of the life fate has dealt him. Though it is difficult to let go of the rewards that life once promised, perhaps the greatest rewards are the ones earned by building new hope from the bits and pieces of wrecked dreams.

More description can be found here. I will post purchase links when they are available.

A big Thank You in advance to all willing to help.