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  • Wow… been a while…
    As visitors to this site already know, I’m also an active composer for wind ensemble and orchestra. What’s been keeping me too busy to write lately, is a new transcription I’m preparing of a cute little piano piece by Isaac Albéniz (b. 29 May 1860, d.18 May 1909). He was a Spanish virtuoso pianist, composer, and conductor who was one […]
  • Just a snippet…
    But the cry is inside my head, and there is no escape from the utter horror, agony, and desolation in that voice. I’m with the terrified girl as the demon lifts her into the air on the roof of the building. I’m with her as it reaches into her throat and grasps her essence—her soul—and squeezes. I’m with her as it rips the […]
  • Man, you go silent for just a *little* while…
    So, I haven’t disappeared. Or died. Or gone into the witness protection system. I’ve just been really busy (and a little lazy) and haven’t had time to do the things I’d like to with this blog. I promise I’ll do better. Just as soon as I get caught up. In the meantime, go buy my dang book!
  • The Ward is live!
    Here it is, live and FREE (this weekend, beginning Friday), or you can have it in your hot little hands now!
  • What have I been up to?
    Well, my time off from writing and conducting my community band was certainly fruitful. Here’s the result of all that time. It’s a little piece I call Anthems. Don’t let the length scare you–it’s easier than it sounds.I hope…
  • New Cover Design!
    So, I’ve taken the cover of Swift in a new direction. The knife is more central to the story than the lion, but some people really like the lion. Tell me what you think!
  • Education is not a jobs program…
    Part 3 When my daddy worked at Dupont in the 60s, he’d often complain about the “college boys” who “didn’t know anything about working in a chemical plant.”  Even then, I’d nod sagely and agree without understanding what the hell he was talking about.  Didn’t guys who went to college know everything? Turns out, no, they didn’t.  But that was […]
  • Education is not a jobs program…
    Part 2 In Part 1 of this series of articles, I ended with the observation that band directors in Texas use their record of contest achievements to get the “best” jobs—those that pay well, are in “good” communities, or offer the opportunity to work with the “best” in the field.  In short, they use the students and their hard work […]
  • Education is not a jobs program…
    Part 1 Last night, I had a vivid dream about my time as a band director.  While this event never happened, I’ve had similar conversations with myself over the years about this topic.  In the dream, I was teaching a concert band at the middle school level and noticed one kid had been missing my class for a few days.  […]
  • Who Knew?
    I realized early in my writing career that I was a pantser.  Plotting was something you did only if you got stuck.  And while I’ve gotten myself stuck many times, I’ve never bought into the idea that plotting is a good thing all the time.  Stay with me here, because this post has nothing to do with novel writing. If […]
  • New music for Wind Ensemble…
    So, my commission for a new work for band is coming along–even though I haven’t written any meaningful music is years. I decided to put an extended piano solo in the middle. It still needs some work, but the bones are there. Here’s a listen:
  • Winterset Hollow: A Review
    As an author, every article on how to catch an agent’s interest says the number one, most important thing I can do is grab their attention and hold it from the first ten pages.  The first page, if that’s possible.  Until I read Winterset Hollow, I don’t think I’d seen an author do that more than a handful of times, […]
  • Cover reveal – Swift the River Flows
    Here we go with another cover reveal. This one is still in the design phase, so I’m down with any suggestions you may have.
  • A discussion about homework…
    I had a discussion yesterday with my wife—currently an elementary music teacher—about the state of education in general, and education in Texas, specifically.  We also have a son who is a freshman in high school.  But first, let’s take a ride in the Wayback Machine™. When I was in school, back when dinosaurs were still in the planning stage, our […]
  • Ever feel like you’re screaming into the wind?
    Sometimes (and by that, I mean all the time) I wonder what I’m doing all this for. It’s not like people really care about what I write–and that’s okay… no one cares about what most people write. There’s a reason for that. Two, really. One is time. Most people these days just don’t have enough of it. The second is […]
  • Mask up, idiots…
    So, way back in the dark ages of 2019, I read a brief article about a novel virus called SARS-CoV-2—what we commonly refer to as COVID-19.  Friends of mine were already saying this wasn’t gonna be any worse than the flu, but I paid attention.  I told them that if we didn’t take it seriously, the entire country would shut […]
  • When pantsing isn’t enough…
    In the universe of authors, there are really only two forms of intelligent life: “plotters” and “pantsers”.  I admit it—I’m a “pantser”.  I open my Surface, fire up Scrivner, and let the words fly without a single thought about the plot.  Sure, I have an overarching whisper of a hint of a possible idea, but I rarely know the complete […]
  • Cover reveal…
    Just a quick note to show you guys the cover to my first horror novel, The Ward. I plan to release this in both print and Kindle formats in February. I’m also trying a new size format for this book, making it more like something you’d find in a bookstore–something a bit more pocketable. Comments are welcome!
  • Superman is NOT of Krypton!
    Let’s get this out of the way up front:  I am not a physicist, nor have I made an in-depth study of the subject.  I also am no Superman geek who knows the entire canon.  What I am is a science fiction writer with a better than fair passing knowledge of the character, and someone who was able to successfully […]
  • Novel excerpt–The Ward
    This is my first horror novel and will be out next month. This scene isn’t scary, but it is momentous… The storm raged through the night, the wind and driving rain a thunderous white noise drowning the bitter thoughts in my head like a bag of kittens thrown from a bridge; it was the first good night’s sleep I’d had […]