Friday, December 30, 2016

Thanks and a FREE Little Red Christmas Ball -Offer Extended

FREE E-Book offer extended thru Saturday, January 7th...Enjoy!

Thanks to all who joined the adventure and helped The Little Red Christmas Ball realize his holiday dream.

As a way of saying “Thanks!” he’s offering a FREE download of his story from now through January 7th. 

I tried to talk him out of it but, if you’ve already read the book, you know he’s a persistent little guy. If you haven’t, then here’s a FREE chance to see what you’ve missed before we put the holidays—and The Little Red Christmas Ball—back in the box to await another season.

Then, pick up a copy of the paperback, as well, and "The Little Red Christmas Ball" will shine bright and hold tight as your family's new holiday tradition, this new year, next year...and every year to come....

Thanks again and have a Happy New Year!!

And did I mention the FREE download?

Looking for a fun, new Christmas Tradition to share?

"The Little Red Christmas Ball" will shine bright and hold tight for you and your family...this year and every year to come....

Now available at Amazon

And don't forget

“The Kingdom of Keys”

also available at Amazon

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Hometown Christmas Story - Holiday Redux

Day 7 of Holiday Redux

Merry Christmas, Retorters!

Thanks for hanging with me all year long....and believe's been a looooong one!

From December 23rd, 2011

Back in the mid 60’s, when my friends and I were in the 6th grade, one of our favorite Hometown holiday traditions was to head on over to the new Shopping Center and play our version of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” behind the pile of Christmas Trees they were selling. 

The "tree guys" used to set up in the northeast corner of the parking lot. There, we would casually walk along the adjacent sreet in our coolest Napoleon Solo/Illya Kuryakin style, then suddenly drop over the guard rail and roll down the hill and into the mountain of trees, which kind of formed a hidden fortress on three sides. 
We called our adventure the “Yuletide Affair” and day after day we would jump around in bales of evergreen, undetected by the "tree guys", or so we thought, until one day the delivery truck arrived and tree after Merry Christmas Tree came raining down on us from above.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Imagine, Christmas Eve - Holiday Redux

Day 6 of Holiday Redux.

I don't know if I'm allowed to have personal fav's...but if I was, this would be on top of the list...I mean, if I was allowed to have a list...which I don't know if I am....

From December 24th, 2012

I’ve always been more partial to Christmas Eve than Christmas Day.

Even though you’re prepared for Christmas Day, have actually awaited its arrival for quite some time, the day itself can often hit you like a rogue wave that suddenly pops up out of nowhere, knocks you off your feet and envelops you in countless mind numbing activities: schedules to keep, last minute wrapping, phone calls to take, phone calls to make, gruel to stir and eggnog to mix.

And don’t forget those pesky Dicksonian ghosts that drag you all over the past, present and future landscape, before you even have a chance to get your robe on.

Or is that just me?

Christmas Eve, on the other hand, is like floating on a quiet sea, looking up through the stars, where, if you stare long enough, you just might see a red streak of light passing overhead…

And are those the bells of eight tiny reindeer, you hear?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Zombie Ho Ho Ho-liday Spirit - Holiday Redux

Day 5 of Holiday Redux

I know you've all been wondering where the Zombies are hiding...which, as a rule, is not a bad idea....

From December 19th, 2014

With shopping done and holiday partying planned, I have to admit I’m a little bored at the moment.

So much so that I decided to wander across the street to see what the Zombies were up to.

If you recall, last year I unintentionally invited several of them over to our annual Winter Solstice/Christmas celebration.

Yeah…Zombies and Druids…in the same room.

I know….

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sleigh-sational - Holiday Redux

Day 4 of Holiday Redux

This one  from December 19, 2012

One of my favorite things as a kid was sliding face first down a hill of freshly packed snow.

Sometimes even on a sled.

Well, mostly on a sled…my flexible flyer to be specific.

At least I think it was a Flexible Flyer.

Now that I think of it, it might have been a Flexible Flyer knock off from Woolworths, because I’m not having too many flexible memories other than a lot of crashing into trees and light poles.

But that was more than half the fun…at least for me.

In fact sleigh riding is one of my top three favorite winter memories.

The other two are filling my pockets with snow…and filling my cousin’s pocket with snow.

Good times!

I remember the Christmas I found that oddly shaped, package tucked under the tree, like it was yesterday. I was so unaware, that I hadn’t a clue what it could be.

Let’s see…about four feet long by a foot wide.

Maybe it was a football!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice - Holiday Redux

Day 3 of Holiday Redux

This one from December 21, 2011, slightly "updated" to reflect the present day

It’s a little startling when I look out the window, late in the afternoon, these days.

It’s especially startling for a sun person like me, cuz, well…there is no sun.

Well, that’s not true; there is a sun…it’s just been working on bankers hours for a while. Or what used to be considered bankers hours. This time of year, bankers work longer hours than the sun.

Sure, it’s the holiday season and everyone wants to kick back a little and close up shop early, but hey…come on…the sun has been slacking off, little by little, for a couple of months now.

What…it didn’t think we would notice?

I guess the good news is that we’re finally at the tipping point…the Winter Solstice. It just arrived this morning at 5:44 AM EST.  That is—or was— the morning of Wednsday the 21st to those of you “late to the party”, future readers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It’s Now…I Expect - Holiday Redux

Day 2 of Holiday Redux.

This one from December 17, 2012

It’s a common theme that the road to chronic happiness begins and ends in the now.

It’s a very short road.

Now is now.

It’s really all there is.

The rest we just imagine.

Everyone says, “I wish I could just live in the now and not worry so much about the past that was and the future that’s still to be”, pesky Dickesonian Christmas ghosts aside.

But we don’t…for the most part, we don’t.

It’s just too difficult.

None of us can control the now; we just have to accept it.

Oh sure, we can throw ourselves on the ground and bang our arms and legs and spew expletives to ourselves, but that never works…trust me.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Not a Wrapper - Holiday Redux

I thought it might be a nice idea to reprise some old Christmas Themed Retorts during the run up to the holiday. Plus it saves me from having to come up with something original.

But I just might deliver a new one between here and there.

You never know.

It depends on how the week goes and how soon I can finish up this bowl of egg nog.

This ones from Dec. 14, 2012


I’m not a wrapper.

Or a rapper.

Anyway you spell it…I’m not that.

In fact my gift wrapping efforts have been termed cute, at best, and distasteful at worst.

What…I thought those dreidels were spinning tops…totally appropriate for a priest’s 50th birthday.

It’s not that I don’t try….

Well, yeah…maybe it is…a little.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Oh, Thirsty Christmas Tree

There’s no way around it.

Our Christmas tree has a drinking problem.


So sad.

Every four hours it’s sucking down a bottle.

Every four hours.

A whole bottle.
That’s a lot.

Even for a tree that’s been cut from its roots, hauled out of the woods and propped up and braced in a stand in my living room.

I mean, sure...on first read that might seem pretty harsh, and maybe a good reason for excessive drinking...but come on, think about least I have cable...AND Netflix, not to mention Amazon Prime Video.

You don’t get that type of entertainment out in the woods.

Not to mention all the pretty lights and various other holiday accoutrements.

Which I just did anyway—mention, that is—so why bother saying I wasn’t going to—mention, that is—which, as I mentioned, I did....

But I’m getting off point and I shouldn’t, because this is important.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Gift Gathering

I’m not sure what to get Z for Christmas. 

I’m pretty sure, over the years, I’ve gotten her everything.


Including accessories.

I’m sure she has the same problem with me...I mean, if you don’t include the goat.

Long story....

So every year it becomes more and more difficult to find the perfect least not the same one I picked up 2 years ago, or, possibly, even  last year.

Especially in the same color and style...from the same store.

Because I tend to have narrow tastes.

And I’m drawn to the same items year after year.

Like that year supply of cronuts.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Cars

If you’re like me, you’ve already cranked up all your festive holiday toons. Mr. Williams is destined to belt out, every year in perpetuity:
It's the holiday season.
With the whoop-de-do and hickory dock.

And then there’s something about not forgetting to hang up your sock.
Not sure why.
I guess because it’s the holiday season.
When else would you hang up your sock?
Any other time would seem weird.
Unless you’re my Uncle Bert, who’s been known to hang up his socks and other assorted under garments in inappropriate places, on occasion.
But that’s a discussion for another day....

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Little Red Christmas Ball Thanks You

Thanks to everyone who's already picked up a copy of "The Little Red Christmas Ball"!

It's going much better than I'd expected. A lot of folks seem to have taken to it's fun Christmassy message.

If you've read it, do me a favor and share it with your friends. And especially, put a little review up on Amazon. They seem to like that sort of thing and promote you a little more if they see a healthy response, good or bad. Doesn't have to be anything elaborate...just a sentence or even a word.

"Thought it was a fun read!" "Couldn't put it down!" "My kids loved it" "It made me a little itchy!" "Awesome sauce, man"

Can be anything, really. And you don't even have to use your real I can't track you down to whine....

Thanks, again....

Looking for a fun, new Christmas Tradition to share?

"The Little Red Christmas Ball" will shine bright and hold tight for you and your family...this year and every year to come....

Now available at Amazon

And don't forget

“The Kingdom of Keys”

also available at Amazon

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Christmas Ball Diaries

In a faraway corner of a dark dusty attic stood a small stack of time worn old boxes. Inside one of the oldest boxes, nestled in a blanket of aged, yellowed newsprint, the Little Red Christmas Ball yawned awake from a long, peaceful, waiting sleep.
Amid the tales of yesterday he’d waited. Through the soft bloom of spring to the crisp colors of autumn and winter's shortening light, he’d waited and waited...and dreamed....        

And so begins “The Little Red Christmas Ball” my new book which is—as the subtitle proclaims—a story for kids and anyone whoever was...and would be again.

So, pretty much least I hope.

I wrote these words— my first lines of fiction—way back in 1992 when a video producer overran his budget and basically didn’t have enough money to pay for my services rendered. So, in lieu of cash he offered me one of his old computers and told me to go write that novel I’d always talked about.

And I did, night after night, into the early morning hours, over the course of a year; I sat and brought this story and characters to life.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Proclivity for Negativity

Sorry, for the weird Retort E-mail that went out the other day featuring a post from last April on
“Sage Advice”.

I don’t know why that happened.

Some glitch in the automatic mailing system, I suppose.

But it never happened before, so who knows.

Maybe I screwed something up.

Hope it didn’t annoy you too much.

I’m also sorry for the cheesy “Little Red Christmas Ball” ad that went out the other day too.

I hate to take advantage of my subscribers like that...make them think they’re getting a brand new Retort to peruse and then hit them up with a commercial for my book.

Even if I was giving it away for free.

But, hey...I’ve only got a pretty small window to promote this thing....this thing that will bring you holiday warmth, sentimentality and enjoyment for years and years to come....

So whatdya expect?

What I expect is you were annoyed and probably twice as annoyed by all the even more annoying Facebook posts about it.

Especially now that it’s not free any more.

Like it’s my fault, you were too busy making Turkey sandwiches to take a minute and get a freebie download.

But that’s just me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Thanksgiving Comeback

It’s nice to see Thanksgiving making a bit of a comeback.

Once, right up there as a primo year-end Holiday, it had begun to lose some of its status and luster as a holiday to anticipate and enjoy.

Which the Turkeys were okay with.

Situated so close to Christmas, which has everything going for it as holidays go, including its own movies and musical score, people couldn’t wait to begin decking the halls.

If only Thanksgiving would do its thing and step to the side...please.

It’s no wonder those plastic Turkey Trees and Gobble Gobble Garland strings I tried selling on EBay didn’t to speak.

Nope, shoppers were already snapping up all those shelf elfs and other assorted Kringle creatures.

Which, again, was fine with the Turkeys.

You could also spot Thanksgiving’s diminished status in other ways.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Super is as Super Does

They were calling it a Super Moon, the first since...whenever and the last until...who knows when.

But doesn’t it seem they’ve been saying that about the moon almost every year, for a while now?

“Quick, drop what you’re doing and get outside and see the Super’ll never see anything like it again!”

And I do; I drop the bowl of spaghetti I’m bringing to the table and run out to see this amazing moon...a moon I’ve never seen or will see again.

But I do....the next night...and the night after that...and that.

“Oh, but it’s not the same!”

But, it kind of looks the same to me.

I mean, it’s an okay moon.

Maybe a bit brighter than most.

But I’m not sure I would go with the “Super” label...again, so soon.

Pretty good moon...maybe.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

One Zombie...One Vote!

The Zombies across the street are not happy with the election results.

Which, to be honest, I find surprising since most of them didn’t vote.

Even though a lot of them are still on the eligible voter rolls.

Oh, they talk a good game...about Zombie civic duty and all...but when push comes to shove, which it often does with Zombies, most of them just don’t shuffle down to the polls.

I guess you can’t really blame them.

Not after that incident back in 2004 when the poll workers refused to let one of them vote because they said he’d decomposed too much since 2002.

So now, they argue, the system is rigged against the un-dead.

“Don’t we have rights, too?” they shout...or gurgle, really, since most of them have throat issues.

“Uh, not really”...I want to say, but don’t...for obvious reasons.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Christmas is Coming...Christmas is Coming

Yes Virginia...and New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and every other matter who you voted for...there is a Santa Claus and the Christmas season is still nearly upon us.

So if you're looking for a fun, new Christmas Tradition to share with your family...pick up "The Little Red Christmas Ball"

Now available at Amazon

Friday, November 4, 2016

Another Wedding...Another Road Trip

We took another road trip last week; this time up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Attended another New England wedding.

And spent another week recovering from all the revelry.


Revelry and I don’t get along, these days.

Not that I’m over revelious...(don’t try looking that up)’s just that revelry tends to cut into my nap time, which we covered in our last episode.

So there’s that.

But as weddings go, this was a good one, and I’m two for two with weddings this year, both of which have been a lot of fun...and, did I mention, on the road.

Which makes dancing a bit dodgy, what with traffic and all.

Get it...on the road...traffic...?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lots to Do

I find there’s an awful lot to do in a day.

And I mean to do them—all of them—one of these days, when I’m not napping.

Or staring at Facebook.

Nah, that’s not true. I don’t stare at Facebook...not all the time,

A lot of time I stare at Twitter...and Google+...and You Tube.

And then I take another nap...cuz it wears me out...all that staring.

For real.

Try it some time.

To be honest, even napping wears me out.

It takes a lot of concentration to get your body to shut down in the middle of a busy afternoon; even more in the morning, when you’re not that tired.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

In Search of Surrogates

I’m looking for a couple of surrogates.

At least a couple...maybe more.

They’re all the rage these days.

Everyone who’s anyone has them.

Even the surrogates have surrogates.

You know, some folks to stand up...or sit down—whatever position they prefer—for you or whomever and mindlessly smile and represent whatever issue they’re surrogating, when the media starts asking all those hard questions they like to ask.

Which I’m pretty sure they’d be asking me if they weren’t so distracted by all this silly political stuff.

He said, she he didn’t...yes she did....they wanted to but then they thought better of it...or didn’t think at all...or thought too much...and none of it made much sense, least if you were paying attention, which most people really aren’t.

And on and on it goes...somewhere, someplace or something like that.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Official Unwrapping - "The Little Red Christmas Ball"

Way back in March, I had “The Little Red Christmas Ball” prepared to meet the world. All I had to do was push the “Go” button. But then I thought...March—really?

I don’t think so.

Patience, patience, patience", I heard the little red Christmas ball proclaim "Everything in its time. Isn't that the message behind “The Little Red Christmas Ball", in the first place. Patience and perseverance...Shine bright and hold tight."

So, based on the sage advice, only a little red Christmas ball could give, I picked October 15 as the big day to unwrap “The Little Red Christmas Ball”...and here it is...TA DA....

Sorry, that’s all the fanfare I could afford on an independent authors budget....

I hope you’ll check "The Little Red Christmas Ball" out this holiday season. It’ll take you back to your own Christmas past when sugar plums still danced in your head. Read it to your littlest kids, give it to your other kids...and even read it to yourself. As the subtitle says, it’s a story for kids and anyone whoever was and would be again...


Oh...and have a Happy Halloween, too....

Click Here to Order on Amazon

#newbook #childrensbooks #christmas #holidayseason

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Swiftly Fly the Days

A common complaint registered by those who travel this confusing maze of connecting dots called life is...”Hey, it’s all going by too fast.”

Wasn’t I just the new guy at the office, wasn’t I just in school, wasn’t I just learning how to drive, wasn’t I just dreaming about the future...wasn’t I just finishing off that box of Mallomars?

Oh yeah...that I was.

Where's it all gone?

Where's it all leading?

How can I ever keep up?

When we were seedlings, growing incrementally each year, time was measured by quantitative landmarks.

The first couple of years were a mix of wonder and frustration.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Thanks to everyone who downloaded "The Kingdom of Keys" last week.

I appreciate the support! I hope you enjoy it and will write a review!

And if you're able to keep a secret, even though it hasn't been officially released to the world,
"The Little Red Christmas Ball" is unofficially available on Amazon, right now...shhhhhhhh....

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


The sun came out, if only for a bit, yesterday morning, and lo and behold, there stood October.

October in all it’s sunny, colorful fall glory.

Until it clouded up again.

Go figure....

And then there was a knock at the door, which was odd, especially for a Monday morning.

Even odder, when I went to see who it was, I was surprised to find two of the Zombies Across the Street...mostly because Zombies rarely knock; they usually just barge in and start rifling through the fridge.

Uncomfortable, right?

Tell me about it.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Free Keys!

If you're like me, the word "FREE" is something bright and shiny that can't be easily dismissed. 

Kind of like you're old Aunt Hilda who favors those odd sequin dresses....

So from now until October 4th, the Kingdom of Keys is FREE-FREE-FREE to download on Amazon...

FREE, which means you have nothing to lose, except maybe that image of old Aunt Hilda in that odd sequin dress I just put in your head.

And did I mention that it's FREE...FREE until October 4th.

You're welcome....

Click Here to order!

#books   #youngadult   #action   #adventure   #fantasy   #aunthilda