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“Sometimes betrayal is the only love left.”

Because it’s not apathy. Apathy is the death of nothingness. Betrayal is caring enough that you matter.

At least that’s the way Hannah looks at in Bodyguard of Lies. She tells this to Neeley, the female assassin she’s teamed up with, as they desperately try to find out the truth of their past. More accurately, the men in their past. To see through the lies and betrayals to a truth.

The title indicates this. It comes from something Winston Churchill said in the dark days of World War II.

Bodyguard of Lies, btw, is free today on Kindle.

Hannah and Neeley are introduced in Bodyguard and they’re still around, even in my Time Patrol books. I was just writing about the two of them meeting Roland, who is sort of an item now with Neeley, and how that goes in Valentines Day, my next publication, a novella that will be out shortly.

There are some concepts in Bodyguard my wife and I have spent a lot of time discussing and pondering. BTW, she wrote that line in the title. It’s hard for me to tell where her writing stops and mine starts, although she could clearly tell you. She’s got perfect memory which means she wins every argument because I can’t remember squat. Last night, when we were unloading the groceries she was being very specific in telling me where she was putting thing because she knows I won’t remember and I won’t look behind things. But I digress. One concept we like is the Cellar. We hope there is a Cellar. An organization in the shadows, with someone who only has the good of the country at heart, not personal desires. Who makes the hard, right choices.

I hope you enjoy Bodyguard and your time with Hannah and Neeley!

On another matter, quite a few comments on the last blog, which was interesting. It’s kind of funny to realize I was talking about that, then I started thinking how often I comment on blogs– and really, not much. I don’t think I’ve ever left an Amazon review. I do reviews on Goodreads at times. On the other hand, I sometimes read Amazon reviews when I’m thinking of buying something I have little idea about. But I wonder how true they are? I know Amazon works hard at it, but I have no doubt there are spam reviews. I can see them on some books, especially some big authors where there are just these bland, verified purchase reviews of 5 starts that all kind of sound the same, amidst 2 and 3 star, in-depth reviews. Ah well, it is what it is. More on the dark neighborhood is coming. If you can handle it.



Dead on Arrival? The movie everyone has raved about?

Okay—bad pun given what’s at the core of the plot.

I’d read and heard so many great things about this movie. Since we don’t do movie theaters in our household, it finally made it to on-demand (we do LOTS of on-demand), I decided to watch it.

I feel like Tom Hanks in Big: I don’t get it.

Yeah, it had to do with time and I spend a lot of time on time, pun intended, since my current series is the Time Patrol. And in Fifth Floor, I had to really ponder time and loops and parallel worlds and all that good stuff. Until my brain really hurt, but I could feel what Lara was feeling, wondering what exactly is her reality and her past, cause I kind of feel like that a lot. I feel like that right now. Like I’m sort of here, but not really here. And now.

I’ve read blogs by other scifi authors and fans raving about the movie and I’m sorry—well, I guess I don’t have to be sorry for my opinion. Hmm. Need to work on that. Who gives a crap?

I kind of feel like the guy who sat in the graduate Faulkner class where the teacher was going on about the use of the color yellow in Soldier’s Pay and I’m thinking: maybe his wallpaper was yellow when he was writing the book? Who the fuck knows? I did mention in that class that I thought Faulkner wrote better drunk than sober and you could really tell the difference and that didn’t go over well.

I do think there is a strain of literature and movies where people go “Wow, that was so good and so deep and blah blah blah” except in reality, it really made no sense but by pretending we understand it, we make ourselves seem smarter. Or maybe they just are smarter?

But that’s me. The contrarian. It’s a condition. Seriously. I wouldn’t be it if I can help it. That’s the thing about the brain. We’re born with some wiring in place, it gets softwared by our environment, our upbringing, and sometimes things crack, get wired wrong, or worse, don’t get wired at all. And you know what? You’re stuck with it. Now, you can get help. There are medications. There are therapists. You can act differently, but acting differently doesn’t mean you are different.

Also, back to the movie, being honest, using a dead child at the core of a plot sits hard with me, given our own experience. That’s an exclusive club you don’t want to be a member of.

I joke when I teach that writers aren’t in the bell curve and we’re not necessarily on the good side of that curve and I get a good laugh, but you know what? It’s not a joke. I know for certain there are things wrong in my brain. So perhaps that’s my problem with the movie. I didn’t connect the way others did. It’s like this blog. At conferences people tell me they like my blog and all that, but no one comments in real time. I sometimes read another blog and I think “Hey, that’s pretty much what I wrote” and there are like 200 comments there. And I hear the wind whispering in the empty branches in the comment sections here. So I accept it’s not like what I wrote.

I think I know some of the reasons for that, which loops back to not feeling the same about Arrival as others. My brain is a dark neighborhood where many do not want to venture.

So this blog is going to be more and more shining light on that dark neighborhood, because, well, it’s all I got. I’m not anyone else. Not going to pretend to be anyone else. Like Popeye.

Cool Gus and Sassy Becca settle down in our new place

While Write on  the River is in the past, we’re very happy and excited to be Writing Scenic, our new place. Built in 1929, the house has a warm feel to it and is closer to downtown Knoxville, as well as the river and many parks. A library is only two blocks away!

Gus and Becca have a lot more yard– and it’s mostly flat.

I do need to slide another dog bed under my desk, but they also have a nice little niche between the kitchen and breakfast room where they’re out of the way, yet can maintain a careful, guard dog watch on all action, particularly where the food is going.

We don’t have a schedule yet for workshop or retreats, but will be making one soon. Once I get the go-ahead from the boss that she’s happy with where things are. She came in my office today and mentioned two couches must move (“not right now”, which means pretty damn soon) but we’ve finally settled in.

Nothing but good times ahead!

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