out of the ashes

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Am I a Dinosaur?

I was listening to a tech-savvy commentator on the radio yesterday. Listeners call him and ask questions about why there is a glitch in their particular...device. Stuff like that. Now I learned MONTHS ago (really, it's been that long) that a device could be anything from an iPhone to an iPad to a laptop to a--God forbid--desktop. Anyway, his answers are way beyond my understanding more often than not.

Talking to the show's host (I can't remember his name) he made mention that the new...devices...Apple and the rest of them are creating are where the future is, and that desktops are going the way of the dinosaur. I thought, "Crap! I can't type with my thumbs very well on my phone, and it'll be a cold day in hell before I invest in an iWatch. Sorry Dick Tracy :) Or is it :D? Why would I want a computer on my wrist? Actually, why would I want to hold one in my hands and try to type on those eensie-teensie keys. With my THUMBS!!!? I want my entire set of fingers on the keyboard. Alright, I don't use all of them, usually my right middle finger, and a few of my left fingers. but it works well for me.

I sometimes watch--hopefully inconspicuously--KIDS at Starbucks (why are they ordering real coffee anyway, lol). I watch them typing like gangbusters on their phones. With nothing but their thumbs! I wonder how they mastered that art? I use my phone for calling or receiving calls, and I use one finger to put in the number. DON'T  text me! It takes way too long to reply using my index finger and the delete key every other letter. Besides, half the words in the messages they write are spelled incorrectly. We can communicate so much more efficiently and intelligently in a live conversation. In a tenth of the time. Using decent English.

Turning the corner a bit. Just bear with me...

I really enjoy many of these things they call "memes" in posts at Goodreads, Facebook, etc., so I went to GOOGLE and did a search this morning. Then, maybe to figure out how these kids create them, to Youtube. Did I spell that correctly? Back to Google. Nope, it's YouTube. God bless Google and Youtube...Tube.

After watching half a dozen "Yo, bro, here's a simple method...", I almost gave up, until some guy (I think a high school student) walked me through the steps of the imgur process. I typed in the link, and, whoa! I can do a rudimentary MEME:) So I have something new to play with in the coming days: How to make mine jump up and down like the good ones those bloody tech-savvy kids do. Damn, what has the world come to?

Which leads me to the whole gist of this post. Books that so many are crazy in love with, and that I am not, lol.

I think I AM a dinosaur! They're nuts for...Red Rising? Like I had a hard time getting through the first book!

I'll tell you exactly why very soon.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Names Have Been Changed To Protect The Innocent

Yeah well, like I said yesterday...

I've been following Evelina's Blog, smiling at some of her reviews and the comments made by visitors. Evelina so graciously posted a pic of Marvin's book cover sitting against the base of a wine glass:) Appropriate. She was sort of intrigued by the name "Marvin", which she found unusual. So did a few other followers of her blog. I bit my tongue and replied that names of characters are SO important, and listed a few that I used for characters in the first draft of Marvin. Yesterday she commented with a chuckle at Marsten Dick, the warden of the jail Marvin spent so many days in.

I took those characters, I don't know, back in 2010, and wrote a script, centering the story on a small time houseboat burglar who is nabbed and sent to jail. While in the holding tank waiting to be admitted, he has a vision. Across the small area, hanging on a wall, he sees a painting; Michelangelo's famous Sistine Chapel view of the Creation of Adam. Beneath it on a small piece of brass, the names of the artists are listed...and he is among them.

Long story short, he is inspired to help make the violent jail into a beautiful house of incarceration, and thus lift the lives of the inmates by having them join him (along with "Beautiful" Myron Fleur and Lavern "Buddy" Budd) in a great art-inspired, inmate project. The challenge will be to get permission from the visionary warden, Marsten Dick--who has his own set of challenges to quell the violence in his institution on orders from the governor. "Zippo" Gonzalez is the antagonist, bent on defeating the plan. He nearly succeeds, until in the last scene we see Lavern lying on his back atop a scaffold near the ceiling of Cellbock 5, calling out in his brutalized and lisp-voice for more plaster.

A friend offered to create a video teaser for the script, and I excitedly agreed! On seeing it at Youtube I nearly fainted. He'd somehow gotten pics of famous and talented actors and used them (brilliantly, I thought), but neither he nor I had bothered to ask their various permissions. I pulled it down, but weeks later said, "Hail Mary, don't let them sue me..." and re-posted it.

Anyway, thinking of hers and other's comments on the names I'd used, I pulled up the video again at Youtube. The background music I suggested worked perfectly. Thank you Karl Jenkins years later.

"Heinz 57 original" at Youtube:)


Monday, September 18, 2017


Okay, I'm going to HAVE to sit down...well, I am already...sit down more comfortably and write reviews for two books I've read. Here pretty soon.

Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade. Which I kind of liked. That isn't a review, just a comment. We'll get into my perspective of the writing, the characters, and the plot soon (I hope). Right here.

The other is Pierce Brown's "Red Rising", which, pre-review, I had to grit my teeth to finish. I'll tell you why later.

I've been visiting a blog for several weeks now. The blogger, Evelina (http://avalinahsbooks.space/), reads and reviews, my God, literally dozens of books each month! I mean, when does the girl find time to sleep? But, her reviews are so enjoyable; often times laugh-out-loud funny. She gets a lot of comments. I know why. I'm often tempted to reply, but inasmuch as she SO kindly accepted my request for a review of "The Redemption Of Marvin Fuster", I hesitate.

Actually, I'm sitting on pins and needles...not particularly more comfortably...waiting for the day her review hits the newsstands. As Marvin would say, "Hail Mary, fulla' grace..."

Other than that, I'm working in fits and starts on the second book of my planned trilogy, "Dreams of Shadows." Trish says ALWAYS put the punctuation mark INSIDE the ending quotation mark. That's so hard for me.

But Dreams of Shadows-2. I get stuck. Same thing happened in Book 2 of "Rising". "Rising." "Yeah? What happens next?" Must get back to "Dreams" and figure it out. Jim Warren instructed the class way back when to PLOT THE BOOK beforehand. I did that with Marvin, and I did it with "One Year On Meade Street". Finished the first drafts in only a few months!

I've gotten lazy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rising Preview!

A young girl. An island filled with incredible trees, amazing inhabitants atop them. Savage "ground dwellers". A nine foot-tall wooly giant. A group of monstrous rulers who want to control, or else kill them all.

Can sixteen year-old Alana Bendrece survive?

Book One in the Rising trilogy.

Available now at Amazonbooks, and soon at other major booksellers.

http://www.amazon.com/Rising-Patrick-Sean-Lee-ebook/dp/B00ZR2I79M ebook.

http://www.amazon.com/Rising-1-Patrick-Sean-Lee/…/1514221101 Print version

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I Hate Blogging

Did I say that?

Yes I did, and here's why in a nutshell.

First off, it takes time. That's not a very good excuse, I admit, but it is true in my case. "I should be 'over there', doing (this or that). Not jabbering away. Here. Hmm...I'm working on the final chapter of my novel-in-progress. THAT'S where I really need to be!

Second, and more importantly, Miz Devilish Aloor (fictional name, mind you), and Rhoda Stump have just written blog posts at their gorgeous sites, and they've brought up THE MOST INTERESTING topics. I feel kind of dumb by comparison. And we all, as writers, do that comparison thing. Right? Good. I'm not alone at least. I go kind of brain-dead when it comes to thinking up fabulously interesting things to say.

I listened to a video promo by this guy who's very successful in launching and maintaining his blog...over at Wordpress.

I created a blog this morning there because he made it look so bloody simple. It was. In my Welcome introductory post at my brand-spanking new blog, I committed to posting once per week. Now I'm stuck. Getting the shivers. I mean, what do I really know about this exciting, mad business of writing the next best seller?

Better start thinking!

Anyway, here's my Wordpress address if you want to see what's gonna' happen:)


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Post-American World

A very interesting concept for a novel.

I watched a Youtube video this morning. Not certain how I came across it, but it dealt with demographics. The world in 1970. The Current world. Projected population increase/decrease in the next 25 years. Guys, that's probably our kids' world...we'll be long gone.

The upshot: In order for a given society with its norms, mores, and belief systems to maintain its existence, it must have a birthrate or at least 2.0 per family. If it does not, it's only a matter of time before that society dies, or changes drastically.

All of the Western Democracies maintain that birthrate, but the balance, or increase, is due to either immigration, or large birthrates in the Muslim communities. Worldwide. Some of this is conversion. Some by sheer number of children born into Muslim households, all impacted by the decline below 2.0 of birthrates in traditionally "Christian" or Christian-based nations, ie;, GB, France, Canada, and the US.

Historically, empires rise, and empires fall, but...in the last 2,000 years, the dominant civilizations have been Judeo/Christian-Roman/Greek. We all know that the Romans and Greeks were polytheistic, but we built upon their philosophy and law in a largely "Christian" context. There are many ugly chapters in the Western Democratic, Christian Book of Civilization, but we are who and what we are today LARGELY because of that basis for building.

We all assume that A) Greek and Enlightenment philosophy will win the day for future generations. Or B), Mega-Corporations/Evil Governments, or some horrible mutation of these will take over everything and enslave us all. Read these popular books: The Hunger Games Trilogy and The Divergent Trilogy...that's what we see in our popular novelists' works as a rule. That's what readers are buying.

There is another scenario. What IF Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism all die, if for no other reason than simple demographics? But religion does not. The world in 2050 is ruled by a Caliphate. In most ways, it is unrecognizable. Sharia is the law of the land. Infidels are not necessarily summarily executed, but they are voiceless, second-class citizens. Or, scenario Part II; The Muslim moderates, schooled in idealism and basically Western theory of society building win the day. Extremists are...well, for lack of a better word...executed for terrorism. Our world is at peace, but it worships radically differently than our current world.

How would this novel, politically incorrect in the West right now, be written? What might the plot be? The protagonist(s), the antagonist(s)?

Now, I'm not certain who compiled the data for the video I mentioned. I suspect it was someone with an agenda; perhaps CBN? I won't venture a guess. On the other hand, what if the data is real? I don't know; I can't verify the truth or falseness of it. I can say that none of us wants our children and grandchildren to inherit a culture wherein they attend services at a Mosque, or adhere to belief systems we do not. We don't like change on an order that large. We are comfortable (for the most part) in our inherited societies. Just a fact.

What might this book be titled? What might we learn from reading it? Or writing it?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Titanic Tree-RISING

I've been working in fits and starts on my new novel; the story of a young girl sentenced to sure death by virtue of her banishment to the island of Folly. Alana Bendrece has murdered a young attacker from the caste of Polit, the rulers of her walled-in, desperately poor community. Found guilty in a quick trial, she isn't hanged or shot, instead blindfolded and loaded unceremoniously onto a Helicere-II aircraft. Hours later the cargo door opens, and she is shoved out.

Of course the young heroine doesn't die...


They’ve blindfolded me. I sit in the cargo bay of a Helicere II, my hands bound behind my back, my knees to my chest. The only sound is the soft, low whirring of the engines somewhere near the rear below the deck. I am freezing because I wore only my tunic, and the craft must have climbed to a very high altitude. I’d been given nothing else to wear, not even sandals. Why didn’t they simply shoot me, or hang me?

It’s been hours, me sitting, numb from the cold, until suddenly, finally, I hear another sound. A different one than the engines, like a door sliding open to my left. Seconds later a hand gripping me under the armpit. A jerk to my feet, and then another, larger door sliding open. And then a frigid blast of wind.

I know what is going to happen next, I think, and I am petrified.

I wonder what it will feel like when I hit the ground? For that last split second of life, anyway. I scream, but it all happens so fast that maybe I only imagine me screaming. Maybe I haven’t made a sound.

Two or three tripping steps, and then the rough push. The whir and drone of the Helicere’s engines quickly fading to quiet. Air ripping over me as hard and furious as water in a raging river. I want to thrash my arms, but I can’t. I want to see the ground rushing up at me for some unexplainable reason, the panorama narrowing until it becomes impossible to focus in that final second coming too soon. The blindfold panics me as much as the sensation of falling. Maybe more. Would it be any more comforting to actually see my death approaching at 120 miles per hour?

I think of Mother just before I hit.

Patrick Sean Lee (c) 2014