Monthly Archives: November 2010

Coffee Ramble

Caffeine junkies, break room drinkers, morning gulpers or aficionados we like our coffee. I’ve been drinking coffee since I was fifteen and worked at an A&W root beer joint where I added enough cream to my first cup of coffee that I invented the latte. Since then I’ve run the gamut, or maybe gauntlet, of everything that coffee has to offer—black coffee, coffee with cream, with cream and sugar, with cream and various artificial sweeteners banned because they cause cancer in California, twelve to thirteen cups per day of vending machine urine with artificial cream wannabe, homemade battery acid from a French press, homemade espresso battery acid from one of those little aluminum one-cuppers, new and improved battery acid using a cheap counter top espresso machine and a tiny stick-your-pinky out espresso cup, the same battery acid in a grown ups cup with steamed milk reminiscent of A&W latte, espresso cum latte cum cappuccino from a counter top DeLonghi machine that actually produced a layer of crema and tasted enough like true espresso that in two years my love affair fatally injured the lining of my stomach and returned me to regular coffee with cream ala A&W but on speed dial via a Bunn coffee maker clocked at zero to twelve cups in sixty seconds. Then I retired. Visited Louisiana. Discovered café au lait from Café DuMonde — coffee with chicory served with hot milk. Bought a Kuerig one cup coffee maker, put the other machines in the rummage sale, now start the morning with a single always exactly the same strength and quality cup of–Emeril’s Big Easy Intense, Coffee People’s Doughnut Shop Coffee, or Newman’s Own Extra Bold. The next and final two cups of coffee later in the day are hand made café au laits built from a can of Café DuMonde Coffee with Chicory. Then I switch to Scotch.
Wait, I forgot about the John Wayne battery acid, cowboy coffee brewed in one of those classic blue enameled pots sans basket burned black on the outside and grossly funky on the inside. Fill with water, pour coffee in and boil directly on the hot coals of a campfire. Lastly add a raw egg when the coffee is ready to cut some of the acidity, plus as the egg sinks it pulls a lot of the suspended grounds to the bottom of the pot. Never ever wash that pot and the coffee gets smoother and more palatable as the years pile on. Then I switch to Scotch.

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New Collaborators

Starting this month, I’m excited to have three new collaborators joining me on my blog: Robyn Williams, Jim Luce, and Margaret Loyer.  These three people are dear friends and have been part of my writing career from the beginning. Without them, their encouragement, their (sometimes harsh but true) critiques, and their steadfast belief I could do this, I wouldn’t be still writing.

I met Robyn Williams and Jim Luce on an online writing laboratory called Writelab more than ten–or is it fifteen?–years ago. The lab had a great premise. Every week, we would get a writing assignment, say writing in the omniscient point of view, and we would post it to the group. People then critiqued the piece and gave you feedback. Most of it was either of the rose-colored glasses or the “you’re an idiot” kind, but Robyn, Jim and I connected and, as they say in the movies, it was the start of a beautiful friendship. Robyn lives in Boisie, Idahoe and Jim lives near a lake in Wisconsin. We have never physically met but have stayed in contact ever since.

I met Margaret at Algonquin Community College in Ottawa where we both took the same writing class.  We hit it off and, with a few others from the class, started a writing group. Little by little, the group dwindled and only Margaret and I were left. She decided writing novels wasn’t her thing but she’s a crack copy editor and has corrected and commented on every one of my books. She’s the one who helpedd polish and clean my English, which is often deficient.

So, there you have it. Once a month, each of them will drop by my blog and talk about something that tickles their fancy. It should be eclectic. And, hopefully, it should be fun.

Welcome, you guys.

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Official cover for Catalyst

The end–or the beginning– is in sight! This is the official cover of my new SF Thriller, Catalyst.

The year is 2046.

Mutations and MIDS ravage the planet, and the need for body parts and organ transplants escalate. Corbin has created GenOrg, a farm that speed-grows in coffin-like pods thousands of human clones from stolen DNA. One problem: the clones are sentient—their genetic memory has even given them the ability to communicate between themselves.

Ashar, a self-named clone, escapes GenOrg, promising to return to free the others. Running for his life, he is joined by Sara Logan, a geneticist with a guilty secret, and Pietr Ludov, a reporter seeking the ultimate story. They hatch out a plan to bring down Corbin, but it’s not enough for Ashar: he wants the clones free. Struggling with his own genetic identity, Ashar devises his own plan, which will unleash a series of events that will have repercussions for decades.

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