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New novel out NOW!

 Welcome to the age of Genetic Modification of plants, animals and HUMAN BEINGS

Click on cover to go to Amazon and get e-book now.Would you modify your daughter’s DNA to end war forever?

In the near future, a World Oil War leaves the Midwest in ruins, except for pristine GMO crops controlled by a monopoly, Ambrosia, and the Army, which savagely protects the crops from starving war survivors.

A genetic engineer, Rachel Anne Lane hates violence and war, and has protected her unusual 16-year-old daughter, Alexis, since birth. If Rachel modifies Alexis’s special DNA, she can end all wars forever.

But Alexis rebels against her mother, traveling to the desolate Midwest to help survivors. Her healing gaze cures Jeff Trotter, a PTSD-afflicted soldier who’s searching for his father, Dan Trotter. Alexis and Jeff fall in love, though he dislikes her reading his mind, fearing she will discover secrets.

Desperate for more oil, the Army will kill millions of Americans with lethal GMO foods Rachel mistakenly developed. They’ll use Jabril El Fahd, the worst kind of brutal, mutated terrorist, who wants revenge against Rachel for his years of torture.

Helped by CIA and Army friends, and computer geek, Dan Trotter, Rachel chases Jabril across a post-apocalyptic U.S., desperate to save Alexis, Jeff, and the U.S. But Jabril is always one step ahead.

Anodyne Eyes is a sequel to Dan’s War and  The Next Day, with many of the same characters, though Jabril has a new twist!

If you would like a free copy of Dan’s War,

a near-future, sci-fi, thriller about the end of world oil . . . in 2 weeks,

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Other Books and Short Stories

 

If you want to explore other NOVELS -click on cover for a look inside on Amazon, where you can see reviews and order.

For a free copy of Dan’s Wara near-future, sci-fi, thriller about the end of world oil . . . in 2 weeks,

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HUMOROUS ILLUSTRATED POEM ABOUT A BAD DAY FLYFISHING

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                                                             SHORT STORIES ABOUT VETERANS
The Dry-Land Farmer, excerpts

By Milt Mays

. . .
Should’ve stayed in the Navy. Shit happens, though.

Like that morning

The Hawaiian sea breeze cools my face, the sun warms my back and, son of a bitch, two aces! Life doesn’t get much better.

Air raid sirens crack the peace.

“Another dumbass drill,” Earl says, sitting cross-legged and staring at his cards. He’s our complainer. Gotta have one.

I stand tall and crane my neck. Planes fly in low, too low, with those terrible red circles on the sides. “Jesus!” I yell. “This ain’t no drill, boys. Those are Japs!”
Torpedoes and bombs, screams and explosions, wailing sirens, smoke and blood—it scares me, scares me dumb and deaf. . .

A farmer has tried his whole life to do the right thing, including at Pearl Harbor, where he was an unsung hero. Despite hardships, he hung on to the land and the farm, and it saved him and his family, though one terrible accident and fracking may take all that away. Unless he can finish one more harvest.

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THE WATER HOLDS NO SCARS

ALL PROFITS GO TO PROJECT HEALING WATERS FLY FISHING

The Drive-in Hole

By Milt Mays

Two things a man needs when he crosses into late fall: love and a good hobby. I guess there’s three. Warmth. You get that inside with the first two, but outside warmth becomes more important as the first days of winter approach. Guess that’s why I’ve moved my late fall fishing closer to summer. It gives me three out of three.

The oars creak, the September sun warms my shoulder, and I sit in the front seat of the wooden drift boat Scott made, changing my fly for the next hole on the Bighorn. In the first casts on the last hole, my shoulder reminded me of thousands in the past. Time also taught me it’s time for a hopper. . . .

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The Water Holds No Scars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MORE SHORT STORIES

IRAQ INJURED HIM, BUT NOT HIS SPIRIT

Thanksgiving with Riley

By Milt Mays

He turns off the alarm with his good hand, the left one, and catches himself turning towards her, but squelches the initial instinct to give her a morning kiss. Maybe some day. Months after he returned, neither of them could figure out the best sleeping arrangements. But after a year now, it’s second nature to sleep on the right side of the bed. He can roll over, turn off the alarm and leave without her ever seeing his face.

“Wh …” She clears the rough sleep from her throat. “What are you doing? Why did the alarm go off?”

He sits on the side of the bed, his back to her, scrunching the toes of his right foot in the carpet. Oh, man. That shag feels good between the toes. Then the left leg interrupts. The sore spot on the center of the stump needs a closer look, but he’ll do that once he’s in the bathroom.

“Riley, it’s only six.” She sounds sexy, gravel in there and timbered low, serious. “Why’re you getting up so early?” …

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What is War?

Okay, I reread a comment on my Vietnam Wall post and feel a need to explain.

Getting drafted and going to Vietnam was certainly a possibility at that time, and though some men wanted to avoid it, I never really thought about it, since I had been working to get into a service academy for two years, thanks to my dad. Now, looking at The Wall, touching it, reading the names, and having seen movies and read countless books and articles about the horrors of Vietnam, and having treated so many PTSD and post concussive victims of that war and Iraq and Vietnam, I am thankful I was able to serve them in my best way, as a physician. Don’t get me wrong about Annapolis. If the war would have continued, I would have likely never gone to medical school, possibly ended up as a name on that wall, and done it with trepidation, but without looking back.

My thankfulness at not going to Vietnam, and able to raise a family and become a doctor is always tempered, though, with a yearning to have been there and experienced some of the heaven of war. But then there would have been the horror.

As a physician who spent my career treating either active duty or veterans, war is indeed hell, tempered with heaven. It is hell on earth with hell afterwards for many. It is heaven because many young men and women find a place where  respect, harmony, cooperation, and friendship all coalesce into a unit with a purpose you can sink your teeth into–a mission against an enemy that not only threatens values and a way of life you value and want to continue for your family, but uses primitive and horrific means to gain any advantage. The problem with that heaven is that it is temporary, and can be tainted with an abrupt descent to hell, and you have no control when that will happen. It doesn’t matter if you did everything the Bible espouses to be a good person. It doesn’t matter if you say your prayers regularly. It doesn’t matter if you saved ten fellow soldiers from annihilation by killing twenty of the enemy. It doesn’t matter if you saved thirty wounded soldiers with a surgery only you could have performed in a battle hospital. You must always live with what happened, as Colonel Walter E. Kurtz said in Apocalypse Now, “The horror. The horror.”

It bears watching again. And again. And again. If only to someday convince someone who has the power to end a war, or prevent it from starting.

 

Vietnam, Lamar Donuts and Motorcycles

Memorial Day 2017. 

The wall is back this year. I plan on going tomorrow and reading some names this time. No donuts. Don’t want to fill up before the barbecue. I’ll have a few things to say to my kids tomorrow about veterans.  We’ll see how it goes. Tune in tomorrow night for an update.

Yep, I went. No donuts, and I read a few of the names, actually touched the wall, getting a feeling in my hand and seeing the reflection of me on the other side. It was a time when I was enjoying the Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Grand Funk Railroad, and making sure I went to college so I wouldn’t get drafted. I probably made a poor choice of colleges, if I wanted to avoid Vietnam. Lucky for me I graduated from the Naval Academy after Nam was over.

I took pictures I haven’t posted yet of the wall, of the times when someone I knew might have gone. Haven’t been able to look at those pictures yet. . . . Someday.

 

The below is from a few years ago.

IMG_0856[1]

I think it had to do with fear. Not run-into-the-bathroom, kiss-your-ass-goodbye fear. More like fear I might see someone’s name I knew. It could happen. So I had to have a Lamar’s donut to kinda ease the worry. Maybe I ate more than one. The French crullers were excellent. Apple fritters: to die for. Probably will. But not today. I got there and actually read a few names.

(You Harley fans, yes there is something about motorcycles. Keep reading.)

I played ball and ran track with guys who graduated from Arapahoe High in ’70, ’71, and there was the off chance someone I actually graduated with in ’72 could be on that wall. What would I do if I saw a name I knew?

No answer to that one because I didn’t read more than three or four names. I’ll say it was because they were all glommed together and it was difficult. I’ll say it was because . . . Yeah. As they taught us at Annapolis, “No excuse, sir!”

I did get a picture or two of the wall.

Vietnam traveling wall in Fort Collins

Vietnam traveling wall in Fort Collins

Each column of names is a certain height to fit the upslope or downslope of the design. Each column is a length of time, usually several months to fill up the column with names of the killed. However, the middle has the tallest column of names. There were a lot of names. How many? 58,261 as of today. Next year they may come up with a few more from remains.

middle of the Vietnam Wall

middle of the Vietnam Wall

Yet, the thing that impressed me most was the right side of the hump, the year 1967.
The number of names was many more than the left side, 1968-1975, and it only took 2 weeks of time, not months as on the left side, to fill each column, with fewer spaces between names and each line held more. Lots and lots of names. Too many. Way too many.

I had to leave, have another Lamar donut. The chocolate glazed cake was scrumptious.

I’ll be as big as a house if I keep thinking about this. We got way too many donuts.

The real problem where I sit, as a doctor who sees the veterans that come back, not the ones who were killed, is that there are way more mentally killed by that war than are on that wall. And the last ten years is going to be worse. A lot worse. PTSD and TBI are already becoming our daily bread at the Veterans Hospital and clinics.

I wrote a poem about it below. It is a fictitious veteran, but based on fact. Too many facts. Way too many.

The Vet
By Milt Mays

He lives by himself, even in crowds, sometimes can’t go out at all.
Sound of a car, electric razor, makes his mind flinch,
His thoughts stall.

He’s made great progress everyone says, but he knows it’s still there, alive.
The monster in his closet plays, and can open the door
Anytime.

Was there a time before war when happiness lived,
When he looked at his hands and felt pride?
Maybe an inkling is there of a man whose hands and his heart could
Mold wood.

Hands of a cabinetmaker, heart of an artist, with proof on the kitchen wall,
And the music box that plays for her.
But the war in his mind scared her away
With his hands.

Must wear gloves even in summer, nineteen pair, nineteen, nineteen…
NINETEEN!
Cover the blood, don’t look, even washing.
Anyhow,
The stain can’t be cleaned.

He rides Harleys not cars, wide open, not closed.
The speed and the danger, the next curve, the down shift,
Occupy time.

Like gloves on the mind, meds cover the madness,
For years made him “functional,”
Stupid, and dull.

So, today he stops them to feel life again,
The Harley, the wind and the road,
Then nothing,
At last.
I need another donut. Maybe the Bavarian cream-filled Lamar chocolate special. No maybes about it. It was delicious, but way too big and way too rich. Now I’m full and feel guilty and sad. Perhaps that’s appropriate for Memorial Day.

This Memorial Day enjoy a barbecue, a beer, and feel a little guilty and sad. Guilty because we let ourselves get into wars day after day, year after year. Sad for the 1% of Americans that will eat MRE’s today and risk death and more to protect us 99%.

Maybe I’ll go back and read the names. No donuts this time. Just my thoughts, the wind, and The Wall.

Milt

Two things (and one more) to do for Veterans today

One will add to the other, and you will be glad you did both. If you need motivation, take a peak at this video of a father and son reunited.

1) Give one veteran something from YOUR HEART to THEIR HEART! My suggestion is music, a song, a collection, a simple CD of music that has touched you in a way that makes you happy, makes you want to dance.
If you are a musical artist, give them a concert!
It’s your time to give back to the 1% that protect the 99%. If Toby Keith can do it, you can.

2) Do something that will stop wars. If we stop wars, there can be no more veterans suffering from ruined lives or families due to their experience in war. My suggestion is reach out and understand someone from a different culture, particularly Muslim, as we seem to need to understand them. One of the greatest generals and former President Dwight Eisenhower noted that the biggest way we can end wars is to embrace others as people, not alien beings who just don’t speak English.

Here’s a couple of Muslims you might enjoy.

Please try these two simple things. The results will be huge. Music brings us together, and I believe heals as well as any prescription I can write as a doctor.

Don’t let music, our music with each other, our love for one another, die.

Milt

PS. Another thing you might give a veteran–a good book. Give them a Kindle and they can carry the Library of Congress with them, a Kindle Fire and they can listen to all that music and watch all those color videos, too.