Natural High of Rainbow in the Rockies

A Natural High

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Where do you learn about a natural high?

A natural high was always around the corner where I grew up in Colorado. My dad taught me to fish and love the outdoors. I fished or hiked or ran or biked almost every day of my life. It started with running beside my dad as he rode his bicycle up the Waterton Canyon on the South Platte River. Our family camped almost every summer, hiking and fishing and bringing home snakes to Mom. Lots of fun.

 

Fly fishing started in earnest while stationed in Scotland.

I wish I could say I caught one salmon on a fly there. I did enjoy many a Scottish river and lake, several single malt whiskies, and the beauty of hiking Ben Nevus in the purple hues of heather in the Highlands. There was also running around The Loop, through the fields of blooming tulips and crocus and snapdragons. Or, biking up the winding Blue Door road where you might be lucky to see one car.

Scotland Natural High

Heather in The Highlands of Scotland

Scotland seemed to me one of the most beautiful countries in the world. When the sun was out. Which was fleeting, a bit like the movie Brigadoon. One day you had the bright sun blazing the aching green grass and trees and multicolored flower gardens. The next day fog and horizontal rain. But even those days could be fun. Go out for a run in your raingear and feel the rain pelt your face. The wind pushed your body, and you smelled the fresh-plowed earth of a farm. Just don’t forget to put plastic bags over your socks or your feet will blister easier.

 

Then came Pensacola:

An epic summer battle to land a hundred-plus pound tarpon on a fly. The winter chill and sight of acres of big redfish in the gulf and teasing one to take a popper.

Fly fishing for tarpon

First Tarpon to the boat. The big one broke a rod and got away.

Big Redfish on a fly

Big Momma redfish on fly around Thanksgiving

 

The take and reel-burning run of a false albacore. Or, just sitting on the Gulf as the waves slapped against the boat and rocked you up and down. Suddenly startled by a giant manta ray broaching the surface in a spectacular jump all the way out of the water.

You never knew what might happen on the Gulf. One day you might see a hammerhead chasing a jet ski. Another you might be awed by a school of leopard rays surfing waves on the beach. Between fishing there was biking the roads and running the beach. Better do those early in the morning, so you wouldn’t die of heat stroke. But, swimming in the warm Gulf? Well, that was for the rest of the day. Just avoid late evening or you might start hearing a loud dinging of a buoy bell. Then an undertone would begin low and ominous: dan-Dah, dan-Dah, dah-dah dah-dah dah-dah Dah-Dah. Oh darn, there goes your leg in the mouth of a Great White.

 

And then back to Colorado

after Hurricane Ivan tried to kill us. The first two years were bliss, or maybe just post-Hurricane and working-my-ass off depression. But I fished almost daily, learned to tie flies much, much better, became a fly-fishing guide and hiked and ran and biked and camped with my wife and trusted blonde Labrador, Maggie.

Lawn Lake, RMNP

Lawn Lake Rocky Mountain National Park

My Maggie

Maggie, the best dog in the world

All this fishing got me outside on weekends and summer vacations, but it was the running and biking that got me invigorated with nature almost daily. Even now, cruising on the great bike trails in our fair city, I experience summer heat, the smell of a pond with ducks and deer wandering through, musty smelling autumn leaves blowing on the trail, the bone chill of a winter ride in a thirty-five-degree, steel gray winter day, and the glory of spring, the sweet smell of roses, the sound of a rushing stream and the laughter of children in the park on Memorial Day.

Biking Natural High

Biking Oct 2018

 

Through all these natural highs, I wrote.

And wrote. And wrote some more. Nearly every story and novel include the outdoors, either fly fishing, hiking, biking, or something about saving those beautiful natural wonders for generations to come.

 

Nature and outdoors infuses me with wonder, joy, and thankfulness of our wonderful Earth.

I hope you will get out and enjoy nature at every opportunity. Teach your children and grandchildren, for they will be the ones to save our planet. And all it takes is a natural high.

Learn more about my books and stories by clicking on them on the right side, or going to my Amazon Page.

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For another free ebook, click here

For a real outdoor adventure, take a look inside this one. 

The Guide

Will your fly fishing guide kill for you?

Milt Mays

Three Simple Stooges

END GLOBAL WARMING, Three Simple Steps

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Washington Post article about the same topic had Ten Steps and the author suggested three steps that most Americans will never do:

ride their bike to work, buy an electric car, and put solar panels on their home. Too expensive, and who wants to buy an electric car in Wyoming, and how can you take your kids to soccer practice on a bicycle? Not very simple steps, really.

 

There are three much simpler actions to END global warming. And do it in 2 weeks. 

1. Find an eco-terrorist who is a member of OPEC.

Just pick any non-Saudi OPEC delegate. Most of them hate the holier-than-thou Saudis. This is as simple as a Google search and writing a letter to the delegate from, say, Venezuela. You might think it impossible for the Venezuelan delegate to go against OPEC, but HERE’S A QUESTION HE WILL ANSWER YES TO: “Would you like to get more oil out of your existing oil wells and top the Saudis in production?” Not only, Yes, but if I knew Spanish well, I would translate their answer as, “Hell, yes.” If they hate oil spills, that will help, since they will already know about the oil-eating bacteria used to clean up oil.

 

2. Find a computer programmer with Asperger’s syndrome who works for the CIA.

And moonlights making money with computer programs that help bacteria communicate with nanobots. Once again, a simple search of CIA, Asperger’s, and nanotechnology. You’ll get thirty companies. Just pick someone who looks reliable, or very insecure. If he has a normal son who needs the moonlighting money for a college fund, that helps.

 

3. This last step is crucial. Make sure you introduce the above two to each other via an online eco-techno chat group.

Google is once again your friend. You just have to ask them if they would work on a world-saving technology? One that melds nanobots with oil-eating bacteria to get more oil out of existing oil wells, since currently they only produce until about 60% is gone. There is that whole other 40%. Now once they are introduced, make sure they understand they must come up with this program and do a test run in Venezuela. But, before they run it, you have to convince the OPEC guy to reverse the process, i.e. make the nanobots rev up the oil eating bacteria to eat ALL the oil.

 

Okay, there is a simple fourth step

tiny, really. not nearly as hard as buying an electric car in Wyoming or pedaling a bike through a New England winter with your daughter and a loaded soccer bag on back. It just requires you get a lot of spiders and some Semtex and get them into the OPEC meeting. You don’t even need Google for this, since you have a a very insecure CIA computer geek and an OPEC member who can easily get the Semtex and get into the next OPEC meeting. Spiders are everywhere. Just get a spider man and collect a few thousand.

 

 

There you have it. Easier than getting an electric car, installing solar panels, or riding a bike in a Boston December.

 

If you want the full instruction manual, I suggest reading this book, Dan’s War.

Dan's War to End Global Warming

There are a few twists I left out, maybe a World Oil War, the U.S. Navy near Australia, a very cool CIA agent named Sam Houston, and a polite, beautiful, sexy Marine who, our hero, Dan, falls for, even though he his happily married. There’s also a lot of deception, dodging bullets and possibly the end of the world. But, you’ll see. Things work out. Sort of.

 

Please, please, please, let me know when you’ve got things moving.

I’m really a nature lover, fly fishing, hiking, camping, so I’m looking forward to getting back to nature in the next two weeks when the entire world oil supply is destroyed. Should be fun.

For a free ebook, click here

Milt

Hurricane Ivan

Can a Hurricane Change Your Life For The Better?

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Hurricane Ivan changed my life.

September 16, 2004, the day Hurricane Ivan arrived, I awoke at two a.m. to pitch black, wind howling outside, and a curious sound in the bedroom: my dog lapping water. But our wonderful blond lab, Maggie, lay at our feet, sleeping. The sound was swamp water percolating under the baseboards. Rolling off the mattress, my wife and I waded into stinky water, floating Purina Dog Chow and paper shredder confetti–welcome to the hurricane parade.

I’d had a great year: both daughters got married, I caught a 150 lb. tarpon on a fly rod, started a promising practice with great docs, and my son had orchestrated a surprise fiftieth birthday party. After 9/11 I started writing my first novel, The Next Daya horror, techno-thriller about what would have happened if bio-weapons were released to finish off what was started at 9/11, sure to outsell Steven King. But I was nowhere near finishing. I had no time, with being a doctor and a family.

The day before the water came, the news said it was a monster: Hurricane Ivan, Cat 5 in the Gulf.

I smashed one thumb and nearly fell off the ladder boarding up the second story windows. This made the inside a tomb of darkness, the garage door the only exit. Lynn and I discussed leaving the state. We filled the bathtubs, organized canned food and peanut butter (I could live off peanut butter and honey sandwiches for weeks), then moved the computer upstairs along with the important papers, dog food, fresh batteries in flashlights, etc.

At 7 p.m., in purple-olive twilight and paltry wind and misty rain, I played fetch outside with Maggie. No big deal. The news announced Ivan would weaken to Cat 3 at landfall. We decided to stay. Yes! No waiting for a week after the storm to get back over
the bridge while looters had a field day, or water leaks went from tiny to disastrous.

We hunkered down—that’s hurricane talk—in our upstairs bedroom. The wind howled, trying to tear off the roof … right over our heads. No thank you. We trundled everything back downstairs, including a mattress, to the bedroom our son vacated last week. After all, our neighborhood had never flooded in recorded history. Who needed flood insurance?

Our house had survived two other Cat 3’s with piddling damage. No prob.

Right. We’d never been in the northeast quadrant. Apparently we forgot.

For weeks afterwards we survived in a post-flood environment that reminded me footage I’d seen of Sarajevo: feral dogs, fetid piles of rubbish, no water or AC, roving, camouflaged National Guard Humvees, and Red Cross water and food tents. I nearly lopped off a leg chain-sawing shattered trees, screwed up a knee replacing wallboard, and continued to work forty-hour weeks, sitting in rubbish-removal traffic jams for hours.

It shook our hearts and souls like a dirty rug. But we couldn’t get clean.

The neighbors had the first, and last, Tiger Point trailer-trash party in their camper on their driveway next to the POD that held all their worldly goods. Their home was unlivable.

We sang, we drank, but we all knew: Never again.

My wife and I moved to Colorado, closer to roots and family. I fulfilled a lifelong dream and became a writer.

I finished The Next Day. I also guided fly fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park, which led to my third novel, The Guide.

No hurricane in sight at 10,500 feet!

thinking of what to write, after I get back from fishing!

My wife became a hooker—wool art hooking, okay. We camped in Yellowstone with Maggie. Then I realized I was not Steven King; gas prices skyrocketed; the adult kids moved back; guiding fly fishing made no money.

Time to go back to what I knew best, doctoring. I went to work for the VA. A hurricane is nothing compared to war. War had crippled our best, their bodies and minds, but not their souls.

Veterans taught me a disaster can change your life for the better. 

I finished The Next Day and started on my second novel, Dan’s War, a near-future sci-fi thriller about the end of world oil . . .  in two weeks. Cajuns and one lone computer geek try to save us from an eco-fanatic and his army who think they have the solution to Global Warming.  One of the characters survived Hurricane Katrina. Dan’s War won an award at the Pikes Peak Writers contest.

The Next DayDan's War The Guide

I was living my dream, writing novels. A disaster is not the end of your dreams. Remember that. live your dream.

Milt Mays

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Millennials protesting politics

Should Politics mix with Writing Stories and Songs?

Authors should stay away from politics and social activism, right?

 

That's what all the marketing experts tell us. Stay away from Politics or your books will bomb. Forget voting discussions. Verboten. 
Yet, many famous authors and writers write about current political/social issues: 
Faulkner--novels about corrupt politicians, the despicable plight of black people, and whether the United States would survive. Nobel Prize
Steinbeck--the shabby treatment of migrants by the right, Nobel Prize. They burned his book in California, The Grapes of Wrath 
George Orwell--Stalinism, socialism
Solzhenitsyn--the Russian authoritarianism and horrible gulags, Novel Prize  
Margaret Atwood--political subjugation of women 
Bob Dillon--Vietnam, The 60s, first songwriter to receive Nobel Peace Prize, 
Rachel Carson--Silent Spring and the conservative government's refusal to ban certain pesticides 
Tony Morrison--the politically and socially trampled rights of black people--Nobel Prize. . . and the list goes on and on.

So, I don't feel wrong in publishing a video song I wrote in order to get Millennials voting in November.
 
Okay, so it's not a story, but songs can be more powerful. I hope you can get beyond the lack of commercial PIZZAZZ to the background
 and quality of the recording. all I had was my iPhone and my writing room. It's not Bob Dillon, but I hope you pass it on.
Perhaps it will  motivate at least one more millennial to vote.

Millennials are cool, but have a horrible voting turnout percentage, and they can make a huge difference. It is their future I worry about.
 
Especially if they don't turnout and vote in the November midterms. The main reason I wrote the song.

I thought making a music video for YouTube would be easy. Yeah, what planet was I living on. First, you have to write the lyrics, then the 
arrangement and music. That turned out to be pretty easy compared to what followed. I didn't have a professional video studio, just my iPhone
and my writing room. Rearrange this and that, take down glaring photos, and the background was acceptable. But the worst part, the most tedious
was doing the video over and over, at least 7,000 times, to weed out mistakes. Because, even little things turn out big on a video. Also, no cut and paste
allowed on home videos. Start to finish, clean, flowing, with good transitions. Hard!!

Please take a look at the video. I think you will enjoy the words, at the very least. And, please vote! 

Milt

 

Think, love, enjoy, write.

Why I write

Why write? Everyone has their own reasons,

but I suspect they all boil down to, “I write so people will read my book.”
What to Write. When to fish!

thinking of what to write, after I get back from fishing!

Why do I want people to read my book?

Because I want them to learn and feel what I did after I’d written it. To thrill readers with an adventure, wonder, give them hope, make them cry or sometimes shout with joy. I always loved Michael Crichton so this novel needed that flavor: near future, business and government screwing up science.

The first novel, The Next Day, I started writing immediately after 9/11.

I experienced so many feelings stuffed into a tiny box together, patriotism, sadness, anger, hatred, love, all about to explode. I needed to figure out why this happened.

Islam was not a religion of hatred or murder. How could someone with so much passion for Islam become so hateful toward other humans to the point of murdering thousands? From Naval Academy days, I had picked up a book when studying Islam called The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, translated by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall. Now I read it in earnest, in addition to many, many websites.

On the other side of the coin, there were Americans, my compatriots, wanting to strike back at ALL Muslims. Everywhere. Kill them all. Some of my Naval Academy friends said, “Nuke ‘em ‘til their sand turns to glass.” My medical partner at one time was Muslim and Pakistani. She and her family suffered a lot just trying to pray in her back yard. It became an obsession to write these things into the novel.

Could there have been WMD that Iraq hid?

The President and his Weapons of Mass Destruction thought to be in Iraq, but then never found. What if there really were WMD, like bioweapons, easily hidden away to be used quickly. A movie had come out a year before about mutants, X-men, and my medical mind thought it possible for viral and bacterial infections to mutate human DNA. Quite possible, it turns out. And what if that mutation caused the humans to enhance their underlying personality traits, good became better, bad became evil. Alex Smith and Jabril El Fahd were born. A battle of good against evil started forming.

How would it feel if I had been completely isolated from the news on 9/11, yet had loved ones killed in those events? I would be furious, crazy with the need for revenge. Alex Smith and Rachel Anne Lane felt that way, too, in the beginnings of the book.

And then came the cast of characters

After researching all things Islam, WMD, mutations, bio-warfare, I developed the characters into unusual people, people who loved the environment, wolves, rock-climbing, fly fishing, wilderness photography, one major character an Apache Indian, the Navy and NSA, just so much FUN to write about!

Because of the nature of the characters and the problems, the novel involved many nations, spread around the globe, ending with the battle between good and evil in my home state of Colorado at the Royal Gorge. It required multiple mistakes on time zones, careful study and restudy of travel times by air through multiple time zones. I needed a story line strung around the room!

Finally finished, I had to find a literary agent—Yeah.

That didn’t happen. After shopping 20 agents, I began another book, put The Next Day away, only to have it reappear after writing and publishing two other novels. It took a year to get it changed from WordStar to Word, to improving the writing, to editing, to publishing. But it’s there now, for all to read. Many of the characters are used again in the sequel, Anodyne Eyes, which also uses characters from Dan’s War.

I hope you enjoy each book in turn, though they are all stand alone. You do not need to read them in sequence, but I think you will enjoy Anodyne Eyes more if you read The Next Day first, then Dan’s War.

Next time

I will talk about what it has taken for a science and math guy like me to become a writer. Back to school!

Milt

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