Veterans Day short story “Roses and Cookies”
November 11, 2019
This audio short story on Veterans Day, Vietnam War, and PTSD, “Roses and Cookies” is in audio form for good reason. Click on the recording below and you’ll find out why.
Once you are done come back and give me comments on the blog.
References: included are some statistics of veterans in Vietnam, and some discussions about PTSD. Also, a link to a prior post on Vietnam.
1) Casualties in the Vietnam War
2) Diseases caused by Agent Orange
3) Getting help for PTSD
4) What is war? A discussion of Vietnam.
Crime Thriller and sex trafficking, ‘One Eighty’
August 30, 2019
Don’t miss my new book, One Eighty, a crime sex trafficking thriller involving veterans set in Colorado. Here are some tidbits on why I wrote it.
A veteran who more than survives after war and injury:
It seems to me veterans who don’t make it after war make the news most frequently. Attending the Naval Academy during the Vietnam War, I had many experiences then with hatred of veterans. I wanted One Eighty to focus on veterans who made it in society after recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have their problems but overcome. The main protagonist, Var, lost a leg and an arm and had concussive brain injury from an IED. But that did not stop him from rock climbing or road biking. He even kept up his sense of humor. He continued his profession as a doctor and became a private investigator.
Other unusual veteran characters
His Marine and war friend, OJ Cromwell, though burned out from war and a murderous tour as homicide detective in New Orleans, becomes a detective in the Front Range to help stabilize Var and his other friend, Buddy. Buddy, a deadly soldier, became an emotional wreck after the Battle of Fallujah. He can only see people through mirrors and glass, but then sees their true self and intentions. He helps OJ with several cases. All three of them have been brothers in arms in Iraq or Afghanistan. Their bond undergoes severe trials from Var’s infatuation with his “one true love,” Angela.
Book Themes: war, love, sex, human trafficking, crime, power.
The themes of the book include survival after war, it’s not easy to give up on a long-lost soulmate love (Angela) and move on, how best laid intentions of Angela to make a life-saving asthma drug go astray when money to fund it must come from human sex trafficking, and how the desire for more power and sex can kill, and can end the NFL.
Veterans, Colorado, crime, and thrillers–that’s me.
You might say I’m a thriller/mystery writer because that’s the genre I love to read, but also am obsessed with murder, evil, and how they interact with good, even in the same character. So, a crime sex trafficking thriller fits! I like to push the plot to limits to give readers a page turner.
Real life experiences and characters:
I infused One Eighty with many real-life experiences of veterans because I have known or cared for thousands in my 30 years of medical practice in the Navy and the VA. A lot of my personal experiences and local color are included so readers who live in Northern Colorado, should enjoy seeing familiar haunts, like Estes Park, Loveland, and Fort Collins. In the book, the town of Thompson is fictional, but if you know the area, you will enjoy similarities.
How I fact checked this crime sex trafficking thriller
I fact check my books through interviews with local police, detectives, one of my writing group who is in forensics, physical therapists for the VA, reading the books in the acknowledgements, my son who is a rock climber, myself who is a road biker and physician and was stationed with the Marines, and many other personal experiences as a physician in the Navy and VA, as a fly fishing guide in the Front Range and Rocky Mountain National Park, and of course everyone’s fact checker, Google. Another great source everyone should read is The Forever War by Dexter Filkins.
If you review the book, it will help other veterans.
I hope you enjoy reading One Eighty. If so, please write a review. It will help me and other veterans out a lot. Also, word of mouth is the best advertising, so if you feel it worthy, please tell your friends and others about this book. As a result, maybe several veterans will read it and it will spur them to move forward.
My next book:
My next book for this year should be a semi-autobiographical mix of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry about the literal and metaphorical journey to the Cheyenne VA hospital, for me and veterans I cared for. While that one is cooking, I have a sequel to The Guide, with Stony taking on a CIA assassin. Var and OJ from One Eighty are in it, too!
Please visit my Amazon site https://www.amazon.com/Milt-Mays/e/B00HCSDC76%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share for a look at my other books and stories.
Milt Mays, MD, Captain Medical Corps, US Navy, retired.
How to Make Climate Change Matter
November 30, 2018
Can we beat oil-related industries and end climate change?
A Natural High
October 26, 2018
For a free ebook, click here
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 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.
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.
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.
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 a real outdoor adventure, take a look inside this one.
END GLOBAL WARMING, Three Simple Steps
October 18, 2018
For a free ebook, click here
A 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.
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