A Natural High
October 26, 2018
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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 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.
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END GLOBAL WARMING, Three Simple Steps
October 18, 2018
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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.
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Should Politics mix with Writing Stories and Songs?
October 4, 2018
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 Dylan--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 Dylan, 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
Why I write
September 26, 2018
Why write? Everyone has their own reasons,
but I suspect they all boil down to, “I write so people will read my book.”
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.
I will talk about what it has taken for a science and math guy like me to become a writer. Back to school!
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