At the END OF THE DAY

AT THE END OF THE DAYThis is a collection of the best of the author’s short stories, published previously in OF HEAVEN & EARTH and REPORT FROM MARS, together with selected essays, poems and memoirs written over the past thirty years. Almost every entry can be read within a twenty minute time-span, so that this collection offers enjoyable reading material at bedtime, or whenever the reader prefers to relax. The chapters embrace the gamut of experience, from hatred to love, from horror to delight, from fear to assurance, from serious to humorous, and from anguish to contentment.
Some essays and memoirs are written ‘tongue-in-cheek’ and intended to tease, but never to disparage any individual or group in society.

The book is available in both eBook and paperback formats. The direct link to the Amazon page is:  https://goo.gl/JGtWSC

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REVIEWS FOR TIME & AGAIN

TIME & AGAIN (2017_06_08 19_52_12 UTC)After publishing my latest novel, Time & Again, on April 1, it has been very gratifying to receive so many positive comments from people who have read it and recommended it enthusiastically to others. One special source of encouragement has come from Aimee Ann at aimeeann@redheadedbookloverblog.com

Her detailed and heartening review can be found via the link https://wp.me/p9ghAg-3Dy

This novel is also listed by https://www.goodreads.com this week.

The book can be found directly using the following link:   goo.gl/piiGzv

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WINDS

Who knows which way the wind will blow today?

An east wind whines and brings unhappy news

of neighbors stressed so power and wealth can play.

Young lives, like flowers, may quickly fade and lose

their bloom, which greed soon cruelly steals away.

 

Who knows which way the wind will blow today?

The north wind turns fair fate upon her head.

It chills men’s minds and leads good sense astray,

their empty purses bring misery and dread;

they wonder if they’ll see midsummer’s day.

 

Who knows which way the wind will blow today?

A west wind garners Wall Street’s dimes and cents,

but leaves behind starvation and decay.

Naught sates the lust of rabid affluence,

the stricken land cries out in its dismay.

 

Who knows which way the wind will blow today?

Let south winds carry words of care and love

to fragile lives in daily disarray

from we bequeathed good fortune from above.

It’s ours to share, not hoard until we’re clay.

 

Who knows which way the wind will blow today?

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New Book: TIME & AGAIN

TIME & AGAIN (2017_06_08 19_52_12 UTC)

My latest novel, TIME & AGAIN, is now on sale from Amazon in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

The direct link to the page is: goo.gl/piiGzv

TIME & AGAIN is a fictional drama set on the rugged coast of the Gower Peninsula in Wales, United Kingdom, and involves a romance with a mysterious twist. An MI5 (Internal Security equivalent to the FBI) agent is sent to the Gower with the mission to track down and suppress the smuggling of narcotics and weaponry believed to be happening on the picturesque beaches there.Very quickly, a stunningly beautiful woman captures the attention of the agent’s mind to the extent that he initially loses concentration on his assignment. Working alone, he finds it difficult to discover where to begin his search—and for whom. His MI5 superior at Thames House in London is distinctly unhelpful. Unexpected local friendship and help is encouraging, but also brings violence, adding to his difficulties. Before his mission reaches a conclusion, a surreal  experience on one of the beaches astonishes him and changes his life forever.

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The F Word

victorian-coupleA VICTORIAN MELODRAMA

When Freddie Fanackerpan, a freckled, florid fellow from Fairfield, Florida, was forced to face the fact he was fifty-five on the fourth of February, he reflected how fortunate he fared to feel favored by a far-flung family that forever flooded him with affection. Furthermore, he fancied his fair-haired first-cousin Felicity, whose phenomenal effusion of flowery fragrance frequently flooded him. Unfortunately, he found his frenetic and affectionate feelings flippantly refuted or forcefully refused.

    “Your frightful fantasy is merely a fanatical infatuation with fledgling females,” she affirmed fiercely. “Focus your frenzied fervor farther afield.”

    “Oh Felicity, I’ve forever felt a fascination for you,” he confessed, “and find your rebuff quite unflattering and unfair. Pray be not fearful; but feel free to foster your preference for a fully flexible affair or fraternal friendship.”

    Felicity flared fussily, “Freddie, your feverish figments of fleshly fomentation are faintly farcical and emphatically futile. You are fat and foolish, and I frequently find your foul flatulence fetid. Please refrain from future frivolous effrontery to force such folly on me.”

    In a frantic fit of fury, Freddie deflected this unflattering and unfair rebuff by forcing his felicitous affection on a flirtatious first-floor nymph of fantastic figure for whom his fabulously affluent but fastidious and affected aunt Phoebe fortuitously fostered a feminine flirtation. His formula for forming an affair fared no more favorably than before and foundered at its first flush, forcing him to flee in a filthy frame of mind.”

    “How frail and ineffective I feel,” he reflected. “My efforts to find favor with the fair sex are fraught with failure. Tomorrow, the fifth of February, may frown on me less fearfully. I might fare better financially by fleeing to faraway France and forging a favorable future with a flourishing female of fifty who foresees a fortune from a famous French family in Fontaine. Feasibly, I’d find such a fate more fruitful.”

     Finally, fatigued by his ineffectual and fanciful fantasies, he flung himself on his favorite feather bed and fell fitfully into forty winks.

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AIRLINE GREED

There are so many examples of greed, particularly corporate greed, all around us that we have come to accept them with hardly a murmur. Fifty years ago, flying domestically or internationally was a pleasure and an adventure. Now, on U.S. domestic flights, no meals are supplied and one might be lucky to receive an ounce bag or peanuts as a treat. The seats have been squeezed together to such a degree that anyone approaching six feet in height is forced out of economy seating and obliged to seek seats with room for their legs in business or first class. If one is at first attracted by what seems a reasonable fare for one’s destination, that attraction is soon nullified by finding that there is a charge for reserving a seat on the aircraft. Any passenger unwilling to pay the reservation fee has to wonder if there will be room for them in the baggage hold.

Again fifty years ago, the bins above the seat were reserved for hats and coats. Charging passengers for checked baggage in recent years has caused those bins to be crammed with cases, whose dirty wheels would ruin any clothing coming into contact with them. A few months ago, I was outraged by an American Airlines flight attendant telling me to remove my bag (one that met the airline’s size limitation) from the baggage bin and place it under the seat in front of me so that the bin could accommodate over-sized bags that should have been checked, but which had been brought on to the aircraft by passengers who could not have cared less for the inconvenience caused to others. The commotion caused by passengers trying to reach their over-sized bags during disembarkation is a portrayal of airline greed in charging for checked bags in the first instance.

Recently I was scheduled to fly from Tucson to London Heathrow via Los Angeles. The commuter flight from Tucson to Los Angeles ran into trouble because of a faulty instrument switch. The resulting delay of 4 hours was sufficient for me to lose my Los Angeles connection to London. A series of rearrangements to my flight connections resulted in landing in London 24 hours late. One aspect of airline greed—a quite usual one—was to feed waiting passengers at Tucson tidbits of information that the delay would be 20 minutes, and then another 30 minutes, and then another hour and so on until it was too late for many passengers to find alternative flights on other airlines.

A more deep-seated example of greed is failure throughout the airline industry to maintain one or two reserve aircraft at their hubs. In an emergency such aircraft, maintained to be ready if called upon, could be quickly deployed to other airports fed by the hub.

For several years, there has been talk of charging for the use of restrooms on aircraft, but one wonders what airline reaction would be when passengers decided that they could wait no longer and took the only natural course of action open to them.

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#ME TOO – PLEASE!

SlapI’m wholeheartedly in support of the current upsurge by women in their declaration for the right for equal pay and for freedom from sexual pestering or pressure. At the same time, in a light-hearted way, I foresee some developments down the road. I trust that nobody will annoyed by my warped sense of humor.

As more women are added to the list of those who have been targeted by men for sexual favors—I believe ‘Treated as Sex Objects’ is the phrase of choice among women—an ever-diminishing number of women will feel hurt that no man has indicated his sexual interest in them, either by word of mouth or by some vulgar act of bodily contact.  Will there then be a backlash from this minority against the majority of women who have been targeted by men for appreciation? Will there be anger against such prejudice? Isn’t it every woman’s right to be noticed by at least one man, and a word of appreciation dropped unobtrusively by him, a gentle bodily hint perpetrated? Will men who keep their mouths shut and their hands to themselves be accused of discrimination or even cowardice? Society may eventually become shrouded in gloom, envy, and bitterness with smothered cries for sexual freedom heard once again.

My second thought is why should men not be targets for sexual harassment? Are men to spend their entire lives deprived of female words of sexual appreciation and encouragement, or robbed of a friendly slap on the butt from a passing woman? There are definitely two sides to this equal gender movement. At the moment, males have been selected as targets for recrimination because of their uncontrolled expressions of approval for specific women; their lives subsequently slaughtered on the public altar. Some men, maybe only a minority, would be happy to be harassed by a woman in a moment of shame. While shaving, they might then look in the mirror and give themselves a wink of reassurance.

 

2-13-18

 

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