Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blue Heron Inn, Darien Ga

My band had a show scheduled on the 25th in Savannah Ga.  It's a few hours from where we live so we were going to drive and stay the night at my friend's house in St. Simons, Ga and maybe hit the beach or downtown Savannah while we were there.
Things happened and the show was cancelled but since we already had arrangements, we decided to still make the trip.  I was able to drive down with Bray and Simon early Friday but the others weren't going to make it until late that night... probably around midnight.  So instead of trying to occupy a 400 day old little boy until way past his bedtime, we chose to get a room for the night and just meet up with our friends in the morning.
As is sometimes the case (less often now than I'd like), we were shooting from the hip as far as finding a place to stay.  About an hour and a half before we arrived at St Simons, Bray remembered a friend from elementary school whose mother owns a bed and breakfast in the area.
We gave them a call and they told us they had one room available, come on down!

I plugged the address into the geepers and (as is always the case) it began leading us down smaller and tighter roads than we had expected.  We were in a town called Darien (never heard of it? me either) that is located about 10 miles north of Jekyll, 25 miles south of Savannah.

When the road became sand instead of pavement, we started wondering what we'd gotten ourselves into.

 View of road
Here's the swamp off the right side of the road

By this time we were growing concerned about being eaten by crocodiles or alligators or pythons but suddenly we emerged from the forest and the Inn came into view.
View of front of Blue Heron Inn (the lighting is bad in this shot, I apologize)

One of the first things that struck me is that the cars parked outside were all from different states.  Bill and Jan greeted us at the door and welcomed us in.  Although Jan knew Bray already, I don't think we would have gotten any less of a warm greeting if we had been anyone else.  They were infinitely accommodating.

The Inn is located right on the edge of a salt marsh.  Obviously I had to wander around and take pictures while I was there.
View from back porch.  In the distance is St Simons (small cluster of trees on the horizon).  By night you can see a light house there.
View of back porch.
One of three docks behind the main house. Complete with lounging cat.

 Another dock.  From here there were two young boys crabbing in the marsh when we arrived.  Fiddler crabs are literally everywhere back there.  I guarantee these cats don't go hungry.
Third dock.  I must say that if I had the luxury, I would be one of those writers who goes away from everything and just writes... No distractions.  This place would be ideal.
There were two other cottages besides the main house.  I think they're mainly for larger parties.

We got settled in our room (Savannah is what room we stayed in) and Jan suggested a good local restaurant called Skippers (if memory serves).  It is a bar and grill located right on the Sapelo Sound (basically a salt river that opens into the Atlantic).
 Shrimping boats outside the restaurant.

Simon decided to run full speed and dive onto the wooden dock while we were there.  For the rest of our trip (and still) he has a cut on his nose.
 Here's Simon and Bray.  I don't think either of us realized he was holding that piece of plastic until he threw it down into the water.
 We tried to explain why not to litter but needless to say, Simon found this hilarious.

That night, Bray and I sat up with Jan and Bill in the great room talking about all the different kind of people that come to visit the Inn.  Again, I don't think they would have treated total strangers any differently.  As it turns out, there was a plant outside with a flower that blooms literally once a year, for a single night... And it was blooming THAT night!

It opens for only a couple of hours.  It happens so quickly you could actually see the plant shaking with the motion of the flower opening.

By morning it had died.

The next morning Bray and I came downstairs to a breakfast of fresh coffee, cantaloupe, bacon, eggs and sweet potato pancakes with maple syrup.  Those were the best pancakes I've ever eaten in my life.  I'm sorry I didn't take a picture for you.  They didn't last long enough.
Simon had milk.

I'm enclosing a link to this Bed and Breakfast.  And not just because I promised Jan I would.  This was a magical place and I strongly recommend anyone who will be in the area to go out of your way to stay here!
I only have two regrets...  First, we only stayed a night and left early the next morning.
I merely signed the guest book, thereby failing at my self-issued challenge.  In my defense, I spent my single night at the inn in good company and the morning taking pictures for you to enjoy... If I had stayed longer, I would have fashioned a short story of epic proportions.   I believe any writer would have no trouble being inspired in a place like this.

Here's a link.
Blue Heron Inn
Tell them I said hey and I'll be back soon!

Monday, August 27, 2012

WRiTE CLUB 2012!!!!

I just wanted to remind anyone interested that WRiTE CLUB 2012 is still going strong!

All you have to do to participate is click the link, sign up at the bottom of the page and then you're free to submit your best 500 words (in the form of a WIP or a solo piece)  or just vote and judge on everyone else's 500 word entries!

Every Mon, Wed and Fri two more entries go head to head and the winner is chosen by voters like you.

Whether you want to read great pieces or not-so-great pieces, you won't be let down!

Mucho love.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

derailed (in a bad way)

I sat down tonight to post of a sunny and bright and exciting time that Jax and I had in the wide open forest Sunday afternoon.  I photoshopped dozens of pictures and picked out the very best to post for your viewing pleasure.  Then I clicked over to FB to have a quick glance at what's going on.  (but it's never quick is it?)  Nothing looked exciting.  Only 30 seconds wasted on FB!
Then I see it.
A post from my friend Brandon.  I skimmed it.  Didn't even read it correctly.  It said (in my head):

"Just spent two hours of my life reading about Ted the caver.  So worth it."

Brandon doesn't read.  This must have been intriguing.  Plus, something that took him two hours to read would surely take me far less. (since I'm such an avid reader of ... things)

Let's google Ted the caver.  This will only take a second.

First result, "Ted the Caver | Know your meme"
I don't know what the word meme means but I don't like the sound of it.  Next.

Second result, "Ted's caving page, with the story of his discovery in a local cave"

I'm intrigued.  Click.  Great... It's one of those pitch black backgrounds with oddly colored text that gives you a headache to read.  :)
I'm not reading all this... Oh well.
I could just copy it to a word doc.  Ok.  I'll do that...


It's two hours later and I doubt I'll be sleeping tonight.

So besides misreading his post (Spent two hours of my life reading a scary story called "Ted the Caver."  So worth it..)  I also misjudged my ability to read more fastlier and have gotten nothing accomplished.  I hope you're happy, Brandon.  >:(

For those of you who are into creepy stories, you can't pass this up.  I didn't want my feet in the dark under the desk while I was reading it.

Next time:  Refresh Button #2

Friday, August 17, 2012


A Redemptive Quality About Zombie:*
Walking outside brings steam from your coffee mug and the realization that no one is yet cutting grass in your cozy, cul-de-sac community.  That’s odd.  These people are obsessed with short grass.  Whatever.  Right now there are more important things to worry about.  The morning sun threatens to burn away your retinas so you shield yourself from its searing glare with the sleeve of your faded house coat and trudge toward the end of the driveway in fuzzy slippers.  You arrive at the sidewalk.  Where’s the newspaper?  There’s Brenda walking off in the middle of the street; also in little more than a house coat.  That’s odd too.  She doesn’t step foot out of her house in less than three layers of make-up and three inch heels.  Did she steal the newspaper? 
                “Morning, Mrs. Kadatsn- Kadsta-”  You never could pronounce her last name.  Why are you trying?  “…Brenda.  Did the paper come?”
She turns.  Too slowly.  Is she drunk?  Why is she standing in the middle of the street?  The surrounding quiet becomes obvious… and heavy.  Why aren’t the Madison kids playing kickball in the yard.  It is Sunday isn’t it?
A glance at your watch.  You aren’t wearing a watch.  But it must be Sunday.  Yesterday was Saturday.  Brenda is moaning.  That’s awkward.  You look up at her.
She’s turned to … face you.  Her left cheek and entire jaw are gone.  Bright blood, gleaming in the morning sun, spills down her chest.  Oddly, of all the thoughts that flood your mind, the one that stands out is, I see you lost that final pound.
You don’t say it.  Instead you inadvertently relinquish your hold on the coffee mug.  Looking down, you watch it fall to the paved sidewalk.  It shatters and coffee splashes your bare leg.  The pain does nothing to distract you from the fact that Brenda is shuffling toward you with less than half a face.
                “…Brenda?”  You say.  Did you really expect her to answer?  She barely has a mouth.  She moans again.  That’s not moaning.  It’s breathing… minus the subconscious ambition to do so in the least obtrusive manner possible.  From behind you comes more breathing.  You turn.  There are the Madison kids.  All three.  And they’re covered in blood, from gaping mouths to untied shoes.  You don’t know why they approach but staying to find out seems ill advised.  Turning, you step quickly back down the drive.  Your neighbor, Cleary, comes out from behind his house, shears in hand.  Thank God.
                Oh wait…  Those aren’t sheers he’s holding.  They’re a loose forearm, complete with dangling fingers on one end and two long, splintering bones on the other.  The radius and the ulna.  Wait… You knew that?  Apparently so.  It’s interesting; what comes back in a time like this.  What kind of time is this?
He’s shambling.  Just like Brenda and the Madisons.  And now he’s aware of you.  The Madison kids are closing in.  The youngest boy runs headlong into your mailbox with a clanging splat and falls down.  Usually that would be hilarious.  While you're distracted, Cleary manages to penetrate your personal space.  He’s opening his mouth wide.  Does he want to kiss?  His eyes look wrong… like they’re full of milk.  That he isn’t blabbering on about the office is currently his only redeeming factor.  He’s really going in for a kiss, isn’t he?  Wait… a bite?  Is that blood pooled in his mouth?  Was he chewing that forearm?
Despite how aware you are of the collective breathing, the dragging feet, Cleary’s erratic gasps of anticipation, you are reminded in an instant just how quiet it had been.  A gunshot blasts from your doorway, its ringing echo resounding so loudly you're sure you’ve partially lost hearing.
You turn.  Alex stands in the doorway, magnum revolver smoking in shaky hands, looking toward what had been Cleary’s head.  It’s now nothing more than a flowering stump.  His body crumples like a banana peel. Where on earth did that gun come from?  The in-laws?  You’re eyes meet Alex’s.  Tears well up.  Was that… murder?
“Don’t worry… I think he’ll be alright.”  You say.  It seemed like the thing to say.
The shot has alerted your other neighbors, the Maxwells, who seemed to have been examining someone sleeping on their front yard.  They stand and begin to approach.  Ok, they weren’t examining… they were dining.  From between them you can see, sprawled in the grass, a blood stained torso, its protruding ribs stained black-red.
Somehow, despite that this can’t truly be reality, fear has dictated that you now run inside.  You do.  Slamming and locking the door, you peer out the window and are able to see the crowd of … those aren’t people… but they’re approaching from every direction.
“Shut the blinds!”   Alex says.  
Your neighbors close in by the dozen.  That gunshot…  Alex may as well have yelled buffet.
Soon enough they surround the house.  Their lifeless limbs pummel the walls, rattling the vinyl siding.  Their moans and cries rattle your mind.  The doors and windows give way to their combined weight.  You and Alex are no longer alone, standing in the kitchen in a trembling embrace. 
Your eyes converge on the revolver.  Two epiphanies occur at once.
The horde outnumbers the remaining bullets… but the bullets outnumber you and Alex.


If it were only one or even a few zombies, you and Alex may have lived. 
There’s strength in numbers.  That’s why us writers flock together on blogs and forums and websites, exchanging information and offering feedback.  Strengths are thrown in as a collective and those who are willing are in a perfect place to learn and grow.
Unfortunately, like the scarcity of meat on you and Alex to the zombie horde, there aren’t as many available positions as there are writers… But, in our combined efforts and cooperation, that SOME of us make it through, should be a point of pride for us all and should keep us working in that direction.
After all, you never know when your turn will come.

This post has gone on long enough.

Hold on to your anatomy!

*entire subject matter of this and any related post is hypothetical and therefore validity of statements herein has never been proven in a scientific or any other manner.  If you attempt to argue with me on this or any related topic, you are acting outside the bounds of logic and may be ignored.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Relax, I live.

Trust that I yet  draw breath, despite not having posted in 7/20ths of a fortnight.

This is a crazy busy time for me.
Besides trying to make this guy older and wiser,

I've been finishing the second draft of A Sawmill's Hope and working ceaselessly on my website with the help of my friend Britt.  He deserves much thanks for this and if I can come up with a good way to give him a shout out, I will.

My next post will be ARQAZ #3 and it will be in the form of a short story.  Hold on to your anatomy!

See you soon.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stay in mountains... Plus a challenge to you

Last year my family and I stayed in a cabin in the mountains for a few days.  And by last year I mean two and a half years ago.

Here are pics!
 This is view from cabin.  It is indeed epic.
 This is wife from a distance.  I'm not one for 'say cheese'... more like 'make a story from this photo.' (not to be confused with 'Look at this photograph!')
View from between cabins.  That's ours on the left.
 Donavon in camo, Evan to his right.  Sarah in the distance.  This picture just reminded me of the fellowship attempting to pass over the mountains before entering Khazad Dum.
 Distant hill by day.  Obtrusive moon.
Distant hill by night... Moon has gone to chase the sun.
Same hill by night... this time in an effort on my part to be Van Gogh!  (thanks, photoshop)

 Off the other side of the mountain.
I'm slightly infatuated with vultures.  They're intriguing...  most of us run from death.
'father cleaning snow from stair, lest falling death should happen there'

Ok, to be honest, the main reason I wanted to talk about this trip is to start a movement for you vacationers.
Within our cabin was a guest book.  Within it were countless entries... You know the sort.  Everything from 'Pookie behaved well while we went to (insert tourist locale); she didn't pee on the carpet or chew the windowsill!'
'I hate this cabin!  The clicker wouldn't work and the hot tub wasn't hot enough...'

You get the idea.  I found the entries to be quite worthless... speakly purely of entertainment value, that is,  so I took it upon myself to remedy the situation.

Mind you, this is before I realized I was an author in training.

It started like this.  (there's no way I'll remember the exact words but here's trying)

"Day 32 of the great blizzard.
The roads are still iced over but that's not news.  I've forgotten the sound of cars... and nearly the taste of food.  Josh snuck the last can of tuna while we slept.  I thought Morgan was going to kill him when she found out.  She beat him until he was still then grew tired and went back to sit and stare out the window.  I recognize that look... having now watched three people starve to death.
Kevin is gone, I'm afraid... Not dead... He's locked himself in the basement closet.  Eating the Christmas decorations and arguing amongst himself...  His curses echo up from the darkness and remind us to be thankful for our sanity, if nothing else..."

The plot thickened, people died, and of course the main character goes crazy.  He plans to seduce the only other survivor into lowering her guard so he can kill and eat her.  Unfortunately, he gives himself away talking in his sleep.
By the time I was done writing, the general consensus of my family was that the subject matter perhaps was a little heavy (despite that Evan and Donavon loved it).  So I tore out the pages I had written and hid them behind a loose panel in the wall, offering only a hint in the guest book of their location.

Will anyone ever read it?  Who knows.  Would I like to read it again?  I'd love to. 

Regardless, I urge you all to introduce creativity to guestbooks!  Clearly any genre is welcomed!  I go on far too few vacations to attempt this single-handedly so I'll need your help!
If you have already done this, not only are you my hero but I want to hear about it!

Here's to enlivening vacation reading!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

so i'm a little sleep deprived.

When I began writing my book I just knew it would be awesome.

I knew it would launch from my hands immediately upon dotting the last 'i' and revolutionize the fantasy genre and go on to produce an endless stream of movies, video games, tv shows, action figures, t-shirts, pez dispensers, and so on until infinity.

And so I wrote my book.

Then I began to familiarize myself with the world of publishing, authors, aspiring authors, editors, agents, and failures and suddenly I realized the unthinkable...
I'm not the first person to dream.
People dream every day... and probably write far more enthralling stories than mine.  And they aren't hopping on Aladdin's flying carpet and sailing away to Hollywood.  They are working on their 5th book... and still unpublished.

I took my book of the pedestal and looked at it again... Not as a creator holding his fragile child but as a stranger, holding a book that would actually cost me money to read.
I realized I needed to work... and not just on the book.

At then end of this month comes Dragon*Con.  There will be 20+ successful authors and real live editors and agents.  I plan to attend said Con and meet as many of these authors, editors, agents, and publishers as I can.
By then I plan to have developed several pitches for my book (the drive-by pitch, the elevator pitch, the <250 word pitch, etc.)
I also plan to have a semi-completed website with excerpts, contact info, news and witty banter.
I'd like to have something flashy to hand out to anyone interested (a business card type object) with the website's address.
I'd also like my revisions to be nearly finished so that shortly after the conference I can send a query letter saying, "Hey, we met at Dragon*Con and spoke about my book..."

Meanwhile, I'm outlining my second book.

If I have a point at all, I guess it's this:
I'm still dreaming.  I've just learned that dreams aren't enough.  Work is involved.  I accept that I probably won't go on to become George Lucas Jr. or J.R.R. Tolkien the Second and I'm ok with that.
I love creating and always have.

Therefore I will continue onward despite.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


A Redemptive Quality About Zombie:*
Zombie is going to eat you.
It doesn't matter where you're from.
It doesn't matter who you hang around.
It doesn't matter what video game console you prefer.
It doesn't matter whether you stand for or against windshield wipers.
It doesn't matter if you spend your time training with rifles or kicking raccoons.
All the matters to Zombie is that you taste delicious.  Because apparently, you do.
The only thing you can do to make Zombie not want to eat you is get eaten by a different Zombie first.  Congratulations, now you are Zombie.  
And no one wants to eat themselves.  
That's just gross.

Now, I hate to alter the ARQAZ format this early in the game, but I'm not going to be offering my own two cents after pointing out each redemptive quality.
What makes Zombie perfect at embodying these attributes, I could never hope to emulate in life or capture in written word...  I would probably do more to cause to you to discriminate if I were to rant on as if I'm the the end-all in everything indiscriminatory.  
Because I'm not.  And if you can read this, you aren't either.

Therefore, I won't rant on about it. 

You know what the word means. 

And it goes both ways.

*entire subject matter of this and any related post is hypothetical and therefore validity of statements herein has never been proven in a scientific or any other manner.  If you attempt to argue with me on this or any related topic, you are acting outside the bounds of logic and may be ignored.