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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Madonna Diaries

S. S. Bazinet is a fellow writer here in town and graciously let me read her book. The problem with a book like this is were I to add more than what I say below it would spoil the story.
This story is in the horror genre which lends background, but it's mostly about the family relationship between twin brothers. One brother is bitten and will turn into a monster, nebulous whether vampire or zombie, not really important. The other brother fights to keep him alive even to the point of sacrifice. 
The story is paced from start to finish keeping the reader guessing concerning each new revelation of the family dynamic. Looking forward to more from Bazinet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Around the House

Blogger friend Michael Manning had a post with stuff he has around the house and challenged his readers to do the same. Thought I'd try it.

The painting is by my spiritual twin, Anne Littlewolf. The little tiny specs in front of the treeline are cows. The two Nambe ware candy dishes were retirement gifts from APS. One for Dad and the other for Mom. The Nambe platter was from the secretaries union on her retirement. Hard to see but there are two amber oil lamps on the outside and two amber candlesticks on the inside. Mom has a barrel full of amber glass and that is what I chose to keep. When she goes into independent living in a couple of weeks I have no idea what I'm going to do with all that other amber glassware.

From 9th grade, (city champ in 660 yd dash) the running statue on the left until my junior year in college I accumulated a number of trophies. The biggest one for being state champ in the mile is hidden behind the center knobs. Wife and I used to bowl in a church league and we accumulated a number of trophies there as well. Arthritis ruined a good form of exercise.
Under the trophies are the beginning of a complete set of Great Books, given to me by my client to help with research on stories. He needed room in his bookcase, and now I do too.

What can I say, I'm a BS Cowboys fan (before Staubach). My heroes were Don Meredith, Don Perkins and Bob Lilly. The ice bowl game was the greatest ever played even if Lantz Rentzel missed the game winning touch down pass as time ran out. I still haven't forgiven Jerry Jones for firing Tom Landry the way he did and never will.

When first married wife worked as a secretary for a real estate company. The company gave oil paintings to customers when they bought a home. The company disbanded and wife was given her pick of the remaining paintings. She picked this one. It's forty years old, but it's still nice to look at.

Father-in-law worked at the Lincoln/Mercury dealership in Albuquerque for 35 years. From the late 50's into the 90's as parts manager. The owner gave him this set of commemorative glasses in the year the Mercury Cougar hit the market.
Going through all their estate after my in-laws passed away my brother-in-law asked what I wanted. This was it.

Smokey is not only around the house he's all over the house and under foot.

The other animal all over the house.
To all my other blogger friends why don't you try this.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Cloisonne Heart

This is my latest short story. It's only 10,000 words, but everyone was an agony to write. It explains semi-autobiographically a failed marriage. Normally I don't shop my stories around to other writers for their ideas before I publish. I'm usually pretty confident in my writing and as I e-publish and sell for a buck I'm content with how my stories are selling at Amazon.
When I first started writing I would solicit comment from fellow teachers, friends and family. All I got was praise for the most part. My mother helped me in some ways, but usually she fusses at my language and sexual situations.I'm also a little hesitant to ask for help because sometimes what a critic says can shatter your confidence.
This one was a piece of my soul and I wanted to make sure it was done right. I asked a fb group I coordinate if anyone would wish to read a rough draft and give me suggestions. Hank Bruce agreed and he's given the story to his wife and a friend who reviews his work. We agreed he would write a review on Amazon for me and I would write a review of his books. I've reviewed two of his books and they are the previous posts.
Here is his review of The Cloisonne Heart:
 This is a sensitive, well written and well paced story of a young man’s difficult journey through romance, education and faith. Patrick Prescott is a skillful writer who weaves the elements together as the tension builds and the marriage unravels. From the first paragraph to the last the common denominator is a piece of jewelry, a cloisonne heart. In the process the characters deal with religious training, moral issues and cultural expectations. This is a great read that leaves you with a lot to think about.

I greatly appreciate his kind words. He's presently reviewing Human Sacrifices and I eagerly anticipate his review of it as well.
For the cover picture I couldn't find a heart like the one described in the story, but I did find a plate at a Cracker Barrel on the mantle so I took a picture of it and cropped it for my cover. Struggling artists need to be creative.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Cowboy Karma

Do you remember reading O Henry? or watching the Twilight Zone?
Stories that always had a little twist at the end.
Here are four short stories ranging in time from the 1880's to the present set in New Mexico with that little twist at the end. 
A down on his luck cowboy trying to rob a stagecoach and winds up chasing off other robbers and becoming a hero only to...
A woman comes to Mountainair to visit a famous hanging tree and learns the tree is haunted.
Just two of the stories that are very intriguing. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bless the Falling Leaves

It is nearly impossible to read with tears in your eyes. After the first chapter I kept a box of tissues and a waste basket handy.
This is an intensely painful book to read because Hank Bruce with his carefully crafted words makes you feel the pain of Darfurian refugees and a homeless Vietnam veteran in the US. Anyone who reads this short story will be profoundly changed as it has done so with me.
I will never treat Christmas and the meaning of our celebration the same again. Here is the true meaning of this sacred holiday. Hank I agree, we are all orphans.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Five Years Retired

Five years ago today was my one and only day of retirement. A lawyer friend called me and asked if I would help him out on a case. He's been my client ever since. (I'm self-employed and bill him for services). Since that time between running to the courthouse, scanning, organizing files, etc. I get to write in an office far away from the temptations of television and grand kids.
In these five years I've edited, revised and done a second printing of my first novel: Optimus: Praetorian Guard.
I also discovered the joys of e-publishing on Amazon. All my books are available at amazon.com/patrick prescott/b004vc67i most of them only 0.99

Human Sacrifices was my second book. I originally wrote it as a short story while working on Optimus. I was told by my mother who was reading my rough drafts that my female characters were too weak. I wrote this story about a female teacher dealing with an abusive husband while starting out as a teacher who finds a loving husband, starts a family and desperately wants to help her student avoid gangs by caring and teaching them to read and understand the value of an education.
This was a novel I wrote over a summer in 1992 for the Ted Turner Tomorrow Awards. A friend in my Sunday School class at church was a Physics professor at UNM and asked me to proof read a lecture he was going to deliver at a convention. He suggested in his paper that with superconductive materials it was conceivable to make a modern equivalent of a magic carpet that could make anything upon it fly. So I wrote a story about trying market the first flying car.
After twenty years gathering dust I adapted it to a post 911 world where a flying car would have a lot more trouble getting government approval.
My first books written from scratch after retirement. It went through many incarnations, but is finally complete as a trilogy. A meteor hits Yellowstone in 1965 and the computer in the geology dept. of Tans Global Oil predicts the super volcano will explode in 50 to 75 years and billions of people will die. "When it hits the fan, you need a plan." TGO develops a plan to not only help the family survive this catastrophe, but what good is living through this to go back to the stone age, so the plan carried out through four generations is intended to keep civilization from being destroyed.
Fletcher Family Battles are short stories centered around the Fletcher family in the middle ages explaining the culture and warfare of the time period. There are more to come.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

George Fishbeck a remembrance

George Fishbeck passed away. I met him once when I was young. Brother and I were outside the V.A. hospital with our cockerpoo puppy while Mom was visiting Dad at the time. He and his wife walked by and asked what kind of dog she was (damn can't remember her name, have to ask Mom). When we told him he shook his head and laughed. Mom knew his wife from a club she belonged to at the time and when they met told her how thrilled we were to meet him.
He taught (at and with) Albuquerque Public Schools for 23 years. This was way way back in the day. Our local station for PBS was started as a joint project with UNM and APS. When I was in elementary school every Thursday the teacher would wheel a TV in the room and we would watch George teach science. It was a wonderful way to reach all the students in the city at once. He was funny, entertaining and I still remember some of the experiments he performed. The one that comes to mind right now was taking swabs of different things around his science lab and the next week showing us the cultures. The most disgusting was the one from his mouth. I was in fifth grade and all of us thought French kissing would be gross. Our own local Mr. Wizard or Bill Nigh the Science Guy. He would always sign off on the show by swishing his mustache and saying, "Adios muchachos and muchachas."
 On Tuesdays (it's been over 50 years so I may have the day of week wrong) a lady (can't remember her name) would do music over the TV. She was pretty and would lead us in songs kind of Mich Miller style, but if was from her I learned songs like "O' Susanna," "Down in the Valley," "Shenandoah," and other American ballads.
Once upon a time New Mexico and America did value education by building schools for the Baby Boom generation and finding ways to educate instead of drill and test. Learning is so much more than cram and mental enema.
KNME ended these programs and George went on to be a local weather man. He was the first person I remember who was announced as a meteorologist and true to his roots he made weather fun, entertaining and educational. Sadly as I was graduating high school a TV station in California lured him away for bigger bucks and he remembered more for what he did there on the national level. It is amazing how fondly he is still remembered here by all of us old foggies, but he was a hard man to forget.