Tuesday, December 29, 2009

BLOG / My 2010 wish for you.

Keep asking why. You know why? Because that’s why we’re here. OK, enough with the question words. Yes, over and over and over again, this theme seems to repeat itself, much akin to history (for those who haven’t yet learned from it, because they never asked, "w--?") In my opinion, history’s just old news unless we’ve chosen to learn a little something from it.

How many of you have heard the quote, “The unexamined life is not worth living?” My hope is lots. It happens to be my favorite quote of all time. For years, I never actually knew who said it; Aristotle, a bible, Sigmund Freud or Joan Rivers. As it turns out it was Socrates, a real stand-up, olive-eating Greek guy. He’s known for saying some other real smart stuff, too.

There’s so many wise folks out there that have so much to share. It amazes me. Different insights, strategies and instruments to help others change, grow, become happy and create success. They’re all providing such valuable services by fulfilling their true purposes in life…helping others with the gifts they’ve been given.

We’ve all received one priceless gift though, our own unique life, the best teacher of all. The lives we’ve been given allow us to ask, why?, nearly every freakin’ day. Not questions like, “Why didn't Tiger Woods use a condom?” or “Why is Paris Hilton still in the news?” No, these are too sophisticated, multi-layered and complex…and they’re not about YOU.

If you begin 2010 by asking ‘why?’ after something’s happened to you, I guarantee you’ll have an answer soon after you ask. EVERY answer will also come with this same attachment (please scan prior to opening): [(XYZ happened)…because you were supposed to learn from it. It’s neither good nor bad; it’s one of your lessons. That’s why you’re here].pdf.

Happy New Year, y’all!!! And, after having thrown up on your partner’s black silk shirt at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, ask yourself the next morning why. Maybe you need to learn compassion…next time aim for the closest toilet, sink or potted palm.

This is syndicated from CLINT ADAMS BOOKS blog.

To learn more about Clint's newly-released occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, please visit his website: Clint Adams : No Time For Fear.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

BLOG: Be An Innovator, Be Yourself.

If you agree that ancient cavemen had a sense of humor, here’s a little something they may have said to one another, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Answer, “Because it had never been done before.” OK, it’s not a belly laugh. It may not even warrant a chiseled-on-a-stone-tablet LOL or :-), but that’s beside the point. Back in the day when everyone was named either Flintstone or Rubble, everything was being done for the first time.

Let’s face it, innovation rocks. So, does that mean we’ve all gotta gather at the Water Buffalo Lodge? Move to Bedrock? Work at a quarry? Party hearty in Rock Vegas? No…too far. Too unnecessary. Why not be an innovator in your own hometown. That’s why my hometown will forever and always be San Francisco, the city that thrives on innovation. Did you know that at one time EVERYONE believed that the Golden Gate Bridge could never be built? Everyone except Joseph Strauss. Against all odds, the bridge was constructed and continues to carry over 100,000 travelers a day. It also carries the distinction of being the most photographed man-made object in the world. Even more than Madonna.

In life, there are leaders and there are followers. Oops, wait a minute. That’s not life, that’s Twitter (strangely enough, headquartered in San Fran. along with Google and other weird words). Where do you live? Where do you come from? And, most important, where are you going? Do you plan to follow a blueprint made by someone else? Or are you going to draw your own? If you need to borrow a pencil, I’ve got plenty to share. Just ask.

I miss the Bay Area; I’m in London now. Despite the constant rain, darkness and gloom, I’m happy with my decision to move here…especially when I invest in a six-pack at the end of the day. I’ve met a lot of interesting, intelligent and inspired people. I socialize more. I network more. Sometimes I even socially network (a phrase most likely coined in S.F.). There are many events here led by professionals who really know their stuff. They’re passionate, they’ve helped a ton of folks and (in my opinion) they’re fulfilling their purpose in life.

In the U.S., I never attended a personal development event before, nor had I ever heard the term NLP. I still don’t know what the word paradigm means and I’ve never seen THE SECRET. Instead, I write. I like to create, not follow. I seek change by making it happen. Not to discount what works well for others; instead, I applaud any and all techniques that help. Again, these teachers are experts and I respect and admire them.

I also respect and admire the people I meet in these events, the change-seekers. It takes courage to seek out new ways of living. At the same time, it takes courage to be yourself. Copying’s easy; it takes little to no imagination. Although we’re created equal, it’s our uniqueness that gives us something new and different to offer. This is what gives us our desire to learn, as well as our desire to teach.

Whether you’re a Flintstone, a Rubble, or even a Slaghoople (Wilma’s maiden name), absorb and appreciate what you feel is helpful and useful, but at the end of the day…do it your way. Invent a brand new solution. Be innovative. Be yourself.

Yabba-dabba-doo, y’all. P.S. Please post a comment if you happen to know where the (pictured) Flintstone House is located.

This is syndicated from CLINT ADAMS BOOKS blog.

To learn more about Clint's newly-released occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, please visit his website: Clint Adams : No Time For Fear.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

BLOG / Acknowledging the flip-side

A few years back, on a bright, sunshiny day, someone knocked on my front door. I wasn’t expecting anyone, and living in a rural mountainous area, it was seldom I had any visitors. Although solitude suits me, I was eager to greet my mystery guest. Who would it be? And why didn’t they just e-mail me?

After a few hellos, how are yous and nervous smiles, I greeted two men carrying books and brochures in their hands. The more confident of the two spoke first. “Wouldn’t you love to be living in a world where you, and everyone around you, were happy all the time?” Not being disrespectful of them or their presumptions, I said in all honesty, “Hell, no.” My response left them speechless. Their faces were frozen. Since I felt the need to elaborate, I said, “If I were happy all the time, that means I’d never learn a (damn) thing. And, after all, isn’t that why were here? To learn something from life? From the lessons we’ve been given?”

Those two guys turned out being quite nice. I invited them in, they took a seat, and I gave them some water to drink. They talked, I listened. I talked, they listened. I was curious to know what they were all about; looking at their faces close up made me realize how young they were. They believed that life’s answers came from inside the books they were toting. Several times they offered me a copy, several times I graciously declined. “I’ve worked hard to make sense of the life I’ve been given. I’ve come a long way. Every second of it happened for a reason, and I feel grateful that I’ve chosen to learn from it all.”

They left peacefully, realizing that I was “unconvinceable.” I think they even appreciated the loyalty I showed to my unique brand of spirituality. I must have scored points by having thrown in the G-word where appropriate.

While the two men/boys walked away, I again noticed the books in their hands. It struck me only then that we shared something significant, the belief that books possess the capacity to change lives. My selections may be as unique as my spirituality though; for me, the darker, the better. Only when the protagonist struggles has my (reading) time been invested well.

As a writer, I make an effort to include humor, happiness, success and love, but if I don’t acknowledge the flip-side, I have learned nothing and have nothing worth writing about.

This is syndicated from CLINT ADAMS BOOKS blog.

To learn more about Clint's newly-released occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, please visit his website: Clint Adams : No Time For Fear.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

BLOG / So you’ve written a few novels, now what?

Non-fiction books, that’s what. Duh.

There are probably a million-and-one reasons a person chooses to become a writer. To express their creativity. Their love of the written word. The desire to contribute something meaningful to society. Do any of these apply to you? Brava/o if they do.

Whenever someone asks me why I wanted to become a writer, my answer’s always the same, “I never wanted to be one. I HAD to get a (very particular) story out, the truth, the only way possible, the only way I knew how.” Disappointed? Eek, I’d love to say that I eat, live and breathe reading and writing, but sadly that’s not possible. I learned the craft of writing because it was the only means available to me.

Have you ever been asked, “Why do writers write?” My response would again be related to the above, “Because there’s a story within them that MUST come out.” They were born to tell their story. THE SEVENTH RITUAL was my story, fictionalized of course. Now that this novel’s been out for a couple of months, I can understand why it took so long to complete; to transform it into something funny, shocking, thought-provoking, tolerable, and most important, put it in the hands of someone else. It’s no longer inside me anymore. All my collective lives can now say, “Whew!”

Since telling that story, along with a few others, I no longer feel this compelling NEED. Five novels have taught me something though: books possess the power to change lives. I don’t think anyone could dispute that. What’s your mission? Your purpose in life? Have you ever thought about this? My books reminded me that I like to help people and my desire to reach them, via my message(s), hasn’t vanished. At this point in the game, non-fiction’s better. More direct, hands-on, applicable and to the point for any prospective reader.

Public speaking’s next on the agenda, and what better aide is there for your audience than an accompanying book to go with your presentation. Lots and lots of fine-tuning’s in order, but it seems like the next logical step. Have you ever thought about this transition? This addition to your marketing mix?

If you’re still reading this, and you’re not a writer, perhaps you’ll see speaking and non-fiction writing as the vehicles you’ve been looking for. Writers and non-, only you can get your message across, right? No one’s going to do it for you, or me. I can’t wait to begin and give it my best shot. See you onstage.

This is syndicated from CLINT ADAMS BOOKS blog.

To learn more about Clint's newly-released occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, please visit his website: Clint Adams : No Time For Fear.

Monday, August 31, 2009

BLOG / Monica Seles Makes Me Smile.

I never thought much about Monica Seles until she got stabbed. In the early-90s, my absolute favorite tennis players were Arantxa Sánchez Vicario (nicknamed “The Barcelona Bumblebee”) and Martina Navratilova (no nickname needed). They owned my loyalty. Quickly after turning pro, Monica turned Arantxa, Martina and the rest of the competition into underdogs. I like underdogs. Much more than Number #1s.

Are you still with me? Are you thinking, ‘What do Monica Seles and/or tennis have to do with a writer’s blog?’ ‘GETTING A GRIP: On My Body, My Mind, My Self,’ that’s what. Although Monica Seles was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame last month, it’s Monica Seles, the person, that makes me smile. As a player, she had the strongest mind/strongest will on the court; now that she’s retired, she’s conquered even more…the tremendous odds of overcoming a very public tragedy.

You don’t have to be a tennis fan to read GETTING A GRIP. You don’t even need to know who Monica Seles is. If you can take yourself out of your own body for a moment, and picture what it would be like, as one of the most famous athletes around, to be stabbed in front of the world; If you can imagine what it would be like to lose your father to cancer at an early age; If you’ve ever developed a sudden weight problem and wondered how it happened; If you’re a Type-A American (even if you’re NOT American) and have missed the bigger picture life has to offer, you should be able to relate to Monica’s words well.

I have a weight problem. I’m Type-A. I eat when I can’t control everything. I rarely stop to smell the flowers. I guess I should have figured, upon my move to London two weeks ago, that my by-the-book calculations and plans would break down. Within my first days here, my computer crashed, I had no Internet access and I caught a very, very nasty flu (I’d call it swine, but I’m really trying to cut back on my pork intake). All I could do was stay home and read GETTING A GRIP. I’d say it was meant to be, but (most) people hate hearing that.

I can relate to Monica on so many levels; making justice from injustice, striving for balance, seeking answers on the inside, discovering peace, finally being able to love yourself. How about you? Can you relate to any of these?

Monica Seles is a winner. She always has been. I wish I’d realized this before she was stabbed. Although she’ll never be an underdog, she’ll forever be my all-time favorite. Maybe I do like Number #1s after all.

This is syndicated from CLINT ADAMS BOOKS blog.
To learn more about Clint's newly-released occult crime novel for adults, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, please visit his website: Clint Adams : No Time For Fear.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BLOG / A prayer from a two-year-old.

I hope everyone continues to be healthy, wealthy and wise. Thanks a bunch to those of you who have read The Seventh Ritual; more than anything, I’m thrilled that you continue talking to me and that our friendship remains in tact. Whew! This had worried me mucho. Again, this book ain’t nothin’ like my novels that are intended for teens.


Yesterday, this review was posted on amazon.com:

5.0 out of 5 stars. Not for the faint of heart... July 28, 2009 by Led “Zepplin”

“First let me say, this book is for ADULTS ONLY. This is the true story of a man who suffered horrendous abuses at the hands of those he trusted the most. In this brutally honest novel, you will feel the horror of a small child who survived unimaginable cruelty during Satanic rituals. The author sugar coats nothing and bravely writes with graphic language and detail. However, he also shows his witty sense of humor, something he no doubt had to develop in order to deal with the gruesome abuse he suffered as a child. In the end this novel is a tale of triumph. The main character rises above victimhood and finds that divine quality, forgiveness.”


For those of you that may not know, the TSR cover copy reads:

The Seventh Ritual: a race for survival, a novel for adults based on a true story, is a remarkable journey through fear, grit, discovery, forgiveness and triumph... with a few laughs in between.

"You must discover the cause of your unhappiness by the end of this year...or you will not live to see the next." Disgusted and disbelieving, 34-year old Paul Jacobson dismisses what he's told by a Greenwich Village psychic. Only days later, while running in the New York City Marathon, Paul's mind positions him back to a past he's never known. This journey begins the race for his life.


Recently, I’d read in a message that my friend Eva, a fellow writer, had come to a decision as to which voice to use throughout her novel. She called the process difficult. In my opinion, it should be. I’m happy Eva gave this so much thought. To me, voice will always remain a top priority. The Seventh Ritual includes two ongoing plots; one told by 34-year old Paul, the other by 2-year-old Pauly. In a previous blog, I’d posted an excerpt told in the voice of adult Paul. Now, it’s Pauly’s turn. If he could speak with words, as a sort of prayer to God, I believe this is what he’d have to say:

(The Seventh Ritual / MILE SIX excerpt)

“Dear Maker, Billy Graham from his television show calls you that. Is that Your nickname, by the way?

He said that if people talk to You, stuff gets better. Really? I don’t seem to understand any of this too good. You know what I mean? After all, I’m just a baby, and I’m not the smartest person on earth by a long shot. Pretty soon Mommy’s going to get off the phone, so I gotta hurry. But, I want to tell You for sure, ‘Please take care of Fluffy.’ Sometimes she never had too much to eat, and sometimes she ran out of fresh water from our drainage ditch. But, Maker, even though we were mostly strangers, I loved Fluffy a whole bunch.

I want her to know this. Can You please tell her. I know You’re like me and You don’t need to speak any of the languages that people talk. You just do it without knowing the words. By the way, kitties do it the same, in case You didn’t know that already. And, like the kitties in the park told me, they don’t have names neither. They’re all unanimous. You know, without being called nothing, just like the bad guys on Dragnet.

Anyway, Fluffy’s not a bad guy. She’s the one that went up above last night. Just so You can keep track. Please love her and take care of her. And, more than anything else in this whole wide world, please tell Fluffy that she’ll never be forgotten by me. And, one more thing, please tell her that someday I’m going to make up for this. Someday, I’m going to make this whole thing right. I’m going to turn it all around. They may be my mommy and daddy, but someday. Just You wait and see.

So, for now, bye, Fluffy. I love you a bunch. The same goes for You too, Maker. I’m sure I’d like You if I knew You better. Amen, Pauly.”


Stay well, be happy and enjoy your summer. Until next time… Clint

Clint Adams : No Time For Fear

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

BLOG / First reviews mean a lot. Thanks, HC!!

Rather than take up your time, I'd instead like to share this with you: the first book review of THE SEVENTH RITUAL, a race for survival along with its accompanying first chapter. Many thanks again to you all for the interest you've shown and your continued support. You've kept me motivated and I'll always be grateful for that. Enjoy your summer!!!


"Definitely a page-turner.
This book arrived when I had a lot of work to get done. However, once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down! I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting until midnight. This compelling and haunting story unfolds through two parallel voices which skillfully spin a dramatic and hardcore reality hitting both light and deep notes. One to remember..."
-- HC, Barcelona, July 2009



I was so overly eager that even my fingertips got hard. The plastic, painted-over doorbell I’d intentionally passed by so many times on the corner of Bleecker and Seventh was finally staring me in the face. The time had approached to press it. What was she going to look like? What was she going to say? How much was she going to charge me? This was my first time. Perhaps it’s only natural to feel a little afraid.

The crimson curtains behind the angelically glass-stained windows had opened and closed without me even being able to see who’s in back of them. With no sneak peek at my destiny, the door flung open and there she was. How normal and unadorned-looking, not at all what I was expecting. She still displayed an exotic kind of beauty, yet her expression appeared a little tired and worn. “I rewind. My husband return,” was her greeting to me while she carried her cordless phone with her right hand and an unlit, unfiltered Camel in her left.

“What? Excuse me,” I said at the same time as I popped a Velamint into my mouth to cover up the oniony gyro I’d just scarfed down.

“No, I talk to the Blockbuster. You come in.”

I stepped in and looked everywhere I could for any other living soul, but I somehow knew that she and I were alone.

As I questioned with my hands where I should place the warm winter jacket I had just taken off, the late-twenty-something woman asked, “Upstairs or down?”


“Where you want to do this?”

“May I look up—”

Seeming as if she’d worked this room more than a few times before, the woman said, “Sure, sure. Everybody like to get it upstairs.”

I could tell that continuing the conversation with the video store was vitally important to her. Forgetting to rewind certainly does come with its price. Walking up the stylish metallic spiral staircase with its period 70’s shag-covered lemon yellow steps was like entering a scene from Shaft. But as soon as I heard Don’t Wanna Lose You by Gloria Estefan, I knew our encounter wasn’t necessarily going to be as mystical and other-worldly as I’d first imagined. Easy listening had always been like an aphrodisiac to me. The upstairs, composed of three posh black leather couches, red satin pillows, a few chairs and a multi-woofered Bang & Olufsen sound system was more than tantalizing.

As she came nearer to me, wearing baggy gray flannel sweat pants and a shoulder-length, dishwater-blond braided pony tail, I told her, “This is fine. Let’s do it here.”

“Sure. It doesn’t matter to me.”

“So, you got the problem with your video worked out?”

“They always do this. Tell me I don’t rewind Die Hard 2. I hate that. My husband watch it after I rewind, then he don’t rewind. Is not my fault. Is my husband problem. Why—”

Not having much spare cash on hand, I didn’t want to waste time with small talk, so I interrupted her by asking, “How much is this going to cost?”

“What you want?”

“Gosh, I don’t really know. What do you have?”

“Psychic reading is twenty. Aura is thirty. Tarot is fifty.”

“Well, I think a psychic reading is fine. May we just do that?”

Without further delay I made myself as comfortable as possible in the middle of Lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. I took a deep breath as my fingers clenched the arms of the red velour-covered seat I was in, while my unclenched butt felt as if it was getting ready for a Loew’s bargain matinee to begin.

“What is your God name?”

“My God name? I’m not really relig—”

“No. Just tell me your name.”

“Paul Anthony Jacobson.”


“October twenty-eighth. Sunday was my thirty-fourth birthday. Oakland, California. But now I live in San Francisco.”

“Just date. Don’t tell me rest of story.”


Hearing my brief bio. made the woman’s eyes shut deliberately. This gave me time to study her up-too-late movie-watching face in depth. But, as soon as I began concentrating on her dangly plastic purple crucifix earrings that looked like they might have been fashioned for extra credit by a home ec. freshman, the phone began ringing. I thought the Blockbuster-rewind problem had already been solved. What’s up now? Her eyes remained closed. Someone else answered the phone.

“You are good person. What do you think of when I say the initial J?


“Yes, who is this person that make you so sad?”

I was beyond startled. How did she know such a thing? That’s Justin. We…well, I decided not to—”

“Don’t need to know that either. This man make you very unhappy for the past two weeks.”

“Yes, that’s why I’m here. How did you—”

“I know these things, I am fifth-generation psychic. You have been thinking about him and that make you unhappy.” Then, looking as if she’d heard it broadcast by Tom Brokaw on The Nightly News the woman opened her eyes widely and said, “You have always been like this. Extremely sad on inside.”

Oops, first mistake, I thought. “Well, I don’t know about that. I only want to know if Justin and I are ever going to get back together.”

Immediately, without needing time to ponder, she said, “Juspin will come back to you, but it will be your choice. You will decide if you will be friends or more than that.” Then, the instantly-absentminded woman appeared to run out of words for a second or two. “Who is this person who is extremely jealous of you? M?” she said, with a sour wrinkled-up face.

“Jealous? M? I have no idea.”

“This person meditates against you daily. Extremely jealous.”

How in the world could I even respond to that? How absurd. “Michael?” I wondered out loud.

“No. A woman.”


“Let me concentrate better.”

“Well, maybe we should just get back to Justin.”

“No, nothing will happen with him…until you can get rid of this negative.”

“How about acting? I’m thinking of giving it up and maybe doing something else.”

“You are good at this. You are creative and you like to help people,” she told me while looking even more strained and constipated.

“So, I will be doing something else? I will quit acting?”

“I’m not seeing this. I see no future,” she answered with a blank expression.

“Well, maybe you’re still thinking about Die Hard 2. Perhaps if you concentrated a bit more.”

“No, nothing will change. As long as this negative is in your life. Nothing.” Then, in an instant, it’s like this woman with her dangling crucifixes below her holy earlobes and what looked like leftover muesli from breakfast still stuck in between her braces, gave up. “Nothing. I’m not seeing it.” After these words, in her white Keds with candy cane-striped shoelaces, she bolted straight up.

“But, I’m not finished. I have a few more questions.”

“Nothing will change. Everything you know is false. You must change. And you must do this very quickly.”

“Change? Oh, but I am changing. I started going to therapy.”

“No. Who is M? Nothing will change. Nothing good.” After a pause, Madame X. said, “I will find who this person is, so you can do something about it. I am very, very busy. But for you, I meditate on this for days, weeks if I need to. You’re good person. I do this for you.”

“Well, thanks. Because, right now, I have no idea.”

“It is much work. But for being nice person, the cost for you only is five hundred dollar.”

In a flash, whatever fear, anxiety or apprehension I may have been feeling had vanished and instead I became completely enraged. Furious. I realized I was being scammed, robbed. I couldn’t even reply. I just stared at this woman with my normally optimistic clear brown eyes now only being able to see nothing but negative. “No. I don’t have five hundred dollars. I’ll figure it out on my own.”

“But you must do this.”

“That’ll be my decision. I’m done now. Thank you,” I said as I reached into my pocket to give the woman her twenty dollars for my first-time reading.

“You’re not understanding what I’m telling you,” the woman told me with a fierce sincerity exuding from her bloodshot, baby-blue soothseers.

“I said I don’t have five hundred dollars.”

“Money for you, in future, is never going to be problem. You can give this to me. I will meditate for as long as I have to, no matter how tired it make me, to help you.”

“No. I’ve got to go.”

All the woman could do was watch as I disappeared towards my downward spiral. She disgusted me. I thought, how could my closest friend, Jenna, have recommended this far from reputable crank? Someone who’s such a blatant con?

To my incredible disbelief, the woman followed me down the stairs, almost chasing me. Then, calling me by name she said, “Paul Anthony, you’ve got to. You must to discover the cause of your unhappiness before the end of this year…or you will not live to see the next. I’m not seeing future. 1992 is almost here. Less than two months remain…you must to hurry.”

What amazed me more than this latest outlandish prognostication was the look on her face as she uttered my death sentence. Unpredictably, she looked to be genuine, concerned. Even tugging at my arm tightly, jerking me back, preventing me from going down any further. For a moment, while I took my last step before touching ground, my new New Balance running shoes began to lose theirs. The woman’s behavior and kind look shocked me. If I had closed my eyes and pretended this woman was not a psychic scam-artist, I maybe would have felt like she was a confidante of mine, someone who’s actually trying to help me, someone who really cared.

From one well-seasoned actor to another, I told her with Richard Burton stage presence and my own best diction, “I’ll think about it,” and I waved my hand goodbye. Of course I was never going to think about it. How absolutely ridiculous.


Although it would be one of the shortest and easiest of my training, my two-mile run through fall-foliaged Central Park was turning out to be one of the most challenging. Every little uphill incline was like a Swiss Matterhorn climb for me and my legs. It wasn’t the physical discomfort I was feeling, it was everything extraneous filtering down from my brain. The training I had done for my past marathons went smoothly on every occasion. I always knew I would finish each one well, based on the by-the-book preparations I had accomplished with little problem beforehand.

Who is this M? What garbage. Why did I have to hear all this weirdness just two days before the marathon? And the date. Why before December thirty-first? Absolute nonsense. In addition to my crammed-full head, I was also developing a headache. The timing of everything couldn’t have been worse.

If only I could begin focusing on something entirely different, everything would become clear, I thought. Nature’s brief oasis amid the manmade mayhem intrigued me, although the humidity lingering outside wasn’t doing my straight-acting brown wavy hair any favors.

The hyperactive and most likely horny squirrels running around on the ground as fast as possible then back up the trees again. The other runners, many of whom I could tell would be chasing each other in the marathon now only two days away. So much was out there to occupy my mind. And, like radar, my sensitive ears began picking up every single baby’s cry in the park. I had passed by several in strollers, while others were being held lovingly in their mother’s arms. Each one of them screaming as if they were all in intolerable pain. I guess teething does that to a person.

Just as my mind reverted back to the peculiar expression on the lady’s face when she delivered her proclamation of doom, I was almost knocked down to the pavement by a dread-locked redhead roller-blader. “Sorr—, mahn,” was all he was able to offer in a nearly incomprehensible voice. Then, he whisked away from me with no regard for my feelings whatsoever.

It’s ridiculous to believe I deserved to have some sort of accident or fatal misfortune coming my way. Perhaps I should just be more careful, I thought. Look both ways. “Better safe, than sorry,” my mom had always told me.


A hot, generically-priced Walgreen’s-brand bubble bath had worked every time for me and whatever mood I was in. Everything was in perfect order, all planned out. I could tell my mind would get back to normal once I had finished my most favorite ritual of all.

Just having scrubbed off the hardened Queen Helene’s Mint Julip masque from my freshly-exfoliated face, I grabbed for my custom-ordered and super-sized Keanu Reeves mug filled with Chamomile tea, milk and honey, and I carried it to my bath. The water temperature wasn’t too cold nor too hot, it was ‘just right,’ perfect should Goldilocks pay a surprise visit.

Staying for free in my friend Tracy’s apartment in Astoria while she was away in Iowa directing a play was such a money-saver. Although a closet fag hag, Tracy’s a natural nurturer to both gays and straights alike. Being two Cal theatre alums, Tracy was the only one sensible enough to remain offstage after graduating. She loved Manhattan, but couldn’t afford its prices apparently. Since I’d never known that much about Queens, specifically, the borough of Queens, my stay ended up being a very Italian-American learning experience.

While glancing at my handy-dandy day planner atop Tracy’s unkempt desk full of playbills, to see which step comes next, I discovered that I’d dutifully accomplished all that was on my list for the day. Everything checked off.

Putting my newly, lightly-pedicured big toe, with its allover tan, into my makeshift spa as a test, was a success. A well-deserved A for effort. Transporting myself into such needed tranquility was going to be heavenly. Total relaxation. Total abandonment. At a time when I needed it most. My closed eyes felt like they were meant to. Alone. Quiet. At peace. Then the phone rang.

Not wanting to drench the bone-dry floor, I did my best to take it slow while still hurrying to get to the phone in time. I wasn’t expecting a call from Tracy for another hour or so. Why was she calling me so early?

After picking up the receiver, hoping I wouldn’t become electrocuted to death by the ‘stepping out of the shower-touching anything electric’ myth, I caught my breath and said, “Hello.”

“So, how are your training runs coming along?” my mother Barbara asked, while I knew she was picking at her face needlessly with her right thumb and left forefinger.

“They’re OK, Mom.”

“Don’t forget to eat three bananas right after. If your legs cramp too often, you’ll wind up with varicose veins.”

“Yeah, I’ll make sure to do that.”

“I’ve told everyone I know to watch the race on TV. I’m so proud of you. Did you get the Oakland A’s tee-shirt I sent you? Canseco on the back? That’s how they’ll be able to tell it’s you.”

There’s no way in a million years I’d ever wear that. Well, only if Jose Canseco’s bulges came with it.

“Yes, I did. Thanks. I still want to wear something I’m familiar with though. Worn in.”

“It’s just a thought.”

“Mom, I don’t think anyone’ll be able to see me. There’s nearly thirty-five thousand runners.” Not really being able to understand her reasoning, I still appreciated my mother’s support.

“Well, at least promise to call me after you’ve finished, hon. I want to know how you did. After all, I’m your biggest fan. I’m always thinking about you.”


Never in a million years would I ever admit to anyone that the TV show that made me laugh the most was Mama’s Family. It’s just too dumb. But, it’s one I could watch over and over again if only to hear Mama, Thelma Harper, say, “Well, what the…?” as she smacked her son Vint senseless with a folded-up copy of the Raytown Bugle. I loved every easily-predictable second of it.

Just as I became deeply engrossed in the plot’s bittersweet climax, Mama with a slight limp, returning home from the Raytown National Bank after having slipped on a roll of pennies, my phone rang.


“How’d you know it was me?”

“Lucky guess.”

Hearing my petite five-foot-one best friend’s voice say, “I just wanted to wish you well, Paul,” meant the world to me.

“I’m glad you called. I’m a little nervous. So much has been on my mind.”

With her two dogs that flunked out of obedience school barking uncontrollably in the background, Jenna asked enthusiastically, “What about that psychic I recommended? Did you go? Are you and Justin getting back together?”

“Jenna. Are you kidding? That woman was a joke. Why’d you send me there?” I asked while internally scrutinizing the paradox that lives inside her, her great intelligence combined with her faithful belief in this crap.

“Why do you say that?”

“She was nuts. She told me that I needed to get rid of my negativity, to figure out why I was so unhappy, by the end of the year…or I was going to die. Before January first.”


“You’re not surprised? And what? She told me Justin would come back to me, but it’s my choice if I want him in my life or not, or something like that.”


“Jenna. What? It was laughable. OK. And, she told me that someone named M was meditating against me daily, someone who’s extremely jealous of me.”

“You didn’t tell her you knew me, did you? You never mentioned my name?”

“No. Why?”

“When I was there she’d told me the same story. Someone constantly thinking negative thoughts about me. She told me the jealous woman was my mother.”

Friday, July 10, 2009

BLOG / Brüno: Stereotype? Or a mediocre laugh at his, I mean, OUR expense?

Brüno, the film not the man, came out today. What are your thoughts? Personally, I can only laugh ( at the film, at the premise itself). You know why? I’m old enough to recall the genius of Archie Bunker. A character (in the TV series, ALL IN THE FAMILY) created for us all to laugh at merely because of his prejudices, his superimposed stereotypes. I laughed hysterically at nearly everything he had to say; (although I was just a kid) I don’t ever recall having been offended. He was just TOO silly, TOO ignorant. (At a young age) Archie made me realize the silliness of it all, while enlightening me at the same time. I can only be grateful.

And, from a more personal perspective and F.Y.I., blogging comes with a price. I’m an honest guy, but I steer clear of being both political and being politically correct. If someone chooses to read my blog/my books, I can only assume that they are, literally and figuratively, on the same page as me. True? Not much energy goes into it. I conceded long ago that many others are far better at illumination than I.

Brüno is Archie, in reverse. Both absurd, both surreal, both fiction, both created for our collective entertainment. Is everyone and anyone involved in the fashion industry a flamer? I hardly think so. Is every loading-dock foreman from Astoria, Queens a bigot? Most likely not.

All I know is that ALL IN THE FAMILY was revolutionary, a colossal wake-up call. Brüno is 4, yes 4, decades behind the times. It’s got to be more-than-quality writing to make me laugh at gay people merely because they’re gay. I hope you feel the same.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Hey everyone,

Happy Fourth to you all!! Wherever you are, may there be many weenies on the fire, sand in your shoes, sunscreen on your face, and may the Coors, Bud or Augustiner Bräu be free-flowing.

As it turns out, The Seventh Ritual, my newest novel for adults, will not be released today as scheduled. Instead, I'll continue to celebrate the countdown of my life...the day this book leaves my hands, and instead, lives in bookstores.

I knew I should have listened to my little pal Pauly (on page 168) when he'd said,

[If it’s not one thing it’s the other. As per usual, whatever was supposed to go right didn’t. It all had to do with Number #4, but that one was just going to have to happen some other day. Something had gone wrong again, or they weren’t able to get some doohickey that needed to go with it. Whatever. Although I’m curious, I don’t mind waiting to find out later.

On Sunday morning television programs they tell you that patience is a virtue. I think that comes from the bible or TV Guide. I’m not really sure. I get the two of them mixed up sometimes. Watching television’s fun, I do it all the time.

But don’t get me started on all those ads they run for the Emergency Broadcast System. It really frosts me when they put those smack dab in the middle of my Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons. And that sound they make that goes with it, it scares the daylights out of me.]

The Seventh Ritual, a race for survival

My Watch Doesn't Tell Time

Don't Be Afraid of Heaven

Fear Ain't All That

Just Say Mikey