People of the world and news from Dell Sweet

Posted 06-09-13

Well, Earth’s Survivors Three is available now. I gave it away over the weekend. Usually that is about 150 books or so for me, but this came to several hundred. I hope those of you who downloaded it enjoyed it.

I am currently working on the second space novel (Just editing for Geo) Tomorrow I will start upload the first Earth’s Survivors Outrunner book. I will send that to Jay and Geo next week or the week after. For a guy who dropped out of school and lived on the streets, could not read or write because of that and had to be taught by someone, it amazes me that I spend all of my time either reading or writing now. If I don’t have a book I have either written or intend to write running around my head at any given time, something is wrong.

It’s raining in New York. Heavy, cold rain. Spring is official, but has been pretty hard to find so far this season. I thought I would share part of my past week with you…

I use Windows Seven for my operating system. Not because I like Windows Seven, but because Linux is not universally accepted yet. So I use Linux as much as I can and then Windows Seven when I have to.

I purchased a new machine a month or so ago and it came with Windows Eight. Oh, I could write a whole blog about how I hate Windows Eight. And I do. It compromises you and your information on every level, because it insists on having it. It insists on knowing everything there is to know about you. Do you have five freckles on the inside of your left thigh? That would be about the only thing it doesn’t ask or know about it, but I would not count on the fact that it doesn’t know, it just might. Anyway, for me, too nosy. I buy the software and so I guess that means I am supporting the invasion of my privacy. But I would like it to be more like a car. A Toyota will drive me anywhere I want to go, but, so will a Ford, or a Chevy, or a Dodge, or, well, you get the idea. So why is it we only have Windows? Where the hell is the support for Linux? Or something else? Okay, That’s all I have on that.

So, I deep-sixed the machine I bought because, as it turns out, you can not easily delete win 8, at least on this machine. It would not allow me to install my Win 7. I struggled with it for a week. I decided in that space of time that there was not redeeming quality there and then one day I went online, ordered the parts from Amazon to fix my old machine. Kicked myself for not doing that first, and once they came I spent a few hours fixing the old machine. Once I was done I unplugged the new machine, stuck it back in the box and slid it under my desk. It made a great foot rest until my mother’s machine locked up the other day.

Moms machine is my old machine. I wrote several short stories and my first novel on that machine, a lawn sale item I had all of 40.00 dollars into. “Well, how would you like a Windows Eight machine, Mom,” I asked? For her it’s great. She is a social animal, mom is. I think something like 600 face book friends. She has all her on-line shopping places, her Kindle account. Huh, I said to her, people actually use computers to socialize? Mom just laughed at me. She figured out Win 8 immediately and has no problem with it. Humph…

I use Windows Seven and it makes me money, or helps me to make a living. It’s a tool I use to run the software that makes my living, and allows me to access the publishing services I need to be able to make my living. It also allows me to buy and sell on-line if I so choose, use software to listen to music, manipulate my artwork and create Artwork too. Record Music of my own. Read other E-Books (Yes, I read other authors, not just the ones here at independAntwriters). In short I spend a great deal of time in the Windows Seven environment and all I ever do is complain about it, uh, sort of like I am right now. But once I got a load of Win 8 I decided I would embrace Win 7. No more complaints from me.

So, last week I went to Google for a translation for a phrase spoken by one of the characters in Earth’s Survivors Three. Candace Loi is Japanese and African American. Her Grandmother spoke Japanese. I remembered the pronunciation for Grand Daughter in Japanese, but did not want to hack the spelling. And, growing up and hearing it, having an idea in my head what it meant, and then what it really means are different things sometimes. I went with Magomusume instead of Mago. Magomusume is more formal, and not really used often. But, I didn’t want to confuse things, it’s not like the character can launch into a long explanation about why it is not usually used in the Gender specific form.

So, I found it, but, when I had searched, it had also shown me a few images of people that indirectly related to my search. Japanese life. Yes, for once, not porn that always seems to pop up, but actual people… With their clothes on. I was awed, and I did something I rarely do, I spent about four hours more on Google looking for more pictures of people from all walks of life. So when you read Earth’s Survivors Three and you reach the point where Candace explains Magomusume you will know that as soon as I wrote that I then spent four or so hours Googleing stuff. I went ahead and clicked the ‘Images’ link on Google. Like I said, usually I am Leery of it, but this time I carefully restricted my keywords and was rewarded.

Poor, Gypsies, Vietnamese, Japanese, Native American, African and African American. One simply led to the next. And, why look if you don’t intend to keep? The reason I thought of that is because I know a man who, whenever I visit, has his desktop machine (A MAC, Ironically) set to show different life scenes. And this is on his office machine, so, while I’m waiting, I watch the picture show. I have been there enough times to know the pictures, and so I anticipate certain ones.

I sit in the padded leather chair, in his office, in America, where even the very poor do not starve to death in the streets, or get shot or terrorized by soldiers, or shot, killed and dumped in a ditch somewhere. At least not as the normal course of a day. Violence does happen here too. Having both grown up poor, and spent time actually living on the streets as a teen, I understand that what we see on the surface is only a poor reflection of what is under that surface. But I sit in his padded leather chair and I watch scenes from all over the world. People, Artwork, Animals, Architecture and more. It’s pleasant to watch. Soothing. I suppose it is for him too.

But the images I discovered that day were people who knew nothing at all about me. My life. My computer. The life I lead is so far from their life that it might just be incomprehensible to them. In any case, for most of them, they will never live this type of life. And, they don’t look all that unhappy about the possibility of never living this life to me.

Yes, in some instances I’m sure they are. When their basic rights are violated, when they are oppressed, when they are hungry. Not our version of hungry, I mean when they have not eaten. Maybe for days. So, their life is not all roses, but they don’t miss what they have never thought about, seen, or experienced. And I looked at the pictures and I thought this is what I need to look at every day. This is what can keep me connected to the real world. That is important to me. Being grounded. Staying grounded.

So I spent about four hours and downloaded every picture that I came across that I liked. I put them in a folder and I have added to that folder a few times now when I have thought of other people I would like to see. Then I set my desktop to that folder and voila. I Guess I am bringing it up because it affected me in some unexpected ways.

First, I have dual monitors, so as I work I can see the pictures change, for the most part. The only time I can’t is when I have something else up on the second monitor. But, I found that I tend to leave that monitor blank most of the time now. And that, throughout my day, I am watching the faces pop up. A mother in Africa with her baby. A band of Gypsies Exiled by Hitler before or during the war. He hated them as much as he did the Jewish people. A proud but poor Father in Mexico posing outside of a house most of us would not want to step inside of let alone call home, with his family. All smiling. Looks like they have a lot of love if not money.

A young Native American mother sometime back in the 1700’s staring wide eyed at the camera, her child held in her arms. She looks so young and scared. A little Boy smiling up at the camera, tribal scars on both sides of his face. He looks so happy. His smile is genuine. A mother nursing. Rebels posing with Machine Guns on a road in a jungle somewhere. A young Vietnamese woman making her way through the ruined streets of some Vietnamese city. A Chinese woman with her child on her back, wrapped and looking at the world go by as mom makes her way to where ever she is going. And more…

A family on the road. A father carrying his children. Images of war, images of peace. Images I have no context for, only the people looking into the lens of the camera, or away: Caught unawares. I realized it really was keeping the world in my mind. Why is that father carrying his children? What does that mother feed her children? Do they know about the western world? What do they think about it? I like it. It keeps the world on my mind. The part of the world that is important.

I don’t mean our jobs, bills, house payments aren’t important, I am only saying that people are more important. Seeing these people from all over the world. Some surely still living, some long gone away, keeps me grounded. If only because of what I just said. Know some a re gone. Some still here. It reminds me that there were times with my family, friends, I wish I could have back, had cherished more. Some of those people are gone now. If I remember them as I look at the pictures it’s like they never left. And, there are the questions I have for those I see in the pictures too. It keeps the important things in the world in perspective for me.

It has been an interesting week, and I am glad I made the change. It even makes me grateful, yes, grateful, to Microsoft for this desktop where I can watch those changing pictures. Or whoever came up with the idea. Does that mean I can’t complain about Windows anymore?


Take a look at my books on Amazon: Dell Sweet


Satellite cable

Posted by Geo 01-30-17

Last day of the month. The time is flowing by quickly. Winter will be gone before I can even get a good complaint going about the cold and ice and summer will be here with its heat and humidity and I’ll wish I had never said a word.

Spent today waiting on the satellite company, spent yesterday waiting on the cable company. I love waiting for service people that have you completely at their mercy. In the end it all got straightened out and only half of today was wasted saying the same thing over and over as I was transferred to department after department.

I had bought into an advertisement on TV that promised satellite internet speeds as fast as cable. Just so you know, it isn’t true at all. Not even close. Half the speed, hard to even stream a movie without interruptions, and there is a data cap. Read that as one or two movies, a little light duty surfing and you are done for the whole month. That would knock me out the first day of the month. So I went through the whole hook it up and then disconnect it thing. My own fault. If something sounds suspect it probably is. I know that, yet I still fell for it. And so you know, it costs a great deal to buy your way back out once you take the plunge, but I ate that too. Live and learn.

So that kept me away from my writing schedule today and my day off yesterday. I will fix that though. I have a little story in my head where a Cable company installer gets involved with a Satellite installers wife. The husband finds out and all hell breaks loose. That’s the nice thing about being a writer. You can get retribution and it isn’t even a felony.

We are about a third of the way through the writing process for book Ten of the Earth’s Survivors series. It is coming along well. There is other writing for the 7th Zombie Plagues book happening at the same time as I mentioned last week. In any case it is going well. A few days of cable and satellite interruptions wont bother it at all.

So while I was waiting on the satellite service today, I decided that it was a good time to move my wireless router since I was changing the service over, and make the location more central to both machines and the printer that use it. I was wrong. I mean it got moved, but it was not a good day to do it. It is 28 and windy and snowing hard: You need windshield wipers for your glasses. I ended up drilling holes and running wires, all of the things I didn’t want to do in the cold, but somehow talked myself into. I am an idiot at times I will admit that.

I went ahead and assumed it would all work out great. I unplugged the modem, collected up the new modem and then the wireless modem and went to work drilling the holes and running about 50′ of cable for Ethernet too. Got out my little wire staples and popped it all together nice and neat and turned it on. It worked great. It worked great for about 3 minutes and then it quit working. Shut it off and turn it back on and it’s fine for three more minutes then it’s off again. It has been such a crazy two months using brand B’s service that I seriously considered whether or not I could get my web stuff done in that three minute window. When I realized I was seriously considering it I kicked myself in the ass and went back to work trying to figure it out.

The router would take me to the router site but then it claimed that it couldn’t recognize the service provider and refused to set it all the way up. So I went step by step as it said to.

#1. Reset the unit and wait 2 minutes before you cycle through the start up process.

I waited two minutes, same three minutes of internet access and then nothing. It finally occurred to me that I had never reset the other modem, the cable company one. Should that matter? Yes, it should and did. I reset it and it all came on and worked fine. Told you I was an idiot.

But really I think I expect everything to be intuitive. Maybe ask me a question or two in a robotic voice and then proceed to setup. No problem. I hate technologies that can’t communicate with each other and so have no clue why they are not working and no ability to chat back and forth to you to find out. I know this is true because several times this morning I called the router a No good ***&^ and a &^^**%, and it made no difference. If someone had called me those things I definitely would have reacted. So I am puzzled as to why it didn’t. It didn’t have to say much, just a short Sorry, or even Wow, you screwed that up, right? Anything like that, but it stayed silent: Nothing at all to say.

I made it past that though and everything is hooked up and very fast. So I thought, well I’ll take advantage of this super fast connection to access my account and cancel the old stuff and that was when things got even worse. Three hours later I managed to find an English understanding person in tech support, at least he sort of understood it about as well as I understood him. So I got off the phone. I considered that the cap to my morning. Stung by the satellite company, then the cable company, then tech support. Bastards. That was morning. It’s now afternoon and 5 degrees, that is about all that has changed. And of course it’s nearly 3:00 PM too. How in hell did that happen?

Well, there you go. That is my Monday, and I hope that your Monday is a lot better. I will be back on writing tomorrow, and from there the rest of the week stretches out pretty much problem free. I hope your day is problem free, and go download these free books. I’ll be back Wednesday, Geo.

The free books for today are:

Free eBooks

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse

Series: Earth’s Survivors · Free eBooks. Price: Free! Words: 94,690. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2015 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General,Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic

(4.00)

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All buried in a desperate struggle to survive. Small groups band together for safety, leaving the ravaged cities behind in search of a new future…

Earths Survivors The Zombie Killers: Origins

Series: Earth’s Survivors The Zombie Killers, Book 1 · Free eBooks. Price: Free! Words: 77,890. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2014 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories:Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The Zombie Killers are the men and women who keep the new settlements safe for the other survivors. Those in the Nation and those in the Fold, and the many independent colonies that would not be able to exist without their help and intervention. They are the ones who search out supplies, fight the Zombie Plagues so that the others can live in safety…

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Series: The Zombie Plagues, Book 1 · Free eBooks. Price: Free! Words: 73,100. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories:Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic

(5.00)

What if the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive? The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth, where the dead sometimes do not remain dead. Follow along as they try to rebuild their own lives as they rebuild their world.

Connected: Sanger Road

Series: Connected · Free eBooks · Crime Novels. Price: Free! Words: 41,020. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2016 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories:Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Sanger Road: An explosive morning on a dead end road is about to change Carl Ever’s life forever. Ami Anderson is a young woman living a dead end life, the same as Carl. They are thrown together and find themselves in a set of circumstances neither could ever have predicted. Murder, hired killers, cash and drugs are all in the mix. Soon Ami and Carl find themselves on the run for their lives…

Free eBooks: https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/25786


Learning the ropes

Posted by Geo 11:50 AM 01/11/2017

What I am up to…

I am working on a new book today, enjoying the process. It is a beautiful day in the city today. The cold is gone, tomorrow’s temperatures are predicted to be record setting.

Misspent youth: How I got beat up the first few times – And Old School Mothers…

When I was a kid there was no Internet, phones were barely more than curiosities that not everyone could afford, and Jesus was only in the second grade. Uh, before God zaps me let me explain that, that would be Jesus Santos whose parents had moved to Galveston where I went to school at Island Elementary, not the savior that died on the cross.

But, that brings up a point, why name the kid that? Wouldn’t you be a little concerned that some smart Alec like me would come along and say. “Hey, are you that Jesus?” and “So, where are your disciples?”

Anyway, after Jesus punched me I realized that people with funny names can fight. And right after that I realized if you point that out to the person in casual conversation Jesus just might punch you again. I was not a smart child, a little brainy, but lacking common sense. What would have been great is if I could have taken Jesus through life with me to help me see those things. But no, not too long after that we moved to New York and I realized that people with funny accents tend to want to smack you when you point that out to them. And, not only that, they’ll turn it around on you and claim you have the accent because you came from Texas… I think I fought every day for the first few weeks.

But I fought. I didn’t call their cell phone and leave a nasty message. I didn’t leave a nasty note on their Facebook account, or hack it. That’s all I read about lately. That’s how it’s done. No face to face stuff. Of course, as I said we didn’t have Internet and phones were not for causal calls. I could see me picking up the phone and calling Jesus’s house…

Oh… is this little George? How is your mother?”

And that would have been the end of it right there. Small town. Maybe we had a half dozen phones, and everyone knew everyone. His mother would have recognized my voice, asked about my mother, and then what could I say? “Oh, she’s fine, and, by the way, Mrs. Santos, do you know if Jesus found his disciples yet?”

Even if I had done it I would have no more hung up the phone than Jesus’s Mom would have been on the phone to my mom. My mom would have hung up the phone and, as we used to say back then, my ass would have been grass. The shit would have hit the fan. Never mind ‘Wait until your Father gets home’ Moms were prepared to deal with you back then. They may have looked like lightweights… No tattoos or piercings, gym bodies or anything else. They were just tough no nonsense moms hanging out in the kitchen in their June Cleaver shifts baking pot roasts and meatloaf, but they were tough. Truthfully, if you asked a group of old school mothers where Jimmy Hoffa is they could probably tell you. They were that tough.

Do you know who that was?” She would ask me…

Mother Mary?” See, once you start down the road of smartassery it’s hard to stop.

Have you ever eaten soap? I have, and a conversation that made smart remarks about both Jesus and his mother would have been a soap eating offense.

But we didn’t do those things, mainly because we didn’t have the technology and secondary to that any kids mother could put a foot in your butt back then. It was a federal law. I’m pretty sure. So whatever you did it was coming back at you, so kids took care of things themselves.

The whole thing with Jesus taught me about emotion and how boys handle it. Taught me to duck a punch too. You would think it would teach me to shut up, but no. I decided that since I seemed to have a big mouth, and that teeth were made to last a lifetime, I had better learn how to fight. Somehow I decided in my head that learning how to fight would be easy. And then? Well, if I wanted to make smart remarks about Jesus and his little disciples I could. Of course the part of the equation I had missed was learning. I had to learn to fight, and learning to fight meant getting punched in the face. So, not only was I still getting punched in the face, I was volunteering to do it and I couldn’t even punch them back!

I think it was around my third time in an actual boxing match that I began to think it might be smarter to, one: Read about it first. Two: Try really hard to fall down with my face off to one side. Big noses break easy. Three: Find some other way to spend my Saturday instead of getting beat up.

After I woke up from my last fight I decided that Karate was probably smarter. I mean Kato was really cool. It looked so easy. That was great until I realized that not only would people be punching me in the face they would also be kicking me … In the faceReally hard... And anywhere else their feet could reach… Kids have bad aim. But the good thing I learned was, it is really hard to break your eye… Either one of them. And a point of fact, people with funny names can also kick box like crazy too. And a punch from a gloved hand or foot can still ring your bell. So if, let’s say the guys name was Frances, and he hated the name Frances, it might not be too smart to say things like ‘Frances Is A Sissy’ (Francis of Assisi) damn Catholic school knowledge. Or do you know what Nun means? None for you and None for me! Ha, ha, ha, ouch! My mouth is broken.

After a while I learned to fight. Either that or all the kids with funny names or in Catholic school would have just continued to beat me up all through school and I couldn’t have that. And I learned to fight when I realized I had a funny name too. Huh. You know I think kids can turn any name into a funny name. Gladys becomes Glad Ass, obviously if your last name is Kuntz you’re in for it. A kid in my class had that name. And a kid named Beeman… “Hey! Where’s your Bees Man?” Oh… We were so clever.

So, I grew up and got a job as a writer. Now when I don’t like someone I just kill them off in a plot and then throw a disclaimer in the front of the book saying it wasn’t them. Piece of cake. And if I want to pick on someones name I let the characters do it for me. And I never allow any of the characters to pick on my name. After all, they’re my characters.

Okay. I have to go. That whole Jimmy Hoffa thing has me curious. I have to go ask Mom about it!

Hey, get the Zombie Plagues free at Smashwords, Nook, I-Tunes, Diesel, etc… Here’s the Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/5280

Have a safe week, see you Friday, Geo…


WordPress

Posted by Dell 01-06-2017

I’m in for Geo today who is digging out from under even more snow than I am…

Wow. I woke up this morning to about three feet of snow. The pictures above are the same place just two mornings apart. The one on the left is Wednesday morning the one on the right is this Friday morning. The rains of Wednesday turned to cold rains by late Wednesday, freezing rain just before evening, and a blizzard shortly after nightfall. Then the lake effect machine fired up and the rest is history. Thursday we were pounded with snow. We have about 3 feet on the level but there are places around us that got double that easily. Many places are still under fire this morning in northern New York. A little south and the the snow is still coming down measured in feet. So drive careful if you have to drive.

I spent the last two days in the world of Petra and Mike on Star Dancer. The story is coming together. I like it and I am looking forward to the writing schedule. There is no actual schedule, I just write as I feel it.

The new WordPress site:

I have noticed that there is much to like with this WordPress site and also a little to dislike. The likes are all because of the platform. It is well written. The CSS implementation is done well, the themes work well. Probably because they have also been written well and tested well. Good plug-ins, really you can browse through the available plugins and find just about anything you can imagine.

The dashboard works well. Not too cluttered, a lot of thought seems to have gone into it. Since I had used Concrete for so many years I thought the switch would be really bad. In fact I was willing to go back to the last open version of Concrete rather than make the switch. Stupid really, but you might understand how you can get caught in that I Don’t Want to Change place.

Anyway, glad I did. WordPress is far superior to Concrete. The dashboard is easier to use. The plugins and themes are a breeze to implement. Even starting with a stock theme you can use widgets and add-ons to change it completely. And many of those plug-in and themes are free. Free and quality, because let’s face it, free isn’t much good if it is garbage. Venture outside of free plug-ins and themes, widgets, and you’ll find top shelf add-ons that are most definitely worth the money. Not out there on a limb, no busting the budget, just reasonably priced, and believe me, just look, you will probably find what you want for a layout all ready for you in a theme you can download and have working in no time.

I found the PHP implementation easy to handle too. In fact I did the  one click install at One.com and it did it for me. No problem. I was used to doing the databases myself for Concrete and having to sort out any conflicts. Not so with One.com my ISP, one click and the entire package installs. A few short set up questions you need to answer and you are done. Ready to start building your website.

From there I opened up the page for themes, chose the one I wanted to build on: Added a few of my own graphics and I was done with the basic site. After that I tweaked a few things, but really not much. I did decide that I wanted to add buttons for Social Media to each new post or page. There was a plug-in for that, it installed with a few clicks, a short couple of parameters to set and it was working. I needed to be able to display banners and I wanted them to be able to be random. I easily found a plug-in for that, set it up, added my banner links and that was that.

In all I spent just a few hours setting up my WordPress site and I am happy with it. As I said, the software is great. What I did find was that the spammers are not so great.

It took only a few days before they began inundating me with garbage. At first just a few a day. They do this in the form of responses or comments to your posts. They post some bogus comment that includes a link to whatever they are pushing. If you approve it, there goes your traffic. The link poses as an innocent topic related link, but grabs your visitor and takes them off site to ads and click throughs many for things that have nothing to do with the topic of your website. Porn, sneakers, you name it. Anyplace they can get someone to pay them for a click.

Off course your visitor has to click it, but they are usually attractive and designed so that they will. This was discouraging to me. One night I had well over 200 posts or responses that I had to wade through. That is what they count on, that you will not check all of those posts and so approve them in bulk. If you do they have stolen a good portion of your traffic. You may as well just have them send the posts to you and you post them for them.

What to do?

First. Mark every email that does this to you as SPAM and block that email address. Second I set up a few links of my own and so now when someone sends a bogus comment or post I simply replace their link they are trying to push with my own. Believe me. They are about stealing traffic and making money: Block them enough and they will will grow tired of opening new email accounts just to spam you. Put your own link into that carefully worded link they spammed you with and you have taken that traffic they were trying to steal from you back. They won’t want to do that for you too often.

In short I decided that dealing with spammers is part of the gig. If you do this you will have to. I found that after just a week or so the spammers began to let me alone. Yes they still do try, a few a day, but nothing like the crazy amounts I got the first few weeks and months until I figured out what to do.

So I hope you got something out of this post. It is possible to build an attractive site very easily. One that is mobile friendly, browser compatible and that you can enjoy working with.

You can go through your own web host or ISP like I did with One.com and use the one click app to install a working WordPress site. Or you can host directly with WordPress or even download a version of WordPress and install it with another ISP or Host. There are many ways to get the job done, I chose the easiest.

Mentioned in this article: WordPress.org  One.com web hosting

That is me for today. I hope the weather is good where you are. It’s Friday and that means Free eBooks. Thanks to my publisher Smashwords.

Free eBooks all formats, instant downloads, actually free, no gimmicks. 

That is it for me. I will see you on Monday, Dell.


Fred The Cat

12-28-2016 Geo

THE STORY OF FRED THE CA T

I have mentioned Fred the cat many times as I write. Here is the story of Fred the Cat.

I rehabbed the entire house my mother, aunt and uncle live in about twelve years ago, but over the years things have slid. Three people in their seventies can not keep up the maintenance that needs to be performed on a house as it ages.

So, here I am trying to fix up the house again after years of being away. One of the thing s that had happened was that raccoons had found their way into an old chimney, broken through that into a utility area, found their way into a dropped ceiling in my Mothers living room, and dropped down into her lap (Practically) while she was watching T.V. With her Cats, and all Hell broke loose. Well, maybe not all of Hell actually broke loose but I would say a good deal of it did.

The Cats were upset, or as we say here in the north country, Pissed off. The raccoons believed, like Christopher Columbus maybe, that they had discovered this new place, therefor it was theirs. They did not try to make peace, however, with the natives like good old Chris did with my people (Before he stuck it to us, that is…. Just want to keep the record straight). No. The raccoons believed that both the Cats and my Mother should move.

Fortunately raccoons do not always have good access to legal representation, and these were no exception. So as a result my Brother-In-Law Harry came and sent them on their way and closed up the area they had been coming in through. No problem. My Mother lived happily ever after. The Cats basked in the Sunshine, and I came home to a secure well maintained home. No.

Cats are curious about everything. They are probably even curious about other animals or people, besides themselves, but they would probably never admit that though. So, instead of leaving well enough alone, the Cats decided to find out why the raccoons had gotten in, and how, and if a Cat could do it to, and then of course one cat probably dared the other, and so while one held the flashlight the other pried off the fix and got into the chimney. Oh what wonder! What absolute Joy! A way to get in and out of the house without having to use the door (Cats love things like this). And so the cats had their way in and out. Up the roof, into the old chimney, down the chimney, out the broken block that used to vent the furnace, drop right down on the furnace and then spring out of the utility room as soon as the door opened. My mother, who loves Cats, decided in her wisdom that since the cats had worked this out she should help them along by leaving the utility room door open. Oh those were happy cats (I assume).

Then I came along and the first thing I did was shut up the hole. That was how I met Fred. Fred was the only cat still able to find a way in and out, and Fred did not believe I had a say in it, and, well, as it turned out Fred was right. I blocked every hole I could find and Fred found some new way in. Finally, one late afternoon, I came into the Kitchen after working all day on closing the roof line up and any other spot I could find, and announced to Mom that the house was a cat free zone now. The utility door bumped open and Fred sauntered by me to the food bowl Mom had put down for him. She had more faith in the cat than me, well placed too.

That is how I met Fred. I just declared a truce.I thought, this rough and tumble cat beat me fair and square, he can stay.

Fred seemed like a Male cat. He acted like a male cat. He chased the female cats around, corralled them (Cats do that, perfectly fine behaviors for them. I would not recommend you try that at home) So, I assumed Fred was a male cat.

SURPRISE!!!

Fred is not a boy cat at all. Not only is Fred not a boy cat. Yes, this means I had to give him a quick exam, have you ever had a cat jump up on your lap and turn around and stick their butt in your face? Sure you have. Cat’s do that all the time. They think you Want to see their butt. Okay, it was at one of these times that I noticed Fred was not Anatomically equipped to be a boy cat. Right Fred was missing a few things and had a few things he shouldn’t have had.

“Hey, Ma!” I yelled. “Fred’s not a boy cat!”

“You’re a quick thinker,” Mom said. “I told you he might not be.”

“Might not be,” I said defensively.

“Well I guess I can change that to definitely isn’t,” Mom said and went back to watching General Hospital.

What could I say. Fred cocked her head back to me as if to ask if I got a good enough look. Cat’s are such smart asses, then jumped down and sauntered away.

End of story, except, Fred is looking distinctly fat… Fatter. Mom and I have come to a consensus, Fred the cat is probably pregnant. I said, “Well I thought Fred was just hanging out with those male cats ’cause they were his buddies!”

“Oh, they were her buddies alright,” Mom said wisely.

OTHER THINGS

We have a little kitten who likes to climb my leg while I’m typing. The she looks at me like, Oh … Were you typing? It’s me! The kitty! Let’s play! I’m cute! I’m also persistent. I’ll keep stepping on your keyboard and attacking you thumbs (Which hang off the edge of the key board as I type) Until you pay attention to me! Gotta go before she actually manages to chew a hole through my thumb… Dell…

Check out this book:

The End Of Summer

The summer of 1969 was winding down. The warm air held a smell 13 year old Bobby Weston couldn’t quite identify but nevertheless acquainted with going back to school. An end of summer smell, he decided. Or maybe an end of summer feeling. He couldn’t make up his mind, and it really didn’t matter, as soon enough summer would be gone and he’d be back in school. He had permission to go camping today. More

Available formats: epub mobi pdf rtf lrf pdb txt html


The Mayans

Posted 12-17-16 This came out of the whole Mayans prediction that the Earth would end a few years back, Geo…

The Mayans.

I am not all that pleased with the Mayans. I have been waiting, but here it is creeping towards the end of the year and the earth is still here. What happened? Great math mathematicians my… Well, you know.

But really, we are so gullible That’s how these whack jobs like the Mayans get us in the first place. The whole thing probably went something like this…

Bob and Ted Mayan (Well, they were called Mayans, right?) were bored one day. Maybe they had just smoked a little weed, had a couple of ancient beers (Probably not a good European Dark beer, but hey they’re lucky they had any at all), and, most likely Bob said something like…

“Hey, man… What if… What if… I forgot.”

“The world ended,” Ted supplied.

“Yeah… Yeah, Man. That’s it. What if, like, the world just ended and… and…” he shrugged (Probably too stoned to think straight)

“Yeah… Yeah… I see it,” Ted nearly screams. “And we all float off into space!”

“Dude!” Bob says.

“Dude,” Ted agrees.

And that was probably it right there. Next thing you know Bob and Ted have started themselves a little cult. Got a bunch of their contemporaries following them. Probably put it on their version of Face Book (The Cave Walls) and that was it. One kid’s a math wiz (At least on their level) and the next thing you know the Mayans are predicting our future. Makes me mad just thinking about it.

So here I am a few thousand years later… I don’t know the Mayans were high that day… I don’t know they had three or four arrests for possession before they were sixteen. Nope. I’m just an average Joe saying, Hey? What the hell is the deal? And I start to think maybe it’s happening. I’m at work and I turn to Fred my Cat…

“Fred… Fred, does it feel like the Earth is spinning slower to you? … Does it?”

“Meow,” Fred says. Whatever that means. And, while I’m on the subject, which I wasn’t. How can a Cat or a Dog express them selves with so few words. This damn cat always answers Meow.

“Fred, what do you think? Were the Mayans right or not?”

“Meow.”

“Really.”

Or

“Fred, I think I hear a dog out there in the yard.”

“Meow.”

“Really.”

What does it mean? Couldn’t once he say…

“A dog you say? Well that clinches that. I’m not going out in the yard at all.”

“Really.”

“Really? What the hell does really mean? Don’t you people ever say anything else?”

Anyway, the Mayans. It’s mostly our faults. I read somewhere that people who make predictions, by the odds, have to be right 50 percent of the time. That’s pretty limited thinking. Maybe if it’s strictly yes or no, otherwise the variables come into play and who can tell, and that is exactly how they get us. That… maybe it could be … That… You don’t suppose…? And we are so fatalistic in our overall views that we just jump on it…

“BARB! Let’s get down to the Walmart and stock up on all the stuff we’re gonna need! The World’s Ending!!!”

And the religious whack jobs? Oh, they’re happy. They just look at you and smile. They’re God is gonna kick some butt now, that’s for sure. You people will starve in the wilderness… STARVE! But God will take care of me! God told me to get a rope and tie myself to the church steeple so that when the world ends, and the Earth stops spinning, I won’t float away…

Good. And when nothing happens I suppose you could use the rope to lasso a cow. Start a life as a cowboy.

We are so gullible A friend bought a book to me a few years back. He handed it to me…

“Look, don’t pass that around…” He looked around to make sure no one was listening. “It’s the secret to life,” he whispered. “Says so right on the cover… A secret..”

“A secret?”

“SHHHSh. Not so loud. It’s a friggin’ secret. Secret knowledge… Read it, I did.”

Or another friend shortly after that.

“It’s the Mayan prophecy, Dude. See, this guy that wrote it… Well, he’s not a Mayan, but he’s good with numbers, see, and he says it’s gonna be coming soon…” He looked at me meaningfully.

“Uh huh… Soon?”

“Yeah… Soon.”

“Yeah. I got that. I mean what’s soon… Like, real soon?”

He looked at me like I was nuts. “Dude! The world’s ending ,Dude.”

“Oh… That soon.”

“Yeah, see, this guy has a ship full of Virgins and hell be in New York Harbor waiting to sail…”

“Ah, Virgins?”

“Yeah… Yeah, see. To re-populate the world when most everyone dies.”

Gullible. We want to believe it. I personally think if the moron that wrote that book would have showed up with a ship full of virgins he would have found himself in jail. But Hey. Maybe the Mayan’s could post bail…

Anyway. I’m still here. The world didn’t end, and I didn’t see a single Mayan on T.V. apologizing for the misinformation. Not one. The world is still going and if you went ahead and maxed out your Visa card you’re gonna have to pay it. Next week or the week after the light bill’s gonna be due, then the car payment, and the next thing you know we will have moved right past those Mayans and their faulty math.

But listen, keep this to yourself, but I read this book and it predicts that the real date is a year or so away. Then the whole friggin’ thing’s gonna fall down…. Honest. The book says so…

………………….

Hey! Enjoy the weekend! Check out the Earth’s survivors Books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wendell-Sweet/e/B00B6QPHNM

Get the first book FREE: Amazon, Earth’s survivors Apocalypse   iTunes, Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse


Cats, Mice and The Earth’s Survivors box set

Posted by Geo 12-14-16

And it’s Wednesday again. It’s cold here in New York, but from what the weather service is saying it’s about to be cold all over the place. Welcome back the Arctic Vortex. It may be toughest for the middle of the country.

Book list: This is the recommended book list.

The Zombie Plagues Book One. Price: Free

What if the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive? The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth, where the dead sometimes do not remain dead. Follow along as they try to rebuild their own lives as they rebuild their world.

Get It: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/357698

The Great Go Cart Race. Price: 99 cents

The summer of 1969 in Glennville New York had settled in full tilt. The July morning was cool and peaceful, but the afternoon promised nothing but sticky heat. Bobby Weston and Moon Calloway worked furiously on the go-cart they had been planning to race down Sinton Park hill, in the old garage behind Bobby’s house. Both boys had grown up in Glennville…

Get It: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/362984

America The Dead: Book One. Price: Free

When a catastrophic natural disaster looms on the near horizon, the government releases an airborne virus designed to make the human race better able to survive.

Those that do survive are picking up the pieces of their world, and those that have died lay in their death sleep, but in their bodies the virus works on, mutating, setting the stage for a second catastrophe far worse that the first.

Get it: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/475763

Dead. Price: $1.99

Dead is a collection of eight short stories that all look at death from different angles. Ordinary people in ordinary circumstances that death just happens to play a leading role in. Each story takes a look at the role death plays in the circumstances of the people that find themselves interacting with it.

Get it: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/475836

Genesis Earth. Price: Free

Genesis Earth is a trilogy of books that document the plight of the peoples of the Earth as they face complete destruction of their world. On a faraway planet two armies face each other to do battle. In the Heavens, God reigns, offering the paths that can be followed. A beast locked within a pit for eons is bought to the surface in chains to stand before him, and is ultimately loosed on the world.

Get it: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/477565

Other news:

I have been working to get the links at the various websites hooked into each other so that it is easier to find information you are looking for. Eventually I envision one site that can deliver information about all the writers at independAntwriters and their projects. Easily said, not easily done.

Last Things: Feel free to send your opinions be they good bad or indifferent. It shapes the books. @GeorgeDell01

That’s it for this week. Stay out of the deep freeze that’s coming, and let the dog in, it’s cold. I have a cat, no dog, but my cat thinks he’s a dog so maybe that counts. I’m pretty sure though that if someone breaks into the house I’d be better off with a 140 pound Malamute than a 12 pound house cat, but who knows. A few more years and I’ll have that Malamute. But my cat could care less about coming inside. I can stand there for ten minutes with the door open, furnace running, and him three feet away looking at me like, “Are you stupid? The Cat is outside. The cat will remain outside until the cat wants to be inside.” He stays outside all night and terrorizes mice and other small to medium mammals. If you have a cat I hope yours is better, but it’s a cat, how can it be? They are what they are.

I’ll be back soon.

Check out the Earth’s Survivors Box Set on I-Tunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-box-set/id1154467599?mt=11

Take a free peek at the book below…

Earth’s Survivors Box Set

Copyright 2016 Wendell G. Sweet, all rights reserved in their entirety

This collection is offered as a complete collection only and may not be passed on or shared with others, in part or whole. The entire collection is subject to strict foreign and domestic copyright laws and the entire relief provided within the law is reserved by the copyright owner, Wendell G. Sweet.

Portions of this text have been published under the following constructs: Dell Sweet, Geo Dell, W. W. Watson, W. G. Sweet and Wendell Sweet. All are publishing constructs used by Wendell G. Sweet. You may not copy, scan, transfer electronically, wirelessly, or any other present or future delivery device, any part of this book without the express written permission of the copyright owner and or his assignee/assignees. You may quote text, less than a paragraph in total, in critiques, both electronic or print.

This collection is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to living or past individuals, places or things is purely coincidental. It is intended as entertainment. Names, places and events are figments of the authors imagination

………………………………………………………………………..

March 20th

Harlem NY: Adam

Adam

Adam pulled Tosh’s tattered notebook from his pocket and read it once more in starts and fits as he thought about the last few days. Eyes rising to the factory walls, the entrance, and then back down to the notebook. Occasionally a fat tear drop rolled down his cheek unseen, and fell to the cold, concrete floor.

Tarps overhung the shattered factory entrance. The building itself was solid. He had checked it with a flashlight. Why it had survived the earthquakes he did not know, but he was glad it had.

It was even stocked with canned goods. Someone had gone through the trouble of building a fireplace. Rock from the nearby river, most likely, Adam thought. The fireplace occupied a central part of the floor. Wood piled by it. He had almost passed on it, thinking that whoever had set this up would be back, but the fire was cold, the tarp had blown partly off the door, and there were too many gangs now, wandering the streets and alleyways. They seemed to stay away during the daylight hours, but at night they roamed freely. He needed the protection of a solid building and a fire.

He had heard the screams of their victims more than once over the last several nights as he huddled in this doorway or that. Gunshots, calls for help. He had found a second floor factory to call home for two nights, but there were too many ways in to it, too many entrances to guard. The gangs had found him on the second night and he had only escaped because they were unable to chase him. He knew the area better than they did. Still, it had been close, and he had nearly run out of ammunition during the fight. He had stocked back up just yesterday.

He had found a shallow cave a few days before along the cliffs that faced the river. He had fled to it, hoping that no one else had claimed that small space. It had been empty and he had spent the night snapping awake every time there was a strange sound. The next morning he had found the factory. The windows bricked up long ago, the entrance a crumbled ruin, but that was the only way in. He had learned that first night that the gangs were drawn to fire. He had secured the entrance better so no light escaped, and simply let the smoke drift upwards past the factory floors, finding its own way out of the roof. Too dissipated by then to be recognizable as smoke.

He had built the fire in the pit low, and had managed to get his first night of sleep when they did not come near the factory. He paused, thinking back, and then began to write out his own story.

Adam’s Notebook.

I’ve heard gunshots more than once. And the nights are alive. Screams, gangs searching out survivors that have hidden. I’ve heard dogs barking too, but I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Everything is so quiet during the day; it could be anywhere. The sound of the river drowns things out.

I have no idea what has happened, even here in Manhattan. It doesn’t really matter either, except to tell you my point of view.

It looks like our own government lied to us. Did us in. I was in Central Park a few weeks back when this began, and they sprayed us down with something. I didn’t kill us or even seem to affect us, but there had to be a purpose.

I guess it is not an amazing thing to anyone that our own government would try to harm us. I think they lied about the meteor. I think there were earthquakes after too, but I’m not sure. I know the days have changed, they’re longer, and the sun is in a different part of the sky. It’s crazy.

I know vehicles stopped working, and then suddenly they worked again. I have seen ash falling from the sky for hours, days, only to be washed away. Millions are dead right here. You can smell it. The whole city smells dead. And I think the dead ones might be the lucky ones, because the gangs are preying on the living.

Harlem seems over run with them. Parts of Central Park. Other parts of Manhattan, but Harlem seems to be coalescing; getting their shit together, and that scares me. It’s all gangs. I have seen the old people and men shot dead in the streets because they have no need for them. Children too.

Jersey is on fire. It seems to be all of Jersey, and Harlem became even more of a scare to me. Somehow Harlem has the lights back on. I watched yesterday as they began to close it off. Pulling buses across the streets. There are armed men and women behind those buses and they shoot anyone that comes near, whether they come to join, surrender or fight.

That’s what I know, the rest would be speculation, but I’m going to start looking for people. I think there are dozens of people close by, but they’re all hiding; afraid. I’m going to walk down by the river, all those lofts, warehouses. I figure that if anyone is still here that is where they would be. Hiding in all of those buildings.

I’m warm. I’m dry. I’m pretty much okay. My fingers are sore and I’m tired, so I’ll pick this up another time.

On the Road: Billy and Beth

Billy angled the truck off into a grassy median they had been traveling along Arizona 188, and followed a dirt road into the forested park area. About a half mile in they came to a wide calm lake. The area was completely deserted. No cars, no trucks, and only a few empty, rustic buildings close by the water. A quick search confirmed the buildings were empty. They worked together to gather some dead-fall to build a small fire.

Beth piled the dry wood next to a large stone fireplace, and Billy carefully arranged some wood inside the fireplace, over some smaller twigs and crumpled pieces of paper, while Beth opened the rear of the truck and pulled out the sleeping bags, as well as some metal camp utensils they had picked up earlier when they had passed through a small town. They debated on leaving the tent, but decided to set it up instead, close to the fireplace. The buildings were dark and deserted-looking, and not the least bit inviting to either of them. The tent would not offer anywhere near as much protection as the empty buildings, but to them it was much more appealing.

Once Billy got the fire going he began to set up the tent as Beth started dinner.

“What are you making?” Billy asked, as he walked back to the fireplace.

A large steel pot sat directly over the metal grating of the outdoor fireplace, and the aroma from it was all he could smell as he finished setting up the tent. His stomach was growling.

“Well,” she asked, “how does it smell?”

“Pretty damn good,” Billy replied, “in fact about the best thing I’ve smelled in a long time. I mean I lived alone, strictly fast food. Burgers, tacos, you know. What is it?” he asked again.

“Well, it’s nothing great, beans and corned beef,” she looked at him and shrugged her shoulders as if to say, who knows? “Smells good though, huh?”

Billy nodded his head in agreement, and said aloud. “It’s got fast food beat, that’s for sure… It’s going to be a few minutes, right?” Billy asked.

“Probably more like an hour,” she replied, “That’s why I’ve got it off the heat, simmering. Why?”

“Well,” Billy said, “that lake looks pretty good. I’m thinking seriously about jumping in it and washing some of this road grime off.”

Before he could say more Beth jumped up and said, “Race ya!” Billy stood dumb founded as she raced away towards the lake.

He caught up with her next to the water, slightly out of breath, and laughing. When she started to remove her clothes, he nearly choked on the laughter though. Beth seemed not to notice, and after she had stripped down to her bra and panties she dove gracefully into the water and swam out into the lake toward a wooden raft that was anchored about fifty feet off shore.

Billy got over his initial shock, stripped down to his briefs, and also dove into the water. The coldness of the water shocked him, but it helped in a way to. He hadn’t realized just how beautiful she was, and his body had begun unconsciously to respond. The cold water ended that though, and he turned over on his back and floated as he kicked with his feet towards the raft. When he turned back over as he sensed he was nearing the raft he saw her sitting, looking back at him as he swam towards her. She smiled, and he couldn’t help but smile back. Cold water or not, he thought, she is a beautiful woman.

He had guessed she must be in her early twenties when he had first met her, but now he thought he might be wrong. Maybe it had been the dingy apartment building, which had contributed to his observation. The streets, the bar, all the places that added their own cast to his perceptions. Whatever it had been, he was pretty sure he was wrong. She looked like maybe she was only in her late teens, maybe, he thought, a few years younger than I am. It was more the way she looked now, he realized, that made him think she was probably a lot younger than he had initially thought.

In the apartment building, she had been wary and tired-looking. She seemed more alive to him now though, and the smile went a long way towards smoothing out the lines that had seemed to be embedded in her forehead. He supposed that to her he must seem awful young at twenty-two, maybe even immature. The few women he had gone out with in L.A. had been much younger than himself, girls really. He had been in a common law marriage in Mexico that ended badly, and that was his extent of knowledge when it came to women.

Beth sat on the wooden surface of the small raft and watched Billy turn back over on his back, as he continued to float towards the raft.

She had liked Billy almost from the first. When he had convinced her to open the door to herself, lower the wall she was so careful with, it had been a big deal to her. It was something she would normally never do at all, under any circumstances, but she had opened the door and let him into her heart. It didn’t mean love, but it did mean vulnerability. He seemed honest, she had told herself. In many ways he reminded her of herself. She had started life honest anyway, it was just that she couldn’t be as honest as she wanted too, she reminded herself. Life was just that way, she decided.

Billy was different. She knew it was stupid, here she was entertaining what she had told him to forget. Even as the thought entered her head she knew it wouldn’t work, it was comfort she needed. It was sexual attraction. He didn’t move her inside like she wanted to be moved. She wondered if she could be moved that way by any man and the thought caused her smile to slip away. She stood, dove into the cool water, and made her way back to the shore. Glad the coolness of the water had made her think clearly. Saved again, she told herself. It might not always be so.

The meal was excellent. Billy’s mind was not entirely impaled upon the world and what it had become. He thought they both just wanted to be part of the whole again.

He realized, on an unconscious level, that it was even more than that. He wanted some sort of security again. Some kind of normalcy, same old, same old, he thought. The thought made him laugh.

“What?” Beth asked.

“Well first, this is so good. And second I was thinking that as much as I used to hate the same old, same old of the world, I find myself wishing I had it back again. Ironic, I know.”

Beth nodded. She felt the same way. In a world that was constantly cruel to her, she had held out hope that it would not always be that way. That somehow, someday, it would all change for her. And it had, and for her this was even better than she had dreamed. She didn’t have to pretend about her past, it didn’t matter anymore. She didn’t have to be anything, or anyone, other than who she had always wanted to be, herself, the woman that she had buried deep within her. She was happier than she could ever recall being in her entire life. It was as if she had been blind, and now through some unimaginable miracle could see. It was so much and so many feelings that it threatened to overwhelm her sometimes when she allowed herself to examine it too deeply.

Billy spoke as they finished eating. He had been thinking non-stop about everything that had happened, in just the last few days, and he was no longer certain he wanted to risk traveling on.

“Beth?” he began, not quite sure how to proceed with what he had been thinking. “Do you want to go? I mean, do you want to go all the way across this country? It’s just that, well, I’m not as positive as I was that it has to be done, or that we should.”

She thought for only a brief second before she answered him.

“I think that we have to, Billy. It’s not a question of whether we should. We have to,” she paused. “I know it may be dangerous, and I suppose it could mean that we may even die, but to me it would be worthwhile. To me it would be, because I am not the woman for you… And she is out there.” Beth locked her eyes on Billy’s as she finished speaking, waiting for him to respond.

Billy thought over what she had said. It was not really a decisive thinking though, as he knew she was right. It was more of an acceptance of a decision he had already made, and not really wavered from. He nodded.

“I’ve changed a lot of that thinking,” Billy told her. “I really have. I don’t always pay attention, but I did when it came to you. I don’t think I’ve ever had a friend like you. I don’t want to lose that. And I thought… Well, I thought there must be a woman out there like you… Not one I would compare to you, I mean one that gets inside of me and hooks me the way you did, but where it works. I’m explaining it wrong, I guess.” Billy said.

“No… No you’re not. I know exactly what you mean.

……………………………………………………..

Get more right now at I-Tunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-box-set/id1154467599?mt=11


Winter

Posted by Dell 12-08-2016

It is a beautiful day here in Siberia. The permafrost is refreezing after melting, the long frozen woolly mammoths are pushing up through the earth… Okay, so it’s upstate New York and there are no woolly mammoths at all, but it truly does feel like the beginning of a deep freeze. It will be a rough winter. I went outside and looked at my yard yesterday, tree limbs frozen into a foot of ice, and twigs, branches. Big foot thick sheets of ice here and there. Seemed totally out of whack with the temperatures high enough that I could hang out out there most of the day without a coat. That came from all the rain that began to turn to ice/sleet that then began to be snowed on. If my cat ever goes outside again I will have to teach him to skate. But, like Canadian infants, he was probably born knowing it, it only has to be awakened.

A great deal of that ice did melt, but there is a great deal more, shaded by trees or the house that will take longer to melt. It wouldn’t surprise me if a mammoth did pop up on the front lawn. Edging out of it’s thousands of years of sleep. The neighbors all gathered around. Pretty soon the rowdy bunch will show up: Drinking beers and telling cave man jokes, stealing little bits of fur to sell as souvenirs…

Sorry, got sidetracked. That would have made for a great day though, huh? But that is not going to be my day. My day is going to be split between writing this Blog, doing some updates to the sites and then just taking it easy. Yes, taking it easy, because, you see, I went out there yesterday and sprained my whole body. It seems a man can not sit on his butt and write books all day long, program, design and build web sites, and then expect to change hats and go out and do manly things in the yard.

There was the hot water tank that blew up just before snow fall. I put it on the rear porch and told myself I would take care of it in the spring. There was the old kitchen stove that I changed out for a new one a few weeks later. Hey, there was room on the porch so I stuck it there. There was the yard furniture that got blown around in the ice storm and then frozen into the ground. And there was the lawn tractor that I had driven into the garage and then piled stuff all around. I dug that out and discovered I had a soft rear tire. I had pulled it in tight on that side and so to get to the tire I had to manually pick the back of the tractor up and slide it over. What an idiot. Oh, and the yard light I had disconnected when the tree fell on the house last year too. I got out the ladder, climbed up and fixed that. All the things you have to do to be ready for winter when you should have already been ready for winter.

The lawn tractor paid me back quickly. The first try to lift caused my back to scream at me. It was something like … “What the $%^$ are you doing you %^$$^%$# Idiot %%^%$ A##@%&* !!!” Being a writer I thought my back was being far too melodramatic and so I remembered the old lift with your back adage and bent over, grasped the back bumper firmly, and picked up the tractor.

It was about that time that I remembered the adage was lift with your legs. Too late, my whole body was sprung, and the tractor was cutting into my hands because, since it was not built to be lifted that way it had a sharp metal edge where I was lifting. So I wisely let it back down to the ground even though the tires had been about to leave the ground, or maybe leave my fingers on the ground. So you would think I would be wise enough to stop right then, go get my floor jack, slide it under the tractor, jack it up and then just pull the tractor sideways because the jack has wheels built into the bottom of it just for that exact kind of situation. But no, a man wouldn’t do that. A man would look around, find some cardboard, bend it and triple it to protect my hands, and then bend right down once more, again not using the legs, and pick that rear end right up of the ground and slide it sideways about a foot. What an idiot.

By the time I was done with myself out there the yard looked about the same, minus the tree limbs that hadn’t been frozen in the ice, and I was shot. Oh, I forgot to mention the fight with the frozen in the ice tree limb that nearly gouged out my eye but settled for punching a hole in the top of my head instead. Needless to say mother nature won and I lost. If there were a tribal council on this I would definitely vote myself off. But unfortunately it’s just me on this island and if I vote myself off nothing will get done… Unless I teach my cat to do the work. He is a big cat. I could at least hook a harness up to him. Maybe he could pull a little cat trailer or something. I’ll just have to teach him to pick up twigs and put them into the cart.

So that was yesterday and I am sprung. I did not know there were muscles in some of the places that hurt. I have also learned a valuable lesson about lifting with your legs, not your back. And today I am doing easy work instead of the rough stuff I had planned. Oh well. The great thing here is my body will adapt once again. That’s the great thing about us humans we adapt and thrive. Do you suppose that cockroaches think we are the infestation? Like…

“What do you think of that place, Barb?”

“No. It’s infested with humans. I don’t understand how they continue to thrive! I really don’t.”

That would be about the time I would step on the roach. Anyway, winter is here and the deep freeze is going to sweep across the northern seaboard and up into Canada where it came from, or Russia.

The good news about having to wait so long for spring? I will not be able to visit my local Walmart and see men that weigh 300 pounds wearing speedos, and children running around screaming. The neighbors dog will not be digging up my garden because my cat pooped there and the dog finds it fascinating. And when it does finally show up next year? Summer will arrive with all it’s sweltering humidity and last for about 3 weeks and then we will start the slide back toward winter. The fat men will start wearing the stained sweatpants to the Walmart and the kids will still be screaming and running wild only now they will have runny noses too. And I will be dreaming of a beach somewhere down around Cocoa Beach in Florida that I visited about six million years ago with a girl and fell in love. Aw. The beach is still there the woman is long gone.

Winter, fun huh? Everything is dead again, sleeping the long sleep.What else is going on?

I will repeat the links to the Earth’s Survivors books and remind you that Book One has been free all weekend, still is until midnight tonight. Click here to get it.

The other links: Book One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Box Set

And, why not test drive book one before you go get it for free. So I’ll put a couple chapters here for you to read…

EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S

Based on the series by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: independAntwriters Publishing with Amazon Digital

EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S

Copyright © 2010 – 2016 by independAntwriters All Rights Reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your vender and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

LEGAL

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the authors imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

This novel is Copyright © 2010 – 2014 independAntwriters and Wendell Sweet. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission.

Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print..

*******

OLD TOWN

He came awake in the darkness, but awake wasn’t precisely the term. Alive was precisely the term. He knew alive was precisely the term because he could remember dieing. He remembered that his heart had stopped in his chest. He had remembered wishing that it would start again. That bright moment or two of panic, and then he remembered beginning not to care. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. And he had drifted away.

Now he had drifted back. But, drifted was not exactly right. He had slammed back into himself where he lay on the cold subbasement floor where he had been murdered by a roving gang of thieves. And he knew those things were true because he remembered them. And he knew they were true because he was dead. He was still dead. His heart was not beating in his chest. His blood was cold and jelled in his veins. He could feel it. Some kind of new perception.

He lay and watched the shadows deepen in the corners of the basement ceiling for a short time longer and then tried to move.

His body did not want to move at first. It felt as though it weighed a ton. Two tons, but with a little more effort it came away. He sat, and then crawled to his knees.

In the corner a huge rat stopped on his way to somewhere to sniff at him. Decided he was probably food and came to eat him. He had actually sat for a second while the rat first sniffed and then began to gnaw at one fingernail. Then he had quickly snatched the rat up with his other hand, snapped it’s back in his fist and then shoved him warm and squirming into his mouth. A few minutes later he stood on shaky legs and walked off into the gloom of the basement. Looking for the stairs and the way up to the streets.

March 8th

I debated with myself about how to start this. Isn’t that stupid? Not whether I should start it. I guess that means that I have some hope that I am not the only one.

Actually, I know that I’m not the only one. I’ve heard gunshots more than once. I’ve heard a dog barking. And I’ve seen several dogs, cats, squirrels, etc. . . .I’ve also heard what sounded like a car or a truck, but I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Everything is so quiet, it could be anywhere.

The sound of the river drowns things out. Even so, I haven’t seen any other people. None. And, I’m getting ahead of myself too.

I have no idea what has happened. Even here in Old Town. It doesn’t really matter either, except to tell you, whoever you may end up being, what happened from my point of view, I guess. Maybe it’s the same for you. Maybe writing this out is a waste of time. But, it keeps my mind off shit, you know?

So, I wondered where to start? Today? Last week? Just start, I guess…

I have heat. Food. Fire. And I’ve finally gotten myself moved into this old factory, so my mind is more at ease. But again, I’m getting ahead of myself. It started for me last week on the 2nd of March. Only six days but everything here has changed.

I was having a few beers, watching the coverage of the world countdown party; hey, it was supposed to be a joke, right? And, supposedly, we had a few months to go. It was supposed to be one long countdown party. And, one minute everything was fine, and the next the power was out.

Then the first quake hit…

I made it through that night and…. Two more quakes? Aftershocks? Who knows? I was just trying to get through to the morning. Phones were out; Sirens everywhere; No power. But, the closer it got to dawn the less noise there was. The sirens fell off. The rain started hard, and then the lightning came. A thunder and lightning storm in the middle of winter!

It was spooky, and when morning finally came it didn’t make much sense at all. Almost everything I could see in every direction was flattened. The streets had cracked open and had become rivers. The temperature was higher than it should have been as well. But that didn’t last.

By noon the rain stopped and I kept expecting to see someone. Emergency workers… Power Company… Somebody. Even a neighbor. But I saw no one at all that day.

I guess as serious as it was I wasn’t taking it serious. At least not the first day. I was still thinking,… Rescue… Help… It’s on the way. This is the most powerful country in the entire world. Help is coming. So I sat on my ass and drank beer and ate bologna sandwiches and chips, staring out at the street from my front porch which was perched on the edge of a twenty foot rain gully.

Just before dark the real quake hit. It had to have been stronger than the previous ones. It felt like it anyway.

I barely jumped off the porch before it fell into the gully. Scared the hell out of me. It wasn’t long after that when darkness settled in and I knew I was in trouble. Something in the whole structure of the house was damaged .Every aftershock made it dance, sway around me. It was also now a two foot drop down to the ground since my porch was gone. And I didn’t dare leave because I had no idea what it was like outside. No Streetlights. No Moon, no starlight. No starlight, none! Then the storms came back and the air turned back to cold.

Every time the lightning flashed I could see the street, or what had been the street. There was no more street, not really. It was a river, wide, and deep. All of the opposite side of the street was gone now too. No houses, cars, telephone poles, satellite dishes. Nothing. It seemed like the entire side of the street had washed away right down to the river. The water roared past me, just a few feet from where my porch had been, flattened out, and then turned into rapids breaking away to crash into the river further down the hill. That was when I realized it wasn’t just the other side of the street that was gone, the other two blocks that had been between me and the river were also gone.

Later on the rain turned to snow, but the lightning kept up. Lightning in a snow storm. How crazy is that? By the morning of March 4th the river running past my house was down to a trickle, but the snow was piling up. Down the hill the real river was over its banks. There was nothing else to see, a few solitary houses still standing as my own was. But there was no one around anywhere. That’s when I got into the hard stuff.

I drank myself to sleep and when I woke up I’d lost several hours. My watch still worked at that point. When I walked to the front door the first thing I noticed was footprints in the snow. Three sets. Two small, maybe kids or women, one big. Going just past my house. No more than three feet from my house, where once upon a time in some other world my porch had been, and I had slept through it. I yelled and screamed for a half hour hoping that someone would hear me, but no one came. No one yelled back and told me to shut up either. Just absolute silence. No birds, just the roar of the swollen Black. Nothing else.

I’ve thought about the day, the fourth, a couple of times. Was it the fourth? The fifth? Did I sleep more than a few hours? I don’t know. And, that was the day my watch stopped working so I don’t know. One minute it was working the next it wasn’t. The face was blank.

There were a couple of more aftershocks that day and I began to wonder if my house would be standing much longer. After all nearly everything around me was destroyed already. And, I thought, what if that was an aftershock? Like I had thought the first quake was the real one and then the one the next day was so much stronger. It made me realize how stupid I was to still be in that house. And, I thought, no wonder no one is answering when I yell. They were all smart enough to get away from the buildings. Leave. And if I left also, I reasoned, I’d most likely catch up to them. Whoever they were, where ever they had gone. That was when I had glanced at my watch and noticed that it had stopped working.

I had been in the habit of looking at my watch all day. Just nervous, I guess. I was positive that I had just looked at it and it had been working. But, when had that been? What time had it been? And, when had it been that I had looked at it? How long ago? All I could remember for sure was that the last aftershock that had started me wondering had been at 2:57 P.M. I wasn’t sure of anything after that. Even when I thought back on it later, wondering what day it was, I wondered why I had never thought to push the little date button to see what the date had been. Or, had I? Had I and then forgotten that I had? Had I only remembered subconsciously that it was the fourth? Anyway, the watch was dead. And what time was it? And where should I go? And how soon would it be dark? After wasting time wondering about things like that. Things that were absolute bullshit in light of everything else, I just jumped down into the snow and headed off towards Old Town.

There were a few buildings standing in that direction. It was still snowing pretty hard, but I could see the outlines of the buildings through the snow.

There were planes overhead in the night. I know that sounds crazy but I awoke to hearing them. There was a strange smell in the air and I was thinking, in my dream? Maybe in my dream or maybe awake, anyway I was thinking crop dusters. Like they were crop dusting. Spraying something. It was weird. Now I could see traces of blue… Powder? Something, on the snow and it made me remember the dream. But I pushed it away and walked. Too much to see and comprehend as it was without worrying over bad dreams.

Normally it’s no more than a fifteen minute walk down to Old Town. I figured that if anyone was still alive that was where they would be.

In fact, I told myself, they probably would have some buildings open for shelter. Fire Department passing out blankets… Bottled water… Hot soup. I could see it so clearly in my head. I was wrong, of course, but that’s a story for tomorrow. My fingers are shot. Hey it would be easy to write this on my computer keyboard, but computers are a thing of the past now.

I’m warm. I’m dry. I’m pretty much okay. I survived the day the world ended, but my fingers are sore and I’m tired, so I’ll pick this up tomorrow.

Katie March 8th

Fresh snow today. The whole world is covered in clean, white snow. It makes it look like nothing ever happened here.

I’m with a man named Jake. He’s crazy about me. I just can’t feel the same. I could fake it, but I told myself I’m not going to do that. But I can’t keep on this way either. It is too hard on him, too hard on me.

James and Jana Adams are also with us. I don’t know what I would do without Jana. She is level headed where I am impulsive. A thinker where I tend to just act. A good balance. James has an idea of rebuilding his peoples lands. He’s Native American, so is Jana. It sounded crazy when he first said it but after I thought about it, it began to make sense to me.

Lana is the other member of our party. She hates me. That’s because Jake wants me and she wants Jake. Maybe that will fix itself before I have to fix it by leaving and going on my own.

Today we decided to see if the city was any better on the other side of the river. It isn’t. We crossed the river on a railroad trestle. There is a traffic bridge, and it looks passable, but it’s clogged with cars, and some of those cars look purposely placed to block it off. That creeped me out.

We walked across the trestle, carefully, and went up toward the park. There are markets up there, and we found tracks in the snow. One person. A man I would guess from the boot tread.

I can not tell you what that was like. Seeing a footprint left by someone else. Someone else alive in this whole mess. I felt connected to him. I can’t say it or explain it any better than that. Like a connection existed forever and I only had to find it. I tried to explain it to Lana but she just shrugged. We have this thing with Jake between us though. She wants him, he wants me. I don’t want him. It could be so Goddamn simple but it isn’t.

Except the footprints. Maybe the footprints are the answer. I think they are. I believe they are. We just need to find the person, the man, that goes with those footprints and… And I don’t know. I really don’t. But I think he’ll know.

The only bad thing today; we came across a dead man laying crumpled by the side of the road. I could have sworn he moved so I hurried to him but as I got closer I could see that he was dead. Long dead. We stood for a moment and then walked on. Later when we came back he was gone and I thought, was he dead? Was he? But I know that he was. I suppose that wild dogs or something got him. We didn’t talk about it but it bothered all of us.

CHAPTER TWO

Conner March 9th

Maybe it’s March ninth. I guess I really don’t know. But, that’s what I think it is so that’s what I’m going with.

It’s late. I spent today getting food. Canned stuff mostly. It was rough. Almost everything is flattened, and what isn’t flattened is badly damaged. I spent about five hours a few days ago digging my way into a market on the Park Street Road. The roof was down but held up by the tops of the aisle stacks, so I was able to make my way through. I just had to be really careful of broken glass. That was where I went back to today.

I had no flashlight at first, but I managed to get a small flashlight and batteries. I had to take so much stuff out of the front area of the store that all the impulse stuff they sell was right there, Candy, little radios, and of course flashlights and batteries also. I tried a small portable radio, nothing but static on the A.M. and F.M. bands both. I bought it back with me along with some extra batteries. I listened to it a short while ago; still nothing, maybe tomorrow.

I spent the day at the market digging out canned goods and bringing them back here.

Here, is an old factory. The factory is down in back of Old Town as it’s called. I knew about it from growing up here. It used to be some sort of a manufacturing plant and it had been closed up for years. The quake took care of that though. The doors that had once been closed and bricked up buckled and sprung open. I was worried about the building itself collapsing, but it seems to be fine.

It’s only about a mile and a half from here to the markets in the village but with no vehicle it’s slow going. I’ve been piling stuff up on a large sled and making trips back and forth.

I found several cars and trucks, snowmobiles, but none of them will run. Most of them have no juice but even the ones that do just turn over but won’t fire up. Maybe if I was a mechanic I could do something, but I’m not. So it’s the sled and a lot of muscle work.

I did notice today, after not going there for two days that no one else had been there either. No tracks in the fresh snow. It’s depressing. No way can I be the only freaking guy here, right? And that made me wonder, what the hell am I writing this for? I mean, if there’s no one left who will read it? I guess those are questions for another day. Another day because, truly, I don’t want to deal with them today.

So I spent my day getting food. There are maybe two dozen buildings still standing in Old Town. But that’s where I was when I left off writing yesterday, heading for Old Town, so I’ll pick it up from there.

When I got into Old Town there was no one there. Only the handful of buildings standing as I mentioned, and two of those went down a short time later from an aftershock. The Police department… Gone. The Fire department… Gone. I know I walked out there. Ditto the high school. All the old houses. The newspaper, museum. Really, it’s all gone.

There were some tracks, but how old were they? I couldn’t tell. And I couldn’t tell where they were headed either. I got pretty down about it and ended up walking back down to Old Town and then down towards the river in back of the buildings. There was a porn shop, still there. It seemed like the dirtiest place I’d ever seen. I mean, why would a place like that still be there, still be standing when almost nothing else was?

Is that a statement or what? Hey, maybe it is. But, since I was down that far I thought I’d take a look at the river, and that made me think about the old Factory down by the river. I remembered playing around that building as a kid. Solid back then. I could never figure out why it was abandoned. Maybe it was still solid.

It wasn’t hard to find it. It’s on an old abandoned road below the level of Old Town, but a good hundred feet or so above the level of the river. All of the brick work that had once closed off the entrance way had fallen. The building itself seemed okay. Some brick had come down, but not much. Most of the brick lying around looked pretty old. Like it had been there for some time. Given the buildings in Old Town, which were still falling, or this old factory that seemed pretty solid , I chose the old factory. It just seemed to make more sense.

It’s quite big. Lighted from the old wire reinforced windows all along the front. The front area is huge, and dry, more room than I could ever use, so there’s no need for me to go back into all that darkness where the light doesn’t reach and find out how deep it goes. And that’s funny, isn’t it? What is it that I’ll need? Might need? Could need? I don’t know. I do know I won’t be spending the rest of my life living in an abandoned factory, that’s for sure. But it’s winter. I have to stay somewhere for the next few months. Then maybe I’ll head south if no one shows up to rescue me. I guess it would be me, there’s no one else here. It shouldn’t be that way though. There has to be more than me.

I spent the rest of the day looking around. I walked all the way out to the strip, as well as out of Old Town toward the old rail yards. It’s all car dealerships and strip malls now. The South Town mall, or most of it, has collapsed. But I should be able to get some stuff out of it. The interstate is car wrecks and bodies everywhere. I could see it from the overpass. I didn’t feel a need to go down there to see it in person. I didn’t want to.

I hadn’t really seen many bodies. Some at the mall, some at the market, a few others here and there, but there is so much ground, houses, things missing, that I think the other people just got swallowed up by the quake. There is a lot of raw earth. Most of the streets are messed up. The interstate is like that in places, what I can see any way, but close to the mall it’s all wrecks and bodies. Wrecked and burned vehicles and it smells horrible. I could smell it long before I came up on the overpass. I’ve decided it will take a lot to get me to go back out there again.

The market has that smell. It’s just a small neighborhood market really. I found two people up by the checkouts when I first dug it out, but none since then, as I’ve dug out other parts of the store. Maybe it’s the meat department at the back of the store that smells like that.

I spent most of the next day wandering around. Trying to start cars and trucks. Calling out to the people I had hoped were there. Nothing. I heard something that sounded like an engine running, but it came and went on the wind and I couldn’t tell where it had come from. But I took that as a good sign. It has to be someone right

I can’t imagine being alone.

I tried to start new cars, old cars, new trucks, you name it. None of them do anything except turn over. But at least their batteries are working.

That was the day I realized that the daylight seemed to last way to long. My watch wasn’t working, so I can’t say for sure, but the sun just seemed to hang in the sky all day, then it seemed to sink in the wrong direction once it did set. And I was sick all day. My stomach. And I was light headed.

The night lasted a long time and the sun came back up in the wrong place, unless my sense of direction is off. Maybe it is. In any case I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was the earthquakes? I don’t know. It could’ve been, but it doesn’t seem possible.

The end of the world books were saying the Earth would stop and then run backwards. Maybe it did, but I didn’t feel weightlessness if it did. Or at least I don’t think so. But I thought about the vehicles, magnetic poles, maybe because everything is electronic now they can’t work? I don’t know. It’s just an idea, but I’m thinking I’ll look for an older vehicle to try out my theory on. Like I said, I wish I were a mechanic and then I’d know.

Once I found the old factory my mind was pretty much made up. I spent a lot of time clearing out the glass and broken bricks. Bringing food in and even some chairs, blankets, things like that. I’ve collected a lot of firewood and every butane lighter I could find. Paper plates. Plastic forks and spoons. And, man oh man, coffee. I found a small metal coffee pot in an aisle with camping gear. It works pretty damn well. I got some heavy duty pots and pans there also.

All of that over the last few days, but still no other people. It makes me wonder about the tracks that went past my house. Where did they go? Where is there to go to? I turn the radio on every once in awhile but nothing. Even so I’m keeping my attitude upbeat. Positive. There has to be other people. Doesn’t that just make sense? Winter can’t last much past May, and then it will be time to get out of here. Hopefully with other people…

*******

I hope you enjoyed the small preview. Now go over to Amazon and get the book while it is still free. If you think you might have missed free because you are reading this blog at a later date, don’t worry because you can still get the book for free.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope winter is treating you right where you are and that you are not trying to lift yard tractors. But, if you do, lift with your legs, stupid!

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Posted by Dell 12-07-16

If you came in through my main site you saw that the site has been redesigned. This should allow access to the site with all sorts of devices, not just web paced PC access.

The Billy Jingo short story collection is finished and so for the foreseeable future, a few weeks, I will be finishing the websites and moving everything to the new servers. It will be worth all of the work as we will not be limited to what we can add content wise, so we can offer free previews of every book we have, and we have about 1500 public domain books that we want to list so they can be downloaded free of charge. It is just one more of those things we can do that we could not do. We can also offer free member access to stuff that we don’t want to make public domain. Whether you are a writer, musician, artist or just someone who likes the blogs and other content, you can get that extra access for free. If you want to post or do an article on your own book, send it to me and I’ll post it, if it is something you are looking to do long term drop me an email and we’ll set it up. And your email address is never seen by or sold to anyone. Everything here is volunteer or runs on donations. So those are changes coming in the next few weeks.

Billy Jingo: Billy Jingo will be released by Geo when he is ready to release it. I don’t think that will be long. He will also jump back into the second Dreamer’s Worlds book next week as I work on websites.

Andrea Scroggs has a project that is fantastic. I would watch that link if I were you. She is a fantastic artist and writer. Check out Invariant sometime in the near future. It will be worth your time, I have heard about it through Geo and it is beyond good.

…………………………………………..

I will leave you with a free short story of mine. One I happen to like a great deal. I hope you enjoy it…

The Great Go-Cart Race

by

WENDELL SWEET

*******

PUBLISHED BY:

independAntwriters Publishing

*******

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the place of purchase and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

The Great Go-Cart Race

By

WENDELL SWEET

This short story is Copyright © 2013 WENDELL SWEET No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission. Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print

DEDICATION

The Great Go-Cart Race is Copyright © 2013 WENDELL SWEET

All rights reserved

*******

The Great Go-Cart Race

*******

~1~

The summer of 1969 in Glennville New York had settled in full tilt. The July morning was cool and peaceful, but the afternoon promised nothing but sticky heat. Bobby Weston and Moon Calloway worked furiously on the go-cart they had been planning to race down Sinton Park hill, in the old garage behind Bobby’s house. Both boys had grown up in Glennville. Bobby on upper Fig, Moon on lower Fig. And even though they had gone to the same schools and grown up just a block apart, they had only recently become friends. The Go-cart was a project they had devoted the last two weeks to, and it looked as though today would finally see it finished.

By eleven thirty that morning they had the wheels on the go cart, and had dragged it up Sinton Park hill. An old piece of clothesline tied to each side of the two by four the wheels were nailed to served as the steering. One nail pounded through the center board and into the two by four allowed it to turn. It was the best go cart either of them had ever built, and it rolled just fine. The plan was for bobby to give Moon a ten minute head start down the hill. That way he should be at the intersection by the time Bobby got there, they figured, and able to make sure that Bobby got through it in one piece. Just exactly what Moon was supposed to do to stop a car, or Bobby-the go cart had no brakes, except Bobby’s Keds-he didn’t know. They hadn’t figured that part of it out.

“So, how am I supposed to stop a car?” Moon asked. He didn’t want to sound stupid. Most probably Bobby had it all figured out, but Moon couldn’t see it.

“Easy,” Bobby told him, “you don’t. You’d get freakin’ killed.”

“Well, I knew that,” Moon lied.

“See, you’ll be on your bike. You’ll be sittin’ up higher. You’ll see if there’s a car coming, I won’t, on account of how low to the ground I’ll be.”

“I knew that too.” Well, and then what? Moon asked himself.

“So easy. You just yell to me before I get to the intersection, and I cut off to the left and go into the sledding hill instead. You see that way I’ll be going up, instead of down, see?”

“Oh yeah!” Moon said, as it dawned on him. The sledding hill was there. Of course it wasn’t a sledding hill in the summer, but it was a hill, and he could see exactly how it would work. “I knew that too. I just wasn’t sure if that was what you were goin’ to do, or not,” Moon finished.

“Of course you did,” Bobby agreed.

Moon was just getting ready to bike back down to the bottom of the hill, when John Belcher showed up. John Belcher lived on West avenue, and his dad raced stock car out in Lafargville.

As a consequence, John Belcher had the coolest go-cart around. His dad had helped build it. Real tires-they even had air in them-with a real metal axle running from side to side to hold them. That was the best way to do it, Moon had said, when he’d first seen John’s go-cart. That way you didn’t have to worry about the tires falling off when the spikes pulled out, and the spikes always pulled out. It also had a real steering wheel, a real one. Moon had exclaimed over that. His dad, John had told him, had gotten it out of an old boat out at the junk yard.

“Hey,” John said, as he walked up, dragging his go-cart behind him. “Goin’ down?”

“Bobby is,” Moon said respectfully. You had to show a lot of respect to someone who owned a go-cart that cool. “I’m watchin’… At the bottom. So he don’t get killed, or nothin’,” Moon finished.

“Watch for me too?” John asked.

“Sure, man, a course I will. Bobby don’t care, do ya?”

“Uh uh,” Bobby said. “You gonna try for the whole thing?”

“Why, are you?”

“Yeah… Right through the intersection, and if I can all the way downtown. Probly won’t roll enough on the flat part to do that though, but at least through the intersection and as far past it as I can get.”

Sinton Park Hill began at the extreme western end of Glennville, and continued-though somewhat reduced-as State Street Hill all the way to the Public Square three miles from its start.

“Cool!” John said. Now it was his turn to sound respectful. “I dunno, man. If I do it and my dad finds out, he’ll kill me.”

“Well, who’s gonna tell him?” Moon asked. “I won’t, and neither will Bobby.”

“Yeah, but if someone see’s me…”

“Yeah… I’m gonna though,” Bobby said. He could see John was aching to do it.

“Okay… I’m gonna,” John said decidedly.

“Cool!” Moon exclaimed. “Really frickin’ cool!”

John grinned, as did Bobby. “Well,” Bobby said, “guess you better head down, Moony. Moon didn’t need to be told twice. He stood on the pedals, and fairly flew down the hill.

~2~

“Think he’s down the bottom yet?” Bobby asked John quietly. They were both sitting at the side of Sinton Park hill. Their sneakers wedged firmly against the black top to hold them. John had allowed ten minutes to tick off, keeping faithful track of the time with his Timex.

“Oughta be,” John said in a whisper, licking his lips.

“Scared?”

“Uh uh… Well, a little.”

“Me too… Ready?”

“For real?”

“For real,” Bobby said solemnly.

John didn’t answer, he simply pulled his feet from the pavement, turned and grinned at Bobby, and began to roll away. Bobby followed, both of them hugging the side of the road, as close to the curbing as possible.

It was a slow build up for the first few hundred feet. Sinton park hill didn’t begin to get really steep until you were better than half way down, it was gradual up until that point. Even so, within that first few hundred feet, Bobby realized that everything had changed. John was already a good fifty feet ahead of him, and pulling away fast enough that it was noticeable. They were not going to hit the bottom of the hill at even close to the same time. Moon would have to watch for both of them separately.

John made a sharp curve up ahead, and disappeared from view. Everything, Bobby knew, was sharp curves from here on out, and that would not change until they were well past the halfway point. And, this was much faster than he had thought it would be. Much faster.

He fought with the rope through the curve, but he could no longer keep to the side. He was going to need the entire road.

And if a car came? he asked himself.

He had thought of that, but he had thought he would be able to stay to the side. No time to think. Another curve just ahead, and he had only barely glimpsed John as he had flown around the curve. Just the back tires really. He probably wouldn’t see any more of him at all until they were down at the bottom.

The second curve was not as bad as the first had been. He didn’t try to fight this time, he simply let the go-cart drift as far as it wanted too. He came off the curve and dropped both sneakers to the pavement. Instant heat, and the left one flipped backwards nearly under the two by four that held the rear tires, before he was able to drag it back in.

“Jesus,” he moaned. It was lost in the fast rush of wind that surrounded him. Torn from his throat and flung backwards. He hadn’t even heard it. Another curve, and the Indian trail flashed by on his right.

The Indian trail was just that. An old Indian trail that cut down through the thick trees that surrounded Sinton park. He and Moon had carefully negotiated it several times. The Indian trail was just before the halfway point, he knew. There was a really sharp curve coming up, just before Lookout Point. You could see nearly all of Glennville from there.

He fought the curve. Harder this time. It felt as if he were going at least a million miles an hour. Two million maybe, he corrected himself. And the go-cart was beginning to do a lot more than drift. It was beginning to shake. And, his mind told him, you ain’t even at the fast part yet! Lookout Point flashed by, and he fought his way around the sharp curve, going nearly completely to the other side in order to do it…. Yes I am, he told himself.

The road opened up. A full quarter mile of steep hill lay before him, before the next curve. It would be a sharp one too, but not as bad as the one he’d just come around. John was nowhere to be seen ahead of him. Presumably at and around the next curve already. No cars yet, and hopefully there wouldn’t be any at all. It was Monday, Sinton Park saw most of its business on the weekends, if they’d tried this then…

The quarter mile was gone that quick. This curve, and one more, and the rest was all straight-away. He gritted his teeth, and flashed into the curve.

Halfway through, nearly at the extreme edge of the opposite side of the road, the first raindrop hit him. A small splat, or it would have been. The speed with which he was moving had made it sting. Splat, splat. The tires were nearly rubbing the curbing when he finally came out the other side of the curve and hit a small straight-away. And now fat drops were hitting the pavement.

He sped into the last curve, and this time the wheels didn’t skim the curbing, they seemed glued to it. Screaming in protest as he tore through the wide curve and made the other side. The rain came in a rush. Turning the hot pavement glossy black as it pelted down. He used the rope carefully to guide himself back towards the side of the road. Slipping as he went, but making it. His hands were clinched tightly, absolutely white from the force with which he held the rope.

Straight-away, slightly less than a mile, and far ahead, where the stone pillars marked the entrance to Sinton Park, he watched John fly through the intersection. Nothing… No car. Nothing. He made it. He could make out Moon sitting on his bike at the side of the road. Leaned up against one of the pillars. Moon turned towards him, and then quickly looked away. The hill was flashing by fast. Too fast. He’d never be able to cut into the sledding hill. Not in a million years, and especially not with the road wet like it was.

Halfway. Moon was turning back, waving his arms frantically. Bobby slammed his Keds into the slick surface of the road. Useless, and he dragged them back inside after only a split second. Nothing for it, nothing at all. The intersection was still empty, however, so maybe…

Moon scrambled away from his bike letting it fall, and sprinted for the middle of the road, but he was far too late. And even if he hadn’t been, Bobby told himself as he flashed by him, the go-cart probably would’ve run him over.

“Truck!” Moon screamed as Bobby flew past him. He stumbled, fell, picked himself up, and ran back towards the stone entrance post, watching the intersection as he went.

The truck, one of the lumber trucks from Jackson’s Lumber on Fig street, made the intersection in a gear grinding, agonizingly, slow shuffle, before Bobby did. Bobby laid flat, and skimmed under the front tires.

Moon stopped dead, the handlebars in one rain slicked hand, and his mouth flew open as he watched. The undercarriage was just above his head, and if he hadn’t laid down…

Moon watched, frozen, as Bobby shot out the other side as neatly as if he had planned it, the back tires missing him by mere inches, and suddenly Bobby was well on his way towards State street hill, and…

Moon grabbed the handle bars tighter, flipped the bike sideways and around, and pedaled off after him as fast as he could.

Bobby raised his head quickly. He had truly believed it was over. He’d been praying, in fact. He hadn’t expected to make it all. He fought his way to the side of the road, and watched as far ahead, John slipped over the top of State Street Hill, and headed towards Public Square.

There were cars here, and more than a few blew their horns as he slipped slowly by on the side of them. He dragged his feet. Pushing as hard as he could, but managing to slow down very little. The top of the hill came and went, and reluctantly he pulled his feet back once more, and hugged the curbing. The only problem would be from cars cutting off the side streets.

The rain began to slack off, as he started down the hill-a brief summer down pour, they had them all the time, but the road was still wet-at least he could see better. The rear of the go-cart suddenly began to shimmy. He risked a quick backwards glance. Very quick, but it was enough to show him that the rubber was shredding from the tire on the outside, and it was also beginning to wobble. The spikes were coming out, and if that happened…

He pushed it away, and began to concentrate on the side streets that seemed to be flashing by every couple of seconds. Oak, Elm, Sutter, Hamilton. Nothing and nothing, and thank God. The rubber went a few seconds later. He could hear the metal rim ringing as it bit the wet pavement. The hill began to flatten. State Street Hill was nowhere near as long as Sinton Park Hill, and thank God for that too. Finally, he slipped past Mechanic street, and the hill flattened out. He could see John ahead, coasting slowly to a stop nearly in front of the First Baptist Church that held a commanding presence of the Public Square. He watched as John finally stopped, got out, and looked back. Moon whizzed past, standing on the pedals, screaming as he went.

“We did it! We freakin’ did it!”

Bobby smiled, a small smile, but it spread to a wide grin. So wide that it felt as though his whole lower jaw was going to fall off. His stuck out his much abused Keds for the last time, and coasted to a stop behind John’s go-cart.

“Man, did’ya see it? When ya went under th’ truck, Holy cow, for real, did ya see it? I thought you were, like, dead, man, for real!” Moon said as he ran up, John along with him.

John looked pale, really pale, Bobby saw. He supposed he looked the same.

“Under a truck?” John asked. “A freaking truck? A real one?”

“For real. Scout’s honor,” Moon told him. “It almost ripped his head off. I saw it! For real! Next time I do it,” Moon declared as he finished.

“Next time?” John asked. He looked at Bobby.

“Uh uh,” Bobby said. “There ain’t ever gonna be a next time, Moony, right, John?”

“For real. Uh uh. No way. Not ever.”

Moon smiled. “Well, too bad, cause I woulda… For real.”

Bobby looked at John. “Did you know it would go so fast? How fast were we going, Moony?”

“No way,” John said softly.

“Probly… Forty, at least forty.” Moon said confidently.

“You think so?”

“Could be,” John agreed, “cause like the speed limit is thirty five, and we were passing cars, and that was on State Street Hill, not Sinton,” he opened his eyes wide as he finished.

“Hey, maybe fifty,” Moon assured them.

“Did it look scary to you?” Bobby asked.

“Scary? Uh… Yeah, it did. I thought you guys were dead, for real. I was pedalin’ as fast as I could, but it took a long time to catch you. Was it?”

Bobby looked at John. “Yeah,” they said, nearly at the same time.

“Really scary,” John added.

They all fell silent. John, Bobby noticed, seemed to be getting some color back in his face.

“Wanna go buy some Cokes?” Moon asked at last.

“Can’t,” John said, “no money.

“We’ll buy,” Moon said, smiling once more. He helped drag both go-carts up over the curbing, and turn them around. Moon rode his bike, as Bobby and John pulled the go-carts behind them.

They rehashed the entire ride as they walked towards Jacob’s Superette. Laughing, the terror already behind them.

Later that day when Bobby and Moon finally made it back to Fig street. They stuck the go-cart in the old garage behind Bobby’s house. They talked about it from time to time, even went in the garage and looked at it occasionally, but they never rode down Sinton Park Hill, or any other hill, with it again. It sat there until the fall of 1982 when Bobby himself dragged it out to the curb and left it with the weekly garbage.

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More about these characters here.

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*******

PREVIEW The Zombie Plagues Book One:

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The Zombie Plagues Series is Copyright Wendell Sweet. Used with permission.

Chapter ONE

CANDACE

~ March 1st~

The traffic leaving the parking lot had slowed to a trickle. The lot nearly empty. The live shows were over. The bands packed up and gone. The dancers gone before or at the same time. The club was empty except Jimmy, the club boss, Don the main door security and me.

“Why are you still here, Candy,” Jimmy asked as he came up to the bar. He was on his way back from the parking lot. It was a short trip across the parking lot to the bank night deposit on the lot next door.

“I had an idea that Harry would be by tonight… He wanted to talk to me,” I shrugged. Harry was a Bookie, at least on the surface. Off the surface, or maybe it would be truer to say under the surface, Harry controlled most of the organized crime north of Syracuse. Jimmy… Jimmy managed the club, among other things, but the best description for Jimmy was to say Jimmy solved problems for Harry.

“Wants to talk you into staying here… That’s about all,” Jimmy said.

I turned away and pretended to check my face in the mirrored wall behind the bar. I wanted to Dance. I had suggested to Harry, through Jimmy, that maybe it was time for me to move on if there wasn’t any hope of me dancing. “Anyway. I ended up tending bar. So…”

“So it’s not dancing,” he dug one hand into his pocket and pulled out a thick wad of bills. He peeled two hundreds from the roll and pushed them into my hand, folding his hand over my own and closing it when I started to protest.

But,” I started.

“But nothing. We did a lot in bar sales. You and I both know it was because of you…” he smiled, let go of my hand and stepped back. “It was me not Harry,” he said.

I fixed my eyes on him. I knew what he might be about to say but I wanted to be sure.

He sighed. “It was me that put the stop to your dancing… You’re too goddamn good for dancing, Candy. And once you start?” He barked a short, derisive laugh. “The law thing? … Right out the window… what’s a cop make anyway… In this town… maybe thirty or forty a year?” He settled onto one of the stools that lined the bar, tossed his hat onto the bar top and patted the stool next to him. He continued talking.

“So, thirty, maybe forty, and what’s a dancer make? I can tell you there are dancers here who make better than one fifty a year… And that’s what I pay them, that’s not the side stuff or tips.” He moved one large hand, fished around behind the bar and came up with a bottle of chilled Vodka from the rack that held it just below eye level. He squinted at the label. “Cherry Surprise,” he questioned in a voice low enough to maybe be just for himself. “This shit any good, Candy?”

“It’s not bad,” I told him. I leaned over the bar and snagged two clean glasses when he asked me, setting them on the bar top.. He poured us both about three shots worth. “Jesus, Jimmy.”

He laughed. “Which is why I don’t make drinks.. It’d break me.” He sipped at his glass, made a face, but sipped again. I took a small sip of my own drink and settled back onto the bar stool.

“So I said to myself… Smart… Beautiful… Talented… And you have that something about you that makes men look the second time. You know?” He took another small sip. “Man sees a woman walking down the street, or across a crowded dance floor, beautiful or not he looks. That look might be short or it might be long. Depends on the woman. Then he looks away… Does he look back? Not usually. But with you he does. There are women men look at that second time… For whatever reason., and you’re one of them. I looked a second time, and then I really looked, for a third time. And I’ve seen a lot. That tattoo makes men and women look again.” His eyes fell on the tattoo that started on the back of my left hand, ran up my arm, across my breasts and then snaked back down over my belly and beyond. I knew it was provocative, that was the rebellious part of me. I had no better explanation for why I had sat, lain, through five months of weekly ink work to get it done.

Jimmy rubbed one huge open palm across the stubble of his cheeks. “Jesus do I need a shave…” He took a large drink from his glass. “It wasn’t the tattoo. It caught my eye, but that wasn’t what made me look that third time. Candy, I took a third look because I saw a young woman that doesn’t need to have anything to do with this world. You’re too goddamn smart, talented for this. So I said no. I let you dance a few times but I didn’t want you to fall into it. I made the decision that you should tend bar instead of dance.” He tossed off the glass.

“I see that,” I told him. Although I didn’t completely see it. He was reading a lot about what he thought, what he saw, into who I really was.

“Yeah? I don’t think so, Candy. And that’s a reason right there. Candy… Like a treat… When did it become okay for anyone to call you that? Because I remember a few months back when you started hanging around… It was Candace and pity the dumb bastard who didn’t understand that. Now it’s Candy to any Tom, Dick or Harry that comes along.” He saw the hurt look in my eyes. Reached below the bar, snagged the bottle, topped off his glass, I shook my head, covered the top of my glass with my hand and smiled. He continued.

“I’m not trying to hurt you only keep you on track. I’m giving you the keys. You drive. All I’m saying is set your ground rules. Make them rigid. Don’t let anyone… Me… Harry… These boys that work here… Customers… Don’t let anyone cross those lines… You see, Candy?”

I nodded.

“Yeah? Then why not call me on calling you Candy? I’ve done it since we sat down… Why not start there?”

“Well… I mean, you’re the boss, Jimmy.”

“Which is why you start there. I don’t allow anyone to talk anyway to anyone that doesn’t want that… Let me explain that… You got girls that work the streets. You don’t see it so much here, it’s a small city, but it happens. I spent a few years on the streets in Rochester, bigger place, as a kid. Happens all the time there.” He sipped at his drink. I took a sip of my own drink and raised my brows at what he had said.

“Yeah? Don’t believe it? It’s true. I fought my way up. I have respect because I earned it…” He waved one hand. “Don’t let me get off track…” He smiled and took another sip from his glass. “So, I’ve seen girls on the streets… Whores… It is what it is. Would you hear me say that to them? Maybe you would… Maybe you wouldn’t… If a woman sees herself as a whore… If that’s all it is… What it is… Then who am I to say different… Do you see? It’s a living, or it’s a life… There is a difference. Now back to you. You want to dance. Some of these girls,” he waved one meaty hand at the empty stage area, “work the other side… Some of them do that for me, some do it on their own… Some don’t,” he sighed. “Either way you would not see me treat them any other way than what they want to be treated. I mean that if you believe you are a whore and that is what you see then that is what you show the world, and that is how the world sees you… Treats you,” he settled his eyes on me.

I nodded. I didn’t trust my voice. I had been down this road on my own. What did it say about me? That it only mattered that I made it? That money mattered more than anything else? Would I be swayed by the money? Was I even being honest with myself about my motivations? I really didn’t know. I knew what I told myself on a daily basis… That I wanted to follow my Father into law enforcement but was it whimsical like so many other things in my life that I never followed through on?

“You are not just a dancer… There is a part of you that is… A part of you that likes the way a man looks at you… Likes the money… But, there is another part that is the private you… The real you. You need to keep those distinctions.” He rubbed at his eyes, tossed off the rest of his drink and rose from the bar stool. “Let me drop you home, Candy,” he asked?

I stood, leaving my mostly full drink sitting on the bar top. “I have my car,” I told him.

“It’s late… Creeps around maybe.”

“Jimmy. Every creep in my neighborhood knows I work here… For you. Guys stopped talking to me, let alone the creeps.” I laughed but it wasn’t really all that funny. It had scared me when I realized who Jimmy was. Who Jimmy worked for. In effect, who I worked for… Another questionable thing? Probably.

Jimmy nodded. “Smart creeps. The southern Tier’s a big place. Easy to lose yourself with or without a little help.” He looked at his watch and then fixed his eyes on me once more. “So you keep your perspective. Set your limits. Draw your lines,” he spoke as he shrugged into his coat, retrieved his hat from the bar top and planted it on his head, “Don’t let nobody cross those lines… You start next week… Let’s say the eleventh?”

I nodded.

“Take the balance of the time off… By the time the eleventh comes around you should be ready for a whole new world. A whole new life.” He stood looking down at me for a second. “The big talk I guess. For what it’s worth I don’t say those things often, Candy.”

I nodded. “I believe that… And, Jimmy?”

He looked down at me. He knew what was coming. He expected it and that was the only reason I was going to say it. I knew better than to correct Jimmy V. There were a lot of woods up here. They did go on forever and they probably did hold a lot of lost people. I may be slow but I’m far from stupid.

“Please don’t call me Candy,” I told him.

He smiled. “Don’t be so goddamn nice about it… Don’t call me Candy,” he rasped, a dangerous edge to his voice. “Look ’em right in the eye… Don’t call me Candy… Put a little attitude in your look.. A little I can fuckin’ snap at any minuet, attitude… Let me see that.”

I Put my best street face on. The one I had used growing up on the streets in Syracuse. I knew that I can snap at any minuet look. I’d used it many times. “Don’t call me Candy,” I told him in a voice that was not my own. My street voice, “Just don’t do it.”

“Goddamn right, Doll,” Jimmy told me. “Goddamn right… Scared me a little there… That’s that street wise part of you.” He took my head in both massive hands, bent and kissed the top of my head, “I will see you on the eleventh,” he told me.

I nodded. I let the Doll remark go.

I followed Jimmy out the back door past Don who nodded at me and winked. Don was an asshole. Always hitting on us when Jimmy wasn’t around. But Jimmy was his uncle. I was employing my best selective perception when I smiled at him. I wondered if I would ever get used to him. Probably not, I decided, but maybe that would be a good thing. Of course it didn’t matter. I never saw Don again. Or jimmy. Or anyone else from that life.

I said goodbye to Jimmy V. Crossed the parking lot for the last time and drove myself home. I parked my rusted out Toyota behind my Grandparents house and twenty four hours later my world, every bodies world, was completely changed…

Candace ~ March 2nd

This is not a diary. I have never kept a diary. They say never say never, but I doubt I will. I have never been this scared. The whole world is messed up. Is it ending? I don’t know but it seems like it’s ending here. Earthquakes, explosions. I’ve seen no Police, Fire or emergency people all day. It’s nearly night. I think that’s a bad sign. I have the Nine Millimeter that used to be my Fathers. I’ve got extra ammo too. I’m staying inside.

Candace ~ March 3rd

I lost this yesterday, my little notebook. I left it by the window so I could see to write, but I swear it wasn’t there when I went to get it, then I found it later on by the window. There are no Police, no Firemen, phones, electric, the real world is falling apart. Two days and nothing that I thought I knew is still here. Do you see? The whole world has changed.

I got my guitar out and played it today. I played for almost three hours. I played my stuff. I played some blues. Usually blues will bring me out of blues, but it didn’t work. It sounded so loud. So out of place. So… I don’t know. I just stopped and put it away.

Candace ~ March 4th

I’m going out. I have to see. If I don’t come back. Well… What good is writing this?

Candace ~ March 5th

The whole city has fallen apart. I spent most of yesterday trying to see how bad this is. I finally realized it’s bad beyond my being able to fix it. It’s bad as in there is no authority. It’s bad as in there is no Jimmy V. I hear gunshots at night. Screams. There are still tremors. If I had to guess I would say it’s the end of the civilized world. Unless things are better somewhere else I have to believe that. Power, structure, it’s all gone. I mean it’s really all gone. This city is torn up too. There are huge areas that are ruined. Gulleys, ravines, missing streets, damaged bridges. The damage costs have to be in the billions… And that’s just here. There’s me and my little notebook I’m writing in and my nine millimeter. I’ve got nothing else for company right now.

I’ve got water, some peanuts and crackers. How long can this go on? What then?

Candace ~ March 6th

I’ve decided to leave. I can’t stay here. There was a tremor last night, and not one of the really bad ones, but even so I was sure the house would come down on me. It didn’t. Maybe that’s a sign. I told myself though, scared or not, I have to go. I have to. I can’t stay here. Maybe tomorrow.

Candace ~ March 7th

The streets are a mess. I’ve spent too much of the last week hiding inside my apartment. Most of my friends, and that’s a joke, I didn’t have anyone I could call a friend, most of my acquaintances believed my grandparents were alive and that I lived here with them. They weren’t. I didn’t. I kind of let that belief grow, fostered it, I guess. I planted the seed by saying it was my Nana Pans’ apartment. You can see the Asian in me, so it made sense to them that she was my Nana. But I look more like I’m a Native American than African American and Japanese. It’s just the way the blood mixed as my father used to say. But Native American or Asian they could see in my face. This neighborhood is predominantly Asian. Mostly older people too. There were two older Asian women that lived in the building. They probably believed one of those women was my Nana and I didn’t correct them.

I can’t tell you why I did that. I guess I wanted that separation. I didn’t want them, anyone to get to know me well. My plan had been to dance, earn enough money for school, Criminal Justice, go back to Syracuse. Pretend none of this part of my life had ever happened. Some plan. It seemed workable. I wondered over what Jimmy V. had said to me. Did he see something in me that I didn’t, or was he just generalizing?.. It doesn’t matter now I suppose.

My Grandmother passed away two years ago. The apartment she had lived in was just a part of the building she owned. Nana Pan, my mothers mother, had rented the rest of the building out. The man who had lived with her was not my Grandfather, he had died before I was born, but her brother who had come ten years before from Japan. They spoke little English. People outside of the neighborhood often thought they were man and wife. She didn’t bother correcting them my mother had told me. Nana Pan thought that most Americans were superficial and really didn’t care, so what was the use in explaining anything to them? Maybe that’s where I got my deceptiveness from.

I had left the house as it was. Collected rents through an agency. For all anyone knew I was just another tenant. Jimmy V. had known. He had mentioned it to me. But Jimmy knew everything there was to know about everyone. That was part of his business. It probably kept him alive.

So I stayed and waited. I believed someone would show up and tell me what to do. No one did. I saw a few people wander by yesterday… Probably looking for other people, but I stayed inside. I don’t know why. What all my reasons were. A lot of fear I think.

There have been earthquakes. The house is damaged. I went outside today and really looked at it. I should have gotten out of it the other night when I knew it was bad, it’s just dumb luck it hasn’t fallen in on me and killed me.

It doesn’t matter now. I met a few others today and I’m leaving with them. I don’t know if I’ll stay with them. I really don’t know what to expect from life anymore.

I’m taking this and my gun with me. Writing this made me feel alive. I don’t know how better to say it.

I’ll write more here I think, I just don’t know when or where I’ll be.

~Downtown Watertown~

He came awake in the darkness, but awake wasn’t precisely the term. Alive was precisely the term. He knew alive was precisely the term because he could remember dieing. He remembered that his heart had stopped in his chest. He had remembered wishing that it would start again. That bright moment or two of panic, and then he remembered beginning not to care. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. And he had drifted away.

Now he had drifted back. But, drifted was not exactly right. He had slammed back into himself where he lay on the cold subbasement floor where he had been murdered by a roving gang of thieves. And he knew those things were true because he remembered them. And he knew they were true because he was dead. He was still dead. His heart was not beating in his chest. His blood was cold and jelled in his veins.

He lay and watched the shadows deepen in the corners of the basement ceiling for a short time longer and then tried to move.

His body did not want to move at first. It felt as though it weighed a ton. Two tons, but with a little more effort it came away. He sat and then crawled to his knees.

In the corner a huge rat stopped on his way to somewhere to sniff at him. Decided he was probably food and came to eat him. He had actually sat for a second while the rat first sniffed and then began to gnaw at one fingernail. Then he had quickly snatched the rat up with his other hand, snapped it’s back in his fist and then shoved him warm and squirming into his mouth. A few minuets later he stood on shaky legs and walked off into the gloom of the basement. Looking for the stairs and the way up to the streets.

*******

Check out the series only at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/25728

I hope you enjoyed the free reading. Please check out my sponsor pages. Have a great week and I will be back next week…

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Writing how to 3

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Posted by Geo 10-06-14

Another weekend gone. I spent this one working on a manuscript and taking care of the guitar site.

I want to throw some congratulations to Andrea Scroggs. Her Graphic Novel, Invariant is doing well. She is working on another graphic story. Her artwork is as good as her writing and she knows how to bring both things together. Invariant: https://www.amazon.com/Invariant-Graphic-Story-Andrea-Scroggs-ebook/dp/B00JNDQKUE

The zombie Plagues books are doing very well.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/5280

What’s on the burner: I am working on a new novel right now. I have also completed one other novel, editing work for that one now.

Free Books:

The Zombie Plagues Book 1: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/357698

Writers and their websites:

Paul Block: http://sotofo.com/writers/paul%20block.html

Andrea Scroggs: http://www.absent-of-light.com/

Andrea Tyse: http://sotofo.com/graphic.html

Dell Sweet: http://sotofo.com/writers/dell%20sweet/index.html

Geo Dell: http://sotofo.com/writers/geo%20dell.html

Sotofo: http://www.sotofo.com/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DellSweet

What else is going on: Winter is coming. It is cold here in New York in the mornings. The furnace kicked on the other day and scared the hell out of me. It took me a second to realize it was the furnace.

On Writing:

I gave a copy of my first book to every family member that I could find. That means I spent what I considered to be a boatload of money buying copies so I could do that. A month later I wrote and said, “Excuse me, but have you had time to read my book yet? I put a lot into it and I think it is good and I would really, really like to have your opinion.” I waited, but not a single person wrote back. Huh, I thought. I must really suck very badly. I reminded them a month or so later “Hey! Me again. Just wondering if you read my book yet. Let me know!” Nothing.

Well, I’ll be damned, I thought. I knew I wasn’t the greatest of writers, but I have read published stuff far worse than what I write, and besides, I poured my heart and soul into it.

I realized then that you have to find your audience. And your audience is there. They don’t know you yet, and you don’t know them yet, but they are there. They are there sitting patiently and waiting for you to publish that book so they can fall right into it.

Did you notice that I went to my humor well and injected a little humor into my re-telling of passing books out to my entire family and not one reading it or commenting? As you can imagine I was crushed, but I learned from it. I realized that my family didn’t write the book. They had no emotional attachment to it, so I went ahead and published it and not long after I got some real feedback that I needed. I found people that liked it. Still do like it, and identify with the characters. Of course I found people that hate it, hate the style of writing, and that is to be expected as well. My point is I based my faith in my ability on me, no one else. Yes, it was good to get feedback, and I took some of it and rejected other parts of it, but the main thing was to get it into my head that I had to like it first. If I didn’t like it, believe in it, have faith in it, then it was dead already. I might as well bury it.

Again, we are not on impossible ground, we just have to know where we are. Nobody gets to go through life without being smacked around a little. Either life does it to you or other people do it to you. Sometimes it can destroy you if you allow it to, other times it hurts, makes you cry, but you pick yourself up and get your ass back in gear and go. You learn from it. That lesson is usually like this:

“Wait a second, goddammit. Did I do anything to deserve to get used like that? No!”

Or…

“Does he/she really hate me? Why? What did I do?”

And that might go on a little, but you will come to the realization that you didn’t do anything at all. You were just you and some people like you and some people don’t. Before you know it you meet a woman/man that does like you as you are, does accept you. Maybe that takes some time, but as long as you don’t stop looking you will find out how to be you and be liked. It is that simple. And you know what? It might not be five thousand people that like you. It might be five million, it might be less. But when you learn that, know you are able to be liked, appreciated, you now have another well to draw from. That is the same well you should go to for the basis of your confidence in yourself as a writer.

The reasoning is clear. You may live, as I do, in a small town/village. Things in a small place are small: Small post office. Smaller roads; smaller school. But in another way that is all dead now. With the advent of the internet that has all opened up. The world, literally, is right there at your fingertips. And how many people, do you suppose, are similar to you in your likes and dislikes? Millions? Thousands? A million? A million people out of the entire world is a small number. I would say it is safe to assume that there are a million people out there that would like your writing if you can get it to them. That is your strength. You have been down that road, all the way down that road, you know there are people who do like you, now apply it worldwide and you can see what you have. Another well of strength to draw from.

Now that doesn’t mean all of those people are ever going to know about you. They might not, but if you never publish your work they will never have that opportunity and that would be a loss for you and for them. So go to that well where you have that emotion stored from that time you were rejected, put down, passed over, and then go to that other well of strength you used to get past that. Maybe the Bible, Quran, prayer, friendship, something inside that you can not even explain. Whatever it is, go to it. Tell your self that you personally have that faith in yourself. Believe it.

Last words: Family. Family is what we have to turn to for our strength usually, right? Not at all times. We turn there, but it doesn’t always help, in fact sometimes it hurts. They seem to be more hypercritical of us than anyone else, or, they never read that book you sent them. Jesus went back to Nazareth to preach and was rejected there among his own people. They said, paraphrased, “What is this? This guy is a carpenter’s son, he’s not a prophet or a God or a messiah.” They rejected what he had to say. How many writers have you read that said their families encouraged them and read their work? Not many. Not many because it didn’t happen. It doesn’t mean they hate you, or your work. If it was someone else who published it and they read it they might even like it, but it wasn’t someone else it was you. And you are Mary’s/Bob’s/John’s kid. “Yeah, I went to school with you., You aren’t a writer, you work down at the Walmart, right?” And there you go.

So don’t look for what isn’t there. If you get that support great, but it isn’t a given and you shouldn’t let it impact you negatively if you don’t find it. Go to that well of strength and get what you need, and then publish your work.

You can usually find myself or Dell on twitter throughout the day, Dell: @SweetDell or me, Geo: @GeorgeDell01

That is me for today. I hope your weekend was good and the coming week is a good one for you. Check out the free books for the week and the websites. I’ll be back soon, Geo.

Sponsored by: DIYGK.COM

Web: http://www.diygk.com/

The Earth’s Survivors Box Set: https://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-box-Wendell-Sweet-ebook/dp/B01GULFBQA