Wednesday Morning: Of personal Note;
I am working on finishing up my house. I really will be doing floors on Monday, finally. I did finish all of the paint work, built another custom cabinet to go over the refrigerator, installed it, spent a small amount of time with my brother as he is leaving New York for Alabama permanently, installed all of the speaker systems, alarms: Smoke and Carbon Monoxide, tweeters, fresh air vents, light grills, L/R Ceiling fan and light. All of the little stuff that really adds up.
I have a bad habit of saying to myself, “Oh yeah, I have to put in that duct work for the over range Microwave oven.” And I say it like it’s nothing, a ten minute job, when I know I have to snake duct work through the ceiling, run electric for the oven, and it will eat several hours if I don’t run into a problem, and I will run into trouble because it’s an old house and everything I have done has run into problems.
I did this sort of work for many years. I worked for the largest property management companies in Rochester New York. All they did was buy houses and flip them. I ran crews to get the work done. In reality that meant unskilled labor to help me do all of the work. The first few times it was daunting, but after awhile I learned how to get men and women who were not skilled in any sort of construction to learn and do the work. So I know what work is, how involved it will be, how much time it will eat up, yet I still lie to myself. “No. No. Ten minuets!“
The truth is it is easier to rip a house down and build a new one than rebuild/rehab an old one. You have to like the house a great deal, or, as in my case, be stuck with the circumstances. My circumstances are, I foolishly stuck thousands into the house, as it came from a relative and my Mother liked it and wanted to live here, before I stopped and said, well, never mind what I said, it contained a few expletives though. So I was in it. I stopped, looked at the balance of the work and then gutted the whole thing down to the studs. It honestly was cheaper to do that then continue to try to fix the problems the house had as I went along, and my weekly spending reflected that.
Now she will have a nice house to spend the balance of her years in, that should be pretty much trouble free…
I have the Outrunners book finished. I Have published the paperback version of it, but I am unsure what I will do digitally. The test showed that people were confused by the two series. Not that they were both from the Earth’s Survivors series, but because the characters interact. They felt that since the characters from both series interacted, and some of the writing overlapped, the books were relating the same things. That is frustrating. I went through that with Earth’s Survivors too. The diaries reflect what the characters feel about what is going on. It rarely turns out to be the same story that is narrated, because they are seeing it through their own eyes. Some reviewers felt it amounted to telling the same story twice. Apparently they did not catch the differences. I toughed that out, more readers read the books, and they got it. I assume it will be the same with the Outrunners books. So, most likely it will publish this week as The Zombie Killers. Maybe an ES logo on the book and that’s it.
I am a fussy writer, picky, a pain to work for? Maybe. Probably all of that. It took a while to get an editor I would/could work with and I am completely happy. I hope the relationship lasts until I write my last word. And I want my last word to be “ARRRGGggggggg…” Like in the Monty Python movie.
Other Non Fiction and Fiction work:
I have plenty of non fiction work to publish. Getting to it is the problem. And non fiction stuff just doesn’t sell well, so it is truly a labor of love. You have to want to do it. As for fiction, you can write anything with a Vampire, Werewolf or Zombie in it and it will get read fairly quickly, but write a non fiction piece and it will take time to find an audience. It is the way it is.
I have a few projects that are important to me. The first project is MAX. MAX is a first hand account about prison, and what that life is really like. I have journals, ten years worth, and it would probably be verbatim. Using the journals as they were written. It’s rough stuff in places though. It would have to be written with warnings.
The second project is Broken. I have written three books worth of material for Broken. It deals with life on the streets and moves through the rest of my life. It is also rough stuff and would have to have warnings.
The third project is Yeshua. I spent a great deal of time writing Yeshua, which deals with Jesus the Christ’s life as told through the eyes of one of his disciples. It is fictionalized. But it was taken directly from years of study, reference books, verbatim transcriptions of scrolls and other written materials. I like it. I think it’s honest, but I also think that anytime you mess with religion you take grave chances.
The fourth project is fiction. I need to get started on the Rapid City books – Cowboys and Zombies, instead of just the short stories. They are started but I need to jump into it.
Finishing this house is key to getting back to a normal life instead of a life of Carpentry / Plumbing / Electrical / Drywall / Carpeting / Laminate flooring / Painting – with writing on the side. So I am looking at this coming week as my last week doing that stuff full time. That will shift to part time after the floors are in and everything is moved, and writing will shift back to full time.
That’s this week. I spoke a little about Hurricane, which I have been writing on the side. Hurricane is the third book in the Connected series of books dealing with crime and a few central figures.
Hurricane is set in Alabama. I lived there for ten years and the seed for the novel came from that. The story centers around two young girls and their lives, a convict in a prison up north, and a Hurricane that is due to hit the Gulf Coast. I think it is a good, fast paced story. I will leave you with a preview of Hurricane, which should be available sometime next year.
Copyright 2016 Wendell Sweet. All rights reserved.
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“It’s bad luck to skip school on a Monday,” Amy Knowles said to her best friend Deidre Blevins.
“I know,” Deidre said, “But I hate it. I just can’t be there. I can’t deal with those Goddamn Nuns today. You don’t have to come if you don’t want to, Aim… I didn’t even tell Jimmy.”
“I know that.. Obviously I want to go… I mean,” Amy fell silent.
“What,” Deidre asked?
“We’re friends,” Amy said. “It’s been me and you way before Jimmy or Mike came along… It’s just that, sometimes we get too far away from that.” Her face colored.
Deidre nodded. “We do… So, where do you and me go today…. With no car… No way to get nowhere. I hate being on foot…. It’s just about all I keep Jimmy around for. That and the pot,” Deidre said.
“Really,” Amy asked?
She thought about it. “I could think of something better… For right now he’s okay. I like him well enough.”
Amy wondered what the something better might be. Deidre had colored a little bit when she said it. She didn’t ask though. It was good enough just being together. She didn’t want to complicate it with feelings.
“I smell rubber burning,” Deidre said and smiled. “A penny for your thoughts. That’s what my dad always says to me,” She said.
“They’re worth more than a penny,” Amy said as they reached the parking lot. She slipped her hand through Deidre’s arm. “Lead on,” She said.
Deidre was surprised by the arm, but pleasantly surprised. She liked the feel of it, she decided. She looked up at the sky then back down at the parking lot. “We could hitch out to your place or we could walk around downtown.”
“We could get picked up by some Psycho too,” Amy said.
“Never have,” Deidre countered.
“Okay, but if some Psycho picks us up and kills us I am going to be so pissed at you,” Amy said. She tried a little smile on her face. Deidre answered it with one of her own.
“Never happen,” Deidre said as they started across the parking lot.
“I’d probably follow you anywhere,” Amy said softly. So softly that Deidre was not sure she had even heard her.
“Yeah. I wish that were true,” Deidre said every bit as softly.
Amy looked up at her. She had heard the words, but she was looking away. She was about to speak when Jimmy’s voice interrupted her. She looked up and there he was. His blonde hair hanging in his eyes, head half out of the window of his truck. When no one answered he spoke again.
“I said, I thought you was staying at school today?” He said again looking a Deidre.
“Well, you said you might be here, so Amy and I thought we would try,” Deidre said quickly and smiled.
Amy nodded and smiled.
The car behind Jimmy’s truck blew its horn and Jimmy twisted around and glared back at the driver. He popped up his middle finger and showed it to the driver and then looked back at Deidre. “So, where we gonna go?. I didn’t make no plans and I ain’t got no money,” Jimmy said.
Deidre had about forty dollars on her, two tens in her pocket and the rest in her sneaker. She pulled out the two tens. “This will get us a little way, right,” She asked?
Jimmy took the two tens and slipped them in his pocket. “We can go out to Mike’s,” he looked at Amy. “He’s working on the Nissan today… I can help him… We can hang out… We have enough for beer now and gas to get there too.” Jimmy said.
The car behind him tapped its horn once more. Jimmy levered open the door jumped out and started to turn back to the car but Deidre caught his arm.
“Baby, you’ll get us in trouble. We’ll get caught,” she said as she pulled him away.
The guy in the car rolled his window up quickly. Jimmy smiled at him, flipped him off again and then turned back to Deidre and Amy. “Luck for that little fuck,” he said. “Come on.” He held the driver’s door open as first Amy and then Deidre crawled across to the passenger’s side and then turned and looked back at the car. The young guy behind the wheel refused to look back. Jimmy flipped him off again and then climbed back into his truck.
“What does it look like,” Bob Travers asked? He was at his own desk but he called up a view of the latest National Weather Service radar on his monitor.
Rebecca Monet leaned closer to the monitor, her breasts brushing against his shoulder as she did. “It could be the big one. It’s building fast and they are already predicting a path that will bring it right to us,” She told him. “I want to be the one that gets it if it does. I mean, I know I’ll have it at first but if it goes big I want to keep it instead of it going to Bethany,” she said in a low voice, nearly a whisper.
Bethany Jacobs was the anchor woman for Channel Eight News. She sat next to Bob during the newscasts. He had his pick of the big stories and left the rest to Bethany.
“Becca, you know I can’t do that,” Bob said in an equally low voice.
“Bullshit,” she said sweetly and smiled. “I know what your contract says. You schedule. You appoint. It’s your call.” Her breasts pressed more firmly against his shoulder. “Come on, Bob. I’m good. I can do it. You know I can,” Rebecca pleaded. Her hand came up and rested lightly on his upper arm. Her perfume was subtle but intoxicating.
“Bethany will go ballistic,” Bob whispered.
“So what,” Rebecca said.
“We have a …. A sort of,” Bob started.
“I know. It’s not like it’s a secret.” Her hand stroked his bicep. “I would do anything you want, Bob,” she said. The weight of her breasts against his shoulder suddenly seemed to increase ten fold. “I mean anything,” she said leaning closer and whispering in his ear. Her lips brushed his ear.
“Are we talking about the same thing,” Bob asked, his voice low. His eyes scanned the room looking to make sure no one was watching or eavesdropping.
“I’ve got a few minutes… I’m sure your dressing room is empty. Let me show you what I’m talking about. I think we’re on the same page,” Rebecca whispered. And this time her lips not only brushed against his ear they seemed planted there.
“I… I can’t right now,” Bob said.
“Can’t stand up,” she asked with a musical little laugh.
“Something like that,” Bob agreed.
“I’ll meet you there… I’ll let myself in,” She asked?
Bob nodded. The weight of her breasts were instantly gone, but the sound of her voice and the scent of her perfume were in his head. ‘Boy was Bethany going to be pissed off,’ he thought. But Tad Edwards, the station manager, had already dropped hints to him about seeing Rebecca work more, and a few other hints about how he thought Bethany was not aging well, meaning to Tad she was past her prime at twenty seven and he thought it was time for a fresh face. A younger face. Rebecca was all of twenty, and she was… He made himself stop thinking about her. He had to, or else, he told himself, he’d never be able to get up.
‘Man oh Man was Bethany ever going to be pissed off,’ he told himself again.
Paul lay in Jane’s bed. He had left early this morning on the pretext of having to go over the paper work for the year end audit, and that was partly true, but the real truth was that they had been getting less and less time together and he had simply needed to be with her.
“We have got to go,” Jane said from beside him.
“I know,” Paul told her. Her body was pressed to his own, one of his arms holding her to him. He didn’t let go. She felt so good. She reached over and bit his chest softly.
“Ow,” Paul said… “Okay… Oh all right… Maybe tonight? I could say I’m working late.”
“I can’t… You know I’ve got classes… Tomorrow?” She countered.
He smiled “That will work.” His hand slipped down and rubbed across her buttocks, squeezing gently and then, reluctantly, he let her go.
She held him a second longer and then kissed him before she rolled away. “I love you,” she said.
“I love you to,” he said automatically. “I’ll go first?” He headed for the shower and a few minuets later he was merging into traffic on I 65 and heading towards the Airport Road exit.
He and Janey had been an item for about a year. Paul Blevins didn’t really think about it as cheating on his wife Peggy any longer. He was pretty sure she was pursuing her own interests anyway. It just was.
He didn’t think too hard about the love aspect of the relationship either. Sure, he told her he loved her, and he did. She had a perfect body, and he loved it. And her attitude was great, he loved that too. And, she was completely devoted to him, how could he not love that? But the other kind of love? The kind that made you cry? Made your heart ache? No. He had loved Peggy like that at one time. He loved his daughter Deidre like that. She could probably get anything at all out of him. But she didn’t abuse it. She was a pretty good kid most of the time. Not out running around getting involved in all of the bad stuff that kids her age got involved in. He had no real concerns or worries about her. All of his real love. The kind that could hurt him anyway was reserved for her. She had never abused it and Paul didn’t think she ever would, or could for that matter.
He and Peggy had fallen apart a few years before and there seemed to be no way to fix it. Janey was pushing lately for them to be together. Her little boy, Lincoln, who was just two years old, already thought of Paul as his father. And Paul supposed that eventually he and Janey would probably be together.
Deidre had about six months of school left and then she would be off to college. Local if he had his way, New York if Peggy’s father had his way. And there was not too much that Peggy’s father did not get his way on. Money did talk and he had a lot of it.
Either way there was no reason to stay after Deidre was gone. There would be nothing there. It would feel too weird sleeping in the same bed, keeping up the charade. For what? For who? They really only kept up the pretense now for Deidre’s sake. If she was gone, what would be the point?
There would be no point, he told himself. Janey would most likely get her way… Sooner rather than later.
The radio played low as he drove and he listened as he watched traffic. Nothing much new. A tropical depression building off the coast of Africa. A big One. One that bore watching the weatherman said. Maybe it would be something, Paul thought, but he doubted it. They almost always slipped off and shot up the coast, or veered off and hit Louisiana or Texas. Most likely this one would too.
He came to a near dead stop in a long line of cars making their way onto Airport Road. Janey would be along in another thirty minutes or so. With Peggy’s fathers money it wasn’t a good idea to make themselves an easy target. On the surface Peggy might not seem to care, but Paul suspected she had to be thinking about the future too. Six months from now was the future. Or the end of their future. Six months from now, divorce most likely, and he didn’t mean to make it easy for her. So they were careful. Never leaving at the same times. Not being seen together.
The only reason he had stuck it out these last few years was Deidre. He wanted no custody dispute that she would be dragged into. No loss of seeing her. Peggy and her father’s money could make him look bad. Take her away. That would kill him. And, he knew it. She knew how much it would hurt him, which is exactly why she would do it. For Spite. For payback. Women were like that. Women whose fathers had deep pockets were even more like that, he thought. He had no doubt that had he pulled the plug a few years ago she would have made sure he never saw Deidre again until she was old enough to make her own decisions. But then Peggy may have poisoned her mind completely.
He could do without Peggy, Jane too, but not Deidre. So here he was, day after day. Six months to go and it would all be over. He inched forward through the traffic trying to clear his mind as he went.
The audit. Now there was a sobering thought. Janey really was helping with the audit. He had bought her in. It was a mess. There were real problems there. Problems that would take Janey to fix if he could convince her to do it for him. She was helping. Going through the mounds of paperwork. She was smart, she would see it. He would let it be her own idea. He hoped it would be her own idea. He pushed the thoughts away.
The line of cars suddenly poured onto Airport Road and he sped up just making it out and merging into the middle lane at the expense of a blaring horn and a pissed off driver of a beverage delivery truck who had not wanted to let him in. He made the left lane finally, signaled at the light and cut across the feeder road and then into the restaurant parking lot.
A few cars, and, for the second time in as many weeks a moving van was parked in the lot. Companies did that all of the time, but he could not remember if there was a moving company nearby with that name. Peggy was what he was thinking of. Peggy and her fathers deep pockets. Her fathers money that could hire a private detective to follow him. To poke around. Six months, he reminded himself as he parked, got out and walked to the restaurant. She could do as she pleased with Daddies money after that.
He whistled as he walked to the door, unlocked it, and stepped inside the restaurant.
Dave Plasko shot the ball under his knee and across to Steve Minor. They had tried letting Darren Reed, who was part of their little group, play, but he was too slow mentally to keep up. It confused him and then it panicked him, and once he was panicked he might do anything. Best to let him watch from the sidelines as he was now.
Steve caught the ball, faked left then nearly walked himself to the right, put the ball up, and it barely kissed the rim as it went through.
“That’s it. You dudes are done,” Dave said.
“Another one?” Light said. “One more?”
“Got to work, Light,” Dave said. “Outside clearance. Can’t fuck that up. We’ll play when I’m back this afternoon.”
“Now, how is it you three white boys got that all sewn up,” Light asked?
“Hmm… We’re white? … It’s Alabama? How the fuck should I know. This is your fucked up state not mine, Light. You know we ain’t on that shit.” Dave told him.
Light bounced the ball across the small basketball court that was just off the main prison yard, and into the Recreation box on the other side.
“Yeah. If you could only play that fuckin’ good all of the time…” Dave joked.
“I do, New York. You motherfuckers just cheat too Goddamn much,” Light laughed.
The yard gate opened and Jack Johnson, an overweight correction officer stepped in and looked around the yard. “What the fuck, Plasko,” he asked when his eyes fell on him. “You and your girlfriends ready to go to work or not? I ain’t got all goddamned day you know.”
“Later,” Plasko told Light. They touched fists. “On our way, Mister Johnson,” he called out. He looked to Darren and Steve and the three of them headed across the rec yard to the gate.
Peggy Blevins walked up to the young woman who was looking over the computers on display. She was the top seller at Computer Terminal, or at least she had been every month for the last eight months in a row.
“Can I help,” She asked the young woman.
The girl smiled. Petite. Asian. Probably a student, Peggy thought. On a budget. Needing far less than what she would want.. Her nearly black hair was set off by her narrow, dark framed glasses which served to make her appear much more intelligent than she probably was. Maybe, Peggy conceded. She sized her up. The seller in her already calculating.
“I need something for school… A laptop… I’m on a budget though,” The young woman told her.
She was older than she looked, Peggy decided, early twenties. And she was actually quite beautiful when she smiled. Peggy had thought Asian but now she wasn’t so sure. Maybe Native American… Maybe mixed race… Maybe African too. Beautiful. Her observations were straight forward. She observed people. It made her a great sales associate.
“What do you want to do with it,” Peggy asked? “I mean, what will you need to do with it? I can get you a really good deal on last years model… Probably throw in some software upgrades too,” Peggy told her.
The woman looked at her watch. “Sorry,” she said. “I have to be at work soon. I’m taking accounting and that is what I would be using it for,” she told her.
“Spreadsheets… Databases… Like that,” Peggy asked?
“Exactly,” the woman agreed.
“Like Lotus Suite,” Peggy asked?
“Never tried it… Is it like Office or Access,” The woman asked?
“Better. Databases. Spreadsheets. Word processing… All work together… In one environment. It’s nice. I have a lap top, last years model, but it’s also a return. It has Lotus on it already, and the full version too. I can give it to you for nearly fifty percent off,” Peggy said.
“Really? How can you do that,” The woman asked.
“We write them off,” Peggy said in a near whisper. They could care less what we get after that point as long as it moves… Does it sound good….?” She phrased it so the young woman would give her her name and she held out her hand.
“Jane,” the young woman said. “Jane green.” Her eyes fixed on Peggy’s and held them.
Peggy really looked at her. She knew the name and the young woman had to know who she was. “I’m Peggy,” she said stupidly. “Peggy Blevins.”
“I know,” Jane said.
“Do you really want the laptop,” Peggy asked? “I really can get you a good deal on it.”
“I really do,” Jane said.
“How did you find me… He didn’t…” She started.
“No… Of course not,” Jane said. “He would be so pissed to know I am here… I… I just wanted to talk to you,” She said.
“I can take a break,” Peggy said.
“Let’s take care of the computer then I’ll buy you coffee,” Jane asked.?
“Sure,” Peggy said. “You didn’t seem surprised that I knew your name.” She said.
“There isn’t much place to hide to watch my place. The guy gave himself away a few times. Once I realized he was watching my place I knew what it had to be… I don’t want trouble… Or… Or to argue… I just wanted to talk to you,” Jane Green said.
Peggy nodded and tried to get a smile back on her face. “Cone on, Jane. Let’s get this taken care of.”
They both walked away toward the back of the store.
Thanks for checking out the free preview. Have a great Thanksgiving!
Connected: A crime series from W. W. Watson
You can find Connected on Amazon, NOOK, I-Books, KOBO or check it out directly from the publisher, Smashwords at the link below…