What drives me into reading, gaming, writing, and all this junk

I get asked every once in a while, why waste your time on fantasy novels, writing books, being a gamer…Isn’t your time too valuable?

Yes, I have a high level of education, worked in some fantastic engineering spaces as well as scientific ones over the years. And yes, that is reasonably well compensated financially.

So why waste my time on these things?

It is these things that made me who I am. I would never have become a scientist if science fiction hadn’t caused me to become interested in how that stuff works. I would have never had that focus, that drive, or even curiosity if I hadn’t spend a ton of time reading fantasy adventure novels (like Tolkien, DragonLance, etc).

The creativity it takes to do some of what I have done (and still do) for a living is born in those other things that I do. It also gives a mind break.

It isn’t a waste of time to do things that relax you and foster creativity. Every person is different. But for me, I don’t feel watching TV and Movies constantly fosters that in my brain. But, your brain is different.

If you want to be a novelist, or engineer but feel like you have trouble coming up with “concepts or ideas” try something that fosters creativity. Try something new. Everyone can be creative, you just have to find what works for you.

The video below discusses all this stuff a lot further.



Why did I write The Diocese Dilemma – I mean…really?

I recently released a novel called The Diocese Dilemma, and it is a pretty far departure from the other things I have written. Why would I do such a thing?

And more importantly why would I turn a Catholic Priest into a Serial Killer?

Well, that is not that easy to answer but I will give it a try.

I grew up in the Catholic Church, I consider myself a spiritual person, I believe in God, but I think dogmatic religion is a challenge, at least for me. If it works for you, please, don’t think I am trying to talk you out of it.

In order for me to really work through some issues I have with people who exercise religion in a more hypocritical way are pretty deep.

I have personally been told by a Christian that if I drink alcohol I am going to Hell?

Ok, so Christ isn’t in Heaven because didn’t he turn water into wine?

I have seen people who profess to be deeply rooted Catholics (and other religions) repeatedly be unfaithful to their spouse. The swore before God to forsake all others?

I see these Scriptures that say one thing and people who love to quote them do another.

It made me question things. And if people can so routinely misinterpret and pervert Scripture to justify their own actions, and I can notice it, surely clergymembers see it.

What happens if a Priest, who sits in the Confessional and listens to people confess their sins over and over gets just fed up with the hypocrisy and says you know what…some of these people are beyond absolution.

Eye for and Eye, right?

Make the punishment fit the crime?

Priests are supposed to be the sword and shield of God according to Scripture.

Can a Priest get so frustrated that he takes the worst sinners, pulls them out of the confessional and goes Old Testament justice and takes that Eye for and Eye a bit further than he should (kind of hypocritically).

And given all of the cover ups the Church has done over the years (and many religions have done) could and more importantly would the Church cover it up? What if the Church leadership agreed with his actions?

This book helped me really understand and see that these things (Scripture) are very often quoted by people who rarely think about the words, they just use them in a way to get you to do what they want, make themselves feel better, or justify some action.

While violating the crap out of other Scriptures (and Commandments).

I do think that this sort of thing could happen. Mind you I have no evidence that it has, but I do know that the Catholic Church (during the Inquisition) did kill a bunch of “sinners”

Would that happen again?

Could they get away with it?

Would they cover it up?

I dunno, you be the judge, and I can tell you right now I am not sorry about what Father Santini did to that person who was selling access to very young underaged women for purely perverted (and rough) pleasure of powerful people.

That guy had it coming.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen? – Movie and Book

I recently re-read the Donald Westlake Book What’s the Worst That Could Happen, which also has a movie adaptation starring Danny Devito and Martin Lawrence.

The movie adaptation is freaking hilarious, so let’s talk premise here.

The novel is one of several by Westlake about main character John Dortmunder (name changed for the movie). John is a burglar who never uses violence, and rarely pulls off much more than a robbery where he makes a much. So, he works hard, and is clean in that he doesn’t get caught because he is a pro after all. In the movie this is Martin Lawrence (who has a fence he uses played by Bernie Mac).

The story is centered around a ring that John’s girlfriend gives him that is supposed to be good luck. While John is robbing a home he gets caught and the house owner that catches him, and while he is handcuffs the house owner steals the ring from a thief.

A thief got robbed, during a robbery! What’s not funny about that.

This sets off a series of competitive robberies trying to steal the ring back, but John continuously “fails” and only manages to steal tens out thousands of dollars in cash and goods. And John feels he has failed…

The conflict between these two go back and forth, everyone on both sides just telling them to let it go, not worry about it, just move on. This can’t happen, once two people that are fighting for pride lock horns, it is hard to get them to stop.

Both the book and the movie are HILARIOUS. The book in the photo is my first edition copy of it. Fantastic stuff, and the movie did change a few things, but it totally works, and isn’t so changed that the story is different. It was an amazingly well done adaptation. The cast knocks it out of the park. A must see, and a fantastic read.

Frank Frazetta The Death Dealer

Set at a time with the world was rife with sorcery and violence one man the Gath of Baal stood between peace and eternal war. Gath must throw down against the will of the Gods and in order to win he has to put on The Horned Helmet which turns him into death become human. The Helmet twists his soul until he becomes the ultimate destroyer, but can he escape the helmet.

And that is just book one.

This is a fantasy series, originally 4 books, but in the early 2000s there was a fifth released. These books are not just fantasy, they are action thriller or action-adventure books. These are not plot twisting political dramas, these are pure adventure and action. Lots of blood and guts in this series!

They are fast moving, fun reads. The four books in the original series are:

  • Prisoner of the Horned Helmet
  • Lords of Destruction
  • Tooth and Claw
  • Plague of Knives

The artwork is from one of the most well known elite fantasy artists of the time, Frank Frazetta. It is just amazing Cover Art. These are a personal favorite on my bookshelf and in the first release form like I have getting very hard to find.

I hope you get the chance to read them someday! They will not let you down.


The Death Gate Cycle – Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

The Death Gate Cycle is a series from the masters of modern Fantasy Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It is a seven book series containing the following titles:

  • Dragon Wing
  • Elven Star
  • Fire Sea
  • Serpent Mage
  • The Hand of Chaos
  • Into the Labryinth
  • The Seventh Gate


Many books in the fantasy genre are written in some distant past and commonly in some fictional world other than Earth. The Death Gate Cycle is a different story. It is written in the future after some nuclear war nearly destroyed the planet. Yes this planet has elves and dragons.

It is a fictional world, but it is the one we know. It has however been divided into four different realms, that of fire, water, sky and stone. Not everyone is aware of all four realms, that is held to a select few who have survived the dreaded Labyrinth.

Like all the books I have ever read by this duo it sucks you in. It is well written, the characters come to life, if you pick up one you will want to read all seven. Yes, they are from the early 90s but they hold up perfectly. The emotion leaps off the page, and everyone who reads it will find a character to identify with. We all have our favorites, admit it!

I highly recommend this series, and anything at all by these two authors. As an author and avid reader myself I see the genius in their work. As an added bonus if you order them from Margaret Weis’ website, they will come to your house autographed. I have all seven on my shelf! You will not be upset if you put a set on yours.