evolutionriver.com Blog

Friday, November 15th, 2019 10:08 AM PST
I went to the TusCon 46 conference last weekend. Check out the website. https://tusconscificon.com/  What a blast it is. Eric Schumacher (https://www.facebook.com/Eric-Schumacher-54210757834/) and his company were filming a movie there. I got to be in it, but you'll have to look really hard to spot me.  The movie is the sequel to Revenge of Zoe. Fun people running around for that. Hi, Paula. Think you'd make a good Kiki? Costumes galore and really good sessions. In addition to the instruction writing session, NASA had reps there along with the Kitt Peak Observatory and Univ of AZ Astronomy group and the planetary studies group. They want to see sci-fi writers get the science right. Sign up for next year. It's really a bargain.
Monday, October 28th, 2019 10:12 AM PDT
Here's my second installment on self-pub.

Self PUB

Chapter 2


Formatting Text

As I use Microsoft Word 10, most of these instructions are geared toward that. Look at published books to get an idea of what to do.
Font and text:
Once you have the edited manuscript, it’s time to get it formatted for the publisher/ printer. There are people who will format for you for a price, and it may be worth it. I like to do things myself.
See what font to use. I use Microsoft Word and make use of the Styles feature, This is the block in the middle of the tool bar under the Home tab. By right clicking on Normal the conditions can be modified–you can define what Normal is. I use Times New Roman as my font, 12 as the font size, Justified as the setup, and double spacing for my working manuscript. My heading for chapters is New Times Roman font, 14 point as the size, Bold, and center for my text location. That way I only have to click on the Styles block to set up the text. After the editing is complete, I only have to modify the definition of Normal to change the whole document. For submission, those changes would be to 1 or 1.15 spacing.
One advantage to using the Styles is that style changes (e.g. From Normal to Headings) are shown in the Navigation window like an index. This allows you to move rapidly around your document. The Navigation Pane is activated in the View tab.
The chapter heading is not at the top of the page. Publishers vary on what they want. I use 5 spaces (Normal style) before the chapter heading. I use one space (Normal) after.
Size & Margins:
For the working manuscript I use 8-1/2 x 11 paper and wide margins. This leaves room for comments. I also assign Section 1 to the first pages for title, copyright, acknowledgements and other information. If there’s a prologue, that goes before the section for the body of the text. This is so that headings and page numbers apply to the text body. When the editing is complete, change the page size to whatever the book size is to be. Make sure you click on Whole Document box. Once page size is applied to document, set the margins and gutter. Typical margins are 0.5 to left and right and top and bottom. Gutter is the space needed when binding so that the text is visible. Typically, gutter and margin on the inside of the page is about 0.8 inches total. The margins can vary as you decide.
Headers & Footers:
Headers and footers can be installed using the insert tab in the 1st Section. Make sure the “Same as Previous” is off. The first pages with book information don’t normally have headers, footers or page numbers. You can decide to have different headers on odd and even pages, like title on the right hand page and author name on the left hand. Page numbers can be on top or bottom of pages and centered or on left or right. Start page 1 on Chapter 1 which will be the first right hand page of the text body after a blank left hand page. Title page will be on the right hand side with the back blank.
Submission format:
It is usually required to imbed your fonts into the file. I didn’t know that fonts are not part of the file unless they are imbedded, silly ignorant me. To imbed fonts in Word files, click on the File tab. At the bottom of the menu, click on the “Options” tab then on the Save” selection. Under the “Preserve fidelity when sharing this document” heading, click on the “imbed fonts” and check the “Fonts in this document” option. If you imbed all fonts, the file will become HUGE.
It is typical to submit a book as a PDF file rather than a word processing file. Word allows the conversion from a DOC or DOCX file to PDF. IngramSpark (the printer/distributor I use) suggests that the PDF conversion be done under the Print selection under the File tab.

Formatting Cover

Different publishers want different cover files (JPEG etc.). It also varies whether e-book or print. A template will help determine the size of the cover (page size plus bleed) and the width of the spine (page count and paper type.) My graphic artist, Steve Linebaugh does covers for me which includes the color style. Thank you Steve!
Your cover is the first thing a buyer’s eye catches, so make it eye-catching. Don’t scrimp on cover design. It is one place to put dollars that is needed along with editing. Usually text files and cover files are separately submitted.
I find the submission process the most frustrating part. Don’t be afraid to call and seek help. With IngramSpark, you are the publisher. They are the printer distributor. They are not really helpful, but Steve and I have managed to struggle through the process.
Monday, October 14th, 2019 2:27 PM PDT
Thought I'd start a podcast but have decided to see if there's enough interest so here's an instructional blog: Gimme feedback.

Self PUB

Chapter 1

This article assumes you’ve completed your manuscript. If not, WRITE! After self-publishing nine books, I thought I’d offer a series of comments about my experiences that might be helpful to others. I originally was going to do a PODcast, but thought I’d see what the response to blogs was first, so here goes. (This means you should respond. My skin is thick enough that I can take criticism.)
            When I finished writing my first book, Sea Species, I tried to go with traditional publishing. The manuscript was BAD, so that went nowhere. Luckily, one agent kindly told me to rewrite. I did and submitted. A few agents and pub houses did send rejection notes, others never got back to me. Sea Species was a time sensitive novel with reality quickly catching up to the science fiction, so I decided to try self-publishing. I checked with a publishing house that charged to publish, known as vanity publishing. For a mere few thousand dollars they’d be happy to publish. I didn’t have a spare thousand dollars hanging about.
Amazon had a self-publishing division called Create Space. For no cost, they’d publish my book. Though the publishing was free, the submission of text and cover had to be complete and correct unless one wanted to pay for editing and cover artwork. Checking graphic artists showed me how expensive they could be. One GA took pity on me and gave me contact info for Steve Linebaugh. What a godsend he turned out to be.
After toing and froing several times, we clicked and came up with the first cover. I had several friends help me out with the editing, and I was ready. Or so I thought. Create Space was helpful in getting the formatting correct, and two weeks later the book was in my hands. I ordered a bunch. Create Space took a heavy percentage of pricing, but they have to make money somehow. Create Space has now become Kindle Publishing.
Get the work professionally edited. Whether you are submitting to an agent/publishing house, or self-publishing, it must be correct. I was embarrassed by the number of errors. You name it and it was in there­–spelling, word usage, words omitted, POV changes, way too much rambling, all of it. Shop around, submit samples to see how good this editor is. I actually left some errors in to see if she would catch them. The most expensive are not necessarily the best.
Self-Edit First. After going through the work several times, including back to front reading (That keeps you from reading the story and skipping over errors), I use the Word editing tools. After hat I use Pro Writing Aid as my second line of self-editing. It’s not expensive and a full report means you are going through the work a dozen more times for each topic without reading it. I found myself changing my writing after using Pro Writing Aid.
I want to give my editor the best I can do so she isn’t focused on spelling and punctuation and helps on characters, POV, and story development. Remember, the editor is your friend and makes suggestions. You are the author but you want a great product.
Consider an editing group. I belong to and editing group. We meet weekly, read up to 10 pages after handing out copies to each of the members and each member notes comments and corrections and talks about them. It is critical that the members of your editing group are all helping each other. No room for egos. Carping or snide remarks will hurt your efforts. That means you have to take criticism as attempts to help. If that’s not the attitude, Get out. We haven’t done online editing, but there’s no reason it won’t work. I think it may be better in some ways, the members have more time to go over the submission and note comments and corrections. I did this as part of a writing class for ThrillerFest.
One important thing is that the members must have a commitment. We meet every week. There are times that some can’t make it. That’s understandable we do have lives outside of editing and writing, but chronic absences show a lack of commitment. Oust them.
Sending the MS to my editor is the last step in text preparation; I can accept or reject her recommendations,
Monday, September 16th, 2019 10:34 AM PDT
Here's a review that Amazon wouldn't post from a reader. Thank you, Kim.
Creating Peace in our outdoor environment with our cooperation!
The format of the book was incredibly knowledge based. The message was directed at first about the spider, then the child learning that spiders are welcomed into our world. I liked the mixture of the diseases that mosquitoes carry however; the knowledge was much more powerful about learning about the incredible design of Nature & how we as humans should be paying attention and live in the moment!
Thursday, August 15th, 2019 2:26 PM PDT
Risen from the Dead is out! Got my first copy Monday and have ordered a stock for myself. I checked, and Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble are carrying it. I'm also working with Eric Shumacher of 

seeliestudios-com to put together an audio book of Penelope the Pooting Spider. We'll see how it goes.
Thursday, August 8th, 2019 10:20 AM PDT
Risen from the Dead e-book is out! Don't know when it'll be available or on what sites first. Print book should be available in a week or so. Already started on the next book, maybe titled Paradise is Dead. We'll see as the writing goes along.
Friday, July 19th, 2019 11:15 AM PDT
I'm putting final touches on Risen from the Dead and anticipate it will be available early in August. I will announce it!
I've started on the next Kiki adventure. My plan is to tie this even closer to the Evolution River series. Working on opening and plot now. 
Monday, July 15th, 2019 8:50 AM PDT
Got some rewrites on Risen from the Dead to do as first run at editing from DeeAnna are are in my hands. Steve and I are close on the cover. Here it is. Comments are welcome. Steve & I are thinking of doing a PODcast. Comments about topics and length are welcome.

Monday, June 24th, 2019 3:48 PM PDT
The first 1/2 of Risen from the Dead is at DeeAnna's, my editor. Aug 1 is looking realistic. I'll be interested in her response. Some will find it quite controversial. Guess that's my style, tweaking peoples acceptances.  
Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 9:17 AM PDT
My editing group has me doing a number of rewrites on Risen from the Dead. Thank goodness for them. They make my stories better. Lots of work, though. I'm going through it again also, then off to the editor. August still looks good for a drop date.
My excursion to Pinetop for the White Mountain Nature Center was good, though I really need to work on the talk regarding Penelope the Pooting Spider. It's hard to talk for 20 minutes in a 33 page book. As to the talks at the RV parks titled Write and Publish that Book, interest was flagging, so no talks. Too bad. I was looking forward to that. I'll keep trying.
Monday, June 10th, 2019 9:16 AM PDT
I was in Pinetop, AZ last week and gave a talk and sold a few books at the White Mountain Nature Center. It was great fun and I learned some things. The program was on sustainable gardening and the treatment of the soil was the subject of the talk before mine. I enjoyed it as I've got a huge bin of compost. I don't garden, but my wife does. Flowers, not edibles.
The night before was a talk about Apache Scouts. The White Mountain Apache Reservation is close. Ft. Apache is about 30 minutes drive. That Ft. was established to PROTECT the Apaches from the greedy whites. Apache Scouts were based there. The White Mountain Apaches were not the murderous tribe like the southern tribes. They were farmers, ranchers and herders. They did hunt extensively. Critical to the Apaches is the necessity for young men to prove they are men. Today many do that by joining in the military. All-in-all it was a most informative talk. One thing that did irritate me was the amount of reservation land that was withdrawn so that it could be mined or timbered or farmed. It was just taken away without compensation. 
I will be returning to the WMNC to josh with Kathy and John. Thank you for the opportunity.
Monday, May 20th, 2019 8:45 AM PDT
My editing group is in the last 10 chapters of Risen from the Dead. So I will go through it several more times, then off to the editor. So, it could be out before August. Steve & I are working on the cover design now.
I've been trying to schedule some talks. The title is "Learn to Write and Publish That Book." I've got the outline done and need to practice. I'm no expert, BUT I've been working at this for 15 years and have 8 books out there. It's the self-publishing where I've gained the most experience, and the one that interests most new writers. So I'd like to pass on what I've learned, much of it the hard way. I met with a new writer last week over lunch and tried to help her. One session might not be enough.
Suggestions are welcome.
Monday, May 6th, 2019 12:04 PM PDT
My book signing at Bookman's went well. Sold some books and met some nice people. I went to Pinetop last week and contacted a bunch of RV parks (there's about 30 in the area) about doing talks and signings. The response was great. So I plan to go up there several times this summer and sign, sign, sign. Summer in Pinetop is wonderful. 
I've been going through Risen from the Dead and editing. That is not my favorite thing to do, but really makes the book better. Besides, I've learned since I started. I still think it will be out by August. Started rolling ideas around for the next book. It too will have a topic with an unusual view
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 9:13 PM PDT
Need I remind you about the book signing at Bookman's east in Tucson, Sat. Apr 27 noon to 3. C'MON OUT.
Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 9:06 AM PDT
Don't forget about the book signing at Bookman's at the corner of Speedway and Wilmot on Saturday, Apr 27 from noon to 3. This signing is mostly for children's books, and I'll have signed copies of Penelope the Pooting Spider. Of course I'll have my other books, but not on display. Those are for the moms and dads. See you there.
Also, June 8 in Pinetop, AZ I'll be attending a fair at the White Mountain Nature Center. Pinetop is a nice place to be in June.
The children's book and the environmental nature of Penelope the Pooting Spider has drawn attention. I think the environmental nature of Sea Species was lost in the sci-fi world. 
Sunday, March 31st, 2019 3:29 PM PDT
I haven't been just snoozing. I've got a book signing at Bookman's east on Speedway and Wilmot in Tucson on April 27 from noon to 3:00. It's a children's book festival. I've also been asked to hold down a table at the Friends of the Environment festival in Pinetop on June 8. Penelope the Pooting Spider does have an environmental message for kids. It hasn't changed my granddaughter's opinion of bugs, though. I gotta work on her about that. That's a good time to be in Pinetop. SO COME VISIT.
Editing and rewriting continues on Risen from the Dead. I'm hoping that it will be out this summer. It will be a good beach read, or cabin read. Lots of work yet to do on it.
Thursday, March 14th, 2019 7:01 PM PDT
Finished the first draft of Risen from the Dead. I looked back when I started this book, and it's been a long haul. Tall Grass Editing co op is about 2/3 through, then I go through again (I've already started) then it goes to my editor then I go through it again. WHEW! Steve and I are working on cover design now. Lots of work and there's room for more Nick and Kiki adventures.
My friend and author guru for me, Melinda Rucker Haynes has a new  book coming out, and I LOVED THIS BOOK! It's called Bitten and it's about a menopausal vampire. Kristen kicks ass and takes no caca from anyone. I laughed until I cried. Look for this book. YOu won't be disappointed.
Monday, March 11th, 2019 11:00 AM PDT
Penelope the Pooting Spider just got reviewed in the Az Daily Star. 
Monday, March 4th, 2019 4:38 AM PST
I'm getting pretty close to finishing first draft of Risen from the Dead. So far I'm at 82300 words, but that may change. I suspect that more may be added but some subtracted during editing. I tend to cut descriptions and scenes short in writing because I have the images in my head, but need to flesh them out for the readers. Tall Grass editing co op helps with that. It's a great group.
Saturday, February 9th, 2019 9:27 AM PST
I'm still formulating what happens at the end of Risen from the Dead. I need it to tie into The Envoy, and the Prophet is the character that is central, along with Ron Carson. Those two characters are in both series. The ending also leaves room for more Nick and Kiki stories.
Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 9:16 AM PST
My friend Alexis Powers has decided to write her TRUE memoir. The one she wrote years ago was a PG rated bit of fluff, while her life has been R or even X rated. SO, I'm going to help her write the Juicy scenes. I'm really looking forward to that. She's exceptionally fun to be around. Her stories of her past are definitely R rated, and contain adventures (that a literary word for indulgences that you'll have to read the book to learn about. I'll have to seek assistance from Robyn Lester to give these scenes the proper feminine slant. This is going to be a blast.
Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 8:59 AM PST
Risen from the Dead just got a little longer. I've a new ending that is quite different from the old one and requires me to add a few chapters. It will put a new slant on the Prophet and the Director. I'm still struggling with getting Penelope the Pooting Spider out. In fairness, it was my error. i WANT THAT BOOK OFF MY WORK SPACE! 
Friday, January 18th, 2019 9:09 AM PST
I've been pondering the tie-in between the Dead series and the Evolution River series. Last night about 2 am I think I have it, and characters will change. Still working out the details, but the frame is there. It will leave the door open for more adventures of Nick and Kiki. The tie-in happens in the transition in time between the end of Sea Species and the beginning of The Envoy.
Meanwhile, I resubmitted the epub file of Penelope because Kobo claimed the fonts weren't embedded properly.
Monday, January 14th, 2019 7:58 AM PST
I'm waiting for normal to return after the holidays. Hasn't happened yet. Meanwhile, I'm pushing myself to keep writing on Risen from the Dead. The book has 90 chapters so far and about 300 pages, so I am getting close. Your responses tell me that the adventures of Nick and Kiki should go on, so I'm putting together another tale, which means I need to tailor the ending of Risen from the Dead (She won't be killed off) and create the setting for more. I really don't like series where there are miraculous appearances of protagonists. It's too contrived.
I do keep revisiting the Evolution River Series in my mind. I'm reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, and the thoughts about God are parallel to those in my series in a lot of ways. It is amazing to me how close, actually. The dystopian society she creates is scary real. 
The struggle with getting the e-book version of Penelope the Pooting Spider out continues. Now there seems to be a problem with the not correctly embedded fonts in the epub file. UGH! This is the project that will never finish.
Friday, January 11th, 2019 9:54 AM PST
Thanks you for the feedback re Kiki and Nick. I'm still pondering whether to keep up the series and I'm formulating ideas on the next story. BUT I do have another series I'd like to get started on. So, we'll see. Keep the comments coming.
Thursday, January 10th, 2019 9:34 AM PST
Holidays are over! Wish all of you a great 2019. I got a bit of writing done during the break, so I reckon I'm more than 3/4 of the way through. The question in my mind is if I continue the series and more adventures of Nick and Kiki. We'll see. Your input is welcome. Either email or respond on twitter or Facebook.
My Christmas present was a box of Penelope the Pooting Spider books. I've been giving them away, but I need to sell some to recoup costs. I'd like to get into the TUcson Festival of Books. Think I'd sell quite a few there. We'll see.
Saturday, January 5th, 2019 9:40 AM PST
I'm getting a lot of hits and comments about my news and blog. THANKS. Communication encourages me. I did get a lot of writing done over the holidays, SO Risen From The Dead is closer than ever to going to the editors. Meanwhile,, Penelope the Pooting Spider is a hit with the kids. My granddaughter is having a lot of fun passing out copies.
Hope you all have a great 2019. I'm working at it.
Monday, December 31st, 2018 5:03 AM PST
Now that we have our Penelope the Pooting Spider books in hand, my granddaughter and I have been distributing them. She is giving some to her school library along with friends. I'm giving some to Pima County Library. She is pretty exciting about having the books. It was a nice end of the year do.
Speaking of which Have a great 2019. May the best come to you.
Friday, December 14th, 2018 9:13 AM PST
Penelope the Pooting Spider, my first children's book was accepted finally for print. It will be a week before it is available as a print version, though I'm hoping the e-book will come out sooner. It has been an ordeal, but I'm glad to have it out. Steve and I will be working on promotion for it as a team. (Thank you Steve.) Meanwhile, I'm nearing the end of Risen from the Dead. How it is received will be quite the question. In it I take on a lot of issues, including organized religion, God, and the Military Industrial Complex as vital to America's economy. There may be a knock on my door.
Happy holidays to all of you and may Santa bring you what you REALLY want but are embarrassed to ask for.
Monday, December 10th, 2018 7:54 AM PST
For those of you who have followed the Evolution River saga but not the Dead Series, I've enjoyed tying the two series together. The Dead Series starts as a contemporary thriller with Dead & Dead for Real, and moves into the creation of a dystopian future in Dead Reckoning. Dead Again moves back out to a somewhat normal future. In Risen from the Dead which I'm working on now, Ron Carson is president (Sounds like Sea Species, huh?) and he meets the Prophet. So where did the Prophet come from? That's contained in Risen from the Dead. BUT, in addition the sense that the future is guided and not random comes out.
Friday, December 7th, 2018 8:32 AM PST
I had a discussion with one of my readers about the Evolution River Series. Her questions revolved around why the majority of main characters were women and why they were so prominent in The Genesis. I'm still thinking about that, but while writing it just seemed right. First off, evolution has always been a fascinating topic to me. I tried to sidestep the hooplah about whether we are here through creation or evolution. I believe they are one and the same. We close our minds to the scope of that because it is a vast topic. I have yet to have someone explain why evolution is not creation on a much grander timescale. If one were sitting around the cook fire trying to explain how we came to be in terms that primitives could understand, then out pops what the Bible says. Does that mean it's wrong? No, just stated in understandable terms. After all, how could they fathom 100,000 years? Then came the aggressive nature of organized religion to minimize all other tales but their own. So what I tried to do in the Evolution River Series is tell a story that is believable and explains where evolution goes. Controversial? To some it certainly is, but actually not. The story puts creationism into scientific terms and does not minimize God.
Monday, November 26th, 2018 8:35 AM PST
Finally got my newsletter out! Steve and I are still struggling with IngramSpark to get Penelope the Pooting Spider print version out. So what have I learned? Illustrated books represent large files and those are difficult. I somehow never imagined that it would take so long to get a 24 page book done. Still working on Risen from the Dead. I'm about 3/4 through with the writing and less than 1/2 with the editing. Working away!
Monday, November 19th, 2018 8:57 AM PST
Want to find out more about the Prophet, my character in The Envoy? I'm working on his story in my new book, Risen from the Dead. There's also more about President Ron Carson. I'm about 3/4 done with the writing, but not quite 1/2 with the edits. It will be out before the middle of next year.
Monday, November 12th, 2018 10:33 AM PST
TUSCON 45 was the best one I've been to! It was a fully packed 3 days, with sessions from 9 until midnight. Movies played 24 hours, and gaming went on and on. Many familiar faces. I went to a session about becoming an actor. Now realize I don't have enough talent that it would have to consume my life for me to have even the smallest bit of success. Thank you Eric Shumacher for that life lesson. I have been watching actors on the screen with new eyes, trying to see their awareness of the camera, the set, their fellow actors. It's an interesting exercise instead of just sitting there like a lump being entertained. I am in awe of those who stick with it and make a go of it. I also attended a costuming session. What a riot. those people have so much fun taking STUFF and making costumes. To look at a pile of junk and see what can be made takes talent. NASA had a couple of good sessions, one on the Apollo program and another about the access to literally TONS of free information from them. Great resource. Another session was about critique groups. The main gist was that they can be invaluable in improving ones writing skills. A bad one can be a disaster. Constructive criticism makes you better. That would be when remarks are made to improve your writing, not build someone else's ego. The Burlesque session was a riot. Lotta flesh there. I loved it. Thank you to those who worked so hard to put this together. You don't nearly enough kudos.
Friday, November 9th, 2018 8:01 PM PST
Saw lots of familiar faces at TUSCON 45. What was scary was some people knew me. Sat in on a session about resources available FREE from NASA. The have an amazing web site. So if you want to know what Mars is like, go look. Or maybe the newest big project is ask about OsirisRex (sp) It is late. I finally had to leave before I fell asleep and embarrassed myself. Sessions and movies go all night. See you there tomorrow!
Thursday, November 8th, 2018 12:26 PM PST
This weekend is the TUSCON Sci-Fi conference in Tucson. It is without a doubt one of the most affordable and extensive Sci-Fi conferences around. I've been going for years and it has always proved a treat. Yeah, I do try to pedal books there with moderate success. A couple of years ago George RR Martin was the keynote speaker. That's BIG. Soooo, See ya there.
Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 12:20 PM PST
I had quite a discussion with my editing group today about how the book I'm working on ties into The Envoy. I don't want to delve into The Envoy in this book, just set the stage for where the Prophet comes from and how President Carson guides the United States and then the world into an era of peace. That this era is a major factor in the survival of the human race has to come out in The Envoy. BUT the Prophet is operating under directions to shape the Earth.  Fun stuff.
Sunday, November 4th, 2018 11:12 AM PST
I'm still trying to get Penelope the Pooting Spider done. The print version is submitted and Steve and I are futzing with the ebook version. Nothing's easy.
Meanwhile, thanks to you, who visit this site, I've returned to one of my favorite places. That is on board the starship Sylvix heading toward the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. It's a peaceful place to be with no one around unless I want to join the Collective Mind. Once in that mind, the space and time outside Sylvix changes with new dimensions and other matter. The 3 dimensions of space and time are meaningless when I can instantly be anywhere and anywhen These can only be experienced when my mind is part of a much bigger whole because my human brain is too small to encompass more than what is in our physical world. It's all out there, we just don't have the capacity as individuals to sense it.
Thursday, November 1st, 2018 9:27 AM PDT
As last night was Halloween, I sat with a bag of candy ready to leap at the sound of the doorbell and watched an old classic horror story, Alien followed by the sequel, Aliens. Alien was actually an inspiration for the Evolution River series. During the first visit of the crew of the space ore hauler to the alien ship, I looked at that set and thought "That ship was grown, not built." The questions and story lines exploded out of that. What would it take for someone to "grow" a spaceship? Full understanding of genetics and life. How  would someone get that knowledge? Start small and expand. So the society of genetisists was born. They graduate from modifying pants to animals, then themselves as their environment changes. What they did do was realize they were no longer in the hunt for resources, thus not in competition with humans. during the changing, they realized that renewing DNA controlled aging. Thus my next step in evolution was born. Logical, isn't it. When we are able to control life, we are different. They also were able to enhance the mental connections and the society's minds grew together, becoming much greater than the individuals. A new species was born in The Envoy. With the curiosity of humans, they explore the universe and find like species. with a mental; connection and individuals spread throughout the physical, universe, time and space cease to the the same meaning. They grow beyond the physical us mere humans can perceive and new dimensions open up. They take evolution to the end in The Genesis. There you have it, The Evolution River in a nutshell, but go buy the books. It's a fun set of stories
Thursday, October 25th, 2018 10:47 AM PDT
I got another review of D&DFR. I made my day.

  1.  “Dead & Dead for Real” was awesome. Katherine is such an amazing character, and Nick is a great match for her. All too often I read works that feel clearly derivative of other books (especially in thrillers/espionage/terrorist genre), and although I appreciate literary influences when something this original comes along it is a refreshing change of pace! It wasn’t predictable or cliché, (seriously did not see that twist with the ‘voice’ coming) and sometimes it was cutthroat and harsh, and other times I was nearly breathless from the intensity and violent passion--especially toward the end – don’t think I put it down once in the last quarter of the book or so. I finished it in a few short nights and went through so many highs and lows, it felt like a rollercoaster. I enjoyed the ending and was happy to see that this is the beginning of a series and with more to come? But it’s not a cliffhanger (thankfully). Lots of violence and action and dead bodies, but it’s not graphic or overly gratuitous. Works with the story well. Recommend to fans of action/thriller/suspense. (5 Stars) Cam Jones—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 9:18 AM PDT
I submitted the text and interior of Penelope the Pooting Spider to Ingram Spark yesterday. Just have the cover and epub files to get ready. It's rolling along!
Friday, September 28th, 2018 10:52 AM PDT
Steve & I are working to get the children's book out. What was 11 pages of letter size is now 30 pages with book size and large font. The illustrations are looking good. I hope to have it submitted within the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, Risen from the Dead continues to unfold. I'm about 75 chapters into it. I went to the Society of Southwestern Authors Self Publishing Expo last weekend. There was some good stuff presented, and Smashwords continues to impress me. I may try to publish something through them.
Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 4:41 PM PDT

Writing away on Risen From The Dead. Got about 200 pages and the action is ramping up. kiki is becoming a naughty girl. Steve has gotten me some really nice pages for Penelope The Pooting Spider so we're moving ahead on it. 
I got another Review on Dead & Dead For Real. Here it is:

  1. I read a lot of action and thriller books, so this is definitely a genre I’m familiar with. I’d never read anything from Robert L. Clayton, but the premise seemed intriguing – especially with the paranormal element. I’m always on the lookout for new authors, so I was curious to see how he would deliver in this one “Dead & Dead for Real”.  While not a perfect book (but is any, really?) I was pleasantly surprised with both the quality of the writing and the creative risk-taking Mr. Clayton used to set his book apart from the masses. He genuinely impressed me with his world-building and interesting characters and inventiveness on many levels. Great detailing gives this story authenticity with regards to military life and police procedures, and we genuinely feel transported into this complex, wild ride from the very beginning.  We also really feel like we are ‘in’ Kiki and Nick’s heads and sharing their ‘extraordinary’ experiences with them – whether it is memories or voices or the current dramatic situation they are in at the time. The chapters are short and the whole thing is very fast-paced – perfect for the genre. The editing is very good, the only thing was the frequency of introducing characters with just first names (and sometimes never get a last one) and sometimes it is hard to tell who the speaker is in conversations. But other than that, the delivery is great and I think this a very promising start to an exciting series! Recommend. (4-5 stars). Stephan Beacher—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 12:41 PM PDT

Another review

I received another review on Dead Reckoning. Thanks, Steph 
I am a huge fan of thriller and suspense novels and read them all the time. Unfortunately, after a while many of them start to feel the same, like many authors (especially new ones) are using the same recycled plot over and over again. But I love how these books totally break the mold, but stay true to the spirit of the genre. I am so interested in this element of the “Director” the entity that is part of these stories and hope we see more about that aspect. I really liked the first book, “Dead and Dead for Real” and this follow up was just as amazing, if not more so because everything in this one is so much bigger and worse! Right from the start it’s one thing after another that is basically the United States’ worst nightmare – the war is carried out on different fronts and the nation is collapsing. Again, I was captivated by the way Clayton weaved so many interesting characters and twisted frighteningly plausible storylines together to create a story that I couldn’t put down until the final conclusion. I was glad to see Katherine. and Nick and Freddy  (and the ‘other one’) back, and it was good how we are filled in on the events of the other book, but you don’t need to have read it to understand and enjoy this one. It is self-contained. (But read it because its awesome!) It was fast-paced, action and high-stakes drama packed, and with snappy dialogue and free from many clichés that riddle this genre.  I was curious to see how this would all work out in the end, and I wasn’t at all disappointed--- the author makes so very profound observations on the state of the nation in general, and its parallels to modern times is not lost on the reader. An intelligent and thought-provoking read that is different from much out there, and probably best suited for mature readers. So glad there will be more of these books to come! (5 stars) Stephen Beacher—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
Monday, August 20th, 2018 10:50 AM PDT
I resubmitted a sample of Dead & Dead For Real to an agency after making changes recommended. We'll see what happens. Steve is working on artwork for Penelope the Pooting Spider. I'm hoping to have that ready before the end of this month. I took copies of Wings of the WASP to the Arizona Historical Museum for their book selection. Got my fingers crossed that I have to do that again. Meanwhile, writing continues on Risen From The Dead.
Saturday, August 18th, 2018 12:43 PM PDT
Penelope the Pooting Spider is moving ahead. Steve says he'll have artwork for me to look at next week. Now I need help finding a publisher.
I have a review of Dead & Dead For Real. Here it is: 
I really enjoyed “Dead & Dead for Real” by author Robert L. Clayton, even though ‘paranormal terrorist thriller’ isn’t usually one of my more preferred genres (don’t dislike it, just don’t generally gravitate). But I really liked the sample and Mr. Clayton’s writing style…. Pulls you right in and that opening was crazy…  so I gave it a shot. I was really impressed! I really liked the action-packed world he created here and thought that he did such a wonderful job with the descriptions of the storytelling of the events and with the dynamic of Kiki (Katherine) and her partner/lover Nick… and even though there is a LOT that happens here – from ex-military snipers, ISIS murderers, Outlaw Drug Gangs… and maybe even some sort of ‘ghost or spirit’… all felt very believable, which is the craziest part about it all…  You could tell he’d done his research on many elements of not only military/government warfare but terrorism tactics as well. I thought the main characters were very well done ( really liked KiKi) but some of the supporting cast felt a bit thin (just like names, but no real sense of identity), and there were some scenes that I thought could use some trimming (or be cut entirely). But there was great action from start to finish, and I was SO shocked at some things that happened (no spoilers!). I liked how easy it is to read and this is such an unusual book I can’t even compare it to anything else. Plenty of violence and language as to be expected in a book like this, but nothing horrific. Recommend for fans of  military suspense thrillers with a unique angle. Would definitely read more from Mr. Clayton in the future. (4-5 stars) Stacy Decker—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers
Saturday, August 4th, 2018 9:43 AM PDT
Thrillerfest was quite educational for me. The latest buzzword in the editing and publishing industry is Point of View. It was hammered into us in numerous sessions. Yes, I'm guilty of head hopping. That's changing POV within chapters, pages, or sections. I'm in the process of doing some rewriting to correct that. Why? One agent I sent a sample of  Dead & Dead For Real to came back with admonishments and request to rewrite. I'll do it because I can now see where it could be confusing to not know who's doing the talking or thinking. Will I rewrite the whole book? Only given an incentive.
Meanwhile, I just finished a vacation on the beach in Mexico with my family and friends. what a blast. 
Writing again now. I want to submit Penelope the Pooting Spider to a publisher. Steve's working on some illustration for the book. I picture a "Read to" age 4 to 6 years old and "Read" for 6 to 8 years old. I'll post a summary here when I finish one. Also writing on Risen From The Dead. 
Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 11:52 AM PDT
Got some preliminary reviews back on Dead & Dead Again and Dead Reckoning. I'll publish them here in a few days. They approved where needed and pointed out things that could be better. Am I going to rewrite? Gimme a reason. It was amazing how the positive reviews bolstered my spirits. Also, I was informed that Wild Rose Press is going to come out with a Children's book line. Last night I finished Bernice the Barking Spider. I'm working on getting some illustrations and I'll submit.
Friday, June 1st, 2018 9:24 AM PDT
I went to the annual lake party and observed Memorial Day. I'm considering a book or series that addresses the sad human condition. What is that? you ask. We are a species that REQUIRES conflict and competition. Once upon a time (don't you love that as a start?) we competed for resources like all living things. Those better able to obtain the necessities of life survived. The others not so much. Animals do that, even plants do that. Humans compete now for power, wage war for hatred, kill for no reason. We've become quite efficient at killing each other. What is it in our psyche that demands we exert our opinion over others? (e.g. "Convert to my religion or I'll kill you" or "Our form of government is the only one. CONVERT NOW") There's an illness within us. Is it tied to our genetic makeup? Is it even possible to get rid of it? Since we can't seem to control our birthrate, perhaps this is the control on our species. It isn't working. We are rapidly gobbling up resources and poisoning our environment. The world will take care of us and not in a way we like if we don't do a better job. Picture a culture in a petri dish. It will grow until all the resources are used up and it poisons itself and crashes. Another lifeform will come along after that and the cycle repeats. Aren't we smarter than germs? We'd like to think so, but an objective view says not. I wonder what the next cycle will look like. I did get into this in my Evolution Series, but that isn't where I'm thinking of taking this theme in a new series. Want to know where we are in the petri dish of life on Earth? Read Evolution River series.
Friday, May 18th, 2018 3:22 PM PDT
The Daily Mail has published an article on floating nations. They must have read Sea Species. Here's the link: 
 It's architecturally much more posh than Kahchk Kihhim but not as independent and filled with only humans. Actually makes me feel quite prophetic. These people are not fleeing from an oppressive government but a tax haven, I think. I don't think it would survive in the open sea, so it would be in the shadow of land. Makes me wonder how it could be an independent nation because it would be in somebody's territorial waters. Oh well, the idea is great and looks like somebody is doing it!
Sunday, May 6th, 2018 12:22 PM PDT
My latest book, Dead Again, got reviewed in the paper today! Here's the review:

Arizona Daily Star,/ Sunday, May 6, 2018

Dead Again

By R. L. Clayton (R. Clayton Enterprise, Inc. $15.99)
Wide Swatches of the United States lay in ruins following a biosecurity attack. The government has completely abandoned California, leaving it to rival gangs all bargaining for position. Sean Gallen, leader of the Charon’s Children motorcycle gang, is poised to turn this outlaw state from an anarchy to an oligarchy. So why is he looking over his shoulder? Because his last summit ended in a high body count caused by an unknown assailant. Gallen suspects his old nemesis, Kiki Russell–a former military sniper and special agent of the president. Impossible to stop and determined to take back the state.
What he doesn’t know is that Kiki is wounded and recuperating with a band of refugee kids in Arizona. Kids much older than their years, ravaged by violence, eager for recruitment and intent on vengeance.
Dead Again is the third in the “Dead” series; a fourth in the series is forthcoming.
–Vicki Ann Duraine
Tell all your friends! Share with everyone, buy books so I can afford the good champagne. Direct link will be on this website and www.evolutionriver.com. Amazon link is: /www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=dead+again%2C+rl+clayton
Saturday, April 28th, 2018 10:48 AM PDT
Genesis went to DeeAnna today for editing after my rewrites. There were few changes, none to the story. I'll be most anxious to hear what she thinks about it. She liked the first two volumes of the Evolution River series and this one finishes up a truly epic saga. Answers the basic question-Why are we here?
Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 11:41 AM PDT
I'm finishing up the rewrites on The Genesis and send it off to DeeAnna for final edits soon. So it will finish up my transfer of books to IngramSpark. My next move is to try to get a book signing at the local Barnes & Nobel. Steve is having to drag me along as I'm less than enthusiastic in promotion, BUT I believe that IngramSpark opens some doors for me.
Meanwhile, I'm writing on book #4 in the Dead series.
Friday, April 6th, 2018 10:42 AM PDT
Hey, I'm starting to see sales on Ingram Spark. Much faster than on CreateSpace. I have my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that it continues
Monday, March 12th, 2018 10:50 AM PDT
I went to the Tucson Festival of Books yesterday.IT WAS GREAT! I got to set up in the Big Brother/Big Sisters booth and sold some books. Thank you Laurie for the invite. Went to a talk about why authors need agents. Claire Gerus was there and I had to thank her for helping make me a better writer. Too bad she's not accepting fiction works or I'd take a run at her to be my agent. Oh well, will I actively pursue getting an agent? Probably not. Too much writing to do.
Friday, February 9th, 2018 11:02 AM PST
IT"S DONE! Dead Again is available. Should be out on Amazon and the other sites within a few days, I hope. Now I have to finish the edits on The Envoy and The Genesis. I'm about 80 pages into the next episode of the Dead Series. One friend and reader wonders if it is a religious book. In some ways it is, like the Evolution Series was.
Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 10:25 AM PST
Finally got Dead & Dead Again, Dead Reckoning, Wings of the WASP and Sea Species up on IngramSpark. It has proven an ordeal and I hope it pays off. I should have Dead Again up next week.
Thursday, December 21st, 2017 8:42 AM PST
I've been writing on Risen from the Dead and I really like where it is going. This book is different in the max from the other dead books. New twists arise as I write, characters take on different personas. That's the excitement of writing. It is my resolution that I will get my Dead series transferred to IngramSpark so I can get Dead Again out. So while the chaos of Christmas and New Years revolves around me, I'll working.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you.
Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 10:05 AM PST
Okay, I'm going to see if I can move the Dead Series over to IngramSpark. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I have medical supplies ready to handle the frustration.
Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 10:04 AM PST
OKAY!!!! Wings of the WASP is now available through IngramSpark. This has been an ordeal for me. Next I'm going to try to transfer directly from CreatSpace to IS The fly in the ointment is transferring with a new ISBN rather than a new submission. I was told I could do that, BUT how is not obvious. (Nothing seems obvious with IngramSpark.)
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 9:41 AM PST
I'm still trying to get Wings of the WASP transferred over to IngramSpark, There have been sine issues and I'm not entirely sure they were of my making, but I must move ahead. Meanwhile, I'm writing on Risen from the Dead.
Friday, November 17th, 2017 8:04 AM PST
I went to Casa Grande yesterday and spoke with the Aspiring Authors Club. What a lot of fun it was and what a great group. It was small (3 students and the facilitator for the club). I believe they appreciated information I gave them about getting their books into print. We talked for more than a hour and I left books for them. I might do it again if asked. It was worth the drive.
Thursday, November 9th, 2017 8:04 AM PST
I'm going to the TusCon sci-fi conference this weekend. It is probably one of the best sci-fi, fantasy conferences around and a lot of fun. It's also a great thing for authors with session about character creation, plot development and other stuff. It's also really cheap as far as conferences go. I recommend it! Here's the site https://www.tusconscificon.com/
Sunday, November 5th, 2017 9:56 AM PST
Sea Species has been submitted to IngramSpark and I'm awaiting the approval proof. Meanwhile, Steve is working on Wings of the WASP. I am most anxious to get this transfer over so I can get back to writing. I'll be sure and post when the 3rd edition of Sea Species is available. Meanwhile, I've been finishing up the latest newsletter. It should be out within the next week.
Book signing today at the Oro Valley Library. We'll see how that goes. It's the first without Alexis Powers. She was a dynamo in putting it together and promoting it. Keep you fingers crossed that we get swamped and I sell out.
Friday, October 27th, 2017 10:06 AM PDT
I got to go to the Arizona Librarians conference yesterday to assist one of my editors in presenting. Her topic was "Don't Be a Dreamkiller." It was a plea for librarians to assist independent authors to get their works in the library. My local library has a local authors shelf where local and independent authors can put their works.WHAT A GREAT IDEA!.
One program was a library branch that makes audio books for use by hospital patients. WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I gave her Wings of the WASP to use. Hope it gets used.
Looks like I'm getting really close to having Sea Species distributed and printed by IngramSpark. Hurrah. It's been an ordeal and a real learning experience.
Friday, October 20th, 2017 8:12 AM PDT
I went to a class on e-marketing yesterday. Learned some things. One thing was that the majority of the class was business professionals working for companies hoping to expand their visibility online. Sure, I want to do that, but for them it was their job, what they did for their 8 hour day. THAT IS NOT WHAT I WANT TO DO. Naive me, I keep waiting to be discovered so I won;t have to do any of that. So I have to put that on the shelf with the other dreams ta=hat are faded and probably not achievable in my lifetime. I need to slap myself in the face again with reality and go back to writing. Meanwhile, I'm awaiting the files to submit to IngramSpark to get my books printed and distributed with them. Unfortunately, Steve has another life that pays better than me. So, I'm not on the top of the list. BACK TO WRITING. One of my editors thinks I should create a new brand. For those of you not familiar, that's the public image an author creates. She suggested "THE MODERN FUTURIST." I really like that, and with the paranormal metaphysical thread that runs through my writing, perhaps it's not far off. The new series I'm envisioning would be deeply involved with that. I need to get the next newsletter out.
Monday, October 2nd, 2017 5:10 PM PDT
I am moving ahead with the IngramSpark printer/distributor. Yeah, the learning curve is steep due to my non tech mentality. I'm going to try Dead & Dead For Real as my test case. Why it instead of Dead Again? Well, IS has different distribution. I didn't want the third book in the series to show up somewhere with no access to the first 2. Will this make a difference in my sales? WE WILL SEE.
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 11:05 AM PDT
OKAY, Looks like talk before Casa Grande students on Nov 15 is set. Also Book signing on Nov 5 at Oro Valley Public Library. Took a first step to publishing with IngramSpark. I bought ISBNs and assigned the first to Dead Again. SO we're moving ahead. Today I'm going to try to get the book uploaded into their template.
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 9:45 AM PDT
A few events are on the horizon. I have a book signing at the annual Oro Valley Library  November 5 from 1 to 5. also I'm going to talk to a Creative Writing class in Casa Grande Nov 15. I'm looking forward to that. Why Casa Grande? Because it plays a prominent part in the last two Dead books. It'll be fun.
I haven't published either the rewritten Sea Species or Dead Again. I'd like to use IngramSpark but the submission is more difficult than CreateSpace. There's a learning curve and I haven't climbed that mountain yet. HELP!
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 9:01 AM PDT
It's done! Dead Again is edited by Tall Grass and will go on to my copy editor. It will definitely be out next month. I think I would like to try publishing through Ingram-Sparks rather than Create Space. I feel that I might get better service from them. Now Steve and I have to get cracking on the cover.
Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 12:16 PM PDT
Whoops, Risen from the Dead took a twist I didn't see. By the time I finish, I'll have every major religion pissed at me. And I'm only 40 pages into the writing.
Thursday, July 20th, 2017 2:34 PM PDT
Steve did a great job on the banner for the latest newsletter. A variation of that will be the cover for Dead Again. First set of edits should be done next week, then on to the copy editor. I'm hoping to have the book out next month.
Meanwhile, Sea Species redux should be out early next month. Tall Grass Editing Co Op, liked the tie in with the Dead series. This is so much fun.
Monday, July 3rd, 2017 8:39 AM PDT
WHAT A SURPRISE! I opened the newspaper to find a review of Dead Reckoning. Here it is:
DEAD RECKONING:DESCENT INTO DYSTOPIA  By R. L. Clayton (R. L. Clayton, $14.99)
  In this second of his "Dead" series, retired Tucson engineer R. L. Clayton reprises his crack Afghan War sniper Kathleen (Kiki) Russell and his interrogator -par-excellence Nick Sabino (along with their demonic whisperer The Director) to try to save the US from a two-pronged bio-and cyber attack. 
Gone underground—and presumed dead—after refusing a government assignment they could not countenance, Kiki and Nick have been on an extended sail around the world. They briefly surface for family bereavement just as a lethal strain of smallpox is unleashed on an unvaccinated American population, and a computer virus shuts  down the country's infrastructure. With people dying by the millions, cities without electricity or the capacity to pump water, and the rule of law breaking down, Nick's particular form of psychological interrogation becomes vital. Nick and Kiki are called upon to uncover international plots (think nuclear states) and to address the descent into anarchy within the U. S. itself.
Book Three's on the horizon.
Christine Wald-Hopkins
Hope I see a spike in interest.
Monday, June 26th, 2017 10:19 PM PDT
Editor came back regarding Sea Species rewrites. For the second time, an editor has commented that she had problems determining who is the main character. Once I pointed out that Kihhim the community is the main character, got some great comments. It is worrying that I have not portrayed that strongly enough, or perhaps they are quite traditional. Neither is a sci-fi reader. Comments from those of you who have read it would be most welcome.
Saturday, June 17th, 2017 12:58 PM PDT
First installation of Sea Species is at the editor's. We'll see what she says. I'm open to suggestions for publishing. My thoughts as of now are to go through Ingram-Sparks for the print versions. I need to talk to Bookbaby about a promotional release.
Meantime, Dead Again is 60 pages for completion of the first edits. I'M ON TO WRITING RISEN FROM THE DEAD. Yeah!
Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 8:28 PM PDT
Since the Sea Species rewrite is almost rewritten, I'm going to send it off to an editor for a final look. I'm thinking of a subtitle for the Evolution River series. How does An Atheist's Guide to God strike you? Those of you who have read the complete trilogy know where this is coming from.
Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 7:59 AM PDT
I am getting close on the rewrites of Sea Species. It's been a much greater effort than I planned and I want that done so I can get back to writing Risen form the Dead. The question in my mind now is what to do with the new Sea Species? I would like to offer it as a free or greatly reduced promotional book. Those of you who read the first one can read the rewritten to see the differences. To do this, I'm going to have to work with BookBaby ad CreateSpace. or not. There are other e-book and print book publishers available. Wish I could just turn this over to someone else and write.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 11:14 AM PDT
I had an interesting conversation with one of my readers. She put Sea Species down when she had trouble relating to any of the characters (protagonists) in the story within the first 60 pages. That disturbed me until I realized that the main character in the book is Kihhim, the community in Arizona or Kahchk Kihhim, the sea nation. The people  were all parts of the growing entity of the community they were creating. Sure, I imagined the characters like Katharine and Leticia and actually put actors faces with them. Katharine was Rene Russo and Leticia was Halle Berry, but the whole trilogy is about the evolution of individuals e.g. humans into a connected entity. The start of that is Kihhim, and that is the central character. So who's my favorite character in the trilogy? Actually, I have two. One is Leticia, who will do anything for the survival of her family, Kihhim, and that includes rebuilding a ruined Earth. My other favorite character is Sylvix, the biological starship. 
Friday, May 12th, 2017 10:48 AM PDT
I've been working on the rewrites for Sea Species, so why? Here's the author's note.
Note by author
          I had two reasons to rewrite Sea Species. I have learned a lot about writing since I published my first book. This was my opportunity to correct much of the errata.
          As I finished Dead Reckoning, the third book in my Dead series of thrillers, I decided to tie it into Sea Species. I had to make some changes. Minor though they are, The Evolution River series now is an extension of The Dead series. The fourth book in that series Risen from the Dead will follow the rise of a character in The Envoy and The Genesis. The two series now take us from today eons into the future. What fun this has been!

Friday, April 28th, 2017 9:26 AM PDT
Rewrites of Sea Species are moving ahead. It is tedious, but I'm determined to turn out a better product, a better read. Meanwhile, ideas for book 4 in the Dead series are rolling around in my head. I want to get the rewrites done and start writing again. Editing on Left 4 Dead is progressing. We're more than halfway through the book now.
Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 8:45 AM PDT
I started the rewrites of Sea Species. I am embarrassed by how many errors I've found. I am sorry. I do better than that now. The rewrite will be much cleaner. One reader has suggested I include some younger characters to appeal to young adults. I do have a couple of characters that fit the bill. They will not be what yu think, though.
Monday, April 17th, 2017 8:29 AM PDT
I FINISHED Left 4 Dead! Just tidying up now. Started on Risen from the Dead. Since it ties in with Sea Species, I've been looking at going back and rewriting it. As I read it, I have learned so much about writing. It could be a lot better. Still thinking about that.
Friday, April 14th, 2017 8:53 AM PDT
I was wrong! I thought I was done with Left 4 Dead WRONG. As I tried to finish up, the characters took me along another avenue, adding 5 more chapters. What's interesting is that this book begins the tie-in to the Evolution River series. I already have a good start on the next book (yet untitled) which is a strong tie-in to ER series. Those of you who have read The Envoy know that I introduced a new prophet to the world. The next Dead book is the story of that prophet. Is this fun or what?
Sunday, April 9th, 2017 9:30 AM PDT
Great dreaming last night. Tidied up the ending for Left 4 Dead and sot the storyline figured out for the next book. It will tie into the Evolution River Series, specifically Sea Species and The Envoy. It will set up and explain one of the characters in The Envoy. So, the Dead characters continue on, saving the world.
Saturday, April 8th, 2017 8:33 AM PDT
I'm nearly finished with Left 4 Dead. At least I think I am. So far it is one of my shorter novels, on a par with Wings of the WASP. The ending (so far) leaves room for two parallel sequels. One is already in my head, the other a new line I wanted to start. The new line is YA along the lines of Hunger Games or Divergent. The other branch goes in a really different direction, one that may well offend some. That has rarely stopped me.
Monday, April 3rd, 2017 10:27 AM PDT
Well, my wife ran my phone through the washing machine. It didn't even have any smut on it. It's eerily quiet and I'm enjoying it. Maybe I really don't need to be in touch every minute of the day. I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It's an odd sensation. After doing some chores, I bet I can get some writing done.
Saturday, April 1st, 2017 10:08 AM PDT
I have just learned that the 500 pound gorilla in the self-publishing industry, Amazon has pulled my e-books from their listing. As I didn't publish my Kindle books through Amazon or their subsidiary Create Space, they have issues regarding rights and royalties, so we authors suffer. Amazon already dominates the self-publishing industry, but I consider this underhanded. We make so little per book anyway that this is like stealing from the poor. Please have patience. BookBaby (my e-book publisher) is working to resolve this, but I have no doubt we will take a beating..
Thursday, March 30th, 2017 9:50 AM PDT
I am making good progress on Left 4 Dead. More than 50 chapters, 230 pages. The ending is starting to crystallize. As with previous stories, I'm living the characters now, thinking plots during the day, dreaming them at night. Now I need to kick up my editing. Tall Grass Editing Co Op just finished chapter 31 this week.
I'm getting inquiries about my children's book, Bernice the Barking Spider. I have no problem finishing the writing on it, it's the graphics. Those will cost. I'll have to talk to Steve. Probably need to include SmashWords. Illustrations present challenges in e-books. If I include them, it might get done.
Talked to a fellow author about my next terrorist thriller book. I knew I was on the right track when goosebumps rose on her arms as I related the plot. The fun I'm having with the terrorist thriller books precludes me from finishing Bernice.
I am seeing a lot more interest in this website. Let me hear from you on topics you'd like to discuss. I do love to pontificate about evolution. When I was writing the Evolution River Series, it became obvious that the path I laid out was a very realistic path forward. It was so logical. Sure, there could be a lot of details that would be different, but I saw only one endpoint, and I still maintain the one I presented or some variation is where the evolution of life is headed. The details of how life achieves this point can vary, and I only presented one way to get there. Logical it is. The problem for us in conceiving this is that our brains aren't large enough. Somehow we have to evolve past the limitation of brain size. My story is one such way to do that.
Thursday, March 16th, 2017 8:46 AM PDT
I'm giving consideration to several promotional programs. Ideas came from Smashwords president Mark Coker and from Ingram Sparks. I want to do something to get my books in more hands. Suggestions?
Saturday, March 11th, 2017 6:33 PM PST
I got the opportunity to attend the authors and sponsors dinner for the Tucson Festival of Books. Caid Industries was kind enough to host a table, and we had the pleasure of Michael McGarrity's company at our table. He is the author of a number of crime drama books taking place in New Mexico. He told good stories and was quite entertaining. The dinner was exceptional, and the company better. Thanks to those who planned and did the dinner.
I also went to the Tucson Festival of Books and walked around, talked to authors, publishers, and all kinds of people. What a great venue it is. The TFOB is the 3rd largest book festival in the country and had 135000 visitors. Not working at a table gave me the chance to see so much. I didn't go to the lectures, though. It was too nice outside with a plethora of interesting people to watch.
Thursday, March 9th, 2017 3:12 PM PST
Okay, here's the last installation of the Brown Thumb, adventures in plumbing. I wish I could say things are going swimmingly, but at least the toilets flush.
Be over there tomorrow.”
I get a call from Johnny. The truck he has won’t pull the excavator. We need to use mine. Okay, no problem.
I go out to start the truck. Completely dead. The batteries show zero voltage. They must have shorted out. I pull the batteries, wearing my old clothes. Despite what most people think, not all of my clothes are old thanks in large part to my wife. Battery acid and jeans don’t play well together. I’m off to Costco, where I got the batteries. Reach for my Costco card and realize my wallet is in my good jeans. Back to the house, back to Costco, stand in line. They no longer carry that style of battery. Off to Walmart. Not only did they have them, but at a lower price and better warranty. Yahoo! Progress. Without more incident, we bring the excavator back (Nerve wracking in itself, as it is REALLY heavy and without trailer brakes, the truck takes forever to stop. Means I have to plan my stops way ahead. Johnny is right behind me because the lights don’t work either.
We arrive at the site of destruction at four pm. Johnny digs the hole around the bad valve. The piping looks corroded. We decide to trench and install the new line at a new location. It really wouldn’t do to break the valve off the line by digging too near it. That would shut down the neighborhood. I call the neighborhood association. They come down to inspect. They’re visibly nervous, too. They call their plumbing contractor. They look, shake their heads but decide they can replace the valve. (Better them than me who gets blamed. Remember in the plumbing world, surprises are NEVER good) So the bottom line is that their plumbing company will be here Tuesday to replace the bad valve and I can make the final tie in. Of course, the hole will be filled with water from draining the mainline, and the neighbors will be without water. Hurray! Until then, I’m still on hose power, but I only had to repair the hose four times today.
But it’s not over! My brown thumb still has the ability to make caca out of cool aid. This morning I went out start my wife’s car, inserted the key and turned it. The key fell apart with the stub in the ignition. Luckily there was enough sticking out that I was able to start and drive the car. One might think having the stub would be sufficient, but NO. The alarm system on her car isn’t functioning properly. It requires that the alarm off button on the key (that piece is now somewhere on the floor hidden from view) be depressed TWICE or the alarm goes off. The only way to turn it off is start the car. With no button and only a stub of a key, the neighbors could get annoyed before I get it started. Talk about the brown thumb. I’m afraid to touch anything. Hmmm What about going to the bathroom? A danger? Hope not!
Sunday, March 5th, 2017 8:37 PM PST
Here's page 2 of the Brown Thumb Saga. It's all true, unfortunately
I finally admit I don’t have one, BUT I do have a replacement valve. Simple, just unscrew the old one and install the new one. No big deal.
With pipe wrench in hand, I twist on the valve. Pretty tight, better get a bigger wrench. One good torque, and the valve is free, but NO! The pipe breaks off. Now I have to replace the pipe coming out of the wall! Off to the hardware store again for a replacement pipe, and a valve, because the one I have is the wrong size.  Didn’t notice that when I decided to replace the valve. Back. Now, get a tool called an easyout. It fits inside the broken pipe with teeth so I can use a wrench and unscrew it from the connection within the wall. I carefully twist. Feels like it’s moving! POP! I break off the soldered joint within the wall. UGH! This is getting serious.
After knocking a hole in the wall, I can see the broken joint using my one working flashlight. Back to the hardware store for a new solder fitting. Getting dark, so I gotta set up a light so I can solder the new joint on. This requires reaching back into the wall with the torch and heating the joint until the solder melts. But first, I have to get all the water out of the pipe within the wall (remember, the shutoff valve wasn’t completely closed) or it won’t get hot enough to melt the solder. The only way is to siphon the water out and solder it quickly before it fills. Reaching inside the wall, I put some plastic tubing into the pipe, and suck. The siphon starts. The question is how much time after the siphon tube is removed do I have before the water fills the pipe again? I heat the new joint and set it down while heating the one in the wall. OUCH the God Damn thing is hot! Now I have a real nice burn blister. Better get welding gloves. Reach in and… I think I’ve got it. Give the pipe a wiggle and NO! GDMF Repeat above without burning myself again. This time it holds. Now for the test. Turn on the water.
Back inside the hole near the street with my flashlight clasped in my teeth, I try to open the shutoff valve. The new handle spins. Is it open? I climb out and go to the house to see. Nope, just a dribble. Now we are past serious. I can’t turn the water to the house on! I’m worried. If I keep fiddling with the valve and break it from the rusty pipe coming from the main, it will flood the hole and I’ll have shut the water down for the neighborhood. Nothing more I can destroy do tonight. No water in the house. No shower, NO TOILETS!
Dry morning, Ugh. I do have enough bottled water for drinking, and Oh Thank God, coffee. I arrange with my neighbor to run a hose from her house to mine so I can backfill the house and we’ll have water. This requires running a hose across the road. Back to the hardware store for 200 feet of hose.  I run it across the road and voila! Water in the house. FLUSH THE TOILETS! Water smells like vinyl from the hose. No drinking.  But it’s water! Showers, dishes, laundry. Is there no end to the luxury? I look out at the road. Cars are running across the hose and it’s looking like one of those balloon toys that clowns make. Another car, and Thar she blows! Back to the hardware store for another hose and some boards to keep the cars from squashing the hose.
Now I call my friend (remember the antique car guy) and explain my woes. I tell him that the valve on the pipeline from the main has to be replaced. We have to dig the line up, and while we’re at it, I should replace the 50 year-old pipeline to the house. “No problems, Bro. I’ll get an excavator. Be over there tomorrow.”
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 6:59 AM PST
I've been a little remiss in my writing. Below is part 1 of the reason why.'
The Brown Thumb
This is the truth, no ****.
Last week I finally got the brakes on  my antique car repaired (did it myself) but after a week of trying, couldn’t get the brake lights to work, It was so frustrating trying to do things in tight spaces with sharp corners. My hands looked like I had a boxing match with the cat. A friend of mine came over and had them going within one-half hour. This guy is good! I reassembled the car. (Had to take a lot of it apart to access the brake master cylinder and wiring.) The brake lights worked, BUT they were always on until I stepped on the brake pedal. WHOOPS Now I gotta take it all apart to reverse the wires. Still, I was happy enough that I decided to wash the car.
After washing Truly Scrumptious, I noticed that the faucet I had used was leaking around the stem. Good day to fix it. I turned off the water to the house so I could disassemble the valve, remove the handle and the bonnet and put a new seal in, right? The shutoff valve is near the street and four feet underground. Access requires me to reach into a pipe as far as I can to twist the valve wrench to close the valve.  Whoops again, the valve is buried under sand, washed in during the last heavy rain (maybe several heavy rains). How to get it out? I use a shop vac to suck out the sand to uncover the valve handle. Sucked two geckos up, too. They ran off when I dumped the sand out of the vacuum.
Okay, now close the valve. Why doesn’t the handle stop turning? Gotta get a flashlight, one that works. I look down the pipe. The shut-off valve handle is broken. I go to the house to check, and the water is almost off. I have to dig up the piping to get to the valve to replace the shut-off valve handle. Without that, I can’t turn the valve completely off, nor turn it back on when I’m done with this simple task. Four hours later, I have a four foot deep hole and I’m looking at the shut-off valve. The handle has to be replaced. But the damn thing won’t come off. I tap, rap, wiggle and even use a mechanical puller. Finally, it breaks. I use a grinder to remove the broken part from the valve. Gotta go to the hardware store for another. I install one and proceed to try to shut the valve. The handle just turns and turns.  Bad news, but maybe when it’s time to open it, it will re-engage and work.
The water is shut off enough that I can make the repair to the faucet valve at the house. Next step, remove the valve handle. No luck, won’t come off. I whack it, tap on it try to wiggle it. Still stuck. (notice a luck trend here?) Okay, I’ll take the valve stem out and work on it in the shop. More tapping and in frustration, I finally break it. I cut off the remaining pieces and hunt to see if I have a replacement handle. After searching for an hour, I finally admit I don’t have one, BUT I do have a replacement valve. Simple, just unscrew the old one and install the new one. No big deal.
Sunday, January 29th, 2017 9:54 AM PST
Went to Tucson Roller Derby last night. What a hoot! Will be going to that again. There were some TOUGH gals there. Big gals, too. I've watched Roller Derby for years, but never live. Things happen fast, including scoring. Crowds get into it.
Saturday, January 28th, 2017 12:19 PM PST
BAD NEWS! Habitat for Humanity has been my patron saint and supporter for the last few years at the Tucson Festival of Books. They won't have a booth this year, which means I won't either. This is terrible, because it is where I sold most of my books. If anyone out there has ideas, LET ME KNOW!
Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 8:57 PM PST
I took a dose of my own medicine today. I went to Cloud 9 flotation and climbed into an isolation chamber. Yup, the very type used to elicit information from the baddies in my "Dead" series. So, what was it like? Actually very relaxing. Yes, I'll probably go back and do it again but for 1-1/2 hours the next time instead of 1 hour. Of course, in the "Dead" series, Nick gives the victims a cocKtail of drugs and heavy duty psychological talk. No drugs or talk in my case. Just darkness and no sensation. Peaceful.
Monday, January 23rd, 2017 7:14 AM PST
New year, new stuff. Okay, a lot is old stuff. I am writing on Left 4 Dead and starting to get into that zone where it takes over my dreams t night. (well, okay in the early am.) That is the state where I get most productive in creating plots and twists. It happened a few days ago. I thought I had the plot running smoothly when up jumps a twist I hadn't seen coming. Now major changes are happening to the story and characters. What fun!
Friday, January 13th, 2017 8:37 AM PST
Holidays are over! Whew I can get back to normal. I did get more written on Left 4 Dead, so it's moving ahead. I have about 100 pages written, which is probably about 1/3. The characters haven't tole me whether this is the last of the series or there is more. I suspect more.I visited my daughter and her family and they go to the homeless shelter at the Salvation Army and read to the kids there on a weekly. I went with them and read what I have of Bernice the Barking Spider. The kids liked it and then started reading to us. It was an emotionaol moment for me to see such eagerness to learn from kids who saw life as just life. No recriminations, no bitterness, just kids. I am encouraged to finish Bernice and read again.
Thursday, December 29th, 2016 5:29 AM PST
Holidays almost over. Can life return to normal? Please! Whatever normal is. I am being productive in writing, though. Cranked out 3 chapters yesterday on Left 4 Dead
Saturday, December 24th, 2016 6:03 PM PST
Merry Christmas everyone. May your holiday wishes come true.
Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 8:46 AM PST
Here's wishing all of you the best holidays possible. I'm looking forward to 2017 with hopes to accomplish. (Whatever that means). I'm having fun writing and creating. I hope you're having fun reading.
Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 7:59 AM PST
Steve & I are brainstorming on things to do for promo. I'm open to ideas, so don't be shy. Once upon a time I did the Facebook ad campaign. It was quite successful in attracting website hits, but not so much in selling, so I haven't done that again. Maybe it's time. Anyway, HELP. That goes out to you who like the website. What should I do to get out of literary debt?
Here's an installment on Joseph's Side of the Story. 

By R. L. Clayton
Three days on the road with a pregnant woman. God, I’ve about had it. “The seat is too hard, the seat is too soft, my back hurts, my ankles are swollen, my feet hurt, I’m hot, I’m cold, I’m thirsty, I’m hungry, I gotta go potty again. I got the runs from that strange food you bought last night.” It hasn’t stopped since we left. This whole trip just to settle a tax situation. I have orders to fill, work to do. I got stopped by the cops for going too slow. And that rest stop last night had some really shady characters hanging around. I didn’t sleep all night. We were lucky to get out of there with our stuff.
The traffic has been horrible – nose to butt. It’s been an endless stream, and everybody just throws their trash out. Nobody cleans up the roads. This is a disgrace. I’m going to complain.
“Joe honey, are you alright? You’re muttering to yourself again,” came the high-pitched voice.
“I’m sorry, dear. It’s just the heat and the dust and everything.”
“I know. I haven’t been too helpful either. Lucky for us we’ll be there in another few hours. I can’t wait for a hot bath and some good food. What’s the name of the hotel again?”
“Harold’s Club, I think. I made a reservation three months ago.”
“Oh, look! There’s the city. I can see it from here.”
Of course you can see it from there. You’re up high, while I’m down here in the dust and dung. Oh crap! What was that I just stepped in. Camels! They should be banned from the slow lane. It squished up between my toes, UGH!
“Mary, can you see how come we’re stopping?”
“There’s a lot of traffic ahead. I can’t see very well because it’s getting dark, but there’s some soldiers with a roadblock. I think they’re checking IDs or passports or something. They’re probably worried about terrorists.”
Great, just what we need. Another delay, and I really have to take a dump. I can’t do anything around here, there’s nothing but sand. Oh, man! That camel in front of us just farted. This is the worst!
“Honey, can I have a drink of water?”
“Sure, babe. Can you see how long we’ll be stuck here?” That’s the last thing she needs. Water now, potty later. It takes fifteen minutes just to get her down off the donkey and on the ground and then half an hour to get her back and ready to go. Man, we’ll lose our place in line. “Here’s the water. There’s not much, though.”
“Honey, it’s hard to see, with that glare in my eyes. You know, that’s the brightest star I’ve ever seen. Looks like not too long a wait, though.”
“There must be some sort of celebration. That’s why all the people. Maybe it’s tax day. That would figure.”
“Hush, honey. There’s some soldiers approaching. Don’t make ‘em mad.”
On the edge of your seat yet? More to follow.
Friday, December 9th, 2016 7:56 AM PST
Yesterday at the Oro Valley Writers Workshop I read my alternative version of the Christmas Story, Joseph's Side of the Story. I was nervous about it because a number of the attendees are quite religious and a friend said that they could be offended. The story doesn't have bad words nor is it sacrilegious. But that poor schmuck, Joseph seems to be left out of the whole story except for a few mentions. Anyway, I practiced the different voices for a while until I thought they were right. It was a big hit! I got applause and requests for copies, one from a retired pastor. It was great fun.
I just can't get myself motivated to put together a book signing at my friend's restaurant, Mr An's on Oracle. I'd love to do it, but if there's one thing I've learned in my short writing career, it is that promotion is everything. That was never more apparent that at the Bookman's signing a week ago. Little promotion done (I posted it n my social media) Zero books sold. My time wasn't wasted though. I met some nice people, but I'd rather have been writing. The promotion end is something I am totally lost about. Am I too private? Perhaps. So I'll write in obscurity, but that's okay, I guess.
Happy holidays to all of you. Be kind to each other.
Friday, December 2nd, 2016 9:08 AM PST
I attended a promotional co op meeting yesterday and learned how ignorant I am with social media. Think I'm hopeless. I need to hire a teen to take over this whole aspect for me. I guess that means I'm getting old. But I write young stories. I guess my brain is selectively old. It pictures my body as 45 and my attitudes as 30. It's only in the morning that my body tells me I'm really old. Those times during the day hurt.
My graphic artist, Steve Linebaugh is seeking more work. He does my covers, posters, card design, newsletter and web design, and ad work. I couldn't be happier with him, so if you need artwork, contact Steve. Contact him at artist_stevel@tx.rr.com. Use my name liberally as an intro.
Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 9:12 AM PST
Entering the Christmas season, so it's time to trot out my parady on the saga. Here's the link to Joseph's Side of the Story. Want to know what the trip to Bethlehem was really like? WARNING! If you're offended by anything otherr than the traditional SUnday school version, DON"T READ THIS. But if you want a yuletide chuckle, read on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB2rSjiiV5s
Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 9:06 AM PST
Well, the book signing Sunday was a bust. Looking for the silver lining, I learned that promotion is my responsibility. So the next one will be touted in every way I can think of. It's a lesson that needs reinforcing periodically. With the Thanksgiving holiday, I have been remiss in writing, so I hope to get back to it this week. I really do miss delving into the adventure.
Saturday, November 26th, 2016 10:39 AM PST
With the onset of the holidays, our editing CoOp has not met in a couple of weeks an dmy writing has suffered. Well, okay there's more to it than that. I've been focused on getting materials and websites up to date, and that takes away from writing, plus the TUSCON sci-fi conference was there. Now I have the book signing tomorrow at Bookman's. What this does is take away writing time, so my plotting has been mental. Left 4 Dead is proceeding, but not at the written pace I want. The Co Op forced me to write down what I was plotting so it could be edited. Bottom line. I need to get back to writing.
Meanwhile, I am getting interest in the Evolution River Series is sparking some interest. I would like to promote more (less time writing, again) but it is an area I am not so pretty good at. As Clint Eastwood says, "A man's gotta know his limitations."
Hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving. If you don't celebrate that American holiday, then still take a pause and assess all the good you have. At least for a few minutes push the bad aside.
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 7:38 AM PST
Have a great Thanksgiving. Pause to think what being thankful menas
Sunday, November 20th, 2016 8:49 AM PST
Don't forget to come by Bookman's on Ina at Thorneydale on Sunday, Nov 27. Really like to chat and talk about future stories. I'm enjoying writing the third book in the Dead series, and would like reader input as to where the story should go. See you there between 2 and 4.
Don't eat too much this week! 
Monday, November 14th, 2016 8:51 AM PST
I attended the TUSCON 43 Sci-fi conference this past weekend. What a lot of fun. Great people, great costumes, great program. George R. R. Martin was the honored guest, and he was a blast to listen to. There's more coming from him, and Game of Thrones keeps on going. I attended sessions that will improve my writing and talked to people about self publishing. The traditional industry is still fighting tooth and nail to keep their market, though the landscape has changed dramatically. No print house offered to pick up my books. Boo Hoo. I rationalize that rejection by saying I probably wouldn't like it anyway, but the truth is the offer would do my sagging self esteem a lot of good. ANYWAY, book signing at Bookman's on Ina November 27 from 2 to 4. I'll be there with Dead Reckoning and the rest of my work. Come on out. Let's talk. I'm always open to ideas for new writing. (I'll put your name in a book)
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 7:03 AM PST
I'm on the list for another book signing. This one is at the Bookman's store on west Ina in Tucson, November 27 from 2 to 4. These are always fun and a great opportunity to meet local authors, so some on out. My signing at the Oro Valley Library last Sunday went well.l I sold books! See you on Nov 27.
Monday, November 7th, 2016 8:27 AM PST
It was a good signing yesterday. I sold books! I talked to some really nice people, I had a gret dinner with friends. Time to go back to work. Got writing to do. Signings where I sell encourage me to keep going.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 9:54 AM PDT
This Sunday is the Oro Valley Writers Workshop Book Signing! It's a great place to pick out Christmas presents for those difficult-to-buy-for people on your lists, or to keep for the emergency gifts OR for when you go to the Thanksgiving Dinner. Take a book instead of that bottle of wine. It'll last longer. This is the opportunity to talk with the authors, get you books signed and loearn how to get that Great American Novel you want to write done. See you at the Oro Valley Library from 1 to 4.
Friday, October 28th, 2016 5:49 PM PDT
DON'T FORGET BOOK SIGNING at the Oro Valley Library on November 6 from 1 to 4. Twenty two authors will have memoirs (Real and fictional), thrillers, mysteries, sci-fi, thrillers whatever you want. It's a great opportunity to get some Christmas gifts for those who have everything. (They don't really, but just don't know that they need an autographed book.) These books also make a great gift for that Thanksgiving dinner instead of that bottle of wine. It'll last longer.
Authors will be able to talk to you about how to get that GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL that's inside you out.
Come on out. Have some fun.
Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 9:34 AM PDT
DON"T FORGET the book signing Nov 6 at the Oro Valley Library. I'll have the "hot off the presses" Dead Reckoning along with my other books. Come out and chat. (It would be okay to buy a book, but no purchase necessary). See you there!
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 8:13 PM PDT
I'm working hard at getting things together for Dead Reckoning. I had to change the cover (it was too dark) and change some of the formatting, so that translates to more time before it is good enough for me to offer for sale. Please be patient. I want to offer the best effort. As much as I dislike the promo stuff, it has to be done, so posters, cards, all that stuff has to be done. I admit I do like talking face-to-face with readers. I get the most interesting questions. As an example, I sold a coy of Sea Species to a friend at the North American Hobie Cat Championships. I also donated the full set of the Evolution River series. I am anxious to hear what they thought about it.
Eighteen chapters into Left 4 Dead and eager to find out where the story goes. I only have a vague idea. The characters tell me what happens next. It's much like reading a good book and looking forward to the next chapters. I love this!
Thursday, October 6th, 2016 11:55 AM PDT
Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 12:38 PM PDT
I got an guestbook response asking for more information about what happens in writing and publishing. So, here goes a little. 
I self publish because:
Traditional publishing is hard to get
Traditional publishing takes up to and many times more than a year.
The main advantage of traditional publishing is distribution.
As a self published author, you take on editing responsibility, cover design, formatting, promotion, distribution, in short, everything.
On Create Space, your book will be available on Amazon within 3 days of proof approval. No cost. Create space does take a hefty percentage of each sale.
I use Bookbaby as my e-book published and distributor. There is an upfront cost, but the royalties mostly go to you.
I have made mistakes;
covers too dark, grammatical errors, cover sizing errors, bunches of stuff. I muddled through and made a better product. Create Space is easy to make corrections. Bookbaby is easy to make corrections, but the books are pulled off the shelf from 2 to 3 works until corrections are incorporated.
I hope this helps those who are writing.
Meantime, I'm writing again. Let me know if I can help.
Monday, October 3rd, 2016 9:26 PM PDT

Dead Reckoning as an e-book!

OKAY! Dead Reckoning has been submitted to Bookbaby for e-book publish and distribution. I requested OCt 15 for availability, but that is no guarantee. TYpically the different services take from 2 to 4 weeks before the books are available, with the exception of Kindle. They are faster. I am so happy to have this book out. I believe it is my best work, and a Clancyesque quality read. So, if you want to find out how the world reached the depths of dystopia, read. Get scared.
Saturday, October 1st, 2016 12:17 PM PDT
IT'S OUT!!! Dead Reckoning will be available on Amazon in the next few days. I'll have it up on the e-book sites in about 3 weeks. (That's how long it takes to make it to the market after submission). Meanwhile, I'm working on Left 4 Dead.
Monday, September 26th, 2016 9:58 AM PDT
Book Signing coming! I'll have two new books for sale, Dead & Dead For Real and Dead Reckoning.
November 6, 2016
1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Oro Valley Library 
1305 W. Naranja Drive, Oro Valley
Meet Talented Local Authors
Meet friends, purchase gifts for children and adults, talk to the authors 
Find out how you, too, can be a published author!  
Join us for a fun-filled afternoon.
For more information, contact Alexis Powers – alexispowers91@gmail.com
Monday, September 26th, 2016 9:51 AM PDT
I'm on the last tasks before submitting Dead Reckoning for pub. Oct 1 looms, and I may actually make it. I'm pretty excited about getting this book out. I put some technology in it that came in dreams and through discussion with a friend of mine. He's had a history with aircraft, so I consider him my authority. 
Meanwhile, I'm working on the sequel, Left 4 Dead. No magic new technology in it...yet. Just Kiki and Nick wreaking havoc on the bad guys.
Friday, September 9th, 2016 2:00 PM PDT
I'm finishing up on Dead Reckoning. I know, I keep saying that, but there always seems to be something else to do. Steve Linebaugh has everything needed to get me the cover file. The book is 385 pages in a 5-1/4 X 8 size. I'm hoping to finish up the editing within 2 weeks and it should be ready to publish.
Meanwhile, I've gotten into writing the next book in the series, titled Left 4 Dead. (At least that's the title as of now) I've written 15 chapters and created great mayhem so far. My mind is already working on another book in the series. Can't seem to turn this off.
Sunday, September 4th, 2016 6:39 PM PDT
I browbeat my editing CoOp into editing the last 85 pages of Dead Reckoning. Well, at least we got a good start. two hours after starting, we were done with 45 pages. Those have been sent to my copy editor, so I'm still on track for an Oct 1 launch. Of course, there are always glitches, so we'll see. I'm excited by it.
Steve and I are working on the center page ad for the TUSCON 2016 sci-fi conference in November. I'll put that on my Facebook pages. We've also finished with the cover for Dead Reckoning. Sooooo Fun stuff is afoot.
Meanwhile, I have about 15 chapters written on Left for Dead.
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 4:04 PM PDT
I'm moving ahead with Dead Reckoning with an October 1 drop date. Working on the final cover with Steve, going through the copy edits of the first half of the book, and working with Tall Grass to get the second half of the book done and to the copy editor. Lots happening.
Meanwhile, I'm 15 chapters into Left 4 Dead. I've been watching the TV series "Sons of Anarchy" as gangs play a large part in the book. Of course, I'm only watching it for research purposes, not because I like it. Ha
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 6:11 PM PDT
Been working on the back cover blurb for Dead Reckoning.Ccomment back to me. Does it make you want to read it? More importantly, buy it?
Dead Reckoning continues the paranormal thriller “Dead” series. Lethal sniper Kiki Russell and medic Nick Sabino come out of hiding to battle a massive attack on the United States that has plunged it into chaos, beginning the descent into dystopia. With the United States isolated from the world, the president and his government struggle to hold the Union together after the collapse of the economy, the destruction of the electrical grid and a smallpox epidemic that have killed more than half of the population. The world powers have changed and the fight for civilization begins.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 8:03 PM PDT
The first half of Dead Reckoning went to the copy editor yesterday. I'm aiming for a first of October drop, BUT that may slip. My editing co op is getting wrapped up in the story. That is gratifying. It keeps me chugging ahead as a writer.
Really getting into writing Left 4 Dead. Got ten chapters done and I'm having a lot of fun spinning this tale. 
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 7:35 PM PDT
I've been up into the wee hours with the plots and subplots of Left 4 Dead running through my head. It's exciting to lay in bed while the scenes play out. When I was working full time, those nights made for rough days to follow. Now that writing is my activity, I enjoy it. I just take more naps the next day. Some writers think this is a blessing, and in some ways it is, but I can't turn it off. In that respect, it's a bit of a curse. When I'm in this mode, all I want to do is write, but alas, life intrudes.
The Tall Grass Editing Co Op is getting into Dead Reckoning. That's good and bad. The good part is that the story has hold of them, which means I've done my job. The bad part is they miss the same errors I did when I was writing it. We've edited 47 out of 72 chapters. I suspect there's about 9 more weeks before it is complete. In order to make a drop date of mid-September, I'm going to have to send the Tall Grass version to another editor as I get it copy edited while we continue with the written version. 
Meanwhile, I WANT TO WRITE
Friday, August 5th, 2016 7:10 PM PDT
I got the first shot at the cover for Bernice the Barking Spider from Steve. He's forcing me to work on the book. Thanks, Steve. 
I'm working on the outline for Left 4 Dead. It grows. Also working on the edits from the Tall Grass editing group on Dead Reckoning. We're over halfway through with it. The pace accelerates from here.
Sunday, July 31st, 2016 11:05 AM PDT
Steve Linebaugh and I are finishing up on the cover for Dead Reckoning. The latest is posted on my facebook page and my other website. Meanwhile, editing continues. Target drop date is middle of September.
Work on Left 4 Dead outline continues. That means I'm into it every night in my dreams. Gritty place to be.
Also, I'm continuing on Bernice the Barking Spider I've asked Steve to do a conceptional cover.
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 12:01 PM PDT
As with many of my discussions at book signings, several people wanted to know more about my portrayal of evolution. I start off by saying I don't want to get into the past, that is, who or what created our world. The question is, do you believe humans will be the same in 10,000 years? How about 100,000 years? If you say no, then you believe in evolution. All species change in response to their environment, even if those changes are due to that species. I always picture a Petri dish with a culture growing within it. To survive, the organisms within it adapt to the contents. If they outgrow the contents, they die, but something else grows. 
In the Evolution River series, I wanted people to look at human evolution through slightly different eyes. Not just human evolution but the evolution of the universe. The premise that a quantum leap in evolution will occur when we design life seemed right. Sea Species is a story of how humans and the new species try to accommodate each other. 
What do you think? Will we be the same eons into the future? Will we even be here? If not us, then who? Is that evolution of life?
Thursday, July 21st, 2016 7:52 AM PDT
I'm getting good complements about the website and artwork, that Steve does for me. Those of you wanting to consider his services, here's his twitter page address. Contact him. https://twitter.com/stevelinebaugh.
He also puts together my newsletter and does a great job. Thank you Steve.
Got a book signing on November 6 at the Oro Valley Library. I'll have Dead Reckoning and hopefully, Bernice the Barking Spider. 
Keep those guestbook comments and emails coming. I love them.
Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 9:27 AM PDT
The new newsletter is coming out, and Steve has done a bang-up job. The cover for Dead Reckoning is the banner. It will be that or a little variation thereof. If you're not on the mailing list, sign up!
Still editing and rewriting Dead Reckoning. With new ending. more to add.
My granddaughter has resisted writing more on Bernice the Barking Spider and prefers playing with Grandma. Go figure.
Friday, July 15th, 2016 10:40 AM PDT
Already dreaming about the next book in the Dead series. Preliminary title Dead End. Lots of bad characters.
Book signing tomorrow at Bookman's on Speedway at Wilmot (Monterey shopping center) from 1 to 3.
Saturday, July 9th, 2016 2:11 PM PDT
Don't forget the book signing at Bookman's on Speedway at Wilmot on Sat, July 16 from 1 to 3. See you there.
Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 1:51 PM PDT
Rolling along on Dead Reckoning, the sequel to Dead & Dead For Real. A lot of it takes place in Casa Grande, AZ. Should I contact them when it comes out? I think so! Maybe I can arrange a book signing at the CG library. Editing on it continues, with 23 chapters done. Only 49 more to go. Steve is working on the cover now.
Abby and I have 4 chapters done on Bernice the Barking Spider. I'm trying to line up an artist to get started on the illustrations.
Meantime, there's a book signing at Bookman's on the east side of Tucson, Speedway and Wilmot. It starts on Sat, July 16 noon to 3
Saturday, July 2nd, 2016 8:12 AM PDT
I've got a book signing on July 15 at Bookmans at Wilmot and Speedway. I've attended these before, and met a lot of nice people. I even sold some books, so c'mon out.
Rewrite and editing continues on Dead Reckoning. It's already July, and I want it out before October, so I'm going to have to step up my pace. Steve is working on a cover.
Bernice the Barking Spider is moving ahead. I think I'm about 1/2 through with the first draft. I'm working to get an illustrator for this kid lit.
Saturday, June 25th, 2016 8:00 AM PDT
It must be my day. I got two announcements. I got a letter from the University of Arizona that the Evolution River trilogy is on the library shelves. I also received a note that Dead & Dead For Real  is now on the Pima County Library shelves. I'm also seeing an increase in sales  of Wings of the WASP and Dead & Dead For Real. This is all very gratifying. Meantime, I'm trying to arrange for an illustrator for Bernice the Barking Spider while doing a bit of writing on it.
Thank you readers. I enjoy hearing from you.
Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 9:46 PM PDT
I think I finally have a title for the sequel to Dead & Dead For Real About time as I'm on chapter 32 of the rewrites. New best title is Dead Reckoning. It fits in a number of ways. I read the prologue in the Writers Motivational Workshop today. I preceded it with a PG-13 warning that there wasn't any sex or violence in it, but there was a big eeeeew factor. There were a bunch of nervous twitters afterward. I think I struck a chord.
Working on Bernice the Barking Spider now.
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 2:21 PM PDT
Worked a little on Bernice and need to get back to it. Meanwhile, two of my editors said the nicest things bout my writing. It definitely inspires me to keep going. The children's book is such a departure from my other writing, it will be interesting to see what comes out. That's right, I only have the general picture. The characters supply the rest. Ha Ha, Bernice the spider dong the story. Yeah, really.
Friday, June 17th, 2016 8:28 AM PDT
Woes at my writing nest. We're under an evacuation alert because of a huge forest fire. I could lose it all.
Monday, June 13th, 2016 6:36 PM PDT
My granddaughter & I are writing Bernice the Barking Spider. Yeah, it's a children's book. Someday, over margaritas I'll explain the reasons, but it is fun and different. Meantime, I'm giving the newest book, a little rest before I begin rewrite and edits.
Sunday, June 5th, 2016 10:56 AM PDT
I am "Over the Moon" excited. Dead& Dead For Real made the Arizona Daily Star review panel in today's newspaper! This is the second book this year to appear, with Wings of the WASP being the first. This is so exciting for me.
Meantime, I realized I needed more in the sequel,. So far I've written six chapters with at least one more to go. This may be a longish book. 
Friday, June 3rd, 2016 9:50 PM PDT
I'm taking a break from writing for a few days. Karma told me to. A tree fell on my house in the mountains. Had to take care of it. I did finish the first draft of D&DFR sequel, but then wrote 4 more chapters. So maybe I'm not finished.
Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 8:36 AM PDT
I finished the first draft of the Dead & Dead For Real sequel last night. I'm gonna have to let it sit for a while before I go back over it. I do know it needs some more work and refinement. May newsletter should be coming out soon. Steve & I have it about done. Also got up on twitter. rlclaytonwriter
Saturday, May 21st, 2016 12:57 PM PDT
I had a great book signing last week. Those Saddlebrooke Ranch people really know how to treat an author. I sold more books than any previous signing except Tucson Festival of Books. My thanks to those of you who came out and supported my efforts as a writer. Let me know what you think about the books. Critique, please.
Steve and I will be finalizing the next newsletter and have it out within a few days. This letter will have the Prologue from the sequel to Dead & Dead For Real (Yet untitled) There is a warning for those of Squeamish demeanor. It's not that the content is gory or violent. It's worse!
Saturday, May 7th, 2016 8:01 AM PDT
Got a book signing coming up. 
Book  Signing!!
May 18, 2016
11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
Saddlebrooke Ranch, La Hacienda Clubhouse
59638 E. Robson Circle, Oracle, AZ
I'm still working on new book. Latest title under consideration is Dead to the World. The plot does keep getting more convoluted. I love it.
Friday, April 29th, 2016 8:05 PM PDT
Steve asked me to start working on a new newsletter. Not a lot has happened since my last, so I started throwing stuff in the ring. I have been working hard on the sequel to Dead& Dead For Real, so I sent him the Prologue. It really sets the tone for the new book, and I warn you, It is nasty dirty nitty gritty horror. Nope, no gore or blood, but MUCH WORSE. Yes I violated some of the rules of writing fiction in the book.That smacks you in the face in the Prologue. You know, there's a lot of dystopia (literally translated, dystopia means "an undesirable place") stuff out there. Hunger Games is one example. The book depicts how we descend into dystopia, and that's not a common book theme. So enter my new book. Read more in the newsletter. If you're not receiving it, go to my other website, www,rlclaytonbooks.com and sign up.
Thursday, April 21st, 2016 8:13 AM PDT
This is a repeat message from my other webpage, rlclaytonbooks.com
I've been really active on the sequel to D&DFR (Dead & Dead For Real). I have 30,000 words on the first draft and I figure I'm about half through. What's different about this book is it leads us into how we get to a dystopian society, Well almost. I haven't decided whether the world will descend into that or not. My leanings now are to have the world end up skirting dystopia with semblance of modern civilization surviving. That may change as I get into the second half of the book.
I really am cranking out the pages, fully immersed in the story.
Saturday, April 16th, 2016 2:03 PM PDT
We're putting together another book signing. Preliminary date is May 11 in Saddlebrooke. I'll post specifics when I have them.
We had a great Writers Motivational Workshop Thursday. Some good reading and good information. A possibility of getting our books into a shop featuring local artists and writers. That sounds good to me.
Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 8:18 AM PDT
My new website, www.rlclaytonbooks.com is up and running. Steve has done a great job with it, so go take a look. Also, the April Newsletter hit the airwaves. Signup and get it! 
I've been working hard this past week on the sequel to D&DFR (Dead & Dead For Real) Once I get in the groove, the writing is like reading a book. The characters are telling me the story and I only need to write it down. My dreams take into the world of this book nightly. Sometimes sleep is good, other times "disturbed" doesn't truly cover it. But it's only sleep.
Sunday, April 10th, 2016 11:42 AM PDT
I spoke to a middle-school teacher last week about talking to some of her classes. I would really enjoy doing that. This teacher thought her students would enjoy a talk about the Evolution River Series, as they are into sci-fi. I'm very proud of what that series says about people. As a character driven novel, I tried to portray the better side of people, allow for real heroes, address real life situations. And of course, the track of evolution. While writing that series, I lived those books. I moved out into the solar system and out into the universe. I still visit my favorite character, Sylvix and we journey toward the center of the galaxy. Traveling with her is a peaceful place to rest my mind.
Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 2:34 PM PDT
The panel about Joys of Self Publishing went well yesterday. A number of people expressed gratitude and thanks for the informative session. Perhaps we'll do it again. I know I spilled my brains on the table about everything I know on self publishing. TO those who came, thanks for participating.
Friday, March 25th, 2016 5:50 PM PDT
I just finished putting together a new newsletter. Lots of stuff happened, so check it out. Next Saturday I'll be sitting on a panel discussing the Joys of Self Publishing. If you're interested, come on out. It's at the Oro Valley Library from 10 am until noon.
Today I attended a Town Hall Meeting with Martha McSally. What  bundle of energy! I'm impressed and will support her for her return to Congress.
Monday, March 21st, 2016 11:05 AM PDT
April 2 is just around the corner and I'm trying to wrap my head around being in on a panel discussion of self publishing. It is the only way I know how to publish. With Sea Species, I had to go self publishing because reality was catching up with my fiction story way too fast. When I started the book, it was 90% fiction. When I finished, it was between 50 and 60% fiction. Today, it is less than 40%. If I had waited for traditional publishing to decide to publish (even if it was accepted by somebody), it wouldn't be science fiction at all. In some ways it is gratifying that so much has come true. As I was writing it, the story was the only logical progression I could see. 
The Envoy takes the premise that the Earth will again suffer a catastrophe and explores what we do to survive. It also explores the world with a new messiah uniting the world's religions.
The Genesis takes us to the end of evolution, and as I see it, the only end possible.
I had fun with that series. I still have dreams of myself nearing the center of the galaxy with Sylvix, one of my favorite characters. 
Friday, March 18th, 2016 9:00 AM PDT
I've been thinking of doing a children's book. Yes, I know it's a vast departure from my other genre. At the book festival, Habitat for Humanity and Caid coupled up with a robot and hard hat decoration program that drew in lots of kids. So, I thought there should be a kids book on the table. We'll see how the ideas go. I might have to recruit my granddaughter to help. She's 7, and that's my target age. We'll see. My plate's getting full and no writing is happening at the moment. My brain is telling me to take a little time off.
Sunday, March 13th, 2016 7:34 PM PDT
The Tucson Festival of Books was good to me again this year. I must thank Caid Industries and Habitat for Humanity for setting me up in their booth. Sold a bunch of books and talked to a lot of great people. It was a wonderful outing.
Wings of the W.A.S. P. was reviewed by the Arizona Daily Star Sunday and got a good review. I'm pumped by that! Gotta order more books. Almost sold out of Wings.
I'm working on the sequel to Dead & Dead For Real. I keep waking up at 3 am wondering how I'm going to get my protagonists out of the latest fix. What fun! D&DFR is out on Amazon in print, and the e-books should be available from the distributors over the next few weeks.
I'm working on the next newsletter and I'll have pictures of the festival in it.
Friday, March 11th, 2016 8:56 AM PST
Tomorrow it starts! Tucson Festival of Books, now the 4th largest book event in the United States. I'll be in booth #409, so come see me. I'll the new Dead & Dead For Real tee shirts there. They are eye catching.
Steve & I are still working on the new website, www.rlclaytonbooks.com, so be patient. We both want it to be right.
On April 2, at the Oro Valley Library from 10:00 am to noon we'll be holding a panel discussion of Self publishing. I've self published 5 books, now. So come with your questions, comments. I'm also working on another book signing after April 15. The details will be posted here.
Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 6:43 PM PST
Getting things set for Tucson Festival of Books. Posters, cards, bookmarks, AND tee shirts (Evolution River tees and new Dead & Dead For Real).
New website, www.rlclaytonbooks.com is up. It's still under construction, but you can get the idea. Suggestions from you would be welcome.
Sunday, March 6th, 2016 8:05 PM PST
Things are moving with Dead & Dead For Real. I have print books, and they are available on Amazon. The manuscript was submitted for e-book publication, and will be available in 1 to 3 weeks, depending on which site you shop at. 
I've started the sequel to it and it's invading my dreams already.
Tucson Festival of Books is Mar 12 abd 13 at the University of Arizona mall. I will be in booth #409, which is the Habitat for Humanity booth. A part of each book sale goes to them as a donation. Come on out, let's talk and support a good cause.
Friday, March 4th, 2016 9:08 AM PST
I'm working with Steve to get my new website up. I'll announce it as soon as it works! Meantime, there is still a subscription tab on this website to get my newsletter. There's also a link to my email, rlclayton10@gmail.com. Thanks to Ron for letting me know  he's having trouble. Try the email. 
Getting ready for the Tucson Festival of Books. It's March 12 & 13 at the University of Arizona mall. C'mon out. I always enjoy talking to readers. I need that feedback to be a better writer.
Friday, February 26th, 2016 4:09 PM PST
I have books! Dead & Dead For Real is out and I've received my copies. It's available on Amazon, and soon will be as an e-book. I've started on the sequel as my next book, and it's fun.
I had a good book signing at the Southern Arizona Authors Expo last Saturday. Met nice people and sold books.
My new website should be coming online soon. I'll announce when and the address as soon as we're up.
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 7:10 AM PST
Got my first shipment of Dead & Dead For Real. There was some cover damage to each book, so I called CreateSpace. They responded by sending me replacements, due here by Thursday. Great response.Thank you CreateSpace. I will have books for Tucson Festival of Books!
Sunday, February 21st, 2016 12:39 PM PST
They Southern Arizona Author Expo proved to be good for me. Sold a bunch of books and met some nice people. I didn't have Dead &Dead For Real, but I will have the books for the Tucson Festival of Books. That's March 12 and 13 at the University of Arizona mall. I'll be in the Habit for Humanity booth. C'mon out!
Friday, February 19th, 2016 9:04 AM PST
I had an interesting trip to Columbus, NM and toured the museums there. It is the 100th anniversary of the invasion and attack on US forces by Pancho Villa. I learned a lot.
Steve and I had a great conversation about changes for the website and a new website, so stay tuned for new things. I think you will like what takes place. Let me know. Don't be afraid to email me comments. Yes, I have a thick skin and can take criticism. THat's a necessity as an author.
I'm foundering about right now on what to write next. At some point, I'm just going to have to start. Prominent right now is a sequel to Dead & Dead For Real.
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 7:32 AM PST
Steven and I are moving forward on a new website. Since my writing has changed from the sci-fi genre to historical fiction and to terror-thriller, we decided to get a new website. I'll let you know the name, and we'll have links from evolutionriver to the new site and back. I really liked what Steve did for this new site. Can't wait for your feedback.
Tuesday, February 16th, 2016 3:51 PM PST
I ordered my first copies of Dead & Dead For Real from Create Space. The book is available on Amazon. I don't think I'll have D&DFR books for the February 20th, 2016 9:000- 1:00 PM   -   Southern Arizona Author Expo at 38759 S. Mountain View Road   SaddleBrooke, AZ USA, BUT I will have the other 4 books. There will be 60 authors there, so there's something for everyone. Come on out!
Saturday, February 13th, 2016 9:02 AM PST


Dead & Dead For Real went to CreateSpace last week. It's now available on Amazon in print version. I'm holding out for a few days on the e-book version, but it will be out within a few days. It does take 2 to 3 weeks after submission for it to hit the e-shelves, but IT"S COMING. This means I'll have the book on my table at the Tucson Festival of Books, March 12 & 13. I'm hoping to have it at the Southern Arizona Author Expo Feb 20, but probably won't have the copies in my hands by then. I'm excited to have this project done.
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 8:15 AM PST
I had a great experience yesterday. I went to the Tucson Gem & Mineral & Fossil show. While on the shuttle I met two ladies who bought my books. Instead of going to these book signings, I think I need to ride the shuttles around a sell. Okay, maybe not really, but this is the second time I sold books at the TGMF show. Note to authors, Take your books wherever you go. 
Friday, February 5th, 2016 7:02 AM PST
Well, I didn't make the end of January to get Dead & Dead for Real out. I'm so close it's making me antsy to go ahead. It's coming, REALLY Meantime, I do have some outlines I'm playing with for the next book effort.
February 20th, 2016 - 1:00 PM   -   Southern Arizona Author Expo
38759 S. Mountain View Road   SaddleBrooke, AZ USA
Also, The Tucson Festival of Books kicks off March 12 and 13. Again this year, I'll be in the Habitat for Humanity booth. Half of each book purchase goes to Habitat, so come out and support them in their efforts to house families. This is a primo event that takes over the quad at the University of Arizona.
Thursday, January 28th, 2016 6:43 AM PST
The Southern Arizona Author's Expo is coming February 20. It will be held in Saddlebrook at 38759 S. Mountain View Road from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Come on out. There will be some illustrious authors there to meet and talk about their works. It is the last event on my calendar before the Tucson Festival of Books. 
D&DFR (Dead and Dead For Real) is in final editing. As soon as it's done, I'll get it out. I don't know if I'll have it before the Author's Expo, but I certainly plan to have it out before TFOB. I'll be in touch with Steve to get new posters made up with that addition. Steve and I will have the website updated soon too.
I went to my sister's Celebration of Life service and had my eyes opened to parts of her life I knew little about. She had a stellar military career, and I knew almost nothing about it. She rarely talked about it when we were together. She touched lives, and I regret not following it more closely.
Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 7:49 AM PST
I've been working really hard to get Dead & Dead For Real out this month. The manuscript is at a proofer right now, Steve and I are reworking the cover, and I'm doing the extra pages e.g. acknowledgements, summation etc. so I can move ahead. In the meantime, I've been editing a friend's book and putting together outlines for the next.
So far, I have 3 I'm working on. The one I'm hottest on right now is a sci fi look at society. In it, a change occurs that results in the decline of human populations world-wide. How would we as a civilization handle non-growth? Almost everything we do is based on growth.
The second is a thriller about an attack on the United States in the new world of warfare.
The third is an epic look into world changing events during an east versus west conflict. I started this book and have 25 pages of outline. It just kept growing until I pulled off. This book would be a tome with all I want to cover in it.
Watch for changes in the website and the next newsletter. There are some good changes coming.
Friday, January 8th, 2016 7:12 AM PST
Tall Grass Editing Co Op finished the last chapters of Dead & Dead for Real. They really liked the ending, I've started formatting it into print book size. Steve has submitted a cover design that looks pretty good, and I'm seeking a proofer. Send suggestions to rlclayton10@gmail.com. Thanks for help.
Saturday, January 2nd, 2016 10:20 AM PST
Steve and I have been talking about the changes to the website. I wish I understood more than every tenth word of what he's saying. I am a VERY basic user, so I'm in his hands, but I like the gist of where we are going. I hope to have this process started within the next week, but we will see.
Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 8:17 PM PST
The last editing session on Dead and Dead for Real with the Tall Grass Editing Co Op is next week. I can see the end of this tunnel ahead, and I'm really excited about getting this book out. It is by far my most exciting read.
I'm already thinking about what's next. 
Sunday, December 27th, 2015 9:12 AM PST
One thing my sister's passing has done is get me to focus on my relationships and those around me. I'm saying "Thanks" a lot more. As men do, I compartmentalized her death and tucked it away so I could function. It seeps out in dribs and drabs, and that's good because those I can handle. My brother-in-law is presently overwhelmed and I'm concerned for him. His compartment is huge and encompasses most of his life right now. I'm staying in touch with him daily or more often.
Dreams again invaded (actually visited) my sleep, and I've changed Dead and Dead for Real. I added another scene and made a character more prominent. It also movers the story ahead because it shows a change occurring in one of the protagonists. I am having fun with this story. We have roughly 10 chapters left to edit, then a complete run-through re-edit by me and I'll have to seek more editing. Bet you never knew how much editing really goes into a book, didja? Maybe I'm not a very good writer, but good at ideas. I have thought about that. Hmmmm
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 4:25 AM PST
Merry Christmas to all you believers. To the rest of you, may Santa Clause bring you what you REALLY want. Your chance to be naughty.
Saturday, December 19th, 2015 5:13 AM PST
Sister out of hospice. She left us behind.
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 4:33 PM PST
I received some very nice guestbook comments. Thank you. It encouraged me to hear that my blog gets read. With my sister now. Strange visions float through my mind.
Monday, December 14th, 2015 10:20 AM PST
Steve suggested I write something about the upcoming book, Dead & Dead for Real. So here's a why I wrote it.
Why did I write Dead & Dead for Real?
Dead & Dead for Real is a departure from my science fiction genre of the Evolution River Trilogy and from the historical novel genre of Wings of the WASP. But, like the others, it came from a series of dreams. Yah, I do dream a lot. D&DFR started out as a terrorist thriller, and once again, the characters took it in another direction. This was prompted when Melinda Rucker Haynes, one of my editors suggested I should be careful about using the names of existing terrorist organizations and outlaw motorcycle gangs. I’m not sure how much they read, but I’m not making nearly enough money from writing to afford protection. How to do that, when both are critical to the plot? Aha! A new character was introduced, one of pure evil…or maybe not? What I really like about D&DFR is how fast the book moves. One of my beta readers had to limit himself to eight chapters a day or nothing would get done outside of reading. He also found the new character “really creepy.” Bang! Nailed it! My editing group really likes the story too. (Nailed it again) We’re aiming to have it finished and in print (and e-book form) before March so I can take it to the Tucson Festival of Books. Others, hearing excerpts, have shuddered at some of the action, but their eyes are eager for more. (Nailed it again!) I did leave room for a sequel or a series, though it’s another outline I want to go to next.
Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 7:58 AM PST
Bonus post! My friend, Robyn Lester, who wrote an erotica e-book called Origin of an Empath had me reread a passage in her book. She wanted me to understand what was happening with my sister, who entered hospice yesterday. 
Excerpt from Origin of an Empath
When we got home, I helped her inside and to the couch. Her sadness and mine were a cramp clutching my chest. When we went to bed, we lay in each other’s arms. Her breathing softened into sleep, but that respite has evaded me. I got up and after stumbling around the house felt a strong need to go to the hospital.
Jackie was waiting when I got there. Neither of us felt this was odd. “How’s Karen?”
“She’s sleeping. I left her a note.” I sat on the bed and took Jackie’s hand. Her concern for her sister flowed into me. “I’ll try to take care of her. She can be a little headstrong.” We both laughed at the magnitude of the understatement. Jackie’s shrunken chest heaved with a wracking cough. Within myself I saw her angel of death waiting. The shadow presence was much bigger now, it and grew as I became aware of it. The dark cloud filled most of the room, and I tried to wrest Jackie away.
Jackie didn’t shrink back, and we were together as it wrapped around us, an immense black cloak of darkness. All awareness of our world was gone, and we entered a sightless, soundless universe. We were surrounded by a featureless blackness, and strain as I might, no light emerged. I felt nothing, smelled nothing, tasted nothing, heard nothing. I reached out with my mind to Jackie. She was there.
We drifted together through nothingness trying to reach out with our normal senses, they didn’t exist here. As we stretched our minds seeking something–anything–feathery sensations touched us. Like puffs of warm air in a lightless room, we felt perceptions tickle our minds. I felt a tremendous love for Jackie. A closeness I’ve never felt for someone before. It wasn’t romantic but so much more. This love seemed to flow into me as warm current, and my being opened up to it. As I expanded, I became aware of more minds, more souls surrounding us. They were embracing us. Any wonder about this feeling was pushed aside as we moved toward the intense center of this love. It was like a glowing light, but there was no light here. As we were enveloped, we were absorbed. Jackie’s self was crystal clear to me, but others were coming into a mental focus. I was able to reach out to them. We flowed together as puffs of smoke blend until we coalesced into a cloud, but I could still sense Jackie separately. There were others I didn’t know, but I felt no apprehension. We were all part of one. It was pure joy and ecstasy. In that moment, I felt an understanding dawn within me, and then I was flowing out, pushed away because I didn’t belong yet.
I awoke atop Jackie. An alarm was sounding, and the monitor showed a glowing flat line. Nurses were there in seconds and pushed me off. Numbly, I stood and watched them try to bring her back, but I knew it was hopeless. She didn’t want to come back. She was home. I called Karen and Sue.
The three of us stood around the bed holding onto each other and crying. Sometime during our sobbing, I realized we were crying for ourselves.
Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 7:23 AM PST
I had a good session with the Tall Grass Editing Co Op yesterday. One of my key scenes needs MAJOR expansion. So back to the keyboard. Gotta make it scarier and longer. Build on it. That's what a good group imparts to writers. They tell me when I need more and when I need less. They tell me when a character needs to be stronger. How did I get so lucky as to fall in with this group?
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 6:26 AM PST
Tall Grass Editing Co Op today. I always look forward to that. It is one of the few social events I willingly participate in. Besides, they force me to improve.  I'm saddened that I may have to skip a few sessions. It's a personal tragedy, and those create an undertone sapping energy. Alas, death is part of life, and not to be feared. The fear, of course is venturing into the unknown. Despite what we are told, those last moments are still a question.
See what this does to us? It makes us examine. Dead and Dead for Real sort of touches on this. So, get ready for the ride.
Sunday, December 6th, 2015 9:27 PM PST
Steve and I are moving ahead on the website changes. I like his ideas. I'm not smart enough to know what to do, but he is. Thank you Steve. So, watch this website, and don't be afraid to comment. I do like to hear from readers. How else do I learn what to do? Feedback is everything. Without that, I'm writing in a vacuum, pretending to know what readers want. 
So, I'm gong to start touting Dead and Dead for Real. I'm excited about that book. It moves fast, has adventure, bad guys, worse guys, evil spirits, mayhem.I had a lot of fun writing it, and I'm enjoying the editing by the Tall Grass Editing Co Op and the rewriting at their suggestions. They make me a better writer. So, if anybody can guess the story from the cover displayed on the website, tell me.
Wings of the WASP is out, and I'm getting some good feedback on it. Thanks to the Tall Grass girls, I rewrote the ending three times, and a lot of the rest too. I entered it in a writing contest, One Book Arizona. My chances are slim, but my fingers are crossed. What does the winner get? Publicity. I have mixed feeling about that. Someday over margaritas, I'll go into that.
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 9:59 AM PST
Great holiday weekend. I have been getting more editing done, and as always, the Tall Grass editing co op is like a rock tumbler to rough stones for me. Without them, I'm afraid my work would be unreadable.
Steve and I are working on some major changes to the website. I think you'll like them. Meanwhile go read Joseph's Side of the Story (A link is on the website page). It is Christmas.
Friday, November 27th, 2015 7:20 AM PST
Thanksgiving! We've had the usual feast, and I enjoyed helping put that together. And yes, I have paused several times to think about what I have to be thankful for. I have tried to do that more often, and there are many things in that bag. Those pauses bring a lot of things into perspective. Suddenly, the overload of world events shrinks to nothing, perhaps the proper place. The bottom line is I am thankful for who I am and what I have, and that's not the material things, but the love and caring of those around me. 
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 8:40 AM PST
Got some rewrite to do on Dead and Dead for Real. As is usual, during some of my dreams, new revelations came to me, so back to the rewrites. It'll make the story better. Still plugging away at it, BUT starting to think about the next book writing project already. Anxious to get D&DFR out so I can dive into next one full bore.
Thursday, November 19th, 2015 6:56 AM PST
Linda & I have been splitting our guts watching ads for a product called Poopourri. Need an irreverent laugh? We ordered some of the product for Christmas gifts. All 5 ads are hilarious as are the out-takes. Here's the link.
Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 7:55 AM PST
I'm putting a photo of the book signing on my Facebook page,  r.l.clayton. Thank you C. For a real laugh, do a search on poopourri.com and watch the ads. Youtube shows 39 million hits on the first one. They all are gut busters. Yup, these are real ads with a real product. Just in time for Christmas!
Still working away at Dead and Dead for Real. Tall Grass Editing Co Op was taken aback by the reading of the latest chapters. NAILED IT!
Monday, November 16th, 2015 6:35 AM PST
The book signing was a big hit. I saw and talked a lot of people, sold some books and had a good time. What could be better? Things slow a bit, so I hope it give me a chance to start writing again.. I've a couple of outlines to work on and turn into books. I also look forward to getting Dead and Dead for Real finished and published.
Sunday, November 8th, 2015 9:44 AM PST
Alexis Powers and I passed out flyers at a farmers market and craft show yesterday to try to get people to attend the book signing Sunday, Nov 15. Met some really fun people. Next week I lunching with one of my avid readers. Hugh bought several sets of the Evolution River Trilogy as Christmas gifts last year. Thank you Hugh. 
I'm also having lunch with another reader who beta read The Envoy and The Genesis for me. She's an interesting gal, and has asked for a signed copy of Wings of the WASP. Nikki knew my mom, and admired the WASP.
Wednesday is Veteran's Day, and I haven't received an invite from the retirement home where my mom lived and where the incident that inspired Wings of the WASP occurred. I may go to it anyway. They used to put on quite an elaborate display for veterans, as so many lived there. Alas, Shirley retired, and it's not what it used to be.
Steve and I are working to make this website different (that has to be done once in a while) and reflect the changes happening. I think we'll put up a description of Dead and Dead for Real along with the cover. I think it is my most exciting novel so far. At least that's what I'm getting from those beta reading and the Tall Grass Editing Co Op.
Latest newsletter should be out in the next few days. Enjoy. AND thank you all for taking the time to look at my mere efforts.
Friday, November 6th, 2015 6:48 AM PST
I've started distributing copies of Wings of the WASP, sending out review copies and gift copies. I sold my first! Thank you, Chris! I REALLY want to get back to finishing up Dead and Dead for Real, but this promo stuff has to be done. Also, the reality of life is getting in the way. You know, stuff like taking out the garbage and laundry. If I don't do that, nobody will want to get close.
Tomorrow, I'm going to be passing out flyers for the Oro Valley Writers Workshop Book Signing. Alezis and I will be hunting the Farmers Market and other places we think will post our flyers. I had mixed results doing that yesterday. Some stores have a community news bulletin boards where they will post. Others will post them in the breakroom. where employees will see them. It's the best I could do.
I still haven't heard anything from US Representative Martha McSally about a blurb, and that's a little disappointing. She is new at the job, and doesn't have the staff thing figured out. At least that's what I'm telling myself.
BIG changes coming to the website. new links for the new books, and signup sheets for the newsletter. (I have to get working on that today!)
Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 7:25 AM PST
I'm working with Steve to revamp my website. We'll be adding the links to purchase Wings of the WASP. So far, about 9 sites are available for both e-books and print books. My launch date is November 11, Veterans Day. I did approach The Fountains retirement home where the initial incident occurred that gave rise to the novel about setting up there. They will get back to me. I am sending out a number of books for review (that has gotten mixed results in the past) and sending some copies to other WASP and relatives. 
I'm going to move the link to my short story Joseph's Side of the Story into a more prominent position on the website because we are nearing the Christmas season. If you haven't read it, and need a laugh, click on the link and it will take you to the Youtube site.
Meanwhile, editing continues on Dead and Dead for Real 
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 7:28 AM PST
I'm going to make changes in the website. It's about due. One thought is to move the link to the Christmas story, Joseph's Side of the Story, further up during the Christmas season. If you haven't watched it, take a look. It is my attempt at tongue in cheek humor. If you're very religious, don't. Also I want to put the links on the site for Wings of the WASP. I am pushing the editing group on Dead and Dead for Real to get it out. Don't think I'll make the end of the year, but I'll try.
So, things are busy!
Sunday, November 1st, 2015 7:31 PM PST
I had a wonderful time at TUSCON 42. Met a lot of nice people, learned a bunch. The conference is really misnamed. It's a writers conference with a lot of sci-fi sessions too. Session topics varied from character development to how to kill off you characters. It was good stuff. I want to issue a big thanks to those who put in the effort to bring this off. You don't get nearly enough thanks.
Now it's back to work time with my head full of ideas and suggestions.
Saturday, October 31st, 2015 7:01 AM PDT
The TUSCON 42 sci-fi conference is great. Come on down if you get a chance. There be monsters,and dragons and werewolves and shit!
Thursday, October 29th, 2015 9:07 PM PDT
TUSCON starts tomorrow! I'm planning to arrive at the Tucson Hotel City Center about 3:00 in time for happy hour. See you there.
Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 9:07 AM PDT
I don't know what's wrong with me that I can't read a calendar. The TUSCON convention starts Friday Oct 30 and ends Sunday, Nov 1. SEE YOU THERE!
Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 8:18 AM PDT
The Kindle version of Wing of the WASP is now on Amazon, as is the print version! I am pretty excited about this. I also got a response from Sen John McCain's office about my blurb request. I have to admire his staff on their quick response. Whether they agree to the blog or not, they are efficient. Thank you, you made my day!
Monday, October 19th, 2015 8:41 AM PDT
I went to 50th high school reunion this past weekend. What a great time! It was interesting that I recognized more people at this reunion than in the past. It must be my eyes. They are older, so I recognize older people better. Sure. I sold some books, probably because some of my former classmates felt sorry for me. The books sold wit the  admonishment that I wanted comments back. My e-book sales do continue to improve, and for that I'm thankful. My former classmate, Tom Cobb was there. He is a shining example to me. A retired professor of literature at Univ of Rhode Island and a successful author, he has one book that was made into a movie.
I had to to and fro with the print version of Wings of the WASP, but think I'm on the way. I have a proof copy ordered and as soon as it's approved, the book will be on sale. I'll make that announcement here and on my Facebook page, r.l.c.ayton.
Friday, October 16th, 2015 8:53 AM PDT
I just talked to my friend Robyn Lester. She has been so helpful in editing and writing. She's thinking of writing a sequel to her erotica book, Origin of an Empath. I hope she does. I enjoyed reading it, and it did influence my writing in the Evolution River Trilogy. We talked a lot of the metaphysics over. Thanks Robyn.
Friday, October 16th, 2015 8:24 AM PDT
OKAY! I'm working my way through the proofs of Wings of the WASP. The printed version has a slight error that I'm thinking of ignoring. Correcting errors takes a long time based on past experience. I'll talk to Steve and see what can be done. I'll put up info and images when the book is available. I sent out blurb requests to several people but have gone ahead with the publish rather than wait on their schedule. Some may never reply.
My mind is awhirl on new ideas, though I do have two outlines to work on. Meanwhile...
Book  Signing!!
November 15, 2015
1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Oro Valley Library
1305 W. Naranja Drive, Oro Valley
Meet Talented Local Authors
Meet friends, purchase gifts for children and adults, talk to the authors
Find out how you, too, can be a published author!  
Join us for a fun-filled afternoon.
For more information, contact Alexis Powers – alexispowers91@gmail.com
Friday, October 9th, 2015 12:08 PM PDT
My latest publication, Wings of the WASP has been submitted to the writing contest of onebookaz.com. Keep your fingers crossed for me. The book will be available as an e-book within a few weeks, and as a print within a few weeks. I am so glad to get this done. It is a great feeling.
The Oro Valley Writers Motivational Workshop book signing is coming! I'll be ther with my newest, and the sci-fi trilogy. Go to my Facebook page R.L.CLAYTON to see the flyer.
Sunday, October 4th, 2015 9:13 AM PDT
MY editor and I met yesterday and went through Wings of the WASP again. She declared it ready to go. Within the next few days I'll submit it to the onebookaz writing contest. I'll also publish it as an e-book and go to print. Whew! this has been an ordeal for me.
I'm moving ahead on the editing of Dead and Dead for Real I really like this book. Even the rewrites were fun. A friend read a chapter last night and was chortling quite a bit. Her comment was that it read like an Elmore Leonard book. I too that as quite a compliment, as he's the master of dialogue.
I'm looking longingly at my two outlines, wanting to start writing on the next book. One of them will be an epic, as the outline is not finished and is 26 pages long. I must have my loins sell girded to go with that one. It will also require a lot of consulting, so it will be a long term project.
The other as originally to be a short story. I only have a partial outline onh it also, but that is three pages.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 9:36 AM PDT
Okay, I'm slogging back through wings of the WASP again. MY mentor, Melinda, took the time to go through it and offered me a great pile of suggestions. So here I go again. I am under the gun now, because I want to enter it in a contest that closes Oct 14. I have to get my wrinkly butt moving. Whew! I'm getting burned out on this book.
Friday, September 25th, 2015 7:32 AM PDT
I finished the rewrites for Dead & Dead for Real. Yeah, I am a little biased, but I think it's a page turner. Now comes the MUCH LESS FUN work of getting it ready for publication.
Wings of the WASP needs only acknowledgements  to go to press. I'm thinking of entering it in the Arizona Authors writing contest. It's a way to get it out if it wins. We'll see. If I wait for responses on blurb requests, I won't make Nov pub date anyway.
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 7:02 AM PDT
Since I haven't figured out how to post pictures and bulletins here, go to my facebook page R.L.Clayton to see the centerfold ad for the upcoming TUSCON sci fi conference. I'll also post the flyer for the book signing at Oro Valley Library on November 15.
Sunday, September 20th, 2015 8:17 AM PDT
Great evening last night. Ted, a friend of mine ate some 'keep in' food. (That would be leftovers served here) and went to a University football game. The game was fun because my team was on the right side of a blowout.
Ted is a great guy, and he and I get into some pretty philosophical discussion. He is learned and I am not. He does a weekly blog (http://whynot-ted.blogspot.com/) where his talent for looking at things from a slightly different perspective can evoke great feelings and emotion. Take a look.
His blog for last week was about his musings on dying. Where most people, when thinking about dying, think about what happens afterward, Ted's blog was about the prep and transition. Since dying is playing quite a part in my upcoming book, Dead and Dead for Real we had another epic discussion.
Thanks, Ted. I do enjoy your company
Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 8:14 PM PDT
Another good session with the editing group about Dead and Dead for Real. This book moves so fast it has drawn them in. I love it. All I want to do is work on it. The house is a mess, my hair needs cutting, the laundry needs doing, and I don't care.
Saturday, September 5th, 2015 10:10 AM PDT
Here's the website for the TUCSON convention. Check it out. 
http://tusconscificon.com This convention starts October 30 and runs until Nov 1. It is really fun, so mark it on your calendar and make an effort to come!
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 7:38 AM PDT
I'll soon be adding another book to the web site. Wings of the WASP will go to print by the end of September. My beta readers are getting back to me with suggestions, and I'll make those changes as necessary. I'll be getting print versions to those I'm seeking blurbs from soon after that.
My offering to the editing group is Dead and Dead for Real. I read chapters 2 and 3 to the group Tuesday, and really enjoyed their response. THIS BOOK ROCKS! It moves at breakneck speed with nastiness abounding.
Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 7:53 AM PDT
I thought you might find this interesting. The WASP are key in my latest book, Wings of the WASP.
Friday, August 28th, 2015 7:06 AM PDT
I now have some beta readers for Wings of the WASP, and I want to think you for responding. Another one might be welcome, but not necessary. Meanwhile, I have rewritten Chapter 1 of Dead and Dead for Real and when I read it at the Writers Workshop, I got good response. I started on Chapter 2.
Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 7:24 AM PDT
Our editing co op met yesterday, and I recruited some of them as beta readers for Wings of the WASP. I'm still interested in other beta readers, so let me know if you want to be a candidate.
For my editing submission to them for the day, I gave them Chapter 1 of Dead and Dead for Real. Their response was great. The book is a slam bang down and dirty tale of terrorism with metaphysical portions. They really gave me good suggestions, which I will incorporate within the next few days.
Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 9:13 AM PDT
It's not too early to say I'll be at the Tuscon Science Fiction Conference October 31 and Nov 1 in Tucson, Arizona. For those of you who enjoy Sci Fi, fantasy,(even erotica!) and all that stuff, this is a really fun conference. Cheap too. It is a little known premiere conference. I urge you to book it and come. I'll have all three books in Evolution River Series in the author's bookstore, and I'll be offering them signed. I have it on good authority that Patrick Stewart (okay, his twin) will be there.
I will have my latest book, Wings of the WASP (historical thriller) available even though it's not sci fi. For those of you unaware, October in Tucson is premium weather, so bring your bathing suits (or not if you're bold)
I'll also be at a book signing at the Oro Valley Public Library November 8. I'll post the hours here. This is a fun event where local authors present their wares and talk about them. Plan to come out and meet us.
There's things afoot
Thursday, August 20th, 2015 6:59 AM PDT
I am close to finishing the rewrites on Wings of the WASP. I'm not sure now what. I feel a little uncomfortable asking the editing co op to re edit, and I got full editing from one of the members. I'll go through it with ProWriters Aid. But then what?
I've got the summation done, and after going through it, I'll post it here. Cover is done, though the spine needs to be modified for a 240 page book. My plan is to get about 10 copies printed and put ARC (Advance Readers Copy) stickers on it so I can send it to prospective blurbbers. (I made up that word. It's people I'm asking to write a short blurb recommending the book). Of course, all of this takes time.
Downtime from this, I plan to start through Dead and Dead for Real on the second draft. I am lookjng forward to that. It's when I'll make the characters come alive and the scenes something the readers can enter.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 10:08 AM PDT
Here's the Prologue to Wings of the WASP. Enjoy.

August 1943
Marana Army Air Field
Though it was still morning, Arizona boiled, heat waves like water shimmering across the runway at the Marana Army Airfield. Sgt. Joe Clark watched the two yellow AT-6 trainer aircraft sitting on the runway, their engines idling. He had overhauled the engines on those planes, and listened to the loud rumble and run up with pride. With a throaty roar and the release of their brakes, they lumbered down the runway picking up speed and gracefully leaving the ground, heading east into the sun toward Sweetwater, Texas. Avenger Field in Sweetwater was the Women Airforce Service Pilots’ (WASP) training field. Clear of the end of the runway, they climbed. Barely above one-hundred feet, one plane faltered, its engine stuttered. From midfield, he watched in horror as the big AT-6 tried to turn back over the desert to land.
“No!” screamed Joe. “Belly in. Don’t try to turn!” He ran toward the troubled plane, waving his arms.
The young woman pilot couldn’t hear him. Gorge rose in his throat as the plane sank. “Level out! Level out,” he screamed.
In slow motion horror, he saw the bright yellow plane’s wingtip clip sagebrush. The pilot tried to bring it back to horizontal, but it was too late. Joe closed his eyes and covered his face, willing the inevitable to go away.
From her AT-6, Dawn Dunham saw Mary’s plane slow, begin to turn. Dawn broke left, banked, and came around, yelling over the radio for Mary to belly in.
Mary cried. “I can’t I can’t. I’m loaded with fuel, and there’s no time to dump it. I’ll make it back.”
Over her headset, Dawn heard the cough of the engine followed by silence. Shock coursed through her as she watched the plane sink. Mary’s wingtip hit the ground. The plane cartwheeled across the desert, pieces flying off. Through the dust cloud below, Dawn saw Mary’s AT-6 upside-down, wings broken stubs on the fuselage. She turned to final approach and lined up to land.
Joe sprinted toward the crash. The cockpit canopy had been torn off. Tthe pilot hung upside-down from her harness. Joe could see she was unmoving, stunned or unconscious. The smell of fuel stung his nose as he neared. The woman stirred, started struggling with the harnesses as the first flames licked the nose cowling of the plane, then raced along the fuselage. She became frantic in her efforts to free herself.
With a loud whoosh, the flames engulfed her, the searing heat driving Joe back. Tumbling from the cockpit, the pilot rolled on the blazing ground, rose momentarily to her knees, a flaming figure, hand stretched out toward Joe.  
Then her high-pitched screams began, tearing into his soul.
Joe’s shrieks and hers rose with the roiling black smoke into the sky, blanking out the sun.
Joe collapsed to the ground, eyes squeezed shut, trying to close out the images. He hugged himself as tears streamed down his face. He’d had dinner with her last night, talked to her. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way!
It was supposed to be a minor crash.
Sunday, August 9th, 2015 11:32 AM PDT
I'm heavily into the rewrites on Wings of the WASP. In a way it is pretty major because I originally had a diary format, which was in first person and present tense in the 1940s during and after the war. Now it's in third person and past tense. I moved backward and forward in time. Now the first part all takes place in the 1940s and the second part is in 1999 and 2000. When the co op group said they were getting confused, it was time to change. It wasn't the specifics of what they were saying but that they were saying something.
Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 3:27 PM PDT
Today was another edit co op meeting. I have TONS of rewrote to do. This better come out a masterpiece. I'll have the chance over the next few days to do the work, so hopefully by the end of next week the ms will be in shape. What they are after me about is character depth. Think about what you have to do to bring a character to life in the eyes of your readers. That's what I have to do through out this book. Lots of work. It was obvious to me that I didn't convey this to the readers, if they spoke up about it. MY bad, and now it's up to me to make it better.
Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 8:33 AM PDT
Yesterday was the meeting of my editing co op group, and they once again really went after me. It is so helpful to have people who unabashedly give constructive criticism. That is the key to a good group, honest and constructive. If you are in a group where egos get in the way, get out or oust those who are not helping. These who carp and not help have self image problems, and you won't cure it. I have a lot of rewriting to do.
Monday, July 27th, 2015 8:19 AM PDT
I spent most of yesterday a lot of Saturday night rewriting Wings of the WASP. Thank you critiques for making this a better book. I'm still hoping for publish before November.
Sunday, July 26th, 2015 10:55 AM PDT
Yesterday my editing co op group met, and we slogged through about 20 pages of Wings of the WASP. They were so good at getting me to write better. Thank you. Without you guys, I wouldn't even be mediocre. You make me work harder and I need that.
Friday, July 24th, 2015 9:26 AM PDT
I started taking the Screen writing course online. Interesting. I don't know if it will guide me to create a screenplay from one of my books, but I am enjoying a different aspect of writing.
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 7:51 AM PDT
I had a great lunch with my editor and another author yesterday. What fun it was. We talked about everything, solved the world's problems and entertained ourselves for hours. And not alcohol involved. I look forward to another.
I sent a friend of mine some notes regarding self-publishing versus traditional publishing. She's about to start writing for real, a passion she has wanted to pursue for a long time. It's interesting watching the publishing industry trying to adjust to the new reality of self-publishing. The big houses haven't found the right formula. Yet I see great opportunity for businesses to address this new aspect of media. It's the same with printed news. Myself, I thoroughly enjoy sitting with a newspaper. Maybe I'll go over my notes and post them here. It is my observations after several years of self-publishing.
Sunday, July 19th, 2015 8:32 AM PDT
The book signing at Bookman's was a lot of fun yesterday. I met some nice people, sold a book to Jessi (on credit) and picked up a few books. I have to commend Bookman's for hosting this. In the northwest side of Tucson, we're going to try to get the same function going with the branch of Bookman's there. I considered it a cocktail party with books instead of cocktails.
I'm looking at another signing in October, and I'll post dates and location.
Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 2:08 PM PDT
I am moving ahead with the editing of Wings of the WASP with a target drop date of November 11. I'm hoping to do some presentations and talks when it is released around Veteran's Day. During the editing session today, I found myself unable to read at times. Choked up I was. 
Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 6:16 AM PDT

Book Signing

Don't forget the book signing from noon until 2:00 on Saturday, July 18 at the Bookmans on the SW corner of Speedway and Wilmot in Tucson. I'll be there with my whole Evolution River series and ready to meet and chat.
I've been working out of town, so I didn't get much writing done, but Dead and Dead for Real played through my mind a lot. I'm not sure whether I end this idea with this book or make a series of it. Actually, I'm not yet fixed on the ending, so maybe that's why. Anyway, though not much writing got done, a lot of thinking did, details of various scenes, characters etc.
I'm anxious to get back to my editing co op. I've missed a couple of sessions and enjoy it too much to stop.
Friday, July 3rd, 2015 2:50 PM PDT
I have a book signing on July 18 at the Bookman's in Tucson on the southwest corner of Speedway and Wilmot. Bookman's presents the Authors starts at 12:00 and runs until 2:00. Come visit, get your books signed and chat.
Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 8:57 AM PDT
I'm continuing to write on Dead and Dead for Real without knowing for sure where it is going. The characters will tell me the story. All I have to do is write it down. I do keep getting more unanticipated scenes as I write. It makes me stop to think if that's where I want the plot to go or save it for another book. I guess that happens when the ending isn't defined. 
Sunday, June 28th, 2015 8:36 PM PDT
I went to a reunion of gymnasts from University of New Mexico this past weekend. I was honored to be a member of Rusty Mitchel's first team after he competed in the 1964 Olympics. What a difference he made int he lives he touched through gymnastics. It was a wonderful weekend seeing all of these guys. Most are in great shape and still involved in athletics in some fashion. I felt pudgy.
I sold some books and I'm looking forward to the comments back.
The drive over gave me a chance to think through where Dead and Dead for Real is going. I thought is was going religious, but now it seems to be going in the opposite direction. Could this be my first "Anti-religion" book? Actually I think it will be pretty different from where The Evolution River Series went, but similar in a different way. Is that cryptic enough? It has me wondering.
Sunday, June 21st, 2015 1:46 PM PDT
I'm up to 39 chapters in Dead and Deal for Real. That's about 25,000 words. I'll be going back and filling in a lot of stuff and fleshing out characters and scenes later. I had a friend over to discuss the metaphysical implications of the story. After telling him the plot he exclaimed "That's in the Scriptures!" I've never read or studies them, so this is an independent arrival at the story. My version has lots of modern problems and doesn't use the same names for the characters. Huh. How did this happen?
Thursday, June 18th, 2015 9:29 AM PDT
I have a friend coming over shortly to discuss and help me with the theological aspects that have entered Dead and Dead for Real. I spoke with some fellow authors yesterday about how to handle where the plot is going. All has been interesting, but the direction still is not set. Think I'm just going to start writing and see where the characters take me.
Friday, June 12th, 2015 10:16 AM PDT
I have a tentative title for the new book. DEAD AND DEAD FOR REAL. The story is a terrorist thriller, but it has taken a really strange twist into the metaphysical along a topic I've wanted to write on for a long time. No, I'm not going to reveal it now. Maybe after I finish.
Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 7:13 AM PDT
I have been writing like crazy on the terror-thriller book, with 26 chapters so far. After some sage advice from my writing guru, I have changed the plot somewhat and the names of the bad guy's organizations. I cannot afford to hire bodyguards because I've offended nutcases. It is disconcerting that one has to censor ones writing through fear of reprisals from lunatics, but that's reality today. Luckily, US politicians are not off limits and offer so much to work with.
Monday, June 1st, 2015 9:29 AM PDT
Yet again, dreams have given me new direction in the latest writings.
Sunday, May 31st, 2015 7:49 AM PDT
I am about 15 chapters into the next book. Still no title has sprung out at me, but it will. The pace just keeps picking up! The story is now my dreams at night. I go to sleep with it and wake up with it. I'm at that point where the protagonists face a setback and I'm trying to figure out how to do it. It's tricky, with where the story goes, and will probably result in several rewrites. I also need to go back and put in some history of the male protagonist.
Last night I was telling a friend about the story and that the female protagonist is a sniper, and he pulled up a story about a real one. Tough gal.
Saturday, May 30th, 2015 10:02 AM PDT
I've been writing like crazy on my new terrorist thriller. 12 chapters into it and the story is flying along. When the characters take over the story, I become the scribe. They tell me where the plot is going next. It's a lot like reading, but a bit more active. Twists and turns not visible before take place as it unfolds. I'm still looking for a title, and I need a name for the terrorist organization. Here is where I need to be careful not to end up on a list. I don't have money to hire bodyguards. I am really enjoying this and have days where I can't wait to get back to it.
Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 9:04 AM PDT
How deep does our programming go? Here's a link to a video that stunned me. It really has me thinking about just how deep our brain programming goes. We are not even aware of it.
Sunday, May 17th, 2015 10:12 AM PDT
I started writing my next book while Wings of the WASP gets edited. This new book has few warm and fuzzy parts or people. In fact they are ruthless, including the protagonists. Tentative title is Die and Die For Real.
Friday, May 15th, 2015 8:54 AM PDT

A reader and friend sent me this article of an interview. His comment was that they could have been interviewing me as well regarding bio engineering and Earth shattering disaster.


A Veteran Scientist Dreams Boldly Of 'Earth And Sky'

Freeman Dyson is one of the most famous names in science, and sometimes one of the most controversial. Dyson is 91 and was one of the British scientists who helped win World War II. He spent most years since as a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He has won the Max Planck Medal and the Templeton Prize, and written important, oft-quoted books including Disturbing the Universe andThe Scientist as Rebel, and newspaper articles that inspire both admiration and debate.

His latest book is Dreams of Earth and Sky, a collection of essays on everything from the history of England's Royal Society to current hot button issues like climate change and information technology — including, in one essay, the possibility of bioengineering human beings the way people now breed flowers. He tells NPR's Scott Simon that there are many different reasons for that kind of project.

Interview Highlights

On bioengineering

You have people who are breeding flowers just for fun because it's beautiful. You make new kinds of tulips and new kinds of roses and you can make new kinds of animals in the same way. Also you can think of preventing hereditary diseases, which are some of the worst, so there are all sorts of different reasons why you might like to do some genetic engineering, either on humans or animals or plants. Each case has to be looked at carefully on its merits, and certainly one set of rules is not going to be applicable to everyone.

On his global warming skepticism

What I would like to emphasize is that human actions have very large effects on the ecology, which have nothing to do with the climate. Carbon dioxide is what we're producing in big quantities and putting into the atmosphere. This happens to be a very good fertilizer for all kinds of vegetation, good for wildlife, good for agricultural production, so it has many benefits. And this is something you have together with the climate effects, which are much less certain, so it's a question of drawing a balance. I'm just saying I don't understand it and neither does anybody else. I'm skeptical because I don't think the science is at all clear, and unfortunately a lot of the experts really believe they understand it, and maybe have the wrong answer.

Of course [the weather] concerns me, but of course, we don't know much about the causes of those things. We don't even know for sure whether it is more variable than it used to be. I mean the worst disasters were the Ice Ages, and nobody really understands for sure the causes of Ice Ages, so I'm not saying the climate disasters aren't real, I'm merely saying we don't know how to prevent them.

On his recommendations for change

I would say one of the first things we should try to do is to get rid of poverty, human poverty. When people are poor, they can't take care of nature around them. They just have to survive as best they can, so that some of the poorest people are actually the most destructive. So I would say if you can deal with poverty, that's something very positive, which we should be doing. Also preservation of habitat, of wildlife, all sorts of problems we have to deal with, of which climate is one, and I would say climate is not the most urgent.

On Stephen Hawking's comment that human beings have just a thousand years left on earth, and that if we're going to survive, we're going to have to relocate

I hope we will. Not to relocate so much, but just to spread out, not just humans, but life as a whole. There's all this wonderful universe, which seems to be dead as far as we can tell, which would be much more beautiful when it comes to life, but I don't say it has to happen. People who are around at that time have to make the choice.

On whether we'll still be human at that point

There again, it's a question of choice. The normal course of events and biology, either a species go extinct, or else it splits in to many successful species, end up as being ten species or 100. That's what evolution is all about, so I think it's very likely that will happen to humans as well. And if I were going to live on Mars, I would like to have first so I can wander around in a very cold climate. And undoubtedly when people live on Mars, they will want to be different just to be adapted to the environment, rather than trying to adapt the environment to them.

Monday, May 11th, 2015 8:16 AM PDT
Saturday night was a huge blast. The Centurians (a service group ) hosts a fundraiser party that is a blast. It has bands, dancing, games, and a casino. The theme this year was Disco. So that made the music great. It also meant mini skirts and boots. Whoo! What fun. I met a guy who came from Saudi Arabia for this party. I've tried to send him an email from the address on his business card, but I've gotten the "Mail Delivery Failure" message. Too bad for me. I'd very much like to stay in contact with him.
Thursday, May 7th, 2015 2:31 PM PDT
I have an interesting week coming. A bunch of sound technicians are coming here to record a variety of sounds in building a sound library. They are with a gaming company, and I have friends with collections of firearms. Yup, when this group has a game with a Tommy gun, the sound will be from a real Tommy gun. Pretty neat, huh. At the least, it'll be a lot of fun.
Monday, May 4th, 2015 7:31 AM PDT
I've been struggling with the rewrites and edits on Wings of the WASP. I spewed out a lot of pages and chapters in separate chapter files, and the numbering isn't right so I'm trying to move them around into a coherent story. UGH! My bad.
Friday, May 1st, 2015 8:50 AM PDT
Here's the summation of Wings of the WASP.

Wings of the WASP

In 1942, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), a volunteer group of women pilots, was created to aid in the war effort to free up male pilots going overseas to fight. The program was hugely successful, proving that women were capable of flying military planes as well as men, but they were not respected by all. Numerous acts of sabotage occurred against them, and not by the enemy.
Wings of the WASP is a historical fact-filled novel of a former WASP and an aircraft mechanic investigating these fifty year-old incidents. Was it a conspiracy against the WASP, or isolated occurrences? Ignoring the handicap of age, the octogenarian’s investigation takes them to the halls of power in Washington D. C. where they confront those responsible.
Robert Clayton weaves an intriguing tale springing from an incident that happened to his mother, a former WASP. The story begins at a 1999 Veteran’s Day celebration when Joe Clark tells former WASP Sylvia James about his act of sabotage, explaining that a recurring nightmare has haunted him from the time he was stationed at Marana Army Air Field in 1943. Determined to put the demons to rest, they decide to confront those responsible for this fatal act. Sad and humorous, this story depicts the grit the women showed in being the first female military pilots although they were never acknowledged as members of the military. The novel explores the values and patriotism of those Tom Brokaw labels The Greatest Generation.
Thursday, April 30th, 2015 7:26 AM PDT
Work continues. I hope it never ends. Does that sound strange? Not when your work is your passion. I'm stopping to count how fortunate I am to be able to do this and have the friends and people to support me. Sometimes that support is a simple attaboy, but it never fails to bring a smile to my lips and a speck of energy. The more I'm doing the edits and rewrites for Wings of the WASP (WOW) the more I like the story.
Looking back over my books, none are slam bang thrillers, so maybe it's time for one of those. First I want to take the screenwriter class and convert WOW to that.
Alexis Powers and I are going to write just that, a crime drama thriller. I've already got a start on the outline.
Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 7:54 AM PDT
I've started on a query letter for blurbs and comments to use in the book. So far, my list of people to approach includes Tom Brokaw, Martha McSally, Janet Reno as they have ties to the WASP. I'm also going to include other personages who have done things regarding WW II such as Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood. If I send out 100 requests and get 4 back, that's not bad. Zero back would be discouraging.
I am blasting ahead on editing and rewriting on Wings of the WASP. I want to get this "Work" portion done so I can get back to writing.
Friday, April 24th, 2015 8:46 AM PDT
Here's the notes from Wings of the WASP
Author’s Note

Although much of the information in Wings of the WASP is factual, some is not. Names have been made up or changed. Events have sprung from my imagination. I don’t think any of the WASP believe there was an organized conspiracy or sabotage against them. I’m not so trusting, but then I wasn’t in their generation nor was I there. Many times during the writing of this book, I had to take breaks, not able to see the screen through teary eyes to write.
The incident at the retirement home did happen to my mom. A man approached her as she was picking up her uniform and claimed that a fatal crash of a WASP occurred in Marana. He did not say it was sabotage, only that they had failed to remove those service plugs from the engine. Mom and I went home and looked up the incident. It was real, though the pilot was not killed. It was listed as Pilot Error.” That started my thinking that it was time for a story.
Numerous documentaries and accounts have been written about the WASP. There have been documentary movies and news articles done on them extolling their bravery in stepping into the man’s world of flying for the military. Mom and I attended a reunion in Sweetwater, Texas where a B-1 bomber flew in with an all female crew. Without the WASP, that would not have happened.
I attended other reunions and listened to the stories these women told like a kid around the campfire, my eyes aglow. A few of the stories were about sabotage, but far more were of the astonishment male members of the military displayed when these little gals flew even the most powerful war machines on the planet. To these women it was a great adventure.
Today there are far too few of them left, and not nearly enough accounts of their adventures. This was a period in our history when prejudice and bias were common, and breaking out of that mold could be dangerous. Lorraine Rogers did have her rudder cables cut and barely escaped with her life. Sabotage was not indicated in the incident report. There were sugared gas tanks, WASP towing targets came back the tails shot off their planes, and many other incidents.
Texas Women’s University is the repository for much of their history. I urge you to look further into what they hold and the WASP story. It took people like Barry Goldwater and Kay Bailey Hutcheson to get the WASP the acknowledgement they deserved for being the first.
My heart jumped into my throat when I saw my mom’s uniform hanging in the Plymouth County Museum near her hometown. It was sent there from the Pima Air and Space museum after they changed their displays. My chest also swelled to see her picture with Margaret Ray in Tom Brokaw’s book The Greatest Generation.
My mom did go to California after her WASP service to work on the engine of the first jet airplane project in the U.S. It was there she met my dad. (Yeah, the rest is history)
It is true that the women had to take up collections to get the bodies of those killed back to their loved ones at home. It is true that when the WASP were disbanded they were thanked and told to go away – no train or bus fare. But not one of them wouldn’t do it all again.
Bless you Mom. I know you’re in that P-51 with the throttle at max climbing into the clouds.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 1:13 PM PDT
Since I finished my historical novel, now the work begins. I'm putting together a list of people I'd like to get blurbs from. So far the list includes Tom Brokaw, Janet Reno, Martha Mcsally, and others. These people have ties to the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots, so I hope I can get them to say a few words. I'm working on a summary, which I will post here. All of this isn't nearly as much fun as writing. 
Monday, April 20th, 2015 9:48 AM PDT
Last night I finished the first draft of my historical novel. I need to go back and rewrite a few things, edit and check, and get it through my editing coop group, but the majority of the writing is done. I liked the ending. Not fully a surprise, but still good. As with most of my writing, it is cerebral in exploring emotions and mental depth. I also need to get a title. Once the editing is done, I'm going to forward it to the WASP society for comment. I also need to write Disney to seek permission to use the Fifinella on the cover. Fun stuff!
Sunday, April 12th, 2015 10:55 AM PDT
The Gatsby Gala was great! Alexis and I wandered the floor talking to a lot of really nice people. We were dressed to the "nines" to use an old phrase as was everybody else. Yesterday I watched the movie "The Great Gatsby" just so I could get in character. Whether our books and lunch sold or not, I haven't heard. I'll put some picture in the next newsletter.
Friday, April 10th, 2015 9:54 AM PDT
I met some very interesting people last night at a BBQ. From Seattle, Darcy and Liz are well into the literary community, and they gave us (others from the editorial co-op group) some great advice about writing and publishing. Thank you, Melinda for inviting me. Hope I didn't make an ass of myself.
Tomorrow night is the Gatsby Gala, and I'm anxiously awaiting arrival of my tux. Whatever else happens, it will be interesting and fun. I'll try to get some pictures to post in the newsletter and on my Facebook page.
Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 9:40 PM PDT
Last night I was blindsided by Alexis Powers. She called me and asked if I had a tuxedo. I told her no. If I still had one from the last time I wore it, It would be falling apart and certainly not fit me. I haven't worn one of those in more than 40 years.
Saturday night (May 11) Alexis Powers and I will be attending a black tie event, The Gatsby Gala, to help raise money for the American Cancer Society. She and I donated a basket full of our books to be auctioned off, along with "Lunch with the Authors". I thought we'd just do the books and lunch, but now I find out I'm going to this event.
So, off to the tux rental store. Those guys are good! I'm going to look like Robert Redford in The Sting, minus the mole. I've been laughing over this for 2 days now. This is SO NOT ME. I'm a blue jeans kinda guy. It will be a lot of fun, and a really new experience for me Stay tuned.
Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 4:06 PM PDT
Today was our editing Co-op session. The other writers are amazing. They may be moving ahead faster than I am...or not. my intense writing week put me about 2/3 way through, but editing remains, and in my experience, that takes longer than writing. Thursday is the writers workshop, and that's always fun. It's so much more than just a workshop. It's a social event.
Monday, April 6th, 2015 9:45 AM PDT
Okay, I'm back from the high country. As is usual, I've gotten little done in the writing area. I'm going to have to change my priorities.
I did check on what it takes to use the Disney logo developed for the WASP on the cover of my next book. I'm going to have to write a letter to Disney. Somehow I have doubts that it will go anywhere, and I may just have to use a picture already in the public arena. The things we have to do to avoid a legal mess.
Friday, April 3rd, 2015 9:12 AM PDT
I've been writing my butt off and cranking out pages. My historical thriller is taking shape nicely. My dreams continue, and that's changed the main direction of the story. I'm not sure "thriller" still applies as it's moving more into an intellectual and character study. I do feel I'm about 2/3 or more finished, and not a shot fired. That's why I see the divergence from thriller. The new ending does make a statement about patriotism I hadn't anticipated before in a sad sweet way.
I'm at the point of moving my efforts from promotion of the Evolution River Series to writing. It makes me happier, and I'm really writing to please myself. Sure, there are messages within my writing with profound meaning. The Evolution River series has deep theological implications. A religion could be founded around that series. But I don't want to put the effort into that. I want to write.
Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 10:41 AM PDT
Once again my dreams are getting good. The last couple of nights have been sleepless as I worked out plot changes to my historical thriller book. I love those nights. In my previous life as an engineer, they were hampered by work. Now I can take naps. I'm writing!
Monday, March 30th, 2015 12:35 PM PDT
I'm working on getting my newsletter out, and it made me look back at the last month. I've been busy. I'll announce the winners of the tee shirt drawing from the Tucson Festival of Books and the Sahuaro High School Art Festival over the next week. It was gratifying to have to buy more copies of Sea Species, having sold the carton I ordered before the TFOB.
I had a lot of complements on the artwork done by Steve Linebaugh. You are the best, Steve. Thanks
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 12:47 PM PDT
Saturday, March 28 I will be participating a fundraiser benefit for Sahuaro High School. It runs from 9:30 until 2:00, so come on out and support the school. It should be a great day!
I'm putting together a newsletter and hope to have it out within the next week. There certainly has been a lot happening. Again, thanks to all of you who went to the Tucson Festival of Books. I got to visit with a lot of fans, both new and old (not their age). I'm also working on a presentation that can be adapted for event speaking and classrooms, so if you have a forum, let me know.
Stay tuned for more.
Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 10:46 AM PDT
I had a great book festival! I sold a bunch of books and got to talk to a lot of people. I also talked to several schools about talks to students about creative writjng and evolution. Today I'm going to talk to the speaker coordinator for Rotary about some speaking engagements.
My critique group is great. It is forcing me to write.
Thursday, March 12th, 2015 2:13 PM PDT
The ready getting for the Festival of Books continues. I have only a few things yet to do, including getting the signup sheet made and the shirts packed. I'll be offering shirts for sale, and there will be a signup drawing for free shirts. Those signing up will have their email address added to the newsletter mailout, unless they do not want it.
On the fun side, my granddaughter will be there on Sunday because the TFOB is such a treat for kids. COME ON OUT?
Monday, March 9th, 2015 10:28 AM PDT
Preparations for the Tucson Festival of Books continue. I've got my boxes of books ready (boxes because I'm optimistic about selling lots of books.) I'm getting a new poster done and getting out my sunscreen. (another hope for clear sunny days).
The basket of books for the Cancer Research auction went out, and the operators liked what Alexis and I had. I'm supposed to go to lunch at a Rotary Club meeting to get on the speaker's list. Things are busy and moving. Check out the new newsletter. Once again, Steve has done a great job. Thanks, Steve.
Monday, March 2nd, 2015 8:21 AM PST
I'm working to get ready for the Tucson Festival of Books. I'll have the re-edited versions of Sea Species and The Envoy available (Maybe the first editions too).
Alexis Powers and I are putting together a book basket for a charity dinner (Cancer Research) that will include lunch with the authors and signed books. It should be fun. That event is in April.
Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 8:18 AM PST
Brazil, you still rock! Having you follow me on this website has sharpened my interest in you. So are you in the middle of Lent? Yeah, I guess so. How I wish I could afford to come down there for Carnival. But more than that, my daughter speaks so highly about the Brazilian people. IO know that you economy is struggling, but then many around the world are. Is it really true or do we just hear more about it these days?
I should finish up incorporating the final edits for The Envoy ready today, and I hope to have it submitted back to the publisher next week. That probably won't get it here before the Tucson Festival of Books, but I do have enough of the others to sell there.
I'm hoping to have the opportunity to do some intensive writing over the next week. It will be on my historical thriller. I'm going forward with that.
Last night, the Oro Valley Sci-fi readers club discussed Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear. I had read it while I was writing Sea Species and it did have an influence in my writing. both books address human evolution going forward. Bear used genetic markers within our DNA as the mechanism and he got pretty detailed in the science of that. Those details slowed me down in the reading, and I resolved to not do that in my writing. Thus Sea Species had little details of the science behind the genetic changes. In my books, it is technology that leads to the evolution, while Greg uses genetic survival triggers. It is a different philosophy. I'll write more in the newsletter
Monday, February 23rd, 2015 6:18 PM PST
My newly edited version of Sea Species is now out in print and should be out in e-book form within a week or so. It was a learning experience for me to go through it again (I did that at least 12 times myself and had some friends, beta readers, do it also) Though it is the same story, it does read better. I'm sure that another editor would find more to change, but at some point one has to go with what they have. I did that originally and would have liked to have gone through it with another editor before I published. Was I impatient? Yes. But at the time Sea Species was written, I knew no editors I trusted. Now I have 2, Kathy and Alexis and I use them both. Each sees different things to change to improve the writing. I also use Pro Writing Aid, which make me go through the book at least 7 more times.
I'm presently going through The Envoy again. By the time I get that one out, I will have gone through it at least 12 times total. So for you writers, writing the book is just the beginning. It's editing that takes so much work. Maybe it's because I'm not a great writer, though I believe that every writer needs a bunch of times through their works.
I will have my newly edited version of Sea Species ready for the Tucson Festival of Books, along with the other 2. I'll be offering the complete Evolution River set. Don't be shy about buying. I need to pay these editors.
Thursday, February 19th, 2015 7:49 AM PST
I have been working hard on the re-edit of The Envoy and awaiting the proof copy of the re-edited version of Sea Species. I really like the changes that my editor, Alexis Powers has suggested in both books. They will be a lot better for doing this. Thank you Lexi.
I trying to get everything done in time for the Tucson Festival of Books, and I want to get another newsletter out. I'm also working on the historical thriller in conjunction with the critique group. How did my days get so full? That critique group is great because there are deadlines to have things done. It forces me to write. So, I may actually have that book (as yet untitled) done in a few months. It's like writing while editing when we do the weekly review of what we wrote. I try to put the changes in during the week and prep for the next week.
Whew! off to work.
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 9:19 AM PST
My writing critique group met yesterday, and I read the 2nd chapter from my newest book. I have work to do on it. They were not shy about what needed to be fixed, and I truly appreciate their input. What's great is that it's given in a constructive manner to make us all better writers. There are 5 of us, and the talent amazes me. Fun and informative group.
I attended a memorial for a friend and business associate this week. It was nice to catch up with others in my past life. As with all authors, I had books with me and sold 5! It was exciting to me. I'm going to attend more memorial services. Maybe weddings too. (Does this sound like the movie "The Wedding Crashers"?) 
Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 3:27 PM PST
WOW! Brazil, you guys are awesome. You have surpassed even the US in hits to the website. Obligato (Is that right?) I know little Brazilian Portuguese as you can see. I'd love to come down there and learn more.
The Critique group was hard on me today, but they were right in what I need to do for the newest book. It is so great to have people telling me in a constructive way what needs to be done to be a better writer.
MARCH 14 &15 IS THE TUCSON FESTIVAL OF BOOKS.  It is one of the most awesome book events ever. I'll be in the Habitat for Humanity booth signing and talking about the Evolution River series. I'm trying to get on the lecture tour to talk about evolution from a really different perspective. For those of you who want, try to imagine what humans will be like in 1000 years, 10,000 years. I don't think it will be the same as now. That is what the series is about-future evolution. Yes, I think changes will happen. Look at the changes in the last 2000 years.
Friday, February 6th, 2015 11:39 AM PST
Today, the Wall Street Journal had a great article in the Arena Section about cross-over genres of fiction. The Evolution River series is a cross between science fiction, metaphysics and theology, with some compelling non-fiction about genetics thrown in. It's called "slipstream" fantistika", and "interstitial". Somehow I need to get the series in front of the right people (that would be those with a public voice) and out there. 
Friday, February 6th, 2015 7:51 AM PST
Blessings upon you, Brazil. Yes, I see that I have followers there almost as great in number as in the US. I wish I could afford to translate my books into Brazilian Portuguese. 
The re-re-reediting of Sea Species is done, and I'm getting it ready to publish on the ebook sites and print version through Create Space (Amazon) It is a far better book than the original version. The whole Evolution River saga has been a learning experience for me and made me a different person. Through the writing groups I have met some wonderful people. The writing has opened my mind and crystallized my thoughts and beliefs.
Life is as good as you make it.
Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 8:15 AM PST
I attended a critique workshop yesterday hosted by Melinda Haynes. There were 5 of us, and we each read a few pages and received critiques from the others. This was a good workshop, and will go a long way to improving my writing. I was amazed at the quality of the other writers present. Several of the pieces grabbed me from the first paragraph, and they were fiction and non-fiction. I don't know if I can get material done to do that every week, though. It would mean a stronger commitment to writing. I read from the historical thriller I'm working on, and I do need a goad to get going on it. This may be it.
I'll keep you apprised on my progress and give you some teasers on the book (as yet untitled)
Saturday, January 31st, 2015 10:58 AM PST
I'm editing my a** off on Sea Species. I'm taking the edited pages from Alexis and going through them. Then I'm putting them through Pro Writers Aid about 10 pages at a time. It takes about 20 minutes to go through the report. For a 379 page book, that's a lot of time. Whether it is worth it or not in lifting sales, it is to me. I want it to be as good as possible.
After I finish with that, I want to put it into a screenplay version using the online screenwriting course I got for Christmas. It will be my project for the course. In the meantime, next week I'm going to a critique group. I don't know what I'll be working on with them. I have the start of The Weapons with an outline in progress and the book about the WASP and about 100 pages of that done. I'll get a better feel Tuesday for what I want to do.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 9:27 AM PST
WOW! I got a check from Bookbaby for book sales yesterday. Receiving those is such a great feeling. Thank you. It is you who make that happen and keep me enthused about writing. Yesterday I was buried incorporating the edits from Alexis and from Pro Writers Aid. I finally had to quit because my eyes were crossed and I couldn't see any longer. Still more to go.
Monday, January 26th, 2015 10:07 AM PST
I'm working with Alexis Powers to re-edit Sea Species. After I get her edits, I'll use Pro Writers Aid to go through it yet again. Trying to make a 100,000 word document perfect is not impossible, but difficult. After I get it as good as I can, a new project arises.
My daughter got me an on-line screenwriters course for Christmas, soooo I'm going to try my hand at doing Sea Species as a screen play. I know, "good lick with that!" but
that's how we all learn, by trying. Failure in not just an option, but a learning tool.
Anybody out there have any experience or advice?
Friday, January 23rd, 2015 11:19 AM PST
I've been having such trouble with writing The Weapons, that I'm going to stop and give it a rest. Instead, I'm going back to the historical thriller I started about a year ago. I need the boost from finishing something. So, I'll keep you posted as to how that is going. Meantime, I was asked if I would be interested in joining a critique group. I think my skin is thick enough for that. Alexis has done a great job of editing Sea Species. It's going to read better, though the story doesn't change. It's still a look at where human evolution is going.
Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 2:03 PM PST
I'm going to have an editor go over Sea Species to improve it. We're looking for errata, rather than content changes. I'm always striving to make things better, and I listen to reader's comments, so keep them coming.
I had breakfast with one of my readers this morning, and it was most enjoyable. We talked about my next project and how to get help with it. I believe he was a little taken aback by the scope of this project. I know I am, and I recognize that I'll need help in dealing with a topic I know little about.
We also talked about the lack of a definite protagonist and antagonist in The Genesis and how that might put some readers off. I wanted to break from the typical mold, and in reality, I wanted the series to be about the evolution of a species, not individual characters. There are characters who travel through the series from beginning to end, and they had to be special to last eons. (How does that happen? READ THE SERIES!) ANyway, it was an enjoyable morning, and I do like to interact with readers.
Monday, January 12th, 2015 11:19 AM PST
I got a call from another reader last night. He didn't like The Genesis because there is no clear good guy and bad guy conflict. That was on purpose. In the series, I tried to move away from the tried and true formula of writing. Intro, characters, protagonist and antagonist. conflict, good guys lose at first, and then good triumphs in the end. That was not what the series was about. I wanted to present a story that was about the human species moving through eons of evolution, and the trilogy will make you think about where evolution takes us. Sea Species had a definite bad guy who was vanquished in the end, but he wasn't a major character. The Envoy had some bad guys who shaped what happened. The Genesis has bad guys who are also good guys, depending on which side you are on. Isn't that the real way things are? The conflict in The Genesis is between those who have evolved and moved on and those who cannot.
So, I got my first "Bad" review and what did I learn? Can't please everyone. Do what you feel is right and move on.
Thursday, January 8th, 2015 9:31 AM PST
Several of my readers have now finished The Genesis. The comment that has struck a chord with me is "WOW" That one made me feel good. If I surprised him, then I feel good. I remember the first time I spoke to him. It was at the Tucson Festival of Books and had Sea Species to offer. The Envoy was under construction at the time. I described the general theme of Sea Species and the whole series as "future evolution of humans." He asked how far I was going with the story, and my response was "To the end." I think I fulfilled his notion of what I said.
Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 9:19 AM PST
2015 has started well for me. I hit the writing yesterday for about 7 hours, getting the outline together for the next book. I've got about 24 pages of outline. This is the firsst time I've tried to do an outline in sch detail, thinking that it will make the writing go faster. Maybe yes, but I do understand that once the characters take over the story, it may not follow the outline. So, I consider the outline a fluid document.
The Facebook ad campaign has been interesting. I got a lot of hits with the most from the US, but also a lot from Argentina, then Mexico, then Brazil and India. Today, Argentina didn't even get on the list, but Brazil is up there. Thank you.
I presented my third book, The Genesis, to the public library, so they now have the whole series. I'm going to have to get my friends to start checking them out. Maybe even reading them. 
Sunday, January 4th, 2015 6:43 AM PST
My mind has still not wrapped around the year 2015. Everybody misses for the first few months when they write the date, but this is different. I think my mind is still back about a decade or something. I’m making my resolutions for the year and trying to remember what happened in 2014. As a writer, (I’m still getting used to that as my vocation) I finished the third volume in my series, The Genesis. My writing has improved since 2010 when I was finishing up Sea Species, and it had to. Finishing the Evolution River series marked an accomplishment for me. I had always known that there was too much story for a single book, and I knew where I wanted the story to go. To make that voyage, there had to be definitive steps. Each volume is “Stand-alone” but how the people got to the starting point of volumes 2 and 3 needed a credible progression. Several people have read The Genesis only, and now want to read the other volumes to see how it started. The storyline in Sea Species has already started today, for real, and that lends to the believability of the whole saga. That’s the magic of the series. Even though it ends timeless eons in the future, the path is a logical progression of events and changes we all can believe in. Do I believe that this is our path? Absolutely! Do I believe the theological aspects? It is my core belief. Therefore, this makes the trilogy more than a story to me. It is the expression of my beliefs. Writing them down crystallized those beliefs in my mind. That is what made 2014 special to me.
One goal for 2015 for me is to learn more about how to promote The Evolution River series. I would like to discuss the religion behind the series in open format. That means I welcome feedback from you about it. I gave the trilogy to Reverend Lee, who presided at my mother’s memorial service because I enjoyed talking with him, and because I want his commentary from a traditional spiritual perspective. We’ll see if he has read the books. I hope so. But to discuss the religion of the series, one has to have read the whole series, for the ending is the beginning (hence the title The Genesis). In order for me to get a position on a panel discussion, people have to have read the series, so I’m back to ‘How do I promote?’ I’m sadly lacking in that knowledge, but I am open to any help you have to offer.
Another goal for me is another book. As promotion is not taking up a large part of my time right now, I should be able to accomplish that. It’s the self -discipline to set a time to do that on a consistent basis that I must do. So here we are. I’m clarifying my goals and how to achieve them. It sounds so easy as I read over this, but the real world is not so easy. Other things seem to intrude. As with life, priorities are the real challenge, setting them and sticking to them.
My Facebook ad campaign ended, and the hits on my site fell dramatically. It was effective in getting people to go to the site, but my book sales haven’t risen a lot. I need those to pay for the next campaign. I’m going to try more blogging to see if I can generate interest that way. I was greatly interested in the international attraction of the ads. Argentina led the pack in interest, with India, Brazil, and Mexico close behind. The US hits were up in the numbers too. Given the money, I’d translate the series into those languages for greater promotion in those countries. I don’t have it right now. Spanish will probably be the first next language for the series.
Thursday, January 1st, 2015 7:06 AM PST
I want to thank all of you for your interest and support in 2014. Internationally, Argentina followed by Brazil and Mexico showed the most interest.
I'm planning to start a new book within a week, but I don't know how long it will take to get to the editors. Part of the outline is done, but when I start to write, the story will make its own path. I'll let you know how it goes.
Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 9:11 AM PST
Spending time with family renews the ties and brings back memories. Whatever the occasion, these connections are forever and to be cherished. Children and grandchildren are our ties to the future, for unlike the characters in the Evolution River series, we do not live forever. Friends will come and go, but kin are always kin.
My resolution for 2014 was to lose weight, and I kept to it. For 2015, I haven't decided what to do. Writing will be in there somewhere.
Have a great New Year celebration, be careful and start the year out well.
Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 7:31 AM PST
I went on my rounds yesterday delivering Christmas cheer to my wife's office and my doctor's office and other places. That cheer is in the form of my eggnog, my cream whiskey, and English toffee for those not imbibing. I was well received at each place.
Afterward, was a night at a dinner theater. Well, actually a melodrama comedy theater. It is always fun there. I get in great popcorn throwing battles with others from my wife's office, much to her consternation. We sang Christmas carols with the cast and had pizza and beer. It was a nice evening. Today is final prep for THE DAY. 
As much as I enjoy the Holiday spirit, I want to get back to work writing. Cross your fingers that it happens. My fingers will busy at the keyboard.
Monday, December 22nd, 2014 5:28 PM PST
The book signing was a "learning experience." That saying usually applies to things that don't go well. As far as book sales, that was the case. But it was great to see the people from the Writers Workshop and wish them a Merry Christmas. I did get to talk to a few of the residents of the retirement home. Unfortunately, a bingo game was going on at the same time, and we were no competition. The residents were not ready to buy things there and on that day. So maybe that isn't a productive venue. (That is one lesson.) The signing was not publicized much (that is another lesson) So, we'll do better next time. I do not regret going, and would do it again.
I'm hoping to goad myself into collaborating with Robyn to get The Weapons done. Though I've turned it over to her, I still will work with her on it. I want to get back to the book about the WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilots). My mom was a pilot in World War II as a member of this group, and there's been a lot of documentary stuff on them, but I want to do a fun historic thriller and make it entertaining as well as educational.
Sunday, December 21st, 2014 9:47 AM PST
Okay, I think I'm ready for the book signing. I'm hoping that there are a lot of people who haven't completed their Christmas shopping there. What ever happens, it'll e fun because I know a number of the other authors and enjoy their company. Next year, the Writers Workshop is going to add help on promotion and sales for those authors who want to sell their books. Many of them are writing momoirs mostly for friends and family, so they aren't interested in sales. I am, because though there's a lot of me and my beliefs in The Evolution River series, it is written to provoke thought and wonder in people.
Cross you fingers, toes and eyes for me.
Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo
Saturday, December 20th, 2014 3:42 PM PST
My Christmas gift to me is the response from you in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Thank you. You inspire me to keep going. I've spoken to Steve about a new newsletter, so I'll put together a short piece about what's going on. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to get a boot in my ass and return to writing on my projects. My friend Robyn Lester is pushing me to work with her on The Weapons, so maybe we'll go to the mountains in January to write. That would be one way to kick-start my flagging enthusiasm. There's nothing like getting snowed in to focus me. I don't know how she'll like that. She's a warm weather woman.
Friday, December 19th, 2014 8:20 AM PST
It seems as if I'll never be ready for Christmas. More stuff just appears. I think it's like coat hangers in the closet, and keeps breeding until it overwhelms me. I think I have enough "Killer Eggnog" that no one will notice deficiencies. This is the time I wish my daughter could be with us with her family. I do miss her so. 
Book signing Sunday, and I think I'm ready. These signings are a lot of fun, but rarely profitable because they aren't publicized a lot. Building a reputation is so hard, so the next time you consider some well-known personality, it took a lot of hard work to get to that position. I guess I haven't worked at it hard enough. Back to the Grindstone. As the old saying in Spanish goes regarding how things are:
La misma vieja con calzones diferente. Same old stuff. work work work.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 9:59 AM PST
I'm trying to get me Christmas cards out, and I gave up on the mail merge on my computer to address the envelopes. It takes me longer than hand addressing them because I use it so rarely that I forget how to do it. Something just doesn't click with Word 10 mail merge and me. Anyway, I've only about 15 more to do.
I'm going to get ready for the book signing, I promise. If I sell many books, I'll have to order more Sea Species. I liuke to keep an inventory fo about 10 on hand.
I hope your Christmas preparations are going well. Mine are so-so. I have a trailer of firewood to unload, but I don't work well in the rain, so it sits awaiting sunshine. There are 2 pots of soup on the stove, in keeping with tradition, and I did make some English Toffee. It's sinfully good.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 9:26 AM PST
I have a book signing Sunday and look forward to seeing all who can make it there. Some of the other authors are quite good. Ted Dreisinger really touches me with his blogs publication "Life in Small Bites." Several had tears streaming down my cheeks. His book is available on Amazon. He and I have had numerous discussion about the theology of The Evolution River Series, and he speaks from a knowledgeable position as one who has studied religion his whole life. Ted is someone I consider unique among my friends.
I keep getting requests for signed books as Christmas gifts. This is the first time in my life I have been on the vender side of Christmas, and it is different for me. The other vending I have done was in mining equipment, and that wasn't really a Christmas type of gift. I have a new awareness of how much seasonal buying can mean to those trying to make it as a seller.
Monday, December 15th, 2014 10:15 AM PST
Steve and are working on a video clip of my short story "Joseph's Side of the Story" I like what he's done so far, and we're going to try to have it done before Christmas. I think you'll get a laugh out of it.
I'm still getting a lot of website hits from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and India. Thank you. It is gratifying to see such a widespread interest. I hope to keep that level up, even after the Facebook ad runs out. 
I have a book signing on Dec 21. Check the events on the home page. If you can come, I'll have pen in hand to sign books.
Friday, December 12th, 2014 9:41 PM PST
I had a nice talk with one of my readers this morning. He bought 2 sets of books to give for Christmas. He has found the theology and metaphysics fascinating, in addition to a look at evolution in the future. I truly enjoyed talking on a variety of topics. THanks for buying the books and the lively discussion.
I tried to get ready for some winter weather. Winter here is pretty mild, but still I wanted to have firewood cut and things done around the house. Sunday I have some old friends coming over for dinner. We haven't gotten together in years, so it'll be fun. One is also an author, and wrote a historical novel that revolves around the true life adventure of his father. Having known him as I was growing up, I knew he was one of the greatest banjo players in the world. It was great to read about his contribution to the effort in World War 2. He never talked about it, so much was a surprise.
Thursday, December 11th, 2014 7:12 PM PST
I went to Mexico for a meds run today with friends. I haven't traveled in a motorhome much, but it was really nice. Sortta like sitting in a cafe and chatting. Selling more books tomorrow. I'm going to have to order another batch soon. WOW! Being able to say that is exciting.
I continue to be awed by the responses I'm seeing on my website. Thank you. Merry Christmas
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 10:08 AM PST
I am pumped!. Another reader is asking for books as Christmas presents.
Last night I had dinner with a reader who had just finished The Genesis. We talked for an hour about the book and where it went with evolution, creation and God. Taken as a whole, the Evolution River series does explore realms not usually thought about. It doesn't disappoint with the ending either. (This from two readers). It is what I tried to do with the series, and makes me feel good that some people are finding that.
Email me suggestions as to how a poor writer can get his books translated into Spanish (This for Argentina and Mexico as they continue to watch the site) and Portuguese (Yes, Brazil is watching too.) Would the translation be taken on by an English class project, for instance? A lot of emphasis goes on the poor part of writer. India has also entered the web site watchers with a large number of hits. 
Keep watching the website. We're tweaking it to add the links for The Genesis, but more importantly, I'm hoping that Steve will have the cartoons finished so we can put an illustrated version of my Christmas short story on it.
Thank you all
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 7:03 AM PST
Argentina and Mexico, you guys continue to amaze me. Thanks for the interest. My Christmas wishes extend for you! I'm working on my Christmas letter now. Some in the past set laugh records. People were still laughing in July. I'd post some of the funny passages here, but they were a bit naughty. Just imagine actions that involve anti nausea suppositories. See, you're laughing already!
A group of us are planning a shopping trip to Nogales. Those trips are always a good day. We drive down in the morning, shop a bit, get a lunch at La Roca (that's a fine long-time restaurant built into the side of a cliff.) then drive back home. It's always a great day.
Monday, December 8th, 2014 7:38 AM PST
How can Christmas be racing toward us so quickly? Of course that's not the statement of a child. I'm trying to get things ready, but ... A friend is putting together a pedal party through a local Festival of Lights. It is pretty spectacular. Some of the houses light up the sky with Christmas lights and moving displays. 
Someday, I'll have to tell the story of my last trip to Argentina. It was memorable, to say the least, and still holds the personal record for the longest time I've spent traveling. Of course, it had to do with mining, and a trip into the Andes. I will say that my wife and I truly enjoyed Buenos Ares, perhaps me more than her. The beauty of the women was spectacular. Is it the water or the genes? And they sure know how to party there! I'll bet there are some sensational Christmas fiestas. Maybe I'll have to research another book that takes place there.
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 6:59 PM PST
I'm getting requests for signed books for Christmas presents. Thanks you.
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 8:55 AM PST
I sent my Christmas short story, "Joseph's Side of the Story" out to several people yesterday, including the Joyce Meyer Ministry and Pope Francis. I doubt I'll get any response, but with the Pope, I thought he could use a laugh. Everybody can use a augh. It lightens the soul and brightens the outlook. Steve is working on a series of cartoons to go with the text, and then we'll decide how to publish it.
I'm getting a lot of hits still from Latin America. Argentina and Mexico are tops and close, with Brazil only slightly down. Whether these hits result in sales remains to be seen. I'm hoping that the global publishing group I met with about a month ago will look at helping me get my books published in Spanish and Portuguese, but even if I ask Santa Clause, I won't believe it will happen until I get a message. 
In the meantime, I'm going to have to start getting ready for Christmas myself. I've started on my Christmas letter, which has been pretty funny in the past. That's my challenge, get some humor going.
Friday, December 5th, 2014 10:21 AM PST
It is so gratifying to see the climbing number of hits from Argentina, Mexico and Brazil on the website. That's the order of numbers, though Mexico is coming on strongly. With this support from Latin America, I need to consider translating my books into Spanish and Portuguese. Unfortunately, right now I'm a poor struggling author and cannot pay big bucks for those translations. I know that there are software programs that will do the bulk of translating, but readers are required to get it right. Also, in my travels I've found there are differences from country to country i the uses of words. For instance in English, the word "root" in the US can mean a plant part (noun), or to cheer for (verb). In Australia and New Zealand, it is a term for sexual intercourse, so an American in Australia who "roots" for the team might be a person of low moral character. Did I say those things in milk-bland terms for you? It has happened on national TV, and the interview was met with audience silence. I wouldn't want to make the same mistake in Spanish or Portuguese.
Thursday, December 4th, 2014 7:33 AM PST
Wow! Argentina is still ahead in the "Hits" race to my website, but Mexico is coming on strong! Because of my proximity to Mexico, I visit there often and enjoy it immensely. The western coastal area in the Sea of Cortez plays a part in all of my books.
I have visited Argentina several times both on business and pleasure, and I found it enjoyable. The claim that there are many beautiful women was also born out while sitting at a sidewalk cafe in BA. It must be a combination of the culture and the water.
My daughter spent a year in Brazil and she loved it. She left not speaking any Portuguese and came back fluent. She's a smart gal. She also returned with party callouses.
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 8:34 AM PST
December, a new month, and I am so amazed at the number of hits coming in on the website. Argentina, you rule! Germany, you're not far behind. Brazil, you're moving up!. Thank you all.
I'm hoping to have an illustrated version of my Christmas short story coming out soon, and it will appear here. Steve, my graphic artist is working on it.
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 7:54 AM PST
Pope Francis is coming to the US! This envoy of Catholicism has done more to improve the image of the Church than any man in decades  I would really like to meet him, but alas, that chance is nil. 
My meeting with one of my readers yesterday was great. He bought 2 sets (yes, all 3 volumes) of the Evolution River series to give a Christmas gifts. During our talks, I found out that he and I worked at the same company, though we didn't overlap. That company ended up getting run out of town over radioactive contamination, but that is a long and involved story. I will say that he suffers from radioactive damage from that job. I am really looking forward to his commentary about the third volume and the series as a whole. I haven't gotten any feedback about the series yet, but then the third book only just came out. Be the first to laud or berate me!
Monday, December 1st, 2014 8:30 AM PST
Well, the first of the holidays is done, and it was quite fun. Small group over, but lottsa food. Time to put the leftovers away in the freezer for other meals, and get rid of the oh so tasty but oh so fattening desserts.
I've got a meeting today with one of my readers who wants to give my books as Christmas gifts. Wow!, That is so fun for me to be able to say that! I'm going to start pushing myself to promote more, though what I really want to do is get back to writing. I need the approval that people like what I've written to goad me onward. I think it's that way for most people (seeking approval). So, I'm going to go back to making an effort to do something every day on writing. Luckily, my order of more of The Genesis came in, so I have the three volume set for him.
I have another book signing later this month, I think Dec 21. That will be the last for this year. Next year I'll be in Locust Grove, Virginia presenting the third volume to the public library, and in March is the Tucson Festival of Books. That's a big deal, and the expected attendance will exceed 130,000. I sold a lot of books at the last Festival, and I'm looking forward to this year. It was so gratifying to have people look for me seeking my next book. I will not disappoint them this year with The Genesis. I await their comments.
Friday, November 28th, 2014 8:11 PM PST
I got the order of The Genesis today. I was worried because I meeting some fans next week who want the 3 book sets for Christmas gifts.
I continue to get a good response to my Facebook ad, and I'm hoping it translates into sales. Please don't be afraid to comment on Amazon about the books. Authors live and die depending on comments of Amazon.
Hope your Thanksgiving was all good.
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 7:23 AM PST
The review and discussion last night at the Sci-fi Readers Group went really well. One thing that was clear is that at some point I need to go back and re-edit Sea Species. There are errors- punctuation, grammar, spelling etc.- that detract from the story and need to be corrected. I will do that.
As to the story, it was liked. Some wanted more technical detail included, but others liked the lack, making it more readable. It was my intent to tell a story that had enough technical detail to lend credibility but not bog down the plot.
Others liked the instances of irony that appear. They were intentional, and included to make the reader realize that despite protestation to the contrary, sometimes things necessitate the use of the very thing that is abhorrent. Is this a "The ends justify the means" scenario. Perhaps it is, but it is also reality.
A few of the participants were Christian and asked about evolution versus creation. My response is that "If you read the whole series, there is no conflict." One reader is anxiously awaiting the availability of The Genesis on e-book sites other than Kendle edition. Unfortunately, I don't control that. She liked The Envoy better than Sea Species. I can hardly wait until she reads The Genesis. She'll REALLY like that.
One reader was a bit dismayed by Carol's response to her rape, yet I wanted to portray the empathic nature of Carol that led her to become a such an effective councilor. Maybe I got it wrong, but I think not. It was interesting to watch the idea dawn within the group that I'm seeking to redefine the terms 'evolution' and 'species'.
All-in-all, it was a very good session, and I greatly appreciate the moderator of the group giving me the chance to talk about the book. Thank you.
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 7:44 AM PST
Tonight I will listen to my science fiction readers group at the Oro Valley Library at 6 pm as they discuss Sea Species. I'm really looking forward to this. The group is pretty open in their opinions about the books we've read, and criticism will make me better. Compliments too, as they'll encourage me to keep writing.
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 4:14 PM PST
I'm getting great hits on website since Facebook ads started. Thank you for the interest. I hope you find the books interesting.
Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 11:42 AM PST
Tuesday, November 25, I'll be at the Oro Valley Library Science Fiction Readers Club meeting taking the critique (hopefully some accolades too) as Sea Species is the book under review. I'm also going to be at another book signing in December. Details will be posted as they are known. Steve did a magnificent job on the newsletter. The man is a magician.
Friday, November 21st, 2014 9:51 AM PST
My Facebook ads started yesterday, and I'm already seeing a jump in interest. Thank you. It is encouraging when I get feedback. One of my readers who is strongly Christian is finding the series really fascinating. It is not a Christian series, but strongly non-denominational. One friend of mine who claims to be atheist, really found it thought provoking, and I took that as a compliment. The series was always meant to open people's minds to other ways of looking at the world. I'm meeting her for lunch, and be sure that the series will be one of many topics.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 5:26 PM PST
My Facebook ad goes out today. I'm hoping for a lot of people coming to the website.
Saturday, November 15th, 2014 8:00 AM PST
A friend of mine bought 10 copies of The Genesis from me yesterday to use as Christmas gifts. I'm awed over that. I've ordered more, as my original batch is gone!.
Another friend is going to try to get me a speaking engagement at a local service organization. I like that, and I'm working on my talk now. The title I have in mind is "The Evolution of Evolution" It won't be a sales pitch on my books, but will talk about evolution from a different perspective. We'll see how that goes.
Thursday, November 13th, 2014 8:03 PM PST
I have found the e-book version of The Genesis on Amazon, so it's out there. I spoke to several people who came to the signing, and bought books. I made them promist to comment on Amazon about the books P)LEASE do that for me if you've bought or read any of the Evolution River books. Amazon rates by the number of comments, and I need all I can get. Thank you
Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 12:42 PM PST
One of my readers, Russel, has posted the link to the Kindle version os The Genesis, so it's now available on Amazon. Other e-book versions should be out over the next couple of weeks. I gave away Evolution River tee shirts at the book signing, and I'm thinking of a contest for more giveaways. I'm open to suggestions how to structure the contest. Any suggestions? We'll see what happens after the Face book ad campaign starts on Nov 20.
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 8:21 AM PST
I met with a group that specializes in selling publishing rights to foreign publishers. I have been thinking of getting my series translated into other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German to start, but I'm open to suggestions as to languages, markets and how to pay for translating. Any suggestions?
Monday, November 10th, 2014 8:54 AM PST
I'm still getting feedback regarding the book signing. It was good. Now I need to prepare myself for the Oro Valley Science Fiction Readers Club review of Sea Species. They meet November 25 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at the Oro Valley Library. During the time I've been participating, I've noticed they are a thoughtful group, but don't pull any punches about a book. If there's something unclear or beyond belief, they pipe up. So I must be ready for them.
Sunday, November 9th, 2014 6:07 PM PST
The book signing at the Oro Valley library was wonderful. I sold some books, and got to spend some time with nice people. Thank you Alexis Powers and thank you Oro Valley library for this. You are the most community minded library I've ever encountered.
Friday, November 7th, 2014 3:46 PM PST
Don't forget the book signing at the Oro Valley Library on Nov 9 from 1 to 4 pm.
Sea Species has been chosen for discussion at the Oro Valley Science Fiction Readers club on November 25 from 6 to 7 pm. I will gird my loins as this group is not shy. Come out if you want to hear me defend my writing.
Thursday, November 6th, 2014 5:23 PM PST
I placed an ad with Facebook that is to start Nov 20. It will be interesting to see what the results are.
Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 8:09 PM PST
I'm amassing my stuff for this signing. I'm getting a little excited about it. It will be fun, and there are some good authors who will be there.
Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 4:02 PM PST
I just approved the proof copy of the e-book of The Genesis. It should be available to you soon. Amazon Kindle is the fastest, with availability within 3 days. Some of the other sites take longer. I'm anxious to hear your opinions about the book. One of my editors says she thinks of it often and it's had an effect on her thinking. Hey, I reached at least one person! Hurrah! Email me your thoughts and comments.
Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 9:02 AM PST
I'm still sending out "Thank you's" to the people who worked so hard in putting on the TusCon sci-fi convention. They worked so hard and just don't receive enough acknowledgement for their efforts. It's that way with a lot of things. People rarely get the "Thanks" or "Good Job" comments, but the complaints pill in awfully fast. I ran into that when returning from a trip to S. America.
It was a marathon trip that went bad at every turn. WHat should have been a 18 hour trip became a 42 hour trip. While standing in a line to get re-booked in the Atlanta airport, people were getting surly and the agents were getting frazzled. When it was my turn I tole the agent that I appreciated her help and I was sorry that she had to face this mess caused by circumstance beyond her control. We chatted while she booked me on a later flight than she smiled at me ans said thanks for the lift. She also bumped me up to first class.
The moral of the story is that being gruff and nasty rarely gets you anything, including satisfaction, so don't be that way, and thank those who work hard to help you. I try to be that way, and it does make me feel better.
Saturday, November 1st, 2014 10:09 PM PDT
Two days at the TusCon sci-fi conference, and it's as crazy as ever. Being it started on Halloween, there are some wild costumes. My books are at the Mostly Books table in the dealer room. I keep awaiting the note that they need more because they have sold out. That hasn't happened. Alas.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 8:54 AM PDT
Tomorrow starts the TusCon sci-fi conference. It is always a blast, and being on Halloween, there should be some pretty outrageous costumes. I'll be there touting The Evolution River series and trying to garner interest in it. Come visit.
Nov 9 from 1 to 4 pm is the Oro Valley Book signing, and I have your copy ready, along with your Christmas gifts. Makes shopping easy. Come visit there too.
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 10:12 AM PDT
Steve has moved ahead with getting the Evolution River video on You Tube. We'll see what happens with that. Friday is the TusCon sci-fi conference and it's on my mind. I need to print up new brochures and more business cards to get ready for it. As it starts on Friday, Halloween, the costumes should be outrageous.
Friday, October 24th, 2014 10:22 AM PDT
I'm still pretty pumped about getting The Genesis out. The e-book version is at the publisher (Bookbaby) now and I'm awaiting the approval proof. As soon as I approve, they will distribute to the various outlets. It takes from 2 days to 3 weeks before it hits the e-shelves. I will keep you informed. In the meantime, here's the next installment of Joseph's Side of the Story.
Joseph's Side of the Story
“The next time I catch you in a handicap spot without a permit, I’ll have you towed. Now get out of here.”
“Let’s go to our room, dear. I can already feel that hot bath.”
“Unh, they’re booked. We lost the room because we were late.”
“I told you not to take the newspaper into the bathroom this morning. But Noooo. You were in there an hour. The plastic flowers were melted when I finally got in. Even the flies left. I nearly peed my pants.”
I’m tuning this out. Okay, where to now? There was a parking garage a block back. We’ll go there.
“Sir, we’d like to rent a little space in your stable just for the night. Our hotel lost our reservation, and there’s no place else to stay. Honest, sir we won’t be any trouble. Thanks.
“What is this place? We’re not staying here, are we? There’re animals inside. It stinks!”
“It’s the only place I can think of. Look, there’s some fresh straw and that feed trough looks pretty comfortable. You get settled, and I’ll go get something to eat. I saw a fast food place about a block away. I’ll just tie Bessie up here and be right back.”
“Honey, Bessie just took a dump on the floor. Can you clean that up before you go?”
“Yeah, sure, sweetie.”
The air out here is cool, but fresher than it is inside that stable. How did I get in this mess. I mean, I don’t even remember getting married, and I certainly don’t remember consummating the marriage. The first thing I know, she says she’s preggars and that ‘It happened that night you got drunk.’ Then she won’t let me touch her.
It is pretty light out here. That’s a bright star! What’s with all this traffic? These rich men and their hoity toity fancy camels. I better watch where I step. My toes are still stuck together from the last time.
“Help ya, Mac?”
“Yeah, sure. What’s that meat?” Why is he looking at me that way? “Let me have some of that grilled stuff and a skin of that wine. Thanks. How much? Is there some gold in this meat or something? Yeah, so’s your old man!”
Wow! Everybody must be trying to park at the stable. Look at all the ritzy people outside. There’s even chauffeurs with the camels! There’s a whole crowd! I hope they aren’t disturbing Mary.
“Excuse me, pardon me, I have to get in, Oops, sorry about your toes. Mary, what’s happening?”
“Just after you left, my water broke. All those Lamaze classes were wasted. Pow and it was out. I didn’t even have time to gasp once. It was a lot of fuss for nothing. Look, here’s your son!”
Oh man is he beautiful! He’s perfect with ten fingers and ten toes and and and...
“Joseph, on behalf of my kingdom, I’d like to present you with this gift for your special son. He is the prophecy,” said a bejeweled man as he handed me a glittering box.
“What is it?”
“Frankincense, from lands far away. It is for the child.”
Frankincense, what’s that? It sure smells good, though. I wonder what it tastes like. “Uh, thank you, sir.” There are boxes of stuff all around, rich boxes. The men are crowding in to get a look at my son. Some boy just started beating a drum.
“What are you going to call him?”
“Mary, I’m going to name him after my father, Bruce. I’m going to call him Bruce.”
“Oh no you’re not! Your father was a bum, and a nasty one at that. Two cups of wine and he was three sheets to the wind–cursing up one wall and down the other. We’re going to call him Jesus.”
Jesus, what kind of name is that? It almost sounds like a curse word. “Uh …”
“Jesus, I said Jesus. We’re calling him Jesus.”
“Okay, honey, Jesus is fine. That’s okay. We’ll make up a sign for the shop. ‘Joseph and Jesus - Carpenters Supreme.’ It has a nice ring to it. I’ll teach him everything I know. I can teach him to hammer, saw, drill, sand, finish. It’ll be so great to have a son. I can teach him to burp and fart too.”
“That’s enough of that. Jesus is going to grow up a special child.”
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 6:19 PM PDT
I forgot. Here's the next installment of "Joseph's Side of the Story"
Thank God. Once out of line, we might not get through this gate until morning. “Here you go officer.”
“Nazareth huh. I heard there’s nothing there but sand and fleas. Okay, get going.”
Wow, the streets are crowded. I think our hotel is three blocks in and two to the left.
“Honey do you know where we’re going?”
“It’s just over there, I think.” I’ll never hear the end of this if it isn’t.
“I thought it was on the other road. Joe, are you lost? Should we get directions?”
“There it is, just ahead. Look at that parking lot! There must be a convention going on. Do you see any parking places?”
“There’s a place just in front.”
Crap! Crap! Crap! It’s a handicap place. Okay. “Mary, you stay here with our stuff until I get back. I’ll just hurry in and register.
“Good evening sir, May I help you?”
“Hi, the name is Joseph. I have a reservation.”
“Hmmm. Joseph you say. I’m not showing a reservation in that name.
“I have a confirmation number.”
“Ah, good. Uh, sir, your check in time was four-o’clock. We couldn’t hold your reservation, and I’m afraid we’re fully booked.”
“But I have a confirmation number!”
“I’m sorry sir. You weren’t here.”
“You can’t do this. I have a reservation number!”
“Sir, don’t make me call security.”
“Look, I’ve been on the road for three days with a pregnant woman. We had to stop at every bush along the road from Nazareth. We got caught in traffic. We’re not that late.”
“I’m sorry sir. Now please leave peacefully.”
“Can I at least use your bathroom?”
“Patrons only. Goodbye”
Where did that large guy come from? “Okay, I’ll go.”
“Joseph, where have you been! I’ve been trying to explain to this officer that you’d be right out. He was writing us a ticket. See officer, he’s right here, and we’re going to our room now.”
“The next time I catch you in a handicap spot without a permit, I’ll have you towed. Now get out of here.”
“Let’s go to our room, dear. I can already feel that hot bath.”
“Unh, they’re booked. We lost the room because we were late.”
“I told you not to take the newspaper into the bathroom this morning. But Noooo. You were in there an hour. The plastic flowers were melted when I finally got in. Even the flies left. I nearly peed my pants.”
I’m tuning this out. Okay, where to now? There was a parking garage a block back. We’ll go there. 
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 6:07 PM PDT
They're here! I received my first copies of The Genesis. It looks pretty good, and I'm happy. SO I'll have them with me at the TusCon sci-fi conference Oct 31, Nov 1 and 2,  and at the book signing at the Oro Valley Library on Nov 9. It's available on Amazon NOW! Whew! This series has been quite an effort, and represents decades of thought and creation.
Monday, October 20th, 2014 9:45 AM PDT
I forgot, here’s the first installment of my story, “Joseph’s Side of the Story.” Enjoy it and take it for what it is, a chance to not be so serious.

By R. L. Clayton
Three days on the road with a pregnant woman. God, I’ve about had it. “The seat is too hard, the seat is too soft, my back hurts, my ankles are swollen, my feet hurt, I’m hot, I’m cold, I’m thirsty, I’m hungry, I gotta pee again. I got the runs from that strange food you bought last night.” It hasn’t stopped since we left. This whole trip just to settle a tax situation. I have orders to fill, work to do. I got stopped by the cops for going too slow. And that rest stop last night had some really shady characters hanging around. I didn’t sleep all night. We were lucky to get out of there with our stuff.
The traffic has been horrible – nose to butt. It’s been an endless stream, and everybody just throws their trash out. Nobody cleans up the roads. This is a disgrace. I’m going to complain.
“Joe honey, are you alright? You’re muttering to yourself again,” came the high-pitched voice.
“I’m sorry, dear. It’s just the heat and the dust and everything.”
“I know. I haven’t been too helpful either. Lucky for us we’ll be there in another few hours. I can’t wait for a hot bath and some good food. What’s the name of the hotel again?”
“Harold’s Club, I think. I made a reservation three months ago.”
“Oh, look! There’s the city. I can see it from here.”
Of course you can see it from there. You’re up high, while I’m down here in the dust and dung. Oh Crap! What was that I just stepped in. Camels! They should be banned from the slow lane. It squished up between my toes, UGH!
“Mary, can you see how come we’re stopping?”
“There’s a lot of traffic ahead. I can’t see very well because it’s getting dark, but there’s some soldiers with a roadblock. I think they’re checking IDs or passports or something. They’re probably worried about terrorists or something.”
Great, just what we need. Another delay, and I really have to take a dump. I can’t do anything around here, there’s nothing but sand. Oh, man! That camel in front of us just cut a big one. This is the worst!
“Honey, can I have a drink of water?”
“Sure, babe. Can you see how long we’ll be stuck here?” That’s the last thing she needs. Water now, pee later. It takes fifteen minutes just to get her down off the donkey and on the ground and then half an hour to get her back and ready to go. Man, we’ll lose our place in line. “Here’s the water. There’s not much, though.”
“Honey, it’s hard to see, with that glare in my eyes. You know, that’s the brightest star I’ve ever seen. Looks like not too long a wait, though.”
“There must be some sort of celebration. That’s why all the people. Maybe it’s tax day. That would figure.”
“Hush, honey. There’s some soldiers approaching. Don’t piss ‘em off.”
“Driver’s license and proof of insurance,” demanded a gruff voice behind a gnarled hand.
This guy is huge! It looks like someone ran over his face with a plow. Where the hell did I put my driver’s license?
“Hurry up,” came the raspy voice again.
“Oh crap it’s in my other tunic. I’ll get it officer. Just hold on.”
“What’s that smell?”
“I had a little accident a ways back.” The people behind me are starting to yell.
“Just step to the side there,” indicated the soldier.
“Mary, where’s my other tunic?”
“Here, honey. I was using it for a back rest.”
Monday, October 20th, 2014 9:32 AM PDT
Check out the newsletter! Steve has done a great job in putting that together. We will keep you apprised of the distribution progress of The Genesis. I know it is available on Amazon in print now. For some reason, the e-books take longer.
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 1:48 PM PDT
The Genesis is showing up on Amazon in print version as available. The e-book versions should be out in a few days. I'll keep you posted. If you search under "The Genesis, Volume 3" it is about 4 or 5 down.
If you buy it, please comment, as that's important to Amazon when rating books.
Saturday, October 18th, 2014 10:45 AM PDT
The approvals have gone in, so The Genesis should be available in print from Amazon and from the e-book sources within days!!! This is a hallmark moment for me. Completing Sea Species, the first book was a big step for me, but this REALLY seems like I have accomplished something. ENJOY IT. This series runs counter to the whole fiction writers mode of "good guy/bad guy, conflict, loss, recovery and victory." I tried something different.
Thursday, October 16th, 2014 5:33 PM PDT
The Genesis is in the hands of the publisher. I should have a proof copy back and a few days. Tomorrow I do the e-book publish with Bookbaby.  WOW! This is so significant to me to have finished this series. So much of me went into it.
Steve did such a great job with the cover. It is awesome. i'm going to post it on my Facebook page and we'll put it on the website
Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 11:45 AM PDT
Here's the conclusion of the short story I worte called The Weapons. As I mentioned earlier, I have turned the writing over to my friend Robyn Lester, so you can follow the progress on the book through her website www.empath-origin.com.
The Weapons, conclusion
“I’m going back to the U.S. because I’ll blend in so well. I have a list and a map. What could possibly go wrong? Where are you going?”
Ibbi looked at him and held up his passport. Another clean-shaven man looked back. “I’m going into the den of Satan, Tel Aviv. I was raised in Gaza, and as a child was able to travel into Israel. I know it well.” They both looked at each other. It would be uncomfortable not to have their beards.
The hotel room was crowded, but as the day went on, his brothers departed until he was alone. Exhausted, Achmed was kept awake by the adrenalin of the mission. Lying on the bed staring at the ceiling, he imagined his assignment beginning tomorrow morning. Finally his eyes closed and he was again with Osama.
“Achmed, you are the point of the spear, for you are to attack our most powerful enemy, and the one most able to thwart our plan. You must spread the poison within you as widely as possible so they cannot respond. Once it starts, the panic will spread it like an out of control wildfire. Go with God.”
In the dream, Osama’s hand sought his. Achmed reached out, but his hand was red and covered with pustules oozing thick white fluid. As their hands touched, Osama’s became infected. The rash and the boils crawled up his arm and spread until he was covered. The stench of rot filled Achmed’s nostrils, and a hollow skull grinned at him. The white robe collapsed in a soiled heap and the stinking slime spread across the floor. The room opened to a landscape, and Achmed saw Islamabad. The streets were piled with bodies. The only moving things were the circling vultures and swarms of flies covering the sun.
Terrified, his heart racing, he awoke with the sheets knotted around him. The reek of his dream hung in the air. Surely this wasn’t what was to happen. Something had gone wrong. This whole plan was wrong. Why would Allah destroy his followers? In a flash, he understood. It wasn’t Allah they were following.
Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 11:25 AM PDT
I have a few things yet to do before The Genesis goes to the publisher, but I should have them done yet this week. SO, this marks the end of quite a project for me and it is quite gratifying to see it almost done. I'm anxious to move on to the next one.
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 8:32 AM PDT
I'm so close to submitting The Genesis. It's exciting because this is the end of the 3 volume series. I'm still looking where to publish my short story "Joseph's Side of the Story."  It's a rather raucous Christmas story, so this is the season. One suggestion is You tube, so It'll go there for sure. I'll let you know when it is up. 
Here's the next installment of the short story The Weapons
“After you have visited with the Imam, you will fly to another airport where each of you will receive identification papers and airline tickets to major cities throughout the world. You will be met at the airport and taken to a safe house. The brothers there will take care of you and tell you what to do. With this weapon, we will change the world.” He smiled at them. “Allah Akbar.”
A loud thump woke Achmed. They were landing. He looked through the window, but it was night. The runway lights sped past, and he was pushed forward as the plane braked. The pilot’s voice came over the intercom.
“Welcome to South Africa.”
Accustomed to the plane’s air-conditioning, the humid air was a physical assault on his lungs as he deplaned. A bus waited at the bottom of the stairway. Achmed looked around. They were at a small airport, certainly not an international one. He stepped up into the bus and sat next to his friend Ibbi. Two men laden with shoulder bags entered as the bus pulled away. Each brother’s name was called, and they were handed a bag.
Achmed received not only the bag but also a briefcase. Inside the bag were a neatly folded dark pinstripe sports coat, a Polo shirt, and casual slacks. In the briefcase were his old U.S. passport plus an airline ticket. He opened the passport. The clean-shaven young man staring back was him from ten years ago but now his name was Gerald Hopson from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Captivated, he noted his flight was from Johannesburg, South Africa to Cancun, Mexico. From there he would fly to Richmond, Virginia. According to the files in the briefcase, he was a U.S. international bond salesman returning from a business trip and short vacation.
There was a list of instructions. The bus would stop at a hotel where they could shower and dress for the flights before their scheduled departures. His brothers would leave at different times, depending upon their destinations. His flight was not scheduled to depart until the following morning, so he could sleep. After arriving in Richmond, a car would take him to a safe house to meet with his team. They had the instructions for what was to follow. He leaned over to Ibbi.
“I’m going back to the U.S. because I’ll blend in so well. I have a list and a map. What could possibly go wrong? Where are you going?”
Ibbi looked at him and held up his passport. Another clean-shaven man looked back. “I’m going into the den of Satan, Tel Aviv. I was raised in Gaza, and as a child was able to travel into Israel. I know it well.” They both looked at each other. It would be uncomfortable not to have their beards.
Monday, October 6th, 2014 7:12 PM PDT
I have the last set of edits in my hands and will start putting in the changes to The Genesis. I'm struggling with the back cover photo. The one of me that I want to combine with one of Baboquivari Peak is on my Facebook page. I'm open to comments about it. Don't tell me how old I look. I'm depending on a photoshop whiz to do miracles and make me handsome.
Saturday, October 4th, 2014 9:26 PM PDT
Here's installment 5 of "The Weapons"
Another shot rang out, and another white suited figure fell at the feet of the driver. When the brothers got back on the bus to leave the camp, everyone was silent. This didn’t feel the same to Achmed as other attacks. The roadblock appeared before them, but this time the guards stepped forward to block their path. The driver turned the bus and stopped with one side facing the waiting guards. He got out, but as he approached the guards, they fearfully drew back. Achmed was the first to shoot, but not the only one. The guards lay on the ground within seconds. The driver went into the guard shack and smashed the radio.***
Within an hour, they were back at the cleared dirt strip where the jetliner waited. There were no markings on the plane, and the pilot started the engines as the bus drove into the clearing. It stopped next to the plane, beneath the open door. One by one, the brothers climbed atop the bus and into the plane. On the inside of the door, Achmed read Malaysian Airlines, Model 777 built by Boeing, Inc. A manifest hung from the wall near the galley. Malaysian Airlines, Flight 370 was the heading.
As the door closed, the engines revved, and the plane started to move. This had been a long day, and Achmed’s eyes closed as the wheels left the ground. Again the dream of that last meeting with Osama returned.
“You will be the weapon of Allah. You will take this battle into the homes of our enemies. We will fight them there instead of in our lands, but this battle will be different from any you have fought before. You will all be martyrs.
“After you have visited with the Imam, you will fly to another airport where each of you will receive identification papers and airline tickets to major cities throughout the world. You will be met at the airport and taken to a safe house. The brothers there will take care of you and tell you what to do. With this weapon, we will change the world.” He smiled at them. “Allah Akbar.”
A loud thump woke Achmed. They were landing. He looked through the window, but it was night. The runway lights sped past, and he was pushed forward as the plane braked. The pilot’s voice came over the intercom.
“Welcome to South Africa.”
Saturday, October 4th, 2014 9:03 PM PDT
I have decided to give my short story, "The Weapons" and the outline to my friend Robyn Lester and let her write the book. I'll work with her, but I'm pretty tied up in the Evolution River series and want to have that book out soon while it is so timely. She has written an e-book called 'Origin of an Empath' and I like her style. I know she'll do a good job. She did agree to continue publishing the short story on her website. I will do so also on mine.
Friday, October 3rd, 2014 8:31 AM PDT
I am really blasting ahead with the edits for The Genesis. The end of the month is starting to look doable. I'll try to get back cover stuff done this weekend and finish up incorporating Kathy's edits.
I'm thinking of turning The Weapons over to my friend Robyn and letting her write it with a collaboration from me. Just a thought.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 9:08 PM PDT
OKAY! Alexis should be finished with her edits this week, and I'm meeting Kathy to go over hers. Once I get the text straightened out, I just need the back cover done. THen it's submission time!
Sunday, September 28th, 2014 3:15 PM PDT
I did find a photo of Baboquivari Peak that is free to use and I want to use it on the back cover of The Genesis. I'm also searching my files for an acceptable photo of me, but those seem rare, as I'm usually behind the camera.
My mind has been working on the book, "The Weapons", but my fingers have not. Steve has the next version of the news letter ready to go out tomorrow. We seem so busy. I think it's starting to pay off, as my book sales are creeping up. Thank you for that.  
Friday, September 26th, 2014 1:11 PM PDT
I've been working on the parts that go into a book besides the story, e.g. the back cover, the acknowledgements, the Author's notes and the summation, so I'm moving toward submitting it to the publisher. If I can get these things out of the way, as soon as I get the edited version back and incorporate changes, it'll be out 
Friday, September 26th, 2014 10:29 AM PDT
Here's the next installment of The Weapons. Enjoy
As Achmed and his brothers left the bus, the driver stepped over the body and walked toward the chugging sound of the generator. The line of brothers walked into the tent. The doorway had double flaps, and they pulled them aside. The tent was so filled with cots that they could hardly walk. One figure struggled up and waved a frail arm. They wove their way through the emaciated bodies toward him. The stench of death in this tent was overpowering. The people in the cots were so weak they hardly noticed the men. Another suited figure ran toward them.
Through the visor, Achmed saw the face of a woman. He shot her in the chest. A few of those able to move fled, except the man with his arm in the air. The lights went out. The tent glowed from sunlight, and they encircled his cot, shoving the others away.
“God is great,” said the man. “Show me the way.”
Achmed stepped forward. With a quick motion, he sliced the man’s throat with the knife. The man fell back as blood fountained into the air. A smile turned the corners of his mouth up, and his eyes closed. Achmed dipped his finger into the red blood, and then touched it to his lips. He stepped back, giving his brothers their chance to honor this man. “Allah Akbar,” they repeated. Turning, they walked toward the doorway.
Another shot rang out, and another white suited figure fell at the feet of the driver. When the brothers got back on the bus to leave the camp, everyone was silent. This didn’t feel the same to Achmed as other attacks. The roadblock appeared before them, but this time the guards stepped forward to block their path. The driver turned the bus and stopped with one side facing the waiting guards. He got out, but as he approached the guards, they fearfully drew back. Achmed was the first to shoot, but not the only one. The guards lay on the ground within seconds. The driver went into the guard shack and smashed the radio.
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 10:02 AM PDT
I got Part 1 of The Genesis back from Alexis Powers. I really like her editing. She's now looking at Parts 2 & 3. So, we are moving at getting it out. I need to work on the back cover material, (Photo, bio and summary).
Any suggestions where to publish my short story, "Joseph's Side of the Story"? Christmas season is upon us, and it fits the season.
Here's the next installment of The Weapons.
“We are almost there,” said the driver. “Remember, talk to no one. I will go to the generator plant and disable it. You go straight to the largest tent. The Imam is there. After you greet him and send him to Allah, return, and we will depart for our journey to strike at the hearts of our enemies. Do not let anyone stop you.”
The bus rounded another corner, and the tent city lay before them. Few people were moving, driven inside the tents and under shade by the heat. Directly in front of them was a huge white tent. As the bus stopped, a figure emerged in a white suit that covered him completely. He wore a hood with a visor, and his hands were gloved. He walked toward the bus holding up his hands, signaling them to stay away. The driver stepped from the bus and shot him through his visor. People began to run.
As Achmed and his brothers left the bus, the driver stepped over the body and walked toward the chugging sound of the generator. The line of brothers walked into the tent. The doorway had double flaps, and they pulled them aside. The tent was so filled with cots that they could hardly walk. One figure struggled up and waved a frail arm. They wove their way through the emaciated bodies toward him. The stench of death in this tent was overpowering. The people in the cots were so weak they hardly noticed the men. Another suited figure ran toward them.
Sunday, September 21st, 2014 3:43 PM PDT
One of my editors liked my story about a REALLY naughty Halloween costume I had once. I'm not sure I should show her a picture. I probably will. She has a naughty streak and will get a good laugh out of it. Meantime, I'm open to suggestions as to where to submit my humorous and slightly sacrilegious Christmas story. Give me suggestions as to what and where you think it should go. We are approaching the Christmas season, and this short story is a great fit.
If nothing else, I'll post it here, but I'd like to get it in a publication.
Friday, September 19th, 2014 8:30 PM PDT

The Genesis editing

I've got another editor on board for The Genesis, so I hope to have it out by the end of next month. Next month is also the TusCon sci fi conference in Tucson Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2. Being Halloween weekend it should have some pretty spectacular costumes. It always is a lot of fun, and has really great sessions. The grueling schedule is a 'puter buff's dream they start at 9:00 am and the last one starts at 11:30 pm. Movies go all night.
Don't forget that there's a book signing Nov 9 at the Oro Valley Library. I should have the whole Evolution River series available.
Monday, September 15th, 2014 8:35 AM PDT
We're battening down the hatches here in preparation for hurricane Odile. Norbert almost flooded our place, so I'm concerned. If Odile turns just a little east, it'll be in the Gulf of California and that will send a lot of water to Arizona. This will undoubtedly cause damage to the Puerto Penasco area in my stories.
Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 12:17 PM PDT
The next issue of my newsletter has been put together by Steve. The interview will reveal a lot about my thoughts and what went into the writing of the Evolution River series. As I read over it afterwards, I was surprised at how intimate it turned out to be. I'll publish it a little at a time here.
Here's the next installment of The Weapons.
The sudden jerk of the bus woke Achmed Abou from his nap. Several seconds elapsed before he realized where he was but his dream of Osama and their last meeting remained clear in his vision. The bus was hot, the air sticky and oppressive. Flies swarmed around him and his brothers as they bumped along. The heavy jungle pressed in on the road like a wall. As they turned a corner, a roadblock lay ahead.
“Be calm, my brothers,” the driver instructed.
Achmed fingered his AK-47 with one hand and the jeweled knife with the other. Around him, his brothers tensed. Nothing would stop them from this task. The guards glanced at the bus, but seeing the red crosses painted on the sides, quickly raised the barricade. The bus didn’t even stop as they were waved through. Everyone relaxed.
“We are almost there,” said the driver. “Remember, talk to no one. I will go to the generator plant and disable it. You go straight to the largest tent. The Imam is there. After you greet him and send him to Allah, return, and we will depart for our journey to strike at the hearts of our enemies. Do not let anyone stop you.”
Monday, September 8th, 2014 12:26 PM PDT
I did an interview which we are publishing in the newsletter and then on the website. It was fun. It does give some insight into me.
Friday, September 5th, 2014 10:06 AM PDT
I am awaiting word from my editors re The Genesis. Realistically, it will yet be a little while, but I would like to have this out before the TusCon scifi conference in Tucson at the end of October. The editing (mine and then others) takes longer than it took to write the book. I do have to get it right.
Thursday, September 4th, 2014 9:03 AM PDT

More of The Weapons

Here's the first and second paragraphs of The Weapons.
The Weapons
R. L. Clayton
“Very soon, I will be killed by our enemies.” The soft brown eyes of the white robed man looked around the room at his twenty followers. Although his face was gentle, radiating peace, his steely voice bit into Achmed’s soul as he continued. “They have sought me for more than ten years, and I have foreseen that my time has come. Do not lament or wail because I have envisioned Allah will provide us with a better weapon – one that will strike fear into the hearts of millions and decimate our foes. Soon you will visit a place where this weapon is emerging.”
Achmed’s heart swelled with pride. They had been running from the forces of this Satan, pursued on the ground and killed from the air until only the stoutest of heart remained. He and his brothers would do anything that this man counselled, gladly martyring themselves for Allah.
Monday, September 1st, 2014 2:42 PM PDT

The Weapons, para 1

I decided to put my short story, The Weapons" here one paragraph at a time. At first is resisted, but a friend of mine talked me into it. So here's paragraph 1.
As always, I welcome comments. My skin is thick enough to take criticism, as long as it is meant in a constructive manner.
The Weapons
R. L. Clayton
“Very soon, I will be killed by our enemies.” The soft brown eyes of the white robed man looked around the room at his twenty followers. Although his face was gentle, radiating peace, his steely voice bit into Achmed’s soul as he continued. “They have sought me for more than ten years, and I have foreseen that my time has come. Do not lament or wail because I have envisioned Allah will provide us with a better weapon – one that will strike fear into the hearts of millions and decimate our foes. Soon you will visit a place where this weapon is emerging.”
Friday, August 29th, 2014 6:03 PM PDT


I received a "Declined" notice from Creative Writing Institute on my short story. I think the story was a little to rough and tumble for them. I was within the guidelines they gave regarding violence, gore, and  sex, but it was implied. It certainly dealt with a tough subject. I'm thinking of putting it a paragraph at a time here and on Facebook. Give me your opinion.
Friday, August 29th, 2014 10:12 AM PDT

Short story

I got a disappointing note from the Creative Writing Institute that they declined my short story, The Weapons. No reason given. I'm a little bummed, but it down mean I can try other things with the story.
Monday, August 25th, 2014 9:38 AM PDT
I'm going to send Steve my newsletter read for this week. It revolves around my daydreams of where the Evolution River Series might go. I think all writers and artists daydream a bit. I know I do it a lot. I'm hoping to get some feedback within the next few weeks on The Genesis. I want to get that out and focus on the next project.
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 11:27 AM PDT
Yesterday it became official that I gave away my second Hobie Cat sailboat. I gave away the first one (vintage 1975) to Chris and Rita, and Chris spent a lot of time and $'s getting it in good shape, but alas it was nearly 40 years old, and while sailing it in Rocky Point, one hull cracked. It was not worth fixing. The reality was that I would not get the second boat up and going by myself, so Chris and I have a partnership on this next boat. It is theirs, but I get to use it. Chris and I will probably use it together most of the time anyway. The sailing while in Rocky Point was fantastic, and like riding a bicycle, the lessons learned hadn't gone away.
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 10:58 AM PDT
I went to a party last night to welcome Alexis Powers granddaughters to America. They are from Israel and are now refugees. Sad when they described the conditions of being under attack. We in the US are so lucky to not have faced those conditions...yet.
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 8:08 AM PDT
Well, the newsletter went out, and I'm getting some favorable replies. If you want to receive it, I need an email address. Steve did a good job of putting it together. He's pretty amazing. Thanks, Steve.
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 8:26 AM PDT
It looks like my first newsletter will go out tomorrow. Let me know what you thik of it.
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 7:48 AM PDT


Steve and I have embarked on a program to get a newsletter out. I plan to post information of where the Evolution River Series is going, answer questions and list events. We're mulling over a lot of ideas. I've developed a whole new respect for those who have built a name for themselves, regardless of what image goes with it. 
Monday, August 18th, 2014 7:35 PM PDT
I'm meeting with one of my editors this week, though she has not done much editing yet. We're talking about the new book, The Weapons. Since this book isn't part of the Evolution River Series, I may have to consider a new website...or not. I also have about 100 pages written on another book of the historical thriller genre. It revolves around the Women's Airforce Service Pilots. My mom was one of these women who flew during WWII. Attending their reunions was really something. I want to finish that one up too, but The Weapons is much more appropriate to today's news. After those, I have a mystery, thriller in the works.
Monday, August 18th, 2014 7:38 AM PDT
I've been working with Steve on a news letter program. If you want to receive news about The Evolution River Series and other books, leave me your email.
Sunday, August 17th, 2014 10:04 AM PDT
Yesterday I started on an outline for a new book, "The Weapons" that I've already been warned to be careful what and how I write. I've never been in a position where what I write could result in more than bad feelings. What I'm going to try to do is write in such a way as to not offend, but that is a minefield. As in the Star Wars movie when Obi Wan and Luke were looking down on the city on Tatooeen (SP?). "We must be cautious.
Saturday, August 16th, 2014 9:58 AM PDT


Last night I finished the draft of "The Genesis." I'm going to try to get my editors going now, so in a timely fashion it can be available. It has been a struggle to finish, and in the end I made up a chart of time lines to keep it straight. I got a great reader letter from a guy who has finished "Sea Species" and is halfway through "The Envoy." He's already looking forward to "The Genesis." It is so gratifying to hear from readers. SEND MORE!
Thursday, August 14th, 2014 8:38 AM PDT
I'm going to have to map out the character timelines again. If I have trouble following them, readers certainly will. I want The Genesis to be my best effort, and a 70,000 word document has lots of places for errors. I know it'll never be perfect, but it has to be as close as I can get it. Readers are pushing me to get it done. After reading The Envoy, they are anxious.
Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 9:37 AM PDT

new book?

I've been thinking more about the short story I wrote and using it as a prologue for another book. It is in the queue, and a fascinating possibility, so I'll mull it over while I finish the editing of The Genesis. Who would think that editing could take longer than writing?
Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 9:37 AM PDT
The short story I wrote, The Weapons, is starting to look more like a prologue for another novel. The story starts out normally enough about terrorists trying to commit mayhem, but the last line takes it in another direction. But then that's how I write. Now to find a venue to get it published and out there. Meantime, the editing of The Genesis continues.
Sunday, August 10th, 2014 2:28 PM PDT
Give me comments back about the changes to the website. I especially like the video. Steve, Curtis and I did work hard on it.
Sunday, August 10th, 2014 2:26 PM PDT
Alexis Powers' writer workshop will have a book signing Nov 9 at the Oro Valley Library. Y'all come!
Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 1:15 PM PDT

Welcome to evolution river series new blog

Stay tuned for updates from the author and what's new.
Sunday, February 3rd, 2013 1:11 PM PST
The Envoy is being edited now. I'm hoping for a release yet this month. It's important for me to get it right. R. L. Clayton
Tuesday, December 25th, 2012 6:33 AM PST
The print version is out and available on Amazon. Read and enjoy

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