Thursday, July 7, 2011

Murder on her mind…

A child in danger, from the depths of despair, a security duck cartoon, vigilante justice, fastest selling story ever….
A chip off the old demented storytelling block: My dad’s education ended at around the sixth grade, which was a shame because who knows how far he might have gone with more education. He was an extremely bright man with a spatial and mechanical aptitude that must have approached or exceeded genius level. Unfortunately, my dad grew up in a dysfunctional environment that bordered on insane. His dad (my grandfather) was a pretty normal man from what I remember, but his mom scared me. Because the early-1900s Maine wasn’t exactly a paradise of practicing psychiatrists, we will never know for sure if his mom (my grandmother) was just odd or really had serious psychological issues. I do know that she used to lock food away from her children who were sometimes forced to beg from aunts and uncles when they got too hungry. I also know that one day my father came home from school to discover his parents had moved without telling him. He ultimately found and was allowed to rejoin them, but what must that have been like for an elementary school kid to be abandoned like that?
I don’t remember my father ever talking about his family in an emotional way, but I wonder if some of his feelings were reflected in the stories he told. He would gather all of us children around (there were four of us then) and we would be glued as he explained how when he was a child his mother hated and wanted to kill him. He told about the time she took him up in an airplane and pushed…but fortunately he had his handkerchief to use as a parachute to float safely to the ground; how she made him climb to the top of a mountain where a bobcat attacked…but fortunately he had his pocket knife and was able to defend himself; how she threw him out of a speeding train…but he was able to aim for a soft clump of bushes and survive; how she led him into the deep Maine forest…but he spread sunflower seeds along the way and followed his path back; how she hired a helicopter driver to take him over the ocean and pitch him into the water…but he traded some baseball cards and convinced the pilot to throw out a canvas bag instead; and, of course, how she sent him into the woods to find out what was making the growling sound…but when the bear attacked he planted one of his magic beans and grabbed hold of the magic stalk that grew and pulled him up to safety.
I remember being enthralled by the heroic way my dad handled each and every challenge. He was definitely my first hero. Though those stories might seem tasteless in today’s politically correct world, I don’t believe my dad had ill intentions, a fact maybe best demonstrated when he stopped telling those stories when my grandmother died.
Fortunately my dad’s magic beanstalk continued to find imaginative uses until we got old enough to see through his fabrications. Even so, I think I was an early teenager before I finally gave up hope on having delicious fried snowballs during every winter storm. Of course, there were always reasons the snow wasn’t quite right…but the truth is I still wonder what they might have tasted likeJ.

Da, da…da, da…da, da…Watch Duck! A friend of mine runs a trucking business and dog rescue service, so he and his two adult boys tend to drive by my house just often enough to notice trends in my yard. When my friend showed up in the driveway one evening last week, he got out of his truck and asked where Watch Duck was.
“Watch Duck?” I asked.
“Yeah, the big white one that we always see sitting on the hay bale keeping an eye on things.”
I chuckled at the idea that Fat Duck might actually be serving a purpose beyond his own interests, but the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced he could star in his own comic series. He could use his fine pooping skills to battle the bad guys, but of course the city police would need to develop a new way to contact him when the city was in danger. Batman has the Bat Light, so maybe Fat Duck could have…uhmmm—a giant bread slice in the sky.
No, probably wouldn’t work because he prefers his bread broken into small pieces.
Yes a Watch Duck comic would definitely be fun, but in real life Fatty has to stay right where he is. If he were off fighting crime, we’d lose our dual purpose Watch Duck and lawn ornamentJ.

My Review of Without Remorse by Tom Clancy
My rating ««««« (five out of five stars)
So bad and yet so good..., 6 July 2011
Tom Clancy has long been a hit and miss author for me. I should say that a lot of it has to do with his incredibly detailed and dense descriptions of everything military. He earns a lot of kudos for his intense knowledge of his subject matter and his ability to base his fiction in frighteningly realistic circumstances, but there are times when I just want to get on with the story and not learn about a firing pin and its historical significance to military maneuvers in the east pacific along the way.
However, Without Remorse is a book so deeply drenched in character building that it swallowed me up with sympathy, empathy, and then a deep personal need to see Mr. Clark succeed in finding revenge and yes “justice” for the many wrongs that had been done to him and his. I, like many of us, had met Mr. Clark in other Clancy tales, where he was a cool and efficient military liaison to our government. But within the pages of Without Remorse, Tom Clancy brings him to life. Mr. Clark is soon revealed as a man with a history filled with flaws that maybe forgivable but are nonetheless frightening.
Back when he was called Kelly, Mr. Clark endured the loss of a wife and then another woman who was very important to him. Unfortunately for the men responsible, he wasn’t prepared to accept that second loss. A man with hard-earned military skills, Kelly/Clark moves, no sweeps, through this story and leaves us with a sense of nobility as he deals with some of the most revolting segments of our society.
Is vigilante justice right? And can a man with the skills earned through U.S. military Special Forces actually beat law enforcement? The answers to those questions are sure to surprise you. But please don’t assume this novel is about revenge, because it’s not. It’s really about how a man changes in the face of severe personal adversity, and about how even the most righteous of causes can somehow get all twisted up.
All these big issues aside, rest assured Mr. Clark is a man worth meeting and spending time with. His story isn’t an easy one, but I, for one, would be pleased to learn that men like him are standing watch all around our world today.

Bones in the Tree, update: It’s finished and available for free (at least for the time being) at I should mention that we have another first: Bones in the Tree was downloaded more times in the first twenty-four hours than any other story I’ve ever released. Thank you all for continuing to support my journey and the characters I’ve created along the way.
Bones in the Tree short description…
Her parents dead and marriage over, Karen returns to Maine to rebuild her life. An irritating furry neighbor and tombstones in her backyard play surprising roles as she endures one disastrous date after another.
Extended description…
What were her parents thinking when they opted for burial in the backyard? Karen didn't know but finds herself talking more and more to their tombstones as her personal life descends into chaos.
Her marriage in flames and dating life little more than one catastrophe after another, she finds herself turning to a furry, acorn-throwing neighbor for solace.
Can the fresh air and slow pace of life in Menyon Falls heal her broken heart, or will returning to Maine be the biggest mistake of her life?
Come find out in this quirky and surprisingly emotional novella from "Maine's Other Author"TM Tim Greaton.
13,500 words (41 pages)

Thanks J.C. Allen for your incredibly kind review of The Santa Shop (Smashwords)
Her review…
««««« (five out of five stars)
From the Depths of Despair and Despondency, June 15, 2011
The Santa Shop by Tim Greaton was a poignant and uplifting story about one man’s journey from the depths of despair and despondency to the dawn of redemption and recovery. Skip Ralstat lost his family in a fire. He blames himself for not being there to save them, and his guilt leads him to plan his own suicide by jumping from a bridge called Christmas Leap. Along the way his plot gets hijacked by the “Santa Conspiracy”.
Well written and edited, Mr. Greaton has a wonderful talent for making his characters real, the dialog believable, and the locations familiar. You feel his pain and grief, you stand on the bridge with him, and you experience his awakening and hope. A beautiful story.

My thanks to you my readers: I once dreamt of writing for a living. Though a lot of my time is spent writing for nonprofit corporations and charities around the country, work that is incredibly fulfilling and that I will continue to do long after it is required on my end, each and every day more of my income comes directly from readers of my books. Please know that I couldn’t be more sincere in my appreciation.

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