Avast, yon Reader!

Scary Pyrate

Nothing says nautical mayhem like the word “avast.” Right out of the box you know the words that follow are coming from seafaring devil, a maritime monster, a nautical ne’er do well. This is because good guy pirates and Navy types don’t use the word.

You’re probably one of those Navy types, or perhaps a good guy posing as a pirate in order to accomplish some secret mission – don’t worry, we won’t tell – so we must digress:  According to Merriam-Webster, avast means to stop – avast pulling on that line, mate. Avast talking like silly pirates, ye scurvy wingnut. Arrgh.

Why ever have we found the word Avast in our headline? Why, yes, you guessed it, Chapter 12 of MARIGOLD’S END, A Phineas Caswell Adventure, now has its own page. It’s over there, to port ye might say, below MARIGOLD’S END, The Novel.

In Chapter 12, Phineas is taken to The Tavern, the headquarters of Red Suarez, who is the self-proclaimed pirate king of Port Royal. While that sounds a trifle trite, the chapter itself is quite alive with daring-do and an escape that simply goes awry.

What’s going here, you ask? Well, my friend, this is Gorilla Marketing at its best, but this might be better. For a minimum of moola, youm , my writer friend,  have been marketed. Bang, just like that. Boom. You didn’t even feel it, and yet, ka-slap, you have my message in your head. What is the message?

Dude, it’s in your head, okay? Do I have to spell out e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g?

So, go tell everyone you know…we’ll wait… to hurry over to this site and read that chapter. Leave comments, praise, and oodles of cash… somehow… and have them tell their friend, who is probably you, to read it again.

Avast! Ye have been marketed, ye scurvy swab!

Here’s what’s odd: I began the tale of Phineas Caswell several years ago, in the hopes of exploring the world of merchant sailing in the year 1726. He started as a nine-year-old way back when, with the first name of Jim. Since that first version he’s changed names, aged three years while losing twenty, and finds himself with a dark and difficult past, an uncertain future, and a penchant for falling into the sea. My, how we’ve changed!

You’re a writer, you know how it goes. Your characters tell you about themselves as they progress. If you’re lucky, you have the wisdom to let them… elucidate… and not go crazy over the lack of control. The story gets out eventually, either theirs or yours. If you’re lucky, it’s theirs.

Enjoy the chapter.

Avast reading, ye swab.

Read On, Read On!


Just when you thought it was safe to go back to your computer…noooooooooo!

You have guessed correctly – yet another chapter of MARIGOLD’S END, a Phineas Caswell Adventure, is now available on this site. In fact, it’s right here: Chapter 11.

The tension ramps up for poor Phineas when he drops into the sea right in front of a rowboat loaded with trouble. And then, he finds himself…hey, I’m not going to tell you – you get to read it! Or, you know, call me up and I’ll read it to you!

The chapter is published as part of my publicity effort… all right, all right, call it marketing.

Slowly but surely, interest builds and builds, curiosity mounts higher and higher, until people just can’t WAIT to rush to the Internet and buy a copy!

Alternatively, you read the chapter and think hey, this guy’s not so much of a nurgle-head. Maybe I’ll read his other published works.

Hey, I’m working on that, okay?

Have fun with the new chapter – I had fun putting it together.

Shameless Marketing

BS Closeup

Go ahead, say what you will. Get it out of your system. Shameless, tasteless, bad form, bad ‘cess to it. Fie on thee. There you go. Are you through?

The cause of this invective, as you well know, is that I put together a cute little video about a model sailing ship, announcing its YouTube launch on a sister page, Droppington Place.

Nobody watches it, but, well, as you’re the only person reading this post, low ratings are no shock to me. Rather a low par for a very lonely course. You’re a writer. You know how it goes.

So, there were some little cranky-making nits and gnats in the movie – not enough to stop a would-be Steven Spielberg like myself, but perhaps enough to make a would-be watcher say dude, what was that?

Although no one has watched the move, there is still the profession to be honored. Plus, one never knows.

Hours under the cinematic hood resulted in this: TA DA!!!

Hey, you say, I didn’t watch the other video, but this video sure looks the same.

You, my hyper-critical friend, are only halfway right. Yes, the majority of images are the same. But, there are some pretty big deal changes.

Some of the images are taken from other photography sessions – one shows even an incomplete ship. Ho HO, did not see that coming, did ya?

But, here’s the shameless marketing part – one of the images, a 7 second segment, shows the cover of my novel, MARIGOLD’S END. The cover features the same ship model, dramatically blowing up in the background.

Genius, I know.

AND, if you look carefully at that one shot of the crew on the deck, some joker cleverly inserted the face of yours truly in the background. Oh, so clever.

Say what you will, this is a great example of cross-platform marketing.

If somebody ever watched my video, they might wonder about what that dramatic book cover is.. about… and Google MARIGOLD’S END, and, bang, zoom, the circle remains unbroken.

Not only that, but the casual reader of Droppington Place, and there is only one of those, now has a link to the video, which leads back to the book. Ah, the web, the web…

Obviously, with only one reader and no video watcher, the full effect of my marketing tour-de-force has yet to be felt. But give it time…-150-200 years or so, and then we’ll have something about which to converse.

So, the video is here: Black Swan by Zvezda, and the launch article is here: Hello, Hollywood!

Zoom! You, my writer friend, have been mar-ke-ted… see how easy it is?

Next I think I’ll write a song…Marigold’s End, the Theme from Marigold’s End, the Phineas Caswell Adventure.

Now that’s a catchy title!

I’m likin’ it!

Don’t Look Back


You’re a writer. You know how it goes.

We work our brains out on a piece, twisting it, turning it, ripping it up, tossing it out, starting over again. And that’s just the first paragraph. It’s like trying to knit with a garden hose. Or a snake. Or your cat’s tail.

Eventually we win the day – the paragraph, she’s perfect. Not one word out of place – the Pulitzer committee is about to call any old second – gosh, I hope they have my cell phone number. I’ll just said the ring to uber loud so I won’t miss the call… you know, if I’m in the tinkletorium or something.  Maybe I’ll take it in there with me…just in case.

The words, they flow like spilled milk on a linoleum floor.

Hello? Pulitzer folks? Oh, it’s you, Mom. Can’t talk – I’m doing brilliant work right now. Have to keep the line open for the ol’ PC – of course you don’t tell Mom that, but it’s in your head.

And then pass the days, the weeks, the months. We sort of give up on the Pulitzer folks – clearly they don’t have our cell phone number.

And then, quite by accident, we glance at a sentence in our epic piece, the piece of OMG-This-Is-BRILLIANT literature, and we spot a typo. The guy’s name is Phil, not Phirl.

First comes disbelief: how did we miss that? How come spell checker didn’t get it?

Then comes justification: well, that’s why we hire editors, right? Don’t they catch stuff like that?  What’s one typo? Nobody’s perfect.

But, a piratey ghost enters the room. What do we know about pirates? Thieves and brigands, right? Out only for themselves, right? Ne’er do well cads. What do we know about ghosts? Scary, totally dead folks, right? This is a bad combo.

The piratey ghost tells us we’re a lousy writer. We glance at a single page of a 75,000 word tome, just one page, and we spot Phirl. Holy crackers, how many Phirls’ are in there? What else did we miss, if we missed Phirl? Real writers at least spell their character names right. Real writers don’t make stupid mistakes like this. Rookies and dimwits do stupid stuff like this. No wonder we have our day jobs.

And, the thing about piratey ghosts is that they speak with such conviction…with the occasional whoo-OOOOO-ooo thrown in to remind you that they have otherworldly connections. They must be speaking the truth. I mean, why would a piratey ghost lie?

Well, you’ll find not one but TWO chapters of my Phineas Caswell novel, MARIGOLD’S END, over there on the left. Chapters 9 and 10. And, in copying ’em onto this site, I spotted a, well, a slight… well, it’s fixed now.

They are both bang-up chapters. Full of that stuff that makes you go -say, that’s good stuff. Bang up. Read ’em, let me know what you think of ’em. I’ll sit right here by the Comments box. And, if you’re on the Pulitzer committee…

Aaargh, and whoo-OOOOO-ooo, matey. Ye cannot write yer way out of a Martha Stewart luminary. Har HARRR!

But you’re a writer. You know how it is. You know that 99% of the goomers who want to be writers are sitting at home wondering why they’re not writers. You did it. You wrote a book. Or several books. You did it.

Begone, piratey ghost entity! Take your snide comments with you! Blast your infernally eternal ectoplasmic hide! Pick on someone who hasn’t written a book – someone who hasn’t ground their keyboard to dust looking for just the right word, precisely the right image, the heart, to make a scene come to life. Begone, useless spirit. You ain’t nothin’ but a bit of bad cheese!

Take heart, my writer friend. You are writing – bingo, you’re ahead of the piratey ghost. You work and work and work to make your stuff better and better. You might inadvertently type Phirl instead of Phil, and sort click on ignore by mistake when the spell checker finds it. It happens. Around here, a lot.

Take heart. Omelettes are not made with complete eggs. You have to whisk the batter to make a pancake.

Don’t look back, except to see how much you have accomplished.


Stupid piratey ghost.