Books

Time is fleeting ….

Time is not just flying by right now.  It is leaping forward in huge gaps.  I can not believe it is October already.  Well, at least the heat is breaking and we can get down to some reasonable temperatures.

Geektankradio.com has been going just fine.  The show continues to grow and spread across the globe.  Seriously, the show is now searchable on the I Heart Radio/Media’s app.  That is allowing the world to discover the madness that is the Geek Patrol.  If you haven’t heard the show, click over and check it out.  It has lots of geeky news and pop culture.

The Fix It Up Show is just too much fun.  Joe and I keep discussing the foibles of do-it-yourself and other topics of home care.  The callers are great and we literally have months of material and stories to try to cover.  Joe now thinks he can stump me one of these days.  So far, I get him every time.  Listen to the show, come up with a question or two for me and call into the show and be live on the air with me Saturday mornings from 8 to 9 in the morning 600 WREC AM and 92.1 FM.

The Mid-South Pyrate Blades were featured by the Hooks Central Public Library and The Friends of the Library last Sunday for their Talk Like A Pirate show.  We had literally hundreds of guests come through the library.  Not only were we fighting this year, we also get a pirate games are with booths for the very popular games, Ring the Hooks ( get your ring on the suspended hand replacement hooks), Ring Around the Rat ( through a ringer around the standing rat mounted on a basket), Rat in a Basket (toss three rats into a swinging basket), and The Memory Game (match the pirate symbols etched on the bottom of cute little skulls).  Yeah, it was a great day.

I have a new story published in the “End of the World Potluck” edited by Robert J. Krog.  I enjoyed writing this one.  I love dark characters.

Here’s a snippet from my, “A Choice Made”.

“I’m here, just like you asked.” Thor Everdall stood at least 30 feet away and leaned backwards against a tombstone. The two men stood still as they sized each other up. Thor had gained some weight and had a different hair style, but, fundamentally, had not changed much. John, by contrast, had the hard look of man locked away for 15 years. His face wore too much stress and pain for his age.

“I didn’t think you would actually show up.” John had pictured the moment for all his jail time. Now, with a glowing sky and the world ending, it jumped from a dark dream to a hallucinatory reality.

“We don’t need to do this. You’re out. You could try to enjoy what little life we have left.” Thor remained relaxed in spite of the topic.

“Enjoy. Enjoy life. My life ended that night. The night you ruined everything in my life.”
“Really? The night I ruined your life? You mean the night you got so drunk that playing Russian roulette seemed like a good idea. The night you and Sarah got so drunk that pointing a gun at each other in bed was a good idea. That night? Is that the night you’re talking about?” Thor kept his voice level and his gestures to a minimum. He didn’t want to completely set off John just yet. However, he knew they were going to have to hash it out for a while.

John didn’t show any signs of anger, just intensity. “Yeah, the night you left bullets in my Colt 45 revolver. The night Sarah took one of those bullets to the chest.”

https://www.darkoakpress.com/allanstory.html
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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZeqwiRmndPqhU_ifBYuvfg

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Soon is good

I am still digging out of the most impossible summer schedule.  It is amazing how things can grow to absorb every waking moment of your life.  I have to admit that when some says something like, “When you have a little spare time,” i just look at them them a dead pan “What do you want?”  It is just easier that way.

I admit that the Desk of Endless Tasks is getting a little deep.  Numerous projects are moving slowly through the grist mill.  With anything that resembles luck, numerous wonderful projects are going to wrap up very quickly.  I am eager to start making announcements.

GeekTankRadio.com continues to grow and find new listeners.  Now that you can go to the IHeartMedia.com and look up the show by name.  It is fun hearing from new fans around the world.

The Fix-It-Up show is seriously picking up steam.  Apparently, a lot of people around Memphis enjoy trying to stump Joe and I with their home repair and other projects.  So far we have had questions from raccoons in the attic to living edge tables.  This show is a live call in show and goes so fast to us in the studio.  It feels like we sign on and a few minutes late we are signing off.  We just can’t believe an hour has flown by.

I also managed to sneak in a live appearance at Movies by the Lake at the AgriCenter.  The movie that night was Pirates of the Caribbean, so our Mid-South Pyrate Blades got invited to be the opening entertainment.  We had a complete blast “fighting” with the kids.  I was amazed at how many people attended this event.  We have already been invited back to another event so we will have to be bigger and better.

https://www.darkoakpress.com/allanstory.html
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http://www.geektankradio.com 
http://www.cafepress.com/gtrmerchandise

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZeqwiRmndPqhU_ifBYuvfg

 

The shows keep growing …

The summer heat keeps up the intensity.  It does make getting simple things done more difficult.  Nothing quite like sweating buckets every time you try to do anything outside.  Happily, GeekTankRadio.com and the show involve being inside an air conditioned recording studio.  The show keeps rolling right along.  More and more people discover our brand of silliness each week.  One day we may be fabulous enough to be media guests at something major like Comic Con in Dan Diego or DragonCon in Atlanta.  One can dream.

The Fix It Up Show continues to overflow its cup every week.  The number of fans tuning in every Saturday morning is growing exponentially.  The fun of doing a live call-in show is the fact that you have no idea what is going to happen when you put that caller on the air.  Happily, the callers are learning to call in early and wait in the holding queue.  Don’t wait until the last 7 minutes of the show to call in with the 7 part question.  Three of four callers sitting in the queue right out of the gate makes the show move so much faster.  I do like the suggestions that we up the show to two hours.  Yes, I am sure we have more than enough content for two hours.  Personally, I would just really love it if the show started an hour later.  I am just not a great morning person.  If you know me, that ain’t a news flash.

I am happy to have my computers all back up and working.  The mundane world more or less went super nova over the last 6 weeks leaving very little opportunity for my quality time at The Desk of Endless Tasks.  A couple of weeks ago, I was attempting to sneak in a quick hour or two when my trusty monitor of several years reached the end of its tenure on my desk.  The poor thing simply gave out.  No worries I think, next time I have some time I will just swap it out for my back up monitor.  A few days later and the swap is made only to have the back up work fine for about 30 minutes before it made a high-pitched whine and died.  I finally have a new monitor purchased and in place.  It is nice to feel back to together and at one with the Desk.

Just a personal reminder to forgive minor mistakes in your life and find joy in the things you do.  You just don’t know when the living time will end for you or those around you.  While I have lost a few close friends and family this year, I have also lost a lot of people who impact your life from the edges.  People and their families that may not deal with you directly , but their presence is felt everyday.   Find a way to keep each and every day just a bit sweeter and richer.

A

http://www.darkoakpress.com/allanstory.html
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http://www.cafepress.com/gtrmerchandise

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZeqwiRmndPqhU_ifBYuvfg

 

Shorts for Summer

The heat is here thus it must be Summer.  Short stories are the perfect reading material for the season.  You can wrap up a story in a single sitting and still enjoy more work be the same author.  To jump things off, here is our latest YouTube entry in the It’s All About Writing series.

allanfcoverxlgNext, here is the link to my short story collection.  You really need to buy a copy for yourself.  Here is the blurb pitch:

Discover 19 extraordinary stories ranging from dark fantasy to science fiction and steampunk. Allan Gilbreath has created a stimulating collection of possessed raccoons, doubtful demons, secret potions, Hellish mornings, murderous black holes, dangerous missions, miniature dragons, fake vampires, real ducks, and a cranky detective. This collection showcases Allan’s astounding attention to detail and the sensual imagery his works are famous for.

http://www.darkoakpress.com/allanstory.html

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http://www.geektankradio.com 
http://www.cafepress.com/gtrmerchandise

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZeqwiRmndPqhU_ifBYuvfg

 

Finally, I am going to give away a massive free sample of why shorts are so much Summer fun:

Afternoon Lemonade

In spite of modern conveniences such as air conditioning, it is a long-standing Southern tradition to endure the late summer heat in person. The more mature folks suffer the fading afternoon from their porch chairs and swings. They sit; some actually swing and sip iced tea with a sprig of mint or lemonade made from real lemons. The average conversation is a brilliant exercise in minimalism while beads of condensation languidly form on the ice-filled glasses. The air is filled to the point of bursting with the call of the annual cicadas. It’s a pervasive sound that seems to emanate from every direction at once leaving the listener with no avenue for escape. The teenagers find that loitering in groups in the parking lots of grocery stores or fast food restaurants works for them as well as the porch swings of their elders.

The hard thumping of heavy bass crossed the expansive yard to the slightly frowning faces of the older generation. The teens sat on the hoods and trunks of their cars parked on the side of the road at the end of the driveway. They drank sodas and smoked cigarettes while they held their private conversations masked by the roar of the radios.

“Did y’all attend the parent’s meeting this afternoon?” asked Ms. Prunella from the swing, seated next to her husband of many decades. Ms. Prunella sipped gingerly at her iced tea taking care not to smudge her carefully applied lipstick. Her blued hair still held its carefully coifed style as she swung lightly. Its weekly update at the local beauty shop held up to the heat and humidity. Her son and his wife sat across from her and G’pa George. They all had dressed in appropriately cool linens and cottons. Their light colored clothing contrasted with the familiar black standard of the modern teenagers at the roadside.

“We did, Ms. Prunella.” Ms. Mary Ellen responded. “The vote was unanimous. All the parents agreed with you and G’pa George. It’s time all the parents had that special talk with the teenagers.”

“Bout time,” was G’pa George’s contribution to the conversation.

“Did you make sure that everyone had the proper recipe?” Ms. Prunella asked.

“Yes ma’am. Robert was a dear, and made a copy at work for everyone. He handed them out after the vote.” Ms. Mary Ellen patted her husband politely on the knee, and smiled lovingly at him. He smiled and nodded back.

“It is plain time to explain life to these children before they get themselves into…” Ms. Prunella paused as she searched her aged mind for the proper euphemism. She nodded as she found the word, “complications of a family nature.”

All four of the adults nodded in agreement, and continued to swing for a few minutes while the radios pumped their rhythmic noise from the roadside. Ms. Mary Ellen finally broke the silence. “Robert will have our talk with Betsy Sue tomorrow afternoon when she gets home from school. It is Friday, tomorrow, after all. Betsy Sue will have time to… umm… think about everything over the weekend.”

“Bout time,” G’pa George’s chimed in the final word on the topic.

*****

Betsy Sue kissed Donnie heavily and passionately for several minutes before breaking free of the desperate lip lock. She looked deeply into his eyes and said, “Pick me up about 7. The folks want to have some kind of family dinner tonight.”

“Sounds good, my folks want to do the same. I wonder what the old people are all up too. Must be about graduation coming up.”

“Must be.” Betsy Sue agreed as she kissed him quickly and got out of the car. She bumped the door closed with her hip, and waved to him as the car pulled away. She began walking up the drive. As she looked towards the house, she could see her parents already out on one of the swings. Betsy Sue groaned to herself and rolled her eyes. If her father had come home early from work that meant they wanted to talk to her about something. Normally, it would be something she had no intention talking to them about. They had already fought about the way she dressed, the music she liked, dating boys, staying out late, smoking cigarettes, and nearly every other topic under the sun. “What’s up?” Betsy Sue asked suspiciously as she reached the porch steps.

“Your mother and I wanted to have a few words with you before dinner.” Robert answered calmly in a very pleasant tone of voice.

Betsy Sue looked into his eyes. She didn’t see that parental look. Instead, both of her parents looked rather pleased with themselves. Betsy Sue remained cautious. It can never be a good thing for a teenager when both your parents look pleased with themselves.

“Put your books down and have a seat.” Robert said pointing to the empty swing across from them. Betsy Sue did as requested, still eyeing the both of them suspiciously.

“Here dear.” Ms. Mary Ellen said as she held out a cold glass of lemonade to her daughter. Betsy Sue accepted the glass and took a deep sip. Heavy necking left one a bit parched. Her parents smiled even larger.

“Betsy Sue, you will be graduating soon. Your mother and I just wanted you to know that we are proud of you.” Robert reached over and squeezed Ms. Mary Ellen’s hand. Maybe this talk would be about a car, or trip, or other fabulous graduation present. Betsy Sue took another long sip of her lemonade. If she didn’t know better, she would swear that this drink had just a little kick to it.

“We have come to realize that you are not a little girl anymore. You are nearly a grown young lady and deserve to be treated as such.” More hand squeezing and proud looks as Betsy Sue took another sip. She didn’t want to rush them. She knew they would get to the point sooner or later. “However, dear,” Ms Mary Ellen inserted, “we feel that you need to behave like a young lady, before we can, in all good conscious, treat you like one.” Ah ha, Betsy Sue rolled her eyes. Here we go again. They would never figure out that this was her life, and she would do as she saw fit and if they didn’t… like… it.

She lost her train of thought for a moment. She had started getting up a head of steam about something. She looked at her parents. They seemed to be staring expectantly at her. Oh yes, they… argument… her life… graduation. Betsy Sue shook her head. Maybe it was the heat. She took another sip of the cool lemonade. Yup, she had to be right. This lemonade had a little kick to it. Her mother’s voice wandered in from the lemonade-induced fog.

“You see, Betsy Sue, we and all the parents in town agree, we can’t have our children running around poorly dressed, smoking cigarettes, and driving fast with all that loud music.”

“It is time for all of our young adults to be grown up and act properly,” added her father. Betsy Sue’s head swam. Her legs lost all feeling. Her tongue wouldn’t work. She watched her mother take the glass from her hand. Eventually, her grandmother came into view. Strangely, she seemed to be looking down on her. The last words Betsy Sue thought she heard… wake up… proper respect… attitude adjustment.

*****

Betsy Sue sat on the front porch with her parents and grandparents in the heat of the long afternoon. Seated in a comfortable porch chair next to the table holding the silver-serving tray containing the pitcher of iced tea, she chatted idly while sipping from her glass. Her elders sat in the opposing swings. They all dressed appropriately in cool linens and cottons. The sound of a car turning slowly on to the drive attracted their collective attention. “Look, dear,” Ms. Mary Ellen advised. “That nice Donnie Conners has come calling. Step inside and get him a glass.”

“Yes ma’am.” Betsy Sue replied as she rose gracefully to her feet. As the car rolled to a respectfully quiet stop, all of the grownups looked at each other and smiled knowingly.

Commentary:

I was asked to write a story that would be distinctly Southern and Gothic. After some thought, I found myself thinking of many of the older people I had met while working on my parent’s hobby farm in Fayette County, TN. Looking back, I found an odd universal opinion of the younger generations. The grandparent age group all admitted to spoiling their children. They wanted them to have all the advantages that they had never had.

The grandparent age group also thought that their grandchildren were basically useless. They had no respect, wore funny clothes, and played their music too loud, you get the picture. I have long had the uneasy feeling that if the older generation had a “magic potion” that would help make the youngsters into decent people that the old folks would use on the youngsters in a minute.

While I am sure that no such potion exists, I still wonder at the true contents of the glass every time I’m offered a tall, frosty glass of sweet tea or lemonade.

And let the heat arrive

Well, it had to happen some time, sooner or later, the early summer heat is rolling on in.  Happily, the gardens are all set up and ready for the growing season.  My next gardening experiment will be the hanging strawberry garden.  I have everything set up and planted.  I just need a better support system.  There is a lot of dirt to be supported.  However a quick trip to Lowes in the morning should supply everything I need.

The ponds look good and the catfish is waiting on me each evening for dinner to get tossed into the water.  It is amazing how much everything in there likes really cheap dog food.

Some days, the fates decide to smile a bit.  I needed to match up a few projects with the right people and by nightfall everything lined up nicely.  I have lots to finish and we should have some great new releases coming up very quickly.

The Desk Of Endless Tasks is clearing up a little bit.  I love hitting the “Done State”.  We are both trying to trim down for the season.

Thank you all for the amazing growth at Geek Tank Radio (www.geektankradio.com).  Every week the show reaches thousands of new listeners all around the world.  Tell your friends and listen in. 🙂

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Now that the rain has gone …

I have reached the age when my memories are clouding up the modern day.  For instance, I do remember numerous serious thunderstorms, tornadoes, and even the occasional hurricane, however, I also remember that most of the time, rain was just that, a nice rain for a few hours. Everything got watered, the creeks and streams rose a little bit, and the plants all looked really perky.  Now, it seems that most rain events are now storms absolutely dumping inches of water as fast as possible.  Of course, I could be wrong, but it certainly feels like I am right.

Been getting a lot of editing and pagination done.  We have numerous new projects coming up very quickly.  I am excited about both our books and media works.  If you haven’t checked out the new YouTube channel, dive in and enjoy.  Of course the more subscribers we get, the more stuff we can do. https://youtu.be/SOUhsMPdRBA

Sadly for Geek Tank Radio, Jessie has traded up jobs and has moved over to the TV world.  We will miss our defacto mum/Harley Quinn.

This coming Thursday night on Apr 19th at 7:00 pm the Writers Around Town will be at the Germantown Community Library.  The topic for the night is “Writing Series And Keeping It Fresh”.  I am having a blast with these seminars.

I am also happy to mention that our Pyrate Blades performance group keeps getting better.  Who knows, the pirate fight club may show up at a convention near you.

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Full Moon Motivation …

It has been a wonderful full moon weekend.  The weather has been pretty good and the night sky has been spectacular. The best part is that I can watch the moon rise from my desk chair.

I am prepping for another convention appearance next weekend in Tupelo, MS. at Tupelo Titan Con ( http://tupelotitancon.com/ ).  Not only do I get to be a writer/radio host I also get to be there with Pyrate Blades.  Yes, there will some live sword fighting.  I am very excited.  This is going to a lot of fun.

This weekend a lot of video rendering and editing also got done.  The Desk of Endless Tasks has had a steady stream of projects coming and going.  I just love the sounds of productivity in the evening.

Geek Tank Radio ( http://www.geektankradio.com ) has continued to grow.  If you have been keeping with the show, you already know all about geek eats, science news, and shower thoughts.  If not, dive in and catch the madness 🙂

This weekend would not have been complete without the annual first yard beat down.  It is shocking just how rough the yard gets over the winter.  Now, the yard is beat into submission for a few days, the beds have been cleared and planted, and the blueberries are already blooming.  No bad at all.

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