Saturday, July 30, 2005

He Grew Up!

I was tooling around recently and came across something that made me stop and read twice what I had just read. Shaun Cassidy is now a writer and producer and doing well at it. I remember Shaun Cassidy as a teen singer whom I absolutely adored when I was younger. He did a remake of "Da Doo Run Run" and everyone was talking about how he and his older brother David were too hot! It was something of a shock to realize he had grown up, too, because in my memory he was still just as young and handsome as he was in my own youth.

Seeing that he grew up, changed and became a success in the entertainment world, although not the singing world, was good. It gave validation to something I can't quite put a name to. It was good, it is good to know he has succeeded. It's almost like running up on an old friend you haven't seen since high school and discovered they have done well for themselves, especially when you have wished nothing but goodness for them all along.

Shaun Cassidy as I remember him.

To check out more about his current life if you have a mind to, go to and - he has played MAJOR roles in getting Lost on the aire and many more shows, shows I actually like. I can't wait to tell B he had a hand in ROAR!

Friday, July 29, 2005

A New Magazine of Interest

I was reading another journal and the writer of said journal mentioned a new magazine she loved, The Black Gate. After going to the website and checking it out, I must admit my curiosity has been pricked. I believe I may subscribe to this magazine and I may actually submit something to it. Has anyone out there read this particular magazine? If so, what did you think of it?

Since most writers are in search of places to send their material, I thought I would list this here because when it really comes down to it, I view The News as a place for writers to explore the written word and give new writers a break on having something published. If you have a magazine open to new writers, I would appreciate knowing about it.

You can check out The Black Gate at or just click on the heading of this article - it will take you right to it.

A Video Game Has Been Outlawed

According to the AP Wire, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been outlawed in Australia because with certain downloads there are very explicit sex scenes in the game.

The game involves a main character seeking bloody vengeance on gang-filled streets, firing automatic weapons and picking up women along the way.

After downloading and installing a modification to the game — one of many "mods" available on Web sites maintained by video game enthusiasts — a new world opens up in which the girlfriends appear nude and engage in explicit sex acts, according to thmodifications's author.

I've seen Grand Theft Auto and heard about what happens through a friend of a friend of an enthusiast and I don't see why it isn't banned in more places. That Australia is the first has been a surprise, but only because it is Australia and not the US or Britain. There is something inherently wrong about a game where a man can blow away a prostitute just to get extra money and power-ups. Supposedly only people age 15 and over can purchase this game, but we all know how that goes in the real world. At 15 young men are trying to decide on how to act in so many different situations (and older), so why feed the fantasy of destroying people to get what you want?

I don't believe video games "cause" people to commit crimes, they are extensions of fantasies, and I love them, but there are some games that need to have a little more of a handle on life than they do, especially the ones with real time mods, such as Grand Theft Auto because it is supposedly happening now, not in some future (and this in no way says furturistic extreme violence like this is correct or acceptable at all either). I'm not a prude by any means, but it does make sense there would be just a bit more of a guideline when it comes to violence against women and children and animals.

e.e. cummings and growing up

"It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are."

E. E. Cummings

This leaves me with a question: How do we start the entire process, or is this something that just happens along the way? Maybe the courage comes in when we see what is happening and let it keep going without trying to halt it or change it to suite some warped image we have of ourselves in our heads.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Fantasy Revealed, Part 2

Fantasy Revealed, Part 2
By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2005 by H.A. Handy


Dremor led me to the fire and had me sit beside him on a log. He motioned to one of the others who handed him a flask, drank from it, and then gave it to me. It smelled alcoholic in nature, but when it touched my lips I found it sweet and tasting like nothing I had ever had before. It refreshed me, as well as made my head spin a little. Dremor took the flask back and set it upon the ground. Cappa padded in circles on the grass, and finally came to lie down between Dremor’s feet.

“She loves you,” Dremor said happily. “I am but a mere curiosity for her at the moment.” I nodded.

“You asked why you – I will try and answer you the best I can, but Fredrik will be the one to explain everything.” Dremor inhaled deeply and let it out slowly. His eyes had a distant look to them. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was remembering or creating. What was it one of the crime shows had said? A person who is creating looks to the left and someone who is remembering looks to the right? Or was it the other way around? I couldn’t remember.

“Long ago, when we Elven race left the plane of your world, there were some Humans and some Elves who remained behind. They helped to look after some of the greatest treasures we could not bring with us. Through the years, centuries, they have guarded these treasures in case they were needed again to fight a great and powerful darkness. Some of the Elves mingled with the Humans and halflings were born. Then the halflings married Humans and most of their elvish traits were buried deep, though they had elven blood in them. You are the descendant of ours, though you are fully human.” Dremor looked at me and smiled gently, almost shyly. “And I was sent to find you, because we need the treasure you have been guarding.”

“But I don’t know of any treasure. I certainly haven’t been guarding anything.”

“Perhaps your mother knows of it. The treasure is passed from one lady to the next.”

“No, really I don’t know. My Mom died two years ago.” Dremor smiled and placed a comforting hand on my arm.

“I’m sorry. It’s all right. Fredrik will help you locate it.”

“Who is Fredrik?” The others snickered at my question, but soon sobered once Dremor had cast them a disquieting look.

“Fredrick is a human wizard who helps to look after our world and keep us safe from the arkin.” Seeing my questioning eyes, the elf with the hair for a crown smiled.

“The arkin is a name we call a great darkness that tries to over-take our world with war and destruction. It hasn’t presented itself in thousands of years, so we have had peace, but now the dark stain of it is building to the west and we need the leengolet to help drive it away.”

“The arkin rises at the call of a powerful wizard,” the blond one said joining the discussion. “We do not know the identity of the wizard yet, but with your assistance we should be able to unmask him and stop the arkin from rising.”

“Is the arkin a thing or....” I couldn’t finish my question. I didn’t know how to ask what I wanted.

“The arkin is a dark cloud, a literal substance; it corrupts people and creatures, changing them from peacefulness to aggressive things that only want to hurt and maim. It can only be summoned by magic and very powerful dark magic at that. The last time it came,” Dremor continued, “was when Merlin took the Sword, Excalibur, from its true resting place. The arkin swept over our world and nearly destroyed it. Only Avalon was untouched by the time Excalibur returned. Only the strength of Excalibur gave us the necessary force we needed to defeat the dark wizard, Huel.”

“Can’t you just destroy this arkin so it will never threaten you again?” I was enthralled by the story, especially since Merlin and Excalibur had been mentioned so easily and factually.

Dremor shook his head, “No, the arkin is a natural substance. It is in everything. It is in each person, each creature. We have a choice of being good or being evil. When the arkin is in balance we are who we are supposed to be. When the arkin is out of balance, it overtakes everything good and corrupts it, even the thoughts, into evil. We cannot destroy what is a natural part of ourselves, but neither can we let it grow by the use of evil, dark magic and let it over-take our world...our home.”

“So, where will you be taking me?”

“To Avalon, of course,” said the fellow with the ornate hair.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Buddha says...

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Fiction and Tuesday

It is Tuesday. Not much happens on Tuesdays. It is the day after Monday. Tuesdays are the days when you try really hard to tell yourself you are acclamated back to the work week and Friday really isn't that far away. So, in honor of Tuesday, and because I simply think it's a good idea - here is the beginning of a story for you. Look for updates on it on Tuesdays (of course) and Thursdays.

Fantasy Revealed
By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2005 by H.A. Handy

There are many things in life and history, myth and legend no one can be certain of – When was the beginning of time? Does God really exist? Is there any such thing as magic in the world currently or through history? – no one can know if strange creatures ever lived or if there are untold prophecies of the end of the world (although I am sure there are of these). Who is to say what is right or wrong? That is what I used to think. I thought that all the way up to my thirtieth year of living when Dremor came into my life and changed it forever.

Who is Dremor? Dremor is an Elf. No, really, he is an Elf warrior who absolutely detests being called a “Ranger.” Why? I don’t know. He has such vehemence against it I have dared not question him further on it. Who am I? No one important, I assure you. Merely a human woman from the Twenty First Century living quietly alone with two dogs and a cat in a house my parents left me in the wilds of Lexington, Kentucky. I scrape and scrounge for every penny I get, just as you, at a job I absolutely loathe as a secretary for a small ad agency, Duncan and Moles.

Dremor literally popped into my life one evening as I was preparing myself some supper. I was tired of take out and wanted something fresh, good, and comforting. Enyo and Ella were laying by the stove and washing machine respectively, there big black bodies peaceful and content. Cappa, the true princess of the house and owner of us all if the truth be told, was lounging in her chair by the kitchen table.

Enyo was the first to raise alarm then Ella followed. They are quite protective of their mommy and of the house. We function quite well as a pack really. Cappa swished her tail then bowed and hissed at the doorway between the kitchen and living room. I went to see what was causing all of the ruckus. There was nothing there. Really, there wasn’t anything at all. Not even the television was on.

A sizzling, like bacon frying or electricity ready to pop something sounded, and there he appeared in Elven robes of green and silver. He was tall, muscular, and beautiful with long flowing black hair. A single braid with a silver bead was dangling over his right eye as if he had just landed from a relatively tall jump.

Dremor spoke first in Elvish. It wasn’t like Tolkien’s Elvish, but it was close, flowing, and sexual. His lavender eyes looked down at me as if waiting for a response, but, of course, I didn’t have one. Finally he smiled, and with the most elegant of accents bowed and said, “Greetings to you my lady.”

Enyo and Ella came to stand on either side of me. They weren’t barking any more. They were turning their head this way and that observing one of the greatest curiosities they had ever seen by their actions. Dremor knelt and they went straight to him as if he was a long lost friend they hadn’t seen in ages. This made me uncomfortable, so I called them back to me.

“I am Dremor,” he said. “I am come from Elweisfen to call you to the Great Council.” He bowed again. My heart raced in my chest. Had I fallen and was in the process of dying? Had I gone insane? Dremor strode to me, slipped an arm around me and led me into the center of my very own living room. Perhaps I was simply too stunned to resist, but I really didn’t feel anything threatening from him. He was too handsome, too gentle, too strong to cause me harm, I hoped.

Dremor carried swords at his back I noticed, and scepter in his right hand. “It won’t hurt,” he said softly, bending down close with a reassuring smile, “I promise.” Enyo and Ella trotted to us and sat looking up at us expectantly. “Of course you can come!” he said to them. “You must protect her after all, don’t you?” Enyo grumbled in her playful way of ‘talk’ and wagged her tail furiously. Cappa appeared swishing her tail and looking quite out of sorts. “And you, of course, what would any of them do without you?!” Dremor inclined his head to Cappa who stretched luxuriously before trotting forward to rub between Dremor’s legs affectionately.

Dremor was raising the scepter above his head and looking at a glowing lavender crystal. I felt something like stinging ants all over my body.

“Why me?” I asked suddenly. Of course, I should have asked that earlier, but I didn’t. Would you? Perhaps some of you would, but I don’t know many.

Dremor looked down at me and the crystal fell silent and dim. His brow furrowed slightly. “Are you not Marjorie Film of Hallowed Wood?” My parents and sisters and I had moved from Hallowed Wood to Lexington not long before Daddy got sick and had to be hospitalized. I nodded. The furrow vanished and he smiled again, the sort of dazzling smiles women only dream about directed at them. “Then you are the one I was sent for.” Dremor slipped his arm around me tighter and pulled me closer to him. Raising the scepter again, he kept his eyes on me, smiling reassuringly. “Thieln,” he almost whispered.

The feeling of ants on my body was almost more than I could take! It was almost painful, but not quite. The house began to shimmer as if I was looking at it through a watery reflection. Slowly it was being replaced by woods, blue sky, mountains in the distance and the gurgling of a stream. My feet were no longer on the old brown carpet, but on thick green grass.

Odd, I know, but it was at that precise moment I knew I had left the stove on and my house, would it be there when I got back, if I was able to go back?

Dremor released me and I felt cold and frightened without his touch. Enyo and Ella went cavorting off to bother the horses while Cappa was quite amused by a butterfly. She had always freaked out when I had taken her outside before, but here she was perfectly all right and kittenish again. Dremor bent and picked her up. Cappa purred loudly with pleasure, almost glee, and her eyes closed several times in happiness as she looked at Dremor. He ha mesmerized us all.

Another voice was speaking quickly and excitedly. I turned to see several more Elves in different shades of green and silver, some purple and gold, all of them quite handsome. Their eyes roamed over me appreciatively as well as nearly awed. Dremor said something back, his face firm and unyielding, but still, somehow, kind.

“Forgive us, my lady,” said one of them who bowed. He had long flowing blond hair and looked less substantial than Dremor in physical stature. “We were quite worried whether or not you would come to help us or that Dremor would be able to find you.”

“Yes,” said a third who had long brown hair and it was braided on each side in intricate plats and ties so that he looked almost as if he were wearing a crown of his very own hair. “We have been waiting here a very long time.”

“How long?” Dremor asked as he stroked Cappa’s head absently, though her purring grew even louder.

“Ten days.” Dremor relaxed a little.

“We have plenty of time to return to the Great Council then.” Cappa was placed gently on the ground and she followed after Dremor more like a puppy than a cat. Enyo and Ella came bounding over to me, wrestling as they came. Their tails were wagging so hard and fast it was amazing they were still on their bodies!

I stood there with the dogs and felt very lost, as well as excited. IF this was really happening, then I really was in the presence of Elves.

Dremor reached out to me. I took his hand and was surprised to find the fingertips were calloused and the palm was rough, but his touch was so gentle and strong.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Ancient phallus unearthed in cave

I read this and couldn't help but cackle. According to the scientist
Its life size suggests it may well have been used as a sex aid by its Ice Age makers, scientists report.
Even 28,000 years ago women were having to have help with a few things. What does this say, as a whole, about humanity? It doesn't seem to be saying anything all that great about us does it.

Click on the heading to read the entire article.

Desiring Expansion

Lately I have been a pure bitch (the weekend especially). Since finishing the first draft of WHRTTT it seems my brain cannot find anything useful to put itself towards and is driving everyone insane by just not wanting to do anything useful. Is this an excuse? No, I don't think so, I hope not. So, I have been seriously considering taking myself to the movies once a week.

You see the Kentucky Theatre offers all kinds of old movies, European movies, and sometimes just really strange affairs through the week, and I would really like to start going there. Once a week is feasible, and I believe I can actually afford it. After all, there is only so much I can take being in the house with the heat so excessive outside.

This week they are playing a movie that has caught my interest, it is called Ladies in Lavender. This isn't the sort of movie B would like to see, so why not simply take myself to see it? The only bad thing is that I haven't found a showtime I can get to because there aren't any in the afternoon for this movie. Today it was being shown at 9:40AM and, well, can't make that one.

The Kentucky Theatre is something I really need to keep my eye on and explore.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

– Dalai Lama

Friday, July 22, 2005

Love Is Like The Weather, Poem

Love Is Like The Weather
By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2005 by H.A. Handy

Love exists in the mind as well as heart
It is thought and felt
Lived and feared
Wanted and denied
Like the weather –
In the summer we wish it was cooler
In the winter we look forward to warm weather
Then, surprisingly, it happens –
The perfect moment when all things touch
Colliding with peace and harmony
Urgency and joy
The perfect instant...
The perfect day.

Accomplishment and Futures

WHRTTT is finished!

OK, the first draft is finished which means the story, so far, is told! The word count is a little on the downside 33,000+ but this gives me ample space to work with it and if I need to add sections I can. At this point I haven't begun the second draft - I need to just rest from it a bit and relax, then put on the editor/writer cap and dive in.

Surprisingly, the only thing that has me nervous now is writing the query letter for it. I mean, let's face it, it has been a long time since I've had to do this. My confidence is returning in leaps and bounds now, but has it returned enough to write an adequate query letter? My hope is yes, my answer will have to be proven rather than seen.

Since WHRTTT is finished I can turn more of my attention to The News and relax with it. Because I was working on WHRTTT, short stories filled the space of writing long projects, so I will be placing a couple of stories up here for perusal an sending off several.

The publishing schedule will hopefully go like this:

Monday - Tuesday - Writings, observations and tid bits.

Wednesday - Fiction or poetry from outside sources

Thursday - Fiction and poetry from yours truly.

Friday - Rambles, observations, tid bits and more fiction and poetry from yours truly while the time lasts.

Saturday - As I can fit in something

Sunday - Probably nothing because I am at Church all day and getting ready for the following week.
Nothing has really changed as far as scheduling goes, except for a few more additions of poetry and fiction by yours truly. Sometimes I think I just need to put it down to remind myself as well as anyone else who may just be interested in it.

Most of the success I have had recently has been encouraged by having The News and the bet with B. I need deadlines and challenges, and I have both with The News and with the novel (*squeeeee*).

Thursday, July 21, 2005

21 Uses for Vodka

~*~*~ 21 Uses for Vodka ~*~*~

1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The solvent dissolves the adhesive.

2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set 5 minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.

3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs.

4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.

5. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry.

6. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores. (Maybe this will help me to cut down on some of my beauty products!)

7. Add a splash of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.

8. Fill a 16-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to kill them.

9. Pour 1/2 cup vodka and 1/2 cup water in a freezer bag and freeze for a slushy, reusable ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes...

10. Fill a clean, empty jar with freshly packed lavender flowers. Fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly, and set it in the sun for 3 days. Strain liquid, then apply the tincture to aches and pains.

11. Make your own mouth wash by mixing 9 tablespoons powered cinnamon with 1 cup vodka. Seal in an airtight container for 2 weeks. Strain through a coffee filter. Mix with warm water and rinse your mouth. (DON'T SWALLOW!) (Why NOT swallow?)

12. Using a cotton swab, apply vodka to a cold sore to help it dry out.

13. If blister opens, pour vodka over the raw skin as a local anesthetic that also disinfects the exposed dermis.

14. To treat dandruff, mix 1 cup vodka with 2 teaspoons crushed rosemary. Let sit 2 days, strain through a coffee filter, massage into your scalp and dry.

15. To treat an earache, put a few drops of vodka in your ear. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain. Vodka will kill the bacteria causing pain in your ear.

16. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.

17. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.

18. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.

19. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin.

20. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.

21. If all else fails, just turn the bottle upside-down and drink it. Then nothing else will matter anyway!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bugs, a Short Story, by Eric S. Brown and Steven Lloyd

By Eric S. Brown and Steven Lloyd

The forest was alive with gunfire. Bullets zipped by Danny’s face as he hurled himself behind the cover of a thick tree. He heard the impacts as rounds struck and shattered its bark on the opposite side. Danny watched Brent, his platoon leader, get caught in the stream of an enemy flamethrower as the Viet-Cong pushed forward on their position. Brent’s flesh bubbled and turned black as he howled, yet somehow, Brent remained standing, firing into the advancing enemy ranks. Finally, Brent’s bald and charred form toppled to the wet mud with a splash.

Things were not going well. Danny knew his platoon was badly outnumbered. His mind raced. He had to do something, get the hell out of here, or he’d end up as dead as his commanding officer. Danny broke from the cover of the tree, his legs pumping, as he ran without looking back. A round caught him in his right leg and sent him rolling down the bank of the river he’d been running towards. Blackness took him as his body struck the water and was swept up in its currents.
When Danny opened his eyes, the sun was gone. He lay washed up on the river bank miles from where the firefight had taken place. He turned on to his side, coughing, and vomited into the dirt. A twinge of pain ripped through his body from the wound on his thigh as he jarred it. The world seemed to swirl around him. It was hard to focus. He imagined he’d lost a lot of blood. He collapsed back onto the shore and looked up at the stars above the jungle. He hadn’t signed on for any of this. He had been drafted. His only desire was to make it home alive. Danny didn’t give a crap which side won or lost the war, none of that mattered to him.

Something moved in the jungle on the opposite shore. Danny filled with panic as he realized he’d lost his weapon. He thought about reaching for the handgun still holstered to his belt but thought better of it. He lay perfectly still, barely daring to breathe. He hoped he was covered in enough mud to blend into the river bank in the dim light of the stars and that whatever was out there would over look him and move on.

Voices came out of the darkness. At least he thought they were voices but the language was not Vietnamese and it certainly wasn’t English. The words sounded more like clicking noise than actual speech. Yet there was no doubt in his mind that the sounds were indeed some sort of conversation. He could tell from the rhythm in which they flowed and the pause in-between them that they were some sort of speech.

The oddness of it overpowered him and gave him the nerve to open his eyes and ever so slightly turn his head towards the noise. He could barely make out two shapes on the opposite bank. One seemed to be squatting beside the water while the other stood over it. As his eyes adjusted once more to the low light and could see them more clearly, Danny almost screamed. The two shapes were not men at all though they were bipedal. They looked like giant cockroaches. Between their main arms and legs a second set of miniature limbs protruded from their shell-encased torsos which looked like an extra set of tiny arms. Their eyes were large bulbous mounds that rested on the sides of their heads and the clicking noises came not from their mouths but rather from pairs of large, razor like mandibles extending from their faces like an ant’s.

One of the things held a glowing round object in its second set of hands and both of the creatures seemed to be studying it. Danny wondered if he was simply dying and delusional but the pain in his leg reminded him sharply that he was alive and awake.
Being shot was the least of his worries. Oblivious to Danny, the 70-foot drop had broken both legs, forcing the bones upward through soft bruised tissues. Plummeting in a mess of limbs, the last things he recalled was free falling, the birth of his son, and his wedding day to Nicole. Everything there after went black.

Alone on the riverbank his midsection felt as though it had been packed with rocks, and the ever-unpleasant taste of copper plagued the interior of his mouth. At first the pain came in irregular stabs, and then searing as it cloaked him like clawed hands raking its nine-inch nails down his mangled legs.
Any other night the river was teaming with patrol crafts, but not tonight. Tonight the river was silent. Looking at the immense size of the creatures, he knew this couldn’t be right. At that instant Danny prayed for an enemy patrol craft to veer around the bend. This didn’t happen. Instead, the clicking sounds amplified, as the two glooming figures studied the disc in heated discussion.

Time seemed to ice over. The jungle began to animate and Danny rested in complete silence not sure what to do. A fish unexpectedly tore through the murky surface of the river, causing the shell-backed creatures to act in response. In that moment, Danny locked eyes with them, their clicking conversation long forgotten.

As Danny became more alert he realized that the trees around him were charred, and that this was some sort of crash site. Buried deep within the jungle reaching two hundred feet in length, he saw something unexplainable, something aglow and smoldering among shattered overgrowth and foliage. He could feel the thudding of his heart, and the panic rising to a new untouchable level.
The things began their advance toward him.


His place of solitude known, he rose up to run, but was forced down by the pain. “Sweet Jesus!” He struggled with his holstered pistol as he watched the mammoth sized roaches break the waters surface.

Danny could see their hard-shelled backs as they proceeded in his direction until they vanished below the waters surface. Pain in his legs forgotten, Danny scrambled backward fearing to see just how close they were. The gap, he knew, was closing fast.

Freeing his pistol, his mud-encrusted hands griped the metallic stock. With his other hand he pulled the chamber back.

Nearly to the point of loosing it all together, he tired climbing the steep embankment on his belly using only his arms. I’ll not die here! Not like this. He heard the splashing from behind, and dug his free hand into the moist soil, but to no avail. The sludge consumed his hand and sent him sliding several inches downward.

His mind pleaded for him to scream for help, but who would possibly hear his cries. The Viet-Cong? Would his death be lesser than what awaited him at the bottom of the embankment?

With his last attempt for survival, Danny rotated onto his back, leveled his weapon, and fired continually at the things coming for him. The shots rang out in the night, as the bullets sparked like fireworks, ricocheting off the creatures. Everything seemed to be in slow motion to him, but what he saw before landing at the base of the embankment was more horrifying than anything of war.

Despite their hard-shelled backs, there flesh was black as night and bubbling, and their bodies, no matter how unbelievable, opened with human sized mouths with rows upon rows of sharp teeth.

Danny muffled a cry, empting the pistol, as their mouths opened and sucked them in with wet smacking sounds.

The roach like creatures fell on him quickly reaping and tearing. The pain so intense, Danny felt and heard their mouths opening and closing over his weak and battered tissue. No time to scream. No time to reload, he welcomed his death and closed his eyes.

The creatures removed themselves from the strange organism. With their ship useless, the creatures returned to their damaged craft where twelve more identical beings waited. This deed would not go unpunished.
Assembling in a mass about the craft, they knew reaching home was without a solution. In addition to five gapping cavities in the belly, and rifled with holes from Danny’s primitive projectile weapon, anger blistered inside of them, a rage unknown to man began to open.

The round circular disk they had been holding and inspecting all along was discarded. The beckon was their last hope for signaling home. It was no use to them. Destroyed in the crash, they clicking sounds grew in maddening frenzy.
All fourteen creatures sidestepped out of the way of each other, giving way for sufficient room in support for what was about to ensue. Standing virtually eight feet tall, their thick-shelled backs flourished into immense wings extending nearly six feet in length.

A maddening hum vibrated through the untamed jungle as their wings stirred the earth. They took to the dark sky as a black cloud.

A new enemy was joining the battle. The Vietnam war was about to become bloodier.

Eric S. Brown is the author of the paperback collections Dying Days, Portals of Terror, Madmen's Dreams, and Space Stations and Graveyards. His fifith collection Waking Nightmares will be released later this year and his first novel is due out in Oct. from Mundania Books. His books are available from places like or

This story was previously published in Seasons in the Night #3.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Making Plans for Getting There

I sat quietly today in my writing room as it began to get cooler from the installation of the air conditioning unit so recently put into the window. I looked around and I nodded because I was thinking, I don't have to worry about how this looks to most of the world, just to me. Then it hit me, it hit me hard: I want my writing room to be as pretty as possible, as well as organized. It isn't as organized as I would like it to be. In fact, it isn't organized at all. Still, life looks good again without feeling sick and the novel will progress forward tomorrow. Sometimes I like sitting and just planning what course I am going to take next. I think everyone does really at some point or another - because at some point or another you need to know where you're going just to make sure you know when you get there.

Time in the Writing Life

For the past several days, OK, maybe a week, I have been so filled up with the story of WHRTTT (current working abbreviated title) that I realized today I haven't done much of anything except write and research. I haven't cooked a full meal since I've been Working, and it doesn't look as if I will be doing that until this book gets finished. When will that be? I'd say within the next couple of weeks if I can keep it moving the way it currently is. There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

On contemplating leaving these people behind and starting up another, new story, isn't as depressing or sad as it may have been for me. In fact, I feel as if this is one of the better beginnings in my writing life. The characters are solid. They speak humor and truth and they act, well, they act the way they are supposed to, except for the occasional bout of trying to get ahead of my fingers and brain, of course. Still, I consider this par for the course.

The next story is there, too. It is simmering. Sometimes a large bubble will burst with that thick blub sound and a new piece of the expected puzzle, as yet unseen, falls into place. And, I believe WHRTTT has a sequel, or the potentials of a sequel.

So, to let all of you know - No, I am not bored with The News or you my dear Readers in any fashion, I have just had far too much on my creative plate to speak, which is wrong. I shall try and correct this problem in myself soon. Tomorrow we have a new fiction piece by Eric S. Brown. So, I have not forgotten you, nor will I, just, please, be patient, and if I have been absent of attention for this long again will someone please yell at me to get my attention focused again? Thanks.

According to Gandhi I'm Happy

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

– Mahatma Gandhi

I read this today and it made me just stop and think. Has there ever been a point in my life where what I'm thinking, saying, and doing are all in harmony? I was shocked to discover the answer was yes. Much of the time all of this is occurring. So, by Gandhi I am a happy person. I rather like that.

Monday, July 18, 2005

People In Our Lives

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you'll know exactly what to do.

Michelle Ventor

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Time's Escape, A Poem

Time Escapes
By H. A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2005 by H. A. Handy

Time escapes
Second by second
Minute by minute and hour by hour
We expect to learn so much from "tomorrow"
We expect to look back at "yesterday"
What if tomorrow never comes, and we cannot see yesterday?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Doesn't This Make Sense?

In order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.

Henry Christopher Bailey

I am having one of those mornings where everything falls into place and this little miraculous saying is absolutely true for me this morning.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Wheelchair, a poem by Melissa Sartori

By Melissa Sartori
Copyright (c) 2005 by Melissa Sartori

She can captivate any room in an instant.
When she enters the room, with a grace that
makes it seems as though she is gliding,
glinting in the dim blinking lights of the bar
all eyes fall on her. Drinking her in, everyone
wonders what she is doing in a place like this. A mostly empty
dive on the corner. Perhaps they expect her to be less
bold, hiding somewhere in the corner, a pillar of shyness
trying to maintain some quiet dignity, as the eyes of
both men and women bore into her.
Then the music starts, and she floats onto the dance floor
suddenly she is moving fast
causing the room to become a blur as she spins, endlessly
never exhausted. And those eyes can no longer focus
on her. For the first time they all must admit, that she
can do something that they cannot.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

One of *Those* Days and Milestones

Sometimes it feels as if I have more irons in the fire than I can handle, and today has been one of them, mostly because I haven't felt well. Still, I have managed to organize The Project, make some calls for The Project and have also managed to figure out the website for said Project. Besides that I have actually managed to make myself eat thanks to B and Cheyenne who kept telling me I should eat, even though I didn't want to. However, the writing front is somewhat bare for today. I haven't even opened up WHRTTT's file at all today! Shame on me!

It isn't horrible of me, but it feels that way. Not writing has made me feel as if I have totally let myself down, so, before going to bed tonight, before working on anything else for The Project, I will write and let the feelings of creativity fill me and ease the physical pain I've been experiencing today. Life isn't bad for me right now, and I am going to work diligently to keep it that way, even if it means working on myself.

We have somewhat of a milestone today in our household. B finally has his reflexology certificate (as of this weekend) and he has his first appointment today, which he is currently gone to. Our friend Bob is a taylor and his hands are in a great deal of pain, so B has gone to see if he can help him feel better. I hope he can. We love Bob dearly and helping him to feel better would just be icing on B's cake today.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Some Words From Leonard Nimoy

The miracle is this--the more we share, the more we have.

Leonard Nimoy

Monday, July 11, 2005

Creeters Are Interesting

I have the most beautiful cat in the world (at least to me). When I am down she tries her best to love me back into that 'happy place' she likes to see me in. However, recently, my lovely Cappa has gotten it into her head head I am fully and only her's and she will eat for no one else.

See, it started a few weeks ago. Cappa, like most cats, started to be all finicky and didn't want to eat. My B said, "She'll starve to the food I buy for her!" See, B doesn't understand the intricacies of catdom: A cat will indeed starve itself sick, not like a dog who will eat almost anything, even if they don't like it. Cats, well, won't.

So, Cappa hadn't eaten for about three days (but she did drink plenty of water) so I got her bowl, put it in my lap an she jumped into my lap also. Together we wheeled into the kitchen where I placed her bowl in a chair that was practically level with my lap and Cappa ate heartily! Half of her was in the chair and the other half of her was on me. It was good seeing her eat.

Now, when Cappa wants to take a bite she comes and gets me.

That's right. She comes and gets me, to jump up into my lap so I can chauffeur her to her bowl and sit there quietly while she eats in blissful peace, purring the entire time like an old-fashioned washing machine. She is absolutely spoiled, and has me trained quite well.

Yep, creeters are funny.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Chosing Between Two Courses

When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the bolder.

W.J. Slim

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Neanderthal, A Book Review

Neanderthal by John Darnton isn't a bad read. It is roughly 395 pages of adventure with a theory for a possible explanation as to what happened to the Neanderthal species and if they still existed the possible explanation of why and if they were friendly or not.

I wish I could say I enjoyed this story, but I can't. The first half was wonderful. The action and science blended perfectly, but then the heavy-handed government angel just bogged everything down. Of course I could see the premise Darnton puts forth actually happening, it just seemed a little heavy handed. I found myself skipping, or wanting to skip, through the 'government' sections.

The latter half of the book, without the 'government' sections, was actually enjoyable. The quiet evil of the government almost seemed like a filler to just pull out the words. I believe it would have been a much better book without it, or so much of it.

I suggest you check it out, read it for yourself, and tell me what you think about it. I'd just grab it from the library if you can find it, don't go paying for it.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Humanity Is Better Than This, God Bless You London, England!

Since 9/11 America, and the world, have been more cautious about going about, but they have still gone. Defied the threat of violence and have been determined to live their lives as they always should - free and determinedly. As everyone in the blogosphere knows, London, England was attacked today by terrorists and lives have been changed.

I was not in New York when the events of 9/11 transpired, and I was not in London today, but I feel the same: shock, sorrow, anger, and shame - shame humanity can behave so horribly barbaric towards one another under the guise of anything, most of all religion. Yes, I know this has been a favorite theme in history - God is on our side so we are right and can afflict damage and mayhem on anyone in order to make it right with God. The Christians have done it, the Muslims have done it, and how many other religions have reached out, under the guise of making a better world, and attacked the innocent? One time is far too many.

For argument's sake, lets assume God is real. God exists regardless of what you believe. If God exists and is a kind and loving God, then what do you suppose He is experiencing right now?

Growing up in the hills of Kentucky I was always taught to live honorably and be who I am and proud of that. I was taught to never be a coward, because cowards did things to other people behind their backs. If you have a beef with someone, go to that person, don't hurt their dog or make their kids cry. Be a person, stand up and do what you need to do! This act in London is a cowardly one. What honor is there? OK, so someone might be ready to die for their cause - they why not stand up, point blank before destroying anything, state it, and give the people a chance to fight back. Are you so afraid of dying that you won't dare to be truly honorable?

These terrorists are a frightened faction who wish to cause people to fear more than do, because if that happens, then there will be someone lower than them.

Let us not fear.

Let us be free, and in our freedom take responsibility for what we do.

Some Words on Perspective

Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you'll find it there.

Robb Sagendorph

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

G-8 Faces U.S. Pressure to Downsize Goals

I am concerned by this. According to this article (which you can read totally when you click the title), the U.S. has been lobbying for the world to reduce their assistance to Africa and to the world AIDS epidemic! Why would the U.S. do such a thing? What does Bush know that we don't know?

Sure, he is the President of the United States, but has he been all that effective as a leader? Sometimes I do wonder. This is a great nation, but not all leaders can be good ones for every era.

GLENEAGLES, Scotland (AP) -- World leaders faced pressure from the United States to scale back goals for relieving African poverty and combating global AIDS, but British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday he planned to keep campaigning for his ambitious objectives with other world leaders.
The article goes on to say -

When asked about reports that Britain is preparing to scale back its demands on support for Africa and climate change in the face of U.S. opposition, Blair said he is "prepared to hold out for what is right."
This is good form and I hope Blair can do something with helping the world, especially the climate change and greenhouse issues. After all, Bush has done so much against the environment, someone needs to actually step up and tell him he has done something wrong. Or, at least this is my way of seeing it.

The differences were even starker on global warming. Blair wanted a plan to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. But U.S. officials lobbied to prevent the inclusion in the G-8 communique of any specific reduction targets as called for in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The United States is the only G-8 country that has refused to ratify the Kyoto treaty, with Bush saying that doing so would have "wrecked" the U.S. economy.
Something is amiss here. How can keeping the planet livable wreck anything? Have we become such a totally selfish nation?

Please, I encourage everyone to read the article. Tell me what you think. Even if you don't tell me what you think, do think about what the article is saying. It makes my hair stand on end.

A Novel Report

I tried very seriously to sleep late today, and if I didn't sleep I was going to make sure and lay there and relax. I really tried. What got me up and going? The novel, affectionately called WHRTTT (because the working title is a little long and I don't want to have to type it out all the time). The characters were there giving me glimpses of what they 'may' do when I get back to them. As it stands, this is the longest story I've written in ages with any hopes of completing it. So far to date there are 20,116 words total. Some writers love the tick of daily totals and over-all totals, I prefer just over-all totals, it makes me feel productive and I can see a good movement of words in comparison to the story.

Sometimes it would be nice, I think, to be able to just spit out the story whole. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be a composer or painter, but when it really comes down to it, this is what I genuinely love to do - tell stories. I am a story teller with the possibility of millions of stories inside me. There is a good chance I won't get all of them out, but why not get out the ones I can as inspiration strikes? Ideas are inspirations, so why let the inspirations die? True, sometimes we have to work on other things just to give our creative soul a break, and sometimes the weight of the world requires a nine-to-five job, but if you don't follow your calling while you are fulfilling your monetary requirement, what good do you have in the life you live?

OK, enough soap-boxing.

Total words as of last night 20,116.

Pray it finishes nicely. :)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Isabelle's Sorrow, Poem

Isabelle's Sorrow
By H. A. Handy
Copyright 2005 by H. A. Handy

mangled, marred and murderous,
Isabelle sought a husband and mate,
but no one was good enough
in dear ol' daddy's eyes
so each met a sorrowful fate

as time went by
Isabelle grew
people betrayed her trust
and trusting betrayed her
so life grew old and slew

how sad a life Isabelle lived
knowing nothing but perfection
seeing none of it or love
moving from one age to the next
knowing life did not match its reflection

Catching Up On The Weekend

I hope everyone who celebrated The Fourth had an awesome and wonderful time. B and I actually relaxed for the first time in days it seemed. Maybe our bodies and brains were to the point to where it didn't matter what we did because our bodies and brains were simply going to rest despite what we may have planned. About the other thing of interest we truly did was to go to Richmond, Kentucky to visit his parents and be fed a wonderful July Fourth meal of hamburgers, hotdogs, ribs, and all the fixin's. It was great. We got back home about 11:30 last night and had a good relaxing moment before we went to bed. I must say, we slept soundly, at least I did, until my feet started hurting. B thinks it could be because it rained at some point after we were back home. It could be - having arthritis means never knowing when there will be a good day or a bad day or how quickly a good day can turn into a bad day, or a bad day into good. No wonder so many people who have arthritis are on antidepressants! It's enough to make you depressed!

The quiet peacefulness of the weekend and Fourth has given me the time I needed to refresh the writing batteries. You will begin seeing more poetry here on the site. Why? Because I am tired of writing poetry and it never being seen by other people. This is a new poetry book really, so it will appear in its first context and content here for all of you. When it is finished, I will collect all of the poems and place them in a book format somewhere and send them off to do their thing. This idea feels most right at the moment. All I can do is pray and hope everything comes out the way it is supposed to. One poem has already been presented here, so I will be working on more through the weeks and days to come. And, for those who are interested, no, I haven't finished the current novel, but poetry and novel writing seem to work well side-by-side.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Ohhhhhhhh say can you see.....!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Happy Independence Day! Please don't forget to pray for our soldiers!

Friday, July 01, 2005


When a man is wrapped up in himself he makes a pretty small package.

--John Ruskin