Thursday, December 27, 2007

Perception and my blog

Boy, do I feel like George W. Bush today.....err, scratch that analogy. Poor choice. Let's see, who do I feel like? I can't think of anyone right off hand, but I certainly do feel misunderstood. Sure, my blog is a personal thing. It's sort of an online diary and, well, I've got a lot of things going on personally and professionally that I write about. You can say I'm "venting" when I write a blog entry and, in truth, I look back at some of them and they help me understand certain things that I didn't understand at the time. But, my blog also gives people an insight into a piece of the puzzle that is my mind and it gives them reason for pause. I can understand that, I suppose. I'm a complex feller. Always have been. I would also, however, ask people to understand that I am just cleaning out the cobwebs (and, consequently, the spiders) in my head. Making room for good thoughts. I've said many good things here but, apparently, it's the bad things that people remember and linger on. Don't know if it's simply human nature there or what, but I will try to be less personal in the future just to prevent misunderstandings.

Hope everyone is doing well. Watched THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL last night. Classic last-man-on-earth movie that is, sadly, out-of-print. I found a copy and highly recommend it.

See, that wasn't so bad, was it?


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The next task at hand

Well, we're in the waning hours of Christmas 2007 and I'm looking forward to the new year. 2007 was a year of transition for me. I didn't plan it that way, of course, but life isn't something you can plan sometimes. I rolled with the punches, took what was thrown at me with as much humility and genuine honesty as I could. I wrote about it in my blog a lot over the year and, trust me, my blog has gotten me in hot water more than once this past year. But, you know what? At least I was honest. I told the truth in the way I saw it. The better part of the past decade for me was riddled in lies. Lies of love, lies of commitment, lies of the heart. I tried to be honest when I wrote things down. I "wrote what I knew", which is a writer's credo. Fiction-wise, I wrote like a fiend this past year as well. I finished HATE CITY LIMITS very early in the year, wrote a script for a movie/comic book called THE WEREWOLVES OF ZACAR VII (an idea I've had in my mind for well over a quarter of a century), which I still need to do some work on, wrote a novellette called CITY OF BLINDING LIGHTS that I hope to finish final edits on before New Year's Day, wrote a low-budget movie script for THE BIG MUDDY MONSTER that will be produced, I hope, early next year, and am in the final stages of writing the first draft of PATH OF DARKNESS, which was originally entitled BLEEDING HEARTS. On top of that, I wrote a handful of short stories and a poetry collection entitled ALL SUMMER LONG. I have 20 or so poems for another collection to be entitled GAS STATION ROSE. Tomorrow, I plan to go to the Cellar (my favorite writing haunt since the ex headed off) and will finish writing SCRUFFY'S FIELD, a short story I've had in mind for a little while that will be dedicated to Stephanie because, well, she inspired it. It'll be a fantasy tale of love lost and regained.

On top of that, the anthology I co-edited, HELL IN THE HEARTLAND, ought to be back and ready to ship the first week of January. Cross your fingers.

2007 was a busy year. I tried to keep myself busy to keep my mind off things.

I've tried to make this blog entry less personal because, well, my arse is still sore from the last criticism of my blog.

Hope everyone got what they wanted for Christmas. Me? I got a blanket to keep me warm. Practical gift, considering how cold life can be sometimes.

I'll post a new entry before the turn of the year.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, blog readers! We've made it another year! Reason enough to celebrate. I'll let you know what presents I got tomorrow. Take care, Roger

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Ghost That Haunts Me

I’ve been thinking of all the follies in my life of late. There have been many, it seems. I have loved and lost a woman who was the other half of my heart. Her departure, not unpredicted, left a gaping hole in my soul. Was she justified in leaving? Well, she thinks so. I’m not really so sure. Certainly, she went out of her way to treat me like a nobody…and it grated on me until I had to demand she stop. She didn’t just stop; she left. But, she will never be loved as much by another man. She knows that and, once in a while, I detect a hint of sorrow in her voice when we’re talking about our children. At least, I think I do. I hope I do.

It took me over a year to want to be with another woman. I languished in a self-imposed envelope of pain. I loved my wife; I told you that. But, gradually, I realized that, if she had loved me back, she would not have done many of the things she did. She would have heeded my requests, gentle at first and more forceful as she ignored them, and given me the simple things any real wife would have been happy to give her husband. I came to realize that, through some inadequacy of her own, she was incapable of such a simple thing as I requested.

I looked around and found a woman. She was beautiful to me in many ways, and I dared to want to be with her. I was still in pain and probably should have thought twice, but the loneliness and the sorrow was eating me alive and I knew there was nothing I wanted more than to have someone who wanted to hold me.

We got together. We held one another. She helped me in ways that I had been previously denied, and I adored the woman. But, I still had a large hole in my heart and, while it was slowly healing, it wasn’t ready. I told her I wasn’t ready for some things, but she was. She’d been looking for me for a long, long time, she said. I was happy. But, the past kept creeping into our relationship. I have two beautiful and wonderful children with my ex-wife and, therefore, had to deal with the woman on a daily basis. It grated on my new relationship and, sadly, I think that’s over with now. I cared immensely for Stephanie and wish her nothing but good things. I’m sorry the ghosts of my past are still with me. Believe me when I tell you I tried to push them away, but they simply wouldn’t go away.

Unfortunately, Ghosts are like that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Idjits Guide to the Internet

Forget that last post, your humble author forgot one of the fundamental rules of the Internet - reboot your modem. Once I did, all the planets realigned and my high speed Internet was cruising again. Oddly enough, both the Annihilation Press website ( and my personal one ( were back up as well. Don't know what the heck happened there and I really don't care as long as everything is working. It's 3:15 a.m. at the moment. I awoke to the sound of the cat bouncing off the walls downstairs at 2 a.m. (he's weird) and couldn't go back to sleep, so I decided to get up and get a little work done. Today is the Printing and Duplicating annual Xmas party and I'm looking forward to seeing my old friend and mentor John Tweedy. John retired last year and I miss him. He taught me a lot about printing.

Speaking of printing, I've had nothing but difficulty getting the cover to HELL IN THE HEARTLAND printed. I'm going to look for a new printer this week and send the PDF file to someone new soon. Guess I'm not the only Internet Idjit out there.

Hope everyone's doing well. Enjoy the clipart with this post....and spread the Xmas cheer.


Monday, December 10, 2007


Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. Does the excrement seem to be flowing onto your humble author today. I just checked my personal website,, and it's down. It was down last night, too, but I thought that was a fluke. I THINK I'm paid up on my personal website until the middle of next year. Also, the Annihilation Press website appears to be down as well. That one isn't supposed to be renewed for several months as well. So, I have to waste what little free time I have to contact the website host, Host Monster, and find out what the stinking deal is. That, plus my high speed Internet is down as well due to the fact that I chose to pay the light bill on time instead of the phone bill once too often. Giving serious thought to telling Verizon where to stick it. And, the sad part about it was that I'm really not behind...I was just late by a week. Where's Verizon's Xmas spirit? Ol' Ebenezer must run the company. Thankfully, the blog is still up and I have my free dial-up through SIU to stay in contact with the World Wide Web. Money's been tight this year from paying lawyers and shyster bike mechanics (a lawsuit is in the works on the latter) but I plan on getting things back in order financially soon. Hopefully, 2008 will be a far better year. Might be going back to Cable DSL too. Mediacom was a little more expensive, but it was never shut off for being a week late. You get it when I get it, fellers....and my kids come first. Sorry if that's an inconvenience to some overpaid executive.

Oh well, time for bed. It'll all be better in the morning.

I hope.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Love American Style (or "Love, part 3")

What a crappy day here in good ol' southern Illinois. It was, as Robin Trower best described it, a "long misty day." The kids and I were locked up in the house most of the day. Our jaunt to the local mall proved hectic...too many Xmas shoppers. So, around 3 p.m. I decided to load the kids up and drive down to my sister Paula's house. They'd bought a beautiful new large screen HDTV and my kids sat there and watched SpongeBob Squarepants in the most vivid color I've ever seen. I started talking with Paul and my mom about things that had happened since last we'd all sat and talked. I got a divorce, my youngest sister sued my mother for $10K and got it, and the new woman in my life, Stephanie. There were some interesting points made, and I thought I should ponder on them extensively. My mother made note of the fact that my ex-wife never took my last name, preferring, instead, to keep her maiden name. I reckon it made things simpler when she fled for higher ground. But, Mom said, "I don't care how much you love a woman, if she won't take your last name, there's something wrong." Well, of course, that could be called old-school and decidedly non-feminist, but I tend to agree somewhat. Of course, I DO know at least one couple where the woman didn't take his last name and they seem to be as happy as clams. But, my ex only used my last name when it was of benefit to her. I tried to take that with a grain of salt, but I have to admit that it did grate on me. I suppose, in hindsight, it was an indicator that she didn't want to be here. Trust me, there were many such signs. The day she moved out, she said something like: "this is terribly unfair to you." I replied, "when have you ever been fair to me?" It was a question she did not answer then, nor has she made an attempt at answering it since. I suppose there is no worthwhile answer to the question, anyway, so it will go unanswered forever.

So, what does this have to do with love, you ask? Hell if I know. Recently, I've been contemplating the difference between love and sex a lot. You CAN have sex without love. Many, many, many people do. I think I did for the better part of a decade. But, can you have LOVE without SEX? Certainly, a strong sexual relationship is beneficial to both people in a relationship. But, is it necessary? These days, I think having someone you can truly rely upon in a pinch is more important when LOVE is involved. If you can't have faith in someone, can't rely on them to cover BOTH your asses, then you're just having sex with them. If they won't give you what you need in "love", then there's going to be trouble somewhere down the road.

Find someone you can depend on. If the sex is there, and it's good, you're lucky indeed.

Ponder that, my friends. I'll relate more as I figure it out better myself.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tis the season

Well, I figured I'd better put up a new post since Craig Reeves (of Craig and Bert fame - see my poetry collection, ALL SUMMER LONG, for a poem about them) said he was reading my blog regularly. I saw Craig and Bert and a the whole gang out on Saturday night when Stace England rocked PK's. (Check out Stace's website and buy his cds, It was an awesome show with Chris McKinley providing some stellar backing vocals).

There's not all that much to report elsewise, I guess. I've got MURDER AT PK'S all but finished. The epilogue is all that needs to be written, and I'll try to do that Thursday night when I am, once again, sans children. Right now, I'm just enjoying their company. It's December and that means Xmas is right around the corner. Of course, I'm not ready. Not by a long shot. I'm baking cookies tonight, though, in an effort to get in the Xmas spirit. Of course, my daughter Hope is eating the butterscotch chips out of the cookie dough, but that's what the holidays are for. In between butterscotch chips, she and Darrien are watching RUDOLPH THE RED NOSE REINDEER on television. I'm waiting for the cookies to finish baking so I can have a cookie (there's a metaphor in that somewhere). So, life ain't too bad. Hope everyone is doing well....and, Craig, I'll try to post something more interesting next time.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Harbinger of the End

The end is coming, my friends. Seems like yesterday I was sitting on my couch watching the New Year come in.

Time flies.

There have been so many changes over the past year. And, as mentioned in the previous post, I have much to be thankful for. This year has been one of transition. There were moments when I thought I might go completely mad....and beautiful moments that I will never forget. I could go into detail on both variables, but I think steady readers of my blog will understand. So, why the dark and foreboding title to this post? Well, next Saturday is the first of December. One month left in the year. December is a sad month, in my opinion, kinda the underdog of the year. Christmas not withstanding, December is kind of a bummer in my book. Like that old cartoon with the Baby New Year getting lost and the new year not being able to start, I wonder what the new year will bring each of us. Certainly, 2008 will start out a better year than 2007 did for me. At least, I'm pretty sure it will. I've been thinking about New Year's know the old standards, "lose weight", "exercise more", "find this or that". Well the former two are on the list for this year again. I will ponder other resolutions over the coming month. I will do my best to put 2007 - at least, the bad parts of 2007 - out of my mind next year. I guess what I'm trying to say here is this: December is the harbinger of the end, but it's also the harbinger of good things to come.

Stay safe this holiday season, my friends. Let's meet here a year from now and see where 2008 has taken us.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How to be thankful

Been thinking about Thanksgiving. Thanks and giving. Two words. Two words that mean a lot, I think. Stephanie texted me at work and asked me to meet her for a drink at 4:10. I sat across from her and said to myself "This is a great gal." So, I am truly thankful to be with her. She is a good woman. I believe that....and, trust me, I wouldn't say so if I didn't think so. I've had my heart stomped on and I'm a tad cynical still yet...but not about Stephanie. It's weird....I knew when I saw her pushing a stroller around that I would get to know her. Don't ask me how...I just did. I am thankful to have a woman who cares for me. I care for her, too. And, ultimately, at the end of the day, that's what really matters.

I am also thankful for my three children, all of whom I love dearly. Sometimes, it's difficult to realize that. But, Thanksgiving is (and should be) a day we pay thanks for what we HAVE, and not what we WANT.

I am thankful for what I have. I've been cynical about love for quite some time, but I am thankful for all those I do love. My father died at the ripe old age of 50. I'm 46 now. Trust me when I tell you I feel the hands of time scratching at my back. Love while you can, my friends. It's the only thing that truly matters.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Love, part 2

Well, the divorce is final. I got a surprise call from my lawyer on Tuesday saying I had to sign a waiver. I drove over to Marion yesterday and signed the paper that sent the last ten years of my life finally and inextricably into the past forever. Oddly enough, I slept like a baby last night (and Tuesday night, for that matter). My heart was punched so much over the past year and a half that, now, the callouses have hardened into a tough and resilient outer shell.

That is what I want to talk about tonight, gentle readers.....the prospect of new love after a horrible assault on your heart. Trust me, I'm something of an authority on the subject now. But, I also found a wonderful woman without whom the past several days might have been very difficult indeed to live through. Stephanie told me a few weeks ago that I looked better rested than when we first got together. My response was simple - "Can you guess why?" After a moment, she smiled. She has eased my pain and given me a new lease on life in a lot of ways. I've told her many times that we needed to take things slow and easy, let them work out in their own sweet time, but I have made leaps and bounds back toward feeling like a human being again....and I owe it all to her sweetness and compassion.

So, I guess what I'm saying is this: time will heal your pain, my friend. It will make you realize there IS a reason to carry on, a reason to fight for that every-elusive beast called love. Stephanie has proven to me that good women truly do exist. Trust me, for over a year I've had a lot of crap slung at me (hence the humorous clipart attached to this post) and I felt like crawling in a hole and throwing the dirt over me. Not any longer, my friends. There's still some fight in me.

On that note, I have hardcovers of my poetry collection, ALL SUMMER LONG, available for sell. I'll post them on my website soon and in local stores in the coming weeks, but you can e-mail me if you want a copy.

Hope everyone is doing well....and, believe me, this isn't the last post on love.

More as things develop.

later, Roger

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Beans and Greens

I've been meaning to post something new all week but have been lazy. There's really not that much new to report, I guess. I wrote another little short story for the Clarity of Night blogspot ( for their new contest. Wrote it in about five minutes then fretted over it for an hour till it was exactly 250 words. Like the last entry of its nature, the story is "inspired" by a picture posted on the website. This time around, the story is called "Hidden Fire". Check it out. I hope you enjoy it.

The title of this blog entry is thanks to the lovely Ms. Stephanie. The other night, she started talking about making ham and beans at the Y.E.S. dinner we went to. We stopped at the grocery store and she bought some collard greens, too. The next day, she called me over for a dinner of ham and beans and collard greens. It was delicious. You did a great job, Stephanie. Give yourself a pat on the back.

Like I said: she's a keeper.

Anyway, I figured a new entry was required, so here it is. I will try to finish HELL IN THE HEARTLAND this weekend. I once again have a window of opportunity. We'll see if it gets completed. Looks like the low-budget movie, THE BIG MUDDY MONSTER, will be put off until next month, maybe even early next year. I'm so far behind I think I'm ahead.

Hope everyone is well. More later, Roger

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Love, part 1

I've been pondering the concept known as "love" for quite some time now. As readers of my blog will attest, the past year and a half have been hard on your humble author. That's all right....I'm tough and I can handle things. For those who aren't acquainted with my blog, I'll cut to the chase. My wife, with whom I'd been with for almost a decade, moved out after finishing nursing school last year. It devastated me. I loved her very much. But, that said, I also knew she didn't love me. That didn't stop the devastation, didn't stop the hurt when she laughed at me and openly flaunted "the other man" in my face. We could go into details, but there's no point. That "love" is over with. Stick a fork in it, throw the burnt and nasty-tasting thing in the garbage. Microwave something instead. It'll satiate your hunger better than that "love."

Flash forward a year and some change. I met a woman. Actually, I think we met each other. Well, that's probably not true, either. I kept seeing her around and, eventually, the notion that she was a beautiful woman overpowered the pain in my heart and told me to try and win her heart. I tried.....and, much to my surprise, I think I have. She certainly has won mine. Stephanie is, perhaps, the most wonderful woman I've ever known. I feel like I've known her forever, and we've only dated two months! I am totally thankful to know her and I wish I'd met her years ago. This is a woman with heart and integrity....and, as I've said before, "she's mine....get your own." Any gal who'll dress up as Raggedy Ann for you....well, you better keep her around.

Words of wisdom from your humble author.

More on love later, Roger

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Raggedy Ann and Andy go out on the town

Well, Raggedy Ann and Andy made a stop at several Halloween parties about town. That's your humble author as Andy, and that beautiful woman as Raggedy Ann is none other than the incredible Ms. Stephanie. Man, she looked awesome as Raggedy Ann (I have a picture of her doing a little curtsy that is, simply put, in-freakin-credible). What a sexy woman. We made it to a party down the street from my house, then went to the Halloween party at The Cellar. We were complimented on our outfits many times, and several people took our picture. I'm sure it was simply for a picture of my smokin'-hot Raggedy Ann. Then, we went back to the party down the street from the house and hung out around the campfire. We finally got off to bed sometime around 3 a.m. We both had a great time and I apologize for the out-of-focus picture.....I didn't have autofocus on, apparently, and the photographer was a little, well, shaky.

Once again, I'm sure that was due to Stephanie's incredible attire.

Hope everyone has (or had) an awesome Halloween. More later, Roger

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Post for Stephanie

This post is specifically for Stephanie. October is her favorite month and she's a wonderful woman. I figured I'd give her a good chuckle with these pix I unearthed tonight while looking for "legitimate" images for a business card.

Hope you like them, Stephanie.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Unintentional day off

Well, I've got an unintentional day off today. Stephanie called me this morning and let me know. She had to work, though, and is grading papers in relative darkness as I type. Seems the storms last night knocked out a major power grid and my children's school (and Stephanie's) was affected. They had no power and, rather than teach by candlelight, they closed the school. That's gives me time to get caught up on things. I also need to clean the house desperately (dust bunnies abound!) so I'll probably dig out the broom and start on that shortly, if I can keep the children tamed. But, it's also quite nice out, so I might take the kids out for a stroll in the stroller. Windy as heck but in the 70's. Might put a sail on the front of the stroller and let the wind do the pushing. Or, I might just lay around and look like a bump on a log. Not sure which, but probably the latter.

Anyway, just figured I'd post a blog because I had the time.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

The fictive spirit continues

I meant to post an update on my fictional adventures these days. THE BIG MUDDY MONSTER film script is finished and in the can, so to speak. We just need to film it later this month. My mystery novel, BLEEDING HEARTS, is over 50,000 words now and I hope to finish it by year's end. Ditto with the other mystery I'm working on, MURDER AT PK'S. MURDER AT PK'S is, of course, set at PK's bar here in Carbondale, the second of a three volume "locally produced" book series I am writing. I go to the establishment, sit, and write. Simple enough. TALES FROM THE CELLAR, written at The Cellar, of course, was the first one. Sometime next year, I will begin work on the third volume. The location where it'll be written is still up in the air. I'm debating a few locales as we speak.

As anyone who can read my blog will note, the past year and a half have been rough on me. Most of the fiction I've written in that time has been either dark or deeply reflective. I just finished ALL SUMMER LONG, a book of poetry that I wrote over the summer, and a change took place during the writing of that book...I found a good woman. She has affected my writing and my heart. The last quarter of ALL SUMMER LONG is all about how I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I still see it. So, early next year, I will begin work writing a new book. This is a book that's been in my head for 25 years or so. It will be the tale of three estranged friends who come together again in a nursing home. Their families have left them there to die, and they will face their mortality and the reasons they parted ways many years ago. It will be dedicated to Stephanie because, without her beautiful heart for guidance, I would never have attempted the tale.

Thank you, are the best.


Confusion and Paradox

Well, today is my daughter Hope's 7th birthday. I remember seeing her borne unto the world. The doctor had to use forceps to remove her from the comfort of the womb, and the plates in her head were scrunched up between the metal "spoons" of the forceps. I remember being sickened at that sight, thinking "that's got to affect her brain." Of course, naive me, I was wrong. She's sharp as a tack. She till has marks on her head where the forceps pulled her into the world, but no one would notice if they didn't know where to look for them. I do. I was there.

Anyway, today is both a happy and sad day. I am happy for so many things in life right now. My beautiful young daughter, my son, my legal-drinking age daughter Sarah, Stephanie, the most incredible woman I've ever known and her daughter, Stasi. All wonderful reasons to be happy. I am a rich man indeed these days.

Sadly, I also got the notice of the final court date of my marriage today. Isn't that ironic? Funny how God will try to depress you when you're happy. I had thought the farce that was my marriage to Hope and Darrien's mother would be over long before this. And, while I will always love the children I had with her, I have come to the realization that she was an absolute stranger to me throughout our marriage. Certainly, she was watching out for her own self-interests. I will never regret Hope and Darrien, but their mother?......well, that's a different story. It is certainly a to love them and how to deal with her. I am working on that. Unfortunately, it is a work in progress.

Confusing? You bet. But, I do know one thing....I am with the most incredible woman I've ever known now, and I want to continue being with her. The more I am with her, the more I realize what a farce my marriage was. This is a woman who genuinely CARES for me. This is a woman I can TRUST. And, in the end, if you can't trust someone you love to watch your back....well, you shouldn't be with them. They don't deserve you.

Sorry for the candid post, folks, but I'll give you a final word of advice. Or, rather, I'll let the Great Criswell from the Ed Wood movies do it. He said: "The future is where we'll live the rest of our lives."

Live for the future. Embrace the good in your life. Life is too short.

Have a good day.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Summer's Over

Good morning,

Well, the kids are still in bed at 8 a.m. on a Sunday (this is as rare as hen's teeth, my friends). Stephanie (whose last name will not be mentioned here lest she be inundated with marriage proposals from men reading my blog hunting for an incredible woman.....get your own! She's mine!) and I took the kids down to the SIU Homecoming parade in strollers. It was a decent walk and we each had to snooze a bit afterwards. Then, last night, we went down to BellaTerra Winery in Creal Springs to see Breeden, Bradley and Maze perform. The kids ran like crazed animals while we listened to the band, drank a bottle of wine, and generally had a great time. We were going to dine at the winery but, alas, they weren't serving food any longer. So, we went to Tall Tree Lake in Buncombe to have dinner prepared by Nick Rion (of Lick Creek General Store fame). The food was wonderful and we had a great time. On the way home, my son, Darrien, crashed out. I knew how he felt. I was exhausted, too. I think we all were. At least, I'm pretty sure of that. October is Stephanie's favorite month and we've got a lot of fun things planned. I feel like a very lucky man to have found such a fun, wonderful woman. She's a keeper. I haven't had this much fun and adventure in years. And, even though summer is now over and fall had fallen, I think we'll find plenty of ways to keep ourselves, and the kids, busy.

On a totally different note, I have completed the script to THE BIG MUDDY MONSTER movie and will do some rewriting over the next week or so. I have put out a casting call for a few actors, as well as a make-up artist to design the monster. My buddy Rehab will play the part of Conrad Brown, a man who was accidentally shot in the head and roams the woods near the Big Muddy in search of his lost wife and child. Local rock legend Jon E. Rector will be Park Ranger Bob, a cynical park ranger, and I'm going to try to get Brad Moore, local artist extraordinaire, to play the monster. Rehab and Brad have practiced fighting each other (pseudo-acting/fighting) and I think they need to capture that on film. We'll see. The film is, tentatively, scheduled to begin filming by the end of the month.

Anyway, figured I should put up a new post. Hope everyone's doing as well as I am.

Have a beautiful Sunday,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tomorrow is another day

Had one of those days today....everything was chaos. On days like today, I wonder what the heck went wrong with the lofty goals of mankind? Or, sometimes, I wish I were a pioneer, trapping and hunting my food, trading pelts for things that I need. Of course, I'm a horrible outdoorsman. I'd probably starve to death. My father would have been perfectly suited for such a life. He loved to hunt. Me? Well, I simply didn't. But, in my daydreams, I'm like Jeremiah Johnson, hunting in the great outdoors. Those must have been wonderful - if incredibly tough - times. You could be your own man without being governed by the bureaucracy that the world has become these days. I guess, in a way, I crave simplicity. I think a lot of people do. While we've made medical advances that add decades to a person's life in comparison to the pioneer days, I sometimes think the pioneers lived more exciting lives. And, on days like today, daydreams about being a pioneer keep me sane.

What do you dream about?

Friday, September 21, 2007


On September 10th, I made the 350+ mile journey to Chicago for the GraphExpo at McCormick Place. We drove all day. But, that evening, I jumped the "L" and went to the Red Lion Pub at 2446 N. Lincoln Ave. I'm glad I did. It turns out they'll be tearing the Red Lion down to the ground next month and rebuilding it, brick-by-wonderful-brick, from the ground up.....with the exception of putting a foundation under the building. The Red Lion is an incredibly old pub that the Twilight Tales writing group has meetings at every Monday night for many years. I discovered it thanks to my friend Wayne Allen Sallee. We reacqainted ourselves there for the first time in a decade and some change. I fell in love with the place and go there every time I'm in Chicago on a Monday night. Hopefully, The Red Lion will be rebuilt the next time I'm in town. It's a wonderful place and I hope you make the trek there just to meet the bartender, Joe. He's a nice guy.

By the way, that lovely lady I'm hamming it up with is Martel Sardina, co-editor of HELL IN THE HEARTLAND. It was her birthday. I bought her a birthday beer. That feller with his head turned is Wayne Allen Sallee. Always the gentleman, Wayne turned his head and blushed.

Check out the Twilight Tales site ( I think there are some links there worth checking out.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Glory Days

I've been thinking a lot of the future these days. Things are looking up. But, I've also been reflecting on the past. Stephanie, the wonderful woman I've been seeing lately, mentioned the glory days of Lick Creek General Store to me. I used to work down there frequently. I was sort of "Chef" Nick Rion's minuteman....he called me when he couldn't find anyone else to cook the chickens or stir the jambalaya. It was always a good time working there. And, Stephanie, I have to make a confession....I do remember serving you at least once and thinking "what an attractive woman." It's funny how things can come around to revisit you.

But, back to Lick Creek.

Lick Creek General Store was a wonderful place to have a nine-course meal. I've boiled crawfish about a million times down there, usually with a beer in my hand and a smile on my face. Anyone who's ever dined there will attest to the wonderful and adventurous atmoshere of the place. I've certainly seen some weird things at Lick Creek - people dancing half-naked on the tables was a common thing. Often, the tables would collapse and, at least once, the dancer didn't miss a stride. It was a magical place.

Sadly, "Chef" Nick moved on to Tall Tree Lake (by the way, you can Google both establishments....God Bless the Internet) and Lick Creek sort of fell into a lull. Emma Taylor and Lance Jack are working hard to bring Lick Creek back, and "Chef" Nick has called me at least once in the last year to come down and work at Tall Tree Lake. So, I guess the purpose of this post is to give a nod to Lick Creek and Tall Tree, and to remember the past. Those were good times.

I hope everyone out there has a Lick Creek General Store or Tall Tree Lake in their memory. It would be sad if you didn't.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

in-plant graphics article

That's the link to an article I wrote for In-Plant Graphics about polyester plates. I used the plates to print three books so far, with a fourth and fifth one coming very soon.

Check out the article.


p.s. That tired old fart in the picture is me.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Life is weird

Life is a weird thing, my friends. Anyone who knows me knows the last year and a half have not been kind to your humble author. To be honest, there were times I wanted to do nothing more than hide my head in the sand and wait out the crap storm that my life had become.

It's funny what a week can do.

Last weekend, I spent alone. My children were with their mother and, when that happens, I'm alone. I feel lost without my children. But, last weekend, I also had a epiphany of sorts. I decided it was time to find someone and quit being alone. And, to be honest, I already knew who she was. You can say it was divine intervention (and I'm not about to argue that with you), dumb luck, or something else entirely, but I'd noticed this woman a million times in the last year and a half. Everywhere I went, she was either already there or not far behind. On Monday, I decided the best way to break the ice was to send her a dozen roses. We've hung out together a couple of times in the past week and I've truly enjoyed her company. She's smart, pretty and has the most incredible smile. In a lot of ways, she's perfect....and it's done my heart a lot of good to be around her. I hope she feels the same way, and that we'll be seeing each other for a long time to come.

Time will tell.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Things are looking up

I hope my buddy Wayne Allen Sallee doesn't mind my leeching the picture in this post from his blog site, but it seems to fit my life. While there is a certain sinister quality to the picture, there's also a bit of a smile. Things have been looking up for me lately. I have a novel sitting with a real, live, honest-to-goodness literary agent, I have a date (of sorts) with a lovely woman I'm quite smitten with tomorrow evening, my motorcycle might actually be finished and ready to ride this week, I finally got a new cell phone ( I machine washed my old one to death) and I helped a friend in need the other night by listening to him. So, things aren't so bad. I see people everyday who are worse off than I am. I find it sad that we have multi-zillionaires in this world and, yet, we also have starvation by the millions. The world is a mess. But, for the moment, I'm trying to find comfort in the things in my life that aren't so bad.

Just call me a member of the optimist club, Edwin.

Anyway, I wouldn't want anyone to think that I'm overly cynical about life. It's good.....and a whole lot better than the alternative.

Live life, be free, but love someone. Life is too short to go it alone.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Good morning, blog readers:

I had thought I was wasting my time on blogging. But, then, I had a couple people tell me they read blog entries, so I figured someone was reading this stuff. There's not much new to report, really....and, if there is, it's bad. Not heartattack bad. more "God's flushing the toilet on me again" bad. Was leaving work yesterday and got rear-ended in the parking lot (please, no homosexual jokes here). Fortunately, he hit my spare tire (I drive a Jeep LIberty and the tire is mounted to the back door). It bent the tire mount, but didn't seem to harm the door. I got a call from the bike mechanic working on my motorcycle. He told me to pray for my motorcycle. He's kind of the king of gloom and doom, though, so I'm hoping he's incorrect.

On the writing side, I have less than a month now till the completion of ALL SUMMER LONG, my poetry collection. I have written at least a poem a day all this summer and will continue to do so. I finally got an idea for the BIG MUDDY MONSTER movie that I could wrap my mind around and am half way through the script. MURDER AT PK'S is also drawing near completion, and BLEEDING HEARTS, a rather interesting murder mystery, is at least half way done now. I'm also going to start printing the anthology, HELL IN THE HEARTLAND, next week (assuming I get the contract okays from the last three writers). So, I'm keeping myself busy. I might run up to DuQuoin to see shock rock legend Alice Cooper tonight if I can find a babysitter.

I'll let you know how it went.

till then, keep on blogging.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

John Paul Trexler R.I.P.

I've been writing a book of poetry lately. I started it on the first day of summer and will finish it on the last day of summer. It's called, quite originally, I might add, ALL SUMMER LONG. For the most part, it's been about the lost Lenore of my life, my soon-to-be ex-wife Jen, but tomorrow is my dad's birthday. He died in 1989 at the ripe old age of 50. I wrote him this poem tonight. I hope you enjoy it.



Used to think
My father hated me
I knew he hung his head
In shame
At times
He didn’t understand
That I was cut
From a different cloth
Than he
Still a man
But different
I had a different destiny
Than him
No grander
Nor less
A man
Than anyone else
No better than his humble

I remember the day
I got the call
My brother
Dad was gone
I drove over and
The indignity
Death had brought him
Face down
Buttermilk still on his lips

I remember thinking
We would never have
A peace
Between us
—but, I was wrong
we have peace now
I look into my son’s eyes
And see
Or a shadow
Of who I used to be
In his smile
In his ways
And I know
I know
I see it so clearly now
Now that the fog
Has lifted from my heart
Knows no shame
Only love
Regardless of machismo
Regardless of circumstance
And complete

And he only hung his head
In shame
Because he felt ashamed
Of who he was
A poor country boy
With enough pride
To fill a river
And not shame for me
Regardless of what I thought when I was young

And, now, I know,
He should never have been ashamed
Of who he was,
A good man,
Brought up under difficult circumstances
Hardened by life
And the lessons
He had learned from it
Toughest man I ever knew
And the most tender
And the most human
—He was my father.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

closing in

It's football season soon, my friends, and that means my buddies Rick Kelley, Edwin Newton and Kevin Spurlock are all about the game. I've never been much of a sports fan (yeah, I of my many birth defects.....just ask my soon to be ex-wife) but we usually participate in an online football dream team (it's named something different but I don't want to go look it up right now) on the Fox Sports website. I signed up and jokingly called my team "The Scrotums". The draft is on August 18th and I'll try to keep an eye on my team just for poops and giggles. It'll give me something to break up the monotony of my life these days.

I'm watching the kids all weekend and my singular goal is to get the second draft of HELL IN THE HEARTLAND ready to send out to the authors. I hope to publish the book the first week of September and it'll make its debut at Twilight Tales on September 10th (with any luck). Cross your fingers.

Anyway, I'll post more soon.


Friday, August 3, 2007

Another Publication

I have another short story that just came into print. The story is entitled "Roadwork" and is in an anthology called RAW MEAT. "Roadwork" is a story with a rather interesting history. It is, perhaps, my most accepted and still unpublished (till now) short story. I wrote the tale waaaayyyyy back in 1987 and it was accepted by three different small press magazines. Unfortunately, as with many small press mags, the magazine died before the story saw print. That, plus I quit writing in 1992 and didn't start up again till fall 2004. Shortly thereafter, I sent "Roadwork" out again. It found a home quickly. It took over 2 years for RAW MEAT to get into print, but it is now. You can order a copy from SIDESHOW PRESS, 10 Withey Hill Rd, Moosup, CT 06353 or contact I also believe the antholgy is being sold through and

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Too Bad On Your Birthday

Morning readers,

Well, today is my 46th birthday. To be honest, I never figured I'd live this long. Always thought I'd die young and leave a good-looking corpse. Too late for that now, I reckon, so might as well live life as fully as I can. The kids are staying home with me today. My daughter Hope asked me if it was all right for her to miss her daycare so she could stay home. It made me feel good that she'd rather be with me on my birthday. I figure I'll let them sleep in late this morning (they're still sleeping now) and then we'll go down to Schnucks and get a doughnut. Later on, I'll probably take them down to Quatro's pizza for lunch (they both love Quatro's). Then, maybe in the afternoon we'll go out to Cedar Lake and bask in the sun for a while. Maybe we'll go see the Simpson's Movie this evening (Darrien calls it the "spider-pig" movie because of the trailer on television). It'd be nice to have a woman to have and hold later, but I guess I should just be happy with the fact that I have two wonderful children who love my imperfect arse. Count your blessing while you can, my never know if you'll be here this time next year.

Have a good day. I'm going to try to make mine special for my children and I.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Clarity of Night

Just wanted to let everyone know I have a brief (250 word) short story up at It's an online contest, basically, and it ends August 1 (my birthday). I generally don't write to spec, but I got a wild hair up my arse and wrote "The Final Cut." I think it goes well with the picture you're supposed to write a story around. Let me know what you think of the story.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Two ships that pass in the night

Good evening. I hope everyone is home from work, kicking back and taking it easy. It's been a long week and you deserve a break. Take your shoes off. Have a drink. Watch some idiot box. The kids are watching SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS in the next room as I write this. It's been a long week. I'm glad the kids are here. My son Darrien practically cried when I picked him up from daycare yesterday. It was the first time he'd seen me in seven days (ain't divorce wonderful) and, as he ran to me with an expression of sheer joy on his face, I have to admit it - I was almost in tears myself. I dropped to one knee and opened my arms and he ran into them saying "I'm missed you, Daddy." Then, when our embrace was over, he ran to his cubbyhole (where his coat and things are kept) and produced two "boats". I use the word loosely because they were basically cereal boxes covered in paper and decorated, but they were done my my five-year-old and, as he handed them proudly to me, he said: "I made you some boats, Daddy." I gave him a big hug again and told him they were beautiful. It was a touching moment and one that'll stick in my head for a long, long time. Sometimes, I think the kids are the only thing that keep me going. They are certainly a panacea on a bad day. I love them both immensely and wish with all my heart that they were home with me fulltime inside of part-time. Sadly, the fucked-up legal system we have makes it too easy for people to leave each other. I still love my wife but there's nothing I can do about things; she's found someone else and jettisoned me like a booster rocket (which is, sadly, what I was). May she know shame the rest of her days for not meeting me halfway.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Great Googley-Moogley

Man, time has flown for your humble writer these couple of weeks since my last post. In that time, I've had to install a new water heater. It was leaking like crazy and then the pilot light went out repeated. I went shopping and....Lord help me!....I just about had a heart attack at the price of those things. Aluminum and copper prices have gone through the roof, and that affected water heater prices. It cost me roughly $500 to purchase and install a new water heater. Then, I had some issues with water pressure that took me a few days to figure out. But, now I'm bathing in warm water again. so it's all been worth it. I can move on to the next small miracle.

Speaking of that, I'll be sending out PDF proofs of HELL IN THE HEARTLAND to all the authors I've accepted this weekend. It's the one goal I have for the weekend, besides watch kids.

Anyway, figured a new post was in order. Come back soon. Roger

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

4th of July

Good morning and happy 4th of July to everyone. The world (and my personal life) have gone to Hell in a handbasket in recent times, but the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Not nearly as depression as Christmas or New Year's, the brilliant lights from fireworks were always pleasing to me as a child. It was like someone was throwing a party just for me. I hope each and every one of you has a pleasant memory wrapped around the July 4th holiday, and that you make new ones as the day progresses today. Me? I'm going to the fireworks tonights and "ohhhh" and "ahhh" -ing with everyone else.


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Love should be so kind

Good evening, my fellow bloggers. It's been two weeks, roughly, since I last posted. In that time, my DSL line got interrupted by a snafu at the phone company (don't ask) and I managed to destroy my cellphone by washing it (doubly a "don't ask"). My hot water heater is leaking (has been for about two years, I reckon) but now the pilot light isn't staying lit, so tomorrow night will find your humble author with a monkey wrench disconnecting the old hot water heater and installing a new one. I knew it was coming eventually. As for the cellphone, thankfully I had my old one and reactivated it, so I can stay in touch with the bitter thing my wife has become. Speaking of that, July 16th will be the last day of our marriage, apparently. I'm tired of the fighting; tired of looking into the eyes of a woman I once loved and seeing nothing. I simply want to move on. If she's reasonable, that'll happen July 16th. If not...well, I reckon our respective lawyers can get richer via our differences. With any luck, my 1971 BSA will be road-worthy by then, and I plan on taking a spiritually journey over the week of my birthday (August 1) in an effort to wipe some of the angst and heartache of the past away. On the plus side, I think romance is right around the corner for me. It's been a long while. She's a good woman and I hope she can remedy the damage done to your humble author's heart. Time will tell.

Till later,

Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's a small world

It truly is a small world. I just got an e-mail from Australia asking to purchase copies of TRUNK TALES VOLUME ONE and TALES FROM THE CELLAR. The e-mailer was looking at my website and, I guess, liked some of the audio readings posted there. International postage is a bummer, but I'll be sending this person a little book I wrote back for my bookbinding class last fall, THE MAN WHO TOUCHED THE STARS. At least, I'll send them a draft of it. I don't think it's ready for publication quite yet. I'm not 100% happy with it. But, rest assured, when it is ready, it'll be available locally here in Carbondale and via the Internet at my website.

Now, if I could only ship myself to Australia along with the books.


Sunday, June 3, 2007


I've been reading through the finished copy of TALES FROM THE CELLAR and found a handful of typos. Sadly, Annihilation Press isn't Doubleday. I don't have a staff of proofreaders. Generally, till now, it's just been me. I do have a couple of people who say they'll help proofread future works. That's a good thing. Any writer will tell you that it's difficult to proofread your own're just too close to it. I can go back after years and do it, but immediately won't cut the mustard. Way I look at it, you'll know AP's first editions by the typos. No confusing it with future editions. But, as the picture attached with this post proves, everybody makes mistakes. To err is human, to forgive divine.

Someone should tell my wife that.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Another weekend

Well, another weekend is upon me. I have the kids most of the weekend, so getting anything done is problematic at best. I'm so far behind I think I'm ahead, as my mother would say. But, I've actually been working on producing those Wayne Allen Sallee FIENDS BY TORCHLIGHT hardcovers that are so overdue it's silly. I found a website out there (there's a website for everything) that sells imitation leather bookcover paper and ordered up a bunch of sheets. I already had some bookcover paper but, in hindsight, I didn't like the color much. I should have the paper soon, and I'm trying to sew at least one book a day. It takes about an hour to sew a book because I was an idiot and produced it as 8-page signatures. Never again on that, my friends. Only 32 page signatures from here on out. And, with luck, I'll begin to format HELL IN THE HEARTLAND within the next week. I don't know if I mentioned it, but this Fall Brad Moore and I are working on a low-budget horror film. It'll be a lot of work but a lot of fun, too.

As for me....well, I'm trying to have a more positive outlook on life these days. I'm taking the kids down to the Farmer's market here in a bit. It's a beautiful day out, and we'll all try to enjoy it. You do the same, my friends. I'll write more later.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Holiday

Well, another fine holiday is upon us. Three day weekends are always a delight, although going back to work afterword can be problematic at best. Still, right now I'm sitting at the computer and the kids are watching Spongebob Squarepants. Life's not too bad, I reckon. All I need now is a good woman by my side. Hopefully, that'll happen in the near future. I'm going to try to be careful this time and make damned sure she's not using me or mental. There are a couple of prospective women out there who have made their interest known to me. Time to move on. It's been a long, dark trip, my friends....but things are starting to look up. Hope everyone is safe this Memorial day and that we have many, many more holidays together.


Sunday, May 27, 2007


Well, TALES FROM THE CELLAR is finally finished. It was a labor of love, literally, and I'm delighted to finally have it out there. You can purchase a copy directly from my website, Buy lots of 'em.

Now that TALES FROM THE CELLAR is finished, I plan on releasing an old novel or two. First up will be PURGATORY, a book I wrote in 1987. I'm formatting the book right now, and will be proofreading it over the next couple of months or so (in between finishing up HELL IN THE HEARTLAND, an anthology Martel Sardina and I are editing). PURGATORY was the third novel-length book I ever wrote and, to be honest, the first fully-realized novel. I will go back and rework the first two books (SKYTOUCH and WOLF SCREAMS) when time permits. If time permits.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that TALES FROM THE CELLAR is available locally here in Carbondale now - at Rosetta Stone Books and The Bookworm - and available through my website for those who don't live in Carbondale.

More later,

Monday, May 14, 2007

Getting old

Man, I'm getting old. I went to my eldest daughter's graduation Friday night. I remember holding the child when she wasn't much bigger than the palm of my hand. Now, she's almost 21....and beautiful. I can't seem to do much right in this life these days, but I can certainly make beautiful children. My eldest daughter is a perfect example, and my two youngsters are following suit.

Reckon I got some things to be thankful for after all.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Believe it or not....

Believe it or not, TALES FROM THE CELLAR is almost here. I need to print the cover on Monday (once again, I have the kids all weekend, so doing anything except babysitting is out of the question). I plan on having copies ready by next weekend. I'm planning on going to Nicole Proctor's show at Rosetta Stone Books on Friday, May 11th, and I'll be putting copies up for sale there then. TALES FROM THE CELLAR has been a labor of love, literally, and I'm glad it's finally coming to completion. Now, maybe I can move on with my personal life and get my crap together.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Happiness is a warm....

I've been going through some difficult times lately. MY wife moved out last July 14th, claiming I was the Anti-Christ, and a snowball effect seemed to take place after that. Let me tell you first and foremost - I STILL LOVE THE WOMAN. The moment I met her, I knew she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my sorry assed days with. Shortly thereafter, I came to realize she didn't love me NEARLY as much as I was in love with her. It was a painful thing to realize. She went out of her way to try to start fights with me over trivial nonsense. I'm generally an easy-going person, so I mellowed out things as best I could. Flash forward six months or so, I ask her to move in with me. She accepts, and we begin the journey that every couple makes. I was very, very happy. I was with a woman I loved, upwardly mobile in my career, and looking toward the future with a woman I loved by my side. I thought life was pretty friggin' good. Shortly thereafter, a mutually planned (if there is such a thing) "oops" produced our daughter, Hope. She's six and a a half now, sharp as a whip and the apple of her daddy's eye. Our son, Darrien, came a year and a half after her birth. I love them both dearly.

Relationships are strange. Right now, I don't care to ever, ever care again for another woman. I know that sounds callous and sad, but I WAS WITH A WOMAN I LOVED WHO DIDN'T REALLY LOVE ME. I'm a damaged person. I know that, and I'm trying to fight it, telling myself that all women aren't like my wife. We had a second child (our son, Darrien) about a year and a half after Hope. I married her then. Not because I had to, but because I loved her and she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my days with.

Last July 14th, those days stopped.

There was no discussion. No "you've done this" or "I've done that". She just left. In the past year, I've pleaded with her to reunite our family, but my pleas have gone unheeded. I wrote a book about my experience. It's called "TALES FROM THE CELLAR" and can be ordered now from my website ( I finished printing the book tonight. I told myself I'd try to let her go and move on the moment I finished the book. I held off printing it for four months after I'd finished editing it in the hope there would be a future betwixt us. Now, I have to let her go.

Pray for me, my friends. I still love my wife....even if she never loved me.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Tales from the Septic Tank of Life

Well, it's been 10 days since my last post. In that time, I've gone to the ACUP conference in San Francisco. I got back last Thursday night. Boy, was I tired. But, the experience was a good one, and I loved San Francisco. All I have to say about the town is this - who decided to build a city on such steep hills? You see the streets in the movies, but there's something totally different when you're walking up a 45 degree (or better) incline. I'm considering moving there and starting my own brake repair business. That, or becoming a trolley car operator. I rode one to the Fisherman's Wharf on Wednesday night with Dennis Maze and bought some cheap t-shirts for the kids. I saw Alcatraz in the distance, also.

Anyway, it was good to get home and sleep in my own bed. I wrote a couple short stories in San Francisco and will be rewriting on them in the future. Hope everyone is doing fine, and, if you came across my blog and want to contact me, my e-mail is

more later,

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Damned if I know....

I was looking at the last post and realized it's been nearly two weeks since I last posted. Not much has happened since the trip to Canada. I've been working, watching the kids in the evenings and on weekends so my ingrate of a soon-to-be ex-wife can work. I don't want to descend into a diatribe about how I still love her (and am ashamed of myself for still loving her), but it drives me nuts. She called me the other day - yesterday, as a matter of fact - just to talk to me. She made it sound like she wanted to be certain I was going to pick up the kids up after school, but she DAMNED WELL knew I was. I suppose she was having a moment of regret, and that's fine....but don't mask it as something else. You've lied enough to me over the course of our relationship. We're over. We're done. You made it so. Aren't you proud of yourself? Isn't you momma proud, too?

Sorry, I should delete that....but I probably won't.

Anyway, my trip to Canada got me inspired to start work on a new novel. The book is called LONELY HEARTS and features a very unique serial killer. It features my detective Frank Powell. I'm about 45 pages into it so far, writing at lunchtime and in between entertaining the kids.

I've gotta go watch the kids. More later, Roger

Monday, April 2, 2007

Chronicles of Sarnia, part 2

All right, it's 7:05 p.m. and I'm now sitting safely at home typing on my Mac G5. The past long weekend, which began with a drive to Chicago on Wednesday night, is a blur in my memory now. The fact that I was detained at the border for an hour over a "commercial quantity" of books (145 books - for which I was taxed $153.50 in good ol' U.S. greenbacks) is the only real bummer of the trip. Don't take more than 10 copies of any one book or recording into Canada, my friends....the taxman lives up there, too, and he's a bastard!

Anyway, we crossed into Canada in a town called Sarnia (hence the title of this post) and we only got lost once (which was my fault). The drive from Chicago to Toronto took 12 hours there, and 12 hours back, detention and getting lost evened out the to and fro trip. We stayed in the Bond Place Hotel on Thursday night, and the rest of the weekend in the Marriott that the con was being held in. I got to meet some pretty cool people, including several small movie producers and an agent. Hopefully, something will pan out from those new contacts in "the biz". The con was the usual conbination of panels, booksellers and boozing, and I took part in all of it. Hence, I'm now tired as hell! But, the trip was worth it. I was scared to death about crossing back into the states since I'd been told the U.S. customs would be worse than the Canada side, but there was really nothing to worry about. The customs officer asked us a few questions - where we'd been, where we'd stayed, how long we'd been there, etc. Once we answered those, he handed us our identification back and said "welcome back to America". I left Chicago at 7:30 this morning (thanks to Larry Santoro for letting me crash at his place) and drove straight through with one nature and fuel breaks.

I made it home in plenty of time to go get my kids from school. Darrien, my son, loves the pirate ship I bought him for his birthday (today) and is playing with it as I speak.

Tomorrow, I go back to the bump and grind of earning a living, but the memories I made in Canada will be with me the rest of my days.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Chronicles of Sarnia

Well, as I type this, it's 12:15 a.m. on April 2. I'm sitting at Larry Santoro's house. Larry is the author of JUST NORTH OF NOWHERE, a novel we debuted at the World Horror Convention this past weekend. I'd never been to Canada and, while being detained at the border for an hour totally sucked, I found Canada to be a place I'd want to visit again. It was beautiful up there, and the cultural and asthetic differences between Canada and the USA were both subtle and stunning.

I'm tired right now, but I promise to leave a longer blog later this week.

Tomorrow, I return to southern Illinois. My son, Darrien, turns five years old tomorrow, and that's something I wouldn't miss for the world.

later, Roger

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wild hair scratching

Well, I scratched that wild hair over the weekend. I bought a vintage 1971 BSA Thunderbolt motorcycle. It's an awesome bike, and I plan on restoring it to mint condition slowly. Right now, I'm putting new tires, a battery, a chain and all the things necessary to make it road-worthy. It's a beautiful bike. I drove down to Merritt Island, FL to pick it up over the weekend. It was a long drive (and the subject of countless stories to come). Sixteen hours one-way, only to wait an hour and travel home. I left Friday night around 6 p.m. and stopped in Dalton, GA around 1 a.m. I slept a total of 4 hours, then got on the road again. I arrived at the seller's house around 4 p.m. Saturday and waited about an hour for him to get off work. Around 6 p.m., I was on the road again with the bike in the back of the soon-to-be-ex's truck (a story there, as well - she's currently accusing me of "stealing" her truck, never mind that I asked her to use it and she said "yes"). Anyway, I stopped for the night around midnight, then got up at 5 a.m. and started the trek toward home. I was making damned good time until, just outside of Nashville, I hit a traffic jam. Two hours later, I made it out of the traffic jam and was on the road again. I arrived back in Carbondale around 5:30 p.m., tired as hell. But, it was worth it. Just look at the bike. She's a relic from a better, lost time....just like her new owner.

Hopefully, I'll be riding her soon.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

All dead, all homage to two lost rock soldiers

Right this moment, I'm listening to a scarce recording of the now-deceased Brad Delp. What a great voice! The average person doesn't know the name, but the DAMNED SURE know the voice!!!! He was one of the best vocalists of the 70's. He sang so many classic songs - "More than a feeling," "Long Time", "man I used to be," "Amanda", etc..... The list goes on and on. Of course, Brad Delp was the lead singer of Boston, the band. Their first album went multi-platinum, as did the follow-up. It's a shame Tom Scholtz didn't pursue the band further after that. It's a shame Delp didn't have an awesome solo career with many, many hits. He did do the Barry Goudreau solo album (Goudreau was the "other" guitarist in Boston, and his solo album is, in my opinion, the unofficial 3rd Boston album) which yield a moderate AOR hit, "Dreams". Close to a decade later, Goudreau and Delp form a new band (probably tired of waiting on Tom Scholz to record a new "Boston" album, I reckon) called "RTZ" or "Return to Zero." That album yielded yet another mild AOR hit, "Face the Music". Great song, great album....I highly recommend hunting down a copy.

Anyway, Delp's voice was awesome. If there was any justice in the world, he died a millionaire. I doubt justice was served.

Another recent death that bothered me was Billy Thorpe. Unlike Delp, most Americans have probably never heard Thorpe's voice. He was, however, huge in his native Australia, and he had a couple small hits in America with the classic sci-fi songs, "Children of the Sun" and "East of Eden's Gate". Some people might even remember a song about getting laid called "In My Room."

Both men died within a week of the other. Sadly, you didn't hear it on CNN, people didn't have midnight vigils for them...but I hope they died happy.

They deserve that much for making so many happy with their music.

R.I.P. Brad Delp and Billy Thorpe...that Rock n' Roll Heaven band just gained two awesome members.

More thoughts on Captain America and the American Way

I've been pondering the death of Captain America. It's something that hasn't left my mind over the past few days. Of course, there are those of you out there who'll say: "He's just a fictional character, get over it!" Of course, you're right. Sort of. He is a fictional character, but he also represented something that is, sadly, fading from our world - decency.

Recently, I bought the new John (Cougar) Mellencamp album, "Freedom's Road". It's good stuff, and typical Mellencamp small-townism. I recommend the album highly. There's a line in one of the songs that goes: "I like my heroes to be honest and brave..." Well, Captain America was all that. Also recently, I was talking to a local comic book dealer about the latest Superman movie and its impact on the comic business. He said it didn't have much impact at all because Superman is too "nice" a superhero. People today want "edgy" superheroes. Marvel comics, on that note, is talking about bringing out an "edgier" Captain America, sort like what they did with Batman a few years ago when Bane broke the Caped Crusader's back. A superhero named Azarael stepped in until Bruce Wayne could get back up to snuff. Needless to say, Azarael was meaner and more brutal that Batman and, thankfully, Batman fans said "Hell no."

Let's hope the same is true with Captain America.

I hope so. He was the quintessential America....brave and strong and Patriotic in the "real" sense of the word. Let's not pervert his legacy by making him vicious.

There's enough of that out there in the world already.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Is Nothing Sacred?

Back in the late 60's/early 70's, when I was a wee lad, my favorite comic book character wasn't Batman or was Captain America. I loved Cap when he ran with The Falcon, and bought every issue (a small feat....considering how dirt poor we were). Captain America was my hero. Occasionally, over the past three decades, I've revisited ol' Cap and read an adventure or two, but life took me in directions where comic books didn't follow. It was so much easier to buy comics when they were in Garwood's storefront window, tempting me to purchase them. A supermarket rack isn't nearly as enticing.

I found out today (I've been pretty busy lately) that Captain America was killed by a sniper in the latest issue of the comic. I've had a hard time of things lately, but this was a gut-shot I didn't need. It seems nothing is sacred these days, my friends. This makes me very sad.


Saturday, March 3, 2007


Good evening. I figured I'd best put up a new blog entry, considering it's been over a week already since the last one. Time just seems to get away from me these days. Too much to do and too little time to do it. We're in the final preparation stages of Lawrence Santoro's book, JUST NORTH OF NOWHERE, and I'll be sending it off to the printer on Wednesday of this week at the latest. I still haven't printed TALES FROM THE CELLAR. I was having some trouble with the polyester plates I bought and got new ones. Hopefully, that'll solve the problem and I start printing that little puppy tomorrow. Brad Moore, did the cover and, once again, he did a wonderful job. Brad's a Carbondale artist whose work is known internationally. He's also a friend.

Just wanted to keep you up to date. I'll report more when there's more to report.


Friday, February 23, 2007


Well, it just amazes me how quickly time flies. Seems like I wrote the last post last night...and it's been a week. Damn! Sadly, like most everyone else out there, I don't have much to report or show for the past week. Wrote a couple thousand words or so on an interactive novel I began for last semester's bookbinding class. The book's called A DARK NIGHT AT SALLEE'S and is set in a department store afterhours. It features my perennial detective Frank Powell. Powell is one of Chicago's finest detectives and he's appeared in several as-yet unpublished novels and a few short stories. We have a cast of characters being interviewed about the death of Cynthia Romirez, the wife of one of Chicago's biggest crimelords. When Romirez himself shows up, the plot thickens. You'll be able to choose which chapter to read next and there will be several alternate endings to the book. It's an interesting project and requires a lot of plot twists. I encourage every writer out there to try's a challenge.

Also, I've been working on the murder novel set at PK's on the Carbondale strip as well. It's coming along slowly.

I plan on finishing up the printing of TALES FROM THE CELLAR tomorrow, with any luck.

I also plan on doing the final edits of Larry Santoro's JUST NORTH OF NOWHERE this weekend. And, dammit, I'm going to get those hardcovers to Wayne Allen Sallee's FIENDS BY TORCHLIGHT done sometime soon....I promise!

Till then, gentle reader, as long-departed Bob Casper (God rest his soul) was prone to say: "Take it easy every chance you get."


Saturday, February 17, 2007


I've been busy the last couple evening printing TALES FROM THE CELLAR. Brad Moore, a local artist, is doing the cover for it. He says I'll have the cover in my greasy little hands on Tuesday, most likely. It'll probably be next weekend before I get around to printing the cover. I'll have copies of the book for sale locally at Bookworm and Rosetta Stone Books when they're done.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy? Valentine's Day

Good evening and Happy Valentine's Day to those who worship this dark, foreboding holiday. I used to....but that was before. Before I realized what a joke it is. Love, that is. In this day and age, love is as rare as hen's teeth. There aren't many things that mean a lot these days. Romance, maybe. Sex, undoubtedly. Love....well, it IS a four-letter word. In truth, I'm cynical about love these days....and with good reason. I swore my love to a woman. Never swayed from that love. What did I get for it? The shaft, that's what! Sure, sure, she's claiming it was all me, but even SHE knows that's a load of crap. I was faithful; I was there for her. I never quit loving her. Still love her, truth be told. But, I see her practically every day and, each day, she becomes more and more a stranger. She tells me that I'm helping the kids out when, in truth, she's the one benefiting from things. It's easy for her to feel good about destroying a relationship with a man who loves her IF SHE CAN BELIEVE THAT RUBBISH!

Sadly, Valentine's Day is the anniversary of our first date. Add to that the fact that today, of all days, was the first court date regarding the divorce proceedings. My lawyer said I didn't have to be there. Thank God!

So, you can see why I find it such a loathesome holiday nowadays. I'll just be glad when this day is over.

Come on February 15th!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Life's a bitch.....

Well, this blogger thing has certainly gotten me off my arse. I'm not quite as good at it yet as my friends Wayne Allen Sallee, Larry Santoro or Sidney Williams, but it's at least making me think about the bigger picture in life. My wife and I have been separated since last July. It's been a tough haul for me. I still love the woman but I know that her heart isn't with me anymore. In hindsight, she hasn't wanted to be my wife in quite a long time. That's sad, really, because we have a lot of great memories together. It's left an empty hole in my heart, and my ambition to get things done is minimal at best. Oddly enough, I've been writing a lot, though. This coming weekend, I plan on finishing the printing of the text to my latest book, TALES FROM THE CELLAR. The Cellar, for those unfamiliar with Carbondale, is a bar on the northern end of the strip. It is, essentially, a basement. Back in August of last year, I walked into The Cellar with my laptop and started chronicling the saga of the dissolution of our love. In a lot of ways, it helped. I was blaming myself for the price of tea in China at the time, so much so that I started seeing a counselor to keep from going absolutely insane with loneliness. She helped a lot, and encouraged the writing of the book. May God bless her. But, back to TALES FROM THE CELLAR. For those remotely familiar with me as a person and a writer, the fiction within the book will come as an incredible shock. It's very open and candid, and most of it isn't genre fiction at all. Only a handful of tales fit into the dark fantasy/horror/science fiction field I'm used to working in. Most of the stories are about how much I still love my wife. Sadly, I gave her a copy of the book and her only comment was: "It's the same shit you always bitch about." She read what she wanted to read into the pages. I hope, someday, she rereads the book and realizes how much it hurt me to let her go.

Life's a bitch, my friends.....

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Back again

Sorry, got called away by the telephone. Please check out my website, and the website of my publishing venture, Wayne Allen Sallee's book, FIENDS BY TORCHLIGHT, was recommended for a Bram Stoker award. The next book I'm publishing, Lawrence Santoro's JUST NORTH OF NOWHERE, ought to be out sometime in late February/early March...just in time for the World Horror Convention in Toronto.

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my blog. I'll be posting news and pictures.