Friday, February 27, 2009

Righteousness: Patricia Tye

Please welcome my special guest author, Patricia Tye. Patti has recently published her first book and has more in the works.

RIGHTEOUSNESS is a poignant, suspenseful story about Tom Black and Sara Dobbs’ journey to save one of the world’s largest legacies that includes a
groundbreaking discovery ─ a potential cure that can save his client’s life.

Reclusive multibillionaire, David Sims, is dying from cancer so he must settle his estate quickly and quietly. Without any living relatives, he entrusts his lawyer, Tom Black to bring four people to Michigan for a meeting that will change their lives forever.

Word leaks out and Black and Dobbs, an Afghanistan battle-trained FBI special agent, find themselves on a collision course with criminals intent on killing the heirs and stealing Sims fortune. They travel to Austin, Lake Tahoe and Silicon Valley to solve the overwhelming case and restore Sims legacy.

From the Author…

The coolest part of writing a novel is that you decide the story, the characters, the setting and the intrigue. If you’re like me, you’ll write down everything about your characters on separate pages. Not only to flesh them out, but to remember them all.

As a fiction writer, you also decide what happens -- the good, the bad and the ugly. The most difficult task was to create the evil characters, but it was also the most fun and creative aspect. In the beginning, I wrote several possible endings and as I came close, I didn’t use any of them. The story and the characters produced a more powerful ending that I had planned.

My next project has already begun and it’s a mystery, taking a few characters from
Righteousness along with me.

Patricia Tye

To learn more about Patti, her writing or to order a copy of this thrilling novel, please click here to view her blog. --MK


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Turquoise Moon Gallery - Cow's Skull

Cow's Skull: Red, White and Blue
Georgia O'Keefe
35 7/8" x 37 7/8" Oil on Canvas
Click on painting for larger view


Saturday, February 21, 2009

He Feels The Need. The Need For Speed!

As a mother, all you want for your children is happiness and prosperity. And, when it comes to my son, he fills the bill. He's educated, independent and has a beautiful family of his own. He has also excelled in his career as a design engineer. What more could a mother ask for?

Since he was a little boy, Zac, has been a daredevil. It all started with his big wheel. It wasn't enough to peddle himself along the sidewalk, he had to find a hill to ride down; peddling with all his might he'd zoom down the hills faster than a speeding bullet. Oh, his outfit of choice - superman underoos with a towel-cape pinned to his shoulders along with a pair of cowboy boots. Weeeeeeee! Get the picture?

Zac went through a number of bicycles and obtained the usual scrapes and bruises; however, nothing a little Bactine and a Bandaid couldn't fix. Then we went through our on-the-way-to-the-hospital-for-stitches phase. After two visits in one month, it was suggested by the ER physician that I chain Zac to the bed for the next few years. Yeah, right.

He then moved on to horses. Zac had, what I referred to as, "Black Beauty Syndrome". He would mount up (yep, still wearing cowboy boots) and off he'd ride at a dead run. I would remind him that were other gaits his pony was capable of; he ignored me. One afternoon his pony, Scout, decided to show Zac a thing or two - he ran away - out of control - with Zac holding on for dear life. "Pull back", I yelled as they neared the fence. Scout stopped just short of the fence and Zac flew head first into the barbed-wire strands. Twenty-six stitches later, I restricted his riding.

Then came a series of four-wheelers and motorcycles...I held my breath. Aside from one minor accident, he made it through okay. Shortly after graduating from high school, Zac stripped the inside of his car, added nitros and participated in the 1/4-mile drags at the local raceway. He was awesome on the track; but, he did get a few tickets on the streets and roads for exhibition of speed. One night, as a friend and I listened to the police scanner, we heard the state police receiving registration and insurance verification for, none other than, Zac.

His fascination for speed was never really satisfied until he began racing motorcycles on a flat track at 193 mph. The first time I went to the track to support my son in his latest thrill, well, I was taken aback by the equipment required - a one-piece, fully padded leather suit, heavy-duty leather gloves, special boots and, of course, a full helmet. He looked like a storm trooper. So, I asked him to explain the object and the rules of the race. Remember, he's an engineer; his response turned into a dissertation, "First, you buy a bike...blah, blah, blah". However, the glaze cleared from my eyes when he began to talk about "the rush".....

"It starts 15 minutes before you are called to the grid. That nervous anticipation/excitement of putting your ass on the line to show your stuff and live out your dream. Then you roll out for the warm-up lap. Your excitement turns into sharp focus as you circle the track and line up in the grid. Now, the adrenaline really kicks in. The countdown starts with a two, then one - it can't happen fast enough. You are waiting for the release. Then it comes. GREEN! You do your best to get the throttle pinned and the clutch out. You tip into turn one with five to ten other lunatics hell bent on being first, you stake your claim and then rip the shit out of it!"

Good, lord!  Funny, I still see that little boy with the towel-cape as he laps the track. No doubt, he was born with the need. The need for speed!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Turquoise Moon Gallery - Dream Song

Dream Song
JD Challenger
Click painting for larger view


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Excessive Gambling and Sexual Urges?

Last night I was enjoying TIVO - catching up on several TV programs I had missed during the past week. The beauty of TIVO is you can skip the commercials that ordinarily demand your absolute attention and, subsequently, turn you into a zombie-like consumer.

During a trip to the kitchen (okay, so I gave into a commercial for popcorn), I overheard an ad for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). At first I was numb to the agony of such an affliction, but what really drew my attention was the list of side effects for the medication recommended to ease the symptoms.

There were the usual: nausea, headaches and dizziness. But, as the announcer continued listing the side effects talking as fast as he could so maybe you wouldn't catch exactly what he was saying, I was dumb-founded.

"You may fall asleep without warning during daily activities such as driving." If texting drivers aren't bad enough, now we have to worry about those behind the wheel with RLS?

"If you have urges that lead to pathological gambling and/or excessive/inappropriate sexual activity, contact your physician at once." This one leaves me half-tempted to visit a local casino to conduct a poll of couples leaving together. I'd give them my best in-the-name-of-medical-research posture and, with all the seriousness I could possibly muster, ask, "Excuse me, are either of you currently taking medication for RLS?".

"Hallucinations." Hallucinations? Yes, the FDA has approved this medication. Can you imagine the patients that participated in the test studies? "Legs, what legs?". "I can fly!"

I returned to watching The Cho Show and empathized with Margaret during the episode about her writer's block; however, her attempt to relieve this type of block with a colonic is nothing I've ever considered when I've needed to get past my blocks. Anyway, my mind kept drifting back to that commercial and the side effects listed. Just what is in this medication and how does it relate to the treatment of RLS? Watching the TIVO-ed ad over and over wasn't answering my questions. It was time for me to conduct my own independent research.

RLS is a severe and often disabling neurological disorder which afflicts 10-15% of the general population due to dopaminergic abnormalities. The medications for treating RLS contain dopamine. Of course, it's dopaminergic drugs that bring on these unwelcomed (or welcomed) side effects according to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ.

So, as you're trying to sleep and your legs are performing a smashing rendition of Michael Flatley's River Dance, the medication could possibly trick your mind into believing that you are much better off falling asleep at the throttle while attempting to land your Buick at the casino for slots and sluts. Sad, but true.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Turquoise Moon Gallery - Ascension

Artist Unknown
Click on painting for larger view

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Kool-Aid: The Official Drink Of The Ghetto?

I am 50-something and, recently, it was brought to my attention that drinking Kool-Aid is considered ghetto. How in the world did I miss this endorsement?

As kids we were treated to Fizzies soft drink tablets. These magical tablets more often ended on our tongues rather than in a tall glass of water. My younger sisters and I would run through the house snarling at one another with various colors of foam oozing from our mouths as we pretended to be rabid animals. No wonder there were those times when our mother would throw up her hands and, for a brief moment, surrender to our “un-lady-like” behavior. Days would then go by without our afternoon Fizzies frenzy. Enough of this prohibition; we would drag a chair from the dining table to the kitchen counter. As one of us would climb up to search the cabinets, the other two would serve as lookouts and wait for the victory cry, “Found ‘em!”.

One Saturday morning, during our ritual cartoon marathon, we were introduced to a giant talking pitcher as it crashed through the garden wall, “Oh, yeah”. The kids in the commercial were happy and having lots of fun and the mom seemed very pleased as she poured glasses of this icy concoction. How could we get our hands on this new drink? This drink called Kool-Aid was sure to change our lives.

The older we became the less we were invited to participate in the family grocery shopping. I guess our mother began to tire of her basket being filled with boxes of the latest sugar coated cereals and forbidden snacks. Not to mention the scene at the checkout with three whining kids as she set aside the items she had not placed in her basket. It did, however, take her several trips to realize it was her “seen-not-heard” daughters placing those unwanted items because she would blame other shoppers for mistaking her basket for theirs. We knew tagging along with her to the market was not an option.

We set about our plan to obtain this life-changing refreshment. We tried peer pressure, “Vicki’s mother buys Kool-Aid and so does Linda and Debbie’s mom”. She ignored us. We also tried, “They say Kool-Aid is good for you”. That didn’t work either. Still faced with the quest of obtaining our drink mix, we remembered Mother jotting down a list before leaving for the market. This list would rest on top of a stack of McCall’s and Woman’s Day magazines for several days as she poured through the pages discovering new recipes. We would simply add Kool-Aid to her list. And, with very little thought, we’d use forgery.

I tore three pages from my Big Chief tablet and, with her list in front of us, we gave our creative best to copy her cursive writing. Oddly, it was the youngest (only 4 years old) that seemed to have the artistic ability to forge Mother’s handwriting. Well, sort of, okay…not really, but she was the “baby” and the least likely to get in trouble if our scheme was discovered. She took Mother’s pen and carefully scrawled our request to the bottom of the list. Then, giggling all the way, we ran to my bedroom, closed the door behind us and hid under the bed. We were excited! We were scared!

The next day we noticed the list was gone. Had she been to the market? Was the Kool-Aid up in the cabinets? No. Our daddy had taken the list. We waited outside for Daddy’s return and offered to wag the bags from the car to the kitchen. After the first trip I remained behind to do some snooping. I rustled through the bags until my eyes finally focused on the brightly colored envelopes. I swear, the angels began to sing as I pulled the Holy Grail from the bag; our quest for the coveted drink mix was over.

Lo and behold our lives began to change. We were no longer forgers; we were now entrepreneurs. We set up a folding card table and taped a sign to it that announced our Kool-Aid stand was open for business. We sat diligently, waved at all the passers-by until they had to stop for a refreshing glass - it was delicious. We had regular customers and we were rolling in the dough. On really hot days we offered popsicles made from Kool-Aid we had frozen in our molds. We blended flavors together for new taste sensations. We were happy and having lots of fun.

Yes, there have been times in my life where I put aside my Kool-Aid for the sophistication of more adult-like drinks, but I always came back. I raised my children on Kool-Aid. Even as I write this piece, I am enjoying a Kool-Aid cocktail made by blending mango and cherry flavors. Now, I ask you, when did drinking Kool-Aid become ghetto?


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Turquoise Moon Gallery - An American Portrait

An American Portrait
Fritz Scholder
Oil on Canvas
Click on painting for larger view

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