Tag Archive: Santa Cruz

I’m Back Baby…

In the immortal words of Bender the robot from Futurama “I’M BACK BABY!”  Things are finally settling down from our recent move from Santa Cruz to the Monterey Bay Area.  Both my wife and I have started up with more classes.  She is going to a university, while I’m still studying at a local community college and looking for work.  I’ve been getting applications put in but little response so far.  But hey, at least I’m trying.

In the meantime I’ve been making some serious headway on my 2nd novel “THE SHIP”.  Things had ground to a halt on that front even before we started the move.  I kept finding myself going back to one particular scene I’d done about a third of the way into the story.  Something about it kept nagging at me and I had to keep going back and looking at it.  It was a good scene with plenty of action and even some serious foreshadowing of things to be revealed later in the story.  But there was still something not quite right about it and I just couldn’t get myself to work on the rest of the story because of it.  Eventually I realized I was having a strange type of writer’s block that I dubbed “STEALTH WRITER’S BLOCK” in my other blog.  It was so subtle I hadn’t realized what was happening and that it had brought my whole project to a grinding halt.  However, I finally broke through it in the last few days.  I realized as good as the scene was there was more I could do to it in order to really help the overall story along.  Better foreshadowing along with an important glimpse into Cassandra’s family history, that will play a major role not only in this novel but the next one as well.  I’ll probably post a section of this rewritten scene here in my next entry.  I don’t want to make this entry too long.

I’ve also been working on my Vlog a bit more and have decided to open up a bit more about myself to all of you in it.  Sometimes talking or showing is easier than writing.  I’ve got several videos planned out, one of which will be a sort of tribute to one of my favorite types of film, the silent comedies from the early 1910’s-1920’s.  Another will be about settling into my new place and getting acquainted with the area a bit.  While the third one will go deeper into how I create and develop characters for my novels.

So stay tuned for those.  And as I mentioned before, I’ll also be posting more of my 2nd book here very shortly.  Thanks for reading and take care.  I’ll be back with more soon.

Here is the 3rd installment of my 4 part video story about me and my wife moving away from Santa Cruz to the Monterey Bay Area.

And here is part 2 of “My Setting Is Changing”. This time we’re starting to say farewell to some very close friends…

Just uploaded a new video on my Vlog/YouTube channel about “Setting”. This is the first of a few installments about how a person’s setting can affect them, whether they are a character in a story or an author in real life. Please check it out and leave a comment either here or on my YouTube channel underneath the video. Thank you.

My latest Vlog entry.  This time the subject is “CREATING TENSION IN YOUR STORY”  and covers a very important scene in my current novel “THE SHIP”  I hope you enjoy.


My Vlog….

Okay, the wait is over. I’m taking the plunge…

Here is the link to my new Vlog. This is part 1 of 2. The link to part 2 is just below the video. If you have trouble finding it let me know and I’ll do a separate post to it here. I hope you enjoy what you see and please leave some comments either here or on YouTube.


This is a shot of the tide pools here in Santa Cruz. Make sure you click on the photo to get the FULL view of the image. These cliffs are quite high and are almost vertical. And that Reversed-C shaped area of raised rock are where you would find the Tide Pools. Those small puddles you see are the pools, and can house a small world of tiny sea creatures.  Anemones, crabs, small fish, sea urchins, it is truly fascinating to walk on those rocky stretches and look inside those small pools.

It is while doing just that my heroine Cassandra Elliott hears the panicked cry of a sea lion pup in trouble. Rushing across the raised rock area, she comes to this reverse-C shaped area of beach.  Keep in mind those raised areas with the tide pools are 7-8 feet tall, so while a human could climb up to safety, a marine mammal would find it near impossible.

Here’s a sample of the scene:

             Cassandra had just reached the edge of the rocky outcrop and immediately spotted the trouble and gasped.

            Cornered up against the rock of the cliff a sea lion pup cried out to its mother who was under attack.  Strange iridescent tentacles, like that of a jellyfish had enveloped her lower half.  Frantically the poor animal struggled to free herself but already her strength was fading.   

            As she watched in horror a familiar network of pulsing veins started popping up all over the mother’s entangled frame.  Before her very eyes the blubber-rich body began to shrink visibly.  

            The sea lion let out a cry that no human had ever heard such an animal make before. 

            The sound had been so terrifying that Cassandra found her body turning to run away from the scene before even she realized it.  If it hadn’t been for pup’s sudden scream she probably would’ve bolted.  But the anguish in the tiny animal’s voice sounded almost childlike in a way.  She quickly realized the little creature knew its mother was dying and was calling out to her.

            Unable to look away, Cassandra watched in growing horror as certain areas of the mother’s body were collapsing in on itself as if the blubber and insides had been siphoned out of her.   

            Dear God, it was just like what she’d seen in the dream.

Movement off to the side caught her attention and she looked to see what it was.  More of the strange tendrils had slithered out of the ocean and were snaking their way towards the pup whose back was literally against the wall.

             Grabbing the handle of her walking stick Cassandra gave it a savage twist as she pulled out a silver-white blade.  Then without thinking, she jumped down onto the sand and rushed towards the cornered mammal, slashing savagely at the offending appendages as she went.

Hope you enjoy this entry.  Have a great week.  I’m still sharing my laptop with my wife so I’ll try to post at least once a week.  Take care and leave comments below please.  I love feedback, it helps let me know what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong here on the blog.

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I took these photos at the Long Marine Lab located on the campus of the University of Santa Cruz.  All of them are of a young Gray Whale skeleton that is 25 feet long and is obviously outdoors. Please make sure to click on each one to get a bigger and better view of each image.   The creature has been put up on metal pipes to keep it off the ground and give it that more caught in the moment feel.  As you can see in photo #3 it has been placed next to a path and a mere 20-30 feet from a fence that allows visitors to look over a cliff and out at the ocean.  The view there is breathtaking and can really inspire a person’s imagination.

In my case it inspired a terrifying scene for my second novel where a young female reporter has been snooping into matters regarding  Cassandra Elliott (billionaire heiress) and her lover Julie DeLuca-Cloudfoot (shamaness and internet erotic lesbian wrestler) my two leading characters for this novel.   They have been stalked by a strange figure wearing clothing straight out of the late 18th century.  He appeared in my first book “THE BRIDGE”, where he nearly captured Cassandra at one point.  The mystery man failed and managed to survive being shot several times (including int he face), and was later at the center in a fiery explosion that took out an entire structure.  Cassie and Julie thought he had been killed and are completely unaware he is still around.

He  has plans for Cassandra and has followed her here to Santa Cruz, while she is on vacation.  He cares nothing about Julie, she is just a nuisance who may need to be eliminated if she tries to interfere and protect her lover.  His plans involve only the heiress, but the moment has not come and he must keep her safe in the meantime.   But, a new threat has arisen and he must keep Cassandra safe without her knowledge.

Unfortunately, a female paparazzi has been making a nuisance of herself while pursuing Cassandra and Julie to get photos and juicy details about the couple.  Her goal is to out the heiress unless offered a good sum of money to let her stay in the closet.  But now the reporter has just run across the mysterious figure and plans on making him part of the story.  It is a fatal mistake.  For although the he appears to be alone, he has an inhuman ally with him.  His compatriot proceeds to animate the giant skeleton as if it were alive once more.  The young would-be paparazzi will be grabbed by the bony jaws tossed about and eventually flung over the railing you see in photo #3.

How this idea came to me was interesting.  I had visited the Long Marine Lab before and had simply wanted to look at the view from the fenced area.  I heard a creaking behind me for a panicked moment my imagination went wild.  I pictured in my mind the great skeleton just behind me had moved and the pipes holding it up were being bent in the process.  Looking around I quickly saw that this was not the case.  You see right nearby is a large Desalinization Plant and the metal noises were coming from there.  But still the image stuck in my mind and I filed it away for later use.  It was too good a scene to let go.  Now I’ve finally gotten the chance to use it.

So now you have an example of how just simply roaming around and checking out places, can lead to some interesting ideas for writing.  I hope you enjoyed this little view into my world.  Please leave a comment and let me know if you’d like to read more about how I get other ideas and inspirations.  Until next time, take care and thanks for reading.

Greetings all.  For some time I’ve been thinking about Vlogging (Video Blogging for those who’ve never heard the term before).  If you haven’t heard it before don’t feel bad, I only learned of it a couple of months ago.  Yes, I’m a little behind the curve some days.  I’m just grateful they leave breadcrumbs so I can follow and eventually catch up.

Now I believe I’ve mentioned the possibility of me taking up Vlogging before and I wanted to give you all an update on my thoughts and plans.  In the last few days I asked a bunch of my Facebook friends (which includes published authors) for their thoughts.  The response has been an overwhelming DO IT!  WE WANT TO SEE HOW IT GOES!   So, the plan is yes I will do some Vlogging in the future.  Just not the near future.  I do not have a camera, nor do I have the money to get one.  Gotta keep the priorities straight when it comes to everyday life and getting by.

That said, I WILL be Vlogging eventually in addition to my Blogging.  I won’t be dropping one for the other.  I want them to supplement each other.  After all I can’t video a section of my books, the written word is needed for that.  So I will be continuing to post snippets here of my work as well as give insights to what’s been going on in my life.  I’ll also continue taking photos of places where some of the action in my novels occurs.  I noticed that my recent shared photo of where I go for inspiration seemed to be very popular and would like to continue doing that.

So please sit tight and before this coming weekend is over I hope to have another photo or two up to share with you all.  Thanks for all your support and I look forward to hearing back from you all.  Take care and have a great week everyone.




This is one of the many places I go to roam when I hit writer’s block or I’m trying to sort through a scene and can’t quite get it to fit. There are a lot of places like this in Santa Cruz which help me get the ole’ noggin’ working. Hope you like the image everyone. More posts coming soon.

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