OMG. What A Day….

Some days are just…. just a crazy mad dash to the finish line. I am exhausted but I promised one of my most favorite people in the whole world, Craig Boyack, that I would invite him over to talk about his new book The Enhanced League.

I’ll let him tell you all about it while I draw myself a nice warm bath and soak my weary body in some lavender bubbles. 

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Thanks for inviting me over today to talk about my newest book, The Enhanced League. This one is a little different than anything I’ve released before, and I’m kind of excited about it.

One short story, called The Enhanced League, was on my list when I wrote my second Experimental Notebook. I wrote it and intended to include it in that book. It had a nice twist ending, and almost a Twilight Zone feel about it.
The story wouldn’t leave me alone. When I assembled the Notebook, I left this one out and placed it in a new folder. I knew The Enhanced League had more to offer than just this story. I started making a new list of story ideas about one year in the professional baseball league where almost anything goes.

One day, while commuting to my paycheck job, I was listening to MLB Radio on Sirius-XM. They had a kind of spoken word anthem, narrated by Tommy Lasorda. If you’ve followed baseball much, Tommy is one of the legends and he has a distinctive voice. If I told a baseball fan to read the rest of this post in Tommy’s voice, it would immediately come through like that.

The piece was wonderful, but MLB Radio chopped it into sections with broadcast highlights. I wish they’d left it alone. I heard it a few more times, but never without the interruptions. This attracted my Muse, and I decided to do something on my own.

I sat down and wrote out a baseball anthem in a kind of second person point of view, just like Tommy’s. I liked it, and decided to keep writing them. Then it occurred to me that the broadcast interruptions were a kind of message to me.

The broadcast interruptions were intended to enhance Lasorda’s spoken word poetry. I don’t know what it was, so I’m calling it an anthem, and I called mine anthems too.

After I wrote the first one it became easier. My own imaginary Tommy Lasorda just wandered in, took a seat on the couch, and started talking. All I had to do was write down what he said.

My blog followers and regular readers know I’m always up for something new. These anthems were fun, and I think they enhance The Enhanced League. I peppered them throughout the book, and think they really add some fun human elements to the story. I hope you enjoy them too.

Oh, and I still can’t read one without hearing it in Tommy Lasorda’s voice.

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cover

Blurb: The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.

Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.

I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB

Click here to purchase!

boyack
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

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A touch of tenderness

This is a wonderful post about the importance of touch in life and death. Please pop over and read it if you have not done so already.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

The Cathedral by Rodin.

My son gleefully squeezed harder at the knotted muscle in my shoulder, with a ‘Now I’ve got you’ as I groaned in agony. We have established and agreed that he has a slightly sadistic tendency where I am concerned. It may have something to do with my knack of getting just the right spot on the painful muscles as we got his body working again. Day after painful day, for months on end. So now it is payback… and he appears to enjoy it. He still manages to lay the blame squarely on my aching shoulders, muttering something that sounds vaguely like ‘hereditary’.

He is a little more squeamish than I. His face screws up in horror as my wrist bones crunch back into place when he applies traction. It is, however, nice to regain freedom of movement occasionally. So I make him do it…

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What’s On Your Shelf, Victo Dolore?

I am hanging out over at Every Day’s A Mystery sharing what’s on my shelf. Come check it out!

It’s time for  ‘What’s On Your Shelf?’ and today, ladies and gentlemen, we have the doctor in the house! Yes, I know what a coup, please give a very warm welcome to Victo Dolore from ‘Behind The White Coat’. Victo can be found blogging about the daily rollercoaster that  is working in the health service, interspersed with dark, witty and frankly therapeutic, fiction and poetry. If you haven’t already, you can check out Victo’s blog here and more wonderful fiction here. So, without further ado, let’s see what’s on the doc’s shelf!

‘I love books. I have spent my entire life surrounded by them. They taught, provided escape, and empowered me. Much of who I am is because of those words.

My house has hundreds of books spread out all over the place spanning hundreds of years and covering just about any genre. The oldest ones date from the 1600’s but my favorite is the Victorian period. People said and wrote crazy…

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Tributary

bright uellow gerber daisy

There are exceptional people you can come across in life if you are lucky, people who make you feel like a better version of you. Smarter. Prettier. Kinder. More patient. 

Not empty flattery. No. They have a knack for finding the gem of you and making you sparkle and shine.

I have been blessed to find a few of these people in my lifetime. Paul Curran was one of those. I looked forward to his comments for that very selfish reason. He made me feel better about me.

I realize that he was a virtual friend, someone I never met, but what I feel now is a very real sense of grief and sadness. Strangely that is made worse by the fact that I can find no obituary, no mark of his passing except for the deafening silence that exists now on my blog and on many others. 

I want to fill up that emptiness. I want to shout out to the world, to his physical friends, to his family: I KNEW PAUL CURRAN. He was my friend. He existed. He was a priceless member of the human race. He touched many lives. He made a difference. He mattered.

Just as I hope someone will say about me when I am gone.

We’ve lost Paul Curran, our master guest columnist and prolific comment-leaver

Whenever I made a post, I could count on Paul to have something to say. Most of the time, his comments were better than my posts. I am going to miss him something fierce. Rest In Peace, my friend.

Mark Bialczak

Those of us who’ve grown to love the lively words that bounced from the head and fingers of Paul Curran will never be the same.

The writer from Canada has died, according to his neighbor Steve Watson.

I received this email on the contact tab from my blog:

With great sadness I have to tell you that Paul Curran has passed away. Paul passed last week.

Our guest blogger, Paul Curran. Our guest blogger, Paul Curran.

Your Barrista -- Paul Curran Your Barrista — Paul Curran

Now Your Barrista – Paul Curran Now Your Barrista – Paul
Curran

A series of the column head shots Paul sent me since 2013 to just a month ago.

I found the email this morning. I arrived yesterday. Steve Watson was listed as the photographer in the If We Were Having Coffee Sunday column Paul had me post here on Sept. 11 after his emergency operation.

I could not find an obituary through search engines.

Paul lived in Ottawa, Ontario…

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Guest Post: C. S. Boyack 

Mr. Boyack was one of the first bloggers I ran across on WordPress. Over the years I have come to appreciate his pithy wisdom, timely encouragement, AND most of all…  his Entertaining Stories

Thanks for inviting me to your blog again. I’m back with a second collection of short stories and micro-fiction, cleverly named The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II.

 image1This is a collection of speculative fiction that includes aliens, monsters, ghosts and more. This time I leaned a bit more toward science fiction and paranormal, but there is one that might qualify as fantasy.
I wracked my brain trying to find a medical tie in, because Victo loves those. It’s kind of loose, but I may have found one. There is one story that involves a kind of poisoning, but it’s not something anyone would be looking for.
In an age of factory medicine, where someone sees a different specialist every time their condition worsens, what would be the odds that someone would test for something so far fetched?
This poison causes cancer, so there is no foaming at the mouth or immediate collapse to scrutinize. There is no emergency room visit. You can’t buy it at the corner store, and have to harvest it yourself, if you know where to find it.
There isn’t one person in a thousand that even knows what it is. Anyone who may have built a career in this field of study likely retired in the 1970s.
This is one of the only non-speculative stories in the collection, and it’s one of my favorites. Watch for the one called Practical Geology.
The whole collection is yours for 99¢. You get fifteen individual stories that can fill your lunch breaks and commuter train rides for a week or two. There is also a free sample of my latest novel The Playground.
To purchase, please head over here.
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Today is the day

I have read Mr. Boyack’s first Experimental Notebook, a collection of short stories, and it was incredibly entertaining. I have already purchased my advanced copy of the second installment!

Entertaining Stories

Well, it’s one of the days. My newest book The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II is now available for purchase on Amazon. It’s a pre-sale, and the books will deliver on August 31st. That is the other day.

I wanted to do a short pre-sale, but Lisa my robotic assistant must have messed up. Let’s talk about the actual book.

This is similar to the first Experimental Notebook, in that it’s a collection of short stories and micro-fiction. It’s also similar in that it’s priced at 99¢.

I decided to make the alchemy wheels into a kind of theme. The first Notebook has one, this book has two, and should there be a third volume it will have three wheels. That way the covers are similar, but also unique.

This book has some science fiction, some paranormal, and one that barely qualifies as fantasy. I love fantasy, but…

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“Just Because You’re British”

  

Gibber of former Gibber Jabberin’ fame (you can see where she *used* to blog here) commented on my post Carried Away that she had a scary alcohol story. Since you can see that her blog is now defunct, I asked her to do a guest post. Please feel free to tell you how much you miss her and beg her to return to blogging. Maybe she’ll listen to you good people because she sure as hell won’t listen to me…

It was a Saturday night and the girls had all gathered to get ready for our night out on the town. There was excitement in the air. We were doing what girls do before they go out for a night on the town.  Curling irons flipped on, make up all over the bathroom counter. Our clothes were spread out on the bed so we could all decide what looked best on us.  

British accents were all over the place. You see, I was one of only 2 Canadians amongst a group of British nannies that had come over to Canada to work. I really didn’t hear their accents anymore since I spent a lot of time with them. I may have even had a bit of one myself.

This Saturday night while it seems at first glance like any other Saturday night on the town, it wasn’t.  We knew it wasn’t, but we didn’t know just how different it would turn out.

We were all in our 20’s so it took us a while to get ready. I don’t know why it mattered so much since bars are dark anyway, but it did. We all hopped into a car where my Canadian friend’s boyfriend sat behind the steering wheel. The only guy with us. Poor guy!

We hit the road, the road to Buffalo, New York. We were crossing the border from Ontario to party. 

Harmless right?!

I don’t remember how long the drive was, but eventually we arrived with no glitches at our bar of choice. We parked and headed in to dance our crazy butts off!

Now there’s something you should know about me. I was 19. I hadn’t yet done any drinking. I just didn’t. In Canada, I was of age to do so. In the US you had to be 21.

So I danced, and danced. I like dancing if you haven’t figured that out already. Could you guess, that doing all that dancing might lead one to get thirsty? I’ll bet you could.

Drinks were 2 for 1. Someone offered me one of their drinks. It was a long island ice tea. I thought it was only iced tea since we were all under age. It was a huge drink, and I downed it because of the aforementioned thirst. It was loaded with whatever alcohol they add to long island ice teas.

Guess what I did next? 

I danced and I danced some more, until the end of the night was upon us.

Our gang regrouped and we headed outside in the cold crisp air. That’s when that long island ice tea hit me, and hit me hard. I was so drunk I could hardly stand up. Well I really couldn’t. I think a couple of my friends were holding me up.

Just outside the bar was a hot dog stand. The only guy with us decided he was hungry. How perfect since there was a hotdog stand right there. He bought his hot dog turned around and a stranger out of nowhere said to him and I quote, “Give me your hotdog.” He and we were all a little stunned. He said, “What?” The guy didn’t ask again he just punched our friend hard in the face twice and I if I remember correctly took his hotdog. 

Our friend’s girlfriend jumped in front of her boyfriend to confront the attacker. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but you never know how you’re going to react when in a serious situation, and you have shock and adrenaline running through your system.

I’ll get back to my friend in a minute. Here’s where I need to tell you where I was at. I was so drunk I was laughing my head off. I knew the situation was serious but I wasn’t able to get serious because as I mentioned earlier, I hadn’t drank before. The alcohol possessed me. My friends were trying to get me to shut up and act “normal.” I could only keep laughing. I still couldn’t stand on my own. Part of me now, is glad I was drunk. Not the part that caused me to make the situation more dangerous than it was, but the part of me that would have been terrified had I been sober.

Okay back to the girlfriend. I left her standing in front of her boyfriend confronting the attacker. The attacker was gearing up to beat her up. He was ready to throw a punch. It was crazy scary. All of a sudden the attacker and his gang turned around and ran away. I was told that a police car had driven up.

You can bet we high tailed it to our car and got on the road out of there. Our friend was hurting but okay. He drove home. The others were just in pure shock and fear. 

I was still drunk.

We were very lucky. As bad as the whole situation was, if that cop hadn’t of come it would have been much worse. We likely would have been killed. I know this because we found out a week later, that 4 girls were killed in that same area by some similar appearing men that matched the description of our attacker and his friends that left notes on their bodies saying, “Just because you’re British.”

I won’t say I never made any other stupid choices over the years after that, but I will say I never again crossed the border to party.

A Doc-ument

A few weeks ago I met an intriguing physician, an oncologist with an unusual story. She had told that story to Craig S. Boyack and his newest novel, The Playground, was born. I invited her here while I am traveling to let you all get to know her…

Thanks for having me over Victo. My name is Dr. Gina Greybill. At the beginning of this story, I really am a broken person. Who expects an oncologist to get cancer herself? It hit me hard, and took a family member from me too. So I left oncology. My heart was just not in it any longer. 

Instead, I started working in end-of-life care at a wage somewhat lower than I was used to. These people need someone who understands, and I understand more than most. I travelled from one place to the next living with and helping hospice patients as they died. My next assignment took me into a world I never knew existed.

There are some interesting medical issues in this story, not the least of which is my encounter with a parasite. This parasite enhances my abilities and let’s me see into a world nobody else has access too. Angels, Devils, fairies, and monsters are all out there. This is a big part of my journey.

I even have a struggle with my medical oath, but desperate times do call for desperate measures…

As far as other interesting tidbits, your readers might be interested in the old medical cane. Nearly everyone knows what a sword cane is, but very few know that canes were made for other uses too. In the days of house-calls, a doctor might travel with a hollowed out cane that contained a few professional items. There might be a tincture or two, some paper envelopes of powders, maybe even a lancet depending on the era.

There is a very special ear trumpet in the story. It looks so absurd that everyone would post pictures of me on Twitter. We found an interesting way of using it that keeps it from being a magnet to the social media crowd.

A deadly infection makes an appearance. It’s marks a major turning point for one character. There is also a brutal thug who has an alternate use for tampons. Another interesting situation uses the topical application of opium as a pain killer.

If this sounds like an intriguing story, your fans might like to pick up a copy of The Playground here.

There are some interesting medical bits in this book, but Craig wants me to tell everyone that he’s an author, not a doctor. His job is to do enough research to make it believable within the context of the story. I think he’s done a good job of that, but the readers will be the ultimate judge.

Victo, thank you for having me over today.

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Truthfully, I don’t know what genre to classify this book. There are historical fiction elements, the paranormal, good bits of violence, medicine, technology, horror, suspense, and plenty of death. I guarantee it will make you think.

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