Saturday, July 11, 2015

My Top 10 Reasons for Not Writing (right now)!

All writers have reason for not writing when they should be writing. Facebook and Google+ are too obvious, and I obviously have time to write, right?

My Top 10 Reasons for Not Writing (right now)!

10. This table is wobbly
9. It's kinda blowy under this vent
8. The coffee hasn't really set in yet
7. Does the number of characters in '10' make my list line up weird?
6. Hi, Dave!
5. This chair is wobbly
5. My Pandora station seems weird
4. I have to Tweet something about #amwriting
3. I wonder how long it will take to find a good picture for this blog post?
2. The coffee line looks short, maybe I should get more while I have the chance

...and the #1 reason why I'm not writing right now, is...

1. Blogging!

Friday, June 5, 2015


Note – This is a first draft (slightly edited before posting) of a writing challenge. ...under the gun, 1000 words max. The prompt was 'forbidden fruit.'


The Bishop stood to the side of the open cathedral doors, nodding curt greetings to the early morning worshipers as they passed through the doors. Once again, he looked inside at the slowly filling pews, but did not yet see Rene. Nor did he see Rene amongst those gathered in the square outside.

The Bishop slowly, if loudly, pushed his breath out through pursed lips; a mix of both prayer and frustration with the boy. He felt a man’s presence at his back, dropping his head to listen.

“Deacon Rene is not at the seminary, either,” Deacon Michael said.

The Bishop nodded slowly, but did not turn. “Perhaps he forgets what today is,” he said, continuing to acknowledge the worshipers who passed by him into the church.

“For Rene, all days are the same beautiful day,” Michael said. “Prayer, breakfast, Mass... You know what he says.”

“Yes, yes. All days are beautiful days,” the Bishop said, impatiently.

“…only more so,” Michael finished.

“Yes, well today isn’t just any beautiful day,” the Bishop said, interrupting. He turned to Michael. “Go. Take your place.”


A light breeze blew the gauzy white curtains until they just brushed the bare skin of the man on the bed.

The pure white sheets were tangled about him from rolling in his sleep, likely from an attempt to escape the sun that danced through the curtains and was starting to warm his feet. He was asleep, alone, in the very large bed, but there were enough pillows and indentations in the mattress to see that two had slept there until just moments before.

Even in his lite sleep, he felt the change of temperature on his uncovered foot; the window shutters were closing, and the sun no longer warmed him.

He stirred. He rolled onto his back (exposing more than feet), and opened his eyes.

The woman was nude, and facing away from him. The light through the slits in the shutters cast her in silhouette; he could see her drawing the sheer curtains closed across the window. She turned to him; his eyes adjusting to the new light, and he could see she was as beautiful as he’d remembered, all golden hair, white skin (untouched by sun), and impossibly ruby lips. She had green eyes that should be impossible to see from this far away, especially in backlight. But there they are.

She smiled impurely, turning once again away from him. She stretched her arms wide, and pulled the set of heavy, royal purple drapes clothes with pure drama, and the room went dark. She remained facing the closed window as she spoke.

“My love, let us shut out the day and let this night never end.”

She turned to face him in the now darker room, smiling in a way that the young Deacon knew meant his life had completely changed, and approached the bed.

Behind her, the shutters, impossibly, blew open; a great gust of wind parted the dark drapery, and the morning sun exploded into the room. Her lithe body was bathed in light from behind, and then the sun overwhelmed and blinded him.

He sat bolt upright, startled out of his dream. She was gone.

The drapes did billow in the wind. The shutters were wide open. He was alone in the large bed, still wrapped in the white sheets, but they were wet with sweat; his own, he thought.

The bell from the clock tower rang seven o’clock, and he looked toward the window. It looked to be a beautiful morning outside. A beautiful day like any other.”
“God!” he said, jumping out of bed, leaving the damp bed linens behind him. He looked this way and that until I saw his clothes, a Deacon’s robes, laid out carefully on a chair next to the door.


Rene stood at the back of the cathedral, as he often did before a mass.

He was frozen in place, eyes fixed on the closed door of a confessional – The same confessional that the woman had entered just a moment ago.

The morning sun was shining through a great window onto his legs and feet, heating his shiny black shoes to an uncomfortable temperature.

Not just a woman, but the woman from this morning. …or last night?

Rene was sweating underneath his vestments, and he could feel the sweat running down his chest and back; the cloth clung to his skin, and he pulled at it for relief.

How long, he wondered, had the booth’s door been closed? How long have I been here?

Then the door opened, a lithe, impossibly long leg swung out as the woman stood up to exit the confessional. The leg has exposed in a way that a leg would never be exposed; as a woman’s clothing will simply not allow it. Nevertheless, there was the bare leg, just as it was when she had entered the little room.

She stood, and strode two steps into the sunlight streaming from the window, and stopped. She faced Rene from a distance; her white skin shone with such light, and he could see nothing but her shape. He saw green eyes that should be impossible to see from this far away, in that light. But there they are.

“You’re late,” the Bishop said, surprising Rene as he suddenly stepped between Rene and the woman.

“I’ve been here,” Rene said, startled, “in the back, like every day.”

The Bishop frowned, and looked closer at Rene. “You’re sick? You’re sweating.”

“I walked quickly, and the sun…” Rene said. “Like every day.”

“Take your place, Rene,” the Bishop said, gesturing to the line of Deacons near the front of the cathedral; each waiting to be ordained.

Rene looked at them; each dressed in the same robes that he sweated beneath now. Rene didn’t move.

The Bishop looked concerned. “Are you nervous?”

Rene looked confused, but whether at the question or something else, even he wasn’t sure. He didn’t answer, or even respond.

“Rene, it’s just a day…” the Bishop began. “Like any other.”

Rene nodded. “Only more so.”


Confessional – Roland Denzel, March 4th, 2014

Image by scarbe84 on

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Just write it (before someone else writes it)

I’m not saying anyone took my ideas, because they didn’t. They just had the same ideas that I had.

I won’t go too far into how I invented the constantly variable transmission, but after dropping a sugar cone on the floor and watching it roll around a few times, there it was. I was working the counter at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, so they'd have probably taken my patent, anyway.

Anyhow, someone else invented it first, so I’m not going to sweat it.

The thing is that sometimes your ideas are really good, but if you keep them to yourself, someone else does it and you don't.

Worse, they might do it poorly. Even more [sic] worse, they might make millions. It's most worse if you know them. Rich bastards.

Take Cowboys & Aliens for example.

Not that I know them. I don't, but what a stupid movie. A lost opportunity to be awesome.

I don’t know the origin of the movie idea, nor the dates involved, but for decades, I have had a whole ‘cowboys and aliens’ story outlined on my computer that is NOT stupid. Maybe one day I’ll write it as a book (although I won’t because no one buys those kind of books).

Age of Adeline…

My daughter and I went to see Age of Adeline on Monday. It was a good movie, sort of. I’ll probably rant on Age of Adeline's lost opportunity to be awesome (or at least cuter) later, but I’m ranting about something else right now.

The thing is that Adeline is stuck at age 29, and has been for 100 years. She has to pickup and move every 10, each time getting a new identity, new home, new job. That’s the freakin’ story I’m writing right now. Crap.

The previews…

Sometimes the previews show me more about how much writing I’m not doing than getting me excited about what’s 'coming soon.'

The previews during this movie made me sit up straight, once again. There was one of my characters (or so it seemed), starring in her own tv series. It’s not the same, but it’s close. Crap.

Oh look at this next preview; another idea of mine has its own movie. Crap again.

None of this is plagiarism or theft; they just had the same or similar ideas.

The point is that if you have ideas that you love, hurry up and write them. If you don’t, the odds are good that someone else will, then it’s you copying them, even though you didn’t.

Even though yours was first.

Even though theirs sucks yours would have been much better!

Yeah, their ideas aren’t the same. They might not even be as good as yours will be (or would have been).

Your story or idea might be much better, but now you have to deal with all new doubts. …and aren’t the doubts you already have about your work enough without having to create all new doubts.

If you love your idea, don’t just write it down, write it!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

it's an old story

While going through some of my dad's boxes, I found one of my own. 

The box was mostly junk, but there was a hidden folder of old negatives from the days when I wanted to be a photographer, notes for scripts that I wanted to write for shows that no longer exist (remember Get A Life?), and some stories that will never see the light of day.

These are not hidden gems or diamonds in the rough. Luckily, most weren't anything serious, but writing assignments, completed. Rarely anything I would actually write on purpose, but you do what you need to do to finish your homework, right?

They are, for the most part, embarrassing

...but they also give me some confidence in the writing I do today.

I can still see my style in my old writing, and I know what I meant to say, even if I didn't say it all that well. My writing teachers were nice to me, and for that I thank them. 

I will save these papers for the times when I need to see how far I've come, but it also reminds me that future Roland will one day look back at what I write today and vow to "save this junk as a reminder of how far I've come."

Truly the worst was the poetry and the flash fiction exercises that they put us through, although they didn't call them flash fiction back then.

Here's a poem for your 'enjoyment,' although I confess to have just edited it. ...unless you think it's terrible, in which case this is exactly how I found it, 25 years later. ;)


I wake up in the morning, and I remember nothing.
I know the dreams were there, but I have to let them go.
Why waste what little time is yours remembering something lost?

So little time in the day to do what needs doing.
Nap time passes (spent more wisely)
Fight back a yawn and keep on working - a little coffee wards it off , but no magic lasts forever.

Sleep away a third of what little time you have.
So much time given to dreaming; so little remains for the day.
You say dreaming's healthy?
You need them to stay sane?
But, I've only one dream I remember, and in it, I’m awake.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Stop writing ebooks!

In the olden days, there were just books. Then came the pdf, and the ebook was born.

Publishers did not produce PDFs or ebooks, so only self-published writers wrote ebooks.

Today, there is the Kindle, the Nook, the Kobo, and a variety of other ebook reading devices and apps.

Ebooks are, today, as real a book as a physical book.

A book is the content. It's the words you write. ...and sometimes the design or  the experience. It's no longer just the 'thing' you are holding.

The best publishers and self-publishers produce physical books and ebooks.

I think Writers Digest and Digital Book World call the books that self-published writers write ebooks because they think self-published writers aren't real writers.

If you call what you write an ebook, you're telling the world you're not a real writer. Write a book, and if you do things right, you'll have both physical books and ebooks.

Be a writer.

Be a real writer.

Write books.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pride and Prejudice and Webcams

I feel pretty late to the party, here, but I just found out about a fun webshow called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

I'm not really sure how an Emmy can go to a show that was broadcast online, since the Emmys go to television shows, but the show won a Prime Time Emmy in 2013 nevertheless.

The show is a modern take* on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, with Elizabeth Bennet as a young grad student, moving back home to her old room in her parents' house.

I've tried to read P&P before. Twice. Boring. And the 'modern' movies aren't much better than the older movies (also much boring), but so far, so good on this. Just don't test me later, because I'm not sure it's spot on accurate to the real P&P.

They are blessedly short, so I can watch one a day, like forever almost.


* and by 'modern take' I mean not boring and overwrought like period books and movies always are tend to be.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The best paranormal tv is stupid

I love the idea of angsty paranormal tv better than the shows themselves

The netflix blurbs are promising; angst, love, loves lost, and plenty of paranormal action, but two or three episodes in, things always start to go stupid. I'll forgive the crappy special effects, but if they are so bad that you can't pull it off, write another script. Don't they give the writers an idea of what they've got in the CGI prop room?


I'm watching, but I have to push on through things like abandoned dogs turned into men. Dog men. Like a pack of them, and they are learning to use tools. Oh no! One has rabies and it's the family dog. You can't Old Yeller a man, though. ...or can you?

I'm glad I stuck it out long enough for the one where she sees all the men she loves die on the same day. That's gotta be tough, and it was well done.

I love the theme music. It's up there with Game of Thrones and Firefly

The Originals

Too complicated.

I like that the actresses aren't all super skinny and scrawny like most tv actresses. Don't get me wrong, they aren't really overweight, but they are normal. ...and beautiful.

Even with that, too much happens in just one episode to care anymore. People swap sides, mysteries are looming and found out immediately, but look, there's another mystery!

This one isn't just werewolves and vampires, but they also have witches and 'hybrids,' which they talk about like it's got a wikipedia entry. A hybrid is like a mash up of a werewolf and a vampire, and I guess they are like an unstoppable army of one, and they want to make more.

Also, talked about like it's a common term is the title word; Original. Like "OMG an Original is in my bar!"

Being Human (US version)

Fun, but is that enough?

I'm 5 in, but not sure I'll continue. The premise itself is 'stupid,' so at least I know what I'm getting into.


Something dumb happened around episode 1 (maybe it was 3) that made me both bored and roll my eyes.

It's still on my watch list, but only because I can't remember why I stopped watching it. There's no one hot enough to make me press on.

Beauty and the Beast

Something truly dumb must have happened early on, because I have no urge to remember this one or why I stopped this on early.

I don't think it's paranormal, either. I think it was a toxic waste accident or military experiment gone wrong. ...or right? Either way, it's boring, despite the amazing beauty of whatever her name is. The one who used to be Lana Lang on Smallville.

Lost Girl

Take every freakin' random 'fae' or paranormal idea in the world and stick it in this show for one episode each.

I'm sure it looked good on paper.

There's a unintentionally comical 'fae' underworld that's actually right in front of us (Is your dry cleaner really using magic to clean your suits? Look out!).

Add plenty of attractive lesbians and insinuate that most women are easily swayed to go gay, and you have Lost Girl.

I have to hear "Oh, you're the unaligned succubus" one more time...

Maybe paranormal angst books are better?

...but a few that I've tried have been too dumb to continue reading.

Friday, January 16, 2015

If you make a promise

and no one's listening... 

As I've said before, my intention is, and has long been, to move things here to a new site, but the question is 'why?' ...and why haven't I?

The other question is why did I stop posting just because I haven't moved? Is there such a thing as "fresh start syndrome," and if so, do I have it?

This place, little dog lost...

...started off as a personal blog, morphed more toward fitness, and then got all but abandoned when I joined fitness forces with my wife over on after we published our first book. Things are going really well over there, but writing about health doesn't scratch all of my itches.

I still itch to write about things that are angst, passion, and love filled, not to mention...

Cheesecake! Which seems like a kind of love, but...

Cheesecake is hard to justify on a website dedicated to helping people lose weight, get fit, and get healthy. Not that those readers can't eat cheesecake, but they don't need me to help them out.

I will move...

But not now. Not yet. I want things on my site to look (and be) more modernized, automated, and integrated.

I'm no longer a 'lost dog,' so that can go, too.

I'm an 'early adopter' for a slick new website system that launches in 'Spring' or 'late Spring' (or so they say), so I will carry on here for the time being. Why change now and then change again in a few months?

I will write...

I've been stalling or using moving to a new site as an excuse not to write here, but that's an artificial barrier that I hope I've now put behind me.

Let's talk more soon!

Yours in angst,


PS. I also like to write about coffee.

Monday, June 30, 2014


Father Martin slid the confessional screen open, revealing the dark shadow of a woman on the other side. As he sat back, the old priest smelled a spicy, oriental scented perfume. He tried not to be curious as he waited for her to begin.

"Forgive me Father, for I have sinned," she said. "It has been 200 years since my last confession."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

If it's not perfect, it's crap!

It seems that trainers, nutritionists, and other fitness pros rightfully want it all to be be perfect.

Apparently there's little room for incremental improvements when it comes to fitness in the media. It's either perfect or it's crap!

Dung Beetle #1 - It's getting rounder!
Dung Beetle #2 - It's CRAP!

"Call them out in public!" they say

...even when the trainer in question might be merely wrong. No, they are never wrong, they are lying.

A new healthy food? Nope! One of the food's ingredient's ingredients is from a supplier that doesn't say non-gmo. Boycott them!

Great new product? It can't be, they are advertising! How can they find time to market if they are in the trenches all day, quoting Bruce Lee to their clients, and frowning in the general direction of Facebook?

Don't let perfection be the enemy of progress

I'm happy to point out that Tracy Anderson has bad products, that The Biggest Loser uses bad methods and sets the wrong expectations, vegan diets are not healthier than diets containing meat, and that Crossfit doesn't do enough to police their own gyms to keep them from f-ing people up.

What I'm not happy about is when good things get a bad rap. When a magazine like Men's Health holds a competition to find the best trainer, and no one on the internet thinks they are good enough because they aren't perfect. But these phantom perfect trainers didn't apply. I'm sure it's because they were too busy digging their trenches, and didn't hear the call for applicants.

If a new diet helps people, it better be 100% accurate to science, or the author is a liar or has a hidden agenda.

Oh, and the internet is filled with crappy fitness products that are marketed to the unsuspecting dieter or internet trainees, but when someone writes a better one, it's never good enough.

...and because it's marketed and advertised, it must be even worse.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of bad training is for good trainers to do nothing." - Anonymous, CSCS, CPT, PES, MS, DPT, LMNOP

Um, complaining isn't doing it, either! Complain all you want, but if you don't do something good, you're pretty much doing nothing.

If good trainers and coaches don't write programs and products, then all these poor people will be able to buy is the crappy ones.

If no one good provides online training and nutrition programs, then all we have left is the bad stuff.

If good trainers and coaches don't advertise and market, then the people who respond to marketing are left to buy from the bad trainers.

Are you doing your part to help those who need you the most? 

I'm not saying that you can't be a damn good trainer, training your own clients personally, and running your own business. That's good work, and you do your clients a great service; hands on is best.

Still, as long as there's a market for online training, fitness books, and fitness products, someone good needs to do it. It doesn't have to be you, but you also don't have to condemn it.

The bottom line is that there are people who buy all levels of product and service (just try to stop them). If you don't do something good for them yourself, or you discourage good people from doing it, you sentence these poor souls to buying pure crap.

..and now whose fault is that?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Should trainers only train those educated on fitness?

I think good trainers should use the same marketing tactics of the sleazy trainers, otherwise the good trainers do the clients who fall for those tactics a real disservice.

No, we can't talk about toning or sweating because those things 'aren't real' or 'don't matter' for fat loss. While that is certainly true, the REAL truth is that there are people out there looking for those things because THEY believe them to be true or important.

Are we (trainers) only about helping those who are educated enough to find us?

What does that say about us?

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