So long, 2020. Hello, 2021.

2020 was kind of a strange year… (Is that an understatement?)

Overall, I consider myself and my family rather blessed. Our jobs were affected very little by the Chinese Plague and we stayed fed, warm, clothed, healthy, and happy.

I’m certainly not digging all the societal ‘norms’ that we’ve come to with COVID, but they’ll end at some point I’m sure, like previous pandemics, we’ll move forward still. (At least this wasn’t the zombie apocalypse.) I look forward to never wearing a mask again, but I’m glad everyone is learning to wash their hands diligently after they go potty.

I’m anxiously awaiting longer days, warmer weather, knowing the actual numbers of my book sales, going back to church, and socializing again.

Lows of the year – Too many big picture ones, but the Presidential Election and Covid certainly top the list.

Highs of the year – Getting my first book published. That was awesome. We also sold our old house and paid off the majority of any debts we had. (So long student loans!) Now all we owe on is our minivan and house. I highly recommend becoming debt free, it’s the only way to live.

Going into 2021, what do I expect?

In America – Chaos. Lots and lots of Chaos.

In Writing – I’ve slowed some as I wait to see if sales were high enough for the publisher to accept the sequel. I’m pretty confident they’ll take it, but it’s hard to be working on a third book in the series while the second languishes on a thumb drive. I do need to write a ‘teaser’ for the back of the book still, so that may get posted here once it’s finished.

I’ve got a map for the series to be four books right now. Which works well, since I’m considering using West of Prehistoric/East of Prehistoric/South/North etc as titles. Then yesterday, after some delicious BBQ and a trip to the local gun store to see the barren ammunition shelves and thinning gun racks, my dad gave me a brilliant idea for a 5th ‘offshoot’ book for the series. So that’s a good possibility as well.

And I’d love to do another series on the same world, based about 20-25 years later. The early 1900’s was pretty cool when it came to weapons. 🙂

At some point I need to get cracking on my WWII Monster Book, the outline is finished on that. Then there’s the Space Marine Book I want to write, nothing is done on that. And I’ve a word file full of possibilities for other books that I’ve written down and forgotten about. At any rate, I need to finish the third book and hopefully get most of a fourth book written as well before 2022.

In Blogging – Probably gonna post less. Politics is to chaotic to comment on right now and societal upheaval seems around the corner. So I’ll mainly be sticking to writing updates, some book reviews, and such that tickles my fancy.

So… 2021.

Bring it on, cause it ain’t stopping for us.

Let’s hope for the best, know that Gods Will shall be done, pray hard for the guidance of our leaders, and keep your powder dry.

And I’m gonna start writing my little fingers off.

A Christian Conservative on Homosexuality.

Homosexuality got brought up on an offroading forum I visit because of Jeep’s FB page having a gay couple posing with their Jeep. Here’s the pic that was posted to start the thread off:

After the hilariousness of mocking such a wimpy looking Jeep, the discussion of the couple in the picture took off.

It was kind of the usual disagreements and agreements on why people are homosexual, and some ‘don’t care – as long as it doesn’t effect me’ and I decided to give my view, as a conservative christian.

See below.

***

So, being a moderately good Christian boy, who REALLY likes the womanly parts of my wife…

First, to get out of the way, I believe homosexuality is a sin. Even “part time” homosexuality like bisexuals. But… sin is sin. In God’s eyes, all sins are equal. In our eyes, what with our worldly views of things, we tend to rate sins on a sliding scale. For instance, sleeping around as a horny college kid with willingly horny chicks is okay and on the lower end of ‘naughty sins’, but sleeping with a twelve year old means you need to be castrated and executed by firing squad on television.

Second, I believe that homosexuals shouldn’t call their unions a marriage. A marriage is a Godly union between man and woman. Homosexuals getting legal protection and benefits by unifying their partnership is more of a ‘union’ then a ‘marriage’ and should be called such. This was a slippery slope, and we plunged off the precipice when the SCOTUS ruled in favor of gay marriage. Since then, we’re seeing more and more ‘sexual sins’ becoming main streamed. Especially now with pedophilia coming from increasingly louder groups with the left.

Third, I have an amazingly cool little four year old daughter. If she went away to college, and came back with a girlfriend, I’ll be DAMNED if I’m going to be an asshole who distances myself from her or treats her like some sort of religious leper because she sins like we all do. That’s my little girl. Always will be. And if some big manly lesbian breaks her heart, I’ll break their nose. I’m going to love her, and guide her, and help her(and her girlfriend), by being the best Godly daddy I can be. The exact same if she came back from college with a drug addiction, porn addiction, or a DUI where she killed a bus full of nuns on their way back from an orphanage of disabled and abused children. I am going to be the absolute best influence in her life I can regardless of her sins.

It’s MY JOB to raise my kids to be decent human beings. To teach them to be good, upstanding Christians, with good morals, and the ability to handle the stress and rigors of living in a fallen world where the spirit may be strong, but flesh is weak.

Now, do I believe that some people are ‘born’ gay?

Absolutely.

I also believe that some people are born disabled. Or born with genetic markers that make them more likely to become addicted. And I also believe that some people are born disabled in varying ways. Basically, none of us are the same. None of us carry the same burdens. Each of our crosses to bear is different. My 13 year old son is autistic. God made him that way. That’s a personal struggle that he will suffer through the rest of his life. (Which also makes success all the more sweeter. He was diagnosed as severe at 3 and at 13 he is now very high functioning.)

I believe that people can be born with a predisposition towards homosexuality.

I also believe people, through personal issues, can -choose- to become homosexual. Whether it was childhood trauma or abuse, or a bad string of partners, or what have you. Or maybe just experimenting because they are simply curious. Or because, it’s ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’ to be homosexual, bisexual, transgender, whatever.

Anyways.

That’s about all I have to say about that.

But homosexual, transgenders, bisexuals, ‘alphabet soup’ types need love and guidance. They don’t need to be shunned by churches, they don’t need to be ridiculed or laughed at or insulted by us supposedly ‘upstanding’ people who understand our chromosomes pairings and how our genitalia are properly used. We are all sinners, and we all suck too and fail every day. But God’s grace covers us all, including people we don’t agree with.

-tosses two cents on the table-

***

So, that’s what I wrote. It’s how I feel, and it’s something I feel pretty strongly about and will defend. And I just figured I’d share it here on my blog because it seemed to resonate with a lot of folks on the offroading forum.

Anyways. Christmas is a couple days away.

I hope you all have a fantastic time. My parent’s are coming to visit us tomorrow, and we’re all looking forward to that. We got them some pretty ballin’ gifts so I’m excited to see them be opened.

I’ll probably have a ‘year in review’ post before the end of the year. So, I won’t wish you all a Happy New Year just yet.

But let there be peace with God, peace with each other, and peace in your own heart.

Enjoy Jesus’s birthday.

Book/Series Review: “I Am Not A Serial Killer” by Dan Wells

I -devoured- this series. I read all six books in twelve days. That’s how good it was.

So, after I did that very first book review of Guns of Perdition a few weeks back, I decided that since I like to read so much, maybe I’d share the occasional review here. Kind of break up the political posts and writing updates and randomness with something else.

But don’t worry, I’m only going to do the occasional review on ‘winners’. If a book stinks, either I won’t finish it, or I won’t waste time writing a blog post about it. My time is precious. I got kids and dogs and a wife to play with, books to write, and fun to be had and frankly – I don’t like bad writing. I’ll drop a book if it sucks.

But this series, wow. Nice and twisted. I’d heard of the first one when it first came out, years ago. But forgot all about it, even though I meant to check it out. Luckily for me, by the time I came across it again, the entire series had been written and finished.

The basic premise is this sociopathic kid, named John Wayne Cleaver, that lives above his mom’s mortuary, is obsessed with serial killers, and realizes how much he has in common with them. He then concludes that he doesn’t WANT to be one, thus begins the inner angst as he quickly puts rules into place to prevent himself from becoming a murderer. Such as, complementing people when he thinks about hurting them, avoiding all animals so he doesn’t give into the urge to see their insides, only looking at the girl he likes twice and speaking to her once per day. Lighting a small fire whenever he can’t take it anymore. Stuff like that.

Then he discovers that there is actually a serial killer in his town.

Deciding that only he is able to do anything about it and armed with his instinctive ability to profile other killers, John Wayne Cleaver does what any normal 13 year old would do… He breaks all the rules he had put into place to control his ‘urges’ and goes after the serial killer.

Who turns out to be a shape shifting demon.

Yup.

And THAT’s where Dan Well’s awesome book takes an unexpected turn that resulted in him getting a 4/5 star rating on Amazon with six hundred plus reviews. It’s very unexpected, because the book starts off as a Young Dexter, then it shoots off into the fiction horror genre.

Luckily, I knew that going in. So it didn’t bother me one bit. I could see how it’d bug others though, especially when the back of the book makes zero mention of any sort of supernatural involvement. And that’s a pretty big twist to keep secret and spring on a reader. It’s the sort of twist that turns people off to the book when there is a sudden genre change in the middle.

But, armed with that knowledge, I devoured the book, then the next, and the next, and so on. The series just got more interesting and the mythos of the demons grew pleasantly as more are discovered in town and elsewhere and John Wayne Cleaver discovers his purpose and hunts them down.

Dan Wells hit a home run with these books. I highly recommend them.

Writing, writing, writing… A Random Update.

Work on Book Three continues. It shows great promise.

Book Two awaits the publisher, and Book One is racking up great reviews on Amazon and Goodread. (Currently 4.7/5 on Amazon and 5/5 on Goodreads!)

But I’m really tempted to begin work on another project.

The concept of ‘Dropship Troopers’, ‘Starship Troopers’, ‘Space Marines’ etc has always been a personal favorite. Of course, this interest probably all started reading the famous Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein when I was like 14 or so. Then the superb pseudo-sequel ‘Armor’ by John Steakley soon after. (He wrote it because there was too much politics and too little fighting in Starship Troopers.)

And can I just take a moment to say that the cover of Armor is my favorite book cover ever? Check it out:

There’s something just undeniably bad-ass about a man in an armored suit beating an alien to death with his plasma rifle.

And then we had the most amazing movie of all, Starship Troopers. Which had almost nothing to do with the original book and everything to do with awesomeness.

So awesome in fact, that it’s the movie I watched the night before I shipped out to USMC Boot Camp AND used it to announce my book release, C’mon you apes! Do you wanna READ forever? (Book PUBLISHED!).

Anyways.

I think I want to write a book in that sort of ‘realm’ of military science fiction. Because I always think of that cover of Armor and how awesome it is. And it really inspires me to want to write in that genre along those lines of Arachnid type aliens versus men and women in armored suits slugging it out intergalactically for the survival of the species.

As for other projects – I’ve also still got a plot outline finished for a story in regards to a Japanese Island being held by Marines in WWII and ya’know, sea monsters, and things show up. I’ve had that for some time, and the biggest hold up has been the design of the sea monsters. But that’s something else that has been fascinating me… the fact that over 70% of the planet is water, and only FIVE PERCENT of the oceans have been explored. That’s just incredibly cool to think of what I could come up with knowing that. Such great possibilities are out there. It’s a big wet sandbox to ‘write’ in. And adding in flame throwers, Thompson sub machine guns, M1 Garands, and such is just gonna be fun. The ending I’ve got set up is pretty great as well.

So, I dunno. I’ve got thoughts and ideas and such, but thinking is easy. Writing is hard.

No pressure.

Luckily I just got a new laptop, because I was about to smash my old one to pieces trying to write on it. This new one is a really sweet gaming laptop and the keyboard actually lights up! I went with a gaming version because I’ve come to realize that if you’re going to get something, get something good enough that you can kill things on/with.

So let’s get a writing.

A very happy Birthday.

I had a birthday a few weeks ago. Yay getting older!

Even with the Chinese ‘Bat Sandwich’ Flu, it was excellent. My parents came down, with individually wrapped hot dogs for Coney Island Hot Dogs (A Testerman Birthday tradition), sides, and cupcakes. We socially distanced ourselves on the front porch, and had an awesome time together for the first time in months.

But what really blew me away was this:

No, not the red 2020 Jeep Gladiator my wife got me. Although that was awesome as well and will eventually find it’s way from my daughters jewelry box and onto my work desk. (She keeps ‘treasures’ in her jewelry box, so we’re pretty honored she deemed it worthy of keeping there.)

But a new Ruger Bisley Blackhawk in .44 Special. Never fired, only slightly handled. 🙂

Wow, just wow.

So, the Bisley model gives it a nice curved hammer for one handed cocking, a different grip, and nicer trigger. And generally makes it more awesome both in appearance and from what I gather, in shooting as well.

Now, I’m not much of a revolver guy. The newer stuff that is.

The only one I own is a Ruger Wrangler in .22, and that’s a pretty new purchase of a few months ago for the kiddos to use. I’ve never really cared for the newer stuff, but the Single Action Army’s have always been something I’ve lusted for. Especially after doing so much writing about Cowboy guns.

And my parents delivered.

It’s sweet and I’m dying to shoot it.

Now I just need to try and find some ammo. :/