|Posted by johnwaisman on April 23, 2018 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
I didn't list the name of the second prequel because names can be "borrowed" by other authors. Obviously people will know after I've published it.
Meanwhile, here's the first chapter of the second prequel. Note that the first prequel - Don't go in the Basement - has been published, and you can find it here:
Okay, here's the first chapter of "Two":
Edward Goldstein walked up in front of the middle school. It was 2:30 in the afternoon. They told him the kids got out at 2:45. Always be fifteen minutes early, the Man said. The Man. The Boss. Mr. Payday. Mr. Always Generous, unless you screwed up. If you screwed up you went for a long swim.
Ed, or Eddy as his gang friends knew him, had a smile that revealed two gold teeth. The tattoos on his face were done in black. The ones on his back and ass had more color. The tats on his arms were strictly gang and were made up of configurations only members would recognize. And sometimes the cops knew. Some of them anyway. Some of them had been around this block. Some of them cared. Some didn’t.
Fucking cops, he thought, and fought to come up from the depths of his hatred. Ed wore a T today that said Candy Man. ‘Cause baby, that’s what he was. Got me lotsa good old candy here.
He waited. He was patient. That light load of smack he’d shot a couple of hours ago dissolved all the pressure. No shakes. No nerves. A little medicine for what ails you. Now he was all about customer service. Focused and kind. Attention to the needs of the customer. A lot of CEOs of major corporations would envy his calm and professionalism. He could teach a course on stress management. He laughed out loud about that one. Anyone noticed, they’d think he was crazy. screw it, he thought, let them. He was, he knew, a little twisted up there in his cerebrum or cerebellum or whatever it was. In this business that was a good thing. A little insanity helped sell product.
The first kid approached. This one had done this before. He thought he was in the know. Cool. Hip. A hipster. Black rimmed oversized glasses. His parents probably thought he was being stylish when he got them. Probably happy to pay the oversized bill. Probably didn’t know what anything meant these days. Straight and stupid. Shirts so starched they formed creases when they put them on. Big stupid grin on their faces like they owned the world instead of the other way around. Slaves to the system, too dumb to know it.
The kid asked Ed for beans.
Beans: he wasn’t talking about garbanzo beans or kidney beans or northern beans or beans and franks. The kid knew the language. The kid was smart in ways schools never teach.
“How many?” Ed asked.
“One,” the kid said. “I get my allowance Friday, though I could steal money from my old man’s wallet when he comes home and takes his nap on the couch, so next week it’ll be, like, two or three.”
The kid was trying to show off for Ed. Showing Ed he was cool too. Just like Ed, the drug dealer in front of the middle school, was cool. Cooler than almost anybody in the whole wide stupid square mind-controlled frikking world.
Showing off was good. Macho a macho. Kiddo a ex-con. Keep the money flowing kid, Ed thought. You’re slick. You believe it. I’ll pretend I do too. That was called customer service.
Ed waited five full minutes for the next kid to come along. Patience was a virtue. This one was a sweet looking blond girl with braces. My how the mighty have fallen, Ed thought. Next thing you knew some pretty little thing like this would be joining that terrorist group in the middle east, seduced into going there by twitter or facebook which she accessed on the cell phone her parents had bought her so she would be safe. If only they knew. The world was coming to an end, and Ed was happy to be part of that system failure. It meant he’d make more money. Let it fall, Ed thought. Let it end. Ed would be rolling in Franklins when it happened. Pictures of dead presidents would fill his pockets.
The next kid played the Game. Eye contact, sticking out his chest, the whole I’m-better-than-you drill. Ed laughed at that. But he kept the laugh inside. The kid must have been all of twelve. Maybe pumping some iron, doing his daily ration of ten push ups, and thought he could go ten rounds with someone who hung with monsters, the likes of which this kid would never know.
If the kid had even a hint of what Ed had done in prison. The fights for money. The sharpened toothbrush. The death. The blood. There was no time and no need to discuss that. What was going on now was selling beans and whites and occasional Ox and Vic, and even though it was legal now, weed was still in high demand for these toddlers, who by law couldn’t use the stuff till they were eighteen or twenty-one or whatever, and even then would have to have a prescription. Some crooked doctor would be glad to give them one for a fee. Maybe next year the country would go belly up liberal and they’d be handing out Ox with food stamps. Ed grinned at his unspoken joke and the kid in front of him asked, “You laughing at me, asshole?”
Kids from bad families. Dad probably beat the crap out of him every night, so he didn’t care anymore. The way society was. Go figure, Ed thought. His own father had walked out the door right after he blew his wad into his mother’s loins. His mother worked three jobs and still couldn’t pay the rent. Then she’d discovered she could make money from those loins. The easy and wide. The world was a plethora of corruption, from the top down. Yes, Ed thought, I know the word Plethora. Yes, Ed thought, I’ve read books, taken college courses in prison. Yes, Ed thought, I know the same things these so called sophisticated people know. And yes, Ed thought, the politicians who ran the place were greedy bastards who were far more corrupt than Ed or his mother could ever be, but they weren’t necessarily any brighter.
The world was sick to the core, and quickly getting sicker. That didn’t bother him at all. He had no illusions like most people did. He knew where he was and he knew what he had to do in order to get by. He remembered the prison preacher admonishing everyone, quoting Jesus, saying The truth shall set you free. Another little chortle from Ed. Nobody watching him laugh out loud like a nut job. The truth was setting him free all right. Free as a mofo. Free to deal drugs to middle school kids in broad daylight right in front of their school and no one doing a damn thing about it. Now that was freedom. Hallelujah I am free he thought, and let go of another laugh. This time several parents looked his way. Ed’s grin broadened.
Those were thoughts for another time. Screw the parents and screw the bastards who ran everything. Right now he had a job to do. Right now he had to feed the needy. He had one of them right in front of him. The twelve year old with the macho attitude. This one asking to have his dental work rearranged.
“No,” Ed said. Meaning No, he wasn’t laughing at him. Ed’s smile grew broader. Oh, he was having a glorious day. Which intimidated the kid and made him change his mind and walk away without buying anything from Ed’s sidewalk candy store. Poor kid had his tail between his legs. Awe, Ed thought, I’ve done gone and hurt his wittle feelings.
Win some lose some, Ed thought. He didn’t like the kid anyway. Let him get his poison somewhere else. Let him get his Go Directly to Jail card from someone else. One of Ed’s brothers in the joint would probably shank the prick halfway to his thirtieth birthday. Ed would like hearing about it.
The next one was a looker. She must have been thirteen going on thirty, all clean and precise in the bod department and coming onto him. Jailbait, and she knew it. And he knew she knew. And she knew he knew she knew. Feedback loops. Treading water, walking on eggshells. That was the game.
“I’ll give you some Free you promise to come back for more.”
Ever the businessman. An equal opportunity salesman.
She smiled warmly.
Who was it, Jack Nicholson in the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? He’d seen the flick in the joint. Laughed his ass off at that line. The guy Nicholson played had been arrested for having sex with a minor. The way he’d described the reason for his arrest had been funny, though Ed couldn’t remember the exact words he’d used. His lawyer, if Ed remembered correctly, had claimed mental incapacity, and gotten Jack’s character transferred to the psyche ward. It didn’t always work that way in real life, Ed knew.
He didn’t return the smile. Too frikking dangerous. In another life, before he knew how
things worked, he might have fallen for the trap. But not now. He was a smarter, wiser kind of criminal now. A real pillar of society.
Next thing he knew he had a line. Like he was a teller at the bank. Which was fine. He was a business role model. Teaching these kids things they never learned in classrooms. Maybe they’d put his picture on the cover of Fortune Magazine. Maybe next year he’d be sitting around the country club with one of those drinks with an umbrella in it, talking up the mayor.
Hey, he thought, it could happen.
One of the parents came running up to him and asked, “What are you doing here?” The guy must have been forty, short dark hair sprinkled with gray, long fingers that had never lifted anything heavier than a spoon or a pen, the kind of guy who’d be someone’s girlfriend in prison after he went down for his trillion dollar Ponzi scheme.
“Just hanging out, meeting some friends,” Ed said.
“I know what you’re doing,” the man said. Pompous ass.
“You’re dealing drugs to these kids.”
“No, man, I ain’t dealin’ no drugs.”
“You better leave or I’m calling the police.”
The man pulled out his cell.
Ed punched him in the nose. Felt the cartilage splinter. Blood everywhere, and the man went down, tears streaming down his sissy-assed face.
“I told you, I’m just meeting some friends,” Ed said again. The man must have loved pain because he picked up his cell phone from the concrete and was talking through the blood in his nose as he dialed 911. He sounded like he had a bad cold. Gotta get some Alka Seltzer, Ed thought. Ed listened to him talk to the cops, every word nasal and muffled. Drug dealer in front of my kid’s school. Better send an ambulance because he punched me. Like that. Ed was thinking of kicking him to death. Figured he could get away with it before the cops got there. He’d run up an alley, vanish like smoke. He heard the sirens in the distance and changed his mind. He’d let the asshole live. Why the fuck not? Ed Figured it was time to leave anyway.
He sauntered down the street. Damned if he was going to run. Screw that guy. Screw everything and everyone. Screw the damn cops too.
|Posted by johnwaisman on November 11, 2015 at 6:45 PM||comments (0)|
You ever notice how they change what’s good and bad for you about every decade or so? I’ll give you an example; for years they said eggs were bad for you because eggs had too much cholesterol. Then they changed their minds and said eggs were good for you, or at least not that bad for you. And now WebMd® actually recommends eating eggs to prevent heart disease.
I’ll give you another one; for about fifty years they said that eating too much saturated fat is what caused heart disease. Suddenly, about a month ago, the news ran articles about huge studies that seemed to say that saturated fat had nothing to do with heart disease. So if it’s not fat, like they’d claimed for so long, then what is it? Well, now they say sugar is to blame. I know people who’ve eaten nothing but sugary foods all their lives and they’re now in their eighties. If sugar caused heart disease they’d have developed it fifty years ago, and they didn’t.
So I’m wondering what the next thing experts will change their minds about will be. I’d like it to be a democratic process. I would like to put it up to vote. My vote is for the jelly donut. I haven’t had one in decades because the experts tell me not to. In fact, a friend of mine calls donuts Wheels of Death. In the next phase of mind-changing by the so-called experts, I would like it if they announced that jelly donuts are good for your health, and that everybody should eat at least three per day in order to have good health into old age. Now that I’ve put the word out, I expect to see that article in the news in the near future. No more admonishments to eat lean meat, chicken, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, glasses of red wine with dinner, do daily exercise, engage in stress management, take FDA approved preventative drugs as prescribed. No, the doctors of the future will recommend donuts. Take three and call me in the morning. Or, better yet, take three and you’ll never have to call me. Hey, it could happen!
|Posted by johnwaisman on June 25, 2015 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
I’ve recently posted on Facebook that I’d gone swimming at Willamalane Park Swim Center (WPSC), and that it was:
The best pool in America
The best pool in North America
The best pool in all of the Americas
I was planning on following that up with:
The best pool in the world
The best pool in the solar system
The best pool in this galaxy
The best pool in this cluster of galaxies
The best pool in this supercluster of galaxies
The best pool in the universe
The best pool in the omniverse
I have changed my mind. I did swim there today, and it was an excellent swim, and it is a really great pool, and it might be the best pool in the world. I don’t think there are any other pools in this solar system. I have no idea if there are other pools in the galaxy, this cluster of galaxies, this supercluster of galaxies, or in the known universe. The omniverse, as far as I know, is only theoretical at this point.
The reason I swim is because I love swimming, and it’s great cardio, and I have heart disease in my family, so I have to follow all the guidelines for preventing heart disease, and exercise is definitely on that list.
I really do like Willamalane Park Swim Center, and I do think their lap lanes are underappreciated based on the occasional low attendance. I don’t mind when the lanes are semi-empty - that means I have plenty of room to swim. Though from a financial perspective, Willamalane Park and Recs have to take in money to cover the costs, and I do want the pools to continue their existence so that I can continue to swim there. In other words, advertizing for Willamalane Park Swim Center is like protecting an investment for me. I admit it; there was some selfishness involved.
That said, what is also true, is that WPSC really is a great pool.
Speaking of pools, the protagonist in my four published novels,
overcame his injury from being shot by swimming. He used it as physical therapy. You can learn more about that in my first novel, A Moment in Time, available on amazon.com.
I have also used swimming as a form of therapy, both physical and mental. When I swim, I’m doing fine. When I can’t swim, I get antsy. Swimming, I find, is a good way to “center.” I’m not sure what centering is, but I can tell you I feel centered after I swim. When I used to play tennis with my son, that helped center me too. So maybe centering just involves extreme exertion. Though there are times when I go into the water and swim slowly. In fact, those are some of my best swims, because being in the water seems like the best form of meditation.
I hope everyone has a great day, and I hope more people will join me in the water. But not at the same time.
|Posted by johnwaisman on June 4, 2015 at 11:40 PM||comments (0)|
Don't is one of the words in the title of the latest William T. Logan novel, which I finished writing about a month ago. I won't tell you the whole title because titles can be stolen and this one is too personal to let out. When it's published I'll tell you everything. To the one person who knows the name of the title of that novel, please keep a lid on it. You know who you are.
The wife and I are working on the rewrite and edit. We're doing a few pages a day so as not to get burned out. While working on "Don't," I'm also writing the sixth William T. Logan novel. It has the word Faulty in its title. I won't tell you the rest of that either, for the same reasons.
I have quit my job at Willamalane and now have more time for writing. I also have more time for mowing the lawn, fixing things that broke during all those years of working, trimming the hedges, which continued to grow during all those years of working, spraying the roofs for moss which also grew during all those years of working, and many, many other things, which continued to need fixing or changing or whatever during all those years of working.
Now that I'm not working I see a warehouse full of work in my future. Writing novels is only a part of that work. But I love doing all of it, including the novel, and in the words of a great friend whose name I can't remember and whose face I can't see in memory, "It's all good." Which is another way of saying, "Any day on the top side of the lawn is a good day."
Ain't it the truth.
I hope you all are having a good time in your lives. And if you're not, do something about it. This isn't a rehearsal.
|Posted by johnwaisman on August 14, 2014 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
I'm almost there: a total rewrite of Starlight and Moondust. Mickey Frome (fromestudio.com/) did the cover art for the updated version. It's going to be all fleshed out, and far more depth of character.
|Posted by johnwaisman on April 29, 2013 at 9:10 PM||comments (0)|
The biggest falsehood is thinking anyone is superior to anyone else.
|Posted by johnwaisman on February 17, 2013 at 2:25 PM||comments (0)|
i haven't posted anything in a while; I've been very busy between work and, well, more work. But I'm still working on Best, my latest Logan novel. I'm going to have to reread the whole thing again since it's been weeks since I've worked on it. I know, you're supposed to write every day. Well, I kind of fell down on the job there since I was trying to stand up on my other jobs.
Meanwhile, I didn't win the contest in createspace.com. No surprise there; it was worldwide and probably had millions of contestants. Also, since I'm a baby boomer, and there are millions like me, everyone and his uncle must be sitting at his or her computer writing the "Great American Novel."
Yeah, but mine are really great!
Nevertheless, win lose or whatever, I'm going to keep writing. Why? Because I love writing. It's the thing I do. If I never get rich and famous, no big deal. There are plenty of rich people who are miserable, and I think the most important thing in life is to be happy. And there are plenty of famous people who are a total wreck. Read People Magazine to learn more about that - not that I ever do, except, maybe, at the doctor's or dentist's office.
I hope you have all had a great year so far. The one nice thing about 2013, is it's the year after 2012, which means the world did not end! The silver lining. That's what I'm talking about!
Be well, be happy!
|Posted by johnwaisman on January 30, 2013 at 8:35 PM||comments (0)|
The universe is a glorious place. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, and it takes light 200,000 years to cross our galaxy. Most galaxies are approximately the same size. There are clusters of galaxies. There are clusters of clusters of galaxies, known as super clusters. The distance between galaxies is much greater than the distance across galaxies. Each galaxy contains hundreds of billions of stars. There are hundreds of billions of galaxies. The distance across the known universe is about 14.5 billion light years – that is it takes light about 14.5 billion years to cross the known universe.
But wait, this gets better. Scientists now predict there may be universes right new to ours. This is based on evidence that the 6 percent background heat (6 degrees above absolute zero) varies at the borders of the known universe. If there are neighboring universes, some scientists predict that there may be billions of other universes.
And the big question: Drum roll please - if there were no sentient beings in the universe, that is, no one to recognize how great all this is, would the universe still be a glorious place?
|Posted by johnwaisman on January 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM||comments (0)|
I've known people from all walks of life. All reglions. All beliefs. Atheists, agnostics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, you name it, I've known them. Some of them think they're the only ones who are right. I once asked a preacher to explain how everyone can think they're right, when logistics says that only one of them can. He proceeded to explain how only he was right.
Which was why I had my protagonist, Detective Logan, approach a nun in my novel, Anecdotal Evidence, and talk to her about the above conundrum. In the novel the nun said, "I'm just an old woman and I still don't know the answer, but I do know that you have to love God with all your heart and all your soul." In the novel Logan gave the nun a twenty he had in his pocket. In real life when I had that same conversation with a nun, I only gave her a one, because that was all I had with me. The nun hugged me. And if I remember right, the nun in Anecdotal Evidence hugged Logan too.
The bottom line is that I accept all people from all walks of life, and so does my protagonist, Detective Logan. Obviously he got that from me. I've seen good people from each belief system, including atheism, and I've seen bad people from each belief system. As Martin Luther King would have said, "Judge a man by the quality of his character." Amen to that.
Hope you all have a great day.
|Posted by johnwaisman on January 14, 2013 at 11:15 PM||comments (0)|
The wife and I just finished Caught by Harlan Coben. It was very well written, the plot was rich and full of interesting twists, and we could hardly put it down. Five stars.