Mr. Bill and Miz Mona

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bill's Dad

Bill Says: Yesterday was our son, John Leroy Casselman's 35th Birthday. It was also the birthday for my father, Frank Leroy Casselman. The old man was just sure, he bragged about it often enough, that I had planned his birthday present to be his first grandson. We named John after his great-grandfather- John Leroy, who usually went by the name Roy. He was a large man, who worked as a blacksmith and at one point, was a champion heavyweight boxer for his navy fleet. Had hands like catcher's mitts. Anyway, we've passed the Leroy middle name down for the first son for quite awhile, I'm not even sure when it began. John Leroy, our son, has passed in down to his first son, Tariq Leroy.

Frank Leroy Casselman, now deceased, was born in Wisconsin. Of mostly German decent, he was the only son, with three older sisters. His life was not one of leisure. This was during the Great Depression and people were starving. My dad and his three sisters were eventually placed in a orphanage so they could survive, while my grandfather looked for work in California. Not liking to be separated from his father, my dad escaped from the orphanage and hitchhiked from Wisconsin to Texas at the age of 8 yrs old and was picked up by the police and returned. But he was stubborn and escaped again at the age of 9 yrs old to ride the rails all the way to California to find his father. He made it, but had some difficulty with a few hobos along the way, and rejoined his father. They stayed together and my dad didn't return to Wisconsin until a few years before his death. Dad wanted me to go on the road when I was 10, thinking I would learn something about life but thankfully, my mom didn't agree.

At 17, my father joined the US Army; his father signed the proper paperwork to allow him to do this. He was 6'5", skinny and had poor teeth. Assigned to tanks, he was part of the occupation force in Japan in 1950. When the North Koreans attacked to begin the Korean War, his unit was one of the first ones sent to Korea and he saw action right off. He had two tanks blown out from under him, he being the only survivor and then a half-track. So he went to the infantry, with two Purple Hearts already. He was assigned to a Forward Observer Team up near the border with North Korea and China and was there when the Chinese came across the river with 880,000 troops, on lots and lots of barges. Dad later told me all he could see was rows and rows of helmets on these barges. He and his men joined the Marines in a massive retreat and they ran south for three days. When it was all over, he had earned a third Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for Valor. He was also severely frostbitten during one night they hid from the Chinese by lying in the freezing water of a rice paddy.

Dad came home and was assigned to Fort Ord, California and here he met my mother, Vivian Lee Coon. She had been married twice already and given birth to Paul Ryan Holmes, Linda Holmes and Larry Coon. Her first husband, Fred Holmes, was a gambler and she left him to save her first two children. Frank Coon, her second husband, adopted the oldest two kids and fathered Larry. He was a greyhound bus driver and two years after Larry was born, he was  killed on the job.

I soon came along and we lived in Southern California. My dad, who never went to college had this uncanny ability with numbers and I mean uncanny. So, he found a job in accounting and worked in this field until his death. He rose up in ranking from general accountant to Exec Vice President and in charge of the company's investments. Through his ability, he was able to assist in the transformation of a half-a million dollar company into a multi-million dollar company and 2nd largest heavy-equipment company in Arizona- Western Machinery. He was also instrumental in assisting the company in being bought out by the employees when the old boss retired. Sadly, a couple years later the company was bought out in a take over and Dad was without a job, plus he had put up a lot of his own money and land in the earlier sale, which was now all lost. Strangely enough, Dad could make money for other people, but he was lousy at making any for himself.

Dad was a workaholic, 12-14 hour days and often 6-days a week. He'd get up at 4 am, go for a quick swim and then make along drive to work. A prior Atheist, he married a Christian woman, Bea, long after his divorce from Grandma Lee. Bea prayed for him and him being an intellectual, he bet he could find fault in the Bible and began reading it to prove it. Upon completion, he gave his life to the Lord and became a hardcore Bible thumper. This became a problem between us, as I was not a Christian and didn't want to hear it. We argued often and sometimes didn't speak to each other for months. But when I came home from my tours in Southeast Asia, we had our first series of man-to-man talks and I found out a lot about my Dad.

My old man got to know a lot of people in Arizona and this included Senator Goldwater, who I was fortunate enough to meet one day and he had remembered my father. Made for a nice memory. Dad became interested in skydiving when I was about 8 yrs old and we would journey out to Elsinore Lake to watch him jump from 2500 feet. On one such day, we watched as he fell and fell...and fell. His chutes, primary and emergency, had opened but did not spread out to catch the air. He was pulling every line he could and years later, told me how his father's spirit had appeared and pointed to the line he needed to pull. Anyway, 75-feet from the ground both chutes opened wide and he made a large crater in the ground with his backside. We didn't know it at the time but he had fractured his spine at several points. They all told him he should jump again so he wouldn't become fearful of skydiving, so he did. He came down perfectly and bounced on his right leg- fracturing it in three or four places. At the hospital they discovered the broken spine. He was in casts for months.

At 9 years old, my dad left California, after the divorce, and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. I began to visit him there for about 2 weeks every summer. It was rough on both of us. But he worked hard to make sure I never went without and our two weeks were always special. We both loved the desert. Then I met Bea and she became a good friend two years before they got married. Her son, Mark, became my best friend and boy, did we get in a lot of trouble together. Mark is hard rock miner in California now. I last saw him at my father's funeral.

My dad constantly fought with physical problems; his back and leg, mostly his heart and I watched him stand tall against these. He had 7 heart attacks, beginning when he was 37 and the 7th one claimed him.

Like in the lives of most kids, my Dad and I disagreed on so many things. He was so happy when I gave my life to the Lord and I was baptized in his boss's hot tub. But through it all, my Dad was my hero- in 2nd place was John Wayne. Dad volunteered to serve his country and gave so much. He helped take care of his sisters later on and always was there for his step-children in anything they needed or often just wanted. He died at 58 yrs old, like his father who made it to 57. Now I am about to turn 58, but I do not have their heart problems and will probably make it to 90 or more. That's a sad picture! A old fat man watching John Wayne movies over and over.

I only hope my children look at me the same way as I remember my old Man. He stood tall and loved the Lord.

Bill's Problems with Our Southern Border

Bill Says: It may appear as if I am ranting or raving, but I find it so hard to get the right effect across, while you are most likely quietly reading this and cannot hear my shrieking voice and pounding of the keyboard! I am so blasted tired of our current administration's failure to protect our extreme southern border. Not even the economy right now, just the border. I say extreme southern border because for us here in Alaska, our southern border ends with Canada. But so far, the Canadians have made no attempt to bomb or shoot us, though they do bring some drugs across to sell in the colleges. I recall busting numerous Canadians for bring those SPECIAL mushrooms across, which grow well in Canada.

We share more than 2,000 miles with Mexico and besides an undermanned Border Patrol and an overworked Customs and Immigration crew, we have no one to guard these long, empty miles of vast openness and sagebrush. The drug cartels, who I strongly believe are supporting numerous political figures with campaign funds, the Mafia used to do this and still may. The cartels have major highways going into America. In the bigger cities they use tunnels, but in the openness of the desert they simply walk across in the large parties of 15-30 people at a time. In Arizona, they supposedly found an Iranian Hezzbola booklet on how to build bombs- not quite your handyman's guide for putting your kid's bicycle together. This was most likely carried across by a Hezzbola member or a wanna-be, who is being provided with a cartel aide to cross into our land for a future strike.

According to Glenn Beck, who must be taken with a grain of salt at times, but he does have an excellent research team, a bomb was discovered in our territory the other day and made to resemble an IED- bombs used in Iraq and Afghanistan. THE TERRORISTS ARE HERE! Our current administration is allowing it to happen and we do so little to correct him, mostly because it might interfere with our TV watching or next fishing trip. Our Current Commander in Chief is a socialist, who desires to see our country collapse from within and evidence of this is his failure to put our military on our southern border to protect our people. We should march on the capital, much like our forefathers did when we didn't like something our elected representatives were not doing right. They did this over Viet Nam and it had quite the effect.

Farmers and ranchers have appeared before congress to report on the dangers they face and nothing is being done. Oh, they put a whole 1200 soldiers on the border for ONLY support duties and then the President withdrew them. President Bush placed 6,000 soldiers on the border, but they're gone too. But he slowed down the Cartels from entering during that time.

We have thousands of military personnel in the southwest, training and awaiting orders for duty in the great sandbox. As part of their training they could be used for patrolling our southern border, but no, they are not! We are ignoring our border as flows of illegal aliens come across. Sadly, not all of them are looking for a future of democracy and earning a wage that can support their family. No, some of them carry weapons, some carry drugs and some have serious plans for the downfall of our land. A survey done of Hispanic 8th graders was done in Arizona and another one in Texas, and a surprising number of them wanted to have the Southwest returned to Mexico and here we are educating them. Florida's primary language is now Hispanic, voted in two years ago and English was made the secondary language.  How long before this happens in the Southwest states?

Yesterday, our current Commander in Chief stated those who came across the Rio Grande are just the same as those people who came through Ellis Island or in slave ships. But those people sought and obtained legal citizenship and most of them even dislike the idea of these illegals coming across the southern border. People are claiming jobs, without proper paperwork, that Americans now can't have. Our taxes are being used to educate them, medical bills and even pay their unemployment. One town in Texas has a large post office, where the boxes are rented by people from across the border so they can show legal addresses in the US. We've allowed this to happen. The news broke the story on the post office, but little or nothing was done.

If we want to cross the borders, we must now have a passport. But these people don't have to have one.
Our government can now track us through our phones, our cars and we are required to provide Uncle Sam with just about every detail of our life. Big Brother at work- End of Days in the process?

Shots fired in some Mexican towns come across the border and strike our buildings in El Paso. One of our female missionaries was killed in Mexico and her husband wounded. Other Americans, I believe the total number is 137 but you should check on this, of Americans killed by cartels in Mexico. WHY IS OUR COUNTRY STANDING FOR THIS!!!!!!?????

When I spent two summers working for my sister and her husband on their farm in central California, I got to know some of the illegal immigrants. I wasn't aware of the whole illegal thing back then, but a lot of these people worked real hard and sincerely wanted citizenship. I was a bit surprised to find out my brother-in-law's dad was hiring these people, but maybe he just didn't check into their papers. But I did notice how they seemed to vanish when the border patrol drove by on the highway. I did also wonder why the border patrol was so far away from the border, bu later learned how they were keeping an eye on all the workers.

According to statistics, Mexico's war against the cartels have made it the most dangerous place in the world. More dangerous than Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. This is due to all the people being killed by the cartels. Yet, we leave this border unprotected and we could easily stop this and keep our troops busy. I remember how I'd rather be doing something than sitting around during my military days. During our tense days with the Russians, we had the Alaska Army National Guard keeping our border guarded and our Eskimo guardsmen was extremely good at this.

Where is the Arizona National Guard or Texas or New Mexico National Guard....even their Militia? One rancher was even killed on his own property by a cartel gunmen....but still, we did nothing. What is it going to take...another 9-11? This September will be the 10th Anniversary of 9-11, are we going to be hit and did the terrorists come across our border?

We voted this House into power, us, the conservatives, and we wanted them to act responsible and reduce our debt and government future costs. But what they did was take a pale of sand out of a 2-mile beach and said this was all they could do. But today, what are they concerned with, why didn't the President make an Easter message. Is he Muslim? Is he Christian? I doubt either. I am convinced the man is a pure socialist- his history shows this and why wasn't it brought up in his 2008 campaign??????????????????? I mean terrorists of that day met in his house, The Weathermen. Famous for bombings. His major backer is a multi-billionaire, hardcore Atheist, who targets countries to take down and makes lots of money over their collapsing economy. He's doing it now with us and our Pres is only helping him along.

Well, I'm tired and probably so are you from reading all this. Remember to vote next election and let your voice be heard. Strange, our economy is in danger, we're paying $4.50 a gallon of gas and $1.19 for small candy bar and the world is only worried about watching the royal wedding this Friday. How much money is going out on this wedding, that could feed so many people- even in England!

I think back, when I was a kid I paid 5 cents for a larger and thicker Hershey's candy bar. By the time I finished high school it was 10-cents. Now that same bar, about half the size, costs $1.19 and they its on sale with a normal price of $1.49. What does that say about out economy, how much of percentage is this? Does it match with the rest of our economy? I recall in 1971 paying 19-cents for gas in Missouri.

Got to go, Grandma calling.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bill's Books Part Five: "A Coming Storm"

Bill Says:  As a big fan of many of our great science-fiction writers, I've always wanted to write a Christian sci-fi and finally made my attempt with "A Coming Storm".  This is an apocalyptic tale set in the near future. When I first wrote this manuscript, it came to more than 1600 pages- kind of like Stephen King's first attempt at "the Stand". He reduced it for publication and some years later, the original novel was published.

I then got the idea to turn this tale into a trilogy, but after some thought on the matter, I realized no one was going to publish a trilogy from an unknown author. So I went to work shortening the story to 551-pages and 21-chapters and once I was finished, killing off so many characters along the way in the editing, I locked it away. Then this last winter, not too happy with the flow of the shortened storyline, I pulled it back out and edited it a third or 14th time and transformed this story into, (what I truly believe is a good story), 850-pages, double-spaced and 23-chapters. I finally liked the flow of this tale, as many of the relationships grew along the way and the characters came to life.

I made up query letters for 14 agents and 14 publishers and mailed them out this month. Had to get a new printer. So far, I've received a total of 8 rejections. Though one was a nice letter from an agent who said he liked the story somewhat, but it was too long for a new writer. I am waiting for other responses before any changes will be made in the story, if any.

For those of you who might wonder and haven't already been told this, I have had three agents in the past. The first one died, second one retired due to ill-health and the 3rd agent- he was a crook. Though I wrote Christian fiction, he refused to send me to Christian publishers and only wanted my contract money. This was office expenses for six months at a time or $450.00. I learned later, while conducting searches over the internet, this agent was regarded as a crook in the business- though he had produced winning authors in the past and apparently got greedy.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of writers out there, so few agents and even fewer Christian publishers. The market for male readers has dwindled to almost nothing, but I refuse to write romantic history style books. It is a grueling chore to find someone who values your work and one who desires to see it published. But all in all, it gives me something to do in the winter and I love telling a good story. The writing side of the story has been the real chore; making it flow evenly and entertainingly, and use the right tools of the English language in the proper way.For a man who flunked English twice, because it interfered with sports,this has been a learning experience.

Now, before I get into the synopsis for this story, I want to give you some background and please do not least not loud enough that I might hear you.

As most if not all of you know by now, I and my lovely wife are Christians. We have raised our children in the church. We are also believers in spiritual warfare, as quoted many times in the Word of God. Prior to writing this story, we lived in North Pole, along Badger Road. Back then, prior to 9-11, we usually drove through Fort Wainwright to get back and forth from Fairbanks. I enjoyed driving through the post, often recalling my nearly 10-years in the military and my time of crewing on board a Huey helicopter in Viet Nam. Boy, I was truly a young man back then! During such drives, I'd be playing my 60's music, (this drove my wife crazy at times), or I'd be just talking with God. I often had my conversations with God when I was alone in the car. Some might not call it praying, but to me these times were simply a conversation with the Big Man upstairs. Mona and I were either the youth leaders or cell church leaders during this time and I took a lot of my concerns to God over these matters. Anyway, as to why I am saying this- I began to have these strange visions while driving through the post- yes, I was coherent. I'd be seeing these dream-like paratroopers dropping around the post and they were Oriental. I began to believe they were Chinese troops. They were dropping in mass and then nothing. I had these visions for quite  awhile and I finally began writing this stuff down and began tot think about the novel I wanted to write.

I was working on a sequel to my Viet Nam novel at the time, In Search of Honor,  and the Chinese had nothing to do with it. Then once finished with that story, (that manuscript was lost when our basement here in Moose Pass was flooded and I had only a very early edition as back up and in my son's hands), I began thinking about the story I would later call "A Coming Storm". Can't remember when the title came to me, but it fits.

I made some notes, but couldn't figure out how to begin the manuscript. Then months later, ( I was working on two stories at a time and was now putting together my Badge and the Cross tale), I was on the computer messing around and suddenly the CNN science page appeared on my screen and the main story was about an asteroid headed for earth with a possible expectant impact in 2017. I was stunned! Not only wasn't I the type of person who would look up the CNN science page, but I had heard nothing on this. Strangely enough, I didn't bother to print this page out, but told Mona about it. I then tried to find the page again and CNN had nothing to say about the previous day's lead story. I couldn't find anything on it at all. So, I figured God had simply given me the idea for a lead in story, but I changed it to a comet- too many asteroid stories.

Now, in my Christian walk of some 30-years, the Lord has taken my wife and I through many a strange ordeal. We've seen many spiritual and physical miracles take place in our lives and that of others. More than a half-dozen times I've had angels save my hide and can go into details if asked. We have done warfare against the dark side, combating a witches convent and a few demons along the way. Strange how people believe in angels, but can't imagine demons torturing us- though it is in the Word of God. I say all this because I strongly believe in spiritual warfare and this has come out in an earlier manuscript and in this one.

I begin "A Coming Storm" with prelude listing of a six-year listing of significant worldwide events, following the sudden sighting of this mysterious comet and how it appeared in known space without any previous sightings. Once it is learned the comet will impact with the earth in the near future, striking in Northern Thailand- everything begins to fall apart. NATO and the United Nations dissolve. China brings together fellow Oriental countries to form the Oriental Alliance Pact. The OAP launches a surprise missile attack, from submarines hidden in the Gulf of Mexico, against the USA on Christmas morning. Around the globe, other countries follow suit and the world is shaken by nuclear, biological and chemical explosions. The Earth reacts, setting of great quakes around the planet, sending out massive tsunamis. A third of world's populations is also killed by the sudden outbreak of a new Class Four flu with 99% killing rate and no cure. Money is no good and the world returns to bartering and trade.Commodities become more valuable than gold or silver.

People begin fleeing the orient, fearful of the comet and the growing OAP army. The USA is all but destroyed and civil War breaks out in Canada between pro-French factions and Western Canada. The Unified World Church Alliance rises; first thought to be Christian but then its leaders turn against both Christian and Jewish believers. Western Russia attacks Europe and England, a young French officer takes command of the forces of Paris and miraclously drives the Russian forces back. Through events to follow, this young officer rises to Emperor of the New European Empire and the Anti-Christ is known. Israel is surrounded and facing overwhelming odds as the Emperor and OAP armies attack this little country on all fronts.

Meanwhile, the main part of my story concerns three key groups as the OAP attacks Alaska in its desire to conquer North America: A Fairbanks police sergeant, his family and an unsaved police officer he works with- facing Martial Law, starvation and rioting, enforcing food rationing and soon joining the new Alaska Defense Force.

There are the members of the Fight First Division stationed at Wales , Alaska, ready to stand tall against impending invasion and their eventful retreat across Alaska as their force rapidly dwindles in size.

The third group is a congregation of believers from Phoenix, Arizona, who following their pastor's visions, proceed across the US and Canada to reach Alaska in time for the final battle. Their story covers acts of faith, many an ordeal and their various relationships.

In this story there are dozens and dozens of relationships; new friendships formed and old friends killed, as the world falls apart in the Last Days. The Last Battle for the Alaskans, supported now by Canadian troops and the congregation from Arizona, is fought at Fort Greeley, in central Alaska. As the camp is being overrun by OAP forces, the proverbial Trumpet blows and the Heavenly Hosts descends upon the earth. The story ends with a mass rejoicing across the globe.

In writing this tale, it was my attempt to show what might occur in other parts of the globe. So many stories have been written about Israel, I wanted something different. Now it is done and I am very happy with its flow, character development and hopefully some day it may be in print.

May the Lord continue to bless you in every way.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bill's Books Part Four: Legend of Silene

Bill Says:

"It's about time, it's about's about the journey of the human race", now I may not have the line quite right, but it was the lead in song for a 1960's sitcom. Two astronauts find themselves back in prehistoric times and living with a family of cavemen. This was a big TV sitcom at the time and a break for several of the actors, but my point in all this was how some writer came up with an unusual comic idea and presented it to the networks. An idea that has been used over and over since then, from Disney to Universal, but if we look back further we can find the story idea for this was originally written by Mark Twain in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", where a modern day blacksmith finds himself transported back in time to the days of King Arthur. I bring this all up to demonstrate there are very few original ideas out there now and the best we can do is add our own slant to the story. I've accomplished this in my Christian tale, "Legend of Silene"

This is my slant on the St. George and the Dragon Legend. For those of you who not aware, such as I at the time I began my research, the legend actually took place in the latter part of the 12th Century in the country of Libya- North Africa. I thought it had begun in Europe. But the story came out of Libya and was carried into Europe by returning crusaders- you know, those valiant knights who journeyed to Jerusalem, to reclaim the land for Christianity... and some of these so-called Christians committed some of the most heinous acts in history and we are still paying for it. Now if you look at all the statues of St. George, the dragon comes in various sizes: from overgrown lizard to a very impressive and horrific creature from hell.

In my tale, I toss in a bit of Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter-Warlord of Mars, with Robert Heinlein's "Glory Road" hero, add in a drop of John Wayne and the visual image of Tom Selleck, and you have GW Sanders.

A current day master story teller entertains the tourists and locals with an ancient tale, for which he has added his own slant for the visiting Americans and he begins the Legend of Silene: where a Californian, GW Sanders,  is a member of the 101st Airborne. It is 1968 and GW is preparing for a major helicopter assault into the ominous A Shau Valley of South Viet Nam. A location believed by the locals to be filled with demons and haunted by the ghosts of 400 men, who simply vanished into the dark mist a hundred years ago. Now a basic fact: the A Shau Valley was indeed a scary place and we never staged a successful operation there in the 10-years of war, and a lot of this was actually due to the South Vietnamese being scared out of their wits every time we entered there. The enemy also had complete control of the place and were pretty dug in, following World War II and their war against the French afterward.

GW, recently promoted to Corporal and assigned as assistant squad leader, had just finished a quick breakfast before the operation was to begin, when he is called over to meet with a South Vietnamese Military Police officer. With him is a very old Montegnard Holy Man, who has apparently come more than 100-kilometers to specifically meet with GW. The Holy Man has received visions of GW and told to prepare three things for GW: A wooden cross hanging from an elephant hair necklace, a bag of dried water buffalo meat and a large flint spear point the Holy Man was told to call- Ascalon. He presents these strange items to GW and then disappears into the crowd of soldiers waiting to leave. Quite confused by the meeting, he places the items into his rucksack and then hurriedly prepares his squad for departure.

Flown to the A Shau Valley and dropped off, hoping to take the North Vietnamese by surprise, they soon find themselves surrounded. After 10-hours of battle, the order is made to evacuate the encampment. GW and his shot-up squad are chosen to be part of the rear guard, joining with three other squads from his badly wounded company. But before they can be evacuated, GW's newly appointed platoon commander is killed, along with their radioman. They are overrun and being the only survivor of his squad, GW is forced to flee into the jungle. He is soon joined by two other soldiers from other squads; Corporal Grant and a PFC Hughes. These three lead the enemy ever-deeper into the valley and soon take refuge in a small cave. After camouflaging the opening, they take turns for some badly needed sleep. The enemy passes them by, but that night an earthquake hits, rendering the three of them unconscious. Through mysterious events, the three men are swept up in a swirling vortex and upon awakening, they find themselves in an even larger cavern. Their rifles are destroyed in the quake and they are now forced to hike through a series of caverns for 6-days. Food gone and water nearly all used up, the three of them share the buffalo meet and GW tells the other two men of the strange old Holy Man.

Reaching the end of the last cavern and facing a sheer wall of rock, they find a small opening up above and use the one grenade they have left to blast a bigger hole. Escaping their dark world, they are startled to find themselves looking out over a blue-green ocean, crystal blue skies, white sandy beaches and a fairy tale like castle set off in the distance. Within moments they are captured by a force of mounted Muslim knights, whose leader- Captain Rynarr, sees the cross hanging from GW's neck and stops his men from turning the three strangers into pin cushions with their 8-foot long lances. The men are taken prisoner and escorted to the Township of Silene, centered by a massive stone castle. Placed in the dungeon, they are soon contacted by a middle-aged monk, a dear friend of Captain Rynarr, who also wears a similar wooden cross and who speaks English. He ends up being a World War II Navy Lt. Commander, who was blown off the deck of his destroyer and found himself floundering off the shores of 12th century Libya. Taken prisoner some 40-years earlier, he had worked his way up to being senior adviser to the king. Stunned by this news, the three soldiers are slow in coming to terms with this news and have a hard time dealing with Muslim laws. Especially the one where GW should have avoided becoming romantic counter-part with the king's youngest daughter.

The Township if Silene is cursed by a dragon, which in fact is in aquatic dinosaur of some size and also transported forward in time by these mysterious worm holes; an idea brought forward by Brother Samuel who has found evidence of other time travelers. The beast lives in a large saltwater lake situated between the castle and the ocean's shoreline. By ancient decree, virgin sacrifices, ( part of the actual legend), are fed to the dragon. The King's daughter is soon chosen by lottery, a plot by the oldest daughter to get rid of her and eventually take over the throne, to become the next victim. GW, who has fallen in love with the princess and trained as a knight in a favor from Captain Rynarr to the Brother Samuel- the monk, rides against the dragon. At the tip of his lance is the flint spear point- Ascalon. No other weapon has been able to pierce the thick hide of the hellish beast, but Ascalon does. The princess is saved, the dragon killed, but GW also falls. The Princess lays the shield of faith, carrying the cross of Jesus on it, a top GW and a ray of sunlight shines down upon it from the heavens. GW returns to the land of the living. The king is ever thankful, GW marries the princess, the evil princess dies, and according to the actual legend, the knight's courageous act transforms the township back to Christianity. It had been a Christian land before thew Sword of Islam claimed it. GW, whose first name is of course George, remains in Silene, while his two friends join in the 3rd Crusades with King Richard, in hopes of stopping some of the atrocities from occurring against the innocent Muslim people. They bring the tale of George's feat back to Europe.

Now I really enjoyed writing this tale. And being a Viet Nam veteran, which greatly effected my life, I tend to add a taste of Viet Nam to all my stories. The dragon part was fun too and while doing my research, I tended to wonder what was actually behind this legend and how did it bring about Sir George to being made a saint?

As I have said over and over again, if you wish to write- then write! Move out of your comfort zone, as I did in writing this fairy tale. Do your research on what you are writing about. If a river is involved or a lake, make sure it exists unless you are of course writing about some other world. Louie L'amour traveled over every piece of ground he mentioned in his hundreds of books, which made his books more enjoyable to read.

I found in my research that it was believed the Township of Silene did exist, but was destroyed in either the 14th o 15th century by a massive tsunami. There are ruins still in existence for the location where Silene was believed to have been. In the legend, the dragon was only wounded, but the townspeople were so afraid of it they demand George destroy it. When it was killed, its blood soaked into the sand and from it, a fountain of water suddenly appeared and it has healing powers. People came from all over to be blessed by these healing waters and Silene, which was at one time cursed and poor, now flourished. Legends can be quite interesting and you have to wonder, how much fact is behind the tale?

I have recently learned by very beautiful and loving wife has began editing my blogs. I am thankful for this, because she was never able to edit my stories due to her workload: Grandma Lee, her non-profit groups and just dealing with my argumentative self. She is a gifted editor and even a better writer. I sincerely hope you continue to read her blogs as I find them very interesting and quite helpful. She is my better-half and I have to know exactly what this term means- for when she is off and away, I feel like half of me is missing.

Bless you all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bill's Book Part Three-A Political Action

Mr Bill sez:

I find it strange how this five part series on my books will come out in reverse order, as the blog format lays them out. But you're stuck with it.
Before getting into my first attempt at writing a political thriller, I wanted to add to my last blog concerning writing. If you wish to write- then write! Write every day. Each time you do so, you will improve in one way or another. From ideas to skill, dreams to wishes and objectivity, adaptation to knowledge. Writing a daily journal will help, keeping a collection of your story ideas and most of all- reading. Every writer I know of began as someone who enjoyed reading.
I used to get ridiculed for lengthy police reports, but later, when I was promoted to investigator, I could go back to one of my old reports and find everything I needed for a case. I once worked a burglary case where the suspect had entered two homes and stolen quite a bit of property. What made this even more serious was that the people were at home and in their beds at the time. The police officer who handled the case left me with a single paragraph and two photographs. I was ready to pull his hair out. Thankfully, I prayed over this case and the Lord provided me with the answers. I caught the man, got most of the property back and a full confession. Yes, I always prayed over my cases and as an investigator I had an 82% closure rate. My lieutenant asked me once why I didn't have a 100% closure rate if I was praying over each case, he was scoffing at my beliefs, and I told him I probably wasn't listening hard enough.
I once worked with a major publishing company for 8 months, they were interested in my Viet Nam book, "Apache Snow". I made all the changes they wanted, but after the 8 months, the editor told me the market had shied away from books for male Christians and they were no longer interested in my story. Oh, they provided me with three very nice handwritten letters, which in the publishing world says a lot. I was hurt, upset, ready to scream, but then I realized how much I had learned by working with these people. All the editing I had done for them had been worth hours and hours of education in writing.
I have also learned to keep a dictionary and a good thesaurus handy. NEVER use the same adjective in the same paragraph if at all possible and maybe not on the same page- Rule # 1. For Rule # 2, never forget the character that you are writing about- keep a description handy to refer to- he's left handed or has blue eyes, or a scar on the right cheek. Readers hate these mistakes.

 "A Political Action", Christian fiction, 20-chapters and 578 d/s pages,is, as I said previously, a political thriller involving domestic terrorism in Ontario, Canada. A small band, though fictional, brings back to life a real-life group that terrorized Toronto in the 1970's with bombings and the killing of two political figures. In my story my new group, who go by the same name as the original Front de Liberation du Quebec ( Liberty for Quebec), target various locations throughout the city and eventually blow up an RCMP captain's home, killing his family. Though acting as terrorists, the two leaders of the group are in fact hirelings of 5 wealthy industrialists who manipulate their private bunch of radicals to destroy overly expensive or now worthless buildings the businessmen own in order to collect the insurance on them. The five men then send their terrorists to Alaska to kidnap the Canadian Prime Minister who is visiting there to discuss fishing issues with the Alaskan Governor. The Prime Minister, who has broken many of his campaign promises, is down to a 33% approval rating and the 5 businessmen, believing the Prime Minister to be sympathetic to the French Quebec movement, feel that being kidnapped and then escaping the terrorists after 5-days would restore his popularity.The Alaskan governor and the rest of the party being held would, however, have to die. At a certain point,the pseudo terrorists plan to waylay the train which was transporting the party of dignitaries from Fairbanks to Anchorage by creating an avalanche.. The party is then taken into the woods to be held at a prearranged site.

An Army Chaplain, sole survivor of a helicopter crash in Viet Nam  in which he had been severely wounded, is forced to kill several of the enemy to survive.. His actions and the serious PTSD to follow, bring him to a loss of faith and he now resides in a remote cabin in Central Alaska. Through a weird series of events, he finds himself leading two men into the deep woods in search of these terrorists. One is the RCMP captain, who seeks vengeance for the loss of his family, and the other is a former Alaska State Trooper lieutenant. The former trooper had resigned over his wife's infidelity with his supervisor and now works as a railroad investigator seeing his son when time allows. These three men overcome numerous obstacles, including a SERT team commander who wants them out of the way, take on the band of terrorists and free the hostages after a brief but intense fire fight.In the end....but I can't tell you that, now can I?

It is a story if renewed faith, redemption and overcoming great odds. I had a lot of fun writing it and researching the actual terrorist group.

The actual synopsis I write and provide the publisher or agent is quite a bit longer, sometimes going between 1 to 3 pages. I broke it down here, just to give you some idea of my story and other manuscripts. Like I said before, if you wish to write- then write. I great writer once said, "Every person has at least three books in them, but a writer has many more stories to tell".  I may never sell a novel length manuscript, but I enjoy my work. As I write, I live with my characters and my imagination takes me to these places I try to illustrate with words only. I have done battle with these terrorists, while at the same time I have walked in their shoes as they carried off their acts of terrorism.
Have a very fantastic day and may the Lord God bless the paths you choose to take. Be a reader and learn what the Word of God holds for YOU!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bill's Book Part Two- The Badge and The Cross/Stronghold

My one claim to fame is a short story I wrote back in 2000, ( A.D. not B.C.), for the Christmas issue of the Guideposts Magazine. This one, showered upon my family several years in the running, like the visits of unpopular in-laws or "You Have Won" mailings, was first entitled "The Little Christmas Tree". Guideposts renamed the story, "Even in the Barracks", which made no sense to me at all. But, I got paid $200 for it. Sense then, I've been unable to write short stories and devote my limited skills to novel length manuscripts and the occasional e-mail to fans and family. You people should be happy I don't use face book or my space, I'd haunt you to your grave with witty sayings, bad advice and over the shoulder taunts. I don't do this mainly because I am computer illiterate and unable to grasp the use of such things. I only owe this blog stuff to my eldest daughter Elizabeth and urgings of my lovely wife.

Anyway, about writing- I find that writing my stories are like a daily dose of repeated paper cuts in an attempt to find just the right word or sentence to describe what I want to say. On the plus side though, is the sudden elation of finding that invaluable word or a sentence, or paragraph, which can give me a lead into the persona of a new character or present the reader with a grasp of what a heavenly golden highway might look like. ( I fought with this while trying to describe how the Heavenly Host descends upon the earth in the Lamb of God's Return).

Now, like most writers I mimic my favorite authors: W.E.B. Griffen, Clive Cussler, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Louie L'amour. With a dash of Tom Clancy and Steven Coonts.  I write in a dialogue style; this is where the characters talk to one another to tell the story and the narrator sets the scenes. In a narrative style the narrator does just about everything, with the occasional dialogue tossed in. I also have to create my characters and bring them to life so that you can relate to them, as I do. Sometimes this can be difficult. I may see them perfectly, but I must present them in a way that you can almost read my mind and see them as I do. I've read so many books where the author fails to do this and the characters die quickly in my mind as I end up having to figure out who or how this person is in appearence and it may not go with the tale the writer had planned.

In nearly every writer's magazine I am told a writer should write what he knows about. In "A Badge and the Cross- Book One of the series of 5 stories, entitled- Stronghold", I use my actual police cases and experiences from when I was a member of the Skagway Police Department. Mona and I lived here for over 2 years and I admit, this was my first experience into spiritual warfare. I had only been a Christian for a very little time and was nearly overwhelmed can call it the Dark Side.

This story had 15 chapters and was 445 pages of a double-spaced format. I kept it short because I had hoped, if bought up by a publisher, I could provide further stories based on my career and Christian walk. I created imaginary characters, added to our real life experiences with some interesting fiction themes.

Based in Skagway, I tell of the towns early roots in a lust for gold, prostitution, murder and violence, thievery and all too many cases of sheer madness.  Jake Roberts is returning to Skagway, some 20-years after leaving it. He is riding up the Lynn Canal aboard an Alaskan ferry and he is recalling the events of 20-years ago, which led up to his final dealings with a witches convent and being knifed in the back by a young assassin on Halloween night. The book tells of my actual dealings with this dark crowd, the murders and ghostly haunts I dealt with, which included an unruly huge stuff brown bear and bartenders frightened out of their minds by the demonic hold on the town. That first summer I found myself under siege by some 250,000 tourists and a department force reduced to only two of us. Jake and his wife have their hands full, but through faith in the Lord, they stand tall and the coven is forced to use a misguided teenager for an act of murder. Story also involve my actual investigation of a National Park graveyard, which is used by the coven for their rituals. Wounded by the attack, Jake is airlifted to Juneau and then on to Seattle. After a lengthy span of recovery, Jake enters Bible College and years later he returns to Skagway as the new church pastor and he is ready for war against the demonic.

Reliving those days reminded me of the strange times Mona and I had in dealing with this dark crowd of demon worshipers. A group that was found back in the late 1890's and attempted to keep their identities secret. They really got upset when I, with my wife's help, took them on. Sadly, our church was not up to warfare and even used our new Christian coffee shop as a haunted house one Halloween night. It was truly a dark community and when I've tried to relate to people about the events of those 2 years, they often look at me as if I was nuts. I have always found it ironic, how people will believe in angels, but have no grasp of the demonic. Yet, we are warned of this in the Word of God, in how our battle is against the demonic forces.

Someday, I hope this story will be printed in a book and it finds its way to Skagway. I have truly seen what spiritual warfare is all about, though I was much like a waterboy in the big game. I found out how strong simply using the name of our Lord can force the enemy to flee. I also like the name of Jake and hopefully, the reader can relate to him, his wife and the dark ones in the ways I describe them.

May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and yours. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bill's Books

I've been asked countless times what I write about and decided to begin listing my ideas here by showing you the synopsis for each one. Now I write Christian fiction, in my hopes of providing entertaining action/adventure stories for the Christian man. My first one... will, they've all been given to me in dreams, is "Apache Snow".  Now you might find it hard to believe, or not, how I receive the main ideas for my stories through my dreams and if I've had the same dream three times- then I write it down and file away for when I have time to begin a new book. Of course, my beloved wife, felt, and I had to agree with her, that my very first book came out looking like a police report. Hard to figure. I've written out more than 2,000 police reports in my 20 yrs of police work. One police report was a book in itself and it concerned an investigation involving a big figure in Alaska's gaming industry. I cost him $10 million a year by putting him out of business and became very unpopular with him and his family. But that is another story.

"Operation Apache Snow- 11-Days in Hell" has 21 Chapters and has 657 double-spaced pages. Agents and publishers require you present your manuscript in double-space format.  The story begins in 1968, with an attack made on a Green Beret encampment in South Viet Nam and the death of a Special Forces Sergeant Kendall. We then travel across the Pacific to California, where his younger brother, Matthew, is involved in a track meet. He comes home to find out his older brother was killed in the war. The son of a church pastor and scheduled to attend Bible College, Matthew desires to get married to his high school sweetheart. But now enraged over his brother's death, he turns aside all his plans and enlists in the Army. during Boot Camp, he meets our 2nd main character, John Adams, an Afro-American with a lot of attitude and from the ghetto streets of Washington DC. John is forced to join-up or go to jail over a car theft charge. (They did a lot of that back then). John and Matthew soon join forces with a fierce Hispanic by the name of Jose Martinez, who, in a promise to a dying mother, turns away from his gang life and joins the army.  The three men become friends and find themselves in an uphill battle against racism from all sides. All three go through jump school and become members of the 101 st Airborne Screaming Eagles. They also find a quick trip to Viet Nam comes with the job.

At this point, I place the three imaginary characters in a real rifle squad, who participated in the 11-day Battle for Hamburger Hill. Jose will lose his life, saving Matthew and both Matthew and John are severely wounded. The book also shows the relationship Matthew has with God during his ordeals, his relationship with his sweetheart and his bond with his two best friends.

John and Matthew are flown home, learning to deal with their disabilities and stay close as new families form. They go to the unveiling of the Viet Nam Memorial and later, Matthew and John travel back to Viet Nam. They bring Bibles to the underground churches. Here Matthew has a strange encounter with a former enemy and God uses Matthew to bring this man to Christianity. The story also tells of this North Vietnamese medic, who is on the other side of the battle and comes very close to ending Matthew's life.

I really enjoyed writing this story, though I have noticed a lot of improvement in my writing since I completed this. I seem to improve with each story, which would surprise my English teacher.  This story also brought a lot of healing with my own inner demons from that war and I pray this story could help others. I've written a rough draft of a sequel for this story, which involves current day problems with vets and their dealings with the Veterans Affairs. It is based in Los Angeles.  More later.

Beyond partisanship

Man, I get so tired of knee-jerk my-group-is-better-than-your-group comments!!

I don't care what it is based on- race, gender, hair color, or favorite flavor at Baskin & Robbin's, it annoys the crap out of me!!  I am fairly sure I am not immune to this behavior having not yet achieved perfection, but I try hard not to just arbitrarily decide something based on immediate perception or preconceived notion. I freely admit there are a lot of things that immediately put me off and influence how I feel about a person or an issue- child abuse, porn, personal filth... these tend to make me prickly. There's other stuff, too, of course. I am not fond of fry-your-tastebuds spicy foods and people who think it is funny to humiliate others. I don't like to see mindless waste and destruction. Being told I "have to" will make me dig in my heels and say no. Cruelty and evil make me think seriously about picking up a bat and using it. But, the thing is, I have probably indulged in all or nearly all of these things at some point in my life so far.

There is a place in the Bible that says, "When I was a child, I thought like a child, I acted like a child. Now that I am grown, I have put away childish things."  Not childlike, but childish.

With age we are supposed to acquire maturity and perspective. To learn self-control and personal responsibility, think before we act. Doesn't always happen, but that is the plan. Adults are supposed to set a proper example for the young ones so they can see what it looks like to be in charge of the world.

What has happened here?

Why have we abdicated our responsibility and placed it in the hands of others? As a nation, we do not vote. We do not act responsible. We howl and complain and rant and wave our collective arms, but we do not act.
There are those comparative few who do act , but the percentage is low and not, in my opinion, a good representation of our country and culture. And the ones "in charge" treat us, and rightly so, like petulant children who must not be told too much so as to forstall our temper tantrums. We must be placated and soothed, given the treats we demand whether or not they are healthy or affordable.

9/11 brought on an all-too-brief surge of patriotism and involvement, but our attention waned, distracted by something shiny, we sank once again into apathetic lethargy, exhausted by the unfamiliar effort. Why are we asleep? What will it take to awaken us before we become incapable of moving our atrophied limbs? Our governmental leadership is largely ineffectual, blinded by dogmatic adherence to outdated policies and methods, self-serving and noisy with their efforts to focus attention on the splinter in their neighbor's eye while diligently ignoring, denying or obscuring the log in their own.

As a nation, we are 235 years old this July. Shouldn't we be old enough to know better? To know that you cannot get something for nothing, that bills have to be paid and the trash has to be disposed of properly or the house will become uninhabitable? Shouldn't we grasp the concept that what goes up will always come down no matter how vehemently one denies the existence of gravity?

I am inordinately tired of foolishness being sold to me as wisdom and poison dressed up in colorful candy coating. I am weary of whining and delays and talking endlessly about whatever-the-hell will keep the masses distracted while we go merrily to hell in a handcart. Reality shows and sitcoms and the new outfit we love/hate that some glamorous somebody-or-other spent enough on to feed a family for a week. News programs that I cannot trust and politicians who do not represent and all the other damnable tripe that flows like sewage from the television and the internet. 

I am pissed and I am very frankly afraid of what it will take to bring my beloved country to a place of repentance and change. I do not want to go through that meat grinder, no thank you, I do not.

Like the Prophets of the Bible, I pray for mercy and not judgment, though I know we deserve it. I pray that the eyes and the hearts and minds of those in our leadership would be opened to the truth and that revelation would come to them of the lies that are abundantly spread about. I ask protection for the men and women who serve in the military and in various civilian positions around the world.That hearts and minds would be granted wisdom and discernment and that we as individuals would not be able to tolerate evil any longer.And I pray that we would not be distracted by bread and circuses, reality tv and game shows, name-calling and protest-marching. That I, that we, would remember that we have a backbone and a brain and that we are no longer children and that it is time to put away the childish things.

May the fire and the glory fill you to overflowing-


Monday, April 11, 2011

Ordinary people

Last night I watched a movie on TBN called Peter and Paul, Anthony Hopkins as Paul and I can't remember the guy who played Peter. It was a pretty ordinary movie, no Oscar or Emmy moments, no chills up your back miracles. At first I was a bit annoyed at how sort of commonplace much of it was. Paul was tempermental and prone to yelling. Peter was indecisive. James was afraid to expose the church to persecution.

All these amazing folks we idolize as wise and strong and temperate. Reasonable, focused, determined to spread the Gospel no matter what. Filled with glory and fire, they leave the place where Jesus ascended and went immediately far and wide...NOT!

In this movie they were just ordinary men and women. Frightened, frustrated, distracted- just like me. And yet, the Word was spread. Somebody went, somebody shared. Somebody was frightened, sick, hungry and still kept trying to tell the Story. Illness, shipwreck, flogging, imprisonment. The mental picture painted from the pulpit or in Sunday School Bible stories is of joyful singing in the chains, shining face to heaven as the whip falls. No concept of pain and fear is generally grasped even if it is expressed. The loneliness and abandonment by friends is only a footnote followed by reassurances of the Lord's grace and mercy. Skipping quickly over the humanity of these ordinary people.

After all, these are The Apostles, always said with capital letters. Sure, they messed up a little right at the beginning, but after that they were perfect. It is easy to turn these men and women into super beings who knew no fear, no hurt, no lack. And that is b.s. They were just like me, just like you. They were ordinary people.The thing is, as they went, they were changed. As they pressed in to obey, to understand, they were changed. And at the end, they knew.

I struggle. There are all these things going on around me in the lives of people who are more dear to me than life. Things that I cannot change with all of my skills. And believe me, I have skills! If anyone could fix things, it'd be me. I have been trained by the men and women I love who have come from a long line of wound-healers, soup-makers and crisis-managers. My heroes have always been the men and women who laid down their lives. The ones who endured beyond endurance and triumphed. Broke barriers, pioneered movements, defeated evil, and changed lives. What the hell was I thinking?? 

So, here I am, sitting in the bedroom with my 91 yr old mother in love and friend,chronically ill and dying, and we are waiting on the Lord.
Here I am, thousands of miles away from my child who is pregnant and having serious problems and I cannot go, so I am waiting on the Lord.
Here I am, my husband of 31 years who has been in chronic, debilitating pain for 25 of those years, pain that came from his heart to serve and protect others and I can do nothing to make it go away, so here I am, waiting on the Lord.
My son in love in the bedroom next door, a disabled vet, not yet 30 years old and in pain...and here I am, waiting on the Lord.

I struggle. I want to heal, to do something miraculous, but I am an ordinary person who has learned to wait on the Lord.

"They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on eagle's wings. They shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint."  Isaiah 40: 31

Still waiting,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Birthdays and other miracles

A few days ago my eldest had her 35th birthday. The next day her son, my eldest grandson, had his 15th. Later this year my youngest will have her first (a girl) followed not to long after by another granddaughter, the second for that son and his wife. Four of my nieces are also pregnant, the first due in April, number four for that family. The rest will be firstborns. There are quite few more birthdays, both before and after that but this batch set me to thinking, always a dangerous proposition...

Being born is a miracle. Happens all the time, I know, but it is still a miracle. So many things can and do go wrong in birthing. Two of my grands were preemies, one 5 1/2 wks and one a full 3 mos. My youngest had to be born by c-section after 3 days of labor and complications that developed. And so on.

We are surrounded every day by the miraculous and we don't even give it a second thought. Oxygen to breathe and lungs that know what to do with it. A heart that beats and beats and beats circulating the liquid miracle that moves things around to the right places at the right time so the oxygen comes in and the poisonous carbon dioxide goes out and white cells can fight invaders and the red ones carry nutrients that came in thru the mouth and went into the stomach and not the lungs and so on.

When some part of this miracle goes awry, bad things begin to happen. Tiny electrical misfire- heart stops. Al hell breaks loose! Imbalance in the minerals and things- kidneys or gall bladder form stones which clog up tiny tubes and....all hell breaks loose! Pancreas secretes too much or too little insulin in response to the foods that come in, blood sugar goes whacky and....all hell breaks loose!

And those are just the miracles inside us, no mention of all those that surround us as leaves take sunlight,carbon dioxide (poison to us, good stuff for them) and water and make food to feed the plants that scrub the air and then feed us. Gravity holds us down just enough. The ocean stays where it belongs and the clouds bring rain and the wind blows and the sun shines....All of this in balance and perfect and we take it all as normal and reasonable and right until a drought....a tsunami....a hurricane...a plane crash....and all hell breaks loose.

There is an old musical called, "Flower Drum Song". The young Chinese immigrant girl sings about "one hundred million miracles, they're happening every day." 

I want to notice. I want to have the eyes to see and the ears to hear these miracles! I do not want to be the sort of person that takes for granted the miracle of sight and hearing! I don't want to be the one who does not notice the miracle until it is taken away. And I want to be a person who knows the One who makes these miracles. To recognize that these things were given to me as gifts and that I need to appreciate and cherish their very existence.

That is what I want.

Thank You, Father, for these, Your gifts. Help me to care for and cherish them all the days of my life!!

God bless your life!