Happy Holidays – See You Next Year

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Blessed Solstice! Or… Enjoy Your Time Off Work!

What ever your flavor of celebrating I hope it is full of laughter, light, family and friends. 


May your New Year be a joyous occasion full of excitement for new beginnings. 

I’ll be back with new fiction and new posts next year. 




The Adventures of Jorvyn McKale – Chunk 04


“Peaches and a second cup of coffee got you the Cherooth, Sengazi story but that’s about it. You want more, I get more.” 

“What do you want?” Tough question. His list was long. The most important wish was far beyond Dr. Riley’s power to grant, so he stuck with the basics. 

“I want Charlie moved off the rotation as my orderly. I want a six pack of snickers bars every week. And, I want a TV of my own.” 

“What will that get me?” Doctor Riley asked. 

Jorvyn’s voice softened, “The truth about how it all started.” 

Doctor Riley nodded slowly. “Is there an orderly you prefer?” 

“Parker,” Jorvyn said without hesitation. 

“Parker?” Jorvyn nodded. He understood the doctor’s surprise. Parker was a six-six mountain of a man with rich brown skin that always made him crave chocolate when he saw him. He was no brawn head, though, and he didn’t tolerate disrespect, but, he was careful with his strength and size advantage. 

“I’ll see what I can do.” 

Much later the squeak of the food cart woke Jorvyn from his nap. “Chow time, Mr. McKale.” Jorvyn smiled as he sat up. “Mr. Parker, welcome back.” “Good to be back.” Parker flashed him a broad white grin.

The other reason he liked Parker was because the rest of the staff didn’t. They were forever concocting situations that got him in trouble or sent to do the shit jobs. Parker bore it all with a shrug and a smile but there were times when he’d respond a little slower to a dangerous situation if it involved a staff member who’d given him trouble.

“Looks like you won the Parker lottery.”
“Oh yeah, how so?”
“You got me morning, noon, and night when I’m on the floor.”
“Who do I have when you’re not here?” Jorvyn asked.
Interesting but not terrible choice. His first few interactions with Adella had been intensely unpleasant but once she got it through her tattooed head that he wasn’t going to give her crap just because she was a woman she revealed her decent side and they got along just fine.
“No Charlie?”
“Charlie’s not even on this floor anymore.”
Jorvyn thought about doing a fist pump of victory but figured that would raise too many questions.
“Your new Doc asked me,” Parker chuckled, “can you believe that, asked me who should be your orderly when I was off.” Before Jorvyn could respond Parker pulled two items off the cart that weren’t his dinner. “He also asked me to give you these.”
One was a snickers bar, king sized but still just one. The other was an e-reader.

“What the…?”
“He said he’s working on the TV but to try this in the mean time.” Jorvyn laughed, then sobered.

“That new doctor might actually be likable.”

“And that’s a bad thing?” Parker asked as he set out the tray with Jorvyn’s dinner on it.
Jorvyn broke the seal on his water bottle and glanced over at Parker. “Seriously, how long do you think Doc. Riley’s going to last in Cornholio’s staff?”
“Current odds are three to one that he’ll be gone before Valentine’s day, five to one Easter and ten to one Fourth of July.”
“Put me down for Easter. He’s too tough to quit inside of two months but smart enough to know a losing battle after three.”
“You got it.”
After dinner and half the snickers bar, the remaining half carefully hidden under his pillow, Jorvyn sat back and flipped the e-reader on. He nearly laughed himself sick. On the reader, along with the obligatory classics and other “safe” reads for the criminally insane was a folder of books and documents dealing with negotiations and mediation.
This doctor was definitely a pip.

The clanging began at far end of the hallway and worked its way towards Jorvyn’s cell. “Good night, monkeys! Sleep tight, monkeys!”

Jorvyn smiled. This guard tandem started early and skipped the midnight check. Across the way someone howled a response. Idiot. The guards whooped in glee. Jorvyn had learned early not to reply to the night guards. The new inmate would soon learn the painful lesson too.

He waited for the noise across the hall to die down. Eventually the sobs became too faint to hear.

Jorvyn laid still a few heartbeats after silence resumed before easing out of bed. He mounded the pillows and blanket in a rough approximation of a curled human shape. It wouldn’t fool even a half assed inspection but it was good enough for those who already didn’t care.

Halfway through the mumbled incantation that would turn his solid gray wall into a not so solid dimensional portal, his door creaked open.

Jorvyn blinked at the sudden light and the two shadows framed by it. His stomach clenched and he fought to keep fear from his features. The sizable self-preservation side screamed for him to jump through the wall, but the rational part knew better. He canceled the portal and turned to face the guards.

“Jorvy, looks like you’re dressed appropriately for the occasion.” Considering he was buck naked that didn’t bode well. 

Chat Rooms And Forum Boards

I used to do chat rooms a lot and yes the non family friendly kind. Countless hours of my life were spent typing into a tiny box, waiting with baited breath to see if anyone would answer. This <cough> detour into the underbelly of the internet actually had some payoff. I’m a blistering fast typist now. Topping out at almost 100 wpm when I hit the zone. And I’d like to believe it helped hone some of my creative talents, though THOSE particular stories will never be part of this blog. 😉

So why am I bring this up? Because, as I surf the net, (looking at writing sites, honest) I see many writer forum boards and a few of them have chat rooms associated with them. I joined one a while back and then popped into it’s attached chat room 

… AND WHOOOSsshhh. I was emotionally teleported back in time nearly two decades or more. The stomach acid churned. I was shocked by my own shock. What if I misspelled something? What if they thought I was a newb…. Oh gosh, what if no one answered at all!!?


I haven’t been back since that soul jarring bit of self discovery, but I think about it often and I wonder… Do they help?

Is it worth wading through the emotional minefield to perhaps learn valuable tips of the trade or are chat rooms and forum boards dinosaurs of old better left to the archeologists?



Mottos I Try To Live By

Just a few words of wisdom I’ve picked up over the years. Some I’ve made up and some I’ve appropriated from others.

1) Good enough never leads to great. (Personal Motto. I love it so much I had it engraved on to a charm and wear it daily.)

2) Marriage is a Team Sport.

3) Regret tastes worse than fear and lasts longer.

4) No one, on their death bed, wished they’d slept more. (This is what I tell myself when I want to sleep in instead of getting up to write.)

5) Even Stephen King got rejection slips. 

6) The First Draft of Anything is Shit – Hemingway. (This is what I remind myself when the internal editor starts giving me crap.)

7) When being with another person is more important than being right all the time you’re with the right person.

8) This too shall pass. 

9) If you run headlong into your fears you can usually get past them. If you run from them they’ll just follow you forever.

10) You’ve got to live this life you’re given like it’s the only one you’ve got. – Three Doors Down “The Only One You’ve Got.”


The Adventures of Jorvyn McKale – Chunk 03

Jorvyn snorted. “Those are lovely little leftovers from the restraints used during shock therapy. The technicians like to keep you unsure if the pins and needles in your hands and feet are from the shocks or from lack of circulation. It’s a game they call ‘guess why you’re in agony’.”

“That will cease.” 

Jorvyn laughed. “You’re a real fucking boy scout.” 

“Eagle scout, actually,” Doctor Riley said with a faint smile. 

“Color me astounded, Doc.” 

Doctor Riley rose and once again offered Jorvyn a hand. Jorvyn ignored it while fixing his bootie and stood on his own. “I’ll be by later this afternoon to check on you.”

“Jesus, Doc, get a life.” 

“Excuse me?” 

Jorvyn waved a hand through the air in a vague motion indicating the paint flecked walls, scarred concrete floor, and everything in between. “It’s New Year’s Day and you’re here with me? Don’t you have a family or something? Some sweet little trophy wife or a half dozen wannabe nerds nipping at your ankles?” 

A smile twitched at Doctor Riley’s lips. “No, and no. Hospitals don’t take holidays.” 

Jorvyn smirked. “Doc. just a little head’s up for you, this isn’t a hospital. This is the institutional equivalent of the floor of a taxi cab after Mardi Gras. You never know what you’ll find but you do know it won’t be pretty.” 

An hour later Jorvyn got his second surprise of the morning when the orderly, Charlie, wheeled in a flat screen TV and another plate of breakfast, with peaches.
“You must’ve sucked the new Doc good, Jor.”

“Yeah, he was a regular horse, not like your crinkly straw.”
Charlie gave him a thin smile and sloshed coffee into his food. “We’ll see how straw like I am later when I’m pounding you like a tent stake.”
Jorvyn winced. “So not original… tent stake? Really?”

Charlie’s smile slid away and returned his angular features to sharp edges and hard lines.
“I wouldn’t, if I were you,” Jorvyn drawled. “The new Doc seems pretty territorial. He catches you poaching on his conquest you may end up with the Pica patients.”
Charlie grimaced. “Ew, God. Some of them eat their own shit.”
“Yeah.” Jorvyn smiled. “I know.” 
As soon as the heavy door clanged shut Jorvyn flopped back on his cot. “Alone at last, alone at last, thank God Almighty I’m alone at last.”
Colorful floats bedecked with brilliant flowers slowly motored across the screen. Jorvyn loved the Rose Parade. The only flowers he got to see on this world were the occasional weeds brazen enough to grow in the sandy square of grass called the “garden.” 
The marching bands impressed him the most. He had yet to encounter another culture that organized their instruments in such large numbers and then added aerobic exercise. Crazy or brilliant, or both, was a common complaint about humans out among the dimensions. 
He enjoyed the peaches too. 

“Hi sugar.”

“What’s on for this evening?”

“I moved the meeting with the Cherooth Underlings to tomorrow. They’re not happy but they didn’t want anyone but you as intermediary. FireSpring wants a face to face sometimes soon.” 

“God, now what? I’m up to date on all my sector reports.” 

“He’s didn’t say but he didn’t seem mad.”
“Okay, keep everything on a simmer for me, please. I don’t know how this new Doc’s going to play out.”

“Sure thing, sugar. Stay safe.”

Jorvyn laughed.“Safety abandoned me before I learned to crawl and sent her ugly twin sister ‘Misfortune’ to keep me company. You know, beyond the worts and bad breath she could be a real looker.” 

Anika’s chuckle faded away as the Governor’s Award float winner rounded the sharp corner and headed for home.
To Jorvyn’s annoyance, Dr. Riley made good on his promise to return in the afternoon. “How are you doing, Jorvyn.” 
“I had a good poop after breakfast, Doc.”
Dr. Riley smiled. “Did you enjoy the parade?”
“Yep. Some of my alien friends from the planet Beebaalbrax came and joined me. They thought the floats looked tasty but I told them they were poisonous.” 
“How good of you.” Dr. Riley sat in the only chair and motioned for Jorvyn to take a seat on his cot. “Now, as you’ve already determined, I have no life so it shouldn’t surprise you that I’ve spent the day reviewing your file.” 
Jorvyn made jazz hands while mouthing, “I’m shocked.”
Dr. Riley bit his lip on a chuckle and flipped through documents on his tablet before turning serious. “I’m going to decrease your medication and stop the electrotherapy treatments.”
Jorvyn froze for a heartbeat. The medication he could take or leave but the treatments were a different story.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Doc.” 
“Why not?”
“My dad gets pissy if I’m not shocked into incontinence two or three times a week.” 
“If that’s true then we have a great many more issues than what’s contained in your file.” 
Jorvyn laughed. “Oh Doc., you don’t know the half of it.” 
“So tell me.” 
Jorvyn leaned back on the cot and sized the doctor up. Finally, he nodded slowly. “Okay Doc. There’s this group called the Cherooths. They’re kind of like centaurs but have tusks like a boar. They live in a wooded mountainous region. Down below them, in the delta, are the Sengazis. They’re more humanoid but less humanlike. The last few years have been wet, which is real good for the Sengazis because it swells the rivers and increases the delta range. It is not good for the Cherooths ’cause a swollen river and increased delta cuts into their territory. Now this isn’t uncommon, happens every few decades or so and usually the two sides just deal with it without too much conflict. However, this particular season has seen the snow pack descend further down the mountains and spring refusing to sproing. There’s been poaching and conflict and even a little bloodshed, which despite how imposing the Cherooth are, is unusual.” 
Dr. Riley took notes on his tablet. “And how does this concern you?” 
“Just last week the Sengazis captured a few Cherooth spring bucks and are holding them as a safeguard against any more incidents. If the Cherooths continue to poach or otherwise press into the delta area the Sengazis will saw off the spring bucks’ tusks.” 
“And I take it this is a bad thing?” Dr. Riley asked. 
“Very bad. It’s near the equivalent of cutting off a person’s nuts. Not that they couldn’t physically mate with a female but they wouldn’t ever get the chance.” 
“I’m still not sure I see where you come in.” 

“The Cherooth asked for me to mediate the return of their spring bucks.” 
“Yeah, Doc., I’ve done business with the Cherooth before and since I’m clearly not a Sengazi, they figured I’d be a good intermediary. There aren’t any other sentients on that particular continent and nobody has a strong naval presence. Thank God. So it’s me or they go to war.” 
“I see,” Dr. Riley took some more notes. “And you speak both Cherooth and Sengazi?” 

“How did you learn them?” 
“FireSpring gave them to me.” 
“Like a present?”
“No, Doc. like a two by four being slammed into my head.”
“Who is FireSpring?”
“He’s my… boss kind of…. Maybe more like a mentor or coach.” 
“Did he recruit you?”
“No, I kind of fell into all this by accident as a kid.”
“Tell me about that.”
Jorvyn remained silent for a moment before breaking into a grin. “No.” 


44 Facts about Rylie Dalthrys

This post is inspired by a post the Optimistic Kid put out. [I’m new to WordPress so if I’ve gotten the link wrong I’m Sorry!]

His post was 67 facts about the O.K. I don’t know if I can top 67 but we’ll see. 😉


1) Rylie Dalthrys is a pen name. I use a pen name due to the nature of my day job. AND for the simple reason that if I ever have to switch jobs again I want a prospective employer to find my professional accomplishments if they google me not my writing. By the same token, should I ever be fortunate enough to be googled by an agent I want them to only see my writing.
All the letters in the nom de plume are from my real name and it is the ONLY “off truth” that will ever be in this blog. 

2) I love hockey. I watch it constantly, not just my fav team but just about any game that’s on. During the lockout I even watched AHL, college and <gasp> High School hockey to get my fix. 

3) I also watch Football, Soccer, Curling (when I can, we don’t get much down south), Rugby, and some Baseball.

4) I don’t smoke.

5) I rarely drink but when I do it’s bourbon or whiskey, usually in an Irish Coffee or Hot Toddy. 

6) Hubby and I have been together 26 years and I adore him more with each passing day. I consider it one of the greatest blessing in my life to be able to be with the same fella from teen years to middle age. 

7) This is my favorite number.

8) I cry at sappy commercials, blog posts, news articles, and any story about animals being lost or reunited. And if anyone gives me crap about it I’ll cut’m!

9) I own one firearm and I know how to use it. My reasons behind having the pistol are simple. How can I write a convincing running gun battle if I don’t even know what recoil feels like. 🙂

10) I think Astronaut Abby totally rocks! [same caveat about links as above] Seriously, check her out. She’s amazing. If the link doesn’t work just Google Astronaut Abby. 

11) I’m a space nut. Even my coworkers IN the aerospace industry think I’m a nut. 

12) Hubby’s a space nut too. 

13) I’ve been to England several times.

14) I’ve been to Scotland once.

15) I’ve been to Seattle half a dozen times. 

16) We want to retire to the Pacific Northwest some day.

17) I’ve been to the Caribbean but didn’t like it much.

18) I’m struggling to get to 20…. geesh, how it O.K. get to 67. 

19) I love Christmas music. 

20) Wow, I just witnessed a road rage altercation outside my window. They yelled at each other for a bit and I screamed Merry Christmas at them. I doubt they heard me but it was fun and they did finally move it along. 

21) My current addiction is to Harribo’s Lemon-Ginger gummi candies, hence number 22.

22) I need to lose weight. 

23) I don’t text. 

24) I don’t even own a cell phone that can text.

25) It was impossible to get a cellphone without a camera but it was amusing to see the various expressions from the sales reps when I asked. (Work related issue.) 

26) I was raised with dogs but I currently own cats. Love’m! 

27) I have ridden a horse and an elephant, neither is something I care to experience again.

28) I love to swim. 

29) I own a house with a fireplace and have never used it.

30) I was raised in Central Florida without air-conditioning or heat, and survived just fine thank you <twitch>.

31) I’ve done past life regression and discovered I was completely ordinary and boring in every one. 

32) This time around I aim to be a little more memorable. 😉

33) I hope to one day live completely off the grid. 

34) And I hope one day to make a living by writing. 

35) I clearly have a lot of work ahead of me to get to 33 & 34. 

36) I can’t watch scary stuff before bedtime. It gives me nightmares. 

37) I prefer Sci/Fi and Fantasy but will read some types of romance and mysteries.

38) I read science books for fun.

39) I read books on grammar for fun too. 

40) I like bananas but dislike anything banana flavored.

41) I love anything watermelon flavored but dislike the fruit.

42) Clowns freak me out.

43) I can’t stand emory boards or the sound of things being sanded.

44) This is as far as I’ve gotten in life so this is where I’ll stop. 






Word Counts – UGH!

Word Counts… I hate them. 

They’re little, wart skinned gremlins. They perch just in the corner of your vision and mock. Their eyes are hourglasses with perpetually more sand at the bottom than the top. 

And yet… I use them. 

I set mine ridiculously low because if I made it reasonable and missed it I’d beat myself up. If I missed enough times I’d be too bruised to continue and I’d just chuck the whole laptop out the window and move on to something easier like finger painting. 

Even with the bar set so low there are times it takes me hours to reach the paltry sum. 

And yet … they work. 

On the days I think everything I touch is crap. The days when writing is the absolutely last thing I want to do. The little word count gremlin whispers at me. 

“C’mon,” It whines, “You sneeze more words then your goal. If you don’t like them tomorrow you can take them out. Just freaking do it you wuss!”

And … I do. 


What process works for you? Do you use guilt or rewards to help you finish your projects?