Lately I have noticed the consistent march of mangrove seedpods in the water off the dock–more than normal. These king tides reach higher up into the mangroves, where the pods detach and begin to float vertically in the water, the tides shuttling them to far away places. A soaking of the pod softens the outside shell and it begins to peels away, allowing the seedpod to germinate. The vertical position is by design so when the tide drops the seeds settle upright in the soft muds along the banks, providing the ideal location to spread. I cannot help but think how closely these pods remind me of the seeds of Phragmites, releasing at once, wondering if these mangrove pods are also carrying the alien contagion.
Looking at this picture of my past I can remember everything about that day: How I felt, whom I was with, where and why I was there. I can recall the smell the salt in the air and the heat of the sand beneath my feet.
But an odd thing happened the other day whileattending a wedding in upstate NY. Mywife and I took a short trip from where we were staying to see the home that our dear friends once owned; it was a warm and beautiful home, a camp as it is referred to, and one we had been to many times, tucked away in the Adirondacks along Upper Saranac Lake. This place became the inspiration for the ending to my Sci-Fi novella, November Seed.
When we arrived at the camp, I got out of the car to snap an image and was overcome by a strong sensation of a past life that was my own. I realized I was standing in the exact location of where a very graphic scene of my story took place. One I had conjured up in my mind months after leaving here for the last time.
But I was not just standing on that road up in the Adirondacks remembering this scene; I was standing in the road where my main characters were dealing with the end of days, protecting their families and friends. I could see the entrance to the Point down the road and feel the tension rising within, my back pressed against the bark of the oak tree, the Moss 10-gauge held along my thumping chest. I could hear the pick-up truck approaching, its tires crunching along the snow-packed gravel and the tick of the engine getting louder. Then taking a few quick breaths I stepped out into the road with one hand along the trigger, the other signaling the pickup to stop….
I walked over to that tree and held my hand against the bark then turned to look back along the gravel road. The smell of sulfur in the air seemed so real to me and I looked down at my feet expecting to see the litter of spent cartridge shells sizzling into the snow.
This is what I enjoy most about writing, dissolving into a hyper-reality where I am alongside my characters; watching and feeling everything they see and do. If I can go the real-world location and relive what took place there, then I know I have created the perfect scene.
It is hard to believe that five years ago, on this date in a NYC coffee shop on the upper east side, I started my writing career. You can see other frustrated writers around me, but this cozy place became the catalyst for putting pen to paper, or in my case, fingers to keypad. Since then, my debut novellas, November Seed& From Europa With Love, continue to have steady daily downloads on Amazon and the fan base, spread over eight countries, is still growing. So thanks to all who support and push me onwards.
For the past few years I have been working on a full-length novel called Silversides which takes place on Gliese 581 g. As a new writer, I discovered why only the most seasoned writers leave the planet to tell a story and why most extraterrestrials come to Earth to kick our ass… because when you leave the planet you have to invent everything. Along the way, I have written out weak characters and developed new ones, dragging along Kulcin who is the protagonist in, From Europa With Love. Writing is a process of one step forward, two back but I have made some great plot changes with refined twists and developed a new ending the reader will not see coming. Finally I can see the light at the end of the editing tunnel having received great feedback from Betabooks.co
I do not follow a linear path and have several other novels in the treatment stage that I am equally excited about, such as: HUM, Suicides Of Spring and Glycerine to name a few. Recently, I have joined forces with a fellow writer (G+’er) to compile a list of shorts we have written and put out onto various sites, such as: Offworlders.com (my favorite), Wattpad (where one of my shorts made it into their premiere eZine, TEVUN KRUS).and other author/reader sites. But it is G+ that has taught me to be a better writer because of the invaluable advice and knowledge learned and shared by such super cool folks.
It’s going to happen within the first two weeks in November, Phragmites will release their seeds on a day like this. Look for blue skies, steel-bottomed clouds, high gusts and it will feel like it could snow. But don’t be fooled, they are not the first flurries of the season. My prediction is November 15th.
For the first time in years, I will miss this spectacular event in the NE, US, so I need your eyes and camera phones on this one. When you see them, take pictures and post them here. Do not get any on you–you now know the consequence.
As a writer of near SciFi, it’s always a great feeling to have written a work and then see a related article sometime after publication. This is what I had in mind when writing, November Seed, except my alien seed a little sexier.
In September of 2015, I was invited on WLFR.fm during Mark Grossman’s Eclectic Journey segment, talking about Stockton University (my alum) of my Sci-Fi, November Seed, and a little about the music and genre of Sci-Fi that inspires me to write. November Seed has been available for FREE on: Amazon, Offworlders.com, Wattpad and Smashwords and has been receiving glowing reviews for me to continue the saga (which I will). Below is a recording of that session
You can stream Mark’s Eclectic Journey every Wednesday (3:00 PM –> 6:00 PM) from the internet by going to wlfr.fm
If you are fortunate to live in South jersey, you can catch it on the radio at FM 91.7 on your dial.
I am very excited to announce that November Seed is now available on www.OffWorlders.com for FREE. Click on the image below.
I selected www.OffWorlders.comto make my novella, November Seed, available to Sci-Fi readers everywhere. I love this innovative and content rich site and what the folks at OffWorlders are doing here–putting authors in close contact with their readers. This is more than just a distribution point for authors. I see great things happening here at OffWorlders, so follow along where I, and other authors, will be posting some short sci-fi in the near future.
Every November, in the northeast, when the air is crisp and strong gusts sweep against a quilted sky, Phragmites will jettison their seed in one spectacular and wondrous event that can easily be mistaken for the first snow flurries of the season. But their legions are on the move, quietly increasing their ranks.
This event happens in the first two weeks of November and I was only one day off this year–my predictions are getting better. If was supposed to be very cloudy today, but as you can see, these are the steel grey bottom clouds I was speaking of. Ironic that today is Friday the 13th.
During lunch, I took to the streets, walking along the infected, the seeds were everywhere and inconspicuous. People were just minding their own business and busy on their way. I watched as store doors opened and the seeds ushered in around the people entering them. The invasion, quiet, concealing, and spreading rapidly. I had reports from a friend in Colorado (yesterday) who claimed to see the seeds in the air. This is their time.
As a former Marine Biologist, this was and still is my personal holiday. I look forward to this event each and every year, like clockwork. I also look like a crazy person on the streets of NYC, holding my cell phone in one hand, trying to capture the seeds on video, while the other grabs at imaginary objects in the air. It must look quite comical. But I have yet to capture this digitally. They are fleeting, clever and elusive.
If anyone can capture this on film, send them my way. And most importantly, thanks for reading my work. Here are two images from a friend’s terrace furniture in NYC. I even saw one seed floating around in a subway car yesterday. There is no escape, but a beautiful thing to see.