Psychic Review—Black Sheep, Issue #121

© Psychic (F. P. Dorchak and Duvall Design, coming mid-2014)

© Psychic (F. P. Dorchak and Duvall Design, coming mid-2014)

I just received my October-November issue of The Black Sheep in the mail yesterday, Number 121. In it, Madelon Rose Logue, aka “MRL,” included a review of Psychic:

“This gritty, new (Sethian) remote-viewer-spy thriller (the fourth novel by Frank Dorchak and his best to date) is set in a future probable reality in which both John F. Kennedy and his brother became Presidents of the USA and are not assassinated.

“It is packed full of unanswered questions (until later, that is) intrigue, and an assortment of dreams, OOBEs, fragment and whole personalities. There are giddy time and place shifts that sweep you hither and yon in most fiendish, devilish, Halloweenish ways that won’t let you stop to put it down for even a really good glass of iced tea.

“As I was caught up in this fantastic story I was surprised to find out what JFK had done that reminded me of a talk I went to hear that was sponsored by The Monroe Institute  back in 1977 (the “cold war” years). We were told how the American and Russian government-trained-remote-viewer spies would meet out-of-body and decide which ‘secrets’ to let their respective government have!

“Frank’s three other novels are” Sleepwalkers (2001), The Uninvited (2013), and ERO (2013).”

Here is a shot of the actual review. MRL’s fanzine is only hardcopy:

Psychic Review, The Black Sheep, #121, October-November, 2014.

Psychic Review, The Black Sheep, #121, October-November, 2014.

And you know the most interesting thing about the whole review? This line: “We were told how the American and Russian government-trained-remote-viewer spies would meet out-of-body and decide which ‘secrets’ to let their respective government have!

Wow. The amazing world we live in!

Thank you, MRL! Madelon is quite the nice lady, we met years ago at a Seth Conference that had actually gone on in my town. I’ve never been able to attend one for scheduling reasons (you know, that “day job/shift work” thing), so jumped at the chance to meet her. Ever since, we’ve been corresponding and keeping in contact, and I occasionally submit to her fanzine.

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Colorado Leaf Peeping

Colorado Highway 67 to Cripple Creek/Victor, Sept 26, 2014

Colorado Highway 67 to Cripple Creek/Victor, Sept 26, 2014

Yesterday I took the day off to do some Colorado Leaf Peeping with my wife and mom-in-law. It was a beautiful day!

We drove Highway 24 west, to Divide, Colorado, hanging a left on Highway 67, to Cripple Creek/Victor. On Highway 67 we headed to Victor, Colorado, a still-active mining town, on Highway 64-cum-81, then took 67 into Cripple Creek. After Cripple Creek, we hooked off to the left, and took Teller County Road 1 to 11, met up with Highway 9 to 50, and went through Canon City and Penrose on our way home. From Teller Country Road 1 through Penrose, there isn’t any leaf peeping—none—but it is a gorgeous drive in its own right up to Highway 50. But don’t drive it if you’re looking for golden aspen leaves.

However, do take the drive from Highway 24 through Victor and Cripple Creek!

Edges of Fire! Zoom in real close on this tree! Leaves just starting to turn!

Edges of Fire! Zoom in real close on this tree! Leaves just starting to turn!

This drive is Colorado gorgeous! It may last another week, or just days, I don’t know when it started, but I’m thinking it’s already been about a week, because last week Highway 24 was packed, and that highway isn’t normally that packed this time of year, except for when everyone’s heading out of town for some sort of vacation, and the only thing going on now is leaf peeping. A friend asked me to use my “superpowers” to keep the changing leaves bright and awesome so she and her boyfriend could catch them on their Harley trip, but I don’t know if I can. I can hold off rain when I’m mowing my lawn, but…I’m doing my best, Mandy!

Here’s a link for the rest of Colorado.

Enjoy the turning leaves wherever you reside!

Happy Fall!

Colorado Highway 67, Sept 26, 2014

Colorado Highway 67, Sept 26, 2014

 

The Content Flood & Authors Whining Part Deux

Originally posted on Write on the River:

IMG_0819Some thought my last post at Digital Book World was aimed at Authors United, but it wasn’t. I mentioned them as simply the clearest example of a misguided business focus by authors. We all can be a bit, shall we say, unfocused. Some find me a bit bleary-eyed at times. But that’s Cool Gus waking me up too early in the morning.  Or is it Becca– she always seems to be on top.

It’s easy to blame Amazon for declining sales. While for Hachette authors, they have a legitimate hatchet to grind (couldn’t resist), it’s not the complete story. Also, they are focusing on an outlet, when they signed a contract with the distributor, which refuses to sign a contract with the outlet. Their real gripe is with the organization they are contractually obligated to.

Be that as it may be, and it is; we also have some indie authors…

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Publishing Is Rotten To The Core

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

"Rotten apple" by Kulmalukko. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“Rotten apple” by Kulmalukko. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

There is something seriously askew with the supposed values of the publishing business.

The most egregious behavior continually gets overlooked, ignored, and swept under the carpet, in favor of pursuing pet targets.

As always, I’m conscious of whose agenda this serves and why writers allow themselves to be used as pawns in this game.

Exhibit A: Harlequin

Amazon is regularly slated for the way it manages its tax affairs. I have written extensively about this before, but, in short, Amazon is using extremely common methods for minimizing its tax bills that are used by every major tech company (and many other multinational corporations too).

You can argue these loopholes should be closed (and I would agree), but these actions are legal. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the major publishers, and the global media conglomerates which own…

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Pink Gloves

Red. Black. Pink. (Walt Cisco, Dallas Morning News [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Red. Black. Pink. (Walt Cisco, Dallas Morning News [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

“She turns.

Murder screams through her head.

It’s not her angst-ridden, desperate face that JFK and the public sees, but the calm, placid face of Jackie Kennedy.

Pleasantly smiling face.

Calmly twisting wave of a white-gloved hand. Hair…hat?

Pink.

Pink, pink, pink…outfit?

A kind of “coatdress”—pink…pink hat.

Red roses.

Red.

Pretty, red, thorny.

Pink.

She can still feel it, the threat—it wasn’t supposed to be this way—but it’s still there—she can feel it like an oncoming

(Blaaack…black, black….)

shockwave that has already happened.

Unstoppable.

Pink, red, thorny, black.

Please, Mister President, you have to get down!

Too late, it’s too late. Hot

(red)

splatters her pink face, pink body, pink life…not once, but twice…

Pink, pink, pink…

…husband bowls over…collapses into her…before a black

(black black black…)

terror drowns out her soul—”

Psychic, Wailing Loon, 2014

The above comes from my newest novel, Psychic, about a hotline psychic who becomes embroiled in a government conspiracy that doesn’t involve JFK as you might think it would.

But, an interesting thing happened on the way to releasing this book.

I’d researched and researched my scenes, including this one. I knew that Jackie wore a pink coatdress and white gloves. Knew it. Yet, when I had my proofreader, Mandy, give me her notes, she’d pointed out that I’d written pink gloves.

Pink gloves?!

No way!

PINK?!

Very embarrassing.

But I went back in there, and sure enough, I’d written “pink…pink gloves.

I don’t remember ever writing that, yet there it was. Anyone who knows anything about that day knows Jackie wore a pink dress with white gloves.

Writing mechanics and proofreading aside…this highlights something this novel trucks heavily in: alternate realities. It appears a very real alternate reality had (once again) made its way into my reality. Some alternate “Frank” (or, perhaps, Victor Black?) had weaseled into my world and changed that word to “pink.” I had no memory of that—at all—and it actually gave me cause for pause. That particular error just really made me think, gee, where the hell had that come from!

So, perhaps along the lines of my ring and grape episodes, this little morsel had seemingly come out of nowhere. Why? Of all the comments Mandy had given me, this one item really threw me for a loop….

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

Had I really made that error?

Had there really been one shot or two?

Guess we’ll never really know.

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Vigilance is Job 6

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The Cottage

The Cottage, Lake Placid, New York (Aug, 15, 2014)

The Cottage, Lake Placid, New York (Aug, 15, 2014)

I’m not a foodie in any sense of the term—I jokingly consider myself a “functional eater”—but I do appreciate good food, ambiance (and, of course, the company!), and a killer view, all of which this little place has!

It’s called, The Cottage Restaurant, and it sits directly on Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake, at 77 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid, New York 12946.

You can sit inside or outside, and we always opt for outside. You can see why. The view is fantastic, and this time out, we spotted all kinds of activity on the lake (despite the weather), from actual swimmers (we’re talking long-distance, here; this is the Adirondacks and the home to the 1932 and 1980 Olympics!) to paddle boarders.

When you’re done, take a drive around the lake and through the town and the surrounding area, maybe even check the ski jump (we’ve been up inside the ski jump 2 or 3 times), Olympic Center Museum, Whiteface Mountain (I skied it once), or High Falls Gorge (we haven’t yet seen this, it was raining when we stopped by, after having visited Ausable Chasm earlier in the day), down the road a little ways…

Or not.

And just hang out for spell, enjoying the view….

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Donnelly’s Corners

Donnelly's Corners, Saranac Lake, NY  (Aug 12, 2014)

Donnelly’s Corners, Saranac Lake, NY (Aug 12, 2014)

If you go anywhere upstate New Yorkish during the summer, and by “upstate” I mean within an hour’s driving distance of the “Tri-Lakes” area (Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Tupper Lake), you absolutely need to stop and partake of the heavenly delights at this little soft serve ice cream stand that has been in business for 61 years.

Donnelly’s Corners.

“Okay there are ice cream stands and then there is Donnelly’s…It was my first time there, after a 3 hour ride from Albany to have lunch in Lake Placid , you might as well go 45 mins more for this ice cream, it’s smooth, rich and creamy and nothing like you’ve tasted before.

Kevin J., of Troy, N.Y., Yelp review, 7/9/14

Donnelly’s Corners is at the intersection of the Harrietstown Road and Route 186 (aka, Routes 86 and 186). The actual address is 1556 State Route 86, Saranac Lake, New York 12983.

I’m told they no longer make their own cream, but wherever they get it from, it continues to taste like I remember it. Outstanding. They also deliver “their” cream to at least one other ice cream soft serve stand, up in Brainardsville, called Harrigans, at the intersection of Brainardsville Road and Lake Street (aka, Routes 374 and 24/190). The actual address is RR 374, Brainardsville, NY 12915.

Donnelly’s is open 11 a.m. to 9 or 9:30 p.m., but only during the summer, so, sorry, you just missed ‘em, having closed after Labor Day weekend (Harrigans also closes after Labor Day weekend; sorry, I tried to get these posts out quicker, but just didn’t happen…).

As to its history, here it is, from the yelp page:

“Established in 1953.

“Crystal Spring Dairy was purchased by Martin and Nora Donnelly in November 1920.  The dairy farm grew and expanded over the years. In 1953, their daughters, Rita and Mary, went to a trade show and saw the unique machine that made the Ice Cream that we still make today. Their son, Francis, turned the warming hut that had been used on the ski hill just down the road into the stand we have today.

“We opened in August of 1953 and haven’t missed a season since. In the early years the stand operated 6 days and were  closed on Mondays. It opened July 4th and closed before Labor Day. Family members worked the stand, and in the 1960’s, family friends were hired to help out.

“Peter (Francis’ oldest son) re-joined the dairy in 1968 and is still operating the stand today. In 1969 we started opening 7 days a week, and a year later pushed our opening date up to Memorial Day, and stayed open thru Labor Day. Over the years, the flavor offerings were expanded and hours have been extended.”

I went to school with one of the cousins (I believe the relation was) to that family. When we used to ride our bikes to high school (uphill both ways—if you don’t believe me, drive that route), we sometimes stopped at that house up on the rise to the stand’s left.

Donnelly’s does a twisted-with-vanilla, dual-flavored cone, the schedule of which is listed on their Facebook page. Vanilla is the constant flavor.

My favorite flavor?

Black raspberry. And, for once, the day we first went (we made two trips…), it was a Tuesday, so that was what we got!

Yes, we’d come here many times, when I was a kid, and even now, when I visit this stand, it’s never empty for very long.

But, there is one unknown lady I simply must call out: the second time we were there, this one lady and her family were walking back to their van (on the end of the parking lot), when she did a most heinous thing: without batting an eye, she took one more lick of her cone—then summarily dumped it all in the trash!

And…and…she never looked back!

I was…aghast.

Where were New York’s Finest when you really needed them, for cryin’ out loud?

The world wept that day.

Okay, don’t be like Unknown Donnelly’s Dumper…when you get your cone (sizes “small” and “large,” and by that I mean “large” and “HUGE“), relish it.

Enjoy it.

Revel in its flavor and texture.

But, not for too long, okay, ’cause, you know, it is soft ice cream, and it is summer.

Mark this as “Must See” for 2015…and the rest of your life.

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The Adirondack Carousel

Adirondack Carousel, William Morris Park, Saranac Lake, NY (Aug 15, 2014)

Adirondack Carousel, William Morris Park, Saranac Lake, NY (Aug 15, 2014)

I spent some time in the William Morris Memorial Park, (note: there are two separate links there), in Saranac Lake, as a kid, with my siblings. My mom would take us all into town as she ran her errands, and—now that I think of it—we seemed to have been left here on our own recognizance. Or maybe she was just elsewhere in the park, talking to her friends, or whatever, but in any case, I spent “some time” in “the park” (okay, after finding this link, it does look like it was a “day care” park).

One of the key memories I have of that park, was swinging on the swing set with a friend who was looking to become a priest. I often wonder where and how W. B. is doing.

Anyway, one day while at Donnelly’s Corners a couple weeks ago, we saw a sign “talking” about an “Adirondack Carousel” in Saranac (the locals sometimes refer to “Saranac Lake” simply as “Saranac,” though there is a “Saranac, New York“), at the William Morris Park, so I thought we should check it out. Carousel information is here and here.

The carousel is composed of handcarved rides and was pretty cool looking. My favorite was the loon. There was also some nice “carnival” artwork on the above skirt as well. But, have to say, the interior of the building really needs an air-conditioner!

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St. John in the Wilderness Cemetery – Upstate New York Vacation 2014 – Part 4 of 4

St. John in the Wilderness Cemetery, Lake Clear, N.Y.  (Aug 15, 2014)

St. John in the Wilderness Cemetery, Lake Clear, N.Y. (Aug 15, 2014)

After visiting Ausable Chasm, the St. Lawrence River, and Boldt Castle, we made a drive past the old homestead and surrounds, including visiting one of NYS’s fish hatcheries (I used to bike down to the “Adirondack Fish Hatchery,” as it is now called, as a kid; there was no fence, then, and I’d walk among the pools of little fishies), and the local cemetery.

I like visiting cemeteries…I know, sooner or later it won’t be a “visit” (not that I plan on being buried), but I like them for several reasons. Anyway, I realized I’d never documented the cemetery I grew up near, in Lake Clear, N.Y.

The cemetery is part of the church we used to attend for part of my childhood (my family and I are no longer Catholic), and happened to be a short bike ride down the road from where we lived, the church located at 6148 State Route 30, Lake Clear, NY 12945. The cemetery is located in the opposite direction, to Lake Clear Junction, where you take a left (remaining on Route 30), then drive up just a touch, and you’ll see it on your right, just before the turn-off for the dump.

Anyway, I know—knew—several interred here. One was a childhood friend (Dirk Ewan), and one was Mr. Hohmeyer, whom I’ve talked about before. Dirk was three years older than me and a big dude. He was 17 when he died. I remember him having been a gentle soul…an extremely kind-hearted individual…which is rare in a strapping, seventeen-year-old (I could be wrong, but my young-self’s recollections seem to recall him being kinda big). His mom was a friend of my mom, and he and his family used to come down to the lake and hang out with us. Dirk, however, would never go into water above his shins. He was deathly afraid of it, and made no bones about it.

In 1974, he drowned.

An accident, but he drowned.

The Trapl’s lived down a little way from us, past the church. When dad had had a landscaping business (additional job, he was still a Forest Ranger), I’d go with dad helping out in any way I could, digging, muscling trees and such around, chopping out tree trunks. That last part involved Mr. Trapl. He labeled his place, “Trapl’s Yalna.” I don’t know what that means, nor the language. Google Translate said it detected the language “Azerbaijani,” and translated it into “just.” Anyway, one later afternoon-into-early-evening we’d been down there trying our damnedest to remove a tree trunk. As some may know, you don’t just “remove” tree trunks. Their roots extend at least as far down as their foliage extends upward. But we did our best, into the darkness, employing my dad’s truck, chains, and grit. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember having completed that job, but we gave it our best. We might have just cut around the visible roots and had been done with it, but I just remember all the grit and effort with my dad, and how cool it was, and that we were working into the “fall of darkness”!

One of our family members was buried (or died) here, May 7, 1968. There used to be a temporary marker. It’s long since gone.

I went to school with one of the Sayles family.

There were a couple other family names I recognized, but didn’t recognize the interred individuals.

Except for more gravestones, it looks near exactly what it looked like when I lived there (sixties and seventies), except there was no chain link fence around the back…not sure about the front, but I don’t remember one, and it really wouldn’t make sense to have a fence in the front, if there wasn’t one surrounding its perimeter.

The only other memory I have concerning this cemetery is an amusing, odd one: I was 18 and was driving alone to the dump with a load, and as I passed this cemetery, the new (at the time, 1979) Styx (one of my favorite bands at the time) tune, “Renegade” popped on the radio. I thought that was “coincidental” at the time, which I would now term “synchronistic.”

Oh mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law
Lawman has put an end to my running and I’m so far from my home
Oh mama, I can hear your crying you’re so scared and all alone
Hangman is coming down from the gallows and I don’t have very long….”

Next post: Donnelly’s Corners—the best soft ice cream ever!

 

 

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