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80 Words

A while back, I entered Atmosphere in a writing contest. I’ll find out in February whether it wins. In the meantime, I’m getting constant invitations to enter other contests. Today it was one asking for an 80 word story. Turns out I have to subscribe for $10 a month to enter, so no thanks. (Entering my novel cost a one-time fee of $65)

So here is my 80 word story.

“Thank you,” she said, for what he wasn’t sure.
It wasn’t as if he knew what he was doing, or had some kind of innate ability. In fact, he was quite aware that he was painfully inexperienced and inept.
Yet “thank you,” was what she said.
Many years later, it occurred to him that he had been nothing more than a donor.
“You are welcome,” he whispered, and then laughed, in that dishonest way that terribly sad people often do.

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Atmosphere & Ocean News

A few days ago was the one year anniversary of the debut of Atmosphere on Amazon. Ratings on both Amazon and Goodreads remain around 4.5 out of 5 stars, and the book has recieved some great reviews. If you have read the book but not reviewed in on either platform, please do. The algorhithms like reviews, and so do I.

Last week I released the harcover version, perfect as a gift for that science fiction fan in your life. Please consider it as the season comes around.

I entered Atmosphere in a first novel contest. I’ll find out if I win in February.  Because of my entry, I recieve weekly emails trying to get me to enter other contests.  Today I got one asking for an 80 word story. I wrote the story, but decided I wasn’t interested in a $10 monthly subscription just to have a chance at $100. Here is the story:

“Thank you,” she said, for what he wasn’t sure.
It wasn’t as if he knew what he was doing, or had some kind of innate ability. In fact, he was quite aware that he was painfully inexperienced and inept.
Yet “thank you,” was what she said.
Many years later, it occurred to him that he had been nothing more than a donor.
“You are welcome,” he whispered, and then laughed, in that dishonest way that terribly sad people often do.

Ocean is progressing slowly. I had to work out some issues with the science and lost track of my flow. Now I am working my way through the 33 chapters I have finished, partly to polish them up, but also to get my creative momentum back. I know where I want the story to go, but haven’t figured out how to get it there yet.  I had hoped to release it lat this year, but I may not make it until January.

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It will be really nice to have this in hand. I think Atmosphere is a good book, but Ocean will be even better. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Atmosphere so you have the background to fully appreciate Ocean.  You won’t be sorry. Just listen to what these people said:

B.K. – I was hooked from the word go. Well written, tightly plotted and such an interesting world. I don’t want to add any spoilers as the way the story unfolds is so engaging.
The characterizations are interesting and though we are just beginning our journey with them, you can already see them as well- rounded whole people.
Super excited for the next book.

J.T. – Whether you are a fan of sciFi or not, this book Is a totally enjoyable read; a vacation from reality. I genuinely look forward to the next book in this series. Kudos to David Scott Moyer. Well done!

S.J.L. – Tight plotting with an unusual thematic approach. Very engaging storytelling. Well developed diverse characters. Lush, rich, other-world flora and fauna depicted to draw the reader into the characters’ experience there. Departs nicely from pseudo-technical description of physics and spaceship operations found in many sci-fi novels. I shared it with two young adults who were very enthusiastic about the read.
Looking forward to the next one!

B.H. – I surprised myself on this one. I don’t usually read science fiction! But I was captured right away and fully enjoyed this playful romp through time and space. This book takes on serious issues but doesn’t weigh heavy. The characters are nicely developed and there are good surprises. A fun afternoon read – but leaving you with some things to ponder!

and my personal favorite:

S.K.C. – What a treat! The characters grabbed me from page one. I was impressed by the author’s ability to keep the many characters distinct and relatable. Each character was made into someone I could see and hear as I read. I felt like I knew them.
There were plenty of details, and yet never did I find myself skimming ahead to skip over an overly expansive description, because there were none (unusual for me not to skim ahead!). All the details needed were provided, but never more than were needed. Some very important facts were dropped like Easter eggs in an open field. They were there and obvious, but the author trusted his readers to pick them up, without making a huge fuss over them.
Science fiction by its nature is a balance of suspending logic and having believable (within the suspension of logic) situations and mechanics. This book nailed it!
Having met the author randomly under a giant statue at the confluence of two rivers in what seemed like the opening of a great book itself, I was excited to buy his book. I love reading “first novels,” and didn’t expect it to be this GREAT! I had to double check his bio to be sure I had it right about it being his first, because this does NOT seem like a “first novel.” It was more in the league of a Crichton or Koontz.
Nicely done! Now, I NEED that second book!
 

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The Coming Rain

Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico, 07-30-21

Which reminded me of this brilliant lyric by Bruce Cockburn:

All day the mountains rose behind a veil of smoke from burning fields
And road dust dyeing black skin bronze and the road rolling like a rough sea
It’s quiet now, just crickets and a dog fight somewhere in the far away
In my heart I hold your photograph
And the thought of you comes on like the feel of the coming rains
Hot breeze ran its fingers through the long grass of a thatched roof eave
They stuck me in the only chair they had while they cooked cassava
And a luckless hen
They asked for one well three lanterns and two hundred liters of fuel and
I said, “Who, me?”
And the time for planting’s coming soon
And the thought of you comes on like the feel of the coming rains
In the town neon flickers in the ruins
Seven crows swoop past the luscious moon
If I had wings like those there’d be no waiting
I’d come panting to your door and slide like smoke into your room
All day the mountains rose behind a veil of smoke from burning fields
And road dust dyeing black skin bronze and the road rolling like a rough sea
It’s quiet now, just crickets and a dog fight somewhere in the far away
In my heart I hold your photograph
And the thought of you comes on like the feel of the coming rains
And the time for planting’s coming soon
And the thought of you comes on like the feel of the coming rains

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Mitla Again

I went to Mitla when I was here in 2019 and took all the requisite photos.  The place was nearly empty. When I took a couple of my neighbors there this past weekend, It was obscenely overpopulated.  None of the photos I took last time would have been possible. The Guelaguetza Festival is normally at this time, so a lot of Mexicanos take vacations here.  The festival was cancelled, but the throngs still came.  Anyway, I already had all the touristy photos, so I took these three.  There used to be a trash can in the third one, but thanks to the magic of Content Aware Fill, you can enjoy the view without distraction.

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Villa De Etla, Oaxaca

Went to Villa De Etla for their inaugural cultural festival.  It was nice, with the usual over-long speeches that any inaugural event in Mexico has, some music and dancing, a few tables sampling cane sugar alcohol and sweets, and a contemporary art exhibit which was the highlight for me. All of these photos are from after, when we drove into town and wandered around.

I’m not sure of the exact story behind this magnificent mistake, but the young couple we met out front told us that it was a magical building and that construction had been halted for some reason.

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Aqueducts are all over the place down here.  I’m pretty sure they predate the Spanish invasion.

The church here was way bigger than one might expect for such a small community.  I think there must have been mineral deposits here which made the Spaniards value the location.

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That second image was taken through a hole in the door.  The church was locked up tight.

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Monte Alban

I first came to Oaxaca in 2009, on an epic road trip from Tucson to Lago Atitlan in Guatemala and back. We descended into the town out of the mountains and stayed a week.  I was completely unaware of Monte Alban sitting nestled in the hills above town.

I came again in 2018, for Dia De Los Muertes.  On that trip I visited a smaller site, Mitla, but did not go to Monte Alban because my legs would not permit me to climb around (long story).

Then I was back one more time this February, but that trip was consumed by the search for the apartment where I now live.

Today, I finally got to see the site in all of its magnificence.  Well, almost all.  Because of Covid, access is closed to the tombs which contain some spectacular paintings. I’ll have to see those next year.

Here are some photos and a video from today, starting with the “discoverer” of Monte Alban.

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Trash Collection In Mexico

In Mexico, you don’t put your trash bins at the curb to be picked up.  The garbage truck drives slowly down the street, honking its horn, and residents run out to put their own trash into it. The guys working the truck separate out some plastic bottles and cardboard by hand. I’m not sure where those go in the end. I’m not sure where any of it goes, actually.