Monthly Archives: August 2014

How Rare Is Rare for a Lobster?

Two friends of mine rescued a very rare yellow lobster from the seafood section at a local grocery store and found her a new home in a New Hampshire aquarium. Now they are writing a children’s book about her. Follow the adventures of Libbie the Lobster…

Libbie the Lobster

When I began researching the beautiful yellow lobster we later named Libbie, I found articles that reported she was 1 in 30 million, others that said 1 in 20 million. I learned that other lobsters are quite rare too. For example, albinophoto lobster2 lobsters are the most rare, next are the yellow, followed by calico, blue and even a rare two-toned lobster.

So I began to wonder, What causes this anomaly? And, If so many are found, then why are they rare at all?

As with all life it seems, the color of a lobster is determined by both genetics and environment. Slight genetic mutations occur throughout nature. Libbie was likely a result of this sort of mutation. But environment can also play a role. Because yellow lobsters seem to be found in certain common areas along the coast, it has been hypothesized that certain algae could be the culprit.

I…

View original post 186 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors

Sage advice for writers – ALL writers.

Thought Catalog

A lot of people think they can write or paint or draw or sing or make movies or what-have-you, but having an artistic temperament doth not make one an artist.

Even the great writers of our time have tried and failed and failed some more. Vladimir Nabokov received a harsh rejection letter from Knopf upon submitting Lolita, which would later go on to sell fifty million copies. Sylvia Plath’s first rejection letter for The Bell Jar read, “There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.” Gertrude Stein received a cruel rejection letter that mocked her style. Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way earned him a sprawling rejection letter regarding the reasons he should simply give up writing all together. Tim Burton’s first illustrated book, The Giant Zlig, got the thumbs down from Walt Disney Productions, and even Jack Kerouac’s perennial On the Road received a particularly blunt…

View original post 712 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How Did Libbie get to Publix?

Have you heard the story of Libbie the Lobster?

Libbie the Lobster

Heather Chalmers and I have been so excited by the large number of fans Libbie the Lobster has acquired since our adventure began to liberate Libbie from becoming someone’s dinner feast. People love to talk about the story of her rescue.

I cannot help but smile when I see people’s’  faces light up when they see me and know about Libbie.download I’ve been told this is a great “human interest” story, so I imagine people are thirsty for good news these days. If some happiness can be brought into people’s’ lives in the form of a beautiful yellow lobster now named Libbie, then I’m all for it!

In talking with people about the story I have found that the most frequently asked question about Libbie is this: “How did she (Libbie) end up in a Publix Supermarket if she’s so rare?” I wondered the same thing myself a couple of…

View original post 141 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Meet Guest Author Olivia Ostergaard

Blindogg Books is proud to share this post from The Story Reading Ape!!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Pic 03Hi, everyone! I’m new Indie author, Olivia Ostergaard. I’ve just published my first book, a memoir, titled “Looking at the Unseen: My Guide Dog Journey,” from Xulon Press. As you see from the reference to a guide dog, I’m legally blind, but for clarification, we’ll just say blind, okay? Anyway, I felt I had a story to share, and knew the day I graduated with Fenway, that I would write the back story of how I acquired this fabulous pooch. It took almost ten years, and I went through a lot. I cried a lot, and you can blame it on Menopause! Ha, ha

Check out my LinkedIn page, along with Twitter, and you’ll find out more about me.

LatU

Back Cover Text

Looking at the Unseen: My Guide Dog Journey” is the story of Olivia’s ten-year struggle to get a guide dog. Not just any dog—but…

View original post 555 more words

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Presenting Chapter One of “Eyewitness Blues”

Eyewitness Blues, is now available!

The kindle version can be found here…

The paperback version can be found here…

In the meantime, I invite you to enjoy the first chapter:

Eyewitness Blues final cover

Eyewitness Blues

Chapter One

Martin wasn’t asking for his life to be a fun-filled ride down a water slide…he just didn’t want to feel like it was being flushed down a toilet every day. Even on those rare occasions when he seemed to catch a lucky break it wasn’t really luck, it was more like getting plucked from the toilet and dropped directly into the cesspool.

How else could you describe his current situation?

The ape literally held Martin’s life in his hands.

“Ple-e-e-ase,” Martin begged. He could feel the blood rushing to his head. If there had been any money in his pockets it would have fallen out.

Martin’s St. Cajetan medallion dangled in front of his eyes, but his attention was focused on the expressionless face of Lorenzo the ape Aponte. Lorenzo leaned over the parapet and looked down at Martin. Lorenzo could have been reading a menu or dangling a man eight stories above the asphalt, it was impossible to tell.

Martin tilted his head back and saw a blue minivan exiting the parking garage below. He looked back up at the ape.

“Please,” he tried again. “I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you. Please.”

Lorenzo released Martin’s left ankle, sending a bolt of panic through Martin’s body. He closed his eyes and waited for the impact with the ground. When he opened his eyes the ape was scratching his nose with his free right hand. He glared down at Martin and spoke for the first time.

“So talk.”

“Yeah, yeah!” Martin said. “I will! Just pull me up. Please.”

The wheels that had driven Martin Aquino to his current predicament had been put into motion a year ago with the seemingly innocent purchase of a used car. It had taken him months to save the money, nothing fancy, just a 13-year-old Honda with about a million miles on it, but at least he had a car.

Unfortunately, Martin hadn’t known that the dude who sold him the car wasn’t the rightful owner…he was the guy who had stolen it from the projects in South Providence where some idiot had left it sitting in front of a bodega with the engine running. The Rhode Island DMV hadn’t scrutinized the signatures on the paperwork any more than Martin had; a cursory glance at best, as long as the government got their money they were happy.

For a week Martin drove the car around, unaware that there was twenty-five pounds of pot in the trunk until the pot’s rightful owner, a guy named Mutt, showed up to claim his weed. Mutt gave Martin two choices…he could be buried in the car or he could work off his mistake. Martin wasn’t sure exactly what his mistake had been, other than buying the wong used car, but he knew for sure it wasn’t worth getting dead over.

So he went to work for Mutt.

Martin became Mutt’s errand boy, making pick-ups, drops and, on more than one occasion, ripping people off for thousands of dollars on phony drug deals.

It was better than being dead—until Mutt ripped off the wrong guy.

Mutt’s victim worked for local mob boss, Don Gammino, and the ten grand they got from him was collection money. Needless to say, the mark didn’t live very long after Gammino found out about the con, but he did live long enough to tell Gammino about Martin.

And now the world was upside down—literally.

From Martin’s inverted perspective, the airliner lifting off the runway at TF Green airport looked like it was trying to land on its roof.

Martin’s stomach lurched momentarily when he felt sudden movement, but he felt a wave of relief when he realized he was moving up. The ape dropped him on the concrete deck and loomed over him. Martin froze, except for the trembling.

“Okay, ass-wipe, let’s hear it,” the ape said, “and it better be the truth or your last meal is going to be pavement.”

Martin nodded rapidly.

“His name is Mutt. He made me work for him, I had no choice.”

“Where can I find this Mutt?”

“He’ll kill me if I tell you.”

The ape reached for Martin’s ankle. “You either tell me what I want to know, or we find out if you can fly.”

The look in the ape’s eyes was enough to convince Martin. He told the ape everything he knew about Mutt—where his stash house was, where he hung out and where he liked to eat breakfast.

Lorenzo stepped over Martin to leave, pausing mid-step, his work boot hovering an inch above Martin’s face. Even though he feared his face was about to get squashed by Lorenzo’s size twelve, Martin became oddly fixated on a pebble wedged into one of the treads. The stomping never came. Instead, Lorenzo laughed and continued on his way to his car.

Only after Martin heard the tires of the ape’s car squealing on the level below did he pick himself up and brush the dust from his pants. “Jesus fucking Christ, I hate my life.”

He looked around to make sure nobody heard him. A seagull hovered high above him in the grey October sky. Martin watched it with envy.

“Just fly away,” he said. “God, I wish I could just fly away to an island somewhere. All by myself. No people, no problems.”

The chirp of a nearby car alarm snapped Martin out of his trance. A man in a trench coat, carrying a briefcase, approached a nearby BMW. Martin finished dusting himself off, drawing an over-the-shoulder glance from the man as he closed his car door and pulled away.

Martin rode the elevator to the ground floor and returned to his booth at the garage’s exit. The door of the other booth opened and Frank Edler crossed the garage exit lane.

“You were gone for a while,” he said to Martin. “You’re lucky Marco didn’t—whoa! What’s wrong? You look like death-warmed-over. What happened up there?”

“Nothing,” Martin said. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Don’t worry about it? If Marco had come by while you were up there, I would have been just as screwed as you. I have to worry about it.”

“Calm down, Frank. Marco didn’t come and I’m back. Let’s just get back to work.”

“You go up top with a leg-breaker for Don Gammino and come back a half hour later looking like death and I’m supposed to forget about it? I don’t think so.”

“Jesus, Frank. I got enough shit going on…I don’t need it from you, too.”

“I don’t care what you…”

A pickup truck pulled to a stop at Frank’s booth and the driver rolled his window down.

Martin motioned toward the truck with his chin. “Better take care of that,” he told Frank.

Frank looked over his shoulder at the truck. The driver looked back at him and waved his ticket.

“I’m not gonna get fired for you, that’s all I’m saying.” Frank stomped back to his booth.

A week later, just as Martin finished his shift and was about to leave work, a car pulled to a stop at his booth. Martin’s stomach clenched when Lorenzo rolled his window down and told Martin to get in the car. Martin was convinced that his life, as shitty as it might be, was almost over. With a strange mixture of fear and acceptance he got into the car.

To his great surprise, and even greater relief, the ape took Martin to see Don Gammino, who wanted to thank him for the information about Mutt, ensure him that he was in no danger and, surprise of all surprises, offer him a job washing dishes at his restaurant. It would mean some extra money, not a lot, but God knew he needed whatever he could get.

More than that, it meant he wasn’t going to die…not today anyway.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Announcing … a new novel by Tim Baker!!

I’d like to thank fellow author (and super-fan) Susan Toy for this glowing (gushing even) post about the upcoming release of Eyewitness Blues.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

My good friend and fellow author, Tim Baker (previously featured on Reading Recommendations), has already written and published six novels that are all set in the Florida community of Flagler Beach on the Palm Coast. I have devoured every one of these suspense/thrillers and not only love Tim’s writing, but also the characters he’s created (some recurring) and his descriptions of life in a tourist beach town. I was honoured when Tim asked me to read an early manuscript of his next book, titled Eyewitness Blues and I’m happy to tell you now that this latest publication is every bit as good – no, it’s even BETTER! – than the other novels! I highly recommend reading this new book and suggest that, if you haven’t already read Tim Baker’s other novels, you go back and read them all, right now! You will not be disappointed! (And here’s a little…

View original post 592 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

It Was Much More Than an Interview – It Could Save a Life

On Friday August 1, 2014 I had the pleasure of interviewing Mickey Jones on my radio show (as I warned you about here).

If you don’t know who Mickey Jones is – look here. If you don’t know about my radio program on 97.3  The Surf – look here.

Anyway – about the interview…

Just prior to calling him, I played the song Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers to get the listening audience primed – since Mickey was the drummer on that track.

secret agent manI called Mickey and we exchanged pleasantries off-air while the song played. Mind you – Mickey couldn’t hear the song so he had no idea what the audience was hearing.

When the song finished I brought our mics up and welcomed Mickey to the show, telling him that we had just played Secret Agent Man.

“That’s a good song,” he said. “Let me tell you a story about that song…”

He launched into a story about the making of Secret Agent Man, which led to another story about Johnny Rivers, which led to a story about touring England with the Rolling Stones as their opening act, which led to a story about John Lennon telling Mickey he hoped the Ed Sullivan show would be seen in California, which led to…

Well – you get it.

We talked about his book That Would Be Me (a must read for music lovers) and his work-in-progress I’m That Guy which will chronicle his acting career. Mickey is a born story-teller so neither of these books will disappoint.

That Would Be MeNinety minutes after we began I had to interrupt him in the middle of a story about Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He sounded disappointed that he had to stop. I really think he felt as though he was just getting started!

Judging by the response from the listeners I should have let him keep going.

Talking with Mickey is like having a conversation with your best friend – the one you haven’t seen in a while, but as soon as you get together it’s like you just spoke yesterday.

Shortly before we wrapped things up I let a cat out of the bag. I revealed a bit of a secret on the air that Mickey doesn’t talk about.

As far as he knew it was just another interview about rock-and-roll, and he was fine with that, but there was a more important message I wanted to get out.

Quite simply – Mickey needs a kidney.

When I first met him in 2011 he had found a donor and things were looking good. Unfortunately, complications arose and the donor was told, for her own health reasons, that she could not donate. In the meantime, Mickey had been removed from the waiting list for reasons I am not sure of.

The would-be donor (we’ll call her Lark) asked me if we could interview Mickey and get the word out about Mickey’s need for a kidney. Like Mickey, Lark is also an incredibly self-less person and even though she can’t donate her kidney she has taken it upon herself to help find another donor.

I announced it on-air without giving Mickey any advance warning and he was immediately choked up with gratitude (although he tried to blame it on his allergies!).

Tim on the air

On the air talking to Mickey Jones on WQFB 97.3 The Surf – flaglerbeachradio.com

Here’s the thing that struck me the most; Mickey spends a great deal of his time and energy traveling the country, and sometimes the world, to participate and lend his support to charities – especially charities aimed at helping children. (click here to see one of the charities Mickey supports – where he and I first met)

Putting his own health issues aside, he selflessly devotes himself to causes that will help others…but when I reached out to my listening audience for help, he was so overwhelmed that he was left speechless for a few seconds – something that doesn’t happen too often!

The bottom line is this…Mickey’s chances of finding a kidney increase greatly every time somebody hears about his situation – so spreading the word is the first, and biggest step.

You can help greatly simply by sharing or reblogging this post.

share this

Finally – Anybody interested in learning about donating a kidney can contact:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

If your last name begins with A-K, call Jessica at 310-423-8463

If your last name begins with L-Z, call Enrique at 310-423-8463

It is very important to tell them you wish to be tested to donate to Mickey Jones

If you missed the interview don’t worry, I will be posting a link to an encore presentation very soon.

 

As always – thank you for reading

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized