I haven’t watched MTV or its music video awards in years. Although it’s impossible to escape the media attention given to this year’s show. For those who are concerned, no, this blog post is not going to be about Miley Cyrus or twerking.

Rather, it’s going to be how MTV helped ruin music. Which in and of itself is ironic given the fact that when MTV started it was a music pioneer. It was new to have music videos playing 24 hours a day. For those of us in the US, we were introduced to European bands that we might never heard of. And for a time, MTV was the most relevant, up-to-date thing happening in music.

In the beginning music videos were mostly bands or singers performing their songs. Throughout the 80s videos became more conceptualized, and most were visually pretty odd, that was fine and fun. What slowly started creeping into music, was the need for the musicians to be more concerned with their style and look, rather than the music.

Jump to the mid-90s and MTV was no longer the pioneering music video channel, but rather a second rate venue for sub level, pseudo-reality shows. And as the Internet grew and websites like YouTube and other video hosting sites cropped up and became more popular, anybody with a camcorder could post a music video and music died.

No longer was it about the music, it was about the look and style of the performer. It became more important to be wearing the next hottest fashion look, and have the trend setting hairstyle. Was the performer’s accessories the latest and best? Was the singer cute enough to be the next tween thing? The quality of the music ceased to matter and fell by the wayside. It didn’t matter if the person could sing or if the lyrics were abysmally moronic. As long as the performer looked good, had a peppy sound and synchronized dance steps, they became popular.

I don’t know if we will ever see bands again like America, the Rolling Stones, Rush and Queen. And those bands from the 80s who seamlessly blended video style with good music, like Duran Duran. U2, the Police, REM and Journey, just to name a few.

Now singers worry more about having the right stylist rather than the best lyricist. No longer do we have the grand symphonic sounds of Queen. Now it’s all a sugary sweet pop beat that sounds painfully similar from one song to another, one artist to another.

While MTV brought music videos to the masses in a new venue, it slowly and insidiously brought about an unwelcome change. The visuals became more important than the sound, no longer were bands concerned about the music. MTV, the very instrument that brought music into a new age, heralded its death knell. Damn shame too, I loved music and MTV during the 80s.


I decided the first book I am going to review on this blog is Chris Kluwe’s  Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies. For those who don’t know, Chris Kluwe is an NFL punter whose open letter to Maryland delegate Emmett C. Burns on the subject of same-sex marriage garnered national attention, and coined the phrase lustful cock monster. 

He has since written Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies and in a word the book is brilliant.

Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies is a no holds barred, honest appraisal of the mind boggling absurdities that surround us. Among the topics discussed are same-sex marriage, and the ridiculous use of “protect the children” as a reason for opposing those marriages, but the book is not just limited to his thoughts on same-sex marriage. He talks about the salary inequities between those we rely on everyday and those who just entertain us. I’m sure you don’t need a hint as to who makes more money, the athlete or the teacher. Also discussed are gun control and mental health care and how the two are linked. Those who use hate and fear mongering to push their own bigoted agenda are resoundingly bitch slapped in this book, and rightfully so. How can we claim to be an inclusive society when a group is allowed to use fear to relegate another group to subhuman status?

There are messages for the alien overlords who will undoubtedly try and conquer us some day. As well as Kluwe’s enlightening view on the survival of our species once he is supreme overlord. Don’t laugh, his ideas actually make more sense than some of those currently being bandied around by our actual overlords in Congress.

Another entertaining topic is the Pope’s jaunt into Twitter. Apparently the only voice the Pontiff wanted to hear was his own.

Twitter and other social media outlets are discussed and if I may reiterate a point made in the book. Internet anonymity is not a license to be an asshole.

One of my favorite chapters is the list of people he hates. It is written in such a way that it is neither malicious, nor fear mongering. Rather it is a funny look at people who, I think, deliberately annoy the majority of society and are willfully ignorant of the animosity they breed.

I’m sure that there are those who are going to be offended by this book, and his advocacy of equal rights for gays and women and women’s right to choose. As well as Kluwe’s common sense, a trait that is sorely lacking in so many today. Others will be offended by the profanity used. (Which I must say, did not bother me at all since I am a frequent user of the profane word myself.) But if the person is willing to put their prejudices aside, not use fear to make or maintain their point of view, they could have their eyes opened to the reality of how small the world we live in is and how we need to treat each other.

For those who agree with Kluwe’s point of view, (Which I freely admit to) the book is not only funny and entertaining. It gives a wide reaching and much needed voice to the need for equality for gays, and women. The need for corporations to be held accountable for their actions and the illegality of their actions. The need to raise children to be accepting and loving, not narrow and spewing vitriolic hatred towards those perceived as flawed because they are different.

Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies it’s a good book, go read it and think.


I watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas the other night. I had never read the book, but knew it dealt with the Holocaust. I’m going to talk about the end of the story so if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie and don’t want to know what happens, you don’t want to read the rest of this blog post.

While you don’t see young Jewish boy being beaten by Nazi soldier, just the knowledge that it was going to happen was unsettling. The pride in which some characters demean and degrade Jewish people was stomach turning. People really thought that, felt that, and said it.

It’s strange, I wrote a book set during the Holocaust, A Dog of War and read quite a bit about it while doing research for the book.  I’ve seen documentaries about the Holocaust and the Second World War since I was a kid. One of the best being The World at War series. If you haven’t seen it, you must. Despite knowing as much as I do about the Holocaust, I was really disturbed by the end of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It wasn’t that the young German boy was killed at the end of the movie that was so bothersome. It was that it happened at all to all of them. Jews, homosexuals, the handicapped, Gypsies, political prisoners, and millions of others were systematically slaughtered and for reason no one will ever know. I actually went and talked to my aunt for a while because I was so bothered.

I’ve known about what happened during the Holocaust for so long and yet it still never ceases to disturb me. I’ll never get used to it, I’ll never understand it, and it will never stop upsetting me.

And there will never be a reason that will ever justify what happened. How does anyone even think something like that up? Think about it, is somebody sitting there eating breakfast one day and the idea pops into their head about gas chambers and how efficiently they can kill people. Or is a person taking a walk in the idea pops up, we’ll exterminate this religious group, this ethnic group.

A Dog of War was a painful book to write, just as The World at War, Schindler’s List, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Pianist, and other stories and movies dealing with the Holocaust are painful to watch or read. But they should be watched and they should be read. People have to know what happened.

There are kids in school today that have never even heard of the Holocaust. It’s unbelievable to even comprehend that they don’t know what happened. It should be learned about, it has to be remembered and while we will never know why it happened we are all obligated to make sure that it never does again.

My publisher made a promotional video for A Dog of War. I absolutely love. We worked together on everything the music, script and pictures. I’m very proud of it.

It’s been confirmed that Transformers Prime has been canceled and I’m pretty bummed about it. Season three, Beast Hunters, is going to be the last, ending with a movie. I really can’t say I’m all that surprised that the series was canceled, there were some definite mistakes made, no doubt. The MECH storyline never really seem to go anywhere and it was a very odd addition to the series. It seemed more appropriate for the Transformers Rescue Bots series.

For me, another big problem with the series was the character of Miko. She was such an annoying, obnoxious distraction to any storyline she was in. Her constant interference and deliberately putting herself and everyone else in danger got real stale real fast. Her rude response at her initial meeting with Optimus Prime, “Is there going to be a quiz?” and her indifference to the Autobots’ grief at the loss Cliffjumper, coupled with her constant insults and verbal jabs and Raf and Jack, made Miko truly unlikable.

I have to admit, I always wanted Barricade to show up and step on Miko. Oh, who am I kidding, I would’ve been happy for any of them to step on Miko. I just love Barricade and wanted to see him.

For me it was always a tossup between her and Sari from Transformers Animated as to which one was more obnoxious. Having to listen to tween girls prattle on about how they could kick Transformers aftplates was beyond stupid.

There needs to be a larger core of centralized Autobot and Decepticon characters as well. Five Autobots and an occasional appearance by Wheeljack and the late addition of Smokescreen wasn’t enough. Too many good Autobots were missing, there was no Prowl, or Jazz, or the Twins, Wheeljack shouldn’t be reduced to a few scattered episodes. Cliffjumper was killed off in the first few minutes of the first episode.

For the Decepticons, the absence of two of the Elite Trine, Thundercracker and Skywarp was just odd. Seekers need their trine. Where were Soundwave’s symbiotes, Ravage, Rumble or Frenzy?   I think the show suffered because of the lack of characters.

There were good storylines, the Unicron awakening and the search for the relics and final battle for Cybertron really showed what the series could have been. The infighting between the Decepticons is always good to see. For a faction that spends almost as much time fighting themselves as the Autobots, one wonders how they’ve been so successful and survived for so long.

I have high hopes for the final season of Prime and the new series, but for Primus’ sake would you have Bumblebee talk.

It has been several months since A Dog of War was released. I’ve received good reviews, but this morning when I logged onto Absolute Write and made my way to one of my favorite threads, The Comedy Cabaret, there was a post that made me happier than I could truly describe. If I could have scripted how I would like a young reader to respond to my book, this is it. I’m still doing my happy dance.

Gail’s post



Today is the day I have waited for for 12 years. This is the release day for A Dog of War. This book has been my heart and soul for so long, it is almost surreal that I am holding it in my hands. I’m posting the first chapter for you and I hope you’ll want to read the rest. WritersAmuseMe.com

My Own

1934 Poland

Finally, she was able to have some milk and a little space to herself. It was almost impossible for a puppy to have a quiet meal with her brothers and sisters climbing all over her. She loved them and there was nothing better than all of them sleeping together in a big pile when they were done eating. It was just that sometimes she wished things were different. She was missing something and she finally realized what it was; she needed her own person.

Her Momma had her own lady, Chava, and they loved each other very much. Chava was so kind to Momma. She fed her, brushed her, and bathed her. She even helped Momma care for the puppies. Momma worshiped Chava. Momma loved her just as much as she loved them. It would soon be time for the puppies to leave, but Momma would stay with Chava. She’d never leave her person. The puppy wanted someone she could love and adore like that.

A shadow fell over the box blotting out the sun. A bearded man looked down at her. Next a woman, her hair pulled tightly back, looked them over.

“Hmm, look at all those strange faces. I wonder if I’ll find my person today.” The puppy blinked up at the faces peering at her.

The man smiled as her brothers and sisters clambered over each other to reach the strangers. They yipped, hoping to catch the new people’s attention.

“Aren’t you just the most darling little…” strange hands reached for her.

“No, don’t touch me. I don’t want you to be my person. Don’t you touch me either; you’re not the right one. That’s it; take my brother and you take my sister. They’re perfect for you, but none of you are perfect for me.” She shuffled back to the furthest corner of the box.   While these new people looked friendly and smelled like good people, nothing about them called to her heart.


So many people had stopped by the box that day but none had been the right one. She didn’t think she would ever find her person. She would never be happy. Gloom and despair settled heavily in her heart. She sat in her corner and cried, a high-pitched, pitiful, pained whine.

“I want my perfect person.”

“Why are you crying? Come on up here.” A boy reached into the box to pick her up.

“Oh, hello. You have the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen, and your voice warms me from the inside. You smell perfect, like love, goodness, and sweet bread. Keep holding me. I could spend forever being held by you.

“I think I love you. No, I know I love you. Yes, I do. Will you be my person? I don’t think I could live another day if you weren’t my boy.” She barked excitedly.

“You have the cutest little bark. I’m going to take you. What do you think? Do you want to come home with me and be my dog?” The boy held her up so they could look into each other’s eyes. His were dancing, filled with happiness, lifting the despair from her heart.

“Yes, I want to be with you forever.”

“Look at that tail wag. I’ve got to think up a name for you. You need a name that is as pretty as you. Hmm, I know. Tierza. You look like a Tierza. Come on, Sweet Girl. Let’s go home.” He pulled her close, tucking her against him.

“I’ve never felt as safe as I do wrapped in your arms, nestled against your chest. I can feel your heartbeat, just like I used to feel Momma’s. Don’t tell her, but I like your heartbeat better. Yes, I do.

“Goodbye, Momma, I’m going home with my boy. I have a boy of my own.”

“Our cart is over here. This is Big Horse. He pulls the cart and the plow when it’s time to work the fields. He’s a good boy.” He patted the horse’s nose, placing a small kiss on it.

“I hope my boy will pat and kiss me like that.”

“Big Horse was born on our farm six years ago. He’s a draft horse. I like his hooves; they’re huge. See?” The boy tilted her down towards the ground.

“Wow, those are huge. I hope he doesn’t step on me.” A tremor of fear rippled through the puppy.

The boy continued stroking Big Horse’s nose. The horse made strange wuffling sounds as he pressed his nose into the boy’s hand.

“Big Horse must be very happy being my boy’s horse.”

“His mama was a nice old girl. She used to be our plow horse. She died two years ago. I miss her.” He sighed, giving Big Horse one last pat then stepping back. “Tierza, Big Horse. Big Horse, Tierza,” the boy said, holding the two nose to nose.

Alarmed at being too close, she cringed deeper into the boy’s cupped hands. “Why are you holding me so close to this thing? Big Horse is awfully big, my boy. I don’t… he won’t hurt me, will he? He’s still making those strange wuffling sounds. His warm breath is blowing over me. Well, if you like him, I’ll try to like him. He does have very soft gentle eyes and the more he makes those strange sounds, the more I like them.

“You’re very pretty, Big Horse. Your name fits you perfectly. I bet my boy picked your name. He picked mine. We’re going to be such good friends. I can just tell.” Tierza’s tail wagged.

Giving a quick glance and seeing no one around, the boy slipped his hand into his pocket then handed something to Big Horse. “Shh, sugar cubes – don’t tell anyone I give them to him,” he whispered to Tierza. “Up we go.” He climbed on the cart seat with one hand, holding Tierza tight with the other. With his puppy settled on his lap, the boy idly scratched her ears.

“You can see so much more from the cart. Oh, this is going to be fun. This is the greatest day of my life. I like how you scratch behind my ears. You could do that forever and I’d be so happy.”

“I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted a dog of my own. Since it’s my birthday, my parents said I could get one. Now I have you. I’m Aaron and that’s my father.” The boy pointed to the large man sitting next to him.

“Aaron! What a perfect name for my boy. His father seems like a nice man, too.”

“So, you’re the family dog? Little bit of thing, aren’t you. Still, if you can keep the hares out of the garden and Aaron out of trouble, you’ll be fine.” Father smiled as he reached his huge hand out. Tierza stiffened, waiting to feel if Father’s hands would be rough or heavy.

“Tickling! You’re tickling my belly, Father. Stop. Hee hee hee. No fair. Aaron, you’re holding me so I can’t wiggle away. Father, that tickles.” Finally, he stopped. She could hardly catch her breath. Tongue lolling to the side, Tierza happily wagged her tail. “Your hands are strong, Father. I was a bit worried for a moment there, I was, but your hands are as gentle as my Aaron’s. Oh, now you’re giving me a soft pat on the head. What a perfect way to end a ticklefest. Thank you, Father. I like you.”

“We’re going to be best friends, Tierza, and we’ll be together forever.” Aaron gave her ears a playful squeeze.

With a snap of the reins, Father urged Big Horse into a trot.

“I can look all around. I’m going to sit on your lap… or stand… standing is better. I see another horse. Aaron, there is a horse over there! There is something else… I don’t know what they are, but they are different animals than Big Horse. There are so many birds are flying by. I know what birds are!”

An old beat-up truck backfired, spewing black smoke as it barreled past them. Terrified, Tierza cowered against her boy, whining. “What’s that, Aaron? It’s loud and so fast. There’s no horse pulling that thing. I don’t like it. It’s too fast and gives off a bad smell.”

“Don’t cry, Tierza. Did that truck scare you? Don’t worry. I won’t let it near you. I’ve got you. What a stupid truck, scaring my sweet little girl.” He pulled her closer to him, rubbing his chin on her head. Her fear melted away.

Big Horse turned into a wide area then stopped. There was a small building in front, another long building further to the back. Large tracts of land stretched to the side and behind the buildings. Different animals were eating grass in one of the fenced area.

“We’re home. Here’s our farm. I hope you like it.” Aaron climbed down from the cart, holding Tierza tight and safe.

Father took off the gear Big Horse was wearing then opened the fence to one of the fields. Big Horse trotted out to the field and rolled in the grass. He wuffled and snorted as his huge hooves flailed in the air. Father called to him and clapped his hands. Big Horse returned and pressed his nose into Father’s waiting hands.

“It’s not a big farm but we’re very proud of it.” Her boy’s voice drew Tierza’s attention back to him. “My family has owned this farm for four generations, each son inheriting it from his father. Someday I’ll inherit it, but that won’t happen for a long time.”

Aaron walked to the fence and held Tierza up so she could see her new home.

“There is so much to see and smell here. Everywhere I look, there is something new. Well, everything is new to me. This amazing farm is my new home. It’s the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I’ll grow up here with my boy. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy. This is the most perfect farm ever.”

“I love this farm. By the way your tail is wagging, I think you love it as much as I do. See the house? My great-great-grandfather built that house with his own hands.” Aaron pointed toward the small building.

“He did! My new house was built by someone in your family. Just when I thought I couldn’t be happier here, you tell me that. It’s the most perfect house ever. Yes, it is.” Tierza’s whole body wiggled in time with her tail.

“Over here are the fields where we plant potatoes. Our cows are in this field over here.” Aaron waved his arm toward the well kept fields.

They stretched as far as Tierza could see. “Everything belongs to us? Look at how big the potato fields are. They have so much growing in them. Father must be a great farmer. Aaron, what’s a potato?”

The big animals Aaron called cows intrigued Tierza. They were wider than Big Horse but not as tall. They were still big though, a lot bigger than she was and they made nice sounds.

“This is the chicken coop. Ever meet a chicken?” A mischievous twinkle shined in his eyes.

“No, I never have. What’s a chicken?”

“Go get them.” He opened the pen door and placed her inside.

Enthusiastically, Tierza ran after the big fat birds. They ran, making funny sounds as she followed close behind, yipping. “I’m going to get you. You can’t run from me. I’m faster, I’m… hey, what are you doing? Don’t chase me! No, stop! Ouch! You’re jabbing me. Stop!” Tail between her legs, she scuttled away.

“Come up here, you.” Aaron snatched her away from the chicken.

“Oh, Aaron, you saved me. That chicken is horrible. Horrible!”

“Did that mean old chicken peck at you, Little Girl? We’ll just have to wait until you’re bigger, then you can chase them.” He nuzzled her head with his chin, humming against her.

“Yes, it did. It was awful. I’m just going to snuggle under your chin and forget the whole thing. I could stay snuggled up with you forever and ever. Yes, I could.” A deep contented sigh escaped her.

“Well, have you learned your lesson about chasing chickens?” Aaron’s father asked, reaching out to scratch the puppy again. Knowing those large hands could never be anything but gentle, she happily leaned into his touch. His fingers grazed lightly over her ears.

“Yes, Father. Thank you.”

“So, you’re the new bundle of trouble?” A woman ap-proached them.

“I am?” Tierza’s ears perked up as she titled her head.

“Tierza, this is Mother.” Aaron turned the puppy to face her.

She looked like Aaron and wasn’t much taller than him. Her eyes were filled with laughter and happiness, as Aaron’s were. “Oh, you are a cute thing. You’re going to be full of mischief and with that sweet face, I think you’ll get away with most of it.”

Aaron’s mother reached for the little bundle. He didn’t hesitate to hand the puppy over.

“I always wanted a dog when I was Aaron’s age. My parents didn’t like dogs. Can you imagine anyone not liking dogs?” Mother rubbed her back, kissing the puppy.

“No, I can’t imagine anyone not liking dogs. You have very soft hands, Mother. You’re a wonderful woman, so gentle and kind. How lucky Aaron is to have you both for parents.” Tierza’s tail wagged as her eyes drooped.

“Aaron’s been talking about a dog for the longest time. When I heard that Chava’s dog had puppies, we knew we had to get one. You are the perfect birthday present. By the looks of you, we got the best of the bunch. I have waited so long for you, but you are worth the wait. Welcome home…” Mother turned to Aaron.

“Tierza. Her name is Tierza.” There was such pride in his voice as he said her name.

“Tierza.” She handed the pup to Aaron. “Dinner will be in a little while. You two stay out of trouble.” Mother turned toward the house. Father walked up behind her and wrapped his arm around her waist. She leaned into him. He said something and she laughed.

There were so many wonderful sights, sounds, so many amazing new scents for her to learn. Wait! She knew that scent. It was food. Mother must be cooking something and it smelled delicious. Tierza hoped she’d get to eat some of it. Along with her sibling, she had been eating food as well as Momma’s milk before her boy chose her. Chava was a good cook, but nothing she made ever smelled this good.

“I know I am the luckiest dog ever. Yes, I am.”

“My Tierza. My sweet little girl.” Aaron sighed happily, rubbing his cheek on her head. He snuggled Tierza close to his chest again, and gave her kisses.

“That’s it, my beloved Aaron. Rest your head on mine.”

“We’re going to be best friends forever.”

“Yes, we are. You are my boy, my perfect, beautiful, beloved boy. Yes, you are.”

Sharon Robards AKA cooeedownunder at Absolute Write, asked me to participate in a blog hop about my book.

What is your working title of your book?

A Dog of War


Where did the idea come from for the book?

 I was talking with my aunt about a documentary on the Holocaust/Second World War that she had watched. One scene showed the people of a village being driven out and their dogs were all walking along with them as they left. I looked at our dog, Chelsea, and wondered what she would think if something like that happened to us,


What genre does your book fall under?

Historical Fiction


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I don’t know.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In the face of war, a loyal dog endures an epic journey while witnessing the horrors of war to find her beloved boy.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My book is being published November 22, 2012 by WritersAMuseMe.com. It will be available in e-book and print on demand.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Over one year.


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Warhorse and Daniel’s Story


Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My dog Chelsea and the documentary about the Second World War and Holocaust


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s the story about the devoted love between a dog and her boy, in addition to being historical fiction.

Here is the link to Psychic Witness blog. The blog of another good writer who is participating in The Next Big Thing blog hop.

Here is the link to The Pen Vs The Sword blog. The blog of another good writer who is participating in The Next Big Thing blog hop.

May started off cold and rainy. My aunt had been sitting on the enclosed back porch watching the different birds come to our feeder. She mentioned that there was a new green bird showing up.  To be honest I blew her off, “yeah, sure, green bird.” I figured it was just an ordinary bird that might have a hint of color. Well the day before trash day arrived as always and it was another cold, rainy day. Yippee, just the kind of day I want to take out trash and recycling.

Going out on the back porch I saw the bird sitting at the feeder. It was a green bird alright, an escaped or released parakeet. Holy fig, my aunt was right, that bird was GREEN. Somewhere I had a long handled fishing net that I could catch the little guy with, but then what. We have cats, and a dog. How could we add a bird to the mix?

By all appearances it wasn’t going to be an issue because I couldn’t find the net. How about the garage, my aunt asked. Yeah, sure garage. There was no way I put my nice long handled net in the garage. Well after a thorough search of everywhere else turned up nothing, you guessed, net was in the garage.

It didn’t take all that long and about five to ten minutes later one parakeet was safely snared and residing in our cat carrier. I called my friend who raises birds to get some advice. I never had a bird and had no idea what to do for him. She gave me all the bird raising info I needed, but cautioned that because the weather had been so cold, near freezing at night, he might not survive.

Well not only did he survive, he has thrived. I named him TC, short for, Thundercracker, seeker of the Decepticon Elite trine. If you’re one of the five people who read my blog, you all ready know about my Transformer addiction.

One of our cats was a little too interested in TC and a couple of spritz from the water gun of Karmic cleansing cured him of that. So TC is now residing in his new cage, in the living room, free from feline interest.

I bought him a variety of toys. All of which he refused to play with until I moved them next to his swing perch. The wooden perches did not serve his play purpose. No, he wants to sit on his swing and gnaw on his chew toys. Now satisfied with their new location, he’s mutilating them with glee.

I know this will sound contrived and even untrue but my bird is a Transformer fan. He loves Transformers Generation 1, Prime, Animated and even Transformers the Movie. Yes, the one that has left me permanently scarred. It was on The Hub as I was flicking by; he started singing and jumped to the front of the cage. Since I have it on DVD we’ve reached an agreement, we skip the deaths of Prowl, Ironhide, Wheeljack, Brawn and Optimus Prime and TC watches the rest. So far he hasn’t voiced any displeasure at this arrangement.

And yes, he voices his displeasure, frequently. He doesn’t like his fruity bits. With a flourish of screeches and foot stomping, those get flung near and far. And pretty darn far for a little bird too. He likes other cartoons as well. I am now well versed with Bubble Guppies, Little Bill, Little Bear, SpongeBob, The Backyardigans, etc.

He dislikes when I turn the cartoons off, that results in a perch pouting. He has thrown a couple of full blown temper tantrums, complete with foot stomping, running around the bottom of his cage, wing flapping and screeching. That was my first indication; I had to mix plain seed with the fruity bits.

He loves music which I expected, but his choice was a little surprising. He loves show tunes, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Evita, Miss Saigon as well as Judy Collins, and Sarah Brightman. In keeping with his preference for kids’ shows, he loves The Rainbow Connection as long as Kermit is singing it. His taste is well rounded, Cher, Alanis Morrisette, 80’s tunes, but his all time favorite, sending him into a shrieking singing frenzy joy is Journey, and his favorite favorite Journey song, Only The Young.

I never thought I wanted a bird but now that I have my TC, I love him to pieces. Parakeets, who knew?



In my inbox today was the link to the cover and blurb for my upcoming historical middle grade novel, A Dog Of War. This book has been my heart and soul for years and to know that it is so close to publication makes me happier than I can possible describe. Ironic for a writer, I know.

I will be updating release information as I get it, but for now, here it is.

A Dog Of War