Hic Sunt Deos

Here Be Gods

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Now Available as an Audiobook!

I am pleased to announce that Once Upon A Lane is now available in Audiobook format, narrated by Bick Schaeffer. He did a great job on the reading and I know you will enjoy listening to his performance!

Audible | Amazon

Now in the Google Play Store

Once Upon A Lane is now available in the Google Play Store and in Google Books! With this new store, I can offer a Holiday discount on the ebook of $4!


https://books.google.com/books/about?id=YPvCDwAAQBAJ
https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=YPvCDwAAQBAJ

Once Upon A Lane – Excerpt

They were shouting and laughing at each other, as if they were running away from the scene of some mischievous prank, which they were, as if they were being chased, which they were, and were fleeing to a safe refuge to wait out the temporary ire of their hapless victim, which they were. They careened wildly around various residents of the lane with little regard for their or the residents’ safety, as the young invariably do. Most just grunted or smiled in annoyance or bemusement, but some shouted reproaches at them or tried to reach out and grab them short with no success. When at last they reached Liola’s home, they were short on breath, but giggling all the same. They made their way around the pink pelican statues, down the path along the side of the house, around to the back of her house, past the back door that never opened and into the barely discernible hole in her hedgerow.

There was a hollow in the center of the bushes that lined most of the back fence that connected from bush to bush, and here was the favorite hideout of the youngest Murphy boy and Bobby. It was here that they planned their adventures, it was here that they hid their treasures, and it was here, in the hidden hollow, that they sought refuge from the adults who did not care for their childish escapades. The birds and squirrels had long ago ceded the whole hedge to the two boys. This was their refuge and their fortress. The bushes had served duty as a pirate ship, a castle, an underground cavern, a courtroom, a spaceship, and at all times a tunnel into another world that only they could see and visit.

Once secure in their hide-away, the youngest Murphy boy and Bobby chattered away in whispers, lest they be heard by their imagined pursuer, whispers far too loud to be stealthy, but quiet enough that none listening could possibly discern anything meaningful. Not that they discussed anything meaningful to anyone else, as they excitedly retold the events they had just experienced, misremembering and embellishing every detail, until their latest amusement was of the greatest magnitude with the highest of stakes and the fraughtest of perils. The erstwhile neighbor they had forayed against became a terrible dragon whom they had vanquished with a mighty spell, which happened to take the form of a water balloon, atop a high mountain in the forests of suburbia. Even woeful Leo Tuttle was transformed in their retelling into a mighty guardian troll they had deftly flanked as they crossed a rickety bridge spanning a yawning chasm without bottom that still somehow held a fearsome river filled with piranha and lava at the same time.

The boys stopped their narrative dialogue suddenly when they heard a creak and scrape of wood from the fence next to the hedge. There was only silence, as much as there ever is silence in a world filled with birds and insects and squirrels and other varieties of life. The two boys held their breath and listened intently, suddenly wholly convinced that they had been found out and their secret lair was about to be exposed to the world at last. Long moments of tension and worry held them captive, but the sound did not repeat. Finally, when they could hold neither their breath nor their tongues any longer, they burst into a frenetic whispered debate as to what had caused the sound or if they had heard any sound at all. They came to the mutual conclusion that they had imagined it, then subsequently decided that they had hidden long enough and the world outside was safe once more, so they peaked out of their hole in the bush before creeping out into Liola’s back yard.

Laughing and chattering once more, the pair dashed around the house, not hearing the boards behind their hideaway creak and scrape once more.

Once Upon A Lane – Available Now!

A character driven slice-of-life story that follows the humble lives of the residents of a suburban neighborhood as they live and love, and about the house with the dead yard, a vacant lot, that sits among their homes, inert and immobile, yet intimidating and terrifying to any who look at it too long. The children of the lane are not the only ones who are fearful of the anomaly in their midst. Every adult upon the lane wonders why the structure still stands, with no known owner and no reason to be. The lingering question is not who owns the house, but why no one ever goes in or comes out, and why there are such ghastly noises emanating from within. Day by day, the happy people of the lane go about their tasks and trials, and day by day, the house with the dead yard seems a little more ominous, a little more intrusive, and a little less ignorable than before.

There once was a lane, filled with well-tended lawns and well-fostered friendships, of well-appointed houses all neat and tidy and those that live within, of stories and mysteries that manifest for only fleeting moments for the few who pay attention. This is one such tale. A tale about pleasant people, about the lives they live, about their wants and dreams, about their loves and losses, their joys and hates, about their days and nights in the company of cherished companions in the houses they call home. It is a dance between tears and joy, of young and old, of hopes and fears, of knowns and unknowns, of those who have yet to live and those who never have. In this tale of the happy little lives of blissful simple folk, there are monsters, to be sure. But this is not the story of monsters, this is not the tale of their evil deeds, this is the tale of those they make suffer. In this tale, the monsters have no names. The monsters do not deserve names.

Available now in ebook, paperback, or audiobook at your favorite online marketplaces:

Once Upon A Lane at Amazon

Once Upon A Lane at Audible

Once Upon A Lane at Smashwords

Once Upon A Lane at Barnes & Noble

Once Upon A Lane at Google Play

Also available in the iTunes App Book Store

Once Upon A Lane – Coming Soon

There was a hollow in the center of the bushes that lined most of the back fence that connected from bush to bush, and here was the favorite hideout of the youngest Murphy boy and Bobby. It was here that they planned their adventures, it was here that they hid their treasures, and it was here, in the hidden hollow, that they sought refuge from the adults who did not care for their childish escapades. The birds and squirrels had long ago ceded the whole hedge to the two boys. This was their refuge and their fortress. The bushes had served duty as a pirate ship, a castle, an underground cavern, a courtroom, a spaceship, and at all times a tunnel into another world that only they could see and visit.

Once secure in their hide-away, the youngest Murphy boy and Bobby chattered away in whispers, lest they be heard by their imagined pursuer, whispers far too loud to be stealthy, but quiet enough that none listening could possibly discern anything meaningful. Not that they discussed anything meaningful to anyone else, as they excitedly retold the events they had just experienced, misremembering and embellishing every detail, until their latest amusement was of the greatest magnitude with the highest of stakes and the fraughtest of perils. The erstwhile neighbor they had forayed against became a terrible dragon whom they had vanquished with a mighty spell, which happened to take the form of a water balloon, atop a high mountain in the forests of suburbia. Even woeful Leo Tuttle was transformed in their retelling into a mighty guardian troll they had deftly flanked as they crossed a rickety bridge spanning a yawning chasm without bottom that still somehow held a fearsome river filled with piranha and lava at the same time.

The boys stopped their narrative dialogue suddenly when they heard a creak and scrape of wood from the fence next to the hedge. There was only silence, as much as there ever is silence in a world filled with birds and insects and squirrels and other varieties of life. The two boys held their breath and listened intently, suddenly wholly convinced that they had been found out and their secret lair was about to be exposed to the world at last. Long moments of tension and worry held them captive, but the sound did not repeat. Finally, when they could hold neither their breath nor their tongues any longer, they burst into a frenetic whispered debate as to what had caused the sound or if they had heard any sound at all. They came to the mutual conclusion that they had imagined it, then subsequently decided that they had hidden long enough and the world outside was safe once more, so they peaked out of their hole in the bush before creeping out into Liola’s back yard.

Laughing and chattering once more, the pair dashed around the house, not hearing the boards behind their hideaway creak and scrape once more….

 

Excerpt from my upcoming novel, Once Upon A Lane, available soon in your favorite online marketplace.

Thoughts on Mortality

There is an underlying need in the human psychosis to feel needed or important. Unlike the animals we cohabitate this planet with, we as conscious beings need a motivation to exist beyond those provided by base instinct.

Let me take a moment as an aside to address the inevitable criticism of my classifying animals as non-conscious beings. Find me an animal that actually commits suicide, outside of staged Disney nature films, and I will believe that it is possible for animals to be as self aware as humans.

In fact, this driving need to be self important, or at least necessary, is the underlying reason why most suicide exists, or rather when this is lacking in the humans that then subsequently engage in the act. Despair sets in when true perspective as to our respective place and function in the universe is realized. The easiest way to crush a child’s hopes and dreams is to make that child aware of how little in the end those dreams matter and how little hope they have of ever achieving them.

This is the crux upon which all religions exist. These spiritual mythos were specifically invented to give a grander unified dream, and thus motivating force to mankind in this otherwise harsh and meaningless reality. If my actions and life’s work in the end mean nothing in the grand scope of emotionless galactic balls of gas and fire, which even in their fantastical scope are finite and without grander meaning, then why should I embark on any of them? What point does the common man have of conducting his life beyond the satiating of his own baser desires and instincts if his entire being is for not when he dies?

This leads to a quest for immortality, an extension by action or genetic legacy which will impart some manner of grander meaning upon the mediocre occurrence that he is. Even this is attacked by the knowledge that in the future this world, the solar system, and even the universe itself will eventually cease to exist, giving a finality of futility to everything that ever was and ever will be. This particular dose of practicality is a hard one to accept even for the most pragmatic, much less the rest of humanity. Thus it is, when such contemplations overwhelm many, they adopt a nihilistic rather than humanistic viewpoint and rightly deduce that if nothing ever matters then their own selfish death will be one more thing that does not really matter at all.

Personally, I would rather embark on a quixotic quest for actual immortality, or the closest I can achieve, in my own person than abandon this innately interesting life. While I may not succeed in staving off death indefinitely, I will nonetheless attempt just that until I am dragged kicking and screaming into oblivion, or whatever the unknown that is death actually holds.

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