Quoting Winnie the Pooh is the key to a successful life

screen-shot-2015-02-23-at-9-13-28-pm-12-quotes-from-disney-movies-that-taught-us-important-life-lessons-png-274887I never thought that the things I learned from watching a Disney movie would resonate to being successful today as a husband, father, or a writer. I was so surprised to see that, when I did a Google search for inspiring quotes, a lot of them are from a Disney movie or something else I watched as a kid.

Even when I look back at watching these movies when my own children were growing up, you sometimes miss those inspirational moments for the laughs, the action and adventure or even through the sad story. Yet, it these quotes that resonate still today. I thought I would share with you some and see if you remember when you heard it watching a movie as a child or with your own children. It might make you think twice about some things.

“The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up.” – Timothy Mouse, Dumbo

“You control your destiny — you don’t need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems.” – Merida, Brave

“Oh yes the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it” – Rafiki, The Lion King

“No matter how your heart is grieving, If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” – Cinderella, Cinderella

“Man has always learned from the past. After all, you can’t learn history in reverse!” – Archimedes, The Sword in the Stone

“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” – Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh

“Sometimes the curiosity can kill the soul but leave the pain.” – Alice, Alice in Wonderland

“Life’s not a spectator sport. If watchin’ is all you’re gonna do, then you’re gonna watch your life go by without ya.” – Laverne, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

“The things that make me different are the things that make me ME.” – Piglet, Winnie the Pooh

“If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.” – The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland

Walt_Disney_1946I want to leave you with a final thought from Walt Disney himself. He said, “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” Those are words to live by. We can all take a lesson from these simple childhood memories and turn them into the passion we have for our work, our family and our life in general today.

After all, we never truly want to grow up, do we?

Doctor Who, Steampunk and Time Travel are some of my favorite anachronisms

[UNSET]“The straightest line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting!” That’s a quote from the third Doctor from the long running British sci-if television series Doctor Who.

I will admit, if I haven’t already, that I am a diehard Whovian. I was introduced to Doctor Who in college in the 1980s. I saw this strange man wearing a scarf that had to be over 20 feet long, fighting robot tanks with a screwdriver and a blue box.

It was watching Doctor Who that made me realize that I felt like an anachronism, that I was born on the wrong time. Some people might relate this to reincarnation, but I don’t really know if I believe in that. I just know that I feel out-of-place in this modern-day and age.

Oh don’t get me wrong, I love the modern conveniences we have today. I prefer indoor plumbing, modern medicine and the Internet. It’s weird that when I look at movies from the 30s or 40s, or even period pieces from the late 1800s, I get nostalgic and I am awash with a sick feeling, almost like being homesick.

It’s ironic that, when you look at television and movies from the past, they all strived to look ahead to the future.Did you know that the original Lost in Space TV series I the 60s was set in the 1980s? Or that the Back to the Future movies were looking ahead to the 2000s? The world didn’t quite turn out that way for us, but we’re getting close. They did just get an actual hoverboard working recently.

I think that why I like Doctor Who so much, all the modern convinces inside a flying time machine that can take you to anywhere in time and space. At the same time, I’m also a big fan of steampunk. The outlandish Victorian style combined with modern technology is absolutely amazing to me. My wife and I would love to decorate our home in steampunk.

I think that’s what we need today. We need a little old fashion style and sensibility combined with modern technology and thinking. That’s what steampunk represents, bringing two worlds together to make a functional lifestyle.

I don’t want to get political here, believe me I don’t. Our world today is so combative when it comes to either the left or the right that you can’t have conversations on even the simplest of topics. I refuse to talk politics with my daughter in the same room because she is so passionate that she gets argumentative.

I remember the old saying, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” I think we are headed down that path in the world today. We are so busy looking to the future that we forget the teachings of the past.

gallery_k9_p1_03So, let’s all climb into the TARDIS and take a stroll through time so that, as the Doctor would say, “You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views.” (By the way, that was said by my Doctor, Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor!)

King Arthur … The man, the myth, the actor who played him

I thought I’d have a little fun with this week’s blog and talk about the man at the forefront of the Arthurian legend, King Arthur Pendragon, and the men who have played him on the silver screen. King Arthur has appeared on ever known media, from Broadway to Saturday Morning Cartoons. His dashing figure has wooed audiences with actors, both young and old.

There are some, though, that have really owned the role of King Arthur, whether it’s in style or looks, these men have commanded Camelot with the presence of a monarch. These are my top five actors who have portrayed King Arthur.

091cd0aa592b0fbd0300b2a711136056 #5 – Sir Richard Harris in Camelot (1967) – Sir Richard Harris is an actor’s actor, with dozens of award-winning roles under his belt, from stage to screen, but he played King Arthur in the musical Camelot on stage, screen and television. The film won three Academy Awards and three Golden Globes. The musical was not the best adaptation of T.H. White’s “Once and Future King” but Sir Richard Harris was brilliant as Arthur, especially when he tried to tell us “how to handle a woman!” With Vanessa Redgrave as Guinevere and Franco Nero as Lancelot, the story played up the love triangle of the story, so I give it an “A+” on the romance meter.  Richard Burton also played this role in a TV presentation of Camelot, but his singing is nowhere near as good as Sir Richard Harris. He made this role his own, at least for musicals.

chapman grail#4 – Graham Chapman in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) – Many people may not consider Graham Chapman as a household name when it comes to actors, but you cannot and will not EVER forget his performance in Monty Python’s hilarious look at the Arthurian legend. There are too many highlights to mention, but let’s raise a glass to Graham Chapman, whose performance as Arthur brings all the mayhem together into one tight-knit package. From coconuts for horses to fighting a Black Knight, his straight-faced, deadpan performance makes him King Arthur, but I’d stay away from Camelot, “it is a silly place!”

nigel-terry#3 – Nigel Terry in Excalibur (1981) – To be honest, this was my first exposure to the legend of King Arthur. I was enthralled by this movie, from the Wagner-esque soundtrack to the bulky platemail armor and the kinky medieval sex scattered throughout the film. Again, Nigel Terry is not a household name in America when it comes to British actors, but his performance as Arthur was so spot on. He went from the awkward young boy who drew the sword to the king that united a nation. I really think his portrayal of King Arthur is the standard that all other actors should be judged against. Even though I have him in third (and you will realize that once you see the top two), it was perfection.

281d0397151a85577c5ab6650ad95ad5#2 – Sir Sean Connery in First Knight (1995) – Even though this movie was panned by critics, it’s Sean friggin’ Connery people! He is the epitome of kingly virtue. His presence alone as King Arthur makes him stand head-and-shoulders above the rest. He literally carried the movie on his back. It had a good story, beautiful costumes and set design and the only time you’ll see an entire army disguised as a flock of sheep. But did I mention Sean Connery as King Arthur? ‘Nuff said!

king-arthur#1 – Clive Owen in King Arthur (2004) – I’ve spoken on this blog many times about my love for this version of the Arthurian legend. Bringing together the Roman occupation of Britain as the basis for the medieval legend was enthralling, and Clive Owen’s performance was matched in its brilliance. He was a leader, a warrior, a loyal soldier and Christian and he was a lover as well. All this came through the outstanding performance by Clive Owen. This movie surrounded him with a stellar cast and great storytelling to bring the legend to life. The way they explained everything from the sword in stone to Merlin’s magical power tied the whole movie together, but on top of it all was an actor who truly became King Arthur.

If I had to give one honorable mention, it would be to Pierce Brosnan as King Arthur in the animated film Quest for Camelot (1998). Though he wasn’t on for a lot of the movie, his voice was unmistakable and he gave that presence to King Arthur in this movie.

Did I miss a favorite of yours? Let me know in the comments below.

Dreamers are the writers of tomorrow

703.-More-Than-One-DreamIt’s funny how writing correlates to dreaming. Most people forget what they’re dreaming about when they wake up the next morning. As a writer, I find inspiration in my dreams.

Dreaming is the television of the mind, as I like to call it. It’s where our fantasies become realities. Daydreams are especially poignant. Edgar Allen Poe said, “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only at night.”

I truly believe that day dreamers are the most creative people alive today. It takes that level of imagination to inspire one in art, writing, and other creative endeavors.

Daydreams are the most prevalent dreams we have. They have been the subject of everything from Saturday Morning Cartoons to an episode of “Happy Days” (the episode that introduced us to “Mork from Ork” played by the incomparable Robin Williams). I remember a “Looney Tunes” cartoon with little Ralph, who daydreamed his way through school, being a deep-sea diver after gazing at the classroom fish tank one moment to being General MacArthur when he leaves school promising “I will return,”

Dreams are the playgrounds of our minds, as the song says. As writers, we use it to cultivate the stories for our next chapter. The hard part for me is that, at times, my mind is racing through thoughts and ideas so fast that I can’t get to sleep. It’s especially difficult if I was writing just before I went to bed.

That’s the difficulty of being and independent author. You have to work at another job so that, at night, you can focus on your passion for writing. Unfortunately, it can lead to a few restless nights.

Dreams is your subconscious talking to you, in one way or another. It’s the creative side of your brain reaching out to tell you something. That’s how I originally came to write Forever Avalon.

When I was on active duty in the Navy, I had this recurring dream whenever I deployed. It was my subconscious trying to help me cope with the long separation from my family. It put me in a place where they relied on me, needed me, on a magical island out of time and space. In my dream, I felt closer to my family than any time before.

This was the dream that inspired me and led me to write the Forever Avalon series. Funny thing is that after I wrote my first story, the dream stopped. Like I said, it was my subconscious talking to me and I got the message, loud and clear.

edgar_allan_poe__by_ohparapraxiaEdgar Allen Poe said, “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” These are words to live by when you’re delving into your creativity and inspiration to create a world of fantasy.

Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is now available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iUniverse.

Editing your novel can lead to harsh cuts – A deleted excerpt from “The Dark Tides”

SKU-000941753I hate to admit it but it took me almost six months to edit The Dark Tides. I was hard because, I got a little out-of-hand as I was writing it and it reached almost 228,000 words. I had to get it down to a little more manageable size, and that called for extreme editing. I found some places where I repeated myself and, in other places, I found sections of my novel that really didn’t add to the overall story.

This is one of those parts as I give you a glimpse into part of the story that would’ve been in this deleted excerpt from The Dark Tides. I like to call it “Ambush at Merlin’s Pinnacle” so, here you go!


The Avenger glided through the air around Merlin’s Pinnacle. The crew was on their toes during this part of the passage, as the air currents around the peak could be quite treacherous. The Gil-Gamesh watched his crew move like a well-oiled machine during the flight. Even Hunter and Andrew were pitching in, to not only be helpful but to learn more about the operation of the airships of Avalon.

From the bridge, Bryan looked down at the fog covered Arkengarth Vale and reflected back on that epic battle, his torture and recovery afterwards in Alfheimer. It’s moments like this that the Gil-Gamesh couldn’t help but feel his age. Though 60 was considered middle-aged for someone from Avalon, in Bryan’s “Outlander-way” of thinking, it’s near retirement age for most people. And with everything that happened over the past month, he was beginning to wonder how much longer he could keep doing this.

His 20 years on Avalon had been nothing but non-stop since he arrived. It wasn’t like it was unfamiliar territory to him. Working on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier was no different — fast paced, focused attention-to-detail, non-stop action-packed work for days on end. But the question remained, when this is all over, could he finally take a break from the fast-paced life he led as the Gil-Gamesh? Only time would tell.

Suddenly Bryan noticed a shadow falling across the ship’s deck. He turned to look skyward to see what could be casting it. High in the sky behind them, flying right in the sun, another airship closed in on the Avenger. Because of its position, Bryan couldn’t see who it was or why Captain O’Brien hadn’t acknowledged its presence.

“Captain, what’s that ship following us?” the Gil-Gamesh asked.

“It’s the Intrepid milord. Our lookouts spotted her about an hour ago, just before you came on deck. She appears to be following us into Idlehorn.”

“Has Captain Oldman signaled his course and intentions per protocol?”

Edan thought for a moment before answering. “No milord, he hasn’t. I assumed with the beatings our ships have taken over the past few weeks, it might have slipped his mind.”

“Never assumed anything Edan,” Bryan said as he reaches into his cloak and pulled out his spyglass lens. “Video Visum!” he chanted as the lens zoomed in on the airship. The decks were empty, even in the rigging. This was very disturbing to the Gil-Gamesh, especially for running this close to Merlin’s Pinnacle.

“Have the crow’s nest attempt to signal them,” Bryan ordered. Captain O’Brien relayed the command and the sailor manning the crow’s nest pulled out a pair of flags and started to signal the airship through a series of motions and signals. No response ever came from the Intrepid.

Bryan contemplated his next move. “Shall we fly up alongside her Gil-Gamesh?” Edan inquired.

“No, we’d be too exposed to an attack as we maneuvered into position. He’s got the wind in his favor. I have a better idea.” Lord MoonDrake raised his fingers to his mouth and whistled. “Maverick!” he shouted. From below decks, a tiny dragon whizzed past all the sailors until he reached the Gil-Gamesh. Faerie Dragons were quite small, less than two feet in length, but they’re also the fastest creatures on Avalon. Their wings resembled dragonfly wings, beating as fast as a hummingbird.

Bryan held up his hand and the little dragon landed on it like a falconer would. He stroked it under the chin, causing the beast to purr like a kitten. Bryan spoke to Maverick in the ancient tongue of the dragons. The Faerie Dragon growled and took off toward the Intrepid. It didn’t take long for it to come back and land on Bryan’s shoulder. The little creature grunted and growled to the Gil-Gamesh, garbled to everyone else but Bryan understood it perfectly.

“No one is on deck save for a single Brood manning the helm,” Bryan relayed. “He’s got to be planning a kamikaze run on us. He’s probably waiting until we get closer to Idlehorn.”

“A ‘kamikaze’ milord?” Edan asked.

“In the outside world, there was a world war,” Bryan explained. “When the enemy realized they were losing the war, they decided to take out as many of our ships as they could by flying into them, sacrificing themselves to severely damage us. They were called Kamikazes. It means ‘divine wind’ hoping their sacrifice would earn them a place of honor in Heaven.”

“Shall we beat to quarters?” Edan asked.

Bryan thought for a minute then decided against it. “No, if he sees any real change on deck, he may dive at us sooner than expected. He would cut us in half before we could change course or fire any shot off at him. This calls for something with a little more subtlety.”

The Gil-Gamesh got an idea and walked over to the rail. “Hunter, Andrew … Get your Lancers and get up here!” he ordered. The two young men stopped what they’re doing and headed below decks. Within minutes, they returned to the bridge with their Lancers in hand.

“Alright, time for a battle test of your new weapon,” Bryan began. “Behind us is the Intrepid, but its crew is missing and it’s being piloted by a single Brood. From the position they’re in, if we do anything to show aggression, she’ll dive right at us and we won’t be able to respond.”

“You think they’re going to ram us?” Hunter asked.

“More than likely, which is where you and your Lancers come in,” the Gil-Gamesh explained. “I need you to shoot some explosive dragonfire rounds into that ship, preferably up forward where the ammunition is stored. That should be able to blow it right out of the sky.”

“Just out of curiosity sir, why don’t you cast a spell to do the same thing? I mean, your spells seem to be more powerful than these spell shots could ever be.”

“That’s true Andrew, they are, but to cast a spell to travel that distance and be effective, it takes some time in conjuring. If he sees me performing any kind of enchantment, he would more than likely dive right at us. That’s why you built these Lancers, remember … Stealth with precision. To him, it’ll probably look like you’re looking at them through a spyglass. Now, get to it!”

Hunter and Andrew loaded the spell shots into their Lancers. They took position on the aft end of the bridge. “You want to aim about ten feet back from the bow ornament Andy, about halfway down the hull,” Hunter told him.

“Got it …” Andy retorted.

“Remember to adjust your second shot if and when he starts to react,” Bryan reminded them. The two men just nodded their head.

“On three …” Hunter said as he counted down, “One, two, three …” The two men fired simultaneously as the Lancers exploded with a loud “whoosh”, almost like a musket firing, as the dragonfire spat out, launching fireballs that grew incrementally as they travelled through the air. Almost immediately, the two men fired a second volley at the airship. The first two fireballs impacted right on target on the bow, causing a massive explosion as the Intrepid started to dive. Then the second fireballs hit, causing the ammunition to detonate, and the airship was reduced to burning embers.

Bryan steps up and patted his son and son-in-law on the shoulders. “Well done gentlemen, well done. I hate losing another ship but we can’t let them take any advantage over us.”

“The Lancers are more powerful than we ever hoped,” Hunter added. “Great job Andy.”

“Thanks … I just hope it will help in the coming battle,” Andrew said with due humility.

“Well, we may be losing battles like this, but in the end, we’re going to win the war. Morgana won’t know what hit her,” Bryan replied. “In the meantime, I suggest you start planning a training regime to teach our forces how to use them. You won’t have a lot of time to get them up to speed on the Lancers.”

“Don’t worry father. I’m putting together the best shooters from the Knights of the Round Table. These men are already quite skilled with the GunStars, so teaching them how to use the Lancers should be child’s play.”

“You might want to include Captain McLoughlin in your training,” the Gil-Gamesh added. “The Shield Maidens paired with those knights will have to be ready to adjust their tactics.”

“How much time will we have?” Andrew asked.

“Less than a week, a few days at most … I don’t expect Morgana to attack before the new moon, but I need her too. So, I’ll just have to give her a little nudge.”

“Is that a smart thing to do Dad?” Hunter inquired. “We should take all the time we need to get ready for this fight.”

“The problem is that if I give Morgana more time, it brings us closer and closer to the new moon, when the Dark Tides will be at its peak. That’s one advantage I don’t want her to have.”

Before he departed the bridge, Captain O’Brien stopped the Gil-Gamesh. “My apologies Gil-Gamesh, it won’t happen again.”

“Edan, I don’t expect you to be perfect. People make mistakes,” Bryan explained. “Just learn from those mistakes and don’t make the same one again. You get one chance from me, but do it again and you’ll be sacked so fast, I might not land the ship before kicking you overboard.”

Bryan walked right by Edan as he got a lump in his throat from the very ominous threat by the Gil-Gamesh. Hunter tried to reassure the young Captain about his father’s overzealous attack.

“Don’t worry Edan. Jupiter Antilles once told me my father threatened him on more than one occasion to toss him overboard. I’d say you were in good company.”

“I hope so Hunter. It’s just … I’d hate to be the first.”


The Dark Tides is now available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iUniverse.

Never forget September 11, 2001

firefightersToday is the Day of Remembrance, honoring victims of terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. I wanted to take the time to tell you where I was on 9/11.

On September 11, 2001, I was station aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. We were near the end of our six moth deployment, beginning our trek home. The ship just left the Persian Gulf and we were sailing in the North Arabian Sea, heading south.

The plan was for the ship to make a port call in South Africa, the first for a nuclear aircraft carrier, before crossing the Atlantic and returning to our home port in Norfolk, Va. We were even planning our “Crossing the Line” ceremony for when we crossed the equator, a proud tradition in the U.S. Navy.

I was the Assistant Public Affairs Officer, leading a division of seven Sailors in operating the shipboard radio and television stations as well as publishing the daily newspaper for the crew. I was looking forward to getting home. My daughter was turning 16 in October and I was going to make it home just in time for her party.

It was in the middle of the afternoon and I was listening to the morning news from the U.S., live via satellite. That’s when I saw the first tower, smoldering as smoke billowed out. Reports said a plane flew into the tower.

At first, I thought it was a terrible accident, then I watched in horror as a second plane flew into the other tower. I knew then something was wrong.

The first thing I did was to send out an email to all the Chief Petty Officers onboard, telling them to “turn on the news, I think the U.S. Is under attack.” I continued to monitor the news and saw that a plane flew into the Pentagon and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

Though you couldn’t actually feel the ship turning around, we all knew what was going to happen. We were going to stay right where we were, waiting for orders on who to retaliate against for this cowardly attack.

Over the next few days, we all watched in horror at the devastation left behind; but I also saw our country coming together and the pride of America grew strong. All around the ship, people were hanging up pictures and cartoons related to the attack. Most of them demonstrated the resolve of the American people to strike back against the terrorists who attacked us.

Everyone on the ship was ready to do our duty. Weapons were readied, aircraft were maintained and the crew was anxious to get going. As much as we wanted to get home, we also wanted to be the ones to lead the first strike.

It was ironic that, on the night of the first wave of air strikes against the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces, the chaplain who led the evening prayer that night was Muslim. I think that demonstrated to everyone that were striking back at enemy forces, not the Islamic religion.

We were eventually relieved by another carrier and started our return home, one month late but it was worth the extended deployment. I am proud to have been a part of that mission and to tell the story of what the brave men and women of the U.S. Navy did that day.

It is something I will never forget.

The most dangerous place to work in the world — An excerpt from “The Dark Tides”

originalToday is Labor Day and I was thinking about the hardest jobs to do. One I can say with absolute assurance is the work done by the men and women of our military. As a veteran myself, I know firsthand the great job they do.

The flight deck of an aircraft carrier is known as “the most dangerous place to work” in the world today. Jet engines, propeller blades, jet fuel and explosive ordnance make for a deadly combination. You have men and women under 18 years of age working daily in this hazardous environment.

It takes strong leadership to make it work like the well-oiled machine it is. That’s why I made the protagonist of my novels in the Forever Avalon series an Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handler) or ABH. Chief Bryan Drake was such a leader, making sure the job was done safely and efficiently.

This excerpt from The Dark Tides demonstrates his strong leadership that took him from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier to the magical island Avalon to become Lord Bryan MoonDrake, the Gil-Gamesh of Avalon.


As Bryan walked down the ship’s ladderwell, he heard a loud commotion coming up toward him. Yellow shirts—flight deck aircraft handlers—were running up the ladderwell, telling people to get out-of-the-way. Bryan recognized one of the handlers from his division, Petty Officer George Rodriguez, but everyone just called him “Georgie.”

“Georgie, what’s going on?” Bryan asked.

“Helo 951 broke loose Chief; it’s sliding around on its rear wheel,” the Hispanic sailor yelled as he stormed past him. Bryan followed behind, heading toward Flight Deck Control to get an update from “the handler,” Lt. Cmdr. Derrick McGregory. “The Mad Scot”—as he is known to his sailors—controlled all aircraft movement on the flight deck.

Inside Flight Deck Control, Bryan rushed into a flurry of activity. McGregory was on the phone with the “Air Boss”—the officer in charge of air operations on Enterprise while others peered out of the small windows to get a peek at what’s happening on deck.

“Clear away from the window,” Bryan shouted to the sailors. “If you don’t have any business in control, get out now!” The sailor’s groaned and filed out as the Handler hung up the phone. His mustache twitched—a sign Bryan came to learn as trouble.

“Chief, the Boss doesn’t want that aircraft damaging any others,” he said to Bryan. “It’s already clipped another helo and a Hawkeye. Think you can secure it?”

Bryan looked at the Handler, tense and nervous. He’s always relied on Bryan for the tough jobs, and he knew it had to be done.

“Yes sir. Just give me Georgie, Bartman and a couple of blue shirts and we’ll lock it down.” The Handler picked up the sound-powered phone while Bryan grabbed a flight deck vest and helmet off a hook on the wall. He’d need the safety gear out on the flight deck, especially in this weather. George, Petty Officer Mike Bartman and two blue shirts—sailors who chain the aircraft down to the deck—arrived in Flight Deck Control.

Bryan finished buckling his helmet as he relayed orders to his crew. “Georgie, you drive the tractor. I want that bird hooked up and holding steady. Bartman, you guide him into the helo. Once that’s done, you two lock it down tight. Ready?”

They all chimed in at the same time. “Yes Chief!” Bryan opened the hatch to the flight deck, the wind and rain blowing them down almost immediately.

Once everyone is outside, Bryan moved his crew toward the swinging helicopter. Its rear wheel remained chained to the flight deck but its front wheels broke free, causing the aircraft to swing like a pendulum. Georgie and Bartman go around the island and start-up a tractor while the two blue shirts stayed close to Bryan.

The ship was listing heavily to right as huge waves crashed over the flight deck. The wind and rain added to the problem, making it hard for them to get good footing. Complicating things even more was the multiple aircraft around them, strained against their chains by the storm.
Georgie backed the tractor on the helo’s rear wheel and, with Bartman’s help, locked the helo down. Once steady, Bartman signaled a thumbs’ up to Bryan to send the two blue shirts in. Heavy chains hung on their shoulders, chocks in their hands, Bryan ordered the two sailors to get to work. He watched as the chocks were placed under the wheels and the chains are hooked on to tie the aircraft down.

Bryan was pleased with his team. He had a great group of sailors working for him. The blue shirts gave the thumbs up and they all started to celebrate, fists pumping and cheering, until without warning, things went from bad to worse.

The ship hit a big swell that caused the carrier to drop fast and list heavy to starboard. Bryan can only watch as Bartman slipped and started to tumble backwards toward the edge of the flight deck. He acted quickly to save his shipmate; without regard for his own life or safety, he dove after Bartman.

The momentum of the listing deck flung him through the air. He reached Batman and knocked him into the catwalk, saving his life, but his life saving gesture propelled him over the side of the ship into the water.

He hit the water hard and momentarily blacked out. His safety gear kicked in, though, and his vest auto-inflated. He rose to the surface and regained consciousness. The waves, wind and rain battered him around.

He saw the ship in the distance. The sound of “Man Overboard” can be heard, even with the storm. The ship started to turn around, but to Bryan it seemed to be getting further and further away from him, as if he was being pulled away from the carrier.

The waves continued to beat him about, practically drowning him in its fury. Bryan became disoriented and fear started to grip him … The fear of dying. He thought about Stephanie and the kids. He remembered birthdays, anniversaries and holidays as images flooded his mind.

Suddenly, he saw a glow in the sky. Bryan thought it was the light from a rescue helicopter, but the ship couldn’t have launched one in this weather. “Is this it? Is this the end?” he thought as the light grew brighter and brighter until it enveloped him. Bryan closed his eyes and accepted his fate.


The Dark Tides is now available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iUniverse.

Not the most memorable quotes, but still a favorite to most!


Young Frankenstein (1974)

There are some lines in books and movies that are remembered throughout history. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!” or “I’m gonna make him and offer he can’t refuse!” just to name a few. As an author, I recognize the fact that these are part of the story that makes it memorable.

But there are some lines,maybe not as memorable, but they still stick out every time you watch a movie or TV show. One classic line, to me, is Bill Murray in Ghostbusters when he said, “He’s a sailor, he’s in New York, we get this guy laid, he’ll be no trouble!” I’m a little biased as a retired sailor, but that’s the line that I think of when I think of Ghostbusters. These are plug lines, story transitions or even ad-libbed dialogue, but they’ve become just as memorable. Here are just a few of my favorites:

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this!” — any character, Star Wars

“The bitch hit me with a toaster!” — Bill Murray, Scrooged

“Why is all the rum gone?” — Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Carribean

“Your the best son money can buy!” — Donald Trump, The Little Rascals

“Blucher!” (Horse Whinny) — Marty Feldman, Young Frankenstein

“Excuse me while I whip this out!” — Cleavon Little, Blazing Saddles

“You’re one ugly mother f#@!er!” — Arnold Schwatrzenegger, Predator

“I can’t believe I just gave my panties to a geek.” — Molly Ringwald, Sixteen Candles

“Demented and sad, but social.” — Judd Nelson, The Breakfast Club

“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room! — Peter Sellers, Dr. Strangelove

“Sir, I’m gonna have to ask you to exit the donut!” — Samuel L. Jackson, Iron Man 2

As I said,  not a lot of classic lines, but still quite memorable. These are lines that will come to mind whenever you’re flipping through channels and you come across one of these movies. What are some of your favorite lines from movies? Let me know in the comments!