He can read, too!

It’s so thrilling!

I thought I’d give folks a bit of a treat and/or break today.

A treat – I’ll read excerpts from The Augmented Man.

A break – in case a steady diet of Empty Sky is becoming tiresome.

 
A while back I polled readers regarding what single scene they’d like to hear read aloud. Everybody had great suggestions and four scenes came to the top. Everybody thought the final scene was amazing and no, I’m not going to share it aloud here. Read it for yourself. I don’t want to give anything away.

The other three top scenes are offered here: Surface, Donaldson introducing the Augmented Men to the Gang of Eight, and the WarClouds discovering Rivers in the forest.

Enjoy!

The opening, Surface section:

 


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Joseph Carrabis signs and discusses The Augmented Man at The Barnes&Noble in Peabody, MA 5 Jan Noon

Come watch me sign books! It’s amazing! I’ll even sign one for you!

The good folks at the Peabody, MA, Barnes&Noble bookstore invited me to do a book signing on Sunday, 5 Jan 2020 starting at noonET.

Please attend. It’ll be fun!

 
A bit about The Augmented Man
The US Military concedes that any kind of combat leaves soldiers psychologically damaged and makes reintegration to society difficult.

The solution is to find individuals who are already so psychologically damaged the most horrendous combat experience will seem trivial by comparison. Better, find individuals psychologically damaged who’ve also experienced massive physical insult and trauma. Best, individuals psychologically damaged, physically traumatized, and emotionally vacant.

But where to find such individuals?

Captain James Donaldson suggests using massively abused and traumatized children as the basis, arguing “…they’ve already experienced more at home than they’ll ever experience in the field. All we need to is help their bodies catch up to where their psyches and emotions already are.

Nine individuals are selected for Augmentation and entered into combat.

One survives.

And comes home.

Anecdote Deux
At the request of those in attendance at my last booksigning, I read both the Surface section and pages 228-231, from the start of the first Gunship scene to “Better, Ed?” of The Augmented Man as my text.

I should point out that I’m always nervous reading. I truly prefer someone else reading my work. I can hear how it sounds to other people that way.

In any case, I read.

And people froze. I’m not kidding. It was that cold.

Okay, I am kidding. I mean when I stopped reading and looked up, it was deer-caught-in-headlights time. The folks listening stared at me, blinking. A few moments later the comments began; “You pulled me in,” “My god that’s incredible,” “Shit, you can write,” and more.

YES! Thank you, that’s what it’s all about.

To me.

When your audience is so captivated by the work they’re speechless, you’ve done your job as an author.

About me
You can find out more than you need to know at my About page.

Joseph Carrabis signs and discusses The Augmented Man at The Toadstool Bookshop, Nashua, NH, 5 Dec 6-8PM

It’s Me! It’s Local! It’s a Book Signing! You’re Shocked, I Know!

The good folks at the Nashua, NH, Toadstool Bookshop invited me to do a book signing on Thursday, December 5, 2019 6-8 PM.

After the signing, we’re all going to head over to the 110 and you can all buy me a drink! We can point at all those people in the 110 who don’t have signed copies and go “Nyah, Nyah” and then tell them how good a read it is and how they should go get a copy for themselves!

They’ll like that, I’m sure!

 
A bit about The Augmented Man
The US Military concedes that any kind of combat leaves soldiers psychologically damaged and makes reintegration to society difficult.

The solution is to find individuals who are already so psychologically damaged the most horrendous combat experience will seem trivial by comparison. Better, find individuals psychologically damaged who’ve also experienced massive physical insult and trauma. Best, individuals psychologically damaged, physically traumatized, and emotionally vacant.

But where to find such individuals?

Captain James Donaldson suggests using massively abused and traumatized children as the basis, arguing “…they’ve already experienced more at home than they’ll ever experience in the field. All we need to is help their bodies catch up to where their psyches and emotions already are.

Nine individuals are selected for Augmentation and entered into combat.

One survives.

And comes home.

Anecdote
I recently took part in an authors’ reading and used the Surface section of The Augmented Man as my text.

One of the other author’s partners said, “I’m uncomfortable with your subject, but your writing pulled me right into the story.”

YES! Thank you, that’s what it’s all about.

To me.

When the power of the writing overcomes the reader’s objections to the story’s content, take a moment and be proud. You’ve done good work.

About me
You can find out more than you need to know at my About page.

The Proper Way to Describe the Itsuro-Shegami Technique When Applied to Nipple Joints

Ain’t nothing better for a wayward nipple

 
Rahki World author Rennie St. James invited me to guest blog WRITING REALISTIC HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT SCENES and I did.

I did I did I did!

Can’t tell you how many versions I came up with.

No, actually I can because I revision everything – four.

Some of those early versions…a beautiful demonstration of not knowing what to write about. There were lots of ways to go at it. Do I write about my many years teaching hand-to-hand mixmaster beef loin braising techniques at the Academie du HaHa in Paranormal, France?

Probably too graphic for most readers. No.

Instead I went with how to write a combat scene such that the reader believes it.

Hope it worked.

Let Rennie and me know, okay?

And thanks.

Empty Sky Chapter 3 – Al Carsons

The Big Man’s Dreams

(final edit before the proofreaders (he said). Noticeable rewrites here. You can read the previous version here.

Read Empty Sky Chapter 2 – The Clarity of Night

Creator and above level members can download a PDF of the first three chapters to read offline


Al Carsons’ leathery, calloused palms pushed down on the white, threadbare vinyl of his ’77 Ford F-150 pickup’s benchseat. It crackled as he slid out into the knee-deep, Hallock, Minnesota snow. He liked the crackling, the cold.

He reached back in for his lunchbox and blew a kiss to the empty seat. His lunchbox whacked the gearshift as he lifted it over the front seat rifle mount. He tapped the shift, making sure his old rig was still in gear and wouldn’t slip.

He kept his pickup all these years because of that benchseat; he and Effie could sit side by side and not have to reach over an armrest to give each other a little pat or sneak a little kiss. He brought it home to show her, a long time ago, half a century ago in fact, when he and Effie were just starting out, all shiny new, red with white trim, a five-speed half-ton longbed and they went for a drive, my god did they go for a drive, he with one hand on the wheel and one around her, holding her close, only letting go when he had to shift.

He could drive forever like that. She even joked about it, calling him her “Forever Man.”

He patted the seat where Effie’d sit. She told him they made Charlie that day they went for their first drive in their new pickup. He taught Charlie and Ben how to drive and hunt in that same pickup.

Now, like him, the hinges squeaked a bit.

He closed the door and patted the windshield. “Just you and me now, huh, old girl?”

His green wool pants swished between his thighs as he waded through low drifts, sounding almost like breaths against the shhsing whispers of the falling snow. His black workboots cut a path towards his plow and he thought of explorers in the Arctic. He slowed passing under the maintenance depot’s one streetlight to watch his shadow shift from tracing back to his truck to stretching out towards his plow, all in one step.

Except a little piece of his shadow moved off to the left and stayed as Al moved on.

He liked being called for double-overtime during storms. Storms were great. Especially late fall, early winter storms. A mess of whirling winds, little specks of light bouncing back as his headlights fought the darkness, black night sky slowly gaining color as if slowly gaining sight.

And the cold. Cold that made vinyl crack. Even with the big plow’s defrosters on full he could still see his breath misting at the end of his shift.

And the solitude. Quiet. Nobody to listen to him go on when he talked to the wind, telling Effie what he’d been up to, what he’d done, asking how the boys were and all.

Effie’d gone to that drunk driver five summers back and the two boys, Charlie and Ben, left him, one to a holdup and the other in Afghanistan.

He knew something was wrong when the Death Notification Officer showed up in his Class A’s. He’d seen Ben in his Class A’s once. He and Effie were so proud, their Ben in a parade in his honor, one of our own being deployed to the other side of the world.

Effie kept hugging Ben and messing up his uniform and saying, “If only Charlie were here to see you. He’s so proud of you, Ben, you know he’s smiling down on you waiting for you to catch the football.”

“I know, Ma. I know.”

“And you make sure you come back home to us, you hear?”

“I will, Ma. I will.”

But that drunk driver took Effie and a week later the Death Notification Al’s door and they talked and shook hands and the Death Notification Officer explained that the bomb that took Ben out didn’t really leave enough to ship home but Ben was going to get a proper military funeral just the same and Al shouldn’t worry about anything, Ben was coming home.

When Al couldn’t see the Army car anymore, when it had passed through the fields and trees and into the night, he went to his closet and got out his deer rifle and put one shell in the chamber and locked it in the front seat rifle mount and drove a little west because any further north he’d be in Canada and Al didn’t want to cause any international incidents.

He parked in the morning light, put the rifle over his shoulder and marched up into the tree-covered hills until he found a nice rock he could lean against and watch the sunrise, the muzzle tucked under his chin and his finger ready to push down the trigger.


Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post and requires either General Membership (free) or a Subscription (various levels). Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. All posts are free to all members save certain posts in the My Work category. Enjoy!