Busy, busy, busy

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I have been busy at work, in my hobby farm, and with my family. My llama died, according to the veterinarian, of gastrointestinal infestation of parasites. We loved her, though only for a short time. Two of my turkeys and all my poults were killed by something that feeds at night. Now there are three left: a wounded Tom and two hens that somehow escaped the food chain, for now.

My writing has been horribly sporadic, virtually non-existent. My e-book sales stalled. No literary agents have e-mailed me with good news and some downright say nothing. Why can’t they write a one word reply: NO. It feels better to hear NO than nothing at all.

By next fall, I will have one child left in the house. Time moves forward, my sun spots grown darker, and my skin tags multiply, but my wife grows more beautiful with time.

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Army Nurse Comes Out of the Closet and Nobody Cared

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Tacoma, WA, 23 February 2014.
US Army Nurse Corps Captain Chris Roberts always knew that he was different. Born in to a strict Southern Baptist family, clear delineation of male and female roles and by the book adherence to the New Testament was enforced by both his parents. So when he told his family that he was going to college to be a nurse, both parents were distraught.

According to CPT Roberts, “my Dad says only women become nurses. Are you gay, Chris?” He vehemently told his father that he was not gay. Worried that her son might be a homosexual, Mrs. Roberts took extreme efforts to set her son up on dates even when he went to college in Washington State. “I wanted to get away from home and be free to explore things,” said Chris, “but my mother insisted that I send her pictures of me and my girlfriends, so I sent her selfies of me and my nursing school classmates. Some of them had gorgeous manes and cool outfits.”

During a recruiting drive at the college, Chris Roberts was approached by a nursing recruiter, CPT Pat Scones, who told this reported that, Chris is the kind of poster boy for recruiting males into the profession: blonde, tall, broad shoulders, well chiseled looks, with slightly pouty lips, and trimmed eyebrows. It did not require an arm twisting from CPT Scones for Chris to sign up for the Army.

Fast forward to the present: CPT Chris Roberts, after years of keeping it trapped in, finally came out of the closet last week. Expecting an avalanche of backlash from the Army, his friends, and his family, he took a week off in case he had to hunker down and take the onslaught.

To his dismay, his coming out only created a small blip on his social media site. His good friend Mark said, “good for you bro, I knew you were gay. You’re still cool.” Cindy, who is Chris’s childhood friend stated, “LOL, we all know that Chris. You called action figures dolls. <3” His sister said, “I knew it! Does mom and dad know this?”

Fellow Army officers on his social site all had nonchalant answers. One CPT summed it up: Seriously, none of us thought you were straight. His Chief Nurse, who should not be following her subordinates on social media said, “I don’t know why he did this now. He must not have received the memo that the DoD doesn’t give a shit anymore if you’re gay. Oh well, if it makes him happy to come out of an open closet, so be it. Young adults nowadays have the need to let the entire world know everything. I knew he was gay the first time he reported to my office.”

When this reporter asked CPT Roberts’ mother (his father refused to talk), she said, “I suspected he was gay when I saw him browse through his dad’s PhD dissertation on the evils of gay porn sites.”

Advertising My Book

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Before I retired from the Army, I thought of going into medical or surgical sales, make big bucks for a few years and retire comfortably and visit lots of beautiful places on my bucket list. I’m glad I did not go into sales. I do not have the personality for sales. I am too modest, too shy, too defeatist, and too introverted. I am comfortable sitting on my ass with a pen and paper writing or a laptop typing away making up imaginary worlds. 

I just placed an advertisement for my book in a local paper for seven days. It came out today and I am already checking Amazon for an uptick in sales. The other sites (Apple, Kobo, Copia, Scribd, PagePusher) do not have the graphics of Amazon. I wish there was a really good way of advertising my book online.

I hate this part of my job. This is when a publicist comes in handy. But then again, my book was not published in Manhattan. I am my own publicist. I can ramble on, but no one even reads my blog. As one of my sons said, they just stumble into it by accident and click away. I should just work on my second book. I’m waiting for the sun to shine. It’s too dark this time of year.

Writing a press release for my novella

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This writing, self-publishing, and self-advertising is all on-the-job training. I do not have a big budget, just the drive to have my work read. This is the press release that I sent. I hope someone out there reads it in their e-mail and publishes it in their paper:

RETIRED ARMY OFFICER DEBUTS LITERARY WAR NOVELLA

“The drugs now suppress the nightmares and my therapist is slowly helping me erase my incubus. Should I really care how my nightmares disappeared or why the boy is fading from my mind? Are sins forgiven if you cannot remember them? My psychiatric medications are my redemption, a poly-pharmaceutical approach to exculpation of my sins. Talk therapy is my weekly confessional.”

OLYMPIA, WA, JANUARY 25, 2014— Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Prospero “Perry” Donan debuts his first literary war novella “All Things Visible and Invisible.” Donan currently works as a part-time operating room nurse and a part-time licensed practical nurse lab instructor. It took him eight months to finish his novella. Writing was the easiest part, according to Donan. The hardest part was the rewrites. The original novella was 160 pages. By the time he was finished, the book was reduced to 113 pages. The book was professionally edited before it was published.

Set primarily in Olympia, WA and Afghanistan, “All Things Visible and Invisible” is the story of Lieutenant Nick Bayan who meets Julie Earharth at a party and instantly falls in love with her. A few months later they marry and she gets pregnant. He deploys to Afghanistan where things did not go so well during his first mission: he kills a child. Somehow, he was able to suppress his emotions. But, when he goes home for the birth of his child, his nightmare begins. When he returns to Afghanistan to finish his deployment, he begins to fall apart, consumed, and haunted by what he did. He comes home a physically and emotionally broken man, searching for salvation, redemption, and love. It is a soldier’s search for all things visible and invisible.

His book is available through Amazon, B&N, Apple, The Copia, Kobobooks, Scribd, PagePusher, and other online booksellers. It is sold as an ebook and paperback.

First Draft of “ee cummings please”

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don’t spare me the sun

a world of skeleton trees

feeds my discontent

stabs me with icicles

      for beatitudes’ triumph is

             stale

the hateful steps of winter’s

                                                march

slow plodding

                       never stalling

to stop for seeds

                       for black birds’ plunder

and when the songs of

Solomon is sung, sung

                       in the spring,

                                           summer,

                                                        fall

winter,

dark master slave to me,

       to you

in white tracks to oblivion

blurred or

             blurring blizzard until it fades

shades of green into white into

     grey into black

sing or scream

then silence my voice that’s

frozen in the snow until the thaw

because e.e. you still confuse

                                             me

    with your highs and lows,

lower case when it should

    be upper case,

unusual cuts to sudden fades

     to moon, to stars,

          abstracting cubes into

                words into visual

                        art

I ca n  n   o    t

     s    e   e      y    o   u  r

reality.

Killing a man, from ALL THINGS VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE chapter 10

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“We were ambushed, pinned down, being shot at from all angles, like fish in a barrel. Yeah, that was how my first real mission wound up. Then clarity and training kicked in. I saw him running fast toward me and shooting at me with his AK-47. I took aim and blew his head. At the innocent age of 24, I shot and killed my first Taliban. I moved to the nearest wall for cover. I looked at his body slumped on the ground and saw the back of his head, still pumping blood. This was the first time I had seen so much blood. I stared at the flowing blood for what seemed like minutes as the earth drank it, as if it too desired war to quench its dry and scratchy throat, until the blood stopped and turned dark and coagulated.”

Excerpt From: Donan, P.C. “All Things Visible and Invisible.” iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=744658307