Posted in Freelance Article

The Battle of Bushy Run

This was my first freelance article and moved me from hobby writer to a professional freelancer.  I completed the assignment in five days and Sunflower published it with very little editing.  There was a small amount cheating involved, I grew up very close to this park and have spent hours in the museum and the battlefield.  (My brother’s Eagle Project was to plant trees here, which I am proud to say are still there.)   So, I  did not have to do much research to complete the article.  

There is one flaw The Battle of Bushy Run was during Pontiac’s War, not the French and Indian War as the sub-title states, but it is a common mistake.  I wish they would have used different photographs but that was something beyond my control.    

I do not own the rights to this article they are owned wholly and fully by Sunflower Publishing and any discussion for reproducing this article in part or in whole must be done with them.

Other articles for Laurel Highlands Magazine:

Fort Necessity 

Fort Ligioner 

 

Posted in Outrageous Lies and Tales, Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stone for the Lock IV

4th part of the weekly story.  (First Part)  The inspiration for this came from an off hand comment I made on Facebook, and since people seemed interested I decided to follow through.  Happy Reading. 

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)

bowlingball

 

The had driven three hours to hotel they stayed in last night.  Mrs. Emily had been quiet almost the entire way with only an occasional comment about the road or the gas station they had to stop at.  She had insisted that Brodie carry the blue bag up to her room and then she ordered room service for the both of them, he had returned to his room to freshen up and then returned before the food arrived.  He had never had fish prepared the way they served it here and he was very hesitant at first but he was hungry.  It was far better than the fish sticks he was used to and the rye bread wrapped around the fish and ham mixture.

“How do you like your Kalakukko?”

Brodie looked up from his meal.  “Very good.”

A few more bites of food and Mrs. Emily was finished with her plain fish dinner which was much simpler than Brodie’s.   Brodie watched as she sipped her water and then dabbed her mouth with her napkin.  “Brodie tell me what you saw after I came out of the field today.”

Brodie took a sip of water and started talking. “Well not much just that weird truck with that guy in the passenger seat. ”

“Tell me about the truck please?”  Mrs. Emily said folding her napkin carefully onto her plate.

‘The truck it was a Toyota red, ”  Brodie said thoughtfully. “It had that really weird hood ornament.”

Mrs. Emily said helpfully. “The raven.”

“Yeah the raven, boy that thing was big, almost life-size,  I mean from the raven’s I have seen in California I don’t know the size of the ravens here. ”

“Did you know that the raven was was the eyes of the Father God Odin?”

“Odin?  Father of Thor, the Thunder God.”

“I am impressed you know your mythology.”

“Not really I accidentally saw the Thor movie one time when I was trying to see a documentary and I missed the start time and I did not have my car at the time and my sister was going to pick me up but she was not coming for two hours and all I had was a gift card for the theatre and I had forgotten the book I was reading. ”   Brodie let his voice fade off as he saw Mrs. Emily smiling at him, smiling at him like his teachers used to when he told a story too long.   “But I don’t know much more about Odin than that.”

“That is okay it is really not required at this time for you to know anything about mythology.”

Brodie was beginning to get uncomfortable with the way Mrs. Emily was talking so he tried to change the subject.   “Mrs. Emily have you taken your medication this evening?”

“Yes Brodie, the low blood pressure and the arthritis medication.”

“Okay, and I will put down in your physical therapy journal  your,”  Brodie searched for a word. “calisthenics in field this afternoon as your completed physical activity.”

“Very good  Brodie.”  Mrs. Emily stated simply.

 

Emily opened the bowling ball bag and brought the wood covered book out and placed it on the table.  Emily double checked the drapes and triple checked the deadbolt on the door.   To read the book Emily had to undo a series of latches, fasteners and slides.

The exterior of the book was more like a puzzle box then a real cover, it had been made by the previous High Pilgrim, a very strange woman who talked in a lot of strange wood metaphors.   Emily still puzzled over his sayings from time to time, the one she remembered as the most obtuse was “when a palm tree is left alone the palms often fall on the side of rising moon.”  Emily shook her head, the woman was brilliant and had gotten them so far in this task, she patted the book affectionate remembering Veronica its creator.  She moved the last slide on the book and opened it up moving aside the cover and began to look thru the tome for the pages covering the next destination in their trip.  Flipping pages she found the sheets she was looking for and started to pour over the information.

Emily had daydreamed about their next destination for years.  In 1983 a sing songwriter had made the prediction but it was not until 1991 the route opened up  and she knew then that she thought this task would be accomplished in her lifetime.   She mused she was not even sure that her mission would need to be completed in her lifetime.  The whole magic thing was not the most reliable practice, it had its rules and ways of operating but it was not a car that you gassed up when it went to E or changed the tires when the tread got low.  The mystical world was nebulous and unsure but her part in it had always been stable and solid.

Align the stones when they lost focus.   That was her job, her task in life, her mission.   Emily yawned and looked at her watch realizing how late it was, she closed the book and placed it back in her the bag.   She readied herself for bed and looked out the window one last time that is when she saw them.  They were standing on the roof of the parking garage across the street next to the red pickup truck.  The raven was gone but she knew if she looked enough she would find it lurking.  She got her telescope out of her bag and saw that both men had their arms crossed  both of them staring at the building.  Confirmation, they were both wearing the rings on their right hand.   Only a duo, she hoped they were on the plane before it became a trio.  She wondered if Brodie would willing to try caviar and borscht.

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)

Not crazy about the title, any suggestions will be duly considered.

The problem I have discovered with this type of writing is if I commit to something in the story there is no taking it back I just have to go with is and write my way out of it.  

If you would like to read my last weekly story, A Disinclined Purveyor of Sequential Art her it is. (Written in 2013, the same year my wife left me, so I was a different person back then, and I hope I have learned a lot about writing since then.)

If you want to see one of  my complete books try Disconnect in the Outfitters Universe.  

facebook-page

My Response:   The prophecy stated that in 60 years if the Stones were not properly aligned then the world would fall under the sway of the demon king for 1000 years. 1956 21 year old Emily the chosen one starts the quest. She arranges half the Stones around the planet, but then falls in love and life happens. Now it is 59 years later, Emily’s husband of 58 years passed away and one of the monks has found Emily and reminds her that she is the chosen one and needs to complete her task. Anyone interested?

Posted in Outrageous Lies and Tales, Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock II

2nd part of the new weekly story.  (First Part)  The inspiration for this came from an off hand comment I made on Facebook, and since people seemed interested I decided to follow through.  Happy Reading.  

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18)
bowlingball

 

Brodie adjusted his seat belt for the third time making sure it was buckled.  He had never flown before and he was nervous, he was even more nervous though because of Mrs. Emily had been acting strange.  No that was not the right term, strange was what he Aunt Veronica did when she washed her cats with a hair dryer and no water.  No Mrs. Bartloski was acting bizarre.

“Brodie can you help me downstairs?”

Before he had a chance to answer his employer was  on her feet approaching the door to the basement and before he could stop her she was moving down the stairs slowly one at a time using both her cane and the railing.

“Be a dear and go to the garage and get the four way tire iron from the trunk of the car.”

Brodie looked at her dumbly as she continued to move slowly down the stairs.

Mrs. Emily descended two more stairs and “Just do it dear, I will be fine.”

Brodie nodded when he saw she was only two steps away from the bottom.  He went into the garage and found the four way tire iron.  Or as his uncle use to call it a lug wrench.  Carrying the black metal tool back into the house he wondered why she wanted this tool in the basement.  As he reached the bottom stairs he did not see Mrs. Emily anywhere.  “Ma’am where are you?”

“Back by the furnace, did you find the four way?”

“Yes.”  Brodie said coming into the area by the furnace and water heater.  Mrs. Brodie was standing beside the metal devices pointing towards a plate mounted into the wall with two lug nuts on two bolts.

“If you could loosen those two lug nuts, hopefully they turn easily the last time I had them off I oiled them with WD-40.”  The old woman said smiling.  “But then I had my grandson Tyler tighten them, he was fifteen at the time, but he played football so he war awful strong.”

Brodie had met Tyler, saying he was strong was an understatement, the young man was now playing linebacker for a large university and was occasionally on television.

“Tyler tightened them, when he was fifteen?  So you have not taken these nuts off in six years?”  Brodie said placing the lug wrench up at the nuts and then rotated the tool to the right size.

“Well he might have been sixteen.”  Mrs. Emily stated smiling.

Brodie placed the wrench in position and gave an experimental turn lightly at first then with more strength he pulled on the tool and the bolt turned slowly, with a few more turns it spun freely and he spun the nut off the bolt.

“Now the other one please.”

Brodie handed her the loosened lug nut which she placed on top of the water heater.  Brodie loosened the other nut with the same amount of effort.  Then he slowly took the metal plate off the wall, it was heavier  then it looked and  he placed it gingerly on the floor.  When he stood back up Mrs. Emily had closed the distance to the wall and was nodding as if seeing an old friend.  “Could you hand me the bag please.”

“Bag?”  Brodie looked into the hole and saw a blue leather vintage bowling ball bag sitting upright in the wall. Things had happened so fast this morning he had not even had time to guess what they were doing but he had not expected to find a bowling ball behind a hidden shelf in the basement at work today.  But seeing as how he didn’t have a reason not to he grabbed the bag by the handles and gingerly lifted it out of its recessed position where according to Mrs. Emily it had sat for close to seven years.  The bag was heavy but no heavier then he expected it to be.  “Are we going bowling Mrs. Emily?”

Taking the bag from him Mrs. Emily hefted it as if weighing it.  “Don’t be silly my dear Mr. Brodie, I can’t bowl with these new hips. ”  She placed the bag down on the floor. “If you would place the metal plate back on the wall and then bring the bag upstairs when you are done I have to make some phone calls.”

Brodie simply nodded and placed everything back the way he found it then carried the blue leather bag upstairs to Mrs. Emily who was in her small office off the kitchen.  He placed it at her feet and she simply nodded as she talked on the phone.

“No I am sorry I can’t make Jessica’s birthday, my friend Helen called this morning and I have to go help her out, she hurt her back and I said I would come out to Eureka and help her out for a few days.”

Brodie just stood there and listened he did not know what else to do, but this is the first time he had heard about a trip to Eureka.  They had gone there last year for a few days, it was a big house on the beach and he had to do very little except sit and read while Mrs. Emily talked to her friend.

“Now Meredith you know when you are hurting you want a friendly face around, remember when you broke you leg in college you were very happy when I came and stayed with you for a few days.”  There was a pause.  “That is what mother’s are for.”  Another pause as he guessed Meredith was talking.  “And I am happy to go help Helen but I am sad I will miss the party.”

Brodie was about to leave when Mrs. Emily started writing something on a pad and motioned for him to read it.  ‘Can you get someone to watch your cat?’  He nodded yes.  Then Mrs. Emily motioned for him to go and make the call.

Fifteen minutes later he returned to the small office, his sister had agreed to get his cat and take it to  her house and he had asked her to return a stack of library books he had beside the front door as well.  He had one library book with him, The Canterbury Tales, but figured if they were only going up to Eureka he would be able to finish it, and one book overdue would not be much money.   Mrs. Emily turned to face him after she finished typing something on her computer and smiled.

“Brodie can you be back from picking up some clothes from your house in about a half an hour, we need to be on the road in about an hour?”

He nodded thoughtfully.  “Sure I just did laundry the other day.”

“Good, do not forget your passport.”   Then went back to whatever she was doing on her computer.

Brodie looked at her quizzically but just chalked it up to an idiosyncrasies of the lady as he always carried his driver’s license which had always been good enough before when he needed ID.    Brodie then excused himself and got into his pride and joy a used metallic green hybrid and quickly got home packed a quick bag, fed his cat, Toby, ignored the cat  meowing as he got his passport from the desk drawer and made it back to his employer’s house in thirty-five minutes.  In the time he had been gone the older lady had made it upstairs and was placing things neatly into a suitcase.

“Would you close it up and carry it downstairs our car should be here shortly.”

Brodie did as he was asked then was there to ensure that his charge navigated the stairs properly using both her cane and the railing. Brodie admired the lady, with two hip replacements she got around very well.  It was only a few minutes later that a car horn beeped and Brodie loaded the suitcases into the hired town car with the help of the driver.  When Mrs. Emily was settled she made him return to her office and get the blue bowling ball bag and then she insisted he put it between them on the back seat .

The ride was uneventful  until they made a turn away from the northern route he assumed they would take , but Brodie said nothing wondering what route they would be taking.  It was not until they turned of the interstate towards the airport that he turned towards Mrs. Emily.  She smiled at his shocked expression and spoke before he could voice a question.

“We are flying.”

“To Eureka?”

Mrs. Emily took his hand in her hand and placed it very motherly on top of the bowling ball bag then she held his hand with both of hers.  “Well not exactly my dear boy, I told a little fib to my daughter, I have some business to attend in Finland, I hope you don’t mind coming along.”

“Finland?”  Brodie said shocked.

“I hope you are up for it, it is a beautiful country and I have already booked us two first class tickets.”  She said patting his hands.

“Finland isn’t it cold there?”  Brodie said the first thing that came to his mind, thinking of his few meager clothes in his suit case.

“Oh no dear it is summer there, just like here, granted it is a little chiller, but if you need some warmer clothes I will buy them.  In fact this entire trip is my treat so don’t worry about that.”  She said it warmly but turned her head away at the last part.

“So your friend Helen?”   He let the question trail off.

“Oh Helen’s back is just fine, in fact she is on a second honeymoon with her third husband.”  Mrs. Emily put her finger to her chin. “Or maybe it is a second honeymoon with her third husband.”

Two and half hours later Brodie was sitting in a First Class seat waiting for the plain to take off, his eyes fell onto the blue bowling ball bag that Mrs. Emily had insisted be stored where she could see it.   She had been adamant that the bag not be checked.

 

Emily woke slowly and easily, she had always been able to rest comfortably no matter the circumstances, and these first class seats were very comfortable.  She reached out to grab her cane and superstitiously tapped the vintage bag secured at her feet.   No one had disturbed it while she was sleeping which meant that they had gotten this far without someone being able to get on the plane with them.  She had been a little concerned about the change in planes at JFK but apparently  either they were lucky or the enemy was not on their toes.

She steepled her hands and mediated for a few moments trying to avoid the questions.  How long before they would have to deal with the opposition, surely they knew she was back in play and moving.  The visit from the High Pilgrim could not have gone unnoticed.  She stared out the window for a few minutes then looked at her seatmate, when would she have to explain what was going on to Brodie.  Looking at him objectively she noted  he was a nice looking young man, dark hair, strong chin and wonderful brown eyes.  He was a little above average in height, she guessed about about six foot tall, lean and muscular but more of a runner than a lifter.  He husband, Clark had been a runner when he was young, but later in life he began lifting weights and got very strong.

She sighed thinking of Clark, he was a dear sweet man and she missed him terribly sometimes, but she had faith that when her job was done here she would see him again on the far side of the grave.  She pushed those thoughts out of her head and turned her attention back to Brodie.  The poor boy had never traveled much and this trip was going to be a big adjustment for him, not to mention the purpose of the trip.  Emily sighed and decided to take care of a few issues before he woke up.  Pulling out her tablet she connected to the Wi-Fi on the plane and made reservations at a hotel in Helsinki.    Emily checked her e-mail, then drafted a letter to High Pilgrim Orujov telling him that his assistance was needed.   All she needed to do was to tell him where to meet them and his people would be there, she carefully place the draft into the old code and then she did some shopping for Jessica’s birthday present.  She felt bad not being there for the girl’s twelfth birthday but duty called.

 

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18)

Not crazy about the title, any suggestions will be duly considered.

The problem I have discovered with this type of writing is if I commit to something in the story there is no taking it back I just have to go with is and write my way out of it.  

If you would like to read my last weekly story, A Disinclined Purveyor of Sequential Art her it is. (Written in 2013, the same year my wife left me, so I was a different person back then, and I hope I have learned a lot about writing since then.)

If you want to see one of  my complete books try Disconnect in the Outfitters Universe.  

facebook-page

My Response:   The prophecy stated that in 60 years if the Stones were not properly aligned then the world would fall under the sway of the demon king for 1000 years. 1956 21 year old Emily the chosen one starts the quest. She arranges half the Stones around the planet, but then falls in love and life happens. Now it is 59 years later, Emily’s husband of 58 years passed away and one of the monks has found Emily and reminds her that she is the chosen one and needs to complete her task. Anyone interested?

 

Posted in Quotes

Rest

John_Lubbock

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.   John Lubbock

The Right Honourable John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury PC FRS DCL LLD (30 April 1834 – 28 May 1913), known as Sir John Lubbock, 4th Baronet from 1865 until 1900, was a banker, Liberal politician, philanthropist, scientist and polymath.  He was a banker and worked with his family’s company, but also made significant contributions in archaeology, ethnography, and several branches of biology. He helped establish archaeology as a scientific discipline, and was also influential in nineteenth-century debates concerning evolutionary theory.[1]:514 He introduced the first law on the protection of the UK’s archaeological and architectural heritage.

summer day
A rare picture of A.A. Forringer. (Taken outside the Rodin Museum in summer of 2015.)

 

 

Posted in Podcasts

Scouts Out Episode 3 and 4

Scouts Out podcast (1)

Now Found on the following podcast sites:

Player.fm

Yarn.fm 

Podcast.de

Scouts Out the Podcast is released every Saturday morning.    Each episode will be be in the range of 25 to 35 minutes long.

The wonderful theme music and opening and closing narration was done by the fantastically talented and all round great human beings and friends, The Nargeleptics at 5 over E Studios in Maryland.

The cover art (and especially the redo of the original cover art) was done by my incredibly talented friend  Graham Kennedy.

So if you ever wanted to know what my voice sounds like, it will be me reading the book.  Please do not operate heavy machinery, watch small children, or attempt to build any thermonuclear devices until you understand how long you can stay awake while listening.   Building up a tolerance to it before listening and driving may be prudent and while I take no responsibility for you falling asleep while driving I wish no one any harm.  

The Introduction to Scouts Out the Podcast  Episodes 1 and 2  Episodes 3 and 4  Episode 5 and 6  Episode 7 and 8   Episode 9 and 10    Episode 11 and 12   Episodes 13 and 14

Episode 15 and 16    Episodes 17 and 18   Episode 19   Episode 20 and Bloopers

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Announcements, Annoucements, Announcements

good-morning

I have published a book, available now in all e-book formats.

Scouts Out by A.A. Forringer for the very low retail price of 99 cents.

It is science fiction, so if that is not your cup of tea, pass this announcement on to someone who likes that nerdy geeky stuff. If your kid likes Star Wars pass this along. If your niece likes comic books forward this message to her. If you see a kid walking down the street wearing a t-shirt your don’t understand disseminate this information. If a grown man you know has a Batman sticker on his truck and he has a computer tell him to buy this book. If a woman you know likes Manga buy tell her to check it out.

Remember Scouts Out by A.A. Forringer available at Smashwords.com and and from other fine retailers (It should be at Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and the Apple store in a couple of weeks).

Free preview of 44% of the book at Smashwords.com (Now some of you who have navigated around this site know that I had the entire book here until recently, no one ever read it as far as I can tell, maybe because of the format, maybe because it stunk on ice, well whatever the reason, now you can’t read the whole thing unless you pay for it, so sorry but you snooze you lose. That sounded harsh, of course if you want to buy it and can’t swing it I will send you the 99 cents in the mail, I mean if you have gotten this far in the announcement you must be a nice person.)

Hurry while supplies last (of course it being an e-book as long as the internet is around supplies are infinite, of course if their is a EMP which wipes out the grid of North America, and you have not downloaded the book onto your Kindle then you will have to go thru the entire apocalypse not knowing the story of Captain j.g. Leo Grant and the crew of the Arrogant Lion).

Okay here is the cover art. ScoutsoutCover