Alopecia Areata and other Heavy Metal band names…

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Several months ago at a gathering of the Whatcom Writers and Publishers I was gently approached by a woman with a question. She was producing a book about people with Alopecia. And the question she kindly asked was did I have Alopecia, hair loss caused by an auto-immune reaction. I’m pretty sure she knew the answer, but the way she approached, warm and kind, was quite wonderful. Her name is Deeann Callis Graham.

The book, Head-On, Stories of Alopecia, is a collection of 75 personal narratives. And it is finished. My story, Alopecia Areata and other Heavy Metal band names… was one of the last submitted. It is a lovely book, with touching stories about this puzzling auto-immune disease that comes in three flavors: areata, totalis and universalis. This condition can really send self-esteem for a loop. So, if you’re interested in the book, or the condition here is the website: HEAD ON.

There are also some wonderful photographs by my friend, Damian Vines.

 

Sad Days in Ferndale/Bellingham…

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[Crossposted to pretty much every social media I am involved in.]

Hey folks,

Sad days here in Bellingham/Ferndale. I lost two of my students and two others are in the hospital in critical condition–a senseless accident. Please, hug your kids, your friends, your parents. Tell them you love them.

I’m doing okay. Being able to share my grief with all my communities has helped and the outreach has been amazing. If you want to help out some people who need it, here are some links to ways to help.

If you’re local, feel free to come to the candlelight vigil on the Ferndale Riverwalk tonight at 9pm.

Vigil at Windward June 10th. AP Photo.

Vigil at Windward June 10th. AP Photo.

 

Windward High School will be open all next week for students to come hang out, play basketball/frisbee or even finish up coursework if they need to.

Thanks.

Rob

If you need something to trigger some catharsis, you might listen to our graduation song here. rehearsed in one day, Calling Our Children Home.

What comes around… Mad Max lyrics from 1982

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Crossposted to my Deserted Lands blog.

I haven’t been able to shoehorn the time into my schedule to go see the New Mad Max movie, but I am anticipating the event something fierce. So, for a bit of a flashback, here are some song lyrics I wrote in Mr. Gregory’s Geometry class at Hoquiam High School. Since my 30th reunion is coming up this summer, I’m thinking a lot about those days.

These are from the embarrassing lyrics era, but transcend that trend a little. Derivative? Hells yes, but fun. Sort of like I hear the new Mad Max movie is… And two different publications liked them enough to pay me to publish them! Rock on!

Highway Rider

The flatlands are burning in this land we’ve turned to hell
The world keeps on turnin’ inside this fragile shell
We’ve got to get away from here before we start to rot
We’ve gotta get to somewhere else, this hell is all we’ve got

Off in the distance about to top the rise
The noise of tortured metal the smoke just fills the skies
I jump into the cockpit the mighty engine roars
The tires spin, the gravel flies, my foot is to the floor

Gasoline is life, it’s the blood in my hands
It’s the only ticket out of this cruel and battered land
My tank is full I cannot waste a single precious drop
The race is run my time is done, if I can’t make him stop

The law of the land is the fittest survive
The only thing I’m working for is tryin’ to stay alive
Across the desert wasteland his fate he comes to meet
His car is getting closer burning through the blazing heat

I power brake and spin around and slow to catch my breath
The warrior is coming, running for his death
A deadly game of chicken means the fittest survive
The only thing I still can do is close my eyes and drive

Accelerate, my tires spin, my posi grips the road
The RPM’s are runnin’ up – about to overload
The nerves of steel come in play, the chaser now the chased
His fault he realizes now, his car a flaming waste

The smell of burning gasoline mixed with burning flesh
I slow my car to watch the scene and sigh a weary breath
I must escape this savage land, I cannot stand the pain
My son becoming just like me with all my work in vain

I leave the flaming hulk and drive into the setting sun
One day I’ll make it out of here, today is not the one
Some think our lives are fixed, left to the hands of fate
But I believe I shall escape, I hope it’s not too late

Appeared in the Spring 1994 issue of The Galactic Citizen.
Appeared in the February 1999 online issue of Jackhammer E-zine.

Letting My Geek Flag Fly on Photoshop

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As a writer and an artist of various sorts I try to notice details appleabout things–let myself stay open to weirdness.

This morning I saw an apple with a bad spot. I had an idea. So I took a picture of it. I stuck a piece of wire in it and took the photo against my black coat.

Then I uploaded it to my work computer which has Adobe Photoshop because I teach a media class.

Then I did the next step. I removed the apple from the background. Then I went in search of a star scape. And another image.

Then I did some Photoshop magic and came up with this…

aLongTimeAgoSo, even if you get a bad apple, don’t let it spoil the bunch. Even if you do have a bad feeling about it… Click on the images to see them full size.

Then we ate the apple for lunch. Where the rotten spot was, the goopy part came out and left an almost perfect globe-shaped space. Weird. Yeah.

This post brought to you by ‘Brain of Rob.’

Something Borrowed, Something Bluesy…

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So, a long time ago when my oldest daughter was born, I wrote a song. I hated the guitar chords and the vocal line I sang, but I loved the words. The title was “Daddy, Dance with Me.” Here are the lyrics:

Daddy, Dance with Me

We danced when you were little, a baby in my arms
On nights you could not sleep, I kept you from all harm
Go to sleep my baby, darling don’t you weep
I’d rock you and I’d sing to you ‘til you were fast asleep
When you were strong and walking, you’d come and grab my knee
Your little voice had learned to say: “Daddy, dance with me”

Chorus: Dance with me, please Daddy, to that song that makes you cry
You say it’s not the words but who the music feels inside
Dance when skies are shining, dance in black of night
Tell me that you love me and everything’s all right
Dance with me, please, Daddy, dance with me

The years went by so quickly, a beauty you became
You didn’t need my help now, you called me by my name
Some days I’d never see you, except a kiss goodnight
I tried to talk and reach to you: “Is everything alright?”
The day of your first formal you came to talk to me
“I think I need some help now, please Daddy, dance, with me”

Chorus

This morning in the churchyard, you looked all tall and grown
I pray your life stays beautiful, may you never walk alone
Today you left our home here to start a brand new life
The man you love’s your husband and you became his wife
I cried when I beheld you, tears of pride fell free
And then you came to find me saying “Daddy, dance with me.”

Robert L. Slater – 22 January 1992

Copyright 1992. All Rights Reserved.

It took me to the songs teen-hood [14 years later], before I got it right. I was listening to a number of songs that suddenly connected the dots, three Bluesy tunes: Simply Red-If You Don’t Know Me By Now, Eric Clapton-Wonderful Tonight, and The Paperboys-Windshield Cracks. I realized despite it’s upbeat theme, that at it’s heart is a bluesy tune about love. Now I have to relearn it. I’m hoping my hands can handle the chords better now than they did when I first figured it out. Once I get it recorded I’ll get it uploaded, but for now, go have a listen to the songs above if you haven’t already.

Something had to give…

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So, some day I would like to regularly blog here about my life outside writing, but at the moment, as one can see by the lack of activity here, that day is probably still a way off.

Some of the things I would like to blog about are:

  • Alopecia Areata – The condition that leaves me relatively bald.
  • “Car”ma Points – How I deal with road rage and get great parking spots.
  • Education
  • A society of fear
  • Aging: “Not to 50!” a humorous look back at my life as I approach middle age.

Until I get the second novel, STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS, finished… Until this school year is put to bed and I get my youngest son off to college… Until… Well, sign up for my newsletter, or just come on over to Deserted Lands and read the blog and info there. Or check me out on Facebook if you want more personal info. Come to Wattpad to read ALL of ALL IS SILENCE for FREE and read the sample of TOILS AND SNARES. I’m also on Google+, Twitter, Pinterest [posts of cover art], or if you’re interested in ordering large quantities of books, come to Rocket Tears Press.

Thanks for the support I hope to see you in person or online soon.

Rob

 

 

Welcome…

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Hey folks,

Since November 1, 2012, I have been unusually focused on a project–writing, editing, releasing and marketing fiction. I started with a collection of mostly previously published works, Outward Bound: Science Fiction & Poetry and continued with All Is Silence, my debut novel. In addition, I’ve been blogging at www.desertedlands.com about the book, my writing and other related experiences. I am hoping to post personal updates here from time to time, but the other blog is my focus. So, if you’re interested, come on over and check it out, sign up for my newsletter, sample the books and order one if you’d like.

Thanks,

Rob

Drafts, draughts and drafts…

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Hey folks,

As the weather changes to drafty windswept coolness, I finished my 5th major draft of the novel and indulged in a few draughts at Boundary Bay Brewery. My posts to this blog have been usurped by writing/editing time and posts on Deserted Lands.

My grand-daughter is growing like a weed, my kids are all actively in Washington State. Feeling very blessed.

I’m getting ready to do NANOWRIMO to write the sequel to ALL IS SILENCE, now available for Pre-Sale. The working title is STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS. Come on over to Deserted Lands Novels to check up on the progress.

You can also follow me on @robertlslater at Twitter, Facebook, and +Google.

Thanks for your support and interest.

Rob

Debuts, Weddings and such…

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A new grand-daughter, Ellie; another married adult child, Cail; and an eBook of short stories, Outward Bound, a serial story in the Bellingham Herald, Memories of Light; and a novel set to be out this winter, ALL IS SILENCE.

It’s been a busy summer. Also demolitioned a deck, put in another room worth of 3/4 inch oak flooring, and… I’m not sure what all else. Oh, marketing, platform development, short stories written…

If you found yourself here, please follow the links above and check out some of my recent projects.

Thanks.

Finished the Third Draft Rewrite

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The novel is now nearly 97,000 words (about 300 pages according to Createspace).

Whew. Tonight I’m going to read Much Ado About Nothing with friends as a reunion for a performance from 2002, I think.

Tomorrow I’m working on a swingset and a trampoline, which are both behind schedule! 😉

 

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