October 24

Testing the Waters

I’m going to be beta-testing some new WordPress themes over the next few days, so don’t worry if my website doesn’t look like it usually does.

I’ve been using the same theme for a few years now and feel like I need a change, freshen things up a bit.

Feel free to comment if you see one that you enjoy. I’d appreciate the feedback.

RB

August 23

The Prometheus Project Podcast – Ep 36 – Making Music

I think we all have music inside us, but we may not know how to tap into it. Join me as I talk about making music, about finding your inner rhythm, about expressing yourself with sound. It doesn’t matter if you have a talent for it, all that matters is that you make yourself heard.

The podcast is available at iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify, and PodBean. If you prefer, I also have a YouTube channel.

Or you can simply listen to it here!

November 4

No Podcast This Week

I’m taking a little time to work on some other projects, so I won’t be recording or publishing a podcast episode this week. There will be new content coming soon, both for the website and the podcast, and I hope (crosses fingers) that my short story collection will be published in the next week or two.

Cheers!

RB

September 6

Post-Dorian Thoughts

I’ve lived in Florida for most of my life, and I’ve been lucky enough to survive twelve or so hurricanes. Some were much worse than others. Hurricane Micheal, for example, blew through the panhandle last year and there is still debris and damage to contend with. Dorian was one of those storms, much like Michael, that wasn’t doing what the forecasters thought it should do. When the folks with the big brains say they aren’t sure how strong the storm is going to get or where it’s going to end up, well, that’s scary.

I have family all across the state, so the last week was tense as everyone waited to see what was going to happen. Unfortunately, the Bahamas bore the brunt of it (and if you’re able, please contribute to a legitimate charity to help the people on the islands recover and rebuild).

I’m a storm-watcher during hurricane season. After some of my previous storm experiences, I err on the side of caution. I follow the National Hurricane Center, I follow the Tropical Weather sub-Reddit, I get as much information as I can from reliable sources. Call me crazy…but you might be right.

The season appears to be kicking into high gear now. But instead of bottling up all that worry, I’m going to focus that energy into creative projects. You know, express my nervousness, my fear, my worry into something creative, something productive. I think that’s a positive outlet.

If you live in Florida, or anywhere along the US East Coast or Gulf Coast, I hope you and your loved ones stay safe. And if you’re feeling any apprehension about this busy hurricane season, try to channel it into something positive.

Cheers!

RB

July 31

Thoughts on Afterwords

One of the things I’ve enjoyed when reading collections of Stephen King’s short stories are the afterwords where he discusses the stories. It’s fun to read about the inspiration for the stories, how he developed them, why he made a decision to do one thing instead of another. Not only does it give me insight into the creative process, it also make the stories feel more personal.

Reading a short story collection without context is fine. I love Raymond Carver’s storytelling and don’t necessarily need to know the background on each story. The stories speak for themselves. But as a writer, I like to have that extra bit of information about how the stories came to be. In a way, it’s nice to know that other writers – even famous and prolific writers – can struggle and get frustrated.

While I know it’s not true, a part of me always feels that these big-league writers always get it right the first time. From mind to pen to page in one pass. If only. So reading about the process encourages me as a writer and reminds me that all artists struggle.

So I thought it would be fun to write an afterword for my upcoming short story collection. Partly because I think some readers might find it interesting to know the process. Also, because some of my stories can be…different. Giving some background might be helpful. Quite a few of my stories begin with some sort of prompt, a phrase, a photograph, a dream. I think that having some background can make a story more interesting.

And no, I’m not going to write an essay on each one, just a paragraph or two.

The book is still “coming soon”. I expect it to be available no later than the end of August. Adding the afterword will take another week (trying to squeeze this in an already busy schedule). Stay tuned!

RB

January 5

Highway Thoughts

Whenever I travel by road, especially on the Interstate Highways, I find my mind wandering into the landscape that passes by the windows. You’ve seen those long empty stretches, no exits, no towns or cities nearby, just endless thickets of trees or acres of rolling fields. I often wonder what it would be like to just pull the car over and go exploring, tramping through the undergrowth or the tall grass. Would I find some lost relics? Maybe an old Native-American campsite? Pirate treasure?

It makes me wonder how long it’s been since someone walked through that wilderness. Was it ever explored? Did anyone ever live there? Die there? When there is no sign of civilization it makes me believe that I could be the first one to walk those woods or fields, the first to leave footprints, the first to discover something hidden there.

I have similar thoughts when I spot what appears to be a long unused dirt road or path snaking its way through the woods. Who built that road? What was it used for? Where does it lead? Of course, I pass by so quickly that I can’t get a good look at it, but it’s enough to stimulate my imagination. If I were to pull off at the next exit, would I be able to find that dirt path again? Probably not, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking that it might lead to some old, rundown house full of forgotten antiques, or perhaps an abandoned cemetery with toppled headstones.

I encounter the same thing when I travel back roads. I spot those crumbling wooden buildings, the empty farms, the overgrown dirt road leading off into nowhere, and my mind can’t help but speculate. What happened to the people who lived there? Did they just pack up one day and move? Did they die off mysteriously? Someone obviously spent time and effort to clear the land, build the structures, so I find it curious that all that would be left behind to return to the earth.

And yeah, I often wish I could blow off my destination and go exploring instead.

I tried to write a story once, many years back, about two guys who follow one of these unused dirt tracks and find themselves in a dilapidated town full of vampires. The story sucked, but it gave me the opportunity to explore one of the many highway daydreams I’d had over the years.

And while it been almost a year since I’ve traveled any great distance, I still have other stories packed away in my subconscious, all centering around the forgotten paths, empty woods, and abandoned buildings I’ve glimpsed while speeding down the Interstate or back roads. They will always be there, beckoning me to come explore and have an adventure.

RB