Category Archives: Uncategorized

TWYNER’S BRIDGE: A Tribute to the Child We Never Knew

     On Christmas morning, 1979 our second child died through miscarriage. Diana and I were devastated. Time stood still, and our world was shaken. Christmas was for births, not deaths. We struggled to understand the pain and sorrow. Honestly, though modulated by time, we can still feel the loss as though it was scar tissue on an old wound. Each Christmas since, we have shared a knowing glance in silent acknowledgement of our precious child. We recall our grief while giving thanks for our other two children.

      We have often wondered what our child would have been like. Although we never knew for certain, we have always believed she was a girl. The name we had chosen for her was Erika Joy. Had she lived, I am sure Erika would have been an amazing person.  She would have captured the heart of a remarkable man. He would have been blessed by her joy, and their love would have carried them to places they never imagined.

     As my musings about our beloved Erika took shape in my imagination, I realized I had to write about her. The story would be told from the perspective of her life-partner, and the tale would explore the poignancy of loss and the power of love. That is why I wrote my latest novel, “Twyner’s Bridge.”

     Jake Twyner and Erika Joy are the central characters of the story. They are a couple, but far from ordinary. Through their passion, they can twyne the fabric of the cosmos, folding the space-time continuum at will and forming portals. They journeyed throughout the galaxy. Harnessing their love enabled them to become star voyagers and see the breathtaking majesty of the universe.

     Jake and Erika had tried to have children, but they lost their first child through a miscarriage. They are twyning over the Rocky Mountains when Erika tells Jake she wants to try again to have a baby. Jake is rattled by the prospect, and the muse that empowers their twyne is shattered.

     The story begins in the next moment. Jake awakens. Erika is lying next to him, her dead eyes and expressionless face burned into his memory. Jake is temporarily paralyzed, unable to pull her into his arms. An unseen man, surprised by their sudden appearance, is standing in the dark over Erika’s lifeless body. He has just stabbed her.

     Jake discovers that the interrupted twyne has deposited him in another time, as well as a new place. He is emotionally and physically marooned. Jake is reeling from Erika’s death. He is struggling to fit into an unfamiliar place. The unknown killer is stalking him, seeking to eliminate any witnesses to his murderous deed. What will become of Jake? Will the killer have his way? How can Jake move on without Erika?

     I write this, hoping your interest will be piqued, and you will take a chance on my new novel, “Twyner’s Bridge.” It is a story that rings with the overtones of my family and the fathomless mystery of love and loss.

Moore later…

Dan

Here are links to Twyner’s Bridge

Amazon Kindle Edition

Smashwords Digital Editions

Paperback Edition

On an Economy of Words

Check out my guest blogpost on Jae Blakney’s site.

On an Economy of Words

We Are Not Our Scars

I met a man who had been injured in the Korean War. One of his legs had been badly damaged, and he walked with a cane, twisting his body awkwardly with every step. I asked him what it was like to be scarred for life. He told me that he was lucky. That got my attention. In fact, it was the last thing I expected him to say. The man told me that he felt lucky because his scars were on the outside. He understood what had happened to him. He had learned to live with them. “Most people’s scars,” he said, “are on the inside where nobody sees them.”

The man was right. Even the most beautiful woman or handsome man carries scars. They come with living. Things happen to us that we don’t understand. We feel guilty for something that occurred a long time ago, or we misinterpret a thoughtless comment made by someone important to us. Some of us hold secrets and are full of fear because of what might happen if society ever found out the truth we carry inside. Some scars are born of fear. Some of us have been hurt, letting down our guard with people or institutions we thought we could trust. And then there are parents who, for whatever reason, seared defining messages into our psyches. You get the idea. You know what I mean, because you have scars, too.

One of the reasons I wrote my first book, Meridian’s Shadow, was to explore what people do with their scars. The opening scene tells the story of my main character, Hunter Logan, cutting his finger in front of some boys he wanted to impress. That story happened to me. My right index finger carries the little scar, reminding me of that day.

The overarching message of my book, and this blog, is that we do not have to be the sum total of our scars. They need not define us. Some of my characters are debilitated by what they have done or what has happened to them. Others lose their way, following self-destructive paths. Still others are broken by their scars, but learn to avoid the shadows the scars can cast over their lives.

Every day I have to remind myself that I am not my scars. My parents were human, but they left marks on my life. I cannot be defined by my parents’ weaknesses. I once trusted close friends, who I later learned were using our relationship to betray me. I cannot be defined by my friends, no matter how good or bad they are. I spent a majority of my professional life serving an institution that discarded me. I cannot allow my personal worth to be determined by any institution. I struggle with diabetes, massive doses of insulin bloating my big-boned body until all I see is an old fat guy in the mirror. I cannot allow myself to be defined by my illness, or my size.

I struggle with these things. They are the sack of rocks I carry with me. However, on a good day, I know they are not who I am.

When we are young, our families tell us who we are. Later, when we leave the homes of our parents, life takes a whack at us, and we learn more lessons about ourselves. All these experiences are precursors to our truly defining moments. We are not necessarily who our family says we are. We are not a foregone conclusion of the scrapes and bruises of life, of the misinformation and projections of people we meet. Our defining moments need not be when bad things happen to us, but when we decide how we will respond to our scars.

I don’t claim to have any quick answers, but I am learning to see the boundary between what has happened to me, and the person I truly am. I wish you well, as you listen to the scars in your life, and encourage us all to listen to the inner, whispering voice that reminds us, against all odds, who we really are.

Moore later…

Many Motivations

Yesterday I watched my neighbor mow his lawn for the third time this week. My wife and I live in an older established neighborhood with modestly priced houses. There are no millionaires here and no world class yards. Even so, this neighbor of mine: he mows all the time, especially after my lawn has been cut. Did I say he is my immediate next door neighbor?


As I watched him mow, I began to think about the reasons for his serial mowing. Here are some of my ideas.


  1. He wants to put all his neighbors in their places, showing them how great he is.
  2. He is insecure about himself and is trying to win our acceptance.
  3. He has the visual acuity of a fighter pilot and notices when the grass is a fraction of an inch too long.
  4. He is a tester for a lawnmower manufacturer.
  5. He is in training for a lawn-mowing competition.
  6. He is obsessive/compulsive and can’t help himself.
  7. Mowing is one of the few things in life that bring him pleasure.
  8. He is unhappy with the people in his household and needs to get out of the house as much as possible.
  9. He was hypnotized and is suffering from some fiendish post-hypnotic suggestion.
  10. He is a frustrated (and rather unskilled) landscape architect.
  11. He can’t figure out how to turn off the lawnmower.
  12. The sound of the lawnmower brings him back to his idyllic childhood.



I really don’t know why my neighbor mows so much. Yesterday he was at it at 7am. Way too early, if you ask me.


What does my neighbor teach me? He helps me to remember that every action can have many motivations. Exploring the reasons why a character behaves in a certain way will help me   and craft better stories.


Moore later…

The Six Phases of a Project

I was waiting in line someplace and saw a sign posted near the counter. I jotted it down on a slip of paper and jammed it into my wallet. That was over ten years ago and I still have the slip of paper. I yank it out now and then to share with friends. If you haven’t seen it, maybe you’ll enjoy it.

THE SIX PHASES OF A PROJECT
1. Enthusiasm
2. Disillusionment
3. Panic
4. Search for the Guilty
5. Punishment of the Innocent
6. Praise & Honors for the Non-participants

What can I say?

 

Moore later…