Military Brainwashing: The Upside!

After having been in the Navy for about 14 years, I have a hard time differentiating what is military/Navy culture and what is common to everyone. Sometimes I mull over in my head saying certain things before I say them. I’m not sure if everyone will know what I’m talking about or not. Or if it’ll come off more abrasive than I intend. Common, cultural things you say and do in the military might not translate well to “fragile civilian sensibilities.”

(And when I say “cultural” I do mean that the Navy in itself has a culture, different from the Air Force or Army, but that the military as a whole has cultural norms different from civilian, etc. Every community has a culture of its own, though it may not be hugely different from a similar community next door. Your workplace has a culture. Your group of friends has its own culture, too. There are words and phrases that mean something to all of you that outsiders won’t understand. “Cultural” more often than not has absolutely nothing to do with skin color or religious dogma, just so we’re all on the same page.)

One aspect of Navy culture (and military in general) that stuck out of me recently is that of ownership. Very often, that thing is mine.

My guys are ready to go.”

“Did you finish the maintenance work on my antenna array?”

“That’s not how we do things in my Navy.”

I remember that being instilled in us as early as boot camp. The fifth-week recruits who were doing their service week by working in the galley, they’d say, “Watch my fire lane, there, shipmate!” and “Don’t touch my bright work, shipmate!” (Keeping us in line and keeping the polished metallic stuff shiny.) Five weeks into the Navy and they were already taking ownership of everything around them.

We learn it by mimicking those in charge of us. That’s part of your brainwashing. (And I’m not using that term to mean something negative here. Most military brainwashing is good for you.) Our RDCs (recruit division commanders) in boot camp took ownership of us and everything we came into contact with. The fifth-week recruits used that language three times a day when we were in the chow hall, so, five weeks later, we did too. And it wasn’t just a boot camp thing; that’s just where you first learn it. It’s a Navy thing. (And probably all military branches thing.)

You take ownership of things. If it’s yours, you care about it more. You take greater responsibility for it. You get it done and you treat it right.

That’s something I’d like to see more of in the civilian world. There is some of it, of course, but not enough. It’s not the same. It’s not part of our culture. Especially in America, where personal gain often gets the greater emphasis. I suppose there’s a lot of “that’s mine” or “I’m going to make that mine,” but it’s not in the same spirit…


Bye-Bye Smashwords

Happy February, everyone.

How the hell did that happen??!!! We’re already into our second month of 2019?! Unreal.

I guess time flies when you’re hunkering down to take cover from winter storms with -40 wind chill factor.

I’m just posting to make note that my work is no longer available at It’s a somewhat sad but progressive development on my part.


Don’t be fooled by the title of this post into thinking Smashwords is gone. That is not the case! I’ve just decided to trim the fat from my operation, and Smashwords is one of two sites that I plan to cut from my publishing roster.

It’s a great site, I’ve been publishing through them for several years. But in my New Years revision of everything, I’ve decided that they are no longer worth the effort for my operation to keep going through them. Zillions of others continue to publish there and are doing fantastically, I’m sure. But I’m planning some big revisions in the near future, and going through the motions of updating and publishing new material on yet another publishing site… Just not worth the effort for what I’m getting out of that venue these days.

So if you’re looking for my work there, or have taken advantage of the nice coupons I’ve employed there before, you will no longer find my stuff on Smashwords. My stuff is still available just about everywhere else, but I’m downsizing and refocusing things and SW is the first casualty of that revision.

Thanks again, Smashwords! It’s been real!



Super-Powered Spy Novel Finished!


I just uploaded the final draft of Deus Ex Machina to all retailers! After being in the works for years, this book is finally complete!

*cue flashes of lightning*

*cue maniacal laughter*

If you’re a fan of Hungry Gods, then the book you’ve been pestering me about is finally here! If you’re not an HG fan yet, there’s still time to score it for only 99-cents! (But only days remain, my friends, only days!)

If you want your shot at scoring a free advanced reader copy (ARC) of Deus Ex Machina, all you have to do is sign up for my Conspiracy Theory Newsletter. I’ll be putting out the word in the coming weeks on where all my subscribers can download the book for free.

To find Deus Ex Machina at your fave online retailers, click here. 

To find Hungry Gods at your fave online retailers, click here. 

To sign up for my free Conspiracy Theory newsletter for freebies, updates, and participation in the writing process, click here. 

More Superheroines for Less


For fans of superhero fiction, there’s an exciting superheroine series out there by Trish Heinrich that begins with Serpent’s Sacrifice. If you’d like to see more diversity in your spandex-clad butt-kicking, this is the way to go.

And book one is only 99-cents right now! Definitely worth checking out. Click here to follow a universal link — meaning you can go from it to whatever retailer you prefer (doesn’t have to be Amazon–I mean, why should you have to pay for the divorce, right?) 

And, by the way, if saving on supers is your thing right now, my book Hungry Gods is also just 99-cents for a limited time. This is in honor of the sequel, Deus Ex Machina, which lands in just 10 days! 




Last Day for the Wonder Woman Prize Pack Giveaway


I could have sworn today was the end of the countdown. But if you go to the Giveaway site, the clock still has another day on it. So tomorrow is technically the last day.

But tomorrow is also Monday, when we have to stop thinking about pleasant things and go back to work and/or school, so… Let’s just say today is the last day. Therefore…

Time is running out! Register now! 

If you’re a die hard Wonder Woman fan, this is for you! Click here to see what you can win!


The Ultimate Wonder Woman Prize Pack!


For a limited time only (the countdown is on!), you can sign up for an amazing array of Wonder Woman goodies! Movie, TV show boxed set, 75th anniversary graphic novel set, toys, sword, and a magic lasso that actually forces your spouse to tell the truth!

Okay, that last one I made up. But the rest is real, a value of $210, all for free!

The catch? You’re also signing up for the mailing lists for a pack of indie authors. Which is a bonus in itself! But if you don’t want to hear from them all, you can simply unsubscribe from the ones you don’t dig. (But you could be passing up more goodies by doing so…)

Either way, one lucky winner will score this awesome Amazonian prize pack. And you thought Christmas was over!

Click here NOW to sign up to win!