The scene of the crime – an attempted murder!! I visitied it yesterday.

Well, not really.  It is the scene of a crime in a book I am writing.  Yesterday I was in Sacramento for a business meeting.  At the end of the day, I headed back to SMF. The best route to the airport took me within a couple of miles of a scene that I have written where a bad guy gets chased down on his motorcycle and wipes out on a Union Pacific railway crossing. A train – with fortuitous timing – ambles along and runs him over, severing a leg and destroying his motorcycle.

The cool thing about yesterday was that, when doing research for the book, I had picked the location by looking at a map of Sacramento and finding a likely location – train crossing in an industrial area but not too far from the main police station, and then used Google Earth to get the best feel for the area I could. I did not really expect the actually be able to visit the location.  But luck was with me.

The actual road – Elder Creek Road – is wider and more traveled than I expected, and the tracks cross the road further from the intersection of Power Inn Rd.  Neither of these effect the story much.  Interestingly, there is only a curb on the south side of Elder Creek, but not the north side. I need to rewrite a little.  Also, there is an Army Depot a little further along Elder Creek.  Maybe some soldiers can be running over to help…..

Mom’s, Hockey, vuvuzelas and dentists

First and foremost, I would like to say Happy Mother’s day to my Mother and to my Wife. They are both great parents, and I am lucky to have both of them teaching me what to do.  All kidding aside, happy Mothers Day to them and to all Mothers around the world. My mom  taught me it was ok to question everything – or maybe she just put up with my questioning everything – and that has served me well in my life. My wife is the best female role model I could ask for to help my four children become responsible, caring, but still having fun adults.

Sadly, my hockey season is over (except for the games my son plays every Sunday, of course). All of my favorite teams are out. The Vancouver Canucks went down in flames in the first round of the playoffs, losing to the LA Kings. I hate the LA Kings, jut a little. But Jonatan Quick is really quick. I am sure I am not the first commentator to play on his last name.  In any case, the Canucks are gone.  The Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins – the AHL farm team to the Pittsburgh Penguins – lost in game seven of the second round to their rivals in St. Johns, Newfoundland. And in the WHL the Portland Winterhawks lost game seven in the final to the Edmonton Oil Kings. We, my family and I, went to game 6.  It was played in Portland last Saturday, May 12,. And it was a pretty damn good game. Portland outplayed Edmonton.  They deserved the win, and the got the win. Unfortunately for them, they did not carry the same sense of purpose into game 7 in Edmonton the next night. The Oil Kings wanted the championship more than the Winterhawks, and the handily won the game.

But I learned something about myself. As has become more common lately, there was a number of fans attending the aforementioned game 6 that arrived with the dreaded vuvuzela – the montonic peice of crap instrument first shown to the western world during the world cup that was held in South Africa a few years ago. The World Cup action was great. The fan noise was terrible. (I thought it was swarms of killer bees, the first time I heard them). Personally, I despise them. They take away from the game of hockey. Even some drunk fam shouting “Get some glasses, ref” has more depth of expression than a fam with a 3 foot piece of plastic stuck between his lips. Ironically, the next day at my sons game, I was happy to join the other parents wailing wildly on a cowbell every time little Johnny or not-so-little Ryan, managed to get their stick on the puck. I realized there was little difference between sound of a cow bell and the sound of a vuvuzela when measured on any rational scale – ability to communicate corrections to the referee, ability to insult the other teams players.  Both suck at it. They are just noise. But still, the sound of a small cheap cowbell at a hockey game still sounds better to me than a vuvuzela. Someone needs to look into them!!

Finally, a couple of days ago I was at the dentist.  Now dentists are not my favorite people.  I contend that in my life as a software engineer and architect, I have caused less pain than any dentist has last Thursday, although my manager might disagree with this assertion.  As I settled into the dentists chair for a quick repair, one of the computer monitors was displaying the appointments of my dentist for the day. My name was up there at the correct time. Although it was not the same program, the screen was enough like the calendaring system used by the company I work for, that it reminded me of my own schedule. I have to attend too many phone meeting everyday, and sometimes I get double booked.The one difference was my dentist did not have any double book slots.  One patient at a time. Probably a good idea. It got me thinking about the difference between architects and dentists …..If I am in a meeting that I am not that interested in, I will often do some other work – like debugging a s/w module, replying to some email or maybe check my Twitter feed – while paying a little attention to the phone call. Dentists should not do this. If the meeting is pretty simple, I might try to resolve what ever issue exists via Instant Messaging and cancel the meeting. Again, not likely to be useful for a dentist. Finally, I have mentioned to my manager on more than one occasion, that I need to have less meetings inorder to meet my deadlines. I just can’t see a dentist saying “Cancel all of my appointments today – I need to get some *real* work done!!” Maybe this difference explains why I hate them so much. Maybe not. 🙂

Car bombs, road trips and the pool

Sometimes I worry myself. I am pretty sure my lovely wife thinks I am a bit nuts. I don’t have the heart to tell her she right.  In the novel I am writing, the bad guys have to make a serious attempt on the life of the hero.  The attempt has to be credible.  The reader has to think “Oh shit.  That would work, too.”  I chose a car bomb in an urban setting.  So, how does one build a car bomb. I mean, you can’t just go down to your local hardare store and buy a car bomb (mentally, I see myself walking through Home Depot and then BANG!! from across the store.  Then some tinny voice from the ceiling intones ‘Clean up on isle 3b.  Clean up on isle 3b.’).  Yhe bad guys have to build one from scratch.  So I thought about it for a little while, and googled a little – there is no Big Brother here in the US of A.  He would have kicked in my door my now, I swear – and came up with a credible car bomb that can be constructed from parts costing less than $200.00 bucks, all of which are perfectly legal, and if you bought all the parts and put them in a shopping bag like you just left the Bomb-Parts-R-Us store, and someone looked into the bag, they would never guess the purpose behind the parts.  And it would work. I am not going to describe the process here.  You will have to wait until the book comes out.  I am currently thiinking it will be available early September 2012.  I am basing this on how fast Loop Vacation went.  I expect to be complete the first draft by the end of May.  So three months for re-writing, editing and publishing. Maybe.

In other news, I overheard my wife telling one of friends about a weekend motorcycle trip we are planning to take.  That was cool to hear.

And, since it truly spring here in Oregon, I am today setting up the pool.  Filters, and salt and heater and pressure gauges and a chlorine generator and 8800 gallons of water are in my immediate future.  But the kids will have fun.

New Book – First chapter written

Well, it has been written for the first time.  The novel has, so far, no working title.  The file Scrivener directory is DrugDeath.scriv, but that will change.  Probably.

This novel will be simpler in its construct.  There will be no time travel, and more action.  Mark from loop vacation is introduced as a younger, more bad ass self.  He is also less experienced and, who knows, may make a few mistakes in his desire to save his younger brother.

The novel takes place in Vancouver, BC.  I lived in Vancouver for more than 10 years, and I love the city.  Two of my kids were born there. Ironically, due to a hurriedly added line in Loop Vacation, this story takes place after I moved from Canada to the US.  Kinda funny. It is actually fun to reconstruct some of the streets in my mind as I write the story.  It has been a dozen years since I lived there, and I find I have to check a map to verify locations.

And then there is the question of technology.  In early 2006, were we texting like crazy like we are now?  Were there traffic cams?  I am sure there were in general, but in Vancouver, at the intersection of Kingsway and Knight, was there a red light cam in 2006?  Well, probably not since there is not one there now, but you get the idea.  This have changed in 6 years; enough that I have to watch it.  No 3G smart phones then, for sure.

Also, just for fun, I have given my protagonist a white 1993 Honda Civic DX hachback with a stick.  This is almost the same car I owned while I lived in Vancouver until I moved to the US and they (the US immigration dudes) told me I could not take the car with me.  I loved that car.  The kids that owned it before me dropped the engine out of an Acura GS into it.  Fun. Fun car in a fun city.

Hopefully, no one will ever call this story fun.

Cause it ain’t.  It is a harrowing dash for life, with a motorcycle gain in hot pursuit, determined to kill enough people to keep the lot of them out of prison.  And the only way out is completely unthinkable.

Next Book

Ok – So I don’t have a working title yet.  But I just finished the plot definition, character outline and most of the location descriptions for the book.  This is a prequel to Loop Vacation  in that it introduces a younger, more intense Mark.  He helps his brother out of a pretty bad jam involving an infamous bad ass MC.  The story is set in Vancouver, BC for the most part.  Why Vancouver/ I lived there for many years and love the city.  When I was there, i wrote a short story closely related to what this book will be. I liked the idea of contracting the natural slendor of the city to the darkness of the criminal element.  That short story was set in Vancouver, and Richmond and New Westminster and (most ironically), Hope, BC.  I saw no real reason to move the story somewhere else.  The short story was no more than the middle three chapters of this book.

For the structure of the book, I have built it around my older brother’s description of how plots should be laid out. See .  Although I am clearly better looking and more fun than my older bro, he has published more books than me, and I respect his writing.  So I decided to use the outline he has described.  I thought it might feel a bit like writing to a formula.  But in fact, it does not.  It is more like organizing things a little better.  But the writing is still all mine, for good or bad.  The pinch points represent my characters.  In the second pinch point, for example, a really tough biker – tough as in a logger in BC by trade – is going to ride his Dyno to a small town in Idaho for the sole purpose of burning down the house of the parents of the protagonist.  Are they inside?  We will have to see.

This book, and one other, will join Loop Vacation in the ebook market before Christmas rolls round again.  With luck. So, I need to get work.  Time to write the hook.  In the next 4000 words or so that I write, Eric Multon, younger brother of the now famous Mark Multon, is going to witness a hit by a couple members of a motor cycle club, in Vancouver at night…

It was a dark and rainy night…..

Oh, and Loop Vacation is available from Amazon:




Spring Motorcycle Fever

Besides being an engineer, a husband, a father and a young author, I also love motorcycles.  And I ride mine (2007 Yamaha V-Star Silverado 650) often.  Even in the cooler weather – which is more becuase my daughter takes my car, than a desire to freeze my stones off on the freeway.

Well today things changed.  Here in oregon, it is sunny with a high in the low 60s.  Time to roll on some throttle and enjoy the wind.

Read an e-Book week at Smashwords

With more and more people buying their phones, DVDs, cables, shoes and even motorcycles online, it is almost un-noteworthy that we can now get our reading material from online vendors.  A typical ‘Well, of course you can’ moment.

But there is a bit difference in the ‘before online’ and ‘after online’ for publishing.  The availability of works has exploded.  Even that is not the biggest impact.  Maybe that was inevitable.

What is new, and dependent on the the online market place, is the independent author/publisher.  Yours truly falls into this category.  The upside to the reader, the consumer, is that there is no middle man deciding what is available to you, the consumer, based on what he, the middle man working at the large publishing company, can charge.  There are some gems out there that jus tnot would have been available to you even 5 years ago.

The down side is, there is probably some good ideas out there, that are poorly written and poorly edited, that might have gotten produce more professionally had they been shipped to a traditional publisher.

It will be up to the readers to decide what is worthy of an open wallet, and what is unmitigated crap that should never have been completed.

With that, I would invite everyone to read an eBook this week.  Smashwords, where my book is bravely up for sale, is having a week long sale. Please take a look at:

and if you are looking for a little gem, may I humbly suggest:  It is 50% for the week.  Use coupon code REW50.