Saturday, May 30, 2009

Aren't I special?

Things I'm really good at:

* Independently twitching my eyebrows.
* Whistling.
* Thumb wrestling.
* Kissing.
* Cooking.
* Taking care of my teeth.
* Driving a car.

Things I'm pretty good at:

* Bowling.
* Shooting wadded-up paper into trash cans.
* Giving advice.
* Being polite.
* Listening.
* Maintaining an exercise routine.
* Swimming underwater.

Things I'm okay at:

* Singing.
* Ironing.
* Mingling at parties.
* Making the bed.
* Keeping in touch with my loved ones.
* Drinking in moderation.
* Avoiding road rage.

Things I'm terrible at:

* Touching my toes.
* Dancing.
* Remembering things.
* Keeping sports in perspective.
* Keeping quiet while someone else drives.
* Not getting depressed at the end of a vacation.
* Being a good person all of the time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have at least one mischievous side to my personality. It cracks me up when someone is startled. For the most part, I have grown out of sneaking up on someone and outright scaring them, but if I innocently walk up to someone and startle them, I will chuckle over it long after I should ... sometimes even the next day or the day after.

I don't watch much TV, but occasionally I watch The Dog Whisperer, and it never ceases to crack me up when the dogs freak out while being admonished by Cesar. When mockingbirds dive-bomb cats, I laugh. When turtles withdraw into their shells, I giggle. I still chuckle over a time when I went on the rollercoaster Space Mountain at Disney World, and an elderly woman in front of me screamed at her husband the entire ride: "Henry, oh, Hennnnnry!"

I'm not sure what this is about. I sincerely do not wish anyone harm. But when someone is startled, it cracks me up. It's an immature weakness, but I can't deny it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bring on the rain

It's been raining here all day. Strong, steady rain. Upstate South Carolina has been in a drought for several years now, but it's easing ... and the easing is beautiful and tender.

Life is so dynamic ... yet impermanent. All living beings are barreling toward death like a train with no brakes. We churn past beautiful countrysides, all on the same bittersweet ride. What can you or I do but ride along with everyone else?

I remember walking into a room at a Hospice center knowing that my mom had just recently died. I had left her for a few hours to go home for some sleep and a shower, fully expecting that she'd still be breathing when I returned. My mom was an unusual person, lazy but nonjudgmental, drunken but artistic. Her dead body shocked me. In front of several Hospice nurses, I cried out, "Oh, mom!" It was all I could say. Otherwise, I just cried. For her. For me. For us all. Have we not all cried this way?

Bring on the rain.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I've never been the type who has suffered from writer's block. I've had occasional writer's slowdown, but never the complete block. I've always figured that if I can write just one sentence, then I can write another, and another, and so on. And it's always worked.

But when it comes to this blog, I've got writer's block. There are few things less interesting than a dead blog, but that's what has happened to this one, which I suppose is appropriate for a blog with Death in the title.

My excuse is that my search for a new publisher has taken the wind out of my sails. And to be honest, this is one of those rare cases where the excuse is legitimate. I just can't seem to get fired up about it anymore. If/when the great news finally occurs, I think I will be rejuvenated in a big way. It'll be as if I've discovered a bottle of blue pills that pumps up my fingertips rather than my you know what.

I have most definitely grown to admire people who can sustain a blog for months and months and even years. There's a discipline there that is quite impressive.


The Death Wizard Chronicles is a sexy, action-packed six-book epic fantasy series: Book One (Forged by Death), Book Two (Chained by Fear), Book Three (Eve of War), Book Four (World on Fire), Book Five (Sun God), Book Six (Death-Know).

The DW Chronicles is not for children and teenagers -- or the faint of heart. But if you like graphic fantasy that is bursting with excitement yet still has a lot going on between the lines, I think you'll love my series.

In a groundbreaking paradox, the Death Wizard, a champion of good, derives his power from a source traditionally seen as negative -- death. His nemesis, an evil sorcerer, derives his power from the sun, the benevolent source of all life. Their struggle to control the fate of the planet Triken will take your breath away.

In an original twist never before seen in this genre, the Death Wizard is able to enter the realm of death during a "temporary suicide." Through intense concentration, he stops his heartbeat and feeds on death energy, which provides him with an array of magical powers.

The series also is a love triangle involving two desperate characters attempting to come together despite the machinations of an all-powerful psychopath with incestuous cravings.

Graphic and action-packed, spanning a millennium of turmoil, The DW Chronicles carries readers on a journey they will never forget.

Do you fear death? The Death Wizard does not. Find out why.

-- Please go to for more details.

About Me

My photo
Clemson, SC, United States
I was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. I graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) in 1979 with a B.A. in Journalism. I now live in South Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a pleasant setting for writing, to say the least. I was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years and I currently work at the Charlotte Observer. I am married with five daughters.

The author

The author
Jim Melvin, a veteran journalist, debuts as novelist.