Sunday, October 16, 2011

What's In YOUR Attic?

You've spent countless hours crafting stories - tweaking, revising & rewriting. Maybe it's been your life's passion. Maybe it's a passion that's been kept secret. Your insecurity, maybe a fear of failure or criticism from a twenty-something-year-old literary agent, caused you to ignore the publishing options & you never put your work "out there" for the world to see. And all of those stories & manuscripts lie tucked away in boxes, maybe in the attic .....

Alas, your days come to an end & after a suitable mourning period, perhaps ten minutes following the funeral, family members rummage through your home disposing of anything they deem worthless - like boxes of meaningless old papers. And so it is - your stories are gone forever.

What if you had a chance to hit the rewind button? Would you take your shot? Let's assume so.

Your grandkids have grandkids. One day they find YOUR BOOKS, yellowed & battered as they may be, but there they are. You've left something of your passion behind.

                                                               GALLOWS POINT (in progress)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Imagine That

Over the years I've written a bazillion letters, emails & narratives related to the challenging business of construction management, otherwise known as "my big boy job". There's never been anything remotely creative about any of that correspondence, other than touches of biting sarcasm, something I often struggle (with limited success) to control. I've always been one to get to the point & making friends, in business at least, has never been a priority. With that bit of background on the table, ME writing books for kids is still something I can't wrap my brain around. The two worlds are so opposite.

Today we visited The Baliker Gallery in Palm Coast to check out the sculptures of the very talented Paul Baliker. His work is incredible, especially the way he uses driftwood, like this:

And this:

There's more on the website, all very click worthy - so check it out. But there was a bronze piece that caught my eye ... & would look great in my writing room. (Deb? It's only $4500!!!)
This is named "Once Upon A Time". The kid is obviously readng a book (very cool) & his imagination, as you will "see" below is in high gear.

All from the pages of a "book".

Out of the blue, in July 2007 to be exact, I started writing. It was totally unplanned. There were no goals & zero expectations. It wasn't something I had to do. Nothing inside was screaming to get out, like many writers claim (or like the movie "Alien"). It just happened. Four years & two books later, grabbing a reader's imagination - & squeezing it with both hands - is my new brass ring.... or maybe it's bronze. Actually, it feels pretty good - finally having a goal. Guess that means I'm getting serious. Imagine that.    

If you're a writer - what made you take the plunge? Oh ... and what's the brass ring you're reaching for?


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Click The Link - Whaddya Think?

Greetings from Miami. How 'bout that - a picture of Miami minus the traffic! We travel a lot. In fact, we're mapping out a couple of new adventures in the upcoming weeks, though the mode of transportation, in one case, is under serious debate. First on the agenda is a trip to The Dry Tortugas, about 70 miles offshore from Key West. I want to go by seaplane - Deb's thinkin' that a boat's the way to go, since she's not a great fan of small planes, especially the ones that land in the ocean. Time to negotiate. The 2nd trip planned is a little further south to the Virgin Islands - by boat. For the record, taking off & landing in a seaplane is a total rush. So how 'bout helpin' me out with a strategy.

Now I get lots of emails askin' about the Rackhams & their lifestyle. It's true they're loaded, have a few awesome boats, including an 82' schooner named Reckless Endeavor, & they've recently built a second home in the Bahamas. In fact, here's a picture - taken from a seaplane I might add. It's much smaller than the house in St Augustine, but it's comfortable. 

Where the Rackham tale is somewhat embellished in Reckless is the part about Nan being totally comfortable island hopping in a seaplane. Now the Rackhams have some very good friends, Eb & Flo, who own & operate The Last Resort - a secluded getaway in the middle of the islands. Flo pilots a yellow seaplane, 'cause it's easier & more fun to get around. In the story, Nan gets a kick out of cruising with Flo above the turquoise seas. In "real life" that's not quite true. The other day Flo sent Pop a picture of her new plane & he forwarded it to me to use for this post. (Sadly, the one in the book crashed in the Everglades, but at least it was insured.)

This plane's a real beauty, dontcha think? Congrats, Flo! Can you think of any reason NOT to wanna fly in one of these babies? So back to my dilemma. How do I convince Deb to forget the boat n' give the seaplane a shot?

Sidebar - I really like reader comments. This one was posted on my FB by Matt Keever from Houston:
Your book made me want to start talking like a pirate. The dialogue for Calico Jack is absolutely PERFECT.
I actually read all of it aloud, which made me laugh harder than I have in quite some time.
I'll write a short review of the book and put it on Amazon soon. Thanks for the great read, Dave.
(Thanks, Matt.)    
Okay - now about the seaplane .....  Click the link -  Dry Tortugas - Whaddya think???

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Someday I'll grow up - but what's the hurry? My grandson Jack is convinced I'm a real pirate. Have no idea why he would think such a thing. Do you? As usual, he spent his birthday (last week) with 'Pop' & 'Nan' here in St Augustine. That's me n' Jackman in the picture below. The beard is real - grown specifically for this shot. Of course, Deb wasn't thrilled with it during the weeks leading up to this photo, so the beard was neatly trimmed to its normal length about an hour after this picture was taken.

Of course, we were well prepared for the kids' visit.

Say hello to Isabel. Everyone will get a better chance to know her once SPANKY AND THE SPECKLED BUTTER BEAN comes out. She's our lil' princess.

Okay, so I've been really busy & haven't posted for a coupla months. Have barely managed to visit & comment on my usual blog stops. But the kids returned to Pennsylvania & things are settlin' down. Well, not completely but I'm gettin' back into my writing projects & thinkin' it might be a good idea to start doin' some promotion on RECKLESS. (Ya think?)

So, you ask, what else is up? Okay, you didn't ask. Well, there are 3 more stores now carrying my books, including a really busy touristy spot in Key West! Hint: Ever hear of the famous Conch Train Tours? I also received some great feedback on RECKLESS from a terrific author.

Author & columnist Mark LaFlamme posted an awesome review of RECKLESS ENDEAVOR on Amazon. Kinda made me wanna read the book myself. I'll post his kind words here.

5.0 out of 5 stars A high-seas page turner, July 15, 2011

By Mark Laflamme (Maine) - This review is from: Reckless Endeavor A Jack Rackham Adventure

David Ebright knows sailing. He knows the value of young friendships and he sure as hell knows adventure.

In Reckless Endeavor all three are vital to the lives of Jack Rackham and his circle of friends. The adventure in particular is not slow to come. As he did with Bad Latitude, the first in the Jack Rackham line, Ebright gets right to it. He doesn't mess around with intricate knots or long looks at the weather forecast, he sails his readers right into the eye of the storm.

It starts with some history, a pair of pirates brutalized in wretched prisons hundreds of years back. In short order, that history will collide with modern day where Jack Rackham is just beginning a new adventure.

After rescuing a homeless teenager from a knife-wielding lunatic and uncovering the secret of Mary, the spirit of a thief trapped in St. Augustine's Old Jail for one hundred years, Jack Rackham puts to sea with his friends in search of another lost treasture, this time aboard the magnificent schooner, Reckless Endeavor. As a reader, I made the same mistake I made when I began Bad Latitude - I assumed it was a book written largely for young people and that it would be short on grown-up chills. Again, I was wrong. The Hardy Boys, I'm afraid, would not last a night with Jack Rackham and his friends. In addition to high seas spooks - freak whirlpools and long-dead pirates rising from the mist - there are adult themes all over the place. Homelessness, loyalty, betrayal, love and greed are among them. Ebright weaves them into his story without steering away from the action, and the result is a high-seas page turner.

Ebright spins an impressive piece of fiction, but there is also a good bit of history to be found here. One of its main characters, after all, is Calico Jack, an English pirate who designed the Jolly Roger flag and who made a career out of plundering across the Bahamas in the early 18th century. In Reckless Endeavor, Ebright brings Calico Jack back to life and introduces him to young Jack Rackham, who bears a suspicious resemblance to the legendary pirate. The meeting might leave Jack Rackham and his friends fabulously wealthy or it could turn them into so much chum for the sharks. There's only one way to find out, bilge rats. Batten down the hatches, beat to quarters and take some Dramamine if you have to. Reckless Endeavor is one wild adventure.

Thanks, Mark. So there you have it. RECKLESS is a high seas page turner - as opposed to a run of the mill page turner!

Now for one more picture from last week which will show how, in our family anyway, the inability to properly enter adulthood with dignity is being passed along to the next generation. Here's my oldest son Mike (Jack's dad) at 6 feet & 180 pounds makin' my poor grandson tote him around on his new bike. Ol' Jack's got some strong legs.

See y'all again soon - promise.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Do You Text?

Deb loves the whole texting thing. She's just a youngin' - must give her an advantage. Me? Not so much. It's bad enough gettin' emails poppin' up on my cell phone. How 'bout you? You into it? Well, for people more MY AGE here's a brief tutorial. This should prove invaluable. Or maybe not.


Since more and more "Seniors" are texting and tweeting there appears to be a need for an STC (Senior Texting Code). If you qualify for Senior Discounts this is the code for you!

ATD: At The Doctor's

BFF: Best Friend Fainted

BTW: Bring The Wheelchair

BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth

CBM: Covered By Medicare

CGU: Can't get up

DWI: Driving While Incontinent

FWBB: Friend With Beta Blockers

FWIW: Forgot Where I Was

FYI: Found Your Insulin

GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!

GHA: Got Heartburn Again

IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?

LOL: Living On Lipitor

OMMR: On My Massage Recliner

TTYL: Talk To You Louder

WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?

WTFA: Wet The Furniture Again

WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil

GGLKI: Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In

Any suggestions to add to this list? PTH (post them here). CWTR (can't wait to read).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just Writin'

Plannin' 5 days of no work, no travel, no meetings, no internet, no phones - just writin'.
Startin' this THURSDAY!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stress Management Technique #27

Just in case you are having a rough day, here is a stress management technique recommended in all the latest psychological journals. It really works. You might even smile.

Picture yourself lying on your stomach on a warm rock that hangs out over a slow moving stream

         Your hands dangle in the cool running water
         Birds sing sweetly in the cool mountain air
         No one knows your secret place
         You're in total seclusion from that hectic place called 'the world'
         The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air - a cascade of serenity
         The water is crystal clear & you can easily see .....
          ...... the face of the person you are holding underwater

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hometown Setting

Haven't been around much lately but thought y'all might like to see a music video filmed in my hometown of St Augustine, Florida. It's not a bad song either. I posted it on my FB page a few days ago.  
In the meantime - Still working to get the paper version of RECKLESS ENDEAVOR out. Had a problem with a link to the cover art - a reference to a name that doesn't go along well with the stuff I write. Anyway - that's solved to everyone's satisfaction so I'm waiting to see the revised proof copy before cutting it loose. While this is all going on, RECKLESS is selling well as an ebook on Kindle, better than expected since I've had no time to breathe, let alone promote. While that's cool n' all, I'm stumped trying to figure out why the first book, BAD LATITUDE (on Kindle since January) is outselling RECKLESS. Seems like BL will jump ahead almost 2 to 1 & then there'll be a surge on RE to go neck n' neck. I only check the sales stats once or twice a week (when I think of it), so maybe it's common for this to happen with multiple titles. Whatever. What do I know about how it all works? 

Back to the video. There are lots of backgrounds in the video that are right out of BAD LATITUDE (set in St Augie, naturally - or maybe I should say supernaturally). The lighthouse - which is haunted by Hezekiah Pittee & his dead daughters. The seawall at The Castillo de San Marcos overlooking Matanzas Bay, where 2 of my characters meet & eventually share their first kiss. Must be a good place for kissin'. The pristine beach (they blocked vehicle access for the video shoot - we're allowed to drive on our beach). Then there are the quaint streets which are perfect for late night zombie chases or, if you're not into that - you can just check out the shops & galleries.

RECKLESS starts out in St Augustine, but moves on to the Bahamas, naturally requiring a sail through the Bermuda Triangle - which leads up to an encounter with a dead pirate on a mission.  
So check out the video if ya feel like visitin' my town. 

There's also a good website - that's worth clickin' on.

Hopefully I'll get back to blogging soon - need to figure out a theme.   


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bitter, Sweet by Laura Best

I'm supposed to be finishing up some last minute tweaks on RECKLESS ENDEAVOR, things like a brief synopsis, for the Kindle, iPad & Nook versions, but I was sidetracked. It'll be a late night now for sure, but I'm gonna get it done. Have to. Anyway, it all started this afternoon when I stopped at the Post Office to pick up the mail .....

There it was - Laura Best's book - Bitter, Sweet. So, I unwrapped it & started checking it out. Then I started reading. And then I kept reading. Had bought some rib-eye steaks for the grill earlier in the day. Instead of putting them on during daylight, I kept reading - until the book was finished. (It was completely dark when I fired up the grill. When I went outside & turned the steaks, I reached for the handle on the grill's lid - to close it - & since I couldn't see, missed  it, & put my hand on the hot lid. I now have no fingerprints on my right hand.)

Sorry, back to the topic. (It's okay - I'm typing left handed.)

Okay, now I'm not a writerly literary genius or even a student of the craft, & don't pretend to be. And usually I favor action packed novels, thrillers, mysteries, sometimes horror & I write adventure tales for kids - but that's not gonna stop me from offering my thoughts on Bitter, Sweet.   

First of all - this book is flat out entertaining. It is also very well written, IMHO. The characters have unique personalities. The scene description is balanced - not overdone - enough to pull the reader into the setting without disrupting the flow of the story. The dialogue is strong - each character's voice stands out. It's easy to get a real feel for the poverty, the loss, the heartache & the family's ultimate struggle to put up a 'united front' in order to survive. Well, Laura has managed to make all of her words count & created a remarkable story. Very impressive. A terrific read. Thumbs up, my friend.    

Okay, I'm off to soak my hand ....  Oh yeah, click the Amazon link & buy Laura's book. Go on. Hurry!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hangin' Out

I've been just kinda hangin' out lately, doin' research on a buncha stuff that's gonna be in the next book, which is already underway. The picture above is from The Old Jail in St Augustine. The jail provides a fun chapter location in RECKLESS for one of the "adventures". It was also necessary to do some readin' up on how hangings were carried out, since that's how Calico Jack Rackham met his end in 1720. That little detail doesn't stop him from visiting his young descendant.

Right now I'm into Aztecs, jungles, and caves.... with a few twists, of course. I'll need some first hand cave experience, you know, for realism's sake, so there's gotta be a trip in our future (get your camera ready, Deb!). Maybe after the pirate invasion in Tampa later this month. In the meantime, I'm doing my usual poor job of marketing & promotion, in the weeks leading up to the release of the latest Jack Rackham Adventure - might be on Kindle & Nook in a week, not sure.    

Well, I've been kinda quiet lately but I ain't just sittin' around.

Friday, January 7, 2011