Thursday, September 3, 2015

Walking Tour of Charleston, SC

My next book, "Gold Wings are Murder--The Ghost Light," is set in historic Charleston, SC. Here is a taste of that Big Sweetgrass Basket.

And here is a great link for things to do while you're there. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Opening for "Gold Wings are Murder: The Ghost Light"

Here is a bit from the opening of my newest murder mystery novel:

. .. ... * ... .. ...

Layla Robinson stood on the dark, narrow stairs and took a deep breath. “I’m not afraid of ghosts,” she whispered. “I am not afraid of ghosts.”

She eased up one more step till she could just see the top landing. The theater balcony was empty, empty, empty. There were no chairs at all, save one wooden folding chair in the front row. All the other seats were gone, removed long ago as a safety precaution. The old balcony was too rickety to hold more than a dozen patrons at a time. There were no patrons there now, at least, none that Layla could see. None that would add any excess weight.

She took the final few steps with gusto, then boldly stepped out onto the landing. One hand on the front railing, the other at her side, she stopped, tried not to look down, looked down anyway, saw the main seating area far below and closed her eyes. The world spun around once, twice. Her breathing echoing through the empty balcony, Layla gripped the railing firmly and opened her eyes.
Nothing. One folding chair. Wooden ledges like a Greek amphitheater dissolving into mysterious darkness. In her off hand, the small, athletic looking woman held a single, long-stem rose. She put it carefully between her teeth—the blood red rose glowing softly against her chocolate skin. She started to talk, thought better of it, then took the rose out from between her lips.

“Well,” she said to the emptiness. “The thing is …” She gestured with the rose. “Here, let me show you.”

She crossed to the folding chair, folded it up with an echoing snap, then clomped over to the wall. Carefully, she set the chair next to several other wooden chairs that were folded and leaning there against the wall.

“The thing is …” she took a different wooden folding chair from the stack, one with a padded seat and back, and brought it back to that spot in the front row of the balcony. “The thing is, you’ve been here a long time,” she said, opening the chair and looking around at the ornate ceiling so close overhead. “And lots of people know your story, and we’ve kept a chair for you here so you could watch the shows, you know, whenever you want to.” She stood up, crossed back to the stack of chairs by the wall and grabbed another chair. “And what I was wondering, thinking, considering about, was …” She brought the second chair down front, opened it and set it next to the first one. “Was that maybe it was time for some company.” She went back to the stack of chairs one more time, found a third padded, wooden folding chair and set it on the other side of the first one. 

“Maybe, uhm, maybe it’s time for some company. Visitors. Guests. Oh, not just anybody. I’m thinking some other high rollers. V.I.Ps like you. Did they have that term when you were alive? I’m not sure how much you get out, although, uhm, live theater, so I’m sure you’ve been keeping up with the current lingo.”

Layla stopped and rolled here eyes. She said to herself, “You are hopeless, girl. Just get on with it. There’s probably nobody here anyway.” A deep breath. The echo of her breathing. The darkness moved closer.
. .. ... * ... .. ...

The current book is available now for Kindle readers and Kindle apps on your Apple and Android phone. 

Creepy Places

If you like ghost stories, you'll enjoy learning about these 20 real and very creepy places.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Gold Wings are Murder: The Ghost Light

So, it's on to book two. In the first book, our heroes Winged down to Lake Lure, NC and found a haunted inn. For book two, Django and Sorcha cruise down to Charleston, SC and end up at a haunted theater.

I've written my plot points. Today, I'm working on my scene cards. It will be a tight schedule, but I hope to have book two done in time for Christmas. It's possible. Here is a peak at my working cover.

This is actually about the sixth cover I made. My trusty wife gave me the Icky Face when I showed her the other five. (Gotta love an honest women.)

Writing about Lake Lure was easy because I love the place and have been their several times. Writing about a haunted theater should also be pretty easy. I did high school, college and community theater. Live theater is lots of fun and a great mix of art, technology and performance.

I'm looking forward to learning more about Charleston. It's been a hoot learning about South Carolina ghosts. Like "The Crying Stone," my new book, "The Ghost Light," is based on a real ghost story.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

"Gold Wings are Murder--The Crying Stone" Now on Kindle

Well, it's been a wild ride, and the new mystery novel is now available for Amazon Kindle readers and anyone with an iPhone, iPad or Android with the Kinde Reader App.  It comes to 163 "Kindle Pages." That's several hours of spooky reading adventure.

Click here to download the free sample from Amazon.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Slow Race Riding Technique

Watch what he does with his eyes.

Compare how the winner uses his vision versus the loser.

You'll see that the winner is looking down where his eyes can get immediate feedback about where he's at and where he's going to be in the next for seconds. Would you normally look down, that close to the bike? No. But, the slower you go, the closer you need to look for get the information you need. So, in a slow race, when you are going so slow that you are literally below your motorcycle's Stall Speed and into the Friction Zone, then YES you need to look down. Don't believe me? Try it.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Curves and Corner Part 2

Okay, so last time we talked about curves. Curves are bends in the road that require no speed change, or just a slight roll off of the throttle to negotiate fearlessly. Now corners, for the sake of this discussion, are bends in the road that require you to use the brakes.

What difference does it make?

Well, people rarely get scared and ride off the road when rounding a gentle curve at a normal speed. But more often than you would think, people run up to a corner, feel like they are coming in too hot, get scared, panic, jam on their rear brake and low side, or panic, stiffen up on the bars and run off the road. According to the Hurt Report (published 35 years ago), it's the number one cause of single bike accidents. But there is a solution: Get in the habit of entering corners with your brakes on.

What? Enter a corner with your brakes on? Are you daft? Are you insane? Have you been hiding under a rock for the last 35 years? You can't use your brakes in a corner or you'll fall down and die! It's about traction pie, man. If you use up all your traction cornering, you won't have any traction left for braking!

Yeah, Yeah. It is true that IF you are, in fact, using up ALL your traction cornering, you won't have ANY left for braking. However, normal riders, on normal bikes entering normal corner at anything near the normal speed limit are nowhere near using up all the available traction on their tires.

Here's why: The typical motorcycle street tire can handle about 1.1 Gs of sideways force. At 40 degrees of lean angle--the maximum lean angle for a Honda Gold Wing--the tire is subject to about .9 Gs of sideways force. In theory, that leaves about .2 Gs of force available for braking or accelerating at full lean. At 20 degrees of lean, which is as much as most people riding near the speed limit ever use, the tires only feel about .4 Gs of cornering force. That leaves .7 Gs available for braking or acceleration.

Can you over brake in a corner, or entering a corner, and fall down? Absolutely.

Can you over brake going straight down the middle of a clean dry road and fall down? Absolutely.

Can you get most of your heavy braking done on the straight, then taper off the brakes as you get close to and enter a corner? Almost certainly. People have been doing it for ages.

The question is, why would you want to?

The real world answer is that entering a corner with just a touch of brakes allows you to adjust your cornering speed all the way down to the apex and beyond. In a very real sense, trail braking means never having to be afraid of any corner ever again. 

If you get close to a corner and it feels too fast, leave the brakes on a little longer then turn in at a slower speed.

If you get INTO a corner and it feels too fast, ease on a touch of brakes until if feels good, then ride on comfortably.

If you are in a corner and everything feels good, but suddenly the corner closes up, ease on a bit more brake and slow down until you have the proper speed for the new, tighter corner.

Should you always enter every corner with the brakes on? Well, in theory, you probably could, but in the real world you don't have to. If you are at the turn in point and your speed feels fine, let the brakes go and turn the motorcycle. If you are in a corner and find a dusting of sand across the entire lane, you might not want to split your traction between cornering and braking, so you might choose to be off the brakes before you hit the sand.

Remember, I'm not saying you should grab, stab or slam on your brakes going into a corner. I'm saying that if you are on the brakes approaching a corner, you might want to keep the brakes on slightly as you turn in. You'll have a better steering angle for quicker turning. Your brake pads will be pre-loaded against the brake disks for quicker response to all inputs. You'll have much better control of your bike's turning speed. Perhaps most importantly, by allowing yourself to adjust your speed all the way to the apex, you'll be able to ride comfortably, safely and fearlessly around any corner in the world.

Ride safe and keep one eye on your future.


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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Editing a Murder Mystery

This morning, I finished the on-paper edits of "Gold Wings are Murder." I found grammar and spelling errors on almost every page. I found 36 items big enough that I couldn't fix them on the spot, so I wrote those all down on a To-Edit list. Plus, I have two and a half chapters that need major re-work.

In other words, it went GREAT!

I'm using the editing process suggested by Rachel Aaron in her book "2,000 to 10,000: How to Writer Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What You Love." This is one of the best books I've read on the nuts-and-bolts nitty-gritty craft of writing fiction. Well done, Rachel Aaron!

So, it's the beginning of June now. I should certainly have the book done and published for Amazon Kindle July 4th. I hope to also a paperback version--for folks who don't want to risk dropping their fancy Kindle while riding and reading on the back of a Gold Wing.

Friday, May 29, 2015

"Gold Wings are Murder" First Draft Complete

I'm thinking Mark Twain would be a GL1800 trike kind of guy.
Mark Twain would be so proud--I just finished the first draft of "Gold Wings are Murder: The Crying Stone." Parts are funny. Parts of scary. Other parts are emotionally intense. It features a middle aged couple touring our great land on a GL1800 with a Tailwind trailer. What could be better than that?

So, now the edits begin. For those of you who like writing trivia, I'm using the editing system proposed by Rachel Aaron in "2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love." She suggested going through the book and doing your grammar corrections, but also outlining it, doing a time line to look for story problems, and using a ToDo list so you don't miss anything and can get your edits done with little fuss or extra effort.

Aaron also writes fantasy so, if you like murder mysteries AND fantasy (like me), check her out. As for my story, look for it some time in June, July at the latest.

Curves and Corners Part 1

Are curves and corners different? Should they be approached differently, from the rider's point of view? Is one better of worse than the other? Here's what I think.

Are these folks riding around a corner or a curve? 

Big, sweeping curves are lots of fun. You find them everywhere. The road bends away, and you cruise on without a care in the world. Curves are great too. You set up, zoom in, maybe use an exciting amount of lean angle, then zip on outa there. Also lots of fun. So, first off, let me say that in my humble opinion, neither one is better or worse than the other. But I do approach them differently, as a rider, because I believe they are different. I also believe that if you don't think of them differently, you will likely carry more stress than you need to while riding, and what I wish for you is FEARLESS RIDING so check this out.

Let me tell you what I mean by a curve.

To me, and for the purposes of this discussion, a curve is a bend in the road that does NOT require brakes or more than a minor roll off of the throttle. If you can safely negotiate a bend without any speed change, while remaining relaxed, seeing well, and in control of your riding, that's a curve. I'll even take it a step further and say that for a bend to be called a curve, you should be able to maintain your straight-line speed, AND take any line you want through the bend.

If you can make it through the bend comfortably, but only by entering wide, cutting in, and sweeping to the outside, that's not a curve, that's a corner. If you can maintain your speed and comfortably run the bike around the outside of your lane, or just as easily switch over halfway through and run around on an  inside line instead, to me, that's a CURVE.

Why does it matter?

Because if you are running around a curve at a safe and comfortable speed, it doesn't matter where you setup. Inside? No problem. Outside? Not an issue. Change your line halfway through? No worries. Line doesn't matter. It doesn't make any difference. If you are riding at a safe and comfortable speed that allows you to effortlessly and FEARLESSLY zoom around that curve and continue on with your ride, that's a curve.


I was riding home from work the other day, and came to this wonderful curve near my house. My straight away speed was about 45 mph. The road curves around a little hill that makes it somewhat of a blind curve, but most any experienced biker could take that corner at 40-45 mph with basically no effort. I've done it literally a hundred times. I approached the curve at 45, rolled off just a little to maybe 43 and entered the curve. Halfway through, right in the middle of my outside line, was the flattened remains of a space alien! Or maybe it was just a dead racoon. Anyway, I didn't fret, or worry, or run into the opposite lane, or slam on my brakes. All I did was move the bike from an outside line, to an inside line, and keep on Wingin'!

Granted, if a car is stopped dead, smack dab in the middle of your lane--it's happened to me--you would need to use your brakes and stop, but on what I call a curve, sand, gravel or dead skunks can be handled almost effortlessly by simply changing your line. Just move over. No fuss. Change your lane position. Sacrifice your preferred line, and ride on. When riding around curves, many potential problems become non-issues.

By looking well ahead and assessing if the bend coming up is a corner or a curve, I have no worries. If it's a curve, I just look for the vanishing point, relax, keep my eyes up and ride on. As far as I can tell, most of the turns I ride around are curves, not corners. That means most of my riding is almost automatically FEARLESS. Why should I worry when I approach a curve if I know I can take that curve at my present speed and on any line I choose? If I need to roll off a little without so much as shifting gears, or just ease on around a problem spot, why should I worry?

But if I keep my eyes up, see a bend and decide it is really more of a CORNER, then what? Don't miss Part 2. Bookmark this pages as one of your favorites, or look for the Follow By Email box, fill in your contact information, and Part 2 will automatically show up in your email.

Until then, get out there and enjoy this great weather!

Moxie Nixx, author of "Gold Wings are Murder."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

GWAM Mystery Novel Almost Done

My first mystery novel, Gold Wings are Murder, is almost done. I'm working on the final chapters this week. This is the first draft, but my writing process is to do a read through and light edit of yesterday's work, before starting on todays writing. So, it doesn't take me as long to finalize a rough drafts as some folks. It looks like this story will run about 35,000 words. That's shorter than some mystery novels, but actually a pretty good length for a first mystery intended for sale as a Kindle ebook.

If you want to be among the first to know when this book drops, look for the Follow by Email box and type in your email address. That way you'll know about it just as soon as the book goes live. Until then, keep your eyes up, stay safe and enjoy the ride.

A mystery writer types on an Apple keyboard.
I'm actually writing this on a 10-year old iMac using Chrome and Google Docs. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tip In, Turn In

Do you ever feel anxious entering a turn? I sure do. Until only a few years ago, it used to be much worse. When I got good and tired of that, I decided to learn more about riding. So, I studied a famous book on cornering, and the racing-based instructor said I should always get my turning down all at once, and to always turn as quickly as possible! Of course, I am naturally suspicious of anything always being the correct technique, but I tried it. And you know what?

My anxiety got worse!

What? How could that be? This guy was famous. He was a winning racer. A big shot author. So, I figured I was doing it wrong, and went and practiced some more. But when you want to turn as quickly as possible, you have to run into the corner deeper and deeper. That created even more fear. And my problems got worse instead of better.

"No. No," I told myself. "This must be the way. Go watch some real motorcycle racers ride, and you'll see they all do it this way." Well, that's what the author of that book said anyway.

He was wrong.

What I saw, over and over and over again when I watched videos of the top riders In The World, was that NONE of them rode that way. Not one. Zip. Zero. Nada. Zilch. What were they doing differently than me? What did they do differently than that book author recommended? The fastest motorcycle racers in the world would blast down the straight, slow down, tip in a little, get started into the curve, then finally actually turn in and scrape their knees on the ground.

Watch it for yourself below. You'll see it in the very first corner of this American Superbike race. The riders tip in, and turn in.

When I tried riding that same way, I found it worked great! Way better than it had any right to. By initiating my turn slowly and gently, instead of trying my darndest to slam the bike down to full lean angle, I was much more relaxed. The bike behaved better. My hands, arms, face and eyes were all much more relaxed. It felt like the bike was coasting effortlessly down and back up. I found I was often using more lean angle with less effort. Best of all, my rides become longer and more enjoyable.

So, go for a ride! Hey, any excuse for a ride, right? Keep your eyes up, watching the vanishing point and checking for road hazards well ahead of the bike. Setup early for the corners by moving to the outside lane position. Then when you are close to the entrance of the corner, somewhere before the place where you would usually start to feel apprehensive, and just tip in slightly.

Going left? Push gently forward on that left hand grip. Don't push hard enough to make the bike dart across the lane or cut in too early. Just break the bike off that 90-degree angle. Get the bike leaned, just a little, Get the  bike just a smidgen off of perpendicular. Then, add more lean angle as necessary to safely make your corner.

  • You may find that your initial lean is about all the lean angle you need for certain corners.
  • You may find that once the bike is leaned a little, it is much easier to lean it a little more.
  • You may find that your fear of sliding out is not attached to how far you lean over, but the very act of leaning at all. Once you get the bike leaned, even a little, without falling down, you may suddenly feel like everything is going to be okay.
  • You might also find that once the bike is leaned over, even a little bit, you can relax and get your eyes up. Even that tiny change in your vision can make you suddenly feel much more comfortable on the bike.

Spring is here. Get out there and ride. Carefully and gently try new things. Report back here with your results.

If you find this tip useful, you can subscribe to this blog by finding the "Follow by Email" box and entering your email address. That way, never miss a post.

Look in. Set up. Ride on.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Gold Wing for One?

No, these are not Gold Wings. The Honda Gold Wing is, in my humble opinion, the best two up touring bike in the world. However, what about riding solo? If passenger comfort isn't a priority, there are other bikes worth considering. Here are a few that are worth a look.

Me? I'd be very tempted to just keep the Wing, even for solo riding. I commute on my Wing most days and love the comfort, the radio, the cruise control and the storage. Personally, I find city riding a snap on the Wing.

On the other hand, even the heaviest bike in the above video is more than 300 pounds lighter that my GL1800! My pick, having not riden any of them, would be the Kawasaki Versys 1000LT. I like the comments in the video about the Versys having the most power (always good), stable steering geometry (for confident cornering) and arguably the best seat (a touring bike MUST have a good seat).

My only question is, can I get a UniGo trailer hitch for the Versys?

Cursive Writing is the Bomb

My son graduated from high school just a few short years ago. He got his diploma without ever learning cursive writing. This is a huge mistake for all the students. Here is why ...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gold Wings are Murder Cover Mockup

This is a low resolution mock-up of the cover for "Gold Wings are Murder." I used gold for the title on purpose because, you know, GOLD Wings? The spooky woman is supposed to be the Ghost Bride that drives the story. I wonder if the cover needs a little graphic of a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. That way, there will be no doubt that we're talking about THOSE Gold Wings. I'm just not sue where I'll put it ... Let me know what you think. You can even email me here.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Gold Wing Riding Tip

The Vanishing Point is way done there!
Would you like to have your very own super power? I can give you a super power that very few Gold Wing riders possess, but everyone needs. I can teach you how to foresee the future. Ayup. It's easy, when you know how. Here's the secret:

Look Up. Look In.That's it.

Stop gazing mindlessly at the road 20 feet in front of your front tire. Get your vision up and ahead of the bike where it will do you the most good. Look up and find the place where the road disappears from view. That's called the Vanishing Point. That's the limit of your vision. Just by tilting your head back a notch and pulling your eyeballs up, you can see waaaay down the road.

Would you be safer if you could see 15 seconds, maybe even a minute further up the road? That's 5-10-30-60 extra seconds for you to see danger and react. That's plenty of time to slow down, move over or stop. Heck, when you look far enough ahead, you might have time to see trouble, pull over, turn around, ride down the road, pull into a restaurant and order a piece of lemon pie!

A nice side benefit of looking up and looking in, is that you have plenty of time to put your bike in the correct position for the next corner. That makes you a smoother rider. When you get your eyes up, you will also have time to scan every corner for rocks, logs, dead skunks or whatever. Knowing the road ahead is free of sand or oil can be a wonderful confidence booster.

Try it. You might like it.

How do you know you are using your vision incorrectly? 

Well, if you CAN look up, and you CAN look in, THAT's where you should be looking.

Am I saying you should stare mindlessly at the Vanishing Point? No. If you see danger, that's where you should look, at least long enough to make a judgement about what to do next. Then put your vision where it needs to be a make it happen.

It you enjoyed this tip, you might want to scoot over the my Amazon Author page for more. My author page has my Moxie Nixx Twitter feed and I frequently put short tips and fun stuff there. Here is the link: Click Here.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

New Moxie Nixx Short Story

I Just Published My First Short Story

The "Soul Sketcher" is a young artist named Angelica Carbajal. When she draws people, she hears their thoughts. But it isn't always complaining about the boss or planning to go out for drinks. One morning, over coffee with her mother in a crowded bistro, Angelica hears something disturbing. 
  • How will she handle it? 
  • What will she do? 
  • What can she do? 

Find out more for just a buck. That's way less than a Iced Caramel Macchiato--and more chilling.

 "Soul Sketcher" is about 8 pages long. It will take you about about 15 minutes to read it, so it's perfect for lunch or a little light reading before bed--if you dare!

Click here to order from

Want to be among the first to know when I release a new short story? Just enter your name in the "Follow by Email" box near the upper right corner of this blog. I'll be writing more short supernatural suspense stories soon. I'm working on them as little refreshers while I slave away on "Gold Wings are Murder--The Crying Stone." (I'm going to need a vacation after all this writing--maybe I'll go to Lake Lure and stay at the Blue Stone Inn.)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Author Interview with James Lough

James Lough is the author of book This Ain't No Holiday Inn. It's sort of an oral history of the famous Chelsea Hotel in NYC. The Chelsea was renowned as an residence hotel that intentionally sought out and welcomed writers, singers, actors and other Bohemian types into a melting pot of crazy ideas and interesting companion.

Since every book in the Gold Wings are Murder series will be set at a hotel, inn or resort, I thought it would be a good idea to ask Lough about one of the most famous hotels in American history. Here is what he had to say.

Question: In my mystery novel Gold Wings are Murder, the heroes are bikers who ride around the country and every place they stay seems to be haunted. What famous resident would be loath to leave the Chelsea Hotel, even in death?

Answer: Many famous residents were loath to leave the Chelsea, living or dead. It was cheap and artist-friendly! But I would say Nancy Spungeon, ex-girlfriend of Sid Vicious, has probably stuck around. She was murdered there and probably has some scores to settle. Resident Paul Volmer said his girlfriend took some LSD and he found her chatting away, alone, in the hallway to some unknown presence.

"Who are you talking to," Paul said, as he gingerly took her by the elbow.

"Oh, Nancy," she said.

Q. Bohemian means someone from Bohemia (Czechoslovakia), but it also means gypsy, Romani or socially unconventional artist, actor or anarchist. Where do all the Bohemian's live today?

A. Bohemians aren't gone, but, sadly, they're an endangered species. Especially in big vibrant US cities like New York and San Francisco, which both have rich Bohemian histories, but are far too expensive for real Bohemians to live in cold water flats, enjoy the street life, the multiple cultures, and the camaraderie and mentorship of other artists. Some say we can get that on the web, but it's only a pale imitation of the real thing.

Q. If the ghosts of novelist Thomas Wolfe, humorist Mark Twain, actress Sarah Bernhard and musician Dee Dee Ramone (all one time residents of the Chelsea Hotel) sat down for spectral dinner, what would they talk about?

A. If Mark Twain, Sarah Bernhard, Thomas Wolfe, and Dee Dee Ramone sat down for a spectral dinner, they'd probably first talk about how much--or how little--rent they paid! Then they'd go on to the ghastly gap between rich and poor in the nation. They'd ask Sarah how it was to sleep in her casket under that glass pyramid built above her penthouse suite. Dee Dee would probably ask if he could lie in there with her. Wolfe would scold Dee Dee for making such a rude request, and then Wolfe would ask her for the same favor. Twain would sit back, light his cigar, his eyes gleaming with wicked mirth. Then they'd have dessert.

Q. You are designing your very own residential hotel. What does it look like, where would you put it, and who would you let live there for free--if they only would?

A. My utopian residential hotel would be in Las Truchas, New Mexico, where the spirits are thick. I would reserve permanent rooms for David Bowie and the ghosts of Emily Dickinson, Rembrandt, and Dave Chapelle. The rest of the artists would be fledglings, young artists who were not born wealthy and did not grow up with the advantages that many successful artists did. It would be a multi-storied adobe affair kind of like Mesa Verde with log ladders between the apartments and kivas in the basement for sacred ceremonies. A deadwood sign hangs over the gate: "The Last Resort."

Q. Do you have another oral history book in the works? Or ... What's next for James Lough?

A. I don't have an oral history in the works now, but we're working on getting This Ain't No Holiday Inn made into a TV series. My next book is a collection of insightful, inspirational, and wickedly witty aphorisms called Short Flights. It will be published in November 2015 by Schaffner Press. 


It was a pleasure to talk with James Lough. His book This Aint' No Holiday Inn earned 4.5 stars with 23 reviews at Click here to check it out.

Monday, March 30, 2015

"Gold Wings are Murder" Opening for Chapter 2

Dear Future Readers of Gold Wings are Murder: Here is a little sample of the book--the opening section of chapter two. This little snippet of a scene over breakfast at the Blue Stone Inn, gives you a good feel for the relationship between our heroes Django and Sorcha. The night before this conversation, Sorcha saw "The Bride," or had a dream, or a vision, or something.


"And what makes you think it was not a ghost?" Sorcha emphasized the "not," but she wasn't really angry. Not yet.

"Well, for one, because there's no such thing as ghosts," said Django.

"You don't know that."

"Well, I've never seen one, and until last night, you had never seen one."

"There! You've admitted that I saw a ghost last night."

"No. Just speaking rhetorically. You can't trap me with the words that easily." Django looked out the window at their Honda Gold Wing. It was parked almost in front of them--right where the porch steps lead down to the front parking lot.

"Will you admit it might have been a ghost?" asked Sorcha.

"If you'll admit it might have been a figment of your sleep-walking imagination."

"My imagination wasn't sleep walking. I was, and I've never seen a ghost while sleep walking before."

"Ah," said Django like a district attorney pouncing on the key testimony, "so you admit you were sleep walking!"

"Yes, yes, your honor. I admit I was sleep walking."

"And was this your first time sleep walking, young lady?"

"No, your honor. I often sleep walk when I'm sexually frustrated."

"Owe! Low blow."

"Or not," said Sorcha. "What are you staring at out there?"

"Look." Django gestured to the parking lot.


I'd love to tell you what they saw in the parking lot, but I'm a heartless literary tease! Find the "Follow By Email" button to be one of the first people who knows when this scary/sexy story is released.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Murder by Mail

Gold Wings are Murder Mail
If you have an email account, and want to keep up with the latest news about the "Gold Wings are Murder" series, use the form in the upper right corner of this blog.

Look up and over. Find the little form that reads, "Follow by Email," then enter your email address, then click the "Submit" button. Check your email for the confirmation message.

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Caught Up with Re-Reading "Gold Wings are Murder"

I put this story aside for a little while. Now, I'm back at it. I've been reading the story out loud to my family, and we've all enjoyed it. My wife, Leigh--who lovers her Gold Wing--says it needs more cool Gold Wing trivia! (Easy enough to add in while doing edits and revisions.) So, the good news is that I WILL start writing on this story again today!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Creating Memorable Characters

I'm reading a paranormal mystery about a family of Witches in Maine. I like the story, but there are four sisters, plus a town full of local characters, and honestly, I find it a bit hard to follow who is who. That's why in my books, I take a tip I learned in a children's literature course 20 years ago--each character has a unique physical trait or quirk.

So, in "Gold Wings are Murder--The Crying Stone," the innkeeper has huge hands. Whenever I describe him, or he appears on the scene, I mention his freakishly large digits. The innkeepers wife, on the other hand, is petrified her guests will find out the Blue Stone Inn is haunted. I barely mention her looks, but everything she does, everything she says, is about keeping the ghost a secret.

To me, this is just good story telling.

You know, I don't mind if you share these tips on Google+ or Twitter. I'm not worried that someone else is going to write a Gold Wing themed mystery series. Just use the buttons below.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Slow Speed Gold Wing Secret

Slow speed control is often a problem, especially with giant touring bikes like Gold Wings and Electra Glides. While I strongly recommend the Ride Like a Pro class, there is one super simple, super easy technique that will make almost anyone a steadier rider at a walking pace.

Here it is: When you get down to single digit speeds (or anytime you feel uncomfortable on the bike), grip the tank with your knees.

Gripping the tank with your knees keeps your legs from flapping around in the breeze an unbalancing the bike. At very low speeds, a look, an elbow wiggle, or a knee flap will shift your center of balance and make the bike want to tip and lean. Gripping the tank with your knees puts an end to half that problem--the lower half.

Gripping the tank also locks your body onto the bike making you almost one unit. This allows your arms to work independently, and gives them better leverage for swinging those bars left and ride. It's funny that at high speeds, you almost can't see the bars move, even though the bike goes from perpendicular to the road, down to a 40-degree lean angle (on a Gold Wing). But at slow speeds, getting around a pot hole and over to the gas pump can mean steering so far that you bump the left steering lock, then instantly swinging the bars so far that you bump the right steering lock. To do that comfortably, without unbalancing everything else, well, it's a lot easier when your lower body is locked onto the bike from gripping the tank with your knees.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Yes, He Crashed His Gold Wing

No. Not me. I haven't crashed my bike since, well, let's just say not in a while. But you Gold Wing riders may know a guy who goes by the name of Yellow Wolf. This is a story about HIS crash. It happened not far from the famous Tail of the Dragon. Here is how Yellow Wolf tells the story about what happened during his Super Secret Ride In.


We rode over near Deals Gap to do our Killboy drone shoot. It was wet with leaves and sticks on the road. We did the Killboy photo shoot and then a couple of the guys did a run on Deals Gap.

We left and did Route 28 down to Franklin and had lunch at Shoneys. The afternoon started to get sunny, and we all headed down Route 281. There are some nice sweepers there and the road was getting cleaner so the pace was faster!

We rested in Canada "the town" at the park. Afterward, we ran 281 some more and a couple of other roads. The sun was shinning bright and in my eyes. We were going into sun then into shade, and it was messing with my eyes real bad.

I could see the road edges, but I could not see the road surface. I pride myself on seeing thing most miss, but in these conditions I could not! I tried raising and lowering tinted face shield, but I still could not see well! Had I had been with my self, I would have just slowed down, but because I was with my friends on a fast ride I did not!

Well, as we were on Silversteen Road, coming into a right hand turn, I hit some unseen sand with the front tire. I was down fast. The crash tossed me hard on my right side. I was off the bike before I knew it. The bike slid on its right side, across the road and into the gravel where it dug in its tires and did a real nice flip onto its left side. I did not know it at the time but, yup, it was totaled!

Afterwards, I went back and looked at what I hit. It was sand. Then I walked back to the bike. My friends had it up by then, and it made me sick. Just about every part had some sort of damage. It was not leaking anything, so I said, "Well, its time to go home." The bike started and rode fine back to my house.

Time is a strange thing. I originally thought it was just sand and no biggie, but the more I thought about it, the more I started asking myself questions. I asked myself the questions I would have asked someone else, if they were telling this same story. When I did that, I started to see things differently.

So what did I learn:
  1. My job as a Ride Leader is to warn my friends about sand, rocks, cars, dogs or what ever could cause them an issue. My job is to keep the ride as safe as possible. I failed to do that and, lucky for me, I went down and not one of my friends.
  2. Had I been by myself, I would have slowed down. I did not slow down due to ... what? Ego. Not wanting to slow down. Getting to caught up in the moment. It doesn't really matter why I didn't slow down.
  3. Riding is fun. Brisk riding is fun. The problem, when you get like minded folks together, is that it can become a bit more than fun. 
To my friends who were there, if you have anything to add--good or bad--please feel free to be very  honest about that day.

I guess it comes down to this:
  1. If you can't see the road surface, then slow down
  2. If you are leading, or following, and don't feel comfortable with whats going on, don't worry about what others may think, just do what you feel is right, even if that means to slow down
  3. If you are leading a ride, its up to you to keep the group as safe as possible.
A huge thanks to the riders directly behind me for not running me over!


In my opinion, Yellow Wolff is a brave man, and a straight shooter, to share what happened so openly and honestly. Having ridden these mountain roads on a Gold Wing, let me second Yellow Wolf's advice: If something is not right, slow down. 

The video above does not show the crash--just a typical fun run in the Blue Ridge Mountains. For the worry warts in the crowd, the speed limit on most of these roads is 55 mph. They are so curvy, you don't need to go more than that to have one heck of a good time. 

Gold Wings are Murder OPENING

Just to keep things interesting, here is a bit from the opening of "Gold Wings are Murder: The Crying Stone."


Tiny Sorcha Rhyne sat bolt upright in the darkness. "Who's there?" 
No one, whispered the darkness.
"I see you there. Come out."
No one stood by the door, back in the corner, behind the dresser. No one stared. No one cried softly.
Sorcha glanced down at her husband, Django. He was beautiful, but he was sound asleep. Sorcha swung her gaze to the darkness in the corner. The darkness stared back, but didn't move. "Django, wake up!" Without looking, she shoved his shoulder, hard! She put her hand in his wavy hair and tugged. A fierce whisper, "Honey, there's someone in our room!" Django didn't move. 
The someone coalesce into a lighter shade of darkness. It came toward her. One step. Two steps out of the corner.
Sorcha drew back against the headboard, pulling the sheets up over her breasts. She reached toward the nightstand--hoping to find a weapon. Something!
When the hallway door opened, Sorcha jumped a foot.
The shape slipped out of an impossibly thin opening and disappeared into the hallway. 
"Don't you go out there," she said to herself. "Don't you dare." She looked at Django. Still asleep. What was wrong with him? Why wouldn't he wake up for her? She couldn't wait to figure it out. Whoever had been in their room was slipping away. What if he, she or it went into some other guest's room?
Before she could stop herself, she swung her feet over the edge of the bed and slipped down onto the floor. Her slippers were waiting, pointed out to keep little demon's from finding their way into her bed. She grabbed a nightgown off the bottom post of the four poster bed and crept to the door.

You know, this stuff is even more fun sitting around a campfire while someone reads this story to you aloud. (Insert evil laughter.)

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Gold Wings are STILL Murder

Well folks, it's been awhile since I posted here, or worked on the story. I was working a very stressful job and when I requested a very reasonable accommodation (that I work 40 hours per week), they fired me. Criminal? Yes, but life goes on.

Now, since I'm unemployed, the story can go on too!

I left off on page 77 with a dinner party for our heroes and the Harley riding couple at the Blue Stone Inn. My wife offered to read the story and help me job start the process.