Friday, March 29, 2013

Jeepers Creepers Peepers, etc….

Picked up my new eyes the other day.

… I should probably explain that.

As you may know, I wear glasses, have for many years. I was pretty damned blind as a child and went from one doctor to another, from one surgery to another. By the time I was in my 20s, I hardly needed glasses at all.

You just know that couldn’t last, right?

In fact, on my last visit to my optometrist, he addressed this issue by saying, “There are various biological factors and mitigating consequences…”

“I’m getting old,” I said, summing up.

He smiled a bit and nodded. “Um, yes.”

One nice thing about getting old is I don’t really care that I need to wear glasses any longer. Hell, it goes with the beard… which I’ll shave off one of these day. Then, it’ll go with the grey.

Now, I have two pairs of glasses. One pair is for distance vision. The other pair is for reading. That’s the new pair. My doc took my regular glasses and placed another lens on top of them. “How does that look?” he asked.

“Holy crap,” I nearly shouted. “I can see!” That’s how much of an improvement it was. I could honestly see everything I was reading – for the first time in years.

And that’s good, because I read a lot. As a writer, I spend 10-12 hours in front of my monitor, typing on my keyboard, just about every day. My doc has told me that it’s the strain on my eyes from all that “close up work” (as he calls it) that wears me out. In other words, what I do makes me who I am.

That sucks.

But there you are. So, I’m sitting here with these new glasses on, seeing everything. Eh, it ain’t so bad.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Being with Vicky has gotten me into some pretty crazy shit.


I know. I know. I didn’t see it coming, either!

But my male sports gene was bound to come out at some point and now I’m probably a bit more of a NASCAR fan than Vicky. We watch the Sprint Cup races every week when they’re on – except that moronic NRA race in Texas – and once a year we head on over to the Auto Club Speedway to watch qualifying for their race.

And that’s what we did yesterday, hitting the road rather early and making it to the track about an hour before the festivities. Vicky had learned how to get free tickets from AAA, which is only right considering they’re sponsoring the race, so the whole day would be free except for the gas and the snacks – two things you don’t want to mix up.

Prior to qualifying, and because we got there early, Vicky wanted to walk through the bazaar of merchandise trailers before we went inside. You didn’t think we’d actually get in for free, did you? Well, I’d learned my lesson a while ago. I understood that Vicky had to pick up a momento from the Jeff Gordon trailer. And, heck, we only did this once a year.

This year, Vicky bought a pair of Jeff Gordon “24” ear-rings. Do I think she’ll really wear them? Sure. Once. But what the hell? It brought her a little joy.

Last year’s visit to the track had shown me that my aging body doesn’t take kindly to vertigo, so I asked Vicky if we could sit lower this time. We did and waited for Qualifying to start.

As usual, we joked with each other about the other people we saw and this and that. Eventually, we had to put in our ear-plugs but we still joked via text messaging. One of the best things about being with Vicky is the ease with which we make each other laugh. We’re always giggling or laughing and I love that Vicky is pretty damned funny.

So, we sat there, joking with each other, trading the occasional kiss – making everyone sick.

When Qualifying began, we traded the occasional comment about the drivers. More specific comments were held for Jeff Gordon’s qualifying lap and Juan Pablo Montoya’s qualifying, too. Jeff Gordon is Vicky’s driver and I follow Juan Pablo. Both drove pretty well, but our comments about them were nothing compared to what we said and the disgust we showed towards Danika Patrick and Brad Keslowski.

Vicky can’t stand Danika after NASCAR has shoved her down our throats as the savior of the sport. If she had been given a chance to prove herself – and if she was a half-decent driver – our attitudes might be different. But we’re sick of NASCAR praising her for every lap she drives or every wreck she survives. We’re just sick of her.

Brad, who we call Keslousy, is an inbred hick who is full of shit. Other than that, he’s fine. He didn’t win last year’s championship so much as Jimmy Johnson lost it.

And so, we watched Danica qualify five spots from last place and we watched Keslousy have to start from the back and had a great time. In all of my days, I would never have imagined I’d enjoy NASCAR. I probably wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much without Vicky. But when we share it, no matter if we’re at the track or on our sofa, we have a great time.

(Mind you, I won’t be back there for 364 more days…)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

So Dream Something, episode 6 featuring Angela Kay Austin...

My guest this week is Angela Kay Austin, and I am pleased to welcome her to the podcast. You can listen to this new episode at:

Angela Kay Austin is the bestselling author of such works of romantic fiction as Christmas' Journey, Love's Chance, and My Son, published by Red Rose Publishing. Angela likes to say that she writes stories about women who've been kicked in the butt by life - and they're tired of it. You can find more of Angela’s work and updated information on her exciting career on her website:

Angela Kay Austin has expressed herself through words for as long as she can remember.  Some of her early poetry became songs performed with her cousin at family gatherings.  But, eventually, short stories filled her favorite pink diary.

An infatuation with music and theater led to years playing various instruments and small extra roles in TV shows before giving way to a degree and career in radio and TV production.  After completing another degree in marketing, Angela found herself combining her love for all things creative and worked for many many years in promotions and advertising. 

When Angela once again found herself writing, her first published work stayed on her publisher’s bestseller list for ten weeks.  Her second release hit the bestseller list at All Romance eBooks. She has spoken on author panels, and served on boards for various author groups.

We covered a lot of territory in this episode, including…
Beware the Ides of March, Julius Caesar, Christmas' Journey, Love's Chance, My Son, Red Roof Publishing,, songs for family gatherings, pink diary, All Romance eBooks, music, saxophone, acting, poetry, short stories, balance, marketing, promotions, rejection letters, Reader's Digest, young adult, women's fiction, romance, half-finished books, writing in sequence, writing romance, Toni Morrison, Terry McMillan, Judy Blume, Paradise, Nicholas Sparks, writing comedy, Bridget Jones's Diary, Jane Green, the grass is always greener, taking notes, netbook/notebook, Plan Bs, communication, journalism, having a thick skin, discouragement, what's your next tier?, historical romance, writing non-fiction, Chris Matthews, Jack Kennedy, knowing what you want, Climbing Maya, A Grand Canyon, Recovering The Self, Sleepwalking, discouragement is not a nightmare

Saturday, March 09, 2013

A Grand Canyon - now available in audio...

A Grand Canyon, One Man's Journey Through Depression - the prequel to Climbing Maya - is now available in audio through Audible and (Coming soon to other audiobook retailers as well!)

"Before Climbing Maya, author Ken La Salle had to face A Grand Canyon, a wasteland of depression, doubt, loss, and misery. Now, in this slightly-abridged audiobook, Ken shares his story with honesty, an open soul, and his trademark wit.

In September 2002, Ken left his home and drove to the Grand Canyon to kill himself. The only life he'd ever known was little more than a shambles. He'd lost his wife and now he realized that he really couldn't live without her. His choices were to either continue facing it with self-destruction, drugs, and booze, or...a running start and a jump over the edge to end it all.

Ken's story is filled with dysfunctional families, love found and lost, breakups, breakdowns, and remarkable hope. It's the true story of a man lost without love and too destroyed to think he deserves love. But the most amazing part of the story isn't what set him on the road to the Grand Canyon, it's what happened...afterward."

Find A Grand Canyon on

And on

I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Just a brief reminder...

Climbing Maya is still on sale!

If you haven't had a chance to pick up a copy, you can still find it in paperback here:

And for your Kindle, right here:

And all other e-readers by clicking this link, here:

You'll make a poor writer very happy - and you might learn something before you're done...

Saturday, March 02, 2013

So Dream Something, featuring Cynthia Underwood...

This week, I am pleased to welcome Cynthia Underwood to the podcast. And I want to alert my listeners that this episode will require the use of some adult language. Be forewarned.

The reason I mention this is because of how I know Cynthia. You see, she used to be just one of my wife’s old friends from back in Lancaster, California. Then, a few years ago, Vicky bought me my first painting – not a print but an actual painting. Owning this painting had shown me the difference between something that is art and something that is “of art,” such as a print.

The painting I call “insomnia” and is one of Cynthia Underwood’s “Fuck” paintings. I call it a “Fuck” painting because the word “Fuck” is featured prominently on the work. It is powerful and speaks to the problem of insomnia.

Like me, Cynthia often employs a pseudonym and hers is “Lola de Rossi”.

Cynthia's life has always included art. She earned her BA in Studio Art as well as Art History at Humboldt State University and also holds an MFA in Painting and Sculpture from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts from Tufts University. After that followed a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Cynthia has created art in all sorts of venues, from corporate to whatever the hell she wanted. As a freelance artist, she designed work for Staples and Doritos. She was an instructor at the Mala Krsna Refugee Camp in Serbia, Littlerock High School, and several colleges but her career now is in Design Patents for the U.S. Patent Office.

This is not to say that Cynthia left her dreams of being an artist behind, however. As anyone can see on her website at, art continues to be an important part of her life. From word sculpture to employing different types of canvas – including a few cars – and on to her present project eloquently titled “Happy is the New Edgy”, Cynthia continues to make her dream an important part of her life.

You can find the new episode of So Dream Something on the podcast's website at:
And you can find it on my website at:
And, as alwasy, you can find it on iTunes.

We covered a lot of territory in this episode, including…

adult language, "of" art, insomnia, fuck paintings, Lola de Rossi, Humboldt State University, Tufts University, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Staples, Doritos, Mala Krsna Refugee Camp,, word sculpture, Happy is the New Edgy, photography, sports medicine, art history, german, PS1/MoMA, Dodge Daytona, urban camoflage, SAAB 2000, words and appropriation, God Bless America and Her Natural Resources, Playboy, Penthouse, Reading Material, consumerism, hope, positivity, patents, US Patent Office, office work, working in law, Plan Bs, Washington DC, working from home, big picture, Normal is the New Edgy, Facebook, overtime, Do Something Fun, Healthy is the New Edgy, Living Art, Making Art, passion, running, pseudonyms, Run Lola Run, poetry readings, Three and a Half Minutes, Be Happy, Life as Art, Angela Kay Austin, Climbing Maya, The Worth of Dreams The Value of Dreamers, The Dream is The Map