Gray Today, Brony Tomorrow

As a guy gets old, he realizes it’s harder to find magic in everyday life. When you’re a kid the entire world is magic. The woods behind the house is some mysterious hidden forest where trolls, elves and you name it lurk. The old beaten down place down the street is a haunted house, and the guy living there is a mad scientist or something just as exciting. Worst of all, monsters lurk in the shadows once the sun drops behind the horizon. The thing is, magic is everywhere when you’re young.


That isn’t so true once you become a fully functioning adult. Magic becomes a weekend where you’re not working around the house or visiting the in-laws. Magic is a hard commodity to buy especially when you’re married with kids. Most of the time, instead of experiencing magic through your children’s eyes, you’re too busy keeping reality from falling down around them.


Then, you find yourself a little older, and magic is all but impossible to remember let alone find. Your body begins to do evil tricks on you. You get out of bed to use the bathroom and you grunt like your grandfather to start the process, or your knee goes out and you hobble into the bathroom praying your prostate isn’t playing even eviler tricks on you. Growing old is the act of devoiding yourself of magic. You have to, just to survive or stop from going to the booby hatch.


Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking. I’ve read this dude’s blog and know he’s just one big kid. True, but the sad fact is I’m more reality based than I let on. I had to conform to the system. I am ashamed to admit that, but it’s true. Hey, I found the perfect woman and got married. I had her and a beautiful daughter to support. You can’t hunt orcs in the backyard all the time and give the people you love the life they deserve being totally goofy. Sometimes goofy is okay.


About eight years ago, I found an outlet for the kid I kept locked inside me. Writing. Whereas, a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons might have been near impossible, writing real life fictional ones wasn’t. Before you get the idea my wife wouldn’t allow me inside the D & D circle of friends I once had, they too grew up, moved ahead, or just moved away. For a long time, writing allowed magic to bloom inside me again, like it had when I was a kid playing with my Star Wars men in front of Saturday morning cartoons.


But, a funny thing happened. My daughter grew up and moved out. Now, she has a family of her own. Another thing is I grew older. My body moves a little slower than it used to. I forget things I should know. My mom and dad have grown older. Heck, that whole generation is slowing fading from the superhero status I once looked at them as having. In essence reality became my own mortality staring me in the face. Magic has definitely become harder and harder to find.


This year, I’ve been forced to see I’m not going to live forever. Knowing something and accepting it are two different things. I’ve spent time going back and forth to the doctor. My wife has as well. I watch my dad stumble a bit when he walks and take breaks when just a few short years ago he could work circles around. He still can according to him. My mom is in the hospital after suffering a stroke. People my age are dropping like flies. Who could find a trace of magic in all that happening?


I’ll tell you, I couldn’t. I found myself sinking into a self imposed pity party. Not even comic books, action figures and Star Wars could bring me out of it. The fear of losing those I love most took hold of me. Instead of wonder and light, I could only see darkness and a sinking despair I doubted I’d ever dig myself out of. Where was the yellow brick road when I needed it?


I’m more than a little ashamed to admit, I found it. One day while taking my wife to see a specialist about two hours away from our hometown, we pulled over to grab a quick bite. Quick bite being a Happy Meal to try and save a couple dollars so we could treat ourselves on the way home. As I shoved fries into my mouth, I glanced at the toy. It was a white unicorn with pink hair. What the crap! I’d told them the boy toy. Pulling up at a red light I took this ‘thing’ out of my box and started to throw it in the backseat. But, you know, it was kind of cute. I found myself feeling a little calmer just by holding it. Taking it out of its plastic bag, its tail curled around my finger. As anyone knows, guys are suckers for thing’s curling around our fingers. My own grandson’s finger around mine had taught me that lesson.


Next thing I knew, I was rapidly collecting the whole set of My Little Ponys from Mickey D’s. Then, I started buying the cheap four buck ones. Hey, it’s a victimless crime. Ponys make me happy for some weird strange reason. I didn’t see anything wrong with it, until my wife laughed at me and called me a ‘Freaking Brony’. The wrongness continued as she explained what a Brony was. I could have stopped the thing right then and there by giving the collection to my little sister, but I didn’t.


Magic is just too hard to find to toss it away because of what other people might think. Sure, it might make me a bit sillier than I already am, but I’m a writer. Writer’s need muses. Mine just so happen to be ponies with curly tails and big eyes. Here’s the kicker. Normal people need magic too, not just writers, musicians or artists. We, yes, I’m grouping myself with normal people, need something to brighten our lives. It doesn’t have to be a toy. It could be a child’s smile. Sitting in a boat with all of God’s creation around you as you fish alone or with a friend. It can even be a Mall and that once in a lifetime sale. You just have to find your magic wherever you can and cling to it like it’s the most important thing in the world. If you can do that, you’re richer than you have ever been and something much more important. Happy.


So, feel free to laugh my mid-life Broniness. I don’t mind. Know why? Because for one brief second I made you smile. I was that muse that showed you magic and happiness exists. If we’re both lucky, you’ll pass the feeling onto to someone else, and they keep the process flowing. And, if we’re all really lucky, we’ll find ourselves in a world where hate, bigotry and all the other junk that makes our lives so miserable just doesn’t exist.


Funny thing is, if it actually happens, it’ll have started because on one day a worried husband stopped off and bought him and his wife a quick meal and got a My Little Pony instead of the boy’s toy.


Serendipity is a fickle mistress and loves a good practical joke every once in awhile. Before you ask, yes, my broniness will probably find itself into one of my books. That’s what writer’s do. We take the absurdness of reality and make it into something a reader will say that will never happen in real life. Strangely enough, things like that often do. As I waddle off to brush some pony hair, go out and find your magic. As my very good friend Paisley Kirkpatrick loves to tell me, ‘Smile’ and maybe the magic you’re looking for will find you.


A Muse Speaks Out

So, I’m here.


Before you start wondering if this is Jmo off on another one of his insane diatribes, it’s not. It’s me, his muse. Apparently, I’m responsible for some sort of massive writer’s block and he is currently curled up in the fetal position sucking his thumb and clutching a Boba Fett action figure to his chest.


‘Boo hoo, I can’t write. The world is coming to an end. Maybe, I can get a job at the Kwikie Mart and be a normal productive member of society.’


You know what drama queens authors are.


As a result, he laid a guilt trip from hell on me, and I agreed to come on here and blog for him this week. If you’re expecting some profound revelation about how authors don’t need muses, the ability to write resides solely within them, you’re <censored> out of luck. Writers can barely tie their own shoes. Their heads are so in the clouds some days I wonder if they can function in society without someone telling them what to do. So, forget about writing without someone whispering sweet nothings in their ears.


As a muse myself, let me tell you, musing is a freaking hard job. It’s not nine to five either. And yeah, we get vindictive about it at times. We give them ideas when they have no chance in hell of remembering things. The ride home from work. In the shower. In the middle of the night when they can barely see. My personal favorite, when they’re doing their bodily functionary business. Nothing is funnier than seeing an author scrambling to jot down an entire chapter on a roll of TP with an eyeliner pencil. Any fool knows those things don’t stay sharp for crap, and if you try to use the sharpener that came with it, the lead will shatter before you get the chance to write, ‘It was a dark and stormy night’. The hours I’ve laughed my butt off over that.


But, I digress. I know after reading that you’re probably wondering why muses aren’t undergoing extensive anger management therapy. Well, we are. It’s called working with authors. In our defense, they push us to it. You tell them to go in one direction, and what do they do? They go in the opposite one. Then, blame us for it. Well, it’s not my fault if they can’t get the wax out their ears. Honestly, if they’d just get their preconceived ideas about plots out of their heads, things would flow a whole lot easier. Plots are static. They adapt, change, freaking evolve with the growth of the characters.


How hard is that to understand? What might have been true on page 12, might not be the case by page 154. People change. Why shouldn’t fictional characters? Come on, people! Even the author has changed, matured — even and you don’t know how I hate to use the word in relation to an author — during the course of writing a book. Real life has given them new insights into themselves and the world around them. That alone has to affect the story rolling around in his or her head. Writing isn’t about fiction, even if it’s the genre in question. Writing is fundamentally the act of interpreting life and presenting it in an entertaining way to those with a literary bent. I don’t include those Philistines waiting for the movie adaption. An entirely different muse altogether is over that department. They’re hacks so let’s not dwell on them or I’ll get all mental about it. Needless to say, they sponge off all my hard work to boil it down into an hour an a half of drivel that barely scratches the surface. Yeah! I got issues on the subject. Now, this in no way applies to Peter Jackson’s muse. That guy is a genius. His muse, not Peter Jackson. Muse rule one: Never give the author the credit.


Simply put, a muse’s job isn’t to inspire an author. It’s to keep the clutter that is their brains from interfering with the art of writing. Believe there is so much crap up there, it constantly amazes me writers can do anything other than drool and putter their fingers against their lips, as they sit in front of the television. I’ve watched Jmo do it enough to know how true that statement can be.


Look, despite what the public at large might think, muses do have lives, and mine is calling. Before I jet, I’m going to lay it out in clear distinct terms that even an author can understand.


Muses inspire.


We don’t write the crap for you.


If you have writer’s block, it’s not our fault. It’s you, not us.


Finally, I need that vacation Jmo is always saying I’m on. So, if you need me I’ll be in New Orleans until after Mardi Gras. So, if any authors are out there are attending, I’ll be throwing beads of inspiration from a balcony near you. You know what to do to get them. Men, I expect to see six packs. If I wanted to see middle age sag, I’d just stay home with Jmo.


I’m out of here!



Princess Leia River Natalie Jessica Mirrena Whatshernameiss,

Muse at large.


Hey, before I go, if you really want a peek inside the lives us muses, you should check out Be-Mused, an anthology. Me and Jmo collaborated on a spiffy little story in there. Don’t mean to offend you with blatant marketing of this nature, but muses work off of commission, so if you’re not buying, I’m not keeping myself in the lifestyle I’ll like to become accustomed to.


Be Mused

An A-MUSE-ing Anthology



From Desert Breeze Publishing

Interview with a Superhero Muse


It is I, Jmo’s evil cone Dark Jmo, again taking over his blog for my nefarious schemes. What else could I do when I heard he had created his own super hero to battle me? I couldn’t very well have that happening. It would seriously mess with my plans for world domination. Nope, that wouldn’t work at all! Especially since he has enlisted an Egyptian deity to thwart my machinations. So, to that end, I’ve sealed him in a giant action figure box. I did all the artwork myself. Doesn’t it look snazzy?

But, I digress. So, what am I going to do about this hero of his? Using my Scottian transportation device, I will simply snag Jmo’s hero from whatever timestream he might be existing within and trap him here in my Giant Gerbil Ball of Death! Brahahwahwahwawhawa!

Now, let my evil unfold. Feel free to insert a bunch of dastardly evil genius stuff here ending with me pushing yonder red button to activate my device. Voila, there he is, trapped like… Well, a gerbil!

Dark Jmo: You’re not Horus! You’re some… Some teenager! Be well warned I will not brook any drooping pants or the least sign of underwear. I will not have it! Now, who are you?

Patrick Michael: I am your worst nightmare, Patrick Michael!

Dark Jmo: So, you’re the inspiration for my clone’s character in Scrolls of Eternity: Rebirth. Hmmm. How exactly did that come about?

Patrick Michael: I have no idea how I became the hero, but I like it.

Dark Jmo: Is this the first time you’ve been forced to wield a cosmic power? And, how do you feel about that? I mean does it tickle in the least when you Shazam into another person?

Patrick Michael: It is my first time with cosmic powers. It’s awesome though. I can fly, shoot lasers from my hands, and I have super strength. But, I haven’t Shazamed someone yet.

Dark Jmo: Okay, so what is this Scrolls of Eternity all about? Does evil triumph in the end? I do like stories where evil triumphs in the end, but it so rarely happens.

Patrick Michael: Sadly (for you), evil did not win (again) because of my awesome powers. Oh, and an awesome writer. I didn’t want my powers at first, then my family was in danger, so I didn’t have a choice. No one messes with my family.

Dark Jmo: Nope, not my type of story in the least. To distract me from the sad ending, tell me what super power you wish you had on a permanent basis.

Patrick Michael: Hmmmmm… super strength sure would help with gym class… and if I could fly I could fly to Hawaii… I couldn’t ask for more than that.

Dark Jmo: According to this website blurb, you were the cover model for this comic book travesty. How did you like all that heroic posing? Was it fun? Did it make you tickle? The hot lights must have damaged your tender flesh. Please say that it did.

Patrick Michael: The lights were hot, but I’ll live. Posing was very, very, very frustrating and I don’t want to be posing until the next book. Although, I can say to my friends that I am a cover model. How many can say that?


Dark Jmo: Yes, yes…they must be quite envious of your Calvin Kleiness. Still, it isn’t enough to satisfy my Lokian nature. All this non-evilness is beginning to bore me. Since this is degrading into an episode of Oprah, what is the one thing you hope young readers will come away with after finishing this fictionalized account of your life?

Patrick Michael: Ummm… entertainment? I can’t think of something emotional. As long as people like what they read, I’m fine with that. I have no idea what the writer would want readers to think.

Jmo: If I wasn’t tied up and shoved into this giant action figure box, I’d want readers to come away with a sense that good always beats evil, and that growing up isn’t so hard as long as you have friends and family standing beside you.

Dark Jmo: Hesh it, you goodie goodie, before you ruin your mint-in-box status. All this consorting with heroes is upsetting my digestion. I think I need a nap, but before I go, I would like to thank my kidnap victim for being a good sport. Don’t worry, Mr. High and Mighty Superhero, the gerbil ball will dissolve in an hour or so. Until it does, feel free to roll it around the room. While you do that, I will make an amazingly inventive getaway. The rest of you folks out there reading this blog, you will stare into my hypnotic glare. Yes, this Scrolls of Eternity is the book you’ve been dying to read. You will click off this window immediately using one of the links below and buy multiple copies for yourself and your friends.

Now, I must make that highly inventive getaway. Look! Elvis. And, I’m out of here. Come back next when Jmo will bore you with his inane diatribes. If he is able to free himself from my Mint-in-Box of Doom! Brahwahwawawawa!

Jmo: Sorry about that, guys. You know how evil clones are. Still, if any of you were caught up in that hypnotic stare, here are the links Dark Jmo was talking about and have an amazing week!

Desert Breeze Publishing


Barnes and Noble

Interview with the Jmo: The Muse Strikes Back



Well, I’m still here!


You’d have thought someone would have heard a guy screaming his head off that he was handcuffed to a chair in a cheap motel. Between you and me, I get the idea they get that a lot in this joint. Oh, well, it’s not like I had anything better to do, and Jenn prob appreciated a night free of Clone Wars marathons. Least one of kidnappers could have done was put the TV on and left me the remote. Something to do to make the time pass, because counting cockroaches had gotten old about the second I started doing it. If the clock on the wall was right, whoever was supposed to show up to bust my whatevers should be here any minute. The sun would be up soon, and I’d be the surprise of some maid’s life. Then again, like I said, this place probably got stuff like this a lot.

My head began a sleep filled nod, when I heard the door open. Cracking my eyes open to a slit — because that was exactly what one of my characters would do — I saw a hulk of a man block out the light filtering in from the parking lot. Luckily for me, I recognized this hulk.

Jmo: Chase? What are you doing here? I barely even cracked a joke in Immortally Yours.

Chase: I am well aware of that fact, my friend. Your chronicling of Belle’s and my story was well crafted and a delight to read.

Jmo: Then, why are you here?

Chase: I come as an escort only. The Inspirations would have words with you. Because of our friendship, I came to insure that they dealt fairly with you. They can be quite vicious when they feel that one under their sway is acting against the contract that binds them to the Creative.

Jmo: My muse? My muse is hacked off at me?

Chase: It would appear to be so.

Crap on a biscuit! This was bad.

A flash of light filled the room cutting off the rest of my mental breakdown. When the radiance dropped back to a notch that didn’t blind me, I wished it had.

Jmo: Jenn?

Muse: Close, tiger, but no Oreo. Nope, it’s just me Princes Harley River Farrah Organa Bofinia Mofina Jofina something something. I forget the rest, but you get the idea. I’m the slave you force to help you write that pop culture driven drivel. Blech.

Jmo: Then, why do you look like my wife?

Princess Harley: Because, she’s your greatest inspiration, silly duck. Without her, you’d probably still be drawing comics in your grandparents’ spare room and playing with your Star Wars action figures til the wee hours of the morning. Instead, of just collecting the damn things and leaving them mint in box. You need help my friend. Serious help.

Jmo: Yeah, I get that a lot. It still doesn’t explain why you’re here. It’s not like I overwork you. You have the days off. I have the snacks you requested in our contract on hand. You even get three weeks vacation, plus the time you just disappear on me for no apparent reason.

Princess Harley: That isn’t the point, ducky. I can only be funny so much. We need to cut our teeth on something more substantial. Seriously, how many Star Wars derived in-jokes can you expect me to toss out there?

Jmo: Hey, we wrote Immortally Yours and Immortally Damned. They were both serious books. We just finished Scrolls of Eternity: Rebirth. That wasn’t that funny. We’re branching out of my comfort zone.

Princess Harley: True, but you’re slow about it. I got into this business to be listed as one of the muses of the greats. Faulkner, Steinbeck, Jackie Collins. Instead, I got you, Mr. Romance from the Funny Bone.

Jmo: That hurts. You’ve been there since book one. Comedy is hard! I know it doesn’t seem important to you, but what we write makes people smile. It makes them happy and for a short span it makes them forget their troubles. People need that every once in awhile. Life is hard. It’s a constant battle to pay bills, put food on the table and every once in awhile to treat yourself to something special. Nowadays, all those things are getting harder and harder to do. So, when a reader buys one of our books, they’re looking for just that escape. If you can’t appreciate that fact, maybe I need a new muse.

Princess Harley: Okay, okay. No reason to get all huffy about it. I didn’t say I wanted to quit.

Jmo: Then, what do you want?

Princess Harley: For one thing, I’m tired of changing bodies every book. Do your friends know how you steal them and plop them in your books? I could list them, but we’d be here all day.

Jmo: Yes, they know. I ask them first. I don’t steal them. I borrow them. Besides, for me to love my characters, I need to know them. My friends are the greatest part of my life. They inspire me on a daily basis. Without them, I truly doubt I could write a word.

Princess Harley: Then, what do you need me for?

Jmo: You make me better than I’d be otherwise. We’re a team. You help me make the books real. Make them come alive. I’m just the guy at the keyboard.

Princess Harley: Good answer.

Jmo: So, we’re good?

Princess Harley: For the time being. You just better make sure those Oreos keep rolling, or there’s going to be trouble.

Jmo: You got it.


Princess Harley: Good deal. Oh, before I go. I’ll be needing the entire month of June off. No, reason. I just don’t feel like working. If you got a problem with it take it up with my union rep, Jeni Sai Qua. I’m outta here. Chase, once I blinky winky, you can let him go.

And, she did.

Chase: I guess we’re done here. Best be getting back, too. Belle has big plans and hates it when I’m late. Jmo, try to keep them happy. Otherwise, Jeni Sai Qua will come herself, and believe me you don’t want that.

Jmo: I’ll try my best.

Chase: See that you do. Your car’s parked out front.

With that, he freed me and walked into nothingness. Alone with my thoughts, only one thing kept rolling around in my head. I really had to stop eating Double Stuf Bacon Oreos before I went to bed.

Thanks, for sticking around for the past three weeks while I was held hostage. You know you could have saved yourself a lot of reading if you’d just let me go! You must have liked it, otherwise, you wouldn’t have stuck around. Next week, I promise things will get back to normal. Then again, normal for this place, really isn’t that normal.

Have a great week, and happy reading,


Now, where did they put my car keys? Never trust a muse!