Friday, August 12, 2011


Happy Friday everyone. I would like to first start out this post by sharing with you the beauty of Chicago's lakefront. I am fortunate enough to live right across the street from this glorious sight. I will be taking you on a two mile power-walking tour. I would like to dedicate this to former Chicagoans Liz Fichera and Linda Gray.

Here is my first view I pass by on my way to the lakefront after sprinting through Lincoln Park. Diversey Harbor and Chicago's downtown magnificent skyline. Not too shabby. I wish I owned one of these!

As I make my way crossing Lake Shore Drive's overpass, there's a lovely view of the new luxury residence that is being built next to my vintage building. Yes, that tiny building wedged between those two monsters is where I live. We have our 100th year anniversary in 2012! It's an amazing feeling to live in something so steeped in history.

This is where my journey begins.... I can never get enough of this stunning skyline.

This is about a half a mile closer. Notice the waves. This is not an ocean but Lake Michigan. If you follow the beach to the left you will see a structure that looks like a boat. That is where I turn back. You'll have to enlarge the picture to see it.

This is where is the view that I had just come from facing north... I am traveling south. Yes real sand ... It still amazes me that this is a lake.

Phew ... I finally made it to North Avenue Beach and this cool on land boat. It has a terrific restaurant on top too. Great for those afternoon martini's or margarita's when in the hot sun...

My final destination before turning back. One of THE most breathtaking views on my journey. What can be more beautiful than a city on an blue/green lake. Dorothy we are not in Kansas anymore.

Now that you have enjoyed my daily romp, I hope you will read my entry for Tessa Conte's I HATE YOU BLOGFEST. We need to show something our character's hate. This is a given for me. Anyone that has read any of my current novel THE BLINDED GARDENER will surely know I will have a tough time just picking one out of the dozens of hateful scenes. Don't forget to drop by Tessa's blog for more HATEFUL stories.... If you dare.

Here my entry from  THE BLINDED GARDENER:

For those of you who are sensitive to certain curse words and actions please be advised not to read this excerpt.

Dad stumbled up the stairs around 1:00. Still wide awake, I heard him press against my bedroom door and twist the handle. He cursed, then heavy foot steps staggered down the hall toward his bedroom. A moment later, a loud snap vibrated the floor after he banged his door shut.

I tossed and turned, my muscles throbbed from all the pushups. Around three in the morning I dropped off to sleep. 

My heart pounded out of my chest from a loud crack at my door. 

“Get up now!”

Dad’s voice sounded angrier that usual. I glanced at the clock on my side table. 

“Six o’clock ... is he kidding me? My appointment’s not until 8:00. What, not enough torture yesterday? Are we starting the first thing in the morning now, you mother f —?” I muttered.

The simple act of moving the sheets tired my strained muscles. I pulled myself out of bed and threw on some shorts and dragged the chair back to my desk. 

Blazing sunlight blinded me as I entered the hall. Dad appeared out of nowhere and held up hair clippers. 

No! He’s not? 


Shit. He is. 

Dad, my hair isn’t long. Please, Sir. Don’t do this.” 

He grabbed me by the hair and yanked me into the bathroom. “If you hair was short enough I wouldn’t be able to do this. Would I?” he sneered. “We can make this easy or hard? Your choice.” He pushed me down on the toilet bowl.

Yeah, like I ever have a choice, you son of a bitch. 

My blotched red face reflected back at me as I watched the devil sheer my crown of glory. Waves of dark brown hit the floor. In two minutes the mutilation ended. Only a five o’clock shadow remained on my skull. 

“Now you look like a son of mine.” A sinister smile curled his lips. “Clean this up. Breakfast will be ready in fifteen minutes.”

I’m not your son. No dad would humiliate and torment his kid this way. 

I scooped up he remnants of my former glory, lifted the toilet seat and flushed. My hazel eyes turned emerald under heavy black brows, never a good sign. How I wanted to crack his skull or carve him like a turkey. The thought sparked a glint in my eye

But how to do it and not get caught? Snap out of it Aidan. You’re not a killer. Yeah, but this is self defense.

After a quick shower and shave, the shock of my bald head sent waves of anger throughout my core. I pounded my fist on the vanity. “I look like a fucking skinhead.” 

Now I’ll never make any friends. And there goes my blow job from Tanya. Damn him.

When I got back to my room, a pair of slacks, a dress shirt, tie, and socks sat on top of the unmade bed. I tripped over a pair of shiny, black shoes. 

“Am I going to a funeral?” I kicked the shoes out of the way. “Yeah, my own.” 

Another eight months and three weeks. 

“If I make it.”

I decided to surrender for the moment and spend some time to regroup. After I dressed in the military crap, I threw jeans, a muscle shirt, ball cap, and trainers into my backpack. 

Tanya’s not gonna see me looking like a dweeb.

Dad inspected me the moment I entered into the kitchen. He spun me around and further twisted the knife in, to add to my humiliation.

“Enough,” I blurted out. “I did what you wanted, now back off. I can’t take any more of this!” I took a few steps away from him.

He pounded his fist into his hand. “Oh, you will take whatever I dish out, sonny boy,” he said through gritted teeth.

He stepped toward me. I stood tall and stared him down. “You’re getting careless Pop, if you leave any more marks on me people will notice.” I grinned. “They already have.”

His chest heaved. Spit dribbled from the corner of his month. He paled. “Get out of my sight. I will deal with you later.” 

I walked passed him and didn’t look back. 

“You can count on it!” he shouted.

What just happened? I stood up to the murderous marine and walked away without a scratch.  Now he knows ... he’s dealing with a man not a frightened kid. Victory’s sweet, but how long will it last?

Thank you all for your patience on this longer than usual post. I hope you all have an INCREDIBLE weekend. Enjoy SUMMER while you can ...


  1. Powerful! I have a similar scene in my third book with dad trying to cut off his son's hair. James manages to escape though.

  2. You have some great scenery for your walk!

  3. If I had that scenery I'd be walking all day. I find the idea of your building fascinating.

    My stomach churned and blood pressure rose reading your excerpt.

  4. Michael, thanks for the trip down memory lane in Chicago! I know those sights well. :-)

    Intense excerpt, btw. It makes me wonder what comes before and after.

  5. And now we learn how to not treat our kids.

    Good job, it was ... fun?

    No, really, I thought it was well done.

  6. Sounds like he has reason and then some for the hate. Poor kid. I liked how he talked to himself. Completely understandable.

  7. Oh, Michael, thank you so much for the dedication. Chicago is a stunning city, no question. Those views brought back many moments in my memory of living there. Beautiful. Going to check out the blogfest now.

  8. That is one intense scene! Great job as always. Thanks for the scenes from your power walk. If I had a digital camera I could return the favor and show you our lovely beach surrounding Lake Charles, Roland

  9. I think you've picked a fantastic hate scene - this feels like a story catalyst. A great defining moment seething with hatred.

  10. What a beautiful walk! Thank you for taking us along with you.

    And wow, that is one powerful scene. I felt so bad for your MC, I was right there in the moment with him. Well done.

  11. The water looks amazing in these!

  12. I've never been to Chicago, but it looks amazing! And how cool that the beach is nestled right next to the big city. You're luck to have such a view.

  13. Ooh, the haircutting scene---brutal. But like you said, you've got lots to choose from. You've got a gift for evoking emotion through your writing, that's for sure.

    Thanks for these pictures! Man, if I had that to look at every day, I just might take up power walking too! Thank goodness those dementors finally vacated the city, huh?

  14. I'm very impressed and I couldn't hate that dad more. Your writing reminds me of Augusten Burroughs' --very gripping and courageous.
    Happy weekend.
    PS I'm visiting from the Hatefest.

  15. Fabulous entry in the hate fest. Also I saw on a comment on another blog about your MG novel being almost done but needing one round of edits or something like that. I just wanted to congratulate you. I think that's awesome that you are so close to completion.

  16. That is an amazing skyline, and you really are wedged in between two monsters! Cool coming along on your daily romp without even breaking a sweat. Your excerpt was painful. The ending was a stand up and cheer moment.

    The drawing is over at my blog. Maeve was the winner... chosen by Thanks for participating!

  17. Woha! That was intense. HIGHLY intense. And yes, I agree with Sarah, disturbing, too.

    Good for him, standing up to his old man like that!

    Thanks for sharing,


    ps. do check in next week on friday to see who got which book!

  18. Thanks for the tour, Michael! I love the photos! Looks to be a very nice place!

    What an entry to the hate fest! :)

  19. Great pictures Michael! It was lovely getting to see Chicago through your eyes!

  20. Thanks for joining in the hatefest. My favorite, (and most hated) moment was when Dad held up the clippers, and the narrator had that slow moment of horrified realization.

  21. Go, Kid! I really like how you weaved the ebb and flow of his outrage/submission/rebellion. And the shock of his first turning-of-the-tables is a thrill.

    Also really enjoyed tagging along for your waterfront power walk.

  22. Beauty and vileness in the same post. What a great contrast :)

    Thanks for sharing your walk with us. I enjoyed it very much.

    That is a powerful hate scene. A good choice for the blogfest.

    Have a good weekend Michael.


  23. Wow, neat pics and neat excerpt!

  24. Loved the pics - I'd love to take that route in real life! Fab excerpt - really powerful and ran along at such a pace I wanted more and more...
    Hope you're having fun!

  25. Great scenery! I have an old story I set in Chicago because I always thought it would be a city I'd like to visit - I've never been there though. Thanks for the peeks!

  26. Thanks for sharing the photos, I would also love to take a walk through that lovely scenery in reality!

    Awesome excerpt!

  27. Love your beautiful lake view! How awesome is that?? And I love that you live in a vintage building. That's way better!
    I liked your piece here. Tons of tension! Wowsers!

  28. Gorgeous, Michael. I feel like I've actually been there now!

  29. What a great route to walk! I see why you enjoy it so much.

    Great intense scene there too. Wonderful job.

  30. Hi Michael! Oh yes, the scenery outside yoru home is just gorgeous! What a sight to wake up to! :)

    Your excerpt makes my heart ache for Aiden. :( His father is certainly a creep. I do have to say that he (the dad) came off a little like a slobbering drunk. Is he? I'd also like to see Aidan's reaction to the first attempt to get to him at 1:00am? Is he scared? Annoyed? Hesitant? You skip from that to him worried about his tired muscles from his push ups.

    This is quite gripping, though. I'd like to see a tiny bit more reaction from Aidan. Good stuff!

  31. I grew up on Lake Michigan (with extended family in Chicago). I miss it. Lovely tour, Michael.

  32. I feel so bad for anyone who has a dad like this. Urrgh...

  33. Love the power walk Michael. Gorgeous. I'd like a martini in that boat restaurant. What a cool idea!

    Geez, that father was full of hate as was his poor son. Excellent entry.


  34. your writing is most excellent, and wow! Look how blue the lake is!!! Gorgeous time~ :o)

  35. This one is dripping with hate. I was intrigued when you said he showered and shaved and wondered whether this meant he'd stand up to the bully, his father. I wondered if there would be a fight. Very intense.

  36. Great pictures, I would so love for you to show me around :) I know you are already on fire, but I just had to do it anyways xxxooo

  37. Powerful stuff. I hope that bully of a father gets his come-uppance in the end.