~The Plot of My Book~

~ My First Book~

May-June Release!

"The Anne Marie"

Newfoundlands are considered to be one of the most loyal breed of dogs. It is said that once one of the giant water-dogs bonds with a human, they can never bond with another. Atticus Stockton is a Newfoundland who loses his precious master in the sinking of a fishing boat off of Maine's rocky coast. Now alone, Atticus finds that he is unwanted, and as the big dog struggles to find a new home he is also plagued with the dreams from his once perfect world. Can he find a home, and if he does can he ever love another human again?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Leaving Home Part 2:

Leaving Home Part 2:

I changed some names in this story…

The next day I called Alicia’s dad and asked if he was able to find a recruiter.
"Sure did,” he said, "Do you have a pen so I can give you the number?"
I scrambled to find a pen.
“I got one, what is it?"
As he gave me the number, I wrote it down with the excitement of a person my age.
I hung up the phone and then stared at the number.  I felt butterflies in my stomach.
 I dialed the number.
The 1-800 number forwarded me to the nearest recruiting office, which was in Phoenix AZ.  I left a message.  It was Sunday after all.  
And then I waited.
Tuesday afternoon I received a phone call from the recruiter.
“Hi is Israel Parker there?’ the voice asked on the other end.
“This is he.”
“My name is Chief Nash.  I'm a recruiter for the Coast Guard”
“Hey sir, I was trying to get some information on the Coast Guard.”
“Well you came to the right place…shoot?”          
Now that I had been put on the spot, I wasn’t sure what I was going to say or ask so I said nothing.  “Are you still there, Israel?”
“Yes sir, I mean…do you have any info you can send me so I can find out a little more about the Coast Guard?
“Sure thing Israel, just give me your address,” he said with a slight chuckle.
I gave Chief Nash my address, and then without really asking any questions or him telling me anything, I got off the phone.
A few days later in my government class, which was a class for seniors only, the teacher asked us all what we would be doing after we got out of high school.  A couple said college and a couple said the army.  Then he looked at me, probably because it was the quietest I had been in his class all year and asked “Israel what are you going to do after high school?”
“I don’t know, I might join the Coast Guard.”
“The Coast Guard” he repeated with some thought to his eyebrows, “hmmm…interesting”
“Yeah I’m still up in the air about it.”
After bell rang my teacher called me back and asked me " the Coast Guard, huh?"
"Yeah sir, it seems pretty cool."
"You know, Israel I almost joined the Coast Guard" my teacher told me.
"Oh yeah."
" I always kind’ a regretted it.  I think that's the key to life, Israel.  Living without regrets."
In the next few days, I received a manila envelope in the mail with a slew of Coast Guard material; and I spent the next few weeks pouring over it, reading everything there was in the pamphlet, and then read it again.
 Two jobs stood out to me:  Aviation Survival Man and Gunner’s Mate.  Shooting and fixing guns I thought would be kind of cool, and that was what a gunners mate did.  Aviation Survival Men were also Rescue Swimmers, which was a concept that was only a decade old in the Coast Guard.  
“Hmm,” I thought and then I went over to Alicia’s house to discuss it with her father.
“These jobs look kind of cool, what do you think?”
“Hmm,” he thought as he too poured through the material, they do look kind of cool.
I remember going home that night and feeling a sense of promise like I had never felt before.  The thought of leaving town and starting something brand new filled me with what I can only describe now as hope.
 The Coast Guard would be somewhere and something that I would only have.
A couple of days after, Chief Nash called me up again, “Hey Israel, I will be in Las Vegas in a couple of days to talk to some others wanting to join the Coast Guard.  If you would like to meet up and talk, I will do my best to answer all of your questions.”
I was excited at the prospect of having a Coast Guard member to talk to.
A couple of weeks passed and Chief Nash came to Henderson and met me at a boys and girls club. He sat down and we talked about what job field interested me.  ASM huh?" he said with a smile. 
"Yeah that sounds like a pretty cool job."
"Those guys run and swim like 5 miles a day."
"Awesome" I said not really knowing the gravity of the training program.
After the conversation, I was set on becoming a Coastie.  I told Chief Nash that I would like to have my summer before I went in, and he said that would be fine.
"Here is a checklist of everything you need to have completed before you come to MEPS for your physical. "
The two main things on the checklist were taking the ASVAB and having a dental screening. 
I took my ASVAB and then went to the dentist for the first time in my life.  I surprisingly only had one cavity.
I graduated from high school and worked through the summer until my last month of civilian life.
So that last month, I went to every party and I did everything I could do before I left for boot camp.  A couple of days before I left, I had a party at Richie's parent’s house. There I said goodbye to my best friend since third grade.
"Good luck, my friend.  I'm proud of you."  He told me on his back porch.  "I think you're making the right decision for yourself. "
"So do you think you'll marry Christie?"  I asked about he and Christie who were high school sweet hearts whom I had introduced. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Leaving Home: Part 1

Henderson Nevada, 1998

I called the Marine Corps recruiter in April of 1998 and inquired about going into the Marine Corps.  I didn’t feel I had anywhere else to go.  I knew that if I stayed at home I would probably get myself into trouble.  
College was for rich or smart people.  
“Recruiting officer” the Sergeant on the other end answered when I called.
“Yeah I’m kind’a thinking about joining up with the Marine Corps,” I said haphazardly.
Now that I think back and knowing what I know now, I imagine a wolf in a Marine Corps uniform on the other end of the phone.  His tail wagging and hot saliva dripping from his sharp grin.
“We are looking for commitment,” he said or some variation like it.
“Well I think I have what it takes,” I said sheepishly.
The next thing I new, I was receiving at our house no less than two telephone calls a day from the recruiter.  It was here that flags started going up in my mind.  It seemed to me that if they only took the best or the most committed then they shouldn’t seem so desperate.
A few weeks later I was at my buddy's girlfriend’s house.  I remember there were blue skies, the kind where there wasn’t an ounce of white in them.  These are typical skies for Las Vegas or Henderson.  We had finished swimming and were drinking some cokes in their backyard when the “after high school” conversation came up.  My friends were discussing universities, and then I said within earshot of Alisha’s father that I was thinking about joining the Marine Corps.  Most everyone there had already known this, however this was Alisha’s father's first time hearing the news.  
“The marines?” he asked with a hard face.
“Yeah,” I said drinking my coke with the sun beating down on my face.
“Why in the hell would you go and do something like that?”
“I don’t know, I don’t really want to stay in Henderson.
“College?” he smirked.
“I can’t afford it.”
“Well I joined the Coast Guard when I got out of high school.  If your going to join something, at least join them.”
The Coast Guard.
“Can you even just join the Coast Guard?” I asked.
“Hell yeah you can, it's just like any other branch, only not so stupid,”
“What the hell does the Coast Guard do anyway?”
Wrapped in a towel as the sun went down Alisha’s dad sat me down and began to pull out all sort of Coast Guard information, pictures.  He even pulled down his wedding picture that was in the hallway where he was wearing a Coast Guard uniform.  I had been over there so many times before; how had I never seen this before.  He was a RD, or a Radarman, and had been aboard a Coast Guard Cutter, which the Coast Guard called its ships.
By the end of the evening, I was convinced.  When I went home that night, I opened the phone book to the recruiting page and looked for the Coast Guard recruiter.  There wasn’t one listed.  So the next day I called Alisha’s dad and asked if he knew where I could find a Coast Guard recruiter.  
“I'll look it up on the internet,” he said, “and I’ll get back to you.”
That night, as I could not sleep, I was up until three in the morning watching TV and thinking about a life in an organization to which I had literally no knowledge.  Then suddenly as if fate had swooped down on me - a Coast Guard commercial came on.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sorry I haven't posted

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a few days.  I am reviewing my book edits made by my good pal Matt Hooper.  I will post something soon, I promise.

A few things on the horizon.

Jager and Roxanne: Part 3

The Goat Story: Billy the Goat