From the Author
One of the questions I'm asked over and over after somebody reads one of my stories, is where do I get my inspiration to create and write a specific story, so I wanted to share what actually inspired me to write each one of these stories for this book. Basically, they are all just my own answer to the question, What If, and that applies to unlimited questions waiting to be answered in another story. Some of my stories, I dedicated to someone who made an impact in my life, and other stories, are from just conceptual thinking, when a particular topic intrigues me.
I start by writing a one page outline, on the genre, title, synopsis, goal, characters, and design the image for each story, like a book, and print it, and display it on my desk while I'm writing the story. I love writing, because there no rules or regulations when expressing my own thoughts and ideas for a story, but what I like most about writing, is that people  are reading my mind, one story at a time!

When I decided to write this ghost story, I decided to use the word, shadow, from the list of alternate names given for a ghost. A shadow is a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface. For the story, I decided that when a child is killed tragically at night, where a shadow isn't cast by the sun, it's unaware of what's happened. And when the sunrises, it roams the world of the living, in search of its body, or the body of another, so it could be whole again, amongst the living.

Having always been curious about where an old wife's tale originated from, and intrigued by a cats ability to survive, I wanted to tell a story about a cat  and how each of its nine lives could be used. The image for this story is actually Callie, our cat when she was a rescue kitten, after my wife brought her home, years ago.  There are some familiar locations in this story that people in Central Florida will recognize, and I added an ancient village in Italy, over a thousand years old, when we drove through Italy on our way to Venice, several years ago.

Communication between languages can always be difficult, and frustrating for those who can't understand another language, or when someone doesn't understand them. The definition of spoken language, is a language produced by articulate sounds, as opposed to a written language. Many languages have no written form and so are only spoken. This story takes place in a school classroom where the kids are reading their history report, and I gave the teacher my oldest daughter last name, Mrs. Pondel. You may notice familiar characters names in my stories, and specific locations.

As I stated on the home page, this story was based on a dream I had over 20 years ago. Did you ever wake up from a dream, and then when you went back to sleep, it started where you left off before you woke up? I had a dream similar to this story, over two consecutive nights, in color, and I could control it to some extent, and it's remained vivid in my mind all these years. Of course, I did embellish the plot considerably for this story, but the same dream starts where it left off, over and over, whenever the dreamer falls back to sleep. A short horror story.

The concept for this story is something I think most people have thought about during their life wondering if their life would've been better if they had gone another direction in their past. The main character of the story has my youngest daughters name, Angie, and we witness both of her lives going in opposite directions. I'm a firm believer in the butterfly effect theory; that if you change one tiny thing, or take another direction in the past, it could destabilize every future event after that. It's the same type of conceptual thinking that Stephen King utilized in his novel, November 22, 1963. I wrote this for those who wish they could go back and change their life, and my point is, to be careful what you wish for.  

I can barely remember my Grandfather Celeschi, since he died when I was 7 years old, but what I remember, is his strong persona whenever he entered a room, and everybody in the family respected him, as with every Italian family tradition. I wished that every child growing up had an opportunity to befriend and learn from an elderly person, who can share their wisdom, and become an influence in a child's life, as they continue growing up, even after their old friend has passed. This is a personal tribute to my Grandfather,  and to all elderly people, who don't always get the respect they deserve.

What originally inspired me to write a story about knowing when you're going to die, in the future, was a conversation with a friend of mine, several years ago, who wished he knew the date he would die, so he could make plans for his family, but really, I asked; do you really want to know? It's an eerie concept, but I wanted to exhaust every idea, or thought a person might have if they knew when they were going to die, not the reason they die, or the time of that day, but the date their life would end. 

My best friend, Ed Day called me after reading "The Dream", and suggested that I should write a science fiction horror, like a Michael Crichton novel, who we both loved reading. After extensive research on DNA and RNA gene splicing, and fatal plagues, I finished this story, and let Ed read it before anyone else. He was ecstatic, and told me it was awesome, and then suggested I write a prison thriller, so I wrote "Incarceration". He never had the opportunity to read "Incarceration", before he died over a year ago, and I miss him everyday, but his friendship and faith in me to be able write anything I want, and I still do. And that's a good thing. Thanks bro!

My Dad could play anything on the piano, and I was always intrigued by the classical musicians, and especially when babies are born as musical geniuses, so I wanted to write about a boy whose ability ventures beyond the bounds of every other child born with the gift of music. I wrote this story as a dedication to my Dad's memory, and his incredible talent of playing anything he wanted on the piano.  

The title of this story, "Wishmaker" is actually a metaphor for the reason that when a prayer is recited in any religion in the world, or a person makes a wish on a falling star, throwing a penny in a fountain, breaking a wishbone, or blowing out a candle, and when it seems a prayer or a wish is answered, it's because of Wishmaker. A story about a little girl, her Mother, and an elderly neighbor who each have their own prayer / wish they desire. 

This is the first short story I wrote,  and it was because I was thinking about Mom, and how strong she really was, and humble, and the memories of her inspired me to write this story.  She passed several years ago from Alzheimer complications, but she did live a full life, loved her family and friends, and the small community where she lived. I think she felt that she completed her bucket list, when she got to visit where her parents were born, and married in Italy, and meet relatives she never knew existed. Thanks to the memories of my Mom and her faith in me, this story, and book is dedicated to her, because this book would have never been written without her. Thanks Mom!

I wanted to write a ghost story that wasn't necessarily scary or evil, because if you research paranormal events, some of them are determined by ghost hunters to be innocent and harmless events. I'd assume that anyone who's experienced strange haunting  events in their home, business, or anywhere near a tragic event, that they would all agree that at first, they looked on them as an uninvited guests.

As stated in the reason I wrote, "Dirty Needles", Ed Day asked me to write a prison thriller, so I wrote this story about a man serving time for multiple murders, but he's stated he was innocent, and then the story takes a darker turn when another mass murderer becomes his new cell mate, and may hold the key to his exoneration and release after 45 years. A brutal violent short story that exposes the real nature and thought process of mass killers, and will also leave the reader with an unexpected ending.

These are new stories are being written or are completed, and will be published ar a future date together or individually.

Completed Story

Wanted to write my own variation of saluting all the military troops, past, and present, who not only died heroically for our country, but whose remains were never identified. It's a story written by a soldier in the trenches of France, who keeps a journal, as promised to his Mom, of fighting the war to end all wars. WWI. Although a work of fiction, it memorializes and honors all of those who died fighting for all of our freedoms, and their remains have never been identified, but they'll never be forgotten! 

I've always heard that people in a coma can probably hear us talking, although they can't respond or move, so this inspired me to write a story from inside the mind of someone who can't move, or respond, but is fully coherent inside his mind, and reflects on what he'll do when he awakens, if he does. And that's why I entitled this where there's only room for one in "The Waiting Room".

Completed Story

This image for the story is actually a picture of our new puppy, Kolbe, a Giant Alaskan Malamute, after we brought him home from the breeder, when we lived in Illinois. He grew to almost 170 lbs. before he was killed tragically by a train, chasing a fox. He was just an awesome dog, and so I wanted to write about a Malamute who becomes the newest member of a family, as told by him, and by the Dad, a little boy, and the Mom.  

Writing my first vampire story, I wanted to deviate from the traditional vampire who, not only kill people by draining their blood, or turns others into vampires to increase the vampire clan, but then the story ends, when they are killed by fire, a wooden stake, the sunlight, decapitation and the separation of limbs, etc. I want to tell the story about what happens after a vampire is destroyed!

An erotic vampire story, with an aura of an Ann Rice vampire tale, but in another direction. 

 Completed story 

As told in his own words, this Werewolf tale begins during the Bubonic Plague in Medieval France in 1474AD. A poor farmer, desperate to do whatever he needs to do in order to keep his family alive, makes a horrible and tragic decision that alters his mortality for eternity. Leaving him cursed to roam the world in his own personal hell, he reflects on his past and makes a decision to leave his mark in the world torn from poverty and disease, with no sign of hope for the future.  

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 My best friend passed away over a year ago, and it hit everybody who knew him extremely hard. He had just been elected and sworn-in as alderman, on the city council, in his home town, and would have been an incredible attribute to the council. Anyone who's had the pleasure of knowing him, will treasure their memories of him forever, so I wanted to pay tribute to Eddy, by sharing some of those memories, only he and I had together growing up. know, the memories we each our lives today, when we reflect on them.

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