A Spaceship for Hire is on track for release

Today I’d like to share some exciting news for my fans … the long-awaited 3rd book in my popular Galactic Smugglers series is on track to hit its planned release date June 28.

I’ve been writing like mad for a couple of months now, and recently finished a good clean final draft. The manuscript is currently being edited and reviewed by my editorial staff (full disclosure – as a indie author I don’t have staff, strictly speaking, but I do have lots of friends and a very patient wife). I really do work hard at publishing my books without typos and other errors, and I’ve paid for professional editing for ALL my books in the past. It really does pay off.

But I digress. The point is that I’m well ahead of schedule and right now it looks like I’ll be able to release “A Spaceship for Hire” early. Which is only fair because it’s been too long since the last book came out.

Way too long.

I first published “Coffee to Go, With a Spaceship” back in December of 2017, a little over six years ago. Kind of embarrassing, and I’ve had a lot of fans asking when the third installment was coming out because the end of the second book left things hanging – especially with regards to Jack and Donna’s relationship.

Some fans even noted that the book ends on a sad note because of that. Well, personally I hate sad and depressing endings. We’ve got the daily news for that, so when it comes to fiction – especially the mindless fluff I prefer to write – I’m a HUGE fan of happy endings.

The goal of my novels is to entertain. That’s it. I think writing light-hearted, mindless fluff is a high calling, because there are times when people need that. So all of my books end on an upbeat note and happy ending for the good guys eventually. If you don’t like that, or feel that’s too Pollyanna, feel free to read someone else to leave you sad and depressed. There are plenty of pretentious authors who feel they are being ‘serious’ and more ‘realistic’ by being depressing. Or better yet, don’t waste your money on those guys at all and just turn on the news or read CNN for free.

Anyway, the second book did leave things hanging on a sad note for our two heroes, as I’ve mentioned, and I feel bad that’s it’s taken so long to write the next in the series. But I’m in good company: it took Harper Lee, the author of the world famous novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, forty-five years to come out with a follow-up. So maybe I don’t need to feel all that bad.

Why has it taken so long? My list of excuses:

So why’d it take six years? many of my fans have been asking. What follows is my numbered list of excuses, in no particular order:

  1. I’ve been busy. Up until recently I was still working full-time, holding down a ‘day-job’ that almost all creative people who have to support themselves dread. So I’ve only been able to write part-time.
  2. I’ve got kids and grandkids. Lots of them. Six kids and eight grandkids – far too many in my opinion, but my wife wouldn’t let me send any of them back, so I’m stuck with all of them.
  3. I got sidetracked. Between 2017 and now, I was busy with a few other writing projects that took most of my free time, like The Heretic and The Tolerance Bureau.
  4. I was indecisive. Very indecisive, to be honest. I’ve been working on outlines and story ideas for the third book for much of the last six years – I promise. I’m not lying, I really was. I wrote and re-wrote about twenty different outlines for this book, throwing them all out eventually. I couldn’t come up with a story line for this book that I was happy with until recently, and I never start writing a book without a good outline that I feel really happy with.

That’s it. These are all my excuses to date, but as I think of more I’ll add to the list.

I think you’ll be really happy with “A Spaceship for Hire”. I’m really excited about it; it’s a fun read. It’s available for pre-order now at a special price of 99 cents. I strongly encourage you to go ahead and reserve your copy today, because the price will go up to somewhere between 3.99 and 5.99 when it’s released. I do have to make some money on this, after all.

When the book is released, it will be automatically downloaded to your device if you’ve pre-ordered.

Thanks for reading my blog today. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

Contact Me

A Spaceship for Hire, Coming this June

I’m excited to announce the upcoming release of A Spaceship for Hire, the 3rd book in my popular Galactic Smugglers series about Jack, Donna and their coffee loving alien smugglers.

Book 3

In the first book, Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte, Jack and Donna meet the alien coffee smugglers for the first time and have many space adventures with them.

In the second of the series, Coffee to Go, With a Spaceship, evil alien bounty hunters come to Earth to make life difficult for Jack. Jack enlists the help of Montclair, a strange little elf from another planet who agrees to help Jack. Donna, Jack’s daring girlfriend, accompanies them and together the trio give chase to the alien bounty hunters across the galaxy. Along the way Donna discovers a hidden talent for stick-handling spaceships and navigating through space.

Many of my fans have noted how Book #2 leaves our heroes in a tough spot. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil things for those who haven’t read the second book yet, but I’m a huge believer in happy endings and upbeat stories. I’m a bit of a romantic sap that way, but what’s the point in reading stories or watching movies that leave you depressed? We’ve got the daily news for that.

Book #3 continues the story of Jack and Donna and their Radauti friends.

Exiled from Earth, Jack is making a living running a cafe on a distant planet at the edge of the galaxy. That is, until marauding space pirates start raiding the galactic trade routes. It looks like Jack is soon to be out of business, out of money, and with war spreading he’s unable to return to Earth.

But help comes from a very unlikely person – Donna, his ex-girlfriend. She’s finally learned how to fly an old spaceship that’s been hidden in the woods behind her farm (since book #1), and agrees to help Jack out.

As much as Jack really, really, doesn’t want to go back out into space, he also has no other options.

However, the unlikely couple discover that they still have feelings for each other. But before they can start living their happily-ever-after, they first have to fight off the space pirates, stop an inter-galactic war from starting, and try to find their way back to Earth for another load of coffee.

This is a ride you don’t want to miss!

Planned release date June 28, 2024

Available for pre-order now.

From now until shortly after release, I am offering this at a special pre-order price of 99 cents. Soon after release it will return to our normal published prices.

** Be sure to take advantage of our special pre-order price of 99 cents. Order now and the book will be automatically downloaded to you when it’s published **

Please reach out at mikeATmjwahl.com (replace the AT with @) if you have any questions. Thanks and have a great day!

Some coffee and alien humour to put a smile on your face

During the dark winter months when the nights are long and we hardly ever see the sun, when we’re stuck inside for days at a time, it’s important to find ways to keep our spirits up. Writing and blogging helps me stay sane during the long winter.

I also like making humour memes for fun. At least, I try to be humorous, but that’s for you to decide. Here is a selection of some graphics I’ve made up over the last few years, usually when I’m up early in the morning with my first coffee and don’t feel like doing any serious work yet.

I made these memes using images I purchased or found for free on the internet. This first one is one of my favorites. I found this image of the coffee cup beaming up a coffee bean on Depositphotos, and I think it beautifully captures what my ‘aliens and coffee’ novels are all about, so I bought it and used Canva to add my own words to it.

A day without coffee is terrifying to contemplate…

Not much can happen in the morning until after I’ve had a cup or two. I made this when I found the image of the screaming woman, and thought, “Yup, that’s what it would feel like if I was forced to go a day without my favorite beverage.”

Save the Earth!

The earth is worth saving for many reasons, but, let’s face it, it’s the only planet we know of with coffee, and that makes it pretty special.

Why do they only abduct crazy people?

I got the idea for this next meme while browsing a general store in a small town in northern Ontario. I think it succinctly captures why I’m highly suspicious of so-called alien visitor stories. It seems we only hear such stories from people who are nutcases. Why don’t the aliens ever visit high-ranking political and social leaders and real scientists? NASA astronauts even? Serious people with real credibility that if they were to say, ‘Hey, an alien just visited me and gave me a plan for world peace’, we’d be inclined to listen. Instead, aliens seem to only be interested in sharing their solutions for our world problems with unbalanced fruitcakes no one could possibly take seriously. Not very smart of the aliens. If these stories really are true, than it can only mean the aliens are really pretty stupid.

This about sums it up…

…When you get up in the morning and find there’s no coffee in the house…

A silent cry for help…

This next one is not very original. I’ve seen the meme on signs in a few different shops. But I like it and made my own sign.

Coffee is my superpower…

My collection of blogs for coffee lovers

Coffee blogs and other random stuff...

Have a marvelous day and don’t forget to smile!

Thanks for visiting! Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

And now for some really good news…

It can get scary out there.

You don’t need me to tell you that it’s been a rough few years, and it’s easy to get the impression that the world is sliding wholesale down into the depths of Hades.

As we are barraged daily with the latest updates on the climate crisis, various wars, numerous humanitarian and ecological crises, some days it feels like the apocalypse is just around the corner.

But hold on – it’s not. The world is, for the most part, getting better. In fact, life for the average person globally is much better than it was back in the middle ages, or even just a hundred years ago. And wars are decreasing. Believe it or not, things are actually getting better.

I’m not making this up. Recently I came across some fun facts that the news media tend to ignore. I mean, when was the last time CNN had a headline that said something like:

Don’t worry, be happy. Things are getting better!

Global poverty dropping!

Cancer deaths on the decline!

Forest coverage around the world is expanding!

But it’s true, and for today’s post I’d like to share some good news I recently came across:

  • World gross production tripled from the year 1500 to 1820, then grew to 3.4 trillion by 1900. Global economic output reached 121 trillion in 2018. This increase in productivity has allowed us to lift the majority of people out of poverty, as will be seen in the next few points.
  • Global GDP per capita barely increased from the time of Christ until 1800. Then it skyrocketed with the spread of free-market capitalism around the world, and the industrial revolution, increasing the average standard of living around the globe ten-fold, and even more in the developed west.
  • In 1830, the global population in extreme poverty was 84 percent. Today it is 8.6 percent.
  • The percentage of people living in urban slums has decreased sharply on every continent since 1990.
  • Since 1952, global inequality between people and countries has been decreasing.
  • People are far wealthier, despite working less. In 1950 we worked an average of 2,123 hours. By 2017 it has dropped to 1,723.
  • There are more trees in Europe today than there was in the Middle Ages. The area covered by trees has also been increasing in Asia and North America.
  • Since 1960 the number of democracies has been steadily increasing and the number of autocracies has plummeted.
  • There are far fewer wars on the planet now than 70 years ago.
  • The global literacy rate in 1820 was only 10 percent. Today it is 90 percent.
  • In 1820 the average global life expectancy was thirty. Today it is seventy-two.
  • Infant mortality has plummeted across the globe since 1950.
  • Rates of malaria and tuberculosis have dropped sharply since 2000.
  • The number of deaths from cancer has been declining since 1995.
  • In 1800, 60 percent of the nations around the world had legal slavery. Today legalized slavery is almost nonexistent.
  • Child labour, common around the world up until the 1800’s, has been disappearing and is no longer acceptable.
  • Access to clean water has increased from 75 percent of the world’s population in 1990 to 90 percent.
  • Air pollution is declining.
  • Infectious diseases have been decreasing.
  • In 1900, US households had to spend 80 percent of their income on necessities like food, clothing and housing. US households now spend less than 50 percent on those same necessities.
  • In 1800 it took 5.4 hours of work to pay for 1,000 lumen hours of light. By 1900 it took .22 hours; today it takes a mere 0.00012 hours of labour for 1,000 lumen-hours. People used to have to work hard just to keep the lights on. Now, the cost of lighting is negligible.

This flurry of fun facts and good news has been gleaned from:

Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting. By Ronald Bailey and Marian Tupy (2020).

I’m not advocating that we stick our heads in the sand like ostriches and ignore what’s going on. There are issues and numerous problems that still must be addressed, and as I’ve blogged previously, we should do our part as we are able to. But that doesn’t mean we need to be chicken littles, nor should we live in fear of impending doom.

I’ll wrap up this post with a quote from Jordan Peterson:

Things aren’t as bad as they are trumpeted to be. In fact, they’re quite a bit better, and they’re getting better, and so we’re doing a better job than we thought. There’s more to us than we thought. We’re adopting our responsibilities as stewards of the planet rapidly. We are moving towards improving everyone’s life.” ―Jordan B. Peterson, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life

Now, go find some friends and have a wonderful day!

Moral courage in the face of wokeism and the cancel culture.

The novel that George Orwell wrote, 1984, gave rise to now familiar terms like ‘thoughtcrime’, ‘big brother’ and ‘Orwellian’. In his novel government agencies are hard at work to cleanse society of wrong thinking, and has defined what correct thinking is. Thinking, or worse – saying or writing – the wrong thing is a “thoughtcrime” and gets you arrested. People arrested for thoughtcrime disappear.

Sounds a bit too familiar, doesn’t it?

Orwellian censorship & free thought

There’s an awful lot of finger pointing going on in social media these days. Today’s wokeism and cancel culture is making Orwell’s “thoughtcrime” a reality. In today’s cancel culture, saying the wrong thing – something not approved by the woke vigilantes and PC police – could cost you your career.

Intellectual courage in the face of official censorship.

~

When I first started working on Heretic a few years ago, I had in mind autocratic regimes led by tyrants, such as we see in present day Russia, North Korea – and increasingly countries like Hungary and Belarus – in which freedom of thought and expression is actively repressed. People who don’t tow the party line are arrested – especially in Russia where it’s a criminal offense to question the war against Ukraine.

Wokeism makes it a thoughtcrime to question their beliefs

In the democratic west, wokeism, political correctness and a cancel culture is managing to do in an unofficial capacity what tyrants will seek to do officially.

Heretic is set in a future that is all too plausible now, thanks to political correctness and wokeism gone crazy. It’s a future in which you can be arrested for believing the wrong thing, and possessing books not approved by the government is a criminal offense. Post something on social media that offends people – that hurts their feelings – and you get incarcerated in a re-education camp for sensitivity training.

It’s a world in which ‘correct’ thinking is narrowly defined and dissenters are arrested for thoughtcrime.

That’s not as far fetched as you may think. Recently a Harvard professor was forced to get counselling and take sensitivity classes after writing something that some found offensive and hurtful. Many people have lost their jobs for tweeting something others found “offensive”.

Intellectual Heretic

Heretic follows the story of Jack, who is raised by his mother to be a loyal citizen of the New Order. The Order has strictly defined what is acceptable to believe and think, and has banned all books that it does not approve of. Dissenters are arrested as intellectual terrorists.

Jack’s father was a famous scientist who went missing shortly after being branded a criminal for intellectual dissent. Later, his father is presumed dead in a suspicious car crash.

But Jack’s life is turned upside down when he finds evidence that his father is still alive – and on the run from the PC Police. Jack risks everything to look for his father, and soon finds himself in a deadly race against shadowy agents of the New Order who also want to find the missing scientist.

Heretic is about intellectual courage in the face of wokeism and the cancel culture.

Available on Amazon!

See book page here

The Believer Coffee Company, specialty craft coffee roaster in Ontario

While on vacation in Owen Sound last week I wandered into Birgit’s Bakery & Café in search of coffee, and this looked like the kind of cute, funky little café that might know how to brew a good cup.

I wasn’t disappointed.

A coffee roaster with a sense of whimsy and humour

I found their coffee absolutely lovely, smooth and fruity. I asked the barista behind the counter who her roaster was, and that’s when the day’s coffee adventure got even better. She pointed to some shelves along the wall lined with bags of whole bean coffee. “That’s them,” she said. “The Believer Coffee Company.”

When I went over to look and saw the picture on their bags, for me it was love at first sight. I just had to buy a bag and take it home.

The logo, as you can see from the photo above, features a UFO beaming it’s light down on a Sasquatch. In their own words, “at Believer Coffee we believe in the possibility of bigfoot & aliens, but most of all we believe in fresh roasted coffee for our consumer.”

They were singing from the same hymn book and I couldn’t resist

How could I resist, considering what I do – write sci-fi about coffee loving aliens? So I bought a bag of their medium/dark Ethiopian and took it home. I found it full of flavour, smooth and fruity with a hint of blueberry.

Now here is a coffee roaster that gets it! And they clearly have a sense of humour as well. You can order from them online and have your bag of coffee delivered right to your door.

Check out their Instagram here.

science fiction detective noir

Next, in addition to great coffee from a company that ‘believes’ in aliens, you may also want to check out Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte, – a sci-fi adventure in space with coffee smuggling aliens.

Available on Amazon,

~

Make it a great day and visit again soon!

Get it written! A bit of advice for aspiring writers who don’t want to remain wanna-be’s.

I’ve often been surprised at the number of wanna-be writers attending writers groups who’ve never completed a book. They’re still “working on it”, but it remains unfinished – sometimes for years.

So in today’s post I’d like to offer some well-needed advice for those aspiring writers who haven’t finished a book yet. Maybe you’ve started a manuscript but can’t seem to finish it, or you haven’t started yet and are still thinking about it.

I think I can help with that, because I’ve finished 8 full-length books since I got serious about writing in 2007 (7 full-length novels and one work of non-fiction over 400 pages) – while working full-time and raising a family.

Who am I to offer advice? What cheek!

Why listen to me? Who’s MJ Wahl and why should you take any advice from me? I’m not exactly a household name and I haven’t got rich (yet) from writing. I’m not independently wealthy, and I don’t have a spouse who is supporting me while I chase my dreams. I’m just a regular guy with a full-time job, lots of kids and grandkids – who loves to write.

And that’s precisely why you should listen to what I have to say, because like you I’m not a full-time writer with the luxury of having all day to think and write, and I work to pay the bills. Like you, I’m a regular person with a job and a life – but unlike you, I’ve also managed to finish eight (8) full-length books to date. I haven’t published all of them. Two of the novels I finished were crap and not good enough to inflict on an unsuspecting public – but the point is I finished them to the best of my ability.

This post will be about how to get that book written. How to write well is an entirely different topic, and will have to wait for a future blog. For now, let’s just focus on getting it done. Then we’ll worry about the polishing. So let’s get going…

Make time each day

This first point is, I think, the most important and the reason why I’m leading with it.

The big thing here is don’t wait for some special dispensation of time. You might get lucky and be able to get a book started with some special chunk of time, but you’ll never get a book finished that way. I’ve come across lots of people who say they want to write, but are waiting until they can take a month off to sit alone in a cabin in the woods to write it (yes, I actually had someone tell me that), or some other special magical dispensation of time. It seldom happens and you’ll never be a writer that way.

To be successful at writing, you need to figure out how to write a little bit each day in the midst of your regular life. Stop looking for big chunks of special time, and carve out a little bit EVERY DAY. If you get nothing else out of this blog, this is the one thing you need to remember – this is the single best most important piece of advice you’ll ever get from me or any other writer’s advice book.

Don’t wait for those special chunks of time

The most important point is to set aside a bit of time each day, even if it is only 30 minutes. The key is to keep up a regular rhythm and pace. Make time each day that impacts the people in your life the least – that way it will be easier to maintain and you’ll get fewer complaints from your significant other.

Maybe stay up late after the kids have gone to bed, or get up early before the busy-ness of the day starts. I’m a morning person, so for me getting up at 4:30 or 5 AM worked well. I’d get in a couple hours of writing before getting ready for work and my wife’s alarm went off. Often my wife didn’t even know I had a writing project on the go.

Keep up a daily pace, keep a momentum going, and avoid long gaps of time between writing sessions. Don’t wait until you ‘feel like it.’ Approach it like a part-time job – a job you have to do whether you feel like it or not.

Stop talking about it

I’ve run across lots of people who talk about that book they want to write. They can do a lot of talking, but not so much writing. These people fill writer’s conferences and clubs. Usually the people who talk the most aren’t doing it. I think sometimes such people are perfectionists. And perfectionists often won’t get around to do something because they’re afraid it won’t be perfect. So they are endlessly seeking advice and researching.

Don’t be one of those people. Stop telling your relatives about that book you’re going to write, and start writing.

Stop looking for – or needing – encouragement

If you are a real writer, you’re going to write regardless of what anyone says. If your spouse or partner or best friend is constantly having to shore up your confidence and encourage you to write, then maybe you’re not really a writer and should look at doing something else. Writing is a very solitary and often lonely enterprise. You’ll write if you want to – real writers have to write. Success and recognition, while nice, are secondary.

Re-writing and editing separates real writers from wanna-be’s

Your first completed draft will probably suck. Don’t worry about it. The important thing is that you finished it. Finishing a full-length book, even if it’s not perfect, does something for you. It re-wires your DNA and gives you a confidence you didn’t have before, because now you know you can really do it.

Now the fun really starts! Go through your MS again and start re-writing. Then re-write the re-writes until it makes you sick and you can’t take it anymore.

It’s the re-writing that separates the serious writer from the wanna-be. It’s the re-writing that turns you into a real writer. I’ve gone over and edited/re-wrote all of my books at least 10 times (seriously – I’m not exaggerating), some of them more, before publishing. Sometimes I’ve gone over a manuscript so many times I feel like I’m going to throw-up if I have to look at it one more time.

Once you’ve gone over it a number of times and it’s as good as you can make it, then find a professional editor to proof read it. Don’t even think about publishing until you’ve done this.

What I didn’t do…

I’ve talked about what I did that was right, but there were a few things I didn’t do that I think was also right and contributed to my success:

  1. I didn’t read ‘how-to’ books on writing. They can be a waste of time and won’t make much sense until after you’ve finished a book. You need to make the mistakes first before ‘self-help’ books can help you fix them. Finish your book first, then go back and fix it.
  2. I didn’t go to writers groups or conferences. I never attended a conference until after I finished my first book, and I think I got more out of it because I actually had a full-length finished book under my belt. Writer’s conferences are filled with wanna-be’s who haven’t written a book yet. You don’t want to be like that.
  3. I didn’t talk about it. I told almost no one that I was working on a novel. My wife was barely aware and I seldom said anything about it. I was just concerned with doing, not talking.

Wrapping it up – in a nutshell it comes to this…

I wrote every day for years, and finished 8 full-length books, while I had a job, a wife and three kids. I didn’t seek advice and I didn’t waste time running around to writer’s conferences or sitting in the local writer’s club. I just got up really early every morning and kept plugging away. If early mornings aren’t your thing, than stay up late. You might have to turn the TV off at night, but whatever, the thing is to plug at it each day.

The big thing is – find a regular time each day, and keep at it until it’s finished. Don’t stop to edit or re-write until you’ve finished it. Then go back and do the edits/re-writes.

Oh, and stop listening to motivational speakers until after you’ve finished a completed, full length book.

And stop reading ‘how-to’ books on writing. They won’t make much sense until you finish a book. Instead, just write, and keep writing until you’re done. Then go out and buy a book on how to write better.

One of the best is “Self Editing for Fiction Writers”, by Browne and King. Available on Amazon. This is an excellent book that will help you improve your writing, but you actually have to write something first before this will help much. So in my humble opinion, you will be better off ignoring such ‘self-help’ books until after you’ve finished a full novel and gone back over it a few times. That’s it in a nutshell. It worked for me – like I say, I’ve finished a bunch of novels while holding down a ‘day job’.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line using my contact page.

The Writer – Yes, I really am this cool!

It’s summer, and the time for beach reading has arrived!

Photo credit MJ Wahl, taken at Bayfield ON, July 2023

And beach reading, of course, means mindless fluff and pulpy escapism. We go to the beach to relax, after all. Like most Canadians, once the good weather arrives, I want to soak in the beautiful warm summer as much as possible – because the winters are long and dark and the summers all-too short.

If you’re like me, I’m not interested in reading anything serious when I’m at the beach. As the author of pulpy sci-fi, however, I’d argue that it’s always a great time to read escapist fiction – not just at the beach.

Six reasons why pulpy escapism is important

Reading escapist fiction is a great way to relax and de-stress – which also means it can be an important form of self-care. So don’t underestimate the value of mindless escapism.

I’d like to offer this short list of five or six reasons why reading escapist fiction is good for us:

  1. A good sci-fi or fantasy novel will transport you into a different world. It allows you to take a break from real-world problems and the stresses of life, and immerse yourself in a different world.
  2. Related to the above, reading escapist fiction allows you to experience something new. A good book draws you in so that you feel like you’ve entered the world of that book, and are experiencing it. The first novel I ever read was about a caveman, set in prehistoric times when Neanderthals still roamed the world with the first early humans. I was about 10 years old, and I still remember the experience of how I felt like I was really living in that prehistoric world. It was the book that got me hooked on reading, and eventually writing, and I still can’t think of a better reason or reading fiction.
  3. It allows you to live vicariously through other characters, and helps you imagine yourself as someone else – such as the hero bravely fighting off nasty slime-covered aliens, or fire breathing dragons.
  4. If you’re going through some challenging personal times, reading escapist fiction can offer you an important break from difficult emotions like loneliness, anxiety or sadness. It allows you to temporarily escape from every-day life, and we all need that at times.
  5. After a long day, reading escapist fluff is a great way to unwind and get mentally and emotionally prepared for bed-time. In other words, it can help you get to sleep easier. I think I’m like most people, in that I can’t just be busy-busy with work or chores at night, then hop into bed. I need a wind-down period of an hour or two before I can go to bed feeling relaxed enough to sleep.
  6. It teaches you that evil aliens (or wicked dragons or any sort of evil enemy) can be defeated. I’m stealing a thought from C.S. Lewis here, who said that the point about fantasy isn’t that dragons are real, but that the dragons can be defeated. Escapist fiction teaches us about heroism, courage and perseverance, and that we can all be heroes to the people within our circles when we have the courage to do the right thing.

We can all be courageous heroes

Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.” C.S. Lewis

I’ll leave you with that thought. Thanks for reading my blog today, and have a great rest of the summer!

Postscript: One last tidbit – some food for thought when it comes to summer vacation. There’s an interesting article in the Guardian about a company in the UK that’s taking the entire month of August off. Europeans have generally been much better about taking time off and balancing work with life. I think this is a great idea, and it’s time for North Americans to get on board with Europeans when it comes to work-life balance and taking more time off.

My contact page

A recipe for a perfect day!

C.S. Lewis once said that, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

With all due respect for C.S. Lewis, tea is for amateurs. Professionals like myself drink coffee. But the tea vs coffee controversy aside, I am in full agreement with Lewis’ general sentiment. What’s better than coffee and books?

What could be better than spending a rainy day with a good book and a cup of coffee?

It’s a cool and rainy day where I live, and I’ve been sitting on my couch giving a lot of thought to what makes for a good day. Being in the business of writing escapist fluff, I’m somewhat of an expert in the field and in my humble opinion I think it’s pretty simple really.

Happiness is a good book and a cup of great coffee. Click on this image to check out more great coffee quotes from BookGlow!

So here it is in 4 simple steps!

  1. Drink coffee. There’s scientific evidence that coffee will improve your mood and add years to your life.
  2. Bake cookies. Feeling down in the dumps? The news got you freaked out? Turn off the TV, brew some coffee and spend the afternoon baking cookies. Once Upon a Chef is one of my favorite cooking websites. Check out the great recipes on her website.
  3. Read a good book. Once you’ve pulled those delicious cookies out of the oven, brew a cup and find a good book. I prefer mindless fluff about aliens who smuggle coffee, but that’s just me. You may want to check out my latest novel, a biting, tongue-in-cheek satire on censorship and political correctness.
  4. Now settle down into your comfy couch with a book, a plate of cookies and a cup of coffee, and spend the rest of the day immersed in it.

That’s it. It doesn’t have to get complicated folks. One of the best things you can do if your feeling down is get up and do something positive. Spending an afternoon or evening baking cookies and reading a good book is a much better than obsessing over CNN or Fox News.

Go ahead, you can do it!

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The Tolerance Bureau, my latest sci-fi thriller

I’m excited to announce the release of my latest sci-fi thriller, The Tolerance Bureau, about a social media skip chaser.

Sci-fi Bounty Hunter

What if in the future you could get dislike‘s, not just like‘s, on your social media posts and comments? Now imagine a cancel culture that’s taking things too far, and getting too many dislikes will get you arrested for cerebral offenses and insensitivity.

That’s where the Tolerance Bureau comes in.

The social media police are coming for you…

Think you can just say whatever you want on social media and get away with it? Think again! The Tolerance Bureau is watching everything you post. The Bureau is the new federal agency responsible for monitoring the internet to make sure it is kept clean from offensive postings so that no one’s feelings ever get hurt.

Offending too many people makes you a Cerebral Terrorist, and the Bureau will bring you in for mandatory psychological therapy. Try to run, and bounty hunters will track you down and lock you up in one of the Bureau’s re-education camps.

That’s Jim Rogan’s job, and he’s one of the best at it.


Hillary Wells, famous astrophysicist, made a few controversial comments on social media – and offended too many people. Now she’s wanted for Intellectual Terrorism and there’s a warrant for her arrest. And the Tolerance Bureau has assigned Special Agent Jim Rogan to track her down and bring her in.

Rogan thinks it’ll be a piece of cake. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, pretty much everything…

The Tolerance Bureau is set in a near future that is all too plausible…

Published on Amazon, February 20, 2023

Available now on Amazon, for your Kindle and in print

The writer MJ Wahl thanks you for visiting

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