Writer’s not Writing…


If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one around to hear it, does it make any sound?

If a writer isn’t writing is he still a writer?

Those are stupid questions. The point I’m trying to get to is that Jack Mackenzie has not done a whole lot of writing lately. The problem with Jack is that he is only one half of the person otherwise known as M. D. Jackson, who is trying to convince the world that he is an artist.

M.D. Jackson has been writing for the AMAZING STORIES website. He writes an article every week. He should be writing one right now, but Jack has taken over just for now.

I have a lot of stories floating around in my head. Most writers do. Some stories are vague, half-formed ideas. Some are just images. But some are becoming very fully developed. Like the one about Roman occupied Briton, a captured Roman soldier named Maximus Decius and a Briton whom he befriends named Donal Donaleigh and a tribe of warriors who may or may not be supernatural entities called up from the earth by a deranged and vengeful druid.

Or the one about an investigator for Whitehall in the late Victorian Era named Emory Beech who finds himself trying to end a clandestine war between rival wizards and finds an unexpected ally in a strange and mysterious woman who calls herself Saffron but whose real name is Sandra Frene. Or is it?

Or the one about Bradik, a wily sword for hire who has taken a job to retrieve some property for a wealthy client — said property being a half-blind seeress who can read the future.

And there are the abandoned projects which must be finished. I have five decent chapters of a sixty-thousand word New Pulp novel which is screaming to be finished. And, as anyone who has bothered to read this blog knows, there is the unfinished prequel to my novel The Mask of Eternity. The Price of Redemption is here on this blog, unfinished — cut off in mid-stream. Honestly, there ain’t no more of it. It just fizzled out. I need to relight the fire under that one for sure.

There’s lots of others and there’s not a lot of time to write them all down. Actually, that’s not true. There’s time… there’s always time if you know where to look for it… but the inclination is not there. Being M. D. Jackson takes different mental “muscles” than being Jack Mackenzie. My writing muscles — my fiction writing muscles — are weak and flabby and need to be worked out.

So, M.D. Jackson, I think you’ve had control of the muscles for too long. I think Jack will be taking over.

Watch this space.


My characters, Ka Sirtago and Poet are featured in three sword and sorcery tales in this collection.

Heralded by Blood_Amazon Cvr

Three tales about the strangest duo in Fantasy fiction, Ka Sirtago, the heir-apparent to the Trigassan Empire and his sensitive friend Poet. In “Heralded By Blood” we see how the two met in childhood. In “Mark of Gennesh” they are on a desperate mission to save Sirtago’s sister from a demon-marked sorcerer. “The Sound of the Deep” takes them on the ocean waves where more sorcery is afoot. Sword & Sorcery tales to please the new fan or the old.

Pick this us at Amazon.com. While you are there check out my other works featuring this sword and sorcery duo:


$2.99 at Amazon.com


$2.99 at Amazon.com

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS: and How it Could be Made Better

  I’m not going to spoil the whole movie with this article. I’m only going to spoil the first five minutes.

If you want to see it completely fresh, then stop reading. If you’re not to concerned about having what is essentially a prologue spoiled, then you can read this article and still enjoy the bulk of the movie fresh.


The movie opens in the middle of the action. It hits the ground running as all action movies seem to want to do these days. That’s fine. All good action fiction should hit the ground running.

But what is essentially a prologue to the main film was, for me, a really good ending to a potentially great episode of Star Trek if it were back on TV (where it belongs). I would really like to have seen the first 40 minutes of that episode. It could easily have been more like Star Trek then the rest of the movie that comes afterwards.


The Enterprise crew has clearly chosen to break the Prime Directive by saving a planet full of white-skinned aliens. It would have been interesting to see the crew wrestle with their responsibilities not to break the Prime Directive, and their desire to save an entire species who are doomed to die. Do they break their Starfleet oaths? Or do they let an entire species die. That would have been riveting to see Kirk and Spock and McCoy wrestling with that dilemma. That would have given further gravitas to McCoy’s answer to Kirk’s question: “What would Spock do?”


Obviously Spock is argued into action because it is he who has to set the device in the volcano. I imagine Kirk wanting to do it himself and Spock pointing out that it should be he who sets the device as his Vulcan physiology would allow him to function long after a human would have passed out from the extreme heat. It would also have been a great opportunity for a scene between Uhura and Spock. “You may not care about your own life, but did you ever consider what your death would do to me, you selfish Vulcan?”


Why was the Enterprise hiding under the ocean? That would have been interesting to watch the decision making process that led to that development. I imagine Scotty’s initial resistance at such a mad idea, then watching as he reluctantly solves the engineering problems that allow them to do just that.


Why did Kirk steal the scroll? Perhaps it was a last minute thing. Perhaps Spock determines that he cannot set the device fast enough to guarantee the safety of the temple. Kirk has to figure out a way — fast — to get them out of the temple without revealing who he is. It would have been entertaining to see the aliens worshiping the scroll and Kirk’s spur-of-the-moment decision to steal it in order to get them out of the temple.


And what about McCoy? He obviously had to spend some time getting that beast that Kirk stuns to be cooperative enough to be their ride. Imagine The potential for a number of humorous scenes of McCoy trying to coax a recalcitrant animal into taking riders on its back. McCoy as a grumpy “alien whisperer” would have been priceless.

See? Now THAT would have been a decent episode of Star Trek if Star Trek were to return to television, like it should.It’s just too bad that the rest of the movie was not quite as good. I mean, it was exciting and thrilling (and in 3d!) but it wash’t really Star Trek.

Not my Star Trek, anyway.