The Daily Ed

An American trapped in North Korea

New trailer for: THE CONSULTANT

A lone American, kidnapped and taken to North Korea. He has one objective: escape!

A story ripped from the headlines, and immersed in the deadly politics of North Korea.

A thriller for fans of Tom Clancy, James Clavell, and Dale Brown. A riveting story about an ordinary man who is forced to take on the most evil regime on earth!

**View on Amazon**

Halloween and Generation X

I was a kid during the late 1970s and the early 1980s.

In those days before the Internet, or much in the way of video games, Halloween was still a big deal.

I wrote 12 HOURS OF HALLOWEEN to capture the spirit of what Halloween was like for Generation X. 

12 HOURS OF HALLOWEEN is a coming-of-age story set in 1980. Three young friends—three 12-year-olds—go out for “one last Halloween” before they enter adolescence and become too old for the ritual.

But there’s a problem, you see: one of them has incurred a 12-hour supernatural curse, and so Halloween 1980 will be unlike any other!

**Get 12 HOURS OF HALLOWEEN on Amazon!**

YouTube readings of BLOOD FLATS

BLOOD FLATS

In the badlands of Kentucky, a former US Marine fights to clear his name. He faces enemies on both sides of the law. A blazing tale of pursuit, filled with gunfights and car chases. 

I’ll be reading the book in short episodes over on my newly rebooted YouTube channel. 

You can also get the book on Amazon!

Early 1980s video game meme

This meme showed up in my Facebook feed, posted by another child of the 1980s. 

This is, more or less, what a home gaming system looked like for the average suburban kid, circa 1980-1982.  As the meme suggests, we considered this to be cutting-edge and high tech, which it was, given that this was 40 years ago.

Around that time (I was in junior high) I had an Atari 2600, hooked up to the television in the living room.

The only difference in my setup was that the TV was slightly larger. My Atari was connected to a wood-paneled Zenith. (It was the family TV. My parents consented to putting the Atari there because my dad also enjoyed the games from time to time.)

I had a handful of games, mostly with military or science-fiction themes: Asteroids, Space Invaders, Missile Command, and a few others. 

The Rockland Horror 5: coming soon!

The Rockland Horror 5 is presently in production. The fifth book will mark the end of the historical arc of the series. The series will continue in modern times (post-1985) with a spinoff series.

If you’re new to The Rockland Horror series, start here. If you’ve read the first four books already, you can preorder Book 5 here.

View ‘The Rockland Horror’ series on Amazon!

July skies

Yesterday was the first day of July, and the first day of the second half of the year.

For those of you who are into annual planning, July 1st is a time for taking stock: of what you’ve accomplished in the year thus far, and how you plan to continue—or correct your course.

July 1st also means the beginning of the dog days of summer. That’s definitely true here in southern Ohio, a region of the country that gets the worst of all possible weather. Yesterday I went running in the 92-degree heat. I was definitely feeling every one of my fifty-three years. There is simply no escaping the heat this time of year, not even inside, in the air conditioning.

Note, in the above photo, the lawn dried to the condition of a straw doormat. Also note the overcast morning sky, threatening rain. 

We’ve had no significant rainfall for over a week. A thunderstorm would be great now, to break this midsummer heat wave.

Cincinnati June heat wave

This is what Cincinnati’s heat index readings look like over the next few days. The extreme heat (with highs in the mid-90s) is not supposed to break until the upcoming weekend.

I am generally pretty tolerant where weather is concerned. The weather doesn’t bother me much, for the most part. Still, if I wanted to live in an equatorial climate, I would move to Guyana or Vietnam. This is Ohio, for goodness sake.

Heat at this level also puts a strain on mechanical equipment, including the power grid. There is nothing like a power outage when the mercury is over 95. 

Fawn on the lawn

You just never know what you’ll see out here in the badlands of Clermont County, Ohio.

Ducks, foxes, turtles, falcons, and raccoons regularly turn up in my yard.

And, of course, deer. This little fawn has been occupying the front lawn in the mornings of late.

I’ve never tried to approach the fawn; but she seems quite comfortable in the close proximity of humans.

New Japan-related series coming

Those of you who know my full history know that I spent about twenty years working in and around the Japanese automotive industry. 

I am definitely a Japanophile. The history, culture, and language of Japan have long fascinated me. Japan has never been my permanent place of residence, but I’ve traveled there more times than I can count. 

I learned the Japanese language in the late 1980s/early 1990s. I spent some time working as a translator/interpreter. My Japanese is a little rusty nowadays, compared to what it was in 1995 or 2000, when I was doing simultaneous interpretations at business meetings. But I can still manage an adult-level text  or a news broadcast in Japanese. 

I’m working on a new fiction series,  set in Japan in the early 1990s. It will feature young Gen X protagonists. (Generation X was young in the early 1990s.)

Like all my books, this series will be available on Amazon, in both Kindle and paperback. But I may experiment with some other forms of distribution as well. (I’ve been wanting to try audio-first releases, possibly serialized here on Edward Trimnell Books, for example.)

More information to follow!

 

Memorial Day, 2022

Today is Memorial Day 2022. This is the day when we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom.

But that’s not all it is, of course. The Memorial Day weekend is also the beginning of the summer travel season. When I was in school, I especially looked forward to the Memorial Day holiday because it was usually the last weekend of the academic year. The gateway to three months of freedom from homework, tests, and sitting in stuffy classrooms in a Catholic school uniform. 

It’s fine to have other associations with Memorial Day. No one can be solemn and reverent all the time. But it would be worthwhile to spend at least a few moments today thinking about the dead of Iwo Jima, of D-Day, of Bastogne. 

Russia’s immoral, bloody attack on Ukraine reminds us that there are still evil men, and still people willing to follow evil men. All the more reason to appreciate those who gave their lives, so that we can enjoy pool parties and car trips on Memorial Day.

The Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, 1977

Yesterday marked the 45th anniversary of the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, one of Cincinnati’s historic tragedies. On May 28, 1977, 165 people perished in a fire in Southgate, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. Most of the dead were youngish adults in their twenties and thirties. Many were parents of children my age.

This tragedy strikes somewhat close to home for me, even though it was a long time ago, and even though I didn’t actually lose anyone. 

My parents, as chance would have it, were supposed to be there that night. My mom wanted to see John Davidson perform. 

This is not as noteworthy a coincidence as it might seem. In the late 1970s, entertainment options were not what they are now. An appearance by a star like John Davidson, at a local venue, was quite the event.

In the end, my parents decided not to go. They did not have premonitions of doom. There were no omens. Something mundane simply came up, preventing them from going. Two of my parents’ acquaintances did go, though, and they died in the fire. 

Tragedy directly struck a girl in my third grade class. Both of her parents, just thirty-two years old, died in the fire. The girl was in our class the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday. On the following Tuesday, she was not there. 

She was subsequently raised by relatives. None of us ever saw her again. I have, though, seen her appear in local television interviews as an adult. She was interviewed about a decade ago, on one of the annual observances of the grim May 28 anniversary. 

There were lawsuits over the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, of course. The litigation went on for years. It remains a blight on the history of this area, and will likely remain so, until the last survivors and the last children of the dead are gone.

There have been various explanations for the fire, too, from faulty wiring to arson. The latter supposedly involved the Sicilian mafia, which used to have a significant presence in Cincinnati. This theory remains unproven.

Most of the people who now commemorate the tragedy each year are adults in their fifties and sixties who lost parents that night. Also, some of the actual survivors, who are now in their seventies and eighties.

I had a happy childhood and wonderful parents. If my parents had gone to the Beverly Hills Supper Club as planned, my early years might have been very different. My life would be different today, for that matter.

Each year at this time, I count my blessings, and remember how fragile we are. All of us. 

Most dangerous combat roles in World War II

Being in the infantry in World War II was certainly dangerous enough. But that wasn’t necessarily the most dangerous combat role, as detailed in the article hyperlinked below:

“These 5 World War II jobs were more dangerous than being an infantryman”

My grandfather was a gunner on various US Navy vessels that escorted Merchant Marine ships through the North Atlantic. (Number 3 on the above list.)

He once told me that when a ship capsized or was torpedoed, there was seldom any hope of rescuing survivors. Such was the nature of the North Atlantic.

‘Return of the Jedi’: 39 years ago

The last installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, and the last really good film of the franchise, Return of the Jedi hit theaters 39 years ago today.

A lot has already been written about the original Star Wars trilogy, and how and why these three movies were better than the more recent ones. So I won’t add my two cents, because you’ve already either heard or read it.

One side note, however:

The Princess Leia gold bikini scene was supposed to have been an enduring fantasy for adolescent and teenage boys at the time. This even became a topic for an episode of Friends in 1996.

I was 15 in 1983, and I made note of the scene. Carrie Fisher certainly looked fetching in the gold bikini. But for me, at least, that aspect of the movie was secondary. 

Return of the Jedi was just an entertaining, swashbuckling science fiction film like they seldom make anymore: pure escapism, and lots of fun. With or without the gold bikini.