• Mark Meier

I hate shoes - even shopping for them is something I’d rather not do.

The issue I have is I’ve never found a pair that fits and that I like. As an example, about six years ago I bought a pair of shoes that seemed to fit right, looked durable, and was pretty much everything I wanted in a shoe.

They were horrible. Though they “fit,” there was a little lift in the heel that gave me shin splints from even walking for more than ten minutes. Running on a treadmill? Forget about it. They were probably the worst shoes I’ve ever bought.

Being a person who hates waste, I couldn’t simply toss them out. They became my “work and yard” shoes. And they were indestructible. I hit them with the weed whacker a half-dozen times and it barely showed. I used them year-round and they never wore out. To the “day job” five days every week, year after year, after year.

When I lost that job and worked something a bit more involved (that’s when I hit ’em with the weed whip), they kept going strong. The sole hung in there, too. They never wore out. It’s like the shoes were mocking me. “You can’t get rid of me. I’ll be with you FOR. EV. ER.”

Eventually I retired them to yard work only. That means only when shoveling snow or mowing, things like that. The replacement shoes lasted six months. The laminated layers in the shoe came apart. You could feel the parts peeling apart when walking. The next pair, similar issue. They fell apart in six months.

The hated shoes, still going strong. “For. Ev. Er!”

About eight months ago I bought a pair of shoes that seems to be a good balance. I can feel the laminates separating a bit, but eight months for a pair of shoes that I kinda like is pretty impressive.

The hated, indestructible shoes finally went into the trash bin Saturday morning. Not because they didn’t have mileage in them yet. A couple of the bits of trim were coming off the bottom, and I didn’t feel like cutting those bits off just to get another three years of wear out of ‘em. I hated those shoes, and didn’t want them around.

Into the bin they go. And Wednesday, when the refuse-hauler comes around, I will not lament them.

Now, if only they could have made ‘em fit.

But no, I’m not going out to rescue them.

RIP, you piece of garbage.

May you rot in the landfill For. Ev. Er.

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  • Mark Meier

Life is not what it seems. A powerful organization labors to undermine everything people hold dear.

A wizard wannabe is betrayed at the cusp of achieving his dreams. A rising-star politician is cut down in his prime. The death of a poverty-stricken astrologer is also the result of the activities of this hidden group. But what about the whispers of a larger plan?

Don’t ask The Brotherhood.

They’re not talking.

Coming soon.

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  • Mark Meier

It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated everyone on the progress of my writing. Here’s the latest.

The Brotherhood is in the final stages of preparation. There’s one more submission I’ll be sending out this year for that project, and with luck I’ll have copies in-hand early next year. Confidence, right? Cover art is being prepared and should be ready soon.

After that I have a couple of people doing a final critique on Ravid. Submissions should be ready in the first quarter of 2022. If the bigger publishers reject that the way they’ve rejected Brotherhood, I’ll start in on smaller houses. I haven’t approached anyone about cover art yet, but we’ll see how that process goes.

Ebony Sea: 1, First Mission is nearly ready to send out to critiquers. A few more details to attend to and then people will start seeing ES:1 in their inbox to give feedback. A couple of years ago I’d purchased a cover, and that only needs final revisions for book size. Back cover copy needs to be put in, too. The hope is to have that in print by Christmas of 2022.

The goal is three published works in print next year. That is pretty ambitious, but anyone who knows me knows how long I’ve been working on each of these. They know it’s not three in one year, but rather three more after twenty years.

Then there’s the collection I’ve been turning over in my mind. There are a number of short stories and poems I’m putting together. A small collection, to be sure - about half the size of Ebony Sea: Origins. In that there are ES stories never published before (and probably won’t make it into other publications), Brotherhood shorts, and stories from the upcoming series, “The Archives.” If I do decide to put that out it’ll be called Eclectia, because it’s a mish-mash of different stuff all crammed together. In other words, it’s a sampler. There’s even poetry. Yes, Mark wrote poetry.

So that’s the plan. I’m about a chapter into my first novel in The Archives, but switching from editing mode to composing mode is taking time. I’ve been editing Brotherhood, Ravid, and First Mission for so long it’s mind boggling.

Look for more news on The Brotherhood coming soon. It’s not like anything you’ve read before.

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