Monday, August 31, 2009

Unidentified Flying Object Spotted in Rochester, NY

Wednesday, August 26, 2009.

It was my day with the kids. At 9:45 PM, I took them back to where their mother lives in Greece, NY.

My oldest son was telling me a story. He'd seen something in the sky. Since we were fifteen minutes early, their mother wasn't home. I parked in the drive-way. We climbed out of the car. We stood on the lawn. Phil, the oldest, pointed toward south in the sky, toward the moon. He said he'd seen something big, bright, flying across the sky.

I believe in aliens. Hard not too. Outerspace is too open, too vast for me to believe that life only thrives on our one, insignificant planet.

Had I ever seen a UFO before?

Nope. Not until that night, that is.

Standing on the grass, Phil and Grant in front of me, Raeleigh on my right, we tried to follow Phil's finger as he pointed up at the night sky.

For some reason--no reason I can explain, or care to try to explain--we all ... yes, we all ... turned right. We turned right, and we looked up toward the north-west sky.

At that moment, that exact moment, something large and round, and flat -- not saucer shaped, but like the moon, or a plate, fell from the sky. It dropped fast, between the V-scope of two Maple tree tops.

I saw it. All four of us did. And all four of us gasped.

Phil swore the object was only hundreds of feet away.

Grant, Raeleigh and I believed the object was much further away--maybe not as far up as an airplane might fly, but farther than a few hundred feet up and away.

It didn't glow. It didn't have lights. Like I'd said, it was flat. Round. Off-white, kind of nicotine stained looking.

The thing didn't float.

What it did, if I can believe my eyes, is drop.

Drop, like it had been watching us search the sky for signs of UFO's, and when we turned, turned and saw it, it hid.

Sounds crazy. I feel crazy even writing it.

But it happened. Something had been in the sky. And when we discovered it, it dropped into hiding.

Whether hundreds of feet away, or thousands, it was there. I cannot deny this. Won't deny this.

We did not see aliens.

Nothing flashed. My car didn't turn on. Headlights didn't flicker.

What had we seen?

It may not have been some alien ship, but clearly, undeniably, it was something I would classify as a UFO, an unidentified flying object.

We've told friends. Family. No one believes us. Had my kids of come to me, I might not have believed them either. I'd have nodded, and would have believed that they believed in what they'd seen ... but that might have been all. The extent of my belief.

But I was there. I saw it. I have no idea what I saw. Just that it was something. Not a plane, not a shooting star. Not a kite. Not a weather balloon.

I know. I know. I write mystery novels. Horror stories. I use the supernatural to plot my tales. This, though it may seem, may sound like a gimmick, a writer stunt--I assure, it is not.

What I'd like to know is--how many of my readers have had similar, or for that matter, even unique encounters. What I'd like to know, to prove, is that my kids and I are not alone in our sighting.

Thomas Phillips,
Author of The Molech Prophecy

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Write About What You Know.

I have been writing since I was fourteen. Grew up with a reading disability. Hated books. Did all I could to never read. In seventh grade when our teacher assigned S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, everything changed.

I not only became an avid reader from that point on, but since have worked hard at writing. Born a storyteller, it only made sense that I work to get my ideas down on paper. My first writing instrument was a Sears electric typewriter. Uh-huh. I remember saving money up to buy it, and cringing everytime the ribbon (with corrective white tape) ran out.

I spent hours in my room pounding out stories.

My first real short story, I Made It, was published when I was a freshman in the Cardinal Mooney annual literary magazine. (I have copies stored away). You write about what you know. My parents never had much money. They worked hard. Just never seemed to catch up. I really wanted to go to Cardinal Mooney High School. I got a job at the end of eighth grade, and worked all summer to pay the tuition. My job was as a busboy at a party house. The Diplomat.

Well. I was hired as a busboy. But what happened was, new hires had to "earn" the right to bus tables. I worked weekend mornings. Cleaned up after parties the nights before. Vacuuming, setting tables, cleaning bathrooms, sweeping and mopping floors. Soon, I worked nights, too. Washing dishes, scrubbing pots and pans. And eventually, I worked parties.

My first day of work was a Saturday. Like any business, communication was terrible. When hired I was told I needed to wear black dress pants, black shoes, a black vest and a black bow-tie, as well as a white dress shirt. Standard busboy attire, right?

So, Saturday morning I showed up to work all decked out in new duds. The "head" busboy, Gary, looked at me, shook his head, and said, "Lose the tie." I spent the next seven hours breaking my back cleaning party rooms--wondering how everyone else there knew to wear jeans and T-shirts.

And this ... this true-story became my first published piece. It told the tale of how I went from showing up to work ill-dressed, to getting the call one night to come in (on a day off) and to bring my bus-clothes.

I'd made it.

Key point of the blog, write about what you know. Remember, fiction still needs to be factual!


Thomas Phillips,
Author of The Molech Prophecy

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Writing is Just Like Going to the Gym

I like to tell people I used to jog ten miles a day. But I found, if I take the car I can be done much quicker.

Lame joke. I know.

But writing is a lot like exercising. It's about developing a routine, following a schedule.

It's been said many times that if you want to write, then write every day.

This is sound, solid advice.

If you belong to a gym, my guess is you have some kind of a work-out schedule. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, let's say. And I'll also bet, when many of those days roll around you do not feel like going to exercise. However, I'd continue to wager, that once at the gym, you are fine and the work-out begins.

That's how it can be for writers as well.

Or, more specifically, that's how it should be for writers.

I have a small key-group of people, writers, that I write with.

For me, writing at home does not always allow me the ability to write for as long, or to produce the best writing I can. Too many distractions. The TV. The refrigerator. The sofa. The phone.

On Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, me and these other writers make a plan to meet at a local Barnes & Noble's to write. It's a way for us to hold each other accountable. It's a way to ensure quality writing time. We tend to power up laptops, sharpen pencils, and plug headphones into Ipods, and write without disrupting each other.

At the same time, when one of us hits a stumbling block, a speed bump, seated around that person are potential resources to help overcome the hurdle.

I may say, "Steve, how does this paragraph sound? Does it sound like writing, because if it does, I need to re-write it."

Or Steve may say, "I need my develop more sympathy for my character. I tried this, does it work?"

It's not always possible to make it to B&N on every day scheduled for us to write. When this happens, there is guilt associated with telling the others that you can't make it.

Guilt is an awesome tool that keeps our group from canceling more often than we may want to cancel. See what I'm saying?

If you want to write, to improve your talent, to hone your skills as a writer, then it will be more than important, it will be essential, that, as a writer, you develope a writing schedule that fits your needs. Whether it is every day, first thing in the morning, or at night after everyone else in the house has gone to bed, or heading to a coffee shop after work. Whatever the case may be, you need to know that you have a schedule to follow, and devaiting from it will cause your writing to suffer.

Teaming up with other writers is helpful, not necessary. Two or more with the same goals, same dreams, will help you hold yourself, and them, more accountable for the work that needs doing.

Writing should be satisfying, just like when you leave the gym -- feeling pumped and energetic, and excited about the work-out you'd completed for that day. With writing, whether you completed a chapter, a few pages, or some complex portions of your tale, when you finish writing for the day you should feel pumped, energetic, and excited about the words you'd strung together.

Like with exercise, writing is theraputic, inspiring in and of itself, and a wonderful stress reliever. I'd go as far to say that writing is healthy. Maybe not for physical results, but certainly for emotional and spiritual purposes.

Now, enough with reading the blog. Get out there and write!

Thomas Phillips
Author of The Molech Prophecy