As I rescoped the nonfiction project I considered what was required and what was optional.  In the end it came down to what would I publish and how would it be organized?

Some stuff was fun.

The castle mascot who will be making an appearance.

Some was not.

The Cesspit?

The decision to keep the Cesspit stemmed from the fact that a well-functioning castle has one.

A chiropractor once told me people who never take out the trash – who pile it up in their home lest the neighbors see it?  When everyone has it?  They end up with a stinky house and a recipe for disease.  

It wasn’t about airing dirty laundry so much as having it part of the whole.

A well-functioning castle.

I soon realized a variety of topics could be filed in this place because they all had one thing in common:

Shit Happens

People suffer when forced to keep silent about life’s doo-doo.  

That doo-doo is not limited to a dysfunctional family. Toxic work environments are terrible and should be avoided whenever possible!

Silence not only hurts individuals it hurts the world because one never knows when what is shared might help another.

I learned about The Dance of Anger which is an amazing book from numerous coworkers who were, like me, adult childen of alcoholics.

When I was in high school I founded Oakland County’s first SADD Chapter.  I brought in various speakers who were experts in Al-A-Teen and Al-A-Non related topics.  We met in the library and always had a good number of students show up.  

Simply knowing they were not the only ones – that I was not the only one – went far in healing.

Though this will not be the focal point of the nonfiction project it does have a place.

Every well-functioning castle has a Cesspit.

Among other things it gives me a place to share how and where real life events have found their way into my work.

The other places are

Exhibit A:  The System

In Cauldron of the Gods, first in the Dragon Core series, Clare Edwards talks about The System while showing the Black Dragon the very blue-collar neighborhood she grew up in.  Her knowledge came from experience and observations.

Perspective is Everything.

Specifically, how The System can keep people trapped in poverty.

Ginsu Knives

Aka There’s more…

I chose a neighborhood outside Pittsburgh with its steel industry because of the deep parallels to neighborhoods outside Detroit with its industry.

Though we did have McLouth Steel.


I have fond memories of my time in Pittsburgh.

Attending grad level networking courses at Carnegie Mellon/U Pitt.

How many people can say they were offered a LoJack upon check-in to company paid for lodgings?

All part of cost-cutting at the Tech Titanic.

It Wasn’t All Bad

I was told the room I had was used by Jodie Foster when filming Silence of the Lambs.

Other than hearing breaking glass followed by car alarms going off – all night – and running out of hot water if I didn’t get up at 4:30 for a shower it was a great place to stay!

For anyone wanting a bit of fun insight into this general area I suggest reading Abigail Drake’s Southside Series.

It’s fun!

As for what’s in store here?  It’s all part of the package at Castle EMF.

Where Wizards are Ghosts and Angels are Knights!

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