Writings and Musings of David Watkins

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What do you do when strange thoughts and ideas pop into your head? Ignore them? Tell them to your therapist? Well, if you are like me you either make a speech out of them (for Toastmasters) or you write them down and see if you can create a novel, book, or short story out of them.

Welcome to the writings and musings page of David Watkins. Here you will see story ideas and "copyrighted" excerpts from various things I have done.

I am a huge science fiction fan. I think it began with the original Star Trek TV show. I still remember rushing home from Little League practice to watch "The Devil in the Dark". I bought a lot of SF books via the SF Book Club and saw the first Star Wars movie, though only once when it first came out. I admit that I'm more of a Star Trek fan than Star Wars, though enduring some of the later Star Trek plots on TV and the movie screen was painful. Of course, I've read many of the classics by Jules Verne and Isaac Asimov.

In 1982 I graduated from College with an engineering degree in Chemical Engineering. At that time the market was very depressed and few engineers were getting jobs. I read a lot during that time (as well as sending out resumes by the truckload). As I read some of the Star Trek books I became a little disappointed. I felt that I could write stuff as good as if not better. So I did. I wrote out, in long hand (no personal computers in that age) a Star Trek story. It is basically complete but I haven't done anything with it since (I guess I may now). I went on to graduate school and then found a job and basically forgot about writing.

I got hooked on the Star Gate SG-1 TV show and bought all of the DVDs. As with the Star Trek novels, I felt that I could write plots for SG-1 episodes. I had just about finished possible screen plays when the TV show completed its run. I didn't let the show's cancellation stop me. I have developed a great many "stories" involving that series (of course, having Amanda Tapping as Major Carter kind of motivated me).

I also like fantasy, both the magic kind and the flashing sword kind. Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard was my first taste of fantasy writing. I also read Robert Lynn Aspirin and his Myth Adventures series as well as his Thieves' World anthology. Of course, there is Rowling's H. Potter and Pratchett's Disc World adventures. So many choices, so little money.

For reasons I still cannot fully explain I have also written a romance novel (yes, my friends snicker when I tell them that). It started when I caught part of the Jimmie Stewart/Kim Novak movie called Bell, Book, and Candle. The plot states that if a witch falls in love with a mortal she loses her powers. I thought that was kind of harsh. I saw it again a few nights later. That got me thinking about all sorts of things and one morning, as I was running errands, I came up with the plot of "Deli Witch". The summary can be found below.

I have decided to try my hand at writing, maybe a little late in life, but what the heck. On this page you will catch a glimpse of what I have done. Who knows, maybe you will see some of them on a bookshelf near you

Deli Witch Dragon's Blood
This story, set in and around modern day San Francisco, mixes the classic �Romeo and Juliet� with another classic, �Bell, Book, and Candle�, and throws a little Harry Potter in for good measure.

Spencer wants more out of life than being a simple software engineer. When he 'happens' upon an obviously upset young woman named Cassandra, his simple act of compassion will cause him to experience a world unlike any he could ever imagine. Cassandra, who happens to be a wizard, is torn between two worlds � the magical one to which she desperately wishes to belong and the mortal one in which she has been forced to live. For this young woman has a not so minor problem � she cannot cast spells worth a darn.

Her burgeoning relationship with Spencer causes another problem. Falling in love with a mortal will cause her to lose what few powers she may have and be cast out of the wizarding world. What magical tricks will her family and friends employ to keep them apart? What extreme measures will others in the wizarding world use to prevent a mortal from polluting wizard blood? Find out in Deli Witch (Chapter 1).
Dillon, a laid off software engineer, learns that he suffers from terminal cancer. Instead of wasting away at home he decides to go camping in the Colorado mountains. He also decides that he won't be coming back. While up there he hears a strange crying sound. After investigating it he discovers a small dragon tied to a large rock. Not knowing any better he frees the dragon and treats the leg wound caused by the rough-looking rope. Since the dragon seems to be somewhat harmless Dillon gives him a few pieces of jerky. Dillon decides to set up camp a short distance away.

After setting up camp Dillon suffers an episode of severe pain, due to the cancer that has spread throughout his body. As he recovers from the attack he sees that the dragon has crawled up where he is camping. The dragon proceeds to sniff him. As Dillon watches the dragon starts moving is a strange way. Dillon is afraid that the jerky didn't agree with the dragon. He attempts to push the dragon's head away so he won't mess up Dillon's sleeping bag. Without warning the dragon lunges forward and bites Dillon on the arm. Dillon feels poison being injected into his arm.

Dillon finds himself in a new world, not only full of dragons but sorcerers, elves, and other magical creatures. Due to an unlucky circumstance Dillon finds himself on the run from a powerful sorcerer intent on taking over this new world. It appears that only Dillon and his friends can prevent this from happening. (Chapter 1 )

Winter Terrorland of 1969 Star Gate Files - Great Escape
Thanks to WikiLeaks I am able to reveal what happened to me and my elementary school classmates during the winter of 1969.

A super secret department buried deep within the old Soviet Union's KGB had bred sharks that, instead of swimming through water, could swim through deep snow. The plan was to release these snow shark mutants during a heavy snowstorm on the US Capital grounds. There they would wipe out the upper echelon of our government.

Unfortunately, a gigantic polar vortex caught the Soviet's cargo plan and threw it toward the Texas Panhandle town of Phillips. Learn what happened in "The Winter Terrorland of 1969".
The known civilization of "P9010x" lives in a giant metal city, covering an area roughly the size of the Northeastern United States. A past cataclysmic event caused civilization to collapse, resulting in a large part of the city being abandoned and the remaining inhabitants coalescing around new city-states.

Colonel O'Neill and the Star Gate teams are somehow included in peace negotiation between these hostile city-states. After negotiations break down, O'Neill orders his team to return to the Star Gate. Before they reach the gate a hostile city-state attacks the SG team guarding the gate, destroying their ability to return to Earth.

O'Neill and his team find themselves trapped on an alien world, surrounded by unfriendly and downright hostile governments. Rumors of a second star gate reach the team. Unable to use their gate and with no help on the way they have no choice but to try for the other gate.

Pursued by a relentless enemy across the city and down into its depths, O'Neill and his team work their way across a rundown and rusting city, almost falling apart as they watch. Follow their struggles in Star Gate Files: Escape (Chapter 1 )

American Jedi [short] Secret Agent Man
Remember the movie "War of the Worlds" with Tom Cruise? Remember the strange plot device that apparently caused the aliens to be transported to the machines buried under the surface hundreds of years prior? Yeah, makes about as much sense as it taking 7 years for the castaways to get off Gilligan's island.

Well, what if instead of the bystanders just waiting to be vaporized, someone were to run down the street warning them to run. And when the alien machine rises from the earth, instead of being slaughtered with the rest, that someone were to lead an attack against the machine.

This story was submitted to the 2016 Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition. Read it here at American Jedi.
In the not too distant future, political divisions within the United States reach a breaking point. After a short but violent struggle the country splits, with several states in the South, including Texas, creating their own country. As a result, the rest of the United States joined with Canada and Europe to create a new political entity called the Federation.

After an uneasy peace develops between the Republic of Texas and the Federation, a scientist defects from the Federation, taking a secret fuel process with him.

A special agent is inserted into the Texas Panhandle to find the traitor, to see what he is up to in his underground facility, and to kill him if necessary to stop whatever plans he may have.

Will he be successful? What will he learn about the scientist's plans. Find out in Secret Agent Man (submitted to the 2016 Writer's Digest Annual Writing Contest).

Amazon Adventure Toast Generation
Imagine having to eject from your advanced jet fighter over the Amazon jungle. Then imagine being captured by a lost tribe of Amazonian warriors (yes, female Amazonian warriors). Well imagine no more. Read about what happens when the very same things happen to me in Amazon Adventure.

This story appears in my "Crazy Tales and Other Stories". A shorter version of this story was used to win the District 25 Toastmasters Tall Tale Contest in the mid-90s.

We all know how much of a push alternative energy sources are receiving. However, for all of the hype there are still major problems with existing forms of alternative energy, whether they are wind turbines, solar panels, or geothermal. I am happy to say that I have discovered a new and revolutionary form of alternative energy that may act as a simple replacement not only for fossil-based fuels but their alternative energy alternates. Learn of my important discovery in Toast Generation.

Hidden Enemy (a Star Trek Novel) A Short Autobiography of Jack O'Lantern
A Federation science vessel has failed to report in. It is involved in researching a planet at the far reaches of Federation space but also relatively close to Klingon territory. A Federation Saladin Class Destroyer is sent to investigate. Before it can reach the science vessel's last known position the destroyer is attacked and severely damaged. It limps back to Federation space. No one knows who was responsible for the attack? Was it the Klingons or is it a new and potentially hostile race. The disappearance of the science vessel and the attack on the Destroyer are kept quiet. Captain Kirk and the Enterprise are sent to investigate.

This was written many years ago and has not been converted to computer yet. It will be sometime ... maybe. Given how many books have been written based upon the Star Trek Universe (as many as there are stars in the Alpha Quadrant) I may have to change either the central characters (no longer Kirk and Spock but someone else) or go in a different direction.
During a Halloween-themed Toastmasters meeting, one of the possible Table Topics was to provide a short autobiography of Jack O'Lantern. Though it wasn't asked, I felt that I had been given a direct challenge to create such an autobiography. Thus I did. And you will find it at A Short Autobiography of Jack O'lantern

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Updated:  April 1, 2018