Signs my nephew may become an evil overlord

11 Apr
April 11, 2012

Since my nephew and niece were born, their parents and my group of friends have joked that one will become an evil overlord while the other will be the savior of humanity. This is probably due to the immense amount of fantasy we all read, but sometimes possible hints slip out. Or it could be because he’s almost seven.

Scene: Nephew and I are returning from a scout activity

Me: Let us go forth…..

Nephew: To a date with death!

It’s one of those times I’m not sure whether to be proud, terrified, or both.

Medicating with lead and gunpowder

10 Apr
April 10, 2012

I took today off because I was expecting to see my favorite band, Sabaton, down at the Brass Mug. Then I received an email informing me the concert was cancelled. There were entry visa problems with the new band members.

So, I decided since I have the day off to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a bit. Pull out my shotgun and take it down to the range for some practice. It’s the first time I’d played with my Mossberg since I installed the Blackhawk collapsible stock.

So I first tried it at seven yards with six shells of 2 ¾” buck.

That’s with me aiming roughly at the stomach area. Then I tried again with my last three shells at 15 yards.

I was aiming too high and got yelled at by the range master. I really need to take a shotgun class. On the bright side, if I’m shooting with the shotgun, it’ll most likely be in my house. Everything’s within 7 yards in my house.

Then I went on to my Diamondback DB9. The first time I fired this pistol, it jammed damn near every time. I even had a couple of times with a live round being “stove-piped.”

That was with Winchester white box and Magtech 115-grain JHP. The second time I took it out, I switched to Remington UMC and Hornady Critical Defense. The little pistol ate both loads up nicely. So today I figured I’d see what I could actually do with this pistol.

First attempt was at 3 yards with Remington UMC.

Not a bad group, but I was shooting a bit low. Then I tried at seven and fifteen yards.

I so need to take a class or two.

Today is my favorite part of Easter

09 Apr
April 9, 2012

For me, today is the best part of Easter.

“Wait,” you say, “Easter was yesterday.” Yep. And now, all the leftover candy is on sale. I do loves me the candy.


08 Apr
April 8, 2012

Welcome to the world of Derek Ward. This is where I let my imagination and my opinions run wild.

I am a writer of fiction. Urban fantasy, science-fiction, or whatever just happens to strike my fancy. Some of you may have come here because of my work on Zombie Strike with Kenn Blanchard.

Here is where you will find chapters of my novel Badmoon Rising. It’s best to start at the beginning. Other denizens of my imagination will also crop up on occasion.

I am also a bit opinionated. For the low, low cost of nothing, you will also get to see my opinions on current events, guns, science, skepticism, atheism, and whatever else I think is cool. Feel free to leave comments. Usual rules of civility apply. Trolls will be hunted down, destroyed, their heads put on pikes, and their skins used to make my war drums. Or I’ll just block you. Whatever I’m in the mood to do.

Badmoon Rising – Chapter Six: All’s Fair In War

07 Apr
April 7, 2012 After the Rite of Discovery, I didn’t hear from the Guildmaster. What was worse, I didn’t hear anything from Bradon. According to what I was hearing from other hunters the vampires were laying low. They knew the lycanthropes were out for vengeance. The Bleeders were warning the other leeches to stay in their territory and do nothing to provoke the lycanthropes. Without any jobs coming my way, I busied myself going through my gear. My instincts were telling me that I was going to need everything in optimum condition. Hours were needed to go through the mass of electronics, climbing rigs, weapons, and other items I used in the course of my work. My last tasks were cleaning my primary weapons. With my hands grimy with lubricant, the phone rang. I cursed as I hastily wiped my hands on my t-shirt and picked up the receiver without checking the number. “Marcus, what are you doing right now?” the Guildmaster asked. I could tell by the sound of his voice something was wrong. “Putting my Commando back together,” I replied, nonchalantly, “What’s up?” “The coronation is being held early. The day after tomorrow,” the Guildmaster answered flatly. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter Five: Rites and Sidekicks

04 Feb
February 4, 2012 The morning after my meeting with Bradon I was back in the Guildmaster’s office. There was precious little new information since the meeting with the heads of the Guild. It looked like the Guildmaster had been waiting in his office for any of the precious nuggets. His normal meticulous appearance was even more haggard than the last time I’d seen him. I was worried that my boss was driving himself too hard. Usually, the Guildmaster’s personal hitter was a close friend and could talk to him when the personal hitter thought the Guildmaster was acting poorly. This was one of the times that my mentor-student relationship instead of the more normal relationship hampered some of my duties. Maybe I needed to talk to his wife. Maybe she could do something about the Guildmaster wrecking himself. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter Four: Head Shots are Always a Bitch

17 Dec
December 17, 2011 Vollen’s rodeo parties were held at an old warehouse in Thonotssassa, a small town/suburb of Tampa near the Florida State Fairgrounds.  Vollen purchased the warehouse a couple of years before and turned it into a full rodeo ring, complete with chutes, bleachers, and scoreboard. What resulted was the only full-time indoor rodeo ring in Hillsborough County. Vollen used it exclusively for his “rodeo parties.” The aristocracy was expected to host some form of social event, usually every couple of months or so. They allowed the pack leaders to meet with one another in a setting that were supposed to be free of politics. So, of course, the parties were almost all politics, just the quiet sort. The parties gave Vollen a chance to touch base with his supporters and to see where the pack leaders stood on the issues of the day. More importantly, to most of the county’s lycanthropes, these kinds of parties gave Vollen a chance to enjoy his latest hobby. Most of the lycanthropes of the county were just happy to see their lord enjoying himself with something since the death of his wife several years ago; enough so that they were willing to subject themselves to the humiliation of trying their hand at rodeo.  The rural packs could handle the events just fine, but most of the packs were from urban and suburban areas. If lycanthropes didn’t heal so quickly, some of the attendees would have been killed. For this night at least, Vollen imported a demonstration team instead of the normal fun and games. I really didn’t want to watch the pack leaders play cowboys and cowgirls. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter Three: Dealing with Others

30 Oct
October 30, 2011 Cafe Verona was a small Italian place nestled in the heart of SoHo. SoHo, or South  Howard Avenue, was one of the trendy urban neighborhoods. It was also in the middle of leech territory. I moved fast after the raid on the harem – or whatever that place was – to get down to the restaurant. I barely had enough time to change into more casual clothes. I needed to get into leech territory before dusk. I didn’t want the bother of dealing with any of the younger vampires prowling the streets. I was here for business, not brawling. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter Two: I Always Call Him Nick

01 Oct
October 1, 2011 The next week was a boring series of motions. The Guildmaster refused to throw any hunting jobs my way. All I could do was sit in my townhouse and mope. The local media tried to get a hold of me the day after the explosion. After a few hours of “no comments,” the reporters left me alone, thanks to the kin in the local law enforcement agencies letting little juicy bits of “information” leak out. The cover story was that the private investigator who owned the car, namely me, probed a little too far into the Tampa drug scene. It seemed like a solid story, so I stayed with it. The nice thing about humans was they gave us so much social camouflage to hide in. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter One: Pay Attention, There’s a Lot of Stuff You Need to Know

08 May
May 8, 2008 If you have read this far, then you probably have guessed what I am. Who I am is probably still a mystery. It is said that all lycanthropes, or werewolves as human stories call us, have three names. The first is the name the lycanthrope was hiding name, given by his parents at birth. The second is the lycanthrope name given to him at Initiation by the lord of the county. The third is the pack name your pack gives you. My hiding name was Marcus Edward Graven, III. It has been a long time since anyone has called me by that name. My lycanthrope name is Marcus Phoenix Badmoon. By tradition, I the first name of both my hiding name and my lycanthrope name remained the same. My middle name was given to me because I played dead during my Initiation, and then appeared to come back to life at a rather opportune time (i.e., ambush). The Badmoon surname is the one that has given me trouble for my entire life as a lycanthrope. I am the first lycanthrope in Florida not to have any known lycanthrope roots. Usually one or both of the parents or grandparents of a lycanthrope are also a lycanthrope, and occasionally it shows up in cousins, but I have no known relatives that are also lycanthropes. To a society that values it close family connections, I am perceived as an intruder. Tradition states that the only surname I could have been given was the name Badmoon. My pack name was given to me after I completed the training for the Hunters Guild. To my Guild brothers, I am known simply as Ranger. I don’t know why the instructors at the camp gave me that name, but it seemed to suit me. Read more →