Keeping the home fires burning


FIRST DECENT SNOW of the season got here last night, so I’m on shovel duty, no scribbling today. Except for this. I just came indoors to get a mug of hot tea going and thaw my feet by the wood stove.

This was around 6:30 this morning.


The ’49 truck didn’t see snow until 1995. Or not much. Maybe it snows on occasion in Alabama. She’s seen plenty in New England in the last 22 years.


That’s the aft end of the DR650 piglet and the front wheel of the mighty iron piggy. I rebuilt the carburetor on the piglet last week. It was gunked up after sitting idle for a year.


Trans-Labrador Highway dust in the fuel bowl.


Mike Manley’s doing a brilliant job on the art for the Phantom daily yarns published in newspapers around the world. I need to get down to Pennsylvania to meet him in person one of these weeks soon. Good excuse for an iron piggy ride if I can find a hole in the weather.

As far as the criminal population knows, the same immortal Phantom has been whupping their kind since 1536. Readers know it’s been 21 Phantoms down through time, the job passes from father to son. He’s an ordinary man, no powers, he just has a clever immortality myth going for him.

Here he is at a criminal lair in the jungle, out to retrieve a kidnapping victim. He announces himself by blasting the generator to pieces.

Mike is squared away for copy through next autumn, so is Terry Beatty, the artist on the Sunday narrative.

Starting Monday I’m going to get busy on a movie script rewrite.  A director you may know suggested a simple change that really turns the whole story on its head. At first I thought it wasn’t possible to do what she suggested, it becomes a completely different movie. And then I thought of a way to do it and… hmm… it just might be a superior version to the one I’ve been shopping for nine years now.

Fresh eyes on the work are always a good thing! Come Monday, here goes nothing.

Tony DePaul, February 10, 2017, Cranston, Rhode Island, USA

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