Millstones and Milestones

Seventeen. My oldest daughter would have turned seventeen last week. Seventeen seems like such an unimportant birthday. You became legal to drive the year before, and it will be another year before you are an adult. Seventeen is just seventeen.

As I sit here at the park watching my boys and my little girl play at the park, I can’t help but think there is more to being seventeen. This year would be the last she would be a child. Responsibilities sh e will never have to face would be looming around the corner. Decisions about the future would need addressing. She does not have to worry about any of that, but I wish she did.

This morning might have opened with a big breakfast, if we could get her out of bed, and she would have gotten hugs and kisses until she told us to go away. We wouldn’t listen. A dinner of her choosing and a cake made by her mom (or maybe her brother since he loves to bake) would end the day. Would she go out with her friends, or would she stay home with her family? I don’t know, and I never will.

My wife asked me if it would ever stop hurting. I told her no. It will always hurt when those two lonely milestones come around.

For my part the grief for her, my Hailey, hangs about my heart like a millstone grinding away at the wheat of my soul with a slow persistence that I may never be rid of entirely.

Thankfully, I have my wife and children to keep me whole. They are the light that chases away the darkness that wants to feed the destructive urges that lurk beneath the surface. They may never know exactly how much I love them, but I try to show them and tell them every day.

Blog Tour Update 2

Arizona Cardinals logo
Arizona Cardinals logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You might have noticed there was not a new post on the blog tour yesterday. There was a little snafu and I was busy spending time with my family rather than putting together a post on the fly. I might have put it together during the afternoon, but I was busy shredding vegetables and watching my Arizona Cardinals beat the Eagles. All in all it was a pretty spectacular day.

The good news is that there is a great post on the tour today. George Sirois interviewed me for the tour and posted it here. Give it a read and learn some more about me and my new book, Apocalypse in the Balance.

Its Been A Year and the Loss is Still Painful

It was a year ago today that my friend Jan Marie passed away. I didn’t find out until ten days later. I spoke to a mutual friend who was also worried about her and suggested that she check the local paper just in case. Sure enough Jan’s obituary was posted online and confirmed what we were worried about. Having my fears confirmed left a hollow place in my chest and that emptiness still persists.

I never met Jan face to face, but we chatted online on an almost daily basis and frequently spoke on the phone. She was a good friend and a huge supporter of my writing. She designed and created the cover for my first book and my second book as well, but more than that she encouraged me when few others did. Jan loved my family as if it were her own and often sent things she had found or created that she thought we would enjoy. She was special to me and I will never forget the smiles she brought to my face.

Despite the happiness and support she brought me, she struggled to see the value in her own work and life. She struggled with physical and mental disabilities that so many people would have succumbed to. She was estranged from her family, but when her mood was good and she was in a positive cycle you could tell she loved them but struggled to express it.

It was ironic that a woman of such limitless creativity struggled to find a way to communicate with others. Her passions were immense and her principles uncompromising. Often we would speak and I would try to help her understand that people made mistakes and should be given another chance, but I think I could learn something from the way she would not bow to pressure or let people live to a standard that fell short of her own. She could be harsh and demanding, but there was pain and beauty beneath that exterior and I only wish that more people could have known it.

She would have loved seeing the way my kids have grown in the last year, and I am sure she would have sent me dozens of emails with promotional materials for my new book, but she is gone and I can’t help but feel poorer for the loss of her company even though I am far richer for having known her.

God Bless you, Jan. I hope you have found peace at last and that the pain is a long distant memory.

Happy Mother’s Day 2014

Today I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to the three mother’s in my life.

Mother's Day
Tracy and Phyllis on our Wedding Day

To Phyllis, my Mother-In-Law, thank you so much for bringing my beautiful wife into this world and being the grandmother to my children. It is always nice when you come for a visit and we look forward to the next time you can make it here.

Mother's Day
My mom and I on my wedding day.

To Marianna, my mom, I miss you so much and getting to see you last fall was a great treat. You’ve always been there for me, even when I didn’t know I needed you, and though I don’t always remember to call or send a card, I am glad you’re my mom and I hope you have a wonderful day.

Tracy on our Wedding Day. Isn’t she beautiful?

To Tracy, my wife and mother of my kids, I love you more than words can say, but I am going to try anyway. Every day I count myself lucky to have met you and to have you in my life. If I had known how great a mother you would be I would have thought you were too good to be true. Our children are brilliant, friendly, and beautiful. I know they got most of the good stuff from you and I know that with your guidance our kids are destined for great things.


I love you all. Happy Mother’s day.

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Free Comic Book Day 2014

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This past Saturday was Free Comic Book Day and Tracy found us an awesome event at Spandex City Comics, so we loaded up the family and headed out. We started out with a visit with a pair of Scout Troopers from the 501st Regiment North Carolina Chapter. The two guys that were there were absolutely awesome. They talked with us and the kids and were more than happy to pose for pictures.  Katie was pretty impressed with them and did not want to lose sight of them. I tried to get her to say Darth Vader for them, but she was being shy. And yes, my daughter can say Vader. I will fully admit that I spent about an hour looking into how I could make armor of suitable quality so that I could join the 501st. Maybe once I have a house with a garage I could find someone local who would help me out.

After that we got to go inside and get our free comics. For the most part the boys picked out Marvel titles, with an emphasis on Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m just guessing they’re a bit excited for that movie.

After the comics it was all about the Sith lightsaber training. Zachary wasn’t sure he wanted to do it since he would be in front of a bunch of people, but we convinced him to give it a try and he had a great time with Connor. Katie was not at all sure about the Sith Lord and her Apprentice though. They would come around and she would grab on tight and keep them right where she could see them.

Once the training was done it was a quick stop for ice cream and then the long drive back home.

It was a great day and I look forward to doing t again next year….only with costumes next time.



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Happy Birthday, Tracy


Happy Birthday
Erika, Tracy and Amber


Today is my wife’s birthday. I would tell you how old [wb_fb_f name=”Tracy Swett” id=””] is, but I like getting to spend the night in the same bed as her.

She is amazing and I cannot imagine my life without her.  Here, on my blog, you get to read my writing and occasionally I share a little bit about my life, but I don’t often speak about how central to my life she is.
She is there for me every day, no matter how badly I screw up or how much I lose sight of things because I get wrapped up in myself.

It would be easy to say that she stays with me because it is easy, or because we have kids together, but the truth is that I am anything but easy to live with and neither one of us are big believers in staying together for the kids. No, living with me and putting up with my crap is no easy thing, so I can only conclude that she must love me far more than I deserve.

Tracy, I love you so very much and I am so glad that you are my wife and my best friend. I would not be half the man I am today if it were not for you, so happy birthday.

Love, Eric



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Book Review: Epona


Amelia remembered the first time she stepped into the stables belonging to the Frenchman. They had been pristine. His barns were built of not wood but of stone and mortar, which held them together well, despite the cold climate. The stalls were kept so clean that the horses never had a speck of dirt on them, even after being contained in them for some time. The men who took care of the horses lived in housing that was contained inside of the barn. She and her father would live in an apartment above the barn with one bedroom, a bath and kitchenette. Everyone who worked with the horses ate together in the mess which was a hundred feet away from the barn and the hay.

The first thing Amelia saw when she entered the barn, was a statue of a woman. The statue sat on a table leaning against a tall post in the middle of the barn. Both dried and fresh roses fell around it and on it and made it appear to be a shrine. The sweet smell of perfume from the roses permeated the room. The aroma surrounding the image produced a tickling sensation on her skin that Amelia had never experienced in her short life. The statue appeared to be a stout woman in a robe, sitting in front of a horse that lay down with its head resting in her lap. Amelia remembered touching the shrine and experiencing the sensation of knowing the woman. Suddenly she stood in a meadow

Robin Whitten. Epona (Kindle Locations 91-101). Jupiter Gardens Press. Kindle Edition.

Book Review





Epona by Robin Whitten

Life is messy and none of us has any real control over our own lives. If we are lucky we are able to surround ourselves with the things we love and the people we love so that life can be enjoyable. Robin Whitten’s novella, Epona, is the story of Amelia and the way her life was effected by horses. Continue reading “Book Review: Epona”

Thankful For What I Have and What I Have Lost


I really didn’t intend to write a Thanksgiving post. To me those sort of posts seem overly sappy or completely contrived. My goal is to do neither, but I think I may end up more on the side of sappy, so bear with me, okay?

I am so thankful for my family. I have a beautiful wife that loves me despite the fact that I am such a screw up. She stands by my side and supports me in everything I do, even when my choices are not always the best. I love you, Tracy. Continue reading “Thankful For What I Have and What I Have Lost”

Twelve Years and So Much Has Changed

Hailey Swett, Leukemia
Hailey Swett: Day 1

Twelve Years ago yesterday, July 7th, my first born, Hailey Thompson Swett, was born. It was my proudest moment and I couldn’t believe I had a daughter of my own. Tracy and I did not find out what we were having before the birth, and I was sure it was a boy. I was surprised when it turned out to be a girl, but in a good way. She was perfect and I loved her with my entire being. Continue reading “Twelve Years and So Much Has Changed”