Timothy Freriks

Books By

Teaser – Roland: of pirates and patriots

Roland: of pirates and patriots – chapter one

Roland_frontCover_REALsmallSeptember, 1800, somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean

The sun was dying again, extinguished by the horizon of water in the distance. The wispy clouds above looked like the eyebrows of an old man. They turned slowly from white to orange to dark gray. Then they were gone, absorbed into the night that was just starting to swallow the remaining day. The ocean was a polished table, flat and still; it was a cause for concern, of course, among the captain and crew of the merchant vessel, but Roland didn’t understand that. His twelve-year-old eyes only saw the beauty of sunset, the purity of nature entering another cycle of wonder. He had come to love the ever-engaging, ever-changing canvas of the water and the movement of the schooner, rocking softly in shallow waves. Conditions had been dead calm for the last twelve days.

Worn and tired and sodden by years of having boards and seas under his feet, sails over his head, and an endless line of worn and tired and sodden men to command, Captain Charles Bigelow watched the boy standing by the rail. Roland’s elbows rested on the wood, his woolen… Continue reading

On Writing 2.0

This is a re-print of a Post I wrote last week. I’ve been asked to re-release it by some new “fans”. (Okay, maybe not fans…maybe followers…okay, maybe not followers… maybe because my sister was out of the country and missed it).

“Writing is a solitary sport”, somebody said. (I like writing better, though: I don’t usually sweat when I write). However, to me, writing is anything but solitary. I have so many characters visiting me in my house-brain that I never seem alone. Sometimes characters are good friends, and sometimes I just wish they’d go away. It’s true: some characters I just don’t like. Some, I love. Some are just there to move the plot along or give the reader insight into a real character. Some come and go and some stick around, continually surprising me.

“Surprising you?” you might ask. “Yes,” I would reply. If your characters don’t surprise you, they don’t grow. If the characters don’t grow, the story doesn’t grow. If your characters don’t twist you and tempt you and keep you guessing and wondering, they won’t intrigue the reader. “But don’t you direct them? Aren’t they your characters?” you ask again. Actually, I think that if… Continue reading

On Writing

“Writing is a solitary sport”, somebody said. (I like writing better, though: I don’t usually sweat when I write). However, to me, writing is anything but solitary. I have so many characters visiting me in my house-brain that I never seem alone. Sometimes characters are good friends, and sometimes I just wish they’d go away. It’s true: some characters I just don’t like. Some, I love. Some are just there to move the plot along or give the reader insight into a real character. Some come and go and some stick around, continually surprising me.

“Surprising you?” you might ask. “Yes,” I would reply. If your characters don’t surprise you, they don’t grow. If the characters don’t grow, the story doesn’t grow. If your characters don’t twist you and tempt you and keep you guessing and wondering, they won’t intrigue the reader. “But aren’t they your characters?” you ask again. Actually, I think that if you consider them to be your characters, the reader won’t take ownership—and isn’t that the ultimate goal of writing? You have to share; you have to bring your readers into your head.

I am continually amazed how much of a third-party I feel when I’m… Continue reading

Roland: of pirates and patriots

Roland_frontCover_smallRoland: of pirates and patriots is in the “alternative history” genre, but it’s maybe more of a “secret history”. It is the “how it happened” that makes this novel engaging.

The United States almost ceased to exist in 1814. Based around true events and actual people, Roland is set in the very early 1800’s, a critical time for America as England was threatening to return the young country to the Crown.

An American ship’s captain is paid by traitors to deliver a large shipment of gold to people in London who intend to weaken America. The captain, a patriot, leads a plot to hijack and conceal the shipment so it can ultimately be used to benefit America. But all conspirators, including twelve-year-old Roland’s father, are killed in a skirmish between opposing forces. Before he dies in a shipwreck, the captain entrusts the boy with the secret. Roland survives and vows to someday use the gold to help preserve America’s independence. However, the First Mate, who discovers that Roland is the key to riches, also survives and swears to find the gold for himself.

Roland brings pirates and patriots together in a complex and engaging weave of mystery… Continue reading

Man on a rope – a short story

The young man stepped gingerly on the wet, algae-covered rocks. He’d learned his lesson: They are slippery; the aching bruise on his ass kept reminding him of that. He found a secure spot to put his feet and paused, listening. No footsteps in the distance. No dogs. Just wind and the babble of the swiftly-moving river. Good.

Encouraged, he started forward again, carefully placing his feet and grabbing whatever strong-looking handholds he could find that stuck out of the carved mud bank. South. South about 100 yards past the sharp bend. That’s what Harry had said. The rope will be there, Tony.

Tony looked back. The only sharp bend was behind him. How far? Had he come 100 yards yet? How could he tell? Tony tried to visualize a football field, but since he was way too skinny and uncoordinated to play sports—not to mention uninterested—he couldn’t. After another fifteen feet—five yards, right?—he raised his eyes from the intricate confusion of the rock and dead branch path to look again. What if Harry meant 80 yards? Did he pass it? What if Harry meant 120 yards? Then he wasn’t there yet. What if Harry didn’t know a yard from his… Continue reading

The Robbins: old farts gone bad

Cover_front_homePage

The Robbins: old farts gone bad

I’m writing a new novel. My wife and I recently bought an RV–whoops, I mean “motor coach”–and are starting to travel and meet the rather eclectic mix of people who do the same thing. Fascinating. So I’m thinking: what sort of trouble can a couple of travelling old farts get into?
Here’s a clip:

Chapter One

Early October 2015

The tall old man pressed against the rough concrete block wall, pushed his wispy silver hair—what was left of it—back along the sides of his head, and waited. The footsteps grew fainter then stopped, followed by the distant sound of a car door opening.
He had disabled a wall-mounted security light with a rock, but it still had a strange blue glow that didn’t do much to illuminate the side of the store; he still felt exposed. He pulled his worn olive-drab coat tighter against the night chill, pushed up his thick glasses and controlled his breathing as best he could as the headlights of the saleslady’s car swung around the corner then pointed toward the main road. After a moment, it receded and almost total quiet returned.
Wayne Robbins flexed his hands, scratched… Continue reading

Cindy, Really – a short story

I’m making a number of short stories available over the next few months. Here’s the second one:

CINDY, REALLY

A Short Story by Timothy A. Freriks
The shoe fit. She knew it would; it was hers, after all. She had stuffed it into the young man’s pocket as she left the masquerade ball.

Prince Robert raised his widened eyes to hers. “It’s you, isn’t it? I was hoping I had found you. I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”

Cindy looked into his familiar and beautiful face, the strong, gentle brown eyes and full jaw. She didn’t know what would happen if she told him the truth at the Royal party, that she crashed it in a homemade gown. She couldn’t have known that he would be so taken with her; she hoped, of course, all girls hope a prince would fall in love with them. But here, in fact, was a prince, a real prince, standing in front of her, asking if she was the girl that had captivated his heart. Many confusing thoughts tumbled through her but in the end, the fantasy was too attractive to let go.

She was glad she had scribbled her address on the sole… Continue reading

Billy – a disturbing short story

I’m will be uploading a series of free short stories over the next month or so.

BILLY

August 14, 1974

The screams shattered his peace. He sat up, breathing hard, sweating. He rammed his hands to his temples. Stop! he yelled aloud. Leave me alone! It was the kids, the taunting, jeering, angry kids that came to him when he slept. They were screaming in his head again, their madness engulfing his mind, their hate and laughter echoing.

The young man opened his eyes and looked around to get his bearings; he had drifted off to sleep, but the clock on the painted concrete wall in the hallway had not. It told him that he hadn’t lost much time, enough for the nightmare to visit again, but not enough to put him much closer to the event that would end his pain.

“You OK?” the large guard asked as he poked his head around the corner. The fat black man in the faded blue uniform had become almost compassionate since the final stay request was denied. He grunted and stared at Billy for a moment then tucked his head back to his solitaire at the little table behind… Continue reading

Roland: of pirates and patriots

Roland_frontCover_smallRoland: of pirates and patriots is in the “alternative history” genre, but maybe more of a “secret history”. It is the “how it happened” that makes this novel engaging.

The United States almost ceased to exist in 1814. Based around true events and actual people, Roland is set in the very early 1800’s, a critical time for America as England was threatening to return the young country to the Crown.

An American ship’s captain is paid by traitors to deliver a large shipment of gold to people in London who intend to weaken America. The captain, a patriot, leads a plot to hijack and conceal the shipment so it can ultimately be used to benefit America. But all conspirators, including twelve-year-old Roland’s father, are killed in a skirmish between opposing forces. Before he dies in a shipwreck, the captain entrusts the boy with the secret. Roland survives and vows to someday use the gold to help preserve America’s independence. However, the First Mate, who discovers that Roland is the key to riches, also survives and swears to find the gold for himself.

Roland brings pirates and patriots together in a complex and engaging weave of mystery and… Continue reading

Boiling Frogs – September, 2087

BOILING THE FROGS

September, 2087

By Unnamed. (withheld for protection)

 

Recipe for Boiling a Frog

  1. Do not boil water first; the frog, upon being thrown into a boiling pot, will instantly jump out and hop away.
  2. Simply place the frog in the water then slowly turn up the heat until it is boiling—the frog will become progressively acclimated and increasingly sluggish and unaware of the danger until it is too late.
  3. Reduce heat and remove the frog when it has lost its will to live.
  4. Strip the frog of all of its protective coatings; remove its independence, its need for self-expression and its soul, put it back in the water, adding flavorings to suit your tastes. It is now ready to serve you.

Cautions: Remember the life cycle of frogs:

Bondage to spiritual faith;
Spiritual faith to great courage;
Courage to liberty;
Liberty to Abundance;
Abundance to selfishness;
Selfishness to complacency;
Complacency to apathy;
Apathy to dependency;
Dependency to bondage.

Frogs are most tender as they move from Apathy to Dependency. Catch them at that point and don’t allow spiritual faith to occur.

Notes:

The vast majority of people in the world are—and always have been— frogs. The people… Continue reading

Archives