Author Archives: Baja Moto Quest!
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING: “Becoming Human by Kenneth L. Decroo is a frightening tale of science unguided by ethics, and the devastation that can be wrought by government agencies that operate without benefit of effective oversight. Step-by-ominous-step, the author takes you from the relatively benign environs of Reno, Nevada to the dark menace of the Congolese jungles, to the even more dangerous environs of smuggling dens in Germany and the Netherlands. An eclectic, and all-too-believable cast of characters will hook your interest from page one, and at the end, leave you breathless and looking over your shoulder and wincing at every sound.” Charles Ray, Awesome Indies Book Awards.
I’m humbled and honored to have been accepted into the California Writers Club. – Inland Empire Branch. I say humbled as it’s roster includes such luminaries as Jack London, Joaquin Miller and California’s first poet laureate, Ina Coolbrith.
I guess I better quit messing around and finish my next novel, More Than Human!
Here is a link to my listing: Click here.
It had seemed like a good idea at the time. We had sneaked over the fence and waited in the shadows outside the football field lights for the right moment, the crowning of the homecoming queen, to turn on the sprinklers. The powder blue, Cadillac convertible rolled up in front of the bleachers and stopped at the podium where the superintendent of schools and high school principal stood ready with the crown. My ex-girlfriend was preached on the top of the back seat next to the captain of the football team. They struggled to negotiate their way out of the Caddy and up the steps.
After several years of work, Becoming Human is finally finished and the e-book version can be pre-ordered. As many of you know, Becoming Human is book two in the Almost Human Series. It has been a labor of love and I hope you enjoy my humble effort.
In celebration of finally finishing this work, the publisher has made the e-book version available at a discounted price ($2.99) until its scheduled release on December 14, 2018.
Pre-orders really help authors as they increase our ranking at outlets like Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.
E-book, order here!
The pre-order price for an autographed paperback is $14.95, plus shipping and tax. Use the button below if you would like me to send you one when they are released.
I’m at the hardest part of writing a novel which, for me, is the markups: the back and forth with the editior and publisher. I know it makes the book better but it is a slow and tedious process. I’m fortunate to have a brilliant editor (http://www.tahlianewland.com) and pubisher (http://www.aiapublishing.com but still I’d rather be going on to my next book. We’re still on schedule for a Christmas release if I stay at it. This book will be renamed, Becoming Human, and we’ll save the title, More Than Human, for the last book of the trilogy/Almost Human series. Becoming Human will be placed at the distributor, Smashwords (http://smashwords.com, for pre-orders soon. It will go out to all the feeds like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc. Thanks to all you readers who have supported me in this journey. Almost Human has done better than I ever expected. Who would have thought this would be another chapter in my life? I love you all.
Just got back from a month out on the road. A follower on my blog, Patrick Early, sent me a link to the radio story version of “Hide ‘N Seek” that I did for NPR back in the early 80’s. I had forgotten I did this but here is a link: https://beta.prx.org/stories/11658/details …
It was going to be a night patrol but at least a routine one. Several of the pumps in our water system had been sabotaged over the last several days. We knew it was a setup for any patrol who went out to check on them. But it had to be done and it was best done at night. I hated night patrols especially in the rain.
Our mission was to check every pump along a steep ridge that climbed up above the jungle canopy. We left the “A” camp in the twilight with little ceremony. We had a job to do and it had to be done before dawn.
We always followed the same routine. I had the men check their weapons and ammo. I made sure personally that all gear was secured so as not to make any rattles in the night. We moved out as quietly as ghosts.
The first part of the hike was steep and slippery as it had rained. The jungle was lank and humid. Steam rose from the undergrowth making it hard to pick a way up the ridge. Moving stealthily with increased effort so we took a break among a pile of rocks when we finally cleared the trees. Regrouping, I briefed the men on how important it was to reach the stations undetected as it was a perfect scenario for an ambush.
A pale moon lit our way as we neared the first pump station. It had been situated so it’s tin roof was just below the ridgeline. The small building was covered with corrugated metal and had a narrow door, plenty big enough for our Vietnamese interpreter but just barely for me. I took a flashlight from my radioman with the idea of using it when I closed the door behind me so as not to draw sniper fire. A patrol had been ambushed a few nights before when checking another damaged pump station just like this one.
I had my men dig-in, setting up a tight perimeter around the small, tin shed. I felt uneasy as this first station was the lowest and we did not have the high ground. Further, I noticed several holes in the metal which might let light out when I closed the door and used the flashlight to the check the pipes and gauges. But the mission had to be done and I had decided to set an example and do it myself.
I nodded to the interrupter to open the door. I had to squeeze into the tight opening. My canteen caught on the door frame. I squirmed free with the help of the shutting door pushing me in.
The inside of the shed was pitch black. My eyes had grown accustomed to the pale light of moon outside but in was black in this little space. I was regretting my decision that found me alone in this tight, dark place.
I counted several heart beats until my nerves settled and turned my flashlight on. I was blinded at first but as my eyes adjusted I froze as I found myself eye level with a cobra. It swayed, fully hooded at the back of the shed behind a tangle of pipes. It hissed, spitting venom on the front of my flack vest.
I drew my 1911 service sidearm and emptied my magazine. Several pipes burst, spraying water in all directions but the cobra still performed a macabre sort of dance. I heard my men open fire into the darkness thinking we were under attack. The door flew open and one of my men pushed me out of the way. Seeing the cobra, he unloaded his M-16. More water sprayed but the cobra still swayed making slow sideways strikes.
It was chaos. My men fired into the darkness at nothing in particular and the pump station sprayed water in every direction; it’s walls pitted with bullet holes and the door flung off its hinges. I was just reloading when our interpreter stepped forward. Shaking his head, he picked up a stick and dispatched the snake with three dull thumps.
We moved out of the area as quickly as possible as we had broadcasted our position to every unfriendly from Phu Bai to Hanoi. My interpreter muttered to himself as we made our way back to our base shaking his head often.
I could not help but think of the sharp contrast between our efforts that night, backed by our so called advanced technology, and the interpreter’s simple common sense and the use of that stick. Looking back, it was prophetic when thinking of the outcome of the war.
You can probably guess how I wrote my report.
We’ll be headed to the GSG Mountain Meyham in West Virginia because everyone said I had a good time at the last one! http://mms.gsgiants.com/
I’ll be speaking at in Des Moines and Wellsburo; Motorcycling in Baja: Is it Safe? and Moto Camping: Everything You Want to Know.
So I will be unplugged for a few weeks unless I get lost and wonder back onto the tarmac!