Books by Dan-Dwayne

Books by Dan-Dwayne
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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Changing the Viewer's Perception

Here I am again, what a handsome red-headed devil. Only this time I'm at a photo shoot. Actually two separate photo shoots. I find it amazing that in 1962 they were still taking professional photos in black and white. Of course in the B&W picture you'd have no idea how red my hair really was. That black and white photo is the focus of this story. My mother told me it was time to go get my picture taken, but I was busy playing. I didn't want to go. She said, "Alright, that's fine but I'm getting my picture taken and you must come with me." So, that was that and I went with her. She put my tie in her purse just in case. When we got to the studio we had to wait because a couple of little girls were getting their pictures taken before us. Mother noticed that I was paying the girls attention. (...or maybe they were paying me attention and I played along?) She said, "Those girls got their pictures taken don't you think they would like it of you got yours taken too?" I put on the tie and got in front of the camera, but I couldn't take my eyes of the girls. Mother struck up a conversation with the girls mother (probably to keep her around until my photo session was over.) The girls were giggling and waving at me. That's why I'm not looking at the camera. Mother loves telling that story. It's not really a special one. There isn't any real excitement, but it's one of her favorites. Now to my observation... It is about my hair. In the B&W picture my hair looks dark... but it's really quite bright. The camera changes the viewer's perception of what he/she were seeing. The writer is in control of what the reader sees... through the whole book the reader may be seeing the story in black and white until the end when the writer pulls out the color camera and shows us that what we thought was right was not. It is the twist that makes the reader hang on. Ernest Hemmingway was a writer who didn't resort to explosions and gun battles to keep his readers interested. His characters were deep and seemed real. They had real life problems and hunted for real life solutions to those problems. It was real life that grabbed the reader. Life comes with twists. It's the twists that keep it exciting. If you haven't read one of my books then you simply must. "Spies Lie & Spies Die" and "The Secret King & Poetry of Praise" are available at Amazon and Goodreads.      

Friday, June 29, 2018

Up a Tree...


This awesome climber is nonother than a 6 year old Dan Dwayne. While most boys were out climbing and playing in their jeans and t-shirts I was fashionably dressed for the excursion in chinos and a shirt suitable for any golf course. This was my usual... the unusual. But, it was 1961 and things were different then. JFK was inaugurated president of the US, Aretha Franklin's debut album Queen of Soul hit the market, the bay of pigs fiasco festered ill-will between the USA and the (then called) Soviet Union, and Earnest Hemmingway died. All that was a lot to take in for a guy who just started the first grade. It was just a year later when the Cuba missile crisis happened. I was seven and I remember refusing to go to school. I sat in the dining room listening to the radio as the announcer told about the naval blockade challenging the Soviet Union. I'm sure I wasn't the only one holding my breath that day. Nothing felt safe. It was clear (even to a seven year old)  that if the event became an actual battle and atomic bombs started flying... we all would be doomed. As a writer I don't think I could ever portray that kind of suspense accurately. It was too intense for words. Those were the days of the cold war and spy verses spy. Speaking of spies… if you haven't checked out my book 'Spies Lie and Spies Die' then do...  I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

A person with the persistence of a virus.

This is a special thanks to my sister who without her persistence my books would have never been published. I told her that getting a book published takes a person with rhino skin and the persistence of a virus. I didn't know that she would turn that very attitude on me and pester me until I got my tales (not tails) 'in gear' and finalize my stories. It is to her that my book 'Spies Lie and Spies Die' is dedicated. It is 250 pages with 9 short stories of mystery and adventure. Check it out.

DNA and the Thunderbird

Title: Thunderbird
Artist: Dan Dwayne Spencer
Media: Polychrome Pencils and Graphite 

I suppose many of you who have followed my posts realize that I have drawn several series themed with Southwest Native Americans. I grew up with the stories about how my family has Native American ancestors who didn't register with the tribes because of bigotry/ prejudice of the time period they lived in. Anyway, many of my Spencer relatives inherited the darker complexion and black hair. Not me... I took after my mother's side of the family and was fair skinned with reddish-brown (ok auburn) hair. I was looking at one of my cousins posts and she said that she had her DNA testing done (I've heard that is very and also not very reliable, depending on who you're talking to.) Her test showed 12% Native American. That really doesn't mean anything to anyone except the one tested because the Native counsels don't honor the testing. I just think it's cool to know your roots.

In my short story '421 Sierra Glen Drive' I created a Native American Detective who works out of Ruidoso, New Mexico. To find out what happens in that story you'll have to read my book 'Spies Lie and Spies Die.'   


E.R. Burroughs on Successful Writing


I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.
– Edgar Rice Burroughs – 
Tarzan of the Apes, John Carter of Mars, The Land that Time Forgot

This is exactly how I feel about writing. My first stories, which were total fantasy, were bedside tales I told my children. They were exciting adventures set in a make believe land. Each adventurer was a child and placed in a different exotic location. I have put some of these stories down on paper and plan to make a book out of them, but for now I will continue working on my new novel. Outside of the fact it is an adventure story, I'm not telling what it is about yet, however, it is thrilling even if I say so myself. Until then, if you haven't read one of my books they are available online at Amazon and Goodreads... just click the link below to take a look. 
https://www.amazon.com/Spies-Lie-Die-Collection-Stories/dp/1980789517/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530171281&sr=8-1&keywords=spies+lie+and+spies+die
  

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Coffee Cups and Baby Shoes

Title: Coffee Cups and Baby Shoes
Artist: Dan Dwayne Spencer
Media: White Pencil on Black Paper

This is one of my drawings that I used as a class example when I was a fine arts teacher. It is created by drawing with a white pencil. I'm sure you're saying 'so what'? However, there's a trick to drawing with a white pencil. If you draw normally everything you've drawn looks like an x-ray from the doctor's office. That is because it is in reverse. The shadow becomes white and the whites look dark. For those of you who are old enough to remember film negatives... This will remind you exactly of a film negative. To make the picture look normal the artist must look for the light areas - not the shadow area. It is a different way of thinking. The artist is literally drawing the light. The themes of light verses darkness and good verses evil are ancient. They exist everywhere in literature from Mary Shelly's 'Frankenstein' to Mark Twain's 'Tom Sawyer.' Every book must have some sort of protagonist and antagonist to carry the plot. Granted sometimes the line between the two become blurred and you're not sure which is which... but if you look hard enough by the end of the story the author will make his/her point clear. The most practiced people in hiding there true self are spies. Spies are notorious for disguising who they really are... their light or their darkness become completely blurred. The spy in my short story '421 Sierra Glen Drive' who killed the poor lady was exactly that way. If you remember Mrs. Crawford and her daughter found the dead body when they were house hunting. It was a shock to everyone. 

Find out more by reading my book "Spies Lie & Spies Die."  

https://www.amazon.com/Spies-Lie-Die-Collection-Stories/dp/1980789517/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530059178&sr=8-1&keywords=spies+lie+and+spies+die
    

William H. Gass on the subject of Alchemists

“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”
― William H. Gass - from 'A Temple of Texts' ―
National Book Critic Award Nominee
Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominee


If you haven't checked out one of my books this is your chance.

CLICK HERE
https://www.amazon.com/Secret-King-Poetry-Praise/dp/1980548269/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530038489&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Secret+King+and+Poetry+of+Praise

Monday, June 25, 2018

Stephen King on the subject of Short Stories


 "A short story is a different thing altogether - a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger."
-Stephen King -   Quote from 'Skeleton Crew'

Thank you for reading my blog. I am currently writing an adventure novel as my next project, but I love writing short stories. The challenge of quickly developing the plot - beginning, middle and ending, the setting - textures of the real world woven into an imaginary place, and the characters - crafted into three dimensional descriptions of believable persons... is exhilarating. When the reader is finished reading they should  wonder if it was fiction or fact. If you haven't read one of my books please do. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.    

CLICK HERE
https://www.amazon.com/Spies-Lie-Die-Collection-Stories/dp/1980789517/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529958949&sr=8-1&keywords=Spies+Lie+and+Spies+DIe



Friday, June 22, 2018

It's part of being a novelist

This handsome little devil (of course) is nonother than Dan Dwayne Spencer (me) at age 8. If you are following my blog then you remember I told you I was a young fashion plate. Here I am in a long sleeved shirt with woven stripes which was normal as playwear... not the norm for most kids age 8, but by now your getting the idea that my childhood was... different. Oh give me a break, it was the 50s and everything was different back then. To an 8 year old the world is very small. For me it consisted of the yard, the house, the shops that mom or dad frequented, the neighborhood... oh, and school. You might say what about friends? surely friends were a part of your world? The answer to that is... yes and no. I had neighborhood friends who I could go and visit, and the kid next door (my most enduring friendship by the way) who was welcome in our home. However, school friends were exceptionally rare as mother forbid having them over, but family was always welcome. So... that was my world. I suppose I lived a fairly seclude life. Learning the social graces was - awkward. Aside from 4 schoolmates, friends at school were actually acquaintances. This is just how I was raised.  It is probably no surprise that I was (and am) somewhat introverted, and perhaps my own introversion might have played a part in how my parents raised me. Its hard to say... What I can say is that an artist or a writer must be somewhat introverted. It is enviable. We have to be able to feel comfortable spending time alone (hours on end) to produce the work (stories, paintings, or songs.) It is a part of the creative process. The next time a person says that you are creative... remember that it is also saying you are at least partially an introvert. I spend hour upon hour trying to craft a fictional world in my novels that is believable to my readers. Each character must have good and bad qualities and the situations they find themselves in must be... unique. The whole thing must be three dimensional or it is flat... boring... and unseasoned. The interactions of the characters must have a ring of familiarly to it... no matter the unfamiliar situation or environment they are in, after all, what fun is reading fiction if it doesn't take you to some unfamiliar place, meet exciting people, and put you in some kind of altered reality (scared, romantic, wonderment... etc.) Go ahead... read one of my books... Remember I only write adventure stories so you'll know what to expect.  


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Oh No... He's at it again

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6-pEmjI930
Well, Big Daddy Dan was seen at the karaoke bar again (ha, that's me.) This song is titled Desperado and of course is a karaoke cover of the Eagles hit. The words of the song are almost entrancing as poetry alone. When it came to writing songs (or poetry if you look at it that way) Don Henley and Glen Frey had amazing skills and talent. In the song the singer is warning a friend about his wayward lifestyle. Friend, don't take the risks. Change the kind of women you are attracted to. Sadly we all know that in reality people don't change like that. Personality preferences are a part of who that person is. If a person is in love with someone who constantly makes bad choices then romance and even marriage isn't going to change that. I know that the song was written as a guy friend talking to another guy, but many women think that they can change a lover only to come to the realization (years later) that he is what he is. I don't mean to say people don't change because they do and we see it all the time. Literally everyday alcoholics or addicts of all kinds change their behaviors... cheaters become faithful, and sinners become saints. This doesn't happen without real effort. The person must have the burning desire to make the change... no one can make that commitment for them. In my book 'The Secret King and Poetry of Praise' there's a group of Egyptians fleeing Egypt. They are escaping the wrath of the Egyptian Ruler, Auknan, and the Regent Queen Mother, Hept. The exiled Egyptians are hiding in the land of the Hebrews and attempting to blend in with the common people of Israel. This requires that they take on Hebrew names and Hebrew ways. The character Nachet takes the Hebrew name Namaan, and (unlike Amon and Kamia) he has trouble accepting the Hebrew God. It isn't until later in the book that he has his trial by fire and makes his conversion. See both my books on the Amazon web store and at Goodreads web site. 

CLICK HERE
       

Monday, June 18, 2018

Earth Angel... Earth Angel will you be mine?

Title: Songbird
Artist: Dan Dwayne Spencer
Media: Polychrome Pencils 

This is one of my drawings from my series Earth Angels. In my drawing here there are two different kinds of songbirds setting on a branch while their muse is silently observing in the background. Every creative individual has a muse or inspiration of some kind or other. A muse may be their pet... their friend... their lover, or it may be the land itself. A writer is no different in this than a visual artist. Without inspiration... our muse... we set looking at the last line written and become blank. I believe that it was the singer songwriter Carley Simon who said that she couldn't write without a visit from her muse. Our inspiration/muses come to us at the oddest times. Ideas drop into my head in the middle of a meal and I start scribbling on a napkin. It can happen in the middle of the night and there I go, off to my office, for the rest of the night. The blank screen in my head turns off and the fingers fly across the keyboard with a new vitality. On the topic of muses Stephen King wrote in his book 'Bag of Bones' "The muses are ghosts, and sometimes come uninvited."  Frida Kahlo on the other hand said, "I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know best." Currently I have 70 pages written on my new book, a detective adventure. I have another children's book in the works and I have a series of Bible Story coloring sheets which I have drawn and would like to put into a children's coloring book. So many different directions to take. One path is to finish my detective adventure story... another path is to finish a work for children and still another has to do with my first muse... drawing. Which muse will win over the others? The one I feed.


Spies Lie & Spies Die

Friday, June 15, 2018

Fathers set the example

Father's day is coming up and this is a picture of me on my father's shoulders. I was nine... and at nine every boy has the desire to be exactly like their father. He was a mechanic. He didn't read fiction, but nightly he read his manuals on new advances in automobile transmissions, fuel injection, and other such stuff. Then before he went to bed he read his bible. It was always on his table by his recliner. I don't remember my mother being a reader. I can't remember her reading any book at all except cookbooks, however, she was the one who encouraged me to read. She bought me all kinds of historical and factual books. Most were about explorers or informative facts of some kind or some fashion. I remember reading parts of books from the elementary school library like Louis Carroll's 'Wizard of Oz,' and L. Frank Baum's 'Alice in Wonderland.' (I didn't read the whole thing... I usually skipped through to the next exciting part.) I think I was 11 years old when I actually finished a book completely.... reading it cover to cover. It was captivating. It was 'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'Engle. I truly believe being a reader was a key part in my love of story telling. Because of my mother's encouragement I have all kinds of unless knowledge on all kinds of subjects. My father was the one who set the example. He was the one I saw reading. I think that is an important thing many of todays dads don't get... fathers set the example. In my story 'Deal of a Lifetime' in my book 'Spies Lie and Spies Die' the character of Blair is on his way to visit his grandfather. His mother and father have divorced and his mom feels that he needs a positive role model. Through the dialogue the reader learns that Blair admires his father. He thinks of his father as a great adventurer, and although he may not be a part of Blair's life that doesn't matter much (not that he shouldn't be a part of his life but Blair doesn't have any control of that) as long as he knows his father is an important person.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Your Song - just for my friends

Your Song - Karaoke Cover
A redo for my friends.
If you have been following my blog you know that I have a fondness for karaoke. I assure you that if you are going to record yourself doing karaoke when everyone is in the bar the background noise and the conversations at the different tables can make the recording... let's call it muddy. The best time to record yourself singing karaoke is before the bar opens and no one is there to make noise. (or in this case very few are there.) It helps when the DJ is a friend and helps you out... I suppose not everyone has that option. Friends are terrific. They are especially helpful when you get in a jam. In my story "Spies Lie & Spies Die" (in the book by the same title) Phineas gets himself into a fix and needs a little help from a friend... so he turns to his high school ex. She has been the only one for him and may always be the one... but it's hard to make a relationship work when one person is a spy who keeps secrets for a living and the other is a journalist. It seems an incompatible mixture, but opposites do attract.

https://www.amazon.com/Spies-Lie-Die-Collection-Stories/dp/1980789517/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1528988456&sr=8-2&keywords=spies+lie+and+spies+die

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

One of my Shoe Illustrations from Ancient History

At one of my jobs (back when I was putting myself through college) was illustrating shoes. So, for my readers of "Spies Lie & Spies Die" who know that I mention shoes in some of my stories and they are important to the plot in some form or fashion. Here is one of those illustrations. This illustration brings back a ton of memories. It's kinda like in the story "Aunt Gussie's got a Gun" where her brother said that his souvenir gun was "...the source of lots of memories and some regrets." I would have to agree - souvenirs can be like that. 


Spies Lie & Spies Die

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What is a Writer Without Imagination?

Well... This is a picture of me again. I'm not as dressed up here, however, a collared shirt and matching shorts … not the average boy's play clothes... lol. Then there is the hat. I can't say I remember this one... I had hats of all kinds... helmets… big brimmed sombreros... little brimmed fedoras... and what ever this was. I'm betting that my play time wasn't about cowboys on this particular day. Perhaps I was a spy in Merlin's magic court (with a gun of course.) At any rate my play time usually involved creating a story to go along with the situation my fictional character (me) was involved with. The joys of imagination. 


“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
Robert Fulghum - 
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

CLICK HERE
Books by Dan Dwayne Spencer

The Presentation for the Rotary Club in Post, Texas

Sorry there are no actual pics of the event in this post... I finished my presentation for the Rotary Club in Post, Texas and it went great. What wonderful people. (South Plains people are indeed wonderful but these guys were terrific.) Thank you for having me. As for pics... I was talking so I didn't get one of the event myself, I'll get one from the Club President or maybe the Assistant Governor of the Rotary Area and post it later. It was all great fun.
If any group or organization would like for me to come and speak about writing and publishing please contact me at Dan.Dwayne.Spencer.Novelist@gmail.com



Arts & Science was Hard Work

Title: Arts & Science
Artist: Dan Dwayne Spencer
Media: Polychrome Pencils and Pasted Paper

In this drawing I used a variety of images. Some are native and tribal while others are mechanical and organically futuristic. I drew the tribal (almost mystical images) on a dark background and contrasted that by drawing the organically mechanical imagery on white paper (which is also pasted to the surface of the drawing.) At first there seems to be no continuity to the composition... but as you stop looking at what is drawn and (if possible) blur the imagery into shapes... you get a pattern of triangles, polygons, rectangles, and squares... the overall design of shapes is a pleasant composition. It takes a lot of planning and crafting to complete a drawing like this. Nothing on the page is accidental. No shape is random. The spacing is visually tested and judged. My writing is much the same. I do write spontaneously but after I write there is a huge process of editing. The story is sliced, diced, and pasted together. Words are rearranged... substituted... removed... and revised. My plots are reviewed... supported... added to... and reduced. I look for just the right word to put in just the right place. Writing is really like Harlan Ellison said, "People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it."

CLICK HERE
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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Old Dancin' Boots

Title: Old Dancin' Boots
Artist: Dan Dwayne Spencer 
Media: Graphite and Ebony Pencil  

Here in West Texas just about everyone knows how to Texas Two Step. It's like a Texas tradition. You're born... You learn to say Ya'll… you learn to walk and then you learn to dance the famous Texas Two Step. Somewhere in there you also learn to ride a horse. Well, some people do anyway. Actually I did most of my horse riding in my teens because today it's all Fords and Chevys. Okay, I'm being a little silly. I know you can't stereotype every Texan into that pattern... except for the 'saying Ya'll' part. But my point is that dancing the two step in the Texas honky-tonks really is something that people do. My drawing, which I showed you here, are my own boots. These old boots served me well until they were kinda floppy. They were more than dancing boots. They were the everyday, anytime wear, Sunday wear and playtime boots. Broken in, soft and comfy... but as all things do they got old, worn, stretched out and in the end they didn't fit right any more. In my story "Spies Die & Spies Lie" Richard Wallace, at flirty Cindy Clarkson's request, goes out drinking and dancing with his coworkers almost every night. It was his way to get close to the employees at Boden International and find out who and what was actually going on there. After all he was a spy for the NSA and he was spying on them.       

Friday, June 8, 2018

Some things that are only imitations.


As you already know by reading my blog that I like to go to West Texas car shows. Pictured here are two very different cars. On the surface they look old and redesigned into hot rods, but that is only on the surface. The truth is that one is a rare off the showroom car designed to have that retro look and the other is pieced together with hours and hours of patients welding and sanding... bondo, paint, and ordering parts only to have them chromed by custom shops that specialize in plating and chroming. Now that I've told you about the differences I'm sure you have noticed which car is the retro designed one. Yes, it is a collectors item. It is called 'The Prowler' by the Chrysler Plymouth Corp. between the years of 1997 and 2002. The 1997 version in violet is worth about $47,000.00 today. (It was pretty pricy back when it was new.) Ok, That being said I want to make another comparison. In my book "The Secret King and Poetry of Praise" I have the Egyptians (my lead characters) hiding in the land of Israel. To escape the wrath of the evil Egyptian witch, they are pretending to be something they are not. The thing about 'The Prowler' is that one day it will not only be rare but it will become a true antique... something that the chopped rod will never attain.  In my book the impersonators pretend so well that they start to believe in the Hebrew God and they start to abide by the Hebrew laws... not because they must but because they want to. It becomes a choice for them to trust and believe in the one God. I know that this makes it sound like a religious story but it is really just an adventure story set in the bible days.  
'The Secret King & Poetry of Praise' by Dan Dwayne Spencer   Available through Amazon.com   

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Love That New Orleans Sound!



I have a confession to make... I have a fondness for Karaoke. I know it's kinda silly but there it is. In the story "Midnight in New Orleans" I imagine that Alex and Michael heard many bands down on Bourbon Street before they met up with Alexis' friends and ended up at the séance. One of those bands might have been Big Daddy Dan's group singing traditional New Orleans songs. So, I have included in this blog a little New Orleans tradition.  (For those of you who didn't understand... Yes, that's me singing. LOL) Hear the entire song on YouTube. What?... No... I'm not telling you at what Karaoke bar I recorded it.


CLICK HERE - Books by Dan Dwayne Spencer

Monday, June 4, 2018

Expanding my viritual bookseller's shelf

I just found out something I didn't know... I knew that Amazon has the freedom to put my books on various reader's lists and vendor's catalogs. My books are now available through "Goodreads.com" and "Noobertsamanda.com" which claim my book "Spies Lie and Spies Die" in a promising top seller. I pray yes on that one. Yea for expanding my virtual bookseller's shelf. I'm still looking for a good review from Bill Kerns at the AJ.
I took my book to him and he made time to interview me and said he would try to get a book review out for it.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

My GQ Pose

In an earlier blog I told you that I was a fashion-plate when I was only four and five years old. Well, here I am all of five years old and doing my GQ pose on my parents sidewalk. See that green house with a red door? It was where I called home for twenty three years. Most people think is strange that my parents never moved, but that was home and as my mother said, "A bigger house is just more house to clean." So, they didn't see the need to upsize. I lived there through college before I moved out. After college I worked for various art services. Then I met my Mary. (Did you know that Mary is the most common name for women in general. It's true.)  I wrote her a poem and... What you want to hear it... Humm… Well okay but only one stanza... that's all. Here it goes:

When we’re apart my heart begins to slow
It’s like the distance between us seems to grow
Then I tally the priorities inside my head
It all goes back to something that you once said
My life changed with three little words
I know it must sound completely absurd
But it became clear even though I’m not very clever
That your love and mine would last forever

That about wraps this article up. Read 'Poetry of Praise' to get more of my poetry. 


CLICK HERE - Books by Dan Dwayne Spencer

The West Texas Mountian Range

This is another of my pictures of the West Texas mountain range which I took with my instamatic camera. I love how the cattle break the horizon line. This time I was on my way back to Lubbock from Brownfield. (One of these days I feel I must write a story which is set in Brownfield, Texas. It was my home away from home for almost ten years.) I have to say I enjoyed teaching my classes there.  This is a brief account of my career leading up to teaching at BMS.  I left teaching at Monterey High School and took the job as the Art Director for KAMC and KLBK Television. It was invigorating. I worked there during the "TexasSize" era. That was a brief time around the year 2000.  I was there seeing all the feeds during the terror attacks on New York. I personally did the screen art used 'on screen' from 2000 to about 2004. I left The Television station and returned to teaching again. - this time in Brownfield. I find it funny how people like to compare things... they ask if I missed teaching at one of the biggest schools in Lubbock and later teaching in a small town. (It's not that I disliked Monterey, but you see, I had this great opportunity.) Where I ended up had great people, classes of 18 to 30 instead of 35 and sometimes more; I'd say what's not to like. Sadly I left because of a family tragedy. Funny that I had been writing on a story here and there all the while I was teaching and doing artwork. I always said that Art was my profession but writing was my vocation. Now I guess it's both... I hope you enjoy my books "The Secret King & Poetry of Praise" and "Spies Lie & Spies Die." They were a long time in the making. (Thanks to my Sis and my Wife for encouraging me to pursue publication.)

Friday, June 1, 2018

Are you the protector type?

Title: Night Bird (The Guardian)
Artist: Dan Dwayne Spencer 
Media: Polychrome Pencils & Graphite

I've always thought of owls as the protector types. It' somehow comforting to think that you have a guardian watching over you. I started this drawing after attending the Texas Tech satellite campus at Junction Texas. It is (or was at the time) a campus for grad students working on their master's degrees. It's located in a beautiful and peaceful bend of the river. Lots of trees and grasses grow up along it's shores. Well, as I said I got it started and the owl was almost finished when I lost motivation. I used the unfinished picture as a classroom example showing how to use the media but I just couldn't find the drive to finish it. Then one day I was looking back through old photos and ran across some I had taken that summer when I was attending grad school there at Junction campus. I got out the old owl and I could finally see what had been eluding me. What it had been all along, but I just couldn't see it. The trees and the river. The Moon Spirit reflecting in the glossy water. His braids becoming owl feathers as the water flowed. In my book "The Secret King & Poetry of Praise," Joseph tells Naaman that he has always thought of him as the protector type. Indeed he must be persuaded to protect the Secret King but he comes through and his belief in the Hebrew God is solidified.    

My Guradian Angel

Title: Guardian Angel    Artist: Dan Dwayne Spencer    Media: India Ink and Watercolor Wash

This is a very old drawing. I finished drawing it back in the 1970s when I first went to Texas Tech University. I had many offers to buy it, but she is my guardian angel and has hung in every office I have had since I began my professional career... Well, except maybe one office. I don't remember her hanging in my office at 'Jester's Art Service.' She hung behind my chair when I was the Art Director for KAMC and KLBK Television. I imagine that the angel who appeared to Nachet in "The Secret King and Poetry of Praise" looked similar. Maybe more muscled. Yes, definitely more muscled.  

Are our lives guided by FATE?

Title: Fate      Artist: Dan Dwayne Spencer      Media: Polychrome Pencils and Graphite


This is a drawing I finished about 1997. Reading the drawing left to right... the depiction is an abstract of a bird in flight, but it can't out fly Fate. The last picture on the right is of the birds skull; the remains left after the ravages of time has consumed it. Between the now and later is the Earth Spirit Fate. The drawing drew quite a bit attention before the accident... you see, it no longer exists except in digital form. When I was teaching in Brownfield it hung in my office (I had a little office area joined to my classroom there.) Anyway, the roof leaked and this drawing was ruined... totally beyond repair. I think there is an irony in an artwork titled "FATE" going through the creation process and the destruction process in a matter of years. I write my stories like that too. I let the adventure bloom and develop through the creative process of writing. I may go back and rewrite a section or take something out but the adventure is there by... fate. Some people write because it is there job. I write because I have to. I've done it for years - I went from a manual typewriter to my electric Smith Corona, then to a word processor with 240Kb memory, then to a computer with a 5.5 inch floppy disk. Later there were smaller discs and now jump-drives. Through the years lots of my stories were lots, misplaced, or on discs that were unrecoverable. So you see, I never let anyone read them... sometimes not even my wife. Now days I let her read all my stories. My sister also asked to read them. I'm sure she was curious, but that started it. They pressed me and pressed me to publish. So the rest is history. I have two books published and another I expect to release in December. I have a collection of children's short stories waiting to be released and I have a bible story coloring book I personally illustrated that I may release next year. Look for great things to come.