Review: Edward M Erdelac’s With Sword and Pistol

With Sword and Pistol by Edward M Erdelac is a wonderful set of stories. Each involve some type of battle with both steel and pistol in some fashion. Erdelac has a swift voice that quickly immerses you in the worlds he creates. He is a student of fiction and his knowledge shows. You’ll find yourself hanging on every page, absorbing words like oxygen. His imagery is applied with a deft hand. In Night of the Jikininki you get samurai and zombies with images standing out so clearly you can almost hear the Tarantino-esque 70’s music while you read. Red Sails gives you vampire and werewolf pitted against regular mortals in a battle that keeps you spellbound. Sinbad and the Sword of Solomon is everything I remember from watching Sinbad movies as a kid. You get the sailing, monsters, a double cross or two, and a dominant Sinbad that’s true to his swashbuckling inspiration. And finally you have Gully Gods, a tale of former child-soldiers and gangbangers in modern Chicago that delves into the darkness of blood gods and dark magic. If this is your first experience reading Erdelac, you will want more.

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Ready, Set…maybe next time

How comfortable are you? No, not your chair. In your skin. When was the last time you tried something new? How often do you step out of your comfort zone?┬áHaving a comfort zone can be a good thing. It’s where you feel the strongest, safest and most comfortable. When you feel secure, you have more confidence.

But it’s not always a good thing to be that comfortable. It can lead to a rut so deep you may not realize you’re in it. That can lead to boredom, missed opportunities, a wide posterior. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone. The fear of making a change or trying something new can become monumental if allowed to grow unchecked.

So how do you tell if you’re stuck in a rut? For starters, pay attention to how many times you opt not to do something. Why are you saying no? Is it always for the same reason? Are you too set in your ways to get up and do something? Also pay

attention to how often you chose not to do something that you use to a lot of. When an old friend asks you for a long overdue lunch date or to go for coffee, are you saying no because you’ve had too much coffee already or because you just want to go sit in your comfy chair and not move? Do you find yourself saying, “I’m just too set in my ways” or “I’m too old for that anymore” or “maybe next time?” Pay attention to when and why you say these things. It could be that you’re trying to avoid stepping out for some reason.

We all get tired. We all have days we just want to go home and not deal with the outside world for a few hours. But we all need human contact. We all need to get out in the sunshine and enjoy life. Don’t be afraid to put on some sunblock and step out the door.