Zack and Mack–A Two Headed Life

The two-some Zack and Mack have decided to have a new home for their collected works.  The old site,  The Smile Ambassadors, now lays fallow, collecting dust somewhere in a cloud we suppose.

This new site with its long title will serve to talk about the boys’ various literary ventures.  They have written The Smile Ambassadors and The Smile Thief and are working on their third tome, The Smile People.

The three or so people a year that decide to venture onto this site might find a welcome home in following the strange adventures of a meek two-headed turtle.  It is true that the boys possess an unusual hold on a human’s imagination and heart.

Below one might find a few of the older posts from the old site.  Enjoy them as you may.  They are a part of this as much as the future scribblings of the boys.


Our Bags Are Packed, Ready To Go Now!

Zack and Mack have their bags packed and they are they are definitely ready to go.  How do we know?  Because when it gets time to leave for the season, they slow down their eating.  Of course, the cold weather and rain doesn’t have anything to do with that.

The boys know when its getting time to go.  Same with Temple Dog when he was alive.  He being a Lhaso Apso.  He always knew when it was getting time to go.  When we finally took his dish out to be packed, he would follow, go sit in the vehicle and wait until it was time to drive.

Zack and Mack are a little different.  They watch us go in and out, with more items going out, than in.  They get the clue that something is up.  Usually, the night before, I take them out to their tank in the R.V.  They have a special tank that is out of plastic, instead of glass.  It has a built in “land” area that they like to call home.

I put the boys in there this afternoon and continued on with the business of packing.  They would just sit in the same spot.  Finally, they turned themselves around in a circle to the spot they were just in.  Funny little guys.

Anyway, their bags are packed and they are ready to go.  They know the difference between where we live and say, Tucson, or Southern Nevada, or even the Pacific Northwest.  It’s the water.  They know the difference between the well water at home and the city water we have to treat and use along the road.  Of course, they do not stay in the tank while driving.  No, we have a special little driving tank for them while travelling.  Actually, it’s a plastic box with flap lids .  I keep the boys next to me while driving.  They settle down pretty quick and nap while I drive.

Ahh, the life of a two-headed turtle.

The Smile Ambassadors

Zack and Mack have a new book coming out.  Maureen, in  Malta is formatting the book for us.  Afterwards, it will be available at  Just type in The Smile Ambassadors in the search box.

The story revolves around Zack and Mack, a real, live, two-headed turtle that will be turning eight years old later this year.

Little Constance has lost her turtle, not just any turtle but a very special turtle.  Why does the President get involved?  What about the mysterious phone call from Mr. Moto?  What devious plans has The Potentate hatched?   Follow Zack and Mack in their adventures around the globe.

The novel is some ninety-four thousand words.   It was written as a children’s novel but, it is suitable for all humans. The downloaded Ebook will be free for the first 60 days, after that it will be priced around $2.99.  All that Zack  and Mack ask, is that you leave a kind review at

So, What Does A Two-Headed Turtle Do to Pass The Time?

This is truly one of the questions of the ages.  I am sitting here listening to Machito and His Afro-Cubans belting out some truly tasty mambo music and contemplating this question.  Indeed, what do two-headed turtles do in their spare time?

 Zack and Mack have plenty of time these days.  They aren’t on the road yet.  That will happen in a few weeks.  That routine they have down pat.  But these days, the lazy days of winter, are filled with inactivity for a turtle.  Not that there is a lot of activity to begin with.

The boys like to spend most of their day sitting atop the bricks that I have installed in their tank.  They stretch out their legs to gather the heat from the lamp above.  A turtle, like any reptile, needs warmth to aide digestion as well as perform other bodily functions.  The hot sun keeps disease away.  It also helps them covert vitamin A into vitamin D.  Which is an essential building block for young healthy turtles.  It’s good for the older ones, too.

So, what do Zack and Mack like to do all day?  They bask, as I wrote above.  They also like to sit at the bottom of the tank and watch themselves.  They will do that for hours on end.  They will swim around and return to watch themselves.  They also like to play with the various heaters, upending them and creating a commotion in the tank.  I don’t blame them for that.  It’s something to do.  I understand.

But what do they really, really, like to do?  Watch us.  Yup.  Zack and Mack will sit there facing the front door and watch us with all intensity as we go about our daily chores.  You see, during the winter, we are off the road.  We are working down in our barn most days, getting ready for the next season.  

They boys will position themselves so they can keep track of al the comings and goings through the door.  They also have a good vantage point to watch their mother cook meals.   They never knew their birth mother, so my wife had been their mother for all practical purposes.  Of course, that means I have been their father.

When Zack and Mack smell chicken cooking they get excited, because they know that they will be feasting on that juicy white meat later.  We always save some tender bits for the boys.  Zack especially loves him some chicken.  Mack tends to hold out for the shrimp.

Ah, to be a turtle!


Zack and Mack’s Second Book

The first book, The Smile Ambassadors, has been shipped off to get properly formatted for ebook publication.  The second book is currently being written.  It is titled The Smile Thief.  Currently I am writing about events that occur in the Jammu-Kashmir area of Central Asia.  To facilitate the writing, I often turn to music.  In this case, the music of the Gilgit region of what is now considered Northern Pakistan.  It used to be considered a Princely State loosely associated with India when under British Rule.  When India and Pakistan split, there was a war for control of that region.  It depends on how one looks at it in terms of winners and losers, but in the end, Pakistan controls a large potion of the region.

So what about the fascination with Central Asia?  The area becomes the scene of a plot point in the second book.  A quite study of the area and its customs as well as its music, helps an author develop a flavor for a part of the world that he or she may not have experienced.  Research is always good when writing a story.  Even if the story is fiction, research definitely helps the narrative flow.

I have found many music blogs out there that cater to the world music listener.  Stuff that is not available in America, or even Amazon dot com.  Image