author, musician, and organizer of
the Music Matters Showcase
Four different acts take turns playing 4 song sets each and
then going back around. Its an eclectic mix of music, all of
it wonderful. Showcases are free,but donations to Bread for
the City for the Home are accepted.
|Where/when/who is playing the Music
Matters Showcase besides Joseph Isaacs?
Mad City Coffee House, 10801 Hickory Rd Columbia MD Saturday
(look for the Long and Fosters Sign)
June 10th Rick LaRocca, Nathan Zebrowski, Lisa Fenstemacher
June 17th Uncle John Sawbriar, Ian Eylanbekov and Josh Burrell,
July 15th Denee Bar with Grant Goldberg, DL Weiner, Scott Sivakoff
Aug 19th Harmonessence, Lyric Response, Laurence Baer
Aug 26th Dejon, Having Fun, Rob Hinkal of Ilyaimy
Sept 16th Woody Lissauer, Alani Sugar, TBA
October 21st Kathy Stanley, Lisa Fenstemacher, Jennifer Parde
Nov 4th Guitar Laur, TBA
Nov 18th Rob Hinkal (of Ilyaimy) TBA
Directions to all gigs and links to bands playing are at the bottom of
These gigs are all free - donations to Bread for the City for the
Homeless are graciously accepted
*each performer plays 2 4 song sets of songs, concerts end times are
approximate might be a bit earlier or later
|Mad City Coffee House
10801 Hickory Ridge Road
Columbia MD 21044
Look for the Long & Fosters- its tucked in a plaza and hard to see from the
road. Its across from HCC.
From 95 (between Baltimore and DC) take route 32 West and then take
Broken Lands Parkway North to Hickory Ridge Road. (From route 29 you
will be taking Broken Lands Parkway West).
Take Broken Lands Parkway towards Hickory Ridge RD.
Turn left on Hickory Ridge (it only goes in one direction). Take Hickory
Ridge RD past Howard Community College and right after Sunny Spring Rd
there is a Long and Fosters on your left. That is Hickory Ridge Plaza
where Mad City is tucked next to a chinese restaurant. Let the Madness
|Soul Hosts by Joseph Isaacs
An older version of my book made the best seller's list on Random House's YouWriteOn Harper
Collin's authonomy website and won a review from Harper Collins. Here are some quotes from the
"15 years ago, in a bid to strengthen his power and obtain complete control of magic across Helos, the
Dracon slayed his finest mages and tried to steal their souls. But instead of following his bidding, the
mages’ souls scattered throughout the land, entering the bodies of infant children. These children, now
grown, are thrown into action when it becomes clear that the Dracon is planning to take control again.
With little knowledge of each other or the ties that bind them all together, they must fight to save the
balance of the world as they know it, and ward off the threat of an even darker evil...
There is definitely promise here, and a depth of background which makes it clear you have put a lot of
effort into creating this world
The battle scene at the end is absolutely triumphant. It had me on the edge of my seat, and it is without
a doubt where your no-nonsense style worked best. What made it all the better was that the outcome
was in no way predictable – at no point could I have sat back and thought ‘oh, I know what’s coming
Looking for advanced readers. Email me if you are interested in reading the full story for free:
Also work on Soul Hosts II has begun.
| Soul Hosts
Wizard in the Mind
I am going to die, I’m going to die— Wayden
Rain flowed down the sloped roof of the Temple of the Beasts and spurted out the mouths of terracotta
dragonheads, splattering the cobblestones.
His robe damp, Wayden shivered. He felt the note, safely tucked deep into his cloak pocket. Why did Rory
send him off before dawn in a rainstorm? Couldn’t it have waited at least until after breakfast?
<The green moon,> the voice in Wayden’s head boomed.
Not again. Wayden rubbed his aching forehead. He thought he’d been dreaming this last night, as the voice
had whispered through his restless dreams.
Even after Rory had woken him, he still heard its faint whisper. Was he still dreaming? Losing his mind?
He wished it away, but wishes were like prayers—seldom granted.
<Kolram. I am Kolram,> the voice was deep, a man’s voice.
Wayden drew in a sharp breath, not sure whether to be intrigued by mystery or worried by insanity.
Kolram? As in the Grandmaster of Beast Tongue Magic Kolram?
<You can hear me!>
Wayden shook his head. Impossible. Kolram and the other Grandmasters died the same night he was
born— the last Three Moons Night.
His gaze turned skyward to where the moon lay hidden by a blanket of clouds. It had begun its slow ascent
again, each night rising higher on the horizon. It would reach its zenith in a month’s time.
<The green moon awoke me from years of being half awake, unable to speak.>
Or it has made me go crazy. Wayden thought, as he wiped his damp hair from his eyes. The Third Moon
rose so rarely, Wayden had never seen it for himself until last night.
<It appears for one month every sixteenth year. The last time it rose was--.>
On my birthday. And when it reaches its zenith again, I’ll no longer be allowed to stay in the orphanage. I’ll
start my journey north to kill Gar Skymaster and free my brother.
<By yourself? Don’t be daft,> the voice asked. <Gar is a powerful Beast Tongue with an army of Sky
It doesn’t matter. I have to face him. Mavik is his prisoner.
<And you’ll take out an army of Sky Raiders singled-handed? That’s madness.>
Says the voice in my head. Why am I taking this seriously? If I go about acting as if it’s real, I’ll become a
loon. I have to forget about it and force it to go away.
< I can’t go away. I’m a prisoner inside of you.>
Was it possible?
He strode down the street that ran by the Red Temple. A guard, holding a pike, stood flat against the
The rain had diminished to a drizzle. Rivulets of water streamed down cracks in the cobbled street.
The temple, a stepped tower, housed an array of obsidian statuettes of various animals—lions, an elephant,
skywolves. Of them all, it was the goat that haunted Wayden. His fingers traced the burn mark that seared
his left cheek. The man with the goat head and pale yellow eyes charging through the smoke. He dropped
his hand. I won’t think about it.
<’Twas a horrible day. I remember.>
Shut thy lips. The dead can’t talk.
<My body may be gone. My consciousness. I started to drift. My corpse. My wife’s corpse. They lay on a
marble floor. We were in Dark Fist. There was a spell that needed casting. We had to be blindfolded.>
I’m moon-howling mad.
But somehow Wayden knew he wasn’t. He’d sensed Kolram, heard the whispers of his voice for as long as
he could remember. He’d always thought it part of his imagination though. Now it was seeming to be much
more than that.
The clip of hooves diverted Wayden’s attention. A woman soldier rode at a canter on a black warhorse.
Her red cape trailed behind her. Wayden was surprised. Women rarely rose to the rank of Flame.
The rider halted her horse a few strides from the temple stairs. Wayden’s eyes settled on the long-hafted
mace hung from her saddle.
Images flashed through Wayden’s mind. The mace cracking Nanny’s skull . . .
<You’re all right. That happened long ago.>
The temple guard, an orange-cloaked Flicker, straightened and saluted.
“At ease, Flicker,” the Flame ordered.
Wayden shifted his gaze higher, staring at the huge emerald moon, still visible in the unfolding dawn.
Wayden was feeling more comfortable with the wizard. Has Kolram worked some spell upon me? Am I
<I’m a Beast Tongue, not a Mind Controller. I’ve been with you for years, unable to communicate, almost
unable to think. The rising of the green moon has finally set me free.>
The Flame was saying something to the Flicker. Wayden moved in closer to listen.
“All quiet, Ma’am,” the Flicker answered.
“Not all,” she said, patting her skittish steed. “The Red Killer murdered another. Found her in a pine
grove. Same as the others, no marks on her body.”
Wayden’s breath caught in his lungs.
The Flicker frowned and shook his head. Beads of rain clung to his beard. “That’s the fourth redhead in
Wayden swallowed nervously. He had red hair too, as did most of the people in Vilanos City.
“We also arrested another unauthorized witch,” the Flame said. “A Tulkarian.”
Images flooded Wayden’s mind— the purple-haired Tulkarian archer drawing back his bow, mother
gasping as she slumps onto the grass. Wayden tasted his own bile building. I won’t think about it. But
holding memories at bay was like trying to stop the wind.
<That horrible day. I couldn’t speak or help you, though I strained too. I saw the fire. I saw the archer. I
“Keep an eye out. I must be on my way.” The officer urged her horse into a trot.
The Flicker’s eyes settled on Wayden, “Off with you, boy.”
Wayden hurried around the corner. Pigeons, perched on a rail at the edge of Darius’s Bluff, took flight at
his approach. Dawn lit the red-shingled roofs of Vilanos below.
Turning from the vista, he continued on his way down the road. Footsteps echoing behind caused him to
peer over his shoulder. Behind him, strode a gray man, with a leathery face shrouded in a black hood. The
outline of a sword’s pommel pushed out the side of his gold-trimmed cloak.
Gray Skin! An Ozac. His mind flooded with terror—the Ozac entering through the doorway, a sneer on his
face. Wayden shivered.
<Don’t be scared. That was a long time ago. A different Ozac.>
I’m not. I’m angry.
Ozacs were becoming common in the Drakingdom of Helos, as were the purple-haired Tulkarians the
guards had mentioned. Wayden wasn’t sure which he hated more.
<Not all Ozacs and Tulkarians are evil.>
Wayden scoffed. I have to be imagining you. No real wizard would be so dense.
<You’d be surprised. I’ve met a few that would saddle a horse backwards and try to gallop in reverse.”
He headed into Market Square. Wattle and daub buildings gave way to flat-topped stores made of
A grocer, opened his shutters. Seeing Wayden staring, he gestured for Wayden to move on.
A fishmonger rounded the corner with a basket around his neck and a dark mustache so thick and wild it
looked like a raven had gotten stuck in the man’s mouth. “Burble trout! Freshwater crab! Low prices!”
Footsteps still echoed behind him making him over his shoulder again.
The gray man still followed him, crimson eyes burning like lava. Wayden’s memory jarred back five years
ago—a studded mace breaking through the manor door. Two Sky Raiders—one with a missing ear and a
torch. The other a towering gray-skinned man with burning red eyes . . .
<He’s stalking us.>
|The Elephant and the Blindmen (A short)
The truth isn't a thing of fact or reason. It is simply what everyone agrees on.—
“What is it?” the first blind man asked.
“An elephant,” said the second.
The third and fourth nodded. “Clearly.”
The fifth and sixth stroked their beards. “Absolutely.”
The seventh twiddled his mustache. “Indubitably.”
They stood in front of the Grand Portrait in the Gallery of Fountains off of the Plaza Rivere
beneath the cliffs of Saint Paul in the country of Grief.
The portrait stood nearly six hundred feet by six hundred and was done in exquisite shades
of gray. It wasn’t of an elephant, and artist Ray Jamone had to laugh at the art critics, the
blind men as he called them.
It wasn’t of anything really. Ray Jamone had painted what was in his heart.
But the next day his agent told him: “It’s an elephant, Ray.”
“The hell it is,” Ray said sipping a beer, tennis shoes up on a desk cluttered with drawings
His agent, Harry Sugar, a man who perhaps himself was an elephant despite his numerous
fad diets, the latest one being an all-beef one, shook his head. “It is, what they think it is.
Once it’s done, it’s out of our hands. If they say it’s an elephant, than it’s an elephant.”
Harry showed Ray a check. Ray’s eyes widened. His apartment had a leak in it, he couldn’t
afford to fix the shocks and muffler in his car, so it both slumped and sounded like a
lawnmower. This check would go a long way.
“And that’s just from yesterday’s show. George Mammoth wants to show your painting at a
special exhibition he’s calling the ‘Elephant Show’ next week.
“George Mammoth?” Ray’s tennis shoes came off his desk and his rolling chair spun
backwards as he stood. “The George Mammoth?”
“Yep,” Sugar said. “We are on a sweet boat ride.”
Finally, Ray’s hard work had paid off. He’d slaved for years barely making it by on
unemployment checks, trying to make a name for himself as an artist. Was he selling himself
out? Of course he was. But could he afford not to? It’s all fine and dandy to talk ideals, but
ideals wouldn’t fix his leak. It wouldn’t make his muffler shut up.
“Here’s the contract,” Sugar said.
Ray stared at Sugar holding the paper and pen. He stared at the miniature version of his
work 74 in gray that sat on an easel. The gray shapes seemed to transform before his eyes.
A trunk formed. Heavy tree-like legs.
“I’ll be damned,” Ray said. “It is an elephant.” He let out a harsh laugh.
“I don’t have to lie to myself. My eyes. My eyes will do it for me.”