Sailors on the Sea

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Lot to Write About

May have found a home for Apprentice. Submitted it to a small semi-annual publisher. Received word that it is "in the editorial review process". To be completely honest, I don't know what that means, except that it hasn't been rejected. Yet.

Expect to finish my first pass through Prophecies of Madatar today. Either I wrote it much better than Traitor or I have lost my edge to edit my own work. I'm not cutting a lot of words.

Got to write up the next installment of my Panthera: On Trial For Treason. That's on the Legion of On-Line Heroes blog.

There's just so much writing that needs to take place. Got an idea for a new blog, but it's going to require a lot of background work before I can set it up. Want to finish Animal Kingdom. Want to work on background for Swords of Fire. Would like to add another installment to Kiahva's tales. Got poems to write. Blogs to fill out. So much writing. So little time.

And on top of all of that I should really be playing my bass, walking my treadmill, and riding my bicycle. And I need an income. Why is it the only things I do well aren't worth being paid to do?

Well, back at it. With Son home all the time now, too, I am under intense pressure to "get off the computer". I've just been informed I have forty minutes. I'd better use them wisely.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Fun and Easy Read

Today is Progress Report Day, and although I made a progress report yesterday I will make another today. After all, I've got progress to report.

Managed to get through five chapters. Only dropped the story by 1,600-words or so. At this rate I will still have a 170,000-word novel when the first pass is over. That's about 700 pages. Too long. Important things are going to have to go in the second pass. Hopefully, it won't affect the flow. Right now the story reads incredibly well - and fast. It pulls me along, defying me to find other interests to supercede it. Necessity is the only thing right now.

So, I have six chapters remaining and the final interlude with Shatahar. About 50,000-words. Chapters in Prophecies of Madatar run long, averaging close to 9,000-words each. That's a fifty-percent overrun. Ideally, chapters should be 6,000-words. Or less. LOTS of cutting required. Not sure why I'm not depressed about it. Cutting Traitor was a nightmare, and I even saw where it could be done. Not so obvious with Prophecies of Madatar. Guess I'm still feeling good about the fact Traitor hasn't been rejected - yet. Statistically, it will be. But it isn't about statistics. Statistically, NO ONE can win the lottery. Yet every year six or more people do. The frustrating thing about queries is they take away the author's opinion entirely. All that matters with a query letter is what the agent believes. Or editor. Depends on where the query was sent.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tooling Along

It's supposed to be a vent day, but I can have those whenever I want, so I'll forgo at the moment.

Instead, I'll report that I am around half-way through my current edit of Swords of Fire: Prophecies of Madatar. I'm not dumping many words (only about 3,400 after nearly 100,000 read) but I am enjoying the story. It's a fun read. The contrast to Book I is significant. Whereas Book I (Traitor) dealt with treason, mystery, politics, illicit behavior, Book II is a quest story dealing with time lines, delays, and a collection of new and energetic characters.

When I originally began the Swords of Fire Saga it was well past the stories which I am working on now. It was "The White King of Ladondo," and it was a quest story. However, as I developed a backstory for some of the characters I found there was an even better starting point than the one I chose, and I shifted gears into the past.

My first effort there was The Prophecies of Madatar, which encompassed both Book I and Book II. But the story kept growing on me. There was so much to be said. I tried to contain it, but it kept exploding on me. Eventually I realized what I had was two stories, and so I broke off the first third of the book and made it its own story.

Of course, things really began to get out of hand after that. I expanded my backstory and soon was writing twice as much about that as I was for the actual stories meant for publication. Since last fall I have left off the backstory and concentrated solely on Books I and II (as regards the Swords of Fire Saga). There is still a lot more work I want to get done regarding backstory. For instance, I want to go through all 352 years of family history and determine who was in the military each year and at what rank. Included with this is the personal "job" history of all 6,700+ family members. Lots of work. Lots. Lots. Lots.

I would also like to return to my efforts at developing the common language, which is used across The Great Sea. Separation means there are thousands of dialects, but the basic language is the same. Developing a language makes the other work seem like child's play. Kind of like comparing a seven course meal with a bowl of cereal with bananas on top.

But Prophecies of Madatar is going well. Of course, with so few words taken out I am going to have to go through it a second time to reduce the words spent describing an event, or removing the event entirely. Don't look forward to that. But here is a copy of the chart showing my progress. It's going well. It's a fun read.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Musical Playlists to Suit Every Mood - well, some moods anyways

While visiting Wolverine's blog I found he had posted about adding a musical playlist to his sidebar. He got the idea from Earwen. Now I know there is nothing new about this. I've been to plenty of blogs where music begins playing. But for some reason I had never gone through the trouble of doing it for my own.

Now, thanks to Wolverine and Earwen, I have.

Currently, I have added music to four of my six blogs. Two, including this one, have the autoplay feature turned OFF. Two, have it ON. I have it turned OFF on blogs which get regular visitors. It is ON for blogs which get very few visits.

The obvious advantage of playlists is that one gets more than one song, and that the cycle will automatically repeat when completed. Unlike the YouTube links which I have hitherto been using.

Over on Tales From The Great Sea the playlist is made up entirely of Alan Parsons Project songs. There is a haunting quality from a lot of their songs which goes right to my creativity. Like the Moody Blues and Al Stewart. The autoplay feature is ON for Tales From The Great Sea.

Over on A Voice in the Wind the playlist takes a more shotgun approach, including songs of great power with moving pieces which touch the deepest wells of the heart. There, the autoplay feature is OFF.

The playlist for Faith in Forgiveness was difficult to put together. I must confess that I do not listen to a lot of "Christian" music. In order for me to enjoy a song it absolutely has to draw me to a time in my life which has meaning. Few Christian songs do. So, what probably shocks some, I begin my "christian" playlist with a song from The Who. But the song has intended religious connotations. I saw the movie. That autoplay feature is ON.

Haven't done one for Cat in the Buff, or Legion of On-Line Super Heroes. I'm thinking Legion of On-Line Super Heroes should have cartoon heroics (or no music at all). Cat in the Buff should have playful, energetic music. If Legion of On-Line Super Heroes gets a playlist it should probably have autoplay ON, despite it being the most visited of all my blogs. Cat in the Buff, however, I'm not sure about.

Any ideas?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Update on the Prophecies

Thought I would put up a progress report on my editing of Swords of Fire: The Prophecies of Madatar. Both Spouse and Son have been home for several days in a row now so I have not been working on it for several days in a row now. However, I made good progress early, despite not reducing the work by much at all. (Only four or five hundred words thus far.) I'll need to go through again.

I'd like to get some more done today, and I'll certainly give it a go. But one never knows. We've got packing to do. Priorities. Don't mind them. Just hate arguing about them.

Of the books I've actually finished this is my favorite. Got a couple of cool ones coming up, but Prophecies of Madatar introduces some great characters. Important characters. It's also a fun book. Lots of things happening.

Anyway, this is what I have right now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where Would I Like to Live

Don't normally use this blog as a forum for movie reviews, but the movie I'm about to mention contained an exchange of dialogue which I found pertinent.

The movie is Inkheart, starring Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, and Andy Serkis. It isn't a great movie, but it's a nice movie. I liked it anyway. When it wasn't freezing up on our television screen. Our built-in DVD player isn't very good. We wound up finishing the movie on the computer, which shows all images dark.

I like the story's premise. There are people who can read characters out of books. They are called, Silvertongues. This story happens to be about a man who doesn't realize he has this power until he reads aloud to his wife and daughter. Suddenly, the characters he was reading about (which happened to be the bad guys) appear, and his wife is transported into the book as an exchange.

On the website linked to above the story blurb reads as follows: When Mo Folchart reads a story, the characters leap off the page. Literally. And that's the problem. Mo must somehow use his special powers to send the interlopers back to their world...and save ours. If ever a task was easier read than done, this is it. Mo and his daughter Meggie, aided by friends real and fictional, plunge into a thrilling quest that pits them against diabolical villains, fantastic beasts, and dangers at every turn. ... Follow Mo and Meggie into adventure more exciting than any ever read. Because it's adventure they're going to live.

I like Brendan Fraser. First saw him in Looney Tunes Back in Action. He's great at physical comedy, but he also can act. And he doesn't seem to take himself too seriously, which I like.

The movie is escapism, and that suits me just fine. But at one point the movie touched on something very real for me. It occurred when Meggie and the book's author are locked in a dungeon together. The author is trying to rewrite the ending, but he's having difficultly making the words flow as though they were part of the original book. Meggie asks if he is suffering from "writer's block". Then she says she wants to be an author. The man sniffs and she asks him what is wrong. He then makes this statement (or something similar): "Being a writer is a lonely life. Sometimes the world we create are friendlier to us than the one in which we live. I would dearly love to live in mine."

It was at this point in time I felt a nudge on my leg. It was Spouse. Then came the question to me: Is that how you feel about your stories?

My response was instantaneous.


Then I laughed and added,

In the world I created there is no one nagging me to get a job I don't want.

I wonder if I could survive in the world I created. It's frightfully medieval. As fat and out of shape as a I am, I would either become healthy in a hurry, or I would die even quicker. But it would be nice to live there. At least, I think it would.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Warrie's Dreams

Definitely Poetry Day. Posted poems on Tales From The Great Sea and A Voice in the Wind.

My poetry is hardly inspirational, but it says things quickly. That's the beauty of poetry for me. Instead of requiring chapters to set up scenes and develop characters, poems assume much and get right to the topic. Generally, I can say what I want within 100- to 300-words. This one took over 200.

These aren't my best poems, but I like them. I particularly like what I've been posting on Tales From The Great Sea. They speak to me.

Warrie's Dreams
by Bevie James

Warrie like to dream a lot, it made her feel better

She imagined she was beautiful, and wore Leedle’s sweater
Thoughts of being called at night, asked out for a date
Filled Warrie’s dreams but still she knew, for that she’d have to wait

It was sad to see the other girls, get asked to the dance
While Warrie stayed home all alone, she never got a chance
When she began state college, she thought her life would change
But still the boys did not call her, they said that she was strange

In time she came to realize, that she was destined to be single
And ceased to go out to the bars, or dances there to mingle
So Warrie lived a quiet life, she had a flat alone
No one called on Warrie then, she did not have a phone

In September of her senior year her landlord came to say
That Warrie must now share her flat with a senior girl named Faye
Faye moved in and all was well, the two grew friendly fast
And by the time the snows did fall, Warrie’s pain was past

Now Warrie lives a happy life, with Faye right by her side
Faye has asked to marry her, they’ve nothing more to hide
It’s not about being beautiful, it’s not about the dance
It’s letting someone touch your heart, it’s giving them a chance

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not Strong at All

I once had a manager (M) who took an interesting approach to how he viewed employees. I still recall that he had said this about a young woman named Charlotte: "I believe there are people who are good to have as employees even if they never do a lick of work in their life. They are important to the good will and morale of a company, and we should do all we can to keep them. Charlotte is one of those people." He said this after the owner had driven Charlotte to tears - and Charlotte quit.

I think I understand what he was talking about - at least where Charlotte was concerned. I had quit the company myself. I remember Charlotte cried in my arms on my last day. Right in front of Spouse. (We were at the Christmas party.) It was the kind of person Charlotte was.

When six of us rode in a car together to a work function Charlotte took it upon herself to personally engage each person in the car in a five or ten minute conversation. Each of us felt so wonderful and special when it was our turn. And it wasn't like we knew there were turns until we had left the car and had time to reflect. Charlotte was a people person. She loved people. And she fell in love with her co-workers. Not in a sexual way. In a loving way. She was one of those people who made you want to be at work just to see her smile at you.

I have to laugh at myself, because sometimes I think that is why the manager wanted me to return. Before I had left I had been a major force in the department. When I returned there never seemed to be any work for me to do. But the manager never seemed to be bothered by my not having work to do. Yet it seems odd that I should be grouped with someone like Charlotte.

Still, when I was finally let go, my then manager didn't have the courage to look me in the face and tell me. Instead, he asked his predecessor (M) to do it. It was the only time I ever saw M cry. Perhaps I was one of those "special" people after all. Don't know.

What I do know is there are people who see the world differently than what society generally accepts. They are not crazy - necessarily. They are often gentle people. People who take no pleasure in the pain of others and find themselves crying over people they don't even know. Some of these people have great difficulty navigating our western culture. They don't have it in them to play the cut-throat games of business and life. They just want to get along.

I may not be one of these people. Maybe I am. Don't know. What I do know is that I don't have it in me to play the games required to survive in the workplace, which is where I am going to soon have to try and be. It's why I like writing. I don't feel like I'm competing against other writers when I tell a story or write a poem. I don't feel like I'm competing at all. It's entertainment, and we can all participate and join in the fun. We're on the same team.

When I see film clips of musician jam sessions I am filled with joy to see the various musicians employ their talents to the aid of all. I think that's why I created the Legion of On-Line Super Heroes blog. It's a place where writers can "jam". Just have fun. [smiles]

For me, writing and music are two pieces of the same thing. They are tools to express the deepest feelings of love which flow from the innermost parts of my heart. Most of my stories are love stories. Same with my poems. That's what songs are, too. Most of them. Sadly, they often tend to be sad. I relate to sad so much better than joy. Not sure why. Just do.

You know what's too bad though? So many people think that if they can somehow teach gentle people to use society's and workplace survival techniques they are somehow doing them a big favor. I can tell you from personal experience that is not so. We'd rather be gentle. Surviving the workplace isn't worth the pain it takes to achieve it. I was driven out of my last job because I refused to "fight". But it was all right. It felt good not to fight. It was worth losing the job, even if I did need the money. It isn't about the money. Not anymore.

Leave us to hide in our writing. Leave us be gentle. We like it. Even if we are disgustingly weak.

"I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island." from "I Am A Rock", by Simon and Garfunkel

I do not look forward to returning to the workplace. I will be an ice cube in a fry pan. Won't last long at all. Not at all.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Names, Alphabets, and Language

Been to a few blogs recently where the topic of names was mentioned. There's a wide variety of ways in which Authors determine names, be they names of characters or places.

Naming people has never been a big problem for me - save when I undertook the task of naming all 6,770 characters in the Swords of Fire Archive Database. That took months. However, I mostly took the easy way out. What I frequently did was derive names from parents. For instance: In the 69th year of the founding of the Compound, Ablura married Phaschin and she had a son. He was given the name Phaschlur. "Phasch" from his father and "lur" from his mother. Easy enough, albeit time consuming.

I didn't always take that approach, however. Shulo was born in the 35th year. His mother was Ableena and his father was Raigur. I just happened to like the name Shulo.

Since I am not keen on using "normal" names (names from my own culture), this makes name finding easier for me, perhaps, than for others. There are cultures from which I find I often "steal" names. That is, I take a real name and modify it slightly. Japanese for male names. Indian and Arabic names for female. Whenever I do this, I ALWAYS paid heed to the name's meaning. Name meanings are very important to me, and whenever I need to use a "real" name I look up names with appropriate meanings before making a selection. I have actually rejected names because the meaning was wrong.

Village naming is not that big of a deal, although I often am not happy with my first choices. There are 29 villages/stops in the family lands of Swords of Fire. Some of these were named after actual characters from previous generations: Gahrem Village and Urabbi Village being the most prominent. This resulted from the practice of naming houses after the senior male living in them. Gahrem and Urabbi were instrumental in establishing the mining villages which were later named after them.

Sometimes the village names are quite simply - and stupid. North Village. South Village. That took a lot of creative thinking. But it seemed to fit the way the family approached things. Black Ore Village and Red Ore Village were obviously named for the mining operations. Deep Forest got its name because it was located in, well, the deep forest.

My thinking on village names has usually been to keep them simple.

Street and road names I find hard for some reason. Someone else wrote on their blog that they have absolutely no problem picking street names. They trouble me for some reason and I am never happy with my choices.

I hate the name for the road which goes all the way around Fire Mountain. It's called Circle Road. Oh, how brilliant and descriptive. The main road leading toward the nearby Kingdom of Azua has changed names so many times I think it is actually called by more than one name in the book. I left it that way because that happens in real life.

World naming can be hard. Often I go with phonetics. I begin to rummage through various sounds until I find one - or a combination of two or three - which suits me. These are not written in stone and often change. Surprisingly, Azua has remained Azua from as long as I can remember. I like the sound of it. The world itself has changed, as have the political structures within it. But the name is the same.

Maybe that's one of the reason I like writing fantasy. There is so much more freedom in using names like Kiahva, Amice, Sayla, Mishua. They sound so much better in my head than Bill, Jane, Mary, Fred. Not that there's anything wrong with those names. I just like the sounds of the others.

Take Mishua. It means, "gently flowing river". Khirsha means, "firestorm." And this is where my need to have meanings for names come in. I worked for weeks on developing a phonetic system in which various sounds became words. It was a nightmare trying to keep it all straight and it soon got out of hand and I put it on hold. But here are the breakdowns for Khirhsa and Mishua (the two main characters for Book II: The Prophecies of Madatar).

First, this is how the characters in the book would see the names written compared to English. Just coming up with a logical character set was hard. There are forty alpha characters and eight numeric.
Determining specific word means for phonetic sounds was worse than hard, and it's why, after several weeks' effort, I never finished the task. This is very hard. For me, anyway.

Khirsha's name breaks down as follows: kh eer shah
The "kh" sound means strong
The "eer" sound means fire
The "shah" sound means falling

The name is further complicated by the fact that "shue" means water. Put together, the name literally translates to: strong fire falling water. It is translated to mean, "Thunderstorm" or, more accurately, "Firestorm".

Mishua's name is harder to break down. It does not occur in Book I (Traitor), and so was not part of the list of names I used as examples.

Basically, Mishua's name breaks down as follows: mih shue ah
The "mih" sound means gentle flow
The "shue" sound means water
The "ah" sound is a superlative

The literal translation of Mishua's name is: gentle flow water. With the superlative the translation becomes: "gentle flowing river".

You have now had a basic lesson in the nightmare I created for myself when I endeavored to undertake creating a language for my book.

Do you want to know something incredible? It is my goal to one day write the Swords of Fire Saga in the language I create using the character set I have created.

That would be completely awesome!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Music Again - And Still - And Forever - And Forever

Have you ever wished you could sing? I mean sing well?

Perhaps you already do. No such luck for me. I've got a voice which strongly resembles beef jerky - strong emphasis on jerky. Remember the commercial? There's no middle ground. Either you love it or hate it. Most hate my singing.

I recall working in the mail room back in the early 1980s. A horrible job. Boring. Dirty. Time consuming. Low pay. I recall being the "bagger". This was the wonderful job in which I would take filthy postal bags which had just been filled by the second sorter with bundled magazines. I had to carry them and stack them on a pallet, then get a new, empty, filthy bag and hang it up for the second sorter to fill again. Not. Good. Work.

To amuse myself, I used to sing. There were so many machines going only those close to me were able to hear me. They were not amused.

The song I have embedded in this post is one I used to sing. It's a beautiful song and I still sing along with it in the car. I can actually hit the low notes. It's the higher ones which give me trouble. The song is And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind, by Mark Lindsay.

I'm kind of amazed this song never became popular. It's never played anymore on even "oldie" stations. But it's so beautiful. Dreamy. I've written some great story scenes to this music. It makes me feel young again. Young and hopeful, with a full life ahead of me. Now I'm none of those things. But I still like the music. I still dream. And I will still write.

Here's another Mark Lindsay song. Silver Bird. Guess I'm feeling a bit Lindsay this morning.

Oh. Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Music in My Life - Perhaps it is My Life

Music Saturday. Getting back into the music. Gotta love it. Returning to my roots. Deep roots. My sister sent over some music to sell at the garage sale. Books, too. Spouse and Son dumped some of his preschool books. The only book of mine which went was one my brother gave me a few years ago: The South Beach Diet. Did me a lot of good. Must have gained about twenty pounds since putting it on the shelf. Of course, I'm losing weight now. No. Really. Here's the link to prove it.

No. I could not bring myself into releasing any of my music - or books. But especially music.

God gave us our physical senses, of which we name five: speech, smell, touch, sight, hearing. I've had more than one person tell me the world would be a better place should I lose my ability to speak. And of course I've been told I smell far too much. But don't you just love the smell of fresh cut grass? Of rain and waterfalls? Blooming lilacs? Green peppers (smell, not eat)?

My feet have gone numb and I can strongly attest that that is annoying. I used to like walking barefoot in soft grass. Now it's like wearing shoes. Only I have to wear shoes because I don't even know it when I cut my feet. What a nuisance.

Going blind is scary. I thought I had once. Wore contacts in those days. Didn't keep them cleaned properly. One day I woke up and found I couldn't open my left eye much or my right eye at all. Terrifying. Really. I worked my way to the telephone and called the clinic. They set up an appointment and Spouse brought me in. They poured some stinging solution into my eyes and I was able to see again. Had to repeat the procedure daily for a week. Haven't worn contacts since. Too lazy to keep them cleaned properly. Slept with them in, too. That was great when I woke one day and couldn't get them out. Use up an entire bottle of eye drops before the seal released. When they came out it was like my eyes could breathe again. I suppose they could. I don't wear contacts anymore. Turns out my eyes are physically suited for them anyway. Really convenient though.

Losing my hearing, too. It's really annoying to Spouse and Son. They will tell me things and I sit pleasantly going on about my business like they're not there. Not being rude. I just can't hear them well enough to even know they're talking to me. I'm surprised they still do. But let me sit at the computer and they can't seem to find anything better to do. I try to instigate a conversation and they have no time. But I'm not deaf. Not yet. I still get to listen to my music - albeit loudly. Of course, that is how I am losing my hearing in the first place - loud music. Loud music with headphones. Music fills my soul like water through a sponge. Whenever I'm feeling dry I return to music and let it moisten my soul - sometimes with tears. Those are the best songs. They draw up from the very depths and remind me I still live.

Nothing special going on today. Just listening to a variety of music. Here's a short list.

Only the Strong Survive: Jerry Butler

Pied Piper: Crispian St Peters

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans: Freddie (boom boom) Cannon

Action: Freddie (boom boom) Cannon

How Do You Do: Mouth and McNeal

Friday, June 19, 2009

Returning to the Roots of Inspiration

I'm thinking it is time to return to Swords of Fire: Book II - The Prophecies of Madatar. The query for Traitor is sent. There really isn't anything else I can do with it now. So it is time to return to Khirsha, Kelso, the war with Barbarians and Trolls, and the quest Khirsha has agreed to undertake.

The story is finished. I completed it more than a year ago. As it sits now it is twenty-one chapters, three interludes, a prologue, and 180,000+-words. Based on what I was able to do with Traitor (it started at 198,000-words) I am assuming I can reduce the word count by forty to sixty thousand. We'll see.

The Prophecies of Madatar is a much more fun book than Traitor. There is more action, too. And mythical creatures. Traitor shows how Khirhsa became entangled in the Madatar-versus-Shatahar war. The Prophecies of Madatar shows how he gets in deeper than he ever imagined.

There is a host of new characters in The Prophecies of Madatar. Two are especially important, but there are others who will continue to play significant roles as the saga unfolds. For those concerned with Khirhsa's "whimpiness" in Traitor, the good news is that Khirsha is forced to do some growing up in The Prophecies of Madatar.

I'll use the same Excel format for tracking my changes as I did with Traitor.

So. I'm on my way. Again.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Launch Date: June 18th, 2009

See edit note at bottom of post.

Today I am telling myself I will send out my query for Swords of Fire: Traitor. I have done this several times before. The first time was back in the early 1980s. The last was in the fall of 2008. Every other time I sent out a query I did so with high hopes - and even expectations. The high hopes are gone now. The expectations are still here, though. Only they've changed. I'm expecting to be rejected. Why? Because I don't believe in the book? I think my query s*cks? No. I think the book is great. And I think I've got a decent query. But I don't dare believe anymore. It is too crushing to come down from that height again. So I don't climb anymore.

It seems I have returned to my roots. You know them, I'm sure. You've probably shared some of them. These are the things we (I) learned as young children. Things such as, "Good things only happen to other people."

My sister-in-law, B, once told me something which I have never forgotten. She said it to be silly, but knowing her I expect there was more than a little truth in the statement. We had been talking about achieving something great. Don't remember what it was, but the odds were against us. She was getting all excited and had actually convinced herself it was going to happen. In typical fashion, I felt the need to caution her against succumbing to enthusiasm. The let down would be horrible, and I didn't want to see her hurt. What she said was this:

I choose to get excited before the fact, because after the fact there might not be anything to get excited about.

We had a good laugh over that, and B continued to be enthused. Later, it turned out she was right. There wasn't anything to be excited about. Things went according to the odds.

I learned not to be that way at a very young age. Now I don't know who I'm more angry with: whoever it was that taught me this; or myself for learning it.

There are vague memories in my mind and heart of a time when I believed. Believed in the future. Believed in good things happening. Believed in myself. There was a confidence which encompassed me as I moved through life.

Now I find myself paraphrasing B's statement.

I choose to refrain from excitement before the fact so that the pain I feel afterward can be minimized.

I guess that's why I've been dragging my feet with this query. All previous efforts were done quickly, and I sent them out with B's attitude. Now I see it as an invitation to pain, and I've not been in any hurry to get it done.

Well, it's done now. The query is ready. I have a place to send it. If only I could believe there was a chance I could feel some joy about this. I suppose the very act of sending it demonstrates at least hope. I did work on this. This was not slapped together in five minutes. I worked on it. Submitted it for critique. Then used those recommendations to polish it to what it is now. Part of me does believe or I would not have undertaken the effort. It's my emotions. They've run out of courage. In that regard, I'm empty. I have no armor to protect myself from the feelings which accompany rejection.

No matter. The query is ready. It leaves today. I must take my wounds like everyone else.

Pity. You know?

EDIT NOTE: The query is on its way.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who's to Judge

Writing fiction is like writing history. Perhaps that's why I like it. I like history. Always have.

There is a strong sense of reality in good fiction. Something about it makes the story believable, and it's that believability which makes the story appealing to others. Believability is how readers submerge themselves into a story and escape from reality.

Some people write about factual events and make them read like fantasy. No one believes it - despite it being true. Others can spill out blatant lies and convince the world they're true.

When I read what I've written I search for the believability in the story. Do I believe this character would do this? Would they say this? This is one way I lose scenes. Even while writing I try to keep characters in character. I have a goal to reach in a scene, but sometimes - because of what other characters are saying and doing - the current character of my focus can no longer remain in character if they do or say what I want. So I lose the scene. This is not bad because it maintains the level of believability.

I've read stories - and even watched films - where characters the actions and words of characters seems stilted and contrived. There was no real reason for this character to say what they said or do what they did. This makes their speech and actions jarring, and I am taken out of the story while I reflect on it. I believe these are cases in which the writer was so intent on having something said or done they failed to keep their characters in character. Even professionals have been known to do it. But they get paid for it. [smiles]

I think this is why some (some?) of my stories get long. As a firm believer in the "everyone is capable of everything" theory (providing the correct sequence of events occurs) I will sometimes seek out the right formation of dominoes, so that when they fall they produce the action, words, I seek. Most of the time it really wasn't worth the effort, though, and I find myself chopping the scene up like a weed hedge.

Editing is hard. Why? Because it is never finished. At some point we just stop. But we don't stop because there is nothing left to change. We stop because we stop. We're finished. Not the editing.

I once had a conversation with a retired editor. He told me of a case in which a woman had sent him a manuscript he kind of liked, but didn't think ready for publication. So he rejected it. But he did something he normally never did: he sent her a note explaining why. She rewrote her manuscript and resubmitted it to him. She had taken the life out of it. This time she got the standard form rejection. I'm not sure of the point of that story, other than to say that we writers get so hyped up about being published we tend to overreact.

I've read several comments and postings from authors/writers who hold that early works should be put in a drawer and forgotten forever. Work on something new. I'm not inclined to give - or listen to - this advice. Only the author of a work is fit to declare it done forever. I imagine every person who reads can find at least one story on the best-seller list they abhor. We only know what we like. What we believe will sell. The truth is, we don't know what's good unless we've written it ourselves. And even then we're never really quite sure. Are we?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Head's On the Block - Now It's Time to Find Someone With a Hatchet

So I have a new "final" version of my query for Swords of Fire: Traitor. I guess I can begin looking in earnest for an agent to send it to. Good luck with that, right?

The level of stress in my writing environment has increased many fold since school has let out. Apart from the garage sale (which is now - thankfully - over) Son is now home all day, and that means demands upon my time. Spouse is home more often, too. More demands on my time. Then we have to find a new place to live. We have to pack to move. Got blasted doctor visits. There's always something which gets in the way of writing.

It's always been like that for me. I have to fight for my time to write. Even when I was in elementary, junior high, and high school, finding a quiet place to write was not easy. There was always some kind of activity - authorized and otherwise - competing with my attention to what I was writing. Perhaps that's why I eventually found I write best in the middle of the night. Normal people are asleep at that time.

I haven't been up so much in the wee hours the past couple of months. The garage sale took a lot of my time - and energy. I'm still recovering from two weeks of sales. We did well, but we still have hundreds of items which did not sell. It's amazing how much 'stuff' we have accumulated over the years.

Writing is such a personal thing. Sometimes Son will come and sit and watch. Then I just give up writing entirely and play a computer game. What's the point? I mean, until I release my writing I don't want it read by anyone but me. Ever. Sometimes after I release it I would dearly like to take it back, but it's too late.

Most of my stories are still in my head. Protected from comments and opinions I am not ready to listen to. Some are written down on paper, or in the computer. I'm not ready for comments on those either. A few I have sent out expressly to get comments.

Comments can hurt, but they are nearly always helpful, and I try to make it a rule to rewrite anything which receives negative comments - even if I don't take the exact advice given. My thinking is that something must be wrong, even if the suggestion s*cks. There have a been a few cases in which I have not done a rewrite. I did not rewrite Apprentice, for instance, after I got my final comments. Apart from the one reader, who didn't like the subject matter, they were mostly minor. I had already rewritten it based on fairyhedgehog's critique and it seems to be a finished piece.

So, back to my query. My intent is to pick an agent to submit to by the end of the week. Most have websites now, so checking out the kinds of works they represent should be okay - once I've found them. So begins the Gauntlet of Rejection. That's kind of why I quit going out in public. You know?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Time to Get Crackin'

With the garage sale over I am not freeing up to return to some writing. Today will be a bad day because I'll be spending a few hours at the doctor's office. Fun, fun, fun. Right?

I'm resolving to myself (no promises to anyone else) to write the 'final' query for Swords of Fire: Traitor this week. Got a couple of questions to get resolved, and then I'll send the query out to an agent. There is at least one agent who will represent me. I just have to find them. Well, that and hope they're reputable.

Swords of Fire: Traitor is a good story. Very good, in fact. I don't delude myself into believing it's the best story. I've read too many good works by other Authors to convince myself of that. But it's a good story, and well worth reading. Well worth whatever price gets put on it.

We sold a lot of books at the garage sale. Not mine. I can't bring myself to part with my books. Books, movies, and music. I buy them and I keep them. They are important to me. Oh, I sold a couple. Sold The South Beach Diet. My brother gave that to me. I tried it, but the problem with diets is that they restrict me from the foods I like best, and encourage me to eat foods I wouldn't serve the dog. (When I had one.) I'm a picky eater. Which is one of the several reasons I am so horribly fat. When I played tennis and baseball I was thin as a rail. Well, that's an exaggeration. Even thin I am a very large person. But I lost my interest in athletics in the 1980s and I took a desk job. That was the primary cause for my weight gain. It has stayed with me these past twenty years due to emotional issues. Now I'm losing the fat. Lost twelve pounds since early April. Slow and steady. But I miss my big pasta meals. Miss my Burger King Whoppers and Dairy Queen cheeseburgers. Miss my pop and chips. Oh, well. Ceste la vie. Right?

Been having computer problems. The machine seems to have something against rebooting. I'm able to get it going, but it takes time and effort. Hope it's not dying. Can't afford to replace it. Well, I could if I drop my health insurance, which is a thought. I'm going to lose it in a couple of months anyway, so what difference does it make? Spouse and I have a basic disagreement about it. I could drop it today and not care. Spouse insists I keep it. But it's expensive. Very expensive. And when it runs out in a couple of months that will be money we can use for rent and food - and maybe a computer, if we need one.

Meanwhile, I have to get that query written. I have until Friday evening to fulfill my self-made vow. Wish me luck. I'll need it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sometimes Down is Good

It's raining this morning. A bit of a surprise as the local weather people assured us it would be a nice day. Oh, well.

Kind of down again. It's the garage. Home searching. Doctor visits on the near horizon. Writing. And the rain. I guess yesterday's attempt to lift myself up wasn't so successful after all.

The truth is, I've done some of my best writing when I'm down. Maybe that's why I tend to embrace the feelings so warmly. They're not only familiar, but they are filled with inspiration. When I am down I seem to relate better to my characters. They become more real to me, and I begin to understand better why they are doing what they do. Even characters I didn't particularly like.

It was during a down time that I developed Odelmaar's character, and indeed, his whole family. (Odelmaar is one of the 'heavies' in Swords of Fire: Traitor.) Up to that point I didn't like Odelmaar at all. Or any of his children. In the down time I learned about his daughter. She ceased to be known as "FM 225" and was given a name: Tavaar.

In case you're wondering, "FM 225" was how I designated unnamed characters.

"F" indicated the character was female.

"M" indicated the 12th generation since the founding of the family compound.

"225" was the 225th unnamed girl of this generation.

The mother at this time was "FH173".

I was rewriting the story and had reached the place where Khirsha was in Gahrem Village, serving his latest punishment as a toteman on a small caravan. Odelmaar's daughter became important to the scene, but it was only later that I learned why. After her and Khirsha's - encounter - I became more interested in Tavaar. Who was she? Why was she like that? Ultimately this would lead me to write Tavaar's Backstory, which took nearly a year. (And it still isn't finished.)

I fell in love with Tavaar, which is kind of sick when I think about how much of me is in that character. Guess I'm a bit of a narissist.

I used down times to write a lot of Prophecies of Madatar, particularly when scenes involved Elden and/or Mishua. Apprentice was written entirely during a down time. The draft, anyway. Most of my story germs are created in down times. Only a few have come when I was "up". I guess "up" is too superficial. It's the "down" times which put us in touch with the spiritual side of life.

The problem with this down time is the timing. I will not be available much to write today. Got the garage sale going. In the rain.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Does it Take to Win

My sister was by the other day to leave off some things for the garage sale. While she was here she told me about a program she had watched about Led Zeppelin. She said Jimmy Page had joined the band after failing to "make the grade" for another. They said he couldn't sing.

I remember an interview I saw with Agnes Moorehead. She said that when she had auditioned for a part she was told she would never make it in Hollywood. She had a funny nose. She left. Dispirited. Then she got angry and marched back and said there was nothing wrong with her nose. She got a part and became an emmy winning actress.

The Beatles were rejected the first time they tried to get signed by a studio.

These are some of the more famous instances, in which people who were rejected for this reason for that later reached the top. There are even more cases of people who were rejected who later succeeded, but didn't necessarily reach the top. But they made it.

Ultimately, whether one has succeeded or failed is up to one's own interpretation of their goals. When I worked for a newspaper I knew a team of gymnasts who's goal for the year was to win the conference. Their school had never done it. They worked and worked and worked, facing the long-time conference champion in their final meet. They won. When they entered tournament play they were ousted fairly quickly. Some looked upon this as failure. But they had achieved their goal. When the season began they had not aimed for the tournament championship. They aimed for the conference championship. And they got it.

That's success.

These things hold true in writing, too. How many tales are there of this author or that being rejected fifty, one hundred, two hundred times, and then seeing their work become a masterpiece? Sometimes, I think success is simply not giving up. If one's still in the game, one hasn't lost. That one cannot say one has won means nothing. The game goes on.

So it is with my writing. I write. And I search for places to submit. One day, I'll win.

Meanwhile, I haven't lost yet.

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Current Approach to Story-Telling

Progress Report Day.

Well, I've been writing. Just not on the things I should be. Got another story-poem on Tales From the Great Sea. I like this one. Well, actually, I like all three. This latest is called, "Kadassa, Tahk and Brills". It hit me as a sudden inspiration. I know it's bad form to be advertising one of my other blogs here, but apart from a brief surge right after I changed the blog's name, no one ever visits that blog. I guess it historically hasn't been interesting. But it's become a place where I am putting story-poems from The Great Sea. Each could have been a larger story, but then it would take forever to tall all of the tales. So, for now, I'm containing the stories in short verse.

Right now I have three:

I'm not able to convert all of these into full stories at this time, so this is how I'll present them. I want to write. Just not in the mood to write anything long.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Too Much to Write

Taking a break from the garage sale. It's rainy and we're not likely to get anyone, so why sit outside in the cold and wet for not reason? Besides, today is Sunday and no one does garage sales on Sunday.

Did some writing this morning. It was a spontaneous poem-story for Tales of the Great Sea. If you're interested, here is the link.

I suppose I shouldn't post all of my new things on my blogs. That makes them published and no one will want to purchase something which is already available for free. But it's not like these poems are great or anything. They're kind of like blueprints. The real story still has to be built.

I have so many stories I want to tell. Most get lost in the jumble. Like lottery balls. I never knew which one/s will be popping up demanding attention at any given time. That's why I believe any story which holds my attention over time has to be a good one. The others come and go and then return again. Some many times.

It was probably a mistake to post so much of the Tavaar's Backstory draft on Tales of the Great Sea. Potentially, that could be something which could be made into book form. But what's on the blog is just draft copy. Should I ever take the time to polish it into something worthwhile it would become something vastly different than what's there. Some things might change entirely.

These short poem-stories I've posted on the other blog are kind of like story snacks. Energy bars, meant to tide me over to the next big story. Swords of Fire: Traitor, The Prophecies of Madatar, Bonds of Love, are meals. Apprentice and Quest are like mid-day luncheons. Or maybe the poems are just a buffet, where one can pick and choose what one wants.

I don't know. What I do know is I'm hungry. Got to be careful, though. Splurged last night and ate a bag of chips. Naughty, naughty.

Anyway, I may write a few more poem-stories today. Not sure. Today is a relax day.

So much to write. So little time.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Promise Which Only Hurts Me

Got Al Stewart playing on Windows Media Player. The Year of the Cat album. This album was frequently playing in the background as I wrote various portions of the Swords of Fire Saga. I like the sound. It has a haunting quality which tugs at me. Moody Blues Music is like that, too.

Been playing on my bass more this past week. Trying to do some chords on the keyboard, too. I love music. Love to sing, although there are few who share this particular love of mine. I do recall one woman - the wife of one of the assistant pastors at the church I was attending. I was about twenty at the time and was frequently asked to solo during evening services. Performing and singing - singing and performing. I never had to be asked twice. I would stand at the podium and sing various familiar hymns. Whenever I stand before a crowd I instinctively seek out three faces toward the back: one to the left; one in the center; and one to the right. This gives me focus as my attention moves across the auditorium. For some reason everyone thinks I'm looking at them, but in fact I only see those three people. The pastor's wife always sat in the middle and she always looked to happy to hear me singing. How could I not focus on her?

Wish I had the confidence of youth. I would play my base hours every day. Keyboard, too. But in the early years of my sixth decade I find it hard to believe I can actually become proficient. At the same time I cannot wholly abandon my love. I keep trying, albeit half-heartedly.

Sometimes I think that's what I'm doing with my writing. I fear I will never be good enough to be published, and so when it comes to putting together a query letter to offer my work up for consideration I drag my feet. The story is ready. Been ready for weeks. I'm just afraid to write the query letter and send it off.

For one thing, I know who I want to submit to. Unfortunately, I submitted to her agency last fall - and was rejected. She advised me to go to Evil Editor, which I did. But in my thank you response to her rejection I promised her I wouldn't bother her again. I was so depressed and ready to give up at the time. Now I regret making that promise, for more than any other agent I have investigated I want this one. Not that she would take me anyway, but I would like to try again. But I promised. Not only that, but she's already rejected this story. True, I've drastically rewritten it since her rejection, but is it proper form to re-submit a story to an agent after they have rejected it? And you promised to leave them alone? I don't know how things work. And stupid promises have complicated my life again. Damn, but I do have a big mouth.

Speaking from the heart doesn't always work. Actually, it seldom does. I guess that's why so many of the people I meet face-to-face hate the truth to much. I live and die with it.

Unfortunately, my promise is killing me, and I don't know what to do about it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Go at Robin's Reading Challenge

EDIT: I think it's working. Right now Firefox is sucking up 90% of my computer time so everything is taking 20x as long as it should. But it worked on YouTube - finally! Don't really like listening to my voice. Especially after hearing those gorgeous British accents from Fairyhedgehog and Whirlochre and Blogless Troll.

SO! Of course something has gone dreadfully wrong and the file YouTube said had been uploaded successfully has somehow disappeared. I'll work on it.

I wrote this back in the early 1980s. I like the story but I'm unhappy with my reading. I've rushed myself because I'm feeling guilty about leaving Spouse outside to handle the garage sale without me. It's been slow today. Not many visitors and not many sales.

But here is my story: Letter of Conscience. If I were to redo it, I would do it a lot differently.

Let me know.

Once Again I've Missed the Deadline

Back on May 25th Robin posted a reading challenge. I guess these are done periodically, and I have heard several from several bloggers. This one was to read a piece from something you had written yourself.

Actually, I had missed the original challenge/invite. It was during a time when I wasn't visiting blogs much, or even posting on my own, I think. Anyway, a couple of days ago someone asked me if I was going to do it. I have never done so before, and didn't even know about this one, but I said I would try to give it a go.

Unfortunately, when I went back just now and read the original post I discover that yesterday and today were the days to do this reading. Missed yesterday, and with the garage sale going on I cannot promise today. Maybe I'll come in late. (Story of my life. It's all over. Here I am. All set to go.)

So, I missed the real event. But here are links to those who were on time. I haven't had a chance to listen to them all (garage sale has been sucking up my time and energy like a never-satisfied sponge), but I've heard all of these people read before, and they're good.

Robin (this one's good)
Fairyhedgehog (love listening to Fairy's voice)
Evil Editor (haven't listened yet, but this has to be great)
Whirlochre (another great voice - oh, and you have to listen to this, too)
Kiersten (haven't heard this one either, but I think it includes singing)
McKoala (another I have to listen to)
Pacatrue (he's got a great voice, too)
PJD (another I have to get to)

There may be others, but I don't know who they are.

Apologies to those of you who's submissions I haven't played yet. It's just busy here.

Oh! And while he hasn't submitted anything for this go around, you HAVE to listen to this.

Blogless Troll reading Dr. Seus's, "Fox in Socks".

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Filling Up My Time

Don't know how much writing I'm going be getting done now. We've started the garage sale and that is taxing. At least, it was yesterday.

I suppose this post really belongs on A Voice in the Wind, but I've already made a post there today. Wrote about the last day of school when I was a Freshman in high school.

Have mixed feelings about yesterday's sales. We got rid of a lot of stuff and made a fair amount of money. Most of what we sold was from our BNB Gifts inventory. Had we sold the items at retail prices we would have made several hundred dollars. But I had priced them below cost, just to get rid of them. Had we even been able to sell them at the prices I had given them we would have made more than one hundred dollars. But two missionary ladies showed up and kept arguing down prices, so instead of taking 60% losses I wound up taking 90% losses. Items we paid $8 for I had priced at $5. They only wanted to pay $1. And good ole me, wanting to be nice, ultimately agreed. So they're happy and I'm not. But they did buy some things I had not been able to sell at any other cost, so perhaps I should feel good about it after all. We don't have to move it anyway.

At the same time, we had a man come and pay $3 for one item in a box marked $3 for the entire box. His feeling was that I wasn't asking nearly enough for the items and was willing to pay what they were worth to him. Another woman gave Spouse $20 and said we should go to Dairy Queen after Son's band concert. (That went exceedingly well, by the way.) Another woman keeps bringing others to the sale. She also bought one of our plants from our shrub garden.

I was sitting in my chair and looking around the yard when it occurred to me we could sell our shrubs. At the local nursery they are going for $20-30 each. So I told people they could have them for $5 - with the understanding they would bring their own shovel and dig them up themselves. We have lilacs, vibernum, wiegela, spirea, and potentilla. We also have some silvermound, dragon's blood, and a couple I don't remember the names of. I even told someone they can have the apple trees. As far as I'm concerned these things do not belong to the house. I won't take cupboards out (like one neighbor wants), or things like that, but if we paid for it separately, then it's separate and we can sell it. Or try to. The landscaping is all going to be torn up by whoever takes over anyway.

Seeing some of these things go makes me feel better, even if we're not getting thousands of dollars. We won't have to move them, and that's what's important now. Most people are nice and are not inclined to haggle over pricing. I'm just hoping the missionary ladies don't come back. I talk big when they're away, but face-to-face I'm just a doormat.

So, writing is going to be a problem. As long as I manage to wake early I will get a blog post in, but even visiting other blogs is going to be hard. I'm almost out of time this morning and I haven't begun my visits. May not get many in. Sorry if I miss yours.

Day two is about to begin. Got to get our musical motion dolls out, our yard things, and the food and drink. Heck of a day. Right?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Plans of Mice and Men - and Bevie

So, I've recently decided to write more stories from The Great Sea. Not about it. From it. These will be stories not directly associated with my Swords of Fire Saga. They will be completely independent, taking advantage of the thousands of worlds which float upon The Great Sea.

Some that I've already written, such as Apprentice and Quest, fit nicely on The Sea. Others less so. But I'm still very curious about The Great Sea. As much as I already know about it, there is so much I have yet to discover, and Swords of Fire is not going to reveal it all to me. So the solution became simple: write other stories.

At the moment I do not foresee any of these stories (with the exception of my Kiahva series) becoming even a novella, much less a novel. In fact, my first go after making this decision is just a poem. I posted it on Tales From The Great Sea. I warn you, though. It's kind of sick. It's supposed to be. One of those culture shock things.

Originally, this blog was to be about Swords of Fire, but it has rapidly transformed into one more about my fantasy writing in general. I like that. Prefer it. Tales From The Great Sea (originally named SOF-The People) was orginally to be about Saga elements, but now it will take the role of all things pertaining to The Great Sea. I prefer that, too.

I feel this is an important year for me. Probably the most important year I have had in a long time. Something is going to happen this year. Something wonderful. Haven't a clue what it is, but I think I'm ready for it, whatever it might be.

For years I used to dream about speaking before an unknown number of faceless people. Always wondered what it meant. Now I find myself wondering if writing on my blogs isn't a fulfillment of those dreams.

Could be. I don't really know how many of you there are, despite having a blog counter. (It doesn't always work properly.) And since only a few of you have ever posted pictures of yourselves, most of you are quite faceless to me.

What I do know is that I feel better about doing this all day and every day than I have ever felt about any job I have done in my life, and I entered the job market thirty-five years ago. What a shame there's no money in this, huh?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday Verses Monday

It's been a long while since I posted some verse. Of my own anyway. At least, it seems a long time. For all I know I could have posted something yesterday.

Anyway, I wanted to be different today. Something which comes to me naturally. Got to thinking about the reservoir of story ideas which never get tapped. One is a silly story I never wrote down. Don't recall if it even showed up as a title in my List of Stories. It's a silly idea which I never thought through. Don't recall the circumstances of its inspiration anymore.

The story was to be called, The Dead, The Dying, and The Other. It was a satire on blind obedience, I guess, although I didn't know it at the time. At the time it was just a silly story. But the point of the story was this: What happens when a culture becomes so obedient that its members die simply because they are told they are supposed to? And what happens when an outsider comes and questions the dead about why they are dead? Can a dead and dying society wake from its blind obedience?

I'm not likely to write the story, but I did write some limerick verse inspired by the title.

The Dead, The Dying, and The Other
by Bevie James

The Dead, The Dying, and The Other
Once knew each other’s mother
Who slapped their behinds
When they hid in the blinds
And called them each such a bother

The Other, The Dead, and the Dying
Gave up and all quit trying
What’s the use, they all cried
Our dreams have all died
We’d rather be up there and flying

The Dying, The Other, the Dead
Looked at each other and said
You know life is short
And it’s time to abort
Let’s go now and drink and be wed

The moral of these silly three
Is not quite so plainly to see
For they are all just fools
Who obey silly rules
They know nothing of how to be free


A Tentative Schedule

Monday - Progress Report
Where am I with regard to the Current Book

Tuesday - Thoughts About Writing
I was going to be profound, but let's be real

Wednesday - What Am I Learning
What can I take from what I am doing

Thursday - Work Sent Out For Review
Respondes to my submissions

Friday - Other Works of Fantasy
Some of my other fantasy writing

Saturday - The Impact of Music
How music has influenced what I write

Sunday - Venting
My 'morbid' time. A safe compromise, I think