Sailors on the Sea

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Feeling Blue

Sad and Lonely
by Bevie James

To Cry

To Die

To Fly


For that is what remains
It’s all I ever was
That is what I am
I’ve run out of because

And Lonely
To Cry

And Lonely
To Die

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Something Different

by Bevie James

Bunby was a dirty little pecker from way back when
He stole Virginia Glaous from me when he said he was my friend
He borrowed my car, saying he needed to go for a ride
But he never said Virginia was with him – so he lied
And when Virginia left our school quietly one day
Bunby smirked and strutted without a word to say
That was back in the sixties, when we knew not which way was which
Now Bunby’s stuck in prison – and he’s someone else’s bitch
Way to go, Bunby
You jackass

Sunday, August 16, 2009


by Bevie James

Chedis was a beautiful child, gifted in a love of art and wonderment
The life that Chedis lived was sometimes hard, and Chedis’s beauty was often spent

Early in life Chedis learned a difficult lesson, and that was a lesson of love
For Chedis learned that love was not gotten for free, it was not like a dove

When Chedis was pretty, when Chedis was good, then love was forthcoming and with it deep gladness
But when Chedis was selfish, having nothing to give, then love was withheld and with it deep sadness

Gifted in body Chedis was good at sports, and when Chedis won then love did abound
But victory was hard, and there were times Chedis lost, then no love was around

Chedis earned money and had it in measure, and as long as it lasted love was bestowed
And when money ran out and poverty moved in, then love left for unpaid debts now owed

Pretty in body, Chedis gave all that was asked, and while pretty and giving received love galore
The years passed and the body changed, weak and heavy, not pretty, love was no more

Chedis loved music and music loved back, seeping into the soul and making Chedis whole
The tears would fall, released as emotion flowed fast, a raging river from the soul

So Chedis did travel, and searched through all space, and found those who loved without price
Amazed and attracted, Chedis remained and continued, searching to live twice

Where is Chedis now and where is Chedis going that is what is asked
To continue in love and in searching with that Chedis is tasked

Chedis is such a beautiful child, gifted in love and wonderment
Chedis searches for others of like spirit, that is where Chedis went

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shut Down

Well, my service provider got smacked yesterday and shut down its service for the entire State of Minnesota. Fortunately, they are back up today, allowing me this one final chance to post before going offline due to losing my home. We are scheduled to be back online some time this week, but I'll believe that when it happens.

That's become the story of my life: believing when it happens.

Someone once asked me if I'm a "glass half empty or half full" kind of person. Get the h*ll out of here! The glass is empty you muttonhead.

People like that drive me nuts. I mean, I like to dream more than most people, but ultimately I live in the real world.

I have a character, Elden, in the sequel to Traitor who is like that. I enjoyed writing him because he is just so obliviously positive about everything it drives everyone around him nuts. Some of the other characters become speechless. Some want to hit him. Doesn't matter to Elden. He just continues on his merry way, unconcerned about any setback. To him, everything is part of the plan and so no matter what happens are going according to plan.

This is mostly what my Main Character is confronted by in Prophecies of Madatar: people who just don't seem to be listening. Everyone around him has their own preconceived notion of what is reality and they live accordingly. Unfortunately, none of their realities conform to his own and he spends a good deal of the second book fighting just to make people understand what he's trying to tell them.

I like the approach because there is tension when characters "just don't get it". It can also be used to humorous effect, which I do often throughout the book. But through it all, the main character, while not abandoning his own sense of reality, begins to see these other characters in different light, and comes to appreciate their unique views on life in general, and him in particular.

Began the second edit for Prophecies of Madatar yesterday. As I wrote my good friend, I'm not sure why I'm bothering as I'm not doing anything about getting Traitor published. It looks like I've kind of given up on a lot of things.

In any case, this is the 268th post for this blog since October 21st of 2008. I don't know when the 269th will occur. As I have done with my other blogs (excepting the Legion Blog, which has the potential to continue without me) I will leave off with a song. Most of the songs have been dreamy and sentimental. This one I will make high energy. Let us go out with a bang!

The telephone is ringing
You got me on the run
I'm driving in my car now
Anticipating fun
I'm driving right up to you, babe
I guess that you couldn't see, yeah yeah
But you under my wheels
Why don't you let me be

'Cause when you call me on the telephone
Saying take me to the show
And then I say, honey, I just can't go
Old lady sends me packing leaving home

The telephone is ringing
You got me on the run
I'm driving in my car now
I got you under my wheels
I got you under my wheels
I got you under my wheels
Yeah yeah
I got you under my wheels
Yeah yeah
I got you under my wheels

The telephone is ringing
You got me on the run
I'm driving in my car now
Anticipating fun
I'm driving right up to you, babe
I guess you that couldn't see, yeah yeah
But you was under my wheels, honey
Why don't you let me be, yeah yeah
I got you under my wheels
I got you under my wheels
I got you under my wheels
Yeah yeah

We're gonna drive down to LA
We're gonna watch the young girls play
Because I want you
Because he wants you

Friday, August 7, 2009

By Any Other Name It's a Toilet

Down to the final three posts (assuming I post every day) before my blogs all go silent. For some reason I feel pressure to write something significant. Unfortunately, that is a bit beyond my ken. (How's that for a cool word?) I seem to remember it as part of a song, or poem, I heard in my youth. Just did a quick lookup. Turns out it's a Scottish word used in British dialect. They have such cool words over there.

It's odd about words. We use them to express ideas, feelings, and a host of other things. And yet we often fail to achieve our goal because the words we use mean one thing to us and something completely different to those we are trying to communicate to. For instance.

Spouse is from Wisconsin. That's like another planet, and the people there struggled mightily with the English language. On my first visit to Spouse's family one of her younger sisters (J) asked I would like to take her to the outdoor.

Now I grew up in rural Minnesota, where American English was the order of the day. Even the foreign exchange students who came spoke better English than we did. But I knew what an "outdoor" was. I had lived on more than one place which had one. "Outdoor" was another way of saying "outhouse". So I was more than a little confused (and concerned) over my future sister-in-law's request. Turns out, in Wisconsin, "outdoor" meant "drive-in theatre".

When we were taken to a nearby town to speak with the caterers, J announced she was going to go get a drink at the bubbler and asked if I wanted to come along. Now I was thirsty, but drinking from a park fountain was hardly appetizing. Except that in Wisconsin "bubbler" meant "drinking fountain".

When we went some place to eat, J asked me if I wanted a Coke. I told her I didn't like Coke. But when I ordered a Pepsi she acted surprised and exclaimed, "I thought you didn't like Coke." I patiently explained I wasn't drinking Coke, but Pepsi. That was when (future) Spouse explained that Coke was any soda pop. So I said, "You mean pop?" They all looked at me like I was some kind of cannibal. "Pop" was grandpa.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Plan Without the Internet

Been sitting here wondering what I will be doing with my time come next week. Got kind of a crazy idea. Like most of my ideas, it's wacky, and it will probably never see the light of day. But part of it will. Part of it has.

I expect one thing I will do is continue to write Hero stories. Currently, I have two in progress: Twice the Fun, latest episode published on August 4th; and The Taming of Pelage, first episode to publish on August 8th.

But there are a variety of Created Heroes for whom no stories exist. The link does show Feathered Guy Anthropist, but he's the Hero in Twice the Fun. What I was thinking was that maybe I could write episodes for several others? Even set up a schedule.
  • Monday - Star Boy and/or Lightning Bolt
  • Tuesday - Feathered Guy Anthropist
  • Wednesday - Green Archer and/or Fire Red
  • Thursday - Heroines of the Night (Safe Whiffle, Caped Blade, Primitive Brute, Lasered Lash, and Masked Wizard)
  • Friday - Hidden Embers
  • Saturday - Panthera and Leo
  • Sunday - Commander Grey, Stamur Chaste and/or Day Off
I wouldn't have to write each Hero every week. Instead, I would stagger their stories so that there was overlap, but never more than three in any given week. At 500-word episodes it would only take about four or five months to generate enough to combine all of the stories into a single Legion Chronicle. If I wrote more frequently, or longer episodes, the process would go even faster. In fact, if I waited an entire year, I might even be able to compile a Chronicle for each Hero. When push comes to shove, I can put out a lot of words - and some of them even make sense.

And let us not forget the Villains:
  • Wafula and Mulogo - from Hidden Embers' "Mist Over Monticello"
  • Pelage and Onca - from Panthera and Leo's "Foggy Choices" and "The Taming of Pelage"
  • Sonsi and Sybarti Inamore - from Feathered Guy Anthropist's "Twice the Fun"
  • Bwindi and Tobo - to be introduced in Panthera's "The Taming of Pelage"
  • Simthara and Aggie - from Panthera's "On Trial for Treason"
  • Thunderbolt - to be an antagonist for Fire Red
  • Scepter Axe - a short, tough little dude with no place to call home yet
  • Sagittarius - a mean little woman with a bow
  • Ragdoll - a bit of a loony
  • Mr Manners - a foe for the Heroines of the Night
  • Morshadda - perhaps the most dangerous Villain of all
  • Loobie - not overly bright in the head, but what can you expect from someone with bright green hair
  • Flaming Energy - he's slightly insane
  • Cudgel - a tough lady who likes to play with fire
  • Amatory and Cyprian - two more darling of beauty and crime
It probably won't happen. But it would be cool! Might even give my life some meaning.

I like writing the Hero stories. The potential is there for me to write about subjects I might not otherwise ever dare approach. And I can do it in a humorous way, with no real point to make. I think those make the best stories; stories who's only point is to have fun. That's what the Hero stores are for me; just plain silliness.

I like being silly. It's what I do best. What a pity no one will pay me for that.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What to Do When Faith and Hope are at Low Tide

Haven't spent much time on my Swords of Fire Military History of late. Too many other things going on. Besides, it is an overwhelming task which is going to take weeks to complete, even with dedicated time.

Even with my new and improved system I know I am creating errors, but that's hard to avoid when dealing with so many variables. I'm far enough along now that I don't want to stop and reset. I'm just going to continue on from where I'm at and try to avoid mistakes in the future.

One of the basic problems I have is the disparity in population from year to year. Succeeding generations had significantly higher populations than their predecessors. However, with the rule that parents remained home with their young children, and the difference in age between children and parents, about the time the parental generation was retiring from active military service, the child generation was beginning to have their own children. This results in a swift decline of military forces, and realigning companies becomes almost a yearly constant until the new parents are able to return to active duty, and their own children are old enough to join, too.

Right now, at Year 77, I am in the midst of a massive withdrawal of troops. There were 169 warriors in military service that year. In Year 78 that number dropped to 137. The force will go as low as 43 warriors in Years 85 and 86. Then it begins to climb again, peaking in just 25 years before cycling down again.

Each peak in numbers is a bit higher than the previous, and the lows don't fall quite so low. By tYear 352, which is the present for the Swords of Fire Saga, the military never drops below 800 warriors. Numbers are on the upswing as my main character's generation is joining military ranks in huge numbers each year.

Compiling all of this information into a logical order is much more difficult than just writing a story. Yet without this work, any story I write seems hollow. This background information is the substance from which history is made. And it is history which makes great stories.

Sadly, I am currently in one of my "it's never going to be published" moods. This is not just because I have been recently rejected (again). It is also because in order to submit to the next place I found I must have a synopsis. I just don't believe I know how to do that. Not well, anyway. Right now it's hard for me to believe in much of anything. So, I plod along with my detailed work, knowing it only matters to me in any case. Ultimately, that's kind of what I'm left with.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

When Time is Short

I like to write. And while the likelihood I will ever again be paid to write anything is slim, I am likely to continue writing nonetheless.

May not be continuing it online much longer, though. We are scheduled to move in less than a week, and included with that move will be a shutdown (at least temporary) of our telephone service. I connect to the internet via my telephone service. When we get to where we are going there is no guarantee I will have telephone service which includes internet access. If it does not, or if it costs more than we can afford to pay, then my online time is about over.

I do not know the likelihood of this, but I know it is possible, and so I am preparing myself for it.

What I find sad about the loss of my internet connection is not the loss of any real chance to get published. (Everything seems to require the internet now.) But I will lose the only friends I have in the world. And it's interesting to put it that way, since my friends are from all around the globe. My best friend is in England.

It doesn't seem that long ago that I virtually never went online. Even at my last job, in which I had ready access to the internet, I hardly used it. Had no reason. Now it is like my job. In the short ten months I have been active in this cyber world I have met some of the most wonderful people on the planet. I have also grown personally as a writer. I have learned things (mostly what not to do) and believe I now write much better than I did even a year ago.

It has not all been fun, though. I have made friends here and lost them, just as in my face-to-face world. One was driven from the internet, and I was helpless to prevent it. A couple others were not keen to learn Bevie James is not a woman. Sorry to disappoint. If I could change, I would. Wouldn't it be great to be a shapeshifter? Sexuality is such a part of our lives, but sometimes I wish it were otherwise. I just want to be me, and sexually, I'm not always sure what that is.

In any case, I will try to post daily over the next few days. Come next week there is a chance I will not be posting at all.

I guess we'll see how it plays out.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Quick Update

Just got word. My submission for Apprentice was also rejected.

What a happy birthday I'll be having this year.

Making Fantasy Out of Reality

Haven't begun my synopsis. Don't really know how to go about it. Don't believe at all in my ability to write one which will generate any kind of interest. Life so often comes down to what we believe, doesn't it? If we believe something is true, we act accordingly, even when all evidence is to the contrary. And the reverse is true, too. If we believe something is not true, it doesn't matter what the evidence is.

That's the problem with courts. It always boils down to what is believed. And if the person/people are severely prejudiced one way or the other, the outcome is foreknown.

That was how my mother raised us. We were guilty until she said otherwise. Which was never. We learned to use it to our advantage at times. Sometimes we were helpless against it.

Makes for interesting characters. I've used this technique in my writing from time to time. In fact, it is a major sub-theme in Swords of Fire. Various characters behavior foolishly - to others. But because of their belief system, they cannot behave any other way. Sometimes this works out well. Sometimes it results in disaster. But that's life, isn't it?

We are all beset with various prejudices. Most of the time these prejudices keep us safe and alive. Sometimes they do not serve us well at all.

To put it on a simple level, I grew up in an area where there were gangs. Not like today's inner city gangs, going about with weapons. There were two kinds. The one type of gang was more like a herd. The prey for predatory gangs. These gangs formed under the 'safety in numbers' theory. Basically, the idea was that the predators would only strike one at a time, and if you were in a group, it reduced the likelihood you would be the one. I was an on-again/off-again member of these groups. Generally off. (But I've been off most of my life.)

The other type of gang was made up of stereotypical 'toughs'. Back in my youth they were less likely to carry guns, although many wielded knifes. Switchblades. But killing wasn't the thing back then. It was all about terror and assault. To be caught alone by one of these gangs meant a fight - unless one could get away or dissuade the beating. Sometimes I got away. Sometimes I dissuaded the beating. Sometimes I had to fight.

The result of this environment is that now, whenever I see a group of teenage boys gathered together, my survival instincts are awakened and I seek to avoid them. I will walk on the opposite side of the street. I will change my route completely. I will turn around and go back.

The truth is, this is prejudice. I know nothing of these people. Logically, they mean no harm to anyone anywhere. But my prejudices make me wary. And the older the group, the more wary I become.

These are things which are useful to be aware of when writing characters. However any character behaves, there must be a reason for it. I do not react to groups of teenage and young adult males just because. There is a history which creates a feeling of familiarity with these new encounters. One can force oneself to overcome these feelings, but only with a great effort of will.

For myself, I resent being told by certain liberal-minded people that I am somehow "bad" to react to these groups as I do. I disagree. What I feel is what I feel, and there is no good or bad about it. It just is. Good and bad are determined by my actions. Being fearful that these groups are going to inflict harm to me is one thing. Acting on those feelings in a manner which damages those people is something else. They are separate things and need to be treated separately. That's how we can create tension within a character. Their feelings are telling them one thing, and their thoughts are telling them something else.

I try to use this approach when writing characters as much as possible. I think it makes them more real.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


A sudden inspiration. Brennan means "sorrow" and Zareh means "tears".

by Bevie James

Brenzareh sat in deepest darkness brooding with his sorrow
Grieving over yesterday, and wondering about tomorrow

The power of his muscles, was something to behold
The things of strength he did, were wonders to be told

The trees he felled, the rocks he threw, mere toys within his hands
Brenzareh’s name was famous, throughout the then known lands

It was in spring it happened, that war came with a cry
And the people knew that they must fight then or just die

Brenzareh was their champion, and in the fore he fought
The army fought against him, but their efforts came to naught

And when the battle ended, and the villagers had won
It was the cry of victory, the song that they all sung

All except Brenzareh, who disappeared that night
To hide henceforth in darkness, he did not like to fight

From that day he would live, with shame upon his soul
Brenzareh had been broken, no more would he be whole

The cost of what we want and need is sometimes high to pay
And sometimes we must fight, for there is no other way

But there is death not of the body, the kind that kills the heart
It pierces and it kills, like any swift thrown dart

For people like Brenzareh, who seek love and smiles wide
The time of war for them, is just a time to hide

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Life's Blocks - Take 'Em Apart and Put 'Em Back Together Again

I've gotten away from my music again. For someone who so loves and enjoys music I suppose you're surprised to find that happens to me, but it does. I get in moods when I just haven't the energy to hear the very thing which can help me through troubled times.

There was a time, way, way back, when a rejection I took hit me so hard I went nearly two months with no music. No cassettes in the player. No LPs on the stereo. (Told you it was way back.) And no radio. My devastation was nearly complete and I wondered if I would even survive. I did. Life has a way of going on. You know?

So I turned back to my online playlists, which contain songs I do not have at home. Was going to go with the biggest one, simply because it has the widest variety. Then I saw Across the Waters, which was my playlist for this blog at one time. It begins with "Only the Strong Survive", by Jerry Butler. I found it appropriate. And so I turn again to the balm for my heart and the salve for my wounds. Music is the way to open the dam and let the waters flow, releasing pressure and lowering high water level.

Only the Strong Surive: Jerry Butler

Pied Piper: Crispian St Peters

Stumblin In: Suzie Quatro

Year of the Cat: Al Stewart

Lord Grenville: Al Stewart

Question: Moody Blues

In Your Wildest Dreams: Moody Blues

I'm Just a Singer: Moody Blues

Story in Your Eyes: Moody Blues

For My Lady: Moody Blues

The Balance: Moody Blues

Behind Blue Eyes: The Who

Under My Wheels: Alice Cooper

Layla: Derek and the Dominos


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