Sailors on the Sea

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Good Day in a Good Year

Well, my query was posted on Evil Editor. I did not get hammered like I thought I would. In fact, I was treated fairly mildly.

That's not to say I wrote a perfect query and no one found fault. But the findings appear to be only about minor things. I think the thing is pretty close. I could find myself looking for an agent as early as next week, unless I am mistaken about what I've taken from this critique.

So who knows? I felt from January that this was a year of significance for me. So far, it has been. Already in January I made a fantastic friend, who has stuck with me - despite my neurotic tendencies. I found myself opening up to an entire new world of creative exploration. That also began in January. I finished my editing of Swords of Fire: Traitor in February. I wrote a nice query in March. We began the Legion of On-Line Super Heroes blog in April. (Well, March 30th.) I opened my Archives and found a host of unfinished stories to work with, as well as some of the original Swords of Fire writings.

So, four months into the year and all kinds of wonderful things have happened to me. New friends, including a best friend. New stories. New confidence (sometimes that's difficult to prove [smiles]). New hope. New health. (I've lost six pounds in four weeks.) What's left?

Well, unless things drastically change, I'll have a new home. A new agent. A new perspective.

Come August we will complete seven years of financial ruin. For some reason I am thinking that will end the seven years of famine. I don't know this. I just kind of believe it.

I am happy and grateful for the good things which have happened to me this year. I am especially grateful to you - dear readers - for I consider you to be my friends. Thank you. You are wonderful people. I am especially grateful for my best friend. Those of you who have read what I write and commented back to me have awakened me to a joy and happiness I have not known for a good many years.

I think this has been a good day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Short History Lesson

Originally, I created this blog to talk about The Great Sea. Hence, the name: The Great Sea. And originally I was doing a lot with Swords of Fire. I had just submitted a failed query to Evil Editor and had learned why the query had failed. I spent a good amount of the next three months reworking my story and ultimately reduced it in size by about thirty percent.

But I got away from Swords of Fire and the blog has morphed into a blog about my writing in general. I will still post things which have nothing to do with my stories, but mostly that is what this blog is about. My stories, poems, plays, and creative ideas.

Well, Swords of Fire: Traitor (the latest title for Book I) has become active again. It is in the hands of a beta reader, and sometime in May my latest query letter should be harpooned on Evil Editor's blog. So I thought I would provide a little background on The Great Sea itself. That, of course, is what SOF-The People was ultimately supposed to be, but that blog has morphed into Tavaar's Background Story.

Below is a map I created in the late 1980s or early 1990s, after Swords of Fire had been around for nearly twenty years. The Great Sea is not just the ocean, although that makes up a significant part of it. The Great Sea is the entire place, including sun and stars and air and what have you.

In the map there is a dark blue ring which runs around the edge of the light blue circle. The light blue is simply to provide contrast to the grey void. The important part is the ring. That is the ocean. It is the route all The Great Sea's worlds travel as they circle the Fire in the middle. Don't worry about trying to read the captions. They're not important.

The worlds float around and along the ring like stripes on an old barber pole, or candy cane. The entire Sea is in a place, and that place is called, Time. You see, I am of the mind that Time is a place. For real. And that if one leaves this place, they leave Time. Perhaps one then is in a different kind of time, but one is no longer bound by the limitations of our time. That's the way it is on The Great Sea. And it is a significant point in the later books, beginning with the third.

Imagine being able to step out of Time. You could look at it like you would look at your house. There might be several doors in which to re-enter at different places. Or windows to crawl through. That is true on The Great Sea. However, not everyone has the power to leave Time. And not everyone is allowed in. The more I think about it the more confusing it gets with all of the possibilities. But the concept is very important to Swords of Fire. It explains some VERY important points which are introduced as early as Book I.

Oh, and the Fire in the midst (yellow circle) is not just fire, like our sun. There is a lot more to it. A LOT more. However, as that is revealed in the Saga's final book, I will say no more about it for now.


Couldn't think of anything to post about today, and yesterday's post was kind of a downer. Sorry about that. I get that way sometimes. (A lot.) But I had a infusion of good spirits from my a good friend and I'm feeling better. Hope you found at least some of this interesting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What it's Like to be Tired

Wrote this today.

Have You
by Bevie James

Have you lived in a dream and felt it real believing what happened was true

Have you imagined a thing, saw it clearly, thought the whole thing through

Have you felt the elation of knowing success and the smiles of what you have done
Have you seen the score at the end of the game and known that you had won

Have you touched the sky and flown on winds so high it took your breath
Have you felt the life of love in your heart which vanquishes even death

Have you known how it feels to be important and wise, others waiting on every word
Have you been honored and loved and lauded and cheered, are these the things you’ve heard

Then you know more than I who sit lonely and dry fighting to lift up my head
And knowing that I, am doomed but to die, the cheers come after I’m dead

Monday, April 27, 2009

An Idea Takes on an Image

So I've laid out twenty (20) pages of The Freelancer. That's the name of the tabloid I'm dreaming of creating. I've included some sample pages to demonstrate my lack of ability in graphic design. What I need to do (and I forgot to do it today) is contact my old boss from the newspaper I worked at and ask him to come and modify the layout. He was a master as this kind of thing.

The Front Page would consist of a Main Story (in the middle), a Top Story and a Bottom Story. The Main Story would be 1,000-words. The Top Story would be 400-words and the Bottom Story 500-words. Page Two (2) would be the editorial page, which would include reader letters. The Second Story, 800-words, would begin on Page Three.

There would be some public service pages, such as church directory, city government, schools, and a recipe page. Each of these sections would give someone from the public a chance to write a column.

I also plan to include a Poetry Page. No, not my own. Hopefully, submissions from other authors. Of course, I would have to pay them, wouldn't I? Oh, and note the pictures in the example below. Some of them I stole from my computer and some I copied from my blogs. On these two pages they represent advertising space. (The curse of all publications.)

And there has to be sports. Since I live in a small town the sports coverage would be virtually all high school and related. But people love to see their kids in the paper. The school pages would provide space for other youth photographs. The baseball image, Hot Stuff, Casper, and the bottom Baby Huey are advertising space.

And there has to be an Author's Page (a Bevie's Corner). I've made room for fifty-two (52) ads.
In order to fill the publication with stories I shall need to expand and/or complete various short stories from my list. One of the first I shall expand are the Sassy and Otto stories. I've already posted one on A Voice in the Wind and one on this blog. Below is a collage of Sassy and her five friends. They have formed a kind of club, as is evidenced by their wearing the same neckwear.

Sassy is the writer, and the focus of the stories.
Keely Korts is her loyal friend
Alana Cole is the brainy one
Erin Cliff is silly and likes to have fun
Brittany Steel likes to dress expensively
Reaghan Connors has a bit of a chip on her shoulders

So there you have it. Some of my ideas. Whether I ever create The Freelancer or not, I'm going to continue with the Sassy and Otto stories. Just have to create an image of Otto now.

Friday, April 24, 2009

When an Idea Inspires Hope

So I'm thinking about starting a weekly tabloid, or newspaper. Back in the 1980s I worked as a reporter for a small town newspaper. I covered township boards, city councils, planning commissions, school boards, public works meetings, other hard news, features, and the schools.

I loved covering the schools. It was so young and alive. I took pictures of students of the month, honor roll students, special activities, sports, drama, music, and of course the faculty, administration, and custodial staff. Used to get yelled at for spending so much effort on the schools. Yet I knew it was the school coverage that people cared about. (Just couldn't convince my news orientated editor of that.) Parents love to see their children honored in a paper, and the children love it, too. Whenever I visited, and it was between classes, I would be flocked by students wanting me to take their pictures and put them in the paper. I always told them, "You have to do something newsworthy, but isn't a crime. I won't put criminals' pictures in the paper." They would groan, and then try silly stunts to get my attention. I did get a lot of them in.

This area has grown to where there are enough schools to generate pictures and stories. But I would do a mess of freelance writing (I will call the publication, "The Freelancer") and feature stories. And I might even give the city councils a few inches of space.

I will feature local businesses, which should encourage them to advertise. Included in this would be advertising for Spouses and my gift and toy business. There are several sections I've already considered. I'll need to find an artist to draw my Decca the Brave comic strip. I've already written up 52 weeks worth. (That means paying somebody.) And I've got some other creative ideas.

A lot of work, though. A LOT of work. Back in the 1980s I was putting in seventy hour weeks, and I wasn't doing everything. I very much doubt I could maintain six blogs and a weekly publication. And there is another risk.

The last time I was swimming with creative ideas was in the mid to late-1980s. Then I began working for the newspaper. It resulted in a rift forming between me and my main collaborator. Within a year of working at the newspaper our collaboration ended, and with it, the bulk of my inspiration. I just didn't feel like writing anymore. Six months later I would quit the newspaper and wound up with nothing.

I would hate to see that happen again. Don't think I could bear it. Too old, you see. Which is another point. Do I even have the energy to do this? Don't know. What I do know is that I downloaded a 60-day trial copy of Microsoft Publisher. I'm currently experimenting with a 16-page layout to start, but I have to hurry. The trial only lasts 60-days or 25-openings, whichever comes first. If I close it every time I'm finished, or take a break, I could find my 60-days only last a week. So I have to be careful about how many times I use it. Once the trial is done I have to buy it or quit.

Next week I need to go to some of the local printers and see about getting quotes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nothing Accomplished

So I've wasted my day. I had three hours without interruption in the morning, and two more this afternoon. What did I do with those hours? Spent three of them dinking around on the computer, visiting this and visiting that. Wandered around alone in an on-line chat room. Isn't that my luck? Go to a chat room open to the entire world, spend an hour there, and no one shows up to talk. Amazing.

This afternoon I made chow mein. I know. It's fattening. But Spouse and Son won't eat it and it's in the cupboard. So I ate it. Then I started to watch The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne. I don't know that Wayne is my favorite actor, but he's up there. And he did an excellent job in this movie. I like his movies because he virtually never bothered to get into making social statements. He just made movies for people to enjoy. That's the way I like my movies.

Since then I've posted on A Voice in the Wind and now I'm writing here. To tell the truth, I was tempted not to post anything today on any of my blogs. Only it's become part of me to write on-line, I think. A lot of what I write gets no comment, but that's only fair. Most of the time I don't comment on the blogs I visit. I'm a silent member of the audience, slipping in, taking in the day's show, and then quietly slipping away again.

That's the way it's got for me when I visit Evil Editor's blog. I never comment anymore. Too intimidated, I guess. Speaking of Evil Editor, did you know that today is his 3rd Year Anniversary? There is a link set up to celebrate.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

When You Arrive at a Fork in the Road You Know it's Time to Eat

Got to thinking about my submissions to Evil Editor. (Got two things in.)

Then I was thinking I should change the music link on this blog, so I began rifling through my file of song links to YouTube. Came across The New Seekers singing, Look What They've Done to My Song.

How appropriate. I know I'm going to be shredded. But I'm really feeling the sentiment now.

Have you ever had the sense that you were finally poised to achieve something? That a correct decision now, or a foolish one, would make the difference for years to come? That's kind of how I'm feeling.

Strange that I should have this feeling now, when I'm so close to the bottom I can almost brush it with my knuckles as it flows past. Something inside me keeps saying this is the year of my breakout - or breakup. Either I begin to rise and achieve the things I've always dreamed of, or I crash into the swamp and my dreams are swallowed up by the irksome mire of reality. One of these outcomes is my future. But the future is written in sand, not stone. A decision here, a coincidence there, and the future changes. Just like my stories.

When I found myself writing about Kiahva I never dreamed she would fall in love as she did. That was not my plan. To be honest, I didn't have one. Kiahva showed up as complete inspiration. Perhaps that is why I like her so. There's a sweetness about her which I find compelling. And so I wrote the sequel.

I had a plan with the sequel, but I failed to pull it off. Now, after Fairyhedgehog's review I'm rewriting the sequel. It's going to be the same story, only different. The wind has blown over the sand, altering the plan and providing new direction. It's going to be great.

So with my life. The winds of choice are blowing now. The image of failure appears to be altering. To what? Success? A final crash? Not sure yet. But this is the year. Of that I'm sure.

Just saw one of the links to choose from when the song above finishes. Your Song, by Elton John. I sang that over the radio. That was a beautiful moment in my life, despite the one I sang it for not being there. The audience stretched out before me into the dark until I couldn't see them anymore. And I sang the song to piano accompanyment. Elton's radio version is the best, but I think the rendition I did on that quiet evening in 1974 was better than the link above. I remember it now. It was my farewell song to someone I loved so very much. She never heard it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Feedback

Got feedback on Quest. That came very quickly, and I wish to extend a heartfelt, "Thank You", to my beta reader. Don't know if Beta Reader wants to be identified, so I won't.

Good feedback. A couple of my concerns were confirmed, and a couple were set aside. And then there were several things I missed entirely. Those were especially good.

It looks like the story is in for a significant rewrite, though, despite the overall positive review. But I felt I had drifted from my original premise and that was one of the confirmations I got. So I'm redoing the beginning, middle, and end. (You can't rewrite much more than that.)

I'm not dumping everything. I am dumping the beginning and replacing it with something better (I think). The middle needs more tension, and so I'll mainly be adding. There is the one major scene which I haven't decided about. Part of me is thinking of dumping it, and part of me is thinking it could be useful if I alter it so that it become part of the tension. The ending will mostly stay the same, but it also needs to be "fleshed out" a bit.

I've actually begun the rewrite already.

On another front, I submitted my query to Evil Editor.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Different Kind of Venting - The Tired Kind

Progress. Hmm. Well, that's a matter of perspective.

Swords of Fire: Traitor has been sent to a beta reader.

Quest has been sent to a beta reader.

The query for Traitor is written. I'll submit it to Evil Editor once my courage rises.

The Animal Kingdom has not been worked on since I said I was going to work on it. But I seem to recall saying I might not begin until after the weekend. And I had forgotten about the marathon dentist appointment this morning. I live forty miles from my dentist, and it was decided to do all of the work at one time instead of having me make multiple trips.

Why do I travel so far to go to the dentist? Because he's the only dentist who doesn't hurt me. That's worth forty miles. And it's nothing compared to the guy who comes from New York State. This dentist is good. He's so good, in fact, that he doesn't work on Fridays, Saturdays, or when he's got a good tee time at the course.

Haven't written anything storywise since I submitted my hero story on the Legion Blog. Speaking of which, Mad Smart Pirate #2 posted today. You really must go read it. Blogless Troll wrote it, and it's absolutely hysterical. Well, it's funny anyway.

I've written a new poem, but I'm not going to post it. Not now anyway, despite April being poetry month. I wrote what I want it to say (for once), but I'm not sure it's good for everyone to know what I wrote. Suffice to say it was touching and meaningful, and I felt good for having written it. I don't want to lose that feeling by getting unfortunate reactions from others reading it.

Even having a difficult time writing for my blogs right now. Oh, not A Voice in the Wind. I'm old enough that I can usually find something from my past to write about. And SOF-The People is easy right now, too. I've posted from Tavaar's Background Story 22 days in a row. That makes 56 total posts about Tavaar, and I'm not even halfway through. I wrote several hundred thousand words about Tavaar. I love Tavaar. But more than that, I used Tavaar's Background Story to hide all kinds of information about The Great Sea, Madatar, Khirsha, and how things work. Because of Tavaar (you're not supposed to begin sentences with 'because', are you) I know how the Window works. I know who Madatar is. (I always did, but now I REALLY know.) I know why Hawnka's potions work and how she got her knowledge. I know how Abrin (Khirsha's grandfather) always knows things which are seemingly impossible for him to know. I know all of these things, simply because I invested a year writing Tavaar's Background Story.

How's that for shameless marketing? I guess I'm feeling bad because I don't think anyone is reading it. SOF-The People has probably the least ability to capture a reader's interest. I suppose it's because I seldom (if ever) reveal me on it. Not that I'm so interesting, but you know what I mean? Everyone who blogs tends to show themselves at whiles in their posts. Some do it a lot. Some only every so often. But that's what creates the connection between blogger and reader. SOF-The People is just contains a draft of a story which will probably never get published. After all, it's just background. A giant information dump.

The Legions Blog I needn't worry too much about right now. We've got four stories scheduled, and I believe Whirlochre will soon be adding another episode. With eight authors posting (together) three times a week I think we're fine.

So, for someone who's just been moaning about not having anything to write about, I've just written about three or four hundred words. Yeah, I must be off. On a good day I can post over a thousand words. Must be this weight loss thing I'm on. Using up all my energy.

Don't worry, Mother Hen. I'm taking care of myself. You do the same.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Play's the Thing

I used to be involved in theatre. It began when I was a junior in high school. Before that I had always wanted to do drama, but never dared try. In grade school I was always jealous of my popular classmates who were chosen to play the speaking parts in class skits performed before parents. While a few of them were (admittedly) good, most were not. They spoke their lines deadpan, and so it was with great frustration that I sat with the other unpopulars to sing group songs instead of play a real part.

When I signed up for classes to begin my junior year I chose a class about plays. We wouldn't be putting one on, but we would get to read plays. We had done that in Eighth Grade English. We read Antigone, and I read the part of Creon. Everyone liked my reading, too. They thought I did great, but when I read a certain line, I hung my head because EVERYONE was laughing. The line?
Antigone
Who knows that this is holiness below?

Creon
Never the enemy, even in death, a friend.

Antigone
I cannot share in hatred, but in love.

Creon
Then go down there, if you must love, and love
the dead. No woman rules me while I live.
Ismene is brought from the palace under guard

Chorus
Look there! Ismene is coming out.
She loves her sister and mourns,
with clouded brow and bloodied cheeks,
tears on her lovely face.

Creon
You, lurking like a viper in the house,
who sucked me dry.
To a room full of teenagers, that is a very funny line. We later did Yesterday is Tomorrow, an episode from the original Star Trek. I read Spock's part.

Well, back to my junior year.

It was only about a month into the new school year when Stephen's younger brother, who was also in the class with me, and who was so very talented at music and acting, suggested I try out for the fall play. He said it was a waste for me not to. With his encouragment, I did. The play was The Hobbit, by J.R.R.Tolkien (whom I had never heard of). I got one on-stage part and one off-stage part.

My on-stage part was The Great Goblin. I got that because of my size. I was already 6'4". I didn't get the part I wanted: Gandalf. That went to Tim, my best friend after Stephen. Tim had been involved with theatre since eighth grade.

My off-stage part was The Voice of Smaug, the Dragon. Dan C played the character on-stage. He wore a large dragon head which prevented his voice from being heard by the audience. He got the on-stage performance instead of the voice because: a) he had a squeaky, girl's voice; b) he was already 6'5".

I had a blast. It was like coming home. In fact, I had so much fun that I chose the spring play, Diary of Anne Frank, over playing baseball. That put me on the outs with the school's sports community for the rest of my time in school. They never forgave me for that. But I enjoyed playing Otto Frank.

The following fall I was in Curious Savage, by John Patrick, playing a patient in a mental institution. That was probably the most fun of all.

In college I was in The Show-Off, by George Kelly. And then, everything fell apart. I was out of college and out of theatre. It wasn't until the late 1980s when I dared try out for a part in a community theatre production, Neil Simon's, Fools. I played the villain, and on the Friday night performance got my fifteen minutes of fame. The audience gave me a standing ovation. And that was the end.

There is no community theatre around here. The high school doesn't even put on productions. All there is, is a grade school teacher who keeps telling everyone how wonderful she is. The plays are all written by her for grade school and middle school children. If I had credentials, I would offer to become the high school theatre director. But I have none. Another dream. Wasted.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What to Do Now

I'm bored. The Muses have had a great time but they had to leave on other work. I posted a couple of things and then wrote an Evil Editor exercise. Since then I've done pretty much - nothing.

I'm in a mood shift, but I can't tell where it wants to go. There's some nostaligia, but I may have dealt with that by posting about how we used to burn off our yard over on A Voice in the Wind.

Perhaps it's loneliness. Several of my friends (on-line friends) have disappeared, and some others are going to be busy for the next day or two and won't be available. I don't begrudge people their happiness, or their need to get away, but it's a fact that I get lonely when they're gone. Like when Stephen and Randy took that week long trip to San Francisco. It was quiet without them. Too quiet.

I could be nervous. Just sent Traitor to a beta reader. Quest will be going to a different beta reader in a couple of days. And I have a query letter to send to Evil Editor. Like the proverbial Casey at the Bat I could find myself swinging and missing at strike three.

The Animal Kingdom has been moved to the front burner of my creativity, but it's still cooking. Too soon to begin writing.

So many things I want to do, but they ALL cost money. I don't have any. So the problem is this: How do I turn what I'm good at (which is nothing) into money? Politicians, banking and insurance executives do it all the time. Why can't I?

In the meantime, I shall listen to my music. Maybe the Muses will hear it and come back. We could have a party.

Under My Wheels, by Alice Cooper.

Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin.

Don't it Make You want to Go Home, by Joe South.

CC Rider, by Animals.

Speak Softly Love (Godfather Theme), by Andy Williams.

Joy, by Apollo 100.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Caught Up - almost

Yep. Except for the query I need to finish for Swords of Fire: Traitor, I am caught up with all of my writing assignments.

Quest is finished. That is a nice short story about things we risk for friendship.

I wrote my new Hero story for The Legion of On-Line Super Heroes blog. That is scheduled to show up on the 25th. In the meantime, there are stories scheduled for the 18th, 20th, and 23rd. Do make it a point to read those.

So what am I planning to put on my plate next?

I'm thinking about The Animal Kingdom. That's a book I began back in the late 1980s about a kingdom ruled by animals. It is governed by a Mare, and policed by German Shepherds. Crows act as informants and Hogs control a lot of the politics.

The plot centers around the brutal murder of a hog near the border with the large cats. The hogs are calling for a banishment of all predators from The Kingdom (predators are to return to our world in order to get meat), and of course the sheep follow right along.

Eschae (the Mare) calls upon Sparks (German Shepherd), her top agent, to solve the crime before The Kingdom falls into complete disarray and she has to banish the predators - which would include Sparks. Sparks enlists the help of his long time friend, Casper, a black panther, despite direct orders from Eschae to keep Casper away. Can Sparks solve the crime before it's too late? Or will he, Casper, and all the other predators be forced back into our world to face extinction from the human race?

I read about 200-words from it at the writers' group meeting I attended on Tuesday of this week, and four of the five were encouraging in their response. So, I'm thinking about picking it up for real and seeing if I can finish it. Or maybe I just need a break. I don't know.

Love to tell stories.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'd Pass Out Champagne, But I Can't Drink Alcohol Without Dying

I was going to say, "So how's about a Pepsi?" But I can't have that either. (Or I'll stay fat.) Do you like tea?

Well, they're not out for review yet, but I've accomplished to major goals yesterday and today.

Finished my first draft of Quest yesterday afternoon. I was excited when I began, and then suffered several interruptions which threw me off the flow. Got worried Quest could become another unfinished work, so I began searching the music in hopes of drawing the Muses back for a refresher. It worked. The inspiration returned and I finished it forthwith. Now I've but to read it over and make whatever changes before sending it off to my Reader next week.

My other significant accomplishment was I finished my final read of Swords of Fire: Traitor. Although it took much longer to read than I expected, I must say the reading went well. For the first time in 35-years I was able to read what I wrote without making significant changes of any kind. I'm not 100% happy with it because I chopped some things I very much wanted in there. But it's still 136,000-words and that may still be too much. If so, then it's over. I've chopped all I can. Personally, I think this arbitrary ruling that first time authors can't write long books is a load of cr*p. But I don't make the rules. Neither do I always follow them.

It's query writing time now. That I don't know how to do. Fairyhedgehog referred me to Nathan Bransford's blog, where he is doing a contest with 50 real queries, three (3) of which actually made it to publication. The goal is to read the queries and pick five (5) you think an agent would accept. Personally, I didn't find five. Only found three. Hopefully, I will be submitting my query to Evil Editor by the end of next week. Maybe the week after.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Quest is Nearly Over

What am I learning? Who knows? Hopefully, something useful.

Did pick up a couple of things at the writers' group meeting last night. For one thing, I learned that I don't "critique well". But as a very wise person told me: all opinions are just that and you can't say that anything "is" something, only how it seems to you.

So another thing I've learned is that I'm still sensitive and foolish. Criticize me and I'll probably take it to heart.

Learned that you can do a Search/Replace in MS-Word, leaving hi-lights to show all replacements. Didn't ask how to do that, which is a pity, because my experiments this morning have all gone for naught.

And I wrote this note to myself: more adjectives makes weaker.

I don't think I do that. Often. All the time. I mean, think about it. What a silly, stupid, unnatural thing to do. When would I ever do that?

Stepped back in Quest and wrote a new third scene. It's not finished yet, but it's going nice. If I do it right I won't have to add another scene later. I can leave the old third scene (which is now the fourth scene) in place and just add the final scene. That will give Quest five scenes. Apprentice had six. They'll be about the same size though. Apprentice may be a bit longer.

Wish I could find a place to send them for publishing consideration. The places I found for them so far don't take fiction, at least it doesn't seem like they do. Too much emphasis on politics and such, and not enough on pure entertainment. I understand that social issues are important. They affect people's lives every day. But can't we take time out for fun sometimes?

I think both Apprentice and Quest are dear little stories.

Quest's first draft could be finished very soon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Walk Down a Lane With Music in the Air

Feeling nostalgic.

Longer, by Dan Fogelberg. I used to sing this in the car on the way home from work when Spouse and I both worked at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. In my mind I envisioned a cabin type house with a fireplace, two stuffed chairs, end tables, lamps, and good books to read. (One of mine. [smiles]) Right now the cabin type house doesn't look too likely. Nor does one (or more) of my books being published.

Lady, by Kenny Rogers. This was a song of longing for me. Of wanting but not having. A feeling of how it should be, but never would be.

Year of the Cat, by Al Stewart. This song played often during my hey day of story creation. Stewart's songs had a haunting quality which seemed to touch ever creative nerve in my body. I remember sitting at a desk in the dark listening to the Year of the Cat album with just the light from television as I typed furiously on the original submission of The Prophecies of Madatar. (Back then I was using an Atari 800, which used a television to display instead of computer monitor.)

Jazzman, by Carole King. It was Stephen who opened me up to the beautiful music of Carole King and Joni Mitchell. Stephen opened up many doors to me. Behind every great work of creativity there must be inspiration. Stephen, while not necessarilly the inspiration for specific artistic endeavors, inspired me to be inspired. I think that's far more valuable a gift than to inspire a single work. A single work is just that. A single work. But the ability to catch the wind and touch anything. What a wondrous thing! Stephen's gone now, but I have someone new who inspires me to be inspired. Itis such a happy feeling, as this song intimates. It makes me want to stand and throw my hands up and say, "Thank You!"

Grazing in the Grass, by Hugh Masekela. A summer song. I recall Stephen driving us through the countryside with the windows down and the music blaring. The song made us feel like we were lounging on warm grass in the sun. (Hence the name?) We felt lazy and just kept driving and driving. What fun! To be carefree again. Is it possible?

Grazing in the Grass, by Friends of Distinction. This version was no less summery, and it also returns me to a time when Stephen and I were young and happy. Whatever torments we had could not last, and we had fun. We played tennis. Sometimes Chris would join us. That was always a riot. Like the time Chris found a junky old tennis ball someone left on the court. He would hit down the long line of courts and shout, "A little help!" The ball would eventually work its way back to us. He would take it and immediately send it back. "A little help!" Oh, to be young and stupid again.

And, since I've returned to my youthful days before legal age.

Soulful Strut, by Young Holt Unlimited. In our own way we were a cocky group, despite our insecurities. For we believed we would grow out of them and ultimately succeed. The world was our playground. It didn't quite work out that way. But the memories are still dear.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Full Slate

Fallen way behind in the things I want to get done. Probably have stretched myself to my limit. But I'm feeling a bit better. It's mid-morning and I still don't have a headache, despite my congestion and the occasional coughing fit.

On my slate:

1. Finish reading Traitor
2. Finish writing Quest
3. Finish writing Query Letter for Traitor
4. Critique another writer's submission to Writers Group
5. Write new story for Legion Blog

And a bunch of other stuff which doesn't come to mind right now.

How easy it is to over commit oneself.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Where is Your Past

Wrote a post yesterday which I ultimately discarded for the one which sits right below this one. This will make the third time in nearly six months of blogging I have done this.

Both the original post and the replacement version are strongly linked with music. That is because I am strongly linked to music. Oh, I don't play (or sing) well enough to suit anyone. But how I love to listen to music when it touches me at my heart-of-hearts. It is then I am transported through time and space to other times and other places. If I am not careful I can be quite overwhelmed by my new surroundings, or old, as the case may be.

That's what happened yesterday. I found myself back in the 1970s, for it was 1970s music I was hearing. The sentiment of certain songs brought me back in confrontation with moments of great joy and great sorrow, and I was overwhelmed. You see, my past is not so far away from me as perhaps it should be.

I'm listening to Hello, by Lionel Ritchie. It's part of all that went on - way back then. Today I am not so susceptible to the journey. My guards are up. Spoken with a friend and garnered strength. That's what life's about, isn't it? Friends. Loves. Those we care about and who care about us?

Our lives are a series of splashes in a pond. Events, both good and bad, happy and sad, fill our lives like a hailstorm. Some make bigger splashes than others, and their ripples spread out through the time of our lives, affecting all they touch as we age. But all ripples fade in time. Or they should.

Endles Love, by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross.

So how is it that so many ripples from my youth still beat against the shores of my present as though fresh from the first impact? Am I so different than others?

I used to think so. Twenty years ago and more. I would see people move through life as though unstained with the things I had endured. I believed them to be free of my pain. Some were, perhaps. But most knew it quite well. They just learned to walk the shores of now and cease to allow the waves from the past to greatly affect their journey. How?

Truly, by Lionel Ritchie.

Perhaps it's wisdom. They others know the dangers of exploring the depths of that original impact into the waters. Dive too deep and the weighted pressure of thoughts and feelings which came before push one down to the very bottom, making the past one's present.

Maybe that's what's happened to me. I've dove into the deeps of past pain and explored the subterranean caves wherein coulds, and shoulds, and ifs haunt, lurking for the unwise passerby to take as a meal.

Stuck on You, by Lionel Ritchie.

Kind of Lionel Ritchie day, I guess. At the time I never paid it any mind that he so touched me soul. Don't mind. Thirty years later I find I still like the music.

Others swim the surface, searching out new horizons. I walk the depths, stumbling from deep to deep, suffocating from the bad air. Occasionally, I found someone who would lift me up where I could take in the cool, crisp air of the surface. But when left to myself again, I would sink back down to the bottom, only to find it deeper than ever before.

Easy, by Lionel Ritchie.

Yesterday was a bit different. Yes, it was my new friend(s) who were the source of my strength to reclaim the surface waters of my past, but the hand I held was imaginary. I did not physically seek it out until after I broke free. The power of friendship is the power of life.

So, while it is still mine to relish, I shall look to the horizon and seek new shores to visit. The depths will always be there, and they will take me when they will. Until then, I hope you are enjoying this day, be it the day I wrote this or some other.

I'm easy. Right? Listen to the song. It's here on the surface as well as in the depths.

And to the love which went before and now swims in some other sea and walks some other shore, I am sorry. Still and always. For the little it's worth, my love still abides.

Take care. But do not worry about me. I have new friends now.

I breathe the fresh air of happiness again.

Say You Say Me, by Lionel Ritchie.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Home: Not Always Far Away

In honor of my new friends, of who I have been thinking since originally posting this, I have deleted this and replaced it with this. (Are you following?) I'll edit it in a bit.

For any few who have actually read what was originally posted, I apologize. But know this. You (and those who did not read it), helped me pick myself up a bit. Knowing you are there is making a difference in my life.

Thank you.

NEW POST

Stumblin' In, by Suzie Quatro. It's a happy song with a sad twist in that it relates back to a time when I was young. Young and unaware.

And of course I'm being interrupted. Please wait twenty minutes while this goes on.

A girl so young and a boy so dense
Two children of love who sat on a fence
The girl was pretty and the boy very strong
The love that they shared they knew it was wrong
Caught in the feelings they shared all they could
Passion and flames became their new food
He danced on her string and she played him a tune
But the love that they shared ended too soon

Miracles, by Jefferson Starship. A song of passion, desire, and reckless abandon. A memory of a moment gone by. Fear is the enemy which clouds the mind.

Back down in pillows and weight on my chest
Kisses so dear now you dream the rest
Arms holding bodies and hands touching faces
Kisses so fast we were off to the races
The touching of bellies the touching of skin
Enjoying it slowly and then do it again
My heart reaching out and cries from my mouth
You love me I know for now there's no doubt

Longer, by Dan Fogelberg. A love song of double meaning for me. It was the end of one love and the beginning of another. A love which has lived thirty years.

When I was young I was alone
I dreamed of love but none could be found
There were pretenders and users and those who would lie
They used me and hurt me and I thought I would die
But life does go on and lonely endures
It's chronic and fatal and knows no quick cures
The past is a mist and a fog and noisysome smell
When it's pain that's recalled then life has become hell

Stuck on You, by Lionel Ritchie. The past is like a troublesome friend. Sometimes its influence is one of poor choices and slow behavior. But it is a friend. The painful memories mingle with joy. Sometimes there's more hope in the past than the now. Sometimes. Like when we're tired. Like now.

A hole in the wall is a dark place to live
To hide darkly unseen with nothing to give
To watch others walk and to watch others fly
Is a pain of the future and wishing to die
To respond to a voice and dare to step out
And find there a friend makes a heart leap about
But the daylight is scary and fear makes me hide
And the fear is just this: that my joy has just died

Not so, says my friend, it is just a respite
The past's always with you and sometimes it will bite
It hurts and caresses and fills you with peace
It takes and gives strength and offers new lease
So live with your past and visit it often
Remember I'm here and the pain it will soften
Cry out with your pain and know I will hear
I'll tell you it's fine for I hold you so dear

A bit better than the original post, I think.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Blog Advertisement

I need to take classes in marketing. I should have posted this hours ago.

The Stories Have Begun Arriving at
The Legion of On-Line Super Heroes
!


Today, tomorrow, Sunday and Monday will all produce first entries by four different Authors

Read works from Internationally Known Authors such as:

Writtenwyrdd - the famous Speculative Fiction Writer in the east
Blogless Troll - the dashing Writer from Kiribati
Whirlochre - the clever King of the British Isles
fairyhedgehog - Castle Windsor's Lady in Waiting
freddie - the midwest's Star of Music and Wonder
Lisa - the Poetic Mistress of Feline Purrs
Ms. Sparrow - Famed Minnesota historian

and, how could we forget


Bevie James - ambiguous, paranoid, but good-hearted

If you have time, give the blog a look-see.

Well worth the 500-word reads

Quest for Quest

I cheated. I posted-dated (timed) the advertisement so it sits atop this post. Kicking myself for forgetting to post it this morning. What ditz I am.

Hope I haven't p*ssed off my partners by coming up with silly IDs for them. I like to have fun, and sometimes (like this time) I forget to check with others to make sure they think it's funny, too.

Been working on my latest short story, Quest. It's moving along. I'm in the second scene, of what should probably amount to six to twelve scenes. The total word length is likely to remain under 7,000-words, like Apprentice, for which Quest is the sequel. They are Sister Stories.

I've introduced two new characters. One will certainly play a role in the story. Not sure about the other. Right now I'm thinking yes, he should.

This work follows Kiahva, a young girl of eighteen when Apprentice began. But she was a naive eighteen, having grown up in a simple rural community, surrounded by other simple, rural communities. Even so, many modern social concerns exist. They just are not prevalent, and so it is easy for a young girl/woman to be ignorant of them. Kiahva is about a year older when Quest begins.

In Apprentice, Kiahva learned about the joys and pains of falling in love. Mostly joys. In Quest, Kiahva will face some of the challenges to love. It can be scary and confusing when one is on her own.

I'm not moving nearly so fast with Quest as I did with Apprentice. It's not that I'm not inspired. It's just that now Kiahva is an establishled Character, and I have to make sure she - and any other character who has been established - remains herself. Character growth must take place, but at a believable pace. Also, I must be aware of the most dangerous thing sequel writers run into: writing the same story over again. What that means is, taking the element which was most popular with the first story, and making it the focus of the second. I've never seen it work in any genre, at any level, anywhere. I have seen sequels succeed. That's when the sequel continues the story presented by its predecessor instead of repeating it. That makes sequel writing a much more difficult - and slower - process. But it's moving along.

Take heart, Beta Reader. I'm getting there. Hopefully, I will do a good job with it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

And Something From My Grandma

If writing is something one inherits, then I love to write because of my grandmother. My mother also writes, but she has never been so prolific as grandma.

Grandma never made any real money writing. I don't know that she tried to. But she was published. She put together a book of poems, and twice her writing was part of a larger story collections compiled into a book. And newspapers published some of her stuff, too.

While packing away books Spouse came across one which contains a story grandma wrote. The book is called Memorable Doll Stories. There is no ISBN number and I can't find the publisher (Creative Writers Connection) on-line, so I'm guessing they have gone out of business.

It's a short story, so I'm going to post it here in its entirety. I think Grandma would be very happy to know it's being read again by so many. This would have been published within a couple years of Grandma's passing on.

The Faith of a Child
by Amy Mulnix

Eighty-two years have passed since the memorable time when my childhood desire was for a one-and-only-gift--a beautiful, expensive doll. In my childlike innocense, I had no idea that the doll I longed for was beyond my parents' financial ability to provide. The doll in question was not just a common china doll, but an imported German beauty. Many of my classmates whose parents were better off than mine, had already been given one of these coveted dolls. My desire was all-consuming.

Dolls were expensive even back in those long-ago days. I've seen several in my mature years priced at hundreds of dollars. Back then, I expect they were at least ten dollars, an unheard of, as well as unthinkable amount of money for my parents to spend for a doll.

As Christmas drew nearer, I asked Mama, did she think if I wrote to Santa Claus he would bring me one of those dolls? I knew exactly what I would name her. I could just see her in my mind. Her name would be Dorcus.

Mama said, "That's a pretty name, but Santa Claus has so many requests he may not have enough dolls to go around. Wouldn't you like a pretty white fur muff? I know Santa has lots of those."

I shook my head no. I wanted the doll. I wrote a letter to Santa and gave it to Mama to check and make sure I had worded it right. Dear Mother. How her heart must have ached knowing the disappointment in store for me. I, however, knew once I wrote to Santa Claus, my request would be filled. Oh, the faith of a child!

My father was a self-employed contractor and it had been a bad year. Many who owed him money were unable to pay. Consequently, my parents were having a difficult time making ends meet. I had no inkling of my parents' financial problems, and my mother probably had no more than ten dollars to spend on gifts for all four of us children.

It was one of those years when snow was late in coming. The iron-hard, frozen ground remained bare. Everyone was saying, "We must have snow for Christmas," but no snow came. I betgan asking God in my prayers every night to please send snow for Christmas.

Our neighbor girl Edna asked me what I was getting for Christmas. I said, "One of the dolls like the other girls have."

She said, "Betcha don't."

I said, "I will too. I've written and asked Santa Claus."

Edna said, "You dummy! There ain't no Santa Claus!"

She made me mad so I stuck out my tongue at her and ran home crying. Then I told Mama what Edna had said. Dear Mama. She wanted t ocomfort me, yet she knew t doll was beyond her means. She dried my tears and told me even if Santa didn't bring me the doll, she was sure he would have something nice for me. But I knew Santa wouldn't fail me.

Shortly before Christmas my aunt and my mother took the morning train to Waverly. Every day the Illinois Central Railroad ran four passenger trains each way from Waterloo, Iowa, to Albert Lea, Minnesota.

Mama and Aunt Clarissa returned home on the afternoon train. Mama had many interesting-looking parcels that she took to hers and Papa's bedroom, shutting the door behind her. Then she hurried to the kitchen to prepare our evening meal. When Papa came home to supper, I couldn't help but notice how happy and cheerful Mama was. I figured she and Aunt Clarissa had had a really nice day in Waverly.

The days dragged nearer to Christmas. We had pieces to speak for Sunday School and had to practice every afternoon at church. I already knew mine so I spent a good part of my time at practice telling everyone about the doll Santa was going to bring me. Someone asked, "How can you be so sure you'll get that doll?"

I said, "Why, I asked Santa Claus. He knows how badly I want it, so he will bring it."

Christmas Eve was very cold with a damp, biting wind. But who minds the weather when treats are in store? I can still feel the thrill as we marched to the front of the church and sat until it was time to speak our pieces. A big, bushy red cedar tree stood at the left side of the pulpit. Lots of gifts were piled around it. Then, o glory be, the door from outside opened and in came Santa. He was all in red and had long white whiskers. I felt prickly with excitement.

He ho ho hoed and said, "I expect you have all been good children?"

We all nodded because who would admit otherwise? He said his reindeer had a hard time pulling the sleigh due to the lack of snow. Then he asked some of theboys to help him distribute the gifts.

Soon the gifts were all given out, but I didn't have my doll. I sat there expectantly because I knew Santa was fooling me. I knew he had my doll. My faith never wavered, but Santa started to leave. Mama got up and touched his sleeve. She said, "Santa, you forgot Amy's doll."

"No, I'm sure I didn't miss anything," Santa replied.

Mama said, "Won't you please go back and look once more?"

So he did, and there, stuck in the branches of the busy red cedar tree, was Dorcus. My beautiful Dorcus.

As we lef the church, big, soft, featherly flakes of snow were coming down. God and Santa had heard my prayers.

Years later I learned of the miracle behind this story. On that fateful shopping expeditio nto Waverly, my dar mother and my dear aunt had gone from store to store trying to find a suitable substitute doll for me, but none could be found. At the last store the storekeeper was very irate. He said, "Did you see that woman who went out just as you came in?"

My aunt and my mother said, "Yes, we saw her."

"She pulls the same stunt every year," the storekeeper continued. "She puts something on layby. Then when she is sure it's too late for me to get another buyer, she'll come in and say she has changed her mind and doesn't want it. Later she will come back and say, 'Oh, if you lower your price, I'll take it.' She is sure it's too later for anyone else to buy it. Well, this year I'll fool her. If anyone will take this expensive doll off my hands for even a fraction of what it cost me, I'll sell it."

Mama bought the doll.

Something Else for Poetry Month

No work sent out for review.

While wandering cyberspace I found someone's blog who was doing a poem a day in honor of April being Poetry Month. I wanted to join in, but I forget. I can't keep my own schedules set up by me at the bottom of some of my blogs. But I have been writing more poetry this spring. Here's another one I wrote just recently. Again, not a great piece, but then I don't write poetry well. Too lazy to put in the effort, I guess.

Fellie
by Bevie James

Fellie was the one called wise.

She made us think. Opened our eyes.
Then chanced to walk an open field.
A bandit called, and told her, “Yield”.
She stood her ground and so she won.
But her strength gave out and she was done.
She retired home and took to bed.
Making us all fear her dead.
Exhausted now, her life seems bleak.
Ours, too, for it’s Fellie we seek.
And so we pray and grant her love.
That her strength will come from God above.
Take care now, Fellie, and get you well.
For with you gone, life here is hell.



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My First Award

Got my first Blog Award, thanks to Writtenwyrdd. The image should be just to the right of this post. It's the "I Love Your Blog". (Yes, I know. The image actually reads "I Love {picture of a heart} Your Blog". But I'll be honest with you. I prefer words to pictures in a sentence. But the sentiment is wonderful and the image still cute.})

Like Writtenwyrdd wrote on her blog, it makes one feel good inside to have someone read one's blog and then state they like what they read. I mean, isn't that kind of why we write? At the beginning, when no one knows we're here, we write for ourselves, but the idea that someone just might find us is there. And should that happen, we don't want them to hate what we wrote, or be bored, or think we're just an idiot or something. (I've already been outed once this week. No need in letting everyone know I'm an idiot, too. [smiles])

So when someone not only tells us on our blog that they like us (kind of like telling your hostess that the sponge cake was wonderful, but then going home and telling everyone else it tasted like a real sponge - after cleaning the kitchen), but they announce our blog on their blog and say they like us, it's an honor. So, thank you, Writtenwyrdd, for honoring me.

Now, the award does not come without rules. (There are always rules in cyberspace. They just differ from real world at times.)

The rules are

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!


Now there are five rules. Of those five, #s 1, 2, and 4 are easy enough. The only one I hadn't done was add the logo. That's done now. It's the nominating seven other blogs. That's kind of hard.

It's like when I was young and made captain of sandlot baseball. We would have about dozen kids (boys and girls) from around the neighborhood, ranging in age from eight to twelve. Two people would be randomly (supposedly) chosen to be captains. A coin would be flipped and one of the captains would make their first choice to fill their team.

Every so often I was captain. I hated it, because the captain only had one duty, and once it was dispensed, the captain was retired from office. That duty was to pick a team, which meant not picking people as well as picking them. Now having been (at one time) an excellent baseball player, I was nearly always chosen first when I wasn't captain. But when teams for chosen for other things at which I failed more often than succeeded, I could wind up being last. It isn't any fun to not get picked. You know? (I feel bad when I choose between my stuffed animals - and they're not even alive!) I suppose that's why I was never made a manager. I wanted everyone in the company to succeed. Not just my team.

I felt bad enough when I realized I have not been keeping my Links to Other Blogs updated. Even now it isn't complete, and I added some just before beginning this post. But some of the blogs only get posts once a month or so. (Not sure why I visit them every day, but I do.) But that's not fair either, because some of the blogs I have listed aren't posted to all that frequently.

But, by definition, I like all the blogs I've linked to on my sidebar. But according to the rules I should only choose seven. ALL of those blogs are nice to visit. And some are little known! Well, having to choose between slices of the same cake, I will nominate the following (and don't you dare infer anything from the order I list them):

1. Jennifer (because she makes me think and because she purports that people can be different and still get along - if they will just treat each other with respect)

2. Ms. Sparrow (because she reminds me of things I forgot from my youth and because she knows exactly what it is like to be a Minnesotan)

3. Age of Love (because she can say things from the heart in ways I only wish I could)

4. Life's Goulash (because we share a love of cats and because she reminds me of why I love to write)

5. Freddie's Cafe (because she has a LOT of talent and maintains a good attitude in the midst of frustrating events - and because she can be quite funny sometimes)


Now for those of you who's blogs I did NOT choose, please don't feel bad. The truth is, I didn't include a couple of you because I know you already are getting awards, and I like to see the fun "spread around" so everyone can enjoy. I like you blog, or I wouldn't be visiting it daily. EVERY blog listed on my sidebar (including a few more I haven't listed) I visit EVERY DAY. That's the honest-to-God truth.

Meanwhile, I've got some people to contact.

Hope they like awards.

EDIT NOTE: What a doof I am! I was supposed to pick seven (7), not five (5). Duh! So here are two more:

6. Spyscribbler (because she always has something fun and useful to say and because I like her attitude)

7. Whirlochre (because I'm beginning to suspec - with great fear - that we may have more in common than I thought)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How I Write - Part I

Was reading someone else's blog the other day and they wrote about how they wrote, beginning with the story idea all the way to the end. Her style was very impressive. Very professional. Very much a different way than my style.

My stories NEVER begin with what I think people want to read. Including me. They begin with a scene which comes to my mind. It can be about anything. Most often it involves one of the stronger emotions, such those associated with love, battle, achievement and failure.

This scene will replay in my mind dozens of times over a period of days or weeks. As it does, I expand it. Who is/are this person/these people anyway? How did they come to be in this scene? What happened next?

That's how Swords of Fire was born. Several unrelated scenes kept playing out in my head. As I developed them in my mind they grew, like ripples expanding in a pond when one tosses a stone. Only I had tossed several stones this time, and as the ripples began to bounce against each other - they melded. I suddenly realized my main character in all the scenes was really the same person. This helped me identify just who he was and how he came to be in all of these scenes.

Each of these scenes became "sticks in the sand". Markers which I could point to from a currently unknown beginning.

That was the hard part! Deciding where to begin the story. I restarted many times before finding myself comfortable with Khirhsa and Kelso standing trial for yet another misdeed. Now I knew where the story began, and I wrote with the markers in mind.

The original story s*cked. I hate admitting that, but I tried reading some of it when I opened The Archives last month. It s*cked. But unlike all previous writing, I didn't drop Swords of Fire and move on to another project. (I did start many other projects. I just didn't drop Swords of Fire.) What I did was learn more about Khirsha's family history, and world history. I learned about who these people were and why things were important to them, and why they were afraid and why they made the mistakes they made. I discovered my "heroes" were far from perfect. (And my "villains" were far from completely bad.) Even those with the greatest knowledge suffered from ignorance. Those with the greatest power suffered from weakness. All of this knowledge helped me write in a manner which (I believe) brought Khirhsa to life. It made his conflict meaningful, and believable.

The story takes place in a fantasy world out in space beyond our galaxy. To be specific, in a star system located in the constellation Perseus, under the string arm. But the fantasy world is not the story. In Traitor, which opens the series, the only thing about the world which would reveal it is different from our reality are a few references to things. Otherwise, the story is in the background.

I think I've kind of veered from this post's original premise, so perhaps it is best if I just shut it down. I've been behind nearly all day. Our sump pump quit working at most inopportune time. We tried bailing the water, but it refilled almost instantly. Had to make an investment into a new sump pump, which we were not able to install, so we had to bring in a plumber. And I've been sick. And, and, and, and, and. Lots of stuff going on today. Not much of it was fun.

FairyHedgeHog had an interesting post this morning.

Contributors

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