Sailors on the Sea

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Story Beginning

I recently wrote a short story. It didn't work out as well as I would have liked, but I have yet to edit it. Lacking anything else remotely worthwhile to write about I thought I would post the first few hundred words here to see how it goes over.

Of course, the only person likely to read it here has already read the entire story and rendered an opinion. haha

I call the story "The Fight". Here is the beginning.

The Fight
by Bevie James

Tiffany left the kitchen with Darryl in tow, pursuing her with dogged determination.

“Leave me alone!” she wailed.

Why did he have to get like this? Why was he so insecure?

“No. I’m not going to leave you alone until you answer my question. I think I have a right to know.”

She wheeled on him. Darryl was crossing an invisible line.

“Then you think wrong! What gives you the right to demand to know anything about my life? We’re not married.”

“Would it matter if we were?”

“Who cares? We’re not. So stop with the ‘I have a right to know’ bullshit. You have the right to ask. Nothing more.”

She turned away from him again, heading for the bedroom. But Darryl wasn’t going to let her off so easily. He hurried and blocked her escape. Both of his hands were up in a stopping gesture.

“Okay. Fine. Maybe I was out of line with the demanding thing. But we’ve been going out for a while now, and I thought we were getting close. I thought I mattered to you.”

“You do.” Maybe he was out of line?

Darryl relaxed his posture, but only a little.

“Okay. Good. Then let me ask again. Have you been sleeping with Gwen?”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I'm kind of out of story mode right now. Been writing a lot of poetry. My typical stuff. Bad. haha

I did post a couple of things on the Legion of On-Line Super Heroes blog. Feel free to check them out. No great shakes. Both draft pieces.

Fairyhedgehog said she notices that I am happiest when I am doing a lot of writing. Looking at it from my perspective I have to say I agree. Not that Fairy needs any affirmation from me. She's quite brilliant. And inciteful. Not that she incites people. Inspires would be the better word.

She also said she cannot make up her mind if it is writing that makes me happier, or my being happier that makes me write. The chicken and egg thing. It fits. I'm certainly chicken. And I'm kind of an egg. Rotten egg. Left too long, you know?

I still have story ideas floating around in my head. It's just that none of them want to come out yet. And I haven't the energy to grab one and see what can be made of it.

Did try something recently. Tossed most of it in The Archives. But I still like the first paragraph. I don't suppose it hurts anything to post it here.

Kimbra paced her cell. Three steps to the door. Three steps back to the wall. On her return trip her eyes would drift upward to the barred window over her head. The blackness which looked in was no darker than the feelings she bore in her heart. But time was moving. The cold grey of dawn couldn't be far off. Soon after it arrived she would be taken out to the courtyard. And executed.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Lonely Woman

Not many people care for my poetry. Even I only like it sometimes. That's because I don't follow any rules, which all good poetry does. The rules may be obscure to those of us not familiar with the many cadences and structures. There are many kinds of poetry.

But when I'm sad I tend to write what I call poetry. It's just a way to express feelings that tear at me from within. Sometimes I wonder what kind of scars there are on my insides. No wonder my stomach doesn't work properly.

Anyway, this came to mind just this morning. I don't have the energy to write a story so I wrote a poem. It isn't a good poem. Not well thought out at all, I think. But I wasn't into that. I just wanted to get it out. And keep it within my favorite theme: medieval.

So, here it is:

Lonely Woman
by Bevie James

You know, I could not have invented this story in a million years
And were I to have read it before living it would say, People don’t behave like that
And yet here I am. I lived it.
Or, should I say, it killed me.

Once there were four friends. They were good friends. Happy.
They liked to laugh and tease and make merry together. For that’s what friends do
The three men all strong and virile
The pretty little woman

Around them there was misery. War was ravaging the land.
And each declared to the others how were it not for them they would leave
Leave the tiny village
Leave the country entirely

And then they were betrayed, cruelly and played for fools
It was at this time the strongest of the four suddenly disappeared from sight
Gone from the village
Gone from the country

The three remaining friends huddled close together, drawing upon each for strength
They left their tiny village, ravaged by the war, and found a new place to dwell
A new village of their own
A new place to call home

But the one grew restless and bored, and began exploring the area for interests
And quickly his feelings toward the woman changed from love to disdain to hatred
And he accused her of things
Looked for reasons of fault

The woman began to collapse, for this restless one had been her champion knight
They had shared the things only lovers share, in broad daylight and in the night
She pleased him well
He pleased her too

The war pressed close and panic ensued, and things were done in a hurry
The woman, in charge, tried to keep the peace, but her efforts resulted in ruin
Her champion left
Abandoned her in need

The champion returned but the woman resigned, and gave her role to the wise one
But things were falling apart, and the champion continued to revile her unceasingly
Looking for fault
Making it up at need

To save the village the wise one turned command to the other, who really was not fit
He did his best, but the weight was heavy, and he tried to bear it alone
Not good for him
Not good for the village

The woman tried to help, but was left out more and more, and so she lost her mind
And things unraveled quickly. Hatred and mistrust growing like a disease
Nothing she did worked
Nothing she said was right

She was expelled from the village and cast to her own. By a lover who hated her now.
And weeping and mourning she made a new place, in the shadow of a friend’s home
Hoping for forgiveness
Hoping to be loved again

The village was overrun, and new leader installed as king. The woman’s time drew near
She cried out for answers and sought to talk, but silence met her ears
Not a word from any
Not a sign that any cared

In time the woman was attacked, by a friend of the village that was lost
She cried out and was recognized, and the attack was withdrawn at last
Acquaintances remembered
Safe but still alone

She called to another village, to let them know what fell
And they said they understood and offered her a place by their well
A new home
A safe place

But her love for her friends was great, and she turned down the offer of help
She would remain in the shadow of her village, hoping they would forgive her again
And they would be together
They would be happy

But the one friend spied on the village, and the other reviled her friends
So the last friend the woman had, believed her of treason and left
Now truly alone
The end of hope

And so the woman sits quietly, knowing the war rages about
Knowing that sooner or later, the war will visit her house
And she will die
And it will end

Do you believe this story my friend? That friendships could so easily die?
Well it’s true, I’m sorry to say. That we really all think alike
Rash to conclusions
Never to forgive

And so I walk in sadness. Knowing my fate is now set
There is nothing to do that will change things, and alone is how it will be met
For I am that woman
And loneliness is my life

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Last year was my most prolific year ever with writing.

What a contrast to this year, when I hardly write at all.

Spyscribbler recently posted about what can be hard about writing. I missed the post when she first wrote it. Been very lazy about visiting other people lately. Actually, for some time. Been feeling sorry for myself. That can become as addicting as alcohol, cigarettes, drugs - or even sex.

Not as fun as sex. haha

I commented something to effect that what makes writing hard for me is realizing nobody but me is ever going to read it. As this reality presses down upon me I find myself wondering - what's the point? Okay. I wrote a detective story about a woman who is mistaken for a high-priced call girl at an all women's retreat. I like the story, but I haven't even bothered to edit the first draft. It sits in a file on my computer. Unread.

Same with my story about the guy who discovers reality is not what he thinks it is when multiple realities become threatened. Including his own.

I have a story about two women trying to make a homestead in the mountains, under the threat of a ghostly phantom.

Fire Red has been read by one other person. Apprentice has been ready by two or three, and then rejected by an online magazine.

White Wolves and Wizard Girl were never finished.

All of these stories have been written since September 1 of last year. In fact, with the exception of Fire Red, they were written last fall.

But none of them will ever be read by anyone but me. I don't write well enough for others to read. And you know what?

I never will.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Growing Old With My Stories

I have read how storytelling has gone through its stages. The result being, stories that were classics in the 1800s would have been rejected in the 1920s. And stories from the 1920s would not be accepted in the 1950s. And those would not make it in the 1980s, and the 1980s stories wouldn't make it now.

I suppose it's a bit like another form of entertainment: vaudeville. Hysterically funny. Until about 1930-40. Then it seemed to lose it's charm.

It got something of a rebirth in the form of television. Most of the early comic shows were basically vaudeville routines. Those lasted until the 60s, when situation comedies and variety shows took over.

Variety shows ended in the 1970s. So did the really good situation comedies.

Now it's phony reality shows and horrible things like dancing with the stars and idol. If I believed they weren't staged I might like them better. As it is, I don't watch any of them.

But for the person who truly liked the old shows - Dean Martin, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Carole Burnett - watching a new one would not be bad. It would be refreshing.

Same is true of the situation comedies such as Dick Van Dyke, Andy Griffith, and I Love Lucy.

My problem is I PREFER those shows to what's on today. Just as I tend to prefer the older written stories to what is being written today. A matter of taste, I suppose. A sign of age? I don't think so. I know several people near my age who adore the current stuff.

Guess I'm just a dinosaur in disguise.

And that's the way I write. Old.


Monday, March 15, 2010

The Silent Actor on a Deserted Stage

You know, sometimes I throw too much effort at a thing. It's fun. I enjoy it immensely. And I find myself devoting far too much time with it.

When the object of my - obsession - is a story, it's great. I churn out words like goose droppings. And they're probably about as useful. haha

But when it's something else my writing suffers. My creative forces are directed elsewhere, and no stories get written.

That's what's been happening for the last ten days or so. I got myself involved in one of those online gaming worlds and I'm having a blast play acting like I'm living in medieval Europe. Having never been to Europe I have no clue how realistic it is. But it's fun.

Still, after ten days I'm finding my thoughts drifting back to my writing. I can never abandon it long. Even when I'm frightfully discouraged. Writing is kind of who I am, I guess. I'm not nearly so good at it as I desire. Kind of like the would-be actor/actress watching plays from the wings and wishing s/he could be out there, too. And when the performance is over and everyone has left the theatre, s/he sneaks out on stage and performs a soliloquy to an empty house.

But I sense another writing surge on the horizon. Or around the corner. Or bubbling up from within. Wherever it comes from, it's near.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Steps in a Process

Well, the first rewrite of my new story is complete. It was a slow go, and it took twice as long as writing it.

Yes, I know. Good editing takes even longer. I heard how some people spend three months writing a story as long as the one I wrote in a two weeks (40,000-words), and then spend the rest of the year editing it into something publishable.

Unfortunately for me, I lack the editing skills to achieve that kind of success. I work hard and read what I've written and make all kinds of changes. And when I'm finished I think I really have something. Then someone who really knows how to edit looks at it and shows me that I really found just a small percentage of the faults.

So that's where I am now. I wrote the story. It's a hero story starring my latest here: Fire Red, a young woman who possess the power of fire and electricity. The setting is a couple hundred years after the Great Wars, which destroyed much of the earth's environment and its population. In fact, it is because of the Great Wars that Fire Red has her power.

I've edited the story. Trying to find inconsistencies, poor sentence structure, and confusing points. I think I did all right. But I know someone else will look at it and wonder why I didn't proof read before giving it to them.

That's where I'm at now. Looking for someone to read it and tell me why it still needs work.

It never ends, does it?


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