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Saturday, December 3, 2016

03 DEC 16 Ode to a Young Eve

I'd really have to become a much more better writer to do an Ode to a Young Eve real justice, but since I am thinking about it now, this is what you get!

I had a dream, and in it I was thinking about religion. Lots of things bother me about religion, but that whole subject will have to wait for a later date. What struck me as I lay in bed is that Eve never had a childhood. Adam neither, for that matter. Does that make a difference? Growing up is such an integral part of what makes us human. All of our trials and tribulations, learning from our mistakes. And this thought led me to the whole notion of Eve being made from a piece of Adam. God is God! Why didn't he just make Eve and say he took a piece from Adam? Or just duplicate a piece of Adam and not take a piece out of him. Point being that there are multiple ways to show integration and/or loss when you are the All mighty.

Anyways, thanks for listening. Comments are always appreciated, as well as different points of view.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving Break

Well. It's Thanksgiving! And with my regular day job giving me an entire week off, this is a great time for writing! Yay! It would be great for visiting with family too of course, but they are not close by.

I have been working on a winter anthology submission that is past deadline already. But work comes first. And my submission is having some issues as well. It's not flowing as easily as other stories have. I have all sorts of things going on, maybe too many things. But each time I work on it I come across and fix another plot/world issue. So there is progress, and it is good progress, but it is slow going. This winter story features magic of a highly unusual nature, even more unusual than usual!

One problem I ran into is that I changed some of the underlying world basics involved in the story, something that I don't like to do, but I had some good ideas that needed a bit of tweaking to be even better.

I feel too another issue I have is I still need to work on showing not saying. One key thing for this story is that one of the characters feels both happy and sad that his mother died.  How do I show that and not say it?  Here is one piece of the tale that I came up with on that angle:

Far to the southwest, August’s whole body jerked taut at a sudden, overwhelming ringing noise. He fell to the floor, twitching, the ancient document in his hands crumbling and tearing into pieces as his hands clenched with uncontrollable seizures. Tears welled in his eyes and his heart shattered into a million shards as the ringing sound grew louder and louder before passing through him and away. As the sound faded, August’s body went limp, his every muscle exhausted from the strain.

“No,” he whimpered softly, “No no no,” and then a final, almost unheard, “Yes.”

Another thing I am working on tonight is family dynamics. Between the sisters, between August and his aunts, etc...

Picture for today is of a woman. It has some of the feel for one of the sisters in my story. Now if it only had her changing into a fish that would be perfect!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


I am reading Hyperion today, by Dan Simmons. I have tried to read it several times before and have never found the time nor inclination to finish reading it. For those of you unfamiliar with the book, it is a science fiction story about a pilgrimage to a planet with a very mysterious being. So far it is a great read, though I am distracted by the fact of how much it reminds me of the Canterbury Tales.
One thing I do find fascinating is the idea of a Treeship, this massive, growing spaceship and the Templars who man it. The picture below is a cover illustration of a treeship.
The book is the first of several about the same universe. Written by a former teacher, it makes me wonder how my stories are affected by my teaching. Will I hide lessons in amongst the words as this teacher obviously did?
If you've read Hyperion, what are your thoughts about the book? What worked, what didn't work? I confess, that it is not my style at all. I really did like his introductions of the various characters as they sat for their first meal together. Good stuff that. His character development was great. Easy to see each one in my mind's eye.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!

28 OCT 16

One of my short stories won a contest! The "Lost Shrine", which is a small piece of a larger, as yet unwritten novel, was submitted and won a Halloween story contest. It's a semi-Lovecraftian tale, containing some of my favorite things: sailors, magic, and unusual things.  Head on over to Benny's Place and check it out!

Benny's Place - The Lost Shrine - Halloween Contest Winner

Picture for today is from Benny's Place:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

22 OCT 16  Grandparents

I can't picture my grandpa without my grandma. She passed away this year due to old age and cancer. My grandfather is obviously up there in age as well, but I never thought a day would come when one would be without the other. This has affected my writing. One of my recent stories had a funeral in it, and some of the mood in that piece was brought about because of my feelings at my grandmother's passing. 

Picture for today: My grandmother (in green) and her sisters, surrounding their mother.

Monday, October 17, 2016


17 OCT 16 Mondays

Not much happens writing-wise on Mondays. Hate to say it but it's true. What is cool though is that there is a great vibe right now heading into NANOWRIMO. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

If you haven't heard of it, NANOWRIMO is a month-long national writing challenge that starts every November. The goal is to write 50,000 words toward a novel. It doesn't have to be great stuff, the idea is to get it all out in November and then spend the next months editing and tweaking it. I'm not sure what I am going to write about, but it will probably be a cataclysmic fantasy story. My only problem is that the story that I want to tell has a female heroine, which I need to work on making believable. I am better at writing male protagonists.

Picture for today is below, in keeping with the winter theme of the story I am writing and, come to think of it, of spooky Halloween coming up. A lone sentry on the snowbanks watches as a gigantic skeletal figure trods across the horizon. Where is he going? Does he feel the cold? Does he have any thoughts in his head at all? What is driving him forward in the snow? What magic is holding him together? Is it even a male? What doomed him to such an existence? These are the questions that run through a writer's mind when I see something that intrigues me...What do you think?

Sunday, October 16, 2016


16 OCT 16

Sunday Sunday Sunday!  The Saints won today, which is always good. I also did some writing today, some decorating for Halloween coming up and now it's time to grade some papers. The writing I did was for the Winter anthology coming up from Wolfsinger Publications. It's a cool piece full of ancient witches, death most foul and magic set in a frozen landscape. Wrote about 700 words towards a goal just under 7,000, so about a tenth of the whole piece. I fleshed out some of what the witches are like, what power they have and will use in the story, sort of Baba Yaga-ish a little bit. I also worked on the setting of the piece, talking about the twilight around them and the Northern Lights. It definitely feels like a winter story.  

The picture below, although not tied to the story, is a good indicator for the feel I am going for. Have a great Sunday everyone!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Amazon Author Page is up!

15 OCT 16  

The link below is to my author page over at Amazon. A truly great resource for any author. At the link you will find all the books that my stories appear in, as well as links to my short stories for sale. 
Only four so far, the fifth one is supposed to be out later this year. 

If you have bought any one of the books, please please please write a review!  Good or bad, I'll take either one as grist for the mill.

Author Page for Frank Montellano

Picture for today is a future possible cover. I take many photos for inspiration both for myself and my wife. 


I love mermaids. Part of it is being a sailor, but I also just love the idea of mermaids, such fantastical creatures. If I ever own a bar, there shall be a sign that says, "Mermaids Drink Free".

I mention my love of mermaids today because I came across a wonderful mermaid story by Caitlin Horrocks in an old file. Titled Mermaid Parade. That's the sort of story I want to write. Not sure if the story can be found online somewhere. I do know the link on her page (Caitlin Horrocks) is dead. Great story though. I'll have to read the rest of her works someday.

Pic for today is a mermaid by one of the best fantasy artists around!

"Follow the Drum"


A quiet Saturday morning. Working on lesson plans for my day job as a teacher, but so much of it can be carried over to writing. For example, I was researching details of the War of 1812 and came across the beautiful phrase, "To follow the drum" meaning to head toward a life of battle/or war. I like phrases that imply rather than tell straight out, and give a glimpse into the daily life, where you would indeed follow the drum if you were at or going to war. Soldiers listened to the drum for guidance.

Picture for today: A political cartoon from around the time. Soldiers on the road to Buffalo, being followed by their women and children.

Friday, October 14, 2016

New Anthology! Fall: Fear & Hope

The Killing Parts

Want to read my latest story, "The Killing Parts"? Find it in Fall: Fear & Hope, the new anthology from the writers of the Den of Quills. Click on the link below to order:

Fall: Fear & Hope

It's on sale right now too!
You can use the code 9HW5GHYR to get 25% off the cover price (valid until 10/31/2016)


I don't have a graphic to go with my short story, I guess the anthology cover will have to do.


14 OCT 16: So many things run through my brain each day! One thing today would be using the word 'that' in writing. The last four stories that I sent in all had too many thats! 95% of the edits were removal of that overly used word. OMG! I didn't think I used it that much! Of course, just writing this post I see how easy it is to throw in unneeded words.

The bright side of course, the good news, is that the other 5% of the edits were minor issues, missing words, stuff like that. If you have some experience with people editing your writing, what issues were found in your words?

Picture for today: This picture makes me think of editing my own work. It may seem as if you are reading carefully, but really your eyes are covered, you are blinded because these are your own words, you know them and you aren't actually reading what you wrote, more like glossing over them, revisiting them in other words, not reading them critically. It always helps to have another set of eyes before they're printed.

In the Beginning...


Just starting this post up. 
Welcome all. 
Hope you enjoy the things you see and read here.