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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Versions, "On a Pale Horse" and Action Verbs

20 July 2018

As a writer, you have to keep your edits straight. I'm getting ready to release a few of my short stories for sale outside of anthologies when I realized I had three different versions of one story. Nothing too major, one was an edit by the publisher and another was an edit from a friend, while the third was the original submitted version. It is a little interesting to see the differences in the edited versions.

Another thing I am trying to improve upon, besides organizing, is using action verbs in my writing. Just need more writing practice methinks. I found a great example, even almost an over-use of action words in my opinion, while I was re-reading On A Pale Horse, by Piers Anthony. Great great book and the first book in a wonderful series (Incarnations of Immortality). 

Here are the first two sentences of the paragraph that caught my eye:

"The Doe quarterback snatched the skin and faded back for a throw. She heaved it forward just as two Ewes stampeded toward her."

As you can see from the first two sentences from the book, action verbs are everywhere: "snatched", "faded", "heaved", "stampeded".

Without action verbs, it would read like so: "The Doe caught the skin and stepped back for a throw. She threw it forward just as two Ewes ran toward her."

Reads fine like that, but not great. Action.

If you don't have the book, you can read more of it here: Page 26

And then you better fix your library and go get a copy! [On A Pale Horse Kindle edition] For those of you still on the fence, here's the back copy: 

“Shooting Death was a mistake, as Zane soon discovered. For the man who killed the Incarnation of Death was immediately forced to assume the vacant position! Thereafter, he must speed over the world, riding his pale horse, and ending the lives of others.”

Very interesting proposition. 

The rest of the series focuses on a different Incarnation. One of my other favorites is Chronos, the Incarnation of Time. Evil is pretty interesting too. That's a true author right there, who can write about the root of all evil in a way that makes you want to read it. 

Fair warning though, the books do cover some very controversial topics, to include why God doesn't do enough to prevent evil from taking over the world. Very hard stuff to read for believers, even if it is set in a fantasy setting. I reread And Eternity, the last book in the series, and was taken aback by some of the passages. 

Picture for today: 

The cover of my paperback copy of On A Pale Horse has a wonderful piece of work by Michael Whelan, titled "Thanatos." Thanatos is the Greek word for Death. He was the son of Nyx (goddess of night) and the brother of Hypnos, the god of sleep. Interesting set of relationships there.

Link is to the image on the author's website: Michael Whelan

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Stone of Time

"Without the stone, she couldn't find the layers of time"

Fantasy short story time! My favorite time. The following all-new short piece is in response to a prompt (the quote above) over at Stephanie Ayers Author.com

He skipped a stone across the surface of the smooth, clear pond. Skip, skip, skip, kerplunk. Serene ripples sped forth from each impact. Dragonflies chased each other among the reeds. The man took a sip from the jug and waited.

"How will I know?" she asked. 

"Do not worry. You will know." He flung another stone. They both tracked its flight. Skip, ploop. 

She laughed. "Definitely not that one!"

"My arm is a little sore." He followed a vee of geese honking across the sky as he massaged his shoulder. "Want to trade?"

She shook her head. "Tempting. But you're doing such a great job!"

He bent down and picked up another handful of stones.

He looked across the water and flicked his arm hard. Skip, skip, skip, skip, splash.

"Four, wow. Great throw. Was that the one?"

He shook his head. "Don't worry. We'll find it."

He skipped a stone across the surface of the smooth, clear pond. Skip, skip, skip, kerplunk.

She perked up. 

He smiled. 

"Uh," she said. "There's one slight problem. I wasn't watching!"

"Damn." He tilted his head up to the heavens in silent prayer to whoever might be listening. 


Scowling, he waded out into the water, in the general direction of his last throw. About waist deep into the pond he turned around. "Well, don't just sit there. Help me look for it."

She stood at the water's edge and looked out across the pond. "What did it look like?"

"It was gray and flat. Just like the last fifty rocks I threw."



Picture for today to go along with the prompt:

Picture by Sean the Spook at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7335791
Can you find the Stone of Time?

Ghost Garden Art

16 July 2018

Working on some sketches for various stories. Below is a work in progress for the Ghost Garden piece I wrote for my youngest daughter. Here is the link to the story if you wish to read it: The Ghost Garden. Both the story and the sign still need a lot of work, but so far so good. It's the sign her brother makes for her.

In other news, I've been working away at editing and adding to a number of short stories. Working on a cover for The Legacy as well, one of the next short stories to be released for sale outside of an anthology. I also re-edited Black Char and the Crystal Caves, though I'll have another go at it before updating the manuscript on Amazon. I received some well-thought out feedback from a reader and I'm taking a look at the points I agree with.

I also watched France win the World Cup and Belgium take third place. I have friends in both Belgium and France so it was a bit of a pickle on who to root for! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Northwest Louisiana Artist Directory

03 July 2018

Marketing and Networking...

I just joined the Northwest Louisiana Artist Directory! 


It's a directory for local artists of differing disciplines. Looking forward to joining forces with other professionals. Any other artists in the NW Louisiana area should join too!

I shared a story and a photo over there. Going to share more as time goes by.

Picture for today...me at the Mudbug Madness Festival. Do I look better as a blond? Oh no! My roots are showing!