Revisiting Legends: Timoran Wrath the Noble Barbarian #fantasy #adventure

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

This might be a shorter post than the others.  Within the pages of Legends of Windemere, Timoran Wrath stands out at being the most stable character.  He doesn’t change much over the course of the adventure in terms of personality.  There is a major revelation of his past and evolution of his future, but he never suffers from doubt or wanders from his path.  Funny thing is that I never considered this a problem and would carry on like this is normal for a character.  He became the calm eye in the storm of bolder, more fluid personalities.  That was very different than the game.

Timoran has a unique growth when you include the Dungeons & Dragons game.  Unlike the other champions, he began as a Non-Player Character.  He was designed to guide us when we needed it and cover the brute force that our team lacked.  At the time, it was Luke Callindor, Nyx, and Sari who were all rather immature.  Timoran became the wise and noble big brother to them, which is how he remained in the book.  Eventually, a player was assigned to him and things went awry.  For some reason, the player focused on his drinking and made him a brutish booze hound.  For example, there was one point where we cleared Luke’s temple and the first thing Timoran did was run off to drink the rarest liquor in the ancient vault.  I decided not to include this evolution because it felt like a step back and only caused friction.

Through Timoran, I developed the barbarians of Windemere and went in a very different direction.  Typically, these are stupid characters who resort to violence for even the smallest problem.  That didn’t work with the wise and calm Timoran, so I made them powerful warrior philosophers.  They live in harsh terrains such as swamps and mountains with some tribes being more primal than others.  Yet, they all have honor instead of being bestial in their connections.  As for the rage that barbarians are known for, I had it that they have established control over it.  It’s like an internal fire that they can access for extra strength and durability.  All of them are born with this and they learn control at an early age to prevent accidents.  The truth is that unleashing their full theory is dangerous to everyone, including the barbarian.  All injuries are ignored and no caution is taken, so they can easily get themselves killed.  It’s considered a move of desperation that nobody comes back from.

Going back to the man himself, Timoran does stay in the background a lot.  I had him more of a listener during the group conversations and he’d only speak when he had something solid to say.  There wasn’t a lot of chitchat from him when important things were being discussed.  This fit his milder personality and I could easily imagine him taking in everyone’s thoughts before voicing his own opinion.  Unlike the other champions, I don’t think there was ever a time he was truly a jerk or made any big mistakes.  Even when his secret past was revealed, he spoke with respect and only lashed out once when he was provoked by a friend.  For those curious, read Tribe of the Snow Tiger and enjoy his time to shine.

I bounced around with Timoran’s core because I kept thinking he was too close to Delvin Cunningham at times.  Part of this was due to me not knowing what to do with the latter, so the former was being affected.  In the end, I realized that I had Timoran established from the beginning.  He is the symbol of loyalty because he never leaves his friends behind unless he is told to go ahead.  Since the cores give their champions power and affect the specific virtue of those around them, Timoran was the secret glue of the group.  Being around him, the others felt an increased loyalty for each other.  Keep in mind that it was there, but he hardened it against outside influences.  Since Timoran was always loyal and raised to be that way, he never dwindled in power.  He’s actually the only champion to avoid a dip because he never strayed from his path.  I believe this is pointed out in the last book, but it’s been a while.

So, that’s Timoran Wrath.  The series wouldn’t have gone as smoothly without his stability.  I couldn’t even break it when I tried, so that tells you something about his level of power.

Posted in Character Origins, Legends of Windemere | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Diving Into Public Domain: The Pool Might Be Deepening

There’s going to be a few steps here because I’m sure people have questions.

What is Public Domain?

These are works that are no longer under copyrights because they have existed for a certain amount of time.  That’s a very basic way of explaining it.  I’ve found exceptions, but this is the general idea. Anyone can use these ideas as long as they take their own twist, which should be obvious.  I won’t go into the gritty details here.  The point is that works in the public domain are open to everyone and more works enter this field as time passes . . . At least they’re supposed to.

Why the Opening Shot at Disney?

I stumbled onto this when I was researching public domain for an idea that incorporated as many pre-existing characters as I could find.  The idea was junked because ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Fables’ entered my radar.  Still, I was looking at lists of available characters and places only to find out about Disney being it’s usual greedy, evil self.  Sorry, people, but they are.

Originally, a person would have an idea for 28 years after publication and then they can renew for another 28 to give the creator 56 years.  Then, it enters public domain.  Steamboat Willie aka Mickey Mouse was going to enter public domain in 1984, so Disney set about lobbying Congress to extend the copyright years.  It worked and it went from 56 to 75 years, but not only for Mickey Mouse.  This meant for EVERYTHING!  Now, Mickey was set to enter public domain in 2003 and would be followed by Pluto (2005), Goofy (2007), and Donald Duck (2009). . . You will notice that they’re still owned entirely by Disney, so you can guess what happened.  Disney lobbied and upped the number again to 95 years.  Mickey’s number is up in 2023 and we haven’t seen any movement to save him yet.  More details can be found here.  My personal theory is that Disney no longer cares since it owns Marvel, Star Wars, Muppets, Simpsons, Aliens, Avatar, Die Hard, Fraggle Rock, Home Alone, Planet of the Apes, Pixar, and the first born child of anyone who has seen ‘Endgame’ more than twice in the theater.

Now, some people might be saying that it makes sense since they were simply defending their property.  Here’s a scenario though.  Say you’re in a crowded theater and a fire breaks out.  You want to save your child, which is natural.  Instead of trying to find a way to do it without hurting others, you pick your child up and rush out.  People are knocked away and you even kick other kids to the ground in the hopes of distracting their parents.  Once you reach the doors and get out, you close them and lock everyone else inside.  Kind of a rough analogy and it might be more intentional than Disney was.

You see, their desperate efforts to protect Mickey Mouse from being the plaything of artists everywhere prevented EVERYTHING ELSE from hitting public domain.  Not only movies, tv shows, and books too.  Not only music and art.  Scientific papers follow public domain rules, so older findings that current scientists would want to use for their experiments were blocked.  They don’t always have the money and would need to either find another way or hope that the copyright owners of the needed papers were willing to be generous.  Imagine the scientific delays that we’ve had because one company was terrified about losing the copyrights to a shirtless mouse.

FYI- January 2019 is the first time in 20 years that published works moved from copyright to public domain.

Anyway, that’s enough about Disney. I know I’ll ruffle feathers by criticizing them.  Let’s move on.

Should People use Public Domain?

I ask this because you see people complain about these characters and stories being used time and again.  How many Robin Hoods, Snow Whites, Sherlock Holmes, etc. can we see before we get bored?  The funny thing is that you see complaints until it’s done in a way that gets praise.  Taking ‘Sherlock Holmes’, I’ve seen tons of versions and many get eye-rolls.  Yet, the Robert Downy Jr. movies were beloved and the BBC series is iconic because they brought something new to the characters.  The former had him edgier than previous movie/show versions while the latter had him in modern times and socially problematic.  I think the versions of Watson helped here too.  My point is that they succeeded because they took a public domain idea and made it fresh.

In comparison, think about all the failed attempts at Peter Pan.  They’re always doing the same thing at the core and there’s never much of a variation.  So, it does feel like the same story always being told.  That’s the reason why public domain should still be used and not attacked immediately.  You never know when someone will take an old idea and doing something amazing with it.  Heck, Disney’s entire business plan is about taking pre-existing ideas and remaking them . . . That might be the last shot at them here.  I make no promises.

That’s only my warning to audiences.  For authors, I say go for it if you think you can do a fun twist to an old story.  The idea I talked about was called ‘The Fable King’ and it was about a person from Earth getting chosen to rule over a world of public domain characters.  He had to fix it because our world had created too many versions, so things had become chaotic.  I think I had Dr. Doolittle and Jane Eyre as his advisers.  I went everywhere with this idea and it really stuck out as something I could get to work, but I lost interest.  This will bring me to my finally question/entry:

What is the Most Important Thing About Using Public Domain?

This is a personal opinion, but I stand by it.  RESEARCH!  Make sure what you’re going to use is definitely public domain.  You might see a story or character being used a lot, but that doesn’t mean those people didn’t pay to do it.  Make sure you aren’t stepping into a legal issue.  I believe it was either Tarzan or Conan the Barbarian that I discovered wasn’t public domain for some reason when I was working on my old idea.  You also need to make sure that the twist you’re using hasn’t already been done.  While this might not get you sued, it can lead to you being called a plagiarist and losing whatever career you’ve established as an author.  Accidents do happen, but nobody will believe it.  Better safe than sorry and find a way to date your initial creation to protect yourself.  It’s weird that people battle over these public ideas, but they do.  The battling has gotten even worse since it’s been the same ideas being used with nothing new for retellers and revampers to sink their teeth into.  At least that dark period is over . . . Until anything from Marvel is about to come up and Disney shrieks like the first girl killed in a ‘Friday the 13th’ movie.  Do they own that franchise yet?

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Possible Blog Ideas for 2020 Unless Nothing Works

I’m With Snoopy

I’ve been wondering a lot about what I’m going to do on the blog next year.  Some things have ended like ‘Bedlam’ and others really don’t work like interviews.  I’m having a lot of trouble thinking up Ye Olde Shoppe ideas lately too.  It doesn’t help that I’ve covered so many topics (some multiple times) that I keep running into copies when I check to see if I have a new idea.  This means it’s going to get dicey for a bit.

On the other hand, I will be using Thursdays to put up sections of a book I wrote in high school and it’s sequel.  These are the ‘Immortal Wars’ books and you’ll be able to see how different they are from what I do now.  Might be good for a weekly laugh.  Beyond this addition, I’m toying with a few other ideas:

  1. I have those 100 monsters for a possible series and I can occasionally make a post where I create 2-3 of them.  I have none of them in mind right now.  Thought about using some from Monster Maker, but they didn’t really sit with how I saw the adventure going.  I’ll have to check to see if any can be used for that.
  2. There are plenty of ideas that I have, which I might share on the blog for some feedback.  This would include that monster story and a variety of organization short story collections.  Not so much an origin, but ideas that are currently in the mental workshop.  (Mental Workshop might be what I call it.)
  3. Character origins is another topic, but I will have to go with those who haven’t turned up in books yet.  It would be spoiler free, of course.  This would include characters like Sin, Darwin Slepsnor, Ryusuke, the Project Phoenix crew, and a variety of others.  This can also help me jog my memory on the ideas that I haven’t been able to touch on since the divorce started.
  4. Speaking of Project Phoenix . . . I might dedicate a month where the Fridays involve this series.  I constantly have trouble with it because I can’t figure out exactly where I want to go.  Many changes have been made and it’s absorbed several other stories like Savior, The Psi-Child Saga, Starlets, Rose of the Damned, Jack, Gearhead Princess, Experiments and Ninja Never Wins.  Maybe this will be tackled next Sunday and I can get some focus on what to do next year.  After all, I don’t have a plan for February and that’s a short month, so I can dedicate a chunk of it to this headache.

I’m always willing to take requests too.  Beyond that, this is the plan.  If you can call it that.

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A Day in the Life of… Johann Conrad Dippel #Meetacharacter #Bundles #Frankenstein

Library of Erana

A Day in the Life of Johann Conrad Dippel (the real-life inspiration for Dr. Frankenstein)

(As told to DeAnna Knippling)

*Who are you?

Tell us about an average day in your life. I am an investigator of great renown, among those who study the chemical and esoteric elements.  My patron is Conrad Reiz, Baron Frankenstein.  Although he does not live in the castle here, he highly values my work.  Not many people have the intelligence needed to do so.  As far as what I do on any given day, it should be enough for you to know that I have the most rigorous practices, and do not stoop to equivocate my results.

Are you a lark or a night owl? I am a man, and do what it is necessary for men to do, regardless of the hour.

Do you have your own dwelling? If so, do you own…

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A 3-Day Weekend To Wri . . . Is It the Thought that Counts Here? (Big, Angry Rant Because I Think I’m About Done)

(This post started comically and with good humor, but then it took a big turn.  You’ll see why.)

Last weekend was fun with the little guy around.  I managed to finish a chapter section that was in limbo last Saturday and that was pretty much where my writing life ended for the rest of the week.  Promised some video game time with my son if he did extra reading and finished his drum practice without a problem.  Put together a big LEGO set, jumped in the leaves, and found a hiding place for a moth that he found in the leaves.  That was the whole weekend, so no time for writing.

Now, I have a 3-day weekend and my son is with his mother, which means starting Friday night-

Never mind.  I have a get together with some coworkers and I’ve had to miss the last few attempts, so I’m definitely there.  That means on Saturday morning-

Due to a situation, I have my son for Friday night and that means getting him to his Saturday morning classes.  This situation meant I couldn’t write on Wednesday and Thursday night either, but extra son time.  At least I have Saturday afternoon-

A friend needs help packing and moving stuff.  I’d feel like an asshole if I left them in the lurch for my writing.  So, Saturday is out unless I write at night.  There’s Sunday when-

A role-playing game that my friend has been trying to gather people for is supposed to happen.  I still get the morning for a little, but there’s laundry time needed.  No afternoon or evening, but I’ve got Monday . . . Anything?

That’s pretty much the way things went this week.  I thought I’d get a few writing nights in, but things kept going wrong.  I was depending on the 3-day weekend, which has shrunk from a 3 chapter weekend to 1-1.5 at best.  I’m going to enjoy the party, the game, and helping my friend, but it does feel like something always comes up when I put away some writing time.  The next big chance I have to write is the last week in December when I’m off from work and my son is with his mom.  Unfortunately, my room is set to be painted, so I’m losing my writing space. I need to help with the painting too, which could take the entire week.  That brings it from a 5-7 chapter week to a . . . I’m starting to see why some authors became recluses.

Seriously, I know people are going to say to carve out what little time I can get or that I’ll get some free . . . WHY AM I GETTING RAPID FIRE TEXTED BY EVERYONE AT IT’S NIGHTTIME?!  You see what I have to deal with here?  I can’t even write a post without there being a barrage from people.  In this situation, one I understand because I started the conversation.  The other is something that isn’t urgent.  This is a really rough situation too because I don’t want to be antisocial or leave people in a bad spot.  Yet, I’m starting to put myself in a bad spot in terms of writing.  Nothing gets done.  No progress is being made unless you count backwards.  The last 5-6 years are going to rot because I can’t do anything else.  There is no positive here because an author who can’t write isn’t much of an author.  I know I do these rants every weekend, but for FUCKS SAKE I can’t get a damn break!  By the time I get free time, I’m too exhausted or sick to do anything.  The fact that a full week of my break has already been claimed feels like the universe wants me to shatter and become some soulless drone.  Why do I even try to believe that 2020 will be any different since NOTHING will be different with my situation?  Hell, I think it’s actually starting to get worse because now NOBODY on this side of the computer takes me seriously as an author.  If I’m not talking about my teaching career then they don’t want to hear about it.

I found this at a liquor store this week and will probably buy it at some point:

That’s a real thing for about $35.  Think I’ll buy it, gradually finish it off, and then refill the bottle with saltwater.  Unless I can cry enough to refill it with actual tears.  Unless a big break happens with little to no action on my part, I starting to think I’m fooling myself at this point.

Goals of the week?  I got nothing.  What’s the point anyway?  It isn’t like I’ll hit any of the writing ones and the rest are given.

Posted in Goal Posts | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Questions 3: Your Blogging Journey

I tried to do another Ye Olde Shoppe skit, but it wasn’t working.  Fearing that the well has gone dry on those topics.  At least for a while since you need something you can give a lot of options for.  I found that blogging didn’t have the same impact as fantasy steeds, unique pets, houses, or whatever else I’ve done.  I did begin thinking about how we can share advice and experience for blogging.  I’ve given my thoughts so far, but I want to open up the floor.  The questions will hopefully focus the answers because we all know that we can run wild with this topic.

  1. What advice would you give your younger self right before they began blogging?
  2. What is something that you couldn’t get to work on your blog?
  3. How much has your blog changed from its initial conception?
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Derailing Bedlam: Murder Gods Part 3 #fiction #adventure

As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence.  It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam.  This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started.  Each one is 99 cents!

Cover by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

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Continue reading

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