Teaser Tuesday: At Least They Tried #fantasy #adventure

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Going back to the beginning with a teaser from Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero.  Been a long time since I showed anything from this.  Keep in mind that it’s Free on Amazon and Smashwords.  A great introduction to my biggest series both to date and ever.  Although, you can really see how far I’ve come here over the years too.  Enjoy.

Continue reading

Posted in Beginning of a Hero, Legends of Windemere, Teaser Tuesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Path of Heroes Sestina

(A sestina is a 7 stanza poem. The first 6 stanzas have 6 lines where the final word of each line is used in each position once.  It ends with a 3 line stanza with two of the words in each line.)

Heroes stepping upon the path
Some blind and others with purpose
All began unknowing of fate
One by one they join the battle
Driven forward by courage
Warding off the constant threat of death

One born with no sense of death
Another raised to walk her path
A youth depending upon his courage
The prince in search of purpose
A veteran of many battles
And a girl dragged into the whim of fate

Together they are bound by fate
Knowing at least one will be greeted by death
United for every battle
Keeping each other on the path
Friendship hardening their purpose
And bolstering their courage

Many times they will need courage
As their enemies chip away at fate
Those dedicated to a darker purpose
Starting with a being cloaked in death
Who follows his master’s path
And calls demons into battle

Forces clash in battle
Targeting their will and courage
Each one on a path
Questioning if its choice or fate
The answer coming with death
A prophecy of conflicting purpose

Who has the truer purpose
Will the answer come with a final battle
The only solution death
Or the shattering of courage
Viewed by the craftsman of fate
That has spent centuries watching this path

A duel of purpose that depends on courage
Leading to a battle of fate
To discover whose path will lead to death

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This did feel a little clunky, especially since I picked some tough words to reuse.  The poem depends on both repetition and ingenuity.  Obviously, I did this about Legends of Windemere and I hope I did my series justice.

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Check on the Idea Stockpile

(Okay.  I moved this from September 1st to the 15th because I forgot about all of the October post stuff I had set up.  Sorry about any confusion.)

About a week and a half ago, I was talking to someone and they showed an interest in me being an author.  Been a while, so I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or not.  I talked about Legends of WindemereWar of Nytefall, and the others that have been working on.  Then, I was asked if I had anything else in the pipes.  Proudly declared that I had 30+ ideas on the burners in various stages of planning.  That’s as far as I got though because I terrifyingly realized that I couldn’t remember them.  Managed to make it out of the conversation and then broke down later that day when I was alone.  Why would this happen?

I used to always be able to run through most of my future ideas in my head without a problem.  After a full year of stress, anguish, and not being much of an author, I found that I couldn’t do this any more.  Everything is in my notes and I can jump start the memories that way, but this feels like another sign that I’m broken.  Not in the positive author way, but the detrimental author way.  I’ve had so little time with creative thoughts that things have faded away and that makes me queasy.  This is where people begin telling me that the creative ideas (and gift) are dormant and not gone.  Still, I’ve lost enough ideas to know things can vanish.  The stress and pressure of a ‘normal’ life require a sacrifice, which is typically our child-like creativity and optimism.  Lost the latter a long time ago, so the former is all I have left to stave off the crippling fate of being a mundane, go-through-the-motions adult.  Rather be a creative one.

When in Baltimore, I started remaking the list of series titles.  I have 3 copies in various formats and from various ages.  For example, 1 has Project Phoenix and Windemere mixed, 1 has them separate, and the other has arrows going everywhere.  That last one might have been when I was merging smaller stories into the bigger series to enhance the plots and cast.  I’m going to try to finish the list during my break and then step back into the fantasy tip stuff.  Once I get those entries outlined, I can gradually begin on that and maybe get more of my dwindling mojo back.  At least I still know how to write about the trade even if I can’t get the stories flowing.

Now, I was going to list everything here, but that actually sounds more ridiculous now that I’m looking at it.  I do have some confusing ones.  Think I’m going to keep everything in Windemere, including my superheroes.  This means the alien bounty hunter is going to have a problem.  One version had her crash land and go in search of bounties that escaped her ship.  Being aliens, they all have different reactions to Windemere’s magic and there was going to be a cult that goes after ‘Moon Children’.  Might be safer because I could never get the spaceship battles to work right and I prefer magic to science.  Those are my biggest headaches though.  Considering everything after Legends of Windemere, doesn’t really sell, I should do what I feel comfortable with and continue aiming for the grand finale of everything.  At least I’ll be entertained and I can leave the stories finished when I go bye-bye.

Another thing I’ve been looking at here is the format.  I’m thinking of turning many of the non-core stories like ‘Lions of Trune’, ‘Monster Hunters’, ‘Wraith Slayers’, etc. into short story collections.  It’ll be similar to how I do Bedlam in that each chapter is an adventure that connects to the whole.  This can turn some of them into one-shots or, at the very least, duets.  It could result in the ebooks being closer to 400 pages instead of my usual 200-300 but at least the story will be out there completely.  Besides, I’ve seen plenty of ebooks out there of that size.  Just another idea that I’m playing with.

This post is predominantly to clear my head.  I can’t do much else at this time since I’ve got a lot on my plate.  If I can use my breaks at work to get some outlining done then that’s a good move.  Hoping to use my non-son weekends for working on the next War of Nytefall book.  Things are going to be busy, but when are they not?  Maybe I’ll get my things together and designate a weekday in 2020 to reveal future ideas and get feedback on the basics.  Guess we’ll find out and hopefully I keep getting better in terms of being an author.  At least I have my new list.

Posted in Character & Book Themes, Character Origins | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Thoughts on Last Week’s Blog Topic

Bleach Characters (Both Female)

For those that were busy or avoiding the blog on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I talked about the Pervert Character this week.  It was a gamble given what the character is known for and how people respond to it.  A few people in the comments talked to me and I think we agreed that it might be cultural because you see them predominantly in anime and manga.  This I expected and believed beforehand.  Yet, there is a curious thing that I realized throughout the week.

People were saying that these characters are irredeemable and couldn’t be forgiven even if they were peeping toms.  Keep in mind that this wasn’t about rapists, but the anime perverts that peep, grope, jump for kisses, and do other things that TYPICALLY get them BRUTALLY BEATEN!  I think people ignored the results of these actions because there is NEVER a reward.  Again, cultural where there’s an acceptance that it’s fiction and gets more leeway.  Seriously, we really seem to put more standards on our fiction than on our reality.  This isn’t even the main thing that I realized.

I have written posts about serial killers, assassins, thieves, murderers, psychopaths, vigilantes, warriors, badasses, and other types that use violence to solve problems.  Each time I brought up this topic, I got a lot of comments about how they are used and popular examples.  Dexter was brought up as an example where we look at him as a hero and hope for redemption, but he’s still a SERIAL KILLER!  So, I was kind of shocked how the Pervert posts managed to scare off some people and get judged in a way that the violent ones never did.  The sex had everyone uncomfortable and deeming the characters irredeemable.  The violence is accepted because . . . it’s entertaining?  We really are a fucked up people if we can forgive a character who murders his way through a double-decker bus of enemies and scream for the death of one that copped a feel then got that same bus dropped on their head.  People brought up power and consent, but those things are being broken when you kill someone too.  I bet I could set up a series of posts in a few months about a violent character and get more results than this week.

Anyway, this is an observation and I’m sure people will respond by giving me their cultural insight.  Yet, I don’t really think that’s what we should look at.  It should be personal.  Why are you able to accept violent character, but not perverted ones?  Why can you forgive one and not the other when they are both crossing a line?  What about the fact that many of the perverts described are punished for their actions while the violent ones are almost praised for their slaughters?

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Week of the Son of Pneumonia

(And I thought the song was bizarre!  Can’t say I don’t enjoy them though.)

It was a week to remember . . . Not really in a good.  First full week of school, which was fun and I got into the groove.  Yet, nearly everything was overshadowed by the return of an old nemesis.  Pneumonia snuck back in under the cover of what I thought was a cold combined with asthma.  Even worse, I wasn’t the one who got it.

Seriously, I thought my son simply had an asthma/cold issue last weekend because it always happens with weather changes.  No loss of appetite and we were able to do everything without getting tired.  There was no fever either until he woke up at his mother’s on Tuesday and the nurse saw it getting a little high too.  He came home and I didn’t catch anything.  Sent him to school and I got a call near the end of my day that he needed to go home.  Took him to the doctor, told pneumonia, and that was the end of his week.  Stayed with my parents until his mom took him last night along with all the medications.  This wasn’t an easy situation because the ex-wife and I were started to butt heads over other things come Monday, so that stubbornness and negativity caused us to argue.

That was the big thing for the week, so I don’t have much else to talk about.  War of Nytefall: Eradication is going to be delayed until 2020 because of some issues that came up.  I should probably edit it once or twice again too.  Realized as I was in one class that I never mentioned Clyde’s corn-shaped necklace in this book, which is a major problem.  So, I have to jump through it to find spots to make note of the charm that is a favorite in joke.  Not sure how many people know about that one, so maybe that will be a December post.  You see, this means I’m out of post ideas for December, so I need to come up with some topics.  Feel free to suggest anything that you want me to write about, which also brings me to two more blog issues.

  1. The Teaser Tuesday posts that I scheduled will run out on October 8th.  I need to figure out what to do here.  I could keep doing other Teasers like run through one for each of the Legends of Windemere books.  It’s getting tougher to do these since I’m really just grabbing some from years ago to repost.  People want more Ichabod Brooks too, but I can’t do that until I get it off Kindle Unlimited.  Even then, I might not because it means nobody would buy that book.  I’d try a poll again, but that would result in the same thing I had last time.  Maybe do one for each of my books in chronological order would work?
  2. This week’s topic might have gotten the lowest reaction out of everything I have ever posted.  I’ll talk more about why I found this odd tomorrow.  Thank you to everyone who did step into the conversation.

My plan for the weekend is going to be a little random.  I have to try making strawberry bread to see if it can work for the kids at school.  Got a doctor appointment this afternoon and the usual laundry, exercise (missed the entire week), and wanting to do something for writing.  My son is with his mom for the first three weeks of October since I get him for three weeks of September, so I want to get War of Nytefall: Ravenous outlined to let me jump into writing that.  It’s doable and I might have gotten somewhere by the time this goes live.

My hope is to pull off a 2-3 book 2020, which is a long shot goal.  I’ll be using next summer for classes, which means I might be able to write the next Ichabod Brooks collection during that time.  If not that then the fantasy tip book, but I’m beginning to wonder if I can do that when I can’t sell any of my fantasy books.  Anyway, I really want to show that I can juggle fatherhood, teaching, and being an author.  Not that anything sells now, but I need balance and I’m tired of people telling me to toss the third part in the dumpster until I’m retired.  Does anybody pay attention to the fact that my generation doesn’t believe they’ll ever retire?  Not to mention I’ll feel pretty stupid if I die before then and leave a shelf full of empty notebooks.  Why do people keep talking as if we’re immortal and the things we really want to do can be pushed aside instead of fighting to make some time for them?

Goals for the week?

  1. Outline War of Nytefall: Ravenous
  2. Take care of my son once he is back home.
  3. Have fun at school while working.
  4. Get back on the bike.
  5. Finish October posts.
  6. Make list of December post topics (FEEL FREE TO SUGGEST!)
  7. Duck and cover with tomorrow’s post about how people respond to sex and violence with different levels of acceptance and comfort.
  8. Test out strawberry bread recipe.
  9. Try watching more Cannon Busters . . . Not really sure about this one.
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A Female Pervert in Anime/Manga?

Pudding from One Piece

You may have noticed that all of my ‘pervert character’ examples up to this point have been male.  The reason is because that’s typically the case.  I have been reading that the female pervert is starting to gain some ground, so I guess that’s a push for equality in some fashion.  I don’t know, but I do find it odd how this tends to only be one gender and nobody really wants it to be switched.  So, what are some things I discovered on the topic of the ‘female pervert’.

Aversion to Female Desire

From what I was reading, this is a cultural issue.  Again, we find this type primarily in anime and manga.  Male desire and lust is acceptable, but female desire and lust is something to be hidden.  That’s how people look at it.  There is some gray areas like women who hit on male characters, but it’s rarely to the extent of what you would see if the roles were reversed.  Groping is definitely off the table.  In fact, you see many of them ashamed of their desires.  Here is a perfect example:

In ‘One Piece’, there is a character named Sanji who is always hitting on female characters and asking them on dates.  He gets the love-shaped eyes and nosebleeds of lust that you see in the genre.  He goes pretty far with his declarations of love and is not afraid to show this side.  Later on, you run into a female character named who ends up having the same feelings.  She even gets the nosebleeds, but she is constantly at war with these emotions.  I will admit that there is a major plot reason for this conflict, but there’s a heavy level of shame here.

You Can’t Have Violent Consquences

I’ve mentioned that most male perverts receive violent, sometimes cartoonishly destructive, results from their antics.  You see them with beaten up faces, large lumps on their head, or laying in a pool of blood for a panel/scene before getting better.  This takes on a less comedic tone when it’s done to a woman even if she’s committing the same perverted acts.  Violence against women get used so much as a dramatic/disturbing plot point that the comedy side routinely falls flat.  This means a ‘female pervert’ will get away with things and probably only be yelled at.  It would be like telling a joke and the comedian pulls back on the punchline to the point where it doesn’t have the right impact.  After all, these characters are typically played for Looney Tune level laughs.

More Mileage Out of Tamer Acts

Communal baths, spas, and hot springs are very common in anime and manga.  They typically have these separated by men and women.  While the guys are trying to peep through holes in the divider, the women do two things.  They actively wait and undermine the guys, which is where violent retribution is doled out.  They also play with each other in scenes that show a comfort with nudity, but it doesn’t fall entirely on pervert.  It’s comparing bodies to talk about growing up or seeing who is more beautiful, which has no trace of desire.  There are times of playfulness with no sexual intent and the undertones are placed there entirely by the audience.  Doing this isn’t really possible if one of the characters is trying to get some action.  There’s no reason for it either because you get the fan service out of males with these scenes.  Why push into an area where you can destroy a character’s reputation when playful bath times with strategically placed steam clouds will work too?

People Don’t Know How to Do It

This might be the second biggest reason behind the ‘female desire is taboo’ reason.  I have yet to see the ‘female pervert’ done right.  The attempts end up turning them into, pardon the word, sluts.  Unlike the men in this category, the women tend to succeed in their pursuits because guys are fairly easy to seduce.  If a guy chases 100 women then it’s believable that they’ll end up alone.  If a woman chases 100 men then it’s not so believable, which changes the character dynamic.  A point of the ‘pervert’ is that they never get what they desire.  Not sure which gender gets the short end of the stick from this issue, but it’s what a lot of people believe.

There is a variation here that is a ‘female pervert’ trying to get another character laid and has no tact.  Again, we see that they have no personal desire or lust, but they are focused heavily on the sexual side of relationships.  This might be a safer version to go with because it takes on a matchmaker tone.  Still, many people might not like the push and find the character intrusive.  I will say that you can’t do this one very easily with a guy because male friendships tend to be more blunt.

So, we’re at the end of this week’s topic.  I’m sure I’ve lost some people and angered others over this.  Well . . . At least it’s out of the way.

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Derailing Bedlam: Which One of Us Is the Predator, Again? Part 2 #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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