For the Birds

This blog is primarily for my writing, but sometimes I will come upon related topics. That is the case here. There are many interest birds in the world, but I ran across several I’d never seen before. I wonder if you knew of these?

Top Row: Hamerkop, Shoebill Stork, Vulturine Guinea Fowl.
Middle Row: Royal Spoonbill, Cape Sugarbird, Long Tailed Widowbird
Bottom Row: Bee Hummingbird, Nicobar Pigeon

To me, the Hamerkop and Shoebill Stork look like cartoons turned into reality. I had seen the Shoebill before but included them because they were so unique. I’d heard of the Bee Hummingbird before but never seen a picture.
Top Row: Cassowary, Crested Auklet, Hoatzin
Middle Row: Hyacinth Macaw, Long Wattled Umbrellabird, Temminck’s Tragopan
Ribbon Tailed Astrapia, Six Wired Bird of Paradise

I’d heard of the Cassowary but don’t recall seeing a picture. There are various kinds of Macaws, but this was the first time I’d seen a bright blue one.

The reason I learned about these unusual birds? I was doing research for a new book. In the story, the main character is given a falcon to watch over her. And that research led me to the above serendipity. Stayed tuned for the post about the falcon in the story!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Collection of Short Stories in Time for Christmas

Back in 2015 I was privileged to be among a group of great authors who put together an anthology of short stories called The Secrets of Castle Drakon (no longer in print). They’ve gotten together again for another anthology, titled “Another Bloody Christmas.” As you can probably tell from the cover, none of these will probably ever get made into a Hallmark Christmas movie. However, I know these authors, and have no doubt their work is top notch as always.
 I was invited to contribute, but was wrapping up Tyrian and so had to bow out. However, I shall shortly be reading their stories and writing a review. I’ve read one already!  If you like your short stories with a scary, spooky, or paranormal flavor, you won’t be disappointed. So, check out the works of Poppet, Elaina J. Davidson, Richard Rhys Jones, Jillian Ward, Joanne Sexton, Paul Rudd, Hannah Ferguson, and T. K. Geering.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Hero’s Journey

Joseph Campbell was a professor of Literature who focused on mythology and comparative religion. He’s credited with defining the idea of the Hero’s Journey, a story telling device which has been used in thousands of stories for thousands of years. We see it in the Odyssey, and the journey of Odysseus coming home from the Trojan war. It’s evident in stories as like the Wizard of Oz, and George Lucas consciously followed this formula in writing the Star Wars movies. Tolkien uses the Hero’s Journey in The Lord of the Rings.

I’m not sure if I was aware of the Hero’s Journey when I published my first two novels, Draegnstoen and Highland King, but was pleasantly surprised to see I’d pretty faithfully followed the formula. I attribute that to much reading of fiction and having a subconscious understanding that this is the way such things are usually written.

Gears of Uriel did not follow this path. That novel was about the creation of an artifact and the lives of the numerous people who protected it over the course of many lifetimes. Finally, the last main character in the book took the journey above.

In Tyrian, my next book, the main character took this path. But in writing Tyrian, it became very evident that the markers on this journey are not evenly spaced. Every story is different. Road of Trials, Approach, and Ordeal probably take up three fourths of Tyrian, and the last few steps are wrapped up within 20-30 pages.

It has been said there are no new stories. That is probably true as far as the way stories are written, and even for the themes we write about. But we will always find new ways to tell those stories, because we all have different ways to learn the truths they teach.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A New Beginning

The updating process has begun. Check out the link above for my new book, Tyrian!

small for online use Tyrian final cover image

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment