Scribe Scrawlings


Two Book Give Away--Contest Ends 10/15/09
Winner Announced: Kayla! See post below for full details!


Melissa Rose

What Do You Listen To When You Write?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Deana & Nick September 29th, 2007

Another Look, Ye Sea Dogs

I'm still formulating the words to let you know just how dynamic the Isle of Swords release party was, but I've a wedding to help set up today and also to attend and I'm running out of daylight! Or at least it feels that way. So, in lieu of words, I've just uploaded all of the pictures on my photobucket account. Here's the link, ye pirates and archers. There's a slide show I made and photos galore. I'll put some of my favorites here too and remind myself that a picture is worth 1,000 words. I promise some neat stories about the signing on Sunday or Monday at the latest. I am still running I think on adrenaline and coffee. Hopefully tomorrow I can do my impression of a slug and get done some things I would like to get done.


Until then, I remain your faithful if somewhat worn,


Friday, September 28, 2007


Because I have been woefully lacking in the blogging department this week, and also because I know so many wanted to come and be a part of the kick off, here are some pictures I took. Just some, I'll load the rest tomorrow at the library.

Hmm, I wonder who that is reading the Capt'ns notes?

A bunch of thieves, scally-wags and ne'er-do-wells. But then what do you expect, they're Isle of Swords fans?And did I mention I had to stand in line for nearly an hour just to see the Capt'n? More picks to follow but it was a lovely, well attended evening with all kinds of people stopping by to see him and to enjoy the fun. Barnes and Noble did a lovely job with everything! Details, as they say, to follow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Recon. Report!

All right archers and prayer warriors!

I checked out the store where m'lord's going to have his signing and there are some concerns!

First of all, there's little to no sign age about the event (that's bad) what I did find was tucked (once again) in the CHILDREN'S CORNER on a movable wipe board that was smeary at best. If people can't read what the event is, they can't come!

Secondly guess where Isle of Swords is languishing?! In the CHILDREN'S DEPARTMENT IN THE RELIGIOUS section that faces AWAY from the front of the CHILDREN'S section!

As far as I know, the event is being touted as a "Barnes and Noble Jr." event. Anyone who has read Isle of Swords knows it isn't a read for kids!

Now, things (thankfully) can change. Perhaps they are waiting for the printed signs for the event to come in, and that's why they were using the wipe board as a gap-spanning measure. Perhaps they are going to put him out in the main area per usual, and fill the window with his books and make lovely displays all over.

But right now, there's NA-DA. People are coming in the front door, and NOT KNOWING that the most awesome book signing EVER (okay maybe I'm a tad biased) is happening on FRIDAY. Which is now TWO days away!

Please pray that word get out!

Please pray that the store get rolling with the promotion of the event, the book, and the author!

That is all for now.

I'll try and report again before Friday but it'll be a stretch to get in there tomorrow.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Leaves Are Blushing

Another snap, taken on my walk this morning. It was 87 degrees here today but the trees know that it is time to rest, and they are changing for their long winter sleep despite the balmy temperatures.


I prayed for Wayne today, on the way to work and on the way home, and I thought since others have been sharing their prayers for him I might as well do the same. It will also keep me motivated and honest about praying for him if I write it here(seeing as I want to pray each day of the week for him and this upcoming event) because it worked well last time. So here it is;

Lord you know how much I love words, and Wayne loves them too, but on Friday I am asking that he not have his own words in his mouth, I'm asking that you put Your words there. And that when he speaks, it will be with Your power and Your love. You helped Aaron and Moses when they stepped before Pharaoh to have the words needed to accomplish Your will, and You were with Peter when he addressed the people gathered outside on Pentacost. As You were with them, I ask You to be with Wayne. Speak to his heart, Lord. Let him know just how much he means to you this week. When everyone is pulling him six ways to Sunday and the pressures and cares seem to overwhelm him, remind him that it is not how many books he writes, not how many classes he teaches or how many people he helps that make him shine like no other in Your eyes. It is his self, the self that reflects Christ, the self that struggles to be like Christ that You love. Since there is nothing that he can do to make You love him less, there is also nothing he can do to make You love him more. Remind him of that this week, write it with Your loving kindness upon his heart, let him know in the marrow of his bones that if he never wrote again, never did anything of note again Your love would not change. Oh, Father let him really know that in his heart as well as his head. In Christ's name, Amen.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Archers take Aim, Arrows On String, Let Loose!

The Capt'n's shared some requests for the signing and I am going to list them here and then flush them out a bit.

1.) "Pray that through this event 10,000 doorways will open for people to come closer to God."

That really is the Capt'n's heart cry, he wants to see Christ use the stories he tells to bring his audience closer to Him. So here are some ideas to pray:

A. That Christ give Wayne the words to speak, and the time to speak them. That they be heard and not lost in the din of everything that's going on that night. He's worked hard to get this chance to speak to people and they will listen to him because he's a published author and a teacher.

B. That Wayne's physical voice hold out, he'll be doing a dramatic reading of the work (why they haven't decided to do an audio CD of his books is beyond me. They'd sell like hot cakes if he did the reading) and also that the microphone (should he be given one) cooperate.

C. That oodles of people would come and attend the event so that the Capt'n can share his love for stories, for his fans, and also for the deeper things of the Gospel.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Calling All Archers. Again!

Those of you who followed or participated in the Fantasy Four Fiction Tour will no doubt remember how I constantly asked for prayer, and also how Wayne, Sharon, Bryan and Christopher also asked that you pray for them. Signings and events are tons of fun the day that they happen but everything leading up to them and following them is hard work and everything that can go wrong will go wrong especially on the day of the event! Props will fail, computers will not order the right amount of product, microphones will take on demonic qualities, bookworms will turn into slugs and not want to talk to authors, storm clouds will appear out of no where and overwhelm fans so that they stay home, and tempers will get stretched to the breaking point and people will snap. What then can a poor overwhelmed clerk or author do?

Pray. And we do, we really really do.

I can tell you from experience that there is nothing more comforting in the moments when everything is falling apart than knowing there are Christian brothers and sisters praying for you. To know that you are walking in their prayers, to know that they took the time out of their day to lift you up before the Lord, that they are with you and for you, that they have your back is a marvelous relief, and comfort. I can tell you too from experience that there is no greater joy than knowing people are praying for you and you exceed your expectations at an event and people walk away having connected with the Author who is greater than any other. That happened at our Fantasy Four Fiction Tour signing too.

I know that Bryan, Christopher, Wayne and Sharon are still deeply grateful to everyone who prayed for them as they battled homesickness, grueling hours in the cars, and too little sleep. They really couldn't have made it without the physical support or prayer support.

Seeing as you archers did such a fine job last time, I'm calling for your aide again! Let's all pray for Wayne and the signing this week, really dig in and pray. I don't want to tell you what to pray for, though I'm sure the Capt'n has some ideas and we can ask him for certain points to target, and we can share too what the Lord has pressed on our hearts for him. I'd really like to get prayer for him every day of this week and not just on Friday but I'm open to your ideas too.

Wanna string your bow again and join up?

Post below and let me know.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Authors You Would Like To Kick in the Shins

I have been blessed to count among my friends/acquaintances several authors who have published books I have enjoyed, and yet there are passages they have penned that made the toe of my boot itch to connect with author shin. I've experienced exasperation before with storytellers, suddenly the plot of the book I'd been enjoying skews in a direction that makes no sense or veers into the realm of the mundane and predictable and I groan and usually put it down and don't pick it up again. Or, if I do finish it, I don't read anything else they pen. This shin kicking reaction is different. This is more of a gut reaction where I yelp, growl, threaten certain death to the writer, tear up, or actually cry because of something that did to a character I had grown to love.

I know I can't possibly be alone in this, I know that there have to be fans out there that would love to smack their favorite writer on the back of the head, or throw something at them, or as I said, kick them in the shins because of something that they did to a character. Here's where we can share that irritation! I will start the ball rolling with two authors that I would like to at least smack and probably kick. If you want to share, go right on ahead all I ask is that if you are going to share the exact scene, exact book, exact character that you post a spoiler warning.


SPOILER WARNING: The Door Within Proceed with Caution!


I was soooo mad when Wayne Thomas Batson had Aidan's flying eggplant* get blasted into smithereens by the shoulder launched intercontinental ballistic missile ! And right before Aidan's eyes too! It was the saddest part of "The Door Within!" I cried and cried!

* No eggplants real or imaginary were harmed in the writing of this example

So c'mon fellow bookworms! Unload your sorrow here!

Those whose shins are in danger from my booted foot currently:

1) Wayne Thomas Batson for what he does to the Padre' in Isle of Swords

Megan Marie Johnson for what she does to Lucius.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

16,000 post cards or Scribe is CRANKY

The store where I work is having its' 30th anniversary celebration this year, *blows kazoo and swings noise maker* and instead of asking for presents, we are giving stuff away.

Sounds great right?

It is, we love our customers and over the years there have been wonderful things that have taken place in the stores, but this mail out isn't one of them.

Be glad you don't work with me this week, I am sore, I am tired, and most importantly

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yeah Yeah Mush Overload

I know, two of you at least don't like the picture I put up here.

But I've got my friend's wedding in less than ten days and then Crystal got engaged on Sunday, so I changed the picture. It's not really what I want up here, but it's pretty. I had a long rough day today, and my resizing of the image I really want up here isn't happening tonight. So, so for now you get mush.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Butterfly and Some Wonderful News!

My friend Crystal is engaged!

*sound of thunderous whooping and applause*

That was my kiss from Christ today, good news, no, no the very best of news brought to me when I felt the cruddiest at work today! I got to see her lovely ring. It has one beautiful diamond set in the center and then six little ones flanking it (three on each side). We teared up as I reminded her that seven is the number of perfection. Her guy is definitely one in a million, and they are worthy of each other. It is nothing but a delight to write those words!

I have had the joy of encouraging and exhorting Crystal and watching her walk and wrestle with her faith draw on Christ in so many ways. Now seeing Him write this portion of her love story I am reminded again what a Hopeful Romantic He is! "Happily Ever After" was originally purposed in His heart for all of us, and to see her aglow with the love of Him and her guy made my day.

Also making my day was this fellow who nearly didn't get snapped. He was rudely knocked off his perch twice by a . . .bumble bee who body slammed him off the blossom and into the wind. Poor fellow, and I had to wait for him to negotiate the winds and fight his way back to the blossom to finally take a picture.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pretending to Be

An Impressionist.

I had a lovely walk today and fell in love with the way the light looked.

I wish I could upload the scents and sounds as well as some of the sights I photographed today for you to enjoy. The air here is crisp, like a granny smith green apple. The brilliance of sunlight doesn't warm as it did before, it illuminates, but it doesn't make you swelter.

Cars drive up and down the streets in a lazy fashion, pulverizing the acorns and the green fringed pods that go with them, until there is a haze of brown dust over the streets. The nuts that aren't crushed are kicked along by the tires and go bouncing merrily down the curb sounding like miniature ping-pong balls. An aroma of sunny earth and acorns and the few rotting leaves underfoot wind up under the still-green canopy as I walk along. The more daring of the squirrels are out in the center of the tarmac licking up the nut dust with their little pink tongues, watching with quick dark eyes for the return of the cars.

Further along, the air turns static and the scents of dust and wood and fermenting plants assail my nostrils as the curb gives way to the 'wetlands' park. Here too there are signs that we are tipping away from Sol, and that fall is stealing into the land like some long gone monarch come to reclaim its' throne.For the most part, I still have to look to see the change, the cooler temperatures and the azure skies I can write off as the last of the Summer but it is the browns that are springing up around that refuse to let my daydream continue. It won't be much longer and the smell of smoke rising from chimneys will combine with the crunch of leaves underfoot and I'll see my breath again in the mornings.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

You Know Its Bad When

You want to bang your head against the wall and or scream when you're greeted as you walk in the door with "______________ I think you should sit down, your _______ called and I need to tell you some things."

I don't want to get into it tonight, I don't know how public I can be with some things that are going on in my family, but no one has a terminal disease, no one was murdered, and no one has murdered so it could, as Tolkien pointed out last night, be much worse. I just hate feeling helpless. I hated it when Mom had cancer, I hated it when my grandfather was dying of congested heart failure (he lived with us) and I hated it when my grandmother was dying of cancer.

It's a special kind of hell, watching someone you love suffer. Part of you, the largest part I think, wants nothing more than to go "I'll switch places! Please! Lord, let me swap out for them, please?" The smaller part, the part that no one really ever admits exists, at the same time is going "I'm scared, I don't like this and I don't want to be near them and watch them suffer. I want to go and hide." So the one and the other today have been making me flip flop emotionally until I finally said "Self, this is silly. You can't swap out for them, He's not going to let you do that. And, you can't hide either so the best thing to do is to stop mulling it over and imagining the worst, and find a constructive way to support them." Sometimes, I give myself good advice. Now the question is, will I follow it?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Reveler's View 2.0

Right well I was too tired yesterday to post, thankfully there wasn't a great clamor and outrage because I didn't get pictures up, and that mainly because I was IMing the pictures to the people that really wanted to see them. And the rest of you breathed a collective sigh of relief thinking "Scribe won't remember that the pictures didn't get posted." Ha. I'm not quite in my dotage yet, thank you very much. For those of you that missed my narrative style in the last post I'll provide some commentary, and for those that were delighted with the lack of words, hush your mouths and your groans or I'll write twice as much!


I got to Tolkien's around 8:00am, still tired and not quite all the way awake. She and her brother weren't quite ready so I sat in the kitchen and ate my granola bar breakfast and watched the pandemonium with a superior smirk. We left her house, the two of them in lovely costumes (darn I didn't get one of Tolkien! Darn those mind-waves of hers!) and I in my new brown t-shirt and comfortable jeans and tennis shoes. We got to Revel Grove around 9:45am, much later than we had at first hoped because the route we were taking also was being used by bikers for a race from 7am to 11am and we crawled along the road, wondering aloud what person had the brilliant idea to use that road during the Ren. Fest for a bike race. The shared conclusions was it had to be some person who hated Ren. Fests and had maliciously and spitefully set the date to irritate the revelers en route. I'm pretty sure that snails past us, that we moved backwards in time, and that children on brightly colored bikes moved faster than we did.

All three of us suppressed groans as we got out of the car and walked up to the ticket center. I was convinced that we'd spend at least half an hour waiting in line for tickets, and that was what we had tried to avoid with the early start, but when we finally got to where you que up to purchase passes there was not a soul waiting. Every one was milling about and waiting for the gates to open but I walked right up to the window and bought my 2-day pass. It was amazing, the delay actually worked in our favor! After I bought my pass I entered the throng waiting for King Henry the VIII to make his royal entrance, and before five minutes past the actors started yelling to one another and it was clear that the gates were going to open momentarily. I was thrilled and so were Aerrer and Tolkien, it couldn't get any better than that.

Here's a snap of the actors up over the door, asking the crowd if we are French spies sent to find out the deep dark secrets of Revel Grove, like the fact that their turkey legs are in point of fact, ham*.

We were encouraged to "push and shove, step on small children, gouge one another if necessary'' to get inside Revel Grove. No, Tolkien, Aerrer and I did NOT do so to our fellow 'spies' but I was highly tempted by the time ten people had cut in front of me. I was ready to smite someone. I refrained.

We opened our revelry with a performance by the King of Swords at the Globe Stage.

His stage name is Johnny Fox, a huge cry from his real name of John Fox, and I have not seen a man to equal him in terms of showmanship or prestidigitation. The stage was amazing too, it's a permanent structure at the fair and a real work of art itself. Take a peek before I move on to the maestro himself.

He started with slight of hand, giving a wonderful presentation of the old illusion 'cup and balls' and went into some history of the trick as well as showing us how he was actually fooling our eyes. He was so amazing, I've found few performers who can teach while they entertain and he is one of them. Here he is, ''bowing with a flourish'' after his cup and balls routine and his rolling coins across his knuckles.

The only other shot of him that came out is one at the tail end of a sword swallow, taking pictures of him was like trying to take pictures of a puma, not something that my camera can do well, but take a look, I was in awe.

The wet around him is where he continually poured the wet from a small vessel sighting that it was to 'protect him' and it was 'water from India'. He did this repeatedly throughout his performance though he never refilled the jug--a trick within a trick--and when people would yell out from the audience where the water came from he'd grin and go "India." From Johnny Fox Aerrer, Tolkien, and I wandered for a bit. I think we might have grabbed lunch at that point, and then we walked about, Aerrer trying a variety of games and winning a token for a free soda, and Tolkien and I window browsed and admired all the things we couldn't afford. I also strove to stay away from the bag pipers there as it was Celtic weekend, and I don't care for the bagpipes that much. Half way through the afternoon I realized we were being stalked. By mimes.

So, after we ditched the mimes, we moved down to the Joust Area for the afternoon show, and I sat and held seats for Tolkien and Aerrer and watched the last half of the archery demonstration while he tried more games and she looked for water. It was brutally hot. Here are some of my best shots from the Joust which is for me, the highlight of the whole day.

There they are, all together and getting ready for a serious rumpus.

It was over 90 degrees in the shade that day, and each of these riders is wearing roughly 100lbs of armor, and guiding a heavy draft horse while hitting another knight with a long wooden club. Again, I was in awe. I kept holding my breath!

Did I mention that it was hot? And dry? I don't know how these modern knights did it, I was baking sitting in the bleachers and wearing my t-shirt and jeans!

Then, the jousting started in earnest, and the shots below are some of the best I think I've ever taken, they are the treasure that I took from the Festival this year. They made my being pretty much too poor to buy anything but a mug seem like not so bad a thing after all.All time favorite photo, I'm thinking of entering this one in some contests.

This one too, I like the light and the movement in it.

This one would have been another favorite if not for the dust! It was sooo dry!
Last one, I apologize to my readers with dial up, but I promise they are worth the wait. Now to hie me home for dinner, I've been at the library working and using the high speed connection that they have to get this all posted. Until I post again I remain as always your humble ~


Turkey Legs are in fact legs of turkey's

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Reveler's View

Tsk tsk tsk. No one posted, or no one knew that last quote. I am surprised, very surprised. I have all ways thought this particular saying, whether he acknowledged it or not, applied to one of his dear friends in the Inklings. Seeing how many Lewis and Tolkien fans I know, I assumed it would be an easier question to answer than the last one.

The quote is by Clive Staples Lewis known affectionately as C. S. Lewis, and I think it fits perfectly in the relationship he and another gentleman known by his initials shared.

I've done a lot of time traveling this week, first back to 1836 and yesterday I was in the 16th century doing my best to avoid irritating King Henry the VIII. Seeing as how I've made it home, you can safely assume that I managed to keep clear of his mercurial temper for yet another year. Here, take a peak and some of the sites I witnessed and tonight I'll try and post a fuller report!

"Fishing" for gentlemen

Really tall mimes, taking a break together.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Friendship is born . . .

At that moment when one person says to another,
"What! You too? I thought I was the only one!"

Yup the header's another quote! Bragging points/rights will be handed out to those who know who said it without looking it up! I'll tell who it is tomorrow! ;)

I was thinking today about friendship, and the fact that I am blessed to have several really close people I can say that about in my life. Two of them are writers (surprise surprise) and both of them are better at this craft than I.

One's mind runs so close to my own thought process it's not unusual for me to cry out at some point *out* during a discussion of characters and where a story the one of us is working on needs to go. *OUT* means 'get out of my head, and back into your own'. It usually leads to comments like 'no there are cheese curls in here yum!' or 'I'm not done bouncing on the couch yet' or 'only if I can take so-and-so with me' to which the answers are all ways 'no! I was saving the cheese curls for later' followed by 'stop bouncing on the couch' and 'No you may not take so-and-so because they are finally something more than a paper tiger.'

Anyway, this particular individual makes me work harder at my character building (something I have trouble doing) and pushes me to develop my worlds and draw maps and think about the environment the characters are going to inhabit> They beg to know more about the worlds/people/places and do not allow me to give up on a character or an idea merely because it's hard. They are the perfect audience, all ways wanting more, all ways demanding more, all ways pushing me to be better than before. Add to that a faith in Christ that kindles mine when it flags, a sense of confidence and poise that I know I lack, and a keen intellect that seeks out challenges where I fall back and you have one of the best gifts I have been given the privilege of calling friend. I'd put their name in here if I dared but their head is probably big enough as is and I don't want it to get any larger. It'd be terrible if they could no longer fit through the doorways or drive their car!

The other friend too has the keys to the back door of my mind and has blatantly walked in to snitch candy bars, pilfer the reading materials there and has on several occasion walked out with characters of mine and the T.V. remote. They also spur me on to better things, though instead of clamoring for information on what I am working on, they share their own and provoke me to jealousy so I run home and work on my story. They are the one that can quicker than anyone else, make me laugh at myself, at whatever nasty thing has happened to me that day, and prick me to remember that its' not all about me and it isn't all my fault when something goes horribly horribly wrong.

I don't know what sad state I would be in had I never met this dynamic pair, and thankfully I will never know!

So my challenge for you this week is to tell your friends (as I will ) that you are grateful for their friendship (in whatever non sappy way you can manage) and if you like, to share your thoughts on friendship where ever you blog.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Road Trip

Today I went back to the year 1834 and lazed in the fall heat near the Conoconcheaque Creek Aqueduct, watching the barges and mules, and the flicker of late afternoon sun through the thick green leaves.

Okay, so maybe I didn't make it as far back as 1834, but I was at the Aqueduct/canal and it really was cool. Now it's bike paths and hiking trails where once there were canals for barges but the stone work alone is amazing and the cicadas in the trees, the crunch of dry grass under ground, the feel of the wind worn stones made the day delightful. Take a look for yourselves.

Right there I'm on the dry canal, looking back to where you park. I fell in love with the building and its' reflection in the water. Ooh, backwards letters. Anyway, it's a cool shot.

That's the view standing on the old canal looking at the reservoir. It was hot out there today, not a breath of wind and ninety degrees in the shade, but really pretty too and green.

That is the top of the canal! On the left side of the walk way there, where the men and the mules would have trudged, is the river that divides MD from W.Virgina. To the right, roughly ten feet down is where the canal and the water would have been. The far side of the canal has rotted and fallen away into the stream that feeds into the river. So, originally there would have been a river running beside the canal, but the canal would have been raised over the water and filled with it at the same time. Okay, okay more pictures might make your heads stop hurting. Here we go:

There's the canal from as far back as I could get and looking at it from the left or river's side. See the rail? That's where the men and mules walked. See the arches? The water underneath is where the river and the stream flow into one another. ;) I never said canals were simple, just that this place is fun!

Okay, last picture, I promise. The wall to the left is where the men and mules would have walked and all that lovely grass, if I had been able to go back to 1834 would have been underwater. There would have been another wall on the right side where all the stones drop away, built the same height and that elevated trench would have served as an artery for all kinds of goods to come up and down to the different towns. It really was a wonderful day, and I needed it after yesterday.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Day: 300 Scribe:0

It started out with me over-sleeping and having to rush to get ready for work. I should have known then that I would have to declare war on each successive hour from that point on just to get home in relatively large pieces that could be stitched back together where people wouldn't notice the marks. I'll share, and then maybe realize there wasn't as much drama as I thought and change the title of the post. We shall see.

I got to work 5 minutes late, but the manager let it slide because I'm usually on time. So, the day was looking up. Lots of new stock came in today, also good I like looking at the new stuff and keeping abreast of what is coming in the next catalog.

The first phone call I handled was a relay from a website, I'm not in the store more than 4 minutes and a stream of pornographic images being described to me poured out of the earphone. That's right, an obscene telephone call, and this one for whatever reason made me feel filthy. I've had them before, and it's not that uncommon for some creep to get his jollies by calling a Christian Bookstore and doing that kind of thing. But this guy, he touched a nerve. I don't know why, I know it wasn't my fault, and honestly it could have been worse.

It could have been like the satanist who was out from the local mental hospital and told the poor clerks that day that he had a glass eye cos satan told him to cut the one out so he did. Maybe they didn't look like they believed him, or maybe he was just nuts, but he POPPED it out to prove to them that he had one, and then left, carrying it in his hand.

Anyway, after the obscene phone call there was a bit of a twist up about how we got a satanic necklace into the store. Well, we sure as shooting didn't order the thing and I don't think one of the customers left it there because it matched other things that were not satanic. The manager and I figured finally that it must have come in with a set of other necklaces that had crosses and doves and sheep and fish and other Christian images on them and whoever ordered the things didn't catch it.

After the satanic necklace was dealt with, customers started coming in droves and the work piled up around my ears till I felt like I was in a pit merely because people had set things around me. One of the most difficult things that I did get done today was the assembly of Wayne Thomas Batson's Isle of Swords display. It nearly went in the dumpster three different times because of the idiotic assembly directions and the confusing pictures that accompanied the directions.

It had the thing I hate MOST in the world of retail, these little plastic fasteners the consist of a screw-like post and a cap that has two raise ears supposedly so you can 'twist' it down the plastic threads and secure cardboard bits to cardboard bits without using tape. And just why do I hate these innocuous little things?

1) The threads are NEVER clean, they are filled with burrs because they are mass produced by the same company I am convinced that made those cheap snap-together models or toys that you used to get at fast food places.

2) The fasteners are designed to go through little holes in the cardboard that if you have folded and bent the structure right, will line up. Not even the most famous contortionist could fold a display together and get the holes to line up. Why? Because they are mass produced and you can tell that the holes are off because the ink of the design that is suppose to look like nails or bullet holes or whatever they've incorporated into the picture to mask them is 'off'. So, you wind up crying and screaming and wrestling with the stand, trying to get these little fasteners into holes that don't quite match up and then you struggle to get the caps down the shafts of these plastic screws with the messed up threads. What usually happens is you strip the threads, and force the cap into the screw so hard you pinch the flesh of your hand, the webbing between your thumb and index finger, between them and then bleed all over the cardboard. Usually at this point, you throw the display out into the dumpster behind the building with a violence that excites the flies that live in the dumpster. But today I did the smarter thing, I called on my co worker and he finished putting the display together, though he admitted later that I'd done the harder part. The display is very nice, by the way, now that it's taped together where the fasteners wouldn't work.

After we got the display up and filled, there was a pull list and more customers and then we had to button up the store for the night but people kept coming in and the day continued to wage war with me. Right now, I'm pretty sure it won. This is how losing, feels.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Day of Labours

Oh, it was a day of work for me today! Like most other retail slaves on the other side of the counter today was long, and hot, and hard. I would like to say we were busy, and we were for a bit, but it calmed down to near deadness after 12 noon. So then it became project time! Everything that we haven't been able to get to because of business and the things that the owner needed done we did today. We straightened, we organized, and we sold Wayne Batson books. Not that is a bad thing, but I really need to see about getting him in to sign some, it's been a long week (last week's carried over into this one) and I keep meaning to ask or leave word and it's been sliding lower and lower on the list. I also need to get my hands on where he will be and when as he starts his signings this fall. Right now, nothing is working out as far as getting him in for a signing which is frustrating but I haven't given up all hope yet. I'm also working on the VeggieTales event that will be happening on October the 6th and I have a friend getting married on the 29th of September so I am a very busy scribe at the moment! Oh, the line from yesterday was written by the Bard of Avon himself, William Shakespeare and the line comes from the play Alls Well That Ends Well

But no one left any comments so there are no bragging rights to bestow! ;)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Soul of This Man Is In His Clothes

Okay, I'll give you one bragging point if you know (without googling or otherwise looking it up) who wrote this post header (yeah it's a quote), and two if you can tell me not only who wrote it but where you'll find it in their work. If you think you know, post your answer in a comment here and tomorrow I'll confirm it and hand out the bragging rights.

Anyway, I've been thinking about villains again today, mainly because I had to make a run to JoAnne's(tm) for more craft supplies for my friends wedding present. While there I walked through the bolts of material on sale fingering the different textures. And I started to think about what would my villain wear, and why.

I'm not a world-builder or a character builder by inclination, putting the touches on a paper tiger is real work for me. I lean hard into the plot and love building that more than the players traipsing along it. So thinking of what a villain wears and why isn't something I normally do, but I think that this particular one is going to take care in what he wears. I think it will help me flush him out more. Anyway, anyone else have villains that dress well?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Book Of Kells And Other Thoughts

With the loveliness of this new template, I am reminded of the Book of Kells, and thinking perhaps I should nose about and see if I can't find some illuminated accents to fill some spaces, or maybe some ink blots. I'm open to ideas, but like all other magnanimous dictators, I have final say. Hopefully here, there will be less bloodshed when I decide not to listen to you. Ooh, bloodstains. Or even better, wax drops from seals.

Anyway, I did have some less violent thoughts this week, and they centered around a problem I'm having with a villain.

Let me back up a minute though and say that I adore villains, when they aren't the supernatural beings which are damned from the get-go. I think it's because the writers I admire create such multifaceted antagonists, Timothy Zahn really creates wonderful villains that aren't really villains (you want them to win, the poor guys are so earnest and driven, even if that means the universe gets taken over by the darkside(C)or that illegal happyjam(C) runs through the systems forever!) and George Bryan Polivka and Wayne Thomas Batson do the same thing in their books. I find myself rooting for the bad guys, even if that means that people get destroyed and peaceful villages get over run (hey they were in the way, nothing personal) and the hero is drawn and quartered.

Maybe I'm just weird, but I'm beginning to suspect that I'm not alone in my love of villains. Partly, I think it'd due to the fact that you can't ever let the hero or protagonist have a fair shake at things, so the villain's got to be stronger or smarter or have some great advantage over the hero, and to do that and not make it seem over the top, the author's got to really sculpt the villain into an intriguing character. After all the definition of an antagonist is merely someone who is at odds with the protagonist. If you think about it the hero is the villain's antagonist.

Getting back to my problem now, and that is that I write horrible villains. They are wooden and one dimensional and as irritating as Snidely Whiplash(tm) or the bastard prince in Much Ado About Nothing(c). So, taking the advice of Rhu, I am attempting to write some short things from the villain's point of view to better understand them.

Any other advice on how to craft an antagonist with soul (even if it is as black as night) I would gladly take.

Poll Results

What Do You Notice First About A Book?
RESULTS! Closed 11/11/09

My attention's always grabbed by the cover-53%

I look on the spine for the author's name-6%

The thicker books are the one that grab my notice-26%

I open the book up to the middle and burry my nose in the pages, sniffing. Scent is important-0%

I flip the book over, ignore the cover and the spine and get to the book blurb-13%

Pick Your Weapon! RESULTS! Closed-11/03/09

Hand and Half Sword-16%
Long Bow-25%
Pen-25 %

What Kind of Fan Are You? RESULTS! Closed-10/22/09

Shy. I like reading books but I don't want to meet the authors-15%

Avid. I've read everything my favorite author has written!-38%

Curious. I've e-mailed my favorite author or left comments on the blog and asked them questions-38%

What Kind of Word Smith Are You? RESULTS!-Closed 10/15/09

I focus on setting-22%
I focus on dialogue-22%
I focus on action-22%
I focus on characters-33%

What Kind of Reader Are You? RESULTS!-Closed 10/07/09

I try and guess where the story is going to go-44%
I read the book and think how I would have written it differently-0%
I race through the story, riding the words like a rollarcoaster-22%
I race through the book and then go back and read my favorite parts again and again-33%

What Kind of Writer Are You? RESULTS!

Character first--1%
Plot First--4%
Balanced Between Plot and Character--5%
All Over The Place--5%

So All Over The Place and Balanced Between Plot and Character tie for the win! All I can say is that there must be some wicked stories out there. I can't wait to read them!

Scribe is Listening to:


Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian Sound Track.

Books on CD: The Moving Finger Read by Martin Jarvis. Original story by: Agatha Christie

Scribe is Reading:

I am? COOL!

I'm apparently referring to myself in the third person too. Go figure.


Nightmare's Edge by: Bryan Davis

The Invention of Hugo Cabert (Caldecott Book) by: Brian Selzinck-FINISHED. Mind blowing! Every storyteller should read this book.

FEARLESS by: Max Lucado-FINISHED. Excellent!

NLT Chronological 24/7 Bible paperback
NASB Online at Bible Gateway


Psalm 49

Psalm 49
A Psalm of Repentance

About Me

My photo
I tell stories all day long. Some with my pen, some with my keyboard and if you can find me, buy me a coffee and I'll tell you one too!