Friday, November 25, 2005

Must a character have faults?

How do you feel about this topic?

For a character to be true to themselves, would simply
mean, they would not go against their nature to further
the story. In other words, we don't expect a doctor to
become someone who is also a master carpenter. Nor do
we expect a plumber to be able to perform brain surgery.
The characters in a story are true to themselves when
they fit the expectations of the reader and we are not
surprised by their behavior or abilities.

This may vary in situations where the particular scene
calls for our character to do something extraordinary or
out of character in order to overcome a crisis, or to
avoid personal harm. At times, the human spirit takes
us to another realm of endurance and our instinct for
survival comes in to play. In these situations, our
character may be expected to do things that we would
normal think impossible.

As for staying true to the story, a character is not
one-dimensional and is subject to the rules of continuity
on the belief that the story is a merely a guide into
places most people only dream about. As writers, we must
try to make our characters realistic so that their actions
are believable and true to the story.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hannigan's Meadow (chapter 23 - critiqued)

Here's an unedit chapter I asked Mya Bell to critique for me. She provided a very nice example of what you can expect from an editor who performs a line-by-line edit of your work. Expect editors marks and comments within the contents of your manuscript.

I will enjoy spending my holidays editing this novel for content and grammar. But remember one thing, do as much self-editing as possible before asking (hiring) an editor to review your work.

I had to use a jpg file to get her online comments correctly.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Lawyer's Guide to Simplify Divorce (Funny)

Title: A Lawyer's Guide to Simplify Divorce.

Abstract: This guide is intended for those lawyers’s who practice in the field of Family Law and specialize in Divorce. As an important part of the American Judicial system the practice of Divorce Law is fraught with greed, suspicion, anxiety, anger and apprehension among attorneys. In order to make the process more attorney friendly this book offers many valuable tips and insights on how to obtain unlimited success without the usual drawbacks associated with an unsuccessful case.

Chapter Outlines:

Chapter 1: Your Competition is Your Friend

A “how-to” become better acquainted with the opposing lawyer and how this will greatly increase your chances for success. Never assume that the opposing lawyer is the enemy. Most of the time they are available after hours to discuss the difficult issues facing many divorce lawyers. Become friends with them and learn how to work together to keep each other happy. Remember, it is important to work together to become successful.

Chapter 2: The Personal Touch

Five simple steps necessary to make your client more agreeable to your suggestions and reduce their general reluctance to accept what is best for them. The once simple cost of a divorce is a thing of the past. It is not uncommon for lawyers today to spend much more time with their client than they once did. Given the adverse affect an unsuccessful divorce often has on lawyers the quality time you spend with your clients with benefit them by reducing their reluctance to continue in the face of insurmountable odds.

Chapter 3: The “Can Do!” Attitude

Maintain a professional attitude so that your client will respect the decisions you make in the event they have to settle for less. Many clients will respect your decisions if you do not appear friendly or show concern for their wishes so long as they think you will “take it the distance!”. The lawyer should always present a positive attitude and assure their client of their overwhelming potential for a successful settlement.

The difference between a successful lawyer and not is their ability to ask for more than is possible in a divorce. Remember, “Never Settle For Less!”

Chapter 4: Motionless Motions

Six motions that are necessary to keep the client happy. The motion is a great tool to improve your client’s involvement in the divorce. The continuation motion is the most often misunderstood of all filings with the court. A simple delay in a pretrial event is a very useful tool to establish credibility with your client and give you more time to prepare.

Chapter 5: Children, a Must!

Children of divorced couples are often the easiest way to increase the complexity and time required to complete the divorce. If there are children it is important to remember their names. If there are no children then find some. Suggest a paternity test of close family members and friends with children. There are many opportunities to increase the chances of an early victory if either side has children from other partners during the marriage. Share whatever you discover with others so that they become more involved and offer additional sources of potential offsprings.

Chapter 6: Assets to Success

Quickly identify what is disposable and what can be used later to pay any outstanding debts. Prepare a detailed list of all charges that the client can expect. A good rule of thumb is to include any miscellaneous office items that pertain to the divorce, such as; paper clips, pencils, heating and cooling, and tissues. By showing your client what to expect up front, they often to agree on additional services that are available through other lawyers.

Chapter 7: The Flexible Court Dates

Prepare a calendar of dates that conflict with existing schedules. This helps to establish early in the divorce who is more flexible. Often it is necessary to schedule two dates at the same time to allow yourself a choice of which client to represent on any given date.

Chapter 8: No Settle, Settlement Conferences

Schedule several settlement conferences to make sure enough time is given to settle any disputes. This process allows the lawyer to spread the work out over many months instead of a few short weeks. Each revision should be carefully constructed to allow the opposing attorney an opportunity to make changes. Given the time and expense of Settlement Conferences it is often necessary to set a time when you and the opposing lawyer are not as busy. Many clients will adjust their schedules to meet at difficult times if you are willing to give them limited choices.

Chapter 9: Trials and Tribulations

Easy witnesses. Most lawyers miss the most important part of any successful trial by forgetting to call enough witnesses. Friends and family are usually the first on the list. Yet, it is the experts in any field, clergy of different domination’s, public servants and community leaders who are often the most overlooked resources. These individuals are an important part of any trial and should be thought of as assets to success.

Chapter 10: The Divorced Again Client

A quick divorce is not always necessary, but if it happens remember to keep in contact with your client in case they remarry. Many divorced couples often use the same lawyer in subsequent divorces and it is useful to keep a current client list for future uses. Mailing lists and Christmas cards are two of the easiest methods of keeping in contact and are useful tools to generate future revenue. Don’t forget that there are two sides to every divorce, so don’t leave the other party off your list.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Query Sampler (First Killer Love)

Here's a rough idea for the basic fiction novel query letter. There are several places on the net where you can go to get a complete description and more samples, it just takes some time to do the research.

[my personal details]


[agent information]

Dear [my agent]

[Include a brief paragraph why you chose this particular agent.]

[hook] Gladys always wanted to be loved. Even if it meant killing to get it.

Troy was Atlanta’s favorite son. He becomes the first freshmen in his college class to receive a grant to attend Oxford. He has everything to look forward to; except Gladys who has other ideas for his future.

Without warning, Troy is kidnapped by the one woman he always loathed and despised. But that didn’t bother Gladys because she knows Troy could become her first love if she just had the chance to spend time with him alone.

Gladys will do anything to keep Troy to herself. If it means dying together then she is willing. Troy doesn’t see it her way and tries to convince her of a love that may kill them both.

[title and word count]

Synopsis, sample chapters and complete manuscript are available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Your signature

Friday, November 18, 2005

Writing Sample for Dead Dreams (novel)

Decided to post a writing sample from my previous novel that I'm actively shopping around to a few agents.

Chapter 3 ....this is where we pickup

The alley taunted him and drew him into the contemptuous darkness. Against his better judgment, he cautiously walked into it. His mind told him that it was just a bad dream, that he would find nothing there. Only the remains of a dying neighborhood as he first thought.

The smell of death preceded his passage.

He covered his mouth and took a step. Something soft and wet squished under his foot. His stomach told him not to look down. He lifted his foot over the sponge like thing and took another cautious step. He felt the ground softening with each footstep, but he didn't want to think about what lay under his feet.

His eyes adjusted slowly to the dark. He extended his right arm into the void as though to feel his way toward the sound ahead and to defend himself in case someone was there. His nervous breath steamed in front of his face. The cool moisture of the night dampened his forehead and he wiped it off with the back of his sleeve.

The alley got darker as he felt his way forward.

He took short, careful steps and scanned the pitch-blackness to be prepared in case someone waited for him. The irregular squish from his shoes echoed off the walls. Further into the alley he began to see a faint glow in the darkness.

The light opened into another passageway several yards away. He reluctantly walked to the light. His heart beat faster as he searched for the turn in the alley. A shrill noise came from somewhere behind him, as though someone ran hardened fingernails down a chalkboard. He pivoted quickly, fists raised, ready and waiting for the darkness to show what it hid from him.

The scratching stopped abruptly. He stared into the dark and heard its raspy breathing. Its panting grew louder and met him in the middle of the alley. Wait or run. His common sense told him to run.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Tin Star on Western Wear (short story)

Here's a short story I wrote a long time ago. Some of my writing buddies thought it was in the Walter Mitty style, but I couldn't say for sure since I am Walter Mitty.

Get the work done first

Well today isn't starting out like I had planned. After a great deal of internet reading, I find myself wondering how to get the current wip kick started again. Hmmmm...I leave a couple kids alone in a spooky old boarding house with a crazed landlady and can't seem to remember the next move. I suppose the next logical step would be to take my little friends on a exploration of her insanity, but they are already freaked out enough.

Maybe I should rewrite the last sentence again and see where it goes from that point forward? I can see that my writing today should become an obsession or it'll be another unproductive day. On the other hand, I could just pop open a beer and take another nap? Nah, I'll get those little kiddies out of danger and kill the old bag. Maybe she deserved it? Who knows?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Stalin Humanitarian Award Announced

Humanitarian award to be announced Vladimir Putin to present
Stalin award for humanitarian service

Cheney to attend presentation - Moscow News
November 16, 2005 02:00 AM

Moscow, Russia – President Vladimir Putin
announced today the first ever Stalin Humanitarian award
for public service. Reminisce of previous Soviet era awards
the medal is to be presented for continuous public service to
the citizen who most represents the values of Stalin.

In a private ceremony to be announce, President Putin
is expected to honor Boris Letinsky for exceptional public
service in the tradition of Stalin. Mr. Letinsky is credited
with the successful allocation of housing and relocation
assistance to over one thousand Chechnya civilians
during the separatist conflict.

“It is an honor to present this high award to Mr. Letinsky
for his dedication to preserving the Russian way of life.”
said a foreign ministry spokesman.

Russia’s last notable ceremony was May 9th when
President Bush attended the ceremonial laying of the
reef on Stalin’s grave.

Embolism (Writing Sample)

I wanted to practice my shooting today, so I wrote this little piece. Nothing great, but heck it gave me a chance to explore my nasal cavity more closely.

The bone fragment loosened and floated carelessly though his veins until it lodged just below the right temporal lobe. Luckily, Jonny was a thinking man, he knew what to do and whipped out his trusty .22 cal. Nothing like a clean shot through the sinus cavity to clear up a little blockage. He stuck the barrel inside his nostril and squeezed.

Pop! Pop!

The second round did the trick and little Jonny felt much better knowing that lead can lead to a more productive life if given the proper direction.

So back to work, Jonny! Let's snot waste anymore time being a big bugger.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

No sex for me, please (short story)

I never met a woman I didn’t want.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, that was about to soon change. It really didn’t matter what shape they were in; fat, skinny, or butt-ugly. There’s no such thing as an empty bowl of cherries as far as I was concerned.

I was doing my laundry at the neighborhood wash & dry when I met her. As I often do on wash days, I would dump my clothes in into one washer and sit around eyeing the women who occasionally braved the late hours and grime of the laundry-mat.

On that particular evening, I was just putting the make on a plump, younger girl with a slight lisp that had made the mistake of saying hello. I was about to make my pitch about going somewhere while our clothes dried when LaDonna caught my eye. At first, I thought the blur was a reflection of an old woman carrying a bag by her side. As it turned out, it was one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen standing in the doorway. She held a pair of slacks by her side while she motioned me to come closer.

I was dumb-struck by her beauty. Her pouted lips and the tart smile. The bright red lipstick expressed more than a mere social interest with me. Her hair was streaked shades of gold with a trace of blonde that flowed over her shoulders to the base of her buttocks.

Ample breasts gently tugged at the material of her blouse. The blood raced below my belt as did the thought of lust that had entered the laundry-mat that evening. I turned to the girl who I had been talking and shook my head at the depth to which I was prepared to go for a moment of pleasure.

When I glanced back at the other woman, I felt the fabric in my pants begin to swell. I straightened to my full height of six feet and walked in the direction of the beauty holding the colorful slacks tightly in her hands. I walked up to her and started to tell her how beautiful she was when a smile crossed her face.

Her lips parted. The lines of her teeth were brightened by the light of the laundry-mat. The smile enchanted me with a power as perpetual as the need for companionship. I was drawn into her presence as no man had before been attracted to touch a candle of dripping wax and flame.

The allure she had provoked from her presence was enough for me to lose words and thoughts as easily as the moon slips behind clouds during a storm. I struggled vainly to say a word to describe how I felt. Any word at all. But there was nothing for me to say that she hadn’t already heard. I felt the taste of dinner upon my breath as I listened to the words that changed my life forever: “Would you like to go some place for some fun?”

Her raspy voice was fragmented by broken English and the trace of some ancient European accent.

I found my voice amid the confusion of her offer and managed a gruff whisper: “Sure, babe. Anywhere you want.”

She took my hand and led me along like a blind man in the parking lot of a busy mall. I felt the swish of cool air around my ears and the closeness of danger by her touch. For some reason, I allowed myself to be led into the seat of her car. I didn’t even object when she got behind the wheel and took control.

We drove slowly down several side streets and alleys in what would have normally seemed like forever. It didn’t seem to matter because I was too distracted by thoughts of her body on mine, thrashing around like a couple of animals, trying to find the right rhythm that would satisfy my constant need for sex.

When we finally pulled into the darkened driveway of an old abandoned house, I had already lost all self-control. My sense of danger was obscured by her and I had not noticed the emptiness of the neighborhood she brought me. She distracted me by a fantasy of desire for her. I was no longer concerned about the coldness in the air or the coldness of her touch.

A few short steps around discarded lawn furniture and we were quickly inside the house, alone. She replaced the key around her neck and looked at me with the eyes of a woman who wanted more than I imagined.

I felt a twinge of regret or maybe it was fear and excitement, or both, I don’t know. Although there was a chill in the air, I was too warm with lust to notice. She reached down and massaged the front of my pants and my eyes rolled backward. By this time, way too much tension had built up inside of me to remain still. I felt the urge to throw her on the ground and take her. Instead, I reached for her breast, but she caught me and guided the slacks into my hand.

I looked down at the material. I hadn’t expected this new development and started to say something when she brushed against me and said: “If you wouldn’t mind putting the on, it really turns me on so much to see a man wearing women’s pants.”

I thought to myself for a second and started to object when she added: “Oh baby, I can tell you are going to make me beg. Well how about if I just get a little closer and pout like this?”

She placed her lips together and started to whimper softly while her hand found my sensitive spot. She rubbed gently in circles until I found myself drifting into an orgasmic state of euphoria. As quickly as it began, she stopped her teasing and stepped back while I tried to regain my focus of the room.

Her arms were folder across her chest while she cast a look of disgust at me. “If you don’t want to do it, I’ll just have to find someone else who will!” she said.
She turned as if to leave the room and I began to panic. I imagined her naked body again and decided that it wouldn’t do any harm to play along with her until I got what I wanted. I didn’t think it would be any different than doing some of the other stuff I tried in the past to get sex. Besides, I thought, what’s a little kinky going to hurt?

“OK –- hey, no need to be in such a hurry, baby. Just let me find somewhere to sit down and change,” I said.

The room was sparsely decorated. A few chairs and a table that leaned toward the ground was the decor. I pulled one of the creaky, old wooden chairs away from the table and sat down. Soon her smile returned. I reached for my zipper and realized that my shoes got in the way. It took a little effort, but I managed to push them off and slipped out of my pants with a quickness of a man who was expecting to be rewarded for my efforts very soon.

The tight fitting slacks were difficult to get over my legs at first, but I managed somehow and stood to pull them over my butt. In the few minutes it took to get them on, I sensed a change come over me. The pants had begun to tighten at the crotch. A few seconds later, I began to feel cramps and nausea sweep over my body between fits of pain and pleasure.

The pleasure was a sickening feeling from the thousands of orgasms that brought instances of relief. I could feel my sex organs begin to change, become stiffened and fragile at the same time. Between each new wave of pain and pleasure, I saw LaDonna writhing on the floor as though she was making love to an invisible lover.

At last I was released from the excruciating pain that had controlled my body. A tugging on my zipper brought me to a climax and I whimpered. She gently pulled the material apart and reached inside the slacks. I was too exhausted and drained from the experience to offer any resistance whatsoever.

There was nothing for me to do except watch as she pulled my still hardened penis from the slacks and held it in front of her. She stroked it with her hands and smiled. I tried to scream before I lost consciousness, but it was too late as I was taken to a world of whispered darkness.

Later I woke to a darkened room. At first, I thought to roll over from a bad dream, but realized the hard surface of the floor in the laundry room had replaced my illusions of a warm bed. I panicked and reached down to touch myself. I placed my hands where I expected to find my penis and felt the openness of womanhood. I tried again to believe that it was a mistake, but found the same emptiness as before except now my fingers penetrated the folds of a vagina.

I found my voice and started to scream. In my head, I heard the sound of a woman’s voice escaping from my lips before my brain shut down from the shock.

As the last conscious thought raced through my brain, I could almost hear another woman’s voice beside me say: “What’s wrong baby, wasn’t the sex good enough for you!”

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Dummies Guide for the Psychopathic Assisted Suicide (spoof)

Here is a work-in-progress for a spoof of assisted suicide. I started the first few chapters, but please feel free to add comments and suggestions.


There are few instances where assisted suicide is an acceptable alternative to the Hippocratic Oath a doctor takes; to harm no individual. Given today’s hostile environment when it comes to assisted suicide, the intention of this guide is to provide the average individual a means to solicit and exploit the weaknesses many sociopaths exhibit while participating in their own personal anxieties.

Often the difficulty of finding a proper institutional setting for assisted suicide can be overcome with adequate planning. This guide will help you to find the best and most willing Psychopath for your immediate needs. Each chapter is a proven method to instigate even the most callous Psychopath into helping with the immediate need for suicide.

The tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A psychopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example.

Make fun of their verbal skills. Try to engage them in small talk and charm them with your wit. They will become a little annoyed and much easier to manipulate into helping with your problem.

A grossly inflated view of one's abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Psychopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.

They will often become very upset if you out bragg them. Try various attempts to belittle them, mocking helps, and be more opinionated.

An excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are risky. Psychopaths often have a low self-discipline in carrying tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.

Can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.

The use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item #4 in the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present, as reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one's victims.

A lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, coldhearted, and unempathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one's victims.

Emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness.

A lack of feelings toward people in general; cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless.

An intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.

Expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily.

A variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners; the maintenance of several relationships at the same time; a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity or taking great pride at discussing sexual exploits or conquests.

A variety of behaviors prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home.

An inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals; a nomadic existence, aimless, lacking direction in life.

Chapter 14 - IMPULSIVITY
The occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning; inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and urges; a lack of deliberation without considering the consequences; foolhardy, rash, unpredictable, erratic, and reckless.

Repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honor contractual agreements.

A failure to accept responsibility for one's actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial.

A lack of commitment to a long-term relationship reflected in inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments in life, including marital.

Behavior problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviors that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness.

A revocation of probation or other conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation, or failing to appear.

A diversity of types of criminal offenses, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes.