Month: February 2017

Including Background Scenery

Live to Write - Write to Live


I write a lot of first person. That means that I use “I” a lot. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but because I’m so concerned about my story’s action getting out that I tend to forget to put sufficient background into my story. You know that old writer’s maxim = Show don’t tell? Well I am forever telling.

Not good.

Background scenery is what literally grounds your scene. It allows your readers to visualize themselves right alongside you in your story.  And it is absolutely necessary.

So how is this done?

For me, I go ahead and write my “I” story. I don’t worry about details in the first draft. I just get the storyline out of my head.

Then I go back and work my way through my five senses:

  • Sight
  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Feel
  • Hear

I ask myself questions for each sense. What did I see? What unique…

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Birds & bees and kissing in trees

Birds & bees and kissing in trees

Dawnrigger Publishing

Supers. Sex. Let’s have the talk.

If you’ve ever read and enjoyed a superhero comic book,  ever watched a Marvel movie or a DC-based television show, you must have wondered. How would it work for a speedster f’rex? Or for the invulnerable and super-strong? How do Superman and Lois Lane get it on?

Some books and shows tackle the subject head-on. So to speak. The book So Not A Hero and Jessica Jones season 1 come to mind. Vividly. The Superman question has been the subject of several famous essays, including this one by Larry Niven. It’s even an official TV Tropes entry.

The world in Rough Passages doesn’t have superheroes except in its graphic novels. (Yes, those exist.) But roughly 5-10% of the population over the age of 45 undergo a powerful metamorphosis of some kind, so that “um, how?” question does come up. <nudge-nudge, wink-wink>

In my world….

People develop phenomenal…

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Another thing authors do for us



Mom suggested I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to my children when they were young. She read Little House in the Big Woods to her grade one students each year and assured me the children loved the story.

I went out and bought the first book in the series, couldn’t hurt to try, being my philosophy. Besides, didn’t want Mom nagging me—not that she would have. Well, maybe only a little.

Each evening we sat on the sofa and read a chapter before bedtime. Like my mother’s students, my children were enraptured by the story. I was too, and reading together offered me the opportunity to tell my children more about my childhood on the farm as I was able to relate many of my own experiences to the book.

At the time, we lived on the edge of the city with farmland and a creek across the street…

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Yes, But What Do They Eat?

Yes, But What Do They Eat?

Dawnrigger Publishing

Life in a super-powered world gets complicated. Speculation is an entertaining playground. Yes, there are big questions to answer, but I prefer to ponder issues that would affect people’s daily lives.  What kind of house paint would work for people who exhale acid gasses? How would the fashion industry cater to scales and tails?

Then there are the scientific conundrums. Elena is five feet tall.  Jack tops eight feet. Amy stands twelve foot-plus. They’re all humanoid, and that’s a problem. If they’re all built on the same framework of bone & sinew, supplied by the same nerve impulses and fueled by the same basic digestive system, the math doesn’t work. Physics and biology both shake their heads and say NOPE. Human bodies don’t scale up well.

And yet, no one would need proof that it works. They see it. They live it. So there’s no reason to explain in detail how joints have to be designed to…

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Librarians in Fantastic Fiction


I like to write about librarians and libraries. Every story I’ve written contains library business or people who deal with libraries. Since Amazon does not provide a bestseller category for Library Fiction, I find myself searching and finding titles, one by one. There are many books published with library in the title, or having libraries as a major theme. Below are some titles I found.

Better Late Than Never (A Library Lover’s Mystery)

by Jenn McKinlay a cozy mystery:

Ink and Bone (The Great Library Book 1)

by Rachel Caine a teen steampunk story:

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library Novel)

by Genevieve Cogman a time travel steampunk story:

And of course, you should check out my books, which all relate to libraries in the future without modern technology. Like Asante’s Gullah Journey:

Enjoy your reading of fictional tales of Librarians and Libraries!















5-Stars for “Rarity from the Hollow”by Robert Eggleton

Marcha's Two-Cents Worth


At first I didn’t know how or where to begin to categorize this story. Two sitcoms, “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Third Rock from the Sun”, come to mind.  It’s clearly in the Sci-Fa genre, a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, always effective for establishing an environment ripe for just about anything to happen. I must say that once I got past the first third of the book, which could be a bit troubling due to the horrific living conditions and home environment of the young heroine, Lacy Dawn, that I laughed–a lot.

The author’s style is unconventional, which I consistently admire, at least when it works, which it did. Written in an omniscient viewpoint, it took a little while to get used to the inner dialog of all the characters. Each individual’s spoken statements were typically followed by an italicized blurb of what they were really thinking. While at…

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Introducing Strongwind Academy



Hello! My name is Rebecca Green, and I’m honored to be a guest on this blog today! I’m one of three authors of a series that is near and dear to my heart titled Strongwind Academy. The world of Strongwind began in 2013 between the same three members as a roleplay website- and we spent years nurturing it and, while we welcomed and said goodbye to several other contributors in that time, we have been here through it all. In 2015 we decided that we had something worthwhile in our grasps- a story that we felt was intriguing, dozens of characters that are lovable and relatable, while still being real in their unreal setting. We took down the roleplay forum, and began this incredible journey.

It’s been an amazing experience for me- I was 14 when I met my two best friends. I’m now 18, and I have grown so…

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The Real Cyrus, King Of Persia

Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a post on my sci-fi/fantasy series, Pearseus, and the real-life inspiration behind it. It’s actually a reblog, originally posted back in 2014. I am reposting because (a) it’s one of my favorite posts, and (b) most of my readers weren’t following me back then.

Map of Pearseus | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksAs some readers have noticed, the map of Pearseus is essentially that of Greece and Asia Minor. I even called the first book in the series Rise of the Prince, in a nod to Herodotus’ seminal work, Cyrus the Great and Rise of Persia. But who was Cyrus, and who was this Herodotus everyone keeps talking about?

Herodotus is a story-teller. He tells the story of Cyrus the Great, grandson of Astyax, king of the Medes. When Astyax has a dream that his baby grandson will destroy him, he orders him killed. He gives the order to his most trusted general, Arpax. In…

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Mind Control isn’t Easy

The subject of mind control in fiction bugs me. I am dissatisfied with how the topic is usually handled. I see science fiction or fantasy movies or television shows where an individual has their mind hijacked, replaced, or washed, and it is easy and has hardly any side effects. I was watching the pilot of Dark Matters, where a group of mercenaries wake up with no memory of their past lives. There was a TV show titled, Dollhouse, where women have their memories erased and rewritten. I believe the human mind is so little understood, today, that attempting to make the extensive changes shown in these shows would be impossible.

In Dark Matters, the characters have their memories uploaded to computer storage, and all the memories of past events are then erased. So, in the story, they awaken with no memory of their previous life. One part of this might be partially possible with our current knowledge. It is possible to scramble people’s short-term memories. Methods using similar approaches might be able to disrupt longer term memories, also. However, the idea of completely uploading all of a person’s memories, and later downloading them back, is far beyond what we could imagine.

It frustrates me that so many movies and TV shows imply complete takeovers of human minds are possible. Some movies include, Dark City, The Matrix, Source Code, The Manchurian Candidate, Total Recall, Paycheck, Salt, and Inception. Some TV shows include, Marvel Agents of Shield, Dollhouse, Dark Matters, Falling Skies, and Star Trek. Well, as I mentioned above, I do believe some mind control is possible. Religious, and quasi-religious groups have demonstrated cases where individuals seem to lose their senses of self-preservation and followed unreasonable commands from the leadership. A specific example is the Guyana (mass suicide) experience with the Peoples Temple Cult.

I think so much about this, that I published a short booklet about the topic: Mind Control in TV and Movies