15 years ago…

We STOOD as a country…

And now?

I’m not sure I have an answer to what we are… Sigh…

Let the scrambling begin…

First, JHU published the following article in the News-Letter…

Then, after the outcry began… They retracted it. This is the opening paragraph of the retraction…

Editor’s Note: After The News-Letter published this article on Nov. 22, it was brought to our attention that our coverage of Genevieve Briand’s presentation “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data” has been used to support dangerous inaccuracies that minimize the impact of the pandemic.

Full article, HERE.

A friend put it best- The real issue here is that science is messy and epidemiology especially so. Somewhere in the last several weeks, I read an article regarding CDC
reporting of statistics.  It made a statement to the effect that CDC reported data in a way meaningful to epidemiologists but misleading to everybody else.  I have long since come to the belief that a true measure of competency in a scientist is the ability to make something complex simple to the layman.  In failing to provide data useful to epidemiologists as well as meaningful to the layman, the CDC has failed. 

So effectively, they pulled the article because the READERS were actually asking questions… Sigh…

EDIT- h/t McChuck, a good discussion on the original article, with more readable graphs by William Briggs, HERE.

I guess this is going to be the next thing if Slo Joe has his way…

 

Oopsie…

Those pesky ‘little’ things that get left out…

A column this week by former Defense Secretary James N. Mattis that blasted President Trump’s “America First” theme did not disclose that Mr. Mattis holds a senior position at the Cohen Group, a firm that dedicates itself to making business deals in China.

Full article, HERE at the Washington Times.

And this is one of our ‘new’ overlords…

Tech news site Protocol published a profile recently of Christine Su, the senior product manager for conversational safety at Twitter. Su’s approach to the platform’s censorship will focus on “transformative and procedural justice.”

Full article, HERE at Breitbart

So…it’s going to be rules for us, and none for them???

And I’ll end with a funny one…

A New York couple found 66 bottles of Prohibition-era whiskey in the walls and floorboards of their century-old home that was reportedly built by a bootlegger, CNN reported.

Full article, HERE, from the Daily Caller.

One wonders if that will pay for the renovations when they sell the booze?

Book promo!!!

Alma Boykin has another familiars tale out, Knowingly Familiar

As always, click on the cover for the Amazon link!

The blurb-

When Ghosts Walk . . .

Something moves. A Mesopotamian curse sends ripples through the magical community of Riverton. Mages André and Lelia Lestrang find themselves fighting ghosts from their past. The battle draws them closer to Master Saldovado and the clans, closer perhaps than Lelia’s heart dares to go. How long before Patrick Lee and Riverton’s other magic users demand answers about the clans? The Familiars are keeping the secret. For now.

But breaking ancient spells comes easily for shadow mages. Juggling parenthood, budgets, car repairs, school schedules, and a six-year-old daughter’s desire for a pet unicorn? (Or a house dragon, preferably pastel pink.) That’s difficult! 

This one definitely takes a darker turn than the others in the series, but is exceptional well done, as always!

Next up is an anthology a bunch of friends are in, Divided we Fall: One possible Future

The blurb-

Political upheavals can be a very dangerous time, especially when ideologies are as far apart as they are now. Divided we Fall presents one possible future, one where powerful forces act behind the scenes to effect the change they’ve wished to create for decades, and have largely been held back. What happens when a nation is sharply divided, anarchistic forces allowed to run wild, and the police are held at bay or even defunded? Add in a presidential assassination, and you have all the potential for a world changing situation. In this world, Divided we Fall.

A collection of talented veteran bestselling authors and several new ones join together to paint a picture of the post 2020 election that none of us hope to see come about. But the more we watch events unfold, the more anything seems possible.

Some of these stories are prescient, to put it mildly!!! Scary how well some of these predicted what is happening…

And last but definitely not least, Ben English has another book on the Big Bend, Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend

The blurb-

When one opens the pages to this book they step into another world and place, and even on occasions, another time. No matter what you may know about the lower Big Bend or think you know about the lower Big Bend, here are thoughts, maps and photographs that bring together a heretofore unachieved mosaic of this rugged, lonesome land. In effect, ‘Out There’ is a work that others simply cannot compare to. Whether you might be a first-time visitor or have made many a journey into its more remote environs, there is so much contained within to both see as well as savor. It is a book meant not for sitting on a shelf and gathering dust, but one to be read and re-read time and again. If home is where the heart is, even the first few paragraphs leave no doubt as to where the author’s resides. And that is only the beginning…

Excerpt

The lower Big Bend area of Texas is rife with surprises, both big and small. That most are hidden in some way is the very nature of this land, like any living creature she conceals her greatest treasures with the greatest zealotry. One can take a certain creek, or nearly vanished trail or wagon track, numerous times but then wander a certain number of feet to either side and a different world opens to you. Such was the case with this photo, taken during the latter part of one of my prowls between Burro Mesa and Tule Mountain. I had started near the pour off and worked my way through Burro Spring and across to Tule Spring, both being well worth the effort in their own right. The day was crisp and traces of green were sprouting along the lower elevations, and the springs were flowing with more water than the uninitiated would think possible.
After circling through the ruins at Tule Spring and walking along the old earthen dam, I pointed my nose along a nigh forgotten trail that once ran northwest to the high side of Tule Mountain, where another such dam and sources of water are situated. My plan was to move into the very head of Javelina Wash as part of some ‘boots on the ground’ research concerning my third novel. About a quarter mile up from Tule Spring, I noticed an unusual splash of white along the northern side of a low, dark volcanic hill that sits just northeast of Javelina Wash. Sufficiently intrigued, I glassed the area with my Leupolds and made a mental note to swing further west on the way back to investigate. I could discern craggy, chocolate colored boulders and what appeared to be low ground at the base of that hill, and just the general feeling that I needed to go and see. After nooning at a half way point in the pass between Tule Mountain and Burro Mesa, I reversed direction and drifted down a northern branch for Javelina Wash. The day had turned glorious with a crystal-clear sky above a rainbow of colored rock and ground, mixed among the earth shades splashed about for good measure. Most folks don’t know it, but there are parts of the Big Bend that will give the so-called ‘Painted Desert’ a run for its money any day of the week. This area is one of them. Near where the low hill abruptly ended in white, I crossed the dry creek bed and walked into an almost surreal atmosphere. Large boulders of that dark volcanic tone were perched in every position imaginable, many sitting upon unlikely foundations of small spires formed from the whitish soil. It was almost like you had strolled into nature’s own trophy room. The area was only a couple of acres or so in size at best, but oh what a sight to behold while being hidden in plain view. And then I passed on through, heading upon another course through that same zealous desert.
I would like to think that I will go there again someday, but there is still so much that I know I’ll never see in this country.
And I was burning daylight. 

Ben walks the walk, and his descriptions of the lower Big Bend, along with the photos  and maps are both educational and evocative of the true nature of the land. Beautiful, deadly, and sere it contains a myriad of things found nowhere else!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thanksgiving is a unique American holiday that brings all faiths and cultures of this great nation together around a common theme of thanks.

Traditionally, we stop for a moment in our busy schedules, gather with family and friends to reflect on the year past, give thanks for our blessings and freedoms and share bounty, food and fellowship. And then there is 2020… sigh…

Regardless of that, many of our Military are away from home on Thanksgiving Day. Please keep them in mind as we gather around the table (not more than 6 or 10 depending) on Thursday and include a thought of gratitude for the freedoms they defend and those we enjoy as a result of their dedication and sacrifice.

We also need to be mindful that for many Americans, it has been another tough year. Hard times can serve as a reminder to be more thankful; if you have the opportunity, reach out to someone less fortunate this week…

THE FINAL INSPECTION

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

‘Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek ?
To My Church have you been true?’

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
‘No, Lord, I guess I ain’t.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep…
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

‘Step forward now, you soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in Hell.’

Author Unknown~

Remember, it’s the Military, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press. It’s the Military, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It’s the Military, not the politicians that ensures our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the military, please pray for our men and women who have served and are currently serving our country and pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom…

 

Really???

Oregon has jumped the shark!

30 days in jail and a $1200 fine… for celebrating Thanksgiving with SEVEN people.

And many of the dem/blue states are going full tyrant and locking Turkey Day down with penalties, not as bad as Oregon, at least that I’m aware of. And they are ‘expecting’ law enforcement to enforce those lockdowns, and asking for snitches to turn people in.

But, a lot of law enforcement agencies are basically telling them to pound sand! They don’t have enough officers to man/woman the ramparts now, to handle the ‘regular’ crimes, much less kowtow to the Covid Karens.

And it appears Californians have basically told Pretty Boy to get stuffed, as there are multiple groups in multiple cities gleefully ignoring the curfews with vehicle parades, etc…

And then there’s this plea… 🙂

 

Western snippet…

The usual caveats… Things are beginning to come to a head…

Comments/recommendations welcome, as always!

Chapter

Roger Kidd was badly hungover as Emma served breakfast to them. He slurped his coffee and moved the eggs around on the plate, finally eating a biscuit and a piece of bacon as he stared at Pete and Jud. “I want you to have everbody pair off and git out on the range.  Tell ‘em anybody they see, they don’t know ‘em, kill ‘em.”

Pete asked carefully, “Pa, aren’t you overreacting a little bit?”

“No by God, I ain’t.  It’s time to take over!  I ain’t never gonna leave here now.  Not with Todd buried out there.” He pointed wildly at the door with his coffee cup, slopping coffee everywhere. “Ya’ll get out of here, git!” Pete and Jud got up quickly and headed for the door, but Roger added, “Not you Pete, I need you here.  I ain’t gonna run no more. You an Billy got to keep the ranch goin’. I want at least two in ever line shack we got!”

“Ok, Pa,” Pete replied softly, as Jud looked back and shook his head.

Jud stumbled down the front steps and hurried to the bunkhouse, throwing the door open. “Pa’s mad. Everybody needs to get up and out. Pair up, get out on the range. Shoot anybody you don’t recognize.”

As the cowboys hurried out, Jud looked around and saw the gunnies were still lounging around. Biting his lip, he said, “That includes y’all. Buck, you and Jack go up by the river to where you can watch that trail up on the north side. Shoot anybody you see. Harvey, dad wants us to ride up that way later today, but you might want to keep the boys out of sight.”

Harvey spit out the piece of straw he was chewing on and regarded Jud curiously. “Okay. We’ll saddle up and ride out. We’ll be up around the far side of the butte. Buck, Jack, git up to the river, you got the good rifles.”

Buck and Jack looked at each other and smiled. Buck said, “Git the horses saddled, Jack. I’ll go git a bait of grub from the Chink. Meet you at the corral.” He reached under his bunk and came up with the scoped Winchester. Cradling it in his arm, he strolled out, winking at Jud on the way. “We get anybody, the old man’s gonna pay, right?” Jud nodded sullenly as Buck brushed by him, closely followed by a smirking Jack. A few minutes later, Buck walked out of the cook shack, a poke in his hand. He smiled at Jack. “Got biscuits, bacon, and I stole the mint outta the Arbuckles’ can. It shore is good!”

Jack grimaced. “Thanks a lot. Gimme a biscuit. I’m hungry now.”

“Let’s get outta sight o’ the house first. I heered the old man rantin’ at Pete, and I don’t wanta be around if…” He shrugged. “I think Todd gettin’ killed has sent him off the deep end.”

Jack reined the buckskin around and headed north, looking back over his shoulder. “Fine by me. Youse right. The old man ain’t right in the head, ain’t been for a while now.” Buck sneaked a look back at the house as he mounted, and gigged the horse to a trot, quickly catching up with Jack. They dipped into an arroyo as quickly as they could and both relaxed once they couldn’t be seen. Buck dug into the poke and handed a biscuit and a piece of bacon to Jack as they rode. Jack munched it slowly, then asked, “We goin’ to the usual place?”

Sure. I figger we can hide out up there all day.”

***

Fat Jack kicked Smiley’s foot. “Wakee, wakee you old fart.”

Smiley grumped, “Damn, I’m gittin too old to sleep in a barn like this.” He sneezed loudly, causing Joe and Tom to jerk awake. “Got the sneezes now. Prolly have ‘em all damn day now.”

Isom laughed from the floor of the barn. “Hell, Smiley you’re just getting old, period.”

“You ain’t no youngster yore self, Isom. I notice you ain’t jumpin’ for joy this mornin’ either.”

“Well, I’ve already done my ablutions, saddled up, and I’m ready to go. We have…” He glanced at his watch in the lamp light. “An hour before the train leaves.”

Jack interrupted, “Y’all stop jawin and lets mount up.”

Joe shuffled over to the ladder and climbed down as Smiley said, “Damn, y’all are testy this mornin’.”

Jack shook his head. “Shut up, Smiley, git your horse saddled and lets go.” He looked around asking, “Where’d Tom git off to?”

Joe replied, “His horse is gone, so I’m thinkin’ he’s…somewhere other than here.”

Isom laughed again. “You know where he is. He’s got to be at the café, looking for some bear sign. Tom is Tom, he’s not going to ever change.”

Jack mumbled, “Sumbitch better be at the train, otherwise I’ma cash his ticket back in. Let’s go!” The four of them mounted and rode slowly and quietly out of the livery stable, brushing straw from their clothes in the early morning chill.

Isom said softly, “Winter isn’t far off. Cold and still. It’s going to be a long cold winter.”

Jack replied, “A pox on you, Isom. I don’t want long and cold unless I got me a bed warmer.”

Joe snickered. “You couldn’t get a squaw now, your life depended on it, you old fart.”

They rode up to the train station and the agent said, “You the ones going to Evans?” When Jack nodded, he added, “Get your horses loaded. Second cattle car back. Ramp’s already in place. I’ll get your tickets when you get ready to board.”

Jack looked around and shook his head. “Tom ain’t here. I ain’t gonna go lookin’ for him. Let’s go, boys.” Riding past the engine spooked the horses a little bit, as the escaping steam whistled out of the bypass. It took them a minute to get the horses calmed down, and Isom, as usual was the first one to lead his horse up the ramp. The others got their horses on and started back down the ramp just as Tom rode up, bag in hand.

Dismounting quickly, he handed Jack the bag. “Hold that poke while I load Bessie.” They finally got Bessie loaded after Isom took over, blindfolded her, and had Tom lead her up the loading ramp.

Once she was secured, Isom said, “Leave her blindfolded. She can smell the other horses, and as long as they stay quiet, she will too. Otherwise, I’m afraid she’ll kick the hell out of them, the cattle car, and everything else as soon as the train moves.”

Tom spat on the loading ramp. “Mebbe I need to stay with her, too.”

Jack shook his head. “Iff’n you want to, go ahead. Me, I’m gonna ride the cushions.” He opened the bag and smiled. “And I’m gonna eat your bear sign, too!”

Jack turned and headed for the passenger car and Tom charged down the ramp after him. “Come back here you damn thief! Them are my bear sign!” The others laughed and headed for the passenger car as the railroad workers moved the loading ramp and shut the cattle car sliding door. Tom finally got his poke back as the train pulled out of the station, but it was short four bear sign, and Smiley was laughing as he gummed his, licking the sugar off his moustache after every bite.

 

An hour and a half later, they had the horses unloaded at Evans and were headed to Fort Collins. Jack said, “We’ll go to the café and git some food, nose around a bit, and ride out, quiet like.”

Isom chuckled. “Jack, we’re not exactly…unremarkable, if you take my meaning.”

Shrugging Jack replied, “Well, iff’n we keep our mouths shut…”

Smiley sniped, “Iff’n you keep your mouth shut,” prompting a round of laughter.

***

At the Nevell ranch, Pronto, Rio, and Monte sat at the kitchen table, sipping coffee as the sun came over the horizon. Pronto looked at the other two and said, “Rio, Monte, I got to tell y’all somethin’,” he took a sip of coffee before he continued, “I sent a telegram to some folks and tole ‘em to come on down.”

Rio looked sharply at him. “Why and who, Pronto?”

“Well, I jus got a feelin’.” He glanced at Monte. “Monte, when I heard you wuz here, I sent a telegram to Fat Jack. Last I heard he wuz at Fort Laramie.”

Monte leaned back. “Fat Jack? Hell, I ain’t thought of him in years either.  Think he’ll come?”

“If he gets it, he’ll be here. He was out scouting for the Army when we dropped the herd up there. I don’t know who might come with him. Hell, I don’t even know who’s still alive outta that bunch we used to run with.”

Rio said thoughtfully, “If nothing else, they’ll help if we gotta hold this ranch, Monte.”

Monte nodded, a faraway look in his eyes. “Yeah, thet they will. Fat Jack…ain’t one to be messed with.” Turning to Pronto he asked, “Who else have you heard about, or heard from?”

Before Pronto could answer, the front door banged open and Arthur and Cavanaugh came in, shivering. “Is there coffee, Boss? It’s downright cold out there!”

Pronto got up. “Where’s your cup, Rene? Ain’t enough to go ‘round. You know that.” Cavanaugh looked at the ceiling, mumbled something under his breath and headed for the door.

Arthur pulled a cup out of his coat pocket with a smile. “I have mine, right here.”

Pronto said gruffly, “Then you get coffee, as soon as you come back with another bucket of water.” He handed the bucket by the stove to him and smiled as Arthur’s face fell. “Arthur, you got a long ways to go to put one over on me.” He started to say something, thought better of it, grabbed the bucket, and headed for the door. Pronto said, “Guess I better get cookin’, the rest of ‘em will be coming in shortly, wantin’ to be fed.” He picked up a knife and started slicing bacon into the skillet. “Rio, go git me some eggs.”

Rio knew better than to argue and got up, slipped on his coat, and went out the door. Monte levered himself up and said, “I’ll make the biscuits. You never could do ‘em right, you old fart.”

Arthur came back with the water, closely followed by Cavanaugh, and they got cups of coffee, standing close to the stove until Pronto threatened them with the knife. “Git outta here! Go stoke the fire in the fireplace, you’re thet damn cold.”

Rio finally came in, “I could only find a dozen eggs.”

Pronto grimaced. “Ain’t enough. Go git some taters out of the root cellar.  I’ll mix ‘em in with the eggs. Rio came back a couple of minutes later, four potatoes in his hand.  Pronto glanced at them. “That’ll work. Rene, go roust everbody out. We gotta get movin’ on gettin’ things done.”

Rio looked around. “Has anybody seen Juan and Jeb?” A chorus of negatives answered him and he scratched his head where the scab was. “Soon as we eat…Arthur and I’ll go look for them. Maybe they found a…line cabin and stayed there last night.”

Monte frowned. “Or, somebody saw ‘em and potshotted ‘em. Not like we coulda heard it all the way down here.”

A half hour later, as Arthur and Rio looked at Red’s off hind hoof, the two missing cowboys rode up. “Where the hell have you two been?” Rio asked angrily.

Juan put his hand on his chest, “Señor, we have been working. We found…” he pulled out his tally book, “Four hundred sixty-one cows north of the ranch house. Some of them were hidden in draws and up on the buttes to the north. By the time we got ready to start back, it was getting dark.”

Jeb added, “We found a line cabin with a small corral ‘bout five miles north of here. Figgered we’d be better off spending the night up there than trying to come back in the dark, as ‘techy as everbody is.” We left at first light, come straight here.” He looked at Red. “What’s wrong with Red?”

Disgusted, Arthur said, “He’s tryin’ to throw a shoe. I gotta try to find somethin’ to fix it. I didn’t search the barn yesterday like I shoulda.”

Rio cocked his head. “Well, let’s see what we can find. You two go on in and eat. I think Pronto saved you a bit of breakfast, just in case.”

Juan took off his hat and bowed, “We thank you, Señor! As soon as we take care of the horses, we will enjoy Señor Pronto’s muy magnifque cooking.”

Arthur snorted. “Jeb, take that boy’s temperature. I be thinkin’ he’s sick…at least in the head.” The two of them laughed and led their horses toward the corral as Rio and Arthur fanned out searching the barn.

***

Down in Denver, Anna Nevell was quickly packing her valise as Elizabeth Morgan came into the bedroom. “Anna, I wish you didn’t have to rush off. I know you want to get home but—”

Anna, twenty, lithe, and pretty, tucked her hair behind her ears. “Mrs. Morgan, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the bath last evening and being able to wash my underthings. But I wrote dad that I would be home before the twentieth, and that’s tomorrow.”

Impulsively, Mrs. Morgan hugged her. “I know, dear. But we haven’t seen you in…almost two years. And Caroline has decided to stay with Bea, saying she’d rather complete her studies and come home for good next May. I truly did appreciate the letter and the tintype you brought, besides, if we hadn’t welcomed you, Bea would have come up here and skinned me alive!” She smiled at Anna, who chuckled.

“So Caroline and I are carrying on the tradition you two started?”

Mrs. Morgan bit her tongue and cocked her head at Anna. “Well, we’ve known each other for…a lot of years. We went to school together all the way through college. And your dad sending you and then Alice down here to go to school did nothing but cement those relationships. With you and Caroline both going to Bea’s finishing school in New Orleans, yes, you are continuing the tradition!”

Anna made a face. “But you don’t use your…education, do you?”

Mrs. Morgan laughed softly. “Oh, I help Jack out. I just don’t let him know how much I help him. Speaking of Jack, he should be getting the carriage ready to take you to the train station.”

Anna closed the last strap on her valise and smiled. “I’m ready. I promise I’ll be back to see you.” She hugged Mrs. Morgan and sighed. “And I’ll bring Alice with me. Now that the trains run to Cheyenne, it’s only an hour or so trip, instead of two or three days!”

Jack Morgan called from the base of the stairs. “Liz? Anna? I’ve got the carriage out front, and your horse on a hackamore, ready to go. We need to get going if you’re going to get your horse loaded!”

Mrs. Morgan chuckled. “We’ll be right down, Jack! You know us females, we’re always late.”

Anna smiled and picked up her valise, leading Mrs. Morgan out the door and down the stairs. “Thank you for doing this, sir. I do appreciate it.”

He smiled as he took her valise and led her to the carriage. “Well, it’s the least we can do. Tell Hank I said to come on down and see us. And bring some of that good elk meat when he comes.”

She laughed. “I will, I surely will, sir.”

The ride to the train station was short, and Mr. Morgan supervised the loading of her horse while she dealt with the two trunks that had been stored overnight in the baggage room. As soon as everything was loaded, she made her goodbyes and settled into a seat in the rail car. Home! I’ll be home this afternoon. I can’t wait to see dad and Alice! And I won’t ever make another trip like this one! I’m tired, so tired.

Imagination…

Or… To think or be told what to think, that is the question…

This was kicked off by a lunch with a friend and his granddaughter, aged 17. We were talking about writing and music, and I asked her if she listened to music. She’d said she watched the videos first, then put the music on her playlist. I asked her why, and her answer surprised me. She said she ‘had’ to watch the video to see how the music was supposed to be interpreted!

Now I’m an old fart, I grew up listening to baseball and football on the radio, using my imagination and the word pictures presented by the announcers to ‘fill’ the scene in. Same with music, the lyrics ‘built’ the world the music was celebrating.

Where am I going with this?

In writing, do you paint extensive word pictures of your characters, the scenes, or the environment? Or do you give a basic word picture and expect the reader to fill in those gaps with their own imagination?

As always, I don’t think there is one ‘right’ answer, but in large, I think it depends on your readership. Are they used to being spoon fed everything? Or do you make them use their own imagination?

I know I tend to write sparse scenes and descriptions, knowing my readers will fill in the blanks with their imagination, which sometimes makes for interesting situations… I once had to change a scene because one of my beta readers was rather vehement that the particular character DID NOT have a moustache! Oops… My bad…

Two examples-

  1. Danny looked out the viewport and saw the star filled darkness staring back at him. He stepped away, shaking his head and pondering the frailness of man against the vastness of space.

2. Danny looked out the viewport of the space ship, seeing a panoply of stars twinkling in the blackness of space, and shivered as he pondered the frailty of man and hubris of travelling through the vastness of space.

I would tend to use the first. Less detailed example, letting the reader determine the ‘depth’ of Danny’s feelings and what other thoughts he had, screened through the lens of those reader’s experiences. That also gives them ‘ownership’ if you will, of the story.

I’ve been told I’m more of a story teller than a writer, and I’m perfectly happy with that. I try to give the reader a good story without pushing any particular agenda, but I also don’t like the ‘perfect character’ that never makes a mistake (either male or female). I also try to give the characters depth without doing a data dump on them, which doesn’t always work, as my readers have pointed out a time or three… sigh…

I also try to write so that you also have believable characters,  believable situations, and believable weapons.

I also try to get the little details right, even if it’s science fiction. It’s not hard to do basic research, and that can make a difference between a wall book and one folks will read, and maybe even read again.

But writing westerns is kicking my butt on research. And there are some rat holes that you can go down literally for HOURS! Of course, when you’re doing research, you’re not writing…

Anyway, a little bit of background on why I write like I do… For better or worse…

 

 

 

 

Apparently some pigs…

Are more ‘equal’ than others…

Entertainment Industry Workers Exempt From California Governor Gavin Newsom’s New Stay-At-Home Order

In light of an unprecedented rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a limited stay-at-home order. The order requires “generally that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the purple tier.” That means basically every county in Southern California and 94% of the state’s population.

Full article, HERE from Deadline.com

I’m guessing there were some ‘donations’ made…

And there’s this story out of NM.

(KRQE) – The list of businesses that need to close for two weeks after four or more rapid response visits, is growing. In southeast New Mexico grocery stores in several communities had to close, some towns only have one grocery store open now, leading to long lines.

<snip>

bold/italic mine below…

The Department of Health says it evaluates closures to make sure they won’t greatly impact a community and they try not to close all the grocery stores in a town. They say they try to work with businesses to keep them open.

Full article, HERE, at KQRE TV.

YGTBSM!!!

I was literally shaking my head in disbelief when I read this…

Andrew Cuomo to get International Emmy for coronavirus briefings

International Academy President & CEO Bruce L. Paisner said Cuomo is being honored with the academy’s Founders Award for using his briefings to inform and calm the public. Previous recipients include former Vice President Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, and director Steven Spielberg.

Full article, HERE.

Soooo… He’s getting an Emmy for killing people? Am I hearing this right???

We are truly living in Bizzaro world.

One other thing, I think it’s time for Trump to go ahead and concede the election and start running for REELECTION in 2024! That should set the left off…