Now look what I’ve gotten myself into…

It was so much fun I did it twice…so far…

(if you missed the live show, watch it on Youtube and enjoy!)

(hot dang I was so much fun on Episode 39 they had me back for Episode 42!)

Well…now…most everyone knows I’m not only out on a limb most times, I’m also the first one to shake the tree and leap off the branch without even a dare.

That noted, I hope you’ll all be able to tune in, tune up, or at some point watch and listen to an upcoming author talk show I’m taking part in.

 
(this is so exciting…)

The Magic Tassels

What we see often determines the magic we possess

There was once a little boy who left his village and returned knowing how to journey the way shaman do. He returned to his people wearing tassels on his wrists and everybody who saw these tassels knew they were magic but nobody said anything to him about them.

Each day, the young boy helped tend the village herds and fields, each evening he ate with the old and not-so-old, the young and not-so-young in the village. He laughed at their jokes and made some of his own, cried at their grief and mourned all of his own.

Finally, one evening, a little girl from the village came to the boy and asked, “Boy, what are those tassels you wear on your arms?”

She did this at the village fire and everyone grew quiet to hear what the big boy would say.

He smiled at the little girl and asked, “What do you see, little one?”

“I see snakes,” she said. “Big, beautiful snakes. Snakes to ride on and carry me away.”

The boy nodded. “Thank you, little girl. Thank you for telling me what these tassels are on my arms. Now I know they are snakes. Thank you very much.”

The little girl smiled and laughed and the grown boy did, too, as the little girl went off to play.

A few nights later one of the oldest men in the village came up to the boy by the village fire and asked, “What are those tassels on your arms, boy?”

“What do you see, Grandfather?” asked the boy.


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Barry Longyear’s “Science Fiction Writer’s Workshop – I: An Introduction to Fiction Mechanics”

A Series of Open Book Exams on Writing, Regardless of Genre

This is another book I picked up years ago during my first round at writing. Longyear signed it and I’d highlighted parts of it so obviously read it before and didn’t remember doing so.

The power of this book is that it’s written from a student’s perspective. Longyear (I’m thrilled to see he’s still active. I lost track of him for several years) puts in the effort to remember his mistakes and the mistakes of others, and show the reader how to correct them. Another strength is the book’s examples – mostly from Longyear himself – with detailed explanations of what’s wrong with them and how to fix them.

 
Each chapter comes complete with an extensive Q&A/Study guide at the end, every answer to which can be found in that chapter or by combining knowledge gained from previous chapters with the current chapter. Anybody remember “Open book exams”? This is one and it’s a wonderful training program.
Continue reading “Barry Longyear’s “Science Fiction Writer’s Workshop – I: An Introduction to Fiction Mechanics””

Great Opening Lines – and Why! (Mar 2019’s Great Opening Lines)

An ever increasing sense of confinement starting with the first line

I wrote in Great Opening Lines – and Why! (Part 3 – Some Great Opening Lines) that I’d share more great opening lines as I found them.

“There was not an inch of room for Lottie and Kezia in the buggy.” – Katherine Mansfield’s Prelude in The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield (Wordsworth Classics)
This line is so elegant and simple it’s deceptive. It’s “not an inch of room for”, not “no room for”. “no room for” would be pedestrian, boring and unimaginative. “not an inch of room for” gives us a hint of character, mood, and atmosphere. We are shown the narrator’s attitude towards the environment the moment we start reading.
Continue reading “Great Opening Lines – and Why! (Mar 2019’s Great Opening Lines)”

The Chatter After Lights Out

New Life, Old Magic

It’s Spring again. Another 365.something day tour around our own little star. Isn’t it grand? Do you take for granted your travels on Spaceship Earth? Our home isn’t stuck on some foundation with a permanent address that can be viewed on Google Maps.

No, far from it. We’re traveling. We are travelers without knowing from whence we came or where we go.

The Old Ones know this. They take nothing for granted.

Except cookies and peanuts.

From yours truly.

Opie and Opette come to dine nightly, as does Vincenzi the Fox. Gladys and her crowd come by during the day.

Most recently we’ve been guested by Verne, one of Hecate’s kits. There are two others who also come by and say hello, although usually after we’ve shut off the lights and are in bed. We hear them talking; “Pass the peanuts?” and “Is that fresh water?” and “Any more cookies?”

And we’ll see them and other Old Ones through the year and through the years. All of them come to us. We’re a house of magic. So they tell us.

We believe. Old Ones don’t lie.

Say hello to Verne, all.