Mystery vs. Suspense

I recently reexamined an old episode of Writing Excuses on the subject of suspense. They cite Alfred Hitchcock’s famous “bomb under the table” analogy to explain the difference between surprise and suspense. The former is a brief and powerful emotion experienced when an explosion shocks the unsuspecting audience. Suspense is a slower, more subtle beast. Continue reading

Distractions, distractions

If it’s not the job, it’s the kids. If it’s not the kids, it’s the…

Sound familiar? I could fill in the blank with a ton of different things. Most of them would only prove that at heart I’m just a lazy bum. Well, the job is a must. The kids, can’t give em back. (for the record, I wouldn’t want to) That leaves the last category of distraction left for me to work with. The lazy bum category. It’s those distractions that vie for my attention in the few hours I have remaining to me late in the evening. Continue reading

What I’m Reading: The Saxon Stories

With the impending October  release of the sixth novel in Bernard Cornwell’s fascinating “Saxon Stories” series, “Death of Kings,” I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at the books that have come before. I’m a sucker for a good first person narrative, especially when the character in question happens to be someone with as much color as Cornwell’s Saxon-born Uthred. Continue reading

On the Completion of a Novel

The inaugural post for this blog has been a long time coming. It was initially scheduled along with Wind Rider being made freely available on the site. Something big got in the way of that plan. I began work on the sequel, Deep Dweller. Now that draft one is complete and I have a moment to breathe, I thought it would be useful to start here, while I still have many of the details of the novel writing experience fresh in my mind. Continue reading

Wind Rider – Chapter 3

Comarin the hermit rocked back and forth on his heels. He rubbed the pouch containing his last pieces of root between two bony fingers.

“Not much hope really, I guess,” he muttered to himself. “No sense wasting these others if that one didn’t work. Besides, you never know when I might need em myself. Not that I’d begrudge it to you, of course.”

The old man squinted in the candlelight and bent down close to the sleeping woman’s face.

“Your name is Daesha.” He smiled. “Pretty name. Yes, and it is you isn’t it?” With one finger he brushed the woman’s hair out of her too familiar face. “I haven’t been out there alone that long, you know. I’m not all that mad, not yet. But what can I do? You need the deeproot and I haven’t got it. No way of getting it either.”

Comarin picked his stick up from where it lay beside him and jammed it into the dirt floor of the hut. It jittered under his weight as he hauled himself up. He crossed the room, refilled the wooden bowl with water from the basin and soaked the cloth again. The river water was so cool against Daesha’s hot brow that she gave a little moan and turned her head away from his touch.

“Shh. Yes, I don’t blame you.” He wiped gently, almost lovingly at her face. “What do you see, I wonder? Can’t say I don’t envy you just a little bit.”

Comarin cocked his head and listened intently. There was no sound other than the wind that nightly blew through the canyon, but the old man shook his head as though he disagreed with what it said.

“I’m old. Not right in the head, you know. What would I be able to do?” He pondered a moment more. “It will come down to the boy, I suppose. He seems a puny young thing.”


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