Attrition – definition: a reduction or decrease in numbers, size, or strength over time. In actual fact the opposite is true. An increase in participants and sharing is happening.
Come and join in the fun of this Blog Carnival.
This is my writing area, it’s still a work in progress but a lot better than my previous make do space.
I upgraded my writing space last June from the dining room table to a proper desk set up at one end of our living room. With the addition of bookshelves, printer, filing drawers and inspirational pictures on the wall. It is my favorite place in the house, with views left and right of our acreage and the wildlife that lives in it. In an ideal world I would have a separate room away from the constant noise of the TV but step by step, I hope to have my own study some day.
This picture shows my old faithful silver laptop, which assisted me through three NaNoWriMo challenges as well as a ton of writing. Unfortunately just before Christmas it died and I invested in a new one with Windows 8. It has taken some time to get used to the new format but now I am going full blast. The little green creature on top of the shelf is the soft toy version of my Rumble character I made.
My inspirational wall, including NaNoWriMo certificates, a letter from Stephen King and the Pride of Strathcona Award, I received.
Today I am sharing a scene from my speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch. Young men of the resistant group, known as the Tribe have been captured and secured in a grain store.
Woken by sudden shouting, horse’s hooves and cries of help, I knew something was terribly wrong. Pulling on a pair of britches quickly, I raced out of the long house to see huge flames leaping into the early morning sky. The grain store was on fire and the young men were still locked inside. The heat hit me as I rushed toward the store. Men were lined up between the large water troughs and the burning building, passing buckets of water back and forth as quickly as they could.
Suddenly there was a deafening crash as the store roof collapsed. Screams pierced the air then all at once there was silence. Shocked faces were bathed in the gold of the flames, no one moved for several moments then hectically the bucket line restarted. It took over an hour before the flames were quenched sufficiently for the chard logs to be pulled away, exposing the blackened bodies of the seven members of the Tribe. One by one they are laid out then wrapped in hessian and taken by wagon to the spirit garden out to the east. Each wagon accompanied by the father of the young man within, riding on horseback with black cloths shrouding them, as was the custom.
The Tollst residents watched the procession leave in stunned silence. Death was usually through old age and occasionally an accident but this was an unprecedented event, something that would make its mark on everyone there that day. Merchant Folke stood at the gate and as we watched the last wagon past through he asked us all to say the death chant together.
Please enjoy everyone’s snippets – here is the list.
Today’s word for those who would like to know is Promontory – definition: a high point of land sticking out into the sea or over a lowland. I could have found a scene where Evan travelled to a similar place but chose not to. However, I am sharing a wonderful scenic view instead.
I asked permission to be involved in this blog hop mainly because my monster isn’t that scary! Rumble was inspired by a Halloween prompt run by my writers circle. I could have gone down the route of scaring the ‘you know what’ out of my readers but decided to flip the idea around. What if the view point was from the monster’s perspective? Thus Rumble was born, living in his dark, moist underground and root adorned home.
In the story we follow Rumble as he is taken by his mother on his very first scaring expedition. He had been told of All Hallows Eve, of course but until now had not been old enough to participate. Rumble emerges into the upper world to find a shockingly bright and a hard surfaced environment. With his mother’s guidance he scares several children and has a very enjoyable time.
Whether read to a child or given as a gift – children love little Rumble and his bag of pets.
I actually made a Rumble for promotional purposes and everyone is drawn to him – he behaves very well and loves all the cuddles.
The thrill of being scared with adrenaline rushing through our veins has been theorised as a primitive need. In our modern daily lives there is little to fear, in the most part. Obviously there are exceptions to this related to location and family environment but to be so scared our ‘fight or flight‘ instinct comes into play is rare. Emotional extremes are suppressed now-a-days and the ‘normal’ mechanics of our bodies dampened. In the definition of fight or flight, it is the body’s response to perceived threat or danger. During this reaction, certain hormones like adrenalin and cortisol are released, speeding the heart rate, slowing digestion, shunting blood flow to major muscle groups, and changing various other autonomic nervous functions, giving the body a burst of energy and strength. Originally named for its ability to enable us to physically fight or run away when faced with danger, it’s now activated in situations where neither response is appropriate, like in traffic or during a stressful day at work. When the perceived threat is gone, systems are designed to return to normal function via the relaxation response, but in our times of chronic stress, this often doesn’t happen enough, causing damage to the body.
When we watch a scary movie or read an intense thriller, our bodies react giving us the rush we crave but in a safe environment.
Enjoy the fright.
A foot note – I define a word each day on my blog and today’s was – Infatuated – definition: to be filled with a foolish or excessive love or admiration. Surely we can all recall several creepy and menacing characters in our favorite horror movies that had this particular trait.
Please welcome Jason Maurer on his current blog tour. I asked him if he would be kind enough to include the word for the day – such a kind man…
I’ve been asked to write a post on the word of the day: ‘Immoderate –
Definition: exceeding just, usual, or appropriate bounds: excessive.
Society, as a whole, has grown accustomed to the immoderate use of sexuality in media. Everywhere we look is a plethora of television ads, movies and music that rely solely on sex appeal to make money. This is the boon of advertising, because they want you to buy their product simply for the gorgeous hunk of manmeat in the commercial. A product should be able to sell itself without having to rely on America’s next top model.
The excessive portrayal of sexuality in media only leads us to believe that we need sex in order to be happy, that the world is open to one’s self-indulgence simply by taking another person home for a fifteen-minute rendezvous.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth. What we need is a trust in our partner, and the love that goes hand-in-hand.
You can have love without trust, but where does that get you other than constantly worrying about what your partner is doing while you’re not around? You can trust someone without loving them, but this is on a completely different level and more like the camaraderie of friends.
Why can’t we [i.e. gay men] just have a decent relationship, without the constant pressure to ‘put out’? Not every gay person in this world is a slut, and it’s sad that most guys I know only think of other men they meet as a target to conquer.
For decades, the superior fashion gurus have overexposed us to the glamour of sexuality and sexual content. To them, the idea of sex seems like merely a game, and we have been shown not to take sex seriously, that it’s permissible to have many, many partners.
By constantly being exposed to this misrepresentation of what our sex lives should be like, the impact of our love for one another has been lessened, almost to the point of nonexistence. We have forgotten what it’s like to exist within a structured, honest, and loving relationship.
I feel sorry for the young teenagers who are being shown that sex, and not love, is what makes us happy, because they will grow up believing in this mantra and become adults who only repeat the incessant pattern of reckless behavior.
As I’ve matured and gracefully yet reluctantly entered my thirties, I’ve come to realize that this type of behavior doesn’t get us anywhere except immediate gratification, and perhaps loneliness.
You may think that I don’t enjoy sex, but I’ve had my fair share of past encounters and am certainly not saying sex is a bad thing. It just seems to me that nearly every guy I meet EXPECTS me to go home with him, but I’m not going to jump in bed with someone for the sole reason that I was wined and dined.
My latest novel “Trust and Love” is a story about the love between two gay men. Yes, there is a bit of sex in it, but not enough to make it risqué or qualify as an erotica. I didn’t write the romantic scenes to sell the novel, and I certainly did not intend for the lovemaking to stand alone. It is merely a by-product of the love two men feel toward each other in an equal relationship.
Like the characters in my novel, I would much rather spend an evening cuddling on the sofa watching a movie, enjoying quality time together with the one I love.
Maybe I’m just old-fashioned.
Jason E. Maurer is the author of several short stories and novels that range in genre from romance to mystery, and everything in between. The work he produces is the result of a mind that can only be defined as ‘eclectic’.
His latest novel “Trust and Love” is a gay story that centers around the hope for a better future by advocating the “It Gets Better” Campaign, a cause that helps prevent teen suicide.
Jason lives in central Pennsylvania, and has chosen to dedicate his spare time [which at this point is anytime he is not sleeping] to the pursuit of the American dream on the road to happiness.