My friend, L.K.Kelley, has a new book, The Anaerris Code coming out soon. I can’t wait to read it. This is how she went about writing it. The Anaerris Code – Release Date: February 14, …
The last couple of weeks has been hard for Americans. Shootings and killings abound, yet we still always seem to ask the one question we all have…
We are a nation of diverse people. It’s what makes us strong. It’s what makes us come together when evil strikes. There are always a few who try to incite hatred when some criminal does something that harms or kills another. And it is even easier when they blame color, race, creed, or religion. But, it’s not about color, race, creed, or even religious reasons. It is about a criminal. And, we lose sight of this. When these things happen, invariably, man seems that he has to try to find an answer as to why this happened; why did the perpetrator do this; what could have we done differently; were there signs pointing to the act?
Mankind has to have an answer – even if there is none. Sometimes, a person is just bad. Sometimes, there is a misunderstanding. Sometimes, there just is nothing that could have been done. And, frankly…sometimes there isn’t an answer at all other than the person is just bad!
We suffer from an unerring condition that has to find an answer no matter what. Sometimes, the answer is in the perpetrator who leaves a message whether on a social media, note, or tells someone else. So, why do we not believe the criminal when these appear? It’s because we have an inherited believe that no one is bad. And, even worse? Today, there has to be a reason for a criminal act, and sometimes? There just isn’t one!
The answer is? There may not be an answer. We go looking for an excuse to exonerate a criminal in order to make explain it. Then, we ask…what we could have done to stop it it? Again, the answer is “we don’t know”. It is NOT in the real of an average person to notice something is wrong in another person’s behavior. The belief that a loved one, or friend, or Co-worker saw the signs and said nothing is idiotic. We don’t see the “signs”, because we are too close to the subject, or no one actually does notice any change. So, the fact is that blaming someone for not noticing anything is superfluous. And wastes time. The signs might be there. But, perhaps they weren’t. By blaming others for not noticing something was wrong ahead of an act of violence, causes guilt. This is wrong.
Weapons can be obtainediillegally. But, think about this. Did the weapon kill, or wound? Someone could just pick up anything around them, and use it as a weapon. No. It did not. Weapons are everywhere. But, removing them from everyone is also not the answer, because most who own them are not evil. They are simply people exercising their rights as Americans.
Our right to bear arms (regardless of what kind), was put into place for one specific reason – The Conquering of the United States of America by a specific group(s). The arms afforded to American citizens were done so that they could form a militia just in case we were ever attacked by either an external or internal force. As long as the people can arm themselves, no one group or country can take us by force easily. It was to defend property and life whether one’s own, or this country.
It matters not if a criminal obtains weapons. What matters is HOW they obtain them. A criminal will NEVER obtain a weapon legally. While that may not always be the case, it is in the majority. And, that is what is TRUE. There are plenty of other criminals willing to sell illegal weapons to illegal criminals! They need nothing else! Taking away weapons from law-abiding citizens is not the answer, because the criminals will STILL get the weapons!
It is important that we all remain vigilant. That’s what Abraham Lincoln warned us about in the first place! He told us that we should always remain vigilant, but no one said we would catch every single bad guy before, or even after, the fact! The pain we have all seen recently is truly sad. It’s not what we want to see. If there was some magical way of telling the criminal before they ever commit a crime, don’t you think we would have found it by now? There is not key to this.
But, we continue to try to make reason from the unreasonable, and it just cannot be done! Bad things do happen. That’s something that we can never get away from no matter how much we want it. It’s been that way since the beginning of time, and it isn’t going to change. All we can do is handle it from the aftermath. We can’t turn the clock back, and this will continue throughout the time of man. Should we curl up and hide? Of course not. If we we did, the criminals win.. No. We go on. There is no other choice.
Reading has always been my very favorite thing to do all my life. But, since e-books have appeared, the book world of books has exploded, and competition is everywhere! Everyone writes today. That’s easy to see based on the thousands upon thousands of books published every day.
When I was first asked to edit a book for another author (before I ever began writing books), I had no idea what went into it. Once I started, I had to make up my own rules. I did a bit of research on editors, and discovered that everyone of them had their own way of doing editing. Well, that left me to come up with my own method. I have always been a stickler for the way I read, and it seemed that editing a book was no different. I worked with the author directly. After all, the book is the author’s idea and story. I was just there to make it read better, and correct errors. As I learned, along with the author, the best way to do it, my rules actually came very easy to me. Thus, I began to edit books as a Freelance editor. I, now, not only am an author, but I also edit books for other authors, and am still a Freelancer.
After quite a while editing, I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the difference between a mediocre book and a best seller comes right down to editing. The former has little to no editing, while the latter has been edited. Now, I know that some authors just don’t have the money, but if you are going to be serious about writing books, blogs, articles, and even websites, you need to have an editor.
Now, the reason for needing an editor is very apparent. The biggest thing other readers and I noticed while reading, is that the number of books with little editing, if any at all. I even have read some excellent stories, but make not mistake…readers are VERY sophisticated, and while they enjoy reading books, the grammatical errors, bad spelling, duplications, and especially the wide use of the improper use of “I and me”, can turn them off of the book.
Let me use the analogy of TV and Movies, because the concept is the same. Everyone has heard editing in these. You have even heard of leaving “clippings on the editing floor”. Every movie or TV series has multiple editors. Without them, no movie or series would be worth watching, because there would be too many errors in them alon. And, while a scene may be really great, it adds nothing to the progress of the story, so they delete it out in favor of a more important scene.
Well, this is the way it is with books. Books were the forerunner of TV and Movies. They have always been edited. However, in this case, the editing is within the written word instead of on a screen. It uses the “mind screen” within your head as a reader and most especially, a writer. When we write, it is our responsibility to draw a picture within another’s mind. But, if the words are spelled wrong, or used incorrectly, then that picture will be hard to form, and therefore, the book isn’t really very good even though the idea is pretty good. Oh, it might have a good concept, but it will lack grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. I know all of you have had this happen. You begin a book, and keep trying to read it, but for some reason, you just “can’t get into it”. So, what’s wrong? It’s a great idea, but something is missing. As you read you consciously, or subconsciously, read misspelled words, or incorrect grammar. Perhaps you read the same paragraph twice, only to discover it really is in the book twice! Or, the characters are almost, but not quite easy to picture. That is just poor grammar. When a book is full of these, and believe me, I read them all the time, and most especially in e-books, the reader just shuts the book, or exits out of it on a digital reader, and won’t try reading it again. The reader feels a bit cheated, because he/she has bought a “dud”.
A publication – of any kind – must have correct grammar and spelling first. This makes or breaks a book. It is extremely possible for a writer to have a great story. Unfortunately, if the person does not know grammar or has poor spelling, it’s harder to sell a book. The next thing is duplication. Duplication shows up in many e-books these days. An author does not want this, because it is very clear that the person did not even read their own book. And, in many cases, they are in such a hurry to get their book(s) published, they just let them go the way they are. It tells the reader that you are not really serious about writing, so they question why should they waste their time reading a book that not even the author cared enough to write it correctly.
Two of the biggest no-nos in writing are:
- Ending a sentence in a preposition
- The huge and improper use of “I and me”
The second one is the biggest and improper use of these. It will truly ruin a book for readers. No matter what, these two things must be used correctly! The biggest surprise for me is how it has grown exponentially – especially since e-books have exploded on the scene. I have addressed these in another blog.
Remember…the difference between a mediocre book and a best seller is not the idea, or a great story. It is simply a matter of editing. So, why don’t more people use them? It comes down to money. Many have friends who want to help them, but they are not editors, and while some may be very good with words, they are still not editors. It’s a very nice thing, but it’s never a good idea unless the person has time and knows their grammatical skills. Every editor has his/her own prices, and not all of them are totally out of reach. Some are reasonable. Others are higher. For instance, one may charge by the word, while another, in my case, charge by the page. How to find one? Ask for references. Just like anything else you do in life, this is no different. You would never build a house, remodel, or even replace flooring without at least 3 references. This is exactly the same thing, only you are choosing a service. But, you must do your research. If you know of a local writer who uses one, ask them. Most writers support each other.
If writing is something you like to do on the side, and it’s really not a priority for you, then that is one thing. However, if you are a serious writer, you NEED to use an editor. Many large Publishing Houses have their own in house editors. That’s something that Independent authors and some publishers just do not have. While some do have access to an editor, most do not keep them “on staff”.
So, it all boils down to one question you must ask yourself as an author:
How serious are you about becoming an author?
If you are truly serious, you need an editor to make your book read the very best. Why do you think books are turned into movies? Because they had an editor! Turn your mediocre book into a best seller, and use an editor! You will truly be glad that you did!
Above me, two, ancient moons shine – one of brilliant pink and white, and one of blood red and black. Both obscure one-fourth of the night sky giving an eerie light over the charred, black world below of my birth. I stand upon an enormous bluff, and stare down into the great blackened, valley while the final war rages. A massive river of red races toward the brilliant white moon – the blood of my people and his. Tears of blood stain my cheeks and clothing while I watch the end of two races of beings. My race will be gone – including me. A sound behind me. I know it is he. I can feel him as I have always done since we met. Our kind should never be together, but it is as inevitable as time itself. I turn to see my attacker’s body which no longer has his head attached. Blood gushes forth from it. I meet meet his frightened eyes, and follow his down to the fatal wound in my chest where blood runs freely. I will bleed out in seconds.
“NO!” he yells as I begin to collapse.
He catches me long before I hit the blackened earth below me. I stare at the man I love, knowing I should not love him. We are enemies. He has no tears, but he gently cradles me in his arms, his tortured red eyes begging me with the same question he has asked many times. I can barely move my head, but I nod once knowing the precious cargo I carry for my race. I want to be with him forever. And, if I’m still alive, my own race will also continue. I must live in whatever form to save us all. His mouth lowers to my neck kissing the pulse that is rapidly quieting as my heart silences. I feel a momentary sting as his fangs bite into my neck. To be with him forever is all I ever want, and I must complete the task that I was given by the ancients. Warmth trickles down the back of my neck as I feel the liquid of life slipping from me echoing the death of my planet. I hope we have not waited too long. He lifts his head, his mouth dripping with my blood. I see in his tortured eyes that he is hoping the same. I slide gratefully into the unknowing.
Time and space stand still. For how long, I know not. I awake, naked, on a soft bed covered in crimson silk. He sits with his back to the headboard, still cradling my lifeless body in his arms – where I will always be. I lift my eyes to stare at the man I will be with forever. I am ready as his lips lower to mine while my new, strong arms pull his nude body over mine. He is not gentle with his kiss, and I would never want him to be. I kiss him back frantically feeling wetness between my legs as he spreads mine with his. He plunges into my heat sheathing himself as deep as possible, and thrusts hard and fast into my body. My hips meet him with the same desperation and desire. I need him like I do not need air to breathe. As our orgasms reach their climax, I feel his hot seed jet into me. I can feel it enter my womb! He has so much! He stills, and I open my eyes that I know are still ripe with inhuman desire. I stare at the couple that is reflected in mirror above our bed. My bright red eyes look back at me. I am whole again, and in the arms of my great lover for all time to come.
It is time. He shows me the crystal that I had entrusted to him, and I breathe a sigh of relief. I must make sure that the Codex is written, and both it and the crystal must be kept apart. Both are dangerous alone, but together would cause unimaginable chaos. Our race has always been banned from writing about our history. I have been charged with the written word in an indestructible methd. But, I will use not only my own powers, but those given to me by my mate. I will make sure that we do not lose our heritage. If we must sacrifice our own lives, then so be it. At all costs, the one safeguard I carry must be kept safe until a time when the “gem” is needed.
Time ceases to exist in the realm we chose for its magic, where an ancient friend of mine offered to help. An ally who believes, as do we, that nothing can be left to chance. It is time to travel to one place the Council would never expect us to hide the book. As for the crystal? My love has given it to one we know we can trust to protect it, sending him to a primitive planet known as Earth. And, we will hide the flesh-blackened codex – sealed with the most terrifying of magic that cannot be opened by any living soul, or they will die. My magical friend sees the future, and tells us that a time will come when both crystal and book will join together. Because of this, she sends an envoy with the “gem”. And, now, we are leaving behind the only the only one who has the power to open and to read… the codex. It passes into legend and myth.
Time became superfluous as Gem tossed and turned. Her dream was miserable! Around her was volcanic ash, lava, and eruptions! It made the planet red, but part of it was black and gold as well. It was too fucking hot! She was almost sweltering in the heat. Gem’s eyes barely opened, then closed again, because they seemed to burn. But, she was still hot, and sweating so hard, she was completely drenched. Her hair was so wet, it was like she’d stepped out of a shower, but it was plastered to her head and neck. She might as well have just been dumped by salt water! Hot salt water! Her body was stiff as if she had been laying in the same position for hours if not days.
“This is just not right!” she said to herself. “This dream is not real, so wake the hell up, Gem!”
Forcing her eyes to open, they were matted with a lot of gunk. It’s the only description of it at the moment. She rubbed her eyes trying to remove it, before looking around her. Well, for one thing, she hadn’t dreamed about the heat. Wherever she was, it was horribly hot! Squinting, she realized that her focus was off due to the heat, but she managed to catch large features. Overhead was rock. She tilted her head to the right to see – rock. Then, she tilted it to her left knowing, but hoping, it wouldn’t be what she thought.
“Nope, that’s rock, too,” she muttered. She remembered being kidnapped by a gigantic bird, and it took her into the air!
Rubbing her head, again, she asked the rocks, “Exactly, where is it written that the captive has to be put in a jail of rock? Oh, right. The villain would find the best place where she could not be tracked. Well, this qualifies!”
In all the books she had ever read, this was the norm. The heroine was kidnapped, and put somewhere that would ultimately lead her to her doom.
And, beneath her? Rock, what else? Confused, Gem knew it was far too hot, and any physical exertion just made her sweat even more. What she wouldn’t give for a cold shower and a monster bottle of water right now! She licked her dried, cracked lips, remembering the giant bird that had swooped down out of nowhere! The wings had knocked out Jaxx as if he were a puff of wind, and then, grabbed her neck by its talons. That reminded her. The back of her neck was hurting, and she reached up behind her only to draw her hands away covered with sticky, drying blood. Her blood.
“Well, there’s a ‘not’ surprise!” she muttered, again.
OK…no matter what, she had to at least force herself to sit, and take her bearings. Try to figure out where she was. Slowly, she maneuvered her sore body into an upright position. Wincing with each move, Gem glanced around, while frequently wiping off the salty sweat that was burning her eyes, so she could at least see. The room couldn’t have been bigger than a small bathroom, and it hurt like hell to turn around. But, she managed, and to her surprise, there were iron bars that “barred” her exit. She broke into loud gulps of scared laughter at her pun. Oh, hell! She was becoming hysterical as if she needed that in addition to everything else at the moment!
“Fucking get a hold of yourself, Gem!” she ordered.
After her laughter died down, she was surprised at other senses. She smelled…sniffed a couple of times…smoke? Smoke? No. Not exactly smoke. More like steam with a horrible stench. It reminded her of chemistry class in school, because it was so nauseous. She tried to remember why, but her mind wasn’t working well, yet. But of one thing she was certain. She was in a cave. She looked closer at the rocks, and noticed it was catacombed with jagged holes, and in the dim light, the color looked dark rust except for the floor, which looked as if had been polished smooth. And, there was light! But, where was the light coming fromat the moment? As she looked around, Gem noticed that the reason she could see the rust color was that there seemed to be something behind the rocks that was making the glow! That made no sense whatsoever! Whatever that big bird was, how did it drop her into this God-forsaken place? She rubbed her back as she tried to slowly stand, failing miserably as her feet slipped out from behind her, falling to the rock floor.
“Ouch! Well, that’s just great! The rock is slippery!” she whined, feeling more blood on her back. She turned, and looked at that stone floor. A small pool of her blood was laying underneath where her head and back had been, and it was bubbling as if it were beginning to boil! That was enough for her to jump up quickly – a bit too quickly, which caused her head to whirl.
Slowly, trying not to keep her head from falling off of her neck, she grabbed the wall to keep from falling down. Her hand drew back at the intense heat that met her palm. She held it out in front of her seeing the seared red palm, and fear gripped her. Feeling like an inchworm who could only move a quarter of an inch, Gem reached out to touch the rock wall, again, drawing her hand back fast for a second time as she felt the heat coming from it.
“Bloody hell!” she yelled hoarsely, shaking her reddened and burned hand. “Where the fuck am I? It can’t possibly get any worse than this!”
And, as always, the very minute you ask that question…well, we all know that is exactly when the shit hits the proverbial fan!
“Of course, I shouldn’t have said those fucking cursed words!”
She looked around, again, this time without touching the walls. She noticed a tiny hole in the wall at floor level was glowing a brighter orange. In seconds, she saw something that made her scream, but with no sound. The terror and shock that consumed her was so strong, she backed up against the nearest wall regardless of the heat! Was this the way her life was going to end? If so, just the thought of how she was going to die made her gag, and she begin to throw up.
Dry heaving after emptying her stomach’s contents, she wiped her mouth, then her eyes fixed on the tiny, thickened, orange rivulet that was flowing toward her. It was just a thin ribbon at the moment, but it was just a matter of time that the slow moving stream of orange would grow as it melted the rock around the tiny hole.
“Why?” Gem breathed softly the one word you should never ask, because you usually never received an answer. Or, if you did, it was never what you thought it would be.
The rivulet of brilliant, glowing orange with tiny flames erupting now and then had Gem’s eyes growing larger by the moment, especially when she realized what was lighting up the cave around her.
“Lava?” she whispered in shock. Louder, “I’m inside a volcano? I’m in a volcanic cave with iron bars? In a cave of lava? I’m in a volcanic prison? Ah! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”
The cave reminded her of a dead, Jabba the Hut hollowed out fossil! It certainly looked wrinkled enough. Why the hell was she even imagining that right now? Really, Gem? That’s all you have?
Reality grabbed hold of her as she continued to stare at the rivulet of orange. OK. So, she couldn’t ignore it any longer! Terror gripped her as she saw the tiny rivulet growing as it melted the rocks around her! It had already doubled in size, and was slowly headed for the iron bars! At the moment, she could keep out of its way, but she was certain that it wouldn’t stay this way for long! Her life had just been cut short by lava! In minutes, she knew that the entire back side of the cave would be eaten through by the monstrously hot lava, and fill the cave! Looking beyond the bars, she realized that the cave that she was in wasn’t actually a cave, but it must be part of even more tubes that had been carved by lava as it flowed through it in the past! Lava tubes were what they were! For the Creator’s sake! Gem’s heart pounded hard within her chest, and not only the roar of the lava behind her met her ears, but the roar of her blood vibrated within her body as well! Terrified of what would happen to her, she felt her “fight or flight” instinct arrive – only it would be flight! She sure couldn’t fight lava! What should she do? Only one answer.
“Oh, God! I have to get out of here!”
Scroll of Time is the third book in The White Wolf Prophecy Series, having read the other two I was looking forward to seeing where the author would take the protagonists and how the series would be concluded. The book itself continues to focus around the four female protagonists, their mates, and the antagonist Zanack.This […]