Posts tagged “Josh Langston

Write Naked ~ Because Education Should Be Fun

I will admit, I don’t pick up a lot of craft books. Mainly because my reading time is limited and when I’m not reading for pleasure, I’m Beta reading or editing. I have started more craft books than I can name and fully intend to return to them at some point. It’s rare I pick one up and read it cover-to-cover. Even rarer still to find myself giggling through it. Most are, in my humble opinion, a bit dry. Often redundant. Some even read like they were written by a motivational speaker who has gotten into the schnapps.

This book…WritingNakedCovermanaged to be one of the rare ones, and I highly recommend it whether you’re a newbie looking for guidance, a veteran needing some reminders, or anywhere in between. Also, if you have a class to teach, use this book. Your students will thank you. Warning — bring your sense of humor. One of the things I love about Josh Langston’s writing is his sharp wit, and he manages to keep it handy even in the throws of instruction. I mean, come on, people, he titled his book Write Naked (Oh, but Google is going to have a blast with that one!).

As the back cover states: WritingNakedBlurb

Chapters are short and concise, and include exercises at the end — for your writerly brain, not your physical body. I have already dog-eared the chapter on commas. It seems I have an issue with those. Possibly semi-colons as well. Probably because a semi-colon is basically a hyped up comma. Right?

Anywho… I digress. If you enjoy the lighter side of learning, then this book is for you. If you need to brush up on some of the finer points of penning prose, this book is for you. If you just want to be entertained whilst expanding your horizons, yeah, you guessed it. Go. Now. Enjoy.

You can grab your very own copy of Write Naked by going here (or, apparently, by raiding Mr. Langston’s trunk or attending one of his classes — and I can only imagine the fun that would be!). 

I leave you with a bit about the author (and my favorite picture of him):

Josh in stocksJosh Langston writes books which amuse, anger, enlighten and entertain. He regularly mines history for background material that’s little known but reliably fascinating. His plots are complex, interconnected and layered with humor and suspense; his characters are rarely predictable, and even his bad guys tend to be both engaging and diabolical.

A graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism, Josh’s writing tastes quickly shifted away from reportage. His fiction has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies, and he currently has two short story collections in the Amazon top 20 for genre fiction.

Thrice nominated for Georgia Author of the Year by the Georgia Writer’s Association, Josh has branched out more recently into contemporary thrillers and currently has seven such titles on the market along with an historical fantasy trilogy set in the 1st century BC, plus a handful of short story collections.

The 12,000-year-old Whisper, his latest novel, is set in two worlds separated by a dozen millennia.

Published by Janda Books, Whisper will debut on October 1, 2015.

 

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Connect with me on Facebook Goodreads Twitter and Pinterest Read excerpts and buy copies of my works on the Published Works page. e-book & paperback copies also available on Amazon and other on-line book retailers.

 

 

 


Booksignings and Book Sightings ~ Fictional Friday

I didn’t know if I’d get a chance to whip something together for Fictional Friday, not much time to spare this week due to being gone last weekend, and having an event at my house this weekend that will keep me occupied from Thursday through Sunday. But I couldn’t not make mention of this event:

  • Not only is Hiram Bookstore having a Children’s Book Drive, but my friend, shredder of manuscripts, Sage of the South, and Best Selling Author Josh Langston will be there signing books. When: Saturday, June 21st from 1-3. If you’re in the vicinity of Hiram, GA, stop in. More info here.
  • Also, I hear this book, For By Grace by fellow WIPpeteer Adrian J. Smith is doing phenomenal–as in the top 26 of the Gay/Lesbian category on Amazon type of phenomenal. So huge congrats there, and if you like character-centered, cop stories then you’ll want to give this one a read.
  • Finally, if you’re of the impression that bookstores are stuffy, old, antiquated places, you need to check out these 17.

Word on the Water in London

Now I really must dash, as I’m writing this Thursday a.m. and the damn day job calls. Have a great Friday. Go read a book. Then come back and tell me how it was.

 

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Connect with me on Facebook     Goodreads     Twitter and now Pinterest Read excerpts and buy copies of my works on the Published Works page. e-book & paperback copies also available on Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble and other on-line book retailers.


Surviving Ragnorak in Revolutionary Style

In case you missed it, last Saturday was supposed to be Ragnorak, the Viking apocalypse. You can read about it here. We (being the hubs and I) chose to spend the last day of life as we know it at the launch for Josh Langston’s newest book Treason, Treason! I talked about that last Friday. If you missed it, the post is here. Our trip was way too short, and we didn’t have time to do much. We flew stand-by (a first for me) and arrived in Atlanta late Friday night, having caught the last available plane out of Milwaukee. Saturday morning Josh and Annie took us to Kennesaw Mountain  National Battlefield Park for a short tour. Josh is just a wealth of information and made an excellent tour guide. We’re definitely going to have to spend more time on our next visit. What was that? Did I just hear Josh and Annie packing up and leaving?!!? C’mon, I thought you enjoyed our company?

Anyhow, the launch was a great success, and obviously due to that event we managed to avoid Ragnorak altogether. Amazing, but true. The proof being that we’re still here. I have to say, one of the highlights of the weekend for me was being able to talk writing, in person, to another writer. Seriously. I don’t get that otherwise. It was great, even when Dave started snoring.

Josh and Annie were incredible hosts, and we met a wonderful group of people who exemplified the meaning of southern hospitality–even to a couple of Yankees. At dinner, I received some private tutelage in speaking ‘suthrin’ from my “sister from another mother”, or so the irrepressible Faye proclaimed us to be. Apparently, I didn’t do too badly, mastering several choice expletives, and putting together complete sentences with only occasional corrections. Early Sunday we were back on a plane heading home. Just to be clear, I would have gladly risked the afternoon flight, but the hubs was anxious about not getting home. Um…nearly 60 degrees in GA and a balmy 9 in WI and he was anxious to get home?!!? Go figure.

cake

Now this is the right way to do a launch cake. Yeah, I helped arrange the troops. Okay…I took over and arranged the troops cause I’m just a wee bit of a control freak. But those are some damn nice troops!

JoshAnnie

Best Selling Author Josh Langston and his wonderful wife Annie, all decked out for the launch. A more superb pair of hosts you will not find anywhere.

group

Every general needs a support staff. Pam and Faye were indispensable. Yes, that lady on the far right is the same Faye mentioned above. Yes, I may have tried to get her arrested, but she has a severe problem with frosting so I felt I was within my rights.

signing

The General signing the Declaration of Independ–um…wait…nope, sorry, signing a copy of his awesome book for an adoring fan.

reading

Josh capped off a great night with a reading from TREASON, TREASON! Which I’m sharing with you below (it just happens to be one of my favorite parts of the book). Enjoy!

Treason, Treason! Excerpt by Josh Langston

“Welcome back, Dawkins,” said Sergeant Billings, a ramrod-spined veteran of three decades with the constabulary. Though responsibility for the unit remained with the Superintendent, Billings oversaw day-to-day operations of the precinct offices from which Joel worked. At nearly seven feet tall, the Sergeant towered over everyone and used his great height to intimidate troublemakers–in uniform or out. He nodded toward an interview room. “She’s in there, waiting for you.”
“Anything I should know about her?”
Billings shrugged. “Claims she’s lost a loved one. My guess? ‘E got tired of ‘er and ran for it. But, in her mind, he’s a missing person. That’s still your bailiwick, isn’t it?”
“It pays the bills.” In point of fact, Joel was the missing persons department. Any and all such cases landed on his desk. He had a modest success rate despite the handicap of working alone. A half-dozen Joels could have made real progress. But except for the rare cases involving notables, the upper echelon paid little attention to him or his inquiries. The job paid reasonably well, and his skills had improved dramatically over the years. Special Branch would be hard pressed to find anyone able to match his productivity.
Joel popped a breath freshener in his mouth, chewed, and then opened the door to the interview room.

Based on the Sergeant’s remarks, he expected to find someone shrewish and unpleasant, but the woman who sat waiting for him seemed quite normal in spite of her efforts to control her emotions. Plain, and soft-featured, she could have been a school teacher. Early grades, he thought.
Smiling, he introduced himself and took a seat opposite her at the wooden table in the center of the otherwise empty room. Extracting a pre-printed form from a drawer in the table, he filled in the date and the time. “All right then, let’s start with your name.”
“Sharon Doyle,” she said, her voice shaky and too soft for a classroom.
He coaxed the usual personal information from her and entered it all on the form. With the preliminaries done, he sat back in his chair and gave her what he thought was a reassuring smile. “Now, who’s gone missing?”
“My fiancé,” she said. “William Smithers.” She handed him a wrinkled and slightly faded snapshot then put herself back to work twisting a damp handkerchief into cordage. “I call him Billy, but to everyone else, he’s William.”
Joel glanced at the photo of a paunchy, slightly balding man in his early thirties sporting a wispy Van Dyke. The expression on his face could have been either a smile or a smirk. Joel doubted he’d like the bloke if he ever met him. “How long has he been missing?”
She glanced at her watch. “Almost two hours.”
Joel fought the urge to close his eyes and shake his head. What had Billings been thinking? The 48-hour rule had been in effect since before Joel made it to Special Branch, and that meant a person wasn’t technically “missing” until they’d been gone for at least two full days.
“Miss Doyle,” he said, “I don’t understand why you weren’t informed when you first came in, but we have a policy–”
“My Billy disappeared into thin air,” she wailed.
Of course. Didn’t they all? “I don’t mean to seem rude, Miss Doyle, but we–”
“He was right in front of me,” she said, suddenly blushing. “Well, above me, actually. And then he was just… gone!”
“Above you? Like on another floor in your building?”
“No. I mean directly above me.”
“Where you could see him?”
“Well, yes. Of course. Although I didn’t have my eyes open the whole time.” The distraught woman’s complexion shifted from rose to radish. She lowered her voice to a barely audible whisper. “I believe it’s called the missionary position.”
Joel had spent nearly ten years investigating missing persons and assumed he’d heard just about everything, but this claim left him speechless.
“Please,” she said, “swear to me that detail won’t be included in the official report. If my mother ever saw it, I’d die.”
Joel cleared his throat. “We often find it prudent to hide certain facts we uncover during an investigation. This one certainly fits that category. We needn’t mention anything about it to anyone not directly connected to the case.”
“Thank you.” Miss Doyle’s face gradually shed much of its color.
He shrugged. “Now then, let’s go through this again, shall we? In, uhm, detail.”
The blush returned with a vengeance, and Joel instantly regretted his word choice.
“Forgive me! That’s not– I didn’t mean–”
“I understand you have to do your job, Inspector.” She gamely cleared her throat. “I’m– I’m prepared to provide any details you think will help. But please, you must find Billy. I can’t possibly go on without him.”
“A little clarification, then, if you don’t mind,” Joel said, striving to be tactful. “Is it possible Mr. uh–” he checked the form “–Smithers merely left the room afterwards, say while you were–uhm–recovering from… you know.”
“No. It’s like I told you, he disappeared during our… activities.”
“During?”
“Yes.”
“In the uh–I’m trying to be delicate here–middle?”
“I think the proper term is in flagrante delicto.”
Joel coughed. “You were actually, sort of, that is to say, intertwined?”
“Inter-connected,” she whispered.
He sat back and looked at her with a mixture of shock and admiration. It took a moment to collect his wits before he could continue. “I don’t suppose Mr. Smithers is a magician by trade, is he?”
“Certainly not! He’s a chemist, not some tawdry stage charlatan. And, I might add, a third cousin by marriage to Lord Middlebury.”
“Middlebury, yes, I see. But he actually works, you say. In a laboratory?”
“A pharmacy.”
“Of course. Has he ever done this before? Disappear, I mean.”
She shook her head. “He’s a very cautious, conservative, methodical man. He never does anything unusual. He doesn’t like surprises. He positively thrives on routine.”
“And yet, you’re saying he disappeared.” Joel snapped his fingers. “Just like that?”
“Well, no,” she said. “It wasn’t that sudden. He sort of just… faded away. He had a funny look on his face, but I suppose that could’ve been from–” Another furious blush. “–uh… Well, I think you can imagine.”
“Right,” Joel said. “He just faded away.”
“That’s about the size of it.”
“Into nothing.”
“Yes.”
He squinted at her. “How on Earth could that be possible?”
She blinked at him. “Isn’t it your job to figure that out?”

TT-and-JL

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Heading South

Whatever am I going to do on Mondays and Fridays now that the WIPterviews have come to an end?

I’ll tell you what I’m doing this Friday, as in today: the hubby and I are hopping a plane bound for Georgia to attend the launch of Best Selling author Josh Langston’s newest book Treason, Treason! If you’ve hung around this blog long enough you deserve some kind of special award, or a trip to a psychiatrist will have undoubtedly seen me make mention of someone referred to as the Sage of the South. This would be him.

I first met Josh on-line back in the days of CompuServe forums, in a writing group known as the IMPs. A finer group of writers is not to be found anywhere, though the WIPpeteers come as close as anything can. Anyhow, as things go, CompuServe melted away, the IMPs scattered, and for a stretch I tried to give up writing altogether. We all know how successful that was. I kept in sporadic contact with only one of the IMPs until Fate and Facebook intervened, and a straggling of IMPs found their ways back to one another.

Josh was among the first to read the very rough draft of First of Her Kind, or BD&L as it was referred to in its infancy. Let me just say, the IMPs are Kings and Queens of shredding a manuscript. They pull no punches, coat nothing with sugar, and tell it like it is. It’s a painful process. So painful that the IMP castle has its very own chocolate pool where we go to wallow once a shredding has taken place. But it is also immensely helpful once you’ve recovered enough to uncurl from the fetal position and get your thumb out of your mouth.

Anyhow, I digress. Without the Sage of the South slicing me into little shreds, pushing me to stop being lazy about certain aspects of my writing, and driving me to pull out the stops and sink my reader into my character through any means possible, I don’t know that First of Her Kind would have ever made it into the hands of the readers. Nor would I have looked into the Indie route. I owe a large portion of my growth as a writer over the past several years to my Sage. And I believe he owes me for a serious case of Coma Convulsions, followed oftentimes by Semi-colon Siezures, which may or may not have left permanent scars.

So, round to the point. What’s really special about this weekend is that it is the first time Josh and I will meet in person. I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t speak for Josh, and lord only knows if either of us will feel the same way once the weekend is over, but we’ve already decided we’re going to have a good time whether we want to or not.

And now, without further ado, I give you my review of Treason, Treason! the book being launched. I invite anyone in the Marietta, GA area Saturday night to stop by Josh’s book launch and say hi. Or, failing that, get thee to Amazon (link above) and buy a copy of his book, then settle in for a great read.

TreasonFinalMy Review: “Of all the scenarios Raines had contemplated for his arrival in 1780, none of them included a greeting committee comprised of a corpse and a lunatic.”

Okay, I know, history can be about as dry as five day old bread left out on a rock to bake in the summer sun. Make it Alternate History and put it in Josh Langston’s capable hands, blend it with a bit of time travel, a stunningly sharp wit, and a cast of delightful characters, and you’ll have Treason, Treason! The only thing dry about this spin on America is the humor. If you’ve read any of Langston’s other works (and why wouldn’t you?) you’ll know what I mean.

It’s 2012 and the US is under the rule of the British monarchy. Physicist Raines Kerr and his daughter Leah have a plan to change the course of history. A plan to ensure the colonies win their independence. But they must travel back in time to see it done.

Boston missing person’s detective Joel Dawkins doesn’t know anything about that. He’s just trying to solve his latest case. Unfortunately, a conspiracy throws him in the middle of Leah’s world and then, quite literally, into the middle of the 1700s.

From then on it’s a race against time (no pun intended) and a fun romp through Colonial America, rich with the kind of details no school history books ever had.

If you enjoy alternate history, twists and turns, and colonial era stories, or you just want an entertaining read, I’d highly suggest picking up a copy of Treason, Treason! and joining in the fun.

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Read excerpts and buy copies of my works on the Published Works page. e-book & paperback copies also available on Amazon   Smashwords   Barnes & Noble and other on-line book retailers.


Need a Weekend Read? Three Suggestions as I Play Catch-up

These days I feel like I’m running and running and never catching whatever it is I’m chasing. Of course, some people actually do that for exercise I hear. They’re called “runners” and “joggers”. Strange creatures. I’m even related to a few of them.

But I digress. Which I do often. I once again find myself with a hundred and one Dalmatians things to do and limited time resources to do them with. Did I mention we’re painting the house? Yes, it desperately needs to be done. By us? I voted no, hire pros even if you, hubby, need to sell a kidney. Hubby voted, DYI. Why do I let him win? *sigh*

Okay, digression again. What’s the point of all this? Well, first and foremost, I’ve read some amazing books of late (two outside my usual genre) that I have yet to get around to reviewing and feel like a schmuck for not doing so. Yet. So, until such a time, I wanted to share them with you so that you may enjoy them as well.

  • A Little Primitive by Josh Langston Funny, engaging, witty, full of twists and turns. If you’ve never read any of Josh’s work, I urge you to do so. The man can write.  Blurb: “Life can be tough, but it’s even tougher for a guy who’s only two feet tall — and utterly uncivilized. When the little primitive tumbles into the world of a reclusive young woman, he changes her life forever. It’s not enough that she must protect herself from an insanely jealous ex-husband, she now has to nurse her tiny, unwanted guest back to health *and* maintain the secret of his existence! This contemporary thriller goes beyond the usual genre boundaries and delivers a story of intrigue, humor, history and suspense. Mato, the little primitive, has many talents. Not only is he a fearless warrior and intrepid hunter, but he’s a gifted artist and seer. On a life-or-death mission for his clan, the two-foot tall hero faces a world dominated by giants whose magic has no limits. Fortunately, Mato runs into Tori Lanier, a young woman facing demons of her own. Together, they struggle to make sense of a world that grows more confusing every day.”
  • Six Train to Wisconsin by Kourtney Heintz  I was fortunate to get an ARC of this book and will be hosting Kourtney for an interview in June 11. An emotional, excellent read. Blurb:Sometimes saving the person you love can cost you everything. There is one person that ties Oliver Richter to this world: his wife Kai. For Kai, Oliver is the keeper of her secrets. When her telepathy spirals out of control and inundates her mind with the thoughts and emotions of everyone within a half-mile radius, the life they built together in Manhattan is threatened. To save her, Oliver brings her to the hometown he abandoned–Butternut, Wisconsin–where the secrets of his past remain buried. But the past has a way of refusing to stay dead. Can Kai save Oliver before his secrets claim their future? An emotionally powerful debut, The Six Train to Wisconsin pushes the bounds of love as it explores devotion, forgiveness and acceptance. Brief Summary: When Kai’s telepathy spirals out of control, her husband Oliver brings her to the quiet Wisconsin hometown he abandoned a decade ago, where he must confront the secrets of his past to save their future.
  • Games of Adversaries by Susan Elizabeth Curnow  Fantasy & SciFi rolled into one tale. At first I was thinking, Cowboys vs Aliens. Pishaw! That movie has nothing on this book. Think major culture clash when highly advanced meets medieval. Wonderfully written. Gobbled it in one day thanks to bad weather (or I would have been painting). Blurb:  “Yiahan rial Krais dances for his god, while in another time and another world, Commander Marcus Oregada strives to save his folk. Bereft of families, wives and children, no loved ones live to warn them: Beware the door slammed shut to escape inhuman violence, where memories amass like cobwebs, spun by he who spilled your blood. For there will be a day of reckoning to sweep away reason and sanity. To break you and divide you, never knowing it will bind you, as it twists and rends your lives to face the destroyer of souls.”

I also have received several Blog Awards over the past couple of weeks that I need to address. I promise to acknowledge those as well. Soon.

And, if you haven’t yet, hop over and Like my FaceBook page K. L. Schwengel. I share tidbits there you might not find elsewhere.

Now, have a great weekend! I’m off to update my Works in Progress page, dash off a Blog Post for There & Draft Again, and maybe squeeze in some writing (which involves the demise of a Plot Bunny I’m afraid) and then head outside to work some dogs and, yes, paint the house. So much for a day off, right?

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Giveaways and WIPpet Wednesday

Happy WIPpet Wednesday! First, some business to attend to. If you haven’t seen my giveaway, <cue trumpets and much fanfare> I’m offering a signed copy of both First of Her Kind and the anthology Witch Hunt: Of the Blood which includes my novella Blood Tells All. The anthology hit the Best Seller list on Amazon the first couple weeks it was out. Guess that makes me a best-selling author, huh? All you have to do to get a chance to win is be in the US (sorry, shipping costs) and go Here to sign up.

Now, speaking of giveaways and Best Selling Authors, my friend, fellow writer, member of the Grand Illustrious IMPire, top notch Shredder Beta reader, (did I mention Best Selling Author?) Sage of the South Josh Langston, is hosting a Goodreads Giveaway for his book Resurrection Blues (see my review here). He has also recently started up his own blog, Sage of the South so go visit and show him some love.

Now, on to today’s WIPpet. It is the 27th . . . so, I give you 27 lines of the new WIP, that elusive UF/PNR thing. A bit of a closer look at Ethan. And, if you missed it on my Facebook Page, below that is Ethan’s theme song. Well, one of them anyhow.

The hair line cracks in the plaster traced a delicate pattern across the ceiling, reminiscent of some ancient map. Ethan took a drag off his cigarette and puffed out a smoke ring, watching as it wafted skyward and dissipated against the ragged plaster. He rolled his head on his arm to take in the wan, digital display on the bedside clock. Three forty five. Too early even for him. Or too late, depending on your perspective. His gaze drifted off the clock to the puddle of light by the door and the plain brown envelope still lying on the floor.

It could rot there for all he cared.

He took another drag off the cigarette, and felt the weight beside him shift. “Can I have one of those?”

Ethan fished one out of the pack lying on the sheet next to him, lit it off his and passed it over without looking. He didn’t remember her name, not that he cared. She probably hadn’t given him her real one anyhow.

“Mind grabbing that for me when you leave?” He gestured to the envelope. “Your money’s on the dresser.”

She took the hint and got out of bed, getting dressed without a word. Ethan took another drag off the cigarette as the envelope landed on his mid-section.

“See you around,” she said on her way out but Ethan barely heard.

His thoughts had drifted to a different woman. Some mousy haired, middle aged, non-descript creature. A decoy. She hadn’t seen the car when she stepped from the curb. The driver hadn’t seen her. Over in an instant. For her, anyhow. Dead on impact, and a trip straight to the county morgue.

“How did I get so far from where I was? When did I decide to lose my way? Who have I become?”

chapflourish


Teetering on the Brink

(Wherein I succumb to some self-indulgent whining, and tongue in cheek sarcasm — because I can.)

Last time we looked, I was standing on the precipice preparing to jump. 

The wind whipped around me as I stood on the edge.  I had everything I needed, and faced the leap with a combination of excitement, terror, anticipation . . . did I say terror?  All that remained was the jump itself.  I peered down —

“Hey, Schwengel.”

I edged a little closer.  Should I get a running start, or just throw myself into the unknown, spreading my arms like wings?  Or maybe a graceful, rolling tumble?

“You might want to look at this first.”

I turned to glance over my shoulder.  The Sage of the South stood there, he held my manuscript in one hand, and gestured me over to him with the other.

“But, I’m all set to leap,” I complained, without moving.

“Fine.”  He shrugged, and flicked the manuscript closed.  “I’ll meet you at the bottom.  You can buy me a drink, and on the way back up I’ll explain why nobody caught you.”

“Why nobody caught — but I stuck a fork in it!  I proclaimed it done!  I.  Am.  Done.”

“Shee-ure, if you want to settle for ‘okay’, strictly your choice.”

He turned away, and I looked for a rock to throw at his head.  How dare he?  The climb had been hell; years of scrabbling up the slopes, inch by inch.  How many times had I slid backwards, scraping my knuckles raw, only to dig in and continue on until finally reaching the summit?  And now — NOW — he calls me away?  He waits till I get HERE to tell me not to jump yet?

Let me tell you, this writing thing is no walk in the park.  If you’re thinking of being a writer, and you haven’t started, don’t!  Run.  Run away as fast as you can and don’t look back.

(That was a test.  If you just threw your pen and notebook in the garbage and made like a rabbit, you failed.  If, like me, you absolutely can’t stop, even if you want to, congratulations — I think.)

“What you have here is good,” the Sage continued.  “But it needs a little tweaking yet.”

I frowned, and though I turned away from the edge, I didn’t leave it.  Not yet.  He couldn’t be serious?  The look he gave me over the top of his glasses told otherwise.  Still, I resisted.

“Let me see it.”  I plopped my backside onto a rock and held out my hand.  The Sage obliged.

“Needs more tension,” he said.

“I’ll tell you what needs more tension,” I muttered under my breath.

“Would you rather I just give you a pat on the head and a hip check off the edge?” he asked.  “Watch you bounce off the rocks all the way down before you climb up and try it again and again?  With any luck at all, that hard head of yours will connect with a boulder and knock some sense into you.”

I waved a backhanded gesture at him as I perused my precious tome.  “Blah, blah, blah.”

I didn’t want to look.  I wanted to leap.  I had reached a point of contentment with my manuscript.  A sense of completion.  If I kept picking at it I’d never stop.  I’d become the brother of a friend.  He’s been a lifelong scholar of many different callings with never once graduating from any of them.

Unfortunately, the Sage has a nasty habit of being right.  This thoroughly irks me.  Even when I want to argue a point, I can’t.  (Although, I have been told by an attorney friend that I can, actually, argue anything, and should have pursued a career in law.)

My frown deepened.  Many colorful words filled my mind.  None of them all that polite so I won’t repeat them here.  Once again, I was forced to concede that the Sage had a valid point.  I gazed longingly over my shoulder at the precipice I had worked so hard to conquer.

“You’ll be back up here in no time,” he said, as he guided me to my feet, placed a hand between my shoulder blades and shoved me ahead of him.  “Now, get busy.”

 

(In all seriousness, I am very fortunate to have Josh Langston, the Sage of the South, in my corner, even though he shares quite a few traits with Sheldon Cooper.  He has pushed me to become a better writer — and to drink — but mostly to stop being lazy and write to the best of my abilities — and drink.)

Write on!