Tag Archives: pirates

My last hat stand

Some of you might remember me taking delivery of two cool hat stands about a month ago. The third one arrived last night. This one has a cross bone that is kind of cool. Here they are all together.

They are hat stands after all, so this is what they look like after I put them to work. I found the bone to be a great place for one of my bandanas.

Some hats I wear, some are just for looking at. The one on the left is a cool witch’s hat, but I tipped them all back so you could see the stands. I have a theory there is an awesome pirate hat in my future that would look great on one of these. And Captain Jack’s is just the place to acquire such a thing. If you’d like a cool hat stand, or a pirate hat checkout Captain Jack’s and ask for Jeff MacKay. Tell him I said hello.

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A travel day

I'm writing this from aisle 28 on a Boeing 757. These are wonderful planes, but the difference between two identical twins is amazing.

This morning, we got onto a brand new plane. The seats were comfy and reasonably sized. The monitor in the seatback had a USB port to charge my cell phone. Even the seatbelt was too big, if you can imagine such a thing.

Our plan was simple enough. We are using our daughter's benefits to fly on standby. The idea was to fly from NOLA to Atlanta, then on to SLC and Boise. We chose this route because it put us home earlier.

When we got to Atlanta, others decided to fly on standby as well, and we were about a dozen people beyond those who would get a seat. Our daughter came to the rescue, routed us to Seattle, and said from there it's a breeze to get home. We will get home later, but that's the joy of standby.

This gave us a bit of airport time. Time to observe the old man in the funny hat, one that looks like a cross between a newsboy and a baseball cap. I've never seen anything like it before. There are the women with big hair. I've written about them before, but in Atlanta the black girls win the day. Huge heads of hair that actually look pretty darned good. If these things are weaves or extensions, don't tell me – I don't want to know. I'm basking in the illusion.

There was the lady with her little dog on a leash, and a mom with her child on a leash. All of this is minutia, but even small observations can help me create a character.

It wasn't until we met the second 757 that I realized I'd forgotten to look at the NOLA phone book. This may not seem like an attraction to most of you, but I struggle to name my characters. I am completely convinced that the NOLA phone book is the holy grail of names now, simply because I missed it.

Oh, this second 757 is the evil twin of the first plane. Our morning flight was all clean and comfy, with wifi that actually seemed to work. This plane has hard seats, archaic monitors without USB ports, and short seat belts. I had five inches of seat belt to spare this morning. Now I need a come-along to ratchet down my stomach just to buckle the damned thing. It's so tight my right leg died about five-hundred miles ago, and my wallet feels like a lump in my throat.

This 757 has an old three-pronged electrical plug for my devices. It's down by the seat of the guy in front of me. This requires me to fold in half like a jackknife to recharge my phone. Also what device in the history of devices ever had a three-pronged plug? I'll give credit though, my little lightning bolt lit right up to indicate my phone was actually charging… right before gravity took over and my cord fell to the floor. The female connection is so loose it won't hold my cable in place without holding it where it needs to be. I'll leave it at that before I get too metaphoric and say something too graphic for kids to read.

I wasn't supposed to start reading again so soon, but what do you do on a five hour flight? I had a children's book all downloaded, but can't get it off the cloud and onto my Kindle app. You see, this 757 has wifi, and it connects fast, you just can't do anything with it after you connect. It seems custom designed to make the spinny thing go around, but nothing else. This is a friend's book, and a short enough read to help me make my RRBC reading goals without more added stress.

Buuuut, the wifi won't let me read it, so I started a craft book that I've held onto for “Someday.” I managed about half of it so far, but my eyes are tired. (And my right leg, and my bladder, and my attitude, etc.) Right now, I'm watching the monitor while a graphic of a 757 moves across the country at the speed of a glacier. I'm typing this by only peripherally glancing at my fingers. Since I can't do anything with the wifi, I'll load this post to my blog later.

Our daughter warned us to take an extra day when flying standby. This sounded like good counsel to us, and we are both off tomorrow. In fact, with my flex day, and a federal holiday, I only had to take one day of vacation time for this mini-vacation. Even I get lucky sometimes.

One hour and five minutes before we get to Seattle. Oh how I miss that first 757.

***

Update: We're home. I wound up stashing my wallet in my suitcase so I didn't have to sit on it any longer. That helped, but what really helped was our first class accommodations for the last leg of our trip. It was a Delta flight, and since our daughter is a Delta employee we were ahead of everyone else on the list. Seats one A and B. It was only an hour flight, but I appreciated it. I even got to charge my phone back up along the way.

On our last day we wound up stopping at Lafitte's, and I had a drink there. There isn't much made of the place beyond the historical registry stuff. I kind of expected more of a pirate theme to everything, or even a blacksmith's theme. I suppose hammers on the walls isn't a good idea where alcohol is served.

We walked to Cafe Du Monde and had more beignets. These are the most famous ones, but weren't our favorites. We both preferred the Royal place where we started, and I even preferred the ones at the Hotel Monteleone, because of the praline sauce.

Old What's Her Face and I have been married for twenty four years, and lived together for two years prior to that. This trip is the first time we've flown out together anywhere. I hope we don't have to wait that long to do it again.

If you spot me a hundred miles or so, I was on three coasts today. NOLA to Atlanta to Seattle before we got home.

I'm going to catch my breath, then I need to get to work. I have a couple of critique group things to work up for our meeting on the 31st. I'm out of ink too, so I wonder if I can trick my printer into spitting out a couple of pages in navy blue.

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Hoist the colors, on Lisa Burton Radio

 

Arrrrgh, maties, hoist the mainsail and get ready for some serious pirating. This is Lisa Burton Radio, and we’re about to sail the seven seas for adventure. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl.

Today’s show is sponsored by The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales, by P. S. Bartlett and specifically, AMBER WAKE – Gabriel Falling by P.S. Bartlett and Ronovan Hester.

Our guest is Gabriel Wallace, but he’s also known as Rasmussen “Big Red” Bergman. Isn’t that cool?

“Welcome to the show, Big Red, or would you prefer something else?”

“Hello lass. Please call me Rasmus or Razz. I’m pleased to join you, although I’ve no idea what a radio is.”

“Razz it is then. My bio says you were a Captain in the Royal Navy. That’s kind of a big deal. How the heck does someone with all that going for them become a pirate?”

“Well, that’s easier to answer than one might think. I was betrayed, maligned and stripped of my rank as well as my commission in the Royal Navy, by a corrupt and unscrupulous Admiral. Plainly put; I was set up for a fall. Corruption runs rampant in His Majesty’s Navy and by the time I realized the deck was stacked against me, I was out on my arse. Fortunately, my first mate, Miles Jacobs, and my loyal crew, stood by me and picked me up. Yes, I suffered personal loss and intimate damage at their hands as well. That is for them to regret and I saw to it that they regretted it just as intimately.”

“Oh Razz, that’s terrible. So the whole thing sounds to me like you were made a scapegoat, and your family paid the price for that. To get your revenge, it sounds like you not only took up piracy, you made a complete identity change too. What can you tell us about that process?”

“Hmmm… I’m still not completely comfortable with the term, pirate. Most think of pirates and believe they are searching for treasure or making their living by robbing merchant ships and relieving Spanish ships of their gold. Most do. I have no interest in gold or fortune. My interests are solely invested in righting wrongs. If bad people get hurt in the process, I’d say that is their reward for getting in the way of justice. I pirate for better reasons if that makes sense.

“However, finding one’s self on the opposite side of law, regardless of the reasons, will change even the most dedicated and dignified man. Then again, perhaps they aren’t changes at all but rather characteristics that were suppressed or even consciously tucked away waiting for the right moment to emerge. Rasmus was a necessary evolution if I was going to be able to conceal my identity in order to complete my mission and by the end of the book, I was indeed more Rasmus than Gabriel.”

“Pirating sounds like a fun time. Sailing around, looking for buried treasure, the freedom to go wherever you want. Tell us a little about the lifestyle.”

“What in God’s name sort of stories have ye been reading lass? Sailing around? No. We always have a mission. Sailing to us is not recreation, it’s a way to get from one place to another, and getting there in one piece depends on skill and experience—not to mention the will of God’s oceans not to kill ye. Second, sacking other ships for profit is a pirate’s line of work. I’ve sacked ships to keep my crew alive and to pay back those who’ve wronged me. Every day we look death in the face and keep going. Every night we chart the stars and follow the moon. It isn’t romantic to open a man’s belly with your sword or shoot someone who’s trying to take your ship. It is however sometimes necessary to preserve your freedom and protect your mates. We’re a floating society with our own set of rules. Follow the rules or face your punishment. Should you violate the code, you can’t beg for mercy since you voted on those rules and chose to break them. I also haven’t searched nor found any treasure yet…at least not in this book.”

“It sounds almost like a mini senate where everyone gets to vote on what the next project is. That’s kind of cool. If I want to become a pirate how do I go about that. Is there an application and interview process?”

“Haha! There’s an interview process alright. Can ye sail? Have ye ever tarred the decks or sewn sails or climbed the rat lines and walked the yards? I’m not sure what “kind of cool” means but being a sailor, especially a pirate, isn’t all drinking and singing shantys on the deck in the sun. It’s hard work ye see. Nobody really sets out wanting to be pirate. The food aboard ship is mostly awful. There’s danger over every horizon and men die out there, lass. Many men go on account to escape the brutal, slave-like treatment they’re subjected to aboard merchant ships, which accounts for most pirate crews. These are men who’ve been beaten and half-starved I’m speaking of.

“For example: a pirate ship takes a merchant ship at sea and offers the lads a chance to create their own destiny. “Sign here!” they say, and freedom is yours!

“I of course didn’t get my start that way but my crew and I are the exception. We took a ship of the Royal Navy and sailed off through smoke and gun fire. We became pirates by fate, not for any of the reasons most men do. I have to admit, though, the freedom to lead your own life and have respect amongst your mates is something worth fighting for. Freedom doesn’t come free. Ye have to fight and work for it every day. However, once ye have it, it’s hard as hell to let it go.”

“When you explain it that way, I’m surprised there aren’t more pirates. We have a caller, do you mind if we take a question?”

“Ye have my full attention, lass.”

“Hello, caller, you’re on the air with Lisa Burton and Razz. What is your question?”

“Well hello there, Captain Bergman. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had the privilege. Hello to you Miss Lisa, I’m Maddox Carbonale.”

“Well I’ll be damned.”

“If you ask me, it’s too late to blame that on me old friend. So, how have you been….since, well, your run in with the Royal Navy?”

“Ye should have stayed for the show, Carbonale. You missed the finale.”

“Damn it’s good to hear your voice again but then, I knew our paths would cross sooner or later. Shall we regale the young lass with tales of our tavern brawls or shall we discuss the time you forced me into hand to hand combat with a crewman?”

“Ahhhh…here he goes! Watch out lass. Mister Carbonale loves to toot his own horn about his conquests. What if we discuss your other conquests, Maddox? You know, your pension for the young wives of Admirals? Now there’s a story worth telling. Ha ha.”

“Captain, I’m sure it would not be polite to discuss such scandal in front of a lady. By the way Miss Lisa, do you ever get down the Caribbean? I could show you around and of course, I have only the most honorable of intentions.”

“Lass, if ye believe that story I’ve got a tale for ye about the time I met a mermaid off the coast of Jamaica! Oh, Maddox, you’ll never change and I hope to God ye don’t my friend. I might not miss your fashion and flowery scent preferences but you and your pretentious ways definitely made our time together interesting. I have missed you old friend.”

“Well boys, it sounds like the life of a character is anything but simple.”

“I would like to bring up how conflicting it was being tossed back and forth between Madam Bartlett and Mister Hester. As you know Captain, it was quite confusing and undignified at times having words put into our mouths and then yanked out as if we had no say what so ever.”

“Oh Maddox will you ever stop with your belly aching over this book having been co-written? They did the best they could and imagine how difficult it was for me? Missus Bartlett had written us both before in her other books and Mister Hester only knew of us what she’d written. I was a whole other person—literally, going into this book. Of course there was going to be a bit of a tug of war. You survived it so shut your port hole and be grateful for all of these five star reviews we’re all getting.”

“Easy for you to say, you’re in three of Bartlett’s novels. I’m still waiting for the sequel to The Blue Diamond. Ivory and I have quite a bit of…unfinished business shall we say?”

“Don’t make me come and hunt you down Carbonale. As of right now, she’s still my wife.”

“Oh let us confuse the bloody hell out of this poor woman shall we? Do you all see now what I must put up with?”

“Yeah boys, I get it. In my story I got electrocuted, shot, partially disabled, and had all kinds of hardware problems. It’s a tough old business, but we wind up having a little fun along the way too.

“Say boys, robot girls everywhere would like to meet the Dread Pirate Roberts. Do either of you– Sorry, got a little conflict in my software. Do either of you know him?”

“The Dread Pirate who?

“He’s the peculiar and sort of swishy fellow from that movie The Princess Bride. You see, Lisa, Razz isn’t as worldly as I, although he’s well-read and has an equal level of education. However —

“I know who he is and I’m not impressed. I won’t deny he could handle and sword but all that romance and fancy talk…well, let’s just say a true man of the sea knows who his true lady love is.”

“There’s no hope for the man, Miss Lisa. Captain Bergman, perhaps it’s time you set a course for Demons and Pearls and have yourself reminded of a few or those fancy words. I do believe you’ll find another lady of equal temperament to the sea you so adore, waiting for that shaggy red melon atop your shoulders to rock your boat a bit…although upon my life I am yet to understand what she saw in you. But alas, I’ll be several books ahead, awaiting my opportunity to sail away on that same tumultuous, daring, deep blue eyed, bonny sun kissed and unpredictable sea.”

“Watch it, Carbonale. You never know when I could show up again and turn that voyage bottoms up. However, I accept your challenge and any other that presents itself to me—be it a hurricane or a female.”

“Oh I have no doubt we’ll meet again man to man. As a matter of fact, I’m looking forward to it.”

“Thanks for being on the show today, boys. Make sure you eat your limes now. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

I included the purchase links at the beginning of the show. You can connect with these authors at the following locations:

P. S. Bartlett:

Website: http://psbartlett.me/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PSBartlett

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSBartlett

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012732.P_S_Bartlett

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/peggystankiewicz/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/psbartlett214/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/P.S.-Bartlett/e/B00CP4PF4U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

Ronovan Hester:

RonovanHester.com.

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Jaded Tides Blog Tour

Welcome to P. S. Bartlett who's come to tell us about her new book, Jaded Tides. This is the second book in her Razor's Adventures Pirate Tales.

The Kind of Writer I Want To Be

I’ve believed since I dedicated myself to this journey two years ago that I knew exactly what kind of writer I wanted to be. Since I wrote the first sentence of my first novel, that dedication hasn’t wavered. A simple little sentence started it all.


“Ennis found a bird.”


I’ve had no formal training in this profession but I’ve done a ton of research, logged countless hours writing and I’ve dug in my heels. I’m not going anywhere.


I write fast. I think fast and once I set my sights on a goal I rarely give up unless I’m personally not satisfied with my level of performance or the quality of work I’m doing. So far, I see no reason to quit. As long as I keep breathing, moving, growing and evolving as a person, I’ll never stop.


It is important to me to produce quality books. Since I am still learning every day what that means to me and how it relates to my writing, I believe I can only keep improving. I’ve always loved writing and although I spent most of my adult life working, raising children and just trying to keep my boat right side up, I chose to put my aspirations on the back burner and take care of my family. I do not regret it one little bit. Through that journey, I learned so much about myself and gained volumes of experience at just being a human being. I’m proud of whom I’ve finally grown up to be and I need to be proud of the work I do too.


It’s a long road from writing your first page, to publishing. You will be knocked back more times than you can imagine. You’ll be told over and over again that your book “just isn’t what we’re looking for at this time.” Roadblock upon roadblock will rise up in front of you but you have to keep pushing on. Family problems, money shortages, day job, responsibilities and oh, that little thing called sleep will feel like a ball and chain at times but no matter what, you can’t give up. If being a published author is truly your calling or at the very least, your goal, allowing anything to stop you is not an option—no matter how long it takes or what road you take to get there.


The most important thing to me is that I write what I want to read. I want to write words that feel like warm butter on a hot roll. Words that get inside of you and either make you squirm or rise up inside of you and escape with a smile. Words that stick in your head and come to mind when you least expect it. I want to write stories that when you close the book, you want more. The reason I know how important writing what I want to read is, is because I’ve tried writing stories that may fall into one of the hot selling genres and I couldn’t get through the first chapter. You’ll know you’re writing what you want to read, when closing your laptop feels like kicking a heroin addiction.


I don’t want to write about what everyone else is writing about. I don’t need to sit at the cool kids table to feel good about myself. I know there are lots of genres and I know which ones sell the most. No, I’m not crazy and of course I want to make money and be able to write full time but I have to do it in a way I feel good about inside. I have to do it on my own terms. I have to tell a good story with characters you want to meet and know, and talk to again and again. I believe at some point I’ll be able to put almost anything into words but it has to be my anything, not what’s hot at the moment and not just because I want to be with the in crowd. My readers are out there and as long as I keep looking, I’ll find them and they’ll find me.


I want to stand out. I have this crazy dream that my stories will one day be considered as some of the best ever. I’ll stand by that. I believe that and soon, I’ll live that.


Thank you,


P.S. Bartlett – I’m taking a fantastic voyage. Won’t you join me?



Blurb-

After finding love in the most unlikely of places, Ivory’s life appears to at last be falling into place. Having proven herself a force to be reckoned with, she has at last set sail for the first time as a pirate. The only problem is she’s a woman and must disguise herself in order to set foot on a ship. Being in love with her captain isn’t helping matters either and whole new set of obstacles are presenting themselves at every turn. Her brash style and tenacity, however, could prove to make her, her own worst enemy.


With a sword in her hand and her new found love at her side, Ivory Shepard is about to embark on a mission to rescue and return every young woman she can who has fallen prey to the jaded tides of the Caribbean sex trade. Armed with a secret log book she acquired from a pirate captain—who also happened to be an evil smuggler, she believes herself well prepared for the task. As she’s already learned the hard way, pirates always prove to be unpredictable and ruthless. Unfortunately for them, so is she.


Purchase link: Jaded Tides

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Hoist the Colors!

Time for a bit of piracy, mates. Welcome to P. S. Bartlett who’s here to tell us about her newest book; Demons & Pearls, the Razor’s Adventures. Take it away, Peggy.

***

Articles of the Code of the Demon Sea

 

1. The captain of the ship is to be elected by a majority vote of the crew: If any time the crew finds just cause and sufficient evidence to prove the Captain unfit or the Captain is killed in battle, the Quartermaster shall act as Captain until the vote is taken. The Vote must be taken within one full day of its announcement. Failure to follow this procedure will be deemed mutiny.

2. Every man has a vote in affairs of moment; has equal title to the fresh provisions, or strong liquors, at any time seized, and may use them at pleasure, unless a scarcity makes it necessary, for the good of all, to vote a retrenchment.

3. Every man shall obey civil Command; the Captain shall have two full shares and in all Prizes; the Master, Carpenter, Boatswain and Gunner shall have one Share and a quarter. The fund of all payments under the articles is the stock of what is gotten by the expedition, following the same law as other pirates, that is, No prey, no pay.

4. If any man shall offer to run away, or keep any secret from the Company, he shall be marooned with one bottle of powder, one bottle of water, one small arm and shot.

5. If any Many shall steal anything in the company, or game, to the value of a Piece of Eight, he shall be marooned or shot.

6. That Man that shall strike another man whilst aboard ship and whilst these Articles are in force shall receive 40 lashes on the bare back.

7. That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoke tobacco in the hold, without a cap to his Pipe, or carry a Candle lighted without a lantern, shall suffer the same punishment as in the former Article.

8. Lights and candles must be snuffed out of eight o’clock. If any man desires to drink after such time, he shall do so on the open deck without lights

9. That Man that shall not keep his weapons clean and fit for an Engagement, or neglect his business due to drunkenness, shall be cut off from his share, and suffer such other punishment as the Captain and the Company shall think fit.

10. If any Man shall lose a Joint in time of an Engagement he shall have 400 pieces of Eight; if a limb 800.

11. No boy or woman is to be brought aboard ship or amongst the crew in disguise for the purpose of sexual seduction. If any man is to be found seducing any of the latter sex, and carried her to sea, disguised, he is to suffer death and the woman or boy will be placed in the custody of a sentinel.

Wait, did pirates have iPhones?

Pirate Lore and Superstition – Fact or Rum?

First of all I’d like to thank Entertaining Stories for having me and my new book, Demons & Pearls, on the blog today. I sent up a flare asking for hosts and well, lucky me. Here I am and I hope you will find this story entertaining.


For the past year, I’ve been obsessed with writing pirate stories. On their own, pirates are entertaining to write about. Now hold that thought for a minute and allow me to explain: Pirates and their dirty and often times brutal deeds leave them to history as unscrupulous, murdering, thieving monsters who instilled fear in every vessel they hunted down. I’ve become fascinated with their way of life, the freedom of sea life and most of all, their governance of themselves as equals in all things. There is however one aspect of these men I have yet to delve into; superstition. So in keeping with the theme of this blog, I’d like to explore it with you now.


Sailors have always been some of the most superstitious men in history and these brash and scrappy men (mostly), were no exception. They held deep seeded beliefs which dictated their actions. Everything from their course headings to how they laid their fellow crewmen to rest was steeped in superstitious rituals. From mermaids to the deadly kraken, they told tales of lore that struck fear into even the deadliest of pirates. Although they lived their lives according to their code or what we’d call laws today, their lives were more closely lived by their unwritten beliefs.


Among the more common superstitions, were those associated with the bringing of good or bad luck. Actions such as boarding a ship with your left foot forward or whistling could bring certain doom. If a shark was spotted following the ship, it signified certain death. However if a pod of dolphins were along for the voyage, good luck was certain. Women aboard a ship were considered unlucky, although a naked woman was thought to calm the seas. This is why many ships had figureheads of a bare-breasted woman, which brings me to those mystical, magical and often times maligned ladies of the sea; mermaids.


Stories and imagery of mermaids can be traced back to 2,000bc. However, these mythical creatures were never more romanticized, as well as feared, as they were during the golden age of piracy. Some pirates as well as sailors of any kind, believed them to be sirens, whose sweet singing would lure them off course and ultimately causing the ship to wreck on the rocks and sink. Other tales of mermaids describe sailors who were drowned accidentally by mermaids, who although trying to save them, inadvertently squeezed them to death. Most often, these stories have been discredited to state that these so called mermaids were no more than manatees who were mistakenly identified as half woman half fish by sailors, who’d have taken part in far too much drinking.


One such description of a mermaid sighting went as follows, from http://www.livescience.com/39882-mermaid.html:

Edward Snow’s “Incredible Mysteries and Legends of the Sea” (Dodd Mead, 1967). A sea captain off the coast of Newfoundland described his 1614 encounter: “Captain John Smith saw a mermaid ‘swimming about with all possible grace.’ He pictured her as having large eyes, a finely shaped nose that was ‘somewhat short,’ and well-formed ears that were rather too long. Smith goes on to say that ‘her long green hair imparted to her an original character that was by no means unattractive.'” In fact, Smith was so taken with this lovely woman that he began “to experience the first effects of love” (take that as you will) as he gazed at her before his sudden (and surely profoundly disappointing) realization that she was a fish from the waist down. This dilemma is reflected in a popular song titled “The Mermaid,” by Newfoundland band Great Big Sea:

“I love the girl with all me heart
But I only like the upper part
I do not like the tail!”

Today, sightings of mermaids are mostly contained to entertaining tank or pool shows, where women who are enchanted with the myth of the mermaid, perform beautiful water ballets either together or with marine life. To my knowledge, none of these ethereally beautiful creatures could ever be confused with a manatee. However, with our world being covered with seventy-one percent of water, who’s to say who’s had too much to drink and who saw a mermaid?


Drawn by the author herself.



***

What a cool guest. Written with the general theme of this blog in mind. Check out the book at this link.


She has other books available too. Check them out at her author page

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The Idea Mill #4

Okay, I took a W. A. G. at just how many of these I’ve posted. I decided to number them so I don’t wind up reusing the names.

These articles are pushed to me via my RSS reader and Zite Magazine. When I find a good one I bookmark it until I have three, then I share them with you. These aren’t the kind of things to make a whole story about, but they can put a little pep into your story when you need it.

The first one has speculative fiction written all over it. It’s about decapitation. There’s more legend here than hard news, but it really gets the imagination moving. How many pirates could you save by walking past them after your own beheading? Read it here: Decapitation. I remember Jayne Mansfield too, but I was very young when this happened.

The next one reminds me of those movie girls who can do anything with a Bobbie pin. This is the “Swiss Army Knife” of hair clips. I can see Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson whipping one of these out of her hair to get out of a tight spot. My own character, Lisa the robot, could have used one of these. There’s a link in there that shows more photos. Check out Hair Clip.

The third one sounds a bit like witchcraft. It’s modern medicine using a bacteria found in dirt. They did the whole genetic modification thing to it, of course. It cannot thrive in too much oxygen. It just so happens that cancerous tumors have a much lower level of oxygenation than healthy tissue. They tested it on animals, and ultimately one human. This stuff eats the tumor, and dies out when it reaches healthy tissue. The story has wonderful descriptions of lancing the infection and pus, if you need to increase the squirm factor in your manuscript. Read the news article here: Bacteria.

The bacteria begs for a speculative fiction writer to ask, “What if?” I also like to figure out, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Maybe it increases the human lifespan by 50 years. This could bankrupt the economy, the health care system, Social Security, and the insurance industry. Bring on the distopian settings.

Maybe scientists tested too soon and the patient turns into a raging monster. Scarlett Johanssen has to use her special hair clip to decapitate it.

Have fun with these, and let me know if any if them lubricates your imagination.

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