27 June 2005

This Week's Reading 06-27-05

Greetings All,

This week I am reading an excellent work of fiction and some good thinking materials.

The fictional work is Steven King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes. It is somewhat of a departure as all of the stories are not terror. There is a mixture of terror, suspense, science fiction, and human nature study. I highly recommend this for a more well rounded view of SF's mind and skills. When I am finished with this book, I plan to begin his Dark Tower series. I know, I am way behind, but I am catching up ;-}

The other book I am journeying through is Ken Wilber's A Brief History of Everything. It is philosophical, scientific, and religious all at once. I often disagree with Wilbur's assumptions but find him an excellent foil to my thinking. The conversational style of the book can be difficult at times, but I started reading it as if I were reading a script and that helped. Limber up your brain and give Wilber a whirl.

I am also reading a great deal about the early star gazers called Magus or Magi. I am working on a novel about them and have been digging into the early days of astronomy. Some of the books I havd found useful are The Magi, by Ken Vincent; The Star of Bethlehem, by Michael R. Molnar, and The Gospel in the Stars, by Joseph Seiss.

I would like to challenge all of you to develop and use a summer reading list. Let me know if you do and what you are reading.

Until next time,

Wishing you all joy in the journey,


23 June 2005

A Challenging Week

Greetings Dear Readers and Other Friends,

This has been a very challenging writing week. Many other life issues demanding my attention have impeded on my writing time. This brings to mind Stephen Kings insistence that a writer keep his writing time sacred. I usually do but this week has demanded that I pay attention to other things. Some of them have been pleasure some have been duty but all were necessary. Hopefully the adventures will prove grist for the imagination and make my writing better.

I have decided to keep you all posted on what I am reading as well. Feel free to interact about this or ask direct questions. I will talk about what I read and interact with the other writer. You are encouraged to read if you are to write. You cannot draw from a dried out well. It is the nature of the universe. Look for a separate post each week on what I am reading.

Have a great week,

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn

18 June 2005

Chasing the Big Fish

Greetings Loyal Readers,

As I rose early this morning to click out my thoughts I considered the hamster wheel upon which I run. I know that I have something to say to the world. I know the world needs to hear it. I also know that the publishing world is nearly impossible to penetrate without proper connections. For those of you following me, I will let you know if I make any significant connections. As I look for that big break, I remember that the importance is in the writing not the success. I am called by God to write. I will, therefore, write.

For those I am following, I will gladly hear any advice you wish to offer. Please be kind in your suggestions, but pass them on. A special note of thanks to my friend, the Sage near the Lonely Mountain for his kind words and encouragement.

As a final thought, if any of you know Oprah and can get her to recommend my books, feel free.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn

14 June 2005

A New Novel Complete and A New Editor

Greetings Loyal Readers,

I have finished a third book set in my Biblical world. It has a poor working title and is currently at the editor. I have a new editor who is awesome. For purposes of this Blog, and to protect her anonymity, I will give her a name, Melisand. I will be inviting her to post here and her students may use this to view updates on my work.

My latest book is about a Roman Soldier, Portimus, who is assigned to investigate the disappearance of the Body of Jesus Christ. If you have read The Foster Father of God then you have already met the noble Roman. I will past in a teaser chapter here. Let me know what you think.

A Stitch in Time

Brilliant stars and an even brighter moon illuminate the landscape of a chill Judean night. Unaffected by the night air, an angel sits astride a ruddy mare. Both Polemos, the Angel of War, and Eman, his mount are untouched by the elements and invisible to the eyes of man. He waits at the end of a flower field near the Jerusalem gate. The man for whom he waits enters the opposite end of the field. Polemos hastens to his side, aware that his mount will not harm any of the flowers nor leave any trace of his passage. The War Angel knows that he is to observe the man and protect him. He wonders why but obediently takes his place beside the rider.
The rider makes his way silently across the field of night blooming Narcissus. Out of respect for the unknown owner, he guides his horse through the narrow path used to tend and irrigate the ocean of fragrant flowers. The scent of the Narcissus provides welcome relief from the coppery stench of the blood still damp on his tunic. Checking the puncture wound between his third and fourth rib the Roman soldier notes with relief that the bleeding has stopped. Pulling the arrow from his pack, he studies it under the moonlight. Looking up into the night sky, he whispers to no one in particular, "Zealots."

The timber of his single word accusation is more anguish than anger. He knows that Rome grows weary of the lack of assimilation in this region. Even their great celebration of Passover is celebration of freedom from oppressors. Portimus does not see that Rome oppresses Israel but he also knows that how he sees it did not matter to the recently dispatched band that ambushed him in the mountains near Gaza.

Having tracked them there from the site of their attack on a Greek caravan, the Roman offers the four men the opportunity to surrender and live. Their response, attacking on foot against a mounted soldier, proves unwise. That this particular Praetor could best any four other Centurions any given day proves fatal for the untrained inexperienced assailants.
Weapons and will do not complete a fighter. The Zealots have both but lack the confidence of practice and wisdom of action. The first two of them rush him, flailing their swords wildly as if to scare him. Although this tactic works on caravans of merchants and women, a sidestep with his horse, a parry, and two quick thrusts cut the number of opponents in half, literally.
The third, the one with the bow, becomes overconfident when a lucky shot pierces the Roman's side. Portimus shifts his gladius to the hand holding his mount's reins at the same moment the emboldened Zealot stands and aims for a second shot. With speed uncommon for his size the mounted warrior grasps a javelin from his quiver and lets fly. The bow shot sails far over the soldierÂ’s head as the force of javelin drives the Zealot into the rock wall behind him.
Fear shows in the eyes of the fourth Zealot. Unfortunately, for him bravado and rage soon replace his fear. He charges Portimus screaming epithets, his sword raised high. Portimus nudges his horse back and to the left. The Zealot's swing goes wide and the soldier calls to him in flawless Aramaic, "You cannot beat me. Surrender and you will live."

The assailant screams at the soldier. "I would rather die than receive mercy from a Roman." He spits on the ground and charges again. Seeing that there will be no parley with the Zealot Portimus grants his request. The soldier kicks his horse to the right and beheads the rebel as he passes. The Roman takes no pleasure in killing but has dispatched all four Zealots efficiently and professionally in a matter of seconds.

He takes a moment to carefully remove the arrow from his side and wash the wound. It is not life threatening but will need professional attention. He gathers the fallen men's belongings and the camels and items taken from the caravan. Returning to the place where the caravan survivors wait, he delivers their belongings to them.

Bidding the travelers well, he presses on toward his assignment in Jerusalem. He knows that the gates are already closed for the night and makes his way around to the needle's eye. This small gate is guarded and allows access to travelers only via a narrow passage. There is an opening through which animals must stoop to pass. The guards recognize the Roman's rank and hasten to open the larger gate for him.

Portimus rides through the crowded streets to the garrison. The pre-Passover bazaar makes the going slow but he is determined to clean up and assess the city before reporting to the Governor. Pilate does not mind late night chats but he prefers clean officers in his presence. The night watch at the garrison snaps to attention and salutes as he rides up. To his credit, one of them notices the blood on the Praetor's armor and summons aid. To his further credit, he rouses the garrison commander, alerting him to the arrival of a higher-ranking officer.
Polemos moves away, aware that his charge will be well for now. The War Angel's brothers are gathering. Something requires his attention and there is a sense of foreboding in all of creation. Whatever is on the horizon, his new interest will play a part in it.

The soldier retreats from his commander's quarters and guides the Praetor to an empty officer's billet. Portimus gingerly removes his armor and lays it with his pack and weapons by the bed. He checks that his letters to Pilate are safely in the baggage and asks soldieron of the solider to the baths.

While waiting, Portimus enters the bath to soak away his road weariness. A Greek physician arrives, bleary eyed and groggy. Inspecting the wound carefully he announces that there is no infection, applies some foul smelling ointment, and stitches it closed. Two servants enter with food for the soldier and he thanks them. The leader of garrison, Castor, notices this and wonders why a Praetor would bother to thank a servant.

Portimus dines in silence listening to Castor report of activities in the city. Having attended Passover celebration in Jerusalem a number of years ago, he is used to the common complaints of overcrowding and various petty crimes surrounding the bazaar. The Praetor's attention focuses when Castor mentions problems with the ruling religious council of the Jews, the Sanhedrin.

He listens intently as the officer explains the problem the council has with one of the local religious fanatics. "Apparently, the fanatic in question is rumored to work miracles and has defied the Pharisees' abuses of their religious law for personal gain. It seems that this rogue teacher is going to enter the city tomorrow and the Jews are worried about a public uprising in his favor. If you ask me they make too much fuss over a carpenter from Nazareth."

Only his keen discipline keeps Portimus from visible reaction. He knows the only carpenter from Nazareth that could cause such a stir. He has not seen him in over five years, but he knows him and is sure that the stir and the rumors are genuine. He will look further into it tomorrow, after he reports to Pilate. For now he needs rest and apparently preparation.