Extra Innings – Part 24

Don Massenzio's Blog

Joe hits rock bottom this week. His despair is justified as he digs into what happened in this timeline. Because this is a serial, the events go by quickly as I try to tie each week’s entry into an episode. When I turn this serial into a novel, however, there is a lot of juicy detail that can be expanded. I can’t wait.

If you want to catch up on the previous installments of this serial, you can click on these links:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23


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The Archivist — Chapter 12


Chapter 12 

Lennie’s handed a bottle of beer to Scott. “I don’t like how you handled this situation, but what’s done is done. From now on, any murders you have that concern runes you contact me immediately. I want to look around before your techs get there.” Lennie sat next to Nickie.

“All right. I take it wherever you go she goes?”

“Of course. She’s my Archivist Apprentice. If I’m any judge, she’ll reach Third-Class before she finishes her first year. I’m also her Keeper, in case you have forgotten.”

“So there’s nothing going on between the two of you?”

Nickie started laughing.

Lennie choked on her beer. “What the hell is wrong with everyone? Why this sudden interest in my personal life? Did someone put up a damn billboard that says ‘Lennie and Diane broke up’?”

“Sorry! It’s just I was at the diner the other day and was talking to Lisa. She mentioned you and Diane were no longer an item.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “I didn’t mean to upset you, Lennie.”

“Whatever. I wonder why the guards at the harbor didn’t tell you about the missing people.”

“Why would they? The cops look down on those guards, thinking them less than security guards in a store. Those guards receive minimum wage, no health insurance and work twelve-hour shifts. The last time a guard disappeared down there, it was a week before the police looked into it. The guy that disappeared was found dead in the sewer below Harbor Street.” Nickie finished her pop. “You cops think you’re hot shit, with your badges and authority, but most of you don’t know how to treat the rest of us with a little decency and respect.” She stood. “Lennie, I’m going to put the rest of my stuff away and set up my game console.”

“All right. Why don’t you take another pop with you and a couple of candy bars in case you get hungry.”

“Good idea.” Nickie gathered what she needed and left the room.

Scott shook his head. “What the hell was that all about? Why does she hate the police?”

“I dare say she has her reasons.” Lennie lit a cigarette.

“Which is a polite way of saying it’s none of my business.”

“If Nickie wants you to know, she’ll tell you.”

They talked for another half hour about inconsequential things, and then Scott left, promising to call Lennie the next day about the progress of the murder investigations.
Lennie cleaned up the living room before going to her study to get report. Time to let Nickie read it.


The stench of unwashed bodies and fear filled the large tent. Reginald’s lip curled in disgust. “I provide portable showers for these workers. Why don’t they make use of them?”

“Perhaps they do not realize they stink. Most of these workers live on the streets and earning money is more important than being clean.” A grating voice issued from the deep hood.

“Why in the world are you dressed like a rapper?”

“It’s the easiest way to blend in,” Ralaax said.

“You could have waited back at the mansion instead of coming here.”

Three workers pushing wheelbarrows passed below the platform they stood on. None of them looked at the two overseeing the work.

“Mr. Aston, you wanted to see me?” Gillian walked over.

“Yes.” He pulled something from his pocket and held it out. “I want you to place this on Lenara Lenquil’s car. Make sure it won’t be easy to find if she looks for it.”

“A GPS tracker? Does this mean we won’t be following her any more?” She clutched the item.

“Correct. Once that’s in place, I need you and Jay to break into her apartment and see what you can find. Like any Archivist, she keeps personal journals about her work.”

“Yes, sir. Anything else?”

“We need more workers for this site. See about making a recruiting run. Avoid the Harbor district. The security guards are asking too many questions when people don’t return to their haunts.” His attention returned to the work below.

“Yes, sir. I’ll head for the warehouse area. We haven’t been down there in a while.”

“Do you trust her and the others?” Ralaax said.

“Yes. They have seen what will happen to those who betray us.”

A shout from below sent them down the ladder.

“Mr. Aston! We’ve uncovered the door. The seal is intact,” Harold Larson, the head researcher joined them.

“Excellent. Tell the workers to return to their quarters. I will speak to them momentarily.” Reginald and his companion strode down the ramp to the lower level of the ruin “With the seal unbroken, the item we seek should be there.”

A twelve-sided seal a foot across stood out; the runes matched the ones Ralaax had shown him. “Will you be able to remove the seal without breaking it?”

Andrew James leaned forward for a closer look. “It will take us a few hours, Mr. Aston, but yes, we will remove it without destroying the seal.”

“See to it. Tell the others in your group to sort through the two piles of rubble in the large room. There could be something of value there.”

“I think I will stay here to watch,” Ralaax said. “It’s possible the seal is trapped and I am able to disarm it.”

“As you wish. I need to speak to the workers.” Reginald headed up the ramp. Perhaps I can convince some of the workers to join the Council. Some of them are actually intelligent and knew how to follow orders. The others will go to the altar.


Report in hand, Lennie knocked on Nickie’s door.

“Come in!”

Plastic wrap and empty boxes littered the floor. “I see it didn’t take long to get your stuff unpacked.” She sat on the edge of the bed. “Here’s the report. You can read the entire thing if you like, but the section you need to read is on the Personal page.”

Nickie accepted the document and flipped to the page. “’Destined to be bondmates, Lenara Lenquil, and Nickie Atlan match in all aspects of their personality and way of thinking. They should meet as soon as possible. We cannot see what lies ahead, the Mists block us, but they have important work to do. They will need the love and support of each other.’” She tapped her chin. “What’s a bondmate?”

“I have no idea who came up with these terms, but this is the accepted definition. A bondmate is a combination of a soulmate and a life partner. The bondmate is an individual you trust, feel comfortable with, and attracted to. A person with beliefs similar to your own, and you feel in sync with that person. They have similar flaws and habits, too.” Lennie rested her arms on her thighs. “The Scryers have never been wrong about bondmates.”

“What does this mean for us?”

“For now we continue as we are. You need to finish settling in and adjust to your new position as an Archivist Apprentice. We’ll take each day as it comes. Okay?” She rested a hand on the younger woman’s shoulder.

“I understand.” She handed the report back. “What are we doing tomorrow?”

“Moving into our new office, and meeting with the others about exploring the building. You will be involved in every aspect of this venture. With so much to do, don’t stay up too late playing games. I want you up and dressed by seven tomorrow morning.” Lennie tapped her on the head with the report. “Understood?”



“Why couldn’t she own an SUV or a pick-up truck?” Gillian climbed to her feet. “Jay, Grab the jack and the cinder blocks from the trunk. I can’t get under the damn car.”

“Before Ralaax killed Arnie, he got stuck under a car when planting a GPS.”

“Arnie was an ass. He didn’t bother to check the license plate number before planting the thing.” When the car was high enough, she slipped the cinder blocks under the frame. “Good thing this garage has no security. Not even a camera. Start up the computer. After I switch GPS, I want you to check the location.”

“Okay. Do we return to headquarters after we finish here?”

“No. First, we’ll grab something to eat, then on to the warehouse district. Mr. Aston wants us to recruit more workers.”

With the device attached to the frame, Gillian raised the car and removed the cinder blocks. “The device is on; bring up the tracking program.”

“All right, it’s showing up on the map where it should be.” Jay turned the laptop off.

“Perfect. Let’s get out of here.”

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Writing Quotes — Mickey Spillane


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Author Bios


Author Bios

Readers of your work like to know something about who wrote the book or short story. An author bio serves two purposes:

  1. It gives your readers an idea of what you like besides writing.
  2. An author bio gives you a chance to let others know what you do and what you have published.

This article gives tips and examples of author bios for including in published works and on author websites and blogs. You can also include your author bio in press releases and other announcements about your writing.


Don’t be overly cute. You aren’t a child, but a professional writer so behave like one. Do not say you attended the School of Hard Knocks or graduated with honors from Hogwart’s. If you are serious about being published, then be serious with your  bio. You want to make a good impression, the same way you want to make a good impression when you go to a job interview. If you don’t want certain things known about you, then don’t put it in the bio.

If you are writing a bio for a query letter, write it in the first person.

If it’s for something you are publishing or for your blog or website, write in the third person.

Read other author bios to see how they were done. Both traditionally published writers and self-published writers. Amazon author pages are the best way for this.

Use a high-resolution headshot of you if asked for by a publisher or to place on your website. Not an image of you and your family, significant other, or at a party. The bio is about YOU.

When you submit something for publication and the publisher asks for an author’s bio, read their guidelines carefully and look at the bios written by other writers for that publication. Some publications don’t want you to mention where you have been previously published. Silly, but true.

Some publications ask for a very short bio, one to three sentences in length.

Here’s an example:

Anna Dobritt lives in Michigan and has published two short stories, a novelette, and the first book in a trilogy.

Generic Author Bio

You can also create a tagline, which is like a headline. This acts as a quick introduction for you.

Sarah Smith is an archaeologist from Lansing, Michigan.

Here’s a generic author bio to help you out:

Sarah Smith, an archaeologist, has spent the last fifteen years at various digs around the world. She has published several articles in Archaeology Magazine. She lives in Lansing, Michigan, with two cats and a raven. This is her first novel.

First Person Author Bio

I am an independent eBook author, 53 years old and living in South Lyon, Michigan. I love to read and write, have two cats named Raven and Ebony. I enjoy watching Doctor Who, both the classic episodes and the current episodes.

Currently I’m working on three different trilogies — two in the paranormal genre and the other is fantasy. I have self-published two short stories, a novelette, and the first volume of a trilogy. In addition to the trilogies I’m also working on several other short stories and a novella.

Third Person Bio

Anna Dobritt is an independent eBook author and an indie publisher of RPG pdfs and fantasy maps through Cartography Unlimited for RPGs.

She is 53 years old, loves to read and write, and has two cats named Raven and Ebony that she considers her children. Anna lives in Michigan. She enjoys watching Dr. Who, both the classic episodes from the 1960s-1980s and the current episodes.

Anna has three trilogies in the queue: The Ravynwyng Chronicles – Volume 1: The Beginning has been released, and Volume 2: Discovery, is going through the editing and revision process, with plans to self-publish later this year. Volume 3: Truth is currently being written. Two other trilogies are The Archivist — Lenara Lenquil Adventures, and the Guardian Blades Trilogy.

Anna has self-published Volume 1 of the Ravynwyng Chronicles titled The Beginning; three short stories: The Hunter, First Raven, Raven Voice; a novelette titled Raven Flight; a collection of short fiction titled Whispers from Within and a piece of flash fiction in Spooky Halloween Drabbles 2014 published by Indie Authors Press. In 2015 she plans to release Ravenwyng Chronicles Volume 2: Discovery.

Author Pictures

An author should include a headshot of just the author, no one else. After all, you wrote the book, not your kids, SOF, BFF, or anyone else. The Bio is about You and the picture should reflect that. The image should be high-resolution (300 dpi). However, if you are in a sensitive job or have had problems in the past personally, you shouldn’t include one.

I want to give a special thanks to Will Pennington and Heather Huntsman for the idea of this article. Both are members of Writers World critique group on Facebook.

May the words ever flow!

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The Editor is Your Friend


The Editor is Your Friend

You have finished the first draft of your novel. Running it through the spell checker, making minor changes here and there as you read through it. You’ve sent it out to beta readers, made changes and fixed things they pointed out. Now you think you’re ready to publish the book. Stop right there! News flash! You are not ready to publish! What? Sure I am. Nope. Trust me on this. You are not ready to publish. You need an editor to go through your book. An editor! Aren’t they expensive? Yes, they are the most expensive part of publishing a book, but one that will serve you in the long run.

All right, so what type of editor do I need? I understand there are several types.

That’s right. Below is a list and brief explanation of the types of editors for fiction.

Types of Editors

Developmental Editor: They are mainly concerned with the structure and content of the book. They look for structural problems in the story, character development, point out strengths and weaknesses of the plot and the characters.

Line Editor: A line editor literally goes through the story line by line, marking grammatical errors, awkward sentences, making sure the proper point of views are being used, marking where you let the tense slip, letting you know when you do too much ‘telling’ and not enough ‘showing’. They will reword to improve the clarity of the story. If something doesn’t make sense, they may rearrange things. This type of editing is the most extensive.

Copy Editor: A copy editor corrects punctuation, grammar, and syntax. They also deal with continuity issues — example: your main character has blue eyes, but in another scene their eyes are violet and they didn’t use colored contact lenses. They also check for spelling errors and proper word usage.

Proofreader: A Proofreader does a final read through before publishing the story. They check for missing punctuation, misspelled words, double words — example: ‘the the cat purred. They help put the final polish on the book before you publish it.

Fine, so I need an editor. How do I find a good one?

If you are looking for an editor for the first time, here’s a few tips.

What to Look Out For

  1. Some editors purchase direct email lists to find new clients. Be wary of receiving an unsolicited email from them.
  2. The promises of making your book a best seller with their editing. Right. Sure.
  3. Limited time offer on reduced rates for their services. Like an author really needs added pressure.
  4. No client list on their website. Run away as fast as you can.

Finding a Good Editor for Your Needs

  1. Contact other indie authors on Facebook. Politely inquire who edited their work and if they were happy working with the editor. This is where networking with other indie authors comes in handy.
  2. Find an editor that deals with the genre you are writing in. If you write horror or paranormal, don’t contact an editor that deals strictly with romance or children’s books.
  3. Do a search on Facebook for pages called Editorial Services. Research them on the web.
  4. Decide on the type of editing you need. Some editors offer package deals and payment plans so you don’t end up murdering your bank account.
  5. Also check Preditors & Editors for any red flags on an editor you are thinking of contacting.

In the end, after all the suggestions made by an editor, it is up to you, the writer, to decide whether or not you want to make the changes. However, if you want to put out the best book possible, listen to your editor. That’s why you hired them. A well-edited and written book brings high reviews and more sales. Keep that in mind when you are looking to hire an editor.

Here is an editor I highly recommend:

Randall Andrews randall ‘Jay’ andrews, Founder of Writers World and Book and Script Editor; Offers professional editing of your manuscript. With over 30 years experience as a writer and an editor, he will help to tighten your writing and make the work flow smoothly.

May the words ever flow!

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Writing Quotes — Henry Miller


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More Writing Tips – Part 3

Don Massenzio's Blog

Tip 21 – Change is Good

Your character should experience or cause a change by the end of the story. If you do this well, it will resonate with your reader.

Tip 22 – Surprise and Satisfy Your Reader.

You can have twists and turns to surprise your reader, but in the very end, give them a satisfying reading experience. You should never have your reader feel disappointment when they finish your book.

Tip 23 – Build Tension and Then Release It

There are a couple of schools of thought on this. I like to have peaks and valleys throughout a book with one large tension arc that lasts through the book.I often use humor to release the tension.

Tip 24 – Use Subplots to Help Your Plot

If there’s an investigation going on, maybe there’s also a budding romance. Maybe there’s a rivalry between two characters that keeps impeding progress…

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