The Barn

The Barn

“Caw! Caw! Caw!” The stillness of the morning broke with the crows sending out their call.

Ben and Fred glanced towards the old barn on the edge of their property, Ben shaking his head. “Hells bells! Want to bet it’s another body?” He watched the scavengers wheel in the air, diving toward the ground, and then climbing without landing.

Fred smiled wryly. “No bet, brother mine. Maybe we should call cousin Cassie this time, instead of the sheriff. At least she won’t haul us in for questioning.”

“True. She knows more about the weirdness going on than the police.”

“It’s possible the body is some animal, instead of a human.” Fred drained his coffee mug.

“Nope. The crows refuse to land. Whatever is there is like the others,” Ben said.

Fred stood. “We should go check before we call anyone.”

Nodding, Ben followed his twin down the back steps and across the fallow field.

Above their heads, crows continued their spiraling dance, the calls incessant.

At the barn, the brothers stared at the body sprawled face up in the weeds.

Ben studied the slack face of the young woman, noting her short blondish brown hair and unseeing blue eyes. Parallel slashes crossed her throat, the ground, and weeds soaked with blood. “You recognize her?”

Fred nodded. “Jilly Mason. She’s Sue Anderson’s cousin; works part time at the feed store.”

From his pocket, Ben pulled out his cell phone to call Cassie. Movement caught his eye and he stared at the mist emerging from clumps of dirt and weeds. “What the hell is that?” He smacked Fred’s arm to get his attention. Within himself, something snapped, sending him to his knees in pain and grief. He no longer felt the twin bond. A soft thump caused him to turn his head, blinking away tears. Fred lay beside Sue’s body, blood streaming from the wounds in his throat.

The mist coalesced into the form of their older brother Tim, murdered by their stepfather twenty five years ago. “Leave well enough alone, Bennie. If you don’t want to end up like Freddie, don’t call Cassie. Call the sheriff and let him try to figure things out.” Hollow laughter filled the air. “He doesn’t have a chance in hell of solving these murders.”

“I’m sorry, Tim.” He scrambled to his feet, finding blood on his jeans. “Damn. I better take a shower and burn these clothes before I make the call. Wouldn’t do to stand before Sheriff Jamison with blood on me.” He met his dead brother’s fathomless gaze. “What’s the count now?”

“Twenty five. My master demands the souls and this is the easiest way to provide them.” He grinned. “Besides, you’ll get triple payment this time, money you can use to build that new fence and hire some new farm hands.”

Nodding, Ben trudged back to the house, the hollowness within his heart filling with darkness. Need to make sure the new farmhands stay away from that barn.

Caw! Caw! Caw! The crows swooped toward the ground and the awaiting feast.

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Writing Quotes — Charles Finch


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Creating Your Character


Creating Your Character

I belong to a number of writing groups on Facebook and I’ve been seeing a disturbing trend. Writers and would-be writers asking for help in creating their characters. This boggles my mind. People, the story and characters come from your imagination! If you are unable to name your character or define their personality and motivations, how the hell are you going to write a story? Unless you are rich and hire someone to write your story for you, every word comes from your mind. Start thinking and stop asking for help!

Naming Your Character

First off, naming your character is as simple as grabbing a phone book and creating names from the listings there. Another method is to use a Name Generator. Open a search engine, type in Name Generator and off you go. You can make an ordinary name a bit different by changing a letter or two.


In the Ravynwyng Chronicles, my main character is Ravyn Wyng. Instead of using Raven Wing, I changed a couple letters.

Name Generators

All right, back to creating characters. Name Generators. Below are several useful links for naming your characters.

Behind the Name Random Name Generator

Wordlab Name Generators

Seventh Sanctum Name Generators

If you can’t come up with a name using one of the above sites, I don’t know what will.

Character Descriptions

Again, this is where your imagination comes into play. The character is YOUR creation. You are the one that gives them life; from where they live, to their favorite food, and their deepest fears. This comes from your imagination. How much detail


Ravyn Wyng is a 26 year old female. She grew up in the foster system which has left her with physical and psychological scars. She’s married to Jennifer Wells, who helps keep her sanity intact. Involved in a car accident and road rage attack, Ravyn now suffers from PTSD and had a break down that required hospitalization.

To help you flesh out your characters, I’ve included a Characterization Chart at the end of this post. Use it for all your characters. Remember, the better you know your characters and their motivations, the better your story will be.

Characterization Chart

Character Name:  



Birth Date:

Physical Appearance: (Body Type, hair, eyes, facial features, dress, posture, movements, mannerisms, speech, first impression)

Background that may influence motivation: (Education, religion, family, early childhood experiences, financial situation, profession, marital status, other relationships, habits, surroundings/environment, health.

The inner person: (Distinctive traits, self-image, yearnings/dreams, fears/apprehensions, sense of humor, code of ethics, attitude (optimistic? Overly sensitive?)

Other details: (Hobbies, favorite foods, colors, books, music, art)

Positive traits:

Negative traits: (Character flaws)

Brief Bio:

May the words ever flow!

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How I Took Back Control of My Writing Time After Completely Losing It

Novelty Revisions

I hadn’t touched my novel in almost four months.

Every blog post I wrote took twice as long as it should have. I dragged myself through them day after day, because I always wished I were doing something else.

I looked at my writing goals every day, getting more frustrated each time. Because I hadn’t accomplished any of them yet. It was almost March, and, in the grand scheme of things, I’d barely written anything since December.

But I’d read plenty of books, watched more than enough TV, and had told myself “I’ll get back on track by the end of the month” three times too many.

I knew I’d lost control of my writing time. I knew it wasn’t anyone else’s fault but mine.

And I knew I had to fix it, before it was too late.

These are the strategies that helped me regain control without giving up…

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Five Marketing Tools for Authors Who Hate Marketing

How To Ebook

marketing-tips-for-authorsDisclaimer: Hating marketing is not required to use these tools. In fact, if you enjoy marketing, you’ll have a blast using them.

I’m active in several online writing communities, and one of the most frequent things I read about is how much authors hate marketing. It’s usually accompanied by talk about art and creativity, and once in a while someone tosses this suggestion across the virtual meeting room: all you have to do is write a great story and they will come.

Except, thousands of writers have written thousands of great stories and no one, except their parents and their Uncle Bobby in Poughkeepsie, ever came. The hard truth is—whether your path to publishing is via the traditional, indie, or hybrid route—if you want a sustainable writing career that involves receiving income and reaching as much of your target audience as possible, you’ll need to…

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But Darling

Writers Envy

I’ve held the sparrow and I’ve held You
Like a wastrel I squandered what You gave me
Your hair trimmed in gold like leaves of the Bible
Your breath like the cooing of the dove.

I wasn’t looking for adventure
When I stumbled onto You
In my faltering way of seeking
The things I had no idea I needed.

I remember Your touch, Your first touch
The one that told me You wanted something,
And the Earth grew silent but for the water’s flow
And the curtains moved in our breeze.

And You came to me with such clarity
You are in me
And I praise you

Your doorknob is a puzzle
Your windows laugh at me
Every road is mud up to my knees
As I struggle to reach You
And You laugh at me
While I fumble and I fret
And You scrape Your finger across my brow…

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On Poetry: (are we) sprung; from Pleasant Street, Are You Thrilled

Writers Envy

Please enjoy this poem by one of my favorite Poets:

let us run (hard)
it is not yet summer
but the sun
is burning my shoulder
and the clouds hang back
waiting for a sign
all buds bursting

let us not (give up)
stay between walls of ivy
each caveat they hurl
weighs tons–up against
daffodils in your sunglasses
and tulips–and rose oil
dabbed behind my ears

via (are we) sprung — Are You Thrilled

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