Sunday, September 18, 2022



Decisions. What goes into making a decision?

This week in the writing on book 5 of the Tomahawks and Dragon Fire series -- Truth in Flames -- Alex is in a dilemma again. He's faced with a tough decision. In this case, it seems like an easy matter from the point of view of Iago and Atu. Nevertheless, Alex has some difficulties. His dilemma may be more emotional than logical. Of course, he denies that. As things turn out, while Alex may have made the right decision--it remains to be seen--he had good reason to give more weight to the matter than his friends gave to it. Doesn't most of our decision-making process rely as much on emotion as on logic? Don't advertisers spend more time trying to make you feel good about their product than convincing you that it's superior to others?

Anyway, the situation led to a discussion in the book about decisions and factors to be considered in making a choice. I won't include that discussion here. You'll have to wait for the book. However, the discussion by Alex, Iago, and Atu, prompted further thought on my part and changes in the way the book will wind up. It must end with an exciting conclusion and also set up the next book in the series. For those of you who were thinking book 5 would finish the saga, you'll be happy that it doesn't.  There's a lot going on--it's all exciting--and you're going to want to read about it all. TiF is constructed around a certain historical event; fantasy and history clash in a climactic battle with enduring consequences--but hold, I say too much. There are several threads going in the tale. Some of them weave together for the climax, others wend their way into different portions of the tapestry. I'm down to the final 15K words.

On the matter of decision, the internet has no shortage of suggestions on the process. Here are a few:

The wikihow of decision making

The 12 ways to better decisions

The Effectiviology how to make decisions

Naturally, I didn't use any of these, or any others available on the net. I made a choice. I made my own choice. I didn't even think of looking on the net. I wrote what came to mind when I sat down to create. The moment when the little black letters hit the white hot screen to sizzle a scene into being overrides outlining and research. While I study many of the historical and mythical elements, I don't study the common sense or character stuff. That junk comes right out my head like pus from an infected wound.

I think I had more to say about that, but that last simile surprised me too. I better stop there.


On a different subject, this movie was on broadcast television last night. I had never seen it before, but I had heard good things.

In this 1999 movie based on Michael Crichton's Eaters of the dead, Antonio Banderas is trapped in the saga of Beowulf with a lot people I didn't recognize--and Omar Sharif. The story as I saw it followed the Beowulf tale with Antonio Banderas as a muslim diplomat captured by Vikings. He goes with 12 Vikings to answer the call of Hrothgar in distress. The big difference is that Grendel and his mom are not the strange creatures of the old tale, but are crazy cannibal cave dwellers. 

I thought it was all pretty intriguing until we discovered that the mysterious evil attackers were neanderthals decked out in bearskins and riding horses. I did expect a cave as in the old tale, but the cave dwellers as horsemen threw me. I was switching channels between this and Drums Along the Mohawk, so I may have missed what happened to all the horses the baddies used when the Vikings and their sidekicks followed them to the caves. 

I may have to try reading the book. Much of the film is good in my opinion. Most of the time is spent on Banderas' character--and he was terrific. The other characters come across as vanilla Viking and not all that interesting. The fight scenes had some high adrenaline moments, but were not particularly memorable. Overall, I would say it's at the low end of the top tier of action adventure movies.

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