Raven Arrives in the Harbor


Van Man Go - Custom Painting

Raven’s Shadow

Intro

Van Man Go dropped the last pieces of his airbrush into the cleaning solvent. It was time for a beer and a smoke. He dipped his hands in solvent and scrubbed them off with a rag. He grabbed a beer before he sat down in wooden chair.

Not bad, he thought as he looked over his latest work. It was another tribute bike – this one was desert camouflage background and scenes from Iraq. The work was detailed and lifelike – all premo – just like all his work.

He looked around – it was 2 am – the bars on Bridge Street were closing down. There weren’t as many bars as there had been, back in the Harbor’s heyday of the 1980s. Not that he cared. So what if the street was turning into a tourist trap? His business did just fine – there were plenty of people who were willing to pay very well for his work.

There was a breeze off the lake – bringing in the smell of fish and faint whiff of storm sewer. A sleek black Camry pulled up, the engine raced once before it shut down.

He took a drag off his cigarette – no need for a pack – he had them whenever he wanted them; a perk, one of many, from his Bargain.

The Camry door opened, a man stepped out, young, arrogant with surfer looks and tourist’s clothing. He sauntered across the parking lot, looking around with a slight curl on his lip. The Harbor was old, well over a hundred fifty years, and time had not been kind.

Van sneered, he knew trouble when it landed on his doorstep. This young pup had come from elsewhere, thinking to mark out some turf. Thinking it would be easy to make a name for himself in a small town. He wanted to be the big dog on the block. All well and good – but age and cunning would always win over youth and enthusiasm.

This should be entertaining.

“Hello,” the newcomer said with a broad smile. “Jeff Raven, new in town.” He took one look at Van’s paint stained hands didn’t offer to shake hands.

“Call me Van,” he took a deep drag, and waited.

“Quaint place,” Raven said. “I see that you’re an artist.” He approached the finished bike, whistling with appreciation.

“I dabble.” Van hid his smile behind his cigarette.

“I’m a teacher.” Raven studied the bike. “I’m teaching Humanities, Social Studies and Phys Ed, for the new High School.”

“Is that what they call it, these days?”

“What?” Raven stood up, gave Van a narrow look. He looked down at himself, checked his hands for jewelry.

“I’ve been around long enough to know my own kind.” Van snorted. “Have a seat, there’s beer in the cooler.” He pointed to the cooler, the chair moved from the shadows next to him, as if lifted by invisible hands. Raven paused for a moment, looking from the chair to Van.

“Great trick.”

“I’ve got a million of them.” Van gave him a dry chuckle. “What brings you to my turf, kid?”

Raven’s cocky attitude came back. He grabbed the beer, straddled the chair, resting his hands on the back. “I wasn’t aware this area was claimed.”

“I’ve been around a long time.” Van grinned. “Surely you’ve heard of me.”

“Of course.” Raven took a long swig of beer. “But you aren’t taking advantage of the situation. A place like this has a lot to offer.”

“Do tell?” Van took another drag. “I always appreciate an outsider’s view of things.”

“Poor town, lot’s of young blood wanting what they can’t have, and willing to Bargain to get it.” Raven flashed a smile. “All those young girls yearning for love. Or ambitious enough to trade sex for good grades. Surely you can remember back that far?”

“Dropped out when I was sixteen.” Van shrugged. “I learned how to make money and keep books, that was all I needed.”

“Sure it was.” Raven drank more beer. “You have what you want – I’m just looking for stray bits that might fall in my lap.”

“Bullshit.” Van flipped his cigarette at Raven’s feet. “You’re kind doesn’t pull up stakes unless it’s something really important.”

Raven shrugged, eyeing Van for a moment.

“I lost something that belongs to me,” he said. “I’ve tracked her here and I’m going to get her back.”

“A woman?” Van took a deep pull on his beer. “It’s always women with you young pups.”

“She’s a very special woman,” Raven finished off his beer.

“Aren’t they all?” Van laughed.

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Cover

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‘Impressive Bravado’ is a short story (7k words) about Dr. Katie McCarty DVM. She’s a young veterinarian, fresh out of Ohio State University. She gets an early morning all call from Deputy Sheriff Shallamon concerning the unauthorized gelding (neutering) of a show horse named “Impressive Bravado.”

Katie and Shallamon go to Hopkins’ Stables. They encounter a ‘horse whisperer’ who calls herself ‘Aquitania’ and claims she can talk to horses. They also discover unsafe practices that have put the young girls at the barn in danger.

Katie looks into the incident – discovering a deep divide in horse show cliques that could explain the ‘attack’ on Bravado. However, Katie ends up wrestling with a berserk stallion – barely getting the animal under control after he kicks his owner, shattering her leg.

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Are We Off to the Sea?


Bob Mayer is on a rant, because other people were on rants. According to him some guy named Tobias Buckell is slinging the f-bomb at all Indie writers.

OMG – the Great Ones are thumping their chests, calling names and slinging f-bombs!

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/writers-for-traditional-publishers-slave-indie-authors-fck-wad-come-on/

I think this goes back to Barry Eisler calling trade publishing writers ‘house slaves.’ And a smack on the nose to Konrath who claims they all have Stockholme Syndrome.

Lot’s of passionate rants later (rolling eyes) I’ve decided they are ALL full of sh!t. More twitchiness than ever because ALL writers have options – and the herd mentality on both sides would have us jumping off cliffs like so many lemmings.

In fact, I skipped over to the Tobias Buckell site just to see what he actually said.

http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/2011/11/08/self-publishing-doesnt-mean-you-have-to-be-a-raging-fuck-wad/

Surprise, surprise – the titles didn’t match, nor did the retoric. In fact, Bucknell appears to be protesting the whole ‘lemmings off to the Sea’ mentality in favor of…drum roll…freedom to choose!

Holy Cliff Jumping, Captain Marvel! I see a glimmer of common sense!

OH NO! What’s that? It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

NO! NO!

It’s Wonder Woman!

Er, no, it’s Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
http://kriswrites.com/2011/11/12/freelancers-survival-guide-giving-up-on-yourself/

Here’s a quote:

Cling to your dream. Work for your goal. If you step off the path, climb back on the moment you realize you’ve veered in the wrong direction.

You will make mistakes. You will take the wrong path. The key is to come back to yourself, and come back to the right road for you.

Ahh, yes, a voice that speaks sense without any chest-thumping or f-bomb slinging.

We are saved!

A New Toy or the Answer?


I saw on The Passive Voice that there was a Windows copy of Scrivener.

Scrivener is a database for word processing documents. It files and stores relevant fragments, discarded darlings, photos, character sheets, chapters, scenes and more.

While it may not be the answer to Life, the Univers and Everything (42) – I’ve found it interesting and affordable to play with. I’m thinking of different ways I can use it.

A file for advertising – with blurbs, cover art, and URLs stored for all my stories. AND the same documents in the book files.

A way to sort Mom’s files and put them into volumes. That one would be a HUGE headache saver. This should tax the software to it’s limits. We’ll see if I can crash it. LOL

As a storage place for my notes and various discarded darlings – this may be the best way to get the old stuff out into the world.