Beyond the Ocean's Edge

More of the Story

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Well here we go with an excerpt from Chapter Twenty-Five, "An Unnoticed Return" from Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story.  This happens to be the final lines of that chapter.

One of just a few sunken ship pics I've painted over the years.

“Yes,” said the unidentifiable presence.  “It was his debt and a willingness to do anything to pay it that let to his recruitment.  On the other hand, Commander, you accepted command the schooner with no question of pay at all.  If I understand correctly, Smythe had to insist that you even discuss it with him.”
            “I suppose that’s true, sir.”
            “That was the biggest factor in granting our approval for him to hire you.  The arrangements with the Navy were a matter of convenience for all of us.”
            “But what now, sir?  What do we do?”
            “You may do as you wish, Commander.  If it is in your destiny to continue in service to the guardians, you will.   We will never insist or ask you to turn your back on your country or friends.”
            The conversation continued for some time after that remark.  At long last the old man, for there was something in his very presence that suggested antiquity, rang a bell.  In a few minutes, there was a knock at the door.  It opened, revealing Mr. Clemens who escorted Pierce and Hotchkiss through the club and back to the small suite of rooms at the Admiralty.
            For a long time upon their return, neither Pierce nor Hotchkiss said much.  As neither made any preparations to sleep, it was obvious that the day’s conversations continued to influence their thoughts and actions.  At last, over a second glass of fine Madeira, Pierce said, “Isaac, did you notice the gentleman’s ring?”
            “Why no, I didn’t.”
            “Perhaps there was not enough light from your seat, but a time or two he extended his hands out of the shadows.  Old hands, gnarled, and wrinkled; bent and broken with the rheumatism, but on one he wore an exquisitely fashioned ring.”
            “Not improbable for one reportedly having great wealth, Edward.”
            “No, the ring itself did not amaze me, but the figure under the translucent blue stone did.”
            “May I ask what it was, Edward?”
            “Of course.  It was a white, or lighter blue, four pointed star.”
            “The same as the Unity Congress symbol?”
            “Aye!  Exactly the same!”
Beyond the Ocean's Edge

And so the Story Continues.

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In progress photo of art work for Sailing Dangerous Waters, depicting HRMS Furious battling an as yet unportrayed Gallician frigate.

Here are the final couple of pages from Chapter Twenty Four, "HMS Pickle," of Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story.  Enjoy!  (It's probably as close to real history as the Stone Island Sea Stories get.)

            The wound was not serious, a mere scratch as he saw it, and the end of the afternoon watch saw Pierce on deck again.  Morgan had insisted that his captain get some rest, and after treating the wound himself, Doctor Matheson being aboard the prize, had stood duty until Pierce awoke.
            “Where’s Sollars?” Pierce asked, half hoping the hands had pitched the bastard into the sea.
            “Below, sir.  In chains and well guarded.”  Morgan flexed his knees slightly.  “A little roughed up, I’m afraid.  There were a great many volunteers to see him below.”
            Pierce nodded.  Several of the crew had served with Sollars in Theadora and couldn’t resist a chance to settle with their former second lieutenant.  “No doubt he fell down the ladder?”
            “Three times,” said Morgan, with a knowing and barely perceptible smile.  “I think the weather eases some.  It doesn’t pain me as it did.”
            “The prize?”
            As before sir.  Minimum sail, and in sight to leeward.”
            Pierce turned to look for the corvette, forgetting the wound Sollars had inflicted with his own pistol.  “Damn!” he exclaimed painfully.
            Before he could draw a breath and recover, the foremast lookout hollered.  “Sail off the port quarter!”
            “Details, man, details!”  yelled Morgan.
            “A schooner, sir!  Driving hard, and coming up fast.  Too much sail in this weather, I think sir!”
            “A Frog, sir?” asked Morgan.
            “I wouldn’t have the foggiest, Tom,” replied Pierce.  “Should it be, do we attempt a second prize?”
            “I shouldn’t advise it, sir.  We are undermanned and stretched to the limits as it is, now.”
            “My thought as well.  But do have our colors hoisted, and signal Mr. Hotchkiss as well.  Add that he may set additional sail as the weather eases.”
            “Aye aye, sir.”
            A few moments after the blue ensign broke out in the wind aboard Island Expedition and the captured corvette, the lookout hailed again.  “The white ensign, sir, and driving like mad!”
            “Mr. Hadley, aloft with you, sir!” said Pierce.  “My best glass, if you wish, and see if you can make her number!”
            Moments later the midshipman hollered down the approaching schooner’s recognition number.  Pierce couldn’t relate it to a particular craft and went below to consult the code book.  Back on deck, he said to all who waited anxiously for an identity to be placed on the fast approaching vessel.  “His Majesty’s Schooner Pickle, I believe, gentlemen, Lieutenant John Lapenotiere.”
            “Pickle, sir?  Why I believe she’s an advice schooner attached to Nelson.”
            “With the way she cracks on, she must have dispatches of some importance!” stated O’Brien.
            The vessel was now observable from deck, and even in the lessoning wind, Pierce thought she carried to much sail.  She was a small schooner, rigged in the traditional topsail schooner fashion.  Had she been a foe, Island Expedition would have been more than a match for her.  On her present hard driving course she would soon pass close by the larger schooner and her prize.
            “Mr. Morgan, do see that our recognition signal is out, sir!” ordered Pierce.
            “Aye aye, sir.”
            As the second dog watch began the smaller schooner neared to hailing range.  “What news, sir, if I may?” hollered Pierce with the aid of a speaking trumpet.
            “A great victory at Trafalgar, sir!” came the reply.  “Alas, poor Nelson was done in.”
            “We rejoice in the victory and mourn England’s great loss!” shouted Pierce in response.  “Mr. Morgan, a moment of silence about the deck!”  When the moment had passed, Pierce continued.  “And now lads, a cheer for His Majesty’s Schooner Pickle!”
            When the “huzzas” and the “hurrahs” died away, Pierce turned to Morgan.  “Do allow us to close with the prize, that we may inform Mr. Hotchkiss of the news.”
            “Aye aye, sir!”
            When the evening watch was set, all that could be seen of the small schooner were her lights as she raced towards England with her triumphant yet sobering news.
Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Publishing Progress

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Hey, we are getting really close to publishing the third Stone Island Sea Story, Darnahsian Pirates.  I'm going a different route than I did with the first two books.  Those were published through a self-publishing assistance company.  Honestly, for what they are or claim to be, they did a great job.  Still, it was more expensive than going through KDP as I'm doing with this one.

I've had both the interior and cover files on hand for a while, but was waiting for some finalizations from Sue who did much of the editing and is helping with formatting and the like.  She's the one who actually made the files and the cover from my painting and suggestions.  Anyway, we decided on Monday that I should upload and order proof copies to see just what needed to be fixed or changed.  I tried to do so a couple days ago, but evidently the size of the cover was off a little bit.  Later, she realized she'd calculated it based on white instead of cream for the interior.  That got adjusted to spec and it uploaded fine, earlier today.  Currently it's there as a draft, but I have ordered proof copies.  Hopefully we won't have to make many changes based on how those come out and I'll be able to push "publish!"  I'm guessing it'll be another week or two.

Right now we are working on getting the paperback version out there, but once that's done we'll go for the Kindle version.  Later I hope to get it on to B & N online and Nook as well.  Then I'll see about re-publishing the first two with KDP.  If anything, it should cause the cover price to drop a bit, and should also give me a higher royalty than before.

Now I guess I should start or get back to work on book four.  I did two or three chapters on it as I finished up this one, but haven't done anything with it for a while.  I'm also looking at creating a sort of companion book to the Stone Island Sea Stories, perhaps with something about how they came to be written, perhaps a glossary of naval terms, etc.  Maybe a list of characters, ships, locations and the like, as well.

This was taken fairly early on in the process of creating the cover... the second and final attempt.
Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Thoughts on Writing 27

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A manuscript page should not look like the page out of a printed book.  Traditionally, manuscripts are not printed on both sides of the page, nor are they punched or bound in anyway.  This was primarily for my own use,  so I went ahead and printed on both sides and put it all in a three ring binder.  Other than that, it follows standard format as closely as I understand it.

The last time I visited this arena of topics, I got started on a discussion of standard format.  I tried to explain, at least as I understand it, how it came about, and how it might be important, particularly if you are attempting to query and submit along the traditional publishing path.  Today I'd like to talk about some of the specifics of standard format.

While today it is highly likely we will be submitting either full or partial manuscripts via the internet, consider for a moment that we will actually print it out and send that printed submission via the mail.  So, if we are going to print, we want to print on plain, bright white paper, letter size, 8.5 x 11 inches.  (At least if we are in the US.  In other places in the world, I believe the equivalent paper size is A4.)  It should be at least 20 lbs weight.  It needs to be durable in case it gets passed around the office and handled a lot.  It also needs ot be thick enough that underlying pages can't be seen or readily visible.  And, it should be printed in black ink.  (I think many font color selections have an "Automatic" color selection, which as far as I can see, works just fine.)

Margins should be set to one inch on all sides... top, bottom, left, and right, and we want to align left.  That is, the left hand margin should be nice and straight, except for paragraph indents.  The right hand margin should be ragged and should not be justified.  Text should be double spaced.  Typically that'll give you about twenty-three lines to a page.

The most commonly accepted fonts are Times Roman/Times New Roman, or Courier/New Courier, both in font size 12.  Times Roman/New Roman is said to closely match documents that would have been typed on an Elite typewriter while Courier/New Courier approximate those created on a Pica typewriter.

For any who don't know, an Elite typewritter was scaled to produce twelve characters per inch.  A Pica machine yielded 10 characters per inch.  It is possible, that depending upon the manufacturer and even the specific model, the actual type style may have differed.  Typewriters were also non-proportional, in that they alloted the same space for every letter, symbol,or space, regardless of how wide or narrow it was.  Most of the fonts we have on our computers are proportional and vary the spacing based on the letter's width.  Interestingly, Courier/New Courier is non proportional and comes closest to mimicking a typewritten document.  If one is intent on creating a manuscript that looks like it was produced on a typewriter, Courier/New Courier might seem to be the way to go.  But, because it approximates ten characters per inch, you end up with less text per page.  If your partial submission is limited in length, that may not be to your advantage.

Don't skip a line to start a new paragraph unless it is to indicate a scene break.  Instead, indent.  Some will say five spaces, others, a half inch.  I typically go with the half inch method and it seems that that is the standard margin setting for most word processing programs.

I'll have more the next time I consider Thoughts on Writing,
Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Continuing the Story

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Here is an excerpt from Chapter Twenty-Three, "An Old Acquaintance" from Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story.  Enjoy!

Brig under full sail.... basically a doodle from a few months ago. Original is not much larger than a postage stamp.

“By God, Pierce, it is you!”  The voice, from a more forward location sounded very familiar.
            “Mr. Sollars?” asked Pierce.
            “Yes, Pierce.”
            “Where are you?”
            “Forward, locked in the bo’sun’s locker.  Lift the latch, would you, sir?”
            It gratified Pierce having Sollars address him as “sir.”  He stepped forward and lifted the latch, a simple but effective device that locked whenever the door was shut.  It had provisions for a lock, so that items placed inside would be safe from pilferage.  A latch string normally led thru the door, allowing anyone inside to open it.  To secure the prisoner housed there, the string had been removed.
            When Sollars first spoke, the other Englishmen set up a clamor.  “Some quiet, if you please!” shouted Pierce.  “Sergeant, see these people are taken aboard the Island Expedition.  The colonists’ berthing should suffice to accommodate them.”
            “Aye aye, sir!  Gentlemen, if you’ll come with me.”
            “Oh thank God you’re here, Pierce!”  Sollars stepped out of the bo’sun’s locker and stood near Pierce.  “It looked like I’d be aboard this damned Frenchman until the second coming.”
            “You may go with the others, Mr. Sollars.  I’ve got work enough, ensuring this vessel is secure.”
            “Yes, quite.  But!  Well, you see, Pierce; I do not get along so well with some of my fellows.  Business you, know.”
            “As you may notice, Pierce,” Sollars said with a condescending tone, one reminiscent of their days aboard Theadora.  “I am no longer a King’s Officer.  I’m a merchant.  Owned and captained my own vessel, until this damn Frenchman came along!”
            “Your troubles with your companions?”
            “Oh, I underbid someone on a shipment.  The others are friends, good friends, and I am the outsider who bested one of their own.  Had to beg the Frogs not to lock me up with them when going into action!”  Sollars rubbed the top of his head and grimaced slightly.
            Pierce looked at him questionably. “Injured, Mr. Sollars?”
            “Of all the fool things!  With the time I’ve had at sea, I hit my head on a deck beam.  Damn near laid me out.  Still quite sore.”
            “I see,” said Pierce.  “But we should go topside and see you safe aboard Island Expedition.”
            “Yes, quite.”
            “I thought to provide you a place in passenger berthing amongst your companions.  But as you have difficulties with them, I shall be required to turn Mr. Hotchkiss out of his cabin and provide you with his.”
            “Most generous of you, Pierce.  Mr. Hotchkiss as well, I should think.”
            In the better light of the upper deck, Pierce noticed that while Sollars was not wearing a hat, the dent caused by one was evident in his hair.  “Your hat, sir?  Did you misplace it?”
            “Damn!  I must have left it below.  I shouldn’t worry about it.  It was old, and I have another.”
Evening Anchorage

Thoughts on Writing 26

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Wow, it's been nearly three months since I posted anything on this topic or series of posts.  I just went back and looked at that last post, which dealt with editing.  Reading through it, I noticed it could have used quite a bit of it.  I hope you understand that in most cases, what I post here is as it occurs to me.  It is basically first draft so I'm not really surprised to find a lot of errors.  I do try to read through it and catch what I can, but... Anyway I'm not going to obsess with making it perfect.

As I've talked about the writing and editing process, I've occasionally mentioned standard format, so perhaps I should dwell on that for a bit.  First of all, what is it?  It is the style or appearance an agent, an acquistion editor, or other publishing proffessional  would expect your manuscript (full or partial) to be in when they receive it.  That means certain margin settings, fonts, font sizes, etc.  Basically one manuscriipt should look like any other manuscript.  One should have to read them to tell the difference.  Anything out of the ordinary that calls attention to a manuscript does that manuscript no favor.  So forget the idea of a different eye-catching font, printed in a bright vibrant color on an equally hued back ground.  You want the person you sent your manuscript to to judge it on the quality of your writing, not on it's appearance.  In most cases, straying from what is considered standard or acceptable can be detrimental to furthering your publishing ambitions.

So how did standard format come about?  If we go back far enough in time, we find that everything written was hand written, or to be specific, a manuscript.  The only way to obtain additional copies of the work was for someone to sit down and copy the original, letter for letter, word for word, page for page.  It made books rare and expensive, and also might be the origin of the term copyright.  In the 15th century or so, the printing press with moveable type was developed, and once the type was set, many copies of a book could be produced fairly cheaply.  Still, that first copy, the one from the writer to the printer, was hand written and usually referred to as the manuscript.  (I can imagine printers pulling their hair out, trying to interpret certain authors' handwriting.  Had I lived and written in those days, I'm sure they would have dreaded receiving anything from me.)

This heavily edited page from Darnashian Pirates might serve as an example of something in standard format.

The typewriter was developed and came into use in the later part of the nineteenth century.  Samuel Clemens or Mark Twain is said to have submitted the manuscript for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in typewritten form, and it became the first book so submitted.  Probably because the typewritten manuscript was easier to read, the idea caught on and in a very short time it became the standard way of submitting written work for publication.  I think we can assume there were formating rules and practices in use with the handwritten manuscripts, and many of them no doubt transistioned to the typewritten variant.  Even then, there would have been a certain standard that publishing folks would have looked for.  And we should remember, typewriters are much more limited in what can be done, or what one can choose to be done.

Thus when computers and word processors entered the picture a few decades ago, people in the industry still wanted manuscripts to have the same basic appearance.  They made their preferenced known as to what fonts and font sizes most closely matched the typical typewriter, and what computer features and options would be acceptable versus what was available before.  So as I understand it, a manuscript produced on a computer should look as much as possible like one made on a typewriter.

We also want to remember that we are talking about the manuscript, what the writer or author produces and submits to the agent/acquistion editor/publisher, and not the print formated version.  Anyway, the next time I manage to get back to this, I'll talk a little about the specifics of standard format... at least as I understand it.  And finally, while we call it "standard" there are a lot of differences in what people consider to be standard.
Thanks for your time,
Beyond the Ocean's Edge

And So the Story Continues

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"Hotchkiss' Paradox" cover art for Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Again, I'm trying to get back to posting here on a regular basis.  I've realized it's been a while since I've put up any sort of excerpt from the Stone Island Sea Stories, so here are the opening lines from Chapter Twenty-Two, "Boarders Away!" from Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story.  That means four more chapters to go and then I can start posting excerpts from the soon to come, Darnahsian Pirates: the Third Stone Island Sea Story.
As far as that third book goes, I'm all set to upload it, having had the corrected print file and final version ofthe cover file returned by my editing, formatting, and cover designer partner.  Thanks Sue, for all the help and effort!  I appreciate it.
Chapter Twenty-Two
Boarders Away

"Helm, Steer Between Them!" Cover art for Sailing Dangerous Waters

          “Come on lads!  Reload!”  Pierce exhorted the starboard gun crews as they worked fiendishly to recharge their weapons.  Crewmen from the unused port battery helped.  “Aim for her mainmast!  Aim low, lads!”
          “Fire as you bear!” ordered Hotchkiss.  The guns went off singularly or in twos and threes.  “Reload!  Continue firing!”  Now they would see if all the practice Pierce had insisted on would pay off.  Could they reload and fire faster than the French?  Could they take all the steps needed to ready the guns for another round, even with the enemy’s deadly muzzles only yards away?  Would Island Expedition be able to properly man her guns in the face of the Frenchman’s deadly fire?  Time, perhaps a very short time would tell.
          The enemy’s next broadside crashed out.  Shot tore across the schooner’s deck.  Splinters flew!  Men screamed in agony!  Great gouges appeared in the deck planking.  Blood ran across the once clean holystoned deck and turned it a dull muddy brown, contrasting with its earlier snowy white appearance.
          The efforts to reload and fire the starboard battery never ceased.  As soon as the last French gun had recoiled against its breechings, the first of Island Expedition’s starboard twelve-pounders was run out through its port.  When it was hard against the port sill, the gun captain checked the aim, waited for the roll, and pulled the lanyard.  The gun roared, bucked, and raced inboard, halted by its breeching rope.  By now, the other guns were loaded and run out.  They fired as the crew of the first gun began to reload again.
          He noted with satisfaction tat that first gun was ready to fire once again before the first French guns showed through their ports.  Those deadly guns did not fire until the entire battery had been run out.  Two of the schooner’s starboard guns fired three times during the time it took the French to fire, reload, and fire a second time.  At this time the British had the advantage of larger weapons and a higher rate of fire.  Yet to sit alongside the enemy and pound it out was not what Pierce preferred.  He would rather maneuver smartly; dart in and out to damage the enemy while avoiding being damaged in return.
          Large numbers of men gathered on the Frenchman’s deck.  The gap between the two vessels narrowed as the corvette swung, imperceptibly at first, to the north.  She planned to board.
          “Let fly topsail sheets!  Mainsail, foresail sheets!  Shiver ’em, lads!”  Pierce roared.  “Get the way off o’ her!  Let fly the headsail sheets!”  With sheets let go, the wind spilled under the topsails and around the foretopmast staysail and jib.  The huge mainsail and foresail were hauled by brute force against the wind until they were parallel with it. Suddenly deprived of the wind’s pressure against her canvas, Island Expedition slowed and the Frenchman surged ahead.
          “Now lads!  Sheet home!  Port your helm!  Port battery ready!”
          Sails were quickly sheeted home, and Island Expedition lunged forward again, turning across the Frenchman’s stern.  For a brief moment her unprotected bow would point dead on at the corvette’s deadly broadside.  The enemy had just fired and Pierce crossed his fingers and prayed that she could not reload and fire while the British schooner was in this vulnerable position.  The seconds passed with agonized slowness.  Pierce heard the beat of his heart, racing with the terror of waiting.  It boomed in his ears, like the cannon shots he willed not to come.
          The French did not fire.  Thank God they were not as quick at reloading.  Very soon now, the schooner’s port battery would bear on the enemy’s port quarter and stern.
          “Starboard helm, now!  Port battery, fire!”  The wheel spun, the spokes a blur in the dull light of that somber gray day.  Their antagonist maintained her port turn, initially undertaken in order to close and board.  With the schooner falling back and attempting to cross her stern, the corvette raced to keep that delicate area beyond the reach of the schooner’s guns.  Not being as quick and handy, she failed.  Island Expedition’s port battery crashed and roared.  Flames and smoke belched violently from the twelve-pounders, long guns and carronades alike.  Double shotted, they smashed into the Frenchman’s port quarter gallery and stern windows.
          Pierce was satisfied for the moment.  He has successfully gained a position on the corvette’s port quarter.  His vessel was located where enemy cannon fire could not bear, yet he could keep up a continuous and devastating cannonade of his own.  This was more the way he desired to fight.  He had tremendous respect and admiration for Lord Nelson, but did not hold with the Admiral’s admonishment to “forget maneuver and go straight at them.”  Pierce would rather twist and turn, dodge, kick, scratch, and punch if he could.  He wanted to deliver punishing blows, fire bulwark shattering broadsides at his foe, and receive no or very little return fire.  His goal was to damage or destroy the enemy vessel, not his own.  Having reversed his turn, Pierce kept Island Expedition on the Frenchman’s port quarter, following her around in a port turn.

"Boarders Away!" Cover art for Darnahsian Pirates.
Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Heat Wave

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Currently the entire Pacific Northwest (of the USA) is under what many describe as a heat dome.  Looking ahead, it's supposed to stay in place for at least the next week.  There are many expectations that daily, weekly, and monthly temperature records will be tied, broken, or even shattered.  Yesterday we surpassed 100 degrees, F. and it is supposed to be warmer today.  Tomorrow is supposed to be the hottest, but we are projected to have temperatures of over 100 for several days to come.  At 10:30 this morning, our cheap little thermometer out back already registered 93F.  By my calculations that's around 33 or 34C.

One of the nice things about living where I do, is that weather like this typically doesn't last that long.  In a couple weeks time we are likely to be back to something more normal, or perhaps, something on the cool side of average for this time of the year.  I've lived or been stationed (while in the USN) in places where we'd reach temperatures like this at the beginning of summer and then just stayed there until well into autumn.  At times I can remember wishing for one or two days of temps in the 90s, just for the slightly cooler effect it would have, or for an hour's worth of rain to cool and refresh everything.

I'm going out every other morning, hopefully before it gets super hot and doing the hand watering.  Also trying to do a little bit of yard work then, but for the most part I'm trying to stay in and out of the heat.  I'm old enough now that I don't do as well in it as I once did.  Hopefully that means that I'll make progress towards getting the third Stone Island Sea Story ready for publishing.  Also have some other computer related things to work on.  Newsletters for Spokane Authors and the Inland Northwest Corvair Club, as well as the SASP web-site, and maybe a start on the fourth book in the Stone Island series.  And I'm toying with the idea of a companion book for them, something that explores the story behind the stories, etc.  Would like to include a glossary of nautical terms, perhaps a list of characters, maybe a list of the various ships and vessels, etc. 

I do find that I don't have the persistence, the "stick to it" gumption that I once did.  Now, if I work on something for a while, I want to get a way from it sooner than I used to, and often it is difficult to get back to it after even an extended break.  And while I don't mean to use him as an excuse, Coco sometimes wants to play or go for a walk at the same time I'm trying to concentrate on something.

You may have noticed that lately I haven't mentioned what I'm reading.  That's because with the current mood, I just haven't been.  Closest to reading, I guess is doing a proof read of Darnahsian Pirates: The Third Stone Island Sea Story.  We've had it formatted into book format and ready to submit for some time, but recently I realized that I should take an in depth look at it and try to catch any errors that may have escaped the editing process... or may have even been introduced during the editing process.  Overall, though, I find that it is very clean.  I've two chapters, out of twenty-seven, left to go through, and my list of corrections and changes is less than a single page.  It seems to me that there were a lot more corrections needed in my first two books when at this stage.  (Those two were published via a self-publishing service company, who had them edited as per my request.  The fellow member of SASP who edited this one definitely did a great job.

Hoping that I'll get my daily routine organized enough that I get back to posting more regularly here.  I want to continue on with "Thoughts on Writing" and with posting excerpts from each chapter of the Stone Island Sea Stories.

Last Monday we took a drive to Waitts Lake, an hour or so outside of Spokane.  While there, I spotted this duck and duckling swimming near the dock.
Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Book 3 Cover Prototype

Day by day it seems we get closer to finalizing a cover for the third Stone Island Sea Story.  Here is what I intend to go on the back, the blurb so to speak.  Not saying it won't change, but at this point this is what I plan for it.  As with the first two books, this is scene I'm trying to depict in the cover art.  Then, of course, a bit of what the book is about.

A final broadside roared from the port battery, sending twelve-pound shot and massive clouds of musket balls and jagged pieces of scrap metal―langrene―into the Darnahsian Pirate vessels. Splinters buzzed through the air. Lines snapped, their freed ends slicing like whips. Mooring bitts, fife rails, handrails, and other deck furniture disintegrated. Bits and pieces of what had been human beings splattered the bulwarks and deck. “Get those lines across!”           Grappling hooks soared from the schooner’s port side and lodged in the pirate’s hull and rigging. The lines were drawn tight, and the two vessels lashed together. In the bows, the Kalish warriors continued their ungodly howl as they unleashed volley after volley of arrows into the amassed pirates. At Sergeant Lincoln’s order, blue-coated marines stepped to the rail, avoiding the seaman securing their guns. When he gave the word, they raised their muskets as one, and at the command, “Fire!” let loose a volley into the exposed enemy on deck. Then they fixed bayonets and prepared to board.
           “Boarders away!” yelled Pierce, springing for the rail.

           Having returned to England and reuniting with Evangeline, Edward Pierce once again sails beyond the ocean’s edge, this time accompanied by two additional vessels.  Arriving at Stone Island, they are devastated to find Evangeline’s father absent.  Pierce once again sails dangerous waters as he leads a combined naval expedition to rescue several Vespican governors, among them Harold Smythe, Evangeline’s beloved Papa, held for ransom by the Darnahsian Pirates.

And here is the cover as it currently exists.  There's a chance that we might change the color of the author's name near the bottom to make it more visible against the water.

Hope you like it!
Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Cover Art Book 3 (Additional)

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Last night I got around to putting the final touches on the second attempt at the cover art for Darnahsian Pirates: The Third Stone Island Sea Story.  I really like it a lot better than the first try, although if I look hard enough I can find things in this one that could be different or better.  Overall, though, I'm happy and fairly well satisfied with it.  Pic here is via the scanner and not just a snapshot taken with my phone.

So far I'm calling or naming it, "Boarders Away!"