Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Polishing Prose Inevitable During Edits

So I've completed all my edits from the Beta Reader for Killer Eyes, but now that I'm reading it again, I find myself polishing the prose. And there I was thinking I had it polished already. It's one of the things that can bog down an author. The continuous tinkering of a manuscript. It can go on forever. But I say do it. Because the better your manuscript is, the better writer you are.

I mean who wants to settle for mediocrity? Not me. I prefer my writing to be as good as it can be. And the only way to do that is, well, by doing that. Sure you can leave it as is, but for someone like me, a perfectionist, it will be a thorn in your side whenever you read your own writing and discover something that you think should have been written better.

The same is true for art, like painting, or music, like in a song. When you see or hear something that is not as good as it could have been, you'll be wishing you had made it better. And with writing, you'll be wishing you had written it better. So I'm trying to avoid that. For the most part, I succeeded in that regard with Killer of Killers and The Vase. Just trying to get there with Killer Eyes, too. But I do believe I'm almost there. Just have to keep on truckin'.

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