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.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Be Careful With Revisions

With any manuscript, you'll need to make revisions. But sometimes those revisions are vulnerable to errors. I just found a place in my John Dunn manuscript where I had made a revision, but neglected to put in the closing quotations in a dialogue between John Dunn and Prince Cetshwayo. I also should have made the next sentence a new paragraph. I revised it a little more last night, and now it's good, but the typo version is the version I had sent to Knox Robinson. So there you go. An author's worst fear. Sending a flawed manuscript to a publisher who's considering it for publication. It's a very minor flaw as flaws go, but if you're a perfectionist, as all artists are, it is bothersome.

Well, it's better now. As I'm rereading this manuscript, I am improving it here and there, all minor stuff, and I'm keeping track of all changes minor as they are. So if Knox Robinson does offer a contract, I'll have a list of the changes I've made in the meantime to put in the manuscript once we get to the editing stage. Yeah, these are some things I've learned with experience. Not that I'm so experienced, but I am a veteran of sorts by now.

It's a lot of fun. From art to music to novels, the creative process keeps you going. Two sons and a wife keep you going, too. It's a wonder I have any time to write at all. But I do, and it's a great thing for a couple reasons. It's something that I can do at home, in the same house with my family, and unlike when I was doing music, I'm keenly aware of the happenings in the house while I'm doing my writing. (With music, having the headphones on was like being isolated to a degree.)

And with art, having paints out, and a painting area laid out, it's something that can't be dropped at a moment's notice. Too much clean up involved with painting, whether it's oils, acrylics, or watercolor. No, with writing, you can stop and go, go and stop at any point. It's the wonder of the computer. Without computers, I'd be stuck on the canvas. Three cheers for computers.


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