Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?
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 25, 2017
So I have the PDF version of the book now, and it looks great. It reads great. I have until tonight to look it over, and while doing so I have to admit a great deal of satisfaction comes over me. It's because I know how much work I put into that book, and knowing others will be able to read it, and appreciate it is something any artist in any field can understand.
So I'm on my lunch break, and I'm going back to that galley and take as much time as I can looking it over. I can't read the whole thing word for word from front to back in one day, but I can skim through it, reading parts here and there, and making sure the formatting is good. And that's what I'll do. I'll get back to the blog tomorrow.
Monday, April 24, 2017
However, when referring to the Zulu people or any other native people in the region, I simply use "the Zulu," or the "Swazi", etc. In the Zulu language, the word amaZulu would be used in referring to the Zulu people. But I'm not going that route. As I said, I do use Zulu words often, and I italicize those words, with the exceptions of individual names and the names of places.
But consistency is the issue. If I don't use the 's' on the end of the word Zulu(s) in one dialogue where the language spoken is isiZulu, then I must stay consistent throughout. I discovered the consistency wasn't there, but after using the word search app, I was able to fix that, and now the consistency is there. So I dare say the manuscript is error-free at this point. And it's a good feeling knowing that.
Of course, I can't be surprised if a typo pops up somewhere, as they seem to be invisible sometimes, until that time that it's too late to fix, and then they appear, like Indians popping out of holes in the ground to ambush unsuspecting cowboys. I guess that analogy is outdated, or perhaps even not so politically correct, but whatever, my point is made. Onward to publication! Can't wait!
Friday, April 21, 2017
Now on to my point. I've been posting my frustrations lately about how Hollywood, in the movies and TV shows, continues to portray women as better and tougher fighters than men. We've been seeing it time and again; a tough chick beating up men by the dozens and all at the same time.
To that I say Bullshit. I readily admit women can be tough, but never can they beat up a man who is himself on the level of say, a Navy seal, or even a regular Marine.
The first time this happened that I remember was in the 1980's animated movie Heavy Metal. It featured some woman hero who single-handedly rose up to defeat the "Nazi" conquerors who had dominated the land. It began with the typical "bar scene fight" where she takes on three tough guys with swords and decapitates all three of them with a single swipe of her sword. This from a woman who in real life could hardly even wield a sword of the size she possessed.
Even in the famous Disney movie Lion King. Twice, the main character lion Simba is bested by the female lion Nala. Once as cubs, and then as full grown lions, Nala bests Simba in a fight. Really? In no scenario ever could a female lion best a male lion. Ever.
Okay, so those are old cartoons. But the trend has picked up of late. Now we're forced to watch Scarlet Johanssen, all 110 pounds of her, beating up men left and right, again and again, by the dozens all at once. In movie after movie. Okay, so in the Avengers, she's a superhero. Okay, in Lucy, she's mentally enhanced. Okay, in Ghost in the Shell, she's got a robot body. Okay. But it's tiring. I am no longer going to watch any movie in which Scarlett Johanssen dominates the entire male cast.
It doesn't stop there. I've blogged plenty about how phony Sarah Shahi looked in Person of Interest beating up every male fighter she came up against, and again by the dozens all at once. And in the show Into the Badlands, I've made the same complaint about the character called "The Widow."
Even in one of my favorite shows, Banshee, I had to watch some 110 pound chick beat up four Marines all at once. Yeah, the four Marines were in the process of raping some other girl, but come on. This was a woman in her mid twenties from some Indian Reservation who comes out of nowhere and takes on four Marines and beats them up all at once as if they were six-year-olds.
This is a continuing trend. Not only are women being represented as physically tougher and superior fighters, they are also being portrayed as more competent and sophisticated in dealing with stressful situations and problem solving.
Particularly disturbing to me is the trend of the last twenty years in kids' cartoons. The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and many more, portray the male characters as weak, stupid, moronic, degenerate, perverted, and incompetent in every aspect of everyday life. Meanwhile, the female characters are wholesome, intelligent, and competent in every approach to solving the problems about which their male counterparts are clueless.
Ditto for almost every Young Adult movie of late, like Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent, etc., the female characters are the smart ones, with all the answers, whereas the male characters are the ones lamenting their inabilities to cope with the adverse environment in which they live.
Again, I know women can be just as smart, just as tough, and just as competent as men. And yes, sometimes more so. But not always, and certainly they are NOT better, stronger, or superior fighters. I've made the point that they are tough in a different way. They cannot beat up four Marines all at once. I don't care if a woman is as tough as Ronda Rousey. No woman in the world can beat up four Marines all at the same time. Not even one Marine. Ronda Rousey can't even beat up other WOMEN fighters these days. So Hollywood, get off your female superiority hill.
My last point is this: I don't believe women WANT to see women fight, beat up, and kill people. I don't believe it. It's not a woman thing. Is it? I'm not a woman, but that doesn't mean I don't know women. Sure there are exceptions to every rule, even this one, but as a rule, women are NOT into fighting, killing, war, and mayhem. That's a dude thing. I don't need your opinion on this, because I know I'm right. So where is Hollywood getting off on presenting this over and over to the American audience?
Look at other cultures. In Asia, women are mostly treated as second class citizens. In the Middle East, women don't even have rights. They can't vote, they can't drive, hell, they aren't even allowed to show their faces for god's sake. In Africa, women are completely dominated by men.
In America women have equal rights, and that's as it should be. But that doesn't mean they have equal ability to fight. They just don't. Of course, there's exceptions. A woman here or there may be able to beat up some man here or there. But never a man who himself is a professional fighter. Or a Navy Seal. Or a Marine. Never. Not once. Not ever.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
As for the John Dunn book, I've made my case for Superman as the main character John Dunn. I've posted a picture with Henry Cavill with a beard, and he's almost the splitting image of John Dunn. As for which actress would be right for the role of Catherine Pierce, John Dunn's half white half black wife, my first choice might have been Halle Berry, but she's too old now. So Candice Patton is next up to bat. I'm sure there are other actresses who could do it, but I'm sold on Candice Patton for now.
I listed a bevy of actors for the African roles. And I think I nailed each and every one of them. Right now, that's about all I can do: just sit here after work and think of actors and actresses who could be right for the roles of the characters I've created. It's fun. As for Second Chance and The Vase? Well, I've got to think about those. We'll see.
Monday, April 17, 2017
In addition to Statham, there are countless other examples. Daniel Craig, Vin Diesel, Keanu Reeves, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sean Connery are the most familiar in the movie franchises. The TV show series include relative newbies like Anthoney Starr, Toby Stephens, Ray Stevenson, Kevin McKidd, and then older actors who made the transition from the big screen to the small, like Jim Caviesel and James Spader.
So star power is important for the success of a franchise or series. Sometimes producers have rolled the dice and won. Statham was not an A-lister when he was cast for The Transporter, but they rolled the dice on him and he turned out to be a winner. Other times producers don't roll the dice. Instead, they go with a proven star, like Keanu Reeves, who was already an A-lister when he was cast as the lead in John Wick.
So for Killer of Killers it would be a roll of the dice to cast either Dustin Clare or Georges St. Pierre. I'm on record as being okay with either one of them as Trent Smith, the world's greatest martial artist. Both are capable fighters on screen, as St. Pierre is a world champion in real life, which would sure add a ton of authenticity to his casting for the part. But can he act? That's the question. Clare can. There's no question.
What about the female role? I used to think Amber Heard would be right for the part. She certainly looks the part. A beautiful blonde woman in her prime. But there is one question hanging over my shoulder. Can she act? I have not seen any indication that she can. The bit parts she's had in the few movies she's been in are inconclusive. And I hear nothing in the news or internet that makes me think she can. And the fact that her roles are so few and in such minor movies, reinforces that.
Which makes me want to think other actresses would be better for the part. Actresses whom I know can act. Two come to mind. Hannah New from Black Sails and Lili Simmons from Banshee. They can act very well, at least they did in those TV shows. I haven't seen them in much else, so I'm waiting to see about that. Still, I've been convinced. They are pretty enough, and they can act. Here's waiting to see how it comes to be.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Back to writing another book? Not really. I'm getting back into my music right now. I have some music that I composed about fifteen years ago, other than the music to the lyrics posted on this blog, that I want to rearrange and see if I can't get it rerecorded and converted into a digital format. Then one day, maybe get a band to play them. I wonder if there's a "music" agent who finds a band to play your songs, like a literary agent finds a publisher to publish your books.
I don't suppose there is. Sure I Googled "music agents" but from what I learned, music agents are mostly people who find gigs for bands, like clubs or such where they might perform for cash. Or they are managers who do the same thing, but also try to find bands a recording contract. I don't want either of those. What I want is an "agent" to find a recording artist who might be interested in recording the songs I've already written. I'm not much of a performer myself. I would just like to be the composer for some other musicians to perform my songs.
But from what I can gather, there is no such type of "music" agent. Too bad. Still, the band plays on, and so will I...
Saturday, April 8, 2017
|Real Life martial arts champion |
Georges St. Pierre
|St. Pierre in the movie Winter Soldier|
fighting Captain America
|Georges St. Pierre looks|
the part of Trent Smith
But can he act? Meaning can he act in a movie as an actor playing a lead role? I know for a fact that Dustin Clare can act. He proved it in Spartacus. He can fight, too. At least in choreographed scenes in a movie he can fight. And after all, that's what we'll get in any movie, right? At that point, it's all about the fight scene coordinator or choreographer. Like Corey Yuen. He's probably one of the best if not the best. I'd like to see it happen. Dustin Clare or Georges St. Pierre.
Friday, April 7, 2017
|Dustin Clare. Where the heck is he?|
But where is Dustin Clare? He had a very small part in the TV show Strike Back. A very small part. Pretty much insignificant. But at least it was an appearance. Where the heck is he? I mean in the popular STARZ TV show Spartacus, this guy STOLE the show. He was great in that show, and he did steal the show. No other actor held a candle to him. I would have thought his performance would have drawn the notice of some movie producers. But apparently no movie producers were watching.
Meanwhile, actors like Jason Statham, Matt Damon, Keanu Reeves, and Vin Diesel, keep rolling along with tough guy parts in movie after movie. Even old guys like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis keep playing tough guys despite the fact they're past their prime.
I know Dustin Clare has fans out there. He's got plenty of fans who clearly wish he'd be in some other role than the insignificant parts he's been scraping off the bottom of the movie role barrels since the final cut of Spartacus. Maybe he just needs the right vehicle. And my two Killer stories could be it for him. In Killer of Killers, the world is introduced to Trent Smith, the greatest martial artist since Bruce Lee. I even paid Lee a mention in the book as a sort of honor to his memory.
The story doesn't end there. It picks up in the sequel Killer Eyes, in which Trent meets a pretty tough chick, of whom I gave mention in yesterday's post. It could go on. I may or may not write a third Killer book. I've been so focused on my John Dunn book of late, I haven't paid it much thought. I did start a third one, but that doesn't mean I'll finish it. Maybe I will.
In the meantime, I'd like to see Dustin Clare kick some ass in another movie besides Spartacus reruns. Killer of Killers would be perfect for him. or maybe, as one reviewer put it, the role should go to a REAL martial arts champion. Well, I can't argue with that. It's all about the acting. Or maybe it isn't. After all Bruce Lee wasn't coming down with any Oscars for his movies. But he didn't have to act when it came to fight scenes. That was his expertise. But it doesn't matter. Whoever Dustin Clare's agent is, he's got to get his ass in gear, and get Dustin into another TV show or movie.
What's he waiting for?
Thursday, April 6, 2017
I mean I already had to suffer through Sameen Shaw's ridiculous portrayal as a tough chick in Person of Interest, and I really couldn't handle anymore of that. But after watching episode one of season two of Into the Badlands and watching this red-haired chick called "the widow" kill fifty dudes all at once, I just had to quit. My wife still watched, but I decided to get back to writing.
Unless it's Supergirl or Wonder Woman, I just refuse to even TRY to believe one chick can beat up dozens of male fighters all at the same time. I can handle a tough chick, don't get me wrong. And I swear I'm no chauvinist. But one chick against ten, twenty, and now fifty dudes all at once? Nope. I'm done. The show lost me, and I'm not coming back.
The ONLY thing that MIGHT have kept me watching that show is the character Sunny, who was the only person, male or female, who was able to beat The Widow, but Sunny betrays his "master" even kills him, and then gets bested by some orange cloaked monks. Now, he's some kind of slave somewhere. So no. Again. I'm done.
I readily admit, as I've done often before, that women ARE strong. They ARE tough. But women are different than men. Is anyone going to disagree with that? No. I didn't think so. Women are strong and tough in a different way than men. Women just don't go around beating up people. They don't go around killing people. It's just not something women do.
Bottom line, women don't make a life out of killing and beating up people. Sure there are exceptions. Ronda Rousey, for instance. She's pretty tough. She's a professional fighter after all. She made a living out of fighting. But she only fights other women fighters. I don't believe she can beat up even a single male fighter, let alone fifty all at once. As a matter of fact, she can't even hold her own against other FEMALE fighters lately.
Bottom line is this. Tough chicks that are fighters can beat up OTHER tough chicks who are fighters. But they can NEVER beat up a dude who himself is a professional fighter. Not one. Not ever. So what Hollywood is trying to show us is miserably ridiculous and for me, at least, unwatchable. And I've had enough. No more wasting my time watching that nonsense.
Oh, btw, just for the record, in my book Killer Eyes, I created a pretty tough chick. The leader of the Killers Guild is a chick. A pretty tough chick. She even did beat up and kill a male fighter in a duel for the top spot in the Killers Guild. But she did it in a womanly way. She didn't overcome him in brute strength or even with fancy martial arts moves. She did it in a BELIEVABLE way.
So there you have it. It's all in the writing. And in Person of Interest, and Into the Badlands, the writing for these tough chicks didn't make it.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
I probably did work harder on this book than any other. Too many things had to be accurate and authentic. Meaning I can't have a character in one part of the land and in another part during the same day, especially if it takes four days to get there by horseback or wagon ride. I had to be sure I had the correct time lapses down.
So much research was involved, but that is par for the course in the writing of any book. For my killer books I had to research all kinds of martial arts moves, philosophies, beliefs, and weapons. I had to research biochemistry for Killer of Killers and nuclear medicine for Killer Eyes. I had to research Judaism and Islam for The Vase. I even had to research defensive football schemes for my Second Chance book.
But I think anyone could see why a true story needs the most research. Especially a true story that involves real people and a real historical war. But it's done and it's being edited. I look forward to completion. That will be a day to celebrate. Can't wait.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
|In this photo, Brosnan looks like he'd be |
just right for the part of Lord Chelmsford
Of course, the first thing I thought was: That could be Lord Chelmsford right there. I was thinking any old dude from Britain could play the part. But the way Brosnan looks in this photo, I would say is just about perfect for the way Lord Chelmsford should look in a movie of my John Dunn book if one were to be made. Actually there are so many parts to fill in that book, many of them British, and many Zulu or black African it would take a long time to find the right actors for every role. I could do it, though, and boy would I love having that job. Here's to hoping.
Monday, April 3, 2017
Whatever the case, I still wouldn't cast him as king of the Zulus. That part goes to Adewale. No backing down on that. In the John Dunn story, David Oyelowo could be cast as Prince Dabulamanzi. It's a royal role. So everyone can be happy.
Here's hoping Killer of Killers, Killer Eyes, The Vase, Second Chance, AND John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu can be made into movies. Yeah. Here's hoping.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Well, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is not too short. Like the real King Cetshwayo, Adewale is 6' 2" tall, and look at these pictures! He looks like a king. I mean talk about perfect casting. This guy is as right for the part of Cetshwayo as Sean Connery was for James Bond. Like William Shatner was for Capt. Kirk, and like Leonard Nimoy was for Spock. Like Robert Conrad was for James West and like Clint Eastwood was for the Man With No Name! And like Henry Cavill would be as John Dunn.
But Adewale is 49 right now, which means his window for being Cetshwayo is closing fast. Cetshwayo was in his forties during his kingship of Zululand. Adewale still looks youthful enough. I suppose he will look the part for another ten years.
|Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje with a beard|
You know, I would make a great casting director, seeing as how I can find the right actors for the right parts. Maybe my talent is restricted for the characters that I either created, (Trent Smith, Samanth Jones, Susie Quinn, Muhsin Muhabi, Naji Muhabi, etc.) or those characters about whom I've written, (John Dunn, Cetshwayo, etc.) But whatever.
Btw, David Oyelowo could be cast as Cetshwayo's younger brother Dabulamanzi and that nails it. If my John Dunn book is ever made into a movie, or TV show, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is the one and only actor to play King Cetshwayo. Henry Cavill is John Dunn, Candice Patton is Catherine Pierce, and David Oyelowo is Dabulamanzi. Bingo. The main parts are nailed!
Friday, March 31, 2017
|Djimon Housou could be a good fit|
as the Zulu general Utshingwayo
But I do have some suggestions. Firstly, I've always liked Djimon Hounsou, who I first saw in Ridley Scott's Gladiator movie. Everything he's been in, he's been great. He's Beninese, which is not South African, but still, it's African. And since he's an older dude now, (age 52) I suppose he could play the part of one of the older Zulus in the story, like Utshingwayo, who was the older general who led the Zulus to victory in the battle at iSandlwana.
And what about King Cetshwayo? I might suggest David Oyelowo. He's actually English, but he's the son of Nigerian parents. So that's close enough to being African, I would say.
|David Oyelowo could be right |
as King Cetshwayo
And if you've seen any photos of the real Cetshwayo, there's a resemblance here. The only problem is that David Oyelowo is listed as being 5' 9" tall. The real King Cetshwayo is said to be a pretty big dude, like around 6' 2". That might not bode well, especially if David Oyelowo is cast beside Henry Cavill as John Dunn. And since Henry Cavill is 6' 2", then that means he'd be noticeably taller than David. That wouldn't be right. I think Hollywood could fix that, but I'd rather have an actor who was closer in height to the real Cetshwayo. Other than being the right height, the actor must exude a kingliness about him. He must emanate royalty. I'm not sure David here does that.
Sure there's many more black roles in the story. There's the aged Masipula who any aged black actor could handle. There's Masipula's son, Sigodi. Sigodi's friend Mkasona, and the list goes on. Here's hoping I can rethink all of these roles. That is if a BBC movie producer decides to revisit the Zulu story. It's not unprecedented. I've already pointed that out. Stay tuned.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
|An 1860s lithograph |
of the real John Dunn
|Henry Cavill with a beard|
Perfect for the role of John Dunn
|Candice Patton in her prime right now|
Perfect for the role of Catherine Pierce
Just think. Henry Cavill with Candice Patton. What a great couple they would make in any TV show or movie. And the John Dunn story would be the perfect vehicle for them.
Will it happen? Who knows. Probably not in my lifetime. I have found that most white people in England and South Africa don't like John Dunn. They consider him a "gunrunner", meaning he supplied the blacks in Africa with guns. Much like white Americans revile the white "gunrunners" from the American west -- the dudes who sold guns to the Indians.
So John Dunn remains a misunderstood historical character. Never mind that he actually helped the British win the Anglo-Zulu War. He was a hero to both the British and the Zulus. Talk about a man who played both sides. He did, but he didn't really mean to. He tried his best to help everyone, black and white. Can't explain it here. You'll have to read the book. It comes out in July. Stay tuned
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
It's been a long time coming. But I was glad for that. There was so much to check on, regarding the time period and all the elements involved with a real life historical story, like Victorian England, and Colonial rule, and the British Empire, et al. And then the African colonies, and the Zulus and John Dunn's relationship with Cetshwayo, and it's all so fascinating!
But it's done. At least my part at this time. Like I said, the timing was perfect. And Dana has it now. I suppose that since she wanted it by the end of today, the editing will begin tomorrow. And going by how things went for my first KRP book, Second Chance, the editing should take less than a week. That means by next Monday or Tuesday, I'll have it back to incorporate whatever editing she might require.
And again, going by the last book, it won't be too much. But this book is a lot bigger than that one. It's almost twice as many words. But it's also mostly a true story. So who knows what changes she'll require. I don't expect too many, since I put in tireless work up to this point. But the ball is rolling, and I think an advanced eBook copy will be available by the end of April.
I worked so hard on this book. Harder than any other book. Historical Fiction is a genre I love. And now I've finally written a book in that genre. Can't wait to see it in my hands. Here's the cover. My only regret is that I didn't use my own artistic talent to illustrate a cover. Maybe I will one day. In the meantime, this one will have to do. It could be that the mask is symbolic. You know, a white man, being a Zulu. Yeah, it sounds a little too esoteric, but whatever, dude. Just go with it.
|John Dunn; Heart of a Zulu|
Coming this summer
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
I look forward to all of it. And now more than ever am I glad that I've been spending these last few months going over and over the manuscript, improving the prose, improving the authenticity, and improving every aspect of the story line. That means timelines, travel times, and anything else that has to do with consistency, and all of it equally important.
I hope to send the completed manuscript by this weekend. And then sometime in April, I'll be getting the edited version to revise as per editing suggestions. And you, the readers of this blog will be privy to the entire process. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Instead we see Carol, who's a good character, but not in any role we saw last Sunday. And we see Morgan acting totally unlike the Morgan the show had taken years to develop. He was a man who was against killing. To a fault. Meaning he would rather risk his life and the lives of his friends than make the difficult decision to kill. And we've seen the results often as a result of his attitude, yet his attitude never changed. But now, not only does he kill someone, he kills a friendly. Not an enemy, like one of the "Saviors" but a fellow inhabitant of the community in which he lives.
Forget the reasons. Sure there were reasons, but never mind them. The fact is he did a 180 and now he kills. For the upcoming war? Okay, I get it. There's an upcoming war, and it's overdue. The show will probably give us fodder, or fillers until they finally get around to making it happen. The show has gone to great lengths making the audience hate the Negan character, so I have to believe we'll get to see Negan get what's coming to him and then some.
So until it does, we'll have to bear with filler episodes like last Sunday. Maybe I should have called it quits. Too bad I'm not so easy to quit. Maybe I should be. We'll see.
Monday, March 13, 2017
I had been comparing it to Blacklist, and I liked Blacklist better. I still do. I've seen all the Blacklist there is to see. It's in the middle of season four right now. But PoI is done, and I was left disappointed. That's not unusual. I seem to be disappointed frequently with TV shows and movies.
Those few movies that did not disappoint, like The Transporter, John Wick, Jason Bourne, and the Riddick movies, were perfect. They didn't disappoint. All went as it should have. That doesn't mean I wouldn't have written some of them differently. I probably would have. But those aren't my babies. My baby is the Trent Smith Killer of Killer stories, which are now available in two novels.
Ultimately, PoI was a disappointment and a huge one. I remember saying that PoI was a two man show, and I seemed somewhat critical of the show for that reason.
Well, they answered that criticism and made it a two woman show. Um, that wasn't what I was talking about when I criticized it. Being a two woman show made it worse. Far worse. And for the reasons I've been making clear often on the blog. If the women were like the women on Downton Abby, then fine. But no. They replaced the tough guy Reese with two "tough guy" chicks. And it was very unbelievable. They were asking their audience to believe a 5 foot, 3 inch, 110 pound Sarah Shahi playing a 5' 3" 110 lbs Sameen Shaw could beat up ten dudes all at once. And by ten dudes, I'm not talking about ten street thugs. She's beating up dudes who themselves were supposed to be top fighter dudes, like Navy Seal dudes, and such.
It was the epitome of phony. And I will deny any accusations of sexism or chauvinism. Strong female characters exist. I admit it. Downton Abby is not the only example. The show Outlander featured a strong female character, remember? Who's to say Claire was not strong? She sure was. But she didn't have to prove how strong she was by beating up ten dudes all at once. Or even one dude. She didn't go around beating anyone up. She didn't go around killing anyone. But she was strong, and she was the main character of the show, too, I might add.
PoI shoved both Harold Finch and John Reese aside, and featured Root, played by Amy Acker, and Shaw as the new stars of the show. It was during season two. And since then, through seasons three, four and five, the show sucked. I mean...it sucked bad. I had to force myself to sit and watch Shaw outdo John Reese in fighting and beating people up, and killing the bad guys, or shoot them in the knees. John Reese is 6' 2" and 220 lbs, yet he's upstaged by the 5' 3" 110 pound Shaw in toughness. That just didn't work.
I noticed that the show took a nose dive in popularity when all this started to happen. So it's not just me. And it explains why the show was cancelled midway through season five. It couldn't even last the full final season. They just cut it off, and I don't blame them. It was a show that was dying.
But it didn't have to die. Why did they go with the feminist thing? I don't have anything against feminism, really. But I've blogged many times that women don't have to go around beating people up and killing people to prove how strong they are. And I've also raised the point that women don't want to see that either. It's not what makes women tick. And I'll bet anyone that I'm right. The fact that PoI lost popularity, fell in the ratings, and got cancelled proves I'm right.
But it's like I've always known. The people who have the power to do the things the rest of us wish we could do, are the worst ones to do it. They always make mistakes, and they never learn from their mistakes. Like with PoI. When the two "tough chicks" were the stars, PoI fell in the ratings. But did they learn? No. They kept it up, and then the popularity was gone. Then it's cancelled. Anyone with a brain could have figured out the problem. But their brains were in short supply. Too bad.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
As far as King Kong movies go, I'd rank it with that forgettable Kong movie from the seventies. Peter Jackson's King Kong still rates as the best, imo, followed by the original from the thirties. And to me, those are the only ones worth seeing. Like I said, the other two are forgettable.
Now for an evening with your son, this latest one was okay. I don't believe I wasted my money. It would have been a waste had I seen it alone, but time spent with your son is never wasted, and so...
As for holes, they were too obvious. The first one that struck me, is the ship had four helicopters on the deck, and it was all that would fit. The next thing you see, is over a dozen of them flying toward Skull Island. It's like, wait a minute... Where did all those extra copters come from?
Then when Kong suddenly appears, he throws a strike from a distance. Meaning a tree comes from out of nowhere and lands a bull's-eye into the lead copter. Then Kong himself jumps out of nowhere and starts swatting the copters out of the sky like mosquitos.
Okay, it can be argued the copters are caught by surprise, and Kong gets two or three of them. But do the others recover from their shock and fly beyond his reach? Why, no, they don't. They start circling around him firing their machine guns at him. You might say that's what they should do. If that's what you say, then you're not so smart. What I would say is get those choppers beyond arm's reach of the big ape. Surely, soldiers know that machine guns have a long range. But instead of flying beyond Kong's reach to shoot him, they remain within his reach so that he can continue to swat them down.
And that's exactly what he does until every chopper is swatted out of the sky. Every single one of them. I just can't believe not one pilot had the brains to say, "You know, maybe I should fly a little farther away from that monster so he can't grab my copter like he's doing to all the other copters, and smash it to the ground." Nope. Not one. At one point the civilian guy said, "Get this chopper out of here!" but the brainless pilot replies, "You're not the one who gives me orders."
So of course that copter, too, gets swatted down like all the others. I am not one to verbalize my displeasure during the course of a movie out of respect to my fellow movie goers, but I instinctively said "Bullshit!" out loud at that point. My son didn't mind. He agreed. No one turned to frown at me, so I'm thinking everyone else agreed too.
There were many other holes, but there were good things, too, btw. The special effects were good, and the acting was good. Samuel Jackson, although overexposed by being in just about every movie these days, is a good actor and played his part well. The guy from WWII had a good role and played it well. The British secret service guy was well cast, and well written.
I don't know why they made the bad monsters legless. I'm talking about the "Skull-crushers" as the old dude called them. They crawled around using their front two legs, or arms. It reminded me of the crippled son from the TV show Viking. I think they should have had rear legs, and ran around like lizards, but whatever.
There was another thing that bugged me. There were too many useless deaths. Too many dudes getting offed just for effect, it seemed. The lowest point being when John Goodman's character was offed. It just didn't work. Nor did the killing off of most of the soldiers. The surviving soldiers were one white, one Asian, and one black. I guess they wanted equity. Of course, no female characters were killed. The girls seemed immune to any danger. In this movie you had to be a dude to die.
There were so many other holes, like since when do apes stand straight like a man? King Kong was standing straight the whole time. Even my wife made that point. I had noticed it too, but there were so many other holes, that one, although major, was minor in comparison.
So go with your son, and have a good time. My son did like the movie and was glad we went. I was glad to spend time with him at the movies. A show like this is good for that. But that was all it was good for. Too bad we missed The Great Wall. Was that one any good? I'll find out soon enough when it comes on TV. Until then...
Monday, March 6, 2017
Well, the brutal murders of helpless victims, Glen and Abraham, as in having their heads bashed in as they are bound and on their knees, was just too much for me to bear. It wasn't fun, and it wasn't nice to watch. It was downright ugly. I don't watch movies or TV shows to see ugly stuff. I don't take time to watch shows to see things that make me sick. It's not entertainment. Sure, some people love to see scary shows, and the Walking Dead has those moments, but this Neegan character was just not makin' it. Not even close.
So yesterday we got a break from that. I had mentioned in a blog post some months ago, that I was glad to see Rick and Michonne hooking up. But then the storyline took a detour from that hookup and that detour was right though Neeganland. I was very disappointed.
But The Walking Dead is back on track. Yesterday I finally got the episode I wanted to see, which is Rick and Michonne out on the town together doing their thing as only they can do. The writing was good, the acting was good, and the events that took place were near perfect. It was fun to watch, and yes, it was entertaining.
|Rick and Michonne - best TV couple ever|
I want to see more of Rick and Michonne. I really do. I think Rick and Michonne make the best couple in TV history. Better than Ricky and Lucy. Better than John and Maureen Robinson. And better than Ward and June Cleaver!
Everything about that last Walking Dead show as far as Rick and Michonne are concerned was perfect. It's what I had been waiting for and I want to see more of that. Hopefully I will. We'll see.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
For my book John Dunn Heart of a Zulu, I don't want a Foreward. First of all, it's not a nonfiction book, so it should not have one. The alternative is a "Preface." A fiction book, particularly an Historical Fiction book should have a Preface not a Foreward. A "Preface" is something that the author of the book has written him/herself. And in this "Preface" the author writes things like why he or she wrote the book, what inspired him or her, and who might have helped him or her, so that means the acknowledgments can go in there, too.
A Preface isn't necessary, really, as it's not a required part of any book. But for Historical Fiction, I have come to believe that having a Preface is preferable to not having one. Other fiction books, like Thrillers, Suspense, Horror, Romance, etc, don't need a Preface. But Historical Fiction, in my opinion, is better if you have one. Especially if that particular Historical Fiction is based on a true story, in a true time period, involving events that are true and global, like wars and such.
Even though the Anglo-Zulu War didn't involve anyone in America, it was still "global" in the sense that it affected people on two different continents. So yes, my book John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu does have a "Preface." Since it's based on the true story of John Dunn, and involves the true events leading up to and including the Zulu War, I'd say it's global. Totally.
I will be perfecting my Preface today. Fortunately my publisher has just advised its authors that the new publishing schedule is going to be sent out this coming Monday. I replied that I had taken advantage of this extra time perfecting the manuscript. Which I am still doing. So I will let everyone reading this know when the updated schedule is in and when to expect the updated publication date of John Dunn Heart of a Zulu.
In the meantime I will be perfecting the Preface. Perhaps I will post the Preface here on the blog to give my readers a "sneak peek." It's just the Preface after all. but another purpose of the Preface is to intrigue potential readers, and make them interested in reading and buying the book. So I think I'll do it. So check it out. It should be posted on here tomorrow. Until then.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
As the author and creator of a great "tough guy" character, (Trent Smith, the world's greatest martial artist, who appears in two books so far, Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes,) I happen to appreciate great tough guy characters in the movies, and there have been several.
Recently, I talked about how John Wick was a great character and a very good movie. John Wick 2 was even better. I said before that Keanu Reeves does not necessarily look like a tough guy. Not like Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, and Matt Damon do for their respective roles as Richard Riddick, Frank Martin, and Jason Bourne. But I also noted that being a good actor can make up for that. And Keanu Reeves is a good actor, and being such, he can play the part, and pull it off.
In the two (so far) John Wick movies, Keanu Reeves does pull it off. No, not as well as Diesel, Statham, and Damon can, but well enough. Being over six feet tall, Reeves' moves, sometimes come off as somewhat stiff. That never happens, say, for Statham, who's a natural when it comes to fighting moves. He's trained in the martial arts, and it shows on the screen. Like Jet Li, who's a martial arts champion, he's fluid in all of his fight scenes. But when it comes to being a pure tough guy, no one has a step on Vin Diesel. Matt Damon as Jason Bourne is not necessarily a natural, but he does look like the role he plays in that franchise. It works. Very well.
Perhaps what I like most about the John Wick movies is the writing. The writer has created a great character, and, for me, the John Wick character has proven worthy enough to rank up there with the great tough guy characters. They include James Bond, Conan, Captain Kirk, Frank Martin, and perhaps yes, Jason Bourne. I could be forgetting some. For instance, I've already ranked many of the old time actors as the classic tough guys. Actors which of course include Sean Connery, Burt Lancaster, John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Coburn, and Charles Bronson.
But beside Connery in his seven movies as Bond, and Bronson in the five Death Wish movies, those actors never really had a franchise series of movies portraying the same tough guy. The Bond movies and the Death Wish movies were the exception back in the old days instead of the rule. Nowadays, a series of movies, AKA a franchise is the rule. Diesel has three Riddick movies to date, Statham has three Transporter movies, and Damon, now has four movies as Jason Bourne!
The John Wick character with its second movie has become a franchise for Reeves. He had one franchise already with the Matrix movies. And they were good movies, but the character of Neo really wasn't a "tough" guy. He was a hero, to be sure, more like Captain Kirk was more of a hero than a tough guy in the original Star Trek TV show.
But clearly more than Neo, John Wick is a badass. And in these movies, he's a top ranking badass worthy to be placed with Riddick, Frank Martin, and Jason Bourne of the modern badassess, and James Bond, Conan, and Captain Kirk of the badasses of old. And as far as franchises go, it does appear as though there will be a third one. Because at the end of John Wick 2, it appeared that it wasn't ending. It sure seemed like a third one was set to go. And that's fine with me. Can't wait!
Saturday, February 4, 2017
So much detail is in this book. Detail regarding places in Natal, places in Zululand, and the distances involved in traveling to those places by horseback, by carriage, barouche, and even on foot. The Zulu ran everywhere they went. With rare exceptions, they did not ride horses or ride in carriages. John Dunn of course rode a horse. He taught Dabulamanzi to ride a horse, and he took Cetshwayo with him in a barouche. And I had to get it right how much time it would take to get to different places in Natal and Zululand by horse, barouche, and on foot. I've nailed it by now.
And the prose is better. The battles are also necessary to have the detail correct. I have four battles in the book. iSandlwana, Rorke's Drift, Gingindlovu, and Ulundi. All major battles in the war. And I've made sure the details are right on.
Lastly the cover. Here's the cover.
I wish the publisher would have gone with a cover that depicted a battle scene like this:
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Here's hoping an agent will take an interest, because my last hurdle I would like to clear is the Big Five. I really think The Vase is good enough for the Big Five. It's a completely original story. It's a unique and completely original premise. The characters are characters with whom readers can sympathize, and the events are all realistic, suspenseful, and thrilling. I would think that if any agent or editor were to read The Vase in its entirety, he or she will be excited about it.
Just about every publisher I've sent it to was excited about it. Nearly every publisher I sent it to offered me a contract. I lost count how many publishers that was. I think it was five or six. But I'm glad that last publisher folded to tell you the truth for two main reasons. I got a chance to make the story the way I wanted it to be by rewriting it, instead of how the editor wanted it to be, and because I rewrote it, the writing is better than ever.
So, yeah, I'm sending to some agents now. I chose the agent for Dan Brown first, because of all books or stories out there, The Vase is most like Dan Brown's books like the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. They are not religious books, nor are they books about spirituality, but still a hint of that is in them, and a lot of people who believe in that are intrigued by those stories. The Vase is right up that alley.
So once again, fingers are crossed that an agent can represent it and I can finally break the Big Five. We'll see how that goes. I won't hold my breath, but I am optimistic. That's how confident I am about the story and the writing in The Vase.
Monday, January 16, 2017
Sometimes fiction represents reality. Like the movie Patriot's Day. It represented real events. Those deaths and maiming really did happen. Sure war movies that depict real battles could be considered representations of reality. Like the movies that are about real battles. The movie Zulu, starring Michael Caine is one of those. I mention that one because that movie is about the battle at Rorke's Drift, which took place during the Anglo Zulu War. It really happened.
So those actors in the movie Zulu did represent real people, and many of those people did get killed. But that was like a hundred and fifty years ago. And my soon to be released book John Dunn; Heart of a Zulu will have not just the battle at Rorke's Drift in it, but three other battles from that war, too. And all were real battles and the people who fought those battles were real people. I included real English soldiers and real Zulu warriors in the book. And of course, John Dunn was real.
So what is entertainment? When it comes to books, a good plot with action, conflict, humor, and good writing is necessary to be good. What I don't like is something too outlandish, or too far-fetched. I've complained often that a female fighter beating up every male fighter she comes across is a little too far-fetched. I still don't accept the premise of these super female fighters wholeheartedly. It's too far-fetched. I still believe a woman can be a strong character without resorting to fighting and killing. To me, fighting and killing is a male thing. Using your head intelligently, however, to solve problems in ways that don't involve violence is not just a male thing. It is also a female thing. And I might wager it's the superior way.
So why wouldn't a story feature a strong woman who solves problems with her intelligence rather than with guns? In my book, John Dunn, Catherine Pierce is such a woman. Why does Hollywood seem to think women have to be violent? I say women don't have to be violent. And I say I'm right. Is there anyone who disagrees with me? I didn't think so.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Just what kind of evil person could do that to someone? I mean even their worst enemy? How could a small boy and two obscure women, and the many people crippled by the blast even be considered enemies? I guess if you have evil in your heart, like those two brothers did, and the one brother's wife, then you can consider anyone an enemy.
As far as movies go, the movie was well done. It's not a movie I would have chosen to see if there were any of the movies that I would have preferred. But John Wick 2, XXX 3, and Jack Reacher 2 aren't out yet. And it was a night that I was supposed to take my son to a movie. I had promised my son I'd take him so we decided on being patriotic, and we chose Patriot's Day. The movie turned out to be a sad reminder of the scumbags out there who want to kill us. They twist their reasoning, I suppose to warrant such vile acts, and then go through with it.
What's worse, these twisted-minded murderers come from other countries to enjoy American freedoms and then they go about trying to destroy the lives of the Americans who are here. We have all of our agencies who are supposed to prevent that, but they don't. San Bernardino happened after the Boston horror. And the Orlando massacre happened even more recently. There wasn't much protection if you would ask any of them. At least the San Bernardino murderers were killed by police. And the Orlando murderer was killed by police. And the people in Boston came together to catch one and kill the other who did it in Boston. And thankfully the one they caught is on death row.
So I would like to know what is going to happen next? Who will be killed next? In what state, what city, and how many people will be murdered next? What will our government do to protect the American people next? What they've been doing so far sure hasn't worked. Not if you ask the people in Boston, or San Bernardino, or Orlando. Or Fort Hood.
We've got enough nut-jobs of our own to worry about. Oklahoma, Sandy Hook, and the high school and theater in Colorado are plenty proof of that. And the murder rates in every major city are more proof of that. Especially Chicago. We have enough of our own murderers to worry about. We don't need murderers from other countries coming here and adding to that.
How can it stop? Don't ask me. I'm not a politician. If I were, I'd be the most hated politician who ever existed in America. Why? Because I'd get rid of every gun in the country. Except for those belonging to the police and the military. It's weird if you think about it. I'd be hated for trying to save lives by getting rid of every gun that doesn't belong to someone who's job description requires it.
So I guess it's a good thing I'm not a politician. Because as far as I know, that's the only thing that would work. And if that could somehow be accomplished, no more people would be murdered by guns. But my tenure in politics would be short. I wouldn't get re-elected. They'll tell me the scum can still make their pressure bombs. Like the brothers did in Boston. But the cop they ambushed would not have been shot. I'm sure his family would be happy for that.
The movie Patriot's Day was realistic. It was a good movie. But I wouldn't have gone to see it if there were some action movies out to see. Let me make something clear. Movies are the only place I want to see guns and shooting. Because in the movies, it's all fake. It's all just acting. Those people are just pretending to shoot people and they're pretending to get shot. They get up after taking their falls, and they collect a paycheck. And those paychecks are for a lot more than what I make as a school teacher. So good for them. But it wasn't good for the real people they depicted in Patriot's Day. Those people stayed dead.
In my books, Killer of Killer and Killer Eyes, it's all fiction. Sure, there's killing. But no one really dies. It's entertainment. Like when I was a kid. The neighborhood kids would come over, and we'd play with toy guns. We'd pretend to shoot each other, and we'd pretend to get shot, and we'd pretend to get killed. Sometimes we played games like who could enact the best at getting shot and killed. It was all fake. That's the difference.
My son said after the movie, "What a sad movie." And I thought to myself he was right. I want to be entertained when I see a movie. Not saddened. And entertainment means knowing that the people in the movie didn't really get hurt and they didn't really die. But in Boston, they really did.
Saturday, January 7, 2017
There was nothing wrong with the writing. It's just that it could have been better. And I'm making it better. It was the second book I had written. And it was the book where I really learned how to write a novel. I remember when I wrote my first book, Killer of Killers. I had to have my publisher republish it with a second edition, because after I learned so much with The Vase, I wanted to go back and redo Killer of Killers. I was fortunate my publisher for Killer of Killers was willing to put out a second edition. It's so much better than the first edition in terms of correct POV and such.
The Vase was good for POV and all, but the editor for that publisher had his own ideas of how to present the story, and I wasn't in full agreement. I didn't argue with him, but now that that publisher has folded, and I'm seeking a new publisher, I want to rewrite the parts that he had changed, and make them the way I had originally wanted them. Maybe not all the parts, but some anyway.
Mostly with this rewriting, I'm just maximizing the writing style. If there is something that I'm not satisfied with I will rework it and rework it until I am satisfied. After all, The Vase is the most original story of all stories. Not just stories that I had written. I mean of ALL stories ever written. No other story in film, books, or TV feature the concept of ancient historical scenes being recorded in the grooves of ancient vases. And the fact that one of those scenes is straight out of the New Testament makes the story in The Vase more intriguing that any other story you can imagine. Why? Because it presents proof that Jesus Christ really existed, and more to the point, it's proof that Jesus Christ really existed in the way that the New Testament presented him as existing.
So for those reasons, The Vase should have maximum appeal, not just to Christians, but to all peoples of the world. In fact, the main characters in The Vase are not even Christian. They are Jews and Muslims. There's just one Christian in the book, and that's the Pope, who really only makes a cameo appearance in the story's climax. So yeah, the book should appeal to all people and to all faiths of the world. Well, there are no Buddhists or Hindus, but that doesn't mean they can't enjoy the story too.
The strange thing to me is that I'm taking so long just to rewrite a single page. That's how intense I am about making this book as good as humanly possible. I did that for my Killer books and I did that for John Dunn. Actually, I may go back to the John Dunn book, because it seems that Dana of KRP is yet to have time to edit it. I submitted it last Monday, but she's not had time to get to it yet.
That means I will have more time to see if there is anything more I can do for it. I did everything I could think of already, but you never know. There's always something. I'll get back to it after I'm done revising The Vase. That is if Dana still hasn't edited it yet. And if she has, that just means I'll have one more shot at it myself.
So that's the latest update on my books. This year will be another big year for me. Can't wait.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Triple X, or XXX is one of the top sequels I'm looking forward to. I was first introduced to Vin Diesel as an actor playing a tough guy in the movie Pitch Black. When I saw that movie I thought that Vin Diesel made a great tough guy, the likes of which I hadn't seen since the golden age of tough guys. I posted about them just recently. And in XXX Diesel played a great tough guy. The first sequel to XXX was without Diesel unfortunately, because Diesel made the mistake to take a role in a Disney movie instead. And with no apologies, Ice Cube didn't cut it as Diesel's replacement in the role. But Diesel is back in the third installment of the XXX franchise, and I'm glad for that. It's a role made for Diesel, just as Riddick is a role made for Diesel.
Then you've got the sequel to John Wick coming soon. I was never convinced that Keanu Reeves made a good tough guy, but he is a good actor, and he was convincing in the role of tough guy John Wick in the first movie. Let's hope he can carry that through the sequel as well.
Then you've got the sequel to Jack Reacher coming soon. Like Keanu Reeves, I've never been convinced that Tom Cruise was a tough guy. He did make a convincing tough guy in the Mission Impossible movies, however, and as Jack Reacher, he was passable. I guess his acting skills were up to the task, so I do look forward to the second Reacher movie soon.
Then, for me, at least, there's the top tough guy in the movies today. It's Jason Statham. He's the real deal when it comes to tough guys, and he brings that authenticity to the screen every time. The first time I saw him was in Transporter. I was convinced from the get go. All three Transporter movies with Statham as the main character Frank Martin, were terrific. Then they replaced Statham with some no name actor, and the franchise bottomed out. But Statham went on to play other tough guys, and he's been great in all of them. Unfortunately, it's not another Transporter movie coming soon, it's another movie featuring a tough guy role he played. It was a remake of a Charles Bronson movie called The Mechanic. Usually remakes are not as good as the originals, but the Statham remake of the Mechanic was by far the superior movie, and that's saying a lot, because Charles Bronson is most definitely on that list of tough guys from the Hollywood golden age of tough guys! So the sequel with Statham reprising his role as the mechanic is called Mechanic Resurrection, and I look forward to seeing that one as much as any of them.
So that's four sequels of tough guy movies. And my character Trent Smith from the Killer of Killers books is right up there with the best of them. Trent Smith, being the world's greatest martial artist could probably beat any of them in a match. Whether on the street or in the ring, Trent Smith is dominant. It's why he's the world's greatest martial artist. Which may bring me to the third and perhaps final story for Trent Smith. The third book will have Trent Smith prove that not only is he the world's greatest fighter, he's the world's greatest killer. But how can that be? First you'll have to read Killer of Killers and then Killer Eyes. And when you're finished with those two books, look for Book Three in the killer series. I've toyed with titles, but I'll not put out tentative titles anymore. I'll wait until it's finished. Then I'll announce it here on the blog. Until then...
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
I really want to find a publisher that is at level two of my prior ranking of publishers. You might remember level one is any of the Big Five, level two are those who do print runs and get their books into book stores. Level three are the POD publishers, level four are eBook publishers and level five is the self publishing category.
So level one will forever be denied me because I'll never have an agent. But level two can be just as good. It's just that the list of level two publishers is a very short list. Kensington might be tops on that list, and I would like to get The Vase published by them. We'll see.
Strangely Cogito is also on that level two list, but I found out they were a dishonest publisher. I'll find out how honest Knox Robinson is in the near future. So far, so good on that front.
But I'm improving The Vase before submitting again. I've said many times that manuscripts can be improved almost indefinitely. You just have to do it when you have the time. And now I do have the time. Back to work.
Monday, January 2, 2017
For instance, I had been using the word Bantu for when the indigenous people of the South African region referred to each other, when from different tribes. I used that word because it was the word Donald Morris used in his book The Washing of the Spears. The natives of the area certainly didn't call themselves natives, or blacks, or Africans. Those were the words used by the Europeans or the colonists. Another word the colonists used was Kaffir. But that word was more of a demeaning word. Not as bad as the N word here in America, but still not a complimentary word. And the indigenous people didn't use that word to refer to other indigenous people.
With some research, I learned Bantu came from the word Ntu which meant man in the native African languages, and the prefix Ba was the way the word became plural. (Men.) But with further research I also learned that the South African blacks actually take offense to being called a Bantu. So I decided to go instead with the other word used to refer to the indigenous peoples of South Africa. Nguni. With research I learned that Nguni refers to all the peoples of all the different tribes in South Africa, and it had no negative connotation as did the word Bantu.
So there you go. I replaced all words Bantu with the word Nguni for that reason. Of course I changed a lot of other things, too. Mostly the prose. I made the prose better everywhere, which is a natural result when you reread a manuscript. And the map I illustrated is better than ever. It now has Stanger in there when it didn't before. I only mention Stanger twice in the manuscript, but since the map did have the area represented where Stanger is located, there was no reason not to include it.
So Dana of Knox Robinson, my publisher, will be back on the job tomorrow, as will I at my school, and I look forward to her editing and publishing the book. A lot of people are waiting on it, including some very important people who are authorities on the topic. And I have been fortunate enough to have acquired their endorsements. Can't wait for John Dunn to be published. Should be soon.