James Pratt's Blog, page 2

November 19, 2012

1) Gandalf wears an actual wizard hat. Dumbledore wears a fez. Nothing says “Master of the Mystic Arts” like a cone with a tassel on top for headgear.

2) Gandalf carries a staff with a cool crystal-thingy on top whereas Dumbledore is armed with a gnarled twig. Sometimes size does matter.

3) Gandalf managed to come back from the dead. Not soap opera “I let everybody think I was dead/I had amnesia/It was my evil twin” death but actual death. All Dumbledore could manage after dying was an exposition-filled cameo in a whitewashed train station.

4) Gandalf singlehandedly defeated a Balrog, one of the most powerful servants of evil in Middle Earth, and did it without the benefit of the “spell for every occasion” style magic of the Harry Potter universe. With a zillion spells at his disposal, Dumbledore chose to spend years preparing not himself but a young orphan for a confrontation with the second most powerful wizard in the Harry Potter world. And you can make the argument that only Harry could truly kill Voldemort, but it was under Dumbledore’s watch and due to the good guys’ baffling incompetence that Voldemort was able to return to full power.

5) Gandalf’s pimp hand is strong. He isn’t afraid to smack a b#tch, and by b#tch I mean Mordor-bred battle-trolls and Denethor, 26th and last ruling steward of Gondor. When the Ministry of Magic showed up at Hogwarts, Dumbledore bravely turned his tail and fled, leaving the students at the mercy of literal b#tch Delores Umbridge. Take that, big government!
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Published on November 19, 2012 05:47 • 79 views • Tags: dumbledore, gandalf, harry-potter, lotr

November 15, 2012

I read a news story about Egyptian religious fundamentalists wanting to destroy the Sphinx and the pyramids. That inspired this:


http://www.facebook.com/pages/James-D...
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Published on November 15, 2012 13:22 • 40 views • Tags: history, religion, scooby-doo

November 10, 2012

I put chapter 1 of "Riders of the Necronomicon" in my Writing section. Because the Prologue is in the Chapter 1 slot, chapter 1 is in the chapter 2 slot, it that makes any sense. Check it out and let me know what you think.
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Published on November 10, 2012 20:29 • 51 views • Tags: cthulhu, fantasy, gunslinger, horror, lovecraft, necronomicon, weird-west

November 9, 2012

It's done. I finished the last chapter of Riders of the Necronomicon. For the most part I'm pleased with the results. Lots of action, lots of guns, lots of Lovecraftian weirdness. I did have to make some compromises though. My favorite mythos stories are the ones that reflect Lovecraft's original vision of humanity's insignificance in the face of an incomprehensibly alien cosmos. A "quest" story, on the other hand, requires both the quest itself and a remote possibility of success to engage the reader. That means the unfathomable unknown has to take at least a partial backseat to not so unfathomable (quasi-) human villainy. Just keep in mind that putting a human face on the mythos doesn't necessarily mean you're dealing with the face's original owner. Here's another problem I encountered. RotN started out as a couple of short stories followed by a couple more so about a fourth of it was already written before I decided to make it into a novel, and even then only the last three chapters were written in strictly chronological order. Long story short, I'm having trouble figuring out the order in which to place some of the chapters. I'm beginning to suspect writing a novel is a bit different than writing short stories. Anyway, I'm almost finished sort of. Not much longer now.
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Published on November 09, 2012 19:25 • 70 views • Tags: cthulhu, gunslinger, lovecraft, necronomicon, weird-western

November 5, 2012

I'm working on the final chapter of my Lovecraftian-themed western horror, Riders of the Necronomicon (working title). Still a lot left to do. I plan on adding another chapter to give the bad guys a little more face time, plus I have to go through the entire thing and make changes so everything lines up. That's the problem of making things up as you go along. If nothing else, once I'm finished it will be nice to be able to say a wrote a novel. A short novel about gunslingers fighting monsters and what passes for witches and sorceres in the Old West, but a novel nonetheless. I think if Lovecraft was alive today he would say that he was proud. Well, that and "Let me out of this coffin!!!"
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Published on November 05, 2012 18:07 • 95 views • Tags: cthulhu, gunslinger, horror, lovecraft, lovecraftian, weird-western

October 20, 2012

Amazon has begun removing reviews I posted on some of my own items. The reviews were written by other people for those same items and copied and pasted from other sites. In other words, I was not writing reviews for my own stuff. If you have read anything I've written in the past and have an Amazon account, please feel free to go onto Amazon.com, find the product and leave a review, even if it's just a few words. Or simply "Like" a story or two for that matter. If you haven't read anything I've written and are interested in doing so, let me know and I'll send you some links. If you see anything you like, drop me a line and I'll get you a free copy. I know this can be a bit time-consuming, but I would greatly appreciate it and will be more than happy to reciprocate by supporting an endeavor of yours. Thanks.

http://www.amazon.com/James-Pratt/e/B...
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Published on October 20, 2012 21:04 • 44 views

October 7, 2012

I happened to come across a recent review of "Magic Lantern Show of the Gods", a Lovecraftian weird west tale I wrote a couple of years ago. It got me thinking about the main character William Whateley, a doomed gunslinger who was charged by his father to protect a collection of books of forbidden lore from the forces of darkness. I ended up writing a couple more Whateley stories then came up with the idea of creating a loose narrative linking them all together. I'm up to eight stories and am shooting (no pun intended) for a total of ten or eleven, all dealing with elements from the Cthulhu mythos. So keep an eye out, fans of Lovecraft and weird western tales. Once it's finished, if anyone's interested in giving it a once over let me know and I'll get you a free copy.
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Published on October 07, 2012 18:10 • 93 views • Tags: horror, lovecraft, weird-west

April 15, 2012

I just posted a new short story on Smashwords, free of charge. It started out as a half-joke reimagining of the movie "The Sound of Music" with sexy spies, zombies, and evil Nazi experiments, and ended up as an attempt to write a female-driven adventure where the main characters don't behave like male action heroes stuffed into female bodies. There's a lot packed into ten or so pages so it's not the best example of short story from a traditional point of view, but it's free so you get what you pay for.

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...
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Published on April 15, 2012 19:55 • 125 views • Tags: adventure, fantasy, short-story, spies, weird, world-war-ii, zombies

March 24, 2012

I just posted a new short story on Smashwords, free of charge for download. It's been a long time since I've added anything there since I've sort of been concentrating on the fantasy novel that I'm never going to finish, which has turned out to be suprisingly time-consuming. After all, it's not going to not finish itself. The story is called 'We Stand at the Gate' and is set in the same mythical world as the novel. Here is a link:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...

Well, back to not finishing the novel. So long.
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Published on March 24, 2012 19:24 • 105 views • Tags: fantasy, free, short-story
I just sent this to Amazon.com. Am I out of line here? I realize it's their website and their business so they set the rules, but I'm just not grasping the logic behind their policies...

"This is the second time is as many days I've gotten a "request" from Amazon.com regarding the mention of my own work. The first one was about including links to your own work in reviews. It seemed kind of silly to me that a handy link to one's own product would be a bad thing, especially considering that I'd taken the time to write a review for someone else's work without getting anything in return, but I took that one in stride and made the requested changes. But mentioning something I've written in "my" own signature is against Amazon's guidelines? I have to admit I'm really confused as to the problem with an author mentioning the name of their own work, especially in the context of a website that SELLS BOOKS. What's an acceptable signature, "Likes kittens and walks on the beach"? These policies seem very counter-intuitive to me."
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Published on March 24, 2012 08:12 • 60 views • Tags: amazon, policy, whining