So you can read my books

Friday, June 20, 2014


Yesterday Alex Cavanaugh wrote that he had some difficulty with show versus telling his tales.

(Not that you see it in his wonderful novels.)

Once upon a time Misty Waters had a blogfest of writing two snippets based on a picture:
One showing the tale -- The other telling it.

So to help my friend, Alex, and others with the same difficulty here is the SHOW version for this picture:


When you're seven, you're too old for a swing. But I wasn't sitting in it for fun.

No. My legs were too weak to hold me up.

Mother had left me. Me.

For days, maybe weeks she said. "Survive as best you can, Victor. I must be alone with my latest conquest."

And then, she was gone with her muscled bad boy. What was I going to do?

"I don't like you," sniveled the little girl in the swing next to me.

"Pick a number. It's a long line."

The black-haired girl pointed her finger past me. "I don't like them neither."

"Must be my kind of people," I grunted, turning to look.

"Or not," I gulped.

Zombies. Fricking kid-zombies. "Oh, why the hell not?"

"Oooh, you just said a no-no."

"On my best day, I'm PG-13. And Sunshine, this ain't my best day."

"My name is Becky not Sunshine!"

I got up, looking all around. Damn, we were surrounded.

"It's gonna be 'Kibbles-N-Brains' if you don't put some muscle to the hustle."

What had Chiron told me? When surrounded by enemies, get a sword, a shield, and the high ground.

Becky pulled out a wooden slingshot. "I'll stop them."

"Lots of luck with that, Nibbles."

I ran to a fallen baseball bat.

My Sword!

Two zombies were making sure that the boy who dropped it wouldn't miss it. I darted in between them. I tumbled in a roll, snatching up the bat. One lunged at me.

I beaned him with all my might, and his rotten head burst. I laughed, "I hope your name was Homer. Cuz I always wanted to hit a homer."

To my far left, Becky screamed, "Fall down! WHY WON'T YOU FALL DOWN?"

I ran over to her, grabbed her by her pony-tail and snapped, "Cuz the fun never stops with zombies!"

"Stop!," cried Becky. "You're messing up my pigtail."

I spotted the slide/jungle-gym.

High ground.

I snapped, "Those zombies will mess up more than your ...."

A kid-zombie with a half-eaten face lurched through the garbage cans lining the playground, knocking them over. A garbage can lid rolled to my feet.

My Shield!

I snatched it up and smacked him in the face with it. "Watch out! Low bridge."

I thumped Becky on the butt to get her moving faster to the slide/jungle-gym.

"Hey, that's my butt!," she yelled.

I jerked my head to the shambling but all-too-fast kid zombies. "It'll be theirs if you don't get a move on!"

We made it to the slide as a black kid took a mop handle and used it as a pole vault to get to the top of the metal tree-house at the top of the slide.

"Whoa," I gasped. "Way to go, LeRoy."

He laughed down at me. "Ya gotta learn free runnin' if you gonna make it on these streets, bro. And how did you know my name?"

I got uneasy. "Lucky guess." But it hadn't been. I had just known it.

I smacked Becky up the slide. The ladder was too slow as a couple of screaming kids found out the hard way.

We ducked aside a girl with glasses. I shield-blocked the brick she aimed at me.

"Save it for the dead heads," I snapped, scooting by her.

The slide/jungle-gym was a big son of a gun. I skipped down the steps from the tree house to the walkway where six kid-zombies scrambled towards us, moaning, "Brains. Brains. Brains."

I winked at Becky, who was taking aim at them with her ball-bearing loaded slingshot. "They can't mean you. It's gotta be me they're after."

Becky let go with her slingshot, sending a ball bearing into the only eye of a grasping girl zombie. "Ha. Ha. Very not funny."

LeRoy pushed a boy zombie off the top of the treehouse with his mop handle. "Damn! They just too many of 'em!"

It hit me. Mother had left me to die. Die. She didn't want me anymore. She didn't love me. Had she ever loved me? Hot tears filled my eyes.

"Wrong!," I yelled. "There aren't enough of them!"

I leapt onto the walkway, swinging with my bat and shield, knocking the grabbing kid-zombies every whichway.

Zombies scuttled like cockroaches out of Hell along the top of the rungs of the jungle-gym. They dropped down on the walkway. I swung at them.

Brains, bits of skull, and rotted flesh flew as I jumped about, smacking away with all the anger I felt at Mother for just dumping me ... for not loving me any more.

"Die. Die! DIE!"

Glasses sobbed, "I-I'm outta bricks. They're going to eat us."

They kept coming. I kept blocking and smashing. Becky went for more ball bearings but came up empty. A giggling girl-zombie knocked LeRoy down. He screamed.

I raised my shield and bat to the uncaring skies and roared, "WOULD YOU JUST DIE!"


I could've sworn a pale green circle pulsed out from around me.

The kid-zombies keeled over as if their electric plugs had been pulled from the wall socket. They just lay there, all limp and finally as dead as they looked.

Becky gasped, "H-How did you do that?"

"I just yelled like Mother."

LeRoy muttered, "Bro, she must be one bad mutha."

I looked down at the still swaying swing where she had dumped me. "You have no idea."

{And neither does Victor. What really happened? Tune in tomorrow for the TELL version.}



  1. Wow. What a cliff hanger. I will be back.

  2. I use dialogue to show, but I have difficulty with telling too. . .
    Is this piece new? or part of something?

    I watched the Longmire trailer, thanks for including that. I'll get back to the book soon. It has captured my interest. Take care of yourself, and don't work too hard.

    btw - Inger had an update on her blog (in case you haven't been there).

  3. Elephant's Child:
    Yes, Victor's whole life is one cliff hanger after another it seems. He's demanding I get back to writing his CARNIVAL OF THE DAMNED but I have to finish THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT first!

    And I'm working solo all weekend. Whew!!

    It's part of THE RIVAL (The Origin of Victor Standish).

    I really enjoy LONGMIRE, the written mysteries -- each one is a different kind of tale -- the first dealing with how you deal with revenge -- the 2nd with how to be a friend when there is doubt -- the third about setting ghosts of the past to rest.

    I will try not to work too hard. It is up to these pesky hospitals!

    I am heading to Inger now.

  4. Just read both! The tell is like an account from a history book. The show places the reader in the action. The first person narrative helps, but not necessary.