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Spencer Hart (Spencer E. Hart)
"I write adventure stories with a touch of romance & moral order"
"I write adventure stories with a touch of romance & moral order"


meanwhile, in 8000 B.C. ...

"Slayer-Of-Wolf turned his gaze upwards at the strange rumbling in the sky. The few clouds did not portend a storm; the mid-morning sun shone down on the land, raising a mist as the night's frost melted away.

There! A thing high in the sky, glowing red like fire, passed overhead with a roar like an avalanche. A sudden strong gust of wind nearly knocked Slayer-Of-Wolf from his feet, forcing him to plant his spear into the thawing ground.

A cry rose from the rest of the hunting party as the red thing fell like a swooping eagle towards Ice Mountain. A sudden flare of fire marked the spot where it hit. A cloud of black smoke rose from the side of the mountain."
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Over the weekend I started writing this action-adventure story. Got 1k words so far, and all heck is supposed to break loose in the next scene, but I think I need to do a bit of plotting before continuing.

Island Rescue
by Spencer E. Hart

(Accompanying his father to the private island of a reclusive billionaire, Frank meets a lonely girl on the beach. But when armed men storm the mansion, what will Frank have to do to protect his father and the lovely Denise?)

The girl turned her head and looked at me. She was a long-legged blonde, and she was sitting on a blanket on the bright sand of the cove. The Caribbean sun shone down on her well-tanned skin, which her bikini barely covered any of.

"Hi there!" she called while I was still standing at the edge of the beach. "Enjoying the view?"

Small waves came off the ocean, rolling into the cove. The sky was clear, with only a few wispy clouds overhead. The breeze gently waved the fronds of the palm trees. It was certainly a pleasant sight.

But I didn't think that was the view she had in mind. She must have heard my shoes crunch on the sand as I had adjusted position moments ago to get a better look at her.

I felt my cheeks start to warm. "I didn't mean to intrude," I said. "I didn't know anyone was down here."

She stood up. I couldn't help but notice those legs really were magnificent.
"Haven't seen you before," she stated. "Did you come in on that helicopter this morning?"

"Yes, that was my father's chopper. He came to talk business with Mr. Webber. I'm Frank Mason, by the way."

"I'm Denise," she replied as she waved an arm in my direction. "Why don't you come over so we can get acquainted?"

I shuffled my feet a few steps closer to her. My cheeks still felt warm.

Normally I wasn't shy around girls, but she'd caught me peeking. I still wasn't sure what to expect in this situation.

"Come on, I don't bite," she said. Her face broke into a wide grin.

The expression on her face and the twinkle in her blue eyes convinced me I had little to fear, although she was certainly athletic-looking enough to give me a good smack if she wanted to.

I spread my hands wide with palms towards her. "Well, if you're sure."

"You think I'm not aware men like to look at me? Almost every man on this island tries to peek out of the corner of their eye when I walk past. It's about the only excitement I get around here."

She sat back down on one end of her beach blanket. "Come sit with me and tell me about yourself. It's not often we get a visitor about my own age."

I walked over and sat on the opposite end of the blanket, about two feet away from her. Both of us faced out towards the ocean.

"Well, I've just finished my freshman year at Columbia University in New York. Majoring in economics, since my father wants me to be involved in the family business when I graduate."

"I've never been to New York," she said. "Just a couple trips to Florida. Back before my mother died."

"You've been on this island a long time?" I asked.

She sighed. "Ever since I was a little girl."

"You ever go to school?"

"Tutors are flown in every year for me."

"Just for you?" I asked. "No other students?"

She turned her head and looked at me. "There have never been any other children on the island."

I looked into her eyes. "Must be boring and lonely."

"There are always people coming here. To see my father. Mostly old men in suits."

A sudden thought crossed my mind.

"Denise," I started, "you never did mention anything but your first name."
She sighed again. "My full name is Denise Rose Webber." She tilted her head down, breaking eye contact with me.

"Then Malcom Webber..."

"Is my father."

I felt a sudden queasiness in my gut. "Perhaps I should be getting back to the house." I started to stand up.

Her hand reached out and grabbed my wrist. I turned towards her.

The blue eyes seemed to bore into me. Was that a tear running down her cheek?

"You can stay if you want to," she said with a tremble in her voice. "He doesn't really seem to care what I do, as long as I don't embarrass him in front of his guests."

I sat back down and reached up to wipe the tear away.

"Just sit with me a while and hold me, that's all I want," she said.

I kind of wanted that too.

I don't know how long we sat there, but eventually the sun passed overhead and the shadows began to lengthen on the sand.

She stood up and began to roll her blanket.

"Walk me back to the house?" she asked. "It'll be dinner time soon."

I reached out my arm. "I'd be delighted, Miss Webber."

"Please, just call me Denise."

Arm in arm, we left the beach and headed back up the path among the palm trees.

# # #

As the Webber mansion came into view on the hill above, Denise unhooked her arm from mine.

"Perhaps you should go through the front gate. I'll slip around the back way since I have to get changed," she said.

"Afraid someone will see us together?" I asked.

She scrunched up her face. "Well, not exactly afraid, but it might be best to avoid any complications. With your father's business negotiations, I mean."

"See you at dinner," she called over her shoulder as she took the fork in the path.

After a quick glance at those receding legs, I turned and continued up the main path. A couple of minutes later I was approaching the main gate.
There were several acres enclosed by the six-foot chain-link fence. The path ran up to a barred metal gate flanked by a guard booth. I waved to the uniformed man inside.

"Name, please," he said.

"Frank Mason," I answered.

The guard took a look at my face and then at something inside his booth. "Please go on up to the house, Mr. Mason," he said as his arm pressed the control switch.

With a slight groaning and clanking, the gate retracted to one side. I stepped on through and continued up the path. I heard the gate close behind me.

I saw the tall communications tower rise behind the three-story house, back near the heliport where my father's craft was still parked.

As I finally neared the house itself, I spotted a pair of men toiling away at some landscaping work about twenty yards off the path.

There was another uniformed guard stationed on the front porch, just past the gentle ramp leading up to it.

"Mr. Mason?" he called as I approached.


"Please go in to the library. Your father has been waiting for you to return."

"Thank you," I said as I stepped past him and into the house proper.

A wide man in a brown suit and mirrored glasses was waiting for me. "This way please, Mr. Mason," he said as he motioned an arm to the corridor leading out of the foyer. I heard his shoes click slightly on the tiled floor as he fell into step behind me.

A minute later another man in a brown suit and mirrored glasses, a near-twin of the one behind me, directed me into the library itself. Both of the security men stayed out in the corridor.

"So, son," my father began as he called from a plush chair among the tall bookshelves, "did you have an enjoyable afternoon exploring the island?"

A vision of Denise flashed into my mind. "Yes, father, I think I did."

# # #

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The last couple weekends I mixed in a lot of 1980's post-apocalypse movies interspersed with the old Westerns. I'm starting to wonder if in some way the 80's PA genre was a successor to the Western, with the common scenario of the lone man wandering a lawless land with rare bastions of almost-civilization.

For instance this one, that is also making triple-sure you get what the movie is about:
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Cirsova Magazine Deals! Only 8 days left!

$20 for ALL TEN (10) ISSUES in digital format.

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Having now watched over 30 Westerns this month from 1941-1961, one thing I've noticed is something MISSING that is supposedly a trope - the showdown.

Not ONCE have I seen two men facing each other down in the street waiting to blast each other as soon as one twitches.

I have seen a formal duel (with seconds) outside of town, and one scene of a man going to the place he is supposed to have it out with another but one just walks to the area and draws his gun on the other one leaning on a fence post and gets casually blasted since the second man is so fast.

Sure there are scenes where one man is taunting another to draw so the first can blast him and claim self-defense, but these are in bars, saloons, hotels, alleys, etc. And rarely does any shooting result since the target usually backs down.

One man wants another dead, he either sets up an ambush or gathers his gang for a major gunbattle.

Methinks the trope of the showdown might be more a trope of spaghetti westerns and other revisionist westerns.
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Finally looks like "Alpha" has a firm release date - August 17th.

I'm hoping this is as much of a coming of age adventure as it looks.

(The original 1st trailer is WAY better than the 2nd one, which is aimed more at moms & younger kids... than the target audience of tween and teen boys.)

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After seeing +Jon Mollison latest blog entry, I dug up the posts of my dungeon created when I came back to RPGs circa 2010...
Map: Der Dungeon Level 1
Map: Der Dungeon Level 1
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Did I miss an announcement that #Cirsova merch is on sale at Teepublic?

All the t-shirts are only $14 for the next 1 day and 5 hours!

And when did they put Tapestries and Tote-bags up for sale?
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Found all these Old West movies on YouTube and been going through some every week. There seem to be only a few basic plots, but a very large number of variations on them. (Although I'm about to the point where I even HEAR TELL of a big cattle baron and I know how it's going to end up.)
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Testing out some story openings for proposed Old West story.

Any of these acceptable or better than the others?

1) The mid-afternoon sun blazed high in the sky as Roy Walthers rode into the town of Bluff Creek.

2) Roy Walthers rode his horse into the town of Bluff Creek. The mid-afternoon sun blazed down on the scrubland.

3) Through the heat-shimmer of the blazing sun on the scrubland, Roy Walthers approached the town of Bluff Creek.
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