Hawk Dancer

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From Birch Clump

By Joshua (Tim) Seidl 21 Jul, 2017
I use Corel Paint, an affordable alternative to Adobe Paint Shop to assist me in drawing new illustrations for my fiction stories. I search for photographs, mostly my own, but also a few on-line public domain pictures. I then outline the parts I want and paste them into a new scene that fits the story I'm working on. A composite of six photos were used for the picture above.
    This is a picture of my fictional character, Sarge T. Douglas and me at Black Castle, Republic of Turkey in 1973 or 74. Sarge has his back to us. The real me is facing outwards at us.
    Sarge is made up of two photos, one below and the other above the waist line. The picture of me is made up of three photos, jeans, main body trunk, and a photo of me from around 1973 taken in Turkey when I was in the USA Air Force.  The back ground scenery is of an actual section of the ancient, deteriorating Black Castle in Turkey situated between Adana and Tarsus.
     Each part was digitally cut from the original photos and put in place in the Corel photo program. I made the drawing from that composite. Attention was given to ensure that hair style and clothing and any items in the final composite photo and drawing adhered to period fashion, technologies and items. In other words, one should not see the outline of a cell phone in the pockets, nor a hair or clothing style that would come after the date or period involved. Skintight jeans were in vogue for teens and young adults in the 1970s, as was long hair. However, these two individuals were in the military at that time and thus would have short hair. They are not on duty, thus would likely be in civilian attire.

    If they were in uniform, then Sergeant T. Douglas would have had three stripes on his uniform in 1973/74. He was E-4 pay grade. Research is important for a fiction author. The rank of sergeant was changed a few years later. E-4 became senior airman, and E-5 became the fiorst (or lowest) of the sergeant ratings.
By Joshua (Tim) Seidl 30 Jan, 2017
   Just released: My latest in a series of readers. Each  book contains short stories (mostly fiction), some poetry, and plenty of illustrations. 
    Tim Browne is an ordinary fellow from a white working class family, Christian. However, a rumor that he might be Jewish makes him the target of bigoted bullies in school and again as a young adult. He suddenly learns how the threat of violence constantly follows young minority men. His upbringing did not prepare him for what was ahead.

Publishing Status as of January 29, 2017:

   Proofs are expected to arrive Monday, the 30th of January. It will be about a week before my editor and I can review the finished product. If all is well, I will then press the approval button and the book  is available instantly on Lulu.com, and will begin showing up on other major book seller's sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.

Paper Back and E-book options:

     My books always come out as paper back first. I begin preparing an e-book version soon after. 
By Joshua (Tim) Seidl 28 Jul, 2016
I added long hair with special software to this picture of me taken in about 1980/81 at the age of 29/30. I then drew a picture to represent my fictional character, Sarge T. Douglas. This photo helped me to replicate his initial arrival in the Village of Birch Clump for the novel "Hawk Dancer." 
    My method for many of the illustrations I did began by tracing a rough outline and then free hand drawing in the rest. I now  use a tablet drawing system hooked to my computer. I can sketch, paint, and , more from special art soft ware with a stylus on the tablet and watch my progress on screen. 
By Joshua (Tim) Seidl 24 Jun, 2016
    I came to Chicago on a temporary assignment in March 2016. The duration was not clear, though we suspected it could last into June or July; or maybe turn into a permanent move. The official word is out now. I will return full time to our Staten Island community. I leave here, (Chicago) the weekend of the 4th of July.

How does this affect my publishing?

    I expect I will be more settled in NYC. I'll have my editor proof read the current manuscript, than I can make adjustments, corrections, and so forth. I will look into a couple more illustrations. Then I should be able to do the book page layout and the 8th Birch Clump Village Reader could be ready before July is done. So, stay tuned.

My Website's "Push Notification" feature

     I recently added a "Push Notification" button at the bottom of all pages of my website, www.HawkDancer.com . Visitors (such as yourself) can see that button and click it if you want to have a pop up notification when ever I have something significantly new to offer on the website. You will only see that button if your device is compatible. It does not show otherwise. "Push Notifications" pop up only on the device or devices you click the button. A push notification pops is a very short message containing the briefest announcement of what is new and provides a link if you wish to see more.
     For example: If you have four internet devices, a smart phone, tablet, lap top and a desktop computer, you would have use each device in order to have the pop up of something new appear.  Alternately, you can chose only one or two of those devices. Unsubscribing is easy --- just push the same button to unsubscribe (or to re-subscribe). 

How often and why will I send out new Push Notification messages?

    Not often. I think that is good news for most people. I know I would not want insignificant messages popping up on my screen on a regular basis. But, I do like to hear from select websites if they keep the pop's to a minimum.
    The most likely items I would submit to "push notification" would be when I write a new blog. Not to worry, I write very few blogs, maybe one a month if that, but sometimes twice. I would also send out a couple of push notifications once a next (new) book is published. 
    I will not send a push notification for my Birch Clump Village E-Newsletter. If you are not currently subscribing to the BCV E-News and would like to receive it, click here to sign up for the letters. (Letters are different than push notifications.)
By Joshua (Tim) Seidl 26 Apr, 2016

Meeting Sarge

 Sarge T. Douglas is a fictional character I developed for my two novels. His active role in “Hawk Dancer” and in “Cloudburst” is minor. He is a chronicler and journalist. There is a brief scene where he meets the twins of Birch Clump in Turkey. Douglas is assigned to the Incerlik Air Base; the twins are on a one-year study program in Turkey.

   His more significant exposure comes a couple of years later when Douglas, since honorably discharged, shows up at the friary in Birch Clump for a retreat. He begins interviewing villagers and friars to learn more about the history of the first ever Catholic religious order of Native Americans. His role in the fictional stories is useful to me as the author as I wanted to give some credence to how material, research and information on such a large cast of characters spanning nearly eighty years was possible.

   Character development shows him as calm, collective, somewhat quiet and laid back. He’s tall and slender. He is just shy of 140 pounds at six-feet, one inch in 1978, the year he visits the village at age 27.

     An author can easily get involved with his characters. It took me nearly ten years before I decided on giving Sarge T. Douglas more exposure and greater development. Where was he born? What about his childhood?

      Avoiding any spoilers, I can share that he was born to a single teen mother. He is mixed race. His grandfather nearly succeeded in having him murdered. He begins an adventurous search in his young adult years for his biological father and to learn the meaning of his first name name. 

      I even attempted to write a story in which a few of my fiction characters actually have a chance to interact with me, the real life author. I have not succeeded in doing that thus far.

      In one imagined setting, in the later 1970s, I would like to meet Sarge and ask what the “T” stands for in his name; T. Douglas.  It has been nearly ten years since I developed him and yet even I never knew what his first initial stood for. (The secret of his first name is found in the shot story Changing a Flat in the book, " Ten Things: Birch Clump Village Reader 4.")

 I begin laughing as soon as he tells me because I know what the name means. He’s upset. I tease him some more. Bystanders egg us on hoping to see a fight, but neither one of us are prone to fighting. An instigator slapped him across the back of head as he walked off but I got the blame. With adrenaline  running, he instinctively shoved me. That went through me and I instantly returned the same.  Insults, dares and shoves work us up into a frenzy. 

      Sarge and I are the same age, he being born five days before me. We are the same size. We are both chicken when it comes to fighting. It’s a perfectly matched struggle our friends, real and fictional would really like to see. What the heck, I think I'd like to see which of us would win, or if it would be a draw. I pop him in the mouth. We go at it big time.

     The drawing at the top of this blog is of the fight between Sarge and me.

     About the most humiliating thing that can happen to me as an author is when one of my fictional characters is able to beat me up.

    Will I write the story?

I’m not sure.

By Joshua (Tim) Seidl 25 Apr, 2016
My latest character development for the Birch Clump Village Reader series is Tim Browne. He also goes by Brownie and as Brownie-T. He comes from a small town in northern Oakland County, Michigan, born in 1951. 
   He is pictured seated above following a fist fight he was forced into. Most witnesses ran off when the police arrived soon after the brutal fist fight ended. A few few remained behind just to gawk at the exhausted, beaten winner, (Browne) and the antagonist who was knocked out cold. 
   I have four short stories with Tim Browne as the main protagonist. He was erroneously called a Jew, a claim he neither denies or confirms. He endures occasional anti-Semitic discrimination as a result, including a couple of violent encounters with some bigots.   
By Joshua (Tim) Seidl 13 Jan, 2016
The Birch Clump village E-Newsletter is the village newspaper. Sign up now ; it's free. 
     Features include first hand notification of new book releases by Joshua Seidl. News items for the village and characters from the novels and from the Birch Clump Village Reader series. Find out who got engaged or married, who had a fight, and meet new characters under development. The author sometimes gives a little history on favorite characters.
     The best feature of all is that you  might win some thing. The author, Joshua Seidl generally offers one free copy in a contest give-a-way each time he publishes a new book. He's also given away durable porcelain coffee mugs with painting he did. We once gave  away free "What Would Bubba Do" bracelets.
      The most recent character currently under development is named Tim Browne. His nick name is Brownie T. He's tall, slender and Marge at the Village restraint has an eye for him. Derrick Geist, (a character found in the novels), re-enters the stories as a tow truck operator rescuing Tim Browne's broken down old Ford in Gaylord, Michigan
     Photo above: Jolene sketches the boy of her fancy, Bubba Jr.
     Click here to sign up .
By Joshua (Tim) Seidl 31 Jul, 2015
I asked Uncle Charlie to send me a list of ten things. I committed to write a story involving each item. Among the most outlandish entry was "Falling ten feet out of bed." The challenge to good fiction as opposed to non-fiction, is  that fiction needs to be believable. I think I did a pretty good job of finding a logical reason why a person would fall ten feet from a bed; (rotted second floor beams.)
      Jig Rajan from the novels and a totally new  fiction character, Danny are the protagonist. The young bachelors work for Danny's aunt at a small TV and radio shop in Escanaba, Michigan.
     They hear a commotion in a  back alley and rush in to rescue a Mexican migrant worker about to be beaten by a pair of racists. Danny, a reluctant hero, is pictured here resting on a trash can shaking and trying to calm down from the nauseating adrenaline rush.
     The pair learn of the biased and illegal treatment of many migrant farm workers. They decide to do some amateur investigative work  with the help of the aunt to bring the landlords to justice.
     It is up to the diminutive,  brown skin Jig to try and get hired as a migrant worker. The real Mexicans know his Spanish is insufficient, and those who  hire day workers can see his smooth hands were not accustom to harvesting fruit and vegetables.
    The aunt, once an aspiring men's fashion designer, coaches Jig on modeling. He dons his tightest pair of jeans and and an open floral print shirt. He struts about on the same corner as the other day workers. He is eventually hired as a pool boy by the wife on one of the wealthy landlords. It turns out that one of the thugs he and Danny ran off in the back alley is their son.  He gathers a team of  men with ax handles and rope to put an end to Jig's  snooping around.
    The short story, Ten Things is in the book by the same name, TEN THINGS: BIRCH CLUMP  VILLAGE READER 4 .
By Joshua (Tim) Seidl 25 Jul, 2015

    Welcome to the Village of Birch Clump. All the children here are all above average, as Garrison Keillor would say of his Lake Woebegone. Crime is very low. The last murder was decades ago. About the worse that happens up here is for a couple of the good old country boys to have a go at each other fist-n-cuff. They patch up their differences and get along just fine after these rare public rifts.

    Compare that to some of TV’s ideal fictional small town communities. Cabot Cove of Murder She Wrote, had a killing every week; fifty-two per year. I’m surprised they didn’t run that snoopy author out of town. Little House on the Prairie had a number of murders, armed robberies and violent racist attitude towards the Native Americans.  Imagine, those shows were touted as family friendly. The worse anyone got in BC was a bloodied nose and a black eye, (well for the most part.)

    The best thing about BC is that everyone knows each other. There are times that level of familiarity is cited as the worse thing about living here. All-in-all, folks do come through for each other when needed.

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