Tag Archives: wes phelan

SOBfuneral-pyre

How Different Cultures Deal With Their Dead

In Soul Of The Beast and Awakening Of The Beast, the bodies of the dead are cremated.  Cremation is the burning of a dead body until all that is left are ashes. This method of disposing of the dead is  used in many parts of the world, including the United States. Other common ways  in the US for dealing with the dead are burial in the ground and placing the body inside a stone structure (mausoleum, tomb, pyramid, temple). SOBnewgrang

Other practices for dealing with the dead that are less familiar or unknown in the United States and  Western cultures include:

Leaving the dead body on the ground for animals to eat.

Building a mound of earth or a pile of stones over the body.

SOB mummyMummification (preservation of the body to stop rotting) .

Sending the body out to sea on a burning ship (vikings).

Placement of the body inside a sealed cave to rot. After decomposition of the body is complete, all that remains are the bones. The bones are removed from the cave and stored separately or placed with other bones in an “ossuary”.  Wikipedia definition of ossuary is: a chest, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains.

Below are excerpts about additional  ways cultures deal with their dead. This information comes from the online website matadornetwork. Continue reading

Minolta DSC

BEGGARS

BEGGARS

In Soul of the Beast, John encounters beggars in Calcutta, India. Below is a discussion about beggars with quotes from Wikipedia .

SOBbeggar_4Beggars and Begging “have existed in human society since before the dawn of recorded history.” Begging is still common in nearly every society today with a variation in  the prevalence and exact form.

 Beggars are typically people who are unable to work because of personal problems such as handicaps, injuries and mental illness or because of a lack of jobs. They beg to obtain the basics of life: food and money. 

In the past,  governments helped beggars by forcing them into workhouses, “a state-operated institution where those unable to obtain other employment were forced to work in often grim conditions in exchange for a small amount of food. The welfare state of the 20th century [has] greatly reduced the number of beggars by directly providing for the basic necessities of the poor from state funds.”

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Volcanoes

Volcanoes are among the most amazing natural events on earth. They play a large part in Awakening of the Beast, the sequel in the Beast series. To make volcanoes come alive,  I’ve put together a photo essay on volcanic eruptions. Double-click the pictures to expand them.

SOB Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

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Social Classes of the British Empire

 

SOB Aristocrat boysAt the time of the Beast series, the British Empire had divisions between the social classes that were like impenetrable walls.  A person remained in the class into which she or he was born. Members of the upper social classes generally saw those in the lower classes as inferior and deserving of the struggles that came with their lower status.

John Sexton was born into the Knight class of the British social structure.  Mick Kelley’s father and family were in the laborer class, the lowest class.  It is sad to say, but without the extreme circumstances in his life, John would never have become mates with Mick or Zhong. There would have been no interaction between them.

Below are excerpts from Wikipedia that list the social classes of Great Britain in 1886. Continue reading

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The Lost Secret Of Greek Fire

Greek Fire plays an important part in Awakening The Beast.  It was such a devastating weapon that the recipe was a closely guarded secret. Actually, the secret was so well kept that the formula was lost and never rediscovered. Below is an excerpt from an online article about Greek Fire from www.lordsandladies.org/.

ATB Greek Fire12…There are several possible] formulas for creating Greek Fire. Some accounts suggest that petroleum and oil were used as an ingredient. Other … formulas which seems far more likely include a combination… of ingredients such as Quicklime, Saltpeter, Bitumen, Sulphur, Resin and Pitch. … This terrifying fiery substance stuck like glue to almost any surface and was nearly impossible to extinguish except with sand, salt, or urine. Throwing water alone on Greek Fire only fanned the flames. The history of Greek Fire [dates] back to the 7th century and was first used against the Arabs at their siege of Constantinople of 673. [Greek Fire was used in land and sea battles against the Arabs with devastating results.] Continue reading

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Tigers

Tigers Live In  the Himalayan Mountains as well as  rain forests, evergreen forests, mangrove swamps, grasslands, savannas, and temperate forests.

tigers1[Tigers are the] largest of all the Asian big cats…tigers typically hunt alone and depend primarily on sight and sound rather than smell …to stalk prey. A tiger can consume up to 88 pounds of meat at one time…tigers give birth to 2-3 cubs every 2-2.5 years. If all the cubs in one litter die, a second litter may be produced within 5 months.

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typewriter

WRITING A (good) NOVEL!

 

Dragon eyeThese writing tips are from an unusual source; a guy who studied nothing but science in college and never had an English or writing course (other than the mandatory Freshman English). I also never seriously wrote anything until I was in my 30’s. I have written four novels, and one of them, Soul of the Beast, has been published by both Clemson University Digital Press and Amazon.com.  

Now on to my TIPS…

Have a story worth telling.

Write what you want to write.

Write about what you know. If you don’t know something, you can learn about it. (i.e.-Google it) Continue reading

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QUOTES FROM AWAKENING THE BEAST

QUOTES FROM AWAKENING THE BEAST

Awakening the Beast, the sequel to Soul of the Beast, has been completed. It answers all the unanswered questions in the first book. Awakening the Beast is currently being prepared for publishing on Amazon.com. Below are quotes from the book and a taste of what the book offers.

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I will take your hearts. Then you will watch as I offer your gifts to my god.

Fool, you say the words, but you do not understand.

It was like a monster engulfing the ship.

We cannot wait …We must save ourselves.

When there’s only one choice, you choose it.

I cannot explain what I do not understand.

The blackened trees were like tortured souls in frozen agony.ATBArabian-Horse

In the desert, to share water is to share life.

That was never my destiny.

Like a sea of locusts, they devour everything in their path.

Her body moved in and out of curves to music only she could hear, music her face said was beautiful beyond words. Continue reading

Tutankhamun Coffin

What is Archeology?

What is Archeology?

Archeology is the study of ancient cultures and people. Below are excerpts  from Wikipedia.

Archeology… is the recovery and [study of what ancient cultures left behind. This includes bones, pieces of pottery, statues, figurines, buildings, pictures.] Archeology studies human prehistory and history from the development of the first stone tools… 4 million years ago up until recent decades.  

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 First excavations

SOBstonehengeOne of the first sites to undergo archeological excavation, was Stonehenge and other megalithic (big stone) monuments in England….

Excavations were also carried out in the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of which had been covered by ashes during the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. …[the towns were complete with] utensils… human shapes,and ancient frescos, (wall paintings)…

Development of the archeological method

William Flinders Petrie… was the first to scientifically investigate the Great Pyramid in Egypt  … Petrie developed the system of dating layers based on pottery and ceramic findings…[and trained] a whole generation of Egyptologists, including Howard Carter who went on to [discover] the tomb of… pharaoh Tutankhamun

The first… excavation to reach wide popularity [was the discovery] of ancient Troy…by Heinrich Schliemann…Archaeology became a professional activity in the first half of the 20th century [when it became] possible to study archaeology as a subject in universities … By the end of the 20th century nearly all professional archaeologists, at least in developed countries, were graduates.

Troy

SOB Union Jack2

What is the British Empire?

WHAT IS THE BRITISH EMPIRE?

The British Empire is the world of Soul of the Beast, and the greatest empire on earth in its day . Below are excerpts from an online article about the empire from New World Encyclopedia. Click the link to read the full article.

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The British Empire is the most extensive empire in world history and for a time was the foremost global power. …By 1921, the British Empire ruled a population of [approximately 500] million people… one-quarter of the world’s population. It covered about 14.3 million square miles [which is], about a quarter of Earth‘s total land area. …The British Empire was… “the empire on which the sun never sets” …[because] the empire’s span across the globe ensured that the sun was always shining on at least one of its numerous colonies.

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