A Writer’s Guide to Firearms: Rifles

Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a guest post by my author friend, William R. Bartlett. It continues his discussion of all things firearms. It was originally scheduled for earlier in the month, but we decided to push it back because of the horrific events in Florida. Even though nothing we share here could have affected that tragic event, I must stress that this series is only meant to help writers improve their writing and not to glorify weapons in any way.

You can check out the rest of the series on firearms here. Today, Bill explains how rifles work and describes some common writing blunders. Enjoy and bookmark! 

A Writer’s Guide to Firearms by William R. Bartlett

Part 4: Rifles

Definition

Rifles | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Several early examples of rifles. Source: Pinterest

A rifle is a firearm that comes with a shoulder stock and spiral grooves cut within the bore of the barrel. The grooves…

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Dar de Sfântul Valentin

valenanchor

– În două săptămâni e Sfântul Valentin. Dacă vom primi ceva, noi ce le dăm cavalerilor noştri?

– Câte o felicitare cu o dedicaţie muzicală în ea. Iar tu, dacă ai fi mai îndrăzneaţă, ţi-aş sugera să-i scrii câteva rânduri în limba lui.

– De parcă aş fi bună la scrisori în vreo limbă! Talentul literar e al tău, nu al meu. Deşi… ştiu că i-ar plăcea. Țin să te anunţ că mă ajută la teme la spaniolă. L-am rugat o dată să-mi facă o compunere, dar n-a vrut. Mi-a corectat-o la sfârşit, însă am gândit şi am scris-o împreună. Se mira tipa de la cofetăria din Mariposa cum se transformase masa aceea în atelier literar. De atunci a luat-o în serios, că pot să învăţ mai repede cu el. I-a spus şi ei – o cheamă Leti şi e verişoara lui Ángel, picadorul – să îmi vorbească doar în spaniolă.

– Mă bucur! Are dreptate. La fel ţi-aş fi făcut. Poate aşa are şanse să se lipească limba asta de tine.

Dacă tot dădeam sfaturi, eu am tradus în spaniolă, cum mă pricepeam, o poezie de Nicolae Labiş, care, consideram eu, mă caracteriza întrutotul. I se alătura un mic dar original, împreună cu povestea lui, tot din ţara mea îndepărtată: păstrasem un mărţişor, aducător de noroc, pe care mi-l trimisese într-un plic o prietenă de acasă. Ceva ce nu exista pe continentul acesta – şi cheia unei inimi poate fi în egală măsură prietenia sau dragostea.

José, plăcut surprins de talismanul deosebit şi de povestea acestuia, l-a admirat, l-a pus în plasticul în care îşi ţinea abonamentul de autobuz, apoi m-a luat în braţe şi mi-a mulţumit cu un cântec. Pentru el, orice era important avea o dedicaţie muzicală. Nu mă aşteptasem să primesc de la el… nu o scrisoare de dragoste, ci o operă de cercetare teologică, scrisă cu litere alese, înflorite (el făcea desen tehnic la şcoa-lă) pe o pagină ca de manuscris medieval.

– M-am gândit la un dar de suflet pentru tine. Eu am, de fapt, mai mulţi sfinţi – de ce n-ai avea şi tu? Sunt cei cărora le porţi numele oricum. Dacă nimeni nu ţi i-a dăruit până acum, o fac eu. Ai nume frumos, ţi se potriveşte.

José mă auzise cândva protestând în faţa fetelor „că n-am alt sfânt decât Fecioara din Guadalupe, a cărei ocrotire mi-o oferiseră ele” şi se documentase prin ceasloave despre sfinţi catolici şi ortodocşi, izvodind poveştile adevărate ale celor ce-mi fuseseră desemnaţi ocrotitori încă de la botez:

Numele de Emilia vine din limba greacă şi înseamnă gingăşie.

Biserica ortodoxă sărbătoreşte la 18 iulie pe sfântul martir Emilian de la Durostor, care a pătimit în timpul persecuţiei dezlănţuite de împăratul Flavian Apostatul la jumătatea secolului IV. Acesta era oştean în armata romană şi a distrus statuile din templu, când conducătorii lui îl obligaseră să venereze zeii. Aruncat fiind în foc, a ieşit de acolo nevătămat, spre slava lui Dumnezeu. Mulţi au crezut atunci.

În calendarul catolic, pe 17 iunie este celebrată Sfânta Emilia Vialard, împreună cu Sfântul Manuel. A fost o sfântă luptătoare din vremea Revoluţiei Franceze. A întemeiat un ordin de călugăriţe misionare ale carităţii.

18 iunie, este dedicată Sfintei Emilia din Cappadocia, o creştină cu viaţă exemplară, care a trăit în secolul IV. A fost mama a cinci sfinţi, cel mai important, atât pentru ortodocşi cât şi pentru catolici, fiind Sfântul Vasile cel Mare.

Împietrisem de emoţie încă înainte să descopăr în plic şi o iconiţă a uneia dintre sfinte. Destule sărutări şi îmbrăţisări ne-au pecetluit schimbul de daruri. Ce inimioare de ciocolată sau de pluş, ce flori – darul acesta, de suflet şi de credinţă, era mult mai preţios. Mă amuza şi ideea că Manuel, preferatul meu dintre cei „mijlocii” (că mici erau Paquito şi Jorge) avea aceeași zi onomastică.

– Unde ai găsit povestea sfântului ortodox? nu mi-am putut eu stăpâni curiozitatea şi mirarea. Durostor este în Bulgaria, peste Dunăre de patria mea. Aşa cum Arizona a fost cândva parte din Mexic, Durostor a făcut parte din țara mea.

– Am un unchi preot. A fost suficient să-l întreb dacă este adevărat că tu n-ai sfânt, ca să-mi pună un dicţionar mare în brațe. Mă gândesc oricum la tine; măcar să nu-ţi oftez numele în pustiu, ci cu folos! Inima mea ţi-am dăruit-o demult; în ziua unui sfânt care-i ocroteşte pe îndrăgostiţi, de ce să nu-ţi ofer trei sfinţi ocrotitori, nu unul?

(fragment din romanul “Prietenii dreptății”, care va fi lansat în luna aprilie 2018)

Sena People of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

A people I am going to write about… most likely, next year!

Africani Sankofa

Sena People of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
They can be found in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe they are part of the Niger- Congo family and related to the Yao People, Lomwe People and Tumbuka People according to Anthropologist the Sena traced their origins and came from Mozambique then entered in Malawi through the South and settled in the Lower Shire area in Chikwawa and Nsanje district. Their cultures were between the two large cultures of the Shona and Chewa Culture according to Anthropologist Isaacman they lived mainly in the Zambezi River Valley and they represented an admix of people exhibiting most of the Characteristic of the Shona Culture but not all of them but most of them later the Portuguese arrived in 1498 in Mozambique there was a Portuguese Explorer named Vasco da Gama the first European who reached India by sea during Voyage to India from 1497-1499 he was…

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A Greek legend

Gorgona

Marina didn’t know about pagan gods, who had been buried into oblivion by the Christianism in Greece, and about the heroes, there were legends circulating from an island to another. These legends were her favourites, but they were far simpler than the original ones, of course. And the one about the mermaid in whom all the Greek sailors believed was the one reminding her about “Colomba” and her family.

”I promised you a story too, and I’ll tell you my favourite one, about a mermaid. Once upon a time, there was a great king in my country, you’d name him Alexander. King Alexander conquered almost all the world, this is why people called him THE GREAT. He gathered all the wise men from the occupied lands and asked them if they knew a solution that he could live longer and keep his strength, because he still had some countries to take over, and all of them to be converted into an unitary empire, each nation learning from the other. 

The wise men looked at each other, because only a few chosen ones knew the answer: it was difficult, but not impossible for such a brave king. He needed to obtain the Immortal Water from the edge of the world, in the place where two mountains were endlessly moving, actually fighting like two rams, head to head. Many princes and knights had attempted to get it and failed, dying caught between the two fighting mountains. And if they succeeded to cheat the mountains, they were killed by the one-hundred-eyes sleepless dragon who guarded the water spring. 

King Alexander did not need any other challenge, he decided to try his luck and obtain it. He had a cherished good horse, as quick as the wind, and riding it, armed with his best weapons, he arrived to the edge of the world, where the mountains were fighting, opening and closing their heads so suddenly that no bird could fly between them. But his strong horse succeeded, however without his tail, which remained caught between the mountains. Then he prepared his bow and quickly sent the arrows to the dragon’s eyes, giving afterwards the finishing coup with his sword. So he killed the dragon, took water in his cask, watered his horse and washed his face from the beast’s blood. The mountains, on the road back home, weren’t as dangerous anymore. 

The wise men had told him to keep the water for when he is hurt in a battle, for a miraculous recovery to impress all his enemies. Perhaps this was his mistake, because when he went home, he kept the cask with Immortal Water without telling anybody what was there. 

His sister, Gorgona, found it and drank it. When the king checked, after a while, the cask was empty, so he got angry and asked what happened. His sister confessed. Mad on her, he threw her out of the window. The castle had view at the sea, so she got into the water. But she couldn’t die anymore, as she had drunk the Immortal Water. From princess of the conquered world, in her brother’s shadow, she became the princess of the sea, its ultimate ruler. She has a big palace on the bottom of the sea, full with treasures, and the most beautiful guards. From having spent so much time in the water, swimming quickly from a corner to the other of oceans and seas, her beautiful feet got transformed into a fish tail, or maybe a dolphin’s. 

At sunset, after a storm, the sailor on watch of any ship on any sea might see her on a rock, or rising from a wave, combing her hair with a gold comb, and looking into a gold-plated mirror. Good seamen, pray do tell me, is King Alexander still alive? Is my brother still the King of the World? she asks with a sweet voice.

Sometimes, the sailor laughs with contempt, telling the truth:  I have heard of no King Alexander in this world. He died more than one thousand years ago. Then, in deep anger, Gorgona throws her comb, moves her tail, and the waves grow, the storm starts again, with greater fury, and the biggest wave sinks the ship, not giving back any man or goods aboard. She takes everything.”

Marina looked at him and ended her story with the optimistic part:

Sometimes the sailor on watch knows what to answer, and he bows in front of her respectfully: Hail, o, Princess of the Seas, your brother is ruling in peace for many happy years, but unfortunately his country has no seas. Then, the uncomforted sister gets happy, extends her arms to embrace the ship and save it, lets her black hair free on the water and the wave is appeased. The whole crew hears her beautiful song of praise for her brother, and they are protected from any sea-related harm.”

Marina stopped again, sighing. Gorgona took all her family, and not even in exchange of the wrong answer. Little Dora was now her companion, her brother, her father and uncles among her guards… Was aunt Lena the leading cook there too?

She might take any sailor she wants, even without asking. No question was asked to anyone aboard “Colomba”, my family’s ship,” she said with a choking voice. “She is the queen of the seas, she has this right and sometimes she uses it just because.”

– THE END –