Another Strange Creature…

faceHave you ever heard of Sava Savanovic? Sava was the most famous vampire in Serbia, and possibly even the first Serbian vampire on record. Recently, newspapers and media outlets in Serbia have been announcing his return. The reason for his return? The mill he once stalked has fallen down…

Sava Savanovic was commonly believed to have resided in a shack on the river Rogacica in Zorozje village, which is found in the Bajina Basta province of Serbia.

Local legend states that he would attack and drink the blood of innocent travellers and peasants who came to mill their grain in the local watermill. By all accounts, the family who eventually bought the mill were scared of using it as a mill and, instead, turned it into a tourist attraction that was open only during the day. Tourists came by the millions, and the rundown mill became one of the most profitable businesses in the area.

Unlike other vampires, though, Sava Savanovic was not killed off by peasants or by the lord of the land. He just suddenly stopped his murderous ways.

Over the years, the family wouldn’t repair the mill—they were terrified of unleashing the vampire on the local municipality; but without maintenance, it finally collapsed.

Since the mill’s ruin, local government in Serbia has ordered all locals to put a cross in their home and to keep garlic on all entrances to their homes. Those who had cashed in on the enduring popularity of vampires are now regretting ever getting involved. It is common belief in Serbia that Sava has returned to rebuild what was once his.

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Thinking, Flaws, Groups & Characters

type

The Character Thinks…

The easiest way to develop your characters’ relationships is through introspection. The best authors are able to have their characters challenge their own feelings, realize their own bonds and question their decisions. Why does one character hate another character? Why are they rivals? What would change that dynamic?

Flaws… We All Have Them

Authors argue about this all the time, but the best authors, in my opinion, give their characters strong opinions. Is having a strong opinion about something a flaw? Yes. It can be. But flaws are what makes us human, and making your character as human as possible will bring your character to life.

Groups and People…

People behave differently in groups. You can see that when you hear about mob behavior on the news. People’s decisions can alter on a dime. Non-violent people become violent. Violent people find religion, and so on. The relationships between individuals in a group are varied and make for fascinating character development. Think about it… Are you different now than you were at school? How did you behave with your friends, as opposed to the way you behave by yourself?

Befriend ambiguity…

Writers can spend pages explaining things. One of the most over-explained things is relationships. Leave it alone, and let the reader’s mind take over in the vagueness. Don’t over-explain and kill a scene with too many words.

Two Mythical Beasts From Australia You Wouldn’t Want To Meet….

Talamaur

The most famous Australian vampire is the Talamaur who could communicate with the spirit world and could make the spirits its servants to use among the living. The Talamaur was considered a living vampire.

There are stories of the Talamaur that say it originates from the Banks Island. These ancient stories tell of a vampire-like beast that can interact with ghosts and bend them to its will.
But what is the Talamaur? It was considered to be a soul that went out and ate the souls that lingered around the bodies of the deceased. In many cases, the Talamaur would actually eat the corpse after making a deal with the ghost of the dead person—the deal was that the ghost would be protected against all evils by the Talamaur.

The Talamaur was not considered to be odd or unsightly. Many people would claim to be a Talamaur and eat the corpses of the dead after death according to aboriginal legend.

vam

The Yara-ma-yha-who is an Aboriginal vampire that was said to take the form of a little red man who stood about four feet tall and had a really large head and mouth. This beast did not have any teeth and legend tells that it swallowed its food whole. According to legend, you could tell the beast by looking at its fingers and toes, which were shaped like the suckers of an octopus or squid.

The Yara-ma-yha-who apparently lived in fig trees and, unlike many western vampires, did not actively hunt for food. It just waited for victims to appear in its vicinity and then would drop on them. It would then place its hands and feet on its victim and drain the victim of their blood to the point that the victim was helpless. It would then return later to consume its victim once its hunger had returned.

After its meal, the Yara-ma-yha-who would go into a deep sleep. Upon awakening, it would then regurgitate any part of its victim that remained undigested. In many legends, the regurgitated victim would still be alive.

The Yara-ma-yha-who would be used by parents to discourage their children from wandering away from the tribe. Many legends said the Yara-ma-yha-who preyed on children, and parents would tell their children not to fight the monster—but to let it swallow them as their chances of survival were much higher that way.

Since the Yara-ma-yha-who tended to regurgitate its victims alive, people did survive its attacks. However, as the legend explains, it made them more susceptible to being attacked again in the future. Each time a person was captured by the Yara-ma-yha-who, they would shrink slightly until they were eventually the same size as the creature. It was also said that over time their skin would become very smooth, and then they would grow hair across their body and gradually be changed into a creature of the forest.

5 Steps To Writing Success

writing1111Start small

500 words per day is plenty. John Grisham began his writing career as a lawyer. He got up early every morning and wrote one page. You can do the same.

Have an outline

Write up a table of contents to guide you. Then break up each chapter into a few sections. Think of your book in terms of beginning, middle and end. Anything more complicated will get you lost. If you need help, read Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.

Have a set time to work on your book every day

If you want to take a day or two off per week, schedule that as time off. Don’t just let the deadline pass. And don’t let yourself off the hook.

Choose a unique place to write

This needs to be different from where you do other activities. The idea is to make this a special space so that when you enter it, you’re ready to work on your project.

You Have a Deadline…

It can be a word count, percentage of progress, whatever you’d like. Just have something to aim for, and someone who will hold you accountable.

Make Your New Year Resolutions Stick

new yearsIt seems like each year everyone makes New Year resolutions—and many of them manage to break them. This year I would like to share my five tips that may help you keep your resolution. Take a look and see if you can turn your good year—into a great year!

Be Realistic

The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to NEVER eat your favorite food again is setting you up to fail. Instead, strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.

Plan Ahead

Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31 arrives.

Outline Your Plan

Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad” will affect your goal.

Make That All Important “Pros” and “Cons” List

It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.

Don’t Be Afraid To Talk About It

Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.

February Fun Author Event

Hey Readers!
 
Join for a chance to meet new authors, fellow readers and tons of contests & prizes.
 
When: February 19-21, 2016 begins @ 2:45pm EST
Time: 4:15pm EST for M. L. Newman
Host: Vicki Rose

Book Bash Author Party!

What better way to start off 2016 than with a Book Bash Author Party!
When: January 8-10th, 2016
Time: January 10th, 2015 at 3:30pm EST for M.L. Newman
Host: Vicki Rose
Come to the party and possibly leave with prizes!