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From “The Red Planet” to the “Final Chapter”, you will travel from Earth to Mars to Orion & back, thus the title.

“Bookmark or print this post as a frame of reference.”


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Indiana Jones Artifacts

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Top 10 Indiana Jones Artifacts (Not Found In The Movies)


In the Indiana Jones universe, there are many “artifacts,” such as the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail, that Indy searches for on his quest to never have to teach a class ever again. In his “expanded universe” however, there was a much more diverse set of artifacts than what the movies limited him to. We examine those in this following list.

10. Thomas Edison’s Electric Car


It is a historical fact that Thomas Edison worked on a battery powered by electricity for the Electric Vehicle Company. As a matter of fact, the Electric Vehicle Company was once the largest producers of automobiles in the United States. Don’t get too excited, they were mostly all for lease or rent. In the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, there was an episode titled “Princeton, 1916.” The show starts with an elderly Indiana Jones looking at a monster truck, before reminiscing about meeting Thomas Edison and the time he helped to stop German spies from breaking in to Edison’s old laboratory and making off with his electric motor.

9. Golden Mask of the Ramploo Elephant


In African societies of the 19th century, Elephant Masks would often denote a member of a royal society or the messenger/emissary of a royal. The masks were rare, but did in fact exist. Often, the masks would be painted red and have colorful beads to show wealth, as well as the ability to negotiate purchases. Often, the wearer of an elephant mask would wear a black robe, which would mean that they could even interact between the living and the dead.

In 1987, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style adventure, entitled Indiana Jones and the Mask of the Elephantset Indy off on an adventure to find the fabled Golden Mask of the Ramploo Elephant. The Golden Mask was made of actual gold and bespectacled with jewels. Jones’ ability to find the mask depended on how well you navigated the choices in the book. According to the book’s legend, the Mask was made in order to ward off the spirit of a gigantic elephant.

8. The Great Machine of the Tower Of Babel

indy-n64-gameThe Book Of Genesis, Chapter 11, refers briefly to the Tower of Babel. As an affront to God, the Tower of Babel is destroyed, and the people who made it are confounded with different languages and forced to spread out among the Earth. In the game Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Jones gets a possible idea of why the Tower needed to be destroyed. The Infernal Machine is actually divided into four parts. The assembled machine was in the heart of the Tower of Babel. In the game, when the parts were assembled they could reach out to the realm of the God Marduk.

7. Cup of Djemsheed


The 1984 “Find Your Fate” adventure Indiana Jones and the Cup of the Vampire may have foreshadowed a bit the eventual plot of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Cup of Djemsheed is a cup of the vampire Vlad Tepes, better known as Dracula. The cup of blood (something like an anti-Grail) has the same effect as the Grail. and his book was published a half decade before the movie. There were several endings, including one which Indiana Jones found the fabled Cup of the Vampire. However, recovering the item also caused Dracula to be resurrected.

6. The Knife of Cain


In the 1990 book Young Indiana Jones and the Secret City, Indiana Jones comes into contact with the Knife of Cain. Supposedly, this was the object that Cain used to slay Abel in Genesis, Chapter 4. The exact verse states “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” There is no mention of a knife anywhere, but there had to be some method that the murder was carried out in. And, since guns didn’t exist back then, and a rock would have been too much of a pain, we can presume a knife did Abel in.

5. The Spear of Destiny


In April to July of 1995, Dark Horse Comics published Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny. Sometimes referred to as the Holy Lance, this is the spear that pierced Christ during the crucifixion. In the comic, there is a race to assemble the Spear between the Nazis (who have the tip) and Jones (who must find the rest.)  The plot is not all that dissimilar from the made-for-television movie The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. Of course, you would have to factor in that the television movie was released nearly a full ten years after the Indiana Jones comic.

4. The Philosopher’s Stone


If the title Indiana Jones and the Philosopher’s Stone sounds a bit familiar, then remember that the book was released in 1995, a full two years before the initial release date in Britain of J.K. Rowling’s book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The object is the same in both books. The Philosopher’s Stone in McCoy’s novel turns lead to gold, as well as grants eternal life. Indiana Jones and the Philosopher’s Stone also begins in London, England as well. There is a chance that maybe McCoy should think about writing books about boy wizards.

3. Eye of the Fates


In Greek Mythology, witches are referred to as the Graeae (or grey ones.)  The witches have a mystical eye that they pass around to see not only their surroundings, but into the greater world as well. In the legend of Perseus, the Eye is alternately telling of where to find the objects to kill the Gorgon Medusa, or just where to find Medusa herself. In the “Find Your Fate” adventure Indiana Jones And The Eye of the Fates, Dr. Jones is on a quest to find the legendary eye, and may do so, with your help of course.

2. The Golden Fleece


In antiquity, the Golden Fleece was the fleece of a golden winged ram. In order to ascend to his kingdom, the hero Jason must recover the Golden Fleece by order of the King Pelias. The story was current in the time of Homer and, unlike Ray Harryhausen’s vision, included no mention of any type of army of skeletons. To be fair though, the army of skeletons was a wonderful touch. The Fleece held the promise that any army holding it could not be conquered. In order to stop the Nazis from having an assurance of eternal victory, Jones finds the Fleece in the two-issue comic book Indiana Jones and the Golden Fleece. Man, Indy dealt with Nazis more than we did. Too bad he wasn’t real; if he were, World War II would have been over in a month.

1. The Lost City of Atlantis


Ever since the time of Plato, there have been legends associated with the lost city of Atlantis. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was released as a comic by Dark Horse in 1991. LucasArts turned around and released a video game associated with Indy finding the lost city, in 1992. Since the franchise was fresh off the success of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, there was a belief by many fans that they were looking at the potential script for Indiana Jones 4. We all found out, a mere 16 years later, that this was not to be the case.

Of course, now Disney owns Lucasfilm, as well as the rights to the Jones character. Who knows what will happen next? Finding the lost underwater city of Atlantis, as well as all its secrets, certainly seemed more plausible than a bunch of crystal skulls that proved aliens existed.

Indiana Jones Artifacts

Historic Fiction (Hi Fi)

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Oscar Wilde

“Anybody can make history; only a great man can write it.”

― Oscar Wilde

David A. Lottes

“I decided to write the book I wanted to read”
― David A. LottesOuabache
Alexandre Dumas

“True, I have raped history, but it has produced some beautiful offspring.”

― Alexandre Dumas


Lauren Willig

“Whether I like it or not, most of my images of what various historical periods feel, smell, or sound like were acquired well before I set foot in any history class. They came from Margaret Mitchell, from Anya Seton, from M.M. Kaye, and a host of other authors, in their crackly plastic library bindings. Whether historians acknowledge it or not, scholarly history’s illegitimate cousin, the historical novel, plays a profound role in shaping widely held conceptions of historical realities.”
― Lauren Willig

Historic Fiction

Hi Fi

Gwen’s Bookshelf

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Marcus Tullius Cicero

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
Jane Austen

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane Austen

Groucho Marx

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
― Groucho MarxThe Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx
Mark Twain

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
― Mark Twain



Wrapping Up a Story

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Harper Lee

“Daylight…In my mind, the night faded. It was daytime and the neighborhood was busy. Miss Stephenie Crawford crossed the street to tell the latest to Miss Rachel. Miss Maudie bent over the azaleas.
It was summertime, and two children scampered down the sidewalk toward a man approaching in the distance. The man waved, and the children raced each other to him. It was still summertime, and the children came closer. A boy trudged down the sidewalk dragging a fishingpole behind him. A man stood waiting with his hands on his hips. Summertime, and his children played in the front yeard with their friend, enacting a strange little drama of their own invention.
It was fall and his children fought ont he sidewalk in front of Mrs. Dubose’s. The boy helped his sister to her feet and they made their way home. Fall, and his children trotted to and fro around the corner, the day’s woe’s and triymph’s on their face. They stopped at an oak tree, delighted, puzzled apprehensive.
Winter, and his children shivered at the front gate, silhouetted against a blazing house. Winter and a man walked into the street, dropped his glasses, and show a dog.
Summer, and he watched his children’s heart break.
Autumn again, and Boo’s children needed him.”
― Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird

Samuel Johnson

“My congratulations to you, sir. Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good. ”

― Samuel Johnson

Mark Twain

“Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use.”
― Mark Twain

Wrapping Up A Story


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Frank Herbert

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”
― Frank Herbert

Lemony Snicket

“The end of THE END is the best place to begin THE END, because if you read THE END from the beginning of the beginning of THE END to the end of the end of THE END, you will arrive at the end.”

― Lemony SnicketThe End

C. JoyBell C.

“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!”

― C. JoyBell C.

Yevgeny Zamyatin

“A man is like a novel: until the very last page you don’t know how it will end. Otherwise it wouldn’t be worth reading.”

― Yevgeny ZamyatinWe


Fictional Fun

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Ann Brashares

“I do believe that characters in novels belong to their writers and their readers pretty equally. I’ve learned a lot of things about the characters I write from people who read about them. Readers expand them in ways I don’t think of and take them to places I can’t go.”

Ann Brashares

Fictional Fun


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J.D. Salinger

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him/her up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

―    J.D. Salinger,    The Catcher in the Rye

THE END — You can’t have a good book without a good one


THE END – You can’t have a good book without one

My (Author) client has shared the ending of her book. As a consultant I can only offer guidance. Below is her email to me:

Subject: End

Date: 12/7/2012 12:24:10 A.M. Central Standard Time

From: Mc(Author)


Dear Gwenny—

     Thank you for your help and encouragement. I would not have gotten past the 2nd chapter of “LOVE in THE HAMPTONS”  without your encouragement and $500 fee. Below is how my book ends; a real shocking cliffhanger heart-stopper.

     Doctor Wilfred Jones is found dead on the 13th hole at the SEASIDE COUNTRY CLUB from signs of blunt-force trauma. Nurse Brittany disappears on the way home from work with her i-phone missing, but not her purse. Mrs. Manchester is in a hospice, dying a slow death from an unknown toxin found in her coffee maker. Thad and Daphne are cruising on the Madagascar Sea when their ship COSTA FAVALOSA is captured by Somali Pirates. COSTA CRUISE LINES cannot afford the ransom because of the COSTA CONCORDIA disater. 4,252 passengers and crew are hostage at an unknown location in Mogadishu. President of the US,  Hilary Clinton sends the 7th Fleet to rescue the hostages and take over Somalia because of its strategic location at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

What do ya think?


My response tomorrow in “Writing is Fun-damental”.

Fiction Writers Beware!

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Fiction Writers Beware

There is a trap lurking on the outside perimeter of your creative garden; you cannot see it, nor does it have a scent. But it is audible and it comes in the form of the “next big thing”.

You had previously started a book, let’s call it Love in The Hamptonsand you are on page 42. It’s an OK story about an affair between a New York socialite and her much younger gynecologist. You’ve made your outline about the story, know it book worthy, but the fresh steam of a once torrid affair is losing its fizz.

On your right shoulder, speaking into you ear you hear, “What about that other idea you had?”

You answer that voice, “You mean the story about murder & mayhem in Tanzania?”

Now on your left shoulder comes a voice of reason, “Remember what Gwen told about sticking with it?”

I will give you the night to think it over.