Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Inspiration Part 18 - Junkyards

Welcome back,

It has been a while since I have written an inspiration post based off of my explorations. Well, this month I looked through my archived photos and found that I still had not posted my trip to the junkyard. Seeing as I have been going through a lot of my own junk recently, I felt it was the opportune time to share these photos.

**Please note, that junkyards are dangerous and one should not travel there without permission or supervision. These photos were taken from a safe distance, while supervised by one of the yards workers. Permission was acquired from the site’s owner, but they still would like to remain anonymous.**

A junkyard is a place where scrap is collected before being discarded, reused, or recycled. The inspiration that can be pulled from these types of locations is just as varied as the waste that you can find in it. It’s content can be anything, from old cars, appliances, tools, office supplies, toys, etc.

Take cars for examples. Junkyards can be a great place for someone to get an up and close look to a discontinued model, or a vehicle that we don’t come across that often. Granted, their conditions may be less than exemplary, but they still give us a good idea of size, shape and content. Not to mention their broken down state might be useful for describing cars in stories with severe car accidents or a post-apocalyptic setting.





           Cars are the most noticeable content in a junkyard, mainly because of the size and the space they take, but if we take the time to look around, we can find so much more. Literally tons of scrap are kept here, any piece of which could strike inspiration. Maybe you are looking for old car parts to help describe a war/junk machine like those in Mad Max, or maybe some crusty old tool that could be used as a weapon.







           Besides their overabundance of scrap, junkyard locations can serve as inspiration as well. They make great settings for a variety of stories. Maybe you need an isolated location for a superhero battle, or a hideout for an antagonist, or maybe even a symbolic refuge for a coming of age story. Junkyards can be very versatile in writing, and have been used in many different genres.






           Admittedly this was one of my favorite urban locations to explore. There was so much more I wish I could have taken pictures of, but safety (and the yard workers) demanded I avoid certain areas and keep a safe distance. Regardless, I had a great time, and hope these images have given you ideas for your next story.

Until next time.


            Patrick Osborne

Friday, March 17, 2017

By the Book - Patient Zero

Welcome back,

           In my latest book review, I will be reviewing “Patient Zero”, a novel by suspense writer Jonathan Maberry. This book is the first installment in the authors Joe Ledger series.

This book marks my first transaction in an actual book store in possibly decades, as all of my more recent book purchases have been done online. I was hoping to save this horror themed review for October, but recent events have reduced my reading time. Since I’m currently short on material to review, it will be showcased sooner rather than later.

The story follows the actions of Captain Joe Ledger, a former Army Ranger and Baltimore Detective. Joe finds himself recruited into the Department of Military Sciences (a.k.a. the DMS), a clandestine, shadow agency whose purpose is to pursue technologically advanced terrorist threats to the world at large. In this novel, the antagonist by the name of El Mujahid is leading a group of religious fanatics into creating a biological weapon that effectively turns those infected into zombies. Joe Ledger and the DMS take measures to stop El Mujahid before he can release his pathogen on the populace of Philadelphia.

Image result for patient zero

Back of the Book:
Monday, 1300 Hours: Joe Ledger kills terrorist Javad Mustapha, aka Patient Zero, with two point-blank shots from his Glock .45.
Wednesday, 0800 Hours: Patient Zero rises from the dead…

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills. Ledger, a Baltimore detective assigned to a counterterrorism task force, is recruited by the government to lead a new ultra secret rapid-response group called the Department of Military Sciences (DMS) to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies.

What I learned from this book:
  • Desperation: The author did an amazing job of instilling suspense into the story. On several occasions we can feel the desperation of the characters. Best example was when one of the characters was thinking of killing a loved one to spare them from being eaten by zombies.
  • False Lead: This story is a great example of the ‘false lead’ plot tool. At one point we discover a traitor has infiltrated the DMS. Joe and associates then try to find who the infiltrator(s) are. This trick has been seen before, but the author managed to add a small element that helps mark this situation apart from other books, by having one of the two traitors taken out at the very beginning of the story without us knowing.  
  • Major Spoiler: The best lesson I learned from this book was about advertising. I understand that promoting one's future books by adding a chapter at the end of a novel may be a common enough practice, but the content of said chapter should be held into consideration. In this case, at the end of Patient Zero, we are treated to a chapter of a following book in the Joe Ledger series. The chapter in question reveals the fate of one of the main characters in the present book, ultimately spoiling the big reveal and negating whatever effect said death would have had on the audience.

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-selling suspense author and was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. He studies martial arts, which translates into many of his works. Jonathan has worked as an anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer.

For those interested in reading more books from Jonathan Maberry, please check out his website at http://www.jonathanmaberry.com/

For those interested in learning more about the Joe Ledger series, you can check out this extensive wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Ledger_Series

In closing, I would like to thank you all for dropping by and following my blog. Your patronage and encouragement is truly appreciated.

Until next time!


            Patrick Osborne

Friday, March 10, 2017

Interview - Matthew Travagline

Welcome back,

This month we have an interview with writer and fellow gamer, Matthew Travagline. I met Mister Travagline via Facebook, and he gladly volunteered to answer some of my questions.

He was happy for the opportunity to share his knowledge, which you will find in the following interview.

Short Bio: A fantasy writer who hails from New York but resides in North Carolina. Matt attends
class at North Carolina State University working towards his bachelor’s degree in Language,
Writing and Rhetoric. When not writing or working, he enjoys a stroll through epic role-playing-

Published Works: Matthew has written a post-apocalyptic fantasy duology about an Earth so
far removed from her apocalypse that only a select few (including our bard-protagonist Gnochi)
have a working knowledge of everyday life pre-apocalypse. Matt is currently in the process of
querying for an agent’s representation. The first novel in his duology, Gleeman’s Tales is freely
available to read on Wattpad at:

Current Projects: A robot science fiction novel detailing, among other things, an experiment to
simulate the human experience in robots.

When did you begin writing?

I started writing before I was a teenager. I even got a solid fifty pages into a novel that
has not seen the light of day since *cringes*. For a while I had put aside any writing. It
was in my freshman English class that I realized I had a modicum of skill in crafting
the written word, and that others might-possibly- potentially-maybe enjoy reading what
I wrote. I can point to a single assignment. Write an additional chapter to Lois Lowry’s
The Giver.

Did you receive any special training or attend a school?

I actually had no formal training in grammar (aside from standard usage and
correction) until I took a linguistics class in the fall of 2016. I’m a native English
speaker, and grammar came easily enough to me, but try explaining why the adjective
before the noun (in a list of adjectives) is the most imperative, and I get nervous.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere: from life happening around me; from the people I know; from the people I
don’t know; from books I’ve read, and stories I’ve heard; from dreams I’ve dreamt, and
those I have still; from the seemingly insignificant, and the seemingly immeasurable.

Do you use any special resources when writing? (other books, computer programs,

I have hand-written both of my novels in (fancy) journals and plan to continue doing so
for every book I write. I find the process more engaging than simply typing on a
keyboard. Writing takes time; it takes *more* thought, for me, than typing. I also write
with a fountain pen (with cartridges, not a well; I’m not out of my mind yet), though that
is for aesthetic value more than practical value.

What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why
is it so important?

I think that when writing one’s first draft, it’s imperative to let the writing happen
without over-thinking. Don’t go back and edit after you’ve written a page. Continue on
the same train. Don’t let your creative juices stagger. Obviously there are successful
writers who might be able to write and edit in the same breath, but for a writer trying to
make their mark in the sand and learn their own style, this could save some
Sometimes when I’m writing a particularly challenging section, I’ll sit back and write a
note to my future self. Something along the lines of: Future Matt…deal with this. It’s
not worth wrecking your mojo.

What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you
overcome it?

Dedicating consistent time each day to writing is probably my biggest challenge.
Between work, school, and schoolwork, most nights I rarely have time to think about
my writing. But in order to keep chugging along, you have to make a schedule and
stick with it. Doesn’t have to be a huge amount. Even if it’s just a few hundred words a
day, it’s better than nothing.

Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)

I am attempting to query an agent now because ideally, I’d have my work published
traditionally through a publishing house.

Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?

I have not paid for an editor, but rather relied on the skills and eyes of my dozen plus
beta-readers, and the hundreds of readers on Wattpad who have perused my work. If
I am published traditionally, the house will have their own editors on staff. Should I
choose to self-publish down the road (which I am considering), I may splurge for an
editor, but by then, it will likely be as smooth as it can be.

Do you handle your own marketing?

I have a website (matthewtravagline.com) where I write about books and videogames.
When I do publish, it will become my primary marketing tool. I also write witty things
and share interesting articles on my author’s Facebook page. Though I have not
seriously marketed Gleeman’s Tales because it is still not published.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Have realistic expectations. A vast majority of books published each year will not gain
fame or notoriety. Don’t come in expecting to make big money, as it will not likely
happen. It’s a hobby, first and foremost. If you sell a few (tens/hundreds/thousand)
copies, then it becomes a hobby that might be able to pay for your coffee, or lunch
here or there. And by having realistic expectations, when you did make it big, it’ll be an
amazing surprise.

In closing, I would like to thank Matthew for doing this interview. As someone who is still in the process of finding himself as a writer, I found this information to be quite useful. I look forward to hearing more about him in the future.

Until Next time,


            Patrick Osborne

Friday, March 3, 2017

Current Projects part 26

Welcome back,

           As the month of February comes to an end, I am putting the final touches on the last room of my new house. It took over thirty days, but I finally got around to emptying the last of my boxes, meaning the move is officially complete. I am now looking forward to getting back into a routine of reading, writing and creating more art.


           Though my current ‘’mass reorganization’’ prevented me from doing much writing, it did allow me to realise a few things in terms of inspiration. Mainly, I came to realise that blank surfaces annoy me and fill me with an urge to cover them. This funny fact, coupled with empty wall space, got me thinking of what kind of wall art I would like to hang.

My plan was to look at different types of art in order to find one that appealed to me. After several days of searching, not only did I find certain styles that were interesting, but my imagination began creating its own variants. Needless to say, the need to paint, which I had not felt since my college days, has resurfaced. I am now planning out several canvases for my home, and looking forward to producing art again.

This also made me realise the importance of a proper work space. Lately, the only place I felt inspired to write was at my day job, now I’m hoping to create a peaceful environment at home which will encourage me to write more. So with that in mind, I put together an office for writing, a library for reading and a small studio for art related projects. The place is slowly starting to feel like home…

Here is a picture of my reading room.


           Even during my downtime, I try to incorporate my writing into my activities. Paying attention to everything we do, memorizing details can help when describing scenes in a story. This makes boring daily chores like washing dishes or folding laundry much more interesting, when you try to think how you would describe it while writing.

Another fun thing to do is analyzing TV shows or movies, trying to see plot tools and other story elements. Pulling inspiration from existing content can also prove fruitful. Recently I have been concentrating on TV series which serve as inspiration for the story I am presently working on. Current favorites, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Doctor Who all have the science fiction/supernatural mystery feel I am going for, as well as a healthy dose of angst.

Image result for city of titans
           As for my work with Missing Worlds Media, I got a welcomed surprise this week. I was sent a drawing of a member of the Paragon, the games main super hero team. The character in question was a hero I had a hand in creating, and seeing a visual design of my work was exciting. I can’t go into details now as the design and character are not finalized, but be sure once his announcement is official, I will be sharing it here with you.

For now, here are links to MWM updates released in February, one is lore related, the other is about world building.

Lore related:

World builder related:

           Other than that, it’s been a slow month. I managed to get a little progress on a character done, but the majority of my writing this month has been focused on blog posts, as I have been falling behind. As I am writing this, I still have not completed a single post for March, so this month may see a lot of reposting of old content. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, and will try to make up for it next month.

In closing, I would like to mention that I am still looking for authors to interview. If you, or anyone you know, is a published author and are interested in having an interview posted on my blog, feel free to contact me. The interview will focus on giving helpful information to upcoming authors and how you started in the business. It is a great opportunity to share advice you may have with other writers, as well as free publicity for your own work.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions and what type of writing article, book reviews, writing prompts, or other they would like to see in the future, feel free to contact me.

On that note, I wanted to thank you all for dropping by and I will see you at next month's progress update post.


            Patrick Osborne