Blessings of a Curse - 2015 Usa Edition
Foreword

This is the USA Edition, which uses American Imperial (Standard) units of measurement. A Metric edition is also available.

This is a very big book, bigger than most three-book trilogies, yet most of my readers tend to blast through it in the shortest time possible and then search for the sequel, which is now available.

With this edition, we’ve gone to great lengths to produce the very finest possible version of this book, but it’s impossible to make it perfect for everyone.

Many who liked the book otherwise complained that there was too much detail, but even more complimented me for including as much rich detail as I have, so I haven’t changed that.

Those who read fantasy primarily for the action should be aware that there’s enough action sequences in this novel to fill most paperbacks by themselves, but most of them take place in the last third of the book.

In order to give each character a distinct personality, often it’s necessary to have each of them speak with their own individual manner. Often this doesn’t conform perfectly with Proper English, especially in the cases of children and those speaking a second language, though it’s always easily understandable.

Other elements of my style that the reader should note are my use of italics to indicate quoted sentences that are telepathically or psionicly communicated. For example;

It’s wonderful to be able to think with you, mind-to-mind.” she responded.

I use the same MS Word files for both eBooks and paper books, and paper book printers don’t like bold or underlined text, so I also use italics occasionally to indicate words that are spoken with intensity. For example;

“You are absolutely out of your mind!” he growled.

If a sentence is already italicized because it’s a telepathic communication, any words in that sentence that are communicated with extra intensity will be indicated by being non-italicized, for example;

That’s all a bunch of crap, and you know it.” she psionicly reprimanded him.

I use ALL CAPITALS occasionally to indicate yelling or great loudness, whether the words are spoken or telepathic; volume and intensity being distinct qualities.

In this story, many common words are also the names of magic spells, such as Sending, Flight, and Speaking, or have traditionally had highly religious connotations like The Source, and those words are capitalized to indicate this.

Since languages began, they have constantly changed and evolved. The advents of written language, printing, and language standardization all slowed language evolution, but it still goes on. Sometimes the resulting conventions that make up ‘proper English’ don’t make a lot of sense, and they are slightly different in every English-speaking country. In most of these cases I’ve caved and used the conventions anyway in order to avoid irritating my readers who are sensitive about these things, like writing ‘seven thousand, three hundred and fifty-five’. It makes no sense that the compound words for numbers up to one hundred are hyphenated, like fifty-five, and the others aren’t, like three thousand. But I go with it anyway.

However, there is one English convention that I absolutely refuse to follow because it distorts the emotional connotations of the writing. I’ll point it out one here so that you’ll know that it’s not a mistake; I’m doing it on purpose.

If a quoted sentence is a question or an exclamation, it is conventionally written as a complete sentence within quotations, for example;

“Get down!” she yelled. Or;

“Is that right?” he asked.

However if a sentence that would normally end in a period is a quotation, correct English says that it should be ended with a comma. For example;

“I live here,” he said.

But the comma makes it a sentence fragment rather than a complete sentence, and leaves the reader hanging, giving a different emotional feel to the writing compared to the way I would write it, which is;

“I live here.” he said.

I only use a comma to end a quotation if it truly is a sentence fragment, because the sentence was interrupted where a comma would normally go. For example;

“I live here,” he said, “And you’re not welcome.”

I suppose in that case I shouldn’t capitalize the word ‘and’, since it’s not really the first word in a sentence, but it bugs me if I don’t.

It’s hard to change what is considered Correct English, but I hope that other writers who read my books will agree with me about these points and do the same in their own writing, and that eventually doing it our way will be considered correct.

Wayne Edward Clarke, January 21, 2015.

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