Dissection of a Misanthrope

The Writing Diary of M Brace DeFreak

Pruning the Word Tree

After trying the Expresso app, I downloaded an active verbs list and restructured a few sentences. My recommendation for tackling such issues is to chart the word frequency and try to reduce the number of menial words. You can see in the word cloud above, I use ‘about’ a lot and not many words can act as a substitute. ‘Want’ and ‘need’ are often interchangeable words, so I need a solid third option.

The verb list suggests these options for ‘need’ — require demand exact claim (see WANT)

My main character becomes more demanding as she grows in power so I may opt for ‘demand’, in the latter half of the novel. The other options depend on the fit inside a sentence, sometimes the other options seem awkward. If character names become the most prominent features of the word cloud, I should be in good shape. The name of my main character’s diary also shows up a lot.

My use of a fertility cult explains the use of some words. I often feature a leader and a follower, so answers to the affirmative show up a lot.

Milking The Duke

I created my own origin for the Russian Belle, Jacksonville’s rowdier brothel owner. Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia went on a celebrity tour of the US, in 1867. He apparently had an eye for the ladies, so I had one of my Mata Hara girls milk him. The Russian fleet sailed out of Pensacola, 1872, so I have my attachment to Florida.

My fictional cult specializes in milking the rich and famous. I call the Russian Belle the rowdier brothel Madam because Cora Crane was more famous due to her marriage to Stephen Crane, the famed author of the  Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage. Cora Crane is in my fictional cult, too, but the Russian Belle pays a bigger role. My book trailer uses the slide on the left.

Images from Wikimedia with the following credits:

Title: A well-dressed client inspects the prostitutes at a brothel
Description A well-dressed client inspects the prostitutes at a brothel
General Collections Keywords: Sex
Credit line: Wellcome Trust logo.svg
This file comes from Wellcome Images, a website operated by Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in the United Kingdom. Refer to Wellcome blog post (archive).
This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.
References Library reference: GC REQUEST Med. XWM
Photo number: L0049215
Full Bibliographic Record:

Description: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia
Source: from the book: the camera and the Tsars (published 2006)
Date: unknown; no later than 1908
Author: unknown

Jaquentas, the dwarf

Jaquentas is to ‘jackass’ as Don Quixote is to ‘donkey.’  I couldn’t find a name for the dwarf who came with Pedro Hernandez and helped found St. Augustine, Florida, so I used a bit of imperfect wordplay to create a name.

Cross and Sword’, by American playwright Paul Green, is the state play of Florida and inspired the symbolization. Green’s play features the same events I allude to in the two slides taken from my book trailer — Menendez masquerading the French Huguenots which gave Matanzas its name.

Native Americans tried to marry off a chief’s daughter to Menendez, but he was already married and the offer wasn’t the younger and prettier daughter which may have swayed Menendez’s decision. I decided to marry off the dwarf. Many cultures associate Little People with the gods and this link helped  Cortes conquer the Aztecs with a handful of men. Superstitions are powerful things. I can’t say for sure that Florida’s natives were swayed by the dwarf, but it’s possible.

The Expresso App and Weak Verbs

My review 2/5 stars. See how this app highlighted commonly used words and common phrasing, in this excerpt:

The Expresso app finds weak verbs, but it flags words that I don’t consider a problem. Prowritngaid hates some of these words, too, but it highlights the overuse and I’m not overusing verbs in this clip the Expresso app highlighted. Using another app to check my work would help me concentrate as I attempt another round of editing, but I’m a bit overwhelmed by this app. Highlighting commonly used words does not help. As an app for creative writing — it fails, but it may help with a research paper.

Even though I don’t like this app, I may still use it. It still highlights sentences that may need revision, but it also highlights way too many sentences that don’t. The app still prompts me to review potential problems. Prowritingaid and Grammarly are far better apps for a creative writer.

Why The Prostitute Came To Rollestown

My book trailer focuses on the backstory of my fictional fertility cult. I often describe my cult as a Mata Hari cult; they play cards with their feminine wiles; they play for high stakes, but the game occasionally backfires. This painting by Wouter Crabeth II happened to tell the story I envisioned – a prostitute, listed on the Harris List of Covent Garden Ladies, who needs to escape to the colonies.

Denys Rolle built the colony of Rollestown, in what is now Palatka, Florida. Other colonists didn’t care for the fold Rolle brought to farm the land. They say he brought prostitutes, so I adopted them into my fictional fertility cult.

Image from Wikimedia with the following credits:

Artist: Wouter Crabeth II (circa 1594/1595–1644) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q759831
Title Card players. wikidata:Q22084423
Date second quarter of 17th century
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions 134.7 × 169 cm (53 × 66.5 in)
Current location
National Museum in Warsaw (MNW) Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata:Q153306
2nd floor
Accession number M.Ob.531 (129589)
Object history 1948: purchased by National Museum in Warsaw (MNW) from Tadeusz Kijewski
Inscriptions Signature: W. Crabeth f.
Jan Białostocki, Michał Walicki (1955). Malarstwo europejskie w zbiorach polskich, 1300-1800. PIW, p. 501

The Russian Belle Greets Carrie Nation To Her Saloon/Brothel

Carrie A. Nation, the prohibitionist, was famous for ravaging saloons with a hatchet; male barkeeps had a “don’t strike a woman’ issue — The Russian Belle had a different policy. No pictures of the Russian Belle survived so I altered the portrait of Russian Empress Anna Ivanova because she keeps the Russian theme and she dressed as brothel owner might dress. The face had to go, though; look up the original picture and ponder her likeness to John Goodman, the actor from Roseanne.

The Russian Belle truly did run Carrie Nation away, but I only suspect she used a gun to trump Nation’s hatchet. I may have run across of the name of the brothel, but I need to research it again. There was a saloon named, Falstaff, and I may use that name if need be. The image comes from my book trailer; I recruited The Russian Belle to my fictional fertility cult. She’s got a major role in the history of the cult.

The original image comes from Wikimedia with credits, as seen below. I shrunk the Empress’ breasts because I found them distracting; she had a set of humdingers.

Description: Historical Mixed Media Figure of Russian Empress Anna Ivanova produced by artist/historian George S. Stuart and photographed by Peter d’Aprix. This image, from the George S. Stuart Gallery of Historical Figures® archive ( is provided for all uses with appropriate attribution. Any derivatives must be shared in the same manner. Contributor mharrsch is webmaster for the gallery site
Date 6 January 2009
Author George S. Stuart, sculptor, Peter d’Aprix, photographer
(Reusing this file)
OTRS Wikimedia
This work is free and may be used by anyone for any purpose. If you wish to use this content, you do not need to request permission as long as you follow any licensing requirements mentioned on this page.
Wikimedia has received an e-mail confirming that the copyright holder has approved publication under the terms mentioned on this page. This correspondence has been reviewed by an OTRS member and stored in our permission archive. The correspondence is available to trusted volunteers as ticket #2009012110028387.
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Dwarf Barbie is a bad-ass killing machine

I’m not Tycho Brahe; I don’t have a psychic dwarf hanging out in the next room, so I used a digitally modified Barbie, in my book trailer. Most of my images come from works of art, but I didn’t have a public domain image that would properly represent a modern-day female dwarf, so I settled for Barbie. This is the last storyboard scene in the book trailer; the book cover is obviously shown last, but I wouldn’t call that a storyboard scene.

The old Tommy-gun seemed appropriate because I often compare little Alice to Al Capone. My fertility cult has mob ties and you gotta admit Barbie sometimes has a hooker vibe going on. What profession do you think fertility cult girls would favor? Many are actresses and models, but hooker is always a part-time profession.

Other than this blog, I generally avoid social media. Releasing the novel and the book trailer will force me to adapt. There’s a burnout tendency, in regard to editing. My novel probably needs another round of editing but I’m burnt. My release date will probably happen in a moment of whimsy.

Using the OpenShot video editor to create a book trailer – 3 out of 5 stars

I’ve tried other video editors, but this one is the most intuitive for me. Lesson one — rename every slide because the way the program defaults a name — it will dump a slide and replace it with a duplicate of another. The app needs a hover over preview feature, but for a free open source program — you can deal with a few inadequacies.  I was video editing virgin before attempting the creation of a book trailer.

People typically recommend you to make your video as short as possible — about a minute. Many need more time to tell a story, so shoot for a minute and a half and cut to the bare bone. Five to six seconds for each text slide; two seconds for most image slides, seems like a good time, but the program often leaves me guesstimating.

I wrote part of this post earlier and I’m close to being done, but I thought that once before and see up above about the duplicating slide incident. The music takes me to two minutes and five seconds; I’ll probably accept that time; unless there’s a file size limit where I post the video. If I manage to find another song, I may make a change. Music highlighting the rising action at the end; would have been nice.

My speaking issues made me reluctant to narrate. People have said I have a nice voice, but I hate hearing recordings of myself.

This may be a rough draft video and I may play with another app later. After my duplicate slide incident, I used my paint program to make the slides, but OpenShot made better slides. The file size may be too high so it may be a while before I get the final version.

Florida’s First Tourist Attraction

The Native American tribes held captive in the Castillo San Marcos brought in Florida’s first wave of tourists. All the rich White elitists from up North came to gawk. It wouldn’t surprise me if Harriet Beecher Stowe joined the festivities. Tribal leaders from almost every tribe ended up here, during this period. After the North won the Civil War they conquered the Native American territories. If Lincoln win his election, I bet the US would have partnered with Native Americans to conquer Mexico; if you could call it conquer and not save. Mexicans wouldn’t be jumping fences if they avoided the Civil War. Slavery still would have ended; due to technological advances reducing the need for slave labor; just, as President Polk predicted.

I’m off topic because I’m more interested in hookers. Odds are the first official brothel opened up, in Florida, when the tourists came to see prisoners, such as these. So 1875 is the period of note. My fictional brothel will come alive, at this time.

Also of note, during this period, my Native American great-great-grandmother would have been living with a White man and another branch of the family would have been calling a Black man uncle — my family has been forever dealing with race issues; now, people are giving my white-mestizo ass trouble –screw you, Obama.


English: Native American prisoners of the Red River War, Fort Marion, Florida 1875: The inscription on the back of the original stereograph says: L to R: Lone Wolf, Double Vision, White Horse, Woman’s Heart, Mamante (Owl Prophet) – Kiowas. Officer left is Capt. Richard H. Pratt
Date 20:45, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Author Unknownwikidata:Q4233718

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