jkbowers

First of all, I belong to that class of humanity generally referred to as 'old'. It could be worse, I suppose. I could be old and spiteful. (Not to worry - I'm saving up all that spite until I'm at least 90, so you still have a few decades to distance yourself.)  I was born in October 1956 and my fascination with sf/fantasy was probably brought on by my father - who, when I was very young, used to read Greek & Roman mythology to me at bedtime. Ever since, I have dabbled in the worlds of the impossible and improbable. I've written a few short stories and poems, drawn a few pictures, painted some... but have never attempted to really do anything with this 'stuff' until I joined Elfwood in July 2000. So, anyway, about me... I graduated from Herscher H.S. (Illinois), served in the U.S. Marines from 1975 to 1986, received my A.S. from Kankakee Community College, and spent a good deal of my remaining time as a computer programmer. I was married in 1976, and Lisa and I have a son and two daughters. James Andrew Bowers, our oldest child can be found here in Elfwood (Click to visit Andy)... He's the father of my only grandchild, Hailey Dawn Bowers, born June 8, 2001 (maybe she'll join, too, in less than a decade)... Pretty boring bio, eh? Well, I can always hope you enjoy my prose and poetry more than the bio... For those of you who are tired of stumbling blindly through the woods, simply follow any of the links found in my Elfwood "Favorites" tab. Patiently waiting for the return of: Rachel N. Bobbitt (USA) D. Joelle Duran (USA) Jamie A. Hughes (USA, official caretaker of the inner panda) Gabriella Jönsson (Sweden) Lucas M. McWilliams (Canada) Kim Nohr (Canada) Johanna Oakes (USA) Saana Tykkä (Finland) Once upon a time, there was 'The Project'... Many of the pieces that sprang from it may be found here in Elfwood, but one of Elfwood's best-kept secrets is that 'The Project' lives on! If 'The Project' interests you enough that you think you might enjoy participating in the fun and creativity, email me and ask how to become a member... The Project #1 ~ Feb 2001 ~ FOUR WORDS The Project #2 ~ Mar 2001 ~ THE DEITIES OF MYTHOLOGY The Project #3 ~ May 2001 ~ DEATH KNOCKS The Project #4 ~ Sep 2001 ~ IT'S ABOUT TIME The Project #5 ~ May 2002 ~ WONDERS OF THE WORLD The Project #6 ~ May 2004 ~ OZ NEVER GAVE NOTHIN' TO THE TIN MAN... The Project #7 ~ Sep 2004 ~ AFTERMATH     A "seed story" inspired by Jennifer Pitcock Doneske     Proj#7 Permission Statement appears at the end of my Aftermath story. The Project #7.5 ~ Dec 2004 ~ LITERARY STEW     Former Projects revisited: Stories, Poems, & Artwork added. The Herscher Project #08 ~ Apr 2005 ~ THE WHEN THAT WASN'T tHP #09 ~ Jul 2005 ~ LOVE POTION No.9     An extension of Deb Turpin's 'Soulmates' Project. tHP #10 ~ Aug 2005 ~ THE WUTHERING tHP #11 ~ Sep 2005 ~ CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR... tHP #12 ~ Oct 2005 ~ BY THE NUMBERS tHP #13 ~ Jan 2006 ~ TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA tHP #14 ~ Mar 2006 ~ DARK FUTURES     Inspired by Chris A Jackson's 'A Flash in the Pan' scenarios. tHP #15 ~ Apr 2006 ~ AGING, ASCENTS, & ENTROPIES tHP #16 ~ May 2006 ~ THE HUNTERS AND THE HUNTED tHP #17 ~ Jun 2006 ~ DRAGON'S BREATH tHP #18 ~ Jul 2006 ~ URBAN LEGENDS tHP #19 ~ Sep 2006 ~ THE GIFT OF VISION tHP #20 ~ Nov 2006 ~ THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS tHP #21 ~ Dec 2006 ~ PRETTY PAPER, RIBBONS AND BOWS tHP #21.5 ~ Mar 2007 ~ THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY     Former Projects revisited: Stories, Poems. & Artwork added. tHP #22 ~ Mar 2007 ~ WITH ANGELS WATCHING OVER tHP #23 ~ Apr 2007 ~ INTO THE FIERY FORGE tHP #24 ~ Jun 2007 ~ JAILHOUSE ROCK tHP #25 ~ Jul 2007 ~ THE LAWS OF MAGIC tHP #26 ~ Aug 2007 ~ OMNIPOTENCE tHP #27 ~ Sep 2007 ~ THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE tHP #28 ~ Oct 2007 ~ FEAR'S PLAYGROUND tHP #29 ~ Nov 2007 ~ TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT... tHP #30 ~ Dec 2007 ~ UNEXPECTED HEROES tHP #30.5 ~ Feb 2008 ~ MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME     Former Projects revisited: Stories, Poems. & Artwork added. tHP #31 ~ Feb 2008 ~ June 2508: STONED TO DEATH     Inspired by an excerpt from James Bhumi's novel June 2508. tHP #32 ~ Apr 2008 ~ GET A GRIP tHP #33 ~ May 2008 ~ BUCCANEERS, PRIVATEERS, & PIRATES tHP #34 ~ Jun 2008 ~ SHOW US WHATCHA GOT tHP #35 ~ Sep 2008 ~ THE DARKNESS WITHIN tHP #36 ~ Oct 2008 ~ REBELLION tHP #37 ~ Dec 2008 ~ FOR THOSE WHO KNOW THE TRUTH tHP #37.5 ~ Feb 2009 ~ WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN     Former Projects revisited: Stories, Poems. & Artwork added. tHP #38 ~ Feb 2009 ~ VICE AND VIRTUE tHP #39 ~ Mar 2009 ~ WITHIN THE WALLS tHP #40 ~ Apr 2009 ~ GYPSIES, TRAMPS, & THIEVES tHP #41 ~ Jul 2009 ~ LET THE GAMES BEGIN tHP #42 ~ Jul 2009 ~ THE MEANING OF LIFE tHP #43 ~ Sep 2009 ~ TRUISMS AND CLICHÉS tHP #44 ~ Oct 2009 ~ NAME THAT TUNE tHP #44.5 ~ Feb 2010 ~ ONCE MORE WITH FEELING     Former Projects revisited: Stories, Poems. & Artwork added. tHP #45 ~ Jan 2010 ~ MY STEPMOTHER IS AN ALIEN tHP #46 ~ Feb 2010 ~ GETTING INTO GEAR tHP #47 ~ Mar 2010 ~ MIX 'N' MATCH In progress: tHP #48 ~ Deadline Apr 2010 ~ HOMECOMING tHP #49 ~ Deadline May 2010 ~ FROST tHP #50 ~ Deadline Jun 2010 ~ FAMILY MATTERS Future editions: More Projects to be announced in 2010!     (Topics not yet determined.)   The authors & artists of 'The Project' tHP members frequently active in 2009 James K Bowers, Founder Malin M Larsson, Co-owner Sabrina E G Withers, Co-owner   Brian Bergstrom ~ James A Bowers ~ William A Clayton Patricia M D'Angelo ~ Stephen G Doyle ~ Lisa Eshkenazi  James S Hayward ~ Anders Hedenholm ~ Christopher Heisserer Jamie A Hughes ~ Louise Hughes ~ Chris A Jackson  Gal Kabiri ~ Samuel Joseph ~ Alex Moisi  Ché Monro ~ Angela S Perry ~ Lyn Perry  Miriam Plachta ~ Tansy A H Pye ~ Stephanie R Schauer Amber Silver ~ Deborah Cullins-Smith ~ Matthew T Summers Emma-Jane Thomson ~ Debra Lynn Turpin ~ Saana Tykkä Cecily A Webster Other Active tHP Members ’Disco’ Vic Alfieri ~ Peter F Blair ~ Tawnya Blakeslee Mandy Burnham ~ Ben Cameron ~ Christina Deanne Katy Ficarra ~ Chuck Gregory ~ Inger Marie Hognestad A 'Kelsie' Hurley ~ Gabriella Jönsson ~ Anne Leath Marijke Mahieu ~ Tara Mircea Marcel ~ Darla Moore Scott Morris ~ Anna M Mortensen ~ Amy Perkins Jaren Schroeder ~ K Anne Snell ~ Lindsay Verde Matthew S Williams Some former participants and inactive tHP Members: Mark Allyn Adams ~ Frank Almond ~ Gabs Béland Jennifer H Berry ~ Steve Bowen ~ Alexander Brittan Jennifer Bryant ~ Esther SP Buhrman ~ Tim Carter Ruth Elizabeth Cisneros ~ Jessecca Collins ~ Tunisia T Dorionne D Joelle Duran ~ Rachael J Evans ~ Emilie Finn Nathaniel Stephen Gunter ~ E Hanna ~ Victoria Lee Hobbs Brandy L Jackson ~ Toni J Kaukinen ~ Emily Kirsch Laura Knicely ~ Michelle Krantz ~ Megan Larson Dawn-Earth Maloney ~ Jennifer L Martin ~ Jenny L Morash Kage E Murphy ~ Carolyn Neal ~ Kim M Nohr Johanna Oakes ~ Madeline J Quirk ~ Adam 'AdZ' Ragg Helen Rich ~ Patricia 'Bunny' Saw ~ Keri Selzler Maureen Shannon ~ Christopher Smith ~ Deborah Soukup Michelle Trudeau ~ Emily S Veit ~ Segun Williams   also Larry N Morris ~ 1941–2006 and Ashley R Wynn ~ 1979–2008     ~ Rest in peace, Larry & Ashley. ~     And, HEY!!! Remember the most important thing: enjoy your visit...   I like The Herscher Project (Writing & Art Site)
http://herscher.cwgservices.com/

Tricks of the Trade (Wyverns Project 3)

Yet another tale featuring 'Scorpion', master assassin of Silva. This piece was written as my contribution to 'Wyverns Project 3' (created by Emilie Finn and Lindsey Butler) and also to satisfy Inger Marie Hognestad's hunger for more of this character... My thanks to all three of you!

Candles and Crossroads

Scorpion makes his seventh appearance in this tale written for Project#9. This tale chronicles a turning point - not only for Scorpion but for many who call Silva their home...

Möbius Web

Mobius Web was written in 1989 and was published in Kankakee Community College's 'The Prairie Fire' anthology in 1990. The story is a bit 'dated' thanks to the dissolution of the USSR, but I think it may still have some minimal entertainment value for my fellow time travelers...

The Gargoyle's Shadow

This story was written in early December 2000 and was published in Kankakee Community College's 'The Prairie Fire' anthology in 2001. It features a character originally designed for 'The Dance of the Magpies' PBEM (by Kim Nohr & Helen Leonard) which, sadly, no longer exists. A master of his profession, the assassin known only as Scorpion and his 'Scorpion's sting' have become near legendary. Mothers admonish their rowdy children with a curt, “The Scorpion will come for you if you don’t behave!” Disguise has become a part of his life as natural as breathing, and one can never be certain that the roadweary minstrel, absent-minded alchemist, old beggarwoman, or eccentric tinker does not conceal Death's sharpest dagger. Now as he finds his career nearing its twilight, Scorpion finds himself wondering if he has chosen the correct path. He frequently wonders if he has taken payment from the wrong client, if his dagger or poison has slain one who did not deserve to die. His dreams are crowded with the faces of his innocent and not-so-innocent marks. At times they speak to him, sometimes to aid him, sometimes to suggest alternatives, sometimes to guide his actions, but most often to plead for the life of his next mark...

Darkmoon Ridge (Ch 6 - 8)

The tale of 'Darkmoon Ridge' continues in these, the sixth, seventh, and eighth chapters. They are titled, respectively, as 'Forging An Unlikely Alliance', 'Where Darkness Dwells', and 'The Walls Have Ears'. Chapters 6 & 7 are complete, but (thanks to a minor disaster with my computer) I must rewrite the majority of chapter 8. I will post it here when I have (again) completed it.

Aftermath

As with most of the Project#7 contributors, I also fell victim to the lure of SF combat. Although the 'seed' portion of Project#7 was not genre-specific, I just couldn't bring myself to write in a fantasy vein this time around. I hope you will find it to be an enjoyable few minutes, anyway.

Darkmoon Ridge (Chapter 1)

'Thunder in the Distance' is the first chapter of the Chronicles of Southgate. This is the reader's first brief look at the sorceress, Alorra, and the Earl of Southgate. (Note: All spell usage in this chapter should be considered untranslatable.)

Darkmoon Ridge (Chapter 4)

As Chapter Four begins, we return to T'ralex in Southgate, midmorning on the day following the arrival of the riders from the Reach. The Abbot has a brief but worthwhile conversation with an unexpected visitor. (I am not totally satisfied with this chapter and it may go through several revisions, but there will be no major change in the events or facts revealed.)

Deathbird's Song (poem)

Deathbird's Song was written in 1997 and was published in Kankakee Community College's 'The Prairie Fire' anthology in 1998. I guess this one has fewer elements of fantasy than some would prefer, but the afterlife lies beyond our knowing and thus may exist only in our imaginations. The Deathbird's Song is a siren's call to those who would believe that we visit this world for only a brief moment before traveling on...

Like Rain on Spring Leaves

A short and simple story written for Project#10 (The Wuthering) and published in Kankakee Community College's anthology 'Prairie Fire 2006'...

Ice Dragon (poem) Part 1

Ice Dragon was written in 1986 and was published in Kankakee Community College's 'The Prairie Fire' anthology in 1989. A tale of valor and tragedy continued in 'Dragonbane'. Please visit Tansy A. H. Pye in Lothlorien to see her illustration of the Ice Dragon...

Darkmoon Ridge (Chapter 2)

In chapter two, 'Chains of Honor', the reader eavesdrops on a conversation between T'ralex and Sylnia the healer...

Black Coffee

Something of a departure from my usual, written in 2001 and published in Kankakee Community College's 'The Prairie Fire' anthology in 2002.... Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it...

Darkmoon Ridge (Chapter 5)

The Chronicles of Southgate continue in this, the fifth chapter. Earl Gaylord Ulthrond takes the first small measures to ensure Southgate's safety and the reader is introduced to the Earl's most trusted advisor. The hardships of winter seem much less important in light of recent events and the magnitude of possible events of the near future...

Ma'at and the October War

Written as my contribution to the second installment of 'The Project', this is a story of Ma'at (pronounced 'Mayet'), the Ancient Egyptian goddess of justice and truth.

For A Few Silver Coins

This tale was written with two worlds in mind. “For A Few Silver Coins” is a fourth story focusing on Scorpion, master assassin of the port city of Silva. This particular tale was written as my contribution to Debra Lynn Turpin's 'Destiny's Eternal Lovers' Project which blossomed from her brief introductory piece originally titled 'Soul Mates'. Thanks, Debra! It is both an honor and a pleasure to be included. This story was published in KCC's 'Prairie Fire 2005' anthology.

Darkmoon Ridge (Chapter 3)

The tale shifts to an entirely different locale in chapter three, and the reader gains insight into the 'world' of the High Murgg...

And When He Looked Back (WyvProj4)

Silva's master assassin returns in this sixth tale in the 'Scorpion' series... This piece was written as my contribution to both 'Wyverns Project 4' (created by Emilie Finn and Lindsey Butler) and 'The Project'. Thank you, Emilie & Lindsey, for inviting me to participate in the First Anniversary Edition of the Wyverns Project. Let me also express my gratitude for the priceless wisdom, guidance, and encouragement I received from Deborah J Smith (my barometer), Inger Marie Hognestad (my compass), and Jamie A Hughes (my carpenter's level), without whom I would still be deeply mired in doubt, confusion, and irksome grammar and punctuation glitches...

Never Been Any Reason

Written in September 2000 as an assignment for the Creative Writing class I enrolled in at K.C.C... The focus of the exercise was to take a line from a song and develop a short story around it - I chose 'Never Been Any Reason' by Head East... I think it turned out okay, even though the plot and conflict have been used (on second thought, better make that 'overused')...

Dragonbane (poem) Part 2

Dragonbane was written in 1994 and was published in Kankakee Community College's 'The Prairie Fire' anthology in 1995. It is the contiunation of the tragedy begun in 'Ice Dragon'. Please visit Tansy A. H. Pye in Lothlorien to see her illustration of the Ice Dragon...

Nana's Story

A somewhat uncommon view of Artificial Intelligence, written as my contribution to 'The Project' #6... This story was published in KCC's 'Prairie Fire 2005' anthology.

Darkmoon Ridge (Chapter 9)

Ahhhhh, those PESKY goblins!! What will they think of next? In Chapter 9 of Darkmoon Ridge, the Chronicles of Southgate, we revisit the goblins first seen in Chapter 3, this time for an inside look at the life of a lowly scout...

Is Anything Worth A Tinker's Damn?

Co-authored with Kim M. Nohr and presented to you here with her permission (Thanks, Kim!), this story takes place several months after 'The Gargoyle's Shadow' and revolves around a less than friendly meeting between the Scorpion and Kim's character (Cirkas), an assassin known as 'the Black Weasel'.

Moonrock (Chapters 1 - 5)

A little something for the science-fiction crowd...

Finishing School

If you haven't read 'The Gargoyle's Shadow', start with that one... This is another story based on the assassin known only as Scorpion...

A Soul in the Darkness

With my sincere thanks to my most loyal -- Inger Marie, Deb, & Jamie -- we return once more to Silva. The chronicles of Scorpion are furthered in this eighth tale. Picking up where 'Candles and Crossroads' ends, Falcon and Scorpion entertain unexpected guests. A short story written for Project#12, 'A Soul in the Darkness' sets the stage -- and the mood -- for the next in the series: 'Best Served Cold'...

Darkmoon Ridge (-Prologue-)

The Chronicles of Southgate begin with 'Riders from the Reach', a short prologue in which the reader is briefly introduced to T'ralex, Abbot of Southgate...