English, What Is It?

Olde & Middle

The differences between Them:

Ever wanted to write in “Olde English”? First you need to understand what Old English is, what Middle English and how it influenced our Modern (the one we use today) English. When I started researching for this particular blog post, I fell into a deep, deep rabbit hole – man, there’s a lot to this language rabbit hole.

You see that below (points with eyeballs at the scary image down there), that’s what I fell upon first thing – scary first meeting with old, and middle

The Daily Californian
English. Illustration by William Pan / Staff

The Daily Californian English. Illustration by William Pan / Staff

Olde English

Did you know, there was no set or fixed word order for Olde English? That had to be confusing as all heck back then, how did our ancestors even begin to understand each other in written form? It was used from the 400s to the 1100s – respectively. Had nouns and verbs that had many inflectional forms and endings. That means the nouns and verbs had many groupings of letters to change the meaning of those nouns and verbs – modern day examples would be letter – letterS – letterING.

Runic to Modern

Olde English also has dative and instrumental case meanings. Which means that an instrumental noun is one that is used to accomplish something (as the instrument of the action). In Olde English instrumentals can be recognized as nouns in the dative case that are not indirect objects and are not preceded by a preposition.

It was originally used as a runic system and was influenced by Latin and Germanic languages but was later replaced with a Latin script.

A micro lesson on Olde English! Confusing if you ask me!

Middle English

Middle English came about as a way of standardizing the language in its written form. It was around 1100 that this system was developed which came after the Norman Conquest and was used until about 1400, parts of Middle English are still used today in Modern English, or at least the standards of grammar and syntax are.

Say what now?

It was used to simplify many inflectional forms, had a fixed word order and shifted the written language to prepositional construction – which is a group of words made up of a preposition (such as to, with, or across), its object (a noun or pronoun), and any of the object’s modifiers (an article and/or an adjective).

The vocabulary for Middle English was related to around law, religion with an influence from the French language and culture.

Olde English & Middle English are also referred to as Medieval Enlgish! Thanks Pediaa.com for this cool graphic!

How does this tie into writing in Olde English you ask? Well, not the wisest choice for writing in if you ask me, might take you a whole English PH.d to get to writing in the Olde style, might be wise to chose Shakespearean English…but that’s a whole other blog post…or simply, choose Middle English as an alternative to both Olde and Shakespearean. Might save your sanity, I know it saved mine!

Shakespeare anyone?

Either way, however you choose to write – write with gusto and write with passion. Write how you want the world to see you and your work. To the Olde English choosers, I tip my hat to you sirs and madams, you have more courage and bravery than I could muster writing in the old ways of the English language.

The Frustrations of KDP


The cursed KDP user interface!!

Are you struggling with KDP? Today I was working with a customer file because KDP interface decided to poo poo my work many, many times in a row. How frustrating! I use InDesign and not Word for the PDF formatting files that KDP wants for print purposes (at least for the layout of the manuscripts, use Gimp – Photoshop based open source program for covers). If one little thing is slightly, nano minuscule off…whoa boy, watch out, you spend the day cursing and going coo coo.

Can’t figure it out? Well then, let me introduce to you the KDP Proofing services that Black Cat Editing will be providing (also available to the TLS portal customers). For a nominal fee we will take your manuscript file and proof, layout and do the formatting for you.

How does it work you ask? Here are the steps:

  1. You have uploaded your files and KDP sent you an email that says “this, this and this is wrong” (aren’t they so preciously vague sometimes with those emails?)
  2. You curse the hallowed server rooms of KDP for a few minutes and then decide to forward that KDP “it’s wrong fix it” message to me with the file information needed (trim and page count).
  3. I will then check the page count, cross reference the trim size most appropriate for your manuscript, check the bleeds, gutters and all that jazz then give you an estimated turn around time with your no obligation quote for the service fee.
  4. From there, you can either choose to contract my services or say “No way Jose” and go on your merry way.

If you choose not to part ways and decide that it’s worth the cold hard cash (or in this case, interac email) to have me look at your files and fix it for you then the next step would be to send me the original manuscript files to layout, package and export to PDF for you. Need a cover too? Well, I can do that – Check out my portfolio for covers.

These services do include a file for Ebook, the PDF for print which includes the descriptions, SEO and meta data for both – you just provide the information for the description and the genre and a small mini synopsis of your manuscript.

Color Versus Colour

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON the3littlesisters.com


To spell like the British or to spell like the Americans? That is the question.Or is it?What’s the difference between color and colour you ask? Culture and continents. Much like our metric versus imperial measurements the United States does things a touch differently with the word color. They are the one of a small handful of continents and countries to use the spelling of color. Every other country, for the most part, accepts colour as the variation in spelling of the word. However, most countries that accept colour also accept color (colorful ain’t it?). There are other words like color, for example:

humor and humour

defence and defense

fiber and fibre

The historical reasoning for this is because both Latin and French introduced it into the English language through England. In fact, since 1828 the dual spelling variations have been acceptable in most countries, including America until… Noah Webster Jr. Yes, yes THAT Webster. As in, The Webster Dictionary. It’s because of a man’s personal preferences that Americans spell their words the way they do. Amazing how one person can change the history and course of, for intents and purposes, a dialect of the English language.

Before 1828, many words, such as humor (or humour), defense (or defence) and fiber (or fibre), had two acceptable spellings on both sides of the pond, because they were introduced in England via both Latin and French, which used different spellings. Webster picked his preferred forms (the former ones in each example above), justifying his choices in various ways, but partly on nationalist grounds: he wanted American spelling to be distinct from, and (in his opinion) superior to, British spelling. [Why Can’t Germans Pronounce ‘Squirrel’?]”Since the book was successful in establishing its authority throughout the States, [Webster’s spelling variants] have been generally recognized as American forms,” Scragg writes. “In that sense Webster was the first to differentiate between British and American usage, and in that it was frequently he who chose the variant of two spellings in early nineteenth-century use which have subsequently been preferred in the United States, he can be said to have influenced the development of spelling. He is in a way ‘responsible’ for such forms as center, color and defense.”

Natalie Wolchover –


As you can see, Mr. Webster had quite the influence on how our various dialects of English have evolved to what it is today. The next time you see someone spell colour a little differently than that all famous Websterite color – just remember the English language has a colorful history.

Book Trailers

These Chains Book Trailer from Three Little Sisters Publishing
Junked Book Trailer from Three Little Sisters Publishing

Dracula Untold

I’ve seen this movie quite a few times. I love this little hidden gem actually. It’s a retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula with a twist. Now granted they did get a thing or two wrong historically. Which irritates the hell out of me, first and foremost Vlad The Impaler is not the king of Transylvania, he was the ruler of Wallachia… wrong era Hollywood, wrong royal title too. There are two Vlads by the way, Senior and Junior. Junior is The Impaler. The infamous one who earned that nickname in the most gruesome of ways.

What way was that? Impaling his enemies upon stakes through the rectum and lifting that stake straight up to allow gravity to take its natural place and impale, with ever so torturous lack of speed, the enemy through the body and out the other end. It was said Vlad The Impaler would set up incredible feasts to sit at the feet of his victims and dine as they died. This is portrayed in the movie, without the feast of course.

In Stoker’s version, Dracule aka Dracula, or rather PenDragon as the real translation goes (he even says so in Stoker’s version) has a wife, that wife gets a fake letter telling her he is dead and she commits suicide. Well, the clergymen of his time don’t particularly care very much for suicides and he disavows his religion and blames them for everything up to and including betrayal. He vows to find his love in another lifetime even if it must take an eternity to do so. Stabs an effigy of a cross, that blasphemous action causes blood to pour everywhere and he drinks from it – becoming Dracula. Dramatic huh?

In Dracula Untold, not quite the same. An unknown beast of the dark lives atop a mountain and wipes out Vlad’s enemy, setting off a blame game and the demand for penance and 1000 boys. Note that Vlad himself was once given over to the Turks as a payment of penance and peace. Vlad fought for the Turks empire expansion then was released as an “ally” to them. They demand his son from him as they had him from his father and he decides last minute that no, this was not a demand he was going to fulfill besides, he promised his wife that would never happen.

Wait for it…

It starts a war between him and the Turks. He now seeks out that scary beast of the mountain, which turns out to be an ancient man who traded his soul to a demon who tricked him and entrapped him in the cave. This man, or rather the movie version of a vampire, says lets play a game of fate (ohhh…play a game he says, how hard can it be right). You can sample my vampiric powers, maybe save your people in the process but you have only 3 days to do so and if you feed you become what I am and I have given the darkness a sufficient gift for my release from this wretched cave prison.

Vlad The Impaler “Ha Has” him and says “I look forward to disappointing you”. Saves his people, unfortunately kills his own wife (at her urging and about that don’t feed…oops) and unwittingly unleashes holy hell on the world – the other part of that game is the kicker – Vlad owes his maker a fight by his side – a good and evil fight, a light and dark fight so (as rumor has it) an Untold number 2 in the works?. Did I mention, his son ends up being raised instead, after witnessing his father supposedly commit vampire suicide by sunlight, by a monk?, priest? Monastery representative?

What tickles my fancy about this little gem of a movie, diamond in the rough. The all time classic of good and evil is twisted into a bit of “bad guy gone good” kind of deal with this movie. It portrays Dracula, not as a monster per say, but as a monster with ethics so to speak. He sacrificed for his people, his wife and his son. Unfortunately, evil has a funny way of turning that sacrifice and good intentions into something grotesque and vile at times. No matter how monstrous we can be (as a human race) there is always hope, always the ability to right a wrong. Time may not be on our side but what we do with that time is so fundamentally important isn’t it.

7-5-3 Code

Pencil, Graphix pens and Arteza watercolor brushes.
Digital touch ups.

7-5-3 Code

In the interests of disclosure, I was inspired by another artists illustration and this is a reproduction. I don’t remember where it came from (my apologies). If anyone knows where this came from, please let me know so I can attribute the original to the proper person.

I love the Japanese Bushido culture. The 7-5-3 code interests me the most. It’s a balanced set of ideas meant to bring together mind, body and spirit.

7 Virtues of a Warrior

1 – Rectitude

Morally correct behavior or thinking; righteousness.

2 – Courage

The ability to do something that frightens one. Strength in the face of pain or grief.

3 – Benevolence

The quality of being well meaning. Kindness.

4 – Proprietary Politeness

The state or quality of conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behavior or morals

Behavior that is respectful and considerate of others.

5 – Sincere Honesty

Being free of deceit, pretense. Coming from genuine feeling

Telling the truth. Integrity, ethical.

6 – Honor

Adhere to what is right. To have a code of conduct.

7 – Loyalty

To be faithful, to remain allied

The 5 Keys to Health

1 – Rational Nutrition

Rational nutrition is about food intake in balance with energy expenditure taking into consideration the main food. Knowing how to balance your food intake in moderation maintains over all well-being and healthy habits.

2 – Sensible Exercise

Sensible exercise is about increasing your general activity in each and every day and finding things to do that you enjoy. Regular exercise can have beneficial effects to general health and well-being, increase energy levels, reduce stress and lift the mood.

3 – Efficient Rest

Efficient Rest is about balancing what sleep you need according to your activity and food intake. Being able to balance active time with inactive time and knowing when to recognize the need for sleep appropriately helps heal the body and mind.

4 – Proper Hygiene

Proper Hygiene refers to maintaining cleanliness of one’s body and clothing to preserve overall health and well-being. Doing this lifts mood, self-worth and maintains mental and emotional health as much as physical health.

5 – Positive Attitude

Positive Attitude can impact every aspect of your life. People who maintain a positive approach to life situations and challenges will be able to move forward more constructively than those who become stuck in a negative attitude. Your mental and physical health can be improved by learning how to hold a positive state of mind.

The 3 States of Mind

1 – Zanshin – Alert Awareness

Always be alert and aware of your environment and the people in it and how you affect that environment and those people, including yourself. Rocks in a pond ripple outward from the center and back at you.

2 – Mushin – Clear Mind

The ability to combine clarity with flexible, rational thinking, so that not only does one see things as they are, without the obscurity and distortion caused by preconceived notions and beliefs, but sees everything in its proper context – as a part of a greater whole – and always considers the likely consequences of what one sees, and of actions that one might take. It is a deep awareness and focus on the practical and being grounded before speaking and acting.

3 – Fudoshin – Emotional Balance

The ability of the mind and body to maintain equilibrium and flexibility in the face of challenge and change. To act and react with a balance of logic and emotion, mind and heart.

Have Book, Will Publish

Publishing, the process is, or rather can be utterly confusing and frustrating. Time and time again I watch authors from various groups talk about how expensive or how time consuming and confusing the process of indie publishing can be.

I watch them burn through the aggravation of traditional publishers query letters and agent acquisition and …just exhausting watching them forced into chasing their tails around and around.

Then there is the struggle of the new KDP system, CreateSpace is no more. No more easy peasy uploads. While KDP does work with Word (Docx to PDF) it can be rather painful to suss out what the trim size should be, how to work out the gutters and margins. Not an easy task with Word. Back and forth the dance goes.

Not that the program I use can be any easier at times, KDP tends to be real picky about its trim sizes, gutters and margins. InDesign is an interesting program. I’ve heard many a doc tech, graphics designer, layout designer and editor bemoan the glitches and difficulties …well the “love to hate and hate to love” relationship with InDesign.

Getting from InDesign to this as a finished product.

Between my partner and I, we’ve found very “creative” ways to actually “break” InDesign. From layer upon layer of text boxes that magically appear (not magically delicious though) to the point where we have to ask our tech guru has to explore the file on our behalf and then we generate a post mortum on the file afterwards…yeah InDesign can be tricky. Even us professionals have some difficulties at times.

Despite that, we have been complimented many times about the quality of our work. How it’s larger print size makes it easier to read. The layouts flow along and make the book easy on the eyes.

And then there is this:

Got my copy of the Teutonic Way today! I was even mentioned in the foreword of it. I’ve been waiting so long to see this project finalized and excited that Stephan can finally get his work back in print. Thanks for the shout out, L. H! I can’t wait to dig into this beast of a book! Get your copy through Three Little Sisters Publishing.

Micheal Ransom Wilson

I’m proud of our work, I’m proud of my work. We are taking submissions right now for both Three Little Sisters Publishing and Little Bird Books Press (children’s line). You can submit here.