Ian D Scofield, Writer

Fantasy/Science Fiction/Thriller and Freelance

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Exercise: The Lot Across the Street


I am sorry to those who tried to get to my website recently.  It has been down without my knowledge.  I contacted Dreamhost who promptly fixed it and fixed the other errors caused by it.

The Exercise

Today’s exercise was to go somewhere and describe the scene.  Preferably using as few words as possible for each description.  Here it is:

The lot across from my apartment doesn’t change often.  The only thing that changes is the people who go in it.  On weekends kids play in the short, burnt grass while on the weekdays adults cut through it to get home quicker.  You can’t see it, at least you can’t read it from my window but at the intersection of the two busy streets it meets there is a for sale sign and an advertisement for the UPS store a couple of blocks down.  The lot has been for sale since I have lived here, even though that is not long.

It is not quite clear what this lot used to be, it could have been many things.  The fact that it is more or less level with grass and plants indicates it could have been a park.  Uncompleted paved roads and paths lead into the lot.  At the end of two such paths are piles of wood chips and mulch.  Seveal tall light posts that don’t light up at night imply that it was once a park of some kind.  A third possibility is that it was a parking lot, a sign on one of the light posts indicates that if you park without authorization you will be towed.  This theory is unlikely, the uneven terrain (despite how slight it is), the plants, the grass, and the fact that the paved areas are not all big enough to hold cars, all work against this idea.

A log, prepared like a phone poll but not as long as one lays alone in the lot.  A smaller version of it lays also by itself on the other side of the park.  Miniature versions of them staked in the ground on the edges of the park hold a thin cord to discourage people from entering.

Skeleton’s Knee

Lt. Joe Gunther has had his fair share of difficult investigations, but when an autopsy reveals a hospital patient died of a bullet that had been in his body for years Joe Gunther’s day gets even harder.  While searching the dead patient’s house for clues they discover a second body, this one as old as the bullet wound and the only identifier left is the skeleton’s artificial knee.  Transporting the skeleton ends up to be almost fatal as an unknown assailant opens up fire on the vehicle carrying the body.  This is not to be the last time Lt. Gunther is shot at in this case.

In Chicago trying to track down the doctor who put in the artificial knee Lt. Gunther encounters more problems then back home.  After getting someone killed, Lt. Gunther is not only shot at again but meets the mob and gets captured.

I know I have said it before but again Archer Mayor has improved his writing.  Not only has he significantly reduced occurrences of multiple people talking in one paragraph (something my non-fiction writing professor also doesn’t like) but Mayor successfully weaves one of his most detailed cases yet.  I can’t wait to finish the next book!


This exercise was to create a one year timeline of one year of my life.  This one might get added to.

-First apartment
-Transferred to Asset Protection
-Quit Best Buy
-Second year at P-Safe
-Works second move in day
-Met D’Arcy for the first time
-Turned 21

Map Making

Our exercise was to draw a map of our childhood neighborhood.  I picked the one I remembered the best and here it is bellow.  Theoretically it will be used for another exercise coming up.

Vs. What it really looks like now:

View Map Making Project in a larger map

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