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Hub #337 - In Praise of Shadesbreath

Updated on October 13, 2012
The Shadesbreath avatar.
The Shadesbreath avatar.


When casting about for Hub Topics, several options present. You can plumb the inscrutable depths of the Google AdWords Tool, hoping to find an exact phrase with 30K hits per day, zero ad competition, and a $9.99 click bounty. You can refer to your voluminous notes, hopefully stored in a text file on your desktop. You can visit the HubPages Idea Bank, which has many good suggestions on deposit and has yet to be bailed out by the Federal government. You can photograph the deer in your back yard and compose pithy captions for the images.

Or you can stand on the shoulders of giants and write a tribute hub.

I stole the concept from my mentor, Hal Licino. No one does it better. Having sufficiently credited Hal, the remainder of this is my fault.

In Praise of Shadesbreath

I don't know Shadesbreath. He claims to be from Sacramento. We assume Sacramento California, but there are four other cities in the United States sharing the name (note that I coveniently avoid naming those cities - I now have another hub topic). His HubPages profile describes him as a science fiction writer, a married guy, a 2 year veteran of the site, and a father of three. Probably not in that order, but chronology is not linear on the Internet.

Mr. Shadesbreath writes with depth and breadth. His work is widely quoted on HubPages by other Hubbers. A guy called Stan Fletcher actually composed a hub titled "What Would Shadesbreath Do?" (the hub seems to be unavailable, sorry!) This Stan Fletcher original line caused me to laugh out loud:

My fans use words like ‘cool’, ‘good’ and ‘neat-o’. I’m afraid some of them think a thesaurus is a type of dinosaur.

Anyway, Shadesbreath may be a 7 foot tall Chinaman living in Kokomo. He could be across the street from me. Perhaps he's Larry Niven. I dunno. We will take him at his words, until the National Enquirer outs him.

Quantitative Analysis

At last count, Shadesbreath has 678 Followers and 57 Hubs. Public school arithmetic tells me that's an 11.9 followers to hubs ratio. By comparison, I have a 1.18 followers to hubs ratio.

A random sampling of Shadesbreath hubbage reveals that a typical hub contains 1687 words, not including photo captions and gratuitous Amazon capsules. The words are comprised of 7880 characters, for an average word length of 4.671 letters.  I don't know any words at all with 4.671 letters, therefore I consider such writing to be an impressive accomplishment.

Shadesbreath Hubs

We focus on a few of the many Shadesbreath hubs. Our intent is not to address his entire body of work. We wish to provide the reader with a sliver, a glimpse, and a furtive glance into the output that characterizes Shadesbreath. Hopefully we whet the reader's appetite but don't cause the reader to become overly full and doze off. Nor do we want the reader to become faint from hunger due to a lack of whetting. If there's a whetting middle ground, we endeavor to find it.

Consider the composition titled Hairstyles of the British Court: Whigs in Wigs. See, this is really good writing because you learn stuff while you are entertained. The Hub opens with a black and white image of an immensely obese French guy with two badgers wrestling for the top of his head. Read on to learn that he's actually wearing a wig, referred to as a 'peruke' or 'periwig'. Surely none of us in the real world have seen these words in print outside of Final Jeopardy during College Week. It's a win-win situation; we get free knowledge while Shadesbreath enjoys an outlet for his prodigious knowledge of classic European headwear.

We'd like to know more: did Shadesbreath come up with the title pun first, or did he derive it from the subject matter of the article? (See what I just did? I provided him with fodder for another hub.)

Shadesbreath contributes to the public good the benefit of his personal experience as a professional writer. His hub titled Five Key Elements Of Writing a Short Story provides an invaluable road map for aspiring short story authors. The hub provides more helpful information than PJ O'Rourke at a NOW convention.

Shadesbreath delves into classical philosophy with his hub known as The 10 Most Asked Questions in the World: Answers from Science and Less Disciplined Disciplines. He seems to know what we're thinking. Is the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything to be found in this hub? We posit that transposing every other letter, translating to Sanskrit and converting to Wingdings may just provide the latitude and longitude of Jimmy Hoffa's final resting place (Hey! I just came up with another hub!).


We all owe a debt of gratitude to Shadesbreath and his contribution to HubPages. Take a few moments to peruse his body of work. You won't be disappointed and neither will he.


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    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      For a lefty you came up with some good ones. I will have to research your other hubs to see if you are a truly worthy left brainer. For now I will just have to say you did use a lot of statistics but in a Monty Pythonesque way so the jury is still out. Perhaps you were just letting a lot of right brain detritus out--Nicompoop as it were. We will see--look for more in you other hubs. =:)

    • profile image

      Gene 7 years ago

      What happened to ""What Would Shadesbreath Do?" The link is to a blank page.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Shadesbreath is nowhere near 7 foot tall-he's some sort of worm creature with a brain and a beer.

      What else can I say?

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great hub on a great hubber by a great hubber. What more could THIS hubber ask for on a cold, wintery day with fresh snow on the ground, and a desire to seek out new hubs that boldly go where few others do.

      Thanks. Now on to some catching up with Shadesbreath.

    • Mieka profile image

      Mieka 7 years ago

      Great hub :) Am on my way to check out Shadesbreath now!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Shadesbreath: Thank you for your kind words. Your hubs are great.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @partisan patriot: Heroism is not a step function; it plateaus, which provides opportunity for multiple values of the independent variable to map into the positive result of the membership function. While it is monotonic, it is not strictly monotonic, therefore is it not reversible.

    • profile image

      partisan patriot 7 years ago


      How disappointing; all this time I thought I was your hero!

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

      This is probably the best hub ever written. The writing is tight and enjoyable, and the subject matter is incredible. It is inspired and points the way to truly amazing work of a veritable giant of, of, of giantification.

      Actually, it's just funny. (Is there really other Sacramentos? I wish you'd named them so I could find out more about them).

      lol @ words of 4.671 letters. They teach those as part of graduate classes in English. That class comes right before you are given your katana and mask.