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Hub #337 - In Praise of Shadesbreath
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.
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.
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.