Word of the week: ethereal \i-ˈthir-ē-əl\ - adjective – (hear it!) - 1: of or relating to the regions beyond the earth; 2: lacking material substance; 3: relating to, containing, or resembling a chemical ether – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Sinister and Soulless

“Sinister is as sinister does.”

You know, as I sit here and type up this week’s blog post, I can’t seem to get that phrase out of my head. It just keeps poking at my brain with its dumb ethereal finger much the same way the lines, “’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves; Did gyre and gimble in the wabe,” do whenever I attempt to type up an article about the writing craft.

No, really. I’m not kidding. They actually do. Repeatedly.

Poke—poke—poke—poke. And we all know brains can’t actually feel anything. So, in essence, it’s a rather silly—silly—silly—silly thing for a thought-spawned phrase to even try.

So I had to set it free. And of course, what does it make me think of? Right—an evil version of Forrest Gump.

Yet the original phase, “Handsome is as handsome does,” has apparently been (← Ha! Yes, I split my infinitives!) kicking around long enough for countless versions to have sprouted from it, including “Pretty is as pretty does,” and the ever-famous “Stupid is as stupid does” line from the ever-famous Gump movie.

So, what exactly does it mean?

Well, any way it’s constructed, the phrase seems to take on the same meaning each time: Actions, not appearance, determine one’s worth.

It is possible, then, that “handsome” or “pretty” actions (e.g. graciousness, generosity, honesty, and fairness, to name a few), done sincerely, reveal good moral character no matter the outward appearance; whereas, “stupid” actions (e.g. cruelty, selfishness, dishonesty, injustice, and their ilk), done deliberately or without thinking, reveal, well . . . either plain old stupidity or a morality of the most villainous kind, again no matter the outward appearance.

Kind of a monkey wrench to those who are all too quick to judge a book by its cover. Or to judge a novel by its as-of-yet unknown author.


Right. Well . . . all my own suppositions, of course. Am I wrong? Maybe. Stupid? Perhaps. Monkey-ish? No doubt.

But, humor me for a moment. Let’s follow along this same line of thinking: If the above is even remotely possible, then “Sinister is as sinister does” could mean that “sinister” actions (i.e. those strongly suggestive of great harm, menace, or evil – according to Roget’s Thesaurus), done with intent, could very possibly reveal an inner malevolence with a strong desire to threaten physical, mental, and/or emotional injury, right? Yes? No? Yes? Maybe? Perhaps? No? Yes? No?

Aarrugh! Make up my mind already, will you!?

“No,” you state rather flatly, adding, “This is all very sinister. Where exactly are you going with this thought process?”

I’m glad you asked! (Even if I had to type the words for you.) Wouldn’t it be sinister—I mean fascinating . . . to dip into an already-twisted mind further tainted by something tall, dark, and vaporous? To delve into a brief scene—a sidelong sideways look through a side door—at the one character I truly despise out of my cast of thirty-two (as-of-yet developed) characters? (And yes, I seriously despise this character even more than my hell-spawned demon horde.)

Yes . . . sinister is as sinister does. And a delicious glimpse into the devious nature of that one person Marisa of Mynae—my dark fantasy novel’s main character—loathes to her very core is now available: Soulless Vessel (with prologue and chapter one of The Perfect Player), FREE at Smashwords and Goodreads.

Download now! Read . . . um . . . at some point . . . and enter the dark and gritty fantasy world I’ve keep bottled up in my old brains for, oh, like, a gazillion-and-a-half months.

Hey, you might be not un-glad that you hadn’t never didn’t do what I didn’t ever not tell you to never do in the first place!