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I have several friends who are indi publishing their work. I am trying to comprise a list of their sites to help boost the signal.



http://www.starcatcherpub.com/

http://jjwestendarp.blogspot.com/


This is a list I will be updating regularly.

And here is a freebe

Return to Redlin. This is the bit from the site:

Ginger returned to Redlin after her failed marriage and buried herself in a calm life, working for the Senior Center during the day and as a clerk at the Gas and More at night. But when the high school bad boy, Derrick Weston, returns after ten years to attend his grandfather's funeral, things take off in ways she didn't expect.

Old rivalries and new robberies put the two in close contact -- whether they want it or not.


I read this story and couldn't stop till the end, which was satisfactory (everything was wrapped up very nicely, good solid plot) and saddened me. I wanted more of these characters. The characters are well written, I have this urge to ask Zette what happened next. :P Anyways, if you want a lighthearted romance which will leave you smiling I highly recommend this novella.
necia_phoenix: (Default)
I have several friends who are indi publishing their work. I am trying to comprise a list of their sites to help boost the signal.



http://www.starcatcherpub.com/

http://jjwestendarp.blogspot.com/


This is a list I will be updating regularly.

And here is a freebe

Return to Redlin. This is the bit from the site:

Ginger returned to Redlin after her failed marriage and buried herself in a calm life, working for the Senior Center during the day and as a clerk at the Gas and More at night. But when the high school bad boy, Derrick Weston, returns after ten years to attend his grandfather's funeral, things take off in ways she didn't expect.

Old rivalries and new robberies put the two in close contact -- whether they want it or not.


I read this story and couldn't stop till the end, which was satisfactory (everything was wrapped up very nicely, good solid plot) and saddened me. I wanted more of these characters. The characters are well written, I have this urge to ask Zette what happened next. :P Anyways, if you want a lighthearted romance which will leave you smiling I highly recommend this novella.
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*Note: I haven't found a way to crosspost from the website to here. 


This week has been busy, writing wise. Something in my head has clicked. I've been writing. Averaging 10 to 15 pages a day (2500 words or more). Scenes that have stumped me over the years have become clearer than ever and I've been scrambling to keep up with the ideas, scenes, and such. I'm starting to feel more like Me than I have in a long time. And I'm writing. And finishing.

Currently BP is sitting at just under 80k. I'm so very close to calling this completely DONE I can almost taste it LOL. Once it's done, it'll go off to the Beta readers, and I'll schedule the rest of it over at the Patreon . And then I'll re-focus on E1.

E1 is back up (I think I mentioned it last week, I don't remember) and I'll tackle the final edits and gap filling and get IT scheduled as soon as BP is firmly off the 'to finish' list.

Once those are done, well I've got a stack of unfinished things to finish finishing. >.>

So, with this resurgence in writing, it might seem that life has calmed down. Nope, it hasn't. In fact on the 25th my 11 year old broke his pinky knuckle playing toss the football while he and a friend waited for the buss. I spent that evening at the ER and the following day trying to find an Orthopedic Surgeon. The 27th was spent in Dr's offices, trying to determine WHAT to do (brace or cast. We opted for a cast fwiw).

Yet I've been pushing out words. Maybe only a few hundred, but still. Writing is something I love. And something that has been pushed aside. And that leads me to the cold hard truth about Mental Illness. Not only does it suck, it also causes a major disruption in a person's life. And sometimes medication really is the best answer to the chemical imbalance in the brain that results in depression, mood swings, bi-polar and a list of other brain affected ailments.

About three weeks ago I was finally able to get back on my medication that helps with my issues. The fact the medication is doing its job, balancing out the chemical imbalance in my brain, is reflected in the fact that, holy shit, I can WRITE again. My focus isn't perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than it's been.

Once upon a time, I used to average at 2 - 3k a day. Or between 8 and 10 pages a day.

I've been doing that again. And it is a wonderful feeling to be able to get back to being ME.

Seriously, if you're going to spout off those 'the only therapy/medication I need is a walk through the woods' you can just go kiss my ass. Sorry, that doesn't work for everyone. If it did, I'd never have these issues.

**clears throat**

ANYWAYS.

I've been doing more reading, and surprisingly it's not as much fiction as one would think. I got several of Dean Wesley Smith's books, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch's books and power read through them. Those have gone a long way it helping me find my writing footing again. Thanks Dean & Kris. In rereading their blogs I stumbled across the Writing Story Bundle over here (more about what the Story Bundle is over here). Part of the bundle includes one of Dean's online lecture series on the Master Plot Formula. I already got the Writing as an Investment lecture series and WOW talk about eye opening. Even the hubs (not a reader OR writer) sat and listened to in, nodding his way through. So I knew the Master Plot Formula lectures would be as educational.

I was right (I started to type 'write' **snickers**)  Folks I would HIGHLY recommend investing in those two lecture series, at the very least do the Story Bundle and you get the one as part of the bundle (there are some really GOOD books in that bundle too). As a writer, in this day and age, educating yourself with the ins and outs of how the business works is a must. You can't expect do be around for any length of time without understanding how it breaks down.

Changing one's perspective and mindset is not easy. Especially when you're fighting long held dreams. Especially when those dreams are founded on myth and not reality. I've re-connected with my writing/creative brain, due to a combo of the correct meds and changing how I look at writing.

The books I got which helped (not in the story bundle, I'm still working my way through those) were:

Dean's books;

Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing
Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Indi Publishing
Heinlein's Rules: Five Simple Buisness Rules for Writing
How to Write Fiction Sales Copy  (I'm still reading on this one)
Think Like a Publisher

Kris's Book

The Pursuit of Perfection (DUDES READ THIS)

Those were my birthday presents to myself.

 

Lets see there was something else writing wise I was going to mention but I forgot. I'll remember later.

 

I was going to vent about politics, but I don't have the heart to. What I will say it we are not done resisting and it's going to be a long four years.

 

I think that just about wraps it up. OH I've deleted my livejournals. I'm over at Dreamwidth now (actually just dusted it off a bit) but I'm really bad about posting over there. https://necia-phoenix.dreamwidth.org/  Now it's time to get back to writing.

I do have an FB and a twitter fwiw.

I hope you all have a wonderful peaceful weekend.

Please be kind to each other. ~ N.Phoenix

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Everyone struggles, everyone is on a journey. Don’t judge your progress by someone else’s.

 

Have a peaceful day.

 
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I love April, and not just because it’s my birth month.

ANYWHO, I hope y’all are doing well. I apologize for being so quiet on this page.

 

April plans;

  • Wrap up editing on BP
  • Writing book 2.
  • Get back to writing Friday Flash Fic
  • Get back to regular posting here.

 

What are your plans?
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This little fella hung out in front of the car for about ten minutes before flying away.

 

 

 
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This little fella hung out in front of the car for about ten minutes before flying away.

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Patreon

Feb. 13th, 2017 08:00 am
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I like patreon’s format. I like how they help artists of all nature share their art with their fans. I thought I’d share a couple patreon pages that I’m following.

 

Abney Park has some awesome steampunk themed music and seriously deserves a lot of support.

 

Seriously love their sound.

Their website is over here.

 

Another writer I support is Val Griswald Ford a long time dear friend. Recently she suffered a horrible loss so her page is sorta quiet. But her writing is fantastic and I really think people should take the time to check her out. Her patreon page is here. As I come across them, I’ll list other pages.

 

~NPhoenix

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I’ve been practicing writing blurbs and I think I need a lot more practice. I wanted to write one for BP. All day, yesterday I struggled with writing it, I read other book blurbs, I wrote up several versions and hated them all because I felt so lost. Then a couple dear friends, including J.A. Marlow helped me by tweaking what I wrote and rewriting it, in essence, showing me how to condense it to something to catch someone’s attention.

So naturally I thought I’d share em here. 😛

The Bastard Prince

A past to overcome. A new path to forge. A looming shadow that could take it all away.
Sold to slavers, the only thing the illegitimate son of the king of Balinor can look forward to is a brutal life, and death, in the bottomless mines of Daglis. An unexpected encounter with the Lady of the Light frees him but leaves him stranded in the great Northern Rahaun Empire. Casting off the past, Damien Zander soon finds new friends and a possible new future of his own choosing.
But war clouds the horizon. A returning evil long thought destroyed that could darken all of Avaria.
And the Bastard Prince finds himself caught right in the middle of it.

So this morning, I worked up one for book 2, The Sarukai Lord

The journey continues, the shadows deepen. The chance of a lifetime at his fingertips.

In all his wildest dreams, Damien Zander, the Bastard Prince, never imagined being accepted into the exclusive order of the Sarukai. Nor being given the opportunity to travel with Tienovey, the Lady of the Light, much less learning beneath the Guardian of the Light himself. It’s not an opportunity to miss. But the Sarukai have their own secrets and darkness has crept into even their noble ranks. If it’s not stopped, it will destroy the Sarukai from the inside out.
And the shadows have targeted the Guardian himself. For if he falls, so too will the Northern Empire.
It’s up to Zander and Tienovey to ensure the Light doesn’t fade.

I’m still playing with the book three blurb. I’ll add it here later. Anyways I wanted to share with you.

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May your coffee or tea (or hot chocolate) never run out.

What’s YOUR mug look like?

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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

It’s been stressful. The election and first days of the new presidency has added stress and anxiety to everyone’s lives. In response to this, several writers around the web have put together some posts, threads and statements giving advice and encouragement to their peers. I thought I would list/link to those I know of here.

I’ve followed Elizabeth Bear since my days back on Livejournal. She shared this thread from Chuck Wendig on anxiety and self-care.

 

 

Over on facebook, Tamora Pierce posted this gem;

To those who are losing a lot of their will to create in the wake of President Tyrant:

Don’t let him and his orcs win. People NEED your books, stories, poems, paintings jewelry, dolls, knitting, tapestries, vases, weaving, dishes, every creation that comes from your hands. Every creation is a punch back at the haters and the heartless. Every word puts hope or thought or dreams or solace or fire into those who read it.

You become a different voice from the bullyraggers and the foolish; your ideals, wishes and convictions reach your audience, whether they are reading Dr. Seuss or James Joyce. You convey food for hope and imagination whether you realize it or not,and the most innocuous-seeming work gives those who partake of it something to go on with.

Keep soldiering on. Comedian or philosopher, baker or glassblower, writer of tomes or fan fiction, you’re needed now more than ever.

 

 

And here is a post from Kristine Rusch here* which states what have said for some time;

…escape is rest. It’s important. It gets us away from the horrors, the terrible things, the stresses and upsetting moments of every day life.

Sometimes, art provides a different perspective, a new way of thinking about important things. And sometimes, we just hang out with a little boy wizard fighting a big powerful evil because it entertains us.

This is not light stuff. It is not unimportant. It is extremely important….

This post actually expands on a post she put up in October, The Importance of Fiction.

My Thoughts;  We stand on the brink of change so drastic I can barely wrap my head around it. Self care is very important in these hectic times and it is not a bad thing to take time for yourself. Creating, in whatever form you use, is important. it matters. What YOU create matters. So to wrap it up, a reminder of a great commencement speech by Neil Gaiman in 2012 I believe.

If you know of other posts along these lines, by all means comment here with the link and I’ll add them to the post.

Be kind to each other.

~NPhoenix

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*

When in doubt, nap. ~ unknown

Be kind to each other.

~NPhoenix

*picture was found on facebook, I couldn’t find info on the photographer or the story behind it. If you happen to know, please tell me. It makes me want to write a kids book XD

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January was a difficult month. I’ve seen over and over on FB, Jan was the trial month, Feb is when 2017 ACTUALLY starts. Something I really can’t argue with. This morning, as I was coming home from grabbing a quick (and unhealthy) bite to eat I got bushwacked by an idea for the Avaria series. It wasn’t forced, it was the result of beating my head against the wall begging the creativity in me to please crawl out of the hole, I won’t let the monsters get you. It just jumped me from behind the bushes and I got a huge insight into a beloved character and explanation for some of his motives in the series (note; this wasn’t a Zander scene fwiw).

After months of blank brain, anxiety and depressed brain, I had clairity. and something else, kindof a startling realization; no anxiety at all. Yes there are concerns, I’ve got a lot on my plate atm, but the anxiety isn’t there. Anyone who has dealt with anxiety can relate that wonderful fresh feeling of being able to clearly think. However long it lasts, I’m glad it’s here.

SO, I’ll be getting fresh content stuff up and scheduled at the patreon page. Please check it out, maybe share it if you like it. Thoughts, ideas and suggestions are always welcome (even if I don’t agree with them). I’m slowly going through the website to fix links and whatnot some of this is way overdue for a cleansing.

 

Politics –  Call your representatives. Write letters, share stories the media refuses to cover, and always ALWAYS check your sources! And if you have to, disconnect, take a walk, paint, write, turn off social media and the news, turn on a childhood fave, blast your music, let yourself rest and don’t, for the love of all that’s holy, DON’T FEEL GUILTY FOR HAVING TO SELF-CARE.

Be kind to each other.

~NPhoenix

 

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The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus (November 2, 1883)

 

May you be at peace.

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An Update

Jan. 20th, 2017 02:58 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I have been dealing with sick kids, hubs and self, job applications, interviewing (I got the job! YAY) after being let go from a retail position I fell in love with. I’ve also been fighting depression. Some, I know, is cause by the mess of the past two years. Some is caused by my guilt over messing up and missing personal goals because of life. And some is caused by this circus of an election. And there is a lot on my mind about it. I’ve gone into great length to discuss it with the kids, the hubs, but not here.
I am out of practice, of writing, of expressing myself. Living has become less living and more surviving.

I don’t want to survive, I wanna LIVE!

There is so much on my mind, so much I want to say, and I see other writers saying what I’m thinking and I nod, I silently agree and figure hey, they said it, I don’t have to. My writing is not the powerful political protests put out by my peers. Rather escapism. And that has been looked down on for years. Pshaw, escapeism, worthless. Says the critics and literary snobs who look down their nose at anything less than the ‘Great American Novel’.
And so I go to write and I feel guilty. There are all these IMPORTANT issues that must be addressed and what am I pounding away at? A fallout fan fic, a story about shapeshifting dragons, or a bastard prince who wormed his way into my soul and won’t leave me alone. I step away, load up the ps4 and try not to feel like a worthless hack, after all, isn’t that what they say a fantasy writer is? Just a hack.

My posts are, if I compare them to those I idolize, pathetic. Little bits of updates on the life of a struggling to stay sane person. Nothing like Scalzi, Bear, Hines and Wendig to name a few. Why bother?

But oddly enough, sometime over the past couple days, I started to re-evaluate my opinion on myself (which is a bit crappy, I’ll admit), and my writing. I write fantasy. My stories take place away from here. The struggles of the lives of people strong, weak, inspiring, pathetic, people who face their demons. Some overcome, some fail, and some just hang on my the skin of their teeth. I write people, emotions, relationships. I give the reader a way to escape the bleakness of their own lives by temporarily giving them a chance to live other lives.

There’s a gamer shirt I want, it says ‘I’m a gamer, not because I don’t have a life, but because I choose to have many’ Same goes for being a reader. We live the lives of the characters we read about. Sometimes it’s easier to face the trials and tribulations in a story that facing the seemingly endless, and sometimes hopeless future that is laid out before us. We need to allow ourselves time to disconnect. To step away from the now, the constant and overwhelming influx of information, to escape from here.

It can be healing. Especially if you connect with a character who reminds you of yourself. When you see them triumph, it can give you hope. It can give you something to hold on to.

Writing those safe places, those foxholes of the mind, that’s important.

Escapism is important.

Being allowed to step away, let the troubles of the world fade against the adventure in a story, allows the mind time to rest. And for someone, like myself, whose mind NEVER shuts off, letting it rest in such a way is important. What I write, is important.

I may not be as skilled as other writers, when detailing the political quagmire we find ourselves in. I do not have the spoons to delve deeply into the why of today. But I can give you a place to get away, to rest from the battles we are on the verge of facing.

Elizabeth Bear made a series of tweets this morning, tweets that helped me this one in particular struck a deep chord in me;


Silence=Death.
Stand up. Hold hands. Sing.
Stand up again.
One more time, stand up.
Stand up. Hold hands. Sing.
Don’t give up.
You can follow her over here and I would highly recommend it, if for no other reason than she’s got some cute kitten pictures.

*takes a deep breath*

If you are feeling suicidal, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 800-273-8255 or go to their website suicidepreventionlifeline.org

You are far more loved than you realize, I promise you. And believe it or not, things will get better, no matter how bleak they may seem.

The Patreon:

I may have screwed up the order of the chapters, see the comment about sick kids. This weekend I’ll be prepping stuffs and making sure I’m not borking it up too badly. Those of you who are Patrons, thank you so much! I do appreciate it. Those of you who can’t, no worries, I understand. Sometimes even $1.00 is too much in these tight times, I get it. Is all good.

 

You can check out the patreon over here; https://www.patreon.com/NPhoenix

 

Summup;

This is going to be a tough few years, but we can get through it. Stay strong, we’ll make it.

Thank you, my readers, for sticking with me.

~ NPhoenix

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The Plague

Jan. 6th, 2017 06:56 am
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

We’re sick here at Casa De La Phoenix, myself, the monkeys and the spouse type person. The posts I was hoping to write got pushed aside in a fit of coughing and hacking up lungs. blech.

Work has officially ended, I am back in the ‘unemplyed/self employed’ catagory. Gotta love that seasonal stuff. I had a blast, made some great friends, and am now debating my next move.

The patreon is live! I am super excited about it. There is so much to the Avaria stories, I’m almost bouncing in excitement. For those of you new to my blog/site/thingy you can peek at the planned book list over here. It’s a huge list, this stuff needs to get set free.

I hope you are all recovering from the disaster that was 2016. Time for me to get back to writing, and being ME.

 

~NPhoenix

 

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Patreon 

Jan. 2nd, 2017 10:34 am
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

It launched yesterday, while I was at work, without a hitch, as far as I know. This week, being the last I’m at my job (seasonal work), will be a mix of business building, editing and diving into book 2 which needs a near total rewrite. 

So, the patreon page is over here if yinz wanted to take a look. 

2017 is the Avaria year, join me in this journey. 

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Monday

Dec. 19th, 2016 07:17 am
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I spent yesterday afternoon printing out BP and last night, skimming over it. There is something so exciting about seeing it all printed up in front of me.

Of course now I’m starting to get nervous, and worried, and anxious and brain is screaming ‘WTF ARE YOU DOING IT’S NOT PERFECT!?!?!’

Which brings me to this common problem with writers. Perfectionism. This idea to postpone pushing forward so you can make the story perfect!

But we are not perfect. And what we make doesn’t have to be. No, really, it doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I am going to do the best job I can in getting my stuff as fine tuned as I can without killing the ‘voice’ or the story. But sometimes the mind clings to the familiar of editing/rewriting to avoid the scary proposition of setting the story free, we cling to the comfortable lament ‘it’s not perfect’ to avoid the criticism of strangers of what we write. So many people have edited the spark out of the stories they write that what they have left is dull, lifeless and it is a disservice to the idea that got them to write it in the first place.

So I’m sitting here now, forcing myself to not over edit, to not stress too badly about what people ‘might’ think and enjoy the process.

I’m also going to go and reward myself by catching up on Valerie Ford’s Advent Story over on Patreon (which y’all should really go check out. Val is awesome, and her writing is GREAT.

 

Hope you all have a great day!  ~ NP

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“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

 

Working on the Patreon backoffice and resting my feet. How are you doing? I hope your sunday is a peaceful one. gift giving eve is next saturday, try not to stress too much folks. ~ NP

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I’ve been talking about it for a while, I’ve been getting things sorted and set up and all I needed for the final decision was to settle on which project. I was going to go with E1 at first. but then I went to reread some of the Zandercrack. And that did it. This project has been sitting, mostly finished, for a couple of years, and even with typos and a few things I need to rearrange, it is a pretty good story. It’s time Zander was set loose upon the world. So here we go, my Patreon page is getting the final touches. I will be posting publicly and on Jan 1st, 2017, The Bastard Princewill go live.

I can barely contain my excitement. It’s TIME.

 

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It has been a long time since I have done one of these.

When I woke up, my front yard looked like this.

“Hold on to what is good, even if it’s a handful of dirt.”  ~ Hopi prayer.

Be at peace, if you can, rest and refresh yourself.

N.P.

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Seriously 2016 can just die already. So much crap has filled this year that I shut down almost completely.

We are in a new home, a new situation, I’m working and hubs health is in decline. I’m preparing something which will be (I hope) big coming this Jan, and a rethinking of life, goals, and writing in general.

 

The Election;  I usually avoid politics over here, but I will not be quiet. What the actual fuck? How can so many people support a fascist, racist, sexist, egotistical, narcissistic bastard like that orange thing? My heart hurts for my beloved America. He does not represent the America I love, the America whose ideals I hold dear. No, America isn’t perfect, but it’s about to get hideous thanks to that lying cretin. There’s so much I want to say and I just can’t seem to put it in words correctly. **breathes deeply**

I almost don’t have the ‘spoons’ to deal with it. I have to, I know, but damn I’m tired.

 

So what is in store for next year?

 

Well now, I’m currently doing some brainstorming and planning. I’m setting up something that *I* think will be cool.

and I feel like I need to apologize. For dropping off the face of the internets. I’m so sorry. I feel like I let people down, and I’m having a hard time shaking that feeling.

Allrighty, time to get some writing done.

 

~ N Phoenix

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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

An Interview with Schrodinger

(Author’s note: I was going to answer the questions myself, but Schrodinger found the email first, and he begged, and, well, I couldn’t say no. So if you were hoping for an interview with Val, I’m sorry. You get a CrossCat instead. – Val)

Interviewer: I’ve never interviewed a CrossCat before, so if you don’t mind, can you tell me a little about your species?

Schrodinger: Well, we’re the most intelligent species of cat out there, although others may disagree. We’re born in litters in Dens, and most of us wander for a bit, then go back home and start families of our own. My sister has nearly twenty kits! She’s older than me, though.

Interviewer: Will you head back to the Den eventually as well?

Schrodinger: No one can tell the future. *eyes the interviewer* Can you?

Interviewer: *laughs a bit nervously* No, not me.

Schrodinger: Then we’ll just have to see!

Interviewer: Okay. How did you come to end up in the Cove, then?

Schrodinger: That’s a long story, and I promised it to someone else. Next question?

Interviewer: What’s your favorite part of living in the Cove?

Schrodinger: All the people! And Molly! And Drew! And Lily and Kaylee and Zoey and Jack! I’m totally a people person. Oh, and Pavel comes in, and there are cupcakes and Molly’s an amazing cook. And there are books! And music! *pauses, cocking his head to one side* Actually, I don’t think I have a favorite part.

Interviewer: I can tell! What do you want to do in the future, Schrodinger?

Schrodinger: How far in the future?

Interviewer: Um, I don’t know. In general?

Schrodinger: Well, I still want to travel. Pavel’s promised to take me on the ship at some point, although we don’t know when. Oh, and I’m going to Baltimore in a few days! And then Concord, North Carolina the week after that! Val’s taking me to Balticon and ConCarolinas, to promote the new book! And Molly is even letting me take some tea with me!

Interviewer: *looks at her notebook* So tell us, Schrodinger, are you a bathroom singer?

Schrodinger: Isn’t everyone? I’m not sure I could trust someone who doesn’t sing in the bathroom. *thinks for a moment* Although I don’t know – I guess it’s a personal preference. Do YOU sing in the bathroom?

Interviewer: Sometimes.

Schrodinger: Who do you think sounds best in the bathroom: Adele, or Billy Joel?

Interviewer: You know, I’m supposed to be the one asking questions here. But honestly, it depends on the song and the mood.

Schrodinger: *nods* I also like Danny Elfman, but Molly says that the Oogie Boogie Song first thing in the morning is a bit creepy for her.

Interviewer: I can see that. So we have some questions from some of your fans here.

Schrodinger: I have FANS???

Interviewer: Of course you do. Didn’t you know that?

Schrodinger: Hang on a second. *runs into the kitchen, shouting, “Molly, did you know I have FANS????” Comes back a few moments later* Sorry about that. You were saying?

Interviewer: Yes. One of your fans wants to know what you do for fun on a rainy day to amuse yourself?

Schrodinger: It depends. If we’re here, I usually help Molly in the kitchen, or I’ll read. Sometimes I like to go out and help DC and Aunt Margie shelve. I’m good at finding things. And I nap a lot. *thinks a bit more* I can always go find some fun too. There are a lot of interesting Roads around here. Sometimes I just go exploring.

Interviewer: If there was one person you could have lunch with, alive or dead, who would it be?

Schrodinger: Captain Carter, the man who discovered Carter’s Cove.

Interviewer: Really? Why?

Schrodinger: So I could thank him. Without him, Carter’s Cove wouldn’t be here, Molly wouldn’t be Molly, and I’d’ve never met her. And then I’d be a very sad CrossCat, although I probably wouldn’t know why.

Interviewer: Is there anything else you’d like your fans to know?

Schrodinger: Come see me at Balticon and ConCarolinas! I’ll have tea! And books! And maybe some prizes…..

Winter’s Secrets, the first book in the Carter’s Cove stories, is out in ebook and trade paperback on May 26th. Follow Schrodinger on Twitter at @MollysSchrodngr, and Val Griswold-Ford at @vg_ford.

vals

~*~

Thank you so much, Schrodinger (and Val 😉 ) for stopping by.

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necia_phoenix: (Default)

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

My truck won’t start. So the kids and I are tackling the housework and then I am going to write. I scene listed (some people call it outlining) last night and want to write those juicy scenes out. I’m feeling fairly good about things, despite the truck issue.

May Plans;  Writing. I am going to try to focus on The Bastard Prince, but I won’t fight it if my attention drifts to something else. I’m just happy to be writing again, I almost don’t care what I’m working on.

June, July, August: I’m hoping that by getting back into the habit of writing daily, will carry me through the summer. I’m hoping to get Elemental Truth ready to go for September however this is the summer so I’m not going to guarantee anything.

Fall: Next fall I’m going to have one kid starting his senior year and the youngest two starting kindergarten. I’m also hoping to go back to school myself. My goals for the rest of the year is to have both E1 & BP published by the end of year. Lofty? Perhaps. But both are soooo close to being done that I think it’s not impossible. I also have a mostly finished angel apocalypse story that’s been quietly nagging at me to finish it. Like the other books there are a couple fill in spots and thats it. I had a snippet of it up a while ago.

I hope your week goes well. **waves**

 

The Bastard Prince
62137 / 90000
(69.04%)

 

 

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LJ fail

Apr. 28th, 2016 06:54 am
necia_phoenix: (Zander)
I just discovered I had a bunch of comments on posts but I don't recall recieving notifications they were there. I apologize if I haven't responded. **hangs head**  now bouncing over to [livejournal.com profile] dragonmyst to see how many messages I might have over there.
necia_phoenix: (Default)

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

 

Disclaimer: I do not speak for anyone else. Each person who struggles with mental illness has their own struggles. What works (or doesn’t work) for me, might have the opposite effect on others.
FWIW this is more of a Ramble, a sharing of a part of me I don’t think I’ve shared here before.

 

In 2011 I made a jump into self publishing. The story, The Shiny, was small, just a little concept/flash thing, but I self pubbed it and worked on others to get up. I was excited, I was motivated, and the more I look back at it, the more I’m convinced I was in a manic phase (not a good time to make major decisions such as self pubbing etc, fwiw). You see, I’m Bipolar. It is a condition in which the chemicals in my brain fluctuate wildly, and in cycles, I get really amped up, excited, go go go go, then I drop, I have a drop in mood I end up depressed and fighting to stay afloat.

I’m Bipolar 2, (I think that’s what they call it, I’m still trying to educate myself) which is the ‘milder’ form of the disorder. Most people don’t recognize my manic phases as mania, more ‘motivated, responsible, with it’. But my downswings, those are downright scary. I struggle to get out of bed, I struggle with feelings of self-worth, I fight the urge to just say fuck it and do something drastic, anything at all to feel better.

I was in denial for years until 2012 when I finally worked on getting it managed. Figuring out what worked and what didn’t and I found myself able to focus better and write. But writing when my depression was in full swing was like trying to pull teeth with a spoon. Made of warm jello. I wanted to write, I wanted to tell these stories that haunt me day and night, but I wasn’t enjoying it. Even with meds getting me on a steady mental state, I was still depressed, I was still chipping away at the iceberg with a toothpick and writing, writing became more a struggle than a release.

You see, when you’re severely depressed even the things that bring you pure joy mean nothing. My energy, my motivation, everything just gone. It’s weird, and annoying. I look over my plans and projects and I know I need to be writing, I know I need to finish stuff, to edit stuff to get stuff up and for sale. But then the doubts kick in and add to that the depression that has/had me convinced it was all shit anyways, well it made it harder to touch those projects especially when I was being crushed with guilt for not living up to my own high standards.

In 2014, in an effort to curb those feelings, I decided I was going to take a story I *thought* was ‘done’ and make it a serial. It shouldn’t take very long, I reasoned, to get it scheduled. Elemental Truth debuted and I was feeling good despite the depression. Then the bottom dropped out. In a matter of a few weeks our family’s life was turned upside down, we entered into a legal battle with our old landlord, my hubs started a new job and was suddenly away for weeks at a time, and I was facing legal issues with one of the kids and a major move all by myself. I didn’t pull E1, I was being stubborn. I can do it, I kept telling myself, I’m not going to pull the serial.

The problem is, the serial wasn’t as ‘done’ as I thought and the more I got into it, the more I realized that it needed a massive overhaul. But with everything else going on I just plugged away at it, the only thing I could really count on was getting that damn thing posted. For months, writing wise, I clung to that project, unmotivated but trying to force my way through it. Depression robs you of enjoyment, and though I enjoy that story I couldn’t feel it.

We’d just barely gotten things back to an even keel, into some semblance of normal when, last April, I got an unexpected call from my SIL; my FIL passed away unexpectedly.

Goodbye even keel. Goodbye semblance of normal. We hauled ass out to OK for the funeral, then returned only to discover my hubs company suddenly struggling. The last year has been spent trying to recoup from that. The depression got worse when, in Sept (or Aug) our insurance changed due to job changes and I was unable to get my meds.

Imagine a diabetic unable to get their insulin, imagine a person in chronic pain, unable to get their pain control meds. It is that serious. My depression was crushing, the stories, the writing, the serial in limbo. It was a struggle, fighting my own brain and I think that I noticed it even more this go round because I’d been on the meds, now off the meds and suddenly no management of anything at all. And the longer I go with it managed, the greater the drop when those meds are yanked away.

I’ve now been back on my meds just over a week, and I feel the difference. I’m starting to find focus, things are a bit easier. It’s still a daily battle, an ongoing struggle to keep myself frown drowning in the hopeless feelings.

So how is this going to affect my writing and future publications?

Honestly I’m not too sure. I’m hoping that as I get more settled I’ll be able to stick to my routines and get back to writing regularly. I’m not going to give a timeframe, not yet. Not till I’m sure I’m a bit more stable. Right now, every little paragraph is a triumph, every day I don’t just delete all my writing* it a success.

I do *hope* to have Elemental Truth ready for publication by the fall, and Bastard Prince for sale in time for Christmas. But I also have to be realistic, I have a lot going on in my life outside of my writing, there’s still fallout from last years job issues and money issues, and I don’t want to make promises I end up breaking. I always feel like a flake when that happens, I know logically it’s because I have this stupid chemical imbalance in my brain and that for a long time it was completely unmanaged. But I still feel like I should have done more, tried harder, followed my schedule, guilt, guilt, guilt…

Yeah I’m great with the self-guilt-ting. I once told a friend, I don’t need people to guilt trip me, I do a great job all by myself -.-

There you have it, mental illness and how it affects ME as a writer. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with it. If you, the reader, also struggles with it, just know you’re not alone. And what the depression tries to tell you, well trust me it lies.

 

*I almost deleted everything a couple months ago, I was that low.

Please note I had to make a couple edits after I posted it. Sorry.

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necia_phoenix: (Default)

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Regarding the Serial.

Due to life and other issues I haven’t been able to give my all in getting this up in a timely fashion. So This weekend I’ll be pulling down what is posted. This has been an interesting learning experience. Not sure I’ll do a serial ever again.

My apologies. E1 should be released in ebook and print form by September. I’ll keep you guys posted.

 

NP

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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I hope those of you reading the serial have been enjoying it starting back up again. Again, I apologize for it taking so long. I’ve signed up for Camp NanoWrimo which kicks off in April. I’ll be writing E2. E1, will continue to be posted once a week (unless it’s a very short chapter, then you’ll get two a week) with a tentative wrap up in late May. I’m hoping to have the final edit done and formatted for both Ebook and Print by then end of Aug. I say HOPE, because this is my household and summers tend to be kinda… busy.

E2 – The tentative plan is to have E2 ready for sale by Nov. But we’ll see how that goes. The problem with me focusing on E2 is I have a few other projects I want done and out of the way before I dive with both feet into E2. Cause Once I do, it’s a roller coaster ride and I won’t want to stop working on the series. It’ll take my full attention.

Other Projects;  I have a ton of em, and a few ‘projects of the heart’ that I want off my ‘plate’.  Namely the Zander Books. There are 5 of them (did you know that) and they need to be finished. I’m feeling very anxious about getting these projects done.

Other plans; I’m going to be going back over the already pubbed shorts and doing some major fixes, possibly compiling and redoing the covers. I have a ton of thoughts on those, but for now let me say, I’m aware there are problems and I need to fix them. It’s on the list of things to do.

Anywho, I hope your month is going well, I hope 2016 is being nice. I haven’t decided if I’m happy with it or ready to fire it LOL.

Have a great weekend!

N

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necia_phoenix: (Zander)

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

A long time friend and fellow writer, Jennifer Amriss, has gotten her book,Race Against the Dark published. I’m really excited for her, and look forward to seeing a long list of wonderful books from her in the years to come. She graciously agreed to do an Author Interview.

  1. Introduce yourself, what is your favorite beverage? Chocolate yes or no? What would you like people to know about you?

Hi! Oh, dear. Well, I’m a big fan of chai latte, and who can live without chocolate? Apart from that, I am simple woman. Pennsylvania is where my cat Punks and I live and work. She keeps me honest, you know.

One of the best things to happen to me is my childhood. It wasn’t easy, but as a Navy Brat, I got to travel the world. I lived in Sigonella, Sicily for three years, and in that time I got to visit much of Europe. It really helped to give me a broader sense of the world and helped to fuel my creative mind.

Something some people may not know about me is I am a surgical technologist. I no longer practice, but I must admit, I miss it. The surgeons I worked with were amazing and hilarious during operations. One of my many jobs as a surg tech, other than passing instruments and holding bodies open for surgeries, was keeping a conversation open with the surgeons to help keep them from getting anxious or stressed. Though, standing for an 8 hour open-heart was torture, it was also a really fun, interesting, and rewarding experience.

 

  1. What are your hobbies, what do you do when you’re not writing?

When not writing, I waste spend my time playing World of Warcraft and other online games such as EverQuest II and Guild Wars 2. I can also be found losing myself in single player games like Dragon Age: Origins and the Mass Effect series. Don’t get me wrong, I suck at first person shooters, but I really love the stories in some of them.

Other than gaming, I read as much as I can or zone out to Netflix. I’m currently wading through the nostalgia that is the old X-Files series.

 

  1. Tell us about your new book including what inspired you to write it!

Race Against the Dark is the first book in the Fantasy series Kings of Kal’brath. It features kickass women, elves, and interesting creatures. Everyone’s favorite seems to be Culthar (that’s Man-Eater for those of you who don’t speak Common Elvish). He is a Darksire, which is the male counterpart to the Nightmare, and he is so full of cultured sass he’s one of my favorite characters to write besides the MC, Ka’lei. The two fit well together, if for nothing else than their combined wit.

Race Against the Dark is a sword and sorcery Fantasy Romance that can be categorized for New Adults, as Ka’lei is 20 and struggling to cope with more adult themes. The story starts in the year 2033 on Earth and quickly changes to Adradis, the Elf world.

In order to marry the man she loves, Ka’lei must prove her adulthood while trying to survive attacks from the encroaching Darkness that chases her throughout the continent of Kal’brath, set upon her by her deceased ancient ancestor… who just so happens to look exactly like Ka’lei if she aged about five years.

It’s a really fun story and was an absolute joy to write. I was inspired mostly by Wen Spencer’s Tinker series, and by the Dark Earth series by Raythe Reign. From studying their writing, I finally “got” how to write a story, and Ka’lei took me by the throat and demanded I write her story. I had no choice but to comply.

 

  1. What genres do you write in, and why? And would you like to try your hand at any others?

I write Fantasy in its various forms, from medieval-esque to postmodern sword and sorcery. Coming up with magic systems and trying to get them to make sense is one of my favorite things about the Fantasy genre.

If given the chance, I’d like to expand into the Paranormal genre since it’s so close to Fantasy. I also have some Science Fiction ideas sitting in the back of my brain that I hope to someday get onto paper.

 

  1. When writing, what geeks you out the most?

Hmm. Possibly creating the magic systems. One of my favorite things, as I said, is creating them and getting them to work. Though, beyond that I honestly geek out over creating different races and creatures. In the Kings of Kal’brath world, my two favorite races have to be the Kir, a race of cat shifters who I modeled loosely after Native Americans, and the Vampir colony. The Vampir are my version of vampires—humans who drink blood as a supplement to their normal diet due to physiological changes. They are the world’s best blood magi, and you will be seeing them in all their glory in book 3. (Cue the excited squeal.)

 

  1. Who has influenced your writing?

So many people have influenced my writing over the years, but I would have to say the major players in how I write would be Raythe Reign (X. Aratare if you look her up in Amazon), and my friends at Forward Motion. Without their help and guidance, I wouldn’t have eight books written, and I definitely would not have a published story.

 

  1. What are your favorite books?

Oh, man. I have so many. Let’s see… how to condense the list? I love The Artifacts of Power series by Maggie Furey, anything by Patricia Cornwell, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, Blue Heaven by Paige Jadette, all of Jordan L. Hawk’s stuff. Wen Spencer’s Tinker series is a must read. Katherine Addison has a great story that I am in love with called The Goblin Emperor, and under another pseudonym, Sarah Monette, she has the Doctrine’s Labyrinth series (Mélusine, The Virtu, The Mirador, Corambis) that made me squeal. They’re really fun.

Ugh. I’m packing for a move, and all my books are packed, so I can’t even look at my book shelf to jog my memory! But, I have so many favorites I can’t name them all without this becoming unwieldly. Though, a final mention: I love, love, love Raythe Reign’s work (if you hadn’t noticed from the many times I have mentioned her).

I pretty much love anything that is Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal. Though I also have a small place in my heart for a good murder mystery. If it’s M/M Fantasy or Paranormal, that’s all the better.

 

  1. Do you reread books you’ve already read, or just stick with new ones?

I definitely re-read my favorites until the spines start to crack. Though, something people may find interesting is I have a sensory disorder that makes paper and untreated wood products hard for me to handle. This includes paper books and pencils. Now that eBooks are a thing, I no longer have to worry about the spines, and I can re-read to my little heart’s content.

I may re-read my favorites, but I am always looking for new things to read. I’m currently on book 3 of the Widdershins series by Jordan L. Hawk titled Stormhaven. The series is a wonderful read, and I can definitely see myself re-reading this until I nearly have it memorized.

 

  1. What’s next on your agenda? What upcoming projects do you have coming?

Currently, I’m editing book two, Healing Wounds. Though, I’m unsure if I will be publishing that next. I’m waffling between publishing the books in a linear line, which would make sense, or publishing the series as a whole before starting in with the M/M side stories. If I go with the latter, I will be publishing Climbing Shadetree next (innuendo intended).

There are nine books in the main series, which is Heterosexual Fantasy. The side stories, the Exile’s End Duology, Dragon Highlands Duology, and The Scourge of Narin, are all M/M Fantasy. So, it’s a tough call.

Hmm. May I ask your followers what they think? I’d love to make a poll of this. I plan to publish a book every three months in order to retain my sanity (as if I had any in the first place). As a reader, would you rather a mix of Het and M/M fantasy if they are set in the same world and it keeps within the timeline, or would you rather keep the two genre categories separate?

 

  1. Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me a number of places. The best would be my website, http://jenniferamriss.com, where you can find a wiki that has awesome and interesting little tidbits about my two main worlds. The In the Works page has what I’m working on at any given time. You can find out more about me, see snippets of published work and snippets of books up for pre-orders when the pre-order goes live. Visit the Newsletter tab to keep up to date with my new releases, and if you like a one-stop-shopping experience, I have a list of all my books with the buy buttons for the various retailers I publish with for your convenience.

I am also on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jenniferamriss and Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/jenniferamriss. Though don’t be fooled. I am horrid at keeping up with social media. I’d rather spend my time writing. But! I’m getting better!

 

  1. Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, any last thoughts or comments?

Not a problem at all. Thank you so much for having me! This has been great fun.

As for last thoughts, I’d like to remind your followers that Race Against the Dark is available at most major retailers. You can find the buy buttons on my website at http://jenniferamriss.com/book/race-against-the-dark/, or go direct to Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and others. It will also be available in print soon for those of you who prefer physical books.

If you want to see my work on another retailer, please feel free to contact me through my website’s contact page and let me know! For right now, however, Google Play is closed to new authors. Once their platform opens up, you can expect to see my work there, as well.

Remember, if you buy a book from any author, please leave a review. Reviews are the greatest way to show an author that you appreciate their work, and good reviews make our entire week, and remind us why we keep writing. Sure, sales are awesome, but reviews hold a special place in a writer’s heart. They also help authors get noticed by more people by making us more visible in retailer searches by boosting our sales rankings and adding us to “also boughts” and giving us a shot at being featured in retailer newsletters. Leave reviews. Receive satisfaction that you made an author squeal.

Also, I’d like to thank your followers for listening to me ramble. You are all awesome. Remember that.

As a last surprise, and a special thanks to everyone, I’d like to announce that we will be keeping track of commenters. We will choose a random commenter for a free ebook copy of Race Against the Dark, delivered to your email in your preferred format of ePub or Mobi. Your names will be put into a Random Name Picker for fairness, around March 31st. Thank you all for your participation!

 

 

~*~

There you have it folks, check out her book and keep your eye on her for more great stuff. Thank you again Jen, for taking the time to answer these questions, and congratulations on the publication of your book!

N

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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

SO. March.

March 1st is the relaunch of E1. We’re on ch 30 and the next chapter will post on the first. If you want to brush up on the story you can go here or over to wattpad here. There will only be one chapter a week at this point in time, as I’m juggling RL and writing stuff. As I wrap up the edits it may bounce up to two chapters a week, but I’m not sure. NOW. When it’s all done, I’ll leave it up for a month or so before it comes down and will be offered in both Ebook and Print formats. Price will be determined at that point in time.

Thank you, you folks who have stuck with me. I’m sorry it’s been dragging on so long.

The next project;
Editing;  The Bastard Prince It has been lingering for way too long. It just needs a middle…

Writing:  E2, Elemental Flame (working title) the second book in the series.

Time to get back to work. How are you doing?

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Feb update

Feb. 20th, 2016 06:55 pm
necia_phoenix: (Default)

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I have internet again!

So I should have made the date for E1 restart for march, not feb, mainly because of the internet (or lack of) SO, back on track, taking things one at a time. March, we should be go for launch to get E1 wrapped up. Sometime this summer, E1 will go on sale in both ebook and paperback formats, and the writing of E2 will commence. I am hoping to also finish BP but I’m not setting a date on that just yet. For a number of reasons. Hope you guys had a great feb so far,

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MLK Day

Jan. 18th, 2016 11:25 am
necia_phoenix: (Default)

Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I have some thoughts about MLK day, but I have some serious brain fog and not feeling well. So I may try something about it another day. in the meantime, 8 degrees and me don’t mix well, lol. Instead I thought I’d just give a quick update on the state of the Phoenix.
Last week was, in short, brutal. We, the Forward Motion community, lost a dear friend. It was wonderful seeing the community pulling together as we all tried to comfort her family as they struggle to readjust to life without her.
On the heels of that, the world lost the talents of two fantastic entertainers; David Bowie (aka The Goblin King from the movie Layrinth), and Alan Rickman whom I knew best for his performance as Severus Snape from the Harry Potter movies. It left me feeling a bit bruised, a bit worn and very, very sad. I could just feel the devastation felt by their families as they, like my dear friend J.A. Marlow, struggle to adjust to life without a huge part of their family. I wish I could pull them into a hug and let them know, we cry & mourn with you. But then again, seeing the response on social media, I have no doubt that they know it.
There’s a lot more I could say, but its been said by others more articulate than I.
Life is a precious thing. One must always appreciate it. And it can change in such a swift moment and leave us wondering what the hell happened.

In writing news.
I’ve been working on E1. I’ve managed to knock out several chapters edit wise, hoping to wrap it all up by this next weekend and then start back with posting the first week of February. I like how this is going though there are a few scenes I’m a touch nervous about sharing. **shrugs** oh well. We’ll see how it goes.
Once E1 is done I may tackle writing E2. At least a rough first draft.
Or I may dive into Zander’s story and try to finish it over the rest of the year.
So many possibilities.

Hope you all have a great week.

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Sunday

Jan. 10th, 2016 11:11 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

This post is hours late. Sorry about that. It’s been a very difficult day. Today while running some errands, I received word that a dear friend of mine, whom you may remember me mentioning in the past, finally lost her battle with cancer. The past week has been kinda caught up with sitting vigil, virtually lending support to her family.

R.I.P. Mother Hen. Thank you for enriching our lives.

 

 

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Moon and trees

This was back in october.

Have a peaceful Sunday!

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I’m going to be going through the website over the next couple of weeks and cleaning up bad links, broken links, and may possibly redo the theme completely. I’m also working on a schedule for the website, not too much cause, hey, I have a busy life. I’ll also be trying to fix tags (my last few posts I didn’t tag at all) and other stuff.

Elemental Truth.  Ok so the serial is still ongoing. I am currently working on the next couple chapters which have had to be completely rewritten. I do love this story, and since life seems to be slowing to a managable rush, I’m trying to refocus energy in that direction.

 

NANOWRIMO  I have always loved NaNo, some years it’s been an impossibility. This year might be one of those years. The biggest reason is that, if things work out right, I’ll be returning to school in nov. I’m not sure school and nano will work. We’ll see. Either way, I’ve been so exhausted for so long, I may just stand on the sidelines and cheer everyone on.

 

Have a great week, and hopefully things will be back on a schedule next week.

 

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One day a week we should take a day to just let ourselves be us. To unwind and rejuvinate your soul. I love music, often I find it calms and soothes me more than anything else. A friend on facebook shared this group a while back and I just love their sound. Post Modern Jukebox. Here are a couple songs they’ve covered and it wows me every time. I found out they’ll be in Pittsburgh in November and I want to go see em.

 

Hope your Sunday is a day you can relax, throw on some music that soothes your soul, and have time for you!

 

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It’s hard to believe it’s been 14 years. How the world has changed.

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One of my fav things to do, outside of writing and hanging with the kids, is video games. These two are on my OMGIMUSTGETTHESE list!


I cried. I won’t lie. I effing cried when I saw that vid. Then I squealed and woke up the whole damn house XD

~*~

 Kid got me into the Fallout games. I saw this vid and just…. between these two games, I feel like I’ve been suckerpunched. I.can’t.wait!

Now for you, my ghostly readers, what do YOU like to do, aside from reading? What are you looking forward to in the coming months?

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The kids are in school, ALL of them! Hubs is on a new job, and I’m trying to regain my balance. So here’s an update, and some thoughts and hopefully the roughest stuff is behind me. For this year. Hopefully. I really need an effing break! LOL

The State of ME:

Kid who was in so much trouble is coming home for good in about two weeks. Hopefully things will be smoother. He’s changed, grown and I’m hopefully that this is for real this time. There is nothing more heartbreaking than a child making a set of decisions that will only lead him to an early and violent grave.

After my father-in-law’s death in April, everything in the household just seemed to go to shit. It’s taken me months to get moving again. I’ve gained weight (bleh) and let things slide that I don’t usually let slide. So I’m up and moving again.

Writing;

It seems to be inching back. The ideas never went away, the motivation to write while dealing with the other crap just *poofed**. I’m working on an Anthology story for the FM Anthology, but I’m not sure it’ll be done in time. And I may have just re-plotted the last half of E1. Again. I think this makes the fifth or sixth time. **rollseyes**

So where does this leave the serial?

Now that’s a tough one. OCD me wants to take it down because… shit it’s been months since I was consistant with it. But other me wants to plug away, finish the damn thing, so I can say I did.

Take note; before you start a serial make DAMN sure it’s ready to go. I thought this was, I was wrong. Obviously.

This year was supposed to be the year of the serials. It’s turned out to the year of procrastination. But the year isn’t over and I have time to yank this back the way it needs to go.

I was thinking, considering, pondering putting together a newsletter of sorts. Maybe every other month or something like that. But that may be one bit too much.

Another thought, for anyone actually reading this, is the website loading all right for you? Please let me know if you have problems. *I’ve* been having trouble with it, but it could just be my computer. Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend!

 

 

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back

Aug. 27th, 2015 08:30 am
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Summer has flown by, I’ve been offline and out of touch. I’ve been planning out some changes with the site and writing and the damn serial that stalled. Keep an eye on the blog…

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It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you
edit brilliantly.
– C. J. Cherryh

Have a great day!

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048

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.
– Somerset Maugham

Have a wonderful day!

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Happy June.

So life has a habit of kicking our asses when we’re not expecting it. At this rate, I feel like it’s all that has been happening on our home front. Some things; first, I’ve noticed the website is being a brat when I try to load it, is this universal, or is it just my computer? If you have problems, please drop me a note so I can fix the site.

Life in general, well it’s been frustrating. My father in law passed away in April, we went back to Oklahoma for the funeral, and on returning my husband’s job slowed to a crawl. I’ve got a job interview tomorrow **crosses fingers** and we’re kindof struggling to figure out how we’re going to pay the bills. I usually try to keep this pretty neutral and keep as much of my personal life off of this site, but this stuff has severely and negatively affected my writing and editing.

I keep saying I need to write up a post on time management. Once I figure it out, lol.

Depression’s a bitch, and she’s been parked on my shoulders for the past year or two. It’s far beyond just being sad. This has been apathy, some very negative feelings about myself, my goals and my writing. Yes I’m working on myself. Yes I’ve got meds and yes I’ve got therapy. It’s one step at a time. One challenge at a time.

Right now my writing & pubbing goals are fairly simple;

  • Get E1 finished. I have some major rewriting to do at the end (I seem to have misplaced/lost edits I’d done of the last part of the book)
  • Get back on a schedule of some sort. I had a schedule for the site, I’d like to get that going again.
  • Get myself back to writing regularly. Once upon a time 3k a day was my norm. If I don’t hit that I feel guilty/angry and frustrated. I need to ease up on myself. My new goal is 400 words. The past couple of days I’ve been playing with a new shiny and that seems to be helping out a lot.
  • Stop being hard on myself. If I saw someone talking to/treating another writer the way I mentally treat me, I would blow up at them. I need to ease up out of my own face. (try to visualize that one!)
  • Play with digi art more. I’d been working really hard on new covers, getting some real progress done on my digi art stuff when it ground to a halt. I want to get back to that. I truly love it and I’ve got some pictures I’d love to tackle.

I want to have E1 finished and up for sale by the end of the summer. I want to get it put up in print. Right now that’s really all I plan on working on. Once that’s done, I’ll re-evaluate things and go from there.

I’d had a request a while back to put some of the digi art on things like mousepads, bookmarks, etc. I can’t find the email, and I didn’t write down who (I apologize) but I did go ahead and put together a zazzle store. Right now it’s a bit empty, but I’ll be adding more stuff the next couple of weeks. You can go check it out over here.

So Wednesday there should be a new chapter posted, here and wattpad, and hopefully new digi stuff by this weekend.

I hope you all have a great week.

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This entry is part 1 of 31 in the series Elemental Truth

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  I’m sorry this bit took so long to get to you. Hope you all enjoy it.

 

Tier kept the borrowed hood over his head as he made his way through the crowded streets of Lorn. The largest of the coastal cities in Nekar, it was a center of trade and sported freedoms other cities’ no longer had. In his youth, Tier had loathed it and the influence of the visiting cultures. Now, he wasn’t so sure it deserved his disdain.

It was a bustling city, and at any moment he feared he’d see someone who would recognize him. It had taken close to three seven days to get to Lorn, through the mountains, and now that he was here, he feared he’d made a mistake. The docks were a bustle of activity, Tier leaned against a building trying to gather his thoughts. He had to get north, out of the country. His best bet would be to take a ship to Tyrsleth and then passage on a river barge to Sandau, to warn Xin and Geb to get out.

He didn’t want to think about the logistics, not yet. He wasn’t sure how he was going to manage it all. He pushed from the wall, glancing towards the podium where the Harbor Master observed the comings and goings of the ships and their crews. If anyone knew who was going north, he would. Tier hoped the man wouldn’t recognize him.

“I need a ship.” He spoke in a low voice.

“Aye? What?” He barely looked in Tier’s direction, he was fiddling with a coin on the podium.

“I need a ship to Tyrsleth.” Tier said. The Harbor Master’s hand stilled and he turned. His cataract hazed eyes widened and he swallowed.

“Yer sposed to be dead,” His voice was rough.

Tier swallowed, wondering if he should turn and run. A single word raised would alert the ever present guards that patrolled the harbor. “I need to get to Tyrsleth, as quickly as possible.”

The Harbor Master nodded slowly, and glanced around, fingers drumming on the podium. “Come on lad,” he motioned Tier to follow him. “The whole empire is shaking from your, err, death.”

“No one can know I’m not dead.” Tier gripped the man’s shoulder. The Harbor Master bobbed his head several times.

“No one will know. Yer secret is safe with me.” He pointed to a ship at the end of a long dock. “The Prancing Dragon. Captain Kerga runs a tight ship, don’t usually deal with passengers,”

“Then why,”

“Because she’s got no ties here, yer highness.” The Harbor Master hissed, half turning. He gave a gap-toothed grin. “Because you deserve better than a pole.”

The Harbor Master led him on the deck, and Tier felt his stomach do an uneasy flop. He could feel the motion of the ship on the water, and he didn’t care for it in the least.

“Aye! Cor, where’s Kerga?” The Harbor Master yelled.

A short, slim woman strode over. She glanced Tier’s way and dismissed him, focusing on the Harbor Master.

“She’s in her cabin, restin. Why?” The woman’s voice was a soft, an oddly familiar burr. Tier frowned, staring at her hard. Were her dark hair longer, her eyes a lighter gray, she could be Xin’s twin or older sister. He swallowed, glancing back at the Harbor Master.

“Just to Tyrsleth, Cor. I’ll pay,”

“Wait,” Tier started, the man shook his head.

“Yer not gonna argue me out of it, Tier. I owe ye, lad.”

Tier hissed a curse, shaking his head. The woman was staring at him, her eyes narrow.

“Tier?” Her voice hard.

“Cor, take us to the captain lass. I’ll explain below deck.” He waggled a finger at Tier. “No arguments, either.”

 

Captain Kerga was a tall woman with a cap of bright red curls and vivid blue eyes. She listened to what the Harbor Master was proposing while eying Tier. There was something about the way she watched him that made him uneasy. The silence stretched as she drummed her fingers on the surface of her desk.

“That’s a hefty cut you’re takin, Vourum.”

The man shrugged, hand clamped on Tier’s shoulder. “You know, as do I, why this is important.” He looked at Tier. “In some circles yer a martyr.”

Tier shook his head. “Crazy.”

“In others a hero.” Kerga leaned back, propping her booted feet on the desk. “Officially yer a traitor.”

“I am no traitor.” Tier snarled. Kerga smiled.

“That remains to be seen.” She stretched, hands behind her head, staring up at the ornately carved beams overhead. “Lets say I agree, the ships patrolling the coast,”

“As far as everyone is concerned, he’s dead.” Cor spoke up. She’d been leaning against one wall, fiddling with a rope. “If there were any whispers that he might have escaped, it would spread like wildfire in the dry grass.”

“True. Depending on who knows.” Kerga leaned forward, the legs of her chair hitting the floor with a loud thump. “I’ll not put my crew, nor my ship at risk, understand? First sign that you’re bringing trouble, yer overboard I dunna care how far from land we are.”

“Understood.” Tier’s heart was pounding in his ears.

“Discretion, Kerga.” The Harbor Master said quickly.

“I’m not a dunce, Vourum.” Her eyes flickered towards Cor. Tier didn’t dare look towards the slim woman.

“My apologies, I never meant to imply you were.” The Harbor Master tossed her a small bag and turned to Tier. “I’ve a friend up in Tyrsleth, Moya. She’ll put you up while you figure what yer gonna do next.”

“Why?” Tier asked, ignoring the two women.

“Why what?”

“Why, this?”

“I said I owed ya, more than you’ll ever realize.” He gave a gap-toothed grin and held out his hand for a handshake. Tier hesitated before taking his hand. On the back of his hand was a pale blue filigree tattoo that reminded Tier of glyph drawings. “Yer very existence is a slap in the face of that dead-eyed bitch. I like being a part of that.” The Harbor Master bowed low. “Good luck.”

Tier watched him leave before turning to the women catching the amused look they exchanged.

“Find him a space Cor.” Kerga said, pulling over some papers. “I’ve got some paperwork to catch up on.”

Cor nodded, glanced at Tier, and motioned him to follow her.

“We don’t usually take passengers, don’t have any special quarters for em. There’s a bit of a small space you can use.” She glanced at him.

“How long does it usually take to reach Tyrsleth?” Tier asked as they went down the steep steps into the belly of the ship.

“Few weeks, if weather is good, but we have a couple stops between here and there.” She half turned to him. “While we’re in Port, here or further north, stay below deck. It’d be safer that way.”

Tier inclined his head. What else could he do? His life was in their hands.

~*~

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Chapter 28                                Table of Contents                  Chapter 30

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Happy Early Ostara to those who celebrate it! (Or Mabon[I think] if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere)

So there are some things I’m having to change. Plans schedules and whatnot. First of all, because of some things one of my kids is going through, I’ve had to prioritize him and his needs over everything else. Now that he’s where he’s getting the help he needs, I’m able to readjust my schedule and reorganize my plan for 2015.

Elemental Truth.

I sat down a few days ago and did a full read through of E1, from the front to back. And I discovered something sorta distressing about the back end, which I’m working on right now. It is nowhere near where I thought it was completion wise. There are several things I need to rewrite/fix to make it a rounded tale. So where does that put the serial? I thought I’d get it done and have it up for sale by the first. And tbh if I didn’t have other things going on in my life, I would have. But it wouldn’t have been what I want it to be. It wouldn’t have done justice to the story I’m trying to tell. It wouldn’t have been the best I can do with it. I don’t want that. My readers don’t deserve a half assed attempt. I went with self-pubbing so I could control my schedule. I need to remind myself of this.

I’m going to cut the serial postings to once a week. I know, I know, it’s been sporadic as it is, and for that I apologize. Reducing my stress level is a big thing for me right now. So I think I’ll be posting chapters around Tuesday or Wednesday.

When it is done, it will be offered up for sale on the usual sites and I’m planning on going through Createspace to do a print version also.

Blog

It has suffered from neglect. I admit that. I’m working on putting together some more posts to get back on a schedule. I would love any suggestions for topics.

Other Projects & this year’s writing/pubbing plan.

I decided that this year is the year of the series. What that means, to put it simply, is that my focus is going to be on getting my series written and up for sale. The Avaria series, the Elemental series to start with. I have a lot planned. It’s time to get them done.

Flash Friday. I haven’t done that in so long, and I want to get back to doing that too. ATM it would be sporadic though, E1 is my main focus with the Zander tales on it’s heels ready to be finished. I’m not sure I can spread my attention that far.

ATM I don’t have dates down for when stuff will be out. I am going to be trying to guesstimate that this week, and put up the announcement or somesuch next week.

Real Life

To give you a rundown, and I feel I owe explanations to my readers. My 14 year old got caught up in a very bad situation last summer. What followed was lots of court stuff, him being in juvie, and then at home monitoring, and trying to get to the bottom of what seems like a 180 degree change in attitude. Currently he is in a special inpatient program which is helping him address his issues (drug & alcohol and mental illness such as depression & PTSD) and we are doing our best to cope with the fact that the kid we knew is not who he is now. It’s a tough thing to accept but we are doing our best.

Thoughts, prayers, candles lit, Buddha’s belly being rubbed are all appreciated. I worry that his bright star will be forever dimmed by this. Then again I am a worry wort, so I may be over-stressing.

Hug your families. Hug your friends. Let people you care about KNOW that you care about them. You never know what might happen tomorrow. Don’t put it off.

NPhoenix

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This entry is part 30 of 31 in the series Elemental Truth

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  Hope you all enjoy it.

 

“In times of desperation, our abilities can do amazing things.” Water Master Euka lifted his hands. A large bubble of water lifted slowly out of the river, the sunlight shining through it, casting rainbows on the grass. “From what you’ve told me, every time you’ve used your powers on your travel, it was in response to danger.”

Xin nodded. He was a thin, small man with a roughly cut bowl of thick black hair. He motioned her over. “Like your mother, you haven’t been able to practice, to experiment, have you? She’d barely learned how to lift water from the river.”

“I only practiced in hiding. And late at night.” She said.

She too would hide at night and in storms to play. She was a fast learner though.” Water Master Euka chuckled. “And a bit of a trickster.”

“I have only faint memories of my mother.” Xin said slowly. It was strange hearing someone talk about her mother. And in a favorable light no less.

“There is a lifetime of catching up to do. There is no rush though, Xin. No rush at all. She regretted her inability to retrieve you.” He patted her arm and then made a sweeping motion with his hand. The water blob dropped back into the river and the water in the river rose in a huge crest, hovering before crashing back down into its bank and settling.

“I want you to practice, get used to the feel of the water, you’ve had to hide it to survive. Now to survive you must master it, control it.” Another blob of water lifted and shaped into a plate shape and froze. “Practice with the different aspects of water, you do know what those are, right?”

“Liquid, solid, steam.”

The little man sniffed and nodded, the ice melted and then dissolved into a small cloud. “I want you to practice that.” It became a big blob of water again and splashed back into the river. “Now.”

Xin nodded and lifted a blob of water. This was more than just playing. She focused on the water willing it to freeze. A shell appeared on the outer layer, slowly. She frowned trying to focus harder, the blob stayed half frozen. A blob of slush.

“Not bad.”

“It won’t freeze.” She said. “I’ve frozen things before.”

“How often have you tried to do this particular exercise?”

She frowned.

“Exactly. There is no desperation, no danger. This is all focus and conscious effort.” She felt him wrest the ice blob out of her grip and tossed it into the river. “You have to build up the skill and the stamina to use your gifts fully.”

“I’ll try to remember that.”

“It is a lot to remember. It is a lot of change. Walk with me.” The old man led her along the walkway beside the river. “Your mother has no affinity for healing, do you?”

“I’ve never tried.”

He sighed. “One can always hope, we’ll test you later, though with the traveling you’ve done, I would think you would have unlocked that ability.” He pointed towards the Spirit Elemental dome. “Each element has areas of specialty. Water is usually ice, steam, or healing. Earth used to have crystal shapers and metal manipulators, if the legends are true. Proficiency is rare these days. Kera,”

“The Seeress?”

He spat to the side. “She is no Seeress, she is a charlatan, a trickster. A manipulator. She killed the strongest of us. Wiped out a generation of healers, crystal shapers, metal workers. The elementals will never fully recover. Did you know the Air Dancers had floaters? Before I met Aitelle, I thought all of them had been wiped out. The greatest of the Fire Elementals, the Fire Lords, used to have the ability to do what is called a Holy Flame.” Water Master Euka turned to her. “Legends tell of spectacular deeds done by the Holy Flame.”

“What is it, exactly?”

“No one knows. There hasn’t been a Fire lord who can do it in, well if legends are correct, since before the Seer War.” He chuckled. “There are those who whisper that Nesh is powerful enough to use it, but I’ve never seen it personally.”

Xin shook her head. “We were told the elementals were all extinct. My own grandfather tried to stone me.”

The Water Master patted her arm. “You are safe now. Come, let’s go over to the training field. Nesh teaches the young fire elementals. It is an interesting process, if a bit dangerous.”

“Dangerous?”

“Fire, Xin. If you aren’t careful, you’ll get your eyebrows singed off.”

 

They found Lord Nesh crouched in the training field, surrounded by a group of children whispering and laughing. Nesh’s hands were outstretched and in his hand was a man-shaped flame walking across his palms. The children giggled and laughed as the little flame danced and then did cartwheels across his hands. The Water Master nodded in his direction, speaking in a low voice.

“The last true Fire Lord. His family has been in power in Sandau since before the war of the Seers. He’s far more powerful than his sire, or his grandsire for that matter. Some whisper he is like the great Fire Lords of old.”

Xin watched the Fire Lord, silently comparing him to Tier and shook herself. There was no comparison and it was stupid. Tier was never coming back. She had to move on. Lord Nesh stepped back nodding at the children who lined up in front of him, hands out. Some were able to conjure up little fire-men of their own, some were having trouble getting much more than flaring sparks.

“He’s been teaching the young ones since he mastered his own abilities.” The Water Master murmured.

“He seems good with children.” Xin observed.

“Aye.”

Lord Nesh noticed them, eyebrows arching, he said something to the children and then headed over.

“I see your eyebrows have grown back.” The Water Healer called, chuckling.

“Thanks to you.” Lord Nesh grinned and glanced at Xin. “Training children to use fire can be dangerous at times.”

“I can imagine.” Xin watched the little ones struggling to keep the little flames in their hands from going out. “Aren’t they a bit young?”

“That’s why they must be trained.” Lord Nesh nodded towards a little girl closest to them, no more than six possibly seven years old. “She’ll be a master if she can get the basics down. But fire is dangerous. We must keep control at all times, lest it gets away from us.”

“I can see how that could be a problem.”

“It is a serious matter.” Lord Nesh looked down at her. “And how are you settling in?”

Xin looked away and shrugged. “It’s busier here than Dhaul.”

“It is. If there’s anything I can do, just let me know.”

Before she could respond a man called for him from the crest of the low hill overlooking the river. Nesh waved once and glanced towards Euka and Xin.

“Excuse me, Euka, can you make sure they don’t singe each other?” He didn’t wait, turning and making his way at a half run to meet the messenger.

Xin watched him as he spoke with the messenger and the two disappeared over the hill. Euka had made his way over to the children speaking gently. The flames went out and they bowed, turned and filed away.

 

“We found this in the house you were assigned to when you first arrived.” The young man set the small bag on the table. Xin felt her mouth go dry, barely acknowledging Aitelle coming over. It was Tier’s bag, the smaller one. She opened it with nerveless fingers, frowning as she pulled out some of his papers.

“Why would he have left this?” She asked no one in particular. The papers were notes, some in Nekarian, some in other language, all in a similar script. At the bottom was the book and the small box he’d found in Dhaul. Xin held the box, staring at the top of it. Important enough to take with him only to leave it behind?

“Xin, what is it?” Aitelle’s voice broke through her daze.

“These are important papers.” She lifted the book, “He called this a treasure of the royal family.” She looked at Aitelle. “Why would he leave it behind?”

Aitelle took the book, carefully flipping through the pages. “I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to be all that important, does it?”

Xin put the papers back, carefully replacing everything.

“He didn’t want her to get her hands on it.” Geb whispered.

Xin stared at Geb, heart pounding in her ears. “Of course.” She closed the bag, glanced at Aitelle. “Please, don’t mention this.”

“Xin, what is it?”

“I’m not sure.” She took the bag up to her room, setting at the foot of her bed, then went to the window staring towards the horizon. Fear for him, for what she’d do to him brought tears to her eyes.

~*~

If you’re enjoying it, please share, spread the word, I’d appreciate it.

Chapter 27                                   Table of Contents                          Chapter 29

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Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  Hope you all enjoy it.

 

“In times of desperation, our abilities can do amazing things.” Water Master Euka lifted his hands. A large bubble of water lifted slowly out of the river, the sunlight shining through it, casting rainbows on the grass. “From what you’ve told me, every time you’ve used your powers on your travel, it was in response to danger.”

Xin nodded. He was a thin, small man with a roughly cut bowl of thick black hair. He motioned her over. “Like your mother, you haven’t been able to practice, to experiment, have you? She’d barely learned how to lift water from the river.”

“I only practiced in hiding. And late at night.” She said.

She too would hide at night and in storms to play. She was a fast learner though.” Water Master Euka chuckled. “And a bit of a trickster.”

“I have only faint memories of my mother.” Xin said slowly. It was strange hearing someone talk about her mother. And in a favorable light no less.

“There is a lifetime of catching up to do. There is no rush though, Xin. No rush at all. She regretted her inability to retrieve you.” He patted her arm and then made a sweeping motion with his hand. The water blob dropped back into the river and the water in the river rose in a huge crest, hovering before crashing back down into its bank and settling.

“I want you to practice, get used to the feel of the water, you’ve had to hide it to survive. Now to survive you must master it, control it.” Another blob of water lifted and shaped into a plate shape and froze. “Practice with the different aspects of water, you do know what those are, right?”

“Liquid, solid, steam.”

The little man sniffed and nodded, the ice melted and then dissolved into a small cloud. “I want you to practice that.” It became a big blob of water again and splashed back into the river. “Now.”

Xin nodded and lifted a blob of water. This was more than just playing. She focused on the water willing it to freeze. A shell appeared on the outer layer, slowly. She frowned trying to focus harder, the blob stayed half frozen. A blob of slush.

“Not bad.”

“It won’t freeze.” She said. “I’ve frozen things before.”

“How often have you tried to do this particular exercise?”

She frowned.

“Exactly. There is no desperation, no danger. This is all focus and conscious effort.” She felt him wrest the ice blob out of her grip and tossed it into the river. “You have to build up the skill and the stamina to use your gifts fully.”

“I’ll try to remember that.”

“It is a lot to remember. It is a lot of change. Walk with me.” The old man led her along the walkway beside the river. “Your mother has no affinity for healing, do you?”

“I’ve never tried.”

He sighed. “One can always hope, we’ll test you later, though with the traveling you’ve done, I would think you would have unlocked that ability.” He pointed towards the Spirit Elemental dome. “Each element has areas of specialty. Water is usually ice, steam, or healing. Earth used to have crystal shapers and metal manipulators, if the legends are true. Proficiency is rare these days. Kera,”

“The Seeress?”

He spat to the side. “She is no Seeress, she is a charlatan, a trickster. A manipulator. She killed the strongest of us. Wiped out a generation of healers, crystal shapers, metal workers. The elementals will never fully recover. Did you know the Air Dancers had floaters? Before I met Aitelle, I thought all of them had been wiped out. The greatest of the Fire Elementals, the Fire Lords, used to have the ability to do what is called a Holy Flame.” Water Master Euka turned to her. “Legends tell of spectacular deeds done by the Holy Flame.”

“What is it, exactly?”

“No one knows. There hasn’t been a Fire lord who can do it in, well if legends are correct, since before the Seer War.” He chuckled. “There are those who whisper that Nesh is powerful enough to use it, but I’ve never seen it personally.”

Xin shook her head. “We were told the elementals were all extinct. My own grandfather tried to stone me.”

The Water Master patted her arm. “You are safe now. Come, let’s go over to the training field. Nesh teaches the young fire elementals. It is an interesting process, if a bit dangerous.”

“Dangerous?”

“Fire, Xin. If you aren’t careful, you’ll get your eyebrows singed off.”

 

They found Lord Nesh crouched in the training field, surrounded by a group of children whispering and laughing. Nesh’s hands were outstretched and in his hand was a man-shaped flame walking across his palms. The children giggled and laughed as the little flame danced and then did cartwheels across his hands. The Water Master nodded in his direction, speaking in a low voice.

“The last true Fire Lord. His family has been in power in Sandau since before the war of the Seers. He’s far more powerful than his sire, or his grandsire for that matter. Some whisper he is like the great Fire Lords of old.”

Xin watched the Fire Lord, silently comparing him to Tier and shook herself. There was no comparison and it was stupid. Tier was never coming back. She had to move on. Lord Nesh stepped back nodding at the children who lined up in front of him, hands out. Some were able to conjure up little fire-men of their own, some were having trouble getting much more than flaring sparks.

“He’s been teaching the young ones since he mastered his own abilities.” The Water Master murmured.

“He seems good with children.” Xin observed.

“Aye.”

Lord Nesh noticed them, eyebrows arching, he said something to the children and then headed over.

“I see your eyebrows have grown back.” The Water Healer called, chuckling.

“Thanks to you.” Lord Nesh grinned and glanced at Xin. “Training children to use fire can be dangerous at times.”

“I can imagine.” Xin watched the little ones struggling to keep the little flames in their hands from going out. “Aren’t they a bit young?”

“That’s why they must be trained.” Lord Nesh nodded towards a little girl closest to them, no more than six possibly seven years old. “She’ll be a master if she can get the basics down. But fire is dangerous. We must keep control at all times, lest it gets away from us.”

“I can see how that could be a problem.”

“It is a serious matter.” Lord Nesh looked down at her. “And how are you settling in?”

Xin looked away and shrugged. “It’s busier here than Dhaul.”

“It is. If there’s anything I can do, just let me know.”

Before she could respond a man called for him from the crest of the low hill overlooking the river. Nesh waved once and glanced towards Euka and Xin.

“Excuse me, Euka, can you make sure they don’t singe each other?” He didn’t wait, turning and making his way at a half run to meet the messenger.

Xin watched him as he spoke with the messenger and the two disappeared over the hill. Euka had made his way over to the children speaking gently. The flames went out and they bowed, turned and filed away.

 

“We found this in the house you were assigned to when you first arrived.” The young man set the small bag on the table. Xin felt her mouth go dry, barely acknowledging Aitelle coming over. It was Tier’s bag, the smaller one. She opened it with nerveless fingers, frowning as she pulled out some of his papers.

“Why would he have left this?” She asked no one in particular. The papers were notes, some in Nekarian, some in other language, all in a similar script. At the bottom was the book and the small box he’d found in Dhaul. Xin held the box, staring at the top of it. Important enough to take with him only to leave it behind?

“Xin, what is it?” Aitelle’s voice broke through her daze.

“These are important papers.” She lifted the book, “He called this a treasure of the royal family.” She looked at Aitelle. “Why would he leave it behind?”

Aitelle took the book, carefully flipping through the pages. “I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to be all that important, does it?”

Xin put the papers back, carefully replacing everything.

“He didn’t want her to get her hands on it.” Geb whispered.

Xin stared at Geb, heart pounding in her ears. “Of course.” She closed the bag, glanced at Aitelle. “Please, don’t mention this.”

“Xin, what is it?”

“I’m not sure.” She took the bag up to her room, setting at the foot of her bed, then went to the window staring towards the horizon. Fear for him, for what she’d do to him brought tears to her eyes.

~*~

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Chapter 27                                   Table of Contents

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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

This entry is part 28 of 28 in the series Elemental Truth

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  Hope you all enjoy it.

 

Estate of the Hassof Family

 

 

Rale felt as though he were swimming through a murky pool of water, trying to reach the surface, and failing miserably. He heard a whisper, the sounds of metal clinking and the loud creak of rusty hinges. His head was too heavy to turn, his eyes felt sealed shut. He couldn’t control his body. Fear raged inside him. Someone was there, was it her? He hoped it wasn’t, prayed she wouldn’t notice him. If he was quiet enough, maybe she’d go away. His mind was raw and sore. A wound gouged into his thoughts.

“Rale?” The voice echoed from a long dark passage. Female. Not her! Something cool, smelling like mint, was pressed against his forehead. A gentle palm pressed against his cheek. He smelled the perfume, light and floral. Her name swam up from the depths of his mind; Aryanda. His elder sister. He struggled to open his eyes, to say something. He heard a low groan and realized it was from him.

“There isn’t much time, Arya, hurry up.” A male voice, clipped and cultured, spoke. It was oddly familiar, though the name of the man elluded him.

“Rale, you have to get up.” Arya whispered. How could she sound so musical when she was whispering?

“Arya?” was that his voice? That cracked sound?

“It’s me. Open your eyes, we don’t have much time.” This time she shook him and pain shot through his body, from his back to his head. He groaned opened his eyes, staring up at her. Dark hair framing dark, concerned eyes.

“Where are we?” The words didn’t sound right. He tried again. “What happened?” He pushed himself up, glad for her help. He cringed when her hand touched his stinging back.

“Home. For now at least. She had me collect you.” Arya “She is expecting to come get you to finish her inquiries.”

Rale stared at her, memories rushing back. He’d hit the floor before Tier had. Rale swallowed. “Where’s Tier?”

Arya looked down, her voice a bare whisper. “She had him executed four days ago.” She looked back up, tears on her cheeks. “There are whispers purging the entire noble line. We have to get you out.”

“Out? We?” He blinked looking past her. Leaning against the wall near the door, arms crossed in front of him was a pale man in dark clothing.

“Xeresel has arranged for you to return to Sandau.” Arya handed him a tunic. He blinked realizing he wore only his underthings. Xeresel? Ambassador Xeresel? He stared at man, ignoring Arya’s attempts to get him out of the cot.

“What is a Bavanan sorcerer doing involving himself in Nekarian politics?” He demanded. Starting to get to his feet. A wave of dizzy swept over him and he plopped back to the cot.

“Saving your ass at the moment. Or trying to. Get dressed, Lord Rale. You are running on borrowed time.”

Rale numbly took his pants, pulling them on, and leaned against Arya as he fumbled with the belt. Lord Xeresel was said to be a powerful sorcerer related to the Queen of Bavanan herself. It was also rumored that he was a spy. Rale swallowed, staring at the man, wondering how much of the rumor might actually be true. He blinked, noticing a pale blue line of pulsing light running along the lines around the room. Next to Xeresel, on the wall, the light formed a circular pattern. Magic Glyph. He’d only heard of those in stories. Rale stared up at the man.

“Why?”

Xeresel gave a faint smile, leaning forward. “Because Arya asked so nicely. Hurry up my lord, we are running out of time.”

Rale took the boots Arya handed him and struggled to get them on his feet as she spoke.

“After we leave, go down to the stables. In the last stall is your horse, all ready to go. In the saddlebags are travel papers and money and a message for the Lady Launi.” Arya gave him a tight hug. “If I can, I’ll send messages through Moya in Tyrsleth.”

Rale got to his feet, fighting his churning stomach. “Arya, you are putting yourselves at risk, you can’t stay also,”

“I can’t leave. Not yet.” She gave a forced smile. “Too much going on.”

“Trust me, Rale, we have done far more than this to garner the Seeress’s wrath.” Xeresel said looking down at his fingernails.

Rale looked back and forth between them. “Like what?”

“There’s no time, Rale.” Arya embraced him quickly. “Someday, we’ll talk and I’ll explain.” She went to the door, resting hand on the doorknob.

“Good luck, my lord.” Xeresel extended a hand towards Rale.

Rale took the man’s hand, trying not to wince when Xeresel squeezed. The Bavanan man stepped back as the light receded, crawling back along the wall towards the round glyph which Xeresel covered with his palm. When he followed Arya out the door, the glyph vanished. Rale glanced at his hand and almost yelled, biting his lip at the last minute. Pulsing on his palm was a blue glyph. He touched it with his finger but he felt nothing but his skin.

“The spell will last long enough to get you out of Nekar unrecognized, but you must hurry. She can see right through it.” Xeresel’s voice was somber.

Rale looked up and felt chills working up his spine. Xeresel was no where to be seen. Neither was Arya. He stumbled to the door glancing at the two huddled forms beside it. Guards, sleeping, at least he hoped they were sleeping. He took a deep breath, and half ran, half stumbled down the hall like a drunken man. Sandau, Lady Launi, Xin, and Geb, the only things going through his mind. And the knowledge that he would have to tell Xin that Tier was dead. He swallowed. He couldn’t think about that now. He had to get out of Nekar.

~*~

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Chapter 26                                   Table of Contents

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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

This entry is part 1 of 28 in the series Elemental Truth

Disclaimer;  Elemental Truth, the first of the Elemental Wars books, is in the final stages of editing.  Hope you all enjoy it.

 

The air was cool and held a hint of autumn. Mist blanketed the valley and from the center of it rose the Oracle. He gritted his teeth and nodded a silent greeting to Rale. They stood before the closed gates, staring up at the insignia. The only sound was the haunting melody that was so familiar.

“Where are the priests?” Rale asked. He was unshaven and had a pallor to his skin that made him look ill.

“I don’t know.” Tier glanced up at the wall. No movement, nothing. He stepped over, raising his hand to knock on the gate when it swung silently inward.

In the center of the courtyard stood a small robed figure, not much taller than the Seeress. Thin hands reached up, pushing the hood of the robe back revealing a very pale, blue eyed woman with a crown of white gold hair. Her robes once fine silks that might have been blue, were tattered and worn, moving about her in a wind he couldn’t feel. Tier swallowed, desperately wishing for a drink.

“Prince Tier.” The woman tipped her head to one side. Tier felt a brush against his mind, like butterfly wings, and pushed back at it. Her eyebrows arched and an odd smile crossed her lips before she peered at Rale. “Lord Rale. You are both late.”

“Where are the Priests?” Rale’s voice had a high pitched edge to it. She chuckled, the sound did nothing to ease Tier’s discomfort.

“The Festival of Hope draws them south to the coast this time of year.” Her voice was so low that Tier had to strain just to hear her.

“And you are?” Rale was frowning at her.

“Kit.” Tier answered for her, chills running up his spine as her remembered the old stories whispered in taverns and round campfires. The mind-breaker. The Voice of the Seeress. Rale went paler and swayed on his feet. She inclined her head slowly not looking away from Tier.

“That is what they call me, yes.” She made a slow circle around them, her hands pressed together in front of her. “You were sent for Elementals.”

“We were unable to bring them with us.” Tier said as she stepped in front of him and looked up at him. Her eyes were familiar, but he couldn’t remember from when.

“She will not be pleased.” Kit said after a moment. She shook her head and motioned towards the corridor leading to the Seeress’s room. “It is time.”

“I did as she asked.” Tier crossed his arms. She turned back to look up at him, her expression impossible to read.

“Yes, you did. Hopefully, for your sakes, she’ll remember her part.” She looked at Rale for a long moment before motioning them again to go down the corridor. Rale sighed and went, Tier stayed rooted, staring at the her.

“She waits for you, your highness.” The soft voice was hypnotic.

“Will she honor her part?”

Kit looked up at him and again he felt the butterfly wings brushing his mind. He pushed back, scowling and she smiled.

“I can’t answer that, your highness. She is not in a good mood.” Her voice never rose, yet it chilled him further. She knew what he could do. He nodded and followed Rale into the silent Oracle.

Each step echoed against the walls and the pressure he’d felt since returning to Nekar grew stronger. When they reached the inner sanctum, Tier could barely see. Pain shot through his head as the Seeress entered the room. His eyes locked on her, struck again by how young she looked. This creature was over a thousand years old? Two thousand? She stared at him, her blank eyes boring into his. He felt the pressure increase and could almost feel her fingers clawing at his mind.

He shuddered, unable to stop himself. He was certain she was trying to get into his mind.

“You failed.” Her voice, harsh and brittle compared to Kit’s soft tones, crawled over his skin. Her movements were less fluid than before, far more agitated.

“You said if we couldn’t bring them back,” Rale began. The Seeress turned her head and Rale gripped the sides of his head with a hoarse cry. Tier took a half step towards his cousin and then glared at the Seeress.

“We were hindered by another like you.” Tier said, somehow his shakes faded as she looked back at him, eyes wide. His fear faded, anger beginning to boil. This little creature had held Nekar in the palm of her hand for centuries. Even now his father was acting not on his own but in response to her. The pressure he’d felt since arriving back home was the Seeress, he was certain of it.

“There are no others like me.” She whispered. Tier was aware of the tattered robed Kit kneeling beside Rale.

“She called herself Launi.” Tier continued. Kit looked towards him but his kept his gaze on the Seeress. Kera, he reminded himself, her name was Kera. “She seemed to feel you were not entirely truthful with me when you asked me to look for elementals.”

“Did she?”

On the ground Rale groaned.

“Father informed me that you told him I was looking for a General’s daughter. That is not what you asked us to do.”

“Are you questioning me?” Her voice cold. On the ground Rale groaned.

“Yes I am.” He gripped his sword belt, his palms sweaty. He was a dead man already, he could see it on her face, he might as well give her a piece of his mind. “I was sent away from my duties under false pretenses. I have a war I am fighting, my men need me there. Not traipsing around the world looking for elementals who are not as extinct as we have been led to believe they were. How many other lies have you told our people?” Pressure upon pressure on his skull dropped him gasping to his knees. He glared up at her. She knelt, her fingernail scraping his cheek.

“You presume much, your highness.” She whispered hoarsely.

“Do I?” He narrowed his eyes. “Grandmother?”

For a brief moment the pressure stopped, he heard a gasp, the white faded from her eyes revealing a pale blue, like the woman from the mural. The pressure and the white returned and his cheek felt hot along where her fingernail had traced. Pain, white hot shot through his cheek.

“You have outlived your usefulness, your highness. Open your mind to me and I might see fit to spare your life.”

“And let you control my every movement? No thank you.” He whispered. Pain blazed again, but this time on his back. He jerked forward arching his back blindly attempting to ease the pain. The Seeress cupped his face in her hands, her fingernails biting into his skin.

“Let. Me. In.”

Tier closed his eyes, feeling the claws in his head. “No.” Anger welled up, flaring around him and for a moment, when he opened his eyes and met hers, he saw. A thousand years of lies, experiences, births, deaths, the building of an empire and behind it all were the shadowed images of people he didn’t recognize.

Time rolled beneath him, the war of the Seers, a conflict which had stretched for thousands of years had come to a head. It had been they, the spirit elementals, the sisters, not the elementals, that nearly tore their world apart. Darkness clouded his vision and he felt himself falling.

“Traitor.” Her voice echoed in his mind even as the darkness crowded around him. “Take him to the desert.”

 

 

Water dripped in the distance. Kit stared at the place the two men had lain, her mind whirring. Unexpected. Very unexpected. Kera paced behind her, hands clenched at her sides.

“How could he have found out?” Kera rasped. “It’s impossible, no one could have figured it out!”

Kit didn’t answer. She kept her secrets tightly behind a public wall of nonsensical thoughts. Kera had long grown weary trying to batter through it, the centuries had left the Seeress a touch lazy.

“Kit!”

Kit looked at her, pulling her robes tightly around her. “What?”

“Go with the army to Sandau. I want Launi brought here in chains.”

Kit inclined her head and watched Kera make her way back into the private area. Behind her heavy footfalls and the jingling of armor announced the arrival of the Oracle Guards. They went out of their way to avoid Kera if they could. Kit listened to them shuffling uncomfortably.

“My lady?” The Captain’s voice was hesitant.

“I’ve told you not to call me that, Captain.” Kit met the man’s eyes. He swallowed and inclined his head.

“Forgive me. The prisoner is ready to be taken to the desert, we’re having trouble locating some shackles though. We may have to send to the capital for some.”

“Use rope.” Kit, moved past him.

“But, Kit, rope…”

“He won’t be waking up again, Captain.” She pulled her hood over her head and met his eyes. “I made sure of that. All you need is to keep him propped up on the pole. Right?”

The Captain stared at her for a long time before nodding. “Of course. What do you want us to do with their horses?”

“I’ll take care of the prince’s horse. Send Lord Rale’s back to his family with him.”

“Yes, of course.”

“Good day, Captain.” Kit turned, making her way back to the courtyard.

The two travel weary horses stood patiently, waiting for their masters. She stepped up to the large warhorse, rubbing his nose. “You’ll do very well, won’t you?”

~*~

If you’re enjoying it, please share, spread the word, I’d appreciate it.

 

Chapter 24                                      Table of Contents                   Chapter 26

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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Some things;

The year of the Series.

Elemental Truth

I’m going to be posting the rest of the chapters of E1 as they are ready, at least one a day until they’re all up.

Once it’s done, I’ll be offering it at the usual outlets, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords. I’ll also be preparing it to go to print through Createspace, hopefully no later than March 1st.

Book 2, Elemental Flame is outlined and ready to be written. Once I get the Avaria series out of the way. Or some of it.

Avaria Series

Bastard Prince, The Sarukai Lord, and The Dragon Gates are all slated to be finished this year. This series has lingered for too long.

I’m also going to be trying to get back on a posting schedule and the flash friday stuff.

 

Personally, life is still racing and I’m trying to figure out a balance. Thank you for sticking with me.

 

NPhoenix.

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