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Ok, so last year was not the easiest year I’ve ever had. This year is going to be better. I refuse to believe otherwise. So here are a few things I’ve got on the plate.

2015 Writing/pubbing lineup

Elemental Truth;

I am not going to dwell on it. I’m working on it daily. I’ll post chapters as they’re ready. I’m hoping that by the end of this month it will be ready to be pubbed. I’m also going to be releasing it in print, though I’m not sure when it will be ready.

The Bastard Prince, The Sarukai Lord, The Dragon Gates & Crossroads

I love this story. and I hate it. Which makes me sad to say. Once I’m done with the E1 edit/publishing, I’m diving into the Zandercrack and it’s going to be published. This year. Even if it kills me XD.

Those projects could easily swamp me this year. But here are other things I’d like to try to check off the list;

The Fallen. Two maybe three scenes and it’s DONE. >.<
Zombiestuff  –  I have more storires set in this world I want to tell.
Crown of Bones – Fantasy Adventure series, with female protags.
Space Opera
PHFR (prehistoric-fantasy romance)

 

There are other things but right now I have to focus on E1 & Zander. Those have been sitting for way too long. It’s the year to dare to be bad I have to. My sanity depends on it.

I’m also hoping to take one of Dean Wesley Smith’s workshops (you can find them over here) because I want to improve in many areas. Anyways, there’s more on my mind, but I’ve been catwaxing all day. Time to finish the typo sweep and post the next chapter of E1.

NPhoenix

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In short, we’ve been struggling as a family. My son has been fighting addiction and it has dragged our whole family & routine down the drain. I’m working to find a balance between family, writing and other endeavors. I’ve found a stress easement with some new pets (ball pythons) which have helped with the general out of it I’ve been fighting.

I am sorry. I failed getting E1 up and posted on time. I probably lost what readers I have. If any of you are still around, light a candle, rub buddah’s belly, pray, whatever that y son can get a handle on his issues and that I can help him.

I’m working on the next couple chapters. The edits needed are minor, just a few tweaks and it should be done. I’ll try to get them scheduled this week. Again, I’m sorry. Life derailed me horribly and sometimes you just have to refocus.

NPhoenix

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On oct 15, the daughter of a dear friend got a call no parent ever wants to receive. Her precious daughter had fallen down the stairs at her auntie’s house and was in emergency surgery for a ruptured spleen. Little Naomi passed away, and her mother, grandmother and the rest of their family and friends are in shock. I’ve known the family over ten years and *I* am having a hard time wrapping my head around it.

If you, dear readers, could share the link I’m going to post, to help their family cover the funeral costs and maybe light a candle/say a prayer for Courtney (Naomi’s mother). She was trying to get herself on her feet to take care of her darlings. My heart is breaking for her. And when you have, please, if you have children of your own, hug them close and let them know you love them. You never know what tomorrow may bring.

 

 

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

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

 

 

“There are chains on top of this building.” Tier stared up through the opening in the ceiling of the ancient building. Pale clouds skittered across a pale blue sky and marring it were huge metal links. He couldn’t see what they were connected to, the ceiling blocked his view.

“They’re huge.” Rale whispered. Tier nodded.

“What at they doing there?” Geb asked.

“Why didn’t we see them at the crossroads?” Tier mused aloud. He saw Rale shrug in the corner of his eye. “How would we get up there to get a better look?”

“Why would you want a closer look?” Rale asked incredulous. He gestured up towards the ceiling. “Can you fly?”

Tier snorted and glanced over at Geb. The young man was poking at the vines covering the far wall. “I want to see what they are.” He gave a half grin. “I’m curious.”

“There’s an old stairway behind these vines.” Geb called. He moved some of the vines revealing an archway and a dark, shadowed passage.

Tier glanced towards the blanket covering Xin’s small ‘room’. She hadn’t stirred since the day before. He considered checking on her, but decided against it. Letting her rest seemed a better idea. He turned his attention back to the gaping hole and Geb’s stairs. They were set deep in the rock, and he felt the skin on the back of his neck tingle the closer he got to them. Tier looked down at Geb.

“How safe are these?”

Geb placed his hand on the bottom step and closed his eyes, Tier felt a solid ‘pulse’ of the boy’s powers. “They’re solid.” Geb opened his eyes, grinning. “A shaper made them a long time ago.”

Tier nodded, and cautiously placed his foot on the first step.

“Those are far too steep for me. They look more like a ladder. You fall and you’ll break your neck.” Rale grumped. “I’ll wait down here.”

Tier nodded and carefully ascended the steps, Geb at his heels. The stairs curved to his right, ascending towards the top of the cliff. Around the first bend it was nearly pitch black. He felt his way up the steps around the next bend and realized he could see. Dim, though with each step it got brighter. Then he was stepping out onto a flat area. He stared, trying to grasp what he was seeing. A plateau. Not the roof of a building.

On either side of the doorway stretched huge chains, tethering a wide slab of floating rock to the plateau. Tier resisted the urge to rub his eyes. How did the ancients do it? He shook his head. Sky City Hyrfett.

“Look at how high it goes.” Geb whispered.

“Stay by the stairs. Just to be safe.” Tier instructed.

“How did they do it?” Geb asked.

Tier shrugged, touching the chain. The metal that made up the links, were as big around as his arms. The links were as tall as he was. Slung between them on some sort of cable were steps. He swallowed, glancing down at the skyhole and swore. The steps to the top of the building he could handle. This?

“Are you going to climb them?” Geb peered with wide eyes.

“Hell no.” He motioned the stairs. “Go back down, I’ll be right behind you.”

Geb nodded, carefully making his way back down the stairs.

Tier was about to follow when he felt the flutter use of power. He halted, turning slowly, scanning the horizon, looking for the source of the power. It came again, brushing against his mind. In the distance he saw a smudge of dark gray clouds. Smoke? He looked up at the slab of rock that floated in the air. If he were on that thing, he’d get a better view of the smoke. He felt the fluttering power again and gritted his teeth. He had to find out where it was coming from. He tested the bottom step. The step itself wiggled a bit, but the chains didn’t budge. He stared up at the floating rock.

“I’m insane.” He murmured. The power fluttered again against his mind. He took a deep breath. Step by precarious step, he ascended the sky stairs to reach what he hoped was a sort of stable ground. He snorted. Stable? Floating in the air? This trip was making him crazy. He reached the slab of rock and placed his foot on the dark reddish brown rock. It didn’t budge, didn’t move. He peered around. What looked like rock underneath was covered in tall grasses on top. He stepped toward the middle of it. A breeze rippled the grasses, bending them wave-like.

He stared around, slow, his mind refusing to accept what his eyes saw. In the distance, dotting the air above the canyons, were other floating rocks, also held by the immense chains anchoring them to the ground.

“How was this made?” Xin’s voice broke his thoughts. He turned, in time to see her step onto the rock, her eyes wide as she peered around. He motioned her over.

“I can’t tell exactly where the edge of the rock is.” He said quickly. The last thing he wanted was for a fall. “Thought you were sleeping.” He said as she stopped beside him. She looked up at him and grinned.

“I woke up to Rale swearing at you. He said you lost your mind.” Xin turned slowly. “This is unbelievable. What do you think they were put here for?”

“Fields of grain, perhaps. For the floating city.” Tier frowned. The fluttering against his mind was back. He looked north, peering at the gray cloud. “What does that look like to you?”

“Smoke.” Xin said, touching his arm. “Though I’ve never seen smoke acting like that.”

“I felt,” he hesitated. “Power use.”

“Fire elemental perhaps?”

Xin gasped. “Did you see that?”

Tier nodded. The smoke had cleared, just for a brief moment, and he saw a city against a low mountain. He took half a step, trying to see through the clouds swirling back over the city. Xin gripped his arm.

“That is a really long drop.” She said when he glanced down at her in surprise. She looked a bit flustered, releasing his arm and crossing hers.

“I’ll be care.” He looked back towards the cloud. “If that was smoke, the city could be on fire.”

“Do you think a fire elemental might have done it?” Xin asked. A strong breeze kicked up. She leaned closer, staring towards the smoke. “How would we get over there?”

Tier looked down towards the canyons. “That looks like it might be a road right to the city.” He pointed at a canyon that curved toward it. “We could make for that city, see if we can find who was using power.”

“And hope they’re friendly?”

Tier snorted and glanced at her. “You were.”

“Geb wasn’t.” She pointed out.

“He was protecting himself.” Tier touched her arm and pointed to the distant tree. “Is that what I think it is?”

“A tree?” She grinned. “This is amazing. It’s so peaceful.”

“It is.” Tier stepped around her, moving closer to the chains. “It’s very high up though.”

Xin laughed. “Are you going to have a problem getting down?”

“Of course not!” He motioned her ahead of him. “Lets go tell them what we saw. We’ll head out in the morning.”

“You’re insane.” Rale scowled.

“I survived.” Tier pulled out the map, staring down at it. “This is the crossroads.” He frowned.

“That city isn’t on the map.” Xin said.

“We’ll work our way north.” Tier glanced at Geb. “Any idea what that city is.”

The boy shrugged. “I’m just an ignorant tribesman.”

Xin lightly swatted his shoulder. “Geb, you are a font of lore we’ve never heard. I wouldn’t call that ignorant.”

Tier was in the process of tucking the map back into his travel packs when Rale touched his shoulder, jerking his head to one side.

Tier followed, frowning.

“Is this a wise move, cousin? I’ve never heard of much exploration in this area.”

“Is any of this wise?” Tier crossed his arms and glanced back at Xin.

“We turn her and Geb over to the Seeress, and she’s going to kill them both.” Rale hissed.

Tier looked at him. “We don’t know that for sure.”

“Tier, I’ve seen the looks between the two of you,”

“Rale,” Tier began.

“I’d have to be blind to not see it. Are you willing to risk her life on the chance that the Seeress won’t kill them?” Rale shook his head.

“What’s your interest?” Tier crossed his arms.

Rale looked toward Xin and Geb, and then back at Tier. “All my life I’ve been taught elementals are monsters. But those two are anything but monstrous. And I’m certain they’re not the only elementals left, not like we’ve been led to believe. The Seeress did gave us an out.”

Tier frowned. “Rale, if we tried anything, aside from what she’s expressly ordered, she’ll know. She’ll read our minds.”

“And she’d kill us.” Rale’s shoulders sagged. “What do we do?”

“For now? We go north.” Tier looked back at Xin. “From there,” he shrugged. “We’ll see.”

 

~*~

The next chapter will be posted Thurs, Oct th.

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

Want more to read? Check out J.A. Marlow’s Summer Crash serial & A.J. Devial’s Distant Sun

Thanks for reading. :)

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An Update

Oct. 4th, 2014 11:28 am
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

So this past summer we went through a lot of crap. The two biggest things were issues with one of my kids and the housing. This past week I spent most my time dealing with court stuff to get my son home (runaway, got in trouble with law stuff thanks to a few really BAD kids). He came home last night and we’ve been figuring out handling things (very complicated) such as school, dr appointments and things like that.

 

This has taken precedence over my writing and the serial. I do apologize, and I felt you, my readers, deserved a better explanation than ‘I’ve been busy.’

I am working on getting this back on schedule. Please be patient.

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

Hello!

We have moved, and are getting settled, and I should be on track here in a couple days. Sorry about this delay. Hope you are all having a good September so far.

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

OK, so the house we’re in has a ceiling caving in, multiple bathroom leaks and a landlord who is unwilling to fix it. While I’ve gone to court to try to force him to fix it, that has done nothing to help the situation (but given us LOTS of headaches) and we’re just DONE.

IMG_1278 the master bathroom started losing tiles about a month after we moved in.

IMG_1284Due to leaks from the UPSTAIRS bathroom, my ONE cupboard is falling off the wall.

IMG_1286My upstairs bathroom’s access panel which the landlord refuses to send a contractor to fix. We now have a leak (again) from this same pipe and everytime the kids take a shower I end up with 2 inches of water on my kitchen floor.

IMG_1290This is the kitchen ceiling. That panel fell down Summer 2013. They STILL haven’t fixed it

IMG_1281The other part of my kitchen ceiling. Mind you, my oldest is 6’5, that ceiling brushes his hair when he walks under it. And it has sagged even further since this picture was taken one month ago.

 

SO.  We just landed another house. We’re packing our things, and getting ready to move this next weekend. I’ve got to gather kid stuffs for transfering schools etc etc…

I’m trying to nail down the next couple chapters of the serial so I can schedule them before the move. I don’t know how long I’ll be internet silent, though I’ll be on twitter.

I apologize for the hiccups with the serial. This summer has been one of the most challenging I’ve had.

NPhoenix.

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My son is in the hospital, awaiting surgery to remove his appendix. Barring any other emergencies, the next chapter should go live thursday.

 

NPhoenix

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This has been a really not good few months. So I’m struggling to stay positive. Have a peaceful day!

 

outside

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So a dear friend, J.A. Marlow, does some really awesomesauce covers. Since my life has recently exploded in my face, she was kind enough to whip up a cover for Elemental Truth.

Elemental Truth Cover

**squees**

**cough**

SO, fellow writers, if you need a cover, her rates and other examples of her artwork are over here. I highly recommend her.

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An apology

Jul. 11th, 2014 12:33 am
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Real life pounced me pretty hard last week, and this week is no better. However, next Tuesday the Serial will be back on schedule. I hope I didn’t lose you, and I deeply apologize for my silence regarding it.

N. Phoenix

 

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Happy Father’s Day!

To both those who are fathers and those who have been there for kids who have needed a positive male influence in their lives;

Thank you.

Fatherhood/Guidance-hood, isn’t just about biology.

There have been, throughout my life, men who have inspired and encouraged me, My dad, my grandfather, a couple youth leaders at various churches I attended, teachers, neighbors, guys who are just decent guys trying to do their best. Some of them have NO idea how positively they influenced my life, some of them do know, because I told them.

So go tell an inspiring dude (whether he’s a father or not), how inspiring they’ve been to you and have a great day!

This song reminds me of both my dad and my husband (who is an awesome father)!

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This entry is part 4 of 4 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.*

Chapter 4

The old fortress road snaked back and forth up the side of the mountain, doubling back on itself several times. It was overgrown with pines, conifers, and an assortment of underbrush Tier was unfamiliar with. The road leveled out for about a quarter of a league before coming to a large pillar with carvings in a language he’d never seen before. The road they were on continued, disappearing over a rise. A smaller road, little more than a game trail shot off from the main one, twisting up the steep rise.

“What do those markings mean?” Rale asked Xin. She glanced toward the pillar and shrugged.
“I have no idea.” She pointed towards the game trail. “We go that way.”

Rale groaned. The trees were so close together and the branches so low they’d have to dismount and lead their horses through.

“Why?” He asked. Tier shook his head.

Xin half turned. “You want to get to the fortress, correct?” She pointed. “It’s at the top of the mountain. This is the only road to it.”

“The other road…”

“Takes you to Delebeg, past the path of the bandits.” The old man said, his voice impatient. “Xin, Slow down.”

Tier choked back a chuckle when the woman increased her pace.

“What was that Matau? I can’t hear you.” She paused by a tree and leaned against it. She inclined her head as Tier got closer.

“Enjoying yourself?” he asked. She shrugged.

“When he starts complaining, you’ll want to put as much distance between your ears and his mouth as you can.” she said, glancing towards Rale and Matau.

“You might want to give them a hand. That horse isn’t going to cooperate.”

Tier sighed, looking back. The old man and Rale were unsuccessfully trying to move the horse past a tree leaning over the trail. The beast was having none of it, jerking his head and pulling back. Tier handed the reins of his horse to Xin and picked his way back down the trail, removing his cloak as he went. When he reached the horse, he gently slid it over the frightened beast’s eyes from behind. The horse stiffened, body trembling and Tier spoke to it, taking the reins from Rale and urging the beast forward. It took a hesitant step forward, then another. Once they were past the tree stump he removed the cloak and handed the reins back to Rale.

“Show off.” Rale grumbled. Tier barely cast a glance his way, climbing back up the path. Xin was staring, wide eyed at his horse who was nuzzling at her.

“Is it going to bite me?” she whispered hoarsely.

Tier took the reins and shook his head. “No. He’s just being friendly.” He took a couple steps up the trail, glancing down at her. Her eyes were still wide. “Are you coming?”

Her eyes narrowed, jaw clenched. She pushed from the tree, moving past him and his horse, shooting him a dark look. He waited till she passed him to smile.

She wasn’t joking about Matau’s complaining. Everything was subject to being bitched about. From the weather, to the village to Nekar, and even the Seeress, the man was both a drain on the ears and well of information. Though most of it was twenty years old and the subjects were long dead and buried. His voice echoed off the trees and rocks as they neared the sheer cliffs at the base of the mountain, the shadows growing long and the sky turning a pale orange.

Against the base of the cliff was a small cabin facing the narrow stream. Tall pines blocked out much of the sky on the sharp slope, far too thick to see through. Tier took over taking care of the horses as his guides prepared the dinner. Rale hovered by the food, as if unsure of what to do next. Tier paused in his ministrations of the horses to watch Xin hand Rale a deep pan and told him to get some water. The silence was telling.

Rale stared at her, glancing down at the pan in his hands and looked back up at her.

“What?” She rested her hands on her knees, crouched and balancing on the balls of her feet. “The stream is right over there, go fill that.”
“Me?” His voice spoke volumes.

Xin narrowed her eyes, shooting a look at Tier. “Is he kidding?”

Tier shook his head, pulling the saddle and sweat soaked saddle blanket from Rale’s mount. “You should have seen the look on his face the first night we had to sleep on the ground.”

She looked back at Rale. “You walk over to the stream, dip the pan in it then bring it back here, full of water.”

Rale turned stiffly, shooting some very ugly looks Tier’s way, and did so. Tier finished with Rale’s horse, moved on to his, only half listening to the endless complaining of the old man. Out of the corner of his eye he could see a pale mist, drifting between the trees just beyond the treeline. His horse and Rale’s stilled, nickering softly, ears flicking back and forth. Tier ignored it, focusing on his horse, a fine war-bred beast that had taken him through many a battle.

He couldn’t avoid seeing it when he returned to the cabin with the saddles. Up the path they were to take in the morning, tendrils of mist crept down, towards the clearing. He hesitated on the porch. On either side of the path were old stones, carved in a similar fashion to the crossroads pillar. The mist kept distance from the stones. Deeper in the forest, as the shadows grew even longer, he saw the silvery shapes forming, and more mist crept down the path. He forced himself to look towards the stream, to ignore the tendrils of mist creeping into the clearing.

“Tier can I have a word with you?” Rale asked, he looked a touch disgruntled.

“Having fun?”

Rale snorted. “Why do we need guides?” he hissed. “You’re more than capable of getting us to the Fortress.”

Tier glanced towards the fire where Matau crouched, setting the tri-legged spider over the crackling flames. Xin handed him things to put into the pot. Her braided hair hung over one shoulder the end just above the dirt and she fiddled with it absently, staring back the way they’d come.

“The Seeress wanted us to start our search here, for a reason.” Tier said slowly. He looked back at Rale. “I think she knew something.” Rale shook his head.

“You think she’s an elemental?”  He hissed. “You do, don’t you?”

Tier hesitated. “I think there’s a chance she is. You heard what the old man said, her mother was a water elemental.”

Rale nodded, glancing back at their guides. “How do we…” he trailed off and looked at Tier. “What do we do next?”

“I don’t know. Wait and see.” Tier shrugged and pushed into the cabin, setting the saddles on the floor just inside the door. “What else can we do?”

 

 

 ~*~

The next chapter will be posted Tues, June 17th.

If you’re enjoying it, please share, spread the word, I’d appreciate it. Thanks for reading.  :)

(c) 2014 Necia Phoenix

 

 

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There are many lines of thinking when it comes to what happens after our bodies give up and what is us, our soul, drifts away into the who knows. The topic is a hot one, wars have been waged, many have been killed over whose idea of the afterlife is the ‘right’ one. But this really isn’t about what happens to us after WE go, rather the emotional distress on those who have to move on without us.

It is all right to cry and grieve. It’s normal. It really is.

Yesterday we lost a great. Author Jay Lake passed away after a long fight with cancer. You can read about his battle at his blog, follow the Cancer tag and settle in for some deep reading.

I had this whole long thing planned out and it just sorta piddled away. He inspired me and though I never got an opportunity to meet him; he taught me. He made me very aware of health issues and of not brushing off things.

I’ll miss reading his blog, I’ll miss seeing the pictures of him from Cons. I hadn’t been online much yesterday, at least not at social media sites,  and when I went to my fb early early this morning I saw my feed blowing up with pictures, RIP posts.

I hurt for his partner and his daughter and the rest of his family and network of dear friends, coworkers and colleagues. I’m sitting here weepy because I can just imagine how hard it must be for them to suddenly NOT have him there. And that’s the thing, I think, about dying. He’s out of pain, finally, the people who go, they’re gone, on to the next great adventure or whatever it is they believe, but for those who are left behind, they have to continue on and try to work around the sudden huge hole that appeared in their life. I don’t think, even though we knew it was coming, that one can ever really be prepared for someone passing on.

So R.I.P. Jay, and thank you for sharing your journey with the world.

jaylake

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So I’ve been waffling on this for a while now, but I’m taking a jump here. Starting next Tuesday here and, possibly Wattpad, Elemental Truth will be posted as a serial. Two chapters a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays until it’s done. Once it’s wrapped up, I’ll do a final edit pass then it’ll be available as an ebook & a POD through either Createspace or Lulu (I’m still looking into the details on that). This is an experiment, I’m not sure if I’ll serialize the other Elemental books,we’ll see how things go. One step at a time, right?

 

Ok, off to do a final edit sweep and try not to dissolve into a pile of twitching nerves.

 

 

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So in an effort to beat back a case of melancholy I wrote this for Z1, enjoy;

 

“More patrols. You know, when the horn sounded I thought we’d be under siege. The Zarconis haven’t even peeked out of the forest yet!” Kerul complained.

Zander glanced towards the smoking ruin of the forest. There were places that still smoldered, the smell permeated everything. They moved along the road that led beside the river, watching the other side. The silence was heavy, like something was waiting.

Zander shivered, tightening his cloak and stumbled over something stuck in the ground. He swore under his breath, gripping the oblong stick and yanked hard.

A loud crackling sound filled the air and across the river something flickered, then faded. Zander ducked behind one of the scraggly bushes and stared. Flickering in and out of sight was what appeared to be zarconis, constructing a rough wooden bridge.

“What in the hell?” Kerul hissed.

“Where did they come from?” Nadja hissed in Zander’s ear. She took the oblong stick from Zander’s hand turning it this way and that. The zarconis and the bridge they were building flashed in and out of view. Hayner reached over and grabbed the stick from her hand.

“You found this?” He asked, looking down at Zander.

“Tripped over it. What is it?”

Hayner turned it one way. The bridge and zarconis appeared. The zarconis seemed unaware of being seen. Hayner turned it the other way and they vanished. They looked at each other.

“A shield stick?” Bastien asked.

“There’s another one on the other side of the river I’d bet.” Valen said, frowning.

“They don’t seem to realize we can see them.” Bastien grinned.

“We should send a report back,” Hayner began.

“Now wait one damn minuet.” Nadja said, gripping his hand. “How long would it take? A couple of days? Then the city would dispatch a team and it would take time. The bridge might be done by the time another better equipped team showed up.” She took the stick and wiggled it back and forth.

“Nadja, last time we did something without orders,” Hayner pointed to the smoldering east bank. “They say there could be patches that will burn for years!”

“What would it take to bring that thing down? A well placed charge or two? Boom and it’s gone.” Kerul said quickly. “There’s really no more forest to burn down.”

“On that side.” Bastien quipped.

“And it’ll send a signal back to the city that there’s something going on, and we could continue upriver to see if there are any other hidden surprises.”

Hayner rubbed his face. “I shouldn’t be agreeing to this.”

 

 

Have a good Wednesday.

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I was just informed that because we didn’t get Connie’s payment in, her place was given away. **sigh** Now connie does have the People to People opportunity next year, but the STEM opportunity (for this summer at least) is not happening. Thank you all for your donations and assistance, your refunds will be applied here in the next few min.

Thanks anyways guys, I appreciate the thoughts and the help.

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

My daughter got this great opportunity to attend National Youth Leadership Forum: Explore STEM;

About NYLF Explore STEM

The National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Explore STEM is a six-day Envision program that introduces high-achieving middle school students to innovative and rewarding academic experiences and careers in science, engineering, medicine and technology.

Cutting-edge STEM fields – based on science, technology, engineering and mathematics – are the fastest growing areas of study and STEM professionals are in high demand in the United States and throughout the world.

When you attend NYLF Explore STEM, you will discover your passions through hands-on experiences that will put you on the path to success in high school, in college and in life. You will learn how to apply your science and math skills to join the next generation of leading doctors, scientists, software developers and other analytically minded professionals.

We’re immensely proud of her and I’ve enrolled her in it. However, due to unforseen events, we’re still struggling to scrape the funds together and the deadline is fast approaching. We need about $1000 more to get her there.

Please, if you can help her out. this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you can’t give, could you please boost the signal? I don’t know what else to do.


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

So I haven’t been very creative lately, so last night I scribbled up some back history scenes with Dmitri, so here, have a dragon snip!

~*~

Lothos sat, in his human form, on the large throne, watching the goings on. His people. He sneered. They cast uneasy glimpses his way, aware that he was watching. The sound of the storm intensified and he frowned, leaning forward. Something had entered the long entry tunnel. Other dragons near the entry tunnel scooted away, a hush fell over the hall and those near the entry tunnel scooted away, creating a path to the dais.

Lothos felt the growl boiling up as the large gray dragon moved into the hall. He stood swallowing a sudden surge of fear. The gray shifted to a tall human in blue who stopped a few feet away, eyes locked with his. Scars, some Lothos had given him, some others had, crossed his cheeks. Lothos narrowed his eyes.

“You have a lot of nerve coming into my hall, Dmitri.” Lothos growled. Dmitri, his son, regarded him. Cool, expressionless. A mask that locked whatever the man was thinking, behind it. Once it had driven Lothos to the point of mindless rage, enough to try anything, everything he could think of, to try to break that exterior, to crack the mask. Now, as he studied his son, he felt a bit of pride, and a lot of fear. You can’t read a man with no expression, and a man you couldn’t read could kill you when you least expect it. He had no doubt that someday, Dmitri would try to kill him.

“We need to talk.” Dmitri’s voice was low, but the hush in the hall made it carry.

Lothos eyed him and glanced towards Otto. His second shrugged. Lothos motioned the office doors. He rarely used it, he hated planning. Dmitri turned and strode towards them, not looking at the silent dragons who scrambled to get out of his way. Did he have any idea how many of Lothos own people feared him? Lothos shook his head, nodded at Otto and followed his estranged son into the dusty office.
He hesitated before closing the doors, but did. Dmitri wouldn’t attack him, he was certain of that.

“You’ve muscled back into the lower packs. Impressive.” Lothos said, as soon as the doors closed. He turned and met Dmitri’s cold gaze. “Why you’re here, though…”

“You have a gap in your south east region.” Dmitri said, he moved towards the map, looking up at the sprawling lines. Lothos frowned.

“There’s little there.” He shrugged.

“There’s the Northern boundaries.” Dmitri turned to him, his eyes piercing. “There is nothing to stop the Dragonmaster’s people from moving north.”

Lothos rumbled looking up at the map. He nodded slowly. “Your flight is small, think you can handle it?”

Dmitri looked at him. Lothos swallowed, felt tingles moving up his spine. “We’d need a base of operation.” He said after a long silence. He pointed. “Give me the Keep. And your South Eastern borders will be secured.”

Lothos stared at him, sensing a power play, not sure what it was. “You want the Keep.”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

Dmitri smiled coldly but said nothing. Lothos narrowed his eyes.

“Kepplings took it over years ago.”

“I know.”

“You clear it, it’s yours.”

 

~*~

:D

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

I don’t usually go over family stuffs here but this is important. My daughter got recommended by one of her teachers to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum; S.T.E.M. From the website;

The National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Explore STEM is a six-day Envision program that introduces high-achieving middle school students to innovative and rewarding academic experiences and careers in science, engineering, medicine and technology.

She has attended several Science and Math geared day courses and this has just blown us away. I do have a bit of a dilemma, the cost involved. It’s not cheap.

I put together a fundraiser over here to put together the $$ to cover her tuition. If you could spread the word, I’d appreciate it.

 

Edited to add;

For those who would rather just donate straight to the cause and bypass buying anything here’s a donate button;



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Fundraiser

Apr. 23rd, 2014 11:25 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I don’t usually go over family stuffs here but this is important. My daughter got recommended by one of her teachers to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum; S.T.E.M. From the website;

The National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Explore STEM is a six-day Envision program that introduces high-achieving middle school students to innovative and rewarding academic experiences and careers in science, engineering, medicine and technology.

She has attended several Science and Math geared day courses and this has just blown us away. I do have a bit of a dilemma, the cost involved. It’s not cheap.

I put together a fundraiser over here to put together the $$ to cover her tuition. If you could spread the word, I’d appreciate it.

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Planning

Apr. 14th, 2014 02:02 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

J.A. Marlow gave me this project planner back in Jan, but I kinda forgot all about it. Sat night I dusted it off and started planning out projects, setting dates and OCDing on what I want to get done this year. I may have overloaded myself :P but I have a clear cut idea of what I want to get done over the next…two years 0.0.

You read that right, two years.  Just take a look at my Series List and you’ll see I have more than enough planned stories to write XD (Yes J.A. Marlow, this is ALL YOUR FAULT!!!  **shakes fist**)  :P

The rest of this year needs to be an Avaria year, and next will be the dragons. I’ve also got smaller projects that I want to put out in between the larger ones. I need to get this ball rolling. I’ve pushed The Bastard Prince back to September at the latest. I have the project The Fallen staring patiently at me waiting for me to finish the edits and put it up for sale. The plan is to do that for this May.

I also have some digi art plans, and plans to do a really awesome computer build (think alienware, but homemade, it is going to fucking ROCK!) so there’s a lot to think about, aside from the family shtuff. I am still around, have just been drowning in life stuff.

Hope yall have a great Monday!

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Life kinda got topsyturvy lately and that has negatively affected my writing, blogging and social media.I am still learning how to plow through it all. I’ve pushed Zander’s release date back to June or July and have to sit down and rethink a lot of my writing goals. There have been a few life changes and I need to adjust when I plan on putting things out.

I’ll update with those changes when I finalize them.

N

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

For some reason I started thinking about this old Avaria story which disappeared on a lost hard drive years ago. I decided to try to re-write the intro (I don’t remember how much of it I had actually written) and I have to say, rough as it is, I like this version. Have some slightly raw words;

(quick note, this story will actually pick up right where the prior story, The Darkening Marsh, left off.)

~*~

Time was suspended. Somewhere in the distance something dripped. A slow and steady sound, something to listen to besides ones own heartbeat. Zindith drifted in and out of consciousness, on waves of pain reminding him he was still alive. His heartbeat pounded in his ears, his breathing harsh. Whispers echoed in the dark caverns, memories of voices long since silenced. He heard a groan, realized belatedly that it was his own. He opened his eyes, fighting to stay awake. Darkness closed in around him, and he noticed a faint glow nearby. He frowned and turned to look closer at the glow. Pain shot through his body, a throbbing burning settled along the left side of his face and torso.

Memories rushed at him, who he was and how he’d gotten there, he groaned again. Trapped between enemies, he’d acted, tackling the Slayer, knocking them both over the edge of the ravine. How far had he fallen? The Slayer vanished, opening a rift and sliding into another realm leaving him plummeting towards the river below.

Zindith remembered hitting the cold water, the shock of it sent waves of pain through him. Then nothing. He rolled over, gasping for breath and fighting a churning stomach. Sand, he was on sand. He pushed himself up, peering around. He didn’t remember anything beyond hitting the water. He was far underground, deep in the Labyrinth, but where? How long had he been in the river? He didn’t know. He glanced back at the glowing. Thin ropes of pale green glowing things hung from above. The light they provided was faint, almost useless.

He ran a hand through his hair, inhaling deeply. Musty, moldy, with the faint metallic scent that permeated everything in the Shadowlands. He coughed and groaned. His sides hurt, bruised ribs? Cracked? He hoped nothing was broken. There were no healers in this place.

“Thank the gods for being half telaxian.” He murmured. His voice was loud in the cave, echoing and joining the faint whispers in the distance.

He closed his eyes fighting a wave of dizzy, and heard the singing. A woman’s voice, echoing through the tunnels, singing a song in a language he’d never heard. The tone was haunting, full of loss and deep longing. It tugged at him. He pushed himself to his feet, swaying a bit. He was tough. Like his brothers and sister. Like his father. A little fall wasn’t going to stop him. He gritted his teeth, his stomach doing dangerous flops. What little he’d eaten before needed to stay where it was. He had no rations, no idea of what was edible in this place. He couldn’t afford to lose his lunch. Then the song changed in pitch, lower, angry. He listened, focusing completely on it, willing his body to obey. Now was not the time to be ill. He wanted to find the singer. No, he needed to find her, though why he wasn’t sure.

He quickly took stock. His pack was gone, lost in the river no doubt. With it were the torches and the healing salve for his burns. His belt pouch, though soaked, was still firmly secured on his wide belt. He unfastened it and opened it, swearing.

He put his hand over the top and flipped it upside down, letting the water pour out. Everything in there, the herb packets, the small parchment for writing notes, all ruined. He let them drop to the sandy ground, keeping ahold of the small light orb his brother, Auron, had given him. He hoped it still worked. The glowing ropes didn’t provide enough light to see. He wiped it on his tunic, and tapped it as he’d been taught. It flared to life, sending rays of light dancing over the cave walls. He finally got a good glimpse of where he was and his stomach did another dangerous flop.

He stood on a narrow sandy beach beside the river that coiled away, disappearing into the darkness. How far from the bridge and ledge was he? He shuddered, afraid to know. He looked upriver, trying to get an idea for where he was. There wasn’t a riverbank except the strip of beach he was on. The river had carved a tunnel through the rock, sheer cliffs on either side made going back the way he came impossible. He wasn’t about to try to risk walking in the river itself. Who knew what might be lurking beneath the surface? He edged toward the sloping walls, ducking under the ropey-glowing moss. It glowed brighter the closer he got, reflecting the light of the orb. He frowned, peering at the walls. Deep in his mind he felt a tug, faint, but persistent. He moved closer, lifting the orb, hoping to get a better glimpse. There was a jagged tear in the rock, a passage leading up and away from the river. He leaned against the edge of the entry letting another wave of dizzy pass. He needed to get out, to find the singer. He dared not guess what sort of creepy crawlies were in the passage.

The tug in his mind was insistent. He needed to go into the passage. He nodded. So far it hadn’t led him wrong. It guided him to where the Slayer had hidden Mayhren, it had guided them back to the surface before the fireball. He swallowed, aware of the tightness in his left cheek, the pain that he was getting used to. He glanced back towards the river and took a deep breath, wincing at the pain in his sides, and stepped into the looming darkness.

It pressed against the orb light, closing around him, blocking off all view and any hope of escape. It felt alive in some way, a malevolent presence that wasn’t willing to let him leave. He forced one foot in front of the other, trying to think of anything other than the dark. His companions, his brother, they probably thought he’d died in the fall. He’d find a way back to the surface and back to Avaria. He’d get beyond the reach of this darkness and find a way to let them know he wasn’t dead.

The passage wound its way upward, in some spots he had to tuck the orb in his tunic and climb steep slopes. With each step the tug got stronger, a pressure in his head that was almost painful.

The passage ended at a stone carved doorway though the door itself had long since rotted away. Zindith stared, disbelief and awe blocking out the pain. How long had it stood silent in the dark, waiting for its masters to return? The tug pulsed, pain shot through his head. He gasped for breath, and edged closer to the doorway. He stepped through the doorway, wishing he had a weapon. Who knew what might be in this place? Stepping away from the door, the light of the orb illuminated an ages old walkway carved into the sides of immense cliffs. Guardrails once stood along the far edge, but most of those had long worn away. All that were left were posts that would have held the railings. Overhead he could see the orb’s light glinting off of what might have been metal chandeliers or some sort of lighting devices.

“Impossible.” He murmured, his voice bouncing off the walls. In the distance, to his left, a stone bridge spanned the chasm, the far end concealed in the blanket of darkness. The tug pulled him in that direction. Bemused and in awe he went where it led, noting the archways that dotted the sides of the chasm, and the passageway. Who had carved these ways? He couldn’t wrap his mind around it. The rahaun hadn’t lived underground. He didn’t recall any other legends that hinted that these passages existed. His heart pounded and the tug became a pounding at his temples. It stopped, as suddenly as it started, when he reached the bridge.

He stared up at the steps leading across the chasm, his heart loud in his ears. The steps led to a wide flat platform, then a walkway arched back downward to a second platform from which another set of stairs led, he hoped, to the other side. He couldn’t tell. The orb’s light cut off, unable to penetrate the wall of dark ahead of him.

He took another look around. The archways, with their passages gaping at him, gave him the shakes. He could almost imagine things just on the other side of the dark, watching him, waiting to strike when the orb flickered out. He shook it off, looked back at the stone bridge. He felt it, briefly. The tug, gently pulling him towards the bridge. He stepped onto the stone bridge, testing it. Who knew how long this had stood, alone, in the dark underground of the Shadowlands. It felt firm.

He  went up the steps, wishing there was a rail of some sort. When he reached the first platform he got a glimpse of the other side and smiled. Another passage, but it veered upward towards steps coiling towards the distant ceiling. His ticket out, perhaps? He hesitated, glancing back the way he’d come, listening. His own breathing was loud in the hush. No echos, no drips, no bodiless voices lamenting in a dead language. Silent. The caverns were holding their breath, the darkness waiting for a misstep. He shook himself. Too many knocks to the head.

Zindith wiped his hand on his breeches. He felt clammy, ill, and dizzy. He hurried across the wide arch toward the second platform. He felt the tremble through his boots, and swore. A cracking sound echoed off the walls of the chasm. He swore darting towards the platform as he felt the bridge beneath his feet crumbling. He jumped, landing on his stomach on the platform the air knocked from his lungs as the arch crumbled, clattering far below. He barely caught his breath, starting to pull himself up when the platform shuddered. He swore, the crack of shattering rock deafening. The platform dropped out from beneath him and he was falling again. He closed his eyes, there was no river below to save him. The fall halted and pain exploded across his jaw and nose as he hit the stone face first. Darkness wrapped around him.

 ~*~

 Part 2

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necia_phoenix: (Default)

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

For some reason I started thinking about this old Avaria story which disappeared on a lost hard drive years ago. I decided to try to re-write the intro (I don’t remember how much of it I had actually written) and I have to say, rough as it is, I like this version. Have some slightly raw words;

(quick note, this story will actually pick up right where the prior story, The Darkening Marsh, left off.)

~*~

Time was suspended. Somewhere in the distance something dripped. A slow and steady sound, something to listen to besides ones own heartbeat. Zindith drifted in and out of consciousness, on waves of pain reminding him he was still alive. His heartbeat pounded in his ears, his breathing harsh. Whispers echoed in the dark caverns, memories of voices long since silenced. He heard a groan, realized belatedly that it was his own. He opened his eyes, fighting to stay awake. Darkness closed in around him, and he noticed a faint glow nearby. He frowned and turned to look closer at the glow. Pain shot through his body, a throbbing burning settled along the left side of his face and torso.

Memories rushed at him, who he was and how he’d gotten there, he groaned again. Trapped between enemies, he’d acted, tackling the Slayer, knocking them both over the edge of the ravine. How far had he fallen? The Slayer vanished, opening a rift and sliding into another realm leaving him plummeting towards the river below.

Zindith remembered hitting the cold water, the shock of it sent waves of pain through him. Then nothing. He rolled over, gasping for breath and fighting a churning stomach. Sand, he was on sand. He pushed himself up, peering around. He didn’t remember anything beyond hitting the water. He was far underground, deep in the Labyrinth, but where? How long had he been in the river? He didn’t know. He glanced back at the glowing. Thin ropes of pale green glowing things hung from above. The light they provided was faint, almost useless.

He ran a hand through his hair, inhaling deeply. Musty, moldy, with the faint metallic scent that permeated everything in the Shadowlands. He coughed and groaned. His sides hurt, bruised ribs? Cracked? He hoped nothing was broken. There were no healers in this place.

“Thank the gods for being half telaxian.” He murmured. His voice was loud in the cave, echoing and joining the faint whispers in the distance.

He closed his eyes fighting a wave of dizzy, and heard the singing. A woman’s voice, echoing through the tunnels, singing a song in a language he’d never heard. The tone was haunting, full of loss and deep longing. It tugged at him. He pushed himself to his feet, swaying a bit. He was tough. Like his brothers and sister. Like his father. A little fall wasn’t going to stop him. He gritted his teeth, his stomach doing dangerous flops. What little he’d eaten before needed to stay where it was. He had no rations, no idea of what was edible in this place. He couldn’t afford to lose his lunch. Then the song changed in pitch, lower, angry. He listened, focusing completely on it, willing his body to obey. Now was not the time to be ill. He wanted to find the singer. No, he needed to find her, though why he wasn’t sure.

He quickly took stock. His pack was gone, lost in the river no doubt. With it were the torches and the healing salve for his burns. His belt pouch, though soaked, was still firmly secured on his wide belt. He unfastened it and opened it, swearing.

He put his hand over the top and flipped it upside down, letting the water pour out. Everything in there, the herb packets, the small parchment for writing notes, all ruined. He let them drop to the sandy ground, keeping ahold of the small light orb his brother, Auron, had given him. He hoped it still worked. The glowing ropes didn’t provide enough light to see. He wiped it on his tunic, and tapped it as he’d been taught. It flared to life, sending rays of light dancing over the cave walls. He finally got a good glimpse of where he was and his stomach did another dangerous flop.

He stood on a narrow sandy beach beside the river that coiled away, disappearing into the darkness. How far from the bridge and ledge was he? He shuddered, afraid to know. He looked upriver, trying to get an idea for where he was. There wasn’t a riverbank except the strip of beach he was on. The river had carved a tunnel through the rock, sheer cliffs on either side made going back the way he came impossible. He wasn’t about to try to risk walking in the river itself. Who knew what might be lurking beneath the surface? He edged toward the sloping walls, ducking under the ropey-glowing moss. It glowed brighter the closer he got, reflecting the light of the orb. He frowned, peering at the walls. Deep in his mind he felt a tug, faint, but persistent. He moved closer, lifting the orb, hoping to get a better glimpse. There was a jagged tear in the rock, a passage leading up and away from the river. He leaned against the edge of the entry letting another wave of dizzy pass. He needed to get out, to find the singer. He dared not guess what sort of creepy crawlies were in the passage.

The tug in his mind was insistent. He needed to go into the passage. He nodded. So far it hadn’t led him wrong. It guided him to where the Slayer had hidden Mayhren, it had guided them back to the surface before the fireball. He swallowed, aware of the tightness in his left cheek, the pain that he was getting used to. He glanced back towards the river and took a deep breath, wincing at the pain in his sides, and stepped into the looming darkness.

It pressed against the orb light, closing around him, blocking off all view and any hope of escape. It felt alive in some way, a malevolent presence that wasn’t willing to let him leave. He forced one foot in front of the other, trying to think of anything other than the dark. His companions, his brother, they probably thought he’d died in the fall. He’d find a way back to the surface and back to Avaria. He’d get beyond the reach of this darkness and find a way to let them know he wasn’t dead.

The passage wound its way upward, in some spots he had to tuck the orb in his tunic and climb steep slopes. With each step the tug got stronger, a pressure in his head that was almost painful.

The passage ended at a stone carved doorway though the door itself had long since rotted away. Zindith stared, disbelief and awe blocking out the pain. How long had it stood silent in the dark, waiting for its masters to return? The tug pulsed, pain shot through his head. He gasped for breath, and edged closer to the doorway. He stepped through the doorway, wishing he had a weapon. Who knew what might be in this place? Stepping away from the door, the light of the orb illuminated an ages old walkway carved into the sides of immense cliffs. Guardrails once stood along the far edge, but most of those had long worn away. All that were left were posts that would have held the railings. Overhead he could see the orb’s light glinting off of what might have been metal chandeliers or some sort of lighting devices.

“Impossible.” He murmured, his voice bouncing off the walls. In the distance, to his left, a stone bridge spanned the chasm, the far end concealed in the blanket of darkness. The tug pulled him in that direction. Bemused and in awe he went where it led, noting the archways that dotted the sides of the chasm, and the passageway. Who had carved these ways? He couldn’t wrap his mind around it. The rahaun hadn’t lived underground. He didn’t recall any other legends that hinted that these passages existed. His heart pounded and the tug became a pounding at his temples. It stopped, as suddenly as it started, when he reached the bridge.

He stared up at the steps leading across the chasm, his heart loud in his ears. The steps led to a wide flat platform, then a walkway arched back downward to a second platform from which another set of stairs led, he hoped, to the other side. He couldn’t tell. The orb’s light cut off, unable to penetrate the wall of dark ahead of him.

He took another look around. The archways, with their passages gaping at him, gave him the shakes. He could almost imagine things just on the other side of the dark, watching him, waiting to strike when the orb flickered out. He shook it off, looked back at the stone bridge. He felt it, briefly. The tug, gently pulling him towards the bridge. He stepped onto the stone bridge, testing it. Who knew how long this had stood, alone, in the dark underground of the Shadowlands. It felt firm.

He  went up the steps, wishing there was a rail of some sort. When he reached the first platform he got a glimpse of the other side and smiled. Another passage, but it veered upward towards steps coiling towards the distant ceiling. His ticket out, perhaps? He hesitated, glancing back the way he’d come, listening. His own breathing was loud in the hush. No echos, no drips, no bodiless voices lamenting in a dead language. Silent. The caverns were holding their breath, the darkness waiting for a misstep. He shook himself. Too many knocks to the head.

Zindith wiped his hand on his breeches. He felt clammy, ill, and dizzy. He hurried across the wide arch toward the second platform. He felt the tremble through his boots, and swore. A cracking sound echoed off the walls of the chasm. He swore darting towards the platform as he felt the bridge beneath his feet crumbling. He jumped, landing on his stomach on the platform the air knocked from his lungs as the arch crumbled, clattering far below. He barely caught his breath, starting to pull himself up when the platform shuddered. He swore, the crack of shattering rock deafening. The platform dropped out from beneath him and he was falling again. He closed his eyes, there was no river below to save him. The fall halted and pain exploded across his jaw and nose as he hit the stone face first. Darkness wrapped around him.

 ~*~

 

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necia_phoenix: (Default)

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

For some reason I started thinking about this old Avaria story which disappeared on a lost hard drive years ago. I decided to try to re-write the intro (I don’t remember how much of it I had actually written) and I have to say, rough as it is, I like this version. Have some slightly raw words;

(quick note, this story will actually pick up right where the prior story, The Darkening Marsh, left off.)

~*~

Time was suspended. Somewhere in the distance something dripped. A slow and steady sound, something to listen to besides ones own heartbeat. Zindith drifted in and out of consciousness, on waves of pain reminding him he was still alive. His heartbeat pounded in his ears, his breathing harsh. Whispers echoed in the dark caverns, memories of voices long since silenced. He heard a groan, realized belatedly that it was his own. He opened his eyes, fighting to stay awake. Darkness closed in around him, and he noticed a faint glow nearby. He frowned and turned to look closer at the glow. Pain shot through his body, a throbbing burning settled along the left side of his face and torso.

Memories rushed at him, who he was and how he’d gotten there, he groaned again. Trapped between enemies, he’d acted, tackling the Slayer, knocking them both over the edge of the ravine. How far had he fallen? The Slayer vanished, opening a rift and sliding into another realm leaving him plummeting towards the river below.

Zindith remembered hitting the cold water, the shock of it sent waves of pain through him. Then nothing. He rolled over, gasping for breath and fighting a churning stomach. Sand, he was on sand. He pushed himself up, peering around. He didn’t remember anything beyond hitting the water. He was far underground, deep in the Labyrinth, but where? How long had he been in the river? He didn’t know. He glanced back at the glowing. Thin ropes of pale green glowing things hung from above. The light they provided was faint, almost useless.

He ran a hand through his hair, inhaling deeply. Musty, moldy, with the faint metallic scent that permeated everything in the Shadowlands. He coughed and groaned. His sides hurt, bruised ribs? Cracked? He hoped nothing was broken. There were no healers in this place.

“Thank the gods for being half telaxian.” He murmured. His voice was loud in the cave, echoing and joining the faint whispers in the distance.

He closed his eyes fighting a wave of dizzy, and heard the singing. A woman’s voice, echoing through the tunnels, singing a song in a language he’d never heard. The tone was haunting, full of loss and deep longing. It tugged at him. He pushed himself to his feet, swaying a bit. He was tough. Like his brothers and sister. Like his father. A little fall wasn’t going to stop him. He gritted his teeth, his stomach doing dangerous flops. What little he’d eaten before needed to stay where it was. He had no rations, no idea of what was edible in this place. He couldn’t afford to lose his lunch. Then the song changed in pitch, lower, angry. He listened, focusing completely on it, willing his body to obey. Now was not the time to be ill. He wanted to find the singer. No, he needed to find her, though why he wasn’t sure.

He quickly took stock. His pack was gone, lost in the river no doubt. With it were the torches and the healing salve for his burns. His belt pouch, though soaked, was still firmly secured on his wide belt. He unfastened it and opened it, swearing.

He put his hand over the top and flipped it upside down, letting the water pour out. Everything in there, the herb packets, the small parchment for writing notes, all ruined. He let them drop to the sandy ground, keeping ahold of the small light orb his brother, Auron, had given him. He hoped it still worked. The glowing ropes didn’t provide enough light to see. He wiped it on his tunic, and tapped it as he’d been taught. It flared to life, sending rays of light dancing over the cave walls. He finally got a good glimpse of where he was and his stomach did another dangerous flop.

He stood on a narrow sandy beach beside the river that coiled away, disappearing into the darkness. How far from the bridge and ledge was he? He shuddered, afraid to know. He looked upriver, trying to get an idea for where he was. There wasn’t a riverbank except the strip of beach he was on. The river had carved a tunnel through the rock, sheer cliffs on either side made going back the way he came impossible. He wasn’t about the try to risk walking in the river itself. Who knew what might be lurking beneath the surface? He edged toward the sloping walls, ducking under the ropey-glowing moss. It glowed brighter the closer he got, reflecting the light of the orb. He frowned, peering at the walls. Deep in his mind he felt a tug, faint, but persistent. He moved closer, lifting the orb, hoping to get a better glimpse. There was a jagged tear in the rock, a passage leading up and away from the river. He leaned against the edge of the entry letting another wave of dizzy pass. He needed to get out, to find the singer. He dared not guess what sort of creepy crawlies were in the passage.

The tug in his mind was insistent. He needed to go into the passage. He nodded. So far it hadn’t led him wrong. It guided him to where the Slayer had hidden Mayhren, it had guided them back to the surface before the fireball. He swallowed, aware of the tightness in his left cheek, the pain that he was getting used to. He glanced back towards the river and took a deep breath, wincing at the pain in his sides, and stepped into the looming darkness.

It pressed against the orb light, closing around him, blocking off all view and any hope of escape. It felt alive in some way, a malevolent presence that wasn’t willing to let him leave. He forced one foot in front of the other, trying to think of anything other than the dark. His companions, his brother, they probably thought he’d died in the fall. He’d find a way back to the surface and back to Avaria. He’d get beyond the reach of this darkness and find a way to let them know he wasn’t dead.

The passage wound its way upward, in some spots he had to tuck the orb in his tunic and climb steep slopes. With each step the tug got stronger, a pressure in his head that was almost painful.

The passage ended at a stone carved doorway though the door itself had long since rotted away. Zindith stared, disbelief and awe blocking out the pain. How long had it stood silent in the dark, waiting for its masters to return? The tug pulsed, pain shot through his head. He gasped for breath, and edged closer to the doorway. He stepped through the doorway, wishing he had a weapon. Who knew what might be in this place? Stepping away from the door, the light of the orb illuminated an ages old walkway carved into the sides of immense cliffs. Guardrails once stood along the far edge, but most of those had long worn away. All that were left were posts that would have held the railings. Overhead he could see the orb’s light glinting off of what might have been metal chandeliers or some sort of lighting devices.

“Impossible.” He murmured, his voice bouncing off the walls. In the distance, to his left, a stone bridge spanned the chasm, the far end concealed in the blanket of darkness. The tug pulled him in that direction. Bemused and in awe he went where it led, noting the archways that dotted the sides of the chasm, and the passageway. Who had carved these ways? He couldn’t wrap his mind around it. The rahaun hadn’t lived underground. He didn’t recall any other legends that hinted that these passages existed. His heart pounded and the tug became a pounding at his temples. It stopped, as suddenly as it started, when he reached the bridge.

He stared up at the steps leading across the chasm, his heart loud in his ears. The steps led to a wide flat platform, then a walkway arched back downward to a second platform from which another set of stairs led, he hoped, to the other side. He couldn’t tell. The orb’s light cut off, unable to penetrate the wall of dark ahead of him.

He took another look around. The archways, with their passages gaping at him, gave him the shakes. He could almost imagine things just on the other side of the dark, watching him, waiting to strike when the orb flickered out. He shook it off, looked back at the stone bridge. He felt it, briefly. The tug, gently pulling him towards the bridge. He stepped onto the stone bridge, testing it. Who knew how long this had stood, alone, in the dark underground of the Shadowlands. It felt firm.

He  went up the steps, wishing there was a rail of some sort. When he reached the first platform he got a glimpse of the other side and smiled. Another passage, but it veered upward towards steps coiling towards the distant ceiling. His ticket out, perhaps? He hesitated, glancing back the way he’d come, listening. His own breathing was loud in the hush. No echos, no drips, no bodiless voices lamenting in a dead language. Silent. The caverns were holding their breath, the darkness waiting for a misstep. He shook himself. Too many knocks to the head.

Zindith wiped his hand on his breeches. He felt clammy, ill, and dizzy. He hurried across the wide arch toward the second platform. He felt the tremble through his boots, and swore. A cracking sound echoed off the walls of the chasm. He swore darting towards the platform as he felt the bridge beneath his feet crumbling. He jumped, landing on his stomach on the platform the air knocked from his lungs as the arch crumbled, clattering far below. He barely caught his breath, starting to pull himself up when the platform shuddered. He swore, the crack of shattering rock deafening. The platform dropped out from beneath him and he was falling again. He closed his eyes, there was no river below to save him. The fall halted and pain exploded across his jaw and nose as he hit the stone face first. Darkness wrapped around him.

 ~*~

 

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

For some reason I started thinking about this old Avaria story which disappeared on a lost hard drive years ago. I decided to try to re-write the intro (I don’t remember how much of it I had actually written) and I have to say, rough as it is, I like this version. Have some slightly raw words;

(quick note, this story will actually pick up right where the prior story, The Darkening Marsh, left off.)

~*~

Time was suspended. Somewhere in the distance something dripped. A slow and steady sound, something to listen to besides ones own heartbeat. Zindith drifted in and out of consciousness, on waves of pain reminding him he was still alive. His heartbeat pounded in his ears, his breathing harsh. Whispers echoed in the dark caverns, memories of voices long since silenced. He heard a groan, realized belatedly that it was his own. He opened his eyes, fighting to stay awake. Darkness closed in around him, and he noticed a faint glow nearby. He frowned and turned to look closer at the glow. Pain shot through his body, a throbbing burning settled along the left side of his face and torso.

Memories rushed at him, who he was and how he’d gotten there, he groaned again. Trapped between enemies, he’d acted, tackling the Slayer, knocking them both over the edge of the ravine. How far had he fallen? The Slayer vanished, opening a rift and sliding into another realm leaving him plummeting towards the river below.

Zindith remembered hitting the cold water, the shock of it sent waves of pain through him. Then nothing. He rolled over, gasping for breath and fighting a churning stomach. Sand, he was on sand. He pushed himself up, peering around. He didn’t remember anything beyond hitting the water. He was far underground, deep in the Labyrinth, but where? How long had he been in the river? He didn’t know. He glanced back at the glowing. Thin ropes of pale green glowing things hung from above. The light they provided was faint, almost useless.

He ran a hand through his hair, inhaling deeply. Musty, moldy, with the faint metallic scent that permeated everything in the Shadowlands. He coughed and groaned. His sides hurt, bruised ribs? Cracked? He hoped nothing was broken. There were no healers in this place.

“Thank the gods for being half telaxian.” He murmured. His voice was loud in the cave, echoing and joining the faint whispers in the distance.

He closed his eyes fighting a wave of dizzy, and heard the singing. A woman’s voice, echoing through the tunnels, singing a song in a language he’d never heard. The tone was haunting, full of loss and deep longing. It tugged at him. He pushed himself to his feet, swaying a bit. He was tough. Like his brothers and sister. Like his father. A little fall wasn’t going to stop him. He gritted his teeth, his stomach doing dangerous flops. What little he’d eaten before needed to stay where it was. He had no rations, no idea of what was edible in this place. He couldn’t afford to lose his lunch. Then the song changed in pitch, lower, angry. He listened, focusing completely on it, willing his body to obey. Now was not the time to be ill. He wanted to find the singer. No, he needed to find her, though why he wasn’t sure.

He quickly took stock. His pack was gone, lost in the river no doubt. With it were the torches and the healing salve for his burns. His belt pouch, though soaked, was still firmly secured on his wide belt. He unfastened it and opened it, swearing.

He put his hand over the top and flipped it upside down, letting the water pour out. Everything in there, the herb packets, the small parchment for writing notes, all ruined. He let them drop the the sandy ground, keeping ahold of the small light orb his brother, Auron, had given him. He hoped it still worked. The glowing ropes didn’t provide enough light to see. He wiped it on his tunic, and tapped it as he’d been taught. It flared to life, sending rays of light dancing over the cave walls. He finally got a good glimpse of where he was and his stomach did another dangerous flop.

He stood on a narrow sandy beach beside the river that coiled away, disappearing into the darkness. How far from the bridge and ledge was he? He shuddered, afraid to know. He looked upriver, trying to get an idea for where he was. There wasn’t a riverbank except the strip of beach he was on. The river had carved a tunnel through the rock, sheer cliffs on either side made going back the way he came impossible. He wasn’t about the try to risk walking in the river itself. Who knew what might be lurking beneath the surface? He edged toward the sloping walls, ducking under the ropey-glowing moss. It glowed brighter the closer he got, reflecting the light of the orb. He frowned, peering at the walls. Deep in his mind he felt a tug, faint, but persistent. He moved closer, lifting the orb, hoping to get a better glimpse. There was a jagged tear in the rock, a passage leading up and away from the river. He leaned against the edge of the entry letting another wave of dizzy pass. He needed to get out, to find the singer. He dared not guess what sort of creepy crawlies were in the passage.

The tug in his mind was insistent. He needed to go into the passage. He nodded. So far it hadn’t led him wrong. It guided him to where the Slayer had hidden Mayhren, it had guided them back to the surface before the fireball. He swallowed, aware of the tightness in his left cheek, the pain that he was getting used to. He glanced back towards the river and took a deep breath, wincing at the pain in his sides, and stepped into the looming darkness.

It pressed against the orb light, closing around him, blocking off all view and any hope of escape. It felt alive in some way, a malevolent presence that wasn’t willing to let him leave. He forced one foot in front of the other, trying to think of anything other than the dark. His companions, his brother, they probably thought he’d died in the fall. He’d find a way back to the surface and back to Avaria. He’d get beyond the reach of this darkness and find a way to let them know he wasn’t dead.

The passage wound its way upward, in some spots he had to tuck the orb in his tunic and climb steep slopes. With each step the tug got stronger, a pressure in his head that was almost painful.

The passage ended at a stone carved doorway though the door itself had long since rotted away. Zindith stared, disbelief and awe blocking out the pain. How long had it stood silent in the dark, waiting for its masters to return? The tug pulsed, pain shot through his head. He gasped for breath, and edged closer to the doorway. He stepped through the doorway, wishing he had a weapon. Who knew what might be in this place? Stepping away from the door, the light of the orb illuminated an ages old walkway carved into the sides of immense cliffs. Guardrails once stood along the far edge, but most of those had long worn away. All that were left were posts that would have held the railings. Overhead he could see the orb’s light glinting off of what might have been metal chandeliers or some sort of lighting devices.

“Impossible.” He murmured, his voice bouncing off the walls. In the distance, to his left, a stone bridge spanned the chasm, the far end concealed in the blanket of darkness. The tug pulled him in that direction. Bemused and in awe he went where it led, noting the archways that dotted the sides of the chasm, and the passageway. Who had carved these ways? He couldn’t wrap his mind around it. The rahaun hadn’t lived underground. He didn’t recall any other legends that hinted that these passages existed. His heart pounded and the tug became a pounding at his temples. It stopped, as suddenly as it started, when he reached the bridge.

He stared up at the steps leading across the chasm, his heart loud in his ears. The steps led to a wide flat platform, then a walkway arched back downward to a second platform from which another set of stairs led, he hoped, to the other side. He couldn’t tell. The orb’s light cut off, unable to penetrate the wall of dark ahead of him.

He took another look around. The archways, with their passages gaping at him, gave him the shakes. He could almost imagine things just on the other side of the dark, watching him, waiting to strike when the orb flickered out. He shook it off, looked back at the stone bridge. He felt it, briefly. The tug, gently pulling him towards the bridge. He stepped onto the stone bridge, testing it. Who knew how long this had stood, alone, in the dark underground of the Shadowlands. It felt firm.

He  went up the steps, wishing there was a rail of some sort. When he reached the first platform he got a glimpse of the other side and smiled. Another passage, but it veered upward towards steps coiling towards the distant ceiling. His ticket out, perhaps? He hesitated, glancing back the way he’d come, listening. His own breathing was loud in the hush. No echos, no drips, no bodiless voices lamenting in a dead language. Silent. The caverns were holding their breath, the darkness waiting for a misstep. He shook himself. Too many knocks to the head.

Zindith wiped his hand on his breeches. He felt clammy, ill, and dizzy. He hurried across the wide arch toward the second platform. He felt the tremble through his boots, and swore. A cracking sound echoed off the walls of the chasm. He swore darting towards the platform as he felt the bridge beneath his feet crumbling. He jumped, landing on his stomach on the platform the air knocked from his lungs as the arch crumbled, clattering far below. He barely caught his breath, starting to pull himself up when the platform shuddered. He swore, the crack of shattering rock deafening. The platform dropped out from beneath him and he was falling again. He closed his eyes, there was no river below to save him. The fall halted and pain exploded across his jaw and nose as he hit the stone face first. Darkness wrapped around him.

 ~*~

 

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Re-Release

Feb. 26th, 2014 08:44 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

One of the greatest things about self pubbing, is if you need to change something, you can. If you don’t like the cover, you’re not stuck with the pubbing co going SOL.

The Magic Maker is one of my favorite stories, and the first of what I hope, many set in that world. To date I haven’t been able to really dabble much with it but I plan to. I redid the cover, and did a skim through to correct things (typos, misspellings, random commas etc) and have gotten it back up.

The Magic Maker

In a corrupt city, Tia struggles to keep her small family together. She finds herself caught between a sorceress and local crime lord, and to top it off, an unknown voice begins begging her for help. With time running out, can she escape the city with family and sanity intact?

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo

In other news, I’ve had to push Zander back 1 month due to personal reasons. Mid may is the new target.

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

I don’t usually participate in twitter chats much, usually because I find myself chasing short people into bed around the same time that the chats are taking place. Somehow, tonight, I managed to slip into the #indiechat with the topic on Hugh Howey’s Author Earnings report thingy that has, apparently, whipped up a frenzy of deniers and what not.

Now, while I did read the report itself and heard writer pals talking about the panicky, accusatory anti self pubbers who attacked it, I really don’t pay much attention dramaz going on. I’ve got my own rl dramaz I’m dealing with, and following the naysayers and the yeahsayers and everyone in between isn’t going to pay the rent or water bill. Anyway, I sat in on the convo, figured I’d learn a thing or three. Hugh showed up and the whole chat trended. It wasn’t as in depth as I would have liked. But it was fascinating to see the perceptions and views expressed.

It was fun, stimulating, and thought provoking. I went back and reread the report (over here if you want to look at it) and then, since I missed the dramaz, went over to PG to see what he was sharing. And it’s…

You know what? go see for yourself;

The Passive Voice just start reading and going back. You’ll find some interesting views, some I agreed with, some I don’t. It’s educational, and (imo) very interesting.

It think, when it’s all said and done, JW Manus summed it up fairly well (emphasis mine):

……It’s really not about the money…. Money is very nice and pays the bills. But every real writer I’ve ever met (and by real, I mean the passionate, even hypergraphic wordsmiths and storytellers who love nothing more than bringing mere words to life) will write and tell stories even there is no money in it. Their real goal is not money, but readers. Because without readers a piece of writing is incomplete. It exists, it is tangible, but without readers it is dancing on an empty stage in a closed theater or singing in the shower. Readers complete the connection.

 

Go read the whole post over here, I was nodding and agreeing all the way through.

~*~

SO, I’ve been kinda MIA these days. There are reasons, some have to do with unexpected house guest staying for a time, some are health related, mood related and digi art related. Yes, digi art. My other obsession. I’ll get to that in a moment.

I’ve been caught up in some very not cool things that have had to be dealt with. We’re still trying to get the fires put out, and it might be a few weeks before things start looking back up. In the meantime I’m plugging away at Bastard Prince and trying not to feel guilty for not having as much done as I wanted to. The tentative release date is April 12th, but depending on the current RL issues, I may have to push it back a month.

I started redoing covers, starting with The Magic Maker and have hit a wall. I know what I see in my head, but doing it is another thing. I’m worried (I always worry) that it is too dark. Here are two examples. I have a third I haven’t rendered yet, but I’m not too sure I’m going in the right direction with these.

testcover      testcover1

There was something else I was going to mention but I’ve forgotten. -.-  Remind me, I owe yall a post on digi art, but now, it’s late, I’m behind on words and I need to get to bed. Hope yall are having a great Febuary.

**waves**

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

Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve done this, and I apologize for neglecting my blog here. Since it’s cold and snowy in so many places in the US right now, I thought I’d share a bit of a tropical flashback. It’s the best I can do. :P

Have a peaceful sunday!

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Still here

Jan. 28th, 2014 03:28 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I have been sick, still trying to get writing stuff handled. Zbk1 edits are in full swing, shooting for an April 12 release (my birthday). I have some awesome betas who are giving me great input. Have a mini snippage:

 

Valen handed Zander a small sphere with odd indents and markings on it. Zander frowned and looked up at his friend.

“What is this?” He whispered.

“A charge.” Valen grinned, lifting up another one. “Push down here,” he tapped a raised, circular impression in the middle of it. “Till it clicks, then toss it at enemy, and it goes boom. Big explosions. Sometimes messy, always loud.”

“Fun.”

“You have no idea.”

 

Hope yall are doing okay. **waves**

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

Okay then

Rough, it needs scrubbing. I KNOW this….  Mikial’s nickname is Shaderunner fyi 

~*~

The odd hut was divided into three small rooms with a large central fire-pit area. Mikial built up the fire as the women divided making it comfortable. He tried not to notice how closely they watched him, his injuries were still healing and he could feel their concern. On some level it was touching. On another, he couldn’t bring himself to care. He wanted to be healed, he wanted to be done. He wanted to go back to the caves, to confront Avari and demand an explanation.

He was going to get one. He’d given his existence to her. She’d better damn well give him one. Or else,

He hesitated, crouched in front of the fire, watching the flickering flames. Or else what? She was a goddess, what could he do, after all?

He stood, stretching sore muscles, testing the healing tissue. Years of life, of living, slowed his body’s healing. Velvet, despite her assistance, couldn’t counter that. And there was the damn monitor. It wouldn’t allow his body to heal faster than the algorithms programed years ago. He absently rubbed at it as he left the dome.

The fields of Tives stretched out before him and in the distance the broken and tumbled city walls of Tives itself stood, silent testament to the anger of the gods. He tightened the cloak around his shoulders, staring towards the rubble.

Gods, Goddesses. His life was caught up in a massive joke. What was the point? Time rolled past him, for a brief moment he could almost see the faces of his past lovers, lost friends. Dria would have raged, Savna counseled, Rinoa exploded, he shuddered. Too many. And now, with the bond he couldn’t rightfully seek solace of death. Velvet’s life lay on his shoulders.

He sensed her, before he heard her, old friend, one of the few who knew Dria, who fought in the goblin wars and managed the catacomb collapses. Emmalin stopped a little bit behind him, not saying anything though he felt her mind brush his, ever so gently, gauging, testing. Almost too light for even him to detect.

“You know, Vel feels awful about the whole binding issue.” She said softly.

Mikial couldn’t respond. How could he? What was there to say?

“It saved her life, repeatedly though.”

He half turned frowning at her. “How?”

“She’s never explained. But I’ll say this, if she’d died, when attacked, if she’d died way back when being tortured, she wouldn’t have been able to save Zin, or pull the unbound together.” Emm was staring at him, her overlarge dark eyes very serious. Mikial felt his stomach twist as she stepped closer, resting a hand on his shoulder.

“Avari betrayed you to your enemy, I see that, you’re in shock, I know. But when I see you I remember the man who faced down the dragons, who stood firm against the spider queen.” She glanced over her shoulder towards the dome, then back at him. “We’ve seen some crazy shit in our day, Mikial. She has no idea. And the man you were back then, got buried under bureaucracy.” She touched his face. “I miss that man.”

“Perhaps that man is dead.” He said softly.

Emm smiled sadly and shook her head. “No, I don’t think so.” She leaned forward hesitated and brushed a kiss against his lips. “There’s game a few miles south of here. You and Vel, you have some things you have to work out. I’ll get out of your hair,”

“Emm,”

“So you can get that straightened out and,”

“Emm, she needs you here.” He wasn’t sure it was a good idea to be left alone with the little red-head, but Emm shook her head with a sad smile.

“No, because she’ll hide behind me, because you scare the ever-loving piss out of her.” She patted his arm, then squeezed gently. “She’s tough, yes, she’s had to be. But she’s as alone as you are, and the bond was the only thing that kept her sane.”

He nodded. Emm took a deep breath and grinned. “Have fun.” And was gone.

He swore under his breath. Typical. There were times, like then, that she reminded him so much of Dria it made him want to weep. It was why he’d cut off contact. He couldn’t handle the pain that welled up every time he thought of the lost free-spirit.

 

###

 

I will clean this up, I promise.

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

This is from….a project I really shouldn’t be working on.

~*~

 

The voices of the patrons of the One Winged Angel created a mildly comforting din as they cheered the pit fighters on. Velvet leaned against the bar watching, amused, as her customers yelled, laughed and cheered. She couldn’t see the fighters, but could tell by the cheers, who was dueling. A slim brunette, curls bouncing around her shoulders, wove her way through the crowd, a tray of empty dishes held overhead. She nodded at Velvet and glanced over her shoulder.

“They’re actually fighting rather well tonight.” She said as she slid the tray on the counter and turned around. “The bets are getting ridiculous!”

“Who’s winning?” Velvet leaned closer. She brushed a kiss against the brunette’s shoulder. Emm glanced at her with a grin.

“I couldn’t tell, they’re both fairly bloody.”

“Great, we’ll have patching up to do.” Vel chuckled.

“You’ll have patching up to do.” Emm laughed, moving around to the back of the counter. “I just work here.”

The door to the tavern opened, and Vel got a glimpse of swirling snow outside before the view was blocked by a tall figure. Her smile faded and she pushed herself upright watching the tall man and his two companions step into the taproom.

“Shut the gods be damned door, fool, unless you want to pay to heat this place!” Emm yelled.

The man looked her way and smirked. The door shut behind him, cutting off the howling wind. His companions looked at him in surprise. He’d not touched the door with his hand. He strode forward, aware that most eyes were on him. Pale hair, albino skin, and brilliant green eyes that laughed at her. Velvet shook her head. Trouble. Pure trouble.

“Kale, I’d be careful were I you, I’ve seen your tab here.” Emm pointed the cudgel she kept under the counter. “I’ll make you go wash my dishes!”

“You don’t want me to do that.” Kale said with a laugh, leaning against the counter. “Just ask the staff at the caves, I break more than I clean.”

“On purpose, I’d wager.” Vel snorted and glanced at the two silently following Kale and back at him with a frown.

“They were set to follow me.” He turned, gripped the shoulder of the nearest man, hauling him to the counter. “But I caught them, so I invited them along for a drink.” He smiled.

“Poor fools.” Emm said. She leaned towards the man at the counter. “You might just want to give up the commission, my friend. Really not worth it.”

“I figure they’ll be kind enough to pay my tab, after trying to chase me through this gods-forsaken city.” Kale looked down at the men and held out his hand. “Your purses, please, if you’ll be so kind.”

The men looked at each other and slowly reached for their belts.

“Nothing funny gentlemen,” Vel said softly. “Neither of you will walk out alive.”

They gulped and nodded, handing over some very heavy looking money pouches. Kale bounced them in his hand and nodded, glancing at them. “Go away.”

The men vanished.

“Where did you port them?” Emm asked, eyes wide.

“Creshna, near the Sable mountains.” Kale grinned.

“Evil.” Vel snickered. “What are you doing here, Kale? I thought the Goddess Avari frowned down on her pets consorting with us uncouth unbounds.”

“She does. Except when she’s given orders to hunt you out.” He rested elbows on the counter. “And I have specific instructions to ask you to kindly come for a visit to the caves.”

“What does she want?” Vel asked, heart pounding in her ears.

“Father has been asked to host a meeting of immortals, namely unbound, to discuss the current Slayer situation.” Kale leaned towards Vel. “Rumor has it you’d be the best one to ask about the Slayer.”

“Ooo an invitation from the Shaderunner.” Emm said leaning against Vel’s shoulder. “Sounds exciting.”

“A meeting?” Vel looked at her. “Sounding exciting?”

“The Staff of the Caves make the absolute best pastries and I know several back passages to get them.” Emm grinned impishly at her, then turned towards Kale. “When does his grumpyness want us there?”

“Us?” Vel eyed Emm.

“Grumpyness?” Kale snickered. “In two days. I’ll port you…”

“Kale, I’ve been porting since before your mother’s people were a clan. I think I can handle it.” Emm said. “Just tell us when we need to be there.”

Kale snorted. “One of these days Emm, I’m going to get you to tell me a tale or two. Loren say’s you’ve got a lot of them.”

She laughed. “Not today, Kale.”

Vel stewed, leaning against the counter. “Great. Just what I need to deal with.”

“Aww come on red, it’ll be fun.” Emm said. She kissed Vel’s cheek. “You’ve never seen funny until you’ve seen a startled centaur on marble.”

Kale snorted.

“I’d rather not have to deal with Shaderunner.” Vel said, voice low. The idea made her blood run cold. There were some beings in the world far too powerful for their own good.

“Why? Father’s not that bad, Vel, not really.” Kale looked confused.

“God-like powers, not that bad?” Vel snorted.

“Just hand him some ancient tome or book and he’ll be happy.” Kale winked. “Besides, I heard he likes redheads, kind of a weakness thing!” He vanished, leaving a money bag on the counter.

Vel stared at the bag and glanced at Emm. “I really didn’t want to hear that.”

 

###

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

The series is done, for now, and compiled into a complete collection.

cover

 

Inside The Author’s Mind is a collection of shorts written from the
point of view of the story elements. From characters, to ideas, to
muses, and editor, these have previously been sold singly and are
now put together. The collection is approximately 6400 words, 25
pages, and includes The Shiny, Redshirts, Muse Interrupted, Editor In Chains, 
Daydream Paradise Beach

It is available at:

Smashwords
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Now on to the next project!

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

A new year, new goals. I’ve made up a tentative publishing schedule for this new year, starting with the goal of one new publication (large or small) a month with three large releases for the year. We’ll see how it goes. Goals are dreams with a date on them they say. And I’ve even taken into account the usual grueling summers I have.

There are plans to move to another house sometime in late spring early summer which may disrupt things.

The big releases, the first three Zander books, are slated for April, ?June?, and September/October. The final book, Crossroads (which *might* be 2 books) *might* be ready by December.

I’m still dabbling with the idea of E1 up as a serial, but I’m not sure with everything else I have on my plate, that I have the mental capacity to to that atm. I might do something like that over the summer since E1 is, for the most part done.

Other smaller projects will be released through the rest of the year, hopefully on a monthly basis. I’m not hinging all my hopes on any one project. As a writer who plans to be around for a long time, my larger goals are long term, not hinged on any one book. A career isn’t built on one book, rather multiple projects. I’ll refer you to Dean Wesley Smith for more on that particular viewpoint.

I also have the goal of doing a Friday Flash fiction every week this year. Lofty? Maybe. I’m gonna try to do it though.

Last year’s sales;

With the lack of new material up for sale, sales were fairly non-existent. I haven’t pulled up the actual numbers yet, but I know they were spotty. There are a number of reasons why, ranging from pricing, covers that need to be improved and just lack of new material to keep my name up at the top of the new release lists and whatnot. Last year was fairly brutal for me. For a number of reasons and that impacted me finishing and releasing stuff. In short; sales sucked and I’m the reason why.

That was last year. This is a new year, new opportunities, new information to learn. This year. I want to write more. I need to write more. I need to get a better handle on covers, formatting and get back in the game so to speak. The paralyzing that halted me over the past year and a half, seems to have melted away. While there is a touch of anxiety, it isn’t halting me. Onward and upward! I’m ready! Are you?

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

2013 is almost over, and I have to say, writing-wise, I didn’t do as much as I’d planned. But what’s done is done and I’m not going to beat myself over the head about it. I’m still writing, and that’s a lot more than a lot of ‘writers’ these days. I’m putting together a 2014 business plan atm, will post it as soon as it’s more than a vague idea.

Dean Wesley Smith has a 2013 wrapup over here which I thought was very interesting.

I hope you all have a great Christmas (If you celebrate it), Yule, Winter Solstice, etc.

 

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

Where did the year go? Rhetorical question, I’m not expecting an answer :P . So I did hit the nano words and my brain decided that Dmitri was going to go to sleep and Zander promptly started whispering at me. 0.o

Something that I noticed, post nano. I don’t seem to have the post nano brain-dead. I think it’s because writing has become such an integral part of my day (yes my DAY) that writing 50k really isn’t all that big a deal. Looking over my records on writing, I seem to have the greatest monthly output, wordwise, in feb, march and april. Interesting (imo).

I was fiddling with a program called Aeon Timeline to set up the timeline for the Zander stories. Mind you I’ve tried a number or programs and most timeline ones limit the dates. This thing is effing awesome. The world Zander lives on and the time frames in this world are VAST. This program allows me to set up my own date/calendar system. My OCD is very happy with this. VERY happy.

I managed to do the timeline for Books 1-3 and then Zander/Talia’s part of bk 4 and was starting to work on the timeline for the forensic fantasy part of bk 4 when I realized that I needed the name of a character, I couldn’t for the LIFE of me remember his name. So I did something I shouldn’t have done. I opened up my backup files and started skimming through old versions of Crossroads. -.- I am kindof surprused how well it holds up. YES there are issues, and no I don’t think I’d be able to edit it to fit into the new plot/timeline. But some of those scenes are golden. Just golden.

Anyways, I’m back to plugging away on the Zander story, I want to finish bk 2 before Jan 1st. Anyways this sat on my computer for way too long. Hope yall are having a good december so far.

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Still here

Nov. 30th, 2013 05:52 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I’m very close to hitting NaNo, despite some unexpected shit tossed my way this month. I’ll try to put it into words later, suffice to say this month didn’t go quite as planned. Anyways, would you like a dragon snip? Have I mentioned I lurvs my dragons? 😀

Just remember, this is NaNo rough. It needs a good scrubbing. I know this. Enjoy;

~*~

Miranda was preparing to return to their quarters, when a sound from the entry ledge caught her attention. Dmitri stood still, watching the tunnel, his hands clenching and un-clenching at his sides. Khal and Lita moved behind him. Three males stepped into the hall. The man in front was pale, broad shouldered in clothes that were worn and patched. His hair fell to his shoulders and looked tousled, unwashed. He wore a blade at his side, and he rested his hand on the hilt. They strode in silence, looking neither right nor left, stopping several lengths from Dmitri.

“I’ll be damned.” Someone whispered. The hunters gathered creating a loose circle around the newcomers.

“Brenon.” Dmitri inclined his head, his low voice carrying over the room. Muffled gasps filled the room. Miranda nibbled her lower lip. Should she go over or stand to the stay where she was? She glanced at Jor, but the other woman had her eyes locked on the Outlander and his people.

“Dmitri, its been a long time.” Brenon’s voice was deep, similar to Dmitri’s though his was rougher. He looked around, narrowing his eyes when he saw Miranda, then looked at Dmitri. “Lots of whispers about you in the Outlands. Lots of eyes on the Keep, wondering if you’ve got a chance in hell.”

“You’re not here to discus whispers and rumors, brother.” Dmitri said. “Why are you here?”

Brenon gave a bark of laughter. Some of the hunters shifted uneasily. Was this going to be a challenge? Miranda wanted to ask someone, but all eyes were on the two males. Brenon lifted a rolled scroll. “You have a working office. There are many eyes in here.”

“Say what you have to say here, Brenon.” Dmitri crossed his arms.

They regarded each other.

“You’ve caught the attention of the Thalsbren. Even the human nations are beginning to notice. Gaeno is old, weak, bitter about his lack of advancement with Lothos and Otto.” Brenon ran his hand over the scroll. “He’s approached me, so did Hesh and Rilo, and several others who have since fallen. You’ve made a dent, a huge one, in Lothos old crew.”

“Get to the point brother.” Dmitri snarled. His skin mottled, swirls of blue-grey just below the surface.

“The alliances are lining up, between you and Gaeno.”

“We know this!” Jor snapped. Dmitri held up a hand and Brenon nodded.

“We, the Outlanders, have held off giving any of you our support.” Brenon held up the scroll. “Gaeno wanted us to ally with him, until I gave him our terms.”

Dmitri said nothing.

“How many contenders have you fought, since you made your stake?”

Dmitri looked towards Jor who was frowning as she strode over.

“Nintey four.” She said.

“What are you, made of steel?” The male asked incredulously.

“I wish.” Dmitri gave a crooked grin. “It’d hurt less when I get hit.”

Brenon gave a bark of laughter and held out the scroll, unrolling it and walking over to the table. “The elders will call for a count, see whose support you’ve garnered, once at the contenders are down.” He set the scroll down and Miranda could see it was a detailed set of maps. Brenon pointed at Dmitri. “You need the Outlanders. Every other contender, and I’ve lost count, has come to me, begging me for my backing. Giving nothing and promising nothing in return.” He spat on the floor. “Every single one of those slithering worms hid from father and Otto. You haven’t come to me, and you’re the only one who had the gall to stand up to the old man.” Brenon pointed at an odd marking on the map. “Give us back Syrteca, and the Outlanders will back you.”

Someone gave a long low whistle.

“That’s a fools task.” Lita said.

“Syrteca was one of the first taken.” Dmitri didn’t look at the map, his eyes were locked on Brenon. “The queen has dug in deep.”

Brenon nodded. “Do it, brother, and we’re yours.”

Dmitri’s eyes narrowed. Miranda could see several others shaking their heads, even Brenon’s men didn’t look optimistic.

“Done.” Dmitri said finally. Whispers ran through the onlookers. Brenon nodded grinning slowly.

“If anyone can do it, you can.” Brenon stepped forward, arm out.

They gripped arms, and after a moment Brenon pulled Dmitri into a rough embrace, said something in his ear, turned and strode out, his fellows close behind him. The silence stretched, all eyes on Dmitri. He leaned over the map, hands on the table, staring at it.

“There is no way to dislodge a queen, Dmitri.” Lita said. “It’s a death wish.”

He made no response, moved one of the maps.

“Dmitri, how could you agree to that?” She pressed. He looked at her, the mottling was back. She stepped back.

“Malice, Lita, take a scouting trip around Syrteca. Keep low, and don’t be noticed.” He said after a long silence. He rolled the scrolls up and glanced around the room before leaving.

###

Have a great weekend!

 

You can find more dragon snips over here

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

2013-11-01 08.25.04Took this about a week ago. So Pretty.

Have a peaceful day, relax, unwind, enjoy a moment of recharging.

 

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NaNo day 3

Nov. 4th, 2013 03:17 am
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Day 1 –  1022
Day 2 – 5505
Day 3 – 2112 – I am not finished with this scene so this will go up

Snip:

The Weather Man held up a hand, and went to one of the walls. He touched it and what looked like a drawer slid open, he dipped his hand into the drawer and when he lifted it out, he held a  blue stone set in gold hanging from a thin gold chain.  He handed it to Miranda. “That belonged to the mate of Sharuth, one of their last great leaders.”

“I can’t take this.” She stared at the stone. The Weather Man tipped her head up, meeting her eyes.

“Keep it, don’t wear it openly, consider it a good luck charm if you will. A hand-fasting gift from an old bavnan sorcerer. These people need something to hope for. Perhaps you can bring the life back into this old keep.”

“Weather Man,” Miranda tried to hand it back and he shook his head, closing her fingers around the amulet.

“I meant it. Keep it. She gave it to me, before Sharuth was killed and she took their remaining offspring into exile. And I’m giving it to you.”

<<<<>>>>>

Happy nanoing!

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

This is sort of a two parter. Part one can be found over here.

WARNING FOR POSSIBLE TRIGGERY STUFF
(just to be on the safe side)

How it Began; Part 2

(c) 2013 Necia Phoenix

The cave stank of fear and desperation. Greyson stopped just inside the entry to gain control of his stomach, and let his night vision adjust. Seeing in the dim light, while a blessing in the mountains, was a curse in the dank tunnel. There were things he didn’t want to see. Remains of other victims lay by the doors of their cells. They were far too late to save them. Dmitri, hadn’t been willing to come inside, now that he was there, Grey couldn’t blame him.

“Come on, boy, she’d be down this way.” Stilgar’s voice broke through his thoughts. Grey nodded.

“He said four or five cells.” Habcore said. “There’s a lot more here than four or five.”

“Aye.” Toura looked ill.

“Lothos is crazy.” Grey said. A whimper drifted from the depths of the tunnel.

“Someone is down there.” Stilgar said softly.

“Dragonmaster, she might know him,” Fiore said, stepping over. “But I’m female, and it was a male that did this to her.”

Stilgar looked back and forth between them and nodded. “Go with her Grey, she may recognize your voice.”

Fiore took the furs from him, and he followed her down the cold tunnel.

She was huddled in a corner, her pale skin covered in dark bruises, her only covering was her pale hair around her. She looked towards them fearfully, cringing.

“Open this door Grey.” Fiore whispered.  She turned her attention to the woman, her voice soft. “My lady? We’re here to get you out, Lady Aunusha sent us.”

Grey nodded, gripping the bars, pulling on the dragon-strength and anger. No one had ever looked at him in such fear. He stepped back, tearing the door from the frame set in the stone, and resisted the urge to throw it, setting it to one side. Fiore crouched beside the woman, draping the fur over her slim form. The woman kept looking towards Grey with a frown.

“Do you remember Greyson?” Fiore asked. The woman’s lower lip trembled.

She looked at Fiore. “The Dragonmaster’s son.”

“Yes. And the Dragonmaster is playing lookout. We’ll take you where it’s safe.” Fiore pushed a strand of hair from the woman’s face.

“He’ll find me.” She whispered. “He said he’ll find me if I try to leave.”

“No, we won’t let that happen.” Grey said, trying to keep his voice calm.

“You can’t stop him.”

“We got here, didn’t we?” Greyson asked. He met her eyes. “Trust us. We won’t let him find you.”

She stilled, her eyes flickering from a pale blue-green, to the blank Spirit state. She nodded, looked up at Fiore and tried to stand, her body swaying. “Take me home.”

 

She whimpered once when Grey shifted, and Fiore secured her to the carry rig. It hung between his front legs, and would shelter her during the flight. He crouched, preparing to launch when Habcor roared a warning. Two large ice dragons approaching, fast.

Grey lurched into the air, trying to get used to the extra weight. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a blur of pale grey, diving from the clouds, slamming into one of the approaching dragons, pushing it into the other, with air-piercing roar. Then he was past them, following Stilgar and Fiore’s dark shapes through the clouds.

 

“Physically she’ll recover.” Lady Aunusha  said, stepping from the inner room where servants had taken the injured woman. “It’ll take time to see how and if her mind recovers.”

Grey, Fiore and Stilgar had stayed at the Oracle of the Spirit Elementals, the others returned to the Hollow. They watched the Lady as she paced, her hands clasped in front of her.

“What will the Grande Council do about Lothos? This is not the first time this has happened.” She looked at them. “Will there be any justice for them?”

Stilgar frowned. “Before we left, I requested an immediate Council, to discuss this and prior incidents. However, there is a chance Lothos could counter it, I did break multiple treaties…”

“You saved her life.” She whispered. “Are treaties more important?”

“In the eyes of some of the Council, yes. I took a risk that could cause war if Lothos feels so inclined. I felt it was worth taking, others won’t agree.”

“You are the Dragonmaster,” she glared. “You could order him,”

“To what? My authority extends only to my clan. The Ice Dragons have their own rules. We’ll do what we can. But even with the might of the Council behind us, I doubt anything can be done about him. One of his underlings, yes. Lothos is their leader, and that would mean removing him,”

“Which should be done!”

“You and I both agree with that! I don’t think the council will see it that way. The Ice Dragons are a bit unpredictable to begin with, remove their leader and we’d have a serious problem to our North, one the council won’t want to deal with.”

“I see. My thanks, again, Dragonmaster, for your help in this matter.” She turned and went back into the inner room without another word.

Fiore sighed. “One ally lost.”

“Two. I doubt Dmitri made it out unscathed.” Stilgar corrected her, glancing at Grey. “Well?”

“Is this what you do all day?”

“And jump off ledges. It scares the piss out of peasants.” Stilgar flashed a tired smile. “We’ve done all we can here, now to go let Megare know where we were.”

“You didn’t tell mother where we were going?” Grey stared at his father incredulous.

“Oh gods.” Fiore, pushed ahead of them. “This is going to be a loud one.”

“I may have left out a few details.” Stilgar said dryly.

“Mother would have wanted to come along.” Grey said.

“I’d rather spare her the nightmares.” Stilgar said. “I don’t think any of us are going to rest well knowing about that cave.”

“Or the ones we were too late for.”

Stilgar nodded, patting his shoulder. “Come on; let’s go face the angry dragoness.”

<<<<>>>>>

Word count came in at 998.

Other Flash Fics can be found over here

As this IS a Dragon/Elemental world snip I’ll go ahead and link over here to the other Dragon snips on the site, in chronological order.

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Wednesday

Oct. 16th, 2013 09:58 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

It never looks right when I write it out.*

I’ve been plugging away on all sorts of things, bouncing around with RL stuff and writing projects that I keep forgetting to get over here to get a post up. SO, projects;

Zander book one, roughly done. There are a few things I need to go back and fill in which will bump the word count up.

Inside the Author’s Mind – I’ve been dabbling at that, I’ve gotten the one story halfway done and realized I think that’s it. I do need to pull together a cover for it now.

Zander book 2 – I thought I had about 17k on it. I poked at it, I prodded, then I realized that no, it wasn’t going to work. Book two has been started again from scratch. But I think it works better than the 17 k.

I’m going to go ahead and use it for NaNo and see how it goes. Hopefully it won’t negate Book 3 too terribly much and I won’t have to rewrite IT. >.>

OTHER stuff:

Flash Fiction; I want to get back in the habit of tossing those up on fridays. But I’m not sure I’ll be able to before the first of the year.

Elemental Series: E1 sits in limbo. I haven’t done much more than reread it in months. I know it has issues. E2 screeched to a halt, the others are also hanging in limbo as stories at the far end of the series hijack my brain. My dragons are overpowering.

I have been researching crowdfunding projects, and polls and have been putting together a tentative plan for next year. More on that if anything pulls together solidly. My brain has been very flaky lately. I was thinking of putting together some sort of ongoing series on the dragons/elementals but it’s a very vague and unformed idea.

Anywho, need to get words and do some mundane RL stuff. Have a good day.

 

*edited because it was spelled wrong. That’s why it looked wrong. **facepalms** **sigh**

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Epiphany

Oct. 3rd, 2013 03:43 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

One of my favorite unfinished novels takes place in the Zander world. Titled Velvet and the Shadow, it’s a love story of sorts. One problem I had was that the story fizzled after about… 30 or 40k. The characters kinda fell together too easily. At the time I couldn’t figure out why and I set it aside. It’s fairly far down in the ‘list’ (22 or 23 or some such number) and I figured by the time I got to it, I’d figure out why I had trouble with it.

With NaNo right around the corner I’ve been going over nano plans and projects and put together a possible rough prologue for Z BK2. That sparked a short scene idea, just a snippet which will probably never be in any book, kindof a historic glimpse of something that shaped the past of Zander’s world. I made myself cry **rollseyes**

But then I realized something about the one character who witnesses this sad event. (I will say this, there are multiple reasons I’m not comfy with snipping that here, mainly the topic is quite depressing, unrequited love & all that) This event shapes his future and how he handles things in the future.

Some of the things that lead to some other things is because of the depression he falls into post this event. The domino effects of this are far reaching, and adds to some of his issues. Yeah, if people think I’m mean to Zander, seriously wait till I start getting into Mikial’s story.

But yeah, THAT realization led me to the epiphany, the why I stalled with Velvet and the Shadow. I know why Vel & Mikial never would have fallen together that easily. They’re both deeply hurting souls, and very walled off from others. It’s going to take a lot more than what I had to bring them to any kind of understanding let along ‘together’.

**rubs hands together**

**scribbles out notes**

I also realized that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to write Savna’s story.

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

This post was inspired in great part by Kristine Rusch’s post Story Demands.

For years I had this dream of publishing the Zander books traditionally. I pictured them on a bookshelf in a bookstore, I would even go to waldenbooks and find where my name was and kinda scoot the books around so there would be room for them. >.>  Ever do that? :P

As brick and morter bookstores vanished (where I lived we only had chain bookstores, tehre were NO small indipendent ones) so too went the dreams of seeing the books in bookstores, and when I decided to self pub, there was a period slight mourning. I’d never ever see them in print. Ever.

Ok so that was dramatic, now I’m planning on putting out print editions eventually but for the n00b self pubber a couple years ago (a couple YEARS??? O.M.G!) it was a drastic thought, I wasn’t sure I’d ever do print copies at all.

But there were a lot of things that hung on. Sure I was going to self pub, but I was clinging to a lot of the traditional thought processes and that included how I was putting a story together and the wordcount caps.

As you can see, if you take a glance at my offerings, I have shorts up. Nothing large. A lot of reasons for this, many of them are legitimate time and RL issues (I have had some life upsets over the past year and a half that have impacted writing and publishing), but there are other reasons, a lot of them have to do with the fear issue. Fear of failure, fear of imperfection, fear of ridicule, fear of something I can’t quite put my finger on.

Larger project = heftier formatting = greater chance of typos = imperfection

And everyone has seen the ridicule self pubbers have garnered from others if they have typos and imperfections in their self edited* projects.

But then again, look at the ‘traditional’ published authors who ALSO get ridiculed. It doesn’t seem to matter who you are, if you put out something in the public eye there is going to be someone, somewhere who is going to hate it and make fun of it. Period.

I can list off numerous people who have ignored this and continued on. From musicians, to actors, writers, directors, and so on.

I can also point out people who have thrown in the towel, hundreds, thousands even, who have given up, gotten bitter, and continued on in their little lives, because somebody didn’t like what they did/said/produced so they stomped off in a hissy fit. Or just went *poof*.

Smaller projects, while still subject to dreaded typos, are less time consuming on formatting and easier to typo check (in theory). They are safer. Again in theory.

**takes a deep breath**

The projects that really move me are my big ones. The monstrocities. The doorstoppers. The ones that I got duped into believing years ago would never sell. The huge epic ones I was told that agents weren’t representing them because publishing companies aren’t going to buy them.

I’m not even going to breach the George R.R. Martin thing, I really am not. :P

So the things I learned as a nOOb writer, trying to break into the business included;

  • don’t make your first book part of a trilogy, pubbers don’t want to risk investing on an unknown whose work might not even sell.
  • Don’t make your first book larger than 90k. agents won’t shop it around because pubbers won’t buy it. Typesetting issues and cost and whatnot.
  • General fantasy and Epic fantasy no longer sell. That ship sailed in the 90s, don’t write it. UF and vampires are the ‘thing’. And romance.
  • Sex. If in doubt, toss sex on the page. The more your characters get laid, the greater chance you have of selling your book or bagging an agent, and the more explicit, the better. (I swear to dog I heard this from multiple sources!)

Now obviously these are wrong. I’m not going to tell you how to ‘bag an agent’ mainly because I don’t feel the need for one. There are other places you can go to locate that information, here is not one of those places.

But this was my understanding, among others which I am still discovering (some of these are so deep rooted I have a hard time defining what they are!) as I go along.

Last night I finished the rough draft of Bastard Prince. In came in at 52k with several placeholders in the beginning for battles and such that I need to plan out a bit better to fill in. There are some threads I need to lay, and flesh out, some plotholes which make it look like a colander (I think I could drive a jet plane through some of them XD) but it is, for lack of a better word, done.

I also pulled up what I have of bks 2 & 3 and got a good idea of what I need to do to finish them. And I saw what the myths of the trad pubbing had done to my story, and how it had tweaked with my head.

I had this story, you see. And it’s a life story. It’s Zander’s story, and it geeks me right the hell out. He’s got an intense one, with highs and lows, with loves and hates, joys and sorrows. Friendships and betrayals and all of it moves through a greater story which pushes the world he lives in to the brink, and eventually, possibly, over. And it’s important.

But to make it fit, to appease who I thought needed to be appeased to get it to the people I wanted to share it with, I came close to murdering it. One of the most important foundational parts of the story, book two (which needs a name) rings in at 16k right now with a lot of [this happens here] type of place holders.  Why? Because I was going to skim over it. I was thinking, oh this is the romance part, the slow-down part. This is the part people are going to yawn through. I can do flashbacks.

You see, even though I decided I was going to self pub it, I was still stuck thinking I was writing one book. I was locked into thinking that I needed to keep it small. I was trying to squeeze all of this huge, epic story into 90k. 17 (or was it 19?) years of world shaking events into 90k.

I sat in on a few conversations with some friends at FM as I mentioned in some posts over here, and my brain kinda rebelled, and melted and threw a full on tantrum (really, brain? REALLY?) but in the end it was like a sign from dog.

I sat down and did the outlines for books 1 – 3 and knew that this was right. This is the story I’m trying to tell. And it’s all important. And 90k just isn’t enough room to tell it all. And that led me to think about Crossroads (which is the grande finale to the Zander story). Which scares me because that is a friggen monster story and brain started doing the flailing again because brain realized that I KNEW, finally, that I didn’t have to stick to the old formulas anymore, and when it stopped its flailing and started calming down, it started thinking about the things I tossed as irrelevant to the story because of that whole 90k/bag-an-agent-go-trad thing. Things that were relevant. Things that need to be there.  I realize now that  Crossroads will be two books (I *might* divide it three ways, I’m not sure yet).

DC – stop laughing. I can hear you. Even now, through the screen I can HEAR you laughing. Stop it NOW. -.-

**clears throat**

The FM crowd, they make fun of me. My plotbunnies breed.

And you know what really bothers me? How much I have let myself be held back by traditional publishing myths. I have a lot of stories to write. I have a lot of stories to tell. Many of them, oh so many of them in Zander’s world. Zander isn’t the only character in his world that I adore. There’s Auron, Michael, Kale, Shaderunner, Rune, Tayek, Nyhavi, Tienovey(though there is a lot of Tien in Zander’s story) Ivonnova (still trying to decide on the spelling there), Caladorn, Eric(name change imminent), Brent, Uralko and so on. But without Zander’s tale, I just can’t tell the others. His is the foundation. Why? Ask brain, I just write ;)

How much further, would I have been if I had realized sooner that I didn’t have to keep it under a certain size?

You know what really makes me wonder? What other things are going to come up that are holding me back in little ways?

I can say this, (hours after I wrote all that up there)  I started reading ZBK1 today (I know I just finished it yesterday) and I found myself loving it. Just loving it. It’s rough, it needs work, and I see where I need to tweak things and I found some typos I need to fix. But I love it.

I love the words I finished working on yesterday. I don’t hate them. Another myth bites the dust.


This is why I took Angela James Before You Hit Send workshop. Seriously, worth every penny I spent on it, and if she puts it out in a book form I’m so buying it. Awesome, awesome workshop.

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

Today I’m working on Zander and maybe some formatting. Have some music.

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

This past week I landed myself in the ER.

It threw my whole schedule off just a wee bit. There have been tests, and phone calls. I don’t know yet what exactly is going on, I’ll be making more phone calls Monday to various financial and dr offices to get answers for multiple questions about how the hell I’m going to pay for continued care (we’re in-between insurance coverage for me, tho the kids and hubs are all covered. I left myself off). I am not on death’s door. I’m just very fatigued.

Today I’m working on wrapping up the Inside the Author’s Mind story collection, writing (there are only a couple more stories to write to wrap it up) and formatting it. Tomorrow I’ll put together a new cover and hopefully sometime next week I’ll have it up for sale.

Have a great weekend folks.

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

I know this isn’t universal, but I find I write best with music playing. But not just anything. I don’t just turn on the radio, or random playlist and let music play. I have playlists. I have theme songs. Certain songs evoke certain moods and make me think of certain stories. My first completed novel was written to four songs played endlessly over and over (and drove my hubby NUTS I tell you!). Well lately, as I’ve been working on Zander I’ve had another character, the ice dragon, talking at me. Yesterday, I discovered music that fits him.

I’ve also had other music, songs that fit other situations and characters.

~*~


Lux Aeterna – from the movie Requiem for a Dream (most people don’t know that this part is only part of the full song which is something like 18 min long, but this part is the epic bit I love). This is Zander’s story. All of it. Laid out in music. Close your eyes, listen, hear the swells and receeds, feel the power building, that’s Zander’s story. and it leaves you almost breathless with it’s intensity. (Or it does me)

~*~


I see this as a clip, a video of sorts of Zander’s kids :P . Glimpsing each of their adventures, I would love to do a digi video set to this music with the end of it a picture of Zander surrounded by the five of them. **sigh** :D

~*~

Grey’s story. Hands down. It’s an achingly beautiful song (IMO) and it’s just…it’s Grey and Nekita.

~*~

This always makes me think of E2 for some reason, which is one of my Nano Projects for this year.

~*~


And finally this, The Promise by Vas. This song, and other songs by Azam Ali (the singer of Vas) were what I was listening to while writing E1. I have no idea what language it is in, I think Turkish? But I’m not sure.

So, as my Sunday Serenity post, what music, if any, helps you write? Inspires you? Have a great Sunday yall!

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

Wrote this up last night by the light of an oil lamp. Seriously. Long story. First of all, this is pre-story to the Elemental Wars series. This takes place many many many years before any of the other snips (except this one) I’ve done, though a few of the characters who have shown up here are in this. I’ve done a quick edit, nothing major. I wrote part of this by hand then the rest on the computer. I LIKE this. I may continue, this is a complicated story and this situation is a huge part of what sets EVERYTHING in motion. I don’t know though, I have a lot on my mind and right now, Zander it my big priority. but yeah, have some dragons.

 

How it all began…

Lady Aunusha,

It is with deepest regret I inform you that Lothos refuses you entry to the hall. He states your missing seeress is not there. I do have my doubts to his sincerity. 

                                                                        Dmitri

 ~*~

Dmitri,
This is unacceptable, her pleas for help originate from his hall. Tell Lothos to return her or I will call on the Dragonmaster for assistance in this matter.

                                                                         Aunusha

~*~

 Lady Aunusha,
That is not possible. I’m sorry.

                                                                        Dmitri.

~*~

  Dmitri
You have a choice, give us access to the Hall, or face my wrath.

                                                                         Stilgar

~*~

 Your threats are unwarranted, Dragonmaster. But if you think you can find me, you’re welcome to try. Come into the Ice Ranges at your own risk. I will say this though, Lothos is going to be in Sian until mid-summer. The high ranges are particularly lovely this time of year.

                                                                         Dmitri

~*~

 These letters were found some years after Stilgar’s death, and are attributed to the events of raid on the Hall of *Ice Keep* in the year [year here].

~*~

 High Ranges. Some distance north of Ice Keep, year ????.

 The wind blew right through him, despite his thick hide. Greyson crouched lower to the rock, shifted his wings, and glanced towards his sire. Stilgar, the Dragonmaster, perched on a ridge, peering into the blinding snow. Beside him, his first and second advisors, Habcor and Fiore waited restlessly.

Stilgar’s head snapped to the side and he bellowed. Grey looked in the direction his sire was, but saw nothing. Nothing but swirling clouds, and wind-driven snow and ice. A strange bellow filled the air, an odd deeper tone than Grey had heard. Stilgar craned his neck around, looking back at them, rumbling out.

“This is it, follow me. Our guide is damn near impossible to see in this weather.”

“There’s someone up there?” Toura, on Grey’s right called.

Stilgar rumbled as another one of those odd bellows shattered the air. “Yes and he’s getting impatient. He’s risking his life, come on, lets go.”

Stilgar launched into the air, his advisors close behind him. Grey followed, he barely knew these others, He’d been included as an afterthought. His first mission, his first trip to the Ice Ranges. He was flanked by some of his father’s trusted hunters as they followed Stilgar who was following some elusive beast through the stormy clouds. Once, in a break in the clouds, he thought he saw the outline of a large gray-blue dragon, but more clouds swirled around them and he couldn’t see where the creature went. Stilgar veered downward, they followed, though Grey was hesitant. They were flying blind in the mountains. Following  a stranger, though Stilgar seemed to trust him. Ice Dragons weren’t trustworthy though. He could imagine being tricked into flying into the mountain sides. He tried to shake the thought off but it haunted him, even as they followed a weaving path through shadowy peaks, and narrow, high canyons.

Then they were landing in front of a narrow cave entrance. The large bulk of the gray ice dragon shifted to the shape of a pale, blond man in heavy blue leathers and matching robe. He watched them, expressionless. A deep purple bruise marred pale skin on the left side of his face.

Grey shifted, standing back as his sire and the advisors strode forward, each grasping the man’s arm in greeting.

“This is it?” Stilgar looked at the cave entrance doubtfully.

“Are you sure she’s in there?” Habcor asked.

“Are you sure anyone’s in there?” Fiore asked. She shivered, rubbing her upper arms in the brisk wind.

The ice dragon looked at her. “There’s always someone in there.” He stepped to one side. “I can’t go in there.”

“Afraid?” Toura sneered.

The ice dragon said nothing, just arched an eyebrow and looked at Stilgar.

“How far back is she?”

“There are a few cells, four, maybe five. I’ve only seen a couple. Been in one or two of them myself.” A shudder ran through him. “You need to hurry. I can’t be here when you get out, if they catch you, I had nothing to do with it.”

“Understood. Thank you, Dmitri.” Stilgar offered his arm and the ice dragon draped a heavy fur over his arm.

“She won’t have anything.” He stepped back again, turned, and launched, shifting faster than Grey had ever seen, his wings driving snow and gravel at them as he vanished again into the heavy, low clouds.

“That is one big dragon.” Someone muttered.

“Here, take this.” Stilgar handed Grey the fur. “When, and if, we find her, you get her back to the Oracle, understand?”

“Why me?” Grey asked before he could stop himself. His sire’s eyes narrowed and he swallowed.

“You met her at the gathering last summer, she knows who you are.” Habcor said.

Grey looked back and forth, and nodded, understanding at last. That’s why they chose him to come along. That’s why he was there, he swallowed. He followed them into the narrow cave, looking for the soft-spoken seeress who had vanished some months before.

 

###

🙂

DRAGONS!
You can find more dragon snips over here

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

Today I will write, relax, finish the short, and try not to stress about rl stuff tomorrow (trying to get wheels so I can take care of rl issues).  Have some sand art.

 

 

 

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Some things

Sep. 6th, 2013 05:45 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Take a moment, watch this. As a writer, think about what it is you’re doing.

 

I don’t know about you, but this is my favorite scene from that movie. As a kid I would sing this song as I led our family dogs through the backyard and into a world of imagination. As I got older, I found my backyard became the world of Pern and I was a dragonrider (somehow swings became dragons, don’t ask I’m still not sure :P ), then other times it became the side of an Integral Tree from Larry Niven’s  Smoke Ring stories.  Sometimes it was the setting of the Enterprise and I was on a voyage with Capt Picard and all them, and so on.

I read voraciously as a kid and a teen. Sadly I don’t read as much now as I did then, which is something I’m trying to change. Writers need to read after all!

But as a writer, do you know what we’re really doing?

Like Willy Wonka in the movie, we’re holding out our hands to the reader, we’re saying “Come with me, come play in my world, come see what I dream about, meet the characters that move me. Come on, don’t be shy, jump right in!”

There is a lot of drabble out there, talk about readers as if they are some stupid non-entities we’re trying to get to open their wallets and pour out their hard earned into our pockets. But that’s not the right mindset, if you ask me. I want my readers, all eight of you (:P just kidding, there are twelve of you! XD), to walk the roads of my imagination. I want you to be able to enjoy the adventures of my elementals and dragons in the Elemental stories, to stand with Zander against incredible odds in the Avaria stories, to walk the paths of the ancients in the phfr stories.

I have all these stories, I have all these characters, I hope one day you’ll all get a chance to meet them.

Fellow writers, remember when you get discouraged and down that somewhere out there is a kid in his or her backyard playing out the adventures you’re writing about. Whether its aliens in alaska, or out of control spam, or crazy squirrels and dimensional rifts, there’s someone out there who is waiting and loving every word you write.

Write for you, and know someone, somewhere will love it.

~*~

In final I saw today on my newsfeed on facebook that Anne (A.C.) Crispin passed away this morning from cancer. I don’t know the details, I was unaware she was ill until just a few months ago and it made me very sad. I had one, brief interaction with her, some years ago (5+ I believe) and we discussed books and she was super encouraging. Goodbye Anne, another great gone. **sigh**

 

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