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

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

The Bastard Prince

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Over on facebook, Tamora Pierce posted this gem;

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be kind to each other.

~NPhoenix

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

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

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

 

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

Be kind to each other.

~NPhoenix

 

Become a Patron!

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend!

N

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SO. March.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Elemental Truth.

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

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

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

Blog

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

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

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

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

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

Real Life

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

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

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

NPhoenix

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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  Р 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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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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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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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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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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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 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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necia_phoenix: (Default)

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‚Ķ”

“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? ūüėÄ

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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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.

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.

 

###

ūüôā

DRAGONS!
You can find more dragon snips over here

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

Well writing wise that was slightly disappointing. But I do tend to expect too much from myself. I think, starting next summer, I’ll just suspend big writing goals during the summer. There’s just too much going on.

The kids have been in school for a week, I’ve been catching up on housework and stuff. And wrapping up a badly overdue story (I’m sorry DC!!!). One thing I have managed to do is finally jump and start studying Russian. Why Russian? Why not? I love it. I really do.

Self Pubbing:
I haven’t put out a new project in months. I haven’t been focused on it. For multiple reasons. It’s time to jump back in the saddle so to speak, which means I have some catching up to do. What I was doing a year and a half ago might not be the best methods to get it done (I’m talking formatting here). I have some things I need to wrap up(stories/editing/books), and I need to update covers. I need to overhaul the web-page, put together a reasonable (and do-able) publishing schedule. I love the possibilities we have these days, even if it’s a touch overwhelming.

In the next week or so I’ll be working on research, cover-updates (mainly with the earlier ones) and wrapping up the Inside the Author’s Mind¬†series, and figuring out what needs to get tackled next.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend (If you’re in the USA)!

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Holy Crap

Aug. 21st, 2013 06:06 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

Where has the summer gone?  That was a rhetorical question, no need to actually answer LOL.

So I’ve thinking. Lots of thinking, and I realized I need to sit down and re-plan everything. From next projects, to releases, to covers, even to this website. It all needs an overhaul. I feel like I need to ‘Go back to the beginning’ ¬†and re-learn everything. There have been changes to the self pubbing world and I need to catch up.

I have many projects, some would say too many, and my writing tapered off a bit over the past year because of that dreaded real life thing. Last post I listed off my To-Do list.  So here it is again:

~Get the Inside the Author’s Mind collection together. By sept 1st¬†running out of time on this. have a couple more stories to go write up for it. may push the date back to the 15th.
~Write up SOMETHING for the FM Anthology; By Aug 15  Still working on this. I have idea, just getting it down. Yes the deadline passed. It whistled loudly as it went by. **sigh**
~Finish Zander BK1 (before Oct?)
~Finish The Fallen
~Finish editing E1 and start putting it up either here and/or Wattpad.¬†Still debating this one. On one hand I think it would be really cool, on the other…. i dunno.
~Write Zander bk2
~Finish E2
~Write up the Zombie christmas thing before christmas THIS year :P
~Write up E3 – E7
~Write Zander bk 3-5
~Write CoB series
~Don’t forget the Friday Flash stuff
~Breathe

Adding:
~Overhaul covers do a typo check in works already up (I’m paranoid)
~Re-organize website & blogging schedule

I need to rethink summers. In this house, with as many kids as I have, writing just doesn’t happen. I think next summer I’ll just go on hiatus for the summer. Stressing about writing on top of everything else… it just isn’t a good situation.

There’s more, but I’m drawing a blank. Hope yall are doing well. School starts next monday. I’m a mite bit excited. :P

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

On the 26th, my monkeys will be returning to school. I love them, I adore them, I love that we are a happy (big) family. But I will admit we are all looking forward to school starting.

This summer has been filled with surprises and unexpected events. Good things, but things which have thrown me WAY off.

I wanted to submit a story to this year’s FM Anthology and while I have a few vague ideas, I don’t have anything really concrete. I may pull out my mind mapping app on my tablet to figure it out. While the deadline was pushed back to the 15th, that gives me 10 days. Not sure, with back to school stuff in full gear, that I could manage it.

I also have things to prepare for a September releases, which include compiling the Inside the Author’s Mind collection. I’ve got three more stories to scribble up for it and I just haven’t had the presence of mind to do it.

Zander story is sitting at 37k. I love this incarnation of this tale. Last week was, in a word, brutal. So I didn’t get as many words in it as I wanted/planned to. But life happens, and there’s always tomorrow.

E1. Ahh, so what the heck will I do with this one? See, I have a lot of projects planned. When I work on one, say, E1, I get to feeling guilty for not working on Zander. When I work on Zander I feel guilty for sitting and not working on E1 which is mostly finished.  Or Fallen, which needs one or two added scenes to it. I really want to get past this silly guilt thing. I also need to decide on titles for the whole elemental series.

The Plan (haha) as it stands now. (I should add, some of these aren’t dated and aren’t necessarily a list for the ‘rest of the year’ just a list of what’s next on the list);

~Get the Inside the Author’s Mind collection together. By sept 1st
~Write up SOMETHING for the FM Anthology; By Aug 15
~Finish Zander BK1 (before Oct?)
~Finish The Fallen
~Finish editing E1 and start putting it up either here and/or Wattpad.
~Write Zander bk2
~Finish E2
~Write up the Zombie christmas thing before christmas THIS year :P
~Write up E3 – E7
~Write Zander bk 3-5
~Write CoB series
~Don’t forget the Friday Flash stuff
~Breathe

Breathing is important.

As you can see only three things have actual deadlines on this list. And at least one of those might not happen. I refuse to feel guilty about it.

Website stuff; Heads up, there was an issue with the payment thing for the website. It will be resolved Friday, but in the meantime the website might go poof until then. Don’t panic, it’ll be back. I promise. Now to get to rl stuff so I can get to writer stuff. Have a good week folks.

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

I wanted to do a Sunday Serenity post yesterday, but I was so serene I napped on the couch while watching River Monsters! LOL

Today’s agenda (because I really know yall want to know) are to run a couple errands, clean my living room carpet, and write. Just waiting on the bank to open so I can go. ¬†Am thinking of putting together some research links for fellow writers, but for now I just don’t have the time. Anyways, here’s a vid for you, have a great Monday!

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So I’ve been slack on getting these written. That whole summer thing I mentioned a few weeks ago, yeah, that’s in full swing. ANYWAYS, here is another Inside the Author’s Mind installment. I giggled through this one and hope I’m not the only one who enjoys it. The last one is over here.

 

Where’d the Muse Go?

(c) 2013 Necia Phoenix

The Author stood at the doorway to Muse’s office and sighed. Empty. It was deafeningly empty. Author sighed again and went over to the desk, trying to decide what to do. She wanted to work on the next project. But she needed Muse to help her with it. And Muse, was very clearly not there. Author frowned, trying to remember the last time she’d seen or talked to her. Phone call. That’s right, there was a call about something. Author scowled at the empty room, trying to remember what the call was about.

“IE sent her on vacation.” A voice said behind her.

Author turned.It was one of the Redshirts. He was bruised, bandaged from head to toe, and leaning on a cane. Author winched and forced a smile, trying to remember his name. Cole, that’s right, the one Muse asked her not to kill. Well, not in this story. Author smothered a cackle. There were always other stories to write, and situations to kill off Redshirts.

“I beg your pardon?” She tried to focus on what he’d said.

“IE sent her on vacation so you could finish the book without more shinys.” He shrugged.

“Did she say where?”

Cole shook his head and frowned. “Muse was really excited about it, though. Might want to ask IE, if you can get IE to tell you.” He turned and limped out of the room.

Author frowned. Muse hadn’t wanted him to be killed off. Perhaps, she’d spare him indefinitely. She glanced over the room sighed again and left.

 

IE; Internal Editor, also known as Number 1 and lately; the-damn-thing-that-won’t-shut-up, sat at the desk happily red penning the newly finished story. Author watched it for a moment, trying to gather herself. It looked like a child of two or three. Hair flopped over large eyes. Author had never assigned a gender to it. It simply was. And it had held her stalled on her latest project for years. It took being tied and trunked for Author to finally finish that project.

“Ok, IE, where’d you send her?” Author rested hands on hips. IE barely glanced her way, but smirked.

“Away. She’ll be gone a while. Long enough for you to work on the edits.”

Author screamed. She couldn’t help it. After all she’d just spent months plowing away at ONE story. She glared at IE, took a deep breath and screamed again. She wanted, no she craved something new, something different. Something‚Ķflashy, something shiny! IE stared at her with huge, overlarge eyes. It sat back in the chair and took a deep breath.

“I‚ĶI sent her to Daydream Paradise Beach.” It whispered. “On the Train of Thought.”

Author stared, aware that other story bits were peeking around the corner of the door to stare, wide eyed, into her office. Plot elements, Story Arcs, a couple redshirts, a main character and lined up in the doorway, noses twitching, were an assortment of plotbunnies. Author glared at them and they scattered faster than she’d seen them scatter before. She made a quiet note of it, for the next time the plots began to plod along. They could move faster, she’d seen them do it!

“I see.” Author shuffled through the paperwork on her desk looking for her phone. “You sent my Muse to a beach.” She found the phone, flipping it open and tapped in the number to the Train of Thought Vacation Offices.

“Well, I figured you needed some peace and,”

“You send a Muse to a tropical resort.” Author pinned a dark look at IE as the phone rang. “How in the hell are we going to cover the shipping costs for bringing back all her plotbunnies?”

IE looked horrified. “I hadn’t thought of that.” It whispered.

Author didn’t think it had. Muse had a very prolific imagination. The last time she went on vacation‚Ķwhen she returned Author had to hire contractors to widen the waiting room. Vacations were dangerous things in the hands of a Muse. She was about to remind IE of that when the operator picked up.

“Hi, yes, I need to book a single round trip to Daydream Paradise Beach. Yes of course! Immediately!” Author listened, scowled and pulled out her wallet. She glared at IE. “You owe me, BIG time for this one!”

IE ducked it’s head down, but said nothing. Author ignored it, turned and headed to her room to pack. She’d take her bathing suit, might as well catch some sun while looking for Muse. And a few extra plotbunny cages. Just in case.

###

Here is  the Forward Motion Flash Friday blog which lists other folks who do Flash Friday posts. :)


 

If you’d like to see other installments of the Inside the Author’s Mind series, they are available on Smashwords where, for the month of July, they’re free.*
Linked below; The coupon code is SSW50

The Shiny - With coupon is free
Redshirts - With coupon is free
Muse Interrupted - With coupon is free

Other Titles

The Magic Maker - With coupon is 50% off; $1.50
Playing For The Dead - With coupon is free
Help Never Came - With coupon is 50% off; $1.75
River Of Souls - With coupon is free

*They’re also available over at B&N, Amazon and Kobo, but they’re not free-with-coupon over there right now.

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

My hubs only has one day off a week That was yesterday. So as everyone else is moving towards the weekend we’re just starting our new workweek. Blarg. That sums it up pretty well. So. Writing.

I’m currently (as in, in the other window) working on the final two installments of Inside The Author’s Mind, they’re going to be small, they average under 1k, so if I can get them done they’ll be up for Flash Fiction friday later today and next friday *crossing fingers*. Once those are done I’m hoping to compile them into a collection to have up in Sept. If they’re large enough I’ll see about putting together print versions. It may take some doing though, for the ISPNs. I’m considering a kickstarter or something like that to fund getting the ISPN numbers from Bowker. Or just tossing a donate button at the bottom of the page. We shall see.

If anyone has been paying attention to the bars on the **checks other tab** right side of the page, I’ve been puttering away at the first Zander book. I’m about 1/4 of the way through it and I think it’s coming along fairly well. I was thinking over the series itself and it struck me that there are going to be 4, possibly 5, in the whole series. The first three are the Northern Empire books and the last one(two) would be the grande finale/wrap up of that situation. So. 5 in the Zander series. **twitches**

I do need to come up with new titles for them…

I AM still working on getting E1 edited so I can serialize it. Which I’m still planning on doing. What the heck, right? It may be September (ahhh that month again) before I start serializing it. Or maye OCt. Not sure if I can swing it in Aug though. I may do a teaser chapter to see what people think.

Ok, in other pubbing news, Smashwords is holding a coupon special for the month of July. I’ve signed up all my titles for it. Linked below; The coupon code is SSW50

The Shiny – With coupon is free
Redshirts - With coupon is free
Muse Interrupted - With coupon is free
The Magic Maker – With coupon is 50% off; $1.50
Playing For The Dead - With coupon is free
Help Never Came - With coupon is 50% off; $1.75
River Of Souls - With coupon is free

In Aug I’m going to be compiling them into collections for a September release, and possibly pulling down the single titles. I’m undecided on this atm. We’ll see. I’m also working on some new covers (in my *haha* spare time) ¬†and plan on going through the current titles for a typo hunt. Just a typo hunt/grammar fix, no story changes.

Anyways, time to wrap this up and finish the flash fiction stuff. Have a great weekend folks!

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We’ve had some family/RL things happen which have thrown me off my **hahaha** schedule.

So, I am working on JulNoWriMo, I’m a touch behind. The nano wordcount is at about 8000 or so, and I’m doing my own thing and using the new BPBK1 as my nano project.

Last night, as I was talking with a pal about the Zanderstuff, it struck me that sometimes when I write I go back and forth, kinda like weaving. I’ll find myself stuck, so I go back and reread what I’ve got. Often times I start fiddling, adding things, descriptions, reactions, I rarely delete much unless I realize there’s a plot hole that I need to fill and then I tweak and play around with stuff. Then I’ll move forward, usually in spurts of large word counts. Until I hit a snag and have to rethink things.

Right now my big issue is Bk1 has several military campaigns and such and tactical stuff and I am really second guessing myself. I’m writing about a group of guys who are troublemakers and who get in and out of scrapes. They get dubbed The Trouble Crew. And I’m drawing blank after blank about the details of how and what they do. I know they gain a reputation, but I’m not entirely clear on how.

I’ve been fighting a bought of the blues. Not full on depression, just a little down. Things haven’t panned out schedule/time/kid wise. I’m not where I want to be publishing wise. I know I can get this stuff done up and out, but…but…but… yeah, the list goes on, the things a mom of 9 needs to do is endless and sometimes it makes getting the words and editing and managing the ebooks and all the other stuff that goes with it, goes right out the window.

As I told a friend, I sit down to list out what I need to get done to get myself re-focused with the pubbing thing and get overwhelmed and start playing Zombie Lane or No Zombies on my tablet. Bad me. >.>

No I’m not perfect. In fact I’m far from it. While this year has been a GOOD one on a personal/family level, writing wise has been a struggle. I’m searching for my routine, for my groove. Sometimes I think I’ve found it. Sometimes I wonder if I ever will.

Anyways, enough rambling. I’ll get it squared away. Have a snip. This is a dreaming scene. In the Zander books, I noticed, he dreams. A lot. Those dreams foreshadow things that will happen later on in the story and ties several threads together.

He stood above the great city, watching the horde sweeping through the broken and twisted city walls. His soldiers behind him, fleeing through the mountain passes, he alone watched his home fall beneath the enemy. He gripped his swords, trying to look away, but unable to. The Great Tree shuddered as the enemy swept past it, the branches hitting the roofs of the houses beneath it. It began to lean, tipping towards the gate he’d led his men through.

The Great Tree shimmered, and for a brief moment, superimposed over it, was a rahaun woman, hands clasped in front of her, her hair intertwined through the branches and leaves. Again the tree shuddered and as he watched she looked up, her eyes locked on his.

Flee. Now. While you still can.

Her head bowed and the tree continued to lean. With a deafening crack, it fell, the great trunk crushed buildings beneath it, wedged tightly against the gate. He felt a hand on his arm, a voice hollering in his ear.

“We have to go, now!”

 

Have a good day folks.

 

 

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

Oh it’s going to be a long summer. As many of you know I have a big family, and kids are out of school, older monkey is coming home for a visit and we’re just busy busy. So my posting here will be sporadic, probably until August. Don’t worry, I’m still here, writing in between being mom. Have a great summer folks.

 

 

 

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

Ok, I don’t have a full flash fiction, just a little snippage from a project so far down the road I don’t see myself writing on it for a few years at the least. But this snip is just… I dunno it calls to me :P .

~*~

She leaned against him, trying to catch her breath. One close call after another was taking its toll. She wanted to sleep, to make it all go away, to wake up in Citadel in her own bed. She fought tears and fear. His arm around her shoulder brought into sharp relief, he was holding her. She looked up at him, and felt it again, the shift between them. His body stilled though he didn’t look away. He reached up hesitantly, pushed her hair from her face. So tender it almost made her want to cry. He took a deep breath, dropped his arm and stepped back, turning and striding back towards the campfire.

Ivonova closed her eyes, fighting embarrassment and a bit of indignation. She followed him, trying to replay the moment.

“Why did you walk away from me?” She asked, quietly. He knelt beside his bags, fiddling for something. “Have I done something wrong?”

“No.” His voice sounded rough.

“Am I displeasing to you?” She whispered. His shoulders hunched, he half turned, looking at her with those over intense eyes. She stepped back.

“No. But I am your guardian. Appointed by the gods. Nothing more.” He turned back tucking something into his bag. “Never anything more.”

She knelt beside him resting her arm on his shoulder, feeling him tense. “I’m sorry.”

“You have no reason to apologize Ivonova.”

“You must be lonely.” She stood, meeting his gaze. Startled, then guarded. She forced a smile. “Where do we go from here?”

 

~*~

Have a good day folks.

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

Something has shifted in my brain regarding writing, and I’m not even sure how to explain it or define it.¬†I’m moving forward, trying to refine what I know, to make what I write, better.¬†I’ve been carefully evaluating my writing, seeing how I can improve it.

I’ve been hit hard with self doubt over the past year, even to the point of pushing the writing away and becoming paralyzed and unable, or too afraid to move forward. I’ve seen several friends hit hard with similar problems. Recognize these?

Why am I trying to get this down?
This is crap! 
I’m stupid for even trying to tell this story!
I will never get my words to sound as good as [put the name of any 'famous' or 'better' writer here]
I can’t get this one section ‘perfect’ and until it is, I can’t go forward.
I can’t…
I suck…

Sound familiar? I hear it almost everyday by fellow writers, hell I’ve thought it on many occasions as recently as yesterday trying to fix something. It’s the wiggling worm of insecurity, the monster of perfection and fear.

So how do we combat it?

Just keep writing. I know, sometimes it’s easier said than done. I know sometimes when you’re faced with all sorts of other things, the words sometimes dry up, the brain/muse (whatever you call it) goes on vacation. Don’t give up. Especially if it’s something you want to do.

 

I found, circulating on fb this morning this pic:

stephenkingquote

 

Sometimes that’s all we can do. Keep moving, keep writing, keep progressing. I’ve read many a writer talk about how they slogged through this section, and not that section, but on going back over it they couldn’t tell which was which. I’ve found much the same.

Keep going. Keep writing. Keep positive. You’ll get it, don’t give up.

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

osho

 

 

~*~

I’m planning on starting to put the first elemental story up either here or over at wattpad. A chapter or two a week. Still working on editing it. Thoughts? Suggestions? Opinions? ¬†Bueller? Ferris Bueller? ;)

Have a peaceful sunday.

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I am, I think, slightly nuts. Back over here, I talked about my writing goals, about the Zander stories. About Trilogies. I decided this weekend to go ahead and outline¬†the zander books. Rough outline, mind you. I think my outlines would make people scream, they’re not very detailed. Just very rough. They work for me though.

So I outlined all three of them. If the scenes and wordcount do what I suspect they’ll do, the first two novels should hit about 90 – 100k and book 3 will be a doorstop at 150k. Give or take. We’ll see how it goes. The outlines have been tucked away. It’s like an itch I need to scratch every now and then. Now my brain is refocusing on other things.

I’m trying to catch up on the Before You Hit Send* workshop, taught by Angela James. I’m using E1 for that workshop. It’s… interesting. To put it mildly. I’m also writing on E2. I’ve got about 3 or 4 k (have to double check) and I’m going to be going over The Fallen¬† once I’m done. I’m very glad I took this workshop.

Anyways, I have been putting off mundane things, like kitchen cleaning and workout and workshop. I had more to say but I lost track of it. Ahh well. *waves*

 

 

 

*Seriously recommend this workshop for writers, trad or self published.

 

 


The Shiny
A story from the idea’s point of view.

The idea was Shiny and New and ready to be written. Unfortunately, The Writer had other ideas…

Available at;
Smashwords | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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This is more for me than anything else. I get asked about how many series I have planned and it always throws me off to have to stop and count it out so I’m putting it here, for my own info and to point people to it when they ask about it.

 

  1. Avaria (30+)
  2. Elementals (15)
  3. IFS (5)
  4. Inside the Author’s Mind (7)
  5. Dragon Bound (4)
  6. Sisters of Atrioch (8)
  7. Zombiethings (3)
  8. VHI (5)
  9. Clan Books (First 2yn project) ( 5 or 6 books)
  10. Space Opera (5)
  11. Weres (including the Poly weres. Yes it means what you think it means.) (?)
  12. Alien invasion (2)
  13. Pre-Historic-Fantasy-Romance (2)
  14. CoB series (3)
  15. Mage series (3)
  16. Heirs of Elair (5?)

 

There is a good chance I have forgotten things. I will add to this list if I remember/when I remember. DC this is YOUR FAULT.

 

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Snippage

May. 21st, 2013 11:49 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

On my way home from the grocery store I got hit with a scene that made me giggle. I thought I’d put it up here to share.

 

The door burst open and three men strode in. They all cut dashing figures, leather and steel. Swordsmen, all of them. Cassia sighed, recognizing the man in front.

“You aren’t welcome here Geoff.” Cassia said, pushing through the crowd.

“You’re going after the Arc, right?” He demanded, thumbs hooked through his sword belt.

“Well,”

“The arc belongs to my family and therefore it belongs to me. So we’re going to do things my way.” He lifted up the family crest amulet that hung around his neck. It was a griffin on a blue sea. Cassia swallowed, she hadn’t anticipated this.

“We’re going to do things your way, or no way I take it?”

Cassia, along with every eye in the tavern, turned toward the slim dark haired woman who walked, no sauntered towards Geoff. She touched Cassia’s arm winked and turned towards Geoff.

“Hello Lyr.” Geoff sounded like he might be strangling. “My way or no way. You need me to get past the Gates.”

“No,” Lyr was grinning up at him. “We need that.” She tapped the family crest. “You’re just the baggage.”

Geoff shook his head. “You’re not going to get this…”

“Oh really?” Lyr tipped her head to one side. “Pearthea.”

The one word had a huge effect on the swordsman. His shoulders sagged, the blood drained from his face and his eyes narrowed. Lyr just stood there, grinning at him, her hand out. He took off the crest and set it in her waiting hand.

“You’re never going to let me live that down, are you?” He asked, voice rough. She put the crest on, stood on her tip-toes and brush a lingering kiss on his lips.

“Nope.” She turned and grinned at Cassia. “Shall we go then?”

Cassia nodded, saluted Geoff, and followed Lyr through the chuckling crowd.

“What was this you were saying about being strong, Geoff.”

“Shut up.”

“But,”

“Just. Shut. Up.”

 

<<<>>>

 

:D  Have a great Tuesday!

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

I try to be careful about giving advice on writing online. For one, though I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school and ‘serious’ writing since ohh…. ’02 I am by no means an expert. And the more I learn, the more I work on improving my own weak areas the more I’ve come to accept there is no way in hell I will EVER know it all. I get better, I work hard at trying to make the story I’m trying to tell clearer and crisper. But I still have a long way to go. I’m not where I want to be yet.

When I see people proclaiming they know the ‘right’ way to write, or the ‘best’ way to do [insert issue here] it frankly pisses me off. Why? Because if there is anything I have learned since joining online writing communities and discussions is that there in no magic pill. There’s no ONE way to do things. There are many methods of getting the story down.

I overheard/viewed a conversation on twitter by a person notorious for spouting know-it-all crap. This person told another writer that if you wanted to write a novel like a movie then study how to write out sccreenplays instead.

Say WHAT?

I had a hard time biting my tongue, I’ll admit. First of all writing a screenplay and writing a novel are two distinctly different animals. Second this know-it-all has never actually¬†finished a short story, much less a novel. Now I don’t know about yall, but if I’ve never done something, lets say knitting (which I’ve tried but never gotten the hang of). How can I tell someone how to knit a scarf if I’ve never managed to get two straight rows without dropping a few stitches?

Bottom line, I can’t with any authority. Because I really have no fricken clue what ‘stitch two *purl three’ means (and I may have messed up THAT example, though probably proved my point right there :P )!

So how can this person, with little to no actual writing experience dare to give any kind of advice on writing fiction? This person has absolutely no credibility!

And that credibility thing is important to me.

‘Online’ gives people a platform to shout out their opinions and their thoughts on whatever subject they want. Whether or not they know what the hell they are talking about.

I am cautious about what advice I listen to. What opinions I take to heart. I have my own opinions sometimes heavily influenced by people and opinions I hold in high regard. I also try (I do fail at times, I’m far from perfect) to do my research and make sure that the person giving me advice on whatever subject they’re talking about, has the proof to back up their claims.

So I’ll give a bit of advice here, something to keep in mind when you observe and/or participate in online writer discussions, conversations & chats;

  • If someone EVER spouts off theirs is the¬†one true way of writing/pubbing/editing, know they’re wrong, and most likely power seeking cretins. Some people get a high telling other people what to do and how to do it. And they usually don’t have the background to back it up. There are many roads leading to Rome, not any of them is the ONLY one. If something doesn’t work for you, feel free to try something else.
  • Do your research. Before you take their advice. If someone is giving out lessons/advising on any given subject make sure they know what the hell they’re talking about. As an example, I’m currently taking an online workshop called Before You Hit Send¬†which is geared towards improving your self-editing skills. It’s been put together by Angela James¬†who is¬†executive editor of¬†Carina Press, this is a gal who knows what she is talking about. She WORKS as an editor and has done it for years. I’ve heard a lot of very good things about this workshop by people who have taken the course. I did my research before I decided to invest in the workshop. Do your research, investigate whoever is giving you advice (myself included :P ) before you take the advice. It could save you a lot of frustration in the long run.
  • Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. People get emotional, when they get emotional they sometimes (ok a LOT of times) will spout off. Sometimes someone has an axe or three to grind. Keep that in mind when dealing with the interwebs. That person I mentioned earlier has a hair trigger response to what they¬†perceive¬†as¬†criticism¬† I made a comment in one twitter chat that had nothing to do with this person, and he/she jumped to conclusions that had nothing to do with ME, and everything to do with his/her own ego, and need to be right. And I’ve seen this person do it to others. Smile, nod, and chalk it up to big fish in a little pond syndrome.
  • Follow your gut. Dudes, if you get that uneasy feeling, that maybe this person isn’t quite on the up and up, chances are you’re right. If something doesn’t feel right, if a piece of advice doesn’t work for you DON’T FOLLOW IT!
  • Keep an open mind. The loudest talker isn’t always correct. Sometimes people talk to hear themselves talk. On the other hand, sometimes the person who is talking does have a background to back up what they are trying to say. Don’t just dismiss someone because of how loud, or quiet they are. I will refer back to doing your research before taking any advice. But do keep an open mind, sometimes you’ll find something that clicks in an otherwise sea of BS.

I’ve been involved in online writer communities in one form or another for over 10 years now. I’ve seen a lot of people giving out a lot of advice, some good, some bad, some I’m still scratching my head over. Be wise, be wary, and trust thyself. You know more than you realize you do, even if you are a new writer. Be willing to learn, to try new things. Look for your fav writers online, often times they will have links to writer helping sites, blogs or they may also have their own section geared towards helping writers. Read opposing opinions to get a broader view of any given issue. And have fun, enjoy your writing, your creativity. (ok, some people write and hate it, but I have a hard time relating to that).

And now I have put off dishes and laundry for too long. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite speeches of all time:

 

 

 

* purl not pearl my knitting expert friend informed me…see? SEE?? I proved my point XD

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I finished marking up the hardcopy of¬†The Fallen¬†and today the plan is to start inputting the changes into the story itself. I’m hoping I can have it done before the 15th but unless life slows down (hahahaha) that will be unlikely. I’ll shoot for the 20th.

Yesterday I wrote out a bit of a scene for¬†Crown of Bones,¬†and while the scene in my head was very clear, the scene I wrote kinda…meh. BUT I love the characters, I love the situation, and I know when I finally tackle that story it’ll come together. **happy sigh**

I’m currently taking a workshop called Before You Hit Send¬†put on by Angela James. A buddy of mine on twitter took it and¬†recommended¬†it to another buddy of mine. It just started today, and I’m uber excited about it. I think it will go a long way in helping me with my self editing. I think I’ll use E1 for this workshop. It needs to be edited before I start putting it up as a serial. I really hope I take away a lot from this workshop.

Have a ninja snip from CoB  :D

“You get into the oddest predicaments.”

Ok I’ve got mundane stuff and revision stuff to do. Have a good monday!

 

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Monday

May. 6th, 2013 05:04 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

IT is a monday.

Boy is it a monday.

 

I have three kids home from school with the three little ones home.

Last week I knocked out outlines for Elemental Wars books 2 through 6, working on 7′s outline right now which is giving me a few problems. Having kids home isn’t helping. Last night one of the toddlers was up crying off and on all night. No fever, no booboos , just… crying. So I’m groggy. I usually do one cup of coffee in the morning a day. I’m on my third **shudders** I really don’t like the flavor.

Anyways. Time to Bring It P90X style then catch up on housework and do some cleaning in the basement. Sometimes that jogs lose all sorts of stuff writing wise.

 

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Changes

Apr. 25th, 2013 05:30 pm
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Originally published at Necia Phoenix. You can comment here or there.

I’m going to be tweaking with things on the website. While I do like this theme I want a bit of a change. So bear with me as I fiddle with stuff.

I’ve added a page/section called Serial Stories. I’m prepping a finished project for serialization, which will probably launch in May or June, I’m not sure exactly when but it’ll be near the beginning of summer.

Ohohohoh AND

I finished The Fallen!!! **does crazy dance**

That said, it’s draft 1, it’s rough and thin. Skeletal almost. It needs a good read through, scrub and expanding. But It’s going to sit for a week or three first. I have other projects I need to attack, outline and plan. I use the term outline loosely.

Outlining for me usually means listing together some scenes, and thoughts on what is going to go in the story. I use the term ‘scene listing’ and ‘outlining’ interchangeably¬†but in all honesty it’s not really outlining, not as most people imagine it.

Anyways, time to catch up on the housework that fell behind while I was trying to finish The Fallen. 

 

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I’ve been thinking and writing and thinking. I think I’ve been thinking more than writing, but yanno how it goes.

I’m nearing the homestretch of¬†The Fallen. the ‘short’ is now past 15k and I’ve got a good 5 or 6 scenes left to write. And I always write thin, so when I edit it, if it says under 30k I’ll be surprised. I like my twisted little fallen angel story. There’s something very… morbidly funny about it (in my head).

I’ve been considering doing a serial. I’m doing some research, I need/want to read over other serials to get an idea of how to do it. I have E1, all finished, waiting for some edits. The thought struck me, perhaps I could post it as a serial, say one or two chapters a week.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Why? Well… Why not? I haven’t decided. I need to finish The Fallen first so I can totally focus on the Elemental Wars series.

And I need to write up a few flash fics so they’re ready to go when friday rolls around.

I’ve also been practicing drawing, taking a ‘class’ over at WetCanvas.com. I discovered something kinda cool… I CAN draw a straight line! There’s this desire, this longing to do some of my stories as a comic/manga style thing. But again I’m not quite sure how I would go about doing that, and my drawing skills are not there yet. But seriously that would be cool.

Health and Fitness stuff:

We have a zoo membership, and I went twice last week, I went on Mon and I’m considering going tomorrow again if the weather is nice. I walk the¬†perimeter¬† letting the little ones enjoy themselves while I trudge up and down hills pushing a stroller with twin toddlers who each weigh about 30lbs. Along with our change in diet and doing my resistance training, I’m working hard on getting healthier. My scale broke so I’m not sure where I sit weight wise.

And now I go to rally the troops to do their chores. Have a good day folks, friday isn’t far off!

 

 


Riverofsoulsv004bn

A chase beyond the Palace walls…

Princess Chandra’s little companion dog loves to get loose at the most inopportune times. To keep him from being chained up permanently, she
chases after him and into a world of danger outside the palace walls.

Book is available at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo

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Holy crap I got one done!!!  :D  Eventually this will get packaged with The Shiny, Redshirts, and Muse Interrupted. This is a continuation of that mini-flash series;

 

Editor In Chains

©2013 Necia Phoenix

Author sat back in her chair staring at the stack of papers in front of her. Done! Finally! The project was done! She blinked rapidly, fighting a surge of tears. It was powerful, it was heartbreaking at times. It was DONE. She pushed away from the desk, still cluttered with research, notes, several decks of playing cards, and a half filled Sudoku chart. She looked around, frowning. She needed to tell someone.

“IE! Where are you?” IE, Internal Editor. The creature which both helped and hindered her writing. She frowned looking around. Where had it gotten to?

There was a muffled sound, from somewhere behind her. She blinked remembering the swift struggle and grinned.

“Oh I forgot about that.”

She made her way to a stack of plastic bins, gripped one of the handles and pulled it aside. Big blue bins full of books and possibly some plotbunnies. Author was a bit wary about going through the bins. Plotbunnies were frighteningly resilient. Even if years had gone by, give them air, a touch of water and they were as frisky and bouncy as when she’d stuffed them, squirming and fighting, into the bins. Behind the bins was a door. Padlocked, chained, with a couple of wooden beams nailed to the frame.

“You still in there IE?”

The muffled noise sounded louder but she still couldn’t quite make it out. IE would be mad. No, not mad furious. At least until she shoved the manuscript into its hands. Then it would do what it did best. Shred it. She suppressed a shudder. It had to be done, to get it ready for the grand sendoff, but still…

She picked up the crowbar hanging next to the door and began prying the beams from across the doorway. It took time, more time than she thought it should have. She fumbled for her keys to unlock the several padlocks. One dropped to the ground with a clatter, the chain made an odd swishing noise as it too dropping in a pile to the floor. She got to the final lock turned it and pulled the door open.

The trunk was sitting in the middle of a cold room, damp and lightless. It moved every now and then, the lid rattling as IE pushed it from inside.

“How you doing in there?”

“MMMMmmmmfffff!”

“You shouldn’t be so angry, you deserved to be put in there.” Author said, kneeling down and fiddled with the combination lock.

“MMph? MMmmmPH!”

Author shook her head. How could someone so bound put so much meaning into mmmph?

“MMMMmmmmph!”

“Oh stop it.” Author muttered, letting the first padlock drop. The lid rattled violently. “You weren’t letting me finish my book, you know. Every little thing, every little word, you wanted me to agonize over it. Our cast isn’t going to live that long, you know. I had two redshirts die of old age waiting for you to make up your mind about that one scene. Old age!” She opened the lid, looking down at the bound and gagged IE who was glaring daggers out of its eyes. “Who has ever heard of a Redshirt dying of old age? I had to finish it.”

“Mmmph. Mmph.”

“Of course it’s not perfect, that’s what editing is for. But I’ll never be able to edit it if you don’t shut up and let me finish it!” She untied IE and helped it out of the trunk. It tore off the gag and glared.

“It probably sucks, you know. It’ll be riddled with problems, plot-holes and…”

“Well now that it is done you can go over it and red-pen it.” She stood up and motioned the open door. “But I have other projects to work on, you are going to cooperate this time. You got that?”

IE glared at her, not saying anything.

“Okay. You want to get back into the box?” Author lifted up the gag. “I can put you back.”

“No.”

“Then agree.” Author crouched, eye to eye with IE. “I am the boss. It is MY story and you are a figment of my imagination. Either behave or you’ll be boxed and replaced.” She pointed to the bricked up wall in the back of the room. “Like that one was.”

IE’s nose flared but it nodded. “Fine.”

Author handed IE the red crayon. “The manuscript is sitting on the desk, all ready for your inspection.”

IE nodded, toddled out of the room, muttering under its breath. Author heard a muffled whimper behind her and glanced towards the bricked up door. She shrugged, turned, and walked from the room. That one wouldn’t let her get beyond the opening sentence. And it wouldn’t listen when she told it to knock it off.

She took a deep breath, it was time to find Muse. Author frowned. Muse had been awfully quiet. Her office would be packed to the brim with plotbunnies.

She closed the door, glanced towards the desk, and IE who was hunched over with the manuscript. She grinned. IE would be busy for a bit, she could start the selection process for the next project. She chuckled under her breath. Chaining the Internal Editor up while finishing the project had been the best idea she’d ever had. Now to talk with Muse about the next manuscript! She skipped down the hallway towards Muse’s station, dodging a couple dark blue plotbunnies. Yes, life was certainly looking up!

 

~*~

I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :D

For other Flash Fiction pieces you can check out my buddy S.E. Batt’s offering over here. Or Lazette Gifford’s piece over here. And for a list of participants click over here.

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

I now have a new short story out. River of Souls appeared in the 2012 Forward Motion Anthology and is now out as a single short for $1.49.

Riverofsoulsv004bn

A chase beyond the Palace walls…

Princess Chandra’s little companion dog loves to get loose at the most inopportune times. To keep him from being chained up permanently, she
chases after him and into a world of danger outside the palace walls.

Book is available at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo

This short story is a part of the Avaria series and has a cameo by a character in the Zander books (though Zander himself doesn’t show up). This is kinda a big deal for me, though. This is an¬†Avarian story. Timewise it takes place years after the events in¬†Bastard Prince,¬†and is sorta an in between story. Hope you enjoy it.

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