Last week I blogged about doing new stories for the collections I am working on. This week I thought I would comment about the older stories that I am editing for those collections.
Yesterday I sat back and worked on getting things formatted. While doing that I realized that I really needed to update The Knight Protector. For those of you who have not read that tale yet, it is the first of the Mythos of Love stories and was originally published back in 1999 in my long lost collection of poetry and tales titled, Inside Dreams – Outside of Reality. Yes, I was published under a different names, Lisa Prior, and the book was filled with a lot of work that desperately needed editing.
Well I started on that yesterday. Let’s just say I cringed at all the errors. I will probably pull down the copy that is up for sale, once I get the collection updated, that is how bad it is! Fifteen years ago I thought it was a masterpiece of course. A novella length story that had heroes, villains, a damsel in distress, evil monsters, gods, magic and mayhem. Everything that a good old fashioned fantasy needed.
Now it isn’t a bad tale, just that in those fifteen years since it first came out I have learned a lot about my craft. So hopefully I will get it all edited up nice and clean so that I can move onto a totally new piece for the collection. You will see the evolution of me as a writer in this collection for sure. Here is an excerpt from where I started to fix the flaws:
Hargon stood looking out over the parapets. The storm whipped his long white hair around his face, but he did little to restrain it. He reveled in the ferocity of the storm and raised his arms to embrace the storm. As the storm’s power lessened he dropped his arms and pounded a fist on the stonework’s before him. “I shall have my revenge! By all that is unholy I will have the soul of the one named Yasha!”
The protector walked into the crowded room. People were at tables and couches talking about many things. He looked about for any faces he recognized. There were a few friends and he went over and gave each a smile and a few words.
He found himself drawn toward a different place though. With a smile he walked out the door and into a small orchard of blooming apple tree. Sitting under one was a small woman playing a sad aire on a simple harp. He listened quietly from the shadows as she started to sing. Her voice brought a tear to his eye, the song was so clearly full of longing.
From the shadows he spoke to her in a gentle voice, “Why the sad song, lady?”
She looked up, startled. “Who?” Then she slowly smiled a sad smile as she spotted his form in the shadows. “Oh, hello. It is nothing, kind sir.”
He could see some pain hiding in her eyes. His heart went out to her. He walked out of the shadows and squatted down in front of her. “Are you sure?” The concern in his voice was clear in his tone.
She closed her eyes a moment and sighed. “Yes, I am sure. You don’t need my troubles.” She opened her green eyes and stood. “Thank you, though.” Her face cleared some. She looked around at the orchard and tried to change the subject. “It is lovely out here tonight.”
Not taking his eyes from her face he spoke again. “Yes, it is,” he smiled down at her. He recognized her now. She was one the ladies he had danced with in the past. Though she looked very different tonight. Dressed in simple leggings and a tunic she reminded him of someone else. After a moment he realized that he had been sparring with her off and on for a week. She was a good fighter but she had a soft side. She could be faked out by a cry of pain. He smiled, “Would you like to dance?” He held out a hand to her.
She looked confused for a moment until she heard the faint strains of music coming out the doors leading to the orchard. “Yes,” she murmured, “that would be nice.” She took his hand and stepped up to him.
He put his arms loosely about her and smiled, looking down. Her hair glowed with silver highlights in the moonlight. She moved lightly in his arms, like a dream. They flowed to the quiet strains of music and she rested her head against his chest with a sigh. He could feel her tremble in his arms. Concern crossed his features. She was holding something inside, showing him a pleasant smile. He gently took her chin in his hand and raised her face to look into her eyes. He could see tears standing in them. She tried to blink them away but one spilled over and down her cheek. He caught it on his thumb. “Tell me what’s wrong.” He tightened his arm about her, drawing her closer.
She closed her eyes and stopped dancing. “I truly can’t tell you, my lord.” She tried to turn away but he held her still.
“Is there no way I can help?” His protective urges where strong around this woman for some reason. It could have something to do with her gentle nature or the fact that she seemed to take care of those around her, much the way he did.
“Truly, no. It is something I must deal with myself.” She would not meet his eyes. “I am sorry, Yasha. I am truly not good company this evening.”
“That’s all right Elinor. I don’t mind. Come, let us finish our dance at least.”
With a sigh she moved back into his arms and let the music take her away. It was pleasant here, sheltered in a man’s arms. No need to be strong. She shook her head slightly. “No thinking like that girl. That’s what started the whole mess.” She smiled weakly up into his deep brown eyes. He was so handsome and she knew his reputation as the Knight Protector. Any damsel in distress had only to whisper his name in the air and he would appear. She was sure it was mostly the tittering of the fanciful young women who looked longingly on him when he walked into a room. Though there was some truth to the rumors. He had been involved in many rescues of maidens in the past. But then she was no dewy young maiden without a thought in her pretty head. She was a fully trained bard and she could hold her own in a battle. But she didn’t feel strong this night. Her troubles were not the kind that magic or a solid blow from a staff could fix. She had made her bed and now she had to sleep in it. Lonely bed or no. Her mind without willing it thought back on the events of a month ago.
As you can see, this is a fantasy romance. Sweet and fun to write even. I plan on adding at least one more tale to the ones all ready in this group before I release the collection. Here is an excerpt from Singer of the Blood Song:
Sitting in the quiet darkness, her eyes just a dark pool watching him. Just him. Silently supporting his talent with her presence, one true fan of the new voice. She mouthed each word as he sang, as he spoke and she held her breath for the endless moment before the applause began. She drank in the pleasure that lit his face and smiled when his searching eyes found hers. Only two souls knew whom the songs were sung for, who inspired the words. And only two understood the pain and deep love those words called forth.
As the crowd cheered and the stage door Jills moved toward his perch on the stage, she moved back and deeper in the shadows. She didn’t watch the young lovelies press against him nor did she listen to the promises they made. The women tried to play the age-old game but none of them would be going home with him this night.
Only she would be. She stepped out of the club and turned to walk around the side. Her car was parked in the back. Where he could slip out and not be followed by his new fans. They had done this many times. Playing the small clubs across the northeastern states had been both a joy and a learning experience for them both.
Ohanko sighed with relief as the doors shut behind him. He found the night’s performance had pulled more out of him than he expected. Looking about he smiled when he spotted the sleek, black car, idling just a few feet away.
He picked up his guitar and headed toward it. Inside he knew would be Kiele, his island flower. She was delicate and loving, she was always there, waiting for him. As he slid into the soft leather interior of their one luxury he rested his head back and smiled. “As always,” he leaned over and kissed her waiting lips.
She lifted her soft hand and gently caressed his tired face. “Tough night, wasn’t it?”
He nodded, his eyes closed. “They were cold, you saw how long it took for them to warm to the music. I don’t know what Rogers was thinking, booking me into that place.” He ran a hand through his shoulder length black hair and shivered a little with the chill of the late night air.
Noticing his chill, Kiele turned on the heat and pulled away from the club. “Me either. Those people were as dead inside as last Sunday’s pot roast. The place should be left to the wannabes and the sinking.”
Ohanko lifted just the corner of his mouth in a smile. “Well, maybe he thought he would give them a treat. A little excitement in their tired lives and it was only one night. I think I can take a night of energy draining listeners. Besides they really perked up near the end. I think the SONG got their blood moving.”
”You should not have to. You have paid your dues.” She paused for a moment as she negotiated around a truck that was double-parked. She darted a look out of the corner of her eyes at his face. “And you definitely don’t need those young things all over you.”
He repressed the smile that wanted to spring across his face. He had detected just the hint of jealousy in that comment. He knew she was nervous of the attention the younger women showed him. “Ah, but they are so full of juice,” he teased her.
”Juice?” She lifted one slender brow, her fingers tightening on the steering wheel.
He smiled then and trailed his fingers up the inside of her leg to the hem of the leather mini she had worn. “Yes juice. But that is all they are full of.” He trailed his fingers a little higher and she gasped. “I prefer my women filled with blood and passion,” he whispered.
”Stop that,” she mock growled and slapped at his hand before he could distract her more from her driving. He could feel her relaxing and he pulled back his fingers, after one more quick caress of her inner thigh.
”Let’s head home.”
So if you like romance and fantasy mixed together, this collection will be for you for sure. Expect me to finish it up by Valentine’s day 2015 (I hope!) All depends on if I can get my modern writer’s head wrapped around my old writer’s head.