Flash fiction: Bury me in a Barrow Mound


I walk slowly forward, my feet dragging in reluctance. Today I have given up, allowed them to place you in your grave. Nothing I could do would bring you back to me. As I watch them heap the stones over your face, I stand like those very stones. You told me you would come back to me, that everything would be all right, but you lied. Nothing is right, will ever be right again. As they build the barrow about your body, the part of me that loved life is buried with you. Tonight, after they all leave, I will join you here, my love. They say that I must let you go, but my heart will not go on. There are enough stones for two.

Lady of Blood, audio dribble


Since I can’t post the actual file here I have placed this up on YouTube. If you click on the link you will be taken to my channel and you can watch/listen to this. I have three more finished and a hell of a lot more in the works. I will try to post them up daily till I am caught up. Enjoy. If you like please comment on YouTube and follow my channel.

Lady of Blood

 

Moving right along….lots of pages typed up yesterday


Well as I have said before I have been working on the third of the Loralil books. These are written in in duologies..as in two connected books. In this case this will be the first of the two A Fragile Peace books.

When I last commented I was stuck on where to go but wow did I manage to move along. I am nearly at the halfway point, okay maybe past it. As my followers know I tend to writer shorter length stuff and my novels are generally only around the 50K length.

As of yesterday I have moved past the battles with the owl bears and have to deal with the aftermath of not one but two character deaths. As a writer of action filled fantasy tales there comes a point where you have to kill off characters. Having everyone live through battles with monsters if not really logical. So deciding just who will die is not easy. I tend to let the scene work itself out.

As this book is planned as a more emotional one I decided that I would have to do funeral rites for the two who were killed off. Being as they were two different cultures and races, I needed to find a way to combine the ceremonies. Here is a little excerpt for you, my readers, here you go.

***

Harl’s body was carried out by six strong Elven men on their shoulders, behind them came Jark dressed in finery that surprised Karleen. In the time they have traveled with the brothers, he had always been dressed in the clothing of a mercenary, if one that was doing well. Leather, steel and the flashy jewelry that was the way a good mercenary advertised their worth was gone. Now he was dressed in flowing robes of blood red. A stole hung over his shoulders to brush the ground. Picked out in glittering ruby thread were mystical and religious symbols that she could barely decipher.

He was carried to the bier and placed in the center of the fragrant wood. The bearer’s then stepped back, allowing Jark to come to stand at the foot of his brother. The clearing grew as silent as a tomb when he turned to face those gathered. “We are told from our youngest days that each and every thinking being has a soul, a spirit. We are told that each one has a path and a destiny.” Sweeping his arm toward his brother, now clad in rich cloth that at once seemed at odds with the man they had known, yet was perfect for him. Robes of black with black weapons tracing down the front that told those who knew that Harl too was a type of priest. “My brother lived this life hiding his true worth from most, for those who refused to see past his size and lack of voice, he played the fool. For those who had eyes to see,” his eyes searched for Loralil, who stood at the edge of the clearing, as if on guard. “He was friend, teacher and confidant. He will be sorely missed, but his spirit stays with us, watching and protecting as he has done his whole life.”

He turned toward Litha’s still form and nodded to Elder Nalleen. She spoke softly but loud enough to be heard from corner to corner of the clearing. “Litha was the last of my children’s children. She lived with honor and lay down her life with that honor intact.” She bowed her head a moment before she lifted tear filled eyes and opened her mouth to sing. One by one voices joined hers, filling the clearing with the music of loss. From the edge of the clearing Loralil debated but a moment before adding her voice to the rest. While she had not known Litha long, the woman deserved to be sung to her rest.

****

Now i would have put up more but my computer is not being helpful with the whole cut  and paste thing. I know where this has gone and I know where the story will go. One of the things I am leading up to is introducing a bit of foreshadowing for the future. There is a lot of darkness coming and it will lead into future tales in this series.

Back to work…or damn I got interrupted


As a mom and writer finding the peace and quite I need to get on a roll can be hard. Generally I am actually looking forward to Monday’s simply because my family goes off to their weekly things. The hubby is at work and the daughter goes to school, leaving me with peace and quiet till the renter gets up. Well since she is off visiting her boyfriend this week I expected to have a full six hours with no one to interrupt the flow.

I was doing all fine and good, getting about 1200 words typed up when I got the call from the school to go get the kid. And bam…there went my muse. She is still pounding on my head (yeah that is why I get headaches right?) but the flow has been interrupted.

Trying to get Loralil on her way toward the hidden GreyElf city of Tal’sin is hard enough. I am trying to decide where to toss in some action since right now I am dealing mostly with the fallout of the death of her uncle.

Now why is this important? Well as Loralil is the main character of my classic fantasy tale I need action. I need to keep moving things along, so to speak. Now if I was still doing tabletop gaming with her I would roll dice and throw in some random monsters, but should I do that? One thing you don’t want in a book is to hear the dice rolls.

But what I really need to do is to make up an actual map of Loralil’s world. Unlike urban fantasy, classic fantasy needs to have a map to help you estimate how long it will take for your characters to go from place to place. In a world that is run on magic and horsepower the average distance you could be expected to travel would be about 30 miles a day depending on the road conditions and terrain. So again a map would be a good thing. To work out the topography and little things like would there be inns and villages or are you moving through swamp, forest, hills. These things are important if you want a tale that doesn’t seem shallow.

So while i have 4300 words right now I can’t go too much further forward without a decent map. While i have had Loralil travel in the two books so far, she is going in a different direction and this is not a quest trip so far. Right now she is traveling with the mage and healer who have been caring for her since her uncle’s death. So a slow pace most likely with no really change of pace. No galloping for the fun of it as I have the healer driving a small cart which is another thing to research to see how they travel.

Once I get the map and research figured out I can move forward to the city of Tal’sin. It is a mountain city, much like Mer’Beryl was. Very different from the high elf city of course. Where the High elves are more like you would expect a Tolkien elf to be, the grey elves are artisians and healers. They build cities that blend into their environment and live deep into the mountains in pocket valleys.

Here is hoping I can find what I need and get this novel going. I have other parts ready…once i get this transition done.

Another new cover and excerpt..why not?


Well I figured time to get some work done and here you go.  This is another  darker tale from my Magic and Nightmares series.  Nothing is what it seems is it?

secrets-can-be-deadly  Not totally sure on this one.  But it might work.

Here is a bit of the opening of the story

***

Secrets, we all have them.  Some are good, some are bad, but they are all meant to be kept close.  What can you do if the secret you must keep close might just destroy an entire world?  You hide it away and hide yourself at the same time is what.

 

Abby has just such a secret.  Something terrible enough that she left her comfortable life in the city to hide in the deep woods back beyond.  Took off, without telling anyone where she was going even.  She was lucky that there weren’t many who noticed, even fewer who cared.  In today’s society if you don’t fit in most just gloss over you and forcefully ignore you.

 

In the deep, ancient woods she lived peacefully and simply, totally off any grid that mankind had developed.  While most from this day and age would be lost without their cell phones and Internet, Abby had come to enjoy the peace of the land.  The nearest neighbor was more than ten miles away, across rivers and streams.  Those very rivers and streams were another way of breaking any trail to her.  They had no roads leading to them or bridges crossing them.  You had to take a boat across and getting that boat to the bank was not easy.  Here in the little pocket clearing she grew vegetables and herbs, wrote and painted and lived peacefully, missing very little from her life before.

***

Should intrigue are reader or three, or so I hope.  Probably toss this up in the next few days.  Just haven’t decided yet.

Another cold Monday on my hands


The month is moving along and I have done a lot of moving of files.  Thanks to Amazon dropping Draft2Digital I had to move 40 titles over to them.  Now this wasn’t so bad.  Thanks to D2D keeping the mobi format of my titles up on their server I just downloaded the mobi and then uploaded the whole wad up on Amazon.  Took me an entire day but I got the stories up and even put up a couple of new covers for stories that were all ready over there.

The upside it did get some attention to me again.  Have had a handful of sales on titles that really haven’t seen movement in ages.  By handful I mean one or two sales of four titles…not a lot but I take them where they come from right?

The downside is that reviews that were done on any of the titles that were not 0rginally put up on Amazon are no longer showing on amazon.  They told the folks at D2D that review and numbers would be taken across..which they weren’t.  I emailed amazon bout it and they said sent us the old and new AISN numbers and they would connect the reviews, not the numbers.  I went okay, got the numbers and sent the email back to them.  Then I get another email saying to, get this, send them the numbers AND the reviews and they would move them over.  What the hell do they need me to send both numbers and the reviews for?  Never mind that they now have two of my kindle versions no long attached to their paperback versions.  This is ANNOYING.

I will probably have to ask the wonderful people who wrote the reviews if they would not mind moving them over to the new numbers.  Damn that is a lot to ask for sure.

Well once I get that done I plan on putting up the seven finished tales I have.  Well that is once I get covers done.  I am a wee bit behind on that.  Not as much as I am in the book trailer list but I will get into that later.  I have one cover done for the pending works and I am trying to figure out what will be the right cover for the following stories:

Secrets Can Be Deadly

Cha-cha-changes

I Can’t Love You Anymore

No More the Smiles

If Shadows Could Speak

Undying Tricksters

The first two are part of the Magic and Nightmares series, just like When Winter Comes Roaring.  The other four are part of the Death Walks Through series.  With these I think I will begin on working on the collected book one of those short stories.  Some of the Death stories seem to be over looked by the readers, which is sad as they are poignant little tales of love and loss and the after life.  My ghost stories are different for sure.

I think by this summer I will collect together all my series into their various books.  No matter if I only have five or six tales.  Other authors have done it and had it work out well.  So we will see.  They will of course cost more than the single titles but they will be cheaper than buying every short.  I won’t say when this will be done after all I still have to finish writing Whether to Save Face or Family and then work on a few of my paranormal romance novellas and start on the science fiction tale I have pending.  So much work and I have been a BAD writer and playing video games!

Back to work or where did that blind dwarf come from!


I have seriously padded my thumb so I can type and not feel like I am being jabbed each time I hit the space bar.  Managed to do a chapter on Traveler last night and another so far today.  Yes the chapters are short, only a few pages but I do this when I change viewpoint from heroes to villain.  Only makes sense to me.

A new character (or two) decided to pop their head into the story.  Since I am one of those weird writers who don’t use outlines and cue cards and all that stuff to do my stories it is expected.  You need your muse to toss in these voices to move the story in the direction it is supposed to go.

The villain is turning into one hell of a nasty little creature.  Any creature who wants to commit genocide is going to be of course but you don’t expect someone who was once a beautiful Elf woman to turn into one do you?  I am having fun writing the arrogance of the two who are battling over our main character.  Parents…sometimes you just don’t need them right?

Looks like this will be lighter in tone than my last few.  I don’t want to become known for just dark fantasy right?  I am hoping I can get through this whole book with something that would be good for a younger audience.  Say that big youth market?  Would be nice.  The love story is soft and tentative so far.  I won’t take it too adult, after all I have a few others in the wings for adult fantasy romance type things.

Edana is strong willed for sure.  But a woman who grew up not knowing who she is and even what she is, who is the best in a field generally male dominated, she is going to be strong willed.  Now i just need to come up with the Elder Gods.  Yes I said Elder gods.  Creatures who took a hand in events that they never do…or rarely do.  Should be fun.

Still crossing everything I have that the review of Fall Into Nightmares will be a good one from PRG.  They have liked books I have read and reviewed, some more than I have and others less.  Sometimes I am surprised at the things they give 5 stars to.  I don’t expect something that good but I would gladly take it.

Endings is getting a small handful of reviews, which is good since Revenge is out now.  And now I am going to hold off on working on the third book in that trilogy till I see some good sales on both books.  Endings is neck and neck with Ice right now.  While neither is a best seller by any stretch of the imagination they are doing good for me.

Speaking of Ice.  I am thinking that soon I should put together those collections.  March should hold a number of releases of my work.  While I may just be taking up virtual space someone will find me someday and rad everything.  That is my hope after all.

 

Whoops I thought I edited this!


Yeah opened up Revenge to see if it was ready and oh my….NOPE.  Needs work.  so I have gotten through the reformatting, the spell check, the grammar check and now it is the re read….and yes the rewrite.  Okay I admit that I wrote most of Revenge about 8 years ago, so yes it needs work.  And yes I am working on it.  I have gotta a whole five pages done right as I type this.  The story will stay the same but I needed to fill in better on things like inner dialog.  Loralil is a very flawed young elf right now.  There  is a lot she need to process as she works toward her revenge.  The end will be the same but the trip will be a bit different.  Which is a good thing.

When i went back to look at the stuff that will come after this book I realized that a bit more lyrical style was needed.  A better understanding of why she goes a wee bit over the edge in this book and the journey she would need to find a balance…a peace to take her to the next stage of her life.  When writing a character that you know will go on to do much more it is actually hard work to do the dark parts that made them who you know they will be.

And on a side note one of my dear writer friends is going over Endings for me.  I knew that book needed work.  I have reviews that are quiet good in that they are four stars but the book needs work.  As long as the wonderful editor doesn’t try to convince me that killing off characters was wrong I will take most of what I am given and fix it.  But those deaths, while harsh, are important.  This is a dark fantasy world, a harsh place where even the best of characters can die suddenly and  in cruel ways.  It helped set the tone for the rest of the stories that will come in this world.  Revenge has less loss of good guys but it will have tragedy because it is out of tragedy that Loralil will become a great bard someday.  That is the goal.

Now I am doing a quick little promotion for Fall Into Nightmares on Smashwords.  Anyone who contacts me in the next week can get a free copy of the novel if they will promise to review it, good or bad.  I like real reviews, ones that tell me what is right and what is wrong in my work.  That novel is another dark fantasy but of course it is…after all we are talking the end of the world.  While I have read many books lately where things have ended but the stories are light I feel that we need some darker fiction too.  Not dark zombie OMG we all die but dark in that the world is no longer the easy place we thought it was.  Hopefully I get a few bites and a few reviews.  Nightmares is a good story and I have the sequel half written.  I need some one to read that book!