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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Tale Challenge 4 on Glitterlady's Blog


Not sure where this came from... Read the other stories here.

She hadn’t seen him sprinkle powder into her drink, had not tasted it on the tip of her tongue. Even the urgency in his voice had not given him away. He had dissembled his intensions successfully.

The idea had been nagging him before she mentioned divorce. He’d toyed with the idea of killing her, but the word had been the nail in her coffin.

She would once more become the dutiful little wife, obeying his every command. She would essentially be a rotting corpse—but hey, nobody’s perfect. 

It was good to be a necromancer.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Flash: Alhena

This is a sort of a follow-up to my previous friday flash, The Hands of the Healer.


The red dragon stared down at the shapeshifters, scarlet eyes studying them. Slowly its massive head came down upon the soft ground and the newly born flowers. A puff of smoke rose from its nostrils as the dragon snorted in disgust.
“What have they been feeding you, Fain? You’re skinnier than the trees in winter.” Her eyes fixed on the male shapeshifter she’d found wandering in the woods a month ago.  He was in human form again. One reason shapeshifters liked their human forms was because it allowed for expressive body language, such as the ‘palm against the face’ gesture she now witnessed.
“Alhena, I’m a shapeshifter, we don’t put on weight. And I’m not skinny.” Lines appeared on his forehead as he shook his head. Alhena’s other favourite, Nuria, placed her hands on Fain’s shoulders and kissed his cheek.
“He’s slender, yet strong. Looks hide more than they show with shapeshifters.”
“You’re all puny to me,” Alhena chuckled. Her eyes shifted from Fain to Nuria. “Has he had a bath?”
“What?” Before Fain could object further red scaly feet had circled him. A black tongue slid out of the dragon’s maw, it lolled there as she smiled wickedly.
Nuria laughed, a trilling sound that echoed across the field. It ceased slowly and was replaced by an apologetic smile. Alhena ignored it; she drew her tongue back into the mouth and concentrated on staring down the shapeshifter in her grasp.
“Change into a dragon pup so clean I can you properly.” She blew a puff of smoke out of her nostrils. Fain coughed, but the teasing did not break his resolve.
“No, you are not cleaning me.”
Alhena harrumphed; all youngsters were alike. “I’ll just clean your face…”
“What? No!”
Once satisfied, Alhena set her claws aside, releasing the slightly upset shapeshifter. Nuria gave him a short kiss and went in search of herbs. Fain used the opportunity to ask Alhena if she had found any information on why he’d been wandering in the woods.
“I have searched for villages. I found the sister-village of the Green Jaws, but that is a long way from the spot I found you. There is also a human village north of where I found you, but again, it is too far away to walk from in human form. If you had taken the form a fool’s dragon however…” Alhena shook her massive head. Most humans knew better than to abduct shapeshifters and try to hold them captive. However, there were exceptions. “There is one village near the place, but it is burned down. Good I say it is the dark village where evil things happened. You would remember had they taken you captive.”
“But I must have been held captive somewhere, in my last memories I was younger than I am now. Maybe they used a spell on me?” Fain was intent on getting answers. Why, the dragon did not know; he was perfectly happy here and Nuria had agreed to go with him to the Leatherwing tribe. Nothing was amiss with him, except for the memory loss.
“You remember your parents and your tribe. A spell would erase everything.” She lifted her head from the ground and tilted it to the side a little. The small ones were a strange folk. Even the eldest seemed to know as little as a dragon’s pup. “You should let sleeping dragons lie.”
“Yes, I’m not sure if I want to remember anymore.” He slumped down on to the young grass of summer. “I just want to go home. I wish Sera were ready to take on Nuria’s duties, but it’ll be next summer at the earliest.”
Alhena opened her jaws to speak when three dragon pups shot into view. Two big ones chased a smaller one, likely the last-hatched sibling. Before shapeshifters and dragons made a pact to protect each other, the pups would often kill their weaker siblings. It happened mostly by accident during rough play, but sometimes it was intentional.
“Play nice!” Alhena shouted, then returned her attention to the shapeshifter, but he was staring at the dragonlings. The big ones had cornered the little one against a boulder; with bared teeth they closed in on the terrified dragon pup.
“Aren’t they… Hey!” One of the bigger dragonlings had lunged at the smaller one, knocking the creature down. The dragon pup grabbed its neck and began throttling the small dragonling.
“Stop that!” Fain shouted at them. The attacker snorted and carried on humiliating its small kin; the other one turned to face him. Puffing up and spreading its tiny wings the dragon hissed:
“Puny shapeshifter, you couldn’t harm a gnat in that form.”
Fain stood still for a moment, his eyes locked on the small dragonling. The dragon pup gave a faint yelp of pain. Fains lips curled back into a snarl, revealing a row of sharp teeth. White leathered wings burst from his back as he fell onto all fours. His feet curled into hoofs while his hands sharpened into talons. His neck grew longer and his head changed into that of a dragon.
“And in this form?”  His white wings spread wide; the thick scaly tail hit one of the boulders, sending it hurtling down the hillside.
“Eep!” Was all the dragonlings said as they ran. The small one stood up and fled as well.
“You would be a good guardian,” Alhena smiled and the fool’s dragon looked up in surprise. “It would give you something to do while Sera is learning Nuria’s craft.”
“I’ll think on it.” Fain folded his wings, then shook off the bits of torn cloth off him. “I just don’t like bullying. It’s evil.”
Alhena beamed, but kept it hidden beneath her scaly visage. Just as I planned. The head of the dragons’ guards will require his services and he will not want to leave when he sees the red dragon pups. The others have nothing on them when it comes to cuteness.
Have to remember to reward my pups for the show.

Third Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign




I’ve joined the Writers’ Platform-building Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to support and connect people who want to build online platforms.

Click here to visit Rachel Harrie, the creator of the campaign, and follow the instructions. 

The campaign  began on August 22nd and will end on October 31st. You can join until August 31st
Use the hash tag #writecampaign to join on Twitter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yay!

I’m fairly new to the blogosphere, my first post  was plastered on the internet on the 4th of August. I have been writing for years and creating stories before I could write them down. I’ve gathered enough courage to post my stories on to my blog and boy, have my fears been wrong. I have gotten wonderful, supportive comments and now the lovely Lady Antimony passed on the Liebster Award to five amazing writers. Surprisingly I was among them.


Here’s what she said:
Another talented fantasy writer, she has an extraordinary imagination - you will fall in love with her creatures :)

I’m happy that my little beasties won me the award; really without them I’d have perpetual writer’s block. They come naturally to my stories; whenever I try to write without creatures, a dragon waltzes into the scene and sits there until I write some friends for the beastie. 

I’m really new and I have yet to find all the interesting blogs out there, so I had to spend some time looking. Here are the great blogs that I’m passing the Liebster Award onto:

1.   Jamila Jamison
@jamilajamison 
You can find inspiration and information from the past on her blog. Good luck with the thesis!          

2. Anne-Mhairi Simpson
@AMhairiSimpson 
http://www.annemhairisimpson.com/
YA Fantasy writer, her human/author interviews make me laugh, while highlighting great authors. I’ve read her short stories and if they’re anything to judge by, many will fall in love with the world and characters of her books. 

3. Sonia Lal 
@soniawrite 
140 characters are enough for her to write a story, while I struggle with 100 words. She’s also good with short stories, though I wish they were novels. I’d love stay longer in the worlds she creates.
    
4. Angela Wallace 
@AngelaRWallace
Insightful book reviews, honest posts of our world and good advice to writers. I found her blog very recently and was hooked in instantly. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Tale Challenge 3 on Glitterlady's blog


 The other stories can be found here.

His foot was caught by a crack in the road, sending him down. The concrete kissed his cheek roughly. Ignoring the pain, he got up and ran, spurred by the fear that they might have followed. He chanced a quick look back, but the old splintered road was empty. The trees swayed and the stars sparkled above, but nothing else moved. Stopping to catch his breath he contemplated what had happened.

They tried to burn me alive. But fire was his ally; the flames had burned the ropes and parted before him. They fear me, only because I’m cursed with magic.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Flash: The Hands of the Healer

Fain gingerly opened his eyes, he saw a pair of dark brown eyes and a brown face, framed by a tumble of black locks. His eyes wandered down to her lips.

I am dead or dying, one or the other, it makes no difference. His muscles ached and complained as he raised himself and kissed her soft lips. Her hands, rough and strong, pushed him back down.
“Rest now, court me later.” Her smile was teasing; he longed to even feel the brush of her lips against his, but fatigue claimed him. His dreams were filled with her.

“Shapeshifters can choke.” Her eyes watched intently as Fain drank the mixture of water and Healing Tree resin. “Drink slower. You are not going anywhere for a while.”
I don’t want to go anywhere, he thought; the sweet, syrupy liquid stuck to his throat and he started coughing. She patted him gently on the back and gave him a knowing look.
“I suppose you should know the name of your saviour. Alhena saw you wading through the snow all alone.” She cocked her head, dark eyes full of questions. “I’ll take you to her later, so you can thank her.”
“I will.” Fain smiled; he would have surely died if the dragon had not led members of the Ruby Scales to him. But wandering the woods and nearly starving to death was worth finding her.
“Alhena is not your typical dragon,” she chuckled, her hand pushing a stray hair off his face. “She’s a very mothering type. You’d do well to be groomed and well-fed before seeing her.”
Fain flattened some of his unruly hair, but she grabbed his hand and laid it down on the bed. She sat next to him and began combing his hair with her slender fingers. Her mouth was agonizingly close as she spoke, “She will nag the warriors to no end if you don’t seem well cared for.”
“I am well cared for! I’ve never felt better in my life.”
“You are still weak, yet you’ve never felt better?” Her nose nuzzled against his neck. “I wonder why that is.”
Fain felt his face flush red. He tried to change his colour back, but his emotions were in a tangle.
“I am Nuria of the Ruby Scales. My mother is Kartane of the lands beyond the Stormy Sea. My father flew with the dragons and came back with my mother.”
“I am Fain of the Leather Wings. Duro is my father, Taly my mother. Her mother—”
“I know. Veetra flew with the dragons.” Her hand touched his cheek lightly, turning his head to face hers. Red scales adorned the curves of her cheek bones. Fain drew back his hair, revealing black scales running down the nape of his neck. “We both have dragon seducers in our family.”  
He ran the tips of his fingers along the smooth scales on her cheek. They felt warm to the touch, warmer than her soft skin. They seemed to radiate the fire of the dragons. Nuria’s fingers caressed the black scales that adorned his neck. Her hand cupped the back of his head, drawing him closer. He froze for a moment, but her lips upon his quickly melted away any fear that resided in his mind.

The story continues: Alhena

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Quest for More Books

Quester’s log, day one:

The journey by the ship was uneventful. No vikings (just a Viking Line ship), and we didn’t get stuck in the ice like last winter. A travelling merchant sold us some cheese puffs and a magical box that fills up with chocolate cookies whenever you open it.

We visited an Irish bar with a fake English minstrel. Turned out he was from Denmark. They had good non-alcoholic drinks, though.

Quester log, day two:

We woke up at sunrise and set out for the concrete beach of Sweden. The beasts of the magical forest bade us passage for a gift of mämmi; they quickly ran away when someone said it wasn’t chocolate. Mämmi (click here for a picture), if you’re wondering, is a finnish dish that’s considered a delicacy by some, and traditionally eaten during Easter.

The orange serpent called Metro took us to Queensway (Drottningsgatan); from there we made our way to the Old Town. Many a siren tried to lure us to spend our well-earned gold, HM and Ikea to name a few.

Finally we set our eyes on the beautiful Old Town:

You have to know the secret handshake before the door will open to you (that’s not even the Fantasy bookstore door!)

Feast your eyes on the grandness of Science Fiction Bokhandeln!

Once inside I had to keep my eye on the list. Search for the three Terry’s, Intrigues by Mercedes Lackey and books on how to draw monsters. And the sequel to The Magicians, but alas the books were arranged by the writer’s name! Luckily I knew the magic words that would summon his name to my mind:

The Magician was written by a really gross man… Oh, Lev Grossman!

On the side of the bookshelf I found the fabled sequel: The Magician King. Quickly I snatched a copy and began searching for other books. Though the sea of books was daunting, I found the three Terry’s: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind and Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks. The last one is a present for my dear mother, though I will read it as well.

I also found The Earthsea Quartet (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore and Tehanu) by Ursula Le Guin. I couldn’t find a paperback version of Intrigues and I am becoming tempted to just buy the hardcover, but until we buy another bookshelf, space continues to restrict the size and number of books.

I’d left my comrade in charge of finding the non-fiction books and he found a useful one. The Celtic Design book by Aidan Meehan; we’re going to learn to draw cool squiggly things and perhaps decorate the pages of my story with said squiggly things.

Last time he found a book called Drawing Dragons by Sandra Staple and a wizard whispered to me of a second book by her. One that delves into the art of drawing sea serpents, but alas I could not find it here. Perhaps the internet will yield more information.

We left with our bags full of books to read and learn from. Should you visit or live (damn you!) in Sweden, here’s the linky to their site.

P.S. Here’s the mountain of books I’ve yet to read!