Thursday, December 9, 2010

You Tube: Bradbury, King & Keillor

I've been writing my latest WIP (so close to the end!) and writing business plans, bylaws and what not, trying to get SWS in order :(

But I took a minute to seek inspiration on youtube. Here's a few videos I found...

Bradbury's work I love, King I admire, and Keillor's radio show is something i grew up with :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sylvanopolis Writers' Society.

I wanted to take a minute to discuss the organization I am building and why.

My grandpa (apparently) knew I'd be a writer when I was 8. I knew at 11. I have sought to write and hone my craft for the past 16 years. But there were times in high school and college, especially, where the resources to get where I wanted to go took as much time to research as any school work. Naturally, this meant less time to actually write.

But writing, and sustaining writing itself...that is essential.

So what if there was a magical place that had all the info you needed in a central location? Libraries, right?

Okay, so Roseville Library is awesome. They've been hosting some amazing workshops and events. But a suburb...

What about down here? In the city of Sacramento? The capitol of the state that has hollywood? the Silicon Valley? Honestly, all the writers seem to vacate the area for the Bay. But that leaves kids in Sacramento and the surrounding area, with little literary enrichment. Not to mention writers-with-day-jobs in the region!

Like I said, Roseville Library is doing some awesome things here. So is the Capitol City Young Writers program.

But again, I feel that I comprise a group currently being neglected. Both of these programs are located in upper middle class to wealthier locations in the overall Sacramento Area map. What about those of us from truly middle class backgrounds? It is hard for writers to find...well...other this city. Not to mention changing behavior patterns as we become increasingly internet dependent.

In fact, half of my support from other writers here and on facebook is with writers I've never met face to face. But there is something strangely motivating and encouraging about building connections that way...

So when I found myself developing a network of critique groups, I didn't want to stop there. I want to help foster a central location where writers can find:

1) Resources to help them learn what they need about craft
2) Resources that help them progress toward publishing
3) Resources that help them promote their work immediately prior to & post publication
4) Local events where they can meet other writers
5) Local publications that help them develop a publishing repetoire (like writing articles for newsletters for the organization. Fostering a sharing of knowledge beyond the critique groups)

--But I don't want the whole thing to be IRL. I mean, that isn't applicable to how we experience life anymore. Life is a hybrid of Virtual and IRL (In Real Life) experiences. So the organization has to generate the same sort of dual existence, and it needs an infrastructure to do this.

--I am applying for non-profit status so that a Board and Administration can set up an educationally-foocused public benefit corporation to provide a centralized location IRL and Online for writers to come to.

--Yes, I know there are organizations currently in existence. Many, like SFWA require you publish a book first, prior to registering. Some are purely virtual. But no matter how internet dependent we become, we are not going to neglect the real-life need to connect with others. So we will reach out to existing writing groups as well as individual writers. We want to help them find places to come to for connection, education, and involvement on both planes. That is something I feel has been missing.

--I will be updating the website shortly. I will include the whole plan there. Please, visit next week when all is up and ready for viewing :D

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Remembering What I Once Understood

When I was 13, I decided to spend a whole year world building. Well, all right, I didn't "decide" I just sorta ended up coming up with everything...I have always believed in Cause and Affect. I have always been inquisitive. So the combination resulted in Don-Yin.

Through high school, I tried to write a rough draft. But I was torn in too many directions! The world(s) I had built were too complicated and I was never satisfied with what I was producing. So I never completed a draft.

Then when I was 17, I decided I would. I would put nose to the grind stone and just do it. And I did. It was bad. After revising, rewriting, editing... I shelved it. I finished 3 more rough drafts, each full length manuscripts, before I finally transferred to a University. Life hit..

And with Nanowrimo, I remember... really remember...a few things.

1) I am obsessive when in a writing phase.
2) If anything distracts me, my distraction becomes a new obsession
3) I am fully capable of placing my butt on the couch and writing
4) I don't believe I'm fully capable of placing my butt on the couch and writing
5) I am my own worst enemy
6) I gotta ignore my inner skeptic, and just DO IT
7) A boyfriend who nags me to complete self-set goals is a blessing I should never take for granted.
8) I need people around me who encourage me and believe in me, because sometimes believing in myself seems harder than it should be.
9) I'm lucky to have people around me who encourage, pester, and believe in me.
10)I think, even if I still have to complete my project, Nanowrimo was the perfect cure to my off-and-on dry spell.

Blaming Life is wrong. It is my decision to do or not. It is my decision to manage my time, or let it slip from me. It is my responsibility to listen to the advice I give myself. After all, I set the goals and tell myself what to do, because once upon a time when I was a bit more brash I discovered these truths. I was stubborn and perhaps not as knowledgeable about how to build characters and plot, or pull together a story. But I knew how to force myself to achieve self-ascribed goals.

Nanowrimo reminded me of what I once understood.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Derailed...Kinda Sorta

I love outlines. I think...I set everything up, I know the characters, and then...voila! I'll know how it goes.

But, it never happens that way. I just reached chapter 5 for my NaNoWriMo project. The characters started subverting my carefully set plans two chapters ago. I think they're laughing at me... somewhere... thinking "Su-cker!"

I certainly feel like it. The story will still reach the climax I anticipated...but not under the same conditions I'd expected. And for the next two to three chapters I have no idea what's about to happen.

But I know where it's headed. So there's that.

Back to work :P

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I did it. I signed up. I have been shifting back and forth between my epic fantasy and urban fantasy...with little progress on either. But because the latter has a simpler plot, I'm choosing it for my NaNoWriMo project.

No More False Starts

I've seriously had plenty of these in the last year. but over the course of the past week, I've begun gearing up. After all, in order to make a novel-in-a-month possible, there's a lot of prep work to do. Because I've chosen something I've been kicking around, I have relatively less world building than normal.

What I'm Doing Differently

I generally spend time thinking of characters. I go through false starts, world-building short stories that end up in various of incompletion, but advance my knowledge of world/characters and the many players in the plot.

Right now, I'm composing written character outlines/backgrounds. Usually this bit evolves with the writing process. But in attacking a novel in a month, I have to have all my cards out. If feels like I'm composing a cheat sheet. When the whole novel comes together over the next few weeks, it'll be more akin to arranging puzzle pieces than my usual creative flow. Feels a lot more practical, I'll give it that :P

If you want to see the character cheat sheets, I can post them :) Let me know if you're curious.

Who else is doing NaNoWriMo? If is the novel prep process for the event different from your usual prep experience?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fantasy Societies and Our Modern World View

Now that I can see again, and read without eye-strain headaches I'm plunging back into reading.

glasses Pictures, Images and Photos

A month ago I had a post about my guy reading a series that I read about 13/14 years ago. And I've currently been reading Masques by Patricia Briggs. Which is awesome, because I have followed Briggs since her second novel came out. But I never could find the first :P so I was excited about the re-release.

But reading this novel and talking to my guy about his reading material has me thinking about the changes in depictions of society and how that (may) represent a shifting world view.

How so?

The Sword and Sorcery books of the 90's depicted watered-down quests, magical implements, and political intrigue. When characters traveled, they passed through any number of realms with various peoples. Think about Garion, from David Eddings' wonderful High Fantasy series The Belgariad and the Mallorean. Or Mercedes Lackey's uber-popular Valdemar books.

Garion starts out a farm boy, is hauled around by his magically gifted family from one country to another. The only time they encounter non-native people in any one realm these people are a) the enemy or b) allies looking for the wayward wizard and his awkward-but-special nephew.

While the Valdemar books carry a little more social complexity (Thalia and the Queen's Arrows Trilogy) depicts class relations, and a backwoods society that is of Valdemar, but estranged--Thalia still has to shed that connection to become a Herald of Valdemar. Karal, the outsider-who-gets-a-Companion in the Mage Storm Trilogy, is the closest the series walks toward acknowledging socio-cultural identities unrelated to national ones.

Now, I loved these books, but that quality never felt real. People don't acknowledge borders. I mean, really...there are American military bases everywhere except well, North Korea. So there are Americans working and living abroad. There are Mexican people, and Canadians, with work visas. The United States "owns" Guam and Costa Rica, so people living in those places are technically American and speak English + Spanish (and one of the few different languages spoken in Guam, if I recall correctly).

Nor is this merely because of the world we live in. Look at history.

Rome conquered Europe. The descendants of the kings who payed the Romans tithes and were part of the empire, ended up producing Charlemagne. The Carolingian Renaissance produced the early medieval artistry ...and the Holy Roman Empire. All of Europe was Christiandom, and Rome. There was such a difference of opinion about this that the Roman Pope and Eastern Patriarch ex-communicated each other (thank you Art History!:P ) but this means that all of Europe united under Charlemagne considered themselves Roman. (I have read a lot on this subject, an am forgetting the exact source but I *think* it is from Lyon's "The Origin of the Middle Ages," granted, this book is from Norton's Historical Controversies series)

The Renaissance's universal prestige of all things Greco-Roman conveyed a different perspective on the same inherited Roman-ness. That is to say, all of the European Realms, despite internal feuding, saw themselves as more similar than different. The exotic Africans and Orientals from Turkey--that was different. That was "not Christan." While ideology defined cultural connection, this doesn't mean all of Europe was "the same." Clearly different colloquial languages were spoken, even if the educated and the priests and monks/nuns all spoke Latin. There were different "takes" on art and architecture, on dress, etc. There was variation. Not to mention even smaller ethnic groups: Bretons, Basque, Jews, "gypsies," and so forth. There were Vikings in Ireland. There were the Manx, the Picts, the Scots, the Welsh--and that was on one tiny Island chain, that slowly became modern Brittain, centered in England where the invading-Angles had settled in the early Medieval period.

When the nation state idea emerged post-Renaissance, it was based on a different organizational system. One that failed to account for variety in culture, or our human unwillingness to maintain the imaginary-borders we continually create.

The 1990's saw the nation-state ideology begin to break down in the United States. With the dissolution of the USSR, the US stood as the lone super power. And, our nation, like it always does, responds to the situation--good or bad--by throwing money at it. Back then, we had lots of money.

And that was when the warlords-ethnic and ideological minorities from diverse backgrounds, which we had armed against the USSR in our desperation to stem the Red Tide-turned on us. Stateless peoples.

Movies of the 90's and now still depict "terrorists" as the bad guys. People without borders, who can go anywhere, and often have access to old Soviet tech.

Globe Pictures, Images and Photos

Meanwhile, the American school system also saw an influx of "minorities." So any white girl, like myself, attending an inner city school, was a minority. A real minority. In my 7th grade history and language arts class, I was one of 5 white kids. Here, the teacher spoke of American society and white society as synonymous, but from where I sat I was surrounded by representation of the ethnic communities my great-and-powerful Franco-German-Anglo-Saxon ancestors royally screwed. And in our multicultural classroom, we got to learn about all the amazing African, Asian, American, and Middle Eastern societies...Europe we never got to...

To me going forward, America was a diverse tapestry of subcultures influenced by a breathtaking array of ethnic inheritances. One national identity just didn't make sense.

But I loved my fantasy books. I thought, "That's what it would've been like in the past." But studying history independently, and pursuing anthropology in college taught me that the world was never that simple.

I think the love of vampires, werewolves, fae and the like in modern urban fantasy fill this change in our world view. They are the "others" next door, but also our family, our dearest friends, our enemies and our lovers. The magically diverse world can give us an exaggerated playground for a discussion of modern identity construction and differentiation. We are like these Others and we are not. All at once. The recurring questions in many of these novels (some of which I am greatly enjoying)is whether or not we can live with these recently-outed others.

Can we handle the global society that has led us to find so many friends--even fictitious family--with dramatically different religious/economic/cultural and sexual orientations than our selves?

I like to think so. But whatever the case, I think these are some of the issues reflected in modern literature. Subconsciously, of course :P

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Writing Life

Writing Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm not sure where I picked up the phrase "writing life," but it fit so well, I thought it was self-explanitory :( And it just slid into my vocabulary.

I recently released a survey, in order to see what SWS could do better. I have been doing my best to devise the best way to create a writing community in my city...and that has led me to looking at establishing a non-profit. The survey is intended (in part) to assist me in identifying what services will be most helpful to writers.

So I started out by asking what people need for their "Writing Life." And I learned the term was not nearly as obvious as I thought...

writing Pictures, Images and Photos

So here's my definition and rationale for the term...

We each need different things to continue writing. Life likes to toss obstacles in our way. But through seeking the balance that fuels our writing, improvement, inspiration (as much as I dislike that word) we find a way to continue.

Because we writers NEED to. No choice in the matter.
We might have multiple creative outlets....but in the end, life revolves around story, character, and plot.

I can't write regularly when depressed. But I also can't stay away from books or writing without somehow triggering depression. So in the end, I return to the story, to writing, and on a good day progress can make me forget for a few hours that I have no day job, no income.

But the day job, I've found, is essential to my writing life. Life experience and writing feed each other. It't like....

love recycle Pictures, Images and Photos an ideal world both recycling and life and writing will feed themselves back and forth forever. Likewise, we need particular things to keep writing.

Precisely like Virginia Wolf said in "A Room of One's Own." Which, by the way, was a book I seriously loved, appreciated and identified with. The idea that women need space, a modicum of wealth in order to write, that we need to be comfortable and not have other pressers that interfere with our creating...that's me. Maybe some people can write to escape the world, and I can certainly read to escape the world, but as I've gotten older it certainly has felt harder to escape.

A sentiment that makes me feel I need to tend my writing life all the more. I have to make time for writing now, not decide to write on an inspired whim. I need to be more pragmatic in my non-writing-life, but not permit that to taint my imagination, fantasy, or hamper my attitudes toward my work. Writing must still maintain priority, even if it must share with other concerns.

So Writing Life, in a nutshell, is how we incorporate writing into our life. The phrase indicates the place writing holds in our daily existence, but to be separated from our "scholastic/academic life" or "working life" or "family life" or "social life." While these spheres may overlap, and may feed each other, but their requirements are as different as the watering needs of a redwood and a cactus.

What fuels your writing life? What other "lives" or spheres have the greatest impact on your writing?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Time, It's On my Side--Not!

CLOCKS Pictures, Images and Photos

If I were to personify life, it would be as a greedy old man trying to devise new ways to hinder and distract. I can hear evil chuckling right now.

T.V. shows, friends and family, responsibilities that stack one atop the other. Squeezing in time for myself to read and write can be a struggle.

Off goes the phone. The laptop firmly closed and tucked away in a bag. No more Pandora. Don't reach out to me, don't see me--just let me slide into invisibility for a minute, to catch my breath. There.

I've got my new glasses, so I'm returning to reading before bed. I write in the afternoon, before cooking dinner. I have to plot my time, my days, around responsibilities and when I have an hour or two to sit alone, and pound out words on the keyboard--I take it.

But I try to keep those times regular. Anticipated. Scheduled.

That can be difficult. People are unpredictable factors.

goals Pictures, Images and Photos

Difficult isn't impossible. It makes the journey more worth it.

to do list Pictures, Images and Photos

With organization and a little time management everything falls into place...
And then, too, I have to forgive myself when everything doesn't go according to plan. There are days, weeks, moths, years--even--where allowing wiggle room is essential. :D

I will keep on going! I will improve each time. Just some hard work. Perseverance. But I did that with college right? Juggling work and school and writing? So I can do it now.

It's all about the journey :D

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What Should Fantasy Characters Eat?

A friend asked after reading my Blogfeast entry, "How do you decide what your characters should eat?" This friend mentioned that she thought the food was particularly detailed, so how did I come up with it? At the risk of lapsing into an anthropological rant...

Food is important to all societies. and in all cultures. Love of food, humor, and music seem to be some of the few human universals. But all of these are informed by culture, experience, etc. So for me to decide what some characters eat versus other characters I have to rely on world building.

The first questions:

A) where does this ethnic group originate?
B) What is the weather like there?
C) What makes sense as the "common" species?
D) Could there be any religious prescriptions about food that would make sense to the culture?

Next questions?

A) What Earth societies are geographically comparative?
B) What Earth societies am I drawing on for influence?
C) What is the socio-economic standing of my character?
D) What prestige within his/her group does my character receive?
E) What prestige within the larger society does my character receive?
F) What makes sense for individual relationship to food?

How does this play out in the story?

We identify food with home. So when characters are taken outside of the familiar, the little things that mean "home" gain a lot more importance. Add in societies that ritualize meals (my Maldians), individual characters' personality and you have a recipe for tension, world building, character development, and plot advancement.

There is more that goes into food-rituals than just what's on the plate.

Political games are particularly evident over meals.
How a character eats can reveal much of his/her identity, not only to the reader, but to the other characters attending the meal.
Also, the level of ritual speaks much for social status and the importance of the event. That means--how do your characters dress for the meal? Chara themselves? What sort of discussion transpires over eating (this could communicate gender roles, familial connections, social organization, wealth, prestige in community, what one has to do to earn respect--which communicates cultural value systems that can inform plot).

Then, to bring in reader emotion, think about prestige of food items in our own society.
Who drinks tea?
Beer or Ale?
Hard liquor?

What about meals served in courses?
how much food is available?

For Tati, who grew up an ethnic Maldian in the Meiseon realm, food rituals make sense because her people are the land's farmers. Maldians value food because they know the hard work it takes to get it on the table (so to speak) and because it is the time in which the family gathers, no one working. So it is doubly significant to a society that is trying to hide the fact they have retained memory of their once-noble lineages. Tati, being descended from a family that once ruled the Maldians is allotted more prestige in her agrarian society, and thus has had more access to food than others in the community. She just doesn't realize it. That, and her mother's reputation/skill at cooking inform her attitude about food and culinary education :P Which works for the character because it represents half of her internal conflict. Balance between her two "sides" is her personal, internal goal. The outward representation of her struggle influences the plot. As does the prestige/expectations her society places on her, and the limitations caused by being a member of a marginalized ethnic group with abilities the Meiseons should be afraid of...

So I need to be detailed with food whenever Tati is around because of the importance she imbues in it.

Does this translate to other pieces?

Yes, but it will be dealt with differently. In Kordic (where Silver Mask is currently taking place) food marks socio-economic status. The Rextians are the overlooked ethnic group, and Kyr's importing of Rextian tea and herbs for Gellayna permits her to have a sense of home when living outside her community. It says a lot about Kyr, who is a lord in a xenophobic Empire, and it gives the smugglers a reason to ferry goods to his castle...allowing their network to flourish and carry news of the Empire, and assist Kyr in planning a rebellion. So food, trade, and the like plays a different role in this piece, but no less important.

Europe conquered the world for resources after all. The settlement of the Americas was a result of seeking South Asian I think food, identity, socio-economic and cultural politics is informed (in part) by food.'s important to the whole world-building effort and should be integrated into stories with care.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What a Weekend

Sorry all! I know I failed to come through with a few blogfests. I was super excited that I would have internet at the Nevada County Fairgrounds that I planned to blog from the festival (or, more precisely, the tent) instead, after the concerts closed on the last tap of shoe and stroke of the bow...well, my laptop was co-opted for the guy's homework assignment. And frankly, academics have to come first. It's really, really essential that we both have degrees...

So My Guy and I piled into a rented car, loaded down with camping gear and food. We do this every year. My first year at this festival was 13 years ago. I've missed 2 festivals, mostly due to the fact that when in High School I dragged the parents along rather than the reverse. This was the 4th festival My Guy and I attended. (Naturally, he drove :P Which he does sometimes...)

The KVMR Celtic Festival is a two day festival put on by semi-local radio station. That is, KVMR can be caught on Sactown airwaves on calm nights in the summertime before overlapping stations squeeze them out. The station comes from Nevada City, California which is in the Sierra Nevada foothills. All that Gold Rush history :D

The drive is 40-minutes-to-an-hour, provided you don't get lost in picturesque Auburn. Which we didn't. This year. Thank you, Google Navigation!

So it's two days with a splash of RenFaire:
From 2010-10-02


Music Everywhere:

And some shopping:

Excuses to dress up:

Or be silly

and play with the merchandise.

Then off to watch more concerts:

And I went all out prepping food...

So it was an awesome experience. As always. Rejuvenating.

I always feel better able to tackle my projects after the weekend. Though I've been pretty exhausted this week...attended an Irish dancing workshop at the festival and I am sooo outta shape :(

Do you have any vacations that refocus you? An annual tradition that never fails to inspire you?

(Band was Leahy. Also saw The Elders who are AWESOME btw. Niamh Parson and John Doyle and Alastair Fraiser w/ Natalie Haas. Bagpipes were courtesy the White Hackle Band.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Glasses!

I know cheap isn't always better...but I just received my new glasses courtesy and they were $36 all in all. For prescription lenses. And they're comfortable, good-looking...

And best of yet!!! --I can see.

Meaning: I can read.

Which is especially wonderful as my list of "books to be read" has stacked up while the eye-strain headaches worsened.

So I'm looking forward to some quality time with:

The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson
Thunderbird Falls, C.E. Murphy (2nd in the series)
Flesh and Fire, Laura Anne Gilman (From World Fantasy Convention, '09)
Shadowrise, Tad Williams (Vol. 3 in the series)
The Popol Vuh (Mayan mythology)
Grant Writing Handbook (LOL: trying to get non-profit started here, so in the intensive knowledge-acquiring phase :P)
And an html textbook (More needed knowledge)

And there's more... but I think these are the highlights! :D
What are you reading right now?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Hey! Sorry for posting late in the day...I know for some people it's probably already the 24th :(

But here is my blogfeast Entry for Angela McCalister's feast fest hosted on the Jaded Love Junkie!
So head on over and read about food 'till it makes you ready for the holidays :D

I will try to offer a little context this time :P

The main character of this piece is Tati. She and her best friend ran away from their home village when attackers were sighted. Tati is trying to recruit the assistance of her king. But her people (the Maldians) are ethnic inhabitants of Meis. The attackers have ulterior motives for attacking the innocuous-seeming Maldians (as you can see by the Magic Tati uses, the applications in war are disastrous). Tati left before her 14th birthday (which would've included a feast) and where she would have had to make a decision between "Huntress" (which involved warrior training preserved through centuries) or cook. Clearly, she loves food. Food and meals, in her society, bind everyone. They are ritualized in a way the Meiseons simply don't...unless it is a meal of state. Tati wouldn't attend a meal of state at the moment.

So what's she doing? Found out by the mysterious Aloysia Rijnic, whom Tati knows little about right now, she is awaiting an audience with the Meiseon king. The three girls (Aloysia, Tati and Ahgothi) are staying in a Meiseon Inn. Ahgi and Tati are both experiencing a bit of culture-shock, but Tati reacts differently. Frustrated, lost, surrounded by a language she barely understands, Tati seizes on the fact that the serving girl doesn't know anything about food. She storms into the kitchen, determined to make her own meal. The Innkeeper finds her here, and that's where the excerpt starts:

“What is the meaning of this?!” said a new voice.
I did not look up but continued scrubbing.
“Where is my meal?” asked the new man, “What happened to the food?”
“I dumped it in fire,” I said, “It was no good.” I shook my head over the pot. “Give me what supply you have. I will make great meal here.”
“We do not have anything but the roughest of peasant fare. Birds and some berries, that’s the fanciest we have!” said the cook.
When I merely nodded, the Innkeeper stared and the cook started shouting, “You’re gonna steal my job! I’ve had this for years! You are not going to steal my job, you Carra-spawn!” He launched himself at me, holding the fire-iron. It took nothing to reach for the Green of the iron and yank the poor weapon from his grasp.
“Demon,” he hissed, as he came to a stop.
“I will make meal,” I told him gravely, and turned to the Innkeeper. “I ask no pay, this something I raised to do. I cook as long as I stay, I teach fat-man make meal and he can show me what Meis-food look like when not burnt.” I dumped the last of ash onto the fire. “And, if he pledge treat food with more respect I promise I make new pots and,” I waved at other metal cooking implements. “All I want is place sleep, and make food.”
“You’re not staying?” asked the cook.
“My home north, I not stay.”
The Innkeeper nodded, scowling. “As long as my patrons are fed,” he said, but studied me closely. “This will be strange food you make, girl.”
“I am woman,” I corrected. “I am fourteen.”
There was silence.
The serving girl edged into the kitchen again, watching all apprehensively and shifting from foot to foot as the silence smothered even her urgent words. Finally she did defy the quiet, but with the barest of whispers: “They want their food.”
I nodded. “Bring meat. Bring berries. Bring what other fare you have.”
All three stared at me. I felt their eyes, even as I poured water from a jug into the large pot. When the pot was half-full I turned to them. “I ready. Why stand so still? Need supply to make meal: meat and vegetable, herb and spice. Whatever you have, bring here.” They stared so I crossed my arms and glowered. “Now.”
They scattered.
I sighed and stood at the room’s center to inventory what I had to work with. There weren’t enough pots in this kitchen. There were only two stirring spoons. I needed all the implements of a Maldian meal-garden and would have to rely on my Green, if nothing else.
Green works as an extra sense. I can always feel the veins of metal in the ground below me, around me. I can sense them miles away. I can feel the center of the world melt and roil; Don-Yin’s heart is ever restless. So, when one uses the Green to do more than ‘feel’ one generally ‘pulls’ and ‘pushes.’ You can push so hard that friction and heat is created, and eventually the metal can reshape, just as it does in a forge. That is Green shaping. It was also the first lesson I learned from my older brother. So I did now, pulled and shaped until on the floor I had a vast supply of cooking utensils, bowls and plates and trays.
When the three returned laden with birds tied on strings, drying herbs and cooking wines and ales as well as a basket filled with various vegetables; they stopped in the doorway.
“May need more water,” I said.
The cook nodded, but his eyes were bulging. “I’ll get it.”
The Innkeeper dropped his load of birds and herbs. He stared at me a minute, pushed a hand through dark brown hair, muttered something and then left the kitchen. The serving girl followed quickly at his heels.

Naturally, when she finally serves up the meal and returns to the inn's dining room, she is greeted with applause. It's safe to say she and her friends get to stay for free.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Shhh! It's a Secret Blogfest...

So tired today! I just could not sleep last night...I was planning on writing an original scene for today's Blogfest...but am pulling an excerpt from more sitting & rough material :( Thanks a ton to Summer Ross for hosting! (and all her generous cpomments she leave me here :D ) There are lot's of wonderful entries listed on Summer's site "My Inner Fairy." Go check 'em out

Let me know what you think :D Keep or leave out?

“My lord?”
He smiled a tight-lipped smile. “What did I say about that? I just was going to ask if you'd join me for a glass of wine.” He lifted two glasses from a shelf behind his desk, and a wine bottle. “Could you...” he nodded at his desk, “Bottom drawer on the right.” He stepped to the side letting her open the drawer.
Two cushions, too large for a chair, with a wooden base rested inside the drawer. They were red, edged in gold and ivory. She caught her breath, and looked up at him, but only saw the rigid outline of his back. Tentatively she retrieved the cushion-seats, and placed them by the fire.
He sat and poured her glass, and then his own. He seemed to be watching her the entire time. She thought her hands would start to shake. He passed her a glass and she accepted with a soft thanks, and sipped. She watched him over the rim. For once, he wasn't watching her. Then he looked up and for an instant she thought she saw more green in his eyes than gray.
“It has been just two weeks,” he said as he corked the bottle once more, “but I am curious how you are finding your stay.” He took a sip, signaling for her to respond.
“I... am well,” she replied hesitantly. “I enjoy these evening with Aloysia.”
“I know you meant to spend your meals with your brother and not Roniv and me. Have you seen much of Teshen?”
Kyr leaned forward, just a bit, and she could see laughter in his gray-green eyes. “I suppose he is curious about those dinners, yes?”
Wait. Gray-green? Yesterday they were storm gray. “He is. But there is little for me to say.”
“Have I seemed a tyrant to you? Does my reputation suit me?”
“It has only been two weeks!” she protested. “What can I tell in two weeks?”
“That's what I'd like to know.” He lifted his glass again. “What can you tell?”
“I don't think you are a tyrant. No, not at all.” She all but gulped the rest of the wine, and set it down. Yes, now her hands were shaking. She closed her eyes and tried to still her shaking. “You mean well, for your people. But there is more there, something more complicated. You are hiding something, and I can't tell who around you is in on the secret and who isn't.”
“That is a very astute observation. How have I seemed to be... keeping a secret... ?”
“You are too perfect,” Gellayna pushed her glass forward and he poured another glass, chuckling. Gellayna continued, “Ever since I walked into the hall, your dress, appearance—everything was perfectly consistent with your reputation.” She lifted the wine glass to her lips again, but her hands were still shaking for all her effort to stop them. “Except,” she lingered over the rim, “your reputation feels like half the picture, rather than the whole of it. The taxes. Yes, you tax highly, but you reinvest it in walls and graineries,” She sipped for a minute. “In Dyvecor, it is customary for the local village to come up with the funds to store grain. The lord does not provide for the people. We must attend to such things ourselves.”
“Are maintained by the Smugglers. They need them, after all. But you... try to serve your people.”
She watched him swallow the last of his glass and set in one stone in front of his knees. “And what does that say about me?”
“That you might well be a good man.”
He did not look up at her, as he poured himself another glass. “Oh, I'm not so sure of that.”
“Then, Kyr Ednin,” she said in slight exasperation, “Tell me why you are not so good a man as you seem upon examination—mind that wasn't my first impression.”
He laughed, again, now soft at first but building. “Where do I start?”
Gellayna scowled, setting her glass down with a decided clink. “You permitted your sister to marry Vynnek Rijnic, and it is widely said she loved him.”
“And he loved her, too,” said Kyr. “I wouldn't have allowed it, otherwise. But it cost the life of my cousin, Sedrinna, though she was dear to me.”
“How does that relate--”
“Koarv wanted Jira,” Kyr met her eyes, and his flashed steel-gray. “Sedrinna looked much like Jira... but more delicate.”
More delicate? Jira was reputed to be very delicate for a Kordic woman, fine could Sedrinna have been “more delicate?” “She is gone?”
“Two years ago. Lord Koarv... is not a kind man. Sedrinna.... I think she was too soft for his world of poisons and intrigue. She bore him a son, I think that's all that mattered to him.”
“I'm sorry.”
“I sealed her death when I arranged that marriage. Did I do the same for Jira? Am I, truly, a good man, Gellayna?” The intensity in his gray eyes made her hide behind the glass. “Or am I something more monstrous?” He shifted his gaze to the fire.
“I have no answer to that.” She sipped her wine, and studied his profile. She kept seeing two faces, rather than one. It was as if she could not decide what she was seeing, if his chin was more square or pointed, if his cheekbones were just a bit higher than common, and his face a little longer. “But it seems, perhaps, that your grief for both of them might lead you to think of yourself so. But it isn't you fault they died.”
“Unless... the Emperor has derived the answer you are in search of. From Sedrinna... to Jira... and I would be next.” He returned his gaze to her. “If the Imperial guard come for me, Gellayna, would you take Aloysia away from here? And don't let Aydi remain here, either. She could go to family, but... that family is quite isolated. Aloysia needs other children about her... she doesn't even have that here.”
“Kyr?! She has you...”
“And if she doesn't?” He leaned forward, and gently took her hand. “Promise me. Take Aydi and Aloysia to Kurukai. Keep them with you. Away from the places the Emperor would recognize them.”
“The Emperor would recognize your cook?”
She searched his face, trying to understand this. Was it because there was Rextian blood somewhere along the line? Or because the Rextians didn't warrant notice or concern? “Yes, Kyr. I'll take them to Kurukai.”
He sighed, as if some great weight were lifted from his shoulders and squeezed her hand briefly before letting it go. She was deeply unnerved, this did not seem to be the man she dined with. “My inquiry... into your secrets... it could kill you?”
“You couldn't. I can't believe you could. But you also know just how powerful knowledge can be.” He drained his glass, watched the fire again. Just now, right here, it seemed as if she were speaking to a man caught, trapped. But trapped in what?
The wine would only serve to weaken her. What was he after?
“But what you find...what you think... I want you to tell me.”
Her fingers closed about the stem of the wine glass, her nails dug into her palm. “Why? If I'm--”
“Gellayna,” he pulled the wine bottle in front of him again. “I've been wondering, if you can find out what I don't want people to know...t hen who else has already done so?” He poured himself another glass.
“No thank you.” She said, soft.
“Could you... tell me of Kurukai?” he asked.
“Certainly,” she was grateful that the subject changed to something more agreeable. She told him of the shops, of her home. She described the seasons of Kosa Dyvecor, the festivals. She told him of her friends, Ehjin and his wife Shaella, She recounted memories of Ehjin's daughters, some even made Kyr laugh. Gellayna began to wonder what was him, and what was the wine. She had lost count of his glasses somewhere along the way.
“It is different here,” he said. “I can't believe you'd leave a town like that for this.”
“I will do what I must for my people, or what I feel I must.” She fought a yawn then, “May I...?
“Of course,” said Kyr, “Sorry to keep you so late.”
“Yes, tommorow.”
She unwound her legs, stood and slippied from the room.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Little Segway...

I'm going to talk about another blogger and good real-life friend of mine today. since she seems to be avoiding using her "real name" in the virtual sphere I'll call her LTB. LTB and I have known each other for 12 years. She got me into Livejournal when she left our community college for Cal. She cured my boredom when I was working as Student Assistant in a State Agency's Library by sending me recipes to try out at home. Over a year ago now, she and I started our very first blog...a food blog...which I neglect far too much in favor of this one and an otherwise hectic life. When we were playing with names we tossed around "From the Chopping Block to the Frying Pan" and ended up going for "The Saucy Choppers." So LTB went with the nickname: "The chopping block," and is using it for all her blogging efforts. (LTB is very good at funny :P)

So when poking around Facebook, I found a link to her new blog and I had to take a look. "Yarns and Buttons." For craft-lovers, this is a must! :D But she also composed a story starring her Amigurumi, which I must say is brilliant. So please forgive the spelling and grammar errors--this story and visuals are awesome. Pure awesome.

Enjoy! :D

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back-to School Daze Blogfest

I really love the blogfests :D I've been using/writing/re-writing scenes from my WIP Silver Mask and its world for the past several for Roh Morgon's Back to School Daze I'm including a tidbit from Lara's still-developing world :P

Our host has a really cool blog and bio. On her bio she states that she "...found that periodic immersion into other worlds is the key to my coping with this one." Which is a statement I completely identify with :D So check it out! And read some of the other wonderful entries :D

Mine(rough and written this morning so forgive me :P)is this:

Karryna slipped through the wide double doors, following close on the heels of three freshmen girls in pastel plaid tops. Don't be here. Don't be here, Dayton, she thought, and wished she had better control of her own abilities. Maybe then she could turn wish into reality.
The group of girls took a sharp turn into the first corridor, leaving Karryna alone. Exposed. She glanced to her right, her left and then hunched her shoulders, allowing her long dark hair to cover her face. She stalked off down the hall, hugging the left wall. Her locker would be on the left.
There! She opened the locker, just to check that it really was hers and no one else had stashed their stuff inside. Satisfied, she set her backpack at her feet, crouched down to open it and snatch her lock from the front pocket. But when she looked up, she jumped.
“Mierda!” she braced herself against the bottom locker.
“So happy to see me!” Dayton leaned against the lockers next to her, arms crossed.
“Look, she saw nothing. She knows nothing. And I'm out.”
Dayton sighed, a loud, theatrical sound.
Karryna glowered. “What?”
“Ah, Kari, why so harsh?” He pushed away from the locker. “Fine. Serious it is. I didn't tell you the whole story.”
“You told me enough.” Karryna jammed the lock through the locker door.
“Lara needs you, Kari, I promise...”
“She opened a door” Kari waved her hand, at a loss for words. There had been growls, snarling, screaming, and something calling Lara. “And you made me take credit for that! I thought, originally, she was supposed to believe everything was pranks! She had to remain ignorant of the magical things.”
“She's my cousin,” he blurted. “And she has no family. And because of the ruling of my people, we have to keep her hidden.”
“Something's after her.”
Dayton nodded. “A great many some-things to be precise.”
Karryna didn't know what to say to that, so she stacked her textbooks in her locker. Lara was only fifteen. She had no idea she was a Warden and could open gates to the outer realms, where everything from nightmare and dreams resided. “What did she do?”
“Not her, her parents.”
“Both of 'em? I mean, I know you Warden families like to keep to your clans...but I was under the impression there was a large group of relatives who didn't have the ability...”
“Yeah, well...Lara's case is different. Her parents met on the job. They were from different clans with very different practices...”
“Which she's been trying to figure out. Who her parents are.”
“And you have all the answers.”
“And I can tell her nothing. Do you know how hard that is? Especially with all the emphasis our families place on loyalty to our kind?”
“And you need me.”
“Kari...someone's got to protect her. And I can't.”
“You don't have the ability?”
“No, I do have the ability...but I'm under a binding.”
She set her lock, shut the door and then lifted a much lighter backpack over her shoulder. “You need me to get around the rules.”
“Exactly. She is your friend, right?”
The bell rang. Yes, Karryna thought, she is. As much as I want to pretend this summer didn't happen, it did. “Fine. But right now...first class is history.”
“Thanks, Kari.”
She rolled her eyes.
“See you at lunch!”
“Yeah, then you will tell me what, exactly, her parents did.” Before he could agree, or protest, she stalked off toward her classroom. It felt like she had commanded him. Kari didn't mind. She'd had to tell her only friend in this rotten suburbia that she was a daughter of a sorcerer this summer. She still hadn't decided if she'd betrayed her dad in the confession. As far as she saw it, Dayton with his stupid place-for-a-name owed her. Completely owed her. He could send her chocolates for a year and it still wouldn't make up for the position he'd landed her in.

Friday, September 10, 2010

So September Begins

My Birthday was last Thursday. I turned 27. Yes, still young :P But I'm having the "OMG, I'm almost 30! And 3 years is sooo short!" minor crises. Looking for work daily for the past year with few interviews only worsens this feeling.

So this week, I'm focusing on things to make my life feel more under control.

Which is kind of funny to me, because I used to have it all down. But I guess as I've grown, my personal symbolism has changed. I know, sounds weird, but for me to write I need to be in a positive mindset. So no energy dedicated to that end is ever wasted. To the best of my ability that is :P

It used to be clothing, a new book, and a few hours at a cafe that could get me in the right frame of mind.

Now, I need to reign in the chaos at my house. My home is an outward expression of whatever turmoil I'm experiencing at a given time. So feeling in control now means forcing myself to keep a cleaner home. I'm working on changing a whole lot of patterns...

I'm returning to meal planning with gusto. I'm trying (again) to further limit the waste produced...reusing plastic bags and the like...and be more conscious of using all our food. The more conscious I am about these decisions, the more I feel that I and not some indifferent universe guides my choices.

I know...probably sounds silly...but that is where my energy is going this week. And its slowly working!

I've also outlined 6 short stories. So hopefully I'll have them drafted soon.

I'm also hoping the new attempt to manage time will work better than the last :( (seems there's always some obligation that I forget to count when I draft my schedules, and that one thing takes up more time than expected...shoving those things prioritized 'for me' into a corner).

So here goes! Be back next week :D

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fight, Fight, Fight Blogfest!

So I got carried away with the fairy tale :P This one is shorter. I promise. And It's a rewrite of a scene from Silver Mask! Still rough though >.< So whatever commentary you have is more than welcome. I want to thank JC Martin the Fighter Writer for hosting this one :D I love reading action scenes, but I always feel mine are forced :( So I posted on facebook "Help Me!" And Ariane Broome, got me in touch with Casey Michael Parcell, a martial artist kind enough to give me some ideas. Best yet, we worked out various this is my first time doing "non-book" research (it feels like experimental archaeology, but for writing instead of "how did people do this?" :P)

So here you go:

First, Ethirin stopped by the kitchens. The cook listened to his whispered command and made the apple-bread. She held off from the sweets for so long, that those who knew nothing thought there was a celebration. Those who know ate their bread in tiny, somber bites.
After the bread found its way to their hands, the rebels moved. First they overran and defeated, the overseers. Next, they marched toward the factories.
By the time Ethirin reached the slave market, the battle began in earnest. At first, he stayed to the shadows, out of site. The Imperial soldiers appeared in the square. They wore gray leather sewn with black thread. A crown of ice embroidered at their breast. While Ethirin's men encouraged a pseudo-riot, the soldiers marched into square in formation. Then, the slaves, brought to Imperial Kordic from all over the globe, dropped sticks and rocks.
Silence. And from the barrels, strapped bellow benches, tucked away in tidy corners, each man and woman found a weapon. Then, they fell into their own sort of formation, with the Imperial Soldiers trapped in the center. So few compared to Ethirin's many.
He pulled two swords from the undercarriage of a hay wagon, and when he stood, he called: “Thea!” Home. What they fought for.
Ethirin moved forward. His steps in sync with his men. The imperial soldiers fell into a defensive circle, standing shoulder to shoulder. The first to engage Ethirin raised his sword a bit high. Ethirin dodged below swiping one blade across the man's wrist, severing the artery. Etherin's opponent dropped his sword, clamping his left hand around his right wrist to staunch the bleeding. But he still advanced. Ethirin rolled under the man's reach as the soldier tried to lift the heavy sword in his left hand. Ethirin jabbed his right sword through the man's left foot and pinned him to the ground. He swiped his second sword to the right and sliced the larger soldier's right thigh. The man crumpled, and two men fell on him as they squeezed in to prevent the slaves' advance.
Ethirin didn't try to block. He was short, and raised to fight monsters these soldiers had never seen. He raised his right sword to meet the blow, but moved with it. He carried the lunge into the second foe. The two soldiers stared at each other in surprise. But the soldiers' arm was still extended, his blade embedded in his fellow's lung. Ethirin pierced his left sword into the man's armpit, and heaved through. The tip nicked chain mail on the top of the shoulder. Both men fell over together.
Ethirin pulled his swords clean. He looked from side to side, but only his men stood. Fewer. So many fewer. But this was only one fight in the larger battle.
“To Castle Koarv,” he told Darrim when the man met his eye.
“To Castle Koarv.”

Fairy Tale Blogfest!

Thank you Emily White for hosting the Fairy Tale blogfest! I got a bit carried away :( But! No fantasy elements...which I thought would be difficult. The Fairy Tale I found is The Bronze Ring, an Arabic Fairy Tale. While I set the story in a contemporary (American) setting (cuz that's what I know)I chose Arabic names in order to refer to the original tale. Tell me what you think? Sorry 'bout the length.

Malik didn't return to the mansion until a month after his mother's funeral. She had lived in the large home with a few housekeepers and a cook. The gardener had passed years before, and while the hamdyman nurtured the garden to the best of his ability, the roses withered and the trees drooped. His daughter was about to start High School, so it was time for a change anyway.
Malik, his wife, Yafiya, and daughter Zahrah, moved into the great mansion two weeks before school started. They left their estate outside town, for the smaller surrounds of the city home. The family settled in while their servants cleaned and ordered the mansion. But the garden remained wilted and brown.
Zahrah sat on a rusting metal bench, despairing. Her father found her there.
“I know how you loved the gardens in the country,” he said, resting a comforting hand on his daughter's shoulder.
“Grandma taught me to,” she said. “How could she let it get so bad?”
“Do you want to revive the garden?”
She shook her head, her eyes tearing. “I will be too busy with school. Dad, would you hire a gardener?”
He squeezed her shoulder. “Certainly.”
“And not just any gardener,” she cautioned, “one who's family has been in the business for generations. So we can trust that they really know what they're doing.”
“I promise, Zahrah.”
“Thank you, Dad.”
A week later he had a gardener. The gardener had a son. Together they dug out the weeds, they replanted roses and jasmine.
Zahrah and her mother returned, laden with bags of clothes and school supplies. Her father greeted her at the door.
“I found a gardener,” he said.
Zahrah dropped the bags just inside the door and ran to the garden. Her father's chuckle echoed through the cavernous room and followed through the halls. She shouldered open the garden door, and hastened down the short stair into the garden. The gardener's son looked up from trowel and dirt.
“Oh, thank you! Thank you!” She called to the gardener and his son.
The gardener nodded, but his son beamed.
“The garden must mean a lot to you, miss,” said the Gardener.
“It was my Grandma's. I'd help, but school starts next week...”
“Where are you going?” asked the son.
“The one over on D'Oro Ave.”
“So am I!”
Zahrah grinned. “What's your name?”
“I'm Zahrah. See you in class, and thanks again!” She waved and returned to her rooms, where the servants sorted her school clothes.
By the time Zahrah and Harith plunged into finals, ending the academic year, the garden bloomed. Zahrah would find bouquets of fresh flowers around the house, and she knew it was Harith. He left them at her favorite garden bench, at on the table in the breakfast nook where she studied, and in a vase next to her bedroom door. He continued to pass her flowers into their sophomore year and junior year, though they barely had a chance to talk at school. Occasionally, in the gardens they swapped stories of gardening, of their days at school, teachers and exams.
Meanwhile, Makil tended the district office of Imad Corp., as his father had before him. The company was in the midst of expansion, and CEO had come to town three months before Zahrah's prom. Makil invited the CEO, Kadar, and his family to dinner.
Kadar had one son, Sami, who was about Zahrah's age. Over a dinner of Hummus, olive bread, and lamb, Sami watched Zahrah. She blushed and tried to keep her head tucked down, with the bouquet of lavender, geraniums and daisies between them. Malik noticed and aproved, letting his daughter know it with a quirk of his lip.
Zahrah felt a stone settle in stomach. Sami's chiseled features and dark complexion were certainly appealing, but she wasn't interested.
The next week, Sami transferred to her school. He shared several classes with her, and found his way into conversations. Harith glowered at a distance. Then prom neared.
Sami asked her out before Harith could. She weedled out of the conversation, and fled home as soon as the school bell rang.
“Should I?” she asked her father over dinner.
“But why?”
“Sami has wealth and position, should it work,” he shrugged, “You will at least maintain quality of life.”
“But I love Harith!” she blurted. Her hand flew to her mouth, as if by covering her lips she could stuff the words back behind her teeth.
“What?!” her father thundered.
“Please, Dad. Please.”
“All right, if you claim Harith is the better man, let's devise a contest.”
When the gardener and his son returned to tend the flowers, Makil called Harith to meet him. Sami was already there. The two boys scowled at each other, but sat respectfully before Makil.
“It is my understanding that both of you wish to take my daughter to the prom.”
“Yes,” they said, in unison, then swapped glares.
“You will go on a treasure hunt around town, and whoever returns with more items, shall win.”
Both boys agreed, and marched to the front door. Zahrah hid in the shadows of the porch,sitting still. When she saw Harith, she stood. He turned upon hearing the creak of the bench swing.
Sami had already climbed into his fancy ferrari, and already sped down the street.
“I have something for you,” Zahrah told Harith, “Here,” she pressed a plastic square into his hand.
“Your credit card?”
“There's a note on the back. If you don't exceed the number there...all will be well.”
“I love you. Go. Win this so I don't have to see that annoying Sami again. He's got a head start already!”
Harith said nothing. He tucked the card into his wallet even as he hurried to his old truck. It spluttered groaned as he started it up. Zahrah watched from the doorway.

Sami hit a red light at the intersection. He pounded the wheel with an open palm.
“Could you gimme a ride?” asked an old homeless woman on the island.
Sami recoiled in the seat. “No way!” He rolled up his window and raced forward as soon as the light changed.

Harith hit a red light at the intersection. He sighed, and swiped a calloused hand through his dark hair.
“Could you gimme a ride?” asked the old homeless woman.
“Where to?” asked Harith.
“The local YMCA.”
“Hop in,” said Harith, opening the door. “I think I can make the time.”
Her pockets rattled with pills. Her clothes reeked, but not as bad as the manure he hauled for his father. She stuffed plastic bags at her feet, full of empty soda cans and glass bottles.

Sami sped to the first place on the list. But when he glanced down to review the address, he missed the light. An Escalade rammed his ferrari on the passenger-side. He spun. The SUV squealed to a halt. Sami couldn't think straight. Was that a concussion? There was someone shouting at him. Then, sirens. He lay flat on his back, a swirl of faces around him.
Somewhere near by, a woman wailed. “It was green! It was green!”
Doors closed all sound out. The sirens just grew louder.

Harith and the woman arrived at the YMCA. She convinced him to help her inside, to find a cot. They checked in at the main gate, before winding through the halls toward the beds. As they passed the basketball court, they heard shouting.
“Help! Help!”
The guide held up a finger, as if to say, “One moment.”
Harith and the old woman followed.
“It's the Governor!” Someone called.
Harith looked around, sure enough, a whole camera crew and security detail milled about the room. The media people shifted, or stood helpless, loaded down with their heavy equipment. The security men were on their knees with a woman in a thin skirt and blazer. She must have been the reporter conducting the interview.
“Here,” the old woman pressed pills into his hand. “Give it to him.”
Harith handed over the pills. The security guard nodded, and called for water. Harith, knelt to the side, waiting. When he looked up to find the old woman, she was gone. He presumed she vanished in pursuit of a cot.
When the EMT arrived, he unpacked the kit. The Governor lifted his head. “I'm okay, I'm okay.”
The EMT shook his head in befuddlement. “What happened?”
“We were given a pill, from him.” Said a security guard.
“And you administered it?!” responded the EMT.
“Yes,” said the security guard, sheepishly. “It looked exactly like his medications at home.”
“What are you taking?” asked the EMT of the Governor.
The Governor rattled off latin titles that Harith could not understand.
The EMT's shoulders drooped in relief, then he looked over at Harith. “It looks like you saved his life.”
“I've got to thank him properly!” said the governor. “What were you doing today...?”
“Halith,” he said.
“Halith! What are your plans today?” the Governor picked himself up.
Halith wet his lips. “I have these things to find, sir.” He handed the Governor Makil's list.

Sami woke in the hospital. The nurse told him they were only holding him for a few hours, but his car had been towed. It was sitting in a shop on Broadway. They had the address.
Sami nodded. “How soon can I leave?”
“We'll let you know,” said the nurse.

The Governor, driver, and the whole media crew helped Halith find the items Makil marked. The Governer added a few items of his own, clothing Halith for his prom. His story was to make the evening news. Then on the steps of the state capitol, he was bestowed with a brass ring, with the state seal fixed into the band. The photographers took pictures of Halith shaking hands with the Governor.

Sami stumbled into his clothes as soon as they let him go. He called for a taxi and they met him in front of the hospital. He passed the address of the shop to the driver, and climbed out as soon as the driver stopped. The taxi sped off, the wheels kicking up excess sprinkler-water filling the gutter. Sami cursed and lifted his arm to guard his face. Still, his entire right side was covered in splattering drops.
“My car?” he asked the mechanic on his coffee break.
“Which one?”
“The ferrari.”
The mechanic guffawed. “Two weeks. At least.”
Sami grumbled. The mechanic saluted him. On his way out of the shop, he slipped in grease, and landed on his left side.
He had to call a new taxi to ferry him from place to place. The taxi driver did him no favors. Sami landed in mud, trudged through an alleway to find a back entrance to a shop where he stepped in dog feces. On his way from the shop, he hid from some thugs in the alley, and when he stood he was mired in dirt.
By the time he returned to Makil's home, he was ragged and dirty. But he still beat Halith. Makil was displeased by the state of him, but grateful that it was Sami and not Halith. A servant saw to Sami's bath, rinsed and dried his clothes. When he was as clean as his tattered jeans and shirt allowed, he sat with the family.
Makil and Sami made plans for Zahrah's prom. She, meanwhile, sat dejected and silent. Her head hung over her hands.
Then there was a knock on the door. Halith entered with all the items requested, clad in his tux. Zahrah's eyes lit, her shoulders straightened.
“What is your story?” Makil asked, evaluating Halith.
After Halith told him, and allowed: “Zahrah and I have even been promised to be interviewed on the day of the prom. I promise, it will give you and your company a lot of positive press.”
Zahrah swallowed a giggle, poorly. Her father relented, dismissing Sami. On the night of the prom, Zahrah and Halith danced till midnight. For once, they didn't have to hide.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Word Paint Blogfest!

Thank you Dawn Embers for hosting the Word Paint Blogfest! Not only does this fellow blogger have an awesome name, it's Dawn! My middle name :P (My mother called me Andrea (on-dree--uh) Dawn half the time growing up, but when I was 13 and started going by Drea (Dray-uh)the pattern fell away. Besides, Drea Dawn just doesn't sound right...I think it could do as a dinosaur name, though :P Thankfully, didn't figure this out until after 20...otherwise my little brother would likely have had even more fun at expense than he did.

So onto another bit from Silver Mask (or not). I don't count myself a master of description. I think it's one of my weakest areas :( So that's why I signed up! Exercise is good.


Kyr recognized her instantly. Not who she was, but her title: Taeverai. She crossed under the marble lintel while the servants held wide the bronze doors and he knew. Her long green skirts adorned in ivory and golden embroidery proclaimed her family standing. She was the younger child of Old Ones. The taeree, an apron-like garment few Rextian women still wore, told him she followed the traditions. Her young face belied the age her outfit led him to assume, and then lamplight glinted on her hand. A ring. He didn't need to see it to know what it looked like. All Taeverai had one. A ruby set in gold, etched with one phrase: “Re zath chem.” I know and I listen.
But what was she doing here?
She wore her braids in a tight knot on her head. She was unwed, only two thin braids fell from the bun and down her back. Two jeweled pins glinted in her brown locks. She had stuffed them deep, likely to hide the tarnish. Mothers passed rare items to their daughters, and no Rextian was wealthy enough to buy such pieces new. All Rextian jewelry remaining in the frozen north had been crafted before their ancestors fled the falling kingdom across the seas. Centuries old.
Why here? Why Now?
She curtsied in the Kordic way, reminding him he sat on his throne in Castle Ednin. His hall, where he answered only to the Emperor. He shouldn't know what she was. A Taeverai must have no meaning to him. Her position as the keeper of Rextian knowledge and tradition could not be recognized here. He could not defer to her with the respect her station deserved. No matter what he thought, really thought. More disguise, more lies.
He forced his mouth into the familiar thin line, and pretended he couldn't read the Rextian codes etched into her attire. Only another Rextian would be trained to read those things. She couldn't know. He couldn't let anyone else know.
For Jira, he thought, and assumed the cold, dispassionate posture an outsider would expect of the imposing Lord Kyr Ednin.

All right...there might be one solid paragraph or two of description. Do I need more? What else would you like top "see"?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rainy Day Blogfest

I am back to the blogfest rounds! Whoohoo! I want to thank Christine H. blogging at The Writer's Hole for hosting this. In my early drafts I usually have an issue with time. I tend not to give enough weather cues to help recognize the passage of months, years, whatnot. It's something I'm working on :P So this exercise was particularly valuable in stretching those writer-ly muscles :D Hope you enjoy!

# # # #

Shayla paused mid-swipe with her dust cloth. The first of the autumn rain tapped the window, distracting her from her task. She folded the cloth as she moved toward the rocking chair. Ah, she thoughts as she sat, here is why Omae-Hehriya loves this spot so. Looking down on the town, she could see almost every corner, every street. But in Gellayna's empty room all was safe. There were no entanglements with the guards winding their way into the merchant's square with their hoods were lifted against the rain, and shoulders hunched against the wind. Or the smugglers doing their best to avoid the guards, dragging a heavy box through the mud of a street running parallel. So much life, and from the room of Omae's absent daughter.

There's something sad about that, Shayla thought. The message was made even more poignant in the rain. Death and life seemed so close together, and the world...felt silent. She could sit and watch the children race through the streets and dodge about the guards stomping through the mud, but the steady streams of water made the world feel muted. It was distant. Like looking at everything through a gauze curtain.
Does Omae feel this way all the time? Both her children gone to who knows where? And Ehjin...

Shayla stood as soon as her thoughts strayed back to her husband. He had work to do, she shouldn't be worried. But fear of potential dangers nagged her, no matter how she wished it away. So she dusted. She cared for Gellayna's parents, because Gellayna was no longer there to do so.
Now, as she glided into the hall, to get away from the rain, one image haunted her thoughts. Ehjin, on a farmer's mount, traveling from village to village, spreading word. Planning an evacuation no one wanted. Plotting resistance in the rain and mud. While Gellayna remained in the cold Ednin castle to the north, and Teshen did whatever he did...

Who's life? Who's death? And would the rain prolong it, or just grant the illusion of distance?

“Ah!” Omae Hehriya called as Shayla made her way down the stair. “I made soup! Perfect for today, yes?” The old woman beamed at her, but Shayla was beginning to develop an idea of what pains she hid. She hid them well. I must learn to hide my fears so skillfully.

“Soup!” Khirisse called, trailing her toddling sister as she rushed in from the outdoors.

“Children!” Shayla and Omae said at once.

“Mud,” Shayla reminded in a softer tone. Khirisse looked down at her self and winced. “Ays' fault.”

“I'm sure,” Shayla said, “But get out of those clothes first.”

“All right.” Khirisse heaved a sigh. When her daughter was on the stair, Shayla rolled her eyes.

Omae laughed. “I'm sure you were every bit as over dramatic as they.”

“It's entirely possible.”

“Now, how about that soup?”

“Perfect, Omae.” But in the kitchen, spoon in hand, she heard the rain again and thought of her absent loved ones. All over again, she worried how they fared.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Old Books

About a week ago, my guy finished Sanderson's Warbreaker and comes to me asking "What should I read next?"

Naturally, I have a lot of books. At one point I had read all that I have on my shelves, but a few years ago my collection surpassed my ability to keep up. and I have become very picky about new books. I find myself going to the bookstore and browsing, just browsing. I'm completely indecisive! Some little voice says: But you haven't finished X yet, you really should. And my budget and eye-strain prompt me to hold'll still be there next year, and if not...well, it'll be online.

So I didn't have a new book to share. I puzzled through my bookshelves, thinking: "He likes adventure, the high fantasy stuff...Goodkind, Keyes, Sanderson...and there, I found a book I'd nearly forgotten about. Aurian, by Maggie Furey. Yes, you can find it on Amazon. I read the book in 96/97 when I was 13. I loved it. I remember that I was enrolled in a private Independent Study School that year, and my mother had fits trying to get me to do my homework. I distinctly remember Aurian stashed atop a large bookcase to prevent me from reading rather than studying. I pulled a chair over, snatched the book, and returned it to it's supposed captivity before my parents returned home from work.

But now as my guy mentions snippets of plot I realize I have forgotten so much...I think it might be time to reread my most formative books. My favorite books, most of which were published from 94-2000. Since then, I've just gotten picky...and I think anthro readings have inspired me to look at world building a bit differently :P

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Slow Progress

I've a lot of things on my plate right now :(

1) Job hunt continues! I've had some recent success with careerbuilder. Meaning, I'm actually getting calls! Yay!

2) Event planning and promotion of Leafkin Anthology release. Via mediabistro e-newsletters, I've certainly been piecing together some plans...which I'll start implementing next week...

3) Non-profit forms for SWS. Something else I'm getting back to next week :P

4) New project with my mother which we've been working on for two weeks :D This is the best bet for income, and when the website goes live, I'll post an explanation, Till then we're kinda keeping the whole thing under wraps. But! I have been writing for it. Non-fiction...but still...writing!

5) I'm inching into the Silver Mask rewrite. It's brief, so far, but I feel like this a great start :D

6) The boyfriend's education. He went part time to community college so I could get my degree. But with the economy so poor, and the market inundated with college degrees, life just hasn't gone according to plan. So now we're chasing after Financial Aid, Grants and Loans, so he can get out of IT and focus on Biology. The sooner he can do that, the less stress for the both of us :P

Transitional phases suck. I think that sentence sums up the last year and a half.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What I Learned from Leafkin 2010

Editing the anthology was intense. Why? Because I had to be picky about craft. I like concentrating on structure--evaluating what works for the characters, plot, how a story is built. That includes having an intuitive knowledge of 1) the storytelling process and 2) an eye for what the author "intends." 3) discussing with the author about the effectiveness of the prose.

What craft is important to hone?

Sentence structure. Authors need to know how the audience's eye travel's over the page. They need to understand what information is retained, and what fails. Sentences need to be structured so that this information is delivered to fullest effect, while maintaining "voice."

However, I tend to believe C.E Murphy when she says: "practice, practice, practice" on an old Magical Words post.

Does this mean writers should overhaul sentence structure to be "certain" they communicate with their audience? No. I've been there, I've followed the wrong advice. I'm still piecing myself back together from that fiasco.

It means authors should be aware of how the audience reads the work. If something is important, cater to the audience's eye. Not all the time. Not so much you sacrifice your characters. But IMO a writer must be honest to character and self, and then communicate to readers. Communicate both.

Sentence structure, then paragraph structure, dialogue...these build plot, and keep the reader interested. If a writer isn't interested in addressing these things, they aren't seeking publication.

When I read something submitted to Leafkin, I assume polish. The story is expected to have been critiqued for: Word Choice, Sentence structure, Plot, Character, Passive sentences, adverbs, effectiveness. Does this mean I "trust" the "assumed" critiquers, and do not mark the mistakes I see? No. It means I expect a thicker skin. I do not mark things to be deleted out of meanness. I mark them because they aren't working to build the story. Does that necessarily mean the author needs to get rid of it? No. Make it work? Yes. Follow my exact suggestion? No.

I assume the writer will read over the edits and call or e-mail. This hasn't happened in every instance. I expect at least a nod. We don't have a terribly large pool of writers in this project. I always include: "call or e-mail me with questions when you receive this." And I include my phone number, just in case. If a person does not respond, I expect they agree with all my suggested alterations. How do I know they did or didn't? E-mail. A phone call.

If they called and said: "This is what I'm trying to do here...."
I might say, "All right. Didn't work. This is what you communicated....x, y,z."
Author, "Oh. What if I did a?"
me: "That might work, give it a shot."
Did I make the suggestion? No. But in order to make stories "live up to their potential," authors need to be willing to admit their weaknesses and mistakes.
This requires dialogue. Dialogue requires two willing participants.

In my life, I am easy to get a hold of. I live in the social media sphere. I'm always on Facebook and I haunt Twitter. I blog, I check my e-mail as much as 4 times a day. And my phone is (almost) always on me. I return calls. I have it set up so that if people leave me a message on my phone, Google voice sends me a text message and an e-mail. If I missed something (I'm human) I think people should drop me a line.

Still I was surprised how much time it took to note "little errors" like passive sentences, unclear wording, adverbs (which can be very unclear in short stories, I found), contradictory actions and wording, etc. When the stories had a strong plot, which I could trust the writer to be moving forward, this was easier for me. But when there was either excess information (not applicable to the plot) or far too little information (so I could not get a feel of character or author intent), this task became picky and time-consuming.

So my advice (to myself and others) based on this experience:

1st step--do you repeat words or phrasing? If you over use anything, even something so small as "the" or "of" :purge it. At least as much as you are able.

2nd step--do any of your characters, or multiple characters, repeat the same movement/tone of voice? If so, synonyms are your friends, use them.

3rd step--"it," "looked," "noticed," and adverbs? Purge as much as possible. How does a person notice? "I noticed him watching me." This is vague, especially if the scene is tense. "I turned around and met his stare. His smile reached his eyes, informing me he still plotted mischief. Was I factored into his scheme? What conclusions did he draw with that evaluation? Certainly, I knew, that smile always followed a realization. A decision. Most often ones that neglected me." Longer? Yes. Tied the action into internal dialogue? Yes. Plot? present? Tension? Yes.

4th step--to be and to have: is, was, were, weren't, had, has, have...these were all overused, across the board. So purge. If a sentence reads: "She had to run to catch the the thief." Look at the placement of the words, run and catch...important to the sentence's meaning are both at the center of the sentence. If this concept is integral to your story, make certain the important bits are either at the beginning or ending of the sentence. "She ran after the thief. He turned a corner, stumbled into a gutter, and she caught him." "Run" at the beginning. "Thief" at the end of a sentence, and "caught" at the end. Yes, she couldn't have caught him if he hadn't "stumbled into a gutter," but that part isn't as important as indication of the pursuit, and his being caught. And! The to be's and to have's! "-Ed" really, really is enough indication of tense. Do you want to never use these verbs? No. But they do lead to passive sentences and a lot of clarity issues.

Can this change your "voice?" I don't think so. I think voice and craft are carried by manipulation (and conscious deviation from) the rules. When the rules never entered one's mind when revising a story, and I can read that on the page, I switch into a "teacher mode." Spot and inform the author of the rules.

Why? This entire project is meant as a learning experience. What does it take to publish? What makes a good story? What makes a good edit? What are each writer's strengths and weaknesses? Etc. Most publications won't take the time to inform authors about the rules their breaking, or take the time for the author to say: "Yeah, I know, did it work?" And sometimes, it does. L.H. Reid did a very good job with a strong omniscient POV. But sometimes it doesn't. And the author has to be committed to the experience, and the lesson, in order to derive anything from the journey.

That is the advantage of doing this project as a Writers' Group. :P


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I didn't die, I promise :(

This month, Leafkin chaos descended. I edited short stories at a furious pace, assisted in planning and manning some of our fund raisers...and dropped off the internet. But now I get to work on promoting while others format and arrange the publication of the anthology. Whoohoo!

And I am returning to my own writing. This makes me happy. Reading so many other peoples' writing always teaches me a few things. I hope what I learn will make me a better writer.

I promise I will join more blogfests soon! They are certainly fun :D

Be back tomorrow for a "proper" and longer post :P


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thursday's the Day

This Thursday is the deadline for the anthology my writers' group is going to (hopefully) release in October. I'm not writing anything for it, but I am editing. The looming preparations, fundraisers and the like have kept me out of the house and/or focused on critiquing, planning, etc.

I'm looking at character and structure (the substantive edits) Erica is looking at line-by-line and Mellisa (who posts on Mondays to the SWS blog)will be copy-editing.

So I've been scarce, and I might be scarce for the next week or two, until Erica gets elbow-deep into formatting. Then, my focus will be on raising the funds for the anthology and the release celebration.

But if all goes to plan, this process will prepare writers for the process of publishing a book. Also, there will be more knowledge spread around about what it takes to self publish. We are also trying to create community in our city, which an anthology and celebration serve to attract. Hopefully the community will follow.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crazy Monday

Today is not going as planned. I am trying to get two chapters done by the end of week (not shooting for words, but arcing over scenes, just to get things down). I will be posting Wednesday to another blog...which I wanted to be "a part of" but hope the friends for whom I wanted it, really take the project and use it to its potential. I interviewed a local artisan for my Wednesday post today.

Then, yesterday my brother called. He needs me to french braid a girl's hair for a music video while he picks up some other model (who's going to be in the video, obviously) in another city. But I guess older sisters are good last-minute, cheap labor, even if I've never been a hairdresser...

Tomorrow I am planning on visiting a temp agency, just to get the process going.
So my writing time is going to be squeezed down into a few hours a day. Sad part, is while it "feels" like a bad thing, I tend to get more writing done when I have to "fight" for the time. So here's hoping!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fun Saturday

So today is a writers' group meeting :D In this one, we usually attempt an exercise, or even write to a prompt. This week's was kinda fun, so I thought I'd share.

Exercise: write about a child's monster.

This is rough and just written :( But have a look! :D


Taysha pushed herself against the wall and hoped the shadow fully obscured her. She heard the creature before she saw it. Their clawed feet clacked against the stone. Then there were two and they walked like they owned the castle. But it was her father's. The castle was her father's.
One stalled, right in front of her. She caught its gaze, and looked downward immediately. It didn't notice, right?
Those large yellow eyes in a gray-leather face seemed to see everything. White robes hid its body below the head.
Taysha held her breath. She studied the stone, instead, and listened for any movement. Anything. The world about her seemed gray. Everything gray, colorless.
She squeezed her eyes shut, and tears slid down her cheeks.
The creature continued on. There was only shadow. Darkness. She was alone in the hall once more.
Taysha slid to the floor and the sobs came, wracking her small form. She buried her head in her knees, and tried to smother the sound of her crying in her woolen skirts. Why were there so many now? Why did her father and brother never seem to see? Did they know about Lyttera and Denjic? They couldn't know about her friends.
She wiped her eyes with her palms and lifted herself up again. She was Taysha Koarv, daughter or a Kordic Kosa Lord, nothing should be able to make her that weak. The monsters should not posses such power, and it was within her control to grant. Or so she told herself as one hand gripped the stones of the wall, squeezed. When she released her grip, she crossed her arms about her narrow chest, and stalked off toward her suite. It was too dangerous for her friends here, it was time to smuggle them back to Yissera's place.
There was a hiss. Taysha stopped where she stood. The hiss turned to a growl, and clacking, scraping resumed. Faster than before. It was running.
Taysha didn't wait, she ran. She dodged about three corners and down a flight of stairs. The monsters followed her, hissing, clacking, and growling. Her world condensed to her feet, her pulse and her breath. But one part of her mind detached, knew where she was running, and marked each landmark, prompted her to turn. Somehow she got to her rooms ahead of the creatures. She slipped into the room, slammed the door behind her.
Lyttera looked up, she was sitting in the chair, holding her toddler brother.
“Time to go,” said Taysha managing a strained but even tone. A talon scraped the door behind her.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Breaking the Rules Blogfest!

Thank you Elizabeth Mueller for hosting the Breaking the Rules blogfest! Go Check out Elizabeth's Blog to find all the other awesome entries. As I am working on commenting ...enjoying the blogfests but still getting into the swing of incorporating them into my daily routines...I read and commented first on several of the blogs. There are some really excellent posts! So yeah, people, go check them out!

This morning I was writing part of a new piece. It's one of those "I won't know how I feel about this until I'm done with it," pieces. So for the blogfest I dipped into the files on my laptop that have arrived on this hard drive having survived two desktops, and two laptops to be shelved...But I just can't bring myself to delete it...The style of the following passage and what I was working on this morning is so insanely different, I'm shaking my head right now. And that has nothing to do with the rules, I'm certain you can spot tons that I'm breaking! Not to mention my public-school trained spelling and grammar :( A little toooooo apparent, I fear.

Background: Same world as other High Fantasy WIP, different era, different geographical region :( Was shelved about 6 years ago, and other than 50 pages of a rewrite that barely taps this draft (and itself was shelved for going nowhere right yet) it has not seen the screen in a good while.

Warning: spelling is atrocious. My roughs are a grammarian's nightmare. Just saying...a little too embarrassing to read all the way through and correct it :( So it is what is... Let me know what rules I'm breaking here :D


There were three sisters, the gaurdian, the lady and the sorceress. Kessiry was the last, the eldest of the three and the first to have the necklace sear her throat and leave the tattoo...the mark of her heretige and destiny. Tellis, the youngest, lived in the city of Jeztor, a Culla-Korlatz, she was, a guardian Called to defend the city during its first years. Tellis watched the stones pile up and form a shape reflecting in every minute detail the city Tellis' mother had left so long ago. Pehryne's Call surprised everyone. She was a lady, born and raised in the courts of Tevric, she was to be the child spared. The normal, pampered, middle daughter. Then the Korlatz mark burned her too, and she was sent to the south, to Southern Ekliri. Her sisters knew that she likely went beyond, went into regions they could not imagine. That their sister could survive the Curse neither doubted verbally, but when the eldest and youngest met, a meloncholy shadowed their words, their faces...and the sorceress began to look for answers to elementry questions.
Kessiry was known to gather ancient works and every northern Kingdom at war gathered the texts in massive supplies, stacked high and high in their libraries. When Kessiry, her tattoo ablaze with Draden's Gold arrived to end the fighting, as was always the situation--the Kings attempted to sway the Korlatz with promise of the hidden volumes. She would not, could not, be swayed, for it was Draden's desire that Don-Yin be fully at peace. Whether Gold was needed, or swords or diplomacy, Kessiry always won out over the Kings and Queens of Aylerone. The texts they spent such time aquiring, those would vanish with Kessiry.
Between Calls she would sit with paper bound carefully into a book, so rare in those times, and carefully would she record whatever useful history, whatever clue hid in the ancient writings. However, she soon learned that the older the scroll or book, whatever it was she found, the harder it was to understand. Raised as a noble, and special even among that prized class, Kessiry was as well educated as she possibly could have been, and it was not that the language was so different from her mother's Rextian toungue--for that was what all the works were composed in--it was more as if the words would not stay in her mind. She could never remember it. Even after translating it into the modern trade-language, she could not understand it. She would frown and puzzle over herown script, which had the same effect on her as the old writtings.
Then, looking more closely at her surroundings when Called to the Northern shore, the Western and Southern Ekliri...she saw a resemblance the land had, the people had, all over the Kingdoms and even deep into the Cursed Land.
"Tellis," she told her sister when in Jeztor one day, "I do not know what I see, but the is more as if it is one realm than a dozen states and nomadic Eklirites and--"
"That is silly, 'Siry.How could that be?"
"I--I would not know. Sometimes it is like I am glimpsing the past, into a time I am not intended to see."
"The Jeztori believe that knowledge of the past is important, sister, they have preserved centuries and of centuries of histories, gathering them from these lands and some brought over from Kottia-RExtian. There is nothing--"
"I have the oldest volumes Tellis," Kessiry leaned forward in her chair, "not they." She set her cider mug atop the small table withn a loud thunk.
Tellis looked nervously at the mug, then back to her sister, her voice was a whisper. "Y-you would know better than I, then, Kessiry."
"What does it mean?" She mumbled, staring at some distant point, something beyond Tellis and which the younger woman knew did not exist.
"Maybe you weren' meant to know?"
"And who do I gather this for?" her arm swept the room, but indicating nothing in it. Clearly in reference to--
"Someone else?"
Kessiry stared at her. Tellis did not flinch under her sister's peircing gaze, but remembered how Pehryne always had..."Who else?"
"Do not think in the present, Siry. There were an uncountable number who lived before us and yet more to after. How can you possibly know?"
The sorceress smiled. "Tht is it then. The future. Thank you Tellis." She stood and strode quickly, distractedly almost, from the room.
"Si-Siry!" Tellis stood, bent to pick up the mug, the ran after her sister, "Kessiry! What do you--"
Kessiry paused by the entry door, a hand already on the carved wooden doorknob already. "The one word I remember the most, Tel, is 'Azoryn.'"
Convinced that a descendant would be able to comprehend thew knowledge she had so painstakingly copied, Kessiry finnished the diary and when time turned and her daughter Nevla was Called, the book and family necklace were given into her keeping. Time turns quickly yet, and Nevla passed booth to her son.