Greetings beautiful people!
It has been quite a while since we’ve gotten together for a nice little interweb coffee and a chat to catch up. I’ve been busy – work on “Wasteland” is coming along slowly but surely. I promise to have it out by the end of the year, so help me all that is good in this world, or I might have to do something drastic like give up chocolate until it’s done (gasp!).
I held a Lord of the Rings marathon, and re-watched all the extended versions of the films (yes, all 14 hours of them), and am currently re-reading the books. I am almost done with the Two Towers, and enjoying it more than when I first read it, if that is possible.
The Ink Slingers were represented at Orlando Megacon in May, thanks to the lovely Erika and Alanna.
I submitted a little Guardians of the Path novella to Tor, and was rejected in just 3 days, which must be a record of some kind. I think these authors would tell me to keep calm and carry on, and that is what I intend to do!
I ran my books through the Kindle Unlimited program, but have yet to tabulate the results. If anyone has any information regarding the program and its success or impact, I would be most interested in hearing it!
I am almost done with my submission for the Ink Slingers’ annual anthology – we’re doing a science fiction themed anthology this year, so we’ll see how mine turns out. There are dragons and elves, but there are also flying vehicles and medical scanners, so I’m pretty sure that counts.
And finally, these are my writing exercises from the last Ink Slingers Guild meeting – a little bit darker than usual, but I hope you enjoy!
Relationship, shun, gun, practice.
Brin aimed the gun, closing one eye to bring the target into sharper focus, and breathed out slowly. It took many days of practice to be able to use this other-world weapon, but the fabric of the universe doesn’t allow elemental magic to pass through, so Brin didn’t have much choice. He squeezed the trigger, and rolled back with the recoil. The target dropped, a small black dot against the beige desert sand.
Brin took his time coming down from his rocky perch, and making his way to the dot, which grew larger, and resolved into something that looked like a man but wasn’t. Its face was pressed into the ground as if to shun the world, and the arms were bent at odd angles.
“The universes are a strange place,” Brin said aloud, standing over the dead body. “The relationship between life and fate, or love and nothing, or peace and death, cannot be understood from within, only by someone looking in from the outside.”
The dead body on the ground twitched, and Brin steeled himself, reaching inside for the magic that was no longer there, and hadn’t been for some years. For once that was a blessing and a curse. The creature would have found him much sooner, and Brin’s chance at returning to the plane of existence he should be in would have been lost. The body twitched again, and the head turned upwards.
Cannibal, spoon, beach, display
“Do you think a cannibal got her?” Harry asked, unable to keep the excitement from his voice.
He clutched the tree branch with his legs so he didn’t fall off and waved his hands at her, fingers curled into claws.
Rissa rolled her eyes. “You don’t really believe in that sort of thing, do you? It’s more likely a werewolf.”
Harry pouted, and crossed his arms. “It’s not a full moon, and besides, werewolves don’t eat with spoons.”
Rissa didn’t have a reply for that. They had both seen the picture in the newspaper, the body on the beach, displayed like a sacrifice to a god, its innards gone, along with its tongue and most of its face. The spoon stuck in the sand marked the spot like a tombstone.
“So if it wasn’t a cannibal, and it wasn’t a werewolf, what was it?” a third voice chirped up.
Harry and Rissa looked up. Hidden in the foliage above them, a small face peeped out, eyes bright. Harry winced, and Rissa sighed.
“Marr, you can’t follow us around like this, we’re not friends anymore,” Rissa said, putting her nose in the air.
The effect was lost as she had to look up at Marr anyway. The small boy scampered down, agile as a squirrel, and looked at her hopefully. “I thought maybe you guys had forgiven me by now.”
“No, we’re never going to forgive you,” Harry spoke up.
Rissa nodded. Harry had gotten the worst of that, and Marr knew it. His little face fell, but then a calculating gleam came into his eyes.
“I know where we can find out what really ate the lady on the beach,” he said.
Harry and Rissa were silent, looking at each other with doubtful expressions.
“Do you really?” Rissa asked at last.
Marr nodded eagerly, and shimmied down the tree. “Come on! I’ll show you!”