Author: DragonBeck

2019 – A Look Back

Hello everyone!

Happy New Year’s Eve! In preparation for 2020, I’m going to close out the year by seeing how many of the my resolutions I managed to achieve (and even though I’m not feeling too hopeful that I got many of these done, we’re going to do it anyway, because tradition).

So here’s how I did with my (fine-wine and properly-aged cheese) list of 2019 Resolutions, with commentary in bold and blue:

  1. Be Awesome. (Always!)
  2. Write a lot. (A little bit)
  3. Protect the writing time (this is very important). (So this was an epic fail on my part – sad face)
  4. Submit a story somewhere. (I submitted my book First Magyc to the first ever Epic Fantasy Fanatics Annual Reader’s Choice Awards – and made Quarter Finalist – so that was an epic win!).
  5. Do a public reading. (Nope)
  6. Have a release party. (also Nope)
  7. Read a lot. Specifically:
    1. Finish Return of the King. (Yes!)
    2. On Writing by Stephen King (No!)
    3. The Amazon Ad book. (Yes!)
    4. The Uncle Eric Talks About Series. (I have two left, so 90% Yes!)
  8. Visit the library. (Nope.)
  9. Sell one book per day (on average). (Soooooo close – 0.945 books per day)
  10. Review something awesome. (….I actually don’t remember if I did this or not…, but wait – YES I did).
  11. Book 6 – first draft [I did this – the first draft isn’t complete complete, but I did complete the first first draft (which means the first draft that I go through again before I send it to my editor for copy edits) so….]
  12. Publish Book 6 (optional: with fanfare). (So I did not publish book 6, and there was no fanfare).
  13. Book 7 first draft (Nope.)
  14. Let’s be adventurous: Publish Book 7 (optional: with dragon parade). [Um, no, not even close (what was I thinking?)].
  15. Run a book giveaway! (I did this. I did not get any takers – sad face – but maybe next time!).
  16. Blog (more). (I definitely blogged. I’m not sure I got the “more” part).
  17. Buy new music. (I have a long list of awesome songs like Elevenking – “Silverseal” and King Arthur Soundtrack – Knights March Theme (Hans Zimmer) but I have not actually purchased any of them).
  18. Draw something. (I feel like I could come up with a cheap answer for this, but in the spirit of honesty and growth, I’m going to go with nope)
  19. Play my guitar more than once (I should probably change the strings too). (Nope)
  20. Dress up for Halloween (as something other than “a famous writer incognito/in disguise”). (Nope)
  21. Eat at a restaurant I haven’t tried before. (Yes!!! Baron’s in Johanesburg – it was a lot of fun. I went with my mom, my sister and her husband; we sat by the fire and ordered 5 desserts)
  22. Go to 9th Bar (which I’ve been meaning to do for 2 years). (Nope)
  23. Be Awesome – I’ve decided this will be the first and last item on every years list of Resolutions. (Always).

And I did go ahead and post this list on my wall, so I’m confident about the improved compliance. (I’ve never considered myself an optimist, until this very moment – now I’m older, wiser, and much more of a realist, I think).

Here’s to a year of dreams, dragons, and deadlines (specifically the sound they make as they pass us by)! (And apparently I’m also clairvoyant).

I hope you make the best 2019 you can! [It was definitely a good year, with some bumps explained well here:

but a good year none-the-less (the blog post mentioned can be found here)].

Peace and love (Always),

❤ DragonBeck

Finding Something Called Christmas

This little writing exercise came up as published on this day (here’s the original post)…and I wanted to share again, to celebrate the time of year!

🎄❄️🎅✨🎁🎄❄️🎅✨🎁🎄

She had never felt so frustrated or lost in her entire life. She was supposed to find something called “Christmas” and the wizard had failed to give her a map, or any sort of reliable directions, or even a well-worded hint or two.

Now, she was stuck in this frigid land, where everything was white, except the sky, that was black, all the time, with no idea where to go from here. She had been wandering for a while now, and she didn’t know how much more she could take. Just when she thought it couldn’t get any worse, she tripped on something, and went flying face first into the ground. If it hadn’t been so cold, she would have lay there for a good long time, thinking about her miserable existence, and the worth of her life.

Instead, she sprung up, spat out a mouthful of snow, and because she had nothing better to do, she looked around to see what had attacked her. Something poked out of the white mound, not enough to distinguish what it was, just enough to show there was something more than just snow there.

She bent down, and dug around it. It took quite a while, for more of it kept appearing as she shoveled with her hands, but eventually, she had it laid bare. In the eternal starlight of the far north, it had a sort of forlorn, haunting aspect. It was a large sleigh, or had been in its former life. Now, it was missing a runner, and the front looked like crumpled aluminum foil. Hanging over the bent bar in the front, was a gruesomely grinning skeleton in a red suit.

🎄❄️🎅✨🎁🎄❄️🎅✨🎁🎄

I hope everyone is having a delightful holiday season!

❤ DragonBeck

A Spell of Threes

When the Great War was won, not by men of might with their swords and armies, or the wizards in their high towers, but by the determination and will of woman with pale hair and eyes of fire, and her animal companion, a wolf so black the night appeared as a grey dawn when he came, everyone in the three landdoms clamored for her to take up the crown and mantle of Queen.

She refused, and went back to her beloved wilderness, slipping out of sight of history and time, though whispers of her lingered, entwined with the hushed rumors of the Darkness and its minions and disciples.

The wizards, though they played only a small part in the ending of the Great War, were wise yet, and realized that another shadow like Dagramoth could come to dim the light. And they too knew that they could not count on fortune and the arrival of another savior such as Antha Reignshine to save them from a dark end. And so they scoured the books in their libraries, and they experimented in their towers, and after many years of toil and failure, they created a spell, a spell such that none had heard of before, singular in nature and purpose.

It was a Spell of Threes, the most powerful spell that had ever been cast, so potent that it ignited the paper on which they tried to write it, and it burned out the eyes of the lesser who tried to read it.

And so the preparations for the spell were made ready within the fair city of Nessadril, sitting proud on the neutral reservation where the borders of Elbem, Dorun, and Meldul met, and the home of the Tower, the wizard’s lair and heart of their order.

From the Tower, three wizards were sent to find the weavers to create three cloaks, to imbue the power and will to protect the good, and the people, and the peace within the woof and warp of fabric, to shield from baleful eyes, and deflect ill will.

Three more wizards were sent to retrieve three animal familiars, to offer support, counsel and strength to their human companions.

And three wizards were dispatched to each Landdom, to find a willing woman there capable of holding the power of the spell without breaking. In Elbem in the North, a land of hill and forest, and Dorun in the West, built of mountain and ice, and Meldul in the South, a dessert of red and gold and twisting rivers through the dryness, all waited to see who would hold their future and fate.

When the nine wizards finally returned to Nessadril, they brought with them not three but four women, and tidings of both good and evil. For not even the wisest can predict all, and the Darkness has many faces.

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© 2019 Nicole DragonBeck

Amazing Photo credit to Anastasiya Dobrovolskaya https://www.dobrovolskaia.com/portfolio

P.S. I don’t usually write photo-inspired stories, but this was too stunning, and the imagery quite potent, and I wanted to share ❤

“His Pout Is A Crystal Gift”

The Ink Slingers Guild do a fun writing exercise every fortnight to improve our wordsmithing – it takes about 4-8 minutes per round, and gets the creative juices flowing and limbers up the mental mechanisms in charge of word play. Sometimes, it becomes a game to get all the words in the first sentence, but the result can be a little ridiculous.

pout, crystal, gift (my word), 

“What’s the password?” the voice hissed from behind the tiny hole in the door.

“His pout is a crystal gift,” Taden whispered, cringing even though no one was around to hear him utter that ridiculous phrase.

The whole thing was absolutely unnecessary to the point of being paranoid, but Aurelion wouldn’t let him in if he didn’t play along. There was a click and the hole disappeared, but then the door opened.

“Quickly, quickly,” the voice urged him, and Taden had to speed his last step before his heels got closed in the door.

Inside the room was dim, and he squinted around. “Aurelion?” he asked.

“Don’t say that name,” the voice said sharply.

“What’s wrong with your voice?” Taden said, fighting the urge to roll his eyes.

“It’s just a precaution.”

“So it is you then,” Taden said. “That’s a relief. What if you were an impostor?”

A long silence told him Aurelion was taking his question very seriously, and Taden sighed. “It was a joke,” he said.

“This is not a joking matter,” Aurelion said. “Do you have the final ingredient?”

“Of course,” Taden said, and held out the small sack filled dirt.

It was snatched out of his hand and then the vague figure that was Aurelion scurried into the back room. Taden followed, and choked on the acidic fumes coming from the bubbling cauldron in the center of the room.

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❤ DragonBeck