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

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.


© 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 ❤

Happy July 4th

Happy July 4th everyone!

I hope the day is filled with all the things you want it to be filled with, and a few things you forgot about but need anyway.

For myself, I will be doing some re-writing on book 6, and eating good food.

And of course, watching Stranger Things, which I have recently discovered thanks to my brother and his girlfriend. And by recently, I mean I watched Season 1 and 2 for the first time last week.

Anyway, have a great day, enjoy the fireworks, and take a moment to appreciate the things you have.

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck


Guardians of the Path Update

Greetings good people of Earth!

I come in peace.

And I come with tidings of Demona and the Guardians of the Path.

The adventures are continuing (I promise). I have been trudging along, and a few bandit attacks, coffee shortages, and a few more Other World inconveniences has delayed this writer a bit. But fear not, the Guardians adventure has only been delayed, not thwarted!

I think that you’re really going to enjoy Book 6: the Sorcerer, if how much I’ve enjoyed writing it is any indication. The story lines of the assassin, the Witch, and the princess are great fun to explore, and the Guardians are doing the best they can in the Wasteland. Death’s adherence to His Mandate gets tested further, and there will be a surprise appearance from a historical figure of note…I’ll let you guess who it is.

And I have another exciting update:

In addition to book 6, which should be available at the end of the summer, you can look forward to a short story and a novella set in this wonderful world of the Path, which will be published later this year. If the gods are truly beaming on us, you might even see two novellas! However, as gods are not prone to beaming, I cannot be held accountable if the second doesn’t materialize – so no beheadings or public riots.

As the final piece of news – right now, the first 5 books in the series are available for free in the KindleUnlimited program, so if you have a subscription, check it out!

In the near future, the Cover Reveal for book 6 will be coming soon, as well as some sneak peaks and giveaways!

More soon!

❤ DragonBeck


Flash Lit Challenge #9: The Young Lovers

Very intriguing little flash fiction!

Soundchecking The Void

Vox Ossa

“Hand me that tibia, boy.”

Egan held up a long, slim bone from the pile. “This one, Vox?”

The old man frowned. “No, the thicker one.” Egan quickly found
it and brought it over.

He watched as his master mumbled over the shinbone until it
began to emit a soft glow; one wrinkled hand caressed its contours as the other
picked up a stylus and began to write. This part of the process still awed him,
a full year into his apprenticeship.

Egan turned back to his sorting, but the Vox had other ideas.

“Boy, tell me about this one,” he said in a tone that Egan
knew well: an impromptu test.

He started to approach the workbench, but the old man
stopped him. “From there, if you please. You must learn to listen from a

Egan swallowed hard. The tibia was old; its shade’s voice would

View original post 354 more words

The Opus Imperfectum

Looking through the many files on my computer in my “Stories” folder, I imagine a future…

…a future following the sudden obliteration of civilization on Earth in the year 2019 by a meteor or a zombie Apocalypse. In the future, the decimated human race slowly pulls itself together and builds itself back and one day, a thousand years after the Apocalypse, an archaeologist sifting through the dusty ruins and remains of Earth comes upon…my computer.

With his high tech and sophisticated gadgets, he will recover the archaic bits and bytes, piece them together and begin to read the same files that I read today. In subsequent digs, he will uncover hundreds, thousands more stories of this kind, scattered all over the broken world.

Some time later, he will write a thesis on his findings. He will be invited to speak about his work at an intergalactic archaeology conference, a very prestigious one, probably held on Mars. I can hear him address the great minds there…

“…the predominant genre of literature on Earth at the beginning of the twenty-first century appears to be a curious form of prose wherein the author simply… doesn’t finish the story!…”

He will call it (using Latin, one of Earth’s older and more impressive languages) the Opus Imperfectum (unfinished work) or perhaps Semiperfectus (half finished) or Scriptum est Medium (half written).

A craze will sweep through the stars. People will hold the stories up as philosophic and spiritually enlightening, puzzle over the deeper meaning of the stories, speculate whether the author was writing about the great mystery of life or death or the vagaries of time. Was the premature end meant to teach people to think for themselves or did it allude to Fate? School children will be made to write papers interpreting them and the great writers of the twenty-fourth century will emulate them…

…so if the zombie virus wipes us out, I figure I’m still going to be a famous author.


❤ DragonBeck

Where Are The Dead?

I always like to learn new words, or new ways to use old words, so this writing exercise was fun. Also could go somewhere super cool!

sleep, brake, corduroy

Brake: An archaic definition of brake: (noun) “a thicket”, from Old English bracu (first recorded in the plural in fearnbraca ‘thickets of fern’), related to Middle Low German brake ‘branch, stump’.

or (noun) “a place overgrown with bushes, brambles, or cane” from late Middle English (in phrase brake of fern thicket of fern) Middle Low German brake thicket

Corduroy: (noun) logs laid side by side transversely to make a road surface.

These were much more interesting definitions of the words chosen for this writing exercise, so I used them in the following:


“What do you supposed happened here?” the woman with the crossbow asked, looking at the half-finished corduroy road.

The wagon of fresh logs had overturned, spilling it over the churned up earth and into the brake beyond.

“It looks like there was a battle,” the bald man said, sweat running down his bare back as he rested leaning against the giant ax he carried.

The woman rolled her eyes. “Did you trade your mind for that ridiculous thing you call a weapon? If there was a battle, where is the blood? Where are the dead?”

The man muttered something unpleasant under his breath, and stalked through the wreckage. “Let’s get a move on. We don’t want to sleep in the open again,” he threw over his shoulder, not deigning to look at her as he spoke.

It was her turn to mutter something unpleasant, and then she followed him, though she looked to the left and right with a wary gaze.

After the two had shrunk in the distance, the small figure crept out from behind the wagon, watching the people with bright eyes. “Where are the dead, indeed?” it whispered, and hurried after them.


❤ DragonBeck

Guardians of the Path: Wasteland – UPDATE

Hi there wonderful people!

As you can probably already tell from the picture and title of this post………book 5 is not a bit late, it will be published precisely when it means to be.

In this case, a few more days.

And in the meantime, please enjoy this little sneak peek/preview/teaser of the Guardians of the Path: Wasteland, coming soon to a screen or page near you:


Cedar Jal sat with his back against the tree, his hands under his armpits to keep his fingers from freezing. The tiny flame Ria had conjured flickered bravely in the wind. It didn’t seem to realize it was outnumbered and doomed. Cedar empathized with it.
Jæyd sat next to Timo, their heads close in conversation. The Daleman now had a frown permanently imprinted on his face. The elf stood, placing her hand on Timo’s shoulder for a moment, then came to sit beside Cedar.
“Did you scare Timo with your reaction to this place?” Cedar asked.
“Why would you ask that?”
“His folk don’t like magyc, but invisible magyc that you can’t see was even worse. I can’t say that I disagree,” Cedar stated.
“I told him it would be alright,” Jæyd said. “How are you faring?”
“As well as can be expected,” Cedar said.
Jæyd laughed. “And with our new Ria? How are you faring with that?”
“It’s so odd,” Cedar said. “She was just a little girl a week ago, and now she’s a grown woman.” He looked down at his toes for a long time before he moved his eyes back to Jæyd. “She even looks like Her.”
“I know,” the elf said.
“So that means the Prophecy is coming to pass,” Cedar said.
“She doesn’t know anything,” Cedar said. “I don’t want to tell her, but someone should. She should know.”
“I believe she does, at least part of her,” Jæyd said. “When she-”
She stopped, grabbed Cedar’s arm and hauled him to his feet.
“What is it?” he asked, calling for his bow and only finding his guitar.
Cedar looked, and saw the pair of glowing points just outside the firelight. He tried to call his bow, but the guitar refused to change. Another pair of lights joined the first, then a third, and then they were surrounded. The snuffling breaths and cracking twigs multiplied the number of the creatures, but when Cedar counted the points, he only counted thirteen pairs. Not terrible odds. Though we don’t know what those eyes belong to.
That thought was not a comforting one, and he tried again to call his bow, but the guitar remained as it was. Demonfire.
Timo, Luca, and Ria joined them close to the fire, staring out at the blackness. A series of chattering yips came from behind them, and then answered from in front. The eyes came closer. A gust of wind drove the flames higher, and the eyes retreated.
“They do not like the fire,” Jæyd noted.
“We should make torches,” Timo said.
“Out of what?” Luca snapped.
At the edge of the light, lithe shapes on four legs darted between the shadows, eyes blinking. Suddenly they all went still, eyes wide and fixed. Not a sound was heard. Cedar steeled himself. The shape at the front crouched, light shining off bared teeth.
A far-off roar reverberated through the air, and all eyes snapped to the dark sky overhead. Cedar searched the blackness, and the stars blinking out and back to life, and he thought a shape moved overhead but it was hard to tell with the shifting stars. The roar repeated, closer this time, and the eyes scattered.
The Guardians waited, but they did not return. The roar did not sound a third time.
“We have a guardian angel,” Timo commented.
“An angel with teeth, who probably wants to eat us,” Luca said, and huddled closer to the fire.
“At least we are still alive,” Timo said.
“For now,” Luca muttered in return, refusing to be comforted. Or comforting, Jæyd thought.
“We should get some rest,” the elf said. “We have a long journey tomorrow.”
“I’ll take first watch,” Cedar stated, knowing he wouldn’t be able to sleep.
He took up his position on the log, and watched as the other Guardians found places to lie down. Luca was asleep in an instant. Timo lay down, his hands clasped on his chest, his drums beside his head. Jæyd sat on the ground and used the end of the log as a pillow, her long auburn braid hanging over her shoulder.
The stillness of the night took over, and kept Cedar company as he kept watch. His golden eyes never left Ria, who slept curled up next to the smoking ashes, her head on her arm. Her hair was darker than when she was a child, her face still round but thinner.
Death’s words came back to haunt him. We are at a very special turning point in the confluence of the worlds. Events which are beyond you, and even beyond Me, are upon us. Death had also hinted at impending Chaos. Cedar thought it was very unfair that he was to be the one to prevent or cause it, and yet not know what action or choice would bring about either end.
“Death and His Mandate can go burn in demonfire,” Cedar muttered. “I’m sure He must know, but His lips are sealed.”
Cedar frowned, trying to see where he had gone wrong with the girl, aside from the still tender point that he had killed her using First Magyc. She was too young, at least she had been when she was twelve. The Maker of Marks had been ambiguous about what the girl was or was not, as had Death. How was Cedar to know she would return as Aethsiths?
She stirred in her sleep, and Cedar started forward, then settled back. He didn’t want to smother her. His frown deepened. He was happier than he could express that she was alive, well, and here under his watch, but her presence also stirred up unpleasant memories and feelings. She was more of a mystery now than before, and she didn’t know any more than they did.
He looked skyward, at the strange stars in patterns he didn’t know. Some people believed the stars could answer questions and prophesy. Cedar only knew the stories people wove into the points of light in the sky. He wondered if the people here had stories for the patterns like those in Demona, stories they told their children around hearth-fires.
She is going to die and there is nothing I can do about it.
A wetness stung his eyes, and he blinked. Emotions writhed in his stomach, balling into an unrecognizable mass of agony. He knew there was anger and fear and regret mixed in with the joy and hope. Each heightened the others, and left him wishing he could banish them all.
“Demonfire,” he whispered. “Demonfire demonfire demonfire!”
“Are you trying to bring them down upon us?” Jæyd asked, settling beside Cedar. “Or did you leave something behind in the Other World?”
“It’s not time for your watch,” Cedar said, startled then alarmed he had been so absorbed that he hadn’t noticed her move.
“I cannot sleep,” the elf said, and she leaned back, gazing at the sky. “It is so odd where the currents of the world take us.”
“Odd is one word for it, but not the one I would choose,” Cedar replied.
“Did you ever imagine as a child you would be caught up in such a story as ours?” Jæyd asked.
“Does anyone?” Cedar asked, and his eyes fixed once more on Ria. “Do you think she did?”
“Perhaps,” Jæyd said.
“Do you think I should have kept her with us?” Cedar asked, dreading the answer.
“I cannot say. She was an extraordinary girl, but perhaps it is the woman we need. If she had remained in Demona, she would be the same little girl,” Jæyd said. “And perhaps that would have been enough. Or perhaps she would have died. It was her choice and action to go back, remember? Who can say that was not the best thing to do? Perhaps it was what she needed to do to grow into the woman she needed to be.”
“Now that is odd,” Cedar muttered. “I still cannot wrap my mind around it. How could she have been twelve years old a few weeks ago, and now-” He gestured at the sleeping woman.
“The Worlds are not connected,” Jæyd said. “They float independent of one another through the Voide, like bubbles of golden light in a mist. At least according to the stories of my people.”
“That sounds so simple and innocent,” Cedar said. “Alas for us it didn’t remain so.”
“Good fortune, bad fortune, who is to say but Time?” Jæyd told him.


❤ DragonBeck


This is an Ink Slingers Guild writing exercise, brought to you by me. Enjoy!

sabotage, flabbergasted, saturate, lime,

The woman came down from the dais, her sleeveless lime green dress flowing behind her like sea foam. Natan’s eyes followed her, never blinking to make sure he didn’t miss some trick or sleight of hand. Wonder saturated the gazes of all others, and made him nauseous. He was trying to discover a way to sabotage her plan, but she had sunk her fangs into the hearts of all the king’s subjects, they would no more deny her than they would deny their own need to breathe. Natan tried to see what she carried in her hands, but people shifted and pushed, trying to get closer to the witch woman they idolized. He pushed too, and was rewarded with a clear view of the woman. She was beautiful, with golden skin and dark eyes, but her smile was cruel. He was flabbergasted when he saw what she carried – a child, no more than a year or two old, sucking on its fist. It – for he couldn’t tell whether the child was male or female – had pale blond hair and eyes like sapphires, and shining on its forehead was the mark of seven stars, pale silver against the child’s skin. Shock rocked Natan back on his heels, and he tried to wrap his mind around the impossibility. That woman should be screaming in pain where her flesh met the child’s, yet her look was as serene and cold as ever, not a hint of pain or even mild discomfort as she carried the child out the wide door and into the sunlit square, where more of the adoring citizens awaited their fate with joyous oblivion.

❤ DragonBeck

Sparkly Badgers Easter Egg Hunt

Happy Good Friday all!!

Ready for an epic Easter Egg Hunt which will take place over the interweb from today through to Easter Sunday? Fifteen wonderful and sparkly authors have hidden eggs on their websites and blogs – find all the eggs, collect all the letters and unscramble the anagram, and you get your choice of one of the ebooks above just for hunting! In addition, you’ll be entered in the drawing to win ALL the ebooks and ACTUAL chocolate eggs:

Clues are posted in the Facebook event should you need them – Good luck, and may the eggs ever be in your favor!

❤ DragonBeck

P.S. connect with the lovely authors – they would love to hear from you:

Claire Buss

Margena Holmes

Terry Poole

J Crawford Steel