coffee

The Magic Brew (with an appearance by Jimmy)

In preparation for the ISG meeting tonight, I wrap up the exercises from the last meeting with this:

On our third and final exercise of the evening, I read last. I got five words into it, and everyone started laughing. After I was done, we reminisced about our tales of Jimmy In The Death of Jimmy. “We used to kill a Jimmy a meeting,” Erika said, a little wistfully. “We don’t kill enough Jimmys any more.”

Which is true, but sometime he makes an appearance 😉

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trip, blink, coffee,

Jimmy stumbled down the stairs, almost tripped on the dog, and stood there blinking as he tried to remember where the kitchen was. He didn’t remember that, but he did seem to recall this was not in fact his house. He looked around. The dog raised its head, and wagged its tail.
“Nice doggie,” he said.
The dog yawned and went back to snoozing. Jimmy looked around again and decided the most logical place for the kitchen to be was through those doors. He was right. He stood there for a moment, thinking about his next course of action. Coffee, he thought.
It took him five minutes and searching through first the top cupboards and then half the bottom cupboards before he found something which resembled a french press. The coffee was easier. A jar on the bench labeled such beckoned. He took a pot and filled it with water, then set it on the stove. Taking a matchbook out of his pocket, he lit it and watched as the water began to head, pacing around the kitchen.
It was only after his first sip of the magic brew that he became alert enough to begin putting things together. Or not so much together as at least there. He had no idea where he was. He had no memory of getting there. He actually could not remember a single thing before waking up this morning.
“Hello, my dear,” a voice said behind him.
Jimmy yelped and dropped his drink. He spun around, but the coffee had made the floor slick. He had time to marvel at the beauty of strange yet alluring creature with long blue hair and shining wings in the doorway as his feet flew up into the air over his head.

Poor Jimmy!

More to come soon,

❤ DragonBeck

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New Year’s Resolutions

I’m a few days late (I had to think about it for a bit) but here are my resolutions for 2016.

1. Take over the world.
2. Smile a lot.
3. Drink lots of coffee.
4. Publish a novel.
GOTP_FirstMagyc_eBook_Final_Sm ria's mark
5. Get my ISG anthology story in by the deadline.
6. Write some Stories My Friends Started.
7. Maybe publish two novels.
8. Find and tame a dragon.
9. Travel the world a-dragonback.
10. Make magic.
11. Write, every day.
12. Read, when I get the chance.
13. Be awesome, always.
14. Spread the awesomeness.
15. Treat myself once in a while.
16. See Star Wars.
17. Try some new recipes.
18. Make new friends.
19. Eat good food.
20. and chocolate!
21. Do my part to help make the world a better place, before or after taking it over is fine.

So, I’ll be working on the above over this next year, and I’ll keep you updated on progress (or lack thereof). I hope everyone had goals and dreams they’re working towards, and I wish them the best in seeming them come to fruition this year.

I’m sure I’ll see you down the road somewhere 🙂

Peace and Love!

❤ DragonBeck

Five Days of Thankfulness

A little over a year ago, I was challenged by Erika Lance to do Five Days of Thankfulness: once a day, for five days, I had to post three things for which I was thankful. I think this is the perfect time of year to revisit those days.

So, here goes!

I’ve been challenged by Erika to daily delineate three things I am thankful for over the next five days, and as that doesn’t involve dumping a bucket of ice-water over my head, I think I’ll go ahead and accept.
Day 1:
As I’m a day late, I’ll start with:
1) TOMORROWS. And not wholly because I tend to procrastinate. While I don’t think one should use tomorrow as an excuse to waste today, the inevitable progression of time is rather reassuring. The future will always be there to catch you no matter what today sprung on you and take you to a new land where magical, fantastic things can happen.
2) FAMILY. In their own special way (some more special than others), each person I share blood and ancestry with is pretty awesome. Which tends to make me awesome by extension, and that is something to be thankful for.
3) FRIENDS. Those warm, fuzzy, lovable, huggable bundles of support, adventure and a touch of crazy. Although I will admit I occasionally get an itch to find a tiny cabin in a secluded mountain range somewhere with no wifi, and live out the rest of my days as a coffee-drinking, chocolate-eating hermit-writer, I would miss you guys too much. Particularly ISG. I’d really miss you guys ❤

Three things for which I am thankful, Day 2:
1) FOOD. All kinds of food. Cheese. Fresh baked bread. Lasagne with handmade pasta. Yellow cake with strawberries and cream cheese icing (thank you Tesia). Brownies. Good old Cajun boudin and jambalaya. Steak. Biscotti…and on and on. If I didn’t have food, life would suck a little bit.
2) CHOCOLATE. The first recorded evidence of chocolate as a food product goes back to Pre-Columbian Mexico. The Mayans and Aztecs were known to make a drink called “Xocoatll” from the beans of the cocoa tree. In 1528, the conquering Spaniards returned to Spain with chocolate still consumed as a beverage. A similar chocolate drink was brought to a royal wedding in France in 1615, and England welcomed chocolate in 1662.
In 1847, Fry & Sons in England introduced the first “eating chocolate,” but didn’t attract much attention due to its bitter taste. In 1874, Daniel Peter, a famed Swiss chocolateer, experimented with various mixtures in an effort to balance chocolate’s rough flavor, and eventually stumbled upon that abundant product — milk. This changed everything and chocolate’s acceptance after that was quick and enthusiastic. And I’m thankful for that.
3) COFFEE. I don’t think I need to explain this one. It is Liquid Fortification. Ambrosia of the Mortals. Heaven in a cup. The End.

Three things for which I am thankful, Day 3:
1) BOOKS. Portals to other worlds designed by inspiration and characters and plot twists, given substance with words and held together with paper and ink and binding; tickets for a train crowded with all sorts of crazy and interesting people, headed to new and fantastic dimensions and adventures beyond imagination. A life without books would be flatter, shallower, duller, drabber and blander.
2) MAGIC. It makes wizards powerful people and evil Mages terrifying. It exists in all of us to some degree or another, and is found in the strangest places, yet only by people who put it there in the first place. It’s actually what *really* makes the world go round. Gravity is just a government cover-up conspiracy.
3) TOILETS. They’re very convenient. Actually, make that all indoor plumbing. I love hot showers and water available at the twist of a tap to cook and clean with. And reverse osmosis filters, to take the clean water and remove all the crap and chemicals that are put in there, supposedly for our benefit.

The Saga continues…three things I am thankful for, Day 4:
1) SMART PEOPLE. People who use their minds to change and shape the world. People who see solutions, not problems. People who know that “It’s impossible,” is opinion, not fact. People who see that things can be better or more efficient and plan, scheme and dream up ways to make it so.
2) GOOD PEOPLE. Those of goodwill. Who keep the world going with their kind acts, their compassionate words and strong hearts. The people who try to find some way to make the world better each day. And those that keep the world a good place despite all invitation to do otherwise.
3) BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. People who are beautiful on the inside and people who are beautiful on the outside. And people who possess both of the aforementioned beauties. People who are beautiful in all ways, shapes and sizes, for all reasons. They make the whole world more beautiful simply by being.

Day 5 and my last triumvirate of thankfulness:
1) MUSIC. Songs can be a muse, a comfort or an infusion of verve and vigor. They carry you away on wings of sonic awesomeness, take you out of the mundane to the sublime and give you tingles.
2) DRAGONS. Just because.
3) SMILES. The big, bright, happy, fun, slightly mischievous ones. In a flash they brighten the world up to luminous magnificence or magnificent luminescence. Especially Tom Hiddleston’s 😉

 

I hope everyone has a very happy holiday, with many, many things to be thankful for, both great and small 🙂

❤ DragonBeck

 

What Happens When a Writer Goes Camping?

So, what happens when a writer goes camping?

Pretty much the same thing that happens whenever a writer does anything: coffee, story fodder, and tax write-offs.

In all seriousness, camping was a lot of fun. My family and I went out into the wilds for a week. It was cold enough to have ice in the buckets on some mornings (I live in Florida – ice is a novelty, okay?). At night, there were so many stars. We identified Cassiopeia (the constellation) and saw shooting stars (I made the obligatory wish). It did rain for almost an entire day, which was preceded by the spookiest wind I have ever heard (definite story fodder). We ate good food, sat around a fire, and enjoyed nature. I got a nice opportunity to read.

I read books 4 and 5 of D. J. Machale’s Pendragon series, which I am loving (thank you Rhi!), and a large number of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide books (Court, I am all filled in on why I need my towel, and now fully appreciate my present). I finally got to read Brian Rathbone’s The Fifth Magic: Book One of the Artifacts of Power Trilogy, which was very cool – it had dragons! The only thing was it’s the seventh book in the Godsland series, so now I must go and read from number 1: Call of the Herald. My list of books to read grows ever longer.  That’s okay. They have dragons 🙂

I also….wait for it…wrote a little.

Most of what I wrote was a synopsis of the full ten book Guardians of the Path series, in this journal:

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…which makes this journal the single most valuable and important object currently in my possession.

Except for that one other super-magical and secret thing that I am not at liberty to reveal, and my head, of course 😉

Also, during the time spent being one with nature and forgetting that civilization existed (other than the small, virtually unimportant fact that civilization provided the tent, sleeping bags, and ice chest that we used), I started playing with the idea of doing blogs here and there on “five things people forget to mention about ______”.  I’d make it a record of all the things I learn, which seem to be conspicuously absent from the books I read. For example, “Five Things People Forget to Mention about Fire” would include such things as the fact that wet wood creates a lot of smoke that one will cough, splutter and choke on, or if it is a very cold night, a fire will warm you, but only on one side; if you’re facing the fire, your face and hands may be warm, but your backside will be freezing. I think it will be fun and educational, and I did come up with a few topics but promptly forgot them. I’m sure they’ll come back to me.

Then, after spending seven delightful cold and bug-free days in the mountains, we drove back home, arriving at an unmentionable hour in the morning. Upon moving from the vehicle to the Florida atmosphere between said vehicle and my house, a mere 2.4 seconds passed before I was sweating and had a mosquito bite on my ankle. That would be the best way Florida knows to welcome me home, the only way rather, and most likely the first log entry of any alien being unsuspecting enough to land on this bit of Earth. (On behalf on the population of Florida, I offer apologies, but apparently we have really nice beaches, so you should go see them to make up for the rest.)

Tomorrow I will get with my editor on Ria’s Mark (book II of Guardians of the Path) for the first round of edits and rewrites. At some point in the not too distant future, I may even have a picture of the book cover for you to feast your eyes on.

Until next time,

don’t forget to bring your towel,

❤ DragonBeck

A Lovely Lazy Sunday

Getting up without an alarm. Coffee with the family, with the additional treat of biscuits from South Africa (if anyone is curious as to why South African biscuits are just better, I believe the secret is: Oats. Coconut. Golden syrup. Three ingredients you won’t find often, if at all, in American cookies.) An afternoon spent in a bookstore with my uncle. Books. More books. More Coffee.

All in all, it was a very lovely lazy day.

I went to Barnes and Noble for the first time in….too many years, with my uncle who is visiting from South Africa. There are so many books!!! And that’s not even *all* of them (pause for a moment of awed silence).

So many books to read.

So many books that I don’t have to read because they’ve made movies out of them. (Just kidding.)

I wandered among the shelves, picking up anything that caught my fancy for whatever reason, flipped through, put the books back (in the wrong place sometimes). It was nice to just browse, though I admit I made a fairly quick beeline for the sci-fi/fantasy section, and found all the books with dragons on the covers 😉

It really had been too long since I’d been into a bookstore, or even a library. Sometimes, with the internet and Kindles and ebooks and iThings, I forget what it’s like to actually hold a real book of paper and ink in my hands. Truly, that’s why I love to write, and the reason I wanted to write in the first place. Not for the electrons and lights on a screen; while that may be handy and you can carry a library in your pocket, it doesn’t compare to a real live book.  A Kindle doesn’t smell as good either.

When my uncle and I were done wandering through the shelves, we sat and had cappuccinos with cinnamon (a new experience, cinnamon in coffee, but it was quite nice) and talked about stuff. We learned some stuff too, while leafing through magazines, like the fact that war elephants were a big deal before tanks, and they were deadly and pretty much unbeatable, but they didn’t like the sound of pigs squealing, so the Romans would get”war pigs”, cover them in tar and light them on fire in order to scatter the elephants and send them trampling over their own soldiers. Ah, the things we humans think up…

…but back to the here and now and a nice, air-conditioned bookstore serving Starbucks coffee with free Wifi. It was a nice outing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And it inspired me to read more than I do. Sometimes I get so caught up in writing that I forget to read.

I think I should go to bookstores more often. I think everyone should go to bookstores more often. Maybe you’ll see me there and I’ll sign something for you, using the fantastic gold Sharpie marker that I just bought 😉

gold sharpie

I hope you have a lovely night, and don’t forget to read a good book!!

❤ DragonBeck.