Dragon Miscalculation

Here’s the last of my writing exercises from the last meeting. A fun little piece (which deserves a fun little picture) from a triumvirate of odd words:

popcorn, fox, hustle,

The queen sat on the makeshift throne, the silver cape lined in fox fur thrown
over the stump. Her face was rigid, and her eyes were cool as she gazed out at
the motley assortment of woodland folk in front of her.
“What is the meaning of this?” she demanded, her voice as regal as her
The gathered creatures shuffled and looked at the others on either side of them,
hoping someone would step up and take charge. No one did. “I do not have all
day,” the queen said, her voice hardening further.
“Tell me what is the meaning of this?” She threw her arm out and pointed at the
mounds of fluffy white material that covered the fields for as far as the eye
could see.
A small fairy with blue wings stepped forward, bowed hastily, and then again, as
if this would buy him time.
“Well, your majesty, you see, it went like this,” he began, and then coughed
“They stole it from us first!” an angry voice shouted from the back, and a
chorus of agreement sounded out.
It disappeared immediately when the queen raised her hand. “You’ll have to start
at the beginning.”
“Those humans stole our magic jewels,” the blue fairy said in a bolder tone, now
empowered by his fellows. “We just wanted to get them back. So we came up with
this idea, for a hustle, you might call it.”
“That doesn’t explain why the farmers crop is now popcorn,” the queen said.
“We needed a distraction,” the little fairy told her, and glanced at the red
dragon at the other end of the group. “Ember flew overhead and set the field on
fire. We thought it was just going to burn, we didn’t think it would do that.”


A little tidbit: the Ink Slingers are going to be at Tampa Bay Megacon this coming weekend Saturday 30th of September through Sunday 1st October. It would be awesome to see you, come pay us a visit in Artists’ Alley!

More soon,

❤ DragonBeck

A Day for Dragons

Last Wednesday was just a day for dragons, there’s no contesting it, and it bears commenting on and recording for posterity. Not only was I wearing my favorite dragon shirt, but three new dragons came into my life.

A surprise package showed up in the mail, and I got this lovely soap from my sister and her boyfriend:

Now my whole room smells like dragon’s blood 😉

A new friend gave me this cute little guy – he’s good luck, and the card gives the traits of the dragon according to one version of the Chinese zodiac (you are eccentric and passionate; have good health but complex life; marry a monkey or a rat late in life; Avoid the dog!):

And finally (these are in time order) I got this from my favorite gargoyle:

Because one can never have too many dragon necklaces!!

I’m very happy with the additions to my growing collection. Feel free to share pictures of your favorite dragons – I’d love to see them!!

❤ DragonBeck

Warmup to the Great Doom – 2nd Writing Exercise

On this last day of February (that’s 1/6 of the year gone already!) I give you the second ISG writing exercise.

I like this one for a number of reasons. First, I managed to get a dragon in there! Second, I managed to get “xenophobia” in as well – one of my favorite words. Third, the title amuses me 🙂

As a grammar note courtesy of Jen: as “warmup” is being used as a noun, it’s one word. When it’s used as an adjective, there’s a hyphen, and it becomes “warm-up”.


Gargoyle, warmup (my word), doom,

“This is just a warmup to the great doom the overlord will unleash on the
Gredden tuned out the droning words and looked around at the gathered creatures.
They had come from all corners of the known world, unicorns and centaurs from
the south, gargoyles and goblins from the north, elves from the west, dwarves
and trolls from the east. Gredden was the only representative for men, and every
time he glanced at his fellow representatives he felt more and more inadequate
and useless.
“We must unify to protect ourselves,” the old centaur continued in his booming
baritone, the silver beard falling to his navel, his front hoof punctuating his
words. Grumbles greeted his last statement, as the proud races immediately threw
up figurative walls of distrust and xenophobia. It took a long time for the
centaur to restore order and a measure of quiet for him to continue speaking,
but as he opened his mouth, a shadow fell over the gathering.
Gredden looked up along with all assembled to behold the awesome and terrifying
sight of the gleaming scaled form of a red dragon coming in for a landing.

One final word – I should be getting book four of Guardians of the Path back from my editor any day now, so I’m really looking forward to that! I’ll keep you updated on how that’s going, when it will be released, and maybe have a sneak peek or two for you!

❤ DragonBeck

Dragonlore – A Stories My Friends Started

The ISG meeting was moved on a week, so in the interim, in place of writing exercises, here’s another one of my favorite Stories My Friends Started.

Anything with dragons is bound to catch my attention, and as Mr. Tolkien said, it simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons. 🙂

For Jenifer D’Elia Paquette. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting a dragon in here. As Erika would say, I heart your face.

“No,” her brother insisted, “Today it’s your turn to defeat the dragon.”

He did not mean a real dragon, of course. There hadn’t been a dragon sighted in the realm of Catania for a hundred years, only rumors and speculation. But the Greybeards remembered and uttered their warnings in gravely voices, so the villages trained their wizards to fight. Young Fina and Flor D’Elia were the only wizards in the village of Orado.

They stood together in the small clearing, singed tree stumps littering the grass, painted dragons nailed to treetops swaying in the breeze. Flor wore his old blue coat with the hood pulled up. Fina was in a sensible dress, suede boots muddy from the trek up to the practice grounds.

Fina shook her head, dark blonde hair flying over her shoulder. “I practiced all day yesterday. Look. I still have burns on my hand.”

Flor glanced at her scorched fingers and was put out. He brushed hair that was noticeably darker than it had been some days ago out of his eyes. “Right. I just don’t feel up to it today.”

He did look a little flushed and his eyes had an unusual glaze. A stab of worry pierced Fina. Since their parents had died in the fire, Flor was the only family she had and she wasn’t going to lose him as well. Which meant she had to take care of him. She put the back of her hand against his forehead.

“You’re burning up!”

Flor put his own hand up to his head. “It doesn’t…”

Fina gave a cry and snatched his hand, turning it over. The silvery sheen of scales went from the inside of his wrist to his palm and partway up his thumb.

“Flor! When did this start?” Fina asked.

He took his hand back and cradled it on his chest. “A little more than a week, I think.”

“And it has spread so far? We have to go to the Greybeards…”

“No!” Flor’s eyes were panicked. They were a brighter green than normal, the pupil more slitted. “No. I don’t think that is a good idea.”

“They’re the only ones who have any chance of helping you…”

“No one can help me. Please, Fin, don’t tell anyone.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know,” Flor said. “Maybe it will go away.”

He sounded so hopeful, Fina wanted to believe it. Dragon Fever was not common but it didn’t “go away”. No matter what the Greybeards did, they had not managed to cure it. If it progressed too far…Fina didn’t want to think about that. She began to cry. Flor patted her arm and she threw her arms around his neck. Then she remembered what he had and drew back with a gasp.

“It’s not contagious,” Flor said.

“You don’t know that,” Fina sniffed.

“Why are all the cases isolated, never widespread?” Flor countered.

Fina started crying again. “Because they’re killed before it spreads.”

Just last winter in the neighboring village of Kreptin, a man caught the Dragon Fever. The scales crept up his arm to his neck before the Greybeards were called. Nothing they gave him slowed the spread. He was in so much pain his screams could be heard two valleys over. Before spring, they cut off his head and burned his body to prevent it from spreading. Even so, no one went to Kreptin until after the summer cooled.

“I’ll think of something,” her brother tried to reassure her.

“What? What will you think of that hasn’t already been thought of?”

“I have time,” Flor said. “A little, at least. I will have to hide, though, or everyone will panic.”

A crazy thought came to Fina, riding on his words. Five minutes ago, she would have scoffed at anyone who said something like that. But the more she thought about it, the more it seemed like the best thing to do.

“The Hermit,” Fina said. “You have to go to the Hermit.”

The Hermit was an ancient story, a half-human beast gone mad and deformed by the Fever. He hid in the mountains and would carry away bad children who did not listen to their parents.

“The Hermit is a myth. Besides, he cannot be found if he doesn’t want to be,” Flor said. “And what could he do anyway?”

“They say he had the Fever and he survived.”

“They also say he cut off his own leg,” Flor said. “That doesn’t sound appealing.”

“And dying does?” Fina said. “I don’t care if he doesn’t want to be found. I can find him. I will find him.”

They left the village quickly and quietly and journeyed into the wild. They camped under trees and in small caves when the mountain allowed. Fina was mentally scrambling, trying to think of a way to find the Hermit.

They went over ground twice, sometimes three times. Fina used her wizard power to see the unseen and track that which wished to remain hidden, to no avail. A week passed, then a month. As the days wore on, more and more of their time was spent finding food. Flor ate a lot and still complained of hunger. And he grew.

Fortunately, though the Fever started quickly in Flor’s case, it spread slowly. Now the silver scales crept past his shoulder and into his chest. His nails hardened into sharp black claws. His eyes flashed reptilian more often now, but Flor always returned.

They never did find the Hermit. The Hermit found them. He woke them with a rough shake, his eyes stormy. He leaned on a crutch, one leg gone at the knee.

“I have been following you for almost two weeks now,” he grumbled. “If I didn’t do something, you two would wander around here forever while you cleaned the forest out of all easy game.”

“We need help,” Fina said. “My brother is ill.”

“You don’t need help; he needs help,” the hermit said. “Come with me. Quickly, and do not speak.”

He took them along winding trails only he saw, narrow passes that were little more than cracks in the stone, behind a giant waterfall to his home. He lived in a dry cave with no furnishings save one stool and an old chest.

Flor stood, hunching in the cave. He had always been taller than Fina, but now he towered over her. His teeth were sharp when he smiled. “It smells like dragon.”

The Hermit grunted as he hobbled over to the hearth. It was large and filled with glowing coals. He stoked them into a blaze. Fina started to sweat. Flor didn’t appear to mind, and sat close to the flames.

“Though the Fever is gone, I still like the warmth,” the Hermit explained.

“So you did have Dragon Fever!” Fina exclaimed. “How did you cure it?”

“The Fever, it is not an illness that you can cure. It’s a transformation.”


The Hermit raised an eyebrow. “What do you think?”

Flor and Fina looked at each other. “Dragon,” they mouthed to each other.

“What do we do?” Fina asked.

The Hermit indicated the cave and his missing leg.

“What if I didn’t want that?” Flor asked before Fina could say anything. “You say it’s not fatal…”

“The transformation isn’t. But you would be hunted down and killed,” the Hermit said. “Like the rest.”

“You mean…?” Fina couldn’t finish the question.

“The Dragons were our brothers and sisters,” the Hermit said. “They came from us, our own flesh and blood.”

It didn’t occur to Fina to question the fact; the words struck a chord of an ancient song sleeping inside her and the music resonated to the marrow of her bones. The Hermit spoke the truth. “We have to tell the Greybeards! They have to know…”

“My dear, sweet naive child. They already know.”

“But what about the potions? Why do they…kill them?” Fina asked.

“They try first to kill the victim quietly with poison. But hardly anything thing can kill a dragon. If the Fever is too advanced, the poison won’t work. So they have to do it by beheading.”

Fina stared at him, horrified. “Why?”

The Hermit shrugged. “They weren’t exactly forthcoming with reasons when I asked them. But it is an ancient hurt, I feel, one that has carried down through ages.”

“What happened?” Flor asked.

“In the beginning people, wizards and dragons lived in peace together. But the Greybeards were jealous of the power of the wizards and they feared the most powerful of wizards, those who eventually became dragons.

In an event lost to history and buried by the sands of time, the dragons were betrayed and outcast by the Greybeards. The people and the wizards followed their leaders, certain they would not be misled. The dragons attacked the people of Catania in retaliation for the injustices. And the dragon war has gone on ever since.”

“How does the transformation work?” Flor asked, scratching his shoulder-blade.

“The magic,” the hermit explained.

“Not possible,” Fina said automatically, earning an irritated look from the hermit.

“You shoot fire from your fingers. You have spells to deflect things that come towards you, like a dragon’s scales. Some wizards can even levitate, as a dragon can fly. What exactly is not possible?”

Fina had no answer for that. “Does that mean I’m going to become a dragon?”

The Hermit shook his head. “You have the magic, and your children will have it. But that doesn’t mean that you will become a dragon, just that you could. It doesn’t happen to everyone, obviously.”

Fina’s world was tumbling down, and she tried to find something, anything, to grasp onto that would make everything make sense again. Before she could do that, Flor started to cough with violent heaves. He put his hand over his mouth and it came away red. The Hermit gave him something to drink from a worn clay cup. Flor smiled drowsily and lay down beside the fire, almost in the coals.

“The Fever is too far gone,” the Hermit told Fina, drawing her away. “It has reached his organs. He has only two options: to allow the thing to run its full course or death by beheading. No other way will kill a dragon.”

Fina’s insides crawled around as if she were the one changing. “What will happen if he turns fully?

“That has not happened in a very long time,” the Hermit said. “Most of the Dragonlore has been forgotten.”

“Oh. Do you think it will it hurt?”

“Some muscle cramps, nausea, lethargy but very little pain. The transformation is gradual so the stress on the body is not too great.”

Fina was glad for that. An agonizing transformation was not something she would wish upon her brother, but she would never be able to sentence her brother to death. She would just have to find a way to deal with having a dragon for a brother.

“What will he be like when it is over?”

“He will always be your brother, Fina,” the Hermit said. “The magic changes the body, not the soul.”

“But his eyes, they turn Dragon and then Flor comes back.”

“Because the eyes are different does not mean the person looking out of them is not the one you know.” He paused. “Where is your family? Your parents? They must be worried about you.”

“Our parents died in a fire when we were young.”

“What happened?”

“The word Dragon was thrown around, though no one actually saw it. Flor was badly burned but the Greybeards put a poultice on. There’s no scar.”

The Hermit snorted. “The Greybeards are witch doctors with snake oil and rattles. Flor is a wizard; he healed himself.”

“He’s always been strong. After our parents died, we always leaned on each other, but I think Flor did it to make me feel better, to make me feel normal,” Fina said. “He never cried as a child, and he understood things before I explained them, sometimes he knew things even before I did.”

“He’ll be alright,” the Hermit said. “I will do my best to see to it, whatever happens.”

“Thank you. He likes you, you know,” Fina smiled. “He feels comfortable here. See the blond tint to his hair? His hair gets lighter when he feels safe. It was black when you found us, now it is almost white again.”

The Hermit started. “What?”

“It’s one of Flor’s oddities. He had very blond hair as a child. After the fire, it was dark, almost black. At times it lightened. Never as much as before, and then it would turn back, but…what?! What’s the matter?”

“Nothing. It’s just unusual. How is your Dragonlore?”

“Incomplete, evidently. Backwards, a lot of it,” Fina said. “Why?”

“Something…vague. About…shapeshifters, no… changelings! The Lore says something about changelings. ”

Fina didn’t particularly like the sound of that, but things could hardly get any worse. “What’s that?”

“Changelings are very powerful. Not just a dragon or a wizard, but either or both. At will. Maybe…” the Hermit trailed off, eyes pensive as he looked at the bulk of Flor sleeping by the fire.

“Flor is…is a…a changeling as well?” Fina asked, wondering how much more she was going to have to cope with today.

“I don’t know. What you said…the signs are there. We’ll have to wait until the Fever runs its course,” the Hermit said. “He can’t shift in the middle of it.”

“What do we do?”

“Flor will know. The Dragonlore resides within the dragons; a shadow of it resides within wizards. It’s the Lore that tells you I speak the truth. I have the Lore, but it’s faint now, after so many years. Flor…well, he’ll know. We just have to wait.”

Fina shivered despite the warmth from the fire. Flor slumbered, the flames licking his body yet not even his clothes burned. The Dragonlore whispered to Fina, telling her that all their lives were never going to be the same. And she had no choice but to believe it.

New Year’s Resolutions, 2017

So here we are yet again, at the birth of another year, and as it is our goals and dreams which pull us along through continuum of time, I shall endeavor to set forth mine for 2017.

I will, of course, carry over anything which I failed to get done in 2016, but I’m going to be more concise this year, as I want to have some time left to actually go out and do these things, not just write them down.

So, here goes:

  1. Write. A lot.
  2. Read. Not quite as much as I write, but at least some.
  3. Keep Erika happy with my quota of Stories My Friends Started (if you’d like to help me with this particular resolution, go to Storiesmyfriendsstarted.com, and give us a sentence to start!)
  4. Write/publish stories in the much-anticipated sequel to The Death of Jimmy – The Purge of Jimmy (coming soon).
  5. Write/publish stories in Super Useless (coming sooner).
  6. Get my 2017 anthology in on time and within the specified word count.
  7. Publish Book IV of the Guardians of the Path series.
  8. Write first draft of Book V of GOTP (and dare to hope it will be published at the end of the year).
  9. Write a novella series (or two).
  10. Savor the coffee. Let the Force flow through me…
  11. Spend lots of time with my family.
  12. Spend lots of time with my amazing companions in the Ink Slingers Guild, drinking tea, laughing, and being awesome.
  13. Be awesome in general.
  14. Spread the awesomeness.
  15. Bake yummy things.
  16. Make some good memories.
  17. Do something that I haven’t done before.
  18. Go somewhere new.
  19. Don’t spend too much time on the internet (very important).
  20. Find that dragon, and travel the world a-dragonback (from 2016).
  21. Take over the world (also from 2016).

And there you have it. Now it’s on the internet, and I can be held accountable for it come the end of the year. I doubt that will stave off the procrastination – alas, it is in the ink which flows through my veins 😉

I do wish you all a very happy, happy year in which you flourish and prosper beyond your dreams! I look forward to sharing it with you!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

Dragon Murder Mystery

The final Ink Slingers Guild meeting of the year was on December 14. I’ve been quite busy with the holidays – cards, letters, baking, – that I’ve fallen behind with posting my writing exercises from the meeting.

Here’s a nice little three-part continuation. Enjoy!

waxy, tease, pain,

Sebastian crouched on the floor, and ran a finger through the waxy-looking
“Blood,” he announced. The inspectors shared doubtful expressions.
“It’s not like any blood I’ve seen,” the short one on the left muttered to his
“That’s because it’s highly unlikely you’ve ever seen a wounded dragon,”
Sebastian said with a pointed glare.
He stood suddenly, his keen blue eyes sweeping the giant hall, looking for more
clues. Lines and scents teased him, telling him part of the story, but not all
of it. He could almost see the dragon, shuddering in pain, cloaked in a musk of
seldom-known fear, dragging its tattered wing along as it made for the door,
hissing and snapping, acidic drool hitting the floor and searing the burnt spots
in the trail parallel to the blood, using its teeth to keep its attacker at bay.
Its attacker, Sebastian mused to himself. Therein was the mystery.
Though he had swept the room upon arriving, and again upon seeing the blood, he
could find no trace of the attacker. For a third time, he began to look,
clearing his mind of all that he had seen before, and in the fresh haze of
concentration in this new look, he saw what he had missed.

explode, order, water, (I’m guessing about these words, because I forgot to write them down *sheepish smile*.)
“It’s too perfect,” he announced.
The inspectors looked at Sebastian as if he had lost his mind.
“It’s too perfect,” he repeated, but if he hoped to banish their nonplussed
looks, his hope was sadly misplaced. “It’s a setup. There was no dragon.
Someone, yes, I believe I know how this was done.” He walked along the trail of
smeared blood. “Someone dipped a sheet in dragon’s blood, and dragged it along
here. Then, of course, being familiar with dragon anatomy, knew that in a pained
frenzy, they would begin to salivated, and that the saliva is acidic enough to
melt stone. They took a dropper, and spattered some acid about here.”
“That’s all very well and good,” the second inspector broke in, “But where’s
someone going to get dragon blood?”
“And wouldn’t the acid melt the dropper?” the other added in with a smirk that
infuriated Sebastian and made his face heat.
But now was no time for pettiness. Too much was at stake. “Not if they got it
from an apothecary,” Sebastian said, plans and courses of action exploding from
all corners of his mind. He had to take a moment to quiet his thoughts, ordering
them so they would be useful and productive. He pointed at the short inspector
with the chocolate brown eyes and the sandy hair. He liked this one better.
“You. I need a list of all the licences apothecaries in a five league radius.”
“What should I do?” the other asked when Sebastian stood there, lost in thought.
“I need a glass of water,” Sebastian told the obnoxious inspector, pleased to
have something to put him in his place. “I’m quite thirsty.”
picture, giant, bottle,

The inspector returned with the list Sebastian had requested just as he was
finishing his glass of iced lemon water. The inspector came up and thrust the
piece of parchment at Sebastian, and gave his glowering companion a sidelong
glance of sympathy. Sebastian chose not to comment. He handed the glass back to
the sullen inspector, and looked down at the list.
“There’s only one name on here,” he said.
The inspector shrugged. “What did you expect? This is just a little town.”
A little town indeed, Sebastian thought, with a giant problem. “Lead on then.”
“What do you mean?” the man asked, the picture of confusion.
“I’ll need to go to this establishment,” Sebastian explained patiently.
The inspector stared at him. “I don’t know where it is,” he finally told
Sebastian. “You just said you wanted the name.”
Sebastian sighed. “Who can take me here?” he asked, choosing not to argue with
the man’s flawed logic.
“Old Jonny might,” the inspector who held the glass piped up in a grumpy voice.
“He’s always taking something for this or that.”
“Take me to Old Jonny then,” Sebastian said, gesturing at the door.
The inspector scratched his head. “Don’t rightly know where he’s at. He could be
anywhere,” he hurried to explain at Sebastian’s glower. “We could be wandering
around until supper time and not find him.”
“Where’s he most likely at?” Sebastian asked.
“The tavern,” the inspectors chorused. “Romancing the bottle.”
Great, Sebastian thought, I have to consult the town drunk.


ISG is on a short hiatus for the holidays, but we’ll be back and rocking in 2017

So, until next time then!!

❤ DragonBeck

Guardians of the Path: Omens

I’m very pleased to announce the third installment of The Guardians of the Path series: Omens will be arriving shortly.

The book will be available for purchase on 23 November 2016.

Omens Full Blurb only

I’ll have some teasers soon!

❤ DragonBeck


Looking for this?

After the fortnightly Ink Slingers Guild meeting happened eight days ago, I’ve been writing away on the next installments of the Guardians of the Path novels, but I’ll take a break for a few minutes to fulfill another conquest from that meeting.

It was good fun per usual – I think my tweet about sums it up:

Here’s the first exercise of the evening!


stuffy, cold, perceive,

The tomb was stuffy and cold. Linda couldn’t help imagining dead, rotting fingers groping for her, eye-less skulls grinning at her as she walked to her doom. Her hand trembled as she held out the torch. The passage seemed endless, foot after foot of stone. She passed little alcoves, some with coffins, some empty, and tried to walk faster. Then she ran up against a dead end, a wall of brick.
She dug the instructions out of her bag, and held it up in the light. Then she counted the bricks ten rows up, and four in, and gave it a solid shove. Something sucked it back into whatever lay behind the wall. Linda made a face, and reached into the hole it left, feeling around for the key.
Her fingertips perceived rough gouges in the stone, as if a hand with claws had been doing exactly what she was doing now. She leaned further in, now in the hole up to her elbow. Now her imaginings turned to razor sharp teeth tearing her flesh…she pulled away, shaking. It was empty.
“Looking for this?” a voice behind her growled.

❤ DragonBeck

Shout out to the Ink Slingers Guild

I want to take moment to tell a story about how I met some of the greatest people I have ever known.

I’ve been writing for about 12 years now. I sat down and wrote my first novel, longhand, on anything from to notebook paper, to flyers, to scraps of paper I found lying around and typed it into the computer on Saturdays, when I was fourteen years old (it was called The Three Mountains and the last time I looked at it, it needed some serious editing).

I have learned as a writer, you get these three questions.

1. What do you do? (or as a young person What would you like to do when you grow up?)

Writer: I write.

2. Oh, what do you write?

Writer: Fantasy (or genre of choice here).

3. Are you published?

Writer: …

I was mortally terrified of question #3, or more accurately, of the answer, which was an unfortunate “no”. In fact, I was so terrified that when I was  a younger writer, I would never tell people that I wrote.

I had the idea that I would like to go places with my writing, but I had no plan for that. Until I received a fateful text from my brother, telling me to talk to a woman he worked with. I recently went and found the first email I sent to her, on March 28, 2011 at 9:18 PM:

“Hi Lisa,
My name is Nicole.
I got your email address from my brother, (insert name), who works with you. He told me about this inksligersguild that he overheard you – or someone else at the office, I forget exactly which – talking about.
I checked out the website that he gave me, and it sounds awesome. I am a fiction writer myself and am very interested in finding out more about it!
If you could email me back with the details of what it is all about and what I would need to do to be a part of it, that would be really great.
Thanks very much,

Yes, I did refer to it as “this inkslingersguild”. Lisa still saw fit to invite me to attend a meeting, and so I went to my first ISG meeting on 13 April 2011. Thusly, I was introduced to, and  subsequently inducted into the Ink Slingers Guild.

The Ink Slingers Guild, as described on the website, “is a group of fiction writers that provide each other support, inspiration and the occasional kick in the arse.”

We are awesome.


(And we have matching shirts).

We get together every two weeks to go over our accomplishments (or conquests, if you want the real, insider lingo), check up on each other, and and get that kick in the arse, if required. Even if someone can’t come to the meeting for some reason or another, we make sure they get the words of the writing exercises, and there’s always Skype:


We support each other in our writerly endeavors, with feedback, beta-reading, proofreading, or providing emotional support when reading aloud in front of real, live people.

isg 2

(Like the time we went to read some Stories My Friends Started at Wordier Than Thou.)

Before the Ink Slingers, I had some talent, passion, and a secret dream. Now I have two novels published, multiple short stories in seven anthologies, and a group of awesome friends. I can honestly say joining the Ink Slingers Guild literally changed my life.

So here’s to Lisa,  Courtenay, Rhiannon, Alanna, Erika (and Dalia), Jen, and Desi:

I’d like to say you guys are magnificent, amazing, and wondrous, and I love you all!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

Writers Meeting

We had our fortnightly meeting of the Ink Slingers this past Wednesday. Our lovey Commander In Chief and Den Mother was away, probably doing top secret things involving gargoyles in the mountains of Romania (otherwise known as the Transylvanian Alps) which look something like this:

romania mountain

(picture from this website: http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/12-05/8-mountain-peaks-to-hike-in-eastern-europe.html)

– so we had a deputy Den Mother chair the meeting, who had the most amazing selection of tea I have ever seen outside of a grocery store. I usually have Bengal Spice, but I went for a different flavor this time, and opted for the blueberry tea. It was quite delicious, and the best part was I had my own personal tea pot, with a matching mug.

In other news, the Goodreads giveaway of First Magyc continues for another 6 days. Enter for a chance to win a signed copy here!

And the release of Book Two, Ria’s Mark is coming up on May 27 (less than 2 weeks away!!). I’m very excited 😀

And that brings us to the fruits of the meeting. Here are my exercises from the meeting – I think I alarmed Alanna with my sudden outburst of evil laughter between #1 and #2, when I found out the words the others had chosen, and realized that I could continue the story 😉

frustrated, specialize, peruse
(my word),

Tera continued her search, despite being increasingly frustrated. As the hours
stretched on, she began to be less and less discerning, until she was simply
perusing the shelves. In all the tomes and books and scrolls, the diary was not
Tera sighed, and pushed her hair out of her face. It was stuffy down here, the
stale air choking her with each breath. But she couldn’t give up now, not after
coming this far. She looked to the next shelf and her jaw dropped. It was there,
sitting there as if her mind had conjured it.
Tera reached out, her hand trembling, unsure if she should touch it. In every
field, there were those who specialized in certain elements of those fields.
When some one specialized further, in an element of an element of an element of
an element of a field of study or practice, either madness or mind-boggling
power resulted. The book before her now, held either.
Or both, she thought. Uncle Henry hadn’t been too lucid or normal in his last
few years. Perhaps it was better if she just left it where it was.

purse, shade, mirror,

Tera placed the large leather purse on the ground, then massaged her aching
shoulder. She had hiked into the woods so far it should be impossible for any
unsuspecting person to find her. But she knew how these things went, so she
hiked a few more miles just to be sure. It was probably her imagination, but the
diary was making that bag incredibly heavy.
After she had stretched out the tightness of her muscles, she began to pull out
the supplies she had carefully gathered. The mirror, the glass of shade,
summer’s last rose, and the other things the spell had specified.
Last of all she pulled out the diary. Though it was no thicker than her thumb,
it seemed one could turn pages forever without reaching the end. That was only
one of the things that made the diary hold no little terror for her. Still, she
had to do this.
She opened it to the page she had marked with a yellow sticker. The spell was
written in her uncle’s messy scrawl, but it was easy for her eyes to follow it.
She put the spell together, said the required words and waited for the spell to
take effect. When it did, it was nothing even close to what she had expected, or
mechanical, steam, buttons (my word),

Harry looked at the mechanical monster steaming and huffing in front of him.
“What do you think?!” Ole Timothy yelled, capering about in delight. He was
covered in grease and his hair stood on end. He looked like an enraged monkey.
“It’s lovely,” Harry said. “What is it?”
“I haven’t named it yet,” Old Timothy cackled. “I was thinking of calling it
“But what does it do?” Harry asked, having to raise his voice over the screech
of the thing’s gears and pistons.
“Oh, let me show you!”
Harry was already regretting his question when the thing started to move. It
lurched one way, then the other. The left foot went out, then back, and the
right foot repeated it. Harry moved his gaze between the metal monster and Ole
Timothy, who was controlling the thing with a flat panel covered with buttons
with strange symbols written on them. It took Harry a while to realize the thing
was dancing, or at least attempting to.
“That’s really great, Tim,” he said. “Really fine. I meant, does it do anything
Ole Timothy put down the remote and the monster fell still. The old man stepped
close to Harry, his eyes gleaming and a slightly manic grin pulling his face out
of proportion. “Useful? Useful, you say? Let me show you.”


Hope you enjoyed! See you sometime in the not too distant future,

❤ DragonBeck