Guardians of the Path

2018 – A Look Back

Hello, all!

So, the New Year is imminent, and I have to take a moment to look back over how I did this past year.

  1. Be awesome. I’d like to think I achieved this.
  2. Write a lot. Definitely did this – one novel, one short story for the ISG anthology, a little light on the blogging.
  3. Publish book #5.  YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now available on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L2QBLW9
  4. First draft of book #6. Not so much – but I started! And I outlined the rest of the books!
  5. Read. I did read. A bit. I read Redemption by D. M. Kurtz (dragons!), and I re-read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (almost, I still haven’t finished Return of the King).
  6.  (more like 5.5) Read Stephen King’s On Writing. And that’s a nope. But it’s still on my list!
  7. Exercise. Yes. And by exercise, I mean:
  8. Go to Africa. Yes, I did this – for a wonderful 3 week safari family reunion:
  9. Learn to speak better Italian (and I do mean speak, not read or write). Non ho fatto questo. Ma forse l’anno prossimo.
  10. Draw or Paint more. The only thing I drew was a gargoyle on a birthday card for my favorite gargoyle. I’m not sure that counts as “more” though.
  11. Play my guitar. Once. One time. One time I picked up the guitar and played. The rest of the time it stared at me mournfully from its corner of the room.
  12. Write letters. I wrote a few, and sent postcards.
  13. Eat good food, drink coffee, have chocolate. Yes (samosas in Cape Town), Yes (lots of coffee), and Yes (lots of chocolate).
  14. Eat something unusual, that I haven’t tried before. Nothing comes to mind for this, so I’m guessing I didn’t do this (or it wasn’t unusual enough to merit).
  15. Have a Golden Birthday. This I did – for those who don’t know, a golden birthday is the birthday when your age matches up with the day of your birth.
  16. Sell lots of books. I’m going to say yes – I had a stretch where I sold a book a day for a week, which is going in the right direction!
  17. Write some awesome Stories My Friends Started. I did this – you can check them out here: https://storiesmyfriendsstarted.wordpress.com/category/nicole-dragonbeck/
  18. Enter (and win) a contest. I didn’t win anything this year. I suppose I did submit my novella to Tor, so half done?
  19. Buy a mattress. Yes, I did this – it’s wonderful.
  20. Get a better phone. Also did this – I can now post to instagram without bugging my sister: https://www.instagram.com/authordragonbeck/
  21. Focus on the real things: real friends, real communication, real happiness. Previous comment notwithstanding, I think I did alright with this. Next year will be better.
  22. Get a movie/TV series deal. Not yet, but I know it’s coming!
  23. Do something outside my comfort zone. I did a few things like this.
  24. Meet new people. I met some new people in Africa. Also, I went to a book fair and met some cool new people there. And I met one of my brother’s friends from work. Mission accomplished.
  25. Spend time on myself. I took a bath. I love baths (so much more relaxing than showers). I should do that more often.
  26. Spend time on other people. I organized (with my mom) a trip to South Africa for a big family reunion, so that definitely counts.
  27. Find something I’d lost. My mind? 
  28. Give a present that really means something. I gave Court a journal that said “Fucking Awesome” and Lisa a journal that said “Fucking Magical”. This was unbelievably perfect (which you’d know if you knew them.
  29. Do something unthinkable or ridiculous (but not dangerous or illegal). I think I might have been joking when I wrote this. If not……..I think I failed.
  30. Something with dragons (for the English teachers and grammar nazis, yes I know that’s not a complete thought). I got a dragon pendant as a present, so there.
  31. Make a new friend. My new friend this year is Elizabeth, a wonderful woman who read my books and whose love of the Witch V’Ronica gave me a little nudge to actually get book 5 out sometime before I turn one-hundred-and-eleventy.
  32. Be awesome (that merits saying twice). Yep, still pretty sure this counts as done, but as always, improvements can be made.

 

I think I need to make a list and post these for 2019 – that might help with compliance. I’ll put some thought into 2019 resolutions, and most likely steal some of these for next year.

I hope you did some awesome things in 2018!

❤ DragonBeck

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New Release – Guardians of the Path book V: Wasteland

Hello all!

I am very excited to announce that the fifth book in the Guardians of the Path series is now available for purchase:

Wasteland (Guardians of the Path Book 5) Kindle Edition

Nyica, the home of the Coven of White and Black: The appearance of Cedar Rün throws V’Ronica’s world into turmoil and challenges everything she knows. How will she find the conviction to follow him down a path from which she can never turn back?

The Wasteland, a place scared by a terrible past: The Guardians and Aethsiths find themselves forced to trust a stranger to lead them home to Demona, while Ria struggles to come to terms with the power she has accepted yet not fully embraced.

Demona, a land overrun by demons and dark deeds: the Maker continues to recruit his army, Witches make alliances with priests and rangers in the name of the Way of Things, and all those who stand with the Guardians do everything they can to avert the impending darkness.

❤ DragonBeck

 

P.S. The Print on Demand version will follow soon!

ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Hello world!

 

I’ve been rather quiet here of late, working on epic things in my hobbit hole, and I am very pleased to poke my head up for a brief moment to let you know that Book 5 of the Guardians of the Path series Wasteland now has an official release date:

 

* * *

* * * *    29th November 2018    * * * *

* * *

 

If this is the first you are hearing of this epic fantasy series, set in a world where music is magyc, and magyc is under attack by Sorcerers and Demons, check out the first books here.

 

People say very good things about it, like:

 

 

In the meantime, I have to go back to my little hobbit hole and keep my nose to the grindstone – books don’t write and publish themselves.

 

Keep an eye out for some sneak peeks, giveaways, and other cool stuff, and may the Path keep you and yours!

 

❤ DragonBeck

 

Book 5 Cover Reveal

Hello there, good people of Earth!

I come in peace.

And I bring exciting news!

In honor of completing the first draft of Guardians of the Path Book: 5 Wasteland (and getting it to my wonderful editor),

I present to you the cover:

Isn’t it beautiful?

I think so. A bit darker than the previous, but it’s darkest before the dawn (right?).

I’ll be sharing the official release date, as soon as I know it (no one tells me anything around here).

And in the not too distant future, look out for cool sneak peeks, awesome giveaways, and more!!!

❤ DragonBeck

P.S. You can get the first books in the series here.

“The universes are a strange place” – a writing exercise

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!”
________________________________________________________________________________________

❤ DragonBeck

How To Deal With A Negative Review (For Writers) Part I

We are told that reviews are important. Other people see reviews and decide whether or not to invest the dollar or two and take a chance on your unknown work. It has been said that Amazon doesn’t care whether the reviews are good or bad, more is better, and the more reviews your book has, the more it gets seen. Whether any of this is true, I’m not going to say. This is not meant to be an essay on the merits of reviews – any person is entitled to their opinion about anything, and the expression thereof. This is only a comment about what it’s like to be a writer on the receiving end of reviews. This is not to say I think someone should lie, and say they liked a book when they didn’t, or a book was great when it wasn’t, or that it was well-edited when there were typos on every second or third page, but there is such a thing as the golden rule and “Would I like to have someone say this about something I wrote?”. There is such a thing as recognition that the person didn’t intend to write the worst possible book they could, in fact, they intended to write the best book they knew how and if they knew of a better way to do it, they would have done so. There is such a thing as encouraging a person to improve and do better, and not killing any tendency to put anything out into the world ever again. There is such a thing as compassion and humanity, the taking into consideration that you are talking about a real, live person with feelings.

I can say from personal experience that having someone dislike your book sucks. Having someone dislike your book enough that they go and tell other people how much they dislike it is even worse. I don’t know if there are words to accurately convey what it’s like to get a really bad review on something you’ve created. Unfortunately, you’ll just have to experience that for yourself. And I hope you do. That may sound cold and cruel, but it’s not. There are a lot of people in the world, and you’re going to have to get your book out in front of all of them. Not all of them will read it, but some of them will. And some of those will not like it. And some of those will write you negative, bad, horrible, or downright shitty reviews.

If you’re looking for the one true answer to how to deal with such reviews (if you’re a writer), this may or may not be what you’re looking for. This is just one writer’s thoughts when she got her first one-star, this-is-the-single-worst-book-I-have-ever-read review, and because I felt it might be of benefit to others, I took the time to write this little post. It was not the easiest thing in the world to do, and frankly, I’d rather just forget about the whole thing, shove it under the carpet and pretend it never happened. Maybe a better way to handle it is to do  just that, quietly go on my way, and say nothing of it, and hope no one notices. But I think this is important enough to say something about, so here goes.

Not all people (and hence, not all writers) are the same. Like the song says, some people sail through their troubles and some have to live with the scars. If you’re not one of those super-confident inside and out, breeze through the world and brush aside any negative comments like the glitter to your sparkle that they are, a bad review will probably hit you in that incredibly sensitive part of you that is composed of self-doubt and uncertainty, that part that is not quite sure you’re good enough and makes sure to put in its two cents to that effect, especially when the world is offering you convincing reasons why you’re not as hot as you thought you were.

I found this review – the first negative review – for my book First Magyc very demoralizing:

 

Pretty bad, right? And the thought that anyone else could read it was even worse. It was rather surprising to discover how much it hurt – I never for a moment thought that everybody would love my book – but on second thought, why shouldn’t it hurt? You’ve put your time, effort, heart and soul into creating this beautiful thing that wasn’t there before, something magical, and someone has just trounced carelessly over it as though it were nothing at all. Hell, worse than nothing. I have yet to see a negative review of a book that hasn’t been written yet. It’s one thing to say “Be confident. Be thick-skinned. Don’t give a damn what anyone says or thinks.” but that can be a lot easier said than done. Even when you know that is true, and believe it with all your heart, when push comes to shove, it doesn’t matter, it still hurts, and all you want to do is lock yourself away, have a mental breakdown and never show your face again because now the whole internet knows – and worse agrees – that your book is not good enough and should not exist.  It’s a really horrible feeling, and difficult to describe. After a moment of stunned shock, in which you try to figure out if this is just a bad dream, and if not, where it all went wrong, you get around to thinking, “What do I do now?”

The list of “what do I do now?” that would be composed in the early stages of shock might look something like this:

1. Chocolate (or ice cream).
2. Cry (or rage).
3. Give up on all your hope and dreams of ever writing anything decent.
4. Call your friends and cry.
5. Have your friends bring chocolate.
6. Go into self-imposed exile, excommunicate yourself from anyone who might know you, especially anyone who knows you write.
7. More chocolate (and maybe pizza).

While that all sounded appealing, it didn’t sound particularly useful. After the initial shock and despair wore off, I did what any (more or less sensible) person would do and Googled “How to deal with a bad review for writers” (I had to add that last clause in there because Google gave me articles only regarding businesses, which I don’t see as particularly relevant or useful to my situation). I read many of the articles, but I felt something was missing, something proactive, because none of them really make me feel any better.

So, I thought it over carefully, and I came up with my own plan, and it is as follows:

Step 0 – Recognize that one of the things this world lacks more than anything else is care and compassion. This person may have made you feel about as attractive, creative, valuable and important as a smear of canine feces on the bottom of a Prada shoe with their review, but instead of getting angry or upset at them or feeling sorry for yourself, think about what Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” You don’t know what this person is going through. Maybe they’ve just been diagnosed with a terminal illness and the whole world is pretty bleak to them right now, or maybe their boss fired them and ran off with both their wife and the beautiful antique car that they painstakingly restored, and the only thing they would give a good review to is a newspaper article about said car going off a cliff. I don’t know. Maybe they’re truly just an unhappy person who can only tear people down instead of building them up. The point is, you don’t have to change just because someone doesn’t like something you’ve done, and you don’t have to feel bad just because someone else does. Two seconds before you read the review, you probably thought you had a good story, than you were writing it to the best of your ability, and you were more or less happy with the idea of having written the book. The best thing you can do for you is remain dedicated and optimistic despite the invitation to feel otherwise (and fake it ’til you make it if you have to).

Step 1 – Take a deep breath, and tell yourself that everything is going to be just fine. Look around and see the world hasn’t ended. In fact, it hasn’t even changed. No matter how much you want, at this moment, to crawl into a small dark corner and hide for the rest of eternity, that’s not going to help anything. This is your first practical experience about why people tell writers to develop thick skins – they need it. So if you’re going to be a real writer, you might as well start now. This is a good thing – and not in the reverse-psychological babble meaning of “you’re not a real artist until someone hates your work”. The world is full of people, and some of these people will like your book, some will not like it, and some won’t care one way or the other. You will have to deal with all of these people when you put your book out there. Protesting this is not going to change anything. This diagram sums it up nicely:

So your book has moved outside your comfort zone. It might be floating somewhere in the black space between your comfort zone and where the magic happens, but it’s moving in the right direction. And this is a good thing.

Step 2 – This video is the single most relevant thing you can watch as a writer (or artist) in my opinion. Watch it now, all 19 minutes and 54 seconds of it – do it, you won’t regret it.

 

If you find you no longer need the rest of this article, congratulations! If you’re curious about the final thing I did, please, read on.

Step 3 – One thing the articles I read suggested what you should do is go and read all the negative reviews of books that you love, or the negative reviews of best-selling books by best-selling authors. Now, I did this, but I don’t recommend that you do. Why? Because while misery loves company, and it is comforting to know that even successful writers and books get horrible reviews, it’s pointless and unproductive. Also, do you really think J. K. Rowling or Stephen King go scrolling through others authors’ bad reviews if someone gives them a this-is-the-single-worst-book-I-have-ever-read review?

Instead, I suggest the following:

  1. Do one thing that is productive and that relates directly to your writing. Outline the next chapter or write the next scene.  Make a beautiful and inspiriting aesthetic and set it as your desktop background. Do the character sketch for your Main Character or Antagonist, or that really cool Supporting Character than you’re already planning a novel for. Plug your book on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media you have.
  2. Do one thing that you have been meaning to do for a while and that you haven’t gotten around to (again, that relates to your writing – I’m not talking about laundry). That podcast episode on how to be a best-selling indie author? Go listen to it. That query letter you need to write and haven’t made the time for? Go write it. That submission for an author interview you’ve been meaning to send in? Go send it. That scene you’re avoiding writing? Go write it.  Now. No excuses.
  3. And finally, do something good, or as I like to put it, create good karma. Go read a book (or books) from authors like yourself – read them, and review them. Give them the review you’d like to receive if you had written that book. Read and review as many as it takes to make you feel good about the world. There’s one review in the world from a person obviously does not appreciate what it takes to create anything – so give the world one, two, three, four, ten that will make it better, that will lift someone up, or encourage them to continue to create the beautiful things this world so desperately needs. Whatever makes you feel good about the world.  I picked three, and you can read my reviews here, here, and here.  If you don’t like the exact method of #3, you can do whatever you like to achieve the same effect. Just be the change you want to see. Here are some great ideas. Or these ones. Or these ones – the options are limitless. If you don’t feel better after this step, start at #1 above, and repeat as necessary.

And that’s it. You will feel better, I guarantee it (unless you’re just determined to be miserable). Am I happy about my first negative review? No. Do I want to get more? Absolutely not. But I haven’t let my certainty that I am a good writer with a good story to tell die, I’m still smiling, and I’m still going to publish book number 5 in the Guardians of the Path Series (cover reveal coming soon – I’m super excited about that!). In closing, I leave you with a beautiful sentiment from my good friend Lisa Barry, a sentiment which I think is really important for all artists to keep in mind, and which helped ground me when my thoughts and emotions were doing a tornado-coaster: “For every story that is read and disliked, there are countless numbers of people standing in line who love and support that story or author.” So, don’t give up, keep calm and write on, and make good art!

If you found this helpful, pass it on, and if you have any advice of your own on the matter, please share!

❤ DragonBeck

P.S. And if you like epic fantasy, you can check out my excellent book here:

The Path is fading, and the music of Life is vanishing. Cedar and his fellow Guardians have been entrusted for centuries to protect the Path, the very force of Life itself.

An accident traps Cedar between his home and another world devoid of magyc–but not of music. He is found by Ria, a mysterious girl who holds the key to returning him home.

With little choice Cedar uses First Magyc, Blood Magyc, to save himself, and finds himself the unlikely caretaker of the very girl who might fulfill an ancient Prophecy and restore the Guardians to their former station as honored heroes.

Enchanted by Demona, a world of magyc and music, Ria struggles to understand her own growing abilities even as she is drawn into an ages old conflict.

Cedar doesn’t want Ria to be the one named in the Prophecy, but what if she is the Guardians’ only hope to defeat the Sorcerer and save Magyc?

 

Meet The Authors

Hello everyone – happy Friday!

The Ink Slingers Guild are officially at Tampa Bay Megacon this weekend – we have a table in Artist Alley, and lots of fantastic books for you!!!

Let’s take a moment to get acquainted, shall we?

Lisa Barry:

“Writing and reading every minute she can, Lisa counts on her cats to keep her keyboard warm and on the countless gargoyles who stand guard throughout her house to ensure the safety of all those who enter with good intent. The gargoyles, even more importantly, listen carefully when Lisa reads to them aloud.

On a person note…besides having a deep admiration of gargoyles (who says they’re not real?), I love to read and write.  I collect gargoyles, I love music and can be heard driving up before I am seen, I’m a very picky eater (just ask my friends -eyes rolling-), I enjoy fishing and will catch them, clean them, cook them but won’t eat them or anything else out of the ocean.  I also believe in many fairy tale creatures, just haven’t knowingly met any yet.”

And she has a really cool tattoo.

  and coming soon…

Dalia Lance:

Dalia says “I have had a very interesting upbringing starting with growing up in Hollywood, CA. Never shy, I learned that if you are not willing to try something new you may let life simply pass you by. I love meeting people from all walks of life and these experiences inspire me on a daily basis. As a true friend once pointed out “You are never a complete waste, you can always be used as a bad example”. So what’s the worst that can happen?”

 

J. M. Pacquete:

JM Paquette writes cheesy vampire romance novels filled with action, adventure, intrigue, and sometimes slightly steamy sex scenes. She enjoys alliteration and puns of all kinds.

   

Alanna J. Rubin:

Miss Rubin says “I’m originally from Massachusetts. As a northerner, I never missed an opportunity to pick apples, carve pumpkins, or visit Salem to see the witches and haunted happenings. Now that I’m in Florida, not a day goes by when I don’t miss the changing colors of leaves, but I would never go back to having to shovel snow. As a fan of science fiction, paranormal, and romance…I find that individually they are fun,  however, I love them more when they’re mashed together. Often, when I am not writing my next adventure you’ll find me torn between watching a Jane Austen adaptation or hopping on the Tardis for an adventure in time and space.”

  

And yours truly, Nicole Dragonbeck:

I was born on the first day of a year-long eclipse of the sun, the thirteenth child of the Prince of Elves and an enchantress. As a small child I fell into a poisoned well and was horribly transformed by the toxic sludge seething in the deep darkness. I was fished out by a band of gypsies, who promised to feed and clothe me if I cooked and cleaned for them. They taught me to ride bareback and read palms, but I royally pissed off the leader by setting his wagon on fire and he cursed me with a great imagination and an equally great inability to tell the truth…and the rest is history.

  

I hope to see you at Megacon this weekend and get the chance to meet you in person!

❤ DragonBeck (and friends)

 

 

 

Guardians of the Path: Book IV The Other World – Available Now

I am very happy to announce that Guardians of the Path Book IV The Other World is now available for purchase!

Haunted by Riddles and Dreams

Here: In Demona, the Guardians go to the Dale, a place of old magyc locked away in the past, hoping to find the Man of Tongues, a sorcerer of myth who they believe may have the power to send them across worlds. They get more than they bargain for, learn more than they ask for, and in the end, they must make a terrible choice: Aethsiths, or Ria?

There: In the Other World, Maria Westerfield’s past comes back to haunt her when one of her friends is murdered and a mysterious symbol she never thought she’d see again appears written in his blood. The Girl Who Came Back must figure out what to do before everyone she loves is destroyed by the things she thought only existed in dreams.

Everywhere: All those who wield magyc are drawn together to battle Demons, Wardens, and their own dark secrets to keep the Placer of Pieces and his Men in White from extinguishing the light of life called the Path. Assassins, Witches, princesses, Makers of Marks and even Death Himself all attempt to divert the fate of this world, but everything hangs on the choice of one girl in…

…The Other World.

I cordially invite you to step through the door and continue the adventure in the other world! And I’d appreciate it greatly if you’d take a few moments to please leave me a review and let me know what you think!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

 

 

So Much News…

Having gone radio dark for a month (all in the name of science), here are the updates I promised regarding the world of the Guardians of the Path and other fantastic realms:

I spent a couple weeks going over Book 1, First Magyc, and I am happy to announce that the second edition is now available on Amazon. I cleaned it up a bit, tightened things here and there, and stretched them out in other places. I added a bit to the epilogue, which I enjoyed and I hope you do to. I recently read The Last Gunslinger (Dark Tower, book I) and if Steven King can do a second edition of book one (right around the time the fourth book of that series was being released, if memory serves), I feel that gives me licence to do the same.

Book 4, The Other World, is up for presale (that announcement has been burning a hole in my pocket, but in the name of science, I couldn’t break my month-long abstinence).

I drew yet another map. It is a marvelous map that shows the rest of the Guardians of the Path series on one (rather large) sheet of paper. I did it in pretty colors, and right now it exists in three places: on my computer, on my wall, and on the phone of the person who was kind enough to help me transport the map into the digital realm (Though I’ve thought about asking them to delete it, I have no hope of getting them to do so – I have a sneaking suspicion they would just give me a look and whisper “it’s in the cloud”). I am not sure if I will release this map, or put it in a book. Perhaps in the tenth book. In any event, I am very proud of it, and it helped me get my thoughts in order for the next six books, and I hope, make the writing smooth and steady.

On that note, book 5 Wasteland, is coming along. The first draft is well begun (which, contrary to Aristotle, is not quite the same as half done, at least when talking about a novel). The tale becomes somewhat more complex during book 4, so I am hoping that book 5 will be released mid next year.

I have also been reading the Pendragon series (also ten books). It is an amazing story, and I am about halfway through – I’ve procured the last five books from the library, and trying not to devour them in place of sleep.

The Ink Slingers Guild has been busy as usual – we have three anthologies coming out between now and sometime in the near future – Super Useless, wherein superpowers that aren’t exactly super are discussed in chunks of 2,500 words or less, and The Purge of Jimmy, which is the sequel to The Death of Jimmy (available on Amazon Kindle for just 99¢), wherein more Jimmys (or is that Jimmies?) die and at least one loose end is tied up, and finally (the big one): the annual ISG anthology, my contribution to which is called “The Writer’s Trial” – a fun little piece about writers, devils, and talking cats that I wrote several years ago, and by several years, I mean over a decade. It shall see the light of day towards the end of the year.

Several other members of ISG are getting ready to publish novels, most imminently Alanna J. Rubin with Second Chances (a fun sci-fi, Jane Austen romance adventure mash-up), J. M. Paquette with her second novel Solyn’s Body (sequel to Klauden’s Ring)and Lisa Barry, with her second novel in the Gargoyles Den series, titled Rogue.

Our fantastic writing group will be making an appearance at MegaCon in Tampa Bay at the end of this month. Come find us in Artists’ Alley – we’re very friendly and entertaining, and more than happy to sign books, answer all manner of questions, and pose for pictures. I will be there on Sunday the 1st of October, most likely wearing a dragon shirt, or a Supernatural shirt.

Whew! That is a lot of activity. I’ll need another break after all that. Just kidding, a writer never gets a break. No rest for the wicked!

❤ ❤ ❤ DragonBeck

Alibi

The last ISG meeting was quite productive of dastardly schemes to rule the universe, including (but not limited to) an audio book of Guardians of the Path: First Magyc, promotional activities and world-building. More details will follow when they have security clearance.

We only managed to do two writing exercises, so I’ll try to have some other fun stuff for you between now and the next meeting to make up for it.

Snow, glow, tenure

“You can’t kick me out. I have tenure!” the short man in the grey suit shouted
as he jumped up and down, still not managing to come any higher than the elbows
of the four burly men in uniforms, standing with impassive faces as the short
man ranted.
An elderly gentleman also watched, stroking his long beard, which seemed to
glow with a silver light. Eventually he held up a hand. “Now, now, my dear
Gindel, must you make your parting so dramatic?” The little man called Gindel
stopped and shot a glare up at him.
“Don’t you dear Gindel me,” he said. “Where’s your loyalty? What about all the
time we spent building all this together?”
“True,” the other said with a sad smile. “But you seem to forget that it still
needs care and attention.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Gindle demanded with a suspicious look. “It
means you never come out of here. You just tinker and meddle, you don’t even
know what effects you create with your activities.”
“I do too!” Gindle countered.
“Did you know there was snow last August?” the elder man said calmly. “Or that
the Tuesday before all the fires in the kitchen suddenly exploded and demolished
that wing of the building to rubble? Don’t shake your head at me Gindle, you
know your experiments can have far reaching effects.”
“No,” Gindle was still shaking his head. “Listen, Tobble, I was visiting my
mother in the city last Tuesday. I wasn’t even here!”
______________________________________________________

❤ DragonBeck