Magyc

Omen teaser III – The Necrolatry

(Necrolatry: worship of the dead, Late Greek nekrolatreia, from Greek nekr-necr- + -latreia -latry; or the case of Guardians of the Path: the church devoted to Death and His work.)

The Guardians of the Path Omens, published by Witching Hour Publishing, is to be released on 23 November 2016.

Here’s the third excerpt from the third book of the series (Tesla would be happy).

Dividing a story into chapters can be a tricky part of writing. Is the chapter just part of a scene, a teaser so to speak? Does a full sequence with a beginning, a middle, and an end take place?

A guide-line I like to use for ending a chapter is don’t leave off at a stopping point. When the character falls asleep, or sits down to wait, or ends a conversation where they learn something they need to is not a good place to end, because it invites the reader to put down the book. They have some measure of satisfaction, and you want to leave them wanting more (i.e., a “page turner”) with a cliff-hanger. Some ways to do this could be having the protagonist round a corner and come face to face with something, have someone find something and then it does something unexpected, or what happens at the end of this excerpt, which is incidentally the end of a chapter of Omens:

Strong hands grabbed Ria’s arms and hauled her to her feet. A moment later the four of them were running across the courtyard and through the black doors that opened from within, spreading like arms to welcome them with an emotionless embrace. A thick carpet underfoot swallowed their footsteps, leaving them in silence as they hurried from the door.
Cold air raised the hair on Ria’s skin when the door swung shut with a click behind them. Inside, the air was crystal clear and made her eyes sting. Despite the lack of visible lighting, Ria could see with perfect clarity. A smell slithered into Ria with every breath, the smell of emptiness and silence which filled her head with space and an odd ringing.
Windows of black glass towered over them on either side, folding into each other, the facets of a liquid diamond. High above them Ria assumed there must be a ceiling of some sort though it was lost in the darkness. A Mark – a circle, one half black, the other half white – was seared onto every visible surface, carved into the end of the wooden pews, welded in the filigree over the windows.
“What’s that?” Ria asked.
“That is Death’s Mark,” Juff said, averting her eyes from the symbol on the wall.
Ria stared at it. The Guardian Luca Lorisson had explained to her briefly about the Prophecy of Aethsiths and Her Mark. This Mark was not a true Mark, she decided after a moment of thoughtful examination. A true Mark was written by its owner with the intent to write it, and that could be felt as easily as the Mark could be seen; Ria felt nothing from the Mark, no tingle of magyc, no undercurrent of golden music. It was a lie.
“Why do they put it everywhere?” she wondered aloud, her eyes sliding from the drapes framing the windows to the low benches cloaked in the shadows that clung to the walls, to the black columns at the side of the massive room.
“I don’t know,” Juff said, and gave her a frown. “Don’t speak so loudly.”
The door behind them opened, sending light chasing after the shadows. The nymphs froze, incandescent eyes wide.
“Here!” Juff said and gave them a shove towards a long black table draped with folds of shimmery cloth that appeared before them as though it had just been set down by a giant hand. A wreath of metal barbs as big as a swimming pool fashioned into Death’s Mark hung on the wall behind it.
They scurried behind the table. Ria peeked around and saw the blood-red uniforms outlined in sunlight. The Streetwardens hesitated outside, shifting and looking back and forth. Two black-robed figures appeared from within the Necrolatry, gliding towards the Streetwardens, who backed away. When the doors closed the figures disappeared into the darkness as if they had not even been there.
Ria’s breath caught in her throat when they reappeared in front of their hiding spot. Shaved heads and skin so pale it glowed made the figures seem insubstantial, like projections of light. Juff looked at Ria with wide eyes and the nymphs huddled together for support. Ria scooted over and peered around the folds of cloth.
The black figures conferred softly with their backs to Ria, gesturing at the door and the table. Ria ducked back as the nearest figure turned to look at the table. Moments of tense silence marched by to the erratic beating of Ria’s heart. Her senses would have her believe that the figures had gone away, that there was no one there, but Ria knew better.
A coldness pressed on her, squeezing tighter and tighter as she imagined the black robed figures stepping closer on silent feet. Ria turned her head very slightly to the left, saw Juff wide-eyed with fear, the two nymphs clutching each other and seeming to shrink in size as Ria watched.
None of them could do anything, they were trapped behind the altar. They would be discovered and the stark fear in Juff’s eyes was not giving any comforting ideas as to their fate. Ria had to do something before they were all discovered.
She could think of only one thing to do.

___________________________________________________

Doesn’t that make you want to find out what she does? 😉

Look for Omens and other great books published by Witching Hour Publishing coming soon!

❤ DragonBeck

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Unleashing the Words

For the record: I don’t believe in writer’s block.

I do believe sometimes it takes more effort to get the words on paper (or screen), but this six sided, three-dimensional bogey man that plagues writers from under the bed or in the plumbing or wherever it hides? No, I don’t believe in that.

But most people would argue that whatever you call the manifestation known as “writer’s block”, or whether you believe in it or not,  is irrelevant. It exists, and it’s a real problem.

When I feel a little stuck or stultified (a brilliant word meaning: cause to lose enthusiasm and initiative, especially as a result of a tedious or restrictive routine), I draw.

More specifically: I draw maps. Without a clear picture in my noggin of where the story is taking place, the words get flat and shallow. More importantly, they become sluggish, and this is not good.

Currently, I’m working on the first draft of book five of the Guardians of the Path series, taking off to a new region of my world, and I was having trouble getting the words to flow as opposed to merely trickle. So I sat down and worked out a simple schematic of where the story was taking place. This may not be “simple” for some, but quite a bit of time was spent browsing the interweb, looking at pictures (also a good method of invoking the gods of inspiration) of European cathedrals and prestigious English college campuses, buildings which were reduced to squares on my diagram.

I give you: the Coven of White and Black –

img_20161001_135744

This probably doesn’t mean anything to anyone at this precise moment, but take my word for it, it’s awesome!! And yes, Laboratorium is now a word.

And away we go!

Just a little something for you to try if you get particularity desperate 🙂

Good writing!

❤ DragonBeck

Omens teaser I – “Under the Waves”

The Guardians of the Path Omens, published by Witching Hour Publishing, is to be released on 23 November 2016. I thought it would be fun to give you a few teasers to whet your appetite!

This first excerpt is a song. I like to put songs in my books for two reasons. One: because my book is based heavily on music, and the magyc thereof. Two: It rounds out the world I’ve created.

World-building is a crucial part of writing a fantasy or sci-fi story. It orients the reader, and if you don’t let him know the rules, he won’t have stable point to evaluate what’s happening. I think it’s important to maintain a balance in world-building, though. It’s easy to get lost in the details of the world, so much so that you never write the story! The story is a sequence of events that take place (the plot), involving certain people (the characters), and where the story takes place should enhance it, not detract from it.

When I first started writing Guardians of the Path, I had a very rough sketch of the world, and as I wrote further, I fleshed it out with more details: of history, of people, places, the currency they use, and so forth. I tend to just make up names and dates on the spot, and figure it out later. This works for me, and I find that it just fits together. Some people may find that they contradict themselves too easily and often, and they will work out another method for getting the facts of their world in order.

All cultures, from primitive to modern, have music, songs, and singing. In truth, songs are just another way of telling a story, with poetry and lyric instead of prose. This song has three titles: one is the name of the song – “Under the Waves”. It was written by a man named Wind, whom we will meet briefly in Omens, and get a glimpse into his life, hence the second name. Wind was a big influence on the dark Guardian – Luca Lorisson – and this is Luca’s favorite song, and thus the third name.

“Under the Waves” (“Wind’s Lament”, or “Luca’s song”)

The sun rises cold
upon my final day
Calling me home
to the wind and the waves

All of my friends
Have forgotten my name
The don’t hear me speak
And they don’t know my face

All I have left
As the sea takes me home
Are memories I’ve stolen
From the places I’ve gone

Ghosts and pipers come back to haunt
And collect their due
But my coffers are empty
I’ve nothing to give, and less to lose

All has gone and faded away
Ghosts and pipers
They care not
They come anyway

All I have left
As the sea takes me home
Are the memories I’ve stolen
From the places I’ve gone

The paths that I’ve tread
are claimed by Time
In His sands they lay
Out of sight, out of mind

Scars cover hurts
That I’ve made my own
They are my friends
And I’m never alone

The sun sets with fire
On my final day
Where I go now,
I cannot say

Death stands a-waiting
In the wings of my stage
To His Realm I will go
And in His Realm I’ll stay

The deeds that led here
To this place, and my fate
Are times I fought, and times I cried
When I loved, and when I lied

Now these golden things
They are no more
Than faded paintings
On someone else’s wall

Ghosts and pipers come back to haunt
And collect their due
But my coffers are empty
I’ve nothing to give, and less to lose

All I have left
As the sea takes me home
Are memories I’ve stolen
From the places I’ve gone

All I have left
As Death takes me home
Are the memories I bring
and these songs that I sing

_____________________________________________________________________

Look for Omens and other great books from Witching Hour Publishing coming soon!

❤ 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

 

MEETING OF EPICNEAS

I think the word that most accurately describes the Ink Slingers Guild meeting of last week is “epicneas”.

(If epicneas wasn’t a word before, it is now.) We had four people attend for the first time!! Lisa made raspberry shortcake, and had the foresight to have the second pot of tea brewing before the first one was all gone. All four new members participated in our writing exercise and read them aloud, so they get a round of applause for that. Hopefully we’ll see them back again!

In honor of all the awesomeness, I’m going to put all the awesomeness of writing exercise here.

And the first one: I was very pleased with myself for getting all the words in one sentence – a feat Alanna also achieved  🙂

spirit, streak, horse

Hanna kicked at the ground, and shouted a few choice curses at the grey skies.
If she thought that was going to get her out of this in-between place, she was
wrong. Her spirit-horse had spooked and bolted, and the last Hanna had seen of
it was a pale streak across the sky, reminiscent of a shooting star from home.
Thinking about home just made her want to cry, so she refrained, concentrating
instead on what she knew about the incorporeal land she was crazy enough to
attempt to traverse. This was the land between here and now, and there and then.
It was foggy, cloudy in the way that forgotten memories were, and if one wasn’t
careful, one could get very lost in here. Hanna shoved that fear far out of
sight, and looked at where she had been stranded.
It was a flat place, with giant, craggy rocks jutting up like broken teeth.
Sometimes it looked almost solid, and other times it faded before her eyes. She
remained alert, ready to jump away at the first sign that the ground under her
was going, as she racked her mind for a solution. Then it came to her, on a
faraway whisper, appearing as the ghost of a house sheltered in the shadow of a
nearby rock.
Perhaps the creator of this bit of in-between would be able to get me out, Hanna
thought, starting for the house and hoping it didn’t disappear as quickly as it
had come.
_____________________________________________________________

On this one there was a brief discussion on what exactly was the definition of “honeypot” – I just decided it was easiest to use the literal one, mostly because I like honey.

honeypot, dark, exquisite,

For the first hour she wondered around the house, trying not to look too closely
at the dark gathering outside, blanketing the windows and hiding everything.
That didn’t take her mind off the fact that Josh was out there, in that, and
even if he called it an exquisite hub of magical energy, it was still dangerous.
So she boiled the kettle and made a cup of tea, emptied half the honeypot into
it, and went to sit in the loungeroom, moving the chair so she couldn’t see the
window. She was only halfway done with her tea when a frantic pounding at the
door made her scream and drop her cup. It shattered on the floor, and still she
sat frozen, the beating getting more desperate. The first rule of the dark kept
going around her head: Don’t open the doors, and don’t open the windows.
But this was the first time anything had ever tried to get in. Josh was a
brilliant wizard, and the wards he set up were strong. Nothing was going to get
past them, he had assured her. But the rule stands, just in case. The knocks
slowed, as if whatever was out there was losing stamina, growing weak from
exertion, or something else. There was a heavy thud against the door as
something fell into it, and a pleading scratch continued. She took deep breaths,
trying to calm her speeding heart, when a horrible thought occurred to her.
What if that was Josh outside, demanding to be let in?
___________________________________________________

At last, I got to put in a word – with so many people there, I thought maybe I was going to forego that honor in this meeting.

purge, lovely (my word), laser,

Flit looked down at his final school paper one last time. He was sure there was
something missing, or something extra, that was going to earn him a big, fat,
FAIL, in all uppercase letters, in blood red ink, or even actual blood, across
the top of the paper.
He tried to purge the thought, but it kept growing, morphing into something
nightmares were made of and panic threatened to overwhelm him. Calm down, Flit
told himself, and saw his hand was shaking, clenched around the paper and
crumpling the one edge. He straightened it on his desk while thinking lovely
thoughts and telling himself positive uplifting things, like just because Mrs. T
was a witch, didn’t actually mean she cooked and ate small children. She wasn’t
that bad. If nothing else, Flit’s story would look like magic epic tales when
compared to Nel the Troll’s paper, because Nel’s vocabulary was limited to a
dozen words.
Then Flit looked down again. His story was about lasers and machines and things
called combustion engines and scanning devices. Would Mrs. T accept such
fantasy? He groaned and fell forward into the desk. He was so going to flunk
out. He could feel it.

_____________________________________

Hope you enjoyed that 🙂

Look for more exciting news about The Guardians of the Path, book III Omens coming soon!

❤ DragonBeck

The Sorcerer’s Gem

I am fast and furiously at work writing book five, but I’m going to take a little break here and give you the results of my imagination + five minutes + a few seconds more after the timer went off + these three words:

strap, shower, burn,

precious-1199183_1920

The spring shower broke, and Temerin was drenched to the bone in less than five minutes. After ten minutes he gave up trying to pretend he was going to get out of this with a semblance of dignity, and sludged through the mud with long, weary steps. The slow burn of dissatisfaction tuned into resentment, turned to simmering anger. That he, the son of the king, should be wandering about in the wilderness, alone and unattended, while some upstart drove about in the prince’s carriage…
Temerin ground his teeth, and was so involved in his fantasy of revenge he almost missed it. In fact, he walked three steps past it before he stopped, sure something was out of place. He half turned, eyes gazing at the red bag hanging from a single strap out of a small tree. Temerin looked right, then left, searching for the owner of the bag, before he went to investigate.
It was very light, and at first he thought it was empty. He reached farther down, and his fingers encountered a small object. He pulled it out, his vaguely curious expression morphing into shock as he beheld what he had found.
“This ought to make my day a little more interesting,” he said aloud, admiring the black sorcerer’s gem he now held in his possession.

________________________________________

❤ 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,
Nicole.”

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.

isg

(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:

ISGG

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

Continuations

This blog post is so full of continuations….

Both book covers

…the most important one being, of course, the continuation of the Guardians of the Path series (drum roll) – Ria’s Mark is offically published on Amazon.com!!!!

You can get your ebook or print-on-demand copy here.

And, at the last Ink Slingers Guild Meeting, we were very productive with our writing exercises. I managed to continue the same story through *four* exercises. In true cliff-hanger style, you get half now, half later. Enjoy!

sparkle, chip (my word), furtive

Temin looked around at the guests and tried to hide his smile. A furtive sparkle
made his face light up, and he quickly took a sip of something pink and sweet.
He saw he wasn’t quite fast enough when Drina sidled up to him.
“Enjoying yourself?” she asked. She looked stunning in a blue dress studded with
chips of diamond which revealed one slender leg.
“Oh, it’s alright, as far as parties go,” Temin answered.
“I could tell them all who you are,” Drina told him. “Then you might not be
laughing so hard.”
“I’m not laughing at all,” Temin said. “And they wouldn’t believe you even if
you did tell them.”
“What are you doing here?” she demanded, her pretty face marred by a scowl that
would send an Ironclad Barbarian fleeing in terror. “When are you going to leave
me alone?”
“Narcissism doesn’t become you,” Temin said. “I really don’t care that you’re
here at all.”
Drina crossed her arms. “Really?” she said, drawing out the word.
“Yes, actually,” Temin said.
He put his arm around her shoulders and turned her so she faced the fountain.
The water spouted out in arcs colored with blue and purple light. “You see that
one there, standing just by the swan? I think she’s much more suitable, don’t
you?”
Drina narrowed her eyes, trying to see which party guest he was referring to.
When her eyes lit on the young woman under the swan, she gasped and pulled away
from him.
“You wouldn’t dare,” she said.
“Wouldn’t I?” he replied. With a smile, he sauntered towards the fountain.
______________________________
ginger, plate, door

Temin made his way through the people laughing and talking about the latest
fashion or some other pointless topic to the fountain. The young woman was
standing along, looking about with a light in her eye that Temin desired very
much. At last, someone with something more between their ears than
thrice-ruminated gossip.
Her ginger hair fell over her shoulder, and her skin was like porcelain. She
looked up with polite interest when Temin stepped in front of her.
“Good evening,” he greeted her. “Isn’t it a lovely party?”
The girl shrugged. “I’ve not been to many, so I really couldn’t say.” Temin
almost swooned. A server walked by with a plate of something frilly and mostly
tasteless. Temin waved him away.
“So what are you doing here?” he asked.
“None of your business,” a curt voice interrupted. Drina interposed herself
between Temin and the girl. “Would you like me to show you where the door is?”
she said.
“Oh, that won’t be necessary,” Temin said. “I could just conjure one up if I
need to.”
Drina paled at the threat, but she did not back down. “You need to leave.”
“I will do so in my own time,” Temin said, thunder building in his eyes.
He took a deep breath, and made an effort to calm himself. He put on a bright
smile and gestured to the garden. “Perhaps we can talk about this, in a
civilized manner, in private?”
Drina glared at him, but after a glance at the girl, she gave a nod. Temin
smiled. Interesting, he thought, as he followed the woman into the darkness.
Very interesting.
___________________________________________

More soon,

❤ DragonBeck

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

DragonBeck – 2015, a review

(I love this picture; it is tied for first place in my favorite photos of the year 2015.)

When one gets to the close of a year, a certain reflection on the past year is due. This is a look at 2015 (mostly in pictures).

It had been a busy year, and I’ve learned a lot about writing, editing and publishing books. I’ve been working diligently on my writing goals, using my cover as an author to achieve total world domination. I began my own dragon hoard of dragonish stuff, including my towel for when I go hitchhiking across the galaxy, pens, jewelry, cups, and bookends. I believe in this way I will preclude forgetting my name. I started blogging, and broke 100 followers on twitter (I’m hoping I look back on that statement some months or years from now and am able to laugh at how cute and naive I was when I was a young writer).

The biggest accomplishment came earlier in the year, when I released my first novel First Magyc and had an awesome party to celebrate (with color-coordinated decoration!!):

Decorations
(This is other photo tied for first place in the Greatest-DragonBeck-photo-of-2015 contest.)

I started reading at local events hosted by Wordier Than Thou, and commiserating about the nervous butterflies which accompany same with Alanna Cormier helped get over the pre-show jitters in a marvelous fashion:

ISG

Naturally there were many awesome ISG meetings, and yet I don’t think there could ever be enough of that particular brand of awesomeness:

ISG bw 02

Along the way I penned a few Stories My Friends Started, which was a lot of fun.

There was the book fair:

bookfair

and my short story “Blood Oath” published in the Ink Slingers Guild’s fourth annual anthology Bent Horizons:

antho

All in all, 2015 was a fantastic year; thank you to everyone who was a part of it. I am really very glad you were there to share it with me.

May the coming year bring abundant love and laughter, and as many good memories, good friends, and triumphs as there are stars in the sky, and a few dragons as well (the good kind) 😉

❤ DragonBeck