writers’ group

Announcement: Ink Slingers Guild At Tampa Bay Megacon

Hello all!


If you’re not already familiar with the Ink Slingers Guild, we’re a writers’ group that has been together for over 6 years now. In our own words:  “The Ink Slingers Guild is a group of writers who came together (by referral only) for support and encouragement. We give each other inspiration and the occasional kick in the arse. So far, together we have created eight collections of short stories, four of our members have published their first novels and one member just released her fourth novel.”

We write everything from epic fantasy and science fiction, to paranormal romance, erotica, Regency era Jane Austen romance, ghost stories, and cheesy vampire romance:


I am very excited to announce that the Ink Slingers Guild have a table in Artists’ Alley at the Tampa Bay Megacon Friday 29th September through Sunday 1st October, and we’d love to see you there!

Held at:

333 S. Franklin Street
Tampa, FL 33602

Ticket information can be found here.

Visit megacontampabay.com for more information.

Nerd on!

❤ DragonBeck

First ISG Meeting of 2016

Hello world!!

As promised here, I give you the fruits of the first ISG meeting of 2016.

It was a thoroughly delightful meeting. Every chair was filled will an awesome writer, every cup was filled with delicious tea. The Ink Slingers were in good spirits, and we made big plans for this  year, including several novels published (a few “second novels” as well!) and our fifth (yes, fifth) annual anthology!

I’m glad and unsuprised to report none of us lost our touch over the holidays, and the writing exercises were incredible, as usual.  Any writer who disagreed was promptly set straight on that point. We had a variety of monsters, magic, and mayhem; here are my contributions. Enjoy!!

creamy, medicine, twit

Carmen looked at the strange bottle of medicine, trying to read the writing on
the side. It didn’t make any sense at all.
“But this is what the witch said would work,” she said to herself. “But what if
I go on like a complete twit, and just do what she says, without any sort of due
diligence, and it kills him or something?” Carmen was working herself into a
nervous fever for no reason at all. He was going to die anyway, so the medicine
could only help. Although she couldn’t read anything on the label, Carmen did
recall the witch’s instructions perfectly. “Make some tea, sweeten it with honey
because this tastes like rotten eggs and radishes, and put in a few drops of
this. It’ll do wonders.”
Carmen did as instructed, and put in two drops of the creamy potion the witch
had whipped up from ingredients she read out of a worn spellbook and kept hidden
behind her hand. Carmen went into the bedroom. Christopher was lying in bed,
pale as a ghost and drenched in sweat. He was sleeping, but it was fitful and
She woke him and helped him to drink the tea. He sipped slowly at first, then
more. His eyes brightened, and color came back to his cheeks. Christopher smiled
at her, before his face began to change shape and his body to shrink.
In a moment, a mouse swam in the blankets where Christopher had been, and Carmen
felt like she was about to faint.

Clip (my word), gypsy, word,

Genny walked around the massive bulk of the dragon, examining every scale. After
he had spiraled down through the roof, as graceful as a cow giving birth, she’d
had to make sure nothing was broken or embedded. She found one scale, bent
inward. She used a pair of pliers to pull it out and put a salve on the wound.
The dragon moaned and snorted, and she gave him a thump on the side.
“Don’t be a baby,” she said. “It was just a little clip. It could have been a
whole lot worse.”
After she had finished ministering to him, she pulled out the book the gypsy had
given to her when he’d sold her the dragon egg. She paged through, barely
reading the words, skimming passages here and there. He’d grown much faster than
Genny had expected, but she didn’t think that was a bad thing. She glanced up at
the great beast, now dozing contentedly, smoke trickling from his nostrils, his
lips twitching as he dreamed. He looked like a giant puppy, she thought.
She continued with her haphazard instruction in raising a dragon, and came to a
missing page in the middle of the book. She blinked and reread the previous
page. When she got to the last sentence, her heart began to pound and she read
it four times over, just to be sure. The words didn’t change however, and she
closed the book, clutching the worn leather, wondering how she was ever going to
find that gypsy boy in time.
Tingle, cane, diamond

Juke hobbled along the old road, clutching the cane in his wrinkled,
liver-spotted hand. The hand that yesterday, had been a youthful thirty-four. A
tingle raced through his joints, followed by an arthritic throbbing. Juke had to
stop, fumbling in his coat for the bottle. He took it out, and looked with
dismay at the few drops of the potion left. The shaking became worse, his vision
dimmed as cataracts grew over his right eye, and he was left with little choice
but to pull out the diamond stopper and tip the last time he had left onto his
His hands stopped shaking, the skin grew smoother, and his vision was now clear.
For a while. Juke continued down the street, leaning on the cane more by habit
than necessity now. He rounded the corner, and sudden pains in his chest made
him stop, bend over, and clutch at his heart with a trembling hand. His vision
blurred, this time from tears.
He didn’t have enough time. He would never reach the old shop, would never be
able to fix the mistake that only yesterday had seemed so harmless. He fell to
his knees, the brass lion’s head with ruby eyes glaring at him from atop the
shiny wood of the cane. The cane that had started it all. In these last moments,
he realized it was the key, somehow, it was the answer to the puzzle.
He heard someone ask something in a concerned voice, but it was now difficult to
breath. His heart labored inside him, and all he could see were the glowing red
eyes of the lion as he sank into blackness.


See you soon, somewhere out there!

❤ DragonBeck

Final ISG Meeting of 2015

(or in other words “Where did the year go?”)

Yes, it is true. Last Wednesday was the Final ISG Meeting of 2015.


We did our usual: drank tea and had a lot of fun. In amongst a few soppy moments, we looked over our progress of this last year towards total world domination, such as four of our members releasing novels [First Magyc by yours truly, Klauden’s Ring by JM Paquette, My Home on Whore Island by Dalia Lance, and The Guardians by Lisa Barry (no connection to my story 😉 )], and the release of  the fourth annual ISG anthology, Bent Horizons.


Then we plotted out the final steps to achieving said domination in the upcoming year. All very exciting plots and plans, which I will let you in on in good time 🙂

We also did our writing exercises. I give you a doppelgänger, an accidental murder, and a strange food called pizza, all with a splash of surprise and magic. Please savour these.

Duplicity, yank, toenails.

Miranda stirred the bright vermilion potion, watching the white monkey’s
toenails dissolve with a hiss. Then she added the heart of a pheasant, two
phoenix eggs, and a pinch of stardust. Glancing at her worn spell-book resting
on the table beside the cauldron, the young witch went through the spell of
duplicity one last time, mentally checking off each step.
She had started the brew under a blue moon, adding the quartz and dragon’s blood
to spring water taken from the First Garden. It had simmered for a fortnight,
then she had carefully added one drop of summer sun each day for ten days. When
it glowed golden, the final ingredients were added.
Miranda looked down at the lump of shadow and dropped it into the cast-iron pot.
It fell heavier than she had expected something as light as a shadow should,
splashing her hand with the bubbling liquid and she yanked her hand away,
frantically rubbing it against her robes to remove any trace of the potion.
The potion itself swirled into an inky soup, then burst out into a bright silver
glow. The witch scooped out a ladle-ful, blew on it to cool it down, took a deep
breath, then downed it all in one gulp. After her head cleared and she was sure
the dizziness wouldn’t cause her to fall into something and break it, she looked
Miranda found herself gazing into her own large green eyes, except the pupil was
milky-white and slitted, and when her double smiled, the teeth were sharp and
red as blood.
sink, wish, murder,

Jansen washed his hands, scrubbing hard and trying not to notice the reddish
water running out of the sink. If he had one wish, it would be to undo the
events of this night, so he could go back and do what had to be done and do it
right. It wasn’t supposed to end up like this.
A knock at the door made his heart start pounding again. He wasn’t ready to deal
with them yet. The knocking continued, echoing the sound of his heart as he
finished cleaning his hands, then started on his forearms, all the way to his
elbows. He took a towel and slowly dried himself, stalling for time. When the
knocking sounded as though it was really going to break the door in, he walked
over and opened it, putting on his most serene face.
Three of the ugliest faces in the kingdom stared back at him. The troll princes,
whose names Jansen could never remember, and he wouldn’t have been able to put
the names to the faces anyway, all tried to shove through the door at the same
time. Jansen sighed and sent a small prayer of thanks to whichever god had made
trolls so quarrelsome. They were so busy fighting among themselves that there
was still a chance that they wouldn’t notice what Jansen had done, thereby
saving him the trouble of adding them to the first murder of the night. Granted,
it had been an accident, but that wasn’t his way. Jansen looked up at the
largest troll, looming over the man in his own small welcome room, and blinked
“Yes?” he said.
“What happened to Dersstern?” the troll growled. “We didn’t see him at the war
Jansen retracted his thankful prayer. It looked like there was going to be some
more washing up to do later this evening.
Pizza, humble, surprise,

Jadae bit into the strange food the strange man had given to her in his strange
house in the strange land she had found herself in on this very strange day.
“What did you say this was?” she said, looking at him as she chewed slowly and
“Pizza!” he said with a happy grin. “Do you like it?”
Jadae considered. “It is hot,” she said at last. “What do you have to drink?” ”
“Oh, right!” the man said. “Try this!”
He handed her a glass of a strange liquid.
“What is this?”
“It is a surprise, but you’ll like it,” he hastened to assure her.
She took a very small sip. It bit her tongue, but was sweet, and tingled in her
nose. He burst out laughing at her expression.
“It’s Coke,” he explained.
“What is that?” she asked again.
“We don’t really know, but we just like to drink it,” he said. “Strange,” Jadae
muttered to herself.
She stood, the barely touched stuff he called food sitting on the plate. “I have
to return to my home now,” she said. “I can be delayed no further.”
“My humble abode isn’t that interesting to someone from a land of mystery and
magic?” he said, his face drooping. “No, it’s fine, I can understand that.”
Jadae shifted uncomfortably. She had no ideas of the customs or etiquette in
this land. All she knew was she had to get home.
“I offer great thanks,” she tried, putting on her most formal manner in hope
that he stop looking hurt. “But I really must go.”
She started for the door, placing her hand on the strange handle, but it shocked
her with a force that she did not expect at all. Magic. She turned to the man
who had found her, taken her in, and tried to help her. He was watching her with
a smile, but now a darkness in his eyes made him look sinister.
“You cannot leave now Jadae. You cannot leave now, or ever,” he said, his smile
widening, and the fairy creature shrank from the sound of her name on his lips.

I hope you heeded my words and savored those, because there will be no more writing exercises to share until 6 January 2016. If you did not heed my advice, feel free to go back and reread them.

In the intervening time, I will be writing, rewriting, and editing further books in the Guardians of the Path series, namely book two Ria’s Mark and book three (working title) Omens. Also, I will be devising a devious scheme to see The Force Awakens some time shortly after its release without getting trampled by mad Star Wars geeks and fans. I’m very excited about all of this!

I do promise to pop out every once in a while to say “Hi!” and perhaps add something else entertaining 🙂

Until then,

May the Force be with you!

❤ DragonBeck