Thoughts on Forward Motion

In 2003 I discovered the internet and the fact that there were other writers as crazy about story-telling as I am. One thing led to another and I landed at Forward Motion, a writer forum which has, over the years, helped me oh so much! There are many things I love about the site, though tbh I am not as active as I was (RL can be a pain at times) but I have made friends there who have helped me grow, helped me learn, helped me improve.

I found a community of people whom I feel comfortable.

I saw this just a little bit ago, and it made me think about everything I have done writing wise over the past 8 years (OMG 8 YEARS?!?) and I can pin it down to one site,  the one place that was my learning center. where I continue to find great info and get to talk and interact with other writerly types as crazy as I am. Forward Motion.

So Zette, if you read this I would just like to say, Thanks. Thanks for keeping it going. Thanks for having a place where I’ve been able togo, for setting up the chat where I have made dear friends whom I am blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know. Thank you for taking your time and funds to make this slice of internet calm available to us writers.

Take care, stay warm and don’t let the cats hide your outlines!

See you on the flip side!

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Snippet Saturday

It was supposed to be a piece of flash fiction. It is 6200 words and counting. I don’t know how to feel about this except it is the thing that just.wont.die.  **coughs** Bad pun. Sorry. So, I feel like I should have this wrapped up already. Silly brain not cooperating. I need to finish this story, I want to finish it today. And it needs a title. Zombie thing just doesn’t work…

 

#

 

“Chris?” Tina’s voice was very loud in the dark cab. “Where is the ferry?”

Chris ignored her, he scrambled out of the driver’s seat into the back of the truck where he pushed the sunroof open and half hauled himself onto the roof of the truck. He squinted at the far bank, the moon peeking from the clouds, reflected off of the choppy water. He couldn’t see the other side clearly.

“Where are the night vision goggles?” He called down.

“Peter had them.” Kas said, her voice bland. Chris swore looking back across the river. Peter died. Clouds moved across the sky, and the river was only illuminated by the headlights of the truck.

“Here.”

Chris glanced down. The blond girl they’d plucked from the tree was handing him a pair of military issue night vision goggles. He took them and nodded his thanks before looking.

He wished he hadn’t. He could see the ferry, resting against the far side of the river. He could see the landing and the figures of Z’s hunched over…

He dropped back into the truck, silently handed the girl her goggles back and closed the sun roof. He went back to the driver’s seat, sliding into it with a frown.

“Chris?”

“Ferry ain’t comin.” He reached over to the glove box and pulled out the map, mind running in circles. He didn’t remember lighting the cigarette and was startled when the ash dropped to the map, on the marks they’d made over the towns they’d declared clear.

“Nearest bridge?” Tina asked.

Chris blinked and looked at her then glanced into the back of the truck, illuminated by the mini lantern. 7 sets of wary eyes watched him. How the hell did that happen? Why did they keep looking at him like he’d have all the damn answers? Wasn’t this supposed to be Kas’s show? But she looked as terrified as he felt. The ferry was their ticket home, a few hours up the road was base. The nearest bridge was miles away, and with the lack of road care what used to be a couple hours of driving was now a few days of rough terrain.

“Have to go towards the coast and up the _______ highway.” He blew the ashes off the map and handed it back to Tina.

“And Lou?” Kas asked.

Chris didn’t look back at her, didn’t have the guts to. Lou, the guy that manned the ferry, was her baby brother. “Lou’s dead.”

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Digi art and other meanderings

I love digi art. I love playing with programs such as Poser and Daz3d. I love being able to look at a piece of art I have made using those programs and “see” the characters I write about. So yesterday I kinda took a break and just *played* and came up with this:

Zander test render 2

I am quite proud of this picture. Despite the fact the clothes aren’t aligned right at the legs and arms and the hair is not exactly right… And I just noticed he doesn’t have eyebrows… **snerk** I find that funny

It is still very close to how I picture him, in his youth. Before shit hits the fan.mwahahaha **coughs**

#

We’ve been, in chat, having an ongoing discussion of traditional publishing verses self publishing. There is a lot of distrust between the two sides. Which makes me very sad. There is a lot we, as authors, should be able to do. Respecting others’ decisions on how they want to distribute and manage their writing career should be paramount. Luckily, for the most part, the folks I chat with have this respect, and are willing to accept other folks’ decisions… as long as they aren’t pressured to go the route they don’t feel comfortable with.

When I was working on the Zombie thing the other day, a friend advised me to find a publisher for it. And I realized, I’m having far too much fun to do that.

There is a lot of trad publishing hate out there. And it is not very surprising. They’ve been underpaying and mistreating their writers for years. (not getting on that soapbox) I have multiple reasons why I am just not comfortable with going the traditional route. So much is changing, so fast and the publishers, agents and writers are scrambling to figure out what next. I could list off things and reasons why I choose not to trad publish, but there are so many of those declarative posts out there that it feel like it is feeding a negative air that surrounds self pubbing. Honestly, when it all boils down to it, I’d rather list off reasons why I choose to self publish.

  • I love making covers. I am such a geek. I love fiddling with the digi art, I love putting together concepts, I love knowing that if I screw up on the cover it is MY fault not an underpaid and over worked artist who is given minimal information about book they are doing a cover for.
  • Time frame. Instead of wasting my time sitting on pins and needles waiting for a YAY or NAY from an editor/agent, as soon as my work is deemed publishable, it takes about a day or two to format and do the cover and then put it up. Months/years vs a day or three… Yeah
  • More freedom to write what I want. I am not locked into a genre, so if I want to explore doing sci-fi stories instead of fantasy or maybe a zombie thing or two… I CAN without needing to ask an agent or editor if I should or not. I have trouble with that idea.
  • If I need to handle real life I can give myself more time. (like the past three or four months) I don’t have to ask for patience from someone who has their bosses breathing down their neck because their author hasn’t delivered yet. That would make me feel real bad.
  • It is fun. Just, fun. I love the community, I love the people I have gotten to know. I love the options. I love seeing what I can do.
  • I love waking up to see sales. I won’t lie. That is one of the coolest things. I woke up the other day after having a series of minor disasters (flooded basement, leaky water heater, out furnace in 30 degree weather…) and saw sales. And I geeked, it made me smile big. Reviews would be nice but hey you can’t have everything can you? 😉
  • Returns on sales. I get about 30% on every sale (for the .99 price range) from Amazon, I’d have to double check on the Smashwords sales. To my knowledge, based off of discussion with my friends who are trad pubbed, trad published authors get far lower percentage per sale than that. Which makes me very sad. You trad published writers work so hard for your publishers they should be paying you more per copy imo.
At this point in time I really don’t see myself pursuing a trad publisher or agent. I can do everything they can do for me, for the most part, and thats just fine and dandy with me.
Now that I’ve procrastinated enough 😛 I have a zombie thing to finish (and find a title for), Bastard Prince to finish and Crossroads and Crown of Bones to outline all before the end of Jan.
Hope you all have a good Monday.
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Snippet Saturday

It is 4k and growing, my little zombie thing. Not sure how big it will be in the end, not sure if it will stay a short or a novella or what. Right now I am just trying to get it written and of course I have this hideous urge to make it a romancish thing. With zombies as the backdrop. WTF?

Anyways here is the opening section, thought I’d share for snippet saturday. Enjoy;

 

#

The front door lay in the yard, water collected in the grooves with little boats of peeling green paint on a mini-sea. Broken glass on the walkway reflected the clouds and patches of bright blue sky overhead. The screens hung at odd angles, bumping against the house with the wind. A teddy bear sat on the front porch, the thread that made up its mouth; unraveling and bleeding down its front. Its large button eyes watched him smoking his cancer stick on its front lawn.

Beyond the teddy bear, doll parts littered the foyer, Plaster and drywall, papers and wood covered the stairs and floor. Chris inhaled, dragging the stale cigarette smoke deep into his lungs and exhaled, flicking the butt into the muddy grass. Button eyes stared accusingly at him. He shook himself, it was just some old toy. The deep rumble of an engine announced the arrival of other survivors he was with.

“Hey man, I thought you was gonna investigate!” O yelled.

Chris ignored him, swearing under his breath. If there were any Zs around, they knew they were there now, noise always brought even stragglers. He shouldered his gun, said a silent prayer to the pepsi god, and stepped over the door onto the bottom step of the porch.

“We’ll be next door.” O called.

Chris waved, letting O know he’d heard, staring up at the house. It bothered him since they drove by a few days before. Once a tight knit community of fairly well-to-do folks, this little town had been devastated by the plague. After the initial outbreak many of the Z’s had headed south, towards the bigger cities in the south. Since arriving, no Z’s had been spotted. Chris wasn’t going to hold his breath. They always found Zs, eventually.

He stepped around the teddy bear into the foyer. Musty, moldy, it smelled of old abandoned house. And death. Old, dried out death. His boots crunched as he walked into what might have been a parlor. Bones littered the floor. A crushed skull and a whole collection of porcelain dolls were heaped by one of the walls. An old cuckoo clock, the hands broken off, stood out against the wallpaper. Chris felt the skin on the back of his neck tighten, prickling when he caught sight of the writing on the wall.

 

Help Never Came!

 

He swallowed, mouth dry. Brown paint. Gods, he hoped it was paint. He’d hate to think… He scanned the rest of the room. Broken furniture, a busted lamp. Nothing they could use in the compound. His eyes kept going back to the sign. Those last days, the radio dj’s were telling people to stay in their homes. Help was coming, just hang on.

 

Help Never Came!

 

The cool evening wind rustled papers in the next room, drawing his mind back from the chaos of the past. No point in worrying about it, nothing he could do now. He stepped through the far door into a small room It might have been an office, he couldn’t be sure, part of the roof had caved in. On the shelf, near the door, was a small book. A child’s diary.

A memory surfaced, buying his stepdaughter a similar diary. The kind with the little cheap locks that broke if pulled on too hard. He took it, shoving it into his shirt. Outside the truck pulled up, the engine thumping. They’d have to find a mechanic shop and soon if they were going to keep it going. He heard the heavy boot falls and crunching glass in the front yard.

“Hey man, you ok?” O called from the front door.

“Fine, clear on this side.”

“You go upstairs yet?”

“No.” Chris strode past the sign, trying not to look at the dried drips on the peeling, pale yellow wallpaper. “You get the rest of the downstairs, be careful, looks like the roof back there caved in.”

“Gotcha.”

There were signs of fighting, more bones, another skull, and children’s clothing down the narrow hallway. A room, looking like it might have been barricaded by furniture, beckoned. He shuddered and went, unable to refuse the urge. He stepped through the broken doorway, staring at the room with a sinking heart. A child’s room. A little girl, eight maybe? Ten? Dolls, horse toys, books and lots of pink ruffles filled what must have been a little girl’s dream room. The floor was littered with papers and there was a brown stained baseball bat.

He picked it up. A child’s bat, cheap wood, probably from some dollar store.

“Man did you see that sign downstairs? On the wall?” O was standing on the landing. “Shit musta been scary up here.”

“Yeah.” Chris tossed the baseball bat on the fancy bed with the faded pink comforter. He pulled out the pack of smokes, shook one out and gripped it with his lips while tucking the pack back into his pocket. He lit it, inhaled, and considered the room. Nothing they could use, nothing they needed. He exhaled, welcoming the smell of the smoke over the stale dead smell. He left the room, sliding past O without another word.

“Hey man, you ok?” O was one of those people, always trying to get down in other people’s business. Must have been a therapist before it all came crashing down.

“I’m fine.” Liar. Chris halted on the porch. The teddy bear was on its side. He inhaled, staring at the old stuffing. There were little bugs, black beetles of some kind crawling through the matted faux fur. He stepped to one side to let O slide by him.

“We found an auto shop, Kas says there ain’t anything left here.”

“Headin out then?”

“Yeah, I wanna look at the Golden Gate Bridge. Finish that smoke man, and come on.”

“Tell Kas I wanna see Hollywood.”

O laughed and trotted across the front door and back to the truck. Chris took his time, ignoring the calls from his fellow ‘friends’ to hurry up. They could kiss his ass. He flicked the butt into the grass, and started down the steps. He turned when he reached the door, going back to the porch and set the bear back upright before making his way to the truck.

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New Book Out and other thoughts

Her job is to send ideas to the Author, however, not everyone appreciates new ideas and Muse is told to curb her idea gathering. But can you really tell a Muse to stop?

 Another one of the Inside the Author’s Mind series. It is available at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and XinXii

I did that yesterday, taking a break from writing. Sometimes it is good to just take a breather, I’ve been going at a crazy pace since October. With the new year right around the corner it is time to evaluate what next year’s plan is. Put together a publishing schedule and figure out what my writing goals are.

Next year is going to be a bit crazy, at least the first part of the year will be. We are planning a cross-country move within the first three months or so of 2012, and for that time frame I will be offline while we get settled. How long will that take? I do not know. So much of it is in the air it is making me quite frustrated because I simply don’t know.

That said, in the last half of THIS year I have written a tremendous amount. I have pubbed 5 things, and if I can get a handle on this Zombie thing I may have a 6th story published by the 1st or shortly after. So I think I’ll do goals in short quarterly steps. The rest of this year will be to finish the zombie thing and Bastard Prince and possibly work on the outline for Crossroads

So;

  • Jan thru April if I can finish editing E1 and get it to betas before the move, maybe start edit pass 1 on Bastard Prince, I’ll feel like I have accomplished something for the first part of the year. I would like to get the outline for the Epic Fantasy story idea done.
  • May thru Aug should be a fairly good writing time, depending of course. Finishing and publishing E1, finishing edit pass 1 of BP and possibly start of Crossroads or start on Crown of Bones. Or both.
  • Sept thru Dec we have NaNo prep. What am I going to do for nano? I don’t know.
Mind you that these plans are always subject to change depending on my RL situation and what plotbunnies attack me throughout the year. Not to mention these are my BIG projects and don’t cover the myriad of little projects I have planned. If I deviate, I deviate.
Today’s plan; I want to try to wrap up the Zombie thing. So far it is still a short, for now. Then get back to Zander.
Recent Reads:
Night of the Aurora by J.A. Marlow
It is a freebee over at Amazon (though I don’t know how long that will last). Set in Alaska (one of my dream destinations, if I wasn’t married and had kids I would so go move to Alaska) there are hints of a haunted tourist lodge, an amazing and lively array of characters who left me laughing so hard I was almost crying, a failed sled dog and the beautiful aurora overhead. Oh and did I mention hidden aliens and a train breaking down in the middle of nowhere? This is the first book of the series and absolutely brilliant. I mean come on, Aliens in Alaska! How cool is that?  If you want to give someone a great gift this year, this would totally be a good one. I’m actually considering sending my nieces and nephews a copy. Good clean fun, great reading and a good pace.

Ok Time to get to work. Take care all.

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Writing, reading and headaches

I am fighting a headache. i know why I have a headache and it is my own damn fault. You see a few weeks ago I found this really nifty used book store about a mile or two from my house. I located a copy of the book Clan of the Cave Bear which I’d never read. I find it fascinating to read stories set in a per-historic time and so I bought it (and a bunch of other books). It got kicked around the room a bit before I finally, night before last, decided to read.

I was up till past 4am reading it thursday night and again last night when I finished it.

I am of many thoughts here on it. There were good points and bad points and so I thought I’d list it out here.

First of all I saw in this book great potential, but was put together in a very clumsy form. It wavered from a tight 3rd to a distant narration which bordered on a science teacher flavor and back. Headhopping was…. wow. I counted 5 POV switches in a single scene. And there were info dumps.

Now here’s something I wanted to think about and to mention, the author told me a bit of information, and after that, told me again, and again, and again the same piece of info. As if I would forget, as if I were stupid.

There were other things, stated facts about the Clan which I know now science has disproved but was accepted at the time the book was written. Attitudes the characters had, however, felt true to their culture.

The herbology lessons in the guise of the character’s conversation both bugged and intrigued me. It felt like a case of the author found some information and thought it was so cool she had to include it.

That said, my internal editor was screaming at me to start red-penning the book.

Yet I stayed up far too late, two nights in a row, to finish that horribly written book.

The story, with all its faults, was compelling. I wanted to honestly know what the heck was going to happen to Ayla, the main character. I wanted to see where she ended up. I wanted to know more about her world, her culture, and the people she called family. You see the author caught my attention, and despite the faults of how it was put together, kept my attention enough that I am sitting here nursing an eye-strain headache thinking about all the advice that flys around new writers; don’t do this, don’t do that… so on and so forth.

Sometimes the advice forgets one huge detail which ends up leaving a story a flat and uninteresting mess. What so many people tend to forget among the confusing clutter of how to put it all together, is….. a story. A story that sometimes pulls the reader along, unwilling, kicking, and screaming and won’t let go until they close that back cover and go WTF did I just read? <——– that was me at 4am

Now I am not going to say ignore all the advice. The cleaner the story, the easier to read. I think I wasted a lot of my reading time when reading that book, re-reading info covered in earlier chapters. But the story is what pulled me forward, my empathy with the mc. The tale behind the head-hopping and info dumps. When you are working on your story, try not to forget the concept, the idea, the premise of what made you want to write it in the first place.

Those are my thoughts, I welcome comments and thoughts.

Now, today, I am planning on trying to wrap up the zombie thing and work on Bastard Prince. Once I lose my headache.

For now? I think I’ll go to see what the next book is because I am curious and want to find out what happens to Ayla…

Happy Sat folks

 

ohohohohoh I should mention; this book is not one for minors. There are several rape scenes, brutality towards women, beatings and attitudes that are very primative. Those of you who might have issues with those sorts of scenes would do well to stay away from this book. I did have to grit my teeth a bit because of the attitudes, even of the “good” guys. Just fyi

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December already?

What happened?

Wow. OK, so life is interesting.

Writing is too.

This months’ list is limited to finishing Bastard Prince and then playing with digi art and editing side projects.  I have this Zombie idea that has been growing on me. It is now sitting at over 1500 words and still going. Words that haunt:

My daddy always called me his Angel, but my mama called me born of the devil. 

I don’t know about you, but I “hear” a heavy southern accent.

Ok time to get to writing. Will check the sales later. I haven’t been marketing or anything because of RL issues. My sales are not the best atm but I am not too bothered by it.

 

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NaNo Won

Did it yesterday. Then sat up staring at the computer going… oook now what?

So I wrote out an 800 word… thing that I am not too sure of. It is a zombie scene. I don’t usually do Zombie stories but it has been beating around in my head since I hear the song by Rise Against entitled Help is on the Way. I am debating what to do with it, though I may just shelve it and let it marinate. I may post it here as a freebee and see what folks think, I’m not sure.

The nano project, while sitting over 50k, is not done. I have been skimming over the story and tweaking here and there, rearranging some of the scenes and noting where scenes need to be added in the next pass.

I seem to write in layers, I’ve noticed this with other projects and have gotten flak from people claiming I am getting bogged down in edits. I write bare bones, then go back and fill in scenes.

Oh I am bouncing all over the place here. Ok, time to get my butt moving. Just because nano is won doesn’t mean the writing stops. Bastard Prince isn’t finished yet, even my bare bones version.

Have a fun snip;

“The report from Auron has been disheartening to say the least.” The Commander said after raising an eyebrow and grinning at Zander in greeting. “The slayer has been very busy in the Shadowlands, though it isn’t mobilized, training camps have sprung up around the main cities. Dark Rahaun and others, some fae and even Sharin are being trained and readied for something. However, we have no idea what. Auron indicated in his report that he had to make a hasty exit from the Shadowlands and is currently in hiding, though where he wouldn’t specify.”

“Probably slept with someone’s wife and got caught.” One of the other rahaun muttered.

“Or daughter.” Someone else grumped. 

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Nano update

The nano project is halfway complete, sitting at 40k. IfI can do 2 5k days I can call nano done and just focus on finishing the book itself. Then I will take about a month or two just to focus on playing with covers. Seeing as it looks like we may be moving sometime between Feb 1st and March 30th I don’t want to get too deep into another project. So I’ll probably be editing E1 and playing with digi art.

 

Here is a nano snip; hope you are all staying safe today.

 

“We think she was able to do what you did, are doing. Your abilities are suppressing your illness. If that could be… channeled, what an interesting thing that would be.” She leaned forward, the lite clatter sound from her armor as she moved seemed very loud. “Something changed, when you hauled Hayner up. We want to see if we can help you control this ability.”

“In return?” Zander glanced at Lord Merdoc.

“You would join the Sarukai. And all the…. fun that entails.” Lady Nyhavi said with a tight smile.

“There is a possibility that by using your abilities for other matters, beside suppressing the Wasting could bring an early onset of symptoms. We saw that with your mother.” Lord Merdoc cautioned. “It could bring you to an earlier grave. The choice is yours.”

Zander looked back down at the disk, not seeing the wood, the charring or the slight imperfections in the carving. He saw possibilities. “I’m a dead man either way.” He closed his fingers around the disk, feeling the sides of it digging into his palm. He met Lady Nyhavi’s cool gaze. “I’ll do it.”

“It is not an easy path. Death by Zarconis or the Dark Immortals is a very real possibility”  She nodded, made a slight gesture at Lord Merdoc who inclined his head and left.

“Everyone dies.” He said. “Even the gods”

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Because I can

Quick pre-Thanksgiving post; I have a snip here that had me chuckling, hope you all don’t find it too confusing;

 

NaNo Snip:

 

“You know Immortals?” Zander asked, forcing the words.

Lord Merdoc eyed him. “Don’t believe in the Immortals, boy?”

Zander blinked, struggling to find something to say. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in them, more he’d never really thought of them.

“You have met at least three since coming up here, you know.” Lord Merdoc said, his lip twitching.

Zander looked over at Hayner who was nodding solemnly. “You have got to be joking.”

“Lady Nyhavi served in the last god war with Savna and the Shaderunner,” Merdoc pulled a small bag of smoked meat strips and tossed one at Zander then at Hayner. “The Gods asked her to sign on with one of them, but she declined.”

“Why?” Hayner asked.

Merdoc shrugged. “Ask her. The Third was born shortly before the humans arrived, used to serve Solur but gave up her commission after Savna died. And Nordel.”

“Nordel?” Zander frowned.

“I suspect he was sent here as a spy originally, though I’ve never been able to get him to admit it.”

“And you know he is an immortal, how?”

Lord Merdoc grinned, took a bite of the meat and went back to stand at his perch.

 

 

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RIP Anne McCaffery 1926 – 2011

For many of us there is someone in our life that so strongly influences us that we change the direction we are going in because of that person. For me it was Anne McCaffery. I never got to meet her. Never got to tell her “thank you” for her stories. I wanted too, oh man i wanted to see the Lady herself. But it never seemed to work out. Something always came up.

You see, when I was about 7, I “borrowed” a book off of my dad. It was a big hardback edition of Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon. I read it in a week and from that point on I was hooked. Anne McCaffery was my hero. I played dragons in the backyard. Pretending i had somehow made Earth into Pern. I don’t remember the logistics of the game but it involved a lot of running around the backyard with the dogs (big firelizards) and playing on the swing (fighting thread).

I read everything from her I could find. And i joined a pern fan club. Back before the internet when everything was snail mail. I wrote fanfic, and that is what got me started. You could, I suppose, say that Anne was responsible for me deciding to write. I discovered the world of reading, of writing, all because I crawled behind my couch with a flashlight and that big white book and was transported to another world.

She was my escape during High School. She was my hero. I wanted to be a writer. Just Like Anne.

My world is richer because of her writing.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to read her work, I am thankful for her stories. I am thankful she chose the path she did.

Good-bye Anne, thank you for your dragons. Thank you for your worlds.

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NaNo day 21

Ok, spotty posting, sorry. Life just started itsholiday ramp up, joy of joys.

 

Anyways, nano is sitting at 33k and I am loving the way this story is falling together. Am busy with family stuff so here is a snip, and if I don’t get back to the blog before thursday;

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

NaNo Snip:  WARNING; THIS IS A BIT GROSS

 

“We’ll have to camp here,” Hayner said. “And go on after we rest. Sound good?”

Zander nodded, sinking down to the ground. He leaned back, tucked the light globe into his vest and closed his eyes.

“Zander wake up!” Hayner’s voice dragged at him, pulling him from the sleep that claimed him so easily.

He forced his eyes open, and sat up. In the edge of the light was movement.

“I’ve got this as bright as it will go. There’s something very large out there.” Hayner’s voice was very bland. He had drawn one of his swords and was crouched, just watching.

“What the hell is it?” Zander whispered. He scrambled to his feet, pulling his own blade.

“I don’t know.” Hayner “I haven’t…” his words faded as a very long sticklike something moved into the light, followed by another. Zander was reminded of a spider’s legs. He stepped back, barely breathing.

Into the light crept the large, bulbous body of something but it was the shape atop it that sent Zander to shaking.

“Holy fuck.” He whispered.

It looked like what might have been a man, might have been a rahaun. Flesh hung, dried and peeling from corded and dark looking muscle. Arms hung at either side, one hand which looked more skeletal than flesh, clutched a halberd. The face was more skull and peeling flesh. The nose long gone and most of the lower right jaw had no flesh whatsoever. The eyes were still there, gray, clouded and dead.

“Oh I am so going to kick Merdoc’s ass.” Hayner whispered.

As it moved closer, it’s spider like legs scraped and rustled against each other. Zander gritted his teeth, glancing back behind them. The tunnel loomed behind them.

“Should we make a break for it?”

Hayner shook his head, gritting his teeth. “We’re Bright Light. We can take it.”

“How?” Zander asked.

Hayner took a deep breath. “Take out the legs. Its…” he shook his head. “Just take out the legs and stay clear of the halberd.”

“In the dark?”

“It’s blind.” Hayner said.

“So are we.” Zander pointed out. Fear was fading fast. He darted forward, dodging one of the legs to slash at one of the shorter back ones. His sword crunched through it, the dead jaw opened and a long, low moan filled the air as it stumbled against the side of the ravine. It slashed blindly with the halberd, narrowly missing Zander. Hayner was darting in on it’s other side, his light flickering with each movement.

When all the legs were cut and lay twitching on the ground they stepped back. The body was covered in a thick shell up to where the corpse’s abdomen was attached. It flailed the halbred around making it difficult for them to get an easy blow. Zander blocked it and Hayner took the arm off. The arm, still clutching the Halbred twitched on the ground for a few heartbeats, dark liquid oozed from the stump.

“SSSsss… Sorcery and swords!” The whisper stopped them both in their tracks and they stared, horrified at the thing. “I wassss and honorable man once…”

Zander looked at Hayner who was shaking his head, whispering a prayer. He swung his sword in an arch cutting the other arm. The thing groaned again, turning its head in that direction.

“Gods forsook us,” It leaned forward. “Burn me.”

“It’s aware.” Zander whispered.

“The hell it is.” Hayner took its head off, the blow made his head roll into the darkness. The torso collapsed backwards, the front of it tearing away from base, the smell of rotting intestines filled the air as they dribbled out of its stomach.

Zander gagged, stumbling backwards as his own stomach tried to reject his meager dinner.

Hayner walked away blinking rapidly. “Lets get through that tunnel and onto the ______ plains.”

Zander stared at the thing nodding. “What was it?”

“Something that should have died in the last god war.”  

 

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Some things


Oh man that is just plain cool.

 

 

Ok NaNo marches on. The story is fun and difficult and challenging and I think I have GOT it, you know?

No snip today. I’m sorry, suffering from “Oh god these words suck!”

Maybe tomorrow.

 

 

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