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Hibernation

If I was a dragon, I would very much hibernate. Although I might do it in the summer to avoid the heat. Or just for a hundred years, because sleeping is the best thing to do any time of year.

The Sleeping Dragon by shimhaq98

The Sleeping Dragon by shimhaq98

You probably know what hibernation is – a long sleep over the winter months to help animals get through the period when there isn’t much food available. You basically slow everything down (breathing, heart rate, temperature) so you don’t really need much to survive, just the leftovers from the stuff you ate all summer long.

Do dragon hibernate? Yes, but they tend to do it on the scales of years or decades, rather than just the winter months. Do they do it for similar reasons? Yes and no. Yes, it can be useful when there isn’t much food about, hibernating doesn’t require a lot of energy, so if there isn’t a handy village full of sheep/cows/people nearby, and the adventurers have stopped coming into your lair to defeat you/steal your gold, then sleeping until the human and cattle populations have built themselves up again isn’t a bad choice by any means.

However, it is not the only reason for dragons to hibernate. They are also said to have pretty good healing when they slip into hibernation. It’s not regeneration, so if they’ve lost a limb, then it stays lost, but rents in scales and other such injuries can be healed with a hibernation. Also good for if you need to get rid of some scales and grow some new ones because they’ve gotten old or tarnished. A dragon doesn’t really want to be out and about when there’s a gap in their armour.

An interesting point that has been theorised is connected into the hoards of gold that some dragons collect. If a dragon breaths on the gold, not enough to melt it but enough to heat it, then the dragon has a very good blanket in which to sleep in or on for the hibernation, with occasional top-ups of heat required. This part is thought to depend on the species of dragon, as some dragons do not like heat (frost dragons) and may instead bury themselves in snow to pass their hibernation in.

Mostly I am just slightly jealous, since I love sleeping, and doing it for a number of months/years sounds like a dream. That, and the weather is just about horrible enough that getting out from the covers each morning is a draining experience. I’d much rather be sleeping under a horde of gold. Or blankets, I could very much hoard blankets.

sleeping-dragon-horde

“There He Lay” by Justin & Annie Stegg Gerard

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The Blood Within – Extract

As much as I am easing off the pedal in December, I am going to try and get some sort of semi-regular posting schedule done on the blog. I do like writing here, and hate feeling like I’m ignoring it. So hopefully I can get a few fiction and dragons posts down.

I mentioned in the November debriefing post that I changed projects halfway through (well, less than halfway, but, you know, who needs accuracy) the month. However, The Blood Within is still very much an idea in my head and I don’t think it’s unwritable, it’s just not writable yet.

So, for my fiction piece today, I thought I’d share with you a bit that I did manage to write. Just to remind myself that it probably isn’t as bad as I think it is and I can totally come back to it as a when it and I are ready.

***

blood-vial

Ghost turned her head, following the sounds of the laughter as it travelled around. It was moving, in very quick bursts, but she was able to follow it smoothly, which was more than could be said for Daria.

She was spinning with every new sound, trying to track the source of the distinct laughs, starting at every noise, even as she staggered, a small trickle of blood seeping out from the wound on her arm. It looked far more blood than usual, Ghost noticed.

The laugh came again, and Daria spun around, staggering as her legs gave way, and Ghost stepped forward to catch her. Daria tried to wave her off, but only succeeding in further unbalancing herself, driving her sword into the ground to hold herself up, before entirely collapsing to the ground.

Ghost removed her two swords first, tucking them back into her belt, before she picked Daria up and moved her off the ground, placing her underneath a tree, her back supported by the trunk so she was sitting up. She remembered the medicine other people had practiced, and it would keep her heart elevated, her body warmer than if it was entirely on the ground, and if she woke up, it would be a more relaxing position to be in.

There was rustling from behind her, but Ghost finished with Daria before she stood up as turned around, looking at the effeminate figure that had appeared in behind her.

It laughed again, its bronzed skin lighting up, even in the shade of the trees. It looked over at her, tilting its head to one side, holding a finger up to its lips.

“I know what you a-are.”

It was said in a sing-song voice, drawing out the last word. Ghost continued to look at the person, and slowly tilted her head so that it mirrored its.

They laughed again, and there was a rustling noise, suddenly appearing right in front of Ghost’s face. She drew back fractionally at the sudden intrusion into her space. It was an action that she took without thinking, and it caused her to blink a few times. More laughter.

It reached out with a long finger, waving it from side to side in front of her face. She followed it with her eyes, tracing it back and forth. Until suddenly it thrust out, just flicking the end of her nose.

For the second time that encounter, she drew back, blinking rapidly.

The person laughed again, and then drew back a little, gazing at her with a fascination that she hadn’t seen since that castle, where Caspian has often had a similar look when he chose to acknowledge her. Their eyes were a warm golden colour, nothing like would be found on humans, combined with their skin and hair, the effect was like looking at a soft fire or sun, very warming.

“You know, it’s been years since one of your kind was around.”

“Six hundred and thirty seven.”

“That long? My, time does fly. Or crawl. Or spin away into nothingness,” they stepped in closer again, but Ghost didn’t pull back this time. She was ready for an attack, although she didn’t think one would be coming.

“Are you?”

She blinked at the person, not comprehending the question.

Some moments passed, then they sighed, rolling their eyes dramatically, “The only one?”

“Yes. I am the only Dhampir. Currently alive.”

“Awwww. All alone. Lonely little Dhampir.”

Ghost didn’t react. She wasn’t sure what the person meant by alone.

“Oh, I remember now. You’re a little bit weird in the emotions department aren’t you? You always did have that problem. Guess everyone forgot that, huh?”

Ghost didn’t respond. She didn’t know if it was actually a question of whether the person was just talking out loud.

It laughed again. Ghost turned her head away, looking back over at Daria. She could still hear the heartbeat, so she knew that she wasn’t dead, but it probably wasn’t good and they probably should go find someone.

There was a pressure on her cheek, and her head was turned back, the person back right in front of her, one hand on her face, gently turning it back to face her.

“Tell you what. I’m feeling nice, so I am going to help you,” there was emphasis on the words I and you, which she thought might mean something, but she wasn’t sure what.

The other hand took hers, turning it over and holding it out, and something cold and smooth was placed in it. Ghost looked down as they stepped away, and she saw that it was a glass vial. Worming the stopped out of the neck, she held it up, going in to smell it, and realising that there was nothing in it.

She looked up at the person, “Empty?”

“For the moment,” they smiled, then brought a single finger up to their mouth, and bit down on it, and Ghost’s eyes dilated out as she smelt the fresh blood in the air.

There was something strange about it, making saliva rise at the back of her throat. It was almost like a tingle at the back of her throat, that anticipation of a meal, but there was something unusual and exotic, something she couldn’t quite imagine or grasp hold of, invoked by the smell of that blood.

The person spotted as she perked up but held up her uninjured hand, wiggled a finger from side to side as they tutted, “Do behave. This isn’t for you to drink. Not yet anyway.”

Ghost stood very still, only her eyes moving, following the person as they moved, fixating on the blood flowing from the injured finger. They walked slowly over to her, stopping just a pace away, and slowly held out their hand, letting the blood run over their skin, until it started dripping off, landed in the empty vial.

Ghost didn’t move a muscle as the vial slowly filled up, even though it was small. Eventually there was only a small space left at the top, and the person withdrew their finger, then took the hand that was holding the stopper, and gently guided her to put it back in.

With a little self- congratulatory noise, they placed their finger in their mouth, sucking at the wound, and gave Ghost a grin. With the smell of fresh blood fading out, she could move again, and looked down at the vial of blood she now had.

“Well done,” they said, “A for being such a good girl, I’m going to let you keep that. Do save it for a special occasion, okay? It’s going to be such a treat for you, and a very nasty trick for everyone else.”

So this person did know what she was, and how it worked. That was unusual, even the vampires didn’t seem to know how she worked, and they theoretically should, given that she was half vampire in the first place.

“What are you?”

The person turned around to her, eyebrows raised, “You have a very nice voice you know, you might want to try using it more than you do.”

“What are you?”

The fact that she was still talking seems to please them, as they smiled a coy smile, “Guess.”

Ghost looked down at the vial in her hands, and then thought back to the sensations that smelling the blood had caused.

“Fae?”

It laughed, “Excellent guess. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve chaos to cause elsewhere.”

The trees rustled, a distinct absence of wind in the air, and Ghost blinked and they were gone. She looked back down at the vial in her hands. A vial of Fae blood. The Fae were such rare visitors to this plane that people often thought they were myth, and certainly the stories of them were varied to say the least. But now she had a vial of Fae blood, if the person was to be believed, and they had warned her to save it. She knew what vampire, human and werewolf blood would do for her, but she was entirely unsure about Fae abilities, and what she would inherit from the blood.

November Conclusion

First of all, apologies for not posting during the entire month. The reason is pretty obvious – I was putting all of my creative energy into finishing NaNoWriMo. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was either doing my masters, trying to keep up with work/social life, and getting ill. Fantastic time to get ill really (but I have medicine from my wonderful doctor now so it should start getting better).

First of all, the big news. I won – I wrote 50,000 words in the month. Yay!

2016nano

However, this year was really difficult. As you can see, for most of the month I was actually behind where I should have been, and although I caught up at the end, it was difficult to get the words down on the page. Also, the novel I said I was going to write – The Blood Within? That’s didn’t really happen. I got about 10K down on it, and then it just stalled. I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head and onto the page.

So I swapped projects, choosing something which I knew I could get out of my head and write down. It’s probably never going to see the light of day, but it got me writing.

This was actually the first year where I doubted that I could make the 50K. Giving that I’ve been overachieving for a few years now, that was a pretty scary thought. But, I have to remember, that I was doing a lot this year. And actually, managing the 50,000 words alongside everything else that I was doing? Not a bad feat.

So how is the other stuff doing? Well we’ve started the dissertation preparation module in my master’s course, which has me internally screaming every time I have to think about it, but I do think I have an idea for what I want to do, which is a really good start. And I’m mostly on top of that work, which is good.

Work is…well, at least it’s nearly Christmas.

Social life is good, and the tabletop games I’m playing in continue to be excellent. Actually, I’ve been invited to play in a new one that’ll be starting up next year and i’m super excited for that.

The LIFE BOSS hit pretty hard this month. That’s been on and off terrible, but I am getting it sorted out, slowly, but getting there. Stress is a big thing for me at the moment, but I plan on spending December taking things a little easier, and the 365K club comes to a close at the end of the year, so that’s another thing I can take off my plate. That’s actually going pretty well, and I’m sure you’ll hear about that before the end of the year.

So yeah, November was hard, but I am glad that I did it, and I’m super glad that it’s over. December is going to be getting things back on track, back on a steady progress level, rather than the frantic pace it’s been for November. And next year in November, I’ll have finished my degree, so there’ll be more time and brain space for writing epic amounts in a month.

I hope that if you did NaNoWriMo, that the month was rewarding for you, whether you hit the goal or not.

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner_congrats

Delving back into the backlog of Flash Fiction Challenges that monsieur Chuck Wendig set to try and encourage myself to write again. I’ve been doing a lot of re-reading lately, and also trying to come up with some notes for my NaNoWriMo novel this year. No, I haven’t suddenly become a planner, but I do want to come up with a list of supernatural creatures and what they might do because there is going to be a lot of different supernatural in this novel and I need lots of ideas to pull on as I write. So that’ll be fun to put together.

This challenge was to find a photo and then use that photo as inspiration for a short story. I found this striking black and white photo of a bridge which I used as my starting point.

bdige-of-cala

Bridge of Cala

The surface of the water ripples in the wind, shadows flickering across the top of it again. Casey’s feet were cold, which was good considering the rest of them was sweltering hot. It was always hot in the city, even when it rained.

Leaning back, they looked up at the massive bridge that was causing the shadows to play across the water. Concrete and steel, spanning off into the distance, fading away out of sight. Crossing the vast ocean between the city and the rest of the continent. Given how imposing it was up close, Casey always found it incredible to see from up high in the city, looking down, as if it was a single narrow thread, the only link to the world outside.

Casey shook their head, then stood up, grabbing the collar of their scruffy coat and the strap of their camera as they did so, and turning to walk away, wet footprints left behind against the hot concrete.

Screens from oversized TV hung on the outside of building screamed as they walked passed, the usual news from all over the city. Politicians making lies, celebrities caught in scandals, someone was dead, and now for the weather – high chance of strong winds and rain later, don’t get caught outside tonight!

Just the same old, same old.

Winding though the skyscrapers and ever growing buildings, Casey trod a familiar path, avoiding the cleaning robots that swept around the pavement, getting underfoot even as they did their only job of keeping the city tidy.

The noise of the TVs faded away as Casey walked away from the mainstream areas of the city. The slums certainly weren’t the cesspit they had been mere decades ago, thanks to the automation and rebuilding of the city, but they were less well trodden, less cared about than other parts.

A messenger robot hummed across overhead as Casey knocked four times on a door, which slid open to allow them entrance into the packed room.

It was fairly noisy in here, as robots and gadgets whirred and beeped. The guard dog came up and gave Casey a friendly sniff, before rolling over onto its back and letting out a metallic ‘woof’. Not its fault the poor thing wasn’t programmed with a guard instinct.

“Casey, pictures!”

Unslinging the strap from their shoulder, Casey threw the camera over to the slightly chubby owner of the flat. They let out a small shriek and only just caught the camera with the tips of their fingers, stumbling slightly as they overbalanced.

“Dammit Casey!”

Casey shrugged, and then went back to stroking the dog. They remembered stroking a real dog once, at least they thought it was a memory, might be a dream. They usually was a dog in their dreams.

Thornton carefully open up the back of the camera, took out the chip, and plugged the memory ship into the computer. Reaching up, they flicked the lights, and the entire room was bathed in a red light. Opening up the back, they extracted a roll of film, some sort of really old tech apparently.

It was some time spent faffing around, printing picture, washing them in special chemicals. Thornton tried continuously to explain it to Casey, but they never listened. It was just old tech, why anyone would bother with it all was beyond them.

“Ah ha! See! If you compare this picture of the bridge with the digital equivalent, you can clearly see the effect of the nanotreens-“

Casey was already lost, but the picture was quite a good one. Doing these odd errands, which often involve taking picture of parts of the city, had given them a lot of practice, and privately, they thought it was quite a good photo. The bridge was in monochrome, a sort of halo effect around part of it where the light had been shining, path reflected in the metal of the construction.

If they’d had any idea how it would make them money, they’d take up art as a professional. Another pipe dream.

It took him a while longer to be satisfied with the pictures, and then he rummaged around in a drawer, pulling out a credit chip, and threw it to Casey, who unlike him, easily caught it.

“Come back tomorrow, I’ll need more help with this.”

Casey nodded, but then quickly left the flat, their stomach long since given up on growling at them with hunger, but waking up with anticipation.

A carton of food, cheap, but filling, purchased from a corner vendor dangled from their hand as they traced another familiar path through the city, climbing higher and higher, crossing small bridges and pathways, climbing terraces, until they reached one of the highest points in this part of the city, and settled down under a veranda that had been set up on this terrace, strung up between two walls. Perfectly safe to watch the storm fall over the city.

They didn’t have to wait long either, the clouds already racing across the sky, dark ones rolling in, the leading edge of rain clearly visible as the air turned from clear to misty with the heaviness of it all.

Sucking up the noodles, Casey leaned again the wall, enjoying the sight of the city being drenched, a tiny thrill at hearing the first crack of thunder roll out. It might not cool the city down much, but the storms were some of the best weather they got.

The bridge stretched out to the great beyond, swaying, slightly at first, then more, until it was practically vibrating as the wind and rain lashed at it.

A lightning fork crashed down, striking the top of the bridge, the metal glowing briefly before being instantly cooled by the rain.

Then another, and another.

Casey frowned, that was a lot of lightning, even for a big storm.

And then there was one more, even bigger than before, reaching down passed the top curved of the bridge, and striking at the footpath.

The entire bridge lit up, glowing gold, like a pathway to heaven.

Then the first support snapped.

A chain reaction, down the entire length, one after the other, the support snapped, a gaping arch opening up between bridge and footpath.

Slowly, almost imperceptibly at first, the archway started to tilt, pushed by the wind, until gravity took over, and the whole structure started to fall.

Casey didn’t realise that they had stood up, cartoon of food falling to the floor, forgotten and the tearing of metal and concrete screeched throughout the air, even over the storm, and the bridge ripped itself to piece under its own weight, urged on by the storm. Huge waves swamped the edge of the city as pieces of the bridges fell into the ocean, sinking out of sight.

The bridge of Cala was quickly disappearing out of sight, a single chain, pulling itself into oblivion, and the only link the city had to outside world along with it.

NaNoWriMo 2016 Novel

Okay, so after that marathon post, whittling it down to six, asking everyone I knew for their opinions, getting it down to three, and then spending an inordinate amount of time deliberating over the choice until I realised I’d spent two hours researching one thing on the internet for one of the books and decided that was a level of involvement that meant I should probably write it, I have finally decided which book I shall be writing for NaNoWriMo!

blood

The Blood Within

Dhamphir’s are bad. Everyone know this. What no one can remember is why.

In the centuries since the vampire’s wiped out their half blood cousins, all of the supernatural creatures that roam the earth and the realms beyond have forgotten about them. Even the long lived vampires, the ones who could make them, the ones who killed them, they’ve lost the knowledge to the passage of time.

So when a new Dhampir is born, no one’s quite sure what to do. The most obvious answer is to kill it, but that seems like a waste. Vampires get their powers from the blood of the humans, so what about the blood of a half human, half vampire? Well, that must be a potent thing indeed.

Locked away and raised in isolation, waiting for the time without knowing when, the young Dhamphir has no idea about the herself, her powers, or the outside world. But the outside world knows about her, and it’s grown tired of the millennium long reign of the vampires. Maybe, just maybe, if they can fake her death and pull off a rescue, then they can give her a chance to grow up, a chance to grow into whatever it was that the vampires feared so much.

Of course, there was a time when everyone feared them, and for good reason. They just can’t remember why.

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant

If you don’t recognise that title as being from the master list, that’s because it was called ‘Ghost’ down there. But since Ghost is the nickname of the main character and the book doesn’t actually involve ghosts at all, I thought it needed a change. That’s what I spent two hours on – trying to find an alternative name for the novel. And given I spent that much time finding the new title, I figured that’s probably involved enough to spend the month writing the novel.

And I have so many ideas about it. It’s going to be a huge melting pot of every supernatural creature I can think of, so I get to go make huge long lists of all of those and what powers they might have, because it’s very relevant to the plot. The main character is also going to be interesting to write for reasons I don’t quite want to say because it gives away a lot. Either way, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

And of course the other novels don’t go away just because I’m not writing them. Heck, if I get bored of The Blood Within, or even finish it, then I might explore writing another project. I hope to do much the same as I did last year, giving a weekly update of my progress on the novel and not entirely abandon this blog during November, so I’ll let you know how things are going.

NaNoWriMo 2016 Preparation

October is here! And what does that mean? Countdown to NaNoWriMo!

I mean, there are obviously things going on in October, but for the moment, at least for today, I am concentrating on National Novel Writing Month and the preparation work that comes with it.

profileSo far I’ve logged onto the website, spruced up my author profile, made two different word count spreadsheets, posted on the forums and donated, getting my usual halo around my profile. At least one of the reasons I keep that particular profile picture is because the halo looks really good on it. Also adorable Toothless.

What I haven’t done, which is probably an important part of the process, is choose which novel I am going to write this year.

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I’m a classic NaNoer (at least i am this year) so I pick a new novel and write a first draft during this month. That, and having a break from my older projects might help me to go back to them later. Theoretically. But unlike other years, I’ve been thinking a lot about editing and polishing up those older novels I’ve already written, so as of yet, none of the new ideas have jumped out at me.

Novels I currently have on the go: Archmage, Eidetic, Mechanic Awakening, Quiet Poison, Black Dawn.

Black Dawn’s a bit of weird one. I did technically write it for my first ever NaNoWriMo. But that was six years ago now, and it’s terrible, so it’s being restarted. And I’ve not quite gotten around to restarting it properly. I’ve got the first, like, three pages? Okay, the first 5K. So, I’m not sure how much that counts as a current project. However, I know that I have worked on it before, and I kind of want to do something fresh. I think if nothing else gets chosen, I’ll fall back on this, but I would like to do something completely new.

Looking at my writing page, it says I have the current ideas:

  • Court of Ice
  • Supernatural
  • Fading Shifts
  • Chaos Mage
  • Shadow Rock
  • Blank Charm
  • DNA Key
  • Crossing Realms

In the solid ideas categories are Court of Ice, DNA Key. Slightly less solid would be Fading Shifts, Shadow rock, Blank Charm and Crossing Realms. Supernatural is…complicated and I can’t actually remember what Chaos Mage is, so I’d have to find my notes…okay, so it’s that, but that’s like three lines and not enough to go on. So the first six might be potential ideas.

Having found my master ideas list, there’s a few on there – Pirate, Traitor, Thief of Memories, Fallen Fae, Blood Mage, a dragon idea or two. Blimey, even more in my google docs folder – Firebird, Of Those in Shadow, Ghost, that other project I don’t even have a name for yet. So more potential ideas.

Of course, having an abundance of ideas can be only slightly less complicated than having no ideas at all. Okay, so, I’m going to write out all these ideas, and see which ones I like, and which ones I don’t. Get ready, this is a long list.

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Court of Ice – Magic has been outlawed, but when  pressure rises in the south with the threat of a revival of the old ways, Adriana, lady in waiting to the princess, has some choices to make. High politics and intrigue, slight game of throne feel with more magic.

Fading Shifts – Out of all of there races, shapeshifters are the most rare, having been declining in numbers for centuries. But now, the other races are starting to feel the same effects, and are finally taking an interest. But considering there are only three shifters still left, can they find out what’s going on before the race goes completely extinct?

Shadow Rock – Ashley is the heir to the Throne of Darkness, something that hasn’t been up for grabs in four generations. With people trying to take it for themselves from all direction, from murder to marriage, she runs away from it, all the way to America to do what she wants to do. But is it far enough?

Blank Charm – It was only a little something she picked up from a curiosity shop on holiday, but ever since she found that bracelet, strange things keep happening to her, and these people won’t stop following her, but she has no idea if their friend or foe, or even human. As if Kelly didn’t have enough shit to deal with right now.

DNA Key – In the future, everything is controlled by DNA, food allowances, leisure entitlements, even access into buildings. Kaeleigh’s father, an genius scientist, created a master key – something that will allow anyone to get into anywhere, get anything they want. But he’s just been murdered, and now the attention’s on her – does she have the key to finding the key?

Crossing Realms – You might think that the multiverse would be filled with thousands upon thousands of realms, all just overlapping each other, not quite touching. But no, there’s five. Just five, and they’re meant to be quite spread out. So when they edges of the realms start touching, it’s quite a shock, and quite the disturbance to reality as it’s known. Five people, a champion from each of the realms, have a chance to fix what it is that’s going wrong. But there are only five of them, and it’s quite a big task.

Pirate – Meg turned her back on her family and friends ten years ago, but now they need her and her power. The only thing is, she gave up her power when she left, and really doesn’t want to see anyone from her old life

Traitor – Tess has been labelled as a traitor to the crown, why? Because she’s the same as the king – an ancient born again. She and He don’t want anything to do with each other, but the souls that reside inside them want different things, pushing and pulling against each other, whether they want to or not.

Thief of Memories – After losing everything, including her memories, Lara stole everything that she could, including a heart she probably shouldn’t have.

Fallen Fae – Falen doesn’t mind human as much as other Fae, but her refusal to bow completely to the traditions of the court get her banished, and now she has to turn to people that although she doesn’t mind, she doesn’t fully understand or trust.

Blood Mage – Francesca is the daughter of the most powerful blood mage ever, and almost as powerful a blood mage in her own right. The problem is, she’s a rebellious, attention-seeking teen, and does the one thing that she knows will annoy her father more than anything – join up with the army trying to take him down.

Unbounded – A very typical novel where dragon riders ride dragons in protection of the realm. Except one dragon hatches without bonding to a rider, from there’s it’s an uphill struggle to survive, and prove that dragons aren’t just beasts of burdens for the humans to control.

Firebird – An ancient cycle of death, rebirth, a family of hunter fighting agaisnt the forces of darkness. Unfortunately, their souls don’t get to pass on to the afterlife when they die, and the current family is very tired of hearing so many voices all the time. But there might be a chance, to break the cycle forever, with the power of the youngest of the line – the power of wind and flame, the power of the phoenix, the power over rebirth.

Of Those in Shadow – There are acceptable magics, and then there are those that are not. That is the proper way of things, and every person of an educated nature knows this. But Hailey’s spent her entire life being proper, and it always end up with her being overshadowed by her twin Harper. So maybe, just maybe, she can find something that she’s better at, something that she can do that her twin can’t. Even if it isn’t proper, and even if the consequences could get her killed, or worse.

Ghost – Dhampir’s are bad, the older they get, the worse it is. Although no one, not even the long lived vampires, can remember precisely why. So when a Dhampir is born, she’s sequestered away, brought up in isolation, ready for the day when the reigning family can kill her and reabsorb the power back into the line. Except, with help from those disillusioned with the royals, she fakes her death an escapes. Maybe, away from them, the world can find out why exactly the dhampir’s are considered so horrific. If it doesn’t backfire on them first that is…

AS YET UNTITLED – In this world, everyone had that one special creature waiting for them, that one special bond that you search for. And once you’ve found it, that when the adventure really begins. Abigail hasn’t yet found her special bond, but she doesn’t want to let that stop her adventure, and joins up with a group of other teenagers who have recently found their own bonded. In between escapades and travelling, it starts to look like things might not be as they appear on the surface – what is it that Abby is hiding so desperately from the rest of them?

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As of yet, writing those out, none of them have yet jumped out at me. There’s a few I think that would be more suitable to write than others, but no decisions as of yet. I think I might sit and stew on it for a while. Worst comes to the worst, I can be a geek and roll a d20 to see which one I write!

Princess the Hopeful Fiction

aegis

Aegis

So, at the moment, I’ve been working on a piece of fiction to do with my princess character. It’s not a novel (I mean, It’s length, but not a novel) and very few people are going to read it. Mostly I’m writing it because I want to, and if I’m writing something I want to write then that’s better than writing nothing at all, because I’m having a really bad week.

Also I’ve still got a kickstarter to cash in where I can get my own text printed on a scarf, and if I like this enough when it hits the upper word count, then there’s a chance that I’ll get this printed up and wear it around my neck, which is awesome.

However, since it is what I am currently working on, I thought I’d share an extract of it here. Because why on earth not, and I need to do a writing post for this week. So here’s an extract from my current fiction, about my character from the tabletop Princess game I play in.

***

“She is what she is, she does what she does. And she has an entire court that loves her for it,” Aegis said.

Before he could respond, there was a faint screeching noise from in the clouds, which caused them both to look up and around.

“What was that?”

“Not sure,” Aegis was scanning the clouds banks around them, looking for anything out of the ordinary among the fluffy white expanse.

The cry came around again, and echoed around them, less muffled this time.

He looked around, spotting a princess of spades and calling out to them, “What is that?”

“Not sure, we shouldn’t get anything up this high. I mean, the only thing that would be big enough to handle the currents is a-“

Out of the cloud on the left hand side of the ship burst a dark feathered form, cresting over the clouds, eyeing up the ship, before diving back down beneath the top layer, and the boat shuddered as the bird that was at least a third of its length battered against the underside.

“Roc!”

The cry echoed around the airship, and suddenly princesses were erupting from everywhere, shouting and calling to each other, adjusting various parts of the ship as it shook again, and Aegis spotted a number of them arming themselves.

He turned to look at her, his eyebrows slightly raised as he gripped the railing to steady himself, “Aren’t you going to join in?”

“I’m going to let the Princesses with the ranged weapons tackle the moving bird as it circles the ship. If it lands, I’ll very much get involved. Until then, there’s a lot of air between us that makes melee combat somewhat difficult.”

“True,” he turned to look out over the clouds, stumbling slightly as the boat shuddered again.

“Just hold on. It’ll be fine, these princesses are professionals.”

A number of grins flashed around her as the ranged weapons appeared, searching through the clouds, tracking the shadows and valleys that appeared.

“Here!”

The call came from the other side of the ship, and more than half the princesses moved over, leaving only a few to stand guard. A number of twangs were heard as arrows and other projectiles were loosed, several of them hitting their target.

Bursting out from the cloud cover, the Roc screeched, causing many people to wince or cover ears in some cases. Even Aegis narrowed one eye in discomfort at the noise, still watching as small volleys of projectiles were launched at the creature, more attempting to drive it off than kill it at the moment.

It wheeled and dodged, making another screech, before it rolled, going over the ship this time, raking its claws against the skin of the balloon. It didn’t manage to piece through it, the magically reinforced cloth apparently holding for now, but it did batter the balloon off centre, the ropes going slack on one side, taught on the other, making the deck tilt horribly as Aegis grasped onto a rope and she spotted the Queens emerging from the lower decks.

Then the deck swung to catch up with the balloon, snapping the ropes taught all at once, swinging wildly. Aegis rolled with it well enough, the vibrations jarring up her armoured boots, but there was a startled yell to the side that had her turning her head.

“Husband!”

There was a short cry from the Queen of Hearts as Aegis also spotted him, toppling over the edge of the ship, scrabbling for handhold as he was the wrong side of the railing.

Aegis leapt from where she had been standing, crossing the deck in a few steps, reaching out, only to have his grip slip as the Roc slammed into the balloon again, and the deck jumped a few inches.

Drawing her sword off her back, Aegis didn’t think twice as she jumped over the railing herself, tumbling over so she could reach down and snag the back of his tunic with one hand, the other one bringing her sword around and slamming it into the underside of the boat, angling it to trap itself against the wood, providing a good handhold.

As expected, the impact jarred her shoulders apart as she took the weight of him dangling against the grip of the other on her sword. Adjusting her feet, she managed to place them against the hull of the boat, giving her a little extra support. She turned down to look at the Rose Groom, grinning in spite of the ache in her arms.

“Whatever happened to holding on?”

He chuckled in an embarrassed fashion, not attempting to look around to make it easier for her to continue holding onto him, “Thanks for the catch.”

“No problem. Getting back on deck might be more of one.”

“Hey,” a head appeared over the side of the railings, belong to the Queen of Spades, “how’s it hanging?”

“You’re awful.”

She laughed, and then threw a rope ladder over the side of the railing, where it swung a couple of feet away from them. Aegis gritted her teeth, then using the motion of the ship, swung him out so that he could grasp the ladder, finding his own feet on the wooden rungs and she could let go of his collar.

With quick motions, he went up and over, back onto the deck, which just left Aegis, judging the jump between her perch on the hull and the swinging ladder.

Until the Roc screeched again, bursting up from the clouds beneath them, slamming into the hull next to where Aegis was.

“Naturally,” she looked up to the sky, well, upwards anyway, allowing herself a moment of resignation as the Roc turned to fix its gaze on her.

Gritting her teeth again, she judged the wind, and then leapt, pushing off from the hull as the Roc beat its wings, head snapping at her heels. Its head brushed the underside of her foot, and she used it as another slight boost, hands stretching out for the ladder.

Grabbing the last rung, she held firm as she swung out, the massive bird missing its second attack by inches as her shoulders were wrenched for a second time in as many minutes. Hauling herself up the ladder, it got easier once she could plant her feet on the rungs, and then she was up and over, feet planted on the deck again, which was a lot firmer than air.

Taking steps away from the edge she concentrated and held out her hand, summoning her sword back into it, before sheathing it.

“Sure you don’t want to keep it out?”

“Nah. She’s got this.”

Aegis had only glanced in Her (Wands) direction, but she had already seen that her weapon was out, and that she had one foot on the railing, timing her strike carefully so that the massive lance pierced down, skewering the bird’s wing joint as the Queen of Hearts stood next to her, keeping one eye on her to pull her backward should the deck shift again, and one eye on her husband, who was standing in the doorway to the lower decks, probably at her insistence, lest he lose his footing again.

It screamed once more, blood droplets flying through the air as it backpedalled and the Queen of Wands let it slide off the Lance, watching it carefully as it changed direction, away from the airship, attempting to fly and only partially succeeding as it had trouble flapping one rings.

Aegis looked over at the Queen of Spades, “Apologies for the hole in your ship.”

She shrugged, “It’s easier to replace than he is,” she indicated him with a jerk of her thumb and a grin as Aegis shook her head at her humorous spirit.

The Queen left to attend to something, and Aegis turned away, rotating her shoulder, her hand resting on top of her armour as she attempted to stretch it out, reliving the ache that came from overuse without warming up. Footsteps faded away, then came back, and a large hand was placed on top of her own. Aegis turned her head upwards to look at the face of her Queen.

“You okay?” she asked in a low voice.

“It’ll be fine.”

The hand moved up to cup her cheek, and the two of them gazed at each other for a few moments, before the queen leaned down and their foreheads touched.

“Try not to jump overboard again, okay?”

“No promises. Might have to save another damsel in distress.”

She felt her queen smile, then withdraw, the warmth of her hand lingering on Aegis’ cheek. She smiled to herself, eyes half closing in contentment, before she turned to find somewhere she could sit on deck out of the way.

Book Wyrms

The next kickstarter arrived! As followers of this blog will know, I am a big fan of an artist by the name of Jessica Feinburg, and the beautiful book collections she runs through kickstarter. And Book Wyrms has arrived!

20160915_102105

As you might be able to tell, I was really excited about this particular project, because I like writing and books and all those surrounding topics and now I have dragons to do with books!

It’s quite a bumper collection, I did splash out a little. The book and cards are there, bookmarks, and prints, but I also got badges and stickers and a ketchain to put on my bag and a larger print of this gorgeous woodland library.

 

Need to find a space on my wall for it, but I love it quite a lot. She’s got another kickstarter live at the moment for another colouring book which I have of course backed. Colouring in is great, especially dragons. That, and her bext project is going to be birthstone dragons, so I’ll have to see what I pick up when that one goes live.

The collection of dragons grows ever larger!

Time Sinks

Guiltily, I’ve realised it’s been almost a month since I last posted. My bad, I keep saying I have no time, but really I could have more time if I just organised things a little better. Unfortunately, that takes energy, and that’s something I don’t have a lot of at the moment.

Sort of brings me onto the title of today. Everyone has a limited amount of time and energy, and sometimes (like it has been for the past while) my cap is lowered due to my anaemia. And whilst naps are delicious, it means that I’m not doing other things.

So what have I been up to lately?

Well World of Warcraft: Legion got released on the 30th August. After waiting in all day for amazon to deliver my collectors edition (I’m a sucker for the art books), I got it, and I haven’t really stopped playing it since. Well, there’s been food and sleeping, but I took a week off work so that I could play it, and it was so worth it.

legion-illidan

Trying not to spoil anything whilst still enthusing: This expansion is about the return of the burning legion to Azeroth, and so we’ve gone back to the Broken Isles where they first invaded 10,000 years ago, and that’s the home place of the Highborn (elves) and druidism. As someone who plays a Night Elf druid, I have been hyper about this for a while, and playing it has absolutely lived up to my expectations. The lore and the quests have had me amazed and tearful at times, but really, it’s an amazing expansion, and the first raid is going to be The Emerald Nightmare, something I have been waiting YEARS for. That, and the artefact weapons are really, really cool. I love how they’ve implemented them.

So that took up a week. And then I managed to pick up an infection, so I was ill for some days, got dragged to the doctor by my boyfriend (i’m one of those people who’s really resistant to going to doctors, although I have no idea why, they’re actually quite lovely), diagnosed and given antibiotics, and then I spent a week off work being ill and having side effects. I mean, I could still play Legion, but that was about the only good thing. And I watched a lot of daytime TV.

One bad thing, because the illness took a lot out of me, I didn’t end up going to the last Empire of the year. It was the right decision, and I know that I feel a lot better for having had a weekend of nothing rather than trying to push myself when I had no energy left, but still, it is the first time I’ve ever missed one.

Basically, now I’m back at work, and trying to pick up on all the things I’ve been ignoring (registered for my new uni year, paid my fees and chose my optional module yesterday, which felt good to have gotten done), and I’ve been reflecting on the last couple of weeks a bit.

Yes, I spent a lot of time on WoW, and no I don’t regret that, (being ill sucked, but what can you really do about it) but it does make you think – when you only have so much time and energy, how is it that we choose what to spend it on? I had a lot of things I could be doing, but mostly I want to play the new expansion, so I did, to the exclusion of a lot of other things. It is a huge time sink. I also find that when I watch TV, I end up watching more than I planned to, and suddenly three hours have gone by. I’ll be listening to a new tune I’ve just put on my music player, and then suddenly it’s 1am and I should have gone to bed an hour ago. Stuff like that.

sand-tiem

Maybe it’s because I know I was ignoring a lot of things that I’m having a bit of a weird brain loop thinking day today, but it is just something that strikes me. I have a lot of things to do, and I don’t always make time for them all.

In better news, I’ve managed to write 7,000 words over the last few days, so I’m catching up where I should be with the 365K challenge! Although I think I would do much better with everything if this hot weather would go away. Honestly, it’s an English September, it really shouldn’t be 27 degrees out.

August Life

First of all, apologies for a couple of weeks absence. Empire as always was fun, but draining and there was so much politics going on this time that I was busy the entire weekend despite planning on having a more relaxed weekend, but that’s always how it goes.

Since then, I’ve hit an energy low, culminating in being ill and off work yesterday. It was one of those things where you have low level background illness, but you have a full weekend of stuff lined up, so you just ignore the illness, and then as soon as you stop it catches up to you and slams into you.

On the other hand, I have been doing a lot of cool things, so I’ll just catch you up with some of them.

Empire Forest

Photo Credit – Charlotte Moss

Empire

So, only a three day event but that just meant everything was packed into a shorter time frame:

  • Started the weekend with a combat linear for my mages. Got to beat up an ice giant, and we rocked it!
  • Got invited to a banquet in the summer realm (which was really tasty roast)
  • Found out there what the linear had allowed an Eternal to do and caused drama – whoops!
  • Culminated in one of the Eternals getting super mad (that part wasn’t me) and flipped her food across the entire table!
  • Record length conclave sessions
  • Didn’t die during battle
  • Attempted to join mage coven and was prevented by yet more drama
  • A meteor is crashing into the Empire and one of my nation persuaded conclave to vote to crash it on our territory, striaght onto the Vallorn – TERRIBLE IDEA
  • Spent a good day running around undoing that decisions
  • Got that decision undone and it is now crashing somewhere much more sensible

So yeah, that was an interesting weekend. Bring on event 4. See above for a really cool photo taken by the brilliant Charlotte Moss of me striding through the forest. As far as I remember this was at the start of the battle on Saturday and the guy that you can just see under the tree tripped and hurt his ankle so I was making sure he was okay before going back to join in the battle.

Adara Cropped

Adara

Long Weekend

So I had a five day weekend the next weekend. I was supposed to be going somewhere, but due to drama and funding issues, cancelled those plans and had a lovely five day weekend just relaxing at home. Boyfriend was also off, which was nice, although his cats were a nightmare, bless their little derp faces.

Mostly what happened then was a lot of roleplaying. Monday was Princess, and Princess continues to be great. The GM is encouraging me to write a lot of fan fiction about it and my character, and I am happy to supply him with that. I have my special snowflake thing and a friend who’s visiting for the entire month came in and played a DPC (directed player character, somewhere between an NPC and PC) to help us with plot. It was fun!

Friday we then started up D&D again!!! The last time we played that was in January sometime, and we had the break because we hit level 11 and changed tiers. Admittedly we filled the gap with a Star Wars game, which was fun, but I had missed D&D so! Playing my hot-headed Ardent, making the bad decisions, getting talked down and round into the sensible thing and then running off straight into the terrible mist of death was so much fun. That, and our paragon path powers are amazing!

Orange Belt

NAMA August Graders

Last Weekend

So, Saturday during the day I clean the flat because people will be coming round and I’ve been putting it off for weeks and weeks. That was exhausting, but did mean that I didn’t have to stress about it when I went to my party in the evening. We saw Suicide Squad – enjoyable but messy is my official verdict – and then went for Nandos which is always fun in a large group. then back to mine for board games.

Sunday had to get up early so that I could go and grade for my next Taekwondo belt. As you can see from the photo above, I passed – First Class Pass! Although I was so nervous (and this is the ill as well) that I didn’t sleep the night before and my instructor said that she could tell I was practically terrified because when I did my Kata (set routine of moves) I was so wooden. Admittedly, I was, because brain weasels kept telling me I was failing. Silly brain weasels, I did fine. I now have an orange belt.

Straight after that I went to IoD to roleplay my changeling and werewolf. I was so tired I gave the last game of the day, Mage, a skip. And since I was grading I turned up late to the first game. But that was fine, that character’s a bitch so I can be exhausted in character and just avoid responsibility and doing things. Werewolf was the issue as the STs once again find new and interesting ways to cause my character feelings and yank her chain around. She went from confused to lamenting to lust to terror to rage to determined to full on lethal damage and hurt to extraordinarily upset and convinced that she’s got to break up with her boyfriend. Seriously. All in one game. I love the STs. And hate them. Mostly love though.

Birthday Dragon

Birthday Dragon

This Week

Of course because I was putting off my ill when I did all that, waking up on Monday was fun and after calling in ill I spent most of the day sleeping. Sleeping is great. Eating not so much. Back in work today but my boss has said if I feel particularly bad I can probably go home. Hooray for summer holidays and college being so quiet it could be called dead.

Tomorrow I do have the day off though because it’s my birthday! Hoping that if I take it really easy today then I can enjoy myself tomorrow, but actually I don’t have to leave the flat and I have some presents to open and I can have a super chill day, which’ll be nice. The legion pre-patch is live and awesome and I suspect that my partner is upgrading my computer with a couple of new bits as my present so I’ll probably play that. Might also see if I can get the N64 working and blast from the past with Pokemon Snap. Maybe some sushi. It’ll be chill and great.

I also have some fun things lined up for this weekend, so as long as this illness starts going away, I should be having a pretty good week overall 🙂

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