Thursday, April 10, 2014

What's a WIP?

So it's been a long time since I plugged one of my own books. I am a retail manager extraordinaire by day, and a roving fantasy writer by night. Unless of course I'm working the evening shift and then I write in the day. But, after coffee and toast in the morning, that doesn't leave much time. Night writing is much more suited to my general frame of mind. I think one quirk that I have is when writing night scenes, it is much easier for me when it's dark outside. Perhaps it just puts me in the mood.

Anyway, now that I am about two-thirds of the way through writing the second in the 'Last Elf Prophecy' series, I thought it would be a good time to plug the first book in the series. I released Sands of Nevertime in late summer last year. I was hoping to follow that up with the second book sooner than this, but, life and stuff always seem to get in the way of one's best laid plans. I envy those who are able to write as a full-time career. Someday I hope that I may join that club.


Sands of Nevertime


In the coming months I will be releasing more information on the forthcoming book for this series. I hope you'll pick up a copy of Sands of Nevertime. I don't think you will be disappointed. Enjoy!

Besides, it's only $2.99. What could go wrong?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Zombieland

It's an epidemic. Everything is zombie. You can't turn around without running into a zombie. Well, I  hope you can, because then I'd have to run, and run hard.

Somewhere along the line, these infamous creatures seem to have inundated the world we live it. There almost isn't an area in life where zombies don't reach out and place a dead hand on your shoulder. In just about every aspect of entertainment, zombies rule. There are literally thousands of books to buy featuring zombies. Amazon alone likely has a million books with zombies. Heck, I know authors myself that write zombie  books.

Even the Discovery Channel has fallen to them with the Zombie Apocalypse. If this was on the Sy-Fy channel, I think we'd be safe. But when the Discovery Channel falls, its only one more step before it becomes another also-ran like TLC. (Sorry TLC, you used to be good, now your choice of programming stinks. You need to seriously think about changing your name). Anyway, AMC's, The Walking Dead is a consistently a highly rated series with nothing seemingly ready to slow it down.

So, what does this have to do with me? I don't write zombie books or watch zombie shows. Well, I killed about a million and a half zombies outside over the weekend with my grandson Ragin' Cage. It was the first good weekend as far as weather goes, and the Nerf guns were a-blazing. We swung on the swings so he could get high enough to shoot them from above. We climbed on the neighbor's play yard, our now 'summer home' and held the fort against them. We carried so many plastic guns in our pockets and arms we didn't have enough hands to shoot, but we could have taken down North Korea we had so many guns.

But, we conquered the onslaught, and my world is now zombie-free........at least for now....hahahahahahahahaha! They'll be back........

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Battleground

"Ahhhhh...."

"Stop it, Aspen."

"Come here. This is how you do it."

"Leave it alone."

"Cage, come here."

"Aspen, let me show you something."

"Sqeeeeeee...stop it. I had it first."

"Maw-Maw, he won't let me have it."

"I had it first."

"I want it now. He won't share."

"You have to share."

"I can shoot it farther than you can."

 "Don't hurt him."

"Are you supposed to be off the deck?"

"Paw-Paw said I could."

"Can I have something to drink? I'm hungry."

"Maw-Maw, can I have this?"

"Did you ask?"

"Paw-Paw, he's hurting me."

"Cage, get off that."

Oh, nothing much happening today. We just have our grandsons. How was your day?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An excerpt from the WIP

For the uninitiated, WIP is 'work in progress'. Us writing types use terms like that so we can sound, you know, cool. "Hey, see my WIP? How's your WIP coming? When's your WIP coming out?" See what I mean. Oh well, every field needs its own lingo.

I am currently working on the second book of the Last Elf Prophecy series. The first book is Sands of Nevertime. It was released at the end of last summer. Number two, has been more of a struggle. While I knew where the storyline was, or should be taking me, I wasn't quite happy with it. So, like any good craftsman, I had to go back and revamp it some. I was several chapters ahead when I finally made the decision to add a secondary plot string.

The following is an excerpt from the newly revised chapter four. I have a working title, but I think I'll keep that to myself, at least for a little while longer. 



-   -   -

The scene introduces a new character and plot line that will merge run concurrently with the original plot structure.


   The specks of grizzled white that littering the dark table, streamed through the opening as the hot breezes flowed into the upper chambers. The turret’s black outer walls, pitted and worn from years of sand-blasted abuse bled the heat of the day back into the clear night sky. The stars were sprinkled across the blackness of the heavens as were the grains of sand upon the dark table. Pushed by the evening winds, they slid to a stop at the lip of the tortured black cover.

   The dusty pages, thin and faded, sat undisturbed for years, the sand covering nearly every printed line. Yet, it held a place reserved above all others, in the center of the chamber. The walls, as dark as the outside stone, held their own world; a world of dark magics, a world of manuscripts and tattered volumes that stretched a hundred generations or more back in time.

   The night wind fell quiet and the grains aloft floated gently to the grounds below, yet the sands that layered the lone volume began their dance. As if shaken by thunder, they shifted, flowing like a wave across a sullen dune. The ivory pages burst into motion, rolling briskly, their torn edges humming in the stillness before falling silent. Where they lay open, a single rune hovered in the darkness, turning slowly above the ancient scripts.

   The sound of dangling keys, the rattle of metal on metal scraping against the door plate echoed into the chamber. A single slide and clunk signaled entry into the library as the lock cylinder dropped away. The rusty hinges moved silently, the heavy, wooden door swinging freely in the stillness. The ring was easily removed from the lock, and the keys placed on their iron hook by the door, which was summarily closed behind.

-   -   -

I hope that wets your appetite for what is to come. If you like that, I hope you pick up a copy of Sands of Nevertime, or one of my other books.

Thanks for following along.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Space-Time Fantasy

As most who have followed this blog likely know I am a fantasy writer. I've recently read a certain blogger who discussed the argument of who should be called a writer, and who should be called an author. I won't dignify a response nor name the blogger as I feel his perspective is just, how shall I say it, ridiculous.

I have tried to spread my reading around lately, getting a feel for differing genres. With both work and writing, getting the time to read can be, well, challenging to say the least. The thought behind that was to see if reading other styles would help influence my writing in a positive way. I can say it has to some degree. But, at some point you need to delve back into reading the genre you work in. It injects a measure of fervor back into your own writings.

With all that said, I have recently finished a book by fellow fantasy author John Daulton. John is a solid writer and I was impressed by his novel, Galactic Mage. John has been writing for many years in the world of fantasy, and has taken this world and successfully blended it with the sci-fi genre. The Galactic Mage has married a wizardly fantasy world with space aliens. It was a cool read.



I mentioned previously that I would be passing along works of authors that I have read, authors whose works I have enjoyed. John Daulton is one such author. If you are a sci-fi or fantasy reader, he is more than worth a look. I hope you enjoy this recommendation.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bat-sh.... blind.

Many years ago as a young man, when I was twenty-one to be exact, I got my first pair of glasses. I didn't wear them much. Until I was in my upper thirties, I only wore them about ten percent of the time. Glasses have always been a hassle for me. I'm active, and I can't tell you how many times I've picked them up off the floor, out of the yard, or out of someplace disgusting. Grrrr....

Then, as I hit about forty-three, the big change happened. My up-close vision deteriorated quickly. I could still read, but I'd have to squint to do so for nearly everything. I could go into a restaurant without a problem, but things were beginning to get worse and worse. I still resisted. It was a matter of pride. (Not vanity really, I don't worry too much about that). I can still remember my father who wore glasses all the time except when he slept. I remember the 'pad' impressions upon his nose whenever he took them off.

Now, in my mid-fifties, even the restaurant thing is not a workable option. I have glasses stashed all over the place. I have reading glasses on my workbench, beside the bed and at my desk at work. I have my regular glasses in my car, though I absolutely hate, hate, hate to drive with them. Fear not, I'm not required too, by law anyway. I also have them next to my computer at home. That way I have a pair for around the house.

I used to just leave them sit until I needed them, then I'd go get them. That, unfortunately, doesn't work any more. Now, my glasses hang on the collar of whatever shirt I happen to be wearing. And, that's usually why they end up on the floor, or someplace disgusting. The other night, My Beloved and I met with friends at a restaurant. The first words usually out of my mouth are, what's our coupon for? She said they have this special. I said okay, simply so I wouldn't have to squint to read the menu. Yep, forgot 'em.

Oh well, at least the food was good.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Day in the life of a Soldier

Life is a wonderful thing. Okay, not a golden nugget there Robert T. I  understand, but I'm making a point, just keep reading.

Periodically, you come across a personality that just pulls you in; draws you out and generally, just intrigues  you. During the past couple years, I have run across one such person. His name is Brandon Hale. I 'met' Brandon, sort of, a couple years ago. We are both authors and would come across each others posts in a chat room for authors on Amazon. Unfortunately, those forums can turn ugly and we both withdrew. But I have kept in contact with him through a different group.

Brandon is the author of several books, including his flagship work, Day Soldiers.
If you are a sci-fi geek, and love the vampire and werewolf stories, I urge you to check out the Day Soldiers series or some of his other works, including The Man from Newella     He is a superb story-teller with a writing style that is easy to read. Now, Day Soldiers isn't your fluffy, sexy vampire read. It delves into the world of humans versus werewolves and the struggle to survive. Forget the glossy, sexy starlets on camera. This ain't that kind of read.


So, why am I bringing this up now? Well, Brandon is a young man, much younger than yours truly, and a year ago decided to make writing his career. And he's damn good at it. Unfortunately he has run into a setback and has recently been diagnosed with cancer. I feel for him as my family has recently dealt with this issue. It is a struggle both for the patient and for the family. We as family, struggle to maintain a brave front before our loved one. And as with Brandon, he is the source of our own strength for our fight in the supporting battle ahead.

He has several rules in life, even in the face of this struggle that lays before him. The first is pure Brandon: "Everything is funny". In a nutshell, that is his life's motto. Now, I'm not much of a music kinda guy, but I think this verse from Bohemian Rhapsody sums it up fairly well:

Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see. I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy, because I'm easy come, easy go, little high little low, any way the wind blows, doesn't really matter, to me.

In the past, I have not done much for featuring other authors I carouse, uhm, I mean socialize with, because we are all about making each other better at what we do. I think I will begin to regularly feature authors from my writing family. They cover all styles and genres, so nearly everyone will find something, or someone they enjoy. Who knows, you might even find your next 'favorite author'.

But for now, as a measure of support for my fellow author and friend, I urge you to pick up a copy of his work. What will he get? Support from a world that many feel is often self-centered and distant. What will you get? A damn fine good book to read.

Oh, and one day if you ever see a picture of me with someone else's face plastered across it, well, I've been photo-bombed by the best 'face-shifter' there is. That, is Brandon Hale.