Changeling and self-publication

I think I’ve decided that I’m going to self-publish Changeling as an ebook. It’s finished, now that I’ve cut out just under 20 000 words, leaving it around 175 000, and it would help build my portfolio, especially once I publish Purity. As I still mean to publish OtArb the traditional way, it will look good on cover letters and queries to have something published, even if it is by my onesie.

So! This means edits!

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Inspiration: where do you find yours?

Whether you’re a writer of novels or short stories, or a visual artist, everyone finds inspiration somewhere. For me, it depends on what I’m writing at the time. Back in the day when I was writing Purity (and I suppose again soon, as I intend to actually finally finish one of these days) I’d listen to darker music, lots of industrial stuff, and watch vampire movies. There was also one particular story I found that was great for inspiring me to write from the main male character’s perspective – it was, oddly enough, an Inuyasha fanfiction, but the way the author wrote Sesshomaru was similar to how I wrote Fane, and it unfailingly, each time I read it, made me want to write so I should probably get to reading it again one of these days, eh?

But for the things I currently write, like OtArb et al and Changeling, which are both deeply entrenched in fantasy – both worlds, religions, histories, etc, were all created solely by me – it’s easier to find inspiration, since this is more my area of expertise. I’ve torrented the epic soundtracks/scores of the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, IV: Oblivion, and V: Skyrim, and Assassins Creed II, the Hunger Games, Tron: Legacy, and Fable. I’ve also got a few songs from the soundtrack of all six Star Wars movies, and I’m planning on getting some Lord of the Rings tracks. These are excellent, because I separated each song into a different folder, according to their tone. The game music is especially good for this, because obvious fighting songs that play during fights, go into the fighting folder in iTunes. Related to this is games – I play a lot of games, so their universes help me fine-tune mine, and give me ideas how to better describe settings, especially when I’m just frolicking about the countryside.

I also do a lot of these things simultaneously. Before I got my Asus gaming PC – my predator drone – I’d sit with Lappy, my old laptop, and have my writing open while I played xbox games. Now, since everything I do is just on the predator drone, I’ll have iTunes open, headphones on, then write a bit, switch over to Skyrim, play a bit, then return to my main desktop, etc. And sometimes I’ll even have a movie on in the background. I like to waste electricity, is what I’m getting at here.

It works well for me. I listened to the sad Assassins Creed music when I finally offed the baddie in OtA, and I had a good little cry. It suits the mood of writing much better when you have a whole setup.

Does anyone else do the same? What do you all do for inspiration? It’s different for everyone; some people need utter silence, but me, I can’t handle silence even at night.

Broken Family: Of the Arbour teaser

He clambered to his feet and automatically took Isobel’s hand when Maia set her down. “Mama, when it snows, will you do something Papa would do?”

Maia swallowed a lump in her throat and ruffled his hair. “I suppose. What is it?”

Carol reddened and hurried into the inn, leaving the three of them on the stoop. Maia frowned after her, then looked back at Ash, expectant.

He grinned, showing off his neat white teeth. “Write his name in the snow!”

Maia stared at him, mind blank for a moment. When she recovered, she asked, “Is that how you learned how to write your name?”

“Mm-hm!”

She managed a creaky smile. No wonder Sage had such an easy time looking after three children. He hadn’t ever really grown up. “Girls can’t do that, Ash. Come on. We can talk about Papa later if you want. It’s time to see your grandmother and grandfather from my side.”

He frowned, obviously confused about having more grandparents than Nan and Grandpa, but waddled into the inn before her, dragging Isobel behind him. The pleasant smell of bread and soup floated out to meet them as they went inside, and Maia’s tension eased enough for her shoulders to relax. The inn was sparsely decorated—there were a few paintings on the walls, and the tables and chairs were of a fine enough wood—but the atmosphere more than made up for it. It wasn’t busy yet, but there was a comfortable buzz of talk and laughter mixed in with the scent of food and drink.

Carol waited for them just inside the mudroom and took Maia’s jacket to hang up with the other patrons’. Maia thanked her with a smile and began to scope out her parents in the dim taproom.

“You knew he was going to suggest that,” she said, more of a statement than question.

“I caught Sage and Stride showing him once. I’m terrified for when Ash grows up a bit more. Those three are going to be a terror.”

Maia shrugged. “I’ll visit my parents when that happens. There they are.” She pointed to a pair seated before the crackling hearth, and her stomach dropped when she realized just how long ago she had last seen her parents. Neither of them had any colour left to their hair, and their skin was crackled and weathered. Relief flooded her when they looked up and she saw the same youth and passion in their eyes; they hadn’t really changed, despite the outer shell being different.

“Maia, love.” Her father started to climb from his cushioned chair, then seemed to think better of it and remained seated. “You look so grown up.”

She smiled and stooped to hug him, then her mother. “I’m a real adult now. How are you? Was the trip all right?” She hauled Isobel away from the hearth before she could totter into the fire, and settled herself in the seat opposite her parents. Carol made herself comfortable beside her, holding Ash’s hand so he couldn’t wander too far off.

The trip was fine; apparently they had an easy ride with a few of their neighbours who were also en route to the City. They had been more than happy to take two extra passengers when they heard they were going to meet their daughter, who they hadn’t seen in over five years.

When her father finished his explanation, his eyes settled expectantly on Carol.

“Oh!” Maia adjusted the squirmy daughter on her lap and gestured to her mother-in-law. “Mama, Papa, this is Sage’s mother, Carol of the City. And these are two of your newest grandchildren, Ash and Isobel. Carol, these are my parents, Aberle and Lilith of Lamplight.”

Carol, ever graceful, extended a hand. “We’ve heard only the best things about you and your family,” she said with a warm smile. “We actually have some of your candles at the Arbour. Beautiful things.”

Lilith flushed prettily, looking once more like the woman she had been. “Thank you. Now that we’re finally meeting, I must say that we are so glad our daughter married your son.” She smiled at her husband, and Maia managed to keep from rolling her eyes. Their adoration had terrified Sage upon their first meeting. “We always knew he was a good lad.”

To distract them from embarrassing a man who wasn’t even present to defend himself, Maia plunked Isobel on the table. “Bella, Ash, this is your Grandfather Aberle and Grandmother Lilith,” she said, patting Isobel. Lilith instantly scooped her up and began fussing over her hair, exclaiming loudly that Maia was so lucky to have children with such lovely blonde hair.

Aberle smiled, but it didn’t seem entirely genuine. “You never did explain where your other son is. Or why Sage isn’t here to see us.”

Maia’s throat closed up, mouth suddenly dry. “I—I’d rather not talk about it right now, Papa. Sage doesn’t want it to be common knowledge where he’s gone.”

He nodded. “Later, then. Let’s get some food in us, and you can tell us all about your lovely children.”

She imitated his gesture, feeling suddenly like her insides had been scraped hollow. While her parents and Carol were fussing over Isobel and Ash—the latter of whom positively adored the attention being slathered on him—she quietly excused herself and went outside, hoping the peace of nature in the Willow Plaza could relax her.

She ended up sitting on a bench in a park, facing the open gates to the impoverished residential district, the Pit. There was a cool wind blowing in off the mountain around the City, but she barely felt it; she didn’t even blink as she stared into the Pit, watching the poor and desperate wander about without a real goal.

Only the thought of Ash and Isobel in the Republic Inn, and Sage sailing into unknown seas to find Flynn, kept her from standing and marching straight into the shady alleyways of the Pit. The shadow of her fifteen year old self that still resided somewhere inside her begged her to stand and just go into the Pit. Even from this distance she could see the telltale signs of someone lost in the throes of a high.

It would be so easy. And it wasn’t like she would necessarily get addicted again. She knew how to find dealers, and she could get just enough to calm her down and make her forget about Sage and Flynn and the baby she lost.

Someone shouted her name and she jerked out of the reverie, finding herself in a cold sweat. Running trembling fingers through her hair, she shut her eyes and exhaled slowly.

“This is what happens when you aren’t here, Sage,” she whispered, cradling her head in her hands. “I can’t do this without you.”

Breaking news!

I know I should wait another day at least before putting up another post, but whatever. This is important!

So my dear and lovely friend, Nikki, has connections with her parents in the United States. Being the most glorious person that she is, she offered to get me stamps. There was some confusion because her stepmother didn’t know which we needed – and neither did we, honestly – but on Friday night $4.20 worth of USPS stamps came into my possession. Today, I scrounged up my manuscript, updated the cover letter and reprinted a few crumpled pages, then researched the cost of sending a letter from the US to Canada.

Around $0.89 was what I found.

So I put a $1 stamp on my SASE.

Do you realize what this means?

I’m sending my manuscript to New York.

I smothered my excitement even after I got the stamps; even after I looked at them and reorganized my manuscript. But as soon as I saw that I had what I needed…

Hopping, squealing, flailing, and loudly proclaiming that I’M FINALLY SENDING OFF MY MANUSCRIPT.

My heart is all a-flutter just thinking about it. This is the biggest moment of my life.

Another friend of mine is in Hawaii right now, and she’s going to get me more stamps, so I have a nice collection for later use.

I also had another boost of self-confidence when I was writing OtK (I had writer’s block for a while, which I forgave since I started it literally right after finishing OtAr). I needed to confirm whether or not I had stated something about the marriage of two characters, and got distracted reading the final two chapters of Of the Arena. Didn’t even find what I needed until later, when I wondered why I’d opened the OtAr document to begin with.

It reads like a real novel. That gives me hope that I can get these stories published one day. Me, the writer, the creator; I was entranced by the tale being woven, because it had been just long enough that I didn’t remember exactly how everything played out in the end.

Things are moving forward. I’m very hopeful, and very excited for everything that’s going on with my baby. I feel blessed that the people around me are so supportive and so in-tune with my passion that they’ll help me achieve my goals. I think I really like my friends.

Enough of this romantic crap. I’m going to go slay shit on Hoth, now that I’ve renewed my sub for SW:TOR.

Jessica, out.

Death is the Last Enemy: Of the Arbour teaser

Though he wondered why Cain wasn’t just finishing him off early, Sage backed away and took the moment to assess the damage. It wasn’t a deep cut, and thankfully it hit his left arm; he could still fight.

Cain tilted his head. “Is this really what ye want, Sage?”

“You have to pay for what you’ve done, Cain. Not just for kidnapping Flynn—but for killing Keelin and by that nearly destroying one of the strongest women I know.”

Cain’s face twitched; so he knew of Siras’ reaction, then. Had she screamed when Keelin had died, or only noticed after the battle? Sage couldn’t remember. He only knew the rage.

“You broke the will of the people you say you rule. You crushed the counties until they bowed to you. You taxed the Arbour to death—the last free place in your empire. You murdered my grandfather.”

“In war?”

“He was the Master you mutilated. I understand why you did it. Vengeance is a powerful thing; especially when you’ve lost your whole family. But you brought this all upon yourself, Cain. If not me, somebody was going to eventually rise against you. I don’t want to fight you, but this is what must be done. It’s justice.”

“Very well.” Without another moment of hesitation, Cain shortened the distance between them and raised his sword. Given only a few seconds to react, Sage dropped his hand from his wound to his sword, gripping the hilt with both hands, and a moment later the steel clashed together. Cain growled softly and pushed his weight into the attack, knocking Sage back. He jumped forward, already prepared for another assault, and Sage just got his blade up in time to parry. His blade ran down the length of Cain’s claymore, and he pushed his weight forward, knocking the hilt from Cain’s hands and sending the sharp tip of his sword toward his body. Cain staggered back with a howl of pain, clutching his elbow close to his body as his sword clattered to the floor.

Sage didn’t waste a moment. While his adversary was scrambling to recover, reaching for his sword while trying to cradle his wounded arm, he brought his blade down in a devastating arc toward Cain’s undefended shoulders.

Cain snarled and rolled away. Sage’s attack didn’t miss entirely, and instead just barely struck the smooth mound of one shoulder. Though he landed on his wounded arm, Cain gave no notice of pain save for a grimace, and he clambered to his feet and scooped up his claymore in one smooth motion.

Sage moved to the right, scoping out any other obvious weaknesses he could take advantage of. With opposite elbow and shoulder wounded, Cain would have a difficult time moving his monstrous sword with ease, and he would have to compensate for two handicaps he had never encountered before—at least as far as Sage was aware—but he was still a capable fighter.

After all, he was fighting for his kingdom and his life.

The realization of this dawned in his eyes as they flicked over the blood staining his shirt. Sage had seen apathy in his gaze only minutes before, as if Cain had resigned himself to his fate. Both were quickly fading into purpose and ferocity.

As unsure as the fight had begun, the entire mood of the room altered around them, and each man was reminded what was at stake.

Keelin, shot down while protecting children. Flynn, alone and afraid. The Arbour, boarded up and decaying.

The anger that fueled him during the Siege was creeping back.

A roar escaped his lungs and he propelled himself at Cain as the man was still trying to figure out how to hold his sword. At the last second, he tossed the grip in his palms and slammed the flat side of his broadsword into Cain’s chest. He tumbled onto his back with a strangled cry; a thin strip of blood emerged on the front of his shirt from the force of the folded, double-edged steel.

Cain scrabbled backwards, gasping as he put weight on his wounded elbow. He screeched and rolled aside as Sage brought the sword done once more. It clanged and sparks flew as it missed its target and hit the stone floor. Sage whirled around and lunged once more at Cain, just as the king clambered to his feet and regained his balance. He brought up his claymore in time to block the attack, and the two swords smashed together, screeching and echoing off the massive stone walls.

They remained locked together, pushing against each other’s weight, each wishing his enemy would cave first.

Muscles straining against Cain’s strength, Sage grunted and felt his boots scraping on the floor. With a gasp, he let his muscles completely relax, and he dropped to the ground at Cain’s feet. Cain squawked, startled at the sudden disappearance of his foe, and tripped over Sage on his way to the ground.

He landed with a crunch; Sage whirled around and leaped to his feet, hating the throbbing pain in his weak leg, and watched with wide-eyed disgust as Cain rolled onto his back, hands clutching his face. Smashed from landing on the floor face-first, his nose was likely broken, and Sage was almost certain he spotted a small white tooth in the puddle of blood nearby.

Cain snarled something unintelligible and climbed to his feet. With blood streaming down his front, his eyes bloodshot and brows furrowed in rage, he looked every bit the warrior he was born to be. His ancestors would be proud.

Ooh, the end of November!

I had an epiphany at work the other day. I always had a vague inkling of where I wanted Changeling to go, but as with many things, it dawned on me while I was working that I knew exactly what I wanted to happen. I love feelings like that. It’s so satisfying. To add to that author’s joy, Of the Arena is just about done. Woo hoo! I just need to finish my final, more thorough editing to Of the Arbour, since I’m going to be sending it out to publishing houses in January, and all will be well in the world of my writing.

In the world of gaming, I was given a cold shoulder by one of my favourite characters in Skyrim. It was sad. After finishing the Thieves Guild questline, I wanted to chat with Brynjolf, because he’s so precious, but he just says he’s busy and walks away. My face= D:

Ouch, Brynjolf.

I need to play more Skyrim what, what? I’ve been playing far too much Sims 3 for my inner gamer to be satisfied. It’s just so addicting! I have this problem where I need to make new characters. That’s why I haven’t just done everything in Skyrim with Elisabet, the Nord who’s farthest in the game. I had to make several other characters too. I love constructing their appearance, then thinking up a personality as I go. Enter, the Sims. I’ve made a wholesome family, the main characters from Of the Arbour and Changeling, a burlesque 50s style actress, a colourful kleptomaniac… ugh, it’s a disease, I think. Next time I open up the Sims, somebody smack me. I need Skyrim!

But at least gaming gives me writing ideas, right? That’s a positive? Pfft, no.

Aaaaaand there’s an idle update on my life. I’m going to go write the finale to Of the Arena and build up the plot moar in Changeling now.

“My lord.”

Jerking with surprise, Cain glanced up from his son’s head, having not even noticed that he was staring blindly at the dark curls for the past hour, at least. The guard who had been standing by the door had approached the dais and throne, and was down on one knee, head bent.

“What is it?”

“There’s someone here to see you.”

“Did he give a name?”

“No, my lord. He merely said that he was an old friend.”

Something hard and cold settled in the depths of his gut. Shifting Gideon on his knees so the baby didn’t fall off, he sat up straighter and cast the far doors a wary glance. “Was he alone?”

“No, my lord. He was with two others.” The man’s voice faltered, and his head dipped further in an effort to keep from making eye contact with his king.

Cain bit his lip and wished Arcana was here so she could take the baby and hide, should something happen. “Who was he with? Ye recognized them.”

“I… I did, sire.” The guard peeked up beneath the long nosepiece of his helm. “It was the former captain of the royal guard, sire, Callin, and the knight-commander of the Order of the Blade, Vian, and that former prisoner you had here, the blonde one Her Majesty Queen Arcana was so smitten with.”

“Ye’ll not speak o’ your queen like that,” Cain scoffed, but his heart wasn’t in the words and the guard only muttered a quiet apology in return. “Were they armed?”

“Yes, my lord. I suppose the City guards didn’t think to disarm them when they were let inside.”

Cain pressed his lips together. Stride had probably sweet-talked their way into the Castle of Kings courtyard, and from there it would be smooth sailing to get into the castle proper. He hated that charming bastard.

Gideon made a spit bubble and the guard held back a smirk. Cain smiled to himself, hiding the mental turmoil he was facing. Sage was at the castle, accompanied by three powerful warriors who had each graduated from the Arbour and gone on to become legends—Callin, captain of the royal guard; Vian, knight-commander of the Order of the Blade; and Stride, general of a loyalist militia. He was a little surprised Sage hadn’t also brought Ren and Shal with him, but that didn’t necessarily mean they weren’t hiding out on the battlements with ready bows and devilishly sharp arrows.

Well, what could he do? If Sage and company managed to talk their way into getting this far into the City, he owed them an audience.

“Send them in,” he said, sighing in resignation as he slumped back into his throne.

You let her die: Of the Arbour teaser

The hilt of his sword slipped from his bloody and sweaty grip, and he let it clatter to the floor without a second thought. They were gone. Many teachers and students had been killed, but the Arbour was still theirs; it was a bittersweet victory, if it could even be considered such.

Chest heaving, head spinning, soaked in carnage—he was ready to collapse where he stood.

But something did that for him.

With a heavy thud he was knocked back into the wall and pinned there by two claw-like hands. They were solid iron over his arms, trapping him without a hope of escape.

“You let her die!”

The screech resounded in his ears. Tears burned in his eyes and he blinked them back to see Siras snarling and glaring at him, her face twisted with passionate despair. She looked every bit the warrior she was with tousled hair and bloodstained garments, but the illusion was marred by the tears silently streaking her face and turning the spatters of blood watery—and the hollow deadness of her eyes. There was nothing left of her former self in her gaze. The fire and spirit was gone, and left a void in its wake.

“I didn’t—”

“You let her die!” she shrieked again. Her voice cracked, and she uttered a pitiful sob. Tears soaked her face, catching briefly in her scars before running in little bloody rivulets to her chin. “You’re in contact with the gods! You’re the one who can see the future! Why couldn’t you see this? Why couldn’t you protect her?” She gave a small, unintentional roar and tightened her grip on his arms, but only her hold was strong; she was visibly trembling. Sage could only stare at her, his own tears falling freely.

“Siras, what are you doing?”

She screamed and moved as if to head-butt him, or stab him, or otherwise horribly maim him. But she didn’t, and instead moved closer, so her breath was hot on his face and he could practically feel her frenetic heartbeat. “You could have given us more time!”

Sage finally found his voice. “How?” he asked, his voice little more than a sad squeak. “How could I possibly do anything?”

Siras gasped and bit her lip, holding back another sob. “You said you’d ask,” she whispered, barely audible through her anguish. “You never asked. If you’d just done what you promised, He would’ve given us more time.”

A weight of dread fell into the pit of Sage’s stomach.

The foyer was eerily silent around them, and the only sound was her desperate attempts to keep from openly weeping in front of everyone.

“Siras, I—”

“We’re sinners, Sage,” she choked. “We would have never been let into Paradise. But if we were blessed by a priestess… with holy matrimony… He could have forgiven us.” She sobbed again and pressed her forehead into his shoulder. Sage stared hopelessly over her, at the horrified faces of the survivors. “If our souls were saved, she’d be alive.”

Wishing someone would rescue him from her tormented wrath, Sage rolled his stiff shoulders and she lifted her head, eyes bloodshot and dull. “I forgot, Siras,” he whispered. “I never meant to. I’m so sorry.”

“Sorry?” she repeated bleakly. “You’re sorry? Keelin’s dead! She died protecting your children! She’s gone and she’s never coming back, and I’ll never see her again!” She released one arm long enough to slam her fist into the wall beside his head. “I hate you!” she shrieked, pressed so close that their noses nearly touched and her tears soaked his face.

He opened his mouth, desperate to plea for forgiveness and to explain how he forgot his promise to ask Briar to marry them, but before he could utter a sound she punched both fists into the wall and gave a horrible banshee shriek that made his hair stand on end and spider legs crawl up his spine. It was a primal sound, the embodiment of her misery, and the devastating pain of it lanced his heart.

The scream echoed off the walls. With one last guttural sob, Siras released him and collapsed into a miserable pile on the floor. As soon as he was freed, Sage skipped to the side to avoid being fallen on, and gave Siras a desperate stare. She was trembling as she hugged herself, and huge tears fell silently down her cheeks.

He was saved from having to give an awkward apology when Kymbry seemed to materialize out of nowhere and gently helped her to her feet. Siras leaned on her, shaking and clinging to her clothes for support, and together they hobbled away, leaving the bloodstained foyer in tense silence.

Brain sludge

What child/teenager/person in their right mind doesn’t like KD macaroni and cheese? It’s the staple food for college kids everywhere, and children who aren’t allowed McDonald’s. It’s pretty good stuff, albeit full of shitty unhealthy things that’ll kill you without a second thought.

Also, bacon is pretty good. Bacon’s good with anything and everything. I once made a peanut brittle only with almonds instead of peanuts, and bacon made a special appearance. Delicious. Bacon is perfect, heaven on Earth – and in the immortal words of my friend Bethany, “Bacon is just more proof that there is a god.”

So why not combine the two?

Well, Bethany and I often put bacon into whatever we’re cooking, which is usually macaroni. Scrumptious. We also once put bacon in grilled cheese, based on a dream she had. Today, I made macaroni, and I put meatloaf in it. There’s something magical about combining macaroni and cheese with some kind of delicious meat product.

In our neighbouring city, Kelowna, there’s a restaurant called the Twisted Tomato, and they sell gourmet macaroni. Honestly, what gets better? There’s a hamburger macaroni, with ground beef, onions, huge chunks of bacon, and tomatoes; there’s a lobster macaroni, with bits of lobster and peas; there’s a chicken pot pie macaroni, which is pretty self explanatory; there’s a spicy macaroni, with half a jalapeno delicately placed on top; and the good news is, they’ll put bacon in everything. Even into their grilled cheese, which may have been what prompted the dream.

Man. I love macaroni. It’s one of the two pastas I can stomach.

If you’ve never amped up your Kraft Dinner, make it with bacon, or meatloaf. I promise you won’t be disappointed. We can’t eat plain KD anymore. It’s just too… regular.

Anyways, so there are my thoughts on macaroni. Moving on. I wrote more recently, but sadly it was not for NaNo. Playing Elder Scrolls games gives me way too much inspiration for my own good, and I constantly want to make new characters because I love building personalities around them. The first character I made on Skyrim was based off my Oblivion super mage, Lily. Redheaded Breton of destruction and restoration, level 43, Archmage of the Mages Guild, Grandmaster of the Fighters Guild, Gray Fox, Listener of the Dark Brotherhood, Champion of Cyrodiil. But because you can’t specialize what hair colour you want in Skyrim, the red of her hair is faded, and I don’t feel quite like she’s Lily anymore. Still a badass, but she’s just not the same. Lily will always be an Oblivion character.

However, I once had an idea for a rather psychotic Nord. I made her character in Oblivion, but it wasn’t cutting it. So I tried again in Skyrim, and she’s perfect.

The character herself I built up a while ago, and added to while making her and playing as her. Heavy armour, two-handed weapons, skilled smith, avid follower of the Stormcloaks except in that she doesn’t want to reinstate Talos as one of the Divine Aedra (because she totally worships Molag Bal. King of Rape ftw?). Ahh, excellent. I have so many ideas brewing around, especially for Of the Arbour and Changeling due to just exploring the countryside and generally being amazed by the time and effort the landscape team put into the little details of everything. Impressive, as always, Bethesda.

I’m stoked to get these new ideas into my stories. Of the Arena is at such a crucial point right now, due to the bad guy nearly winning and the good guy finally manning up and doing what he’s said he’s going to do for the past ten years. One more final, epic battle, and then the conclusion will tie everything together – and leave open a cliffhanger that will bring about the start of the next one in the series, working title Of the Kingdoms. That one is going to be full of bloodshed – due to it taking place during a very intense war.

Hm. I wish I could play Skyrim and write at the same time. The one fault of PC gaming, gah!

Okay, idle rant done. This should be my only random fangirlish brain sludge for a while yet. And here! Have a screenshot of Skyrim to make your day.

Moose are pretty cool

Watching the news. There are moose. Hence the title.

I was at the coast, in Vancouver, over the weekend, for my cousin’s wife’s baby shower, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll just say my cousin’s baby shower. Tha and Jason, the latter being my cousin and the former being his wife (pronounced Ta, by the way). It was precious. She’s too adorable for words, and her being pregnant is extra cute. They’ll have the most preciousest baby ever once it’s born. Except it has to contend with three Dobermans, one of which is spawned of Hell.

Being in Vancouver has its benefits. I wouldn’t want to live there – at least not right now – because it’s just too big, but it is home to one of the finest malls I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. This being Metrotown. Metrotown was a nice treat, because I got to spend my mother’s money on girly things! Bras, bags, food, and almost oxblood Oxfords, except they were just too expensive. And I tried on lululemons. That’s never happened before. They made my bottom look quite delightful. So I might have to spray tan and bleach my hair and wear them constantly, like other stereotypical girls who wear them. Since I’m a girl who wears jeans. Always.

There’s an update on my life, exciting as it may be.

In moar exhilarating news! I’m continuing effort on Of the Arena, the sequel to Of the Arbour. I’m just about to hit the climax, and I’m very excited for it. There are two more major battles to write, and then the actual ending itself. Hopefully it’ll all turn out swell. Time for me to stretch my emotional muscles and ready for tears, since one of the semimajor characters will be dying, and I want reactions, people! And the final battle as well; there will be no triumph. This is me continuing my plan with Of the Arbour and siblings by breaking traditional fantasy cliches. So far, I think it’s worked.

It’s almost Halloween. I’m so excited. I’ll post an image of my costume once it’s all said and done. Love Halloween :3

WARNING: Minor inappropriateness ahead.

Guess who I was last Halloween!

I’m being another person this year. And I am so excited. Mostly because I get to dress up for work. It’s going to be absolutely splendid :3

There’s an update on my oh-so-exciting life. Enjoy. I’ll be back later with more teasers and clips, most likely, and an update for Halloween.

Is it Death?: Of the Arbour teaser

He expected a hesitation that never came. Even as the final word was still sliding from his tongue, the leader growled and lunged forward, his short sword held high over his head. Sage barely had time to register the attack; he shrieked and dropped instinctively, and saw the tip of the sword slice past him before it whirled around and came down.

It didn’t even hurt. He had always expected something so much worse.

A ragged gasp tore through his throat and everything seemed to stand still. The edges of his vision blurred, faded, and cleared up once more—and then the pain hit.

His side flared with agony and heat and his hand instantly went to grip the wound. Blood soaked his fingers and spread through his shirt. The blade was gone, but it still felt as though the hot metal was slicing cleanly through his flesh, tearing it.

Somewhere far above him, a man laughed.

“So this is a mighty and powerful Child of the Arbour? I can’t say I’m very impressed. You go down like a stuck pig. Easy enough.”

“Stop dawdling!” another voice shouted. “Just get him onto a horse and tie up that cut. We can bring him back to the Dunes alive like this.”

Something grabbed his shoulders, and Sage yelped and rolled to the side, digging his heels into the dirt to escape not only the bounty hunter trying to hoist him up, but the pain shooting through his body. It crawled through his skin, his nerves, pulsing out through the blood that poured freely from the wound in his side.

He was going to die. He knew it, somehow. Heard somewhere—from Siras? She was a dispenser of useful knowledge—he heard that abdomen wounds could either be nothing but a minor nuisance or a slow, painful way to die.

He tried to squirm away once more, but another pair of hands trapped his ankles together and he was sprawled helplessly between two of the bounty hunters. Rocks and dirt scraped and tore but he was unable to resist as he was lifted and half-carried, half-dragged by his captors.

“Here, put him here. There’s enough room on this horse,” one man grunted. The dagger slipped uselessly from Sage’s hand and thudded to the ground; he managed to blink away the fog glazing his vision, and he saw it half-buried in the grass, right in front of a hoof. Then he was shoved forward, sprawled on his stomach on the back of a horse.

As soon as they started to tie his hands together behind his back, he fought back nausea and the lure of unconsciousness and yanked away his right hand. The bounty hunters shouted to each other, but before they could grab him, Sage slithered off the back of the horse and landed with a thump that stole what little breath he had.

Woozy, he gasped and stared above him, having no energy for anything else. Blood—his blood—slowly oozed from the dark flanks of the horse standing above him. He cursed under his breath and started to crawl away, scooting across the grass and dirt on his back.

One of the men lunged at him, a cloth for binding or gagging clenched tightly in his fist. Not exactly keen on discovering the actual purpose of the cloth, Sage flung up his legs in the air, successfully cracking the hunter’s jaw with his boot. With a crunch and a screech, the man tumbled backwards, giving Sage a chance to flee.

Tightly clutching his wound with one hand, Sage shuffled onto his side and hauled himself onto his knees. Blood dribbled through his fingers and his head was light and his sight blurred—was this what it was like to die? A cough rattled his lungs as he laboriously climbed to his feet. If this was it, he just hoped it would be over soon. It was horrible.

Just as his fingers left the ground and he was starting to straighten out and run—either to flee for help or to crawl somewhere and die alone—something hard and heavy slammed into the small of his back and sent him sprawling into the dirt.

Spasms of pain wracked his body: a steady, bloody throb in his side; an ancient ache in his leg, where the two old injuries had never quite healed; the sharp stabs and dull pulses where rocks ground into his tender flesh and bone.

A fist took a thick wad of fabric from the front of his shirt and hoisted him partway off the ground. Mottled green eyes glared down at him. “Do you ever stop?” the man growled, shaking his fist so Sage’s head rolled uselessly on his neck. “It’s no wonder so many people want you dead!”

Sage opened his mouth, ready to respond, when something collided with his cheek and pain clouded his mind. Lids fluttering, he tried to open his eyes, but another hit came—then another, and another.

He inhaled sharply, feeling like he was swallowing glass, then one final hit came and he went numb.