Staquard Est (Ch. 5)

My boss wasn’t too happy with the news that I was going into the witness protection program. He reacted the same as when I had Grand Jury Duty — I’m irreplaceable or perhaps inconvenient.

Karin went off to her new job feeling secure in the anonymity of of the bustling kitchen at Leo’s Restaurant. I sat with Peter in the apartment feeling helpless, not being able to access the internet for fear of being traced.

“The goat boy … ” Peter said as he looked at me somewhat confused.

A far off memory of a boy standing in a field, occurred to me. In that context Peter wasn’t right. He looked into my eyes, they weren’t blue, and I felt a strange sensation, two and two didn’t equal four at this point.

“The other Peter.”

“Now you’re really freaking me out, Luce. You said that yesterday.”

“Why did you ask me about the goat boy? His name is Joachim, and don’t ask me how I know that.”

“Yeah, among all my current problems I seem to be preparing for a war of some kind, only … you’re going to think I’m loosing it. There’s a knight and some scarey smaller guys with fur.”

“Remember the slip of paper I found in my lunch?”

“Not really.”

“Oh, I guess I never did tell you, but I had written Staquard est down in my dream and found it in my life in with my lunch, but I had no idea what it meant. However, I started writing down my dreams upon waking and began to realize that my two worlds were blending together — perhaps I’m dreaming you.”

“Ouch, you pinched me!”

“I’m not a dream.”

I felt that feeling again and knew I had to get out of there.

“Let’s go the the Cafe and go online, they won’t be able to track us.”

He handed me a baseball cap and he put on his toque. We were in disguise.

Sitting in the far corner of the Real World Cafe we stared into the screen and we both dozed off.

Sir Dominic was relieved to see his Lord and the Lady McLeod alive, they sat together to discuss how they would reclaim their inheritance and stop Lord Ulmer from his plans to take over the Barrowlands.

“How did you survive the attack? We all thought you were killed.” Sir Dominic asked.

“We had two coaches set out under our banner, the second was a decoy, the one they attacked, then they torched the carriage without thoroughly checking who was inside. It was Serge and Flemmant who died in our place.” Lord McLeod explained.

Sir Dominic bowed his head in deference to his friends who were lost. Peter put his hand on Sir Dominic’s shoulder and said the elven prayer of the brave in honor of the warriors who lost their lives in service to Lord James. He also gave thanks that the Lord and Lady McLeod hadn’t perished.

At that moment I saw Peter in a different light, his strength equaled that of the warrior on bended knee. He knew exactly what to do in that moment, and he knew what he must do to help the rightful Lord gain back his throne and rule the Barrowlands.

A feast was prepared. We ate and drank for the joy of today and tried not to think of what may happen tomorrow. We would all accept our own fate working together to set the world right.

Sir Dominic spoke of the host Peter had trained, and of the support of the Baron’s who were still loyal to Lord James. Their numbers still didn’t match those of Lord Ulmer’s horde, most of whom were mercenaries, but there was still hope that the light elves had received word of the impending battle and would join the fight.

Sir Dominic danced with Lady Fiona and my thoughts turned to Karin and her Doktori who needed to be informed about the current state of affairs. She would be happy to know that my knight survived and looked to be engaged otherwise. Perhaps there would be a grand wedding after the war — if fate allowed.

“Peter, I need to go to Karin and tell her of our plans. I’ll be riding out on Mirro at day break.”

He tipped his glass to me, and smiled. “I should go with you.”

“You’re needed here, there’s no time. I hope to return with reinforcements.”

“Then you’ll take Sybold with you.” He pointed to the frail creature standing by the door to the Great Room. “Don’t let her size fool you, she is a warrior and deadly with a bow.”

I wished I was a little smaller, I didn’t “fit” in Peter’s world, Sybold was perfect for him. I’m a half-breed and didn’t fit in either of my two worlds. However, I was born of love and my existence is testament to that — there was still hope for me.

I looked at Peter and he looked back at me inquisitively. His eyes were suddenly brown, I was looking beyond him, far beyond, the computer screen flickered and Peter’s arm was on my shoulder. I was no longer in the keep of the Overlord’s Castle I was in the Real World Cafe. Was this the real world?

“Ouch, stop pinching me!”

“I’m not a dream.”

Staquard Est (Ch 4)

“Peter,” I called his name as I entered his room, but this wasn’t our house, but I was somewhat familiar. I put my hand to my head and entered the room where the scuffling had occurred.

He acknowledged me, but he wasn’t the diminutive light elf I expected, he was a full sized human — and so was I.

“Luce, I’m in trouble, we’re in trouble.”

He knows me well enough, that shaky feeling you get when you first encounter something unexpected was wearing off, I took him in completely, maybe Karin was right about the kindred spirit thing.

“Oh, the other Peter.” I said.

“Luce, no time for your strange sense of humor, I’ve gotten us in trouble, and I have a safe place for us to go for tonight, get Karin, there’s no time.

Karin didn’t have the trouble waking and getting her act together that I had. We met Peter within minutes on the fire escape.

“Really Peter? We’re climbing down this?” I questioned wearily as I looked down through the grated balcony and almost lost my balance and conscientiousness.

He grasped both my shoulders to get that laser vision thing going again, I was his subject. A crash was heard at the door of our apartment and Peter kicked the trigger that loosed the metal ladder to freedom. I closed my eyes and counted the steps to the ground. Karin dropped the final four feet to the ground, but Peter had to grab me by the waist and pull my hands away from the security of the metal ladder. We all managed to run well enough.

“I’m sorry I got you into this.” Peter said as he escorted us into the small basement apartment he had rented in anticipation. “I overheard something at the shop and now I’m a wanted man.”

“What could be so bad?” Karin wondered.

“A small land grab and ensuing law suit has turned into murder and I happened to be there when the plant manager was informed. His lawsuit to gain back his legacy opened up a secret that the lawyers and his brother worked out with the help of a Mata Hari. It was murder and McLeod escaped pushing me out the door in front of him. They can’t let this go any further, either McLeod and I die or the ‘gang’ goes to jail.”

“Not to be selfish, Peter but exactly how much are Karin and I involved in this? Can we go to work? Do they know where our families are?”

“I start my new job tomorrow, I can probably sleep there.:

Karin I think you’re safe for now, and it’s safe to sleep here, I used a different name to lease it. Luce, though I’m sorry, I think they know where you work and they think you’re my girl.”

“I’ll have to call my boss and tell him I need some time off, why would they think I’m your girl?”

“I’ll take you to the pay phone in the morning, thank God for obsolete technology, we can’t use our cells, and I talk about you all the time Luce, after awhile they assumed, and I never told them otherwise. The clincher was when I described your Rudolf minus the red nose Reindeer slippers, no girl would ever let just anyone witness that.”

We hunkered down in the corner of the small basement apartment, the three of us. Peter had his arm around me and Karin on the other side. We were cozy and warm and drifted off to sleep.

Joachim the goat boy had plenty to say as I rode up on Mirro and kept my promise to hear his story. He was one of those rare beings that believed in the legacy of his family and put his pride away to work the land he was promised. He believed someday the wrong would be righted and he would be reinstated.

I knew Arthur … or Sir Dominic, would have the answer and a plan to revenge the death of his liege. I left Joachim, as always working the field and tending the sheep.

Sir Dominic was up and about and the jacked rabbits were a fearsome lot. Peter was looking for my impression of his host of hares. I dismounted and went to my knees. I embraced him with all my might. I noted that Sir Dominic was staring at us. He had time to figure out Peter’s attributes and was now trying to assess mine.

My mother was human that was quite obvious, but my father was Phibian. That lineage showed up in my eyes and legs from the knees down. I always kept them covered. I learned to control the second lid on my eyes which was great for swimming, however, the scales on my legs and webbed toes were a secret, only Peter knew about that. My innards were a different story, I had no problems to speak of but I often craved shellfish, which was hard to come by.

Being half-human I couldn’t run or swim with my Phibian clan if I chose to seek them out, and the slim connection to them was lost when my father died. Arthur or Sir Dominic would have to continue to wonder about me.

He was glad to hear that the Varnum received his message and he was happy to report that Fedor was still alive as was the third brother, who turned out to be a girl. The message arrived by courier after they tracked Sir Dominic to our farm. We were to meet them in a few days when Sir Dominic could travel, this would also give him time to find a new horse, I was not about to give up Mirro.

In the waning hours of the day Peter and I sat cozy by the hearth as Sir Dominic told yet another story of his adventures in war and drink. When my leg slipped out from beneath the covers I saw the controlled reaction from across the way. Good, that will put an end to Karin’s illusion that the warrior was my knight in shining armor. Peter’s arm was around my waist as I drifted off.

 

I do have a voice

The sk,eptical blog I wrote awhile ago about finding my voice — read it, but take it with a grain of salt. What I have read/heard about finding the voice that will enhance your writing — may be true afterall. It remains to be seen, but actually the comments from readers of my blog were the inspiration for my conclusion. I started noting a common theme coming forth — humor. Several comments were about the humor in my writing. I re-read my own blogs and didn’t see it, but how can I deny what the visitors to my blog are saying?

I have always been told I have a great sense of humor and I hate to admit that early on my nephew mentioned that.

“You are very funny, but it doesn’t show up in your work.”

I passed it off with many other comments that didn’t make sense to me at the time. I had to get hit over the head several times in order to truly reflect on it.

My husband keeps asking me when I’m going on the road, unfortunately he gets most of my “barbs” but he is very easy going and laughs at the irony (truth as I see it). When I first heard the comment I thought how can a war or struggle to flee the enemy have humor? It’s serious stuff, but I’m starting to see the point that was being made.

Blogging helps — it does! I have heard that from day one, but I can attest to that statement, my readers picked up on the one thing that was alluding me.

My next project is to make the corrections from the final edit of my contest entry Curious Allure, a short fiction story. Then I will do the same with my Short Memoir entry due after the first of the year. It was while I was writing Fairview Bungalow that the change in POV helped to bring out more of me. The other helpful tips I heard about writing in different POV’s and genres are also true, short stories as well, condensing an entire story in 5000 words or less is a great exercise from someone whose first novel Woven In Time was originally 140,000 words. I have since broken it into two stories.

I’m looking forward to 2016 there is so much to be done this year, last year at this time I had no such aspirations — amazing what a year can bring.

As I look ahead to a great year I wish the same for all those who read this blog and are in similar circumstances, please share with me your experiences and I will continue to share mine. I’m still waiting to hear from the Popular Fiction Short Story Contest I entered several months ago. Nothing so far, it is a waiting game and nothing has been posted as far as I can find. Be undaunted, bend but don’t break and forge on, the rewards will be worth it.

Staquard est (Ch 3)

The long ride home on a Friday night when the traffic was bumper to bumper gave me time to reflect on the strange  realization that my waking world and my dream state were somehow trying to communicate with each other. The one clue Staquard Est, that I had written on a piece of paper while dreaming found its way into my lunch bag. What if I’m dreaming now? No amount of searching or deductive reasoning is giving me a clue as to what, if any, message I’m trying to send myself.

Karin was sitting on the front porch of our apartment, the food cooking itself this time in a crock pot.

“Peter is upstairs, he’s still not feeling well.”

“Have you talked with him?”

“No, I’ve been out all day, I had two interviews and a possible job offer, I’m waiting for a text.”
Great news, Karin. I hope you get the job.”

“Let’s eat, I doubt Peter will be down.”

“Karin, get it started I need to drop this off and I want to check in on Peter, I’ll be quick.”

Peter was busily keying data on his laptop, fingers flying across the keyboard.

“Hey, Karin said you were sick, you don’t look sick enough to skip dinner.”

“I have to figure something out, I’ll talk to you later, but I have to do a bit of research.”

I sat next to him on his bed, and pushed the lid of his laptop toward him to obstruct his vision to give me his full attention.

“What is going on? You’re beginning to worry me.”

“Bring me something to eat when you’re done, I need a few more minutes, grab me a beer too, I’m going to need it.”

I knew better than to argue, I didn’t share my new information about Peter with Karin, we had a nice meal, homemade rolls and garlic butter. We chatted for awhile and I brought a tray up to Peter. He was gone, his laptop was powered off, I turned it on but didn’t have his password and closed it.

Peter meant more to me than a room mate, Karin keeps reading into it, but it’s not a crush, I have a similar sense about Karin. In my room I researched dreams and dream states, it was recommended I leave a notebook and jot down everything I remember as soon as I awake, I decided to do that.

I looked at the ceiling and the reflection of headlights from cars traveling down the Boulevard. Too much going on in my mind to sleep, somehow the transition from one world to the next occurred anyway.

Mirro bore the stress of riding at full gallop, the site before my eyes made the decision to stop an easy one. The goat boy stood alone in the field, I knew him, he was a friend of Peter’s. He was a young adult goat-ish person who worked the land of his uncle. Peter had told me of the situation he had found himself in. His uncle’s estate was his legacy. He had worked for him since he was a kid, he was clever and worked hard. He loved his uncle and had bought into that whole family thing. Now, here he was, a serf working his land for someone else.

“Joachim, I’m a friend of Peter. I’m on my way to Stoquard Estate with a message.”

On my way past the crossroads I noted the sign the way it should have been read. Joachim recognized me and told me some of his story, I promised him I would stop on my way back, I was in a hurry to deliver the message. The goat boy had some water and feed for Mirro; and some warm bread and ale for me soon we were on our way.

The Varnum was Lord Estry of Staquard Estate, I handed him the message from Arthur, whom I learned later was Sir Dominic Weatherly, sworn by oath to Feodor, the late brother of the Dark Elf Ulmer.

Ulmer, along with the Barons had conspired to rid himself of his brothers and share the wealth left by his father. Ulmer needed the Barons’ to aid him in the treachery.

I stayed in the complete comfort of the room that once was occupied by the Varnum’s daughter who had since married and lived  nearby. I had never know such comfort, it didn’t take long for sleep to consume me.

I heard Peter moving about in his room, I had the presence of mind to write down the names foremost in my mind. I found the blue terrycloth robe and stepped outside my room.

 

Staquard Est (ch 2)

Sleep eluded me that night. It was almost as if I was afraid to sleep deeply — and dream. Perhaps a cold glass of water would help. As I poured the glass the light of the fridge illuminated the floor and onto the face of Peter who looked as though he could pass for one of the undead.

“Any interest in General Tso?” He asked as he tossed the white Styrofoam carton on the table.

“No, not at this hour, what’s wrong? You’re home early.”

“Not feeling well, Luce.”

He grabbed my wrist as I felt the heat of his forehead.

“I would guess about 99°.” I said as he tried to seduce me with his laser vision.

“Come on Peter, you need to sleep, you’re coming down with something.”

As we made our way to his room, Karin poked her head into the narrow hallway and surmised that the game of cat and mouse, between Peter and myself, had come to a conclusion.

“Nothing to see here, Karin, I’m only putting our wayward room mate to bed.”

Looking down at my attire, a faded blue terry robe, covering up grey flannel pajamas finished off at the bottom with battered Rudolph slippers that lost the red noses long ago; I thought Karin had to stretch her imagination to make this situation add up to a lurid affair.

I was glad Peter and i were ships that passed in the night, this living arrangement was too convenient for a serious relationship, we had a lot in common. I wished I could have run my big mystery of the day by him, but again his reliability fell short.

When my head hit the pillow I reached for my phone and touched it to see the time. Two and a half hours before the alarm went off and work ensued,

You must sleep or run the risk of getting sucked into the film processor — or any number of the dangers that awaited me at the print shop. Luckily sleep commenced.

The Broktori were a race of dark elves whose existence was solely to rule the people and the treasure of the realm. They had been defeated and attempted to live peacefully amongst the others that inhabited our world. The Dark Elf Lord Reisert had three sons, but left no apparent heir, he wanted them to prove themselves and he wouldn’t be forced by the order of their birth to make that determination.

Instead he started the backward slide to the warring nature of his kind. His death and the deaths of his two younger sons propelled Ulmer’s murderous reign to the days of old. His sole rule and the complete subjugation of his people bored him and forced his attentions elsewhere. He was determined to make every being in the realm yield to his power.

I woke to the sounds of the warrior whom Peter named Arthur, he was struggling to put his weight on his elbow, but reclined back because of his broken ribs and wound that had bled through the bandages. Recalling the horrific smell and torn flesh, I had to put my mind elsewhere to deal with this properly. Arthur looked as though he was going to make it, despite Peter’s doubts last night.

Arthur was definitely human, I have only seen a handful of them, my mother being one. That is where I get my determination, height and curious glances from inlanders. I was able to communicate with him as soon as he was able to speak.

“Mirro is an excellent horse, he’s the reason we were able to get the care you needed so quickly. His magnificence saved your life.”

“I have to return to the Ballowlands, I have a message for the Varnum who awaits me at the Estate.”

“You no longer have a horse, how do you expect to … ”

I was being selfish and answered my own question, the clever Arthur gave me his horse when he realized he couldn’t make the journey himself.

“Make haste, the realm depends upon your arriving before the Baktori War Lord completes the merge. Ulmer’s vengeance will be swift, he killed his brothers and perhaps his father as well.”

Arthur grimaced as the exertion to sit up became too much to bear.

“It’s a two day journey, one and a half on Mirro, I’ll help Peter and his army of woodland creatures prepare.”

He smiled with the mocking attitude any human would have, not knowing the true character of all the animals of the realm.

“Don’t underestimate those that would be by your side when the war has begun.” I said as I shook his hand.

I took the sack containing food enough for the journey and little else, I needed to travel lite.

Passing the training field, I stopped to hug Peter goodbye, the tightness in his muscles was evident after a full morning of training. He kissed my cheek, the pleasure lingured.

“Watch after Arthur, I will return in four days.”

That first night I slept under the Banyon tree and thought of my friend Peter.

The morning was a blur, I was not as tired as I had expected, my dreams ebbed in and out of my memory. I don’t ride horses, yet I was dreaming of one and man I was flying.

Lunchtime loomed and the plate maker was telling the story of a job that went awry, stopping the presses and sending several people to the emergency room. Not really — it’s how you feel when the presses stop, a pall fills the plant and the ticking clock can be heard counting the minutes until the profitable hum of the presses return, and if you were a doctor your patient flat lined until the peaks and valleys of life returned on the ekg.

I dumped the contents of my lunch bag onto the table carelessly and noticed a paper drift from inside the bag laying face up on the surface.

Lucid and Peter sitting in a tree … k i s s i n g

How childish.

Today’s Thoughts

Today, I have reacted to some suggestions that came through from people commenting on my blog. I started this blog as a means to improve my writing and give some insight into the process of being a writer and getting published. Hence, the title Woven In Time, that is the name of my first novel, at the time I was trying to market that story. I do agree the name is obscure, it doesn’t explain the objective of this blog. I’ve mentioned before that I needed to blog about a subject in which I’m knowledgeable, so I blog about writing because that is all I do right now. I did however make a concession I’ve added a disclaimer.

Some of my blogs are excerpts from stories I have written. As I have explained before there is a sense of freedom while blogging, the stuff comes out and I deal with it later. Believe me there is a lot to deal with later. Some blogs are what’s simply on my mind or type as you go.

Yesterday, I blogged a new story I’m developing it’s an idea that came to me while driving home, I mentioned it in an earlier blog. I’m going to have to come up with an acronym for that: Mentioned In An Earlier Blog.

If you read that particular days entry, I mentioned Star Wars and driving my son. At the time I couldn’t think of the word to describe the impact it had on me oh so many years ago. The word is “seared” I heard it to describe something in an audio book, it was the word I needed to describe how Star Wars affected my the first time. It was seared in my memory, I saw The Force Awakens and felt it was a reunion seeing some of the characters again.

Tomorrow, I will continue my story about Lucid and Peter I don’t know where I am going with it, but it will reveal itself in my blog. As I go about my day, I sometimes jot things down, like I did this morning — something to do with relationships. I love historical fiction and romance, I’m not sure if Peter and Lucid have a chance, although he is a rabbit in her alternate life. Wait a minute it just dawned on me Peter is a rabbit? I’m going to have to change his name or his species.

Lucid is me in a way, I wanted to use a different POV than I have to date. I have used a diary in one story The Tea Room to get that POV, but I have read a series lately in first person singular and was drawn in. I’m also rewriting Flaked Tuna and I want to work in a first person plural voice, it’s a time travel novel where the protagonist’s brain is invaded by a friendly force and has a fpp conversation with a professor. Other than those few instances I have been writing as the all-knowing narrator. There are many options.

What I’m excited about is the potential to put my personal knowledge into a story. It started with a memoir Fairview Bungalow I wrote for a short story contest, Bits of yourself do drift into your work — of course, but now I’m writing actual experiences into a story that don’t require research at every step.

I recently read a book, when I say read I mean listened to — you get it. I was about to give up on it, but I started over — I had become lost. Re-reading the first fifteen chapters was an eye opener, now thirty chapters into it I can’t wait to read more I’m hoping there’s thirty chapters left — at least. That makes me think about my stories that aren’t getting past the first stage. Perhaps not every one would be lost in the first fifteen chapters of that book, certainly not everyone would give it a second chance. My stories are like a fine wine, they need to be sniffed and swirled. Instead they have to be a slam dunk, nothing but net, a little net won’t do.

I keep getting the encouragement not to give up. Somewhere out there is a half court contest that I may hit.

I plan to blog tomorrow but if the Holidays get in the way, I hope you have the best of the Season with family and friends.

“Staquard est”

I rememb,er the day it dawned on me, the fact that I was dreaming the life I was living and living the dream I was dreaming.  Sitting in the lunchroom, looking across the table at a co-worker who pulled a tuna fish sandwich out of a paper bag, and proceeded to pull out a clear baggie filled with chips followed by brownie bits and a thermos of milk. The plate maker stood up when the three beeps sounded and pulled a frozen dinner out of the microwave, placed it on the table and went to the bubbler with an empty container filled it with cold water and looked at the rest of us and asked “What?”.

My lunch bag, not so different from the others, had a torn piece of paper that wasn’t put in there by me along with an envious sampling of food made by my room mate which I carefully placed in my own retro lunch bag. “Staquard est” was not a term I was familiar with. My home, where I live with two room mates who are capable of trying to pull my chain, would never be up that early — neither of them are morning people. Unless they cleverly placed the note in the stack of flat brown paper bags I keep in the second drawer down along with the foil and plastic wrap, this note was meant for someone else, so I dismissed it. On my way back to my station the note was cast into the trash along with my cantaloupe rind and wad of wrinkled napkins.

The heavy workload helped the afternoon go quickly and I waved goodnight to the plate maker as we punched the clock and went to our cars.

Karin, my fair haired friend of ten years, would be throwing something together for dinner and Peter, dark and elusive, would be off to work and the nightlife, I hardly ever saw him.

Karin was tossing vegetables into a boiling pot of water, orchestrating the ingredients of a meal with perfect timing. A cook out of work, for about two weeks, was creating a work of edible art, her creative outlet.

“Karin, fess up, what the hell does “Staquard est” mean you really tested the grey matter trying to figure that one out.”

Karin turned from the over sized pot as she tasted the broth contained in the large wooden spoon.

“Welcome home Lucid, I have no idea what you are talking about and I have more to think about, like finding a job and earning my keep.”

“Oh, it’s nothing, a scrap piece of paper was in with my lunch, I thought it might be a note from you or Peter.”

“Staquard est, Greek to me.”

That gave me an idea. “How long for the culinary reveal?”

“About twenty minutes.”

“All right, I have to search that phrase online, ring the dinner bell and I’ll come running.”

Karin’s “Greek” comment gave me the idea that perhaps that was a foreign phrase, the “est” is French, enough guessing, time for some facts.

By the time Karen called, and I had to rush off to the kitchen because nothing angers a chef more than being late to dinner, I had only confused myself more. I decided to let the phrase mull around in my brain while I tasted the perfectly blended meal I was about to enjoy.

I did the dishes, although Karin always cleaned up as she cooked, one thing I appreciated about Karin, as for Peter I could tell exactly what he ate or cooked by the packaging remnants left scattered on the counters or in the sink.

A lap around the block with Dexter, the stray we couldn’t resist, and the sights and smells of the city did little to help the mulling I was attempting. A neon sign jumped out at me where the letter S  had burnt out, reading ALE appealing to a different clientele, gave me the idea that perhaps the note was a similar play on words. More to mull around, one small piece of paper in addition to the minor details of my mundane life. My nonexistent love life, Karen’s unemployment and Peter’s ghostly trail of breadcrumbs reminding us that he was part of the trilogy dwelling at 557 Monray Boulevard.

Dexter, happily back in his domain, my hectic workday, and a full stomach of comfort food, demanded I climb into my bed and give in to the darkness.

“Karin, where are the ingredients? I know Chalimar had collected them for you.”

She stepped out from behind the cupboard, her fine features covered in yellow dust from the buttercups she had crushed. She gazed at me for the unexpected intrusion with her large brown eyes.

“Lucid, they are all organized and in the shed. You have come a long way to find out an every day occurrence.”

“Oh, I have two reasons, one is to ride my new charger, Mirro and the second is to get a poultice for a friend.”

“Oh, I’d love to see him, where is he? Then you can tell me about your ‘friend’ that needs my healing poultice.”

I brought Karin to see the war horse I had been given by the warrior whose life was was nearly taken by the Broktori, who I will discuss later. I found him by the dwelling I share with Peter, he’s a member of the Drokti, whom I’ll tell you about now. The Drokti are elves of the light, the protectors of life in the forest. He’s a clever elf who stands about four feet tall, he is slightly built and has fine hair that curls on the end — he can fly. I hunt for food and he collects the vegetables that grow wild in the forest that surrounds our dwelling. He is a friend more than anything, we were drawn together after the dark elves invaded and devastated most of the land, only a few of us were left alive. We were quite young in comparison to our respective species, the Drokti were busy righting the wrong. The other young-lings were taken to refuge in the towns, but we didn’t want that, we wanted to stay where we were. We needed each other at first, but we grew to depend on each other. Peter has a way with animals and I keep watch and build things.

“Hows Peter?” Karin asked as she stroked Mirro’s muzzle, he didn’t seem to mind.

“Peter is well, he’s been such a comfort to me. He keeps busy training anyone who’ll listen to him, even if they only have small paws and floppy ears. Enough, though, I have to get back if your poultice is to have any affect.”

“Be careful Lucid, you may get your wish of healing a handsome warrior, then what?”

“Karin, your over active mind is wandering down the wrong path, besides I think he’s a human.”

“Is he now Lucid, you underestimate your charms.”

She was always trying to get me ‘fixed-up’ I supposed adding matchmaker to her long list of accomplishments would please her very much.

Mirro’s swift gate and strength moved me along through the woods and back to the warrior who laid wounded in our cabin. As the wound was wrapped and Peter helped me move him to the palette we prepared for him, I grabbed a scrap of paper and wrote down what I could remember of the sign I passed that was nailed to the tree at the crossroads “Staquard est” I would ask Peter about it.

Star Wars Flashback

Some years ago I went to see a movie with co-workers. I had no idea what the movie was about at the time, I only wanted to enjoy the company of my friends outside of work. The first ever Star Wars was on the screen and I was entranced. I will never forget the feeling of (I need a word), do any words exist that can explain it? Awesome, doesn’t do it, amazing doesn’t do it, I was lost in it and have been ever since. That is the main reason why I drove 150 miles (round trip) today to bring my son, whose car broke down, to meet his friends in NY to wait in line to get to the show.

Those memories are what increase the richness of our lives. I hope he experiences the same feelings that I have no words for, I’m going to see it as well, but I’m not going to wait in line, I will go when the newness wears off. However, I CAN’T WAIT but I will.

Now, if you have done anything way out of the normal expectancy for someone else, there is usually  a reward. Not that you expect anything, but I thought of an idea for another book which I’m going to draft, it came to me as I drove home in the deluge and gloom. It’ll be on the way back burner, but it will inspire me and keep me writing.

Today, my blog is a little short, I have to pick up my daughter and my unexpected jaunt took a chunk out of my day. Sometimes, though, these things are necessary.

Star Wars was a pivotal time in my life, it hugely affected me. Isn’t that way we write stories? Thanks Alan.

A Reason To Blog

I have a reason to blog. I’m a writer who is trying to promote my first novel Woven In Time. I haven’t spent the time to explore all the possibilities to enhance the look of this site. I am mainly interested in writing, putting down thoughts, sometimes blogging books and excerpts. Mostly, I blog about my experience so far with my stories and what I’m doing to get them published. The process is not unique, but I include my own learning curve and take on the situation. I haven’t been writing, as a passion, very long, and I’ve been blogging for less.

The urge to write a novel hit me about a year ago and I started the blog when it was suggested to get a platform.  I have a lot of information under my belt — life. There is a lot I could write about, but I’m not an expert. I felt I could be credible writing about my experience in the business of publishing my books. I have followed most of the suggestions, read many blogs, skimmed through articles, and attended a writers conference.

I have sent out many queries and received as many rejections. I’m re-evaluating my work and writing more stories. I have tried different genres, the most recent is a Short Memoir. I may have come out of the block a little too fast. I made some early mistakes, but I’m still trying and learning.

  1. Woven In Time an epic family saga Fantasy Fiction with Historical Elements, many queries and a partial MS rejected. Originally it was 140,000 words but I have since condensed it to two books 70,000 words each. Currently it is in the Book Pipeline Contest.
  2. The Tea Room, a Historical Fiction based on the sisters of Peter the Great. Complete at 32,000 words has also received rejections and is currently in a competition in the UK. I blogged about it recently.
  3. Flaked Tuna is a Science Fiction, Fantasy complete at 50,000 words. It also has received rejections and is in its second revision (major) its name was changed recently.
  4. Summer Palace is a Short Story Romance entered in a contest which should be revealed soon. It was 4000 words until I wrote an additional 16,000 words because I wanted to find out what happened to the two main characters. If I don’t hear from the contest I will add another 10,000 words to make it a good sized book.
  5. Curious Allure is an excerpt from Flaked Tuna which I re-wrote to conform to an 8,000 word Short Story Contest. It is a Historical Fiction based on the early life of Catherine I of Russia. That will be entered before the end of the month.
  6. Fairview Bungalow is a Short Memoir of 4000 words written for another contest, and sent in for a critique. I have made adjustments according to the critique, but left most of it alone also according to the critique.

I have printed out all my MS’s and read them aloud which is highly recommended to do for the self-edit. I did find it helpful and made changes.

My top priorities now are getting my two Short Stories ready to submit. Then the major re-work of my Flaked Tuna story, “Put one foot in front of the other …” that’s the phrase I keep using to keep my son on track, this is the season.

Another helpful tip I have been hearing lately is to keep reading … readers make good writers. I have never read so much in my life. I download audiobooks I find I can listen while doing chores and at bedtime.

Right now I’m obsessed with Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Series. I’m on the eighth book and look forward to the long rides to pick my daughter up at school, so I can get more of Uhtred of Bebbanberg. I love reading Historical Fiction and this is as good as it gets, according to me.

It’s a balancing act, family of four, business owner, and two dogs. Not to mention Christmas is next week!!!!!!!!

The best time

The best time to write is when it takes everything you have to put your fingers to your keyboard. That is where I am at this exact minute. I received another rejection — man it hurts!

I’m trying a different tact though, instead of recoiling and letting it get to me I am writing about it as soon as I sent out another query. This negative response came in one week, which is a record.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I received a professional critique on a short memoir I wrote and it gave me the confidence to think that my stories have merit. Although Fairview Bungalow is a different genre for me and it is my most recent work, the positive critique was encouraging. I don’t think my story and writing is too different than my previous works. I’m not sure if my memoir will win an award, but I am going to enter it with great hope.

I appreciate the quick turn around of my last query it is hard to work on a story, send it out and wait. Once the response comes in you can move along. I tend to send individual queries, changing elements as I prepare to send others.

Sometimes I’ll see see a request from an agent I am following on Twitter, this last query was one of those, asking for princesses. Well, I thought The Tea Room is about princesses, but obviously not the right princesses. Mine were real, well three of them lived to be adults. the other two died in infancy and I included them in my story.

WOULD YOU READ THIS BOOK?

Locked away in the silence and seclusion of the Terem Apartments, the Five Royal Romanov Princesses would never be a threat. However, the same Romanov blood flowed through their veins and they weren’t so easily forgotten — one of them would rise to rule Russia for seven years.

The eldest sister SOFIA, half-sister of Peter the Great, had a willful spirit that didn’t allow the indignity placed on Royal Women. She ultimately rose to power and set the precedent for the women who would rule Russia.

The second sister MARIA, was not aggressive, but had a spirit that couldn’t be diminished, she learned to read and write despite the fact that it was forbidden. The third sister, Yevdokia, born between princes Feodor and Ivan, was of poor health and had the same illness that took the lives of Tsar Alexis I and Tsar Feodore III.

NATALYA dealt with her seclusion through her imagination, creativity and her love for her ailing sister, FYODORA was traumatized by the seclusion and loss of her father. The two youngest were full sisters to Peter l of Russia.

The fate of these sisters was to be determined by the western influence that brought on cultural changes in all areas of Russian society and by their own individual strengths. Russia would be ruled by women for the following seventy years.

The Tea Room is a Women’s Fiction Story with a Historical base, and Elements, of Fantasy and Romance, complete at 31,242 words.

Among the spam and trash I have recently received there have been some great comments, thank you so much for reading and sharing my blog.