Insanity

unknown1-2x

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Now for a little promotion

 

Hero of Corsindor 2018-2Hero of Corsindor is now on Amazon kindle for pre-order.

In the kingdom of Corsindor, the prince is lost, the king is dead, and the queen is holding the reins of government against disloyal nobles. They want a puppet to consolidate their power over the land. The queen has only one ally, who is not human.

There are rumors that the borders have been closed. Plus the long-lost prince, who knows nothing of ruling, is returning. Corsindor is being attacked from within and without by nightstalkers.

Shira, a foundling, trained by the Ahrah, Corsindor’s neighbors, is sent find out the conditions in Corsindor. Warrior and child of another world – her job is to confront the demons and reduce the chaos in the world. Will she survive?

Will she be tempted to take it all?

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Tuesday Snippet: Unlicensed Sorceress Chapter Seven

unlicensed sorceress 2017Koenigstadt
Michael Ordson

Michael walked quickly down the cobblestone path. He didn’t stop to look at the stone buildings that had been there for hundreds of years. He didn’t look at the fountain with undines dancing and swooping in the tinkling water.

He didn’t notice the sylphs as they tangled and slid up and down the oaks planted near the pathway. As a student he had not been able to see the elementals at play except when they manifested in the classroom.

He didn’t stop and stare because he was focused on finding his mentor. There had to be some way to stop the inevitable. Since the mage wars, unlicensed mages were chained, stripped of their powers, and sometimes killed in very public ways. The only reason Morcant would try to strip Hilda’s powers was because she had been of service and couldn’t be killed publicly without a lot of repercussions from the Mercenary Guild.

No one wanted the guild mad at them. The members trained for years and also went to war against each other. They knew tactics and weapons. They had planned for every disaster including if they were attacked by their host country. They were hard men and women who would do anything for their own. Hell, even the retired mercenaries were dangerous. He thought fondly of Grandpa Stevens. That man could kill with a look. He didn’t even have to use his hands.

When Michael found his mentor, he was in a better mood after the long walk and his thoughts of Grandpa Stevens inevitably lead to thoughts of Josephine. He missed her. He really missed her. He would give up all of his ambitions of fame and fortune to be her at the inn.

Michael’s mentor was on his knees in a garden. His earth elemental, a gnome, was watching him plant bulbs along the walkway.

“Isn’t this a little early?” Michael asked him. The sun’s weak rays didn’t warm him. The cold went clear to his bones.

“Yes,” his mentor said simply. “But my friend here will watch them and make sure they don’t freeze. They’ll be ready to bloom in spring.” He got up off of his knees and brushed off the dirt that had accumulated on his pants and robes.

The mentor straightened and then looked into Michael’s eyes. “I hear you brought us some trouble.” His words came out slow and thoughtful. One of the reasons the mentor received so many students was because he didn’t rush to judgment. A lot had to do with his affinity to earth. He knew it took time for students to reach their full potential.

Then he smiled and switched the subject, “Congratulations. I see you have an undine.”
Michael smiled back, “Yes.”

The mentor’s eyes unfocused. He murmured. “Your fire ability has been badly burned. You’ll have to tell me what happened. How interesting.”

He reached out and touched Michael’s hand. He continued, “You grew another one. How did you?—” He opened his eyes. “Once again, you’ll have to tell me later. Come with me. We need to talk in private.”

They didn’t walk much farther until they reached a door in the wall. His mentor made some hand motions and the door opened by magic. “It’s keyed to my magic, I’m afraid,” the mentor’s eyes crinkled in amusement as Michael watched him intently. “No one can get in here, but me.”

“So have you terminated many students here?” Michael joked. When the silence grew, Michael started to feel uncomfortable. There was a reason why normals thought mages were insane.

“You have nothing to fear,” said his mentor. “We are just going to talk.”

His mentor motioned to an over-stuffed chair that had brown and yellow stains on it. Michael didn’t look closer. He didn’t want to know what the stains were although by the smell, some student had probably peed from fear. It was a stringent sour odor. Michael ignored it and breathed through his mouth.

“So,” the word drawled out of the mentor’s mouth. “Are you here about your magic or about your sister’s?”

Michael was not ready for the question. He flinched. He tried to say something smart, but all that came out was, “uh, uh, uh.”

“Your sister then,” said the mentor. The mentor quit looming over Michael and sat down on a stuffed couch facing him. While Michael wasn’t looking, a tea tray appeared on a small tray beside his mentor.

“Since I am not your mentor anymore,” the mentor said, “You may call me Mage Godfroy.” He poured two cups of tea and floated one of the tea cups to Michael.
Michael plucked the tea cup out of the air and took a sip of the tea. “Thank you,” he murmured. The tea tasted excellent. He didn’t test for poison. Doing that in his old mentor’s office would have been an insult.

“So about your sister,” the mage said. He sipped his tea and then put it down. “She has magical talent, yes?”

Michael nodded his head. All of a sudden the tea tasted sour in his mouth. “She had a meeting with Mage Morcant today.”

Mage Godfroy grimaced. “He tried to strip her of her power, yes?”

Michael nodded his head. “He wasn’t successful, and he will try again.”

“You have a problem,” said Mage Godfroy. “You should have reported her magical talent as soon as you knew. She should have reported it when the fire element came to her.” He took another sip of his tea. Michael relaxed slightly. The mage could give a tongue-lashing like no other. He was not expecting this calm.

“Mage Morcant,” Mage Godfroy continued. “Had every right to strip her powers—except he shouldn’t have done it without the consent of the Mage Council. You do know that it would be easy for Morcant to get permission now that they know she is able to stop an attack.”

“I would think that they would find her useful.” Michael felt the blood rush to his head. “She has been trained in war.” He could feel the his face warm and burn. He felt his undine caress the back of his neck until he cooled down. His temper went cold and blue sparks shown in his eyes.

Mage Godfroy didn’t smile, although there was a twinkle in the back of his eyes.

“Good,” he said abruptly. “You’ll need that when you go to war for your sister. It may only be paper and diplomacy, but if you cannot get them on your side, then your sister will be as good as dead.”

Under the cold anger, Micheal felt his stomach sink.

******************

Now for a  little promotion

Hero of Corsindor 2018-2

Hero of Corsindor is now on Amazon kindle for pre-order.

In the kingdom of Corsindor, the prince is lost, the king is dead, and the queen is holding the reins of government against disloyal nobles. They want a puppet to consolidate their power over the land. The queen has only one ally, who is not human.

There are rumors that the borders have been closed. Plus the long-lost prince, who knows nothing of ruling, is returning. Corsindor is being attacked from within and without by nightstalkers.

Shira, a foundling, trained by the Ahrah, Corsindor’s neighbors, is sent find out the conditions in Corsindor. Warrior and child of another world – her job is to confront the demons and reduce the chaos in the world. Will she survive?

Will she be tempted to take it all?

 

Does my writing suck?

person holding blue ballpoint pen writing in notebook

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Here’s the thing. As a writer I don’t know if I write well or not. I feel the words come out. I try to manage the characters and I work on things like dialogue and description, but when it comes down to my writing, I can’t judge if it is good or not.

I’ve talked to other writers who have numerous readers and they always say the same things. They cannot judge if their stories are good or not. It is the reason that many of us ask our readers to write reviews.

When I was first starting to learn the story structure, I would send my stories out to small magazines, publishers, and agents. I had the impression that this group would give me advice or at least tell me my weak spots. It was pretty naive. But at the time, when we were marching through the publishing gates– the gatekeepers had complete control of what stories were being told.

In my cleaning endeavors over the years, I have thrown away hundreds of rejection letters. I think I managed to publish one story in Bibliophilos– a very small literary mag. Not one of those rejections gave advice or encouragement except a sci-fi mag. There I was told that they wanted to read more of my work, but that the story I had sent was not the kind they published.

I should have pursued that one. My problem at the time was that I had just finished college after pursuing an English degree and it was right when I started to have problems with Wegener’s Granulomatosis. After taking the meds for that disease, I pretty much lost my brain and had to start over. It took two years before I could even read again. I only started writing again in 2009.

So after you read something you like, go give that author a nice review. It only has to be one or two sentences. I am pretty sure that it will be the most joy that they’ve had in weeks or longer. I know that I reread a good review over and over to pick up my spirits.

Why? Because all of us who write don’t know if we are any good and many of us think we are just hacks, but we are still brave enough to throw our babies into the wind so they can float or fall.

************

Now for a  little promotion

Hero of Corsindor 2018-2

Hero of Corsindor is now on Amazon kindle for pre-order.

In the kingdom of Corsindor, the prince is lost, the king is dead, and the queen is holding the reins of government against disloyal nobles. They want a puppet to consolidate their power over the land. The queen has only one ally, who is not human.

There are rumors that the borders have been closed. Plus the long-lost prince, who knows nothing of ruling, is returning. Corsindor is being attacked from within and without by nightstalkers.

Shira, a foundling, trained by the Ahrah, Corsindor’s neighbors, is sent find out the conditions in Corsindor. Warrior and child of another world – her job is to confront the demons and reduce the chaos in the world. Will she survive?

Will she be tempted to take it all?

 

 

 

 

I’m in my pajamas

feet-pajama

CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay

I did get up early with the express intention of writing on my current “work in progress.” My WIP is still in bit-land waiting for me to write. I did my daily Facebook socializing and then realized that I hadn’t written a post for a long time.

If anyone is interested I am still in a holding pattern with my thyroid. I finally have an endocrinologist who will see me next week. Coincidentally the surgeon will see me two days later. Since I have been getting exhausted in the middle of the day, I have been staying closer to home, hence the pajamas. Foxy is tired as well. She is lying next to my feet and watching me type. I wonder if this is meditation time for her. We do have play time and walk time and eat time. Coincidentally she is the one who makes the schedule. If I deviate, she gives me the licking I deserve. It really tickles when she licks under the chin.

I am turning into my grandparents. Many years ago, I would take my grandmother shopping. She was in her sixties and we would go from bench to bench, while I shopped for T-shirts and other summer clothes. I was into wild colors then –yep the 80s. My grandmother had that dry wit that most people didn’t appreciate. She could make me laugh. My grandmother had what they called then “hardening of the arteries.” Maybe now she would have been diagnosed with mini-strokes in the brain. Her personality slowly through many years disintegrated. She lost her short-term memory and then later near the time she died she began to lose her long-term memory. Even so she never forgot her husband. He died two years before she did. She did forget that he had died.

Even so it was a slow thing so I didn’t realize how much she had lost until I went to see her after my grandfather’s death. She was sitting on the porch wrapped in a light cotton house coat. Her legs were crossed and she was enjoying the sunshine. I talked to her for a few hours and she was coherent. Later I saw my aunt who told me that grandmother had seen a niece of a friend of the family that morning. She forget me, but she remembered that they had a good time. I told my aunt it was me. My aunt wasn’t surprised. My grandmother was forgetting to groom herself, she was forgetting to eat, and she was forgetting people. But she was still kind. I hope to be kind when I eventually lose my mind.

Plus she would wander looking for grandfather. She would yell, “Earl. Earl.” She would walk through the pathways and through the streets looking for her lost husband and never find him. They had been married for over fifty years.

She is gone now. I hope she is with her husband, Earl walking in the sunshine. She was a little thing, not quite five feet tall, but packed full of dynamite. She kept her husband, over six feet, and her sons also over six feet in line. She loved her grandchildren. She gave us all afghans when we graduated. This woman would sit in front of the TV and crochet. She knitted me a poncho when I was a eight years old. I wore it until I grew out of it.

Families and roots are important. I learned this from Otto. I was the one who walked away into the Navy, looking for some freedom. He was a foster boy with no family. He loved his daughters so much and looked for so many years for the people who had birthed him.

The stories we tell each other and the stories we tell ourselves make us into the people we are and who we become. I know better than most that there is darkness in every story, but there is also hope and love. I wish for a better life. I wish to tell the stories that bring hope whether they are stories of life or stories of fiction.

Even in the midst of suffering, there is goodness.

Here is my last book, Dragon Boy. It is the second in the series of Hilda’s Inn.

Silver linings and Full Moons

Lone Tree Full Moon Until I turned 38, writing was an untapped secondary talent. I had been a typesetter and formatted a few novels, I had been a sales clerk in a men’s store, and I had been an electronics tech in the US Navy.

I was a poet and had been writing poetry since I was nine years old. It was more in the style of Robert Frost. So I was still an apprentice of poetry when I decided to finish my degree. After the first two classes at University of Maryland University College–European division (yes, they called it UMUC for short or running amok was the students’ favorite saying), I realized that I had a talent for organizing words on the page. I was writing two papers a semester for English literature and one paper for German History which helped me to finally became confident with my writing. While I was there, I published a lot of poetry and had my first short story published in Bibliophilos.

In these years I began studying different forms of poetry. I tried my hand at sonnets, haiku, villanelles, and other styles. I would read poetry from poets like Auden, Basho, and others. I would study what they did and how they phrased their ideas.

Then my style began to emerge. I learned to take the word “me” out of the poetry. I learned that when I was observing something and describing it, that I didn’t have to moralize. The reader would see what I had to say. or not. Sometimes they saw more than I did and sometimes less. It didn’t matter because when I wrote, my main goal was to evoke a feeling.

Then I became ill and my entire world changed.

When I wrote this poem, I was in a hospital bed and couldn’t move. My husband wrote it down for me as I dictated it to him. Even when I thought I was near the end, I was writing poetry. This is the poem.

Jesus Wept

Your tears well
down granite cheeks—

splash the curve
of your neck.

My tongue licks
the holy elixir.

Corn silk sprouts
at my feet.
I came back to a second life. It was a life where I had to fight for every memory and the ability to think. From 2003 to 2009, I wrote little sentences and paragraphs. I wrote for  Helium, a now dead online magazine. I started small and once again I had to learn how to think and to write. I learned plot and characters. It wasn’t as easy this time.

So here I am with a second life and with thyroid cancer, maybe I am embarking on a third life. I hope it is full of color.

Sidewalk art

Blue green, blue violet, carnation pink
lemon yellow, orange red, raw sienna
drawn and melted on the front sidewalk–

a masterpiece of childhood–
stick figures, block houses, round tree tops
four-leaf clovers, flowers, and yellow bees

I was caught crayon handed.

soap, tears, and scrub brushes
hands scraped and bleeding
the offending colors erased
She said: Next time use chalk

It was the last time I made
a mark on the world–

If you’d like to read more of my poetry, here is Outside my Window and Sonnet Playground.

I almost forgot A Flicker of Hope.

Sore throats and fevers

So the last two days I haven’t been getting to my minimum goal. I think after this post I may be able to crank out another five hundred words. I’m not sure how I picked up this cold. I wasn’t around any sick people. I did have to shop for dog food, so I may have passed near someone that was germy. I have been known to get sick from people just by being in the same air space.

Since the dog had pancreatitis last year, I have to be careful about what I feed her now. I go to PetSmart for specialty food. I used to feed her Royal Canine, but it has too much fat content for her stomach and liver. I am trying out a new brand and we’ll see how she does on it.

Yesterday I was able to pull out five hundred words and then I slept the rest of the day. When I have a fever, all of my muscles and joints hurt like hell. It’s one of the only things that make me stop and rest. Oh yes, and fatigue. I do get that after I push too hard and too long. As I get older, it is harder to refill my energy. I have to pick– if I wash clothes today, will I have enough energy to write?

Anyway, enough of my little problems. I am alive, I am writing, and I have a companion.

Since you miscreants have finished reading this post, this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Living in the Desert, a collection of short stories is free.

Living in the desert collection ebook coverThis is a collection of short stories about living in the high-deserts of California, Utah, and Nevada. Stories include wildland fires, desert rescues, and a cougar attack.

Plus there is at least one alien encounter.

 

 

Free on Amazon

As a thanks to my friends who have been reading my books, I have two of my shorter works for free on Amazon today and tomorrow.

Land of Gehenna cover“Land of Gehenna” is about a colony doing their best to adapt to a very dangerous desert world. A young man, who is the last descendant of the colony ship, is selected to appease the spirits.

There is also a bonus story called “The White Snows of Russia.” The basis of this story is a old man I met while in Germany. He had been one of the soldiers who had been in Russia during the Nazi Germany’s Eastern Front. The damage he suffered was not only physical, but mental. He still didn’t remember his family or his name. Hidden in the Sierras cover

The second story free today is “Hidden in the Sierras,” which is technically a YA fantasy, coming-of-age. This was my first story about were-bears in the Sierras. A young girl finds her place in her tribe.

So these are the two that are free today. I hope you enjoy them.