As promised, I have uploaded and scheduled a new short story themed around winter, Christmas, and Hanukkah to release every Saturday in December. These are PATREON ONLY posts and will not be released to non-Patrons through my feed. Schedule of titles and a one-line synopsis at the end of this post.
The holidays and winter in general is one of my favorite settings to write in. There's so much joy, warmth, and mischief to be had, but on the flip-side, anything dark becomes darker in contrast.
I hope you enjoy these stories and I will see you in the new year!
12/1: One Last Christmas (A woman's musing in the aftermath of a family holiday)
12/8: A Snowy Hanukkah (A quiet moment between a granddaughter and her grandpa)
12/15: Bran and Jannelle (Two siblings find they way back to each other after years apart)
12/22: Light, Fluffy, Cold (A delightful winter-themed poem)
12/29: Cocoa or Tea? (An unexpected encounter with a sibling's lab partner)
IT'S FINALLY HERE!
I am SO excited to announce that 'Magic Wept' by Andi Van is ready for my eyes to feast! This is book 2 in the 'Mages' Guild Trilogy' and I have been waiting SO LONG. No more waiting, let's let Andi get into it! Let's start with a synopsis.
Someone get me a fainting couch, honestly. I'm so ready for this book! If anyone wants to do a read-along on release day, yeah. let's do it! Back to Andi, it's time for the Master behind the mind.
A little bit about Andi Van
Okay okay, stop teasing me. Tell me more about Magic Wept! I want details, how did these characters come to be, where did the idea for the story come from. Most importantly... GIVE ME SOMETHING TO READ!
A History of Magic
Once upon a time (the early 1990s), before the dawn of the internet as we know it, there was a BBS (that's "Bulletin Board System", and we had to use actual phone lines to dial into them via modem) in which I ran a role-playing group set in a mages' guild. My character's name was Trivintaie, and she was a redheaded mage with a penchant for mischief.
Yes, she was THAT Triv. The same Triv that starts off the whole Mages' Guild Trilogy.
When I decided to revive her and write the trilogy, I knew I couldn't make her the main character. Her time had passed, and too many other people had taken part in creating her guild for it to really be mine. So I set the trilogy a thousand years in the future and gave her world a new hero.
What I didn't expect was that I'd pack it with such a diverse set of characters, most of which reflecting some part of the rainbow. It was completely unintentional, but once I realized it was happening, I was thrilled. One of my goals was to give young adults—and adults not quite so young—characters that maybe they could identify with in a way they might not have been able to before.
So I'd like to introduce you all to some of the new characters in the second book of the trilogy, Magic Wept.
But before that, I wanted to let you all know that there is indeed a giveaway. I will be randomly generating three winners on September 30th, all of whom will receive a plush purple cat (because nothing says magic like a K'yerin plushie—Tasis' familiar is just full of himself enough to agree with that sentiment) and an ebook copy of Magic Wept. You can enter the giveaway HERE!
And now, on to the characters!
Gisik isn’t seen much in Magic Wept, but he’s definitely talked about. While we already have an antagonist in the form of the mad king of Archai, Gisik, if we want to put it in gamer terms, is the boss. He’s the big bad guy. And while he doesn’t represent a portion of the rainbow like so many of the other characters, he does represent evil in the ultimate good-versus-evil scenario.
Gisik is a dragon. The other dragons seem to want to do good things and be good to people. Gisik…well, not so much for him.
This doesn’t make him less important than the good guys. He is in fact just as important, if only because his twisted personality gives the rest of their world a scale in which to measure against. There’s long been a question on whether we would know what ‘good’ actually was if we didn’t have ‘evil’ to show us the opposite side of the coin.
I’ll admit it. There’s something really liberating about writing an evil, twisted character.
And with that disturbing thought, let’s move on to the excerpt.
“Your uncle, then,” Emlynn mused with a nod. “And he is—was—the black dragon?”
“Yes,” the dragon said. They shoved the last of the apple slice they’d been holding into their mouth and began to lick at their fingers. “He was not kind. Mean. Greedy. He was angry our mother did not want him. He started a war to try to force her to his side.” Yldost sighed and shook their head. “He tried that before. His tricks were never the same but the results always were. He destroys. He is… chaos.”
“What do you mean?” Kelwin asked, reaching out with his fork to spear a slice of apple, though instead of eating it he offered it to Yldost. The dragon trilled and pulled it free of the tines, munching happily. Jorget was pretty sure he’d never seen such an adorable thing in his entire life.
Yldost chewed, but from the way the ridges above their eyes drew together, they were probably thinking. “Vashk is the sea,” they finally said. “I am the sky. Gisik is chaos.”
“Wait, I think I get it,” Jorget said suddenly, unable to keep the excitement from his voice. “It’s kind of like the dragons are elementals. Vashk is the sea, specifically the Western Sea. I’m assuming you’re the Western Sky.”
“The fault in your logic is that chaos does not have a location,” Emlynn pointed out softly. “It is intangible.”
“Our siblings are like Vashk and I,” Yldost interjected. “Specific things. It is different for our elders. Our father is the void. Our mother is… life?” They thought about it for a moment, then nodded. “Yes, life. The elders… they are things that must be for magic to exist. Even chaos is necessary, but Gisik had grown warped.”
“And what happens if he’s dead?” Tasis asked, moving to rest his chin in his hands as he watched the dragon step into the pie itself to find another large slice of apple. “Also, you should be eating all of the pie, not just the apples in the filling.”
“The apples are the best part,” Yldost informed him. “And if Gisik did die, he will be reborn. Perhaps in the same form. Perhaps in another. That is how it works. The elders do not stay dead. They only change.”
“That sounds familiar,” Kelwin murmured, and Jorget nodded in agreement. That sounded like what Vashk did to the guild members who’d been killed.
Okay, so other than dancing in my seat, I'M READY TO READ! Who's with me?! Alright, reality time here. Go support this brilliant author with a fantastic series. I can't wait to see you back here and chat it over. Let's discuss in the comments below and on all other social media.
It's E here, and I wanted to stop by and give a quick update on some of the stuff that will be closing out the summer. I am also putting together something special for all of my Patrons and I hope to be able to share that soon. Let's get right into it!
Today's blog is from a special guest, Jack Milgram! Welcome Jack!
HAPPY NEW YEAR to my internet family! How have you all been? I had a wonderful holiday, a restful New Year, and I’m ready to get back to work.
First up, let’s talk new year, new goals. My number one goal for 2018 is to get back to querying Keeper’s one. I’ll keep you updated on progress with that as the months go one. Secondly, Stealth, or The Color of Blood. I love this book. It’s probably the book I am most proud of. I want to get that to a query-able state in 2018 as well. You may now be thinking, what about actual writing? Is there time in there for that?
Here’s my plan. One chapter of a NEW book each month posted to patreon, along with continuing shorts from imPROMPTu and Channillo weekly. Also, I will be starting a new novel in April for Camp NaNoWriMo, no word on what that is yet, but I’m doing it.
Lastly, I am going to continue to focus on my mental health. I need to get well and to do that I am going to keep up with my ballet and making and selling my journals on Etsy. Both of those let me focus outside of myself as I do them and it helps clear my head.
Thank you for being patient with me while I was revitalizing myself this winter, I’ll never be able to repay you.
OH! One last thing. Patrons, your 5k work short story will be released in sections starting this week. I hope you enjoy it. It’s one of my all-time favorites.
I love you all,
I wanted to drop you a quick note to give you an update on what's been going on here. I'm taking a bit of a hiatus for writing. January is the busiest month of the year for my business with taxes, planning, and various renewals. I'll be back in February and I'll post a few shorts to tide you (patrons only) over until then.
Thanks for your continued support and I hope you had a wonderful holiday and new year season.
I'm excited to announce that Channillo has accepted my third series, Once Upon a Winter's Word!
This is a short story series all themed around Christmas, Hanukkah, the holidays, and most importantly- SNOW! I've been working on these stories for over a year now and I am tickled to be able to share them with you all. The series will premier on December first and release a new short story every day (think Advent).
I really hope you'll check out Channillo.com and some of the stories there, or consider joining my Patreon family as I will be posting them here for my $5+ Patrons as well!
Happy early holidays!
In November, I will be releasing a new series on Channillo called Long-Distance Love. The format for this short series is postcard length excerpts mailed between Andrew, a business assistant to a wealthy friend, and Jenna, a linguistic anthropologist. As the two of them travel the world separately, they meet via a postcard happenstance. They then find that they enjoy each other's company and become long-distance penpals, getting to know each other over many years.
The format for the series is different than anything I've ever written before. It's short and choppy due to the time delay between when a postcard could theoretically be mailed and delivered. What makes this series challenging to write but also really rewarding, is how I'm writing the content. As always, I am not really planning the content I’m wingin’ it. I am writing three to six postcards a writing session about a general topic, and then I switch projects. How I am struggling is because I am writing them out of order. This process makes it difficult to remember where and when the two characters are. Writing this way is also incredibly freeing! I can write what I want when I want, and in the mood I am in, matching my writing to that tone. As with anything, this also makes it more difficult because I have to be very careful that I don't reveal that the characters know information about one another that they haven't talked about yet.
I am toying with the idea of making a map or timeline on one of the walls in my office. So I know what I've already revealed, I'm thinking of printing out each postcard and connecting them with string. Think detective movies with a yarn map using suspect photos on a raggedy corkboard under a flickering light. Has anyone else ever written like this and have any tips? I'm very open to suggestions.
I am falling in love with Andrew and Jenna, and their relationship is still growing from something platonic to something more profound. Being that they are long distance, and have never met in person, there is no physical romance between the two of them. Neither of them is asexual necessarily, but at least for right now I'm happy keeping them physically apart. I don't know if I will ever have them meet, or if I do if I will write it. That would break the flow and format of the series, and I'm not sure how I would write it. It might be a sweet side short story, or even just sharing the postcards after their meeting. One day I may expand their correspondence into letters which are a more extended format, but for right now they are still strangers.
I plan to release one or two sets of postcards a week, but I'm not sure if I will publish one postcard a day, or one day with a handful of entries. I don't want to make people head over to Channillo to read five sentences three days a week, but I also don't want the format getting lengthier. Because this is not premiering until November, I guess I still have time. If you have suggestions on how I should handle this, please let me know. Thanks as always for sticking with me, and for making Everyday Adventures such a success! Let's make Long-Distance Love just successful, and just as long running. Here's to 200 entries with Andrew and Jenna!
I am super excited to announce the new project I am doing with Andi Van. imPROMPTu is a weekly podcast filled with mischief, fiction, and the occasional swear word. Andi and I are daily writing partners, and we decided we wanted to share our journey with you.
The format of the podcast is in three stages. There will be a section where we chatter on about anything writing related in general, the first episode we talk about writing more than one manuscript at a time. The second part is a quick writing prompt where we will give listeners the same writing prompt that we will then go and write followed by a break in the podcast for listeners to pause and write their short. Lastly, we will reconvene to discuss the prompt writing and read our results.
The first episode’s writing prompt was about a disapproving family with an injured alien in a bathtub. Naturally, you can expect high-quality laughs and nonsensical story arcs knowing the two of us. Additionally, we have a third partner who will be bringing his outrageous personality and humor in the form of intermissions, commercial breaks, and theme music. As the weeks progress we hope to record more about our crazy lives writing fiction and playing with our imaginary friends.
Andi and I hope you'll join us every week for some lighthearted laughs and stress-free writing practice. Of course, we have all of the social media paraphernalia you would expect, Twitter, website, and of course will be posting on our Facebooks and blogs. You'd like more information reach out to either of us directly and will be happy to share with you. If you'd like to guests to join us on the podcast, we would love to have you, get in touch with one of us and will make it happen. Thanks for your continued support, the first episode is now available on iTunes and here on our blog.
I'm excited to announce, I have a new series coming to Channillo in November!
Long-Distance Love is about two people who have never met and fall in love the each other through written word. Jenna is a linguistic anthropologist who travels the world studying ancient civilizations while trying to remain connected to her family back in the US. She is never far from a postcard and a pen, scribing her every adventure and sending them back to her family while she is away. Andrew is a personal assistant to a high-end real estate moogle bouncing from city to city never in the same one for more than a week at a time. When a miss-mailed postcard brings Andrew to Jenna, they start a friendly penpal relationship that blooms into something more; into one of mutual respect, love, and affection.
Like many other projects, the inspiration for this series hit me like a ten-ton brick. For those of you who don't know about Postcrossing, it's an online web service where you are randomly matched with other people in the world to send postcards to. Writing my postcards one morning, I was struck with the idea that the short format of postcard content would make for a perfect multi week release cycle on Channillo. A few months ago, a Twitter follower asked me to write something about love that did not necessarily include a physical relationship. The two ideas came together like a lightning strike, and Long-Distance Love was born. The series will be released once Everyday Adventures has concluded with its 200 stories. My target date is Thanksgiving 2017.
I hope you enjoy Jenna and Andrews adventures as much as I love writing them. If you'd like to get involved with the series, comment below a location you'd like them to visit, and something you'd like them to do there. I will build your request into their timeline, with a special shout out when it launches. Thanks as always for your support, and let's make Long-Distance Love as successful as Everyday Adventures!