Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Muddy Bike Ride

I had a dream.

I was on a journey. A bike ride. A long bike ride. There were no paved roads where I was. I knew there were paved roads ‘ahead’ but I didn’t know how to get to them. My bike had a passenger seat. The passenger seat was occupied by my Dad. My dad could not help me peddle. He couldn’t steer or influence my direction by leaning. He also was not a burden. His weight did not affect my bike. The only thing my Dad could do was talk to me.

The roads and trails were all muddy but some were easier paths than others. Dad would point out to me where we were going and then would advise me how to get there. He would tell me where the difficult patches were and how to avoid them. He’d show me which path, of several options, was the least draining to travel.

With his help the way was hard but not as hard as it could have been. The only extremely difficult time I remember was when I decided on a course that contradicted what Dad told me. I thought I saw an easier, more efficient route so I took it. The way was filled with bumps, mudholes and slow going. Mud would build up on my tires until I was forced to stop several times to scrap it off just to be able to move again. Continue reading

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The Mountain Valley

It was a beautiful summer evening. The sunset caused brilliant oranges and reds to cascade across the sky and tinge the puffy clouds with pink and gold before the colors would fade to a rich purple, then the deep blue of night. Far below, majestic mountains stretched their bare and bony fingers up as if to grasp the falling sun and forever keep it hidden within it’s jealously guarded hoards. Yet they knew it was futile, for their brothers to the East would yield up the glowing orb and it would be morning once again. But as the seasons come and go the sun rises and sets and always the rocky ranges would be there. Greedily extending their peaks to steal the sun from the sky.

Accustomed to it’s fate, the massive ball of fire descends, spreading it’s last burst of light and warmth across the little valley that lay nestled between the great heights of snow-speckled stone. Rising up, yet still far below, the trees of evergreen sought to mimic the mountains with their own towering branches. And yet while the mountains were bare, the trees were full of pine foliage. Deep greens were made darker by the elongating shadows. Beneath the boughs, the cool air faintly smells of water, spiced with the intoxicating aroma of crushed needles and churned earth. Thick on the ground were the needles, mixed in the with compost and moist, warm earth to make a springy cushion beneath the feet of many travelers. A path, small and barely seen, yet well worn and used by the fauna, winds it way through the undergrowth like a snake would wind it’s way through stalks of grass. The beginning of the trail would always remain a mystery for no one can find it. Many small game trails, and a few larger trails as well, eventually combine and join this beaten, dusty path as it twists it’s way into the meadow. Continue reading

Stories for Exploring

Well I’ve finally finished, illustrated, and published my first short story! It feels like I’ve really accomplished something here. And as awesome and cool as that is it won’t be worth much if I don’t keep going right?

Ultimately, I’m writing a novel here. But I often get stuck (curse you, writer’s block!) because I’m still fleshing out my world. There are cultures to create, civilizations to raise up and tear down, languages to decide on, characters to build and – what I think it is the hardest – a magic system to invent.

All these things, I’ve found, come easier when I just start writing a story about whatever aspect of my world I’m trying to figure out. Sometimes the stories are boring. I write them as if I was writing a history book. Other stories I’ll go back to and trash them because they’re just not working. But some stories…  oh yes, some stories work.

They accomplish exactly what I’m looking for. They fit the magic system in my head, the make sense with the story and it’s unique to my world; not a knockoff of a knockoff of a knockoff that’s already been done thrice before that.

Furthermore, the stories are my way of exploring my own world. Despite having worked on it since I was a teenager, there are still a lot of things I don’t know about my world. Heck, there are a lot of things about the world I really live in that I don’t know about. But it’s fun to explore; it’s good to seek out knowledge. Continue reading

From the Ashes – Part Four

*Listen to the Audio*

They both stood there, not speaking, unmoving until Corrin stepped into the circle formed by the bodies of the onlookers.

“I believe that this fight was a fairer trial by combat. The issue is decided. Rill and her associates, including Giles, one of my own, are exonerated of all claims made against them by Akerun, Monarch of the Knights of Ird. Let it be heard in all the land that they are honorable people, beyond contesting.”

She turned to Rill, “Please lower your weapon.”

Rill struggled to wrestle away the inner fire. But after a few tense moments, during which she enjoyed watching Akerun become paler, she lowered her blade. She did not sheathe it but she did step back. She kept her eyes locked on Akerun.

Then R’za, her liege, was beside her, laying a hand on her arm. She looked at him and reached for the connection they had shared then remembered Akerun had severed it. Her eyes brimmed but she did not cry, not while Akerun watched and could see the pain he caused her.

“R’za, I…” she whispered but he hushed her.

“I brought everyone to witness for you.” He said and gestured around the room.

For the first time, Rill really looked around. The room was full of people from her guild and others and more were coming through a portal in the far corner. Her eyes widened. She looked at R’za, who winked at her. Continue reading