Bye March

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Another month has come to a close. I spent most of it waiting on things that didn’t arrive and trying to write amongst the anxiety that came with waiting on those things that didn’t arrive. Suffice to say, March has been utterly exhausting.

Rewarding, but exhausting.

I was looking over my submissions for the quarter and I’ve subbed twelve stories and two poems. With five stories still pending completion. Not to mention I’ve written a whopping thirty-two blog posts. While I’ve had two rejections this year, on stories I felt had promise, I’m trying to not let that get me down.

And right now, I’m battling the clock on two projects. Le Fay is probably the most pressing, but another… so far untitled, is proving a mite more interesting. It’s what I like to call Arthurian Legends meets The Vampire Diaries. I couldn’t resist throwing vampires at fire breathing dragons and seeing what came about. Turns out even with Le Fay not quite finished, Morgan’s not letting go. Not that she ever has and I doubt if she ever will.

It’s early days but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to finish the third instalment, Pendragon, ready for a late May release.

So, that’s what I achieved. What’s something you achieved?

 

 

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Le Fay is Coming!

For all those who may be wondering, the second installment of my novelette series, Le Fay is in the works. I’m about two thirds of the way into it and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll be ready for release mid April.

It is the prequel to Morrighan and tells the story of Morgan and how she met Prince Arthur and the domino effect that befalls her which follows in the wake of her father’s death and propels her mother, Igraine, into the arms of Uther Pendragon.

For those that are familiar with the Arthurian Legends of old, my version is a little different in that there is a paranormal undertone to this story, but to tell you more would be giving too much away. I do however hope you’ll enjoy it.

For now though, I’ll leave you with a teensy excerpt and a look into Le Fay.

Enjoy!

He was standing right in front of her; Morgan couldn’t move. She licked her lips that had all of a sudden gone dry and remembered to breathe, and blink, least she be accused of staring at his all too beautiful face.

“Hello Morgan.”

Morgan shook her head, momentarily breaking the daze. He was too pretty to be real. Too pretty by far to be a boy. None of the boys Morgan knew had hair down to their shoulders.

“H-how do you know my name?” Morgan stammered, taking one step backwards. She shouldn’t have been out on the sidewalk. She should have been inside, but the apartment was dark and cramped.

“I know a great deal about you, Morgan,” he said.

Morgan swallowed hard, as fear bubbled up inside. She felt as if she’d throw up any second.

“Who are you?” Morgan sucked air into her half-starved lungs.

It tasted like roses. The garden behind him was full of them. All white to match the fence that ran all the way along the street.

Morgan shouldn’t have been talking to him, she should have turned away and walked inside, but hopscotch was way more fun than playing inside by herself.

“Now, now Morgan, there’s no need to be hostile,” he said. “I thought you could do with somebody to keep you company. It must get awfully lonely playing by yourself all the time.”

“Who are you?” she shrieked, so loud, that he reached out to put a hand over her mouth to shush her.

“If you promise to be quiet, I will tell you,” he said. “Do you promise, Morgan?”

Morgan nodded, and he took his hand away from her mouth. “Yes… I promise. Now tell me who you are!” her voice, while practically inaudible, was pitched.

“I’m Arthur. Arthur Pendragon,” he said, his blue eyes shining like sapphires.

“Arthur Pendragon,” Morgan repeated.

Despite the presence of a lisp when she said his name, Arthur forced a smile. “Yes.”

“Are you real?” she asked.

“Of course, I am!” he said with an air of indignation. “Aren’t all faeries real?”

Morrighan is Available in Paperback

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Back in September, I published my short story, Morrighan and yesterday I published the paperback version. For those of you who are interested in purchasing a paperback copy it is available on the Amazon.com website and will be available to non US residents in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Morrighan is my twist on the story of King Arthur and Morgan le faye. A what if… kind of story inspired by Marion Zimmer Bradley’s tale and the Merlin miniseries featuring Sam Neil and Helena Bonham-Carter.

Now, for those of you who might want a sneak peak, here it is:

Camelot was burning.

Avalon was under attack… from dragons.

The very creatures that graced the banners which flew high and proud on the many flag poles that graced the castle’s turrets were going to bring about its end. The symbol of Pendragon no longer stood for power, peace and protection, but death and destruction. Their very existence in the skies above spelled ruin for all of Camelot; not just its King. It was just a matter of time.

Was this what the Morríghan spoke of when she foresaw Arthur’s death? Rather than what Morgan herself feared. That the death of Arthur would be at the hands of the son she carried within her womb? Could this be the downfall of Camelot that was prophesised so long ago when she herself was only a child, trapped in the crystal cave beneath the earth with nobody but her cat Merlin for company?

She laid a hand on her stomach. The child within grew restless, as if it too sensed the calamity surrounding the world outside the womb. She’d tried and failed to stop one travesty from coming to pass. In the end the child would be born, and born healthy, she knew for the herbs she taken early in the pregnancy had not touched her – they hadn’t even made her sick as they often did with other women. And if she couldn’t stop the child from being born, how then was she supposed to stop the Dragons from destroying the entire world? Dragons were much harder to expel than a child. Harder by far than even Uther’s death had been, and back then she’d had the aid and favour of the Morríghan.

She doubted very much that Morríghan would help her twice, and Arthur wouldn’t suffer her insolence for long, not that she cared much what Arthur thought of her. She’d sooner take up residence in a nunnery than carry his favour. She wondered why her mother allowed herself to suffer under his rule; she’d already suffered the rule of one King, why not a second? But Arthur was no greater than Uther, just as she was no greater than Igraine.

New Years Resolutions

Every year I set goals and every year I just don’t quite make it. Do, this year is the year I will. (Remind me to look back on this post on January 1st 2020)

So, what are my New Years Resolutions?

Well…

1. Write 300 words a day. No I don’t care that the word count is minuscule because it’s all that I can realistically handle without burning myself out.

2. Publish… something. Okay, this one is vague for a reason. Simple because I’d like to see the first three books in The Eldritch Series out before December 31st but I’m realistic and sometimes editing just isn’t in the budget.

3. Write weekly blogs. I’m open to ideas, do leave a comment about what you’d like to see.

4. Read more. Self explanatory, I think but I have quite a few books on my to be read pile that I didn’t get to in 2018, so I’m going to get to them in 2019.

I Just Hit Publish!

I just hit publish on the kindle version of my short story Morrighan and I’m so impatient that I’m literally sitting at my computer compulsively clicking refresh hoping that it’s gone live in the last five seconds. And, finally it has!

So, why did I decide to publish a few short stories? Well, because I’m still working on the edits of The Winter Princess I wanted to share something instead of appearing idle to the publishing world. And hopefully build up a bit of a readership along the way.

The first story, Morrighan, deals with a retelling of the Arthurian Legends from Morgan le Faye’s point of view with a paranormal twist.

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It is available for purchase on Amazon and Smashwords for 99c.

Here’s an excerpt from the story…

The wind whipped through her hair, tossing the dark strands over her face and obscuring her vision. High above the sea, on the rocky crag the aerie was full.

Nemain settled on Morgan’s shoulder; the bird’s talons digging into the soft leather pauldron. She had become so used to it now that she didn’t even wince as the bird took its time hoping about on her shoulder before settling down.

As she turned her head and looked Nemain straight in the eye, the bird cocked its head to one side, its beady onyx eyes staring back at her. “Where are your sisters?” Morgan asked.

Nemain cawed once before raising one wing upwards, just as two more birds few in, circling once around Morgan’s head; the beat of their wings echoing in her ears. Badb and Macha landed one after the other on the leather gauntlet that covered her left arm from her fingertips right up to her elbow.

Smiling, Morgan gave a brief nod to each bird in turn. As she picked up the reins in her right hand, she nudged the dapple grey gelding on with her thighs, while being careful as she navigated her way down the steep path, that that had been worn into the cliff face after years of repetitive use and headed across the field for home.

It was true that she could have spent all day up at the aerie, looking out at the sea below while observing the hatchlings, but Morgan knew if she did she was only putting off the inevitable. That eventually she would have to see Arthur, and while she quite enjoyed the solitude, in having only the birds for company, she feared his wrath more.

Arthur, like most fey, was deathly afraid of birds, ravens in particular. It was said to see one was a bad omen, to lay eyes on three signified one’s own death. So superstitious was Arthur that when he and Morgan had been presented the murder of ravens as a wedding gift he’d threatened to spill their blood then and there in the reception hall.

What had been seen couldn’t be unseen, however; Arthur was destined to die.

Had it been anyone else but the Queen of Camelot’s kin that had presented such a gift to the newlyweds, the lives of Badb, Macha and Nemain, wouldn’t have been spared at all.

Pressing her thighs to the gelding’s flanks she worked him up to a trot before she gave the animal its head and allowed him to lengthen his stride until he was pacing at an even canter. Spying Arthur not far from the castle she brought the horse under control, knowing full well what was in store for her, should feathers wind up shedding on his clothing.

Bringing the ravens out of the aerie at dusk was not entirely wise, but Morgan was never one to play by anybody else’s rules but her own.

“Those creatures belong in the aerie not out here by castle walls,” Arthur said facing her.

“And fey belong in children’s story books,” Morgan spat.

Submissions & Works in Progress

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I just submitted a flash fiction piece to a flash fiction anthology moments ago. I have another longer piece that I’m writing and two other short stories on the back burner that I plan to write and submit to other anthologies if I get the time.

I might be juggling just a little too much currently.

Between several novel projects and short story projects, coordinating book reviews, writing up author interview questions (and trying to mix it up a little each time with each new author – not so easy) as well as keeping on top of three social media platforms and a blog. All while trying to keep up with a house, hubby, for kids… not to mention fulfilling job networking requirements when looking for suitable employment for part time work.

That’s the really sad part about this. Having spent the past eleven years raising kids, I’m kind of unemployable. And freelance work… as I’ve said before is kind of hit and miss. The jobs I have gotten, while promising to be ongoing have dried up after a month or two.

That said, I am hard at work making improvements to my novel The Winter Princess. It’s coming along slowly because there’s one PC for six people… and my children have found a few PC games that they like to play on weekends… so stealing time at night is very much my routine of late… unless the hubby beats me to it and steals it for himself.

And because I’m feeling generous, I’ve decided to share a small portion with you.

Here it is, the opening of The Winter Princess

The Winter Queen lounged on an icy crystalline throne as her gown of dark grey silk and taffeta billowed out around her. The hair piled atop her head held a darkness that paled the silk; the tiara of silver and sapphires shone in contrast. Having counted silently on my fingers, one hand held the sum of occasions that I had entered the drafty throne room before now. Setting foot here was unusual for me which led me to be painfully aware of every detail as I approached.

I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll share more.

 

Affirmations

FD2CEF27-D321-408C-8DBE-3AD9005F1A30My husband and I were having a conversation about a book he’d just finished reading when he turned to me and said: “Don’t take this the wrong way but if that’s published why aren’t you?”

My answer was a one word response. “Editing.”

It’s expensive. So, I’ve been putting it off and putting it off.

My book has blossomed into six books, with three more still to write.

But, I can say I’m one step closer to publishing. Having found an editor who just might be the perfect fit for me.

It still doesn’t stop the self doubt and anxieties from creeping in and sometimes that alone is enough to make me pause and consider not publishing because I’m scared.

Of course then I have to remind myself that it’s okay to be scared. That the reason I put pen to paper in the first place when I was fourteen hasn’t changed. I still want to share my words with the world. My dream of being publishedhasnt gone anywhere and all this is just a bump in the road that I will get over.

It’s okay.

Being scared, is okay. In fact, it would be a little remiss if you weren’t. Writing. The entire process is huge. It’s sharing a part of yourself with strangers. What’s not scary about that?

The trick?

Breathe. And let go.

Focus on getting the words down. It’s not a sprint. You don’t have to compare yourself to any other writer.

Just do you. Be accountable. Show up and put in the effort. The words on the page will speak for themselves.