Author’s Rant (SPOILERS)

So how have I been doing lately? How is life, how is everything?

Life has been treating me very well. I have even had the opportunity to get into natural ink making. The results of which I’ll attach to this post. I feel so privileged to be able to live in a little patch of nature and have access to ink making materials! I really love sketching with ink too, it takes so much more thinking and precision.

But this post is called an author’s rant. So, what do I have to rant about, in an authorly way?

Well, I hate to sound like a broken record, but I only have half an idea where the story is going. As usual, the story is winding up, growing more and more complex, and I’m just sitting back baffled, like, wondering if this beast is going to bite me or not?

To my surprise, I am enjoying writing this story. It is dark, I can’t write it every day, but I feel like it is still fun, still something worth doing. The violence of it still surprises me though!

Now, if you’ve been reading along you’ve hopefully started to notice something happening in our (still unnamed!) main character’s mind. Namely, she is in the process of having a part of herself take over.

This will come out a LOT more in the next part (which I have just written today, but will publish the next time I write). Remember the whole ‘who is she? Maybe she’s an ancient?’. Well. The ancient is there, and the ancient is on a mission!

Now, and here is the Big Spoiler, the ancient in particular is Anat. Who? Sumerian goddess of war, anyone? Read up on her, she’s pretty bloody, passionate, but striving to establish peace. I just realized this today, while writing out the scene where she really ‘comes through’. And now I’m all… hmmm… where is this going? How will I make this a nice and cohesive story?

I don’t want this story to wind on as long as Kuryo and Chaos’ story did. That’s just a bit too long and winded for me. i want this one to maybe be, just, a trilogy maybe? Something nice and neat like that.

Anyways, I’m also trying to work on a new birdie book (on death!) as well. I’ve been told that I am breaching topics that are maybe too philosophical for kids, but I have others that say that those topics are necessary, even for very young kids. So… I feel conflicted. I’m far from an expert on children, but I love illustrating with the birdies!

So that’s my update of the day, lovelies. I wish you all a great day, and much love your way. Take care ❤

Lage’s Game: Chapter Twelve, Part One

I caught Rebella by surprise. There was a smear of blood on the Grandmother’s lips, but it was tiny. Rebella spun with a yell, but I had the dagger.

I stabbed blindly – but she caught my arm.

And we were stuck. Me bearing down on her with all my strength, her sitting, half falling backwards, bracing up against me and the dagger. The dagger which was so, so, close to her eye that it was maddening.

Fury pumped through me. I willed this with all my might. To murder her.

“Guards!” Rebella yelled as her hands slipped ever so slightly. The tip of the dagger grazed her cheek, cutting a slim line.

It was not enough! I wanted her dead!

The door behind us burst open. Hands seized me and I was flung back, the dagger wrenched from my hand.

“What on earth are you doing?” yelled a voice. As my mind spun, I came to on the floor at the foot of a guard. Before me was the tall figure of the other princess, who was holding Rebella by a blood-spattered wrist. “What are you doing?” she screamed.

Rebella wrenched free. “What needs to be done!” and she turned to her grandmother.

The moment seemed to stand still. Rebella gasped. Her dagger clattered to the floor, splattering my blood across the planks.

“No!” gasped Rebella, shaking the elderly woman, who now bore a slight smile on her face. But the woman was limp. “No!” Rebella screamed, shaking her some more. Desperately, she smeared blood on the grandmother’s lips – only to be wrenched back by the sister.

“Don’t do that! You can’t!”

“I can and I will!” screamed Rebella, wrestling free from her sister. “I don’t care! She can’t die! We need her!”

“Stop being so selfish!” screamed the sister, grabbing at Rebella again. “It’s not about you! Let her rest!”

“No!” Rebella screamed, stamping a foot. “We need her! I don’t care if it curses us all! We need her!”

I staggered to my feet, determined to try again. The sister turned, our eyes meeting. Her eyes swept me up and down – and she nodded to herself. “Guards! Take this one to the healing ward! And this one-” she gestured to Rebella. “To her room! And keep her in there!”

“No!” Rebella yelled, but the sister yanked her forward and away from the Grandmother. A squabble began, but the guards quickly seized Rebella. With a slam Rebella bodily shoved one aside, punched the other in the visor, and stamped past me out of the room.

“See to it that she stays in her room!” called out the sister at the guards who rushed after Rebella.

I was left in the custody of one guard. They picked me up in their arms, limp and head spinning. The last thing I remembered was watching the ceiling twirl above me – and then nothing.

Time passed in lurches. I saw darkness, then I was beside Lage, watching him fish in the ice.

“You’re here?” he asked. “So soon?”

Then, the world lurched. Ekundayo was beside me, humming as he drummed happily with a stick on a rock. “Child, child,” he said, shaking his head with that strange grin.

Then, I spun downwards.

With a gasp, I sat up. My chest was seizing with pain. Two pairs of arms belonging to robed people were stretched above me. They were chanting incoherently. A sense of panic was crashing over me. I had to get out of here. They were going to pullt he card out of me!

I lurched to the side, falling clean off the bed and before a pair of feet. I grabbed onto a hand and helped myself up – and was faced with a sneering Rebella.

“Well,” she said.

Hatred swelled in me- but I was pushed backwards onto the bed.

“You should sit,” said Rebella nastily.

I breathed, heart hammering in my chest. Rebella. How I hated her. The monks, healers, whatever they were, lowered their arms. A sense of static electricity left the air, and my panic left me. Cool calm came over me. I focused on Rebella, wonderign how I could kill her.

But Rebella wasn’t herself. She was fidgeting, looking from me to the door beyond the curtains that framed the bed. “They won’t think of coming here,” she murmured. Then, to the healers, she snapped “Get out!”

The healers bowed, scraped their feet back, and shuffled away without another word. Rebella followed them. Once the door was shut, she latched it shut. Then she pressed her back to the door nad glared at me.

It dawned on me then that this wasn’t an infirmary. The room was small from what I could see, but – it was a personal room.

Rebella marched towards me. “Who are you? Why do they want you? Hmh?”

She was now at my side, drawing out a dagger from her belt with a hiss of metal. She held it between us, eyes flashing.

“They?” I asked. “They’re here?” Could there be more than one ‘they’?

“They want you,” said Rebella angrily. “They are saying they will kill the new Queen if we do not hand you over.”

Her hand was trembling. Her eyes flicked over me like a spider darting all over.

“Who are they?” I asked, feeling a sense of control. A sense I could finally get some answers.

“They?” she hissed. “You know them! They are the Associates. They rule your world, or so they say.”

I made a face. “They do not,” or so I hoped.

“Why do they want you?” she hissed, prodding the dagger at me. But I knew she wouldn’t hurt me this time. She was too uneasy. Or maybe that was the danger.

“Where am I?” I asked, drawing back the curtains from the other side of the bed. My fingers barely grazed the fabric before my shoulder was seized by Rebella. She shook me, making sharp daggers of pain burst in my chest.

“What do they want?” she hissed rabidly. “You- who are you?”

She had dropped the dagger in my lap. In a flash I knew I could take it and slash her throat- but somehow I chose not to. I grabbed her wrists and pried them off me.

“I am no one!” I answered coolly, shoving her back so I could stand. “I-”

“They wouldn’t threaten my sister for just anyone!” and the dagger was back between us. Then, with a flick, she slid it back into her belt. “Tell me – or I will bring you to them!”

That stilled my heart. That meant … “If I tell you?” I asked cautiously.

“I will keep you safe from them,” she said too swiftly. Nodding to herself,she held out her palm. “Word of honor.”

There was a catch. Obviously. But I didn’t want to be turned over to ‘them’, did I?

I looked around the room, hoping for some escape. I gripped at my robe, a strange flimsy white thing. I was barefoot, too. I wouldn’t get far.

“Five,” declared Rebella. “Four,”

I scowled at her. What a stinker she was.

“Three,” she said, challenging me.

“I ate Lage’s card,” I snapped.

Her jaw fell. A choking sound came out of her throat – then she turned to disbelief and started laughing. “You did what now?” But then she tipped her head back and laughed.

Humiliation burned over me, but she seemed relieved when she was done with her laughter.

“You idiot,” she said happily. Then she clapped a hand on my shoulder and squeezed. “You are stupid, you know that?”

I fueled all my anger at her through my eyes, choking up on words. How I wanted to tell her that I hated her right then. Maybe I should try and kill her again.

“Don’t worry,” she clapped my shoulder. “I will keep you safe. Now,” she pressed a finger to her lips and looked me up and down. A smirk drew itself on her lips. She looked smug. “We need to find you some clothes. Come.” She snapped her fingers at me and motioned me to follow her.

We drew to a large chest, from which she drew out some old clothes. They were worn through in their colors, but still solid looking. Several shirts were held up to me until she found one that she found suitable. From there she gave me a tunic to put over, a sort of bra to wear under, and pants. Boots – she gave me some soft slipper-like things in leather.

“They will have to do,” she muttered, cluckign her teeth. Then, she gave me a belt. It was set with a snake biting its tail worked into the metal ring. She set a dagger on it and set it about my waist. “Here,” she said. Then, stepping back, she looked me over. “Good,” she declared.

I had a sinking feeling that something was wrong. Something about the satisfied gleam in her eyes. I felt like a pig being dressed for slaughter.

She took a gray cloak trimmed in white fur from the chest. It was old as well, but fitted me a little largely. It occurred to me that I must look like a younger version of her – was I to be some decoy?

“Now,” she took a white globe from down her shirt, fishing it out with some difficulty. “Hide this in your shirt. Don’t eat it,” she added with a chuckle.

It was cold like ice, so much so that I almost dropped it. It was marble perhaps, smooth white with shoots of glimmering gray woven through it.

“When you are ready to escape, call out the name-”


“Of course, I’m going to hand you over to them. Then you will escape.”

There it was. The betrayal. “But you had promised-”

She held up a finger between us. “I can’t hide you. If I do, they will sack the city. No, I will hand you over. You have my dagger, and my spirit-weapon.” she closed my fingers over the white ball. “Call their name when you are ready to kill them, and they will appear and fight with you.”

“Kill them?” I gawked. I’d never killed before!

“You must strike the killing blow,” she said softly, “and don’t leave it to the spirit to do.” Then, sensing my dismay, she added “You must kill them. If you don’t, they will follow you back to the city. Killing them will buy us time. Take it,” she pushed my hand to my chest. “Kill them. Then come back to me.”

On remote, I put the ball down my shirt. Then, numb, I felt myself turning to ice. This couldn’t be. It was too awful to be true.

But it was. Rebella whispered a name to me, then nodded. “Come back to me, and I will take care of you,” she announced.

Like hell I would.

Lage’s Game, Chapter Eleven, Part One

“What are you going to do?” Crow was whispering as I peeked out through my eyelashes. There was moonlight drifting through cracks of the shack, but no other light. Ekundayo’s eyes glowed lightly.

“Why, what makes you think I’m going to do anything?” the shaman asked happily.

“She is your daughter, am I wrong?”

“Of course she is,” Ekundayo lied like it was true, passionately so. “But I had to rescue her.”

I was drowsy, half awake, but determined not to wake fully. Besides, it seemed like this was a good vantage point to spy from.

“How does she not know Madame minstrel though?”

“Things have changed inside the castle, I suppose. Maybe Minstrel fell out of grace.”

“Tss, there would have been a hanging if so,” Crow muttered savagely. But then he sunk into gloomy silence. It did not last long. Within a moment he perked up, saying “So she is your daughter?”

“Of course,” sighed Ekundayo, closing his eyes as he rested against the wall. Crow shifted, rubbing his hands together.

“Does she, you know? Have your powers? Is she free?”

One of Ekundayo’s eyes opened. Then it closed. “Who knows?”

“Well, she must know!”

“I doubt it,” hummed Ekundayo. “Freedom comes at a price too, my friend. Don’t forget that.”

“But imagine if she was!” Crow sighed. “It must be so lovely. What’s it like?”

Ekundayo hummed as an answer.

Crow blew on his hands and rubbed them together again. “Lage must be so jealous!” he cackled gleefully. “How is that bugger, anyways?”

“I wouldn’t know,” said Ekundayo sourly. “Why don’t you go ask him?”

“Oh, hush you,” said Crow. “How is he?”

Ekundayo hummed, eyes closed. Crow huffed and wrapped his arms around himself. I hoped they would say something more. Anything, really, that would be useful. Or something to explain what was happening in this strange world. But they didn’t say a thing.

I drifted back into sleep as the silence stretched on.

It felt like only a few moments, but when I was roused, the sun was seeping through the cracks and the day was cold in a bone-chilling way. Ekundayo’s breath misted between us as he shook my shoulder.

Shushing me, he held a finger to his lips. With a nod to the sleeping Crow beside us, he helped me up to my feet. I shook him off, stumbling on my numbed legs. It was so cold.

Ekundayo ushered me to the door, which he pried open so silently for me. Then, with a nod, he pointed me out into the street.

The sun was blinding, beating down without a cloud to spare us. The shacks were garish in their frozen misery, icicles hanging here and there, frost clinging to the walls. The sun had just risen, sparkling over this mess like it was pretending to be pretty.

“Here,” Ekundayo took my cloak from my shoulders and plopped a grimy gray one onto me. “Only guards wear red,” he announced before throwing my cloak into a nearby alleyway.

“Now what?” I asked grimly as we walked what felt aimlessly through the streets. But he was alert, smiling, but tense.

“Now what?” he repeated cheerfully. “Somethign is happening. The spirits woke me. We must get out of here. You, if you can, must evade the city. Escape, if you will, all the way. I know you will be fine if you can just get out of here.”

I gave him the stink eye of disbelief. He smiled cheesily.

“You remember that I am a shaman, do you?”

“Yes,” I said sourly, but also knew that I did not believe in magic. Or did I? I was living in another world now, wasn’t I? I frowned, looking around for some sense of normalcy.

“You also remember that I am an assassin?” he asked gently.

“Yes!” I snapped. What was his point?

He seemed kind as he stopped, drawing me before him to look me in the eyes. His fringe sparkled, swaying between us. “It means that I will be fine here, but you shall not. You are not an assassin, child. You are a child.”

I shook his hands off angrily. “I’m not a child anymore!”

“You haven’t murdered, yet,” he said solemnly. “You are still a child to me.”

I huffed angrily. Whatever!

He looked around. Then, he reached up under his hood. He drew out a necklace. It was a golden chain that looked surprisingly modern, with a gold medallion the size of my thumb, with a red rose painted on it. “Here,” he hooked it around my neck. “You keep this.” It slid under my tunic, warm. He patted it there. “You will find me again, and I will find you. Alright? Don’t despair. People will find you.”

“I’m tired of being found,” I snapped. I felt like a token of purity of some sort, being passed around like a treasure.

He winked at me. “You do that. Just remember to escape this city, even if it means becoming an adult. Now,” he straightened. “Where are we going? Ah! That way!” and he pointed us forward.

I rolled my eyes and followed him, scowling at his side while we slipped through narrow alleyways and foul-smelling paths.

It was just as we passed into what seemed a cleaner area of town that the screams were heard. I looked to Ekundayo. His eyes were narrowed but he was still smiling. We crept forward now, clinging to the walls and scuttling forward.

The scene unfolded before us at the end of an alleyway. We crouched behind barrels and I stared in awe.

There, on a giant black horse, was Rebella in her white fur cloak. Before her, all around the city’s market space were screaming villagers in muddy browns, being hauled to and fro by red-cloaked guards. They were separating parents from their children, beating the parents away as they flung the children into a frightened mass before Rebella.

“They’re looking for you,” muttered Ekundayo to me.

“Why?” I moaned, knowing full well why. They wanted the card. They wanted me, but not for who I was but what I now possessed.

Ekundayo tutted. He pointed left, finger just poking out from the top of the barrel. “That ways’ the gates. Can you see them? They are down for the morning. Get across.”

“And you?” I asked, without thinking why.

He smiled. “I am an assassin.” He patted me on the shoulder. “We shall meet again, daughter.”

“I’m not-” but he jumped up and out from behind the barrel. With a yell he ran out into the market square, a knife flashing in his hand. He ran straight towards Rebella’s horse.

Guards rushed at him. Parents and children ran, freed, in all directions.

This was my chance. I swallowed once, then darted out as well. I kept to the walls, skirting around and dashing for the gates. People rushed and screamed, escaping the guards and running like mice in all directions. Elbows jammed into me, shoulders slammed me aside, and I found myself crushed up against the wall more than once. But the gates were coming closer.

A horses’ shriek came up just as I reached them, and the guards left their posts, running forward with spears knocking and slicing people out of their way.

I turned. Rebella’s horse was staggering, the princess holding on for dear life. A purple head with a glittering fringe was darting away through the mass, chased by red-cloaked guards.

I felt a pang of pity for the horse, then rushed out the gate. I found myself gleeful and happy that Ekundayo was fleeing safely. I trusted that he would survive. I believed that we would meet again.

As I pounded onto the earthen path and out into the fresh snow beyond the city and into the forest, I felt free. Finally.

Author’s Update: Life is Good

Life really is good for me right now! My wife’s dog ran away this morning, but came straight away back when my wife called for her (I had to holler for fifteen minutes without results, haha). Things are peaceful and calm, and I love it that way.

But one thing irks me. I haven’t had a single comment on ‘Lage’s Game’ in AGES! I know y’all are reading (and thank you so much for that) but – what are y’all thinking? What does the story make you think of? Do you like it? No? Yes?

Personally, I’m really liking this story. It’s got ‘vibe’ to it. It tingles my spidey-senses. I’m loving the development, the characters, and how fast-paced it is. Granted, now I’m wondering what each of these characters has ‘in play’ and what they want and from whom. I’ll have to keep writing to discover that, I guess, that or (dun dun DUN) brainstorm? Brainstorming is generally pretty useless for me though, haha. I think up all these things and then change my mind the minute I touch the keys. Yep. So yeah, Lage’s Game is going pretty well. I’m working on several other projects on the side as well – one painting project and several other Farfadel books. Several? Oh yes, several, haha.

I’ve also got some lovely feedback from a reader about my latest Farfadel book: that it’s a great middle-grade children’s book. Children’s book? Me? I … never thought of them as children’s books but now that it has been pointed out to me, I guess it really does fit the criteria for one. They’re just a tad bit on the long side for children but hey, whatever.

The giveaways have been going great as well, getting lots of views and comments, but somewhat less than I expected. But! I am determined to focus on the positive! I’m getting really positive feedback, and people seem excited for my books, which is great. I’ve even been told that I should sell my books locally at farmer’s markets and stuff like that. Which, really, whenever I can get my author’s copies in (amazon won’t let me get author copies. I had to order full price to get the ones for the giveaway!), I will definitely check into! Wouldn’t that be exciting? Author parties! Meeting readers! More giveaways! Heheheh. I love giveaways and goodies, does it show?

Anyways, that’s my update for today 🙂 I really hope y’all are doing well and that you’re enjoying my books, whichever way you’re reading them. Much love to you all!

Lage’s Game ~ Chapter Five Part Two

I couldn’t maim the men. I couldn’t exact vengeance.

For some reason, that knowledge burned at me. The security didn’t know what to do when they arrived. The unconscious men had supposedly been taken into custody by the police but I doubted anything would happen. Supposedly – supposedly there was no proof.

No proof.

I was just standing there when the police arrived. They said my story didn’t make sense. Now, I was going to watch my kidnappers walk free.

I was furious with the green man for rescuing me. I’d rather be dead than alive right now. I wanted this to be over, to have exacted vengeance, even if it was in some small way.

“Please, sweetie, eat something,” said Kayla as she pushed the take out towards me. I glared at her. She offered me a miserable smile. She was on the phone with the school board and was convincing them that I didn’t need to show up for the final days of school.

“We’re leaving tomorrow,” she announced for the umpteenth time to the phone, as if to make it real. It would be real, I was sure. But then what?

I stared down at the thai noodles. I poked at a piece of tofu. Hunger evaded me. I wanted – I wanted to throw this food at the wall.

Instead I sat quietly. I pushed the food away. I crossed my arms, hugging myself. I missed my unicorn. No one had found it in the hallways, even if I asked several times for it.

“We’ll get you another one,” Kayla had promised as she had wiped her own tears away before hugging me to her chest.

Now I just wanted Kayla to be gone. I wanted her somewhere safe, away from me. I wanted everyone away from me. I was a walking danger magnet it seemed.

Rising from the kitchen table, I went to the living room. Mid-way there, I crossed the entrance hall, and there I froze. A figure was standing on the other side of the entrance door’s frosted glass. It was just a shape, but it was a tall, thick, man-shape.

My mind whirled. Uncle was at the office for the rest of the day. Wanda was upstairs.

The door knocked. The figure shrunk as the person stepped away from the door.

“What is it?” Kayla was beside me, walking to the door. To me, she asked “Is someone there?”

I nodded, mouth dry and eyes wide. Kayla drew the curtain aside from the window beside the door and peered out. “There’s no one,” she murmured. Frowning, she pulled the door open. Then her eyes looked down. “Oh!” she cried out. She fumbled the phone. “I’ll have to call you back!”

I was walking forward, trying to get a look but she shut the door. “Stay there!” she said, spinning to face me. “Don’t go out!”

But I saw it. There, perched on the door’s step, looking inwards expectantly, was my unicorn.

Kayla called the police. “The unicorn is here!” she said insistently. “The kidnappers must have brought it!” She peered again out the window. “They left it at the front door!” Then, exasperated, she exclaimed “Well, do something!

I went and sat upstairs in Wanda and Uncle’s bedroom. The police came by. I was sure they photographed the unicorn, and did all those police-y things that they showed on TV. I heard vioces speaking to Kayla, and then the door was shut.

Silence. Footsteps padded softly up the stairs. I sat up from the bed, and Kayla was in the doorway. “I’m sorry,” she said, eyes red even as she faked a smile. “They’re keeping it as evidence.”

Even my unicorn was gone. Great.

Somehow, that felt like a gaping cavern inside me – but I was numb all at the same time. Did gaping chasms have feelings, or where they just – there? I lay back down face-first on the bed.

The bed shifted. I looked up as Kayla sat beside me. She stroked my head, eyes shimmering with tears. “I’m so sorry,” she croaked, voice breaking. “I’m so sorry about everything-” and she sobbed.

Our hands gripped at each other. We held on tight.

That night, Kayla slept on the floor beside my couch. Wanda and the cousins were quiet as we slept early.

“We’re leaving first thing tomorrow morning,” Kayla announced to no one in particular as she spread out her blankets on the floor. She ruffled up her pillow, and lay down as if demanding the world comply with her.

That next morning, Kayla was looking starched and ready. Her makeup was a bit fuzzy, but otherwise she looked a bit better than usual- which was a sign that she was on edge. She wasn’t relaxed. She was stiff like a starched collar.

I woke up to her shaking me out of nightmares of police and large men. Breakfast was a shoddy affair, as Wanda and Uncle were still asleep. Kayla was determined that they would sleep, but just before we carried our bags out the door, Wanda appeared in the living room.

“Hey,” and she held out her arms to Kayla. “Take care, hon.”

Then, the hug was turned to me. I hugged Wanda back, thinking this might be the last time I ever saw her. Then, Kayla opened the door and we were off.

As per her ritual, as she announced to me, Kayla bought herself an extra large coffee and we hit the highway.

The drive was long, and I slept most of the morning away. We stopped for a hasty lunch and when we were back in the car on our way Kayla seemed more relaxed.

Hours later, I dozed off again. I slept right through suppertime, and was woken by the sound of the car crunching over gravel. That, and the sheer happiness radiating off Kayla

“Here we are!” she announced as we drew to a stop.

We were outside a small house. It looked like a cabin, a sort of suburban cutesy thing. It was difficult to see much, as the night was pitch dark. Mosquitoes flew here and there. There was a small flower patch out front, a bird bath, and solar lamps that were aglow lining the driveway.

Kayla let out a happy sigh as she swung out of the car. I stepped out of the car, but didn’t do a happy sound. Rather, I felt completely cramped. Instantly mosquitoes swarmed around me.

Kayla began chattering as we got our baggages from the trunk. “Welcome to my home!” she was saying as she closed the trunk of the car. “It’s small but it’s cozy. There’s an extra room you can have, and,”

I didn’t hear the rest. Something was sitting on the front steps, just before the front door. It was pale, small, and the shape was all too familiar.

Kayla stopped talking too as she saw it. “Is that a package?” she asked as she marched towards it ahead of me.

Of course it wasn’t. It was my unicorn.

Kayla picked it up. Her back was to me, her face shrouded in curls as she held it in her trembling hands.

“I don’t think the police kept it,” I said softly.

Lage’s Game ~ Chapter Five Part One

Trigger Warning: Violence!!!

The next morning was the doctor. If I had listened to Kayla on the drive there, I would have realized we weren’t going to school.

Instead, we drew up to the hospital. It was squat, dirty cream colored, and essentially a glorified square. There was some attempts at grass and greenery, but it remained a cement cube in a city.

The doctor was somewhat like that. He was dusty, old, white, and seemed to just stare at me. I tried to tell him about the man in green. I tried to tell him about the board game. The words choked up in me and I didn’t know how to start. How to begin, how to let it out.

I found tears streaming down my face and I pulled a tissue from the box.

“I’m upset,” I managed to say.

I got excused from final exams. My marks would be tallied from those of my year. I left the office, threw my tissues into the garbage, and sat in the waiting room with my unicorn. Kayla had said to wait for her here. She was doing some phone calls and would be with me soon.

I looked up when the door opened. It was not Kayla.

“Hey,” said the big man that was recognizable even without the ski mask or suit. He was in plain clothes and had a chiseled face that spelled danger. “Let’s go.”

AS the door swung shut behind him, I saw several other men out there. They had come for me in force. All four of them, for one little girl? Cowards. What more did they want from me? I had probably already digested the card and rendered it useless.

I guessed then that they wanted my death. They wanted to punish me for destroying the card. To make an example of me of sorts.

Well. I rose to my feet without thinking. I glared this big man down. Coward.

To my right, across the waiting room, the secretary was busy with her official business, picking up the phone to dial someone. I took a deep breath.

“Come, on,” said the man in a dangerous intone.

I marched out the door, a cold sense of purpose coming over me. I wanted revenge. I wanted to slaughter, main, kill, so badly it felt like I would burst from it. It was like a rising tide, a super-sense coming over me and making me tingle all over, like a volcano about to blow.

Out of the door I walked into the other three men. One placed a hand on my shoulders and, as a group, they began walking me out of the building.

“Hey! Hey!” Kayla had not been far, was just down the hallway. I heard her cry from behind us. In a glance over my shoulder, I saw her begin to run towards us, phone in hand and eyes wide. I could hear her shoes clop-clopping, but the men were faster. The one who had me by the arm took off, darting forward. I was lifted up in his arms. My unicorn fell out of my grasp, tumbling away.

In a blurr I saw the ceiling, was pressed into the mans’ shirt- and saw the two other men stay behind.

Something snapped in me. They were going to hurt Kayla. Innocent, stupid Kayla. My rage boiled over.

I heard myself screaming, and began kicking. I kicked the man who was carrying me in the face. I bit his hand. He did not slow. The exit sign flashed above us, and we were darting down the stairs.

I thrashed, but was over his shoulder now. The second man was in tow, and now we were bursting out the stairs into fresh air.

In the sprint across the flimsy grass, I screamed for all I was worth. I thrashed, bit wildly and gouged my fingers into eyes. The man stumbled. I was thrown and landed in a tumble and scrape on the asphalt.

I was on my feet, the world reeling into sharp focus. There was the man before me clutching his bloody face, another marching towards me, and two more coming out of the building.

Then, to the left, observing, the man in the green cloak.

I drew my keys from my pocket and gripped them tight. I was going to take out eyes. I was burning with my success, was powerful in my rage.

“I’m going to make sure you can’t hurt anyone else!” I heard myself declare. In a rush my vigilante streak was coming out. I’d get them for what they had done to mother. I’d get them so bad.

The man in green was walking over, just slightly faster than the other men. “Get behind me,” I heard him say as he stepped between me and them.

I hissed between my teeth, jumping to the side just in time to see the men collide.

The first man threw a punch, and the green-cloaked intruder dodged, then punched the first in the gut.

I gaped as the henchman doubled over. I was unhurt. The figment of my imagination was… fighting? I stood there and watched as the medieval man threw punches and my kidnappers landed on the asphalt.

Then, he turned to the man who was clutching his face. Bloody and still covering his face with a hand, the wounded man tottered up.

I screamed. “Kill him!”

The green cloaked man did not. Instead he stood back as the wounded man tottered towards the car. He was going to get away!

With a yell, I lunged forward, keys in hand like a knife. The wounded man grabbed my wrist and threw me at the car. I slammed against the back door. Hands gripped at me, and I was yanked forward and back, jolted between the two men who wrestled for me.

“Let her go!” growled the medieval man, and the henchman gave up. With a shrug he threw me towards the other, and jumped into the car. With a rev of the motor, he backed up the car out of the parking spot. I was pulled back and away, turned into the folds of the green cloak. In the distance, I heard the car driving away.

I squirmed and was let go. Stepping back in a stumble, I looked up at my rescuer. He was frowning down at me.

“You’re real!” I declared.

He paused. My gaze jumped from him to the henchmen on the asphalt. Where were my keys? Right there, where the car had been. I grabbed them up and –

“What are you doing?” the man asked, grabbing my shoulder to stop me.

I wrestled myself free only to be grabbed again. “They’re unconscious!” he insisted. “Don’t attack them!”

I wrestled, but he held me back by the scruff of my collar. I was almost out of my jacket when I heard the wailing of a siren. Security!

Then, I fell forward so suddenly that I hit the ground on my hands and knees. I looked up – and the man in green had vanished.

Feeling Better Slowly…

So today I managed to do an array of things, among which was (drumroll) painting!

Yall, I’m working on a tarot deck, and it’s going to take me forever to do, but I’m loving it. Its adorable, cute, and aimed for children.

I know, children and tarot? Who will buy that? I dont know, and I dont quite care. I love what I’m doing, and I think it’s going to be a good deck.

So, I managed to do some writing and painting today, mulling over some advice from my wife about adding texture in and whatnot. Which, resulted in the below picture.

Y’all, it’s unfinished, and its from Ranger’s story, which I am still working on in the background.

Anyways, I’m not sure what else to say, apart from thank you all for being patient with me. I’m finally getting back on my feet, and I’m really looking forward to getting to do more gardening and writing (I did a teensy bit of gardening today!).

I would love to be active in the social rights movement (Black lives matter, loss of lgbt rights in the states, etc) but I just cant. I can barely upkeep with my showers, so please, forgive me for not being that active. My heart is with the protestors and all who are struggling, but I just cant right now. I need to put my own facemask on first, to try and be useful later on, which sucks.

Thank you for sticking with me. Much love y’all ❤

Self – Publishing and Mental Illness ~ The Issue No One Talks About

I’d like to say that this topic has been largely discussed, but as with many other topics related to mental illness and mental health, it hasn’t been.

Imagine someone with critical anxiety or paranoia trying to get their manuscript published. I’ve seen someone in such a state try, and believe you me it wasn’t pretty. They did not approach the right publisher, did not know which ones to approach, and ended up giving up after one refusal.

Here’s my point: it really sucks trying to get traditionally published when you’re not in a state of pristine mental health. Heck, even if you are in pristine mental health, I’m sure it’s nerve-wracking.

A lot of the discussion I’ve seen about traditional publishing vs. Indie publishing wails on and on about the poor quality of indie publishing versus the flexibility it allows. Is it worth to self publish, these people ask.

But I’d like to take a step back and point out that – > it’s disabled person friendly. For those of us with mental health issues, it’s not only just so much easier, it’s the only realistic and safe option for us to use.

I’d like to say that I don’t give a rat’s ass about traditional publishing, but that’s not true. It’s seen as a badge of credibility, of being a ‘true’ author, to be traditionally published. It’s seen as a marker of quality.

So why did I decide to indie publish? Simple. I couldn’t stand the other option.

Being someone with anxiety, depression, mood swings and the occasional hallucination, I didn’t need extra stress. But that’s all I got when I tried to query. My stress shot through the roof as I began obsessively checking my email for that fated answer that would give me that badge. But oh! What if they make me sign a bad contract? What if they market me wrong?

There’s a lot for traditionally published authors to worry about. I know, I know someone who was traditionally published and was screwed over. Their books were badly marketed, they made no money, an they lost the rights to their series. An author’s nightmare.

Now here’s another thing. Suppose you do get into the process where you start actually talking to the editor (or whomever you talk to first in that company)? Well, I got to that stage with one company. It was a shitshow for my nerves. My mental health plummeted, I was so anxious, waiting on every sacrosanct phone call and misinterpreting everything they said. Because here’s the kicker -> people with mental illness and mental health problems are (quite often) not good or comfortable at interacting with other people. I certainly am not. That made what was arguably a very good situation go terribly bad. I quit the entire process and curled up into a ball and cried.

Because people with mental illness can’t stand the extra anxiety and anticipation of waiting for their manuscript to be reviewed. Then add having to navigate the personnel of the publishing company (who can be very brusque and impatient) and then worry about all the very real pitfalls of the contract and manage all the editorial changes that the publisher wants to bring to the novel.

It’s just not feasible to expect someone with a mental illness to go through all that. It’s detrimental to their health.

Furthermore, I’d like to throw in an element that is highly personal to me. Simply, the fact that I’m very attached to my novels in a particular way. They’re my babies, yes, but it goes beyond that. Anyone who follows my blog knows that I regularly base my novels on my dreams and hallucinations and mental health experiences. They’re so close to my heart and, perhaps in a hallucinatory way, I believe in them. To me, to deal with someone wanting to edit them is akin to editing the Bible. I believe in these stories. Some of them feel as if they are practically channeled to me. I believe that I have a duty to the spirits that are sending me these stories. To have someone come in and tell me how to ‘fix’ them and potentially wanting to change the fabric of the story could be an affront to the spirits, a breaking of my special contract with them.

Now, I’m not expecting anyone else to believe in this. I am merely stating it to make my final point. For someone in the throes of a mental illness, chances are that their stories will mean more to them than to a non-mentally ill person. In my case, I would probably have lots of nervous breakdowns trying to cope with an editing process that didn’t take my beliefs into account.

Really, honestly, I don’t think most publishing companies are prepared to deal with someone like me. I don’t think they understand mental illness or how to treat a mentally ill person in order to reduce their anxiety. Once you throw in potential delusions or paranoia into the mix, I think it’s just highly improbable that it’ll succeed.

For me, indie publishing is probably the only way I’ll ever be published. It certainly feels like it’s the only way that I can be published. It feels like the only option that is accessible and usable for me.


A New Story?! (SPOILERS)

Hey everyone! Today was a good day. I wrote a bit on Chaos’ story – after trying and failing to write a short story for y’all. Sorry? I’ve had this idea of writing a funny series of short stories based off of quarantine life, but I just can’t seem to do it.

After writing about Chaos, I got completely side-tracked by another project of mine that’s been stewing in the back of my head for about a month.

Now I spent about a good hour and some odd trying to write, but no! Nothing was written and kept.

I did, however, draw out one of the main characters.  Behold, Belle’at.

dark elf1

Why such a weird name? Well, a certain amount of time ago (a month? Longer? I don’t remember) I had this dream about a dark elf and an orc (and smooshie smooshie stuff ensues). But then (gasp!) I explained the dream to my wifey and she was all ‘oh, like a retelling of Beauty and the Beast’. Y’ALL. I just – OMG. I MUST. A Beauty and the Beast retelling? OMG.

Y’all have to know that Beauty and the Beast is me and my wife’s movie. It’s ‘our’ Disney movie. It wasn’t my favorite Disney movie as a child, but it was the one I held on to as my parents divorced. It just stuck with me after that. So to do a retelling of it? OMG!

So all that to tell you that the character got named Belle’at because it can be shortened to ‘belle’ (ba dum tiss).

Yeah, I’m that author that adds apostrophes and random sounds onto names to make them sound ‘fantasy’. You’re welcome, haha.

Anyways, as I listen to huge amounts of cheesy music, I’m brewing on this story. Hopefully, I’ll even get another dream on it soon. And then (drumroll) the retelling shall begin!

But for now I’m just going to listen to cheesy music and hope the words will flow. Y’all, I’m at over 5 pages of attempts at beginning this story. I just can’t seem to find the right beginning for it.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll break down and try ‘once upon a time’… And see how that goes haha. After that, I’m out of ideas!

Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 13 part 1

Kuryo POV

I was frustrated. Day two? Three? in this annoying cage and I wanted to peck someone’s brains out. Literally. I missed everyone. I was restless and physically agitated. Worse, I was curious. I was craving to know what was happening in this world, just beyond the realm of my cage.

Suzy shared none of that. Curiosity? “Why do you care?” she whined endlessly. “We just have to get out of here. Go home.”

I stifled my thought that we might not be able to travel home so easily. What if we were caught again?

Instead, I focused. Today, I was going out. No, not physically. Spiritually, that is, I was escaping. The being here obviously had some sort of link, job, what have you, to have been given all of those charts. So I was going to piggyback off of him and do my best to figure out what I could.

But first, apparently, sex had to be had. The short and portly man from the day I arrived was here again, and all sorts of noises were coming from the bedroom. I rolled my eyes at the ceiling. Suzy was listening intently, too shy to mention leaving the body to go observe, but definitely soaking in all she could. And she said I was the only curious one. Hah!

“We’ll do that one day?” Suzy asked from the back of my mind.

I poked my head under my wing. “I doubt it,” I said honestly.

Suzy was disappointed. She blocked herself off from me as much as she could, practically crossing her arms and turning her back on me.

I closed my eyes and willed this all to be over. All those sounds were reminding me of better days, to say the least. I missed Chaos, Jade, Aaliyah, and especially Charr. Charr… I would get her out of there. She would be fine, eventually. There must be some way to separate her from the Academy.

“Hey!” the man was right beside the cage. I must have dozed off. Now he was watching me, wiggling a wide finger towards the cage. “It’s still alive!”

And you’re still half naked, I thought bitterly. What hasn’t changed?

The slender being swept over, completely naked. “Yes, it’s quite unique, isn’t it? The feathers are so blue! I’ve never seen a crow like that before.”

The man looked the being over with a greedy eye. “There’s better things to look at.”

Barf! I made a hacking sound.

“Oh!” the being stooped over the cage, peering at me. I stopped the hacking noise, glaring at him. He fairly pressed his nose against the cage. “What was that? An egg?”

“A hairball maybe,” yawned the shorter man. “Hey, so you going to the council meeting this afternoon or what? Do I have to be there?”

“As the elected of the people, you do not,” said the being, straightening with a sweep of the long hair. Hair. I focused on the head hair to avoid looking elsewhere (where Suzy was gawking at right now, flooding my mind with very in-depth pictures). But genitals aside, there were more important things present.

I focused on the council meeting. Meeting for what?

The being was easily influenced right then, it seemed. “The meeting to discuss the next dimension,” he prattled off happily. “The one we’ve been aiming at. It might be ground zero, you know.”

The man frowned. “I knew that.”

“Oh,” the being paused. “I thought you’d asked.”

“No,” the man shook his balding head. “I couldn’t give less of a damn about this whole ground zero nonsense. A whole lot of crockery if you ask me.”

Because? I prodded some more, but didn’t have to. The being got fired right up. “I don’t believe you. If we can harness that power – we can redefine reality!”

“And what good will that do us? Hmm?” The human shrugged, scratched his belly, then stretched. “It’s all going to be bollocks anyways.”

“It isn’t! We’ve found a sample-”

“You caught a kid with blue hair. Big deal.”

Normally, I sensed they would let this topic slide between them. But I egged them both on, prodding and poking at their pride to keep them going.

“We caught a version of the triggering element!”

“It has no big powers,” yawned the human exaggeratedly, as if in challenge. “It could have been anyone.”


“And besides, what good is it going to do us to control other worlds? Huh? Ours is still going to be a shit-show.”

The being rolled his eyes and tossed his head. “The point, is to control reality! No more pesky gods in the way. We will have no one but ourselves to account to. Wouldn’t that be great?”

“Say that to the masses,” snorted the man, gesturing towards the porch.

Both looked towards it, and images of squat churches filled their minds. Foolish, they both thought. Praying to dead gods.

Dead? I tried to pull at the strings in their minds. I was filled with images of shattered temples, ruins, and of one sole surviving cult.

“That Sephira,” sighed the being, hand on hip. “I don’t get why they think that god is still alive.”

The man shrugged, all anger now gone. “The idiots need something to cling to.”

The tall being shook out its hair and combed it back from their face. “It’ll be gone soon enough. Once we execute the last of the gods, they will see that they are praying to nothing. No one can stop us.”

The portly man hummed in agreement, scratching his stomach again. Then, with a lecherous grin, he stepped towards the other being.

To summarize: they ended up back in the bedroom. Yark. I put my head back beneath my wing and decided to ignore that noise some more.

Suzy, however, was ecstatic. “If only they could really destroy all the gods! That would be so good!” she squealed. “Then they would be out of the Academy’s way!”

I ignored her as best I could. For some reason, I didn’t think the death of the gods was any sort of good thing. Even if gods were pesky, they were part of the universe. They kept things in order in their own (annoying) way.

After much ado about fucking each other, the two resurfaced from the bedroom, dressed and happy. They completely ignored me, going about getting ready to leave. They snatched up some crusts of that medieval bread and butter, took a sip of wine together, then were strolling on out. It was my chance.

“Watch my body, Suzy,” I said, having already briefed her on this part. As in: to NOT leave my body.

She nodded, and I was off. In human form I darted across the floor and – whoosh- slipped into winged version and landed on his shoulder.

The being didn’t even notice me. He merely rolled his shoulder at the extra weight, then went on locking his door.

Then, we were off.