Chapter 1 Part 2

I had this theory, I read about it online and in a magazine once, that not being able to bloom was due to a nutritional deficiency. I’d believe it, because all five of us were dirt poor except Magdalene. And Magdalene was, well, really special. She had a hard time talking. Her eyes were lined with black, her clothes were black, and spikes jutted from her at every possible corner. But she just couldn’t really talk. Or do math. Or really, sit still for that long. She liked shouting too.

But she was an unbloomed, so she was my friend. We, the useless ones, we stuck together.

Also, we waited our turn. As the teacher, Mister Macmillan, passed by to unlock the door the five of us drew back to get out of everyone else’s way. We knew our place in society. I gritted my teeth at it, but that was what it was. It just wasn’t safe to get in anyone else’s way. People who had bloomed just had so much power!

“Studying still? It’s a bit late for that?” Professor joked as he held the door open. I realized he was talking to me. Sheepishly, I grinned and shrugged. Someone walked past me and slammed their backpack into my shoulder.

“Sorry!” they said, obviously not at all. I returned to the page. The ink had bled a little from the rain. I tried to focus, to memorize all the formulas-

“Come on,” Aaliyah patted me on the shoulder, steering me into the classroom. I protested but let her, enjoying the attention. In a last minute ditch attempt I flipped the page – and saw more formulas! CRAP!

Sniggers rose from the back of the class as Aaliyah steered me to my seat. We sat, all five of us, smack in the front. It was the safest spot to be and even the teachers encouraged it. They didn’t want us to get picked on.

“Notebooks away,” Macmillan said, mainly to me. I pressed my lips together and handed Aaliyah back her notebook. More sniggers, about what I couldn’t guess but I wanted to punch someone for it. Rich kids.

Then, the test began. Mister Macmillan handed out the leaflets to each row and they were passed down. The instant I got mine I flipped it open and began skimming the questions. Yes, yes, yes, I knew most of these! Okay!

Thanking Aaliyah with all my might, I flipped to the back section – the ‘superior’ section. It was really only for the ‘superior’ students who showed promise and who had exceptional marks – a category Aaliyah and me had exceptionally managed to nose our way into. It was quite remarkable for us unbloomed ones to have managed to enter the category, a feat that amazed our principal and even earned us both an embarrassing article in the school’s newspaper once.

And YES! I knew how to do those too!

Furiously, I began scribbling away. Time seemed to slow as I focused upon one question then another, scribbling and calculating and jotting numbers here and there.

Halfway through, I lifted my head up. Professor Macmillan was pacing the rows, scolding students and reminding everyone to keep their eyes on their papers.

I, however, was suddenly unsure of what I was doing. Something was wrong. Something tingled at the back of my neck. Something that had happened when – I looked out the window and caught my breath. Beyond the preened soccer fields, the sacred trees were on fire. Strange figures ran about, shadowy and furtive.

I lifted my hand. “Professor.”

“Don’t speak out of turn,” Macmillan said as he walked over.

“But,” I protested.

“What?” he asked as he walked to my side. I pointed to the window.

“We’re being attacked,” I said, stating the obvious.

“Oh,” he said.

There was the universal rustle of everyone looking. Of necks craning as everyone tried to see what I was pointing at. Which, for your information, was a sprite attack. It had happened once in my mother’s time at this school. It had already happened once in my time, and now I was unlucky enough to witness it again.

The alarm, a little late in my opinion, wailed out over the microphone. “Attention, students and staff,” our principal said primly. “We are enduring a sprite attack! Senior students are encouraged to use this as an opportunity to hone their fighting skills and gain hunting points – which I remind you are required for graduation!”

There was a cheer. Because, yeah, sprite attacks weren’t a catastrophe. In suburbs, where people were caught unawares watching their TV’s and where the populace wasn’t crawling with students yearning to ‘get out and FIIIIGHT!’, as some teachers were now shouting in the hallways, it could be dangerous. It was just especially dangerous if you were magically crippled, like, you know, us unbloomed were.

I was hunkering down in my chair, heart already hammering in my throat. Professor Macmillan was already at the front of the class, huge grin plastered on his face. “Alright students!” he called out like this was the best ball game of the world. “Get out there! Get some points!”

I slunk farther down in my chair, exchanging a horrified look with Aaliyah – who somehow didn’t look as terrified as I felt.

There was a roaring cheer of students jumping up, throwing pencils down and rushing for the windows. “Go, go, go!” Macmillan cheered, clapping his hands.

Students, the fastest first, began blooming right as they threw themselves at the windows. It was normally a sight I both loved to watch and hated. I was jealous, I hated them for being able to do something so magnificent. To shed their human skin and bloom into fully spiritual form.

There was Zalf, the gryffon who passed through the glass just in the nick of time. Gertrude, the graceful swan. But I was waiting with bated breath for the one. The one.

She was filthy rich. She was long-legged, blonde, pale of skin and always impeccably dressed. Her hair was short and choppily pulled back, with two long tendrils hanging down beside her face. Confident as could be, she and her small cluster of elite friends waited until everyone else was on their way to being moving. Because they never needed to rush. They were dragons.

Ever seen a dragon? Me neither until last year when our classes merged. Since then, I waited with bated breath for the crystal ice white dragon to materialize – but most of all for the jade green one. Her.

She, leaping for the window, was graceful and lithe. Stunning and magnificent as her green scales shimmered to reality around her and her shocking blonde mane rippled out.

Then, justlike that, she was gone. With an exhale I relaxed and looked back to the front of the class where Macmillan was. He was looking at me expectantly.

I pointed to the test. “Can I finish?”

Proffessor cringed. “You do know that you need hunting points to get into any high-ranked school, right?”

My jaw fell. But we were un-bloomed! We couldn’t hunt! It was too dangerous for us to even join organized hunting parties! Nevermind throwing ourselves into a melee!

“I mean,” Macmillan continued. “For the other schools, you can get in without it. But I know you two were hoping to get into McVaster so-“

Aaliyah scraped back her chair and jumped to her feet. Determination was scrawled all over her face. Holy shit- she really was going to do this!

I clutched at my chair. “Aaliyah! There’s sprites! We’re unbloomed-“

“Get up!” she ordered. “We’re going!”

“You can hit them over the head with sticks!” professor was cheering. Aaliyah grabbed me by the arm and yanked me to my feet.

I protested, but my wife-to-be was having none of it. With a yank and more determination than she needed, she rushed us out the door.

And that, really, was how it all began.

Thinking of Sharing…

I’ve been thinking lately of how sharing brings me joy, and how that’s something I want to focus on more. How can I share more with y’all, and interact more? I’m not sure. Thoughts? Ideas?

On a local scale, I am going to be attending a local garden sale, where I will be selling my art (birdies all over the place!) and I am really hoping to interact with people and be able to sell my art for cheap so people can enjoy it.

On a more internet-wide scale, I’ve uploaded to Tapas, and am reconsidering wattpad. I mean, what’s the harm? You see, I’m rethinking my ‘Dreaming of Lights’ book, and am considering posting it for mostly free online. Why not?

I’m not sure I will, I will have to think on it a bit more, but this is me wondering about posting weekly chapters like I used to. Is that something that would interest you all? Let me know in the comments! I really look forward to getting some feedback on this!

Anyways, here’s a goodie! Today, while feeling back ‘in the groove’ for that story, I made a picture of Kuryo/Kyrie. So here it is! I hope you like it!

Cover and Title Reveal!

I am so happy to announce that my latest Faradelian novel is now live! It has been for a few days, but I am ready to announce it now. 🙂

And so! What is the title for this fabulous book?

*drumroll*

The Tale of the Poison Heart!

Yes, beloveds! For particular reasons that will only make sense once you read the book completely, ‘The Tale of the Poison Heart’ is how ‘the dinosaur book’ has been named!

Because, lo, there is much more than dinosaurs that happen in that book. There is sweet romance, a mystery most mysterious, and there is even suspense! *gasp!*

If I was to give a summary of the book, say it was to have a pamphlet, it would go like ‘When a young mage accidentally summons a dinosaur during their magical exam, chaos is unleashed upon Farfadel. Romance is set a-flutter as a beautiful mage named Ka’an enters the scene. Drama is uncovered as the true culprit behind the dinosaur insurrection is hunted for. Oh! Will Taayet and Ka’an be able to discover who is the one with the poison heart before it’s too late?’

I’m so so excited to be sharing this book with you all, but I must warn you first of something… dire? This book is very different from the other Farfadel books in that it has… a sort of ending? Something particular to its ending? I don’t want to spoil anything, but I want to warn my readers that, indeed, this Farfadelian book is not like the others.

This book, in fact, leads into the trilogy that I’m finishing! It is a sort of prequel, I suppose? It sets the scene for what is to come, and does so very dramatically!

But enough bla bla! What does this book look like, and where can you buy it?

As usual, my books are available in soft cover on Amazon HERE, as well as in kindle. If you don’t have a kindle, or are against Amazon, you can also get my books on Smashwords HERE.

And this, lovely people, is the cover!

Image description [two people rest their foreheads together, smiling and holding onto each other. The background is light blue and there are sparkles all around them.]

I really do hope that you all like this book. Do let me know if you want a copy and can’t afford it. If you do buy yourself a copy, first of all Thank you! Second, let me know what you think! Leave a review and send me your thoughts!

Wishing you all the best ❤

A NEW Release!

After a long afternoon of plugging away at it, I am so proud to announce that my latest Farfadelian novel is about to be released!

Yes! The book is actually completely finished, and now it’s just to finish the technicalities of getting it out there.

I am so happy to be able to write this. I’ve felt so many times like this book wasn’t worth it, wasn’t good enough, and wasn’t ever going to happen. But it has! After grueling edits and re-edits, it has made it through!

I am so so happy, so relieved, and quite motivated! For yes, this book kicks off the setting for the trilogy that I am currently working on. It’s the prequel, laying the groundwork for all that is to come. Which is quite a lot!

So please, be excited! Share this post, tell a friend, and be ready to grab yourself a copy (or ask me for one)! Stay tuned for cover and title reveal!

Wishing you all the very best, ❤

Author’s Update

Lately, I’ve been struggling with my mental health. This means -> Lots of Farfadel!

In the world of Farfadel, I feel safe and secure. I know what’s about to happen (ish) and nothing seems terrible. I find myself wanting to go there almost first thing in the morning. I wake up, have coffee, and I’m like ‘oh hey, how about some writing?’. It’s an escape tactic, I know it, so I try and focus on doing other things in life.

Where am I with Farfadel? Well, I’ve almost finished a trilogy, which comes after a book with dinosaurs in it, that will be released this summer. Yes, dinosaurs! I’m pretty excited for it, truth be told, and the trilogy is coming out pretty badass as well.

And yet, in my little author’s heart, I feel like I should be cranking out MORE. More than silly fairytales. Something more serious, profound. Something snobby-nosed people will read and go ‘ahh, literature’, while sniffing into their kerchiefs, or whatever it is wealthy people sniff into these days.

Lately, I’ve been trying to rework ‘Lage’s Game’, and I’m so not sure about it. I mean, the story is more cohesive this time around but… I don’t know. I’m hesitant.

And let’s not even get started with Chaos! I tried editing that series once and got so down on myself. Chaos feels like such an idiot and ahhhhh, it was depressing, okay?

I want to work on these more serious projects. I’m just not sure ‘how’ to tackle them. Maybe I’m not ready. Maybe Farfadel should come first. Maybe, if I was honest with myself, Farfadel is what I need right now, and the rest is just too much work. I don’t know. I’m not entirely sure about anything right now, and feel like a bit of a failure as an author.

To be extra honest, I miss posting daily writings and getting likes and views. It felt good to get the writing ‘out there’ and get some sort of positive feedback. Writing is such a lonely and ‘in your head’ art, it’s kind of crushing some times.

Anyways, I will get back to my writing. I’ll try and keep you all updated on my progress! Take care ❤

Happy Women’s Day ~My own Story

Happy women’s day, lovelies. This is a day to celebrate the struggles and victories of women all over. Whether they are recognized as women, or in the closet with their identity hidden – they deserve a round of applause.

I write about plenty of women and female-identifying characters. It’s long been a passion of mine, ever since I was a child in fact, to see better women identifying characters. Even as an itty-bitty child, I noticed that women were treated differently, often poorly, and that many of their characters were secondary and poorly written.

To this, I would like to offer a story that comes to mind.

Once upon a time, there was a herd of geese in my childhood backyard. Now, if you know anything about geese, you’ll know they’re watchdogs and they can be downright vicious. And these were untrained, relatively wild, geese. They were ‘domestic’, but they bit to give an opinion of themselves.

Well, one day, as this flock grew up, a certain goose distinguished himself. He chased us children (and bit!), herded the flock, and heckled the other geese. We named him Cesar, being little history nerds.

Come one day, the other geese were losing their feathers to Cesar, who was pecking them. So, Cesar was removed from the flock and put in an isolated cage.

It was in this cage that Cesar laid his first egg. Cesar was a female!

To an impressionable little child, this was quite the lesson. Females, women, could be quite badass and territorial. It was a lesson that, truth be told, repeated itself quite often. Often it was the females in the flocks that would stand out, become prized pets, and try and bully all the others.

To me, nature showed me that women, females, could be very much everything males could be, simply because they both had souls and personalities. Women weren’t ‘less than’ or ‘half witted’ or somehow inferior. They were just as present, motivated, and clever as the males. It isn’t nature that makes women ‘inferior’ or ‘second class’, but society.

I could go on a huge rant about how gender norms affect women and how they really just need to go. But for today, I want to keep the focus on women. Let’s celebrate them, their achievements, and see how far as a society we need to go to achieve equity.

I’ve attached a picture here that I’ve recently done. It contains Rita, a martial artist, in a Farfadelian novel I’m working on, and a swan that follows her throughout the story. A swan is not exactly a goose, but they’re quite as badass and vicious, I’ve heard.

I chose this picture because, to me, it shows how women can be completely badass and lead their way, inspired by the power of the women in the natural world.

I hope you celebrate well, and have a great day ❤

HAPPY SCREAMING!

*screams incoherently*

You know when they say that dreams *can* come true? Well a major one of mine just did!

Ladies and Gentlefolx, I am SO FUCKING PROUD to announce that Farfadel will now be sold IRL in a Queer Bookshop, namely the fabulous ‘Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room‘!!!!!

Giovanni’s Room is an amazing bookshop with a whole wealthy smack-gob of history behind it, as well as being a thrift shop (we all know thrift shops are the best!). These amazing folks have agreed to sell Farfadel’s magical story with you all, and I couldn’t (really!) be more excited!

So what does this mean? Well! If you live in the states, you can order from them at this link for a Tale of Two Queens and this one for A Tale of Adelaide and Shadow! If you already have a copy of my books, and want to support them directly, this is their donation link.

But what else?! I am just SO excited, y’all, I’m thinking of doing some sort of a giveaway! I’m thinking some free coloring pages, some artwork, SOMETHING to celebrate and raise the volume on this awesome shop! So if you have an idea of what you’d like to see done, let me know! And if you know of a local indie shop that you think needs some Farfadel in it, message them, and let me know about it!

And finally, thank you all SO MUCH for your support over the years. It means the world to me!

Take care ❤

Farfadel Coloring Book Update

As I work on the upcoming Farfadelian coloring book, there is so much thought that is happening behind the scenes. Every picture makes me think of this elements’ role in Farfadel, how those elements are at play in the world, and what I am trying to represent of it.

Often, I find myself thinking of the magic, of the cuteness, and the gentleness I am trying to portray. But there are other serious things at play, especially when drawing out the fairies, namely the skin color and gender of fairies.

Skin color is a topic that is very sensitive for me. I feel that, as a white person, I have to be particularly conscious of my usage of it. But also, as someone with dear relatives who are black, I want them to be able to see themselves in my stories, if they were ever to read them. I am also always a bit worried on this topic, as I feel that no matter how much I try, I will never know enough. Which, I think, is a fact. Some things we just can’t grasp properly because they are outside of our field of experience.

So, in short, I’ve decided to make the fairies of Farfadel with a variety of skin colors and hair types. Obviously, as this is a coloring book and my style of drawing isn’t hyper-realistic or even that realistic, the skin color is mercifully largely out of my hands. Eye shape is … well … eye shaped? I like to think that they are enough basically ‘eye’ shaped that everyone will be able to resonate with them. And the hair… I’m trying to include tight curls as well as smooth hair types. And really, I think that’s about all I can do to be inclusive in this way.

Now, as for the gender of the fairies… I feel a little baffled. Fairies always struck me as very feminine, female- presenting even. I even began to wonder if the fairies of Farfadel were all women, point blank. Now, while drawing out the coloring book, I have come across some more masculine-shaped fairies, but they all share the same playful and rather feminine vibes. This has led to me drawing what I think are some transgender fairies! How exciting!

Which, then, leads me to another character who has been featured closely in the Farfadel books who is, actually, trans. And I don’t mean Shadow! Another character in the series is trans, and they will soon be the subject of an epic romance that I will be writing – as soon as I finish the trilogy I am working on!

So, yes, not this upcoming trilogy, but the next one, will have another transgender romance! EEEE! I’m so excited for it!

And that, lovely peoples, are my thoughts of today. I hope you all are well! Take care ❤

Coloring Book Mayhem!

Chaos, my friends! Utter, unbridled, chaos!

Or, at least, that’s what it feels like. What’s really happening behind the scenes is lots of coffee, lots of heavy metal, and scraps of inspiration.

You see, I’m still trying to regain mental footing (when am I not?) and I’m working at least part of my day on the upcoming Farfadelian coloring book (EEEEEE!).

If that doesn’t sound like mayhem to you, that’s because you’re not in my head. I tell you -> you need a LOT of drawing ideas to make fifty pages of coloring stuff. Wow. What an exercise.

At first, I relied on inspiration and ‘concepts’. Then, I began taking cute animal pictures and redrawing them to my tastes. Now? I’m grabbing random poses and drawing them out with lots of magic and cuteness involved.

All in all, I think it will make a lovely grab-bag of content, for real. There will be dragons and fairies and magical mushrooms a plenty! I just have to get through it!

Currently, I’m on page thirty three, out of fifty! Not all of them are inked or finished yet, but at least I’m there.

I’m hoping to have the book ready for spring, that is, March or April. It is technically feasible, realistic, and so I should be able to do it. Wish me luck!

A quick snapshot of one of my sketches!