Big changes at my house

They say time heals all wounds, but it really doesn't. Wounds leave scars. This isn't a bad thing, because they are part of our makeup. These can be physical or emotional scars, it's really all the same. I wouldn't trade my scars, but it's nice when the pain dies down.

I get up every morning and look for the old pitbull. He isn't there, and I miss him. He used to lay by the front door every day at 3:00 even after our last one graduated. He still expected someone to come through that door when school let out. We're all creatures of habit. I come home from work and glance around even though I know he isn't there.

I've had a dog ever since I was a small child. I've had as many as three at once, but I've never been without one before. It isn't a lifestyle I would recommend to anyone. There have been times in my life when the dog is my only friend. Bad day at work, angry wife, unpaid bills – the dog still loves me.

Sometimes the wound requires a bit of help. Some kind of elixir to speed things along. Sometimes it's a simple cure, like a good beer or a good book. Sometimes it isn't. This time, only a special kind of help is going to work.

Therefore; meet Otto:

Otto is a bulldog puppy. He arrived this afternoon, hand delivered by the breeder. These lovely people drove over from Burley. While it's still in Idaho, it's several hours from here. We also got to meet Otto's brother who is on his way to a family in Nampa today.

My wife and I looked at many breeds, but most of my dogs have been some kind of bully breed. We considered a bullmastiff, another pitbull, another bull terrier. Ultimately we decided to go for the original version.

There was a huge shopping trip last Sunday to get ready. We needed a new dog bed, some food, toys, dishes, the works. I never keep the old stuff, too many memories. Otto got all new stuff, for a new era in our lives.

We have high hopes for Otto. His “mommie” left us with several toys, a bag of food, and a blanket that smells like his brothers and sister. She also gave us a cute puppy book, and a stack of baby pictures of Otto prior to meeting us. We've been looking at videos she sent us for a couple of weeks, and the cuteness factor is pretty overwhelming.

So far, we've explored the back yard, learned where the food and water is, and had a tiny snack. It's Otto's nap time right now, and maybe I'll join him.

If you really need me, I'll probably be down on the floor somewhere with my new friend.

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More Muse teaching

Lorelei* surprised me this time. I backed out of my garage in my usual morning fog to get ready for the commute. She stepped up and rapped on my window as the overhead door closed.

“Hey, give a lady a ride downtown?”

Lorelei has a way of getting what she wants, and a ride was probably the last thing she wanted. I’ve learned to simply go with the flow at this stage of my career. I hit the button and unlocked the passenger door. She walked around the front of the truck in her cutoffs and non-committal baseball tee-shirt, her raven hair pulled through an equally non-team specific baseball cap. She even had little baseballs painted on her nails.

If nothing else, she was always nice to look at.

“So what’s on your mind these days?” she asked.

“Short fiction.”

“Ah, the next Experimental Notebook.”

“I’ve run into a snag. I finished a micro-fiction piece this week that I really like. I like it so much that I think it deserves a second story.”

“I’ve kept track of the ideas I’ve sent your way. Which one is it?”

“I called it The Enhanced League. It’s science fiction about a future baseball league. Do you think I could pull off a second story in that environment?”

She turned toward me and batted her eyes. I realized I ‘d been played. The outfit, the cap, even the sneakers. “Why stop there?”

“Come again?”

“Why stop at two stories?”

“I don’t know, because a cluster of them doesn’t seem right for a collection.”

“Why not?”

“Experimental Notebook covers a broad spectrum. It’s all about my experimenting with new things, and sharing them. It would almost have to be its own collection of stories.”

“Uh huh.”

“Are you saying I should write a book of stories about The Enhanced League?”

“Why not?”

“Why not! Because I’m neck deep into other projects. There’s The Yak Guy and I’m not going to rush him. Then there is the next Experimental Notebook, and I’d like to do Macabre Macaroni on my blog again in October.”

“So do them.”

“And just shoehorn in The Enhanced League in my spare time?”

“No. Pull the story about the damaged pitcher and put it in a different file. Start making a list for that book.”

“It would be fun to have one about umpires, sportscasters, various teams, and players. I could explore the long term effects of performance enhancing drugs and computers calling pitches. Maybe change the whole game in small degrees like metal bats. Change the leagues to North and South, instead of East, Central, and West.”

“That’s my writer. You’re starting to get inspired.”

“I could cover an entire season by skipping from event to event. Then the book tells an overall story too. Baseball is full of triumph and tragedy, so it makes a good environment–”

“Don’t miss your turn.”

“Oh yeah.” I pulled into the parking lot. “Did you need me to drop you anywhere specific?”

“No, this is fine.” She reached over and kissed my cheek.

“What’s that for?”

“You’ve just been kissed by a Muse. It’s kind of traditional. Have a nice day at work.” She got out and headed toward the back of the truck. I looked in my mirror, because Lorelei is always attractive. She had simply disappeared.

*Lorelei is a genuine Greek Muse, my Muse. She’s been with me since before I started blogging, and keeps me pretty busy. My commute is where she does some of her best work.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE PLAYGROUND by C.S Boyack @virgilante #Fantasy #Thriller

Check out this review of The Playground, and think about reading it yourself. Thanks to Babus and Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Rosie Amber

Today’s Team Review is from Babus, she blogs at http://ajoobacatsblog.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Babus has been reading The Playground by C.S Boyack

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This supernatural fantasy thriller essentially describes three different vignettes: a six year old girl, Chloe, who wants the hottest toy out, a Playground Doll. A doctor who works with terminal patients and a muscle man who is for hire to criminals as an enforcer. These three different parties eventually merge into the main plot which is about a ruthless businessman, Tommy Fazio, who has created the Playground Dolls and their network, which works via WiFi for dark, dangerous and mysterious means.

However, for Tommy to achieve his ultimate goal he needs to get his hands on some software which will take the Network Dolls to the next level, but his programmer has gone missing and has taken the software with him so he hires Clovis to track him down.

Dr Grace…

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Janowyn, the Elvish bard, on Lisa Burton Radio #RRBC

 

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl.

Today we’re talking with Janowyn, an Elvish bard from The River Kingdom. “Welcome to the show, Janowyn.”

“Guren linna gen cened – in my language, I’m telling you that ‘my heart sings to meet you and your friends!’ I’m very happy to be here, Lisa. Please, call me Jano.”

“Thank you, Jano. Now, we’ve had elves at the writing cabin before. They showed up when Craig wrote The Cock of the South. In fact, the enchanted beer horns were a mistake made by a young elf at one time. I think it’s fascinating that you were raised by humans. What can you tell us about that?”

“Sounds like those elves spent far too much time with the dwarves! Goodness… where do I start with being raised by mortals?! Well – in some ways it’s true that elves and humans have a close connection, but, for most elves, the gulf between mortal men and the elven is huge, even insurmountable.

“How can I put this… mortals are just so… transient! I know that there’s this underlying romantic attraction, especially between mortal males and female elves, but quite frankly the guys just wear out so quickly – get all wrinkly, grumpy and have aches and pains, and then you’ve got at most – eighty years before you’re left on your own? Most Elves mate for life, so it’s reeeeeally devastating to face eternity without your one beloved.

“As for the children…

“Jano, I find it really interesting that your parentage seems to make you a half elf, and yet you are fully elven. Was there something going on with the postman?”

“Erm… well, I’m kind of a one off and there was deep, dark magic involved when I was born that turned me into a full blood elf. Half-blood elves unfortunately aren’t immortal, unless they’re born into a family of destiny that has a special deal with the Shining Ones.

“Even then, I had so much hassle growing up – we take twice as long as mortals to come to bodily maturity. I had three younger brothers and with the two eldest – when they were almost grown men, I looked like this little six-year old pest, with a smart mouth, who could run as fast as them and was much better at climbing trees and stuff.

“With my youngest brother, Jaenald, it was even worse! He was fifteen years younger, so, when he was a young teen all his friends thought I was his cute, slightly younger sister… Can you imagine being thirty years old with spotty great hormone-factories mooning around after you all the time? That was just awful!

“The worst though, was when my brothers grew grizzled and old and I was still looking young – younger than their children, and grandchildren, even. That was just… horrible! Everyone I loved with all my heart, aging in front of me and dying… It got so I used to say I was a distant relative of my ‘uncles’ and cousins – like I was my own daughter, or grandchild. But the people who knew my family well called me a witch, or an evil changeling – in the end I had to leave because it was so painful for them, as well as me…”

“That’s so tragic. Everyone thinks it would be awesome to live forever, but there is a downside that rarely gets explored. When you moved to the River Kingdom things changed for you. Tell our listeners about that.”

“That was a huge step for me – it took me about a hundred years to work up the courage to do it I was so scared, because I was so cut off from any immortal community. I was lucky that my mother told me lots of songs and tales of the old days, when Elves and Mortals were close allies. Anyway… because I loved old songs and stories I was drawn to the Bards Guild and practically lived there, listening to them play instruments and recite the histories. I got a job, cooking and serving in the bards’ tavern and gradually I started to sing some of the mortal songs I knew for them.

“I got into that almost by accident really. Elven songs tend to be quite… high brow. Lots of bell-like, ethereal voices and harpists and such. But one day, Daemen overheard me singing a folksy song my mother used to sing to my brothers when they were little – a riding song, and he started to play along on his lute… He said I ought to sing more for the bards – that they’d be interested in mortal music, because it was more… more, gutsy and earthy than theirs!

“Anyway – turns out that they loved it! Silen ( he’s my true love), says it’s because it’s such a change to hear the emotion all raw and honest – and loud and raucous as well. He loves to wild dance with me, but then, he can’t keep his hands off me half the time!”

“That’s too funny. I would love to see the look on their stodgy old faces when you hit them with something like Pat Benetar. So how did you adapt?”

“When I arrived I felt like this really unsophisticated country bumpkin. My wilderness gal look – the buckskin and pants looked so out of place when everyone else was wearing fine cloth or fancy silks, just for everyday things. Even the men wore long flowing robes some of the time! Their taverns are like palaces really, so people usually dressed even finer when they went out and all the ladies were in these gorgeous, floaty gowns – I had to upgrade my wardrobe pretty fast!

“My guard-brother Daemen helped a bit with what I should wear, but my behavior was something else… Elves have much better control over their emotions and can be a bit… aloof. Buttoned up, you know? They’re much better at not being angry, or excited. I was forever embarrassing him by laughing too much, or bursting into tears at the sad songs. He said it was like going around with a six-foot baby. – Silen likes that I’m so demonstrative as he calls it, but sometimes I’m too spontaneous, even for him.”

“I think you should be whatever you are. You shouldn’t have to change to fit some mold they want you in. Humans come in many favors, there are aggressive ones, passive ones, goofy ones. It’s no surprise that you were influenced by your upbringing.”

“Really, the only elf I’ve met who understands about open emotions is my so-called boss, Telly. He’s head honcho with the FWAT squad in the River Kingdom Foo police and they recruited me in a hurry when they saw how I could handle the pesky little fairies and sprites that are always hanging around the Vale, luring unsuspecting elflings into being all silly and giggly. You know the sort – the tricksy, or even malicious little spirits with their magic mushrooms and daft flowery hats. They’re a real problem sometimes, and the Lords hate it when they disrupt festivities and suchlike.”

“It looks like we have a caller. Hello and welcome to Lisa Burton Radio. Do you have a question for Jano?”

“What the fo… Jano? You know we’re not supposed to use seeing stone lines on the mortal coil – dumb, doll troll! Sheesh!”

“Oh… hi, Telly. Don’t get all prickly – you said to make sure I left a forwarding contact.”

“Don’t sidetrack me, you freak! What have you been doing with the My Little Unicorns? They’re all throwing up and off their sugar-oats!”

“Don’t you dare blame me for that! You said last week to let them out down by the pebble ford and have a little frisk…”

“Last week!… Not yesterday! It was a new moon yesterday!!! Some Don’t Care Bears moved in near there and they’re always diggin’ up the shallows that phase…”

“Well, nobody told me, you big lump!”

“Well I’m tellin’ ya now – Froo-Froo head! Get back here soon as ya can – I have puke-stains all over and the big house and kitchen staff’re getting all snotty about the icky smell!”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake! Just let the poor little horsies have a lick of your brandysnap and lovage lollipops and they’ll be right as rain in no time! I’ll be back soon… Gotta go, babe! Bad line…”

 

“And they get on you for being emotional? Hanging out with him probably makes you look stable in comparison.

“Jano, a couple of years ago, I downloaded some guitar lessons and chords. I have an old Fender. Do you think maybe we could tackle some Bonnie Raitt when we get off the air?”

“Oh! I love her singing ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ – that was me when I was trying to get with Daemen… With Silen, it’s more like ‘Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic’ all the time! I do love that Elf, and he adores me!”

***

Janowin appears in a new book, coming soon from Sîan Glírdan. A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac is due to hit virtual bookshop shelves in early June 2016.

This is poetry, wrapped in fantasy, within a memoir… Or, to put it another way, it’s a true tale that might well apply to many fantasy fans and gamers, who can’t be bothered with keeping their realities separated from their more lurid imaginings.

In my case, this is a sort of ‘real’ cyberspace profiling, during a phase of my life when roleplay truly did need to be therapy, because what was happening around me for real was not what I wanted to participate in. So, buckle up your swash and prepare to witness a titanic battle played out on the field of sanity – where what happens in your head is the only truth that matters.

 

 

Sîan Glírdan is the fusion persona of the elven roleplay character, Janowyn, High Bard of the River Kingdom and her ‘real world’ creator, author, Jan Hawke. Glírdan is the elven word for ‘songsmith’, and Sîan is a Welsh variant of Jan (in case you were wondering!).

When it became obvious to Jan that Jano had a far better handle than she could ever have on writing in the fantasy genres, Sîan was born, fully formed and raring to go. A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac, which is basically the manual on how Jano was brought into being and developed, is Sîan and Jano’s first official collaboration. They’re currently working hard on an epic future fantasy series, loosely based on the ancient Celtic world. The first volume should reach the shelves at the end of 2016.

You ca catch up with Jan, and/or Sîan at the following locations:

Blog

Twitter@SianGlirdanBard

LinkedIn

Facebook

 

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It’s time for a new Windemere story

Charles Yallowitz has a new volume in his popular Legends of Windemere series. He’s here today to tell us all about it. Take it away Charles.

 

Now Available on Amazon for Pre-Order!
Coming to your Kindle on June 1st!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Timoran Wrath has a shameful secret that is about to see the light of day.

The noble barbarian has always been a constant source of strength and wisdom for his beloved friends. His loyalty has been unwavering and they know that he would never hesitate to lay down his life for them. Even in their darkest hour, the champions know that Timoran will come through and fight to the bitter end. Now they must return the favor as he reunites with his tribe and willingly faces the executioner’s blade.

Is it possible that the honorable Timoran was nothing more than an illusion?

Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List too!

Excerpt: The Snow Tiger

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“The snow is too bright and level for me to see anything clearly,” the barbarian growls. The sound of shuffling and mild cursing draws his attention to Nyx who has sunk up to her nose in snow. “What are you doing, fire sprite?”

Nyx shivers while squinting into the distance, her eyes coated in bronze energy. “The reason you can’t see anything might be because you’re too tall. I’m trying to see if there’s anything that breaks the level ground. My eyes are enhanced right now, but I don’t . . . wait a second . . . I think there’s something buried out there. A beast of some kind? It’s a very subtle up and down motion that reminds me of something breathing. It just stopped moving, but I don’t know what that means. I’ll lead the way.”

Not waiting for a response, Nyx pushes through the thick snow and uses wind magic to gradually shift the powder out of her path. She does her best to move quietly and avoid disturbing whatever they are approaching, but the crunch of frozen grass beneath her boots makes the half-elf cringe with every step. A violent sneeze threatens to erupt from her nose, stifled quickly by a silence spell around her nostrils. Rubbing at her cold legs, Nyx is thankful when Timoran puts a vest made of black fur over her. The Ifrit hair warms her body and drives away the looming cold that has been brewing in her chest for the last few minutes. With renewed energy, the channeler walks a little faster and adds a simple heat spell to the wind that is steadily clearing the path.

“Wow. Such a beautiful creature,” she whispers when she steps into a circular clearing that surrounds the dead beast.

The enormous snow tiger’s blue and black fur is thick, the hairs sparkling when touched by direct sunlight. It has long incisors of glistening white that jut out of its mouth due to their size and sharpness. A slender tail lies limp in the exposed grass and still twitches as the muscles continue to lose their tension. Powerful legs and massive paws are splayed on the ground, giving the body the appearance of having peacefully died in its sleep. The gaping wound in the gorgeous snow tiger’s side is the only sign of an attack, the surrounding fur matted with aromatic blood.

Timoran’s rage boils when he spots the three cubs that are mewling and pushing against their dead mother. Judging from their size and faint, black stripes, he assumes they are no older than three months. Rusty manacles are attached to their back legs, the chains running to a stake that has been driven into the muddy earth. Restraining his anger, the barbarian moves within reach of the animals and gently breaks the metal bindings that are bruising their ankles. Scared and confused, the cubs cower against the still warm corpse and hiss whenever one of the adventurers comes close. One of the snow tigers bravely charges at Timoran and bites his boot, proudly returning to the others when the towering figure moves away.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

 

Also Available:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author PhotoAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

 

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Ah, Flex Day…

I enjoyed visiting with my parents this weekend. I always have to choose to a degree, and spent most of my time with Dad this go round. We still all went to supper, and we all had breakfast together on Sunday.

My wife and I had some shopping to do on Sunday after everyone left. I'll tell you more about that in a future post, but it's all good.

Today became my time to do something on the writing front. Finishing up the short story I'd worked on for so long opened up the flood gates.

Lorelei, the Muse sent me some cool imagery so I wrote it all down. I don't have a story to go with it, but that's exactly why I keep notes. It's like some people wake from dreams and write down thoughts so they don't forget. It's all about roots and cocoons, and stuff. It should have a use somewhere, someday.

I didn't do any review for my novel in progress, so I skipped writing it. While making the story notes, I reviewed my short fiction list. I managed to write two of them today. I'll call them micro-fiction, but one of them exceeds 1500 words. I could probably get away with posting it on a blog, so I'll tag it as micro-fiction.

I intended for one of the stories to be a fantasy, but kind of missed the requirements. It's something else, even though it has the medieval setting. I'm not going to mourn the fantasy idea, I like the way the story came out.

The other one is science fiction, and I really like it. As a micro, it may even deserve a follow up story. Can I get away with using the character again in the same publication? Maybe. Place one early, and another one toward the end?

Right now, I have enough shorts and micros to publish another Experimental Notebook. I'm a little disappointed that fantasy didn't make this round. I love fantasy, but never did write gobs of it. That doesn't mean I'm finished though, and one may turn up.

Summer has always been a dry spell for me on the sales front, and even though it's still raining and windy, Summer is upon us. Based upon my past, it makes no sense to release anything until school starts back up. That means I can keep writing and stockpiling short form stuff.

Most of it needs some kind of edit or polish, and I can also fiddle with that during the summer months. Then I can separate everything into three piles, Experimental Notebook II, Macabre Macaroni for the blog, and salvage for reference.

I wound up with a couple of tales that don't have a speculative element in them. It isn't unheard of, but I don't know exactly what to do with them. I like them, and should share them somewhere. Maybe I'll include them in a future Notebook, but make them extras. Meaning a dozen speculative tales, plus two free ones. Something like that.

I still have a long list of short form tales to write, and some of them are demanding keyboard time. I'll probably slow down now and pick away at one during the evenings.

In other news, I worked on a future Lisa Burton Radio slot and sent it back to the author. If any of you would like to get your character interviewed by Lisa, drop me a line. The instructions are at the top of my blog, and have their own dedicated page.

It's approximately noon here now. The bills are paid, the shopping is finished, I managed some writing time too. I may just veg out, but I'll probably play with my banner some more. I never got any comments on this one, so maybe something else will spark some interest. I have an idea or two in mind.

Back to the grind tomorrow. Hope you're all having a great Monday.

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