A Valentine’s Day Curiosity!

And it’s published!

The Valentine’s day episode of Gallery of Curiosities podcast, Love is a Curious Thing, was released this morning featuring my story Love is a Masterpiece. Go here to find out how you can listen for free!

Gallery of Curiosities is also asking for donations towards buying stories; I know that they want to buy many more stories and maybe even move to paying more than one cent a word; both goals that I definitely approve of. So if you listen and like my story, then it’d be really cool to donate!

Coming soon to Gallery of Curiosities–and a speaker near you!

Okay–I sold a story!

Love is a Masterpiece has been accepted by the Gallery of Curiosities podcast, (my first story sale!) and will be released as a podcast soon!  More specifics will follow as soon as I have them to share. I hope you feel like taking a listen, and maybe if you like it, donate to GC to help them pay authors like me!

Do you want to come to Fantasy Camp?

It’s not just a place to go for the summer. It’s a lifetime of adventure!

Fantasy Camp was founded by the US government, in collaboration with several prominent international partners, after the discovery of the Chilton Wardrobe. The Wardrobe is the only artifact yet discovered to have a magical effect in our world, (officially designated Continuum 1,) possibly because the nature of its effect is that of a portal.

Put something in the wardrobe, (such as yourself,) close the door, open it again, and the contents will be transported to Continuum 2, Fantasy Land, arriving inside what is apparently a second wardrobe. Actually, new studies suggest that the two sides are actually the same wardrobe, which has the property of existing in both continua at the same time.

The second place that the Chilton Wardrobe exists is the middle of Fantasy Camp, where it is carefully guarded so that Fantasy Land natives can’t steal or destroy it.

Continue reading Do you want to come to Fantasy Camp?

Belated Reflections on A to Z challenge 2015

Well, the instructions for the Reflections List said to post by Friday the 8th, but the list is still open so I’m sneaking in. 😉

This is my fifth time in the A to Z challenge, but I do feel like it was something of a new beginning because I was launching the new author blog. It was definitely a great impetus to post nearly every day, and to go visit lots of other writing bloggers. I’m pleased with the 26 things I shared in April.

I’m still not quite sure what I’m going to do with my author blog in the months to come, but I hope you’ll drop by and take a look for yourself.

Z is for Zoomorph

Well, this is the last one! Thanks to everybody who set up the A to Z challenge this year, and all the other bloggers who joined in the adventure with me.

Like yesterday, I picked a fairly silly brainstorming item for Z. This was a word I actually found in a list of words starting with Z. Zoomorph is somebody who can change into different animal shapes, like Prince Dolph from the Xanth fantasy series.

Of course, Dolph had nearly perfect control over his magical talent by the time he was nine, probably because of his bright big sister Ivy training him. But I’m wondering what it might be like for a wild zoomorph, who couldn’t tell what animal he was going to become or when.

What kind of zoomorph stories would you like to read? Hope to see you soon!

Y is for Yeomancer

Hey, everybody! Well, the A to Z challenge is almost over, (as is this session of Camp Nanowrimo!) and I think for the last two letters, I’m going to go a little informal, and instead of blurbing some of the stories I’ve written or musing on the themes and motifs in them, I’m just brainstorming stuff that I could write about.

Yeomancer is actually something that I coined while looking at a list of Y words for inspiration. Building it up from its parts, the “-mancer” suffix generally indicates a type of wizard or spellcaster, and the “Yeo-” prefix–well, it’s not entirely clear, but in “yeoman” it’s thought that the “yeo-” part originally derived from “young”, as in a young man.

So, a Yeomancer would be a youth mage, somebody who could make the old young or otherwise manipulate youth. Possibly he could transfer youth and age from person to person, making the young old and the old young, thus allowing some to be virtually immortal at the expense of the lifespans of others.

This isn’t a new idea, of course. TV tropes, unsurprisingly, has an entry for Life Drinker which seems somewhat relevant. That page lists some Twilight Zone episodes but not one episode I remember from the 2002 revival, in which the gimmick was actually a body-switching device, but the magician and his consort were using the body-switch to become immortal by always jumping to younger, healthier, and more beautiful victims.

What kind of story would you like to see about a Yeomancer?

X is for Xenophile

Xenophile would be a lover, admirer, or friend of aliens, the opposite of xenophobe. I think I tend to have quite a few xenophiles in my science fiction, any that actually involve aliens, such as Star Patrol or the Aurigae universe stories. I’m drawn to those people who want to learn about alien civilizations, to teach them more about humanity, and who think that the mutual learning will make both species richer. Vanessa from Kitchen Scale takes the xenophilia a bit further than most of my other characters, planning to declare a life partnership with her Libran sweetie, Doomah.

And in many of these stories, my xenophiles are set against xenophobe antagonists or foils, who distrust aliens, (which, if they’re not humans, might be the Earthlings,) and have goals which would involve creating a gulf between the two peoples.

I’m drawn to xenophile characters in my favorite stories from other people, too, like Louis Wu in the Larry Niven Ringworld stories. (And his stepdad Beowulf Shaeffer, come to think of it.) The young wizards from Diane Duane’s books generally love getting to know aliens, especially if they’re wizards too. And then there’s Liz Parker and her friends from Roswell…

…Which makes me think of xenophilia in an urban fantasy or paranormal context. Werewolves, vampires, and fae might not be aliens in the extraterrestrial planet sense, but they’re definitely outsiders from ordinary humanity and represent “the other” in these stories. So that would make characters like Sookie Stackhouse, Elena Gilbert, and even Bella Swan xenophiles, right? 😉

So, which side do you come down on; xenophile or xenophobe?

W is for a Witch of Arion

Nashua is a witch.

She never really thought about it until Fox’s Fair comes to her city and her mother takes her to enjoy the fair. There was a witch there telling fortunes, and the witch got upset with the way Nashua’s mother was treating her and got offended, using her powers to humiliate Mother.

When Nashua mentions that she’s a witch too, Mother is devastated and Father is furious. Father even uses his influence in the Baron’s court to get soldiers sent to capture the witch at the fair. The witch tries to run away and is shot.

But Nashua runs away from home, joins the fair, and asks them to leave her with the next nearest witch they know. That turns out to be a very bad idea, as the witch, Black Ear, has much darker plans for Nashua than teaching her witchcraft.

With the help of some friends she made in the fair, Nashua escapes Black Ear’s tower, but not before her soul is linked with that of a demon. To free herself, she’ll have to travel into the mirror worlds, walk the country of the dead, and perhaps most terrifying of all–go home to her family!

If you read my entry for B (birds,) then this story is in the same universe as “The Storm Mirror.” Nashua grows up to become Sorena’s grandmother. (And I’m surprised that I didn’t cover “The Storm Mirror” on A-Z this year, but it’s too late now!)

V is for Very nice to meet you!

Okay, yeah, so, I couldn’t come up with anything more interesting for V. (Thought about referencing my wizard’s school murder mystery story, “The Case of the Wizard’s Vice”, but that’s too thoroughly trunked to mention on a proper author blog…) 😉

But I did want to say thank you to everybody who’s commented, who’s subscribed to this new blog, even just anybody who’s read any of my ramblings so far this April. I haven’t had a chance to go and visit all of your own blogs and pages, but I’m definitely going to.

And I hope that some of you will stick with me as I try to figure out what I’m blogging about after April 30th.

U is for Underworld

Tony’s fiancee Felicity died of cancer, and even though she found a god who promised to cure her, the Irish trickster god of magic Gwydion, he insisted that she toss runes for it, and Felicity lost. (This is a modern world setting in which the miraculous powers of the gods are an accepted part of daily life.)

After the funeral, the Irish priests give Tony a letter from Felicity, who asks Tony to venture into the Underworld of Hades, who has claimed her because her parents worship the Olympian gods. Tony recruits Felicity’s best friend Marshall to take him on the road to the Underworld, and Marshall agrees to do it if he can film the trip using a psi-camera. But

When Tony finally gets his audience with the King of the Underworld, Felicity makes one more request of him that turns his life around. He won’t get back to the mortal world until this adventure is over, but at least he’s still with Felicity–even if she’s in disguise, hiding from Hades, and working for Gwydion on a secret mission to rescue the Irish faithful from the Greek underworld!