Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Tale of Glamth'r

            A bard stepped onto a raised platform, ruffling his cloak.  Red and yellow checkers of wool shimmered in the low light.  He cleared his throat and began, “In the Age of Tribes across our land there was lived once a great leader.  His name was Glamth’r.”
            The crowd, half of town rabble and half of merchants, gave a cheer at the mention.
            The bard continued, “Glamth’r was the chieftain of the Marav’c, a nomadic tribe from the Emerald Plain.  He led his people north to the Broken Rocks in pursuit of deer, rather than south to more pastures for their sheep.  The Marav’c hunted and slaughtered their livestock in the mountains.  For five years they ate well, helping the population to grow larger than any in other in Morek.
            “In the sixth autumn of hunting in the Broken Rocks, they descended into the Marav’c Hills.  Before the hills, two great streams pooled into a massive lake, the Lake of the Kierotha.  The Marav’c were quite astounded when they found the scaly Kierotha when they went to drink.  Glamth’r was the only hope for the Marav’c’s survival.  He convinced the leader of the Kierotha, Le’xird, that cooperation between the two peoples would be the best choice for each.  Le’xird agreed and traded with the Marav’c.  They exchanged venison for fish and lake-grass for hide.  The two tribes flourished for over a decade.”
            The bard paused.  He took a sip of some amber liquid from a bronze chalice, no doubt honey water.
            “On the day of Le’xird’s death at the age of ninety-four, the situation went sour.  The successive Kierotha chieftain, called Mieratha the Betrayer, broke all ties with the Marav’c.  He distrusted these “land stalkers” as he named them.  Fifty Kierotha warriors were sent to the surface to drive off the Marav’c wielding sharpened stones and pike bones.  Unfortunately for them, the Marav’c camp had swelled to several hundred and they had perfected their hunting spears.  With Glamth’r at the lead, the Marav’c hunters set the Kierotha to flee with few casualties.  Soon peace was reclaimed with the Kierotha, stretching to today.”
            The bard stepped down from the platform and bowed to applause.  He was warmed up for a long night.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


No, this isn't a yogurt advertisement, I'm talking about writing regularly.  It is very important to write on a regular basis, at best every day.  Almost all writers recommend it and it makes sense.  Practice makes perfect, so the more you write, the better you'll get.  It also helps you build momentum to get your book done quickly and have a cleaner first draft, as you remember exactly how you want your plot to flow with minimal down-time.  Whether it's fifty words or five thousand, writing each day is important.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Morning Writing Exercise

I've started myself a new habit.  Not a bad habit, but a good one.  Every morning, I get up 25 minutes early and write to a prompt for twenty minutes.  I hope to achieve two things in doing so.  One, I can get my brain firing early on in my day.  Two, I get more practice in writing.  My first three days I've been using prompts that I made up myself, but later on I may use prompts from Writing Excuses or any prompts that anyone would like to give me.  My flash fiction posts may or may not be one of my morning writing exercises.  My latest flash fic, Guard Weasel, was my first morning exercise.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guard Weasel

            The sun’s last moment of pinkish light came to an end.  Mirrors strewn across a farmer’s porch became all but useless.  The farmer shooed out a weasel from his front door and hustled himself to bed.
            Across the pumpkin patch, a creature advanced.  It moved at a hybrid walk-slither.  Its wings beat at the crops spitefully.
            The weasel sprang to alarm.  He had heard rustling.  Food, he thought.
            Arriving at the first oak step to the farmer’s porch, the creature raised one foot, then the other.  It could feel the vibrations of a violent snarl.  A metallic taste filled its beak as blood splurged from its neck.  The weasel swung from its throat.
            Tearing through flesh was all the weasel was worried about.  He had nearly died on many occasions for showing less brutality.  Blood matted his fur.
            The creature shook and flapped its wings.  When that did nothing to the weasel’s death-grip, it swung its scaly tail.  A thud revealed success.
            Recovering, the weasel clawed at the creature’s chest, shedding yet more blood.  He gave a final slash and bolted away toward the tomatoes.
            Weakness filled the creature.  It made chase toward the fleeing weasel.  The effort brought a new round of cold, sticky blood.  It stopped, let out a piercing crow, and collapsed, dead.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Idea

Since I can't seem to remember to post anymore, I have decided to take a hiatus until the 24th to get some posts scheduled in advance.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Ctygian Forest

Old flash fic again...I'll stop slumping eventually...

     Darkness cloaked the company of soldiers.  They marched slowly, swords hilts clutched.  The forest loomed several yards ahead.  There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the soldiers in Sir Harold’s company were brave, but even they were uneasy as they approached the Ctygian Forest.   Rumors of wild men and murderous wood nymphs were heavy in reference to it.
     “Halt, men.  As we enter the forest I plead that you will keep your wits.  Any man that breaks and runs for any reason will be charged with treason,” declared Sir Harold.  “Now, advance.  Or would you have our borderlands overtaken when their relief forces never come?”
     The company trudged forward and strode past the tree line.  An owl hooted in a far-off tree, the sound enough to send a shiver up the weaker-willed men.  Marching became far more difficult as few moonbeams could penetrate the thick, leafy ceiling.  More than a few men walked into trees, but no injuries resulted.  The monotonous pace continued as they made more progress in their trek through the woodland.  Droopy eyes blinked and many men stumbled, but very few faltered.  After a period of time that no one could accurately measure, Sir Horace gave the command to remove their bedrolls from their backs and lie down.  Five of the one hundred men were posted as guards for the first watch.  Each watch was predetermined, and all were short.  Several hours slipped by in silence.

     The fourteenth watch was awakened for their duties.  A slight breeze whistled through the trees, but all seemed well.  The men stood at five roughly-spaced points with sword drawn and helm worn.  The rightmost soldier heard light rustlings in a nearby bush.  A squirrel leapt out, crushing the ill feelings from the ominous noise.  He averted his eyes for a moment to look in the direction they had come from.  Then it got even darker, perilously black.
     A war-cry rang out as an unknown multitude of crude men charged at sleeping soldiers.  With clubs, spears, and axes many were cut down before they could unsheathe their weapons.  When every last man was slaughtered, the unseen warriors, in truth mere apparitions, disappeared.  The rumors were nearly true.  The Ctygian Forest claimed many and the unworldly entity that lived within its borders was satisfied, at least for a while…

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I am removing Friday plugs and moving my flash fiction pieces to Sundays until further notice.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Have you ever adapted a piece of writing?  Adaptions are somewhat common pieces of literature, even more common in cinema.  There are three main types of adaptions: a change in audience, a change in length, and adaptions to films, television, plays, etc.

The first type is represented by the author of Twilight, Stephanie Meyer.  She began writing an adaption of Twilight from Edward's point-of-view, shifting the audience more toward males, although the book has yet to be released in full and may never be finished due to an illegal leak of the first twelve chapters.

The first two types work together in adaptions of classic works.  The adaptions are intended for younger readers and in doing so are condensed highly, cutting their word-count substantially.  Most examples of a change in length fall into this hybrid.

The final adaption type is wide-spread.  Pretty much any time you watch a movie with a book written previously the movie will be an adaption.  Things are changed, sometimes vastly.  Books can also be adapted into television shows, plays, musicals, and other forms of cinema.

Adaptions are great works of literature and cinema.  What's your favorite adaption?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I love pop-tarts.  In fact, I just had a pack of raspberry pop-tarts.  My favorite flavors (in addition to raspberry) are cherry and brown sugar and cinnamon.  Yes, this is quite random.  No, I'm not going to waste any more of your time.

Monday, September 3, 2012

No More Joan

I have a headache and it's Labor Day, so my flash fiction for this week is an alternate history piece I wrote a while back involving a mercenary party and some French survivors from a defeat at Orleans where Joan of Arc died.

     Edward raised his claymore in defiance, tilting the blade forward slightly.  "Ye'll have to up my pay if ye expect me to storm that bridge without a speck o' light," he declared.  "Don't ye know of the demons roamin' about?"
     The man being threatened, a tall, bearded veteran answered, "Demons!  You Scots and your demons, you'll bleed me dry.  I will give an extra half noble to anyone that makes it back alive."  He emitted a deep sigh, running his fingers through dense dark hair.  "Hirelings..." he muttered.
     Edward backed off.  He smiled slightly, but his eyes were still hard. The men, an assortment of burly Scotsmen, charismatic Irishmen, and lanky Englishmen, formed into a basic striking formation.  They stood five men abreast, with a span in between, and sixteen men deep.
     The front line would be quite intimidating in better light.  Edward stood at the far left.  He was half again as broad as an average man, with solid muscle over thick bone.  Another Scot, known as McCutchor, hefted a full-haft axe in one massive arm, the other holding a rough-hewn shield.  The next man was a retired member of the King's bodyguard.  A grim man with a dark mustache, he was the only mercenary with full plate armor.  Grey-eyed Cormac was the only talker of the group.  His skill with the mace was limited, but his wisdom and strategy was revered.  He called the commands in combat.  The last warrior in line was perhaps the most qualified.  A relative of Richard the Lionhearted, Gregory had struck a knight while acting as his squire, shattering his honor.  Even still, the man was a well-trained fighter with the longsword and a member of English nobility.
     Across the swift creak marched a unit of Frenchmen.  They outnumbered their foes two to one.  However, their morale was broken.  Joan d'Arc, their beloved leader, had been slain in an attempt to recapture Orleans.  The survivors had evaded capture by the skin of their teeth.  Now they groaned at the sight of far-off enemy infantry.
     The leader, incredibly nervous and less vigilant than his underlings, spouted several curses.  "Form up and ready yourselves.  We shall stop before the bridge," he ordered in French.  They followed his command.
     "The French have stopped," said Cormac back on the English side.  "Orders?" he asked his commander.
     The commander stroked his beard and scanned the French position.  "Cross the bridge and reform.  Strike first only if you must," he replied.  He remained at his post along with two guardsmen who were not among the hired.
     The English force began marching toward the bridge, an oak structure twenty paces across.  The distance between them and it was short, so they arrived quickly.  Boards thumped loudly as the men charged over the bridge.  Cormac called for the men to reposition when all were off of the bridge, changing into a ten-wide rectangle.  The French lines were six men wider.  They stood rigid a hundred yards ahead.
     Neither force urged forward.  The sun had fully set by this time.  The Scots, including Edward, were becoming jittery.  Every time a shadow shifted in the distance they flinched.  They were rare troops in an English army, as most of their kin fought for the French.  The Scots would fight with as much courage as the others though, when the time came.
     The French men wore faces of fear as they looked upon the intimidating force before them.  "I elect to fight them now," the leader said to his men.  "It is as good a time as any.  Are you with me?" he asked.  The Frenchmen murmured agreement, not without an ounce of reluctance.  "Very well.  Men, for the sake of fair Joan, charge them!"
     The Frenchmen, most of them swordsmen, began a hard lope toward the English.  The English held their ground, readying their weapons.  At the last moment they charged, cutting down the front line of the French.
     Edward hoisted his claymore and hacked a man open at the collarbone, a mortal wound.  McCutchor beside him swung his axe in short arcs, piercing the light armor of the French soldiers.  These men were professional killers.  Cormac, right leg slashed early, shouted a battle-cry in old Irish.  His mace could shatter skulls in a single blow.  The other two of the original five weren't quite so lucky.  The retired guard took a gash to the neck, but only after inflicting two casualties.  Gregory had met a hardened veteran, one of few men on the battlefield who could best him at swordsmanship.
     The mercenaries continued their merciless strikes against the French.  The moon was just rising above the horizon when they gained the advantage of number.  A mere four dozen combatants remained on each side.  Edward had taken a slight cut to the forearm, but he was otherwise unscathed.  Cormac was long dead, stabbed repeatedly in the torso.  McCutchor was taking his last breaths, too weak to raise his axe.
     The French leader cried, "I call for surrender" in his best English, but he too was reduced to a bloody corpse in moments.  The remaining Frenchmen, nothing left to lose but their lives, broke and ran.  Every man was slaughtered.  The hirelings had won.  They paced backward eagerly, awaiting their hard-earned pay.