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Path Unchosen is the title of my novel. It’s the story of an apprentice necromancer who discovers that someone is deliberately raising zombies. She risks her life, and her soul, to stop them before any more innocent people die. This book is the first in a somewhat darkish urban fantasy series I’ve called Daughter of Ravenswood.
According to Dr. Carl Jung ravens symbolize our shadow selves, the dark side of our psyches. If we want to be whole we need to acknowledge and communicate with that dark side. Wholeness brings balance, and facilitates wisdom (something the wise raven would be very pleased with). It might be the end of the series before we see how much balance and wisdom my heroine achieves.
Can you see the dragon? Nothing thematic here. I just like dragons, and can’t imagine writing a story without one!
I am also pleased with the series and book titles. It’s funny though, as soon as you decide on a book title, you can’t remember or imagine any others. The hours, days, even weeks of indecision and brain pain are forgotten.
The name Path Unchosen was suggested by one of my beta readers when I begged for help after pulling out the last strands of my hair! The series name and future books in the series came slightly easier 😛
It will be available as an eBook soon, and in print in a few weeks. I’m so glad I decided to self-publish. Even though its mentally exhausting I can’t imagine not being in control of my own business. Exciting times ahead 🙂
What do you think of the cover? What does it suggest to you?
I’m not sure why I feel so Welsh.
Though I do.
I always have.
I grew up in Birmingham in the UK. But my family hails from Wales (and before that Ireland) and we spent every holiday in our caravan in a Welsh camping ground. Mostly we stayed at a small village near Rhyl.
Perhaps it’s because of the happiest memories: of forest walks and mountain climbs. Donkey rides on the stony beach. Hot chips in newspaper, the salt rough on my lips. Ice-cream cones melting down my wrist. Vinegar on bee stings and bulls in green fields. Waggly tails on black faced lambs. Even in summer, it rained like old ladies and sticks (mae hi’n bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn). Spots hammered against the caravan windows, and we grabbed books and jigsaw puzzles to wait for the sun to come out.
When I first started writing my short story (the one that turned into an urban fantasy novel, you can read about that here) the setting was always Wales in my head. No-one wants to read paragraphs of description anymore, so the trick is to give a snippet of setting in context that sets the scene for readers. I hope I’ve achieved that!
My father, like a dog with two tails (fel ci efo dau gynffon), remembered a few words of Welsh at the end of his life and told us stories of scrumping apples, catching rabbits for dinner, and doing anything to avoid working in the pits. That’s how we ended up in Birmingham!
Knowing who I am makes me stronger.
How about you? Do you know where you come from? Does it help you to understand who you are?
Until next time, Y Ddraig Goch ddyry gychwyn (The dragon will show the way).
I write fiction about hopefulness and determination. About heroines who punch through extraordinary situations and obstacles, one step at a time.
Today I’m really pleased to turn my blog over to a friend of mine, Graeme Kneale. He writes fantasy and science fiction prose and biting poetry, this is his latest work.
Small Steps Forward
Trapped in a cyclone
A never ending storm
Of thoughts and imprisoning fears
My mental self feels torn
It’s just one step so
Why can’t I take it boldly
Why have all these cares
One foot in front of the other
Moving to a future almost coldly
Trying to hold against the stares
Okay so I make mistakes
A black belted master of epic fail
But sometimes it feels karma asks too much
Where once I was strong as rock now I feel just shale
I fear by moving forward sometimes
That I’m betraying things past
And what’s the point in seeing dreams in the light
When life rips them away so fast It’s like being shown the jackpot
When you only won the consolation prize
You know to see it brings more pain
And yet you can’t avert your eyes
Stuck with so many questions
Who, what, when, where or why
Imprisoned behind fears and indecisions
As time relentlessly passes by
It’s like the road in front is deathly darkest black
And I’m trying to drive while looking behind
Frightened by all the might be’s that may come to pass
But I know I can’t stay here much longer
Cause I start to feel like a shade
Passing through an existence neither alive nor dead
As the sun ticks by the days
So I guess I better do something
Cause I don’t want to fade
Put one foot in front of the other till I’m off the plank
And swallowed into the unknown waves
Stop looking behind myself and swim like hell for the shore
Cause it isn’t till we build a tomorrow
That we are safe from the pains that have come before
Thank you Graeme!
What do you think? Do you agree it’s too easy to trap ourselves in a mental cyclone. Too easy to let fears, doubts and regrets hold us in a place we don’t want to be. I know it doesn’t matter how big I dream, if I don’t take one small step after the other I won’t reach my goals.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments 🙂
I couldn’t think of a blog topic this week.
I’ve got the cover for my debut urban fantasy novel. Which I LOVE! But while I’m excited about it…I don’t think many other people will be. Not as excited as me anyway 🙂
My friend suggested fish. Yes, fish. He was probably thinking about the kind that goes with hot, salty, vinegary chips. He lives by the sea and no doubt eats them all the time.
I’m vegetarian, so of course l don’t eat fish. Not even when its wrapped in crisp white paper that flaps in a sea breeze. I can almost smell hot chips now. Taste the salt on my lips. Why are hot salty chips so moreish?
The cat from next door keeps trying to catch my goldfish. It fell from an overhanging branch the other day, bounced into the fernery and scampered away. Unfortunately for it, Billie was in the garden at the time…
No harm done to fish, cat or dog I’m happy to report!
Maybe I will post about the cover next time 🙂
Now I’m thinking about Babelfish!
That is one fish I would love to meet and use. Although… “Arthur Dent commented only ‘Eurgh!’ when first inserting the fish into his ear. It enabled him to understand Vogon Poetry – not necessarily a good thing.”
A day that starts out with a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference has to be a good one 🙂
I think I’ll end with one of my favorite Douglas Adams quotes:
“If somebody thinks they’re a hedgehog, presumably you just give ’em a mirror and a few pictures of hedgehogs and tell them to sort it out for themselves.”
It’s just an excuse to post a great photo of a gorgeous hedgehog 🙂
Do you have a favorite fish? Or a favorite Douglas Adam’s quote? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you!
Toothless has to be one of the cutest dragons ever! Released in the last few days – the official trailer for How to train your dragon 2!!
Hiccup is pretty cute too 🙂
What do you think? June 2014 is a while to wait. Was the first movie one of your faves? Will you make sure you see the sequel as soon as it comes out?
I’m more of a Dr Who fan… But I really enjoyed Upstairs Downstairs (BBC Costume Drama from a couple of years ago – I was bummed to find out BBC decided not to do a season three). I also loved The Paradise (BBC Costume Drama last year) … and found myself wanting more. More. More!
I could watch season three episodes right now, for free. But I’m a start at page one girl, so I wanted to see it from the beginning. I downloaded the first season from iTunes and settled down to watch the first episode.
Why is there not an addiction warning?
Of course there’s a naive scullery maid, a self-centered first footman, a stiff-lipped butler, turf war downstairs.
But there is also O’Brien, the ladies maid – deliciously evil, with no redeeming features in season one. And the sisters. Lady Edith dobs on her own sister, Lady Mary, when she has the poor taste to have a Turkish visitor die in her bed. Then Lady Mary diverts Edith’s suitor at a garden party and poor plain Edith loses her only chance at marriage. Maggie Smith is deliciously imperious, always excellent in everything she does. The script and acting is fabulous throughout. The characters three dimensional, the plotting tight and the clothes gorgeous. Did I already mention the clothes?
I have to get through seasons two and three so I can watch season four with the rest of the world 😛
Have you ever come late to a series, and have to catch up like mad? Are you a fan of British costume drama? Is there a TV show you just never miss?
Firstly his all important name. Even tiny dragons are proud creatures and won’t succumb to a fluffy or boring name. I asked my friends and they told me their dragons were called Smokie, Felix, Diedre, Drago, Smaug, Ilkra, Venus, Trevor, Indly and Sebastian.
A fabulous collection but I was still stumped. I asked what their dragons did, why they chose that particular dragon.
Did they pick a dragon for their flying skills? Protection services? Fire breathing? Just to look awesome? Or is he a companion dragon who keeps toes warm and who reads feelings and fears?
My friends have dragons that light the fire and BBQ, cook bacon, keep their toes warm, fly them over the ocean, comfort them when they are afraid, and smote their enemies with fierce snarls and flaming curls. One friend has twin dragons who morph into 6′ tall devilishly handsome men, she tells me they have very large … feet.
My silvery grey baby is bouncing around the house like an excited puppy. A rather large one admittedly. I’ve planned how I’ll train him, my new baby dragon. The fire-proofing was more expensive than I thought it would be. And he bounced onto the bed with a such a whoosh he vaulted right over to the other side – it’s lucky the bed is king-size and the room large, and I may need to widen the doors as he grows …
As he prowled along the perimeter like a medieval knight, his name came to me. I whispered it into the chill grey evening with a smile growing on my face. He swiveled his ears, released a few sparks and bounced into the air. I may need to rethink the garden!
Aymon followed me inside and nosed at the treat cupboard, eyes bright and tail bouncing on the floor. Jumping over his tail will be great exercise I think 🙂
What are your tips for dragon training? Do you have a favorite name? At what age will you let your child choose their own dragon?
We met my sister and her farm (and her big black pig!) a few posts ago. I asked Jenny to write something about farm-life … and she got her inspiration in a downpour. Here is her amusing take on rainfall: Rain? Don’t Complain! Take it away Jenny 🙂
Here I am, water dripping down my face, off my chin, down my back, and into my wellingtons. I’m outside, in a downpour. But I’m not complaining.
Not that long ago I expected water to come out of the tap when I turned it. I was living in the city then, the whole idea of turning a tap handle and no water flowing was preposterous! Then, I moved to the country. Ahhh the serenity. Bliss. Another bonus – no water bills. The stuff falls from the sky in abundance. It fills the rainwater tanks. In fact they overflow. I can’t believe I used to pay good money for it! Well, that’s how it was during my first idyllic months in the country. My first Summer shocked me to the bone. I turned the tap handle and, you guessed it, nothing came out. Who could I call? No water company, no plumber. Just no water.
Who drank, flushed, washed in, or otherwise wasted MY water? Made no difference really. The main tank was empty. But all was not lost, we had a small back-up tank, and at the current rate of consumption (add this, multiply by that, divide by 22.76) we should be OK for another three weeks. Shame there was still another eight weeks of Summer to go.
A new house rule was implemented, ‘if it’s yellow, it’s mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down’ and applied to basic ablutions. Trees, plants, and the vegetable garden were all watered via bucket from second hand bath water. Yep – that’s right. I watered my veggies with a human consommé. Water from the washing machine was pumped out into the closest paddock in the hope of providing a square metre of grass for the hungry ruminants.
I think I spent the whole Summer carrying buckets, dragging hoses and looking up at every cloud with a pathetic but hopeful look on my face. It’s been 3 or 4 years now and I’ve got my own little farm. I moved in not long before Summer began. The dam was full. The vegetation was lush.
By the end of (would you believe) the driest Spring, Summer, Autumn in ages – my dam was just a smelly mud hole, the vegetation was crunchy underfoot and I was stressed to the eyeballs from constant threats from nearby bush-fires. It was about that time I solemnly swore to never, ever, complain about the rain again.
So here I am, outside, in a downpour.
It’s 12 days into (would you believe) the wettest start to a Winter in ages. The tanks are already overflowing. I’m watching the water gush out of the overflow. I can’t waste it! So I am dragging heavy hoses to try and divert the water 100 metres down to the dam.
Waste not. Want not! The damn is slightly less muddy, and the way things are going it will be a lake soon.
Thank you Jenny, for providing the words and the photos 🙂
What is your relationship with rain? I like jumping in puddles … as long as I have dry clothes to change into 😛
Have you lain awake at night and felt someone or something watching you? Walked into an empty room and seen flickers of black spots at the corners of your eyes? Felt an unexplained coldness cut to your core? There could be a perfectly sane scientific explanation. Or you could have experienced something we don’t really understand.
Do ghosts really exist?
I think they might.
My grandfather died when I was five years old. I was deemed too young to go to his funeral and he was whisked away by adults who spoke in whispers and pushed me out of the room. But I never forgot him, he had taught me to read and cuddled me while I read haltingly from my Children’s Bible almost every evening.
Once, I was about seven or eight years old, I fought with my mother and ran away from home. It wasn’t a well-planned escape, I had no money and only the shorts and T-shirt I was wearing. At dusk I became disoriented and realised I was lost. I pressed myself into a doorway and slumped to my knees. How would I ever get home? And what would my mother do to me when I did?
It felt hopeless. I had no idea which way to walk. But as I sat in that doorway I heard my grandfather’s voice calling me. I followed the sound to the end of the alleyway, then along the street and across the road. At the busy intersection I didn’t know what to do, until an elderly man crossed the road and turned into another street. As he disappeared around the corner, he lifted his cap and turned to smile at me. I sped after my grandfather; of course he wasn’t at the corner when I got there. But the road to my house was.
Had Grandpa come to help me get home? My mother didn’t believe me. But I don’t know how I would have got home otherwise. How about you? Do you believe in ghosts?