Current listening: Brave Enough – Lindsey Stirling
Choose a quote they said. Tell us why it impacts you, they said. Challenge accepted.
I had to think about this awhile. Her quotes always leave me with a minute of quiet contemplation. The one above had me thinking for a day or so. When I write fiction, the words always seem to flow with greater ease. For personal essays or windows into my world, I feel like a teenager on the edge of the dancefloor. You know, the awkward wallflower that just stands to the side and watches? Yeah, that’s me. So this took some time and some thinking. Personally, I think all the best quotes do.
Being brave is hard. Bravery, when you’re faced with loss or an outcome that you may not want, is harder still. Trusting love is one of the hardest things in the world for me to do. This heart is scarred and so easily broken. So to be brave beyond that heartbreak is the strongest and most worthwhile choice I can make. To love myself, to invest in the others who love me, to allow myself to be loved, those are difficulties I face day in and day out. That quote tells me; “One more time, rock that faith girl. You can do this.”
Life has presented me with enough challenges with love–both inner and outer–that I have wanted to run. Who doesn’t want to pull the blanket over their heads and hide when matters of the heart force us to see things as they really are and not as we would wish them to be? I sure as hell did and have on more than one occasion. Running has both caused and save me from heartache more than once. So that begs the question, when is that instinct right and when are you just being chickenshit? At 39, I am still afraid to put myself out there in ways that leave me exposed. But, I try. I fail. I learn. I still struggle with determining when it’s okay to be vulnerable. I often wonder if that’s what she meant by it. Have the faith to keep trying, just one more time. It’ll be worth it.
So I think a little more. One more time, what does that mean to you? To me: “Yes, this is going to hurt sometimes. Yes, you will want to give up. But try one more time.” I think “one more time” encourages us to learn and grow until we are ready for that one more time, that one more chance. Self-love and happiness, I think, are not mutually exclusive. I think “one more time” encourages us to take stock of ourselves before reaching outward. Also, “one more time” by its very nature encourages us to forgive ourselves for transgressions against our hearts. Let’s be honest here, who is always kind to themselves? A show of hands, anyone? I am not. So that one more time applies to the way I talk to myself too. For a woman who spent a hefty chunk of her life never being enough–good enough, smart enough, pretty enough–this is a hard game I play with myself. I have to stop, take a breath and remind myself that it’s okay. I am who I am and that is exactly enough for the people that matter.
Okay, so for book news.
We are in the home stretch for approvals with Guardian’s Redemption. These are our tentative dates for the book:
October 6: Guardian’s Redemption Cover reveal, FB Live, 8 P.M EST.
October 20: RELEASE DAY!!! A possible group event on Facebook, times TBD (feedback/suggestions welcome)
November 3: Release Party and signing, Gathering Volumes, 11 A.M.- 1 P.M, EST
One last thing guys, I’m liking this up to Bloglovin’, it’s a nice resource to help out. Go check it out at <a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19440407/?claim=xpcebzsvwch”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
Current Reading: Just…take a guess. You know if you’re paying attention to these posts lol
Current inspiration: Never Enough – Loren Allred
So this has been a very long two weeks. Personal life has kept me from the blog and writing in general. I have a conundrum. readers. I am part of two writer’s groups. Ink and Quill is mine, as many of you know but I also joined a group hosted by the amazing ladies at Holl & Lane. If you have never heard of them, check them out. There’s a brutal honesty to their magazine that I appreciate and love. I have been a fan of the magazine since its inception. They recently started a group titled H&L writes. It’s ten a month for a support system, prompts and article submission. If you’re looking for a community, go for it. These guys are awesome.
So here is my conundrum, these lovely ladies have given me a word prompt and I have an image prompt from Ink and Quill that’s been bugging me. In part for fiction, in part for just the imagery behind it. So…let’s do both today, shall we?
Holl & Lane has bravely asked us about fear and what it means to us. The following is the image from Ink and Quill:
So, to me, the image holds a quiet strength in the face of adversity. To me there is a determination in this woman’s eyes that says, “You know what, screw this, I’m doing it”. Fear is normal. Fear is healthy to a point. Fear helps us acknowledge when we are at our limit and when we need to push forward anyway. When the question came up on Holl & Lane, I thought about it and this acronym came to mind:
Forget Everything And Rise
I spent a large part of my life giving into that fear and never pursuing the things I always wanted. Honestly, too long and too many reflections to consider in a single blog post. So, I try. I don’t always succeed. I stumble but I keep going. I refuse to give in. If it matters, I keep fighting as long as I can. The hardest part for me in this scenario is learning when to let it be; learning when it’s out of my hands.
I would not be where I am if I had not stopped giving in. The older I get the more I realize how much I hate wasted time. So, my dears this is my advice to you. Acknowledge it. Acknowledge its purpose in the process of your life. Keep going if you can. If it scares you, you move forward. Sometimes the big scary thing isn’t as bad as you thought it might be. Other times, you might be at the edges of your limit. That’s why you acknowledge fear, you measure its purpose. The choices are not always easy but what worth having really is?
That’s my take on it guys, how do you handle your fear? Do you grab it by the horns and deal or do you take a different approach? Tell me in the comments. 🙂
Current Listening: “Battle Born” -Five Finger Death Punch (Thank you Kymber!)
Current reading: Yep, still working on Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
So, my apologies on the radio silence. Personal issues and editing have kept me from blogging on the regular. However, we are back. Ink and Quill is up and running again and hopefully we’ll gain some momentum. Editing wise, I see the light at the end of the tunnel for the first round. I have one chapter and an epilogue then round two. We’re getting there. There’s a scene I want to add to the prologue. My plotting wheels are turning. A scene involving the big lug and a dream. We’ll see how it pans out.
Also, I will be signing books at Gathering Volumes on Independent Book Store day on April 28. I will be there from 10 until 4. If you’re on Facebook, check out the event. Let us know you’re coming! It should be a great deal of fun!
At any rate, on to this weeks Ink and Quill prompt. I went with the vague prompt this week and played a bit of what if. What would Maeseloria look like in her next generation? How the children take over from their elders. That thought led to the following post. Let me know what you think, guys.
“Are you planning on tickling me with that, kid?” Lily Eisen taunted her charge as they danced around the sparring circle. The years and motherhood had been kind to her. Only tints of gray threaded her dark hair. She saw the woman before her as the little girl she once knew riding on her father’s shoulders about Lily’s home. The little girl had grown into an awkward teenager before Lily could blink. That teenager into the young woman before her. Lily struck hard and fast. Her opponent’s blocks were getting better. Early lessons had her student seeing Marcus at the end of a round for healing.
If her favorite Shadow knew what she was about right now, he could very well call Lily herself out on the yards. Fate knew they had not crossed blades in many years. She sincerely doubted Jaylor Vincenzo allowed his combat skills to rust in the last decade or so. Their children were growing up into what Fate would call them to be—leaders, warriors, diplomats. Lily understood the need to let them grow into those people without hinderance. Fate knew her own daughter broke her heart any time the girl spoke of her future.
Corrine Vincenzo scowled at Lily. She called the woman “aunt” from the moment her lips could form the word. The needles that pinned her hair in place were a gift from the woman on her sixteenth birthday. Her father had nearly had a conniption. The needles were coated with a nerve-numbing poison designed to paralyze an opponent. She swung out with the dagger in her palm only to have the blade knocked from her hand with an appendage-numbing counter attack. “Fate damn it!” Cori growled in frustration. For the last three weeks, she had not been able to land a single strike on Lily Eisen. The woman’s laughter and taunts were infuriating.
Around them, the winds picked up. Her Jade heritage was flaring. Fate would think since she was part Taltos she could have the advantage of not having her emotions tide to the winds within. She muttered. Her Jade heritage, unfortunately won out. “Watch your temper. Stop fighting like we’re family otherwise you’ll never progress. Let go Cori. You have that liquid in you but you’re afraid to use it.” Lily chided her and flipped the dagger to present the weapon to Corinne. When the girl took the dagger, the girl spun again and caught the blade on the back of Lily’s hand. “Yes!” Lily howled in a mix of pain and laughter. She shook the slice away with a thought. The pain was minimal but the point was made. “Again!”
This time the lesson took and Lily watched Corrine settle into smooth strikes that Lily would swear was her family legacy. She moves like her father. Lily thought. That moment’s distraction earned another well timed, well placed strike from Corinne. Good. Blood trickled down her side. That called the fight. Lily sat down hard in the sand. “Good.” She sat there, bled and laughed. “You have his movements about you. Wonderful progress today. Let’s summon Marc, shall we?”
“No need.” A voice that had Cori cringing. “I can see to you Lils, and then take care of the insubordination of training my daughter without my explicit permission.” Jaylor Vincenzo spoke on lethal tones. “You knew what my answer would be if you had asked. Cori, go home. Now. I will talk to you later about this.” The girl vanished and reappeared in her rooms at Vincenzo Manor half a realm away from Mornesse. Jaylor looked at Lily, a girl he himself had raised from the age of six. “Did you have to?” He healed the slice to her side and her hand.
“Did you want her learning from someone else, Father?”
Today’s blog is brought to you courtesy of two items; a writing prompt from Ink and Quill and a photo taken by a friend of mine who just happens to be one of my readers. He has the advantage of living in a beautiful part of our state. The moment he captured spoke to me so here we are. Here is the Ink and Quill prompt.
Dancing: Who’s dancing and why are they tapping those toes?
Here is the image:
The leaves crunched beneath their feet as they walked together. Her skirts rustled to disturb the quiet peace of evening. Who could have guessed after all this time, after all the heartache here they stood? Nicholas looked down at the beautiful, petite woman beside him and smiled. When a thoughtful expression crossed her features, he favored her with a puzzled look. Alexandra’s expression meant a matter weighed heavy on her mind. Nicholas could tell she was debating the merits of telling him. “What troubles you, little one?”
Miles from the capital, the pair were on assignment in Swyngate. Christiana asked them to scout ahead to help plan the Adryn progress ahead. In truth, she had asked Alexandra to take the assignement. The Queen just allowed Nicholas to accompany his beloved rather than Marcus. Jacob Swyngate, lord of this section of the south, was a good man who made every effort to see to their comfort and answer their inquiries. The crisp air and calmer pace gave them an opportunity to connect in a way that life in the bustling capital did not allow. These lands, they agreed, could serve as a safe haven if needed. Alexandra had already assured the lord that he would receive a royal visit while on progress next Adryn.
“A task ahead troubles me.” Alexandra admitted on honest tones. “You know my dreams as of late have awakened me more than once.” A small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth as they walked through the mid-Isean weather. Beyond them, the river rushed on and the skies glittered. “I am afraid, Nicholas.” As she spoke, she slid closer to him. His warmth had the power to comfort her in a way her brother’s familiarity never did. Nicholas would never question her Fate-given duties. Her brother would. “What is ahead may destroy what we have all worked so hard to build.”
Nicholas hugged her close and whispered. Their companionship in these last years had become an easy one. The days of fighting each other’s pride to be together were long gone. “Can you share your duty with me, little one?” The fear danced across her sea-hued gaze. Years ago, the man he was would not have offered to share the burden of Fate’s duty. He never would have thought to. Nicholas was raised to believe that the Sorceress’ needed none but their Knight. This woman taught him a different way to look at their realm’s structure. This generation of royals worked as a unit to build their dreams. Station and title meant little to them when it came to their people, their realm. Their unity inspired him. For all that he taught them in rebuilding the realm, they taught him in return.
She stopped him at the riverside. Beneath the dying daylight, the river glimmered silver. Purple etched the skyline as the sun sank beneath the horizon. “I believe I need your help. I do not know that you could survive without knowing what will come.” Alexandra took a breath and released it. She had to tell him. In her dreams, she saw his magic saving her life. She needed to know why; so many why’s existed with this Duty. The result could mean closure on what felt like an ages old heartache for her Queen. “I need you this time, Nicholas. More than ever.”
On quiet tones, she outlined her dreams and what she believed Fate required of her. As she spoke, Nicholas alternated between patient grace and absolute terror. What she planned was an enormous risk. If she survived, they would have answers to a problem that he knew haunted his beloved. Also, if she survived, she would have to deal with the repercussions of her choice on multiple fronts. If she failed, Nicholas would press on for Kira’s sake but his life would never be the same. “Very well, little one.” He whispered and bent to kiss her as though this was the last time. “Until that time, I will enjoy what time I have with you.”
At last, Nicholas understood her. Nicholas understood she would do what must be done with or without him. The best he could do was support her. “We will steal what moments we can.” And with that, he swept her up into a simple waltz that had her laughing. Her laughter held its own magic for him. The stress around her eyes faded and, for this moment, she could just enjoy their new-found closeness. “Find joy where we can until, little one. I will not fail you this time.” He said when their impromptu dance came to a close. The pair continued along the riverside to plan what would come to pass. He could prepare but the task would be hers alone.
Thanks for stopping by today gang! Stay tuned for big news about the Guardian’s Redemption release come October!
Current Listening: “Beautiful Trauma” -Pink
Current Reading: The Well of Ascension -Brandon Sanderson
So, between life business and revisions, the blog has been quiet. For regular readers, sorry! A few ventures have seemed to have slipped between the cracks with this first quarter of the year. I plan on doing a newsletter revamp for those of you that might be waiting for more of Nicholas’ story. I will say this much; Guardian’s Redemption heavily features the Taltos heritage and family. If you read through the end of Shadow’s Journey, you might have a hunch what’s coming.
At any rate, life is finally calming down enough for me to take a breath so here we are. Life has been crazy as of late. I have a habit of seeing to others needs before my own and, honestly, the last couple days it’s been biting me on the ass. For those that know me well, it’s a mental check out for my sake. Do any of you get so overwhelmed by what everyone else needs that you go into a total emotional shut down because you just can’t give anymore? What’s that like for you?
For me, it’s a hot mess of tears, a need for quiet and to be away from almost everyone for a bit. Quiet comforts, vegging out with the TV or a favorite video game. In fact, there are very few people allowed in my bubble when I need that check out time. For most, when I’m in this place in my head, I fake it. I am very good at faking it if I must. I look back on a younger me and I laugh a little. That girl would push until she blew up all over people and then have to apologize for her lash out later. In some cases that did a lot of damage to her friendships. In fact, I can say one person has survived the turbulence of my youth in a way that strengthened our relationship instead of damaged it. (You know who you are and when you read this I love you and thank you.)
Let’s be honest, life throws a lot of shit our way. Some good, some bad but we still have to keep plugging away. At least, I do. I need forward momentum. I hate to be stagnant. I hate feeling like things are beyond my control. Lately, a lot of things have been beyond my control. I have just had to sit and watch and support because that’s all I can do. Having your loved ones go through shit at a distance sucks because you can’t do as much as you wish you could. I still insist this is the reason someone needs to invent a teleporter. If only for the sake of my heart and sanity. For the people I’m fussing over, you know who you are and why I’m fussing. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way though.
So, what’s been on your plate lately that tries to send you screaming into the night? Or that wakes you up worrying?
Your regularly scheduled creative goodness will be coming later this week. Shout out to readers, if you want a segment for a specific character, drop me a line in the comments. I love pulling random things together like that. Tell me who you want to hear from. Later guys!
Current listening: Lost Stars – Adam Levine
Current Reading: The Well of Ascension – Brandon Sanderson
Not much to say tonight, gang. Happy Valentines day to the lot of you. I hope you take a minute and let your loved ones know how you feel. Do you do anything special for yourself or your loved ones? Do you have a favorite memory? We aren’t huge about the holiday around here. We’re pretty low key. For my husband and I loving each other is about the everyday gestures. A little touch, a kiss, shared laughter at an inside joke. (The chicken lives! Haha, love you babe.)
At Ink and Quill this week, I chose to go with our vague prompt. This one I had to think about because I wanted to tie it into last week’s blog. This ongoing story with Brona is keeping me amused. Let’s see what happens next, shall we?
The dreams were bigger than her. The phrase Chronicle of Light haunted her waking world. Brona Devereaux sighed. She sat on the highest ledge of Devereaux castle. The heights never bothered her. In fact, she found clarity more often than not observing the world from such a height and distance. Beyond her the mountains glittered beneath bright starlight above. Her love had allowed her to escape with the promise that she would summon a healer come morning. With exquisite care, he bound the foot and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Whatever Fate calls you to, little heart, I will be here. Tell me what you can when you can.”
His quiet confidence shook her. Most men would not allow such secrets to stand. Most men, she supposed did not hold the understanding of Fate that he did. Light knew she was still learning. She had quickly changed into a loose pair of pants and one of his shirts. She tied the garment off at the waist then scowled when he found the sight amusing. “Oh go back to bed.” She muttered as she left the bedchamber.
That exchange brought her to this moment and the quiet before her. Layla would have been more decisive, she thought. Her best friend, sister in every sense but blood, would be more certain. Her foot throbbed, she was confused and the night sat long before her. The flicker of movement would have had her drawing a dagger had she not sensed his approach. Her mental skills were improving by leaps and bounds. She was learning to allow herself to sense who she chose when she chose. Dominic always had a spot in her head.
“So, thank you for leaving your daggers put up, Rae.” Dominic Devereaux smiled at his niece as he sat beside her. “Want to talk about it or just leave it be?” He knew what the girl could do if pushed. More often than not, he saw his sister staring out through Brona’s green eyes. In moments like this, however, he could see the girl’s individuality. He would never have caught his sister sitting out here alone in the middle of the night. Raelynn, her grandmother, would have sought his comfort or Nicholas’ . Brona did not have that level of trust in him yet.
“Dom, what is a Chronicle of Light? Do you know?” Brona asked suddenly. In truth, she did not want to bother her grandfather until she had no other option. Nicholas had enough responsibilities to the realm without the added trouble of her dreams. The phrase and that redhead appeared in her dreams more frequently in recent weeks. She had yet to understand why. The woman remained unaware of Brona’s presence as she went about her task. Her uncle refused any familial acknowledgement. He feared she would slip and the truth of their name and her relation would come to light. Both Dominic and Nicholas agreed the girl deserved a better life than the one Dominic made for himself among the shadows.
“I believe, if my memory serves, that the title has to do with your Taltos heritage.” Dominic said as he slid an easy arm around her to comfort her. He was saddened at the tension in her until he felt her relax into his side. “You know Nicholas would be a better resource.” The stubborn expression she flashed him earned a grin. “Fine, I’ll see what I can remember. The Chronicle of Light, if I recall is an old term for those who are tasked with following another’s journey. They are a record. For what specifically, I cannot be sure. I was only ever given a general education regarding the Taltos family titles and heritage. There has not been a Chronical since the old bastard and I were children so I cannot be sure what exactly it means for you.”
“I think it’s bigger than me. Part of me,” As she spoke, Brona pushed a lock of her chocolate colored hair out of her face. A frustrated huff left her throat when the words stuck. “Part of me belongs to the realm and that frightens me. I’ve never belonged anywhere, Dom.” Her eyes skimmed the horizon. The cold and starlight eased her for whatever reason. A lone cloud crossed the empty sky. With a small push of her will, she disbursed the water within the cloud. It ceased to mar the night’s quiet beauty.
“That, my beloved girl, is the battle of all Fate’s children. You will learn in time. Be patient.” Dominic hugged her and settled in beside her until she fell asleep against his side. A small smile curled his lips as another touched the back of his mind. Fate knew the twins were protective of one another. This new level of worry amused him. “She is fine, my little warrior. Tell your brother to stand down.”
Current Listening: My Immortal – Lindsey Stirling
Current reading: The Well of Ascension – Brandon Sanderson
Hello readers! So we are just about two months into 2018, does anyone have anything new, exciting or fun to report? By all means, share something with me in the comments. Your life has to be vastly more interesting than mine. My wedding anniversary was last Saturday and, well, my hubs is pretty damned awesome….not that I’m biased or anything. Love you babe because I know you’re reading this. ❤
Lately, life has been a crazy mess of the 9-5 and revisions, revisions, revisions. My frequent readers are quite aware that I hate them and, at this juncture am nowhere nearing the light at the end of the tunnel. I will persist. It will get done. I just…need to bitch in the moment so to speak. Also, let me give a shout out to my former hostess with the mostest and friend, Mia. We got to connect on Skype this past Sunday and it was amazing to sit and talk to her face to face. Check out her blog here. She’s a great writer and a poet that knows it.
On to the fun part of the blog, the Ink &Quill post. So this week I went with our vague prompt because books and well…you’ll see. If you’ve never checked out our little writing group, come hang out, b.y.o.c and drop into Ink & Quill.
Steps led her further into the forest and farther from a life she was just coming to understand. Brona Devereaux often traveled in her dreams as of late. Duty drew her forward into the sunset. Darkness lingered in the outer edges of her mind as she walked. The stone steps dug into her bare feet as she walked. When an edge caught the sensitive arch of her foot, she cursed.
The white gown fluttered in the wind. Why the devil was she in a garment as unpractical as this? A dress and a cloak brought a scowl to her lips. Bloody footprints carried her forward into the dying daylight. What was this place? A flicker of movement to her left caught her attention and, on instinct she went for the daggers she normally kept hidden on her person. Her entire life was hiding and staying safe. Now, now it felt like this dream made her vulnerable. The concept of family beyond the guild made her vulnerable. That too bothered her.
Even the warm comfort of the man she loved bothered her at times. He made her feel safer than almost anyone in her short life and yet, that uncertainty sat at the edges of her consciousness like a chain. Have faith, Chronicle of Light, this path is meant for you alone. A phantom voice whispered in those outer recesses. Brona cursed again as her foot began to throb. Still she followed that sketch of red hair and lithe figure forward. She kept to the edges of the steps and away from any sharp edges. Why was she here and better yet, why did she suspect she was just a spectator among the sharp contrasts of reality? As dusk turned to dark, Brona followed her target into a hollow off the stone steps. Her green eyes widened as she saw a stone roll away of its own accord. The woman, a slender redhead, reminded her of Tessa Starson. When Brona moved to step forward, she snapped awake with a gasp.
Panicked eyes shot from the balcony doors to window to her lap. Uncertain hands went for the dagger that Brona still kept beneath her pillow. She pivoted and growled a curse when she put her feet on the floor. When she looked down at her feet, she saw the blood seeping from her foot. “So would you like me to summon the healer or are you going to do it yourself this time, little heart?”
Fate damn it. She woke him.