We're a Wee-Bit-Wordy

adventureswithD-final (1)A: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to turn your attention to the link here, which will take you to the wonderful world of Wee Bit Wordy, where Dean was kind enough to invite yours truly to write a few words–

D: Ahem.

A: Yes, D?

D: Just where am I over at Wee Bit Wordy?

A: Um, not there?

D: Precisely.

A: And your point is?

D: How can you be your truly wordy self without me?

A: Ah, well you see, that wasn’t exactly the point of the post–

D: And I’m not even going to mention that part where you said I wasn’t real–

A: Oh, you read that part, huh?

D: Yes, but we’re not going to talk about it. It just hurts too much.

A: I see. So, you’ll be getting back at me some time in the future, then?

D: Yes.

A: Good to know. Since you read the piece at Wee Bit Wordy, do you have anything to add?

D: Um, let’s see – I took some notes. Oh yes, imagination – research. . . yes, and vampires. . . cricket bats. . . Jack Flacco. . . Well, actually, A, it seems like you covered it.

A: . . . Really?

D: Yes, really. Nice job, A.

A: Who are you — wait, this is you getting back at me, isn’t it?

D: It’s best to keep you on your toes, A.

A: Oh dear.  And with that, we bid you a fond good evening. Check out the post, and the rest of Wee Bit Wordy – as well as Dean’s other blog, Dean’z Doodelz!

 

Be Our Guest: Dean from Dean'z Doodlez

A: It is our great pleasure to welcome Dean, from Dean’z Doodlez and Wee Bit Wordy to the blog today. D, why don’t you make Dean feel a bit more comfortable?

D: What do you mean, a bit more? He’s very welcome here!

A: I mean, you should put the sword down.

D: But – but, he said he thought it was cool.

A: It is cool It’s also threatening. Put it away, now.

D: Oh, all right.

A: That’s better – and without further ado, here is Dean!

dean cropped-cropped-1836150_orig

Dean’s fabulous blog photo/header from Dean’z Doodlez.

Hello everyone! I’ve been kindly invited by Katie (and hopefully D, too) to share with you guys my intersection of creative writing, and visual creativity: does one help the other, and how?

So, as most people know, I am indeed a creative writer as well as an artist. For a while, when I first began blogging seriously, I ran Dean’z Doodlez solely for my art and my journey with art through college. Then, a few months in, I started a 10-week creative writing course, as I knew I was good at short story writing, but wanted to improve more on what I already knew from school. For this, I set up a second blog to coincide with Dean’z Doodlez, called “Dean’z Wordz”, and there I shared all my non-art related works; my short stories, poetry, and ramblings etc..

Unfortunately, a few months into running Dean’z Wordz, I lost interest in running two separate blogs, and decided to delete it and amalgamate it into Dean’z Doodlez, where I would share my creative writing as well as my art.

This unfortunately didn’t really work out too well, and the blog got a little too messy for my liking–I had art and words all over the place and decided to separate the two once again, and Dean’z Worldz was born! Did that last long? NOPE!

Fast forward to April 2014. A close friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous, decided they wanted to try their hand at the blogging world, and asked me would I help set up their very own blog, considering I had quite some experience on my hands in the blogging world. I gladly accepted and together we created Wee Bit Wordy! My friend also asked me to become a co-author of the blog, allowing me to ramble and write on the blog whenever I wanted, which I gladly did so, as it had indeed been a while since I done that!

Fast forward again to the end of May, Mid-June, I received word from my friend that they no longer wished to participate in blogging, and that due to some personal problems, they didn’t feel like sharing their work with the world, let alone be very creative, and informed me that they wished to delete Wee Bit Wordy. That was where I put my foot down! I understood why and where they were coming from and why they no longer wished to blog, and duly accepted that, but I did not in any way accept that Wee Bit Wordy should be deleted. I explained to them how thrilled I was that I had somewhere to go, even if it was only once a week to share my thoughts with the world. I asked for ownership of the blog, which they gladly gave, and after some technical issues, I did eventually manage to transfer Wee Bit Wordy 100% to my WordPress account, and claim it for my own. Now, I try and post 2-3 times a week on Wee Bit Wordy, as well as share my art with you guys 2-3 times a week on Dean’z Doodlez, and I love it, and sometimes the two coincide with each other, but I have been rambling for the past couple hundred words, and now to address the main point.

Does my creative writing coincide with my visual creativity? Yes, it does indeed! I can NOT write a single short story without illustrating either a scene from the story, or maybe just one or two of the characters–I even go so far as to illustrate mock covers for the stories, as if they were actual full novels, and that was its intended cover. I have written a series of short stories last summer and have published one of them on Amazon using KDP. The first story was “Quentin Hide and the Evil Lord Twigton” (which is still available I believe, if you don’t have it yet). I illustrated the cover to that short story myself, and even have the two cover done for the sequel, which is finished, but I decided against publishing, for my own reasons. I have also written a third short story, which ties the first two together nicely and finishes the tale with an answer for everyone.

Visually, whenever I have written a story of any description, regardless of how big or small it is, I have to illustrate an aspect of it, like I mentioned above, but so much so, I have gone to the effort of actually plotting and drafting up an illustrated/comic book version of Quentin Hide and the Evil Lord Twigton. Now, its far from ready–there’s still a whole lot more developing to be done, and my comic book drawing skills aren’t nearly quite as up to snuff as I would like them to be!

I love art and drawing, but I love writing just as much, but because I love the two nearly as equally, the two almost always conflict with each other! I write a story, and I think to myself, would this be better as an illustrated tale? Or if I start drawing an illustrated tale, it will suddenly dawn on me, “hmm… this might be better written in prose…” That’s just how my brain works, and because of that, I sometimes feel that I will never finish any project I set for myself. If I was commissioned to write a story, or commissioned to illustrate a tale, I would 100% be able to finish it in whatever format asked of me, but as soon as my brain realises that it’s a personal project, and I could do this in any way that I want, I become Mr. Indecisive!

… And there you have it! That is my experience with creative writing and visual creativity, and how they intersect into my life, being both a writer and an artist!

Thank-you again to Katie (and D) for having me!

–DEAN is the author of two blogs; Dean’z Doodlez where he shares his life through art and doodles, and Wee Bit Wordy, where he shares his life through words, books, and Building Rome!

On Tour: Legends of Windemere, The Compass Key

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Available on Amazon for $2.99!
Listed on Goodreads!
Dive back into a world of fantasy adventure with Legends of Windemere: The Compass Key!

Book Blurb:

Swords will clash and spells will fly in the newest adventure of young warrior Luke Callindor, Nyx the magic-flinging caster, and their friends.

With Sari captured by their enemies, the champions of Windemere are determined to get her back and destroy the Lich’s castle. Little do they realize, their battles in the Caster Swamp are only the beginning of this adventure. Trinity and her Chaos Elves have invaded the city of Gaia in search of a relic called the Compass Key. Rumored to be the key to rescuing Sari from a magical island, our heroes are in a race to find the mysterious artifact.

Which side will claim the Compass Key? And, what will our heroes do when they’re faced with an enemy whose evil power overshadows anything they have ever faced?

New to Windemere? Then check it Volumes 1-4 of this exciting series by CLICKING ON THEIR COVERS!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense).

“This the start of a great series and i cant wait to read to read more.

“FANTASTIC, RIVETING READING. Great characters, fantasy, magic, mystery and adventure all in one series.” – S/F Old Reader 1962

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Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

“There is plenty of drama and action; everyone has a battle or crisis at some point in the story. The adventure, betrayal, loss, and grief throughout this installment makes it a must read for any upper MG or YA.” – Lilysback

“The series kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for more.” – C. Dewey

“This book is a wonderful mix of magic, mystery and adventure. With well developed characters. I look forward to the next installment.” – Amazon Customer

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Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

“The action is very well written and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Also the story is engaging and it flows very well and it keeps your attention right up until the very last page.” –

“This book is alive with great action new characters and unexpected twists.” -Eugene Chambliss

“One of the things I love most about this series are all the characters! They are developed so well that I feel like I know them personally. Even the newly introduced characters fit in immediately.” -BarbBookWorm

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Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

“This book follows a linear path from the last book in the series, and this series has everything; intrigue, battles, romance(but not too mushy), plot intelligence, and great storytelling. Really looking forward to the next book!” -lala

“This book would easily compare to Brooks, and sets a good pace. Looks forward to next chapters.” -Mark Potterf Sr

“I really enjoy the battle scenes and the inventiveness and creativity of the author. There is also further character development as we get to know them just a little bit more. The fights are fast paced and held my interest.” -Pamela Beckford

Enjoy the adventure!

Heresy of Before: Spirit Keeper, Part 3

D: Are we there, yet?

A: What?

D: Are we there, yet?

A: Where is there?

D: You know where, A.

A: Um. . . Why do I have the feeling this could quickly devolve into a Who’s on First debacle?

D: Who’s on First?

A: Yes.

D: . . . . Are we there yet?

A:Fair play. No, we aren’t there, yet. We’re at Part 3.

D: (Sigh). And how many parts are there going to be?

A: Don’t know yet – might spoil it if you knew.

D: Spoil it? Whatever, woman, just so long as Jan gets to be in more of it – Jan is in more of it, isn’t she?

A: Well, I was rather thinking of having her eaten by wild dogs–

D: You wouldn’t!

A: (Snickering). Behave yourself, and we’ll see.

D: You are a very bad woman, A.

A: Yep. So is Jan, to a certain extent.

D: (Grin) I know.

A: And before that smile gets even more lewd, for your reading pleasure is Part 3 of Spirit Keeper, a Heresy of Before mystery.

 

Storm clouds gather over Protection as Ellie gets closer to the truth.

Storm clouds gather over Protection as Ellie gets closer to the truth.

Previously . . .

Nearly twenty people had raised their hands or nodded in commiseration at the last Debate – a silent acknowledgement that their tokens of the old world too were missing. Trading that silence for words was a delicate dance … If ever anyone wanted information, all they had to do was trade Jan some handiwork or a bit of jewelry for her sheep’s wool and cheese, and they’d have all the information they wanted… And it brought me to wondering: What if she was the thief?

“Jan? Jan, are you in?”

“Ellie, what in heaven’s name – it’s barely sunup!”

The sun had been up for several hours, but considering Jan’s shop didn’t open until after midday, I supposed early was relative. Except—

“Did the sheep have a lie-in, then?”

“The boys take care of the sheep, Ellie.” Jan’s voice managed to be petulant and arch at the same time. She only ever used that tone on us that were born in Protection, and only in private.

I opened my mouth to ask just which boys were those when the lady of the house appeared in the curtained entryway to her private quarters. Her hair was brushed to a golden shine and her green eyes outlined with the faintest hint of kohl, but it was the carefully arranged wrapper, which revealed nearly as much as it concealed, that told me my knock on Jan’s door was not what had roused her this day.

I leaned against the wattle-and-daub wall that made up the quaint outer room of her storefront and cocked an eyebrow at Jannat Rappaport, sheep farmer, handcraft businesswoman and all-around gossip-monger. She grinned at me and pulled the silk wrapper tighter across her chest. She had been expecting someone – and not a female someone who pried into other people’s lives and went by the name Ellie. It was none of my business who it was, but since she was out of bed, perhaps some of my business could intrude on hers.

“And what boys would those be, Jan?”

“Good morning to you, too, Ellie Macfie. Can I get you anything? Tea, perhaps? I haven’t any of that horrible chicory you insist on swallowing every morning.” She paused in her tirade and gave me a slight curtsey. “And the boys are my hired hands. I’d have to split myself in threes if I wanted to take care of the sheep, the cheese-making and the handcrafts. So, how about some tea?”

Ah, those boys. I forced my face to relax into a smile.

“No need, Jan – I don’t mean to intrude on your morning routine.”

An unladylike snort was Jan’s only answer to that particular half-truth. Without further word, she turned on her heel and sauntered back into her private quarters. If I hadn’t known the woman, I would have stood in her storefront, awkwardness crippling my tongue and my legs. As it was, I knew I was free to enter Jan’s home.

Of course, she would have barred the door with a shotgun in hand if it had been otherwise.

“So you’re here about the thefts, then?”

My relief at her directness – straight-talk was not one of Jan’s strengths, especially when dealing in information and other people’s business – was shaded with a thread of apprehension. Those words were said to the wall in front of her, not to me.

“Papa Henry sent me – said you might be able to help.”

“Help.”

Even as her voice flattened, I was entertaining images of a thief ring, run by Madame Jan and carried out by her hooligans – sophisticated despite their perhaps grubby or mean appearance.

“You know, help me loosen the town’s collective tongue.” I tried to keep my tone light. Everyone knew I wasn’t exactly loquacious – I watched, and listened. Usually, that sufficed.

Jan took her time in turning to face me, and I tried to appreciate my surroundings instead of giving in to my more natural inclination: annoyance. Her private quarters were surprisingly bright and airy. The mid-morning sun glittered off her trinkets and ornaments – even gave her red silk robe a cheery, rather than opulent, appearance.

My gaze lingered too long and Jan caught me admiring her wrapper. She stroked a sleeve – where had she gotten that, I wondered – and pursed lips that never needed rouge.

“You know, if you attempted to wear prettier things,” the look she gave my undyed linen tunic was eloquent, “you might go about settling the eye of Mathias instead of just catching it.”

Blood rushed to my face and I bit back the first thing that came to mind – that at least I could settle on just one, if I needed to. It was neither fair, nor relevant. At the same time, I was no longer the least bit sorry l let my imagination run wild with the idea that Jan, and her boys, were responsible for the thefts.

I blame the pulp novels Ethel loaned me. ‘Dime store atrocities’ Papa Henry called them. Regardless, his wife had a trunk full of the little books, and their torrid adventures were a welcome respite some days. Where she picked them up, no one knows. The way Ethel told it, she had found them, somewhere out in the desert. Whenever anyone pressed – usually just newcomers – she would just wave a distracted hand to some place ‘else’ far off in the distance. Her eyes would follow and get this lost look to them. At that point, Papa Henry would always take her hand and bring her back. Invariably, that that was also the last time a newcomer ever said anything stressful, or even remotely inquiring, to Ethel.

“I’ll take that into consideration, Jan – and as much as your fashion sense intrigues me, I’d rather talk about the thefts, if you don’t mind.”

“And what if I do mind?”

“Jan—“

“Good grief, woman! Is this how you plan on interrogating the town?”

“I hadn’t planned on interrogating the town. I—“

“Oh, so it’s just me, then.”

The face Jan turned on me was neither closed nor amused. There was something off about the woman – had been for days, if I was honest. Likely, she was no more the head of a crew of career criminals than I was. Even if she was responsible, she was also right; my ‘interrogation’ style needed work. I needed her – and her way with people.

“Look Jan, I’m sorry. I just. . . “

She frowned as I trailed off. It struck me then, why I had been searching her face, her person, studying the way she moved and the way she adorned herself. Something was missing.

“You just, what, Ellie?” Jan asked, her hard voice quavering a bit as I kept my silence.

“I just thought you might have insight.” The words came slowly – slow, even for me.

“Well, for starters, don’t walk up to people asking them point-blank what they know about these bloody thefts. They’ve been going on for months and no one has said a word.”

“Months – but—“

“You watch, and you listen, but you don’t like people enough to unearth the deeper issues. You keep the riff-raff out, those that would bring Big City down on us, but it’s always been Papa Henry taking care of the town, and the people in it.”

No, that couldn’t be right – well, she was right about the peace-keeping dynamic between Papa Henry and I, but that wasn’t it. Of the thefts I knew about, Mathias’ was the oldest. His father’s sextant had gone missing nearly five weeks ago. At first, he thought it was just something he’d misplaced after the last Shake tossed his things about, but even after everything was sorted, it was still missing. And then Ruth had spoken up at the last Debate. . .

“Months, you say?”

Jan's Great-Gran's watch

Jan’s Great-Gran’s watch

A quiet gasp was all it took. Something of Jan’s had been stolen. My eyes scoured her again. Her wrist. Elegant for all its bony strength, it was bare. Gone was the watch that had belonged to her great-grandmother. It was missing an onyx stone, right near the face that did not tell the time. The hands had stopped at twenty past ten – the time Jan said her Great-Gran had passed.

“The watch – how long has it been gone?”

Almost absently, Jan stroked the spot where the watch had always been.

“Nearly two months.”

“And you never said anything.”

“At first, I thought one of the boys took it, but they so rarely leave the hills, it hardly seemed likely.”

“They still could have, Jan.”

Green eyes flashed and she smirked at me. “I know. I checked their pallets and I asked around, just in case some unsavories had been scoping them out while they’re afield with the sheep – trying to undercut my trade.”

She was talking about a black market. So far, Papa Henry and I had kept that kind of thing out of Protection, and I hated to think of it threatening the peace we had here.

“And you didn’t find anything?”

There was a small shake of her head. Well, that was a small mercy, at least.

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

I didn’t remind her that it could have stopped more thefts, or that it could have helped other people open up about their own stories – she knew that better than I.

“I haven’t said anything about it because I don’t want people thinking . . .”

“Thinking what?”

“Just thinking, that’s all. Thinking I was a victim of whoever this is, running around, and stealing our memories.”

“What? That’s—no one thinks you’re a victim. Hells woman, we’re all nearly scared of you.”

“Lottie isn’t.”

I caught the groan before it managed to make it out of my throat. The rivalry between the two women had been dormant for nearly a year. The fact that there were nearly forty years between them made their spat almost laughable, if it had not been a dividing factor in the town for as long as Lottie had called Protection home.

“Lottie fought her way out of one of the Before burnings in Big City. She knew Caroline’s mother before she was taken by the Dreadnaughts. Lottie isn’t afraid of anyone.”

“She thinks she’s better than us.”

I rolled my eyes. There weren’t enough words I could say to fill Jan’s insecurities this morning, so I said the only thing that might convince her to help me.

“I’ll talk to Lottie, Jan – thank you for pointing her out.”

She didn’t say anything to this and with a small sigh, I turned to leave. Her baby-smooth hands – softened by years of handling sheep’s wool – reached to pluck at the linen of my sleeve.

“I’ll let people know you want to talk, Ellie. And I’ll have some cookies – and maybe a sweet-cake or two at your place around 4. That should give you – and everyone else – time to get used to the idea of talking.”

I thought I caught a glimpse of a smile before the faintly mocking coquette hardened the lines of Jan’s face. It was the only help she was going to give me, and considering I had nearly cast her in the role of grand master thief, it was almost more than I deserved.

“Cheers, Jan. I’d appreciate that.”

I waved farewell to Protection’s secret-keeper and let my feet take me where they willed. I had six—no, five–hours until Jan, and the rest of Protection, descended on my little hole in the wall. There were a few people I needed to talk to before that happened.

Lottie’s prized book had been taken, right from her bedside. I liked the woman, and it gave me little pleasure to think she might have claimed it stolen to deflect suspicion from herself. Yet, it was something I had been more than willing to think Jan capable of as well.

And if Lottie was a suspect, then so too could Ruth be, and Mathais. Hells, everyone in town was a suspect, now.

Five hours. It was going to be a hell of a day.

Lost? Read Part 1  and Part 2 

Enjoyed this little bit of a tale? Just you wait! Changelings: Into the Mist, a historical fantasy adventure set in Ireland, is on sale November 11, 2014!

Mirror Interview #7: Katie Sullivan

adventureswithD-final (1)D: So, um, A, are you aware that you are over at Readful Things, talking to yourself?

A: . . . .

D: Of course, you’re calling it a “Mirror Interview,” but the fact remains: you’re talking to yourself.

A: Yes, D. I am.

D: Just so we’re both on the same page here.

A: (Eyeroll). Right. Anyway, go check out the Mirror Interview that Ionia was so very kind to allow me to do on her blog space (and Charles was so kind as to post)!

The Heresy of Before: Spirit Keeper, Part 2

D: Sorry, ma’am, authorized personnel only.

A: Authorized—D, let me in!

D: Please ma’am, I have to ask you to step away.

A: Step away? What is this? D, it’s me.

D: Who is this ‘me’ you speak of?

A: . . .

D: Tapping your foot at me – no matter how menacingly – is not going to get you anywhere. . . A.

A: Ha! I knew it. What is going on here, Druid? What’s with all the ‘ma’am’ and the bloody –

D: Ma’am, if you could just move your feet—

A: Don’t push it, D.

D: (Sigh) there’s been a robbery, or haven’t you heard?

A: A robbery?

D: A series of them. It’s right there in the last, you know, substantial post on this blog.

A: Oh boy, here we go.

D: Of course, if you had spent any amount of time here on the blog . . .

A: Marie was right, you are such a girl.

D: (Spluttering, speechless)

A: I thought that might shut him up. And I suppose the Druid is right. There has been a burglary – at least, there has been a burglary in the tiny village of Protection. Protection is perhaps the only free village the bleak future The Heresy of Before has to offer. Treading on those freedoms is not something taken lightly.

D: So without further ado (a girl, indeed), here is Part 2 of the Spirit Keeper.

A: Thank you all so much for reading!

Previously . . .

. . . .My name is Ellie, and I am what amounts to the law in our village. . . Outside Big City, we were free to remember Before, but not many did. These precious keepsakes, passed down from one generation to the next, are all that we have left. . . . For all our supposed godlessness, our Elders do sometimes speak of the spirit of all, which lingers in each heart.  These keepsakes are reminders – repositories even – for the sacred memory of the spirit of all, and someone has been stealing them.

Mathias' Sextant

Mathias’ Sextant

There was the photograph of wildflowers, scratched and battered, that had belonged to the herb-woman, Ruth. Rumor was her great-grandmother had taken it just weeks before man had blackened the sky. Then there was the box of gears and glass. Mathias, son of a sky-watcher, said it was a sextant, a curious-looking thing to help sailors find their way using the sky. It had gathered dust since his father had passed, but it was still precious.

These were just the ones that people were willing to talk about. Nearly twenty people had raised their hands or nodded in commiseration at the last Debate – a silent acknowledgement that their tokens of the old world too were missing.

Trading that silence for words was a delicate dance, and for the first time, I wished I had one of Papa Henry’s maps, defunct though they were. It was a blasphemy of sorts, to ask people about their possessions. Privacy – especially for those born in Big City – was a hard-won and cherished thing.

We work with each other, and strive so that the community may survive, but we are still human, still fiercely independent and deeply private. Peering into the crevices, even to find the missing pieces of our souls, was not something to which I was accustomed. Keeping the peace during Debate and the days the followed, should the day-long nattering prove fruitless, was relatively simple compared to peeling back the layers of prickly freemen.

“Ellie.” Papa Henry’s voice reminded me of the giant rocks on the ridge that guards our village, ancient but powerful. They are all grown over with lichen, but they perch there at the edge of the ridge, to remind us that though they may not have moved since the Greys descended from the sky, they could. They could still destroy our fragile world without a moment’s thought, or notice.

He was standing in the open doorway to my cottage, his long white beard waving in the breeze. He is a bear of a man, and the leather smock he wore only made him seem larger, more imposing, yet his pale green eyes, deep with secrets, were kind.

Papa Henry hefted the spyglass I kept on the windowsill – a ‘shingle’ of my trade, as Samuel would say – as he waited for me to acknowledge him and welcome him into my home.

What if those hands – those hands that were almost never empty – had slipped bits and bobs into his pocket, maybe without even realizing it?

Even before I realized it, I was shaking my head at the quiet, insidious ponderings of my mind. That was impossible. Papa Henry was our most venerable elder.

But what if he was getting old – too old to know what he was doing? That wicked voice in my head – the one responsible for keeping an eye on likely troublemakers, and ornery sods from Big City – had a point. What if he was—?

I shut down the voice with a smile at Papa Henry. Even if he was getting on in years, he would not keep the items he’d pilfered. He would find a way to get them back to their owners, either by owning up to it, or by smuggling the items back before they were ever missed.

“Trying to work your head around the thefts, I see.”

I grinned. He was old, but Papa Henry was as sharp as ever. If our elder was responsible for the thefts, the issue would never have made it as far as Debate. It doesn’t happen often – only once since I came of age – but the tricky machinations of men bent on getting their own way does happen. I did not think this was one of those times.

My smile turned rueful as I looked at the old man. “I’ve never had to do anything like this before. I don’t even know how to ask people.”

“Has anyone been ‘round to tell you about the missing things?”

“A few – but not nearly all. People keep looking at me like they want to say something, but then they just shuffle off, like they’re embarrassed.”

“Then help them not be embarrassed. Let Jan know that you want to talk to people, that you’ll be in your office here for an afternoon if anyone wants to stop by. Bake some cookies.” He laughed as I rolled my eyes. “No wonder you ain’t married, Ellie – making faces at the mere mention of cookies. Didn’t your mam teach you sense?”

I tried to smile but I think it came out more like a grimace. My mam had taught me more than just sense, but I knew what Papa Henry meant. Marriage offered more than just a partner in all things, it was also a means of protection. We were a small village, and not completely unknown. My stubbornness and insistence I could take care of myself had earned me more than Papa Henry’s gentle scolding.

There was more to it, of course. There was the expectation tied to the taking of a mate, an expectation of life growing, and I had watched Samuel and his wife Caroline suffer when their babe was lost to the technocrats. I did not know if I could bring myself to see my soul lost in the eyes of another.

“It’s not the cookies themselves, Papa, it’s the heat,” I added. “Baking cookies in heat of the summer is a fool’s errand at best, but I’ll see what I can do.”

Maybe I could get Jan to bake the cookies. Hers was a small craft shop, open only after the sun had made mid-day and closing as dusk swallowed the light. If ever anyone wanted information, all they had to do was trade Jan some handiwork or a bit of jewelry for her sheep’s wool and cheese, and they’d have all the information they wanted.

Whether or not it was good information never seemed to matter. The woman had a way about her, a shine to her smile that nearly matched the shine in her golden hair.

And it brought me to wondering: What if she was the thief? What if the ear bobs hadn’t been as plentiful? What if her river of information had dried, and with it, her customers? Was that why I had seen her skulking about the well, blushing scarlet the moment I called her name?

There was only one way to find out. Papa Henry was already on his way out the door. I waved goodbye with one hand and dug in my desk with the other. There had to be something in there worth trading to Jan – for the cookies, and for a bit of information.

… To be continued.

Lost? Read Part 1 – or, continue on to Part 3

A Not-So-Shocking-Adventure: X marks the … Magneto?

adventureswithD-final (1)A: All right, Druid, where did you put him?

D: What? Put who, A?

A: You know who I’m talking about.

D: Alas, my ability to read your confounding mind is limited.

A: Well, since this week’s podcast, Episode X, is titled The Case of the Missing Magneto (go on, give it a listen. We can wait)…

D: What does that have to do with me?

Is Michael Fassbender the voice of D? Photo courtesy Google Images/USA Today

Is Michael Fassbender the voice of D? I’m certainly not going to argue. Photo courtesy Google Images/USA Today

A: I heard you, in the back of my head while I had my movie marathon. Every time Michael Fassbender showed up on screen, you whispered, “that one.”

D: And considering how many Fassbender movies you watched …

A: Hey now, that was research. After the first time I heard you, I had to make sure you were right.

D: And the verdict?

A: I think I might need to watch some more of his movies…

D: Sure you do, A. But let’s get back to this vicious accusation you’ve thrown at my head. Why would I steal Magneto – and who’s to say it would be Fassbender’s Magneto I would steal?

A: Actually, both would be splendid as you, but I suppose the accusation may have been wishful thinking?

D: Wishful thinking? You are a devious woman, A.

A: Thank you. You have to admit it might be preferable to trying to convince academy-recognized actors to narrate your story, while only taking a cut of the royalties on every audio book sold.

D: I admit nothing, A. My brilliance should be enough to capture their attention.

A: Uh huh. Right. Let me just work that into the proposal, yeah?

D: Make it so, A.

A: Um, wrong X-Man – and wrong series–

D: These are pointless details, A. In the meantime, everyone ought to run over to Green Embers Recommends for Episode 10 of the Not-So-Shocking News Dialogues.

A: Indeed – thanks for reading everyone!

Revealed: Legends of Windemere, The Compass Key

Debuting August 8th on Amazon Kindle!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Swords will clash and spells will fly in the newest adventure of young warrior Luke Callindor, Nyx the magic-flinging caster, and their friends.

With Sari captured by their enemies, the champions of Windemere are determined to get her back and destroy the Lich’s castle. Little do they realize, their battles in the Caster Swamp are only the beginning of this adventure. Trinity and her Chaos Elves have invaded the city of Gaia in search of a relic called the Compass Key. Rumored to be the key to rescuing Sari from a magical island, our heroes are in a race to find the mysterious relic.

Which side will claim the Compass Key? And, what will our heroes do when they’re faced with an enemy whose evil power overshadows anything they have ever faced?

About the Author:

Charles author photo B&WCharles 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: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Read the Previous Volumes of Legends of Windemere!!!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Cover by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)