Closing out 2017

Photo by Shane Leonard (3)Whew!
The holidays are passing at a raging, hair-tangling speed on my end. How about with you?
In just a few short days 2017 will be over and a new year will begin. It’s been quite a year. I am trying to take a moment or three to catch my breath. 2018 is going to be a big one for me career-wise, so there is a part of me that really does

as want to take a breath so that’s what I am trying to do. Come January 3rd my schedule morphs into a sharp-toothed creature.

The show closes out 2017 with

slauthor, Myke Cole. Myke is the
author of the Shadow Ops Series and forth-coming The Armored Saint and a nonfiction history book Legion vs. Phalanx.

 
Myke and I talk New Year’s resolutions, the important role tabletop games have in the creative process, his recent release Siege Line and forthcoming works. And, quite a bit more.
 

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lines of fiction and life

Character-

Jayme, an anxious freelance writer with young kids, is still trying to carve out a space for herself in the industry.

Stasis-

Autumn and impending holidays are nearing. She’s getting back into the writing work flow. Of course, it isn’t going as fast and smooth as she’d like it too, but she’s realigning her ducks after putting a major project down due to lack of sight. She wrestles with some confidence and focus issues but is dedicated to finding flow.

Trigger-

One morning she is partaking in some free-writing and stumbles onto an idea for a short story. Her inner-not-so-helpful critic immediately snaps at the loose, fragile concept. Jayme goes for a walk and listens to Weezer. Her dogs sniff away at the bushes and mailboxes. Whispered voices pass between neighbors standing by a blue pickup truck with spray painted windows. Anxiety and story telling muscles drum up a heist, then fleeing citizens. Thoughts of the government ordering neighbors to be walled in cycled through her head as she transitions from walking to writing.

Quest-

Jayme is nothing if not stubborn, so she sits and writes and thinks and works through the scenes and ideas. Not all ideas should be accepted at face value. They are only stepping stones to the true intention. Her upbringing conditioned her not to trust herself or her environment, so it is challenging to let go. Thoughts of the drawered manuscripts skulk on the corner of her idea and oncoming epiphany. She changes the music and gets a glass of water. “It’s a grind,” she tells herself as she combs through the previous paragraph. “I know there is an idea in there somewhere. I’m the right path.”

Surprise-

A small creature pops its violet-furred head in a fluid string of dialogue. Its beady red eyes studied her looking as surprised as she feels.

Without a better idea of what to do next, she spit out a simple but appropriate greeting,  “Hi.”

The weasel-like animal waved its narrow-toed paw. “No pictures please.”

“What are you?”

“I should ask you the same question.”

“I think this may be too weird.”

“How can you judge me without understanding what my purpose is? I’m here. Just, as you are.”

Critical choice-

Jayme followed the animal, which calls itself Top, into its warren. It isn’t a cozy, twig filled animal home but a string of potions and stolen goods on aged shelves. There is a smell of magic between the mud-filled walls she had never smelled before. Jayme stood between the script of spells reaching deep into the earth and the door to leave before too much heart and time. She danced with the decision as if she had a choice.

“Well, are you going to follow me?” Top crinkles its snout, giving his whiskers the look of brushes for dirty floors.

“Are you what I’ve been looking for?”

“Maybe. It’s hard to say right now.”

Climax-

Top grew impatient and wandered over to the pebbled path that led to a small pool of pink water. Jayme watched the turquoise birds flutter about feeling over whelmed. She sighed and wandered over to Top.

Top pointed a claw at the rose bubbles swirling in the center. “There are secrets deep in there.”

Reversal-

Jayme offered Top a flat hand.

He sniffed it, unsure.

“Let’s do this together.”

Top bobbed its furry head and scurried up her arm. He perched on her shoulder with his mouth near her ear.

“Jump,” he whispered.

Resolution-

Tunnels twists into stairs that fold into waterfalls. Hand in hand the two new friends explore a world one knows wells, and the other knows only what their willing to see.

New Comic Review: LADYCASTLE

I have been a comic book lover since I was a kid. The glossy pages and the “new book” smell are the first steps to a world all its own. Comics are a special place to visit. As a writer, reading prose isn’t always an option, ladycastle-elsacoverbut comics are always there. There is something special about experiencing a story in panel form. My brain reacts to the story in a different way. That being said, I’m always looking for new, fresh comics. Something I haven’t seen yet.

I reviewed an early copy of the first issue of LADYCASTLE which is a gender-flipped Arthurian comic written by the fantastically talented Delilah S. Dawson. Ashley A. Woods is responsible for the gorgeous art.

I am being perfectly genuine when I say this is the comic I’ve been looking for, for years. Power. Wit. Action. Hope. It’s all there. This is a completely spoiler-free review, so I’m not going to get into specifics. You have to experience it for yourselves. I will, however, say this, there are at least eight times where I thought, “Yes! This is awesome!”

Dawson does a fantastic job weaving the beginning of this female-powered world I want more of. I can’t believe LADYCASTLE is her first comic. It reads liladycastle1coverke she’s been doing this her entire life. I really hope to see more comics from her. I’ve been trying to get myself amped up for this next phase in my career with music from some rocking women from the 90’s, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.

Woods’s gorgeous art creates a rich mid-evil aesthetic that complements Dawson’s words flawlessly. I can’t wait to read more LADYCASTLE, and you should start.

The official release date of the first issue is January 25th, but you can preorder here: Get me some LADYCASTLE

Reverie: a journey

The wind shifted through the trees. The sense of her was everywhere. Flowers smelled in the sort of way that captured me and set me right there in the center of all of it.

Whispers tore at my heart. Time was the one force that commands us all. The moon will come in a second. A piece of the sun is in all of us.

“Try as hard as you can,” she sings in the spaces between the trees.

“I will, I promise.” I declared to the doves that spread the seeds. “I will not be afraid.”