D&D: After the Tournament

Last week I was bored at work and felt like writing. Ever since our last session, I had been thinking about everything that took place after the tournament: specifically how Basile handled seeing his mentor and father again. So, I wrote a short story based on what happened! (At this rate, I might end up writing another novel…)

Enjoy!

 

Basile lay in the middle of Rheagar’s home with his eyes closed. He was too exhausted to keep up his invisibility or to silence the internal and external voices of his friends as the slowly made their way to the house. Rheagar was arguing with Dwayne about something unimportant, while Lorn watched him and jot down his thoughts about Ciaran’s performance in the tournament. He knew that he’d have to explain everything to the nosy druid soon. Meanwhile, Ciaran sat beside him on the floor, recounting every moment of his fight.

“I had to fight Roger Lord Mortimer, Neebs, and that new guy!”

“Yes, I know. I was there.”

“I kicked them all in the dick, like you told me to. It really got them all mad.”

“You did a good job.”

“I know I was protected by our bond, but I can’t believe my arms didn’t come off or that my eyes didn’t get gouged out!”

Basile grimaced. “Before a mark can be made on your skin, I’ll have to die first.”

“I’m sorry you had to get hurt for this to work,” Ciaran murmured, laying down to rest his head against Basile’s shoulder. The tiefling held in a whimper of pain. His shoulders still ached after having his arm ripped off and regenerated. “I wish I was stronger.”

“I can handle it. You’re very strong, and Lorn was there to protect me,” Basile assured his brother. “It will all be worth it in the end.”

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STORY: Ride Down Memory Lane

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I realized that I’ve never actually shared many of my stories on here, whether they were previously published or rough drafts. So, I thought I’d share one that I’m quite proud of! I wrote it for my Creative NonFiction class at Oakland University, and later had it published in Echo Cognitio’s 2016 Edition.

Also, I apologize for the formatting. This site isn’t the best for proper indentation or paragraph breaks.

 

The sound of metal scraping against concrete is far from pleasant. It’s worse than nails on a chalkboard or a baby crying. My boyfriend’s 1998 Dodge Neon is currently making those agonizing sounds. It’s jerking about, vibrating, as its massive steel girth drags against the ground. The engine sputters and the purple body of the car shakes more aggressively. With a jolt, something is torn away. I look in the passenger side mirror to see what has broken off, but I can’t see anything. It’s after midnight and there are no lights to illuminate the freeway.
“Eddie, get off at the next exit,” I say. It’s not a suggestion. It’s a command. My hands are gripping the seat, the door, the dashboard; anything I can hold onto. In my head, all I can imagine is the engine exploding, the brakes failing, or the tires blowing out.
As Eddie gets off M-59 at the Dequindre exit, the car gives one last jerk of life before completely stalling out. We coast to a rough stop, the breaks indeed failing, at the red light. Eddie turns the key and tries to start the car. A dull clicking noise — a flat-line in car language — is our only response. Eddie curses loudly and bangs his palms on the wheel.  He turns on the hazard lights before we step out of the car and open up the hood. Smoke billows out. Just our luck.
“I just bought this damn thing,” he grumbles angrily.
“At least you didn’t waste any extra money on buying a new muffler,” I add.
After his first car, a hand-me down green Taurus from his grandpa, kicked the bucket and went to the car lot in the sky, Eddie got the Neon. He had found it on Craigslist and bought it from a guy he met at a gas station near the freeway. Not the most ideal situation, but it was the only option he had. After a test drive and $800, the car was his. It turned out to be a lemon.
The only place to get a good used car is at one of the hundreds of used car shops that litter Metro Detroit. With so many cars being manufactured, it’s not hard to find a car that runs. Finding one that it’s a college kid’s rice range is the difficult part.
We stand outside the car, hugging each other to keep warm. Cars zoom past as they come off the freeway. Only two people stop to ask if we’re all right. We reply sullenly that we’re fine. They leave without offering any more help. What else could we expect? When traffic — oddly busy at this time of night — dies down, we start to push the carcass of Eddie’s car down the road.
Even though we live in Metro Detroit, in the heart of Automobile Country, there are no car repair shops lining this strip of road. Again, our luck has run out. We settle for a Hospital parking lot.
As we sit in silence, waiting for Eddie’s dad to pick us up, I wonder if this is how my mom feels.
My mom has horrible luck when it comes to cars. Every car she has ever owned has broken down on her at least once. It never mattered if it was brand new, like her silver Kia Rio, or a used car from a friend of the family, like her red Pontiac Firebird.
“I’m glad this didn’t happen when either of you were alone,” she says when I call her to let her know why we’ll be home later than expected. Mom always seemed to be alone when her cars broke down.

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LIFE: 11 Writing Questions

Tagged by @faireladypenumbra on Tumblr!

1.) How many works in progress do you currently have?

Currently I have The Art of Falling completed and in the process of publication, and I’m currently working on the sequel. I have the rest of the The Age of Mythos saga in my head, just not written down.

2.) Do you/would you write fanfiction?

I wrote fanfics when I was younger, with most of them being done when I was around 16. They were Durarara!! fics mainly, and one became very popular (and still gets new readers, which is shocking to me.)

3.) Do you prefer real books or e-books?

I prefer real books. I’m on a computer for tons of other things. I want reading to stay special.

4.) When did you start writing?

I was in elementary school when I started writing. However, I didn’t start seriously writing until high school.

5.) Do you have someone you trust that you share your work with?

I brainstorm with several of my friends, two of which helped me create the world that my novels take place in. However, my fiance is the one who reads every draft and edits.

6.) Where is your favorite place to write?

I prefer writing in my room, or on my downtime at work.

7.) Favorite childhood book?

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis, and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. And anything by Lemony Snicket.

8.) Writing for fun or writing for publication?

Both! Publication is the dream that I want to achieve so I can continue to write for a living, but I love writing for fun as well.

9.) Pen and paper or computer?

Laptops for pretty much everything. However, I love printing out and editing by hand on paper.

10.) Have you ever taken any writing classes?

I’ve taken several Creative Writing courses in college, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting.

11.) What inspires you to write?

The characters themselves. I have to write their stories. I feel empty if I don’t.

AOF: Dragon Moon Press

It’s been a few weeks since I was first reached out by the publishing house I submitted The Art of Falling to, and I am very excited to announce that I’ve signed the contract with Dragon Moon Press! I’ll be working with them for the next several months to get the book ready for your shelves and e-book readers. I’m really hoping that we can get it published and ready for Shuto Con 2017 so I can sell some signed copies!

I’m still a little bit overwhelmed with emotion and not quite sure how to put it into words yet. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated as the process continues. For now, we play the waiting game as the manuscript is read over.

LIFE: NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month is starting in a few days and writers everywhere are frantically typing away to reach the goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month.

For those who are unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo is an important event in November for writers all over the world. It’s our version of a 5K Marathon or P90X. It’s when we flex our muscles and creativity and pour all of our blood, sweat, and tears into a rough manuscript that we will then spend the next several months polishing and editing.

I’ve personally never participated in NaNoWriMo in November, because I was always in school focusing on my final projects, papers, and exams. Those who could crank out a novel during a hectic time of year are the real MVPs of the writing world.

However, I do take place in Camp NaNoWriMo regularly! Check out my blog about my latest Camp NaNoWriMo experience here!

While I’m not taking place in NaNoWriMo this year, I am spending my time focusing on editing the sequel to The Art of Falling. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to finish the second draft revisions by the end of the month!

AOF: BIG NEWS!!

After a year of submitting query letters to agents and small publishing houses, The Art of Falling has a publishing offer!

It’s still VERY early to say anything for certain, since I just got the e-mail I had been longing for. However, I have a very good feeling about this and I’m very eager to get more news about the next step.

I’ll keep everyone informed as I move along. Thank you for everyone’s support over the last year. It’s been a long journey, and we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

ART: Thank You for the Support!

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It’s been a long year or so of trying to get The Art of Falling off the ground, and I’ve done a lot to try and spread the word about my novel. I’ve entered the manuscript into several Inkitt contests (getting into the Top 10% several times, and winning First Place once!) I’ve going to conventions and told people about my novel, even selling artwork to promote it. I’ve reached out to agents and publishers hoping for a break. Lastly, I’ve been able to share the story with dozens of beta readers who were able to provide kind reviews and pass along the word.

So, thank you so much for all of the support and love you’ve given. It means the world to me, and I’m so excited for when The Art of Falling will be able to be shared in print. I can’t do this without you.