What I Write

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Hooked on Windmaster, Dream, #mfrwauthor

From the sword and sorcery fantasy, Windmaster, an excerpt using the word, "DREAM"


A strangling sense of horror woke Ellspeth from a deep sleep. The sea air carried the faint reek of freshly-spilled blood. Pale moonlight filtering through the shuttered window cast shadows around the small cabin. Nothing moved in the darkness beneath the narrow-legged desk or behind the wooden trunk that held the ship’s records. No visible danger lurked, yet the feeling of intense fear remained strong. As she fought to slow her rapid pulse, she listened for unusual sounds on the deck outside. The Sea Falcon had been her home, and she its captain, for the last three turns. She knew every inch of the bark from the tip of the ship’s five masts to the carved insignia on the bow. Despite the unease that ruined her rest, only the familiar creaks of the gently rocking wooden hull touched Ellspeth’s questing senses.

It was only a dream! At the remembered panic, she breathed deeply to rid herself of the effects of the nightmare. They keep getting more vivid, more real. Tomorrow we’ll be taking mage healers aboard. I wonder if the dreams and the healers are connected? Just as quickly as the question arose, she ruthlessly quashed it. “The dreams started even before the transport was arranged,” she muttered.

~ ~ ~

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Maybe a Cameo #MFRWAuthor

This week's topic, "Putting Yourself In The Story," asks a question every writer will have to field sooner or later. It is also very close to the 2018 topic "How much of you are in your writing?"

When I first saw "Putting Yourself In The Story" I immediately thought of author, actor, television writer, and producer, Stephen J. Canell. And the reasons were not just the closing scene of his programs where he's typing and rips the paper out of the typewriter, but from his on-screen acting including his recurring role as the crooked police officer Donald 'Dutch' Dixon in the television series, Renegade.

Then I thought of Louis L'Amour who was known for having walked the ground or worked the jobs presented in his books.

But do I put myself into the story? I think in some ways, every author leaves a little of themselves on the page. It might be an unconscious leakage of a childhood memory appearing in the hero's past or places we've been that became settings in our books.

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay
Despite the fact that Lady Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon loves the crustaceans found in her native seas of Nerelan, and I love Gulf shrimp, and we both have silver hair, I firmly state -- I'm not my characters. The closest I've come is the retired gunslinger, Hell Lost. Hell was the first character who really appeared to me as a fully-defined person. Other reasons I relate to her, our ages about the same as is our sense of duty and honor. And, oh yeah, Hell's real name is Helen Lawson, which is another reason why I relate to her

But the answer to the question of putting myself into the story is a definite no. Except maybe for a quick cameo where no one knows it's me.

This is a hop so be sure to visit the other authors in the challenge at https://mfrw52week.blogspot.com. ~till next time, Helen


Hooked on Windmaster, destiny foretold #mfrwhook

Today's excerpt is from the first story set in the world of Windmaster. From the book that gave the universe its name, a tale of friend's lost and raw memories, Introducing the kapuna tree.


The faint blue rune of an illusion spell flickered, its light almost hidden within the thick bushes’ sapphire leaves. A wave of Dal’s hand cleared the protective spell. Three steps took him into the veiled clearing. The stillness, the feeling of peace, was even more overwhelming here than on the mountain. Even the need for vengeance, bred into his bones by the traditions of generations of his ancestors, gave way before it.

An ancient tree, old before time began, almost filled the small space. Long tendrils hung finger-like from the branches that formed a high canopy.

Heart-shaped leaves covered each narrow strand. In each leaf, veins, the brown-red color of dried blood, made the tree look like the grisly aftermath of battle. Dal slowly walked around the tree. Close up he could see a faint symbol—a mage identification—on each leaf. With each step he traced the names of dead friends and the fellow members of the Wizard’s Council.

Something shimmered at the end of a branch. The leaf’s vein was a vibrant pure red. Instead of the stillness of the other leaves, this one pulsed. Even before he spotted the rune that symbolized his own name, Dal realized the leaf’s rhythm was that of his own heartbeat. The leaf marked his lifeline.

At the end of the branch, a leaf without a symbol also vibrated. He ran a finger along of its main vein. Despite the feather-light touch, a shock numbed his arm. Ellspeth’s face appeared then faded, leaving behind only an undefined yearning.

The flicker of the adjacent leaf was noticeably slower, and with each passing second, the color turned darker and darker. Its small veins had already shifted into deep red. Dal knew without even looking that the name marked on the leaf was Semelen’s.

Semelen’s hand felt warm on Dal’s shoulder, despite the coolness of the glade. “It was not your fault, my friend, that you were away when it happened. The poison spread so quickly not even the most skilled healers among us could have saved those on the island. We’re just fortunate you survived to carry on the work... and to rebuild the council.”

Dal wrenched away from the intended comfort. “There is no council anymore. Everyone is dead. I built the pyres myself.” His voice grew quieter with each word, until it was almost a whisper.

~ ~ ~

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The rest of the hop is at http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com