A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Friday, October 30, 2015

Moving on.....to a new blogging platform

Okay, so I know I've had this blog for 5 years. But I'm wanting to do more and Blogger just isn't going to provide what I want since I can't purchase a domain from it. I've switched to WordPress with the intent on setting up my own domain name. If you want to follow me over there, just follow the link I've included. Thank you so much for your support and please join me on WordPress.

Writing in the Woods on WordPress

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

World building Wednesday - The Kimrayans

This week I thought we'd start my word building with discussing one of the races in my world: the Kimrayans. The Kimrayans are a nomadic race that would be similar to elves. They have the pointed ears and almond shaped eyes. They're tall with black hair and eyes that range from green to blue. Any other color is extremely rare, and is generally a result of a relationship with someone out of the tribes. Their skin is a light olive and they are incredibly graceful.

Kimrayans are nomadic tribes that populate the plains between Erondahl and the Great Waste. They are attuned to the world around them, and take special care with their home so as not to deplete it or destroy it. They venerate their elders and often there are squabbles over who can get grandma and grandpa to move in with them, as it is a sign of honor to take care of them.

Children are regarded as treasures and are guarded well by the adults. Misfortune can and does strike as the Kimrayans do live in a wild area. When a child dies, the whole tribe is in mourning and shows it. When an adult dies, only the family and close friends show they're mourning, though the death does affect the clan as a whole.

The Kimrayans have a sort of alliance with the Sindlans, the people who live to the south and east of them. They exchange goods and occasionally you'll get one or more of them into intimate relations with each other. The children born of those situations are raised by the Kimrayans as they aren't welcome in Sindla.

Kimrayans aren't particularly war like, but they do know how to fight. Life is not easy on the plains and there is always danger. There are wild beasts and people who would seek to take what the Kimrayans hold.

The two main characters in The Last Lifedancer are tied in with the Kimrayans. They are part of their tribe. They, like Kimrayans, are honorable and believe that the family is the most sacred thing there is.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Recipe - Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

As I said last week, one Monday a month is going to be a recipe day. So today I'm sharing with you my favorite chocolate chip recipe. The cookies are nice and chewy, though I always make them bigger than they suggest.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

1 ¼ c granulated sugar
1 ¼ c packed brown sugar
1 ½ c butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
4 ¼ c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1-2 bags semisweet chocolate chips (2-4 cups)

Heat oven to 375 F (190 C). In large bowl with electric mixer, beat both sugars and butter until ight and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and eggs until well blended. Beat in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart. (This is where I go a little bigger.) Bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

I have a convection oven, so I only need to bake them for 8 minutes. If you don't have a convection oven, you may have to bake them for the full 10 minutes.

Next month I'll have another recipe for you. Have fun with this one. I hope you enjoy the cookies as much as we do.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fiction Friday: Celeste doesn't like being robbed

Only recently freed from the streets and back in possession of a fortune that was stolen from her, Celeste Long has finally found a place she can call home after the brutal double murders of her parents. She's finding that life off the streets can be just as dangerous, especially if you're not entirely human and don't know it.

As she pulled up she noticed something odd. The sense of peace around the house was gone. Instead there was something else. It was almost as if the house was frightened. She grabbed her purse and got up to the front door. The lock was broken and the door was open.
Celeste heard voices inside. Ignoring her better sense, and feeling something strange growing at the back of her mind, she pushed the door open. Two men were in her living room. They were carrying her computer and her laptop.
One of the men saw her. “Looks like you came home too soon, bitch.” He pulled out a gun and shot her.
Celeste took a step back. She looked up, a silver glow coming into her eyes. “You just made a big mistake.” Her voice had a quality that almost sounded like it was echoing. The bullet wound began to close and the bullet popped out and clattered onto the ground.
Pain like fire across her back almost knocked her off her feet. Something tore and suddenly a pair of black wings spread out from her back. “What the hell?” The man with the gun fired a few more times.
The bullets passed through Celeste, leaving behind no wounds. “This is my home. I will not let it be fouled by the likes of you. Put down what you're carrying and leave, before I show you what I can really do.”

The second man dropped the laptop and started for the door. The first one grabbed his arm. “What are you doing? Shoot the freak.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The universe as set up for Fury

Okay, so I did say I was going to put something up from my work on my NaNo novel. I have to say I'm not quite ready to do that, so I thought I'd introduce you to another story I've just finished my first pass edits/revisions on. That is my story I've given the working title of Fury.

Fury is set in the future. It deals with a conflict between a group of central worlds and the colonies that separated from them. The reason for the split was because those who chose the colonies wanted less tech in their lives. The central worlds are a tech heavy bunch of planets where nature has taken a backseat to tech that is slowly destroying the central worlds.

The colonies are low tech, as much as they can be at least. There are some mid level tech things, but nothing like you'd find in the central worlds. The colonies are generally focused on what the planet can produce without destroying the planet for the most part. There are a few worlds that have a harder time maintaining the healthy atmospheres the rest of the colonies do.

The colonies and the central worlds are always in some sort of conflict, whether it's because of trade embargoes, open hostilities, or just trying to make the colonists – called colonials by the central worlds as a derogatory term – very uncomfortable in the central worlds so they retreat back to their home planets. There are no FTL drives so everything takes time to get to. It can be very uncomfortable for colonists to travel because the Port Authority tends not to sell first class tickets to colonists on return trips from the core.

I chose this setting because of the fact that I love the concept of a small universe that is conflicted. I also used a slightly familiar political construct that should be recognizable to anyone who knows a little bit about history. I wanted to show the disparity between the way the central worlds and their Assembly act and the colonies and their semi-ruling body the Eleven and how they work.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Blogging and me

So, on Saturday night I was looking over my blog. I happened to glance down in the right hand corner where it lists the years and the number of blog posts I've done. FYI, as of August of this year I'm up to 5 years blogging. I was surprised to see that last year I posted the most while this year I've barely posted 30 posts (this week's will take me up to 33). I was curious as to what changed so I looked over some of my 2014 posts.

I came to realize I loved blogging last year, but for some reason this year has sucked that love out of me. I don't think it's the blog itself. I think it's the fact that for a while I was completely lost in who I wasn't rather than thinking about who I am. My depression (the self-induced kind, not the stuff that comes with being bipolar) really got to me. No, I wasn't suicidal or anything like that. I was just in a general funk that has lasted for months.

I realize back in September I talked about lacking energy or a desire to blog. And that's very true. I was discouraged. But I was also in a situation that was stressing me out beyond belief and I just didn't need something else added to the plate. So I stopped writing blog posts.

I can honestly say that I'm glad I'm back to blogging. Don't get me wrong, it's still hard to come up with topics. I'm developing a blogging schedule so I know what to write on each day. Friday is still going to be for fiction. Wednesday is whatever writing stuff I feel like posting. Monday, now Monday is the kicker. I still have no idea what to do for Monday.

I figure once a month I might do a recipe day where I share some of my favorites from the month before. I love sharing my working experiments with all of you, even if I don't get too many people interested in them.

But that's once a month. What about the other 3 (or 4) Mondays in the month? I'm still working on that. Next Monday, I think, will be the recipes. I'll work something out for the rest. If anyone has any suggestions for what I can do on Monday, please let me know. I'm always up for a challenge.

(By the way, if you can't tell, I love parenthesis.)

Oh, and on a more positive note...here's a fuzzy kitten to brighten your Monday.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Fiction: Mama's Angels

A mother's love for her children is a sacred trust. When that trust is broken, things can go horribly wrong.

 Small feet pattered across the cracked tile floor. Two figures in flowing white nightgowns crept along, stifling giggles as they slipped along towards the spiraling staircase leading to the rest of the house. A tiny bell chimed discordantly from the hall. They paused just at the top of the stairs.
The only light below came from the moon shining through the broken windows. She sat on a worn settee and stared out at the encroaching rose bushes. Thorns as long as her hand gleamed in the silver light, looking like strange and twisted daggers.
She knew the children were there. The giggling was unmistakable. She didn't look up, though. She closed her eyes and prayed for sleep to come. It didn't. It never did. Not since that day. She fingered the pendant around her neck and cursed her husband. Her imprecations didn't matter. He was dead, buried and turned to dust.
The children giggled again. She sighed. “Back to bed with you,” she called.
“Why mama?” The voice was of her beautiful Light. “We want to stay up and watch the moon too.”
“Don't you love us, mama?” That was Gale. His piping voice was as easy to recognize as that of his sister.
“You know I love you,” she said, rising from the settee. Agony ripped through her heart as she turned to stare into the faces of her children. She walked towards the stairs with slow, heavy steps. Her tangled hair brushed against her back and the tattered remnants of her nightgown stirred up dust on the broken tile.
“Mama, tell us a story,” Light begged. Her smile was bright. “Tell us the story.”
The woman stopped, swaying a little on her feet. That wasn't a request she'd heard for a long time. She halfway hoped to never hear it again. “The story?” she asked.
“Yes! Yes!” Gale shouted, jumping up and down. He looked like a little boy pleading for his favorite treat.
She bowed her head. “Come down here and join me then,” she whispered. She returned to her seat. The children scampered down and climbed into her lap. Their little bodies were cold and hard as they squirmed around in her lap. They settled into comfortable positions and waited.
“Tell us, mama,” Light demanded.
“Once upon a time, there was a little family that lived together in a grand mansion,” the woman began. “To everyone else, they appeared happy and loving. The parents seemed to dote on the two little angels they'd been given to raise. But the mother wasn't pleased with them. To her, they damaged her beauty and limited the amount of pleasure she could take in life because of her vanity.” A tear slid down one cheek. “Her husband was a kind man who couldn't understand why his wife didn't love the angels as much as he did.”
“What happened next, mama?” Gale asked when she paused.
“One night the woman was sitting by the window dreaming and singing to herself. She was admiring a new necklace in her small hand mirror. The angels came downstairs, frightened by bad dreams. The woman, angry with the interruption, scolded them instead of offering them comfort. The children ran back up to their room.” Her hands trembled and the words choked her.
“Go on, mama,” Light said. Her eyes flickered a restless crimson.
“One of the angels knocked over the candle used to guard against the night,” the woman said. “Their mother ignored their screams until it was too late. All of the upper part of the house was aflame and the angers were dead. She was blamed at first but her grief made most people believe her when she said it was an accident. Her husband never forgave her and she was cursed.”
“How was she cursed, mama?” Gale asked.
“She was forced to live in the house that was where she'd been happiest, and was the place of her greatest sorrow,” she said. “There she lives to this day. She is unable to die and unable to forget. She watches as the world she knew leaves her behind.”
“What else?” Light demanded.
“She is haunted by her angels, who have become demons to punish her for her crime,” she said in a barely audible voice.
Light laughed. “We're going to be together forever and ever, aren't we?” She wrapped her bony arms around the woman's neck and hugged her.
“Yes, Light. We'll be together forever and ever.”