Nerves and reality 

So I decided that I need to step back for a day or so from my projects in progress.  I do this so I can get perspective on the story.  So I returned to another project,  a game world idea for D20 rpg.  I set up the pen name for the project a while back.  As it happens,  this project got sidelined due to life getting busy,  and the fact that I was writing on my phone.  This made the project in question so much harder.  The other stories were not as layout oriented in the writing.  So I am now able to use my laptop,  and I really have no reason why I should not put it into my current projects. 

So I transferred what was done and realized that I have barely scratched the surface of what needs to be done with this.  So I started to do it and the networking to be seen… And now I am sitting here laughing at my impetuous nature.  The other projects will likely be ready for the editor in two months or less.  This one is not likely to be available for at least six.  I am being a wee bit optimistic about it.  So I will be busy writing if I want to release everything this year. 

Upcoming releases 

           Well,  I am on a ball.  So I have been considering what I should do with “Death of Neverland ” and the other Novella “Madness & Truth” that I nearly have done.  Mind you both are releases from Serena Mossgraves.  I have put in a good bit of thought.  While I am fine with releasing a Novella for the Kindle as a stand alone,  doing such for paperback is not something I feel comfortable with.  However,  I will release a paperback with both Novellas instead.  

Likely to be released around the same time as Madness & Truth.  I will do a update closer to the release.  I was merely wanting to share the cover idea for now.  Madness & Truth should be ready for the editor by the end of June.  I will be hopefully able to release it by the end of July.  Check back for further information as I am able. 

Not writing, Relaying

I call myself a writer…Still in truth for many of my stories…that title is inadequate. The stories and the characters within take on a life of their own.  They are telling me the story, which I then relay to my readers. I know it is often how writers see their work, But last night it was driven home to me. I have a premise for a story. I have written at least the bare bones of it’s beginning. Enough to where the story and it’s characters are ready to really talk to me. I gave it a temporary title, one I knew would change before it was said and done. I have to title my work so I can tell it from the poetry I write on just file level. So my stories will sometimes have a bland descriptive title to just start with. Well last night, coffee in hand and music on, I opened the document to write. I drew a blank. The only thing that my mind kept focusing on was that the title was wrong. I really tried pushing the story and to my frustration only typed gibberish. So I have a wonderful story idea. Rich with Sci-fi goodness. A strong Heroine with a rich descriptive history. A plot that is strong and a monster that will be interesting…and I am not able to tell it for the fact that the temporary title isn’t the right one. *Headdesk* Yes I am insane….

Of course then i was trying to explain my frustration on my author page on Facebook, with my head pounding from the frustration, and I believe managed to condense what can be a really good story to like five sentences of garbage. In general I hate writing the synopsis anyway. I honestly have a hard time condensing a full story into a “Blurb”. Especially without spoiling the whole thing. So, note to self….no explaining your story when the story itself is refusing to talk to you.   You end up reinforcing the perception that you are insane and only causing your frustration to increase.

beyond focus chapter one

//Chapter 1 – Entrance to the Realms//

 

                The entrance to the faery realm was a beautiful thing. Almost a lost garden, so very nearly overgrown. Vines full of color winding everywhere, tangling through a variety of colored blossoms everywhere within sight. So few eyes ever saw the entrance. It’s said only those with fae blood could. I could see it. Yet to my knowledge, I have not even a drop of fae lineage. Or so i thought. This was going to be an adventure that I  would never forget. One that I was honestly unaware of the consequences of at the time.
                  As a photographer, It was my job to find the beautiful in everything. I was quite good at it, though admittedly was growing tired of the scenes I was required to shoot. Too many forced smiles and not enough natural beauty. I was actually quite lost. I had been on my way to work a wedding. A wedding I wanted nothing of. Another June wedding with a couple who I felt would not make their first anniversary. My cynicism was a tangible thing then. Although after finding the entrance, all obligations and responsibility flew from my mind.
                  The arch looked like it was only held together by strands of ivy and clumps of moss. The stepping stones, though nearly covered by wild grasses and flowers, looked to be vast and many. Yet when i counted there were only nine. I counted three times to be sure. The trees behind the arch looked so exotic, so colorful. I couldn’t even begin to identify all the varieties that were growing there. Yet when i tried to take pictures, none of that came through. The pictures when I reviewed them were missing the exotic, missing the pop of color.
                    The pictures didn’t show the purple, red, and yellow flowers surrounding the stepping stones. Nor did it show the small creatures flying around in front of the arch. The creatures weren’t birds or insects. What they were I still am unsure, they were a small rainbow of color. I snapped pictures hoping to identify them that way. None were caught by the camera at all. I wouldn’t know all that until much  later. I wouldn’t see the absence until the adventure was long over, and I was so very much older. All I knew then was a feeling of serenity. A feeling as though I had come home.
It seemed as though the pictures I could see were never-ending. More beauty lay before my eyes than even now i could describe. Stone steps leading to the left and a lake to the right. Nearly crumbling and ancient the steps drew me far more than the soft blue of the lake. It sparkled with mystery and magic. Somehow the choice never bothered me. I took pictures of the lake, quickly. For I knew that wasn’t the path I was meant to follow. Then with a slight bit of reverence, I climbed the archaic and crumbling stairs. I suppose I should have been more careful, more afraid. However though the steps were near to falling apart, I somehow never questioned whether they would hold me. I was nearly afraid of the wonder I felt. Perhaps I should have been more frightened. Less awed. These are questions it is too late to ask.
                   She was awaiting my arrival in a simple wooden structure at the top of the steps. Long ebony hair swirling down well past her feet. It was nicely braided and seemed to have a life all it’s own. Translucent wings fluttering far too fast for the eye to see. Wearing a long flowing gown that matched her eyes. At first glance, it really was only her eyes I saw. A rich forest green in color, and full of mirth. Truly I felt her the most beautiful being I had yet seen. In retrospective, I remember everything about her. The porcelain perfection of her skin, the fact that she was so lean and tall. The shimmer of her gown that clung to her curves and puddled about her slender feet. The smile that bloomed from within her and seemed to produce a glow around her.
                  “Welcome daughter!” Her melodious voice surrounded me. “Daughter? I don’t think I am your child?” I stammered in surprise. She laughed in a musical tone.  “Daughter is merely an acknowledgment of blood ties, nothing more.” I think I was too shocked to think at that moment. Her presence was overwhelming. She smiled in a maternal way… “Don’t fret child, soon all will be clear.”
                     She walked off as if she expected me to follow, and truthfully it never occurred to me not to. I almost felt like I was in a trance. Maybe I was. I still saw the beauty around me. However I no longer felt the urge to take pictures of it. All my focus was on her.  Somehow I was disinclined to point the camera at her, even though she was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. She almost seemed to be gliding. Though her wings never moved. The air was almost alive. I felt more  alive then than  I ever had.
              I, to tell the truth, am not sure how much time passed as I followed her. I am not even sure that time was passing at all. When I got lost I was twenty and though I spent what seemed an eternity in the Fae lands…I have not aged even a day. To the outside world, only a year passed while I was gone. To me however, I think I lived another fifty.

              She led me through a very beautiful land, and though I felt eyes upon me, there was no sign of what I would have considered civilization. The few buildings I saw were ruins. Old stone and wood, dilapidated and gorgeous. Overgrown with red, yellow and green mosses and ivy, with the occasional streak of brown and gray. Though I felt myself being watched the only person I saw was her. I had always assumed those who claimed love at first sight were hopeless romantics. Still at that moment, I was sure I was in love. Now, well now I think it may have been a minor obsession.
         She led me past a golden river and one of silver too. I was amazed at the differences. I was bursting with questions that I somehow knew would be answered in time. I saw fruit of many shapes and colors hanging low on trees that glowed and moved in a nonexistent breeze. Some of those fruits were shapes I had not seen before. I heard the song of so many birds softly as I went by. Heard and recognized the many tones but really didn’t see them as I passed. All of this was sweetly captured by my mind, for later consideration.
                             There were also dark places that we passed, places drenched in unreasonable fear. Shadows that seemed to drink the light. Cold that I felt even from a distance. Those too, my mind saved. As places not to go again. For even in the Fae realms there must be balance, light and dark. I would find this out in time. For though I was following a creature of light and beauty, before I would be done with the realm of faery, I would encounter my worst nightmare and my darkest fear. I would also learn how to overcome them both.
                            She led me over so much terrain. The path though paved seemed to wind over so many differing types of terrain it was difficult to keep it all in context. How much I wanted to stop and look at everything. I was fascinated by even the smallest of plants and lovely little forest creatures that crossed our paths. However, as my guide didn’t seem willing to stop…I hurried along behind. I only hoped that I would be able to explore more thoroughly after whatever she was leading me to. To be perfectly honest I don’t even know how long I followed her.
                         As I was starting to tire a crystalline building came into view. It was all the colors of the rainbow made into a stone structure. I wouldn’t describe it as a castle, as the structure had too chaotic a shape for any description such as that. It was larger than any building I had yet known. It had points of crystal going out in all directions, reminding me so much of one of those sea urchins. Although on a much grander scale. Although I had always thought of crystal as cold, this place was a permeating warmness that one couldn’t help but feel.
                 I stopped, awestruck and frozen in place. She turned and smiled. She came over to me and gently took my hand. “Daughter, Come along” she chimed. Somehow the sound of her voice calmed the sudden awe and fear I was feeling. I was again at peace and ready to face the sight in front of me. The light was refracting perfectly of the crystal structure.
                       She led me in through a doorway that until we were right on top of it blended seamlessly into the wall. I wouldn’t have found it on my own. To me it seemed as though the inside was so much larger than the outside, which was enormous. I kept close to her for fear of getting lost within this gorgeous place. Though I so wanted once I heard what she would tell me to go rambling through its enormity. She led me into a warm and brightly lit room. The room easily could have held my two bedroom apartment with lots of space to spare. There was no furniture, only large soft cushions strewn about. The cushions were single color, but all the colors were there. There were enough cushions for over a hundred people to be comfortably seated. They were spaced close enough together to be able to pass things to each other, however they were far enough apart to not feel claustrophobic.
                She settled on one of those cushions, a rich purple one, as though it was the most natural place in the world for her. She waited patiently until I too had settled onto a midnight blue cushion beside her. “Now that we are comfortable” she started with a smile, “You are descended from a Fae or you would not have entered our realms else. Now what answers do you seek? I, Titania, will gladly try to assist in your search. Although daughter, First can you please tell me your name?” Stunned, for a moment I couldn’t remember it. How do you forget your own name? Yet, there I stood drawing a blank.
                Taking a deep breath, as my memory returned, I tried to keep from blurting it rudely. “Hello your ladyship, My name is Catelyn Fitzsimmon. As far as I know, there is no Faeries in my ancestry, however I am not inclined to argue that point. Are you truly the Queen Titania of the Fae?” Her face took an amused twist as I spoke my introduction. “Ah Yes, I am Titania. I believe you are the great granddaughter of my daughter. She who chose to leave us out of fear. I have watched her family on occasion. Out of concern or curiosity take your pick. It has been about thirty years since last I peered into the mortal realms. So you must be so young yet.”

                    “By those standards, I guess I am young…I am a month from my twenty first birthday. I barely knew my Grandmother, so I really can’t say I knew those before her.”

Discipline and creativity

I am struggling to finish what i start. I keep finding new ideas….which is awesome. Then I have none that are getting finished because there is me working on new stuff. So i have been making myself work on all of my projects that are in progress. trying to build discipline and actually finish one. If i finish all of these then I will be a hugely published chick…lol.  I am afraid I am led by my creativity too often. I avoid the writing prompts so as not to add to the growing list of W.I.P.’s  but I still end up with a story idea now and then that smacks me. The newest one came from a discussion with another writer about how I hate to title my stories.  She sent me to a random generator for titles. (Thank you) However instead of helping me to title what I already have, It gave me a new avenue to explore. I ended up doing research (yes i have a scary search history….I am a writer. I must explore the random crap that pops into my head.) And writing the first hundred or so words on the story. The only thing I am sure on with that story so far is the Title…

so far my titles for my Wip’s are:

Journeys (A story about a lost individual fighting to survive…with amnesia and while injured)

Elizabeth ( A story about a noblewoman and her ancestors mostly told in journal  format)

Last Forever ( a love story about a young girl raising her siblings and struggling to find her way in life)

The Incubus and Ysobel ( a half demon hunting her father and finding herself along the way) * btw this is the new one.

Jhai’s Tale ( a drow assassin and a kobold thief form a unlikely partnership while trying to avoid the temple of Lloth and find her siblings.)

Beyond Focus ( a young girl of fae decent finds herself in the land of the fae and has to adjust to the change that happens in her)

Broken Wastelands ( a post apocalyptic steampunk tale of a girl and her mutant)

Builder’s University ( a scifi story about creatures that eat intellegence…and the university they hide in. And the student who is out to stop them)

 

And I will eventually do one more (at least) children’s story in the bedtime tales line. (that line are stories I told my daughter and she asked me to write them and publish…)

That story will be Bedtime tales: The princess lost

I have trouble titling my poetry as well, so often in my poetry volumes I list them only by the first line. What about you? Is it hard to title your stories or poems? And what is your inspirations?

Starting and Struggling

As an Indie writer, I understand how hard it is to find people to assist in publication. No book is all about just the written words. There is the writing, The editing, the Illustrating (If it is illustrated), The marketing, The publication. Really it is something many of us try to do on our own. Part of the reason is because it feels like no one out there honestly cares about what we do as we care.  I have a friend who is also an Indie writer. She has published two wonderful Children’s books (The Woodland Adventures)….And is working on the third. She has had two different Illustrators. The first was a wonderful Artist Spirit Horse Studios who due to a surprise new addition to her family had to bow out of the second book. So my friend, Redbird Stormcrow, Found another Illustrator. Only problem is the newest Illustrator doesn’t seem to want to promote her own work. Which any author would feel slighted by. So my friend is about to put out the third book in the series, and is looking for a Illustrator. And not looking for huge costs, and wanting someone who would actually at least take some pride in what they do. It amazes me that there are artists who don’t take pride in their work. I would offer to draw for her but I am awful at cats (the next book has a lot of cats!) So if you are an artist and looking for a start…look her up…

Her author page is still in processing, but when it’s up, go show her some Love! ❤

prologue teaser

                 //prologue teaser //

The wind caught my ship, causing turbulence. It jerked me about so much that I am unsure if I adjusted my course right. Actually, I am fairly sure I did not. However, I landed it fairly fine as always. The landing caused the engine some minor damage. The coal box had a sizeable hole, meaning it couldn’t build enough heat for steam. Making the immediate take – off impossible. Repairs would require some wood, nails and Iron. As well as a bit of sweat equity. My supplies in general on hemp or wood for the engine could use the boost as well. So I started searching for what I needed.

         The wastelands are not a pretty place overall. They are all that remain of a once great civilization, or so we are told. Personally I doubt the “great” part of that. They destroyed their world. Using fossil fuels and nuclear energy, Not to mention chemical weaponry. The ruins are all metal and glass building with very little trees left in the wastelands. Some were tall enough to be obstructions in the skies above the filter dome. The stories claim they even used chemicals within their own bodies. Even though they were aware of natural options. Idiocy if you ask me. Still they sure left us a mess in the wastelands.

                           Mutations and chemical bogs aren’t as easy to dodge as one thinks they would be. Chemical bogs varied in size and shape but were always pools of liquid in places that it obviously should not be. Chemical bogs are a mystery that no one quite knew how to solve. Some looked like water but not all did. I have heard of bubbling sulphur bogs and the stench was supposed to be legendary. However to be honest this was my first trip into the wastelands. The wastelands are home to all sorts of creatures that the gods never  intended. Some mutations made sense, however not all did. Some mutations were merely larger, meaner versions of their non mutated counterparts. Some had grown to adapt to the terrible harshness of the wastelands. A few hundred years ago much of the world was wasteland. It took mankind a lot of time and effort to recover what we have.

            I landed dead center of the eight hundred mile circle. Each territory had a different size of area that had not yet been reclaimed. Probably a dozen wastelands throughout the world. Each covered in a dome shaped plasma filter. The filter kept the fumes contained. Some believed the mutants needed those fumes to survive.

Luckily my breather survived the crash. After all constant breathing the air in the wasteland can mutate, or worse. A breather is mostly just a small filter. It fits easily over your mouth and nose, filtering small enzymes from the air you are breathing. So those of us who explored the wastes could survive within the plasma dome. Some explorers were helping to reclaim, others salvaging for usable supplies. Then there was me. I am an artist. I scout the wastes to sketch the strange and unusual. Then I sculpt or paint from the sketches.

Preparing to leave my ship felt like I was packing for an extended trip. I was trying to not get stranded in a hard place unprepared. I took care to take anything I might have need of. I also tried to pack lightly as i could, knowing that after a mile or two the pack would grow heavy. To be honest, I was scared of what the wasteland would bring.  

                    The wasteland has beauty in it. The most beautiful spots often hide danger though. The first mutation I ran into taught me that. The most beautiful and exotic  flower I have ever seen. It had vibrant purple leaves ending in elongated spines. The center was filled in a beautiful golden liquid. I admit I got too close. Nearly got ended by the beauty that I wanted to draw…Irony I guess.

                      If I hadn’t turned to figure out where my sketchpad and pencils were, I may have not made it to fix my ship. I may not have made it home. After all, the sketches were my reason for even being here. However as they say..ya live ya learn…right?! So it made me extra careful. I picked my way more carefully across the area. Avoiding anything that I was unsure of.

           Although I thought myself alone, it wasn’t long before I realized the wasteland wasn’t as barren as everyone has believed. Some of the mutations there were actually slightly less scary, almost friendly. I saw an mouse the size of a horse who was friendly and curious. I managed a few sketches of him.

I found the most unusual companion there. At first I thought the mutant annoying, slightly scary, and thought him more trouble than he was worth. Now i realize that he likely is why i survived. His guidance across the stark and barren wastes helped me avoid the lethal dangers. If I am honest, at least with myself, I think I fell head over heels in love with him.