Sunday, September 23, 2012

An Apple A Day

The tiny young lad looked upwards to what seemed higher than the sky, his bright green eyes peering through the toussled red-brown bangs that hung to his cheekbones. In the pudgy fingers of his one small hand he gripped a barely ripened apple, a small, single bite taken from it. As if in slow motion, the unchewed piece fell out from the small boy's gaping mouth as he stood frozen in the damp dirt of the road, his wide eyes looking up, and up and up.

With hooves the size of the boy's head a broad chested warhorse stamped the ground, kicking up mud onto the small human, freckling his tiny face with mud. The warrior steed was covered in armor, the chestpiece bearing the insignia of the king, a Crimson Raven. The helmeted knight had reined the beast quickly as it came galloping around the corner at full speed. The Warlord had spotted the boy ambling aimlessly, and came within six inches of trampling him as the numerous peasants in the market gasped collectively. The horse shrieked as it's reins were yanked, the bit in it's mouth digging in, spittle shooting out of it's muzzle.

Not recognizing that death had nearly visited him on this day, the youngster giggled, wiped the snot from one nostril, and walked away.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Price of Victory

Slowly the druid slid the damaged helmet off of the warrior's head. The left side of the metal headpiece was dented but it had done it's job. The healer was able to get it off with relative ease despite the one side being caved in. Under examination, the large man's head showed off a good size lump and signs of bruising already. He would have to do with using his right eye to see as the left had already begun to close with the swelling. Having the fighter lay back on a table, the druid softly placed a herbal compress on the injured eye. The fighter jolted up quickly, the medicine bag flying off his face.

"What the hell is that?!" he growled. "Smells like shite!"

"Quiet now", the druid replied placing his hand softly on the fighter's shoulder. "You should be praising the gods that your skull isn't cracked and that you won't lose that eyeball. Now lie back and let this medicine do it's work. That is, if you want to get to your next match tomorrow with the ability to see with both eyes."

The warrior slowly laid back and let the druid place the compress back on his face. The healer smiled slightly to himself, controlling his own gag reflex. The concoction did smell pretty awful, but it would do it's job.

He quickly left the room before he lost it.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Shadow of Harm

There were bats. Lots of 'em. But instead of being repulsed or scared, Emma was fascinated. Of course she was pretty far away from the swarming creatures, but nonetheless she took interest as they flew high above her.

Lost in the Grey Forest, she had seated herself in a small clearing surrounded by the large oak trees that made up for most of the vast woodlands. Within minutes, a multitude of bats flitted high over her head, screeching their tiny little bat screeches. They circled above her like a small blackish tornado, swirling around. But suddenly and without warning they flew off in unison, letting the star filled sky fill her vision as she continued to look upwards.

It was then that the single jeweled necklace she wore began to glow, signaling her of an unknown danger nearby. Her Auntie Montise had given it to her, telling her of the magical powers it held.

"Em. It will ne''er tell ye what approaches, only dat it be evil and out to do no good," she heard her mother's sister tell her, speaking quietly between the four or five brown stained teeth she had left in her mouth.

Looking up again, Emma saw the huge black shadow fly over her in the early night sky. Ducking down and pulling her dark green cape around her, she sat quiet as she could hoping that she had not been spotted.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Magic Wand

The tall dark man sat hunched over and still. At times he would fidget and move from one position to the next almost non-stop, like a thousand ants had crawled over him. However at this moment he sat very quietly, his head held in one large hand, his long flowing black hair spilling over his face and covering his features. His other hand was quite busy as his long slender fingers twirled a magic wand that he had been holding for some time now.

"Damn!" he said through clenched teeth, and he slammed the wand on the wooden desk in front of him. Blowing a breath of frustration through his thin lips, he straightened up and sat back staring at the useless wand. Why would anyone think there was any magic in this thing? It was hard to understand yet he himself had seen it working, bringing life from places that had none.

But now, nothing. And no matter how hard he tried he could conjur no response from it.

Rising from the chair that held him, he slowly stretched the entire length of his tired body, filling his stiff joints with relief. Thus was the life of a writer. Sometimes there was magic, and sometimes there was none.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Healing Tree

Near the dark brackish water it stood. From a wide, round-shaped crown were low drooping branches hanging down into the lake, seemingly sipping the water and emitting a near silent whisper when the cold wind blew. It's tiny leaves seemed alive, flickering in the sun as they held the early morning dew.

What made it stand out was the size of this tree, nearly eighty feet in height. This was not unheard of but very rare. And the color of it was amazing, or to be more accurate, it's lack of color. It seemed to be made of glass. Interesting too were the leaves that it had shed, which had fallen to the ground and surrounded the mammoth beast. They were black as night yet as shiny as the ones that still gripped it's branches in life, and they were exactly what the wizard had been seeking. For it was these leaves that held precious powers of healing when crushed and brewed into a tea.

Collecting as many as his sack would hold, the healer made his way back to the palace where the king lie on his deathbed. He had suffered a deep wound from a poisoned sword blade while battling the orcs that had stormed the castle days ago. The tea the wizard would brew would surely bring the king back to health but only if he didn't die before the healer returned.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Sticky Situation

The tiny stream ran through the underground passage, the echo of it's movement magnifying to a roar as it bounced off the dark stone walls. Rocks poked up here and there above the water, providing a trail of "steps" for the dwarf to use as he made his way forward. The rocks were as much a hindrance as a help as his short legs had to stretch out to reach each one.  The slimy green moss growing on them forced him to slip more than once. It reminded him somewhat of the snotty growth of hair that grew out of troll's nostrils when they reached old age. Nasty to say the least.

Dror Doomcutter was not happy. Not happy at all. Having to walk in the blasted sun for three days was bad enough, but he expected that once he reached the Tunnel of Tombs, being below the surface again would a pleasure. Dwarves were in their element underground, making their homes in large dug out caverns, some so large they held entire cities. But most caverns were dry, even a bit dusty. They were not moist and wet like this one, which had become a breeding ground for lichen and moss. Bleh.

The dwarf had to admit that he had only himself to blame for the discomfort. No one had sent him on this journey, he had come on his own accord. But after hearing that his great great grandfather had been buried here with a magical battleaxe, he had to make the trek. The weapon was once passed down from one generation to the next as a symbol of royal lineage. Since the time of it's disappearance, the dwarf clans were at odds over who ruled their lands. In Dror's mind the time had come for all the infighting to end, and as a direct descendant he took it upon himself to find this symbol of leadership.


Dror had slipped again and this time his right foot went directly under the surface of the stream, filling his boot with icy cold water. His face contorted somewhere between a grimace from the chill and anger that he now had one soaking wet foot. There was nothing left to do but move on so he refocused himself.  Just as he was regaining his footing he felt a soft sensation of being touched on his left arm. Looking at his sleeve he saw what looked like silk covering his sleeve. He touched it with a finger from his right hand and found it to be an extremely sticky substance.

"Phhht" came the sound of something being shot at him, hitting the wall beside him. He had not heard it the first time, but this time it got his attention. Looking up he immediately saw eight glowing, bulbous eyes peering down at him with a mouth that held two razor sharp pincers directly below them. He quickly pulled his mace from his side and raised his shield. This was no ordinary house spider he was facing but the largest arachnid he had ever seen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thank you to Angeline Trevena for this fantastic award. It is great to be acknowledged. Here I need to answer the next 10 questions and then add 10 random things about myself. 

What is your favourite song?
This one os difficult since I have 1500 vinyl records, 500 cds, and five albums of my own recordings to choose from and that still leaves out so much I don't have. Let me just say depending on my mood I have a different song I wish to hear.

What is your favourite dessert?
I don't eat dessert. BUT... I eat a pint of ice cream every night. Over 20 years ago it replaced the fifth of hard liquor I was drinking every night. Peanut butter and chocolate flavors and any that have lotsa "stuff" in them are faves.

What ticks you off?
People's attitudes of entitlement.

When you're upset what do you do?
I tend to become very quiet. I look at myself and see how I might have contributed to whatever it is that has me pissed off.

Which is/was your favourite pet?
I had a 100 pound with no fat, tough as nails, Golden Retriever named Reebok Hitops who went through the darkest days of my addiction with me through my first years of recovery. He was my strength at times. He was special and I knew I could never get another Golden for fear I would compare and none could live up to him. When I lost him I went into an entirely different direction and got a Rottweiler named "Breaking the Silence". The house was so quiet without Reebok and "Break" had a huge responsibility to fill the hole in my heart. He has done just that. Now 12 years old, his days with me are winding down. I couldn't choose between those two and I'm glad I don't have to...

Which do you prefer black or white?
Black I guess.

What is your biggest fear?
I have none. Jesus Christ died for me and I am saved no matter what happens. I'm good.

What is your attitude mostly?
I'm very laid back, but still have an athlete's intensity inside.

What is perfection?
To do your personal best each day. Sometimes one day may be better than another but if you do your best, well it's still your best. Can't ask for more now can you?

What is your guilty pleasure?
Clothes, shoes, watches, guitars, too many!

 10 random things about myself:
1. I am 6'5" tall.
2. I was the shortest guy on the last basketball team I played on.
3. I have written and recorded five independent albums worth of songs and sold about 500 units of each.
4. I got my first tattoo at age 45.
5. I am in an inter-racial relationship with a wonderful woman.
6. Woman came with an awesome daughter.
7. Although I played college and semi-pro basketball, I don't watch it. Only NFL football.
8. I have done volunteer family counseling at a local church every week for 5 years.
9. I enjoy cooking and worked for a caterer for a number of years.
10. If I could live anywhere in the world I would choose Sydney, Australia.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Ranger's Task

The flat cedar box didn't look all that special. Yes, the wood was polished to a glassy finish that made the grain seem almost three dimensional in appearance, but there was nothing else about it that made it stand out. No markings, no ornamental designs carved upon it's lid. The fact was that if the young ranger had not specifically been looking for it, it's location among the many trinkets in the pile of junk would have hidden it from his eyes. He knew what he was seeking. Doubtless many others who came before him had overlooked it, a heavy layer of timeless dust covering the gloss of it's lid.

His hands trembled slightly as he slowly opened the cover. This surprised him. How many times had he sighted an enemy with an arrow knocked to his longbow with a granite-like steadiness, while the target sat unaware of him? How many times had he sized up an enemy in one to one combat, his dual blades flashing in the sun without a single measure of tension or anxiety in the pit of his stomach? Even the war-hardened he had encountered in his young life told of the uneasiness they felt heading into battle. This was foreign to him. Yet here he was, opening the small case with fingers that looked like the movement a small insect might make when a spider stuck it and filled it with it's poisonous venom.

The ranger's eyes widened as the lid opened full and he took in the sight of the long lost Dagger of Peril, the skilled dwarven craftsmanship evident in it's keen silvery blade. The hilt was wrapped in a dark leather binding, from the ball shaped bell guard to the simple crossguard that protected the user's hand. Slowly he reached to take it from it's case, but before he could touch the weapon, an unbearable pain struck his hand and he pulled it away. He should have known better. Weapons such as these were only made to be handled by the single owner they were bound to and he was not that person. Before reclosing the lid, he shook his hand to relieve some of the pain. He would bring the dagger back to it's rightful owner as he had been instructed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Racing swiftly through the woods, the young elf began to panic. He had been frantically running for nearly two hours from the pack of Boghounds sent after him by the goblin hunting party. Although he was no seer, it did not take him to be one to know his future were he caught. They would rip him to shreds.

It had started with a faraway baying that came to his ears as he sat near the campfire he had just built, intending to rest for the night before continuing east in the morning. At first he thought nothing of it, focusing instead on filling his empty stomach with a watery broth he had made for his dinner. But as the noise from the pack got louder, he began to pay more attention to it. Within the half hour the sounds from the pack had become much more audible, and it became very apparent that they were heading straight in his direction. Without hesitation, the elf grabbed his few belongings and began to run.

Just yesterday he had come across the goblin camp and had counted fourteen of them milling around, speaking to each other in their native tongue. To the elf it sounded like someone with marbles in their mouth trying to swallow a frog. He had snuck away before they had noticed him. Or so he thought. Had he known that these goblins would be joined by others in the company of Boghounds, he might have taken better care of trying to conceal any scent of his passing. Goblins were known to have these canine beasts as companions and he should have been more cautious. Too late to do anything about it now though.

Tiring as he ran, his feet found the roots of the giant oak trees hidden under the light dusting of sparkling snow. It was like old gnarled hands were reaching up grasping for his ankles and tripping him. Steadily he had lost ground to the snarling beasts that pursued him. He grasped the small dagger at his waist, pulling it from it's sheath as the sound of heavy paws hitting the soft snow behind him had come to his ears. The first of the pack was upon him and he could almost feel the heat of the hound's breath upon his back.


The sound filled the air as the elf was whisked high off the ground into the clutches of a net that had been hidden in the snow. Captured by the trap he found himself swinging helplessly, his arms pinned at his sides, the dagger falling from his hand from the force at which he was lifted. To make matters worse the first Boghound was now leaping upwards, it's snapping teeth missing his backside by mere inches. Soon it was joined by another and another.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Cross of Magic

The clippity-clop, clip-clop of the battlehorse's hooves reverberated through the castle's lower bailey in a slow rhythm. The warm exhale from it's nostrils hitting the cold moist air brought to mind a dragon breathing smoke. Littered throughout the entryway were the bodies of both the kingdom's knights and the various demons they had fought, all lying still in death. Pikes and longswords, stained with blood lie next to their former owners on the cobblestone. Battleaxes were held in the deathgrip of their owners or buried within the skulls of the evil spawn. Bodies were littered everywhere.

The Battlemaster dismounted from the large grey stallion, removing the iron helm from his head. Long blonde hair tied back in a ponytail spilled out, falling between his shoulder blades. Scanning the area with eyes black as coal he saw no movement. The only clue he had of the whereabouts of the magic cross was the word, "Tower". It had been the last gasp that had escaped the lips of the dying monk he had held in his arms two days ago.

A castle could have many towers so where was he to search? He was certain he would be successful in finding it, but time was of the essence if he were to get it back to Queen Lenora before the Legion of the Damned found her hiding place in the mountains surrounding this very castle. The Demon Lord had known this as well and that is why he sent his army to conquer her stronghold. In this they had succeeded, but they had no idea of the cross's whereabouts.

Looking upwards and slowly turning around he saw tower after tower, near and far, built into the castle's design. In the still he heard a bell's quiet chime as the wind pushed it ever so slightly. A BELL! Yes, there must be a tower with a bell inside. That would be a likely choice of where to look first.

"If you value your life, you will move not a muscle", came a voice from nearby. "Lay your sword to the ground and step away from it now."

Up on the walls of the battlement the knight could see a tiny figure holding a large longbow, arrow knocked and pointed directly at him.

"What is it you are wanting here knight?"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In the Eye of the Beholder

Looking in the mirror, she was truly disgusted with what she saw.

Ugh. She could not believe how genuinely hideous she was. She paused and examined her features like it was the very first time she had even seen herself. Yuck. Repulsive would not even describe her.

Her thin red stringy hair hung down like straw from an old haystack around her thin wrinkly face. Both her pointy chin and long crooked nose held single large warts, gray in color with a coarse hair or two sticking out from each of them. Her bulging forehead made her bloodshot eyes sink even further into her face. Reaching up, she touched her blotchy skin with the tip of one bony finger, tracing the deep lines with the cracked greenish fingernail protruding sharply from it.

Grinning at herself she saw just how grotesque she was. Set perfectly straight between her thin cracked lips were her pearly white teeth, gleaming brightly in her reflection.

Oh no, this would not do. Picking up the phone the witch quickly dialed her dentist. She had to get these teeth fixed immediately.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hardly a Whisper

Whillingham Murton Greenleaf.

He hated that name and it belonged to him. What was his mother thinking? Since the day he could talk he bothered her about it.

"I don't like it."

"Can I change it?"

"What does it mean?"

And on and on with the same questions.

Each time his mother would refuse to answer, responding with a "Shhhh." So he would just ask the same questions, only in a very hushed tone. Maybe that was how he got his nickname, one that he liked much better. At least started with the same three letters. "Whisper."

Crouched down in the thick shrubs outside the village, he was hoping to catch a glimpse of the half-elf that was rumored to be staying with Edge Wolfblade, the last of the legendary "Shades" of the ShadowElf race. Shades were renowned for their ability to blend in with their surroundings undetected, and their incredible skill with dual-blade weapons, generally a short sword for one hand and a dagger for the other. They were equally adept at using both hands and could kill an enemy in just a flash of time.

Supposedly the half-elf was some kind of hero and Whisper was extremely curious to see him. From the rumors he had heard, the man was of enormous height, towering over even most full blooded humans from which he took half of his lineage. Mykleos was his name, and he was said to have a black griffon as his steed and companion.

A griffon!!! The young elf would have been lucky to see either the half-elf OR the griffon as both were about as common as a four leaf clover.

Whisper had first heard about the Shade living outside the village in the nearby forest when he was quite young, and first discovered the small hut a couple months ago. Being twelve seasons of age now, his mother was less strict on what he did during his days as long as he stayed out of trouble and was home by dusk. Now, being as quiet as a mouse, he waited silently in the shrubs outside the Shade's home.

Just then the heavy wooden door to the cabin opened and out stepped the tallest elf he had ever seen in his life. It must be the half-elf!!! But before he could even get a good look he found himself in the grasp of a strong hand yanking him out of the bushes by the collar of his shirt, leaves flying everywhere.

"What have we here?" said his captor. Whisper had neither heard nor seen him coming!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The WM Parenting Connection

For about one year I wrote a weekly post for The WM Parenting Connection as their "Step Parenting expert. I don't know how much of an expert I am but it was fun. I recently did a guest post that you can find here

It is a great site with some great writers and I highly recommend it. If you care to, check them out. If you are further interested in my writing on their site, there is a tab "Quick Links" which will bring you to a list of past posts where you can find my column along with other super tips on parenting of all sorts to click on..

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Lucky 7 Meme

Angeline at has tagged me. I'm sure you know the rules:

Go to page 77 of your current MS
Go to line 7 
Copy the next 7 lines and post them as written
Tag 7 authors and let them know. (Gonna skip this one, I just don't have that many followers yet)

Although not a highlight of my MS, here we go...

Opening his eyes he caught a fleeting glimpse of a warrior across the river attempting to quickly disappear into the brush before the dwarf spotted him. “Damn”, Dimnar cursed himself for being so lax. He was supposed to be out scouting for the enemy, not acting like he was out on some carefree little picnic. He was certain he had been seen and reached for his greataxe that he had placed beside his feet while viewing the falls. There would be no running from the enemy. A dwarf was not built for haste and they were raised to fight not flee. “I suppose the king will get his answer when I do not return”, he thought knowing that any orcs this far away from their homeland would surely be in a group. Dimnar resigned himself to the fact that he was certain to die once they had caught him, but he was also confident that many of them would take their last breath before he did so himself.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Ogre

Peering between the heavy vegetation, the nasty vision of the creature that met Dent’s eyes surely matched the foul odor the youngster had been following with his nose. Just yesterday he had heard two castle guards talking about it next to the blacksmith’s shop. They had tried to speak of it in secret but no one really paid much attention to an eleven year old boy. They had hardly noticed him there as Dent pretended to clean the mud from his father’s horse’s shoes. An ogre would surely be something to see, he had thought to himself as he listened.

Dent had been quite jealous listening to his older brother talk about the “adventures” their father took him on. Mainly they were just small trips to the next village as they made deliveries there. But to listen to his brother talk you would have thought they had been off hunting dragons. With only the promise of his father that he too would soon be old enough to join them, Dent became impatient. When he heard of the sighting of the ogre and it’s whereabouts, he had made up his mind to have his own adventure, one that would certainly outdo any his brother would ever imagine.

And here he was right at this very moment peaking out at the hideous giant that had only yesterday been made out of fairy tales and folklore!

Holding his nose, Dent watched the huge creature picking it’s yellow stained teeth with it’s long dirty fingernails broken on their edges. Phew, what a smell. It’s green-gray skin was caked with dry mud, strands of hair popping through here and there. Wait until he told his brother about this!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


"I don't wanna go to school. The kids are all laughing at me," the boy sighed.

"You just go put that jacket on and get marching. No more talking, just walking." His mother was having none of it.

"Darn it," thought Billy, "Why did Dad hafta go and get a new job anyway."

 It wasn't the new job so much it was that Billy's family had to move and with that, all of his friends were now hundreds of miles away. Despite his pleas, his mom wasn't giving an inch either. It wasn't like he didn't give the new school a try. He did. "And a whole week too," he thought, justifying his position. He wasn't like the rest of the kids. He didn't fit in. Couldn't they see that?

Being in fifth grade wasn't easy in the first place. Thinking back to that first day his face began to get flushed again. He could hear all the other kids giggling and whispering as the teacher introduced him.

"Class. Quiet class. I want you to meet our new student. William Mann. Please be sure to introduce yourselves and show him around at recess. Now get out your books."

The introduction was quick, but the eyes that were on him lasted all day. All week even. In the classrooms, in the hallways, in the library. The worst part was when the first graders saw him and pointed their little fingers at him, mouths wide open. Gee that was fun.

Billy made it to school in plenty of time and headed straight for the restroom. Looking in the mirror he brushed the light brown hair back from his face. Just a normal kid. Blue eyes. Straight teeth. Sure he had a few freckles but big deal.

Just then the door banged opened and in marched a huge female troll. Long stringy red hair hung down covering two bloodshot eyes. It the middle of it's face sat a big bulbous nose. Two teeth, like tusks, shot upwards out of each side of it's mouth.

"There you are Billy. I know how it feels when you're new and you feel different from everyone else. Why don't you go outside and play with all of the other kids under the bridge."

Billy's teacher turned and left. He shook his head. He doubted he would ever feel like he belonged in a school full of trolls. Opening the door, he walked out and towards the bridge wondering if they were serving goat for lunch again at the school cafeteria.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Muffles


Pressing themselves up against the large wooden slats of a huge platform, the two tiny beings stood unmoving. Covered in soft silky fur from head to toe, fear filled their wide brown eyes that were made to absorb even the darkest evening's moonlight. Their vision was made for nocturnal life which was a benefit to them since they lived in a world of creatures of monstrous size that dominated the lands. The pointy tufts of hair at the tips of their ears twitched nervously. A small flat black nose sat upon the shortest of snouts, testing the air, on alert.

The younger of the two moved slightly, crunching a dry leaf underfoot. "Shhh....," scolded the one to the other, "they will find us if you are not quiet."

Despite a brisk chill in the air, the two felt no discomfort due to their fur which would grow out in dark tan tones in the fall and winter, and then thin out with a greenish tint in the spring that would carry them through the summer. Camouflage was vital to their ability to remained undetected, and in turn surviving. None of their kind had ever been seen by the "Monster Creatures" as they called them. Clothing was not a necessity even down to their feet upon which four toes grew with soft pads underneath. It was, however a dangerous time of year, where the occasional soft white snow that might fall overnight would expose their tracks if they were not extremely careful.


The large door slammed as "The Dark One", as they called him, slipped through the entryway that had been opened by "Tall Monster."

Dark One swept past them in a hurry, sprinting in the opposite direction. Without warning it stopped abruptly and circled back on all fours, sniffing the air and headed directly towards the two. Tall Monster, and others like him were not so difficult from which to hide. It was the four legged creatures that accompanied some of them that were the tiny beings main threat, and now there was one coming right for them!

A faint hissing squeak of fear came from the young being. Frozen in place, it mattered not since there would be no escape.

"Breaker!!! Get out there and do your business," yelled Tall Monster at the Dark One from the deck on which he stood. "I'm late for work. Get going." Turning away, the rottweiler made for a large oak tree on the opposite side of the yard.

The two Muffles had gotten lucky. Very lucky.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

MMORPG to Book Inspiration

I have always loved video gaming. It started with Final Fantasy I in 1987 for the Nintendo. But when I stumbled upon Massively MultiPlayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG's) on computer platforms, well that took it to a new level for me. I tried a number of them but Dark Age of Camelot sucked me in. It was like being a live person in an everchanging story, all in real time. Imagine building a fantasy player of yourself different from every other "gamer". You chose your name, gender, race, (21 of them!) class, (45 of them!) and various attributes for your Avatar. Of course your real life personality came into gameplay as well. It is way too extensive to explain in a post but the combinations were endless. So besides the various books and movies I read and saw, this gaming world really helped me mold the  characters in my novel, especially after adventuring for years in the world of DAOC.

The main character in my book, Mykleos, a Hunter, came from that game. A half-elf who was taller and stronger that an elf, but not not quite as powerful as the more thickly built humans. Yes, Mykleos' elf lineage gave  him better agility than the normal human, but not quite as much as a full blooded elf. Whereas elves could wield swords and daggers, the two handed swords were too much for them. But not for Mykleos. And Mykleos could wear some heavier armor as well giving him a defensive advantage.

A secondary character in my book named Edge, was modeled after an avatar of a great friend of mine, Sean, who so happens to live across the Atlantic in Cardiff, Wales. His "toon", which avatars are affectionately called, was a Shadowblade named "Pasanda", which is actually the name of a curry dish. As a Shadowblade, Pasanda could "dual wield" both a sword and dagger, use poisons on his blades, and if he hit a foe from behind he could stun them momentarily. While both of us were "stealthers", meaning we could remain hidden from other players until we either attacked them or they got close enough to us to "pop" us into sight. Pasanda had better stealth than Mykleos, so he was much harder to find and we used that to our advantage.

Here was our fun... I would sneak up and smack an enemy pretty good with my huge sword, surprising them with the amount of damage I dealt them. Hunters were known for their use of bows, not blades. Of course, now that they could see me their eyes would widen thinking they could kill me pretty easily now. But they had no idea that I could take much larger amounts of damage than other hunters in the game since I "built" that into my toon. Still, I was no match for a strong Dwarf Berserker or highly armored Ogre Paladin. That's when Pasanda would sneak up behind them as they were fully engaged with me and poison/stun them. Down they would go. I could almost hear the person at their own computer cussing as he saw his own toon die at our hands.

The fighting strategy described above was only a small part of the game. But all of the cooperative experiences DAOC gave me, the storming of the keeps, the searching for treasures, exploration of new lands, along with the multitude of character building the game offered, definitely gave me a huge background to draw upon when writing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Who Do You Write Like?

I found this little tool somewhere and thought I would try it out on myself. You can view my results below. Pretty cool!

Check which famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers.
Any text in English will do: your latest blog post, journal entry, comment, chapter of your unfinished book, etc. For reliable results paste at least a few paragraphs (not tweets).

Here is the link:


My Badge

I write like
J. R. R. Tolkien
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Sunday, February 19, 2012

15 Minutes With No Edits - Quickies Can Help Build Skills

Something just wasn't right. Even in my state of semi-consciousness I could tell. Maybe that's what woke me. As my eyes attempted to focus, all I could make out was the tiny red glow from the alarm clock, the rest of the room pitch black. Blinking, the clock read:

2:17 A.M.

I have always enjoyed earth tones as does my partner, so she and I had repainted the entire house in colors ranging from a dark chocolate to beige. The medium brown walls in the bedroom were wonderful for quick afternoon naps. In the middle of the night however, it was dark. Really dark.

2:18 A.M.

Having slept in this room for nearly fifteen years, I am quite familiar with it. By now, finding my way from the bed to the bathroom in the middle of the night is more of a memory thing than a sight thing, so navigating a bedroom as dark as this one could be has never been a problem, even on a night like tonight when the cloud cover hid nearly all of the moon's illumination.

And I have to admit, my television watching isn't much to speak of. Mostly paranormal stuff like "Ghosthunters", cryptozoology type shows, etc. There is enough stress in my job during the day so other than a bit of "Grey's Anatomy" I don't need any more drama in my life. "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet is a hoot. In fact, just last night's episode had the creature hunters... yawn.

No more noises... My mind is still active but I'm starting to drift...

2:21 A.M.

Huh!? What was that? My ears catch a rustling sound in the left corner of the room near the small pile of clothes that I had stripped off and thrown in a corner to take to the laundry room in the morning. Surely no Bigfoot had entered the room unnoticed. Besides, why would Bigfoot be rumbling through my clothes in the middle of the night? Squinting my eyes to see better, as if that was going to help, I look in the direction of the sound. There it was again. Let me grab the flashlight... Damn, it's by the backdoor so I can use it to let the dog out. Where is that dog anyway? Nothing like having a protection trained rottweiler in the house who doesn't do his job. Then again, old fella is nearly twelve years old now and his senses aren't what they used to be. He has however increased his skills in the snoring department.

Swish! What the...? A shadow just bolted from the corner to the other side of the room. Ok, definitely not Bigfoot. This is starting to creep me out now.

What's that?!!!

Click, click, click. Tiny footsteps are making their way towards the bed. Like a kid I pull up the sheets around me, pulling my knees to my chest. Can't see a thing. Crap. "Whatever it is" has stopped at the foot of the bed. Keeping an eye on the footboard, I slowly turn to reach for the lamp on the bedside table. ACK! Two tiny yellow-green eyes rise above the edge to peer at me just as my fingers touch the on-off button and turn on the light. A squeek of pain comes from it as light fills the room and flashes off it's short razor sharp teeth, exposing it's form to me.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

In the Quest of Fantasy

Seated in this cold den with the dark form of Cerberus lying at my feet, I sit and ponder the first words I would write here. Looking up again and again, I watch five brave knights dressed in matching blood red capes battle a "Questing Beast" as a magician steps forward to attempt to save his friend, a royal prince, from the bite of this basilisk-like creature. A flash of bright blue-white light emanates from the conjurer's long thin fingers, shooting straight for the monster and penetrating it's green scales, killing it. 

Of course the den really isn't too cold especially when I am covered by a hand made comforter that my mother quilted. Uh, oh, Cerberus just woke up and has now laid his head on my lap seeking attention. Considering that the cerberus was mostly depicted as being a three headed hellhound, I must admit that the canine brute with his massive head now warming my legs is actually my rottweiler. Fiction is all in the mind of the writer.

But what of the knights and the prince and the magician and questing beast? Watching old episodes of the television show "Merlin" while I write is of course the answer there. 

Where I will take you in my posts is not entirely known to me, but the theme will be of one of the genre of Fantasy.