News & Announcements:
First of all, Merry Christmas! I hope your holiday is full of warmth and love!
I've come down with a cold, and on top of that, I've been extra achy. I really don't know what brought on the recent pain, but I've been staying away from the keyboard as much as possible, which means I don't have much of a word count for the week.
But I've shared a character journal (from Samandriel this time) and an excerpt, plus a new Spotify playlist for the holidays, a video series (also for the holidays), and a new (to me) book I've just started to read.
Do to a cold and extra pain, I didn't get much of a word count this week. I won't get much written next week either, as I'm taking off until the 26th so I can focus on the coming holiday. Good thing I gave myself two months to write this novel, huh?
Fallen: Out of Time
Day 14: 0 | 15,607
Day 15: 0 | 15,607
Day 16: 0 | 15,607
Day 17: 0 | 15,607
Day 18: 0 | 15,607
Day 19: 989 | 16,596
Day 20: 0 | 16,596
Weekly Total: 989
Character Journal Entry: Samandriel - Grief & Guilt:
Of all the people who could have been killed, why Krishan? His skills were deadly, but he only fought in self defense or in the defense of others, and only if he had no choice. He was the best of men, kind and compassionate and wise beyond his 92 years. Humanity's well-being was his concern. As far as I know, he had no enemies.
When I saw four strangers standing over his lifeless, headless body, something snapped inside me. Everything Krishan taught me about self-control went out the window when I saw the macabre scene. Four men in bloody ninja uniforms, their faces hidden, standing over my dear friend with swords dripping with his blood.
One of the men still held onto Krishan's body, and when he saw me, he dropped it. I looked from Krishan to his killers, and rage unlike anything I'd felt before filled me, temporarily blackening my heart. I charged them, giving no thought to the lessons Krishan had taught me over the decades since we first met. Gladius, my sword -- Defender of the Damned -- fed off my rage. I didn't even try to stop it as it took one life, then another, until all four lay scattered, their collective life force flowing out onto the hardwood floorboards upon which Krishan and countless students, including me, had practiced the martial for so many decades.
The thought of being without Krishan's companionship saddens me greatly. I knew he would die someday, but I thought he would be the first on my short list of mortal friends to die in old age. Peacefully in his sleep. The way he actually died -- it was heinous, unjust, and certainly undeserved.
None of this went through my mind when I saw his lifeless body for the first time, nor did I think about it as I was killing those men. Rage prevented me from rational thought. All I knew was that he was dead, and I was angrier than I'd been in a long time. I lashed out without a thought to the consequences. I did what my rage demanded, and in seconds, his killers lay dead, staining the floor with their blood. The floor that Krishan and I had so recently sat upon in meditation and quiet conversation. The floor on which countless students had tumbled and fought as they practiced their craft. The floor that Krishan and I had periodically sanded, stained, and varnished with our own hands.
When it was all done, and I stood there, my chest heaving with every belabored breath, it hit me. The grief at being without my friend and mentor. The coming consequence of my rash actions. The fact that I could do nothing to repent of my sin, even though Krishan deserved justice for his early death. All of this hit me in that moment. It was one of the few times in my long life that I actually cried. The experience was not unlike waves hitting a beach during a rough bout of weather. Waves of grief and loneliness hit me, one right after the other, causing the tears to flow more and more fully.
What happened next I'll have to share next time. It had such an impact on me -- on my heart and soul -- that I need to think on it for a bit before I write about it here.
I will say this much. I miss my old friend. His death, and the deaths of many like him, are the reason I find it exceedingly difficult to go out of my way to make friends. When they die, more often than not, I grieve. I grieve hard. It's gotten to the point where I almost wanted to go to Iciria and end it all. I couldn't take any more of the heartache, or so I believed. I tried to harden myself against it, but when all was said and done, I'd still grieve when I lost someone important to me. Krishan's death was no different, but in a way, it was different. Very different. When he died, I lost all hope, at least for a brief time. Who would help me control the jumble of emotions I felt on an almost daily basis? He always knew the right words that would give me the determination to keep going, to try being better than I was. Some very dark days followed his death -- for both me and my brother, Zach -- but that's something I'll explain at another time.
For now, I'll end with this thought:
"When life knocks you down, you need to dust yourself off, stand up, and keep going. I know it
doesn't feel like it at the time, but those low points are the very things that will make you
~ Krishan Sharma
Krishan made me a stronger, better man than when I first met him. For that, and for many more reasons, I will always cherish our friendship.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Gladius, Defender of the Damned: a magical sword Krishan gave Samandriel shortly before his death. It renders its wielder invulnerable during fights, leading them to victory. Its magic only works on those who are fallen.
 Iciria: a dimension in time and space that evil can't inhabit. If a fallen being or person of impure heart enters Iciria, they will face complete oblivion with no afterlife, neither in Sheforat nor in any of the other celestial planes.
Excerpt from Chapter 23:
Whispers from the Past
The Valorin Wilderness
The storm moved off, eventually fizzling out, but Samandriel still could not access his magic. He would have to rely on his sword and his skills to survive whatever threats he encountered from here on out, because he refused to give up the search for his brother.
A light breeze blew as he tramped through the snow. The sun hung low in the sky, but wouldn’t set until weeks from now. He wouldn’t be able to hide out in the open, but nor would anyone else who might threaten him.
He halted in his steps and cocked his head to the side, listening. The voice came again, a whisper on the breeze.
He thought he recognized that voice, but he couldn’t be sure. And if it was who he thought it was, he must have escaped from Sheforat when Zach did — either that, or there was another prison break.
You should have been there with me, the voice continued. You were just as guilty as I was.
Samandriel ignored the voice and focused on putting one foot in front of the other.
Fight me, Samandriel. Prove to me you’ve still got what it takes.
He continued to ignore the voice, focusing instead on the sound and quality of it. It was, indeed, his old friend, Omael. They’d started out as friends, but had ended up on opposite sides of a war that neither of them should have taken part in.
One way or another, you’re going to fight me, and I’ll send you to Sheforat. Want to know what I’ll do then?
Samandriel shook his head, willing Omael to go away. Instead, the fallen angel continued his threats.
I’m going to kill everyone you hold dear. I’ll start with that brother of yours. Zach’s trapped in another dimension of Ithuriel’s devising.
Samandriel stopped. He remembered that name. He’d loved Ithuriel once, but when Omael had come into the picture, Sam hadn’t fought for Ithuriel. He’d blindly believed their love could weather anything, including the attentions of his best friend.
And he lost her to Omael.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst part was the fight between himself and Omael. They’d been the best of friends, more like brothers. But Omael had killed for Sam, and Sam hadn’t wanted that, and a rift had formed between them.
Then war had broken out, and they’d supported opposite sides.
He stopped and stared up at the sky. “On the life of my brother, I will not spill even a drop of your blood, Omael. We were brothers once. We may be enemies now, but I refuse to fight you.”
With that, he returned his focus to the land around him, wondering how he could free Zach from another dimension.
Book I'm Currently Reading:
The Circle of Ceridwen: Book One of the Circle of Ceridwen Saga, by Octavia Randolph
It is the year 871. Of seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, five have fallen to the invading Vikings. No trait is more valued than loyalty, and no possession more precious than one's steel. Across this war-torn landscape travels fifteen year old Ceridwen, now thrust into the lives of the conquerors.
Epic...immensely satisfying...an impressive achievement - Historical Novel Society The English Adventure loved by over 100,000 readers in 125 countries...
Lost in the frozen woods, Ceridwen is discovered by the warriors accompanying young Ælfwyn, daughter of a Saxon lord, sold against her will in marriage as part of a peace treaty with a marauding Viking war chief. Their destination is the captured fortress of Four Stones, a ruin holding glittering treasure. There Ælfwyn must keep her vow and wed Yrling - and Ceridwen must do all she can to support her new friend in the rebuilding of the ravaged village and great hall.
But living with the enemy affords Ceridwen unusual freedoms - and unlooked-for conflicts. Amongst them she explores again her own heathen past, and learns to judge each man on his own merits. Yrling's nephews Sidroc and Toki, both formidable warriors yet as different as night and day, compete to win Ceridwen for their own.
Through both guile and goodness Ceridwen and Ælfwyn begin transforming the world of Four Stones. But the threat of full-scale war escalates, and a midnight party of furtive Danes delivers someone to Four Stones who destroys the girls' hopes of peace and contentment. Now Ceridwen must summon all her courage - a courage which will be sorely tested as she defies both Saxon and Dane and undertakes an extraordinary adventure to save a man she has never met..
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
A Rustic Christmas playlist on Spotify, a mix of Scottish, Irish, Gaelic, Medieval and Renaissance music, mostly with a Christmas theme.
Video I Like:
This one is more of a series. Maria at Northern Heart (on YouTube) did a series of videos on Swedish Christmas traditions a year ago, called My Swedish Christmas Calendar. I've just discovered her recently, and I've been really enjoying the series.
Here's the first video: Classic Swedish Christmas DIYs
If you like all things Scandinavian, I highly recommend her channel.
News & Announcements:
I've been getting a bit of writing done. I've also been reading a lot, and I'll tell you what I've been reading below. My hands are still achy, but not quite as bad as they were. I'm still trying to keep it under 3K per day, which hasn't been difficult, since most of the chapters so far are very short. They should start to get a bit longer, now that I'm about to start writing the second act.
I'm also getting more into the hygge mindset and the Christmas spirit, as usually happens about this time every year. I've got almost all of my Christmas shopping done, so there's that. Now we need to focus on getting a tree and decorating, then Christmas celebrations/dinners. Hopefully, things won't be fraught with stress, as it seems every Christmas season tends to have this problem.
I've included a very long character journal entry from Zachariel's point of view, plus a brief excerpt from one of the chapters I wrote this week. I hope you enjoy them.
I'm adding last Friday's word count here, since I somehow left off Friday, the 29th's word count a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to get back on track here.
The first number for each day is that day's word count. The second is the total for the novel at the end of that day.
Fallen: Out of Time
Day 6: 550 | 8,070 (from last week)
Day 7: 1,297 | 9,367
Day 8: 853 | 10,220
Day 9: 1,165 | 11,385
Day 10: 1,296 | 12,681
Day 11: 1,376 | 14,057
Day 12: 1,550 | 15,607
Day 13: 0 | 15,607
Weekly Total Plus One Day: 8,087
Character Journal Entry - Zachariel: Big Plans
Who woulda thought I'd be here after all this time, huh? I mean, 13,000 years is a long time when you're being flayed and whipped and all down under. I didn't think I'd ever break free. Never had a chance. Well, not 'til that witch got clever and opened a portal to summon a demon. Big mistake. Witch, meet Zachariel, Fallen Chayal* and Soon-To-Be Destroyer of Illdirin.
She tasted -- meh. Normally, I'm not a flesh eater, but I did it. I snacked on her. Disgusting, I know, but I'd just been flayed. Very little meat remained on my bones. I was ravenous. Needed to rebuild what Ap-- what he took from me. It's not like I was consciously thinking, "hey, I think I'll eat a human today. See if it tastes like chicken," or something like that. It was all instinct. The only reason I know what happened is because I remember being covered with her blood during one of the few lucid moments I had after I got here.
See, in the first hours I was here -- maybe a day, day and a half -- I was mostly out of it. Going from down under to the land of the living can do that to you. It's disorienting, even to a fallen celestial like me.
I did, however, remember what I wanted more than anything since they took Sachiel from me. After living with it for almost 13 millennia, there's no way I'd forget my most basic need. And I've got a plan.
I heard there's an immortal, a very young female who actually has magic. And not just any one magic, either. Hell, no. She's got all of 'em. And their source? Illdirin itself and its atmosphere. I have to have this immortal. Seriously. If we can meld her magics to my bound power, aim it all down toward the center of Illdirin, I could blow it up -- and free everyone down there.
I suppose anyone reading this might wonder why I'd wanna do all that. It's pretty simple and straightforward. The Gods killed the woman I loved. Now I wanna kill everything they love -- basically, all the mortals on Illdirin.
But what does that have to do with those down under? Well, honestly, I don't care one way or the other 'bout 'em, but the Gods wouldn't like it, so it would be a score for me. And who knows? Maybe all those people and monsters and fallen angels, the lesser gods, will give Illdir and Tatia a run for their money. Serves 'em right after what they did to Sachiel.
When Archan and his hellhounds took me down under, I knew the punishment was just. I didn't like it, but hey! I knew what I was getting myself into when I decided to pursue a relationship with Sachiel. To explain: I was a warrior of the Agaean. Sachiel was a fallen celestial. Fallen because she'd remained faithful to her goddess after she fell. Rule #2 in the Celestial Rulebook: Thou shalt not carry on and have sex with a fallen being. Okay, I'm paraphrasing here, but you get the picture, yeah? So I was sent down under because I chose to love a fallen celestial. Not only that, but we were gonna have a kid together.
So, what happened to Sachiel, you might be asking. This is how it went down. Archan handed me over to the ancient fallen celestial who was to be my torturer for the rest of eternity. He put me in chains and whipped me good, just 'cause he could, the sadistic bastard. But that wasn't enough for the Gods. Nope. They brought Sachiel to where I was being whipped, and they killed her right in front of me. Basically, they rubbed salt in my wound. They wanted to watch me suffer.
Not only did they behead her. That would do nothing to destroy her. She'd just rejuvenate. So what else did they do? They drained her with anti-magic, which made her as vulnerable as a mortal, then ran her through -- right where my son was.
Yeah, I knew the baby was a boy. We both knew it. That's how we work. We can feel the life force a few hours after its conceived, and we can tell by the feel of its power whether it's a boy or a girl. When we found out, we ran. We wanted to be together more than anything. We wanted to watch our son grow up. We couldn't do that on Illdirin or anywhere in the Gods' domain. We were on the run when Archan and his hellhounds found us. And we were in another dimension. But he's got serious skills, and so do his mutts. They found us in, like, two days. Granted, those are Agaean days. One day on the Agaean is like 5,000 years on Illdirin.
So, they killed Sachiel. They showed no remorse for taking the life of one they'd created, nor the innocent life growing inside her. They wanted to make a point. A point!
And I was their example to other celestials who might get the idea of starting something with a fallen one. I can just imagine the talk going 'round the Agaean. "Remember Zachariel? He was stupid enough to love a fallen one, and now he'll suffer for all eternity. Learn from his mistake. Don't bring shame on yourself and your family like he did."
Whatev. I don't care what they think 'bout me. Soon, it won't matter anyway, 'cause I'm gonna avenge their deaths. It's not just Sachiel I cared about. Our son -- I never got to meet him. Never got to see him grow up to become a warrior. I'm gonna make 'em pay for that -- or I'll die trying. Unless they send me back. I can't go back, so I can't fail.
The hell I've been through, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Well, I wish it on him daily -- the sicko who does most of it. But he's an exception. I hate him with everything that's in me. I kept looking for that one opening to whoop his butt, to make him my victim, instead of the other way 'round, but it never came. All that came was a portal to the land above, and of course I took advantage of the opportunity. Given a choice between whooping his butt and freedom? Hell, I'm taking freedom!
I keep seeing him, though. It's all in my head. I'm one paranoid son of a gun. I keep thinking he escaped, too, and is looking for me. I ain't seen no evidence that he's here, though. If he was, I think Archan would find him. His hellhounds would drag him back under.
'Course, Archan hasn't come for me yet, either. It's only a matter of time before he does, so I've gotta work smart. Maybe the Gods didn't believe my threat to break free and destroy the planet. Who knows? But eventually, they'll send him. I'll be ready when they do. I plan to do as much damage as possible in whatever limited time I've got. It's the least I can do for Sachiel and our son.
We never gave our kid a name. In some ways, I don't wanna give him one. I'd rather he remain an abstract concept. If I give him a name, will he become a weakness I have to deal with? Maybe I can give him a name after I get my revenge. Then, I can mourn. Until then? Not happening.
Would you believe I've never actually mourned for them? 13,000 years down under, but not once have I shed a single tear. Never had the chance or inclination, what with all the torture and my single-minded desire for vengeance. As soon as the gods killed my family, I kept one thing in mind: I had to avenge them.
Over time, all the other feelings melted away, and only the need for vengeance remained. It still remains. Love? I remember the concept, but not what it's like to feel it? Compassion? Yeah, right. Happiness, contentment, gratefulness -- you name it, same deal. I remember the concepts, but to experience the actual feelings? Not in nearly 13 millennia. I wouldn't know them if I felt them today, that's for sure.
'Course, I've still got rage. Rage keeps me warm at night. It's what fuels my desire for vengeance. Without rage, I'd never succeed. I have a clear understanding of what rage feels like.
In everything that's going on, there's one wild card. That's my brother, Sam. I fully expect him to learn of my escape. I'd be willing to bet he'll look me up. I don't want him to. I don't need the distraction. I'm half expecting the Gods to use him against me. If they do, I'm screwed. I ain't seen Sam since I was dragged down under. He was just a kid then. Hell, I wasn't much older. I guess there's always the chance he won't want anything to do with me. That would solve a lot, but I just don't see it happening. Sam and me, we stuck together. We had each other's back. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see him falling for whatever stories have been going 'round 'bout me. If there was anyone who'd stay true, no matter what, it would be my kid brother. No way would Sam betray me.
'Course, there was a time when I thought the Gods could never betray one of their own. I saw them do it with my own two eyes when they drained Sachiel and killed her. I'll never trust them again. They proved they're no better than the rest of 'em. They're all out for what they can get. None of 'em care about anything else. People are just a means to an end. Although, I do believe Illdir and Tatia really care about the mortals of Illdirin. They wouldn't have created the laws they did otherwise. Y'know, like that Rule #2 in the Celestial Rulebook I mentioned above.
I'm hoping Sam chooses to stay away. I don't want him touched by what I do and the choices I make. And if he has mortal friends, I don't wanna know 'bout 'em. What I don't know won't make me hesitate when the time comes, y'know? If he's got people he cares 'bout here, and I find out 'bout 'em, I might not carry through with my plan.
But no, that won't happen. I've learned to compartmentalize. I've had to, what with everything done to me down there. I'll be fine. I'll just play it cool, make myself not care. It'll make Sam hate me, but it's a price I'm willing to pay to avenge their deaths.
Whatever comes of this, I'm ready to pay my dues. I've really got nothing left to live for. To die for Sachiel and our son would be an honor. No one would mourn my death -- except for Sam, and maybe our sister, Kristiel -- but that's the way I want it. Well, I don't want Sam and Kristiel to have to mourn my death, but it would probably be best for them if they didn't have me as their brother, anyway. I can't do anything for 'em but cause trouble. Trouble's what I'm living for these days.
Anyway, I've got "followers." Fallen celestials, mortals, immortals, demons, monsters. They're all following me 'cause they think I'm looking out for 'em. Most of 'em don't know my real purpose. They just want to be led. They wanna be told what to do. Give 'em a pat on the back once in a while, and they're golden. Makes 'em feel important, I guess. Only three other people know what I'm all 'bout, and they've promised to be loyal to the end. Granted, they're fellow ex-inmates, and I'm taking their word with a grain of salt. But I've always watched my own back. I've had no one else to depend on. Just me, myself, and I. No way am I dropping my guard now.
And I've got a stronghold. Some old town out in the desert. I call it Nefaria. Has a nice ring to it, huh? So, I picked out a building to be my home. It's the nicest building in this one-horse town. Even has a courtyard with a fountain out back. Granted, the fountain doesn't work, but I've got engineers working on getting it up and running. They said they'll have to dig down really far. I told 'em to do what they can. 'Course, it helped that I told 'em any failure would get 'em flayed. That spurred 'em on to greater effort.
Everyone in my group has their own place now. Some are doubled up. We've got some prostitutes among us. They're bunked together in one house, and the rest of us partake of what they're offering as time permits. I've also got men out looking for this immortal with magic. Once they bring her to me, I'll take it from there. I know I'll have a lot of convincing to do. She won't just believe everything I say right off the bat. Fortunately, I've gotten pretty good at lying.
After so many years down under, this place is like the lap of luxury. You'd be amazed to see the difference between the two places. My cell down under had no bars, but I couldn't leave. I was always bound to something. The place always smelled of sulfur, and fires burned constantly. Despite the fires, there were lots of deep shadows. The lesser demons -- called shadow demons -- liked to hide in the darkness and taunt people from there. If they weren't tempting and taunting people with their whispers, they were touching and fondling them with their grotesque hands, each finger ending in long, sharp claws. I always knew where they were, 'cause their eyes glowed red. If I saw glowing red eyes, it was a sure bet that something bad lurked there.
This place, though? Complete opposite. It's very light here, at least during the day. And I have lots of room to move around. Even though there are a lot of walls, I don't feel like I'm trapped. I can come and go as I please. There's furniture here, some of it's pretty nice. There's this couch I really love. It's in my office. It used to be red, but it's pretty faded now. When I lie on it, I feel like I'm sinking into a cloud. I could die happy if I'm lying on that couch when I go.
The engineers are working on getting the electric up and running. They said the wiring's ancient, but in good shape. It's just disconnected in places, and the power plant's been shut down. It will take some time to get it back up and running, but they promise it won't be too long.
Now to get my fountain working. I've missed water. You people who've lived here for years take it for granted, but if you didn't have it, you'd find out pretty quick how important it is. There were so many times, down under, when I woulda killed for just a drop of water on my tongue to quench the neverending thirst. You people treat it like it's an endless commodity, like it can never run out. I've got news for you. It can, and it will, once I see my plan through to fruition.
Well, back to work. My minions need the attention of their king, and who am I to deny them?
* Chayal: angelic warrior, angelic soldier
Excerpt from Chapter 18:
A moment later, Archan vanished in a flash of light and thunder.
A clap of real thunder jarred Zach back to the present, where he found himself kneeling in the snow, tears frozen to his cheeks. He’d had a flashback, as if he’d really been down under. The experience had seemed so real, and he couldn’t shake the grief that cut just as deep and fresh as it had millennia ago.
He forced the grief down and locked it up tight, as he’d done for so long. He couldn’t take the pain, so he avoided it altogether. Now, he pushed himself to his feet and, with his chin raised in determination, he put one foot in front of the other, slogging away through the ice and snow, trying with all his might to shake the funk that threatened to overtake him.
The storm was close enough that its thunder and lightning still startled him at times.
As he trudged along, he spotted a figure in the distance. He ran over to the trees and followed them forward, toward the figure. As he neared, he found that she was an elvin mage of some kind.
A falcon cried far above, and the mage glanced back over her shoulder.
In that moment, Zach froze. She looked so much like Sachiel it took his breath away.
“Sachiel?” he whispered, knowing it couldn’t be her. But how could he explain her perfect likeness in the elvin mage?
She continued on, and he followed. They went on like this for some time until she came to a small structure. She cleared it of snow and ice, revealing it to be an altar of some kind.
Zachariel watched as she chanted an arcane spell.
Moments later, a portal opened.
Book I'm Currently Reading:
I'm making my way through A.G. Riddle's The Long Winter trilogy. I'm currently on the final book, The Lost Colony. I'm really loving the characters and the plot. It's definitely very character driven, which I love, but the plot keeps me on the edge of my seat. It's great!
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
Going with the Viking metal flow this week with Valkyrja, by Tyr. :)
Video I Like:
This week's video is actually a series on Amazon Prime. It's called Jack Ryan, and it's based on one of Tom Clancy's most beloved characters when he was younger. I could binge watch this in a weekend and be extremely happy at the end...well, until I hit the series cliffhanger. Who doesn't hate cliffhangers?
News & Announcements:
My wrists have been pretty achy this week, which makes it hard to type a lot. Despite this, I'm still getting in a daily word count of at least 500 words. So far, I haven't missed a day.
I've started reading a new book and am loving it. I've linked it below. I highly recommend it. It's told in first person point of view, where James and Emma, the two main characters, tell the story in alternating viewpoints. I have a hard time putting it down each night, but I have to sleep, so I do. ;) You can read the description on Amazon at the link I've posted.
The first number for each day is that day's word count. The second is the total for the novel at the end of that day.
Day 29: 1,545 | 79,151
Day 30: 2,321 | 81,472
Fallen: Out of Time
Day 1: 583 | 583
Day 2: 1,951 | 2,534
Day 3: 1,145 | 3,679
Day 4: 2,371 | 6,050
Day 5: 1,470 | 7,520
Weekly Total: 11,386
Character Journal Entry - Zachariel: Freak
Why do I feel like I don't belong anywhere? Why can't I...trust anyone? You'd think I could trust Sam, at least, but I don't. I mean, he's my brother. We're family. But it doesn't feel like that to me. It feels more like we're strangers. He doesn't get me, and probably never will. I don't get him, either, though, so I guess we're kinda even.
He said his house is my house, but I don't feel comfortable there. Not completely, anyway. I don't feel like I belong anywhere. Do you have any idea what it's like to feel lost? I mean totally lost, like no place is familiar. You don't even fit in your own skin. That's what I feel like ever since I came back.
I try to fit in. 'N' I try to let people in. But I freeze. Soon's it starts lookin' like we might cross that stranger-friend barrier, I panic and clam up. Why...do I do that? What kind of jacked up freak have I become?
I must be one hell of an actor, 'cause it seems like I come off as just fine. No one seems to notice I'm different. They act like I'm the same as everyone else. News flash: I ain't like everyone else. I'm broken. A freak. I'm the craziest freak you'll ever meet, even if I don't show it. I may not act on all the crazy stuff that goes through my head, but if anyone could read me, they'd be totally freaked out. I freak myself out sometimes with the insanity in my brain. I ain't right. I can't be. But what can I do 'bout it?
Sometimes I wish celestials could sleep, 'cause I'd sleep for eternity. Then again, if I could sleep, I'd have serious nightmares. So, how can I get rid of the memories for even a little while? I've tried booze 'n' Sapphire. They don't work. All they do is make me stupid 'n' give me hangovers. I'm stupid enough without that crap. 'N' I get enough headaches dealin' with the crazy in my head. Don't need to make it worse, right?
I know 'bout the so-called angel drugs, but I don't want to use those, either. Too much can go wrong, 'n' there's the risk of gettin' hooked on 'em. Hell, I've already taken 'em. Not by choice, but -- I was an idiot. I trusted the wrong people. Yeah, that's right. I trusted 'em. Of all the people I coulda chosen to trust, why'd it have to be Sandman 'n' the Boss? Granted, I think the boss is a bigger freak than I am, but only almost. I still take the lead on that one. Anyway, I was undercover. Sort of a mission, but a stupid one. What can I do against a huge illegal operation? I'm just me. No powers 'n' fallen. I'm no hero. But I thought I could be. Talk about stupid.
I'll admit it. I was reckless. I didn't think 'bout what might happen. I wanted to prove I could be good for somethin', 'n' not just a useless mooch. I wanted to prove it to myself. 'N' to Sam. To everyone who knows me. 'N' I did good for a while there. But somehow Sandman 'n' the Boss caught onto me, 'n' that's when everythin' fell apart.
I didn't get hooked on the drugs, though. I didn't take 'em long enough. I just -- I needed more 'cause of the pain and nausea that hit me like a ton of bricks when I started crashin'. At one point, I was takin' a pharmacy of illicit drugs. I think the only angel drugs I wasn't takin' were Ash 'n' Serenity. That leaves -- eight, I think? But there might be more I don't know 'bout.
'N' turns out I've got PTSD. I didn't even know that was a thing. It makes sense, though. I saw 'n' did 'n' took some seriously messed up stuff when I was down under. Apollyon might've been the worst of my torturers, but he wasn't the only one. I'm talkin' 'bout the powerful ones that decided to take their rage out on me. They weren't all driven by rage, but that was the most popular reason. There were other reasons they -- did what they did to me. Some were just sadistic. Anyway, you can probably get why I'd have issues after 13,000 years down under.
I should be stronger. Strong enough to take everything they threw at me. I tried to be. I fought 'em tooth 'n' nail every step of the way. But they won. I'm damaged goods. A freak no one really wants to know. I bet Sam wouldn't even miss me if I left, 'n' that hurts. A lot. That's also why I don't dare to let him in. It's one thing to be damaged by your enemies. It's another to be damaged by those you love. 'N' I do love my brother. Guess that's why this is so hard. I don't know how to act around him. I don't know how close to let him get. 'N' there's always the very real possibility that I'll be the one to hurt him. I could never forgive myself if I did, so I keep him at a distance. Don't wanna hurt 'n' don't wanna be hurt. But if given a choice, I'd rather hurt someone else than have them hurt me. It's just the way I roll.
The take away here? I'm a freak with PTSD. Not an enviable place to be in, that's for sure. I didn't choose to be like this. Apollyon 'n' all the others, they turned me into the monster I am today. Will I ever be normal? Will I ever fit in 'n' belong anywhere? Will I ever be close to anyone? I miss havin' friends, being' in love, knowin' others got your back while you got theirs.
I've never been the suicidal type, but I'm seriously startin' to depress myself. I'm tempted to take Serenity and eat a bullet, but for some twisted reason, I still wanna live. My life is completely shot, but I ain't ready to pack it in just yet. Call me crazy. Call me whatever you want. Just don't call me a quitter. I've never quit anythin' in my life, 'n' I ain't 'bout to start now.
Excerpt from Chapter 3: The Last Frontier
Zachariel Tagas yawned. Not because he was sleepy, but to get his brother’s attention.
“What do you want, Zach?” Samandriel asked.
“I’m bored. Can’t we get out of here? Go do something fun or whatever?”
Zach grinned. “Now that you ask—” He picked up the magazine he’d been reading and opened to the page of which he’d folded down the top corner. He tapped on it and set it down on Sam’s desk. “I wanna go there.”
“Valorin?” Sam asked. “Why there?”
“It’s the last frontier, Sam. Hardly anyone’s been there, and most of it hasn’t been explored even by the locals.”
“So, we should go explore it.”
Sam picked up a file folder and stared up at Zach. “I have way too much to do. I’ve got new students coming in who need to be processed, repairs to the outbuildings that need to be seen to, a new cook to hire—”
Zach ran a hand through his short, dark hair and glared at his brother. “Why don’t you just say it, Sam. You don’t wanna hang out with me. That’s it, isn’t it? I’m different now, and you don’t understa—”
“We’ve been over this, Zach. I have a business to run. I can’t afford to gallivant all over the world just because you’re bored. I have responsibilities here.”
Zach snatched up the magazine. “Fine, I’ll go alone.”
“With what? Your good looks credit card?”
“I’ve saved up a little money from the odd jobs I’ve got. I’ll make due.”
“You have no idea how much it will cost you to get there, do you?”
“I’ll research it. If I have to, I’ll take on more work.”
“Never mind that,” Sam said. He went to the safe, removed the painting that hid it, and unlocked it. He carried the cash box over to the desk and opened it. “I figure the air fare alone will be around a thousand guilders.” He counted out some bills and held them out toward Zach.
Zach crossed his arms over his chest. “I don’t need handouts. I need your company.”
“I can’t go. Take the money.”
Zach let out a breath. “Fine, but it’s not charity. I’ll pay you back.”
“I know you will. After you get this adventure stuff out of your system, you’ll work for me.”
Zach narrowed his eyes at Sam. “Work for you how?”
“We’ll come up with something when you get back. For now, have fun and don’t do anything stupid.”
“Like getting into a fight with the locals or getting yourself thrown in jail.”
“Why would I do that?”
“I don’t know that you would. I just want you to remember that anything you do will reflect on me and this school, so think before you act.”
“This is bull****,” Zach said, and he tossed the money back at Sam and turned to leave the room. “I don’t need your money. I’ll get there on my own.”
“Zach, would you stop?” Sam called after him.
“What?” Zach asked, halting in his tracks without looking back.
“Take the money, okay? Have a good time.”
“I don’t want your money.”
“Then how will you get there? It’s a long way from here.”
“I’ll figure something out.”
Sam picked up the money and rose to his feet. He approached Zach and grabbed his hand, set the money in it. “Take it. I want you to have it. I shouldn’t have said what I did. I apologize.”
“Will you come with me?”
“I can’t. I have too much work to do.”
Zach took the money and crammed it into the front pocket of his jeans. “Fine, whatev. See you around.”
Sam watched his brother go, a look of concern on his face, then he went back behind the desk and sat down, his mind already focused on other things.
Book I'm Currently Reading:
Winter World (The Long Winter Trilogy Book 1)
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
Classical Moods: Autumn Time (Vivaldi and More)
Video I Like:
Extreme Parkour and Freerunning 2018
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a good one here. We had my Hubby's dad and stepmom over for dinner in our little, itsy bitsy house. Then we went over to my son's house to hang out with him for a bit. All in all, it was a good day.
I had three days of no writing this week, but I've done well, despite this, as you'll see immediately below.
I hope you're all staying cozy, and that your spirits are high this holiday season. For myself, I'm trying to have as many koselig evenings as possible!
Writing Goal Progress:
My wrists have been pretty achy, so I took last weekend off from writing. But I'm back and making progress. I've only got a few chapters left to go in this story. I'd like to reach 85-90K words, and I'm going to do my best, but no guarantees. ;)
There are two more days in the month that I haven't written about. I'll post my results for those in next week's blog.
Day 22: 1,300 -- Novel total: 66,879
Day 23: 0 -- Novel total: 66,879
Day 24: 0 -- Novel total: 66,879
Day 25: 3,487 -- Novel total: 71,666
Day 26: 4,973 -- Novel total: 75,339
Day 27: 2,267 -- Novel total: 77,606
Day 28: 0 -- Novel total: 11,606
From Chapter 62:
[Zachariel] gazed into [Ebonie's] eyes, desperately searching for words that wouldn’t come. When he couldn’t utter them, he pulled her down so he could kiss her.
He’d finally come down from the rush he’d felt during the broadcast, and he could afford to take his time with her. But even as he kissed her, touched her, made love to her, his mind still went back to the feeling he’d experienced when the energy from the crowd had washed over him. The magic inside him had felt as if its bonds would break. He didn’t dare to hope that he could actually break them. Were he to finally have access to his magic, he could combine it with Ebonie’s and destroy the world. This was what he’d wanted — to destroy everything the Gods held dear. Now, he was so close, but for the first time in almost 13,000 years, he had doubts.
Samandriel had pleaded with him to drop his vendetta, but he’d refused. For his brother, he couldn’t have released the need for vengeance he’d lived with for so long. It was all he’d known for all those millennia.
But could he release it for this beautiful, captivating young woman he now made love to? Could he do it for her?
A new sadness washed over him as he realized he couldn’t even do it for her. All he could do was make the most of tonight and the few hours she had remaining to her. The more he thought about it, the more he believed he really did love her.
Sadly, that wasn’t enough.
From Chapter 63:
[Samandriel] drew the dagger from its sheath at his waist. He thought about slitting his own wrists. Unfortunately, that would only send him to Sheforat that much sooner. The only way to avoid Sheforat was to kill Zach. There was no way out. He had to do it.
He roared and flung the dagger at the door. It sank into the solid wood up to its hilt, and for the briefest of moments, he thought about going out and finding some demon on the street to kill.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have time to indulge his anger or sense of unfairness. He had to prepare to face his brother — and for the unforgivable deed the Gods had forced upon him.
He had to damn Zach to Sheforat for a second time.
From the Legendus Illdirinus Encyclopedia: Immortals:
Immortal: Immortals are the descendants of the original immortals. They never get sick, and they have no magic of their own. There is only one way in which they can die—beheading. They can sense other Immortals and other immortal or magical races when they are near, but not sentinels and watchers. Immortals in my stories: Raven (Relic Hunters, Tales of the Red Falcon), Ebonie (Fallen: Vendetta)
Immortal, Original: Beings similar in appearance to humans. The only difference between the two is the immortality of the immortals, as well as the fact that they never get sick. They were created just after humans. Their original purpose was to protect humans from supernatural threats and incursions. Their purpose remains unchanged, though they also teach sentinels (”false” immortals, below) and immortals how to fight the forces of darkness to protect humanity. There are only seven, and two of the males are twins. They are truly immortal. If they “die,” their bodies regenerate, unless that death is by beheading. Original Immortals in my stories: Kalaghata Durrani, Sharva Durrani, Kono Toshikata
Sentinel: Sentinels are humans born with an immortality gene. Also called “false immortals,” the difference between sentinels and immortals is that sentinels can get sick and they can die from their illness, but their bodies regenerate. They are also not as powerful as true immortals. They need to die a violent death to activate their immortality gene. Because Immortals can’t sense them, many sentinels go on indefinitely, afraid of what they are and hiding it from the people around them. Once their immortality gene is activated, they can only be permanently killed by beheading. Sentinels in my stories: Catin Mondragon (Tales of the Red Falcon, Relic Hunters), Iosaph (Tales of the Red Falcon)
Watcher: Watchers are humans born with an immortality gene. The difference between watchers and sentinels is that watchers are sentinels who serve the dark forces. They are also not as powerful as true immortals, and they need to die a violent death to activate their immortality gene. Because Immortals can’t sense them, they are often used against them by various supernatural enemies. They can be killed for good by beheading. Watchers in my stories: Anthony Serrano (Relic Hunters)
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
A day late, but still nice to listen to on a rainy, chilly night: Thanksgiving & Thanksgiving song - Best of Thanksgiving music collection for Thanksgiving Dinner and Thanksgiving day
Video I love:
A Cellist's Nightmare - The Piano Guys "Rockelbel's Canon"
First of all, I'd like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. My next post won't be until the day after, so I thought I'd get that in now. I hope you have a warm, cozy, fun-filled holiday.
I've been taking it a little slower this third week of November/NaNoWriMo, but I'm still writing. Just not pushing myself. My hands have begun to hurt a little, so I need to take it easy. You can see my daily word counts, along with the novel's total word count, below.
Otherwise, I've finished reading Russell Blake's Black In The Box. Really loving this series and wish there were more books. I've also begun his The Day After Never: Nemesis book. I highly recommend these two series, along with his Assassin series (link takes you to the first book in the series, King of Swords, on Amazon). The Black series is noir mystery with a lot of sarcastic humor. The Day After Never is post apocalyptic with a western feel. Assassin is, duh, about an assassin. Ha ha! But you find yourself rooting for the assassin, El Rey, especially in the last two or three books.
Have you read any great books lately? What are they? What did you love about them? What made them hard to put down? Let me know in the comments!
Writing Goal Progress:
I wrote 13,388 words this week, a bit less than last week's 25,644 (or week one's 26,429), but I've been taking it a bit easy since reaching 50K. I'm still pretty proud of how much I've written.
Day 15: 1,301 -- Novel total: 53,504
Day 16: 2,128 -- Novel total: 55,620
Day 17: 0 -- Novel total: 55,620
Day 18: 2,956 -- Novel total: 58,576
Day 19: 3,250 -- Novel total: 61,826
Day 20: 1,926 -- Novel total: 63,752
Day 21: 1,827 -- Novel total: 65,579
Meet the Character: Katrina
Character Model: Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
Weight: 130 lbs.
Eyes/Hair: Brown / dark brown
Illdir & Tatia: Neutral good. (ĭl’ dēr | tät’ yä) The Creator Gods, the patron gods of Illdirin itself. Worshiped by those who strive to live in harmony with the earth.
About 30% of Illdirin’s population is human. Humans have no magic of their own, though most can use magical artifacts.
As far as good and evil, humans are all over the board, yet they’re still the chosen race, and they are protected by immortals and celestials.
Humans have a finite existence on Illdirin, with the average life span being about 70-80 years.
Because of their ability to adapt and change, humans can be found in nearly all lines of work.
Most humans live on the surface of Illdirin, though there are a few who live in Sub-Terra. Those in Sub-Terra mostly keep to themselves, but some have been enslaved by the other races, or they’ve become members of different warring factions that are scattered about.
Humans, in general, worship all the gods, or none at all, but their patron gods are Illdir and Tatia, the Creator Gods who first gave them life.
Strengths: Loyal, observant, intelligent, compassionate, hardworking, dependable, trustworthy, determined, focused, fair-minded, protective, tech savvy, patient, adaptable, quick witted, adaptable
Weaknesses: Has a love of old things and isn’t above stealing, but if someone else steals from her and her group, she will grow angry about it. | Those she cares about can be used against her, because her feelings run deep.
Languages: A little bit of Celestial, a little bit of Madaiian, Arconian, Agrian Proper, a smattering from other languages
Favored Weapon: Handguns (also proficient with rope, whip, dagger, and hand-to-hand combat)
Career: Archaeologist, adventurer, researcher
Motto: “The past must be preserved at all costs, and if I should profit from it, why shouldn’t I?”
Trained Skills: Theology | History | Survival | Hand-to-hand combat | Magical Artifacts | Archaeological Methods | Sociology | Computer Science | Martial Arts | Technical Writing
Untrained Skills: Street Fighting | Athletics | Endurance | Intimidate | Acrobatics | Stealth | Parkour | Negotiate | Acting
RESIDENCES (Most Recent First): Illdirin
Town: Kanduyar, Indas — Katrina splits her time between Kanduyar and the Homewood Sanctuary, along with Samandriel. She is an independent career woman with business contacts in both Indas and Essear, as well as Arcona and Ethica, and she is legally able to work from any of these locations.
Town: Homewood Sanctuary, North of Saena Lanora, Forest Hemalean, Northern Essear — She’s lived here with Samandriel since she was about 23 years of age. From here, she works on archaeological research, sets up archaeological digs, and pursues other interests.
City: Westerview, Capital of Arcona — She returned to Westerview after university, but moved away after meeting Samandriel a year into her stay here.
City: Newgate Point, Ethica — She went to university here, in the largest city in Ethica. It’s situated on the eastern coast.
City: Cahyrst, Gaelgaret — Her family moved to Cahyrst when she was 16, and she finished out secondary school here.
City: Tariibaar, Al Shasra — Her family moved to Tariibaar when Katrina was 14, and they remained there for two years.
City: Westerview, Capital of Arcona — Katrina was born and lived here with her parents until the age of 14.
Katrina has always had a fascination with history, which includes ancient sites and artifacts. It is her one main passion in life, and she pursues knowledge about long forgotten places and people through her work.
She also loves to share her findings with others — not just other archaeologists, but average people, as well. In fact, she has a gift for simplifying concepts and other aspects of history so that the average layman can understand them. She’s sought out for her knowledge and experience.
There’s nothing that gets Katrina’s blood pumping quite like going on new adventures. She will gripe and complain about the dangers, the conditions she often has to live with, but deep inside, she relishes every moment spent seeking out new experiences, especially if these new experiences have anything to do with history and archeology. She can handle herself in the wild and against danger from rivals alike, as she’s had training (or been self-taught) in the ways to survive in any environment.
Ever since she was a little girl, Katrina was interested in history and all things ancient. She also loved to go outside and get dirty. But rather than play the average sports, she would go off by herself and climb hills and rocks and trees, swim in nearby lakes and rivers, and run through local forests, exploring their depths with intense interest.
A military brat, Katrina easily became friends with others like her, and they would all get together and practice various skills, such as running, fighting, and parkour. She had no problem competing against males her age, as she was extremely competitive.
On the other hand, every once in a while, Katrina likes to let her feminine side show. She feels as comfortable in a dress as she does in a tank top and jeans, and her career often calls for both at one time or another.
While in university, Katrina majored in archeology and sociology, with miners in computer science and technical writing. She was also a member of the swimming and parkour teams.
She met Samandriel during her post-university time in Westerview. They were traveling separately and happened to meet out in the Ugonaian desert. They decided to travel together, and they hit it off well. Soon after, they became romantically involved, and they’ve been together ever since.
Her secret dream is to marry Samandriel and have children with him. As a love of history, she naturally wants to leave a legacy — not just in writings and discoveries, but in children who share her passion for history.
Her biggest secret, however, is the cache of stolen artifacts she hides near Samandriel’s Homewood Estate. Over the years, she has dipped her fingers into many archaeological sites and stashed these pilfered objects in a cave in the surrounding mountains. Over time, she’s built a safe for these items that’s climate controlled with its own independent power source and security system. Not even Samandriel knows about it.
Excerpt (from chapters 49 and 51):
“Thank you so much for taking me to Abandale, Zachariel. I feel like so much good happened there today. Can you feel it, too?”
“I can,” Zachariel lied, giving her a warm smile. “It’s really good to see you so happy and full of energy. I’ll have to take you out more often.”
Ebonie squeezed his hand a little tighter. “Would you? Really?”
“I think it can be arranged,” he said. He stopped, as they’d reached her door. “I guess this is goodnight.”
“The day doesn’t have to end here, does it?” Ebonie asked with a frown. “Won’t you come in for a bit?”
“Are you sure?”
She blushed and lowered her gaze. “I — yeah, I’m sure.”
“Okay,” he murmured and unlocked the door. He opened it and waited for her to enter, then he stepped in behind her. He remained by the door, watching her closely as she let Scout out of his kennel and gave him some fresh food and water. He wondered if this was a good idea. Should he get physically involved with her? It would only mess with his emotions and his plan, wouldn’t it?
But she looked so damned beautiful that he couldn’t turn and walk away. His mind screamed for him to leave her alone even as his body moved toward her.
He pulled her into his arms and kissed her. She returned the kiss, clinging to him as if he were her lifeline. It made him feel strong and masculine.
“Are you sure you wanna do this?” he murmured against her ear.
“I’m sure,” she whispered.
He drew back and watched her. He brushed her long dark hair over one shoulder. With the other hand, he started unzipping her top. When it was far enough down, he stooped to kiss her neck and collarbone, then went lower.
In the next moment, he tugged on her skirt, letting it fall to the floor. He pushed the hem of her top up, and she lifted her arms over her head so he could more easily pull it off. He dropped it to the floor beside the skirt and gazed on her nearly naked flesh.
She had a beautiful form that was firm yet soft, fair skin that was nearly flawless, and fluid graceful movements that came naturally to her. He wanted to take his time with her, savor the experience, make it last.
He lifted her into his arms and carried her around the bed. He laid her upon it, then he yanked off his shirt and leaned down to kiss her belly. He tugged his pants off, kicking his shoes off with them, and soon, they were making love like there was no tomorrow.
- - -
All night, Zachariel warred with his conscience and his lack of memory. On one hand, he wanted to get up and leave. Ebonie had been a challenge, but he’d conquered her. Did he really need to stick around? On the other hand, if he wanted her to believe he loved her, walking out could have brought the whole thing to a halt. That much he knew for a fact. Had he left, she’d wonder why, and their line of communication, such as it was, would be strained at best, nonfunctional at worst.
And if that wasn’t enough, he wasn’t sure what he felt for her. Did he love her? Or was he just infatuated? Had it been his loneliness and need for companionship that had driven him to be with her?
He’d loved Sachiel, but that was a helluva long time ago. So long he couldn’t remember what his feelings for her had felt like. Had his heart raced at the thought of being with her as it had last night when Ebonie had invited her in? Had he been willing to endure almost any hardship for her as he realized he could for Ebonie? Had Sachiel’s smile brightened his days? Had her body warmed him inside during the long nights?
Why couldn’t he remember what it felt like back then? Did his desire for vengeance all these millennia drive out all other emotions? He remembered moments, but they held no emotion for him — except for that last moment when he’d watched the Gods take Sachiel’s head.
He didn’t even remember what his love for his unborn son had felt like.
Or the love for the brothers and sister he’d held so dear.
Though he could admit to feeling something when Sam had visited. But what was it? He didn’t think it was love, but how could he be certain? All he knew was that Samandriel’s presence had been familiar, almost like a feeling of being sheltered, though he couldn’t explain why “shelter” should be the word to come to mind.
He glanced down at Ebonie and found her sleepy, dark eyes watching him. He smiled down at her. “You’re awake.”
“You’re still here. I thought you’d leave in the middle of the night.”
“What would make you think that?”
She raised herself up on one elbow, and her messy, tangled hair tumbled down over her shoulder. “I dunno. I guess it seems too good to be true.”
“It’s true, Ebonie.” He touched the side of her face and gazed into her dark eyes. “I promise, it’s true. And I’m not going anywhere for a while.”
“Not even to get us some quava?” she asked, the corner of her mouth curving up into a little grin that he found endearing.
“Oh, well, if the lady needs quava, she shall have it,” Zachariel said, rising from the bed.
“Hurry back? I don’t know how long I can take your absence.”
“Won’t take 5 minutes. I’ll have the cook fix breakfast and quava, and someone will bring it up to us. How’s that sound?”
“Very convenient,” Ebonie said with a wink.
“Pays to be the man in charge.” Zach grinned as he padded over to where he’d kicked off his jeans and shoes the night before. He put them on now, then slipped his t-shirt over his head. He returned to the bed long enough to kiss her, then headed for the door. “Be right back.”
He returned a few minutes later and quickly undressed and climbed back into bed. He wrapped his arms around Ebonie and kissed her long and slow.
When he finally came up for air, he gazed into her dark eyes, trying to lose himself in them.
“How long before someone brings us our food?” Ebonie asked.
“He said it would take about twenty minutes.”
“Long enough for—?” Ebonie touched him under the covers.
He shuddered, and lowered his lips to her throat. “Mm hm,” he murmured. “You keep doing that, it won’t even take me 5 minutes. Have I told you how much I love your hands?”
“Not until now,” Ebonie whispered. “Should I stop?”
“Gods, no. Keep going, woman. Keep going.”
From the Legendus Illdirinus Encyclopedia: Black and Divine Light Magic:
There are many kinds of magic on Illdirin. for the purpose of this entry, I'll focus on Black and Divine Light, as they are polar opposites and prevalent in the story I'm currently writing.
Black Magic on Illdirin is 100% evil. It was devised by ancient gods and their angels who had fallen long before Illdir & Tatia's time. Black Magic derives its power from the darkness and shadows, as well as the intent and emotions of its user. For example, if the user has murderous intent and is filled with rage, and it's nighttime, the black magic being used will be more powerful than if the user only wishes to trip someone up for fun during the day.
Those borne of divine light can't use black magic unless they fall, but then evil has to consume them before they can actually use it. Those who fall will eventually become users of black magic, but it takes a long time for most. In fact, Zachariel was in Sheforat (Hell) for almost 13,000 years, but he never became evil. He wanted revenge in all that time, but he never gave in to the evil so prevalent there. He only gave rein to his emotions, his anger and resentment, even hatred, but he never would have considered letting evil enter his spirit. Only those who let evil into their spirits are truly damned to eternity in Sheforat.
Black magic isn't all powerful, but it can cause a lot of damage. It is permanently corrupted and no good ever comes from it, even for its user, who is damned for their willingness to give in to the evil needed to wield it.
There are many black magic spells and artifacts, thanks to their introduction by an angel long ago, when the races were new. Since humans and Immortals don't have magic of their own, they must resort to artifacts (and spells if they work with an artifact).
Black magic is a supernatural power that can have tremendous influence over people, willing or not, conscious of it or not. Only the strongest divine light users are resistant to it, but even they can become corrupted by it over time.
Divine Light Magic:
Divine Light Magic is 100% pure. It's what the Creator Gods used to create their angels, beings of pure magic. Divine light magic can't be corrupted, though its user can be, over time. Black magic is exceptionally powerful, and divine light magic is its equal. No other magic can truly beat either of these if they're at full strength. Under the right circumstances, both divine light and black magic can cancel each other out.
Divine light magic gets its power from stars and other sources of light, as well as the purity of its user. This is why an evil person can not use divine light magic (and, conversely, a pure person can't use black magic). Divine light magic is supernatural by nature, and in the truly pure, it is the strongest magic out there. The user's purity is the main determinant in how strong the magic will be, though the amount of light will affect it, as well.
There are many divine light magic spells and artifacts. In the beginning of Illdirin, some of the gods and their angels taught the mortal races how to use them. Those who were magical by nature (elves, dwarfs, fey, etc.) took to them much more easily than humans, who have no magic of their own. Black magic was introduced to the races by a fallen angel in order to counteract divine light magic, and it's been a problem ever since.
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
One of the most gorgeous voices I've ever heard: Ruut DeMeo on YouTube! (My sister and I used to babysit her hubby when he was just a tiny tyke!)
Video I love:
The Northern Heart YouTube Channel: I like seeing how people live in the far 3north, especially in Scandinavia.
I've posted two new freewrites to the Freewriting page. Strange New World is a short showing what the modern world in a city on Illdirin looks like to Jael, a chayal warrior who lived in seclusion for thousands of years. Pride shows a brief few moments in the relationship between two brothers, one of whom is the masked swordsman known as Le Dragón.
I've also read through several of the short stories on the Short Stories page and made little corrections here and there.
Otherwise, I've been writing a lot, as you'll see. I hope you like the freewriting and the other things I've shared below.
Writing Goal Progress:
I've written a bit more in my novel:
Day 8: 2,135 -- Novel total: 28,155
Day 9: 4,536 -- Novel total: 32,695
Day 10: 4,952 -- Novel total: 37,645
Day 11: 3,399 -- Novel total: 41,556
Day 12: 2,132 -- Novel total: 43,691
Day 13: 6,585 -- Novel total: 50,292
Day 14: 1,905 -- Novel total: 52,201
I use two different programs to get my word counts. I write in Scrivener, so I use the word counts it shows for each individual chapter and add them together at the end of the day. Then I compile the whole novel as a text file and use wordcounter.net to get my total word count. Around the 20th of November, I'll validate to get my official word count on the NaNoWriMo website. It will be slightly different, but I expect that.
Meet the Character: Archan
Character Model: Chris Hemsworth
Age: Unknown, very old
Physical build: Athletic, muscular
Weight: 250 lbs.
Alignment: Lawful good
Strengths: Loyal, obedient, strong of character, honest, virtuous, dependable, trustworthy, determined, focused, lawful, protective, faithful, patient, just, righteous
Weakness: Has no real experience dealing with mortals or those living on Illdirin with all their limitations | doesn’t understand the concept of redemption.
Immortal Origin: Native to the Agaean Plane, considered the highest plane of existence
Languages: Celestial, All languages of Illdirin
Favored Weapon: Broadsword (of truth), shield of divine protection, armor of light
Motto: “I vow to leave no stone unturned in my quest to rid the universe of all enemies of the Gods.”
Trained Skills: Theology | History | Arcana | Laws of Heaven | Sword-fighting | Defensive and offensive strategies of war | Hand-to-hand combat | Divine light magic | Search and retrieval
Untrained Skills: Insight | Athletics | Endurance | Intimidate | Acrobatics | Stealth
Quirks: Loves to appear and disappear with a bright flash of light and a clap of thunder. Startling others in this way greatly amuses him.
Current Residence: City of the Gods, Agaean Plane
Family: He has a mate named Nanael, and they have a very young son named Adellum.
Archan has lived his whole life on the Agaean Plane. He is the gadol tsayad, the lead hunter, and his chief activity is hunting down evil/fallen beings and sending them to Sheforat (Illdirin's version of Hell). But when Zachariel, a fallen chayal (warrior), escapes from Sheforat, along with many others, he’s given the unenviable task of helping Zachariel's brother, Samandriel, stop him from carrying out the plan of vengeance he vowed to see through many millennia ago. Archan believes the semi-fallen Samandriel should suffer the fires of Sheforat, but thanks to the Gods, he has to help him, instead. This doesn't sit well with the hunter, but for the Gods he loves, he does his best.
Excerpt (from chapter 31):
“Can I take a look at your sword?” Zachariel asked.
Samandriel drew it from the scabbard at his back and handed it to him.
Zachariel looked it over approvingly. “Nice. This is really nice.” In the next moment, and with a move so fast Samandriel didn't see it coming, he held the blade to Sam’s throat. “You don’t wanna mess with me, Sam. I’m not the guy you looked up to all those years ago. I’m not a nice person, and I’m sure as hell not merciful. You come up against me, you’ll regret it.”
“I have no choice,” Samandriel said, meeting his brother’s gaze without wavering. “If I don’t stop you, they’ll send me to Sheforat.”
“So it’s you or me. You know who’ll win this war, don’t you?”
“Probably you, but I have to try. I can’t go to Sheforat, Zach. I can’t.”
Their eyes locked, and they stared at each other for several heartbeats before Zachariel lowered the sword and handed it back.
“No, you’re right. I don’t think you could survive without going crazy. It’s not just a place where fire burns constantly. I mean, yeah, that’s part of it. But the worst part is the torture. And the grief you have to live with every day. The overwhelming guilt. But the torture — I don’t think you could take that without losing your f***ing mind.”
“You did it.”
Zachariel laughed mirthlessly. “How do you know I’m sane?”
“You’re sane. You just have a lot of hatred built up inside you. If you’d just let go—”
“Let go? After what I went through, you’ve got a lotta nerve telling me to let it go!” Zachariel cried out, slamming his fist into the wall beside Samandriel. “I'll never let go. They killed my family. Why? 'Cause they could. They’re petty and spiteful, and they don’t give a damn 'bout anyone but their precious mortals. Well, I’m gonna do one better, and I’m gonna kill every damn one of their creations. By the time I finish, Illdirin won’t even be recognizable as a planet. If you got mortals you care 'bout, better get ‘em someplace safe in another galaxy, ‘cause this planet’s goin’ down.”
“I can’t. My powers are bound just like yours are.”
“Then you’re outta luck.”
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to reach the Zachariel I remember. I don’t want to have to kill you and send you back to Sheforat, but I will if I have to.”
Zachariel laughed and looked Samandriel over. “As if you could.” He ran a hand along Samandriel’s long hair. “You look more like a healer than a warrior. Maybe you should get out of this line of work. Like you said, you don’t measure up. If you know that, why bother even trying? You know you can’t win.”
Samandriel swallowed hard, his heart breaking as he watched his brother reveal what the centuries in Sheforat had created in him. “We were close once. I loved you more than anything. You were my brother, my hero. Looking at you now, I see you’re just an empty shell of the man I once worshiped. It might be an act of mercy to end you.”
“Don’t pity me, Sam. I can take a lot of sh**, but not that. Save your pity for those who actually need it. For those who’ve hit rock bottom. Look around you. I’m sitting on top of the world.”
“I still love you, Zach, but one way or another, if you don't drop this vendetta, I will end you.”
“Funny way of showing you love the brother you ain't seen in millennia, but whatev. I can’t afford to let love and sentimentality get in the way of my plans. After the world and all it’s mortals are gone, we can talk about love and sentimentality all you want, but not 'til then, got it?”
“Yeah, I got it,” Samandriel said, blinking back a tear. He pushed away from the wall and walked backward out to the middle of the gym floor. “Archan, I’m ready to leave,” he said, his eyes never leaving Zachariel’s.
A moment later, Archan appeared beside him in a flash of light and thunder. The hunter put a hand on Samandriel’s shoulder, but Sam shrugged it off. “No, I want to walk out on my own two feet.
“Suit yourself,” Archan said, scowling at Zachariel as he turned and followed Samandriel out of the room.
“I meant what I said, Sam,” Zachariel called after his brother. “This planet’s goin’ down, and everyone with it. It’s goin’ down, you hear me?”
Samandriel didn’t look back...
From the Legendus Illdirinus Encyclopedia: Sheforat & the Agaean:
The Agaean, otherwise known as Heaven, is the highest plane of existence in the territory ruled by the Gods, Illdir & Tatia. It is a paradise where no evil can reside. It has rolling green hills, the clearest waters, and the most noble of angels.
When people who are faithful to the Gods die, their spirits are taken to the Agaean, where they live in peace and harmony with those around them. They aren't sitting on clouds playing harps all day. They have actual tasks to do, but without the hardship faced by people on Illdirin. They have homes, as well, and all their needs are met. They don't have to earn money to keep a roof over their head or food in their belly.
Illdir & Tatia live in a great palace, and people are free to come and visit them, though they must be announced in case the Gods are dealing with important issues. The palace's main room, the Throne Room, is often the room where people meet with the Gods, though there is also a great banquet hall that can sit thousands.
When the Great Gathering of Immortals happens in the future, the reunion of all those faithful immortals (to include celestials and other rare "monsters") will take place in the great banquet hall of the gods. This is also where newly deceased mortals are reunited with those who have gone before them.
The Throne Room is where important matters of state and other decisions are made, such as when the Gods charged Archan with the responsibility of helping Samandriel stop his brother, Zachariel, from carrying out his plan of vengeance.
Sheforat is the lowest plane of existence in Illdir & Tatia's territory. It is ruled by Zerar, the oldest and most incorruptible son of Illdir & Tatia (and he will be at the Great Gathering of Immortals when it happens).
Sheforat is a place of everlasting fire, but that's not its only curse. It is also a place of complete darkness, at least the places where the light of the flames can't reach. Those dark places are inhabited by what's called Shadow Demons. Shadow Demons torment people by striking out from the darkness. They whisper to them, trying to lure them into the darkness, and then they strike. They are cannibalistic by nature.
It is also a place of neverending torture. Those at the top of the "food chain" torture those lower than them. Zerar allows this because it's part of the curse, but he doesn't torture anyone. He rules it, and when needed, he will lock inmates up for a time. While Zachariel was in Sheforat, he was tortured by a powerful, ancient demon named Apollyon, who developed an attachment to him. (More than that, I cannot say -- at least for now.)
It is rumored that there is a devil in Sheforat who inhabited Illdirin when it was still an asteroid. No one remembers his name, but there's a prophecy that says he will one day break free of Sheforat and try to destroy the universe. One man will be able to stop him, but no one knows who. They know he has angelic blood, but that's all they know. They don't know when or where or how this will all take place, but some believe it will happen just before the End of Days and the Great Gathering of Immortals. Supposedly, this devil is being held in a cage in the deepest, darkest, hottest part of Sheforat. Only Zerar and the Gods know the truth about any of this, but they will neither confirm nor deny it.
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
Relaxing Medieval, Middle Ages Music 10 Hours
Video I love:
Assassin's Creed II: Lineage - Where Ezio's father's story ends and Ezio's begins. (Yes, I'm on a gaming kick. I can't help it!)
So, I've been writing. A lot. This being November, I've been writing the first draft of the first novel in my Fallen series. This novel's entitled Vendetta, and it's going well, for a first draft.
Unfortunately, I'm also feeling a need to get all cozy and relax with lots of hot tea, snuggle under my fuzzy blanket, and read. I save those last two for the evenings, but every day, I want to do it a lot sooner. I've been good so far, and I've resisted those urges.
I currently have a simmer pot going on the stovetop: two apples; two clementines; a cinnamon stick; an herb and spice mix of rosemary, ground ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom; whole cloves; vanilla extract; amber and eucalyptus essential oils. Put them in the pan, then cover with water. Bring to a simmer and simmer all day long, adding water when needed. It smells like autumn! :D
I've got a few things to share below. I hope you like them.
Writing Goal Progress:
I wrote 26,446 words during week one of NaNoWriMo. Today, I wrote more words and have a current total of 28,155. The official word count goal is 50K, so I'm more than halfway there. Not bad, I'd say! :)
Meet the Character: Zachariel
Character Model: Dante (DMC: Devil May Cry - The Reboot)
Age: Over eighty thousand years old. He is relatively young for a chayal.
Weight: 205 lbs.
Hair: Dark brown, short
Magic: Divine Light (bound)
Strengths: Single-minded, determined, loyal, willing to make the hard decisions, decisive, courageous, charismatic
Weaknesses: Rebellious, stubborn, has to do things the hard way, faithless, easily swayed by a pretty face, vengeful, PTSD
What he needs to succeed in Book 1, Vendetta: Use Ebonie without letting his growing feelings for her get in the way
Immortal Origin: Native to the Agaean Plane, considered the highest of the celestial planes, created by Illdir and Tatia (the Creator Gods) from light and divine light magic
Characteristics: Loyal, extroverted, sarcastic, patient, freedom-loving, libidinous, courageous, compassionate, courageous, protective, faithless
Favored Weapon: Longsword
Class: Former Warrior (Chayal) turned criminal, 1st class
Trained Skills: Religion | History | Sword-fighting | Hand-to-Hand Combat
Untrained Skills: Streetwise | Athletics | Bluff | Endurance | Intimidate | Acrobatics | Climb | Run | Swim | Ride | Steal | Dirty fighting
ZACHARIEL’S BACKGROUND (incomplete in order to avoid giving spoilers):
Zachariel was a powerful chayal in the army of the Creator Gods, Illdir and Tatia. Before the War of the Gods, he fell in love with Sachiel, another angel. Sachiel fell due to her loyalty to the neutral goddess, Ygone (Ē gō nē), Goddess of Conquest. Ygone was all for subjugating the races on Illdirin, and because of this, she fell, and her supporters fell with her. Though Ygone went to Sheforat, many of her angels either stayed on Illdirin or went to one of the other celestial planes, though many also went to Sheforat alongside her. Sachiel was one of the ones who went to Illdirin. She and Zachariel had been in love before the war broke out, and when she fell, he refused to give her up. They met in secret, or so they thought, but once they realized the Gods knew (and had sent their lead tsayad, Archan, after them), they fled, only to be captured and taken to Sheforat anyway. In their anger, The Gods killed Sachiel in front of Zachariel before giving him over to his torturers. They wanted to make an example of the two.
Zachariel was sent to Sheforat in 103 AWG (After War of the Gods). He was in Sheforat for 12,747 years — 9,990 years during the AWG era and 2,757 years during the AE (After Exodus) era.
He came very close to giving in to evil due to his focus on revenge. He came so close that his white hair turned dark, as did his wings. His eyes are still turquoise, however, but they would have been next to change, then his blood would turn from golden to black. Thankfully, it never reached that stage.
Not a day went by that Zachariel didn’t pray for deliverance. That day came when Delila Stone, a black witch, opened a portal to Sheforat to summon the demon, Gollmorath, whom she worshiped. Zachariel saw the portal open, and he was the first one through. His hunger was great and he leapt upon her and fed on her.
From there, he wandered in the desert for several days. Other escapees from Sheforat joined him, and as time wore on, he became their leader. They came upon an old, abandoned town, which he promptly named Nefaria, and settled in there. He divided his followers into ranks, such as generals, captains, laymen, etc. His group also had a small contingent of women, and he was fond of saying that there were enough to go around for all his men.
As time passed, he had a surprising visit from his younger brother, Samandriel, who told him he’d been commissioned to stop Zachariel from carrying out his plan of vengeance. Zachariel voiced the desire to have Samandriel join him, but in the next breath, he swore that he didn’t want Samandriel to risk himself on account of his vendetta. The two parted ways with a mutual understanding: Samandriel was between a rock and a hard place having to do something he didn’t want to do, and Zachariel wouldn’t give up until he either had his revenge or was dragged back to Sheforat kicking and screaming.
Fallen: Vendetta - Excerpt (from chapter 6):
There came a bright white flash and a clap of thunder. It was no thunderstorm, but rather, the head tsayad, Archan. The celestial hunter stood before him, his arms folded across his massive chest, glaring at him.
The tsayad lowered his arms and began, slowly, to walk circles around Samandriel.
“Well, well, well, what have we here?” Archan asked, his voice booming over the rain. “A murderer of mortals! Samandriel, have you learned nothing during your time on Illdirin? You broke Rule #2 of the Celestial Law Book!”
Without a word, Samandriel rose to his feet and held his hands straight out in front of him, waiting for the shackles he was sure would come.
Archan looked at him with a look of disdain. “Much as I would love to sic my hellhounds on you, the Gods have other plans.”
Samandriel looked up in surprise. “What?”
“Did murdering mortals affect your ears? I said the Gods have other plans. Have you heard what happened? About the portal?”
“Portal? What do you mean?” Samandriel was now thoroughly confused.
“It seems some black witch created a portal to Sheforat. Your brother was one of the escapees. The world’s in big trouble, but you can save it. All you have to do is keep Zachariel from carrying out his plan of vengeance against the Gods.”
From the Legendus Illdirinus Encyclopedia: The Angels of Illdirin (focus on chayalim, tsayadhim, and orayachallim):
Angels: Elohim, Bene Elohim, Other (see below) — 3rd Order, 3rd Choir — Location: All Areas, but mainly the Agaean and Illdirin
Angels intermediate between the Gods and individual people. They protect households and individuals who believe in the Gods, keeping them safe from the dark forces.
Ruler of the Angels: Gabriel (oldest brother to Samandriel and Zachariel)
As true Watchers (not to be confused with the watchers sect of sentinels working for the dark side, who are either evil or misguided), they never sleep.
Chayalim (Soldiers — Singular: Chayal)
The chayalim are the troops who fight the forces of evil. Most never interact personally with the mortal races. They fight behind the scenes, in the spirit world, to keep the mortal races and their world safe. However, some occasionally do interact with mortals, and their fight takes on a more personal meaning.
Average height: 6-10’
Some chayalim in my stories: Khamael, Jael, Zachariel, Samandriel, Ronen, Kalin, Mekael, Arys, Cerian, Adnachiel, Javan, Elim, Kal, Shamriel
Tsayadhim (Hunters — Singular: Tsayad)
Archan is the Gadol Tsayad, the Great Hunter. He is the chief of hunters of the Agaean, spending much of his time on Illdirin hunting down the most powerful of demons, fallen angels, and other forces of darkness. He has six hellhounds at his command. No other hunter can handle more than two.
The tsayadhim are celestial hunters, basically the celestial equivalent of mortal/immortal bounty hunters. They will do almost anything to catch their prey, but they won’t break the laws of the Agaean, and they won’t kill mortals, no matter how evil they’ve become.
Average height: 6-10’
Some tsayadhim in my stories: Archan, Behemiel, Anpiel, Dagiel, Arariel, Cathetel, Mankael
Orayachallim (Wayfarers — Singular: Orayach)
Orayachallim are the travelers, the wayfarers. They live among the mortal races, realizing that it is the world of those they visit and respecting their ways. They generally live as the mortal races do, only rarely using their divine magic, and then it’s to help others rather than themselves.
Orayachallim come from all angel types and rarely from the higher choirs (though occasionally, Archangels will temporarily become Orayachallim when there is a great need).
Average height: 6-10’
Some Orayachallim in my stories: Khamael, Jael, Zachariel, Samandriel, Ronen, Kalin, Mekael, Arys, Cerian
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
Combichrist playlist from DMC: Devil May Cry
Video I love:
Final Fantasy VII Remake commercial: this is probably the best commercial I've ever seen. It's long, and has a message and a happy ending! (I've heard there's a version with better subtitles. I just haven't had a chance to look at it yet.)
I took a tumble on Tuesday. Landed right on my bad knees and tried to catch myself on the dresser with my even worse hands. Yikes! So I'm taking an enforced break until the first. Not a complete break, but just not typing as much to give my hands a chance to recover.
This week, I'm going to start introducing the main characters from Fallen: Vendetta (book 1). First up is Samandriel, one of my fallen angels.
I've also included a mini encyclopedia entry a bit further down. This one will introduce you to the Creator Gods, Illdir and Tatia.
And there are a few other goodies, too. I hope you enjoy them. :)
Meet the Character: Samandriel
Samandriel as a Chayal:
Samandriel was a loyal soldier in Kiros’ army. He trusted his commander (a lesser god) so much that he stood with him when the god chose to take the middle ground in the War of the Gods. In 98 AWG (After War of the Gods — It wasn’t long after the war ended and the gods all left Illdirin to go to their respective planes) Sam was reassigned as a guardian of a wealthy merchant on Illdirin. He’s been living on Illdirin ever since. He splits his time between his own sanctuary north of Saena Lanora, in the Forest Hemalean, in the mountains of northern Essear, and the Krishan Sharma Memorial School of Martial Arts.
You can take the boy out of the army, but you can’t take the soldier out of the boy, as Samandriel proves time and time again. He tries to live at peace in his own home, rarely interacting with mortals. But trouble seems to have a knack of finding him. He’s gotten into scrapes with other fallen chayalim, with demons, with magical beings, with immortals, and with mortals — feral and noble alike. He generally tries to solve his conflicts peacefully, but there’s not always a peaceful solution to be had.
It’s been many millennia since Samandriel fought as a chayal. He no longer follows the rules, save for those that could get him sent to Sheforat. The list is short: kill no man, woman, or child of mortal descent; do not desecrate the graves of the dead; do not incite rebellion against the Gods; do not deceive mortals in matters of religion. It should have been easy for him to follow this list of four rules. Four rules! But something happened that would weaken his resolve...
Writing Goal Progress:
I'm taking it easy this week. Doing a little character journaling, but mainly resting up for NaNoWriMo. I started writing the first novel, Fallen: Vendetta, yesterday. My current word count for the two days is 9,992!
What do my characters look like?
If you're at all curious as to what Zachariel, Samandriel, or the handful of other characters I've mentioned (or have showed up in The Hellhound) might look like to me, check out my Fallen Pinterest Board. Here's a list of a few of them:
And here's the cover for my NaNoWriMo project for Fallen: Vendetta. Obviously, I don't own the images used. I'm just using them for fun. Eventually, I'll have a professional cover made:
From Legendus Illdirinus Encyclopedia: Illdir & Tatia, The Creators
Illdir and Tatia are the Creator Gods. They rule the region around Illdirin (including its solar system), and they're the ones who terraformed Illdirin from the giant asteroid it once was to the planet it is today. They are users of all types of magic, except for the black and dark magics.
They have many children, known as the lesser gods, or just the gods. War broke out on the Agaean Plane (Heaven) many millennia ago because of the mortal and immortal races Illdir and Tatia created. Many of the lesser gods wanted to enslave these races, others wanted to protect them, and others remained neutral.
Illdir and Tatia come from families that are scattered across the universe. They are extremely powerful celestials. They used to spend a lot of time with the people they created, but after the War of the Gods, they returned to the Agaean Plane, only rarely interfering in matters involving the people of Illdirin -- that is until the Great Gathering of Immortals and the End of Days, when those who still have faith in their Gods will be taken to spend eternity with them.
The Creators are divinely good, but they can be harsh when it comes to punishing their celestial creations (angels), as you'll learn in Fallen: Vendetta. They're not perfect. They do make mistakes. But they're benevolent beings who love their creations and want the best for them.
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
Meteora, by Linkin Park
Video I love:
Christopher Walken Reads The Raven
* Reminder: This year's Halloween short story, "The Hellhound," is up, and you can read it for free here.
If you've been following my blog and caught my last update, you'll know that I'm gearing up for this year's NaNoWriMo. I'll be writing the first draft of Fallen: Vendetta, the first book in the Fallen series. The outline is ready to go, so come November 1, I'll be ready to write it.
In the meantime, I'm revising the outline for book 5, Vendetta. I plan to have it ready before NaNoWriMo begins on the first so I can focus on the book I'll be writing.
It's finally cooling off here, and I'm starting to think of ways to add hygge to my home and daily routine. I found a really great article on the concept, and you can read it here (http://hyggehouse.com/hygge). I started getting ready for the season by ordering some Yogi tea and Oregon chai tea concentrate from Walmart, and I plan to pick up some more tealight candles, as well. And some chocolate covered coffee beans, if possible, though that's my reward during NaNoWriMo and really has little to do with hygge beyond old memories they bring. If I get my words in for the day, I have some. If not, I don't. I also have my white fluffy throw ready to go, and my yeti pjs, which I've yet to wear. Of course, I do intermittent fasting most weekdays (four-hour feeding window, 20 hours of fasting), so I'm not sure when I'd work in the chocobeans and chai. I'll figure it out, though.
I've finally finished reading Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott . When I read this book years ago, I thought it was an awesome book. Now that I know a bit more about writing, I see all the purple prose, and it makes me cringe! It's still an awesome story. Just wish it didn't have all the flowery descriptions, explanations of every little thing, and so on. Now that I'm done with that, I've moved on to Black In the Box, by Russell Blake. It's a much faster read, and much more exciting!
Writing Goal Progress:
My only real goal since my last update was to revise the outline for Fallen: Nemesis (Book 5), and I've been working on that. It was a long outline, and the beginning seemed really drawn out, so I took out one of the storylines and will turn that into a short story later on. I plan to write the first drafts for these five books this year and next, starting with Fallen: Vendetta (Book 1) during this coming month's NaNoWriMo, but I don't plan to start publishing them until sometime in 2021.
As I get ready to participate in NaNoWriMo (their main event) for the 14th time, I realize it's time for me to get my snacks and rewards together. One of my favorite things to sip on during my writing sessions is Chai tea. I generally use Indian Spice tea from Harney & Sons, but the recipe I've found online is from Stash. It's nearly as good!
Chai Tea Latte
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
I made a playlist of music for when I'm working on my planning/writing/revision of the Fallen series, and Decyfer Down is one of my favorite bands on it. I won't put too many links here, though I would love to link you to every album I can find on YouTube, but here's my favorite of their albums:
Decyfer Down Scarecrow
Video I love:
I've been on a DMC: Devil May Cry kick lately. I'm relatively new to gaming, and I only play single player. I started with Assassin's Creed II and have worked up to Assassin's Creed: Rogue, but I wanted to try something new, as well. And since I use this Dante as my character model (appearance wise) for Zachariel in my Fallen series, I thought I would try the game. Before I ever got the game, I watched a video of all the cutscenes, and they made me want to play the game even more. Warning: there's some bad language in here, including the f-bomb.
DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition All Cutscenes (Game Movie)
What have you been drawn to lately? Music, films, movies, books, they can all be great ways to pass the time during the changing seasons. List your favorites in the comments below so others can enjoy them too! :)
I've written a brand new short story for Halloween this year. You can find it here. It's called "The Hellhound," and it's from the Fallen series I've been planning (which I talk more about below). Zachariel and Archan make a bet that Archan can scare Zach. Zach says he's not afraid of anything. He says, "I've seen it all. Done it all. Had it all done to me. I'm still here, ain't I? Nothin' scares me anymore." Archan swears he can come up with something, and boy, does he ever! But is it enough to scare an angel who's spent nearly 13K years "down under?" You'll have to read it to find out! ;)
I wasn't really going for scary with this one. I just wanted to give you an entertaining read that fits the Halloween theme. Hopefully, I've done my job. If you read it and enjoy it, would let me know in the comments below? I love getting constructive feedback, and even a simple "I liked it" would help. And feel free to share the page's link with other people you think might enjoy it. It would help me a lot!
A New Series:
I've been planning a new series, but with characters I've played with before: Samandriel and Zachariel, the fallen angel brothers. I'll be writing the first novel during NaNoWriMo next month (November), and I can't wait!
Here's the gist of the idea:
Zachariel was sent to Sheforat (Illdirin's version of Hell) almost 13,000 years ago. Thanks to a black witch, who created a portal to free a demon, Zachariel escaped -- along with thousands of others. The Gods have Archan, the head celestial hunter, enlist Samandriel to stop his older brother from carrying out his plan of vengeance against the Gods for killing his fallen lover. Archan is Sam's ally in this task, but Archan doesn't believe Sam can do it. In fact, he's hoping that Sam will fail. The deal is: stop Zachariel from carrying out his plan of vengeance or go to Sheforat. Why would Sam go to Sheforat? Because he killed four mortal men who murdered a close friend and mentor of his. Killing a mortal is a serious offense, one of the most serious, punishable by eternity in Sheforat.
So far, there are five books planned for this series, but I'll be planning at least one more after November. The idea above is only for the first book. The series mainly focuses on Zachariel and his quest to earn his redemption once the events play out in this first novel. The working title for the first book is Fallen: Vendetta.
A word about the angels of the Agaean/Illdirin:
First of all, the Agaean Plane is Illdirin's equivalent of our Heaven. It's the highest plane of existence, and it's where the Creator Gods and the holiest of angels reside, as well as those who die who are good and have faith in the Gods. And just so you know, I'm not staying true to our God or our angels. This is a whole different world. The Gods are the gods of a specific region of the universe, and some of their angels (called Travelers) choose to live among the mortals of Illdirin. Some even intermarry with mortals (humans, elves, etc.).
An angel falls when they:
There are other grave sins, but these are three of the worst. When Zachariel fell in love with and impregnated a fallen angel many millennia ago, he became fallen.
In contrast, his brother, Samandriel, became fallen for a lesser crime, which I won't go into here. But I will say that he had a falling out with his best friend, another angelic warrior (of the chayalim, a class of which both Sam and Zach were counted). Sam and this other chayal went to war on opposite sides. The friend came after Sam on the battlefield, and the two fought each other, which is another one of those pesky sins I mentioned above. Sam merely defended himself, and though he's considered fallen, he never spent time in Sheforat. His former friend was considered the aggressor, and he was sent to Sheforat. He escaped when Zach did, and he'll feature prominently in the second book of the series.
What else have I been up to?
Over the past few months, I've played with some series ideas. I actually started writing two books during Camp NaNoWriMo, one in April and one in July. I've set those on a back burner for now in order to plan and write this new series.
I'm also still working on getting Relic Hunters: Kingsfall and Relic Hunters: The Fingali Key revised and ready for publication. I've been working on them alone, and it's taken longer than I would have liked.
I'm looking for readers:
I'm currently looking for alpha and beta readers to give me input on the plot and characters, as well as other aspects of my stories, so if you're interested, feel free to contact me at loiseighmy at gmail dot com, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Some last words:
So, have you read "The Hellhound?" Have you read any of the other short stories on my site? If you have, how did you like them? Or didn't you like them? Why or why not? What do you look for in a short story? What makes you want to pick up a story and read it? The characters? The setting? The description or genre? Let me know in the comments!
Lois Eighmy (pronounced like Amy) is a full-time fantasy and thriller writer. She's also an artist and fledgling photographer. You can see some of her writing and other creative works here on her website. She lives in Missouri with her husband, Jeff, her white calico cat, Chloe, and her brindle mutt, Nikita. She dreams of moving anywhere she can experience an annual White Christmas, but is happily working on being content with where she's at in the present.