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.)
* 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! :)
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.