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!)
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!
I'll be participating once again in Camp Nanowrimo, this time with a complete reboot of the first book in my McCabe Saga series, Dark Horses. I don't want to say too much, but in this version, both Dakota and his adopted son, Nate, are dealing with bullies. At least one of these is very dangerous. I can't wait to get started writing on April 1!
In other news, if you've visited the main page here in the past couple of days, you might see a bit of a change. I've taken my first short story down and plan to re-publish it soon. I needed to change some links, and the cover changed slightly, among other things, so I needed to take it down to fix these issues. I'll be posting two other stories, too. You can see the covers and a brief blurb for each on the home page (opens in new window...all links in this entry do).
I also plan to turn my novelette from the Christian romance anthology into an e-Book. I don't generally write romance, but I'm fond of this story and its main characters. It's called "A Second Chance At Love." Eventually, I'd like to publish it as a paperback, but that will have to wait until I can learn the ins and outs of publishing it in that format.
I've also taken down a bunch of the short stories I posted here that I didn't think were as good as I'd like them to be. I kept one, but removed some parts that are no longer relevant, and you can read that one here. It's in two parts, and I've linked you to the first of those.
I'm in the slow process of getting my first two Relic Hunters novellas ready to publish, too. Not sure when the first one will be ready to go live, but I'm hoping to have it up by June. In the meantime, you can get an introduction to the main star of that series, Bane Asmodei, by reading this short story. It also introduces a rival of Bane's, Brett Holt.
So these are the four projects I'm focused on right now:
I'll post updates as I progress.
To your reading enjoyment,
In less than a month, thousands of writers will attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I've done this several times. In fact, this will be my 13th attempt at National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo (if you don't count the few times I've tried Camp NaNoWriMo), and as always, I can't wait!
This year, I'm returning to a novel I started during CampN back in April of 2015. My goal was 40,000 words, and I won with 2,000+ on top of that. But as I wrote, I realized some things would need to change to make the story better. And in the years since I wrote those 42,000+ words, a lot has changed with the world of Illdirin and the characters involved in this story.
So I went back to the drawing board. I kept a lot of the material, but I've also changed a lot of things. I'll be starting fresh, and my privateers will not only have one other ship to contend with in the race to find the sunken treasure ship, Venture, but two. The first is a pirate ship, and the second is a naval ship from the country their nation is currently at war with -- and just so happens to be captained by Sahmi Zamada's former captain, Tobias Hancock, whom he and others mutinied against.
I'm having to go back and do a lot more research on ships and piracy, medieval life on land and sea, magical systems, geography, etc. Good thing I started getting ready last month!
Aside from my preparations for this year's NaNoWriMo, I'm also working on another Halloween short story to post to this website (I'll announce it when I publish it). If you need something to tide you over in the meantime, check out last year's Halloween story, The Cellar Dwellars: A Hawkins Short Story. (<-- warning for mild language.) Hopefully, you won't regret it. ;)
While last year's story involved paranormal hunters on my fantasy world, Illdirin, this year's story centers around two young teens here on earth. The town they live in exists, but I've changed other place names. It was fun to write, but anything more than that I won't say. I don't want to give away any important details, after all!
As you've probably noticed, I went on hiatus after my last blog entry. It was unintentional, and I'm not really sure what happened. I'd meant to post short stories every week until I finished posting the Of Blood & Magic series, but then I never did. If you've been waiting with bated breath, you can relax, take a deep breath, and go to the following two links to read the last short stories in Of Blood & Magic: Hunted (book I): SS11: The Rescue and SS12: Unlikely Allies.
I'll likely post one short story every week until this series is all posted. If you have any suggestions on how to make the stories better, feel free to comment in response to this blog entry, but please be polite. Otherwise, I'll just delete it. ;)
So, here's what you have to look forward to in the coming weeks:
Until then, enjoy the stories linked to above and any other writing I've posted here.
I've been busy over the past three days. I edited and formatted two stories from the Of Blood & Magic series ("Retaking the Sentinel" and "Escape") and posted them. *Note: these two have some strong language in them. Then I finished the Relic Hunters short story, "The Falcon's Treasure," edited, formatted, and posted it (in 4 parts, and at the end are links to the other three parts so you can click through them as you read).
You can find all the short stories and freewrites so far on the My Writing page.
I'm going to be adding an Illdirin glossary soon so you can look up words you're unsure of. I'll try to link to the first instance of any word in these short stories and freewrites, as well.
Over the coming month and a half, give or take, I'll be planning new short stories. Some will star my fallen Seraph, Samandriel. Others will start characters from Relic Hunters, Hawkins, and Tales of the Red Falcon. Who knows? There may be other series in the works, as well.
I'll also be planning the overall story arch for another series of short stories and/or novels that take place closer to home, or at least involve characters here on earth. They'll involve Antarctica, the volcanoes (including the supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park), the Black Knight satellite, etc.), and other things I come across. I've got my work cut out for me. There will be a ton of research needing to be done, and I'll be taking lots of notes.
Again, here's what's new on this site:My Writing page.
Enjoy! And be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below! :)
I've been hard at work on this website. There's still a lot of work for me to do, but you can now find some freewriting and short stories here.
My personal favorites are the short stories, "The Cellar Dwellers (A Hawkins Short Story)" and "The Gallant Ones (An Of Blood & Magic Short Story, Part I" and "The Gallant Ones (An Of Blood & Magic Short Story, Part II)". However, if you read the Of Blood & Magic short stories, you really should start at the beginning. They tell a larger overall story, and the first two stories, which are the longest, actually give some background that sets the stage for what is to come. "The Gallant Ones" is the most "fantasy-like" story of the bunch, but it does fit in with the rest.
"The Cellar Dwellers" was inspired by Halloween. I'd planned to have it posted this past Halloween, but I was too late getting it up. It's actually my top favorite at the moment.
To give you some background on this story, and the Hawkins storyverse, in general, Jonas Hawkins is a young deputy marshal from Arcona (on my fantasy world, Illdirin). He's hunted more paranormal beings than most on his world have ever dreaded encountering. He comes from a family of hunters, but he never wanted to get into it full-time. His brother, Jesse, on the other hand, will hunt anything with even the slightest paranormal gift because it's what he loves to do, and he'll break the rules to do it, which irritates Jonas to no end. The closest Jonas has come to hunting paranormal beings is hunting paranormal fugitives as a deputy marshal in the Arconian Marshal Service's Paranormal Division. He has a team of people he trusts backing him up, and they obey the law, as he does. Unfortunately, in "The Cellar Dwellers," Jonas finds himself at a haunted house out in the middle of nowhere with the one person he'd rather not encounter: his brother. But his brother isn't the only one giving Jonas a hard time in this old house. ;)
As for the Of Blood & Magic stories, I'll explain what the lead character and his trusty sidekick are. Lukas Walker and Vaughn Gallant are sentinels, people born with an immortality gene that becomes activated when they die a violent death. The original purpose of sentinels was to record history, but somewhere along the line it become more about protecting mortals from the forces of darkness, though they still maintain their original purpose, as well.
This series is kind of a The Walking Dead meets Highlander mashup, although the flesh eating beasties come later, as does my own version of a Six Million Dollar Man type character.
Adam, the main hunter in the first twelve stories, has always been taught -- usually by having it beat into him by his hunter dad -- that people with magic or paranormal abilities are evil, that they need to be eradicated. He's never questioned it, at least not until he meets Lukas and Vaughn. Meeting them changes everything, but to know how, you'll have to read the stories!
The current plan is to post two stories per week for the next three weeks. After that, it will be one per week. This is just for the Of Blood & Magic series. I have another modern treasure hunting fantasy short story I'm working on, and when it's finished, I'll post that, as well. And I'll always post a blog entry to let y'all know when something new is up, so keep watching your Facebook feeds, because that's most likely where I'll be posting them.
I'm also working on another possible series of short stories involving a fallen angel (Samandriel, mentioned in the previous blog entry) and an immortal. I'm looking forward to planning out their short stories, as well.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. If you read any of the short stories, let me know below how you liked (or didn't like) them. I'm eager to know what you think!
And for curiosity's sake, what do you think of the concept of paranormals/psychics/celestials being hunted by mortals? What do you like or dislike about it? What intrigues you about the idea? I'm curious to know!
Haha! It's been way too long since I posted, so here I am to give you an update on what's been going on.
We started looking at houses this spring, and that picture above is our new 680 square foot "cottage." It's not much to look at right now, and we don't have much furniture, but it's ours! :) I've been weeding out stuff we don't need (we can't store it anyway with a lot less storage space) and trying to get a handle on living a more simple life, but things still get complicated at times. That's to be expected, though. Once we're fully settled in, I'll get more of a handle on things, and it will become more of a sanctuary here. I can't wait!
I haven't done much at all with the new trilogy that takes place in the tundra. I wrote a bit during Camp Nanowrimo back in April, but I didn't get nearly as far as I wanted to. I was supposed to write the trilogy from April through this month (June), but it hasn't happened. I need to sit down and come up with a plan that will allow for working on the projects I'm supposed to be working on, as well as those ideas that pop into my head and won't let me do anything else. I need to work on the trilogy, plus revise another smaller project, and start planning another one.
I've gone down the rabbit hole once again, this time with a fallen Seraph named Samandriel. I'm basing his looks on Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII. I've never played the game, which will probably prevent me from turning the character into a carbon copy of the game villain. That's definitely a good thing, since I have something awesome planned for him.
I also started a freewrite based on the crazy stuff happening down in Antarctica. If you haven't heard about it, look it up on YouTube. There are a lot of videos about it. I've got my own spin on what's happening for my freewrite, which I plan to turn into a short story (a bit on the long side, but not a novella, and certainly not flash fiction). There's something under the ice, but it ain't no space aliens. That's all I'll say. ;)
I'm also working on the encyclopedia that accompanies my fantasy world, Illdirin. I've neglected it, and I'm finding I have to revise character bios, info on different countries, and add material I came up with but never entered into the project. It's a huge undertaking, but I'm up for the challenge.
One aspect of Illdirin I plan to start working on is my map. You can check that out over here. (The page will open in a new window. If you click on the image or the link directly below it on the page, you can view a larger version of it, which will also open in a new window). It's my first real attempt at this map, but I plan to re-trace it and relabel it, add in places that I've come up with but haven't added, and draw in some more of the geography. It's a work in progress, but I have a lot of fun working on it. When I work on it. Ha! (I mostly don't work on it because drawing makes my hands ache, so I'm going to do a little bit each day to minimize that.)
I'm also doing other creative stuff -- knitting, mostly, but I plan to start doing a little drawing soon, too, even if, to start, it's just sketches of my characters and working on the map of Illdirin.
Anyway, that's what I've been up to. I plan to be more present here in the coming weeks. Just trying to get my groove back, so to speak. ;)
So, what have you been doing? Any creative projects in the works?
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.