Lists, Lists, Every-fecking-one Does Lists…

…so, I say, “Feck it. I will as well.” 😀

    My favorite blogs

Sweet Mother – This is one of the funniest blogs I subscribe to. When I jump aboard WordPress, Sweet Mother’s blog is one of my first stops. Without fail, she has me laugh, or raises my passions so I am ready to argue. Click the name of her blog to go check her out. You won’t regret it.

Dreamshadow59, – This is another funny blog I subscribe to. I usually jump on her blog every day. Her humor is different that Sweet Mother’s, a little darker, and usually drunker. 😉 Go check her out if you need your funny bone tickled. Click the name to go.

The Book Shelf Muse – Wow. Since I found this blog, my writing has improved dramatically. Their Setting thesaurus and Emotion Thesaurus are invaluable to me. I used to write stuff like, “The forest was big,” and “Joe smiled.” Now, I write stuff like, “The verdant evergreen forest stretched for miles. Pine fills your nostrils are dappled sunlight caresses your cheeks,” and “Joe’s face lit. His eyes crinkled at the corners as his lips arched. He leaned forward, joy radiating from him.” Then, I go polish it. If you want to make your writing better, but aren’t sure how, click the name to check out the blog of Ms. Angela Ackerman and Ms. Becca Puglisi.

The MP Website – This is the site of one of my new favorite writers. I’ve had the pleasure of critiquing her first novel, and I must say, it is shaping up to be epic. Click the name and you’ll see.

    My Favorite Books

H.E.R.O: Metamorphosis – This is the first novel about Supers from author Kevin Rau. Three friends are exposed to a gene “super virus” from a meteor shower that turns them to supers. Stephanie becomes a “Blaster” named Psystar, Rael becomes a “Mutant” named Black Tiger, and Lance becomes a “Brick” named Spartan. This novel explains how the Main Characters become Supers and what the kinds of Supers are. This is always free. Do yourself a favor and click the title to get it for your Kindle.

Black Beast: A Clan of MacAuley Novel and Lost – Two excellent novels by R.S.Guthrie. I reviewed them earlier in the fall. Click here to re-read them, then click the titles to go buy them. You’ll like them as much as I do.

HERO: New Markets – This is the kick ass sequel to Metamorphosis. In this one, Pystar, Black Tiger and Spartan have to deal with the abduction of new Supers. Some villain is selling them as mind-wiped slaves. A fun page turner. Go check it out by clicking the title.

The Emotion Thesaurus: I know, I mentioned it earlier, but I love this writing resource. It is set up so that you can jump to the emotion that you want to write about and see physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses and cues of long-term exposure to that feeling. There are also Writer’s Tips and links to further emotions. For example, fear may escalate to terror. Click the title to go buy it. By the way, I was referring to the digital version of the book. You could also buy the print version.

    Favorite Movies

The Avengers: This was a brilliant culmination of the individual member movies that lead to it. It felt like a superhero movie, something that we’ve not had from DC for a long time. The guys had their issues, but they didn’t whine about them. They settled their problems like comic book heroes should: They beat their differences away. 🙂 The action is epic, and the laughs genuine. Watch it if you haven’t yet.

The Dark Knight Rises – The first trilogy ender that didn’t feel like it crapped on the ones that came before it. The story was decent, if preachy, but it fit with what Chris Nolan already set up. I had a few issues with it, but they are personal gripes. I’m not reviewing the movie, just saying whether I liked it. I do. Go watch it if you haven’t yet.

The Amazing Spider-Man – Fun new take on Spider-Man, but come on! How many times do we have to see his origin story? At least they are sticking a little closer to the source material. Peter dates Gwen, builds his webshooters and sews his costume. Why doesn’t Hollywood want anyone to have a secret identity? That’s irritating.

Expendables 2 – A throw-back to 80’s action movies. It’s a lot of fun. There’s almost everything a guy movie is supposed to have: Explosions, guns, and death. However, it’s missing a few things: Blood, Boobs, and plot. I was disappointed that my favorite character got put on a bus in the first 30 minutes, but, it’s still fun. Go watch it if you haven’t.

    Favorite Timewasters

Facebook – Do I really need to say more? Whether it’s reading friend’s status’, or looking at pics on my favorite pages, one way or another, it’s sucked a lot of my time away. Click the name and send me a friend request. – I love how some of my favorite things are deconstructed on this site. It’s also given me ideas for my novel. It has also sucked up a lot of my time. Click the name and check them out.

Kindle App for PC – The novels are awesome, but the biggest way this thing sucked away my time was looking for more stuff to read. I have more books that I know what to do with.

Chatting with friends – This is by far my biggest time sink. I’ve chatted with my two friends for hours on end without getting any of my work done. Ostensibly, we gather to assist each other with our novels. This happens maybe 10% of the time. The rest of it? (shrugs)

Alright. Those are my lists. Click the links, meet new people and new entertainments. Me? I’m gonna go edit Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake. I have to get it done.

Another Disappointing Apocalypse

Man, I just can’t catch a break. Today was supposed to be the end of the world as we know it, but, dang it, I feel fine. For Feck’s sake, this makes the 4th apocalypse I’ve missed out on.

The comet that was supposed to hit the planet.
The comet that was supposed to hit the planet.

I don’t recall if it was the Hale-Bop comet, or the Shoemaker-Levy one, but one of those feckers was supposed to punch a hole through our planet in the 1990s. I had a hole in me when that didn’t happen.

Y2K was supposed to wipe us out.
Y2K was supposed to wipe us out.

Then, the “Y2K” scare of 1999 was based on predictions that programming errors, which never accounted for the year 2000 in millions of computer-based programs, would wreak global havoc at the end of that year. World was supposed to end in nuclear fire. I got heated when that didn’t happen. Sue me, I’m a fan of nukes going boom.

The Rapture. The disappointment it should have been called.
The Rapture. The disappointment it should have been called.

Next, California evangelist Harold Camping said he could “absolutely guarantee,” based on his Bible-based math, that on May 21, 2011, a grave-opening earthquake would let 200 million blessed souls get “caught up” or “raptured” into Heaven, while remaining billions would feel “horror and chaos” until Oct. 21, “when God will completely destroy this earth.” After the May date, Camping revised, declaring the real delivery date would be Oct. 21, when “the world is going to be destroyed all together … very quick.” I’m pretty cross about this one.

The Mayans decided today was a good day to die.
The Mayans decided today was a good day to die.

Which brings me to today. I had really high hopes for this one. I mean, the Mayans were some top-notch mathematicians. They built stuff that still stands today, 7,000 years later. My cell phone lasted a year… Surely they knew what was up, right? I mean, so what if they couldn’t predict the Spanish. This was bigger. This was the end of the world as we know it (but I feel fine)! *sigh* When I woke this morning, the first thing I said was, “Mayan! Another disappointment!”

Oh, well. Back to editing my book.

HELP THE ELF: I Found Santa’s Missing Nice List!

Hi everyone! As you may remember, a few weeks ago PETE the Elf had a touch too much Eggnog at the Holiday Christmas Party and as he stumbled home, he lost Santa's NICE LIST.

The North Wind scattered the papers to all four corners of the world, and The Bookshelf Muse put out a call to help find them in order to SAVE CHRISTMAS.

Ever since I read about it, I've been on the lookout. And then today, EUREKA!

Yes that's right...I found part of Santa's missing NICE LIST. There it was, fluttering in the wind, half caught under the corner of my welcome mat. And shock of all shocks, I recognized the name, and I bet you will too.

Here it is below:

NAME: Jennifer Boyce & Fabiola Surya

LOCATION: North America

NICE LEVEL: Jen, 95%; Fab, 94%

NAUGHTY LEVEL: Jen, 5%; Fab 6%

OBSERVATIONS: Jen and Fab are great friends, awesome beta readers, are generous with their time and all around fantastic women. They could, however do with more pineapple! The amounts they eat is terrible.

RECOMMENDATION:     a) Coal                   b) Gift

~ ~ * ~ ~

Because poor Pete is dashing all over the place trying to hunt down the rest of Santa's missing Nice List, I decided to take care of this one myself. Ladies, I feel so blessed to know you! Though it isn't much, I hope you enjoy the gift I sent to your inbox and have a wonderful Christmas!

How about you, Readers? Is there someone you'd like to say Happy Holidays to, or tell them how much they mean to you? JOIN US! There's plenty of days left until Christmas, and sometimes a kind word can lift people up in a way that they really need. It's as easy as sending a free ecard or email note, posting on a Facebook wall or sending out a tweet. So go ahead and spread some kindness and cheer!

Photo credit:

assorted gold baubles ( / CC BY 3.0

Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake, Book I (first edit)

No, you didn’t misread. I have decided to share the first edited subchapter of Into the Realm with y’all. I’m really proud of it. If you’d like to compare the two versions, the edit is below, and the original is here.

Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake, Book I

Let me tell you a story. My name is Carter Blake. I live in southwest Baltimore in a row house smack in the center of a shitty neighborhood. I’m fourteen and a junior at Johns-Hopkins University. I had skipped grades a few times. Not the easiest way to live, but my options were limited. I’d either be pummeled daily for being a total geek in high school or I’d be a pariah in college. I chose the latter. Funny thing: what used to get me beat up almost every day – intelligence – got me a lot of respect in the university.
I arrived home after a series of lectures on String theory and particle physics. The professor, Dr. Kevin Rosenthal, had interesting ideas on their applications in the area of cold fusion. I got some amusement out of seeing most of the older classmates staring slack-jawed after one of Professor Rosenthal’s more abstract lectures. They had stunned looks on their faces when he delved into his own hypotheses regarding Perturbation theory. The non-befuddled ones would simply struggle to stay awake due to their all night cram sessions. The Prof frowns on sleeping in class and will use a slumbering student as target practice with a chalk-laden eraser. Unlike my other professors, he preferred chalk boards to dry erase ones. For those three of us still tuned in, his lectures are as stimulating to the mind as a Penthouse centerfold is to the body.
I threw my jacket over the banister, just inside the back door, and trudged up the stairs to my bedroom. With a satisfying thud and a sigh of relief, I dropped the load of books from my back to the floor. I collapsed in front of my computer, flicked in on, grabbed a soda from a mini-fridge nearby and waited for the system to start up. Afternoons were when I indulged in my favorite role-playing game, BattleHammer. It’s a swords and sorcery, hack-and-slash, dungeon crawler type RPG. I played the tabletop version on the weekends, but this was my fix between sessions. As the computer came on, I hit a button on the stereo remote. Seconds later, the first notes from an Imagine Dragons album began to pound from the speakers. I cranked up the volume and spun back to the monitor.
I loaded my current favorite BattleHammer avatar, a dark dwarf fighter named Drago the Clanless. I used him on the weekend in the table version, too. He was Clanless because Mordecai, the Rakshasha wizard had wiped them out as he patrolled the Utterdark. Upon his return, Drago vowed on his dead clans’ souls he’d wear Mordecai’s guts for garters and his skull for a cap. While I waited for him to load, I received a message from another gamer with the screen name of “Gandalf.” I rolled my eyes at that, and clicked to check his profile. I laughed when I noticed the character he was controlling was one of a race called “treebeard” named “Pippin”.
I played for a few hours, then logged off. I spun in my chair, and flipped open the mini-fridge. I scowled at its bare shelves. ‘Remember to restock,’ I thought.
I clicked off the stereo, went downstairs to get another soda and considered making dinner. Mom wasn’t due home for an hour. Father disappeared around the time I turned three. I didn’t have many memories of him, only a vague short film memory of a seemingly powerful yet shadowy person. I wasn’t too fond of him for what he did, though I desperately, and secretly, desired to meet him.
I grabbed steaks from the refrigerator and tossed them on the counter. Stepping out the back door, I quickly ignited the grill. I wanted it warming up while I marinated the beef in a glass baking pan. I poured vodka over the beautiful meat (I am an avowed steak lover), adding spices and some extra virgin olive oil. I could not wrap my mind around the idea of the so-called “marbled” beef. To me, the fat veins just got in the way. They would get tough and stringy, making the meat difficult to eat. I stuck the pan of steaks in the fridge and stood there; debating what else to make. My cell rang and I answered without looking at the id.
“This is Carter.”
“It’s Daphne,” came the melodious reply.
Daphne Sinclaire is 24, and the most gorgeous lab partner a guy would want. She stands at 167.6 cm, and weighs in at 83.9 kilos of firm athleticism. She has coppery red hair, sea-foam green eyes and an awesome 40-32-42 body. How do I know her measurements? Simple: I asked. At the start of the semester I won a bet with her. We’d been randomly paired for a science expo which had a cash prize of $5,000 each and, better yet, a write-up in Scientific American. Daphne wasn’t too pleased, especially when she learned that not only could she not trade partners, but this project would also affect our final marks. She made it perfectly clear that she didn’t want her grade to depend on, as she put it, “A little kid.” To attempt to placate her, I declared we’d win. She scoffed. I challenged her to place a wager. The terms were simple: if she won (by our losing), I’d be her personal servant for three years, no task refused. If I won (by being naturally right about the outcome), I would be able to ask her five questions that she had to answer. Confident that we’d lose, she agreed.
Not only did our exhibition of sustainable cold fusion win, we were invited to demonstrate it to all sorts of government officials. Once we’d won, my first question was what her measurements were. So far, it was the only one after two years. She’s since become a lot friendlier.
“What can I do for you?” I asked.
“I’m hoping you’d be willing to assist me with my psych assignment,” she replied.
“Certainly. Have you had dinner?”
“Nope. Why?”
“You’re welcome join Mom and me. We’re having steak and…something. No decisions on what else, yet.”
She laughed, causing a rush of heat to the pit of my stomach. “Alright. What time should I arrive?”
“How about…,” I paused.
“Well?” she prompted.
Daphne laughed again, “Roger. Wilco,” then disconnected. I enjoyed hearing the military jargon from her. She’d picked it up from her dad, an Army sergeant.
My heart flipped. A female was about to be a guest of mine for the first time! To ask if I was excited would be like asking if a bear shit in the woods. A major understatement. Usually, I went over to her apartment on campus. I grabbed three hefty potatoes from the bin, washed them, wrapped them in foil with a dash of salt and E.V.O.O. and slung them in the oven. I raced upstairs to shower. I arrived in my room before I remembered I had left the blasted thing off. Slapping my forehead in frustration, I hurried down and set it for 350 degrees. I ran back up, stripped and jumped into the shower.
While tying my sneakers, I heard a knock at the front door. I scampered downstairs and swung it open. The sight of her took my breath away. Daphne wore a light green tank top that accentuated her red hair and emerald eyes, and a black denim mini-skirt that accentuated my interest. She had enough make up on to emphasize her looks. On her left wrist, she had on a gold hoop bracelet and an antique Mickey Mouse wristwatch. Her feet were in black flats.
I stood back and waved her in. She smiled and entered, turning with her right hand positioned so I couldn’t tell what she was carrying. After a few moments, she presented a bottle of Pinot Noir with a flourish. I chuckled at the expression on her face which seemed to say, “Check out what I did.”
“Why are you staring?” she asked with a smile.
“You’re cute.”
“Carter,” she said with a rise in inflection at the end. “Don’t.”
I raised my hands in surrender. “Relax. I’m not making another pass. The last attempt and subsequent shooting down was enough of a lesson.”
I took the wine from her, opened the bottle so it could breathe, and placed it on the counter. “Can you think of anything else we should have? Potatoes are baking in the oven?” I gestured at the refrigerator.
Daphne shrugged and opened the doors of the fridge. As she searched, I pulled the steaks out and took them over to the grill. They were just beginning to sizzle when my mom’s car rolled up in the alley. She strolled through the back gate and waved. Mom was wearing her usual office uniform: blue jeans, a white blouse and black tennis shoes. Her auburn hair pulled into a bun. Her laptop was slung over her right shoulder as always. Mom is one of the few women I know who didn’t carry a purse. Her brown eyes sparkled as she met my green ones. She walked over and pulled me down for a forehead kiss. She had to stand on tiptoes to do so; she’s 165.1 centimeters, and I’m 185.42. Yeah, I’m an overachiever in everything.
“Hey, baby,” she said. “How was school?”
“Informative,” I replied, “as always.”
Mom chuckled. “I noticed Daphne’s car parked out front. Is she staying for dinner?”
“Yes’m. She brought red wine for the two of you. Sounds like she’s making a salad.”
“I wish you wouldn’t ask our guests to assist with meals,” Mom complained.
“Ordinarily, I probably would not. However, she has asked for homework assistance, don’t you think it’s fair I be compensated for my time?”
Mom shook her head with a laugh and went into the house. I saw her greet my study partner through the back window. Twenty minutes after I started, the steaks were done.

Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (raw update)

His fist came to a halt inches from her face. His index finger flicked out and tapped her nose. “You know better than to sneak up on me, Kirei-chan.”
She wrinkled her nose in that cute way she had. “Sorry. I was entranced with your awkward dancing. Do you have seizures often?”
“It’s called a kata, as I’ve told you before.” He scowled.
Jennifer smiled. “You keep straining like that and you’re gonna crap yourself.”
He couldn’t help it, he started laughing. It was so much fun being around Jennifer. After a few seconds, he grew more serious. He looked her up and down, taking in the turquoise karategi and the tape in her hands. “Couldn’t figure out what to do with the tape, eh?” She shook her head. Rob plucked the roll from her fingers. “This is to help protect your joints, Kirei-chan. Hold out your hand.” She raised her right arm and he began to wrap the adhesive tape around her wrist and hand. When finished, it looked like she had a fingerless tape glove on her hand. As she flexed her hand, getting used to the new feeling, he told her to raise her other hand. Moments later, he had her left hand done as well and had moved down to her feet.
Jennifer sat on the floor to make it easier for him to wrap her feet and ankles. She stared at him when instead of rising to his feet after the taping was done, he began to caress her leg. He grinned at her and slid his hand further along her calf up to her thigh. When he lightly squeezed the back of her thigh with his thumb and index finger, she squirmed away, giggling.
Rob rose easily to his feet and held his hand out to her. She took it and allowed him to pull her to her feet. When she stood this close to him, her heart started to beat a little faster. He smelled so good; leather from the sheathe, Brut aftershave and a clean, masculine scent that seemed to be all his own. ‘If only I knew what he was thinking,’ she thought. ‘Then I might-’ She pushed the thought away. It wasn’t the time or place for thoughts like that. Rob positioned her so that she was a few feet away from him. She enjoyed his strong hands on various parts of her body: her legs as he adjusted her stance, her arms so they were ready to defend her and her waist as he tried to get her to relax. ‘I’ll never tell him that I find it hard to relax when his hands are on me like this.’
Rob shook his head. “It’s gonna hurt if you don’t loosen up.”
“I’m loose, let’s go.”
He nodded. “I’ll start slowly. Don’t worry about countering, or blocking. Just duck each swat. When we have increased to a sufficient speed, we’ll move forward, okay?”
He delivered a long slow swing at her head. It came in so slowly, that she put up her arm as he’d taught her two weeks ago and lightly punched his chest. He raised his eyebrows and she scowled at him, daring him to say anything. Instead, he fired his left hand at her faster than she could see. His open hand tenderly touched her right cheek. She blinked as he grinned. ‘Point taken, Rob.’ Instead of continuing with the lesson, he instead stroked her cheek, lightly trailing his fingertips along her jaw and caressed her lips. ‘His fingers are so gentle. I like the roughness of his callouses. It’s manly.’ She looked into his eyes, trying to mask her thoughts. His pupils were dilated, making his eyes look black. Her breathing came a little quicker. He stepped forward and she took and answering step backward. He stepped forward and she retreated a step once more. They did this twice more, Rob’s grin growing each time.
“Kirei-chan,” he crooned. “Why are you retreating?”
“I’m not. I’m advancing to the rear.”
He paused, the words slowly trickling through his Jennifer filled brain. When they finally sank in, he guffawed. Once again, she had caught him off guard with her wit. She gazed at him, amusement and…something else dancing in them. He approached her again, but this time the wall of the training room was behind her, leaving no place for her to retreat. He stood so that his chest was brushing against hers. She tilted her head up to gaze into his eyes.
“Worth, what are you-”
He tilted his head down and slanted his mouth across hers, catching her with her lips parted. His mouth moved against hers, kissing her with an intensity she had never felt before. When his tongue slid into her mouth and lightly touched her own, she automatically wrapped her arms around his neck as she began to caress his tongue with her own. ‘He’s been eating blueberries,’ she thought briefly. His lips were firm, yet soft. Demanding, yet giving. His scent filled her nostrils as she held him tightly to her. Her pulse thrummed in her veins as she melted against him.
Rob pulled back a bit and began to rain feather light kisses along her jaw as she tried to catch her breath. He kissed his way around to her ear, nibbled it for a second, or two, then moved down the side of her neck. She held him tightly to her, nuzzling the side of his neck. Her breathing was short and shaky as adrenaline raced through her. She ran her hands through his hair, enjoying the silken softness of it. He nibbled the side of her neck before lightly biting it. Jennifer gasped as heat flooded her belly and spread outward. Shortly, Rob’s mouth returned to her lips. She pushed him back a bit and playfully kicked his shin. “What the hell, Worth? What are you doing?”
He chuckled. “You have to use every weapon at your disposal.”
She scowled, eyes narrowed. “Oh really?” She then kicked his shin a bit harder this time. It wasn’t enough to hurt him, she didn’t want that. He hopped up and down on his left leg, clutching his right shin and rubbing it.
“Ow, ow, ow! What the hell, Kirei?”
As he hopped, she stepped forward, gripped his right arm, pivoted into his body and flipped him over her shoulder with a judo throw he’d taught her last week. He slammed to the mat, hard, with the air knocked from his lungs. She stood over him, her hands on her hips. “How’s that for using every weapon at my disposal?”
He started laughing. Before he could formulate a response, Danijela’s voice sounded in the room.
“Mr. Worthington, we have a situation near Fort Avenue. Take your new recruit and investigate.”
“Roger that, Danni. What are the particulars?”
“According to the reports, it seems a wild dog attacked a jogger near the Koba Café. Local Leo’s are on scene. Be careful, you two.”
“Change up, Kirei. I’ll meet you back here in five minutes. There will be a tactical vest in your locker.”
“Roger that, Worth.”

Where Has The Blasted Time Gone?

I checked my calendar today, and it said it was Wednesday already. What the hell? I thought it was Sunday! Looks like I was wrong. On Sunday, I was supposed to announce the winner of my contest

I forgot. I’m sorry. Allow me to correct my error: The winner of the contest is Miss Maeve Power. Congratulations!

Usually, you’re supposed to remind the winner of how they can collect their prize. fortunately, I did remember that. I don’t feel completely stupid now. Just largely. I know! I’ll blame old age again. 😀

I’m going to have maybe three more posts, then I’m taking a break from my blog until February. I’ve got to focus on editing Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake. I aim to have it out around April 24th, 2013. Now to find a cover artist.

Interviewing Carter Blake

I was going to post another raw excerpt of my first novel, Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake, Book One, but I think I’ll interview Carter instead. As of now, the Walker of Worlds seems to be in his mid-30s and has fully realized his powers. The Chronicles of Carter Blake tells the stories of how Carter grows into a man, and the Walker of Worlds.

We’re to meet in a café in Baltimore called Peace & A Cup of Joe. I’m seated at a table, pecking away at my laptop when there is a faint pop behind me. I turn. Carter is a big man, clad in a silvery, purple-green armor the is molded to his broad form. When he shakes my hand, I fight not to wince. He’s got a very firm grip. He has a weary expression on his face. His shoulders are a bit slumped and his back is bowed.

R.w.Foster: Hello, Mr. Blake. Welcome to beginingsinwriting.

Carter Blake: Thank you. Please, call me Carter. (he sits in a wooden chair which creaks ominously)

R.w.F: Thanks. May we jump right in with the questions?

C.B: Certainly.

R.w.F: What is the Realm?

C.B: (He smiles. There is a faraway look to his eyes) The Realm is a world of magic, Elven, dwarves, half-dragons and other magical beings. It is also a nexus of the Multiverse. It is where I first learned that I am the Walker of Worlds.

R.w.F: What is the Walker of Worlds?

C.B: The Walker of Worlds is the being created by the Ancients to stop out of control gods. You could say we are Arbiters. You see, when a god becomes too unjust, we cut them off from their power and banish them from their universes. We are the balance, and the beginnings of Reason.

R.w.F: What are some of your abilities?

C.B: I can freely travel between universes, I can seal a deity away from the Sourcewell where they get their power from, I can kill them and I also have some minor Chronomantic ability.

R.w.F: What is Chronomantic?

C.B: It means I have the abilities of a Chronomancer, or a time wizard. I have a limited talent at using the fabric of time to create powerful effects.

‘That sounds cool,’ I think.

R.w.F: Sweet. Would you give a demonstration?

C.B: Sure.

(He stands and his eyes take on a crimson glow. He moves his hands in a series of complicated gestures, manipulating something I can’t see. Moments later, another Carter Blake appears. This one waves, then merges into the original.)

R.wF: (Impressed). Wow. That was epic.

(Carter returns to his seat. It crackles)

Do you have anyone special in your life?

C.B: (A radiant smile lights his face, instantly making him seem to be a lot younger) I do. My Rishka, a half-Elven named Dearbhaile.

R.w.F: What’s a Rishka?

C.B: It means “Beloved” in Renline, and Elven dialect.

R.w.F: What’s she like?

C.B: (He straightens in his seat and leans forward) She is the most spectacular woman I know. Intelligence sparkles in her emerald eyes, her ruby lips are quick to smile. Her wisdom is clear in every word she utters.

(I smile. I know exactly what he means. I feel the same way about the woman I love.)

R.w.F: When you first entered, you looked exhausted. What’s been going on in your life?

C.B: (There is a hint of sadness to his eyes) I buried my best friend today. Robilar and I traveled together for many years.

R.w.F: I’m sorry to hear that, man.

C.B: Thanks.

(I decide to shift the conversation away from something that seemed to be so painful.)

R.w.F: What were you like as a kid?

C.B: I was bullied a lot because of my intellect. Some moron decided to tell my mother that I was a genius and should be made a highschool senior at 11 years old.

R.wF: You still sound bitter.

C.B: Wouldn’t you be? I felt like a freak. And of course, I got beatings from the older guys when I screwed up the curve. Or made them look stupid in front of their girlfriends. At that age, I hadn’t learned to keep my mouth shut, and hadn’t learned that not everyone knew what I did. I just assumed it.

R.w.F: That sounds harsh.

C.B: It was, but it helped me become tougher. After stuff like what I endured in highschool, the Realm was initially a cake walk. But then, I met L’Arcs… (His voice trails off)

Before I’m able to ask Carter further questions, he vanishes. Off to save another universe, I guess. I’ll try to get him to sit down for another interview as soon as I can.

Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (raw Update)

Agents Markham and Jensen looked around the cave. There was no sign that anyone other than Rob and Jennifer had been there. Jensen was a brunette woman with dark brown eyes that sparkled as if she wear constantly amused. Markham was a bald man with a deeply lined face. He was only 37, yet the stress of the job had him looking much older. They had been partners for seven years and communicated almost silently. At her partner’s nod, Agent Jensen raised her radio to report. Just outside the cave, a small branch crackled as if someone had lightly stepped on it while trying to sneak up on them.

Agent Markham indicated that he was going to investigate, drawing his weapon as he did so. Agent Jensen nodded and drew her own firearm. Markham stealthily crept to the cave opening and peered out. Strain as much as he could, he couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary outside. He pulled a long breath through his nostrils, but couldn’t smell anything either. He turned back to his partner and shook his head. He didn’t see anything. Jensen blinked. When her eyes reopened, her partner was gone. Her jaw dropped and she ran over to the opening of the cave.

She looked out and stared around. Some instinct had her keep silent. It was probably the same one that had her heart racing like an excited horse. Her breathing was coming fast and hard, yet shallowly. Black spots passed before her eyes and the cave felt like it was going to collapse on her. She had her gun pointed out, moving it here and there, jerkily searching for a target. She was so freaked out by Markham’s sudden vanishing act that she wouldn’t have been able to hit the ground had she aimed there.

A branch shook lightly, drawing her attention. The green of the brush’s leaves was a light brighter than she had remembered. She gently pushed aside the roughly barked branch, ignoring the green leaves. Before she could see what had made the branch move, she was abruptly hit in her face with a steam of warm liquid. The hot, greasy, coppery odor told her it was her partner’s blood. Squeezing her eyes shut, she recoiled. She never saw the thick, brown hand that snaked out of the brush and yanked her in. The brush shuddered, then was still. In the distance, birds chirped unconcernedly. A tan doe and white-speckled fawn dipped their heads to drink from the nearby stream.

Contest Time

Yep, I’ve decided I’m gonna run a contest for my followers. Since I don’t have two pennies to rub together, atm, I’m going to give away an edit and critique of a 1,000 word work that you e-mail me. Here’s the way it works, leave me a comment below with a brief blurb about whatever you’re working on, and follow this blog. That’s it!

I will announce the winner on Sunday. Good luck, all.

One last thing: Liking the post doesn’t get you an entry. The blurbs do. I can’t select something if it’s not there for me to read.

Into The Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake (Raw Update)

I began to travel the hallway, looking for a way out. Torches, their oily smoke rising to mate with greasy soot staining the walls above them, created islands of intermittent light, oases in the lightless ocean of gloom. The islands of light lasted maybe fifty feet before I was swallowed by the darkness once more. There was maybe two hundred steps in between the torches. I tried to move as silently as possible because I had no idea if any guards lurked in the shadows. To my ears, straining as they were to catch any unusual sounds, my footsteps sounded like the rumble of thunder.
My eyes strained at the darkness while I was in between the pools of torchlight. My heart pounded as adrenaline raced through my body, keeping me alert and ready to fight, or flee. My muscles sang with coiled energy ready to explode into action. Something scuttled in the darkness, claws on stone. As I approached the next bit of dark, leaving another circle of light, something black scurried out of the shadows and raced towards me! I exploded into action, giving a ripping battle cry and slamming my iron staff down on it with all my strength!
The poor rat shrieked, spun in place and raced back the way it came. The iron bar impacted the floor, severing the tip of the rat’s tail, and sending a shower of sparks and stone chips into the air. Shockwaves radiated up my arms as the sound from the hit of metal against stone raced it to the dance floor of my aching head. The bar fell from my impact numbed fingers.
“Fuck me,” I said softly. “I am freaking wired. Angriz would be disappointed.”
I sat on the stone floor to attempt to regain my composure. My butt finished the message from my eyes to my brain: the floor was a labyrinth of small to medium rocks and mortar. It was uncomfortable, but I was able to push that away as my breathing returned to normal.
I closed my eyes and folded my legs tailor-fashion. The backs of my hands rested against my knees as I began to meditate as Angriz had taught me when I was blind. I focused first on my breathing: long and slow breaths pulled through my nostrils down to my toes followed by rapid exhalation through my mouth. Then, I began to count my much slower heartbeats. After 200 of them, I slowly rose to my feet and once more took up my improvised weapon.
As I stole through the hallway, I was puzzled by the fact that there seemed to be no other cells. ‘What kind of prison has only one cell?’ I thought. Six steps later, I stopped and slapped myself on the forehead. ‘Duh! Solitary confinement!’ I didn’t know whether to be pleased to be thought that much of a threat, or to be worried that I was considered too valuable to be housed with other prisoners. I decided that it didn’t matter after a few seconds to contemplate both scenarios.
I continued to prowl the dank stone corridor, sticking mainly to the left wall. I had my iron bar in my right hand gripped firmly, ready to use it at a moment’s notice. I allowed my left hand to lightly skim the wall as I went. My fingers encountered roughness as if the walls were stucco with the occasional break for moisture and a couple of times for patches of slime. Oddly, I didn’t feel any of the pink moss. I paused in my trek to arm sweat from my forehead. When I did, I realized I was at an intersection of corridors. The one I stood in went on into the darkness. ‘I guess they forgot to pay their electric bill,’ I thought inanely. A breeze came from the new corridor. It traveled from my right to my left. A moment later, I heard creaks and clangs that reminded me of an antique elevator. I decided to investigate. ‘It might be a way out!’
I found a torch-lit alcove and a rusty iron grate across from it which enclosed a dark shaft that ran up into the ceiling and down below the floor. As I examined the grate, which looked like a rusted collapsible fence, the clang and crash of ill-maintained gears came closer. Before I could look for, much less find a place to hide, the gate opened with a sharp Bang, and a nasty looking monstrosity stepped off.
It looked like a 152.4 cm tall, humanoid wingless bat with all the skin ripped off. The thing’s angry red muscles rippled as it moved, causing a clear, glistening and viscous fluid to roil down its body. Nictating membranes flicked across its oil drop eyes when it saw me standing there with the torch light behind me. It gave a high-pitched battle cry, showing jagged teeth and yellow saliva, raised its shortsword and shield, and then launched its attack. Its first few wild swings were so easy to dodge, I didn’t even bother to block them. It screamed in frustration, or I think it did, anyway. It may have been congratulating me. I twirled my iron bar in a defensive pattern. The bat-like creature tried to thrust its blade at my stomach. The blade was intercepted and redirected along a different pathway with a squeal of metal and a shower of hot sparks, some of which landed on my bare flesh. I hissed in pain, and before I could stop myself, reflexively halted the spin of my staff and brought the far end down on the skull of my opponent. All at once there was the sound of iron breaking bone, a fine spray of bluish ichor from the impact zone and a death scream from my opponent. ‘Damn it,’ I thought. ‘I wanted to try to get some answers from this thing.’ Heaving a sigh, I stepped away from the crumpled bat-creature. No point in mourning lost opportunities now.