To m American readers: Happy 4th of July! Please stay safe and sane.
New release update!
This was a story I wrote a couple years ago. It ran here on my blog for a week, then turned back into a pumpkin. I held onto it. I just didn’t feel it was ready to go out into the world at since then.
Our planet has had some trying times lately. COVID, racial violence, suicides, and all manner of things that the news likes to spew around. (I will keep my personal opinion out of this, I swear! – that’s a chant I’ve been saying to myself for 2 days now when I’ve tried to write this post.)
As it turned to July, I started thinking about this story. I don’t know why it popped into my mind, perhaps because of the title, and I laughed at myself that another year was going to pass without me being able to release it.
That’s when I got the sense I’d be releasing it on the 4th.
Here it is July 1st and I’m thinking of releasing a story I hadn’t looked at in nearly two years within three days.
Thank goodness the story is very short!
As I was reading through it, I saw why I needed to release it now. I think the story reflects the demoralized feeling many in the world have today and gives a message of hope.
Uploaded on the 4th of July was born out of a “fear” I had two years ago, along with some of my own personal feelings. At that time, we approached the 1 year mark for my father’s passing. I feel like this story helped me purge some of the emotions from my system and refocus. I hope that those who go and read this story have the same kind of healing I experienced.
For the moment (and this could change in the future), Uploaded on the 4th of July is only available on Amazon as an ebook. You can read for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription, otherwise the ebook is only $0.99.
Keep believing that everything will work out in the end. Tough times come around and we must go through them as best we can. We may have different skin colors and different customs, but we are humans and we are all that humanity has. Be excellent to each other.
P.S. This was actually uploaded on July 3rd, but let’s not split hairs. (grin!)
One of my favorite things about being a “discovery writer” (that’s someone who doesn’t plot a story out, though I am thinking that some planning would help, but that’s a blog for another day) is finding little bits of story that are gems waiting to be uncovered.
There’s one “gem” though that I’ve been waiting for years to find out what the story behind the story is.
In Quest for the Three Books, I “knew” that the Shant’olin (nasty ghosts who eat souls) were tied to the ruins of Lilinar. I always figured Rivic had had something to do with this. But as I prepare the ending of Walk the Path, sequel to Tangled Magic, I haven’t discovered the answer to how the Shant’olin were contained to the ruins, or even how they got there.
It remains a mystery.
Also, when I was working on all the stories in the Sacred Knight series, I know there is something special about the gates of Lilinar, perhaps that there is something buried beneath them, maybe right inside. The observant reader will notice that the Shant’olin never approach near the gate in Quest for the Three Books. In later books, Steigan often has a strange sensation as he’s walking into Lilinar. Again, I thought I would find out what was going on when I wrote Rivic’s books, since he was the one who built Lilinar. But Walk the Path ends with him just starting the building of Lilinar after he leaves Gohaldinest.
That leaves me with the question of what is going on?
There is another story here. Is there a character I’m missing? A bigger picture? Another story between stories?
Do you want to know the best part?
That means there is more to this story for me to start to discover. And that is my happy spot.
Been trying to post this since Tuesday, but the time never felt quite right until now.
Now, if you were been reading between the lines on my Monday blog, you noticed
that I’ve also been working on other stories too. Lately, I’ve been doing this
massive brainstorming on Cirvel’s plans. This has led me to working on the
entire story from Palladium on through to the Sacred Knight series
where I’m currently struggling on book 5.
I remember when I was working on Quest for the Three Books and was getting overwhelmed because it was such a large story. I mean, there were three timelines involved! When I consider Cirvel’s story and how his plans literally run through three series (which right now are a total of nine books – more on this in a moment) and a span of about 5,000 years, I know that I could easily face that same overwhelm. This is an important story. When I add to it that between Cirvel and Moonhunter’s stories, I am building the backbone for a plethora of stories in a connected universe and I know it must be solid. Who wouldn’t hurl under these conditions? But I feel extremely lucky that I worked through those issues of overwhelm when I was at the smaller level, even though it didn’t feel like it at the time.
That’s not to say I haven’t had a few anxious moments. There are some things
that when I’m having to make a decision, I feel as if I’m standing on a ledge
looking out into the vast expanse of space.
Then I remind myself that no one’s life is on the line and I mellow out
about it. It’s just a story.
It’s my own desire to get it right, as close to perfectionism as I come,
that drives me. And I know I’m much better if I stay loose and trust the
process. Again, not life or death.
So above I counted nine novels in the full scope of Cirvel’s tale. This
includes Palladium (which hopefully you are reading along with on my
blog right now), Tangled Magic and Walk the Path (the 2 stories
which make up Rivic’s part of the tale), and then the six novels of the Sacred
Knight series (even though only four of them are released right now). I haven’t
included two other stories. One of those is where Martias and Steigan go off to
the Palin Wars when they aren’t supposed to. I’ve been working on that story in
this time too. In fact, I discovered the answer to the story that I thought I
needed, but when I went back to it, I discovered that at some point I had
“finished” the story. Now I’m left wondering if I want to do what came to me in
the last few weeks, if I want to leave it as it is even though the new idea is
so much better, or to figure out how to merge the two ideas which might
overload the story. There is also the possibility that I break off the aspect
of the story which “finished” it and make that another story. It would be so
easy to do. It has left me wondering if Martias has an even bigger part than I
Not bad for a character I initially murdered off in an early draft.
Yes, Martias was supposed to die in Quest for the Three Books.
I am very glad my critique partners screamed at me killing him and told me
to completely lose that draft. Sherri even made me feel very guilty about it. I
remember her telling me that she was going to get “Team Martias” shirts made –
I sometimes wonder if her comment spurred the turn in Martias’ character. He
was never meant to become so evil. He was always supposed to be a helper for
Steigan. The moment he became the Shapeshifter character and dropped the metal
trap door on Steigan down in the catacombs, it surprised the heck out of me.
Trust the process! I even know the exact moment he takes the journal from
Steigan. There are things that only I know about Martias. Most of it has come
out, but there is more. Even as I’m writing these words, I realize that I do
have more locked away in my head, things that I’ve hinted at to myself. I have
chills crawling over my arms. See, I might even have to write more stories with
As a side note, the world lost Sherri earlier this year to cancer. She was
an amazing storyteller and I wish I had craft she did. She always spurred me to
write better. And especially to pay attention to my grammar – I’m trying I swear!
I have often thought about what Sherri would think about Martias now since I
don’t know if she ever read books 2 through 4. Now that she’s gone, I invite
her to my side often to help me through plotting all this. Maybe that’s why I
don’t feel the overwhelm I did. I have promised another reader that Steigan will
get a happy ending (though if you paid attention when Onesong was running on my
blog, you know it didn’t last), but I hope that I can give Martias a happy
ending too in memory of Sherri.
There is one more book that I didn’t include in my list of Cirvel’s stories and it might be an important one. It’s the story where Elliot is the main character. Now Elliot is a different breed. If you read For a Good Time, Call Loki, then you saw Elliot as a (pre)teen. Yeah, I’m being vague on that. His novel starts many years later and involves characters that I believe are Cirvel’s children. What I am missing is the little spark which really pulls this into being a book in the chain of Cirvel’s long-term plans. I feel like I am so close to finding the tie, but I have yet to put the bow on it. You’ll probably hear me screaming with joy the very moment I discover it. (grin)
So yes, if you were paying attention in that last paragraph, you see that in
my “connected universe” I even pull Loki’s and Steigan’s stories together.
Elliot is not the only connection I have either, it’s the only one that has
been published (and I guess doesn’t fully count until I publish Elliot’s book too).
I love these mind games I get to play with myself! Best job in the world. To
me, this is what makes writing so exciting.
And now I’m going to get back to it. So many books to write. So little time.
I sometimes wonder if I was meant to write in order to discover the universe. I really feel it strange that so many things I “knew” as a child and teen are now being backed with quantum science.
Not long ago, I had an idea for my Onesong which I liked but almost discarded as, “Nah, that’ll be too far of a stretch for my readers to believe.” However, the idea refused to leave.
Earlier this week, I watched a documentary (Black Wholes) where the scientist involved in presenting his theory actually said what I had been thinking, yet he didn’t expand on it any further. I wonder if he didn’t for the same reason I didn’t.
Yet now as I write and reflect on what his theory, I realize that he didn’t “go down the rabbit hole” with his thoughts either. When he said it, I jumped out of my chair and started screaming, “Yes, the Onesong! Dimensions!” (That’s why I watch my documentaries when I’m alone.) But he didn’t go there to the same thoughts.
Of course, he didn’t because he can’t prove it scientifically. But I can use it in fiction.
In trusting the process, I know that this build is why I haven’t been able to finish up Tangled Magic, Walk the Path, and Dragons of Wellsdeep. I needed this little extra information gained. Trusting the process includes all the extra information that comes in via synchronicity. I was asking for the pieces that would make it all come together and it is.
Now, if only I could answer the one question I really want to know the answer to. That seems to be the one question that drives me to keep seeking and always takes me down the rabbit holes of possibilities and allows me to realize what I “know.”
Alas, I don’t know if I will ever discover that answer. But, if anything will lead the way for me, it is the Onesong.
I do feel the mojo coming back though. It was just tired. The rest has given me some time to really think about the structure of what I’m doing. (Okay, going all out like I was had some insanity to it.) It’s strange and I’m still in the middle of it, so I don’t think I can talk about it right now. At least not that part.
But, I am thinking… well, again, it’s hard because I’m in the middle of it and I don’t know what my life will look like when I come out the other end of this tunnel I’m currently walking through. However, I write a lot. I enjoy being prolific. I would love to run more fiction here on my blog. I’m thinking about adding another story or two. I worry about keeping up with the pace, but if I’m only releasing 200-300 words at a time on a story and I only start releasing it as I’m getting toward the end of a story, it would allow me to share so much more here.
That’s one thing I’d like to do. Your thoughts?
I also would like to get back to my comics. I miss them, and I want to build up more for FanX this September. Should I even talk about my kid’s books.
Along this same like, I want to paint more.
I have a four-legged stool I’m trying to build (writing, painting, illustration, and narration).
While working full-time, I seem only to reliably be able to do two of these things at a time. For more than 200 days, I chose writing and narration. I got a lot done. But I never feel complete if I’m only working on two of the four. No, I just feel frustrated.
Then I start to wonder if I’m not actually living life, but rather just being he mule carrying the load up the hill all the time. Okay, well at least I can express that part. See, there are so many other auxiliary things that go into each of the four legs of my stool (editing, cover design, publishing, print-making, varnishing, cataloging, listing for sale online and off which include shows and writing up listings, mastering and editing audio, bookkeeping, exploring new opportunities, etc.) that each of these really gets lost. Now that’s where the frustration really builds.
I know, some would say that I need to hire someone to help me. I don’t think it’s with this area that I need to find someone to help me. Besides, my son already cooks and takes care of the pets for me. What I need is a housekeeper, and maybe someone to do some of the yard work — though I do enjoy mowing my own lawn with my push mower — it’s a good workout. Oh, and speaking of which, I can’t hire someone do exercise for me. So, this is something that yes, I need to look at, but it only works if I’ve got steady work for someone. Besides, there’s so much that I still have to do myself at least in regards to the art.
I bought a course a couple years ago on productivity and I do attribute it to how much I’ve been able to get done. Now that the mojo is rounding back (and you see some of the thoughts rumbling around in my head), I’m planning on going through the course again; this time with the auxiliary things in mind so that I can figure out how to get all those to work. This morning during my meditation, I realized how I need to structure that: not on a per day basis like the course teaches you, but rather on a per week basis. The more I think about this, the more I feel as if it will work well.
Thanks for listening to me babble. If nothing else, I hope it helps someone out there who also has these jumbled, rambling thoughts to realize they are not alone.
Well, wish me luck because that’s what I’m going to start on later today.
Let’s get you to the story.
by Dawn Blair
Chapter 13 has now turned back into a pumpkin. If you missed it, click on the banner above to go to the current posts for my blog. There’s another free story or story excerpt somewhere around my blog – I try to post something new every week. Hunt the story down, read, and enjoy!
This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
Let me start by saying that I’m trying an experiment and moving the free fiction to Friday. I want to see if it has better results there. (catch last week’s now) Not going to lie. This is all about the exposure. Me running the free fiction does no good if only a few people are reading it. I want more eyes on it.
If you were looking for my progress blog that I usually run on Monday and didn’t see it, you’re not imagining things. I didn’t run it. I had originally thought that it would be a way of me being publicly accountable, and I still like that idea, but I’m not sure anyone really cares. I thought someone might be interested in seeing how all gets done in my life and the incremental baby steps it takes. I had hoped that it would inspire others. Instead, I feel as if it didn’t have the intended effect. I also didn’t come back to review it like I thought I would.
Feeling like no one really cared culminated with other factors (cold, snow, gray skies, working many hours, little sleep, and a desperate need for sunshine) into a massive depression for me. Massive.
I don’t like talking about my depression or admitting that I have it. I’ve seen others with depression and mine is very mild comparatively. Usually I can resolve mine by getting more sleep. Not this time. I had the stupid little voices working away in my head and they wouldn’t leave me be. I began to feel destructive. Worse, I couldn’t cry. I felt as if I could vent with tears, things might be okay.
My six-sided painting. I was pretty excited to find this canvas. I knew immediately that I wanted to do a space painting on this. Once I felt ready, I painted the canvas black. The picture above shows it all prepared and ready.
My first layer:
It’s hard not to block a painting in like this and not absolutely hate it and fear that it’s been messed up. But, the painting must continue.
Here’s the next layer:
Now we’re getting some of the misty cloudiness into the piece.
In the next layer, the stars start to shine:
More layers come next, more stars, and adding some of the black of space back in. Finally we end up with this:
There was a point at which I really messed everything up. I didn’t grab my phone to take a picture though; I knew my paint was drying quickly. That probably returned the fun to this painting. I’d started to take it too seriously and quit having fun with it. In causing a catastrophe on the canvas and knowing I had little time to fix it, I had to attack it with courage and release everything. Believe me, at the time I really wasn’t sure I’d be saving it. It was extremely hard to release the fear. Words make it sound so easy, but at the time it was horrible. I instantly projected myself into the future where I had to paint the canvas black once more to restart and regretted the past where I wished I hadn’t touched it so much. I was everywhere but the present.
Grounding yourself with courage puts you firmly in the moment. There’s an obstacle that must be overcome and only by stepping forward can this obstacle be hurdled.
This painting could have easily gone the other way where I did have to go through the future of repainting it that I had imagined. However, I’m glad I kept working it and gave myself the chance.
This blog comes about because of a post I saw on Facebook. I’m posting a clip of it below without any names.
Simple enough until a Debby Downer had to comment that these was words of hope until the darkness smothered you. I am paraphrasing, but barely. I was tempted to leave a comment, but couldn’t bring myself to.
I woke the next morning with this still ruminating through my mind.
I am not immune to the events of the world. Were I to be completely honest, I would admit my extreme dislike of humanity. I’ve spoken this aloud a few times, to which those around me delight in reminding me that I am human. A flaw in my character, believe me.
But I write because I want to have hope. Note that I didn’t say that I had hope, but rather that I want hope.
I do like several person on this planet we call home and cannot escape. But, I write to hang out with people who are champions and take on mantles that lead others into better lives. I write so that I can show people how to have courage, how they can choose to be better.’
The more I thought about this, the more I remembered that we all have choices. I usually say that in conjunction with people doing something that they want to do: write, paint, dance, sew, cook, whatever their talent is that they want to follow. But we have choices in our entire life.
I personally think that Debbie Downer is watching far too much news and hanging on every bad thing that happens in the world. Most people do. Now, I’m not advocating being uninformed, but I am saying, “Turn off the news!” When you listen to the talking heads (and that is just what they are), you pick up on their emotions. Those emotions influence what you are feeling along with their words. It imprints you, and usually negatively because good news doesn’t sell. Only misfortune gets ratings. So turn that crap off.
Then, when you read the headlines in the newspaper, as yourself if you want to bring that energy into your life or not. When you see a story about a girl being killed when hit by a truck, is that really something you want to spend your energy on? It’s not going to bring the girl back. Her family feels miserable. The driver of the truck, we hope, feels guilty and terrible. But it doesn’t change the situation. Do you really need to know more than the headline? Probably not. Why let it tap your energy any more? Make the choice to move along. Go read the story about Toys for Tots needing more donations. That’s actually something you might be able to help out with, to make a difference.
The Hermit use to be one of my least favorite cards of the Tarot, and one I got quite frequently. Then one day I read a great description in one of the books with a new deck I’d gotten. It talked about The Hermit, solitary, holding his light up for the world to see. He was a beacon, choosing to be alone, an individual of his own thoughts and actions. Someone could look upon him and his light and see a life worth living. He walks in the world, but does not let it taint him. Since then, I have taken that to heart and that is how I have chosen to live my life.
I might be human, but I am striving to be The Hermit. I want to be the reflection of what I wish to see in the world.
I don’t always succeed. I am, after all, human.
That won’t stop me from trying.
I realize I’m in charge of my choices. Every day, every moment. I can’t control the energy of others, but I know that I am responsible for my own happiness. Instead of concentrating on outside factors that I cannot control, I will focus on myself and what I can do.
This is my mission for 2019. I’d love for anyone brave enough to read this blog to join me. I may only be one, but I will be a light. If you join me, we make two. Maybe a third will join us, then a fourth. Be strong. Be love. Be the light.
Here in the states, we are celebrating Thanksgiving today.
I know I have readers from many different countries, so today I would like to share my Thanksgiving with all of you, whether you are in the U.S. or not.
I certainly have many things to be grateful for.
Thank you for being a reader of my blog, my Twitter, my Facebook, my newsletter, or however you find me. Thank you for following me. Pure and simple.
Thank you to those of you who like and share what you read.
Thank you for your comments, whether they have been on my blog or to me via email or spoken.
Thank you for letting me share with you the things I find and believe entertaining or helpful. It delights me when I can share things I’m a fan of too.
Thank you for allowing me to not be perfect. I certainly never claimed to be and I’m glad I can fix forward.
Thank you for letting me share my stories and thoughts. Thank you for being there on my adventures. Thank you for sharing a moment in time with me on this small world. I hope that some of what I do (especially in my blog) entertains and occasionally makes you laugh.
Thank you for being with me through trying times and through my successes. Thank you for listening to me talk to myself sometimes, giving my pep talks, and hoping that others might find encouragement from them.