This is pretty much first draft as it is written so far. When I went in and looked at the story to get the first chapter, I realized that I’ve written less than 50,000 words for it and there’s not a whole lot of “chapters.” I have it broken into chunks really. I know some of these run very long and some are short. I’ll try to get everything evened out, but that might not always be possible. I very nearly chickened out on this story because it is in such a sad state, but I figured what the heck. I might as well put it out there and see what happens.
Palladium. The word is pronounced PUH-LEY-DEE-UM. (Okay, phonics was the worst thing that ever happened to me in school. It never made sense to me and ever since then if I can’t break a word down like this, I’m hopeless. I hate pronouncing words that I don’t know and haven’t heard before because phonics just ruined me.)
Palladium is defined as anything that is believed to protect or offer safety; safeguard (as I learned thanks to dictionary.com’s word of the day). For now, that makes a good title.
I really wanted to have a cover reveal, but I didn’t have the time. In fact, I’m not certain this is even the final cover, but it will work for now. I had to rush it in order to get it done.
For those of you who have read at least through To Birth a Destiny, book 3 of the Sacred Knight series, or who followed through Onesong (now Tangled Magic and Walk the Path) when I put it out here on my blog about a year ago, you’ll be familiar with Lord Cirvel of Gohaldinest. Palladium comes before Steigan’s and Rivic’s story, This is basically the story of how Cirvel comes to Gohaldinest (well, more or less, but let’s not split hairs here when I don’t even know how the story will yet end). This takes place when Cirvel is a novihomidrak (new human born of the dragon) and a champion for the forces of good. (Yeah, I saw that grin — I know what you’re thinking: Cirvel, good? No possible way! This is what happens when readers love your villians — they want to know how they got that way. Cirvel, by tantalizing my artist-child along, is oh so willing to oblige).
This story is meant for new adult audiences. It is rather mature in nature, not that there’s anything really detrimental, but it certainly isn’t meant for readers under 17 as there is content of a sensual nature. If you are younger or prefer completely clean content, please go no further with this story.
Let’s begin, shall we?
by Dawn Blair
Cirvel walked through the
marketplace, listening as the swirl of music got closer to him. The cries of
“Opa!” made him smile though he tried not to. It seemed as if the
three small, golden teapots hanging from his belt enjoyed the rhythm too,
banging against his hips as he walked.
Adventures this week have been… oh, look, SQUIRREL!
Yeah, something like that.
It feels like two or three things have been going on all at once. Someday I swear I will learn to focus.
It’s just been challenging to get my words in this week, though I have been painting. It seems like that’s what I really want to be doing this week. It’s making me really consider making my word count next year into a rolling word count like I’m doing with my painting. There’s a little part of me that keeps saying, “You’ve already accomplished your word goal for the year. Give yourself a break and paint.”
Then there’s the other part of me that says that I have over 125 days into my writing streak. Do you realize how long that is of getting a certain amount of words in every day? Yeah, 125 days. Just because I have overflow one day doesn’t mean that I can just apply that to the next day. That’s not consistency!
It’s like the fight of the good shoulder angel and the bad shoulder angel. I’m tired of the constant blabbering in my head.
“But you’re doing it with your painting. Why not with your writing?”
Argh!!! Painting is different, don’t you understand that? What if I couldn’t count the words until the novel was completed?
“Maybe you’d finish more if you did that instead of bouncing between projects.”
Oh, I want to talk about this chapter, but I don’t want to spoil it. This is me anxiously clapping my hands together. Ignore the woman behind the curtain.
I was glad to see that I still was a few chapters ahead, so there’s a bit more to go. I’ve been so busy working on Cirvel’s story (and yes, I really think I needed to be writing it before I really got back to Sacred Knight #5) that I haven’t been working on Dragons of Wellsdeep as much lately. There are just so many stories I want to be writing and I’m so far behind with my reviews of what I’ve written that I feel like I’ll never catch up. Even my new processes I’ve been writing about earlier in the year don’t seem to be giving me an advantage. Okay, so maybe follow-thru on some of these has something to do with it, but when you realize that you have to go back and rewrite a section of story, which also means updating the outline, it has just knocked the wind right out of my sails. It’s easier to just keep writing forward. Then I feel bad because I know I need to go back. Time is so limited and the words must be done. Rearranging words doesn’t get new words written. Yeah, I’m going to have to find balance somewhere.
While I’m figuring it out, why don’t you get to the story?
Dragons of Wellsdeep is an epic science fantasy story filled with action, adventure, space travel, magic, dragons, and flying. Chapter 18 is available for 1 week only! Then it will turn back into a pumpkin and a new chapter will appear!
Dragons of Wellsdeep
by Dawn Blair
Chapter 18 was available for one week and has now turned back into a pumpkin. If you missed it, click on the links below to find it or another great story to read. There’s also another free story or story excerpt somewhere around my blog – I try to post something new every Wednesday. Hunt the story down, read, and enjoy!
Four hours of yard work on Saturday has left me sore and achy. I didn’t even get up Sunday morning to record audio as I usually do. I was hard to get my words in Saturday night, but I did. I should have listened to the little voice that said I should have gotten my words done in the morning before tackling the pine needles in the back yard. Whoever thought to put a Ponderosa pine in a residential neighborhood was an idiot. The tree was planted years before I moved in. Now it’s a behemoth.
Other than that, I’ve been trying to get back into routine this week from Adrian’s play last week. My maniac drive to get audio done seems to have subsided for the moment, giving way to my need for sleep.
The only thing I can really claim that I’ve accomplished this last week, other than my daily word count and my daily Inktober posts on Instagram, is that I’m nearly done with the full plot outline for Tangled Magic and Walk the Path. I’m so glad that I’m building this because I’ve found some spots where I can move things around if necessary as well as a few holes from the mess of writing I was doing posting it as Onesong here on my blog. These two books are so going through two readers — one for continuity and the other for proofreading — before they see the light of day. I hope the two readers I have for this are ready.
I’ve made October an interesting month so far. Now not only do I have the “get the words done” goal each day, but I also have a picture to draw and ink for Inktober. Hopefully you saw my post last Thursday showing all the one’s I’d completed up to that point. Yes, there will be more this Thursday. But, as I said, now I have two goals to reach per day instead of only one.
See, my life is the same as everyone else’s. I wish I could make a plan to accomplish my daily goals, every day, without fail. My achiever personality really would like it that way. But reality is reality and can’t always be anticipated. So I fear the day where I miss my goals.
I’ve been trying to record, when I’m home, a chapter on Saturday and another on Sunday. For the most part, it works really well. I haven’t even been setting an alarm to get up extra early to do it. I’ve just let it happen.
This weekend, I hadn’t expected on a dog puking in the middle of the night. On my bed.
It’s bad enough to wake up to the sound, but to realize that she is on my bed is even worse.
I had to get up and clean the mess. Not fun. I should have known that since Kreeli had come in to sleep with me when Adrian was home that she wasn’t feeling well. She loves Adrian and sticks with him nearly all the time. She’s a pure breed Shih Tzu and his companion; living true to her breeding. The only time she really stays with me is when Adrian is gone, she wants some quiet time in my writing office away from everything else, or she’s sick. She hadn’t come in to stay with me after I went to bed and Adrian hadn’t come home from work yet, so I should have been suspicious when she came in after he got home. I just felt her move up on the bed and didn’t give it much more thought.
Until that moment I was cleaning up my blankets in the middle of the night.
Needless to say, it disrupted my sleep cycle and I certainly didn’t wake up earlier than usual.
But the morning still worked out so I could jump in the booth and record a chapter while Adrian took Merlin for a walk. Strangely (not really), Kreeli didn’t want to go; she stayed home and slept. I had nearly finished the chapter when Adrian came home, and I did finish while he started getting breakfast together. Worked out perfectly.
So often when I’m writing a blog post meant to inspire, I talk about it being a choice. You can’t help it when life happens to you (a puking dog in the middle of the night), but you can’t let it stop you from choosing your dreams (figuring out how to record a chapter even when everyone in the house is now awake). I even thought about recording the chapter after I’d finished cleaning up and was getting ready to settle back into bed. I didn’t because I knew I was so tired and I wanted to give a good performance, not a mediocre, irritated, tired one.
And so that is how this week had gone. I made the choice to do Inktober, so I need to figure out how to work it into a schedule that already seems too full. I’m hoping that Inktober serves the same purpose that Nanowrimo did nearly 3 years ago when I participated in that; forces me to learn to use my time wisely to achieve my goals. I know a lot of writers who don’t like Nanowrimo for one reason or another. I think it works well for overcoming the mental block of “I don’t have time to write.” Even if the writer tries and fails, they tried and learned what they are capable of doing. I really want to know how to fit drawing into my schedule, even though I have done it long enough to finish Eggs at Play, I also want to find time to practice/learn/experiment, draw my comic, paint, and work on my next children’s book. The only way I will do that is if I make the choice to do something that will push and challenge me so I can prove to myself that I can do it.
It’s not like i write 50,000 words every month as in Nanowrimo. Most months, I only average around 30,000. That’s a comfortable amount for me. Yes, I have proven I can do 50,000, but I now know where a good level is for me. It’s like weight-lifting where you see how much you can lift, then you adjust down to a lower weight in order to do the reps. I want Inktober to show me that I can draw every day, how that flow feels, and helps me get back to a schedule where I have drawing incorporated into my week.
I’ll tell you, it has already proven enlightening. I have discovered something about myself that I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been pushing myself to get Inktober drawings done. I learned that I can’t see lines. I am finally understanding what artists mean by figuring out the shapes, and I understand the concept of negative space, but I haven’t figured out how to simplify something like a photograph down to its simplest lines. This shouldn’t really surprise me. When I listen to music, I hear everything at once, merges, blended. It takes a lot of concentration that I can’t maintain for long if I want to pull one part out, like bass, drums, or a trumpet. I certainly can’t tell what notes they are playing or even attempt to recreate it. When I learned that people could actually follow each individual part and play it, I was astounded.
So what lead me to the realization about the lines? Well, when I was working on Inktober drawings, I would find something simple as a reference drawing. I should have taken a picture of the under-drawing for the “chicken” prompt — I had the cutest little chicken under the cow suit. All but his face was closed off by the time I finished, and the eyes on the face weren’t cute, little, round buttons any more, but sharp eagle eyes. Now mind you, the chicken reference picture was that of a plush. The cow outfit on the chicken I modified from a couple different cartoon references. The “exhausted” prompt where I drew a dead horse, I found a cartoon of a horse with its legs up in the air. It had a saddle on, which I removed in drawing. Then I added all the scenery around it. Yes, it seemed like I was taking simple drawings for reference, then adding my own details to it.
Then, on Sunday, I sat down at Barnes & Noble with some magazines and found a picture I wanted to sketch. It was of a simple cottage with a thatched roof. I’d really like to be able to paint cottages like this. It’s one of my goals. So, I thought sketching this one would help improve my skills. I realized I was seeing everything, at once. I could pull out the lines of perspective because I’ve had enough practice doing that now, but the chimney, the lines of the bricks on the roof, the bricks around the doorway and on the landscaping, the thatching, the forest, the car, it all overwhelmed me. I got frustrated with the sketch. I gave up.
Once I had that failure, I analyzed why I’d had it when I’d been doing so well with Inktober. The answer was clear. Then I was to start taking a marker and going over the picture to simplify it. That’s what I need to do.
Leave it to me to jump in and start learning, then once I reach a certain level I have to go back and figure out all the beginning material. I’ve always been like that. (grin) Blame it on my astrological sign.
For me, learning this makes Inktober already a success. It probably explains where I have plateaued and why. If I can get beyond my frustration and get back to art, it’ll be worth it.
Also this week, I finished and uploaded the audio on For Sale, Call Loki. It’ll probably be released in about two weeks. That means that next week I get to start to work on editing the audio on For a Good Time, Call Loki. I’ve got 4 chapters recorded so far.
I started working on a new logo for my newsletter, but I think that was just a distraction on which I shouldn’t have wasted my time. I need to send my welcome email for readers who have recently joined my list; instead, I delayed it and I should have. I should have sent it, then gone to working on the logo for the next newsletter. Now I need to go send it anyway after delaying it several more days. And I still have no logo. Bad me!
I also started a chapter outline of Tangled Magic. I was working on Walk the Path, but so much had changed and I couldn’t remember the order of scenes that I was frustrating myself. That’s the sign for me to stop and line out the scenes.
It seems like a lot, but to me it doesn’t feel like a productive week. Just a time of trying to keep my head above water. On the other hand, I did a lot of personal projects that needed to get done. I also made applesauce with a bunch of apples that I received. Oh, and I tried to make hamburgers in my Instant Pot — I had to cook them longer than the recipe said, but I was happy with the taste. Have I mentioned that I love my Instant Pot?
Daily word goal reached for 58 days. Weekly word goal reached for 11 weeks.
Writing month to date total: 7,487 words
Writing year to date total: 255,292 words
Drawing/painting last week: No painting this week, but I drew a lot for Inktober. I did take the time to get ahead on my pencil sketches, but I will ink them on the appropriate day. I don’t want pressure that will make me not do this.
Audio: I spent 4 hours recording and editing audio. I uploaded 1 hour 31 minutes of audio for distribution.
I probably should have written this during the morning when I was all pumped up and ecstatic. I’m starting to feel that this is a Sunday routine for me where I start the day all excited and by the time I sit down to write this, I’m depressed as can be. Yes, honest moment there.
And yes, I often have to pick myself back up to write this blog.
There’s a big fly in my office and I wish it would die. I want it to get trapped in a spiderweb and become dinner for another species I don’t particularly like. Yeah, it’s that kind of depression day.
Maybe it’s the episode of Star Trek: TNG that I had on a little while ago. Maybe it’s just a cycle that I go through. Maybe I feel that I’m not as productive on Sundays as I wish I were and I imagine myself being during the rest of the week. Maybe it’s the story I’m writing that now has me emotionally tapped. Maybe I intuitively feel that I’m not doing something right in my life and this is when it tries to surface. Maybe I need more time off to recharge. Maybe I see all that needs to get done that I haven’t gotten to. Maybe I feel like this is a record of what I got done while I let other things in my life go by the wayside knowing I should be tackling these tasks too.
Much like with Onesong, you are getting a raw story. It is not yet complete, so I’m certain things will get added or taken out later. Parts may not always make sense. But, we had so much fun when I did this with Onesong that I thought I’d give this one a roll too.
Please like and share the story with all your friends. It’s more fun to read these chapters together. As long as everyone keeps enjoying the story, I’ll do my best to post chapters. (I will trust the process though, just like I did in Onesong.)
UPDATE: This chapter will remain up as a sample chapter for the book. It will not go away.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Dragons of Wellsdeep
by Dawn Blair
Her time of merely watching drew to a close. Soon, she’d take the child.
The little boy headed to the well. She watched him in the reflection of the water’s surface, a waving mirage with the blue sky behind him. He stomped his feet as he walked, pounding on the earth like a heartbeat. She felt his restrained temper tantrum mixing with her own pulse in a growing, synchronized cacophony with his irritation.