Free Fiction: Dragons of Wellsdeep – Chapter 16

Patience. 

That is my wish for the world this holiday season: may everyone learn to have patience. With themselves and with others. If we all would slow down just a bit instead of desiring everything now (to be home now, to be at work now, to be at the store now, to eat now, to have *whatever* now, to have success now, instant weight-loss, instant healing, etc., etc., etc.), the world would be a much better place. Quit being in a rush. 

There is no need to rush.

(And if you are, how was that your own fault – take 100% responsibility for it.)

Life responds better when you are calm. 

Patience. 

Dragons of Wellsdeep is an epic science fantasy story filled with action, adventure, space travel, magic, dragons, and flying. Chapter 16 is available for 1 week only! Then it will turn back into a pumpkin and a new chapter will appear! 

Dragons of Wellsdeep cover small
Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com

Dragons of Wellsdeep

Chapter 16

by Dawn Blair

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Progress – September 3, 2018

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.

Yeah, this is how I feel on Sunday evenings. 

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Progress – May 7, 2018

Can I just chalk last week up under the category of “Strange & Bizarre” and move on?

Yeah, let’s do that.

But because of events of last week, I haven’t quite been feeling myself. I’m okay, but at the same time, something is off. It’s like an annoying slightly pulled muscle, the kind where you twisted your ankle or something and it hurts just mildly enough to let you know it’s sore.

Yeah, it’s weird.

And, it sent me into designing covers mode. You saw the cover for Tangled Magic. After I finished that cover, I went back to the cover design for the 6th Loki novella. I hope to have that finalized this week. I also have design ideas for Dragons of Wellsdeep and Walk the Path (what I am going to call the 2nd Onesong book — more on that in a moment). So here I am with stories I’m working on and covers already in process. I have to admit that it feels a little strange and bizarre — in my new processes of being more prepared for the publishing side of the work, it just feels weird to have titles and covers so early, before the manuscripts are even completed. That’s just unnatural for me. I’m glad to see it, but there’s still the part of me that’s screaming, “BUT WHAT IF YOU CHANGE SOMETHING?” I hate it when the critical voice shouts at me, especially in all caps.

As most of you know, I started Onesong as part of Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month held in November). I finished the 50,000 words and had almost a complete novel. Afterwards, I realized that I really had two novels that I’d been writing at the same time – an interesting feat that probably is also under the category of “Strange & Bizarre. Half the novel was Rivic’s story, which I had titled Onesong. The other half was part of a novel I’d actually been writing nearly 25 years ago now. I only have a portion of that manuscript — most of it has been lost to time, mail, bad events, floppy drives, who knows. I still have the general plot in my head and I was trying to recreate it without having to suffer the agony of rewriting a book I should still have — yes, I do have another one of those stories (a complete manuscript called Enchantment’s Flame of which I have only the first three chapters of and which probably suffered the same fate as the one previously mentioned. I’ve tried to rewrite this manuscript based on what I have and new parts I want to add and it’s frustrating. I have cried over the loss of this manuscript.) So, yes, I was subconsciously rewriting a new story which would take over my heart and allow me to release the old draft like a dying phoenix to let the new rise from the ash. Honestly, when I realized my Nanowrimo manuscript was really two, that previous metaphor is exactly how it felt. Oh, it was painful making the split because the stories were like conjoined twins who shared organs.

I haven’t even gone back to the section that I’ve split off yet because I don’t know how much patching I will have to do. But if I’ve learned anything this last year, it’s that I can sew Frankenstein’s monster back together and make it live.

I’m really not sure how I like the idea of conjoined twins being compared to Frankenstein’s monster in regards to my manuscripts, but it feels appropriate.

After a discussion about what the title of the first book for Onesong should be, and agreeing that it had to be Tangled Magic, I soon realized that of course it had to be called Tangled Magic because it’s twin book was already called, Wild Magic. Yes, that’s the title of the story I’d started writing 25 years ago. And, I have this feeling that once I sit down to write it, the manuscript will be of similar length and needing divided into two books. I don’t know what the series title will be, but I’m certain that the second book in that series will be Blaze the Path.

Onesong               Unknown series title

Books #1:   Tangled Magic                 Wild Magic

Books #2:    Walk the Path                Blaze the Path

I know the missing information will fill in.

I suspect, even though I haven’t started designing them yet, that Wild Magic and Blaze the Path will also have similar covers to the Onesong stories. Oh, and before you ask, yes, Wild Magic and Blaze the Path take place on the same world as the Sacred Knight and Onesong stories. The Wild Magic story is about a set of Plenelian twins. (And now you begin to see why I say that the analogy of conjoined twins is appropriate – grin.) And, if you’ve been following Sacred Knight and understand who the Plenelians are and what the deal is with twins, then you begin to see the inherent conflicts in this story. Oh yes, this is going to be fun.

What I don’t yet know is if Wild Magic is before Onesong or after it. I know my brain has been working on it because over the weekend it was spitting ideas like slinging mud at a barn wall to see what sticks.

See, the main issue I have with placing Wild Magic is that I know I have to allow room for Elliot’s story. (You ready for this tangle? Strap on your seat belts and make sure your tray tables are in the upright and locked position because this is going to get messy otherwise.) You see, Elliot’s story is actually the aforementioned story called Enchantment’s Flame. I have the general plot, again, stuck in my head. Both Wild Magic and Enchantment’s Flame started off as fantasy romance stories. Both had major plot issues. Both had publishers request them from my synopsis and sample chapters and both were rejected. Enchantment’s Flame was written first. Wild Magic I was just finishing as the idea for Quest for the Three Books came to me (and yes, that also use to be a fantasy romance, and Keteria was the heroine in the original drafts). At the time, none of them had any relations in their stories.

But then I realized I was working with three timelines in the Sacred Knight series and it all exploded. Suddenly, I knew that the castle that was in Wild Magic was actually in Dubinshire. I also knew that the continent where Enchantment’s Flame took place was on the same world as Sacred Knight. When Ithanes mentions (I believe) in To Birth a Destiny about his father taking him to the northern continent, that’s the setting for Enchantment’s Flame, which I’m now calling Elliot’s story.

So, I’m essentially rewriting my own books, taking them out of fantasy romance to be this colossal, epic, sword and sorcery fantasy which is bigger than me most of the time. In those moments of overwhelm, all I can do is stand back, breathe, and remember to take one step at a time.

Yet its frustrating because I can’t just fix up two of these stories that I’ve already written.

But after a week of doing whatever I can to avoid working on Let’s Make a Deal (a story about an ice nymph that I wrote about 20 years ago), I can say that it’s not always easy to rework a story you wrote so long ago. If I was smart, I’d write a blog about that someday soon.

This has been an exceedingly long post, so let’s get to the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week: 3,561 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,785 words

Score a big #4 for my weekly word count streak.

Writing month to date total:  22,718 total words for April, 5,756 words for May

Writing year to date total: 124,251 words

Drawing/painting last week: Zip, zero, zilch – I so need to get back to painting though.

Audio: I spent 3 hours editing audio.

Working on Weblinks

Last week, I showed a page in progress for Weblinks.

Here’s an update on that page:

MS5 Pages

This is just the pencils for this page. Inking and toning to come. Progress!

I do love Lucky’s wimpy arms in the upper panel. You see, Lucky is actually the younger of two brothers. His older brother is the buff, athletic guy. Unfortunately, the events that befall the brother make Lucky into a computer nerd. He’s spent many hours researching and digging through bad scans of arcane texts in a desperate attempt to translate them. He knows just enough to be dangerous.

But oh so much more than what Caitlyn knows. (grin)

I have always felt like this Bite (chapter) of Weblinks is talking heads, but there is so much information here. Don’t worry. We’ll get back to the action soon.

P.S. If you’re wondering why there has been no dialog on these pages, it’s because I’ve taken it off. There is a joke on this page that I’m particularly fond of and I don’t want to ruin it for readers who might see it here first. So, if you want to know what it is, you’ll have to get to reading the comic. Hopefully this page will post next week, maybe two weeks from now.

 

 

Weblinks – sketching March 15, 2018

So I still haven’t had a chance to work on my children’s story and I just haven’t been in the flow to do a Rockin’ Life comic, not after my “just let me be a rock” episode last week. Trust me, there’s a Rockin’ Life comic in all that when I have a moment to look back on it. Actually, it might be in all the words that I wrote but decided not to share — I’ll probably dig the good parts of it for a Rockin’ Life page. Soon, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Instead, today you get to see my page in progress for Weblinks. The green lines is the rough page layout. Here I’ve done some rough pencils for the first and second panels.

I should also note that when I was in Boise over the the weekend for the Sailor Moon musical, I did buy another manga how-to book, plus I bought a painting book online. Yeah, the creative spirit is still alive and kicking in my veins. (I must really stop buying books though! Really! I’m so addicted!)

Okay, here’s the Weblinks page in process (without dialog):

MS5 Pages

A Little Sketching – March 2, 2017

This week I started working on a new page for Weblinks. I have the whole chapter (currently in chapter (a.k.a. Bite) 5 of the story) done in rough sketches, but when I got to this page, I didn’t really like the layout I had for it. It was time to re-envision the page.

So I did.

You can see the new rough sketch in light green. The black on top is my new rough pencil layer.

wl5-7
Weblinks – Bite 5, page 7 (incomplete) – copyright 2018 Dawn Blair

You can see that rough sketches are really rough. They are never pretty. In fact, sometimes when I come back to them after an interlude (boy, that’s a  nice way of saying that I haven’t gotten to it for several months to a year!), I wonder what point I was trying to get across.

I also have a lot of dialog on the page and it’s not yet in its final placement. But I have it there to give me an idea of how much space I will need.

It’s kind of challenging figuring out how to draw pages when you have two characters sitting in a cafe having a moderately intense conversation that if they got too loud everyone else around them would think they were crazy.  This might not have been the best scene to place them in, but when I wrote the chapter I wasn’t thinking about the challenges involved in drawing the scene. I’m such a green graphic novelist!

I would love to point you all in the direction to read Weblinks if you wanted to start from the beginning and get caught up. I hope to post the previous page to this one next week. However, due to my continuing challenges over my domain names, I don’t know if I’ll have a site to point people to. (Oh ye of little faith!). Time to get my other site up and running. I think this weekend I’ll be hard at work on that. “Yeah, I didn’t have any other projects that need to be worked on right now, ” I say with heavy sarcasm.

At least I have my blog. (grin)

 

Children’s Book Page

Here’s a page done on my children’s book this week. 


I have changed the color of the counters throughout the story. More changes will be coming in sure. 

Have a happy and safe weekend as you get ready for the holidays. 

Progress – November 27, 2017

I don’t really have anything to say. Thanksgiving was good. I enjoyed the time with my boys. And I got some writing done. What more needs said?

Here’s this week’s numbers.

Fiction words written last week: 8,957 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,750 words including a character sketch which feels like Loki popped his head in to narrate part of it.

Writing month to date total:  35,471 words

Writing year to date total: 351,912 words

Drawing/painting last week: Some sketching. I chided myself a lot about not working on my comics, promised myself I’d make a plan and schedule some time. Yeah, nothing got done. I know that I have to want to do it, not make it be a should do. I guess I haven’t properly figured out why I want to work on my comics and kids books, at least not enough to find the motivation to charge ahead. I do know some of it really is making time to put myself in the chair to do the work. I do need to schedule time. Once I’m started, I always enjoy myself. I have no issues with self-direction, except when it comes to my drawing. I think I have a lot of things right now which are frustrating me (and, no, I really don’t want to share).

Audio: Almost 7 hours of editing audio. See, this is one of the things I have scheduled to do in my days and it gets done. I’ll share that much.

See you on Wednesday for Onesong.

Work in Progress — Space (ACEO)

Space ACEO Work in process Dawn Blair ©2015
Space ACEO
Work in process
Dawn Blair ©2015

So I had this really cool start to an ACEO. It was so beautiful. I thought I’d turn it into a space landscape.

Well, the landscape didn’t go so well. In fact, the more I tried to get it to work (a.k.a. forcing the process) the worse it got.

I finally ditched the colorful clouds I had here and started over, sort of. I worked part of the new wet paint over the dry paint and started pulling out this nebula from beneath.

It now looks like a dragon spitting a fireball, but I think it’s a pretty neat nebula. Don’t you?

Space ACEO Work in process Dawn Blair ©2015
Space ACEO
Work in process
Dawn Blair ©2015

I still have some work to do on it, but it’ll come. In the meanwhile, I’m having fun painting space.

“Space! I’m in space!” Space Core – Portal 2