It was a long, paved driveway to nowhere. Fifty yards of winding tree-lined blacktop ending in an open field. There was no building at the end, nothing to indicate the driveway’s purpose, no sign that a building had ever stood here. Zack stood at the end of the drive and let his eyes trace over it.
“You looking to buy?” Startled, Zack turned to see a wizened old man with a cane looking at him.
“I’m not sure,” he replied. “I still don’t understand the point.”
The old man grinned, an unsettling gap-toothed smile. “Ah,” he said, “you’re asking all the right questions.”
“I haven’t asked anything,” Zack puzzled.
“Not in words, no,” the old man said, “but here.” He reached up with a gnarled paw and tapped Zack on the temple. “You won’t be sorry you bought the place. It’s a real winner.”
Zack began to object when a stinging sensation on his hand distracted him. He raised his hand in time to see a drop of blood fall from one finger and land on the pavement. He looked up, and the old man’s eyes were luminous.
The Callous Demon peered down at Leohand from its perch atop the door. Leohand glared at the leathery creature.
“Ah, I see you’ve met Domedra,” Tarvin said, coming back into the room. “She’s harmless enough, but few of my customers care for her presence. Cuts down on theft.” He chuckled.
“I’ve come for an item in your collection,” Leohand growled. “A Prayer.”
Tarvin’s demeanor became serious as he dropped his voice to a whisper. “I don’t know who you are, chum, but I don’t deal in Relics.”
“I have it on good authority that you do.” Leohand pulled a folded document from his coat. As he took it, Tarvin’s eyes widened as the tattoo appeared from beneath Leohand’s sleeve.
Nodding, Leohand declared, “I have carried this Curse for twelve years.” Tarvin felt the blood drain from his face. Few Cursed lived longer than three years. That this man had survived four times that long…
“Remember that before you choose to cross me,” Leohand finished.
Tarvin stammered, “Y- Um, which Prayer specifically did you want?”
[Originally posted on Ficly.]
For those who may be interested, I’ve set up a presence on Ficly and modified a handful of my flash fiction pieces to work over there. I’m hoping that this will help encourage me get back into writing again, albeit in bite-size chunks. If you happen to also be a Ficly user, feel free to send me a friend request and share your own writings with me.
A Call For Author Support « Whatever. Yes, this is exactly what I’m talking about. I’ll very likely not give any more of my business to Amazon, but rather, I’ll give that same business to other retailers and purveyors of fine fiction (and non-fiction). Amazon screwed over a lot of my favorite authors with this tantrum, so — as an amateur writer myself — I’m more than happy to give some of that screwing right back.
Ok, apparently, I’ve been terribly neglectful of my blog these past few days. I’ve actually got two entries in draft form that I just haven’t quite finished yet. So, in an effort to catch myself up on some of my happenings the last few days, here’s a short bullet-list:
* Remember when I posted a “visual writing prompt”:http://shamuswrites.com/2007/09/14/writing-prompt-1/? Well, at the time I didn’t have any takers and so I just never quite found the motivation to post up another. The MasterKidderMinster “wrote a bit of flash fiction”:http://masterkidderminster.net/?p=46 that he told me about a few days ago. It’s a pretty good read and a lot of fun to see the direction he took the image. He’s requested that I continue the writing prompts, so plan to see a new one show up on Friday.
* My “Dune book giveaway”:http://shamuswrites.com/2007/10/24/book-giveaway-dune/ has been met with a somewhat lukewarm response – six entries. I’d love to see at least a few more folks enter the contest to win this wonderful science fiction novel by one of SF’s greatest. The contest is open until Wednesday, so there’s still plenty of time.
* Awhile back, I read Jayne d’Arcy’s lament on her blog about needing a new custom theme but having trouble finding someone who could produce one at a reasonable cost. Well, I volunteered to build one for her for free, since I love building WordPress themes so much, so that’s part of what kept me away from here so much last week. If you want to see the final product, head over to “Jayne’s blog”:http://jaynedarcy.us and check it out.
* I’ve also started a couple of new projects, which are the other parts of what has kept me from blogging much lately. The first is called “Mendicant Bias”:http://halo3.shamuswrites.com and is a repository of Halo 3 screenshots I’ve captured. None of these shots have been modified in any way, other than to resize them down a bit. There are a lot of creative ways of taking interesting shots in Halo 3, and it’s been fun trying to find them. The other project I’m working on is a Halo-based comic built exclusively from screenshots. This project is called “Reclaimer”:http://comic.shamuswrites.com and is something I’m planning on producing on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future. We’ll see how things go on that front.
* “Flashes of Speculation”:http://fs.shamuswrites.com has relaunched and there has been a pretty good response, both in stories submitted and in readers who have commented. I’m always looking for new writers, stories, and readers, so if you fall into any of those categories, head over there and find out how you can get involved.
There are a few other things going on right now, as well, but I’ll announce those as they present themselves. I’m looking forward to getting back to doing some actual writing, both blog-wise and fiction-wise. I’ve got a great dark sci-fi piece I want to start on this week and a couple of other small pieces.
Lots of good stuff happening. I can’t wait to share more of it.
I’d like to point out that “a writer friend of mine is back in action”:http://www.xanga.com/YOYOY008/616051806/responsible.html and churning out a story or two. The short story I just linked to, entitled “Responsible,” is dark and emotive, so of course I enjoyed it very much. I highly recommend stepping over there to read and comment. I do believe Eric would enjoy that.
Geez, I have a lot of things on my non-work-related to-do list:
# Finish writing the two blog drafts currently waiting in the queue
# Write up the handful of new entries that are sitting in my head
# Update my “other blog”:http://stitzelj.wordpress.com
# Read issues 9 and 10 of _Apex Digest_ (yes, I’m a bit behind on things)
# Read issue 5 of _IGMS_
# Read _Damned Nation_
# Read _Goodbye, Darwin_ (courtesy of “Cavan Terrill”:http://blurredline.blogspot.com/) and write up a little review
# Write a story for a flash challenge at “Liberty Hall”:http://libertyhallwriters.org to get back into the swing of things
# Work on my fantasy short story and finish it up
And that’s just the short list. Of course, I’ll be going back to work for a half day on Monday to see how I do and will be slowly working regular daily activities and physical therapy into my routine, as well. Not to mention copious amounts of sleep, since I’m sure all this ‘new’ activity will wear me right out for awhile until I get back up to regular strength again. Looks like the ‘busy’ just found its way back into my life again. Should be fun.
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written any fiction, but lately I’ve been feeling the itch to write again, especially now that we’ve started to get some of my medical issues sorted out. Between a sleep disorder, thyroid condition, and back problems, I just really haven’t felt up to doing much in the creative realm until just in the last week or two.
I’d like to get involved over at “Liberty Hall”:http://libertyhallwriters.org again, so that will probably be how I get myself warmed back up to writing again. I also have a story from a past LH flash challenge that I’d started fleshing out but never finished. So, I may try to finish that story and then see if I can get someone to buy it. I’d still like to get something I’ve written into “IGMS”:http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com and “Apex Digest”:http://apexdigest.com, so I’ve got goals.
A lot rides on how long I can sit at my desk to write, since I’m still recuperating from back surgery, but I’m hoping that as I heal I’ll be able to get back into some sort of writing rhythm. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see how things work out.
Brandon Sanderson has read the final Harry Potter installment. He had, in part, this to say about it:
bq. Initial thoughts: I liked it, as I’ve liked all of the other HP books. However, it lacked the charm of the books that occurred inside of Hogwarts. (Source: “Brandon Sanderson”:http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog.php?date=1187247600)
That, for me, was probably the main thing about the last book that I disliked about it. I missed the uniqueness of Hogwarts and the interactions with the students and the teachers. It made sense that something near the end would have to take place away from the school, since Harry had to explore his roots in order to understand better how to defeat Voldemort. It just would have been nice to spend a little more time at the school. I didn’t really expect much of the story to take place there, though, since the conclusion to Book 6 made it pretty clear that Harry didn’t intend to go back for his last year.
I’d still love to see some sequels to the series to fill in the years between Voldemort’s demise and the epilogue. Whether Rowling decides to break her word and actually write such books, however, remains to be seen.