Sep 24, 2010

Lesson 1 -- No Throwing Frozen Vegetables


"Where are the peas?"

"Mmmm, check the freezer. Top drawer."

I stooped over the white metal container -- which was, at the moment, belching frigid air -- and searched for the elusive vegetable. A moment later my hand closed on the bulging plastic bag, twisted closed at the top and emblazoned with a deceptively green picture of peas the size of golf balls. Solid as a rock!

I shoved at the drawer with my knee and it closed with a satisfying thunk. "They're frozen."

My mother turned from her post beside the stove and pushed yet another strand of rebellious brown hair behind her ear. "We might have expected that."

I turned to look at the pot of simmering garbanzo beans, potatoes, and onions that constituted an Indian Spiced Potato Salad. "Can't put them in there like this," I muttered. "I wonder..."

Without stopping to consult her, I gave an extra twist to the top of the bag and dropped it to the floor. Mom jumped. I waited for an extra tense few seconds to make sure the peas weren't going to explode all over the floor. Delighted, I picked it up again. A few of the peas rolled around under my fingers; the rest of them stubbornly stuck into an impenetrable lump of ice.
Mom glared at me with a dubious, playful air. "I wouldn't do that..."

It must be understood that my mother is not your common person (those of you who have seen her antics on Facebook know this well). It isn't that she means something totally different from what she says, it's just ... okay, maybe it is. In any case, I knew both of us would enjoy it, so I dropped it again, sort of cringing and knowing that it would be too good to be true if they didn't spill this time.

Well, not too good, after all. There lay the bag of peas on the floor, unmarred. I bent to pick it up, laughing softly. Sweet!

Rolling the bag around in my hand, I noticed a rather large lump of unsurpassedly stubborn peas still stuck near the edge. Feeling confident by now I lifted it above my head to drop it again. Mom raised an eyebrow. "Don't push it."

"But -- "

"Think your luck'll hold, punk?" she teased, poking me. She stepped back and watched.

I dropped it.

Oh, woe to those who do not listen to the whispering, nagging little voice in the back of their heads! The bag of peas plummeted downward towards the tiled floor, and in that instant I knew I had gone too far. Still ... there was a chance that the tiny little twist of the bag top would hold ... and after this I wouldn't do it again. Hold...hold...

It held, alright.

It was the bottom of the bag that didn't.

And all of a sudden there were tiny green planets spinning all around the galaxy of fake-marble floor. I groaned. Mom tried to hide a laugh behind her hand. "I'm not helping you pick those up."

"I know that," I said, grabbing a bowl. "Do you think I'm stupid?"

What you don't know is that the day before, I had spent a rather lengthy day at the playground, jumping over things, running along a miniature train track, pulling myself across the monkey bars, and generally setting myself up for very, very sore muscles the next day. As a result getting down in the floor in pursuit of the peas was rather painful, and associated with a lot of grunting and groaning and several bouts of "ow, ow, ow", usually with each one a note higher on the chromatic scale. Of course these were all laughed at by my mom who was triumphantly grinning and standing over me with a wooden spoon in her hand. The little random comments given in a richly sarcastic tone did little more for my pride. Things like "I thought you listened better than that" and "Do you need your hearing checked?" and "I can't wait to see this become a Facebook status!"

"Oh no," I muttered, pushing myself to my feet with a bowl full of thwarted peas in my hand and a defeated smirk on my face. "This one's getting a blog post."

Sep 21, 2010

Speculations ...

I have been disturbed by all of the stereotypical fantasy races that all of the popular literature of that genre seems to employ these days. Even Eragon fell into that trap. So I have made my races more original in hopes of evading cliche. Raechal. Sivanis. Tulirans ... but still, something nagged at the back of my mind.

Aha!

Elves.

Those of you who know me know that I use Elves extensively. Two of my three MCs are Elves. I'm not saying that they cannot be used in an original and productive way, but mine were just like all the others ... which really troubled me, especially since I had come up with something unique for all the other races.

Last week, Friday about 3 PM to be precise, I had an idea of sorts, but discarded it because of all the problems it caused. The idea was to have the Elves made more reptilian, with a flexible crest from the top of their head following their spine down to their lower back. Their culture was shaped around this; their emotions were displayed by what position the crest stood in (flat, frightened, straight up, angry and so on), they wore low-backed tunics to compensate, etc. Problem was, I have written over two thirds and more like four fifths of my story and some of the things my Elves did would be restricted by this trait. I discarded it.

Then Friday about 8 PM I had another thought. This one ties into a bit of my world's history. Around a thousand years before when my novel is set, there was a war between the Elves and the Humans over the heir to the throne. Things progressed rather rapidly to a very ugly level. It came to the point where each race was killing the other on sight without cause or provocation. Desperate, each of the sides scrambled to create an advantage. The Humans had strength and greater numbers, the Elves had precision in arms and heightened senses. So here's where the magic gets involved.

A highly powerful group of Human magicians constructed transportation devices called Portals, fed by Elven blood and energy. As in, you would spill Elven blood on the activating area, go through, and have your passage paid by the energy of the Elf involved. No one cared about the brutality of this invention; they simply cared about getting where they wanted to go and about killing more Elves. My idea was that at this point, the Elves were in their original reptilian form (with the crest) and were not called Elves, but [insert cool name here].

In retaliation, the Elves devised a magical disguise that hid their crest and almost everything that betrayed them as not being Human. Three things remained; pointed ears, their tall slender build, and their lower pain tolerance. There was possibly some other physical trait that is yet to be decided, like patches of scales/scaly skin in certain places. The disguise was successful for a while, but when caught, the Humans, bewildered at this strange Human-like creature who was decidedly not Human, dubbed them Elves. When they were found out, the Elves were weakened and forsook the war, fleeing behind a magical barrier. For over a millennium they stayed there, so used to their magic-induced form that they relied on their older, more animal form less and less. Eventually, all Elves except certain small groups forgot how to break the magic restraining their old form and accepted the name and shape the Humans gave them.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Would it be too weird?

Lady E.

Sep 17, 2010

Fantasy Fiction for Friday

Inspired by Meaghan Ward at http://thepatriotscall.blogspot.com/, I have written some music-inspired fiction for y'all. This was totally a new idea for me. My first try at this. I have never been in this world before, never met these characters before listening to this song, parts one and two: http://youtube.com/watch?v=z9G_imteJWI



Welcome to Dorua.

The soft rustle of silk filled the room as Alima turned away from the window. Thick crimson carpet muffled her footsteps. The Doruan sheik Rayhan watched her cautiously, disturbed by the absent look in her large black eyes.
The princess lifted one dark, slender hand. The long sleeve of her flowing dress fell back from it ike ocean waves from a cliff. “I told you that the Rebellion was centered in the far east portion of Dorua.”
Rayhan’s lips quivered. What does she know about the Rebellion?
“I told you that it was nothing to worry about. That it was a group of untrained peasants with nothing more than pitchforks to fight with. That no portion of it could ever possibly reach the streets of our” -- she gestured out the window at the crowded streets below, blanketed in the dusky light of evening -- “enlightened city.”
A drop of sweat trickled down Rayhan’s back. Alima glided closer, her long eyelashes fluttering slightly, her red painted lips parted. Her feathered headdress slipped a little to one side and a lock of hair the color of suns-set caressed her bronzed cheek. Her smooth, soft voice tickled his ear. “I lied.”
Rayhan clenched his fists, straining not to scream from frustration. From fear. “My Lady?”
“Come to the window.”
Measuring his steps, Rayhan walked with her across the lavishly decorated chamber to the west-facing cutout in the stone wall. The blade of his curved dagger felt warm and hard against the skin of his upper arm, where his robe’s sleeve covered it. It was comforting, but not in the way he’d previously hoped. I don’t want to do this. I can’t. I won’t.
But what if ... what if I have to?

Alima said nothing for a long five minutes, while the two suns, dancing around each other, intertwining purple and orange rays, sunk toward the horizon. Soft cries and noises of hooves on stone streets drifted up to the pair. The city looked perfectly contented, pleasantly busy, happy in their huts and cottages and tents in the shadow of the enormous palace. Rayhan knew better. It was swarming with buried hatred, like a blue-hornet’s nest just waiting for the right moment to attack.
“Rayhan,” Alima began, her voice still smooth as the Tilami river. She chuckled. “Na├»ve I may be, but I am not blind. I needed to wait … the time was not yet right. So I didn’t tell you the truth about how strong the Rebellion really is.”
Rayhan gulped. “How strong, my Lady?”
Alima’s face hardened. Her features, in profile, looked like a fair but completely invincible stone wall. The suns-set light played on it, teasing, testing. Rayhan’s self-control wavered.
“Four thousand trained infantrymen.”
Rayhan narrowed his eyes. Her guess was surprisingly accurate. Though, how he knew that, she would never find out.
At least, he hoped so.
“Imagine the sway I could hold over them if I captured the leader. If I had him in this very room with me.”
His blood chilling, Rayhan glanced over at her. As usual, she was unreadable. Everyone believes that the leader of the Rebellion is female. How could she …
“I have that chance, Rayhan.”
Their eyes met, sparkling black and dazzling yellow, at the same moment. Rayhan felt as if he was falling into a glittering, shimmering black pit, bottomless, mocking. Her thoughts spun around him. With an effort he pulled back into the room. She knows. I have to act now – draw the dagger. DRAW IT! Kill her, NOW!
Alima moved first, and he lost his chance. Before he could blink, she was behind him with something sharp against his throat. The truth was unraveling in Rayhan’s hands, like a badly made rug.
“I have that power,” Alima whispered gleefully. “And I’m going to use it.”

Let me know what you think! Should I write more in this setting?
E

Sep 14, 2010

Character Discussion No.1

Me: Alright, I promised that I would have conversations with you guys on my blog, so have at it.

*profound silence*

Me: Why is it that you can always find something to say when I want you to be quiet and now you can say nothing?

*Aaron shifts uncomfortably, and Arionwyn looks at the floor*

Me: Alright, fine. We'll all sit here and keep our mouths zipped. See if I care.

Me: *two minutes later, a bit embarrassed* Can't you find anything to talk about? You can even argue for all I care.

Arionwyn: Wh-who's involved?

Me: Involved?

Arionwyn: In the conversation.

Me: All three MCs and some extras. Just you guys for now. Why? You've never been nervous about how many people are talking to you before.

Arionwyn: Before what?

Me: Nevermind. Is it the blog aspect that bothers you? Is that why you won't talk?

Aaron: Well, you never know who's listening. Uh -- reading.

Me: Iri, are you joining?

Iri: I feel...strange.

Aaron: You're in the Void.

Me: Not here.

Arionwyn: Then where is he? What point in the story is this? Is he still a villain? Has he even shot Blaze yet?

Me: Ummmm... I'll have to work on that. *pause* Honestly, do you have to be so difficult?

Arionwyn: I wanna go back to HW and play dodgeball.

Me: No. Aaron, aren't you used to tech and such yet? You have a facebook.

Aaron: You neglect it.

Me: Whatever.

Aaron: Do you have to do another battle?

Me: Are you complaining?

Aaron: No. Just asking.

Me: Yes, I do. It's the only way to vanquish Klista.

Iri: I want to help.

Me: No.

Iri: You never let me do anything.

Me: Oh, shut up.

Sep 2, 2010

Ideals (a poem by me)

Hear the stroke of a dragon's wings
feel the touch of the wind that sings
grip the sword in your hand that brings
Freedom.

Nigh the ring of the mighty horn-call
at Quintor's hand, evil falls
true and firm as a thick stone wall
Hope.

Hand to the ground, feel how it moves
white or black, and the conflict proves
hear the rumbling of stallions' hooves
Battle.

Taste on the wind the blood and sweat
muscles burn, but we can't stop yet
darkness consumes all it can get
Despair.

Warm the clasp of another hand
sworn foes and friends, both take a stand
'gainst the dark, together we band
Trust.

A glinting dagger in your back
angry thoughts as the world goes black
I should have known ... sense I lack
Betrayal.

Whispering growth of new spring grass
warm the sun 'gainst the window's glass
watch a flow'r unfold. Winter's past
Life.

Rusty blade, half-hidden in soil
broken in half, a strong blow foiled
jeweled hilt glimmers with ancient toil
History.

Flickering light on ancient tome
smell old pages and rain-washed stone
hear the voice of a sage intone
Knowledge.

Feel the spray of the untamed sea
rigging's creak and gull's wild plea
peer through the spyglass, you may see
Adventure.

Crumbled ruins, as old as time
subsumed by trees and curling vines
breezes whisper in aged pines
Mystery.

Elizabeth