Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Short Story: The Far Side of the Lake

On the far side of the lake, past the whispering rushes, in the silent corner under the willow tree, love blossomed under the moonlight. Faint murmurs, gentle caresses along her raised neck, sealed with promises of eternal adoration. The forgotten goddess stirs within the girl. Eyes black and fixed and untethered from the fetters of sensibility. Her fingers claws digging into his flesh; ungloved they’ve forgotten propriety. Seven sighs of iniquity escapes lips spread to catch the stirring wind. Air fills the black cavern that is her mouth. Tongue dried in shame. She would kiss him but she lays transfixed, mesmerized by the moon laughing at her.

One touch from her lover sends a radiant blush across shining stars on the map of her figure. Heat pulses across her neck. Blood coursing like the wild flood of spring’s thaw. Her tempter is this heat. She would stifle all were she possessed of mind. But the moon drew her caution and chained it to the void. Where once her hand had pressed away, now she clenches in a maniacal fit. Her breath seethes. A moan releases a flurry of saliva across her lover’s chest.

She can take no more. At the point where sanity bleeds into the black sea, she fights, beating and ripping and writhing as if movement can save her. She falls deeper. Her head flaps back and forth as if slapped by an invisible hand. But there is a force inside her, digging, probing, driving her into the abyss.

A shriek flies into the empty sky, engulfed by the silence of the lake. Warm wind spiders its way across her flesh, writing notes of love an octave too high. There is nothing left. She shivers, suddenly wary of the odd light settling over the land. Her lover, she realizes, is the night itself, drawing in the darkness. His face is a pool of vaporous shadows. Hands inky stains on her skin.

He is still inside her yet the form of him is now drifting slowly away, a black snaky mist hoping for the moon. His essence burns within her womb. Life bursting like buds from soil. Electric tendrils leaping from her fingertips as they trace the line of her stomach. I am the goddess and the light. I am married to night. I will give birth to a god. A god who is lonely and sad and filled with delight.
She marvels at her ecstasy. Such a lover, such a feeling, escapes dread the way mice scurry from a hawk. Tonight is empty yet full. Silent yet blaring with echoes of her fading frenzy. She’s expanding inside, out to the point of emptiness and out past the minor gully of sadness. She lifts her head to kiss the moon and feels the wet chill of the sky.

Ice on her lips, damp and silky and fragile. She yearns to bite her tongue and forever silence her longing. If love escapes so quickly, how can she bear to ever hear sound flee from her mouth? To be mute, to embrace only memories of passion, to live life only in the starlight of a past moment. That’s the way she’ll live.

But a ruptured cancer of forgetfulness spreads through her as her lover escapes to the stars. The feeling dies within her. Heat drifts from her body. Night dew falls on her naked form, sending prickles along her flesh. She remembers herself. She is a girl, in love with a boy, who was a lie made of shadows.
She forgets the feeling of his arms gripping her hips. Crows, only crows beguiling her purity. She is fallen, no more an angel, not yet a demon, still a girl.

Beyond the murmuring rushes, past the glittering lake, a shadow slowly fades from view. The shadow that was her lover, the shadow that was her muse. In all the world’s dreams a dreamer lays by a lake staring at the moon. When hope fades and mystery rises, emptiness fills the dreamer with confidence and abandonment, sending the dreamer plunging in search of love down an empty well. Blackness.
Float away, fight not against the terror of unfamiliarity, release all into that empty sea. For in that space lies hope and truth and pure knowing.

She rises now, cloaking herself in night. Darkness surrounds her once shining form. She rises, rises, rises ever higher now. To the stars, fading, to the sky, without form, to her lover, black as the night.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Fire Mage and the Blacklight Chronicles, Book 1

Just published the first book in the Blacklight Chronicles, FIRE MAGE! The ebook is available right now on Amazon Kindle. After over three years of writing and too many revisions to count, my novel is complete. Coming soon: SUN MAGE, Book Two of the Blacklight Chronicles.

Here is a short overview of the book:

For centuries, mages perfected elemental magic at the Order of the Dawn. The City of Naru remains as the last free city in a world plagued by dark sorcerers. Will the peace last? Not likely. Can their magic shield them from the darkness? Only if balance is restored to the world.

Talis Storm and his friend Mara discover a dark secret. Their allies, the Jiserian Empire, have targeted their city for attack. The problem? Talis can’t even do magic.

When a surprise aerial invasion hits the Order’s temple, Talis casts fire magic for the first time. But his spell is wild and does more harm than good. Dark sorcerers try to capture Talis and Mara and they flee into the temple crypts. Awoken from an ancient rest, a fallen champion slays the sorcerers and gives Talis a legendary map. The map leads them on a quest to discover the lost temple of the sun. To save his family, and restore balance to the world, Talis must discover the power of magic locked away inside the ancient temple.

Read FIRE MAGE - Blacklight Chronicles  at www.blacklightchronicles.com

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Redirection in Dialogue: Keep it real

"Franny and Zooey" -- J. D. Salinger.
Utilize redirection in dialogue to engage your readers. Issue commands or questions from one character that another character ignores/doesn't answer/talks about something else. Listen to real spoken dialogue, people often keep two separate threads going at once, say one thing (think another), fail to respond to questions, say things out of the blue.
(bathroom scene)
"No, I haven't spoken to my little sister yet. How 'bout getting the hell out of here now?"
"Why haven't you?" Mrs. Glass demanded. "I don't think that's nice, Zooey. I don't think that's nice at all. I asked you particularly to please go see if there is anything--" - Page 77.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Brilliant Author Tip: Layers of meaning

“Waiting For the Barbarians” — J. M. Coetzee
Layers of characterization and perception, symbolism and setting, narrative point of view.
“So I continue to swoop and circle around the irreducible figure of the girl, casting one net of meaning after another over her. She leans on her two sticks looking dimly upward. What does she see? The protecting wings of a guardian albatross or the black shape of a coward crow afraid to strike while its prey yet breathes?”

Setting to improve your novel

“The Things They Carried” — Tim O’Brien
Delivers chaos and a sense of wonderment, increases reader curiosity, believability and adds characterization layers (how you as a writer describe the setting shows how your main character sees the world, and tells us as readers a great deal about your characters).
“The was no music. Most of the hamlet had burned down, including her house, which was now smoke, and the girl danced with her eyes half closed, her feet bare. She was maybe fourteen. She had black hair and brown skin. “Why’s she dancing?” Azar said.” — Page 135

Friday, June 03, 2011

A Short Story: The Mistake

At the edge of the field I watched the sun rise. It bled through translucent clouds, making me think of that body lying dead on the side of the road. A man that was too young to die. Raspy breathing, hideous gurgling sounds made from the rising and falling of his chest. Blood filling his lungs and spilling out of his mouth as he fought to stay alive. 
I was only twelve.
We all knew something was wrong when the farmer rapped on our door, as if death itself was after him. He was a burly man, jean overhauls, straw hat, and a face that my mind refuses to remember. That bloated face, bloated with fear and hysteria. It wasn’t his fault. After all, it was a warm night, the first warm night that spring.
Was he a boy or was he a man? In the idiocy of the warm night, clear air, charged with the feeling like the twilight was endless, lay the trap of the void of death. The hand squeezed. 
As my mom and me ran after the farmer, my dad called the police. Shouting, like if they didn’t come now he couldn’t guarantee what he’d do. The farmer ran in a waddling movement. Ran from our Victorian farmhouse. Ran down the road towards the blinking red lights. The tractor. The baled hay. The two long gory forks, glistening in the light of the moon. Wet. His motorcycle splayed out in the road like a discarded toy.
He was too young.
I stood behind my mom as she took in the scene of the young man lying on his back. 
“Step aside, I’m a nurse,” my mom said. “I’ll try CPR.”
She bent down on her knees, huddling over the young man. There was a hole in his belly. So soft and spongy-looking. I’d never seen someone like that. I wanted him to be better. I was so scared I jumped right back twenty feet from my body, and yet at the same time I was right there in his face, smelling the hot, sticky stench of death pouring from his mouth. I heard and felt the squish-squish of his chest as my mom thumped down, trying to restart his heart. 
His intestines jiggled. I guess it was blood coming out from his belly, but in the moonlight it just looked like water. My mom pressed her lips over the dying man’s mouth and exhaled, as if she were a goddess giving life. I knew what blood tasted like, but I wondered if this kind of blood, with the taste of death, if it tasted any differently. 
My mom stopped. “I’m sorry,” she said, as if apologizing to the young man’s parents, probably sitting at home watching Miami Vice. For it was a Friday night, the night the urging of death tapped this young man on the shoulder. It whispered in his ear, “You’re young, enjoy the night, feel the air rushing, faster, go faster now, this night, this magical night you’re eternal, invincible, you can fly.”
And fly he did, into a sharp-enough prong, catching him in the belly, opening him up. He panicked. Saw the flashing red lights of the tractor, carrying a freshly mowed bale of hale. He went right, went left, freaked out and smacked right into that prong. 
But his last moments were peaceful. I saw everything. Every breath still resonates in my body, even now, almost thirty years later. That tired, long sigh, like he wanted to go. He didn’t fight it. He exhaled one slow last breath, and released his worldly cares. And that quiet, I’ll never forget the quiet right at his passing. It brought about a kind of dissonance inside my head and chest, and yet I felt like I was part of some greater thing than my simple life to date. 
I was a witness. Death’s witness. And it forever changed me. I think I cried, because I remember my mom hugging me, turning me aside from the nightmare, guiding me back to the long walk home. I wanted to remember him. Wanted to feel like his death was something more than just foolishness. There was a mystery in that night. A feeling like the night was expanding, and had become some strange creature. 
But the night was empty, and offered me nothing but a haunting memory.

Friday, January 01, 2010

A short story: Autumn Leaves

As the autumn leaves fluttered this way and that, racing through Sara's outstretched fingers, she felt a chill race down her spine. Winter's chill. Soon the blustering winds. A frozen rose, lingering from a sudden frost. The last remaining rose of summer, taken into an icy dream--of kisses and dances--of the first smile given from a stranger's lips.

Now the winds blew gentle, her cheeks rosy, auburn hair wavering, the feeling of love coursing through her chest. Summer had been full of roses, the scent of heaven wafting through her nostrils. Then a sudden rain had come, leaving the already dreary island cold, with its oaks cracked and shattered, like a great warrior struck down, his pride broken at last.

But to Sara, the wind smelled of heaven, eternal happiness in the arms of winter. Sadness to some, treasures to few, death lying in wait for the fool to slumber. When she ran her fingers across her face, she felt the night-time dew flowering over her hands. First a sprinkle, then an anguish of the flood, was it the dew or something bursting from inside?

She studied her palms, lines spreading across the universe, and she knew she could feel whole again. Not broken, not bitter, free of the pain and torment of the past. Then a smile crept across her face. It was the smile of winter, the elegance of frost. Would it last the whole season?

Then she stared at her treasure, a ring of amber and amethyst, given by a stranger, the first gift of love. For she was sixteen, unflowered, unbroken by the world and all its dreads. Pain had come in different ways to her. To her family, her village, her island. Slain and sold, left to a life of misery; they were gone, would she ever see them again?

It was too late, they had told her. Their enemies had left their poison, and now the only thing left was its sting. To die was a precious thing, but to stay and endure this life... Perhaps another life awaited her. With the ring, with the promise, with the stranger who had touched her hand. His mouth full of glitter, of distant lands, sun and stars guiding their way--until a new life greeted them on fragrant shores.

Was this the life for her, or should she embrace the moon and ride the dark waves into death--taken, consumed, crushed by the Eagle? Then life was cease, or would it rise again?

But in the hands of a stranger, perhaps life would flourish again. Can a new love lead to the blossoms of spring? She gazed at the ring, closed her eyes, and made a promise to herself. She would find peace, after the rains.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Finished 1st draft of my second novel - Nanowrimo 2009

After a long 30 days of writing, I finished my 1st draft of my second novel, RISE (title TBD). It's set in Miami, 1926, a day before the Great Miami Hurricane strikes. A 16 year-old girl, Castille, and her two best friends, live in mansions on Millionaires Row. They discover magic at a young age--controlling the power of the storm, telekinesis--but the other girl, Dominic, becomes obsessed with Voodoo magic after her father is killed when she is 13. She envious of Castille's power in magic, and can never keep up. So she steals money from her mother to pay voodoo priests to teach her the way to wake the dead into zombie form. Then all hell breaks out as the two girls face off as the hurricane strikes...