From the Past to the Present

From the Past to the Present

I want to read you all something I found today while sorting through my journals:  

I really am just so lost,

And it is really awful.

I just want this year, this horrible, horrible year to bring some happiness by the end of it.

I’ll keep stumbling forward in the dark.

I don’t know the way, but I’ll keep stumbling.

I really don’t have any other choice. 

This journal ends as it begins, with me being lost in a lonely abyss of despair. 

Nothing changes. 

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 3/7/2017

Several months later I began a new journal in a NASA themed notebook – 29th of December 2017. This is a quote from the first page.

It is amazing to be able to start this journal off so very different from all other journals that have ever come before…

Yes – the House is mine (sorta).

But I HAVE A HOUSE to live in and to make my own, and I am so, so happy.

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 29/12/2017

Change. Change happened. Indeed, the small journal that sits between the 7th month of 2017 and the 12th month is packed with a considerable amount of content. I was rapidly reaching the end of my tether, but without realising it, I was also spinning towards a resolution I could not see.

My journal’s are a fascinating journey – some are very repetitive – but others are absolute gems into my life, and frankly, the life of my family. There are things in them that I have entirely forgotten about – events that lead into other enormous, earth-shattering events (such as my older brother’s heart attack). I started writing about my brother’s symptoms THREE YEARS before he had his heart attack. I had no idea I started writing about his symptoms so early. That just…that just freaks me out…
There are car-crashes, cars being stolen, trees falling on the house, pets dying, my siblings going on dates, camping trips, me betting with my sister who will get married first (she owes me 50 bucks!).  


Have you ever wondered what your teenage self would say to you?
You know, like those letters that sometimes pop up on the internet:
Sixteen-year-old me writes a letter to thirty-year-old-me” 
Well – having a journal is a little bit like that. 


What captured me tonight was a journal from 2004 – when I would have been fifteen. I started reading this journal because I expected something a lot more depressing, following 2003 – a very difficult year upon which I left face-to-face school, and went on anti-antidepressants, and if it wasn’t for my journals, I would have NO recollection of 2003 due to those drugs.  So, what did I discover from 2004, after my mother pulled me off Zoloft, due to its…ah…side-effects? I discovered a brilliant, articulated teenage girl who loved God. 
I know this might sound a bit…awful to say about myself…but for the longest time, I have had a very poor opinion of teenage me. I felt I caused immense amount of strife for my family, and I have been deeply ashamed. 
So, reading back a journal and discovering a teenager full of such happiness, such life, such enthusiasm and love  for her family just fills me with gratitude for that young girl. 
That was me – once upon a time – and if that was me once upon a time, doesn’t that mean that is still me now? 

I’ll leave you with some wisdom from fifteen-year-old me: 

You are a beautiful young lady. Smart and intelligent. 
No matter what, never give up.
You will get somewhere in this world.

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 16/12/04

Danger, Will Robinson

Recently I have been watching the new Lost In Space series on Netflix.
Lost In Space is one of those nostalgic series for me. I remember my Dad showing me some of the early 1967 episodes, and telling me about them in great detail, and then when the 1998 movie came out it was one that my family borrowed and rewatched several times – this was back in the era when we went to Blockbusters and borrowed a VHS still. Feels like ancient times…

I loved Lost In Space because it reminded me of two stories that have always been a favourite of mine:
The Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe.
These two books were profoundly meaningful to me.
The Swiss Family Robinson I highly recommend – it is dated – as you would expect – but if you are a Christian with an understanding of grace, reading it with that outlook, things the father, William, says, become so much more clearer. It is also a book that made me love my family and cherish my siblings so much more.

Robinson Crusoe is also very dated – but just as interesting – being also about someone lost at sea. I loved Robinson Crusoe because Crusoe was a hero to me, someone who I would have hoped I would have been if I found myself in the situation he was in. He took a terrible situation and just kept moving forward, day by day.

So, Lost In Space, was like a science fiction version of these two stories and I LOVED that.

Now having an updated version of Lost In Space is fantastic! I am so happy. And they’re doing a great job. I cannot recommend the series enough. The character’s are wonderfully crafted, and the changes they have made work extremely well to bring the story forward into this century.

The relationship I was pegging all my hope on was the relationship between Will Robinson and Robot and I feel that has been realised fantastically – so I’m very happy.

However, what I hadn’t been expecting to run into was…this problem…a problem I keep running into with series these days: you don’t need to make the male characters weaker to make the female characters stronger. I’m serious about this. STOP DOING IT.
Stop curtailing the men.

There is a reason why The Walking Dead is one of my favourite shows. Rick, Daryl, Glenn are incredible men and they are allowed to be men alongside incredible women like Maggie,  Michonne and Carol. The writer’s have never had to make the men appear weaker, or submissive, to highlight the female characters because the female characters shine bright and amazing on their own feet. That’s great writing.
Now, Fear The Walking Dead…that’s a whole other story. I stopped watching that show because of the relationship between between the husband and wife was awful. What purpose did the husband serve, can I ask? His wife practically did everything, and that’s fine, it’s FINE, I’m not saying women can’t – I’m saying there is an imbalance – if you’re writing a husband and wife team, let them be a team, don’t curtail the man to raise the woman up. She can shine on her own. Stop making women seem like we need men to be beaten down so we act rough and awesome. Watching that show I just kept wishing they’d kill the husband because he was being so darn useless.
And I am not saying men can’t act differently – I am NOT saying that – what I am talking about is a balance in how you write characters. If you have a TEAM of characters, a husband and wife TEAM – you need to make sure one is not over-powering the other, that they both have a purpose. Heck, in Fear the Walking Dead it would have been awesome if the husband had actually been the one who looked after the kids, etc. etc but instead the Mum seemed to do that as well, so it just got really…like…okay…so…what does Dad do? Everyone hates Dad? Can Dad be like…awesome too? I’m talking about an ebb and flow, a give and take, otherwise it’s just a mess…
To me anyway…

That’s where Lost In Space is bothering me a little. It’s falling into this trap – and I can sorta see why they’re doing it with the back-flashes and I don’t want to spoil it…
But it is bothering me a little.
Maureen Robinson (Robinson Mum) is amazing, she can apparently seem to do everything. She also likes to be in total control and that’s a great character flaw as well as strength, I can see how they’re playing to that.
John Robinson (Robinson Dad) is ex-military and that alone should give an indication of what his character should be like. He’s ex-military–but he keeps getting walked all over by EVERYONE. I like his character – don’t get me wrong – he actually reminds me of my Dad. A quiet, reserved, tender man, who *adores* his family. His family is everything to him. He would go to the ends of the earth for his family – his children are his world – but my Dad knows when to stand up for himself and he’s not ex-military. Someone from the military I keep expecting to at least have a bit more of a backbone.
If I was to be honest, other than Will and Robot, he is my favourite character simply because of just how much he reminds me of my Dad.
But then Maureen is also pretty awesome…
They’re a well written cast all round.

However, I am seeing this imbalance in a relationship and I am not sure if they’re doing it on purpose – because I know they’re supposed to sorta not be getting along – or if it’s just something I keep picking up in how husband and wife teams are being written in tv-shows today.

If you have been watching the show I’m curious as to your thoughts.
Perhaps I’m thinking a little bit to much about it.

All in all – it’s a really great remake and I highly recommend it.

Cheers,
Kylie

Finishing a Draft

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Last night I stayed up into the early hours, driven by an intense desire to finish Book 3’s first draft. I had left the cafe that morning two chapters away from finishing the novel and I promised myself as I got home, storing away a piece of cake, that I would finish the book no matter what – and eat my slice of cake! (It’s a tradition of my mine to have a piece of cake after I finish a book.)

I didn’t get a chance to sit back down at my computer desk until late in the afternoon, after a walk on the treadmill, by then I was in considerable pain, but I was determined – I wanted to finish this book. I had to finish this book.

Eight hours later I wrote the last words of the Epilogue – “He remained.”

Done. I was DONE.

Book 3: Messengers – standing at 113,081 words – which gives me plenty of breathing room for the second draft and the editing phase. I am very happy about that. It’s the first time I have felt comfortable about a word count.

Book 3 was VERY hard in the planning stages due to the sheer size of the Book and it was only after I decided to cut the novel down the middle – because, technically, looking at the plan it was really two books squished into one – that it started to take shape. I was loathed to cut it – I’m not joking when I say my series is already huge. Cutting the book in half makes my series just another book longer – at this rate I’m going to end up with a Wheel of Times sized series, not that I’d have a problem with that. ^_^

Splitting the book gave me so much more breathing room, I wasn’t confined to a word limit anymore. My panic drifted away and my writing just took off again.

I am really happy with how Book 3 ends. I don’t know if readers will be, but I am – there is a theme in Chronicles of the Children of circles, loops, of following a familiar path but you just keep repeating the same pattern, again, and again, but on a larger scale.
The idea, I suppose, that what has been done has been done before. I always got this feeling whenever I went hiking with my family, the paths we hiked on were so well taken, the eerie feeling that countless people had trekked the same roads before us I could never shake.

So, now begins the next step of the second draft, then hopefully the editing and maybe I’ll have a third book out in print, if all goes well.

Protectors: Prologue

 

 

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By
Kylie Leane

 

The Blessing

 

This fire has been burning for you, keeping warm this aged Tavern.

You have journeyed far to hear this tale woven through time.

Each thread, each character, hero or villain, will tell to you a secret from their soul.

Mayhap you shall leave with courage anew or mayhap you shall linger to ponder the mysteries you uncover upon your own path.

Whatever this tale speaks to you,

May it bring for a time, escape from your journey,

A world to explore and new companions to miss.

So hold fast your flask my friend,

This tale is a rocky road to walk.

Meadows fair, and wind so fine, bring no clouds of dark grey.

To far horizons you wander,

So with you do take the gifts of the land.

May the Mother Deer feed you well,

May the Gold Lion protect your slumber,

May the Sheep of Seasons clothe your skin,

Let the Hawk on High guide your path,

Follow not the Dancing Stars,

That shall lead you astray.

Give the Forests a gift for the wood they provide,

So the blessing of Prometheus’ Fire may be ignited.

And let all know that you have been covered in the Morning Dew,

For no Twizel can touch that which is born of pure love.

Selwyn Ma’to

The Womanizer

 

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Prologue

“In documenting history there are two laws;

What you think you know will be wrong,

And what you do not know will be right.”

 

J.H Gibbles, DA20149ZE, Life, Love and Loyalty, Avalon – Pennadot, Imperial Press[1]

 

Land:  Pennadot

Sundate 8596DC[2]

 

Never had Chans seen the mighty, magnificent ever-green trees that forested the palace gardens bend and bow against the tunneling howls of the wind. It was frightening to hear the groaning and cracking as each towering testament to time bend in agony. Lightning scattered the dark sky-sea. From under his hood he poked out his button nose, daring to watch as strings of the bladed energy tore at the gray coils of the clouds encasing the high-keeps of Palace-Town. It was a vicious storm, lasting endless days, and not even Avalon’s environmental control system could quell the rage. Hesitating at the threshold of light beaming out from the open door, Chans stared at his tiny foot-claws just edging at the shadows. Each clap of thunder spiked his fur and fluffed his neck feathers. Truly, he had always thought himself braver than this. He was a ward of the King, a courageous little sorcerer and sorcerer’s scoffed at storms—did they not?

The tiny wisp of light he had conducted to life within a lantern hung loose by his side, but it did so little to piece the Long Night’s darkness. How he craved for the fabled Sun he had never seen.

It was now that they needed its light, to burn away the nightmare that had fallen upon Palace-Town. In the absence of the king a shadow from generations past had crept through the corridors, striking at the heart of Pennadot.

Chans trembled, searching the long path for the shine of false-dawn. False-dawn that could wipe away the foul mold that had taken root, just for a time. His lips parted in a shout of relief, drowned out by the roar of wind. Leaping about, his wings flapping, Chans scooted down the slippery, wet stairs toward the shining burst of radiance. It ploughed toward him and his small wisp, the rain steaming as it contacted the heat of flaming skin. In a desperate, frantic swing, King Delwyn swept off his diabond[3], landing amongst the puddles. Chans darted up to him, searching for the king’s paladins, or mayhap his knights, or even the handsome butlers that faithfully followed him.

There was no one.

It was just King Delwyn—burning like the Sun.

A false-dawn, a starborn desperate, panicked and frantic enough to awaken dormant blood, dead for centuries. Had the situation been different, Chans would have felt pride in the man.

“Your majesty!” He barreled up against the king’s armored leg. It felt so warm, so comforting. “I received your message! I posted more guards around the Queen’s chamber.”

It would not be enough, he had known that. No amount of guards would withstand what was coming. Not even the Time Master, the great Fairy Queen, could defend against the ancient sorrow to come and she was the embodiment of the very fuel of the world. His chest sunk in defeat at the thought.

Delwyn snatched his claw. “Come! Hurry, Chance, hurry.” The king broke into a run and he barely kept pace with the man. “He is here, in the Palace, walking amongst us. He is after the twins!”

Chans fumbled about behind the king, holding tight to the Human’s flapping cloak as they hastened down the corridors of the palace. The further inward they ran the more brilliant the king’s glow grew, until even the gloss of his pure white hair was too bright look upon.

Delwyn turned sharp around lording pillars, throwing out a leg and Chans bumped roughly against it, looking up in confusion. The king waved his gauntleted hand in a gentle, assuring movement and Chans shuffled carefully behind him, only to aware that he was still a kitten. Through the towering windows, and the clear ceiling, the storm cast dangerous, scraping shadows over large doors ahead. The very air itself felt alive, with channeled breaths and Chans clutched at his chest, shuttering at the heavy, thudding song waffling through the Secondary Realm, resonating down to the tips of his wings. It was ghastly, sickening, the song that ruined the beautiful melody of their world, gobbling it all up!

He had to fight back the urge to flee from the horrors within the chamber beyond.

“Wh…where are the guards?” he squeaked.

“Look under your claws,” Delwyn murmured.

Chans staggered back, stumbling on the hem of his gown. A knife may as well have pieced his throat, gutting out the cry he wanted to call at the sight of strewn blood, gizzards and bones. The pour men he had sent forth, they had not had a chance. Was he responsible for their demise? Shaking his head Chans pushed on though the blood, ignoring the squishing under his foot-claws as he chased the king who snatched hold of the double doors before he could call out in warning. The enchantment cast on them activated upon touch and Chans winced as a crackle of Rune forged lightning burst out, sending the king staggering backward, cussing at the Sun and waving his bloodied hands.

“Gwenhwyfar!” The king charged once more. “Gwenhwyfar!” Delwyn stumbled as the doors gave way, opening inwardly to reveal the russet tinge of the chamber. The torches strung upon the golden pillars lit in flare, swirling forth in a formation of a triangular wyrm.

He had barely moments to act, and his action was swift, unrestrained and violent. Chans threw himself in the path of the inferno, bringing up both claws and wings in a circled halo, forming a conduction circle as the tips of both appendages linked.

Blood rose from the slain guards, spiraling up his arms, igniting in runic symbols, forming a incantation to complete the conduction fusion and he heard the crack as the Secondary Realm split and a crystal shield erupted forth from the bloodied lines scorched into his flesh. The firestorm of flames struck the glistening surface, dispersing in a splattering of colors. Chans staggered at the force. Whoever had commanded the fire, had done so with complete control over the elementals within the flames—it was no mere conduction.

“Chans, stay here!” Delwyn shouted, diving into the choking smoke and green rising mist spilling from the chamber. It overwhelmed the man’s luminous skin, choking the false-dawn and without his glow, the world seemed so much fouler.

Chans squawked in protest. “Your majesty, you atrocious fool!”

Had it been a command from his king, or a command from his foster father? Chans narrowed his eyes. If was a command from his king, he had to obey it, but if it was a command from the man who fostered him…well…he could disobey and not suffer to harsh a punishment. Chans snarled, clutching his conductor.

“Oh, Sun Curse us all!” He marched into the thick mist. Each step felt as though he was clawing through dozens of pine-needles, scraping at his flesh, leaving shredded thread-thin wounds, dribbling his blood. He commanded the small droplets into a gradually increasing ball, spinning softly in his claw, poised for a moment of fusion and swift conduction.

He caught the tail-coat of the King’s tunic, scooting up behind the proud man. The Starborn was trembling, though Chans was unsure if it was from rage, fear or even pain. His strong, rough fingers that had so often comforted him in his times of need folded about the hilt of his sword, drawing the historic weapon free of its sheath. Chans blinked back the blinding light as it ignited down the glass blade, refracting with the royal’s radiant skin. The shrouding mist scampered away from what had once been a dull, blunt blade and like a cloak about his foot-claws the murk became a sludgy bog.

Chans twirled about, startled to find himself within the domed chamber of the King’s courters. The milky bog about his foot-claws leeched from a figure standing aloft by the crackling warmth of the fire-fit and Chans felt his blood chill at the gangly creature, frocked in the ripples of black tar. It slowly turned, revealing mutated features of a long dead corpse. The sound of crackling and popping maggots turned his insides, even its stench, he realized, was the foul scent in the misting air. It raised a bony hand, pulling threads of flesh away from its jaw to free its mouth into a leering smile that split its features. Out of its lips trickled fresh blue liquid, catching on the edge of its chin.

Chans gasped, covering his mouth. His heart fluttered.

The Queen’s blood—its color was unique.

“Dragon!” Delwyn spat, “How dare you enter my home.”

“Do not think that just because you hold a little toy sword at me, King, that I will fear you.” The corpse cocked its head to one side.

“Where is my wife? Where is she?!”

Chans bit his lips, tasting blood in the back of his throat as he worried the bloodied skin. The tension was rising, he could feel the energy of two Realms colliding bursting down his wings and it was agonizing, and thrilling, thrilling to be inside of a whirl-wind of intensely building fury between two opposing forces.

A chuckle from the shuttering dead man swung his attention about and he gulped back bile as the Dragon made a shrugging movement as it shifted on skeletal legs. The action caused the floor to ripple and Chans stepped back at the disturbance of the very fabric of the Primary Realm. His stomach twisted into knots at the sight of the shifting plates of light impacting each other, breaking away and shattering as information was lost and eaten by the monster within the room.

Something cold and wet dribbled over his nose. Chans’ wings rattled. His chest heaved out a rasping gasp. Every inch of his fur stood on end as a droplet of thick, shining blue blood slopped over his claw and he stared at it, agape in mortified horror.

“It is said that Ra shall fall to the great serpent…” The Dragon’s chuckle was distant in his ears as his head whipped up and he stared at the ceiling far over his head and he shrieked.

Pinned to the ceiling of glass the Fairy Queen was frozen in a horrified state, her arm and hand stretched out toward them as if in warning. Her blood, crystal blood, dribbled down her arm, catching on the tips of her fingers, from a torn bite in her neck.

“Gwenhwyfar!” Delwyn cried. “No!”

“Oh yes, dear little king.” The Dragon grinned, “Not even a golem can survive my bite.”

“You Sun-cursed beast! What do you do to her?!” Delwyn charged, blade igniting in a flare of starlight. He skidded to a halt as the Fairy Queen’s body fell, landing in a clunk of heavy, limp metal. Chans cringed, squeaking in fright as Delwyn twisted in a rush for her side. He felt the rip of gravity come a moment after the snapping crack of the king’s knee from the force of the throw that hit him. He was thrust across the room by a simple hand movement of the corpse.

Chans flung out his conductor. His ball of blood splattered into a circle around his palms, burning bright as he caught the king a swirl of wind. The Dragon whirled upon him and Chans ducked the blades of thrown air, dodging behind a pillar, panting heavily. He peered out, franticly searching for the king.

“You stupid little king!” The Dragon stalked forward, snarling as he thrust a foot into the chest of the Fairy Queen. Chans cringed. “Do you think you can wave your little sword at me and win! You are not even a true starborn! You are a throwback…and this…this fairy is a vile intruder, vermin that swarms the stars!” With a inhuman screech the creature slammed his foot firmly into Gwenhwyfar’s chest, leaning into her.

“Get up and fight me, Ra of Time, or I will kill your pathetic Human!”

“Leave her alone.” Delwyn struggled back onto his feet.

The Dragon’s head titled to one side. The corpse stared at the flaming sword in the king’s trembling hand. It must have seen the starborn as nothing, surely, nothing but another meal amongst many. Chans clutched at his skull, whimpering. Of all the memories he had stored within his mind, not one of them wanted to surface now in aid. His body felt like water, runny and impossible to move but if he did not move—

He would loose again.

He never wanted to loose again.

Scampering out from behind the pillar he snatched out his bladed pendent, slicing the palms of his claw’s and scrawling swiftly circles across the marble pillar. His gaze flicked back and he winced as the Dragon dragged the Fairy Queen up by her hair, letting her dangle painfully.

“Tell me Ra, was it worth it…becoming Human? Do you like these mortal pigs that much that you would lower yourself to bare their young? I am disgusted with you…my greatest adversity, reduced to this! Fear not, I shall put you out of your misery.”

His hand moved to thrust through her chest. At its speed, Chans knew not even the queens exoskeleton would survive. She had told him that much before. He gasped, staggering back against his scrawled bloodied fusion circles as her eye’s opened with a sudden, red flare. With a mechanical whirl her arm lifted, smashing a fist into the face of the Dragon. He dropped her as he faltered backward. Her leg swung up, collecting the skull and shattering the brittle bones.

“I put you in your chains, Dragon.” She spat blue blood, “Go back to your dungeon and rot!”

“This isn’t the end, Hazanin,” it slurred.

Chans ran swiftly forward, throwing out his arms and casting his wings in a full, wide curve. Blood conduction required few words, and necromancy ever fewer. A Batitic’s conductions were of the intent behind the fusion, and he desired to rip the Dragon out of the bag of flesh it inhabited. Ripping was easy. He did not need to be gentle. His memories told him it was like throwing his soul forth as a hook, letting it latch and then snatching it back.

“Activate,” Chans whispered. The surge through his wings as the blood rings on the pillar behind him burst was invigorating and he barely had a moment to realize he had thrown the conduction forward. The slimy, foul taste of something tarry and sticky filled his throat and it took considerable effort not to retch. A physical manifestation of touching a spirit was unexpected and new.

The Dragon twisted toward him, broken, splintered face contorting in pain. Chans breathed in deeply even as the beast reared up to strike him. Delwyn suddenly lunged, taking the corpse down in a tackle.

“Keep going Chans!” the king bellowed.

Chans thrust a foot-claw forward, rooting himself in a firm hold. He sent forth a ripple through the ground and he listened with a feeling of satisfaction as the Dragon shrieked. With a backward heave, both mental and physical, he tore at the foul sensation. Laughter would have erupted from his lips had he not been taught to withhold it, but the sheer delight of feeling the Dragon tear into a scattering of shreds upon impacting his web of fusion energy was beyond satisfying. Then it came, the exhaustion and it was overwhelming, like a wall struck him from behind and he wavered, landing hard upon the floor, snatching at his chest. The pain burned as fire in his veins, impossible to quench. Tears leaked over his cheeks and he sobbed as he reached out a claw, catching the final, weak little shred of the soul he had torn from the corpse. It was unlikely the king could see it, the silver little thread, but it was so beautiful and precious in his claw. It was not the Dragon at all—it was—

“Necromancy…” he choked, clutching the silver thread to his chest. “No Batitic has tried Soul-Weaving in centuries…my little…sibling…my…my little sibling…Zilon…he…he killed my little…sibling…”

Delwyn’s heavy hands clasped his cheeks, pressing a kiss to his forehead. “It’s alright, Chance, it’s alright. It’s over.” The king crawled toward his wife and Chans gasped, scrambling up and dashing for the collapsed lady. His claws brushed the bite marks running over the thighs, arms and the brutal gash across the neck, revealing mechanical insides that still whirled and clicked at her weak breathing.

“It…it bit every artificial artery in her body.” He gasped.

“Wh…what?” Delwyn gathered her into his lap. “But her metal hull, it should have obstructed it.”

“Papa,” Chans beseeched, “a Zaprex cannot fully sustain their hull in a golem. You know that. Hazanin-sama is only ever vulnerable in this state. This was the perfect chance to kill your offspring.”

“Sun…no…please.” Holding Gwenhwyfar’s cheeks Delwyn kissed her pale blue lips, brushing away her soiled hair, “I am so sorry love, I am so sorry…I was too late.”

Her body whirled and an arm lifted loosely and a hand touched the king’s lips. Chans glanced aside, unsure of what he was doing, intruding upon their beautiful love.

“Stay with me, Hwyfar, please,” Delwyn whispered, “please, stay with me.”

Her alien eyes clicked as interior, robotic lenses focused on their features and Chans frowned. She was studying him. Her voice was monotonous, strained through her shattered, voice-box, causing it to ring with a metallic twang. “The babies…they are dying, the Dragon injected me with a…toxin…my body…cannot process it fast…enough…in this form…”

Gwenhwyfar reared back, her body twisting. Grapping for her Delwyn struggled to hold fast her jostling frame.

“Oh Osiris…Osiris…make it stop, please!”

Delwyn snatched his claw and Chans jerked back, eyes wide in fright.

“Chans! Do something.”

Do something! What was he supposed to do?

“Save them. Chance! For Sun’s Sake! Do something, anything!”

“I don’t know what to do!” he cried. “Even if I could draw out the toxin, I don’t have anything that will replace it in the fusion. The magical black-lash will kill us all. You cannot just take something…you have to…you have to have something equal of it in a fusion…my blood isn’t equal!” He would have done it, if he could, he would have given all of himself—all of his blood—to save the Time Master, the one who loved him despite what he was, who told him he was special.

“Use my starblood.”

“No!” Chans squealed. “Never! I would never do that!”

“They are my sons, she is my wife. I am ordering you to do this.”

Chans flared his wings. “I could kill you.”

“I am ordering you!”

“B…but…I…blood conduction is forbidden! That is why pap—Zilon…locked me up!” He coiled away.

Delwyn held his shoulders, his grip was vice and painful, like the shackles that had once bound him.

“You trust me, do you not, Chance? Do you trust me when I say to you that you were given to us as a gift, and your Soul-Weaving is a gift, the Secondary Realm flows in all of us differently and it is the way we choose to use it that makes us good or bad…”

“Zilon chooses bad…yes?”

“Yes, he does.”

“But…I can save people?” he whispered.

Trembling hands, stained with blue, cold philepcon liquid wrapped about his claws. Hazanin-sama looked to him, and the shine of her golem’s eyes was despairingly weakened from its usual vibrant, mechanical burn, but the smile he loved, that had first captivated him, that was always there to send him to sleep met his gaze. “Chance, you will save millions someday.”

If she said so, he had to believe her, for she was a fairy and they spoke truth.

Breathing in deeply Chans clasped at his conductor, dragging the sweet sound of the Secondary Realm’s song through the crystal infused within and with a twirl and flick he slashed cuts across the king’s arms, pulling free threads of the king’s burning, ignited blood. Despite how weak his wings felt, he flared them, circling them into a halo, allowing them to catch the sweet, beautiful song of the Secondary Realm flowing about him and he swung his conductor, searching for the foul scent of the toxin, gently reweaving it with the warm, glittering blood.

The king slumped down and Chans caught his head before it cracked on the cold ground and carefully lowered it. He soothed over the painful cuts. They would scar, and the king would forever be left with the memory of the night the Dragon found his way into their home. Chans wiped away tears.

“Hazanin-sama…”

“Yes child?” The whirl was painfully weak.

“I think I only saved one.”

Hazanin-sama’s head dropped back against the king’s limp arm, her chest inflated sharply. A single tear rolled down her cheek. Outside the chamber he heard the calls of confusion from the butlers and the maidens but he could not look up, the magical exhaustion was beginning to cloud his vision. Chans slumped forward. His wings were just too heavy and they flayed loosely in the bloodied circle surrounding them.

The king’s glow grew ever dimmer and beside him, the Fairy Queen’s breathes were fragile, pained and terrifying. Chans clutched his conductor.

He had to get stronger.

He needed to be the greatest sorcerer ever born if he was to protect his family.

Blood was never going to be enough.

He needed something more, something stronger than blood.

 


 

[1] DA: Dawn Age – ZE: Zaprex Empire

[2] DC: Of the Dragon’s Conquest

[3] A hound used instead of a horse by many of the higher class due to their elemental shifting and ability to move through dense forest regions of Pennadot. Acutely intelligent, a diabond will form an attachment to its master, and will protect whom its master wishes upon command.

 

I can’t upload anything more than the Prologue from Book 2 because if I do I’ll completely give away everything that happens in KEY: Book One
But you’re more than welcome to join in the journey.
There is a Kindle Amazon version available and the Paperback version has illustrations!

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Orphans & Outcasts Release! Yay!

I am very excited to tell you all that my new book, Orphans & Outcasts, has been released in both eBook and Paperback. The paperback version comes with beautiful illustrations as well – so that’s totally a bonus reason to pick that one up. ^_^

To celebrate Orphans & Outcasts release you can pick up KEY: Book One of Chronicles of the Children for FREE on Amazon Kindle. I really hope you enjoy the beginning of the epic adventure!

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Where to find Orphans & Outcasts

Amazon Kindle

Illustrated Paperback

 Bringing to life a new book is so much fun. It constantly baffles me that a story takes shape and form in my imagination and I can type it out, shape it, gradually craft it and then, have a book for people to enjoy. But that book first came out of…well…really nothing? Right? It came out of just – imagination – isn’t that incredible. I think it’s incredible.

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The full wrap around cover is gorgeous. Art work done by Ben Wootten – such a fantastic, amazing artist who picks up my ramblings and creates masterpieces out of them.
I do enjoy doing the graphics – it’s an enjoyable part of being an indie author I guess, being able to control the little things. ^_^

 

I also love the chance to illustrate and express my world through not just words. While I am sure everyone who reads my books will have very different ideas of what the characters and world would look like (and I hope they do) being able to illustrate is a joy, and making beautiful books to share is so exciting.

Nixyle

Princess Nixyle, one of the characters in the novel. She’s been around in my head for a long time, and it’s so nice to finally tell her story.

 

Denvy

Denvy Maz – very much the main character of Orphans & Outcasts, or at least, the character who inspired me to write the book. All my other books have characters who are quite ‘young’ as heroes (not counting, you know, ancient gods…) but Denvy is – ah – one of those ‘ancient gods‘ and his age and sudden removal of his immortality is really interesting to explore.

Titus

Titus Timothy Tevlon – one of my favourite secondary characters from both Chronicles of the Children and Northland Rebellion. Titus is a Messenger Hunter, a very rare type of Messenger who was consumed by a Twizel but managed to keep his sanity. It makes him extremely skilled at hunting Twizels, but ostracised by Messengers.

 

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They’re awful pictures – because my phone camera is just horrible – but in the paperback version of the book I finally had the chance to do something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, and that is add a little comic at the back. Something connected to the world of Livila, but is a random ‘Myth’ from their history. It turned out so well. I am SO, SO, SO happy with it!!

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I’m really looking forward to being able to do more things like this in the future. I mean, it takes me FOREVER, but they’re just fantastic when printed.

So, if you’re wanting to begin this journey – and it’s a real journey, I can tell you that – KEY: Book One – is free right now, I think for another day and you’re most welcome to jump right in and join the heroic adventure.

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Pain

This was written about a month ago, on a very bad day when my pain was excruciatingly bad and I couldn’t take it – so I decided to try and write what it felt like. Since then, nothing much has changed, I’ve just been coping with the ‘new normal’ which is a steady increase of overall pain levels.
However, upon re-reading this with a little bit of more level head, I felt it was still worthy of a share. There might be others out there who deal with chronic pain, or a chronic illness, who have similar experiences. I simply do not know.
If you do – know you’re not alone, even if the battle is a lonely one. 

Pain is exhausting.
It eats at me, every single day. Piece by piece it consumes. It started as an ember, so small, years ago, and now it is a fire, fuelled by existence alone and sometimes it is all I seem to know.

It hurts to even breath. Each lung full is like stretching skin over barbed wire. When did my chest start betraying me, I am often left to ponder? There is not a day that passes when my head is not ripping itself apart with hatchets. What would it be like to live without a headache? Would I even know myself if I ever woke up without one?

Pain has blurred memories together, and years have become a long string of time wasted away in a body that is young, but feels so decrepit.

I should be relishing in youth.
So young, people tell me. Oh, Kylie, you are so young. You have so much time. Don’t worry – don’t worry – you are in the prime of your life. Their words are like mockery. I haven’t felt young in a long time. Not in a body that I am forced to drag through a day. The vigour of youth is long past, despite the youthful years of my unwrinkled cheeks. Yet, what life have I truly lived? Can I say I have lived at all? People my age seem so falsely carefree. They are like adverts in front of me, flashing on a movie screen, portraying a wondrous example of just what I do not have:
Freedom from an invisible tower, created by bricks of pain, built up day by day.
And there is no prince to save and comfort, just endless staring out a window, wishing for the seasons to change.

Pain has already worn me down, it’s a grindstone and I am the dull blade never to be sharpened.

The fingertips on a keyboard become sharp, stabs, as if I’ve pounded them down to the very bone—but if I had, would they hurt anymore? Everything is heavy, even smiling is an effort I just can’t be bothered with doing. Am I beautiful, without a smile? Have I ever been beautiful?

The first man to call me beautiful, other than my father, was an elderly gentleman in a café.
No man has ever told me again.
It is just a word, I always tell myself—
But it is word with such potent meaning.
Like pain.
A word becomes a dagger in the heart—if you let it.
Don’t let it.

My entire world has shrunken into a room. I am Rapunzel in her tower. Sleeping Beauty waiting to wake up from a dream. Snow White poisoned by an apple. Ariel wishing to explore a world above. Moana trying to escape to the ocean. I can almost reach—but I just can’t make it.

I try, I try, I keep trying. I fight, I fight and I keep fighting.

Some battles are lifetime worthy. Some princesses pick up the armour of a dead knight nearby, and battle their dragons alone.

 

Update – Burnside Libcon

Can you believe it’s already July?
I can’t.
Honestly, it seems the older I get the faster time just seems to rush by. Each year’s pace quickens, and yet, nothing really changes around me. It is a very odd sensation, to feel the days roll into each other, day fading into night, and night blooming into day, at such a rapid pace, and still discovering myself in the same place I was the year before, and the year before that.
Is this truly what adult life is? I often find myself pondering…
Is this…all life is?
Anyway, before end up telling you all about my existential crisis, and trust me, I could waffle on about it, I have some exciting news to bring to the table.

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On the 15th of July, at Burnside Library, here in my beautiful city of Adelaide, I shall be attending Libcon. I’ll be on a panel of other amazingly talented, wonderful and fantastic authors. It’s a real honour and privilege and I am’s really excited. (Hopefully this time I’ll actually <i>smile</i> at bit. XD Gotta learn to smile.)
It’d be wonderful to see you there, if you can come along. Libcon will be between 10AM and 4PM and I’ll be selling both KEY and PROTECTORS there. Sorry, I haven’t managed to get Orphans and Outcasts out yet.
Want to see the list of all the illustrations I have to do that book? By the end of September, well, technically SOONER, so that I can actually make the book and then order the copies, so it all arrives before Supernova in November. Gosh, I’m cutting this closer. Oh gosh, I am so worried.
Tah dah…my list.

ART

Yeah. Bit of a list.
But I’m prepared for some late nights if I have to. I love it. I love creating these things, and I love bringing a book out. It is SO exciting to see it come together in the final stages. I just can’t wait to hold the book. *squeeee*

You can see me working on some of the illustrations on my Youtube Channel:

 

At the back of Orphans and Outcasts I’m also working on some comics that will be added.
These are taking awhile to do. Here are pages from a comic called ‘Trench Ealdo’ (and it connects with Book 3, because everything in my world is connected…) just to show you how it’s going. They’re not in order…by the way… 😀

 

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Trench Ealdo Comic Page 05_05_WORDS

I am also continuing to write Book 3 of Chronicles of the Children, though it is going very, very slow.
Encouragement would be welcome. I’m really struggling with it at the moment…just an immense lack of feeling like it’s worth it, really. 😦
Also writing a much shorter novel too, that has utterly NOTHING to do with the Chronicles of the Children world, that I won’t talk about until I know more about the publication possibilities, but it has been a fun endeavour to write something so very different.
So yeah, lots to do, lots to keep me busy — and I’m still having that existential crisis…funny heh.

Hope you’re all keeping well.
Thanks for all your support.
*hugs*
Kylie

Experiencing Your Own World

A couple weeks ago I was reading a book by a friend of mine “Water Off a Dragon’s Back” by K E Fraser and as I turned off my kindle and rolled around to go to bed a thought struck me:

Was what I thought the characters looked like the same as what my friend thought of them as? Was I imaging her world the same as she did? Turns out what she envisioned of her characters and world was entirely different from my vision and this utterly fascinated me. (I recommend her books by the way, they’re enjoyable reads if you love fantastical romances – plus there is a dragon.)

This fascinated me because I’ve been writing Book 3 of ‘Chronicles of the Children’, and editing Book 1 of ‘The Northland Rebellion’ recently. I’ve been inside of the world of Livila for a good eighteen years now – I know the world I built rather well now, and it’s annoying sometimes, to have created a world over such a long length of time, and while I was a teenager (because I assure you, teenagers do not always make great decisions in world-building.) Thinking about my friend’s world and her characters and how I envisioned them drew me to this odd realisation:

I will never be able to read my book and experience my world and characters as a new reader. I will never have that pleasure, that joy, that incredible wonder of exploring the world I built in that exciting, thrilling way that happens when you open a book and are introduced to a new adventure.

I was…a bit sad, and a little jealous.

It became even more obvious to me this past week when I had my first ever conversation with my editor, Elle, via Google chat. We’ve talked back and forth via email for years now, but we’ve never actually chatted face-to-face. Elle is amazing. Without Elle I wouldn’t be able to release my novels, she works so hard and I am so lucky to have such an incredible editor.

While talking with Elle, she pointed out a couple interesting things about my characters that I had never thought of before.
Zinkx chuckles because he picked that up from Denvy.
Skyeola’s picking that up from Zinkx.
I have characters who sound conservative and old fashioned, and younger characters who sound modern and I need to keep it that way.
Things like that.

The more I thought about it the more I noticed such things. The characters had their individual tones and traits. How come I had stopped noticing this over the years? Was it all just becoming blurred together because I was so used to being inside the world.
I am grateful for people like Elle, who remind me to take a step back, to come outside of the sandbox and review how I am writing and why I am writing.

I don’t know how other people picture my world, nor my characters – likely entirely differently to me. I know from talking to my second cousin, her picture of Sam is vastly different from mine and that makes me really happy. I write books to expand imagination, never to limit them.

So, if you ever do read my books, feel free to tell me someday what the world looks like in your eyes. I’d be so curious to know, because I really wish I was you, able to meet Zinkx, Shanty, Sam and Skye for the first time. It would be magical.
Zinkx and I go way back now. I feel like we’re bored old friends who sometimes randomly meet up at a tavern to tell stories to each other because I’m single and he has a wife and kids and needs to get out of the house. That’s the extent of our author/character relationship.
Hopefully you all have a much better imagine of Zinkx than I do… 😀

Starting a new novel

Book 3.
Ohhhh. Book 3.

So I already have a fabulous outline for Book 3, but now, with an outline all done and dusted, comes the actual work of writing the prose. That important…part…of turning an outline into a novel. This phase comes with its own difficult challenges.

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The first of these challenges being a sort of ‘resetting’ that is required when switching out of outline mode into prose mode. After having spent such a long time writing just an outline, dot pointing every single thing that happens in a chapter.
Zinkx walked over to the tree and rested while he said blaa, blaa, blaa.
Shanty swung a club
Sam shook his head.
Skyeola waved his wand–sorry–conductor.
That sort of stupid, silly, dot-point like outline that I do because…I am ridiculous.

Now I have to move away from that into actual ‘story-telling mode’ and its hard. Oh. It’s hard. I sat at the cafe the other week just staring blankly at a white page of doom open in Office Word with the cursor blinking at me and while I had the Outline sitting there, right next to me, I was just drawing a total and utter BLANK.
What the heck was I supposed to write? I started to panic. Could I do this? Oh no…oh no…oh no!!

Wait. Wait. Hang on. Hang on. I had the same problem when I was switching from Book 2 Outline to writing Book 2. Ohhhh.

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Cafe time!

So, I thought to what I had done back then. I got out my pen and notebook and I kick started my imagination by writing the oldie-fashioned way. Totally confused everyone at the cafe, which was amusing. I guess it’s a bit odd to see the author who is such a quick touch typist suddenly switch to using a pen and notebook.

The words started the flow. Not great, mind you, but at least something was coming onto the page. It’ll likely need a serious rewrite by the time I get to the end of the novel, but I do have to start somewhere.

I think the major problem I am having is getting back into the ‘voices’ of the characters. Zinkx’s somewhat dry, sarcastic drone that I imagine him having when he’s the POV character. Shanty’s comforting warm demeanour hiding her slowly growing fierceness. Sam’s upbeat chirpiness, and his childishness gradually fading as the heavy burden of his task becomes ever more apparent. Skyeola’s melancholy and bitterness giving way to a subdued adulthood.
It’s like I halted all that for six months while writing the Outline and now I’m having to remember their voices, their actions, the little nuances that make up their characters.

Here is an example of just how different the outline plan can be from the writing prose I end up with, and just keep in mind, none of this might end up in the final cut. (The prologue that ended up in Protectors, some of you might recall, is very different from the Prologue I had originally written for Protectors, let alone the first chapter of the book!!) So I always go into writing a novel knowing how unlikely it will be that anything I write will end up in the final production.

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Zinkx slammed into the ground, rolling across sharp basalt rocks, his suit no longer able to absorb the sheer force of the assault as the explosion of the mine blasted away his battery back. Skin tore. His crystal visor cracked and toxic air flooded his lungs. He could not stop the roll, his hands threaded bloody as he clawed at the jagged rocks. One moment he was spinning, the next he was airborne, and over a cliff, sailing downward, into the red glow of an open wound into the earth. Lava swamped his vision.

Zinkx reacted. A surge of lighting ignited through his limbs, spinning free of his bloodied hands, coiling together to form ropes, and latched onto the cliff side. He jerked to a halt, landing knee deep in the molten rock. His suit flared with vectors between the seams, and alarms blinked across his visor. Zinkx heaved on the ropes, surging himself out of with a thrust of gravity control. He landed in another uncontrolled landing, crying out as his burning legs gave way.

The desire to curl over and give into the blackness that threatened to swamp him was intense, but the horrifying dreamathic colours coming across his damaged visor urged him to ignore the call to collapse. His squad needed him. He had dragged them into this, he was going to get them out of it. Tearing off his utility belt in a blind panic Zinkx ripped into the painkillers, thrusting the syringe through his suit and into his thigh. The relief would be at least enough to ignore his damaged body and the failing of his battle suit. His replacement visor was shattered. There was no choice then but to reseal his broken one and hope the patch worked long enough until help arrived. Picking himself up Zinkx tightened the strap on the treasure he had tied to his back.

The canopic jar.

The result of their infiltration into the Zaprex fairy-castle of the Dam, holding back the Sea of Inquisitives. Even now, through the thick yellow miasma choking the horizon, he could see the immense structure rising out of the charred black earth. Its silver, sleek architecture, like all Zaprex buildings appeared netted together in a series of enormous hexagons, that upon closer inspection, became smaller grids, upon even small interlocking webs. It astounded him that he and his squad were the first in generations to manage any infiltration into the ancient Dam. He was half in the mind that the High Elder had sent him on a fool’s errand in the hope he and his squad would perish—he would not have put it past the erratic man who loathed any competition to his position.

“You’d better be worth it…” he whispered to the precious artefact.

Zinkx threw himself forward with a bounce of gravity control. If his legs where useless he was going to have to overwork everything else—he could not allow the canopic jar to fall into the hands of the enemy, nor could he return to the House of Flames and High Elder empty handed.

::Captain!:: His lieutenant’s pictographs, sweeping and smooth despite how frantic they came across, filled out over his visor in thick black lines. ::Captain where are you?::

::Kaitla?:: The disorientation of dreamathic communication caused him to halt. He had never been particularly skilled in communicating through the crystal visors with the colours of emotions, making them form understandable patterns, and it was made all the worse with damaged equipment. ::Kaitla, I got thrown by the mine. Count me into your position.:: He sent back. Unlike Kaitla’s beautifully sculpted colours, his always went across in globs and splatters, ending up like embarrassing ink stains.

Numbers threaded quickly over his visor screen and he followed their position through the smoke. The mine had been unexpected, and he should have scanned for such a weapon, but the pinning fire of the Twizel legion following them under a blind fog of toxic cloak had been frantically distracting. He had paid the price for his panic.

A bullet ricocheted off a nearby rock and Zinkx ducked behind it, eyeing the nearby cliffs, visible only in sharp shadows cast from the eerie glow of the murky lava draining down in slow, majestic falls, overflowing into deep trenches.

::Kaitla, I’m coming in hot, get a shield up.::

::Aye, sir.::

He fisted his hands. Muscles flinched, prepared for the pain, and he it took deep breathes to unwind the knots. He burst into a run, forcing it through his legs. Bullet fire rained down, cracking the soil. He lunged as a shield of metal surged out of the ground, throwing up rocks and dust. Zinkx looked up from his crouch at the taller figure of his lieutenant in a gleaming silver battle suit. Either Kaitla’s battery pack had been damaged, or his supply was running low, for the liquid shine that usually glinted off the skin-tight armour was failing, and the daffodil signage that indicated their ranking as soldiers had lost its lustre glow.

::You look like trakri sir.:: A hand was offered to him, he seized it.

::Thanks.:: He stood with the aid, ignoring his trembling legs. ::We need to move.::

::Problem, that.:: Kaitla winced as his shield was assaulted and the noise was near deafening. ::And it’s not just our friends on the ridge,:: his colours turned a sarcastic green before quickly shifting to grief sickened grey, ::Sir, it’s Ariel, she…she triggered the mine.::

Zinkx’s already dry mouth felt now like he had swallowed a spoonful of ash. No. No. He refused to think—no. He pivoted on his heels. Lying under an ice blanket his squads medical nurse was lying stationary on the hot rocks. He grabbed for the cold blanket. It disintegrated in his hands, revealing her lower extremities and he choked on the whine escaping his throat.

Her suit had resealed the wound.

It was designed to do so.

It was designed to save their lives.

But it made no difference, to a Messenger, this was a death sentence.

Her legs were gone.

Her dreamathic colours over his visor were the horrible shades of pale pottery, broken and unfixable. He could barely understand them with the cracks in the crystal.

::Leave me, Captain…please.::

::Never.:: He shifted to her side and altered his gravity. He slid his arms under her. ::I would never.::

::I am useless now. They’ll just put me in the Breeding Program.:: Her colours turned blue and the strokes sharp—terror, filled with terror.

::I won’t let them do that to you. Now, get on my back.::

She struggled. Her heart was not in it. Zinkx grabbed her visor, placing his against it, ignoring the cracks.

::Ariel, we can do this. We can make it. I need you. I need my medic. I’m torn up inside. I’m going to need you.:: Her sobs echoed through the dreamathic bond. Her fingers around his shoulders tightened, the colours of the dreamathic tears like pattering toxic rain turning gradually a deep determined orange of resolve. It was back, the desire to live, to fight again. Zinkx bit down on his lips as he swung her onto his back. His legs could give way when he was free of this, for now, he had legs to carry her with and carry her he would.

::Lieutenant, let’s go.::

Kaitla spread his hands, metal splitting like a wave around them as his birth elemental-gift danced with the ease of an experienced welder. The metal shield rolled, becoming wheels, spinning off in two directions.

::I’ll cover you.:: The clipped reply came, ::Make it over the ridge sir.::

Zinkx set his gaze forward. The next ridge. Their last communication had pinged off a Thyrrhos warship in that direction. That was their safe zone—if the vessel was even still anchored there. He had to believe it was. He had to believe that Prometheus would have waited for him.

Slamming his boots into the unstable ground Zinkx ran, balancing himself only with thrusts of gravity control. Kaitla’s metal shields spun, twirling back and forth, spitting up sparks of lava as they sliced through the earth, blocking the onslaught of weapon fire from the distance. It was a small blessing that the Twizels were not engaging them in close combat. That meant the high possibility the Thyrrhos warship was docked over the ridge.

His feet left the ground suddenly.

Ariel’s grip on his shoulders tightened.

Laughter burst out of him, unexpectedly, as he sailed downward in a rush. In the distance the shambled together shape of the Thyrrhos warship docked by the Sea of Inquisitives sent a rush of relief through him, flooding his chest and the pain of his jarring landing was just bearable. Kaitla skidded down beside him, rolling before scrambling up and spinning back to look up the ridge they had leapt down.

::Traki!:: The lieutenant swore.

Zinkx needed no other warning. He ducked. Ariel cried out as the Twizel’s talons clipped the air nearby. Zinkx grabbed her around the waist and flung her away, watching, barely, as she was caught by one of the approaching Thyrrhos. The enormous Fire Elementals thundered past, shaking the earth, splitting the small fissures in the crust, splurging up lava. The lone Twizel stood no chance against the storm of fire that met it, it’s bulbous body of rippling shadows, mangled together with stolen muscles and bones from Messengers it had consumed, was ripped apart by weapons that towered over Zinkx.

Zinkx dropped to his knees as the energy drained out of him. Safe. He was safe.

“You’re late, fire-sprite.”

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For those who want to know what Thyrrhos look like. Kaitla and Ariel are much older in this image though.

If you’ve read Protectors, you might notice that the prologue of Book 3 covers one of the stories Zinkx tells Skyeola and Sami (I think. It might just be Skyeola…) about the time he fell into a pool of lava and learnt how to summon lightning without a battery pack — and how he got the scars on his legs.

However my concern is, at the moment, I’m not so great at writing young-Zinkx voice. Young-Zinkx is rebellious, loud and wouldn’t hesitate to punch someone he’s having a disagreement with. Older-Zinkx very much thinks things through a bit more, having learnt from his younger-self mistakes.

So this will get a rewrite when I’m much more settled into writing, as I still feel like I writing to much like I’m outlining. It’s going to take awhile to switch around.
I just find it a fascinating experience to see the difference between the outline and the prose.

It’s going to be a really long journey. I’m always in awe of authors who can punch these 200,000 word books out in a few months. Perhaps someday I’ll get that good.

Not the right type of Fantasy

When I was much younger (in my teens, just starting my writing journey) I used to be down right terrified of agents and publishers. To me they were the great gods of the industry and I was a pimply, cubby little girl who had dreams far to big to ever achieve. Then, gradually, over the years, I actually got to interact with editors within the publishing industry and I found them to be so kind, so helpful, always willing to give me advice and cheer me along in my dream.
The two years I spent with my novel being considered by Penguin Australia was the best two years of my life. I learnt so much respect for the industry from just those two years and the editors I interacted with and while, in the end, my novel never made it through the acquisition stage I went away feeling like I had received the greatest gift of all:

Belief in myself.

I was about twenty at the time, I had very little self-esteem, and my illness was just beginning to take root, and for a girl who began her life being entirely unable to string words together because of her dyslexia, finding belief in herself was the solid foundation I needed to carry me forward.

I owe Penguin Australia and those editors so much for those few years. While I am sure I would have found my way eventually, just having words of encouragement from those I considered the greatest of the great rooted the oak tree I was growing into.

Years later, I am still trying to find my place within the publishing industry. If anything, I have watched the industry change rapidly around me into something that has terrified me even more than I was once terrified of agents and publishers. I now find myself in limbo. I neither know how to step forward, nor backward, I cannot got up, nor down, nor around. I am…just…here, a voice amongst many.

And that leads me to the interesting journey I have been taking over the past year and a half. Agents. Here in Australia we don’t have many agents, and they usually work side-by-side with publishers, so it can be quite difficult to actually find an agent. It’s a bit of a catch-twenty-two. You can’t submit a manuscript to an agent unless you’ve been accepted into a publishing company, and you can’t submit a manuscript to a publishing company unless you’ve been accepted by an agent. This greatly amused me. I spent quite awhile laughing in my office when I finally realised the little circle that had formed.

Its who you know. Or. You pay something like $900 for a pinch conference and I do not have that cash lying around anywhere. That’s a lot of money…

I’m not complaining, really I’m not – I’m amused. I don’t tend to get upset about these sorts of things and whine, I simply laugh how interesting the tight box I find myself in truly is. When I was a starry eyed little girl, dreaming of becoming the best science fiction and fantasy author EVER I never imagined I would be in my office wishing I had $900 for a five minute pinch. That would never have even crossed my mind!

So, I had to start looking outside of Australia and that has been…interesting…
Twitter is a great source for writers, its dangerous, Twitter, but once you learn how to navigate it and not get eaten alive it can be fascinating to discover what’s going on in the writing world. Thus I started searching for agents to submit to and that…is where…I found…my problem.

I don’t write the right type of fantasy.

Current count of rejections stands at fifteen. Some agents have been really lovely and told me why, which is really considerate of them – and the reasons, once more, have really amused me.

Some have told me that my writing style is to old-fashioned. My apologises, I actually speak a little old fashioned as well (just ask my family.)

Others have told me they don’t like the fact that I have a male protagonist. (Should have had my female protagonist open the novel…would that have worked?)

My biggest sin, apparently, is that said male protagonist *saves* female protagonist – and I will not even begin to rant about this issue. I could write an ENTIRE blog on this issue alone and how unfairly I feel, as someone who is chronically ill, the idea of being saved and being a damsel in distress is being demonised in society today. Because you know, right, you know it’s okay to ask for help, you know it’s okay to need help to get out of a situation that is out of your control?
Well, apparently not. 

I could go on, but I think the picture has been painted.
My fantasy is not the right type of fantasy.
It does not fit the populist ideals.

Perhaps I still live in another era where writing was an expression of just myself, and I did not have to pretend to write something to get published.
I will still write the fantasy I want to read. That was the whole reason I started writing when I was a teenager in the first place. I found myself craving a particular type of science fiction and fantasy, and I could not find it anywhere, so I started writing it for myself to fill the void.

That void might have become larger.
I might be shouting into something so huge, so vast it now engulfs me entirely that I will never be heard but I at least still have a voice in which to shout. To that I am grateful.
I still believe in myself.

Write on.