An Army Unprepared

Trevalian sat at the head of the war table and all he could think about was his mug of coffee that was growing cold. He'd come in from the chill of the evening and now that same chill was revisiting him here. Instead of comfort, each sip brought a wince and labored swallow, bearing the cold bitterness for the sake of the stimulation it gave him.

In many ways his drink mirrored the room.

"We can't take a fight in our current state," Priya said. She was standing across the table from Trevalian, wearing her usual plate armor with her helmet under her arm. Come to think of it, had he ever seen her out of the armor? Did she sleep in it?

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Bren

However late in the season it came, and however lightly it fell, snow was the scourge of Bren's existence. It complicated everything from the felling of the trees, to stripping them down, all the way to transporting them. Nothing was untouched by that white powder, but it was in hauling wood through the stuff where things shifted from uncomfortable to dangerous.

Bren sat upright, gasping for air. The normal bleary eyes and sleepy thoughts gone in place of action and urgency. There was already a thin layer of snow on everything, even covering the bedroll he was sleeping in. A quick check to his right confirmed that his father was still asleep, snow accumulating on his beard where it stuck out of his bedroll. The cart was covered, but it was a good thing that he woke because the snow was still coming down, in big flakes now, and before long it would be impossible to move.

He was already up out of his bedroll, brushing it down and rolling it up by the time he called out to his father.

"Dad, snow." Bren tied his bedroll and tossed it into the cart. Hopefully the horses weren't already frozen.

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Trevalian

The sun was setting against a sky so gray with tension that Trevalian felt he could reach out his aura and cut it in two. It would be dark soon and he was still hundreds of miles from the relative safety of his castle. His horse trembled beneath him as a crack of thunder shook the already foreboding sky.

Perfect. There would be wet to go along with the other adjectives he was going to apply to himself in the near future, such as cold and exhausted.

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My Work in Progress

The big problem that I've been trying to solve in my writing is structuring my stories so that they make sense. This is a super big and nebulous topic that some people just naturally grasp and others, like me, have to slog through in order to really understand. Sure, I can write something with a beginning, a middle, and an end, with characters and believable descriptions and world-building, but when it comes to tying all that together I have a hard time coming out with something that feels like a cohesive whole. It's just what it is, a collection of characters and scenes strung together in a somewhat logical manner, but not much beyond that. 

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Book Review: Uprooted

What do I say about this story? It's a coming of age tale, a dark faerie tale, a story about magic and love and loss. It's a story about the ties that we have to our family, our birthplace. Ultimately? It's a story about unity.

Something that I really enjoy in Fantasy novels is unique magic, or magic that is used in unique ways. If you read my review of The Black Prism, you know that I really dug on the idea of light as fuel for magic. That system of magic was really well developed and spelled out to the point where you could really understand what was possible and which rules could be broken and how the world worked. But that's just one end of the spectrum. On the other end is Gandalf, where you see the power, you see the magic, but you're never quite sure what the limitations are or if there are any at all.

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Where's that Story?

A little while ago I put a short piece of a novella I wrote (and also narrated) up on my blog and said that I wanted to self-publish it. My original goal was to do that a few months ago, which obviously didn't happen. 

The problem is I'm not so sure I want to release it anymore.

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I Resolve

Changing something about yourself because the calendar changed is kind of a strange idea.

That's my main issue with resolutions. Now, if you have a New Years resolution I think that's great. You should totally lose weight or exercise or meditate. What I'm talking about here is going beyond that. Don't just resolve something, plan it and make it a goal.

What I'm talking about is shifting from New Years resolutions to New Years review. Let me explain.

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Merry Christmas

May yours be merry and bright, full of family and friends and laughter. Let us always remember the true reason for the season, and may this time of love and light carry us on into a new year full of brand new experiences and renewed hope.

Since it's Christmas, and because I enjoy writing, I thought I would write a short story for you to enjoy during your down time. It is based in the milieu of the novel that I'm currently working on, with some of the characters and ideas salted in. It's also a quick read, so you can spend less time on your devices and more time with family and friends.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

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The Role of Fandom in Media

With the new Star Wars film out this weekend, I've been thinking about how fandom fits into modern media. Just in case you haven't seen the movie yet, this is a spoiler-free discussion.

I'm a big fan of the Star Wars franchise. There are more hardcore fans than me, and I certainly don't consume every single piece of Star Wars that is ever released (I haven't even seen any of the animated stuff), but I do enjoy the films and the theming and atmosphere of Star Wars. So around the release of the new films I get excited.

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