All in Fiction

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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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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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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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 Teller (Audio)

For archival purposes I wanted to share this video here. Earlier this week my brother-in-law Michael Cole decided to record one of my stories and share it on Facebook. It's well done and you should give it a listen! I never doubted he could outmatch my self-narration, I'm just glad he decided to do it.

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My Novella

I'm just putting the finishing touches on a novella that I wrote a few months back. I originally sent it off to see if there was any interest from magazines and the like, but no such luck. Unfortunately, I think it's a little long for a magazine and a little short for a book publisher, so I'm kinda stuck. So, instead of shelving it, I thought why not put it out there. Self publish. It's a growing thing, and it's easy enough to do, so why not me? 

All that to say it's not ready yet.

But I've been doing something that I haven't done with any of my other work, namely reading it out loud as a final editing pass. Since I was sitting there and reading it, I figured why not turn on a microphone? I'm no voice actor, and I don't claim to have a great voice for reading, and there are errors. Also, it's definitely not a high quality product, but I thought it might be a fun glimpse behind the scenes into what I'm doing.

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Into the Wild

I have a problem.

I seem to write a lot of beginnings to stories, then never circle back to finish them off. It ends up being a tease, because I generally like the ideas, and they sometimes even have interesting characters, but I'm often in the middle of writing something else so they just have to sit alone in my writing inbox, waiting for the day when they can come out and play. Well, I want to start airing out some of those bits and pieces I've written, and what better time to do that than the new year?

So here is a short intro that I wrote sometime last year (don't ask me when), but never got around to fleshing out the rest of the story. I figured the setting was appropriate for this time of year, and I hope you enjoy it!

Click the link to read the story!