Hallow Hill – Part 4

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He dreamed of the dead.

This one, like so many others before, took him back to Hallow Hill during the deep winter, before the Blood Plague came. The whole House came together and fires would be lit in the hearths as cousins and uncles would tell their tales of gallantry from the previous year. They would speak of exploits at the Bridge, a narrow pass through the vast mountains separating the east and the west, or across the Skipping Stones, a series of islands that bridged the gap between the Twin Cities that looked at one another over the Sea of Stars.   Continue reading

Hallow Hill – Part 3

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The man they called Bearkiller said something in a deep, gutteral voice that made it hard to understand. He had a beard of course black hair so thick his mouth was nearly hidden. All Paul glimpsed was a flash of bright, white teeth.

“My Knight,” Lord Mossfield said in his high, nasal voice, “Keeps fairer law here than Lord Halloway. By right of force, I say begone, boy.” He giggled then and coughed so hideously that brown flecked snot and drool flung from the frog lord and Paul had to turn away to avoid being struck by it. Anger began to override his fear, yet the sight of Bearkiller stayed his sword hand. He swallowed and glanced to his uncle, but the older man simply stared at the fat lord with disdain. If I back down now I am a coward and father will disown me. The Nobility has no need of cowards. Continue reading

Hallow Hill – Part 2

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The Mossfields came around the bend and he could not see the end of their line. Twice my number, easily. Jack looked at him, but Paul did not see any hint of fear on the boy. Perhaps my father should have given him the ring.

“You’ll want to speak to Lord Mossfield himself if he’s here. Do not treat with anyone lower than your station,” Loukas said as their group moved to meet them. Continue reading

Hallow Hill: A Tale of Aranor – Part 1

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The wind on the King’s Road blew strong and smelled of an early spring. Already the bogs and marshes to the west were growing ripe. The stink of the lowlands reminded Paul of a privy. Impatient, he searched for signs that banners would soon come around where the road curved through the forest on the east. Pine forests made it impossible to see and he sat back in his saddle. Rock, his black destrier, barely moved as he sat. The horse was well trained and fierce in battle, if it came to that. Paul hoped it wouldn’t. His father had named him Knight a month ago, but his sword remained undrawn in combat.

Maybe they won’t come, maybe the Weaver will be merciful.

His Squire, a young man of sixteen named of Jack, held his banner straight despite the wind. The deep blue fabric flapped as another gust of wind took it, causing the black raven emblazoned on it to ripple and soar. It was the banner of House Halloway, his House. One day he would be expected to take his father’s title as Lord of Hallow Hill, but no son could inherit without being tested. He was almost eighteen and never blooded. His fingers flexed inside his leather gloves and twisted the reigns. Continue reading

The Blood – Part 13

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He hit her right between the ribs.

Aderyn stumbled backward, fighting for breath. She held out a hand, either to ward off the next blow or to submit. In her confused, desperate fight for air, she wasn’t sure which one she meant to do. Opposite her, Kendrick sighed and stood up straight, stretching his arms above his head.

“You know, if this had been a real fight, you’d be dead right now,” he said.

“I-“ Continue reading

The Blood – Part 12

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Hours, days perhaps, passed. Aderyn lost track of time in the tiny room, alone with her thoughts and memories. At first she slept and waited, but after a time the dreams grew too terrible. They were always of her mother or her brother Caiden. Awful dreams, painful dreams.

Only once did she dream of her father. It was a brief, sweet dream that faded like flavor ice on the tongue. When she woke that time she desperately wanted to hold onto it, to remember it but all she could recall was her father’s laugh. It was deep and wonderful, the kind of laugh that made everyone else in the room smile. Aderyn remembered smiling so many times. Continue reading

The Space Cantina – Novel writing, progress and sushi (okay, there’s no sushi, sorry)

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I realize it’s been over a week since my last post, sorry about that. I wish I had a really, really good excuse but I don’t. Really what’s been going on is simply work, work, and more work. 50-60 hours a week kind of work. This is the second time it’s really kept me from posting a story though and thus, my goal keeps getting punched in the face.

The Blood has hit a wall. Not because I don’t really know where to go with it, I do, it’s just that I’m finding myself dividing too much time between other projects and not working on the novel. I get very few hours to sit down and put words on the page, and if I dedicate it to The Blood, I don’t dedicate it to the novel. So which do I concentrate on? Part of me feels awful for putting the novel first, because I think I do in fact have several folks who read this blog. It’s to you folks I’m talking to now. Continue reading

The Blood – Part 2

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They walked through the sitting room. Aderyn’s cheeks were still hot but she tried to push away her frustration and irritation. Her mother never changed. Her children were assets or liabilities, just like good soldiers to her father’s fleet. If one was not pulling their weight, they were reprimanded or discarded. She needed to be strong.

“I have secured us a place next to the Nevans, a minor House with only a single world to their name, but growing wealthier. They’ve discovered two Jump Nodes in their system that lead directly to Orion. I’m sure Lord Kellen will move quickly to secure them, so an alliance with Nevan would mean an alliance with the Orions. You understand, of course.” Continue reading

The Space Cantina – Thoughts on 36 Hours, writing and what’s next

SpaceCantina_HeaderPart 18 marks the end that revision of 36 Hours. I hope everybody enjoyed it! It’s definitely a moody piece, something I actively worked to achieve. I loved Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, a book I tried to give homage to with 36 Hours. It wasn’t a story of huge heroics, of running in like Rambo and gunning down all the bad guys, it was a story about regular men trying to survive a horrible situation. It was a story of loss, both of life and hope. World War One shattered an entire generation around the world, and I’d hoped to capture just a small sense of that with my rendition of the United State’s own spirit-rending crisis.

I think this story requires one more revision and in that revision I feel I need to change Kat’s name. Kat is the name of Paul Baumer’s comrade in All Quiet and someone who served the same role for Paul as my Kat did for Tommy. It’s hard to change though, because Stephen Katzin is forever Kat in my mind. Maybe I’ll get away with it remaining the same, I don’t know. Continue reading

The Space Cantina – Holy Crap! Did you say nomination?

So last night I was informed that the beautiful and talented Naomi Edmondson put me up for the “Beautiful Blogger” award. This is the first nomination I have ever received for my blog and I am extremely honored by it!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to say “Holy Crap!” in a post title. See what I did there?

As stated in the rules of participation for this award I must divulge 7 facts about myself that you neither know nor care to know. You get them anyway.

1. I was both a nerd and a jock in high school. No lie, I was an ice hockey goaltender for 13 years. See? Look at that dashing face.

2. I started out as a Fan Fiction writer. You’ll never hear me bash Fan Fic, nope.

3. My favorite authors are George RR Martin, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Scott Westerfeld, Erich Maria Remarque and Joe Haldeman.

4. I’m an avid MMO player, though I’ve become a “casual” one lately. My current game is Star Wars: The Old Republic.

5. I took lessons in german longsword fencing

6. Coffee is the only reason I am still passable as a human being

7. I am an amateur World War I historian and my great-grandfather fought in France during 1918.

And now…

Rules of Participation

1. List seven things about yourself

2. Nominate seven other bloggers

My Nominees

1. http://misterkristoff.wordpress.com/

2. http://mandaloriangirl.wordpress.com/

3. http://sipty.net/

4. http://dimbotrooper.wordpress.com/

5. http://danbracewell.wordpress.com/

6. http://thewriterscodex.wordpress.com/

7. http://aemarling.com/

If you all haven’t seen any of these blogs, they are a wide and varied list of interests. Go forth! Kitty COMMANDS!

(I’m allergic to cats, so seriously go before he “visits” me.)