He raced as fast as his legs carried him, down the steep mountain path, winding through the tight underbrush, and hurling himself over the golden-stoned boulders. Leaves and branches smacked against his face and limbs, but he ignored the stings. Magtor had discovered that the war had begun, and his family was in imminent danger. As king of Neval, he and his family were on top of the Tarconian army’s list of who to hunt, brutally torture, and then kill.
He jumped more rocks in his path and swung around the larger trees. Sweat beaded on his forehead and trickled down his back, soaking his shirt.
“Almost there!” he consoled himself, praying that he reached them on time.
Their hut sat near a tributary of the Talon River, at the base of the Cardell Mountains. Unable to transfer his thoughts in the valley below due to the dense stone, he had journeyed to the top of one of the highest snow-capped peaks to a small temple that rested there, to discover the latest news of the predicted attack.
During his communications, Lord Dalton, the neighboring King of Edoma, had informed him about the uprising of the Tarconian army and their pursuit to re-instate slavery amongst the people.
Magtor cringed, knowing the long dreaded Mover’s war had begun. And the Tarconian army was rounding up all the royal Movers of each country to either convert or kill them. And he, as one of the most powerful Movers who held a world-altering Arcanum that they coveted, was their most sought after target.
He ran faster. Cramps pained his thighs and his heart pounded heavily, aching, but he urged his body onward.
How often he had wished not to be privy to the unorthodox knowledge explaining the horrid reason for the Mover’s creation. The Arcanum was an unbearable weight that added to his already heavy burden as king and one that gave him doubts about his own beliefs and values.
Although Magtor had received Dalton’s horrific news during the nightspan, he had immediately fled the small temple, sprinting down the mountainside since then, to reach his family before the soldiers arrived at dawn. With the sunspan having now awoken, it left him little time to reach the hut and escape with his family before the army’s arrival.
Magtor glimpsed the hut in the distance and dragged in a breath of heartfelt relief when he sensed no Tarconians in the area. Dalton had encouraged him to flee directly to the Golden Cave, to find refuge, without losing valuable time to retrieve his family. For Magtor, that was not an option. He could not live with himself if he did not try to save his mate and two boys.
Sprinting the last stretch down the base of the mountain, he finally spotted his two sons, chopping wood at the side of the hut, and his wife, Onella, picking thorn berries along the wooden fence surrounding the garden. As Magtor neared, he shouted as loud as his aching lungs permitted, “They’re coming! We must flee!”
NOVELETTE SOON TO BE RELEASED!
This is a work of fiction. All of the names, characters, places, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual people, events, or places is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce the book, or portions thereof. It is forbidden to sell or use this book in anyway for the purpose of monetary gain. Plagiarism of this book or any part thereof is prohibited.
Not too long ago, I finished a prequel to my Thoughtmover Series. Writing a story of my characters’ younger lives showed me new sides to their personalities and gave me a deeper understanding of why they behave the way they do.
Life experiences don’t necessarily change a personality, but it will move people into directions they may otherwise not take.
I have gained a greater affinity toward my characters through this process, allowing me to tell their stories better.
“It isn’t the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it’s how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer. ” – Pema Chodron
Research, as I have mentioned in a previous blog, is a very important part of writing.
“A man will turn over half a library to make one book.” – Samuel Johnson
Credibility, authenticity, realism, only to name a few, is the reason that we do so much research for our books.
I am always striving for accurate facts from live sources as opposed to relying solely on books or the internet. Records, manuals, and how-to books are supportive, but they rarely show the whole picture. What I need is the entirety of a topic. Talking to people who are knowledgeable in that area not only substanciates what I’ve already learned but also gives details, including all the emotions and difficulties relating to the field.
This blog is not about research, it is about the people that I interview to get my information.
It always amazes me how eagerly people are willing to share their knowledge and experiences. When I approach someone to get information from him or her, other than accommodating their busy schedule, they are more than willing to meet and share with me their extensive knowledge over a cup of coffee. Within that time, not only do I receive a wealth of information from a professional, but also their practical and personal experiences, having ‘been there and done it.’ These people are the real deal.
Meeting with so many people of different professions, makes this one of my favorite facets of researching. I have sat down with a cave dweller, seaman, psychologist, police sergeant, lawyer, healer, doctor, politician, petrologist (someone who studies rocks), and the list goes on. These professionals take pride in what they do and they do their jobs well. The zealousness in which they talk about their profession or hobby is contagious. I always find myself totally immersed in their conversations and absorbing their enthusiasm.
I remember my meeting with a seaman who told me about his triumphs and ordeals aboard a ship. Although I am not a water person and have no desire to travel the seas, I found myself utterly captivated by his stories.
It is wonderful to see others who are so passionate about what they do. I believe passion is what makes them so devoted and proficient at their job.
I dedicate this blog to them, for giving me their valuable time and sharing what is a big part of their life with me. My stories are richer because of their help, and I have become a better person, by them touching my life.
Perfectionism is something to strive for, but when does perfectionism become an obsession – a fear of your work never being good enough, always thinking you can do better.
During the process of a final edit on one of the first articles that I was having published, I had to ask myself, when would ‘enough be enough’.
At the time, I found the question difficult to answer. Now, I know it is different for everyone and different for each piece of work.
Back then, I realized that a more appropriate question to ask myself was, am I stalling because of my fear of failure, or is my work truly unfinished, needing more editing?
Saying, I’m finished, meant there was no more reason to hold back, nothing from stopping me to submit my work and perhaps face a rejection. At some point, I needed to take the next step, but I never thought that that step would be so difficult.
I remember the day that I finally said, “This is it! Today, I’m going to submit it.” I literally had to force myself to go through each step. And once I had it submitted, I fretted the entire time, waiting to hear back from the magazine editor if it was good enough.
Everything turned out fine. He loved the article, and two months later, I saw my article in print on the shelves.
With each publication, the feeling became more clear as to when I was satisfied enough with my work to submit it. I still question every piece I write as to whether it is good enough.
Just recently, I finished my first novel for publication. The experience was more intimidating, but I know that there comes a point where I need to move on and be satisfied with my work – I need to take that step of courage.
One day, I began to think about how well I really took care of myself as a writer, one who spends hours slouching behind her computer desk, constantly focusing on the screen, and forgetting everything around her.
Of course, nutrition is important and so is a regular exercise program; however, I was looking more so at my habits while writing and finding remedies that I could incorporate that would contribute to the betterment of my health, during my writing hours.
During my long days and often nights of writing, I began to critically access myself from the top down.
Do I clear my thoughts enough?
For someone, like me, who often writes many hours straight through, forgetting to take any descent breaks, the thought seldom occurred to me.
I alleviated this problem by getting out of my office for a short time after two or three hours of writing, to refresh my thinking . This distraction enhanced my creativity, often giving me a new perspective on my writing.
Do I give my eyes enough breaks from the hours of staring at the bright screen?
Being so absorbed in my writing, I seldom gave my eyes any consideration other then when they screamed from dryness or ached from tiredness.
Every fifteen minutes, it is recommended to look away from the screen and stare at a distant object to change your focus. Of course, being so absorbed in my writing, how was I to remember to look away every so often.
As a reminder, I used a timer that I set for fifteen-minute intervals. After each fifteen minutes, I take a few minutes to look out my office window and focus on something farther away. I know that without an alarm reminding me, the task would be next to impossible. Those fifteen minutes would slip to an hour, probably more like two or three.
Do I sit up straight?
I discovered my posture, too, needed improvement. I couldn’t believe how many times, I caught myself slouching.
Slouching was a more difficult point to conquer. I often didn’t realize that I was sitting in that terrible hunched position. A good chair helps, but it can only do so much. I needed to be consciously aware of my posture at all times. I did get help from my family. When they see me sitting hunched over, they come and press my shoulders back as a reminder to sit straight. I also started doing weight lifting to strengthen the muscles that help keep your back and shoulders straight. What really helped was setting a book on top of my head. Yes, I know it looks ridiculous but it works! I have noticed that sitting straight makes the long hours of writing more comfortable.
Do I treat my typing hands with respect?
This was one thing I did do.
When I began to write longer hours, I invested in a proper keyboard to take away the strain on my wrists, I got a proper mouse and key pad for support, and often during my writing, I give my hands a light shake or stretch.
Do I get enough movement into my legs while I write?
Who thinks of their legs when they are absorbed in their writing?
Sitting for long periods is terrible for the legs; in fact, it has many ill effects on your health. It is claimed that extreme sedentary is worse than excessive smoking. I never knew that my long hours behind my desk was so unhealthy. Inactivity is such a problem that an organization exists that fights against it, called Researchers against Inactivity-Related Disorders (RID).
Due to the importance of regular movement, I put a stair-climber right beside my office desk. Using my trusted timer again, every half hour, I step onto my climber to exercise my legs for a short time, enhancing my circulation.
Now that I treat my body with care, it rewards me with feeling better and having a clearer mind with improved concentration. I hope, I can continue to enforce these points for the betterment of my health and my success.