Sorry I missed yesterday. I was having computer problems. It’s amazing how computers have come to run our lives. I almost never carry cash anymore because I use my debit card for everything. When I do need cash, I don’t go to the teller. I drive up to the ATM. Yesterday highlighted to me just how much I depend on my computer. I use it to write, exchange emails, check Facebook, blog, make grocery lists, listen to music, video chat, keep up on the news and online bank. Take that away and a lot of my life is missing. Even my phone is a computer. It emails and texts along with running a host of applications from the palm of my hand. This has all happened very quickly. Think of the show “Friends.” They rarely had computers or cell phones and life went on just fine. Now consider that show ended less than 20 years ago. Look how much things have changed. Even I’m an albatross still using a desk top computer when most people have switched over to a laptop. There are computers in your cable box, in your car, in your alarm clock, in your kitchen appliances and your laundry appliances. Our lives are in the hands of these machines. Yesterday I saw a glimpse of life without them. Like heroin addicts we are totally devoted to computers. And times are still changing. The other day I heard about a company in Wisconsin that was actually microchipping their employees! It’s being done for identification and access to corporate buildings. The company says it’s the wave of the future. Now the computer technology is going INSIDE us. Imagine what 20 years from now will look like! AI (Artificial Intelligence) is already in commercials. Where will that take us? I’m not saying this is going to be bad when change comes. I just think we should keep an ounce skepticism.
As I wait for an editor to be assigned by my publisher for “Mandrean Revenge,” I turn my focus to my latest endeavor, “The Thief Master of Ravensburg.” It is a totally different book from the ones I have written so far with shades of grey separating the heroes from the villians. The storylines are complex and the protagonist is…different to be delicate. That’s what I love so much about him, though. He’s somewhat of an anti-hero. If you take Linvin Grithinshield from the other books and compare, this character is about as far away and still be called a “good guy” like Linvin as you can get. It is a fun story if you’re open to something new in the series. The secondary characters are all over the board as well. There are gnomes, elves, dwarves and humans. They represent a slew of different profiles. The antagonist is a greedy, selfish, vicious, plotting man who uses intimidation and cruelty to their greatest effect. He’s quite a foe. The book has excitement and mystery and outright brashness. I will get back to writing it now.
In the poorly lit cells of the prison, Anvar and the twins rested as Linvin sat against the wall opposite Miri and picked at the straw on the floor. For her part, Miri leaned against the far side of the same wall. She held her knees tightly to her chest and rested her head upon them.
“Do you know what I really miss seeing since I have been here?” she asked Linvin.
“There is only one thing?” Linvin answered with a laugh.
She chuckled before answering, “Alright Captain Sarcasm, you know what I mean. I miss seeing the sky. At home the sky just seemed to go forever. When there were clouds, they were always so high and distant. When the sun would set, brilliant hues of peach, yellow, red, silver and a host of other colors painted the sky like an ever-changing canvas. Every sunset was a spectacle to see. As much as I enjoyed watching them, I do not think I really appreciated their majesty until I no longer had the opportunity to view them.”
“I too have seen my share of gorgeous sunsets,” Linvin agreed. “One would think the sunrises would be as marvelous. Perhaps they were. For me, though, sunrise usually involved trepidation on my part. It often signaled the start of a march, or battle. More recently it meant the beginning of another day of a journey into the unknown.”
“That’s not a very positive way to see something so wonderful,” Miri noted.
“I suppose,” Linvin answered. “Many times it seems one’s perspective is colored by the end of the sword they see before them.”
Miri added to his thought, “Or perhaps it is colored by the fact that you see every day involving a sword?”
Linvin’s voice strengthened and he spoke with pride. “I did not choose the road I have traveled. Nor have I shirked the responsibilities given to me. Someone must hold the sword and fight so others can view sunsets. For a time I was ashamed of my past. Now I see it was simply part of my training for a greater purpose. I only hope I have the opportunity to finish my mandate.”
Miri felt guilty for her ignorant statement. She struggled to find the words to make the situation right once again. “I know we agreed not to divulge too much information in here,” she said. “Whatever your goal may be, I hope you attain it.”
Their discussion ended as the riotous noise of soldiers on the stairs interrupted. Three goblin guards came down the hallway and stopped at Miri’s cell. “On your feet, Your Highness. It is time for you to move.”
“Which level will I be going up to this time?” she asked as she pulled herself off the floor.
“Up?” asked one of the goblins. “Your time in the jails above is over. Lord Mandrean personally decreed you be handed over to Hugon for interrogation. You are going down to the Room of Horrors. If you do hold any information, you would be wise to divulge it quickly. The Sergeant has no patience and will use every means at his disposal to extract it from you.”
“I swear I don’t know any of the things you have asked about.” Miri argued as they removed her forcibly from her cell.
“Then you will die a slow, methodical, agonizing death,” the guard said. “Sometimes Hugon lets us watch when the torture really gets intense. I hope I am one of the lucky ones who gets to watch you die.”
“So here and now, Anvar, is this it? Is this what my future is meant to be? If it is, then why not let me stay with my parents? Why not let me learn from my father? Something is not right about all of this. The pieces do not fit together. With my father gone, I think there is one person who holds the answers I seek. That person is you, Anvar. To my knowledge, you have never lied to me. So I ask you again, is this the life my father wanted for me?”
Anvar puffed his pipe and said, “You are drunk, my dear nephew.”
“And you are avoiding my question!” stormed Linvin, who jumped from his chair and leaned over his uncle. “Answer me! Answer me! Is this what my father wanted?”
Anvar recalled the promise he made to Jelena. He rocked slowly while biting the end if his ~ pipe. Linvin sat down in the chair next to him and placed his head in his hands.
The rhythmic sound of Anvar’s rocking came to an abrupt halt. Anvar stroked his nephew’s hair and whispered a word in his ear, “No.”
Linvin’s head popped up and stared at his uncle. “Then what is this all about?”
Anvar returned to his rocking and puffing. After a few moments he formulated his words and spoke, “Your mother was absolutely set against your leaving. What you have been experiencing tonight is the life your mother has envisioned for you since you were born.”
“And my father’s plan?”
“I can only hope his plan died with him. It was reckless and dangerous. With any luck at all, it would never bear fruit.”
“Tell me, Anvar, what was his plan?”
“It is not for me to say,” Anvar answered slowly. “It was not my plan.”
“So what am I supposed to do?” Linvin demanded.
Anvar looked up at the sky. Only a few clouds obscured the view. At that moment, one of the clouds had hidden the moon from sight. “Look at the sky, Linvin. Tell me, is the moon out tonight?”
Linvin leaned back and took in the sky. “Yes,” he answered simply.
“How do you know?” asked Anvar. “I do not see the moon anywhere.”
“It is right there,” pointed Linvin. “There are just some clouds blocking it from view.”
“But are you sure it is there?” asked Anvar. “Prove it to me. How can you prove that the moon ~ is there?”
“Well,” Linvin said, rubbing his chin, “We can just wait here until it comes out from behind that cloud. Then you will see it.”
“So even though the answer may be there all along, I will not be able to see it until the time is right?” Anvar asked.
“Well, of course,” Linvin stated. “Unless you believe it is there all the time, then your only choice is to wait for it to reveal itself.”
“So you are telling me that I must just believe the moon is there until it appears and proves it? You seem quite confident in the outcome. How do you know that the moon will appear again?”
“I do not know,” said Linvin. “I guess it just always comes out sooner or later.”
Anvar smiled and remarked, “And so will the answer to your question, my boy. The answer is out there. What you must do is wait for it to present itself, just like your moon. Until then, you must believe the answer will appear.”
Linvin looked at the sky and rocked his chair. “And what do I do until I get my answer?”
“I would suggest giving your mother’s ideas a chance. No one said you have to get married right away. Get involved with the business. It needs you right now. I see a lot of your father in you and I think you will take to it quite well. Try things your mother’s way and get to know the woman who will always love you more than any other. Otherwise, the day will come when you will wish you had known her better. Besides, there is more to do around here than wait for the moon to poke through some clouds.”
Linvin took his advice to heart. He was anxious to learn the family business and succeed his father. For the time being, he would be patient.
Well fans I have good news. Solstice Publishing, (the publisher of my first two books) has picked up the option on my third book, “Mandrean Revenge.” They will republish it in the Solstice family of books. I’ve spent the last two days looking through possible cover options. There were so many to choose from but I managed to narrow it down to a few for my publisher to choose from. It’s exciting to go through this book again. For those of you not familiar with the story, I will give you a teaser. At the end of “The Sapphire Crucible,” Linvin had killed Lord Mandrean; or so he thought! Mandrean survived the encounter and in his convalescence, stoked his fires of hatred for his half-elf enemy. Two years have gone by and he finally has a plan. He orders his evil Necromancer to kidnap Linvin’s best friend and uncle, Anvar. Then the ultimatum is laid out. Either Linvin surrenders to the Mandreans to be executed before the first frost or his uncle takes his place. Seeing little choice, Linvin sets off for the Mandrean Empire. Little does he know of the troubles he will encounter upon the way. That’s all for today my fans. Enticing, isn’t it? I can tell you there are some turns you won’t see coming. It’s a fun read. You’ll have access to it soon
Writing is my passion. Since I was a young child and wrote my first short story, I’ve known I wanted to be a writer. When you grow up you find it’s not so simple. You have agents, publishers, editors, graphic designers not to mention everyday life getting in the way of that passion. Then you have the job that pays the bills which sucks your energy. Suddenly that passion is very, very difficult to find time for. That’s what makes it so wonderful when you finally find time to write. You close the door to your office. Ignore the scratching sound of the dog trying to get in. Ignore the fighting kids in the living room. Ignore the cars going by outside and the Facebook updates on your phone. Just settle in with a glass of water and read where you left off. Then the magic happens. It’s like a wave of happiness washing over me. For that moment, time stands still and the world stops turning. I wish everyone could experience this sensation. Maybe they do in their own way in their own job. A doctor saving a patient may feel that sublime feeling. On a smaller scale, perhaps a barista makes a perfect Frappuccino for someone. Maybe an architect draws the perfect blueprint. The point is, it is possible to get a feeling like this in your job if you achieve something you love doing. Find that sweet spot in your work and you will be a happier person.
It’s the 4th of July once again and time to celebrate the birth of our nation. It has its faults but I would rather live here than anywhere else. I grew up mostly in Canada and was lucky to do so. There are so many other countries not as great as Canada where I could have lived. Even with all the greatness of Canada, I always saw myself as an American living abroad. When college came around there was no doubt I was headed home to the USA. It’s not perfect but it is my home. To all the critics of America I put to you, if America is so bad then why do immigrants keep trying to get in here? I’m not calling anyone out but its America’s birthday and we’ve taken some lumps around the world in the last few years. It’s time to sing the praises of this wondrous land. It’s true you can be anything you want here. If you have the right idea, plan and execution, you can be successful. There are so many freedoms here but we can’t celebrate them without remembering the men and women who fought on behalf of those freedoms. From Bunker Hill to the moonscape fields of Afghanistan, Americans are defending those values for Americans everywhere. It is because of them that I can relax on my day off and grill out. Thank you for your service, all of you. Thank you, America, for giving me my opportunities. Happy 4th of July
Fantasy fiction is my passion. This series embodies my love for a good story and action. You will find it to be many things, but not boring! Read what you love and love what you read...