And, just like that, the leaves on the tree outside my window are starting to change colour, the weather is turning a bit cooler (thank goodness! I was starting to feel like the Lava Queen), and I seem to be back on track with writing for the most part after a bit of a trying time. But enough of that, here are some newsworthy goodies to read and (almost) to listen to.
Yes, I wrote an article about evil laughter for Speculative Grammarian – and you can read it over here. There are even graphs and footnotes! Written by my alter ego Lady Esmeralda Rose Beeton-Frasier, I think I shall resurrect her for future endeavours…
I’m going to be on a podcast!
Last year Mark Norman from the amazing The Folklore Podcast(find the website here or find it on iTunes here) asked me to be a guest on the podcast. My interview on the use of folklore in fantasy literature will be available to listen to on 15 March!
This month has also seen the beginning of a new multi-part Airtha-Eyrassa/The Ruon Chronicles Patreon-only story called The Box of Secrets. It takes place about thirty years before Grove of Graves and is about Trevian and Zala (whom you meet in Grove of Graves and The Oath.) I’ve added a small preview of the story at the bottom of this post.
Charms of Life and Death’s chapter rewrites are still at plotting stage – I realised that I need to plot this out VERY well as well as change some of the chapters around. I’ve sent out the first part of Charms for feedback, though, and it has been very positive, which is also giving me more energy to work on it.
I also want to really, really try and take part in both the Microcosms and Cracked Flash flash fiction contests this week – which will mean two stories for you to read next week!
Day came much too soon to Trevian’s liking. The whole night he had been awake, staring at his bundle of packed belongings from where he lay on his simple bed, longing to escape from this house and join his friends in the fight against Lord Ghyrahl of Reiaghy. After all, he was the one who had decided to attack Heimfeie in the first place. But now the day was already dawning and there was no more time for Trevian to leave without his mother or the Seeker to notice him.
Ah, yes, Aaron, the Seeker of Knowledge who showed up at their doorstep yesterday and told him of an oath his mother had made – that he would also become a Seeker of Knowledge at the age of eighteen. An oath she had never spoken of before. That was another reason he found himself unable to leave; he had heard his mother crying throughout the night. Not wailing, just the muffled crying of someone whose heart was shattered, but who did not want anyone to know about it.
Dawn light filtered through the shutter that closed over the window of his room. Pale streaks lit the small space where he and his brother slept. His little brother whom he also had heard crying once through the night. Trevian tried to take in every last detail – the grain of wood of the two chests that stood pushed against one wall, the crack that had appeared the previous time it had rained and his mother had asked him countless times to fix. His heart twisted into a painful knot. His eyes turned to where his brother slept, dark blonde hair peeking out above the faded patchwork blanket. He ran his fingers over his own blanket, feeling every bump of the stitches. He still remembered how long it took his mother to make these, the proud look on her face when she gave them to her sons as gifts on the new year night celebrations some five years ago. It was the year their father had died and the year she poured all of her sorrow into making his clothes into warm blankets for her sons. His brother had only been five years old.
“Trevian?” a small, muffled voice sounded from beneath the blanket and Trevian saw that his brother was watching him. “Do you really have to go today?” The young blue eyes were red-rimmed, evidence of the night’s crying.
“Mother made an oath, Jerjan. Oaths may not be broken, you know that.”
“It is not fair,” he said, sitting up, his hands balled into fists. “It is not!”
“No, it is not. But it must be done,” Trevian sighed. Oaths may not be broken. Especially oaths made to Agrai, the Creator.
He threw the blanket off him and swung his legs off the bed, rubbing over his eyes and face. He leaned over and opened the shutter, letting light stream in. Outside the door they heard their mother start to bustle about and the deep, rasping voice of Aaron as he greeted her. Trevian took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
Trevian and Aaron left the house some three hours later after much crying by his mother and brother. His stepfather, on the other hand, just stood silent and staring from the side of the room. Trevian realised that he had not heard his voice during the night as comfort to his mother and felt a sting in his heart. He pushed it away. His own mother had made an oath to just send him away. He looked back at the house now as they rounded a corner in the road. His mother was standing by the doorway, Jerjan by her side and her arms placed protectively around her remaining son. Even in his anger he could not help but lift his hand in farewell, telling himself that he was only saying a final farewell to his brother.