Of Pen and Paper


I’ve always been a pen and paper junkie.  There was just something about a new notebook that got me more excited than anyone could imagine. Even now, my favorite place (next to the bookstore) is the office supply shop.  Don’t need luxuries like food, clothing, and shelter?  Cool. Let’s go buy pen and paper, markers and index cards.  I’m game.

It was always easier for me to get ideas on paper when it was real paper, and I could take it anywhere without need for a charger.  However, as I’ve gotten older, my hands have decided that writing long hand is too painful to be productive.  Therefore, I do the creating in my head and on index cards, type it up, then edit long hand.  That gives me the tactile sensation of the paper and pen while still being kind to aging joints and eyes.  It works.  Sometimes.

How do you create?

Best wishes.

The Trimurti

Coming SoonI’ve been working on a YA story about three girls, and I’d been having some issues determining just what weapons they would carry.  I finally decided on using the triumvirate of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, just to give a different feel to this story.

At this point, I have one series that’s used mostly Greek mythology, the ‘story that never ends’ uses Irish mythology, and the shorter stories that I’ve been working on to sort of introduce the characters use folklore and legend as much as mythology.

I’m hoping that “Wolf in the Shadow” will be available by the end of June, and I’m hoping to have another one ready by the end of August.  I’m hoping to release the one about the girls in maybe September or November, it just depends, and the third Ethan book will be out in October.  So, I’ve got my work cut out for me.  But, on to the Trimurti.

The idea of the Trimurti states that Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the preserver, and Shiva is the destroyer.  It seems that the idea of the Trimurti is that there is one Supreme and the others are manifestations of this deity, with each form having a different function.  In some instances, Vishnu is viewed as the Supreme with Brahma and Shiva being aspects of Him.  In other cases, the Supreme is Shiva.

Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva is not the oldest Trimurti.  In older texts, Surya replaces Brahma, or this God is seen as an Absolute over the others.

The idea of the trimurti isn’t present in the Rig Veda.  In this text, the primary god mentioned is Indra, who was a warrior who brought the world into being.  Another god mentioned is Agni, who is the god of the sacred fire and is responsible for taking offerings to the gods.  There is the idea of a triple-aspected deity, but not the specific trimurti most of us are familiar with.  This doesn’t occur until the Puranas.  In the later works Brahma replaces Indra, and Shiva is associated with Agni.  Vishnu, however, seems to remain the same regardless of the time period.

Other texts look at other aspects of the gods, and these texts can be found at Internet Sacred Text Archive.  I highly recommend the epics (Mahabharata and Ramayana) to anyone interested in these topics.

Best wishes.





Coming SoonI’ve been kicking around some ideas of where Ethan can go after he finishes his current quests.  I’ve been thinking about bringing one of the other characters to the fore for a couple of books.  Then there’re my adult works, which deal a lot with magical folks with several characters having some type of innate magical ability outside of the weapons given to them by the gods.  With that in mind, I went back into my stuff on Merlin to see what I could come up with.  It’s been a lot of years since I’ve delved into these works, and I’m finding that I’ve missed them.

One of the most popular wizards in all of mythology is Merlin from the Arthurian legends.  This figure is sometimes seen as a wise man and father-type figure to Arthur, but at other times he’s seen as something a bit more sinister.  His origin is ambiguous at best, and his abilities vary depending on the source.

Merlin first appears in the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth.  Here, he is a youth who never had a father and is brought to the attention of king Vortigern because the king needs the blood of a ‘youth without a father’ to build his tower.  In this passage, Merlin’s mother speaks of a man who appeared and disappeared and got her with child, and the creature is identified as an incubus.  Merlin, not wanting to be killed, informs the king that something else is causing his tower to fall.  The workers dig beneath it and find this to be true.  There was an underground pond and two dragons beneath that.  Vortigern then admired Merlin.

In later years, Merlin is able to identify the king of Britain (Uther, after seeing a comet), and it is Merlin who causes Uther to look like Ygrain’s husband so he can lie with her.  This begins the life of King Arthur, and it is in these legends that we see the most of Merlin.  In most of these tales, the wizard is a wise father figure to the boy who becomes king, and it is Merlin who orchestrates the sword in the stone.  However, if we watch the movie Excaliber (yeah, I know, it’s not mythology), we can see that Merlin here is much more sinister than the kindly wizard of many of the tales.  I always think of Gandalf as just another version of Merlin, but not when compared to the wizard in Excaliber.

There are other legends concerning Merlin.  In these Welsh tales he is called Myrddin and is a prophetic madman in the woods.  Here, he has a wife and a sister, and his prophecies are true, yet laced with madness.  Few of these tales are related to King Arthur in any way, and they’re a fascinating read for those who want a different take on this legendary wizard.

Merlin finally dies because he cannot control his lust for a woman (moral lesson for guys anyone?).  She is called Morgana, Morgan le Fay, and other names, but, in the end, she wants Merlin’s power and isn’t above using her womanly wiles to get it.

Merlin appears in many other works, including the romances of Chretien de Troyes and Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Mallory, and just who he is changes from story to story.  In some stories he’s a wise man, a wizard, someone who has all the answers.  In other stories, he’s a conniving, somewhat morally ambiguous character who manipulates others for his own ends.  There are even times when he’s considered to be a wild man, a madman, and lives deep in the woods.  He’s a bard, a Druid, a failing old man with uncontrollable lust.  He’s both British and Welsh, wise and foolish.  He’s both great and fallible, and he’s one of the most fascinating characters in mythology and legend.

Best wishes.


Merlin – Timeless Myths

The Legendary Origins of Merlin

Vita Merlini

Crows Point the Way. Maybe.

wp-1461547632773.jpgIn the world of Grevared there are three towns named after the mysterious crow.  There’s Crowrest in E’ma Thalas, Ravengrace in Corleon, and Crowborough, also in Corleon.  I guess I named the towns the way I did because I’ve always thought crows were interesting birds.  Plus, I see a lot of them.

Well, this morning sort of got me thinking.  I was at my ‘real’ job when two crows landed in the parking lot (I think they were actually after the Cheetos someone had dumped out).  One of them shied away, as expected, and eventually flew off, but the other stayed.  It waddled around a bit and looked me in the eye for several minutes.  Even when a car came through the parking lot, this crow came toward me rather than moving away from me.  A few minutes later the buddy crow came back, and both stood there for a few minutes before flying off.

Of course, being the type of person who’s interested in all things mystical and magical, I had to double check some of the symbolism.

Crows have a vast symbolism across many cultures.  There are, of course, the associations with death and misfortune, but they’re also associated with wisdom, secrets, and good luck.  I had quite a few hours to ponder the situation (and who couldn’t use some good luck?), and I think Ethan may have to go visit one of these places once he’s finished with the ordeal with Cronus (book three to be released in October).  After all, Kayne is from Crowrest, so it would be a good chance for them to see some of his family.  There is also a Shadow Walker from Ravengrace, though the stories about her are still in the writing phases.  So, maybe I need to look at the crows and let them lead the way a little.  After all, what can it hurt?  In the meantime, I’ll hope for the good luck that seeing two crows is supposed to bring.

Best wishes.

Projects, Projects, and more Projects

CollageI’ve been working on getting a website put together, and I’m finding it to be an interesting exercise.  Part of the fun is deciding just what to put on it.  Obviously, the books that I have out, the children’s books, adult short stories, and crochet patterns (I know, those don’t really fit here.), but I also want to add information about the world of Grevared and character bios, etc.  I think the biggest issue is to remember that I know what’s going to happen about twenty years after the stories I’m currently working on and not revealing too much.  What do you think?  What are some of the things you look for in an author/book series website?

On another note, I don’t really mention my crochet stuff much, partially because it’s not relevant here and partially because my hands tend to object to the activity now.  But I wanted to mention it today because I’ve been working on getting some of the patterns I’ve created on other platforms besides Amazon.  Most of them are simple patterns that beginners can do without any trouble, and they’re more along the lines of useful items than decorations.

For those who may be interested in them, there’re links to the Amazon listings here.

Best wishes!

Wolf in the Shadow

bright and shinyI’ve been working on a short story (200 more words, and it can be classified as a novella), and I think I’ve got it mostly finished.  First draft and revision are done, so I’m letting it stew for a few days, then it’ll be time for editing.

The title of this one is “Wolf in the Shadow”, and it takes place about twenty years before the ‘novel that never ends’. (I’m actually making headway on that one.  I’m shooting for having it completed by the end of summer.)  I’m still trying to make some final decisions about “Wolf in the Shadow”, but I’m planning on having it out by the end of May.  Below is a brief excerpt from the story.

Best wishes.

Constable Timothy Hawkins rolled over and snuggled down in his sleep. He reached for Eleanor and pulled her close to him without any real awareness of what he was doing. Something pricked his consciousness, an itch on his right palm, but it was a vague and distant thing, and Timothy was too lost in sleep to understand it.

Banging on the door brought Timothy awake. Eleanor moaned and rolled over, but she didn’t waken. Timothy cursed and climbed from his warm bed. The fire in the brazier had gone out, and the room was cold. His bare feet shied away from touching the chilled wooden floor, but his training as an Enforcer forced him forward regardless of his discomfort.

Timothy entered his small living room and banged his knee on the coffee table. He cursed again and rubbed his face to induce wakefulness. It didn’t help.

“Dammit, I’m coming,” he shouted at the door.

The knocking stopped.

Timothy opened the door and stood staring at the person on the other side. He was tall, well over six feet, with auburn hair and beard and a rakish grin. At any other time, Timothy would’ve been glad to see him, but at two hours past midnight, all he wanted to do was throttle Justin Harper.

“What the hell do you want?” Timothy grumbled.

Justin grinned and took in Timothy’s ragged, sleep rumbled appearance. He stepped inside and closed the door before answering, “We’ve got a good one.”

Timothy rolled his eyes and threw his hands into the air. He rubbed his itching palms on the legs of his sleep pants, flipped on the incandescent lamp, and stumbled to the Cold Box for a Fizzy Drink. He twisted off the top and downed half of it in one glug before looking back at Justin. “So? What else is new?”

Timothy plopped onto the sofa and propped his feet on the table. Justin took the chair across from him and leaned back with his ankle resting on his knee. A self-satisfied smile split Justin’s round face, and his eyes were lit up like a kid seeing Sir Klaus.

He likes this stuff way too much.

“Mel sent a beetle early this morning. It said there was a situation down in Black Crystal, so I went down there.”

“You’ve been to Black Crystal and back today?”

Justin nodded. “I took the locomotive.” He waved it off. “Ten people were killed last night, and it looked like they were mauled by a wild animal.”

Timothy blew out a tired breath. “And you saw the bodies?”

Justin nodded. “What was left of them.”

“Shit.” Timothy shifted in his seat until he mirrored Justin’s pose. The two were eye-to-eye in the darkness of the living room, just as they had been many times before. “Black Crystal sits on the edge of the forest. Are you sure it wasn’t wild animals? Are you sure you’re not just seeing what you want to see because it’s been a while since Mel’s sent you out?”

Justin gave Timothy a rueful grin. “I wish I was.” His face paled as he remembered what he had seen. “I really wish I was.” The glint in his eyes faded. “Tim, this wasn’t like the specter attacks where the person was just dead. This was…. This was…” Justin shrugged. “I don’t know.”

They lapsed into silence for a moment, then Timothy looked back up at Justin. “And Mel thinks we should check it out?”

Justin nodded. “Cooley Cray, the guy who carried the Helm of Invisibility from Hades?”

Timothy nodded to indicate he knew who Justin was referring to.