Snippet Sunday

CoverI shared the cover of a WIP, Aliyah’s Tears, last week, so I thought I’d share a snippet of the work this week.

Aliyah’s Tears is written in the epistolary style and is told through communication between Roxxie and Victoria, two college friends who’ve stayed in touch. I’m still working on distinguishing their voices from each other, but here’s a little bit from the beginning.

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com 

 

Aliyah’s Tears

January 12

Hey Roxxie,

You know, it would make my life easier if you’d get a cell phone. Hell, even an email address would help. Why do you insist on written letters? It’s not like you’re in one place long enough to get them. Please consider coming into the modern world. I know you don’t want to, but technology is here to stay, dear heart, whether you want it to or not.
It was good to see you last month. I wish it had been a happier occasion, though. It was too bad about Aliyah. Do you remember her back in college? Back when we all roomed together? I’d thought about using her as a character in a book and had written this about her.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw her. Frightenly beautiful, yes, but cold. Hard. As if her bones were steel girders and her heart a stone that beat ice water. My opinion of her never changed, not in all the years we were acquainted. Yet I never once doubted her loyalty or fortitude.

I think that sums up the way I thought about her. I’ll never forget that first day when she walked in with the designer jeans and her hair in that braid that must’ve taken hours to do. *shakes head* I guess we were mean to laugh behind her back, especially since she wasn’t stuck up at all. She was cold, yes, and hard to get to know. I don’t think I ever found out any more about her than that she had three or four brothers. What about you? Do you know any more about her? I guess it’s weird that I’m only wondering now.
Anyhoo, I guess I’d better stick this in the mail while I still know where to send it. I just hope it gets to you before you head off on your next adventure.
I wish I could go with you, but I just can’t get away from work right now.

Have fun.

Write soon.

Love you, girl.
Victoria

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Pondering Direction

The Spirits of YuleI’ve been doing some thinking about my writing lately. That’s why I haven’t been nearly as active on social media. I’m trying to decide on a direction, for I think I’m spread too thin.

I’m one of those eclectic readers/authors who likes to do so many things that I can’t keep track of all of them.

I love fantasy, and I love the world of Grevared. If I could get there, I’d pack my bags and leave now. I have so many ideas that span all age groups that my head spins when I think about them. I have a spreadsheet and all of my ideas are organized, but I don’t know which one to pursue first.

I also love mythology and folklore, and I’d like nothing more than to lock myself in a library with tons of books and research until I’m a skeleton turning to dust. I want to delve into the mysteries of ancient times and see where we came from.

I’m also a horror junkie, and, let’s face it, some days horror is just the way to go. Writing it is a cathartic exercise, and I’ve often wondered how many people have escaped prison by writing it. I don’t care much for horror novels, though, so most of my horror is short stories.

Then there are mysteries. I love trying to figure out who did what and when. I love the relaxing atmosphere created by cozy mysteries, and there is plenty of room to mix in my love of mythology and folklore.

CoverSo, at this point, I have no idea what I want to do and where I want to go. I know I’ll release The Spirits of Yule later this year, and I’m hoping to complete the anthologies Rise of the Mad Gods and a horror one. With the horror, I haven’t decided if a current WIP will be part of it or not. It’s a ‘wait and see’ thing right now.

So, as spring approaches and a new cycle begins, I’ll be doing some thinking while I pursue the writing.

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

 

 

Thought for the Day

I talk a lot about the importance of fairy tales and other forms of folklore and why they should have a front row seat in our lives.

I came across this song yesterday. It’s one I had forgotten about. It sums up my thoughts perfectly.

https://youtu.be/Fj3PdR4axC4

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

My Guilty Pleasure-Cozy Mysteries

pencil on white smartcase near eyeglasses
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First and foremost I’m a fantasy junkie. I love the worlds and the characters and the magic that comes with them. I love fairy tales and legends and myths, and there’s nothing better than reading through religious texts of all kinds. However, my love of fantasy wasn’t indulged beyond classics and Dorrie the Witch until I was a young teenager.

When I was younger, Sherlock Holmes was my hero. I read every story Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about him, and I had this awesome game called Consulting Detective that had maps and clues and all kinds of things. It wasn’t a board game; it was more role playing. There was a “case” that needed to be solved, and the players had to move through London to figure out the answers. I still have it around here somewhere.

But Sherlock Holmes wasn’t the only one.

My aunt had the entire Nancy Drew series. She also had The Hardy Boys and The Bobsey Twins. I read them all. Then there were The Three Investigators, and, yes, I even loved Encyclopedia Brown.

As an adult, I still love mysteries. Most recently, I read the four Caster and Fleet Mysteries by Liz Hedgecock and Paula Harmon. I have to say I loved them. They’re set in the late Victorian era, and Connie and Katherine are hilarious. They move at a good pace, and the twists and turns kept me interested until the end.

For me, mysteries are a different kind of vacation. As someone who loves books and crafting, their connection to those makes them even more entertaining. They’re perfect for a rainy Sunday when I just want to kick back and do nothing.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

What’s in the Works

Escape CoverIt’s been a busy few weeks, but I think things are settling down a bit. I’ve managed to get some writing done, more than I have in the past few months.

I finished the first draft of a short story titled “Becoming Real” this afternoon, and The Spirits of Yule is with a reader right now.

I’m also almost finished with another short story in the Rise of the Mad Gods series and hope to release all of the stories in one volume in a few months. To that effect, the stories have been pulled from Amazon and other platforms. My plan is to go back through them again and make sure they’re as good as I can make them.

The Chronicles of Kayne Soulton: Escape is coming along, but middle schoolers will be middle schoolers, and the gang is just not doing what I need them to do. I’ve posted snippets from the beginning of the story before (check out my Facebook author page), and I know where I want the story to go. It’s just a matter of getting there.

I also have a few things I’m working on outside of Grevared, but I can’t predict a timeline at this point.

All in all, I think I have my work cut out for me for this year, and I’m looking forward to making some progress.

Thank you to those who’ve taken a chance on my books and continue to stop by every week to see what’s going on.

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

Winter Deities

photo of mountain with ice covered with black and gray cloud
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I’ve been doing some research into winter deities, partly for The Spirits of Yule, but partly because I’m fascinated by the topic. I’ve read a lot of books on the history of Christmas, the most recent being Christmas: A Biography by Judith Flanders, but there’s so much more to the season than just that holiday.

There’s darkness in winter, a sense of foreboding as the land goes to sleep. Chill air nips at the fingers and toes, and wind howls through leafless branches. It’s hard to think about a long, cold night full of anxiety and wondering in a world of electric lights and central heating, and while nature may take a break, modern life doesn’t allow it. With the advent of working/schooling from home capabilities, there aren’t really even snow days anymore. I find that sad, and there’s a part of me that wishes for a time when the end of the day meant the end of the day.

That aside, the entire season still holds great fascination for me as the spirits of the dead walk and creatures of darkness lay claim to the land. It’s a great time for horror stories and contemplation, and just a quick dip into the lore of the season is enough to cause shivers.

I’m not far enough along in the research to have too much to share, but I hope to have some soon.

black and white cold fog forest
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Until then, here is a short list of beings said to be associated with the winter months.

Amaratasu (Japanese): sun goddess who hid in a cave after a fight with her brother, bringing darkness to the world.

Father Winter: a personification of the season of winter. This being comes from a number of cultures.

The Wild Huntsman: leader of the Wild Hunt, sometimes called Herne the Hunter but goes by other names. The Hunt flies through the night and devours all in its path. Germanic and Celtic

Saturn: (Roman) God of agriculture. His festival, the Saturnalia, was held in December. It was a time of feasting and drinking where roles were often reversed.

Wah Kah Nee (Chinook): a being said to be able to walk barefoot through winter and communicate with its spirits

What I Look for in Fantasy Books

backlit dark dawn environment
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Those who’ve followed me know I’m a folklore and mythology junkie and that my interest in that led me to fantasy when I was a young teenager. It’s still my favorite genre to read, and I love creating worlds more than just about anything else.

My favorite fantasy author of all time is Raymond E. Feist. I began reading his work in the 1980s, and I followed the Midkemia books all the way to the end. I still go back and reread the entire series about once per year.

I’ve been down with a bit of a bug for a few days, and I was pondering just what it was that made Mr. Feist’s work my favorite. After all, I also love Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings, among others, and after quite some time thinking about it, I finally figured out what it was. It’s realism.

Now, I realize fantasy isn’t supposed to be real. It’s fantasy, after all, and, let’s face it, it’s been a few centuries since anyone has reported seeing an elf and been believed. But Middle Earth, Narnia, and others like them have the sense of being ‘other’. They aren’t here, and there’s no way I’m opening my front door and seeing one of them outside. It just ain’t gonna happen.

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Midkemia, at least for me, has a different feel. Perhaps it’s because it was one of the first fantasy series I ever read, but there’s always been the feeling that I could actually go there. Yes, there are elves near Crydee. Yes, magicians live on Stardock. Yes, the dwarves live in the Grey Tower mountains. But it still feels like all this is happening just down the street, at most in the next town over. There’s a realism to his world that I don’t find in a lot of other fantasy worlds, and that’s what attracts me to it the most, and that’s what I try to create, to the best of my ability, in my own writing.

Now, it’s your turn. What are your favorite elements of fantasy? What attracts you to your favorite author?

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

The Diary of Eleanor Hestenfield

portrait-1462942_1920After the events in Black Crystal in 6364, Eleanor Hestenfield escaped to E’ma Thalas. As she learned more about herself, she recorded her thoughts in a small journal.  

 

Season of Snows 6365 AOP

 It’s been a year now since I discovered my true nature and joined the Lycans. Abilene says it’s important that I continue to record my thoughts as I gain more and more control over my abilities. I don’t think this really helps, though, for there are times when I still find myself in the forest without knowing how I got there.

I have to say that the forests of E’ma Thalas are beautiful, especially as the leaves bud on the trees. The elves seem friendly enough, but they’re nothing like the people I knew in the Xaggarene Empire. I miss the Shadow Walkers, and I miss Timothy. As much as I hate to admit it, I even miss Justin on occasion.

I’ve sent Timothy several letters over the past year, but he hasn’t responded. I don’t think he will. Even the beauty of the snow falling onto the kinloth outside my window can’t lift my spirits. Its purple leaves remind me of the scarf Timothy bought for me one evening when we went to the theater. It had the same delicate pattern as the leaves on the tree, though they are almost covered in snow.

I wish I could see him again, if only for a moment, just to explain, to make him understand that I’m not the evil creature he thinks me to be. I think if he could see me, he could see that I’m still the same person I always was. The question is: would it make a difference to him? Would Timothy ever be able to see beyond the events of Black Crystal? Can he ever forgive me? Sometimes I wonder, and it makes my heart ache. Perhaps, it would’ve been better if Justin had killed me. At least then I could know peace.

Thoughts for the New Year

photo of fireworks
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The first week of the year is already down and done. I can’t believe it’s already started.

Those who’ve followed for a while know I like to play around with things, and this week has been no different. I’ve spent the week making new book trailers for existing books and revising the first draft of The Spirits of Yule and writing on The Chronicles of Kayne Soulton: Escape. That’s one book well on its way and another in the works that’s going well. I’m also still working on Darkmoor Thunder, though these girls are giving me a bit of a hard time.

All in all, I think it’s been a good start to the new year. I’m excited for what’s coming up and hope I can keep to the schedule I’ve set for myself.

You can check out my new trailers on my YouTube channel.

I hope everyone has a fabulous 2019. Let’s do this!

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com