Phoenix Rising: Chapter 5

  Well, we'd left our little Toad hero in a tight spot...   ---   Chapter 5.        Once his heart slowed to normal, Duckweed looked up at the doors. Have to get through the one… or the other, maybe. Wonder what's through there? He'd seen that the door at the end of the corridor was, as he'd suspected, one of the two into the big cavern. He moved off his sword and hooked it in the little loop of leather tied around his body; if he was going to make a habit of this, he needed to figure out a better way of doing [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 4

  And now we meet our third protagonist...     ---   Chapter 4.        This was absolutely not in my plans today, he thought as he gazed down into the cavern, yellow-gray stone tinted orange and red by unnatural fire burning in the center of the cave. Figures moved around the fire in an orderly, menacing progression, muttering in a language he didn't understand.   But he didn't need to understand much; he'd only dabbled a little in magic so far, but what he saw now… a huge five-pointed star, carven into the [ Continue reading... ]

Update on Conditions Here…

  My wife Kathleen is home from the hospital, but she is quite a ways from being fully recovered. This means I'll be spending at least some time taking care of her for an unknown, though hopefully not too long, period of time. I am going to try to maintain my schedule for updates, both of the chapters of Phoenix Rising and of my blog posts, but I'm afraid that my plan to expand and fill in all the rest of the site has been temporarily stalled. I'll do some of that as time becomes available. [ Continue reading... ]

On My Shelves: Lord Valentine’s Castle

       Robert Silverberg has always been an … uneven author from my point of view. Some of his stories hit home, some seem mediocre, uninspiring.        And then there was Lord Valentine's Castle.        This is a rare, rare gem of a book, a novel that manages to make me think of poetry and wordsmithing and the sheer power of the right word choice as much as the awe-inspiring worldbuilding that makes Majipoor, the world of Lord Valentine's Castle seem not merely alive, but mythical, a place of lyrical, dreamlike intensity [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 3

Young Tobimar had a journey ahead of him...   ----   Chapter 3.        Tobimar stood at the rail of the Lucramalalla and stared at Skysand, the great capital city sharing the name of the entirety of the gem-scattered mountains and golden sands of the country itself. The rising sun struck the seven Lesser Towers and made them seem forged of gold, while the central Great Tower, which was in fact gilded, blazed as though poured from a furnace of auric fire. Sparks of other color shimmered in that light, the light of his departure, [ Continue reading... ]

Under the Influence: Steven J. Reed

    "Who?" I hear everyone asking. "Never heard of him."   No, you never did, almost certainly, unless you read a post I made on my LiveJournal about five years ago. Much of this Under the Influence post is taken from that tribute post.   Steve was my friend -- one of my first "older" friends, someone significantly older than I was who treated me as a full equal (he was about 10 years older than me). From a social point of view, Steve would never impress anyone. He was very intelligent, but never ended up in a job or [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Chapter 2

Time to meet our second protagonist....   Chapter 2.        "The least of her sons presents his compliments to the ageless and wise Lord of Waters, and asks if she would hear him at this time." The black-haired youth knelt before the woman whose white hair had a very few strands of similar midnight still visible.        There was a gentle laugh. "May the Spring of the Court flow ever for you, my son. The Lord of Waters is pleased that her son would seek out such an aged and infirm woman whose final years are doubtless close upon [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Rising: Prologue and Chapter 1

  Sometime relatively soon, the E-ARC  (electronic advance reader's copy) of Phoenix Rising will become available. Thus, I am now beginning my "snippeting" of the novel; I expect the snippets to cover roughly half the book.   So let's begin!       Prologue.   Warm light spilled from the windows of the estate, windows that were set in solid stone, warded with spell and steel; comfort with protection. He gripped the hilt of his sword and swallowed; his mouth was dry, as though filled with sand. "I… I don't want [ Continue reading... ]

Under the Influence: Roleplaying Games (RPGs)

       1977 was the most transformational year ever in my life, with the possible exception of 1995 (the year I married Kathleen). 1977 saw the release of Star Wars, of the first Shannara book and the first Thomas Covenant novel. In 1977, I first began going by the name of "Sea Wasp" online.        And in 1977, I first encountered a game called "Dungeons and Dragons".        In a very real sense, I had been doing roleplaying games long before that, just as had children from the dawn of time: making up characters and [ Continue reading... ]

Sorry about the silence…

  ... my computer chose to die JUST before I was sent away on a business trip (that ended on Wednesday). This meant that I had to leave it in the shop all that time, which meant I couldn't even do any writing of any sort while gone, or post anything even if I had it. Now I must catch up! [ Continue reading... ]