Just For Fun: My Favorite Moments Part 1

  I have often been asked what my favorite events, lines, or moments in my own books are. These favorites tend to shift some depending on my mood, and it's certainly hard in many cases to choose just ONE such for any given work. So I thought it might be interesting to describe and talk about up to three from any given work. Paradigms Lost: The first, and probably still my favorite of all, comes at the climax of the section titled "Lawyers, Ghouls, and Mummies", that ends with the simple line:   Verne Domingo had come [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: Superheroes Who Should Not Be Dark

  The recent release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has created a huge amount of controversy, a large amount of it centering on the almost unrelentingly grim imagery of the movie, and most specifically on the depiction of Superman. Throughout my life, there have been several times in which people dealing with the superheroic have decided – in various media – that a superhero can't be done for a modern audience and retain the four-color brightness of their origins. The arguments vary but tend to boil down to a perceived, [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 26

Kyri had made a very puzzling statement...   -----     Chapter 26. Poplock stared at her, as did Tobimar; Poplock hopped to her shoulder to talk to her more directly. "Um, that's what we've been trying to do for the last couple of weeks, Kyri. With all the magic I've got, all of Sasha's, and even Kelsley's." He could feel her pulse, sense it hammering far faster than it should be. "Magic – at least the magic we have – can't do it," she said quietly, still striding towards the south. "The Arbiter can't. Even the [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 25

Kyri was, in some ways, in more peril than she had ever been...   -----     Chapter 25. Arbiter Kelsley wavered on his feet; Tobimar and Discoverer (previously Seeker) Reed caught his elbows, helped him to sit down. Kyri looked out of the holy circle, and Tobimar felt a phantom pain in his chest as he saw her understanding that even this had failed. "Nothing at all, Arbiter?" The priest of Myrionar shook his head reluctantly. "I can injure her easily enough, Balance save me. But to break that curse lies beyond [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 24

Well, Kyri had had a horrific shock...   ------     Chapter 24.      Kyri found her hand on Flamewing's hilt, the sword already half drawn, before she caught herself. The horrific thought echoed through her, a sentence of death and failure. Not summon Myrionar's power? Be barred from Myrionar? No! "That fast?" Xavier asked, unbelieving. "C'mon, she's gotta have some time!" "The Curse is already on her," Tashriel said, the same horror in his voice, and a part of her understood that he knew what she felt. [ Continue reading... ]

Chapter 23

Now they finally have someone they can ask questions...   -----   Chapter 23.      Poplock looked at Kyri, who was clearly weakened and shaking with reaction from the attack and shock, and Tobimar standing near her. Right, I can take this myself. "Okay, you've got a chance to talk. Better make the talk good. So you're a demon under Viedraverion's command?" Tashriel's face twisted in half-amusement, half-misery. "I was… on loan to Viedraverion. He made my real master, Balinshar, give me to him for a special project – [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 22

Well, we'd left off with Kyri in a rather bad spot...   -----     Chapter 22. "This is going to look so stupid, Poplock," Tobimar said, settling his swords back into place. "We –" "I'll take all the blame if it looks stupid. I know that it seemed like we pretty much settled it just now, but there's still that chance left, and can we afford it if you're wrong? We can take a little embarrassment, even getting Kyri mad at us, but…" "Fine, fine. You're right. You generally have been. I just hope we're all [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 21

They had discovered a possible problem...   -----     Chapter 21.      "A vampire?" Kyri repeated in shock. There hadn't been a vampire of any type in Evanwyl for years, maybe decades, at least as far as she knew. "And it might be Rion," Poplock said. She found herself half out of her chair, hammering her fist down on the table. "Rion is NOT…!" Then she realized how ridiculous her reaction was. These are my friends and best companions. They wouldn't say things like this to me idly. She sat back down slowly, [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 20

Tobimar and Poplock had decided that Rion had to be watched...   -----     Chapter 20      "You lost him? You?" Tobimar couldn't keep the incredulity from his voice. There was a part of him that felt almost betrayed, and he finally identified it as the same feeling he'd had the first time he realized his mother couldn't fix everything. Poplock had always been the one who got things done when other people couldn't. The diminuitive Toad couldn't meet his gaze. "Yeah. I lost him." "Where?" "He'd taken a walk [ Continue reading... ]

Phoenix Ascendant: Chapter 19

So there were some questions to be answered...   -----     Chapter 19.      "You wish to see… what, precisely?" Arbiter Kelsley asked. "Well, that's part of the problem," Poplock said. "We're not sure." Kelsley jumped. "By the Balance… were you always able to talk?" "Yep," he answered. It was still amusing to see people suddenly have to revise their entire evaluation of him in an instant. "Then why… ah. Because you were a far more dangerous weapon when not suspected. Obvious, really. But why reveal [ Continue reading... ]