Elizabeth Grace West

Picture from Pinterest

Elizabeth West is thirteen and the youngest surviving member of the West family.

Before her family died, Elizabeth was a loving, compassionate girl, always wanting to find ways to witness and help out in the underground. She loved her family and, though there was danger in being a Christian, she accepted that. Still, she never dreamed over half her family would be gunned down before her very eyes. She was quiet if in a group, but talkative when alone and great with comebacks which would startle some people because she looks like a meek girl.
But after watching her family brutally murdered, including her closest sister, Sarah, Elizabeth withdrew into herself. She hardly speaks, only eats what is given to her, and huddles up with her blanket on a couch or in a corner most days. She rests on her family…on Anna mostly (partly because they are both girls, partly because she went through the same experience). Only children and babies can spark some life into her. 

The Power of ‘Again’

I’ve been busy, so I don’t have time to write a long article…though I do plan to write about compound bows sometime. But today I’m going to write about one little word that I’ve found can add a lot of humor to a story. It’s the word ‘again’. 

Take the movie, Monsters University, for example. During one scene, a group of characters are running away from security and one character yells, “I can’t go to prison again.” The implications of that sentence caused a good laugh, especially considering the speaker. 
Or take a character running from some soldiers after playing some sort of prank (I’m looking at you, Jagger). Saying “at least they didn’t catch me again,” adds much more humor that a simple “I’m glad I escaped.” And the quick phrase “not again!” while in an unlikely situation can cause some interesting conversations (humorous or otherwise) later on.
Of course this has to be used in small doses, or else it gets old and loses its freshness. But if you are looking to lighten up a scene, keep this word in mind.

King’s Armor Prologue

I’m correcting and deepening King’s Armor again. Though I have a feeling it won’t be done by the end of the year like I’d originally hoped, every draft is getting a little better. Here is a prologue I wrote to help deepen the backstory of my most recent correction.
Prologue: Seventeen Years Ago
“This is a waste of time,” Draygan growled as he rose. The dim fire reflected dully on his hulking figure, rough gray skin, and long black hair. “One name, Tharib. One word.” He limped about the fire



and glowered down at prisoner two of his Maligents half held, half supported.

The man glared back, panting through clenched teeth, sweat and blood streaking his face in the uncertain moonlight.
Draygan hefted his barbed flail from one hand to the other as he leaned close. “Where. Are. Lysander. And. His. Family. Lodging.”
The Auloran didn’t reply.
With a snarl, Draygan swung his flail, raking the man’s chest. Tharib gasped as he buckled forward, only keeping his feet because of the tight grasp of his captors.
Draygan grunted and tilted his head slightly. The man raised his head, his lips tight but his eyes defiant. Draygan nodded to himself. “Very well. So you think you can bear the pain. But could your son, I wonder?”
Tharib clenched his jaw.
A footstep whispered from the shadows beyond the small hollow and another Maligent appeared. Draygan glanced toward him, and the Maligent nodded.
“Shall we fetch him?” Draygan questioned, turning back to his prisoner. “Your Havrain is what…ten? Eleven? He’s sleeping not far from here I believe, but it would be a pity to wake him for no reason.”
The man gritted his teeth. “You lie. You don’t know where he is.”
“Are you willing to take that chance?” Draygan beckoned to his scout and the Maligent tossed him a pendant. Draygan dangled the medallion from the chain before Tharib’s face. “Because I assure you, if we are forced to take the trouble of bringing him here, your Havrain will face the lash whether you speak or not.”
Even in the darkness, the man’s face paled and he grunted, jerking against his captors.
Draygan chuckled mirthlessly, then bent down, his eyes steely. “Where is the Captain camping this evening?”
Tharib closed his eyes and bowed his head, breathing heavily through clenched teeth.
“The Captain!” Draygan demanded, forcing the prisoner’s head up. “Or shall we fetch your son?”
“No…” the man’s voice broke and he let out a low groan.
Draygan crossed his arms. “Lie to me, and we’ll kill your son before your eyes.”
“By the Gihon.” Tharib’s voice was barely a whisper. “Where the Blackwood and the river meet. They will rest there tomorrow night.”
Draygan’s eyes glittered and he sheathed his flail. “Thank you, Tharib.” He considered the man thoughtfully then nodded to himself. “Bind him and leave him for the beasts,” he ordered, turning away. “Then meet me with the others. We have a Captain to kill.”

Sophia and Levi Hawthorne

Sophia and Levi weren’t originally twins. At the beginning, they weren’t even related. But I’d been developing lots of backstories and by the time I got to Levi, I figured there was no reason to give him his own separate family when I could easily put him with Sophia, Besides, siblings are always good for suspense and a bit of fun. So they became twins.

Both Sophia and Levi are twenty, though Levi is 27 minutes older than his sister…something he tends
to bring up whenever Sophia has bested him in an argument. Their father died before they were born, killed by a certain Damon Barrus (the current Reasoner dictator). Their mother died at their birth, due to complications and the lack of access to medical care. William West, their mother’s brother, raised up the children as his own. So, while they are cousins to Anna, Titus, and Elizabeth, they treat each other more like siblings. 
The picture I have of Levi isn’t quite accurate. His left eye was blinded in an explosion around a year before the start of Scarlet Rose and there are several jagged scars along the left side of his face. He wears sunglasses in public, but takes the ‘disfigurement’ with good humor, preferring to joke about it rather than feel sorry for himself. He’s adventurous, outgoing, very logical and yet occasionally getting into trouble because he doesn’t think the plan through to the end. He loves boots, a cowboy hat, old-fashion four-wheelers, random jokes, and his family.
Sophia is one of Anna’s best friends and is the practical side to Levi’s occasional rashness. She is a comforter to those around her, but has a hard time opening up emotionally herself. She is cheerful and encouraging, though she also has a tendency for sharp speech and quick anger…normally at things that deserve her wrath it is true (such as someone being lazy) but it is still a flaw she’s trying to mend. She is good at computer hacking, though not quite as good as her brother…I should have mentioned, Levi is the Christian’s top hacker. Sometimes brother and sister work together as a team on tricky problems. She also enjoys knitting shawls, and if you calling knitting crochet…well, beware. 
Apart, both these siblings are formidable opponents. Together their strength is even greater.

Fantasy Stone

A while back I posted a pictures of two stones I’d wired wrapped. I bought a new stone not long ago and wire wrapped it a few days ago. This stone reminds me of a sunrise, or maybe of flowers. Below is a collage I made of it. 

Wire wrapped stone of Opal Glass