Caption Challenge #1

I’m starting a weekly Caption Challenge! It’s quick and I think it will be lots of fun. All you need to do is comment below with a one line caption for the prompt I post; the limits of what and how to caption the picture are your imagination. On Saturday I’ll pick a winning capture and I’ll post it next Monday along with the name of the winner and the next caption challenge. So have fun. 😉


The colors are saturated, but this is
pretty close to Silvara
Silvara, the legendary Archeress of Erathrane in The Final Clash, has been a most troublesome character. I’ve known from the beginning that she was a chance for me to write a distinct, unique character. but I couldn’t figure out what sort of traits to give her. She’s gone though several stages, but she was always either too eager for a fight or too grim and serious until, with the help of some friends, I figured out what to do. 
Silvara has lived pretty much alone in Erathrane for five hundred years, so I realized she’d probably talked to herself. While talking to other people, there are times her voice trails off as she starts muttering to herself. Then there are times she has trouble finding the right word because she’s not used to making sure other people understand her. And, of course, she rambles on quite often before catching herself. Here is a quick scene with her, Ethaniel, and Jagger in Erathrane.

Ethaniel leapt to his feet as the Archeress appeared. Her auburn hair fell to her waist, tied loosely behind her. One of Silvara’s hands held her silver bow while the other grasped a shallow basket. 

“I assume you rested well,” Silvara smiled brightly as she approached. “You slept sounded enough. Did you just get up then? Just some mushroom,” she added as Ethaniel glanced at her basket. “Something for dinner. But I suppose you’d like to wash before that? We’ve…I’ve better clothes for you,” She glanced at Ethaniel. “Though of course if you want to keep those on…”

“I don’t,” Ethaniel assured her as Jagger chuckled. “And a wash would be wonderful.” 

“Thought so; come along then.” Silvara started around the hill which covered her home. “You didn’t get wounded in Solbane, did you?” 

“Not that I know of.” Ethaniel hurried after her. “So you’re really the Archeress?” 

“Why, is someone asking?” 

Ethaniel suppressed a slight smile, but sobered quickly. “You said last night that Erathrane wasn’t safe?”

“It’s not.” Silvara stopped before a mass of vines spilling over a stone ledge. “Volandums; enemies of that sort. Though they’d not come here without reason; coming from the north maybe, I wonder, well…” Her voice trailed off then she jerked her head up and glanced at Ethaniel. “Sorry. I’ve been talking to ourself…myself, for years now. Not used to making sure others can understand. And no, I don’t know what they’re doing here…yet. But they mean no good.” She pulled back the vines, revealing the low entrance to another cave, and motioned Ethaniel forward. “Hurry, because dinner will be ready soon.”

“Wait!” Ethaniel stopped Silvara as she turned. Her eyes really did change from a clear blue to flecked gold. “I just want to say…well, thanks for helping us…especially for healing Jagger.”

“What else was I to do?” Silvara shrugged, though her lip curled upwards. “I merely did my duty; now hurry up and get washed.” 

Black Friday

Question and Answer Wednesday: do you go Black Friday shopping? Mom and some of us older ones normally go shopping, but mainly for fun. We get up early, but reach stores after they’ve been open for a little bit and the first insane rush is over. Sometimes there’s a deal we’re mildly interested in and want to look at, but normally we go just to look around and enjoy ourselves. 

What Am I Doing?

I’m somewhere between ‘this is a great story’, ‘why did I even start this’, and ‘I’ve no idea what I’m writing’ in Scarlet Rose. I didn’t outline this book as much as some of my others and that is not a mistake I’m making again. Every writer works differently…and I work best with an outline. I’m on building up the climax of Scarlet Rose right now and almost every chapter I’m tweaking a few things or making more changes. 
Still, the good news is that the rough draft will be finished in early December (probably). The bad news is that it’s 72,000 words long already. It will probably be around 80,000 by the time I’m finished…and when I go back though for the second rewrite I might add up to twice as much content as I pick up various subplots and add a whole other section to the climax itself. 
Originally I hoped to have the rough draft of the first book finished by the new year and I write the next two books next year. I can tell you right now that’s not happening. I’ll probably spend the first six months of 2016 rewriting Scarlet Rose and outlining the next book, Gideon’s Sword. The second half of 2016…well, I suppose we’ll see. 
Found on Pinterest

Stranger Than Fiction

As a writer, I try to make my stories somewhat realistic and avoid easy ways out, like coincidences. History doesn’t have that problem. I’ve read spy stories that run like a cheesy movie, except the tactics actually worked and the event really happened. It’s really annoying…things happen in real life that I can’t put in a story because it will sound fake. But there are other events filled with possibilities and ideas. I’ve decided that I read fiction to get a view of different writing styles, but I read history to give me ideas of what to write. 
Found on Pinterest

What are your favorite periods of history? I like Ancient Greece, Rome, the American Revolution, and WWII.


In my book, King’s Armor, the villains of the story are a race known as Maligents (formerly known as Daklins). They are former servants of the King who rebelled and are now locked in a bitter struggle with the Valirs…a struggle most people of Aulora don’t see and which they only experience when the Maligents try to invade their land every generation or so. Simply speaking, the Maligents and Valirs are my allegorical equivalent to demons and angels. 
picture from pinterest
Originally, the Maligents were giants, with rough gray skin, black hair, and ugly features. But I was never quite happy with that look…it was too stereotypical. But I wasn’t sure what else to do until a friend gave me a suggestion; scales. 
From scales, the idea swiftly grew to snakeskin type of look. Finally, a way to make the Maligents unique, ferocious, and evil at one time. The Maligent skin is very much like the scales pictured to the side, except it ranges in black to pale gray with snakelike splotches and patterns. They are large, humanoid beings, with long black hair and gray eyes flecked with red.
The Valir, on the other hand, can appear as human if they wish. In their true form, their skin is also scalish, but with a much more wholesome look…golds and browns with underlying designs. Their eyes are blue, flecked with gold and their armor a melding of green and gold-brown. 


I love Tolkien’s works, especially Lord of the Rings, not only for the story but also because of the strength, courage, and hope portrayed in it. The determination of so many characters to fight against darkness and evil, even if there is no hope of winning…it is inspiring. Here are a few of my favorite Tolkien quotes (all the pictures except the last one are from Pinterest). 

My edit; photos of a younger and older Tolkien

And (since it is supposed to be Question and Answer Wednesday) what is your favorite Tolkien quote?