Wednesday Writing

Normally I use Wednesday as a mid-week check in point with you, dear readers, to find out what we’re all reading as we slog through the week. Whether fortunately or unfortunately, this week I am busy with organizing and rearranging rooms to help prepare for next week’s upswing in housemates (I think we have 5 girls staying with us so far), and I am not finding much time to read…I’m 2 chapters from finishing a book I started 3 weeks ago and it shames me to take so long!

However, I didn’t want to leave everyone high and dry since I know you all look forward to my posts with glee 😉

Since I don’t have much to say about what I’m not reading (and I’ve said it all already!) I will post a bit of a story I have been sporadically working on for the past several years. If you have excerpts of your work you want to share, or comments on something you’re reading, please feel free to do so! I look forward to seeing what you have to say!

Sylvester (Working Title):

 

“I have to.” The words were simple, the gaze steady as Annabelle watched Sylvester pace the clearing. “No, you don’t. Those people don’t even know you, you don’t know them. Why are you so intent on helping those who would cast you aside if they knew who you really were?”

 

He was irritated, and had a right to be. His girlfriend, the woman who he had been on the brink of proposing to, had just informed him she was going to hop worlds and help people she had never met to defeat some nameless threat. Not only that, but to do what she was planning, she would disappear from their world and become a baby in the other. He might never see her again, all for some people she had only seen in a dream.

 

“I’m sorry, I have to. I hope you’ll understand someday love. Goodbye.”

 

Then she was gone. A world away a child screamed into the night. “It’s a girl.”

 

Chapter One

 

As a child, Brianna had dreams of another world. One where magic was as natural as air and people watched and waited for her. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, Bri knew these people. Sometimes she could remember their names, and would excitedly turn to them, but she would always wake at this point, dream memories niggling at her brain until she pushed them aside. As she grew the dreams became more in depth, more real. She would wake smelling the scents of otherworldly kitchens, feeling the softness of otherworldly grass.

 

She began seeing the people from her dreams out of the corner of her eye, in broad daylight. She would sense them watching her, urging her to something she couldn’t understand, or rather, felt as if she couldn’t remember. In defense, she turned to the things all teenage girls find interest in: sports, music, books, friends, and, of course, boys.

 

 If there were those that watched her grow, rejoiced for her achievements, grieved in her failures, that was their business. And if there were those that watched a little more closely than others, whose heart broke a little with each new boyfriend, they did so in silence. All watched with bated breath as she began the path that would lead her to her destiny. Some watched, wishing they could help. Some watched waiting for their chance to foil her fate. None of them, though, could have imagined what would come next.

 

 

Chapter Two

She was in college when the dreams returned. Brianna woke with a start, reaching for someone who couldn’t possibly be real, and letting out a mild stream of curses when she realized she had slept through her alarm, again. It looked like breakfast would have to wait, for the third time that week, as she quickly got dressed and headed out of the dorm towards her first class. If she ran she might be on time.

As she entered the classroom, barely ahead of her teacher, Brianna a familiar tug on her conscious, this was not a class her parents had wanted her to take. They were intent on seeing their daughter firmly ensconced within the business world, most preferably as the President of some huge company. Proving her worth and the worth of women in the workplace, to the world.

Mom and Dad just couldn’t, or wouldn’t, understand her love and need for literature. Not that they didn’t read. They read biographies, the New York Times, the stocks, and every once in a while they would read the memoirs of a friend or allow themselves a few minutes for a chapter in a classical novel. In fact, dad had been reading poetry lately; One poem every night, right before bed. He figured he might complete that first book of Wadsworth before sixty (he was 35 when he started).

They had even insisted on Brianna taking an extra course in literature during high school, along with her music lessons, so that she could be “an accomplished young lady.” But after that course they just couldn’t grasp the reasons why Brianna would want to take others or why she devoured books so voraciously instead of pursuing the math and business major they had pushed onto her.

So there had been a compromise, she would pursue business and they would allow her a few courses of her choosing. Now she was sitting in one of the only classes she enjoyed, “Myths, Faerie Tales, and Legends: A History of Magic in Literature.” As she dutifully settled into her seat to take the notes the professor was busy writing on the board, Brianna decided that her late nights reading these tales were the reason she had been having the dreams again. Magic couldn’t possibly exist in today’s society. If she only knew the truth she might have paid extra attention to the lecture that day. A lecture on the archetype of evil.

‘No’ and other things NOT to say to a Wizard

“He will not be going, I tell you!” “Hobbits do not go on adventures.” “No.” “can’t.” “won’t.” “Impossible”…These are all things that I’ve noticed being said to wizards by people who should really know better. Don’t get me wrong here, if you’ve grown up in a world which doesn’t even have storybooks about wizards, you can have a pass. However, most people in the books either know wizards, are wizards, or have dealt with the situation before…and they still make a wizard mad.

Try telling Gandalf or Dumbledore that they can’t do something. That’s like telling a fire breathing dragon that he can’t barbecue. So why do it? Why mouth off and frustrate/offend or worse a person with those types of powers?? To me, the answers is simple…it is all a question of power and fear.

The Dursleys kept Harry locked in a cupboard to keep him in check, of course they weren’t going to stop bullying him and allow him to go gain confidence and magic. Bilbo Baggins was frightened, a bit obsessive, and more than a little offended at being spoken to by someone who actually enjoyed adventures, of course he would want no part in that! The list goes on and on. In my own books I have a fairy Queen whose pet sorcerer is teaching her to use such powers and anyone who defies her is promptly enslaved and/or turned into stone statues for her garden. Wizards (and sorcerers) are just testy like that I suppose.

It isn’t just wizards or other mythical beings though. Have you ever tried telling a toddler that he/she isn’t big enough to do something? What about telling a teacher that their students aren’t good enough/smart enough to do a certain project or take a certain trip? This list, too, goes on and on. The same reasoning lies behind these actions that lie within the fantasy realms. Power, fear, pride, dignity, and just plain old fashioned stubbornness connect all realms, all worlds, and all languages. Fantasy stories, mysteries, true crime, historical pieces, sitcoms, and the local real-life neighborhood all share in those traits. With those similarities, the willing suspension of disbelief is made much more easily and people (or things) that might never have been able to come together before are now irrevocably connected.

This is why fantasy novels can teach about life, and why I will try not to mouth off (which will be difficult!) if a wizard ever shows up at my door asking me for favors. After all, some things are universal.

Aside

Note Cards and Outlines

I have a very simple and complex way of writing. Simple because I sit down with pen and paper and just write. I write what is flowing through my mind, it streams down the nerves and muscles into my hand, where the words drain into ink form and splatter across the page. Nothing convoluted about the process. However, the complex part begins soon after.

Many of the other writers I know, including those who teach the subject, tout the almost sublime attributes of a good outline. Most use a distinct outline format of flow charts, bulleted lists, painstakingly drawn out maps of characters and places, and the occasional snap shot. I don’t do that. If I begin an outline, I invariably forget the part about ‘outlining’ and begin the actual story. I sometimes make it as far as a second bullet on the list before sentences start spurting out, but not often.

No, the complexity of my work begins somewhere in the middle of a first draft. My characters are in the midst of a big action sequence (or a long, drawn out flight) and I suddenly can’t remember who stayed in England to begin with; and that is where the notecards come in. I have stacks upon stacks of notecards for each book. Cast of Characters in a conveniently numbered and color coded pile, followed by important places, car/house/business/ship names, pet names, and every once in a while, a quote so that I don’t forget to put it in.

Line after line scrawled on 3×5 squares in varying shades of bright ink with little numbers circled in the upper right hand corners so I don’t get them out of order. TWO note card holders busting at the seams in an attempt to contain them all, and I still forget a name from time to time. I suppose even notecards do not make my brain perfect (although I am close to it…if I do say so myself!).

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My actual notecards for the newest Stone Dragon Saga book. Begun around midnight last night…I don’t think they’ll fit in the green holder.

Do you have any certain ways of keeping yourself organized? I would love to hear how you do it!

 

 

 

 

Rankings

I just found out that on January 19, 2014 I (or more accurately, my novel series) was ranked as #1,818th in the Fantasy genre on Amazon. With hundreds of thousands of books to contend with, my little upstart seems to be holding on! 

If you haven’t checked out my work yet, the first three books in the series are available through create space/amazon in paperback form and as e-books through Kindle. Search for The Stone Dragon Saga by Elizabeth S Tyree (Dragon on My Neck is book 1) OR find my author’s page at amazon.com/author/elizabethtyree 

Dragon on the Green

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pride that I announce the arrival of the third addition to the Stone Dragon Saga. Dragon on the Green, by Elizabeth S. Tyree, is now available on createspace,com and will be up on the kindle platform within the next few hours, with Amazon to follow in the next week.

I invite you all to check the series out, and will be having a free give away for the Kindle edition soon. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when!

Have a Blessed Weekend!!

Excerpt – Dragon on the Green

I am currently working on the final formatting and editing process for the third book in my YA Fantasy series, The Stone Dragon Saga.

In Dragon on the Green we find our protagonists in a bind as they are forced to work for the one person they are trying to thwart. Here is a short excerpt from the middle of the book. Enjoy!

 

“Tea?”  Jane offered helpfully, pointing out a tea pot and cups at the table’s center, “its chamomile, I had a feeling we might all need the purported calming effects after that little meeting.”

 

“I think that I had better stay away from any calming brews right now,” Joseph pointed out, “I have far too much to do to think about calming down!!”

 

“Any more of those caffeine cans of death and you, sir, will vibrate right out of your skin!”  Anna wagged a disapproving pen in his direction.  “You, my dear artist, have been cut off!”

 

“Noooo,” Joseph dropped his head to the table with a loud thud, “I won’t survive without them!!”

 

“Oh hush, you will be fine,” Jane patted his hand while Anna valiantly tried (and failed) to keep a straight face.  “I’ll go make you some nice black tea, it has a really good kick to it!”

 

“Ok,” Joseph agreed with a whine, kicking the carpet and pouting like a toddler put in time out.

 

“Oh for goodness sakes Joseph! Suck that lip back in, you are a grown man!” Jane lectured, setting a cup of steaming, aromatic dark tea in front of the artist with a clink.

 

“Shouldn’t you be working on some drawing of a fantastical beastie or something anyway?” Anna asked, barely taking the time to look up at her boss as she plowed away at the ever expanding pile of notes in front of her. “And be honest here, do you really need all of these notes or are you just trying to punish us for laughing at you earlier?”

 

“Of course those notes are VITAL to my success here because I should, indeed, be working on drawings, sculptures, and creating all kinds of odd, yet life-like items all in order to assuage a crazy lady’s homesickness for another dimension.  Yes,” Joseph grimaced and swept his arms out expansively and dramatically (as was his wont) “The answer is, all of the above Anna.  All of this should be started, finished, or in the process of both before she gets back tomorrow…or at least a good portion should be, and if you don’t get to work and make those notes readable, I can’t transpose the images from words into ART.  If I can’t make art, we get turned into toadstools and mowed over by a large tractor like machine.  Do you want to be mowed over by a large chopping machine Anna? DO YOU?”

 

“As much as I love your amazing flair for the dramatic overstatement and wish that I could just sit here and listen to you all evening, I think I’ll just get back to work on this life changing transcription about a hulachin,” Anna sassily bobbed her head at Joseph before deliberately turning her back and using the kitchen bar to continue her efforts.

 

“Hulachin???”  Joseph gaped at the girl, “I don’t remember anything at all about a hulachin!  Is there an adequate description?  Are you sure that it actually says hulachin? Oh, I’m never going to get this done!  I’ll be a dozen little pieces of mulch before the weekend.”  Sinking to his knees and hanging his head in defeat, the artist sobbed theatrically for moment as the girls looked on in worry before he slowly sat upright and, wiping his eyes, continued, “You know, maybe I can get this all finished out.  I mean, it isn’t like she expects me to have everything finished tomorrow.  I don’t have to any of the statues done, a really good painting or two should be sufficient to appease her majesty. That kind of work usually takes several days, but I think that I can get it done IF I’m allowed a drink or two of my zing.” 

 

Raising his eyebrows and looking imploringly up at his incredulous duo of assistants, the gentleman in question batted his eyelashes, jutted his lower lip just a fraction, and tried to look as much like a puppy as he could.  Unfortunately for him, the puppy dog look didn’t work on such seasoned babysitters as the two women sitting in front of him. 

 

“OR, you could get up, drink your tea before it gets cold, and stop whining or nothing will get done and Passiona will turn you into a fire hydrant,” Jane was about to the end of her tether and it was starting to show.  “All of this complaining is doing nothing more than wasting time that you could be spending on sketches.”

 

“Don’t worry boss,” Anna smiled reassuringly before returning her gaze to her own work, “You’ll get it done without a doubt!  This is the kind of thing that you love to do.  Besides, didn’t you tell us that you love working under pressure because it doesn’t give you as much time to think instead of just ‘do’ and that is when you create your best pieces?”

 

“Well yes, but I meant time crunches, not the literal pressure of a head vice closing around me, which is something that Passiona is likely to break out of the closet and use on me if I don’t work quickly enough for her!  Did you hear her stop our consultation earlier to tell one of her minions to make a note to check all of the basement and attics for old torture equipment that might be left from ‘those good times,’ before modern civilization?”

Link

Dragon in My Yard

Dragon in My Yard

The second book in Elizabeth S. Tyree’s Stone Dragon Saga, we follow Aliphonsore and his new friends in their search for his statue family.  Meanwhile, the crazy fairy queen has also been awakened, and is already sending out searches of her own.

Don’t miss out on any of the action! Get  your copies of this series today!

Link

Dragon on My Neck

Dragon on My Neck

The story of a very small dragon, a very crazy queen, and the series of events that threw both of their families into our world, as statues.

The first in my Stone Dragon Saga, Dragon on My Neck explores the beginnings of Aliphonsore’s misadventures as he, the only fairy dragon in existence, becomes an enslaved pet necklace for an insane fairy.  His struggles, his family’s valor, his new friends, and a hint or two of magic will have pull you in.  So please, come on in.  It’s time for a story…