Friends, here’s an update on my writing, because I know you have been wondering. The first draft of book one, The Dark Wind of Dreams, is complete and it is in revision. The first draft of book two (no title yet) is in progress. Book three is roughly plotted out but a lot of it depends on what actually ends up happening in book two. I finally decided on a name for the series, it’s Gods and Guardians. It’s a sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy mix that ultimately ends up being sort of a fresh take on all the old mythologies. It will consist of three (planned) books and one or two collections of related short stories.
I have decided to self-publish the short stories first and to finish writing all three books of the series before shopping them around in hopes of a traditional publishing contract. As soon as book one is completely finished with editing, I plan on submitting queries to some agents.
Right now I am working on the first collection of short stories. I have planned ten stories for this collection, and am in various stages of progress on six of them already. I plan on publishing this one before any of the main books in the series. It’s called “Dawn of the Guardians.” I will share some excerpts here from time to time. Here’s the first excerpt, from the story Origins.
“Where has that girl run off to this time?” Lihuen stood outside her front door, one hand on her hip, the other shading her eyes from the glare of the second sun as it broke the horizon. The first sun was high overhead and it was time for her to begin preparations for the second meal of the day. Company was coming and she needed the extra hands at the hearth. She called back into the house, “Chakin!”
A clank and a thump from within caused her to wince and shake her head. In seconds, a young boy emerged. He was dressed simply, in a long brown tunic tied around the waist with a cord, as was the usual attire of all children before adolescence. His black hair stood up in every direction despite the headband he wore, and his hands were stained blue from the vegetables he had been peeling. He wiped them on the front of his tunic, causing her to sigh, thinking of the laundry that needed to be done.
“Yes, Mama,” he said. He was always eager to please her, unlike the girl. Lihuen smiled tenderly at her son, stroking a lock of hair back from his forehead and tucking it into his headband. She was almost certain it would stray again as soon as he moved, but resigned herself to the battle for neatness, anyway.
“Chak, please go find your sister, wherever she has run off to this time. Bring her back here immediately. No stopping to play in the creek or pet the reahreahs on the way back. Got that?”
“Yes, Mama,” he said again and scampered off in the direction of the hills to the sun-rising side of the house.
She stood for a moment, watching him go. He had a knack for finding his sister—he knew all her secret haunts. The trouble with sending him—besides the lack of another pair of hands helping at the hearth—was that he tended to get sidetracked quite easily. The boy would make quite the guardian when he grew up, that was for certain. He loved nature and spent as much time as he was allowed outside—swimming, playing in the woods, tending the animals. Even on days with bad weather, he would rather be out of doors, splashing in puddles, catching swimmetts—the young form of leapers, spawned in puddles and ponds during the rainy season—and getting altogether drenched.
His sister was much the same, although with enough sense to stay in out of the rain unless it was necessary to go out. She was still young, too, but quickly approaching adulthood. She was almost the age where she would be sent to the learning center, in preparation for assuming her responsibilities as a mapu—a guardian. Lihuen hated to rush this time, as these would be the final few seasons she would have with her oldest child, and, as much as the child irritated her sometimes, she still didn’t want to admit her daughter’s childhood would end so soon. So she was lenient with the girl, perhaps too lenient. At times like these, when she really needed the extra help, she had to stop and search the girl out. Lihuen sighed, painfully aware that this time of her life—the child breeding time—would be over far too soon, and she would never have more than these two to treasure. She reminded herself of that at times when she would otherwise be irritated or angry. She turned and went back into the house to take up the peeling of the vegetables where Chak had left off.
Huilen pushed the overgrown branches out of the way and wriggled her almost too large body through the gap between the rocks. Sticky strands of weaver silk caught at her face, a sure sign that no one had been there in a while. She breathed in the musty scent of the little cave and waited for a moment for her eyes to adjust to the dimness. She was wary of moving too far inside without first being able to see if the interior held other occupants.
The cave was cool, sheltered by the hundred feet or so of rock and soil of the hill on top of it. On a summer day like this one, she always liked to seek its cool interior for relief from the heat of the dual suns at their apex. Opportunities like this one had grown few and far between, however, as she, herself, had grown and been given more responsibilities by her parents. Today she had felt such a need to come here and get away from everything for a while that she had done something a little unusual—she had waited until her mother was distracted and then slipped away just before the second sun rose.
She had come here to think. Nowadays, her mother was always asking her to do some thing or other, and when she wasn’t, her little brother was pestering her. She crawled a little further into the cave, her eyes now accustomed to the dim light. When the ceiling opened up she stood and made her way to the little niche at the back of the cave. She kept a few things here, in a little spot where the rock wall jutted out at a funny angle and made a shelf, hidden to all eyes unless they knew where to look. She reached in and pulled out a mat, crudely woven out of plant fibers when her fingers were younger and less experienced. The mat was bundled around a lump and tied with one of her old hair ribbons. She untied the precious bundle and laid the mat out on the dirt floor of the cave. In the center of the mat lay a tarnished metal rod, a small inkwell, and, her most treasured possession, a plain-bound book.