Pithea, an excerpt

I have posted most of chapter 3 of “Pithea” over on my story blog . I’ll post a little of it here, but if you want to read more, follow the link at the bottom of the text.

If you want some information about the world to better understand some of what is going on here, check out some of the links on this page (Power and Madness would be the key ones for now). However, the excerpt could probably be read without a lot of prior knowledge and be understandable.

This is the first time I’m sharing this much of my novel with anyone outside of family or others who have been somewhat involved in the process. Any comments, questions, or constructive criticism are welcome.


By the time Naolin got back to the inn, it had finally stopped raining. It was dark out, but he wasn’t tired and didn’t want to spend the rest of the night holed up in his room. So instead, he sat down on a bench outside of the inn. He didn’t care that it was wet. He was wet too. A person or two walked by, but nothing interesting happened.

Then two people came flying around the corner of a nearby building, shattering the quiet of the street. Naolin was surprised to recognize his traveling companion as one of the two people, and he jumped to his feet when he saw the frightened look on their faces.

“Missy!” he yelped. “What’s going on?”

His question was answered when a tiger scrambled around the corner behind her. He didn’t know why there was a tiger loose in the city, nor did he care. He jumped up, drawing his sword, and ran to meet Missy and her friend. Blackthore had already turned back to attack the tiger as Naolin reached Missy. Naolin grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him, at the same time stepping past her.

“Ow! What are you doing?” she protested. She yanked her arm out of his grip, and he turned to face her.

As the tiger knocked Blackthore to the ground, Naolin insisted, “You can’t fight this thing. It’s probably maddened, and you only have common training.” Without waiting to see if she would listen to him, he ran over to the tiger and found a nice, open, fleshy spot to insert his sword.

The tiger didn’t like that very much, and it quickly turned around to swat at Naolin with its huge paw. Naolin dropped low to the ground, narrowly avoiding its attack, and then scrambled to the side of the beast. Meanwhile, Missy had gone to help Blackthore up, and then she drew her own dagger. Before she could rush at the tiger herself, Blackthore buried his blade into its rump. It roared in anger and lashed out at the first person it saw, which happened to be Missy. It knocked her down and stood over her.

Blackthore kicked the tiger in the face in an attempt to distract it. It wouldn’t take long for the beast to seriously injure or even kill Missy. Fortunately, Blackthore was successful in his attempt to refocus the tiger’s attention on him, giving Naolin the chance to come around and pull Missy out from under it.

“Just go and find us some help,” he demanded. He refrained from pointing out that he’d been right. Fortunately, she listened to him that time and ran toward the inn. He turned back to help the stranger, who was deftly avoiding the tiger’s paws and teeth while trying to find an opportunity to strike.

Missy reached the inn just as two teenagers, a boy and a girl, were coming out the door. Evidently they had heard what was happening outside because they were leaving the inn in a hurry. As soon as he stepped outside the door, the boy raised his hand toward the tiger. Looking back quickly, Missy saw the tiger struggling against what looked like rope wrapped around its feet.

Blackthore noticed that the tiger was stuck, and took the opportunity to attack from the side, out of the tiger’s reach. Naolin was oblivious to the new circumstances, and Missy saw that he was lying on the ground near the tiger’s front. His sword lay at his side, and blood pooled on the ground next to his head. The girl who had also come out of the inn took a wide berth around the ensnared tiger on her way to Naolin’s side. Missy followed closely behind her.

While Missy was going for help, Naolin had been caught in the side of the head by the tiger’s large paw. If the beast had not been stopped when it had, it likely would have finished the downed Naolin. As Missy approached her traveling companion, she almost had to look away. Long gashes ran down the side of his face, and blood was still streaming out of them. However, the girl who’d gotten there before Missy had already knelt next to the injured Swordsman. Missy was grateful to realize that she’d somehow managed to come across a Cleric right when she needed one.

read more…

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Daily Writing Check-in: January 9, 2016

Words/Time:  Untold amounts of time researching how to go about writing a query letter and cover letter (and what the difference between them is). And even more time later setting up “The Triangle” as an ebook. I’m waiting for the proof copy to arrive to proceed with the physical book publishing. The ebook will be released in advance of the physical book, and I’ll post more on that tomorrow.

Truth be told, I’ve been putting off this business of writing the query/cover letter(s) to submit to more than the two places I’ve done so far (neither of which required either of those). I’ve found such differing ideas of what to put into both of those letters that I’m worried when I actually sit down to do it, I’ll just freeze up, or end up with a jumbled mess. So it’s easier to just not do it yet. But I’m also waiting until I have more time, and the last few days, I’ve felt more compressed in my writing time.

Now that I’m in a waiting process for the publishing of “The Triangle,” which is what I’ve busied myself with while avoiding the further publishing pursuits of “Pithea,” it’s time to really focus on what I’ve been putting off. I just need to remember to approach it like I’ve approached every part of this process, from world building, to drafting, to revising, even to writing the synopsis only a few days ago–focus on one small step at a time, rather than the whole picture (which, let’s face it, is daunting).

Introducing Naolin

Finally posted something new over on my Made in Pithea blog, where I post more about the story and story world. This is an introduction to the secondary main character, Naolin Dark.

Made in Pithea

From the pen ofDrear

Naolin Dark is pretty much my favorite person ever. Maybe that’s not the most objective thing for me to say, since he’s just one of many people who I’ve researched and whose lives I’ve connected. But I do have a reason to be biased—he’s my brother.

Though Naolin and I lost seven years when we were growing up, when we reconnected, you’d never guess we’d been apart. The most fun I’ve ever had has been when I’m spending time with my brother. Training in the domes is definitely better when he’s with me. I don’t enjoy caving as much as he does, but I’ll go with him anytime he asks.

He’s smart, generous, fun to hang out with, and he cares a lot more than he lets on. On the other side, though, he is also one of the rudest people I know. Some…

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Daily Writing Check-in: January 8, 2016

Words/Time:  297 words writing a character introduction, which I’ll be posting on my story blog later tonight. And 13 minutes updating some of the other posts there, to reflect revisions made since the time I posted all of the background information on that blog.

Also, I didn’t count it, but I spent some time today (and a lot before today) making the cover for my soon-to-be-published novelette, “The Triangle.” Below is the front. (Synopsis can be found here.)

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Daily Challenge Check-in: June 10, 2015

Words/Time: 30 minutes finishing the introduction of Drear, the narrator of “Pithea.” I then added that to my story blog, Made in Pithea, and proceeded to make the first post. Granted, that first post was mostly a copy & paste of the introduction to “Pithea,” but it still took some time to get ready and post. I’m happy I’ve been able to find some light work to do during this busy week, and come Monday, it’ll be back to actual revision.

Daily Challenge Check-in: June 9, 2015

Words/Time: 20ish minutes working on a character profile for a new blog I’m setting up. I’m going to split things related to writing as a whole (my daily challenge check-ins, new group of “Write Every Day” posts, NaNo-related things) or my personal posts apart from posts about my story–the world, characters, plots, etc. I’m moving all of the latter to a blog called “Made in Pithea.” I’m working on getting it up with some pages of information (mostly about the narrator, whose voice I will use for most, if not all, of the posts and about the world I have created) and at least one beginning post. Then I will slowly introduce more characters, explain more of the world, and maybe drop some actual story now and then. I’m kind of excited, yet acutely aware that I’m a major novice at design, so the blog will be very plain. I actually have an idea for a sort of main image for Pithea (both the country and the book), but I’m just not a graphic artist of any kind. So that’s still a faraway dream. Anyway, yay, I got stuff done! Now I need to sleep for another early morning.