Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Slogging forward!

Hello Folks!

I feel a bit guilty that I didn't get to typing this up until the very end of my day. I have spent my day essentially staring at the screen going 'wut r werds?' and feeling like I was trying to think through mud. When I wasn't sitting here feeling as useful as a bump on a log, I found myself trying to decide what I was going to do next for my history posts and what region I was going to describe next. It is a bit silly, but I have a small problem with the fact that I have an abundance of material to work from and I can't quite pick where to start.

I have been slowly adding to my music collection for inspirational work. I can't get enough of the work of Nathan Lanier. I really enjoy the lush quality of his atmospheric work. Cinematic doesn't feel like a strong enough word for what he has been creating. I have also found myself getting caught up in the artistic stylings of Epic Soul Factory. Their work is really beautiful and brings all kinds of scenes and situations to mind.

At present, I will be delayed on my next post in the Iron Lily series. Tomorrow, I am going to be busy with all the duties that go into being Mom and finding out how well we have been doing with teaching the boys how to take care of their teeth. The eldest had his visit last Wednesday and it went well. I think the youngest will have a good one too. I am in the process of drafting out more material for Dacia's War. Let's say that the first set of 23 posts is chapter one in that story. Don't worry, you haven't seen the last of Mina, Marcos, or Sorenan.

Work on volume seven of the Umbrel Chronicles is currently stalled. I am in the progress of editing the earlier volumes, though, so work still continues upon the Great Work. I have even got a little bit of stuff on map drawing in the works. I hope to present you something better than that rough sketch that I slapped up here months ago. It may be a little while, though. Because I'm still figuring this out as I go along. But that's the grand part of this adventure, right?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Craft of Writing: Writer's Block

At one point, I saw a meme that resonated very strongly with me. The gist of the meme (because I doubt my Google-fu is strong enough to find it again) was that writer's were the only ones who used not feeling like working as their excuse for not doing so. Now, granted, this is a vast over simplification of writer's block. Still, it was something that struck me as a powerful argument. I have had people approach me and declare that the couldn't be a writer because they couldn't finish something.

I always responded with a question. That simple questions was one word: why? That was about when the conversation stopped because I challenged their position of inability. When I hit the point where I am blocked, I ask myself that same question. I feel like I can't write. I feel like nothing I write is good enough. It is generally a pretty horrible feeling, regardless of weather or not you are attempting to make writing your profession.

Usually my argument with myself is pretty simple. I have my laundry list of negative self image problems arrayed on one side and the evidence that I can write a novel (or what ever else I happen to be struggling with) on the other side. Somewhere along the way, it becomes clear that my feeling blocked is rooted in some type of fear, sense of being overwhelmed, or depression. Someone else's triggers for feeling blocked are going to be different from mine, but I am sure that as you dig down through those messy feelings, you are going to find a pattern to them. After I have isolated what the cause of my block is, I recognize that I can resolved it by addressing the problem that lies at the heart of it all.

In my case, the majority of my writer's block cases manifest as perfectionism. I find myself expecting my first drafts to come out with all the polish and sophistication of a finished product. I find myself expecting that my characters are going to be fully developed the moment I present them on the page. We won't talk about how harsh I get with myself over the way things are constructed on the page. I will only say that the world should be thankful that I didn't pour my efforts into perfecting grammar. I am a little neurotic when I get anxious or stressed out.

How do I resolve the problems that arise from my perfectionism? The biggest thing is giving myself permission to write badly. I also make a point of giving myself low stress writing time. This means I am working on background material or personal journal writing. Things that I will not be showing for public consumption or otherwise has a great deal of weight attached to it are what I work on when the block is particularly bad. Some times, we have to take a break from the 'important' projects to rest. Now, depending on what you are working on, that break may be a five minute journal entry between projects or it may be a short story. Either way, the break gives a bit of breathing room and an opportunity to lower ones stress levels, which gives the opportunity to return to the main project with a fresh perspective.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Iron Lily (Part 4)

Wye was noisier than Halthor had expected. The small village was a great deal smaller than his home of Starhaven but the squawking of geese and the noise of dogs seemed louder to him there. As he sat at his seat in the common room of the inn, Halthor noted that several people watched him with some interest. An elderly man was working his way into the depths of his cups though it was but a half hour past daybreak. As the white haired man drank Silas's ale and complained of the aches in his bones, Ysinda stirred the pot and chattered with the cheerful young woman who had come to her with some parcel.

Halthor ate his bread, feeling a twinge of homesickness as he realized that Aleric would have enjoyed the hearty black maslin bread. He drank his ale. Halthor was almost finished with his cup of ale when the bailiff of Wye walked into the inn. The auburn haired man looked at the man with snow dusting his black hair and felt some anxiety. The bailiff looked older in the wan light of the inn which seemed only marginally brighter than it was in the night before. As he stepped up to Halthor, the builder's stomach clenched and suddenly the heaviness of the bread he was eating made him queasy. "Matias had a bounty on his head. They tell me that he lies dead a half day's journey north," the bailiff said. As he brushed his hair back out of his face, Halthor noted that his hand seemed obscenely large and questioned what fate they held for him.

The bailiff looked at the discomfort in Halthor's face. He gave a thoughtful noise and nodded slightly. As he turned, he said, "Wye owes a debt to you. Matias was a plague upon us all. Lord Wintrin may want to see you over this." Out the corner of his eye, the bailiff watched as Halthor's expression of concern turned cautiously optimistic. "I can't give you the bounty, it's not my place," he said, "But I can tell you're of a mind to move on. We can give you some aid in your journey. The Black Wood is a dangerous place. You'll need something more than a hammer. When you are finished, come find me at the market stang." The bailiff started to walk away when Halthor spoke.

"Why are you doing this?" he asked. The bailiff looked over his shoulder. The bailiff gave him the barest of smiles before walking away. Silas walked up as Halthor shook his head in confusion. As Halthor set his nigh empty cup down, the inn keeper put a full loaf of black bread before him. Halthor looked up. "I only paid for a half loaf," he said as he sloshed the dregs of his drink in the beech cup that Silas had put before him earlier. Silas clapped him on the shoulder.

"What is your name?" the inn keeper asked.

"Halthor Sigridsonne," he answered. The inn keeper nodded.

"Your name will not be forgotten here," Silas said, "Matias robbed us of wealth three times in the past. And terrorized Ysinda. Thanks to you, we can raise our child in peace. When you come north again, stop here. We are in your debt." Halthor realized he couldn't argue with the inn keeper so he finished his ale. As he picked up the loaf of bread and moved to put it into his pack that was sitting beside him, he wondered what strangeness awaited him down the day's road. Halthor picked up his coat and cast it about himself. As he picked up his coat and hung his hammer from his belt, he shook his head at his situation.

Halthor set his pack upon his shoulders and walked out of the inn. The thin dog that had followed him in the evening trotted up to him. The dog's blotchy white and dun colored coat looked ragged and Halthor wondered when the last time the animal was fed. He leaned down and scratched the mutt behind the ears before walking to the stang hoisted at the center of the village. The bailiff stood talking with his deputies and Halthor felt a spasm of anxiety. The two younger men looked over at him before walking off as he approached. The bailiff held a small sack in his right hand. He held it out to Halthor.

"Griff and Toby will be back in a minute. There's one more thing that they're getting," the big man said as Halthor took the red leather sack. He started to open it when the bailiff reached out and put a hand on his arm. "Wait until you're out of Wye," he said, "It will keep. And you have many a league to put behind you today. I'll answer your questions when you come north again." Halthor questioned what was in the bag that was almost small enough to fit completely in his hand. When the bailiff clapped him on the shoulder and pointed off towards the left, Halthor looked over. The sallow man with the crooked nose that Halthor guessed was Griff walked down a lane with a grey pony on a halter at his side. On the left side of the pony, Toby strode carrying a cloth rolled up and what Halthor thought was a saddle on his shoulder.

The deputies and the pony walked up to him. As Halthor looked at the pony, he shook his head. "I can't take this," he said as he turned back to the bailiff. Toby threw the saddle cloth over the pony's back before setting the saddle on her. As he cinched down the girth, Griff shifted his cloak and revealed two small axes thrust through his belt. The bailiff gave Griff a stern look before he pulled one of the axes free. Halthor stepped back, expecting it to be swung at him. When Griff held it out to him haft first, Halthor blinked. "Why are you doing this?" he said, unable to keep the note of confused anxiety out of his voice.

"You'll need this," the bailiff said, "the Royal road is hard going south towards Wynnwode. I'd prefer it if you arrived alive."

"But you don't even know who I am or where I am going," Halthor retorted.

The bailiff twitched aside Halthor's cloak. He gestured towards the hammer. "You have the iron lily. I saw it when you held that hammer last night ready to defend Silas Aleman from me," he said, "That is all I need to know. Lord Wintrin told me to give aid to the man with the iron lily when he goes south. Now, when you go past the high trees near the ledge, keep that hammer hidden. That's the southern edge of Lord Wintrin's domain. Lord Cuthbert has hired hard men to look for that sign. No man traveling to or from Lord Cuthbert's lands has gone unmolested in the last seven years. Some say that he's taken the black priests into his hire. It would explain some of the tales I have heard."

Halthor frowned down at the hammer hanging at his right side. "Stay on the Royal road," the bailiff continued, reaching to take Halthor's pack from his shoulders. Moving as though in a dream, Halthor let the bailiff take the pack and lash it to the pony. Griff thrust the axe more forcefully at Halthor. Halthor took it and looked down. Impressed on the side of the axe head was another stylized lily. This lily, however, was worn and not immediately recognizable unless one knew what they were looking at. Halthor looked from the axe to Griff. The silent man gave a small nod, though Halthor couldn't tell if it was approval or something else.

At the side of the pony, Toby made a step of his hands. Halthor swallowed uncomfortably, never having ridden before. He stepped into Toby's hands and swung himself into the saddle. The pony whickered but did nothing more to acknowledge its living burden. The dog walked between the men to sniff at the pony. "Seems you made a friend," the bailiff said, "May he serve you well." Halthor looked down at the dog, which raised its head to give a curious bark. Griff handed Halthor the halter for the pony that served as rough reins.

"Just tell her what to do," Griff said, breaking his silence with his gravely voice, "She's smarter than she looks. Elf-stock, she is. The runt of the herd, though." Halthor swallowed uncomfortably. "Get on wi' yeh," Griff muttered authoritatively at the pony. She tossed her head and snorted. Giving Halthor a brief look, the pony began to walk south along the road. As he rode out of the village, the dog with the red ears and tail tip trotted in his wake.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Iron Lily (Part 3)

Halthor looked at the blue slate slabs of the roadway with a sense of melancholy. The royal road had been unkind to him over the last day and a half. When he left Starhaven, the auburn haired man found himself caught up in a caravan that promised they were headed to the south. The leader of the band said that he would pay Halthor good wages if he took it upon himself to guard them with his strong right arm. The new master builder thought it was a way to pass the time upon his journey. Then the trader's sons began to insist that it was their right to take from Halthor's goods. It lead to a scuffle between the youths and Halthor. That brief fight ended with the trader's sons battered and the man himself threatening to run Halthor through with his newly bought iron sword.

When the trader demanded blood price for his sons' injuries, Halthor spat at his feet and declared that the stones of the road would turn to dust before he did so. When dusk came, the trader was many a league behind him, most likely cursing Halthor for their parting. The second evil that came upon Halthor as he followed the road along its winding path was the thieves that burst from the coppice that stood on the heights of the first tall hill he came to. The ambush may have been noticed by a more experienced traveler, but Halthor walked into it unaware that four men laid in wait in the shelter of the pines he sought.

Snow fell fast and thick, making the slate road slippery beneath his boots. When the thieves burst free from their hiding places, Halthor stumbled. It was only by perverse luck that his stumbling resulted in a narrow miss when one of the more eager brigands swung his stave at Halthor's head. He straightened and grappled with his attacker for command over the stave. Wresting the red pine branch from the thin man's hands, Halthor found himself quickly fending off another assault. It was with great effort that the builder from Starhaven managed to defend himself. While Halthor was possessed of no little amount of strength, he was but one man against three.

The stave broke in two when the leader of the group brought down his heavy ironwood club. Halthor suffered a sharp blow to his head and staggered back. When his opponent made ready to bludgeon him again with his black colored wooden club, Halthor dropped the broken ends of the stave and took hold of the one thing he knew wouldn't fail him. Halthor pulled the hammer of Aleric from where he wore it at his waist. With a mighty blow, Halthor batted away the club and struck his attacker on the head with a sickening crunch. The club fell from nerveless fingers as the big man before him dropped to the ground. The others fled when Halthor turned to face them, their courage having fled with their leader's life.

Now, the twenty five year old builder found himself approaching a place where the rime of ice that covered the slate road was thick enough that it didn't crack under his boots. He was cold and wet, despite the wool lined leather cloak he wore and the wool hood. His feet were sore and Halthor wasn't sure if it was from the cold or from the ceaseless walking. The skies to the west had begun to darken to a color similar to the slate beneath his boots. Halthor sighed with disappointment, realizing that yet more snow was going to come with those clouds. When he crested the rise he was walking up, Halthor was surprised by the sight of fields and a village nestled in the center.

He moved a bit more quickly, judging he would reach the village not long before dark. Halthor's estimate was overly optimistic when twilight deepened the gloom that was rolling in with the snow. He stood at the edge of the fields with a sigh. His stomach rumbled for food. A part of him said that he should wait until he reached the village to worry about food, but his hunger was hard to ignore. Halthor rubbed his stomach absentmindedly as he walked forward. The night's darkness came quickly and he found himself stumbling on several poorly placed and cracked slabs.

As he entered the village, a dog barked at him. The piebald mutt trotted up to him with its tail wagging happily. Halthor looked at the dog and scoffed. When he walked to the inn, the city man found the inn keeper making ready to shutter his doors. The red faced man squinted at him and shook his head. "Bad night for a walk," he said. Halthor nodded. "Looking for shelter?" the inn keeper asked gruffly. Halthor nodded again. The villager looked down at the dog at Halthor's feet. "Go on," the man said, kicking out at the thin creature, "Get out of here!" The dog whined and shied away.

The inn keeper looked back at Halthor. The bruise on the right side of the builder's face gave him a troubling look and the dourness of his expression made the villager question if Halthor was going to be trouble. "I will be here only for the night," Halthor said, suspecting that the man before him was going to leave him to try to find shelter on the sly in a stable. The inn keeper opened his door a bit wider. He motioned Halthor in with a brief gesture, his attention switching from the traveler to the dog that was circling back in an attempt to sneak into the warmth of the inn.

Halthor walked in. The inn keeper shouted something and an enormously pregnant woman stood up from her seat by the fire. As she started to move towards where Halthor presumed the inn's cellery was, he said, "No. I have meat with me. Let her rest." The inn keeper glanced over at Halthor. As Halthor made his way to a table, the woman looked at her husband. After a moment's thought, the inn keeper motioned to his wife to sit down before walking to his cellery. Halthor was seated at his table and trying to massage the cold out of his fingers when the inn keeper set down a wooden bowl before him. Thick stew that smelled of goat and root vegetables sloshed slightly in the bowl. Halthor looked up as the inn keeper put a cup of ale down beside the bowl.

"No man leaves my board hungry," the inn keeper said, "You'll need your fare when you get into the wood. You can't hunt with a hammer." Halthor gave the older man a lopsided smile. "What happened with ... ?" the sandy haired man said, gesturing towards Halthor's bruised face.

"Met with some trouble on the road," Halthor answered, "They wanted my goods. I didn't want to give them away. They took offense to that." The inn keeper nodded. Halthor took a horn spoon out of the pouch he wore on his belt and dipped it into the stew. As he pushed the meat around, the inn keeper sat down on the bench across from him. Halthor looked briefly around the inn and discovered that it was all but deserted.

"Big man named Matias roams around here," the inn keeper said, "Carries a black ironwood club and ..." Halthor looked over at the inn keeper. "Matias is trouble," he said.

Halthor nodded as he turned his attention back to the bowl of stew before him. "I met him and his friends earlier. They were who I had the disagreement with," Halthor said. The inn keeper nodded and smoothed his apron. Halthor, who was in the process of taking a mouthful of stew, caught the gesture and glanced over. The man sitting with him looked troubled. "Matias won't be causing any trouble," Halthor said, "Not for anyone, now." The inn keeper's wife looked over. As Halthor looked at his host, it struck him that the man was not afraid of Halthor but of the brute named Matias who lay dead a half day's journey north. "I speak truly when I tell you that Matias won't be bothering you," Halthor said, "He lies in the road north of here, stone dead."

"Dead, you say?" the inn keeper's wife asked uncomfortably. Halthor nodded as he took a swallow of ale. She looked to her husband. "We're free," she said. The inn keeper looked between his wife and battered Halthor. "Did you hear him, Silas? He's gone. My brother is dead," she continued, sounding increasingly joyful with each word.

"Someone will find his body and demand blood price to be paid," the man answered his wife.

"He attacked me," Halthor answered indignantly, "gave me this bruise. I'm lucky I didn't have my jaw broken or my eye burst by him." The inn keeper nodded.

"As his living relative," the inn keeper's wife said firmly, "I am the one to whom blood debt would be paid. And you know it, Silas." Silas cringed slightly at the sharpness in his wife's tone. She looked at Halthor. "His attack on you means blood debt is to be paid to you for it," she continued, "In slaying him, I think that the blood debts are canceled. So would you say, traveler?" Halthor nodded.

"Then blood debt is paid and none can accuse you of murder," the woman said.

"We have only our word and that of a man who leaves us tomorrow morn," Silas argued.

"I swear it by the Lord of Light," Halthor said, "I did not seek to kill your brother. Only to defend myself." Silas made a noise of exasperation. Halthor was about to say something more when the door of the inn rattled on its hinges from a blow that was struck against it. The inn keeper looked over and his face paled at the thought of his dead brother in law arisen from the earth to torment him again. Halthor looked at the door, set his hammer on the table beside his bowl, and waited. Again the door shuddered from another frighteningly hard blow against it.

"Silas Aleman," a voice roared on the other side of the door, "Let me in." Silas swallowed hard and started to move towards the door. Halthor tried to figure out why the voice sounded familiar. As the inn keeper crossed the common room, Halthor glanced over at the woman sitting by the fire. Where she had previously looked relieved of some wretched burden, now she looked fearful. As Silas started to open the door, a man dressed in dirty clothes pushed his way in. Halthor recognized the first of his attackers the instant he cleared the doorway.

Halthor stood. The brigand saw him across the room and pulled a knife from his belt. "You!" he bellowed at Halthor as the builder stepped nimbly around the bench blocking his path. The second survivor of the ambush and a third man pushed their way in, all but shoving Silas to the ground in their efforts. Halthor stood but a few paces away from the knife wielding man, his hammer in his right hand. The brigand lunged for Halthor.

Halthor caught his wrist in his left hand as he swung his hammer with the right. A sharp crack came as the hammer struck his foe's ribs. The wounded man screamed as best his injured lung would let him as he fell to the ground. His compatriots came at Halthor with the intent to avenge their fallen comrades. As one man swung a cudgel at Halthor, Silas skittered back away from them with a cry of fear. Halthor ducked the sloppy swing and shattered the man's left knee. The third had jumped upon Halthor's back and hung off his shoulders.

Trying unsuccessfully to choke Halthor, the fourth man of Matias's band kicked his opponent in the back of the leg. Halthor reached up and gripped the back of the man's tunic. Halthor leaned forward and pulled him off his shoulders with a mighty motion. The brigand struck the ground hard. As he looked up at Halthor, the builder raised his hammer. The other man blanched and tried to get away. As he was rising to his feet, Silas struck him from behind with the dropped cudgel. The thief made a cry of pain and then turned to run from the inn.

The bailiff of the village had heard the stray dog of the village howling outside of his house. He walked out to see the trio of trouble makers demanding entrance into Silas Aleman's inn. As he cast his coat around himself in preparation of walking across the way to order them off to their respective homes, he could hear the commotion of a fight in progress. When he walked into the inn, he found Silas knocking one man across the back of the head with said man's cudgel in a bit of perfect irony. The bailiff looked at the scene before him and then to Halthor, a newcomer in his village.

"They ... " Silas's wife started when the bailiff raised his hand.

"I saw enough," the bailiff said before he looked at Halthor. "You met them on the road on the way here, didn't you?" he said. Halthor frowned, unsure what to say. "I have been trying to catch these four at this for the last half year," the bailiff continued. He looked down at the man who had attempted to attack Halthor with a knife. A look of disgust crossed over his face as he shook his head. "I told you idiots that you were going to meet a man who'd beat you black for this mischief," the bailiff said, "Now I expect Lord Wintrin will see you hang for it. I gave you boys a chance to straighten up. And this is how you repay me." The bailiff leaned down and began to haul the man at his feet up when Halthor stepped forward.

"He's badly injured," Halthor said. The bailiff nodded and continued to force the man to his feet. Halthor watched with a degree of horror as the other man coughed up foamy blood.

"Gods willing, they'll die of it," the bailiff said, "And then I won't have to trouble Lord Wintrin. After all, you were only defending Ysinda, right?" Halthor started to open his mouth to insist that wasn't correct when Silas caught his eye. The inn keep gave a slight shake of the head. Halthor shut his mouth and looked back to the bailiff. "You saved us some trouble, lad," the balding man said, "Running off Matias and all." The bailiff gave his prisoner a shove towards the door. "Silas, get Toby and Griff," he said, "They'll clean up this mess." Silas slipped out the door to seek out the deputies as the bailiff looked over at Halthor again.

"Where is a man like you going in this weather?" he asked conversationally, as though the prisoner he held on to wasn't in agony. Halthor stared at the bailiff for a moment, not fully comprehending why he wasn't taking the injured man away. And then it struck him and Halthor shuddered inwardly. The bailiff smiled as comprehension dawned in Halthor's face. "No matter," he said, "You've a long journey to go. I'm sure that Lord Wintrin will be hard pressed to find you. Though Wye owes you a hero's debt." The bailiff turned and marched his prisoner out into the dark even as his deputies arrived.

Toby and Griff hauled the stunned man up to his feet before ungently picking up the man with the shattered knee. As they left, their burden screamed in pain, waking up several of the villagers on their journey to the gaol. Halthor sat down to his meal, feeling sick at the realization that the bailiff was trying to kill his injured prisoners rather than have them face the judgement of their liege lord. "What manner of man ..." he started before looking over at Silas and Ysinda. The couple looked as though they had finally come to the end of a great ordeal. Halthor looked back at his food. He had done his best to not think about the fact he had killed a man earlier in the day.

Now, as he looked at the bits of goat meat in the stew, his stomach roiled and the image of Matias's face as the hammer slammed into him came to mind. Halthor shut his eyes against the sight, discovering he really couldn't escape memory. "I killed a man today," he said in a voice so low and quiet that his host did not hear him. "I am no better than my father," he continued, opening his eyes. He looked down at the food before him with an expression of such internal turmoil that Ysinda noticed.

"You have done the Storm Lord's work this day," she said. Halthor looked over at her.

"I pray that is so," he said, unable to keep the haunted horror out of his voice. Outside, the snow fell and the wind sighed about the door that Griff had so considerately closed behind himself in his passage.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Suddenly, ZOMBIES!

This is a post that has precious little to do with the world of my novels. It is, however, something to let you all know that I have not dropped off the edge of the Earth into the abyss. I recently was in the hospital due to problems with my depressive episode. With the assistance of trained professionals and chemistry, I am at a point where I can declare myself to be somewhat functional. I am not a hundred percent recovered but I am a long way from where I was at when I went into the hospital. It was not a pleasant stay, but I have only had two hospital stays that were pleasant. At the end, I got to bring home my baby and start the newest chapter in my life. This was not happy like that. It was more a case of tweaking medication and trying to find away to get through the grueling drudgery of depression.

Even so, there were a few bright points in my hospital stay. The first one that comes to mind is the lovely nurse who was assigned to me most of the time I was there. Her name was Eris (yes, just like the ancient Hellenic goddess of chaos) and she was from Jamacia. An absolutely lovely woman with a stunning smile, excellent bedside manner, and an infectious laugh. Every time I saw her, I felt like if she can manage to laugh and keep good cheer in the face of dealing with exceptionally difficult patients and gods know what else in her life, then perhaps there is some hope in the world after all.

And then there was the theme of zombies. To steal an expression from a friend of mine, you couldn't swing a dead cat with out hitting something involving zombies through out my stay. It all started on Easter Sunday, by the way. I don't know who decided that Easter Sunday was the day to show zombie movies but it made me laugh. And then it seemed like every time I found the television in the solarium was on, there was something about zombies. (If you're looking for a hilarious group of movies involving the undead, look up the Evil Dead movies. They're fantastic and Bruce Campbell is wonderful.) It did make the dark humor of feeling like I was a zombie due to my medications especially funny.

Somewhere around the time I was getting ready to come home, I found myself batting around the idea of having some cognate to zombies show up in the world of Evandar. I haven't decided on this yet. I am tempted to do so but I don't know if I want to push the horror angle or make them comedic relief. Because you can't do all horror all the time. You need to give your readers a break so they can catch their breath and recover a bit from it all. I personally have found zombies to be funny most of the time, but I keep thinking of movies like Shaun of the Dead when someone says the word zombie.

Right now, I don't feel like the walking dead. I don't feel entirely well, but I am seeing steady improvement as time goes on. I hope to get back to posting more frequently over the next few weeks. I will resume updating the serial story about Halthor and his mysterious hammer this weekend. A brief spoiler regarding that story, the hammer isn't Mjollnir but it is powerful enough to wreck havoc when used creatively. And Halthor is nothing if not creative.